Thursday, 30 September 2010


I was driving along the M25 this morning and spotted a couple of immigrants.

It's so sad people resort to this.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Brilliant Comrade

I’m thinking of appointing my 12 year-old son, The Brilliant Comrade, as a neurosurgeon in the Democratic Republic of North Old Sodbury’s cottage hospital. By North Korean standards he has all the necessary qualifications and Our Dear Leader, Hayley, agrees with me.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Balancing Act

Jimi Heselden, the owner of the firm that makes the Segway, has topped himself by driving one of his contraptions over a bloody cliff. It’s rather sad, but it nonetheless brought a guffaw to my lips when I read the news report.

I imagine it won’t do a lot for Segway sales. I guess Heselden wasn’t aware of the 10 foot braking distance - either that or he was trying to see if it flew.

Beta version of the Segway

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Build Update

Ken Livingston has been approved by the Labour Party to run for mayor of London. He will be fighting the contest against a fat, gaffe-prone, bumbling buffoon from the Conservative Party and a thin, gaffe-prone, bumbling buffoon from the Lib Dems.

You know, I somehow think he’s going to walk it.

Here are some more updates from the house build. The brickies have now left for a few weeks while the roof trusses are put together and in position - then the roof goes on.

View from the west facade.

The main feasting hall.

The kitchen.

East and west wing roof trusses.

Friday, 24 September 2010


Commonwealth Games organisers are shocked at some of the photos of the facilities and conditions at the athletes’ village.

If you ask me, these photos are fakes. They’re obviously photos of some single bloke’s flat in London - either that or student digs.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

A Bunch of Bankers

The head of the Financial Services Authority, Lord Turner, has said that it was not bonuses that caused the financial melt-down, but under-regulation.

Isn’t that a bit like a burglar blaming the lack of police presence for his anti-social habit?

Implicit in Lord Turner’s statement is that without regulation bankers would naturally behave as a bunch of psychotic and rapacious bastards. I’ll remember that!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Balloon Alley & Oak Trusses

Had two of the buggers buzz us last night and come down in the common just the other side of our hedge. It's a regular occurrence this time of year. They were filled with Japanese tourists.

The oak roof trusses are coming along nicely:

Got made redundant yesterday - that opens up a whole new load of opportunities for me and another phase of my life. It could have happened at a better time though.

Mum has been hospitalised due to her seemingly having given up on life and not eating. She's being rehydrated with a drip and once that's done she will return to the nursing home - ostensibly to die.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Makita BMR100 Job Site Radio

The blaring building site radio is a cultural icon.

Some workmen came yesterday to put the finishing touches to the scaffolding.

Now I don’t know about you, but I always associated the name Makita with big and beautifully made power tools. Yesterday I learned, to my total surprise, that they also make a building site radio – and here it is, the Makita BMR100 Job Site Radio.

From what I can gather, rather than a volume switch it seems (at least to my ears) to have only an on / off switch, is set to maximum volume and is permanently tuned to Heart FM.

I looked it up and the bloody thing costs £159, which seems a tad steep for a radio. I suspect it contravenes a number of European (if not galactic) noise abatement by-laws.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Word of the Day - Antizigantism

Learned a new word yesterday – antiziganism. Spotted it in a Wiki article on Borat and seems quite topical in France at present.

Friday, 17 September 2010

There's Something of the Night About Him

Yesterday the Queen praised the Catholic Church's "special contribution" to helping the poorest and most vulnerable around the world. I guess that’ll be the ban on contraception with the resultant proliferation of AIDS and poverty in the 3rd world, a location which, according to one of the Pope’s cronies, includes the UK. In Cardinal Kasper’s defence, I think he was referring specifically to Heathrow, in which case one must tend to agree with him – hideous place redolent of the old Athens airport.

The Pope said: "Today, the United Kingdom strives to be a modern and multicultural society. In this challenging enterprise, may it always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate."

Secularism is the concept of state of being separate from religion – the opposite of theocracy. Secularism denies a special place for any one particular religion, allowing all to worship as they please and thus is a damned sight more tolerant than theocracy. I doubt for a minute any of us would wish for the bishops or mullahs to be ruling the country as theocratic states are typically those where repression and intolerance are greatest.

He could, however, have been having a sideways dig at Mrs Queen by obliquely referring to the Act of Settlement of 1701, whereby no Catholic can sit on the throne of the United Kingdom. However, as the monarch is also the head of the Church of England, it cannot in any way be called a secularist agenda – anti-catholic, yes. When all is said and done, the Vatican is the only absolute monarchy in Europe.

The Pope then went on a whirlwind tour of Edinburgh in his ice cream van (I’ll have a 99 with two small boys please, your Holiness).

Don’t know about you, but to me he appears to have ‘something of the night about him’. It must be down to his preoccupation with the supernatural and those dark circles round his eyes.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Road Rage & Idiots

I was driving along the M5 yesterday at 50 mph, as I was early for a meeting and didn’t wish to arrive early.

A lorry was behind me and kept flashing me. I ignored it as the road was open and clear and the driver could easily have overtaken me with no trouble at all. It wasn’t even a very large lorry.

He then sped up and came parallel to me, honked his horn several times and then proceeded to cut me up such that I had to slow down before he hit me.

I consider this kind of behaviour rather stupid when you have the name of the company you drive for emblazoned across the back of your lorry.

Needless to say I later phoned the company concerned and lodged a complaint about their driver, which was taken very seriously.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Ice Cream Wars

Ice cream company Antonio Federici has had an advert showing a pregnant nun banned by the ASA for mocking the beliefs of Roman Catholics. Nice one Federici - I’d never heard of Antonio Federici ice cream before and now it’s imprinted on my mind due to 8 complaints and the actions of the ASA.

However. it’s obvious (at least to me) that this advert set out to purposely court controversy ahead of the Pope’s visit and thus protestations of justification by the company are driven by a marketing agenda – the same agenda pastor Terry Jones had with his Qur’an burning ploy.

Apparently there are still thousands of unsold tickets for the Pope’s gig in Scotland. Perhaps he should invited Terry Jones over to the event and get him to do a bit of Qur’an burning. That’ll certainly draw the crowds.

It is said that one in five children in the UK are being wrongly labelled as having special needs. If you ask me, far too many are being wrongly labelled as having 5 A* grades.

A prisoner in Wiltshire escaped in a get-away tractor while working on the outside. There was a low-speed police chase at 20 MPH before he was caught after a 10 mile crawl in which he was blocking a long queue of cars trying to get to Devises.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


On the way to work I was listening to an item on the radio concerning Wayne Rooney and his wayward love life. John Humphries was quoting a newspaper headline which called Rooney a love-rat. Humphries commented that there must be a by-law dictating that Rooney had to be called a love-rat in any press story.

I was under the impression it was de rigueur to call him Gollum.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Hang On!

Unions in the UK are calling for strike action and mass protests over the planned budget cuts.

Hang on; didn’t the Conservative government get voted in just 5 months ago on the platform that the massive budget deficit had to be reduced immediately?

Sunday, 12 September 2010

The Last Squeeze

Remember those wonderful toothpaste tubes or yore, the ones you rolled up and probably contained voluminous quantities of hideously toxic base metals? Wonderful, weren’t they? You could squeeze out every last smear of toothpaste.

These new plastic jobbies spring back into shape the instant you let go of them, resulting is good 5 minute wrestle to get the last drop out the next time you use them.


Saturday, 11 September 2010

Symbology & Intolerance

An Imam, responsible for a planned Islamic community centre at Ground Zero, refuses to reconsider the location, knowing full well that its very location is grossly insensitive to the feelings of a large number of Americans who lost relatives in an atrocity committed in the name of Islam. The man is an insensitive idiot.

A little-known, so-called Pastor with a flock of less than 50 is threatening to burn Islamic sacred texts if the planned Islamic center is not relocated to somewhere other than Ground Zero. I would not call this man a Christian, but a charlatan and a blackmailer to boot.

Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Moslems in Afghanistan and Pakistan are, as a result, calling for all Christians to be killed. I would not call these people Muslims, but bloodthirsty savages who can’t tell the difference between a real Christian and a demagogue. However, sometimes I can’t tell the difference either.

The media elevates this so-called Pastor to the position where he is front-page news. Without the breath of the media, this Pastor would remain unknown and the lives already lost in this argument (at least 3 thus far) would have been saved. Are the actions of a single nutcase newsworthy? Debatable!

This whole thing revolves around symbology and intolerance – the symbols of Ground Zero and the Qur’an and the intolerance of religious fundamentalism.

All in all, an unholy mess – or a holy mess, depending on your point of view. I’m just glad I’m totally devoid of religion. My symbols and intolerances are secular.

Friday, 10 September 2010

I Am The Stig

Extracts from Tony Blair’s autobiography would suggest that he, and not Ben Collins, was The Stig.

I am The Stig (your turn).

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Boy Shed & House

Apparently there’s a north / south divide in the UK concerning problem drinking; People in the north drink a lot and the people in the south think it’s a problem.

Well, the Boy Shed is finished and he moved in at the weekend. He adores it! Bedroom, den and shed combined, with easy access to the caravan through the window at the back, which is hermetically bonded to one of the caravan's windows (glass removed).

The house is coming on a treat too, but it does somewhat resemble HMP Maze.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The Old Sodbury Village Day Photographic Competition

Nice, ain't it?

I won 3rd place with the following composition at the Old Sodbury Village Day photographic competition. It wasn't really my choice for an entry, but Hay persuaded me.

I'd have preferred this one, which was strikingly similar to the winning entry, which was a summer image of the same scene:

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Beyond Belief - All in the Mind

On my way home yesterday afternoon, as is customary, I was listening to the radio. The programme I was listening to was 'Beyond Belief', which is concerned with faith and ethics.

The subject under discussion was Catholicism and I was astounded to hear one of the interviewees state that (among other things) Catholics should become less concerned with introspection and more concerned with the Truth.

Given the large number of religions, each professing to be custodians of Truth, these Truths can by definition be no more than opinions – and widely differing opinions to boot.

The only Truth can be that which is indisputable – i.e. scientific truth derived from observation, experimentation and verifiability through repeatability.

I think 'Beyond Belief' should be renamed 'All in the Mind', the name of another BBC Radio 4 programme.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Welcome to the Jungle - Late

The buggers have only gone and done it again!

Not happy with turning up late at Reading and Leeds, GNR turned up an hour late at Dublin.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Separated at Birth

Another 'Separated at Birth' observation.

I was watching some of the highlights of the Reading Festival and spotted Axl Rose doing a fair attempt at some 'dad dancing'. He's starting to look alarmingly like Mickey Rourke and very un-cool.

Rose (left) and Rourke (right)