Friday Fun with poetry & singing

As is traditional for Friday Fun, there is some TfL geekiness, but there is an entire blogpost of geekiness imminent, so I’ll keep it to a minimum today, with just one piece of fun.

I am a big fan of tube etiquette posters – largely because I am also a big fan of keeping tube etiquette. However, the recent series of posters using rhyming couplets to instruct us to give up seats; not eat smelly food; and let others off the train first has been derided by some. One such person decided to bring some quality poetry into the etiquette messages, re-writing them in the style of Blake, Byron, Shakespeare etc…

Blake Tube Etiquette

Kipling, Byron, Barrett-Browning

Not, strictly speaking, TfL fun, but both London and Transport related, is Jake Foreman’s third instalment of Unfinished London.  The first two are well worth checking out if you haven’t already (the unfinished Northern Line plans & the inner London orbital) and this one does not disappoint. This time, the subject is London’s airports:

Moving on. Still riding high on the joy of seeing Les Mis in the flesh last week, I very much enjoyed this rendition of One Day More – with lyrics translated through layers of Google Translate. It’s excellent, partly because the singers are, and partly because it’s just ridiculous. Quality intellectual musical fun:

Next, am I alone in feeling something of a Harry Potter absence at this time of year? For years, early summer involved heady anticipation of a new book or film – until 2011, when the final movie arrived. If you share my wistfulness, and don’t have the time/inclination to read all 7 books or watch all 8 films, then you can relive the joy through 5 minutes of how Harry Potter should have ended:

And, as I said at the start, keep watch for further TfL fun in the next couple of days…

Friday Fun to banish episcopal woes

One of the good things to emerge from the women bishops debacle is that people have done a good job in trying to cheer up those who have been rather down about it. Some of this has been niche church humour, but I thought I’d share a few of the less church-y things that have brought a smile to my face since Tuesday evening…

Chalet School bargainsBargain Chalet School discoveries in an Oxfam shop last month.

Firstly, in the immediate aftermath of the vote, something that kept me going while I was sat at the back of church waiting for Student Alpha discussions to finish, counting down till 10pm when I’d be home and could have a stiff G&T, Twitter provided me with a particularly niche strand of humour. An amazing thing about Twitter is that it brings together people who have things in common who might not otherwise have met. For the first time since I was 12, I have actual people with whom I can have Chalet School related conversations with, and thus, the hashtag #linesyoudneverseeinachaletschoolbook filled me with immense joy. [Yes, the lack of apostrophe was unfortunate, but that’s the way of hashtags.] To summarise, the aim was to tweet a line that you would never have read in a school story series (that runs to 62 books) written between 1925 & 1969. The majority of you reading this won’t have a clue about these books, but the thread has been storifyied and is a joy for fans. Even more joyfully, my family got into it too – apparently largely just to cheer me up.

Ah, the family Liz was never head girl joke…
Also niche, but niche to a larger number of people, is the ever-joyful London Transport geekery. This particular tip-off arrived via a Texan New Yorker – TfL geeks are global! Apparently, Reddit has a regular “I am a…” section where someone willingly answers questions about their area of work. This week’s was an employee of London Underground and the thread, though at times bemusing and tricky to keep track of, is full of gems – not just from the employee, but from fellow public transport aficionados.

For example, people think London tube stations have odd names, but have you ever seen what Oslo’s stations are called, when you translate them into English?

Make your own hilarious comment…

Not discovered via that thread, but interesting nonetheless, is this map of what the London tube map might look like if the balance of tubes north and south of the river was reversed. [In case you weren’t aware, this is a major bone of contention for south Londoners.]

Continuing the transport theme, and segueing to air travel, my favourite holiday destination and other people’s idea of fun – it seems Air New Zealand have finally cashed in on LOTR/The Hobbit. Flight safety videos are usually dull in the extreme, but this is a work of pure genius:

To finish this week, something that is more beautiful than outright fun. The last few days has seen a lot of solidarity amongst my fellow ordinands and our tutors, male and female. Below is a video of one of those ordinands who has captivated college with his performances at open mic nights in France. This poem – Wounds and Scars – is breathtaking in its honesty and truth. There are a lot of open wounds out there at the moment. Here’s to them healing well…