Friday, 24 March 2006

Assignment update!

Two thirds finished with five hours to the cut-off. Amazon order arrived but I've resisted the temptation to watch the DVDs or start the book. Just turned down a plae at the "Wine & Wisdom" tonight, someone has dropped out but it would be terribly irresponsible to go and do that until this assignment is done and dusted and today I'm wearing my "responsible" hat - it gets so little use that it is clean and neat and doesn't fit very well but I'll give it a go. Of course that doesn't mean I'm not involved in other displacement activities of which posting this is one.

In other news; Jackie has printed off the post about The Mermaid so that Steve can read it - he struggles to look at any screen which isn't showing live sport - and she thinks that the part about every 20th customer getting a friendly greeting from Steve is over the top but she's hoping he can aspire to such a high hit rate, it's currently one friendly greetng every 20 days by her estimation. (Seriously - it's a very friendly pub)


Some of you guys were here in October when I celebrated a year here so lets raise a glass to another one (or two?) anniversaries. 23/10 was the anniversary of my wife and I separating and while it's not something I'd count in the great things I've done it means that I can now apply for a "quickie" divorce and move on. So wherever you are - cheers! Here's to the next few years - per ardua ad astra!

Thursday, 23 March 2006

Sold out?

After 11 months without a "go out to work" job I've been offered and accepted a part time (2.5 days/week) job to help deal with the mounting costs associated with my debauched lifestyle. Not negotiated which days and on one each week I'll be working until eight PM - it's also not local but that's no big deal. It's with an organization that I have an emotional link with and I know a lot of the people there so it'll be cooler than a cool thing wearing a cool hat and cool coat and sucking a cool pill after a day at cool school. Because these things always arrive in bunches - rather like bananas - I'm also at the early stages of discussing an idea for a web based business, if that works out my ambition to earn money whilst sleeping is one step closer. Clearly all this activity may curtail my already haphazard blogging but that's part of the price I'll have to pay.

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Child cruelty

I was going to ask which country the following applies to:
A child is killed by a gun every three hours. According to the latest statistics, nearly 1,000 children under 19 are shot dead every year. Another 800 use guns to commit suicide, and more than 160 die in firearm accidents.
But frankly I find it so horrific I don't want to mess about. It's America of course and comes from a piece in The Guardian today. The piece is about a 66 year old man who shot a 19 year old for crossing his lawn. He shot him, with a shotgun, from his house and then walked over to the felled boy and shot him again from close range. That figure of 1,000 under 19s a year is a greater average than the number of US soliders who have died in Iraq in four years (approx 2,500). I'm not going to add anything else - I'm sure there are a range of views on this but gun controls in the States are being eroded so these numbers can only get worse. I'm very glad my children do not live in a country where 40% of the populace own a gun and over 30,000 people were killed by firearms in 2003.

Washes whiter than white!

Cleans better than anything else and still respects you in the morning! Too good to be true? Who cares! I don't have the ASA on my back :-)

The Mermaid is reopened in all its wonderful glory. Those who saw my photo of studying in the pub this time last year will miss that old piece of bar but the new, improved, Mermaid is bigger and boasts a non-smoking area that will be the envy of Kent. It is now posible to get to the terracota rooms from what was "behind the bar" and a pint of the finest Masterbrew in the county is still only GBP 2.20! Parking is still best near the church (rather than outside my house) and coach parties should ring before arriving - well behaved walkers or children are welcome, Steve has promised that every twentieth customer will get a friendly greeting (the other nineteen will be treated like regulars and thus take their chances!). Visit The Mermaid, buy me a beer - you know it makes sense!

Sunday, 19 March 2006


Blogger is wobblier than a wobbly thing with a wobbly hat! Posting this by email to see it works but I can't get into Blogger dashboard to post on the web :-(

Later: Message now tidied up as Blogger is back up

Friday, 17 March 2006

Just what you need!

Of course Nog's Blog is dedicated to delivering solutions to meet your every need (quite in Canada perlease!!!! - We don't need your mucky interventions :-)))). Anyway, in our endless search for good stuff our Bavarian based contributor has offered a "Mission Statement generator" - you know it makes sense! No more wandering the corridors wondering about what it all means, no more endless meetings trying to determine why you were employed by that company. Here is the online answer to organizational blues! Give it a whizz!

Tuesday, 14 March 2006


On Friday I spoke to Stuart who lives in Sheffield, he invited me to his wedding - it's on my birthday! Strange or what? Stuart was heading to his brother's pub to celebrate his brother's 50th birthday. On Sunday evening I was watching Midsomer Murders and Steve's pub was featured throught this episode! Spooky!

Saturday, 11 March 2006

Snow joke!

Grief but it was cold! Not sure if you can see the snow in this photo but it was there! Tough, scrappy game with Canterbury playing uphill in the first half and leading by a couple of points at the turn. In 5 blistering minutes at the start of the second half they scored two tries and the contest was over. Final score: 24 - 7, the Staines number 13 was sin binned twice, Canterbury's Jamie Forsyth carried off with an injury in the final 10 minutes and Calum managed to eat 4 mini pork pies in the first half - a personal record!

But God doesn't think he's Blair

Sorry this is late - the email flagging this up went to an account that seems to redirect some stuff but not all of it. Thanks for the link Bluefluff!

Anyway - this is from the Guardian on Wednesday:
"If Tony Blair thinks his friendship with George W Bush is worth rubbing out a couple of hundred thousand Iraqi men, women and children, then that's something he can talk over with me later," said God. "But when he starts publicly claiming that's the way I do the arithmetic too, it's time I put my foot down!" It is well known that God has a very big foot.
Grab it here

Carpet picnics

Carpet picnics are great aren't they? I've got Calum with me so we decided on a proper boyz night in; beer, pizza, garlic bread and a good film.

The cheapo DVD/TV combo is playing up - DVDs cut out and the football results are variable - so I put the lappy on the floor in front of the fire and we had the pizza and garlic bread there too. Great film - loads of chases, technology, action, love interest and gun fire - I can strongly recommend "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" but Ill have to watch the end again as I dozed off.

Rugby later today. Canterbury are standing proud at the top of London 1 and looking good for promotion, today's opponents are Staines - for those who don't know that's an idyllic little coastal town well away from the hubub of the modern world with it's own rustic charm and rural ambience, those who know it may have a slightly more jaundiced view. 15:00 this afternoon if anyone wants to watch a great game for only a few quid - if you come along say "hello".

Friday, 10 March 2006


Been a busy few days so I apologise for slack blogging.

I like this idea - the British Design Awards are inviting votes for design icons. It's down to the final three so go vote for Concorde, the Spitfire or the London Underground map. An interesting group; Concorde was a truly beautiful piece of engineering and design but is also a political statement - the name symbolised the entent cordiale with our nearest continental neighbours. Concorde flew its maiden test flight within 69 years of the Wright Brothers' efforts at Kittyhawk. Mitchell's Spitfire is also a potent symbol but this time one of war rather than peace. Almost the logo of the Battle of Britain the Spit is still an emotive sight and sound, the RR Merlin engine simply purrs and the aircraft seems at one with the sky - deadly and gorgeous. Beck's map is a different animal completely. It's seeming simplicity hides an awesome achievment, detailing the underground in a diagrammatic map which has now changed the way people think of the geography of London - visitors will often use the tube because distances look greater than they are between some stations.

Get over there and vote!

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

Do something good today!

Go over to Bluefluff's blog and remind her that it's her birthday :-)

Monday, 6 March 2006

Blog threats

Bluefluff has this - so read it here. I hope Ang picks up on it too because I can imagine here take on it! Go to Bluefluff's piece and follow the links from there - be prepared to suspend disbelief, this is happening now, today, in the United States.

Saturday, 4 March 2006

Oh Christ!

Sorry - I'm really sorry. I set myself some rules when I started this blog and one was that I would write it assuming that my children read it. This means that I temper my language at all times and this post will be no different but that means it won't say exactly what I want it to say.

Some of you know me online in other places or you've heard my voice or we chat regularly so you can interpret how I might say the following.

Tony Blair has now said that he asked God before taking the UK to war in Iraq.

Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap.
He didn't ask anyone.
He didn't ask parliament, he told them.
He didn't ask the electorate, he told them.

The only earthly body he discussed this with is Bush - and they had already decided that whatever the inspectors said about the search for WMD they were going to commit this country to an unprecedented "pre-emptive" war despite the lack of a UN mandate. Unprecidented in this century and for much of the previous one. Prior to that of course we might send a gunboat and rape a country for its natural resources but we aren't big enough for that anymore so we hold the big guy's coat while he fights but in holding his coat we give him legitimacy - we pretend to other civilised countries that it's "the right thing to do". We even stand by while our neighbours and closest allies are denigrated by the big guy because they stand by their principles and don't join the playground throng chanting "Fight! Fight!" but manage to retain at least a little dignity.

But it's all okay because Blair's imaginary friend said it was fine.

Here's a little trick you might want to try at home boys and girls. Whenever people start saying that "God said this" or "God said that" simply change the name of whichever poor deity is being blamed for the word "Harvey". Those who know this classic will remember that Harvey is the benevolent 6' white rabbit visible only to James Stewart and blamed for all sorts of scrapes throughout the film.

I haven't got a problem with anyone else's beliefs as long as they don't diss mine - Blair and Bush are hiding behind the same bogeyman that Hitler used - but if you decide to take this country to war and kill thousands of Iraqi citizens and (so far) over 100 of our service men then please stand by that decision, we may disagree but you have the honesty and courage of your convictions but please don't start laying the blame off on entities who don't have a right to reply.

Friday, 3 March 2006


I got this from Ang - thanks hon. Click here for a recording made in a classroom in the US. Of course the teacher is getting grief now as un-American but I honestly hope my children are taught by people as passionate as this guy, I hope they are taught critical skills and challenged as part of their education. This guy is excellent whether you agree with him or not.

Thursday, 2 March 2006


First day of spring! Wonderful! This time last year we were snowed in for a few days and the weatherman is threatening snow again. We had some flurries last week but tonight it's very cold and by the weekend we could have the real thing. Where is all this global warming???