My Room 101: The Stuff I Can’t Just Put On eBay…

“You asked me once,” said O’Brien, “what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.”
“OMG! Justin Fletcher?!” asked Winston
“What? Oh ok, the thing that is in Room 101 is the second worst thing in the world.” said O’Brien
“Mr Tumble?” queried Winston
“Look, this book is being written in 1949, it’s not going to be Justin Fletcher, or Mr Tumble or Lord Tumble or… they aren’t even invented yet, CBeebies hasn’t even been invented. Just act scared, it’s meant to be scary”. said O’Brien despairing.
“Who’s Lord Tumble?” asked Winston.
“You’re a d**k” O’Brien exclaimed as he opened the cage and set the rats onto him.

Taken from the novel 1984 by George Orwell

The worst thing in the world? Well I suspect my own personal Room 101 would probably need to be a smidge bigger than Winston’s, his only needed room for rats, which considering he lived in tyranny under a totalitarian regime proves he was actually a fairly easy going chap. It would appear I’m not, I rattled these off in the night and from what I can gather I stopped rather than slowed at 101 purely for neatness, I’m fairly sure I could keep going indefinitely(what a happy go lucky soul).

As with previous posts I’ve resisted the urge to edit so apologies if the grammar’s not great, but it was ludicrous o’clock in the morning and as is generally the case with these reports I was half asleep when compiling it.

Anyway, are you sitting comfortably…

1. People who eat with heir mouths open, even though they aren’t actually toddlers.
2. ‘Celebrities’ who become celebrities on reality TV and then end up on ‘Celebrity’ reality TV programmes even though they aren’t actual celebrities.
3. Reality TV.
4. Religion
5. People who talk on their mobile to someone who they can actually see – “Hi, I’m over here, can you see me? …oh yeah, wave!”
6. Wimbledon fortnight
7. Shop workers who hover around ‘ closed’ tills when it’s busy, but don’t actually open the till so everyone in all the queues watch them, but pretend not to.
8. Shops with three staff monitoring the self service checkouts and one on the normal checkout for normal people who don’t want to play at working in a shop when they go to the shop.
9. Any impersonator who when interviewed on TV constantly does impressions.
10. Guests on TV programmes who don’t realise the presenter is blatantly trying to cue them up for the appalling anecdote they told the researcher about, three hours ago in make up, which they’ve forgotten because it was made up and/or they know it’s so deathly boring they don’t want to admit it on TV
11. People who disagree with what I say but don’t actually argue their case and just say I’m wrong. Because I’m not wrong.
12. BBC Breakfast after 9 o’clock when they’ve got bored and know everyone’s gone to work anyway
13. Newsreaders and weathermen ‘chatting’ on the handover despite the fact the weatherman clearly hates the newsreader for being the cool one and the newsreader obviously looks down on the weatherman, because they’re the rules.
14. People who have mobiles but don’t switch them on
15. Txt Spk
16. The word ‘Chav’ and people that use it.
17. The noises houses make at night.
18. People who blank you when you hold a door open for them.
19. People with orange fake ‘tans’.
20. People who leave their shopping trolley blocking the aisle of a supermarket
21. When The Wife shouts at me for playing draining rack Buckaroo even though I’m amazing at t.
22. Pandas (a waste of money, cocky and an affront to Darwin)
23. Casual drinkers who only go out for Christmas Parties or New year’s Eve and generally act like idiots and get in my way.
24. Not being able to eat a meal because the host(too scared to put ‘mum’) spends the entire meal asking if you want more of the things you’ve not eaten yet anyway… “Help yourself to more potatoes… Have you got enough peas… Can I get you another drink… Just tuck in…. Have I done enough gravy… Here, have some more veg…”
25. People who seem to enjoy being stupid “Ohhh What am I like?!,”… “A dick”
26. Footballers who kiss the badge(of the ninth club they’ve played for in nine seasons)
27. People that park in bus stops
28. People that park in bus stops to pick up their daughter from the bus and then the bus has to stop down the road (because someone is parked in the bus stop) to let everyone off, including the daughter who then waits for her f-wording mother to drive up the road to pick her up… Every night…
29. People that drive short distances instead of walking (and then probably park in a bus stop)(snap out of it)
30. The bit of non-chocolate at the bottom of a Cornetto
31. Little trilby hats on anyone under 65
32. Baseball caps on anyone over 65
33. Any journalists who refers to a foreign footballer from a minor country as “…the Uzbeki Messi”
34. People who say “They say…” as a prefix of an entirely unresearched, unproven, unlikely “fact” to make it sound less like their own moronic opinion.
35. Shiny leggings.
36. Parents who pierce the ears of their young children.
37. The hand on hip, slanty head pose that girls do in photographs.
38. When predictive text makes you look like a illiterate tool
39. Metro newspapers, specifically that it appears to be perfectly acceptable to drop the Metro anywhere tram, bus, floor, operating theatre…
40. Serving Suggestions – if I have bought a tin of corned beef it’s because The Wife is away and I intend on eating it with a spoon straight from the tin, I am not planning a delicious family meal.
41. The awkward couple of seconds when a waitress is clearing your plates and you don’t know where you are meant to look
42. People that ask you a question just as you’ve taken a bite of something and then look expectantly and impatiently at you for an answer.
43. Groups of ‘wacky’ grown ups on a night out in fancy dress
44. Forced fun (party games, drinking games etc essentially anything that interrupts either conversation or the car keys getting thrown into the bowl)
45. Reborn dolls (if you don’t know, don’t ask, definitely don’t google it)
46. Children in pubs
47. Any shop or brand that claims to be “passionate” about their product or field. (Have a long hard look at yourself SCS, it’s a sofa, you cannot be passionate about a sofa)
48. Price tags or stickers that leave a mark on their ‘thing’
49. Card shops that put up their Christmas stuff in August, so diminishing the amount of time my friends have to spend choosing my birthday card (November) and therefore the amount of time they have to spend thinking about me.
50. Mr Alex Ferguson’s watch
51. Any programme or film featuring any actor or actress who has been in anything else, but is not an actual household name.(or the production company have to pause the action and flash up a quick filmography each time a vaguely recognisable actor comes on screen for the first time, so that I don’t constantly have to miss valuable plot explaining “where we’ve seen him before” to The Wife)
52. People who use the phrase “I’m not racist but…”. As they are clearly about to be.
53. Lateness.
54. Wasps (Bee Gestapo)
55. Paper cuts
56. I’m not racist but, Indian call centre workers who tell you their name is ‘Alan’ so you immediately think they’re sat overlooking the Thames, eating fish and chips in a bowler hat even though it’s fairly obvious that’s not their name.
57. People who care more for animals than people.
58. Adverts on daytime TV aimed at old people to remind them they haven’t got long left… Don’t let your loved ones pay for your funeral etc etc
59. Sovereign rings on anyone who isn’t from the east end of London
60. London
61. Local Authorities unveiling their new modern logo, the development of which you know cost the same as 20 nurses salaries
62. Myrrh
63. People that post photos on Facebook of their car, drive, house etc as soon as there is anything closer to snow than a light frost.
64. Answerphone messages from old people
65. People who wait for the last item to be scanned and the price totalled before they look for their wallet or purse (for the record I clearly mean purse, but I’m trying to be PC)
66. People who get served in a busy pub, order one drink and then turn around and start asking their equally ignorant friends what they want to drink. (a. If they’re your friend you’d know and b. That’s not the rules)
67. Hideous people having affairs and thus forcing you to consider the concept of them having sex (luckily you won’t remember David Mellor so you won’t remember the toe sucking business)
68. Chaps over 35 with long hair
69. American war films which seem to forget the presence of other Allied soldiers in World War Two, apart from Saving Private Ryan. Apologies Mrs Ryan but we’d definitely have phoned ahead or tweeted him or something, not sent a whole patrol of other people’s sons out to get… this is a no winner.
70. Michael Winner
71. Shops that put the security tag things through stuff so you can’t try them on.
72. Shop assistants who look at you like you’re a mentalist for asking if they have any more of something or make any other reference to the possibility that the big door at the back leads to a “storeroom” not the massive staff orgy palace it clearly does.
73. Shop assistants who lick their fingers to open a bag and then touch things that you now own with their licky fingers. (If they came to your house and went around licking their fingers before they touched your stuff you’d quite rightly beat them to death)
74. Shop assistants who reach past your outstretched hand and put your change on the counter.
75. My irrational fear of T-Rex’s, people whose arms are very slightly out of proportion with their bodies
76. Cyclists who ride down the middle of the road.
77. Parents who dress their kids (particularly twins) in matching outfits.
78. Parents who wear matching outfits to their kids (unless they are in a cult)
79. Cults.
80. iPhone batteries.
81. Lying in bed trying to remember if you locked the back door
82. People who park in the Parent & Child spaces when they have a child seat in the car, but no child with them. For they knoweth the rules.
83. People that believe the Daily Mail
84. Oiks playing music from their phones on the bus.
85. Shaving
86. Fake bacon/turkey/veal etc for Vegetablists. Either eat meat and accept evolution or don’t.
87. “Knicker shorts”
88. Turkish Delight
89. The Walmart ‘family’
90. Cheap tea towels that are all printed and pretty and probably Cath Kidson or some such, but just push water around and can’t actually dry anything wetter than air.
91. ‘New Improved’ recipe products. I bought them because I liked them you bunch of… And put the salt back in my beans you bastards.
92. People who say ‘Like’ as punctuation.
93. People who call chips ‘fries’.
94. People who call crisps ‘chips’
95. Americans.
96. The Royal Family in any other capacity than a tourist attraction (and as such they spend their previously ‘interfering in Government stuff’ time by greeting tourists in Airport arrivals with touristy leaflets and flyers for visitor attractions)
97. ‘Fancy’ pint glasses.
98. When they change an actor in a series without any attempt at hiding it, generally because now the child actor, who was awesome at 6 because she could remember lines and her (failed actor) parents were fine with her being on set 16 hours a day, has grown up it’s become clear she has a face that looks equally furious and confused at all times.
99. Bruce Forsyth and whoever at the BBC is responsible for his continuing career
100. People who walk erratically on pavements in front of me – Slow, fast, slow, stop…
101. Adverts on TV for companies who encourage morons to sue when they’ve been morons – “I used the wrong ladder because I’m an idiot, am I entitled to cripple the small family business I was working for at the time?”

Try and get that lot in there O’Brien…


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What if the chap who did the moves for Deep Blue vs Garry Kasparov was really just a shy chess genius?

So, what if Deep Blue’s mysterious “44th move” which baffled Garry Kasparov in the chess grand master’s groundbreaking “man versus machine” match was, in fact just the genius of the elusive “IBM Employee” who was publicly just moving the pieces for the computer? I know! We’ve all pondered it at some point, so I thought I’d look in to it, see if I can’t put this age old question ‘to bed’.

Kasparov, Deep Blue and “An IBM Employee”

My research points to a lowly former university caretaker, William Hunting, who had baffled the mathS department at MIT by anonymously[1] solving two advanced Fourier systems[2] set for linear algebra students, instead of actually keeping the institute clean. Hunting, a troubled soul, (the result of a difficult childhood) was immediately spotted and groomed by predatory Professor Stellan Skarsgärd. Over the months that followed Skarsgärd and Hunting became inseparable, doing lots of unnecessarily big sums without using a calculator, despite them now being allowed in to exams, essentially flirting by numbers[3]. Around this time, Skarsgärd introduced Hunting to his former college flatmate, 90’s heart-throb and physcologist Sean Maguire. Over the months that followed Maguire became a bearded but steady influence on the young caretaker.

With the help of Maguire, Hunting’s genius lead to an opportunity with Amstrad, although this was lost due to his insistence on going to see about a girl (who remains relatively unknown, which you have to assume means he didn’t find her)(or quite possibly did find her, only to be greeted somewhat uncomfortably with “Will?… Errrrm…. What are you doing here?… No really why are you here?… How did you get in?…. Listen, I’m a clichéd posh English bird and I just sort of had to have a bit of rough at college… it’s not you it’s just what society expects… I’m sorry, things might have been different if you worked for a high level, top secret CIA department and didn’t have a weird run but… well, you’re a bright chap you know how it is?”).

A rare photograph of Hunting(third from left) with a mystery ‘girl’.

Following his reappearance, Hunting took up a lowly role at IBM continuing to hide his maths genius in plain view. During this period he began working on a screenplay of his time growing up in Boston with hollywood star Ben Affleck(not that hiding anything from the vacant Ben Affleck can really be classed as genius), in the end producers decided that, due to a lack of interest in Affleck, they would instead focus on an unspecified 6 month period of the unknown cleaners life. It appears that around this stage Hunting came to the attention of the Deep Blue developers, apparently by scrawling all over their research at night when he was meant to be cleaning the labs. After months of begging him to stop ruining their work the Deep Blue programmers eventually struck a deal with Hunting, promising him the role of ‘IBM Employee’ on the TV(something which Hunting was apparently desperate to do to “show her”) if he’d just stop doodling all over their research.

A confused Hunting in 2007.

In reality the move was actually a dream for the IBM programmers, who knew the whole Deep Blue project was massively flawed and having tried to pull out of the ‘Man vs Machine’ match they were only too happy to let Hunting take the fall when the computer program inevitably crashed live on TV, which it secretly did on move 42 of the first game. At this point Hunting took over and eventually beat Kasparov[4]. Later baffled IBM programmers would take credit for victory, while the IBM employee who (publicly at least) had merely relayed the computer’s moves disappeared, apparently to see about a girl.

So where is this mysterious IBM employee now? Well, following his trouncing of Kasparov in the rematch of 1997[5](the same year he was rebuked for a second time by “the girl”) Hunting continued his work for IBM, specialising in the development of carbon nanotube transistors (technically he was in charge of maintaining the photocopiers, but later reports suggest he conducted much of the research and development himself, when the labs were closed).

Whilst on holiday in 2002, Hunting was saved from a near fatal accident by French trawlermen. Tragically, the accident left Hunting suffering from acute amnesia and multiple personality disorders. In the years following the accident Hunting lead a troubled life, having turned his back on IBM, chess and photocopiers, he lived in a bizarre fantasy world believing himself to be four different people – John Michael Kane, Dr Martin Harris, Gilberto de Piento and most notably Jason Bourne. Hunting resisted attempts to monitor and help with his condition and was last seen jumping in to New York’s East River in 2007, perhaps still trying to solve the mysteries of Project Treadstone[6] or possibly just to see about a girl.

Hunting’s story forms the basis of the 2011 film “Unknown”, starring Liam Neeson as the forgetful central character, I wouldn’t bother personally, it’s rubbish.

Liam Neeson (right) as Hunting and Frank Langella as Sean Maguire in ‘Unknown’.

    1. Some reports suggest it was ‘anonymous’ although if it was anonymous you’d have thought he’d have waited until the students went home at 3.30 or done it in the holidays(they have enough of them) and not in front of the staff.
    2. Obviously I know what they are and I could definitely explain them, in fact I could probably have solved them myself, but you probably won’t understand anyway.
    3. The relationship between the ageing Professor and Hunting forced the Professor’s “assistant” Tom out of the picture. From then on Tom led a tragic life trawling Ivy League universities before turning his back on academia forever. In 2005, Tom surfaced in Wyoming taking a summer job herding sheep, although the season was cut short Tom did develop a strong bond with fellow sheep ‘cowboy’ Ennis Del Mar and the pair returned the following year, but failed to get work amid allegations of homosexuality.
    4. Deep Blue won the first game but Kasparov came back to narrowly win the match 4-2.
    5. Deep Blue battered Kasparov 3½-2½
    6. Hunting believed Project Treadstone hid the truth behind his identities, from the time of his accident he continued to search for its mysteries. In 2004, CIA Deputy Director Ward Abbot dismissed any reference to ‘Treadstone’ as anything other than an experimental gaming program, a theoretical-exercise that had been terminated due to high cost.

As if you read all that?!? You must be a worse sleeper than me… I can recommend “Unknown”(Neeson, 2011) for extreme cases of insomnia or if that doesn’t work you could try “Salt”(Jolie, 2010), but be very careful, it is a genuinely appalling film and will almost certainly destroy your faith in humanity, potentially forever(assuming of course you are not an idiot)(if you are, or if you have no issues with the idea of a middle aged anorexic woman as an action hero then give it a go, you deserve everything you get).

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CBeebies: A Parents Guide

So, you are contemplating letting The Child (your one obviously) watch a bit of TV to allow you to concentrate on something important, such as sitting down uninterrupted for 45-50 seconds, but have you really thought it through? You probably think it’s simple, but is it really as easy as avoiding anything with Justin Fletcher? Well, that really depends on whether you want to risk the wrath of the little commandant by turning off Rhyme Rocket (which you will have to do, generally within about 8-10 seconds of naively turning it on) because it’s an easier option than stabbing yourself in the eyes with anything pointier than eyes.

So, as a consistant and unwaivering servant of the people, here is my guide to CBeebies current schedule, commit it to memory, your sanity may very well rely on it. For ease I have included quick reference ratings for each one, firstly, the LASTTIP Rating(Likelihood of Accidentally Singing Theme Tune In Pub) which is of course, universally acknowledged and needs no explanation and secondly, the BPP Rating[1], which rates programmes enjoyability in terms of 80-90’s Blue Peter Presenters from the magnificent Konnie Huq down to the… well… Anthea Turner.

The Adventures Of Abney And Teal

Fabulous, worth watching just for Toby Dog’s Waltz. Avoid debates with The Wife about what the Poc-Poc’s are.
BPP : Konnie Huq



In theory a spelling programme where the blocks rattle off words beginning with their letter. Clearly produced by a moron(and/or American) as this morning X spent some time discussing that he was Excited and Exhausted and various other words which don’t begin with X
BPP: Diane Louise Jordan

Baby Jake

Undoubtedly the most sinister thing on television. Probably ever. Never turn your back on it.
BPP: John Leslie

Never look the baby in the eyes.

Phenomenal theme tune. The Wife cannot stand the “Balymoron’s” due to them always being “chipper” and wearing “primary colours”.
LASTTIP: Medium to High
BPP: Sarah Greene

Charlie & Lola

Harmless fun, until the inevitable episode when Social Services come to take both kids into care as their parents appear to have abandoned Charlie to look after Lola single handedly for the past few years.
LASTTIP: Low to Medium
BPP: Tim Vincent

“Sit down Lola, we need to talk about mummy and daddy…”


Farcial, the engines are clearly American gauge, as is the track and they often run the wrong way on it, yet all of them speak with British accents. Unrealistic. (Information courtesy of my father in law)(seems to gloss over the fact that most British locomotives rarely talk at all in his desire for accuracy).
LASTTIP: Medium to High
BPP: Diane Louise Jordan


Quite clearly American guage engines, they must think kids are stupid.

Get Well Soon

Never really paid any attention to this nonsense until I learned that the singing and dancing presenter, Dr Ranj is an actual practicing Doctor… Imagine if you turned up at hospital and he strolled in to consult!?! Admittedly it’s no different to my whole issue with Dr Glasson(my old family doctor who also happens to be Louisa Glasson’s dad, which is fine for me as I know that, but imagine the confusion and moral dilemma for others who see the framed pictures of them behind his desk, then leave thinking she’s clearly a serial Doctor wooer)(which she posssibly is). I like to think I’d warn him.
BPP: Diane Louise Jordan

“Clearly I’m going to want a second opinion ‘Doctor’…”

Grandpa In My Pocket

James Bolam (The Likely Lads, New Tricks) makes a disgrace of himself but is overshadowed by the young lad who plays Jason, and who you know swans around school being proper big time(Like Adam “Yeah hi, so like, I’m in Children’s Ward” Rowbottom used to)
BPP: Yvette Fielding

In The Night Garden

Someone was taking a lot of fairly potent gear the day they came up with this one. (Apparently)
BPP: Richard Bacon

Justin’s House

Would happily give all my sensory organs to medical research to ensure I never had to endure another 3 seconds of Justin Fletcher MBE (confirmation, as if it were needed, that the monarchy is full of mentalists).
LASTTIP: n/a[2]
BPP: Anthea Turner

Match Of The Day
The Child makes me watch it every Sunday morning (since The Thick Of It returned to fill the Saturday night after work Sky+ slot), she particularly enjoys all the bright colours, singing and funny men falling over (essentially what Justin Fletcher does every day, but considerably more morally acceptable). Less popular with The Wife.
MOTDP: Des Lynam
Tinky Winky, Po, Dipsy and Lawro

Designed almost exclusively for middle class, white students who pretend to enjoy it to appear wacky and ironic (see Magic Roundabout). A bigger giveaway of middle classishness than going to a fancy dress occasion dressed as a ‘Chav’.
BPP: Richard Bacon

"Oh after this let's get ready for our Chav party... I can't wait to dress as a chav Octavia, I'm going to be so working class, isn't it!

“Oh after this let’s get ready for our Chav party… I can’t wait to dress as a chav Octavia, I’m going to look so working class! Yo! Isn’t it!”

Rhyme Rocket

Quite off putting watching Professor Poet and Flying Officer Ditty visibly (and quite understandably) hating themselves as they fly though the galaxy looking for rhymes.
LASTTIP: Lower than their self worth.
BPP: Yvette Fielding

Something Special

BPP: Anthea Turner

Yep... That'll be an MBE then...

“For the record, one thinks you are a dick, but one had to give you this… for the kids”

The Tweenies

Avoid at all costs unless you want to watch half a dozen (probably) RADA trained out of work thespians detesting themselves, self loathing genuinely seeps from the TV and will fill your house.
LASTTIP: Low to Medium
BPP: Yvette Feilding

16 years at RADA between them.

Timmy Time

Phenomenal theme tune, but plot lines can be childish. Also the ‘will they-won’t they’ love affair between Timmy the lamb and Yabba the duckling is ruined for me as their teacher Harriet the heron is a heron(not just a clever name) and I was one of the two’s of people who watched one the herons in Abersoch harbour eat four fairly sizeable ducklings in front of their parents(who had mixed feelings about the whole affair) a couple of years back. No lyrics on the end credits which frankly, is an oversight.
BPP: Sarah Greene


Employs a selection of child actors from whom they pick Cheebies each week to harass the Piplings. Currently my nemesis is “girl in stripey tights” for no other reason than you know her mother is standing behind the camera gesturing and badgering little Octavia between takes about her posture and mouthing “Proooo-ject’. Courted controversy last year when they briefly added Come Dine With Me’s Dave Lamb as narrator, an outcry from deranged mothers led to the new format being scrapped(The Wife was one of the deranged mothers).
BPP: Katy Hill

I hope this helps.

Explainy Bit I’m Increasingly Having To Put At The End Of These Things

[1]Blue Peter Presenter Rating System Explained:
Konnie Huq – Brilliant
Richard Bacon – Alright(Supervision Required Adult Themes)
Sarah Greene – Alright
Katy Hill – Overrated
Tim Vincent – Harmless Eunuch With Elements Of Slightly Annoying
Diane Louise Jordan – Slightly Annoying with elements of Annoying
Yvette Feilding – Annoying
John Leslie – Dark
Anthea Turner – Stay The F-Word Away From My Kids
[2] n/a – Program’s featuring Justin Fletcher and/or Mr Tumble are not rated as anyone allowing themselves to watch the program should not be allowed out in public.

[3] LDSTTISU – Likelihood Of Deliberately Singing The Theme Tune In The Students Union.

*Nb: CiTV, Nickelodeon, Milkshake etc is obviously also available, if you want your young to end up on Jeremy Kyle

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

iPhone 5 Day

06.00 – Alarm goes off but I’ve been awake for hours, early start today, need to call the couriers. Ever since I saw the ‘Missed Delivery Card’ on Saturday I’ve been waiting excitedly for 7 o’clock this morning when UKMail’s office opens again. A little surprised they didn’t open up on Sunday to be honest.


06.58 – Got straight through to UKMail(glad I set the alarm, bet everyone else will be on hold for ages) I tell them I’m calling about my new Apple iPhone 5 with Siri natural language commands and dictation but they recognise my voice from the answerphone messages, apparently it would have automatically been redelivered today anyway, it was definitely worth a few phonecalls and a handful emails to be sure though.

07.02 – Turn on BBC Breakfast to check weather reports for potential delivery complications, accidentally add a 0 and end up on Radio One, someone called ‘Grimmy’ is trying too hard. I reflect that his camp, nasal, overtly theatrical North Manchester drone would probably make me quite embarrassed if I was Mancunian.

07.27 – Freaky! Was just pondering how this is my last morning as a pleb and a story comes on the news about Government Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell calling a policeman a pleb on Wednesday! Two days before the release date. How the hell did he get his hands on one so early?

07.49 – There’s a piece on the news that Apple has just topped the ‘Coolbrands’ cool brand list.

08.12 – A car pulls up, I naturally assume it’s a courier. Turns out it’s just a neighbour turning around, I wave to them from the gate but get little response. Go back inside and continue getting dressed.

08.40 – This wait is agonising, can’t believe The Wife wouldn’t let me go and queue outside the Apple Store on Thursday night like all the normal people.


09.07 – Idly scan Facebook whilst Dragon Quest loads, everyone seems to be sharing ’50 Shades Of Pwllheli’, reflect on how the Internet is wasted on some people, Dragon Quest opens.

09.33 – Notice a ‘Severe Weather Warning’ for the South-South East UK, immediately call UKMail, Amanda assures me it won’t affect a delivery between the Rhyl depot and Pwllheli. Also asks me to stop tying up the phone, I assume that things may not be quite so clear cut. Resolve to call back at 10.

09.50 – Amanda says there’s no more news, but I think it must be getting stressful there as she seems quite snappy on the phone. Will give her half an hour and see if she’s calmed down.

10.16 – Nick Clegg is on the news talking about the “Pleb” thing from the Liberal Democrat Party Conference in Brighton, he seems furious, fuels my suspicion that he’s a HTC man.

10.20 – Decide to have a Cup A Soup, kettle takes ages to boil, bet there’s an App for pre-boiling the kettle, will definitely check on the iPad when the iOS 6 update has finished, can’t be long now as I started it last night to be sure it would be ready for the big day.

10.31 – On hold to UKMail, wonder who is making the Cup A Soup’s at Number 10 while Clegg is in Brighton?

11.19 – They mention something on the local news about an accident on the A55 causing hold ups, I immediately call UKMail to check they know. Amanda’s Line Manager interrupts the call, he seems quite agitated. I agree to end the call and let them get on, I assure the Line Manager I’ll check in in half an hour or so, he says I don’t need to, I assure him I don’t mind.

11.49 – The Wife returns from doing the big shop, a bit embarrassing when she asks where The Child is, it appears she’s been in her room, I explain about the weather warnings and the accident on the A55, but I’m not sure The Wife can really hear over the crying. Vow to set ‘Reminders’ on my new Apple iPhone 5 with LED-backlit IPS TFT, capacitive touchscreen when I have The Child in future.

11.56 – Knock Knock!!! Surprised to see it’s just a standard van, but I suppose they’re probably trying to keep a low profile. Explain to the driver about the Apple iPhone 5’s 4g capability and enhanced 8 megapixel iSight camera. He asks me a couple of times to sign for it as he has to get on, I nip in to get a print out of a review I’d found on the Techradar website. When I return the driver’s just leaving, I assume he’s got to go back to pick up another Apple iPhone 5 with Corning Gorilla Glass, oleophobic coating for someone else, I allow myself a moment to reflect that they will be a pleb for a little longer than I, bet they wish they’d set their alarm earlier! The driver appears to signal to me that he’ll be back in two minutes, but he doesn’t return, possibly something to do with the A55.

11.57 – Struggle to tear through the cellophane as I’m all fingers and thumbs!

11.59 – Get a fresh Cup A Soup(Perhaps they go back in shifts? Brighton to London can’t take that long) and sit at the table where I’ve already prepared a space for installation. Take a deep breath and lift the lid.

12.08 – I feel like I’ve been staring at my new Apple iPhone 5 with simultaneous HD video and image recording, for 10 minutes, feel a little embarrassed, shy almost! It can’t judge me though! Can it? I check the guide, it can’t.

12.11 – Installation!!!

20120924-144741.jpg12.49 – Installation.

14.54 – Delighted to discover that my Apple iPhone 5  with voice memo, command and dial capability has a sleek new charger/USB. I had been slightly concerned that I wouldn’t be able to remember which charger was which, as I currently have two outdated iPhone chargers, a similarly old fashioned iPad charger, an erroneous iPod charger and a vintage iCharger all dotted around the house and work. I reflect on how it will be much easier now that I can carry my new charger with me rather than use these ancient leads.

15.07 – The Wife sees my streamlined new fitting and says that I only got the new Apple iPhone 5 with Dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU, rather than the HTC she says I prefer because it would be easier as we already have compatible accessories, docks and spare chargers. I ask her to leave.

15.09 – Reflect that I should not rise to The Wife’s accusations. Besides she only has an decrepit iPhone 4S so is probably jealous.

16.23 – I turn off my new Apple iPhone 5 with 16m colour display and 326ppi pixel density , pause for a moment, just long enough to catch my breath and turn it on again. The Wife announces that it’s just the same as my old one, but I dismiss her again. It’s not the same anyway. My old one had a shattered screen for a start. Shaken, I comfort myself with the two Apple decals that Apple have generously included in the Apple iPhone 5’s box with sleak graphite lid, I vow not to be hasty and save them until I have carefully considered their application.

16.25 – My Apple iPhone 5 with Apple A6 chip springs in to life, my hands turn to jelly. Installation stage 2 of 5 complete!

16.26 – I realise that in all the excitement, I haven’t called Amanda back to tell her the driver got through. Have to call her back from the work Blackberry as there’s no reception on my Apple iPhone 5 with A-GPS support and GLONASS, reflect that I must check whether there’s an App for that.

iPhone 5 Day +1

08.14 – Spent the night backing up my old phone with Apple’s fabulous iCloud system, ready for my Apple iPhone 5 with PowerVR SGX 543MP3 (triple-core graphics) to finish installing.

11.16 – Less than 24 hours after I took delivery of my Apple iPhone 5 with nano-SIM card support and it’s already up and running, amazing! Managed to keep most of my contacts and everything… how do they do it!?!?!

11.17 – Get a lump in my throat as I receive my first Apple iPhone 5 with iMessage, push notification and email capability, text notification to say I have answer phone messages from when the signal was down. Reflect that HTC don’t offer this feature and vow to call the answer phone and retrieve the messages when signal returns again.

11.21 – Decide to drive into town to get a signal, in case the messages are important, it’s a lovely sunny day, reflect that if I had an HTC I’d probably just be sat on my sofa and wonder if this is why the plebs always look so pasty?

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MB – The College Years: “Things that are shit”

Life in 1997 was pretty sound on the whole, the thoroughly marvellous Konnie Huq had just started on Blue Peter (she’d continue for 11 years, although somewhat pointlessly for the last few as it’s quite hard to justify Sky+’ing Blue Peter as a 29 year old), although a New Labour coup had just installed Tony Bliar as Divine Leader it prompted one of my favourite childhood memories(clearly back then I was an ‘adult’, but with the benefit of hindsight and specifically the benefit of seeing 18 year olds balloon around the pub I can confirm they are most definitely ‘children’) of the Bliarists dad dancing to Dr Cox’s “Things Can Only Get Better” and Mama Box leaning forward, turning off the TV and muttering with a shrug “Well that’s us shitted, might as well have a coffee while we’re still allowed”, The Spice Girls launched Channel 5 and Ginger wore most of a marvellously patriotic dress to the Brits, King Kev had the “I’d love it if we beat them” meltdown and I went off to do colouring in at college.

20120919-093825.jpgImagine then if you will, my shock when I found myself flicking through an old college studio notebook to discover a list entitled “Things That Are Shit”, was life not as carefree and delicious as I remember? A troubling discovery, but one which will provide historians and social commentators with an invaluable and personal insight in to a lost generation and the daily trials, worries and stresses of 20th century youth. This document will surely be whipped away by the British Museum soon, so before then I want to share it with you.

Things That Are Shit

By MB, aged 18 1/2

Walking home from somewhere and a lollipop lady stops the traffic so you can cross, even though you’re 18… is shit.
When something costs 1p less than a fiver and you walk away leaving the penny with the cashier only to be shouted back as you’re leaving “You forgot your penny change”… is shit.
Falling over in front of fit birds… is shit.
Walking around naked and scolding your willy on a hot iron… is shit.
Old women who don’t shave… are shit.
Catching your dick in your fly… is shit.
Frozen pizza… is shit.
Finding Jesus… is shit.
Sitting on a still warm toilet seat… is shit.
Songs Of Praise… is shit.
Having no inner monologue around idiots… is shit.
Dung… is shit
Not being able to stop commentating on your movements when drunk… is shit.
Being reminded of the chat up line you tried in The Griffin on Friday… is shit.
Getting your bike wheel caught in a grid… is shit.*
Market research women with beards… are shit.

So there it is, no mention of “Journalists who refer to any semi promising footballer from a faraway land as ‘the Turkmenistani Messi’…are shit” or “People that say ‘They say’ as the beginning of a comment or [traditionally] flawed advice to try and sound learned and/or pass any future blame…are shit”, but on the whole it’s fairly timeless stuff.

There are one or two question marks which have arisen with the benefit of 15 years of hindsight, chiefly as I don’t remember(and I’m fairly sure I’d remember) burning Little MB on an iron it suggests this is either a truly bizarre teenage fear I had or it is based on a chum’s experience. Furthermore if I did burn the little gentleman on an iron I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t announce it to my contemporaries so which of them told me? Still, these are the sort of details the historians will no doubt be arguing over for years to come. Also, the level of potty mouthery used is, nowadays, resigned for conversations with grown ups(ie Over 40’s)(in 6 years and 2 months, this will be amended to ‘Over 50’s) when I develop some form of bizarre Tourette’s type syndrome where I make references to topics I have previously never discussed or thought about before in my life. Notably, and relatively recently when I decided, or rather my ‘illness’ decided, at a pleasant afternoon gathering that “Motorboating**” was a perfectly logical topic of conversation to strike up with The Bar Manager’s parents.

Suffice to say – “Trying to explain ‘Why’ someone would want to ‘Motorboat’, particularly when you have absolutely no idea or desire to do so yourself… is shit.’


*Somewhat intriguingly I didn’t have a bike from about 15 onwards, due to having no desire to become a postman, elderly librarian or au pair, so I’ll put that one down to a reference to ‘Big’ Chris*** who broke his arm going over the handlebars of his racer on the way in to college and subsequently spent the majority of his BTEC with his colouring in arm in various different casts.
**I assume you’ll have gathered I decided to discuss, with actions, the other type of Motorboating… (No boat required, just a willing or unsuspecting lady)(Got it? Yep, that one)(Very proud)
***I think I’ll also credit him with the “Not being able to have a w##k because your arm is in plaster… is shit” one, which I didn’t put in due to not being a social retard.
(Incidentally, I want it on record that despite the fact that this post is specifically about 1997, I have not mentioned Princess Diana, car crashes, the French etc… In your face Daily Mail)
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All You Really Need To Know About… History and that.

20120521-114704.jpgIt’s exam season and as the selfless public servant you know MB to be, today sees the  launch of The Box’s very own “All You Need To Know About…” revision guides. Featuring the stuff you actually need to know, without any of the chaff and fillers that teachers would have you believe is important in order to bulk out their curriculum, justify their whinging and excuse their striking and such.

The ultimate irony is, of course, that if the NUT actually used my simplified syllabii(I’ll have Geography, Books, RE and Economics covered shortly) teachers and students alike would have even more holidays, benefiting the UK’s ailing tourist industry, in turn stabilising the economy, encouraging investment and creating growth. This would enable Dave and the rest of the gang at No.10 to snap up some bargains(specifically Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy), as Europe continues to struggle. This would provide the foundation of the New British Empire which could expand at will over the next decade, picking off all the decent bits of the Eurozone and allowing us to surround France and keep a closer eye on them. Within a few years this New British Empire, which would probably last for a thousand years, would take the Yanks back under it’s wing and start the lengthy process of getting them to speak(and spell) correctly.

Anyway, it’s important that I don’t make too big a deal out of what may appear at first glance to be an aimless ramble, and it certainly isn’t for me to take the credit for saving this once great land, but I will not cease from mental fight, nor shall my pen sleep in my hand, until we have built New Britannia, in Europe’s green and pleasant land.

All You Really Need To Know About…

Modern history and that.

The first guide will tackle ‘Modern History’, all the important stuff that’s happened in the last century or so. Right then kids, straight in, no messing around…

1901- US President “Wild Bill” McKinley assassinated by Leon Czolgosz(31 points) in a row over whether you’re allowed names in Scrabble.

1901- Queen Victoria dies after a record 94 years on the throne.

20120521-111041.jpg1903- Less than a century after various British and French powered flights(Stringfellow, Gillard, Temple de la Croix, Ader…) the Wright Flyer becomes the first American flying machine, which essentially makes it the first flying machine.

1905- Albert Einstein invents the only equation anyone will ever remember from school, although no one actually knows what it explains.

1905- Russian Revolution Part 1. Never really caught on.

1906- Earthquake measuring 7.8 on the ricther scale nails San Francisco. Blamed on San Andreas.

20120521-111122.jpg1912- The Titanic sinks, the Olympic and Britannic don’t[1]. Meaning visitors to Belfast will forever have the Harland & Wolff shipyard pointed out as the place where the Titanic was built. Odd boast.

1914-Serbian terrorist plot overshadowed by decision to call themselves The Black Hand Gang.

1917- Russian Revolution Part II and III: Tsar for the memories.

20120521-111158.jpg1919- Treaty of Versailles ensures The Hun know their place once and for all and won’t cause any more grief.

1922- Benito Mussolini invents being a pouting, demented fascist leader, not very good at it, overshadowed by Austrian lad.

1928-Alexander Fleming’s discovery of Penicillin hailed as best thing since… something really significant…

1928- Sliced bread invented, hailed as best thing since Penicillin.

1933- Jerry appoint an Austrian decorator as Chancellor. He boldly vows “Give me 10 years and you won’t recognise Germany”.

1938- Orson Wells’ “War Of The Worlds” radio play causes panic in America when listeners believe the play to be actual news footage. The play was believed largely due to the imminent and very high likelihood of a Martian invasion and in no way because Americans are idiots.

20120521-111139.jpg1938- Nev Chamberlain lays down the law at the Munich conference, prevents another world war and is able to announce “Peace in our time”.

1939-Adolf Hitler and Joe Stalin sign Molotov Ribbentrop pact, splitting Poland and allying Germany and Russia. Went well.

1941- Mount Rushmore completed by American with nothing better to do, despite there being a depression on and such.

1945- Admiral Karl Donitz appointed Reichspräsident of Germany, immediately forges ahead with radical overhaul of German domestic policy, pioneered right to buy scheme and introduced a policy of surrendering in any outstanding World Wars.

1948- The US invents Israel, ensuring lasting peace in the middle east.

1951- South Africans forced to carry ID cards to identify their race[2]

1951- Harry Truman signs shock peace accord with Japan, ending World War II.

1952- “Queen” Elizabeth II agrees to keep the throne warm until Charles is ready.

20120521-110600.jpg1957- Jokers mocking the Soviet space program are left red faced when Comrade Laika bravely pilots Sputnik 2 into space, tragically she dies in space as the Soviet’s hadn’t quite got round to working out the whole ‘returny’ bit(oh, and ‘she’ was a dog).

1961- Churchill’s suggestion of an iron curtain proves impractical, East Germany opts for a ‘wall’ instead.

1963- JFK assassinated by the CIA.[3]

1965- The US, having had better ideas, sends troops to Vietnam.

1966- Star Trek aired for the first time. Not worthy of note other than without it The Bar Manager would never have uttered the famous “Star Trek is brilliant because it’s true, not now but it will be” line.

1969- Neil Armstrong becomes the first man on “the moon”[4] apart from the cameraman who clearly doesn’t count.

1972- Watergate scandal. That nice Mr Nixon gets caught doing what every government agency, President and News Of The World editor has been doing for years before and ever since.

20120521-111108.jpg1974- President Nixon resigns and delivers the most cringeworthingly awkward resignation/cheerio/thank you speech in modern history as he thanks everyone he’s ever met apart from his wife Pat(seriously, check out the body language when they leave the White House… Awkward).

1977- Star Wars released. Despite dying in a galaxy far, far away Yoda later appears in Vodafone adverts casting doubts over whether it is actually a true story, like Star Trek.

1979- Margaret Thatcher becomes first “lady” Prime Minister, Dennis Thatcher briefly becomes the face of p***y whipped husbands, until Maggie rings her little bell for more gin.

1980- John Lennon assassinated, UK music industry refuses to send anyone apart from Blunt, Morrison and Pop-Factor winners to America until further notice.

1981- Around 750 million people around the world watch Lady Diana Spencer marry King to be(Lol) Prince Charles.

1981- Around 750 million people around the world need to have a long hard look at themselves.

1982- Argentina invade the Falklands, Thatcher single handedly wins the resulting war.

1982- Michael Jackson releases Thriller, influencing a whole generation of old people. Most of whom insist on doing the walk infront of me whenever I’m in any form of rush.

1985-Mikhail Gorbachev becomes leader of USSR. Very busy, he does not notice paint drip from downstairs bathroom until many years later, covers it up with a trilby.

1989- Conversion of Berlin wall. Along with current Premier League referee Anthony Taylor, I sold bits of the wall(gravel from the playground) to contemporaries at school the same morning, including Daniel Law who came back and bought more after lunch for his dad.

1990- Nelson Mandela freed, students everywhere left do-gooder-crusade-less, leading to a huge rise in vegetarianism.

1991-Tim Berners Lee invents the Internet, never got round to patenting it due to wife mithering him to get off the computer so she could find some sunglasses like Sinita’s on ASOS. Luckily it never really caught on(OMG! imagine if it had, he’d be like sooo totally rich).

1993- Lorena Bobbit cut off… I can’t even type it.

1997- Princess Diana killed by asylum seekers, the gays and gluten[5].

1997- Scientists master cloning and finally manage to establish some sort of uniformity to sheeps.

1998- “Titanic” most successful film ever, despite Celine Dion and Belfast taxi drivers.

1998- No one thinks to ask the 250 secret service personnel trialling the President at all times about “that woman” or indeed that dress.

1999- The world ends due to the Y2K bug.

There were a few other events of note, but this lot, with a bit of padding out will easily get you an A. Which should in turn, get you £10 from your parents(assuming of course your parents have to bribe you to pass exams, like some of the go-getters I found myself at school with)(the sort of people who might, for instance, then invest some of this hard earned money in actual pieces of the Berlin wall)(which as historians will no doubt confirm, was built almost entirely from gravel and/or playgrounds).

[1] The Britannic did sink a bit, but not until 1916, and it hit a mine, so hardly worth a mention really.

[2] It is unclear how many South African police were actually registered blind, but no doubt ID cards(presumably in braile) were crucial to distinguish between the white and coloured population.

[3] The Box makes a famous cameo in Oliver Stone’s film JFK, due to being in the background during filming in a park in Washington when on a lacrosse tour when The Box was a dashing youth. Still waiting for royalty cheque, should have employed a better/an agent.

[4] “The Moon”, Edwards Air Force Base, CA 93524, USA

[5] Information courtesy of The Daily Mail.

Categories: Educational, History, Revision | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Vegetarianism: A Study.

In December 2010 I posted an open, thought provoking statement to Box fans, it read simply:

“Pol Pot, Genghis Kahn, Leona Lewis, Adolf Hitler, Jodie Marsh, Cain, Jesus Christ, Anthea Turner, Jim Jones, Courto from Courts, Chris Martin, Heather Mills, Joseph Goebbels, Bruce Forsyth(assumed), Armin Meiwers, Frankenstein’s Monster(Alan?), Hayden Panettiere, Sir Stafford Kripps, Christina Yang, Uri Geller… Discuss.”

What my public did not know was that this wasn’t quite the random cross section of society it might appear. It was indeed a ‘random cross section’ but it was selected completely randomly at random, from one particular group on the very fringe of society. A group so extreme and ludicrous that even Jim Carey refuses to confirm(or tellingly refute) claims he is a member.

My social experiment was a simple one, to gain a totally unbiased assessment of the group. I wanted to see whether, aside from some mildly genocidal, social awkwardness, does this sub-species share any other hidden characteristics or stigma common to the group? Was there an argument to establish cause, as well as the obvious effects, of the condition both for the individual and society as a whole? If so could this be diagnosed and treated before the affliction took hold? The quest was noble, the questions never ending(rather like this ‘quick’ introductory paragraph).

Physcologists and the socially astute among you may have already spotted the link(if not, the essay title is probably a reasonable clue), for the completely random selection of social misfits above, selected completely at random remember, all share one very dark, deeply sinister secret: They are all Plant Haters. Vegetablists. Members of a genus determined to cheat natural selection and evolution by existing on a diet of gratins, wild mushroom risotto(when eating out) and grass.

A Typical Vegetarian

A Typical Vegetarian

Society’s (by ‘society’, you could argue ‘my’) problem here is not some deep narcissistic loathing of the individuals themselves. Ironically, I am relatively open to the condition, I even have actual friends and family who follow this abhorrent lifestyle choice. Tellingly, one close friend(who as a result became even closer) was ordered to eat properly [meat] for health reasons following extensive medicalogical tests, which in my opinion could have been hastened(to the benefit of both patient and the tax payer) if test one followed my simple guidelines:

“Question 1. Do you eat properly? (If you answered ‘yes’ go to question 2.)
Question 2. No, seriously do you eat properly? (Soya, Quorn, nut roasts etc do not actually class as a food stuff so think carefully about your answer)…”

McCartney's Law Of Evil: Shows the spread of evil across civilised countries and America

McCartney's Law shows the spread of evil across civilised countries and America


Fairly Unnecessary Bit Of Background

Before I move on to my findings, and by way of bulking this investigation out even more, I thought it would be useful to reference the origins of the species. As you know, Homo Sapiens started to turn up around 140,000 bc, essentially out-evolutionering the other great apes and Neanderthal largely due to modern man’s considerably more advanced diet of steak, burgers and kebabs. The other homo sub species, apes and Neanderthal(who frankly was never going to win anything due to being German)(Don’t argue, Neander valley)(near Düsseldorf) continued valiantly trying to evolve on a largely garnish and dessert based diet. However, as the plastic shoed, three hugging do gooders should remember they eventually died out due to something to do with an inefficient energy releasing diet and Nile crocodiles eating them when they tried to cross rivers on their annual migration across the plains.

Very Official And Thoroughly Researched Science Element

So, what conclusions can we draw from the completely randomly selected group of random individuals compiled for our study? One fairly obvious statistic is the high occurrence of “Evil” within the group. With the exception of Subject 10: Court, all the other subjects tested score surprisingly high for some element of ‘Evil’ from ’10. Genocide’ down to ‘1. Lingering on TV despite clearly being senile(probably due to a lack of protein)’ on Hucknall’s Scale Of Evil.

The next logical step is to find a cause which could explain this high proportion, an obvious and easy one is that Vegetablists are, of course, always hungry. When the body needs food, it indicates this with what we scientists call “hunger”, however the body automatically sends out other signals when specific nutrients are required. One “Signal” is that subjects become angry, irrational and aggressive, as commonly exhibited by “Females” when deprived of essential nutrients present in “Chocolate”. Could this high presence of the AIA Signal explain high incidences of evil within vegetarian “culture”? It might, therefore I’ll base the rest of my study on this.

A high AIA level is the bodies natural way of prepping the brain to go and find food, essentially – to kill something. This would explain the highly combustible nature of the Vegetablists, it’s like a life permanently on cold turkey(pardon the pun). This theory has been demonstrated throughout history as early as Cain and Able, when the evil vegetarian Cain brutally satisfied his bloodlust by killing his own brother, the omnivorous Able. This example demonstrates what we shall call the “Cain ‘n’ Able Effect”, whereby the peace loving, enviromentalist omnivore hunts for “food”, the evil vegetarian hunts, born of frustration, purely for “recreation”.

Vegetarians: High AIA Levels

Vegetarians: High AIA Levels

As seen, high levels of “frustration” are a very dangerous factor in the mindset of the vegetarian, and as proven by my assumption that all vegetarians are hungry, so too are they permanently on edge, nervy and therefore “cross”. If we take nature as our example here, the most ‘evil’ animal in Africa is of course the vegetarian Hippopotamus, who, frustrated at having to spend it’s time constantly grazing on it’s low protein, low nutrient, low “food” vegetarian diet also has to watch the peace loving big cats lounge around under trees all day. Needless to say this leads to high levels of frustration, high AIA levels and high incidences of “recreational” attacks on animals and humans alike.

A Peace Loving African Suffers An Unprovoked Hippopotamus Attack.

A Peace Loving African Suffers An Unprovoked Hippopotamus Attack.

There is one final contributing anthropological factor, which our study serves to confirm, with the exception of Subject 16: Alan (Frankenstein’s Monster). Anthropologists have long suggested that vegetarian tribes going back to BC times were shorter than the tall, vibrant, elegant omnivorous tribes and with shortness comes, as you know, aggression. An aggression which is once again born of frustration.

Final And Not At All Rushed(In No Way Because I’ve Bored Myself Now) Conclusion

So, in conclusion it would appear that whilst not all vegetarians are evil(vegetables may disagree), it is an absolutely unquestionable fact, that all the ‘evil’ in the world, from genocide to singing too loud then too quiet is perpetrated by the vegetarians.







The Omnivoure Society: Promoting understanding through a more efficient energy release type thing

The Omnivoure Society: Promoting understanding through a more efficient energy release type thing

*Nb: No reference has been made to vegans, fruitarians or self diagnosed food allergy-ees for the sake of my sanity.
**Nb2: …oh and no actual research was done in compiling this study and as such any offence caused is fairly accidental, not that you’d have the energy to raise much more than a emaciated grunt anyway.

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Wasn’t It A Lovely Day The Day We Went To Bangor (The Lost Manuscript)


“You know that bit where you sit opposite someone on the train and you look up and realise you vaguely know them, but you’ve already committed to the seat so you have to begrudgingly say “Alright” as you sit down, with just the right amount of begrudgingness so you don’t look rude but not too little lest you have to have a ‘chat’?
Well, it appears I don’t actually know Jamie Maquire, although due to my expert begrudgingnessing I think he thinks he knows me.
#awkward #hekeepstryingtocatchmyeye #concentrateonthefacebook #justpretendi’mreplyingtoemails #heprobablythinksi’mveryimportant”

Status Update Courtesy of

The following is the actual manuscript which followed this status update of 11th October, during one of the most awkward hour or so’s of my dashing young life as I desperately tapped away on my phone trying to look busy, I have added a short appendix to explain one or two references but the content remains(dangerously) unedited… Cringe away, I did…

Just keeping staring at the phone, he keeps looking over, he’s definitely trying to catch my eye now, damn my excellent “Alrighting’ skills.

Oh I get it, he’s packing an iPhone 5 he probably wants to discuss it. Oh crapper crap that means he must know that for the last 10 minutes I’ve had no reception either… He must have sussed I’m pretending to send v important emails. He probably thinks I’m on just on the Facebook, he probably thinks I’m the sort of tool who’s just checked in ‘with’ him, which is only half true.

Maybe Heidi[1] is right, maybe everyone does know The Box. Probably not worth gambling on it though, us celebs like our privacy. He’s probably just glad I’m sat here not just some member of the public. Maybe he set it up, he could have set it up right? Yeah he well could. Where are the oher spare seats? There’s three student types wearing weird stuff saying ‘like’ every other word a couple of tables down, us celebs definitely wouldn’t risk sitting opposite them and there’s some old folk whinging about the price of tea cakes at the station with absolutely no hint of cliche or shame, they’d be a reasonable bet on a busier train as they wouldn’t recognise us youth types but they are properly whinging now… Yeah I reckon I’d have known I’d have sat here, yep he definitely wanted to meet me.

He’s looking again, he must have sussed out by now that I’m not really sending very important emails, although I definitely look important enough to need to send endless important emails, like a young Josh or Toby[2] or a jollier Malcolm[3] (well probably not jollier). Arse, just realised, we know he’s a massive fan of The Box so he’s probably realised that if I’m not sending very important emails I’m probably passing time by just typing drivel on to The Soapbox, as I do with all awkward, dull, quiet moments. Crap. What if I accidentally post this? He probably subscribes. What if I accidentally post it, his phone beeps and he reads this while I’m still sat here? Crap. What if I’ve already pressed it?… Errrr, loved the Never Forget cover after you married Karen[4]… Go and buy me a Twix you rascal… Nice coat…

Nothing. Probably got his notifications on silent.

He’s looking away now, probably trying to think of an ice breaker, he’ll say something in a minute. Wonder what the etiquette is about celebs asking other celebs for autographs? Suppose I could just ask for his in return, I could say it’s for The Wife, I could say she thinks he’s hot or something. That wouldn’t be gay or owt, not if I mention The Wife in the same sentence surely. What if he’s into groupies though? He wouldn’t try anything with The Wife though, not now we’re mates. What if him and Karen are swingers? Can’t see The Wife being into that, she hates Shameless for a start, not sure this is a good idea. Maybe I’ll just sign the autograph and not ask for his, think that’s less bad. I could say it’s for my brother who thinks he’s ho… No that’s too weird. He’s still looking out of the opposite window, he’s rubbish with ice breakers. Maybe I should give him an “in”, I’ll drop my ticket under the table, just aim for his side…

Well, that went well, he definitely knows that was deliberate. This just got awkward, it was much better when he was just in awe of me.


Been trying to look enthralled by the majestic scenery and we hit Rhyl. How the f-word do you look enthralled by Rhyl? “Oh look that bus sheltery beach hut thing is mildly less depressing than the last bus sheltery beach hut thing”? The only people who find this sort of view enthralling are old folk, but they’re too busy whinging about having to buy the jam separately(and for the record no you probably didn’t have to in your day, but to be fair jam was f-wording rationed ‘in your day’).

Why are all the caravans painted green? To blend in with the grey sea? The grey sky? The grey beach? How do you even get a grey beach?

An overly cheerful mother with an distinctly overly annoyingly child have got on and sat behind the guy from Shameless(Probably so they can ‘check in’ on The Facebook with some overly dickish “OMG totally sat on the train with Marathon Box and that guy from Shameless :-)”). Hopefully, they’ll sing overly cheerful children’s songs overly loudly… Excellent! Overly cheerful mother has changed the words to ‘the wheels on the bus’ to… and this is genius “the wheels on the… train” LOFL[5].

This is torture, the only time the overly deranged mentalist stops singing is when Olivia[6] shouts “Sea” (which is every thirty seconds) and then she starts from the beginning again. By my reckoning this line runs alongside the sea for about another 20-25 minutes, which by my reckoning means I’m going to hear “The wheels on the train go round and round…” another 40-50 times. Unless I kill them.

This is getting unbearable now, I know it’s annoying him, he knows it’s annoying me, I know he knows I know it’s annoying us both. I’m going to have to break the ice myself, he’s clearly not going to.

Shit shit shitty shit. Went to do the half shruggy, eyebrow raised, eye rolly, silent tut thing but he wasn’t looking and as I turned away mid shruggy, tutty thing he did look and I had to maintain the rolling eye, tutty shrug out of the window instead. Essentially he’s just turned to find himself sat opposite a wild eyed madman tutting away at Colwyn Bay station. Tried to morph the rolly eyed tut shrug into a sort of very important concentration type look, the sort of look the sender of very important emails would adopt, all I actually achieved was scaring a woman on the platform.


“Llandudno Junction station, change here for Llandudno, Betws-Y-Coed, Bleanau Ffestiniog” the platform is full of weirdos and zombies, thankfully and unsurprisingly they stay on the platform, resign never to go to Bleanau Ffestiniog. The old folk, overly annoying mother and overly repetitive child get off. Not sure when the students got off, but it’s just me and the guy from Shameless now, can’t quite decide what the etiquette is now, surely one of us moves to an empty space, you only need to spread your stuff out so it looks like you needed more room. He’s on the aisle seat but I sat down after him, who’s meant to move? He’s on the aisle, it’s definitely him that should move.

Just had a phone call, which resulted in me having to make another phone call, which resulted in me divulging my actual name on the phone. Feel a bit weird, am now very aware that he knows my name, bit of an invasion of privacy that. He should have moved, he’s on the aisle. I’m now basically sat opposite a guy(who is clearly in awe if my celebrity)(he’s basically a stalker) on an empty train, who knows my name and is refusing to move. I could get a restraining order on him easily.

At this stage we must have arrived at Bangor, because the ramble(and subsequent cringing ends) with no mention of the awkward part when we pulled into the station, got up and marched purposefully and in opposite directions down the carriage to different doors.


1. Macker – posted “Doesn’t everybody know MB?” In response to the above Facebook status. Very astute lady.
2. Lyman and Zeigler – West Wing stalwarts, who would definitely have been the sort to have combined walking and talking obscurely fast with tapping away on the Blackberry’s, had they not been alive pre smartphone.
3. Tucker – Probably not strictly true, as he strikes me as much more of a phoneshout kind of guy. Sam would deal with important emails.
4. Maguire – The guy off Shameless’ wife and landlady of The Jockey.
5. Laugh Out F-Wording Loud – Nb LOFL used with massive amounts of irony, due to lack of moronity.
6. Overly Repetitive Child – I know this because the overly killable mother used it at the beginning(and sometimes end) of every sentence to her offspring.

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Insert Title Here (Alternatively just write a load of nonsense about Dragons Den, Rick Astley and the S-Project)(No idea either, sorry)

Sooooo… Can’t sleep, can’t think, can’t find anything on Netflix(having watched all 19 titles they have)(fairly sure it is the only media service more backward than Llŷn Video, Pwllheli Cinema, “mother in law” mobile phones or Dorset), can’t be arsed going downstairs and getting climbed all over by The Wife’s cats, can’t stop reminiscing about Dre, can’t stop thinking about all the things Rick Astley assures me he absolutely will not, under any circumstance, do(Give me up, let me down, run around, desert me, make me cry, say goodbye, tell a lie… the list goes on), can’t think of a subject for a Soap Box Rant* and have now resorted to Googling “Blog Topics”. Rather marvellously this brought up a “Blog Topic Generator” which, I suspect got a rapturous review on Dragon’s Den.

Anyway, I’m going for it… quickfire stylee…

Keeping Rhythm
N/A, I have natural rhythm.

Most Loved Character In History
Summer Reed – Home and Away.

Art Jobs
Being the first tour guide at the Tate to have to justify Tracey Emin’s “My Bed” to a coach load of pensioners from Ipswich.


“…and then in 2002, Nigella Lawson’s husband bought the piece for £150,000”

Pop vs. Hip hop
Pop, as a known mother flipping G, I don’t have to prove myself by sitting on the back of a bus playing plastic rap through my mobile’s speakers… and NKOTB’s Donnie Walhberg was clearly harder than Vanilla Ice anyway.

History Of Religion
War. Imaginary friends for the pre-Big Brother generations. Bigotry. (Easy)

Depictions Of Satan
‘Satan’ may be a little strong but, the look on Cristiano Ronaldo’s face when it suddenly dawned on him that his evil-genius plan to put himself down for the fifth shoot out penalty (Spain vs Portugal Euro 2012 Semi Final) so he could get the glory and stand chest out, pouting furiously at the crowd, as his adoring teammates ran to mob him as they defeated the favourites and cruised magnificently into the final was somewhat dependant on the shoot out going the distance and not, for instance, ending 4-2, when Alves and Moutinho missed. Perhaps not the classic depiction of Satan, but certainly my fondest.




Matchstick Modelling
Useful way of determining when it’s officially time to call it[life] a day.

The Smallest Country In The World
Vatican? Home to the best piece of graffiti I have ever seen, on the toilet wall in the Vatican Gift Shop “Reverend Tim Burn From Toronto Was Here – 2010” (proving on so many levels that nothing is sacred). My faithful HTC lies dead, but safe, in a drawer purely because I hope that one day I will be able to rescue the photograph from it.

The S-Process
The recognised technique used by astronauts to reach for the stars, space etc?

Well, that killed an hour, it’s just brought up “Running” for a third time and it’s daylight now so I think I’ll call that job done.

As a final note, I’d just like to say ‘well done’ to Theo, Peter, dour Scottish chap and Deborah for believing in the “Random Blog Topic Generator 1.0” in the first place, investing in it and making some bloggy techno-geek a multi squillionaire and enabling him to pay z-list celebrities to parade around his Coventry mansion in the actual slave girl outfit Carrie Fisher wore in Return Of The Jedi.

Supernanny – Money Well Spent.

* That’s not strictly true but…
“People that park in bus stops should be classed as ‘shootable'”, “If it’s ‘better than the leading brand’ why isn’t it the leading brand?”, “Highway Code For Range Rovers”, “A Modern Cookbook, which details exactly what you need to add to ‘Now with no added salt’ etc products to make them taste like they used to”, “Gwynedd Council: Schedule of planned roadworks July-September 2012 to cause maximum inconvenience to tourists on the Llŷn Peninsula”, “Our cat is on pills for stress, despite being a cat”… etc
…are in storage for an occasion when it’s less likely my head will explode mid rant.

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A Special Relationship: The Swingers Guide To British and US History



The US Presidents and UK Prime Ministers have long droned on about the “special relationship” between the two nations, but how ‘special’ is special?

It’s fair to assume that the world leaders are fairly riotous sorts when it comes to their after summit wind down, but how far do they go? Over the years, we know the treasury keys have, from time to time, been chucked in a bowl in the middle of the coffee table as things got a little bit freaky late on. So, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have some sort of reference to establish the winners and losers in the long history of the Anglo-American swingathon?
Well, funnily enough…

The Frances Folsom Trophy


In 1885, Frances Folsom became Mrs Grover Cleveland and the following year the youngest First Lady in United States history. In 1887 she accompanied Cleveland to the G2 summit in London to discuss which country would get to invent the diesel engine, radar, film cameras etc(all invented by the British, as you’ll know). It was after this meeting of the economic superpowers of the day that British Prime Minister Robert Gascoygne-Cecil 7th Marquess of Salisbury and his wife, Georgina, entertained the Clevelands by taking them on a ‘stoning’ tour of London(a popular activity of the day, where the wealthy would cruise the squalid slums of inner cities throwing coal at the plebs who risked injury to get valuable fuel). The two couples hit it off, and later back at Number 10, a tradition which would define the ‘special’ relationship began.
125 years on, The Frances Folsom Trophy is designed to work out the winners of this tradition over the years(Gascoigne-Cecil was clearly the winner in the original ‘meeting’, for a start Georgina was posh and therefore probably ungainly, loud and ridiculously accented)(not to mention the fact that Mrs Cleveland was still only 22 and considered, by the standards of the day to be… H. O. T.). Anyway, results are based, via a series of sophisticated computer models and complex equations(primarily the gI – Giggs Index of ‘likelihood’ and the PJAS – Paula Jones Aesthetic Standard), on the Treasury Key System.

First Round Knockout:


2011: Samantha Cameron £££ vs $ Michelle Obama

2007: Laura Bush $$ vs £ Sarah Brown

1998: Hilary Clinton $$ vs 0 Cherie Blair

1993: Barbara Bush 0 vs £ Norma Major

1989: Dirty Denis Thatcher ££ vs $$$ Nancy Reagan

1977: Eleanor Carter $ v 0 Audrey Callaghan

1974: Betty Ford $$$ vs. 0 Mary Wilson

1968: Lady Bird Johnson $$ v 0 Elizabeth Douglas Home, Countess of Home

1962: Lady Dorothy MacMillan £ vs $$$ Jacqueline Kennedy

1956: Mamie Eisenhower $ vs ££ Clarissa Eden

1950: Violet Atlee £ vs. 0 Bess Truman

1945: Clementine Churchill £ vs 0 Eleanor Roosevelt

1928: Grace Coolidge $$$ vs £ Lucy Baldwin

1918: Margaret Lloyd George ££ vs. $ Edith Wilson

1914: Margot Asquith ££ vs. $ Ellen Wilson

1905: Edith Kermit Roosevelt $ vs Lady Charlotte Campbell-Bannerman

1900: Ida McKinley PP Georgina, Marchioness of Salisbury (Deceased)



Last 16


Hilary Clinton $$$ vs 0 Edith Kermit Roosevelt

Grace Coolidge $$ vs $ Laura Bush

Betty Ford $$$ vs ££ Margaret Lloyd George

Violet Atlee £ vs $$ Eleanor Carter

Samantha Cameron £££ vs 0 Norma Major

Margot Asquith 0 vs $$$$ Jacqueline Kennedy

Clementine Churchill ££ vs $ Lady Bird Johnson

Nancy Reagan $$ vs £ Clarissa Eden



Quarter Final

Betty Ford VOID Jacqueline Kennedy
(Kennedy awarded victory due to Ford being hammered)

Nancy Reagan $$ vs. $ Eleanor Carter

Grace Coolidge $ vs. £ Clementine Churchill
(Churchill wins on the ‘we invented you’ rule)

Samantha Cameron £££ vs. $ Hilary Clinton


Semi Final


Clementine Churchill £ vs. ££ Samantha Cameron

Nancy Reagan $$$ vs. $$$$ Jacqueline Kennedy





I would just like to be clear here that this is not some thinly veiled attempt at declaring a fiendish secret crush on SamCam, to say there was no obvious winner is an understatement. I had assumed before inputting all the data into my highly complicated and very sophisticated computer model that the bookies favourite(Kennedy) would walk it. Unfortunately, she was undone by her freakish Bouvier eye thing. Kennedy wore a sneaky line in massive sunglasses to try and mask it but, bottom line… her eyes were well far apart(Seabird rather than hammerhead admittedly and yes, an increased field of vision is probably a marvellous tool in the event of say, an assasination attempt, but still… freaky). Obviously we Brits, as mentors, have to set an example to our American cousins and so we don’t make a fuss of it , but there are times when British politeness, discretion and manners have to take a back seat.
There is also the minor point that pairing up the Cormorant-like Kennedy with renowned T-Rex Nicholas Sarkozy in the Berlasconi Cup would just be too weird for words. So it falls to Samantha Cameron, winner of the Francis Folsom Trophy, to take on Bruni…








A truly special relationship.


Categories: politics, history, swinging | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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