Fifty years after Jetty Paerl took to the Lugano stage and burst into 'The Birds of Holland', the Eurovision Song Contest is still luring 450 million of us to the sofa on that special Saturday night in May. But where once we settled down to admire the 'top-quality original songwriting' that the contest was inaugurated to showcase, throughout the long post-ABBA decades Eurovision has come to entertain us for all the wrong reasons: we chortle at its magnificent foolishness, its stubborn reinforcement of the crudest national stereotypes, at a scoreboard shamelessly corrupted by cross-border friendship and hatred.
And as post-modern connoisseurs of showbiz meltdown, our focus has shifted from the blandly competent winners to the spangled, hapless, table-propping losers, those left to wander the lonely, windswept summit of Mount Fiasco. The gold standard of farcical failure, the benchmark of badness, to score nul points is to suffer international ignominy and find sympathetic understanding replaced by brutal guffaws.
Remorseful of his own longstanding contributions to the latter chorus, yet darkly fascinated with those lives shadowed by the entertainment world's most grandiose humiliation, Tim Moore sets off to track down the thirteen Eurominstrels who have come and gone without troubling the scorers since Norway's Jahn Teigen twanged his silver braces and leapt splay-legged off the Palais des Congres stage in 1978.
From Lisbon t Lithuania, from the Black Sea to the Baltic, Moore travels the continent to hear their extraordinary stories - 'poignant, ludicrous and heartwarming in almost equal measure' - recounting as he does so the no less improbable history of Eurovision itself, a towering cathedral of cheese that can nonetheless claim responsibility for keeping Norway out of the EU and catalysing the overthrow of a Portuguese dictatorship.
Being larger than a cat, the donkey is the kind of animal Tim Moore is slightly scared of. Yet intrigued by epic accounts of a pilgrimage undertaken by one in three medieval Europeans, and committed to historical authenticity, he finds himself leading a Pyrenean ass named Shinto into Spain, headed for Santiago de Compostela.
Over 500 miles of extreme weather and agonising bestial sloth, it becomes memorably apparent that for the multinational band of eccentrics who keep the Santiagan flame alive, the pilgrimage has evolved from a purely devotional undertaking into a mobile therapist's couch.
Ludicrous, heart-warming and improbably inspirational, Spanish Steps is the story of what happens when a rather silly man tries to walk all the way across a very large country, with a very large animal who doesn't really want to.
Would you cheer if they sent you to Coventry? Could you stick up for Stoke or big-up Bracknell?Can you handle the thrill of Rhyl, the heaven of Hull or the mirth of Tydfil?
In You are Awful, Tim Moore drives his Austin Maestro round all the places on our beloved island that nobody wants to go to - our most miserable towns, shonkiest hotels, scariest pubs, and silliest sea zoos...
But as the soggy, decrepit quest unfolds he finds himself oddly smitten, and the result is a rousing, nostalgic celebration of mad, bad But I Like You Britain.
In 1989, Tim Moore moved into the last house in Chiswick with an outside toilet. Intrigued by a subsequent encounter with an elderly former resident, he finds himself inspired to travel back to the land before now, experiencing the hardships and homespun pleasures enjoyed and endured by Moores gone by.
The journey that follows takes him through the world of historical re-enactment, sitting at the feet of retromaniacs who have seen their future in the past, and learning their singular ways. Living on bramble leaves, Johnny cake and porridge, Moore travels from the Iron Age to the Steam Age, from Roman legionary, Tudor master to Yankee spy, sharing straw beds and daft hats with period obsessives driven by socio-historical curiosity, disillusionment with the pampered fecklessness of the modern world, or a simple nostalgia for campfires, flatulence and brutality.
I Believe in Yesterday is an odyssey through 2,000 years of filth and fury, where men were men, the nights were black, the world was your outside toilet and everything tasted faintly of leeks.
A book that tells the story of London since the thirties through the 28 streets, stations and utililties of the Monopoly board . In the wonderful world of Monopoly it still only cost -50 to buy a house in Islington, you can move around London with the shake of a dice and even park your car for free. In Do Not Pass Go Tim Moore, belying his reputation as a player who always paid that -10 fine rather than take a Chance, fearlessly tackles the real thing and along the way tells the story of a game and the city that frames it. Sampling the rags and the riches he stays in a hotel in Mayfair and one in the Old Kent Road, enjoys quality time with Dr Crippen in Pentonville Prison and even winds up at the wrong end of the Water Works pipe. And, solving all the mysteries you'll have pondered whilst languishing in jail and many other you certainly wouldn't, Tim Moore reveals how Pall Mall got its name, which three addresses you won't find in your A-Z and why the sorry cul-de-sac that is Vine Street has a special place in the heart of Britain's most successful Monopoly champion. The stirring travelogue of one man's erratic progress around those 28 stations, utilities and street, Do Not Pass Go is also an epic and lovingly researched history of London's wayward progress in the 66 years since the launch of the world's most popular board game
Battling it out with the old men on butchers' bikes across the plains of Aquitaine and pursued by cattle over Europe's second highest road, Moore soon finds himself resorting to narcotic assistance, systematic overeating and waxed legs before summoning a support vehicle staffed by cruelly sceptical family and friends. Accounts of his suffering and chicanery, and those encountered in the race's epic history, are interwoven through a look at rural France busy tarting itself up for those 15 seconds of fame as the Tour careers through at 50kph. An heroic depiction of an inadequate man's attempt to achieve the unachievable, Moore's Tour is a tale of calorific excess, ludicrous clothing and intimate discomfort.
Twelve years after Tim Moore toiled round the route of the Tour de France, he senses his achievement being undermined by the truth about 'Horrid Lance'. His rash response is to take on a fearsome challenge from an age of untarnished heroes: the notorious 1914 Giro d'Italia.
History's most appalling bike race was an ordeal of 400-kilometre stages, cataclysmic night storms and relentless sabotage - all on a diet of raw eggs and red wine. Of the 81 who rolled out of Milan, only eight made it back.
Committed to total authenticity, Tim acquires the ruined husk of a gearless, wooden-wheeled 1914 road bike, some maps and an alarming period outfit topped off with a pair of blue-lensed welding goggles.
What unfolds is the tale of decreipt crock trying to ride another up a thousand lonely hills, then down them with only wine corks for brakes. From the Alps to the Adriatic, the pair steadily fall to bits, on an adventure that is by turns bold, beautiful and recklessly incompetent.
'Bill Bryson on two wheels' IndependentScaling a new peak of rash over-ambition, Tim Moore tackles the 9,000km route of the old Iron Curtain on a tiny-wheeled, two-geared East German shopping bike. Asking for trouble and getting it, he sets off from the northernmost Norwegian-Russian border at the Arctic winter's brutal height, bullying his plucky MIFA 900 through the endless and massively sub-zero desolation of snowbound Finland. Sleeping in bank vaults, imperial palaces and unreconstructed Soviet youth hostels, battling vodka-breathed Russian hostility, Romanian landslides and a diet of dumplings, Moore and his 'so-small bicycle' are sustained by the kindness of reindeer farmers and Serbian rock gods, plus a shameful addiction to Magic Man energy drink. Haunted throughout by the border detritus of watchtowers and rusted razor wire, Moore reflects on the curdling of the Communist dream, and the memories of a Cold War generation reared on the fear of apocalypse - at a time of ratcheting East-West tension. After three months, 20 countries and a 58-degree jaunt up the centigrade scale, man and bike finally wobble up to a Black Sea beach in Bulgaria, older and wiser, but mainly older.
Tim Moore's summer job in the moving business led to the creation of the largest, coast-to-coast moving company in Canada - AMJ Campbell Van Lines. With 48 offices, Tim's company generated $125 million in sales.
Today, as one of Canada's most successful
Secret? Toronto has been completely revised and updated for 2002. Part of ECW Press's Secret? series, Secret? Toronto is a unique alternative to conventional guides for one of North America's most popular touristdestinations. Secret? Toronto takes you underground, inside, backstage, and through concealed doorways to find Toronto's best kept secrets; from little-known museums, to overlooked neighborhood treasures, to tucked-away green places, to exotic ethnic cuisines, to cultural surprises and activities for the adventurous traveler. SecretTM Toronto captures the essence of the city as it has never been captured before. New and exciting features cover such intriguing topics as Secret Salsa (including a Latin dance studio that doubles as a driving school during the day), Secret Planespotting (aviation addicts who loiter near the airport watching planes come and go), Secret After Hours (where dancing continues when the bars are closed), Secret Fantasies (an S bed-and-breakfast where you can rent a private dungeon for the night - continental breakfast included!), and lots of new restaurants.
Whether you've never stepped foot in Toronto "the Good" or have called T.O. your home for life, you'll be sure to find something extraordinary to tickle your fancy in ECW's completely revised and updated Secret? Toronto.
Written and edited by leading experts on equine digestive diseases, The Equine Acute Abdomen, Third Editionis the preeminent text on diagnosing and treating acute abdominal diseases in horses, donkeys, and mules.
The definitive guide to acute abdominal disorders in equine patients, fully updated and revised to reflect the latest developments in the field Lavishly illustrated with more than 450 color illustrations, photographs, line drawings, and figures A companion website features video clips and images from the book available for download Provides an invaluable resource to equine surgery and internal medicine specialists, researchers, practitioners, and students who deal with colic