Monthly Archives: October 2007

Advice To The Famous

The other day I was asked, by a famous friend, how I cope with being a sex symbol, the pressures of being a famous blogwriter fame, having a sexy wife and being an all round good egg. So here is my answer:

Well Brad, the idea is not to let it all go to your head. I know that you and Angelina have similar problems, though on a much smaller scale. When you begin to believe all the things that people write and say about you being such a kind, generous and famtastic person; you are in serious danger of letting it all go to your head and becoming caught up in your own publicity.

I stay grounded by living a meagre and frugal life and not allow the media to intrude. I never try to use the media for my own ends and always let them know that their are boundaries over which they may not tread. I am therefore able to lead a very humble life away from the crowds of adoring fans.

After this I woke up and found that I’d fallen asleep in the bath again.

Annoying Neighbour

Just watched West Ham win a thrilling match on the TV.

Spent this morning having Magda’s electric window fixed so that I can finally get the quarter light window repaired. On Friday I had the misfortune of scraping her against the garage wall while trying to park her. Mrs awkward parker had left her car blocking the garage thus making it difficult to swing around. Now I’ve got to claim from my insurance for the repair, this should cost me £200 for the excess.

I’m really annoyed that the woman opposite sees nothing wrong with her inconsiderate parking. She has a hardstanding that she could park in but won’t use it in case she scraps her new car. However it seems to be ok for me to damage mine. The only solution will be to knock on her door every time I need to get in or out of my garage.

Capitalist Running Dogs

I once went to switzerland for a day on business. It’s the only time that i’ve managed to set foot in the country. However I saw the inside of Zurich Airport for a few hours while I took part in a meeting and then had a few hours in a bank in Geneva. After my meeting at the bank I decided to get something to eat. The only place open at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon was Pizza Hut.

On my flight home I sat next to a Brit who worked in Bern. He told me that he flew elsewhere in Europe at least 2 weekends a month because Switzerland was so boring. The pay and work was great but the placed closed down around 21:00hrs every night, weekends included.

Today i found out that the great Brit hope for F1 is moving to switzerland to live. Just 24 hours after his hometown announced that they were naming a road after him, Lewis Hamilton announced his departure for the Land of the Cuckoo Clock. Maybe it was because Asda decided that his exclusive parking space at the Stevenage store had to go….

He complains that he is fed up with media intrusion and people talking to him in the street; personally I think its because of the lower income tax rate. When you’re earning Xmillion every year you don’t want to lose any to tax do you? After all, he only had a state education; used NHS hospitals; used public transport and the road network. Why should he feel that he needs to give anything back?

Meanwhile the average wage for senior UK executives is now £3million per annum. They also do everything possible to minimise their tax burden. Maybe that’s why the rest of us have to pay so much!!

Last Week of Freedom

I am about to start my final week of gardening leave, not that I’ve done any gardening leave mind. As such I have things to do before I start the new job a week Monday.

1. I need to have my electric window fixed on Tuesday
2. I need to have my new car radio fitted on Thursday
3. I need to have the new glass fitted that was smashed the other week
4. I have things to do for the Sustaining Life project
5. I have to send back my completed health questionaire and bank details etc for my new job

I’m looking forward to getting back to work but can’t believe how quickly the time has passed. Thankfully I haven’t suffered from boredom and have been able to get my blood sugars down to their required range. Its been great to do things like going to see Stroppy Boy play his first rugby match; both nephews at their school harvest festivals; have lunch out with my sister; and have lunch with my parents and sister.

Most of all its great to be relaxed and spend time at home in the evenings with my wife.

Second Wibmeet

No wibmeets for ages and suddenly 2 come along at once.

After the visit of Tractor Girl yesterday, and getting rid of her this morning*, we welcomed Wight Family Smudgie to Pontypool at lunchtime. We ate at a different cafe for our normal pre-match lunch but, Smudgie will be pleased to know, it did not interfere with Pontypool’s winning streak – we beat Bargoed 35-13 in a close fought contest; who am I kidding – we stuffed their sorry butts.

It was also an afternoon of change as we also lost our normal seats in the stand. As it was raining, people who’d normally stand on the bank had come into the stand. However the girl in my normal seat was channeling my spirit and shouting like a real fishwife.

Well I’d better go as I’m taking FW out for a meal tonight.

*Lanark – that was the reason for posting at 08:30 on a Saturday morning. Way to early for me normally.

Visitor

We had a Tractor staying with us last night. I must say that it was an unusaul tractor as it had arms and legs. It is hard to get over the fact that she had expected me to be a sober, professional, businesslike person from reading my blog. Me? Never. Suits and ties are definitely not my idea of fun.

We had a good time in Cardiff and have had a good laugh, which is always a good thing. I’d think of inviting her again but she may accept the invitation…..

How can you not get on with a person who likes footie and rock music? However how can anyone fall asleep at Donington when AC/DC are playing?

I Can’t See For Miles

This afternoon I have to go for my annual eye test. Mind you its been over a year since my last one – naughty T&E. I’m always amazed when they tell me that I don’t need glasses and that my vision is fine; maybe they should try looking from the inside out.

You see my right eye is definitely weaker than my left and I tend to have blurry vision through it when I’m looking at things close up. This could explain my comment on Lemley’s blog – then again maybe not. It’s really weird because I have no trouble reading but I can’t see numberplates at 75 feet, as you should do in order to pass your driving test.

Yet this never seems to be a problem for the opticians I’ve been too. I wonder what I’ll find out this afternoon.

UPDATE…..

My eyesight is fine. I’ve discovered that I’m actually long shighted in my right eye, hence the occasional blurry vision when reading. I don’t need glasses as the prescription required makes it hardly worth the effort. Therefore I’m still glasses free.

Three Prats In A Pick-Up

Many thanks to Backburner and Lemley for copying the last edition of Top Gear for us. We sat down and watched it over lunch. I’m so glad that we saw it.

We had the Audi RS8, there first attempt at a supercar. It looked surprisingly good for an Audi, even better than the RS4.

Jools Holland as the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. The guy actually is more fun than you remember, or think.

Then the best part of all. 3 idiots trying to cross the Channel in homemade amphibious cars. How they ever got permission to perform this stunt I’ll never know but they did. The sight of a sinking Triumph Herald and a VW Camper made to look like a canalboat but ending up travelling in circles in front of an oncoming Seacat were sights to behold.

Yet the fact that they did actually make it across the Channel in Clarkson’s Nissan pickup was amazing. 22 miles across one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world is a great feat by anyone’s standards. This especially so when you think that Beardie Branson did it in a “properly” made amphibious car a few years ago and they weren’t that far off his record.

I know that the 3 Stooges are not everyone’s cup of Earl Grey but they do perform some exceptionally good stunts – deathly crashes withstanding. I just hope that the BBC don’t get overcome with feelings of stupidity and decide to axe the show. It is just great that we get this kind of programme on UK TV – far better than crappy X Factor or Wife Swap programmes.

Bog Off Gordon

Being a Euro-sceptic I can understand all the huffing and puffing regarding last week’s signing of the revised European Treaty in Lisbon. I mean, are we really surprised that 95% of the failed constitution has wound up in this treaty? Did you not expect this after they lost the original one?

What is really annoying for me is not the inroads on national sovreignty but the fact that a “supposedly” democratic institution needs to work in this way. The Dutch and French have made sure that their voters can’t object. We were promised a referendum in the UK but had this taken away from us. After all this is not the constitution but a mere “tidying up” of EU policy and institutions.

I’m not fundamentally opposed to the EU. I believe in free market and greater cooperation among nations, that should help to build a more secure world. What I object to is the undemocartic way in which things are done. Not only on this level but also on day to day governance. The EU is supposed to be a trading bloc that allows free access to other members markets. It is not there to have a common foreign policy or impose laws that are infringements on the rights of member states.

Why to we need to hand power to unelected officials? The EU parliament has very little power over the Commission itself. In addition it is toothless in preventing fraud on a vast scale. Mere propaganda? If so, then why have the auditors refused to sign off the EU Commission accounts for 7 years because of endemic fraud and poor financial control? When people expose these failings it is not the politician or civil servant who is punished but the whistleblower.

I think that the government should be forced to allow us our say on this. What is Gordon Brown afraid of? Are they really afraid that we’ll ruin the EU dream? Why are politicians the only ones able to understand what they are signing? In my experience most politicians, of any party, have fewer brain cells than the people they represent.

Christians Awake

Christians are taught that we stand against injustice and the need to help those in poverty or down on their luck. Sometimes this is not a very noticeable action among many churches. After all, Christians are also human and as prone to the laziness and desire not to make a fuss as everyone else. Therefore I was glad to see a news story reporting on Christians standing up to the might of the supermarkets.

It’s no surprise that supermarkets get a bad press. They are the very model of capitalistism in its purist form. You see a true capitalist enterprise is concerned with one thing – profit. That is the overriding reason for any companies existence, to make as much money as possible for its shareholders. Things such as the environment and the fair treatment of workers and suppliers are not part of the capitalist model as they get in the way of profit.

Why are supermarkets moving into insurance and banking? Because they are ways of making more profit for the shareholders; not because they know about these things or because they fit in with their original business objectives. Therefore it is in their interests to squeeze suppliers as much as possible, to pay their staff as little as possible and to outsource work to cheap overseas manufacturers.

So what are the churches doing?

Members of 460 non-conformist chapels boycotted supermarkets yesterday. Instead they used small rural shops, post offices and garages. This was to show support for the rural economy which is suffering badly from the actions of the supermarket chains and from EU and UK government policy in the agricultural sector.

People seem to forget sometimes that these practices are as common at home as they are in third world countries. How can it be better to import milk, meat and flowers when we produce them here? Are we really that desperate for Kiwi Fruit, and other fruit and vegetables all year round, that we cannot live without them?

The supermarkets justify their actions by saying that it is what the consumer wants? Yet who are the consumers that demand this? Well I guess that that is us! Do you remember the supermarkets asking you if you wanted Kiwi Fruit 365 days a year (sorry 363 as they do close on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday).