Thursday, 30 October 2008

I Think I Can Make it Now

Johnny was the first to admit he was having a mid life crisis.

In his mid forties, he felt his life was not so much stuck in a rut but well and truly wedged. He was stuck in a dead-end job which paid reasonably well but his hard-earned salary soon disappeared at the end of the month on the mortgage, loans and other bills which seemed to grow with each passing month.

Many of his so-called friends only got in touch when they wanted something. Even Johnny's family seemed to have given up on him.

His marriage to Lorraine had survived many a crisis in the twenty-five years they had been together but now even that had turned sour. But this was, in part, Johnny's own doing. For years he had held a secret passion for his next door neighbour. Deirdre was a very attractive, buxom woman who had recently split from her husband. Johnny popped in one day to fix her washing machine and previously dormant feelings between them stirred. There would be daily text messages, e-mails, sneaky peeks out the net curtains; Johnny suddenly felt alive again. He had forgotten what it felt like to be in love, to want someone, to be the centre of their attention.

It was, of course, only a matter of time before Lorraine became suspicious. She caught sight of the text messages and e-mails from her neighbour to her husband. The final straw was when she round to Deirdre's house and saw the shadow of them embraced in the hallway. With tears streaming down her cheeks and a rage like an inferno, Lorraine stormed back home, packed her case and left the home she had shared with Johnny for nearly three decades. As the door slammed shut with a force that damn near registered on the Richter Scale, Johnny peeked through the lacy curtains. Realising what had happened he went outside but his appeals for his wife to come back were merely half-hearted.

Big Tam from three doors down was witness to it all. 'Johnny' he asked tentatively, 'is there anything I can do?'

Johnny looked at him thoughtfully. 'Aye, there is, Tam.'

Tam gave him a wistful look. 'Whit?'

'Look all around, there’s nothin' but blue skies. Look straight ahead, nothin' but blue skies, because...

I Can See Deirdre Now, Lorraine Has Gone....'

Monday, 27 October 2008

Scotland's Rising Star

The sublime Ally Kerr - the video for his fabulous new single Amorino is below.

Ally is one of Scotland's best singer/songwriters - as the song below illustrates. His latest album - Off the Radar - is quite superb.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

As Funny as a Trip to the Dentist...

Russell Brand has said sorry for offending Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs during a prank on his Saturday night BBC Radio 2 programme. Sachs' agent said he was "very upset" after Brand and studio guest Jonathan Ross left lewd messages on his answer phone broadcast in his 18 October show.

From the BBC News website.

Sometimes I think I'm out of sync with the rest of society. What, for example, do people find amusing about Russell Brand? A person for whom the term 'his heid's up his ain a*se' could have been made for. Today's politically correct brigade say the likes of legendary comics from the past such as Benny Hill, Les Dawson, Dick Emery would have no place in today's society because they were 'offensive'. I say bollocks to that and I don't care if anyone finds that offensive. Switching on the normally excellent BBC Radio Two and hearing prize chumps like Brand and Ross uttering gibberish is offensive to me.

Very few of today's comics make me laugh. The notable exception is Peter Kay who is very funny and very clever. His spoof of The X Factor/Pop Idol a couple of weeks ago on Channel Four was quite brilliant. But many others on mainstream television are about as funny as a trip to the dentist. Just what do people find even mildly amusing about:

Russell Brand
Jonathan Ross
Al Murray
Alan Carr
Jimmy Carr
Little Britain (I just don't get that programme)
Simon Amstell (I rarely watch Never Mind the Buzzcocks now Mark Lamarr has gone)

Billy Connolly used to make me laugh - about thirty years ago. Before he too disappeared up his own backside.

Nowadays I tend look for other sources of humour for entertainment. Such as Hearts striker Christian Nade's assertion that he wants to be the club's top goalscorer this season. Sorry - I have to go and change these trousers....

Friday, 24 October 2008

Tough on Crime

A bogus workman who was beaten up in prison has been told "you deserve anything you receive" by a sheriff. Eddie Newlands, 37, from Perth, was sent to jail for 10 months on Thursday after conning a 91-year-old woman out of £5,500 of her savings. Sheriff Margaret Gimblett said she had no sympathy and described what he had done to the pensioner as "despicable."

From the BBC News website

I say three loud cheers for Sheriff Gimblett. What a refreshing change from the normal do-gooders all too prevalent in our society who say some offenders shouldn't be punished but given help. Crime is rife in this country. And how many times to you read about cases where the offender gets off with a ridiculously light sentence, sometimes avoiding a custodial sentence in favour of community service?

It's the victims of crime who should be considered when sentence is passed down. My dear old mum was mugged on her way to work in Aberdeen in 1996. She had just turned sixty years old but was still working for a crust as she had always done throughout her life. She was attacked at 7.00am. Thankfully, she wasn't injured but her purse was stolen and she was, unsurprisingly, traumatised by the incident. I don't think the police ever caught her attacker. To this day she is still quite wary when going out on her own. Now I know violence is abhorrent. But I still maintain that if I'm ever in Aberdeen and come across my mother's assailant, I would exact revenge on the little barsteward.

There's not enough done to help victims of crime in this country, but help aplenty to those who instigate it. Social workers and psychologists fall over themselves to help violent and dangerous neds 'rehabilitate' and earn their way back into society. There isn't the same assistance given to their victims, many of whom are affected for life.

So, well said Sheriff Gimblett. Let the barsteward get all he deserves in jail. Even though he'll probably be out in about six months, free to do it all again....

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The Waiting Game

It's not been a good year for The Auld Reekie Ranter on the health front. It just seems to have been one thing after another.

Today I was at the hospital for what I thought was going to be a routine check on something that's needed attention. But the specialist I saw wasn't entirely happy and I subsequently had a biopsy, the results of which should be known in a couple of weeks. Now this is a procedure which thousands of people in Scotland have every year and chances are there's nowt to worry about. But there is always a chance further treatment will be required and although this will be on the back burner - if you'll pardon the expression - for the next couple of weeks, it will linger at the back of my mind.

The biopsy meant I had to have a local anaesthetic and a couple of stitches. I often wondered about our use of some words. Local anaesthetic - and here was me thinking they would send me to Inverness for the jab. I'm 46 years old and, believe it or not, today was the first time I've ever had stitches. I was told I would just feel a bit of a prick but then I should be used to that....add paranoia to my list of ailments.

My dear old mum, whose glass is always completely empty, never mind half, didn't take the news well. I'm sure I saw her leafing through the Yellow Pages tonight at the 'U's looking for Undertakers...

My daughters are oblivious to it all and that's how it should be. They never look at the nonsense on this site anyway so they'll still be none the wiser. In any case I'm pretty sure all will be well and I'll get the all clear in a couple of weeks.

But what today has done is focus the mind. It will make me concentrate more at work and try to help me cut out some of the silly mistakes I've been making recently. It will put in perspective some of the more trivial things that have irritated me recently (and I'm not talking about Christian Nade's attempt at scoring the winner at Easter Road on Sunday that ballooned into Row 30 of the visiting end) And it will make me realise that, like thousands of other people, dealing with the waiting game is a challenge to be met head on.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Sign of the Times Part 94...


It's either my fortysomething status or another sign of the increasingly frustrating times we live in. Or perhaps both.

On the one hand there are the all too familiar signs of Britain dumbing down. Having had difficulty sleeping recently I was browsing various sleep assistance medicines in a pharmacist's yesterday. The makers of Nytol have clearly thought long and hard about how not to induce confusion among potential customers by having a half moon and dark sky on its packaging - just in case poor Joe Public didn't get the gist of the name of the product. Reassuringly there's a statement on the side of the box - may cause drowsiness. Now call me pedantic but if I purchased Nytol and it didn't cause me drowsiness, I would be inclined to sue the makers under the Trades Description Act. On the way home I purchased a packet of KP peanuts. A fine product, I may say, considerably enhanced by the declaration on the packet 'Contains Nuts', Thanks for the warning, fellas...


On the other hand there's some packaging designed to make it as difficult as possible to get into the product. Cartons of milk are the prime culprits. Trying to open one without the use of a Samurai sword or without spilling half the contents on to the kitchen floor is a challenge worthy of The Krypton Factor. A relatively simple task of opening a packet of Cheddars biscuits whilst settling down to watch Match of the Day last night resulted in a substantial increase in my blood pressure, the uttering of several oaths some of which rhymed with 'no luck' and the scattering of said biscuits into thousands of pieces on the living room floor.


I had also purchased a toy for grandson Jack which was cheap but far from cheerful when it came to opening it up. The toy is encased in reinforced plastic for which ordinary scissors are no match. Even a carving knife was making little impact. Eventually, with lacerations to several fingers later, I borrowed my neighbour's industrial saw to open it up. What I'll do with the remnants of the plastic packaging is anyone's guess - the chances of Midlothian's ever helpful refuse collectors taking it away without complaint are on a par with a Hearts victory at Easter Road this afternoon...


In the balance of fairness I should perhaps point out that not all packaging is designed to frustrate. As the above photo shows, Ainsley Harriot's sausages have cooking instructions that are straight to the point....

Thursday, 16 October 2008

And Now It's Time For...


...the return of Top of the Pops.

At least that's what The Ting Tings have called for. They've said they would like to be the first band to play on a revived Top of The Pops. The duo's drummer and guitarist Jules De Martino told Absolute Radio: "We'll force our way onto it." Bring back TOTP and let us be the first band to play on it," he said of the show, which was axed in 2006.

Hmm. I think the point they're trying to make is that the BBC needs to have a show that highlights the top selling songs in the country (I was going to say records but in these days of downloads and MP3s that's showing my age - and my granddad status) But whenever I think of Top of the Pops I think of singers miming, wide-mouthed youngsters cavorting on the dance floor and inane comments from smart-arsed presenters.

I cringe now when I see old clips of TOTP from the 1970s and 80s. Tony Blackburn wearing a ridiculous tank top. Jimmy Saville wearing a ridiculous tracksuit. Dave Lee Travis with a ridiculous beard. Noel Edmonds just being ridiculous (no change there - see Rants passim)

When I first began watching the show in the early 1970s it was the glam-rock era. Slade, Sweet, T-Rex - all superstars. Then there was Gary Glitter singing Do You Wanna Touch Me and Do You Wanna Be in My Gang? Now, three decades on, we all know what that was about...

I know in the years just before its demise in 2006 TOTP was clawing back some credibility with more and more acts performing live and the presenters just introducing the acts without the need for babbling on. But taking it back to our screens would be a step back. In more primitive times, the show was the only place to see bands perform hit songs on the small screen. Nowadays the internet and multi-channel satellite television means there's no need for people to wait until a Thursday or Friday evening for half an hour of acts miming their way through their Top 20 hit.

A sign of the times certainly. But not necessarily a bad one.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Throwing the Toys Oot the Pram

We live in changing times. Sadly, values among some people these days leave a lot to be desired. The Rangers footballer Kris Boyd has said he will not play for Scotland again under present manager George Burley. "I left a message on George Burley's phone last night and he hadn't got back to me," said Boyd. "I will not be playing for George Burley again, but I hope to be back in a Scotland jersey again one day."

I think back to the days when Scotland had a half decent team. Players such as Kenny Dalglish, Joe Jordan, Billy Bremner, Graeme Souness - players the likes of Kris Boyd would struggle to lace their boots. Those players considered it an honour to play for their country and would walk over broken glass to do so. When Bremner was involved in a nightclub altercation whilst with the Scotland squad in 1975 he was banned for life for playing for his country again. The little man was devastated by this and many say he never recovered from it.

Boyd isn't a regular starter for Rangers either, hence George Burley's logic of keeping him on the substitutes bench, preferring players who are regular contributors to their clubs. Are we to surmise that Boyd will refuse to play for Rangers until he gets a regular starting position? I suspect not - his employer will pay the former Kilmarnock striker a hefty salary, one Boyd knows he won't get elsewhere in Scotland.

No doubt the west of Scotland media will use this to kick Burley, a man already on the floor following Scotland's less than spectacular start to the World Cup qualifying campaign. But do we really want a player with such an attitude playing for our country? Does Boyd think his absence will have a detrimental affect on Scotland's chances of making it to the World Cup Finals in South Africa in 2010? If he does then his ego is of monumental proportions - Boyd isn't exactly Denis Law as his infrequent appearances for Rangers prove.

It may be argued Scotland can ill afford to be without Boyd's services as some might say he's a 'proven goalscorer'. But we can certainly do without his selfish attitude and his spitting the dummy out mentality. Perhaps Boyd should look at the man who captained Scotland on Saturday. Darren Fletcher is far from a regular at Manchester United. But the lad from Dalkeith never complains and is proud to make a contribution to the European champions. Only last week Fletcher signed an extension to his current contract keeping him at Old Trafford for another three years.

He is the type of player I want to to see playing for Scotland. Fletcher may not have had the best of games against Norway but he gave his all and his commitment to his country can never be questioned.

Unlike a certain prima donna from Ayrshire who thinks he's the Pele of the the south side of Glasgow...



Saturday, 11 October 2008

Carry on Codgers


I travelled north to Aberdeen on Friday to see an old friend (it was almost two old friends but one of them took cold feet...!) and spent an enjoyable evening in the Granite City. No, that's not an oxymoron. Those who follow the fortunes of the city's football club and remember that erstwhile striker Frank McDougal may be interested to know he now runs a pub close to the city's Guild Street. Mine host still looks as fit as he did in 1984....true, he looked absolutely knackered twenty four years ago but that's beside the point. An enjoyable pint was had in Frank McDougal's Sports Bar.
It is perhaps a sign of my advancing years that three hours spent sampling the dubious pleasure of travelling on board a MegaBus service back to the capital city didn't do my frozen shoulder any good. Anyone who has suffered this condition - perhaps Adullamite, as he appears to have suffered everything else - will know how painful this can be. I'm used to receiving the cold shoulder from my family but this is something quite intense.

On arriving back in Edinburgh I met my mother and accompanied her on the Lothian Buses Service 33 to her place of abode, namely Gilmerton. My mother is in her early 70s and, unfortunately, her hearing isn't what it used to be. So when one of her neighbours, who is that little bit older and requires the use of a hearing aid, boarded the bus at Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary, there was a scene which could have been straight out of Carry On Doctor. Particularly when my mother's neighbour chose to sit in the seat opposite and not in the vacant seat in front of us. Cue a re-run of the scene from the Carry On film where Frankie Howard mistakenly believes he has only weeks to live and decides to marry his hard of hearing assistant - with the wedding conducted by a vicar whose hearing aid battery has gone flat. So, on the number 33 bus...

Mother: Hello Arthur

Arthur: What?

Mother: I said hello Arthur.

Arthur: I think it's about half past four.

Me: She's saying hello Arthur.

Mother: Why did he say it was half past four?
Me: He didn't hear you mother.

Arthur: Aren't you saying hello then?

Mother: What did he say?

Me: He didn't hear you say hello.
Arthur: What's wrong with your mother?

At this point I waved the white flag of surrender, got off the bus and left them to it. Two hours on there's a fair chance the two of them are still on the bus having circled the city at least twice. If Talbot Rothwell was on the bus, I fully expect Carry On Codgers to hit the screen next year...

Friday, 10 October 2008

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road - The USA View

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!

JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. That experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. That chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where's my shotgun?

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of 'chicken'?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

BILL GATES: I have just released EChicken2008, which will not only cross roads, but it will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of EChicken2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never crash ....... reboot.

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Two Words That Bring Misery

Credit crunch. A recent phenomenon but which has caused nothing but misery for thousands, nay, millions of people. Two small words but their impact on the world is huge. It got me thinking (I know, it doesn't happen very often) What other two words can bring misery, fear and unhappiness? Each to their own, of course, but some two word phrases to bring untold misery to this blogger are:

Final demand.

Work overtime.

You're fired.

Tea's Oot. (Scottish HR term - see above)

Hello Dad (said in a way that translates into may I have some money?)

I Do.

I Didn't.

Hearts nil (an all too frequent occurrence)

Christian Nade.

Jonathan Ross.

Margaret Thatcher.

First Group (see Rants passim)


Please add as many you like...

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Women World Records

Not sexist at all...

Shop Dithering

The longest time spent dithering in a shop was 12 days between 21 August and 2 September 1995. Entering the Glasgow branch of Dorothy Perkins, Mrs Jean Brown of Paisley could not choose between two near identical dresses which were both on sale. After five days and sitting on a chair by the changing room with his head in his hands, Mr Brown told her to buy both. Mrs Brown eventually bought the one for £12.99 only to return the next day and buy the other one. To date she has yet to wear it…

Jean Brown also holds the record for window shopping longevity when, starting on 12 September 1998, she stood motionless gazing at a pair of shoes in Clark’s window in East Kilbride for 3 weeks 2 days before eventually going home.

Traffic Light Cosmetics

The longest spell spent oblivious to traffic lights whilst applying make up was one of 1 hour 51 minutes at a road junction in the centre of Preston on 1 August 2002. Mavis Smith tried to beautify herself through 212 cycles of the lights, creating a tailback or irate motorists stretching 28 miles towards Manchester.

Gossiping

On 18 February 2006, a close friend of Maggie Hamilton of Stirling popped round for a cup of tea and a chat, during which she told her in the strictest confidence that she was having an affair with the butcher. After her close friend left at 2.10pm, Mrs Hamilton began to tell everyone, swearing them all to secrecy. By 2.30pm she had told 128 people of the news. By 2.50pm it had risen to 372 and by 4.00pm that afternoon, 2774 knew of the affair including the local Amateur Dramatic Society, several knitting circles, a coach load of American tourists, which she flagged down - and the butcher’s wife. When Mrs Hamilton went to bed at 11.55pm that night, her close friend’s affair was common knowledge to a staggering 51,344 people – enough to fill Hampden Park.

Group Toilet Visit

On a work’s Christmas Night out on 18 December 2003, Liz Conroy was one of 147 women to visit the toilet simultaneously. She went first and was immediately followed by 146 colleagues. Moving as a mass, the group entered the toilet at 9.52pm and, after waiting for everyone to finish, emerged 2 hours 37 minutes later.

Outdoor Record for Talking About Nothing

Between 11 November and 12 December 1983, Agnes Kelly and her next door neighbour chundered on over their fence in an unenlightening dialogue lasting 31 days until Mrs Kelly remembered she had left the bath running.

Pinhole Glasses

I’ve suffered poor eyesight for more than twenty years now. I first needed spectacles in the mid 1980s and, it appears, my eyesight is slowly deteriorating with each passing year. So when I heard of Pinhole Glasses I was more than a little intrigued.

Perfect vision in the unaided eye requires the eye lens to focus light rays from diverse angles into a single pinpoint directly on the retina at the back of the eye. For sufferers of refractive eye disorders, where the eye lens is too weak or the cornea or eyeball is misshapen, divergent light rays become focused in front of or behind the retina, casting an unfocused image onto the retina itself. This unfocused area of light is known as the 'blur circle'.

Pinhole glasses work by reducing the diversity of angles from which light rays can enter the eyes, allowing only direct light rays within a narrow angular path to strike the cornea.
When I first looked at the Pinhole Glasses website, I was initially cynical (as I tend to be on most things in life) But the site is interesting and informative and very easy to navigate (no matter how poor your eyesight I s!) Pinhole Glasses are the affordable alternative to prescription eyeglasses, consisting of precision-manufactured lightweight perforated plastic lenses, inset into standard metal or plastic spectacle frames. They are ideal for sufferers of refractive eye disorders, the elderly - no need for the obvious gag here, please - and computer users as the pinholes - accurately formed by laser technology - allow only direct and coherent light rays to pass through into the eye.

What particularly attracted me to Pinhole Glasses is that it doesn’t matter if I am reading a book or watching TV, one pair of pinhole glasses is all I need.

Highly recommended by a grandfather today feeling his age!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Unacceptable

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has announced an assessment of how ethnic minority officers are treated in police forces throughout England and Wales. Police Minister Vernon Coaker will oversee a two-week review looking at recruitment and promotion prospects. London Mayor Boris Johnson earlier launched an inquiry into alleged racism within the Metropolitan Police.
The Metropolitan Black Police Association has pledged to discourage minorities from working in the Met. Ms Smith said she was "disappointed" by the boycott and said the group's subsequent advertising campaign to discourage ethnic minorities applicants for the Met was "unhelpful".


From the BBC News Website

Racism in any walk of life is, of course, unacceptable. When it is alleged in the corridors of those charged with maintaining law and order its tremors shake the very core of society. Now I may be missing something here but why does the Metropolitan Black Police Association exist?

Is that not itself, by its own definition, a racist group? I assume - perhaps wrongly - that membership of this Association is for black and ethnic minority police officers only. Why can't their concerns be addressed through the usual police association procedures? One can imagine the outrage if there were a Metropolitan White Police Association in existence.

Or perhaps the inference is that this already exists, just not in name. If so the problem is far more serious than first thought...

Monday, 6 October 2008

An Embarrassment to Scotland

Coronation Street bosses have changed the script for an episode of the soap after complaints from Rangers fans. Supporters complained after the character Tony Gordon - played by Scottish actor Gray O'Brien - made a jibe about the Glasgow club. O'Brien's character had said: "I could no more be interested in Rosie Webster than I could support Glasgow Rangers."
An ITV spokeswoman confirmed that after "dozens" of complaints, the script for a forthcoming episode had been changed. ITV said that line seemed "to have caused some upset".


From the BBC News Website

I'm proud to be a Scot. To me there is no finer country in the world and this nation - and Scotland is a nation - has achieved so much and contributed much to the world. But sometimes I despair. And the occasional nonsense that emanates from the west of Scotland makes decent, upstanding Scots cringe with embarrassment. The above story is a case in point.

Clearly those Rangers fans who took the trouble to contact ITV don't feel at all foolish by their petty actions. Sadly, it's part of the sometimes poisonous substance of an element of Scottish society, all too prevalent in the west coast. This is hot on the heels of Celtic fans complaining about their Rangers counterparts singing songs about the Irish potato famine and Rangers fans in turn protesting - if you'll pardon the term - that they're being picked on. Faced with the threat of their club facing a possible points deduction, some Rangers fans have taken to humming the song Hello, Hello rather than chanting the words...

No doubt some in the west will find that ingenious. I find the whole Coronation Street/tasteless chanting saga disturbing. And, not for the first time - and certainly not the last - bringing shame and ridicule on our country.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Get Them Back in There...


As if the men and women of the armed forces in Afghanistan haven't enough to contend with as the war with the Taliban rages on, they're visited by the witless Geordie duo of Ant and Dec.

Perhaps the presenters of 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' can return to the war zone soon - so the Taliban can get another chance....

Thursday, 2 October 2008

So I...

I met this bloke with a didgeridoo and he was playing Dancing Queen on it. I thought, "That's Aboriginal."

"This lorry full of tortoises collided with a van full of terrapins. It was a turtle disaster.

I told a friend I had a job in a bowling alley. She said "Tenpin?"I said, "No, permanent."

I went in to a pet shop. I said, "Can I buy a goldfish?" The guy said,"Do you want an aquarium?" I said, "I don't care what star sign it is."

I was at a Garden Centre and I asked for something herby. They gave me a Volkswagen with no driver.

Batman came up to me and he hit me over the head with a vase and he went T'PAU! I said "Don't you mean KAPOW?? He said "No, I've got China in my hand."

I bought some Armageddon cheese today, and it said on the packet. 'Best Before End'

I went to buy a watch, and the man in the shop said "Analogue." I said "No, just a watch."

I went into a shop and I said, "Can someone sell me a kettle." The bloke said "Kenwood" I said, "Where is he then?"

My mate is in love with two schoolbags. He's bisatchel.

I went to the doctor. I said to him "I'm frightened of lapels." He said,"You've got cholera."

I was reading this book today, The History Of Glue. I couldn't put it down.

I phoned the local ramblers club today, but the bloke who answered just went on and on.

This policeman came up to me with a pencil and a piece of very thin paper. He said, "I want you to trace someone for me."

I told my mum that I'd opened a theatre. She said, "Are you having me on?" I said, "Well I'll give you an audition, but I'm not promising you anything."

This cowboy walks in to a German car showroom and he says "Audi!"

I was stealing things in the supermarket today while balanced on the shoulders of a couple of vampires. I was charged with shoplifting on two counts.

I bought a train ticket to France and the ticket seller said "Eurostar". I said "Well I've been on telly but I'm no Steve McQueen.

I phoned the local gym and I asked if they could teach me how to do the splits. He said, "How flexible are you?" I said, "I can't make Tuesdays or Thursdays."

I went to the local video shop and I said, "Can I take out The Elephant Man?" He said, "He's not your type." I said "Can I borrow Batman Forever?"He said, "No, you'll have to bring it back tomorrow"

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Financial Times


God, what a depressing week. It seems financial meltdown is certain and the world may be about to end if American politicians don't pass the 'crisis bill' on Thursday - the $700 billion rescue plan to avoid financial catastrophe which was rejected by the House of Representatives on Monday.

Across the pond, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told the BBC that he will do "whatever it takes" to protect people's savings. Moves to guarantee bank deposits up to £50,000 - compared with the current £35,000 limit - are expected shortly.

Now I may well be moving in the wrong circles but I don't know anyone who has anything near £35,000 in savings, let alone £50,000. Like so many other people, I have a fair amount of debt but no savings. I do, however, bank with the Bank of Scotland and the takeover of a Scottish financial institution by Lloyds TSB is a concern. I've been with BoS for more than a decade and always found them to be an excellent bank with good rates of interest - not that money stays long enough in my account to earn any...

But surely I'm not alone in thinking - not for the first time - that the world has gone mad. Just a month ago a wealthy Arab consortium took over an English football club - Manchester City. Their first act was to pay more than £32m for just one player - Brazilian Robinho. On the same day their city rivals United forked out just under £31m for a Bulgarian striker. United are backed, rather ironically given Monday's events, by Americans. Such transfers are, quite frankly, obscene. And with the world in financial crisis, crass doesn't begin to describe the behaviour of those behind these transfers.

Who knows when the financial horror stories will end. I have a good friend who works for the Bank of Scotland and he's naturally very worried about the threat to his job. Truth is none of us are certain of anything any more.

My old granny, God rest her soul, used to despise banks and never trusted them. She used to keep her money in several biscuit tins under her bed.

I think I'll go to the bank tomorrow and withdraw the four figure sum presently in my account. £10.50 should get me a decent sized tin of biscuits...