23 Apr 2013

Behind you!

My conspiracy radar went into maximum twitch mode this morning when the news on BBC Breakfast informed me that Canadian authorities had arrested two guys who were planning to bomb a passenger train en route from Toronto to New York. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the image of bomb-waving terrorists being arrested by some blokes in bright red on horseback crosses my mind and makes me smile) admitted that their plan, such as it was, had barely got beyond the "What if?" stage, or at least that's the impression you got from reading between the lines. Good on the Canucks, you may rightly think, they've shown the FBI how it's done and actually nipped an atrocity in the bud.

Then they have to go and spoil it by suggesting connections to that handy terrorist suspect coverall, Al and his Quaedas, an not just that, but the I-ran branch. I have long suspected that while there may be an organisation of that name, the word "organisation" is in itself highly questionable. More like a bunch of extremists who all like the idea of blowing up a few Westerners now and then, who occasionally meet in cafés to drink very strong green tea and smoke the pipe and rant at each other about the Yankee infidel through their beards.

Back in the USA the FBI are, or it seems were, as they've gone very quiet on the subject, desperately trying to link those two bastards in Boston to AQ, or at least they were before they were caught. Once it turned out their suspects were a) beardless and b) white they knew that they were probably looking at home-grown nutcases. The gnarled old cynic in me would suggest that the Yanks are praying that the suspect who survived pegs it in hospital, for, once both of them are brown bread, they can link them to whoever they please with no comeback.

Also, have you noticed how American nutjobs who gun down school children are never linked to AQ, oh no, they're just lone wolves that no amount of gun control would stop, at least not while the NRA are paying for the Senators' holidays. On the other hand as soon as anything explosive and larger than a bullet is involved, it must be the fault of those pesky Islamists.

Anyway, I've drifted off topic slightly. Not only do the Mounties link it to AQ, but AQ "in Iran", a country with no known connections to AQ, and a country where the Yankee military-industrial complex sees the next killing, literal and metaphorical, being made. Yeah, let's leave North Korea alone, they might actually cause us some damage should we invade, but I-ran? Bring it on! Yeah, right, whoop, whoop. It's called "preparing the ground" and if they repeat these spurious allegations enough times they'll convince themselves it's true. It worked in I-raq, did it not?

You can almost smell the testosterone from here, and that's just Hilary Clinton. Thank gawd for John Kerry that's all I can say.

I have a t-shirt that bears the legend "Twatter - because no-one wants to know what you had for breakfast", an article of clothing I can no longer wear in public as I've joined the ranks of Twits, hypocrite that I am! Purely for promotional purposes you understand, as it is indeed true that folk do seem to like telling each other what they had for breakfast. What is that all about?

The promo thing is for my music scribblings and I'll hold my hands up and admit it actually seems to work.

Do not feed the animal

7 Apr 2013

Sorry about yesterday, let's start again...

Firstly apologies for yesterday's dull nonsense! This is what I should have written about...

On the eve of Good Friday, Phill and I ventured to The Lamplighter for their Easter Beer Festival. Phill has already described this in great detail, but, like him, as soon as we arrived a righteous need to get really quite drunk descended on this ne'er-do-well.

If you've not read Phill's report, and you really should, three pints in the charming Zoe joined us. She would have liked to have joined us physically too, as her description to me in French of what she would like to see happen to us made all too clear.

Me, I understand enough Français to glean the words "wet", "lick", "hard" and a few others depicting various states of moisture and erectness. The fact the plural form of "you" was used made it obvious that she wanted us both at once.

Flattering as it may have been to have been on the receiving end of some "draguer par une nanette" who was less than half my age, it was also mildly terrifying for this settled old boy! Appropriately given the language used, and despite having no desire to go for a pee, having a bladder the size of a small planet, I took the French option, and ran away...to the loo.

Being somewhat inebriated, after a few seconds of standing in front of the urinal with nowt happening, I momentarily forgot why I was in the gents, wondering why I was standing there, JT in hand with diddly happening. A lovely visage, I'm sure!

Then I remembered so I stood there some more. Phill claims I was in there for three hours, but, if you know him, he is somewhat prone to exaggeration. It was probably only two.

He's older than me, you know...

Of course, the best bit of the evening was Zoe thinking I was three years younger than him, and that he looked like Rick Mayall. Deny it as he might, he does, although less so as he gets older I'll admit, he's more like Albert Steptoe now.

" 'Arrold, do I keep me teeth in?"

Pished though I may have been, I kept my wits about me enough to stop Zoe having Phill taking any pics of me and her!

It was all rather a good laugh, I have to say. :)

6 Apr 2013

Mowing for Colbert

Today I mowed the lawns of Burwood Towers for the first time this year, as, for the first time in what seems like forever the freezing Easterly wind that has sent temperatures plummeting to well below average for ages finally abated to become merely a chill breeze.

After the mow came a lounge about in the sun, sat on the bench at the bottom of the garden. When the breeze slowed to barely perceptible levels the temperature in the sun was, ooh, all of 14C, a good 10C higher than it's been for a long time, and very welcome, too.

While sitting there basking something felt wrong, and I soon realised that it was up there, in the sky. The prevailing wind direction in this country is from the South West, which means that while sat on said bench you can gaze up at the clouds and mostly watch them going straight up the garden towards the house. Sitting as we are under this interminable region of high pressure that was centred over Scanddinavia and now sits on top of us results in looking up at the sky and seeing clouds coming at you from the North. All quite odd indeed.

It's all down to that pesky jetstream buggering off to Spain for the winter. No doubt it will be sat over us in a couple of months, or the monsoon season as it is now known. Can we have our summers back, please?

Today is also Grand National day, and those nice people at Sky gave me a free £10 bet which I invested wisely/wasted each way on Colbert Station, ridden by AP McCoy. That's £58.20/£10 to spend on beer/I never missed in the first place, then. Delete as appropriate after the race is run.

Our council, the glorious institution that is the NBC, or No Bollocks Continuously, has entered into a PFI with Balfour Beatty in order to erect some rather groovy new street lighting in out area. This probably means we will all be paying for it for many years through our Council Tax. But, looking on the bright (arf!) side, gone are those scourges of all urban areas that illuminate with that awful palid orange glow, and in their place are some low energy white light monsters, twice the height of the previous incumbents.

B and I have been watching the progress of their construction with increased bewilderment. Work started in the week before Easter and in the first two or three days, all the holes were dug, the new poles erected, the old ones dug out...and then nothing until yesterday, when the old ones were switched off and the new ones switched on.

There is no sign yet of the old ones being taken away, we will wait to see if this happens as indeed it should, strange working patterns notwithstanding.

There's a County Council election coming up. As I get older I have become increasingly alienated from mainstream politics, as all three main parties pay lip service to the electorate, seeing only power as the goal. This sad state of affairs is probably even more pronounced at local level, as councils of all sizes have always attracted little Napoleons in droves. Suffice to say I will be voting Independent if there is one or Green if there isn't. We're all going to die.