Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I feel it is encumbent upon me to forewarn those of my readers who are from the former colonies and also those largely of the frock wearing persuasion, that there may be the odd break in transmission over the coming few weeks.

Very important things are about to get underway. Globally relevant VERY IMPORTANT things to right-thinking people. This is starting tomorrow. And let all those who watch rounders be informed that as this features teams from two continents, it's a little more like a proper world series. Hopefully wars will stop and people will sit spellbound and hold hands while watching the VERY IMPORTANT EVENTS unfold and the population of Asia Minor will be spared further sightings of the Foreign Secretary. Of course, if common sense had prevailed and it was live on the BBC then this might well have been the case.

Now, you should be making a stand against megalomania and consoling yourself with listening to Radio 4 Long Wave and watching the highlights of the VERY IMPORTANT EVENTS on the BBC each evening. Clearly not everyone is made from the same moral fibres as I am so, should you consider watching these VERY IMPORTANT EVENTS unfold on the Thieving Bastard's shoddy box of tricks instead, then do be aware that as well as further prosecuting the hostilities in the middle east you're also inadvertently contributing to the misery currently being vented on owners of Ford cars by crack-addled hoodied idiots desperate to watch biographies of Heather Locklear and endless re-runs of Wycliffe on the cheap. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


It's been a slow day. Nothing much done but I have to post something. Hitcounter! Yes. Only one of note though. Making an entry at No 12 and all the way from the United of States it's

goldie hawn's butt

Jolly good. And, putting aside the fact that she's knocking on a bit, I have no arguments with that at all. I would have quite happily traded places with the little politically incorrect fella Gibson in that film that was on recently where they got shot at a lot and she screamed while on a motorbike. Especially the bit where her frock went over his head as he followed her up a ladder (I think she might have been producer; she knows her market). But I think I may be digressing a bit here and losing some of you. I remembered something from a short while ago so had a check. Indeed. While myself and the other half are cornering the market in everything to do with Jordan going commando, this end of the operation has taken on a senior partner although I've kept it in the family, so to speak. Go to page one of the same search and there he is, fifth one down.

Please, I labour long and hard over these one word titles. Give me break.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Google Earth, eh? I found this near Wembley. For the colonials, the bit in the middle should be round.

Oh and can anybody possibly work out what somebody was searching for on Swiss Google when they typed in

old bit gig titts + black pints + long push

and got me first out of 18,900

Thursday, November 16, 2006


To continue with the recent downbeat theme of this place of late (is it SAD, I wonder?), many of you will have probably seen Steve's appalling news, either through his blog or in the newsmedia. It does seem that a full physical recovery will be made although goodness knows what the trauma of experiencing such an event will leave behind. Thankfully the upside of living in a nanny state is that there is theoretically no shortage of support networks in place to take advantage of.

Steve has quite rightly made a point about the apparent insensitivity of certain local media editors in naming the victim. There should have been due consideration given to the family in such a difficult situation - would it have been too difficult to ask? No, it wouldn't and an extra day would have been a useful cushion for them, especially as the perpetrator was soon caught so there was no need for the manhunt circus to go into full swing.

A difficult judgement call to make by the media though in hindsight. A police shooting is still terrible news in this country and this is as it should be. Despite the proliferation of guns and the idiotic culture that goes with them we are not yet blasé about gun crime and I hope it stays that way. We still debate arming our police officers because we still appreciate that with the best will in the world, the less crossfire there is, the fewer innocent deaths there will be. We still get scared. Only then can we, as the shocked and scared, still hold sway over the idiots. It's front page news because we're still shocked and 'Outraged of Sevenoaks' must always be encouraged because in the absence of any moral guidance elswewhere that everyone, regardless of background, can agree on and respect, he's the moral barometer we need to tap into life every so often. The fall-out from that outrage is still felt by enough potential criminals to spark some kind of sense that what they are about to do would be very wrong. Society hasn't quite gone to the dogs. Yet.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Mark, this one's for you mate.

I am stressed. It must be cyclic or at least an annual thing. Last year when I started this journal I was stressed to the point where I was taking beta blockers to regulate my thumping heartbeat in order to get a decent night's sleep. I don't take the drugs anymore, I've sort of got used to 4-6 hours sleep a night and now my heart only pounds when I get super-fatigued.

Luckily I can identify the reason for my stress. It's something to do with my income not matching expenditure and requiring the odd 20 grand or so sort out the debts I accumulated a few years back when I had to give up full time employment after Sharon took ill. Factors largely outside my control. Trying to work my way out of debt isn't easy but I'm determined to because I hate the idea of being a burden on anyone. Unlike some.

I know of a couple of people who, over the past few years, have deliberately run up debts of £50,000 or so and then just recently walked away from them. Deliberately ran up debts. On purpose. One of them through operating credit cards while on state benefits; the other because, well I don't really know why, wsuffice to say it looks like it's just as cynical. I hate them. I abhor the attitude of these witless bastards, expecting others to make good after them. The former has already accumulated another set of credit cards and is busy running up a new debt which he fully expects to be serviced by the state or at least in part by everyone else paying inflated APR. Yet he'll be the first c4nt in the queue to complain when he can't get a benefit paid. He's an alcoholic who drives his children around in his Motability car (paid for with state mobility allowance) while pissed. His son is a teenager yet can't even use a knife and fork, a fact his mother blames on his left handedness, not the fact that she was probably too pissed to bother teaching him (it was pointed out to her that Sharon's son, Paul, is quite able to use a knife and fork despite also being left handed and having some quite severe mental impairments). Get this. He's 65 next year and suddenly realised he was going to lose out but because his wife is still just about of child bearing age, he seriously considered having another kid just to get child allowance. It's like something out of a Carla Lane sit com. I didn't laugh at them either (except Butterflies, which wasn't set in the 'Pool so had a head start).

I won't even bother with the other one but it's just as bad in its own way because of the way the system is being worked.

I despair. I really do. I despair even more when I read of this kind of crap. I just don't know what stress is obviously.

Monday, November 13, 2006


For the want of anything better to do, here's more evidence of the despairing measures some people will go to in order to seek out the wisdom contained within the pages of this journal:

Here's a new development Last time it was in Lichfield. This week I've gone south. No 25 of 943 from English and Portuguese pages for:
sussex wanking

Continuing with the theme; I'm baffled. Catholics fear their hands dropping off or at the very least eternal damnation so I'm guessing this one's low church C of E :
wanking punishment ironing

This guy was determined. He worked through 110 other result before he found what he was looking for:
2006 current email address and contact of plastic company + "" -+thailand

Equally determined was:
available room for rent in uk with their landlords email adress

What is it with email addresses and Yahoo? This one went through 400 or so before thinking he'd hit paydirt:
email addresses guyana OR british ""

from google France:
email Food Standards Australia 2006

Finally, I have realised an ambition. I am No 34 for:


I would like to state here and now that at no time during the last year have I featured any illustrations of the pneumatic Mrs André, pants or no. I would however add that I have some way to go to overhaul my beloved who occupies position nos 1 and 2 on the list. She obviously provides some sort of satisfaction .

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I'd like everyone to go over and welcome Phil. Youngphil, as he occasionally likes to be known in another place, is a friend. Although it must be said that owing to the curious nature of the internet, he's a friend I've never actually met in the flesh although we're working on it.

He has been lurking for a while so he is familiar with how this works although now he's "come out" the sheer brutality and disregard for the frailties of the human condition displayed at this level of blogging may come as a bit of a surprise. As we're all hardened new media veterans now it's water of a duck's back to us of course. Phil, between you and me, there are a couple of rules I employ if anyone gets above their station. If it's a bloke with a disappointing attitude I imagine him having been sent out on a mercy mission and being baffled by the dearth of female sanitary goods available at 2am in the local 24hour petrol station; if it's a female getting uppity, they're best left alone for a couple of days by which time they'll have forgotten about it.

Have fun.


Although the English judicial system managed to uphold the principles of free speech yesterday let no-one be in any other than one mind about the kind of principles greasy fat slug Nick Griffin and his acolytes espouse. If anyone is in any doubt whatsoever about these credentials, here's a nice family picture. Griffin and his wife are on the right, on the left at the back is his friend David Duke. He used to be one of these although nowadays his time is spent between prison for tax evasion and vomiting his particular form of anti-semitic bile here.

I also value free speech. So combining my beliefs with the logic of his sub-amoebic followers, here's a bit. Nick Griffin looks like a child molester so he must be. He also lives in Wales so, while that woman in the picture may well be his wife, he almost certainly shares his conjugal bed with something sporting far curlier hair and less impressive language skills (and I don't mean Max Boyce either). He's denied having a gay relationship with Martin Webster* as a teenager but we all know what that really means, eh? I mean, he went to public school and Cambridge so he must be. I've heard that one of the tabloid newspapers is supposed to have a picture of him playing the one-string banjo while looking at a picture of Ashley Cole. There's so much I could say but I really can't be arsed.**

*I could link to the Wikipedia page but somebody's changed it to three lines of "Nazi Scum"

**Some of this might not be true

Friday, November 10, 2006


Short notice on Wednesday from Jim saying his band was playing at Crewe's premier nightspot on Thursday (that would be yesterday) and that the set was being recorded. Moreover, it was a freebie and that always goes down well. One of our friends suggested that we actually "had a life" (I think on the basis that we don't go to PTA meetings anymore), so bearing this in mind we decided to go.

Making the deadline for getting out in time would entail a certain amount of rushing around because of a prior appointment in Stoke; worrying in itself because this would almost certainly amount to me getting lost, such is the abomination of a road system in the five towns. Because this appointment was of the nature of "be late and forget it" I had actually prepared the ground for the run earlier in the week by going over the route at the same time so I could judge the traffic and all that mullarkey. On that occasion I found where I was meant to be going alright but turning round and heading back across the M6 proved to be a worry and I was felled by the local signposting and the one way system. I actually ended up navigating back by the recently risen full moon. I reasoned that I wanted to go directly west and as the moon had just risen in the east, I should drive away from it. I got home (I once drove an unfamiliar route back from Croydon to Bexley in much the same manner, having fallen foul of the recently laid tram lines. My ex-in laws following in the car behind thought I had a cabbie's knowledge of the back-doubles of Addington and West Wickham; I knew otherwise. Thank you Lord Baden-Powell).

Thankfully we made it back in time and off out we went to enjoy ourselves. What doesn't seem to be going down well at all now is beer. This is a tragedy of epic proportions because if there's one old pleasure in life I thought I could still get something from, it would be a nicely drawn pint of lightly foaming ale. Sadly now a couple of pints consumed as an accompaniment to a helping of loud music does not a happy or healthy bunny make the next morning. I have a headache the size of Ipswich and well, maybe I ought not to have had the chilli baked beans for lunch.

Good gig though.

Monday, November 06, 2006


The most farcical aspect of the story concerning the suspension of the idiotic Tory councillor for forwarding a racist e-mail is not that she and her husband did it in the first place, it's the litany of ridiculous excuses she came out with afterwards that she expected everyone to believe. Here's a few:

"The Lib Dems have wanted to make a mountain out of"
(Of course, being a whiter than white Tory, you never would have done, eh?. Don't deny your political instincts for underhand behaviour, you're a politician, being a totla cnut comes naturally)

"I didn't actually forward it on myself"
(No, you just signed it, your husband sent it on. I didn't drop those bombs, it was him!)

"An email was innocently sent to me, my husband has equally innocently sent it on and accidentally selected it to somebody else"
(Oh dear, oh dear. If it was innocent, it wouldn't have been an accident, would it. It's racist, it's illegal. You're a councillor, you should know this. Would you care to give me your definition of innocence?)

"There was nothing malicious, nothing nastily intended"
(What's the fuss about then?)

"Likewise I've had many things said [to me] in the past like anybody else that they have found offensive and we have had to deal with it" (sic)
(What, you've been accused of breeding like rabbits and coming to this country solely in order to claim benefits? That's OK then, you know all about racist bigotry).

The dissemination of racist literature is illegal and there is no argument that can justify it and certainly not the one that says it was well meant and that "they" ought to have a sense of humour. More than anything it highlights the blinding arrogance of politicians.

This bit's true. I have also received this email recently, twice, from separate people. The last line says in block capitals "Send this to every British taxpayer you know". I did. Straight back to the two British taxpayers who employed the senders of those emails. Amusingly, they had actually been fuckwitted enough to send them from their workplace using their work email addresses. I just reckoned that their IT people would have found the errant mails sooner or later, so I saved them the bother. Both idiots lost their jobs. I was greatly amused.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Back here I mentioned we went and saw Paul O'Grady's chat show being broadcast on Wednesday evening. One of the guests was Stuart Cox, a lad from Centrepoint the homeless charity in London. There was no particular reason it seemed, he was just another guest, somebody the charity had helped. In fact, no mention was made of Centrepoint until Roger Moore said that his daughter worked for another homeless charity in Victoria.

I found out today that Paul O'Grady took part in the Centrepoint "sleep-out" that same evening. I can only assume that Paul made the decision after the show as surely he would have publicised it during the broadcast. After all, he would have done it to bring attention to the charity, if it had been pre-planned then I'm sure a mention would have been warranted during the interview. I don't think he actually spent the night in a sleeping bag, for somebody who's just endured some well publicised health problems that may well have not been too wise; rather he went along as a morale booster for the other participants.

Celebrities doing something worthy on the spur of the moment is something I like a lot. The cameras don't follow Paul O'Grady around because he doesn't court celebrity for his own ends. But he's still a household name with presumably the busy schedule to go with that and his presence there unannounced would have meant a lot. He's OK with me.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Heston Blumenthal's Guide to Living

An Occasional Series, this week: How to Open a Door.

We take them for granted. Every day we walk through several and many we don't notice because some forms of the door are mounted open. I've even got a few at The Fat Duck that work either way. For everyday doors if you want to pass through them it's important you don't disturb the structure of the doorways by closing them first. In this section though we're going to examine the closed versions. Was there an easier way to open a door?

We used a screwdriver to remove the hinges. You can get these from specialist shops and don't forget to wear the proper clothes to avoid contaminating the other door parts. We took them back to the kitchen lab where we dismantled them after soaking them for half an hour in a 4:1 mixture of warm extravecchio balsamic vinegar and washing-up liquid. We found that remaking the hinges and remounting them on the door did not seriously affect the function of the doorway.

Next the handle. There are many types. Simon, one of my assistants in the lab found that ignoring the handle made opening the door difficult so we decided to examine in detail its function. We discovered that some turn a latch mechanism, others just facilitate pulling and pushing the door itself. The handle is often of a different material to the door and we conducted various tests on any chemical reactions between the two that might affect the process of opening. Removing the handle and any associated latch mechanism meant the door would swing freely. Was this the solution we were looking for? No, it meant the door would never fully close again. Heating the handle in an autoclave also had no discernible affect.

Finally, after two days exhaustive testing we concluded that there wasn't an easier way to open a door than to approach it, grasp the handle with either hand and either push, pull or twist until you can walk from one area to the other.

Next week I'll be looking at How To Go To The Lavatory.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I forgot. Yesterday was a momentous occasion for this blog for it was a year ago to the day that I pressed the first key in anger/ire/desperation/as an excuse not to do any proper work. What joyous fun I've had and what lovely friends I've made. I want to take you all out for a curry.


Wednesday and it's off to London to where they make the telly at the BBC. We have tickets to go and see the Paul O'Grady show going out live to the nation. Yes, I know it's on C4 but it's made at the BBC because that's where they make all the telly.

We would prefer to go to Manchester because that London is a long way away and the parking's terrible but you have to take what you can get. We have to be there for 4pm so, because our journey involves the M6, M1 and the most accident prone section of the M25 (J16-17, Maple Cross) we set off from Crewe at 9.29am. For once we didn't have to go back for anything. Deciding we didn't want to risk parking in White City or Shepherd's Bush we head instead for the end of the Central Line at West Ruislip and catch the tube. We arrive at White City horrendously early after a completely hassle free trip. Coming out the tube, we see our first celeb walking right in front of us. "Look," I say, pointing."It's the squashy faced bloke who does the Dragons." It is indeed Evan Davis.

With plenty of time to kill, we catch a bus down to Shepherd's Bush and find a café on the Green. It's a levantine one, not sure if they're Arabs or Berbers but it's nice and cheap. Fantastic cakes and a huge slice of pizza for just £1.20. I cant believe it, we have two slices of very pleasant pizza, an egg mayo baguette, tea, chocolate and a cup of milk (they are confused by a request for a glass of milk - this is cosmopolitan London, the girls are French but look at us with astonishment. I can't believe this is the first time they have heard of this English speciality) all for just £5.70. Similar on a motorway would be nearer £20. Maybe they're not all robbing bastards in the smoke after all.

Back at the studio and we're all standing in a queue outside. It's cold and Sharon's legs are giving up so we go back and wait in TV Centre Reception. It's full of people looking important all looking at everybody else wondering whether they're important enough to be going on the telly too or whether they're just staying out of the cold, like us. 3.25 and we go back to the queue. We spot our second celeb. Jonathan Ross arrives in his impossibly flash orange convertible, the make of which I couldn't discern, hood down and smoking a big stoagie. He tips the wink at the security guys and is let in to take his rightful place in top celeb parking slot No 1 right by the glass doors as befits the man who is worth the whole of Hull in licence fees (136,000 or so go to make up his contract). I don't care, I like him. He seems comfortable with his celebrity and does not seem the kind of person who would enjoy Harrods being opened after hours and be pawed by the slimy conspiracist, Al Fayed into the bargain. I like to think he was not showing off by driving with the top down past the queues, rather he was pandering to the public's natural inclination to gawp and was happy to let them have a piece of him. His interview last week with Borat almost caused me incontinence and that's good enough for me.

We have to remove everything from our pockets and even our belts in order to go through security. Sharon is divested of the nail scissors she has brought along to attack anyone she sees who she can't stand (Emma Bunton and Carol Smillie at the moment) and we are allowed to proceed. We are herded toward the marshalling area/foyer/café andBBC shop. Sharon goes and buys a pen and fridge magnet, I go and get a cup of coffee and a free glass of milk. Our luck appears to be in regarding the milk and the coffee is relatively cheap at £1.15. I also asked for "a coffee" not some weirdo cryptographic nonsense that only Americans and pseuds understand.

Then we're ushered into Studio 6 to be greeted by the enthusiastic warm-up man. He tells us we are the stars and that we have to go mental and wave our arms about. I'm struck by the shoddiness of the set. It looks elaborate and ornate on screen but you can see nails and sloppy paint on it. Paul's desk is over to the left, with the settee and the organ he uses for his quiz a few yards away stage right. The warm-up primes us with a game. Two women are selected to prat about in the front and collect items from the audience. These are decided on a whim by warm-up man. A man's right shoe, a left sock, a handbag and a coat are produced. Warm up guy tries his luck. "A set of false teeth" he calls. Miraculously, someone produces a set and they are given to one of the girls. They are still wet. She puts them inside the shoe. He tries his luck even further "A pair of trousers." Lad behind us removes his kecks and wings them across the audience's heads. "A bra." This lot are up for anything. I rather think if he'd said, "Right, two of you out front and go at it doggy style" he would have got a result.

Paul appears momentarily from a door to be greeted by hoots and cheers. He's very popular, the people's drag queen he is. And I know where he lives in Aldington, five minutes from Mum and Dad's. It is a farm. Warm up complete and Paul is introduced, along with Buster, his dog. The crowd go mental as instructed. The dog is the real star of the first quarter and he's totally unfazed by the noise. It's good he's there because Paul isn't really firing. He's a pro and there are no mistakes even though it's live but jeez, he's recently had two heart attacks and one immediately thinks of Eric Morecambe. He walks delicately and appears to be in slight discomfort. I don't watch the show as a rule but what I see on telly, I'm getting here. It's live, no re-takes and everyone knows what to do. First guest is Sir Roger Moore. He's a regular guest and is good value. He gets it, as he always seems to, be it on Steve Wright's radio show or here. He's sharp and he's also 79. Bloody hell, Simon Templar is 79! Sir Rog has always been a bit of a hero and I'm well chuffed he was on.

They break for ads and the next guest is brought in, an ex-homeless young man who's now sorting himself out. Rog shuffles down the sofa, puts his feet up on the cross-brace of the coffee table in front of him and breaks it. Buster is a bit yappy so Paul tells him to go and have a walk. He promptly does, behind the Welsh dresser that forms Paul's backdrop. Stage manager appears with some kitchen roll, Buster is unceremoniously carried off. Guest 2 is dealt with and Fearne Cotton is brought out for guest 3. I'm not familiar with her oeuvre; the crowd go mental. There is some VT of a reality show. We go mental. Ad break. These are surprisingly long. The voice over for the phone-in is done live and not fed in. The crowd go mental. The organ quiz thingy is next. The crowd go mental. This section is a bit of a washout as the crowd goes mental to such an extent that nobody, let alone Paul and the contestant can hear what's going on. During the next ad break the floor is prepared with black plastic and four microphones are brought out.

The men in the audience also have to do a silly dance. Ho hum. We are kidded that it's being filmed but the lack of cameras pointing in our direction rather gives the game away. Thank you. The restart and an over-confidant American is brought out who has made a career out of his party trick. This noteworthy talent is the ability to click his fingers fast and do a dance to a standard rock and roll karaoke track. He is probably late 30s, is this going to be his life?. Paul, Fearne and Sir Rog all have a go. They are pros and are not worried about making tits of themselves. The only tit is the guest. His act is shite but apparently he's a legend in Vegas. Americans, it seems, will do anything to get on telly, I quietly reflect, also pondering the willingness of the English audience to divest themselves of their clothing/mouth furniture for no reason other than it's in a TV studio. End of show. We go mental.

On the way back to the tube we pass Holly from Eastenders going the other way. She doesn't look stupid.