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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Great new Christmas gift

JB pointed me in the direction of this bit of mirth. With the influx of travellers in most areas of the country it's understandable that the youngsters will want a toy that reflects everyday life of their idylic countryside.
What could be better than this replica of a 1973 Transit van and realistic caravan complete with smoking exhaust feature and miniture 'tax in the post' sticker. My little Pikey will provide hours of fun for children of all ages and will be avaialble in all shops near vacant plots of land soon.

Monday, November 29, 2004

The end is nigh - (no,not you Tony)

Unfortunately the contract I currently earn a living from comes to an end in January, and from then on will be a penniless pauper with a wife and Child to support. If anyone locally has a position for an enthusiastic 47 year old with 20 years experience Company and Business management sales and marketing,IT management in AV, Graphic and Web design, qualfied as a Petrochem engineer (instrumentation- albeit 26 years ago)Main areas of experience: Mail order retail marketing, ICT Exhibition and conference production and latest securtiy technologies specifically Biometrics.
On the down side: crap golfer, wobbly legs.

All enquiries welcome, any position considered, please reply via 'email me' link on the right.

Boys with the Black Stuff

Picture left is El Presidente Manuel Young, the leader of the 3 man ruling military junta of The People's Republic of Eddington who I accompanied to Twickenham on Saturday to see England suffer at the hands of the Aussies. A very big thank you to JB for his hospitality and jovial company.
As you can see we got there early to avoid the queue for the Guiness Bar, You can just see our half time order lined up at the back.Although a cold but dry day the Guinness was serveved at what felt like sub freezing temperature contained in plastic pint cups which meant holding on to them became uncomfortable, the only solution was to drink as fast as you could. The only drawback to this was the combination of the cold inside and outside and the liquid volume resulted in several trips to the loo - along with 70,000 others at half time.

Shame about the score though, The Aussies didn't beat us, we managed it all on our own. Fly-half Charlie Hodgson missed two straight forward first-half penalties that England so desperately needed, given we were 12-0 adrift, while scrum-half Andy Gomarsall's missed conversion of Moody's last minute try was, frankly, laughable and to the amusemnet of the gobby aussie behind me who'd spent the whole match shouting that we were playing like a bunch of poof's and tauntingly at every missed kick shouted 'where's your Jonny now?' - unfortunately I had to agree with him.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Tamla Maz

Congrats to Maz on his 50th on Friday the party was great, even Maz's rendering of 'My Way. The music took me back, I can't say that I was a great fan of Northern soul but in 1975 it was all that was played at the Top rank in Reading and Safari Park discos in Windsor so you had to learn to dance that way. Standing in the middle of the dance floor shaking your head to Status Quo was not a way of attracting the girls.
There were a number of guests who were exponents of the Northern Soul era and after watching them dance the memories came flooding back, I was especially impressed by Kettle, who's dancing to Billy Ocean was something special. Well done to Linsey and the gang for putting such a good show!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Paper rounds

It struck me last weekend as I sat down to read the Sunday papers just how much print is actually produced for this one day of the week - and how much of it is of any interest to anyone.
My particular Sunday rag includes a main section of around 90 tabloid pages, a separate Sport paper, financial paper, business paper two magazines one dedicated to the forthcoming weeks TV and Radio programmmes (although already having published a similar magazine in its Saturday edition).In addition to this there is an abundance of junkmail inserts inviting me to borrow huge sums of money and a free CD (just in case I missed the same one last week) of tracks that have been doing the rounds for years and are played on Radio 2 every afternoon.
Now I don't have too big a problem with all this as I can choose to read as much or as little as I want too. If I wanted to read all this material It would take me a week! Its only when one collects a weeks daily papers together to put out for collection that one realises just how much paper and weight is involved.
Now this took me back to 1970 when, as a 13 year old, I had a paper round. Living in the country this obviously required the use of a bicycle and at the time I had a state of the art Raleigh Chopper with a chrome luggage rack fitted over the front wheel. I mention this because on all other bikes the rack was designed to go over the rear wheel.
Now for those who used to have paper rounds you will no doubt be familiar with the canvass bag designed to be hung from the shoulder of a walker. On a normal week day I had around 40 houses to deliver to and in those days a single daily paper was pretty slim. However on Sundays this volume doubled, usually because each household ordered two or three different papers. Now the weight of these papers, place on the rack over my front wheel,with the bag strap wrapped around my 'ape hanger' handlebars played havoc with my balance and steering and most days I ended up on the tarmac with the contents of my bag spread across the road, not funny if it was raining heavily, there was often the temptation to dump the lot in a ditch and bugger off home - except that my Dad owned the newsagents I delivered for and we lived above the shop!
The point I want to make is - How the hell do paper boys/girls manage today with probable 3 times the weight of papers 35 years ago?

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

What hope for the future?

I read an article recently concerning author George Courtauld who has recently published a book titled The Pocket Book of Patriotism which his basically a hand book of all things British from the words of 'Land of Hope and Glory' to a list of the @Pink' countries at the height of the British Empire.
This book was inspired during a train journey when George overheard a fellow passenger took pity on a young boy with his arm in a sling and offered up her seat to 'Little Lord Nelson'.
The boy gratefully accepted the offer but looked utterly baffled: 'you know?'said the woman 'Admiral Nelson? England expects?' The boy replied 'Oh yeah, the guy in Star trek'
This got me thinking as I too have heard examples of 10 -14 year olds completely ignorant of not only historical figures but history in general unless it can be assimilated to a TV programme or computer game. Just ask the average 13 year old who was Socrates or Plato, name a books of James Joyce or Dickens or recite any lines from any Shakespeare play and I think you will receive a blank look.
The problem lies with the current state education system which has become so multicultural that there is little whish or time to dwell on patriotic events, dates or people, the words of great Hymns or Anthems.
However what will happen in two generations time? Only pupils receiving a private classical education or students who go onto study classics at university will know of these great deeds and these will be a minority so small that our National heritage will reside in libraries. This has already started happening with Hollywood adaptations of World War 11 events where history has been altered to suit American film goers - the Battle of Britain, D-Day, obtaining the Enigma decoder all films where Britain has been airbrushed out and our future generations will believe this. It is up to us to educate our children, God help any child who has been deprived of the joys of Vivaldi, Holst or Elgar, the words of Shelly or Keates and the paintings of Turner or Constable?
Take your child to a Museum, Art Gallery or an opera Now!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Red Ramblers

I've made my opinions concerning Ramblers and the right to roam issue known in previous postings, however I recently came across an article in a 1930's newspaper, whilst reaserching, which I have since traced to a website entitled Peak District, 24 April 1932 which is an extract from The Socialist Review of 1999.
Apart from being unaware that the Right to Roam issue had been persued for so long, I was ignorant of the fact that the Ramblers Association was born out of The Communist Party - Now this expalins everything!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Nice one England

Great win against South Africa, but unfotunately I was unable to watch it as we do not have Sky TV. For some reason England has done a deal with Sky for the Tri-nations tournament, whilst every other match is televised by the BBC. Boo, Hiss better not try that one out for the six Nations next year!


We went to see Jethro on Saturday night and my ribs still hurt from laughing 2 days later. However there where a couple of topics that he touched on that brought unanimous approval from the audience. The first was about Norfolk farmer Tony Martin who was jailed for shooting an intruder, Jethro's comment was that the only thing he did wrong was miss the second bugger, this brought applause and shouts of approval from the audience.
The second was whilst telling a joke about Germans, he explained how much he hated the Germans and that there was only on thing worse than the Germans - The French - at which the audience, made up equally male/female of various creed, race and colour spontaneously applaud, whistled and shouted agreement, especially when Jethro went on to explain that more French were injured in the last world cup than World war 11.
In this year
Ironic really that only last week Tony Blair was in Paris to celebrate 100 years of 'entente cordial'. I wonder if he should have taken a straw poll from the audience of one of Jethro's performances before he went, had he done so I think he would realise that entente cordial is a figment of the French's imagination.
Remember Agincourt!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Farewell Boris

Further to my post a while back, I feel any possibility of Boris becoming leader of the Tory party is about as remote as Prince Charles Marrying Jordan.
Why can’t we allow our politicians to be normal human beings? Poor old Boris has been caught having an affair. So what – does that affect his ability to do his job, of course not. Front line politics will now be like a village that’s lost its idiot.
No Michael Howard informs us that he has removed Boris from his Shadow Ministerial position not for having an affair but because he lied about it. Well of course he bloody lied about it. Does anyone know anyone that has had an affair that didn’t involve a few porky pies? lust ask Clinton, he got over it and I'm sure it's not the last we've heard of Boris
That’s what people do. But maybe Mr Howard had heard the rumblings a few weeks ago that , just possibly, Boris could be a contender for his job and has removed that threat.

I don’t see why he was put in the position where he lied in the first place. When are we going to take our press to task over what is a public matter and what is a private matter. The fact that Boris has been playing away is none of our business and none of the press’s business either. He should never have been asked in the first place and because they did, he has lost his job and probably the press have broken his marriage, which may well of survived. Just because the bloke had an affair doesn’t mean he was going to leave his wife and now his children are being put through turmoil all because our press are nosey interfering bastards.

It is not in the public interest that we all know he had Petronella, which incidently sounds like a nasty dose of something.

Cornish Visit

We have just spent a few days down in Cornwall combining the need for a break with a bit more family history research. My great,great,great,great Grandparents were born in Penzance in 1750 so I wanted to find his parents in the parish records which are held in the county records office in Truro. This was to be our first port of call and after a 4 hour drive pulled up outside the office only to be told that they were closed for refurbishment. On we went to Penzance to check in a hotel which I had booked over the internet, choosing a particular hotel for its AA star rating, restaurant and bar only to find that it was an absolute dump who's Bar and restaurant were closed for the season - along with the rest of Penzance which is also a dump.
However we did find an excellent bistro called BLUE SNAPPA which is well worth a visit should you be in the area.
We spent some time looking for clues in Madron cemetry, but found nothing- except a lot of headstones! then went on to Lands End. What a mess they've made of that. We last went there 25 years ago when there was just the little house at the end. Unfortunately Peter de Savary got his hands on it a few years back and has built a 100 room hotel and theme park there which is absolute crap and a lesson in how to ruin 100 acres or open natural coastline.
On the upside, we visited the EDEN PROJECT which is a must for everyone to visit at some stage and I can not recommend it enough. There is an excellent hotel nearby THE VICTORIA INN is great value, good food and wine and only 15 mins from the Eden Project.(unlike the Tarbet Hotel in Penzance.)
So after a 750 mile round trip. points out of 10 - the family research = 0, Penzance = 1, Lands End = -5, The Eden Project = 9, Cornwall in general with all its tacky tourist venues (The Poldark Trail, Flambards and The Cornish Gold experience)= 2.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Great Start

Wales had a great start to the tri-nations cup on Saturday. Unfortunatley a loss to South Africa, but considering the poor refereeing I consider two penalites unfair and therefore a technical win. Anyway the new young Wales team gave the springboks a hard time and on this evidence I reckon Wales for next year's Six Nations and certainly worth a £10 bet now and that's before the new England team make their debut v Canada next weekend, still minus Jonny Wilkinson.
Thank you to Deanwood Golf club who have now invested in a superfast electric buggy which I was able to use for the first time yesterday in the medal match. I didn't improve my golf but at least I was bale to get around without having to be dragged/carried over the last 4 holes. A special thanks to Martin who presented me with a set of furry dice to stick on the buggy windscreen, however I have put in a complaint to the club management that it appears that someone has nicked the CD player and Navsat!

Friday, November 05, 2004

This has got to be the weirdest spam email yet

I just received this email, and I know it's Friday and I've been to the pub but I couldn't get my head round it - Can you?

i is that Helen? Are you the producer of Channel 4's Home Makeover programme?"
"Hi, my name is Sue, I'm calling from ZZ PR, we have a new designer on our books that makes household furnishings. They're really nice, cushions, curtains, seats, kitchen appliances, really interesting designs. Would you be interested in featuring them on the new series you're making?"
"Can you send over some pictures so I can take a look?"
"Yes I'll email them over now."
Home Makeover
New series of home makeovers, shooting January 2005.
Contact Helen Moss,
phone no: Fax no: Address.
"Hi is that Helen Moss?",
"Hi. I'm calling from XX marketing, are you interested in featuring Egyptian cotton at all?
Cookey Nook
New series featuring the best of what's available in smaller specialist shops and online.
Contact Tim Hollingsworth

"Hi, is that Tim Hollingsworth?"
"I understand you're about to make a new TV series called Cookery Nook?"
"Yes, we're shooting next month."
"My name is Mike, I'm calling from The Frost Partnership. We're a a marketing company. We represent a few companies that might be of interest to you. We have a kitchen designer, a store that sells 200 different types of mushrooms, a new fruit juice that's being launched in 2005 and we've also just taken on a new account for a better health campaign. Would any of these things be of use to your programme?"

"I'd like some information on the mushroom store, maybe the kitchen designer but the better health campaign could be a feature. Can you send over some information? We have a production meeting at 2 so it would be good to go in with some new ideas."
"No, I can't."
"Why not?"
"I don't subscribe to Advance Production News, so I don't know about you or your programme."
"Missed opportunity then?"
"Yes, we're a bit too nervous to take TV head on."
"But it's simple. Ok, well... ok. Shame The Mushroom store sounded ideal for us."
"Could you just give me the number of the mushroom…"
"Sorry I'd love to, they'd be over the moon at being featured on TV too, would expand their market penetration bigtime. There is another PR company that's doing quite well in the same street as us, they know about every programme coming up, want their number?"
"It's 020-8305 6905, call up and ask for a sample pack of Advance Production News, the PR and Marketing guide to television and film about to be made. Each brimming over with production staff open to ideas and looking for products to feature. Or, you could email with your postal address and someone in the office will send you a sample magazine to have a look at. See what programmes might be of use to you."
Here's a few now...

The Only Gays In The Village
New series inspired by the Little Britain sketch in which four gay celebrities move to a village that has no gay people at all.

Clothing, home décor, cars, music, novels, t shirts, jeans, food - companies at the ready.
Contact... 6 x 60 mins.

Bed And Bardsleys
New series in which Wifeswap couple Lizzy and Mark Bardsley run a bed and breakfast in Blackpool. Anything you fancy putting in their hands or hotel?
Contact….. 4 x 60 mins.
Landmark series exploring and celebrating the coastline of the British Isles.
Cars, restaurants, towns, events, clothing, even petrol stations… please contact...
12 x 60 mins.

Extreme Health Farm
New series in which celebrities go through some extreme health treatments from all over the world to see if they work. Clothing, cars, shoes, jewellery, make-up, purfume, food, bathroom ranges, bathrobes, any products interested in being featured, contact...5 x 60 mins.

Full On Food
New cookery magazine programme following food from the field to our dinner plates.
Interesting products or ideas? Contact...

Mr Harvey Lights A Candle
Drama about school master Mr. Harvey as he takes a group of children on a visit to Salisbury Cathedral. Kids clothing, products, shoes, coats, phones…1 x 90 mins.

The Afternoon Show
New flagship daytime series for the Irish channel presented by Big Brother runner-up Anna Nolan. Guests, products, events, charities etc should contact...

If your clients are interested in being featured on television, Advance Production Magazine is your key to the door. Used for over five years by PR and Marketing departments, it lists programmes on all channels and supplies you with contact name, phone no, fax no, address, programme information and shoot dates. So if you have a product you'd like to get on televiosn, call the production team up and tell them about it. The companies that subscribe to APN, have resubscribed year after year.

With hours and hours of programming to fill, your product is probably just a phone call away from it''s television debut. So whoever deals with television in your office, order them a sample pack. It's free.

For a free sample pack, call alan on 020-8305 6905 or return this email with your postal address requesting one.

Alan Williams
Crimson Communications
211a Station House
49 Greenwich High Road
SE10 8AT
020-8305 6905

I'm Back

Well after a blogging absense for some time, I am now a little more free to be able to add more mundane rabble.
The Event at UMIST went off well this week after a couple of months preparing for it, however we lost our planning application on Wednesday night at the district council planning meeting, being stitched up by the bastards who beleive they can control issues which have nothing to do with them and frighteningly these people are going to be planning a future for the town. Time to leave I think! For those who wondered what this was all about I had another blog site PADDOCK PLANS which I couldn't make public until after the hearing, so go there to see what it was all about.

On the up side, my golf club have now provided me with a buggy so this weekend I can take part in the club medal match for the first time this year.
More later