Obituary: Jan Morris, a poet of time, place and self

She was an award-winning journalist and author with more than 40 books under her belt.

Jan Morris, who has died at the age of 94, was one the finest writers the UK has produced in the post-war era.

Her life story was crammed with romance, discovery and adventure. She was a soldier, an award-winning journalist, a novelist and – as a travel writer – became a poet of time and place.

She was also known as a pioneer in her personal life, as one of the first high-profile figures to change gender. Continue reading

Kae Tempest “Hold Your Own”

When time pulls lives apart
Hold your own

When everything is fluid, and when nothing can be known with any certainty
Hold your own

Hold it ’til you feel it there
As dark, and dense, and wet as earth
As vast, and bright, and sweet as air
When all there is
Is knowing that you feel what you are feeling
Hold your own

Ask your hands to know the things they hold
I know the days are reeling past in such squealing blasts
But stop for breath and you will know it’s yours
Swaying like an open door when storms are coming
Hold

Time is an onslaught
Love is a mission
We work for vocation until
In remission
We wish we’d had patience and given more time to our children

Feel each decision that you make
Make it, hold it
Hold your own
Hold your lovers
Hold their hands
Hold their breasts in your hands, like your hands were their bras
Hold their face in your palms like a prayer
Hold them all night, feel them hold back
Don’t hold back
Hold your own

Every pain
Every grievance
Every stab of shame
Every day spent with a demon in your brain giving chase
Hold it

Know the wolves that hunt you
In time, they will be the dogs that bring your slippers
Love them right and you will feel them kiss you when they come to bite
Hhot snouts digging out your cuddles with their bloody muzzles
Hold

Nothing you can buy will ever make you more whole
This whole thing thrives on us feeling always incomplete
And it is why we will search for happiness in whatever thing it is we crave in the moment
And it is why we can never really find it there
It is why you will sit there with the lover that you fought for
In the car you sweated years to buy
Wearing the ring you dreamed of all your life
And some part of you will still be unsure that this is what you really want
Stop craving
Hold your own

But if you’re satisfied with where you’re at, with who you are
You won’t need to buy new make-up, or new outfits, or new pots and pans
To cook new exciting recipes
For new exciting people
To make yourself feel like the new exciting person, you think you’re supposed to be

Happiness, the brand, is not happiness
We are smarter than they think we are
They take us all for idiots
But that’s their problem
When we behave like idiots
It becomes our problem

So hold your own
Breathe deep on a freezing beach
Taste the salt of friendship
Notice the movement of a stranger
Hold your own
And let it be
Catching

50 Cockney slang phrases that you’ve never heard of before

How familiar are you with the famous London dialect of Cockney rhyming slang?

Do you like a nice cup of ‘Rosie Lee’ at night before you head up the ‘apples and pears’ to your ‘Uncle Ted’?

Apologies – for those aged under 25, you may not understand the statement above or be familiar with the famous London dialect of Cockney rhyming slang.

For many years, Londoners have been using catchy words and phrases in sentences that rhyme with the actual words they mean to say.

Quite often, this trend can be heard around Essex too.

As an example, the sentence above means ‘Do you like a nice cup of tea at night before you head up the stairs to your bed’.

Cockney rhyming slang was also popularised around the country when it was used during the classic British sitcom ‘Only Fools and Horses’.

Here is a list of 50 Cockney terms that you’ve probably never heard – along with their translation and an example of use in a sentence:

1. Able and Willing

Translation: Shilling

Use: “I’m so skint until payday, could you lend us an Able?”

2. Alan Minter

Translation: printer or splinter

Use: “The Alan’s jammed with paper again.”

3. Alex Nash

Translation: slash (urinate)

Use: “Where’s your loo? I’m desperate for an Alex.”

4. Apple pip

Translation: dip

Use: “Let’s all go down to Brighton for an apple pip.”

5. Arthur Conan Doyle

Translation: boil

Use: “Oi mate, would you put that kettle on the Arthur?”

6. Atilla the Hun

Translation: 2:1 degree

Use: “I graduated last year with an Atilla in Business Studies.”

7. Baa lamb

Translation: tram

Use: “I’m on the lamb over from Ikea.”

8. Basil Brush

Translation: thrush

Use: “I’ve got a bad case of the old Basil.”

9. Betty Boo/ Eartha Kitt

Translation: poo

Use: “Where’s the lav, I need a Betty!”

10. Bill Oddie

Translation: voddie (vodka)

Use: “Get us a Bill and cola.”

11. Billie Piper

Translation: windscreen wiper

Use: “Someone’s gone and ripped off my Billies.”

12. Billy Ray Cyrus

Translation: virus

Use: “I had to take my laptop to the shop because I opened an email with a nasty Billy Ray attached.”

13. Boracic lint

Translation: broke, skint

Use: “I can’t come out tonight, I’m completely Boracic.”

14. Brad Pitt

Translation: fit

Use: “Mate, that girl is proper Brad Pitt.”

15. Britney Spears

Translation: ears, tears, or beers

Use: “Dry those Britneys.”

16. Charlie Drake

Translation: steak

Use: “I’ll have chips with me Charlie.”

17. Cheese and kisses

Translation: Mrs

Use: “I got some flowers to surprise me cheese, she loved it.”

18. Cheesy Quaver

Translation: favour

Use: “Do us a cheesy Quaver, pal.”

19. Coat hanger

Translation: clanger, mistake

Use: “I’ve only gone and sent it to print with a huge coat hanger in the headline!”

20. Cuff link

Translation: drink (alcoholic)

Use: “Let’s go down the rubber dub for a cuff link.”

21. Cuppa, sausage and a slice

Translation: nice

Use: “He’s a cuppa lad.”

22. Daisy dancers

Translation: stairs

Use: “I’m off up the Daisys to bed.”

23. Damien Hirst

Translation: first class degree

Use: “My cousin only went and got a Damien from Oxford!”

24. Diet Coke

Translation: joke

Use: “These train strikes are a Diet Coke!”

25. Donald Trump

Translation: hump

Use: “What’s given you the Donald, then?”

26. French egg

Translation: enough (un ouef)

Use: “That’s it, I’ve had a French egg now.”

27. Gamma ray

Translation: stray

Use: “This cat keeps hanging about my garden, I reckon it’s a gamma.”

28. German beer/ ginger beer

Translation: engineer

Use: “If you need some work done on your car my cousin’s a great ginger beer.”

29. Godforsaken

Translation: bacon

Use: “I’m craving a godforsaken sarnie.”

30. Gordon Brown

Translation: clown

Use: “My dad’s a bit of a Gordon.”

31. Harry Hill

Translation: pill, birth control

Use: “I can’t be pregnant, I’m on the Harry.”

32. Holy Grail

Translation: email

Use: “Send us the details in a holy.”

33. Hovis

Translation: dead (from brown bread)

Use: “He’s been Hovis for years now.”

34. Ian Beale

Translation: real

Use: “I’m keeping it Ian Beale.”

35. Itchy ring

Translation: Burger King

Use: “I’m Hank Marvin mate, wanna go get an itchy?”

36. Jabba the Hutt

Translation: shut

Use: “I just went down the tin tank for some cash but it was Jabba.”

37. Jet fighter

Translation: all-nighter

Use: “I had to pull a jet fighter to catch up with my work.”

38. KY Jelly

Translation: telly

Use: “Get in here quick, your trouble’s on the KY.”

39. Kangaroo pouch

Translation: couch

Use: “Help us move my kangaroo.”

40. Lager and lime

Translation: spine

Use: “I’ve got a terrible pain in me lager.”

41. Lisa Tarbucks

Translation: Starbucks

Use: “I’ve not got enough wonga to get coffee from Lisa.”

42. Lump of lead

Translation: head

Use: “Use your lump!”

43. Malcom X

Translation: text

Use: “Send us a Malcom.”

44. Merlyn Rees

Translation: piece, lunch

Use: “I’m off to the caff for some Merlyn, are you coming?”

45. Noddy holders

Translation: shoulders

Use: “I’ve got a terrible pain in me Noddys.”

46. Obi Wan Kenobi

Translation: mobile phone

Use: “Send us a Malcom on me Obi Wan.”

47. Perpetual loser

Translation: boozer

Use: “Me local perpetual has been no cop since it got taken over.”

48. Pineapple chunk

Translation: bunk bed

Use: “You and your sister will have to share the pineapple.”

49. Ricky Gervais

Translation: face

Use: “You should’ve seen the look on her Ricky when I told her the news.”

50. Rock of Ages

Translation: wages

Use: “With rent like this they better give us higher Rock of Ages.”

Source: 50 Cockney slang phrases that you’ve never heard of before