Monday 31 October 2011


My friend Jean and I are fans of the outrageously outspoken Alpesh Patel who pops up now and again on the BBC World Report to comment on the daily newspaper headlines.  Here's one of his past appearances.  Brilliant and soooooo un-PC. He is on my fantasy list alongside Brian Adams, Professor Brian Cox, Al Pachino, etc.  All, I suspect, bad boys.  Why am I so deeply attracted to bad boys? No please don't answer that one!

No doubt this morning's "performance" will be on U-Tube soon.  Look out for it it, he makes classic statements - like predicting that the CEO of Quantas pressed the nuclear button when he grounded all Quantas 'planes worldwide and will be lucky if he is working as a manager at a MacDonald's outlet next year.  

Another news item that caught my eye is that as from today the new boss of the European Bank is to be the ex-Governor of the Bank of Italy, Mario Draghi, also known as Super Mario!  Now correct me if I'm wrong.  Isn't Italy in deep financial doodah right now?  I ask myself, is this man the right person for the job?

Bear in mind that last week he was sacked by Silvio Berlusconi and this week he is appointed head of the European Bank!  That was a quick turnaround.   Am I missing something here? Is this the real world?

And another weird one.  A left wing lobby group is proposing a "plan B" recovery.  Is this the same group of losers that proposed Gordon sell our gold and raid our pensions?  If it is don't listen to them David, their a bunch of nutters.

But on the upside, I had a great few days in Scotland where my sister-in-law went on her annual pilgimage to the Brig-o-Doon to throw money into the waters for the fairies.  Thank God there's still normal life out there somewhere.

Saturday 22 October 2011


The Californian evangelical preacher got it wrong again because I'm still here.  That leads me to three conclusions - either the preacher got the date wrong (again), the bible is wrong and there will be no day of judgement or the preacher was right, the bible was right and I'm not righteous! 

I'm putting my money on the preacher being wrong and, as my satnav would say, he should re-calculate, re-calculate, re-calculate.

I'm now driving my sister-in-law up to Scotland to visit my other sister/brother-in-law. As Lt. Gen. Douglas MacArthur once said "I shall return". In the meantime, something to ponder on.

Thoughts of a Retiree's Wandering Mind:

I planted some bird seed. A bird came up. Now I don't know what to feed it .

I had amnesia once---or twice.

I went to San Francisco. I found someone's heart. Now what?

Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.

All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy.

If the world were a logical place, men would be the ones who ride horses sidesaddle.

What is a "free" gift? Aren't all gifts free?

They told me I was gullible and I believed them.

Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to merge his car onto the motorway.

Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone.

One nice thing about egotists: they don't talk about other people.

My weight is perfect for my height--which varies.

I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.

How can there be self-help "groups"?

If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

Show me a man with both feet firmly on the ground, and I'll show you a man who can't get his pants off.

Is it me --or do Buffalo wings taste like chicken?

I sent this to someone but don't remember who. So if you get it twice - - consider yourself doubly blessed !!

Friday 21 October 2011


An evangelical preacher in California predicted that the day of judgement was upon us last May!  Now he says that his calculations were a bit off.  Huh! you don't say! So after a quick re-think he predicts that today is the day the righteous will be taken up into heaven.  Sorry to have to leave you all so soon. My insatiable curiosity has me to wondering who will be going with me.   I have a list of possible "no-shows".  I guess I will soon know if I'm right or not!

This is my Swiss boy. We took him bowling last weekend.  I hope he liked it but to tell you the truth I'm not sure if he did or not.  He went home yesterday.   I thing I might have heard him give a little cheer as he walked into the departure lounge!

The other usual suspects accompanied us. 

My friend sent me this . Isn't it cute?

Saturday 15 October 2011


Two senior politicians, one the ex-Secretary of Defence and the other a Cabinet Office Minister, both leading "big brains" in the Government, have been caught out doing daft things this week. 

The first, Dr Liam Fox, allowed his friend Adam Werritty access to secure areas at the Ministry of Defence without clearance and invited him on many sensitive missions abroad.  Dr Fox has now resigned but this one is still running with, no doubt, more horrors to be unveiled in the coming days.

The second is even more unbelievable.  Oliver Letwin a senior policy adviser to the Government was seen throwing documents and letters into public litter bins in St James's Park.  What on earth possessed him.  And apparently he has been doing this for some time. There are claims that some of the documents were sensitive.  He says not.  He simply walks in the park at the back of Downing Street whilst dictating replies to letters which he then throws in the bin.  Doesn't he have a filing system like us mere mortals? Crazy or what?

Neither act appears (yet!) to be illegal but the point is it's not what they have done that is so wrong, but the fact that they actually thought they could do it and get away with it that stuns me.  These supposedly  intelligent humans beings are currently entrusted with running our Country for goodness sake. They know that they are under intense public scrutiny so why do it?  You can only assume that they are arrogant enough to feel "untouchable".  It makes you want to scream doesn't it?

Now back to my 'umble existence.  I have a young Swiss boy staying with me at the moment.  When I say this I am told that I should say he is an exchange student, and that saying that I have a young Swiss boy staying sounds wrong on every level!  I'm actually flattered that anyone should think there could be any form of impropriety between a 71 year old bat and a 15 year old boy.  The story is that a friend asked me give him shelter and food for 10 days so that he can mix with English folk to improve his language skills.

Unfortunately, he is painfully shy and although I have been trying to get him involved in the "outside world" I live in a very rural location and don't know many teenagers.  Consequently he isn't getting to meet anyone of interest and most of the coloqual English he's learning is of the anglo-saxon kind. This is going to be the longest 10 days of his life poor soul.

I may take him to the cinema again today (we went to see Johnny English on Thursday), tomorrow we go bowling, on Monday we take him to London and on Tuesday he is going to a Peterborough United football match.   Really living the high life!

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Obituary to Common Sense

This was sent to me this morning by a friend.  It purports to be an Obituary printed in the London Times.  I have know way of knowing if this is true or not, but I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red
tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;

I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Tuesday 11 October 2011


Yesterday I went to London to meet up with my good friend Monica who had been my neighbour for 10 years in Switzerland and to pick up a Swiss boy (but that's another story). 

Before I start I should say that I love train travel.  I love the fact that I don't have to "check in" two hours ahead of departure and I love the soothing rythum of the train.  So with my advance ticket booking confirmation in hand I attemped to retrieve my "real" tickets from the ticket machine. 

Unbelievably, the keyboard was both sensitive and insensitive at the same time.  Sensitive as in when I  keyed in my booking reference number it picked up the letter underneath, the letter adjacent and sometimes both.  However the "back" button didn't work which meant that I couldn't backtrack,  Each time I had to start from scratch again, and again, and again! "OK" I instruct myself, "calm down and move to another machine."  Same thing. 

Next calming step is to go into the ticket hall and negotiate with a "human being" to, out the kindness of their heart, help me with the process.  There was a queue and only two desks open.  At one desk a lengthy transaction was taking place and at the other the clerk was wrestling with a piece of electonics which appeared not to be working.  I then spot another bank of ticket machines and decided to give it one more go.  Hey Presto!  It worked. 

The departure board indicated that trains to London were running late and as I had a tight schedule I wondered if I could get on the next late train instead of the one I had booked onto which was going to be even later (if you get my drift).  I thought the best plan was to ask.  Ah!! The "information" desk was unmanned, there were no platform staff anywhere to be seen and by now the ticket hall was even busier with the clerk still punching buttons on the electronic device which patently was never, ever going to work again. 

Then they announced that the 1st late train was due to arrive.  A despatcher magically appeared from his cubby hole, clipboard in hand.  Leaping on him I asked if I could use my ticket on this train.  "No, sorry love, this ticket is "time specific".  If you get on this train you will be charged full single price again".  So I had to let that train go and I had to let the next one go too. And for the priviledge of all this I had paid the princely sum of £55.80 - discounted, I should add, because I had booked early.

After our brief meeting, my dear friend Monica (who, I'm sure won't mind me saying, is older than me and that's quite old) was to travel on to Lancaster.  When we went to buy her ticket  she got £20 out of her purse, I said "that won't be enough" and, sure enough, she had to pay £79 for a one way ticket.  Outragous.  I asked the clerk if she could book a seat "no, you can only do that 3 hours ahead of time". 

Why do we make such a big, and I should add expensive, deal of simple things?  This bloody country, sometimes I hate it.


Saturday 8 October 2011

Ten Thoughts to Ponder

 10 Life is sexually transmitted.

 9  Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

 8  Men have two emotions : Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make  him a sandwich

 7  Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks, months, maybe years.

 6  Some people are like a Slinky-not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

 5   Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospitals, dying of nothing.

 4  All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

 3  Why does a slight tax increase cost you $800.00, and a substantial tax cut saves you $30.00?

 2  In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal. (Amen to that one!)

...........and the number 1 thought    -     Life is like a jar of Jalapeno peppers - what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.

- - - and as someone recently said to me:  " Don 't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."

And on to more serious stuff.  Next Tuesday, 11th October, I am being interviewed for a 2 page spread with pictures in a woman magazine.  My 15 minutes of fame (again!!).  Wish me luck that I don't make an ass of myself.