For reasons that I haven't bothered to find out about, I cannot currently access the internet at home and so a weekend's worth of blog posts have gone unwritten.
Can't get to my e-mails or anything, and so just in case you have e-mailed me, I'm not ignoring you, I am being unjustly served by BT.
ps I just found out that Channelle has walked! I quite liked her and think that Ziggy is a twat.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
For reasons that I haven't bothered to find out about, I cannot currently access the internet at home and so a weekend's worth of blog posts have gone unwritten.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Mr Scribbles is having somewhat of a crisis. He has worked at the bank for longer than Labour have been in power, and done well out of it, but it seems that the bank culture is now grating too harshly on his soul.
Oh those petty rules.
Thou must wear thou name tag at all times. Thou must lock thou drawer every night. Thou must walk backwards when leaving a room with senior management in it.
But it is the 'inspirational quotes' that have lately been posted around his department that are proving a spirit bashing too far.
Here's two of them:
"Don't get stuck in treacle,
"We have the passion to say 'yes' and the courage to say 'no'"
I think we can all agree that such statements vomit all over the English language.
They appear to be recognisable words, that make up readable sentences, but the gaping space where meaning should be can only leave a sentient being dizzy and disorientated.
I think Mr Scribbles should start an underground movement in his bank; join ranks with other offended souls to blot out these monstrosities with pages of Milton, Shakespeare and Keats.
Or at the very least the lyrics of Amy Winehouse songs.
If I knew some Tories I'd have been doing a lot of texting and e-mailing today.
Tory Voters turn against Cameron
"Mr Brown's position is stronger, with 75% of Labour voters, and 37% of all voters, saying that they like both the party and its leader. Only 18% of all voters say that they like Mr Cameron but not his party, against 26% who say that they approve of the Tories but not Mr Cameron."
The honeymoon is well and truly over. Dum de dum de dum.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Previously, somewhere amongst the dank undergrowth of the Small Town Scribbles archive, a commentator picked up on the fact that I refer to my mother as 'mom'.
They queried why I didn't use 'mum'.
I didn't rightly know.
On thinking about it, I considered it must be a local thing, as most people I knew from home used 'mom' never 'mum'. 'Mum' was for posh people and for use in adverts and mother's day cards.
Now Norm, inspired quite pleasingly by one of my posts, asks the same question. The replies he's received tend to back up my original thoughts that mom is the right and proper way to refer to the female nurturer in one's life, with 'mum' being used by posh people who live in the wrong part of the country.
Now, if only we can get to the bottom of the why people use 'nan' instead of 'gran'. It's so wrong on every level.
I still can't quite fully comprehend the vastness of the flooding. We're talking entire counties. It feels strangely apocalyptic and yet remote at the same time. There is no flooding where I am. Just rain.
It has though hit home a little more with Evesham, Tewkesbury and Stratford-Upon-Avon being hit. Places I know well. I wish I could think of something to do to help, but I'm pretty sure that the emergency services could do without me sailing around in a little rubber dinghy giving out bottles of Volvic with a beatific smile. I resolve instead to go back to these places when the floods have cleared and chuck my money around the local businesses.
In the meantime, I just love these pictures over at Wongablog.
Also, Laban has a story to tell, and brings my attention to The Gray Monk, who is in the thick of it.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Across the Mediterranean, they are experiencing a heatwave. Florence, where I've just spent a week, was often the hottest part of Italy. Things have got so bad that the government was urging workers to stop wearing ties. This is Italians, not wearing ties. That's how hot we're talking.
One night, we were eating icecream at 11.30pm across the piazza from some Medici palace, with fans gently wafting hot night air over us. We were still sweating.
Earlier that day in our hotel room we had been watching Meteo 24, the 24-hour European weather channel. On oddly pointless program, it meticulously charted the utterly unchanging sunshine. A 24 hour weather station to tell you that all day, every day, Europe was going to be sorchio. We watched it regularly for a good laugh.
That day it had been particularly hilarious. The map of Europe was deep red, all apart from the top left hand corner which showed a large blue rain swirl. The swirl was so large that the country underneath it, Britain, couldn't be seen. Naturally, this had us in fits.
On Sky News, the British weathermen sounded so defeated that a forecast of "intermittent light rain" was cheerily portrayed as good news. Predicted flooding was announced with congenial flippancy, as if the flooding of whole towns and villages was the norm. Which of course, this summer, it is.
We, though, were dressing each day in cotton tops and flip-flops, confidant of the never-ending sunshine that waited for us outside our hotel.
On the night of the icecream, I thought it would be a particularly good idea to let people back home know about this. I phoned my mom and dad up. "It's 11 o'clock at night and we're off to go and buy an icecream," I said gleefully down my mobile as we walked the balmy city streets. "Oh, really," said my mom, her voice sounding a little strained "We've just put the fire on." Then she said that for the next two weeks in Britain they'd warned of tornadoes.
But what did we care? As we ate icecream with the gentle sounds of the Tuscan city playing around us. People should know, I thought, people back home should know that's it's hot and dry where I am. It would cheer them up. Stuck back there on that damp little cold island. They would like to know how hot Italy is whilst the rain lashes at their windows.
It was too late to phone people though. So I started to text. My mastery of comedy that night was so incredible that with every text I sent I became more and more hysterical. By the end, I was so exhausted with laughter that my thumb could barely work my mobile.
I know of course, that such comical insensitivity will be repaid, but to be frank, it was worth it. The likelihood of me gaining an upper hand of such sizemic proportions again are slim. It would have been such a waste to have been tactful.
I am back in Britain now, and the monsoon type weather we have just experienced saw some places receiving a couple of months rain in a few hours. It is dark in my house, and I have just had to put the central heating on because it is cold and it is the only way I can dry the machine load of clothes I've just washed.
I don't care. I'm sitting on my comfy settee, drinking cups of tea and watching old Hollywood films on the telly. My tanned ankles are being kept warm inside a pair of fleece boots.
I am thankful for my few days in the sun, and for having experienced the delights of such a city as Florence. It's really not that bad here, as long as you wear thick clothes and put lots of sandbags outside your front door. And besides, in six weeks I'm off to the French Riviera.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
They wanted a martyrs welcome in paradise, but instead they've got at least forty years of compact living amongst Britain's finest criminal elements.
I do hope that they enjoy their lack of freedom, repetitive routine, and dealing with the constant threat from violent inmates.
Meanwhile, the rest of us will be going about our business, doing stuff like flying abroad on holiday, going to nightclubs with mates, stimulating our minds by reading books by Sir Salman Rushdie.
Never mind boys! At least you've still got your looks!
The crap excuses that "Al-Qaida" keep coming up with to bomb us continue.
Now, as I'm sure you've heard, Ayman al-Zawahiri has sent a video message to Gordon Brown and The Queen promising a "a very precise response" to the giving of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie.
Well that's told us!
Expect rubbish terrorists not managing to explode a bomb at a bookstore near you soon.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Respected comrade Jura Watchmaker has already pointed out in this post that regards saving the planet, there may be some gap between what Al Gore preaches and what Al Gore practices.
I can't help thinking that this type of hypocrisy was in so much abundance yesterday at these Live Earth concerts that world hypocrisy levels must now surely be so badly depleted that Sharon Osbourne will be appealing for donations of hypocrisy on our TVs anytime now.
I dare say that I am not saying anything original, but really. Firstly, it is harder to think of anything that drains more of the earth's resources for so little point than a rock/pop concert.
Yes, I'm going to tell you that you must not leave your TV on standby, and to do this I'm going to create an event that will use in one day the electricity that a small third-world country uses in one year.
I mean, just how much of the earth's resources were used in just organising this thing, never mind how much was used, in two continents, on the actual day.
Secondly, I only caught a small amount of it, but the presenters and guests were not exactly on message. Jonathan Ross saying he will never give up his plasma TV, with David Badiel pointing out that he owned several cars. Alan Carr saying he might do some recycling if he can be bothered, but that he wasn't a fan of not flushing the loo. Jimmy Carr saying the important thing is that we all remember Diana. These people are all rich, and they buy, and use, and do so much more than the rest of us, and therfore use up so much more world energy than the rest of us. They knew it, we knew it, and they knew that we knew it.
But the biggest piss-take of all - the use of extraordinarily rich rock and pop stars, who between them must gobble up more of the earth's resources than the rest of us put together, pushing the message that we've all got to conserve energy! You first fuckers!
It is the most patronising of things. The idea that most people cannot grasp a concept unless it is brought to them by Phil Collins and Duran Duran. Really, if someone hasn't got the message about global warming by now then I doubt watching the Pussy Cat Dolls at Wembley Stadium is going to get it into their thick skulls. And if it does, it's a pretty fucked up message - people who use lots of energy, using excessive amounts energy, to tell people not to use so much energy.
But as long as the middle classes continue to be suckers for a feel-good message that comes with an opportunity to go to concerts and buy merchandise then this is what we'll all have to suffer.
Global warming is not just a buzz word anymore, it is a gravy train. Everyone from scientists, to politicians, to rock stars, are jumping on the train and earning themselves loads of money. There is no advantage in questioning the concept that human beings are contributing to the rise of the earth's temperature, but plenty of booty if you go along with the current popular narrative. This is not good for debate.
Personally, I will continue to turn lights off when not needed, not leave my appliances on standby, recycle as much as I can, use supermarket bags for life rather than disposable plastic bags, and turn the tap off whilst I clean my teeth, but this morning it all feels a bit futile. Just how much difference can one person make when even the global warming brigade don't see anything wrong with mass orgies of energy consumption?
Friday, July 06, 2007
If I had the ordered mind, keen eye and way with words that The Norm has, I might have written a post something like this one, which compares and contrasts articles by Anne Applebaum and Simon Jenkins.
Applebaum "comments on the lack of hysterical public reaction to what happened and the advantages enjoyed by open societies in combating terrorism: technological superiority, a supportive public, civic-mindedness. In any case, Applebaum combines the two perceptions, of the gravity of the threat and the hypothesis that we're winning."
Jenkins "uses a ludicrous analogy ('like linking a bank raid in the Old Kent Road "to the global mafia in motivation and ideology"') to dismiss the global significance of Islamist terrorism - as if those attacks in London, New York, Bali, Madrid, etc, had somehow all just happened willy-nilly without any ideological connection."
I have never dismissed the global significance of Islamist terrorism, but for the first time I am recognising the not insignificant advantages we have over the small cells of amateur terrorists dotted across the country.
I cannot claim that I would feel such confidence had the story about the recent attacks been dominated by horrific casualties rather than stories of swift and dramatic arrests and we'll-set-about-ye heroes. The fact that the terrorists were rubbish is, undoubtedly, a boon. But it's a very welcome boon. A boon we can hope to rely on as part of our defence against these really quite irritating extremists.
My mental acceptance of these people is complete. My mind has been on various levels of alert since New York, and it's just been downgraded to its lowest level yet. This does not mean that I do not care anymore about the danger they pose, it just means that that danger now looms small in my consciousness.
And so, whilst these deformed human beings spend their lives looking over their shoulders, talking hate, plotting death, planning for Heaven and heading for jail, I will be free as a bird, talking holidays, plotting nights out, planning for retirement and heading for a life filled with love and satisfaction.
I will never pity the extremist, but my word sometimes I think they should pity themselves.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
I heard a little snippet on the TV news last night that thousands of people in Hull would not be able to return to their homes for many months, some possibly for years. It was accompanied by nightmarish pictures of whole villages still submerged in murky water.
So today I went hunting for the story, and I did have to hunt, because, astonishingly, it is not headline news. I found this on the Guardian website:
"Flood rescue plans for Britain's worst affected city will be announced today when ministers visit Hull, where 30,000 people - three-quarters of the national figure - had to leave their homes at the height of the crisis and an estimated one in every five houses has been damaged.
Only 15 of the city's 105 schools escaped and millions of pounds will be needed to repair day care centres, libraries and leisure complexes swept by 10cm (four inches) of rain, which swamped drains, killing two people.
Every hotel and B&B in the city has been filled with families evacuated from 10,642 homes. Labour MPs have joined the Liberal Democrat-led council in pleading for an emergency package far beyond the "inadequate" Bellwin scheme of emergency financial assistance for councils."
This is a fuck-off story and yet it is not headline news. Why? The Guardian suggests:
"The scale of the devastation has been masked by 10 days of other dramatic events, including the change of prime minister and terror attacks on London and Glasgow. Scenes in Hull also lacked the dramatic visual impact of South Yorkshire, where deep water has remained although damage has been far less."
I would like to put forward another suggestion - it's because this isn't happening in the south-east. If whole boroughs of London, say, were shoulder deep in water and tens of thousands of Londoners had been displaced to B&Bs and community centres, it would never be off the telly.
There would be live-streaming from the area day and night. Sharon Osbourne's stretched face would be filling up the telly appealing for donations. Authors would be writing books in aid of. Music groups releasing singles.
As it is, the poor sods of Hull have to make do with a visit from Prince Charles.
Hull haven't even had a visit from Prince Charles. He went somewhere else. I'll leave it up to the people of Hull to decide whether that's a good thing or not.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
"Here’s to John. This man shows us that the law-abiding, honest, brave citizen is still very much with us. Here’s to his heroism, his straightforward belief in right and wrong, his support for Law and Order, and his willingness to give a good kicking to someone richly deserving it."
Read the story of how Al-Qaeda took on an aiport baggage handler - and lost!
Big John! Swoon!
Nut job religious type, the Bishop of Carlise, said that the recent floods we've been experiencing in Britain are the consequence of our "moral degradation" according to an article in the Telegraph.
"We are in serious moral trouble because every type of lifestyle is now regarded as legitimate."
"The sexual orientation regulations [which give greater rights to gays] are part of a general scene of permissiveness. We are in a situation where we are liable for God's judgment, which is intended to call us to repentance."
"People no longer see natural disasters as an act of God... However, we are now reaping what we have sown. If we live in a profligate way then there are going to be consequences."
Quick! Everyone! Stop being gay and get your Bibles out! It's not too late to have a summer if we all stop being so profligate!
(seen here, pointed out to me by this chap)
Sunday, July 01, 2007
"The ban will be enforced by local authorities, with many saying they will adopt a "softly softly" approach at first.
But in Birmingham 100 enforcement staff will hand out 50 pound spot fines to anyone refusing to put out an offending cigarette."
And knowing this administration, if that doesn't work you'll be put up against a wall and shot.
I see that our terrorist friends have got bored with the whole strap-on-explosives thing and are trying out another more familiar form of attempted murder - the car bomb. First entertainment spots in London got it and then those flying infidels in Glasgow were the target.
Thankfully nobody has been hurt and several people have been arrested already, so it's all rather rubbish on their part. Really, to a country that's experienced the Luftwaffe and the IRA it's actually quite insulting.
Fuck you nut jobs! The rain is doing a better job of fucking up this country than you are you bunch of losers. Give up and go and by yourself a PlayStation or something, I hear the new Resident Evil game is out. You'll like that.
Scribbles declares series three of Doctor Who to be a raging success. It was an unexpected relief not to have to endure an episode with Rose's family and we give much thanks for the lack of Victorian era episodes.