Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas - especially to Ayla Jade!

Just a post to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hope you all enjoy the festivities and manage to over-indulge in a vast and debauched manner! I'm off to Spain at the weekend (fog permitting) so hopfully it'll be another warm Christmas for us, although not quite as warm as last year in Oz. Speaking of which, in case anybody didn't know (who knows her that it), Kim has now produced a bonny little girl called Ayla Jade Bushell this last Sunday morning, weighing in at 7.4 pounds. Not quite according to plan as the ol' Roman Emperor delivered, but both Mother and child are very well. Pictures can be found here (watch out for the last one as it's a gratuitously gory sliced open belly shot with lots of blood and internal anatomy!):
http://www.insightful.com.au/rick/1.jpg
http://www.insightful.com.au/rick/2.jpg
http://www.insightful.com.au/rick/3.jpg
http://www.insightful.com.au/rick/4.jpg

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul

...otherwise known as finally realising that winter is here. I know November is officially an Autumn month, but this morning was the first time this year it actually registered that it's still dark outside when I got up. And to be honest it's now almost 10am and hasn't got much brighter. I think this time of year I'd really like a job that was an evening shift, sort of 4pm to midnight, then I could sleep from midnight to mid morning and at least get out and enjoy what light there is in a day. Still, spare a though for those in alaska I guess who only see a smudge of twilight at this time of year for a few hours a day.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Change to comments

I've added a word verification step to posting comments onto the site in order to reduce spam comment posts. It means you'll have to interpret the text displayed and type it back in before you can post your comment.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Favourite Lyrics

Dave, following on from earlier blog of yours about not actually sitting down and listening ( properly ) to music anymore. I have found myself in the same position, but tonight I have actually just sat and listened to about two hours of favourite tracks, with headphones all be it, so couldn't actually get my lungs rattling with the bass, but it was good to get totally lost in the lyrics. One of my favourites, Paul Weller, Changingman.
"The more I see, the more I know."
"The more I know, the less I understand."
Genius, wish i'd thought of it.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

PC Gone Mad!

Sorry time for another alcohol fueled rant, well this is supposed to be a virtual pub is it not.?

Apparantly some school is not allowed to server turkey as an xmas lunch for the kids.
Why,
well they have to go for the more muslim friendly dish so as not to upset our non Christian kids. Also overhearing a conversation in a supermarket its now not possible to buy a nativity scene for Christmas in the local area.

Sorry but as the Majority religion in this country perhaps we should insist on the serving of pork during Yom Kippur or gorging during Ramadan, why should we not be able to celebrate our religious holidays how we want and not have to be dictated to by the MINORITY groups in this country.

There's going to be one hell of backlash shortly which will make the crusades look like an espisode of the magic roundabout.
The number of protest votes for the BNP will go balistic, this is exactly how Nazi Germany started.!!!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Green on Green Issues again

A while ago I posted a topic on how I thought people should give ol' Dicky Branson a break as he at least is doing something about climate change. It was said that his donation of millions of pounds of profit to green issues was a bit suspect as the destination of those funds was another part of his own company that researches greener fuels etc. I still say, at least the money is being used for something that hopefully will have a positive effect.
Now compare that to the government's attempt to show a green face. For instance add about 17% on to airfares as a green tax. The story is that this will "tax" people out of the habit, but I think in the main people like their holidays too much, so the net result is that people are poorer, the government is richer and just as much airline fuel is used with the same carbon footprint. Meanwhile the government is patting itself on the back for promoting a green policy, when in fact they've just found a seemingly PC way to tax us some more.
What needs to happen is that all these taxes being proposed for airline fuel, 4x4 cars etc needs to be funnelled into projects that will actually fight climate change. How about it goes to fund further grants for people to install solar panels or wind power? Or how about give it all to Virgin Fuels so that they can find a low carbon alternative to airline fuel a bit quicker...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Rediscovering Music


A few weeks back Shelley and I went for a walk around Guisborough forest and Shelley took a freebie personal FM radio that she got with a magazine so she could lsten to the radio rather than talk to me while we were walking. How anti-social you may think, but practically, we're both so unfit that most of the time we gasping for breath so much that there's not a great deal of conversation that can be had. Anyway, the radio was a bit crap and kept stopping so I thought I'd get a couple of little pen drive style MP3 players (£15 for a 512kb version). Now, not only have we been learning greek as we walk with a listen'n'learn based tutorial, but I have also found that going for a walk gives me the opportunity to listen to music again - which these days just never seems to happen at home. Yesterday we went up by the Wainstones and listening to the good ol' Oxygene by Jean Michel Jarre seemed to go so well with the wind swept surroundings it's like having a soundtrack to the landscape.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Who makes these laws?

While we're on the subject of making things legal or illegal, a friend just sent me an email which list the statistics behind those 635 MP's that we err...trust?...to legislate:

  • 29 have been accused of spouse abuse
  • 7 have been arrested for fraud
  • 19 have been accused of writing bad cheques
  • 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
  • 3 have done time for assault
  • 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
  • 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
  • 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
  • 21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
  • 84 have been arrested for drink driving in the last year

Should this lot really have anything to do with making laws?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Virtual White Swan

The Veil

Anyone else getting sick to death of this one.
The answers very simple.
Make it illegal for anyone, regardless of religion or race, to wear anything covering the face in public. Incuding motorcycle (helmets once your off the bike), veils and most of all Hoodies.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

People who don't take responsibility for their dog’s cr*p...

Well I'm on a roll today!...

What is it with some people?... I believe that people should be licenced to have own a dog (and to have children as well, I'm sure I'll whinge about that one in the next couple of weeks...)

I came out of my house earlier to find the biggest pile of dog cr*p on my drive. It was huge, in fact it could just about be compared to a human poo. The dog that did it must have been a cross between a Mastiff, a Great Dane and a St.Bernard. All on steroids. Or maybe it was just the owner?...

Anyway, it's bloody disgusting and there should be severe penalties for people who don't clean up after their dogs. There's a big patch of grass out of the front of my house that kids play on and people let their dogs go there and don't clean up. It's like a dog-cr*p minefield. Let's hope little Johnny doesn't develop toxocariasis from playing with dog poo.

I feel I should say something if I see someone letting their dog go there but with the attitude of people today I'd probably get a mouthful of verbal abuse and it stuck through my letter-box next time.

Some people... Tsk...

Never fear, Cinders is here...


Well Guys, I'm back... Back to good old Blighty and I have to say it's good to be back, ahem... ;op

After spending the past few months in Sydney doing my MCSE and then the past four living in Koh Samui, Thailand being a beach bum - it sure is back to reality being here.

Unfortunately I had to return as my Grandfather developed cancer. I was lucky to spend a couple of weeks with him before he passed away. He was a great guy, he lived a long happy life and died very peacefully.

I was there when he died. I had never witnessed someone dying before and it was a very surreal experience. I had been out for the day and returned to my Grandparents home, as I pulled up on the drive a nurse came out to see me and told me to prepare myself for what I was about to see. My Grandfather only had a couple of hours left.

As I entered the room he was lying in his bed with his oxygen mask on gasping for breath and moaning in pain. It was the most awful scene I had ever witnessed, the gurgling sound he was making was terrible and the moans were even worse. The nurses told us Morphine was on its way and I silently cursed them for not having it on hand sooner. Luckily it turned up quickly and my Grandfather was no longer in pain.

He laid there gasping for breath with my Grandmother holding his hand. My mother was there also and I held her hand, trying to hold back the tears and control my emotions with all this going on. It was very hard for me. After a short while my Grandfather drew his last breath and stopped breathing. As he did a strange silence came over the room and at last he was at peace. It has been raining all day and at that moment it stopped and the sun came out and lit up his beautiful garden. It was quite beautiful in a strange way, my Grandfather looked so peaceful lying there.

Buddhists say that at the moment of death you reach true enlightenment. All your Worldly worries fall away from you and you are completely at peace. I saw this happen to my Grandfather and it was an amazing experience, something I will never forget. I saw how life slips away from us and what you become. Life is definitely a blessing, but it is not forever. We should all learn from this, too many of us put off things for tomorrow, things we should do today...

And that is, the tale of err... my Grandfather's death. So let's move on to a lighter note... I'm back in Blighty, the land of whingers, so it's time for a whinge…

I'm still here because some social deviants trashed my house... the b*stards!

I'd been renting my house out through an agency (I won't name) whilst I was away. The first tenants were great, an old couple who paid 6 months rent up front and made no problems. On my return my mother told me that the current tenants hadn't paid the rent for 3 months and the agency weren't doing anything about it. She didn't want to worry me about it whilst I was away, bless her…

I immediately visited the house to find a couple of local mutants living there. A young couple who didn't look like they were in the best of health. To tell you the truth these two looked like they enjoyed a bit of the old heroin and weren't to worried about their appearance, they're living conditions or my house. You can guess the rest... I was horrified. The house had been decorated before I left and was immaculate. I had stated to the agents no smokers, no pets, no DSS and definitely no 'Burra' (as it's pronounced round here) smack-heads. Great.

It took 2 weeks to get them out, a couple of letters and then a stern warning. I went round the house to find they'd stolen my white goods! They took the cooker, washing machine and fridge. They left the house in terrible state, it stunk of smoke, dogs and several other smells I couldn't really distinguish. The gardens were ruined, the walls yellow, their cr*p everywhere. A valuable lesson in renting property had been learnt.

So that's what I've been doing for the past 6 weeks, I have stripped the house entirely and have completely redecorated it. I'm sat here typing this as I'm sat in the Garden with my laptop whilst the carpet fitters put brand new carpets in through out and then it's done!.... I have to say I'm rather happy with my work and it's been a great learning experience.

I will never decorate another house in my life and I will never step foot in B&Q again!

The house will be put on the market within the next week and once it's sold I'll be off back to Sydney to complete my CCNA/CCNP and never to return to the UK (until the next relative dies... ahem.)

So that is my story. Sorry if I've bored you all but I needed to kill a few hours and thought it would be rude not to make a contribution to Dave's Blog.

I will be happy to come on here and whinge some more about living in Blighty whilst I'm here, after all isn't that what being British is all about?... No wonder we're called whinging Pomme's over in Oz.

I guess after spending a long time in Thailand and seeing how people live who have nothing has made me realise that we whinge about things that are meaningless. We have an amazing standard of living here, luxuries that people dream about or can’t even imagine. Maybe all these material possessions we own don’t make us happy and end up owning us?... Or maybe we just view our lives in the wrong perspective and simply changing that can make us happy?... Isn’t that what life is about, being happy?..

And on that note I’m off to roll around on my lovely new carpets….. : )

The same old joke

Is anyone else getting bored with the "when is Tony Blair going to leave" news item? It's been running for so long now that I'm sure half the population, rather than worrying about when he'll go and who'll replace him etc, actually just couldn't give a toss anymore. Certainly Rory Bremner (who I always used to find quite funny) seems to not only fill an hour long prime time show trying to extract laughs from "tony not leaving" gags, but seems to be doing it for an entire series. For gods sake man - get some new material, some new characters - we know you can "do" Tony...do you have any other voice?

On another aside, does any one else think the labour party have actually done Cameron a favour comparing him to a chameleon? Not because he's using it to say "yes, the tory's are about change for the better" or any of that crap, but more just because the chameleon looks ...well.. cute really! Something that could never be said about anything that's compared to Gordon Brown, I'll wager.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

LOST - Season Finale

So LOST season 2 came to a conclusion last night. Well, I say came to a conclusion but as has been the style of US primt time drama series for a while now, it just ended with some bigger cliff hangers than any episode within the season.

I know the idea is to leave you desperate to see the next season, but this is really beginning to bug me now. Lost is a probably the worst exaple of this in that pretty much nothing ever gets explained about whats going on at all. If I didn't know that Shelley will be eager to see season three as soon as it comes out, I think I'd prefer to wait for a decade until the show gets cancelled and then catch up on it all then. To take that to the logical conclusion I must decide at what age I should stop watching any shows until they are cancelled for fear of dying before I find out how the plot ends up!

A further gripe on this trend, is that invariably when a show does start losing it's popularity and the execs decide it's time to call it a day, the writers then have to think of how to wrap it all up quickly. In a show like LOST where almost everything thats happened needs explaining, it means that trying to wrap it all up in a couple of episodes is likely to leave everyone feeling "great show...but wasn't the ending crap?"

The whole thing makes me wonder if any of the writers actually know themselves whats going on in the plot. Do they just create lots of questions and hope they can write a convincing explanation later on?

Anyway, thank goodness for DVD full season Boxsets! I've just started on Buffy as that show has ended in the nice knowledge that I can see the whole thing from start to finish and not be left hanging.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Green Virgin

Today's big news in my mind is Richard Branson promising the next 10 years of profit from his planes and trains businesses (some 3 billion dollars) to reducing global warming.

And STILL the green lobby say "he could do more"!!! Can't people for once just say "Thank you, Richard". I can't actually think of any other occasion when a massive corporation has shown such a vast commitment to a "good" cause. For years the greens have been complaining that the greedy corporates don't give anything back, and now one of them does something massive and all they can do is complain that it's not enough. Well fuck off you ungrateful bastards.

I think the Virgin announcement challenges us all as it's been too easy to say "It'll take the government and corporations to make a real change". Well now a big corporation is making a difference, so how about all of us doing our bit too - even if it is just not overfilling the kettle, turning off the TV overnight rather than leaving it on standby, etc.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mallorca

Honey, I'm home! and if anyone whats to look at a seletion of the photos from the holiday take a look over on my main site by clicking the "Dave Green's Website" link on the right bar. Lovely place but I tell you what - the spainiards certainly know how to make money from the tourists - everytime we asked for a large bottle of water in a restaurant we got something that would just fill 2 wine glasses full. And individual bottles of anything were just 20cl.
If you're interested a few of my thoughts on the holiday can be found at:

Friday, September 08, 2006

Politics

Well big tonza's off at long last, maybe, sometime in the next twelve months. Does anyone else other than me get this feeling of impending doom at having Gordy as the next PM.?
He with all the charisma and personality of a dead sheep.
My political views are just slightly right of Lady T's but given the choice of the two, give me Sedgefield Cowboy anyday.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Holiday

Well, I'm off on hols for a couple of weeks but keep posting so I've got something to read when I get back.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Whinging poms

Somebody just send me an email (Cinders for those of you that know him) and mentioned he'd had a look at this site and commented "don't you winge a lot?" and then proceeded to ask if he could have a spot here!

Anyway, I had a brief recap of posts and he's right, the majority of them are whinges, so just to try to redress the balance here are a few current things that make me happy:

- The Deli On The Green - yummy pate's and cheeses
- Socialising with friends old and new - the party last month was excellent (at least it was for me)
- My new DVD player -finally my photo DVD's paly without skipping.
- Shelley talking at a very loud volume coz she's playing with the new toy (mp3 player) at the same time

OK there's always the thought of how lucky I am to live where I do, in the style I do, and with the freedoms I enjoy, but this post is about little specifics that lift life. So please add in the comments things that currently make you smile and add to you happiness.

PS Carry on posting whinges though as that's part and parcel of what pub talk is all about!

F.L.A.B. (Fat Louts Against Bikinis)

I heard on the news yesterday that the NHS are going to stop giving IVF treatment to obese people but still give to existing parents and smoking parent wannabes. I understand that given there aren't infinite funds then some hard choices have to be made but it's a bit worrying the trend towards the anti fat mentality that this society seems to be heading.

This idea that fat people have done it to themselves because of their lifestyle and so shouldn't expect the same NHS care as thin people is perverse. By following the same logic people who:

  • play sports a lot shouldn't receive care for broken limbs, groin strains etc
  • break the speed limit should pay for their A&E treatment (even if bad driving didn't cause it - but they are statistically more likely to end up in A&E if they are a bad driver)
  • People who use aspartamene to avoid sugar should get no cancer treatment
  • People who have prominent political careers shouldn't be treated for gunshot wounds...

...you see where I'm going here? We all make lifestyle choices and almost all of them have an effect somewhere on our likely hood of having some medical problem. And to be honest overeating is probably one of the hardest lifestyle issues to avoid. It's a lot easier to say no to heroin in the first place as you a) know it's bad for you and b) you don't need to have any to survive. With food, you've got to eat to live, so finding a balance between what you need and what you want can be a tricky business.

Anyway, the point is, I find it disturbing in a society where we on one hand are desperately trying to break a view of traditional beauty that pushes people into anorexia, and at the same time waiting in the wings to punish you for taking a step too far in the other direction. You've got to be just right; not too thin and not too fat. Where does this end up? Once we start discriminating our rights based on physical characteristics then we might as well go the whole hog and say you need to be a blond blue eyed Aryan to get the vote.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The S&M guide to insect bite treatment

The other week we were out shopping with a view to picking up the bits and pieces you need for a holiday, and I came across a little device called a "ZapBite" or something like that. Anyway the idea is that when those darn little mossie critters feed off you blood, instead of scrathing of using tubes of soothing cream, you just place this little device over the bite, press the button about ten times and the itching is relieved.

So having bought one I've now been almost looking forward to my first bite, just to see if it works, and ....tada!...this morning I had a nice little bite on my knee that was starting to itch. Out comes the ZapBite and I merrily plug away at the button for a minute. And the result is impressive - my knee no longer itched. No, instead it feels like i little bruise as if somebody had jabbed me with a pencil! I'm still trying to decide which is worse, the itching or the soreness?

For the next part of the experiment I just have to wait for the soreness to wear off and see if the itching comes back!

Having now used it in anger, I think a more suitable name for the device might be the "MiniMe Cattle Prod". A must have for every masochist's weekend bag!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

NHS Prescription prices

There are 3 conditions that allow you to get NHS prescriptions free of charge. Epilepsy, Diabetes and something else which I can't remember.

I've been diagnosed as a borderline diabetic which means I have diabetes but as yet don't require medication for it. I can therefore have free eye tests but not free medicine. However, the diabetes has been caused by other long term conditions that I have and is being controlled by increasing my medication for these. So I now have to take 7 different medications every day ( to be increased next month to include HRT medication - the joys of being an old woman) to ensure my diabetes doesn't increase to a level requiring medication which would then result in no prescription charges at all.

I think I'll have to get another job to pay for it all. Even with the NHS "loyalty" card, where you pay up front and save money it's a fortune for an impoverished student :)

Carole

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Conspiracy continued!

OK - I'm finally convinced! The contents of this site once and for all prove that I have been naive all along in blindly accepting NASA outrageous lie that they landed on the Moon. How could I have missed all this evidence?...
http://stuffucanuse.com/fake_moon_landings/moon_landings.htm

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Why is it?

1. ... that no 0ne can ever give you a delivery time for dropping off goods at your house, but you're always last on the list anyway. Do the delivery men only carry one item (yours) and park up in a lay-by somewhere for the rest of the day eating pies, fish and chips, smoking, drinking tea and comparing the merits of various t**s in the red-tops, then at 4.50 pm they decide to deliver to you. By which time you can't phone the shop to say the goods are wrong or damaged. And when you finally contact them the person dealing with your order has just gone on a six-month trip to Siberia and no-one else knows anything about it!

2. The shops in Guisborough ran out of cabbages on Saturday. Cabbages! Do we now have a national cabbage day or have we had a sudden influx of eastern european migrants who haven't realised we sell other food.

3 And speaking of supermarkets why is it despite the fact that you go in for one item you always end up spending a minimum of £25, often more.

4. Why on Saturday night when large opposing gangs of youths from Guisborough and Middlesbrough decided to have a gang fight in the fields next to us did all of Cleveland's finest turn up on masse to deal with it but when anyone gets burgaled or their car broken into they're nowhere to be seen. Why didn't they just let the little darlings batter seven bells out of each other.

5. Why do the council give old people bus passes to let them travel from the estates to shop and then take away the buses because they're not making any money?

6. Why does the phone ALWAYS ring when you're on the loo.

7. Why do the cows in the field next to me always cr*p on the path and never in the rest of the field

8. Why, why, why.

Guess I'm particularly sour today

Carole

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Weekend Weather !!

Ok guys, here we go, Its the weekend again and guess what, the weather is pap!!

Why is it that during the week, lets face it when most of us work, the weather is reasonable fine, you know, its sunny and fairly warm, yet somehow, after 5pm Friday evening till Monday at 9am the weather becomes a monsoon season.

Is there a God up there that decides with his fellow cherubs, that dowsing us with rain, wind, thunder storms and tornados is a good sport for the weekend!!

Lets face it how many people went out on saturday with jeans and a t shirt and came back looking like a drowned rat.... or a contestant from a wet t shirt contest?

is it just me who feels that weekends are ruined by the dreadful state of the weather, there are only so many times you can go to the cinema without the ushers thinking you actually work there !!

Roll on winter at least then we can expect bad weather..... not august... come on the god of weather give us some sun!! So then we can all moan at how hot we are!!!

Shell

Saucy bits n pieces

Hello
It's your ol' mate George here from Kent and those London ICI days.
I thought I'd better start a heading on the sort of ol' b*llocks that we used to discuss in the pub - you, me , Kim and Caroline - you know, sex, men, relationships and all that shyte.

After spending a lazy Sunday morning hair removing, plucking (yes I did spell that right!), and getting paranoid enough to feel the need to give my hair a colour rinse to hide all but a dozen greys or so (and I'm not 40 yet for a couple of years) ... I wanted to ask you opinion on something that's come up in discussions in my house (my poor long suffering partner......)!
Having read an rticle in a girly magazine recently about how you men like their women to be hairless and particularly neat and trim down below, I wanted to look at the other side of the coin - male hairs. I brought the topic up whilst lazing in bed this am with the other half, asking him if he's ever give his own chuff a 'short back and sides' trim - only to be completely rebuffed with 'don't be so ridiculous' shot back. Maybe my timing wasn't good, Sunday am in bed, it's a shocker when your his age and not up with the modern world views in girly mags. I did comment that I supposed an ambush in his sleep with his beard trimmers wouldn't be a good idea, as would only end end tears (not to say only half the job done), the poor fella - the fear was palpatable and he then got up and decided to finish some kitchen tiling.
So it's left me hanging - should a man trim or not? What's your view?
I should also point out that I'd heard that a trimmed male chuff is rather a thrill for a woman. Is it therefore a thrill the other way round for the man - in the sensation front I mean (we'll leave the visuals to personal preference here) .....

As I was self waxing my legs with those awful sticky strips, trying not to let the cat dab them and trying not to get more wax left on my legs than on the strip itself ...... my man came up to the bathroom to see what on earth I was up to. At that point I offered to give him a ripping time, expecting the same curt rebuff. Instead, this said wax virgin, offered up the top of his arm/shoulder area - as he's just as vain really and has a few stragglers growing there that didn't used to be there .....
With glee I stuck one on him so quick, before he could change his mind, that he nearly jumped away from me. Ohh how he yelped - after I'd promised it really wasn't that painful. Having done one arm, of course the other needed doing! Also with all homecare kits - you always miss a few of the b*ggers. So once I'd started, he said I may as well do the rest, and the eyebrow tweasers came out.

Why can't all Sunday mornings be this much fun .....
Gxxx

Kid's Toys

So, for those of you with daughter's (or son's who are secure in their own sexuality) did they want a Malibu Barbie, a Ballerina Barbie, or now...and I kid you not...they can have the Shitting Dog Barbie! Yes, I've just watched an advert on Sunday morning TV for the ultimate Barbie accessory pack. The plastic barbie dog that you feed and them it shits to amuse the little tikes! You even get a little plastic pooper scooper for the barbie doll to pick up the shit with.

Gone is the age of innocence....

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Hello

Hi Dave and Shelley,

Just to say hello, I'm here and quite looking forward to your rants. I miss the deep and meaningful conversations at work on life, the universe, women and conspiracy theories!

Carole

Friday, August 18, 2006

Why the Virtual White Swan?

Wht is ths blog called what it is? Well, The White Swan is my local pub, which although I don't get to anywhere near as often as I'd like, I have a strange loyalty to. And the best thing about going down the local for a few jars with a mate is to be able to talk absolute bollocks, set the world to rights and then have no idea when you get home and your wife asks you what you talked about. Time spent with your friends is what life is all about for me. Hence my blog quote.
So if you want to make The Virtual White Swan your local, come in and enjoy the company!

PS For the real White Swan see the link on the right. They brew their own beer under the label of Captain Cook's Brewery and it's spot on!

Photos

For anyone who is interested, photos of the 40th party are loaded on my main website, or click here to go straight to the photos page without frames

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Santorini
















A bit out of date now, as my last holiday was back in June, but for people who have never been before - make sure you visit Santorini at least once before you die! It's possibly one of the most stunning places on Earth. All the usual Greek hospitality with magnificent scenery, great food (local grown food tastes wonderful as the island is quite windy so things like tomatoes grow quite small but because of that, more flavoursome), and allegedly the best sunsets in the world.

Quiz Nights

I have a feeling that this blog page might just end up as a place for me to rant. Went out to the pub last night for a (all to rare) evening catching up with an old mate. It's the only pub within a sensible walking distance and when we arrived it was a little busier than you'd expect for a Wednesday night but the footie was on so fair enough - we found a table at the opposite end of the pub to the TV so we could chat easily. But straight after the footie ends they start with the pub quiz - which I don't mind in principle but why do they have to be so loud? It was just impossible to talk at all - we might as well have been in a night club. I say pubs should have to section off an area for those activities that can't be ignored if you're there, and leave another section of the pub for people who just want to come down their local for a pint in peace.

Totally impractical, I know. But it just pissed me off that the one night set aside going out and sinking a few jars with a mate gets trashed by 400db of quiz master voice.

Rant over :-)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Over the hill

I hit 40 last week with a bit of a bash in the back garden. The enevitable question is always asked of "Do you feel older then?" to which I answer "actually no I don't" with that quizical expression on my face to try and convey that I somehow ought to for some reason. Strange really, as to date nobody I know that has passed through a 40th birthday has ever suddenly felt older. However I have to admit that as this first week of 40 something progresses there are the glimerings of "signs of the times". For instance, this morning I think is the first time in my life where I've walked down the stairs holding onto the railing and actually think about it at the time - "best hold on 'coz I don't want to trip and kill myself now". No worries though - if I did trip it'd probably only be a hip that needs replacing!

As to having a mid life crisis, this picture of me at the party certainly shows that I should be having one.

Incects

Are they a consequence of original sin? I'm sorry but in my view 4 limbs is plenty for any lifeform - I mean snakes get away with none. So I go out for a pleasant walk in the countryside today and after a few hours of having the flies dive bomb my ear I was starting to feel like winter couldn't come soon enough, but then the final track back to the carpark seemed to be a mass breeding ground for some flying ant like creature and they are swarming all over me. The end result is as I try to swat frantically about my head to keep them out of my ears and eyes, my wedding ring goes flying off into the heather never to be found again. Bugger!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Kick off

So this is my first ever blog. Lets go straight in at the deep end - the government can't win here can it? I'm not supporting any particular viewpoint but they got so much grief for going into Iraq and now are getting the grief for not getting involved enough in the Isreal/Lebanon thing. I say Tony - fuck off on holiday and stuff the lot of them. perhaps after two week in the sun you might have thought of somethng constructive to say.