Monday, 31 December 2012

It's been a funny year....

....although when I say funny, I don't mean split your sides laughing funny, but peculiar funny.....that's not to say there haven't been moments to smile and laugh....but would I want to try that year again....erm erm.....let me think ....err ....no.....not on your nelly !

I have run my own business for 13 years now.....officially 13 years to the day on 4th January......4th January 2000 was the day we opened our doors.....and this year is official our best trading year...... which considering some of the challenges I have dealt with in the last 12 months or so, is either ironic or a measure of the underlying quality of the business....but whatever it is...... was the financial benefit worth any of the sh1t of this year .....erm erm......let me think....err....no not on your nelly !

Of course, there are many a business out there, large and small who are struggling to survive in these very difficult times and I like most business owners know just who hard it is to survive during what seems like the longest down turn in the whole wide world ever.

As I sit on the cusp of turning 50, it's hard not to reflect on the things that have gone by, both good and the bad. Of course my bad is no where near worse than some else's bad, whereas perhaps my good is much better than someone else's good........it's all relative really......

In truth this year some good things came from my bad things.....like my eldest getting a first class honours degree in English and then going on to win a scholarship for her MA, or like my youngest getting her 'A' Level results to provide her with a university place for Bio-medical science......and maybe that's it, we learn to pass on the baton to our children.....

I have had a good life in these past 49.9 years, and on the whole they have rewarded me well, with many great experiences........oh some of the people I have met I have known.....how they have enriched my life and taught me some wondrous things ....or whether it be seeing the Pyramids across the nile, or being beguiled by seeing close up King Tuts head gear*, or standing next to Viagra Falls, travelling through the panama canal, dinner with the vision of sydney opera house in the back ground, and how could I ever forget the Bernini's...... and looking back at the places I came from......one home was on an estate that makes Shameless look like Wisteria Lane, but looking back on just the last 12 months, I would be lying if I said they had not been the most challenging.......so what am I most looking forward to for the next year ?.....

A quiet life....not too much drama.....some travel [but far less than I have been doing....albeit with Ghana beckoning on the horizon for end of January].... and a chance to breathe at a much slower rate, keeping my heart rate much lower, not having to vent my spleen so often....smiling more.....and enjoying some more great music.....[with Jake Bugg at UEA next on my hit list]........so when they say its out with the old and in with the new.....let's hope so.....

So for my final SoD of 2012 I thought I would go with my all time favourite.....Mr Paul Buchanan..... as I was searching YT for this track.....I stumbled across a word..... so this last 2012 SoD.....this is my reverie.....






*[King Tut on tour ~ It was I believe 1972, that London was host to some of the Tutankhamen treasure's I was 9 years old and my primary school applied for tickets.......we didn't get any....we were on the standby list....we never got any....so there was some disappointment, such that the event is still etched in my memory.....little did I realise that some 40 years later, I would be there.... Cairo Museum with my nosed pressed against the glass staring upwards into the King Tuts gold burial mask. It was a long wait, but my god {or allah....you choose} the wait was worth every minute, and seeing it in Cairo and not London meant I didn't have to fight my way through hordes of tourists or working class school kids.... apparently 1.65 million people went to the London exhibition which lasted for 275 days....that equates to an average of 6,000 per day. Say the exhibition was open for 12 hours per day that means 500 people per hour...which means a viewing time of 8.33 people per minute....... In Cairo I had all the time in the world..... 40 years wait I know.....but there is alot to be said for deferred gratification]

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Thunderbirds are gone !

.....we've got our iPads, iPhones, Macbook Air, xBox 360, Sky TV, endless runs of QI on Dave, and of course not forgetting the brilliant Myth Busters.......but back in the 60's, non of this existed, and then one day we were introduced to the world of supermarionation..... just the word ...[a made up world no less....albeit that all words are "made up" by someone] and then it was Thunderbirds are go, and standby for action, anything can happen in the next 30 minutes....and of course the beautiful Lady Penelope......

Lady Penelope: Parker...

Parker:  Yes mi lady..... [pull ya chin in when you read the parker bits]


Lady Penelope:..... Parker take off my dress....

Parker:  bu...bu...but mi lady


Lady Penelope: PARKER ! do as I say Parker.....

Parker:  ....yeees mi lady


Lady Penelope: now take off my bra and panties.....

Parker:  bu...bu...but mi lady

Lady Penelope: PARKER ! do as I say Parker........

Parker:  ....yeees mi lady


Lady Penelope: Now don't let me catch you wearing them again !

Parker:  ....yeees mi lady

.....and so it is, the great man who imbued such great adventures in the mind of a child [this child, me] is now heading off on his last journey to........


Now I respect it was not exclusively Gerry Anderson, who did it all by himself, but it still needed the guiding mind. It was that mind that understood what the mind of kids wanted.....we wanted to be on the side of good against evil, with Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue, fighting the evil
Captain Black and the Mysterons, with the help of the divine Angels, Destiny~Symphony~Rhapsody~Harmony~Melody.....yeah yeah I know they were only puppets, but that was the joy Gerry Anderson brought to our screens....we could believe in them.

And what about Joe 90 ?!?  what kid didn't want to be Joe 90 ?......Joe made us believe we could truely achieve something great....if only we had our very own BIG RAT [Brain Impulse Galvanoscope Record And Transfer] machine. Alas my dad worked in a factory, he didn't know about computers and Galvanscopes, but it didn't stop me from dreaming.

So if you up there Gerry, thanks fella..... for fueling my furtive mind, and we all know it pays to be a furt...... so for Gerry this is my SoD









Friday, 28 December 2012

sometimes you see a story......



..... and you are reminded that for the up coming generation there are some inspirational kids




Despite her loss, she found a way to channel those feelings into something so kind.......

I don't know about inspiring other kids....she could teach some adults a thing or two.....

So I thought I'd post a SoD for Miss McNulty.......



Monday, 24 December 2012

honey we're gunna need a .....


....bigger car......


I bid for this at my village auction....although to be fair when I bid I thought I was bidding 
for a fig tree.....turned out it was a BIG tree......

But it's christmas and as it was not the Mayan end of the world, I thought I'd expend 6 hours labour, with copious lengths of rope [a man can never have too much rope], 2 x 5 tonne spansets, a tower scaffold,  a wench, ladders and a lot of huffing and puffing and to turn it into a fine erection [look see.......... I must stress that we did not remove the glass and front of the building for this fitting] and so whilst there are some presents under the tree I would like to think there is time for Santa to deliver some more.




When I went to see Roddy Frame, he played a fab song, which I just love to listen when in the car, Spanish Horses......so when RF was blathering about playing this song, he mentioned that he had written it with Ryucihi Sakamoto. Well when I was waiting for RF to come on stage, music was being piped to the hall and a song came on and I thought, gosh I've not heard this for years....but when you hear it, you recall it instantly........

well this is my Christmas Number 1




Mlerry Clistmas Everyone
Mlerry Clistmas







while shepherds wash their socks by night.....



.... you know christmas has arrived when by the magic of Bury St Edmunds Cathedral doors you enter oh little town of bethlehem....



and so there we were, awaying in a manger, on a silent night, harking all the heralds......

Of course as the dulcet tones of the choir resonate around the cathedral, you are left thinking somethings........like.......

Mary: Joseph honestly you are soooo not going to believe this, honestly this is gunna make you laugh when I tell you......

Image, if in the last days BC and the first few days of pre-AD there had been Jeremy Kyle.......

JK:  So Mary you say that an angel appeared ?.....

Mary: Oh yes Jeremy, the angel did......

JK: And you believe this Joseph ?

Joseph: Smiles back, politely nodding his head........

JK: So Mary you say you are a vigin........

Mary: Oh yes Jeremy, I am, I am......

JK: And you believe this Joseph ?

Joseph: Smiles back, politely nodding his head........

JK: I mean Joseph, you and Mary have not done it, that's correct yes ?

Joseph: Smiles back, politely nodding his head........

JK: I mean Joseph, you and Mary have not done it, and she's says you're the Daddy.....that's correct yes ?

Joseph: Smiles back, politely nodding his head........

JK: Well Mary, we have the results of the lie detector test back......

Audience: Whoop Whoop.......

Oh thank the lord Jeremy Kyle was not invented for at least another 2000yrs or so, otherwise christmas may never have happened.......

Then of course there was the 3 wise men.......

So let me see.....Gold...yep not a bad choice...... Frankincense.....erm erm maybe.... but then Myrrh.....what the hell is myrrh ?

Compare & contrast:

3 wise men - Gold ~ Frankincence ~ Myrrh

3 wise uncles - iPod touch ~ xBox 360 ~ Reindeer onezie

Who are the wise ones now hey ?

Then of course after the birth...imagine Joseph and Mary at the Social Housing Benefit office.....

Benefit officer: Good morning Joseph, good morning Mary.....aaaah what a bonnie baby....

Benefit officer: So you're living in a stable you say ?

Benefit officer: With cows, goats and sheep you say ?

Benefit officer: Sharing with Shepherds you say ?

Benefit officer: Do you have any assets ?

Mary: Well we have some gold, some frankincense, and some myrrh.....

Joseph: Smiles, politely nodding his head........

Benefit officer: What the hell is myrrh ????

But it's funny how carols sang and heard in our formative years still manage to stir such strong memories over 40 years later.........and of course not forgetting the lord's prayer....every time this prayer starts, I close my eyes and I am transported back to Bulwell St Mary's school in my single digit years....


Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen

so in memory of the baby jesus [he's not the messiah  he's a very naughty boy....now clear off !] 
we shall finish with a couple of carols.....









Sunday, 23 December 2012

Friday, 21 December 2012

I will be 50 soon.....and....



.... I had planned to use this song as my SoD for that day...... but I will post this version for today.....



It's a mad mad mad world.....


..... as I prepared for another day on the hamster wheel, I listened to the Radio 4 morning news and current affairs...and was surprised by some of the contrasts and similarity in the todays story headlines...

Of course there was reference to last weeks shootings in Newtown, there was Savile.....agaaaaaain....there was the BBC news night saga attached to the Savile debacle, there was plebgate....[more to follow on that one me thinks] and then this


What surprised me was the graphic detail Radio 4 made of how they were killed...and killed for what ?? trying to save children from illness, surely no life is worth taking for that....is it ? What of course gave these killers their motive [?] was the US using a spurious inoculation programe to garner DNA details, to then hunt and kill Bin Laden....so of course the killers are now bound to say these latest but honest inoculations are another US military exercise.

There was also some report about pink jumpers but I think by this time my brian was on autopilot and shut my ears down to such nonsense but finally there was....

The story about finding a planet that could possibly support life like on earth but this is the catch


But it got me thinking, there was this bloke prattling on about how this planet was so exciting.....but it's 12 light years away......yes 12 no less...what this means in reality is that the light they saw, which makes this planet visible, started it's journey in the year 2000, so they are seeing the planet from 12 years ago..... and of course if we wanted to send a man to the planet get this.......

The space shuttle travels at around 17,000 miles per hour. Light travels at 671,000,000 miles per hour. Yes thats right, 671 million miles per hour....now that is fast.

So I reckon it would take the space shuttle 53+ years to get there. Now you couldn't send a baby or a young child, so the astronaut would need to be say 25-30years old. So by the time he arrived there he would be say over 80 years old. Having gone all that way he would want to stay for a couple of weeks or so, so by the time he decides to head back, he'd be into his 80's but ....wait ...hold on one more minute...... by the time he got back to planet earth he'd probably be dead.......aaah thats a pity......so scientists are p!ssing about worrying about planets that are 12 light years away...... and yet we can't even get the one we are on, right.....

I think scientits would be best served worrying about the here and now...not the never evers...... Why are we worrying about going to other planets when we are making such a mess of this one ?? It's not rocket science you know !

I did think about mad mad world by tears for fears....but then I thought aaah Gary Jules did that one.....and so maybe this one is more appropriate somehow.






Monday, 17 December 2012

but it is not just in the US........


.... that young lives are lost........

Not sure why this gathered less coverage as quite frankly it is no less saddening to read........



All for chopping fire wood as well.......

The young lives that are wasted.....



[ignore the footage...it's pants but this one gave the best sound.....close your eyes when you listen to these tracks........]






If wishes were horses......



.... beggars would ride....

Listening to the news commentary about Friday's events..... why am I not surprised by the level and extent of the vacuous witterrings that have emerged.....

Louie Gomert went one stage further..........


Louie you just don't get it do you ?......no seriously you don't do you ? ...... Louie if you're reading this....let me tell you, you are in the wrong job, maybe you are even on the wrong planet my friend.....

But amongst all this inane waffle.........I kept hearing one phrase time and time again.....

 the US constitution guarantees an individual the right to bear arms

Yet every time I heard this nonsense over the weekend........ another phrase in my head kept getting repeated.....

What about the constitutional rights of children and their teachers to go to school and not be murdered.....

what about their constitutional rights hey ????

Saturday, 15 December 2012

There are some people who have the.....

...... ability to find the words to speak how they feel.....but I am left wondering, what possible words can you use to describe the utter sadness that greeted us when we switched on our early evening news on Friday night........

I have lived on this planet long enough to wonder whether there will ever be a day when we can be sure that such events will never happen again........

Of course at first, it starts out with the headline, and you don't really appreciate the enormity of it straight away....


In my life on this earth there have been too many mass shooting events to remember them all but the loss of lives so young cannot ever be forgotten in the minds of us, even though we are just remote strangers.....when you see the President of the USA visibly moved, trying his damnedest to hold in his tears.... you just have to hope and pray that pain that he feels, that we can all feel as fellow humans, will be the moment to truely make something good happen.....

I don't mean more legislation.... to tend to the symptoms....but somehow find the catalyst that cause these events..... I realise that in a world of 7 billion people, there will always be evil amongst us...... but we switch on our TV's and we are gilded with the images of shoot em up, fire em up, kill em up....... so called entertainment games.....I've heard all the nonsense about how porn movies don't make rapists and shooting games don't make killers..... but next time one of these adverts comes on the TV, just watch it...watch how it glorifies mass killing with no repercussions .... and ask yourself .... are our children really not affected by this ?......of course the pro-gun..... pro-shooting games lobbyist say that the vast majority of people are responsible and would never be affected by them.... in much the same way that driving games don't make us all speeding motorist when we hit the road.....

I am not saying that we should control matters by censorship of shooting games..... but there is no glory in the killing of cartoon characters under the banner of Black Ops behind enemy lines....... It is about how we see fellow humans and the misguided belief that somehow guns solve so much......he's got a gun so I need a gun, he's got a ballistic missile so I need a ballistic missile, he's got nuclear weapons so I must have nuclear weapons...... where does it all end ?......with the senseless killing of these children perhaps ?

I remember the sadness I felt over the Dunblane killings....my eldest daughter was 5 years old at the time and had just started her first school and my wife, a primary school teacher, had just returned to work full time, and I when I saw the killings at Dunblane primary school...... I thought....... there but for the grace of god go I........ and so when I saw the news unfold on Friday night..... I thought..... there but for the grace of god go I......

Even as I type this, the bodies of those Newtown children still lay where they fell..... and you ask your self..... why ? why ? why ?........

There are times when good honest people must ask of us all...........when will this madness stop ?...can this madness ever stop ?....... if nothing else in this world......[and no I wasn't impressed by the dismissal of Osama Bin Laden] .....if nothing else in this world, I hope the tears of Barack Obama are not wasted....and that he makes a difference.... for those children left behind in the wreckage of this mess.

Today is not a day for music.... today is a day for prayers.... I will say a prayer tonight....

These are the words taken from the stone memorial at Dunblane Cathedral..... I took a photograph of it, the picture sits on the wall of my study......

IF 
THERE IS 
ANYTHING 
THAT WILL 
ENDURE 
THE EYE OF 
GOD 
because 
it is pure 
IT IS 
THE SPIRIT 
of 
A LITTLE 
CHILD

Friday, 14 December 2012

Shame on you.....Mr Blair.....



....shame on you !!...

If proof were ever needed as to why this

 man

should never be allowed back on to front line in politics in England, then this must be the final irrefutable reason.....



There can be no doubt that the world changed forever on 9th September 2001, and on that fateful day we sat and watched lives extinguished with the swipes of 747's. There can be no doubt the sense of out rage that day........ Was that the day that this

man

lost his moral compass ?

Since that fateful day, how many more innocent lives have we witnessed being lost, in the name of this

man's 

politics....... but his stunt with Gaddafi was buried somewhere deep in the cesspit of his morality.

Tony Blair presided [in a self glorifying Presidential way] over a Labour government that sanctioned the kidnapping of 2 Libyans and their families and used British Tax payers money and resources to hand over these victims to the then Libyan regime all in the name of commerce, to win access to lucrative oil resources.

Tony Blair of course went one better, and tacitly permitted the Lockerbie Bomber 
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to be released from a Scottish Prison. Alex Salmond was a strong supporter of the decision to release....was this on account of another secret deal done by Blair on Scottish Independence  ??? 

Anyway a lot has been written about al-Magrahi about whether he was the actual bomber or not, but what I do know is, that at the time of his release he had been convicted in a court of law as being the...... or one of the bombers of Pan Am flight 103 on 21st December 1988.  

So how ironic [or should that be moronic] that this 

man

should allow a guilty man to be released from British custody and then arrange for the rendit* ....ach erm..... kidnapping of 2 innocent men and their wives and children [yes children......SHAME ON YOU BLAIR !] ....kidnap innocent people and then hand them over to the brutality of Gaddafi.

This all only came into the public domain, because Gaddafi was over thrown with western allies support.

And what did the authorities say yesterday when commenting on the £2.2 million payout.....

In a statement, a spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We can confirm 
that the government and the other defendants have reached a settlement 
with the claimants. There has been no admission of liability and no finding
by any court of liability."  [bbc news web site]


Absolutely shocking, it was that last sentence that got me, and we wonder why we have such p!ss poor politicians in this country......sometimes I think we get the government we deserve.

As for Jack Straw......you should be ashamed of your self too......

Reacting to the Saadi settlement last night, Mr Straw said: “At all times 
I was scrupulous in seeking to carry out my duties in accordance with the 
law, and I hope to be able to say much more about all this at an appropriate 
stage in the future. [independant online news]


What sort of wooley mouthed sort of inexcusable excuse is that ? Jack....
yes you Jack !..... 
are you on some sort of mind bending medication ?

But what makes the Libyan story even worse, is that we ......YES US...the tax payers will be responsible for the funding of this settlement [and many more to come..... you see].....

but this 

 man

has earnt sh!t loads of money, and I mean sh!t loads on the public speaking circuit, so if anybody should be paying this compensation then it should be him !!


SHAME ON YOU MR BLAIR !






*[Rendition: ....Rendition is a terrible word..... it is used by Governments to make something illegal sound soooooo innocent..... my arse it is !]







Thursday, 13 December 2012

I'm Brian......and my wife is Brian too......



... there I was flicking the buttons, channel hopping, and I stop at Gladiator [the movie not the pseudo male erotica game show...are you reedy ?]. What a great movie that is, and as he arrived in Rome and looked up to the Coliseum, it took me back to my own memories of Rome.

I love that place, and when I last saw the Coliseum, I thought it should look nice when the Italians get round to finishing it. I think they are using the same building firm we did !

Rome has some great sights and notwithstanding the obvious, [but don't waste your time on the Sistine chapel....it's pants] instead go to a little known place....... go here instead ........


I can't sing, I can't draw for toffee, and growing up as a kid art was for posh folks like we was not like.... but oh my word, if I live till I am 100 years old, I doubt I will ever see anything as beautiful as the sculptures by Bernini....... these defy words.... the inanimate cold object of stone turned into a thing of absolute beauty.... you can damn near feel the soul within them.....



I say this to anyone who is interested enough to listen.... if you ever go to Rome, go to Villa Borghese and if you look at nothing else, look at the Bernini, and if you then come back and tell me they are pants, I will refund your entry fee and throw in a bottle of nice Merlot in as well......

So today this is my SoD.......