Saturday, 26 November 2011

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Dog next door


I am feeling murderous. What's the best way to "silence" one?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011



Friday, 30 September 2011


Good guess

I popped into a pub on my way "home" last night to watch the Spurs v Shamrock Rovers Euro match. Even if you've never heard of them you might hazard a guess as to where they were from. So my choice of irish pub made for interesting banter, not least when Rovers took the lead. Much back slapping and Guiness all round. I noticed too in the 10 mins between them scoring and Spurs finally pulling their collective finger out that accents got a lot stronger. "lilting" was no longer the right descriptor.

Later an old guy hobbled up to the bar and we chatted a bit. He told me of his many fascinating ills and of his deceased brother who he didn't talk to anyway because he once hit his sister and "loiked the Arrrsenal" (I kid you not). When he said this I warmed to him considerably so when he asked how old I thought he was I went very low, knocking 15 years of my real estimate. "65?" I suggested. "yes," he said, picking up his pint and making his way back to his seat.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Putting the 'oi' in choir

This is not something I would have thought I’d be interested in. Perhaps it’s because I’m full of cold. Perhaps it’s because the mighty Spurs have left me in a post-victory haze of contentment. Perhaps I’m just getting old. Despite a hint of smugness, this bloke has achieved something quite phenomenal. Well worth watching through if you have 15 mins to spare. Of course, the combination of the traditional with the ‘cloud’ is what drew me in but what kept me there was the soothing singing. I’m trying to write this without sounding like I’m taking the piss. Really I’m not.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Friday, 9 September 2011

L'arse sink to new low

This is well worth a read. It beggars belief really. How can they do this? Arrogance & pettiness are big Wenger traits and it seems this pervades the whole club. They think they own a word. The world over. It's like Blackburn getting uppity about the pub in Coronation Street or Chelski demanding the Clinton girl change her name.

If I was from the prawn sandwich side of North London I'd be hanging my head in shame righr now.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Monday, 8 August 2011

Someone's trying to tell me something

In the week when I have been packing all our stuff and moving it from 'God's own county' to London and helping my son fund raise for next year's expedition two things are most prominent in the UK news. First there was the tragic death of a teenager in Norway's Arctic circle. He was on an expedition that my son is planning on undertaking next year. Now there are the equally tragic riots in my home 'village' of Tottenham. Keep your eyes and ears open for some kind of big 'event' at a London educational establishment as I start a new job on Monday.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

11weeks or so

We have instigated a hands up if you want to speak policy and some tough sanctions for rocking in the wrong place.

Not long left in Yorkshire... I shall miss its quirks and oddities (i.e. the people) but look forward to living back in "the smoke". I tried so hard to be a country boy but I guess that 5 or 6 walks in the countryside in 4 and a half years is less ghan impressive.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

I'm leaving work

So I made cartoons for my closest colleagues. This is the best evidence yet that I was underworked here; these things took bloody ages.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Gym 2 Watch on Posterous

Of all the cool stuff great grandad bought her this is the most popular. This chat she's having with the sheep can keep her occcupied for up to an hour a day.

Other inanimate friends include a balloon, the window, the lamp in the kitchen and a patch of wall. All these things get bigger smiles than her folks do.

she can sleep from 9pm until 4.30
Thumb sucking
Looks of disdain when either parent dances

Injections tomorrow.

Saturday, 18 June 2011


We wonder why everything seemed so much better in the old days. It's easy to answer that really : it's because we're complicit in the formation of rose tinted memories through photography. Unless you're a war correspondent or a just a bit weird you'll be unlikrly to spend time snapping away at Uncle Jim's funeral, when little jonny gashed his knee or Bonzo copped it under the wheels of an 18 wheeler. The photos we take are the good times but as memory fades it is these things we hold on to the best. This isn't such a bad thing but I have spotted one problem. Why do women want a secind, third or fourth kid? It's because no-one thought to get the camera out during labour and we don't want to treasure the memory of early AM screaming, puddles of baby effluence or the pain of colic. Frpm here on I shall be much more balanced but for now here is another contribution to my romanticisation of this period.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Two weeks

She bashed her nose on my collar bone and squealed. It broke my heart and will stay with me forever but in her sleep I am sure it's all forgotten. I still get awful pangs of guilt about the time the boy flipped out the boot of the car and landed on his head.
On the plus side, we have bought and trialled a nose cleaning suction device. Gross but very effective. Every nose should have one.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Having a baby seems to have made me think more about when I was a kid and these two cine film clips really evoke the zeitgeist of new town life in the 1970s. The moustache! The leather jacket! The pram! Although it does also seem to suggest that it didn’t take much to keep us occupied. When my daughter gets a bit older she’s getting a clothes horse to play with.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

lest we forget

It’s easy to forget significant moments in history, especially when their prominence is usurped by some bigger event. Les Arses failure to do anything in three of the four things the arrogant Woolwich Wanderers thought they were in with a shout for, especially the Carling Cup, has pushed into the background their 10-1 defeat to Villa in the reserve fixture back in January. In case anyone had forgotten or had missed it, I felt it was my duty to broaden its exposure a little. If you like hand wringing, here is the full story from THEIR point of view courtesy of (doesn’t really exist)

On a disappointing night… I don’t know where to start. It’s 10-1, what can you say? It’s a major embarrassment but we’ve got to get up and get on with it. No-one likes to get beaten 10-1. There’s not really much you can say, I think 10-1 says it all.

On what he said to his players after the game… I don’t think there’s any need for raised voices. You expect better standards and you don’t expect an Arsenal team, at any level, to get beat 10-1. We can organise and we can work with them but we’re all a team and we’ve all got to take it on the chin, take the criticism and get on with it.

On whether the early sending off changed the game… I think it did a little bit. We made a few early mistakes. You come to Villa and you’ve got to be on your mettle at the best of times. We’ve made some dreadful mistakes, they’ve capitalised and punished us. What was really disappointing was that it was a lack of character and that’s what I’m really disappointed about. It’s the character when you’re losing. We’ve allowed ten goals to be scored against us in a game which should never happen.

On a bad day… It’s just an extremely bad day but it’s football and we will pick ourselves up. No team at Arsenal should get beaten 10-1. We’ve all got to take the blame, me as well, the staff and the team and we get on with it.

Spurs can win the title


Finally some real success! I was reviewing some footage on youtube yesterday including this one I posted from the end of the Carling Cup final (the one where we won, not the one we played magnificently in then lost because taking a good penalty is embarrassing or uncool or something)

[ contains clearly audible swearing- you have been warned. It wasn’t me, it was the bloke next to me]and I realised that the Champions’ league is all very well, if still annoyingly mis-named, but what about actually winning something? Then I found that Spurs are one win away from winning the league. It’s the Spurs Ladies but credit and straw clutching where it’s due. COYSL!

Monday, 28 March 2011


We gave a relative a car. An old one that's not worth much but we thought he'd be happy. He called later and said "I can't find the sat nav". Later still he found that insurance was too much so he's going to sell it. There's something wrong here I think.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


“Thank God there are no free schools or printing; …for learning has brought disobedience and heresy into the world, and printing has divulged them… God keep us from both” So said William Berkely the Governor of Virginia in the mid 17th Century.  This is the quote that stands alone ahead of the contents page (the first item of which is ‘crap Detecting’ on p.15) in Postman and Weingartner’s  ‘Teaching as a Subversive Activity’. Never has a quote hooked me as much as this one.  You can read the whole book in pdf here: but, regrettably the quote is missing from this version.

I think I am a subversive teacher to a point but possibly not in the way entirely advocated in this book. That’s, of course, if I have got the point properly. I love the yellowed pages of the 1973 edition that was gifted to me by a student but those same yellow pages and the tiny font mean I can only manage a few pages at a time. Oh and I also have a job which is, of course, being a subversive teacher. When I read the critical elements I am reminded of the scenes in The Wire where ‘Prezbo’ encounters disengaged students being taught to the national tests.

as if...

…texting itself wasn’t the ultimate time stealer. Reading other people’s failed texts where autocorrect has changed a word can eat up a whole morning. Some of these are wonderful. My favourite is the guy who texted his daughter that he and his wife were going to divorce next month. He meant Disney. I make no apologies for wasting your time at work.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

man this is cute

Roald Dahl said something along the lines of ‘there’s no more wonderful sound than a kiddy laughing.’ At least I think it was him, no time to check. Even though millions have already seen this I think it could be like the impact of Bill and Ted’s music if enough people get to hear it.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

and another one

Not sure why this is a) so compelling  b) so funny and c) a little bit creepy

forget practical applications...

… this is what the internet is for

Monday, 28 February 2011


No lillywhite would admit to cheering an Arsenal defeat more than a Spurs victory but a lot must have been like me on Sunday when, with a minute to go the arrogant Woolwich Wanderers bottled it in defence and gifted a goal to Birmingham, I hit the roof and nearly smashed the TV with the stuff that flew out of my pockets. The A***nal end emptied like there was a bomb scare or fire drill and the blue and white half of North London became de facto ‘blue noses’ for the moment. City held to a draw by the mighty Fulham and West Ham doing us a favour against Liverpool helped to make it a very satisfying Match of the Day. No doubt I’ll be laughing on the other side of my face come the end of the season but for now I will have pleasure.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

what the?

Now I rarely stoop to the purile but the residual teenager that still lurks somewhere at the back of my brain made me choke on my coffee last night when I saw a clip from an episode of Star Trek from which this still is taken. The prop guy (girl?) MUST have known surely? Or did 'Bill' Shatner insist on it? Was it one of those in jokes or subversive tricks that people in TV and film like to sneak in? A thousand space-type innuendos occur (mostly involving the solar system's 7th planet) but I'll resist the temptation.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Public Servants II

Last night we had to go to hospital. Thank God everything is OK (or at least on the mend) but the contrast between this (in Yorkshire) experience and the last one (in London) was profound. My wife was disconcerted this time around. Not becuase anything bad happened but because they were so nice. In London we weren't so much greeted as grudgingly ordered to sit on a plastic chair next to a constantly used (and less than sweet smelling) toilet. The woman in charge had a snarl and grimace that would ensure a job as a child catcher or troll should the East London NHS trust decide she's surplus to requirements in the next round of cuts. I would never wish redundancy on anyone but this woman was so rude part of me at least felt unkind thoughts. Couple that with the dank cellar (or 'consulting room' as they called it) and the very ill people looking out of hollow eyes from trolleys in corridors and the signs that say 'wash your hands you bastard' or words to that effect) and =you get a picture of the rough end of modern healthcare in the UK. Basically more grave than cradling.   In Halifax they were shiny, pleasant, re-assuring and informative. The treatment was fast and effective. We couldn;t have asked for more. As we left my wife said :" If that woman had been any friendler I'd have punched her face in."

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

sore loser

21.44: Gattuso at the final whistle continues his spat with Jordan and head-butts the coach.
He is picking on the wrong man and although Jordon maintains his dignity by not reacting, Spurs players and coaches pour in to push Gattuso away from the scene before it gets even more ugly.

21.46: In fairness Jordon didn't look like he was going to react but it's bad losing at its worst from Gattuso.

Spurs fans won't let this ruin a wonderful moment though, their side have just beaten AC Milan at the San Siro.

Graeme Souness : 'Gattuso is a little dog and well past his best. I wish he had 5 mins with Joe Jordan in a room on his own'



Champions league we're having a laugh

I can't believe it. Every player, take a bow. Bring on Barca!  Gatusso v jordan? No contest. He's a dog! Graeme Souness says so.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Thursday, 13 January 2011


I'm bored with winter. I need blue sky and mountains or gree or sea that glares so much you can't look at it.
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Thursday, 6 January 2011

Public Servants 1

I’ve rarely heard anyone use this term without accompanying it with at least a wry smile. Usually it’s a snort or even a guffaw. It goes without saying that the police are least likely to live up to the notion of serving. When Robert Peel first proposed a police force in the early 19th century the public were worried that there would be a spy on every corner and these agents of the state would be used to oppress the people in ways that were happening in France at that time. The myth of ‘Dixon of Dock Green’ was truncheoned into oblivion a long time ago and recent events such as the killing of a passer by and ‘kettling’ of children at legal demonstrations denied the former of life (which presumably is a human right that even the most right wing Daily Mail reading toss pot would concur with) and the latter all manner of other rights. The acquiescence and complacency of much of the media and a lot of the public shows how pathetic we have become in terms of political understanding or, perhaps, how much we are willing to concede for…what? A quieter life? Lower taxes? Fewer immigrants? It won’t be long before the cuts and job losses impact on the public consciousness, then the media and Clapham Omnibus users will be asserting first their disquiet then their outrage coupled with assertive claims that they had been against this rogue Cameron and these nasty, brutish policeman all along (who are probably infiltrated by brown people of course). It happened with the invasion of Iraq. It will happen again here so long as the agitators and activists keep  the faith, persist in the face of illegal oppression by the ‘boys in blue’  and understand that their efforts will be forever an embarrassing foot note once the snow balls become an avalanche.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


I was listening to a programme on the radio this morning about the impact the King James bible has had on language and life since early 17th century through to the last one but then how in the 60s they felt the need to update the language and even more recently it was ‘comic stripped’ and even written in various dialects (though I suspect these are more gimmicks than genuine attempts to pass on the messages of the book). Sometimes though someone is able to tap into the zeitgeist and exploit it in a way that genuinely impresses. This is a fantastically creative take on both today and the nativity.