Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Danger in Dalkeith...

As a responsible blogger, I feel I have a duty to warn my reader of the dangers that may lurk should they ever find themselves on the streets of Dalkeith, Midlothian. If you see the girls in the photo above, you should heed my warning not to approach them - unless you are armed with a vodka and coke.

They are highly dangerous and are known to prey on simple, older people for money - their father, for example who, it must be said, is one of the most charming men one could ever wish to meet. The girl on the left is known to have a flash car while the girl on the right has a flash tattoo...

You have been warned...

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Film News

Women and the Menopause - A Guide for Men

Doctors are a step closer to accurately predicting the age at which a woman will hit the menopause. A 12-year Iranian study of 266 women found it was possible to pinpoint the age of menopause by measuring levels of a hormone called AMH. If proven in further studies, it potentially means women could have more control over when to start a family. It could be particularly useful for identifying women who may have an early menopause, experts said.

From the BBC News Website

Hmm. It's taken Iranian researchers twelve years to come up with this. They could have saved a great deal of time by simply asking any fella who has a female partner. I would wager the majority of them would come up with the following - not in twelve years but twelve minutes...

Hot Flushes - You come home from work one chilly day in December, and are greeted at the front door with your wife wearing nothing but a smile. You later find out that all the windows have been welded open and that she has sold your home heating system on e-bay.

Mood Swings - You jokingly remark that it is okay, and that you do not need to worry about the windows or the heating system, as you will buy a small wood stove for when she is out, but that for the majority of the time, when home, you can use her body to heat the family room this winter. Rather than her just saying that she is not amused, she shoots you in the groin. She feels no remorse as you come out of recovery.

Irritability - You come home from work after a long and difficult day. Despite this, you cheerfully say, "Hello darling, I'm home." and your wife's reply is, "Well, if it isn't the f**king waste of space I married all those years ago. I'm so glad you could make it home for supper you useless piece of s**t. Your dinner is in the dog..."

Antagonism - The drier has shrunk every last pair of your jeans, your golf balls have cut marks in them, the remote control has every buttoned programmed to the shopping channel, and she is encouraging you to find some 22 year old to have an affair with so that you leave her ******* alone.

Sleeplessness - She constantly digs you in the ribs in the wee small hours to ask if you're awake. And doesn't appreciate your advice to sleep on the edge of the bed - you'll soon drop off...

Fatigue - You spend the better part of the time that used to be spent making passionate love, picking guacamole out of her hair after a Mexican dinner.

Mild Incontinence - She changes her underwear after every sneeze.

Sudden Weight Gain - You need the Fire and Rescue Service to get her out of your car after returning home from an Italian restaurant. But you don't dare mention how inconvenient this is...

And, by far the easiest way to tell if your wife/partner is experiencing the menopause...

You find yourself uncontrollably agreeing with just about everything she says.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Budget Latest

Today was the first budget under the new government. I couldn't help but be reminded of a song by The Beatles. The Conservatives are back - not that Scotland voted for them. Roll on independence for our nation...

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Saturday, 19 June 2010

19 June 1982

More than three decades ago I proposed to Pat in a steakhouse in Aberdeen’s Holburn Street. She maintains to this day that I got down on one knee while my story is that I had dropped my wallet and was desperately trying to find it. Those who know me now will testify to the latter being the more likely of events. We had a blissful engagement. A year later, in 1980, we spent our first holiday together when we went to the Isle of Man for a week. This was greeted by the inevitable protests by our respective families - well, Pat’s family and my mother, the rest of my family, including my father, were oblivious to what I was up to. My mother was livid but knew it was futile to try to stop us.

At the end of 1981, Pat and I had saved enough money for a deposit on a two-roomed flat in Aberdeen’s Summerfield Terrace. The cost of the flat was a princely £10,000. We were six months away from getting married and I was already fretting about how we would be able to pay the mortgage. We planned the wedding for 19 June 1982 - the day before Pat’s twentieth birthday. Moreover, the day after Scotland lost 4-1 to Brazil in the World Cup Finals in Spain. How depressed was I that night? You may find this difficult to believe but I was not in the pub on 18 June watching Zico and Socrates put Scotland to the sword. Honest, guv, I spent the evening quietly at home with my mother. I knew the significance of the night for her - it was the last evening I would be staying with her in her home. I thought it only right I should spend it with her. I knew she was fighting back the tears. So was I, particularly after the fourth goal went in…

The day after Pat and I got married at Greyfriars Church in Aberdeen. Her grandfather gave her away - I will resist the obvious gag here - and she looked quite attractive. It was then she lifted the veil... Pat recalls me telling her she looked like a princess. I believe I may have said 'Christ, you look a mess' but Pat's hearing has always been suspect. I’ll also resist the obvious gag about ugly sisters. My best mate Graeme was on holiday so I asked another pal from my school days - Gary - if he would do the needful and be my best man. Gary was - and still is by all accounts - a maverick and my heart sank when he turned up for the rehearsal a few days before with several days growth on his face, worn and torn jeans - in the days before worn and torn jeans were fashionable - and hair that was long and streaky. The minister looked at him with, it has to be said, a fair degree of contempt. However, when he turned up at my house to set off for the church on the big day Gary looked immaculate. He had shaved, he had cut his hair and he cut a fine figure of a man in his morning suit, collar and tie. The change was so startling, the minister asked Gary if he had been to the rehearsal….

The day itself went as planned. Pat turned up on time, I managed to avoid throwing up and war didn’t break out between the families. My father made the effort to attend although I liked to believe his ‘she’s too good for you’ comment was made in a congratulatory sense. There was a slight mishap with cutting the wedding cake at the reception afterwards - I just could not cut it, an accusation that has been thrown at me on numerous occasions throughout my life - but it was a grand day. We stayed overnight at a bed and breakfast in Aberdeen before we headed to our honeymoon in Blackpool. No expense spared, eh? Not only that but my father drove us down to Glasgow for the train to Las Vegas of the North, thus cutting the cost of travel...

Meanwhile back in Aberdeen they were taking bets on how long the marriage would last. I believe two years was the 6/4 favourite although there was some money on six months. I suspect my newly acquired mother-in-law had stuck some of the drinks kitty on that.

A few days into our honeymoon, Pat and I were parted. She didn't seem to think much of my idea of heading to a pub to watch the Scotland-USSR game on the telly. My mood then matched hers when Alan 'diabolical defending' Hansen ran into Willie Miller to let the Soviets score the killer goal near the end. But, as the good of people of South Africa will tell you, that's the World Cup for you....

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Jamaican Ska

After a week off work I return to the slave galley on Wednesday. But this little montage of ska classics raised my spirits...

Monday, 14 June 2010

The Mystery Jets

World Cup Update

I tend not to post football related posts on here - I leave that on my other blog   However, I feel sure some of my regular visitors to The Rants - Peggy who is rooting for her Socceroos; Gillian who lives in South Africa and June from Seattle who must have enjoyed the USA taking England down a peg or two on Saturday will enjoy some of these...

* Watching this World Cup is just like being married. You're supposed to enjoy it, but there's this constant droning noise in the background.....

* Robert Green's gaffe - at least that's one British spillage the Americans won't be moaning about...

* What's the difference between Robert Green and Justin Bieber? Robert Green knows how to drop his balls.

* Kermit was right: It's not easy being Green.

* All these Rob Green jokes are getting out of hand. In fact they're crossing the line...

* Steven Gerrard said: "The whole team is behind Rob Green." With hindsight, that's a good place to stand.

* Robert Green's bringing out his own South African trumpet. It's known as a boo-boozela

* Yesterday at London Zoo one of the staff let a a Central American monkey slip out of his grasp. So Robert Green's not the only English keeper to drop a Howler.

* My computer's got the Robert Green virus. It can't save anything.

* I'm Robert Green and cleaning Windows is my next idea...

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Newtongrange Gala Day

And Jack and Hannah have just been told Papa wants to go home to watch the World Cup on the telly...

Perhaps I'm Spending Too Much Time on the Internet...

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Public Information Film

I was 11 years old when this Public Information Film was made in 1973. The government back then didn't care how much they scared children shitless...

Lawyers and Light Bulbs...

I attended a TUPE seminar in Glasgow yesterday (it's a human resources thing so I won't bore you with the details). It was an interesting day (honest!) and one of the trainers was a solicitor whose expertise was in this field. He spoke about obtaining the details of a company's employees involved in TUPE negotiations and was asked by a participant why we needed their dates of birth. The reply was to ascertain how old they were. Cue guffaws of laughter  - the questioner was meaning wasn't there an issue with age discrimination but got a reply that one might almost expect from a young go-getting solicitor.

It did remind me of another question that I asked one of my learned friends some time ago - namely, how many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb. Here was his reply...

Such number as may be deemed to perform the stated task in a timely and efficient manner within the strictures of the following agreement: Whereas the party of the first part, also known as 'The Lawyer', and the party of the second part, also known as 'The Light Bulb', do hereby and forthwith agree to a transaction wherein the party of the second part (Light Bulb) shall be removed from the current position as a result of failure to perform previously agreed upon duties, i.e., the lighting, elucidation, and otherwise illumination of the area ranging from the front (north) door, through the entry way, terminating at an area just inside the primary living area, demarcated by the beginning of the carpet, any spillover illumination being at the option of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) and not required by the aforementioned agreement between the parties.

The aforementioned removal transaction shall include, but not be limited to, the following steps:

1.The party of the first part (Lawyer) shall, with or without elevation at his option, by means of a chair, stepstool, ladder or any other means of elevation, grasp the party of the second part (Light Bulb) and rotate the party of the second part (Light Bulb) in a counter-clockwise direction, said direction being non-negotiable. Said grasping and rotation of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) shall be undertaken by the party of the first part (Lawyer) with every possible caution by the party of the first part (Lawyer) to maintain the structural integrity of the party of the second part (Light Bulb), notwithstanding the aforementioned failure of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) to perform the aforementioned customary and agreed upon duties. The foregoing notwithstanding, however, both parties stipulate that structural failure of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) may be incidental to the aforementioned failure to perform and in such case the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall be held blameless for such structural failure insofar as this agreement is concerned so long as the non-negotiable directional codicil (counter-clockwise) is observed by the party of the first part (Lawyer) throughout.

2.Upon reaching a point where the party of the second part (Light Bulb) becomes separated from the party of the third part ('Receptacle'), the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall have the option of disposing of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) in a manner consistent with all applicable state, local and federal statutes.

3.Once separation and disposal have been achieved, the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall have the option of beginning installation of the party of the fourth part("New Light Bulb"). This installation shall occur in a manner consistent with the reverse of the procedures described in step one of this selfsame document, being careful to note that the rotation should occur in a clockwise direction, said direction also being non-negotiable.

NOTE: The above described steps may be performed, at the option of the party of the first part (Lawyer), by said party of the first part (Lawyer), by his heirs and assigns, or by any and all persons authorised by him to do so, the objective being to produce a level of illumination in the immediate vicinity of the aforementioned front (north) door consistent with maximization of ingress and revenue for the party of the fifth part, also known as 'The Firm'.

Well, I did ask...

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Cumbernauld Love Song

This is a belter of a song from Carolyn McGoldrick, a hugely talented Scots singer/songwriter. Carolyn and I both moved to Cumbernauld as children - although not at the same I hasten to add - and we both love the New Town despite its rather unfair reputation. For those who are not so familiar with the town, Cumbernauld is just outside Glasgow and was the setting for the film Gregory's Girl.

This song is called Cumbernauld Love Song and although it's been out for over a year now, it deserves to be a hit. Rather like the lovely Carolyn herself!

How Can I Tell You?

A regular visitor to my blog, the lovely Lizzy from the Highlands, told me yesterday that she received some bad news - the passing of a loved one. My thoughts are with her at this very sad time. Listening to the radio this morning there was a song playing that I haven't heard for some time. How Can I Tell You was written by Yusuf Islam and is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. As I listened carefully to the the lyrics not only was I thinking about Lizzy's loss but also my daughter Michaela and how these words will mean so very much to her fourteen months on.

How can I tell you that I love you, I love you
but I can't think of right words to say
I long to tell you that I'm always thinking of you
I'm always thinking of you, but my words
just blow away, just blow away

It always ends up to one thing, honey
and I can't think of right words to say
Wherever I am girl, I'm always walking with you
I'm always walking with you, but I look and you're not there

Whoever I'm with, I'm always, always talking to you
I'm always talking to you, and I'm sad that
you can't hear, sad that you can't hear

It always ends up to one thing, honey,
when I look and you're not there

I need to know you, need to feel my arms around you
feel my arms surround you, like a sea around a shore
and each night and day I pray, in hope
that I might find you, in hope that I might
find you, because heart's can do no more

It always ends up to one thing honey, still I kneel upon the floor
How can I tell you that I love you, I love you
but I can't think of right words to say
I long to tell you that I'm always thinking of you
I'm always thinking of you....

It always ends up to one thing honey
and I can't think of right words to say

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Massacre in Cumbria

Twelve people have been killed by a gunman who went on the rampage across Cumbria in north-west England. Taxi driver Derrick Bird shot dead a colleague in the town of Whitehaven before driving through the countryside apparently targeting people at random. Twenty-five others have been injured, three critically. Police say they are dealing with 30 separate crime scenes. Mr Bird's body was found in a wooded area in Boot in the Lake District and two weapons have been recovered.
 Stuart Hyde, Cumbria Police's Deputy Chief Constable, said: "We are still at a very early stage in our investigation and we are not able to really understand the motivation behind it - or establish whether this was a premeditated or random attack. Current indications are that 12 people have died, plus Derrick Bird. And a number of people are also receiving treatment in hospital."

From the BBC News website

This shocking incident happened in the north-west of England earlier today. Those who perished at the hands - or weapon - of Mr Bird did nothing wrong. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. A time when a man, for inexplicable reasons known only to himself, chose not only to end his own life but that of eleven other innocent people. It may well be the death toll will rise.

It brought back horrific memories of what gunman Thomas Hamilton did in the Scots town of Dunblane fourteen years ago. Why anyone would choose to cause such carnage and inflict untold grief and misery on others is beyond any sane person. One can only assume that Bird, like Hamilton before him, became insane. I can only try to imagine what those who have lost their loved ones must be going through. I suspect right now they'll be numb with shock.

My thoughts are with them tonight.