Wednesday, October 31, 2007

6 Foot

The "Today" programme on Radio 4 this morning covered a new policy by CABE (Commision for Architecture and the Built Environment) to promote cemeteries as a place for relaxation. Yes, I know this is Halloween but it's true, honestly. If you listen to the Radio 4 interview they are even trying to have cafes at cemeteries in order to encourage people to go there. They want cemeteries built for the living.
Now I admit I quite like wandering around old cemeteries. In fact I would be really interested if there was a fact sheet with some information about the previous lives of those buried there. I am not sure it's exactly a place for a picnic however. The majority of the inhabitants are taking relaxation a step further than I want.

Puss In Boots

I guess cats are cats wherever they are.

Shop Around

I know that some of you consider Tesco to be the devils own supermarket, so you may be distressed by the rulings that seem to allow more expansion. This is being covered on the TV. And they are seeking peoples views. Of course a good "news" thing to do is to interview those with more specialist shops who may be impacted. And I just saw someone in Perth with a cheese shop as part of the BBC coverage. I want to quote (although I don't promise it is word for word as I wasn't taking notes) and what she said. "yes, I am worried, each time I do my weekly shop I see Tesco stocking more and more of our range". In other words, SHE SHOPS AT TESCO!!!!!! I think that there is a level of irony in there somewhere.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Your incandescent fire
The concord in your voice
The power of your life
The ache for more
The desire for all

I fear
You will awake
I am less
Than your very breath
The taste of me
Is simply
Your taste for life.

And then
Drift away
Never again
To feel
Deep peace
Of your presence,
Never to know
You lying there
Beside me
Sharing our dreams

{My thanks to Ruinn whose poem lead to this as originally a simple reply to her}

Three Plus Three Equals Four

Losing three hundred thousand migrant workers - whoops. Then discovering that half the jobs you have created has gone to those self same migrants - priceless.

Monday, October 29, 2007

No, Look Over There

I will get some of the pictures from Disney up shortly. But I have to admit that I failed to get the one picture I would really have loved. It struck me that it would make the trip worthwhile if I could get Mickey Mouse in a Meerkat moment. I failed because of two reasons:

1) I felt that overcoming the language barrier and convincing Mickey to strike a meerkat pose without me being arrested was probably beyond my abilities of failed french O level

2) I would have had no-one to take the photo because I was told in no uncertain terms that I would have been disowned had I tried it.

But I still think it was a good idea. Anyway, for those of you missing the little critters here is a picture:

Of Mice And Men

So obviously the next job after discovering a sofa has been used as a cat toilet is to go around the house ensuring everything else is OK and there are no other surprises. That done I felt confident that the damage was at least limited. But later, as I lay in bed, I decided that there was a distinctly unpleasant aroma from my side of the bed. It was possible that it was coming from me but I had had a shower and thought I was probably not guilty. The smell was enough to wake me several times during the night. On getting up this morning I checked but there appeared to be no obvious wet patches (from the cats I mean). This evening I still thought that the smell was rather ripe and decided to move the bed. To find a decomposing shrew. The joy of cats!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


last night
i looked
through this window
and saw
our world
that could be
but rather
than break the glass
and leap
into a future
i simply
to draw

Holiday Blues

There are many ways to end holidays. Today probably wasn't the best. Ignoring the traffic jams (including an injured dog in the middle lane of the motorway which I couldn't stop for so feel great about that) losing a diamond ring and a sofa bed really doesn't add up to a great day. The diamond ring was dropped by "A" in the back of the car. Somehow it has vanished. Turned the car upside down but no evidence of it. Then we get home to discover that the neighbour who we left in charge of the cats hasn't been reliable. I suspect failed to empty the litter tray once. And the cats (through no fault of their own) resorted to using the sofa bed as a toilet, and it is now probably beyond rescue.

Tomorrow I hope to give some happy tales of our holiday, but today has been fairly naff!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Sunlight in the morning
Off glinting frost
Silver down
Across the fields
While the ice of my heart
Cold from the emptiness
Simply absorbs
Without beauty

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I Wish I Could Fly Right Up To The Sky, But I Can't......

You Can!

Apologies to those of you for who that has just brought recall of nightmares unsurpassed. If you do not understand then consider yourself lucky.

Anyways, to the point. Today I was able to make use of my birthday present from months ago. It was a bodyflight experience in a vertical wind tunnel. Wow. Fantastic. I will start by saying that everyone there was so firendly and helpful, the kind of customer service that I wished I could find elsewhere. It was obvious that they all really enjoyed skydiving and were eager to pass on their own enthusiasm to anyone who would listen. Then we had an added bonus that a freeflying club called BaByLoN were there for "tunnel camp" and with them were some world champions. They were incredible to watch. Such small movements of the body, often imperceptible, having major effect on their flight. It was like watching people swimming underwater, but so much quicker.
Then I had to go in!
OK, so not as elegant. But I managed. The instructor said afterwards that I had a natural posture and was very relaxed (but they probably say that to everyone as they want you to come back and spend more money). The time was over so quickly. It was a great adrenalin rush. All I can say is - go do it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Armchair Weekend

So I was expected to blog about the rugby. I am pleased not to disappoint. But I was also waiting for the Grand Prix.

You see I find it amusing that I think that we are probably the nation that get most excited about a posible win, so getting a countdown in the newspapers, programmes on TV giving us the bio of the champions-to-be etc. And we do all of this before the event. And then most often do not deliver. Maybe that is why we get so excited before, we are used to the Henmans, Coulthards etc not succeeding so feel we need to make the most of possibilities.

Anyway, sure enough the weekend did not pan out as hoped. I was truly impartial for the rugby. I wanted the best team to win. It is somewhat ironic that England losing may well have come down to a disallowed try, ironis becuase what I hate about the England team is the fact that they have forgotten to score tries. But everyone is admitting that it wasn't a try so we shouldn't hear this story for years to come. no, the best team won, in that it was the team that never lost a match throughout the tournament, that score many wonderful tries and had a line out that couldn't be beaten.

As to the Grand Prix. Yes Lewis made a mistake, but without the engine problems he would still have won the championship. It is unfair to lay all the blame at his feet. Yes it would have been good to see the first rookie ever to win the F1 season, but he did well none-the-less

As a footnote - it now appears that there is a stewards enquiry on BMW and, if upheld, the disqualification of BMW would move Lewis up enough to win

Tum Ti Tum Ti Tum

The Archers are now available as a podcast. I have been a fan of my ipod for a long time but this really is what it was waiting for.


Yesterday we went to see Ratatooii (Ratatoille, Ratttattoy, Rattatwee, Rataowhatever). (Actually I find it quite amusing that they have to put the phonetic spelling underneath, I wonder who that is for).

"A" loved it, engrossed throughout and, for her, relatively still. She didn't even finish her sweets. I think I enjoyed the short film before the main feature more (who else remembers the "B" movie before the main). Possibly a story about an alien abduction is a bit too complex for young children but it was very amusing.

The main film itself, well I have found worse ways to spend my time. It had a story line, which is an advantage (especially over Casino Royale). But it wasn't anything special. Rat looses family, rat makes friend, rat finds family, does rat chose friend over family or go his own way. you know, normal stuff really.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


It appears that the traditional route of universities is no longer the recruitment method of choice for the spooks. They are now advertising in computer games. Yes, the games will feature billboards that advertise the GCHQ website.
I wonder if they are going to manage to take this to the natural extreme. The adverts you see could be based on your score. Score less than 1000 then they tell you to apply elsewhere. Score 5000 and you can have a job working in the IT department. Score 300000 and they send you £50k, a Walther PPK and a licence with automatic 00 status.

Seasons End

Winter comes
To echo my whole
Sharp winds
Bringing tears
And a welcome cold
Passes through pain
To reach
Dull analgesia
Snowdrift bed
Snowflake covers
As I close my mind
And sleep

Argentina 34 France 10

Obviously I have been a bit lite on blogging about the Rugby World Cup. This was not because I was sulking due to Wales dropping out early on. It was also not a result of certain readers complaining about sports-orientated entries. I have continued to watch the rugby and enjoyed it but most of the games simply did not make me feel like blogging. However I have to say how pleased I am that Argentina beat France. I know that both the northern and southern hemisphere rugby nations will come up with excuses why the Argentinians can't play with their ball but any championship would be lucky to include the Pumas. They have played exciting rugby with style and grace, flashes of inspiration backed with determination. It was unfortunate that in the match against South Africa the occasion overcame them because I still think they had the makings of world champions.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dusty Bin

OK. While I have to admit to being disappointed not to have been deluged by messages of sympathy after my attempt to slit my wrist yesterday, I also have to admit that in the cold light of day the wound is not that serious. However the real trauma of the event was that I had spent half an hour or so cooking what was promising to be a very nice risotto. With glass having shattered around the kitchen I could not guarantee that broken shards had not ended up in the dinner so the entire lot had to be binned. Real trauma.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Sharp Moment

Despite appearances I promise that I have not been trying to cut my wrist. Unfortunately when I was getting the wine glasses out of the cupboard I accidentally knocked a half pint glass. It plummeted. I tried to catch it but my hands were full. Resulting in me pressing down on the glass with my wrist just as it shattered. Nothing serious, deepish would but luckily a millimeter or two away from any important structures. But leaving me with a mark that people could question. And a sore wrist.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What Could It Be?

You may have gathered that I travel a bit. Over the years I have gathered a few things to make travelling more comfortable. My computer case is actually a rucksac, it is better for my back and has the added advantage that it can take enough for one night away. Another thing is my battery powered toothbrush. May sound very minor but I like clean teeth. You might think that the sensible thing would be to take the batteries out of the toothbrush when not using it. However I don't, too lazy. I think I might now have to revise this policy. Today I was happily walking along when my rucksac started buzzing, a quiet but noticeable buzzing. The buzzing of something vibrating. I got funny loooks. I am just glad I wasn't in a meeting. Possibly people didn't imagine that whatever it was that was buzzing was a toothbrush.

Squeeze Up

D..n it, I hate trains. Hot, smelly, sweaty and overcrowded. Apparently for every square foot of seating in the tube you kind find every kind of human bodily fluid. And the seats on the trains coming out of London are designed for midgets. If you can spot a spare place then in order to sit in it you have to be willing to become more intimate with someone than most people become with their lovers. And trying to sit down involves such a combination of arms, legs and other body parts that wouldn't normally be seen in an orgy.


Anyone any good at dream analysis? Last nights could be describe as odd I think. There I am at an airport for a short flight somewhere. In front of us is another group who are going to Australia. They are called to board but there is one lady with a child and too many bags to manage so, rather than anyone on that flight being helpful, I give assistance and carry her bags on to the plane. She can't decide where to sit and there is a lot of faffing around. Finally she sits and I start to put her bags away. Unfortunately the plane then takes off. So I have to go all the way to Japan (first stop before Australia) and then get a flight back (which at least they don't charge me for).

Mind you, I wish planes were really like this one. Plenty of room to wander around, internet connection and computers provided, a bakery coooking the most amazing cakes, real coffee that you could go and help yourself too anytime. Luxury flying, I didn't mind having to go to Japan (I did decide staying there for a few days as I have always wanted to go to Japan but, obviously, my bags with my clothes were on the other plane).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Trip down to London. Good idea to take the train, much easier, using public transport etc. Still have to get to the train station. So I drive there. And the after 20 minutes circling around the car parks decide I have to drive home and order a taxi! Travelling in this country continues to just be painful.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Eye On You

I was on the phone to family explaining that "A" had beaten us. I pointed out that she had had a launch ramp and that during her go the fences were up so she couldn't get a gutter ball (me, bitter and competitive, no). I said something along the lines of "she cheated". Unfortunately for me "A" overheard me. I am not sure exactly where she learnt the Paddington Bear stare, but she is certainly good at it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Humiliation complete. Readers will know that I bought a Wii a while ago (interestingly a Wii uses up more energy in 20 minutes that golf). And there are some sports on it. including ten pin bowling. "A" enjoys the bowling, and yesterday we suggested that we would go bowling for real today. We did. She won. Both matches.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Escape - James Clavell

A disappointment. Not because it isn't a good story, but because it is too much of a rehash of "Whirlwind". I like Clavell, ever since falling in love with "Shogun", still one of the best series to be shown on TV. I was hoping that this would give another angle on those caught up in "Whirlwind", but it is so similar that you could really be reading the same book.

Into The Night - Santana

My thanks to Ruinn, I wouldn't have known this without her blog -

It rocks!


Broken mirror
Reflecting parts
Your face
A mosaic
Of beauty

Thursday, October 11, 2007


In the cold
The dark
The mystery
Aching night
My body
Muscles twitching
Tremors passing
Your touch
Your holding
You making me home

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wing to Wing, Tip to Tip

There I am, 2030 hrs at Dusseldorf airport on Sunday (as you do of course). Not too late, an hour or so further to travel but I have found my taxi driver. All is well. Then the taxi driver apologises. We have to pick someone else up. Their flight was delayed but has just landed so shouldn’t be long. OK, no worries. Listen to my iPod, try and relax. Wait. And wait. And wait. After an hour and a half I ask just how long we are going to wait. Taxi driver rings his head office and we decide to go.

Fast forward to the next day. I meet the person we were waiting for. I am prepared to complain. Rather disarmed by the fact it is a woman rather than a man, and pregnant at that (not sure if that makes me a male chauvinist or chivalrous, hard to tell these days). Anyway I start with the opening gambit “ah, it was you that I was waiting for at the airport”. She replies with “sorry, my plane crashed”. Now, as far as excuses go, that seems a fairly good one to me. In fact I am rather speechless. Images of her plane plummeting from the air and her being the only one to walk away, unscathed, are quickly dispelled as she explains that the wings of two planes collided while manoeuvring on the ground. Even so, I can’t imagine flying an hour after that had happened. It would certainly concentrate the mind. And I would certainly ask for a new pilot.


At the window
Cold night air
Over my skin
I turn, look
Your body lying
Eyes closed
And I wonder
What your smile
Holds for me

Drawing close
Softly lying
Feeling your heat
Filling me
Waking my depths
Defeating demons
In my core
And I wonder
What your smile
Holds for me

Your breath
Caressing my world
Taking the air
To my lungs
Making you
Your soul
Part of me
But I wonder
What your smile
Holds for me

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Ring Me

I remain a fan of PostSecret, like many others it is almost a ritual to visit on a Sunday to see what has been posted. There are some sad ones, but also some that make me smile. And there are intriguing ones. A few weeks ago someone posted their phone number. It seemed a strange thing to do. He was lonely and felt that we do not talk enough to each other. The response was phenomenal. I hope it has enriched not just his life but the hundreds of others he has spoken to as well.


Stansted (?Stanstead, can never remember which) remains my least favourite airport. And they have gone one better. Now after going through check in and the xray security etc there is now one more level of security. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is funnelled into a tight area towards another small xray machine. And everyone has to take their shoes off to put them through this machine. Well, I leave you to imagine how pleasant the smell is in a small tight area full of tired and hot travellers, all waving pairs of shoes around.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Weather Warning

While undoubtedly I would have liked to be watching the rugby this afternoon (how on earth did England beat Australia, then France beat New Zealand?), instead we went to the theatre. We saw something called Slava's Snowshow. Not easy to describe, a kind of off-shoot from Cirque du Soleil. All clowns. At times very surreal. Having a giant cobweb pulled over our heads. Clowns coming into the audience and stealing peoples shopping, throwing coats and hats and shoes around. Soaking us in water. A lot of smoke and dry ice. Confetti snow everywhere. Loud music. 10 foot diameter balls being thrown out into the auditorium. Honestly it was chaos. And excellent. We had front row seats and were in the thick of it. We had been warned that it might be scary for those under 8 years old but, as ever, "A" revelled in it. If you get a chance I suggest you go and see it.

Appropriate Chicken Noises

There we go, he bottled it, and he looks weak.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Tick In The Box

It is an old cliche to say a week is a long time in politics. But my it can be true. At the beginning of the week Brown was toying with the nation - was he or was he not going to call an election. Somehow we have reached a point that if he doesn't call an election then he will be seen as weak. Of course if, all along, an election is what he wanted then he will be happy. But if it was an manouvre to put presure on the tories then it may well have backfired. The polls are all over the place, it is impossible to know what is going through the electorates minds. And it isn't going to be helped by the postal strike. Brown seems to going for a full house of disasters in his first year. And, sorry but it has to be said, he really doesn't take a good picture does he!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Can you show me
A garden
Growing our dreams
Our possible futures
Flowering to colour
Hearts planted
To find the possible

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


You are my edge
Edge of reason.
And running
On this edge
Trying not to fall
Gives me a thrill,
A feeling
Of living
That makes me faster
Trusting you
To hold my feet.


I sleep
I dream
I climb
To a different world.
In climbing
I find
My feet
Firm in the void
My eyes
Blinded by the dark.
To hold
Such a different world.

Monday, October 01, 2007

How Safe

Health and safety is very important. There is no question over the fact that while at work we need to avoid eye strain from computer screens, back strain from long periods sitting, wrist strain from mice. All these things are essential. But when a shooting comes down to an issue of health and safety it may be going a bit far. Someone is definitely clutching at straws when the shooting of de Menezes comes down to Health and Safety. I suppose it makes it easier though. Do I think a hail of bullets is either health conscious or safe, well no.


After a week of bad news, how nice to have something refreshing. Russ Byars has broken the stone skimming record. And his nickname is "Rock Bottom". Don't these stone skimmers know how to live! The prize, fudge. Yes, that's right. He goes into stone skimming competitions in order to win fudge.

Apparently he threw over 40 stones that day. I'm just glad that there weren't any glass houses around.