Monthly Archives: February 2009


Today I set the goal of doing nothing buty rest, again! I’m pleased to say that I have achieved the target set. I have tried putting off finishing my book – I only have about 20 pages and don’t want it to end.

You see I have a fear. When I finish this book I may go back to The Lieutenant by Kate Granville. I got this as an Amazon Vine review item and have found it very hard going.

It’s not that it’s a bad book as such. The problem I have is that it appears to be in the style of Thomas Kenneally. This isn’t a bad thing as he writes some great books and on similar subjects. The problem is that, though she has written an Orange Prize winner, who hasn’t?, she just isn’t as good at pacing the story and has not made the characters rounded enough. The story is more about language than the people. That isn’t a bad thing but the story just doesn’t hook me.

I hate not finishing books but sometimes I need to leave them for a while and then finish later when they are like this.

This Week I Have Mainly Been…

Lying in bed or on the sofa suffering from a viral infection. I didn’t eat for three days, apart from 2 bowls of Crunchy Nut and 12 uncooked swedish Meatballs (you can eat them this way mmm….). I hardly slept for 2 nights due to a fever and painful aches in my lower back.

Unfortuantely it meant that I had to cancel our offer of having the Troublesome Trucks to stay. I was looking forward to having them over last night and tonight (separately) but was just to washed out.

Today I’ve spent it relaxing to recover. So I’ve watched The Man Who Knew To Much, Schindler’s List and the second half of Harlequins v Gloucester. The aim is to do very little tonight and tomorrow.

I’ve also been reading Silesian Station by David Downing, his sequelto Zoo Station. I love these because they combine my love of historical fiction and being set in immediate pre-war Berlin. Reading it has reignited my hunger to go for my third visit – I’ve haven’t been since I took FW for her birthday the year we were married. Just reading about the cafes, Tiergarten, Zoo, Funktrum Tower and the food.


Last night I dreamt that I had emigrated to Australia – I didn’t like it.  Weird that reading about Berlin makes me yearn to return but my dream is about Australia.


Just to reassure my Australian contingent I do intend to visit at Christmas 2014 to celebrate my 50th.

Stress Monster

Yesterday was supposed to be a reelaxing day. I had booked the day off because we were due to have a meeting in the afternoon fro the Plot. However for the morning as I had some urgent things to finish. In addition I’d been called by a customer who had an urgent job that needed doing.

As the morning went on it just got busier and busier. At several times I had callers queued up waiting to speak to me, all of whom were urgent. By the time I got home at lunchtime I was stressing beacuse we had the meeting and the important job was escalating into something that would need resolving in a very short space of time once the customers had signed their contracts.

When I got home I discovered that one of the trustees had had to cancel and the person from the local Communities First project had also cancelled. Thankfully I could cancel the meeting completely and not feel guilty.

As the afternoon and evening wore on and I was getting busier and busier as more problems arose that needed sorting. Eventually I managed to finish things off by 21:00hrs.

The wife remarked that it was odd that I could be stressing about things and cursing at the idiocy of others but then take a phone call and speak as though nothing was out of place. All calm and charm, that’s me!!

Racist Dutchmen

Is someone a racist because they criticise Islam? Is it wrong to point out the hypocrisy of religion?

You may have heard of the controversy surrounding Geert Wilders leader of Holland’s Freedom Party, a right wing party somewhat similar to our own British National Party – Sieg Hiel!!!! He has made a 17 minute film about Islam being a religion that preaches hate and death to all non believers. It merges images of Islamic terrorist attacks and excerpts from the Koran calling for death to infidels etc.

He has gained the infamy of being invited to show his film to the House of Lords – a bunch of upper class snobs, government toadies and failed politicians – only to be banned from entering the UK by our government for being a peddlar of hatred. They kept quiet about the fact that he was admitted to the country in December. To make things better we discover that the Dutch government are making representations for him to allowed in.

So we now have a government claiming to protect us from religious intolerance and racial hatred, while a neighbouring government is lobbying for the said citizen to be admitted to our country to air his views.

I was listening to the 5Live phone in on the drive to work, as I’d been to see a customer, and listened to the usual nutters and idiots claiming one rule for one and one for another. Then a Muslim guy came on and said that the film and the man should be shown. Why? because it would give Muslims the opportunity to discuss the true message of their religion with non Muslims.

Isn’t this a marked change from the usual Christians who’d ring up and insist that we should ban whatever it is they disagree with – Life of Brian, The Last Temptation of Christ, Jerry Springer The Opera or Evolution. Instead they should use the opportunity to discuss what it is that we find offensive and how Christianity is really relevant/not like that.

Surely this would be a far more constructive method than trying to impose censorship, sound like a bunch of loons or turn people off. Maybe if groups like Christian Voice engaged rather than ranted and shouted the world would be a better place and Christianity seen to be a greater necessity to modern life.


Then again you can’t help the self righteous.

Tomorrow I Will Not Be in Work

how do I know? Well I didn’t so much park the car as slide it into the kerb behind my wife’s.

For those who have not been to T&E Towers, we live on the top of a 800ft hill. There is one road in and out, miss the turn at the bottom and you hit a white house. If we make the turn then you still have one of three further steep roads to head down.

So I can honestly say that I will not be able to get down the hill tomorrow and I’m not willing to risk wrapping my car around a lamp post; hitting a pedestrian or driving through someone’s house wall. 

At least I have the Blackberry to enable me to carry on working.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

We have had a lot of unrest in the UK over the past few days. It all stems from a row over an Italian company that has won a contract to work on the Total oil refinery in Yorkshire.

Why the controversy? Well, the Italians refuse to use British contractors and will only employ Italian labour. In a power station in another part of the country a Spanish company has done exactly he same. People are therefore angry that British workers  are not allowed to work on contracts in their own country. Part of the fear is that these company are not paying staff the same as they would local workers.

It doesn’t help that Gordian Broon made a speech at the 2007 Labour Party Conference in which he promised that his government would provide “British jobs for British workers”. This rallying call has come back to bite him in the ass.

Now his party are trying to “clarify” what his speech meant. Private Eye have referred to it in their ‘Communique From The Supreme Leader’ as “British jobs for British workers (especially those from Ukraine, Poland, Italy etc”

It is especially humorous when politicians, who rant against the more right wing and nationalistic parties who sow the seeds of hatred, adopt similar language to forward their own populist stand. Then, when it backfires, they try to tell us that what was said was taken out of context and they need to clarify their meaning.

I suppose that we shouldn’t be surprised that we are dealing with a bunch of unprincipled people who have no desire to standby their policies and promises. Should we be surprised that the man who has done more to bring about this crisis, yet claim to be the world’s saviour, will not accept that he has caused this crisis or that he actually meant exactly what he said 18 months ago.