Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Penshaw Monument

Bit of excitement at the Penshaw Monument this week. If you are not from the North East you might not have heard of the Penshaw Monument (it is a monument on a hill in Sunderland).

The monument has been closed to the public since the 1920s but the National Trust opened it this weekend as a bit of a treat.

They expected 75 people to turn up and have a look around, so they were totally unprepared when over 500 turned up to walk up a staircase and walk down again.

They were so unprepared that they had to turn away over 400 of the visitors and tell them to come back another day.

A spokesman for the Trust said it was very exciting and proved that people wanted the monument to be open all the time.

No it doesn’t. It proves there is nothing to do in Sunderland!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Dear David - Christmas

Dear David

I wrote to you a while ago asking if it was too soon to start planning for Christmas.  Your answer was slightly shorter than I expected and also not what I expected.  You often advise us to plan ahead and be organised so I was a little surprised that you said it was too soon.  Could you expand on your advice a little please?

David Responds

I am sorry you found my answer a little short, you asked a simple question and I provided a simple answer.  If you would like longer answers to questions perhaps you should write to Marjorie Proops.  But I am more than happy to expand on my answer since you ask.

Christmas comes but once a year and in my view that is once too many. The things we do are well rehearsed and never changing.

Yes there is lots to do but you know what has to be done and starting four months ahead of the scheduled date is too soon. 

Planning for Christmas now shortens your year.  It makes you leap straight from Summer into Winter.  You will miss out on the wonderful season that is autumn.

So hang on to Summer as long as you can, enjoy the sunny brisk days of autumn gold.

Christmas will take care of itself and be here all to soon.

Dear David - Bank Holiday

Dear David

Now that we have had August Bank Holiday is it too soon to start planning for Christmas?

David Responds

Yes.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Michele and Irene

I rarely stray into the world of politics and hardly ever into US politics but I have to make note about a statement made by Michele Bachmann.

You might have missed Michele but she is a Republican presidential candidate (and we will be going through US presidential elections sooner than you would think) and she has claimed that Hurricane Irene and last week's earthquake in the eastern United States were messages from God to lawmakers in Washington.

I have never really understood why people claim that this disaster or that disaster is a message from God, simply because these disasters affect all involved - supporters and non-supporters, (good and bad if you like) and they seem a bit rough and ready as a message from God.

I think that the omnipresent, all powerful creator of the whole universe would target things a bit more scientifically. So for example, if he was a bit cross with Obama he could maybe keep moving his keys around so Barack could never find. Or if he wanted to use the elements maybe next time Barack goes to the seaside he could blow his deck chair over and his towel into the water. But leave all Republican’s chairs alone.

I think this would be much more effective in getting the message across!

Paintings


My mother did a lot of painting in her life - here are some of them.








Ab Fab

I little while ago the BBC announced they were doing a Christmas Ab Fab special - now they say they are doing some specials next year to mark 20th anniversary of the show.

It can't be 20 years ... can it?

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Dear David - Joining a Gym

Dear David

I am thinking about joining a gym, but I am a bit worried about it. Can you give me some advice?

David Responds

Joining a gym can be a very stressful experience, which is why so many people put it off for so long. Being a gym member can give many lasting benefits so don’t be put off. But understanding your gym is the key. Follow my top tips for a successful gym experience:


  • Any reputable gym will offer you a guided tour before you join. If your selected gym doesn’t do this, then find another one;
  • Make an appointment for your tour at the busiest time, the temptation will be to go when it is quiet so you are not noticed, but it is much more useful to see how busy the gym gets and if there are many free machines during this time;
  • Check out the changing room facilities, are they large enough, do they have plenty of lockers. Most importantly what type of shower gel do they use. You can be fairly certain most gyms use standard industrial strength shower gel bought in bulk. I am sure the stuff that is provided at my gym is very nice for most people but if I used it I would lose an entire layer of my epidermis. So unless you are assured the gel is of the highest quality, then be prepared take your own;
  • During your pre-join tour, the instructor will show you all the machines and how they work, don’t waste this time looking at the machines - the instructors will go into much more detail in your first session (you won’t remember what they say at this point anyway), instead look at the other gym clients. This is useful information to assess where you fit into the gym pecking order. Specific things to look for are:
  • Age range, work out the youngest and oldest ages of the people using the gym, then you can decide where you fit in. To feel comfortable look for as wide an age range as possible - unless you fit very clearly into one age or the other;
  • my gym has a wide age range from just left school to ‘oh my goodness he is never going to try and lift that’;
  • Look at the general fashion trends. The younger ones will generally be more fashion conscious and if you are competing against them, then you need to be aware of what they are wearing;
  • don’t worry too much about fashion at this point, the general rule on starting at a gym is to begin wearing massive oversize kit to cover everything up until you start to see the benefits of all your hard work. You can then start wearing kit that is a bit more pleasing to the eye, but you need to know what you are aiming for;
  • Trainers are a specific to watch out for. Generally at any one time it is fashionable for trainers to be either white or black. There is no difference between the two, fashions change just so trainer companies can sell more trainers. At the moment I think we are in black trainers mode, so if you are buying new trainers, go for black ones;
  • Have a critical look at your trainer taking you on the tour. When you turn up for your tour trainers will decide amongst themselves who will show you around. The good looking ones get to take the good looking clients around, and the opposite is also true. (Sorry I don’t make up the rules only report them). So if your tour guide is good looking - result! If not, then … oh well!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Celebrity week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • David and Samantha had a holiday in Cornwall after they had to cut their last holiday short;
  • David normally wears a boring blue top, but this week David wore a boring black top;
  • Samantha wore a dress she has worn before;
  • holidays in Cornwall must be more expensive than you think;
  • David and Samantha had to cut their holiday short again;
  • David thought holidays are more bother than they are worth!;
  • Mark got some new muscles ahead of the new series of The Only Way Is Essex;
  • While Kirk looks like he has lost some;
  • Richard has been looking all over for his house insurance policy;
  • Amy wore curlers that matched her bikini;
  • Jeremy hasn’t done so well since he was in Dancing on Ice so now he is making ends meet as a builders labourer;
  • Gordon (Ramsey not Brown) spent the day on the beach with David and the mini Beckhams;
  • Gordon had to hold his breath in for six hours;
  • Bill and Hilary went for a walk arm in arm in New York,
  • Hilary seems to have put on all the weight Bill has lost;
  • Katie is in Puerto Banus and had a beef burger;
  • Chloe is over Sam and she is now going out with Jay;
  • David (Beckham not Cameron) is losing his hair and thinks he will pop round to see Wayne;
  • while Doris has the same hair-do she had in 1965;
  • Jacqui got two prison offenders to paint a room in her house - well she is finding it hard to make ends meet now she has to pay for her own bath plugs;
  • Jacqui thinks her back garden could do with turning over and is wondering who she can get to do it;
  • Bucks Fizz aren't allowed to be called Bucks Fizz anymore;
  • Katy has pink hair and
  • Patsy and Eddy are making a Christmas special.

Dress Down Day

We have regular dress down days at work, where for a small donation to charity you can adopt casual dress for the day.


This is a great opportunity to get some extra wear out of your casual clothes while at the same time adding a bit of colour to the workday office.

There are dangers of course and some of the 'dress down day' outfits have caused me much anxiety. (But that is the subject of a different blog)

There is another danger too - the one about getting the day wrong and being the only one to turn up for business in dress down mode!

As happened to my colleague today. Rarely am I speechless - but today was such an occasion. My only comment on the outfit is that apart from adding a surf board - a little colour on those legs would be a worthwhile addition!

Sculpture

We have a bit of a sculpture in the entrance hallway at Leeds work. It is alright, it has a certain naïve charm but it is a bit pedestrian for my tastes.

You might remember a while ago there was much excitement when we were given a coffee kart (see previous blog on the clumsy use of the word 'kart' that that generated!). Well someone decided to put the coffee kart right in front of the sculpture. And as the sculpture weighs about two ton everyone has refused to move it.

Now the only way you can stand back and appreciate the sculpture is to view it from behind. Which is fine really I suppose as it looks much the same from the back as it does from the front.

But the irony is - it is called 'rotation' which is about the only thing you can't do with it!

Street Life

I really will have to start shopping in cheaper parts of the city - I just got stopped by a filthy old tramp wanting £2 for a cappuccino!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Species Update

I've thought of a few more

Bear
Monkey
Butterfly
Owl
Sparrow
Antelope
Seal
Fish
Mouse (have I said mouse?)
Bee.

There, that's another ten, but it is still not 8.7 million!

Bank Holidays

I thought it might be useful to re-post a blog for the Bank Holiday weekend.

To save you a bit of time looking up information on the internet or watching reports on the TV, the travel\weather report for the holiday weekend is given below:

It will be cold

It will rain

There will be lots of cars on the road on Saturday

There will be even more cars on the road on Friday for ‘early getaway’ holiday makers

The trains into London will be busy

The trains out of London will be busy

The trains out of London will be delayed due to works on the tracks

The motorways will be busy on Friday

The motorways will be busy on Monday

Blackpool will be cold, windy and full of hen\stag parties

The Lake District is in the middle of nowhere – the roads to the Lake District will be busy

It will rain all day long in the Lake District – that is why it is full of Lakes

How do I know all this?

I know it because it is the same every Bank Holiday – so why do news programmes continue to give us this information – it is not News.

I hope this weather\travel service has been helpful and saved you sometime.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Species

According to a report there are 8.7 million species on the planet.

This can’t be right, there can’t be that many.

I can think of a few:

Pig
Dog
Rabbit
Pelican
Horse
Cow
Elephant
Hippopotamus
Giraffe
Mouse
Ocelot
Lion and
Tiger

I know there will be a few others I have missed, but there can’t be 8.7 million!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Dear David - Compound

Dear David

I am a Head of State, but in the last few days I have noticed a lot of people in my compound making a lot of noise. What can I do?

David Responds

This can be very annoying. Have you tried tapping on the window and waving your hand in a ‘shooing’ motion or in an otherwise discouraging manner?

If this doesn’t work try opening the window and shouting out that ‘your mam says they have to move along‘. This should work.

Dear David - Costa

Dear David

I have a Costa loyalty card, but have discovered my points are not valid to redeem at motorway service stations. Why is that and what can I do about it?

David Responds

I don’t have a Costa loyalty card I didn’t know there was such a thing - I must get one.

I have contacted Costa on you behalf and asked your question. Costa tell me that their loyalty cards are not valid in their Corporate accounts such as ESSO and Odeon, they declined to explain why, but they did point me in the direction of a list of all participating outlets and after a quick check it does seem that some motorway services do accept Costa loyalty cards, for example Sedgemoor Motorway Service Area. I don’t know which services you use but it might be worth checking out the list.
http://www.costa.co.uk/pdf/coffee_club_stores.pdf


You don’t say whether they refuse to redeem your points, give you new points earned, or both.

If it is an issue with redeeming your points, then I suppose you can just wait until your next visit to a participating outlet and get your valuable free coffee then, but if the issue is that you cannot earn points at motorway services then this is more serious.

I do have a general concern that you are having coffee breaks at a service station, the days when a visit to a motorway service area for dinner was glamorous and something to be eagerly anticipated are long gone.

In the early 60s it was a happy Saturday night when you could don your best fur coat and diamonds and be the envy of your friends as you set off for an evening at a service station on the M1. But alas those days are gone and - I have to be brutal here - really service stations are best avoided. Try leaving the motorway early and pop into a nearby (participating) Costa store on your alternative route. Enjoy comfortable surrounds - and earn those valuable points too!

Dear David - Petrol Cap

Dear David

Whenever I put petrol in my motor car, I can never remember which side of the car the petrol cap is located. Is there and easy way to remember this information?

David Responds

If you check your fuel gauge on the dashboard you will see a little symbol of a petrol pump. The location of your petrol cap is indicated by the side of the petrol pump on which the nozzle is located.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Laughing Donkey

Well it was another summer evening in the Laughing Donkey. I have come to the conclusion that they sprinkle broken glass on the floor at the start of the evening (much like they sprinkle sawdust on butchers shop floors, as suggested by my friend - do they still do that? I haven’t been in a butchers shop since 1972), to give the bar its authentic Wild West feel.

Not only a summer evening but a hot summer evening, I am sure they had the heating on.

The place soon got warmer as several hen nights arrived (we must be getting to the end of the hen night season by now?). 

First group in and all the ladies were wearing long black wigs (no, I don’t know why either), quickly followed by a huge group of lady super heroes. 

One of them was a comedy Minnie mouse - but I’m not sure Minnie mouse qualifies as a lady super hero, and I‘m not sure Minnie mouse was known for drinking pints of Guinness either. I was about to raise these issues with the lady concerned but my friend suggested that might not be such a good idea. I reluctantly agreed, but I don’t think she should have been allowed to get away with sloppy attention to detail.

We also had a Sally Bowles (without chair) - there is always a Liza. And we had Betty Legs Diamond, although she was in civilian dress so I don’t think that counts.

Then we had three random smurfs turn up (see pic), don’t know what that was all about!

But it was a welcome back to the Laughing Donkey to Miss Pink and friend. They have recently been in far warmer climes but Miss Pink has quickly settled back into North East life and her stunning Saturday night outfit was complete with rain coat and collapsible umbrella (Miss Pink isn’t originally from the North). Our two friends also brought quite an entourage. Miss Pink always has an entourage, she says Diana had an entourage, so she is having one as well.

It was a busy night with a visit to the Rusty Bucket, which unfortunately after a brief renaissance seems to have gone back to its quieter days. So it was a quick return to the Laughing Donkey for the rest of the evening.


Saturday, 20 August 2011

Supermarket

Bit of a nightmare in Sainsbury’s this morning. Only two checkouts open, with ‘checkout dozy’ on one, who doesn’t know what day it is never mind what to do if your price tag comes off your fresh pineapple and she has to use a laminated card with pictures of fruit on it to work out what to scan, or ‘checkout jumpy’ who jumps with fright every time she hears the scanner beep. To make matters worse there were massive queues at both checkouts.

Still help was a hand with the lady on the self-scan counter suggesting I use that to avoid the queues. ‘Well alright’ I said, ‘but you have to do it for me’.

She gave me a funny look but I just stood there, so she did it. Marvellous!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Wayne scored a goal wearing his new hair;
  • Chloe decided she wanted to spend more time with her family only months after moving in with Sam;
  • While Tara moved in with Artem;
  • Joey thought if Wayne can get a new hair do, then so can he;
  • Doris (87) is bringing out a new album, 20 years after her last release;
  • some of our favourite celebrities have been locked in a house, Kerry, Amy and, Jedward to name a few;
  • Daniel has a new lady friend;
  • Charles and Camilla had a day out in Tottenham;
  • Charles got a free rap CD;
  • Camilla didn’t even get a free t-shirt;
  • William and Catherine had a day out in Birmingham;
  • Madonna is meeting her new boyfriend’s mother;
  • Madonna is eight years older than her boyfriend’s mother;
  • Jenson nearly got a parking ticket;
  • David has had enough of EastEnders so he is leaving in October - to pursue other projects;
  • Liam is thinking about suing Noel;
  • Brian wasn’t a celebrity and then he was;
  • then Brian wasn’t a celebrity for a while and then he was;
  • now Brian gets to stand outside of a house while other celebrities are thrown out of the house;
  • Davina isn’t a celebrity anymore;
  • Brian is on Channel 5 so probably no one will see him being a celebrity again;
  • Tara just got married and thought she would spend her honeymoon locked in a house with celebrities;
  • everyone wondered who Tara was; and
  • Kate spent £8 million on a new house, now she plans to spend another £2.5 million painting it cream and putting in new windows.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Ads

I keep getting suggestions from Google to include ads in my blog. I think I might give it a go for a while, I might get the odd 10p in payment. If it gets annoying then I will take them off. Look out for ads coming your way soon - and let me know what you think.

A Level Results

It is that time of year again where we get to see people we don't know and will never see again receive their A Level results on TV. This morning we got to see one young lady nervously open her results envelope and take out a single sheet of paper. She needed three 'A's. How exciting.

She struggled a bit with the first result, but it was an A for something or other. After a while she thought she got a B for something else, but she wasn't sure. Then she thought she got another A, but it took a while. The presenter was looking a bit nervous as an ad break was coming up so a teacher came to help. She confirmed the student had indeed achieved three 'A's

So after a bit of effort and some help from a teacher we finally got the result. Well done!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Leeds Station

Exciting developments in Leeds station. A couple of weeks ago they opened a Sainsbury's inside the station (I must go in one day) and today I noticed there is a Funkypigeon.com (whatever one of those is) and they are remodelling the WH Smiths. It is all go and new development - if only I could afford to buy a train ticket!

Book

I was almost in Sheffield this morning, which would have been a bit of a bother as I was supposed to be in Leeds. I must have nodded off (I was definitely awake in York) and woke up just as the train was pulling into Leeds station. In my defence I am reading the most boring book in the world. Apparently it was translated from the original Polish into English. I am not entirely convinced they translated all of it as I can't make head nor tail of it!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Dear David - A Day Out

Dear David

I am looking after my sister’s children for the day later in the week. I am very fond of them, but I have no idea what to do with them for a whole day. Please help.

David Responds

First you must decide what you want the outcome of the day to be. If you are happy to make this a regular occurrence then ask your sister what you think they would like to do, or if the children are old enough, tell them it is their day and let them decide.

If on the other hand if you are daunted by this turn of events and would rather return to your usual arrangement of visiting once a month and patting the children on the head, then follow my top tips to avoid being asked to baby sit again:

  • If the children are small, say from 4 to 7 tell them they are going on a treasure hunt in your garden. Provide each child with an adult size spade (see earlier blog for the difference between a spade and a shovel), and get them to dig over the whole of your garden. Tell them you have magic potatoes and they need to be planted at least one foot underground. It is the wrong time of year to plant potatoes, but this doesn’t matter as a bag of potatoes is a small price to pay for having your whole garden turned over in one day. If you want to give the ‘reward’ of some treasure for the children’s efforts, bury some piece of tat (maybe an old brooch from a charity shop) in the garden the day before. But hide it well so they don’t find it too soon. Alternatively, don’t plant anything for the children to find. At the end of the day, explain that life is full of disappointments so better get used to it;
  • If you don’t have a garden (or you don’t want it turned upside down) then you can take a similar approach in your house. But this time tell the children the treasure might be located under any of your furniture. This is a great opportunity to re style your house, trying new combinations of furniture, seeing if the piano would look better in the other corner etc. The children will probably find your furniture quite heavy to lift so be prepared to make them a small snack at lunchtime for that extra boost of energy;
  • If the children are older you might want to go further a field. If the weather is freezing cold and\or chucking it down try a day at the beach. There are some lovely isolated, windy spots up the North East coast just great for a day out to remember. An hour in the sea and ice creams all round will go down a treat;
  • If the day is bright, warm and sunny, there are plenty of museums to choose from, but don’t pick one that has ‘interactive’ exhibits. These only encourage children to linger, try something a little less exciting - like the pencil museum in the Lake District;
  • For that added treat, for teenage children, bring them a each present of a colouring book and some crayons. This is a great way for older children to pass away an afternoon.

Jus-Rol

I see Jus-Rol have launched an exciting competition for the summer.  To win all you have to do is answer a simple question (the answer can even be found on their website).
Enter now and you could be one of five lucky people will win a Le Creuset flan dish worth £23.
Don't get too excited!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Laughing Donkey

After a week of miserable weather, summer finally returned on Saturday so it was a warm and balmy evening in the Laughing Donkey.

I was going to give it a miss this week, but a last minute decision changed my mind, (I say ’last minute’ it was Friday - but your St Tropez takes time to set).

First up I spotted Jessie Pycroft in a corner. I thought ‘oh god I hope she doesn’t see me’. Don’t know if have mentioned Jessie before, she is a female contortionist and goes by the name of ‘The Exotic Elena’. She can turn 360 degrees inside a swimming costume - bikini, one piece either one, she’s been touring that act for years. But once she gets you in a corner she can chat for hours and you can never get away.

Managed to keep out of her eye line when we were suddenly swamped by a load of straight middle aged couples. I was about to comment when someone kindly pointed out that I too was middle aged - that however I replied, was only a technicality. I knew the new arrivals hadn’t been in the Laughing Donkey before as a couple of the women had taken their shoes off and were holding them in one hand. Regulars of the Laughing Donkey know the floor is always covered in glass (don’t ask me why) so would never do such a foolhardy thing.

This is the second week in a row we have had an influx of new patrons - I wonder what is going on? This new group looked ready for an early exit when what appeared to be a coach load of glamour trannies - and big ones at that - arrived en masse.

Bit of a tense moment while this new information was assessed, and things calmed a bit when it was realised that it might not be wise to pick a fight with a group of 6 foot 4 blokes - even if they are wearing dresses!

This awkward moment passed and normality returned.

The Boulevard must have chucked out early as we were joined by a load of celebrity ‘look alikes’. Not sure they realised they were ‘celebrity look alikes’ but we definitely had a Liza Minnelli and a Jenny Éclair. In fact we had two Lizas, and I don’t think either of them liked being upstaged by the other one, you could see them eyeing each other and making comment like ‘that handbag doesn’t go with that dress’. I thought it was going to get nasty for a while, but one of them left.

The Laughing Donkey was packed by this time (and very hot) so we decided to have a quick look in the Rusty Bucket. Busy in there as well and I noticed a new DJ. I knew the last one wouldn’t last long, this one seemed to play better music, but he had a definite look of Roy Cropper about him which isn’t the image I would have thought the Rusty Bucket was after. Still we will wait and see.
The Rusty Bucket seemed to empty all of a sudden so after a drink it was back to a packed Laughing Donkey …

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Gym

After 10 years of waiting my gym finally replaced all the fans in the various exercise rooms.  A further two months and they had worked out how to switch them on.

We now have fully functioning and working fans.

Note to gym owner - would you mind switching them off - they are annoying!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Dear David - Hats

Dear David

I have built up quite a collection of baseball hats, but I have noticed recently that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to buy new ones. Why is that?

David Responds

Well I am afraid the answer to your query is in the question.

You don’t state your age but I am guessing around late 40s. The time when baseball hats were fashionable was sometime in the mid 1980s for about three days when New Kids on the Block were famous\cool.

You have fallen into very common trap by middle age men. You have found a style you like\are comfortable with in your early 20s and you have remained in it ever since.

What you have failed to realise is that the world has moved on and thrown many things into the dustbin. I had hoped baseball caps was one of them.

Take a long look at your collection of hats and make the following judgements:
  • If you have had any of your hats over 10 years - throw them in the bin;
  • Similarly if you have not worn any of your hats for over two years, throw them in the bin;
  • Only wear team hats when attending the relevant team sporting event;
  • Do not wear the hat back to front - you are clearly not 10 years old.
But really my best advice is to consider the wider range of hats available for men and update your wardrobe - consigning this regrettable fashion faux pas to history.

Celebrity week

A look at this week’s celebrities: It has been a quiet week for our celebrities, what with one thing or the other - but still a few managed to put on a show and go out celebritying:
  • Christine and Adrian have been put on a four day week, no reduction to salary though - good work if you can get it!;
  • David went for another cup of coffee, wearing the same washed out blue shirt he wore last week;
  • David didn’t wear any socks when he went for a cup off coffee;
  • David had to cut his holiday short;
  • One Direction got ready to release their first tune;
  • Gareth is going to be singing on a ship - but despite his previous friendship with Katie Price - it is an ocean liner not a tramp steamer;
  • Fergie walked out of an interview in Australia - she was having a moment of madness while they were showing the viewers an earlier moment of madness;
  • Cheryl isn’t bothered about not doing US X Factor anymore, now that she has a role in a Hollywood movie with J Lo;
  • Kanye fell over on stage;
  • Pink is selling her house for $4 million;
  • while Beyonce sells out her show in 22 seconds;
  • last year’s stylist on the X Factor got the sack - wonder why? So we must be getting near the start of this years show …;
  • Amy Childs, Kerry and Jedward are being lined up for Celebrity Big Brother - oh no, but then it is on 5 so you will never see it!

    Wednesday, 10 August 2011

    Grande

    I wish that chap in my coffee bar would shop saying "you mean 'grande'" whenever I ask for a 'large'. If I was Italian and I was in Italy I might say 'grande' but since I am English and I am in Newcastle I will continue to say 'large'.


    And don't give me that about it 'adds to the overall ambience'. It is freezing cold, chucking it down with rain and the coffee shop is full of old age pensioners, which means the 'ambiance' smells of tobacco, cough drops and paraffin!

    Monday, 8 August 2011

    Horizon - Colours

    Regular readers will know I like to watch the occasional science programme and tonight we started a new series of Horizon.
    This one was about colour and how we see colours.  First up, we were told that blue and yellow are hard wired into us and go right back to when our ancestors were single cell creatures living in murky swamps.

    Well I'm sorry mister presenter, your ancestors might have been single cell creatures living in musky swamps, but I like to think mine were a little more sophisticated.

    Then he went onto tell us that colours don't really exist, which is a bit of a blow as I have spent the last month looking for the perfect shade of mauve for a new season top.  If colours don't exist, I needn't have bothered!

    To prove the point they did an experiment about colour constancy to show that since we know what colour bananas are they will always be yellow.

    The professor has clearly never bought bananas as the bright yellow ones I bought in Sainsbury's on Saturday morning are now black as night and only fit for the bin!

    Why do I watch these programmes!

    Sunday, 7 August 2011

    Saturday Night in the Laughing Donkey

    Had a bit of a trip out the Laughing Donkey which was surprisingly busy on a very wet Saturday night.

    Had no sooner got there when a pair of straight couples arrived and stood in our usually space - squashed up against the fruit machines. Still it is always nice to see new patrons, even if they were a bit rough. Actually at first I thought a couple of trannies had pulled a couple of straights, but on closer inspection they were ‘ladies’. It took them a while to realise they weren’t in Kansas but they seemed happy enough to stay.

    We had a nice little chat, and although like I say, they were a bit ‘rough around the edges’ I decided I would find that ‘quite charming’! I think it is important to mix with all sorts of people and, a new experience for me, as I have never seen a knuckle duster up close before - not something I would have thought you would keep in a handbag!

    The night very soon turned into hen night hell with two groups of rival hen nights eyeing each other up from across the bar.

    I am not being funny but one of the hen groups was pushing it a bit - the bride looked like Mo off of EastEnders - and she was the pretty one.

    The other group were a bunch of bruisers, I‘m sorry but wearing pink tutus doesn’t really soften the look.

    And really the Laughing Donkey isn’t very big so when you get these big groups in, you can’t move.

    I got chatted up by this straight girl and she asked me if I was the only straight man in the bar - I think she had had a few. She didn’t hang around long after I said her handbag was really nice and went so well with her shoes - wonder what I said wrong?

    Then this young girl joined us and asked me what I thought of her girlfriends bosoms, I said I was no expert but they seemed very nice. Then she asked me if I wanted to feel them, ‘No thank you’ I said ‘I’m eating me crisps’.

    Quite a fun packed night and a bit of a sore head today …

    Friday, 5 August 2011

    Celebrity Week

    A look at this week’s celebrities:
    • David and Samantha went on their summer holidays;
    • David wore a boring blue shirt to go for a cup of coffee in Italy;
    • David's blue shirt has been on at least three holidays to my certain knowledge;
    • David's blue shirt has been through the wash a few times;
    • David needs a new shirt for his holidays;
    • the Queen was at another wedding at the weekend;
    • the Queen asked why they had bouncers on at the wedding, but was told they weren't bouncers they were the groom and his friends;
    • the Queen nearly had a winner in the 3 o'clock at Sandown, but she forgot her iPad and couldn't get her bet on in time;
    • the Queen said she is fed up with all these weddings at the weekend because she keeps missing the racing;
    • Jack agreed he had been in a bit of a punch-up in a nightclub - I don’t know why he even bothers to deny these things anymore;
    • Amy left The Only Way Is Essex and Mark thinks he might leave as well;
    • Amy and Myleene wore the same yellow dress - well not the same yellow dress, just the same yellow dress;
    • Marc Anthony was fed up with being single so he asked J Lo if she would go out with him again;
    • J Lo said she didn't want to go out with Marc Anthony again because she was thinking about going our with P Diddy again;
    • Mr Bean had a bit of an accident when he hit a lamp post and wrote of his ½ million pound car; and
    • Cameron went to the airport without any make up on (Diaz not David).

    Nato

    According to reports, one of Colonel Gaddafi's sons has been killed in a Nato air strike.

    This is the second time that son has been killed in a Nato air strike and he is getting fed up with it!

    Money Markets

    I am getting fed up with the world's financial markets. They are always nervous, they don't like the US economy so they are nervous, they don't like what is happening in Europe, so they are nervous, they are worried about the banks, so they are nervous.

    It is time the financial markets pulled themselves together and stopped being so nervous. But I suppose what they really mean is they don't know the best place to make obscene amounts of money out of ordinary people in the world!

    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    Dear David - Meetings

    Dear David

    Is it acceptable to take a weapon for self-defence purposes into a meeting that you suspect may get adversarial?

    David Responds

    That might be a little rash.

    Try my alternative approach - take an onion and a small pocket knife in with you.

    When the meeting turns ugly and it looks as if you might lose on points - discretely hold the onion in front of your eyes and cut a deep slice into said onion with your pocket knife.

    The resulting onion juice in your eyes will allow you to realistically burst into tears, making all others in the room feel uncomfortable and shuffle out in embarrassment. In their haste to leave they will have left the issue unresolved - leaving you to record the outcome to your advantage.

    You might also want to take a small pocket handkerchief and a facial spray mist in with you to repair the damage of squirting onion juice in your face.

    But be warned - you can only use this approach once in a career lifetime.

    Carpet

    Wandering past the Park Plaza in Leeds I happened to notice three large rolls of new carpet outside the hotel.

    Regular readers might remember I stayed at that bug hutch for a few nights a couple of years ago. Presumably the new carpet is to replace the rotten orange carpet with steam iron impressions that seems to feature in most of their rooms!

    Bees

    You know bees? The ones that make all the honey? The ones that live in hives that have bee keepers looking after them?

    I have often wondered what the bees think after the bee keeper has taken all their honey? After all the work they did making it, they must wonder where it all went!

    Tuesday, 2 August 2011

    New Product

    As you know I like to bring you news of new products as they come onto the market.  And I know you particularly like new beauty products.

    Just heard about a marvelous new development making the rounds in America.

    It is an organic form of botox using bee venom (sounds awful, but what the hell).  It is quite expensive (£1,000) but it takes 10 years off your face.

    Apparently Camilla swears by it ...

    ... Oh I think I 'll give that one a miss

    Chance Meeting

    I have just seen an old adversary that I haven't seen for ages. It wasn't very pleasing.

    Still it did remind me, I must get a sack of potatoes on the way home tonight!