Thursday, 9 April 2009

Thursday 09/04/09

Spent last night clearing up the booze bottles and cheese wrappers before Hay gets back this afternoon. Never want to touch another piece of cheese for at least a month.

Yesterday I got a hit from someone in South Africa who entered the blog from a website called Brand’s Eye. Now Brand’s Eye is a reputation monitoring tool used in marketing to track mentions of your band name on the web. Putting two and two together, the hit was generated either by the mention of the ANC or Jacob Zuma.

Here’s an alert for all women. The cacao swollen shoot virus (CSSV) is killing cacao trees and threatens to slash this year's spring crop by a third in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer. Additionally, a fungus called witches' broom is doing the same in Brazil. Time to bulk-buy your chocolate so as to ensure you have sufficient stocks for the year.

I heard something on the radio last night about Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds moving to the London Arena – or some arena in London. That led me to Wiki Jeff, who led me (logically) to Justin Hayward and thence The Moody Blues. Who today can name a single member of The Moody Blues (besides Justin Hayward), despite them being megastars in the late ‘60s and ‘70s and still performing today? I couldn’t even name a member (except for Justin Hayward) in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Twelve men have been arrested in the north west of England after Britain's most senior counter-terrorism police officer sparked a security alert.

Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Bob Quick, has made a bit of a clanger. He accidentally revealed a secret document to photographers (see below) when he arrived for a briefing at No 10 Downing Street. It was clutched in his hand as he exited a car with the text facing outward and was clearly marked "secret". It carried an outline briefing on an ongoing counter-terrorism operation and once the gaffe was noticed a number of anti-terror raids were kicked into motion much earlier than planned.

One of the raids took place at that hotbed of terrorism and political activism, my alma mater, John Moores University in Liverpool, which I happened to snap as I went past it on Monday.

John Moores University, Liverpool

Bloody awful place – should have been bulldozed years ago or turned into council tenements. I attended the place in the late 70s when doing my 1st Mate’s Certificate of Competency (excelling in bomb making and extortion). I used to travel there on a daily basis from Southport with another student, using his DAF 66 Variomatic – an acutely embarrassing and hideously styled little Noddy car.

We went on to do Master’s together at Fleetwood, when I decided it would be faster and less embarrassing to use my MGB-GT for transport. Strangely enough I met up with him again on Monday, as he is now the Fleet Superintendent of one of the companies I visited in Liverpool. Hadn’t seen him since about ’82.

A former North Wales Police inspector, Geraint Evans (isn’t everyone in Wales called Geraint Evans?), has missed out on a really good business deal that’s totally legal; however, instead he’s been jailed for a year for illegally dumping 175,000 used tyres all over the country, leaving them in trailers. The business idea is something I spotted the Sunday Times – decorative garden mulch made from shredded tyres that are attractively stained. The mulch doesn’t bio-degrade or soak up water, keeping weeds down for years without needing to be renewed. The company selling this stuff is Easy Gardener. They can’t spell ‘distributors’ though.

Blogging for the next week will be sporadic, as I’m taking a well-earned break and my elder son is coming to stay with me.

Thought for the day 2: “Express gratitude. Give more than is expected. Speak optimistically. Touch people. Remember names. Don’t confuse flexibility with weakness. Don’t judge people by their mistakes; rather, judge them by how they respond to their mistakes. Remember that your physical appearance is for the benefit of others. Attend to your own basic needs first; otherwise you will not be useful to anyone else.”

Don’t you just hate good advice that you're incapable of following?


  1. Men don't eat choclate, perhaps?

  2. I had to google moody blues to even remember their songs so I now have egg all over my white satin.
    That thought for the day was written by some self-satisfied do-gooder who obviously still believes in Father Christmas.
    So for the nex week are you going to make Hay while the son shines ?

  3. Hope you have a splendid week, Sir... and that Hay's return means she's brought you some good chocolate from the duty free! And you namechecked Justin Hayward several times in your article - sending me into a pre-Easter swoon - I wonder what sort of ads that will generate - Stannah Stairlifts perchance, or Pre-Pay Funeral Plans... What is that strange pic you've got there now - All red and blue? I think the chocolate and cheese diet is only good for interesting hallucinations...

  4. OOh, Security Cleared Jobs, Bark and Wood Chippings (Que?), and raw chocolate is a superfood - Yayyyy! Off to get my orders in now, and would you suggest I might also have to pre-order my Witch's Broom in early for Hallowe'en too?

  5. Hi Bill,
    You always write about so much in you posts that I never know which bit to comment on. So lets just say that I enjoyed 80% of this one.

  6. Dragon: Very little. It's bad for the waist, you know, and we men are so particular about our shape - either pear or football.

    Kapgaf: Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.

    Woman: Roquefort-filled choccies! Mmmm!

    Mum: So you're the one who keeps clicking 'Unfunny'?

  7. I noticed that link from SA and went to check it out. Poor Hay. I bet she can't wait to cook you a nice meal and scratch your back. Still, at least you made an attempt to clean up. Just like that Plonker, Bob Quick. Doesn't he know that journalists are trained to read sideways and upside down?

  8. During their prime the Moody Blues were Hayward, John Lodge, Mike Pinder, Ray Thomas & Graeme Edge. Pinder left the band around 1980 and Thomas retired about 5 years ago, The remaining 3 are still going strong and are considered to the THE Moody Blues. They've replaced flautist Thomas with a delightful young American girl named Norda Mullen and they've added a second drummer (Gordon Marshall) to help 68 year old Graeme Edge. They rotate keyboardists, with Paul Bliss being on most tours. They still make great sounds and probably lots of money.

  9. I've seen that used tire mulch here in Florida. It is attractive to use around pool cages, especially in the aqua blue color. I, however, went with shell. (still have to weed!)

  10. Belle: She'd due back any minute. Can't wait - I even bought the shopping, so she can at least cook it for me!

    Anon: You're a nerdy as Hay. She can name just about every band ever.

    Char: Tire? Oh dear - two nations separated by a common language. Seen the blue stuff - looks quite 'stilish'.....

  11. Is that true about chocolate? I can't bear it!

  12. Great post.

    Husband loves War of the Worlds. Bought it a couple of years ago when it was re-issued.

    Justin Hayward? Didn't he do Blue Guitar? Thats how bad I am on them.

    How old is your son? xx

  13. You are kidding about chocolate? It can't be! Tell us it was a joke.