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British Expat Newsletter:
3 October 2003

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

In this issue

  • This week: All the fun of the fair
  • Virtual Snacks
  • Bizarre Searches
  • Joke and quotation

This week

Update time again, after another pause. Sorry – this time we were away in Thailand. We’ll be bringing more stuff onto the website shortly. In the meantime…

We all love the fun of the fair, don’t we? You can’t beat it. The stalls (dodgy hoopla games where no-one ever wins, air-rifles with the sights lined up skew-whiff), the rides (bumper cars where you get shouted at for driving within 25 yards of any of the other cars, waltzers with the obligatory Jack-the-lad attendant who fancies himself with the women), the food (especially that all-pervasive fairground smell of onions frying in rancid fat).

All this is by way of saying that the four-day Nottingham Goose Fair is going on at the time of writing. It’s one of the oldest fairs in history and has been held every year – with a break in 1646 for the plague, and two breaks last century for the World Wars – at about this time since before 1284. It’s changed a bit since then, mind. Whereas once you used to buy a goose for Martinmas, nowadays the closest thing to poultry you can get is a cock-on-a-stick. I kid you not. (In case you were wondering, it’s a lollipop shaped like a cockerel.) And I think we can safely say there weren’t any bungee jumps around in the 13th century.

Meanwhile, a much younger but rather bigger event is going on across the Channel in darkest Bavaria. Yes, it’s the Oktoberfest, which generally begins in September but goes on for a couple of weeks. It’s claimed to be the biggest fair in the world – in the year 2000 6.6 million litres (that’s nearly 12 million pints) of beer were drunk – and is probably the most famous. But it’s already had to be abandoned 24 times in less than 200 years, because of war, cholera and – in 1922 – hyperinflation. Still, that doesn’t stop well over 5 million visitors attending it every year.

Virtual Snacks

Having a bad hair day? Looking a bit jaded? Why not emigrate to Piobicco in Italy – home of the Ugly Club? (They are in the process of building their own website but it’s in Italian – meanwhile the BBC’s write-up is worth a look.)
BBC News: The Ugly Club

I stumbled across recently, and ended up laughing at loud at their worst of the web reviews. Yeah, the sites are bad enough to merit the “award” but the scathing reviews are absolutely brilliant. Worst of the Web

And if you’re wanting something totally weird, head for, aka The Lair of the Crab of Ineffable Wisdom. Flying Viking kittens, daft Spongmonkeys (eh?) that really like the moon – whatever next?

Bizarre Searches

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

  • grotty teeth (5)
  • substitute for coriander (4)
  • past (3)
  • men@motors (3)
  • cheeps (3)
  • shower squeegee (3)
  • suet balls (2)
  • cat turds (2)

Till next time…
Happy surfing!

British Expat Magazine


“I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.”
– Ian L Fleming (1908-1964), creator of James Bond


This drunkard staggers up to a fairground rifle range and demands to have a go. At first the stallholder tries to get rid of him, thinking he’ll hit a passer-by, but eventually gives in when it’s clear the guy won’t go away.

In spite of waving the rifle barrel all over the place, the drunk manages to score three bullseyes. The stallholder reckons he must have fluked it and, sure that he’s in no state to realise he’s won the star prize, gives him one of the consolation prizes, a tortoise. The drunk wanders off.

A short while later he pitches up again, even more the worse for wear. Again he hits the bull three times, again the stallholder gives him a tortoise.

When the same thing happens for the third time, the stallholder decides it must be fate and he’d better give the drunk the star prize.

“Congratulations,” he announces. “Sir, you’re the winner of tonight’s star prize, this fantastic cutlery set.”

“Keep your bloody cutlery,” the drunk retorts. “Give me another one of those delicious crusty meat pies.”

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