Wednesday, October 25, 2006
There are lots of things I could write about but for the time being I am all written out, I have been pouring out report after report at work and its exhusting to try and think of something to write on this blog. I should be writing a report now and they are about a month late!!
So I will try to be better please keep the faith
Love to you all
Friday, July 14, 2006
I have been really busy these past few months and have not had the free time to sit and blog or even read blogs so the blogiverse has been passing me by and not noticing apart from Gemmack that is!
Anyway the most interesting thing has happened to me, I seem to have turned into a grumpy old man. And its happened almost over night. Just until recently I was the friendly and calm Dr. Rob you all know and love, but recently I have had some venom! Everything has been annoying me. And I don't think its just the heat. Oh I know I was always one to complain at resturants, but they always desearve it, now I seem to spend a lot of time muttering under my breath about things, people, service, jobs, children furry bunny rabbits and so on.
It came to a point when just this week we had to have a meeting with Enterprise the car hire people because even they had got fed up with my complaining. But once again they deserved it, late cars, dirty smelly cars, damaged cars, surly staff (surly because they are all graduates and the best job they can get is renting cars!) the list goes on, anyway the conclusion of the meeting was I'm right, they're useless and we'll be renting our cars off Vospers from now on! Na nan na na na.
What to do, I know that actually a could do with about a month in a place that has a bona fide Maharishi where I could chant quietly, do soome meditation and yoga on the beach as the sun shines gently down on my relaxing body. But the bloody Greek Embassy can't promise a Schengen Visa for my wife before the dates we want, they can't promise anything not even a quick hummus kebab. And we only want two weeks in Crete please mr nice Greek consulate man, if you're reading this - get a spurt on for Zeus's sake!
We also went to Cambridge for their open day, what a shambles!!! Just because they're the best doesn't mean to say you can't put a bit of an effort into it, not one of the colleges gave so much as a pen away, my uni gives away mountains of them and other stuff as well. My wife was heart broken, what no pens and just a few measly plastic carrier bags, how would that look to her folks back home in Ukraine if we can't send them any freebies.
I mean at least Oxford gave us a lunch! All cambridge could muster was a few fancy bisuits and a plastic cup of tepid orange juice, this for someone who had had to get up at 3.30 a.m. in the morning (middle of the night really) and drive for 5 hours just to get there for the first meetings.
And why o why o why do cambridge seem to employ excentrics as their top people, is it that thing about the line between brilliance and madness is a fine one. Looneys the lot of them!
And even worse my stepson wanted to go to look at the Computer Science Department - ha Geek City Central U.K. is what it should be called. All sandels, google tee shirts and mad hair and thats just the lecturers!
It was pointed out to us by the king of the mad people - the dean of faculty I think he's called, that most of the idiot savants stumbling around the building were probably millionaires or well on the way to becoming one, he himself, I was told had started 12 businesses! And was one of those said millionaires. Actually not much was said about the actual learning of computer science per se, but a lot was said about becoming millionaires, great incentive to keep the application numbers up hey!
The punting was nice though!
Anyway see how irritable I've got, ypou're actually quite lucky that I haven't been blogging for the past month or so or I might have had to vent my spleen!
Have a nice day now!
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
I had a pretty traditional bank holiday – I trashed the bathroom and bought a sofa!
But I also experience the motorway on Friday evening as the great bulk of London decided to make their way South West to Devon and Cornwall for their short break. I had never experienced this before and it was, I can tell you quite alarming. The motorway was overfull and the traffic was moving quite slowly out of London, but that didn’t stop some people trying to reach their destination much quicker than the rest of us. These were the people, often in highly priced cars who simply forgot, or just ignored the basic practices of driving on motorways.
One of the key ‘rules of the road’ in this country is not to undertake. Visitors to Britain will notice that lane discipline on the roads is quite strict and most people do stick to the rules. But not on a bank holiday Friday on the motorways out of London. It was exhausting, not only having to cope with the slow moving traffic but watch out for the kamikaze drivers zipping along on your offside, these are the ones that are not to visible in the mirrors and because of the discipline one doesn’t often expect to have large cars zipping past the passenger doors.
The other thing I noticed was that when we stopped at Reading Services, the place was heaving. This was I expect because all the townies, enroute to Cornwall, were panic buying at the Marks and Spencer’s outlet that is now part of this particular Motorway service station. I guess they were filling up on food in the expectation that in deepest darkest Cornwall they would have to spend the weekend living off pasties and fish n chips rather than this slightly upper crust junk food that they are used to.
I was in London to get visa’s for my wife and family, who are, as you know, Ukrainian, we had to go to Croydon to be exact. When ones goes through this, it has to be planned meticulously months in advance, the right papers have to be generated and collated, bank statements and pay slips have to be saved, letters with names and dates from utility companies have to be placed in date order and so on.
I have been quite satisfied with myself that over the past few years all the visa’s I have had to apply for have been granted, due I am sure to my meticulous planning. So it was a bit of a shock to find that upon arriving at the IND offices in Croydon to find that not only had I used the wrong form fro Vitaly, but I had also forgotten to take my PIN number for the credit card I was going to use to pay the £1000 fee! Disaster! Fortunatly I had just been paid so could use my debit card, the downside of this, of course is now we cannot eat for the rest of the month nor pay the mortgage!
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Friday, May 19, 2006
Enjoy the Eurovision song contest in the mean time !
Friday, May 05, 2006
|You Are Gonzo the Great|
"Is something burning in here? Oh, it's just me."
You're a total nutball who will do anything for attention.
The first to take a dare, you'll pull almost any stunt.
You're one weird looking creature, but your chickens don't mind!
So it was that I used the Moto Services in Reading, I used the facilities and decided that I was hungrey and didn’t really want to eat another sandwich. So I went to look at the hotplate, maybe they had a baked potato or something. The time was about 8 o’clock in the evening – they were selling breakfast! And that’s all!
Since when has the ‘all day breakfast’ become the staple diet in this country? Why can’t a large company like Moto provide some sort of decent food for travellers. I know it was tempting fate, because the last time I visited this particular Moto, I was faced with the same problem, then they only had fish and chips on offer, no other food, nothing for vegetarians, well here at least I could have had, should I have wanted a grease laden plate the veggie breakfast! No thanks.
So it was back to the ubiquitous sandwich, I am getting sick of cheese ploughman’s!
The other thing about the motoway services that I noticed was that the diesel was now over £1 a litre!
My solution is hereYou know it makes sense!
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Friday, April 28, 2006
If you cannot understand my argument, and declare "It's Greek to me", you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger, if your wish is father to the thought, if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise - why, be that as it may, the more fool you, for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I were dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut, tut! for goodness' sake! what the dickens! but me no buts - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.- Bernard Levin
Thursday, April 27, 2006
I'm waiting for the cough
I'm waiting for the Bird Flu
Just to pop me off
I'll have a runny nose
And a roaring red sore throat
I'll want a pound of grapes or two
I'll probably start to bloat
So bring me heinz tomato soup
And a mansize box of tissues
Books and mags and lucozade
Write this down now, I've got issues
Send all the swans to Swanage
The ducks to far Peking
The geese re route to Canada
Get the chickens on the wing
Turn the emus into handbags
Smash all the ostrich eggs
Fill the Blue Mosque full of turkeys
Please heed these word I beg
Before I get the sniffles
Send all the swallows home
Send a hundred million pigeon pies
To the Monsegniours in Rome
Lets burn the feather dusters
And spoil the birdsnest soup
Lets send the seagulls out to sea
Before I get the croup
I'm just waiting for the virus
Ducking the sparrows sneeze
I'm feeling rather heady
Hush - Is that a wheeze
I'll give me just a week or two
Before the virus hits
But before the bastard gets me
I'm offing all the tits!
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
However, despite that I have become famous albeit for probably less than the fifteen minutes promised me by Andy Warhol. I have been reading many blogs by people who are achieveing wonderful things. Jonny B in Norfolk is bring up a baby, I wonder, if like the Norfolk Chavs highlighted on a documentary on TV last night the child too will need subtitles to be understood - innit! Various bright and brainy academics are also on my list of reading and they all seem to be doing wonderful things in their fields of expertise and of course Vit is an artist par excellent and lives the good life in Portuglandi. What more could one want? Well I would want to live here and have Jamie make me wonderful cakes
But until then there is an article nearly all about me in the Guardian online and you can read about it here.
I am waiting now to be headhunted!
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Senior Information Professional
Although as I've mentioned before £25 - £33 grand don't seem much for a spy, one wonders how one will be able to afford the vodka martinis (shaken not stirred), the gambling, the beautiful jet setting women and the Aston Martin on £33 grand a year? I would imagine its a bit tight. I suppose though that there's a bit of 'back pocket' cash flying around to suppliment the income. You know the drill, brown paper envelopes stuffed with cash left at remote 'letter boxes' in Regents Park in exchange for the negatives or the top secret plans.
I would guess theres a bit of foreign travel thrown in as well, so there should be some expenses to claim back, I expect its a bit pricey getting to the Bahamas and staying in the best hotels and rolling the dice in the casinos, so that you can ingratiate yourself with Mr Big and theres always a bit of excitement to look forward to, to tell your mum about when you get home, the pools filled with Piranha, the crocodile lakes, the exploding underground HQ's and such!
I'm not sure that I want to apply I'm not too sure whether a white tux suits me and my wife would probably kill me if she caught me flirting with Moneypenny! And anyway I've a strict NO Sex in the Office rule! It messes up my desk!
This blog will self distruct in 30 seconds, if not please eat it!
Senior Information Professionals
Organisation: MI5 THE SECURITY SERVICE
Location: Central London
Salary: £25,826 - £33,428
Date posted: 10 Apr 2006
Closing date: 12 May 2006
We can’t afford to know half the story. With access to the very latest information sources we can carry out research vital to national security. Without it, we can’t. Don’t let that happen. That’s why we place the importance we do on our Information Bureau Team and the intelligence they supply. After all, having the right information, at the right time could mean the difference between obstructing terrorism, espionage and other threats to security – and the unthinkable. It’s that vital. Put simply, you’ll drive the development of our service. Based centrally or within a specific department, you’ll need to be able to perform a range of duties such as research, procurement, evaluating of sources and training. You’ll need to be able to build customer relationships and be proactive in marketing your capabilities. Innovative thinking, a flexible approach, CILIP qualifications and experience within an information role are essential to enhancing our knowledge base. Up-to-date with all the latest online and hard copy information sources, you’ll also have experience of business development and resource selection. You will be eligible to apply, you must be a British citizen and one of your parents must be a British citizen or have substantial ties to the UK. Candidates must normally have been resident in the UK for 9 out of the last 10 years; this is particularly important if you were born outside the UK.
Due to our vetting procedure your application may take up to 8 months to process.
Closing date to request an application: Friday 12th May 2006. Closing date to return your application: Friday 19th May 2006.
Discretion is important to the Service, so please only discuss this application with your partner and/or immediate family. The Security Service is committed to reflecting both Equal Opportunities and the society we protect.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
1. Use chopsticks
2. Know where and what a clitoris is and how to use it
3. Know how to change the oil on your car and have done it – this doesn’t mean you know to take it to Kwik Fit when the red lights on!
4. Order 2 beers in at least four different languages not counting your own
5. Fix a dripping tap
6. Be able to cook a reasonable meal – cheese on toast or pizza do not count!
7. Use a washing machine
8. How much alcohol it takes to get you pissed and generally stay below that limit
9. That tight snow washed jeans a waist size too small are a fashion mistake
10. Know instinctively where the best bluebell wood is, the best beach, the best tearoom in a strange town, the nicest walk, the best view - when the wife wants a day out.
What else should be here?
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
One bathroom. The problem is explained to me, the water isn’t draining out of the bath. So out comes the tried and trusted solution – Caustic Soda – Two bag full and loads of boiling water later the bath still isn’t draining properly, in fact, as is demonstrated to me, when the sink is emptied, the water comes back up out of the bath drain – huh?
Obviously more drastic plumbing action is needed. So the side of the bath has to come off and the inner workings have to be viewed. While my sink plumbing may have been put in by someone named Heath Robinson, I understand that this plumber was called Shane Clint Rowdy Maverick Doc No Name Cassidy and apparently he had turned up for work on a Palomino chewing on a ceegar, whilst whistling Dixie having come from his homestead in Missoura.
Yes it was that obvious this was the work of a cowboy! Had no one ever taken it upon themselves to explain the inner workings of plumbing and perhaps just an inkling of how gravity works, perhaps a short example, like dropping a large brick onto the guys head! It was obvious to see why the bath wasn’t draining, it was because the drain pipe rather than being fitted so that the water would flow downwards (hence the gravity lesson) the drain pipe to this bath had a distinct upward slant away from the trap. This is what gave it away to me.
Plus the pool of water under the bath was also an indication that something else was wrong. A quick examination shows that this lonesome cowboy had fitted the plughole but without making it water tight by using putty or silicone or something that would stop the water from leaking out of the bath.
Closer examination bought about by the fact that when the water came up out of the drain it bought with it what seemed to be granules of sand and cement suggested the pipes were still blocked, ah, its obvious isn’t it, that’s why the Caustic soda didn’t work. This rhinestone cowpoke had let the tile cement fall into the bath and then just swilled it down the plughole and as there was no gravity to push the cement down the pipes, it has probably solidified on the upwards portion of the piping.
There gonna be a showdown in the old town soon, I’m going up against this mangy dawg on Saturday and see if I can solve the doggone problem.
Aw shucks, I’ll keep you posted Kimosabe! Hi Ho Silver awaaaaay! I'm off to Nottingahm for a few days to a conference I've organised - nothing to do with plumbing or DIY related however.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Anyway the also seem to have failed to test the tap for longevity. Unusually rather than the tap mechanism failing what happened here was that a split actually appeared on the ‘neck’ of the tap and water started spurting out of it, so that every time we turned on the tap we had a little replica of the Mannequin Piss! And as Murphy’s Law dictates whenever we had the hot water on the spurt cascaded across the hot water tap, so if one forgot to add cold water then scalding water would leave red marks on the back of your hands.
So it was on to ebay to find a replacement kitchen tap, this was easy enough as there are loads of them at reasonable prices, we got quite a modern one to match our modern, stylish lives. The next job was to fit it.
Of course by now you know me, I laugh in the face of the tradesmen and women in this country, you will remember that you are reading the words of a man who single handedly repaired his washing machine, plumbed in the dishwasher and rebuilt the bedroom window, replacing a tap would of course be a matter of a moments work to a man such as I.
That was until I looked into the cupboard under the sink!
I now firmly believe that the plumber who did the plumbing in our kitchen was called Heath Robinson, the maze of pipes under there was remarkable, fortunately not a soldered joint could be seen, at least this genius used Yorkshire fittings.
Anyway still undaunted I set too. Now I don’t know about you, but when I do this type of work, I like to be sort of close to what I am doing, by that I mean I find it very uncomfortable to have to do all the work at arms length. Despite the fact that having to do the work at arms length is like some torture devised at Guantanamo Bay where they are hoping to turn the former Jihads into socially useful plumbers, if the ever let them out.
The other problem with working at arms length is that everything is outside my vision, the focal length of my glasses places everything at about that distance fuzzy, I mean they are good enough to drive, I can see the TV, read books, and so on, but doing something under the sink at arms length seems to render me semi blind, so I even try taking my glasses off, but still no dice, maybe one of the consultant opticians reading this blog can come up with some sort of rational explanation!
So I eventually go the old taps off, with few problems, I still had all my fingers and marbles. All I had to do now was reverse the process and get the new tap on. Which I did, got it all connected up, but of course there was a minor problem which meant dismantling it all again and going up to B&Q to get some more olives, no I wasn’t peckish for a salty Mediterranean snack, I mean the brass olives that one uses with the Yorkshire fittings.
But of course I did it, no doubt saving myself a huge fortune in plumbing bills and increasing my credibility with my wife. The tap looks great and works like a dream pouring out hot or cold water at the flick of the stainless steel handle.
Of course it looks the sink still looks like shit and I should have bought a nice stainless steel one while I was at it, but then the cabinets would have looked worse than they are and of course our boiler is old and need replacing, but not where it is, so it has to be moved on to the wall where some cabinets are, and then we would need to strip off the horrible artex (who was the imbecile who invented that and how does one get it off the wall, without actually demolishing the wall – and why o why do people actually think that Artex looks nice?)
O I also fitted on of those pot racks that hang from the ceiling to hang our saucepans from so that our kitchen can look like a professional kitchen where the likes of Jamie and Hugh would cook. _ I’ve only banged my head on the pots three times – I suppose I’ll get used to them – once the concussion has gone.
Next time, fitting laminate flooring in the bathroom, but the question is, should I buy a new bathroom first and get ride of the horrible avocado suite that’s in their now before I do the flooring?
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
This last week I have been on Holiday. Together with the Ukrainian Wife we went for a few days to sunny St. Ives in Cornwall. We walked around a lot in the rain and went into a lot of galleries where struggling artists were trying to sell paintings similar to the picture above. I took that for free on my digital camera. If I had wanted the same picture but in acrylic on board or canvas, it could have cost me about £300!
They look something like this:
After walking around a bit more and having a coffee, we went to the Tate Gallery in St Ives. It wasn't very good. Although there were some nice pictures by Turner
who had toured around the West Country making sketches, as one does. We looked at the graffiti outside of the Tate and that was much more interesting that some of the artwork inside the Tate.
The main display other than the Turner was by some women who painted things like this:
I'm sorry but I just don't get it.
We walked around some of the craft markets as well, but some of the things on offer there were, well, just a bit too dubious!
On another day we went to the Seal Sanctuary in Gweek. And looked at the seals, it rained that day too!
But all in all St Ives is a Beautiful Place
I recommend it.
Friday, March 17, 2006
It all started when I saw an ad in last wednesdays Daily Mirror. The ad draws you attention to what they call 'Dell's Lowest Priced Notebook' and it is priced at £299. Which to me looks like a bargain because I have been looking for a laptop for my wife, who just want to use word and excel, so we don't really need a top spec one.
This laptop, the Dell Inspiron 1300 is quoted as having
- Intel Celeron M processor 370
- Windows XP Home edition
- 256mb ram
- 40gb hard drive
- 24x CD/DVD drive
- 56K modem
- 1 year euro collect and return service
Sounded good to me, so I went to their website, think I might purchase one.
On the website www.dell.co.uk/offer you actually find that the Inspiron 1300 is quoted at £348 pounds, you click through the links to buy and suddenly the price is up to £424 and I havenh't done anything yet, just clicked through the links!
By changing some of the selections I now have it down to £407 .48p, thats a bit off the quoted £299
So I telephone their sales desk, and speak to a very nice man, probably in Bombay because I couldn't recognise his irish accent!
He goes all through the listing again and comes up with a price of £405
Now where is that £299 Laptop they are advertising?
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
So i have spent much of the time in Bed, except for the weekend when it was my daughter matilda's seventh birthday, and I as it was also my weekend to have here I couldn't be ill for her could I, so I put on a brave face and soldiered on. We did all sorts of things and went to see Chicken Little. I thought that this might give me the opportunity for 90 minutes of sleep in a darkened cinema, but I actually watched the film and it was OK (ish) and sort of relative to a situation I am embroiled in with my littlest sister - all that moralising about closure and talking it through and listening to each other touched a raw nerve!
But most spookily, yesterday I did actually attempt to come back to work, even though I still wasn't feeling my best and guess what happened...
Yes I had a POT NOODLE!
What you say 'A POT NOODLE? - yeeuuuurrrrgh!
I Know I know, the last time I had a pot noodle was about 20 years ago, but yesterday after a team breifing I walked out of my office into the local shop and bought myself a POT NOODLE for lunch.
I don't know why I did it, perhaps it was some sort of Benylin enduced hympnotic state I had entered into (especially after snoozing through nearly 2 hours of a team briefing).
Or perhaps my body was craving some of the stuff thats in this, I hesitate to call it food. Maybe the antioxidants and stuff they use will have some beneficial effect on my raddled body, ease the coughing maybe (I've been coughing like an elephant with a hair stuck up its trunk) or something, maybe the eminent doctors and scientiosts that read this blog will come up with an answer - my name on the patent please.
Anyway today, even though I am coughing my way towards my coffin I have to drive up to Bristol, I should be in bed, I think, but I have something to do that has been booked for a while and it would just be such a hassle to have to re book it.
Who says us men make a meal out of being sick, I think I am being a brave soldier an all.....
Lots of pink fluffies and sympathy in the comments box please!
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Today March the 8th is International Women’s Day. Apparently it is a day when women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.
And yet we hear very little of it in this country. For my Ukrainian wife, this is a big day, a day of celebration, in her country it is a holiday – why not here?
These are some of the issues raised by International Women’s Day
Some of the issues the U.N. and International Women's Day have focused on include the following:
• About 25,000 brides are burned to death each year in India because of insufficient dowries. The groom's family will set the bride on fire, presenting it as an accident or suicide. The groom is then free to remarry.
• In a number of countries, women who have been raped are sometimes killed by their own families to preserve the family's honor. Honor killings have been reported in Jordan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and other Persian Gulf countries.
• According to the World Health Organization, 85 million to 115 million girls and women have undergone some form of female genital mutilation. Today, this practice is carried out in 28 African countries, despite the fact that it is outlawed in a number of these nations.
• Rape as a weapon of war has been used in Chiapas, Mexico, Rwanda, Kuwait, Haiti, Colombia, Yugoslavia, and elsewhere.
So to all you women who read this have a happy Women’s Day solidarity, peace – and when you’ve got a minute I’d like a nice cup of tea please!
And by the way, us men have an International Men’s MONTH – who says size doesn’t matter!
Saturday, March 04, 2006
I’m feeling kinda tired
Yet only 20 years ago
I’d have been feeling kinda wired
Today it is my Birthday
Another year gone
I’m wondering about all those
Great things I shudda done
I shudda travelled round the world
And seen the Taj Mahal
Kissed all the lovely women
Not let my life just pall
I shudda climbed some mountains
And swim in the Japan Sea
Sing monkey songs with monkeys
Eat marmosets for tea
I shudda walked the China wall
And swum with dolphins free
I shudda leapt that canyon grand
On a fat boy Harley D
I shudda worshipped idols
On the road to Shangri La
Listened to the silent monks
Just one hand clapping – Nah!
I shudda spent some money
On diamond rings and pearls
I shudda spent some evenings
With durty durty girls
I shudda found some inner peace
I shudda found a route
I shudda got my arse in gear
For my tree of life to fruit
I shudda had the kumquats
The centre sweet and soft
Lived a magazine type lifestyle
In an airy New York Loft
Or I shudda been a poet
Eating canapés and brie
Like William Butler Bloody Yeats
On the isle of Innisfree
But today it is my birthday
And all that stuff is tosh
If I really take a look around
My life is just awash
My loving wife and family
My darling little girl
Make all these sad sad sad regrets
Unpick, deflate, unfurl
Who wants a New York Lifestyle?
And Marmosets for tea?
Who cares about the idols?
And the fat boy Harley D?
I’d rather have my family
Than all the china tea
Because after all that moaning
I’m pretty pleased with me
So hurrah today’s my birthday
Next one I’m fifty three
But maybe one day you’ll find me
On that Isle of Innisfree.
Friday, March 03, 2006
The Ricky Gervais Show, only on Audible
And you can get ba FREE ipod here
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
But now something hideous is growing on it or in it. Seems that what this is is called onychomycosis and one webapage tells me ‘Onychomycosis refers to the invasion of the nail plate by a fungus’. Arrgh I have a fungus. I’ve been invaded.
Now the closest I have been to a fungus recently is the quorn fillet I had for my dinner the other day oh and the quorn sausages I had recently. I really don’t want to think that what I have under my toenail is of the same genus as what I have on my dinner plate I mean UUURRRRGH!
Look even the quorn logo now looks a little like a big toe nail doesn’t it. I feel a little nauseous.
The doctor told me to get some canestan (Thrush) cream to put on my toenail but I have been treating it with tea tree oil which is antiseptic and anti fungal. But another webpage gives a lot of alternative cures. But first Ask Alice lists the main symptoms of toe nail fungus
thickening of the nail
brownish or yellowish discoloration of the nail
"toe jam" accumulating under the nail and along its edges (sometimes that toe jam can smell pretty rank)
brittle crumbling or breakage of the nail
I can go with thickening of the nail, the brownish discolorations – but Toe Jam? UUURRRRGH number 2. Why does everything have to refer back to food? What the F? is Toe Jam? Wait while I search Google…….
Well according to the Urban Dictionary one of the few places I could find a definition it is either:
An insulting reference to someone affiliated with the University of Southern California (also known as the "University of Second Choice" or the "University of Spoiled Children." The mascot of the University is one Thomas the Trojan, also known as Tommy Trojan. Thomas is often prophylactically sheathed in plastic in order to protect him from his admirers at that fine cross-town academic institution, the University of California at Los Angeles.
(a cultural reference which of course being a Brit I don’t get – Americans please clarify)
the tiny treats that accumulate between the toes of attractive female feet
"I enjoy eating the tasty toe jam I find between DragonLily's toes at the end of the day."
That grey-brown shit that accumulates between your toes. Primarily composed of dead skin cells, sock fluff and sweat.
(But I never get that….)
So having searched the whole of the internet I cannot find any thing that vaguely satisfies any definition of what toe jam is and how to recognise it apart from Alice telling us that it smells pretty rank and some people like to suck it off their girlfriends toes. Call me kinky but I prefer my fungus disguised as a healthy vegetarian sausage next to a pile of mashed potatoes!
So what are the remedies?
Vinegar, Vicks Vapour Rub and Tree Tea Oil seems plausible; Potassium Iodide (KI), diluted bleach and piss seem slightly less plausible. To me that is, some people might find it perfectly plausible to use Potassium Iodide which is more commonly known as a tablet that you take, immediately after being exposed to nuclear radiation.
Further has whoever recommended using piss thought this out? I put it to you that while it is relatively simple for us guys to point and shoot, with some degree of accuracy, the girls would have one whale of a job hoping around trying to hit to offending toe!
And here is a recommendation from the wacky side of the farm:
Here is a remedy you can add to your list. I read this on the internet probably 5 years ago. I can't find it now. The web site said to take a magnifying glass and concentrate the sun on the bad nail for 30 seconds a day. He said he didn't know if it was the heat or the ultraviolet light that killed the fungus. I don't remember how many days you were supposed to do this. I thought it was interesting.
I am currently using the Vicks on two bad fingernails. My husband's aunt swears up and down it worked for her on fingernail so we shall see.
So I have to live with the realisation that there is something resembling a Lemon and Black Pepper quorn escallop living under my toenail.
toe jam quorn
Salad for tea tonight!
No Prize for guessing which song does the line I have used in the title of the blog comes from.
Well maybe a little pot of Toe Jam perchance?
Friday, February 24, 2006
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Mind you I wasn’t a big drinker anyway. If we had it in the house I would have a drink most evenings but I never go out to bars etc. just for a drink, to bloomin expensive to start with.
Yes I have been good this last month. I started off reading the Gillian Mckeith book ‘You Are What You Eat’ because even as a vegetarian of about 30 yrs one can still get into bad food habits and eat junk – and I had got that. Plus after Christmas I started to feel really down and I had noticed that my weight had really crept up.
So I started the detox diet she suggests, not majorley sticking to what she wrote but my own sort of version of it. Warm lemon water first think in the morning, lots of green stuff, fruits and vegetables and stuff like nettle or dandelion tea, which I quite enjoy now!
Luckily I also found a juicer and a blender at a carboot sale and have started juicing; now that does make you feel good. So its juice, smoothies and salads for me! This guys book is really good: Jason Vale, The Juice Master’s Ultimate Fast Food.
Search Gillian McKeith and Jason Vale here!
Plus we joined a gym. I’ve been going for about two weeks now and things are fine.
I think these are the things that make you feel good, not just giving up alcohol, but the combination of eating well, drinking juice and exercise, but I still wake up at about 5a.m! I hope that this will solve itself as I get fitter!
Anyway it seems to work as I have lost about a stone in weight (about 7 kilos) a new slimmer fitter me beckons!
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
We arrive at 9:15 as planned and are shown to our table where we sit. And we sit and sit. After about half an hour of sitting, we have run out of romantic chit chat and am fed up of yelling over the blare of the saxophone and the three piece band that seems to have been fitted into a small box . We are now both fidgeting on our chairs. A waiters comes by, I catch his eye. ‘Has someone taken your order sir? He asks. ‘No’ I reply. He takes our order, I remind him that I am a vegetarian and that I had informed the restaurant of this salient fact when I booked, it was ‘no problem’.
We wait for the appetiser. I have eaten all the bread, the rose looks appetising, but on inspection it is a false rose (cheapskates!) About 10 minutes later the waiter turns up with a plate of Oysters which he places in front of my wife, we wait for my appetiser. After another 10 minutes, I get up and go looking for the waiter. He tells me that ‘there isn’t a vegetarian appetiser’. I sit and watch my wife eat her Oysters.
10 minutes later he’s back saying very sorry but there is after all a vegetarian appetiser, although he hasn’t got it with him, he goes away, I wait, my wife eats her oysters (3). I wait and wait, we play with the foil hearts strewn across the table trying not to think of Kenny G whose music at this moment is quite appealing.
After another 10 minutes I get up in search of the waiter and find him on his way with lentil soup. I start to complain, but he insists that its not his problem and they are really busy, do I want to speak to the manageress? I say yes.
I sip my soup, the lentils are chewy, uncooked. This is clearly a soup that has a hint of desperation about it. The bread thing floating in it, tastes bad. I remove it from the soup. Well I call it soup but it was basically brown water, enlivened with chilli and ginger at the bottom of which were a couple of teaspoons of uncooked lentils. I can make better lentil soup and I know you cannot cook a lentil soup from scratch in about 20 minutes unless its out of a tin – which at that moment I would have preferred. – I left it.
The waiter came back, ‘is every thing OK sir?’ ‘No, the soup is uncooked’ I said. He whipped it away from under my nose and stalked off. The manageress had still not appeared to listen to my complaint.
The saxophonist blared away in the background.
The manageress turned up bearing our next course, all chatty and smiles, she didn’t ask what was the problem and my wife had asked me not to cause a scene. So I left it and ate my gnocchi.
We ate and drank a little, we yelled sweet nothings at each other. They bought a flaming sambucca to finish the meal. It was now nearly midnight.
I went to pay. There was a obnoxious drunken guy arguing with the manageress about something to do with their evening, and she was attempting to totally ignore him while serving me. I was edging away from the desk as it seemed likely that the fracas in front of me was going to escalate as his tone and language also escalated.
She couldn’t seem to find our ticket, so she just wrote out a total on a bill sheet. £130!
I said What?
She said £130.
I said ‘No way, you told me £35 a head when I telephoned and booked, plus you have already had a £40 deposit off me’.
‘Well you have had a 5 course meal’ she said, Its £65 a head.
‘And the service was crap’ I parried ‘I sat there for the best part of 40 minutes without being served and when I was served the food was uncooked’! Plus you told me it was £35 a head, if you had said £65 a head on the phone I would not have booked it.
‘You don’t want to pay then’ she said
‘Well’ I said, ‘I’ll pay the £35 a head’
‘You’re not going to pay then’ she said
‘OK, I’m not going to pay’ I said.
She turned away and ignored me
So we left.
That was our romantic night out!
I cancelled my bank card this morning because she has the number from when I gave it to her over the phone and no way is she getting that money.
This always happens to me in restaurants, I always seem to get bad service, poor food or the waiters forget we’re there. Or is it that I’m one of the few who will complain about bad service in this country.
And its not any excuse to say ‘we’re really busy’ – its Valentines Night for Christ sakes, you knew you were going to be busy!
The food of love hey!
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Name a Star
Gifts For Him
Gifts For Her
Day at a Health Spa
Hope you Like it.
I’m thinking of my Valentine
It’s that time of year
I’m thinking of my Valentine
I’m thinking of a spear
Or should it be a teddy
The type that she could wear
Or would she be more comfortable
With a fluffy teddy bear
Or a floppy dog with ears
And a great big wet wet nose
A great big box o chocolates
Or a luverly red red rose
I’m thinking of my Valentine
I think she’s thinking ice
Great big stonking diamonds
I’m thinking of the price
I’m thinking of my Valentine
I’m thinking of the food
At the expensive restaurant
I hope it’s not to rude
To point out to my Valentine
The prices al la carte
That lobsters, crabs and oysters
And Frenchy Apple Tarte
Will spoil our little Valentines
When we get the bill
I don’t want my darling Valentine
To see me being ill
So just thinking of my Valentine
I vote that we stay in
It just a cynical marketing ploy
And I’ve just forgot my PIN
So I’m thinking of my Valentine
I’m such a caring man
I’m thinking of my Valentine
Isn’t that a plan?
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
4 places I have lived:
Vanderbijpark, South Africa
Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands
4 jobs I have had:
4 favourite movies
Some Like It Hot
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (do DVD’s count?)
O brother where art thou
4 favourite TV shows
Flog It (for ebay research purposes)
Pay your mortgage off in two year (for obvious reasons)
Life on Mars
4 favourite CD’s
Ziggy stardust and the spiders from mars – D. Bowie
Burn the Black Coat – Juliet Turner
Dustbowl Symphony – Nancy Griffiths
Songs of Leonard Cohen – L. Cohen
4 places I have been on holiday
Crimea – Ukraine
Washington DC – USA
Marrakech – Morocco
St Ives - Cornwall
4 things I love to do
4. Favourite Books
Gulag – Ann Applebaum
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert Pirsig
On The Road - Jack Kerouac
4 websites I visit daily
jonny b’s secret diary
Travel to Ukraine
The great blog story
4 bloggers to tag! Gemmak, Vit Beer Girl
Monday, January 30, 2006
What has happened since we bought the place we live in (its a masionnette i.e. we have someone living in a flat above us) is that the guy upstairs has decided to sub-let his flat. Now first off this is in flagrant disregard of the terms of the lease as the property is leasehold. But we can put that to one side for a bit.
Because he decided to sublet, he and the two girls he is subletting to (his girlfriends daughter and friend, both students) have been renovating the flat since about september.
Let me first say that while we were away this summer he had a leak in his flat which has damaged a ceiling in one of our rooms, which he has promised to fix and its still not done, I keep being told that the builder, who is helping with the renovation will 'do it soon'
So since the summer we have put up with regular bangings, sawing, drilling and hammering going on upstairs. We have complained when its gone on too long, like twelve midnight and they promised not to work after nine o cloclk in the evening as some mornings we have to be up at 6. But neverthe less they have broken the rule occassionaly.
Now the work is nearly finished, our cealing is not fixed, but they have started to move in . So the other night they were banging and drilling till 11,but we let it go as we were up. Then the next early evening they had music on so loud we couldn't hear the TV without putting the volume up, so I went and complained and the music went off.
I do keep reminding them that there is no sound proofing in this building and we can hear everything
Then saturday night hoovering at 11 o clock
And Sunday morning at 7 o clock the Ohhs and ahhs of sex going on, the grunting arrghs uuurrrgggs of orgasms
Now I'm not a prude but do I really want that and also my 6 year old daughter was visiting and usually awake at that tiime.
So the dilemma is, the next time they make a noise and I go up to complain do I tell them that I can even hear them fucking to see if I can embarass them into silence, or simply tape it and sell the tapes to porno movie manufacturers - who can contact me via this blog!
Saturday, January 21, 2006
So in the Renault megane, one doesn't have a hand brake, sited perfectly usefully between the driver and passenger seats, no they have a flippy flappy thing on the dash board on the right hand side of the steering wheel. So when ever one is braking at traffic lights or stopping on a hill, one finds one's left hand flapping around in the empty space where the hand brake should be while at the same time the vehicle stards drifting slowly backwards as you start to panic slam the foot brake on and then remember the flippy flappy bit on the dashboard.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
But I thought I would tell you about my pet hates as I have been driving around this past week or so.
Pet hate Number 1. Coldplay have excelled themselves and have now become the new Phil Collins. Whenever you turn on the radio and on whatever channel you happen to choose Coldplay are playing their dreary, lite weight, whimsical, o so laid back and cool toons - how does one describe the noise they make, twanging guitars and what sort of vocal presentation is that? Like Phil Collins they are becoming a national irritant and we need some sort of super cortizone cream to rub them away.
Pet Hate Number 2. In some sort of bizzare upgrade I found myself the recipient of a Nissan Patrol 4x4 rental car the other day instead of the normally staid but zippy Ford Focus I usually have. This was fun, it had lots of buttons to press and levers that I didn't dare touch in case the engine fell out or something but were probably to do with driving over mountains in outer mongolia. The bestest thing was the sat nav, I've never played with one of those and it was great, it could tell me where I was on the planet to within about 2 meters and keep me entertained telling me to go straight on , or as she put it, 'keep to the left', but my pet hate about this car (well not so much car as 've-hic-le' ) which would probably cost about £30.000 plus was that outside of any built up area (just the types of places one should see a 4x4) the bloomin radio didn't work, it just hissed white noise at me, it wouldn't even find one channel to keep me entertained. I would even have been pleased if it could have only played Coldplay all day, but no Nissan have put the cheapest meanest radio in their super ve-hic-le, boo, cheapskates!
Pet hate number 3. Is having rude driving companions. Yesterday I took out to one of the places I go to a colleague, she was interested in the results of what I do, so she came along. Now I don't mind that and usually we chat away the journey as one does. Not this minx, oh no she was more interested in her mobile phone than having anything at all to say to me. Click click click beep. One minute later beep beep beep, click click click - click click click click beep. You know what I'm saying. And all the time, dickhead me keeping the radio sort of lowish, attempting to make conversation, but you know it is inpossible with someone who is so technologically rude that their phone, txting life, is more important that the human being sat next to them. Begone satan!
Pet hate Number 4. Petty managers at work who have banned the wearing of denim in the office - how 1970's is that? Not that I do wear it to work, my jeans are too scummy, so it don't affect me and to my knowledge none of the others wear to work the fashionable stuff, all cuts and rips and tears, most when they did wear denim to work wore normal blue denim jeans. (and in my office it is predominantly women and most of the guys wear 'work trousers' if you know what I mean) So here we are in the 21st century and denim still has a bad reputation, mad huh?
Gotta go much more driving to be done this week, hopefully on my own and I can't say without hearing coldplay, because of course when I switched on my car radio this morning there they were lurking like stalkers out to get me!
Have a nice day.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
But this is not an appeal that concerns you the ordinary reader, lurker or blogger, this appeal is made to my celebrity bloggers, nay not even to the celebrities who can all turn away in a huff at being ignored, no this blog goes out to my multi-millionaire readers.
Yes that’s you the King of Brunei, Howard Hughes, Duke of Westminster, Bill Gates, Roman Abramovitch, The Count of Monte Cristo, King Midas, George W Bush and all you rich people out there – pay attention.
I was born and raised down in Weston-Super-Mare
In a house way back near the woods
I was so ragged folks used to call me Patches
Papa used to tease me but he was hurt cus he done all he could
My papa was a great old man
I can see him with a splinter in his hand
See, gloves he never had
But he did wonders when the times got bad
The little money from the maggots he raised
Barely paid the bills we made
Oh life had kicked him down to the ground
When he tried to get up life would kick him back down
One day papa called me to his dyin bed
Put his hands on my shoulders
And in tears he saidPatches,
I'm depending on you son
To pull the family through
My son, it's all left up to you
An I’m tryin Daddy I’m tryin
Folks all we need to make things good, to give my family that happy home, where we’ll never be sad again, why even little Yaroslav may smile again, is really a small amount of money.
What you give can bring a little sunshine into one family’s life, it will make a husband stand tall again as he looks out across the Ocean with a sunset in the background, it will make his wife feel like a woman once again, a mother, a shoulder that all too many times has been cried upon.
Yes we’re asking you rich folks to donate probably less than 1% of one hour’s income to support this hard up family here in the UK.
This is the year of giving.
This is what your donation will mean to this family.
$10 buy this family some bread
$100 will make sure they have a floor in their bathroom
$500 will allow a daughter to see her mum
£1000 new clothes
$80,000 will give this family a home in the Crimea
$100,000 will remove the strain of years of hardship
$1,000,000 will give you so much publicity that it will make you a household name and people will think of you like a saint.
Thank you for listening
Here’s the paypal link for your kind donation.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
The question exercising us today is: Are Fluffy Kittens cute?
If we look at some of the available evidence we will find that enormous amounts of the internet are given up to the worship of fluffy kittens. Some bloggers are incessant in their praise of fluffy kittens, blogging millions of words, wasting valuable internet resources and bandwidth which could be utilised searching for aliens or at least Osama Bin Laden, (See Gemmak) saving the world rather than ooohing and arrrhing over fluffy kittens.
These people seem to overlook a number of important pointers which indite these so called fluffy kittens, i.e the fact that while they beguile one with their fluffiness and wide eyes and tippy toe steps around the kitchen they are simply looking for somewhere new to have a crap and a piss, normally the new duvet cover, your brand new slippers or a handy beret.
The clincher to this thesis is the antithesis that Kittens are not in fact fluffy and cute. The simple way to prove this is to shave one.
Here’s one I prepared earlier.
This proves that Kittens per se are not Fluffy and Cute, the fluffy and cuteness is inherent in their fur and not as a crucial part of the kitten in itself, that is why of course women want to wear cat fur because it then imbibes them with certain aspects of cute and fluffiness, which is something all women seem to aspire to and if they can’t make it themselves by naturally looking nice, they utilise fluffy kitten or cat or other cute and fluffy animal fur to disguise their natural unfluffy kitten like characteristics (not I note peeing and pooing on the duvet covers but other aspects like hissing fits, sharp claws and so on)
Here’s an example:
To be honest we’d all prefer to see this woman without the fur coat wouldn’t we and I’m not talking about the politics!
I think that you’ll all agree that I have fairly answered the question Are Fluffy Kittens Cute?
Sunday, January 01, 2006
1. I will not attempt to overthrow the legally elected government of the United States of America – not this year anyway
2. I do not intend to get any of my bits pierced ( accidental piercing don’t count)
3. I will remain continent
4. I will not lower myself and respond to the constant sexual harassment I suffer by watching all those RnB babes shaking their booties on MTV, Beyonce in particular is lucky I don’t sue
5. Once again this year and since being able to read, I will not believe in aliens, or that human beings were ‘seeded’ onto this earth by aliens and the evidence is in the bible, this is an emergency resolution bought on by a particularly boring New Years eve guest last night, who I believe in a strange twist of fate will never be coming again, if I have my way – perhaps an alien abduction!
6. I will not persecute and harass forever the three young local boys whom I just caught tiptoeing up our front path casting avaricious glances at my mountain bike.
7. Once I have won the lottery I will pay someone to blog for me – that’s how shallow I am
Happy New Year and Snovom Godom to all my Russian/Ukrainian readers!