Sunday, 30 January 2011


I see Andy Murray has had another go at trying to win a Grand Slam event. According to excited news reports it was ‘his chance to end 75 years of UK misery‘. Actually, you know what, I’m not that bothered. Before TV reports get too worked up, I think you will find most UK residents are not that fussed. And the one that won (Djokovic), is he not Scottish anyway!

Saturday, 29 January 2011


I see Obama has weighed into the unrest in Egypt by telling the world what they want to see happen in that country - this is with the US being such and expert on things in the Middle East.  Tell you what America, why don't you keep out of this one and leave the rest of the world to sort things out for itself.

But a word of advice for Mubarak - you need to change your hair dye.  Your chosen colour is too dark for a man of your age - try something a little lighter.

And it is a welcome return to our screens for William Hague.  I had forgotten about him, he seems to have disappeared ever since he didn't share a room with that man.  What with him being a multi-millionaire and politicians being known for not claiming lots of expenses.


As you know, I occasionally comment on fashion and just occasionally on the subject of shopping. Had a bit of a shopping trip into town today and it was quite successful, only there was a bit of an incident in a top High Street store.

I won‘t mention the store (for legal reasons), but it is one I rarely go in, but my friend wanted to go in so in we went.

I was just casually looking around, not really expecting to see anything I liked (although there was a jumper I was momentarily tempted by) when this guy came out of the changing room with this top on.

He was clearly a but uneasy about it and wasn’t confident in the top - so he asked the assistant what she thought. I think he phrased his question badly by leading the witness, sorry assistant by saying’ ‘it’s too tight isn’t it?’. She immediately agreed and within seconds he was back in the changing room, getting changed, never to try anything else on and leave the store.

What is wrong with this story? Everything!

When shopping, as a minimum I expect good service, attention and helpful assistants. Good service and attention cost nothing, and if an assistant isn’t going to be helpful, then why bother. When buying clothes I expect the assistant to know their product, what they have in stock etc and have a bit of knowledge about trends, what people are wearing and an informed opinion on what looks good on you and what doesn’t.

The assistant in the above had none of this. The top the guy was trying on was not to small, it was bang on trend, he had a good body shape and it looked great on him. The assistant should have known this and reassured him. If she really felt he would have been uncomfortable in it, she should have told him they had a larger size and gone to get it for him.

If you have got as far as trying something on in a store - you are 90% there to buying it. This useless assistant lost and the opportunity to make a customer feel good and a sale.

Question for my readers - I was this close to intervening and telling the guy he was spot on with his choice (I would have done too, if my friend hadn’t grabbed me by the elbow and pinned me back so I couldn’t move (how did he know what I was going to do?)). So the question, if a strange man (and by strange I mean unfamiliar not weird) came up to you and said what you were trying on looked good would you be shocked\offended …. Hhmmmm maybe I have answered my own question!

To make matters worse, when my friend paid for something he wanted to buy the assistant started telling him the store’s returns policy. She ended up saying, she didn’t know why she bothered saying it as men never take anything back!

Well she hasn’t met me!

Would I go back to that store? Put it this way, the last time I was in that shop was 1999, the last time I bought anything of that label it must have been 1984!

Friday, 28 January 2011


One of the things about my job is that I work with lots of people and they are ever changing.  Lots of new people joining, but this means lots of people leaving.

This week I had to say a sad farewell to a friend in Leeds office.

It has been great to know and work with Miss H, so goodbye my lovely, funny, beautiful friend.

I however don't think you have thought this through, how can I manage now you have gone, what am I supposed to blog about without you for inspiration?  No more disintegrating belts, broken heels or tandankles .... X

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Cooking Tips

I rarely, if ever, stray into the world of cookery (kitchens are for decaorative purposes only), but these tips from G2 might help you with this daily task ...

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Last Page

One of the delights of my job is that I get to read lots of documents. A thing most of these documents have in common is that they have lots of words in them making lots of pages.

Another thing they have in common is that they all have a 'last page'.

It's a funny thing that - the 'last page'. What is the point of the 'last page'? Do all documents need a 'last page'? I think they don't.

For example have you ever read anything important on the last page of a work document? I doubt it. All the exciting stuff is in the first few pages (how else is the authour going to make you read it). So by the time you get to the last page, all the interesting stuff (if there is any interesting stuff) will have been said.

So a challenge for you - the next time you read a work document, pay particular attention to the last page and see if it says anything important, or at least interesting. If not let the authour know that the document doesn’t need the last page.

Think how many pages we could save!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Another Social Gathering

I was saying the other day that I had been invited to my first social gathering of the year. This is quite exciting as this marks the formal end of Christmas and the start of a new year of social fun. I have made some progress in pulling together something to wear, and a trip to the shops this weekend might help also. But wouldn’t you know it - the way these things go - I have been invited to a second social gathering to be held on the following night!

This is a bit of a blow, as in normal circumstances I would have been delighted to accept the second invitation, but going out two nights out in a row … there are difficulties.

The first being the technical difficulties of having social events on consecutive nights. If it takes you about 48 hours to get ready for a night out, it means you will have to start getting ready for your second night out while you are still getting ready for your first night out. This can be difficult and become confusing.

The second, and probably the more subtle difficulty is the possibility of the same people being at both your social events. Your fellow attendees will think either, you never get out so go to any occasion that comes your way no matter what, or that you are totally non-discriminatory and accept every invitation offered - either way this is a social disaster.

The third difficulty is you could have nothing to talk about. For example on the second night you can’t say ‘oh I was at such and such a place last night’ as your companion will say ‘yes I know I was there’. And on the first night you can’t say ‘oh I am off to ….’ tomorrow, because they will say, ‘yes so am I’. This can put a big dent in your topics of conversation. Once you rule out talking about last night’s TV (on your second night) as you didn’t see any, then you can be in for a very quiet evening!

I have just checked my work diary and I have realised I will be back in my homeland when the second event is held, so am unable to attend - disaster averted!

Unworn Clothes

According to a recent report, adults in this country waste hundreds of pounds on buying clothes they never wear.

For women the report says that on average they have 22 items in their wardrobe they have never worn, and for men the figure is only slightly less at 19 items each.

This can’t be right. I have seen plenty of men that don’t own 19 items of clothing, they can’t possibly have 19 unworn items! But hang on, they said ‘on average’ so maybe it is right and I have a few other men’s ‘never worn’ allocation!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Alone in the Universe

Bit of news on the universe front.  Apparently after a bit of thinking about it some scientists are 'afraid' we are alone in the universe.  What a funny thing to be afraid of? 

I can understand being afraid of say, a shark if you are in the water with one, or of breaking a nail just before a big night out, but being afraid we are the only planet with life isn't really something to be afraid of.  After all most of us are never going to travel millions of light years to a 'nearby' planet on a visit, so does it matter if there is anyone on it or not?

And anyway after all of the sci-fi things I have seen over the years - these people on foreign worlds don't seem to be very nice and only seem to be interested in destroying our planet.

So now you mention it, would all these astronomers and cosmologists who keep sending out radio signals into space trying to attract the attention of 'extra-terrestrial' life please stop it.  If you don't mind I think I would prefer these people didn't know we were here!

Strictly on Ice

Who to go this first week of the proper competition?  Spoilt for choice really, choose from Essex boy with a big mouth, corrie actor that needs a good moisturiser, 'comedy' Dave that never does anything funny or old ratbag Welch!

Katie, Katie, Katie

I see newly single Jordan has wasted no time getting back in the saddle and is off on holiday at some Swiss resort or other.  She is reported to have been seen partying with a 'mystery male friend'.  In fact the report goes on to say she was partying with two male friends. 

Described as a '32 year old glamour model', (I think that is pushing it a bit these days), she was said to be having a good time and be a 'bit of a man-eater'.  It is the poor guys she was with I feel sorry for, word of advice - if you feel like getting involved have a read of a few back numbers of the News of the World.

One curious thing though - apparently 'Katie's people' banned the club DJ from playing Peter Andre songs.  Now that is quite strange, because they must have been round our way as well, as The Laughing Duck hasn't played any Peter Andre songs for years!

Round the World

Her next door called round yesterday afternoon. I had just got in from the gym and put the kettle on (I'm sure she has a tracking device on my kettle) when she called.  She was telling me they had just booked a 'Round the World trip'.

I said 'oh how lovely' but really, I wouldn't thank you for a round the world trip, it just sounds like a lot of packing and unpacking to me.  Can you imagine stopping off and staying in a dozen different places on your holidays - you would be sick of the sight of your suitcase.

And after a round the world trip - where do you go next year!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Celebrity Round-up

It has been quite a week in Celebrity land, the big news being the split up of the Queen of Chav Jordan and Alex Reid. Other events you might have missed:

  • Gary Barlow was 40.  I am not sure this can be right, I am sure he has been 40 before.  Brings to mind my friend Miss Beverly Hills, she has been 40 several times, I have been to at least two of her '40th Birthday parties'!;
  • Ashley Cole is dating Kayla from I'm a Celebrity.  I Quite like Kayla, but word of advice pet, keep an eye on him when he is texting!;
  • Posh went out for dinner with Becks and she didn't feel very well after - must have been the prawns;
  • Craig McLachlan and Elen Rives left Dancing on Ice;
  • Amanda Holden had a hair do for Britain's Got Talent auditions;
  • Nicki Minaj wore a funny outfit - don't know who Nicki Minaj is?  Come on keep up!;
  • Monica got married and Marco stayed married;
  • Paris Hilton's boyfriend is heading to jail - she can go visit this time instead of being visited;
  • Ricky made a hoo haa at the Golden Globes - can't stand him myself, never seen him say or do anything funny, just don't get him.  Hope this doesn't mean he will be spending more time over here instead of over there!

Centre of the Universe

After some disappointing information last week about the size of the universe (apparently it is about 150 billion light years across) there has been a bit of a development this week on my quest to make a few changes to the universe.

During a conversation, some one posed the question 'When did design become the centre of the universe'?  I have no idea what the answer to that question is, but it is good news for me.

If Design (and as part of Design, therefore me) is the the centre of the universe, it makes distances a little more manageable.  Previously I thought we might be on the edge of the universe a bit - making 150 billion light years quite a long way, but if I am at the centre of the universe then I only have to consider 75 billion years travel in any direction!

My problem has halved in a week!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Social Gathering

Only a couple of weeks into 2011 and already I have been invited to my first Social Gathering of the year.

Just in case you think your blogger hasn't been out of the house since New Year, and to clear up any mis-understandings, a Social Gathering is different to a Social Engagement.

A Social Engagement might be with a friend or partner, it might also be with a small group of close friends. A Social Gathering is a much bigger affair and will typically include people you know and potentially lots of people you don't know.

The invitation is to mark the occasion of the retirement of a friend at (Leeds) work so this social event in the first week of February is very definitely a Social Gathering.

This is all very exciting but does pose your blogger a few dilemmas. Regular readers will know that apart from the occasional visit to the Laughing Donkey (which has, how can I say it … a 'specialised clientele') your blogger hardly ever goes to a pub, perhaps at Christmas if I absolutely have to. This event is at a venue called the 'Brewery Taps'. I had a look on the Internet and apparently it is the city’s only independent brewery, combining the latest in brewing technology with time honoured skills and using the finest ingredients – choicest English hops, select British malted barley and their unique Yorkshire yeast – to create truly exceptional beers.

This seems an awful lot of effort to go to and I am sure it produces very nice beers, but it might be a bit wasted on your blogger as I only drink lager and only on a Saturday.

Still I do want to go and I am sure I will be able to get a glass of water on the night. The real dilemma for me (and you probably know where we are heading) is what to wear?

I have never been to a 'Brewery Tap' before so have no idea what it is like and what is suitable wear for the evening. Although I suspect it will be quite casual.

As the Event is not in my homeland I will have to pack suitable clothes when I travel down. I am sure you all do as I do when getting ready for an evening out and lay out three or four outfits to choose from before making a final decision on what to wear. You will appreciate that as I have to carry everything for my visits to Leeds with me, space for additional clothes is at a premium. So I will probably have to decide what to wear before I leave home. This has the potential to be quite stressful as a night out in February is open to all sorts of variations in terms of weather.

Over to you now readers, if anyone has ever been, I would be grateful for a little insight on what to expect.

Katie and Alex

Well surprise announcement of the year from the world of celebrity. The break up of the marriage between Katie Price and Alex Reid. Who saw that coming?

Well me for one, I think you will find I predicted such an outcome, oh when was it? The day they got married I think.

It is one thing to have to go through such coverage in the media, it is another thing to have to pretend to be shocked or saddened by the turn of events.

Apparently Jordan has been upset by Alex's publicity hungry ways, with the final straw being when he was photographed with her son from a previous relationship (the husband before the last one). She was outraged by Alex's callous use of her child for self-promotional purposes - that's her job.

Sorry Alex, but Katie was always going to do this and probably within the first year - just in case some rouge divorce judge thought the length of your marriage had given you any sort of claim over Katie's money - sorry children.

Don't be too upset Alex, you seem like a nice guy, I am sure you will soon find a real person to have in your life.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Old Boilers

The focal point, and most important point in any office is the Hot Water Boiler. This device is the hardest working piece of office equipment and keeps the whole organisation going.

It is therefore a bit of a disaster when it breaks down. This nightmare scenario happened a couple of weeks ago in the Newcastle office. The impact was slightly mitigated as there is a second boiler at the other side of the office - but still it was a disaster for some as they had further to walk for a cup of tea, and there would often be 'a bit of a queue' when they got there.

Good news this week when we received an office wide distribution email saying the boiler was about to be fixed. But hold on one moment … the email was entitled 'Tea Boiler Fixed'. This is not so. We do not have a 'Tea Boiler', there is no such office equipment as a 'Tea Boiler'. What we do have is a boiler that boils water. It does not boil tea. I know this is so as I have often seen colleagues make coffee using water from the boiler. I have also on occasion, made hot chocolate from said boiler. I did even once see some intrepid soul make what is apparently called 'Cup a Soup' using hot water from the boiler.

Sorry to digress but I have a bit of an issue with 'Cup a Soup'. What does the 'a' stand for? Should it not be Cup of Soup? Or if you want to be totally out there call it 'Cup o' Soup'? After all you wouldn't sit in a restaurant and ask for a 'bowl a soup' would you?  As an aside I did see the contents of this experiment and really the prodcut should have been called 'Cup of Re-hydrated and reconstituted savoury flavourings with minute pieces of vegetables that have never been anywhere near a spring onion or a tomato’.  (But I can see that might be difficult when it comes to making an advertising jingle).

Now where was I, oh yes the email. Having establishged the correct name of the hot water dispensing machine - I await a re-issued email in due course.

Sometimes I really do wonder if the consquences of such things are considered!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Universe ... again

My question on how big the universe is has produced much lively and interesting discussion. The most reliable answer to the question is that it is about 150 billion light years across. I had thought the universe was quite big, but not that big.

The figure quoted is just the distance across it, so goodness knows what the cubic capacity is. I am sure there is away to work it out, something about eating a pie while you do the calculation, but I think I had chickenpox and was off school when we did volumes.

My original plan had taken into account that the universe probably was quite big and would take some time to get around it all, but by travelling at the speed of light I thought I would be able to get there and back in an apparently short time - since travelling at the speed of light halves the amount of time taken.

So for example, if I was away for a year, only six months would have passed in earth time. The plan being that if I left round about the late May bank holiday (I have a royal wedding to sort out) and went away for a year I would still be back in time to get my Christmas shopping done.

Also, apparently if you orbit a large object, time slows down. I know this is true as I have driven round the Metro Centre many times and time does indeed stand still. This would also help with the amount of time it would take to check out the universe.

But the size of the universe has had a big impact on my plans, also I am quite busy at work at the moment (what with one thing and another), so it probably won't now be possible for me to investigate each part of the universe, as it would take quite a long time.

But there are a couple of things that could be done quite easily. For example, I have a bit of an issue with the North star. We are always told the North star is the brightest object in the night sky, used for navigation by mariners through the ages.

Well I cant see it. There is no ‘big, bright star’ in the sky that I can see. All the stars look the same to me. So perhaps we could make the North star a bit brighter? Maybe move it a bit closer to the earth so that it stands out a bit more? Or perhaps someone could put up a sign and point it out?

And then there is the Kuiper belt. If you are not familiar with the Kuiper belt, it is a region of many small objects left over from the creation of the solar system. It is twenty times the size of the Asteroid belt and looks a bit untidy. Also it could make travelling beyond the solar system quite hazardous - you could get a nasty scratch on the side of your space machine. So I think we should move the Kuiper belt, not lose it altogether, I am sure there are some nice rock formations in there, just move it out of the way a bit, maybe put it in a corner somewhere.

I am sure I will come back to this topic in the future when I have time to study the universe in a bit more depth, but I think we have enough to be getting on with for now.

Saturday, 15 January 2011


My earlier post about the Universe has created a little controversy. Fans of Pluto (the planet not the dog) are upset about me comment that it was ‘good news’ that Pluto was no longer a planet and has caused much anger.

I would like to take this opportunity to say I am sorry for saying it was ‘good news’ that Pluto has been downgraded from planet status (it has now been allocated the number 134340).

I am sure 134340 (formally known as Pluto) will continue to contribute much to the universe.

But really … it’s a little lump of rock millions of miles away - get over it!

Quantum Physics

As you know I don’t write about work in this blog, (just my experiences of working) but on this one occasion I feel I might. Apologies to readers who don’t work with me, you probably won’t know what I am taking about (on the other hand, people I do work with probably won’t either!)

We had a significant change in approach today. After many months of working to the principle that a person can be in two places at one time, we have come to the conclusion that it is easier if we make sure people cannot be in two places at one time. Even this change might be a bit of a stretch for your blogger, sometimes I can’t be in one let people only be in one place at one time!

You might think our original principle was a bit odd - well not really. It is a basic principle of quantum physics that says a particle can be in two places at the same time. This is a difficult concept to grasp, but quantum physics says it is allowed.

This change in approach has little impact on me but it makes life a little easier now we are following the general laws of the universe, rather than the more complex laws of quantum mechanics.

But please note the change only applies to clients, staff are still required to follow the laws of quantum physics.

Friday, 14 January 2011


Regular readers of this blog will have noticed I have a passing interest in Cosmology. I find the whole subject quite fascinating, but there are some aspects where errors have been made and things need ‘tidying up’ a bit.

For example in an earlier blog I reported that I wasn’t too happy with the solar system. The system has nine planets of varying sizes. The planets range in size from massive Jupiter to tiny Pluto. The planets are also at different and random distances from the sun. The whole effect is to make the solar system look cluttered and rather untidy.

I have decided that it would be much better if planets were ordered by size, with the smallest planet (Pluto) closest to the sun and then gradually increasing in size, with Jupiter as the final planet in the system. This is still under consideration, as I think it might be better to have the biggest planet closest to the sun and decreasing in size with the smallest planet at the end - I am still thinking about it.

I realise that under the new ordering of planets, Earth might have to move back a bit and there might be a little inconvenience while plants are moved to their new locations and for Earth, being further away from the sun might mean it is a little cooler than it is now. But once things settle down I am sure you will agree things are much more pleasing to the eye (especially viewed from the sun) as you look across a more uniform solar system.

There has been a little development - Pluto is no longer a planet. This gives us eight planets in the solar system (a much easier number to work with) and it might mean we end up a little closer to the sun than originally estimated - so some good news.

Looking beyond the solar system I have a question for you. I have been working on further changes to the universe and am trying to work out how big it is. I realise it is quite big, (and apparently expanding all the time, which is a little inconvenient when you are trying to complete a calculation) but just how big? I am using a measure of one million light years as a yardstick (ooh that is quite funny) but I am trying to get in my mind how far one million light years would be. So here is the question, if you set off from earth (Newcastle airport is as good a starting point as any and quite convenient for me) and travelled one million light years, how far would you get? Would you be nearly at the end of the universe, half way to the end or maybe just a little way away with much further to travel.

If anyone could help me out with that one, I would be grateful.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Is It Spring?

Is it Spring yet?

This is a question that many long to say in these cold dark days of winter. It is unusual for the question to be asked so early in the year. If you recall, last year it was nearly May before we got the first glimmer of Spring. As you may have experienced (sorry not my readers in Scotland) a rather warmer than expected day today. This has produced much excitement and chatter about is it Spring?

Deep down we all know that there is much more winter to come, but I thought it might prove a little light diversion to look for the first signs of Spring.

If you think this blog is going to move on to talk of cuckoos, new born lambs, nightingales and all other things rural then I am sorry to disappoint you but you clearly don't know your city slicker blogger very well, (I wouldn't know what a cuckoo was if one came up to me in the street and slapped me in the face).

No, of more use I feel are the first signs of Spring, in the city.

One of the first signs of spring is that fellow travellers to work will have abandoned hats, scarves and gloves. You may even see the occasional hardy soul without a coat. This is a sure sign that Spring can not be far away. Taking this approach does have its drawbacks. If you turn up at work on Tuesday without hat and gloves, then on Wednesday if the temperature plummets by 15 degrees then you have a dilemma. Do you go back to your winter wardrobe or do you tough it out and continue with your 'Spring look' until it actually is Spring?

The answer is that really you should avoid this situation in the first place. You should continue to wear hats, scarves etc even when you feel it is quite warm. But remember to carry a carrier bag. The clothing items can then be removed should the temperature become unbearably hot (for example you feel you might perspire) and placed in your carrier bag. You can then either leave your items in a safe place at work, or take them home with you at the end of the day. If you leave them at work, they will be ready for you later in the year when the first day of winter arrives ...but you came to work in your autumnal wardrobe. Whichever you do - remember, the 'carrying one bag only' rule applies.

A further sign of the approach of Spring is the sight of men's calves. This you might think is quite bizarre, but unfortunately at some point a fashion decision was made and it became acceptable and even de riggeur for men to wear the occasional pair of 'cut-off' trousers. I have no idea who made this decision, but it was not me.

Really, such items should not be worn, there are so many dangers to these garments that for most men, they are best avoided. (Please see blog early last year for further information). That being said, they are still worn and a first sign of spring is their re-emergence following hibernation for the winter period. I would normally expect your first sighting of such clothing items to be on 10 February. But with this sudden 'warm' spell, I fear they may be seen in abundance before the end of the week.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


I was having a chat to one of my friends in the Leeds office and I referred to some of our follow colleagues as ‘Leeds Leads’. This is my collective term for my fellow Team Leads who are based in Leeds. My friend liked the term and wondered if there were any other homonym places.

This got me thinking, I came up with:
  • Cattle on the Isle of Wight could be Cowes Cows; and a
  • Jumper you wear in the Channel Islands could be a Jersey Jersey.
Although technically I think Cowes Cows would be a homophone (words that are pronounced the same but spelled differently and have different meanings – with homographs (Jersey Jersey) being words that are spelled the same but have different meanings.

So over to you reader – have you any homonym places? (I think homonym is the collective name for homophones and homographs).

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Dancing on Ice - Result!

Bit of a result on Strictly on Ice, with both Angela Rippon and Nadia Sawalha both being voted out in the first show. Four months of training and two minutes on the ice, then off you go! You have to feel a bit sorry for them, well not really, goodness knows how much they got paid for it. And after all it is us that has to put up with watching them.

Oh and Angela, try and control yourself, all that gushing and non stop commentary when you were voted off, thanking everyone that voted for you and for all the support and love you have been given by the viewers, was very annoying. Just think about it a bit, you were just asked to leave the show because no one voted for you!

Now if we can just lose the Welch woman next week, it might be a programme worth watching!

Personal Space

Bit of an incident in the Newcastle office today when a colleague’s personal space was invaded. I did see the incident in question, and although there was no untoward intention in the infringement, there was clearly a great difference in perception of where one’s personal space ended and another person’s began.

This got me thinking about personal space. What is ‘personal space‘? Have I got ‘personal space’? If I haven’t got enough ‘personal space’ can I go out and buy some more? So many questions!

For your blogger, my personal space is similar to the exclusion zone around the Falkland Islands. I think at the start of the Falklands conflict it was three miles in all directions. Following resolution of the conflict this exclusion zone was extended to 12 miles (or maybe it was the other way around, I can’t remember). Anyway whichever it is, that sounds about right to me.

Monday, 10 January 2011


Caught a bit of an episode of Horizon tonight on BBC2.  You might recall a Horizon programme a while ago where they tried to work out how much the Earth weighed.  I can't remember the detail of the programme, but I think the conclusion was that the Earth must be quite heavy.  I worked out that it is probably well in excess of four tons as my car weights at least a ton and there is my house to add onto that as well.

Tonight's programme was about temperature, or more accurately about trying to work out what 'one degree' is.  I thought this might be quite a short programme as the weather people tell us about degrees several times everyday - and 'one degree' has been the daily temperature for ages now.

But it was more complicated than that, apparently there is no such thing as heat and absolute zero is very cold and quite difficult to reproduce.

The conclusion was that temperature is the speed molecules travel at (I shall be checking the BBC weather forecast person tomorrow to see if they mention that bit) which explains why hot things get cold (for example, your cup of hot tea gets cold very quickly if you go to answer the door to her next door when you have just got in and taken your coat off and you can't have five minutes peace to yourself) but cold things rarely get warm unaided.

Can't wait for next week's Horizon - you learn so much!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Strictly on Ice

Here we go again another year and another Dancing on Ice - or Strictly on Ice as I call it.

If you remember last year's competition was won, surprisingly by Jayne Torvill as the presenter with the best dresses.  I think Holly was a bit constrained as she was with child (I think she is again?) but it was a series win for Jayne.  Who won the dancing competition last year?  No idea.

Well a mixed bag of Z listers again (apart from Craig of course) and includes some of my least liked ... (I'm stuck for a word - hate to call them 'Celebrities' and 'people who are always on TV and I'm sik of the sight of them' is a bit long, but you get my meaning.

The full list is below but some early thoughts:
  • it is always a bad sign when they have to expalain who the celebrity is
  • you can be a celebrity if you’re parents are celebrities
  • you can be a celebrity if you used to go out with a celebrity
  • bit of a shake up with the judging panel - Karen and Nicky (former professional skaters and I think once an item) are not on the panel - this week anyway
  • Sean Rice gets the 'old trout' prize by getting Rippon as a partner, although Matt came a close second with the prize of trying to lift Denise Welch above his head every week
  • Holly won the dress award this week
  • your worst nightmare - Angela Rippon, Nadia Sawalha and Denise Welch all in the same programme
  • when someone says you have 'a larger than life personaility' (Nadia) they mean you are annoying
  • what happened to all the nice professional skaters (like andrie lipanov and pavel aubrecht) - they seem to have replaced them all with a pretty dreary lot
  • didn' think I was going to like that Ice person, but he seems quite sweet really
Only 12 of the 16 go through to the series proper.  Eight skate this week, the remaining eight next week.

The full line-up:

Kerry Katona paired with Daniel Whiston
Steven Arnold paired with Nina Ulanova
Jeff Brazier paired with Isabelle Gauthier
Craig McLachlan paired with Maria Filippov
Angela Rippon paired with Sean Rice
Dominic Cork paired with Alexandra Schauman
David Vitty (Comedy Dave from Chris Moyles’s Radio 1 show) paired with Frankie Poultney
Vanilla Ice paired with Katie Stainsby
Nadia Sawalha paired with Mark Hanretty
Chloe Madeley paired with Michael Zenezini
Denise Welch paired with Matt Evers
Jennifer Metcalfe paired with Sylvain Longchambon
Sam Attwater paired with Brianne Delcourt
Laura Hamilton paired with Colin Ratushniak
Elen Rives paired with Lukasz Rozycki
Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry paired with Jodeyne Higgins

Friday, 7 January 2011


Well it has been a quiet old week on the blogging front. All is quiet at work as we slowly gear ourselves back up to optimum working efficiency (well I'm trying anyway) (although it has to be said we have a big piece of work coming up to get us going - but as you know I don't discuss actual work on here, just my experience of working). My hotel was quiet (although that one that is always friendly to me on reception was in attendance this morning, and I am still not speaking since the incident last winter, although to be fair, I don't think she has noticed). Celebrities are all in 'family heaven' for Christmas, so as a consequence I have had nothing to comment on.  Although we have Strictly on Ice starting this week, so there might be scope for advice and comment there - although having seen the cast lais all my most hated are in it so don't know if I can bear to watch!

This was all becoming a little depressing until an unexpected occurrence at the tea point (for those of you who don't work in offices, the tea point is a little like the 'water cooler' in its significance and importance to office life - only with hot water instead of chilled water).

I was getting a cup of tea at the tea point in the Leeds office when I noticed a colleague also preparing a drink but using a rather flash coffee device.

I couldn't help myself and enquired further. It turned out to be a hand held espresso coffee maker. Well for heavens sake I have never heard of such a thing, what will they think of next. It was very impressive, it even made the coffee maker noise. If it wasn’t for the fact that I gave up drinking coffee years ago, I think I might need one.

Oh and just spotted a comedy moment with a wooden palette on wheels at the top of a flight of stairs (hurriedly removed), perhaps life is returning to normal after all!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Cold Weather

I see the Met Office has confirmed what many of us already suspected, December was the coldest December in England for 100 years.  It was also the coldest December in Ireland for 50 years, and in Scotland it was the harshest weather for a fortnight!


It is that time of year where lots of people make New Year's Resolutions. Not your blogger. I made a Resolution many years ago to make no New Year's Resolutions and I have kept to it faithfully ever since.

But I wonder if this year I should re-consider. Perhaps my blog writing would benefit from a Resolution to refrain from highlighting the foibles of others, to stop giving out (sometimes unwanted - apparently) advice and guidance. To maybe leave the world of celebrity alone, and let celebrities enjoy their carefree lives unhindered by comment. To leave politics alone and let the vagaries of our elected rulers go unremarked upon. Perhaps I should …

… or perhaps I shouldn't!

Sunday, 2 January 2011


As we approach the end of the Christmas holidays just time for one or two final treats before the return to normality. 

I am planning an afternoon moment where I sit down in front of the fire with the last remaining home baked cookies (from a bag full of home made treats off my good friend from the Leeds office) my book and a cup of tea ...

... OMG no doily!