Saturday, January 30, 2010

I'm So Excited And I Just Can't Hide It

She was really excited.

"I'm so excited!"

She'd just booked a holiday to Florida. She'll be going with two of her friends though originally there were going to be seven of them but four dropped out with pathetic excuses.

I felt really happy for her as she loudly told her friend on the other end of the phone line how excited she was about the hotel being near the beach, near the clubs where they're bound to meet some people, near lots of watersports which they'll all be trying out even though Kirsty has never done watersports before and she's so excited she's going on holiday with a couple of friends who've done watersports before and get a real thrill from them, near the docking point for a one day cruise to the Bahamas which is really good value and the experience of a lifetime...

And of course she mentioned twice, yes twice, that the hotel was so fantastic that CONTINENTAL breakfast is included in the price of £800 for 10 days, yes, CONTINENTAL breakfast!

I was feeling really pleased for her as she said she couldn't believe how lucky she was going to her dream destination, Florida, and that she was sure she'll have an even better time than the last time she went there a couple of years ago!

I was feeling even more pleased for her as she shouted that she couldn't believe how excited she was about this year as it is Kirsty's birthday next week, then next month it's Vicki's birthday, then she's going to India, then it's another friend's birthday, then it's another friend's birthday, then it's June and Florida for the holiday of a lifetime! She said that without all these wonderful things to look forward to she really thought she would be depressed.

The train stopped at Charing Cross and she got off. A blind woman in a wheelchair and her guide dog were waiting patiently by the door. A kind man asked her if he could get her some help to get off.

"Yes please," she said. "Thank you. I wanted to get off at London Bridge but they put me on the wrong train."

Our train doesn't stop at London Bridge.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Geoff Wet Blanket" Part 2

Many thanks to Rog who has taken Dave's words out of context (something all politicians moan about) and put them into something far more meaningful and true.

Rog's video here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Day I Spoke To The Future Prime Minister

Watch live streaming video from conservatives at

Could somebody go to 36 minutes into this and tell me what Dave's answer is because every time I try it I piss myself laughing and can't hear him talk.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Staying Blinkered

You control what you can. You have to concentrate on what you can do. Everything else is not your responsibility. If things around you are falling apart you concentrate even harder on what you can control. Don't look at the bigger picture. Stay focused on small things.

That load of bollocks is my introduction into what I've been watching, listening to and reading recently.

I have been watching Nurse Jackie, starring the marvellous Edie Falco.

It's a "dark" comedy with a heart of gold and a fantastic performance from its leading actress. It may be a bit too sugary for some cynical tastes and the script and performances not as funny as my favourite hospital comedy Only When I Laugh Getting On, but Edie deserves every award going for her portrayal of a drugged-up, two-timing, hard-working mother-of-two with a (yes, you've guessed it) heart of gold.

I have been listening to the weekly podcast of Thinking Aloud. I hadn't sat down and listened to the radio since Little Nicky Horne on Capital in the 70s. Now I feel I've been missing out on Laurie Taylor's show since it started on Radio 4 in 1998 but now I am a devoted listener, one of Laurie's Old Gits or LOGS as we are known.

I have been reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first novel in Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy. It really is a rattling good thriller and worthy of selling all the copies it has, though you wonder whether it would have sold as many if the author hadn't tragically died before its publication.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Diary A

The Dear Diary season on BBC4 gets off to a disjointed start with Richard E Grant visiting friends and family of diarists Joe Orton and Kenneth Williams, talking about the death diary of John Diamond and visiting Rosemary Ackland's actor husband Joss who compiled and edited her diaries after her death, emphasising all the bits where Joss made "exquisite" love to her.

The most controversial subject, however, was prison diarist Erwin James. If you look at Erwin's biography on his website you will see a story of triumph over adversity, a previously ill-educated man who took a degree and wrote about life on the inside in a very truthful, real way, giving Guardian readers a special insight the string 'em up readers of the Daily Mail will never have. Erwin now works full-time as a freelance writer and the Guardian still loves him.

On the programme, Erwin's work gets a big thumbs-up from "prison reformer" Jonathan Aitken who praises the authenticity of the diaries.

Prison Reformer, Jonathan Aitken

Oh, by the way, did I mention what Erwin was in prison for, which he glaringly omits from his biography?

I'd better not say it here. Instead I'll direct you to the third paragraph of his Wikipedia page.

It's wonderful what an education can do, isn't it? Aitken calls James a "remarkable rehabilitated ex-prisoner". He is the product of a forgiving Christian society which dismisses revenge as Old Testament and realises that people do change over time and if given a second chance may well become good, literate people who can hold their own at nice intelligent dinner parties.

James was in prison for twenty years.

Former England cricketer Chris Lewis is currently serving thirteen years for smuggling cocaine into the UK.

Yes, cocaine, the stuff hidden in judges' white wigs to keep them awake.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Yes, London's Moving, Mr Mayor

Yes, it's been snowing. And we here in the wilderness of South East London are suffering.

Today, in their wisdom, on our line and every other "Metro" line, Southeastern Trains decided to run two trains an hour into London and two trains an hour out of London. When you consider a normal weekday rush hour service contains four times that number, you may see where a problem could occur.

I left early this afternoon and with my fellow departmental employees (we all got the same train, isn't that cute?) we watched our train fill up by Waterloo East and leave lots of people unable to get on at London Bridge. You had to laugh.

And there was more jolity to come. While we made a scenic stop at middle-class Blackheath, we watched the hilarious sight of drivers failing to drive their cars out of the station car park as the incline was too icy. Their tyres just couldn't get a grip! Yes, I know! You pay for a car parking space and a car parking space is what you get!

Still, tomorrow there will be four trains an hour, otherwise known as a "Saturday service". Except it's not really a Saturday, is it?