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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Estate of the nation

I believe I am quite a grounded individual possibly due to the fact that I have hung out with royalty, eaten their ridiculously small cucumber sandwiches AND received hate mail from Fergal Sharkey! So when I rock up to ‘private property’ like Gayhurst House, and towards the end of this week the Corteenhall Estate in Northants the opulent splendour of the grounds and general attitude of people that wander around their estate in hats made from dead birds doesn’t faze me despite having a number of chance meetings in the past with like minded land owners who, should they have had another sherry and any more bad news from their brokers would have shot me dead for trespass!

Corteenhall Estate this week was fine though and as I drove through the beautiful sunny autumnal afternoon splendour of a bygone age there was no sign of any chinless wonders, only the occasional farm labourer chasing a chicken or laying man traps close to fuel storage tanks for members of dale farm to enjoy later. On the subject of the travelling community camping illegally on your land I was offered this little pearl of wisdom by the farm manager as the best possible action to be taken. When it last happened to the neighbouring farmer he took his big tractor to the illegal encampment and after a polite suggestion that ‘they might like to move on’ picked up one of the mobile homes on the fork type attachments and proceeded to head for the gate. When one of the pikeys protested and stated the obvious that it wouldn’t go through the gap sideways he reassured them that there was no need to worry as he would just tip it over the hedge! Apparently at that point they all decided to move on.

During some very rare ‘ME’ time yesterday I drove over to Stockgrove park which has some lovely woodlands and a lake with a view to enjoy in the late afternoon sun. I always find this very relaxing and good for the soul only to have my anticipated peace and tranquillity shattered by the fact that the fascist owners have now installed barriers and a £2 fee for parking. Because I had already invested over 10 minutes of travelling time and possibly £5 pounds of petrol into the trip I reluctantly paid and displayed and trekked deep into the forests of Bedfordshire gnashing my teeth. It was an absolutely glorious day and the flora and fauna soon made up for it, but then I came across this;-

Yes, Dangerous tree and Wasps nest along with crime scene tape! No sign of either so I can only imagine that wasps had moved on after getting stung (like me) for the two quid parking and the dangerous tree was being cautioned by the special branch.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Thank God it's Sunday

I know someone who is scared of the sea, which from a land locked, land lubbers perspective does initially seem a little strange however put yourself on an old tub of a boat on some excitable waves with a force 5 Hooley whipping up and then I am prepared to (and did earlier this year) possibly give your Thalassophobian the benefit of the doubt. Yesterday though, whilst we looked after Steph’s cousin’s two boys and during an intensely busy duck, swan and other assortments of aquatic fowl, bread feeding session we had a brief but hard shower at which point one of the boys started screaming and crying and it transpired that he has a fear of the rain. Even once in the car the hysteria persisted until we could think and explain ALL the good things that water provides us with; i.e. bath night & wine, a majority stake of about 96% in the manufacture of beer, mediation between sand and cement and giving real purpose to pond pumps the world over. After this and the rain stopping he seemed as right as .... Well I think you get the gist.

Having got over that little dilemma successfully, in the afternoon I made the trek to Asda to purchase their finest handmade pizza so that we could just chill out until X Factor is on, and then argue about the actual definition of talent! Unfortunately Asda in Bletchley who strangely likes to be called George is situated between two unruly neighbours, Mr Ikea a slightly eccentric Swede who loves to build things made of MDF and the football mad M.K. Dons. Often on a Saturday Mr Dons has people round for a kick about and Georges parking is so full up that you have to drive round and round until eventually you run out of petrol. Yesterday just prior to this happening I chanced upon a vacating car and got parked up. As I walked the half mile to the shop I busied myself by sticking pins in an effigy of Pete Winkleman, and then once in and having joined the queue that was snaking its way around virtually all the way to the fresh fish I had plenty of time to write some hate mail as well. Having purchased Saturday’s tea I duly made my way out into the car park for the car only to find that I couldn’t find it. As I systematically walked up and down each of the rows I spotted others in a similar predicament endlessly walking up and down the aisle then stopping to try and get their bearings whilst the mother of all storm clouds positioned itself above us. Of course I did finally find it after wasting another half an hour and slipped in just before the rain really started.

Much later that same evening I was rudely awaken from my power nap with an overriding feeling of sickness and as I made my way (urgently) into the kitchen I was faced with the entire contents of the cats water bowl over the floor and a decidedly manic feline chasing the smallest brown mouse in the world. As I am being ill these two animals are crashing about all over the kitchen until the mouse gets itself behind the welsh dresser (I’ve no idea what he was doing there) So around midnight we were mopping the floor so that we could fight off the cat, and crawl on our hands and knees behind the furniture to attempt to capture the smallest mouse in the world.

If I was to say that I have had better Saturdays than this it wouldn’t be an understatement, but just to top it off when we eventually got to the mouse it had died. So after a brief but moving ceremony in the wee small hours I managed to get to bed, hoping that nothing else would happen

Friday, 16 September 2011

Deal or no Deal

Needless to say as the economic situation worsens and many Brits start to go Greek by defaulting on their debts I am starting to receive an increasing number of calls from revenue protection to investigate the possibility of electricity theft. This takes me to some of the less salubrious districts in the city to look at new and inventive electrical meter bypass surgery that ‘in all probability’ will reduce the customer’s bills..... and life expectancy!

After one on Monday, where the client actually answered the door and then stated never being at the property since ‘his brother’ had tampered with the supply, but then showed it to me’ I have to conclude that AC/DC bipolar and electrical denial is no longer static but now current in the home counties!

Following on from this, I got a call a couple of days ago to one of the worst areas in MK, to replace a meter showing signs of tampering, or ‘live terminal spontaneous combustion’ as many drug dealers & cannabis entrepreneurs like to argue. Due to the notoriety of the postcode I asked one of my colleagues to ride shot gun which seemed immediately completely justified as we stepped out of the vans onto a couple of very large Oiks patrolling their manor with a shark dentured dog the size of a small horse. Unfortunately things didn’t get any better when we located the actual flat and the guy opposite came out of his door with all the concerns and subtleties of Jack Nicholson in ‘the shining’ until we told him weren’t interested in his meter.

Obviously I am still here to tell the tale, but as the above relates, the lawlessness and contempt for everything in certain areas of the country in the current climate doesn’t bode well for the future

Monday, 12 September 2011

Brick Match

Whilst trawling the internet the other day I found a smashing site called where you can send a picture of your favourite brick and the company will match it (romantically or just for fun) with like minded bricks and even send you a sample in the post just to ensure suitability. I imagine if I had followed my dream and had become a hod carrier then I could spend a little too much time on this kind of site. Then, while on a roll I employed the wonderful blogger facility that is ‘next blog’ which is located at the top left of this page (just above the haybales) which took me to a plethora of fine sites (on the day) that seemed to have a Christian patchwork quilting type themes. All written by first person ‘Moms’ with 2.4 smiley kids and offering ’10 of my favourite things to do with butternut squash’ type recipes. Mmmmmmm nice!

Things then took a turn for the worst and something went horribly wrong and I stumbled across a very angry blog by a bloke who had limited access to his kids and a family guitar. In fact it was the YouTube type video of a beardy bloke on a stool at a music shop who was playing some classical piece at breakneck speed with lots of distortion but with no feeling that made me look a little harder. The moany bloke whose blog it was, then went into a tirade of verbal abuse about the guitarist complete lack of any passion and clinical uninterested delivery. Unfortunately, I have to say that I agreed 100% with this analogy and got me thinking of all the times that I have seen folks who seem to think learning an instrument / singing parrot fashion and bringing nothing to the table constitutes a love of music. (At this point all my friends are now pushing a large soapbox under my feet and nodding in unison with a slightly furrowed brow) I mean what’s the point? You also find that on things like the X Factor when you often hear ‘I think you made that song your own’ or ‘I felt every word’ because a nail technician from Huddersfield had managed to master a couple of lines of an Adele songs and forgotten to bring her asthmatic inhaler. Oh my God don’t get me started, but I want to hear Ben Folds Five rape and pillage Raindrops keep falling on my head at Burt Bacharach’s birthday party, or Elvis Costello spitting venom whilst singing Tramp the dirt Down not some sort of karaoke Lighthouse Family!

Now look whats happened, they have had to put me in my special 'button at the back jacket' again

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Phil Gardner

Phil Gardner near the extensive locks at Bow
Phil Gardner, one of the country’s top bloggers, retinal screamers and cat pimps has recently slurred my good name by hacking into my NHS computer records and threatening to disclose ‘in the name of public interest’ that I have a broke back mounting. In simple terms, for folk of a non medical persuasion this means; a wibbly wobbly disc or unfettered coccyx. His poisonous diatribe email then goes on to state that he thinks that I am permanently on the sick, and not safe to be around tethered animals*

This like many of Mr Gardner’s other stories are pure works of fiction. For example a few years back he claimed that 8 out of 10 cats who expressed a preference would rather shower than take a bath, and then more recently he stated that fish had eaten his feet and made outlandish claims to have written the internationally acclaimed Piglet Song.

I, for one am not standing for this (but not on medical grounds) and will be instructing my no win no fee lawyer within the next while

*poetic licence used, to enhance my point

Coulrophobia; The fear of clowns

We live in MK’s very first NO COLD CALLING zone and so now accept that we will never have people knocking on the door between October and about March or any other public holidays. I mention this because my wife earlier this year decided to prop up the local economy by employing a milkman after hearing his hard luck story of how he lives with a woman in a shoe, who has so many children that she doesn’t know what to do. I suppose it seems feasible enough, but since that time it has only ever been me, that is in when he calls for his money on Thursday afternoon.  At Tesco’s you can of course pay for milk on a credit/ debit card until the cows come home but this guy wants hard currency and used notes and often seems a little miffed if it isn’t available or you want things like change, etc. If this wasn’t enough another deal was struck with a couple of old soaks who are starting again on the bottom rung of the window cleaning business who come and clean the upstairs windows about twice a month. I have no idea what kind of sob story they were peddling, but it was probably something like they ran away from the circus to become window cleaners because they turn up with two long ladders and soapy buckets balanced on some pram wheels every time and often have difficulty in climbing, due to their unfeasibly large boots or because they have their red noses stuck in cans of lager! Of course I have seen nothing of any diploma, insurance documents or referral letters from their previous employ or DNA to validate their claims that they are in fact direct descendants of George Formby, and so are just a little bit suspicious that there might be an alternative motive to their first floor window washing. It has crossed my mind that they might be working undercover for Paul Simons gaining important information about soft furnishings and window furniture so that they can later fleece us blind, like venetians.