Friday, 7 August 2009


Sorry for the non-appearance of my blog recently.

My GP changed part of my cardiac medication a couple of weeks ago and it appears to be having an adverse effect whereby it renders me almost comatose for most of the day.

Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

I will continue writing when the issue is resolved.

Thank you.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Farmer Arrested For Being Tooled Up

Do you remember the case of Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer who shot a teenaged intruder dead back in 1999?

Tony was freed from jail in 2003 after serving two thirds of a five-year sentence for the manslaughter of 16 year old Fred Barras.

Mr Martin shot Barras and his fellow burglar 33 year old Brendan Fearon after confronting them when they broke into his home at Emneth Hungate, Norfolk, in August 1999.

Now it is reported that he has been arrested and questioned by police in Cambridgeshire for allegedly possessing an offensive weapon.

Mr Martin, 64, was arrested when police stopped his car and found what was believed to be, wait for it, a farm sickle!

The police are taking no further action but they did give him a fixed penalty notice for not wearing a seatbelt following the incident.

Doesn’t it make you feel that bit safer knowing that the police cells are filled with electricians brandishing screwdrivers and plumbers wielding heavy wrenches?

Oh, how I love sarcasm!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

'Tis Still The Summer Of Our Discontent

As a perfect follow on from yesterday’s blog, in today’s news there is a story highlighting the rapidly declining quality of this summer’s weather.

Organisers of the popular one-day Brecon County Show in mid-Wales have been forced to cancel it for the first time in 254 years because of the weather.

This agricultural show which has an attendance of 10,000 people each year, was due to be staged on Saturday.

The committee held a crisis meeting yesterday after hearing the weather forecast, and unfortunately, after so much rain and with the promise of more to come, including on show day itself, they had no alternative but to cancel the show.

The show society's secretary, Barbara Green said it would lose up to £30,000.

"The marquees are all up, we've taken over 1,000 entries for livestock, dogs, sheep… everything was in place and ready to go," she said.

"We are very, very disappointed and it was a very hard decision to make as we have been planning it for the last year or so. But everyone's been very understanding and we aim to be back next year."

"This is the first time in the show's 254 year history that it's been cancelled because of the weather," Ms Green added. "It was called off once before in 2001 because of the foot-and-mouth disease restrictions. But the show went ahead fine the following year so we hope that will be the case this time."

Do you believe me now? The weather IS going mad!

Consider, this agricultural show has been going since 1755, held in one of the wettest parts of the UK, it has jogged along quite nicely, thank you, in those heady pre-global warming days. Then all of a sudden, Kaboom! This field is waterlogged on the first Saturday in August for the first time in over a quarter of a millennium.

This alleged global warming’s not going to be any good if it can’t even dry out a soggy field so that a few thousand folk can have a day out at a much anticipated show, is it?

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Now 'Tis The Summer Of Our Discontent

Cast your mind back if you will to last April, the very last day to be precise.
Do you recall a prediction for this summer, from the Met Office, with headlines saying something like, ‘Britain’s in for a barbeque summer’?

The Met Office promised that temperatures were likely to be warmer than average across the UK, topping 30C at times and that rainfall should be "near or below average" for the three months of summer.

Chief meteorologist at the Met Office, Ewan McCallum, said "After two disappointingly wet summers the signs are much more promising this year.
We can expect times when temperatures will be above 30C, something we hardly saw at all last year."

Well folks, in case you hadn’t guessed, they have reneged on the deal!

The Met Office is now issuing a revised forecast for more unsettled weather for the rest of the summer.

This is the third summer in a row where the weather in the UK has been damp and coolish, what’s happened to global warming?

The very phrase ‘global warming’ throws a large percentage of the world’s population into a panic, so why not come clean and stop the scare-mongering. Let’s call it by it’s proper name, ‘regional warming’ and get on with our lives.

One thing’s for sure. The heat from south Essex this summer hasn’t contributed to the melting of the ice cap!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Twits At Whitehall Strike Again

There’s no wonder why journalists call this time of the year ‘silly season’, the period in summer when there are no decent news stories worth getting your teeth into.

I’ve been becalmed in an ocean of no-news for a couple of days now, so in sheer desperation I offer you this story!

Hands up all of you that are ‘tweeters‘, that is, do you have an account with the micro-blog site ‘Twitter’?

It appears that anybody who is anyone in HM Government is a ‘tweeter’, so much so that the government has seen fit to compile and distribute a twenty page, 5,382 word strategy paper for its departments on how to use ‘Twitter’.

When ‘Twitter’ subscribers want to make entries into their little tiny blogs they find themselves limited to 140 characters per message. If you are a member of the government you will have at hand this document showing you how the enter these 140 characters in no less than 36,215 characters of instruction!

If, instead of issuing this as a document, the government decided to distribute it using good old ‘Twitter’, it would take getting on for 260 separate ‘Tweets’.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that ‘Twitter’ has its uses but why, oh why do they have to create a manual, when the actual meat of the document could be distributed in a two page email.

So there you have it, you now know what the twits are spending your money on!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Swine Flu? Why Not Call A Welder

The Government's National Flu Service website, which is designed to give suspected swine flu sufferers access to anti-viral drugs without pestering their doctor, crashed immediately after being launched yesterday afternoon.

Due to the sheer volume of hits, the site was down for more than two hours. Visitors to the site were greeted with a message which read, "The service is currently very busy and cannot deal with your request at this time. Please try again in a little while."

How authentic is that? Just like phoning a real GP’s surgery on a normal day!

The trouble is, this call centre/chat room is not a real doctors surgery and the person you are consulting is not a real doctor.

If you contact this hot line you are more than likely to be diagnosed by an out of work welder than someone with a medical background. The staff have had only six hours training to do this job.

There are thousands of doctors that have graduated in the past few years that haven’t found a placement, why not draft these in to man the phones and keyboards?

There has already been at least one case of misdiagnosis, where a young woman’s GP, yes GP, not welder, diagnosed swine flu when in fact she was actually suffering from meningitis!

When you add the potential deaths from wrongly diagnosed swine flu to the fatalities in the Afghan War, Gordon Brown suddenly dons the cloak of the Grim Reaper!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

OK. You Can Get Rid Of That Shotgun Now, Pa

How the world has changed! The Church of England is now adopting a buy one, get one free attitude.

Unmarried couples with children will now be able to baptise their children and get married in the same occasion.

Under new guidelines issued by the Church of England, the two sacraments will be allowed to be combined in one service.

Twenty percent of couples taking part in the marriage ceremony already have children and they hope that by combining the two sacraments, the Church will be meeting the needs of real families who might have been discouraged from having a church wedding.

This sounds like the religious equivalent to vote catching to me!

A spokesman denied that the changes meant the Church was contradicting itself on its own teaching that sex should only take place within marriage.

He said that traditional teaching still pointed to celibacy outside of marriage, and that children are best served by being raised by married parents.

Coming from an age when people stopped short of stoning unmarried mothers to death, this seems rather strange to me.

This comes just a few short years after there were news reports that some vicars were refusing to baptise children if they were born outside of wedlock.

If the Church continues to move the goalposts, is there any wonder why attendances are dwindling?

Predictions of Britain becoming a Muslim country by 2050 are now starting to look like a reality!