Thursday, July 31, 2008


My "Recent Comments" sidebar seems to have become corrupted. I can't find the script. Does anyone have it? If so, please send it to me. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Dunhill have a new fragrence called "London". That so doesn't inspire me. So, what, it smells of taxi fumes, cigarettes and stale beer with a mild sprinkling of vomit then, does it? (Guess where I am tonight).

Realize - Colbie Caillat

Monday, July 28, 2008

6 Feet Under

While the plight of our honey bees is no laughing matter, developing foot baths for them is a mind boggling approach. Anyone who has had the joys of trying to get cattle or sheep through a footbath will know that this is no easy task. They will do everything they can to avoid it. They push they're herd-mates forward. Once they have to go through then they will hop through in order to avoid putting all their feet in. So exactly how bee keepers will convince their chares to use a footbath is rather mystifying. They seem to be forgetting that the bee can fly over it.

And I have a nice little image in my mind of the bees all putting on little pairs of wellington boots to keep their tootsies dry.

Simons Cat

Play It

Saturday, July 26, 2008

One Sentence

This is an interesting website, where people submit one sentence stories from their life. Some are really quite amusing;

However this struck home:

"Before I was a parent I never could have imaged that one day I would own both a horse and a saddle that are worth more than my car."

Not that we have bought "A" a horse but it a constant question. The best she is going to get for now though is a pair of jodhpurs. (But I must admit to being proud that she is now advancing to the next class, which has the added bonus of an extra half hour in bed for me on Saturday mornings before taking her to the stables).

Squeeze - Up the Junction

Friday, July 25, 2008

Three Strikes and You're Out

The defeat at Glasgow East was a bitter blow. But certain politicians have to live up to the facts, face reality. I am not sure that Labour MPs saying that Brown "is the best for the job" is actually inspiring. OK, yes, it's obvious that I am not an natural Labour voter, but come on, if he is the best the party have to offer then there is a problem.

The blame is being laid at the economic downturn. But I reckon if you want to be seen as being great because of the positive financial years then you also have to take the bad. You can't simply say anything good is because you were the worlds best chancellor and then anything bad is not your fault.

In fact I think that any financial situation is because of decisions made 5 or more years ago. The financial market doesn't turn overnight , it is a juggernaut, an oil tanker that takes time to turn. I believe that a lot of the positives that Brown takes credit for are actually things that the Conservatives set in motion. I also think that has to be scary for any party hoping to win next time, because the legacy you are left with is a dangerous one. This is simply a result of some bad choices he made a while ago. And that is why he can't see how to respond. We are floundering because of his core values.

Hallelujah - kd Lang

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I can understand why Dwayne Chambers is trying so hard to get into the Olympics and why he says he will still try for 2012. But he is wrong. He was caught for drug abuse. It is right that h should be banned from sports most noble competition.

It is also hard to look at thim winning now and not to wonder. After all if he can win without drugs then why was he taking them in the first place. If he couldn't win without the drugs then how is he managing to do so now. Forgiveness is one thing, forgetting is quite another. Any performance he gives will always be tarnished by a question mark over how he has achieved it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

And The Award Goes To.....

A week or so ago we had a call from the school. They suggested that we might like to make the end of term prize giving as "A" had won something. To maintain some mystery they wouldn't tell us what. However the best that we could think was that she would get the "Effort" award.

One advantage of a 6 year old is that they don't "do" suspicious. So on hearing that daddy was going to attend assembly "A" did not think that something was up. She simply satated that she wouldn't be getting anything. This isn't quite as defeatist as it may sound. "A" accepts that she is one of the youngest in the year. As a June baby this is the price you pay (I was July and recognise the problem well). So there are older kids who can often do more (although she is on purple level in reading which is very advanced).

So we turned up and went in to assembly. Why, o why, can't primary schools get adult sized chairs! Is it a surprise that adults come in and want to sit down? The experience of my knees around my ears is never something I am desperate to repeat. And, I have to say, the problem with school assemblies is that they are packed with kids. Anyway, I digress.

So the kids all said hello, "Hello Mrs B, hello everyone" (Mrs B being the headteacher) and I was most disappointed that the parents didn't say hello back. Then the kids sang a song (again disappointed that the parents couldn't join in). Probably almost got thrown out because I was laughing at the finger pointing to the lines on the overhead projector, I so wanted a bouncing ball. Even better when they had to split, one half singing one verse, the other half singing the other verse, so it needed two pointing fingers.

And what did "A" win. She won the art award. Which is really sweet becaus it is a mini Oscar. Don't tell "A" but I think they got the wrong child. But it was lovely to hear her name announced and the reason she got it was attention to detail. And to crown it all, she went up, shook the hand of the teacher presenting the awards (from the upper school, gosh we were priviledged), then Mrs B said "that was really polite "A", wonderful manners" (no other child was praised for their manners).

OK, officially proud daddy.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


So, back on the 17th Feb "A" had her first riding lesson. Today she had her first canter. In only 5 months she has come on so much (sorry, I apologise for any proud daddy moments). I think she is a natural. Anyway she had a private leson today and will have another one in a week. By trying cantering she should be able to go up into the next class. Two weeks ago, when we first discussed her cantering she was worried about it. Last week she said she was ready. And this week she loved it. To be honest she didn't canter far, Micky didn't really want to play along, but she got the feel of it. You can tell she likes roller coasters, the faster anything goes the better.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sole Charges

Let me start by being honest and saying I have never liked Gordon Ramsey. I am not a prude, I mean, f**k it, there are times when swearing helps let off steam, but he completely overdoes it. To the level that I think he is disrespectful. It isn't necessary. So, that's clear then. Now let me continue:

"The Independent" is currently running a campaign to improve working conditions for waiters. They are trying to get top chefs to support it. They have a quote from Ramsey. "We add a 12.5 per cent service charge to the final was welcomed by the customers as it removes any embarrassment from deciding how much to add." First off, where does 12.5% come from. The "recognised" tip is 10%, always has been. It is the fact that it is 10% that makes it easy to calculate. And then justifying it by saying it removes embarrassment. The gall of the guy. He is implying that his customers are too stupid to think for themselves (which, considering they went to his restaurant, may have some merit I suppose). And adding on a tip automatically is a terrible practice. Most people will be too embarrassed to ask for it to be removed (although, you may not be surprised to learn, I will always insist an automatic service charges to be removed whenever I see them). How does he know his customers welcomed it? I bet a decent survey wouldn't find that, he just means people aren't asking for it to be removed. No, of course not, because he ahs put them in an embarrassing position. Calculating a tip isn't embarrassing. Having to remove it is (unless your are too incensed to care).

Hell, it's enough to make me swear again, f**k it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Myself and some friends were recently staying at a hotel. We got there late, it was dark by the time we arrived and we only just got fed. But we had a good evening. The next morning we got ready to leave. Had breakfast, settled up. Wandered out to the car park. Said our goodbyes. The first got in his car. The rest of us were still talking. After a few minutes we wondered why the first hadn't left. Was he having trouble finding the route on his map? Then he got out, looked around, walked over to the next car, opened the door, got in, and drove off. Now, to be fair, they were exactly the same make, model and colour, and it was a misty morning but, you will not be surprised to learn, we almost wet ourselves laughing.

Wee Greenie

My niece is just starting at a new school. This is very exciting. Especially so as she is now going to be catching the bus to school. By herself. The school use a company called "The Little Green Bus". For the first trip her father took her to the bus stop. They waited, and waited, and waited. The bus didn't turn up. Not a happy start. Phone call to the bus company. Demanding to know where they had been. Confusion. The bus company thought that their bus had done the school round as normal. Until finally the person at the end of the phone says "you do know it isn't actually a little green bus don't you?" Ah, guess what they had been looking for to the exclusion of all else. Embarrasment.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Jam - Ghosts

Poor recording, fantastic song -

ooo, ooo, update, better recording

ooo, ooo, ooo, possibly even better, more raw

The Jam _ Ghosts

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Horse Trials

Yesterday we went to some Horse Trials. It was a nice day out. However I ended up taking over 200 pictures. The advantage of digital is you can see what you are getting and keep trying. The disadvantage is then sorting through them and processing them on the computer when you get home. For now I like these three, there may be some more to follow.

Somebody Touched Me - Bruce Cockburn

Somebody touched me
Making everything new
Somebody touched me
I didn't know what to do
Burned through my life
Like a bolt from the blue
Somebody touched me
I know it was you

Somebody touched me
Deep in my bones
Turned a key in the hole
There was somebody home
Some would say that I'm dreaming
But I swear that it's true
Somebody touched me
I know it was you

Somebody touched me
Like the rain on the wind
Left me alone
Feeling like I'd been skinned
But I know you're with me
Whatever I go through
Somebody touched me
I know it was you

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Yeah or Nay

I've been away for a few days so I am really just trying to catch up on the news. And that includes trying to work out if the David Davis story is one of victory or defeat. He increased his margin by 10000, which seems fairly good, but at the same time less people voted for him in total than last time they were asked. What I think is sad is that it failed to really raise the issues. The media seemed to completely avoid the one issue that he wanted to focus on, so we still ahven't seen a public debate on the erosion of our liberties.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

This Month Day 10 - CSS

I posted this song before but the video wasn't vy good. Therefore again, with a better vid:

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


For a while now there has been talk of taxing people for the amount of waste they throw. It is open to a lot of questions. It is an extra tax. There is an element of "spying" on people (tagging their bins etc). Generally a nanny state feel to the thing. So turning it on its head and rewarding people for how little they throw seems a good idea.

I am not averse to the use of a stick, there are times when it is useful, but I greatly prefer the carrot. Especially when it comes to money. I don't think that taxing acts as a great incentive. It makes people moan, it makes them worse off, it makes them resentful, but it doesn't often alter behaviour. However giving people money to do something is effective. A tax has to overcome the inertia, but getting something for nothing (or very little effort) has a momentum of its own.

I can see this working and I suspect it is, for once, an extrememly practical solution to a very important problem.

Brrm 2

It worked. I left another 10 minutes early and I got to work before I left home. Well, no, not really. But only becasue it was raining

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


The roads to Milton Keynes are fairly diabolical at the moment. It takes an extra 20-30 minutes driving in to work, no matter which route I take and despite the fact I try to get in for 8 am not 9. This morning I really needed to be in on time so I left 10 minutes earlier than usual. And got in 25 minutes earlier. I reckon that if I leave an extra ten minutes on top of that tomorrow then I will be in the office before I leave home!

Monday, July 07, 2008


That Bush has been President of the US for so long is scary. That he hasn't destroyed us all is possibly surprising. But at least we have been treated to one mans demolition of the language. At times it is possible to wonder if English is even his second language.

“We cannot let terrorists hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile.”

“"If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow.”

"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office."

My favourite though has to go back to the 29th September 2000. There were some issues about dams being torn down to save some endangered species of fish. Bush opposed this. Which is fair enough. But in defence of his position he came out with the following "I know that the human being and the fish can coexist peacefully". Ah, poetry.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


I am not a tennis fan. Never have been. But "J" has to watch the sports I enjoy so for a fortnight a year I put up with Wimbledon. And I have to say that todays match was an epic. I think the right person won in the end, but it was so close. Incredible match to watch.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Pigeon Detectives - Take Her Back

Toe and Heel

Without doubt there are times when evolution has done strange things. How on earth ahs it managed to differentiate the male and female brain so much. There is a clear and undeniable difference when it comes to shoe shopping. I hate shopping for shoes, there is nothing attractive about it at all. Yet my 6 year old daughter thinks it is wonderful. It isn't that she likes shopping per se, it is specific to shoe shopping. I don't understand.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Going Up

It always seems wrong to me that politicians can vote for their own pay rise. While the rest of us have to accept what our boss tells us, they get to decide what they are worth. I think the rules should be changed. I think WE should get to vote on their pay rise. Might make them have a bit more accountability.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sports Day

It was "A"s sports day yesterday. She swears that she wasn't taking it seriously but I think the pictures tell a different story.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Zulu Dawn

At a time when Zimbabwe, a once beautiful country, descends into chaos, it is hard to understand why the African Union will not condemn Mugabe. But it is because there is a struggle ongoing, a struggle between old Africa and new Africa. There are two types of African state. The one that has overcome colonialisation, overcome occupation by another country meeting invasion with violence, and these are lead by the liberators, men who suffered but stood up to be counted, a group that Mugabe not only belongs to but is, in many ways, the archetype. Then there are the countries that have risen from political development, the democratic states, those for whom Mugabe represents the worst of the continent. It leads to this position where the countries are at opposite poles. Neither can back down because to do so would undermine their entire fabric of being.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I heard something on the news today that I was going to blog about but I really can't remember what it was about. For some strange reason i am thinking "bananas" but that can't be right.