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Friday, April 30, 2004

Here They Come

Tomorrow 10 further countries join the EEC. Former Eastern Bloc and Slavic countries will remove their borders to allow free passage amongst them. But where will a potential 10 million people be heading - yeah right, the UK. TV news interviews with various citizens from these countries revealed that they would be heading straight for Britain for easier and more benefits and our superior health service.
Well they obviously don't read the papers and are totally unaware of the state of the NHS. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the NHS and think they provide the best service possible. But only possible under the severe financial restrictions and staff shortages. A shortage of beds and nursing staff mean long waiting lists for minor operations. So just what is going to be so much more available to our new Economic Community members, surely this will mean the waiting lists will get longer and the pressure on our resources will be stretched beyond it's limits.
Now if these visitors would like to pay for their treatment, like in the USA...........................................

Its your duty

We all know that it is a sin for a Taliban or Al Qaeda male to see any woman naked other than his wife, and that he must commit suicide if he does. So, this Saturday at 4:00 pm all women living in England are asked to walk out of their houses, completely naked, to help weed out any
neighbourhood terrorists. Circling your block for one hour is recommended for this anti-terrorist effort.
All men are to position themselves in garden chairs in front of their houses to prove they are not Talibanor Al Qaeda, and to demonstrate
that they think it's okay to see nude women other than their wives and to show support for all English women. And since the Taliban and Al Qaeda also does not approve of alcohol, a cold six-pack of Fosters or any similar beer at your side would be further proof of your anti-Taliban and Al Qaeda sentiment. The British Government appreciates your efforts to root out terrorists and applauds your participation in this antiterrorist activity.
God Defend England .

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Where you there?

I was just doing a search for any references for Annies Wine Bar in Amersham (long gone now) where I spent many an hour during the late 70's and early 80's. Many bands and musicians played there (myself included) and we even produced an album of which I still have the very first (and probably the only) copy. I came across this link which is a web page put together by a total Marillion fan who has listed every gig venue for 1981/82 where he saw the band. The list made me grin as I recognised and remembered many of the venues. If you were around Berks or Bucks during this period see how many of these pubs you have frequented. I would love to hear from anyone who went to Annies during its heyday.

See what I mean

This relates to the latter part of my last post:
Ananova: Woman, 97, handcuffed for motoring offence

Police in Dallas handcuffed a 97-year-old woman and took her to jail for a minor motoring offence. Dolly Kelton was driving to a beauty shop when she noticed flashing lights in her rear-view mirror. She was pulled over and arrested because she had failed to pay a fine for an expired car registration sticker. The Dallas Morning News says local police have a no exceptions policy and everyone gets treated the same. Police officers arrest, handcuff and jail all offenders - even people accused of minor traffic offences.
She was in police custody for about two hours before her attorney arrived and she was released. Mrs Kelton said she had an unblemished 80-year driving record but accepts the blame and doesn't fault the police for doing their duty. However, she added: "I think it's still stupid and uncalled for. They ought to be out on the street arresting criminals, not poor, aged ladies."

This comes after yesterday's story of a UK man and his wife going on holiday to New York and being arrested and held in a cell for 48 hours by immigration. Whilst scanning his passport it was revealed by the computer that he had an left an unpaid bill from Qatar (UAE) from when he worked there (for a US company) a small amount which had actually been settled. He was arrested and verbally abused by immigration, handcuffed and legcuffed for the entire 48 hours and left in a cell. He was unable to get help from the British Embassy as he had not actually been admitted entry into the US. His wife was badly treated and basically left to sort our her own accommodation etc and again verbally abused by immigration. Their response is an unpaid bill is a crime in the US and although the debt was with a foreign government it was still a crime. Entry to the US on a visitors visa can be denied if that person has committed a crime. "we treat everyone the same, whether the debt is for $4.00 or$40,000"
I wonder what would happen if we applied these rules, certainly our immigration problem would be solved but basically the message is clear DON'T GO TO THE US if you have an unpaid parking ticket! Welcome to the USA the land of equality. - apologies to Right Girl and Dennis

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

matters of less importance (all of a sudden)

I was supposed to be playing in a golf competition this afternoon, however I had said that I was unlikey to be available due to only just getting back from Hols but said I would make it if I could. I forgot all about this until lunchtime when I was reminded. I still had time to get my clubs and change, but you know somehow 7 days lying on a beach seems to chill you out somewhat so the prospect of a round unusually didn't appeal to me and there's still work to catch up on - besides it's pissing with rain - sorry lads, hope we managed to retain the cup, I'm sure my score would not have helped anyway! I think I'm going to wait until the weather warms up before I start playing golf again - Well I'll give it until the weekend anyway.

I read a great book whilst on hols -The Star of the sea. Joesph O'Connor (click for review) basically about the plight of the Irish tennant farmers in the late 19th Centrury and due to famine their desperation to emigrate to America. A thoroughly good read which i recommend. I wonder if anyone reading it would notice the similarities to todays imigration policies in the states? A country that can treat UK citizens at imigration today in the manner that they do, can not be trusted when they say that they treat all casts the same.

Honey I'm Home

Sorry Jack but this was the view from my balcony, the 2nd Tee at Villa Martin (click on pic to enlarge). We were very lucky with the weather, but got severely sun burnt on the first day on the beach not realizing how strong the sun was.Now shedding large portions of skin, Belinda calls me Lizzard. Spain is still very cheap, everything about half price to the UK. A very reasonable bottle of Rioja Criannza €5 in the supermarkets a 3 course meal for 2 with wine €30 (about £20). So after 7 days of beach reclining, reading, eating and drinkiing it's now back to work. Can't say I've missed the internet. I did twitch once whilst passing an internet cafe- thought about checking email - but a sharp bark of "Heal Boy" from Belinda kept me on the wagon, so we headed for a bar instead. 370 emails when I got home 360 off them junk. More later

Friday, April 16, 2004

Off on Hols

Going to lie in the sun for a few days - back on the 28th. I wont be thinking of you while you slave away,I'm not takiing the laptop so look after yourselves while I'm away

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Sad Loss

I was sorry to hear of the death of Caron Keating yesterday at the age of only 41. Again breast cancer takes its toll and, as I discussed this with Belinda last night, it is a reminder that all women of all ages must do everything they can to be aware of the dangers or practices that can encourage cancer. Somehow every woman should be screened regularly not just women over 50, but all women and the government should be encouraging this through the NHS. Most women have regular cervical smear test so why not every woman has a breast screening annually? This ever growing loss of life at young ages through cancers of all types, both men and women is not acceptable in this technological day and age.
We can't stop all cancer, but we can cure most of them if they are detected early enough, especially Breast Cancer. So get 'em checked!

A win last night at the Rugby, though close 8-7 to us against Hants, it wasn't a particularly exciting match, and quite a long drive there and back. Thank god for Curry Express (our local curry home delivery service). We called at 8.30 on our way back estimating our arrival home at 9.15. Unfortunately the Indian Gentleman taking the order, does not have a very good command of the English Language and failed to take in the 9.!5 bit. Now normally when you order from Curry Express, they always say ' that'll be in 45 mins then Boss.' So I figured we would have it about right anyway. At 9.00 we are just coming into Wantage when the delivery driver calls to say he is waiting outside the door and there's no one at home and he couldn't wait. I told him we would be there in 10 mins (knowing we would be longer) and I'd make it worth his while.(we were all starving and didn't cherish the idea of going into Hungerford to eat out) . Well Belinda was driving and all I can say is I've never made it from the far side of Wantage via Shefford to Kintbury in 13 minutes. The driver was just leaving as we arrived, so all ended well.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

General tittle tattle

I do like the new Anastasia release and must get the album, I've always rated her voice and she's not half good looking to boot (But why one would want to boot her I haven't a clue - or actually where this posting going - no I haven't been drinking) Ah yes! What I was going to say was how singles are played to death on radio2 before their actual release date. This is so when the CD is on sale it goes straight into the top 10 of the sales chart. Unfortunately they rarely hold their position for longer than a week or increase on their entry position as everyone is sick to death of it by the time its been on Top of the Pops. Its the same with the Scissors Sisters track, Radio 2 play it non stop, I really liked it at first and would have bought the album, but now I'm not so sure.

Glad to hear the London Duran Duran gig was a success last night, wish I could have been there.
Rugby tonight, Dominic is playing against Hants (along with the west of the squad) Kick off at 5,00pm so we are going to have to leave soon, the match is at Chinor near Aylesbury and yes the eyebrow stud Has been taken out. All we have to do is locate it and 'Lose' it. I'll let you Know tomorrow.
Off to Spain on Tuesday for a weeks R&R so won't be blogging after the weekend. Just to make Grocer Jack jealous we have the use of a villa over looking the 2nd Tee at the Villa Martin Golf course just south of Alicante. Been going there for the last 10 years and they definitely have buggies, so will report on return.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004


Monday, April 12, 2004

Happy Easter?

Well Justin Rose didn't make it in the Masters, but congrats to Phil Mickleson.
We had a super afternoon/evening at Steve & Niks yesterday, some great company, superb food and wine, shame about the weather, and I wish we'd ordered the taxi for much later - I was just getting into it - and I didn't get a chance to chat up the Slovakian girl, as always I spent nearly the entire party in the kitchen talking to Bruce trying to educate him on the merits of late 60's early 70's music which seem to have passed him by. However by alll accounts he was overwise occupied during those years!

I hope you all had an excelllent Easter

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Well I Tried

This morning was our monthly stableford competition, as we went to bed last night Belinda said that she assumed I wouldn't be playing golf in the morning. Well you know how it is, I got up at 7.30 and examined my wounds. I removed the strapping on my fingers, went downstairs and got hold of a golf club, I reckoned I could do it and you can't let the team down can you. So I showered and dressed, struggled to get the clubs in the back of the car and made my way to the club.Belinda slept on as she was riding this morning.
I felt ok but would not know until I hit the first tee shot having already discussed my predicament to my colleagues. Well it was obvious that not having scored a single point after 3 holes that things were not going to improve, and then my legs went, I guess a bit of aftershock, but really a sign that I can no longer keep this up. I managed to finish 9 holes but only down to Paul holding me up most of the way. They have made it clear that if I want to continue playing with them I have to get a ride on buggy. I have resisted this for the past year as walking 18 holes every weekend was a benchmark on my condition, as long I could still do that, I figured that I still had some independence left besides it is the only exercise I get, the golf game has always been secondary, but finally after 10 years of living with this I am going to have to be less stubborn and accept advice and help from friends.

Well we are now going to sit down and whatch the DVD 'Love Actaully' so that should cheer me up and -by the way - The Boy came home from Cornwall last night with a pierced eyebrow complete with bar/stud - how did I react? well at first I pretended not to notice then pointed out that It could hurt a bit in his next County rugby match on wednesday especially as he plays front row! I think it'll be gone by tomorrow

Spills and Thrills

It's not often that I mention my illness, or condition as I prefer to refer to it, as it rarely gets me down (Those unfamiliar with my condition read my homepage -see links opposite), but things have not gone well since my last post.
I was getting ready for Thursday nights AGM, and went to get my dinner suit and dress shirt from the spare room wardrobe. I had the suit in one hand and the shirt in the other and as I turned round I lost my balance. This is not unusual and happens several times a day, I normally shout 'tilt' to myself and grab the nearest solid object, normally a door or wall. Unfortunately with both hands full I was unable to stop myself and went over like the proverbial. Again this is not unusual in itself other than this time I caught several other objects at the same time. The first being the edge of a desk, which gashed my left thumb, the second, the back of a chair which caught my cheek bone and the third the edge of the cupboard door which broke my right hand middle finger.
Belinda was in the kitchen, the radio was on and the spare room is someway from the kitchen, so she didn't hear me fall or call out for help. Unfortunately when this happens I often go into shock as in this case when I saw the blood from my gashed thumb. Belinda eventually heard my calls for help and got me into the bedroom.
Now this may sound strange, but my only concern at the time was that I would be unable to tie my Bowtie and is a skill that Belinda has been unable to master. After patching up and painkillers I decided that I would still attend the AGM as it is one piss up not to be missed. The problem was getting dressed without getting blood on my shirt, a task which we failed to do. So this was the first RT do that I actually arrived at with blood on my shirt, it's normally the other way around.
So having recovered enough to walk and borrowed my son's elasticated bowtie, Belinda drove me to the Plume where we were meeting prior to getting taxis to Littlecote Manor. This is where I discovered my first problem. I use a waling stick with my right hand, the broken finger which we had strapped with plaster to my other finger made it very difficult to hold, which is when I discovered the second problem ,and the worst,- holding a pint! But I managed, but my main concern was whether I would be able to go to the loo on my own - this is when you find out who your true friends are! Anyway after several pints, wine and pain killers all went well and I got home in one piece, which is more than I can say for some of the others as the yard of ale was doing overtime.
Fortunately Friday being a day off gave me the chance to rest and recrupriate.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Overheard on train

Smart, fashionable young woman, discussing The Passion Of The Christ with her friends:

"Oh, it was so sad! Especially that bit where his mother saw him... yeah, that bit... as a woman, I really related to that. But, basically, I just cried and cried all the way through it! I mean - really, really sobbed, like a child or something! In fact, I don't think I stopped crying until right at the end, when he was... you know... re-born or whatever."

(Brightly) "Still, nice of them to leave it open for a sequel..." apologies and thanks to Troubled Diva for blagging this post


I propably won't be posting tomorrow as tonight is the meeting of the clans, The Peoples Repubic of Eddington, The Croft Libereation Front et al and the end of Madame Fifi Le Fuey's end of chairmanship in other words its The Hungerford Round Table AGM, to be held as last years at the ancient Littlecote house, in the style of a medieval feast, which basically means we'll be chucking a load of food about, dressing up silly and getting smashed out of our sculls, so Thank God it will be Good Friday Tomorrow and means a day off. I will report on the occasion when I have recovered. (probably by about next Tuesday)

The Masters

Today sees the start of 2004 Masters from Augusta. If you want to keep abreast of the leaderboard you can go here for a live update.
Great to see Nick Faldo is taking part, lets hope he makes the cut, my money's on Justin Rose

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Save your blog

Attn all fellow Bloggers: Whilst posting this morning something occurred to cause my template to revert to it's Blogger virgin state. I lost my comments, site counter, all my links and the various customised parts to my page. Why this happened I don't know but it has taken me all day to reconstruct it so if you haved done so already copy and paste your template to a note pad file.

Teenagers, who'd have them

Dominic , my son tells me yesterday - "just going down to Cornwall for a few days surfing, we've got a lift with Jack's Dad and can get a lift back with his sister on Sunday". Well the first bit's ok but Jack's sister has never driven on the motorway before and has a clapped out Escort (car I mean not Male Company) Now this I have a proplem with. A severn Hour journey which includes 3 hours of motorway driving with a novice girl driver and oh did I mention 2 Chinese girls who want dropping of a Bath University on the way. Nah.
It's Easter weekend and, Golf apart, I would like to spend the weekend as a family, so Dominic - who when I rang his mobile at 10.30 last night to see if he'd arrived declared that they were only just leaving Hungerford - agreed to come back on the train on Friday. The drawback - £89.00 per single ticket oh and can I put this in his account today so he can buy his ticket? Oh and can we sub Jack? hmm perhaps a quiet weekend on our own seems a good idea afterall - and I don't think Dominic has ever been to Bath.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Jamie Oliver burns penis while cooking roast

I'm glad I don't have a pictute of this but apparently Jamie Oliver burnt his penis while cooking a St Valentine's Day meal for his wife - naked. He stripped off to treat wife Jools, but wound up in agony when he got too close to the oven.
Oliver said: "It was on Valentine's Day. I was naked in the kitchen and burnt my penis. I really ruined my evening - and my night."
He was apparently preparing a roast when the unfortunate incident happened.He later treated Jools to a Paris break to make up for their ruined Valentine's dinner, says The Sun.

The father of two has also revealed he does all the cooking at home but has hired a cleaner because he can't bear tidying up.
"Jools is obsessed with cleaning but I'm very bad at it. As soon as we could afford it, we hired a maid. It's our only luxury and I love it. I even leave the towels on the floor when I've been in the bathroom."

I guess thats so he can watch her bend down and pick them up .The mind boggles!

"A hard man is good to find." - Mae West

I have just heard that they have developed a new form of Viagra. It's in liquid form and is taken as eye drops. - It dosen't give you an erection but it makes you look fucking hard.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Golfing matters and ...

I hope Grocer Jack enjoyed his golf weekend away and his drives found fairways, his pitches found greens and his puts holed and enjoyed Multiple Guinnesses after. I had a reasonable round on Sunday Morning for our Medal Match, although we had a 30 minute delay to tee off due to the heavy rain the night before, however even though I had several pars - 2, 8's and a 9 ruined my card and with the high winds I struggled to physically get round with my legs giving out by the 17th and having to be dragged up the hill of the 18th by Paul, but parring with a single put in front of the club house made it worth while. Paul and Chris have declared that it is time I got a ride on buggy as I'm slowing everyone up- Finally think they're right.

For Christmas I treated myself with a new Taylor Made R580 Driver. Everyone else seems to have one and It was hailed as the club of the year and was guaranteed to add 30 yards to your drives. We ll I've persevered since Xmas but never been able to achieve the distances of my old club a 7 year old Taylor Made TI- Bubble. Well I put my old club in the bargain bin in the pro shop incase someone wanted to buy it and on Sunday it was still there, so I thought I'd give it another chance and equaled my partners drives and certainly outdistanced my new club. So much for COE technology, it just goes to show just because a club cost £300 its not going to make you a better golfer.

Had a flutter on the Grand National, Picked Smarty because he was ridden by the son of a Trainer I used to go to school with. Being the Grand National forms nothing to go on but I should have at least checked the odds first, I made my bet and got- 150/1, never mind at least he finshed coming in 6th.

... Our Anniversary

Sunday also marked our 23rd Wedding anniversary. I had it perfectly worked out, lunch at 1.00pm at Cassanova's, then back home for an afternoon of champagne and chocolate in bed and watch old Movies and what ever else comes into mind. Dominic had gone clay shooting with his mate so all looked set.
The delay in the Golf starting meant that we didn't finish until 1.30, but I had already called Belinda and she called the restaurant to change the table time to 2.00. I managed to get home, change, collect Belinda and get to Cassanova's by 2.05pm. We got to the bar, I was gagging for a beer, as I hadn't time for one at the club. This restaurant does not sell Guinness, but bottled beer or draught Stella. So I had the Stella, took 2 sips and the waitress comes up and say's our table is ready would we sit down. There were a couple of friends at the bar that we would have liked to spend some time with , but no we were told we must order now as the kitchen closes in 15mins and please sit down.
So We ordered an Anti Pasto to share, I had the special (which was anything but) and Belinda Saltimbocca and a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Well it all arrived in about 2 minutes and it was all pretty bland, we passed on the desserts and coffee and decided on the bill. They are open for drinks all afternoon, but we decided we rather go home and relax. Bill £68.80 excluding service! I'm getting very pissed off with them, the quality is not worth the money, so we'll not be eating there again.
Get home for undisturbed afternoon of promised passion only to find Dominic and his mate in hallway complete with all manner of shooting paraphenallia (having got a lift from the clay shoot) and declare they are going Rabbit shooting for the night and would spend the night at our stables, sleeping in the barn. Oh well, at least we'll have the evening to ourselves the only drawback being I've got to drive them to the Paddock and they won't be redy for another half an hour, and I'm dying to get stuck into the Champange. Neeless to say it was the quickest journey to and from the stables i've made.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Spit or Swallow?

We had a wine tasting at the Plume last night, 20 different wines from all around the world, of course we had to try them all, but with this many wines it is recommended that you spit the wine into a bucket after tasting, this seems a waste to me as it takes me half a glass to get a real feel for the taste and then it seems a shame to spit it out. Needless to say I went home in a Taxi.

I have just heard a most dreadful version of Bob Marley's Redemption song on the radio whilst typing this post, done by Quame (i think that's how it's spelled). He's an actor in Casualty or Holtby city. I think he ought to stick to acting

Friends Reunited

God - Scary! I just got an email through friends reunite from an old girfriend fron 28 years ago. This website has been a tremendous success and I would love to know how many people have been 'reunited'

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Give them to the French

Immigration Minister Beverley Hughes has resigned after officials exposed lax controls allowing migrants from Romania and Bulgaria to enter the country with forged papers.

Er why only her? what about the home secretary and the rest of the Home Office who have been allowing immigrants into this country without restrictions for years. Illegal or legal 1,000's of refugee's flood into this country, many on false papers many without any form of documentation almost daily, at what point do we close the door and stop the flood. At what point do we declare the country's full up, no more room?

Whilst I believe some people are true refugees, persecuted by their own regimes are we the only country in the world to offer a home - why can't the French have them - their country's 4 times the size of the UK and perhaps if we send Beverley Hughes et al over there she could help them.

I'm going to the pub!

Did you spot the April Fools

Our national newspapers have been having their annual day of fun by publishing April Fool's Day stories to dupe readers.
The Daily Mail reckons it has a photograph, captured by a tourist, of the Queen clutching a copy of Racing Post as she pops into a Windsor bookies to put a bet on the Grand National.Their doctored photographs show Her Majesty walking four of her corgis to a branch of William Hill and studying the form inside before placing her bet.

Meanwhile, a full-page advert in The Guardian says new technology from BMW means drivers can now cook their dinners from their car as they drive home from work.The advert for "SHEF technology" says it uses satellite technology to link controls in the car to the driver's oven in their kitchen at home. An "oven-cam" on the car dashboard shows how dinner is doing.The advert directs readers to a website where the realisation of being duped on April Fool's Day dawns.

The Independent claims avant garde musician Brian Eno is writing a new theme tune for The Archers.The paper says the former Roxy Music keyboard player's new tune will have the feel of "club music" about it and will shock fans of the long-running BBC Radio 4 show.

The Sun reckons Thames Valley police are fitting hawks with cameras in an effort to catch speeding drivers in Oxfordshire. It says the birds will swoop on drivers who have been spotted by their handlers.

But one story that has an April Fool's feel about it, is actually true. The Times reports the release of details from the National Archives about British plans to use a chicken-powered nuclear bomb during the height of the Cold War.Tom O'Leary, head of education and interpretation at the National Archives, said: "It does seem like an April Fool but it most certainly is not. The Civil Service does not do jokes."

Breast way to get a car

A woman who has sold over 500 litres of her breast milk since last May, has bought a car with the income.
Anette Lie was paid £11 per litre and has made a total of £5,275, says Nettavisen quoting the Kanal 24 radio station.
She said: I'm making some money on this. I bought a car, everything paid by breast milk."
Lie said her ability to produce so much breast milk is genetic. "My mother was the same way, and I've heard my grand mother nursed children around town, so it's hereditary. It's my hormones. I apparently have lots of them."

I assume her new car is a milk float