Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Blog Moved

This is the last post on this site and the whole blog has moved. It can now be found here

"Four eunuchs fighting over a split condom"

Politics interests me. In my youth (and I'm talking 45+ years ago....) I was a young Conservative, but only because the girls were generally much prettier. At University, I lost interest, and once at work, I was too busy earning a crust to get actively involved.

The current contest for the leadership of the Labour Party fascinates me. The only candidate who holds any appeal is Diane Abbott, and by all accounts, she has no chance. For me, the whole contest is admirably summed up by this piece in the Independent. Following the publication of the Mandelson memoirs, the Labour Party seems well on the way to self-destructing, which is a shame, because a confident opposition would help keep the coalition government honest.

Quite what the average Trade Unionist or Labour Party activist thinks is a mystery, since they appear to have lost all means of making their voices heard or their opinions known. I, and I suspect a lot of others, will watch with interest.

Monday, 12 July 2010


Well, the World Cup is over, Wimbledon is done, The British Grand Prix has finished and the Open starts this week. A Summer of Sport is well and truly underway.

I've watched a fair bit on the box over the course of the World Cup, and I now urge the BBC to dispense with the services of Alan Shearer. His speciality, like Sybil Fawlty is the bleeding obvious. He has nothing original to say and clearly does little or no research on the sides he is watching. That is simply unacceptable practice for a well paid, supposedly professional, journalist. Alan Hansen isn't much better. The star of the mid and post match commentators has been Lee Dixon.

Time to find a comment page on the BBC website.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Down with Trousers!

I see that this is my 450th post, and I wish I had something really deep and meaningful to say, but I don't. So, like all Brits, when they can't find anything deep and meaningful to say, I shall resort to our favourite national topic of conversation, the weather.

The warm sunshine is great. I love it. I have no wish for rain or cold. It will be a sad day when I have to start wearing socks and long trousers again. I haven't really worn either for a fortnight or so, and it makes me think of being on holiday. I like holidays and always try and get through them wearing shorts and sandals.

Cycling around on Friday, it was very noticeable that a lot of the lawns in neighbouring roads are getting distinctly brown, and I guess that a lot of the keen lawn maintainers will be wishing for some grain.

Monday, 5 July 2010

A painful necessity

The new UK Government is making news with its efforts to cut Public expenditure, and so Government borrowing. I have to say I'm all in favour. The costs of public sector pensions and redundancy packages is simply unaffordable. We may be in for a long summer, autumn and winter of public employee industrial action, but these people just don't realise there their benefits are way more than the equivalent private sector person. This is a problem that has been bubbling away for some years and should have been addressed before now. The Labour Government just didn't have the balls. It is to be hoped that the majority of the working population will support the steps being taken, and that the Government can find the stomach for whatever fight is to come.

Sunday, 4 July 2010


It has been birthday time in our house. Beloved wife and youngest son have had birthdays on consecutive days, so presents have been given and received and family members have been around to wish them the best.

Friday, 25 June 2010

The Garden Room.

The roof is complete. The plaster is dry. I now have to paint and fit the skirting, and then paint the walls. It is looking good, but I'm struggling to find much in the way of enthusiasm.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


Well, it was not to be. England won and made it to the knock-out phase. It may not last long, however, and to come second to the USA isn't exactly a highlight.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Hoping for a fall.

Tomorrow afternoon is the crunch match for our wretched football players. I nearly wrote "team" there, but they haven't played or acted like a team, so I didn't.

This may be unpatriotic, but I really hope they fail to get through the group stages. The fallout, backstabbing, and blame game will be magnificent to watch. Far better entertainment than the football. So here's hoping they play like a bunch of strangers again tomorrow.

Thursday, 17 June 2010


The plasterer and his lad put in an appearance this morning. Result: the Garden Room is now all boarded out, ready for his return tomorrow morning to skim the surface he has created


The pictures above show what it looks like now. The photos show the sun streaming in and I suspect that my beloved and I are going to have a huge dither about the colour that will eventually go on the walls. Not grey, that's for sure!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Who Is Really In Charge?

Like an awful lot of men, I've been taking an interest in the World Cup. I heard a chap from John Lewis on the radio explaining that they were selling a new flat screen television every 30 seconds in the run up to the start of the TV coverage. Looking at the John Lewis website, it seems that most of their TVs mean an investment of upwards of £650, so either:-

Men in the household are in charge of choosing TVs


The ladies are allowing their menfolk to think they are in charge, but have been hoping for a new TV for a while and are using the World Cup to "reluctantly acquiesce" to the necessary purchase. The ladies being secure in the knowledge that they will have the prime use of the device for the next four years (or at least until the summer of 2012 when the London Olympic coverage starts).

Thursday, 10 June 2010


The wretched roof project has distracted me from watching the world on various news web sites, but the time has come to pick out two stories which have caught my eye. Both of them lead one to conclude that some folks allow their desire to support the national football team to completely overwhelm whatever common sense they may have. The first story is one about a giant flag. Apparently the son in the family says that his house is the talk of the village. I bet it is.

The second concerns the slightly (completely?) bonkers gent from Sutton Coldfield who laid turf on his lounge floor.

Quite why anyone would want to do either of these things is beyond me, but then I guess I'm just a boring old fart. I can only assume that my theory that football rots your brain is, in fact true.

Oh Dear.....

One can tell when a project is going wrong, at least I can. The conservatory roof project has had a bad day, some would say a very bad day. The root cause of this sense of impending doom is that the gentleman who came from the factory to measure the job omitted to carry out one basic check. He forgot to check that the room is square. It isn't. Thus we have a beautiful square roof, carefully manufactured in the factory that doesn't fit the rhombus shaped room. The frame can be modified, but the double glazed glass panels can't. Thus a new tapered one will will have to be ordered. Other pieces of the glass roof are being fitted as I type this, and I have to say, the bits in place look really good.

The lack of progress means that it looks likely to not be completed until next week. I am not best pleased.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

I love work - I could watch it all day

I have watched with fascination as the two guys struggling with our new conservatory roof have tackled the job. The roof has been designed and supplied to order and a man from the factory came with expensive looking instruments to measure the job. The frame is now up, but it has been an interesting spectacle with bits not fitting and some very indifferent documentation in the form of installation instructions. These do not tie up with the numbers and letters on the bits of metal that have been delivered. The photos below show the project at the end of day 3.

Apparently the real proof of the pudding will be tomorrow when Colin and Tony (after a cup of tea, of course) attempt to fit the glass in the frame they have created.

I shall be watching with interest.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

We are having the roof of our conservatory replaced. The old polycarbonate is being replaced with a new glass roof.

So far the old roof is off, and the rain is steadily filling up what used to be our conservatory. The photos show the current roofless state of the project. It looks rather as though progress today will be hindered by the steady drizzle, but we will see.

Monday, 7 June 2010

A Good Tool

They say (well, women say, mostly) that men are just boys with bigger toys. There is some truth in this. I like my toys, and one I bought some years ago always impresses me. About 7 years ago, I bought a Honda mower. It has a 42cc four-stroke petrol engine which never fails to start, and always produces a decent look to the grass it cuts. Well today, I introduced my Honda to the weed infested lawn at Spalding.

It did its usual amazing job. At the end it produced quite a reasonable look. Our weeds even had stripes (see picture on the left). The roller at the back of the Honda usually manages to get some stripes, and so we had some today. I had to empty the grass box every four lengths, but even so, it was a pleasure to work with a quality tool.