Sunday, 30 May 2010

Peter Corrigan, R.I.P.

The sudden passing of someone you know provokes all sorts of feelings. Peter Corrigan was not close friend of ours. He was a man we had met on a couple of occasions, but somehow we knew him and were glad that we did. He loved life and it showed. He was a big chap and leaves a hole in many lives that will not be filled. Many will miss him and mourn him, none more than his beloved family.

It seems unfair that he should depart when he had had so short a time to enjoy his retirement. He had any number of dreams to pursue. If it can happen to Peter, it can happen to any of us, and I start to feel very vulnerable.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Talk about rewarding failure.

My beloved wife told me last evening that this blog is becoming a series of rants. Well, I apologise in advance, but this is another one. A Peerage for Sir Ian Blair, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner is the latest news to raise my blood pressure.

This is a man who led the shambolic police service during the disastrous episode that ended in the killing of Jean-Charles De Menezes. The rest of the world will wonder what on earth we are up to.

Friday, 28 May 2010

More roadside cameras please.

My route back from the swimming pool in the morning takes me across a crossroads controlled by traffic lights. It is noticeable in the prosperous suburb of Birmingham that an increasing number of motorists seem to regard traffic lights as optional. It also seems that it is the well-to-do in their new cars and 4x4's who think that they can drive over the lights on red. These are those who ignore the law on using mobile phones while driving too.

Rather than put in more speed cameras, please could the powers-that-be consider installing cameras that photograph those who drive over red lights, so that they can be banned from driving soonest, thus protecting the rest of us.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Is this a good use of a Policeman's time?

Following in on from yesterdays excitement, the taking of a statement took more than an hour. The two policemen resolutely refused cups of tea, and wrote out my statement which I was then asked to sign. The amount of paperwork was staggering. We need policemen to be out there, deterring and catching criminals, not acting as secretaries.

Perhaps I should stand for Parliament and try and get something done about it.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A Bit of Luck

A couple of posts ago I gave brief details of our burglary. Well, somewhat to my surprise, I have both the box trailer and my beloved Brompton back.

The box trailer had been left in a road not far away having had the towing hitch taken off. It was taken by a recovery company who kept it locked up until the SOCOs had checked it for finger prints. I was allowed to go and look at it yesterday. Having taken some dimensions, I set off to buy the parts necessary to recommission it. A hitch, a jockey wheel and a brake bar cost me £260.85 which hurt a bit, and I had to pay £150 to release it from the recovery company.

I spotted the Brompton on eBay, and rang the gent selling it. After he checked a load of details he accepted it was mine and agreed that I could have it back. I collected it this afternoon. I now await the visit by a policeman who is coming to take a statement.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

A welcome hot weekend

This weekend has been one of the hottest I can remember. (here I have to admit that my memory is not that good, but it was hot, anyway). We have indulged in some serious inactivity. The puzzles and crosswords have taken a bit of a beating, but all the other jobs have remained undone. I loved it.

Friday, 21 May 2010


While I was away sailing some lowlife stole our box trailer and two bicycles. Thomas's newly acquired racing machine and my beloved Brompton have gone. The trailer has been recovered, but I think our chances of ever seeing the bikes are very, very low.

This experience is new for me, but it begins to make you think that the Saudi punishment of cutting off hands might just be appropriate.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

My new Den

My new Den arrived and was erected on Monday

First photo shows the Den being erected

second photo shows the finished article all painted

third photo is another view, with the doors open to ventilate the place.

Thanks are due to all at Warwick Buildings who were a pleasure to deal with.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Love it, just love it.

I don't often read the Guardian, so when I stumbled upon this comment piece, I smiled at the first para or two. By the end of the piece, I was giggling fit to burst. The tone of the piece just makes tickles my funny bone and I accept that others may not find it funny. See if you do.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Nick Clegg's Dilemma

Is Nick Clegg about to do something very silly? I really do hope not.

People say he has a great opportunity. As I look at things, he seems to have a huge dilemma.

The single thing that the Liberal Democrats want is electoral reform, i.e. a voting method which more fairly reflects the votes cast by the electorate. I don’t think they are going to get any sort of meaningful commitment on the subject from the Conservatives. Therefore, whatever agreement or consensus the Tories and the Lib-Dems have on topics such as the economy, civil liberties, tax, reform of Parliament, etc., if there is not a commitment to a referendum on electoral reform, why would he make any sort of deal with David Cameron? The rank and file of his party will be most uncomfortable.

The trouble is that if the Lib-Dems turn the other way and try and arrive at a deal with Labour, then such a Labour/Lib-Dem alliance would need support from the SNP, Plaid Cymru, DUP, and the other very small parties in order to form a government. In this case, the Celtic representatives (SMP, Plaid, DUP) would demand such a price, almost certainly in cash, that such a deal would be unacceptable to the English. In such an alliance, who would be Prime Minister. Gordon Brown, who suffered a barely credible, last minute, conversion to the PR cause, seems to be unacceptable to the majority of the electorate and to many of his own MPs. They already seem to be looking for a new leader. A new Labour leader (Alan Johnson, David Milliband or Harriet Harman), who has not faced the electorate would generate considerable ill-will, and it is hardly credible that the Labour MPs or party would accept Nick Clegg himself.

What would I do? I think I’d call Brown’s bluff. OK, Gordon, you can stay as PM, I want Vince Cable to be Chancellor of the Exchequer, I want to be (say) Foreign Secretary, and Ed Balls is unacceptable in any ministerial role. We agree that in 6 months we will have a referendum on PR. If PR is accepted, there will be another election in May 2011 and you, Gordon, can fight for your role as Leader of the Labour Party before calling it. The Conservatives can go hang. They will have a huge internal spat about why they failed to win a majority in the 2010 election and are unlikely ever to be in a position to have a majority of MPs in the foreseeable future.

I wrote this post before reading this article from yesterday on the Guardian website. It isn't often that I find myself agreeing with the Guardian, but I do agree with this. It is even more eruditely explained by Andrew Rawnsley in today's Observer here, as he says in his last sentence, Nick Clegg is living the nightmare now..

Socks, Laundry of.

I have too may socks. Not just a few too many, but way, way too many. When they get washed, some make a bid for freedom and a number seem to succeed, judging by the bag of odd socks I have.

For some time, I have laid the responsibility for the bids for freedom on the lax security regime my beloved wife has when washing them. I have now proved this to be the case. I washed a load of socks on Friday and at the end of the process had a complete number of pairs. Clearly the stricter regime that applies when I'm in charge prevents successful attempts for freedom.

I accept that I now have the job of washing my socks for the remainder of our marriage, and I've no doubt that my beloved wife is not unhappy about that.

Friday, 7 May 2010

The Politicians We Deserve?

What a lily-livered bunch we are. We, the British Electorate, had the chance to tell the politicians of this country what we thought of them and our discredited electoral system, and we could quite bring ourselves to take it. The saying goes, that we get the politicians we deserve, and boy, we deserve what we get after yesterday.

On a local note, I am delighted that our MP, Lorely Burt won. The Conservatives selected the most unattractive candidate they could find so they cannot, surely, be surprised that they lost. Goodbye, Maggie Throup, may you never re-emerge.

Let us now hope that some Grown-ups take charge, and we get a government who put the country, rather than their own party, first.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Duty done.

I voted. Now we just have to wait to see if the result is what I hoped for.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Interesting Times?

Apparently there is an old Chinese curse "May you live in Interesting Times"

Tomorrow there is a day of calm. Our hectoring politicians are silenced and we the electorate can have our say. My vote will go to the one party who will make a real change if they succeed. I cannot forgive the Labour Party for eroding our liberties so severely over the last 13 years and I cannot vote for the party which supports none of the Pledge demands listed by Power 2010.

It would have been more interesting if the three parties had told us what they really think will have to be done to reduce the deficit. The European Commission certainly seem to think that our new government will have to make it a priority.

I am certainly hoping that no party wins an overall majority and then Friday and Saturday will be Interesting Times.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Project 1 of 6, or is it 7?

The new Greenhouse has arrived. It arrived in a van at a quarter to eight this morning and had been erected and the paint touched up by 9:45. The photo shows it sitting on its plinth. Very fine it looks too.

I just hope I shall be allowed in it from time to time.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Darth Vader and Imperial Storm Troopers in Lincolnshire!!

In a development that seems to have completely passed our political leaders by, Darth Vader, Imperial Storm Troopers, Daleks and Doctor Who were seen in Spalding this afternoon. They were joined by, among others, James Bond, Shrek, Batman and several Robins, Wonderwoman, and a host of Disney Princesses.

The occasion was the Annual Spalding Flower Parade where the theme was Screen Heroes. Some 40 floats made up the parade and many of them were fantastic. The amount of work and creativity that has been put into their design and building is amazing.

The photos shows Darth Vader briefing one of his Imperial Storm Troopers about the following Combine Harvester that is about to run them down!

The the next photo two Daleks are seen with Dr Who nonchalantly strolling along in the foreground apparently unaware that he may be exterminated at any moment.

The whole event was extremely well organised with people sitting in their own deck chairs at the side of the road while the parade passed by. While waiting, it was noticeable that policemen were happy to chat to children and even let them sit in police cars.

It was simply a delightful family afternoon out, and everyone seemed to be enjoying it.