Poor turnout

So, last night after a nice dinner and bath I wandered down to the Wine Alley Barn to cast my vote in the local elections.  I had carefully chosen the candidate whom I was going to vote for, but when I arrived, they told me I could choose any three candidates from twelve. 

It’s a bit like a Yankee Bet on the horses; two of them might be crap outsiders but you’ve got a chance that the third is a good ‘un.  Or, like my horse racing bets: all three are losers.

The officials signing me off on the register sneered at my name, address, dressing gown and slippers and sent me to the voting cubicle where I quickly chose two more candidates from the list to make up my treble bet.  The tension and secrecy was making me giggle – and I wasn’t the only one, several people were twitching in their cubicles.


Only when I got outside and examined the poster sized candidate list did I realise that due to the giggling, not having my glasses and the small print on the voting slip, I had managed to vote for the wrong people.  Instead of 2 Green Party and 1 Labour I had managed one of each plus 1 Conservative.  None of them being my original choice.


Robin Hood forced Oliver Cromwell to sign the Magna Charta and Emily St Pancras threw herself under a jockey so that I could get the vote, and now I’ve gone and wasted three of them. 


Thank God it doesn’t make any difference.

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That’s Bitching

A campaign lead by Facebook chief executive Sheryl Sandberg and American Girl Scouts chief Anna Chavez aims to discourage the word ‘bossy’ when applied to women.  Sara Mills, research professor in linguistics at Sheffield Hallam University suggests we replace such adjectives with more respectful words like ‘confidence’, ‘positiveness’ and ‘assertiveness’.

I had to agree with my confident wife, who imparted this information whilst watching me doing the washing up last evening.

My assertive manager at work had also read the article and was kind enough to give me her views just as I was leaving which meant I missed my train home and I had to get a taxi.

Luckily the taxi driver understood my situation and spent the entire journey telling me how I should improve my life.
Positive, self-assured bitch.

Kitchen Sink

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Commuting in the Shires

I wave goodbye to the cat, walk down Wine Alley, through Grasping Close, around the Council Offices and Waitinrows Supermarket, up the exhale-ators beyond Marks and Spendloads and into the Strain station. 

I can hear the other punters thoughts:

One day.
One day soon.
One day soon I’m just going to keep walking south.
One day soon I’m just going to keep walking south and see how far I can get before I fall face down in some muddy field somewhere.  The grass whispering on my cheek, the sun on my back.  The warmth of the ground melting my body into the Earth.


I’ve got my credit card so I can walk onto a ferry at Folkestone.  France can’t be that hard.  Surely I can get as far as Italy?  I’ll need another pair of shoes.  And some more batteries for my walkman.  And I haven’t got my passport with me. 

No, today is another workday.

One day soon though.




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What’s big and smells of fish?

Technicians in New Zealand have begun to thaw a rare colossal squid specimen.

The operation to defrost the 10-metre (34 feet) long, half-tonne squid began on Monday afternoon in Wellington. The animal is now sitting in a bath of salt water. Once it is thawed, scientists will begin to dissect it.

I know how they feel, how often have I gone to the bottom drawer of the freezer and found some strange specimen that’s only just within its’ use-by’ date?  Is it safe to eat?  Should I try it out on the cat or the kids before eating any myself?

Should I sit it in a bath of salt water?  Should I sit in a bath of salt water?

Here is some advice from the internet regarding frozen sea food:

  • Don’t buy frozen seafood if the packages are open, torn, or crushed on the edges.  Especially if torn from the inside.
  • Don’t trust anything found dead and handled by scientists.
  • Go directly home and refrigerate or freeze your seafood immediately. If your trip is longer than 30 minutes, place your seafood in a cooler with ice or dangle it out of the car window so it catches the breeze.
  • Never turn your back on a deep sea creature that is bigger than about two feet long, even if you believe it to be dead.

I hope those guys have got a fridge large enough for a half-tonne package.

Come to that I hope they’ve got a big enough frying pan.

I recommend cutting the tentacles into rings and frying them in a little oil with some crushed garlic.

The mantle can be used as a paddling pool for the children, or set up as a lean-to porch it can be used to protect a car from bad weather.


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Ronaldo has been voted Football Player of the Year for the second time.

It’s probably because of those dazzling stepovers that confuse and torment opponents who just want to get on with the match.  I noticed that he tried a few of them during the game against Barcelona shortly before he missed that penalty.  Still, what’s impressive about kicking a dead ball into a goal from twelve yards?  I’m sure the fans are more interested in the stepovers.


If only they gave awards for good old-fashioned qualities like humility and honesty.  Surely the people that worship our great footballers would love them more if they occasionally said, “No, it’s okay Ref’, he didn’t foul me – I just fell over in a bit of mud.”

And how about ; “Yeah, the ball did hit his hand but my team all think it was an accident so we won’t be asking for a penalty.”


“We agree £44 is a bit steep for an authentic Man’ United football shirt so we’re going to bring down the price of the adults’ ones and give the kids’ version away for free.” 

No, now I’m just being ridiculous.

goal post

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Hidey Hole

Television program ‘A Place in the Sun’ has bright young English girl, Amanda Lamb, showing a middle-aged man around Fuerteventura.  No, it’s not an expose about an overseas escort service, it’s the latest chance to see a punter being dragged around some quickly thrown up, overpriced, Spanish holiday homes before politely declining the opportunity to renovate an abandoned piggery.

They are looking for a house with at least two bedrooms and are puzzled when offered a one bedroom apartment, until Amanda reveals that the builders have constructed a ‘hidden’ second bedroom for all the properties in the complex to avoid tricky local building regulations.  The door is bricked up but you can knock it through, just as most of the existing residents have done.


It’s a clever solution to get around the law, a bit like when you take something from a shop without paying for it because you forgot your purse, or when you drive at 120 mph because you’re late for an important business meeting.  It’s like the law doesn’t matter in those circumstances because its for other people, you know – criminals.

 Fascinated by this idea I decided to check out my own house for hidden rooms.  By pacing along the outside of the walls of the building, I calculated the floor area that should be available inside and imagine my surprise when these calculations did indeed expose the existence of a secret room!

 After that it was only a matter of time until I found the entrance and made my way into the gloomy interior – only to discover that my dear wife was already there!


“What are you doing in here?’  I exclaimed, ‘What is this secret room?”
She explained that the room is called ‘the kitchen’ and she has known about it for years!  It turns out my food and drink is prepared there and various machines help my wife to cook and clean.  There’s even one called a ‘vacuum cleaner’ which has a nozzle for cleaning carpets.  I don’t know how to use it but my wife says that pretty soon now she’s going to tell me where to stick it.


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