Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cunty Sark descending into slagging off London

There are many things on the news that are worthy. Some actually deserve to have their legs spread open and probed before the nation. Others however should just be passed on by.

The story of the stricken Cutty Sark is one such. Who actually gives a toss? OK, the day of the fire it should maybe have got a mention toward the end of the bulletin. But all this time later is there nothing else worth reporting? Have all the famines in Africa stopped? Has no-one been raped today? How many murders haven't taken place?

I have a theory about stories like this and i t involves a formula: something happens. If 1 divided by the square of the distance from London is less than 0.1 it has little chance of appearing. This is because the majority of the media exists in London, to publicise London for Londoners of which the presenters and journalists generally tend to be. I was stuck in a traffic jam once in the Midlands. Not very newsworthy by itself but it was the biggest traffic jam ever to have happened. The police had received a phone call saying one of the supports struts on the M1 and the police closed it. At rush hour. They closed the motorway. Now Londoners like to think the M25 is the only motorway that matters but that's because they're all blinded by coolness. The M1 at that particular stretch is one of the busiest in existence. So all the cars had to find a different route down country lanes. Now, given most of the drivers had never left at that junction, most also had no idea where they were going, myself included. The result? Gridlock for over two hours. Literally. Not one person moved.

Did this appear on the news? Do I need to answer in the negative or have you guessed the answer already?

I'm sure Damilola Taylor was a lovely lad (yeah, right. Inner city youth living in a council flat. Chances of angel-dom? More chance I won't electrocute myself at least once a week.) but kids get stabbed every week in Nottingham.

London bias exists in other ways too. Major millennium projects? Stick 'em in London. The Eye, the bridge, others I'm sure. Every one on the news. How many local projects got on the news? Hmm? Anyway, other ways. Take Wembley Stadium. Surely common sense would dictate it gets put where the majority of people can get to it? Nope. An MP suggested that you can get to Wembley from anywhere in the UK within 4 hours. Try getting from Land's End to just Frikin' Devon in 4 hours, mate. Birmingham would have been a much better idea. But no, the government had to be seen to be supporting the London tourist economy.

And London wages: when I travelled the world easily half the people I met were from London and invariably could be heard declaring the cost of an item was 'nuffink'. Yes, it possibly is when you earn far higher than us plebs outside of the M25. Think about it. Shop worker in...Plymouth might earn £10k. In Chiswick he might earn...estimates....£43k. Now, when looking at Internet holidays Plymouth man might have to think twice; London man probably snaps up 3. Grr.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The kidnapped

Let's take two minutes to think about dear sweet Madeleine and Alan Johnston, both kidnapped without ransom.


One minute


Bored now.

Given they're still missing is it really possible they'll be recovered alive and whole? Whole in this instance meaning mental as well as physical. It's highly possible in my opinion that dear sweet freaky eyed Mads has been taken a paedophile ring (one for the Google searches there) and put to work on...well, lets not think about that.

At what point do you give up hope and carry on with your lives? It was highly publicised that Madeleine's parents were staying in Portugal to search for her. Of course they were! What the frig else were they going to do? Come back to the UK and continue their jobs, sitting there hoping for the phone to ring? How long can they look realistically look for? Especially when it's been speculated that she could be in the middle of Africa by now.

As for Alan Johnston...held in the middle-east, a place well known for it's hospitality, with no word since his capture - what were his captors hoping to achieve other than killing him? There's been no ransom so it's not money. They've not announced a particular group has got him so it's not notoriety. Perhaps he too has been sold into porn. It's far more likely than he's still alive.

I'm not sure what I'd be thinking if someone I loved were to be taken in the dead of night. I'd probably start at 'bugger' (which incidentally is banned on the SFX forum for it's sexual connection - a thoroughly ludicrous suggestion) and move on to Rambo. Or so I',d like to think.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Shopping? Pah!

Regular readers may realise that my wife has a terminal illness although 'terminal' is stretching things when there's no imminent departure planned. 'Terminal' in this sense means she'll die because of her condition - eventually. She could still live, in theory, until her eighties. Her specific disease is highly unpredictable and very erratic in it's prognosis.

Although the terminal nature of her condition is obviously a bad thing, it has it's advantages. Because of it we were able to convince the council to pay me to care for her via the 'Direct Payments' system. This money is supposed to be used to pay for the sort of things you can normally get from the council: bath chairs, hoists etc.

We found out not long ago that it also pays for you to get the shopping delivered from Tesco. Or Asda. Or even Sainsbury's. We live in hope that M&S get their online act together. The thinking is that while I'd be shopping, I wouldn't actually be caring. I love this mentality. The wife spends the time doing the shopping; I spend the effort putting it away. Perfect synergy.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

On my DIY disaster

The cause of the recent spate of DIYness is my wife's breathing problems. A problem for her that is, not me. Obviously.

See, if you have asthma or the overly-complicated acronym COPD, dust, is Bad. In our old place we had wooden flooring throughout for the wife's wheelchair was awful for the carpets. When we moved here and found the joys to be had in carpet we thought "Hmm. Carpet". My feet hadn't felt my own carpet (Note to self: the use of a single word four times in four sentences is a crime. Stop it.) for about five years and just melted in. It wasn't bliss but it was certainly a Tesco's own victoria sponge. So they stayed.

The thing about wooden floors, and is something we realised very quickly with regards to our bedroom, is they show up how much dust gets generated. I can sweep under the bed everyday and get a good handful of dust. It kinda makes you think how much is going into the carpet.

Hence, that fateful Sunday we ripped it up. The floorboards would have been lovely varnished, if not for the paint splatters. I sanded, I scraped, I bought special paint stripper but that paint would not be moved. Wooden flooring was the way to go. In a moment of DIY epiphany I realised the current floorboards would have to be level so I set at them with a hammer and nails.

I did a very good job until I got to the floorboard with pipes beneath it. Oh dear.

What kind of numpty puts pipes directly beneath the floorboards? Everyone apparently. Standard practice my father-in-law claims. Not under the 'boards?

Well, bang, bang, ba-psssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss was the noises heard that day followed by a swift 'Oh fuckery'. It took a few seconds for the realisation to kick in though. This was only after the boiler had kicked in, water had seeped up the new nail and on venturing downstairs to watch the ceiling (not in y crackpot house) only to, first hear it then, see it come from inside the walls - aaah cavity walls. It turns out 'gush' is not just a porn term. Towels! Buckets! Fire Brigade. In that order. Oh, and stopcock was in there somewhere, just a little too late to save the wallpaper. Or the plasterboard. Or the ceiling come to that.

So I now have a 'mint' bedroom and a hallway that resembles those only on the choicest council estates.

Today in my quest to finish decorating the bedroom I planed the bottom of our bedroom door. When flying on Concorde you could view the curvature of the Earth and now you can view the curvature of my bedroom door.

PS Nana has just this minute returned. I feel an ode coming on:

You're back!
You're black!
But then you were before.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


It's been 'suggested' to me that I should have posted an altogether similar picture of Nana:

Maybe I too should send an email to everyone I know. It hasn't worked for Madeliene but it might for Nana.

One Note Cereal

I went on a diet once. It was what I call 'A Bad Time'.

I wasn't that overweight but I was developing a middle tyre (which to be honest is prevalent in my family - it's the family shape - so if genetics says this is gonna happen, how can I possibly fight it?) so set about making my diet slightly healthier. Exercise was, at the time, out of the question, so out was to go sugar, potato, rice, pasta and bread. HAHAHAHAHA.

Have you ever tried not eating those five? Leaving aside breakfast for the minute, what do you possibly eat for lunch if not a sandwich? What hellish universe has the concept of no: mash, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, potato gratin, chips, curry, chilli con carne, lasagne, spaghetti bolagnese or tuna pasta bake for dinner?

For breakfast there's obviously quite a choice. Nestle and Kellogg's seem to have cornered the market on dietary breakfast. I stood perusing the shelves. I glanced at my beloved Frosties, the gorgeous Honey Monster on Sugar Poofs, the only two cereals I'd consider allowing past my canines, and passed onto the...other stuff. I tried them all, honestly I did. Muesli, Special K, Special K with Red Bits (ironically the red fruity bits made it worse). See, I think eating should be fun and not a chore. It was tough for me to swallow this stuff let alone want to eat it on a regular basis.

So I pretty much carried on eating what I wanted. I just tried to cut down on the biscuits and surplus chocolate and cake I was eating. Which worked for a bit until the withdrawal symptoms started. My inner demon was unleashed. A woman without HRT had nothing on me.

The following picture is of a judge on Canada's Next Top Model (the wife's current obsession):

Firstly, I should point out that this is indeed a female of the species. I'm no Sistine Chapel myself but what the hell is this abomination doing judging modelling??

Monday, May 21, 2007

Job Done

And yay he said for the slavery of DIY had passed - two weeks to the day after I started. I have: sanded, painted (ceiling, walls, coving, skirting), created new bedroom cupboards and laid a very expensive wooden floor (we couldn't - or should I say the wife couldn't - find one cheaper that matched). Photos shall be forthcoming.

I've just turned off the bore that is Sahara. My love for films is waning. I used to be able to sit through any old tripe and find some sort of enjoyment. These days I struggle to sit through most. I judge a films quality on how long it takes me to check how much time has passed. Tellingly, I have no clock near me at the moment. Except on my laptop but I couldn't see it as I was watching the film. Anyway, Sahara = tripe. Here endeth my review.

I feel remiss in not having mentioned my black cat, Nana. She has now been missing for 11 days (assuming I finish typing in the next fifteen minutes or it'll be 12 days). The wife is distraught. No longer are we being woken in the night, to come in or to go out. No longer are we blanked. Our other cat, Alfie, has actually become more loving. So, just benefits really then. It's strange not hearing her cries though. I miss the penetrativeness of them (I'm surprised to find that 'penetrativeness' is actually a word). I miss the mice she brings home. Sometimes the mice even make it over the door threshold but more often are eviscerated before that point, being left for me to clear up the next day. How I used to love that sight first thing in the morning. So an Ode, to Nana:

Oh, Nana
How I miss you so
Though you bugged me to fuckery
I never thought you'd go

Oh, Nana
You're not a clever cat
How I hope that
You've not gone 'splat'

Oh, Nana
Come home soon
Nana let us hear just once more
Your crying at the moon

You may notice how no features are apparent except the eyes. She's like a feline black hole - you can only tell she's there due to the lack of the surrounding colour.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The adventures of Kate - part 678

The story so far:- My sister-in-law 'Kate', lives with her fiance 'Ben' and their two cats, Tiki and Jackson.

Or they did until Jackson was brutally dragged for half a mile down the road by a car. Someone that happened to be passing phoned to say they'd found the cat 'in a bit of a state' IE 'carcass' would be stretching the definition - bloody mess might be more accurate but slightly too graphic for a PG rated blog. Which this isn't - there were blood and guts everywhere gor blimey guvnor.

The cat was scraped off the tarmac and placed with much care into a Tesco carrier bag (although probably not a 10p one - more likely a free one cuz they're tight like that. I hope there was no 'spillage' through the holes onto the car seats...) and driven home where he was duly buried. Aah.

The next day they got a new cat. Just like that. As grieving processes go it's not bad is it? I can't help wondering what their secret is. It's good to know that if my wife died tomorrow, I'd be shacked up again by the time the weekend's over. I'll have the sporty model please. (This is in no way a reference to fit tennis players. Or swimmers. Hmm. Bikinis.)

Since she's had the new kitten, 'Kate' seems to have developed another medical condition. Having been relieved of her epilepsy, she now has something else which requires her not to work - Frozen Shoulder syndrome. She's in pain but won't take painkillers. She wanted a hot water bottle, so 'Ben' called us and spoke to the wife (he won't talk to me as he knows I think he's a cock) and asked her if I could go buy one. I hasten to point out: 'Kate' wasn't dying, was in no way in a serious condition and my wife is far worse every minute of the day and yet I still find myself able to leave the house.

I have no respect for either of them. And 'Kate''s got fat anyway.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Easy Like Monday Morning

My god it's early. I've already been awake for over an hour. In no way am I pointing the finger of blame at the wife but you should know it's all her fault.

She currently has insomnia, so by default, so do I. We have this little game we play: she wakes me up to tell me she's awake and I pretend to listen. Eventually of course it just gets annoying and we end up being testy. Today we ended up just getting up. It's amazing how light it is at half past five in the morning.

Later today (at least...counts...six hours away. Six??) we'll be going to look at yet more wooden flooring in the hope of being able to sleep in our bedroom once more. By rights you should buy it, let it sit for 24 hours, lay it and let it sit for another 24 hours meaning, if we buy it today, we shouldn't be in until Thursday at the earliest. Something IE the wife tells me that this won't be the way things happen. She'll be whip-cracking-away the minute we get in the door. As I'm a laminate laying virgin I may be finished by Friday. If this is the case I'll also be a eunuch by Friday.

Perhaps the insomnia and bedroom are related. The wife worries about so many things it's hard to keep track of her current stresses, so it's not outside the bounds of possibility. Pity this has been going on for months. She took a sleeping tablet once. She eventually woke up three days later. Happy memories.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I Got Served

See them dark clouds on the horizon? That would be the wife. She found me out like a prize-winning beagle. She found this blog. Hello Darling! We had 'words' earlier so thus forever more, my blog shall be a sanitised version of it's former potty-mouthed self. Henceforth my posts will resemble:

Flowers. Aren't they pretty? Aah yellows and pinks. Hmm. Nicey nice...

Please feel free to not return, don't pass GO and save yourself the effort (and possibly your lunch).

I did 'A Good Thing' today. In my decorating phase, having finished the paint job - two colours (count 'em) - I set to work on our bedroom wardrobes. I've ripped out the innards like a Hannibal Lecter type freak. In it's place I put up extra poles for my wife's clothes and I had the little bit in the corner. There's shelves and everything. Mother would have been proud. Not. Pictures shall be forthcoming when I can be arsed to faff around with the camera.

The search for a flooring solution continues - 100 B&Q staff when surveyed said NUH ERRRR.

Having been left comments in my post 'No readership', thus proving I have at least two readers, I've come to the opinion I sound like a whiny runt (Rhyming slang? Possibly). Henceforth The Quest shall be ended. In public anyway.

I'm now off to change all names on the blog. Not that I've been ordered to or anything...

Derren Brown writes me love letters

Friday, May 11, 2007


The decorating continues at a snails pace. Today I put up a new pendant light fitting. In a slothlike two and a half hours. Even then I had to phone my brother-in-law for help.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Sudden Decision

Spontaneous decisions aren't my wife and I's forte (Bad english? Who cares). Well, for me it is. My motto is "Don't dither, do". Wifey can't make a decision to save a kipper from someone's breakfast though. Until yesterday.

Up she got (read: sitting on the edge of the bed while I fannied around). She asks "Is it me, or does this carpet create more dust than the wooden floor we used to have?". I disagreed, it wasn't her and the carpet was a hotbed of dust activity. Well, no sooner could you say hot-diggity than we were pulling the carpet up to gaze at the beautiful floorboards beneath. Gorgeous they were. Apart from the million splodges of paint all over them. So today, as well as having a pub lunch, I spent forty pounds at Homebase on various paint removal and sanding gear. Didn't work. Laminate it will be.

The next few days I shall be slaving away painting, sanding, and flooring. Think of me.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

No readership?

As no-one has replied to my previous post, am I to take it I have no readers whatsoever? Am I just writing for me, to me? Maybe if I were to stop writing self-indulgent posts like this one...

I read something the other day that suggests self-publicising your blog is a bad thing - how else would you know about my words of wisdom? Silly Biffo.

Here comes the beast again.

How Lucky I Am

Yesterday I had the great privilege to do that thing beloved by Englanders everywhere: go to a static caravan on the coast. This is the wife's grandma's caravan, where my sister-in-law was staying.

I had to force the wife out of bed (anytime before midday is a struggle) at 9 (literally force - she hit the wall leaving only a small dent) to get the usual day out stress. An hours drive to St Merryn in Cornwall, a tiny hamlet near Padstowe and then did what I suspected: we sat there all day and did nothing. We could have stayed at home and done that, not spent the hour getting in the wife's chair, nor the hour driving there - that's two hours someone owes me, never mind the drive back the same day.

God it was frustrating listening to my mother-in-law (for she was there too - huzzah!) making little comments to which I'm not allowed to respond. It was fun trying to get the wife toileted though. Carrying her through the caravan doors which are narrower than my shoulders, into a bathroom the size of a postage stamp (mind her legs!) was tricky to say the least.

Still, days out with family - gotta love 'em.

Friday, May 04, 2007


Think of an image. Think of another. Did either of those come anywhere to the image of Eddie Izzard in a micro kilt? This is the image Carol Vorderman has just put forth on Countdown. He apparently asked to try it on after seeing Carol wearing it. With that fresh in your mind let's move on...

To the film I saw at the cinema recently: Sunshine. Can't be bothered to write too much about it (go read a review!) but I thought it was much better than certain quarters have suggested. After reading the SFX forum thread though, I may have missed bits. The missing bits made the film work for me though, so who cares?

If you search for 'wee' and 'smell' I'm first on Google after the BBC.

Womble, on a bike.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

See? Over there? ----->

A new Sight Wat I Lyke. Aprosexic has taken advantage of my rather generous link exchange program. God bless him (?) and God bless all atheists everywhere.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Young Man's Passage

AKA Julian Clary's autobiography. Did you know he was gay? You would if you read this. My god the man was a slut! Are all gay men the same?? Speaking as a purely hetero male, I've got no problem with a man wanting to sleep with as many women as he wants and have to consider the possibiliy that double the blokes doubles the horniness. Jeez. Like shaggin'? Turn gay. Most of Julian's conquests seem to enforce the stereotype of homosexuals as screaming, bitchy queens.

The book goes a bit deeper than that and is literally painfully funny (his pain, not the readers). I don't normally read biographies, especially those of celebrities but a) I thought it was a novel b) it was three quid in HMV and c) I was struggling to spend a ten pound gift voucher. I'm glad I did. Despite the nauseating in-your-face (quite literally for Julian at one point, answering the door with last night's jizzum all over himself) gayness of it, it is a very funny book. It shows how these entertainer folk start with Tarzan-a-grams and elevate to TV land.

It's a good thing it was funny as it also dwells on many of Julian's darker moments i.e. 98% of his life, including the death of his soul-mate Christopher through AIDS. All in all a very revealing book on many subjects I wouldn't normally touch. Bargepoles at the ready.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Melon Farmers

Some people IE bastardy tits call me workshy. This is as nothing however compared to farmers wanting, nay demanding compensation for their cows getting TB . This to me seems to be like asking for money for old rope.

Is not your animal getting a disease a hazard of the job? My cat is currently sick, yet I don't go complaining to T. Blair for her vet money. Not only would I get summarily thrown out but I'd be laughed at. Farmers join nurses on my all time 'sucking the government dry' list.

On a happier note, last month I had 261 unique visitors according to Statcounter and 364 page loads. Those 261 may be the same 10 people with a different IP address everyday but still, not bad. If of course it's a true and accurate figure, about 258 people have visited and not left a comment! Why? Is it not true that you get a warm feeling in your heart in the knowledge of a well written response? So, for now and this time only, leave a comment and give me a true census. I love you all. Except the ones that smell of wee, obviously.

PS I've been found on a search engine with the phrase "treating needle track marks and bruises" - eh? Explain that if you can.

Super Blogger

It's a funny thing having an online identity. I used to go by the name 'Damnation' on newsgroups; now I go by the more confident 'jstarbuck' (for 'tis me). Many people aren't even who they say they are (shock! horror!) going so far as to change gender and sexual orientation (go on, have cybersex as the opposite sex in a gay relationship). It never occurred to me though to hide 'me' from the wife.

I left a comment on Scaryduck's blog today comparing my wife, as a joke, to a Nazi. Did you see the mushroom cloud? There surely was one. After five years of marriage my wife a) really needs to learn my sense of humour and b) get one for herself. I felt somewhat affronted. Let alone it was a joke, this was my internet identity I was displaying - what relevance should it have on the 'real world'? A lot apparently. All day long she's been harping on, wanting to know in what way I was comparing her to a Nazi. I should have said it was her persistent extraction of information via inhumane methods but she might not have understood that. One final thing, it was a joke! Good job she never saw my acronym for my job title: Slave To A Bitch.

NB Godwin's Law is irrelevant in this case.

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