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Thursday, September 30, 2004


"The US says longer queues are a small price to pay for greater safety "
27 more nations have been added to the list of people who have to have their digital photos taken, and inkless fingerprints made as they enter america. (story here) thats 13 million people a year.
now i am not saying that america shouldn't do it. it is more a question of whether or not what they are doing is going to have an effect. true they stopped cat stevens from getting into america (but lets be honest there are a lot more artists ahead of him you just shouldn't be letting into america - are you listening donovan ?).
interestingly the story about the fingerprint crackdown came a few days after the story about the fbi having something in the region of 123,000 hours of untranslated tapes of conversations that may or may not be concerned with potential terrorist attacks on the usa.

"Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 123,000 hours of audio in languages associated with terrorists still had not been reviewed as of April 2004, the audit found. In addition, more than 370,000 hours of audio associated with counterintelligence had not been reviewed. " (the guardian)

so all this additional information from fingerprints etc will more than likely just go into that big data black hole and never be much use to man or beast.

and is it only me - but as far as i can tell all identity cards and biometric passports will do is allow the authorities to confirm that the dead guy was indeed mr x (unless of course it was a particularly stupid terrorist whole decided to put "bomber" in the occupation part of his application forms.
i don't profess to be an expert but i think that if you are going to strap a bomb to yourself or get on a plane with the idea of crashing it into a big building then you are not thinking like me and you and more than likely you are not going to be deterred by the fact that you have a biometric passport that says you are joe shmoe (remember the identity on the passport can be whatever you want as long as the biometrics match yours..... not to mention that these things will be forged, or even worse given that they will be issued, created and controlled by private business the technology will be available for sale at some point.... or it won't work!) when really you are peter schmuck because when they bomb goes boom or the Plane goes crash you ain't going to be around to worry.

the need for sensible and effective counter terrorist mechanisms is recognised by all but trying to find that needle in a very very large haystack while riding roughshod over civil liberties is perhaps too much a price to pay for an ineffective defense against terror.


well tony almost said he was sorry for misleading the country, for taking us into a war in iraq that seems to have no chance of a satisfactory ending.
the silly part is that if he had said at the get go he was for regime change and really didn't care that much about the presence of WMDs then he probably would have had much more support for the action then he did.
oh well we have made our beds on that one and we are stuck there for a long time.

it is interesting that while the british government is making all the right noises about not negotiating with the kidnappers of paul bigley (and yes we all know that they do negotiate with terrorists - but then it is with people who have stated and achievable aims such as the IRA) the italians have just gone and stumped up £500,000 to see two aids workers released.
i am sure that this is going to make it safer for others to be working out in iraq. well no it won't.
and for all the blather about the insurgents causes etc etc - it's nice to see that already the iraqis on the ground have embraced the joys of free market capitalism. at this rate arthur andersen will have to open offices their to balance the books of the insurgents (a tip to all iraqi insurgents reading this though - don't let them sell you shares though - remember enron and worldcom).

currently there are 18 overseas workers being held hostage in iraq.


some odds and sods

nice to see that although we have persuaded libya to give up its wmd programme - that tony blair and a few others are rushing to supply him (well sell him at a fat profit) conventional weapons. i would have thought it would have been better not to sell him any weapons at all, but there you go.
one of the reasons that the weapons are being justified (aside from the money it will rake in for a few) is that libya has a problem with refugees (and with luck i am sure the rest of europe is hoping that libya will stop "undesirables" "flooding" into europe!)
you wouldn't mind this but amnesty have just slammed libya for human rights violations...... (here)

oh look here is jack straw.
and look whose hand he is shaking....
yup jack straw shook the hand of robert mugabe (here) i love the fact he says there are serious disagreements between zimbabwe and the uk, but no need to be rude.
jack in case you hadn't noticed the man is a dictator and a pretty nasty one at that.
oddly we are in iraq at the moment after just having gotten rid of one there. couldn't be because there is a lot of oil in iraq and not much at all in zimbabwe ?
we are also about to send a cricket team out to zimbabwe - i think most of the players are keen to go as they are sure to get their win bonuses. but it's time to realise that sometimes you just have to say - no no no you just can't go and do this as it legitmates the regime you are visiting.
and anyone who says sport and politics should be kept apart, is right in theory, but in practice we know the two things are joined together at the hip. but it's ok mugabe will not use the tour in a political way what so ever.

my favourite tory - boris johnson - has started a blog on his website. he really should be in charge of them. at least they would at least be a bit more human.
there are also links to other politicians who have blogs there - i shall have to check them out.
hey they can't be worse than this !
sadly though boris doesn't give us his version of the TTT list (top tory totty).

Monday, September 27, 2004


well you have to admire them - the pro hunt brigade were out in force at the weekend.
their target was peter hain (labour's leader of the house and secretary of state for wales). the pro hunters gathered outside his house and for a time prevented him from leaving to go to the labour party conference.
now a couple of things here - if unions do that sort of thing they are considered to be a mob, a rabble and are more than likely photographed by the police and then filed as likely future trouble makers. if football fans did that sort of thing there would be an outrage.
but a bunch of toffs and toff lovers do it then it is ok.

they should be banged up inside.
the worst of it is that they are the sort of people who think democracy begins and end with them and that no one else really should have a say.

i don't mind them hunting - i hate them because they think that they are above the law, and above democracy and parliament itself.

the only surprise about the pro hunt thing outside hain's house was that there were no socialist worker party (swp) banner's there - unusual as they normally join any protest and pretty much any angry gathering over 4 people.


over the weekend i watched mario van peebles badassss which is his movie based on the the trials and tribulations of his dad, melvin, as he made his seminal breakthrough movie sweet sweet sweetback's badassss song. a film that is credited with the start of the blaxploitation boom.
now i have to say a couple of things upfront. i have never really been a fan of mario, i was never a fan of blaxploitation movies and i know squat about black history.
but mario has made a great film that manages to entertain and to an extent educate - not only about the struggle a black artist had in creating his own vision, but also the problems that independent film makers face.
if there is a weakness to the film it is the ending (and i have no idea how close to the truth it is) but it's a little like the scene in the producers where mel and gene are in the bar across from the theatre.

all in all it's an engrossing film to watch, with enough social commentary (nicely entwined into the story so it doesn't feel like you are being battered of the head with it) to remind you that we should all be aware of the history of our pasts good and bad.

this film gets a pat's thumbs up.

Friday, September 24, 2004


the national gallery in london is about to finish it's looooong revamp. i have to say that i am really excited. although the new look is unveiled this sunday i probably won't get a chance to get there until next wednesday. i can't wait.
the gallery is a spectacular repository of art. there is something special about walking around the galleries looking at the art on display. not only the art but the environment fills you with a feeling of peace and wonderment. it is a place to contemplate and view artistic beauty.
it is one of my favourite galleries in london.
the others being the tate modern, the whitechapel and the heyward gallery.

expect to hear more about my travels in the art world in the weeks to come.
but fear not i am part of the "i-don't-know-much-about-art-but-i-know-what-i-like" school of thought.


i confess i like batman, i read comics (oh ok i collect them and think of them as a modern art form) even today i got my corgi cars 1940s batmobile replica.
secretly i am getting very excited about the 2005 christopher nolan batman movie.
there you have it i like batman.

what i can't understand is why the fathers for justice brigade insist on dressing up as batman all the time when they are making their protests (here - you may have to register to get the story, but it is free).
now it's been a long time since i was a step dad, but i can see how hard it must be to have a child and not be able to have access to the child and what little i have seen about this implies that the courts generally find in the mother's favour making it very hard for dad's to get access. this obviously needs to be addressed.
(yes i know the last protester turned out to be a lying weasel, but one can only hope that he is the exception that proves the rule.)

but i am digressing.

if i was a judge and a bloke was trying to impress me with his ability to be a responsible influence on his child then i am not sure i am going to pick someone who dresses up like a fantasy character (and for many people a violent fantasy character) and climbs dangerous heights. no siree to me they have demonstrated good reasons not to let them near children.
and as one of my colleagues at work pointed out, all the the dad's in costumes have baggy saggy pants on. it's an image i have not been able to shake and have nightmares from it.

if you get a chance to read the article there is a nice caveat later in it which proves just how dumb some television viewers can be.
smile - i nearly did.


"Today we [Iraqis] are better off, you are better off, the world is better off without Saddam Hussein. Your decision to go into Iraq was not an easy one, but it was the right one." (quoted here)
you just have to admire allawi either he is living in a dream world, or he really knows something we don't. all the news that comes out of iraq points to it being a pretty unstable place. what with insurgents/terrorists/freedom fighters bombing, kidnapping, shooting and beheading, you can only wonder what it would be like if allawi thought the situation was bad ?

while i understand that allawi has to go to blair and bush (no chance they are going to go there) i do find it a little distasteful that in a week that has seen two hostages beheaded, and another one potentially about to be executed, that allawi is out on the stump electioneering for bush. thats just plain wrong.

meanwhile rumsfeld has been talking about truncated elections in iraq, because in the more violent areas polling may be impossible. this has since be refuted by richard armitage (deputy secretary for state) (here for this story) geez louise you would have thought that they could at least get their stories straight - especially with allawi doing his bit to earn bush some more votes.
talk about ingratitude!
additionally they mention that more coalition troops may be needed to ensure the election works smoothly.

i suggest in terms of the election that they go the route of the 2000 florida election and then they can exclude a big chunk of the voters, and with the new electronic voting machines just give the victories to who they want as there will be no paper trail to follow.

all i can say is that i hope that allawi had his fingers crossed behind his back when he was spouting out on the stump for bush. no wonder he is so trusted back home!


sitting at home listening to yes (an english prog band of immense skill, but only listened to by a few) and skimming through the newspapers.
it’s an exciting life i lead.
in the evening standard tim lott has his weekly column. bloggers are very much like newspaper columnists, the difference being more people read the newspapers. anyway there is tim lott having a say about patricia hewitt’s recent proposals about the possibility of improving maternity leave (potentially increasing maternity leave from 6 months up to 12 months, and also improving the situation for fathers as well).
say hewitt "i have no doubt at all that a centrepiece of the manifesto will be a package of support for hard-working families, and we will be campaigning on that as a big part of the election." (quote taken from the guardian .
now the proposal has caused a few hackles to rise, especially with my old pals the cbi, and they make some valid points.
but what is tim so irked about ?
well he has two points to make. there is the economic one – that additional "breeding" (to quote lott) is not necessarily going to improve gdp, and besides because we are in a global economy we can just bring in the workers we need. even better we haven’t paid for their education so we are quids in (i am sure their homelands won’t mind this sacrifice for our wellbeing), a further benefit although tim doesn’t mention this is that we could always send them back once we didn’t need them.
his second point is that of course when hewitt is talking about this she is hoping that the only people who are going to be taking it up are people like her, she doesn’t want ethnic or working class types breeding" but she wants people who are good blairites like her.
now i have searched the internet to see if i can track down anything about this and aside from the story about the maternity leave increase i am not sure how lott gets from that to his outrageous statement about "breeding" (feel free to point me in the right direction). so on the face of what i have read hewitt is saying that new mums should be entitled to even more maternity leave than they are now. a good thing you would think.
mind you when he bills patricia hewitt as the minister for women, when she is in fact the minister for trade and industry you have to wonder about his research and well the reliability of anything else he has to say.
maybe a further clue is given in his reference to politicians as saddos that we the public tolerate as a necessary nuisance. and because we regard them as such we are going to ignore hewitt’s call to "breed" (even though she hasn’t actually asked for that…). but, lott argues, politicians don’t see themselves as saddos but as role models that can speak out and influence people in the way he claims hewitt is trying to do.
if it wasn’t bad enough lott seems to have intentionally misrepresented what was said he then goes on to make the point that not only is hewitt asking for people like her (presumably white, middle class labour supporters to "breed" but she is saying that they should stick them in nurseries and get back to work straight away. except she hasn’t she has said let’s extend maternity leave.
me too.
perhaps what it comes down to is lott is upset because for all his describing politicians as saddos, there are occasions when they are doing the right thing for the right reasons. but what we should do is pay attention to the unelected hack who can’t get his facts right and misrepresents what was said.
to you tim lott i say what you wanted us to say to patricia hewitt – fuck off.

(tim lott’s piece is in the london evening standard september 23rd, i can’t find a link for it.)

(by the time i had finished this i was listening to rush (a canadian prog band).


mine is fast approaching.
never really liked them - and now they are reminders of dates i would rather forget. so these days i tend to try to ignore them.
well blow me down if i wasn't surfing the net andthere he is my pal digby jones director of the cbi and guess what me and him share the same birthday. he is older than me though.
i can only hope that the profile on him was wrong, as it means i have yet another reason not to like my birthday.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


it is great to see that the old battles and old prejudices never seem to die. just as we have seen new labour do the one thing that old labour supporters would recognise with the banning of fox hunting with dogs. (while ignoring pretty much everything that "old" labour stood for).
the tory party under michael howard (who seems to have shaken off the something of the night quip of anne widdecombe - though that could be he is made to look like a nice chap by the antics and attitudes of david blunkett) has once again returned to their old favourite of quotas for immigration.
but hold on they are not racist policies says mr howard as he reminds us
"He cited his parents' own experience as refugees from fascism in the 1930s to prove his good intentions when it comes to the issues of asylum and immigration.
"Everything I have I owe to this country," he said. "My family came here with very little and made a life for themselves."
except now after he has benefited from the escape from fascism he and his party want to close that door to all but the skilled, qualified and english speaking (being rich wouldn't hurt either).
but look it's not about being racist... OK!
it's about giving the benefits his family had when they came here and of course making britain a better place because of their diversity (and willingness to work in crap jobs).
so lets get it straight this is not a racist policy. (look just stop sniggering).
read the article here and read his full speech here

now i have no love for the tories.
i cried the night maggie was re-elected. i cheered on a tube train when i heard she had resigned (i was surprised the driver, who announced it over the tube's tannoy, didn't run the full length of the train cheering such was the jubilation in his voice!).
but there is a part of me that feels sorry for them (and because of their weakness i feel we are poorer as a country).
they have seen new labour come along and steal their clothes, seen them take over the centre right ground and leave them desperate for policies that keep them distinct from new labour, allow them to still appeal to their members without having to make a style choice of black shirts or white blankets.
so as they move more and more to the right they leave new labour an easy run into their third term in power, and a potential third term where they have no real opposition.
and (geez this started off as a rant at the tories .....) it's not like they will be radical government freed of not having to worry about opposition......

meanwhile the tories will go on fighting the old battles
no to europe
no to immigration
and they wonder why no one votes for them.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


so bush appears before the UN and says
"......He said every nation that seeks peace had an obligation to tackle oppression and violence.
"There is no safe isolation from terror networks or failed states that shelter them," Mr Bush said....."
(from the bbc website)
this was part of his in your face speech that basically said the war was justified (which seems to fly in the face of all the recent news. i wonder is kofi was sniggering when he listened to bush speak?) as if this wasn't bad enough bush is asking for members of the un to join in with the reconstruction of iraq. i wonder if as he said he, he was casting his mind back several months when he was effectively turning his back on the un, now when it is getting sticky and it looks like it is going to be a long term situation in iraq bush stands in front of the un to say you should all be helping.
the Cynic in me says that if he wants the help of the other nations then he needs to get halliburton to give up some of it's more lucrative contracts to offer the french, germans and chinese. but that is just me being cynical.

but aside from iraq bush also had this to say:
"But he also spoke of a better world beyond the war on terror, outlining the need to improve healthcare, expand prosperity and extend freedom as an alternative to terrorism and violence. "
again nice words - but look at what happened to the AIDS money that was promised to africa that came with many qualifications - among them was no abortions or birth control teaching, mention either of these and lose your AIDS funding. mmm thats freedom for you - we will only give you the money if you adopt our way of life, our way of thinking.
to be honest i can see some of the justification of it - after all who pays the piper calls the tune, but at least have the bottle to stand up and say thats what you are doing, do not hide it in some sort of rhetoric of freedom and choice.

read the article here


don't get me started on supermarkets - oh well i have started so i guess i am going to have to finish.
it's a day where tescos is reporting huge profit while marks and spencer have yet again lost market share. yet i find what should be a simple task - go in spend money come out with goods in bags is turned into a nightmare.
so why do i care? well i am a batchelor and i am someone who does not like to shop so i want to go into a supermarket and get the things i want, very quickly and then get straight out. i appreciate that there are all types of techniques to make me go around the place in order to find the things i want (it's why the milk is normally at the back to make you walk through the store), and furthermore i am a don't /can't cook sort of person. that should make going into the supermarket so easy as there is so little i need to buy, some fruit, some bread, some pasta, some quorn slices, some hummus, some bread, some cream cakes..... well you get the picture.
it is such a shame that sainsburys (my local supermarket) more often than not never has what i want in there.
this morning looking for bread most of the shelves were empty - i had gotten in there shortly after they opened. in case anyone who is running sainsburys is reading this bread is a staple and in the morning it might be worth while having this section to be stocked up. oh the same goes for the milk as well.
never fear though in my local they did have someone making sure that the booze shelves were stocked (even though you can't buy alcohol that early in the morning.....)
still i managed to get some bread, some cheese and then i thought mmm some quorn slices - once again i go through the shopping safari trying to find the quorn supplies. oh silly me they have put the quorn in the meat shelves. just the place for a veggie to go to...... and when you stumble onto it you are rewarded with nothing, oh they haven't stocked it up.
i wouldn't mind if this was an occasional occurrence, but it happens more often than not.

my experience at sainsburys explains why tescos is number one in the uk - but it is not because they are wonderful, more down to the fact that the others are really bad.

supermarkets are often held up as being wonderful, cutting edge stock control etc - i wish. but as a pal of mine once said it doesn't matter how sophisticated your epos system is, how efficient you just in time system is - if at the end of the day the people who are control the systems are idiots. crap in crap out.

the current thing that is really annoying me is the difficulty to find razors (i need to keep the goatee trim!!) seems like that of all the things that supermarkets carry it is disposable razors are stolen more than anything.
the solution for the supermarkets? don't carry them. looks like i will be ending up with a bushy beard (again) or i will have to find me a cut throat razor.

wish i could get more from local stores - but they have mostly disappeared because of the megastores of tescos, asda and sainsburys.
ah well - so much for the no logo generation.

Monday, September 20, 2004


at work... still!!!
listening to led zep's song remains the same - and a fine fine cd it is too.

and to bring a downer on my mood some thing from the guardian newspaper

"Jacques Chirac, the French president and leader of Europe's anti-war camp, made no bones about his views when he declared that the US-led invasion of Iraq and toppling of Saddam Hussein had opened up a "Pandora's box which none of us can shut"."


""Is the world today safer than before the overthrow of the appalling Saddam?" Patten asked in the European parliament last week. "Is global terrorism in retreat? Are we closer to building bridges between Islam and the west? Is the world's only super-power more widely respected? Have the citizens in our democracies been treated in a way that will encourage them to give governments the benefit of the doubt next time they are told that force needs to be used pre-emptively to deal with an imminent threat? I simply pose the questions. The answers are well known.""

(for whole article go here )

the sad part of it all is that the only people to blame are those in power in the UK and the USA.
i'll be the first to admit that i was not against the war per se (oh hell now i am sounding like kerry) but i was never a believer in the reasons that bush, blair et al cited.
me i thought saddam was a bastard and probably the world and it's granny would be better off if he were gone.
(the only problem with that view is - if you take out that dictator where do you stop?)
so instead of being honest bush and blair ran through the litany of wmd's, links to terrorism and to osama etc etc. only belatedly talking about human rights and democracy.

perhaps the real reason was bush and the neocons thought it was time to close out old business and to get themselves some nice oil (cuts down on the reliance on the saudis).
blair i have no idea why he did it, other than he thought it was the right thing to do.

now we have a situation where saddam is gone - but the whole area looks as if it is going to be more and more destabilised and therefore a more clear and present danger to us all than it was before the invasion/liberation - or whatever we want to call it.
and the iraqi's are no closer to democracy than before.

but what does democracy mean.
in the usa bush and kerry indulge in negative polling over contested war records. when the questions should be what are you going to do for the poor and needy in your country and in the rest of the world.
(america is the hyperpower and frankly we need it to be governed properly and not in the interests of a minority of it's people).
while over here blair pushes through the fox hunting ban (like most of us care) and for some bizarre reason this ends up with a threat to the democratic running of the country. now that is a nice lesson for the people in iraq.
perhaps we should teach them fox hunting and then ban it.


unlike iraq i have started a new regime today, like iraq the future of it is uncertain.
yup i am back at the gym - and judging by my reflection in the mirror i need to be there as well!!

one of the things about going to the gym is that i have to get up early as i like to do the session in the morning as it sets me up for the rest of the day. this also means i get to listen to early morning radio. the 5.30 am slot on radio 5 is devoted to the business news, and occasionally has digby jones, the director of the CBI, he gets me good and mad - he is the sort of bloke you want to punch on the nose (to be fair though i wanted to do the same to his predecessor and she was a woman - perhaps it's just the position of being director of the CBI that makes them toads...)

luckily he wasn't on today.
they did have a bloke on from credit suisse (i think that is how it is spelt) he was grumbling about the fact that employment law now means that british employers may have to go through 13 steps to sack a person. this is bad says the credit suisse guy, it means we are too much like europe. just look at germany it has 10% unemployment.
now i am not the smartest business person in the draw (ask kenny he'll tell you) but i just can't see the connection.
see i always thought that there was unemployment because there were no jobs, not because you couldn't sack people. (and besides sack one person and employ another person in their place .... mmmm thats still one person out of a job). unless of course you can sack (for no real reason) person a and then employ person b & c for less money to do the job a did?
perhaps it falls under the heading of voodoo economics.

then later in the show they were talking about russian businesses and how 15 of the biggest companies were attending a conference in the uk about corporate governance (hopefully none of the speakers were from the old arthur andersen) and the chap who was organising it and explaining to the listeners what is was about went on about how this would teach russians how to set up the right and proper practices in their businesses. as he was saying that they would have to establish their own models he said "they don't want a second rate british version" i am sure he meant second hand - or at least i hope he did.

oddly on both occasions no one challenged the speakers to clarify what they were saying.

the session in the gym was not as much fun.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


from the bbc website

"Iraq has become the "crucible of global terrorism", but insurgents will be defeated, Tony Blair has pledged. "

now don't get me wrong it's not that i am cynical.
but wasn't that one (of the many) reasons we went to war with iraq was that it was a hot bed of terrorist activity and that saddam was just spending his time causing mischief all over the world with his support of terrorism.

so lets do the checklist.
weapons of mass destruction - nope not there, probably never were, oh except as a long term plan.
link to osama bin laden - nope none found.
was the war legally - ooops nope, united nations are saying it was illegal.

oh at least the regime changed - except that if the daily telegraph is to be believed several members of tony blair's cabinet said that the chances of a smooth transition to a new government there was slight. some suggested it was because iraq did not have a history of democracy, others suggested that there would be military coup after military coup.

more and more it is looking like there were only a handful of people on the planet who thought it was a good idea. bush, rumsfeld, rice, cheney, perle (but no doubt he was going to make money on it....) and blair.
why oh why tony.
it's not like the rest of the coalition of the willing haven't gone about it because they were going to get something from it. the uk looks like we got and are getting squat.


been a weekend of overspending.
not only have i bought too many expensive magazines - all of them fashion magazines and those who know me realise that i am a slob of the highest order. so what you cry is the reason i buy them - i love the photography in them. i know i will never be that good a photographer, but i can only hope. for some strange reason condi rice appears in one of them and i confess that i do find her oddly attractive - she goes onto the top tory totty list).
as well as them there were the 6 paperbacks, 4 of which have an educational bent, but only if i read them. two are novels - i have started one and already regretting buying it, as it's a pedestrian action novel in the style of lee childs and tom clancy. so already i have been introduced to the can do hero (apparently no one in his squad comes close to him), and there has been a list of all the weapons etc they carry. i am not sure i am going to make it to the end of this one.
(and i must say it's not like i want high art in my books but i do want writers who can at least string interesting sentences together and make it feel like they have not written the novel as an assignment at school).
oh and then there was the seether cd.

let me tell you i was happy that i did not buy the emerson lake and palmer boxset that cried out to me as soon as i walked into reckless records. maybe next time - it's not like it is going to be going anywhere.

so i am broke broke broke. and i still have a bunch of things i want to spend money on.
i so want to win the lottery.

Thursday, September 16, 2004


this blog serves a number of purposes for me – sometimes it is a way for me to rant, sometimes it is just an online diary where i can just doodle the things that have been happening in my life, other times it is a place for me to be funny (ok so far i haven’t done that…), and then there are times like this when i read the things best left untouched by moral people.
yes i read the sun and i read the richard littlejohn column, and boy does it suck. – but dear reader i did it for you.
i would give you the link to the article but the sun’s website does not allow for you to read the articles without subscribing, bah humbug.
so lets set the picture – it was tuesday evening i had just been to an art show, stopped off at my local coffee shop and just picked up a couple of papers that were lying around. the sun isn’t a paper i would normally read but there it was. i flicked through the pages and came across the littlejohn column. richard littlejohn is one of those right wing journalists who thinks bigoted rants pass for reasoned opinion – he is the uk’s version of rush limbaugh. littlejohn plays the role of the "lad" who has done good and isn’t afraid to speak out against the system – he sees himself as the voice of the everyman. in reality working for the murdoch press he is part of the system.
so what is it that has irked littlejohn in this column? well he has decided that cherie blair has demonstrated a lack of political tact because she had her 50th birthday party on saturday 11th of september. this is bad because that happens to be the third anniversary of a great american tragedy. i suppose it is because cherie is married to tony blair, the uk’s prime minister, that this party she held was a great affront to littlejohn. by having this party cherie has told littlejohn that she is pretending that nothing has happened and nothing has changed in the world and that if we ignore the occurrence of 9/11 we can pretend it never happened.
(a slight digression here – i am not keen on cherie blair for several reasons 1] you get the feeling that she sees herself as part of a new political aristocracy, 2] that her position confers on her a range of privileges but there are none of the responsibilities that go with them, 3] she is symptomatic of what is bad about the new labour project, 4] that smile of hers scares me. whatever else i say about her she is woman of incredible intellect and in the images you see of her and tony together you get the feeling that they are genuinely happy to be together after all these years. so i suspect that cherie knows that we have been at war with afghanistan and iraq, and we are currently having less than successful occupations of both countries, i suspect she knows why we went to war in both countries- no not for oil and not because dubya told us to (stop being cynical) and that part of the reason was 9/11, and i also suspect that being a very clever woman who is the partner to tony blair i reckon that tony comes home from a hard day as pm and in between slagging off gordon brown and laughing at the whole of the tory party there is a good chance he discusses iraq with cherie… i could be wrong, but i think cherie is well aware of 9/11 and has been involved in some of the ways that the world has changed since then).
so far her crime is that cherie has gotten on with her life and has had a party for her birthday rather than doing something that acknowledges the anniversary of an american tragedy.
littlejohn doesn’t tell us what he was doing saturday – he doesn’t mention if he was at one of the many professional football games played on saturday, or maybe he had gone to see the professional rugby games that were played ? perhaps he was at international one-day cricket event that is taking place in the uk ? maybe he was watching the qualifying session for that weeks grand prix racing, or he was getting ready to watch the tennis from flushing meadows? or perhaps he was catching a play in the west end, or a movie, or…. as he doesn’t say i can only assume that he was in sackcloth and ashes flagellating himself so as to mark the anniversary of 9/11.
but if that was not enough of a crime cherie also has to suffer the slings and arrows of littlejohn’s prose because as a barrister she has pointed out that some of the inmates of camp gitmo (littlejohn refers to them as the tipton taliban) are being denied their basic human rights.
human rights for the islamo-fascists ? cries littlejohn, human rights for the mad mullahs he shouts, obviously she must be madder than a march hare.
now this particular attack on cherie comes after littlejohn says that the mad mullahs are trying to destroy our way of life. so you would have thought he would have been cherie as she defends an individuals human rights, the right to a fair trail, the right to a lawyer, hell even the right to know why you are being held captive…….. but no she is obviously a race traitor for what she is doing. i have to say that if we are defending the idea of "our way of life" but in doing so we are throwing away all the things that make "our way of life" worth defending then i think you have said that the terrorists have won, but to admit that (or even to realise that) would mean littlejohn couldn’t have his pop at cherie.
in her defence of the human rights of the captives of camp gitmo cherie is fighting for "our way of life" and she is also fighting to make sure that the state can only go so far in removing the freedoms we enjoy and have come to take for granted. anything less would be to admit defeat. however that is a world view that has shades of grey in it and that is not how littlejohn sees the world – in his world it is either black or white and so very simple.
and naturally in a stroke of genius that even karl rove would have to admire this pop at cherie for a party gets turned into a warning. oh yes there is going to be a big terrorist strike between now and november (just before the american elections). so far the cia, fbi, mi6 and any number of spookdoms finest have protected us all. so they have done a fine job of it for the last 3 years but just before the election littlejohn says he has been given information that there will be this attack… how unfortunate for the various agencies to fumble the ball just in time for it to help bush get elected. wow it’s almost like someone was cynically planning these things.
littlejohn talks more bollocks than is humanly possible. he stirs hatred and fear where there should be none, what is worse he is given a prominent platform from which to do. if there is an attack on "our way of life" it is that fat bastards like littlejohn are allowed to spout off.


i have to own up here i am a veggie - and i am a veggie for a couple of reasons i didn’t like the idea of the chemicals that were being pumped into animals to make them nice big fat and juicy (basically i didn’t really want to start sprouting mantits thanks to hormones in the food i was eating). the second reason was that there were not much in the way of meat i really liked. but as far as the animals are concerned the reason that they are here is so that they can be turned into burgers, kebabs, fish fingers and steaks.
but there is something about the hunt lobby that gets right up my nose.
they go on about how they have to keep the fox population down – well i am pretty sure shooting the fox is going to do that rather than letting the hounds tear it apart (and it would be economically more efficient – a bullet has to be cheaper than a pack of hounds). then they go on about how the hunt is a social event – well if you are that keen on meeting up with your mates in the morning just do it – get on your horse, put your riding jacket it on and go tally hoing i am not sure what the fox has to do with it – unless they like to see things killed at the end of the social hour.
but really what it comes down to, what my hate of them boils down to is a few simple things:
they were the fuckers who voted thatcher and the tories in 3 times.
they were the people who backed thatcher when she was decimating the mining communities, while they pushed unemployment up and created inner city despair (and have we ever recovered from that).
they are the people who wanted to see privatisation come in but are the first to want a postal service and transport service that is subsidised for them.
they are the people who complained about secondary picketing etc – but look at them now, protesting and causing disturbances.
as one of them said today "in a democratic country it’s a right to disobey unjust laws" oh except if you are a rambler.
wankers one and all.
so basically i see the end of the hunts as being a belated victory in the class war. it’s not even an important one – but it really does hurt them.
besides if they want to hunt something they can get that big bloke from the cbi out – let them chase after digby jones each weekend – he could do with losing the weight.


went to see a student photography show the other day – "embedded" and it was the students of the university of westminster whose work was on view. pretty much all of it was technically proficient but in these days of digital cameras that’s the least you can expect (ok i admit even with a digital i can’t get a decent image……)
there were few very interesting pieces at the show, which is always a bit upsetting (and no i don’t expect to see the most wonderfully original stuff when i go to shows, but i do hope to see a spark of something). so seeing two sets of portraits that did very little with portraiture that you hadn’t seen over and over, was disappointing.
honourable mentions go to kate clarke and her series called no 72, witty, fun and provocative. i suspect she will make a name for herself.
shih ying lin and her "woman" series inspired by eileen chang’s novel "red rose and white rose" it is basically a series of images of two oriental women who are dressed similarly and appear in similar but different poses. with the images mounted on rice paper with the text of the story written in chinese on it. this looked effective and had some thought go into it.
paul freemans "holborn/work" "british library/study" "tate/art" are clever technical photos that have had the background information taken out so you are left with just the people caught in motion- each one uses a different technique to get the timing and composition sorted. again the theme is interesting and well executed. to be honest i preferred the image he had on his business card than the ones that appeared in the show.
a name from the show to watch out for is cinnamon heathcote-drury an attractive sloaney to judge not only from her name, but accent and dress sense. she had an installation of two looped movies. in one she appears out of focus her arms out stretched she comes into focus and then falls back – this is constantly looped and is called "perpetuum mobile". the other is a doll on a rocking chair in front of a mirror the chair rocks gently and the doll fades out and fades in again, this is looped, and is called eternal recurrence. both these dvd projections are utter tosh sub bill viola and sam taylor wood. so trust me cinnamon is a name to be watching out for in the future – she will go far.

Monday, September 13, 2004


in a coffee house - on my second latte and they were both nice and strong.

tony blair announces today that he is back and his focus is on the domestic agenda. how nice of him. now if only there were not so much spinning between him and brown and they worked togethter then the country would be better off.
sod their place in history lets see them do something good in the present.

what is it with americans and their guns - tonight the ban on assault weapons runs ou, why on earth do you need an assault weapon in the home.
i went to an exhibition of photos a year or so ago that centred around guns and there was a picture of bullets (very nice it was too all symetry and shape) but the odd thing was that these bullets were on sale in america but banned in the world of soldiers.

i hate people who litter.

right being kicked out now
more later


in this weekend's independent newspaper there was a story by robert fisk about not letting the 19 murderers change the world.
fisk was of course referring to the hijackers of the planes that crashed into the twin towers and the pentagon.
i thought it was a bit rich referring to them as murderers as if they were in the same class as jack the ripper, charlie manson, bundy or shipman. by calling them murderers you can pretend that they were no more than the lone gunmen of dunblaine or columbine. but they were not. they were terrorists (and yes we can debate the one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist - but in this case we shall skip over that...) and their attack was not on an individual that they knew, or someone unlucky enough to be chosen at random - it was planned and calculated and it was aimed at an idea an ideology. in doing so 3000 lives were lost.
and i think in that moment when the first plane hit the world changed.

fisk for all his dodging around the issue by calling them murderers as if that was it end of story no more to worry about - seems to ignore this fact.
he also seems to ignore the fact that (and i am happy to be corrected on this) that bush had not done much in his period of government - other than not solve the middle east situation. so exactly what had bush done to bring on the attack ?

it is easy to see how the attack on afghanistan can be justified, it is a shame to see the fact that there the american forces seem to have lost the ability to turn the victory into something meaningful and lasting. kabul is only partly under control and outside this the country is back in the hands of the various warlords.

when the war on terror moved onto iraq there was a big sense of this was unfinished business and that bush junior was trying to prove that he was more of a man than his dad was. and the quick victory over the forces of saddam (hands up who thought that this was going to be another vietnam ?) they have decided to let the peace slip through their hands and now there is a growing feeling that this is going to be a protracted campaign.

meanwhile the conflict drags on and bush and cheney can argue that a kerry government would be open to a terrorist attack (conveniently ignoring that the twin towers took place on their watch) can talk big about the war on terror and how they will root terrorists out wherever they are.
and now russia has joined in!
do you feel safer ?
i don't.

Friday, September 10, 2004


i think i have drunk too much coffee today. feel very floaty and bloaty.
not a bad feel.
but not a good feeling either.


i am not a fan of mobile phones. this may be due to the fact no one ever phones me on mine, and that the only use i have for it is as an alarm clock. or it might be the fact that the mobile phone has meant that the invasion of personal space has established an unbreakable beachhead.
when i am on the bus i do not want to hear other people's conversations with a mysterious person in some other place. there are several reasons for this generally the conversations are universally dull dull dull comprising no more than "yeah, yeah" "innit" "huh huh" (which isn't to say all my conversations are littered with witty bon mots - they are not it's just the only people suffering are those i am talking at or those saddos who are earwigging for no other reason than they are nosey). so i think that people who are going to have dull boring conversations should be made to keep them to themselves.
another reason for hating mobiles is that people have forgotten how to be discrete - they just shout down the phone, which i am pretty sure doesn't make it easier to hear! and this shouting they carry over into their other conversations so you can't help but hear them - even when they are the other end of the bus/tube/ street!
then there is the insipid ring tones - let me tell you the theme to beverly hills cops was never that good but it's a reason to kill when being played very loudly on a polyphonic ring tone. (and why when you have a totally stupid ring tone do you hide your phone so it takes you minutes to get it out - do you like people laughing at you?)
then there is the fact that some people can't seem to get it through their heads that there are times and places that mobile phones are not appropriate. yes i am talking about you lot in the genesis cinema in mile end who seem to think you are so important you can't be out of touch with the rest of the world so your phone kicks off in the middle of the film. if you are that important stay at home.
there are more reasons but you get the g3 picture - i am not a fan of mobile phones.

and now to make matters worse they are trying to get tv onto mobiles. just what the world needs teeny tiny tv screens. there will be no escaping big brother then. already i am dreading being stuck on the bus with someone watching the latest episode of coronation street or eastenders.
if only dante was alive today he would have to create a new circle of hell just for it.


well rush was a great gig, had a huge amount of fun watching three wonderful musicians going through their paces.
there were times when the sound was not up to scratch, the set listing was not what i wanted it to be, but i am sure that what i wanted from a set list from rush would have annoyed many others in the audience.
all in all it was a progtastic wig out.

i was amazed at the crowds reaction to neil peart's drum solo which verged on the orgasmic. and it was only topped by their almost ecstatic second coming greeting of YYZ, which is an instrumental. neither are particular favourites of mine.
i did get to see an air drummer - he was not as good as monty would have been.
but the audience was of the older variety so very little wig out air guitaring going on.

i had forgotten just how hot wembley can get.
i had also forgotten just how expensive the place was £1.70 for a small bottle of water - that's daylight robbery. that sort of thing should have them locked up and doing hard time.

next up on the planned gig list is rainbow rising a rainbow covers band and i am not sure if i want it to be good or just to be as bad as i expect it to be. we shall have to see.........

Thursday, September 09, 2004


in a few hours time i will be rocking out to the mighty mighty gods of prog rock RUSH. i expect the gig to be wonderful, and i expect it to bring back memories of seeing them with my long lost friend john hanley - who for some inexplicable reason was nicknamed monty.
monty (for that is how we all referred to him) was a huge rush fan, he also wanted to be a drummer (in the style of neil peart) and a singer (but not in the style of geddy lee). often we would sit in my bedroom listening to music and he would rearrange piles of books and stuff to resemble a drum kit and then proceed to air drum (i of course air bassed). have to say i never really heard him sing.

so there we are at the old hammy odeon, rush are giving it some on the permanent waves tour. the audience is going wild. down the row from me i can see three guys air drumming and they are synchronised. trust me it is a funny sight to behold. i turn to monty and point this out to him.
he looks, he waits and then says "they are a beat out....." class.

monty also described rush as being a brainblast - this became part and parcel of the monty legend, but you had to say "brainblast" and clutch at your head at the same time.
i believe i was buying the moving pictures lp (do you remember them?) from virgin on oxford circus (it might have been an our price back then) when the cashier said to me "brainblast" and clutched their head. it was a moment of sublime wonderment.

he also referred to rush as being tight.

i expect them to be both a brainblast and tight.


genesis fell to earth with a bump yesterday (no no the prog band - but NASA's latest space capsule has crashed landed rather than the smooth touchdown that was planned and hoped for. there are still hopes that experiment and the information they sent it to the sun for can be saved, but it is looking shakey.

what with the failure of beagle 2 on mars there have been some costly blunders for space exploration.
(and no i am not trying to make a point about it being wasteful - like many children i wanted to the be the right stuff and go into space, i wasn't. but then i never made it as a policeman, prison governor, sociologist, bass player, porn star or writer).

it makes you wonder if there is not a higher power out there stopping us from finding out more about the big old universe we live in, stopping us from ever making the move to the stars.
or even more that all of it is just a media cover up......
hell i have moved into david icke territory now. so i had best quit.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


from reuters

""As for launching pre-emptive strikes on terrorist bases, we will carry out all measures to liquidate terrorist bases in any region of the world," General Yuri Baluevsky, chief of Russia's general staff, said, according to Russian news agencies.
"However, this does not mean that we will launch nuclear strikes.""

silly us we all thought that india and pakistan would be the first to use the pre-emptive strike, as made popular by george and tony, but we might be wrong as russia enter the fray.
at least we can take comfort in the fact that they won't be launching a nuclear strike on those terrorist bases that they find.

i can't say i fully understand terrorists (or freedom fighters - just depends which side of the fence you are on!) but i am pretty sure the russian chest thumbing is not going to bother them, in pretty much the same way the rhetoric of the war on terror has not really made a difference to terrorist strikes.

i used to think that there was always going to be solutions to the world's problems - whether it be in the form of political intervention, military might, the call of culture and religion or just plain greed and need for financial reward (such as the reward money that russia has just offered). but now i am not so sure.
you just get the feeling that there is no wiggle room for many of the participants in the struggles/conflicts. there is no chance of clear heads prevailing, the clashes have become one of ideology rather than struggles of a practical nature.
as soon as one side makes a point, the other side says this or that and the starting point of the grievance moves back. (i was reading the other day the the quest for chechnya independence is over 100 years old - in that time russia has gone from an monachy to a communist government and now to a democracy - so there is an argument that the current government in russia can't be held to account for what has gone before.... ok in this instance it falls down as putin seems hell bent in turn chechnya into a toilet).
at some point there has to be a line drawn and say this is a bad situation and it needs to be changed.
iraq - yes america armed saddam when he was fighting iran - but can't be used as an excuse for america and the west to have done nothing while saddam and co were terrorising their population. (again i admit the nobility of the gulf war II is ruined by the lies used to get the coalition of the willing up and running.....)
(such a shame the world is grey rather than black and white).

anyway i have rambled somewhat off course here. what i was going to say (i think) was that as bad as it is when our political leaders can't find the courage to deal with these issues, it is made worse by the pandering of journalist and commentators who see an easy story and do not mind distorting the facts or to use that lovely phrase they "mis-speak" the facts.
yes melanie philips of the daily mail i am speaking of you.......
it's bad enough when academics such as samuel huntington talk about the clash of civilisations but when a jumped up jounrno does it and doesn't have clear facts in her piece well.. what hope is there! she may as well have had a headline saying those heathens want to kill us all and rape our babies!
i would provide you with a link to the article but sadly the daily mail online charges access to some of the site!

well that ended up being a less than happy rant going from nice of the russian's not to nuke us to mel is a warmongering cow.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


one of the ways for me to walk to work is along a canal, and very scenic it is too. everynow and then they have to clear out the sewage that seems to gather in some of the nooks and crannies that are along it's route.
the trucks they use to do this are wonderful machines - gleaming metal, dials, levers, buttons, pipes and so much more. for oldies like me they remind me of transformers and big die cast cars i could never afford.
it must be fun to drive one of them.
well i say that until the smell hits you. my good giddy aunt it's like all the turds from hell have been caught in the world's u-bend. it's enough to sear the hairs of your nose and take the lining off the back of your throat. i am not sure the compensation of driving around town in a groovy mofo of a truck is enough for the fact you spend you day breathing in the heady aroma of old stale shit.

having said that i am not doing the world any favours - currently changing my diet and let me say now what is coming out of my arse is not a pleasant smell, and well i have to let fly with the farts every now and then. i try to make sure no one is near when i do them. recently though i have not been able to keep in check some of the methane explosions. so i apologise to those people caught behind me on the stairs at the DLR, the couple who walked into the wall of smell at sainsburys and well i just say sorry to everyone who was in blockbusters that night because lord that one lingered.
the worst one i ever did was in the LSE library and i was so ashamed of it i had to go and study on another floor. i blamed the salmon sarnie i had that day.

on second thoughts maybe i should be driving one of those recycle the sewage trucks - that way i could just do it directly into the truck.


i believe it was woody allen who said hope was the thing with feathers. but sadly hope is running out as it seems more and more likely that bush is going to get his second term.
i want to like kerry but just can't, there seems to be no substance there. mind you that could be because he is having to spend so much time fighting off attempts to make his military record look like the preening of an imposter (which is rich coming from bush and friends). perhaps if there were more on the issues he would have a chance. i was impressed to see him say the iraq war is the wrong war, in the wrong place and at the wrong time and then to say he would get the troops out.

i still confuse myself when i think about the iraq situation. saddam bad, saddam gone that's good. but there are still a number of issues with the war.
1] we all are pretty much aware the war was waged under false pretenses; no weapons of mass destruction, no link with al qaeda and no material threat to the USA or GB or to anyone other than the people who lived in iraq.
2] we can all pretty much guess that there was an element of bush junior and friends thinking it's time to finish what dad didn't and in the process let's get that oil in them there hills. sadly it seems bush junior really isn't very good when it comes to the oil business.
3] for all the preparations that went into waging the war (and lets be honest there were many critics who thought that when the shock and awe phase was over the street fighting would be fierce were all proved wrong) there was little thought given to the winning of the peace. so now there is a situation where insurgents (call them what you will) are waging a guerilla struggle with the occupation forces and are doing a good job of hurting the allied forces.
4] in the change from finding weapons of mass destruction to the move regime change (and you would have to be a brave person to say saddam didn't deserve to be toppled) you open up the can of worms of what about this regime here, or that one over there - it's a dictatorship, it's flaunting the united nations resolutions, it's suppressing it's internal populations etc etc (step forward zimbabwe, israel, turkey, russia, china and many more).
in iraq it seems that there was an easy "bad guy" that no one was going to complain about if he was toppled, but the coalition of the willing seem quick to turn a blind eye to the rest of the ills of the world.
so no wonder many can scream hypocrisy.

and while this is going on all the contenders for the most powerful job in the world can do is squabble over negative publicity and who has slung the most mud.

still it's not like we in the UK can brag.
new labour are on the verge of a historic third term and the two most powerful men in the party, tony blair and gordon brown, seem to have their mates indulging in playground slanging matches against the supporters of the other.
so instead of sorting out the situation in health, education and transport - they will back bite and spin and brief against each other.
in the meantime the companies who are supposed to be leading the way in PFI style partnerships with the public sector grow fat and rich while the public pick up the tab. not so much free market capitalism as a nice easy earner.
and if it is not that it is the obvious sucking up to the rich and famous.
is it any wonder that we are all losing faith in politics.

never thought i say it i kinda miss maggie at least she was the enemy and you could hate her without any kind of remorse.
it feels so wrong to hate new labour.

still we have four more years of bush to look forward to, and 5 more years of tony.


Monday, September 06, 2004


i like to read. i don't always read worthy books - in fact most of the time i am just read various genre books, such as SF, crime/thriller and horror. in amongst the genres are the serious books about the world we live in - books on politics, history and sociology (i will be the first to admit i like buying these books but i don't always read them, but i try!)
currently i am reading 4 books (different books for different places - there is the bed book, the bag book and the toilet book). the bed book is a SF one called "space" by stephen baxter - he is seen as being the hard science fiction writer of his generation - the heir to the legacy of arthur c clarke (but perhaps without the young boys (allegedly) that arthur is supposed to favour). have to say it started off really good - but has sorted of come to a point where although the end is in sight i am having trouble finishing it off, i have just lost interest. have managed to start and finish a thriller by robert crais.
am about to start a second bed book - the second volume of the dark tower from stephen king. i am pretty sure i am going to enjoy reading it, i just know that when i get to end of it i will be asking myself what was that all about. king has a great easy to read style and there are moments of sheer poetry and wonder in the books. yet like a chinese meal a few moments after it is finished you wonder what it was you read.
the bag book is nick cohen's "pretty straight guys" which is a pretty scathing account about how new labour has turned it's back on the traditional roots of the labour party and the working class. the worst part of it is that as you read it and sigh, it seems current news stories just reinforce what he is saying (take a bow david blunkett). i recommend the book to anyone - it's well written, occasionally funny (i was lucky enough see nick cohen give a talk at the SWP conference several years ago and he was very funny, entertaining and educational).
the bog book is al franken's "lies and the lying liars who tell them." in some ways it's a book in the same sort of area as the cohen one - the main difference is the style of writing. cohen demonstrates his journalistic background so the book is peppered with references and contexts to much of what he is talking about.
the franken book is pretty much an attack on the right wing in america - taking no prisoners as he goes, as he attacks anne coulter, hannity, o'reilly, karl rove and others. it's the same sort of territory that michael moore covers, the tone and style differ but the passion is pretty much the same.
the real problem with the books of people like franken is that these are not trying to be balanced (no reason why they should be), there is very little attempt to contextualise the material and there is little in terms of analysis. these are books of the moment, they are books that appeal in the here and now. there is no really enough in them for you to want to come back to them later as a reference book. (again nothing wrong with them being polemical).
perhaps i am being harsh on franken and this might be because of the fact he has had a pop a coulter for using endnotes, but provides little in the way of notes, bibliography, sources etc.
perhaps i am just being a snobby ex (read failed) academic.
but hats of the al for the book - i am pretty sure i shan't be reading any more of his books.
i am now a fan of air america radio - so a big thank you to al franken for that.

if you want to check it out go to its fun to listen to.

ok it's late here and the laptop i am using is crap and i need to sleep.

darn this thing won't load.........

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


just did a google search on iampat - darn there are a few hits for it.
there is even a website - so that scuppers that idea. annoyingly the site is down so i can't see what it is about.
next search will be for naked angry pat.


one of those moments when you realise that age is coming on.
there i was in the bathroom washing my hair, tarting up my goatee and what do i do?
well i manage to slip on the edge of the bath, slam my ribs into the edge of the bath and whoooooosh no breath left, a half squealed curse and a silent prayer that i hadn't broken or cracked a rib.

that was last night. today i have a bit of a bruise. getting old.

had washed my hair last night - couldn't do anything with it this morning. what's worse i had no hair ties to pull it back.
when i got into work i asked a few of the women in the office if they had any spare ties.
nope they didn't. but rescue was at hand as one of them offered to pick me up some from stratford when they went off for lunch.
i wasn't expecting them to come back with such a girl scrunch as they did.
so now i am an arnie girlyman.