Friday, 31 July 2015

Top Gear Gas, You're Going to Die

What do Americans ask for when calling at a petrol station and requiring LPG? Gas gas?

Jeremy Clarkson and Co. have signed up for Amazon Prime. Based on the paucity of the films Amazon Prime hosts, I don't think I'll be watching them - will stick with Netflix thanks.

I don't want to worry you, but you're going to die of something. It may be cancer, it may be a heart attack, it may be a stroke, it could be dementia, it could be one of a myriad things. Go see your doctor before it's too late! Either that, or just don't give a damn and save the tax payer some dosh.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Progress Report, Wedding Video & Waitrose

Progress from yesterday! I feel a swift trip to B and Q (can't use ampersand in Blogger) coming up to use my over 60s card for a bathroom and kitchen.

Roof trusses ordered, larch cladding ordered, roof tiles to be ordered tomorrow. On target for mid-September completion.

I've finished editing Hay's sister's wedding. If you're willing to suffer 25 minutes of someone else's humanist wedding, then this is for you. If you're bored by this kind of thing, move on the end credits - and make sure you go beyond where it says; "THE END". Hay is the blonde in the flowered dress toting a camera and one of the people giving a reading.

Did you spot President Clinton, who kindly dropped in for the pub lunch on the Wednesday.

Received an offer from Waitrose yesterday - free champagne when I spend £100 or more. Can't remember the last time I spent £100 on a weekly shop; our usual is just under £70 at Lidl, which would give me £30 for a decent bottle of bubbly anyway! Mind you, it must be quite easy to spend £100 at Waitrose - just some Eaitrose Essential lilies and a bit of Waitrose Essential caviar.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Cabin

Progress is being made at a fast pace with the cabin - Colin and Barry have been beavering away for 2 days now.

Colin and Barry love us as customers as we make no demands and tell them to make whatever decisions they deem fit. The same happened with the house and we had no complaints whatsoever. They, after all, are the experts.

It will be insulated to within an inch of its life, so all we now need concern ourselves with is whether we install the wood burner from the caravan (which we saved), or use some form of electric heating. The power is coming from the house, so the profit we're making from the feed-in tariff will take care of the electricity bills.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Gazebos & Tents

Bought a small gazebo on eBay last year, but never got to put it up as it was bought too late in the year. I contributed it to the wedding to add as a portico to the wedding ceremony gazebo. On putting it together I realised why it was so cheap - some of poles wouldn't go together without a rather large application of brute force. I suspect it was a an Amazon return, as the seller was an Amazon driver.

Anyway, I got it together for the wedding, but there was no way the uprights could ever be taken apart again. Fortuitously, Colin our builder, needs a gazebo as a building shelter for the cabin build, which started yesterday, so it's now residing at the top of the field and it doesn't matter if it's destroyed in the process.

Not sure when we'll be able to take the Big Top tent down - weather has precluded it so far and most of the available personnel are going away this week. Getting very worried about the grass. The heavy rain on Sunday has rendered the ground very soft and tent pegs are popping all over the place - it nearly collapsed of its own accord yesterday in the winds.

There's a more than a 50% chance that Hay and I will get married next year, but there's no way I'm raising tents myself and doing all the clearing up afterwards. We're considering low-cost alternatives that involve leaving it all to others to do the hard work. Hiring a local pub with room for a marquee and a pig roast is high on the list of options. There is a number of likely venues hereabouts.

Monday, 27 July 2015

A Good Time Was Had by All

Despite the rain and gales Friday and Sunday, Saturday turned out perfect for the wedding, if somewhat chilly in the evening. Hayley was official photographer and I was official video expert.

The video expert spent yesterday trying to figure out why DVD after DVD had no sound, before discovering late in the afternoon that the DVD player's sound cable was unplugged on the TV.

The following photos were taken by me, not the official photographer (who is infinitely better than me at this kind of stuff).

The Garden Party

Bride and Groom

Official photographer with Bride and Groom

Official photographer with Best Man

Official photo of the Official Photographer


Friday, 24 July 2015

Tented Brummie Koran

I hear that what is possibly the earliest fragment of the Koran, written by someone who could have personally known Mohammed, has been found in Birmingham. Could this be conclusive proof that Mohammed was actually a Brummie?

Took delivery of the composting loo for the cabin yesterday. It's huge and it comes with a mounting step!

Needs just an electrical connection for the heater element and a vent to the outside.

Got the Pyramid Stage sorted with side curtains yesterday evening just in time for today's rain. Thinking of using the white wedding ceremony tent as a Hits of the Blitz Stage for the oldies in the evening. Hay is the official photographer and I'm the official video crew.

The Registry Office wedding ceremony was on Wednesday but the humanist ceremony is tomorrow afternoon, along with a party in the evening. Just hope the weather forecast is accurate.

Thursday, 23 July 2015


Saw a post on Facebook yesterday advertising a petition on behalf of an organisation called Christians Against Anti-Semitism, which I thought a tad ironic - they invented it, for heaven's sake. Doubly ironic when their holy man was himself Jew! Triply ironic when they gather in their millions on Sundays worshiping three Gods, one of which was a Jew, in direct contravention of the 1st Commandment contained within a Jewish book.

There again, religion wouldn't be religion without paradoxes. The paradoxes are incontrovertible proof that religion comes from the muddled mind of fallible man and not an omniscient being.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Historically Significant

The Sun newspaper continues to defend its publication of photos of the Queen doing Nazi salutes  when a child with the phrase 'historically significant'.

One wonders when this publication, well noted as being a custodian of historically and culturally significant events, will have a retrospective of Page 3 Girls, citing historically significant tits?

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

It's a Conspiracy

Bugger me if I didn't see yet another example of people simply reposting a post, the provenance of which they haven't an inking about and making ridiculous conspiracy claims.

Think I'll put a child's scrawl on Facebook and say that Facebook ia trying to ban my photo of a Leonardo da Vinci painting because it offends Plymouth Brethren and see what happens. 

I guarantee some numbskull will pass it on.

Hay and I were developing a Playlist for the wedding party on Saturday - so many arguments about what tunes you can dance to. As far as I'm concerned, Dave and Ansil Collins' Double Barrel is eminently danceable.

As is Edwin Starr's Agent Double-0-Soul.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Work Experience & Pet Facebook Hates

No.1 Son is doing a week's work experience at JP Morgan Chase Bank in Bournemouth and I had to drive him there yesterday afternoon. Having neglected to break in his new shoes before going, he had no option but to use use his old school shoes, which are coming apart at the seams. I advised him to just say he comes from a poor family.

Things on Facebook that piss me off insanely:
  1. Those bloody Minions characters! You can't press page-down without one of the buggers popping up. The film makers have done a wonderful job of marketing these vermin, but as far as I'm concerned the only thing they seem well designed for marketing is tampons.
  2. Inane posts that stretch credulity by asking you to name a dog, girl's name, country or whatever, having no A, or B, or C. Truly inane and mind numbingly stupid, like the people that populate them with answers. The only thing they stretch is the minds of numbskulls.
  3. Ill conceived posts from Neo-Nazi organisations such as Britain First, and the people who re-post them with no endeavour whatsoever to verify the ludicrous claims made in them.
  4. (Add your own).

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Tent Raising Queen Moyet

It's Hay's sister's wedding party next Saturday and it's being held in the family kampong. Yesterday was spent raising an army surplus tent - must have been a field mess tent at one time - in our garden.

Took 5 blokes and, for the actual raising, their womenfolk and children too. The whole neighbourhood turned out - it was like something from the film Witness. I also learned a new term - Dutch lacing, which until now I thought was something to do with fetish clothing.

We next moved on to a more modern tent, which despite being contemporary and much smaller than the old army tent, was infinitely more difficult to erect.

Start getting near the end with these jobbies and that's when the problems start - poles keep popping out all over the damned place as it nears completion. It actually took more people to erect this thing than the humungous circus tent. Every corner needed someone pushing it in while simultaneously lifting it. Certainly not a job to tackle on your own.

I see the Queen is getting stick from the Sun newspaper over some old footage of her doing a Nazi salute as a child. I'm no fan of the Royal Family but I wonder if anyone from the Sun had the wit to ask the Palace what the context was, for as we know, context is everything. No, I thought not. Even so, this took place in 1933, well before the Kristallnacht incident of 1938 or the Nazi involvement in the Spanish Civil War in 1936, when Hitler's true intentions became manifest. Typical Sun gutter press - remember the Sun's reporting on Hillsborough? There are parts of Liverpool where no-one will buy the Sun, or even take it for free.

Remember Alison Moyet from the 80s? Have you seen recent photos of her? I was shocked.

What a transformation!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Large Hadron Jet Loo


Chairman: "I really think I have a book in me."

Hay: "Yes, cookery books, and they're all around your waist."

Spotted this on Facebook yesterday:

Now I don't know much about Large Hadron Colliders, but unless I'm very much mistaken, the image the Independent used for the Large Hadron Collider is actually that of a jet engine.

Hay ordered the dry-composting loo for the cabin yesterday - £1,750. Expensive, but no water required and no digging up the garden for a sewer pipe (on a very gradual fall). It's Finnish - they seem to be ahead of the UK in this respect, but then they have more remote cabins than we have in the UK. The grey water, which will be minimal, will go into a soakaway, so to all intents and purposes it'll be off-grid for sewerage. The boys are coming in a couple of weeks to start the build and should have it finished by the middle of September. Hay already has it rented out for a year from the end of September to a couple of guys with a start-up business who urgently need an office and a space for prototyping.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Gallagher Desert Island LG Degrees

Noel Gallagher's Desert Island Discs - that'll be an interesting listen, although Noel strikes me as the more sensible on of the two. However, sensible is a purely relative terms when talking about the Gallaghers. It's like comparing a psychopath with someone with verbal Tourette's.

Hay's dad has an LG TV, the remote control for which has never worked properly. LG sent him a new one ages ago when he first reported it, but that didn't work either. I inspected his TV for all manner of serial numbers and sent off for a third remote, but yet again it didn't work. His girlfriend, Barbara, brought round her remote for a different model of LG TV, and hey presto, it worked. So I bought him that remote, which also works perfectly. Something must be terribly amiss in LG.

Came in for some stick from one of my readers last weekend about my post in support of withdrawing the student grant. 

My position is that we have far too many "students" doing half baked degrees as an alternative to getting a job, and I blame Blair's target of 50% in higher education for that. It turned higher education into a business funded by the taxpayer, which as unsustainable, and generated a proliferation of Mickey Mouse degrees to get bums on seats. Even students are saying they're not getting value for money from higher education - it was recently in the news.

Taxpayer-funded degrees should not be an alternative to work and should be reserved for those needing a degree in order to obtain the position they want, which in my book says the student should invest in order to achieve that degree. If you simply want to learn, nothing is stopping you from learning yourself. Being an autodidact is one of the highest achievements.

The student loan has not been withdrawn, and nothing is paid back from it until the student earns more than £17k, and even then at an interest rate of just 1.5% and on a sliding scale. That's open to every student in the land. At 18 a teenager is an adult and should be treated as such, making their own way in life and learning to stand on their own two feet, not neotonised by an over-protective society (or parents).

My son will have to obtain a student loan, which will make him think long and hard about whether he in fact needs a degree in order to get the job he wants. It would possibly make him more marketable, but many have entered the profession he has chosen (and I use that word profession in its loosest sense, as it's the financial industry) with no degree and just good A levels. If he chooses university then he will have to subsidise his university education with paid work during evenings and/or weekends. It will be good for him.

I made some very bad investment decisions along my timeline - my company pensions were a disaster (a few blew up in my face) and buying a boat to live on was idiotic at a time when house prices were going exponential. A couple of divorces didn't help either. My pensions are worth diddley squat and I'd have been better keeping the money in a suitcase. I also have a small mortgage on the new build, and I'm paying 50% more than I need to so that it's all paid off by the time I retire (not that I think I'll ever be able to afford to retire in the traditional sense). I simply won't be able to subsidise my son's university education. He will be on exactly the same footing as the poorest student in the land - and what's wrong with that?

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that university students invest in their own education - just as I don't think children are entitled to an inheritance. Should the electorate wish to revert back to the old system of free university education, then the numbers going on to higher education would have to be reduced dramatically. 50% (which was a totally arbitrary figure anyway) cannot be funded by the state without large tax increases, and the tax burden has soared inexorably in the last few decades.

If the media are to be believed, then many potential university students are already considering going straight into the job market after A levels rather than spending two or three years doing a degree that statistics say will probably be irrelevant to the job they will eventually get anyway. That's not to decry a degree, however.

Analyse and discuss and shoot me down in flames if you think otherwise.

Thursday, 16 July 2015


Got back from Warsaw last night. One of the few places I've never visited before (Poland, that is).

I'm not 100% sure, but I think the Marriott Hotel was situated just on the edge of what used to be the infamous Warsaw ghetto - it was only a 13 minute walk to a synagogue that was in the heart of the area and had been rebuilt. Wish I'd had some time to explore, but it was a flying visit.

It's hard to believe that some 300,000 Jews from here died during WWII under the Nazi occupation. The Poles in general suffered the most from both the Nazis and the Russians. About one fifth of the population, or 6 million, perished. 3 million ethnic Poles and another 3 million Jews.

A few shots across the city from my hotel window:

This one is the Palace of Culture. There's an identical one on Riga in Latvia. Seems Uncle Joe Stalin built one of these in every major city he conquered. The Joe Stalin School of Monumental Architecture! In Riga it's called Stalin's Birthday Cake. A hideous, lumpen monstrosity, but so monstrous it has a certain beauty.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The Female of the Species

Visited Lidl yesterday for a single item.

Firstly, I entered the car park, going round in the prescribed manner one does when confronted by a one-way system, when a woman of about 50 reversed out of her space and proceeded to exit the car park in an anti-one-way system manner - something I've only ever seen young lads and women do. On expressing mild surprise, exhibited by raising my arms to the heavens and giving what Hay calls my 'are you stupid or something' look (imagine Greg Davies from Man Down sneering), she saw fit to give me two fingers.

Secondly, I went and bought my solitary item, only to be stood in a queue, the length of which surely contravened human rights in the western world. They announced another till would open and I rushed over, only to be beaten by a young woman and her mother who had obviously done a 6 week shop for both households (and comprised of the most hideously unwholesome food you could imagine). Now most men having someone behind them in the queue would allow someone with a handful of items to go in front of them - not these two. Had to wait a full 10 minutes.

Thirdly, I proceeded to get some petrol for the car, as I was going to Heathrow later in the afternoon to catch a flight to Warsaw. Woman came in just before me, and while there were 3 free filling points in her queue, she decided to fill up at the rearmost, blocking the other two. Not only did she do that, but the woman in the next queue did exactly the same.

I swear women are getting ruder and less considerate as the years go by.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Rock God

No.1 Son bought this over the weekend:

I'm tempted to pick it up and play the 3 tunes I know - OK, the 3 tunes I know part of. Should I?

Monday, 13 July 2015

The Biggest Aspidistra in the World

Swiss cheese plants were all the rage when I was in my 20s - I still like them. One of my closest friends had one that was situated in a dustbin as it was so large. However, have they become the equivalent of what the aspidistra was to my generation?

The coconut palm you can see was bought last year in Lidl, with the full expectation that it would die within a few weeks - it didn't, in fact it's flourishing.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Bathhampton to Warleigh Weir

Another kayaking adventure yesterday, but this time on the River Avon between Bathampton (just to the east of Bath) and Warleigh weir (much further east of Bath) on the River Avon.

Very different from the Kennet and Avon canal - didn't see a soul on the river and there was a lot more nature.

The Avon is basically a bunch of long lakes strung together with weirs. Without the weirs it would be a mere trickle.

Trip preparation is somewhat fraught, as you're desperately seeking places where you can launch or disembark. Added to the frustration is the need to find somewhere near to a car park of some description. A website called Paddle Points is invaluable - stealth kayakers contribute to the fund of knowledge about key launch sites.

Whereas the section of river between Bathampton weir and Bath is filled with pleasure craft of all descriptions (being so close to Bath), from Bathampton upstream is totally devoid of water craft, except those capable of being put in on the day due to the lack of permanent mooring sites.

Bought a few ratchet strops and roof rails so we could eliminate having to use the trailer, which gives us so much more versatility in the choice of launch sites. Had so much fun and relaxation from these kayaks - well recommended as a way of exorcising stress, especially if there's a pub at the end of the route where you can sit with a glass of something red in your paw.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Investing in Education for the Greeks

Seen a lot of posts on Facebook from the Lib Dems and Greens protesting about the loss of the student grant. However, the student loan is still in place and you don't have to even think about starting to pay it back till earning over £17k, and then it's based on a sliding scale. The interest is only 1.5%.

Why should the tax payer fund someone going to university simply because they can't be bothered to find a job, which is what has been happening in many instances to date. People should be encouraged to invest in their education if they think it will make them more marketable or make them a better all round person. Can't see any problem with that. "Don't drop the grant as I'll have to get a job," doesn't cut it with me.

Can't understand these Greeks. They vote no for austerity and then their new finance minister lodges a plan that involves austerity. Senseless to have a vote in that case. Even the no vote is going to lead to austerity, very probably worse austerity than voting for austerity would have produced - that's what bankruptcy entails.

They can't leave the Euro, which has been funding their lucrative pensions to date, and expect a bankrupt exchequer to finance them. It can only be a game of brinkmanship with the aim of getting a better deal - their politicians having no intention of rejecting their only lifeline.

Made a jar of red onion marmalade this week. Easy-peasy! I'd make someone a good wife.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Siege Mentality at the Wimbers Fox Hunt

Hay's sister, Michelle, is getting married in a few weeks to her longtime partner, Perry. The party is going to be a bring-your-own whatever and I've been tasked with baking 6 sourdough loaves. I baked 2 yesterday and needed a freezer to stock them in and thought I'd use Hay's dad's, as he's mainly on his own and (as I thought) couldn't have much in it. Little did I know he'd stocked up and had a whole drawer filled with four brown loaves, which seems a tad over the top. When I expressed surprise he said; "There's a war on you know!"

Watched the closing minutes of the Sharapova / Williams match yesterday afternoon. I can't believe how agile Williams is for such a big woman. Power and agility are obviously better than simple agility. It was like watching Arnie Schwartzenegger playing tennis. The blokes' game doesn't have massive, slightly overweight men. I do wish the women's game would go to 5 sets thought - just think of how many men have come back from 2 sets down to win the game. The women simply don't get time to get into the stride of their game and stamina counts for nothing.

Looks like fox hunting is back on the menu. Living in sheep country I do feel for the sheep farmers and have no objection to the sensible control of foxes by a bloke with a couple of dogs and a rifle, possibly on horseback. What I do object to is turning it into a circus and a 'sport' for nobs and the wealthy from London dressed in pink. It harks back to the days of public hangings. Mind you, I suspect more than a handful would like public hangings back too. Now as for illegal immigrant hunts - no problem at all, and I'm sure it will interest the nobs.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Free Hire ECG

The Chairman was taking delivery of some roof bars for the car to transport the kayaks:

Courier: "You don't need to buy these; you can hire them from Halfords for free."

Chairman: "How do you do that then?"

Courier: "Buy some from Halfords on Friday, use them for the weekend and then return them on Monday saying they were not what you were looking for. You'll get a full refund."

It's people with attitudes like that who got Greece into financial trouble, and we have more than a handful here.

Went to the doctor last week to have a suspect mole checked out and she took my BP at the same time. She noticed an arrythmia with my pulse, so booked me in for an ECG yesterday. It struck me over the weekend that the espresso machine liberated from my office may have had more to do with the arrythmia than anything congenital, so I laid off the espressos the last few days and got the all clear with the ECG. Let that be a warning to any coffee fiends out there.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Will He Be Back on Sundays?

Not only is the current problem the fault of populist Greek politicians (and the electorate for voting them in), but also a self-inflicted injury on the part of the EU and ECB bureaucrats for not calling a halt when the rules of Euro membership were first broken. The Euro is a failed project, whatever happens - the politicians should have read their history books before embarking on a project history says is impossible without full political union first.

The church is up in arms about plans to extend Sunday trading laws - they've been trying to reclaim their erstwhile monopoly for years, so no surprises there.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015


Was browsing Pets4Homes last night and alighted on this chap:

What's not to love about him?

Monday, 6 July 2015

Signs of the Times and an Out-take

Overheard in the Living Room:

Chairman: "Here, take this Bic razor and shave the bum fluff off the back of my neck please."

Hay: "Why do they call it bum fluff?"

Chairman: "Do you want me to show you?"

Hay: "No, we had enough of that yesterday when you changed out of your wet shorts in public after kayaking!"

Been thinking about these driverless cars that are being developed - perfect for kayaking. Get the car to drop you off somewhere upstream on a river and signal it to meet you a few hours later downstream. No worry about having to paddle furiously upstream.

Unite has backed Jeremy Corbyn as the new Labour leader. What a gift to the Tories - that'll be Labour in the sidelines for a generation!

The Greek no vote - let's have some perspective over time before we all pile into Europe for a holiday:

Was asked not to use my e-cig at the local Coffee One. Enquired as to why and was told customers had previously complained about the smell emanating from other vapers. Asked what people smelled and was told smoke. Told the girl that the customers were bigoted idiots and liars, as the only possible thing they could smell would be the flavourings, which are predominantly fruit, chocolate or vanilla. In my case it is vanilla, so if that upsets the customers, Coffee One should get rid of the vanilla extract they provide for their coffees. While they're at it, they should get rid of the sticky cakes which make their customers obese and give them diabetes.

Similar thing happened in Wetherspoon's a while ago. It's fine for them to sell customers 5 Woo Woo cocktails in a row so they can get smashed out of their faces, but not for me to exhale vanilla flavoured water vapour.

There is one one valid argument in favour of disallowing vaping in shops, and that's because some of their stupid customers might not come back and they could lose custom. I wouldn't mid that argument as it has a certain validity, if flawed on the part of the stupid customers.

Time for the Saturday kayaking out-take:

The sun was in my eyes, I couldn't see what the hell I was taking a picture of and pressed the button that superimposes a small reverse shot on the main image...

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Kayaking Adventures

Spent a relaxing day kayaking yesterday, although my shoulders are a tad sore this morning. No problem launching at Limpley Stoke, but had to search hard for somewhere to get out to have our picnic lunch. The kayaks are fine on a canal, but I'm not so sure they would be stable enough in a river or estuary. Might have to get something sturdier (and possibly tandem) for Fowey. Kept being asked by people where they could hire some - a possible business opportunity in the making?

Headed for what we thought was Bath, only to find out later that we were heading for Bradford-on-Avon - 180 degrees in the opposite direction. What with the canal crossing the Avon on aqueducts at several points in the area of Limpley Stoke, an easy mistake to make.

Hay paddling into the distance. "Book her, Danno!"

Leading the expedition in the nether regions of the Kennet and Avon, keeping an eye out for crocs.

A spot of lunch canalside. Note sure what the structure on the left is (stone with a slatted oak covering), but it aided disembarkation and these are just about the only things that allow you to get on land from a kayak.

We particularly liked this rebooted kayak we found on the canal - an innovative interpretation using a very old surfboard and a plastic stacking chair.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Public Floyd Grief and Strange T Shirts

Went to see Bootleg Floyd at Riff's Bar in Swindon last night with Hay. Wasn't sure what to expect and most of the first set was later Floyd, which I'm not that familiar with, so couldn't get into the swing. The 2nd set was pure magic though, being comprised entirely of DSotM. Hay's seen Floyd live 3 times and was very impressed with these guys - and she normally detests tribute bands (we have constant arguments about whether orchestras playing classical music are tribute bands or not, which, essentially, they are). For a small venue without the benefit of inflatable pigs and laser displays, it was excellent.

A small taster (my arms got tired) - Dave Gilmour was particularly good, although he seemed to be 2 people, but I couldn't see Richard Wright or Nick Mason from my vantage point:

Wonder if there's a Spinal Tap tribute band?

A minute's silence and flying flags at half mast for the people killed in the Tunisia atrocity. Don't know about you, but I feel very uncomfortable about national, public displays of mourning for anything other than deaths where the subjects of the mourning have risked their lives for the nation and hence we owe them a debt deserving of the nation's respect. It's probably a Teutonic age thing and a general dislike for wearing hearts on sleeves. It all started with the (what I considered) distasteful scenes at Princess Diana's funeral, which seem to have become a national obsession of the younger generation. 

I'm getting worried about Hay's choice of T shirts:

Have you noticed how the ISIS summer range clothing is rather similar to their winter, autumn and spring range? They need a new designer.

Off kayaking today on the Kennet and Avon canal.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Kayaks Away for Greek Perspective

Here we go! The yaks were delivered Wednesday - £400 worth of plastic.

Despite the yaks being identical, the oars supplied with each one are very different - one is big, black, butch and blokey (that'll be mine) and t'other is yellow, dainty and effeminate (Hay's). However, there were no wing mirrors supplied!

Not exactly stackable, but small enough to be lifted by one person. Now to solve the carriage problem, as we don't really want to be taking the trailer all over the place. The problem is that it's almost impossible to find roof bars for sports cars, especially antique ones.

Hay has just discovered that this hobby is more expensive than she thought - there's the issue of waterways licences. Is that her I hear tapping away on the keyboard to sell two second-hand yaks on eBay?

Spotted this building near where I had my business meeting on Wednesday - they've monkeyed around with the perspective in the design to dramatic effect - it appears to loom over the viewer:

Greece! It can't survive in the Euro, nor can it survive outside of it - where's the money going to come from? The EU has basically been bankrolling all their pensions and infrastructure developments, and now it's pay-back time. Imagine if you borrowed heavily and then said you can't pay back - if everyone did that we'd have a financial crisis on our hands and a possible global melt-down.... oh, hang on - we had one of those for exactly the same reason, didn't we?

It's Greece's politicians' fault, as well as that of the ideologically-driven idiots who allowed Greece into the Euro in the first place - and to break every rule in the book. The words 'too big to fail' come to mind. So long as you have nations willing to do nothing but take and others willing to give in the name of a blinkered ideology, the Euro is a doomed project. It can only be accomplished through a union of like-minded nations with similar economic dynamics and full political integration.

Whereas ISIS's aim is the creation of a global Ummah by the destruction of borders, nationalities and cultural identities through terror and warfare, the EU's aim is exactly the same, but through the creation of the Euro-Zone and using somewhat more democratic means (unless violence breaks out in Greece). Analyse and discuss.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Hijab Phone Accessory for Facebook

I was standing waiting for a colleague at Old Street tube station in London yesterday prior to a business meeting and spotted a Muslim woman in a Hijab with one hand full of shopping bags and the other hand trying to restrain two small children. All the while she was talking on her mobile phone, which was rammed into the side of her hijab. Novel use of a hijab, if you ask me - never seen it used in this way before.

I can see all British women wearing hijabs soon as a mobile phone accessory. Mind you, would it be classed as hands-free if used while driving?

I'm getting really depressed with Facebook - it is becoming a hate-filled medium where nonsense is peddled as fact and statistics are misrepresented in the most mind-bending manner to justify some or other ultra-right (predominantly) or ultra-left political stance. It seems few people are prepared to do even the most rudimentary research on the stuff peddled on Facebook - people are naturally gullible when it comes to things that reinforce their prejudices or preconceived and ill-considered judgements.