The Grey Town Gazette 

'News from the Urban Sprawl'

  

January - April 2011 (Late Edition)   

 
Hurrah..it's Spring!

and we've won an award!

             

All Star logo


Welcome to the Spring edition of the award winning GTG!

Yes it's true! The GTG has won an award. We're not sure why, but hey, we're grateful anyway

(Warning! gushing speech follows...)

Actually we're really humbled... sob... and would like to take this opportunity... sob... to thank all our... er.... readers... sob.. and... er... sob... contributors.. and... er.. oh stuff it.... we can't be bothered... thanks and have a nice day!

Revolutions: everybody's at it! 


Spring is in the air and all around the world excited peoples are rising up against totalitarian regimes, risking life and limb for the chance to appoint their own preferred despot

Even in Britain people are joining in the fun. Why bother with an electoral process, which could in any case go against you, when it's so easy and much more 'democratic' to put on a balaclava and strut around London smashing up shops and banks?

As you would expect, the GTG's award winning reporters were on the spot, braving the melee of malcontents to capture these historical events for posterity. We hope you enjoy our special pictorial feature 'the Battle of Piccadilly'


New Feature:   

Greytone News

View our videos on YouTube 


Not only do we bring you poignant images and insightful analysis, but we now also have a cutting edge newsreel service using the very latest technology: moving pictures!

Be sure to check out our exciting debut newsreel 'The Battle of Piccadilly' on the GTG Channel on View our videos on YouTube

 

Also new in this edition:


New contributor: 'D4'
The GTG is pleased to welcome radical urban poet D4 to the post of resident poet

D4 has built a name for himself in the Grey Town Fringe through his cutting, angry but always insightful critiques of of contemporary society using the powerful medium of non rhyming verse

D4's approach is fastidious. For reasons of visual purity and semantic clarity he only uses words beginning with the capital letter 'D'

In this edition we are pleased to present his timely prophesy 'D-4-Despot'

Enjoy! Ed


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Afterthought


A tragedy unfolds in Japan

Thousands, possibly tens of thousands die, swept away by a huge tsunami

Nobody dies as a result of leaks at a nuclear power station

The Worlds media devotes 99.9% of its coverage to an unfolding 'potential nuclear disaster'

People question whether Japan or any nation should continue using nuclear power

Yet no one suggests we should stop living by the coast 


 Enviro-Mental

Are you concerned about your impact on the environment?

Do you want to help save the planet?
 
Well, the GTG shares your concerns. That's why we publish this regular column bringing you practical tips from the world of Climate Theology on how you can help reverse Global Warming

 
E-Mental Tip 10: 

 

This month we have a very topical E-Mental suggestion 

 

Return to Sender

 

Why not bury Nuclear Waste it in Uranium Mines? 



Possibly one of the the few practical ways to reduce our dependency on carbon fuels is to use nuclear power

Unfortunately nuclear power presents the tricky problem of how to dispose of it's waste byproducts

There might be a simple answer. Uranium comes out of the ground. Not only that, it's mined in hot dusty countries that are a long way from important places like Grey Town

So why don't we just dump the nuclear waste down the mines where the original fuel came from?

We wouldn't even have to squander money encasing the waste in glass and stainless steel: we could just throw it down the old mine shafts, seal the entrances with a bit of concrete and put up signs warning kids not to play there

Isn't it obvious?

Footnote: since the biggest problem with nuclear waste is one of public perceptions, this might actually work!  - Ed


Send us your tips:
Do you have any helpful tips you'd like to share with other readers? We welcome your contribution - remember it will be easier to save the planet if we all work together!
 
Simply email suggestions to
the Editor

The GTG: leading the way to a sustainable future!

 Offensive Joke


50,000,000,000



The cost of interest payments on the UK's National Debt 2011



 This joke is not NATOFF approved and doesn't carry a CE mark

 Theobabble
a Thought for Today


World Heath Organization says  

Global Warming a Health Issue   

 

So why does the population keep growing? 

    
So unhealthy
So unhealthy

This month's Theobabble comes from someone who wears shorts, but not because of global warming:

"According to the World Health Organization there are 140,000 unnecessary deaths per year due to global warming since 1970 (WHO Fact sheet N266)

OK, but since 1970 the population has grown by an average of 75 million per year, from around 3.7 billion to 6.8 billion

75 million additional people per year,
most of whom are doing just fine thanks!

That's over 500 times the number who are supposed to be dying

That tends to suggest global warming, whatever it might be, certainly isn't a health issue
!"   


Quote for the Moment

 

 

'Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers'

 

Homer Simpson

 


WorldWonder 

 

No. 5

    

    
Festive Beef


Festive Beef 

 

 

Just the other side of nowhere, on the eastern-most edge of England there is a place called Lowestoft where, despite it's remoteness, they are blessed with a restaurant serving Thai food that would stand out for it's excellence even if it were located in the heart of one of  London's more fashionable districts

 

And, amongst the establishment's many excellent dishes is a particular gem: Festive Beef

 

An intriguing mixture of savory and sweet flavours mingle in this unique dish. I could write more, but if I do I fear I might start to hyperventilate 

 

Suffice to say: we love it! 

 

 

Beau Thai Restaurant  

c/o  

Hotel Katherine, Lowestoft 

 

Footnote: if you choose to make the trek to Lowestoft to visit the Beau Thai, be sure to also investigate the Triangle Tavern brewery pub...more on that another time! 


 

Demo-Free Zone  

 

 

As a special service to GTG readers who are fed-up with people demonstrating, protesting and generally complaining about everything, we are pleased to provide this 'Demo Free' column which contains no reports of marches, revolutions or any other self-indulgent expressions of collective individuality  

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

Pictorial Feature

Spring Fever!

Battle of Piccadilly marks start of the spring rutting season


Testosterone-fueled sub-primates compete in mating rituals...

 

...as Anti-Democracy Protesters get overexcited by day out in the big city

 

Social Climbers

Anti-Social Climbers

Yes, hormones start to flow as the summer approaches and wildlife everywhere is doing what comes naturally...

 

Undercover CopRun on the bankGlass ActCofused Message

 

...and the concrete jungle is no different as in carnival spirit the hoards descend upon the capital to strut their stuff and show off their genetic credentials to an admiring crowd of hyperventilating fans ...and a thousand camera wielding tourists who couldn't believe their luck


iPad Queue

GTG Newsreels Present 

 

The Battle of Piccadilly

  The Battle of Piccadilly

View our videos on YouTube  

The Big Event   

 

 

On Friday April 29th 2011 Britain's Lucky Sperm Club is boosting it's gene pool with some healthy new peasant stock

 

The GTG wishes the Couple Good Luck!

(and thanks for the day off) 

  

Despot Challenge


World Tour Latest



Another day, another demo...
Another day, another demo...


Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Syria...

will Londonistan be next?


Expectant crowds gather on Edgware Road
Iranian warships wait to enter the Regents Canal

London Tues Apr 25th:
As revolutionary fervor sweeps the world it seems no totalitarian regime is safe

The Twitsphere is rife with speculation that the next hot spot will be on the  Edgware road London. Despite a council imposed news blackout, the outside world is being kept up-to-date by a flurry of postings on Facebook, Twitter, and Camping & Caravan websites. Latest postings report that a crowd of at least 15 protesters has congregated outside Poundstretcher declaring a free-state of Londonistan and demanding that Westminster Council relinquishes it's 'colonial' rule of W2

Yellow lines drawn in the asphalt
But Westminster council is defiant, proclaiming it will not give up without a fight and will continue it's 'glorious' struggle to the last parking meter left standing

Support for the old regime is however ebbing away. Reports suggest that an elite brigade of traffic wardens has already defected and in a display of solidarity has joined the crowds, still wearing their parking attendant uniforms in brazen defiance of their former masters

Mercenaries
In a desperate attempt to cling to power the council has resorted to recruiting sub-contract wardens from the neighbouring boroughs of North Kensington and Camden. Feeling no affinity with the local population, these mercenaries are using brutal and inhuman method, even clamping wheel chairs and milk floats

Pleading for an end to the suffering, the residents have demanded NATO intervene on their side, but the RAF has rejected the appeal explaining that it's two remaining operational jets are busy on a UN mission supporting Al-Qaeda in Libya


Celebrations as N.Africa discovers democracy...well nearly 


The world's chattering classes are enveloped in in a feeling of collective euphoria as country after country sweeps away authoritarian regimes and promise to bring freedom and democracy to their trouser wearing populations

One by one, dodgy despots have either been forced to quit or been swept away by their former subjugates who can now look forward to living in modern, prosperous and free democracies

That is, just as soon as the 'interim' military juntas decide to hold elections


Colonel Gaddafi offered political asylum in Scotland


Holyrood, Tues Apr 26th:
A ray of hope for the embattled Libyan leader. In his darkest hour his old ally, the Scottish Government has come to his rescue with an offer of asylum and a lifetime's supply of shortbread

Scottish officials insist that they have made the offer purely on compassionate grounds: Gaddafi's doctors say that he is suffering from a crushing deflation of his ego and may only have months to live


Libya rescue farce - Government apologizes


The government has apologized to UK taxpayers for botching February's rescue mission in Libya.

In its rush to be seen to be doing the right thing, the government forgot to check if those it was rescuing were UK taxpayers, or even if they were British

Out of the 500 people 'rescued' it turns out only a handful were UK taxpayers, consisting of a small group of plane spotters from Reading, a TV journalist who didn't actually want to be rescued and a Grey Town man who had run away to join the Foreign Legion but was feeling homesick

The balance consisted of 250 relatives and associates of Colonel Gaddafi, 90 Zimbabwean mercenaries seeking asylum, 75 non-British EU citizens, 50 ex-pats from oil related industries, 30 arms salesmen from the Ukraine, and an East London mini-cab driver who had lost his way driving home from Trafalgar Square on New Year's Eve 2009

Cash Machine
The RAF crew became suspicious about the authenticity of the 'refugees' after a couple of hundred of them asked if the crew wouldn't mind making a quick stop-over in Zurich so that they could visit a cash machine

On arrival in the UK the non-EU refugees were offered counseling, 500 emergency spending money, keys to their new homes and an official Home Office contact list of recommended Human Rights and Immigration lawyers, while the British refugees were given a cup of tea and directed to the bus station

The RAF crew were given redundancy notices*

Nevertheless the Foreign Office has hailed the mission as a success overall. Echoing Churchill's words of tribute to the Battle of Britain pilots, the minister was moved to say ' Never have so few owed so much to so many'

* update: the RAF crew have subsequently been reinstated, but only for as long as it takes NATO to install a new regime in Libya, meaning their jobs should be secure for the next 10 years or so   


Electoral Reform  

  

Britain looks forward to AV Referendum

 

A GTG Rough Guide 



A chance to introduce a variation of the system that brought power to Hitler and influence to myriad nutters across Europe
Enjoy it while you can
Enjoy it while you can

Westminster Wed Apr 27th:
Up and down the country Britain's electorate are being prepared for a referendum that might change the face of British politics forever. On May 5th voters will decide whether or not Britain should introduce the AV (alternative vote) electoral system

It's proponents, mostly from the parties people don't like, claim it's much fairer than the current 'First Past the Post' system which generally sees the party with the most votes being the winners, which is now seen as out of date and unfair on no-hopers

Here is the GTG's Rough Guide to the voting systems to help you decide:

First Past the Post (current system)

Overview:
clear and simple. You give someone power and they use it.  Then you get rid of them when you actually notice what they're doing (ie. when what they're doing actually effects you).  Notable historic successes include the Thatcher and Blair governments
How it works:
the local candidate with the most votes wins
Likely result:
either a Conservative or Labour majority government, or in the case that no party wins enough seats, a coalition between one of the above parties and the Lib-Dems invited along as tea-boys and bag carriers
Effect on you:
no change, you will continue to be governed by a triumvirate of Brussels bureaucrats, privacy-obsessed judges and Health and Safety inspectors

AV (alternative vote)

Overview:
AV is much more inclusive. Like it's big brother PR (proportional representation) it enables losers to come out on top, or at the very least hold the balance of power and is seen as being altogether much more modern, European and right-on. Notable historic successes: Adolf Hitler. The EU
How it works: the candidate with the least star appeal wins
Likely result:
ineffectual limp-wristed coalition governments comprised of bland 'mediocrats' constantly swapping beds with assorted nutters for the rest of time unless a smooth talking despot comes along, in which case we get World War III
Effect on you: no change, you will continue to be governed by a triumvirate of Brussels bureaucrats, privacy-obsessed judges and Health and Safety inspectors (unless we get the Despot option, in which case you'll end your days fighting in a trench on the Eastern Front)

Japan Fall-Out




Dunces' Class


24 Hour News Media Struggle to Contain Chain Reaction of Hyperbole


Full-blown Crisis only averted by Bombing Libya



Thurs Mar 24th:

Britain is breathing a sigh of relief after a fortuitous combination of world events and viewer apathy saved the country's low-brow 24-hour news services from the brink of disaster. Only a few weeks ago there were ominous signs that Britain's champions of news creation were on the verge of of a full-blown meltdown of an order of magnitude not seen since the Bacon Flu Pan-panic of 2009 (GTG May 2009)

They didn't see it coming, and when it came they were inundated, unable to cope with a tidal wave of videos and expert opinion flooding from every direction

As the crisis unfolded dedicated studio engineers, fearing a runaway chain reaction of hyperbole, struggled to contain the crisis and keep reporters' and newsreaders' temperatures under control

Frenzied speculation and an obsession with 'the nuclear threat' - fueled by endlessly repeating newsreels of exploding power plants - looked like combining into a 'perfect storm' of self-perpetuating overstatement and floridity that threatened to engulf the news channels in a collective nuclear anxiety attack

Hot Air Explosion
On Saturday 12th March it seemed that full meltdown was already in progress when a series of minor explosions blew the roof off the first of several satellite and cable TV newsrooms, but experts insist these were actually caused by a build up of methane gas - a perfectly normal byproduct of over excited journalists

Later the situation was compounded by myriad  environmental campaigners, politicians, random doomsayers and EU Safety Commissioners contributing to the general feeding frenzy and adding to the critical mass of fear, uncertainty and disinformation which finally culminated in the government advising citizens to stand at least 6 miles away from their TV sets until temperatures returned to normal

Lost Sight
Such was the blurring effect of the wall of hot air that people lost sight of the fact that no members of the public were killed or are ever likely to be by these nuclear leaks whereas thousands were killed by a giant wave

Half Life
Fortunately, a week is a long-time in 24-hour news. By the following weekend the natural half-lives of studio and viewer attention meant interest was ebbing away

Then the miracle everybody had been hoping for: a timely attack on Libya to take the remaining heat out of the nuclear crisis.

By Thursday 24th everybody was able to relax and move on. Apart from the Japanese that is

Japan Fall-Out


EU Coastal Towns to be given Tsunami 'Stress Test'



Towns failing tests will be shut down and relocated 6 miles inland

Health and Safety 'paramount'
Blighty-on-Sea
Sorry: no longer allowed

Brussels, Mar 18th:
At an emergency meeting attended by representatives from all 27 member states, EU Ministers have agreed to develop and apply a "Stress Test" for EU coastal towns to prevent events in Japan being repeated in Europe

The assessment will consider a number of factors including height of sea wall, closeness to the Pacific ring-of-fire, and the number of second homes in the area  owned by EU Officials

According to a spokesman for the EU Presidency "Confidence in the safety of coastal living has been severely shaken. There is a shared willingness among member states to launch the process for defining a comprehensive risk and safety assessment... of coastal resorts and ports throughout Europe"

CE Mark
Towns that are deemed unsafe will be demolished and substitute conurbations will be built at least six miles inland. All new towns will be built to the latest building standards to a standard EU approved design -  'EU Urban Model B' -  under the supervision of the Commission's official architects, the award winning Dusseldorf-based practice of Stompinghammer, Stompinghammer and Bludgeon (SSB).  The new towns will be issued with a CE certification mark to prove they are safe

 

Binge Britain 


Think Tank:  

'adults should only be allowed to drink when accompanied by children' 


New report addresses issue of middle aged, middle class drinkers

Adults not mature enough to drink on their own
Binge Class
While the kids are away..

Grey Town Thurs Mar 31:
Influential think tank the Coulsdon Institute of Economic and Environmental Affairs has published a report recommending that legislation should be introduced banning adults from drinking alcohol unless accompanied by children

The conclusion was drawn after a survey showing the fastest growing group of binge drinkers are affluent professionals aged 35 - 60 who like nothing better than to have a couple of pints on the way home from work and then a bottle or two of wine with dinner. And that's just the women

The survey also revealed that adults are more likely to drink moderately when accompanied by children, who tend to keep the adults in line

A spokesmen for the government said they welcomed the report and that ministers would study it's contents as soon as they get back from the pub

In This Issue
Spring Fever! Battle of Piccadilly
GTG Newsreel: The Battle of Piccadilly
The Big Event: Boosting the Gene Pool
Despot Challenge: World Tour Latest
Electoral Reform: A GTG Rough Guide: Power to the Nutters
Chain Reaction: Hyperbole Crissis
EU Costal Town Tsunami 'Stress Test'
Binge Britain: Adults should only drink when accompanied by children
D-4-Despot: Desert Prophesy
Econofog: EU Unemployment Quotas
News Round-Up
Downtime - Arts, Reviews, Food, Drink, Lifestyle
Watering Hole Review: Lowlander Grand Cafe
Featured Beverage Review: Troubadour Magma
AppMania - iPhone App Review: iSlapper
D-4-Despot
 
 

D-4-Despot 

 

Desert Democracy: a Prophesy

 

 

by D4 the GTG's resident poet   

 

 

Democrats Dream, Drastic Decision Desired 

Daring D-Day Dawns, Determined Dare-Devil Democrats Denounce Despised Dictator

Delusional Demonic Desert Despot Defies Daily Democratic Demonstrations, Demands Demonstrators Disband 

Disgraced Diplomatic Doves Drop Dubious Defence Deals, Disown Dictator

Despot Debars Descent, Disparages Democracies, Defends Dominion 

Delinquent 'Dirty Dozen' Dogs Do Dictator's Dirty Deeds: Defile Devotees; Destroy Dwellings    

Disapproving Diplomats Deplore Deaths, Demand Dictator Desist

Desperate Dictator's Demonic Daily Decrees, Diarrhea Diatribes 

 Duplicitous Democracies Destroy Despot's Defences 

Defeated Dethroned Dictator Departs Domain 

Delicate Democracy Declared! 

 Dark Days Dead...?

   

Decisive Devolution Discussed  

Deluded Democrats, Dippy Doves, Dubious Deity Devotees, Domineering Delinquents Debate Disparate Designs 

 Denying Differences, Drafts Discussed, Demarcations Determined, Domains Defined 

Despite Doubts Doting Diplomats Declare Dubious Dumbed-Down Deal

Divisive Debate Delivers Dog's Dinner Democracy

Disorder Deferred, Darkness Delayed...    

 

Deluded Dawn Darkens, Dud Democracy Dying 

Debate Discarded, Dissent Debarred, Dogmatic Disagreements Daily   

Devious Dynastic Despot-Designate Drafts Dangerous Designs, Disparages Democrats, Debunks Democracies  

Disingenuous Deal Deconstructs Democratic Dream  

 

Darkness Deepens 

Democracy Dissolves

Despondent Democratic Disciples Declare Defeat

Dream Destroyed

Despair...

  

  
 Econofog
Econofog
Like
Economist, but heavier 
 
EU to introduce Unemployment Quotas

Governments must hit minimum unemployment targets or face fines

 

Objective to reduce imbalances between member states  

 
 

Brussels, Mon Mar 28th:

EU Finance Ministers have announced agreement on a new Commission scheme of quotas to unify unemployment levels across the European Union

Modeled on the well-proven Common Agricultural Policy, Fishing Quotas and Eurozone Sovereign Debt Bail-Out schemes the objective is to create a 'level playing-field' across the Union to ensure that the southern European countries, including France, don't have to face unfair competition from countries with more efficient labour markets

Henceforth each member state will be allocated a quota which they are legally required to meet. The traditionally more efficient northern economies - Germany, the Netherlands, UK, Sweden - will have to increase their unemployment levels by around 2-4 percentage points. Though this is likely to prove unpopular in those countries it is seen as essential for the common good of the Union

Countries face hefty fines if they fail to meet their minimum unemployment quota. Exceeding the quota is not a problem. The Commission's logic is that making people redundant is easy - so there are no excuses for not doing so - but creating employment is much harder and so it is inappropriate to punish governments that fail in that respect. In fact, the Commission has indicated that the quotas might be revised upwards if the northern economies continue to outperform those in the south

 

 

Britain's EU-sanctioned unemployment quota for 2011-2012 is 11.5% (current level 7.8%) rising to 13.5% by 2012 and 20% in 2013 (to come into line with the benchmark Spanish rate). To hit these targets the country will have to increase unemployment by at least 1 million this year and a further 3 million by 2013, but the UK government has said it is committed to the plan and will enact an emergency budget introducing special measures to force through job losses

News Round-Up 

Detective series 'Race Row'

Show 'out of touch' with modern multicultural Britain

Stories criticized for featuring only white criminals

Show to be updated and relocated to 'Midtown'

Midnowhere Tues Mar 15th:
The producer of a popular television detective series has quit after a row over the lack of ethnic diversity in it's story lines

According to the show's critics the concept of an escapist drama featuring exclusively white-on-white crime is aberrant and totally out of place in modern multicultural Britain

To restore balance, the next series will be redrafted to shift the centre of activity from rural England to a gritty urban location called 'Midtown'. Here there will be more opportunity to feature a more modern mix of crimes such as drive-by shootings, black-on-black crimes, interracial gang violence, human trafficking and honour killings. The show will be renamed 'The 10-o'clock news'    

 

 

 

Leaked Report: 115% of Statistics are Misleading 

  

Whitehall, Mon Apr 4th:

A leaked internal report has revealed that 115% of official government statistics are misleading   

 

The Home Office has been quick to deny the extent of the problem, claiming that the figure is much closer to 105%, in line with government targets  

 

   

 

MOT Failure


London, Mon Mar 7th:
An East London mini cab driver is suing the MOD and Foreign Office for compensation after being forced to abandon his car in Libya when rescued from Benghazi Airport

The driver was rescued from the Libyan city by the RAF during their recent mission to rescue UK residents caught up in the war zone. He had found himself in Libya having got lost driving home to Shoreditch, East London, from Trafalgar Square on New Year's eve 2009. Despite his protestations the RAF crew had refused to load his car onto their Hercules aircraft because it would have breached health and safety rules to carry a vehicle with no MOT

The driver is seeking 1 million damages and compensation for being 'dissed'* , loss of his car (a treasured 1996 Nissan) and loss of income

* for any Midsomer Murders fans reading this 'dissed' means 'disrespected' - Ed

 



Sexual Preference chemical found

 

Thurs, Mar 24th:

According to scientists in China a chemical in the brain affects sexual preferences

 

Yes, it's called alcohol!

 

Footnote: see this month's 'Downtime' section for a review of  iSlapper - the new iPhone app that helps you you avoid unintended liaisons  

 

 

 

Mental Health Help Line launched for Lib-Dems 

 

London, Mar 11: 

A 24-hour phone helpline for Lib-Dem MPs and activists with mental health problems is due to be launched by the government 

 

To be run by charity Con-Dem Stress, the free helpline will provide stress counseling to Lib-Dem MPs, activists and supporters who are unable to cope with the reality of being in the least popular 'major' party and the resulting limitations of being junior partners in the coalition government




Downtime
The GTG Lifestyle Magazine

Arts - Reviews - Food - Drink - Lifestyle


Watering Hole

Bar of the Month  

Lowlander
Comfort Zone

 

Lowlander Grand Cafe

(a.k.a.'Lowlifer')


The only bar to evict us for not drinking enough

Conveniently located on this side of the channel, Lowlander offers a Belgian-Dutch drinking experience to London-based beer lovers. And by virtue of it's Covent Garden address it offers the added bonus of being a perfect sanctuary for beer connoisseurs wishing to escape from a tedious musical, play or shopping expedition



The Beers

Lowlander's well stocked cellar includes all the stalwart Belgian bottled beers - Westmalle, Duvel, Rochefort etc - and numerous draft brews which this reviewer confesses to rarely trying, but it's also noteworthy for importing some more interesting lines from less well know brewers, such as 'Hopus' by Brasserie Lefebvre and the products of the Netherlander Texelse Bierbrouwerij. Be sure to check out their 'Beers from the Cellar' and 'Hidden Treasures' lists for other interesting things to try

Thankfully, Lowlander differs from actual Belgian and Dutch bars in one important respect: it serves a wide range of excellent meals and snacks

Lowlander is clearly run by people who know and love their beers and this extends to the helpful staff, all of whom are friendly and attentive, in particular the very knowledgeable Danish waitress from Preston

The bar can get very busy, which adds to the pleasurable buzz, but in the afternoon and at weekends there is usually a table or two free. On the negative side this reviewer and party did once have the bizarre experience of being turfed out at 8:15pm on a Sunday because 'it was too quiet'. We of course immediately offered to drink extra to cover for the missing clients, but to no avail. So should you wish to drink there on a Sunday evening it might be wise to have a coach full of reserve drinkers on stand-by just in case they are needed

Grey Scale Rating: Platinum

Lowlander Grand Cafe, 36 Drury Lane, London WC2B 5RR
http://www.lowlander.com

Your Starter for TenYum YumDeep and MeaningfulLowliferSaintlyFruits of the BarDry Dry Dry

 

Featured Beverage

A great drink to enjoy at this month's Watering Hole

 

Special notice: introducing a new beverage rating system:

The Westmalle Tripel Relativity Index (Wt) 

 

This is the first GTG Downtime review to use our new higher precision rating system for alcoholic beverages. Regular readers may have noticed that we only ever rate drinks as Platinum. There's a good reason for this: life is too short to drink poor booze, let alone write about it. So after initial samples we immediately reject all the dross and concentrate on the best stuff. But we realise you might want to know the relative quality of the platinum drinks...to know which are the 'best of the best' so to speak

 

Well luckily our Drink Scientists have come up with the answer: the Westmalle Tripel Relativity Index (Wt for short). This is like the Richter Scale, only more important and it rates the drinks on a scale of 0 to 10. Westmalle Tripel is 10 (of course) and to be platinum a drink must be in the range 9.0 - 10

 

Like warp-speed the system is exponential with 10 being the absolute physical limit in the normal universe (but be warned funny things can happen under the right quantum conditions - in special zones of unreality - and we will be writing about this after our next trip to St Sixtus)

 

GTG Downtime: Drinking for You!  

     

Two in One
Two-in-One

Troubadour Magma


Two Courses in One:

A hearty main, followed by a fruity desert

 

Vital Statistics


Creator:                           Brouwerij The Musketeers BVBA                    

Style:                               Rich amber-brown Belgian Triple

Strength:                          9% ABV 
AI Value:*                       9
Killer App:                      A balanced meal in a bottle - recommended for astronauts   

Medicinal Qualities:        Makes doctors redundant

Tasting notes:                  Smacks you in the gob, then kisses you better   

Grey Scale Rating:**      Platinum 

Wt Relativity Index***   9.2 

 

    

 

Brew Basics

   

Origin

 

The young Brouwerij 'The Musketeers' was founded in 2000 by four 'brew engineers' who, according to their website, took inspiration from the adventurous French Musketeers of the 18th century and created their own brewing company   

 

As for the beer's name, again according to their website "the troubadours of the medieval times were young men wandering from village to village, from city to city, bringing with them joy, music, traditions, poetry, history and legends of other places". Well, apart from the 'young' bit and lack of quantum mechanics it sounds a bit like a World Drinking Tour event after the first dozen or two rounds

 

They brew three beers: 'Blond', 'Obscura' (a dark beer with stout influences), and the 'Magma' featured here   

 

What's so special?

 

The Magma has a rich full body with pleasant bitter edge and refreshing passion fruit after-taste. Satisfying and refreshing 

 

One note of caution: despite it's generally beneficial medicinal qualities, like any good beer Magma doesn't improve the memory. When this reviewer proudly announced the discovery of this pleasant beer WDT colleagues assured me I'd already tried it before. But then I never take reliable people seriously


www.troubadourbieren.be/en 

 

* AI, or Alcoholic Index is a key parameter in the temporal equation defining  (perceived) Drink Time. Ref. Alcohol Induced Time Dilation Effect, 'Quantum Qorner' GTG Dec 2009 
** The official GTG product review rating scale:
Coal (pants)  Charcoal (bearable)  Gravel (average)  Ash (good)  Platinum (ace)
*** Wt (Westmalle Tripel) Relativity Index: higher resolution drink-specific rating comparing beverages to the benchmark Westmalle Tripel, which itself rates the theoretical maximum of 10, with Platinum rated brews being in the range 9-10

AppMania

 iSlapper

The GTG Reviews the latest Smartphone Apps


Icon of Hype

iSlapper

 

iPhone App compensates for 'beer goggles'

 

- No more waking-up next to mingers 

 

- Saves you a lifetime of morning-after regrets  

 

 

iSlapper is the latest of a number of video-orientated lifestyle apps that make use of developments in real-time image processing. The app uses the iPhone's built in camera combined with a cloud-based database and image processing to compensate for 'beer goggles'   

 

We've all been there: you're at the pub, you've had too many beers, then along comes some seemingly gorgeous woman, man or something in-between who for some inexplicable reason is taking a shine to you. One thing leads to another and you leave the pub together for a night of unbridled passion. Then you wake up    

 

Well this app is just what you need. With iSlapper loaded all you have to do is take photos of each drink you imbibe, then when the moment comes you point the camera at your would-be conquest. The ingenious software uses patented image processing to identify your drinks and an online database to check their strength and toxic profile. Then using special algorithms it processes your suitor's appearance in real-time, automatically compensating for your state of inebriation. Physical imperfections, age and gender characteristics are exaggerated guaranteeing that even when completely wasted you'll clearly see what you'll be letting yourself in for should you decide to 'take the plunge' 

 

No more waking up next to a fat minger. No more unintended gay liaisons. No more inappropriate suggestions to your friend's grandmother. This app could save you a lifetime of morning-after regrets with the bonus of leaving you free to nurture your hangovers in the peace and comfort of your own company (which is probably something you will have to get used to - Ed

 

Grey Scale Rating: Ash (good)  

Note: this product is sure to get a Platinum rating just as soon as they release the promised face recognition feature that enables the app to identify faces and warn you (or just remind you of their names) should you bump into previous conquests

 

Footnote: the developers have canceled their planned development of an Android version of iSlapper after it was pointed out that Android users are all so sad that they would have no need for it. Beer goggles or not they have to settle for whatever they can get  

 

 

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