Saturday, 28 April 2012


The Tots decided to volunteer for a Sunday at the city farm, even though I've told her there's heavy rain and up 50 mph winds. I'm well proud. A classic example of if you stick yourself in the poo, you pick yourself up, brush yourself down, and get stuck in. This is a teen who a couple of weeks ago grumbled at getting up for school.

That's my girl, that is :)


I've been asked to restore an - quote - "An original Wainwright'" That's a linky you can click on, but in essence,  Alfred Wainwright, (1907-1991)  lived, loved and walked the Lakeland Fells and produced walking guides to the area. You haven't walked that area unless you've done it with a Wainwright guide in your pocket.

He preferred his own company, a gentle, solitary and funny man, who I was lucky enough to interview in the late 80's. His gentle humour and illustrations come across in his seven books. It's like being there.

The first thing I have to do is find out is whether the book is original. A book may be old and well loved, and look and smell old, and it might even have a date of publication and revision dates. That doesn't make it genuine. If it's not what it seems to be, it doesn't mean it's not worth restoring. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all. But if it's going to be sold on after restoration, I need, like an art expert, need to protect myself by proving provenance.

My personal view is - just don't. Leave it alone. An old and tatty book is a loved book, and there's nothing wrong with a well used book. It may not look good, it may be torn, tatty and stained (I once found a bacon rasher as a bookmark) but it has feel, it has history, it has a unique smell, but most of all, it's been read, again, again and again. There's no greater pleasure.

Ask yourself this. In a hundred years time, what's going to survive?  Today's digital electronic media? The messy competing standards and DRM - Digital Rights Media? Squabbles between competing publishers, and the machines needed to read them? 

Or good honest handwritten or printed books, the carved in stone of antiquity? Did the ancient Brits or Egyptians create digital books? You think that's silly? I wonder what linear archaeologists will learn about our Digital civilisations in a few hundred years. They won't. Because digital is intransigent.

Friday, 27 April 2012


Heh. Should have known. 

Our Tots, doing her work experience in the pouring rain at a 'city farm' the other end of the city, slipped and fell while cleaning out a pig pen. As always happens, she'd declined to use use one of the jackets they provide, as she felt more comfortable in her own. Luckily, she was uninjured.

She came home, in the rain, covered in pig poo. Even though she'd dried out and cleaned up best she could, the rain on the way home had 'reactivated' what was left. Heck, I'd forgotten how strong that smells. She'd fallen face first in it.

The following morning when we went to get get her up at 06:00 she was really unwell. Bear went back to bed, and I laid at the side of Tots reading, as Dads do, until I was sure Tots was o.k. I'm up at least 05:30  anyway. She slept until 14:00 and seemed fine.

This morning she was up at 06:20, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, doing her make-up (!?), insisting she had to go. And orf' she went :)

Bear was up at 06:00 doing Totsies 'pack-up', on total automatic, grunting at everything Tots and I said. Note :- to a teenager, "grumph" and "uh-huh" means "Yes" and is expensive.

O6:40. Yeh, I know, I'm pedantic. Bear's stood in the living room doorway arms crossed, frowning at me with her best Les Dawson expression.  "You can't move can you?. You cuddled Tots didn't you? Twit."  

Then she went to bed until 10 am. No. Not very well. Lots of curious bits are inoperative. Neighbours nipping in to see how I am - which, bless'em I could do without. So it's the famous big quilt, Time Team and Wheeler Dealers for me today :)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Frankly, the legal side of blogging is seriously getting on my nerves.

I really wanted to blog an interview with *takes deep breath* a chap from a (religion deleted) who was briefly situated locally many years ago before moving with his followers to a private compound (somewhere abroad) who later found himself and many of his accumulated followers and colleagues (somewhat perforated) and, umm, a little (frazzled).

I understand it's sensitive, I understand the big picture and the politics. I'm sure I can present it with due sensitivity. But no.

Bloomin' international libel laws :(

Upside. My legal mates who keep an eye on me charge me Polo's. Seriously.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

World wide Webb?

I have a conundrum.

I've spent the morning scratching my head looking at the seed trays I have scattered around the house. Various cut-and-come-again lettuce mainly.

The theory goes like this. You plant more than you need because something or other will kill off a lot of them, right? Wrong. Very Wrong.

Likewise, you know the seeds from the red and yellow bell peppers and chilli's from the supermarket that normally end up in the bin, because again, the theory is their too immature to sprout? Last year, I got two to sprout, and their still going strong. 

I dare'n't count the herbs.

Where the heck am I going plant over 120 lettuce and forty-odd  thriving peppers and chilli's?  I can just see it now. Knocking on all my neighbours doors and saying "Err.... hello missus. Can I plant some of these amongst your Aquilegia?"  

It'll be "Quick Bert, shut the curtains. It's that weird bloke with his Lettuce coming up the path again!".


A bloke goes to the doctors with a lettuce hanging out of his ear. "Ouch!" says the doctor. "That looks nasty"

"Nasty!?" says the bloke. "Nasty!? That's just the tip of the Iceberg"

I've just discovered that should there be a 'hosepipe ban' in our area - there isn't at the mo' - that because I'm on a mobility benefit I will be exempt. How very odd. That'll really make me popular around here. Not. Perhaps I could bribe the neighbours..... with.... hmmm....

Friday, 20 April 2012

I've just learned that Bert Weedon, famous for his Play With yourself in a Day guitar books - Despite the news media's edited version of the title, has died aged 91.

He was the inspiration of people like me, the Bear, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and Brian May. Hey, what a line up :) His simple, easily followed guitar chords has inspired a generation of artists. I still have one of his books. 


Bless you mate x 

Whats going on.......

Bit of a mixed bag today.

Ordered a replacement blade for my wizzywig - one of those hand mixers with added little bowls and blades, and it arrived labelled as an Oral-B toothbrush part. That led to some trepidation.  If one got mixed up between  the two, it would lead to dentric catastrophe. Luckily, the right part was in the box. Phew! :)

Kudos to Bear and 15 year old Tots, who's doing Work Experience for a fortnight at a 'Inner City Farm' t'other side of the city. It means having to get Tots up at 6am, two hours earlier than school. She grumbles - a lot - but she's out of the house by 6:30 am, to get to work by 0815, and staggers in at half five after dealing with insane chickens, demanding goats, and loony Llama's. And that's the polite version :) Then she helps with the sick animals too. Astonishing, but she's thinking of volunteering for weekend too. Work Experience isn't paid by the way.

 Meanwhile The Bear, not known as an early riser, has insisted on getting up to do her butties and pack her off, despite that I'm normally up by 4 am. I have to sit down, shut up. Apparently. Chuckle ! What does 'or else' mean?


My lads cat, 'Lucky'  was hit by a car this morning. Managed to drag himself back home. A leg so shattered the paw was missing and the bone showed through further up the leg. My lad was made redundant a couple of months ago,  so he had had a friend drive them to the PDSA, and phoned the PDSA on the way.

They said unless he was on housing benefit (which takes months to sort out) go elsewhere. Anyway, they've found a friendly vet, who cares about animals, who's dealt with poor Lucky straight away. For £200 to amputate it's poor leg. Which of course, he can't afford. Sorted that out.......

PDSA. How dare they turn down a severely injured animal because of money? What's that all about? At least they could charge him ? Grrrrrrr.  

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


Hi Damski ! :)

Damski is a resident genius at TPR, Team Phoenix Rising. TPR are a team of crunchers. That's not a load of people who come and trash your flower bed if you don't pay your bills.

Crunchers are people who use the excess power of their computer(s) as part of a wider internet network, often many thousands of people and sometimes millions, to problem solve. Everyone has a little unused power in their computers.

That can cover a cure for cancer or malaria, climate change, protein synthesis, or a search for evidence of extraterrestrial  life. The concept behind it all is if lots of home computers using their idle time to do a tiny bit of work, an organisation doesn't have to spend millions on a super computer. 

It's free, you can run it in the background when you use it or not at all, and on most computers, and your system can do something useful if you have it switched on. 

It gets a little deeper in that people form teams and communities and compete :) Some people are so into it that they rope in old and otherwise unused computers, or even build them just for the purpose. As an added bonus, people in their teams have forums where they share their hobbies, interests, buy and sell equipment and advise each other. Often they hold events and gatherings.  It's great fun. 

Though I'm not around that much at the mo, I'm into TPR, and I have made some wonderful friends.

The crunching? Seti, and protein folding, which is looking for cures for diseases, a very popular 'crunch' called Folding. On Seti I've racked up about 3,290,000 hours over the years.

Even if you don't crunch, click here at Team Phoenix Rising, register, and feel free to ask any questions of how you can help out.

Re:- Nicked again.

Sigh. Video shown as an example now withdrawn 'cos I'm about to enter a legal tiff. Legal stuff  is a real pain in the proverbial. It's a good job I have a few legal eagles in my circle of friends who quote :-

"Get rid of that thing Wheelie! You should know better! Sh*t, man, bloomin' well ask before you sulk"

I'm sure you guys only do this to get a three month supply of Chocolate Hob Nobs out of me? And what's with the Polo Mints? I'm open to negotiation about ditching the mints and supplying the holes.

Je pensais que vous étiez favorable à messieurs rendus? Avez-vous une idée de combien le coût hobnobs? Vous payez pour mon prochain voyage à Paris ....

So there :)

Monday, 16 April 2012

On One Leg.

My last post. Thanks for the PM's here and on twitter that in summary asked "So, just where do you stand on....."

Naughty. If you know me, you shouldn't have to ask.

"I don't care who's bloody field it is. If no-one ploughs it, no bugger gets fed"

From the Very Small Book of Dray.

Hmmm? :)  xx

Sunday, 15 April 2012


"But Bear does everything around here....." a well meaning mate said.

Well no.

But indeed, she does work very hard and do a lot more than a lot of wives because she enables me to do things other people take for granted, and by doing so gives me a freedom I wouldn't otherwise have. You'll have to excuse me if I spare you the gory details.

Some things have always been the same. I'm not allowed near the washing machine for instance. That's her domain, and ye small gods help anyone who tries to get anywhere near it. There's a lot of stuff I can do around the house, and the family like to be around when I do them.

I often think it's more their worrying than anything I might do, like insisting on being there when I eat, but I appreciate the concern, and sometimes it is justified. But you can't live life worrying something is going to go wrong, can you? It's just plain impractical. 

Sure I have some limitations, and sometimes more than other times. But like any other family, through long practice and gentle and often unspoken negotiation the gears of family life are well oiled and run smoothly. It just works.


I suppose by 'modern' ways at looking at things we seem a bit strange and unexpected. People often mistakenly believe that because Bear has a very strong caring role, she is the one to deal with.

So they're often surprised when she defers everything to me. 

However we follow a long family tradition of the man of the house being head of the household, and that I carry the ultimate responsibility.

If I had to define it, it's an old christian tradition called 'covering' that's worked very well for us and kept our family strong for 26 years. Is my Bear overworked, 'put on', subservient or a Cinderella? Heck no. Far from it. 

It frees Bear to be who she wants to be, and do what she needs to do. Does it always run smoothly? Nope :)  

"The Hairy One" I overheard her say in the kitchen t'other day to a mate " stubborn, pig headed, impossible, and a total pain in the arse". That'll be be me then :) 

" Love's patient, love's kind. It doesn't envy, it doesn't boast, it's not proud. It doesn't dishonour others, it's not self-seeking, it's not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love doesn't delight in hatred but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always, always perseveres."

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 

Catchya x

Friday, 13 April 2012

Whoopydo :( she walks in from an Asda attack and says "Mmmm, what smells nice?" That'll be the Sandalwood. 

Phew. I'm a bag of nerves today anyway. I have my six monthly diabetic appointment in a few hours. 

Don't get me wrong. I had all my blood samples and stuff taken a couple of weeks ago, and that's no problem. Liver function, kidney function, platelets, waist and hight (BMI - Body Mass Index has been discredited). How much do I smoke, how much do I drink, yada yada yada...

"And how do you and Bear get on, well, you know..." Now remember, Bear goes with me everywhere. So I did the Mr Spock thing with the eyebrow. This one, I have to get right. I wasn't going to look at Bear.

It's a valid question. I am a gentleman of a certain age, with a wife ten years younger. I was going to be asked this if I was alone, and I ain't allowed.... The alternative when your hitting your mid fifties is an irrational fear of anyone wearing Marigold rubber gloves. Snnnap. Snap.

Gentlemen of a certain age are often required a prostate check. Google it. Diplomacy mode on.


Well, what? As we left, Bear cuddled me and said "you can be sweet you can" All together now. Ahhhh :)

I'm worried about them checking my feet. Feet fiddlin'. Can't take it. I do, but I can't stand them being touched, and they ask me to close my eyes and poke my toes with something slightly pointy to make sure I can feel it. 

And I'm not even ticklish. I might even have a stiff whisky first. Wish me luck, dear reader.

Well sweetheart, it was like this.....

It's quite easy to smoke your own fish in the kitchen. A tough wok with a tight fitting lid, plenty of kitchen foil, shavings of fragrant wood or even a well flavoured tea or leaves, such as Jasmine or a citrus, and a well oiled rack. For extra punch, you can use a well flavoured fish such as mackerel. Five to ten minutes and robert's your mothers brother.

What you DON'T do, is get into a double episode of "Wheeler Dealers", tell a madly barking dog "Shurrup making that racket!" while wondering 'what's that odd smell?' 40 minutes later.

That's my kitchen. It's not a close up. Naturally, the first thing I did was grab a camera....

No harm done. Except the pong. What gets me is our smoke alarm goes off if Bear so much as looks at the toaster. Not a whisper this time. Ah. The Bear. Hmm. Do you think "A big boy did it and run away" will be a good excuse?

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


Oh dear. Got myself into trouble yet again, in a forum where I referred to stroke survivors as 'brain damaged'

Perhaps I could have worded it better? "suffered brain damage" maybe? Nah. In the furore that ensured, I quietly grabbed my coat from the hook, and made a dignified exit. Mine was the one with a light sabre in the pocket.

Because, y'see, I'm not one of those who may, just may, come to their collective senses this morning and read the original post, then note that the object of their vitriol was referring to himself.  I hope they're going be be somewhat embarrassed.  Equally, I'll spare them embarrassment by not linking to them. Ever.

When it comes to stroke, it's about me, and people like me, not about those who want to demonstrate to the world and it's mother what wonderful, caring, fluffy people they think are.

 Don't like 'em. Those are the people who do things to me, not with me. That talk past or over me, not to me. That debate about me, not with me. If someone can't do that, and with courtesy, they can get off my boat and walk to shore, thank you very much. I'd suggest they would find that a much more tenuous position than they'd imagine.  :)

I do wish people would take the time to read a thread before they jump in feet first in self righteous effrontery.

Black is black. White is white. I'm brain damaged. I'm not cowed by it, I don't hide it, and I sure don't need protecting from it. I'm also saying that on behalf of those who aren't as fortunate as I, and are unable to express themselves as well. Like wot I do.


Tell you what though. It brought into sharp focus for me how you should express yourself on the Internet.  To me it's simple. If I can do it offline in such a way that it doesn't get me punched in the nose, and conduct myself likewise on the net, I'll wear my nose with honour.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Copyright (c)

Just read a tweet where @placidsheep is furious because someone has passed off his photography on the internet as their own.

Unfortunately, that's all too easily done. The process for protecting your copyright can be convoluted and expensive. A quick and simple method is to embed a hidden watermark or message in a picture.

I had some of my digital music pinched 15 or so years ago. 

Doubtless what follows is much more complex now.

Fortunately, as I understood the format and structure of the medium, I had embedded copyright  notices in it at various places. The people who pinched it knew only the basics, and changed my copyright in one place.

I'd had the foresight to make multiple copies, and when I'd accumulated a few tunes I saved them off, made paper copies of the digital and sheet music, wrote details of where and how the copyright notice was embedded, slapped it all in a security sealed envelope, and with a bit of faffing about with my solicitor, paid £45 for it to be saved with them for perpetuity.

I very much doubt you could get a deal like that nowadays. My solicitors weren't very switched on to copyright then. They sure are now :) 

When the music was pinched and used on a commercial CD I made a polite request for it to be removed or that they pay royalties. I was ignored. £20 got me solicitors letters to the thieves and and their publishers. The music company withdrew the CD, leaving the tea-leafs with a hefty bill from that company.

So what did my £65 (£109.85 today with inflation) get me? Peace of mind.

I never released them commercially. Instead I released the two most popular tunes as public domain out of pure bloody mindedness, still with embedded credit, with a polite request that if anyone wants to use them, please ask. They were re-released in 2005 under the Creative Commons licence. Guess they're still out there as Public domain too :)

I was pleased to reach an agreement with a major charity to use one of the tunes under licence for them to benefit from resale if they wanted, and receive any tax benefits.

I'd call that a moral victory. Everything comes to those who wait....

Sunday, 8 April 2012


The venerable Rare Lesser Spotted asked in a comment "Whatever happened to the typewriter, a bookshelf and a 35mm camera?" 

Here's what happened to Typewriters  

There is a thriving used machine market, but the problem is finding ribbons, and when you do, they're expensive. But that's a matter of perspective I suppose. I paid £120 for my printer, but I pay £45 for black toner for 1000 pages at, and £58 each  per cartridge for the yellow, cyan and magenta. Digging out my abacus (I'm not joking) that's £217.

I like typewriters. Partly, as is illustrated in the article above, because of the romantic image of the author hunched over late into the night pounding away. And partly because I'm a big fan of so called 'trashy' 1930's sci-fi and detective novels (It was a cold night in the windy city. "She rolled her eyes, he rolled them back".)

35 mm film? For Kodak, you're stuffed. Otherwise, I don't think you can beat film. Yup, there's a lot of work involved. For good results, learning how to take the pictures hasn't changed, nor has the expense.  A half decent photographer is an artist who will do what it takes to get the result they want. It's like conducting an orchestra.

Developing is an art and a skill that can have glorious accidents, and no messing about worrying about resolution. And now? If you're so minded, you can have a foot in both analogue and digital worlds. The 35 mm film is alive and well.


Have you noticed that many thousands of years of history is carved in stone, bone, clay, parchment and paper?  

Have you tried to read digital data into a modern computer from laser discs, 8 inch floppies, 5 1/4 inch floppies, 3 inch floppy's 3 1/4 inch floppies, punch card, punch tape, tape backups or cassette tape? 

From 5-40 years ago? I can read the cuneiform from a Babylonian clay tablet, and that's easier than reading a BBC laser disk from 1986.  Even century year old film crumbles to dust. 

Then there's the look, feel, smell of a book, the skill of the scribe, the artist, the binder, and heck the joiner.

We will not see the end of books any time soon. Digital is the continuation of a theme of record, not a replacement, and if we want those in the future to understand their past, today should be carved in stone. 

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Oh no's :(

Uuuuhhh. I somehow managed to screw up the 'permissions', aka security, on my Win 7 machine and it's taken three and a half hours of begging, brain picking and running scripts to fix it, because the numerous Windows tools, well, just wouldn't. 

As much as it comes in useful accumulating the 'old ways' of doing things, I'd almost forgotten just how much keyboard-pounding and mind bending tedium it takes. Perhaps we didn't know anything different back then. 

Mind you, if I'd taken it using a fork lift truck to a local lazy repair shop they would have wiped it, reinstalled it, found a non-existent hardware fault and charged me at least £150 for the privilege. And I would have spent many, many hours getting the machine the way I wanted it before it even saw a telephone line. 

In defence of your local PC shop? Though it's very common for them to do a 'wipe and re-install', because it's a quick and easy no brainer, and solves most problems, it should cost no more than, in my opinion £45, if you're happy with that. If you want them to recover and reinstall personal data and documents first, add another £25-£30 assuming no physical damage to the computer innards. 

Personally, I'd recommend if it's the only machine you have, going to the library with a notepad or borrowing someone else's machine and learning how to do it yourself. Should take no more than a couple of hours, most of that waiting.....

Thursday, 5 April 2012

The kindest hearts...

I was reviewing our finances, because I'd noticed a 'blip'. Nothing that affected our gas, electricity and other basics. But I don't like blips.

I'm quite strict, but I'm not the only adult in the house, so I allow a bit of leeway, but keep track. Hey, what are computers for? I discovered a peculiar pattern. Some money went missing. Then reappeared. Then.... you get the picture. Turns out that someone with a heart of gold was lending money out. 

It works like this. You lend a few people on a low income a few quid. Then they pay it back. That leaves them short of cash next time. Worse, they may have borrowed off someone else too. So they borrow again.  Result is they are in front, and the people they borrow off are behind.

I prefer to find out what they want the money for, and give/cook food. And 'NO' is a good solution. Even if someone has a Golden Heart..... 


That's good service. I had to order some printer toner last night, and it was 2 to 3days 'free' delivery. It arrived at 12:15 today.  It tickled me that he pulled out his little machine for me to sign and said, "Sorry mate, according to this, I'm 40 seconds too early. You can't sign for 40 seconds"

Sigma the dog seized the opportunity and had him throwing his ball around the garden until his machine beeped.

I'm impressed. The delivery company was DPD - :)


In case regular readers are wondering. A good mate visited who allowed me to use his card. As has been pointed out to me, my claim to fame of living without credit does make life rather awkward, and to be frank, at risk from being defrauded.

Luckily, I'm tech and financial savvy, and I have private arraignments with them all, and I mean all, credit reference agencies and major institutions that use them. Anything at all, and I'm flagged by phone immediately. It took some setting up, because most charge a monthly fee to keep track of your credit history.

But I negotiated a deal. In return I'm used anonymously as a staff  training case study.


A credit reference agency is that the banks, build societies, credit card firms, loan companies and shops refer to when you use a any form of credit, ie loans, credit and debit cards, shop cards.


Top tips.

Experian advertise a £5 a month fee service to keep track of your credit history. Good idea to do that, but it's little known that if you put a self addressed envelope in with a £3-£5 postal order with a letter, or even pound coins taped to a postcard with a self addressed envelope, they'll post back your credit history to you whenever you want. No need to sign up to a monthly fee.

Why £3-£5 ? Because it depends what mood their in. Seriously.

If you're on Indefinite Disability Living Allowance, because it's a regular income, banks and building societies really, really want you to have credit, often unlimited. Which is disgusting. I dread what's going to happen to those who fall for that chestnut, when it changes to Personal independence Payment (PIP) in April 2013, as there will no longer be an Indefinite catagory

If there's a dispute with the major Credit Reference Agencies information, any fake, false, fraudulent  or wrong information IS NOT removed from the record. All that will be recorded is your objections. You have to depend on the decision of the shop whether they'll accept the transaction.

You may come across cash pre-payment cards, where you pre-pay cash on a card, but pay a monthly fee when you put money on. They can be used as any other debit or credit card in shops or on the web. But watch out, particularly if you are on a low income. The fee is high and you need to be registered on at least the limited electoral roll.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


It's that time of year again. Father in law, who gives a very strong impression that a bush or tree is a rather large weed noticed me tidying up my Davidii Budlii.' the Butterfly bush.

Actually, to be fair, Bear was explaining that he suggested we cut through a thick section that kinda runs horizontal for a foot before curving upwards, and "then take the whole lot right down". Yeh, right. Like my fucia number one (a stump for the last year), fucia number two (gone) a willow, which instead of weeping, looks like it's on viagra, my conifer which once 20 feet high is now 6 feet high, and only just looking like it could benefit from a pencil sharpener.  

Noticed me, is an understatement. I had my back to the gate as I did a very good impression of the wild eyed boy from free-cloud, as brandishing my secateurs aloft, with images of mutilated woodery flashing through my mind I yelled "Why doesn't he JUST F***k ORF! I've care for, trained and shaped and  nurtured those buggers for over 12 years!". And I don't swear. Honest.


"He's behind me, isn't he Bear?" 


Snip. Snip. Sn... "All, I'm saying" he said.

 ".... is that if you cut that, and that, and that and took it down t'ground instead of pissin' about nibbling at it, so  y'could get t'strimmer under it...." 

Have you ever seen the face of someone confronted with stainless steel secateurs like a demented crab? You ought to try it some time.....  :)

Monday, 2 April 2012


An influential and somewhat reluctantly famous disability campaigner (BBC, Sky News, Spartacus and others) Sue Marsh is looking for someone who has claimed Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for mental health problems but has been refused, but can cope with the media. Specifically, they must have applied for DLA as a result of their mental health, rather than applied for say, for physical problems, and suffered mental health problems as a result of some other disability.

If anyone can, or suggest someone, please let me know, or contact Sue on Twitter @suey2y. Cheers.

It's thirty years since my mate Able Seaman John Johnson lost his life in the Falklands conflict. He was in a corridor, some way from the impact of a French supplied Excorcet missile on HMS Sheffield.

HMS Sheffield was constructed, as are many aircraft too, of a titanium, magnesium, and aluminium alloy. The metal corridor, floor and ceiling he was in burned at just above 650 degrees C.  

Lest we forget, Eh?

Sunday, 1 April 2012


I have.

Totally forgotten.

What I was going to say.

I believe it's called, rather unfairly, a 'senior moment'. Or three. So while I remember, I'm going to ignore the heckling in the cheap seats and waffle. So spot the difference. Or Spot The Ball, as Bear says. 

I'm amazed she remembers spot the ball. A photo was published in a local newspaper once a week of footballers near a goal mouth, minus the football, and you paid a few pence per cross you put on the photo to guess where the ball was. The cross with a ballpoint closest won. My Dad used a fish slice, putting crosses through the holes.

Amazingly, Pops regularly won a whole Ten Pounds. Cash, that is. He was adamant that his technique worked because he firmly believed that's how the newspaper decided...... He used the same technique with 'The Pools' too. If you remember The Pools, welcome to the senior club :)


Ah, I remember now. Thinking of words such as 'Amazingly'. An author I know offered to proof read an article I had rejected, for free. Free sounded good. Talk about embarrassing. Bloomin' thing came back sweet, concise, and technically, quite wonderful.

It wasn't me. Me is an important part of what I do, whatever I do, and all the quirks, distinctiveness and odd phrsaing. It was kinda ironed out. Sure the result  was tidy, and saleable. But I'm not sure I want to  make a profit at a loss of self.

Money is good, but at what price?