Do you remember your first kiss?

Do you remember your first kiss?
Do you remember your first kiss?

Monday, 21 December 2015

Bacteria are Just Hanging Around Waiting for You to Die!

Well, this is extremely interesting. Who knew that life itself was just a perpetual battle with bacteria - and that they always win in the end.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Thirty Years Ago

Thirty years ago, what albums were you listening to? I was listening to The Pogues third and finest album, "Rum, Sodomy and the Lash".  It was named after the 19th century belief that the Royal Navy’s finest traditions consisted of “rum, sodomy, and the lash” (a quote often mis-attributed to Winston Churchill).  

The album was produced by Elvis Costello, and contained excellent tracks, like "Dirty old Town" and "A Pair of Brown Eyes".  The absolute highlight for me though, was "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda", a searing indictment of war. It details the futile loss of life and limb following the attempt to take the Gallipoli peninsula in the First World War. Every time I hear it, it brings tears to my eyes.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Whew - that was a close call!

Well there we are. After nearly five months of politicians electioneering, we finally have a result.  And what a result!  Unbelievable!  I have to tell you I slept badly on Wednesday night.  At that point it seemed very likely that we were going to have some form of Labour minority government, loosely supported by the SNP.  A left leaning party, being pulled to the left by an even more left leaning party.  A party opposed to austerity, in fact not just opposed to austerity but anti-austerity! It was a forthcoming nightmare! A spend, spend, spend Ed Miliband, being encouraged to spend even more by Nicola Sturgeon.  Jesus - we would be in debt until all my grandkids had retired!
Luckily for all of us, common sense prevailed in the ballot box and all those (secret and embarrassed) Tory voters voted for the party they trusted the most to give us five years of economic growth, no increase in taxes and a general improvement in their standard of living.
I stayed up on Thursday night, and, like most of us, couldn't believe the exit poll that the BBC published at 10.01 pm.  By 4pm it was apparent that the exit poll was largely accurate, and, much as I wanted to see Paddy Ashdown eat his hat, I retired to bed feeling happier, safer and more contented than I had the night before.

So, anyway, what's all this about anti-austerity?  I don't get it.  I wracked my brains to remember anything, just one little thing that pointed to any form of austerity in the past five years, and I could only come up with one.  The streetlights on the motorway nearby have been turned off every night at 11pm, instead of being left on all night. What a good idea! 
Everything else is the same as it was five years ago. No, I stand corrected - my library is now open 13 hours a day, every day, seven days a week. It used to be open for 8 hours, 6 days a week. Progress!  No austerity there. My bins are still emptied on alternative weeks (landfill, week 1, recycling week 2).  I'm sure I can cope with 5 more years of austerity. As long as it means that we don't have to keep borrowing more and more money and then spend a fortune in interest charges.  I received a letter last year from HMRC, telling me that one quarter of my tax payments had been used to pay the interest on the national debt.  I'm sure that government could have put it to better use.
I'll keep campaigning for cuts in our military/defence spending (why is it we have to have nuclear weapons but that 180 countries, including Spain and Italy don't have any?) but apart from that I'm relatively happy. I realise Cameron has some formidable hurdles to overcome but he has my full support.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Amazing Stories #1 Rasputin

Sit back and pin back your ears while I regale you with a story containing an amazing (nay stunning) coincidence.

Grigori Rasputin was a Russian peasant, mystical faith healer and private adviser to the Romanovs.  He played a significant part in the increasing unpopularity of the Tsar and Alexandra Feodorovna, his wife, and the downfall of the Russian Monarchy. He was murdered by persons unknown on the 30th December 1916 in the city of Petrograd.

62 years later, Boney M, a German pop group had a number 1 hit record around the world with a song called "Rasputin." The male lead singer, Bobby Farrell even dressed as Rasputin whilst performing the record, and Bobby acted the part of Rasputin, croaking out "Oh those Russians" at the end of the song.

32 years later Bobby Farrell died, at the tender age of 61. He died on 30th December 2010, exactly 94 years to the day after Rasputin died. And where did he die?  Well he died in the ancient Russian city of Saint Petersburg, which, back in 1916 had been known as - yes - you've guessed it Petrograd.   The truth is sometimes stranger than fiction...

Friday, 16 January 2015


Of course, as we all know, reincarnation is complete and utter rubbish and not based on any peer-produced evidence whatsoever.  However when I read the contents of this website, even I started to question my own disbelief. After all, this website has all the questions on reincarnation answered.  Incredible!
Since this is all on the interweb, it must be true!

If you have a moment, take a read. It is the funniest thing I've read for quite a while!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Pink Floyd and 1975

So, forty years ago this year. 1975.  Prog Rock was almost coming to an end, well kind of. All the big groups had released their "ultimate" albums.  Jethro Tull - Aqualung and Thick as a Brick.  King Crimson and "In The Court of the Crimson King". Yes and "Close to the Edge".   ELP had released "Tarkus".   Hawkwind had given us "In Search of Space".  Genesis had issued "Selling England by the Pound."  Wishbone Ash had released "There's The Rub."  We'd played the beautiful "Dark Side of the Moon" to death and marvelled at Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells". Was there anything left? Could anyone top what we already had?

We could not have guessed at the beautiful, gorgeous monster of an album that was waiting for us just around the corner.  On 12th September 1975, Pink Floyd released "WISH YOU WERE HERE" and suddenly our lives were complete. We could want for nothing more. Surely this was the ultimate prog rock album ever!

From "Shine on you crazy diamond" to, well "Shine on you crazy diamond" everything that a prog rock fan could possibly want was here - here in this monster of an album!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Halfway through the decade!

Wow - 2015!  We are halfway through the decade already.  And still no-one has tackled the big issue, the burning question - what are we going to call the decade?  It doesn't have a name yet and it's halfway through its life!

I was born in the 50s. My favourite music of all time comes from the 70s. My two children were born in the 80s.  I just feel so sorry for young people currently enjoying this decade - they will have no way to refer back to it in decades to come!  Come on everyone - please put your thinking caps on! Let's have a name for this decade!