G20 summit

It’s kind of hard not to notice that President Barack Obama and all the other leaders of the Western world are arriving in London today for the G20 summit. It’s very much the PM’s show and there’s a lot riding on it for him and his borrow-your-way out-of-recession policies. Word is that the other European leaders will choose to do their own thing and the event will prove to be a damp squib. So what’s my point?

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good friends and the bike

Yet another busy week-end. We spent most of it with our good friends the Worthies at their lovely home in Oxfordshire. They treated us (and daughter S and husband I) to a great meal out at their local for C’s 60th. Grandson S came with us as he and Jack are close in age and they were keen to swap Match Attack cards and play some footie together – they’re both nuts about it. John and I took them on on Sunday reliving our days playing together at 5 a-side. We lost the old farts versus young bucks World Cup Final 13-12 after extra time. Mind you they played dirty football. This diappointment aside we had a great time – J and G are such great and generous hosts.   Continue reading

amusing names

One of my favourite bits of the Simpsons is when Bart telephones Moe’s bar and gets Moe to shout out to his patrons ‘I’m looking for…Amanda Huggenkissme’ or some other spurious name designed to cause maximum embarrassment to the unsuspecting and dim-witted Moe. Admit it though, it’d be a tad more embarrassing to have to walk up to Moe to take the call and have to fess up to owning the shameful name. But surely nothing could be as bad as Bart’s fabricated handles…? Continue reading


What do you know about Wiltshire? It’s kind of like one of those places that you travel through on the way to somewhere more interesting don’t you think? Name 5 things notable about the county: Stonehenge, Longleat, Salisbury Plain/Cathedral, Swindon. Easy. Yeh? now name the next 5. Tricky eh. I’m not trying to knock the place – honestly – it’s just a county that’s rarely been on my radar.  Until this week. Continue reading



I came across a tv programme new to me this week; A Question of Genius. I imagined, rather stupidly, that it was going to examine the nature of genius and, you know, maybe look at the work of some of history’s great genii (if that’s the plural) – guys like Einstein, Da Vinci, Newton, Picasso, Brunel and Pele (ok, ok a subjective inclusion). You know, really thoughtful, fascinating stuff. Was it everything I hoped it would be? Er…no.  Continue reading

footie films

I watched the excellent tv documentary on Brian Clough last night and of course the much-anticipated film, The Damned United,  on his 44 days at dirty Leeds is released tomorrow. I cannot wait to see it especially because they reckon Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall are outstanding as East Midlands’ very own dynamic duo Clough and Taylor. The only negative it seems is the simulated football action which, as ever, looks completely unrealistic. Aww.

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pretty woman

It seems like all the women I know have been captivated by it. It’s not the prospect of a blind date with John McCririck but the TV series Mistresses, which has just finished its second series. The plot lines are ridiculous of course but the four female leads enjoy, and occasionally regret, hours of exciting, dangerous and unfaithful love-making (and sometimes just plain old dirty sex) with a succession of great looking – and ruthlessly exploited – men. I’ve noticed that wistful look in my wife’s eyes.

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jade goody

I’m not going to say much about the death of Jade Goody. I didn’t particularly like the woman; I thought she was ill-educated, aggressive and quite charmless. I have to admit too that I was tempted to believe, cynically, that the announcement about her cancer problem was probably exaggerated to provoke news coverage and boost her earning capacity. Sadly, it seems I was completely wrong and she lost her life at 27, leaving two sons motherless on Mother’s Day.  That’s younger than my youngest daughter which is shocking. Continue reading