Monday, December 31, 2007

a sunny and sprout free christmas

And a belated happy Christmas to you all. I trust you all argued with loved ones, put on much weight, received large quantities of useless tat and damaged livers and kidneys galore. You lucky souls. No such luck for old man Rich. No sprout overdosed farting aunts or chocolate hyper screaming brats for me. No, I have to endure a torrid 33C (with pleasant sea breeze) on a perfect beach in the Gambia. Forced every morning to leave my air conditioned room and trudge wearily to the beach, pausing only briefly to consume a large fried breakfast, assorted fruit, toast & wonjo jam. Then to lie on a sun bed wrestling with the whole sleep?, read? Or swim? Dilemma until its finally resolved by noon and the obligatory beach bar visit.

I tell you, it was tough.

The trip did not get off to the best of starts. A four hour delay at Gatwick (fog) and my father is not a patient man. Fortunately there is a Bar. Then, when we finally get away I am across the aisle from a drunk bloke who decides to sing carols to the rest of the plane. Its not good. But made infinitely worse by the knowledge that its my dad.

But once in Gambia, ahh. The people are all tall, slim, attractive and friendly. The service is poor to non existent and the power goes off regularly but it doesn’t seem to matter. The draft beer keeps running out (which does matter) and the food is fine, but not anything to rave about. But its 33C (with pleasant sea breeze). The beach has a reasonable scattering of pretty teenage Norwegian & Finnish girls and if the hornbills in the garden are a little noisy, well, it’s a fairly minor inconvenience.

The only down side is the liggers who insist on coming up to you and clasping a ‘friendship’ bracelet on your wrist, despite all assurances that you are a miserable bugger, require no friends, have no money, are allergic to cheap and tacky wrist bands, you arm is pinned and the dreaded band is attached. But don’t worry. It’s a gift ‘from the heart’. Its free. There is no obligation other than friendship. Then begins the tale of woe. I found that putting my face an inch from theirs and screaming I AM GIVING YOU NOTHING, NOW GO AWAY worked. Eventually.
But not with my new friend Simon. No, he gave me a genuine plastic fishbone bracelet that made me a member of his drumming band. No stings, no cons, Its completely free. I am a band member and all I need to do is purchase the band a couple of minor items. Like drums. A PA system. UK visa’s. No problem. I will just pop back to my hotel and get some money. Unfortunately I didn’t bump into Simon again. Possibly because I spent the next four days hiding in my hotel wardrobe. But rest assured, should I meet Simon again, say in the crown, I will honour my plastic fishbone commitment and waste no time in introducing him to the Wednesday evening acoustic club

Monday, December 17, 2007


Got this from Beardy Weirdy Howard.

At first I thought it was funny but now its giving me nightmares....

Friday, December 14, 2007

now you see it....

A holy man in India has, or rather had, a magic leg.
Touching his magic leg cured you of illness or granted your wish.

So, a couple of rogues came along. And, not prepared to settle for just one wish, they got the eighty year old holy man good and drunk, chopped off his leg with a sickle and ran off into the night. (legged it, as it were).

The old (and presumably slightly less holy) man is recovering in hospital.

Apparently this really happened.
Kind of puts having your car stereo stolen into perspective.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Recorder from hell

They are making me do a bit at work at the moment. Its not particularly bad, but after a while doing more or less bugger all its come as a bit of a shock to the system.
Then I made the mistake of popping into Telford town Centre. Christmas shopping hell. I not only understand but totally sympathise with those who run amuck with machete’s. Keep your children on a lead damn you.
So, I pop down to the oasis that is the Crown for a much needed quiet pint of Hobsons.
And the Hobsons is off.
Not you understand because a tsunami has swept across Cleobury Mortimer and flooded the brewery.
The Delivery van has not been waylaid by vampiric were badgers, the draymen are not lying in a ditch with their throats torn out and their eyeballs pecked by crows.
Nor have giant mutant rust monsters eaten through the barrels in the cellar.
Its not even Hobsons theiving giant bears.
No, all those excuses I could have accepted.
But the truth of the matter is (and lets name and shame here) landlord John Ellis has been to damn lazy to put the beer on stillage.

So, I’m not happy. But it cannot get any worse. Right?
Because they have switched the weekly tragedy that is folk night to Tuesday. And so the musically retarded banjo strangling gimps gather in the back bar. And off goes the led zeppelin that I am enjoying, because it distracts the “musicians”. Ok. Ok. So talentless tone deaf tossers have a right to a good time too. And I can almost cope with it. Until Beardy Bob, the most tone deaf, musically incompetent, talentless tosser of them all, starts on the recorder.
And he appears to be practicing a single note. Over and over.
Its cutting right through me. Its relentless. My fillings are vibrating in my head. The US dont even inflict this sort of treatment on prisoners in Guantanamo .
And I Snap.
I use language.
I leave. My evening ruined.

So that’s it. No more Crown for me when the folk freaks are in. I shall take my custom elsewhere on those nights.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Facial hair fun

Ok. Of late I have been sporting a 1978 John Denver haircut. Which is great if your John Denver and its 1978. Otherwise, its bad. On the plus side, I have been with a goatee that can only be described as damned sexy. Sometimes I don't get to the pub because I've seen myself in the mirror and, yes, its that sexy.
But hot sunny beaches loom. And facial hair is all well and good, but should never get in the way of a quality tan. So I cut my hair. Yes, I cut my own hair. I would like to say this was some sort of statement about independence and self empowerment, but, basically, I'm just to mean to pay a hairdresser. So, the hair is short, but (to paraphrase the pig joke) a beard like that is too good to shave all at once. So its comedy tash time.......


The rate of deforestation in the Amazon basin has decreased for the third year running.
Good news.
Of course, once all the trees have gone the rate of deforestation will drop to zero.