Eurodan in English

August 31, 2003

By the way, I've fixed the archive pages now, so browse away if you like that kind of thing.

Posted by Eurodan at 1:22 PM | Comments (0)

So there we were, about a hundred of us, huddled together by a community centre next to Queen's Gardens in central Hull, holding makeshift banners and waiting to set off on Hull's second LGBT pride march.

Given that it was primarily organised by Hull's LGBT youth group, it didn't really attract the whole spectrum of Hull's gay community, which is a bit of a shame, as it meant that the numbers on the march were low, to say the least.

But what we lacked in numbers we certainly made up for in noise, and so off we went, shouting, drumming and whistling around central Hull, past British Home Stores, Littlewoods and John Turnbull's newsagents. The main reaction from the onlookers seemed one of troubled pity - a sort of "they can't really be having much fun, can they?"

And to be honest, we weren't, by and large. It was all a bit sheepish, and it did have a whiff of ridiculousness about it. I think you need a critical mass for these things to really take off - but nevertheless, I'm glad we did it. It's good to show that they don't just have 'our sort' in London and Manchester, but even in East Yorkshire.

Posted by Eurodan at 1:20 PM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2003

Testing, testing... Here's a gratuitous image just to check the way the upload function works. A bit late in the day, I know, but there you are.

I don't even look straight in this, do I?


Ah well... the main purpose was to get your attention, as a new spurt of creativity has just... well, spurted. And you can see the results in my brand-spanking new gallery here.

Posted by Eurodan at 10:25 PM | Comments (3)

August 26, 2003

There’s no getting away from it – summer is slowly contemplating autumn; once again, all over the Western world, the thoughts of those involved with learning start irresistibly to think about a new year. The natural year starts to wind down just as the man-made one begins again.

For me, the autumn represents the third new beginning in a row since I left behind my London office life in 2001 – first the “year off” in Germany, then the course in Bradford, which has of course allowed me to pursue this, the culmination of a dream which seems to have been hard-wired inside me from as long ago as I can remember, and which I only embraced and made reality frighteningly recently.

It’s difficult to express the joy and wonder I’ve felt on walking through the various lobbies of Brussels’ European institutions – seeing the flags ranged in the corner, silently tuning into the various conversations as they drift past. It’s sometimes been hard to stop myself from grinning from ear to ear. To finally belong there, and to be working in a field I love so much, is the most precious, wonderful prize. You can keep your lottery wins.

The last couple of times I’ve been asked what I do for a living I’ve been saying “I’m an interpreter” – trying it on for size. It still seems a bit big for me yet – like trying on Dad’s jacket when you’re a little boy. Let alone saying “I’m an interpreter for the EU”.

It’s worth mentioning before I go into any further raptures that this precious prize is very much on approval, and may perfectly well slip through my fingers over the course of the next six months, based fairly and squarely on my mentors’ judgement of my performance as an interpreter in the booth. Very, very good interpreters can and do fail the sort of test that you get at the end of the six-month insertion scheme – and there’s always a dollop of luck, it seems.

Still, whatever happens, I’ll always know that I tried. And you never know, I might actually pass! But it’s certainly getting my emotions worked up. I find myself getting tearful at the most banal things – which really surprises me. It seems that discovering your true self is a very powerful journey – exposing strong emotions; relief, hope, joy, but also fear of failure, and sorrow at having waited for so long for the Sun to shine – before realising that you have to be brave and step out of the shadows yourself.

Posted by Eurodan at 11:33 PM | Comments (4)

August 23, 2003

Friday night - and once again, I'm not going out. It's partly because Channel 4 won't let me - I can't remember the last time I was so transfixed by a programme quite as gruesome as My New Best Friend. It's amazing how these people seem quite happy to inflict lasting damage on their most valuable relationships for the sake of ten grand. I mean, it's not *that* much money, surely - and most of the people who go in for it seem to be doing alright money-wise anyway. Still, nowt as queer as folk etc.

Anyway, the real reason I'm not going out is that I'm off to Manchester tomorrow to spend the day trying to Norwegify my Swedish as I'll be out living it up with a group of rather boisterous Norwegians.

Well, it is Europride!

Posted by Eurodan at 12:18 AM | Comments (3)

August 21, 2003

Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday, happy birthday,
Happy birthday to me!

Posted by Eurodan at 12:04 AM | Comments (6)

August 18, 2003

"Who'd miss BBC3 or BBC4?" asked a commentator in yesterday's Observer, in a carping quality-not-quantity meeja article.

Well I would, actually. Since moving back home to Hessle for the summer, and despite the shiny new local gay nightclub, there's not all that much for a gal to do on a weekday evening, and so my Dad's On Digital box (yes, I know it's Freeview now, thank you) has seen some interested patronage, especially in the small hours.

And my two favourite channels are definitely named above. Much better than bloated, celebrity handicraft homeselling obsessed BBC1 and gone-soft BBC2. Now you can have Adam and Joe and similar comedy every night on 3, and best of all, lots of genuinely interesting, much-less-patronising-than-normal documentary stuff on 4.

Focussed, quality television - none of your Sky guff - no adverts, and all included in the license fee! I'm certainly a convert!

Posted by Eurodan at 1:07 AM | Comments (2)

August 15, 2003

There I am, quietly getting on with my dissertation at almost the planned speed, merrily translating the musings of Egon Krenz and other esteemed members of the GDR leadership, and lo, what can only be described as a torrent of events suddenly conspired against me.

My phone gave up the ghost, and I had to get a replacement ordered.
My toothache turned into a serious viral infection of the gums.
My indigestion looks like it could be a stomach ulcer.
My printer broke down, and the drivers for the new one I bought wouldn't install properly!

But the fightback has begun, dear readers. Nettles are being grasped by the bush-load (or something). Dentist and doctor's appointments have been made, printers have been installed after hours spent on the phone to the support line (actually very good, well done Lexmark!), and antibiotics are being swallowed. Oh yes, I won't be beaten that easily!

Still, I have an awful feeling the worst is yet to come. Those fateful words 'appointment with the hygienist' (read 'half an hour in the torture chair being asked to confess to something you know nothing about') loom large on this afternoon's schedule.

Hopefully see you all again soon!

Posted by Eurodan at 12:37 PM | Comments (2)

August 14, 2003

In keeping with my new suspicion that promoting the blogs of friends is the new blogging, here's an interesting piece of history for you.

And if you look hard enough, you might even find a picture of yours truly walking through the West End of London in his underwear. (But I'm not telling you where).

Posted by Eurodan at 12:09 AM | Comments (5)

August 10, 2003

Greetings from Edinburgh!

Yes, there's nothing quite like being spontaneous, so I decided to fulfil a long-held ambition and followed my sister up to this year's Edinburgh Festival. Just for a long weekend, you understand. (Well, I'm meant to be saving up for the move to Belgium!)

I'm so glad I came. The city looks lovely as usual. So European, with its several-storey apartment blocks, and so breathtaking with its hills etc etc... And being in Scotland really does feel good. There is a very different feeling here - it's most definitely not anything like England - and does feel closer to Europe and the Nordic Countries. Apparently Scotland was invited to join the Nordic Council, which includes the Scandinavian countries, Iceland, Finland and Greenland. I'm not sure how Scotland responded...

But the main reason I'm glad to be here is the sheer gob-smacking amount of culture going on. There's a Guardian Guide being published *every day* and it has a massive hour-by-hour guide. I'm seeing three shows (at least) today, including the French version of Monty Python and a couple of my fave comics.

Anyway, enough gushing. I'll be back in England on Monday - so more then!

Posted by Eurodan at 3:23 PM | Comments (1)

August 4, 2003

How about this?

Go to this page. (It's the German Railway website).

Put in any city you like in Europe or Asia... how about Moskva, or Southampton, or La Rochelle, hit "Anzeigen", then pick a time of day from the list.

Result? A full list of train departures - done minute-by-minute, the German way.

For everywhere. I know - it's somehow *fascinating* to know just how many commuter trains leave Helsinki every hour.

Just me then? Oh, sorry.

Anyway - off on hols now till Friday - see you then!

Posted by Eurodan at 1:43 AM | Comments (1)

August 3, 2003

It's late (or early), so I'll keep it brief.

My friend Matt has started a blog. Go there, read, enjoy. Drink in the playful design. Dig the upside-down titles. But most of all, read his stuff. It's ever so good. Makes me look a bit of a... lightweight by comparison ;-)

Posted by Eurodan at 2:58 AM | Comments (2)

August 2, 2003

Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs!

No sooner do I move back to Hull and they go and open a brand-spanking new gay nightclub! And none of your usual made-on-Blue-Peter typical Hull productions, either! No sitting in a pub front room pretending to be a club while someone comes around with a butcher's tray trying to sell you a joint of beef! (I kid you not - it did happen.)

No, Fuel is a real new departure for Hull, in that it's actually quite good. It's not perfect - the dancefloor is just part of the room with no chairs (i.e., no change in flooring or levels), and it's still finding its feet, but it wouldn't look out of place in a big UK city, and for Hull, that's truly amazing.

Needless to say, I'll be giving it my full support over the next few weeks. Only to show my community spirit, you understand...

Posted by Eurodan at 11:56 AM | Comments (3)

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