Wednesday, 30 October 2013


In which I extract the poetry from popular songs.

The year was 1960. My parents, both salespeople with IBM had won themselves a trip to New York. It was the trip of their lifetimes and I was pleased for them.

Except that I had to stay with an Aunt and Uncle who I didn't care for and the feeling was mutual. I felt bitterly deserted like a dog left at the kennels, and found myself tearfully walking round the streets singing this lovely melody to myself. 

Written in 1955, the lyrics were by Hy Zaret.


Oh my love my darling 
I've hungered for your touch 
A long lonely time 
And time goes by so slowly 
And time can do so much 
Are you still mine? 
I need your love, 
I need your love, 
God speed your love to me 

Lonely rivers flow to the sea to the sea 
To the open arms of the sea 
Lonely rivers sigh 'wait for me, wait for me 
I'll be coming home wait for me.'

Oh my love my darling 
I've hungered hungered for your touch 
A long lonely time 
And time goes by so slowly 
And time can do so much 
Are you still mine? 
I need your love, 
I need your love, 
God speed your love to me.

Sunday, 27 October 2013


I'm a huge fan of the actor Idris Elba

He's just been parading round with his co-stars at the premiere of his latest film 'Thor' and I watched him being interviewed on the red carpet.

Now this was all at night so therefore in total darkness, well after the sun had gone down. 

He was wearing sunglasses. 

Now before you scoff, I've been considering the fact that there are several rational reasons for why he was wearing sunglasses at night. For instance -

1. He suffers with eye pain under bright lights.
2. It was his tribute to Stevie Wonder.
3. He'd forgotten he was wearing them.
4. He has a contractual agreement with his agent who insists that he wears them to look cool.
5. He was suffering from temporary blindness.
6. He was hoping no-one would notice him.

Whatever the reason, I absolutely do not accept that he was wearing them because he was being a twit.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


Imagine for a moment that you are in polite company. Perhaps with an elderly female relative or someone who you need to impress.

You drop something or knock something over. Its only a minor mishap but a comment is needed. What is the first thing that comes to mind?

I suggest that it would be one of the variants of 'Whoops-a daisy'. Other versions are Upsidaisy, Upsa daesy, Upsy-daisy, Oops-a-daisy, Oopsy-daisy or Hoops-a-daisy. 

What on Earth are we saying this for? Where did it come from?

Well it seems that the original version was the 'Ups a daesy' type which was child-friendly language to assist them in jumping up in the air or over something. It goes back to the 1700's.

If the unfortunate child were to fall over then 'whoops-a daisy' is appropriate.

Of course, if the origin of 'whoops-a-daisy' is of little interest to you then you'll be feeling lackadaisical about it - but that's another story.

Sunday, 20 October 2013


Cat Burglar
A burglar who is especially skilled at stealthy or undetected entry of a premises.

They may also be feline judging by the case of Norris A.K.A. 'Naughty Norris', a thieving and apparently slightly kinky  cat who has been prowling the Bedminster area of Bristol.

He has stolen items such as sports bras and boxer shorts which he then takes home to his owner, Richard. Richard is not prepared to act as a fence however, and has shopped his cat by trying to return the loot to the rightful owners.

There is also a case of a cat who smuggled a mobile phone into a Russian jail.

Criminal cats are branching out into the drug dealer's territory too it seems. 

In Moldova, which as you will no doubt know was formerly Russian and declared its independence in 1991, a cat has been trafficking drugs in jail

At least it wont have far to travel after being paw-printed and then sentenced.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


'The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.' So said Lucille Ball.

However in my experience it doesn't pay to age well. 

You can eat the right foods, take regular exercise and do all the recommended things and they'll still say 'She looks young for her age - must have had Botox' or 'There's no way she could have a body like that without surgery'.

It used to be the case that these comments were reserved for celebrities who were desperately trying to keep their looks, but nowadays your friends and acquaintances can be the subject of these accusations.

Of course women are the worst. It's understandable I suppose since appearance matters so much to the fairer sex. 

I'm surprised that my wife succumbs to this though. After all, she knows perfectly well that my youthful appearance and George Clooney looks owe nothing whatsoever to the surgeon's knife.

Sunday, 13 October 2013


It seems that vandalism and littering pays. 

I found myself driving along behind a van this morning which advertised its services as belonging to a company whose business was to recover abandoned shopping trolleys. 

Seemingly, there is a whole industry related to this activity. Furthermore, there is a big demand for the service since every year over one and a half million shopping trolleys are abandoned in the UK alone. 

Another whole industry revolves around cleaning chewing gum off pavements. So by littering in this way you are creating jobs for someone.

Its a similar story for removing graffiti from walls, toilets, bus shelters and the like. So daub away you hooligans - you are fuelling the economy.

There was always a rumour that some rogue glaziers might go round breaking the odd window or two to drum up business. 

So you do have to wonder, whether the employees of the companies mentioned earlier are ever tempted to have a night out on the town dropping chewing gum around, racing trollies about or writing on toilet walls to let us know the size of their dingle dangles.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


I've bought three cars from new in my motoring life. The first two were in the 80's, the third was last year.

What I can't get my head around is that way back then, when you bought a new car, you had to 'run it in'. This meant driving it at snail's pace for the first 1000 miles or risk ruining the engine on your new-found love before you became properly acquainted. 

Then after the 'running in' period, you had to get it back to the garage pronto so that they could tighten up all the bolts which would have worked loose and check for leaks and other faults which would show up the bad workmanship in the first place.

One of those cars had to be collected from London and as I proudly drove it away, it stuttered to a standstill just down the road because - get this - they had forgotten to put a water pump in the car. Presumably there was no such thing as quality control.

Yet the car I bought last year needed none of this. When I collected it they were quite happy for me to drive away like Michael Schumacher. 

Then after giving it a good workout, I took it in for its first service after 15,000 miles.

Of course there is a simple explanation. My first two cars were man-made. The latest was made by robots. 

I wonder if you can get a robot to do the gardening?

Sunday, 6 October 2013


I spent today grand-parenting.

Emily is 16 months old. 

My duties involved amusing her, feeding her, reading to her, keeping her clean and tidy, changing her nappies and generally keeping her safe. I loved it all.

All this even though she isn't my child.

This was on the same day as a woman was found guilty of starving her own 4-year old son to death and then keeping his mummified body in a travel cot in her bedroom for almost two years.

Looking after dependant, defenceless children, nurturing them and loving them is a basic human instinct which we share with the entire animal kingdom.

I find it very difficult to understand when people are missing this characteristic - the more so when there are so many cases of it occurring.

If there is life after death I hope these children have the very best of it and remember nothing of their life with us.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


I which I extract the poetry from well known songs...

I often find that a song is running in my head and although the tune may be admirable it is the poetry of the words which really impress me.

Some of these stand the test of time. One reason for this is that they capture life experiences which are familiar to us all in a way that bring back memories or perhaps provide support in troubled times.

Paul McCartney wrote this all by himself in 1964 though it was not finished and recorded until the following year. Curiously, its first working title was 'Scrambled eggs' but we know and love it as 'Yesterday'.

all my troubles seemed so far away,
now it looks as though they're here to stay,
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be,
there's a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

Why she had to go I don't know, 
she wouldn't say.
I said something wrong, 
now I long for yesterday.

love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh, I believe in yesterday