Friday 10 December 2010


My weekly celebrity round-up.

OK, I know I've never done it before, and never will again, but here it is.

Whilst I'm not claiming any responsibility, the charmingish Nick Cave crashed his car at the bottom of our road and you can see his misfortune here. The Daily Mail had the best headline, 'Nick Cave and the Bad Speeds'.

I rather liked that song he did with Kylie.

On TV, there is an arts presenter. He always gets good write ups in the press. But I can't stand the man. He is a complete idiot, absolutely self-centred and totally egotistical. How do I know? A few years ago The Boy and I went on a skiing trip with a large group of people, most of whom we didn't know. He was among them, and couldn't stop talking about clever he was. On the slopes, our instructor described him as out of control, dangerous and likely to kill someone, but that didn't slow him down. We stopped one day at a restaurant that, bizarrely had an amazing wine cellar. He described one wine which was being sold for €20,000 as an absolute bargain. My blood boils every time he pops up on the Beeb.

On Facebook I've de-friended Barack Obama. We weren't that close anyway. But when he swept into power on a wave of optimism that he would change the world I signed up. Obviously there was too much hype for him ever to live up to, but I had thought he would make a difference. He hasn't and nor do I think he will. In fact his impressive oratory skills and lack of action remind me of Mr Blair. Let's hope he doesn't take us into war...although both Iran and North Korea must be in his sights....oh dear.

And talking of Mr Blair, I'm going to see the bastard. I mean man. Earlier this year I was supposed to see him at the Iraq Inquiry, but my ticket was lost, and in spite of my best efforts, several burly security guards wouldn't let me through to where a duplicate was waiting for me. The psychopath, I mean former Prime Minister, has been recalled to fill in some gaps in his evidence, and this time the Inquiry Secretariat has promised me, promised me, that I will get in. I suspect I could be there a very long time as in my mind the gaps are yawning great chasms. I will have to sit on my hands, and make sure that my shoe laces are tied very tightly.

I had a magical moment this week. Whilst walking through one of the small, formal parks in Bermondsey, I noticed that a squirrel was scurrying around, but as I walked closer he didn't run away. So I stopped, went down on one knee and held my hand out. After some hesitation. In fact a lot of hesitation he came to me. I was amazed...I guess with the snow and ice on the ground food is a little scarce so it may have been hunger-motivated. But it was lovely. Really lovely.

Thursday 9 December 2010

Rugger Bugger

Last night was the Rugby Dinner - as a player, The Boy attended. Of course.

It was a curry and the event was held at the school, starting at 7.00pm.

At 10.00pm he texted asking to be collected.

From the Horse and Well.

Yep, that's a tavern.

As he and his mate climbed in the car with big grins on their faces, The Cat's Mother and I nearly passed out from the fumes.

I made some throw-away comment that if either were sick in the car, The Boy would be grounded from now until Kingdom Come.

Safely back at home, we all disappeared to bed.

The Boy said goodnight to everyone a dozen times.

In the next hour he proceeded to get up uncountable times to go to the bathroom.

He absolutely reassures us that it was for pee purposes, not wretching reasons.

This morning he couldn't find his school tie.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

Everything's allwhite

Tara's gallery...I'm so pleased that she puts the effort in to make this happen every week, as it always gives me a good excuse to rummage through pictures that would otherwise never be looked at. White is the theme, so with a large degree of inevitability here are some snaps from Herefordshire

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Bonfire of the hypocrisies

I think I'm more than a little grumpy this week. In fact there's very few that have escaped me either grumbling at them or moaning at them or getting cross with them or shouting at them or slamming the phone down on them. It's most strange, I'm normally the most amiable person I know. And don't you dare say other wise.

I don't hold with secrets. Never have. Never will. A bit like lies, they are a poison that invariably seeps out and damages anyone or anything it comes into contact with.

Government have always had secrets. But to distinguish them, they are called State Secrets. Now in some cases, these are definitely forgivable...after all half the deterrent of nuclear warheads is that the enemy doesn't know where they are. So we can allow that. But as far as I can tell so far, the main content of all the information that Wikileaks is giving us, is tittle tattle. Nothing too harmless really, and certainly no real state secrets...the nearest has been the list of important targets...but as these are generally public facilities in the public domain, you can be pretty sure that any foreign secret service or Al Qaeda terrorist knows their location. So what has come out is nothing more than embarrassing. For the Americans, very embarrassing as they clearly hold the rest of the world in utter contempt...but we all probably know that already.

Julian Assange, the Australian head of Wikileaks is discovering though that governments don't like to be embarrassed. if he is indeed guilty of sexual assault, I hope they lock him up and throw the key away. But there's something uncannily coincidental about the timing of these charges, something incredibly strange at how they were dropped and then resurrected. Something smells decidedly smorgasbord.

And now Amazon, PayPal, Mastercard and Visa are trying to strangle the organisation. i think they may all be American organisations, and I have a vision of men in dark suits and even darker glasses sitting in the CEO's offices suggesting it would be in their best interests not to deal with Mr Wiki.

And this afternoon, Assange has been refused bail on the basis that he may abscond. This, the man who told British Police where he was staying when he arrived in the UK, and voluntarily walked into a police station this morning. This is where we discover that contrary to my degree in Politics, the judiciary and government may not be as separated as we have been told.

Yes I do know that all this information is stolen. But Wikileaks is a whistle-blower website, and I thought we were grown up enough to know that sometimes it's ok to sneak a look in someone else's private diary if it helps right a wrong.

Perhaps. Just perhaps. If politicians were a more straight forward, less Machiavellian, then the world would be a better place. It's nearly Christmas, I wonder if Santa might deliver this little present for me.

Monday 6 December 2010

Flash bang wallop what a picture!

Of course it's all your fault. Friday was the first Friday of the month, and I forgot to post my round up of pics. I can't believe you didn't remind me.

Photos are very much front of mind at the moment.

The Cat's Mother has removed all the normal photos and ornaments to make way for the Christmas decorations for the festive season. She carefully put them downstairs in the basement room...its got a Moroccan theme to it, and is I guess the room favoured for parties. When we went to bed last night The Cat mentioned to her mum that she thought she could hear an alarm, and later I mentioned I thought I could too. We were both reassured that we were hearing things.

All hell broke loose this morning...there was an alarm going - it was the flood alarm in the basement - as it turned out, a drain had blocked meaning that the damp that is constantly pumped out was flooding back in. Straight into the the box of photographs. Most of the frames are damaged beyond repair...the photos themselves are mostly drying out and we'll see how many can be saved...some definitely cannot be as the ink has run, some may be, some are just irreplaceable. That's quite's amazing just how valuable pictures are...absolute treasures. Which bring me round to other treasured pictures.

I whinged to Grandma in Cyprus that I don't have any photos from THE PAST...and like the good mother she is, she has sent me a pile. These are the ones I was going to put up on Friday...I guess the snow addled my brain. Anyway, here some of them are. I find old pictures absolutely fascinating, and in particular seeing what people used to look like in days gone by I've tasked Grandma in Cyprus with filling in the blanks where I don't know or can't remember the people.

PS - Grandma in Cyprus has ridden to the rescue so all the blanks filled in!

I hope the interweb will keep them safe and secure for ever...

This may be a Freemason's do - Grandma in Cyprus with her mum and Dad and my Dad

Her wedding Day

Same day

Oh my! Grandma in Cyprus used to race cars on a dirt track

She's still smiling as she crashes (again)

Perhaps from Grandma's time working at the zoo

My brother's first wedding

Did she beat him with the golf club?

Grandma in Cyprus as the girl she lived with during the war - she was evacuated there

I never knew these two - Auntie Lilly and Uncle Tom

Grandma in Cyprus' wedding day..

This picture is 72 years old! From the left: my grandfather holding a puppy, Uncle Stan, my Grandmother, Uncle Jack, Uncle Sam, Auntie Lilly Uncle Tom...and Dick, the cousin (where's Harry?!). Next row: Auntie Grace, David, Kathleen, Mr Completely Unknown!, Auntie Kate..cousin Dorothy's Mum. Bottom row: Betty (Dorothy's sister), Grandma in Cyprus, Marjorie

Ha ha! I didn't know this was Grandma in Cyprus

Grandma in Cyprus' childhood dog

Cutting the cake

That's me on the left...three generations together

Well I know that's Grandma in Cyprus on the right, and this is the same Yorkshie wedding

Wedding pic

Grandad in Cyprus used to have a band...and very good it was too!

I have a step sister...her wedding day

Blimey I was blonde!

21st birthday for Grandma in Cyprus

On the far right are my Grandmother and Grandfather, and on the left, looking very grand in a Victorian kind of way my Great Grandfather and Mother

I guessed a few of these before Grandma helped me - from the left: Uncle Charles and his wife Margaret, my Grandfather and grandmother, David, Auntie Grace, Cherry and Jack (who's still going strong!); next row: Uncle Tom, Autnie Lilly, Grandma in Cyprus, my Great Grandmother and Uncle Sam (married to Auntie Grace); front row: Jackie, Muriel, Alan, Maori and finally Derek

I see four monkeys...

The brothers

...a little bit older...

I got my degree...Economic and Political Development from the University of Exeter. I was top of the class!