Friday 5 April 2013

Woof, woof, time to brew up

It may be barking's certainly not 1st April...but one of my friends has come up with this lovely idea to give your pooch a healthy treat...we don't have a dog, sadly, but if you do and would like to try a herbal tea for yours, just e-mail me on or leave your details in the comments section below.  You can buy them here

Thursday 4 April 2013

Only in Brighton

The home of the weird and the wonderful (click to enlarge)

Meanwhile in France, the terrific Alex Casey who taught The Boy to ski has been arrested and thrown into a police cell for teaching whilst unlicensed.  He's been teaching for a decade and a half, but the French have decided to enact a law that mean his qualifications no longer count.  Half the French instructors of the local ski school are also, therefore, unqualified too, but have not been arrested and marched off the slopes in handcuffs.  Some would call it protectionsim, others would say it's just the French being French. C'est la vie.  You can read about it here

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Blown by Alice

I have a cold.  It came on yesterday, and like a good and proper man I am full of misery and near death.  This may be my last post.  I'm looking for sympathy if you don't mind.

Grandma in Cyprus will for a short period be Grandma in Cyprus Not In Cyprus again.  She's arriving today for a couple of weeks.  Why on earth anyone would want to willingly leave the sunny sandy shores of bankrupt Cyprus for the frozen, miserable landscape of Albion is beyond me.  Surely it can't be because she wants to see her family?  Anyway, it will come as a shock to her, as she now finds 20 degrees cold.  We have a big Bradstock family gathering on Monday...around twenty of us with a combined age of more than 1500 years.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again.

I'm all in favour of making sure that benefits only go to people who deserve state support, but Iain Duncan-Smith (our local MP) has made a total arse of himself suggesting that he could live on £53/week.  So if you haven't done it yet, please sign this petition which encourages him to do exactly that.  A friend of ours that knows has seen the break down of how social security payments are spent and tells me that actually most of the money goes to people who are employed, but not fully or at a low wage, rather than the unemployed.  So perhaps the solution to the problem doesn't lie with the 'scroungers' but with the corporates and the government establishment.  And this all on the day where it's been revealed the banks have been given another £1billion tax break to help them through choppy times.

Coincidentally, I see there's a new survey of social class.  I do find these things both tiresome and at the same time completely irresistible.  So I had to complete the BBC quiz here to find out which class I fit into.  I'm not saying where I ended up, but you are all plebs and I demand to be allowed to take my bicycle through the main gates.  Perhaps if as a nation we could put aside the idea of class, that would be a better way of encouraging equality.  Just a thought.

Last night we went off to see more poofs in tights*.  As you must know by now, I love dance as an art form, and ballet is the finest form of dance.  IMHO.  We were able to combine my love of dance with The Cat's Mother's love of Alice in Wonderland which was being performed at the Royal Opera House.  It was simply beautiful, stunning, wonderful and amazing.  The imagination that has gone into creating Alice's Adventures is breathtaking.  If you can beg, steal or borrow a ticket, please do, you'll be amazed.  Failing that it may well be playing at your local cinema as a simul-cast I think.  Failing that buy the DVD.  One remarkable evening.

*yes, sorry, it's post-modern-ironic humour, which some may rightly find offensive

Monday 1 April 2013


I had a phone call from Grandma in Cyprus.  Was I still alive? She asked.

That's the trouble with taking a blogging holiday.

Not that I'd intended to take a short break, it just happened that way.

With the two teens safely despatched on the annual school skiing holiday (how come they get to go twice and I only manage once?), The Cat's Mother and I headed down to the beach.

Well, when I say we headed down to the beach, we headed to Brighton, through a snow storm, headed up the stairs and essentially locked the door on the outside world.

We've been saying recently how we do too much.  Hardly able to catch our breath before moving onto the next fun filled evening.  And whilst it is wonderful, it's exhausting, and perhaps it makes it just a little too easy to forget how lucky we are.

So there were jobs to be done around the flat.  I knew that because The cat's Mother had written a list.  Quite a long list actually.  The main one was to sort out the library.  Now doesn't that sound grand?  In fact it's a room about the size of a kitchen table where we've just shoved a lot of books, and all sorts of other stuff that just didn't really belong anywhere.  Ever since I bought the flat a quarter of a century ago, there has always been one room which is just full of stuff...this is the smallest space that 'stuff' has ever occupied.  Anyway, we went at it, and over a couple of days managed to clear the floor and organise the shelves.  It may now truly be called the library because books are all that are left in there.  There's not so many now as there were.  Most of the childrens' books have been donated to the local charity shops, a Debretts from 1983 has been properly recycled, and a while host of others, including some Jeffrey Archers (not sure how they got there - I met him once, truly the slimiest person I've ever come across) and other miscellaneous rubbish will be pulped and put to better use.  There's one special book I've got to send to an old girlfriend.  It's a book a Winnie the Pooh recipes.  In it we found a postcard from her parents.  And a photo of a naked man.  It wasn't me.  I've no idea who it is.  But as it must be at least 25 years old, I'm guessing he looks a little different now.

It should have been a cheap week, but the blu-ray player that I bought a couple of years ago and have used probably no more than a dozen times refused to work.  That meant one evening we crammed into the 'games room' - yep that's the one with the Playstation in and also the size of a kitchen table to watch a very entertaining film 'Unknown' with Liam Neeson.  I'm not aware that he's ever made a decent film, but they're all pretty entertaining.  This one involves a man who after he travels to Berlin is in a car accident and when he comes round and goes in search of his wife who also travelled with him finds that not only does she deny she knows him, but also has a replacement husband in tow.  Buy it from your local video store for £3.99, it's money well spent.  the next day we went out and bought a new blu-ray player...this one's a Sony and I'm hoping might last a wee bit longer.

I'd been invited to the launch of the paperback edition of 'Over the Rainbow' by Paul Pickering.  As we were away I couldn't make it.  A real shame, I would have loved to have attended.  This is another thing you should definitely spend your money on.  It's a fabulous read.  And so it should be as it manages to combine The Wizard of Oz, the Taleban and Afghanistan all on the same pages.  That is no mean feat.

As I read 'Over the Rainbow' so quickly, that means I have a free evening to try and catch up with all the blogs I've missed over the last week or so.

There was one other thing I did in Brighton, it was cathartic.  Amazingly so.  I can't tell you about it for another month.  Don't forget to remind me.

And on a sadder note, the passing of Richard Griffiths.  A truly fantastic actor, and one who particularly despised mobile phones.  We saw him last year in The Sunshine Boys with Danny DeVito.  I thought his performance in The History Boys was beyond compare.  So if you didn't see it at the cinema, haven't caught doing the rounds of the regional theatres, go buy the DVD.