Friday, December 24

Christmas Eve

Well well well. Ho Ho Ho.

How nice of MIG to pop in and say happy Christmas.
It's been a pretty rotten year really, so hopefully this Christmas marks an end and a beginning too, as we cross from the bad old into the unknown but hopefully good new year

Mostly I am to be found on Twitter - @redantiques. Thursday is there but doesn't follow me back for some reason, and Fran too, but no one else I met here, so far, that I know of. I'd love anyone, everyone, to pop over there and say hello. I'm sure you'll enjoy it, and if you are a bit apprehensive - don't be. It's a laugh.

I'm on Facebook too, as me.

I feel good about 2011 and hope you all can share a great year with me. I sense huge personal changes. As for now, we are in yr 1 of the sixth form after a good crop of O levels, sorry, GCSEs, and anx-ing about university and what to read. Or whether to even apply.

Home life is back to single status again after a brutal dumping earlier in the year. Not kowing why is cruel, but there you go. I never will.

So, even though I am in year three of avoidance of the drop (other than in the odd tiramisu), I raise my glass of Ribena to each an every one of you. And with my red cheeks, grey hair and ruddy smile, I feel well qualified to wish you a very hearty and extraordinarily happy Christmas

Wednesday, February 24

I'm not laughing anymore

Because its not funny. £800 per week's worth of not funny. Having to sell everything that you treasured as a kid growing up to fund the £800 a week kind of not funny. Seeing family things go under the hammer, not funny. I feel like I am stealing from my son to sell things of my Mums to fund her £800 a week needs.
I've sold her home. I'm selling her furniture, her car. Where do I stop? What do I get to keep to remember my mum by? I have the husk of my mum, but I don't have my mum anymore. What does her only grandson get? He's only 16, but he's going to end up with nothing from her life, because the public guardian says I have to sell it all because the bloodyfucking government won't see dmentia as an illness and fund care.
She worked her whle working life after I was born in the NHS as an OT. And what does she have to show for it? She has dementia. She doesn't know her only son. She's only 82 (last Saturday).
And actually, its a very long way from being funny.

Friday, February 19

I only

have to slip away for a minute and everyone goes. All my blog-roll is dead as far as eye can see.

If you drop by again, do lead me easily to your new address

ta x

Thursday, February 18

There's never a thing on

"Come on Mum, let's see what's on Telly"
"Oh I hate that stupid telly. It's always the same programme. They just stand there waving there arms and not saying anything"
I try to look concerned and intelligent. It isn't easy.
"Oh dear, that sounds a bit odd. What programme is that"
"Oh I don't know what programme it is, it's called Mute"

Suits her

My mum has a new friend. He's called James. they met in the queue. I don't know what they were in a line for: nothing in her life requires a queue, anyway, apparently he tapped her on the shoulder.
She turned:
"I know you. I experimented on you when you were 6 or 8" He said.
"Gosh, so you did" She replied. How splendid that she had instantly recognised him, she told me. He is a most educated man and has the most marvellous facility with language. He helps people get to grips with new ones so quickly.
"How interesting Mum, how does he do that?"
And when she tells me I realise that of course this is the way forward. Its so simple I don't know why you, or I, haven't already thought of it.
The technique is to drill a small hole in the back of the person's head, and that allows the language to flow in easily.
Got it.
Only flaw I can see in the plan is that a mm or so to the left and you might end up with Portugese when you were hoping for Spanish.
"He's asked me if he can experiment on me again soon"
"What did you say?"
"that I'd think about it"
"Shall we see what's on Telly, Mum?"

Thursday, April 30

Nothing here

Nothing new. Nothing to say. Am twittering away (RedAntiques) and getting the hang of it. Time remains a premium. Life remains something I don't find as easy as others seem to. So, no change there and no change that I have little to say. So I'm not saying it.

Rather well I think you'll agree

(But I was right about Gordon)

Saturday, February 28

Lets all hate Ebay

I am contemplating murder.

I loathe Ebay and I want to destroy it completely. Simple murder is too kind. A horrid painful death involving boils and rottingness seems mild, really. Ebay's death should be quick (as in soon) but extremely horrid. really nasty, just so it finds out what it feels like to be an Ebay customer, even if only for a few minutes. That'll learn it.

Ebay seems to stand for so much that is horrible, especially in this dawning new day and age. With the CC crunching away, we seem to be entering a new era. Ebay will take years to catch on, if it ever does. It stands for so much that is vile. Presumption, rudeness, restrictive trading practices and so on. It perceives itself above the law, continuing, for example, to make knives and alcohol available to the under-aged. Ebay - their word is law, even if that word is actually outside the law. And Ebay fails to service its sellers. I know you are not interested in my Ebay ranting, but it is a vile monopoly and, PLEASE, can someone rich start up a meaningful alternative. Like, NOW? It would 't need to do much, just offer a decent customer service along with the one thing Ebay doesn't understand and that's choice.

It feels like going back a century going onto Ebay. Which begs the question, where is the 21stc alternative? And why has it taken so damn long?

And then along came 'Anon' and showed me Bonanzle - never heard of it; it looks great. There must be other places, not Amazon and not Craig, but different places that are starting to get going and that deserve to drain Ebay of its life blood. Let's make a list: which is UK based
ebid also UK based

Saturday, February 21

Do you Twitter?
I'm trying it as "RedAntiquesMan"

It's a lot quicker than this, and I rarely have the time for this now.

See you there?

Wednesday, January 14

Me Miss, please Miss, me Miss

I saw it Miss.

The first one of the Spring

Honest Miss.

Here, look Miss, I took a photo. I took it on Jan 12th 2009.

The first mower of spring. Honest Miss.

He must be Cuckoo, Miss

Wednesday, December 24

And can I just say

to all the king morons who sell on ebay its is BROOCH ok? Not broach but BROOCH.
It isn't hard. And while I'm on it, it is Jewellery rather than Jewlry. And Century rather than Centuary.

But broach? Please.

I'm sorry I had to bring this up.

PS. I knew you wouldn't believe me, so here's today's Ebay stunner:

Edwardian air loom treaured old unit (sic &, er sic)


Happy Christmas everyone (both of you).

Have a great time and I hope to be back in the new year with ruminations on .... nothing of any interest, I can promise you that. So more of the same then.


Tuesday, December 16


also known as a cable.

and that's what I got. A 5m usb cable and so far, everything crossed, my internet speed has risen from dead stop to satisfactory because I can hang my dongle out the window (insert own joke here).

yesterday for example, between 10am and 5pm I managed to upload two books to ebay for sale (check out The Name of the Rose, or Magellan to find my shop). Today, since 5:15 and now (about 6pm) I'm already on my second book.


it looks like I may be able to bore you with my self-pity again soon.

happy holidays to all

Monday, December 15

And A Very..

... Happy Christmas to you.

Struggling with a very fickle internet connection. I have to use a dongle these days and the connection is, to say the least, a little hit and miss. It is also slow.

Like me, you may just be old enough to remember dial-up connection. Well hello, that's what I have, in terms of speed anyway. Conducive to blogging it is not.

One day I will get sort, but that will take something I don't have: money.

Plenty of changes to report, one day, when I have the item and the connections.

Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, May 7


Having a rest.
Sleeping on the job.

May be some time.
Maybe sometime?

Friday, April 4

Rien a dire

Not a lot to report here:

Currently listening to Elbow, The Seldom Seen Kid, which I can highly recommend. Not least because the elder teenagers in our house give a snort of derision when the name Elbow comes up. Always to be recommended - causing the teenagers to deride one's 'old' taste. We are not teenagers, after all. A certain degree of sophistication must have stuck after all these years.

And reading/read Tracey Chevalier's Burning Bright. Why does she write as though English is about her third language? Is she really French? She takes interesting ideas, then dilutes them to within a whimsy of being dull, and expresses these diluted ideas in tortured English. How can a book about Blake, even is he is vestigial to the story, be dull? I don't know, but Chevalier has managed it. Weakened initial premise, poor writing and dull denouement. Absolute certain proof that critics and awards/film script writers are poor judges.

Curiously, as Chevalier is let down by her use of words, they are one of the intriguing thing about the Elbow album (another horse snort from teenagers whenever I say Album. I had to translate it once into Yoof speak). The opener, Sparrows, is a stonking great love song "you are the only thing in it when you are in a room" delivered in a broad northern accent. And all hail to the band for sticking to their roots and especially the singer for not affecting a mid-Atlantic non-accent. Mind you, the words don't always work that well. He, the lyricist, obviously has spent far too long in betting shops: "a horse fit for glue" is not great, but the idiosyncrasies of their lyrics and rhythms make for an intriguing and rewarding listen. Not first time, but there was enough here to make me come back and back and now I think its one of the albums of the year.

If you've got this far you may as well indulge me with my recommendation for Nick Lowe too. At My Age is a good album, as is the oddness of the lyrical direction in some of the songs; I Trained Her To Love Me as one example, gives pause. Makes me laugh. Which is why I'm delighted he's at Cornbury this year as I've got my tickets and will be there. Other people seem pleased it's Paul Simon on top of the bill. Me, I'm pleased it's Nick Lowe.

There you go, nothing to say, said in several hundred words.

Thursday, March 20

Taking a break

Taking a few days away. Had a death to deal with, and need a break

See you in a week or so if you're still here.


Wednesday, March 12

God is in the ... detail?

They say that real men cry at football (I'm real, then).

But really real men cry at confirmation services.

Amid a lot of grunting and protestation the fruit of my loins agreed to be consecrated or something. His mum wanted it, I didn't. But hey, I'm not really bothered one way or the other as long as Mr Fruit was OK with it. Thus, eventually, after months of moaning about the weekly lessons, it happened last Sunday.

It all took me a bit by surprise. No, no, obviously I knew it was coming, and the date and time and so on some time ago. No the actual thing.

As you know, and I didn't, the service is taken by a Bish, in a big hat. White because it's Lent. No, not borrowed... but Lent, you know, Easter and no chocolate ... oh I give up.

Anyway, Bish asked us, the audience, er, congregation, to stand when the person we were supporting was called up for the laying on of the hands.

There were several; a veritable production line of candidates. We were due to be stood for about No 5 or 6, I forget, but he was the last of the 'young persons'. So the first one goes up and a number of people stand up, perhaps ten. Then next one and a similar number creaked onto their feet.

Then the next and no one stood up. Not in my vision anyway. I turned to look, and eventually saw just one woman standing.

I felt my eyes itch.

Next up; a really geeky enthusiatic boy with a huge smile nearly as bug as his NHS glasses and full of crooked teeth. He was wearing a cream shirt, and a tie.

And he had a beam that was illuminating the whole church. HE was so happy to be there and doing this thing.

I looked for his supporting family, and again there was no one. Not a sausage. Someone told me later his gradfather was there, but I didn't see him.

I twitched, I wanted to stand, but I don't know them from, er , Adam. But I did support them, silently.

And I developed a strong cold that required the immediate and urgent application of tissue.

Mr Fruit came and about a gazillion of us stood up.

And that was kind of worse because it reinfirced how loved and supported he is despite his (verbal) reluctance to do this, and yet those two little waifs before him ...

There was something deeply admirable (and thought provoking) in their strength and determination to get to this point in their lives as Christians. I may not share their faith, but bloody hell, I was moved.

For your elucidation, this is the actual hat referred to above (no ersatz substitutes here on EL):

Monday, March 10

How do you spell that again?

My teenager turned 14 last month and this seems to have propelled him into the age of the 'grunt'. Trouble is he's dragged me along too, kicking and screaming.

It's an amazing change in him. He's taken non-communication to new levels. Even when texting,
For two days a week, he is with his mum, and thus we text quite a lot. But nothing prepared me for the 'teen grunt-speak' by text.

The other day I got one that just read "Yh". Now if that isn't how you spell a teenage grunt, I don't know what is.

Friday, March 7


Thought that would get you attention Thursday. I am quite convinced there are a lot of slightly risque and definitely cringe making puns to be had about my Thursday activities, but I'll leave you, oh gentle four readers, to make your own jokes.

For, actually, it's Mig who I need to tell something to. I know you're not going anymore Mig, but you have competition. There is a photographer selling photos. There seemed to be of pretty flowers and so on.

She's an amazingly grumpy woman.

She drives a Subaru. She leaves her car wherever she pleases, blocking the aisles and making life difficult for those around her.

Well, she did yesterday. Perhaps under her gruff exterior beats a heart of gold. Perhaps she'll learn the ways, whys and wherefores of the market.

But her prescence was not appreciated yesterday by the nearby stall-holders (that's not me, luckily). I have no information as to whether she was appreciated by the 'punters' of Oxford. However, I had another good day, selling all but one chair (and those two rotten lights) of the furniture you see above.

My guess is the recession is really beginning to bite now.

And that's got to be good news.

Thursday, March 6

Bronzed, but no six pack

The light and the mirror in our little loo at work conspire to make one's reflection look bronzed. I always feel better after a quick look at the healthy looking , if not quite God-like unless god is an overweight middle-aged salt and pepper ol' git, face that stares back at me.

I leave the loo and pale into insignificance

Wednesday, March 5

I am told "you make your own luck"

Does anyone, may I enquire, have the recipe? And would you be willing to share?

With gratitude in perpetuity, etc., I remain yours, the Beep.

Tuesday, March 4

Memories and stories

This is in the park near our home. It's rather tucked away, so I only saw it for the first time yesterday.

It has a story, doesn't it? I imagine they were lovers, rather disparate ages (22 years between them), but I'll let that little detail pass: it's been known. He (or she) died at the tender age of 71 and she (is Krysia a girl's name? And yes, Alex could also be female) at the even more tender 49, perhaps of a broken heart. In my mind's story it is a broken heart.

Or perhaps they were father and daughter/mother and daughter/father and son... etc., who used to walk the park daily and died so soon one after the other that their distraught remaining relative(s) planted this Judas tree in memoriam of their own broken heart.

But a Judas tree? Maybe the truth is a lot less romantic, and there is hurt and pain and anger there too. All of human life in fact. Especially the last bit.

There aren't very many plaques in the park, so they must have had some special reason to go through the process to donate the tree and pay for planting and the plaque's post and so on. It meant a lot to someone at the time. Does it mean so much now, I wonder?

Last Thursday - did quite well.

Monday, March 3

it's all gone tits up

have you ever had a period in your life when EVERYTHING (everydamnfuckingthing) you do, touch or attempt goes horribly, terribly, appallingly wrong?

If so, does it last for ever, or is it just a phase?

I'd really like to know.

It's a very personal interest of mine just now.

Thank you for any assistance you may be able to offer.

Stone the bloody crows

a FLICKR of life for you...

Sunday, February 24


Bad pun, I know.

Not the first, won't be that last. But it's a post...

Friday, February 15

England Footy: hopes soar.

I see Steve McClaren is saying he would "manage abroad".

Perhaps he could take on another country's team.

And then we might stand a chance of winning something.


Been to the market three times in 08: each one has been really good. Including yesterday, which looked a little like this:

Leopards and spots

Once you've been around the block a few times, you begin to tire of it. The view around each corner is the same as it was last time, and going round and round gets tedious, if not dull.

So it is with fashion. So it is with politics. And so it is with business. What goes around (you) comes around (the same corner again, and lo! the view is the same again. Yawn)

My mild fulmination about the unjustness of the foretold closure of Planet Rock below bought to mind a time when I was employed. And enjoying it. With hindsight this event is about when I stopped enjoying it. I"m going to be a bit woolly in a pitiful attempt to prevent you realising that the company I'm talking about is.... oh no, you won't fool me like that. But it was close.

Anyway, said company is a household name, most especially among the Radio 4 classes who rely on it for all sorts of cover. This last word is a clue. But no names, no pack drill.

Sometime before I arrived at the swish (ha ha ha) ad agency for whom I worked, they had undertaken a lot of expensive work for this household name company. Said company had commissioned tens of thousands of pounds-worth of time and creative stuff, only to dispute the payment, and reject the work. So you can imagine my boss's surprise when said work turned up almost entirely as created by the agency in the press and so on a few months later. They tried to sue but were told it was the work of a different agency and only similar because the brief was the same and so on and so forth. The weasel that has been used before and doubtless will be again: it s really hard to 'own' a creative solution to anything. Tweak it only a morsel and you have whole new cut of beef.

So, imagine my surprise when, about 6 or so years later, the brief or some new mailings and literature for this house-hold name arrived on my desk on day. I knuckled down, pleased to be working on an account with this level of prestige and did good work for them. The designers designed and I copy wrote several items; many thousands of words. They LOVED it, best work ever, hit the brief spot on, etc etc.

I know, I know - you are ahead of me, but you, like I did then are going to have to wait. Although you won't have to wait as long as I did. I only heard on the grapevine some months later that the company had done the same thing. Refused to pay, citing creative differences and so on and so forth.

So you can, as they say, imagine my surprise, when, as a memeber of said company's client base, I recieved my own mailing in the post some weeks later. I took it in to my boss and showed him where about 6 words had been changed in more than a side of A4. Less than 10%. It was MY work!

I may have said something infelicitous. The rot set in, and about two years later I was out. Things were never quite the same. It may have been this incident. It may have been something else. It may be my imagination as the partners in charge argued and split up anyway when one of their other-halves died. It was a messy end. But fun while it lasted.

Up to a point.

Anyway the point of this is to illustrate a truth: corporations don't change. Can't change. So why on earth did Planet Rock's owners think owning a radio station was a good idea? It was bound to end in tears. They mainline on generating electricity.

Personally, I favour either me buying it for 50p, or some rich rocker putting some of his music royalty cheques into it so that we fans can keep on rocking.

Anyone seen my air guitar?

Planet Rock, you will be missed

Sad old man that I am, I do like a bit of rock. So much so that I have a DAB in the office, and a newly acquired one by my bed with the simple objective of finding me rocking stations to listen to. A bit of Led Zep sprinkled among the pearls of other guitar led, loud rawk music does me a power of good.

And why not, Barry? We all listen to the music we was dragged up on through our formative later teen years, and I'm no different. Ye Gods and little fishes, I even learn to crank out old rock songs with my guitar 'teacher' (teacher being a euphemism for someone who comes and shows me how he would play it and that helps me work out how to do it properly so it actually sounds like the song. Yes, yes, I know I should replace him with a real guitar teacher. One, sigh, day). Anyway, last time it was Since You've Been Gone, by Rainbow. Not one of Ritchie's finest hours, but anyway I digress*.

I should point out that as I write a four CD set of Grateful Dead is transferring itself into iTunes.

You are, at this stage, beginning to get the idea perhaps.

So you can imagine my displeasure on hearing that on 28 March 2008, Planet Rock will play its last tune and cease broadcasting unless its owner, who I THINK is GEC, can find a buyer.

If I had the money I would buy it. I don't, but I could chip in a fiver. Anyone there got the balance and want to jump in with me?

Perhaps the listeners could club together and buy it. I don't suppose it will be all that exensive if the alternative is closure: that seems to point to it having a value to its parent of around, er, nil.

So I guess we are talking about enough dosh to keep it going for a year or two. With half a million listeners, ten pounds each for a share would be enough. Surely?

OK. I'm glad we sorted out the principle. If someone would now help me understand the practice, we'll get this listener share buy-out underway forthwith.

More digressions: me on guitar, son on drums and step-sod on bass. We're the rockin family comin' at ya.

Tuesday, February 5

Empty heart

Our little market town is dying. It claims to be the oldest continually* inhabited town in England (as does Glastonbury, but we're older, get over it Glasto). Doesn't look like we'll make the next 800 or so years.
A flurry of shops has closed,

or is in the process of closing.

Some say it's because of the new one-way system.

But more likely is the rents. Especially in this deserted arcade: a monstrosity exemplifying the worst of 60's design

They want £47000 p.a. for this shop. No wonder it has stood empty for more than a year.

We were discussing what to do about Abingdon over supper last night. And between us we came up with a non-fatal version of Gears of War; the boys' favourite XBox game. So I guess we are expecting the place to become a massive paint-ball park.

Actually it does sound rather fun (can you tell there are four boys to one girl?).

And more people would come to see us if we were a 50 acre paint-ball site, a bit like those army towns they used to use for urban warfare training.

Can't think that much else is going to revitalise it.


I took all the piccies above last weekend in about a 20 minute burst. From this urban desert, we went to the business park: Argos, Homebase and so on. It was heaving. You had to queue to get on, queue for a parking space and queue in every shop.

There is so much that needs sorting out. This is a really depressing place to live, and I suspect it's a picture repeated up and down the country. And that my friends, is very worrying.


Remember, visit Easily Lead as often as you can to restore your sunny mood and to be cheered on your way.

*Does this mean there is one older, but that as not continuously inhabited? Wha?

Saturday, February 2

I could feel the eyes on me

Only I didn't know they were there until I edited the photo for Flickr. Here's the full, unexpurgated shot:

Friday, February 1


I can't help feeling a touch of schadenfreude* over Derek Conway.

Some millenia ago I was shacked up with the offspring of an MP. Said MP is dead now, so no point in trying to figure out who s/he was.

There is a side of their life that the public doesn't see, and the truth is that family of an MP suffers enormously for, in theory, no reward. The MP is rarely at home; children grow up minus a parent, and if said MP's constituency is miles from London then it must be even worse. And weekends? Forget it. Apart from the constant rounds of fetes and WI meetings, there's the bloody telephone, and the damn thing never stops "my dog is stuck in the cat flap...", "my neighbour is shouting..." "I don't think the fire station is providing the right level of cover..", genuine concerns mixed up with irrelevant trivia. And who gets to answer it? The family. Because the MP is never at home. Or if there, asleep. Yes, thoughtlessly asleep in the middle of the night. Yes, even if your bloody dog is stuck in the cat flap and being shouted at by your neighbour and the fire service aren't there within 2 seconds. Even then.

I bet Conway's son had a good education at a good school. Great, but I also bet he'd have chucked that in to have a dad able to watch him play in matches, in concerts, in plays or whatever. A dad who turned up to parents evenings, and who, when he promised to turn up to something, anything, actually did. In my experience, calls from central office would have led to promise after promise lying in tatters on the floor.

I bet the boys would have preferred to have a dad who could take an active part in their lives, rather than leaving it all up to mum. A dad who was more than dimly aware of what class they were in, what GCSEs they were taking, who their friends were and so on.

And the 70 or so Tory MP's wives who work for their husbands do a hell of a lot for the money, even if they never go into the office, or write a single report. Children, post and that bloody telephone would be enough. Add-in fetes and so on and they really earn their money.

I lived with this young lady for some months. She was a cracker, really gorgeous (sorry, I digress). In all our time together, which included going out for a while, then finding a flat and then actually living together: a total of several months if not a year or more, I met the MP on about four occasions in the whole relationship, and that was for about three minutes each time. I bet if you'd asked the MP wouldn't even have known where said daughter was living, let alone who with.

So if you expect me to be pro- or even anti-Conway, you'd be half right. Of course no one should be allowed to break the law, but part of me thinks actually, you know what, they deserved a bit of something for the damage to their lives, and if a few grand helps a student get through uni, or a young man get off the ground then I don't think it's such a big deal when you consider the high price they have already had to pay. And they didn't get any choice in the matter.

The family of my MP all benefited in some pecuniary way as well as in many others; it can be very helpful to have an MP in the family. But I don't begrudge them. There have to be some compensations, and the truth is that a large part of me knows that the cost to each individual far outweighs any salary.

Dons hard hat, and ducks behind the barricade.

*You know, as I started to write this post I was going to be venal, and then schadenfreude would have been appropriate. But as I wrote and thought and wrote my views changed, so this line is totally innapproriate as the post stands. But I like it, so what the heck? I'll leave it in.

Thursday, January 31


For the second time this year my dear old Jenny has been violated.

There she was minding her own business on Friday night when some little (Dave, if you are here, look away now) fuckers ripped into her. They bent her wipers back and ripped off both her mirrors. They 'keyed' the door, but that's the least of her worries; at her age a few more scratches and dents simply join the other scars of life. She wears them with pride.

Apparently these little shitbags did 15 other cars around and about. And many had a lot more damage than I suffered. All were keyed, including the OOGFs car*.

So on top of the dilemma about her MOT, I had to face the extra cost of new mirrors and so on. Another £100.00.

Actually, in an amazing and kind act a very generous (non-blood) relative saw to the cost of replacing the mirrors so I didn't have to worry about that additional cost. And she limped through her MOT too: so we're all set to smoke out Oxon for another year (my advice; steer well clear).

Last time they smashed her windscreen. That cost me £60 excess and a half day when I couldn't work. They did several cars that night too.

Now, I wonder, will she make a trip to France? And back.

*Cost to resolve about £300. Times that by 15 (and that's just the ones that were reported) and their little jaunt is not such a minor act of vandalsm but a £4000 to £5000 crime, and that puts it up a notch or six. And if it's the same lot that did our windscreens, they could be getting up to the £10k mark. Serious crime.

Worrying Signs

The rattle of shop doors as they close is becoming deafening round these parts.
Seems that not only must it go, but everything is going.
And the antiques trade is slow to stopped.

Worrying Signs indeed.

for more of my pics, click on an image in the slideshow on the right...

Wednesday, January 16


I am as usual, instead of working, wasting, nay, frittering time. I am seeking on the interwebhighway the name of a band reviewed in the latest Guitarist magazine. I have the magazine at home. I forgot to bring it to work.

I am thus spuriously inventing the need to search the interthingy as I quite liked the sound of the band in the review I read and I want to download some stuff of theirs and see if they are worth pursuing. I can't for the life of me remember their name.

I have an inkling though that it begins with G, so I am scrolling through the "G"s at my chosen download site and just wanted to share with you a few of the band names I have come across. Who was it who said youth was wasted on the young?* The following are all genuine band names, each with at least one recorded album to their name:

Gorefest, and their mates GoreGuts, Gothic Sex, Guts Pie Earshot, Ghastly City Sleep (whaaaa?), Gism (sic), Good For Cows, Groinchurn, and dear old Goatwhore and Goatvomit - gosh, how I love their stuff.
Naturally, as we are cruising the "G"s, God comes in for some, er, um, well, something: God Among Insects, God Is My Copilot, and the super group (to their mums, I'm sure) God Lives Underwater.

They forgot my latest favourite band God I Feel Old.

And after all that I never did find the name of the band I was really looking for. Probably not a G name at all. 'Spose I'll have to wait 'til I get home now. And 'spose I have to do some work in the meantime.

Although: I could blog about it nearly being my car's fourth anniversary (with me). I wonder if there's any mileage in that?

*Rhetorically posed: it was GBS. He who knew how to pronounce GHOTI

Tuesday, January 15

Hypocritic, Oaths may follow

As you know, I have a white van. And for those of you unable to bear the tension, she is going to .... wait for it, wait... pass her MOT.

So she'll be around a little while longer. And I will get to keep a few quid that I don't really have anyway.

Which is great news for me, but may not be so great for my neighbour. She who has banned me from parking my van within her sight. "I bought this house for the view of the park, not of your dirty white van" etc.

Frankly I got a bit cheesed off, and it has soured relations between us.

But I let out a most satisfactory hoot of laughter when I got up the other Sunday morning, just after Christmas. I peeled back the curtings and look what I saw outside said neighbour's;

But what you can't see is who emerged from the white van. Neighbour's daughter and grandchild.

Do you know what? I'm enjoying this!

Evening, 10th Jan

Anglesey last Thursday evening, on the camera phone

Idle thumbs

Sitting here twiddling my thumbs in a somewhat nervous way. I'm in the process of changing ISP from big anonymous interplanetary hard-sell company to small local friendly chaps, and email has ceased functioning altogether. When ringing I get comments along the lines of "that's odd", and "I wonder why ...". My confidence is moon-like; on the wane.

I never know, is the new moon a left crescent or a right one? Anyway, here's a suitably gothic picture from recent sojourn in Wales to go with my confidence:

And. And! The van is finally in the workshop being assessed as my two idle fingers tippety tap. Hey, it's only three working days late. No wonder the confidence is draining out of me.

Bag Man

Some favour Waitrose. Others go for Scummerfield. Few use Co-op as it is not yet built, but is on its way. The vast majority use Tesco.

I also favour Tesco's. Their bags aren't as, er, scrawny as the new Summerfield ones, nor do they have holes in like Waitrose's do. And that, I think you'll agree, is important when you are recycling their plastic bags. Via the dog shit bin.

Just as in shopping, it is Tesco's bags that dominate.


We have just come to a joint decision to avoid Tesco and revert, far later than most folk, to using high street shops and thus, I suppose, you will find me having to buy poo bags. I wonder where you get those... Tesco perhaps?

Wednesday, January 9

And its goodbye to her

Oh Lor, I think there is about to be a death in the family. White van man is about to become just man again. White van is soon to be no more.

She, and, as it's just us I can be frank here, she is most definitely a she and even has a name, Jenny (se
e number plate), is due for a MOT on Feb 6th. I have just handed over the keys to the garage and told them to check it; if it fails I have three weeks left in which to say my goodbyes before driving her to White Horse Metals and ... well, let's draw a veil, shall we? And fail she will. She's smoking more heavily now than at any time in her 19 years. Nineteen! I know, I know.

And ... I lent her to my office-mate who smacked her rear wing into oblivion. Foolishly I lent it to him a second time recently with stern warnings of not to do the same aga... but you are ahead of me, oh clever reader.

Of course he did, only on the other side. And 'forgot to tell me'. Yeah. Likely story.
But what really grieves me is that he has done absolutely NOTHING about either of these transgressions. No filler, no action, no nothing. And that has upset me. If Jenny fails on smoking, then fine, but if she fails on bodywork then the only smoke will be coming out of my ears.

I have to say, and I know you are riveted by this lamentation, that it will be the smoking what does her, oh and a bit of play in the steering and other mechanical faults. And most likely of all is that the diesel pump needs replacing and that's £500 or more on a van worth, er, £400 quid or a bit more. It's a no brainer.
I'll get my black tie.


Moving on;

Anyone got a white van for sale?
A man needs van, after all.