RIP Our Fridge

The sort of fridge we can't afford

Our fridge gave up today, meaning we’ve had to order a new one and throw a lot of food away. Your fridge dying is life’s shitty middle-aged way of saying “no you can’t have a 4K TV in your lounge.”

Now we’ll have to spend ages removing all the photos and stupid sticky things that families with kids cover their fridges in. Including the rude words some childish person (me) has made with magnetic letters.

We’ve had to throw a lot of food away. Not that it was ever going to be¬†eaten. It was lots of spare unidentifiable things from the packs of six families of five have to buy. Eat five, put sixth one in the Drawer of Forgetting to be turned into a meat Popsicle.So it shall be written, so it shall be done.

So many memories unearthed amid the old freezer trays. Hey it’s that one left over burger from 2015. Here’s that curry we saved a portion of in 2016. Ooh the unopened packet of fish fillets we bought during the 2012 Olympics when trying to be healthy that we’ve since spent six years ignoring in favour of pizza and doner kebab meat. Now here’s something curious entirely encased in ice, possibly a shape shifting alien. And inevitably, a few pieces of Lego and 37 Loom Bands.

Muddied and Bloodied at Burton Bradstock

Today is the first day of a new week. Our youngest is back at school following his bout of chicken pox. And that meant I could finally get on with some work. I had a lot to think about for a new project I’ve volunteered to complete so I decided to go for a walk to get my thoughts in order. I decided to head to Burton Bradstock for some bracing sea air and to get my thoughts in order.

It didn’t really work out that way. Instead I provided a great subject for an amusing gif – should anyone have been filming me. The wind was howling at Burton Bradstock this morning, the sea was wild and the air was extremely cold. Not a lot of thinking got done initially. I’d brought my camera along and walked up the east path from the beach to get a better view of my surroundings.

I wasn’t feeling inspired, even creatively with the camera nor with my thoughts on the report I had to write. Rejoining the path was where things went wrong. The ground was extremely muddy and stepping down a slope the grass gave way to the mud and I began to fall. During this fall I spun around and landed on my chest and face. (more…)

Save Us From Preachy Kids TV

Over the last five years I’ve seen a lot of CBeebies. Probably more than any of our children have actually seen. Some of it was good, some bad, but the content that sticks with me, the stuff that annoys me, is how nauseatingly preachy children’s television has become.

I should add by children’s television I mean stuff like CBeebies, not the extended toy adverts on the commercial channels the lower orders let their brats watch. Cbeebies is awfully preachy, but even worse it often gets its preaching completely and utterly wrong.

Take Mike the Knight for example. This show is popular with my two boys. Mike is a trainee medieval knight and gets into all manner of scrapes with his sister Evie1 and pet dragons. The general idea is that Mike learns lessons through life and encourages children to be “more Knightly”. Except he doesn’t. Mike spends 99 percent of each episode behaving like a spoiled, bad-mannered little bell-end.

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What’s the matter with Harry?

I’ve not enjoyed the latter half of 2011 thanks to a lingering illness. What’s wrong with me? My guess is something as simple as kidney stones, but it has been a tough few months that has seen me at times feeling a-okay and other times in pain and having to take to my bed.

The months have been frustrating and scary too thanks to the inability of various general practitioners to prescribe a coherent treatment regime. I’ve seen four different GPs over the last few months and this has not been entirely satisfactory – from one locum who felt she’d tell me it could be cancer (but then did nothing at all to help in this regard) to another who told me my symptoms couldn’t be kidney stones (the whole internet and a consultant urologist say he’s wrong).

The truth is I’m fed up with the whole thing. Fed up with being unwell for months on end and fed up of dealing with an organisation – the NHS – I don’t have great faith in. And as we’ll come to later – I’m coming to some embarrassing conclusions about my general health and my own culpability.

Sounds too dry? Don’t feel like reading on? Go on, there’s a good bit about a doctor sticking his finger up my bum. Well good for you reader, less good for me and my bum and for that matter dignity.

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Jools Holland’s Formulaic Tosh

There was a time when “Later…” the live music show presented by Jools Holland was essential viewing. On a BBC that knows so little about music that in every documentary it trots out the usual bollocks about how important punk was1 Jool’s show was a breath of fresh air. Not only did it present bands playing live – something Top of the Pops producers would have you believe was technically impossible – it offered a real interesting variety. But those days are gone. Instead every week you have exactly the same show. Of course the band names change – but the actual show is pretty much identical week after week.

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Beware of False Metal

There’s an awful lot of music around that claims to be metal. This stuff is often noisy, tuneless crap and nothing like real metal. Real metal – whether lighter melodic NWOBHM or super heavy black metal – still features musical qualities. After all, these are sounds created by musicians and behind the distorted guitars everything can be expressed on the musical stave.

But much of the noise pedalled by kiddy rag Kerrang and MTV these days is not just devoid of artistic merit – it’s just not metal. Unfortunately many of the eejits making this racket seem unaware that they are as metal as The Jonas Brothers. For their education and yours I present the following guide to knowing whether you are metal or not.

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Trouble in Greendale

For many years now Royal Mail Postman Pat Clifton was the man you could always rely on in Greendale. He was the glue that held the community together, the face of officialdom that could be relied on to being the post whatever the weather. Not only did he bring the mail he was often there to save the day in many a community crisis.

But watch Pat at work today and something has gone terribly wrong. Rather than being the glue that holds the Greendale community together he seems to be the cause of most of the local problems. If you’ve a special event and need a package for it delivered on time, these times you can guarantee there will be some dreadful and potentially dangerous cock-up.

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Airships – You Know It Makes Sense

I hate flying. Flying on commercial passenger jets that is. Such planes are horrible, claustrophobic, smelly, unsafe, fragile tin-cans that hurtle through the sky at stupid speeds eight miles up. They are flown by companies seeking to cut corners at every opportunity and are making a complete mess of our environment – much more so than our cars or empty cornflake packets.

A few years ago I flew to Los Angeles from London for the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo and both ways it was just crap – hot, smelly, turbulent, crap. Admittedly a lot of my problems with flying stem from a lack of control, but even discounting this the experience of long-haul flight is just rubbish. Being rattled around in a tin can miles in the sky is frightening enough – but when the airline is too cheap to give you decent air to breath it makes matters worse.

When I returned from LA I promised I was never going to fly again. But that was not wholly true. I will be quite happy to fly across the Atlantic again when we do the sensible thing and bring back airships.

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The Birds & Bees Conversation

I’ve just driven back from town with my three year old daughter where we went to get a birthday card for a friend of hers and some groceries. Out of nowhere Kitty started the following conversation, which I though was well worth relating to you verbatim…

Kitty: Daddy, how did you and mummy Lanie make me and [her twin brother] Pat?
Me: We had a special kind of cuddle darling.
Kitty: Did you put a bone in her?
Me: [Cough, splutter] What?
Kitty: Did you put our bones into mummy Lanie’s tummy?
Me: Er no honey…we just had a special cuddle.
Kitty: But how did we get our bones in there?
Me: We just made two eggs grow in mummy Lanie’s tummy and you grew your own bones.
Kitty: You put some chicken eggs in mummy Lanie?
Me: No we just made some eggs grow in her tummy by having a special cuddle.
Kitty: What kind of special cuddle?
Me: A special one, for grown ups only.
Kitty: Can we watch you and mummy have a special cuddle?
Me: No, I’d really rather you didn’t.

Kids eh?

Grandpa In My Pocket

Cbeebies is full of very strange programmes. Take Numberjacks for example. This appears to be a remake of spooky 70s show Sapphire & Steele albeit with the eponymous heroes replaced with CGI talking numbers that live inside a sofa. Then of course there’s Waybaloo a show about dwarfish Buddhists with speech and learning difficulties, which tries very hard to be representative and fill each episode with a group of children of every hue that means the production company is very likely to exhaust Canada’s supply of Chinese children pretty soon.

One of the oddest shows is Grandpa In My Pocket. Here James Bolam, slumming it from grown-ups’ telly, plays the titular Grandpa. Now don’t get worried – grandpa’s excursions into “my” pocket are not of the Daily Mail-baiting “I’ll give you a Werthers original sonny if I can have a rummage” kind1. Oh no, instead it refers to Grandpa’s ability to shrink to a pocket size when wearing his “magical shrinking cap”.

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