50 up and ’07 over

Well this is the 50th posting this month. I’m delighted to say that we’ve gone through the 2500 visits target to the site in December – looks like it’ll be somewhere close to the 2,800 mark. That’s brilliant and slightly staggering to be honest so thank you all for checking in. Continue reading


gk and m, l and s

Well we spent Saturday night at our good friends G and M’s. They threw a Xmas dinner party and old friends J & D, and J & G were there too. As ever G and M were excellent hosts – great food (the scallops on pureed pea starters were wacky and brilliant M), loads of wine (too much for me as usual) and great chat with good company. Continue reading

all right (then and) now

I opened a Xmas present today from an old friend, Tony, who worked with me at BT during RWC days. It was a DVD box set of one of my all time favourite bands, Free. Now I know that Led Zeppelin’s re-union was mega but if ever I’d like to see another band re-form it’s Free. Except of course that the lead guitarist in their hey-day, Paul Kossof, died from drugs during the 70’s. So far as I know the other band members Paul Rogers, lead singer, Andy Fraser, bass guitar, and Simon Kirke, drums, are all still around and enjoying life. Continue reading

unforgettable women

Benazir Bhutto’s death got me thinking about the number of really fascinating women who have passed away this year, rather sadly. C’s wonderful mum Isobel of course only recently but also women like Jane Tomlinson, the cancer relief fund-raiser who I greatly admired, the much under-rated actress Lois Maxwell, breakthrough businesswoman Anita Roddick and TV producer¬† Verity Lambert who produced so much ground-breaking work like the Naked Civil Servant, even Anna Nicole Smith who found 15 minutes of fame by marrying a very old rich guy but who managed to remain in the public eye¬† throughout the rest of her life by leading a mad-cap lifestyle. In their own way these were all strong, purposeful women who left a considerable mark on the world. Continue reading


Did you catch the Extras special on TV the other night? What did you think? I thought it was excellent to be honest; a bit moralistic about the shallowness of fame towards the end, but funny and brilliantly acted. I really like the way Gervais gives starring roles to the lesser characters. Everyone raves about Merchant’s performance (which is bloody funny) and Ashley Jensen’s touching performance as sidekick Maggie and the major/minor actors playing themselves down. But for me I think the best part is the Greg Lindley Jones character, Andy Millman’s nemesis, played with ‘brooding intensity’ by Shaun Pye. The guy who achieves everything Andy Millman aspires too – fame and respect, and because he knows it too he cannot stop belittling Andy. The scene where he interviews Andy for a role in a new film is just painfully funny. Have a look:

If you’ve seen anything better on the TV this holiday, let me know.

p p

colds and flu

Is it just us or has every household had its fill of winter colds etc this Xmas? We’ve been pretty lousy with it for days. My daughter R’s been the worst; she’s had a terribly sore throat and incessant cough which has prevented her from sleeping properly for nearly a week now. I took her to the doctors two days but they prescribed nothing for her but recommended sleeping sat upright and having her head over a bowl of steam. Not especially helpful particularly as she was very nearly sick in the waiting room after a coughing session. I’ve had a streaming head cold which has been truly annoying. It’s not so bad now but I’ve one really sore nose through all the wiping. Really sore. Go on, I know what you’re thinking, pathetic men. True.

poorly paulie

benazir bhutto

I cannot say I was shocked at the news of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination yesterday, after all it was only on October 18th that a suicide bomber failed in an attempt to assassinate her whilst killing 134 of her followers. But I was outraged. Here was an intelligent, beautiful woman of enormous courage and commitment, attempting to become the leader of her nation for the third time through the democratic process. Her earlier leadership record is heavily flawed but that cannot justify such a terrible taking of her life, like her father and brothers before her. There is something inevitably tragic about these political dynasties like the Bhuttos, the Gandhis and the Kennedys.

Continue reading