Hayjax is in Nottingham

This is what happens when you drop a Canadian into the East Midlands.

Archive for November 2009

They bring me books and booze

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In England, when my front doorbell buzzes, making a sound like Funny-bone Frank when you unsuccessfully perform an operation on him (English electricians are jokers and charlatans), I do not hide in the closet until the last sizzling peals die away.   I leap to answer it.  What could make a hard-core introvert like me overcome decades of conditioning?

Here’s what: every time I open the door, I am richly rewarded with deliveries of books and booze.  Yesterday, a lady came to my door and dropped off a lumpy parcel that turned out to be the complete 10-volume Martin Beck crime series (Sweden’s favourite detective).  I had totally forgotten I bought it because it only cost 12 pounds, delivered.  It’s outrageously cheap.  There’s more money under my sofa cushions. It’s like robbing a bank, except you call up the teller and say, “Can you bring the sack of money to my house? I don’t want to get out of my jammies.” And they do.

Then today, a nice man dropped off six of the European Union’s finest bottles of plonk and gave me a 10-pound coupon because he was an hour late with the delivery.  They actually tell you what exact hour they’re going to show up, and then shower you with money if they don’t make it on time.

I’ve said a lot of cruel things about Nottingham, but sitting here in my wine-stained pajamas, luxuriating in the finest Swedish police procedural, I admit that there is much to like.


Written by Hayden

November 28, 2009 at 12:40 am

Posted in All posts, Random

Great roast ox flavour with no messy fire pit to wash up

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Sure, roast ox is tasty, but it’s such a bother to prepare, what with dragging the clubbed carcass all the way to the cave, building a vast pit of open flame to roast it on, hoisting it onto the spit and finding five burly, flameproof men to turn it until it’s crisp and crackly.

That’s why it’s so refreshing to find roast ox flavour in convenient chip format or, pardon me, “crisps.”


I think we can all agree that this pack of chips proves English people are nutty, and it’s a scary window into their deep, dark fantasies about being red-blooded, chest-beating warriors. Sad, given that really they’re mostly pale, sheltered cubicle jockeys who couldn’t wrest a nut from a squirrel without some serious backup.

I officially call shenanigans on this mostly because I don’t believe there are three people on the planet today who can speak to what roast ox actually tastes like, and they can’t tell us because they’re frozen deep in a prehistoric ice floe.  This is for all intents and purposes a totally imaginary flavour, like “cajun unicorn” or “mastadon n’ chive.”

Written by Hayden

November 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Posted in All posts, Food

Beware the Jedward

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Do you know what a Jedward is?  It is a terrifying U.K. land-monster with eight arms and legs, two heads, hundreds of skinny ties, and it leaves a slimy trail of hair gel wherever it goes.

It looks a little something like this:

Jedward, singing sensation and unholy chimera of the dark place

It was last spotted on The X Factor, the English version of American Idol, where it is causing widespread panic among females aged two to ninety-two, who scream and faint and throw things whenever they catch sight of it.

It may or may not trace its grotesque lineage back to:

Milli Vanilli


The twins from The Shining

You guys in Canada are probably okay, but I’m having another deadbolt installed.

Written by Hayden

November 19, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Posted in All posts, People

Food fight

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Are Time Out London and UKTV’s Good Food Channel having a fight?

Because first I see Time Out London’s “Cheap Eats” magazine cover, and they’ve done this very clever thing where they recreate the London skyline in food (the “Gherkin” is made out of a real gherkin! Get it?) and then the Food Channel does the exact same thing, only they employed a staff of four hundred award-winning miniaturists, model-makers and Hobbits, all popping Wake ‘ems and slaving away around the clock for a full month to create an exact replica of the city, right down to a flock of tiny Trafalgar Square pigeons painstakingly carved out of apple pips.  I made that last bit up, but the point is, they whupped the Time Out London cover’s ass and made it look about as classy as a cheese-in-a-can sandwich.

Check it:


Time Out London's mumsy craft project

And then:


Good Food Channel's masterpiece, coproduced by Pixar and directed by Peter Jackson

You can click on the photos for the respective “making of” videos for each shoot.  Time Out’s basically involved clearing out the office refrigerator and popping down to Staples for a gluestick.



Written by Hayden

November 17, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Posted in All posts, Random

Geoffrey Chaucer hath a blog

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Chaucer, about to press the "Publish to Blog" button.

What does it look like when Kanye West texts in Middle English?  Thanks to the kaleidoscopic randomity of the interwebs, this oft-asked question, and much else, is made manifest at Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog.

You can also buy Middle English t-shirts (how about one that says, “Swynke / Drynke / Swyve / & aftir, make retraccioun”) guaranteed to get you some laced-bodice-wearing tail at any Ye Olde Englishe Faire you choose to attend.  For Jewish types fond of medieval modalities, there’s the “What am Ich, Liver y-chopped?” shirt.

You can also find out what is “Playing on Chaucer’s Ipod,” which… wow, really? Lily Allen?  Chaucer, you slye dogge.

Written by Hayden

November 15, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Posted in All posts, Random

Wizard smokes a muggle

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Big news in the U.K.: Daniel Radcliffe may possibly have been seen in the vicinity of Puff the Magic Dragon at a recent party. Here’s the front cover of the Daily Mirror:

Harry Pothead

And here’s my theory.  The Daily Mirror has been sitting on the funnest pun ever, to wit, “Harry Pothead,” and they have been itching to see it in type ever since they thought of it.  As soon as Daniel Radcliffe so much as picked up a stubby pencil within range of their zoom lenses, he was hooped.

I’m just astonished they didn’t take it further. I’m not a fan of the franchise and even I am tickled by the thought of “Harry Pothead and the Sorcerer’s Spliff,” or “Harry Pothead and the Half-Baked Prince.”  They need to fire their headline writer and give me some love.

P.S.: Muggle is a well-know code word for the Hempen Menace.  Now you know.

Written by Hayden

November 14, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Posted in All posts, Random

If you love me, you will buy me Mr. Squiggles

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Ok, everybody just stop what you’re doing and panic.  The hottest U.K. toy for Christmas 2009 has been announced and I smell apocalypse.  Remember how many people were crushed to death in the Cabbage Patch Kids stampede?  You’re going to need full metal body armour and a flame-thrower this holiday season, is what I’m saying.

Say hello to Chunk, Num Nums, Pipsqueak and Mr. Squiggles.  They sound like a troupe of male strippers, but they are:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Hayden

November 13, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Posted in All posts, Random