Wednesday, 26 November 2014

I'll Pick a Rose for My Rose at Christmas

Can't help but think there's something rather distasteful and juvenile about certain pop stars having a dig at Bob Geldoff about the latest incarnation of "Do They Know it's Christmas". Seems excuses to denigrate it become more fanciful by the day, ranging from parts of Africa being Moslem (the song is aimed at the UK population, for heaven's sake), the song suggesting Africa can't sort out its own problems (which it very obviously can't) to Africa isn't one country (you don't say, Sherlock).

The latter half of November and the roses are budding.

Don't you just love that global warming?

Tuesday, 25 November 2014


A few months back I took a photo of a Spitfire Merlin engine rocker cover at The Ragged Cot pub in Minchinhampton, and very nice it was too.

Over the weekend I bought a Spitfire Griffon 65 rocker cover on eBay, intending to burnish it and turn it into a similar display. 

The Griffon was a later Spitfire engine and much larger than the Merlin, being 37 litres compares to the Merlin's 27.

Perhaps not as iconic as the Merlin, the Griffon was nevertheless crucial in keeping the Spitfire ahead of German air technology and speed. I have to admit that the Merlin rocker box looks more retro and beefy, having a few more contours.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Foodie Fads

Seen the ultimate in twaddle:

  • Loin of cod tempura, or gourmet burger,
  • Pommes frites,
  • Smashed peas.
I believe that translates as battered cod or burger, chips and mushy peas.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Action Man Alternative

A new doll has been manufactured to compete with Barbie. It has more 'normal' proportions.

When will a new Action Man be made, more closely resembling the average UKIP voter?

Should I be forced to resign?

Friday, 21 November 2014

Rochester & Strood

One hears Emily Thornberry, MP, has apologized to all right wing chavs.

Thursday, 20 November 2014


Returning back to the UK today. Must say I'm impressed with the new taxis at Schiphol airport - they bought 100 Teslas, and they look the business (this is not one of them). Wouldn't mind one myself.

Some shots of my trip:

I particularly liked this Amsterdam house.

How the kids are taken to school. I also spotted a mobile bike mechanic using one of these - he's at the end of a mobile phone and repairs punctures, etc.

A novel bike.

Saw this at the trade show I've been at - combines solar PV with solar thermal in one unit.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Ched Evans

Been following this Ched Evans story - the Sheffield United footballer who was found guilty of rape.

  1. There are some inconsistencies about the conviction, despite him not being given leave to appeal (jury convictions rarely get leave to appeal) and still trying to clear his name. For example, the girl who was raped never made a rape complaint - the police brought the prosecution - and another footballer who was present and charged was subsequently acquitted on the same evidence.
  2. He has done his time. 
  3. He is out of his contract with Sheffield United.
I'm a great believer in giving people a 2nd chance. He has served his sentence and therefore has paid his debt in the eyes of the law (assuming guilt). If the sentence doesn't meet the crime, that's another matter. Given Evans is still trying to clear his name, I think it a bit previous to deny him a job. 

My first reactions was that this could all blow over if he simply made a public statement demonstrating contrition and donated his first few weeks' salary to a rape crisis charity - but, if he's still trying to clear his name, that's also a bit previous and tantamount to an admission of guilt. Catch 22.

Then there's the matter of him being a role model, as some term it. Not many footballers could be called role models - I can think only of a handful. Should a role model be treated more severely than just an ordinary person? Perhaps yes, but I would hesitate to call him a role model.

If he were still in his contract and there was no specific clause within it prohibiting him from engaging in certain acts or having a conviction, then the football club itself could be guilty of discrimination.

I think too many people are jumping on too many bandwagons, far too quickly, and without knowing a great deal about the case in question. There have been numerous cases of miscarriages of justice in the past, but the jury system is nevertheless still considered infallible. Similarly, offenders have gone on to reoffend.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Hedging Service at a Fork in the Road

The hedge around our field is in desperate need of some attention; however, anyone we phone to do the job simply never returns our call. After seeing a hedge laying competition on Coutryfile last night (just up the road at Highgrove), I was thinking of announcing the Old Sodbury hedge laying competition.

Bought some 2nd hand forks in a local charity shop on Saturday - made them into napkin rings. Haven't quite got the hang of it yet, but I shall improve with practice.

Due to the varying thickness along the handle, bending them isn't as easy as you'd imagine; I need to get myself some steel pipe to aid the process.

On my Friday jaunt to London I called in at Reading services and got myself a bacon bap.

The Hype

The sorry-looking reality

Spotted these stollen bites at the Costa counter. 3 pitiful bites for £2.29. You can get a box full of the buggers weighing 350g from Lidl for £1.99. How the hell do Costa justify these prices?

There wasn't an English accent to be heard behind any of the counters (all eastern European), yet Reading has quite a few unemployed people. Seems the Brits just don't want the work, and it's not as if the owners are paying less than minimum wage.

Off to Hamsterjam later today for the rest of the week to attend a trade show.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Sturgeon Deliveries

Yet another courier parcel delivery has gone astray. I think companies should outsource their parcel deliveries to the European Space Agency - they can hit the mark from 4 billion miles.

That Nicola Sturgeon gets right up my nose. Heard her being interviewed saying why should Scotland leave the EU because a party Scots hadn't voted for wanted to. You could use that level of argument for any county, or indeed town or village within the UK. She calls it democracy - when there's little or no difference between the Scots and the English, I call it anarchy. The Scots are as different from the English as Geordies are from Scousers and I defy anyone to tell me how the Scots are so different from the English (OK, they have a few more carrot-tops and a penchant for cross dressing, but that's as far as it goes).

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Move Out of the Damned Way!

I drove the new Dinky Toy to London yesterday to hand-deliver a large satellite communications proposal to the Brazilian Navy Commission in Europe; what should have been no more than a 2 hour drive turned out to be 4 hours due to the weight of traffic and I made the deadline with 5 minutes to spare.

On the way back I was following a Porsche Carrera 4S on the M4 and the spray from the Porsche's wheels necessitated that I give the windscreen a quick wash and wipe. I twiddled the wiper thingy, but nothing happened. I twiddled it again and still nothing happened. I twiddled it furiously and the Porsche Carrera suddenly moved over from the fast lane into the middle lane to let me pass.

Yes, I'd been sat in a Hyundai Getz 1.1 litre, furiously flashing a Porsche to get out of the damned way.

As I drew level with the Porsche, I think the driver saw the funny side. Whether he realised I'd mistaken the high beam flasher for the windscreen wiper, I don't know.