Wednesday, 29 December 2010


Those friends of mine who don't 'do' Twitter say things like 'Well they're not real friends are they?' Maybe not in the sense of having met them but when I was a child and had 'pen' friends I hadn't met them either. It didn't stop them being real though.

They say you can choose your friends but not your family. The suggestion is that your friends will be good ones because they were hand-picked. So are my Twitter friends.

They are not 'virtual'. I usually know their names and where they live. Through their tweets I get to know their character and a great deal about their daily lives. Or deaths.

One of my Twitter friends died suddenly and unexpectedly on Christmas Day. We mostly tweeted about our mutual love of music. Her last tweets still sit there on her page as a reminder of the fun person she was. she said "Grooving". "Hips moving, saxaphone. I am gone so gone........"

....and now she is and I am sad......."

Saturday, 25 December 2010


My head is full of 'Spare a thought for those who......' and 'When you're enjoying your Christmas, don't forget that.....' and of course we should. Many of us do. If you are alone this Christmas or if you are in pain or full of sorrow then you may hate this Christmas and that may give you some comfort.

But my heart is full of what Christmas should be to those lucky enough to have a happy day.

The younger children will enjoy their Christmas because they'll be excited as hell with heads full of Father Christmas but they'll forget him the moment they start opening their presents.

The older children will enjoy their Christmas because it is the way it was when they were younger - they might pretend they don't but really they love the tradition.

The parents will enjoy their Christmas because of seeing their children enjoy their day.

The grandparents will enjoy their Christmas because it will bring them happy memories.

They will all enjoy their Christmas because they are together as a family.

Happy Christmas everyone. Come what may, you are part of the family of man.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


It was 8 a.m. on the morning of dear daughter's wedding. We were in our hotel room and the bride's mother was busy making herself look even more beautiful than she was on rising.

She was off to the hairdressers where she would also meet up briefly with the bride and her bridesmaids. Me? I was doing the crossword.

I glanced up and there, sitting on its clothes hanger, hung my wife's stunning outfit. She was going to look a picture - second only to the bride herself. Foolishly, I thought I'd show off my understanding of female things -

"It's a lovely outfit. I presume you won't put it on until the last minute. Have you brought something else to wear to the hairdresser?"

"Of course I have. Front-opening obviously"


I thought. I thought even more. I really don't want to look stupid here. No. It's no good I'm going to have to ask her. Being a mere male, trying as hard as I might, I could think of no good reason why the hairdresser would need easy access to my wife's bosom.

"Er....why does it need to be front opening?"

With a heavy sigh my wife replied, "So I don't have to pull my clothes over my new hairstyle of course"

"Of course"

Sunday, 19 December 2010


There are some aspects to Christmas which cause me to worry about the sanity of the human race. I mean just imagine that a friendly neighbourhood Martian was to pass by and thought he would drop in to introduce himself.

After the common courtesies had been observed he points at the funny man dressed in red, wearing a fake white beard and asks for an explanation. The ensuing conversation might go something like this.

HUMAN: "Well every year we lie to our children and pretend that there is a man called Father Christmas who will visit their house on the night of the 24th December and leave presents for them - but only if they've been good."

MARTIAN: "But how does he travel round the world and visit all of the houses?"

HUMAN: "Ah, well he flies a sleigh through the sky which is pulled along by a group of flying reindeer."

MARTIAN: (Who is developing a rather worried expression) "I see - and your children believe this story?"

HUMAN: "Oh yes and they hang up stockings and leave some food out for the reindeer. They also write letters to him at the North Pole".

MARTIAN: (Who is slowly backing away to reach the safety of his flying saucer). "Well it was lovely meeting you Human. Do drop in when you're in our neighbourhood". (He is now running for his spaceship at full speed).

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


I'm sure you've heard of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

She is the Iranian lady who having been found guilty of adultery, was sentenced to death by being stoned. Just to be clear, this means that she is buried vertically in the ground with only her head and shoulders showing so that she cannot use her arms to defend herself. Men then throw large stones at her head until she suffers a fractured skull and then dies.

You may wonder then why I was saddened to read in the paper that she had been temporarily released and allowed to visit her son at home. Let me explain.

I have no idea whether this lady is guilty or not. In an oppressive state it is hard to accept the truth of apparent public confessions by such prisoners. If she is guilty then she deserves punishment according to the law of her country. My problem, shared by civilised countries the world over, is with the barbaric nature of the punishment. This is why such intense diplomatic pressure has been applied to Iran.

I normally defend our free press to the hilt. It is one of the foundation stones of our democracy. Of course it was pleasing news that she had been allowed to go home. The problem was that some of the press didn't simply report the facts of the release. It didn't say anything about Iran's government demonstrating that it could be merciful.

It said that Iran had bowed to Western pressure - that it had been humbled.

This was no time to crow. It should come as no surprise to anyone that following these bragging headlines, the lady has been re-arrested.

Sunday, 12 December 2010


I first reported on our Christmas family wedding with regard to my wife's search for the perfect outfit. The wedding is now just a week away and stress levels are now at high altitude.

The latest issue concerns capes. Being a December wedding, there is a natural concern over keeping the bride and her maids warm so my wife found some fake fur wraps on the internet and ordered them many weeks ahead.

As the clock ticked and there was no sign of a parcel so my wife kept looking out of the window and co-ordinating our social calendar to ensure that one of us would be in at all times to receive the garments. Yesterday she phoned the supplier yet again and was assured that they were on their way. This morning as my wife was all but having her breakfast at the front window they arrived!

She was relieved, I was relieved, so much so that our combined sighs of relief could have powered a wind farm. My wife opened the parcel with the zeal of a 4 year old on Christmas morning. She tried them on and modelled them for me. "Pretty aren't they?" she said. I knew the answer to that one.

Then the seed of doubt arrived. "Would you say they were ivory?" I knew the answer to that one too. "You don't think they are yellow?" Again I knew the correct, reassuring answer to give. As a mere male, I have the colour sense of the blind but it did occur to me that ivory is a sort of yellowish-white. Naturally I didn't share this thought.

However, the seed of doubt grew and I next witnessed my wife's near hysteria take root as she convinced herself that they were yellow. Normally I have a well developed sense of self-preservation but it must have been about then that it deserted me.

I foolishly suggested that she might let the bride-to-be see them without knowing of her own colour concerns. "Don't say a word to her - see her unbiassed reaction" I heard myself saying.

This got me the mother of all tongue lashings. In the circumstances, I am beginning to see the benefits of living in sin.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


I read with incredible jealousy interest that Mick Hucknall has apologised for sleeping with three women a day for three years making a total of around 3000 women in all. Casanova must be turning in his grave.

Just think of the logistics of this for a moment. Remember we are talking about three different women per day. By all accounts, well by Mick's account anyway, these were groupies and obviously 'up for it'. Clearly Mick was 'up' for it too (sic). Some of these romps may have been threesomes which would make life a little easier. As for the rest, I envisage Mick's bedroom having a mating waiting room adjoining it where having taken a ticket from the machine, the second and third candidates would be leafing through well-thumbed copies of 'Muscle man' or the like whilst Mick's receptionist offered them glasses of bubbly.

Forgive my questioning nature but does the thought cross your mind that our jewel-toothed hero might just have been bragging a teeny weeny bit?

Anyway if this is the way things are heading I don't think Mr. Hucknall (or Mick Humpall as I'm sure he will be called) should have it all his own way so (with names changed to protect the guilty) ....

I'm so sorry Phyllis for our coupling in that bathroom. I realise now that sitting on that sink must have been very uncomfortable for you. Penelope, will you ever forgive me for lighting my cigarette so quickly afterwards? I was a slave to nicotine, what can I say? Dear Suzette, when I said 'fat' I really meant generously proportioned OK?

Oh dear. I seem to have run out of material.

Sunday, 5 December 2010


In case you hadn't noticed 'tis the season to be jolly. Like everyone else, we're digging the decorations out of the loft and are all set to transform the place into our version of Santa's grotto.

Lest we forget, let me remind you that our grandparents used to buy things like paper chains which had to be assembled by licking and sticking them together. If they couldn't afford to buy these, they would cut them out of colourful magazine adverts and then apply the glue. It has to be said, that for many, this pre-Christmas activity was all part of the fun.

Do you remember those folded paper decorations which when opened up became a colourful bell or ball shape? There's a lovely blog about these vintage Christmas times here. I suspect that all the paper decorations went out of fashion after a few house fires and got banned by 'Christmas elf and safety'.

We like to make an event out of writing our cards. On goes the Christmas music and out comes a nice bottle of wine. As you might expect, the handwriting tends to deteriorate as we progress through the alphabetical list of recipients. Still, at least those with a surname early in the alphabet will receive theirs.

One of the most effective part of our decorations at Christmas is to display all the colourful cards we receive. You can buy special holders for them of course but we like to cover the doors with them. This presupposes that someone has taken the trouble to send us a card and I'm sad to report that it looks like the sending of Christmas cards may go the way of the paper chains as more and more people can't be bothered to buy them, write them and post them.

Unfortunately the era of the e-christmas card is upon us and in future, we are likely to receive festive greetings from our nearest and dearest via the web. Well contrary to the trend, I love writing Christmas cards so my friends wont be getting e-greetings from me just a hand-written personally chosen Christmas card - which if their name begins with 'W' or beyond will contain a completely illegible drunken scrawl.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Vajacials. There I've said it. I know - I'm a man. I shouldn't even know the meaning of the word let alone write about it. So let's presume that I'm writing this as a guide for my fellow males ..... although I'm willing to bet there are a few ladies out there who hadn't heard of the word either.

I also have a working knowledge of euphemininisms. Good word eh? So before we discuss vajacials we need to learn the ladies' lexicon.
BRAZILIAN - easy one to start with. It is of course, a depilatory waxing treatment for a ....
LADIES' FRONT GARDEN - female pubic hair.
LANDING STRIP - one version of a Brazilian which leaves a thin vertical line of hair.
HOLLYWOOD - A full Brazilian - also known as a 'KOJAK' among ladies of a certain age.
BOLLYWOOD - You thought it was an Indian musical? Yes but it's also a 'Hollywood' with added jewellery.
AXE WOUND, BEAVER, BOX, VADGE - slang terms for vagina (an almost endless list)
LITTLE PRINCESS, LITTLE MAN IN A BOAT - slang terms for clitoris (there are plenty more)

OK enough with the words before I keel over in a faint. Back to vajacials. If you didn't already know, it's a facial for a ladies front garden. Eve's daughters can now book in for their pedicure and get their bushes trimmed at the same time. As with hair styles, they can even browse through a portfolio of style options and pick their preferred choice. " I'll have the spider's web please, with a candy pink tinge ".

Men, aren't you glad we're male? Oh and guys. Before you all go trooping off to apply for a job at the local beauty salon, I'm pretty sure that the sex discrimination act doesn't apply here - sorry.