Monthly Archives: January 2009

Your country needs you…

Well, it’s still on at the moment* so I can’t tell you who has won the right (if “won” is the proper word to use) to see how much europe still hates us. There is a very cynical part of me that says that if we really wanted to get points off eastern europe all we need to do is pick The Twins, give them a eurotrashy-poppy song  and dress them in hotpants… I mean, it worked for the Cheeky Girls and they’re from over there!!

As it is I suspect that it’ll be one of the other two who get through…. though the Welsh boy (yes, son of a sheep farmer, what a stereotype) has sung pretty poorly this evening.

I’m still hoping that The Twins win though…

* – for those who don’t know ‘Your Country Needs You‘ is a tv programme to pick the British contestant for Eurovision.

Because sometimes we’re all snobs…

I will be the first to admit that I do occasionally use them wrong (though I’m sure that there are others who would do it for me), however even I suspect that Birmingham City Council are going a bit too far with their suggestion that the humble apostrophe should be dropped from all signs. Their main reason seems to be the fact that they don’t know when to use them. I mean there is a difference between ‘St Paul’s Square’ and St Pauls Square’ apart from the fact that I automatically put the apostrophe and had to remove it.

Actually, I’m surprised the guy that they had on Radio4 from the council was only suggesting they drop the humble apostrophe, considering that apparently he was the councellor for “Kings Eath”. (That’ll be King’s Heath) to everyone else who lives outside the eastend of London)

I find it quite ironic that in the same week as Birmingham are saying that punctuation in public places isn’t really important we have a report that says that there are far too many people in England that are unable to read or write.

Putting your feet up…

There isn’t a better way to spend a workday afternoon than in a reclining chair with your feet up… unless it happens to be a dentist’s chair and you’re having root canal work done.

I will admit that 90 minutes of having your tooth drilled out and needles poked down the tooth roots to make sure that they are clear is not the most fun way tp spend your afternoon. It will certainly teach me not to eat anything that’s crunchy ever again.

Well, you know, apart from those things that I like!! ;o)

Just how impartial is impartial…

Yet again my beloved BBC is in hot water, this time over whether it should show a charity appeal for Gaza. ITV, Channel 4 and Channel five have agreed to show it and Sky is yet to decide. I am in total agreement with the BBC’s decision. I’m not saying what is going on in Gaza is ok, I don’t think that there is anyone who would, but the BBC is supposed to be impartial and I very much doubt that anyone could claim that any appeal is going to be impartial.

Of course the BBC is well known for charity work (Children In Needfor example) and there are certainly shows on the BBC where panelists views on politicians/policies are known (Have I Got News For You).

The problem with Israel/Palestine is that it’s very hard to say which side is the right side any more. Yes, Israel has committed many atrocities. They have killed many civilians, their treatment of the Palestinians can at best be described as ‘poor’.

The real problem is that Israel is surrounded by countries that hate it. It and it’s citizens have been attacked many times over the years. As long there is someone who is willing to initiate/retaliate this conflict isn’t going to stop. Sometime there will be peace in the Middle East but it will take one side to step back and say ‘No more.’ Until that happens both sides will just point to the other with the “they started it” excuse.

Every sperm is sacred…

Am I allowed that as a blog title?? Well, we’ll see won’t we!! ;o)

Monty Python’s Meaning Of Life was on ITV4 this evening and I had forgotten just how funny a film it was. I luckily managed to catch it right at the very begining with Part One: Birth followed very quickly by Birth – Third World Country (Yorkshire). Tears of laughter rolling down my face by this point.

I remember watching some programme recently that mentioned how when a child actor is used the parents have to check off a list as to what words they’re happy for the kid to say and what they can do. For some reason I tried to imagine trying to get thirty to forty children and their parents  to be happy to sing the ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred‘ song.

I mean, can you imagine trying to tell the PC Brigrade that the kid’s verse is to go like this:

CHILDREN:
Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

GIRL:
Let the heathen spill theirs
On the dusty ground.
God shall make them pay for
Each sperm that can’t be found.

CHILDREN:
Every sperm is wanted.
Every sperm is good.
Every sperm is needed
In your neighbourhood

and imagine that they’d be happy…

I got the Python’s Favourite bits from the Flying Circus and to be honest I’m surprised that I haven’t watched any of them yet. That is something I shall have to recify!!

Not in my lifetime…

For those of you who had your heads buried in the sand yesterday America got her first African-American President. This of course meant lots of news programmes, interviews with politicians, pundits and the general public both here in the UK and over there in the United States. There was one comment that kept being repeated*. “I never expected it to happen in my lifetime…

What I don’t understand is why not?? Surely racism isn’t at such a level in The States that the idea of a non-white president is out-of-this-world?? After Martin Sheen (The West Wing) the most popular US President is Morgan Freeman (Deep Impact) and he’s black. In Bruce Almighty he was even God and let’s face it, after those two roles what’s left to do??

I have a funny feeling that as with the furore over the Prince Harry and the “P-word” there is a lot of reaction from people who were in the thick or the race riots of the sixties, seventies and early eighties**. There has been a whole generation of people who have known much lower tension levels between whites and blacks. The thought of “A Black President” doesn’t seem alien. Gee-whizz, if it hadn’t of happened this time I would have been surprised if it hadn’t of happened in the next two elections (2016).

I will also be surprised if there isn’t a female president in the next five elections (2028) and as for a Muslim (other faiths are available) president… well, that might take a little longer, but if it is happens sooner I wouldn’t be too surprised. Though I imagine that there will have to be some sort of peace in the Middle East before it’ll happen.

* – including a black, children’s tv presenter on Newsnight

** – not withstanding the race riots in the summer of 2001 in Oldham, Burnley and Bradford and in the nineties in The States with police officers

Remembering things ain’t important…

…well, unless they’re important things, in which case it’s a different matter!!

For instance, I very nearly forgot to get my car MOT’d (it’s due tomorrow) so it’s down to the garage first thing for me tomorrow. I still need to tidy it out as it is a little bit on the messy side at the moment, but nothing five minutes with a binbag won’t sort out.

I also forgot that Saturday had been my wib-birthday. My fourth wib-birthday in fact.

I must also remember to make several phone calls tomorrow to get some other stuff sorted. Busy, busy, busy!!!

Thank God it’s friday…

I don’t know about you but I am truely glad that today is Friday (am more importantly that the working day is over) for I am truely knackered. Totally and utterly wiped out. I susspect that a week of not sleeping very well might have something to do with it. ;o)

On the up side it’s now the weekend and I can sleep in tomorrow which’ll be nice. I can’t sleep in on Sunday as I have an early start for an archery contest that my club runs. So it’ll be an early start to set everything up to the judges satisfaction and a late finish to get everything away.

Well, I went in the end…

Well I bit the bullet and made it back from London in time to go to the denist. It wasn’t too bad, I had a lovely Australian dentist who was happy and friendly and pleasently surprised that despite not seeing a dentist in about nine years my teeth weren’t buried under plaque. When you see your dentist breath a sigh of relief, it’s always a good sign.

Well, apart from that broken tooth. Which means at the tender age of only twenty-eight and a half I get to have my very first filling. And gues what… it’s root canal work as well!!

I’ve not had root canal work before (see that mention of very first filling) and if tv is telling me the truth it is not necessarily the nicest thing that could happen. The fact that the appointment is down for an hour and half suggests that it’s not the easiest operation in the world of teeth. But that’s something for me to look forward to later this month!!

And the cost has also kept within three figures, at only about £100 more that what I was going to guess the treatment was going to be.

 

note aside – don’t worry Semele, I’m sure that as a cyclist you don’t do all the things that London cyclists do to wind me and every other road user up!! ;o)

Because I’m grumpy…

While I’m not really an old man I am most certainly a grumpy young man. Today there has been loads for me to get grumpy about.

It could be about the PC brigrade getting their knickers in a twist over a three year old video of the spare-heir using what some deem an offensive word. I say some because certainly when I was in school the word “paki” was used. By everyone. Including those of pakistani origin. To add fire to the flames it seems that one of Prince Charles’ ethnic friends is known as “Sooty”. While he (the friend) doesn’t mind this there was an MP on the tv just now saying that that isn’t the point. Afterall there might be someone else who would find it offensive.

But that’s not what has really bugged me today…

There was also news about the muppets that are Greenpeace buying a field hoping to stop (well slow down) the building of the third runway/terminal six at Heathrow. I remember all the fuss on the tv over Twyford Down and how did that finish?? The M3 was still joined up. If the Government does decide to give the go ahead to the extension it will be built. Probably over buget/late, mainly down to the protesters but let’s face it, they won’t get the blame!! And yes, considering that Heathrow has been an airport since World War One I do have limited sympathy for those that live anywhere near and then complains!!

But that’s not what has really bugged me today…

What has really bugged me today was the opening of the ticket gates at Waterloo Station. Anyone who has travelled around London on the Unerground will have met them. They are the area of the station where you get all the queues as people struggle to get their tickets to work in the machine, or even block the gate as they hunt for their ticket. A typical twelve car commuter train might very well be discharging eight to nine hundred people. All of whom are madly dashing to work. All of whom are now coming up to these barriers and get having to wait their turn to get through.

But it’s OK as SWT have told us that these barriers are they for OUR convenience. How on earth is being held up OUR CONVENIENCE??? What it really comes down to is they (SWT) can’t be bothered to check passenger tickets while on the train and so effectively make us self-check our own tickets. This is of course after raising fares yet again…

Tomorrow I’m driving into London which will no doubt give me plenty else to grumble about (cyclists).

Nothing like a good old grump really!!