Naked Blog

More famous than Susan Boyle!


Thursday, January 31, 2008

CONQUERING THE NORTH FACE

Readers in for the long haul will know we have many gripes and irritations on Naked Blog. For example - the BBC's practice of giving free advertising to certain favoured companies, notably Marks and Spencer and the North Face clothing company. These observations are beyond doubt. They do it all the time.

And the most frequent North Face blagger is Breakfast's Declan Curry. Never is Declan seen outdoors unless wrapped snug and warm in his North Face jacket - logo large on his chest for the cameras to show to the world. When he was in Davos last week I was tempted to phone in and chide him for covering the brand name with his stripey woollen scarf.

But I resisted, held back.



And we've chatted about this on Naked Blog long and loud. Just one of many would be this from a year ago, featuring Adrian Chiles. (Because Declan isn't the only North Face fan at the BBC, oh no.)



And - bang up to date - a story from just two days ago... and that's the one the Beeb have obviously picked up on.
"Because we know how responsible the BBC is when it comes to free advertising, now don't we? That's right. Never mind that Marks and Spencer just have to drop a coat hanger on the floor and they get a whole day's plug. Never mind that. Or never mind the NORTH FACE clothing their presenters flaunt to camera, each time they have to step into the London streets. Hanging's too good for them."
I know the BBC picked up on that because (a) we're very influential, and (b) what should I see on my TV this very morning but Declan's North Face logo obliterated! Patched!



That's right! Look at that rectangular patch just to the right of his mike in the picture? You see it? (It definitely was still a North Face coat, as NF also put their logo on the back of their jackets as well, and Declan did turn round a couple of times. Call me sad, but I notice these things. They matter to me - not wanting to spend my hard earned in giving free advertising to pals of the BBC.)



So there we are. One small step for a blog, one giant leap for a corporation. No more logos any more. (And if you believe that... :)

You can hire Declan Curry to speak at your function here. He's between three and five thousand pounds. Dress is probably optional.


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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

ALL CUT UP

The surgeon, when he arrived forty minutes late, was very apologetic. There were six "patients" (as people are called when within ten yards of a healthpro) waiting, whiling the time away, whilst a handful of nurses chatted, laughed, and did nothing very useful at the taxpayers' expense.

God arrived. The nurses curtsied to Him. He grabbed my notes first, clearly aware of my radio and interblog importance. Apologetic, as I said.
"Busy morning, blah, blah. No surgeon to help me, blah, blah. Had to get some lunch, blah, blah."
I felt my inner Karen Walker (every gay man has one) wanting to scream, "Honey, cut the yappin' and get slicin'!!" But I silenced her.
"Hernia," he said.

"That's what my GP diagnosed. But since then there's been a further diagnosis of diverticular disease."

"Let me see your navel."


I unbuttoned my only reasonable casual shirt. (Debenhams sale, or maybe BHS. Can't remember. It's got charity shop cred, but cost fifteen quid.)

He gazed at my navel. Then, "On the bed, please."

He poked his finger into my navel. I shouted and grabbed his hand away. He shoved it in again. I shouted again. What is it with all the sadism? I've never liked things inserted into my navel. Never. It's served its purpose. Leave it alone. These sensations are nothing new.

After that the consultation took a really bizarre turn. Surreal.
"What's that in your mouth?" he demanded.

"Nothing," I retorted, feeling both guilty and defensive, as if I were six and he were my mother.

"There's something in there," he insisted.

"Oh, my denture..."

"Do you keep it in all the time...?"
I wondered wtf this had to do with my entera, apart from the somewhat tenuous food-processing connection.



So I hauled out the denture and showed him. "That's nice - " he said, " - I've got a couple of gaps myself." He showed me his gaps.
"Three hundred quid," I advised. "Much nicer than a plastic plate. You can still feel your palate with your tongue."
And there we were: bingo caller giving dental advice to a belly surgeon. You couldn't make it up.

We sat in chairs again, my denture replaced. "You have hernia," he said. (Did I mention he was foreign?) "And the treatment is operation."
"I don't want an operation," I told him. "Far too dangerous for too little benefit."

"That's OK," he replied. "I'll put you on list, and that give you six months to decide."

"Thank you," I said. "What sort of operation is it, anyway? How long will I be in?"

"Oh, it takes half an hour. I cut below the navel, push guts back in, and stitch up gap. You go home same day. Stay off work one week."
Hmmm, I thought. Might not get too many infections in just half an hour. And living in filth as I do must have bucked up my immune system anyway. We shall see. I've got six months to decide.

Village People

To the Village then, where one of our fellow drinkers had also been to a hospital, diagnosed with cancer whilst I was showing the surgeon my denture. Cancer. We were very rallying round. He said he'd lost seven stones in six months. Despite being relaxed, I was sensible enough not to say: wish I could do that.

Funny old world. Chav Gav told me not to do my "surgeons gotta eat" act.


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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

ALONE IN THE DARK

I shouldn't be sitting here, writing to you like this. In just two and a half hours (if I'm spared) I'll be sitting instead in the Western General Hospital chatting to a surgeon. Me, I'll be demanding he says, "nothing that much wrong with you". And he, well he'll be thinking about the fees for his kids' posh schools, and wondering just how much moolah he can make out of my fundamentally healthy body.
Scalpel!
Cut!
Slice!
I'm going IN!
Surgeons are people too, and if they don't operate then they don't eat. Das glaub Ich und das weiss Ich.

Peter And The Wolf

Yesterday I had an adventure, in a forest in the dark on my own. OK, I had map, compass, GPS, mobile phone, whistle, survival bag and head torch, but none of them stopped little animal eyes reflecting back at me from the edges, and fluffy bottoms turning and running away. And OK it wasn't the biggest forest in the world, being just north of Walkerburn, and OK for the last time it wasn't quite totally black, being just twenty past five, but it was A START, OK!!!

This all comes because I'm leading another walking group in just under a fortnight, my first attempt clearly having been not a total disaster.

MORE OPERATIONS

However, one notable thing about yesterday was a sign at the trackside saying "FORESTRY OPERATIONS. NO UNAUTHORISED PERSONS BEYOND THIS POINT." And they'd chosen to place THIS POINT about two miles along a track which had no turnings. Impenetrable is the cliche used for forests, so I won't use that one. It was either retreat, tail between legs, or break the rules. And the light was fading. And I knew the way (more or less) if I kept advancing, but would be somewhat lost on the reverse.

Advance it had to be then, there being no audible sign of forestry operations for miles around. Until I noticed a tiny cotton thread stretched along the track exactly where I was walking. Whitish, possibly grey. Sometimes in the mud, sometimes just above. WTF?

Now - when you've just been told not to be in a place for your own safety, and you see a stretched out thread going on seemingly for ever, you make damn sure you don't stand on the mother. You watch it like the blast trigger it might well be. Stranger things have happened at sea.

It was sunset exactly now. 4.34pm. Amazing what a GPS can tell you. (Do you know that in the dark they have a light, a comforting orange light specially not to damage your night vision.)

A rabbit ran across the track ahead of me, closely followed by its friend or significant other. More scufflings in the twigs. Eyes reflecting in my head torch. Eyes I hoped belonged firmly to the rabbit genus, and not at all to the wolf. (Felt fairly safe from bears. Not had them here for at least two thousand years, I read. Jesus chased them all away.)

Love sit around and blockbuster this story up, but time's running out, and I want to do the next bit.

HOUSE!!

Possibly the more observant of you might have seen a feature on the pisspoor BBC Breakfast this morning about a woman who'd won over a million quid at the bingo.

"Grandmother" they twice referred to her, this having no relevance whatever, but being nicely sexist and ageist in one word. Because when did you last hear of a man being called "grandfather", eh? The TV piece contained stock bingo footage interspersed with an interview with the club manager. But did they name the bingo club involved? Did they as eck like. Bent over backwards not to, in fact.

Because we know how responsible the BBC is when it comes to free advertising, now don't we? That's right. Never mind that Marks and Spencer just have to drop a coat hanger on the floor and they get a whole day's plug. Never mind that. Or never mind the NORTH FACE clothing their presenters flaunt to camera, each time they have to step into the London streets. Hanging's too good for them.

Right. Could go on all day, but a surgeon awaits. If only he could be a she, called Nicola. Nicola Surgeon. Geddit? Oh I despair, I truly do. Pearls before swine :)

Bye. Have fab days. See you on the slab.

Congratulations!

You may congratulate me. Yesterday I watched NO US SITCOMS at all!


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Friday, January 25, 2008

HI HO

Yes that's right. My cold seems to have run its not that spectacular course, and today it's back to Lady Luck's microphone.
Darling zoe's got her head in the sink drinking from one of the dishes. (Not that many!) She loves drinking there. Clearly considers herself a cut above the water bowl on the floor.
"Why do you never call my numbers?" my bingo ladies beseech.

To which I reply: "My dear, you're talking to the monkey. It's the organ grinder you need to ask."

They like that one. I've even offered to take in Darling zoe to sit on their bingo books for luck. I could dye her black, I suppose, for added effect. Maybe charge a fiver a squat.

BLANKET RESPONSE

Must get zoe a new bed blanket, as she seems to be avoiding her current one. I know you're supposed to wash them occasionally, but me I tend just to replace. All that cat hair blocking the washing machine. Cost a fortune for a plumber. While a new blanket is just about a fiver.

Gales and rain last night. Mid afternoon yesterday I ventured out for the first time since Sunday. Basically because I knew I should return to work today, and too much seventy degree greenhousing isn't good.

The street was loud, unfamiliar. With strange, unaccustomed smells of petrol exhaust and cigarettes. Principally those. Strange thing, city smells. I suppose a hundred years ago it would have been horse manure.

Also I needed food, as the fridge and freezer are a little depleted now, but most off I wanted an eraser for Sudoku. If you can't erase, you just can't play! And in Woolies I found exactly what I needed, (after being shadowed round half the store by a security person.) It was a four-pack of pencils, with erasers, AND AN EXTRA FREE ERASER, and featuring on the pencils the TIMES TABLES!

How awesome is that, dudes?

The easiest table was at the sharp end, and the hardest furthest away, thus giving you a chance to learn each one before sharpening it off. They truly do think of everything.

Rain started in Henderson Street, and cold wind in my face. Lovely, I thought - rain and wind so familiar to the hill walker. Blissful indeed. To the Village eventually, to return Dean's copy of Moulin Rouge starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. I'd watched half an hour of it, but wasn't that moved, to be honest. Might work better in the cinema. I really must stop devoting two hours a day to US sitcoms though. They'll still be around in months and years to come.

In fact, in ten years' time, if I'm spared, I'm sure you'll be able to buy the entire Friends oeuvre on something the size of a sugar cube for less than a tenner. I look forward to that, really do.

REUNITED

Babs came in, but I was a bit drunk by then, due to not having had more than three pints in the preceding week. Poor wee thing has to go into hospital today for some tests and stuff. Send your love. Me I have to see a surgeon on Tuesday at the Western General. No idea what for. Be diverticular or hernia in any case. It'll be a strange consultation though, after I tell him at the outset that I'm not having any of his damn operations. Rather fly three times round the world in a single engine Cessna on watered down fuel.

That'll put his gas at a peep.

Have just fab weekends, y'all.

Soon I'm planning on opening my last two month's emails. So if you've emailed and haven't had a reply yet then that's the reason. Sorry.


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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

BLOGGIE TIME!

Yes that's right. The finalists are up and running, and now you can place your crosses in the various categories.

Big hugs to those of my friends who wanted to get nominated but didn't. Notable once again is the ubiquity of Dooce/Heather Armstrong, narrowly beating Perez Hilton in sheer number of categories. The only Britblog I know of is Diamond Geezer in best European, as we no longer have a British/Irish category. Good luck to him. It is a beautiful piece of work. Hard work. (There will doubtless be more Brit stuff there, but I long since stopped even attempting to keep up. Impossible.)



DG was on my sidebar when he first emerged, and someone still there is Tokyo Girl Down Under, who must be the only one to have featured on two different Bloggie continents! Well done. I think she won some continent or other last time, but can't be sure.

And as for the absence of moi, well - of course I bear no grudge. (A famous actor is missing this time also!) There are many more deserving than yours truly, but whether they are the ones who made the cut remains to be seen.

At least I was on that virtual red carpet - twice. They can't take that away from me.

EYE ON IPLAYER

A new feature where we direct you to what you might have missed on BBC television.

Entranced last night by: Wonderland, The Man Who Eats Badgers and Other Tales. This is a meditation on wilderness, loneliness and loss of relationships. Quite extraordinary. What telelvision should be, but so rarely is, due to lack of talent. Five stars. Six days remaining on iPlayer. Don't miss it. Click here.


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A FRIGHT IN THE POST #2374

That's right. A brown envelope on the carpet. Face down, as if the front might be too great a shock. And it almost was:
RETURN ADDRESS
SHERIFF CLERK
SHERIFF COURT
EDINBURGH ETC.
Unless your name's Robin Hood, you have no idea how scary sheriffs are. "What have I done now?" my mind raced. Can't be a crime, because I never commit them. Must be a debt. Must have fucked up my Council Tax payments yet again. "Not guilty your honour!" my head was screaming as tremulous hands tore at the manila envelope. Cheap and nasty envelope. No quality. The quality of justice is somewhat strained.

But all is good. Alles klar. It's only jury service. And how bloggable will that be! Tune in soon for the ultimate reality trial. "Guilty! Off with his head!"



Trouble with me is I'll judge them by what they're wearing and what they sound like. Anyone under twenty five (which the majority of crims are) is bound to be guilty of something, if you think about it. Particularly if they're not middle class. Conversely, anyone borderline attractive (which many many crims are, and gay readers will know of what I speak), will receive an automatic Get Out Of Jail Free.

It's a minefield, prejudice. Oh dear. I'm dreading it already.

Sick

Off work today, sick. I hate being sick. Hate being off work. Always feel so guilty. Because unless you're in Intensive Care, or a Secure Ward, then you always could go in. It's about nipping colds in the bud to have less time off in the future.

FAME ACADEMY

Now that the winter blues are almost past I'm looking at the bleurg stats again. Impressive rises lately, which is good. I also realise I get just as much traffic by not writing as by sitting here faithfully toiling away. True.

And what should I see in those very stats today but this site in Japan, where we're listed as "The Blog Phenomenon That's Sweeping The States!" Eat yer hearts out, Wheaton and Armstrong. Give Tchaikovsky the news.



Talking of News, it was fun reading a recent NB rant picked up by the Guardian. It was about that Guy Clapperton piece on the British Blogosphere, which did make me see red somewhat.

Here's what they lifted from Naked Blog, for those with busy lives...
"Some map - omitting not only Edinburgh's leading weblog [mine], (instead substituting a heap of commercial crap), but treating everyone on my sidebar with similar disdain. No JonnyB. Nor mike. Nor Diamond Geezer.

Listen... if you want to understand the British blogosphere - ask someone who's actually in it. Eh. Don't just Google for URLs containing town names, which is clearly what you've done.

nakedblog.com
I rest my case - which was clearly a good one. (The three blogs I identified are beyond question "leading" in their respective towns and counties.)

Now find yourself two spare hours and get ready to watch the TV programme below. It's beyond praise, especially if you've seen Alive!


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STRANDED! THE ANDES PLANE CRASH SURVIVORS

I'm so moved by some television I've just watched that I can barely start. This BBC4 film takes the survivors of that famous Andes plane crash thirty years ago, and gives them an hour and fifty minutes to recount the tale. Yes, cannibalism and all. The second biggest taboo, after incest.

I implore you to watch this programme. It is of the greatest quality, greatest importance.

BBC iPlayer, Tuesday evening, BBC 4, Storyville. And this might be the actual click.

And as a footnote, you'll be amazed how faithful Alive! was to the reality.


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Monday, January 21, 2008

DEEP DEPRESSION

Oh dear. Rain turning to snow, and not just on high ground. But that's not all. Today is the official Most Depressing Day Of The Year.

What rubbish though!

Yesterday the sun was clearly visible behind some clouds, even after four o clock. By that I mean you couldn't actually see it, but you knew it was there due to sunbeams.

After drinking my fill of Tennents and chatting to Barnaby (he was wearing tight jeans that clearly showed his bollocks. I said that was most unseemly for a man of sixty two. He said he had his eye on someone. I said more lead in your pencil then) after that I hopped on a handy 7 bus and soon found myself in the Southside evening. Where I partook of modest libations here and there, being already alcoholically sated. Almost joined a Ghosties and Ghoulies tour in the High Street, but decided I'd enjoy it more another time sober.

Today is a non-hill day again, clearly, so I might make some progress with the new Nokia. I've barely dented its features so far. That is what I've pencilled in, but it'll probably end up as Sudoku. I'm currently attempting to master X wing and Y wing. Those two are called Fishy strategies. After Fishy comes Tough, then Diabolical, and then Evil. Scanraid.

Traffic News

Just like the buses, there's no Naked Blog for a whole fortnight, and then six come along in a row. Enjoy. Can't seem to shut up these days. Love you.


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Sunday, January 20, 2008

ARE YOU BEING SERVED?

When we're not writing about pubs we're usually writing about shopping. It's a full life, here in Leith! You truly never need to go elsewhere, although since the advent of the Bus Pass, I do visit Edinburgh (known as "uptown") on a more regular basis.

And the two shops most mentioned are the Co-op (remember that Scotch Broth!?) and more recently Lidl. (Remember those binoculars?!)

Well, you could have knocked me down with a sledgehammer when what should I see featured in today's Observer but both of these shops. Not generically, not the Fleet Street branch, oh no. The ACTUAL SHOPS that supply this your favourite weblog with victuals.

An Observer journalist has walked on the same tiles as myself! Possibly pushed the same trolley! Spoken to the same people! Read Naked Blog to get his ideas! I can barely contain myself today, I can tell you.

Next it'll be the glorious Port o Leith Bar. Oh wait - they already did that... twenty five years ago, when Little Alex was being born. Helped launch a revolution, which they should write a book about soon. Seriously. That bar deserves a book. Half of Trainspotting was dictated there, you know.

Political Favour

Today I decided against hill-walking, to allow time for more normal behaviours. (See above.) So I watched some Sunday telly, with its disturbing mix of politics, which I occasionally watch, and religion which barely ever. And guess who, of the three featured politicos, was the most appealing? Was it Home Secretary Jacqui Smith? Why nor. She's got all the charisma of a rice pudding. (Have you noticed how these days we're completely governed by people we've never heard of? Except Gordon of course. Maybe that's the point.) Ditto Nick Clegg the new leader of the Lib Dems - he being every bit as irrelevant as the party he leads. Like Cameron but without the words. Kinda tricky for a politician these days, no words.

No, it was neither of those. The woman who tickled my fancy so splendidly was in fact a local chick, Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister for Scotland and MSP for Govan. (Readers outwith these borders will be forgiven for not having a clue.) Yes, Nicola it was who commanded the camera so skilfully, spoke articulately to the interviewer, and generally done good. Just a shame she's SNP.

Penile, she would be First Minister now, and deservedly so. But they had to bring in Alex Salmond for the testosterone part. Salmond and Sturgeon. How fishy.


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Saturday, January 19, 2008

THIS TIME IT'S WAR

In the highly competitive world of commercial bingo, players are like gold dust. Bingo fans, especially well off ones, are our life blood, and without them we would perish.

Imagine the scene then when a major operator announces it's closing one of its bingo halls. One thousand plus admissions a week going a-begging. Up for grabs. (In bingo talk people are called admissions.) Think "passengers" or "patients" or "customers".

Now, the Competing Bingo Operator, which can never be named here, naturally wants those newly released admissions to join up at one of its other clubs. So that their business might not drop, even though the premises are no more. Naturally they want that. And equally naturally we want the exact opposite. We want them at our club, giving all their hard-earned to us.

You getta my drift so far? Good.

Well, what should happen last night but the General Manager of my own club trots himself off to the closing club (it's at Granton, a somewhat seedy part of town by a gasworks) trots off there with a truckload of joining packs full of offers and calendars and other inducements. Well done, we all said!

But not Competing Bingo Company. Oh no. They were on the phone to us in a trice. Regional Manager, no less. Stop that at once he said. Oh no, we replied. We're on the public pavement and can give away wtf we want.

There will be repercussions over this, you mark my words. I'm expecting luxury coaches pulling up outside my own little bingo, pointing directly to our competitor. Libels flying around the town about my own good nature. Winter vomiting virus planted in our meat pies.

And you thought it was all sweet old ladies.

House!



Apologies for the disappearance of your favourite weblog for a couple of hours late yesterday. This was due to my heavenly hosts rebooting something or other, and nothing at all to do with non-payment of invoices. Seriously, it wasn't.


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Friday, January 18, 2008

MAN FRIDAY

Oh dear. In one of those "couldn't make it up if you tried" blog coincidences (blogincidences) yesterday, just moments after I wrote light-heartedly about plane crashes there actually was one.

Fortunately no-one seems to be hurt very much, so I feel free to say: "Serves you right." Flying is never, ever, essential. We should all simply stop it, and then it would just go away.



Another grey day, unlike the glories of December. This so often happens in January... screeds of cloudy days whilst unseen behind the scenes the days are getting longer and longer. Then, suddenly, all the cloud clears and you see SUN IN THE SKY AFTER FOUR O' CLOCK. That truly is the most wondrous sight.

Watched Louis Theroux in San Quentin on BBC iPlayer. He's a treasure. Seems to have stolen Jon Ronson's thunder in weird. Earlier watched in dismay as the barely-literate BBC News put WIND SHEER on the screen as a possible cause of above aeroplane thing. In big capitals. Is there no-one in charge of spelling at that joint? No-one over thirty?

Darling zoe let me sleep until ten today. Well, after I fed her at seven fifteen and went back to bed. Must be taking pity on the elderly. I updated the software version on the Nokia, and that seems to have disabled the Tetris game I paid five quid for. What a racket. See you later, damply.


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Thursday, January 17, 2008

HOW MUCH IS THAT BLOGGIE IN THE WINDOW?

Oh dear. Bloggie time again! Who will surface, albeit briefly? Who will linger longer, and who once again disappear without visible pantie line? It's totally up for grabs.

As some of you will know, this weblog (or rather - me personally) was kindly nominated Lifetime Achievement Finalist. Twice. That's right. In 2006 and 2007. (You have to scroll right to the bottom.) How flattered I was! And how tickled, especially last year, at the frisson of sheer bad grace which circled the blogglobe!
"It should have been me!"

"It shouldn't be him again!"

"It's a fix!"
(Seriously.)

And my personal favourite:
"You only get nominated if you campaign."
Well chickadees, sorry to disappoint, but both those years my "campaign" consisted of completely ignoring the thing. Didn't even remember it was on, until dear mike told me the news. "You can not be serious!" I recall exclaiming. "As serious as a heart attack, m'dear," he replied.

We shall see what happens this year, then, when I've done a tiny campaign on my sidebar. Will dear Zed, the famous author, become a four time victor in Best European? I think Nikolai has put in a new rule about three strikes and you're out, but then he got the wrong blog. Plastiquebag he had, if I recall.

SCREEN GEMS

Watched Castaway last night, with Tom Hanks. Bit trivial I thought, and the plane crash at the beginning quite tame, compared to Alive! and Fearless. I do like a nice plane crash. Always imagine the smell of paraffin and burning meat. Like a thousand screaming Sunday roasts, clawing for the tiny exits. I really don't know why people continue to do it.

Also noted the newfangled BBC iplayer. It's a two-function gizmo where you can either watch programmes streaming, or download them and make a backup (ahem) copy.

Doesn't seem to work on the Nokia though, where it would be most useful. I think I'll stick to streaming. Download manager sounds a bit threatening to Brad's innards. Plus who ever watched a thing twice?

PAYS TO ADVERTISE

I see Carol Vorderman's dropped from pushing posh yogurt down to flogging Farmfoods frozen shite. Plus Cilla Black, looking ever more like her Spitting Image puppet, is hustling some insurance scam or other. I can't believe I spent an hour this morning watching David Icke on Channel Four. And the worrying thing is I agree with him. The world REALLY IS ruled by people we know nothing about. Bush, Blair and the Queen are just the frontmen. Icke says that anyone in the public eye is not really a ruler. The real rulers stay shadowy in the background. He mentioned the Rockefeller and Rothschild families. He said the royal family also, and that Philip is actually senior to Liz in the true hierarchy. These illuminati control pharmaceuticals, oil, and the military. They exist only to further enrich and empower themselves. They did 9/11 to get Bush re-elected.

Pretty much what we write here, then, often enough. I could have been David Icke. Nice house he's got. Kudos to mike for interviewing Boy George, definitely one of the gay illuminati. The only famous person I ever interviewed was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Although I did get close to George Harrison. When he was alive, of course.

Thank you for your lovely comments yesterday, which I was able to reply to some of (albeit sketchily), from work. I genuinely thought everyone would have shot the crow, as we say here. Found weblogs new and young, rather than the one with the waggly tail.


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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

HOW DO SUDOKU?

Oh dear: you're coming a distinct last these days, and it's just not on, I agree.

When I'm not stretching my body to the limit in the hills, tramping over snow and heather, I'm chatting in the pub. When not chatting in the pub, I'm watching Friends, Frasier or Will and Grace. And when I'm not doing those, nowadays Sudoku jumps right off the page at me. Jumps.

It's a rich, varied and interesting life, but someone's got to do it.

However the good news, if there is such a thing, is that I appear to have lost my pencil sharpener in the perma-mess. Thus limiting my Sudoku future to two more games, max.

I've just discovered the most awesome Sudoku site, by the way. Scanraid. It does your Sudokus for you, step by logical step. Just a few minutes ago I dropped a 3 in square B6 becuase of something called Aligned Pair Exclusion, which is number 19 in the hierarchy of strategies, right at the bottom of Diabolical. I only do diabolical Sudokus these days... left the Carol Vorderman stage way behind.

So much to learn - and it's a young science. Who knows - I might invent an entire strategy! The Naked Exclusion... I can just see it.

Must fly - work beckons. Tell me how you are. (I really am interested, honest.)


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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

IT'S OVER

And that, as they say, is that.

All over now. Soon the light will (noticeably) return. Things move fast when you're almost at the arctic circle.

House Martins. They are a new feature. Never had House Martins before - always just crows, sparrows and seagulls. Did you know there are two types of gull? That's right. Some have got yellow bills, and some a kind of brown colour. Unless the brown-billed are younger versions of the yellow ones. I don't know. Birds are really kind of boring, especially small ones.

HOUSE OF HORRORS

Lots of stuff about the Windsors on the telly last night. Why do we have to have such a German royal family in the first place, anyway? Saxe-Coburg-Gotha indeed. And what about "Mountbatten", eh?

"Mountain" equals "Berg" equals "Battenberg" if you ask me, young Philip.

Oh, but he was handsome. You can imagine the 13 year old queenling wetting her wee austerity knickers at the very thought. Dunno how excited she gets about him these days though. Seems like a boring old fart. Always has done.

So - it's one thing sitting in your house watching a haze of Windsor stuff floating past all evening. But you have to realise who else would be watching. That's right. How do you think Camilla feels being described as a "woman of easy virtue"? And Philip being "on the make"? Ah well. At least they all get well paid for it.

As did the cast of Friends. But now I really do have to cut down on the consumption. It's not as if I don't know all the plotlines inside out anyway. (Not that there ever were that many.)

Big Straight Al was in the Village last night - surrounded by his adoring exes and exuding masculinity as ever. He spoke of the time a certain Very Promiscuous Queen masturbated him while he was asleep. "That's rape!" I declared, attempting to hide my fascination at the thought. Sometimes it seems like I'm stuck in second gear.

NAKED PUB OF THE YEAR

Quickly I shuffled through the options: Port o Leith Bar... once was glorious, but there comes a time when trashy customers cease to be fashionable, and become just, well, trash. Shame. But I did spend my entire thirties and forties there. Port Inn - ditto, if not quite so bad. Regent... nice customers and some nice staff, but with the emphasis sadly on "some". Roseleaf... OK but a bit "chatterati" at times.

No - the sticker for Naked Pub Of The Year, 2007 has to go to The Village.

Consistently great service from Manager Dean and his team, especially the handsome Andrew, currently reminding a lapsed lesbian lady of what she's been missing, and the very kind and thoughtful Alana. Only twenty one, but sensible beyond her years.

I have a couple of good friends in the Village also, but one of them Cannot Ever Be Named. Hence all our interesting chats go straight down the plughole, instead of turning up here. If you get my drift.

Must fly. Work beckons. House!


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