Monday, 15 June 2015

What an opportunity!

I've just registered to vote for the next Labour leader.  That one with the beard, used to work in the Treasury, and that fabulously progressive one  also with a beard. Dream ticket.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Friday, 13 December 2013

A warning for Trinny

Oh, you already know that, don't you?....

"Smart idea wasn't it darling...the whole coke thing..."

Saturday, 16 November 2013


H/t Jack Savage

Monday, 14 October 2013

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Monday, 16 September 2013

How to commit crimes and keep your face out of the press

Are you a woman?  Have you committed a crime? Are you being taken to court? Want to keep your face out of the papers? Don't want the jury to read your expressions?  Simples! Convert to the religion of peace.

Someone tell me I am wrong.  See here.

Sunday, 8 September 2013


I have very fond memories of Ma'aloula.

Here we have Christians and Muslims celebrating Eid under the oppressive and wicked Assad regime:

And here we have a video of the "rebels" up at the hotel having liberated the town and blaming the devastation of the ancient monastery on the Syrian Army.  Allahu akbar indeed.

And this is Ma'aloula yesterday.

Makes me want to go and fight for Assad.

For anyone interested in who the hell Jabhat al Nusra are there is a very interesting PDF here by the Quilliam foundation.

Sunday, 7 April 2013


So we finally exchanged contracts on the house of my dreams.  (If I can't have Leeds Castle) It happens to be a 1930s terraced council house.  We have 3x as much garden if not more, than we had before. We have a room bigger than a shoebox for Calfy when she requires it. We have a fire. We have a converted loft. And, ...wait for it,.... 3 loos!   It's a castle I tell you.  And it's ours on Friday. 

The last six months have brought it home to me that THIS is the real problem, however hard Osborne dreams of a new housing boom.

Monday, 11 March 2013

I love coal

Coal. It is fantastic stuff. It keeps you warm. 

We moved into our temporary abode and after about 10 days our teeth stopped chattering.  We have had the multi fuel burner on the go every day.  Logs are nice but if you want to get warm, coal is absolutely the thing.  My carbon footprint will just keep getting bigger.

It took a week for Virgin Media to tell me I had faulty internet cable, when Elby had diagnosed a faulty router.  A couple more days, more phone calls and another week waiting for a new router ("it will be with you in 5 working days") and another phone call after 6 working days to get them to put it in the post.  However we are back online and I am wondering why I paid for a super fast cable broadband for years when the phone line one we have now seems little different in terms of speed (to my ignorant eye).  If BT weren't such cnuts I'd give up on Virgin but they have robbed me before and I don't want to give them another chance.

Huhne only got 8 months when I thought it would be at least 18 in the light of how he pissed everyone around with his "I look forward to clearing my name in front of a jury" nonsense, and was in a position where he should have known better.   I thought the judge said it was very serious. I guess Huhne is special after all.   I think I will write to him and tell him how much I am enjoying burning coal.

Thursday, 14 February 2013


We are moving, first to rental, then to the place we really want to be!   So two moves, possibly within 3 months.  I understand broadband will be a whole lot slower in the new place.       The first place we are moving to has been empty for six months so I have hired a dehumidifier for a week in the hope that it will be possible to get it warm once the moisture has been sucked out of the walls.

Once we have moved the second time, hopefully that will be it and we can grow old in the new garden, which has room for flowers, veg, chickens, trees, lawn and a large shed to put the Beast in when he comes over for a fry -up.    The only worry is that there is a lovely pub and plant nursery less than 5 mins walk from the front door....

Leaving our little garden here will be a wrench. It's not easy to take stuff with us now and keep it alive till we know where to put it so we will be starting from scratch.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

At last! Another great Tarantino Film

Django Unchained is the best movie I have seen in a while.  Like all Tarantino films it is not for the squeamish as there is a fair bit of stage blood.   It has Leonardo Di Caprio who normally gives me the pip but as he is playing such an evil character I can cope with him.  A fantastic tale of revenge, cowboys, vicious slavers, gunfights, and love. Perfect casting, script and soundtrack. It is more than 2 1/2 hours long but I didn't notice. 

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Royal Portrait

This really is the most shocking effort. I wonder how much the guy got paid to make a pretty young woman look sinister?

 On the other hand, Calfy's friend Giselle prduced this,


 Her Majesty's True Self

Oil on canvas 

I know which one I'd rather hang in the guest spare.

Update for WOAR

 Skanking Queen

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Calfy often brings excellent things on the internet to my attention.   Last year she went to see these guys at our local flea pit.  Very dancey...combining swing and techno and fab lyrics.   The first I dedicate to Raedwald, who's daily blog is a must read.  The second I dedicate to E-K whom I personally adore, who is a lovely husband and dad and is always getting into scrapes.

And thank you Capitalists at Work, Bishop Hill, Anthony Watts, Anna Raccoon and Hatfield Girl for keeping us informed of what is actually going on out there with a special mention for  more favorites, Woman on a Raft, Idle and Scroblene.  I love you all!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Family tales

Christmas is a time when the same old stories from ageing relatives are trotted out. Sometimes they bear a retelling, sometimes everyone groans and nods off until the tale is done.  This year I heard one that was totally new to me.

One of my father's many uncles, Walter Holland came home to New Zealand from  WW1 with a Danish bride.  From photos it is clear that she always looked straight out of a band box, chic, groomed and fashionable, standing out next to the other aunts and uncles as a glamorous outsider.  She was vivacious, beautiful and socially at ease.  My father adored her, knowing her always as Tante.

Uncle Walter did alright for himself and used to regularly take Tante back to Denmark to stay with her family. The trips ceased during WW2 but as soon as the passenger ships started up again after the war, off they went.
In those days the New Zealand embassy was in The Strand and so itinerant Kiwis of means would often choose to stay at the Savoy.  Here Walter and the gorgeous Tante stayed before travelling on to Denmark.   On this particular trip they were settled in their rooms when there was an urgent knocking at the door whereupon Tante found a messenger with an urgent invitation for her.   There was a ship being launched in the Clyde and to celebrate the reopening of trade routes with New Zealand they would like her to come and launch her.  Tante saw that the invitation was just for her, Mrs Holland and she explained to the messenger that she would love to come up to the Clyde but that she was travelling with her husband and if the invitation could be extended to include him they would be delighted to oblige.

 An invitation that included them both was produced, a Rolls Royce sent to pick them up and take them to the station. On the train there was a delightful reception for them and the ship was launched successfully. Another jolly reception ensued, and on the train back to London the next day Tante was feted further in first class accommodation.  It really was all a rather lovely party.

The next morning Walter and Tante were having breakfast when Tante noticed a couple she recognised at a nearby table and asked Walter if they knew them, as she was unable to place them.  Walter looked over and said "Yes, they are New Zealanders, and no, we don't know them.  That's Prime Minister Sidney Holland and his wife"........

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, 2 December 2012



Thursday, 22 November 2012

I was the victim of a hate crime...should I go to the Police?

Back in 1969 I was fresh off the boat from the other side of the world.  As I was just 5, my arrival coincided with the start of schooling and I happily started at the local C of E primary.    It was ok, there were 40 kids in my class, which seemed a bit busy, but I was learning to read and it was cool.   There was only one cloud...the other children kept calling me "Australian".   It used to feel like a punch in the mouth.  It hurt.  I went home and complained to Mum.  She was astonished!  How offensive! She told me to point out  to them that the two countries were 1000 miles apart.  Even this did not convince them to stop.   I had it from teachers, pupils, and parents. By the end of my first year of school I had shed my accent and the torment stopped.

Today I read about this and realised I could get justice!   I can't remember anyone's name now but if they interviewed everyone who was there in 1969/70 someone may confess?

WTF?  Last time I checked Australians and New Zealanders were broadly from the same race as Europeans.  When will it be a hate crime to call a Arsenal supporter a Spud?

Update;   Perhaps we should clog the courts with such cases? Have a "Call a New Zealander an Australian Day".     

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Suicide bomb in Damascus

On 5th of November the street where Calfy lodged and some of her friends live, where I stayed when I visited, was visited by a suicide bomber. Many killed and maimed.  This is a residential district of Damascus where people live closely. God help them all.

Syrian human rights watch says 11 killed and many more injured.  Syrian TV says it was a bomb planted under a car.  Which fits with the pictures.