Sunday, July 31, 2011

Memory lane (again)

When I were young (that's one helluva memory you've got there - Ed) I used to frequent Hales Bar in Harrogate. It was run at that time by a really grumpy man and remains to this day the only bar where I have been told to modify my behaviour or be chucked out.
Grief, I was only kissing my girlfriend but, to be fair to him, he had probably worked out what I had in mind. Yesterday I went back to visit again. With the exception of the landlord, It hasn't changed in all those years. OK, some of the wall lights have been changed from gas to electric. It still serves a good range of hand drawn ales and looks like it is still a 'drinkers' bar. Anyway, this trip down memory lane was the prelude to another trip. We had booked to see Clare Teal at the Royal Hall (another memory lane). Personally I'd never heard of Clare Teal but 'she who knows everything' had, so off we went. She was good, very good, so Jan was, yet again, right. Damn. Teal was also supported by Ian Shaw and Pee Wee Ellis. Excellent.
The last time I'd visited the Hall was over forty years ago when the band I sung in performed on stage, but that's another story.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The truth will out

With all the thefts of copper cabling being reported at the moment there's soon going to be none left in Yorkshire.
The first time that I heard about this type of activity was when we lived in the village of Cannes (30) in France. I thought it was so funny that they'd come and steal the phone lines during the middle of the night. But I have a theory. My theory is that it's still the French.
It's what the French onion sellers get up to when they've sold all their onions. In order to make the trip much more profitable, the supply lorries come laden with more onions and then go back full of copper cabling. Simples.

STOP PRESS: Rebekah Broooks says she is very touched by some of the messages people have left on Amy Winehouse's phone.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Confused of Ripon

By what measure can anybody consider Amy Winehouse, 'Camden's Finest.' She was without doubt a fine singer but to call her Camden's Finest is a huge insult to the rest of Camden's inhabitants.
What a very muddled world we live in.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I think my phone's been hacked.
How else would the press know that Jan was going to be home at 15.30?

What a cutie

I'll leave it to you to decide who's the better looking. The one on the right is our newest grandson.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tour de France

We started to take a closer interest in the TdF when we lived in France and the race passed close to where we lived a few times. Close enough to hear the helicopters one time.
I've been following the latter stages of this Tour de France and, when you start to examine what they do, you have to say that these guys are incredible, even if they are full of drugs or whatever.
They cycle in a day a distance that I'd not feel inclined to drive. And they do it pretty much everyday for three weeks.
This afternoon they were cycling up and down mountains. Big mountains. I was getting out of breath just watching from an armchair.
Is there a more gruelling sporting event anywhere in the world, and they measure the difference between winner and second place in minutes?
Quite amazing.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Yo! Sushi

We were out and about the other night and had to chose what to eat. The choice was either Thai or sushi. Given that we can have a good Thai with a trip to Harrogate we decided on sushi.
So Yo Sushi it was. I love the ability to chose lots of different dishes and so does Jan. It's one of the reasons why tapas is so appealing.
It's a bit of an acquired taste but we love Japanese food. The dishes move around the room on a little conveyor belt. The belt passes your table allowing you to look at what's on offer and chose what you fancy. You can also order hot food but we were happy with the cold dishes.
I stuffed my face. Luverly.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Out of control

For crying out loud stop.
The media is out of control. Will people stop baying for blood.
I have no great love of the police but reading between the lines it looks to me that the Met has lost the services of two good policemen which in this day and age is ridiculous. There is so much self righteous drum banging and holier than thou shit being dished out at the moment that someone needs to take control and calm things down.
Does it not occur to anyone that the investigators at the parliamentary hearings come from a pool of people that have been recently investigated and found guilty of stealing from the public purse. It also appears that there is a substantial number of them that don't feel that they should provide receipts for their expenses. Let me at 'em.
Neither politicians, police nor media can hold their heads up high and certainly none of them should attempt to take the moral high ground.
This will all change when I'm in charge. When these miscreants show much greater humility and provide evidence of their wealth I will talk to my people and we will consider letting them join my new ministry. The only folks allowed to claim expenses will of course be myself and my trusted associates. Capiche?

Thought for the day

If women are so bloody good at multitasking, how come they can't have sex at the same time as a headache?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Harper Seven

The truth is out. Speculation about the naming of Posh and Becs new baby has ended.
It came to them in a flash after they asked a man with a lisp what time it was.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Public relations

Reading this today reminded me of how much I enjoy PMQ's. It's become a ritual for us on Wednesday lunchtime and I even watch it on iPlayer if we miss it.
For the last few years Jan and I have taken a much greater interest on the machination of parliamentary politics and have become fans.
Speaker Bercow is such a pompous little prick claiming, when he is trying to quell rowdy members, that 'this kind of behaviour is not what the public want to see.'
How wrong he is. It's good old gladiatorial stuff and at the end of each session Jan and I debate who won and who lost. We generally agree. Childish and pathetic I know, but still good fun.
Blair was a master at it scoring easy points over a succession of Tory leaders, Brown was an idiot (nothing new there then), repeating time after time his phrase of the day/month and continually proving that he was poor on his feet. He made himself look a similar idiot the other day by blaming everyone else except himself (when he had the power to do it) for not holding a public inquiry in the recent press scandals during his time in office. What an unmitigated fool. The country is well rid of him.
At the moment Cameron appears to hold the upper hand being much more relaxed and sure footed than the somewhat metronomic Miliband who also doesn't seem to be able to think on his feet and frequently repeats his mantra in Brown style. Very odd. Why can't he see that it looks stupid?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

No more, please

Give us a break.
Am I the only one who is sick to the back teeth (tooth now that I've had one out) of the NOW debacle? I realise that during the summer months there is little (normal) news but purleese guys give us a break.
Am I the only one to think that Murdoch (pater) has handled this extremely badly, given that he is in the business of handling news? Has he been fooled by the reports from his 'trusty' lieutenants, or is he thinking that 'there's no such thing as bad news?' Either way he has been slow off the mark, looks like a chump and is giving his competitors every opportunity to feed us more (too much) information.
Enough already.

Friday, July 15, 2011

You wanna what?

Recently our lesbian neighbours asked me what I wanted for my birthday.
They gave me a Rolex which was very kind.
What I actually said is, "I wanna watch."

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Happy Bastilles Day to all my French friends.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Too many new start ups

Ouch, that hurt.
I had a tooth out on Monday but only the top of the tooth split off and the dentist couldn't shift the two remaining roots.
On Tuesday I went back and saw the head honcho dentist who ummd and ahhd and, because there wasn't much left to get hold of, he intimated that it wasn't going to be easy to get the last bits out. I interpreted his words as, 'this is going to hurt.' It did. A lot. A helluva lot.
Still, I took the precaution of grabbing his nuts before he started so that he would know exactly when he was hurting me.


It looks like someone has already beaten me to a new religion which puts the kibosh on mine for the time being. If we're going to be taken seriously as a religion then you can't have nutters like him muscling in. Damn.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Not feeling myself

I have a very poor opinion of French insurance companies and AXA in particular. We left France at the end of February this year and I still haven't managed to cancel our health top-up insurance.
As an aside, it took me until May to cancel Jan's mobile phone contract despite the fact that they had cancelled mine and the letter cancelling Jan's phone was in the same envelope as mine. I pity people having to deal with these organisations. In my mind their behaviour borders on illegal. He's left the country so to hell with him.
Despite me writing to them in April, AXA have continued to take payments for the health insurance. I say all this as a warning to any folks who may have to deal with French corporate bodies.
And, as if that wasn't enough, I've had toothache for five days and had a tooth out this morning, so I'm not feeling myself, but that's another story.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mission impossible

In my constant search for things to amuse you and help you spend your free time profitably I found this: All you have to do is try to touch his nose with your cursor.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Join me

Conversation from yesterday's post reminded me that as far back as 2005, when I was taking a pop at the newly elected pope, that I was thinking about starting a new religion
That probably makes me a prophet.
Anyway, I've been too busy to do anything about it (you don't seem to realise how long it takes to get a religion up and running) but I'm now minded to get it back on track.
Join me brothers and sisters. Redemption is at hand. Send me your daughters and a few quid and I'll take care of everything. Promise.

My feet hurt

Watch this video and then read this. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Think you're clever?

After my little soul searching yesterday, with some (most) displaying a distinct leaning towards Jan, may I express my disappointment at the cavalier comments and sentiments.
Here I am flogging my guts out trying to write something to educate you lot when all I get is abuse.
On the subject of educating you, did you know that, this July has five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays and that this only happens every 823 years. Think you're clever?
Did you know that this year we are going to experience four unusual dates, 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11 and 11/11/11. Think you're clever?
Take the last two digits of the year that you were born and add the age that you will be this year. The answer will come to 111 and that applies to everyone. Think you're clever?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Likes and dislikes

Everyone has likes and dislikes.
Only bloody perfect or brain dead people don't have any.
Take this morning. Jan asked me to help get the duvet into it's cover. This is something I really like doing (yeah, I know it's weird)  but............. I hate doing up the poppers which keep the cover on. It's a tiresome little job when you could be more usefully employed saving the world.
Now, Jan's a very smart lady. She knows that if she dismisses me after the cover is on then I'm not grumpy for the rest of the morning (it always seems to be a morning job).
I don't mind shopping (sorry boys, I know that's a tad weird), any kind of shopping, but Jan hates putting the shopping away. I have to say that after I have spent hours driving to the shops and carefully selecting her merchandise, I find this particularly irksome but there you go. Just one of life's little burdens. (What are you talking about? - Ed)

Mystic Meg

This is funny. I particularly liked the sentence, There are now concerns that the integrity of the whole fortune-telling industry could be brought into disrepute.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Memory lane (again)

Yesterday's trip to Nottingham was a real wander down memory lane. I worked in Nottingham from 1973 to 1975 and this was my first time back since then.
What surprised me was that they'd widened the M1 to four lanes just north of Nottingham which must mean that commuter traffic has increased enormously since I was last there.
When I first arrived in town, I lived in what was then known as the Albany Hotel (now The Brittania) for about six months only getting home to Harrogate on Saturday night after six days in the office.
Later I was moved to the Sheffield office and commuted daily from Nottingham for another twelve months. The things you used to do when young and working your way up the corporate ladder.
Anyway, during that trip I remembered that I used to complete the commute between Nottingham and Sheffield in a yellow Jensen Healy registration number PTO 5M. My pride and joy. It was powered by a 2 Litre Lotus engine if my memory serves me right.
One night driving in the rain from Sheffield to Nottingham I noticed an unusual amount of rain spray at the back of the car. I also noticed the oil pressure gauge dropping like a stone. A core plug had blown in the engine block and luckily I was just north of Woodhall Services and managed to coast it in with no damage done. Fun days.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

We are a grandfather (again)

We were on our way to Nottingham for lunch when I heard that my daughter Cara delivered her son and my first male grandchild Kane Shedrack McJerry this morning. He's a healthy 7 pounds and mother and son are doing well. As a bit of background information, to help understand the unusual names, Shedrack, the father, comes from Tanzania.
Yippee, someone to play football with!

Broken dreams

I used to fancy Sinead O'Connor (above). What the hell happened?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A moment of extreme foolishness

I hate, Hate, HATE, shopping with my mother. She drives me nuts.
This all stems from a time when I was 17 years old and she kept me waiting for three hours, THREE HOURS (yes you read that right) parked on a yellow line whilst she popped to two shops 'for a maximum of twenty minutes.'
She has no sense of time or urgency and she point blank refuses to think ahead about anything. I was very scarred by this incident.
Yesterday, I made the inexcusable, stupid, pathetic, decision, out of pity, in a moment of absolute weakness and stupidity of promising to take her to the supermarket this morning "for a bit of fruit."
What a mistake. It's like a child in a toy shop, she can't get things into the trolley fast enough. Well actually that's not quite true. She headed to the fruit and held up an orange to show me. 'What's this?' she said, and starts to pick up fruit before she has a bag to put them in and then has to put everything back until I find a bag for her. And so it goes on throughout the store.
Every single item has to be discussed. She asked for 400 grams of clams. When Jan buys 500 grams she says that's what she wanted. So Jan gives her ours and we move on but not before she asks the fishmonger where they are from.
'Shouldn't you have asked that before you bought them?' I added unhelpfully. And so it goes on throughout the store.
At the cash desk the cashier asks her if she wants cash back. 'Oh no thank you,' she says, but just as the cashier has finalised everything she says, 'I'll have £50 please.' The cashier looked at her in disbelief and so it goes on throughout the store.
Even Jan who is patience personified (she has to be going out with you - Ed) said, 'I'm going to scream in a minute.' And so it goes on throughout the store.
Never, ever feel sorry for my mother. When it comes to shopping she will wreak a revenge on your stupidity in a way that you didn't think was possible. You have been warned.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tuna Tartare

When life's so mundane that you can't think of anything to write about. When your mother comes to dinner and Jan serves up a treat. When you have no cute baby photos to post, then it's time to post a recipe.
This is good, very good and very grown up (so why did she give it to you then? - Ed)
I'd like to say that's it an old family recipe handed down through generation but it isn't. We got it from Paula in Barcelona. Enjoy.

Tuna Tartare


  • 400 gr red tuna
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 spring onion
  • juice of one lemon
  • sesame seeds
  • chives
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 table spoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • wasabi paste or dijon mustard (to taste) My advice is leave it out
Mix together the marinade ingredients. Cut the tuna into very small cubes and finely slice the spring onion then mix with the marinade and leave for at least 30 minutes. Longer won't hurt if you want to prepare it in advance.
Peel the avocado and cut into small cubes and mix with lemon juice, a little olive oil and season to taste.
Using a circular mould, make a base of avocado and cover with a layer of marinaded tuna.
Splash over some of the marinade juices and sprinkle with chopped chives and a few sesame seeds.