Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Bits and Bobs

Haven't posted for a while, well that's not entirely true, couple of book reviews, No 9 in the Joe Pickett series from C.J. Box here and WRATH a John Reeves story from Kirkus MacGown here , oh, and my review of the latest Batman offering here .

SO, what else has been happening, well our eldest, Marie, was visiting last week with Peter and the kids, 6 year olds Charlie and Holly.  Now someone asked recently why I keep putting Charlie's name first when I write about them as they are twins and the same age and they thought I was just giving precedence to the dominant male.  Well, I assured the commenter, there was absolutely no dominant males in the extended Stronach, Kennedy, Ing clan,  The males are all subjugated by the dominant females - Ishbel, Marie, Jennifer, Mollie, Shannon, Holly and even almost two year old Lacey Mae, she just dominates with those big old eyes boring into you and then smiles, which normally gets her whatever she wants - and it was just that wee Charlie popped out first naturally and then Holly a while later  had to be delivered by Caesarean and ended up in a wee glass box for the next few days with all of us worrying if she was going to make it or not .... Ha, now six years later the WARRIOR Female dominates all in her field of vision and she is a little chancer, best described by this story from her mother, here .

Now as you will have noticed from Marie's post, they had a busy old week of it up in London, but not content with traipsing about the sights of the city all day, the thing you need to know about our eldest is that she has always been just a little hyperactive, even as a kid, always on the go, and so, on their return from the city did she put her feet up, have a drink, sit, chat, watch some TV even, read a book on her kindle maybe.... No, not a chance.  Door opens, kids rush to tell us what they have been up to during the day and still full of excitement, Peter rushes to put the kettle on or grab a bottle of wine Marie heads straight up stairs, I jest you not, and starts opening cupboards and pulling things out, gets down on hands and knees and is pulling things out from under beds.

I say things, more like belongings; Marie calls it rubbish, WHAT!

"Look at this, look at these, when was the last time you opened this cupboard, when was the last time you used this.....?"

Okay, I'll admit Ishbel and I have been married for 36 odd years and some of it may be that old, but that's not the point ....

Oh, yes it is she would retort, Oh! and under one bed she found one of those suck the air out of the bag thingys full of shirts and slacks and whatnots... "How long has this been under there?" she asked. " No idea" I responded. "Right, it's going then!" and I try and say......  and the hand would come up 'speak to the hand cos the rest of us aint listening'   She even found a couple of 'old' Kodak Brownie cameras in their original brown fabric cases. LP's, anyone remember them (Thank god she never got to the cupboard in the back hall I think there are a couple of hundred LP's in there), Star Trek posters from our thirty year old son Brian's love affair with that all those years ago and who flew the coup about 10 or 12 years ago.....  The list went on and on

Anyway to cut a long story short a lot of stuff went to the freegle site, some went to the local tip and some went to some folks we know who do market stalls, and while it all seemed quite painful at the time, by the end, it felt quite liberating.  Even the junk corner out by the back door was cleared up too! Oh! and she even phoned her sister, Jennifer and told her, "All the kids toys have been cleared from under the stairs, and what's left is in the rubber bins IN 'OUR' BEDROOM, when you visit make sure you PUT THEM BACK"  She does like to take charge and organise things, Holly, all over again.......

We now have almost clutter free, but not quite, bedrooms,  I am now tackling to finish off since Marie, Peter and the kids have departed. Ishbel cleared the 'airing' cupboard yesterday and sheets, blankets tablecloths and sundry other bits, again with some of them from 1976, all gone too.

Ishbel is worried that it will still be a mess when Julia R Barrett and Hubby arrive for a short visit from California next week, especially as the bathroom needs a makeover and, as we de-cluttered, some of the paper on the walls in the top hall took a hammering.... but I'm sure they wont mind....

Me I've been re-opening cupboards that have been cleared, and revisiting the back room in particular and marvelling at how clear it is but I suppose after years of 'collecting' the stuff that you do, most of it unintentionally and just by default, it's good to have a catalyst to change appear on the doorstep from time to time and to breathe in the taste of freshness instead of the musty and dusty coverings of age ..... and that 'spring cleaning' doesn't always need to take place in the spring time.

The Dominant Species:
Ishbel - The one who keeps me in check
Marie and Jennifer (Jenny was always blaming her big sis when they were kids - naughty - but I think Marie has forgiven her)

Cousins, Shannon and Holly 

The gorgeous Lacey Mae 

Mollie who guest blogs from time to time

And all of the above do make life pretty interesting for me, Peter and Steve...

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Book Review: Below Zero by C.J. Box

Look inside here Amazon UK
Look inside here Amazon US
Below Zero, number 9 in the ' Joe Pickett' series and he continues with a thrilling story resurrecting past mistakes made by Joe personally and by Agent Portenson of the FBI and others.

An old man, his adult son and a teenage girl head out of Chicago, 'they' go on a killing spree and Sheridan Pickett, the oldest of the Pickett girls starts to receive strange text messages.  

As usual, Joe, since losing the Saddlestring District at the hands of Director Pope, he is away from home and in the midst of another 'manhunt' trying to catch a crossbow killer elsewhere in the state, when he receives the frantic phone call from Marybeth about the messages opening up painful memories for the whole family...

Box continues to write clear and flowing narratives, jumping seamlessly between Joe out in the field and the family.  Old friends come back into play as do old enemies.  Issues of trust and mistrust are re-evaluated as Joe and Sheridan race across the state to find out if the person sending the text messages can possibly be who they think it is.  If it is, can they save her, does she want to be saved?   As the stories of the Pickett family move along in years, so Box keeps it up to date with texting, iphones and carbon pollution of the planet giving a contemporary feel to the stories and plots.

The Picket family is growing, Marybeth's business is growing and Joe is away from them for longer than he or they would want.  The strain is showing and teenage rebellion and angst is heavy in the air.

Nate Romanowski is still wanted by the FBI and Joe still won't tell them where his friend is.  Tension as usual from a writer who knows how to build it and then when you think all is going to be revealed your hopes along with those of the central characters, are dashed and lost and new anxieties are brought boiling to the surface.  Finally, Box uses the emotions built up in the previous pages to make you try and hold back tears of joy and sadness in a 'will it be all right in the end' conclusion.  Well, you are going to have to read it for yourself to find out my friends 

Book 1 - Open Season √
Book 2 – Savage Run √
Book 3 – Winterkill √
Book 4 – Trophy Hunt √
Book 5 – Out of Range √
Book 6 – In Plain Sight √
Book 7 – Free Fire √
Book 8 – Blood Trail √
Book 9 – Below Zero √
Book 10 – Nowhere to Run
Book 11 – Cold Wind
Book 12 – Force of Nature

Editing for Kindle /iPad: 5 out of 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Page length on kindle /iPad: 342
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Film Review: Batman Dark Knight Rises

(c)  http://www.thedarkknightrises.com/gallery.php
Well, finally went and watched the movie that every one else has been raving on about.  Did I enjoy it? Yes. Was it the best thing since sliced bread, that every one seems to think, including the delectable Ishbel. Nah.

I can sit through a three hour long movie as well as the next guy I can even forgo the dreaded fag for three hours while watching a movie in the theatre for 90 minutes or even 180 minutes, and did I with Batman: The dark Knight Rises? Nope.

Got a bit bored and went for a pee followed by a a fag, there you go...

I think Batman as a film franchise has run its course.  The first movies were quirky but not quite as insane  as the 1960's TV series.  Then they got silly and not silly as in smiley silly 60's series way but silly in like WTF is happening here!

And we had a procession of well known actors, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney and I am at a loss to say which one was the worst.  I can't bring myself to ask which one was the best, just can't, and then we had Christian Bale.  I don't know what it is about the Batman movies but I can't really come to accept any of them in the way that I have readily, and without question, accepted all of the other comic heroes who have been brought to us on the big screen over the last twenty odd years, including the latest ones, Thor and Iron Man, more I want more of them.

But, back to Dark Knight Rises.  It was Ok, it was an action movie and BANE with Tom Hardy was the highlight.  I think it was the voice behind that mask it was just, well, magnetic, it drew you in and enveloped you and you could actually think that that* voice could make you believe in or do anything it wanted you to: So I suppose in one way the film was successful in this endeavour as I am sure that is what they intended.....

Christian Bale, well take him or leave him, I like his movies (Ishbel likes him better though and I think every time she sees him, doesn't matter what it is, she isn't actually watching the current movie, she is replaying American Psycho in her minds eye!!!!!! I really have to be careful with her, dear reader) but he doesn't bring anything new to the role, for me at least.

I love the gadgets and particularly that cool drive in any direction bike, but then James Bond's gadgets are just as, if not, cooler!

The prison sequence, the flashbacks all got a bit boring for me but it was OK

rating from me 3  out 5
rating from Ishbel 5 out of 5

* sorry Jules

Friday, 17 August 2012

Book Review: Wrath by Kirkus MacGowan

Check inside Amazon UK here
Check inside Amazon US here
 "Cover Design by
Copyright 2012" 
Firstly, I have to declare an interest. Kirkus MacGowan and I follow each other on Twitter and we chat from time to time, well, he chats and I moan.  This is his third book well second if you count the middle one as a very short but hilarious story about a garden gnome, which come to think about, I didn't review. And, as I am known to be a bit of a moaner and highly critical of anything produced by people who have more talent than I, just for the sheer sake of argument, he foolishly sent me an, in advance of publication, look at his new book, silly man.

Anyway,  I did review his first full novel, The Fall of Billy Hitchins and ended up giving it a good rating even although I did say about it, at the time;
What we ended up with was a book that began with a forgettable stroll around the park, jumped over the railing onto the running track and into a gentle jog and then burst into a sprint as the story progressed.
You can read that full review here

One of the central characters of the first book was an ex marine turned bodyguard by the name of John Reeves and MacGowan has, it seems, decided to maybe build around this guy for this and possibly future outings, was it a good idea to resurrect the character, well lets see shall we.

Did Wrath start with a forgettable stroll around the park as TFOBH did, no it did not! It didn't even start with John Reeves, it started with his big brother Alan, a Police Captain in their home town of Clarksbridge, Michigan, gently questioning an old and valued family friend, a friend of their dead father who had been found naked in the middle of the road after having been missing for over a week.

It really is going to be difficult to review this book without giving away spoilers, so all I can say is, that as the interview is over and the old chap is about to leave the station and head home, a mysterious phone call is received asking for him.  Alan Reeves hands him the phone, he listens, he drops the phone on the desk and he dies, horribly.......

This marks the beginning of trouble for the Clarksbridge Police Force who are short of manpower and it also marks the start of a horrifying chain of events with others dying, old men and young women, what is the connection and just how are the old men dying, well actually that's easy as the book describes their deaths in cold brutal fashion, and they aint pretty deaths either.  The only problem is that we know  something or someone is causing the deaths but how the hell is it happening.

John Reeves has returned to Clarksbridge at the behest of his best friend Eddy, a private investigator and even his brother doesn't know he is back in town.  It is only when the widow of the first 'victim' engages Eddy, and John starts digging around, Alan discovers his brother is back, they haven't spoken for five years since John didn't return for the funeral of Alan's wife, so the relationship is, well families, you know what I mean....

An old photograph of the Reeves' father starts turning up at the crime scenes, hidden from the first forensic sweeps, and this adds to the intrigue.  The mysterious Rachel turns up again, you'll remember her from TFOBH,  and again on the end of a phone, providing clues and assistance from afar, second story in and that seems to be working; one day MacGowan may let us in on her back story, or she may in fact turn out to be the equivalent of 'Charlie' from the Angels who keeps mysteriously popping up, but never explained, and in the end he (Charlie) didn't need to be, did he?

Unlike TFOBH, there was no stroll around the park in this one, it started with one gruesome death and just kept going from there.  Don't be mistaken though, this wasn't a blood soaked book for the sake of gruesomeness.  There is a story here that started long before the Reeves boys had their first bouts of teenage acne that had been simmering for years on a low peep and John Reeves had decided to come back to Clarksbridge at precisely the time the simmering pot changed to an exploding pot of boiling hatred and revenge; revenge to be visited upon the sons of the fathers and anyone who was close to them.  John finds himself being framed, his brother doesn't believe he is capable of the things that have happened, even although he dislike his brother, so defends him.  More incontrovertible evidence starts to pile up and Alan begins to have doubts, coming  c;lose to shooting his own brother: Can the brothers differences be put aside ...  A big ask, or are they going to end up dead too...

I did start of being fairly critical of MacGowan's first book and then it won me round.  This one gripped from the beginning with the psychological twists presented to good effect, can you really make a person burst into flames (no that doesn't happen in this book, but you will see why I mention it, on reading it) through the power of suggestion, can you cure criminals and paedophiles with psychology alone, who knows what we are capable of but clearly MacGowan has an inkling towards these kind of questions from his own degree in psychology and uses the 'power of the mind' in a frightening way and to good effect in this book. Some of the story drifted, just a little, in the middle, but overall I found it absorbing and hard to put down.  I started looking at it last week but got so tied up with the Olympics I put it down having read the first 6 chapters.  I picked it up on Monday and finished it on Tuesday, all 27 remaining chapters......

Was John Reeves worth resurrecting, I asked early on, yes, I think he was.  Even although a lot of the book actually features Alan, his brother and the Clarksbridge Police Dept.,  and John who was not the first intended target of the hate and revenge, becomes the tortured soul, in more ways than one, and who needs to be rescued.  MacGowan, after only one book has uncluttered his mind and got down to some serious writing, there are no really slow patches in this as there was in TFOBH. He has given us a hero who is handy with a Glock and a mean punch, but who also has vulnerabilities, and who sometimes needs other heroes to rescue the situation to save him.

Finally, The Cover; It is a bleak looking thing, Black, White and Grey with a splash of colour, but so perfect for this book, it so encapsulates the novel and describes items from it that will become apparent to the reader as the story unfolds, 10 out of 10 to ethinkgraphics who clearly paid attention to the book when coming up with the design.

You can follow Kirkus on Twitter @KirkusMacGowan or connect with him on his blog at http://www.kirkusmacgowan.info/

Editing for Kindle /iPad: This was a draft copy so can't really comment
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Page length on kindle /iPad: Not known but was a substantial read
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Pork Chops, Onion, Peppers and Tomatoes

Looked in the fridge tonight, didn't know what I fancied!

Took four pork chops browned off in some sunflower oil, chopped up a green and yellow pepper and a few chestnut mushrooms and a tore a bunch of basil leaves.

Remove the chops once brown

Add the veg to the pan and sweat down

Put the chops back in with the veg and cover with a 400 gram tin of chopped tomatoes and add the basil

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes

Serve and enjoy.

Dear Anonymous

This was in my spam folder, blogspot defaults anonymous users into the spam folder and lets the blogger decide whether it is spam or not, a good idea I think.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Steve Jobs": 

When I initially commenteԁ I clicked thе "Notify me when new comments are added" chесkbox 
and nοw each time a comment is аdԁed 
I get four emails ωith thе samе comment.

Is there any ωaу уοu can гemove me from thаt service?
My web blog - pxxxxxx txxxxx 

Any way, Dear anonymous I am sure there is a way to remove you but I have no idea how at this time.  It would be far easier for you to revisit the blog and 'uncheck' the follow up comments box.

May I just point out though that yours was the ONLY COMMENT on this particular post, so I am at a loss as to why you would be receiving any comment emails, let alone 4 emails with the SAME COMMENT......

Oh, and thanks for visiting and Best wishes 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A Nod from the Big Yin

I had another one of those strange 'meaningless' dreams last night.  You'll recall a couple of weeks ago I had one where I jetted off to visit 'old friends' who in the end I didn't know, thinking about it I wonder if that is a metaphor for Twitter and the friends that we make on line.  We become the best of friends on line and then if and when we actually meet,  we / they do not live up to expectations!

Well that will be firmly put to the test sooner rather than later as Ishbel and I are to meet an 'on-line twitter friend' and her husband in a couple of weeks time. It will be a fleeting visit with them arriving and staying overnight before travelling on to their final destination.  I am 100% confident that Ishbel and our 'friends' will live up to expectations, me, on the other hand, I always disappoint.  No doubt I will forget we have only really and actually 'known' each other for a couple of hours and I'll probably 'pick a booger from ma beak' or let rip with a loud fart or burp, both of which I am told are considered very off putting in some social circles  and no doubt will lead to me being censured by the delectable Ishbel (and wait until they leave and I get the full force of her ire ....) but we will have to wait and see and I am pretty sure I will be able to hold it all together for 3/4's of a day until they leave for their onward journey

So, back to this latest dream, I hear you ask!

Well, no idea what brought this on.  Religion has popped up in the conversation a couple of times over the last month or two but certainly not over the last day or two and I don't recall reading anything or hearing anything over the last few days that would have led me to the strangeness of the nights offering;

Something had happened to someone else where they had been censured by or outcast from their church.  I don't even know if I knew this person but for the sake of the meaning of the dream I suppose we must assume that I did, or it's a case of me just sticking my 'neb' in where it's not wanted or welcome, again!

Anyway here I was, in the Vatican of all places have a serious set to with a bunch of clerics and the meaning of religion and me throwing it up that the greatest fantasy novel ever written had to be 'the bible'.  Now this is clearly a nod to a blog post I read last week entitled, 'Should Christians write fantasy?' You can read that full post here I did leave a comment on the post but it was clearly to inflammatory to be allowed, so it may well have been that post over a week ago that brought on last nights dream.

So here we were, me having this verbal jousting match with all these clerics when in walks 'The Big Yin'  otherwise known as Mr Billy Connolly.  He walks right through and the 'argy barny' quietens down with the assembled clerics deferring to him, as he passes me he stops and says, 'Well if it's no wee Tam, whit the devil are you doing here? Yur nae causing trouble here now, are ye? Oh, are we still on for dinner tonight?" And before I can answer he continues on his way up a grand flight of stairs.  One cleric detaches himself from the group and stops Mr Connolly and asks how he knows me.  He responds by saying, "Och, wee Tam's a fine chap, bit eccentric in his thinking and disnae think he believes in God, but he keeps contributing to awe my charities, so he cannae be all bad now can he!"

At that point I woke up at 2 AM and went for a pee!

Now I must stress I do not know the 'Big Yin' nor what charities he supports.  I do give to one charity, for kids cancer every year, and I have no wish or conscious desire that I know of to become a member of any church or religion, been there, done that and even read the lesson on a number of occasions.  I do like a good hymn and on occasions where Ishbel and I attend weddings and such I am known to blast out in full untalented and off key loudness, just on the basis that if you are going to do something at least put some heart into it , and I love a good belter of an Evangelical song, but my views on religion are very much coloured from growing up, Parents being on opposite sides of the fence, time served in the Army and serving in Northern Ireland during the troubles etc., in the 70's  So all in all I have, once again no idea what on earth all this was about .....

Sunday, 12 August 2012

London 2012, The Closing Ceremony

(c) Metro

This is what I said in my post for the opening ceremony

I have to say though that after the first 10 minutes I nearly turned it off. We were presented with a gentle meander through the British Isles Green and Pleasant Lands and with the four nations presenting child choirs singing their 'national' songs. It was nice but it was hardly gripping as an opening segment to an Olympiad and it appeared to be sinking into a bit of a boring abyss. But, I stuck with it and was glad that I did. As it progressed, it got better, much better.

An so to the Closing Ceremony it could have got off to a better start if the wonderful Emeli Sande had been given a better song to perform and her outfit had been bought from a fashion shop and not from the rag and bone man.  I take no pleasure in that as she is one of my hotties on my repeat playlists at the moment and her performance in the opening ceremony was magnificent.

She was followed by a bunch of Guys hanging from a big Ferris wheel in the middle of the stadium banging some buckets not very tunefully, and then accompanied by a choir, I have no idea what they were singing.

We then had the unfortunate sight of Timothy Spall (one of our finest actors) popping out of the top of Big Ben as Churchill reciting from Shakespeare's Tempest!!!!!

The set for this spectacular was a bunch of vehicles and people done up in newsprint.  We then had an Orchestra strike up playing some unknown tune which then descended into a cacophony of noise only to be ended by Churchill screaming at them to stop, so he was useful after all, as they obeyed.

Prince Harry and the boss of the Olympics, Rogge (sic) were introduced and then the National Anthem was played followed by a screen shot of a young Michael Caine counting down from 5 and then the mini from The Italian job blowing up!

Madness popped up on the back of a truck  to be accompanied by the massed bands of the Guards Division, with the former singing Our House 

We are now 10 minutes in and it is CRAP 
It's not getting any better as we get the Pet Shop Boys singing West End Town, you'd have thought they could have at least changed the lyrics to East End Town for the night as it was the East End of London who have been tortured for the last seven years of construction work and mayhem, but that's probably only me being my usual misery guts  - Oh, and no back of a truck for them no, they had a couple of Rick-Shaw's, those awful contraptions that seem to be everywhere in the 'West End' and they had one each too. 

Back to the flat bed trucks and some band called One Direction popped up singing Light up my World, they certainly weren't lighting mine up, so I went and had a fag and lit my own up.  Now by this time I didn't want to miss any of this riveting spectacle so I was watching it through the kitchen window, which was closed, and that made it sound much better .....
We were then treated to Stomp, lots of guys and gals with dustbins and sticks who were actually the best bit so far but then it all fell apart with the introduction of  some outfit called Spellbound, not quite sure who/ what they were,  all dressed in their one piece skin tight black and red romper suits prancing about like skinny versions of the telly tubbies.  Gave me more of an appreciation of the tubbies though!
Now I thought McCartney was a wash out at the opening ceremony, but then I've always thought that about him so when Ray Davies of the Kinks popped up singing Waterloo Sunset, at last we are on to a winner with one of our finest golden oldie singer songwriters: Well we might have been in for a treat if he could still actually sing but sounded as flat as the proverbial pancake, ah well, life is full of disappointments, and I really should know better by now, but I never learn..... at least it is still a fine song 

Poor old Emeli Sande was offered up again like the sacrificial Christian in the Roman amphitheatre I suspect trying to recapture her wonderfulness from the opening ceremony, but even now I can't remember what she was singing, so it didn't work for me, nor did the evocative pictures accompanying her piece 

We are now 31 minutes into the closing ceremony and it feels like we are into the second month Oh dear, someone please switch off the life support and release the long suffering patient from any more agony, please, but then we did get some respite as the Flag Bearers entered the stadium Thank you for small mercies, for that interruption.  This was followed by the athletes coming into the stadium  and things were beginning to pick up with Elbow singing Open Arms and One day Like this as the athletes came in through the crowds of seated spectators.

Just as we finally have someone worth listening to they interrupt it to hand out the medals to the Marathon Runners.  Build our hopes up and then dash them just as quickly seems to be the theme then.....

Flowers to the volunteers next  but they must have used them all up during the last two weeks as they only managed about half a dozen of those pathetic wee poseys they have been handing out to the athletes and there was me thinking there was about 70,000 volunteers, bless.....   That was over fairly quickly though, can't have these volunteers hanging about any longer now as we don't need them any more and we got a quick blast of Queen, no, not the one from Windsor - she's still trying to get that skelf out from under her fingernails from the opening ceremony so couldn't make this one, but our Freddie's Queen for about 30 seconds,  followed by John Lennon and Imagine and a kiddies choir 

Picking up now, you can't go wrong with Mr George Michael and we got Freedom and White Light quickly followed by the Kaiser Chiefs singing Pinball Wizard arriving on the back of 1950's scooters it could have been Madness all over again.  A David Bowie montage followed with an introduction to British fashion with a bunch of, to numerous to mention, (and not that I could anyway) 'super models' Oh, and one guy in a shiny suit, who may well also have been a super model, but what the hell would I know....

An over the top (but wouldn't have it any other way) Annie Lennox singing Little Bird being carried forth on what looked like a representation of a Viking ship, although I wouldn't think it could have floated as it had no sides but it did have lots of scantily clad women and some escapees from Stand and Deliver!
Ed Shereen and a couple of other guys who I think were actually more well known and established than Mr Shereen, who has about as much shelf life as an already stale loaf of bread, can't see what the hype is all about with that guy, can you.

Now was that the mad hatter or the child catcher I just saw, it's all becoming a Blur, no not the group; stop wishful thinking, you know you'll only be disappointed...

I think that was a Beatles montage followed by Fatboy slim obviously a quiet night in Balearic's or Brighton beach  

Jessie J, no truck for her to fall off, she gets a convertible Rolls Royce, pity it was a left hand drive, strangely you don't see many of them on UK roads, left hand drive ones, that is  she was accompanied by Tinie Tempeh, wow he had one too, maybe Rolls Royce and the Coalition are trying to tell us something, like we are all going to have to start driving on the 'wrong' side of the road from next week, mind you getting the roads back away from Locoq or is it Lowcock, I was never quite sure? And then Taio Cruz  ( who the hell is he?) had another one, all left hand drives, but never mind they were made by Rolls Royce and had the wee flying lady on the front......

Black London cabs  disgorging the Spice Girls and I will admit to two things here, One, I met them when they were filming in London Docklands in the nineties for that appalling movie they made when I was head of the contract security team for the London Docklands Development Corporation , a long dead quango, and Two, I like them,  and they did not disappoint as they sung and clung on to the roof's of their respective black cabs.  Think badly of me if you will, my senses are now dulled anyway so your slings and stones will cause no pain.

Beady Eye WTF, singing Oasis it wasn't until there was a close up that I realised it was a Gallagher brother, there you go I had no idea and apart from the name change 
Mr Blue Sky then blasted out to scenes of folk dressed up from the twenties or thirties  and some guy being fired out of an oversized cannon, which for some reason abruptly ended Mr Blue Sky and the guy apparently fired out of the cannon turned out to be Eric Idle who had every one singing The Bright Side of Life  

Some guy on a piano wearing a sparkly suit  who then moved on to a guitar with a bunch of chanting loony women and a lot of flame, but unfortunately none of them got close enough to the flames to save us from their three minute screeching session  

Queen and Freddie,  the latter now 21 years dead but he still conducts and audience with such sheer panache and then Bryan May giving us one of his guitar sessions and it wasn't even spoilt (to much) by Jessie J coming on and accompanying them.

Bear with me I know your getting as tired of this as I am but it's almost over, promise I think we might even get some pretty half dressed Brazilian women once the flag has been handed over    

Greek national Anthem 

London Welsh male voice choir 

Funny dressed Brazilians with glowing  fluorescent hats and a guy brushing the stage in his hi-viz orange safety suit. Nope pretty Brazilian women, but all fully dressed, so I hung on for nothing, Oops hang on there's a slim Brazilian version of Barry White , maybe not .......

Nope can't take any more either 

Good night and see you in 4 years in Rio or maybe not as it will be in the middle of my night and you do know I need as much beauty sleep as I can get, mind you I'll be four years older and in my 60's so I might not need as much sleep then as I do now.......

Off out to the back garden to see if I can spot any meteors from the Perseid shower, has to be better than what I just saw.....

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Morning Sunshine; Butterfly's and Spider

Went for an hour and half walk this morning through the village and The Ash and Oak Wood:

There was a slight breeze but with glorious sunshine. Don't know what it is with 'us' Brits.  The 'weather'  seems to take up much of our conversation and indeed not just us but 'johnny foreigner' too.  Almost all complain that it is to cold, to wet and then normally followed by the rejoinder, "I wish I was somewhere sunny!" And yet, here we have all this sunshine and all I saw was a couple out on bikes with the chap who had his toddler in a seat on the back, and that was it.  Is everyone else stuck in doors watching the final two days of the Olympics, who knows....

So, this is some of the things that caught my eye this morning: (if you want to see a larger image of any photo, just click on it)


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Five Rules to Remember in Life

1. Money cannot buy happiness but its more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.........
2. Forgive your enemy but remember the bastards name. .........
3. Help someone when they are in trouble and they will remember you when they're in trouble again..........
4. Many people are alive only because it’s illegal to shoot them..............
5. Alcohol does not solve any problems but then again, neither does milk........

and as a bonus for all of you who appreciate a nice propeller:

Anyone who served in the Air Force will immediately spot the error.  This photo is absolutely incredible.. it should be a poster for what not to do. But can you tell what's wrong with it?

Thanks to Andy Williams for the above 

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

My quirky intro to Jack Reacher novels

I have a relatively humdrum existence in the workplace but generally I am left to do my own thing. occasionally I have to venture out of the office and visit a couple of places, some of which are derelict buildings, when I do and because some of them have been left to rot away for so long there are lots of dead rodents and pigeons and it's a bit like walking across the KILLING FLOOR.

Some of the wee beasties are close to openings to the outside world and it appears they DIE TRYING to escape, some pigeons are lying in such a way as to suggest that as they crawled across the floor they were caught on a TRIPWIRE and slumped forward breaking their necks!

On other days I just feel as if I am RUNNING BLIND into a chasm the the boss who has been on the phone shouting, he can't seem to talk without shouting, decides to become a VISITOR instead of a caller and my ears are like an ECHO BURNING after he leaves. WITHOUT FAIL after he leaves and regardless of the reason for the visit I usually become a self PERSUADER that whatever the reason for the visit, that THE ENEMY has been in my presence and I am left with only ONE SHOT at getting things right before the next unannounced visit.

Of course THE HARD WAY to do things for myself are normally the ones that lead to BAD LUCK AND TROUBLE and I end up thinking I have NOTHING TO LOSE as I could easily be GONE TOMORROW or indeed in 61 HOURS

But I usually convince myself that what I do is not WORTH DYING FOR.

And then For some reason I think of SECOND SON. He comes home and he realises that THE AFFAIR he was having with danger and excitement ends prematurely he will realise DEEP DOWN that being A WANTED MAN to be hung by his thumbs for allowing T Cruise to portray a hero to many, will all Fade away ......

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

My Day in London for a peek at London 2012

I went for a troll around London today as it was the only opportunity I was going to get to see a live event, the men's Triathlon.

It was hardly surprising that I got to see so little due to the astonishing numbers that were lining the streets and, I suspect a lot of them like me, found it impossible to get tickets for events elsewhere and what made that even worse was the pathetic attempts by Coe and the rest of his lickspital crew attempting to justify the reasons for it as being down to seats that had been issued to corporate sponsors who couldn't be bothered to turn up! To save face they then drafted in soldiers to fill the gaps so us peasants sitting at home wouldn't be to angered at this state of affairs.  No problem with soldiers getting these seats apart from the fact that if G4S had got its act together the soldiers wouldn't have been there in the first place, who would they have given the seats to then?

Anyway, from what little I saw the triathlon was shaping into a right old battle but once again for the Home Team with Alistair Brownlee taking Olympic gold, Spain's Javier Gomez taking silver and another Britain, Jonathan Brownlee winning the bronze.

All in all though, as it has been a while since I wandered round town, I had a good day.......  I even bumped in to the American Coach of a runner due to run at 9.45 this evening.  I wrote his name and that of the runner down on a scrap of paper and then promptly lost it it.  It was quite funny as we were chatting in the tube station another group of Americans arrived and they knew each other although they hadn't seen each other for ages and the coaches wife said to me after we got on the tube that it was so strange as yesterday they bumped into their neighbours as well, so, London really is a small town after all .......



Rt Hon Vince Cable MP