Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Notting Hill Carnival

I don't usually like coppers dancing but for this one I might make the exception.

Friday, 22 August 2014

GCSE Results

Both twins did well. Mainly A*s (including in Maths, sciences and English) a few As and a couple of Bs (Mandarin and Electronics.)

Both have been accepted into Six Form which demands As for key subjects and their places were not assured by any means. We hadn't bought their new blazers and badges until after the results were released so as not to tempt fate.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

White Trash

If a white guy had robbed a grocer, roughed him up - got stroppy with an armed cop and got himself shot we'd probably say he deserved it and moved on without a murmur.

We certainly wouldn't break windows and start stealing TVs in 'protest'.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

The Real Peter Hitchens (Beast of Clerkenwell) lives on.

Some of you may well remember the eminent blogger The Real Peter Hitchens (AKA Hitch, AKA Beast of Clerkenwell.)  He ended up so notorious that the real Real Peter Hitchens tracked him down to his address and paid him a visit - Alaistair Campbell took time to leave comments on his site during the busy Blair reign.

The RPH has an interesting military background. (I am sworn to secrecy and would have to kill you if I told you the truth.)

We have been friends over the years and our most recent exchange was about the wrist band reminder system that I have invented for train driver safety. It is not going well. People don't seem to understand what I'm talking about and the uptake of the bands has been slow*. I'm working on it.

I said to The RPH "It's probably too simple and bonkers an idea. People want some sort of electronic gizmo with lots of research and money behind it. The simplest, cheapest, most bonkers ideas are often the best. Ask your mate Andy McNab why the SAS take party string on raids."

 Andy McNab really IS his mate ! (His name's not Andy btw.)

Instead of a serious answer from someone in the know I get this from The RPH, in response to my earnest question about SAS party string (to show up trip wires, if you're wondering.)

"SAS party string ? To celebrate winning? It would go with clown shoes and a comedy exploding landrover and weapons that fire a flag that says BANG !

Bear Grylls eats a water pistol flower to survive

Loft Wiseman the most famous survival expert said that if you left him on a desert island with grylls and chubby mears , he would just eat the pair of them. You could tell that he meant it."

*The bands are worn on the wrist and moved to a forward position on the hand to create physical tension, therefore heightened awareness, during approach-to-red-signal situations and during odd station stopping patterns. Both red signals and stations are out of sight when initial braking should be undertaken but various distractions can cause errors. The bands (left hand - stations, right hand - red signals) do not come off until a station has been stopped at or a clear signal seen and so constantly draw attention back to the main hazards during the critical approach period. .


Monday, 28 July 2014

A lovely boy

He was as sweet as he looked

Yesterday we had our beloved cat put to sleep. All the more difficult because he didn't pass conveniently in the night and spare us the decision.

Over  a year he'd lost body weight but had remained interested, agile, affectionate and of good appetite. It was clear that he was in terminal decline as the weight loss had withered most of his muscle - he was literally skin and bone. He was sixteen - the same age as my boys. As poignant as his death is how much time has passed and how we've all aged in the eight years of friendship. Where did it all go ?

Catch that thief !

In recent weeks Scruffy had shown signs of dementia, sleeping in odd places, toileting where he oughtn't, showing us little interest. As there seemed to be no signs of discomfort or pain we put up with it.

Over the last few days something changed and I could see real sadness in his eyes - he was weak and his movement had slowed, "Dad, I've had enough."

Yesterday his back legs failed. Disablement was one of the conditions that I'd set out as a "Time to go, old boy." moment.  Still, it seemed too soon and yet that fateful tomorrow that 'never comes' had come. Wifey was heartbroken when I told her we should put him down - I was in another place when I said it.

The family's walk into the consulting room was difficult. We'd huddled in a corner of the noisy reception while one woman caused a big, jolly fuss over food for her pooch - I'm sure she didn't mean to prolong our suffering. The vet began to outline available treatment but I shook my head, "I think it's time." the vet said "Yes. It's not our policy to mention it as a first option but your timing is perfect in this case." This was the most reassuring thing I could have heard. To keep him going would have been selfish. One of the boys walked out of the building - he was too self conscious to let anyone to see him cry.

Scruffy was polite and brave as ever and did exactly as he was told.. His leg was shaved and his last moment was of caring ladies fussing around him, foremost his cherished 'Mum',  "Good boy, Scruffy, Brave lad." The last sensation to leave is hearing and so the soothing talk went on. I'd wanted to pull the needle out. Instead I watched the blue stuff go in beyond the point of return. Pull back ! Pull back !

He slumped and they lay him down softly, careful not to bang his head - as though it mattered. A pink child's plaster was put on his leg, which was a nice touch - as though it mattered. I straightened out his tail and kissed his forehead - as though it mattered. His passing was beautiful. We were all too choked to speak.

An expensive cremation follows but he cost us so little and gave so much over the years that we owe him that... as though it matters. He was just a cat. We emerged into the sunlight into a world churning without a care, our empty pet carrier and the Scruffy shaped impression still in his blanket . God knows what it must feel like to lose a child !

Never a tooth nor a claw bared in anger - never a fly, mouse, bird or hair on head harmed (except for me when I'd teased him too much. I thoroughly deserved it.)

I'll miss the cuddles, the loud purr, the snoring, the farting, his single pink paw, his pink nose, the white patch on his chest, his brush against my ankles - the head buts and even the house full of fur and his messy food splashes. Most of all I'll miss seeing him lying on wifey reaching up to her shoulder with his pink paw whenever she wasn't paying him enough attention.

Beautiful, beautiful boy.

He loved being with people - I'd often walk around with him clinging to my shoulder and my ear to his chest. You could rock him like a baby and he'd take endless amounts of mocking and joshing. A real life teddy bear.

When I first met him at the rescue center eight years ago the lady had looked me up and down said "I have just the cat for you." She opened a door and he trotted in. He'd been there so long, because no-one wanted him, that he'd become the resident moggie with a free run of the place and a bed in the staff room. He'd stolen a doughnut from the kitchen the day before (he was an expert pilferer and bin raider.) He stretched up to her showing off his magnificent mane and ginger streak down his back. Yes. He'd do. She picked up this living mass of fur and cuddled him, "He's a LOVELY boy. His name's Scruffy." That was the first time he looked at me - with some regal indifference, I might add.

She was exactly right. He was a lovely boy. And that's from one who was never very keen on cats - but then Scruffy wasn't really like a cat. He was very special and nearly every other animal seemed to think so too and would treat him as though he were royalty - even dogs. And where they didn't he knew exactly how to pull rank. Perhaps it was an aura - perhaps it was just his halitosis ! (He had pushed his luck too far one day. Most of his teeth were missing and he'd suffered a serious throat injury after being mauled by a bull terrier in his sixth year.)

RIP Scruffy. The house is empty without you and you're being missed really badly. We see you everywhere and in everything. We can't wait for you to come home. XXX

(Sorry to be so mawkish and long winded. I'm not speaking about it in real life but feel safe doing so as unknown E-K)

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Beat Box Brilliance

Stick with it. He gets the audience on their feet in the end.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Where does E-K shop for his clothes this season ?

Next menswear

Marks & Spencer's menswear
It's almost as though M&S are willfully trying to put themselves out of business - all this chap needs is a hat and some specs and we won't need to ask Where's Wally ? Go to their site for a right laugh but be sure to wear sunglasses as the colour mixes can be startling.
 "Get the look" they say on the advert with this picture:
 Wtf ?  WTF ??? 
The "I shat myself at the airport after check-in and all I had in my hand luggage were my trunks." look.
(This is not a joke. See for yourself !!!)