Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Working Class Media

I heard someone on the radio the other day decrying the lack of working class people in the media. Surely, being in the media automatically makes you middle class by default, regardless of your background (unless you're Lord Clark of Civilization) - or is social mobility dead and buried? I hear many so-called 'working class' accents on the radio and TV these days.

Often, but certainly not always, you need a degree to work in the media too - there's no bar to working class people getting a degree, more and more are doing so and, if education is an attribute of class, a degree again makes you middle class.

Julie Birchill is a name that immediately springs to mind as an example of someone with a working class background and no degree, but who has become a media star and middle class, although she probably wouldn't like the label. Music seems to be a good route into the media for the working class, as is being a writer, whether of books or plays.

That's not to say things can't be improved, but it's patently false to maintain there are no working class people in the media, as the item I heard was implying. I suppose it all depends on one's definition of working class...

Analyse and discuss.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Customary Cat Exercises

Hay: "Kitty looks subdued, as if she's got something on her mind. I wonder what it could be?"

Chairman: "Jeremy Corbyn possibly coming out in favour of a customs union? She'll have heard it on the radio just now."

Hay: "Ah, yes. She's worried about the implications for that long-term export order for catnip."

Found out how to create gifs using the camera on the Samsung S8+.

Could come in handy, I guess.

Everyone is moaning about temperatures that are predicted to go as low as -5 degrees - one paper is calling it the coldest temperature for 27 years. Can't see what the issues it; when we were living in the caravan while building the house we recorded -10 degrees quite often in winter and there were no problems. OK, we had no water for a few days, but that was only because it came through a hose rather than an underground pipe.

The exercise regime I'm following is certainly having beneficial effects. While my weight has only gone down by 3kg (and I suspect that's because I'm simultaneously putting on muscle mass because the layer of fat in certainly disappearing and my stomach is flattening), my blood pressure has improved dramatically. Before the regime I was around 130/100, it's now consistently at 114/74.

I'm now on 20 wheelie rolls, 20 bicep lifts with a 10kg weight in each hand, 20 arm side curls with the same weight and 20 seconds of abdomen vacuum - all repeated 5 to 6 times a day, with one day of rest in the week to allow the muscles to repair. I'm also still on the 5/2 diet, but not eating breakfast or lunch on the 5 days, thus dramatically reducing my usual calorie intake. Watch this space...

Monday, 26 February 2018

Smearing Lecturers

This Ben Bradley smear of Corbyn - bad mistake. It has backfired massively and has served to a) draw attention to Bradley's own, odious, 4th Reich views (ref a vast sea of unemployed wasters who should have vasectomies in order to stop them having several children) and b) sway people who probably would never vote for Corbyn to vote for him purely out of distaste for what Bradley and all and his ilk stand for. Hideous little twerp.

I have to confess that I dabbled with Conservatism in my youth - who hasn't done something stupid when young? - but that was before they became what they now are. It was also before I developed what we experts call a social conscience, which today's crop of Conservatives have left behind. I don't, however, relish the prospect of handing control of the country to a workers' collective intent on a Momentumist Utopia either. For me, a social conscience is tempered with a healthy regard for keeping the the country running and competitive in an increasingly globalised economy - rewarding hard work and yet ensuring that those less fortunate are not left to fend for themselves and the plutocrats and oligarchs are not able to run riot.

The university lecturers' strike is drawing opprobrium from many quarters because students are a casualty. Similarly, if health professionals go on strike they are equally vilified - but what other recourse do they have? Any strike engenders collateral damage - whether it be customers or suppliers, but in all instances the strikers are left with little choice - they also are victims.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Trojan Millennials

Overheard while choosing TV programmes on iPlayer:

Hay: "I don't think you'll like this version of Troy - it's allegedly not historically accurate."

Chairman: "I think you'll find that Homer's version wasn't exactly a historical documentary either."

I was listening to something about Millennials on the radio the other day and their alleged sense of entitlement. Everyone is asking where this sense of entitlement comes from; I would suggest it comes from the aristocracy, certain sections of the political class who, after serving a term or two in government, sell large chunks of the family silver to their corporate paymasters at a huge discount and end up with the reward of a chairmanship, and the super-rich. You can't tell me that the old Duke of Beaufort, who died last year, didn't have a sense of entitlement, nor the majority of the Conservative Party.

It can also be traced back to the neo-liberalism of the Thatcher years when everything that didn't move was privatised and it became cool to be filthy rich on the back of a deregulated financial system. It even became cool to be financially criminal.

Then there's the fact that our kids are the most educated of any generation - correction, the longest educated - meaning they have been institutionalised for far longer before having to face the realities of the workplace, becoming neotenised by society in the process. We've added between two and five years to adolescence in the last 20 years.

It's ironic that the parents of Millennials are members of the generation that 'had it all' for the least effort. Is it therefore any wonder that Millennials want the same as their parents had? Don't judge them too harshly - you're probably the cause and are a giant toddler yourself, seeing your kids as your best friends, rather than wild animals that need discipline and taming (and hankering for off-the-shelf lifestyles). However, revenge is a dish best served cold and their comeuppance will manifest itself when your kids become parents themselves.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Hozzy Lips In Stow

A few days ago I pondered whether lip readers can detect accents - I found this:

About a third of the sounds we use for speech don’t use the lips or the front of the mouth, and so can’t be distinguished by a lip reader. Accents normally show most of their variation in the vowel sounds and these are the hardest to pick up by lip reading. A strong regional accent can often make lip reading impossible, so a lip reader might be able to tell that you had an accent simply because they couldn’t understand you. Identifying which accent it is would be harder, although some accents – such as Mancunian, which tends to use a wider mouth shape for vowels – might be detectable. More likely, a lip reader would infer your accent from dialect words and phrases (such as the Liverpudlian ‘hozzy’ instead of ‘hospital’).

Went for a quick trip to Stow-on-the-Wold yesterday. Nice place, but filled to the brim with lifestyle shops that provide one with an off-the-shelf, designer, Cotswold living room, or kitchen in the regulation, National Trust grey. These things seem to be designed for people lacking any shred of creativity and wanting to be shoe-horned into a pre-prepared idyll.

Back to Trump and the American arms race; he called the armed deputy who didn't enter the school a coward. That's fine talk from a draft dodger. He makes a habit of being a hypocrite. I'll tell you what's cowardly - not taking on the NRA.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Doping NRA Beakers

Of course the NRA is in favour of arming teachers - it's in favour of everyone in America carrying guns for the simple reason it will result in more guns being sold and higher profits. No other reason - business trumps logic and runs the country for the benefit of business alone, paying politicians to so their work. The ridiculous thing is that much of the electorate supports this position. It's people like this that give us ordinary nutters a bad name.

It's worth considering that no-one wants to be spotted holding a gun, even if being used in self-defence, when a SWAT team descends on a school where a shoot-out is taking place. Until such time as the NRA can develop a drone that can tune into homicidal maniacs' brain waves and then follow him (it's invariably, but not always, a bloke) round with a big, neon sign saying; "Homicidal Maniac," handing guns to all and sundry is a recipe for an even greater disaster.

These shootings are not random - the people shot may be, but the target building isn't. The perpetrator is sufficiently clear thinking to have a grudge and doesn't care whether he comes out of it alive, so arming teachers isn't going to make any difference as to whether he comes to the school or not. He's going out in a blaze of glory, come what may.

Trump saying he's going to address mental health, but calling these people 'sickos' doesn't exactly give the right signals either. Unless, of course, he's going to luck up everyone with a mental health issue. I wouldn't put it past him, if it means a contest between mental health and the NRA. Personally, I think anyone who supports the NRA has a mental health issue.

People who support an arms race within American society are just plain morons - there's no other excuse for them. I don't care if I upset any of my American friends on this issue - they're in denial.

So the continental Beaker People from Europe almost totally replaced the original Neolithic Britons some 4,500 years ago, bringing with them a more advanced culture. I'll say no more...

Regarding this Russian accused of using performance enhancing substances in the Olympic curling; how the hell can anything, except perhaps spectacles, improve your performance in chucking a lump of granite at low speed across a stretch of ice? I could understand doping the opposing team to make them fall about in a drug induced haze, but doping yourself?

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Deaf Shelfie Diet

Thought I'd let everyone know what I look like, so I took a shelfie:

Saw an advert on TV last night for some diet outfit called Jane Plan. They send you food parcels and apparently you can get £100 off with a certain code. If there's £100 off, then it must cost a bloody fortune. Surely just eating less is going to involve no cost - in fact you'll save money - for no effort.

I wonder whether people who lipread can discern accents?

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Dog Shit Markets

Overheard while walking into town:

Chairman: "Who is that lad on the other side of the road?"

Hay: "One of Chis and Ralphs - eldest."

Chairman: "They don't have a kid called Elvis!"

Hay: "What are you talking about?"

Chairman: "You said he's called Elvis. Neither of Chris and Ralph's boys are called Elvis."

Hay: "Eldest, not Elvis!"

Hay was selling something on Facebook Market. A bloke responded on Messenger with a voice clip asking a few questions. Hay, not being very familiar with Messenger, responded by pressing the wrong button and sent him a dishevelled photo of her in her nightie with a quizzical expression on her face. He must have been horrified. She'll be getting a name for herself.

When we were hacking the undergrowth from the bridge over a local stream over the weekend, we can across several plastic bags of dog shit. why do people bother to collect their dog's shit in a plastic bag and then dump the bag? They'd be better just leaving the dog shit on the grass, for God's sake! Foxes, badgers, etc. are meat eaters and shit in fields without it causing plagues.

Talking of dogs, I'm convinced that what with Hay's obsession with cats, the only way I'm ever going to have a dog is to offer my services as a dog walker.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018


Don't know about you, but I'm a tad fed up with newspapers no longer being newspapers, but propaganda machines and purveyors of vacuous tittle-tattle. Doesn't matter whether they have a left or right-wing bent, they consistently fail to report facts without putting their own political spin on them - or are selective in which facts they bother to report.

The on-line versions are even worse, publishing blatantly provocative or salacious items to draw clicks and advertising revenue.

The BBC is no longer what it used to be either. Having to pander to accusations of bias (most of which are politically motivated - the more biased you are, the more biased you're going to see anything that's middle-of-the-road; it's a relative measure) it now has to tread a very delicate line and has become adept at ensuring it gives equal coverage to both sides of any argument, even if it means giving total crackpots equal billing with experts.

I have been using Flipboard for some time, as at least you get a spread of opinion (for news is now opinion, rather than factual reporting) from both ends of the political spectrum, but it's wearing having to read two extremes rather than something from a reasoned viewpoint (which is not necessarily the middle).

That said, Reuters consistently comes out in analyses as politically neutral and has now become my preferred newsfeed. There's also the fact that most news organisations actually take their main stories from only three sources, Reuters being one of them. It's only after receiving the Reuters wire report that newspaper hacks put their spin on a story before publishing it.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Bridge of Mice for Ukip

Late news, I know, but apparently Henry Bolton has been voted out of the Ukip leadership position. Why the 2nd vote - what part of a democratic vote doesn't Ukip understand?.....

We did a spot of community helping this weekend by clearing a stile of brambles and trees. Imagine our surprise to discover a bridge we never knew existed under all the undergrowth. I always thought it was a stile over the stream with a small culvert.

Cat food pouches left in the kitchen bin ming like hell after a day due to the under floor heating working its magic; then there's also the fact the pouches are made of plastic, which isn't recyclable. Someone should make a cat food pouch in the shape of a mouse with a covering that a cat can rip apart and eat.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Compulsory Gun Hope

Apparently we had an earth tremor yesterday and the glasses rattled in the kitchen cupboard. I knew nothing of it, as I was in Lidl doing some shopping.

An American friend alerted me to the exact wording on the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution; "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." So, it's for the purpose of having a well regulated militia. If there's no militia then there's no right and, even if there is a militia, you should be well regulated and signed up to it. It's worth bearing in mind that it applied to guns having a firing rate of about once a minute.

Some interesting, but not totally unexpected, poll results from YouGov.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Votes for Animals in Northern Ireland

What with the progress of animal rights, when, I wonder, will they be given the vote? They already have passports. There are estimated to be 8.5m dogs and 8m cats in the UK - that's a sizeable electorate; almost as many as those who voted for Brexit.

Which party would dogs and cats vote for, or would they set up their own political parties. I can't see cats and dogs voting along similar lines, so a split in the cohort would seem likely.

This argument about Gaelic that's preventing devolved government in Northern Ireland; why doesn't the government just go ahead, while it's ruling from Westminster, and enact an Irish Language Act, like it did for Wales in 1993? It's not even as if the Loyalists in NI speak English anyway - I always need a translator. Oh, I forgot - the DUP is holding them hostage.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Comb-over Gold

I was stood in the bathroom using a comb to scratch my back when Hay asked if I was combing my back hair...

Talking of comb-overs, I see The Orange One is focusing on mental health in response to the latest school shooting, rather than guns. How on earth do you tell when someone is about to flip and go on the rampage? Switzerland is often cited as a defence by the NRA - it has high gun ownership and high gun deaths. What the NRA conveniently avoids mentioning is that while average gun ownership is high, it's actually a lot of guns owned by a small number; arsenals, if you will. Also, the overwhelming number of gun deaths in Switzerland are suicides, not school rampages.

In a fit of absent-mindedness we did a spring clean yesterday. I started to merely dust my desk, which spurred Hay into giving the bookcase a severe dusting to within an inch of its life - then one thing led to another (in a mildly competitive manner) and, before we knew it, spring clean. 

A few weeks  ago I made a post about fiat currency and gold. I read this this morning - an eye opener for some.

Deleted Snapchat - useless.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Snap Weight

We got Valentine's Day started with an argument. We don't have them very often, but when we do they get a tad shouty. All over in a few minutes though and back to normality for another year.

Thought I'd get 'with it' and sign up for Snapchat, which is apparently taking over from Facebook. Can't see the point of it - all I seem to be able to do is it take a picture of myself and send it to a mate. Don't think my mates are particularly interested in seeing a picture of me. Looks as if it's designed for neo-narcissists. 

I even looked up this to get a better idea, but it adds nothing to my previous assessment.

The exercise and calorie deficit regime is working - I've lost 3 kg since starting it and the gut is shrinking. I found out last week that I've been doing the roller wheel exercise all wrong and you have to use your core to recover from the extension rather than getting assistance from your arms. Much more difficult, but far more efficacious. I've added No.2 Son's 10 kg dumbbells to the regime - nothing too strenuous, but enough to get the cardiovascular system into action. Whenever I have a few spare moments I do 10 repetitions of each exercise. I also do what's called the abdomen vacuum. You can do those anywhere, including the supermarket queue, but you do tend to get a few weird looks. I'd say I do the repetitions some 8 to10 times a day. Target is to get down to 80 kg.= (12.5 stones) from 88.5 kg.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

McMafia Valentine Teenagers

No.2 Son has gone to stay with a mate in Cornwall:

Hay: "You can tell there's no teenager in the house - well, with the exception of you."

I bought Hay a Valentine's card but, on opening it to write a message, I discovered there was no envelope.

This unexploded, WWII, German bomb in the Thames should be manna from heaven for Brexiteers, but they don't seem to be making any obvious connections - humourless lot.

We watched the last episode of McMafia last night. Startling similarities to The Godfather, if you ask me.

Why is it that when someone who wears spectacles can see distance extremely clearly when looking through a small aperture with no specs? If you wear glasses, try it yourself by curling your thumb and forefinger to form a tiny hole and looking through it. Suddenly everything that was fuzzy comes into perfect focus.

Heard a radio announcer introducing a programme on the plover - he called it a plowver. Spot the city boy...

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Oxfam Car Parks

Oxfam: there's no denying the organisation as a whole does good and makes a difference to millions.
  1. Was any Oxfam money used in the pursuance of procuring prostitutes - i.e. was their use claimed on expenses, or anything like that.
  2. Are the staff concerned still working for Oxfam?
If the answers to the above are no, then move along. The government actually knew about the problems of the East and West Coast rail franchises, but chose to do nothing. The government knew about the problems of RBS mistreating small customers, but chose to do nothing. They knew about Carillion, but again didn't do anything - all these fiascos are costing billions whereas Oxfam gets £31.7m from the government. Can't have double standards just because you want to keep your chums in industry sweet on the one hand but need an excuse to hit an easy target that has a record of exposing government sponsored inequality in Britain on the other.

Organisations involved with vulnerable people are natural and proven targets for a certain type of person - UK aid agencies, UN agencies, the church, etc. - and you've got to be pretty naive if you don't believe some serious abuse doesn't go on. Perhaps staff vetting procedures need to be a lot more stringent, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. The Deputy CEO has at least resigned and done the decent thing - perhaps the CEO should do the same and have a clean sweep.

Hay got a letter back from Bristol Airport Parking about being charged twice - apparently the registration plate recognition system didn't recognise her registration plate on entering or leaving. A rather unlikely story, given they accurately logged her time of arrival and time of departure. She got a refund.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Glass Heaven

Another nice little charity shop find in Bradford-on-Avon yesterday:

Not sure what you're meant to drink from them - they're too small for wine. Dessert wine, perhaps, or a large sherry. They look Edwardian.

Talking of glass, why is it impossible to get people in their 80s, who wen't through rationing, to do any recycling? Hay's dad (age 83) is simply not interested in the slightest in separating his domestic waste.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Mansplaining LinkedIn

Overheard in the car:

Chairman: "It's a bit pointless putting the heating on 28 degrees and having the fan at its lowest setting - it's usual to put the fan on full blast."

Hay: "Are you mansplaining car heaters?"

Talking of cars, I see Starman is driving a left-hand drive Tesla to Mars. Will this set a precedent for driving on the right in space? I'll bet Somerset and Avon police have speed cameras on the route.

Saw a video of The Travelling Wilburys song, End of the Line. Roy Osbison's place was taken by a rocking chair with his guitar on it. I think they need to do a remake with at least another couple of rocking chairs for John Harrison and Tom Petty.

LinkedIn has been giving me gyp. I was being inundated by congratulatory messages on the 2nd anniversary of a job I'm no longer in - I simply hadn't updated LinkedIn for my current position. To stop the messages I updated my profile, but now I'm getting congratulatory messages for the new job, despite having been doing it for over 6 months. Sometimes algorithms can be a pain in the backside.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Dark Crackers

Christmas cracker manufacturers are becoming more enterprising - never seen Valentine's crackers before:

Another YouGov poll; another chance to interpret it as you wish:

Friday, 9 February 2018

Speeding Derbyshire Neck

I attended my Speed Awareness Course on Wednesday morning, along with about 15 other miscreants. We all filed into the lecture room, only for me to not be on the list of attendees. I showed the lecturer my letter and he kindly pointed out I'd come a month early...

That wasn't my only failure this week. I was going to participate in 5 year clinical trial for an Alzheimer's drug, but my blood tests showed I was out of scope on my TSH levels, which can indicate an overactive thyroid; however, I don't present as typical of someone with an overactive thyroid - they're usually quite slim and may show signs of Derbyshire Neck, or goitre, as it is otherwise known. At least I know and will make a doctor's appointment to see what may be the underlying problem, if indeed there is one. Going on a clinical trial can have its benefits - they do tests on your that aren't normally done at a GP's appointment.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Crypto Student Debt

Advanced apprenticeships seem to be taking over from standard degrees for many areas, such as engineering - you get a paid job and spend one day a week at university, ending up with a degree, a job and no debt. Sounds a sensible alternative to a straight degree for those degrees that are in demand in industry. It's what I did throughout my seagoing career - I did 2nd Mates, Mates and Master Mariner qualifications while on the job over a 12 year period - all my study fees were paid by my employer and I was paid a decent wage.

The £50k debt saddling university graduates is a serious concern, especially when you consider a young couple looking to set up house after leaving university will have a combined debt of £100k - nearly half of a mortgage these days - and they have to pay that back with interest and try to buy a house or rent a flat. It's simply not feasible.

After a term and a half at university, No.1 Son is considering swapping out from Maths and Economics to a Higher Apprenticeship in Engineering and is scurrying around applying to numerous engineering firms in the area, and round here we have quite a few.

Saw this cartoon lampooning crypto-currencies (click to expand), but the fiver in your wallet only buys stuff because a number of people agree to use it as a medium of exchange. Intrinsically it's worth nothing - it's not backed up by anything more concrete than trust and confidence in the economy, which is why people are so wary of talking down a country's economy. It's basically a confidence trick - as is a crypto-currency. A crypto-currency just needs enough people to believe in it for it to work for them - a bit like God. 

I suggested to No.1 Son that he and a few mates develop a student crypto-currency (any suggestions for a name - the Academia, perhaps?) and use it to pay their tuition fees with the cooperation of their university. Early adopters, and that includes universities, will benefit as the number of users swells and it becomes more valuable. It might even be worth a Chancellor's salary in a few years time, until it crashes...

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Pedestrian Prostitutes at Bristol Airport

Overheard watching a local news item on prostitution in Bristol:

Prostitute: "Just imagine being naked in bed next to the most repellent man you can think of."

Hay: "Just like many marriages."

Apparently Bristol is one of the worst places in Britain to be a prostitute due to an oversupply compared to the demand. This has led to organised crime taking over. Is organised crime better than disorganised crime?

100 years since women got the vote - but only with certain conditions. Shame the two women PMs we've had haven't exactly been a good advert for votes for women. Many more competent ones remained on the back benches or simply stayed as members of the Cabinet.

The wife of a crowned king becomes a queen, but the husband of a crowned queen doesn't. Bit unfair on men...

Does anyone think pressing the button on a pedestrian crossing makes any difference as to when the Walk sign lights up? Has anyone ever bought frozen prawns that taste like prawns should taste?

Hay has been charged double for parking at Bristol Airport twice in a row. There must be some kind of corporate scam going on when booking parking online. Despite arriving after her booked time and leaving before it (as evidenced by her receipt), she ended up having to pay again on exiting. She's managed to get through to the complaints department and we'll see where this ends up. Computer error, no doubt...

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Forgotten, Dead Ordinals.

Went to Swindon yesterday to sign up for an Alzheimer's study that Hay is keen for me to participate in for the efficacy of a new drug. If accepted, I have to have either a lumbar puncture or a PET scan, and I prefer dogs to having a reverse epidural. While waiting to see the study people I was leafing through a copy of Hello magazine - didn't recognise anyone of the myriad, inconsequential neo-narcissists, except Mr Potatohead (below) and his Mrs. I'm seriously out of touch with vacuous, contemporary gossip.

We noticed over the weekend that the funeral director on the High Street has closed down. Obviously there aren't enough people dying in Chipping Sodbury to make a living from it. The cost of funerals has always struck me as rather high, but that's hardly surprising when you consider the things they do to you before you're either burned or buried. Who the hell cares whether you're wearing a blue or purplee, silk shroud - no-one's going to see you anyway once the lid is nailed down. Bizarre. 

I'm currently reading a biography of Edward I - Longshanks as the was known, due to his height. I've never really understood why he's called Edward I when Edward the Confessor was really Edward I. Some attribute it to the Normans not recognising the Anglo-Saxon dynasty, but William the Bastard's claim to the throne was predicated on a promise from Edward The Confessor, and repudiating the Confessor repudiates the argument - plus The Confessor was half Norman anyway. My preferred hypothesis is that The Confessor's Saxon name was Ēadƿeard, not Edward.

Monday, 5 February 2018


Regulars will remember I posted about a month to 6 weeks ago about a local Redwood tree of some description that had to be cut down - I think it was interfering with power cables. It was a good couple of hundred years old. A large stump was left, which a local artist has fashioned into a statue with a chainsaw.

There's a video of him at work on Facebook, which can be found here.

The design for the carving was done by a local school. It's good to see it was made use of and a local landmark was repurposed. The tree's twin can be seen behind the carving.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

All at sixes

Overheard in the shoe shop:

Chairman: "What size shoe are you?"

Hay: "6, but sometimes 7, depending on the maker."

Chairman: "My God - how do you stay upright?"

Overheard watching the Wales Scotland Six Nations match at 14-0:

Pundit: "You have to give it to Scotland, they have been superb in defence."

Chairman: "What? At 14-0 against them - obviously not!"

Overheard while getting into the Chairman's car:

Hay: "This car really needs a clean."

Chairman: "It had one 6 months ago."

That exercise wheel I bought is working well on the six pack, as you can see...

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Pease Pass the Lifebuoy

Overheard in the kitchen:

Chairman: "What is pease pudding made with?"

Hay: "I'm not 100% sure, but I do know you have have pease pudding hot, or pease pudding cold."

Apparently it's some form of legume mixed with ham - sounds rather Dutch to me and therefore delicious.

Spotted this yesterday at the gift shop at Dunster Castle:

Carbolic soap strapped to a scrubbing brush and being sold at some hideous price that is unaffordable. Now the smell of carbolic soap conjures up in me images of cold, wet rooms - it's one of the most hideous smells I can imagine. How on earth some people actually liked the smell is beyond me. It brings images of godliness, self flagellation, scrupulous cleanliness - and poverty.

Lifebuoy, made by Lever Brothers, was the archetypal carbolic soap and William Lever (later Lord Leverhulme) was the 19th century soap baron, who was a Congregationalist teetotaller and nonsmoker and created Port Sunlight in Cheshire - a model workers' village where the pub was originally dry but got a liquor licence after a referendum - who made it famous.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Exercising Jehova's Witnesses

Our local Jehova's Witnesses came round yesterday. They're a friendly couple of ladies who are as good as family friends. Anyway, we started chatting about this that and the other, gave them tea and coffee, and somehow (don't ask me how) got onto the subject of the 10 Commandments, which is rare. Anyway, after about another 10 minutes of being lectured by me on their ungodly dietary laws, whether they beat their slaves and honouring lunatic parents, they were desperate to leave. They tried to use the old get-out clause of them no longer being subject o Mosaic Law and some twaddle about the New Covenant, but the 10 Commandments are Mosaic Law and they had to admit defeat and accepted they were cherry-picking what parts of the Bible to believe. I don't think they'll stray into the Bible next time they come for tea and sympathy. It's a bit much when JWs are keen to escape from you.

Bought this yesterday in order to get myself a bit fitter for No Skydiving February.

£1.50 from a local charity shop, and by God it's making my stomach ache around the belt line. A bit tough on the knees too, what with us having an oak floor and no carpet. Watch this space...

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Trade Union Leaders' Names

Trades union leaders names: now any trade union leader worth his salt has to have a first name like Jimmy or Bob to have any shop-flood cred. Tarquin is definitely out, as is Ptolemy.

Surname can't be double-barrelled either, so Fortescue-Brown loses any impact, unless it's Bob Coal-Miner.

Foreign names too are a no-no. Pierre Lascale or Feodor Milosovic just doesn't cut the mustard with the working man.

Any suggestions?

There are 7.6 billion of us and climbing. Now hair and nails decompose only very slowly. Why aren't we knee deep in hair and nail clippings? Just a thought.