places not to live

Have you ever stumbled over a little town or village that made you think umm…this is not a place in which I’d choose to live? I’m not talking about grimey mill towns or former mining villages which you’d expect to be fairly desolate. I’m referring to places which sit in otherwise pleasant surroundings but which are blighted by some unexpected feature which makes eye surgery a more attractive option than living in the place.

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syrups, it’s a pity!

Well I guess that as I was critical of SJP and all that chick-com fashion schmaltz embodied in Sex and the City, I thought that I ought to redress the balance and have a pop at the least enviable vanity trait of the male of the species. I’m talking about hairpieces, you know those ridiculous bits of rug that male media personalities of a certain age  take to wearing or weaving into their increasingly thinning scalps in the mistaken belief that a) it preserves their youthful looks and b) it’s so lifelike  it’s impossible to detect. D’ya think? Continue reading

sex and the city….?

I’ve been watching a fair bit of Comedy Central which is full of American sitcoms from the last 10 years or so. I’m a big fan of King of Queens, the story about a new York delivery driver and his sassy wife starring the very funny Kevin James and Leah Remini. And the programme Two and a Half Men with Charlie Sheen playing himself has grown on me a lot, ditto Scrubs, which is different and archly funny at the same time. Speaking of healthcare, Becker, the irascible New York doctor is grumpily familiar and I like him a lot (strange that). I also quite like Rules of Engagement (because of the women) and even Everybody Loves Raymond with Ray Romano – the voice of Mannie the mammoth has its bright moments. I don’t think I can be accused of not liking US humour then but…. the one programme that leaves me as cold as 3 day old rice pudding is Sex and the City. It’s about as funny as anal warts. It’s not a programme aimed at 50 odd year old unromantic men is it?

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the saddest open

We had friends round yesterday for a late and lazy lunch. I haven’t drunk as much wine in ages and today I’ve felt pretty jaded to be honest. But first thing this morning I checked out the BBC sport website to find out how things worked out at the Open. I was rather hoping to find that Ross Fisher had won it and had had to miss the presentation ceremony to dash to be at his wife’s side as she was about to have a baby. It would have made for some great headlines – ‘Birth of an Open Champion’ and all that. And if Fisher hadn’t won it then I would have been almost as happy to see fellow Englishman Lee Westwood win his first Open.  But if truth be told I was kind of hoping to read that Tom Watson had defied sporting logic to win his 6th Open at the age of 59. 

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sport strop

Well it’s already been one heck of a weekend for sport; Adebayor’s got his dream move to Manchester City as Mark Hughes continues to build a team around the talents of a galaxy of exceptionally sulky strikers. He might have just the 10 (!) at his disposal but surely it’s only a matter of time before Thierry Henry  joins the sour puss Gorton gang. Meanwhile down at Lord’s the England cricket team are terrorising the mighty Australians at the tourists’ spiritual home and banker fixture. And for the second Test in a row they’ve managed to really piss off spikey Aussie captain Ricky Ponting, providing a delicious added bonus. And finally at the Open in Turnberry Tom Watson defies the years to lead the field going into the final day. Can he become the oldest winner ever of the old claret jug… well we shall see but his demeanour and performance on the first 3 days – particularly some of those outrageous long range putts – has been a joy to watch. But not nearly as much as seeing Woods, Poulter and Montgomerie all miss the cut and storm off in a triple salko strop.  Ah the sporting hissy fit. I thought we’d lost it when the pouty master signed for Real pain in the arse Madrid but the sporting gods have been kind to us. Sulky days are back again. Whose bottom lip quiver makes your day?


happy family…?

Well the last posting (actually in praise of something) generated so much interest and comment that I thought I’d better revert to my usual caustic approach and find something to criticise, ridicule or poke fun at. And I think I found a doozie. You must have seen the news reports following the remarkable story of the young English backpacker Jamie Neale who turned up safe and well after being lost in the Australian bush for 12 days. By all accounts he’d set off all alone without letting people know where he was headed and without any means of communications. Most opinion seems to think he was either as smart as a sponge (ie another stupid pom) or it’s all a con trick and he’s after making some money from selling the story of his ‘great escape’. But I’ve a different theory….

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10 buildings you must see before you… get bunions

It’s a while since I did one of those lists of things that really inspire me (I can hear the groans out there already) but a new book bought for me by my daughter S and son-in-law I has got me sharpening the old list pencil again. The book is ‘1001 Buildings You MUST See Before You DIE‘. It’s one of those cliched and improbable titles  – I imagine it would take many years of travelling the 7 continents just to take in all the buildings listed, let alone all the other things people think you should see whilst still breathing (sports stadia, works of art, great views, classic hotels etc). It’s also a bit of a stretch – I’m not convinced that I really can’t meet my maker until I’ve been to visit either Preston or Dublin’s Central Bus Stations or the Park Hill housing estate in Sheffield or the former zeppelin hangars which have been converted into the rather ugly  Central Market Halls in Riga, Latvia. But there are some stunning buildings around the world which I’ve been lucky enough to visit and many, many more I’d love to see before that bucket gets kicked.

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at the movies

I took my grandson S to watch Ice Age 3 at the local multi-screen Vue cinema in Staines this week. He’s great fun to take to watch a film and as it was an afternoon screening I promised him we’d have lunch at the cinema. He’s a big fan of hot dogs and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and all the other  crap they sell in their foyers. But I’d forgotten just how crap the food choice is for more grown-up tastes. From a very very short list of hot foods (two items) I ended up choosing natchos with extra mushy jalapenos and this container of bright orange gloop which they assured me was the melted cheese dip. No it wasn’t. It was re-processed lipstick. Urgghh. Why is there nothing decent to eat at all in a cinema? Is it inconceivable that they could have a decent fast food place and maybe even a bar located within one of these multi-screen complexes? I reckon they’d do OK from those of us older than 17. Anyway the film was great. For all of 20 minutes we were the only ones in screen room 1 and we were so looking forward to whooping and hollering all alone to the antics of Manny, Diego and Sid – my personal favourite. We booed quietly when the other 15 joined us during the Pearl and Dean bit until a very old white-haired guy came in all alone. I whispered to S that he probably remembered the last Ice Age – and I didn’t mean The Meltdown. We giggled like only granddads and grandsons can. Such fun.  Sorry old guy, hope you enjoyed the movie:

Ice Age 3 Dawn of the dinosaurs