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British Expat Newsletter:
10 August 2005

Hello, and welcome to those who have joined up since our last newsletter.

In this issue

  • This week: Enthusiasts
  • Virtual Snacks
  • Bizarre Searches
  • Joke and quotation

This week

What a joy to meet an enthusiast! Someone who is so passionate about their subject that it’s infectious. I’m not talking about anoracky people who bore you to death with facts and figures. No, I mean real enthusiasts. You can find them in all walks of life and it’s great when you do meet one.

Some years ago we were interested in making home-brew beer – perhaps more truthfully I could’ve said, “We were skint at the time and thought it might be cheaper to make our own” ;-). Anyway, off we went to a specialist home-brew shop near to where we lived in Greater London. On arriving at the shop we went in and had a browse around. The strange thing was that there didn’t seem to be anyone else in there. No owner, no staff. No one. We continued to browse and stacked all the things we wanted to buy on the counter next to the till. Eventually a man appeared, who turned out to be the owner. When we expressed our surprise that the shop had been empty, he replied that he’d just popped out for half an hour to deliver something and hadn’t bothered to lock up on the basis that anyone who was interested in going into a home brew shop must be inherently the right type of person!

If that wasn’t odd enough, as it turned out when we were ready to pay for our purchases we discovered that he didn’t accept plastic and we didn’t have any other means of payment on us. “No problem,” he said, happily giving us a heap of his valuable stock, “just post me a cheque.” We did, of course, and went on to become good customers. We spent many a happy time in that shop discussing real ale, and tasting his latest concoctions – all excellent!

(Richard, the owner, now has a website: Cheers Health and Homebrew)

More recently, we went to visit a friend in North Devon and decided to take a slight detour on the way back to London. Some of you may already be aware that we are big fans of the author Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series of books. Dave had heard that the town of Wincanton had been twinned with Ankh-Morpork, the main city in these wonderful fantasy novels. We thought it might be fun to have a look at the place and see what there was there for the Pratchett fan. We weren’t disappointed.

We met two real enthusiasts. Isobel and Bernard Pearson run The Cunning Artificer in Wincanton, it’s a Discworld emporium and an Aladdin’s Cave full of wonderful things. The warmth and generosity of these people really made our trip special and we were so glad that we’d gone a little bit out of our way to go there. If you’re a Pratchett fan and you’re anywhere near Wincanton, The Cunning Artificer is an absolute must-do. Highly recommended.

Are you an enthusiast about anything or do you have any stories to tell of people like this? Why not comment and tell us about it?

Virtual Snacks

If you’d like to see The Cunning Artificer’s website you can check it out here:
Discworld Emporium

On our trip away we also discovered the West Somerset Railway and plan to go back:
West Somerset Railway

One of our BE columnists, Trevor Dykes, is an enthusiast about the subject of Mesozoic mammals and near-mammals. You can see his website here:
Mesozoic Eucydonts

Bizarre Searches

Some strange search terms which have led people to visit British Expat recently:

  • fiven picture
  • sharont in france
  • cottaging wales
  • topless horse-riding
  • how my english strong
  • nessie killed john cobb 1952
  • funny bones on a dark dark hill
  • what are some dances of hong kong
  • pompeii penis
  • ancient chastity belts history
  • dr dolittle alcoholic monkey
  • i love to go a wandering in german

Till next time…
Happy surfing!

Kay
Editor
British Expat Magazine

Quotation

“All we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”

Charles Kingsley (author, 1819-1875)

Joke

A lawyer gets on a train to go to London. He sits next to a poor farmer. To pass the time the lawyer decides to play a game with the guy.

“I will ask you a question and if you get it wrong, you have to pay me a pound. Then you ask me a question, and if I get it wrong, you get ten pounds. You ask me a question first.”

The farmer thinks for a while. “I know,” he says, “what has three legs, takes ten hours to climb up a palm tree, and ten seconds to get back down?”

The lawyer is confused and thinks long and hard about the question. Finally, the train is approaching London. As it pulls into the station, the lawyer takes out ten pounds and gives it to the farmer.

“I don’t know. What has three legs, takes ten hours to get up a palm tree and ten seconds to get back down?”

The farmer takes the ten pounds and puts it into his pocket. He then takes out a pound and hands it to the lawyer and says: “I don’t know either.”

PG Author: Kay McMahon

Kay has been an expat for nearly 30 years. She set up the British Expat website back in early 2000, whilst living in London and missing the expat life. These days she spends much of her time lugging computers and cameras around the world. (Dave gets to deal with all the really heavy stuff.)

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