The Rich Tapestry of Life

Welcome to my page of random mutterings.

Those of you who know me will see a calm veneer. You will also know that I'm easily annoyed. I think it's healthy.

I allow myself to be annoyed most of the time. It doesn't take much. People who use the letter 'H' twice in 'Southampton', txt spk, Tom Jones, and suchlike annoy me in equal measure.

Here you will find tidbits that annoy me, amuse me, and enlighten me, and I shall share them with you, to annoy, amuse, and enlighten you.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Osama, Obama, O'Hanlon and Oh Dear.

“I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” – Mark Twain

Succinct and brilliant, because that's exactly how I feel about Osama bin Laden.  Yesterday on my Twitter feed I posted this:  While I sort of understand the Americans dancing on bin Laden's grave, are they aware of the landmine lurking just below the surface? I'm glad the bastard is dead, but surely any normal person must understand that there will be hell to pay for having killed him?

Do the Pakistanis really expect us to believe that they knew nothing of the world's most wanted man living in their answer to Aldershot, barely 5 minutes away from their equivalent to Sandhurst?  I do not believe that they didn't know he was there. It is beyond the realms of all things sensible to even give them the benefit of the doubt. I’m not saying they’re all corrupt, but even the CIA stated that to have told Pakistani Intelligence would more than likely have resulted in the operation being compromised. That’s absolutely damning.

I’ve heard people banging on about the aid we give to Pakistan. £350m a year for the next 4 years as I understand it. Surely it’s a touch fatuous to say that we should get a refund and close the door on Pakistan completely? The very fact that we’re giving them aid enables us to keep relations friendly and lines of communication open that may be handy in future. I also think it’s fair to say that some people are sticking the boot in on Pakistan because in their own minds it somehow legitimises their own prejudices.

A woman who stated that she was of Pakistani extraction said the other day on James O'Brien's LBC mid morning phone in that 'westerners' don't understand Islamic law, culture and traditions, and that the only reason the raid was even carried out was because we of 'the western world' want to force our will upon the people of Pakistan and Muslims in general. Have you ever heard so much shit? What chance to do any of us stand if second and third generation British Muslims STILL think along these lines?

Surely the facts are quite plain? The Arab spring is evidence enough that people from the North African states and the Middle East are finally waking up to alternative forms of government, and are slowly recognising that for centuries they've been oppressed by crazy despots who will do absolutely anything to hang on to power - even if it means murdering their own innocents. Every single head of state in the entire region and beyond must be absolutely shitting themselves that they're next in line to be unceremoniously dumped into the Arabian Sea off the side of an aircraft carrier.

We'd better get used to being vigilant. And we'd better get used to being a target, because I should imagine that there are those out there who are extremely pissed off with the US and the Western World as a whole. I have to say that I find it stupid that the Americans were celebrating so openly as they did yesterday. Fundamentally I agree that it is extremely unwise to celebrate the death of this man and if the Americans think that 9/11 can never happen again, I'd suggest they think again. On top of that I'm somewhat offended by some of their points of view, too... About how we in Britain would feel differently if an attack as awful as 9/11 took place here. I grew up in an era where there wasn't a week went by without some poor bastard being blown up by the IRA. The real reason that what happened in Manhattan on the morning of September 11th 2001 shocked the US so much was because they casually assumed that something of that scale could never happen on their own soil. I rather think they're falling back into that attitude and God only knows what price there will be to pay if I'm right. Actually, Ayman al-Zawahiri probably knows, too, but there’s no way he’s going to tell anyone.

It's been a fascinating few days. I've had people telling me that I shouldn't rejoice over the death of a fellow human being. I've heard people saying that he shouldn't have been killed because 'two wrongs don't make a right', and we're teaching our children the opposite. To my mind people like bin Laden are below human. Why shouldn't I rejoice? Give me one good reason? Obviously Christmas won't be the same in the bin Laden household and his 406 wives will each miss him, but have we seriously forgotten that thousands and thousands of innocent people have been killed as a result of bin Laden and his organisation? I’m not saying that I’m going to go dancing in the street blowing whistles and playing Rule Britannia, but inwardly am I not allowed to be a little pleased?

I think it’s okay to have a little giggle about all of this, too. I’m not going to be disparaging about your faith or denomination if you indeed have one; after all you’re as entitled to think that your faith is the best thing since sliced bread as I am entitled to think it is all utter bollocks. The idea that we go to heaven is a convenient one, isn’t it? Old Osama and his underlings somehow managed to convince thousands of people that they’d have a never ending supply of virgin quim and other wonderful things but that to get them they had to blow themselves and a few other people to bits. Desperate, and not in a bloody funny way, either. I rather prefer to think that all suicide bombers and other nasty folk who kill in the name of religion are greeted at the gates of Heaven by a Susan Boyle lookalike who escorts them to a room where they are repeatedly sodomised by 911 horny elephants. Perhaps that’s a bit too much to ask.

We hear people harping on about the serious threat to our country and how it is now worse than it was when Osama was still under his turban. We’re forever being told that an attack is imminent, that we’re all going to die in a hail of plastic explosives and bone fragments. Like I said before I grew up being vigilant. It’s not new to me. Some folk think that the establishment is able to exercise control over the public by putting the fear of Allah into them and while I disagree with that stance, part of me still believes that they could even be right - even if it is only a little bit right.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m glad Osama probably now has an even worse case of crabs than he had before, but that I’m not daft enough to think that by killing him we’re out of the woods. There are hundreds like him out there. The American over patriotic reaction to his assassination is dangerous. What did they hope to achieve by behaving like they did?

I think back to September 11th 2001, and I remember all of those people on the streets in Gaza and the West Bank celebrating the fact that thousands of innocent people had just been murdered on live television. I remember how disgusting I thought that was. And then on May 2nd 2011 I see Americans behaving similarly. I accept that bin Laden was but one man, and I accept that the two issues are very different.

But I’m left with the overwhelming urge to ask those people who took to the streets of New York and beyond to celebrate the assassination of Osama bin Laden: Have you learned nothing?

The Arch Bastard of Cunterbury....

Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury is having a laugh, right? 
"I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling because it doesn't look as if justice is seen to be done."

I'm sorry? It doesn't look as if justice is seen to be done? In your view, you mean? How dare you foist your pathetic moral dogshit on the rest of us. If you want to talk about justice, perhaps you should ask the countless thousands of people who've been killed as a result of Osama bin Laden's extremist hyperbole. How many people have been forced to suffer in bin Laden's name. Powerful enough that he and people like him are able to brainwash human beings into blowing themselves up because they'll be rewarded in heaven. Yes, Rowan, even they're victims, too.

Osama bin Laden was without any shadow of doubt the leader of Al Qaeda, an organisation responsible for the murder of innocent men, women and children on an epic scale. Frankly, the fact that the killing of an unarmed Osama bin Laden makes you uncomfortable makes me feel sick. Have you conveniently forgotten the people who had a choice of burning to death or jumping a thousand feet to their deaths on 9/11? Have you forgotten about the 30,000 or so people, civilian and military, who've lost their lives in Pakistan because of this man? Have you forgotten about the London and Madrid bombings, Bali, the USS Cole, Glasgow and Stockholm? Please.

I have no interest in your religion nor any other. I don't discriminate upon a religious basis because to me they're all utter shite. It always appears to me that regardless of your faith and your denomination within that faith, you each use the same God to tell the next man this his views or his morals are wrong or that he's less of a man than you are. I struggle to find any relevance in religion whatsoever because of the half-arsed verbal diarrhoea that perpetually dribbles from the mouths of all religious leaders, but today, Rowan, you've taken the biscuit.

Keep your ridiculous moral dilemma to yourself. It's not about whether or not you think justice has been done, or whether it's seen to have been done. Why don't you ask the families of bin Laden's victims if they think justice has been done? Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things if one utter bastard of a man is picked off and 'buried' at sea? Really?

To me, your appearance gives you away, you scruffy bastard. A wire brush, a bottle of Dettol, a beard trimmer, some nail clippers and a bloody good barber might be enough to sort that bit out. Sadly it appears that whatever damage has occurred to your brain is irreparable.


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Well, I'm Buggered if I Know.

Once again I am amazed by my fellow human beings and their capacity to be incomprehensibly stupid.

See, it's all about double standards. It's all about those who wish to be seen to be doing the right thing because they feel it paints them in a positive light. In my local boozer we have one of those care in the community types who collects glasses and makes a nuisance of himself for 37p an hour. He's rude and obnoxious, coughs over people and in their drinks, and has generally has a piss poor attitude to everything and everyone. You know the type - thinks he's King Kong when in actual fact he's King Mong.

The other week, King Mong as he will now be known, had some lager poured over his head because his incessant coughing, snivelling, and overall bad demeanour had pissed off one of the regulars so much that this was the only course of action left available to make the useless little twat bugger off. Now, I happen to think that pouring a beer over someones head is fairly tame. However, the person in charge at the time BARRED the well known regular for 'assaulting a member of staff'.

Now this would be fine if everyone who behaved moderately badly were treated the same way. However, it would appear that snorting drugs in the toilets or dealing the same in the car park and then walking in as bold as brass is acceptable behaviour. It would also appear that being drunk to the point of not being able to stand is funny, and that throwing furniture and glasses around is okay if you happen to have some tenuous tie to the manager and his or her family.

How easy is it to pick on some old bloke who had essentially had enough of a bloody irritant that he felt it necessary to chuck his beer over him? And why is it so difficult to keep a tighter rein on people who are plainly breaking the law in the same establishment? The power trip, isn't it? Pick on an easy target because you think it gives the impression that you are in control. I've invited David Blunkett down for a pint, because I'm sure that even he could see what an absolute mockery my local has become in terms of how those in the silent majority are treated.

How obvious does it have to be before you remove certain people from an establishment? The excuse often given is that they have to be caught in the act. I take this to mean 'I haven't got the balls to do the right thing because I know that it is likely to create a scene that I'd really rather avoid'. It has always been my understanding that the Landlord of a Public House can refuse to have anyone of his choosing in his establishment, and doesn't necessarily have to provide a reason should he do so.

That's the crux of it really. It's almost Nazi, isn't it? Pick on the vulnerable easy targets while your comrades enjoy themselves because you allow them to do whatever they like without exercising any control. A double standard of Biblical proportions in my book. 

Still, as long as it makes you look good, anything goes, right? 

More on that later.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Jesus Lives!

Okay.... So that's probably a load of  old bollocks, but it grabbed your attention, didn't it! 

I'm here to say that it's important to be decisive. I made a decision a few months back about a certain personal matter, and while it was quite difficult at the time, and lots of things have taken place since, the decision I made remains the correct one. 

It's a decision that will not be reversed regardless of how much time passes. For once, I listened to my head, and I'm jolly glad I did. There isn't anything anyone can do or say to change my mind. A change in the wind will not blow me off course.

I made my choice based on the advice passed on to me by friends whom I have known for many, many years. The advice offered from different people was almost identical in its content, and they can't all be wrong. I'm always one for having the courage to stand by my convictions, and let it be known that I realise and I understand that for me to change my mind now after some of the conversations and indeed events that have taken place over the last number of weeks would be hypocritical.

Essentially, those who have had shared in some of my experiences over the last few months know me and my situation well enough to know that too much water has passed under the bridge now, and what could have been is now irretrievable. 

What has occurred over the last months is a chapter in my life that as of this evening I am about to close. I am happy with the direction I have taken, because I still believe it to be the right one, and at some point in the future it shall be proven so.

Those of you who don't know what I'm talking about need not ask nor worry. What I'd like to say to those who do is this: This matter for me is now closed. This is the end of it, and I am not about to apologise if this is not the conclusion you were looking or hoping for. There is nothing for me to discuss with anyone, and I don't care how close to the middle of this any of you are. There will be no changing my mind. I will not be putting myself in a position that leaves me open to criticism from any side. What exists now is what must remain, and if you are not able to accept that, I'm afraid that simply is not my problem.

Anyway, now that I feel better for that, I'm off to enjoy myself.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

And Furthermore...

ANYONE expecting me to apologise for holding the views I do is going to be sorely disappointed with this blog post. I may as well come clean and tell you what I think about a few things while I'm here, but don't expect me to be sorry for saying the things I say - particularly if you read into the things I post and apply them to yourself. If it's the truth that hurts your sensibilities, maybe you should be looking at your own failings before being critical of what you perceive to be mine. 

What I will do is offer some balance to my previous post, given as it appears to have offended a few people. I want you all to be assured that I am all for helping those who need it the most. I'm all for giving people who have recently been made redundant the help they need and deserve, particularly if they've paid their way for many years before times got tough. I used the words 'feckless' and 'mendacious' for a reason. If you read my last post and thought I was applying those terms to those of you who are desperately seeking employment you are just plain wrong. 

It remains a fact that there are feckless and mendacious people who pick up their dole money and other benefits without a care for the rest of us who have to pick up the tab. Is there something wrong with being unhappy with people who do that? Frankly, I wouldn't piss on those people if they were on fire. I stand by my assertion that people should not be given money for doing nothing. A common refrain from people who are unemployed or unemployable is that they 'have no experience', or that 'there just aren't the jobs out there'. I accept that times are tough and that work is not easy to come by, but at the same time I still believe that there is no excuse for turning down any form of employment if it means getting people off the dole. I for one would shovel shit if I had to - so what gives those unemployed who don't want to work the right to be picky? 

I mentioned yesterday how I believe that it would be of benefit to everyone if the long term unemployed were compelled to undertake some form of voluntary work within their own communities. I truly believe that this is something worth further consideration. It would get people back into working habits and offer structure to their day. Experience gained would look better on a CV than a blank space and communities would benefit from the help. I truly believe that it is not acceptable to be giving money to people who do absolutely nothing. In the same breath I believe that it is equally unacceptable not to help people who are genuinely trying to get themselves sorted out. I tried yesterday to differentiate between those who can't and those who won't.  The thing is, if you're reading this as an unemployed person, only you know which one of those two categories you fall into.

If you put the boot on the other foot, and you were working hard to make ends meet, how would you feel if you kept seeing the same thing over, and over again? How can it not rankle with you that those of us who work bloody hard for the things we have and want also have to pay for those who abuse the system? Again, only you know if you are one of those people abusing the system. It's hard to argue that, for some people at least, being on benefits is a way of life and we've all heard of the second and third generation claimants who've never worked a day in their lives. Is that fair and just?

I've been unemployed before. I know how difficult it is to take rejection after rejection, to have your hopes built up and then have them come crashing down again. What I've never accepted is that there is work 'beneath' me. Beneath my capabilities, yes. Beneath my qualifications, yes. But not beneath me as a person. I've never turned down the opportunity of work on the grounds that it was somehow 'beneath' me or that it would degrade me. Maybe that's what makes us different. Maybe 13 years of a carefree lifestyle where most of us were guilty of living beyond our means has left us with a raft of people who feel somehow that certain work is 'beneath' them. Maybe we're not ready to let go of the illusion created by an unsustainable standard of living. Maybe people just don't want to start on the bottom rung anymore. Maybe we live in a time where Labour's mantra of borrow, borrow, borrow and fuck the consequences is now biting us all on the arse? Maybe we've been left with a generation of people who somehow feel 'entitled'. I think all of the above is true.

I suppose I'll be accused of being all right wing and typically Tory. But what sickens me to the absolute core is the Labour Party's reluctance, no, their absolute refusal to accept any responsibility whatsoever for the mess they've helped to create. I cannot abide anyone of that persuasion who wishes to talk about matters of the economy with me. Even less so if you happen to be a long term benefit claimant who voted for them in the last election. Sadly, people who are losing their jobs now, and equally those who are trying desperately to find employment are reaping what was sown by Labour's profligacy. The good times were never going to last. Throughout history whenever they've been in power it's taken 20 years after they've finally been kicked out for the mess to be tidied up only for the easily led to be taken in by them again until the shit violently hits the fan once more.

You can't blame me for not wanting to have to pay for people who do nothing but take the piss out of those of us who try and do the right thing.

To make the point again: Those of you who are taking the piss know who you are, and if what I write offends you, there has to be a modicum of truth to it.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Feckless Feckers feck me the feck off.

IT is Almost a year since Nick Clegg decided that he preferred the taste of David Cameron's cock over that of Gordon Brown and I have to say that despite my ongoing support for the Conservative Party, I am somewhat disappointed that 'Call me Dave's' cuts haven't hit the feckless a bit harder.

So, what have we seen in the last eleven months? Seems we've seen plenty of people being hit bloody hard by the austerity measures introduced by the coalition, and yet it would appear that certain folk among us still feel it's acceptable to sit around on their arses all day while the rest of us work our tits off to make ends meet.

On the left here is a Job Centre. They have 'jobs' in them. According to the latest figures there remain approximately 500,000 vacancies in the country which are currently not filled. The figures for unemployment stand at around 2.5 million as of today. Why is there this discrepancy? Even if we allow for those vacancies which require specialist skills, a fair percentage could be hacked off the headline figure if we were TOUGHER on those who are quite simply too lazy to work. Those who can't be bothered should be FORCED.

I'd be the first to admit that when I was a younger man, there was a time when it was easy for me to sit around all day watching the telly, but eventually even I realised that it becomes very, very difficult to justify yourself to your family and friends. In that sense being out of work is almost emasculatory, because there comes a time that you realise that you're not putting in, and that other people are paying your way. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing that I was relying on my peers to enable me to live from day to day.

I hear a great deal of bollocks about how certain jobs are 'beneath' people. There's no such thing as employment that is beneath a person who doesn't have a job to start with. Can we allow people to be picky? Can we afford to give people a choice as to whether or not they want to become gainfully employed? To my mind, that's what's happening a lot of the time. For those of you who like choice, or feel somehow entitled to it, my answer is this: Choose to work a menial job, or for every job you turn down, be it menial or otherwise, your benefits get cut incrementally until you are no longer entitled to them unless you're prepared to do some work for the betterment of the community in which you reside. It is my belief that our benefits system has allowed too many people to live too comfortable a life for too long, and that many of the people who have collected their 'entitlement' every fortnight for months, even years, are now almost unemployable. Quite what we do with them is a subject for another day.

The most irksome part about all of this is that I see many such people on my travels who haven't had a job for fucking ages but seem to be doing much better than me! I don't see them counting their pennies or watching their bank balances with the scrutiny they tell me is required for a person claiming benefits. Then we have these people banging on about how foreign workers come to Britain and take jobs that they could be doing if things were different. I'm of the opinion that foreign workers have a different work ethic that is plainly more attractive to certain employers. Maybe they'll work long hours at minimum wage? Maybe it's because they understand that getting paid for doing something is better than doing nothing at all; furthermore, it's nothing short of fatuous to suggest that foreign workers are the reason for your unemployment when you've used the excuse that the very jobs they undertake are somehow beneath you. Come to that, those foreign workers also add to the pot that pays your dole money, too.

I've heard some really redundant and half-arsed points of view just lately, and I am becoming utterly tired of it. The rise in VAT... The big hike in the price of a packet of fags... The Conservatives 'putting everything up'... EMA being cut... Tuition fees...  It's laughable in the extreme that some of the people saying this shit are claiming and living on the very benefits paid for by the TAXPAYER, and yet put absolutely nothing back in themselves. What difference does a hike in income tax make to you when any income you do have is totally fucking unearned and un-fucking-taxed? Why does it matter that you've seen a 2.5% increase in VAT when the money you spend isn't even your own? What fucking right have any of you lot got to whinge and moan about when it comes to the state of the very economy that your unmitigated indolence has squeezed and squeezed for fuck knows how long?  If you can justify yourselves I'm listening.

In some ways I suppose it must be quite nice being paid for doing nothing. What would I do with all the time that not working would afford me? I'd be able to socialise more. I'd be able to watch all the DVDs I have but I've never seen. I'd have more space available on my Sky+ hard drive. I spend enough time scratching my bollocks already, but even I'd be glad of a few more minutes a week to do the same.

Or would I?

As I get older, it becomes more and more evident to me that government past and present have not done enough to make benefits something that people get as a last resort. I don't apportion all of the blame to government, because I understand that the blame lies squarely at the doors of those who can't be arsed. I do believe that more could and should be done - mainly because it is my conviction that it should not be acceptable for someone to be given money for doing nothing. Why aren't we means testing these people? Why do we allow government handouts, our money, to be spent on Sky TV, new mobile phones, trips abroad, booze, fags, nights out and cars? Is it justifiable? I think not.

Long term benefit claimants seem to be masters of avoidance. They avoid having to work. They avoid having to pay tax. They avoid having to take responsibility for their own lives. They get free prescriptions. They benefit from the NHS in the same way that the rest of us do. It's little wonder they're called 'benefits'.  It amazes me how the mendacious always seem to profit from those of us who earn an honest living. I am even more amazed that little or nothing is being done to prevent it.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Adam fucking Cohen.

Anyone of you who follows my Twitter feed will unquestionably have noticed me persistently banging on about an Adam Cohen. Seeing as lots of you have asked me who he is, I'll write a little blog entry about the fat whining cockrag.

So, a couple of weeks ago I was asked to attend a property in a professional capacity to compile a report stating the condition of a rented property after a tenancy had ceased. I had initially created an inventory on the same property some months ago after it had been radically refurbished and made to look, well, very nice. I am completely independent of both the Landlord and the Tenant, and anyone who has ever rented will know what the purpose of creating such a report is - we need to find who is responsible for any damage should there be any. Landlords and agents use such reports to resolve any disputes that arise between Landlord and Tenant.

I arrived in good spirits as I usually do when I'm at work. This is a fucking miracle in and of itself given as normally I'm quite a cynical bastard at the best of times. So I entered the property to find a little fat bald man staring back at me holding some sort of PDA in his sausage fingers. He thrust his hand towards me and told me his name was Adam Cohen. I like to think that I'm a pretty good judge of character, and I had a feeling that he was a bit of a twat when his handshake was as floppy as Cliff Richard's cock in a strip joint.

'I'm here on the behalf of the tenant,' he said, 'to make sure you do your job properly'.  Well... that was it.... my back was up. There was no going back for this man now. Still I reined my temper in. I walked into the living room while he followed one pace behind me.
 'Do you use a PDA to type your reports? We do.' he said, shoving his business card under my nose, which I accepted and promptly threw on the windowsill. 'No' I said.
 'Well, I've developed this software that allows me to type up the report in real time; it means that my customers get their reports on the same day in double quick time'
'That's nice.' I said. 'We use Dictaphones and take our time because we don't want to be shoddy and make unprofessional mistakes. I like to think that our reports are compiled with care.’
'Do you think anyone in your company would prefer to use a PDA or...'
'No, I don't think so'. I interrupted.
'Maybe the company owner would be interested in buying my software from me. It'd enable you to streamline your business.'
'You'd have to speak to the company owner.' I said, politely.
'You should call him for me; I'd like to speak to him.'

I just stared at him at this point. I was so incredulous. I've never met this man before in my entire life, and now he thinks he's my boss. This was my confirmation that he was indeed a complete and utter fuckwit.

'Look, mate. I'm not your secretary. If you want to speak to him, phone him yourself.'

'Oh, clearly there's some severe mildew patches on the wall to the lower level at both ends of this room. Obviously the Landlord hasn't had the property damp-proofed properly. I recommend you note that down as..' He seemed upset as I interrupted him again... I was... incredibly pissed off, but somehow I hadn't shown it.

'I'd prefer it if you left me alone to compile my report. I don't feel it's very professional of you to try and compromise it by standing and looking over my shoulder and offering your advice. Maybe it'd be better for you to wait in the kitchen until I'm done, and then we can cross reference at the end?' Again, I was polite, but it was becoming more difficult.

And then... he said... 'Well, that just isn't going to happen, is it?'
'Is that right?' I said. 'Let's put it this way, then. Go and wait in a room away from me, or go and sit in your car, or I'm leaving.'
'Well that's just not going to happen' he repeated.

I turned on my heels and walked out of the door, only for him to follow me again shouting up the street at me and calling me names as I got into my car. In a flash he was tapping on my window 'OPEN THE FUCKING WINDOW' he was shouting. I was on the phone to the office minions telling them what a fucking complete fuckhole this man was and how he was trying my patience. Then he opened my car door, at which point I ended my telephone conversation and stepped out of my car. I think he was surprised at this point. I suppose it's fair to say that one can take the man out of South Oxhey, but you can't take South Oxhey out of the man. So, I abandoned my professional tone and stood toe to toe with this odious little wanker and said 'If you touch my car door again, I'll break every single one of your fingers and stuff each of them up your arse. Now, I've asked you nicely, fuck off before I flatten you.' I think I may have called him a fat little prick, too. (Funny that I should use that turn of phrase, the comedic irony being that I'm not exactly Lena Zavaroni, myself)

SUCCESS! Off he fucked waving his PDA around like a fecking eejit. I went back to the property, did my work properly and without bias or interference, and after 3 hours of fucking about, went home.

A few days later I get a call from a number I didn't recognise. I took the call and, fuck me sideways, it's Adam fucking Cohen again calling me to accuse me of having a bias toward the landlord. I got rid of him with a few choice words... Actually, that's not being entirely truthful. I actually told him to fuck off and I put the phone down.

I called the office and asked some questions as to how this little shitbag had managed to contact my personal phone. Bugger me, the office minion, Claire, had only gone and given him my personal number. To say that I went apo-fucking-plectic at her is an understatement. She's one of those student protester types, you know, all snot and bullshit, and mightily proud of the fact that she's doing a degree in Tutankhamun's left testicle or something less important. I proffered that she may benefit more from having a degree of common sense to which she started crying. Oh well.

So, I've had to put up with Adam fucking Cohen calling me at all hours of the day, aggravating me, and so on. I asked Claire to call him and tell him to stop calling me because I was tired of his fountain of bullshit. I then e-mailed Claire and asked her again to call him. Obviously, being a student she's completely incapable of carrying out a simple request, so I had to send her a handwritten note asking her if she translated everything I said into Uzbek and were my e-mails somehow being displayed in wingdings. Anyway, that's another story.

Back to the main issue!

Today, I caught Adam fucking Cohen out in a lie. Upon meeting me, he also claimed that his company had carried out a 'professional cleaning' of the property, and that a receipt or invoice for the work carried out would be sent via e-mail that afternoon. He said that the clean had taken place the day before the tenant left. I had my doubts. I suspected that Adam fucking Cohen was there as a friend of the tenant and someone who could provide her with a receipt for work that hadn't actually been carried out. It was obvious to me that there was no way the property had been professionally cleaned - something that the tenant was obliged to arrange after she had moved out as it was contained within her agreement. So sure was I that it simply hadn't been cleaned as both the tenant and Adam fucking Cohen claimed I'd made the managing agent and the Landlord aware of my misgivings.

So small was the oversight by Adam fucking Cohen that on any other report it wouldn't have even mattered. He hadn't noted the Alarm box on the exterior of the property. Unfortunately for him, I had. Little did Adam fucking Cohen know that the alarm company are able to send a log to the Landlord of when the alarm is armed, and disarmed, and for how long. I first met Adam Cohen on March 10th at 10:30am. He told me that his company had carried out a professional clean at the property on March 9th. They were there for a total of 6 hours, he said.

The log showed that the alarm was armed at 1643hrs on March 3rd, and was not disarmed again until 1005hrs on March 10th.

I called him this morning on the number that he'd so kindly provided on his shitty business card. I asked him to repeat what he'd said to me on March 10th, which he was only too happy to do. I asked him to repeat how long it would take to carry out a professional cleaning of a four bedroom property. 'Four to Six hours' he said.
'So it wouldn't be possible to carry out a full professional clean in, say, twenty-five minutes, then?'
'You're just being ridiculous' he said.
'And you are an unmitigated liar' I replied, and proceeded to batter him with the information from the alarm company.

Never one to do things by halves, I also checked out his own price list. I'd had a look at his shitty website having gleaned the address from the business card he'd shoved unceremoniously under my nose at our first meeting, and that I had originally discarded on the windowsill in the lounge.  He invoiced the tenant for £375 for a 'full professional clean'. This would have been fine had his price list not stated that for a 4 bedroom property it would cost no more than £200? I told him that in future if he intended to behave like an obnoxious fat little know-it-all cockrag dwarf that he'd better make sure he did a better job of covering his cloven-hoofed tracks. 

Never in my entire life have I had so much fun being called all the bastards under the sun.


Then, just to rub it in, I got on the blower to each of the clients he took great pleasure in telling me that he carried out work for.

Purely to let them know they'd been dealing with a dishonest little bald crook, of course.

He who laughs last...

Monday, 21 March 2011

A Time Not Forgotten

I had the great pleasure of spending the bulk of the weekend with my auntie Mary and uncle Nick at their home in Kent. Every time I drive down to Kent I'm reminded of long summer weekends when I was a kid, picking apples, and running up and down the big hill at the end of the road where my auntie Mary used to live. My cousin Claire and I were too scared to go right to the top for fear of something awful happening to us. Kids are strange, aren't they!? 


On Saturday evening we had the pleasure of watching some of her old cine film that she has had restored and recorded to DVD. I'm not usually one to harp on about yesterday, nor do I really see the past through rose tinted spectacles, mainly because in my day to day life it's rarely at the forefront of my mind. There's always something that needs doing, a place to go, or some other distraction that keeps memories, both good and bad, at the back of my mind.

Auntie Mary's son, Paul, was taken from us a couple of years ago in a motorcycle accident. He really was snuffed out in an instant, right in the prime of his life, and just when he had so very much to be happy about. We loved Paul for lots of reasons, and my abiding memories of him are many: How he always had time to talk, his capacity to make me laugh, and how he always came across as being so happy and carefree. Paul was fantastic in so many ways that to try and form some list would be futile. Either way he was, and remains, so much more than just a list. It's not as though I saw him all that often, or even that we shared all that much in common, but not only was he was a truly lovely bloke, he was my cousin, and we all loved him very much.

Obviously, moving images of Paul as a little boy were a major part of auntie Mary's film, memories from a long time past that are now committed to film forever, a poignant reminder of many yesterdays and a time that we can never have back. It's not a difficult or a morbid thing to watch - Paul was doing what kids do, playing with his sister, Nina, in the snow or at the beach or the zoo. Messing around on a tractor, or toddling around the garden with my brothers and our other cousins.

Along with Paul, there are other family members who've shaped my life, and helped me along the way. People who, like Paul,  are no longer here, but who were also on the film. My lovely old nan, my dad, and my uncle Alan. We watched them all intently, wishing and longing for them all to be here still. The film allowed us, just for a few seconds at a time, to see the people that as a family we've lost along the way in a way that we would most like remember them; alive and well, smiling, and having a good time. As I said before, watching it is neither difficult nor morbid, and white it is unquestionably sad that these people are no longer with us to enjoy the memories they helped to create, it must be almost impossible for my auntie Mary to accept that Paul in particular is no longer here to share in them. I for one have no idea how she has managed to deal with Paul's tragic death, at the same time had some some quite serious health issues, and managed to remain essentially the same auntie Mary I know and love, but I'm certain there's a lesson to be learned from her stoicism and perseverence. I like to think she's superhuman.

The feeling I got while watching these films, these fleeting moments from a bygone time, was how none of the subjects of the camera's shaky glare could possibly have known what was mapped out for them. What plans were already set out? While in bed I laid awake for a while thinking about it, feeling quite sombre, missing each of them and asking myself questions that quite simply don't have answers. My mind continually returned to the film, I wondered if perhaps it would have been better that I hadn't seen it. Would my mind have been better left undisturbed? Regardless, the images seemed to reappear each time I closed my eyes as if they had been indelibly imprinted on some part of my subconscious.

How differently I feel now. While no one likes to feel the pain of loss or the memories it brings back to the surface, the fact remains that there are things that not even the human brain is capable of recreating or recapturing perfectly. Everyone knows that memories are imperfect. We don't really remember everything as well as we'd like to think. For some people not being able to remember is something almost impossible to bear. The way that a smile creeps across a face. The gamut of facial expressions that we try so hard to remember, but never truly can. Mannerisms, a certain gait, or the intensity of colours all remain, but seem faded in our minds, lost somewhere in the mists of time.

It remains sad, and it always will, that Paul, nan, my dad, and my uncle Alan aren't here any more to share in our memories. What we remember of them, and how much we cared, and still care about them mustn't ever be underestimated. They each were, and remain, a part of our lives that can't be erased and will not be forgotten. What my auntie Mary has isn't just some old sun bleached, faded, shaky cine film. It's a record of real people who loved us as we still love them, and their moving images make their memory even more tangible. 

What is now abundantly clear to me is how much worse off we would be as a family if we didn't have a gentle reminder that in some way, no matter how small, they're still here.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Who Do These Cunts Think They Are?!

Well, I'm sure you can imagine my total DISGUST at receiving this today.  Honestly, this sort of correspondence gets you nowhere. Fast. 

Graham White Solicitors. Solicitors my arse. I faxed them a nice response. See below. Thought I'd share.


Mr James O’Hanlon
15 Xxxxxxxx Xxxxx
WD19 6XX

Graham White Solicitors
Manor House
Lavender Park Road
West Byfleet
KT14 6ND

Your Ref:

Dear Sir

I write to you regarding the above account and in response to your letter dated January 19th 2011. I have attached your letter for your reference.

I would have liked the opportunity to speak to one of your call centre minions but sadly despite having tried 5 times this morning and experiencing a wait of over 10 minutes on each call, I have given in and decided to use the fax machine in the all too likely vain hope that a human being might actually have the decency to pick it up and do the right thing with it.  If I'm honest, listening to your hold music droning on and on was begininning to have a profound effect on my will to live.

Now, to the matter at hand.  You allege that I owe £222.79 to the Talk Talk Group.  You are completely and utterly incorrect in your allegation given that the full amount was paid on January 10th 2011.  This payment was made directly to AOL Broadband who, should you wish to contact them, will confirm the payment for you. I’m sure if you dig a little bit deeper with AOL they will also tell you the reasons why payment was made directly to them, and not to your company.  When you have contacted AOL and received the necessary information, I require that you update your records immediately.

I rather enjoyed reading your letter which advised me to ‘take notice’ of your ‘intended litigation’ and that if I am in any doubt as to the seriousness of ‘this situation’ I should seek independent legal advice.  Obviously the ploy of trying to frighten people witless will work with the ill informed, but I ask you to ‘take notice’ that I haven’t been working in the debt recovery industry for 11 years without learning a thing or two.  I’m not sure that your regulatory authority will be altogether pleased with the threatening tone of your letter, so I have taken the opportunity to fax a copy to them. Perhaps they will advise you of any changes they believe you need to make regarding the glaring clarity issues that exist in your correspondence, the most surprising being that you have threatened the seizure of my personal assets by Bailiffs on what is an unsecured alleged debt and before you’ve obtained any court judgment.

With the above in mind I give you notice that should I receive any further correspondence from you regarding this issue, I shall regard it as harassment and will report you to the necessary authorities in order that you cease.

Your Ref:

Furthermore, I’ve taken the opportunity to do some research about your company and found that you have a rap sheet trailing back over a number of years.  People comment that calls and letters go unanswered, Subject Access Requests go ignored and that you are perpetually in breach of the Data Protection Act.  None of these issues put you on a very strong footing should I decide to use the correct channels for the reporting of such things.

There is a question mark as to why your company is called ‘Graham White Solicitors’. Could it be that you wish to share in the decent reputation of the Graham White Solicitors in Bushey, Hertfordshire, who, by coincidence, happen to be my Solicitors? (The same Solicitors who, by the morning of Tuesday 25th January 2011, will be in possession of all of your correspondence to me to date)  Is Michael Sobell of ‘Graham White Solicitors’ the same Michael Sobell who works for Hackney Council?  If so, do Hackney Council know that he seems to have his fingers in an awful lot of sticky pies.

In summary I wish to reiterate three points: 

The amount you allege I owe has been paid in full.

Should I receive any more threatening correspondence from you it will be passed to my Solicitor who will make a harassment complaint against you in the Court, and you will be reported to your own Regulatory Authority

Any collections agent you send to my door will be guilty of trespass, has no legal right of entry, and will be reported to the Police.

I require that you provide me with written evidence that this matter is now settled, and I look forward to hearing from you.


James O’Hanlon

Stick that up your arse and smoke it. 

Friday, 31 December 2010

Odd-bod Volvo Driving Comb-over Chap. Murderer?

So, what do we think, pop pickers?

I'm all for stringing the fucker up.

Oh, but hang on a moment - he's not actually had a trial yet, has he?

Obviously, Sky News in combination with other bog-roll worthy newspapers don't think our judicial system is capable of dealing with this chap fairly and have done us all a favour by negating the need for a trial at all, and presumed him guilty.

I have to say that it's disgusting.

He looks like a weirdo with his comb-over and odd dress sense, but neither of those things make him a murderer. And just because he's been arrested doesn't mean he'll be charged.

So let's all settle down a bit, eh?

As you can see from my caption, the fact that he drives a Volvo worries me almost as much as the epic hairdo.  Come to that, if we're looking to hang people for crimes against our perception of what's normal, Ken Dodd and Janet Street-Porter would have been dead years ago.

Still, time will tell if he's been a naughty boy and murdered poor Jo Yeates. In the meantime, Kay Burley can bugger off on the horse she rode in on.

We'd all do well to remember the horrendous Rachel Nickell case and how Colin Stagg's life was ruined by an over-zealous Metropolitan Police and a media baying for the blood of an innocent man.  Turns out that professional headcase Robert Napper was responsible for Rachel's murder and a string of rapes and indecent assaults over a period of many years. 

If it turns out that Chris Jefferies is responsible for the murder of Jo Yeates  he deserves whatever
comes his way.  Until then, he deserves to be afforded the same rights that the rest of us are entitled to.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Vince Cable, Head Mongtard.

This here is self-important twat Vince Cable.  He has declared war on the Murdoch Empire. He also has nuclear weapons.  He will shortly be invaded by the United States after he ejected Hans Blix of the IAEA and his team of weapons inspectors.  Mr. Blix has confirmed that Cable does have a stockpile of enriched uranium tucked up his arsehole, and has the capacity to strike deep at the heart of absolutely fuck all without even so much as a 45 minute warning. 

Get a grip, Vince. If you left the government, I very much doubt that anyone would even notice. Or care, come to that. 

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

For Clarity...

My Twitter profile describes me like this:

Rotund Tenor in the South Oxhey Choir. Spurs fan. Globetrotter. Miserable bastard. Oracle. Adonis. Opinionated twat. Conservative. Lover of Jelly Tots.

The clue's in the title, friends.  If you don't like it, do one. 

Political Correctness, Racism, and Stupid Wheelchairbound Students.

If you've been paying any attention to FaceBook or Twitter today, you'll notice that I'm very fucking annoyed. It would appear that certain sandal-wearing bearded fuckwits have an issue with the things I say. Or at least, someone had an issue with something I said today:

'At the quack's for my physiotherapy appointment. I feel like a bloody foreigner. Polaks and people of the Asian persuasion everywhere...'

One of my Twitter followers decided to call me a disgrace for having said this on my timeline, and then went on to tell all his friends about what a racist I am.

This is racist? Er, enlighten me? It's racist to point out that I was in a minority of one among approximately 15 people? That's racist? Do me a fucking favour and grow up.

It was, and remains, a fact. The Pope is Catholic. That, too, is a fact.  Nelson Mandela is, in fact, a black gentleman. Need I fucking go on?


How easy is it to throw that remark around? It's laughable in the extreme to suggest that I am racist. It would be fairer to say that I'm not bothered who I offend.  All that this person has shown is that they understand nothing about the term 'racist' or 'racism'.  Anyone who knows me will tell you that my disdain for mankind in general is anything but discriminatory. This is because we're all capable of stupidity in equal measure.  To suggest that I am racist because I point out that I'm surrounded my Asians or Polaks is pathetic.  Ask the good folk of Luton if they're surrounded by Asians and call them racist when they tell you that they are, you fucking idiots.


1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination
3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
So, come on all you do gooders and knowers of the English language.  Come on.  Roll up and tell me what part of my Twitter entry is racist. Tell me what part is intolerant. Tell me where I have demonstrated the belief that I am somehow better than someone else because of my race. You won't. Because you fucking can't. Because I aired a FEELING, not a fucking racial or political view. Those of you who are offended by it are POLITICISING it. You're all sandal wearing sycophants to political correctness, and people like you are responsible for a lot of what is wrong in the world at the moment. Go out and buy a razor.  And, no, I don't care that I've just made what could be considered a sweeping generalisation because I truly am THAT fucked off with it. 
Since we're on the subject, and because I'm annoyed, I'll tell you precisely where I stand on the subject of Polaks, folk of the Asian persuasion, and others who treat this country like some sort of soft touch.  This also goes for those who can't seem to get off their fat arses and into work, regardless of whether they're Asian, Polak, Balkan, Albanian, Slovakian, Black, White, Green, Yellow, or Blue with Pink FUCKING SPOTS. (Apologies to any nationality or race that I haven't mentioned, because I'm sure that for some goody-goody I've been racist for having left you fuckers out)

I have no gripe, NONE WHATSOEVER, with anyone coming to this country who wants to contribute to what makes it GREAT. However, I do take issue with those who are here that haven't or don't put in.  Why should the likes of you and I pay for these people to take advantage of the NHS and other local services when they've put nothing towards it.  What you who throw this racism card about don't understand is that the vast MAJORITY of people will agree with me, but are frightened of offending the likes of you by AIRING IT.  

Has anyone seen the footage of the woman in The Sudan being publicly beaten for wearing trousers today? Would it be racist of me to say that I believe the Sudanese regime to be backward, medieval, and unnecessary? Would it be racist of me to say that the soldiers filming this poor woman are total and utter bastards for laughing while it took place?  Is it so wrong, and am I so far wide of the mark when I say that the people of some African, Middle and Far Eastern countries are patently incapable of having any good nature toward their fellow human beings? Would it be racist of me to state that I don't want people like that living among my friends and family, or using my local services? 

We live in what is called a democracy.  It allows me the freedom to say things that people may find offensive.  Democracy doesn't entitle you to an apology if you're one of those offended.  I have to say that preventing people like Pastor Terry Jones and Dutch politician Geert Wilders from entering this country offends ME. Not because I agree with the things they say, but because I defend to the death their right to say it. My argument is that sometimes we're too tolerant of the religious views of some minorities, and this is something totally different to racism. It's just easier for you to call me racist because it means you don't have to have a difficult discussion. 

Anyway, moving on.

Now, as for this disabled student twat being dragged out of his wheelchair. (Sorry, have I used the wrong term there? Is disabled still acceptable, or what?) If you are going to misbehave and cause all manner of trouble for the police, you deserve all you get.  The fact that you happen to be in a wheelchair and may have a mild affliction does not automatically entitle you to behave like a total fuckwit. Nor does it mean that you are above the law. We've all seen the footage of the Plod begging you and your brother to calm down before you got tipped out of your happy-wagon, remember?  You were behaving like an arse.  And if you were behaving like an arse in a pub or on the street towards me, I'd have tipped you out of your fucking wheelchair too.  Because let's face it, you're less dangerous out of it, aren't you.  This matter is at the very core of the equal rights you demand.

I admit, the way in which the above is presented is not politically correct. Either way it gets the job done and puts the point across without fannying around or putting ribbons and bows on it. 

I am permanently pessimistic about humanity. Days like today serve only to compound my pessimism. Before you start using words like 'racist' and saying that I'm a 'disgrace', have a look at yourself. Who do you offend with your over-intellectual views? Who you do you exclude by trying to be the fountain of all moral fortitude? 
Only 1 of 410 people took issue with my remark. Enough said. 
Which one of us is more offensive?

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

It's Winter. Fucking Deal With It.

This last weekend, I visited the lovely cities of Ieper in Belgium, and Lille in France. This is an annual trip where I take my dear mum and auntie along with me, enabling them each to purchase 6 months' worth of booze and whatever other old shite they can find.

I was rather worried about having to drive to Folkestone for the Euro Tunnel shuttle to Calais and beyond, but putting my concerns aside, I diligently drove around the M25 and then the M20. Yes, it was a bit hairy on the black ice and whatnot, but we made it all the same.

Upon reaching the Calais it became apparent that our lovely French cousins had seen a bit of snow, too. Well, a lot of snow, actually. I also noticed that their roads appeared to be clear despite the snow and the sub-zero temperatures. I was absolutely fucking astounded. For Christ knows how long now, we've had various meteorologists telling us that it's going to be 'very cold' and that we're going to have 'snow'.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it not fucking winter? Just what excuse can we have in this country for allowing a bit of snow to bring the entire country to a fucking standstill? I had to laugh at Herts Highways Twitter feed which stated that: 'Gritters on standby, road temperatures below zero, snow expected later, but we don't think it will settle'. WHAT IF IT DOES SETTLE?! What that feed should have read was 'Gritters on standby, we don't think. Ever.'.

We're all aware that the cost to the economy when the country is 'snowed in' under a few centimetres of snow is massive, so why the fuck don't they grit the bloody roads JUST IN FUCKING CASE? Surely they'd be better off having too much salt and grit rather than not enough? All this bollocks about how severe weather 'can't be predicted' and is 'unusual' just doesn't fly any more.  These twats are full of pathetic excuses.

On Saturday, I drove from Ieper to Lille, not a massively long journey, about a 45 minute drive.  It BUCKETED down with the white stuff. All the way. Chaos? No. Road closures? No. People sitting in cars on the hard shoulder? No. So what's the bloody difference? Everything! 

So the country becomes a bloody disaster zone because we are buried under a few centimetres of snow.  Jesus, ring the Pope. Call in the Army!

It's WINTER. Fucking deal with it!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Wenzel's Orgasmability

Something different for you today.

Today I visited Wenzel's in the unmitigated shithole that is Uxbridge and treated myself to a Crispy Bacon and Egg Mayonnaise roll.  While I was disappointed that the employees were of the Polak variety, I have to say that I was delighted with the quality of my roll.  It was fairly large, and I couldn't fault the asking price of £1.60 despite my proclivity to a good old haggle. The bacon was indeed crispy and that's no bad thing, because there's nothing worse than floppy bacon in a roll in my opinion.  I was also pleased with the quality of mayonnaise that had been lovingly blended with the large chunks of egg.  Honestly, the whole thing was a taste sensation!

The only area of disappointment was that Wenzel's only sell Welsh mineral water in their Uxbridge shop.  I'm loath to drink water from the Principality that gave us Neil Kinnock, irritating shrieking gobshite Charlotte Church, and that strumpet with the intolerable accent from The One Show.  In fact, I'd rather drink my own piss.  It wasn't until I'd finished drinking it that I realised what I'd done.  Bloody good job that I have the whole weekend to detox with copious amounts of alcohol.

Anyway, pay Wenzel's a visit! They make good stuff.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

For Fucks Sakes...

Those of you who know me will be aware that I am, on a daily basis, becoming increasingly fucked off with people in general.  I feel constantly let down by my fellow humans.  That's if some of them are human at all, because I'm seriously beginning to wonder. 

We've all got our pet hates, and it'd be fair to say that I have more than most people.  I assume it's part of getting older?


Recent Annoyances:

Why do I have to wait for ten minutes at my local to get a pint?

Why, when I half-jokingly complain (because despite your inability to be altogether effective in your role, I do concede that you're generally likeable) that I've been waiting for ten minutes, do you always look at me like something that just dropped out of a dog's arse and say:  'Well, I'm working on my own', or 'I was running food', when really what you mean is that you just suffered an horrific triple fracture of your eyelash and it required immediate attention or the whole world would suddenly have come to a shuddering halt.

Why do young men have hair styles that actually belong on young women?

Why can't I park my car without a spotty PCSO (with one of the above hairdos) telling me that my rear bumper is hanging over the mong space by four inches?  If the people using the mong spaces drove those little blue invalid carriages like they used to instead of government subsidised dribble wagons they'd HAVE ENOUGH ROOM, wouldn't they!

Why do women drive 4x4 vehicles?  Do they all live on farms?  Or are they just pretentious cock gobblers who delight in the corpulence of their husband's wallet, while all at the same time feeling it necessary to share their deranged delusions of grandeur with the rest of us?  I'm rather leaning toward the latter.


Now, Facebook just irritates the bloody life out of me.  Not so much the concept itself, more the fact that people tend to play out their whole lives on there for the whole world to see. 

I don't care if you've split up with Marvin. 

Or that the reason you split up with Marvin is because Kaz told you he shagged your best friend, her mum, and her dog. Twice.

I don't care that you're back 'in a relationship' with Marvin because you found out that the part about him shagging the dog belonging to your best friend's mum wasn't true.  Or at least that's what Kaz's friend, Shaz, told you.

I don't give a fuck that Kaz is a lying bitch.

And I won't give a fuck when, in 9 months time, Shaz'll be up the stick with Marvin's sprog because they both turned out to be unmitigated liars, and the night Shaz was watching Marvin allegedly shag your best friend, her mum, and the dog (twice), he was actually shagging Shaz and Kaz.

I don't give a fuck about Farmville, and no, I don't want to join in  And stop fucking poking me. 

I always assume the reason you're putting an invite to your 'party' on Facebook is because none of the people you spend any time with on a daily basis can be arsed with you when you're sober, never mind drunk.  Moreover, you need to get an idea of numbers so as you know whether to book the Savoy or just stick with the telephone box as planned.

Honestly, it's absolutely mind-numbing.  I just want to know if there are any REAL people out there?

Hello? Hello?!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


It's that time of year again.  I was browsing through my photographs of Belgium and France earlier today, and came across this beauty.  Tyne Cot Cemetery.  It is impossible to even begin trying to imagine what these brave men went through to ensure that I am able to air my views on this blog today.  When I visit these war graves and monuments my pride is overtaken by a sense of interminable sorrow at the complete waste of life that was The Great War, and every other war before and since.  

I'm not sure if these men would have fought were they to know what this country would become, but their courage in the face of impossible odds should never be forgotten, nor taken for granted.  Along with their present day counterparts, they deserve nothing other than our complete respect and gratitude for putting their lives on the line for the ideals that each of us hold so dear.

We will remember them.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Katy Perry or Cheryl Cole?

I'm leaning towards Katy Perry, myself.  The only downside is that Russell Brand's love truncheon has already been there.

Still, even that's better than having Ashely Cole's seconds, I suppose.

Modern Football, Danny Murphy, Indiscipline, Diving, and the Offside Rule.


First of all, I'm not sure that Mark Hughes should be wagging the finger at referees and linesmen about the application of the laws of the game given as he spent a fair part of his career breaking them - class player though he was.

So the offside rule. To me, it makes not a jot of difference that my beloved Spurs had the benefit of Mike Dean's decision on Saturday, the offside rule is a total joke.  Quite why FIFA had to complicate a perfectly good, workable rule that everyone understood  is beyond me.  I accept that it was done to promote attacking football, but clearly the interpretation of the rule is so blurred now that no one really knows what's going on.  There is an art to defending.  Arsenal under George Graham are a perfect example, it helped them to great success in the late 80's and early 90's.  You don't have to be a fan of the type of football - and God knows I'm not - to appreciate that it was effective, and that his team had the discipline and the know-how to do it to great effect.  FIFA go on about how referees should have discretion in their application of the laws of the game. The old offside rule was simple in that a linesman or a referee could use their discretion as to:

a) Whether or not they felt a player was interfering with play by standing in an offside position


b) Whether or not a player was seeking to gain an advantage by standing in an offside position.


c) Whether or not a player was just plain offside.

What FIFA have done by talking about phases of play and so on has done nothing other than to confuse fans, players, and officials into having 101 different views, none of which appear to be completely correct.  The Spurs goal on Saturday should not have stood.  The second Everton goal yesterday should not have stood. Both William Gallas and Aiyegbeni Yakubu were standing in offside positions, and I honestly believe that they are equally offside. None of this rubbish that neither of them touched it the ball.  Gallas threw a leg at the ball in the hope he was going to get a touch to it.  Yakubu was standing directly in front of Pepe Reina, blocking his view.  In my view, the way to deal with the issue is to give discretion back to the referees and linesmen.  Go back to applying the offside rule sensibly - if you're offside and hanging a leg out for a ball, or if you're stood in front of the goalkeeper blocking his view, accept that you're offside and get on with it. However, while I disagree with Mike Dean's decision to allow Spurs' second goal on Saturday, I applaud him for having the balls to apply the laws of the game as he saw fit at the time.


Now, Danny Murphy and his views on dangerous tackles and indiscipline. He really ought to keep his daft mouth shut on matters of discipline.  Particularly when you consider that I for one can remember last season in the Europa League when he got himself sent off for a moment of sheer petulance in the last minute of a tie with Shakhtar Donetsk.  It's all very well, Danny, if you're whiter than white yourself and you come out with these remarks about the behaviour of other teams and their staff. But for someone who currently sits at number 58, with 46 yellow cards, on a list of all 2016 players ever to have been booked in the Premier League, you might want to start weeding your own garden before looking over the fence at those of your fellow professionals.  Enough said about that, really.


On to Mr Chamakh and his Tom Daleyesque display of diving so far this season.  Funnily enough, I can see why the referee was conned on Saturday into giving Arsenal their penalty.  Doesn't alter the fact that it was a dive, and diving is cheating.  Mr Chamakh has won 5 penalties this season for Arsenal.  Some teams don't get 5 penalties in a season. I can think of at least 3 of those penalties where the consensus among fans - even those of the team he represents - and pundits alike was that Mr Chamakh had gone down like he had been clobbered by a giant invisible frying pan.  But fair play to him, a 60% cheat-to-conversion-rate isn't bad for a team with a manager who repetitively extols the virtues of fair play.  Which brings me on to my next point.


I'm not going to sit here and batter Arsene Wenger for the sake of battering him.  After all, a lot of what he says is pure common sense, and to argue with every point of view of someone who has had his success is just ridiculous.  So believe me when I say that I'm not writing this as an Arsene Wenger hater, or just because it makes me feel better as a Spurs fan if I give the Gooners and their manager a bit of stick.  I'm writing this because I hate some of the things Arsene Wenger says.

Mr Wenger:  It simply is not good enough to sit in judgement of the style of football played by everyone else just because it no longer fits in with your idea of how the game 'should' be played - and I'll tell you why.  When you were winning things, it was perfectly acceptable for members of your squad to behave like animals.  It hasn't always been quick passing and silky skills, Arsene

Patrick Vieira - 78 yellow cards, 8 red.

Gilles Grimandi - 23 yellow cards, 3 red.

Martin Keown - 49 yellow cards, 5 red.

Emmanuel Petit - 15 yellow cards, 3 red.

(To name only 4)

Now, we could go into the stats a bit deeper and analyse how many appearances they each made - not that many in the case of Grimandi and Petit - but what'd be the point? None, because the point is already proven.  Anyway, just to drive it home a bit further, and this is the part that makes any rhetoric he comes up with about everyone else completely obscene in my view, Arsene Wenger presides over a club that, in the all time discipline league, sits in 42nd place out of a possible 44 teams.  Worse than Bolton, Wimbledon, Blackburn, Stoke, Leeds, Leicester, Birmingham, Wolves and everyone else apart from Chelsea and Everton. 

I don't entirely disagree with Mr Wenger's view on tackling.  What I will say is that it was fine for Arsenal to behave like the very teams he is so quick to accuse of using thuggish tactics when it was bringing him success and silverware.  It was fine to miss the bad tackles.  It was fine for him to defend Patrick Vieira when he spat in Neil Ruddock's face after having been sent of during a game against West Ham United.  English fans aren't stupid, Arsene, we don't forget these things.  Even recently, and on more than one occasion, he has seen fit to walk from the dugout straight down the tunnel with his nose in the air instead of offering his hand to the manager of the opposition.  All too frequently it appears that he doesn't practice the very things he perpetually harps on about.  Where's the fairness, respect, sportsmanship, grace?  Maybe it's a good thing that he was put in a position on Saturday where he couldn't defend the indefensible.

To make my position completely clear on all of the above, and before I get a whole shitload of Gooners coming down on me like a ton of bricks, I will offer you a summary - and this will be as balanced as everything above.

No one team is whiter than white.  No one player is completely innocent.  I don't believe that players fall into such tight stereotypes as people put them in.  I don't believe that any player goes onto the field of play with a mind to hurt a fellow professional.  I don't believe that Jack Wilshere intentionally went in studs-up on Nikola Zigic on Saturday.  I don't believe that Ryan Shawcross, Karl Henry, or Nigel De Jong deliberately went in to break the legs of Aaron Ramsey, Bobby Zamora, or Hatem Ben Arfa.  The point is that Zigic could have been injured just as badly as a result of a mistimed, ill-judged moment of over-exuberance from one of the finest young players this country has seen for years.  What makes a  mockery of Mr Wenger is that this player happens to be one of his own, and it appears that not even he, the great Arsene Wenger, can keep his own players from making grave errors of judgement.

Tony Pulis, Mick McCarthy, or Sam Allardyce do not have their teams playing a style of football that fills me with joy.  However, I don't have to like it.  Football is a contact sport and should remain that way.  We each have different ideas of how it should and shouldn't be played, but it's not for the purists of this world to tell people like Pulis, McCarthy, and Allardyce that their style is wrong.  

It most certainly is not the place of players and managers who have struggled to maintain their own discipline and that of their teams down the years to be acting like judge and jury on the perceived ill conduct of their fellow professionals.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

My Dad Was Cool

I was 14 when he died in 1992.

When I was 14, anyone in their 50's was ancient.  My dad was 54, and now I recognise that 54 really is no age.

I just wanted to put something on here because we often laugh about my dad's little failings and foibles. We chuckle because he could be abrasive to the point of being amusing.  I remember his bluntness, and how it could be hurtful sometimes. I remember how he said exactly what he thought - and bugger the consequences. ( Don't know where I get that from?) 

I was thinking to myself... We remember these things because we've each inherited them in some way.  My sister, Lesley, is capable of giving you the same look as he did, and makes me laugh in the same way my dad did.

My brother, Graeme, has my dad's stoicism and sharpness of tongue. He even sounds a little bit like him, sometimes.

Mark inherited my dad's quietness, and the wisdom to know that sometimes it's better to listen than speak.

Andy forever holds dad in the highest esteem, and despite their differences, grew to love him and have the utmost respect for him. 

Sometimes I think all of us are little unfair towards dad, so just for little while, I'm going to defend him, because he was quite cool after all. (Despite his penchant for bad swimming trunks).

He liked The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who, and The Kinks. He liked Nat 'King' Cole, Jim Reeves, Roger Miller, and Dean Martin. He liked Kevin 'Bloody' Wilson, and the Fureys.

He watched Fawlty Towers, Monty Python, and 'Allo 'Allo.  He supported Luton Town Football Club.  He liked to watch Golf on the telly and laughed at Peter Alliss' commentary. He used to let me stay up late on a Wednesday to watch Sportsnight. 

He made the best potato cakes in the history of the universe.

He liked cough candy and blackcurrant and liquorice boiled sweets, and he'd eat them until his tongue was sore.

He took me to Cornwall, Scotland, Spain (twice), Ireland, Florida, France, The Lake District, Hatfield House, Kentwell Hall, Blenheim Palace, Lavenham, Portsmouth, HMS Belfast, The Cutty Sark, Cheddar Gorge, Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, London Dungeon, Farnborough Air Show, Hendon RAF Museum......  I'd be here all night if I listed all the places he's taken me.

He took me sledding when it snowed. He tried to teach me how to play golf. He played cricket with me.  He was a capable golfer himself.  He worked hard and made sure that I never wanted for anything.  He took care of my mum. He had a cracking sense of humour. He liked reading, and furthering his knowledge.  He took me to Harrow Model Shop and bought me a model yacht that we sailed together at Rickmansworth Aquadrome.
He used to drive fast over the bridge on Batchworth Lane in Northwood because it made my tummy go funny.

He taught me that one can never read enough.  He showed me that I should learn for myself the things I haven't been taught.

I'd give anything to spend a night in the pub with my dad, enjoying a pint together. And that is truly the only missing memory.

But before you think I'm a morbid old sod, I'm eternally proud of my dad, and despite him being a cranky bugger at times, there are genuinely no truly bad memories.  I know that we all miss him terribly.

And it's true.  My dad was cool.

Why I dislike committees.

Funny things, committees.

I am a member of a social group of people who share an interest. We work as a team. Now, as far as I'm aware, working as a team requires teamwork. Teamwork is not a by-word for how much members of the team like or dislike each other. A team doesn't require its members to even speak to each other in order to function effectively. 

Now committees are, generally, a pain in the arse. This is because they tend to be manned by people who like to embark on little power trips, those with inflated egos, and those who are slightly out of touch with both modernity and reality.  They tend to forget that they are an elected body. They are given that gift by the same people they continually let down. They also tend to forget that they can be removed as quickly as they were elected.

Now if I were to make an ambiguous remark on my personal Twitter feed, for example, and another member of my social group happened to take offence to that remark, should the committee become involved?  Now, bear in mind that this remark has not made directly in reference to another member, but that this person has chosen to interpret it in a certain way.

I am well aware that sometimes the things I say may not be to everyone's taste. I know that sometimes the things I say are offensive, and I know that I say them to elicit a certain response or to start an open discussion.  I will not apologise for being this way, or for saying the things I say.  Nor will I pander to the feelings of other people who happen to disagree with my sentiments.  Of course, that isn't to say that I don't listen or take on board what other people think, feel, or say - on the contrary, in order to have a rounded opinion on any matter, one has to listen to many well rounded arguments and points of view.  I proudly defend all of our right to free speech, and will not apologise for the things I say.  I'm not sorry if I offend.  No one is asking you to agree with the things I say. Nor is anyone making you read it.

Amazingly enough, the incident that sparked this writing does not directly involve me, or anything I have put in the public domain.  This stems from the execrable behaviour of a group of outdated, boorish, puffed-up, self absorbed people who think they are the moral authority on all things great and good, when in fact they serve on a panel alongside like-minded trolls whom, it would appear, believe it their divine right to police the personal websites of those who elected them.

So an ambiguous remark on a personal Twitter feed is then turned into an allegation of bullying. 

Then the person fuelling the flames of these allegations is guilty of the very thing s/he is alleging.

Furthermore, it transpires that s/he is a member of the same committee passing judgment on the person accused of bullying in the first instance.  Am I the only person having a bit of problem with this whole shebang?

When you give monkeys power, they're still monkeys. And monkey is as monkey does.

I'm certain that the people I'm talking about won't have the faintest idea that I'm talking about them, because they're too absorbed in their pathetic little power trips to take note of anything that us mere minions are doing.  They would do well to take note, though.

What I put on my personal Twitter feed is my business.  If you don't like my business, don't read about it.  If you do read about it, and you feel the need to manipulate it into something that offends you, don't expect me to justify it.  Don't be so silly as to think the attention and support of a group of vacillators will somehow prevent you being offended in future, or that their supercilious finger-wagging is miraculously going to stop me from posting the things I want to post - yes, even if you find it offensive.

Real people deal with their issues with other people face to face, by behaving like adults.  I'm 33. I don't need a mediator telling me what they think the other person needs to hear because I don't say the things I say to make anyone feel better. 

I am able to decide for myself what I wish for people to read or hear.  I leave it at your discretion whether or not you wish to read or hear it.

Ultimately, that is exactly what I'm talking about.