Sunday, 30 October 2011


I was reading recently about local crime in my area where it seems that the theft of metal is on the increase. This got me to thinking about what other things get stolen and there were quite a few oddities.

For instance, there was the case of Piotr Gorski, a Polish burglar, who stole twelve jars of gherkins. When he was a few streets away, he started to gorge himself on his ill gotten gains but began to choke on them so not only got arrested but had to be life-saved too.

Then how about Felicidad Noriega, former first lady of Panama, who was charged with stealing twenty seven buttons off jackets at a local store.

They usually say 'everything but the kitchen sink' but in the case of poor James Elstub from Dewsbury, the thieves took that too along with the rest of his new kitchen.

One of the weirdest crimes though must be the theft of human hair from hair salons in America. Apparently it sells for as much as $100 a bundle.

Next time I go to the hairdresser, I think I'll take my hair clippings back home with me!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


I've been outside looking at the clouds. Well, not just any cloud, my own personal cloud. I'm not totally sure, but I think I spotted it. It's a white fluffy one just above my house.

You see since I updated my computer and my phone they now use something called iCloud. As I understand it I have signed up for my own personal cloud which has my email address on it. It also stores all of my data - you know - stuff like diary entries, contacts addresses and phone numbers, that sort of thing.

Let me explain how it works. When I type in a new diary entry on my phone, the information is whisked up to my fluffy little cloud and kept all safe and snuggly there. The cloud, realising that it has a new bit of data, sends it straight to my computer so that as I type on my phone, I see the result appear on my computer within a few seconds. Amazing isn't it? It means that I no longer have to plug my phone into my computer to 'sync' it.

My only concern is that on sunny, cloudless days, I'll have to return to the old method.

Sunday, 23 October 2011


I suppose if one thinks of love poetry, then Keats or Shelley come to mind. But they are long gone. Who would you say has taken their place?

Just like the daisy which goes unnoticed as it is trampled on, sometimes beauty is found right under our feet. I give you the words of Don Black:

Tell me on a Sunday

"Don't write a letter when you want to leave
Don't call me at 3 a.m. from a friend's apartment
I'd like to choose how I hear the news.
Take me to a park that's covered with trees
Tell me on a Sunday - please

Let me down easy, n
o big song and dance
No long faces, no long looks
No deep conversation.
I know the way we should spend that day
Take me to a zoo that's got chimpanzees.
Tell me on a
Sunday - please

Don't want to know who's to blame
It won't help knowing.
Don't want to fight day and night
Bad enough you're going.

Don't leave in silence with no word at all
Don't get drunk and slam the door.
That's no way to end this.
I know how I want you to say goodbye
Find a circus ring with a flying trapeze.
Tell me on a Sunday - please

Don't run off in the pouring rain
Don't call me as they call your plane.
Take the hurt out of all the pain.
Take me to a park that's covered with trees.
Tell me on a Sunday - please"

In my humble opinion this is one of the greatest of modern love poems and when you add Lloyd Webber's music it simply transports the senses. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


Have you ever wondered why we shake somebody's hand when we meet them? No of course you haven't. Me neither until recently.

It is a little odd though don't you think to take a person's hand in yours and then pump it up and down as if you were hoping they might produce a fountain of water from their mouths?

Historians differ on their explanation for the phenomenon but do tend to agree that the ritual began before documented and recorded history which means they have to best guess. Their best guess then is that men when encountering each other would show their empty right hand as a gesture that they come in peace. This may have led to a mutual grasp of the forearm to check for hidden weapons.

The thing is that if the virologists have their way it will become defunct. It spreads disease too easily. They recommend touching elbows instead.

So obviously kissing will also be outlawed. What are the alternatives?

Well we could bow like the Japanese of course.

Maybe we could rub noses like the Eskimoses.

No, my suggestion is that we both turn around and bump bottoms. It's fun, it's healthy and it would begin the meeting with a laugh.
Let's shake on it.

Sunday, 16 October 2011


I've seen the future and it's scary.

We've just witnessed the start of the technological revolution. It began about thirty years ago with the advent of home computers and shortly afterwards came the mobile phones which soon incorporated computers and thereby became essential to our daily needs.

Look how fast it's taken off. Twitter, iPads, Androids, Skype, Facebook - all words which were unknown just a few years ago.

We didn't see it coming. When I first pressed the wobbly rubber keys on my ZX Spectrum back in 1981, I had no idea it would be the first step on a path which would allow me to tweet in real time with somebody in war-torn Afghanistan about how things were going for them.

When I first put the mobile brick to my ear to call somebody, little did I know that it would lead to a Skype conference allowing me to sit in my Gloucester home to see and hear a friend's new born baby in Belgium.

So what is the next big thing? Robots.

The techno-geeks are working round the clock to produce lifelike robots which will look and act like humans. They will be servants in our homes performing the menial tasks and thereby allowing us to spend more time on things we choose to do rather than things we have to do.

It doesn't take a huge leap of imagination to foresee a time when disease, warfare or climate change wipes out mankind leaving the robots largely untouched. The Earth will then belong to the insect world who will no doubt find it curious to be allowed to crawl over the hard-working household robots' faces without being swatted.


Wednesday, 12 October 2011


I didn't really understand why the make-up girl spent so long sprucing up my face in readiness for such a brief TV appearance. What's so wrong with my face that it should need such prolonged efforts on her behalf?

I'd been told that it would be five minutes at most. A short introduction from my interviewer highlighting the peaks and troughs of my life followed by a few searching questions to elicit my views on certain issues.

I'd been carefully primed and knew the questions beforehand so that I wouldn't need to strain the memory banks or produce the dreaded long silences which I'm sure, are the main thing which TV producers most fear on a life show.

So I was ready and watching for the red light on top of the camera to turn green to signify the start of the programme.

Then the alarm bells started ringing - no I mean literally. It was just my recurring minor celebrity dream again. I turned off the alarm, got out of bed and headed for the bathroom to prepare for the day.

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Remember when you were told a secret in the playground and had to cross your heart and hope to die? The full version was 'cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye'. It was mostly the thought of the needle in my eye which kept me from ever revealing that my mate Roger secretly loved Lucy Granger or whatever the secret was.

I have a few secrets at the moment which I have sworn not to tell though not with such a bloodthirsty oath as the playground version. My lips are sealed until such time as they are revealed by someone else.

Of course in time the need for secrets to be kept disappears. This can follow the death of a key person involved or simply the passing of sufficient time.

Some secrets are therefore eventually de-classified and revealed to the world. For instance, apparently, if we had ever captured Hitler, Winston Churchill was determined to have him executed in the electric chair - to hell with war crime trials.

Of course there are also secrets which are still shrouded in mystery, like the crashed UFO recovered at Roswell, New Mexico. The material which the craft was made from was listed simply as 'unknown' - spooky.

Can you keep a secret? Or are you a blabbermouth?

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


I was amused by a line in 'Outnumbered' recently, when long-suffering Mum Sue came downstairs sporting a pair of rubber gloves having been cleaning the toilets. She complained to anyone who would listen that there appeared to have been a urine tsunami in the toilet and could the male members of the household please take better care with their aim.

To be honest they haven't got a leg to stand on since, none of them having reached their fifties, their *ahem 'equipment' would be fully functional and accurate. Unlike mine.

You see, with age comes a lessening of pressure like a garden hose which is so feeble that you need to stand much closer to the flowers if they are to get remotely wet.

I am always embarrassed by a particular public toilet in a Bristol shopping centre which has targets painted in each urinal position. They are about waist height and the chances of my weakly wee stream getting anywhere near the mark are nil.

My poor wife often finds that the tsunami has struck in our house too. I have tried to explain that it's very difficult when you adopt a careful position with your man's bits above the bowl so as to avoid dripping onto your toes, pointing your third leg carefully at the middle of the loo and having checked that all is set, letting loose only to find that the stream which emerges adopts the shape of a divining rod and goes to left and right missing the toilet completely. Quickly adjusting the aim to bring the right-hand stream back into line only means that the left-hand stream is now missing the mark by about a metre.

I suppose I could always forego my macho stance and sit on the loo but this is difficult when you have 'morning wood' - then again, that's a whole different problem.

This reminds me of the old joke:

A Harrow man and an Eton man are at the urinal. They finish and zip up. The Harrow man proceeds to the sink to wash his hands, while the Eton man immediately makes for the exit.

The Harrow man says, "At Harrow they teach us to wash our hands after we urinate."

The Eton man replies, "At Eton they teach us not to piss on our hands."

Sunday, 2 October 2011


Talk about a good news day!

The first story my eyes alight upon hungrily is that it appears that drinking coffee helps to prevent you from getting depressed. I think that we coffee drinkers were ahead of the game here. I mean, if you're anything like me, that first cup of coffee of the day makes you feel like you could leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Next I spotted that another of my vices, red wine, can help me to lose weight. Yes, it's official - you can drink yourself slim. Who knew?

So now I know that it's all the coffee and red wine which I quaff regularly which has helped me to be the slim, happy person I see in the mirror each day. I suspect that it also explains why I am totally delusional.

Now I'm off to search the internet for the beneficial effects of cream cakes - wish me luck.