Tag Archives: american

Mysterious Auction of the Ivy House. News of Nunhead for 15 October 2012.

15 Oct

9:30 PM 15 October 2012 Nunhead Heights

News of Nunhead

Nunhead is a Land of Mystery: From the origin of our name to the many dead people buried in our three cemeteries; from the two massive yet hidden water reservoirs to a secret nudist colony, Nunhead is nothing if not mysterious.

Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Monday at 10:30PM UK and 5:30PM New York on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London

The Ivy House, my local pub and a place I regret not frequenting before it closed, is up for auction. This is less than three weeks after being sold outright. Another Nunhead mystery. Thank you Nunheader Matt Soper for this news.

The auctioneers called Nunhead Heights “a popular and up and coming residential locality”. Congratulations go to Nunhead American Radio for fulfilling my Stated Number One Goal: To raise property prices in the Heights.

The Dish and the Spoon Café on Cheltenham Road announces it menu for Tuesday:
Carrot and Ginger Soup with bread and butter
Moons Green Ham & Sun Dried Tomato Tart
with green salad, fennel & red onion slaw
Ploughmans Platter – Your choice from the deli of two cheeses, salad, and bread and butter, or one cheese,
one slice of Moons Green Ham or Chorizo.

Actually, this was the menu for two Fridays ago. I think the place is special. Check it out. 61 Cheltenham Road, SE15 3AF.

The Woodentops, my absolutely favorite rock band, are based in Nunhead Borders by Peckham Rye Park. I befriended front man Rolo McGinty at the Fathers’ Under Fives Play Group at St Anthony’s and St Silas Church in Nunhead. The group was called by my ex “The Losers Club’. Rolo isn’t a loser but a proper rocker.

They are playing a rare gig Friday 26 October 2012 at Nambucca, 596 Holloway Road N7 6LB London, UK. Nearest Tube Archway on the Northern Line. Gig info click here.

Assume the show will be sold out and not just because it’s the Woodentops. It is “John Peel Night 2012” at the venue where the BBC DJ’s life is annually celebrated. We now know why John Peel’s favourite song was The Undertones’ Teenage Kicks.

Our special guest couldn’t make it tonight. Mr. Free Speech has been hijacked by Mr. Can’t Cause Me Offense, in front of the Google Building in West London.

Instead, we are blessed to have the lovely Ms. Kate Smurthwaite, one of the most committed atheist comics in the business – in a business as crammed with atheists as Topshop is crammed with tight jeans. And making a repeat appearance is Father Dele Ogunyemi of St Anthony’s and St Silas’s Church in Nunhead. A voice for God.

I know you are thinking it was a planned confrontation between the Very Right Vicar and the Vocal Vexer. The answer is that it is just a coincidence. I am not that organized. I just heard that Kate was single and…

Also on the show is lovely American Lisa Moyle, Englander Chris Dixon, and our house band, The Dulwich Ukulele Club with Richard Guard and Anna Crockatt. Big show in Peckham Rye on October 27th!

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed

Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow

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Obama’s healthcare law explained to British people who think they know all about America

29 Jun

3PM Friday 29 June 2012 Nunhead Heights

Last night, a comic friend of mine  tweeted that “the most powerful country in the world has the highest prison intake, the death penalty, no health care, and no geography.”

“China?” I replied.

China has no health care unless you call having your kidney stolen “health care.” China has low prison intake because they tend to use the death penalty even more than America, which proves that America doesn’t kill enough of it’s citizens. And China doesn’t have geography, lacking a West Coast, Great Lakes and a Grand Canyon.

He pointed out that “it is only a matter of time” before the Chinese have a West Coast.

Let me clear up a few things about health care in America. First, the United States has health care.

Every American who is poor, old, or in the Military gets free health care courtesy of the Federal or State governments. The rest – and the majority – are covered by their health insurance.

You cannot be denied hospital treatment in America, even if you don’t have insurance or poor, contrary to what the British people believe. It may not be in the hospital of your choice or by the doctor of your choice but broken bones get put in casts and cancer cells get radiated. You will be treated.

The average life expectancy in the USA is 78.2 and the UK is 79.9 according to wikipedia.

That isn’t much of a difference considering how mental Americans are and how vaunted the British NHS is. Americans get into a panic about everything: From aliens, to gays in the military, to disco music. And they also get worked up that the Chinese are buying the world, that maybe Europe IS headed for financial disaster and that maybe there are people in other countries who are trying to hurt America. England has a lovely “can’t be bothered” attitude which is good for the heart.

British people erroneously experience their lives as being is a lot longer than Americans because there is bugger all to do here in the UK. The only thing you can do here is wait for the next big thing to come from America. The English can’t go starting wars anymore or come up with a unique musical genres. The last big thing the Brits exported was the paparazzi shot of the female celebrity leaving the limo with her legs spread apart.

The United States is not instituting socialized medicine with ObamaCare – or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as it is gently called. It already has socialized medicine.

What the United States doesn’t have is UNIVERSAL socialized health care. Meaning everyone is covered by the government, paid for by the government.

The main bit about ObamaCare is about getting the maybe five or ten percent of Americans who have money but don’t want to take out health insurance to take out insurance. That is so the Federal Government and local jurisdictions don’t have to pick up the tab for their health care – insurance companies will. The Feds are trying to un-socialize the medicine.

ObamaCare assumes the people who don’t have health insurance have money to pay for it – which flies in the face of the belief that many Americans don’t have the money for health insurance. If they don’t take out the insurance they are going to be fined and they’ll need money to pay the fine.

It is also about forcing insurance companies to provide increased level of service and for some businesses to buy health insurance for their workers. And other stuff. There is a lot of force going here, and Americans, generally don’t like the Feds telling them what to do. Think Europe. Who does? That stuff is completely un-American.

The Federal Government – called “federal” cause it is confederated of the States – New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, et al – is the top layer of United States governments, above city, state governments but under the Jews, who control everything. [That Jew part is a joke in case you thought otherwise.]

The Feds are trying to force the uninsured, the insurance companies, and the States, to pick up more of the bill.

That is not very social of them, I’d say.

NB There is a good chance I have gotten this very wrong. I am not very interested in the health care debate because it has gone on longer than waiting for England to win another World Cup and just as unsolvable and I live here, in the UK, and I am old and bored of hearing about sick, old people.

Tell me what you think about what I wrote. Please. Rubbish, brilliant, spot on, off the mark, ridiculous. Please let me know by making a comment.

@lewisschaffer on twitter

“Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous” Live in Soho
Every Tuesday & Wednesday 8pm Free Admission
Reserve at www.sourcebelow.com

Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer
Every Monday 10:30pm
www.resonancefm.com 104.4fm London
On iTunes www.bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio

What do you have to do to get noticed in England? Please look at my baby!

20 May

1:30AM Sunday Morning 20 May 2012 Nunhead Heights

You hold open a door for someone and you expect to hear a “thank you”. And if you don’t hear a “thank you” you mumble the words to yourself. You say “Thank you” or “You’re welcome” to complete the transaction. There’s a script in your mind of what you expect people to say.

I was reminded of this today at the brilliant Nunhead Cemetery Open Day. I wrote about the Cemetery a couple of weeks back: That the completely overgrown cemetery – abandoned for years when the burial company went bust – was ruined by trying to make it un-ruined. Luckily, there is still a lot of ruin in the place to make it worth a visit. I am worried about the areas in the other partially “ruined” cemeteries in the area being reclaimed for burials: Camberwell New and Camberwell Old.]

At the Open Day ran into a woman I met at the East Dulwich Library 11-years-ago when I was a stay-at-home-dad. I still think of myself as a stay-at-home-dad only now I don’t have children to look after – the mother and the school do most of the heavy lifting. My friend reminded me of my first words to her:

“This is my son. Isn’t this the most beautiful child in the entire world?”

My internal soundtrack had people saying, upon presentation of a child under the age of five, “He is so beautiful!” or “What a gorgeous child!” Those are the sentiments that are expressed to every parent in every country in the ENTIRE WORLD: A big smile for the baby and maybe a tickle and a kiss.

She thought I was absolutely mental because every mother thinks their child is the most beautiful child in the world and why is this man telling me that?

Well, I learned that having strangers look, praise, cuddle, kiss or even notice babies isn’t the done thing in southeast London. Noticing anyone isn’t the done thing in this country.

You will tell me in the North of the country is friendlier and warmer to children and that they notice people. And by “North” you could mean Cumbria or even Camberwell [which is the next postal code up.] I think effusing over babies and children isn’t the done thing in all of England, Scotland and Wales. People here aren’t very good at noticing anything, and especially not other people’s children.

“The done thing” is a very common phrase here in the land of done things. Conversely, having a Royal Family is just “the done thing” here – let’s not think about the alternative.

I would walk down Lordship Lane with my baby trying to make the day go by. Looking after newborns involve long periods of dullness interrupted with moments of sheer panic – just like sex with me. I was very naive then. I thought the child was my baby. I was told the truth by the Mother and the Principal Registry of the Family Court.

My goals with my newborn were to try to make myself useful to the mother, who was working. I wasn’t working, at least not that well. I was also trying to stop the baby from being sent to nursery school or being looked after by an 18-year-old Latvia asylum-seeker au pair and become socially deformed from sensory deprivation. Also, I thought “What is the point of having a child if you’re going to let a complete stranger spend all day with it?” That, my friend, was very un-English at the time. Probably still is, to a degree. “Seen and not heard” and all that.

[To those without children: I now believe that people without children are just as happy, and live just as long, as people with children. And they have more money.]

During the day I would go into almost every shop on Lordship Lane with the baby and annoy the shop owners and workers. The Dulwich Ironmongers (the Hardware Store), Karavan – the imported stuff from India, the antique guns and war memorabilia shop, the florist, and the shoe shop. Our daily journey would make a great book. “My Son Meets the Neighbors”. People were friendly to me and the baby while inside their shops but not effusive. I got used to it. I would often foist the baby on them to hold, which, I believe pleased them. Many had never held a baby before. I hadn’t and I was middle aged.

People in the western world grow up without babies. Families are so small that 90% of children are either an only child, a first child, or the youngest child. But that is another post.

In the street, my shop friends wouldn’t make eye contact with me. I found this weird. The shopworkers and shopkeepers would walk right past me – as if they didn’t see me. When I stopped them to say hello they always acted incredibly surprised and pleased, as if they hadn’t noticed me, which of course was impossible.

The English just don’t feel comfortable connecting with people they know in unfamiliar territory. They don’t feel comfortable connecting with people they don’t know, either. None of this screaming across busy the street. It is like everyone has their place and what the hell are you doing in Peckham Park when I know you from Lordship Lane!

I now find it hard to believe that even the Beatles had English girls chasing them down the streets of England. The girls would have walked right past them and then when no one noticed, would have giggled.

@lewisschaffer on twitter

Daily Blog at lewisschaffer.wordpress.com

“Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous” Live in Soho
Every Tuesday & Wednesday 8pm Free Admission
Reserve at www.sourcebelow.com

Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer
Every Monday 10:30pm
http://www.resonancefm.com 104.4fm London
On iTunes www.bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio

Nunhead American Radio: What are we losing and what are we gaining?

29 Apr

11:45 PM Sunday 30 April 2012 Nunhead Heights

Tomorrow is radio day: Nunhead American Radio on http://www.resonancefm.com and 104.4FM – the only radio programme for Americans living in Nunhead. We broadcast live from a real radio studio. I hope you’ll listen in 10:30PM to me and my co-host Lisa Moyle.

Our guests will be Shona Chambers of the new The Dish and The Spoon Cafe/Deli on Cheltenham Road, Nunhead Heights. I’m going to ask her about rates – taxes to Americans – and how she’ll make a go of it in such a small shop. Find out what The Dish is going to bring to the table. [She’s already texted me to tell me that it isn’t a small shop at all!]

A special visitor will be Nick McNeill, the former landlord of The Ivy House, speaking of the loss of Nunhead’s prime music venue and pub. The Ivy House is famous throughout London for being the place where ‘70s music was fomented. England is great for music – could be the rain that keeps people inside. And we are at risk of losing it.

Finally we are joined by the very cool Richard Guard, Dulwich Ukulele Club band leader. He has written a new book called “Lost London” which details vanished London – pubs, stadiums, and estates. How apropo? Nothing, to me, is more interesting than this stuff, as I mourn the loss of a life I never knew talking about what Nunhead has lost – and maybe what it has gained.

Please listen in!

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed

Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on http://www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio

See Lewis Schaffer test the news items at the Hungry Miller Comedy Club at The Miller by Borough High Street this Monday at 8PM. Fantastic night of comedy with Britain’s top comics and me, briefly. Only £6!

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comedian

SO IT GOES - John Fleming's blog

John Fleming’s blog: human interest, humour, humor, comedy blog featuring eccentricity, performance, movies and occasionally a few tears

Nunhead Nags

A blog about Nunhead regeneration

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comic

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comedian

SO IT GOES - John Fleming's blog

John Fleming’s blog: human interest, humour, humor, comedy blog featuring eccentricity, performance, movies and occasionally a few tears

Nunhead Nags

A blog about Nunhead regeneration

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comic