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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

The British talent for succeeding at odd sports continues. Following in the footsteps of Phileas Fogg, Richard Branson and other fictional adventurers, a British cycling enthusiast has just completed a two year trip around the world on a penny-farthing, the favoured mode of transport of no-one.

The penny-farthing is an odd looking bicycle, so named as the large front wheel and small back wheel resemble a penny coin and a farthing lying side-by-side. The Victorian middle-classes used the bicycles as a way of demonstrating what the coins looked like to poor street urchins who never saw either.

Cyclist Joff Summerfield took his cycling challenge one step further in Australia by competing in the Penny Farthing World Championships, where, naturally he came second.

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The British once had an empire that spread across the world and which was demonstrated by colouring our bits of the map in a lovely shade of pink, based on the colour of British officers after a few months in the sun.

The old empire died out, what with people deciding they’d rather look after their own affairs rather than leaving it up to a small collection of people who muttered about ‘savages’ and were permanently sunburned. But could a new British Empire be arriving at the servant’s entrance?

A British ex-pat living in Spain has sneakily installed himself as Mayor of a Costa Blanca town. Rather than bother with the notion of running for office or elections or any of that nonsense, our plucky Brit merely got himself to a minor council position then waited patiently until all the other councillors were arrested wholesale on corruption charges, following ‘a tip-off’.

This type of accidental bumbling into power is just the sort of thing the British excel at – let the ‘whoops-a-daisy’ empire building continue.

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New Sat Nav systems that will tell off their owners off for poor driving and suggest restaurants to stop at will be on the market within three years.

Sat Navs were first invented because of an inability by many drivers to follow directions when given by their spouse looking upside down at a map. Due to rapidly increasing numbers of divorce petitions citing ‘navigational problems’, the government ploughed money into satellite navigation technology in a bid to save Britain’s marriages.
It has been a successful strategy so far, with couples reuniting in their joint hatred of a computerised box that sends them up narrow country lanes, particularly when you are driving a car that was originally designed for traversing the Abu Dhabi desert and has expensive specially-shiny paint.

The latest incarnation of Sat-Nav’s are aimed at single people who generally do not have the benefit of what manufacturers are calling a ‘collision warning system’ and what most drivers would call a ‘backseat driver’.

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Recently released news that UFOs have been spotted over Manchester has led to claims that aliens may be living in the city.
There are increasing reports of alien-like behaviour amongst fans at the City of Manchester stadium, and it is rumoured that some of the retail staff in the Arndale Centre are not of this world.

Although Manchester City Council are officially unaware of any extra-terrestrials living in the area, one spokesman commented that “if there are any aliens in Manchester, they are obviously fully integrated and a valuable part of this vibrant city.”
However there are worries among some parts of the council that there could be racial tension between the new immigrants and the existing alien population across the Yorkshire border, which first landed on Ilkley Moor in the 1980s.

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Lollipop ladies are making a comeback in Harrow. Lollipop ladies were last seen in the London borough when they were defeated in the great lollipop stick fight of 2001, when the ladies were defeated by the School Crossing Patrollers for the right to terrorise children on their way to school. Few can forget the carnage caused at the time. Clearing up the broken lollipop sticks and high-vis jackets alone took from 9am to around 3pm.

Traffic Wardens are thought to be making a comeback in the Harrow area also, and have been spotted on patches previously patrolled by the Civil Enforcement Officers. The Civil Enforcement Officers first appeared around the time of the School Crossing Patrollers brutal victory over the Lollipops, and soon took control of the Traffic Wardens territory and double yellow lines, but local people said they saw little difference between the two regimes.

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A hill in Wales has recently been upgraded to a mountain following measurements that revealed Snowdonia’s Mynydd Graig Goch mountain was in fact six inches taller than previously thought.  Good news for British mountaineers, bad news for cartographers, who now have to re-do all the ordnance survey maps. 

 

A spate of similar corrections and miscalculations is predicted to follow this announcement.  London landmark the Gherkin is expected to be upgraded to a Cucumber by December.  The London Eye will become the London Ear, Nose and Throat and Big Ben will undergo gender reassignment to Big Betty.

 

Locals from a neighbouring village in Wales, whose hill has not been upgraded to a mountain, continue to maintain that the size of Graig Goch has not increased, but that the people underneath it have all shrunk by six inches, and that the people measuring it were wearing platform shoes.  In retaliation, the locals of Graig Goch looked up and told them to get off their high horse.

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British ecologists have been documenting sightings of commuters, searching for evidence of seasonal shift.  With the Climate Crunch having an increasing effect upon natural migration times, enthusiasts are being encouraged to record their own sightings and times of year very neatly in a little notebook.

   

The most common sighting was the Common Commuter (Commuterus plebs), which is commonly found skulking about the ends of platforms.  This family of commuters is typically low-spirited, cold-blooded and able to walk extremely fast without appearing to run. 

 

The Car Commuter (Commuterus vulgaris) is another example of the species that is very easy to spot, particularly in the south-east of England and other urban areas.  Characteristics include quick hand-eye coordination (particularly with hand gestures) and high blood pressure.

 

The rarest of the species is the Holiday Commuter (Commuterus incommodus) who is usually only spotted between the months of July and August.  These are easily seen however, as they are usually accompanied by their young and often a large suitcase or pushchair (sometimes both), especially during rush hour. 

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