Friday, July 30, 2004  

What do you see when you turn out the light …

Ok, decisions aren’t my thing. In fact I could be described as indecisive. Sometimes I don’t even know what to have for tea. So today we were looking at holiday destinations, and we fancy Turkey. Neither of us has ever been, so we are both unsure. You see, when one of us is being indecisive, the other one usually makes the decision. But today we're both flumoxed.

Have any of you been to Turkey, and if so what was it like, what are the resorts like ? Which are the quiet ones, and the ones with the nicest food ?

Make our decision for us, we’re stuck !

| posted by Simon | 9:07 p.m. | 0 comments

Friday, July 23, 2004  

Closer, let me whisper in your ear....

Here’s how to do it:

1. Leave a comment on my blog saying you want to be interviewed.
2. I will respond and ask you five questions.
3. You'll update your blog with my five questions, and your five answers.
4. You'll include this explanation.
5. You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

My questions are from Pogo.

1. What's the best thing about living where you live?

When we moved up here from Manchester the first thing we noticed was the slow pace of life, so much more chilled out. But after a while you adjust and everything seems the same. So was it the fresh air then ? Manchester smells so bad and Cumbria smells fresh and clean. In the last couple of years I have noticed a marked increase in traffic, and with it – fumes. Not that then. What about the food ? Well yesterday’s disaster notwithstanding, the quality of food in Cumbria is excellent. But you can get good food in any half decent town in the western hemisphere. No, the one thing that makes Cumbria an ace place to live……. The rest of the family are 150 fucking miles away !

2. The worst?

Burberry wearing, pasty eating, illiterate, red-neck, inbred fuckpigs.

3. The best sandwich in the world...?

This one is easy. When I worked in Stalybridge we used to get our breakfast from a pub called the Laughing Cavalier. They used to put a full breakfast on a muffin (bap – barm cake – tea cake – whatever you call the fuckers). To improve on the huge fucking thing, Tracy offered to make her version of it. A huge bread monster with sausage, bacon, egg, tomato, beans, black pudding and brown sauce. You have to be very careful because they will probably kill you if you have too many.

4. What's so scary about moths?

Hairy evil bastards ! I hate them because they try to get in my mouth. They don’t fly in a straight line, they flit about with no purpose other than to confuse and disgust. Cunts !

5. One skill you haven't got, but would dearly love to learn...?

This is a tough one. I suppose because I am so crap at DIY it would be something to do with making things. Considering my past exploits with wood, I think I’d choose joinery. It never ceases to amaze me when I watch a craftsman at work, they make it look so easy. There must be a great deal of satisfaction standing back to look at something you built yourself, and you get to wear one of those smart tool belts.

| posted by Simon | 11:13 p.m. | 0 comments

Thursday, July 22, 2004  

The flesh you so fancifully fry.

After a very nice day shopping in Carlisle, we went for something to eat. It looked nice, it was new, it was called “Big Luke’s”. It was shit.

I think it’s the new thing at the moment to offer all you can eat for £6 in a buffet stylee. We went and got a reasonable sized plate of chicken, mushrooms, chips, onion rings and salsa. Whilst we were getting our “food” our drinks were delivered to our table. The teabag was left in the cup, so it stewed badly. Then as we sat down and started to eat, we realised that the majority of the stuff on our plates was cold, had been sat there all day, and taken on the attributes of granite. I was in no mood for an argument; I had spent a nice leisurely day shopping and didn’t want it spoiled by shouting at a bloke wearing a cheap purple shirt. Tracy was less reticent and told them exactly what she thought of the crap that had tried to pass off as food. The manager looked shell-shocked, and said we didn’t have to pay. We then drove to The Lifeboat, a pub/restaurant in Maryport. It was beautiful. Freshly cooked with excellent ingredients. I really wanted to take a sample back to Big Luke and tell them that was how to cook for people. Instead we went home and I got drunk.

I fully appreciate that you get what you pay for, and a £6 meal isn’t going to be as good as a £60 meal. But, if I order a hot meal, I expect it to be hot. I also expect it to be reasonably fresh. So is a £6 meal worth arguing over ? I take Tracy’s point that if you don’t say anything they’ll never learn, and keep serving up shit until they go bust, and in the past I have complained about a £3 burger. But sometimes I just don’t want the stress of going over everything with people who aren’t going to take a bit of notice. Realistically we will never eat there again, so Tracy saved us £12.

The Lifeboat charged us £9 for a beautiful fresh club sandwich, a gorgeous piece of chocolate cheesecake and earl grey for two. We will definitely be going back to try their seafood.

It doesn’t take a fucking genius does it ?

| posted by Simon | 11:57 p.m. | 0 comments

Wednesday, July 21, 2004  

When it gets dark I tow your heart away.

Posts over at Lyle’s and Steve’s have got me thinking about traffic, even up here on the west coast of Cumbria, traffic is getting heavier. Let’s forget for the moment, the dangers of cramming yet more cars onto our roads, and deal with the ones already on them.

Rules of the road:

When you have paid for your petrol and you have ambled back to your car, take your time getting comfortable. Put your seat belt on, set your radio, have a chat to your passenger, eat the pork pie you just bought. Don’t for one moment give a single fucking thought to poor twat behind you waiting for the pump.

When you are careering down the motorway at the breakneck speed of forty-five miles per hour, make sure you sit in the middle lane. That way everyone else will have a brilliant time trying to avoid dying in a fireball trying to avoid you.

When returning to your car to find you have a parking ticket, shout abuse at the traffic warden. It’s his fault you parked illegally. You’re English damn it; you should be able to park where the hell you want to. We didn’t fight two world wars so you can be told where and where not to park, especially by some jumped up little Hitler.

When arriving at a mini roundabout, just sit there and wait for the other person to go first. Everyone knows that the highway code tells us that mini roundabouts are not governed by any laws. Don’t give a second thought to the unfortunate fucker sat behind you in the ever-increasing queue.

When attempting to join a main road from a side junction, ensure you have a good look left and right. When you have ascertained the level of traffic ensure you wait until a car is only twenty feet from your fucking bonnet before pulling out. The other driver will relish the opportunity to test his brakes. You will know this by the other driver raising his middle finger. This, as everyone knows, is the international signal for “thank you kindly my good friend”.

When attempting to turn off a main road, onto a side road or garage forecourt, don’t bother to indicate. The other drivers in the vicinity will never learn clairvoyance if you keep using those annoying little orange lights that are stuck at various places all over your fucking car.

If you have small children, put a sign in the back window of your car. It should say something along the lines of “small person on board”. If you don’t have one of these I will intentionally ram you, causing massive damage to both our cars, and putting all our lives at risk.

Whilst speeding past your local primary school ensure you are doing one of the following. Talking on your mobile phone, eating a Ginsters pasty, lighting up a cigarette, rummaging in your glove box for your sunglasses, looking at the person sat in the back. Be creative, you can do anything as long as you don’t watch where you are fucking going. If a child should accidentally stray into your path, well it’s tough !

If you own a small hatch back, like a Nova, ensure you drive everywhere at seventy miles per hour or greater. Everyone knows these cars are only safe when they achieve the national maximum speed. To warn everyone within a three-mile radius that you are driving about, strap a fucking huge tailpipe to the back of the exhaust system. It will give children and pets a precious few extra seconds to get out of your way, as you charge into town for your emergency Burberry delivery.

When choosing a car to take your little angels to school, take the following into consideration. Your kids are only small, there is only two of them, the school is only four hundred yards away, the school is on a tiny street with no room to turn around, the residents of the street find it extremely difficult to get in and out of their houses at school times. Once you have weighed up the pros and cons of all the cars on offer, buy an enormous four-wheel drive with bull bars, spotlights and a satellite navigation system. The streets do get very wet and muddy in winter.

| posted by Simon | 7:21 p.m. | 0 comments

Monday, July 19, 2004  

Spending warm summer days indoors.

Today and tomorrow I am doing an audit at work, I suppose it’s better than getting my hands dirty. People become very cagey when you tell them they are being audited, defensive even. They’ll be even more defensive when they see how many corrective action notices they have.

Tracy has joined the ranks of those dodging tax; she goes full-time from September. My degree will be gained whilst having huge fucking chunks of my wage nicked by the government, and all of it for nefarious purposes.

I see gwb has now linked Iran to September eleventh. Will this man stop at nothing ? Maybe he will claim it was a spelling mistake by the CIA, “it looked like a Q, but it was an N…. what can I say ? Now watch me hit this drive” The first thing that crossed my mind wasn’t about how fucked-up the American political system is, it was about whether Blair would follow him on this new crusade. I’m sure Bush wants the whole of the middle east with puppet governments, but will Blair take us further into this, or will he bow to public pressure ?

I notice the BBC didn’t accuse Arafat of nepotism, they called it cronyism, are they dumbing down or taking the piss. I bet Bush was pissing his pants, he got away with much worse, and the BBC didn’t say a word.

Blair has been waffling about how it’s the fault of 60s liberals that crime is rampant in this green and pleasant land. So little Jordan and his mate Taylor have parents that were brought up in the 60s ? Fuck off Tony, there has never in the history of this country been a more liberal attitude to the bringing up of children. What we need is a return to some of those values. It’s just like politicians to blame all our ills on an era long past. Those 60s liberal values got you your free university education, a privilege you have made sure will never come back. Let’s blame the current crime levels perpetrated by young people on the real reasons. Bone idle parents who haven’t the foggiest fucking idea where their offspring are, and don’t really care. Parents, who at the first mention of their little precious doing something wrong, fly into fits of rage and blame everyone but themselves. Playing with your kids gets in the way of valuable drinking time, and heaven forbid they miss whatever shite is on the telly. Disciplining your kids is also time consuming, so fuck it, why bother ? Just leave them, and if anyone says or does anything, sue the fuckers. I’m generalizing, but I genuinely think that today’s young people have little or no respect for anyone and that includes themselves.

The solution ? Give them a damned good thrashing, and if that doesn’t work put them in the army and send them to Iraq………. Sorry Iran.

Late news just in: Bush to invade David Bowie’s wife !

| posted by Simon | 11:23 p.m. | 0 comments

Friday, July 16, 2004  

Semolina pilchard, climbing up the eiffel tower.
There’s so fucking many celebrity chefs, and most are shite. Gordon Ramsey seems to be getting a lot of exposure lately; he’s rapidly turning into one. I can remember the Galloping gourmet, he used to pick a woman out of the audience at the end of his show, and she would share the meal he had just cooked. Then he went all strange and started cooking healthy stuff….weirdo. I can barely remember Fanny Cradock, what a fucking horror she was, she looked like a hinge and bracket stunt double after a night on the piss. The plethora of TV chefs around today are flogging a dead horse, it’s all been done before. The two fat ladies (or Randal and Hopkirk deceased) scare the shit out of me; the adenoidal one has filthy fingernails, and the other one. …hang she’s still alive I’d better not slander her. All the others bar two can be grouped in the uninspiring column, they just don’t get my juices flowing; they don’t make me want it. The two that are left are Jamie Oliver and Keith Floyd. 
Jamie Oliver is a fat tongued mockney cunt, but he makes nice stuff, he isn’t arsey like Gary Rhodes and he seems to enjoy what he’s doing. That enthusiasm comes across and gets you thinking about food and combinations of tastes. I like the way he throws things together without cause to use scales or referring to a recipe card. To sum up, he’s a twat, but I’ll watch him cook. 
Keith Floyd is fantastic; I could watch him cook all day. His style is one I would love to emulate if I could actually boil a fucking egg without setting fire to the kitchen. He cooks traditional stuff, but he does it in fantastic places. He’s also not afraid of showing his balls-ups. He seems to be constantly pissed, which makes the whole thing so much better. A typical Englishman abroad, he seems to be able to fit in wherever he ends up, and he always cooks for other people, not a plate of some arty bollocks that no one is going to eat. Real food for real people and if they don’t like it he lets them say so. 
But the main reason why Floyd is the best TV chef: 
Jamie Oliver makes me want to cook; Keith Floyd makes me want to eat.  
Who’s your favourite and why ?

| posted by Simon | 10:43 p.m. | 0 comments

Thursday, July 15, 2004  

Take a drink from his special cup....

It wasn’t a fluke, I passed with relative ease. I walked into the exam to find the patient with a fucking big knife in her hand and blood all over the place. I soon had her bandaged and in the recovery position ready for the ambulance.

I have seen this meme over at Pogo’s and thought it sounded good; you put all your mp3s into a playlist, randomise, and play the first ten. Here’s mine:

01. U2 – Elevation.
02. Animals – House of the rising sun.
03. The Bluetones – Zorro.
04. Nora Jones – One flight down.
05. Morrissey – Let me kiss you.
06. Goldfrapp – Train.
07. The Boomtown Rats – Rat trap.
08. Air – Lucky and unhappy.
09. Gary Jules – Boat song.
10. Bjork – Crying.

2181 songs to choose from, the full playlist would last 145 hours 31 minutes and 38 seconds. I did press the random button a couple of times because there were still large clumps of songs by one artist in several areas. I suppose it’s not too bad, it could have been a lot worse. I have some dodgy stuff.

| posted by Simon | 7:03 p.m. | 0 comments

Tuesday, July 13, 2004  

The continuing story of bungalow bill.

So the bloke at Curry’s said that I had to ring Epson in order to get my printer fixed, so I rang on Monday morning. I spoke to Chris, who told me that he would have to see my receipt before he could arrange a call out. I presume it’s a ploy to get you to fuck off and stop bothering them. “No problem” I said, “I’ll scan the receipt and email it to you”. In fairness, about ten minutes after I emailed Chris he phoned back and told me that the engineer would come out today. I managed to get out of work at about eight forty-five and spent the rest of the day at home….waiting. At about half past two I went down stairs (we live on the third floor) to get the post. There, lying on the mat was a note, yes you guessed it “we called but you were out”. You lying bastards ! You didn’t even knock on our front door; you took one look at the three flights of stairs and thought, “fuck that mate”. Or, you were too numb to try the main door to see if it was open (which it was). I hope it wasn’t the latter, because if you can’t work a fucking door, then I think you’ll struggle with a printer. So I phoned Chris, only I can’t speak to the same person as yesterday (obviously), luckily I had the foresight to jot down the reference number that Chris had given me, so I gave Gavin the number and explained what had happened. He read from the page of the manual that tells you how to apologise sincerely, and promised the when the engineer comes on Wednesday he will knock on the door. I’ll keep you posted.

Tomorrow is day one of my two-day three-yearly First Aid refresher. These things are usually a good laugh, with fake blood and volunteer casualties. The casualties are usually retired people, or members of the Red Cross, and they relish the opportunity to scare the living shit out of you. When I originally passed the test about nine years ago, my casualty was a woman who had attempted suicide, then changed her mind. She took great pleasure in screeching down my lughole at any given moment. It’s easy to dress a wound when your patient is sat still and keeps their gob shut; it’s a whole different ball game when they cry and bleed all over the place. Last time I took the refresher I absolutely aced it, you know when you’re in the groove, and you can’t do anything wrong ? That was me, I just seemed to get the questions that I knew by heart, and my patient had a bad cut on his hand, which is my preferred bandage because it’s easy. When he slipped into unconsciousness I sussed it straight away. Even the CPR was a breeze. On Thursday afternoon we will find out if that was a fluke. I’ll probably get a head bandage on a hysterical hippy, and questions about wasp stings and anaphalaxia. I could always fake madness and run off screaming.

We just renewed our passports, £94. Ninety-four fucking quid ! Cheeky bastards. I had better look good on it for that price.

| posted by Simon | 11:21 p.m. | 0 comments

Sunday, July 11, 2004  


Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of (insert your year here).

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now:


I know it’s an overused statement nowadays, but kids need to get out more. I have read things this past couple of weeks that makes me despair for the future of our race. Schools so afraid of kids being hurt, and the possible lawsuits that those injuries would entail, have taken to banning traditional children’s games. The state is increasing its efforts to control our every waking minute, and sleeping minutes for that matter. We tend to keep our kids indoors because of all the evil bastards that are lurking behind every bush, and when we do let them out into the streets to play, we don’t let them do anything that would injure them. Assuming that the kids in question would actually leave the house if you asked them to, traditional interactions are being forgotten…… kids don’t know how to play anymore. The government is on the verge of banning parents from smacking their children, when these undisciplined kids eventually discover the difference between right and wrong it will be too late.

When I was about five years old I was playing around the back of our house, I fell and cut my hand badly. I was whisked off to hospital for a few stitches, when I got back I was a celebrity, all the kids wanted to see my scar, all the better that is was a pale green colour under the bandage. I have a scar on my ankle from the roundabout in Manor Park Glossop. I have a chunk missing from my shinbone; Wembley was the scene of that one. I remember running across the road and nearly getting knocked down by a sky blue VW Beetle (now that would have been ironic) my mum gave me such a wallop, I’ve never done it again, thanks mum for teaching me not to get run over…you probably prolonged my life by a good few years.

How are kids going to learn stuff if we don’t let them get hurt ? You can’t reason with a four-year-old, lessons have to be learned in order for us not to make mistakes that could be worse next time. I know what you’re thinking, some stupid people will die. Well so fucking what ? Our race may become more intelligent as a result, natural selection works, we shouldn’t fuck with it.

The future looks grim, as whole populations of people are allergic to everyday things because they were kept in a sanitised bubble when they were kids. They won’t know the joy of winning something, or the determination to do better that comes with loosing. Afraid of their surroundings and unable to deal with life’s ups and downs, when they finally come into contact with a legal system that doesn’t know how to handle the increasing numbers of incarcerated, they will wonder why no one impressed upon them the importance of right and wrong.

Let you kids get dirty, let them run and play and fight and climb trees and jump across streams and build rope swings. Stop feeding them shit food, make them eat what you eat, give them a clip round the ear if they continuously do something you don’t want them to, and if they get punished at school punish them again at home.

The government needs to forget the new smacking law and bring back corporal punishment. They should make sure kids eat proper meals at school instead of the shite they give them now. They should ensure that the police are equipped to deal with the numbers of vile cunts that prey on kids in this country. It may well cost us more money in replacing ripped jeans and buying extra fresh fruit and veg’, and we have to pay more tax to provide extra recourses in school and on the streets. But you can’t have kids then complain that they cost too much.

Let your kids get some scars of their own; they’ll thank you for it when they get older.


Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen...

| posted by Simon | 4:52 p.m. | 0 comments

Friday, July 09, 2004  

Thank fuck for that !

I have just put my TMA in the envelope; it’ll get posted first thing in the morning. I needed that week extension. That was the hardest one yet. I suppose they will get harder, but that was a real jump in difficulty. I seem to be having a hard time with the chemistry ones (but Simon, you’re a supervisor on a chemical plant…I hear you cry). The thing is, I don’t actually do much chemistry because it’s all automated. I just press a button, or ask someone else to press a button. Chemicals tend to just pass through my department without being touched or even observed, I smell them now and again if that counts.

The day came when it was time to print the invites to the taxdodger’s 21st. Did the printer work ? Did it fuck ! It sits there all self important like a fat toad and then when it’s needed it fails like a British tennis player in the second week at Wimbledon. It’s going back to fucking Curry’s tomorrow….twat !

The Black Crows are ace ! In fact they are better than Primal Scream, and that’s a tall order. Summer is here (ok maybe it’s already gone) and the perfect music for those summer drives is an old Manchester band called The Adventure babies. Their one and only album was the last ever printed on Factory and has since been lost. I have a copy, and I’ve wacked it on Kazaa, so get on and download something off me. You won’t regret it, it’s top happy summer music, listen and loose yourself in warm summer clouds.

| posted by Simon | 11:08 p.m. | 0 comments

Thursday, July 08, 2004  


I have just found this blog, via Brian. It's so good that it has bypassed the normal couple of months in my favourites, and gone straight onto the list to your right.

| posted by Simon | 5:48 p.m. | 0 comments

Sunday, July 04, 2004  

Greece won then !

They deserved it.

I felt let down though, as if I was still waiting for something to happen. We had not really seen anything memorable, anything that would make you remember this tournament for the rest of your life. The it happened, as the Portuguese players went up to get their losers medals, right there among the substitutes was a player called…..Quim !


| posted by Simon | 10:35 p.m. | 0 comments

Saturday, July 03, 2004  

1-2-3-4-5 once I caught a fish alive.

Our little tank now has three inhabitants. Two Goldfish called Lenny and Carl and a Dojo Loach called Mr Miyagi. We are trying to create a little eco system to keep them happy.

Mr Miyagi is as mad as a box of Frogs, he just swims at top speed around the tank and then lies shagged out on the bottom for ages. Lenny and Carl are a little timid, and keep hiding behind a rock whenever we go near the tank. They get a little braver when we put some food in the top. I never realised how much shit a Goldfish produces.

I’ll put up some pictures of them when I can be arsed.

6-7-8-9-10 then I let it go again.....

| posted by Simon | 1:03 a.m. | 0 comments
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