Saturday, 28 December 2013


I never keep them.

Therfore this year I resolve to get shitfaced lots and lots, eat unhealty shite in unhealthy portions and proportions, and probably to start smoking again.

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Saturday, 21 December 2013

the shame of it...

A  few weeks ago, me and my pupil were driving along merrily, and we encountered a traffic light controlled T junction.

I don't need to go into too much detail here, but we had to stop at a red light. Meanwhile someone in the through traffic went through on an amber light, but couldn't get clear of the junction, and ended up stopped in the middle of things.

I ostentatiously pointed him out to my pupil. He saw me doing it. His response was a study in cringing embarrassment. I actually felt sorry for him. It certainly taught my pupils something, and presumably the embarrassed guy might do things differently next time. Poor sod. We all get it wrong sometimes.

Now, there's a popular internet meme concerning the shaming of dogs.

Dogs, you see, don't share human morals or sensibilities. Not really. We toilet train them by making them embarrassed about shitting on the carpet, but we can't really stop them from being animals.

So how about getting pupils to wear signs saying "I stalled at the B and Q roundabout" with a suitably hangdog expression on their face?

Something for april fools' perhaps...

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Sunday, 15 December 2013

Uruguay and people politics

Someone posted their approval of a Guardian article about Uruguayan president, José Mujica.

And I commented that I had misgivings, although I wasn't entirely sure what they were.

Well I've been giving this a bit of thought over the last few days, and have formulated a few ideas.

Firstly, I find Mujica's practicing of what he preaches to be hugely satisfying. That's not where my disquiet lies. I first got involved in radical politics through a group called the LPYS, the youth section of the Labour Party, and through them, the Militant Tendency.

They actaully had the bollocks to stand up for what they believed, you see. They were prepared to go to jail rather than carry out the Government's demands, and their MPs drew only a workers wage. They gave the rest back to the labour movement. Compelling stuff when put next to the spineless careerist moat claiming pricks that today seem ubiquitous in UK politics at least. It's hard to think of a present day equivalent of Dave Nellist or Terry Fields. Having fought so hard, we watched as the Labour Party expelled anyone with any principles to become the other bunch of centre right spineless careerists we get to rule over us every few years. The Liberals, instead of backing the Radicals, aided and abetted the Conservatives.

Again. They almost always do.

So no, it's not Mujica I have any misgivings about. It's the Guardian, or rather what the Guardian represents.

What happens in Uruguay must happen because of it's internal strength, not because it becomes a brief cause celebré for the middle classes of the West.

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Wednesday, 11 December 2013


I've not been well.

I know! Isn't it? Thanks for your concern!

I've had a chest infection. Still do in fact. And it's been bad enough that if I was a paid employee, I'd have been on the sick for the past week or so. But I'm not. I'm self-employed, so if I don't work I don't get any money. Actually that's not the primary consideration here. If I don't work, I'm letting people down. With three driving tests over the last week or so, I've had little choice but to carry on.

So I've presumably also been a vector for this infection, and others will now be coughing merrily through their mornings because of me. Something to bear in mind next time you go to a fast food restaurant that has it's employees on  self employed or agency contracts.

The cough is finally subsiding, and the cold and flu type symptoms are also past their peak. Meanwhile, I've damaged something inside. Broken a rib? Pulled a muscle? So now when I do cough it's painful. When I can, I drop to my hands and knees, and try to do repeated shallow coughs rather than deep coughs, which hurt more. Sneezes are a bloody nightmare. All in all, I'm feeling rather sorry for myself.

Last night, Bren gave me one of her high strength codeine tablets and I went to bed early. First decent night's sleep I've had for a week. I feel better for it, but it's going to be a few days yet before I'm back to my usual unconvulsed self.


one side effect of all this is that my normally rather reedy and high pitched voice has been transformed into something much more bassy.

Gravel! Gravitas!! Growl!!! Grrrrr!!!!


still off the cigs. Over a week now. No problem.

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Monday, 9 December 2013

This is a man's world

It's no secret that I spend more time than your average 45 year old playing Gran Turismo. Something of a busman's holiday I suppose, but I've been a fan of this series right from the beginning.

The last few incarnations started to include more than just cars and scenery. They started to include first spectators, then drivers and pit crew. On some courses, hundreds, if not thousands of people line the route, and not one of them is female. Every single one of them is male. Gran Turismo 5 has a female pit crew member who claps encouragingly when you pass a license test, but she doesn't even scrawl your time onto a clipboard or anything.

This makes no sense to me. If they're marketing it to as wide an audience as possible, why not include Women? If they're marketing it towards men, why not include Women?

The only explanation I can come up with is some weird safely/morality hybrid.

ie: They know young men play this game. They know that if they include Women, then some of the young men will get off on the images. They don't want to encourage a link between driving and masturbation for health and safety reasons.

Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel...

When I was in my 20's, I used to hitch-hike a fair bit. And just occasionally, I'd get into a car, and it would stink. The driver had been relieving the boredom of a long journey by steering with one hand. Generally pleasant enough people, but I was always glad to get out and have a breath of fresh air.

Anyway, if anyone should have a definitive reason why the makers of Gran Turismo don't want their virtual spectators to have vaginas please do let me know.

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s t o r y t e l l i n g g i a n t

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Friday, 6 December 2013

How we fared in the surge...

Some quite amazing video now from photographer Gav Trafford of what it was like to be at New Brighton yesterday

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


suppose I must have packed up again then.

edit: 10:15pm, Thursday 5th. Still not had one. Let's see how far I get...

Not particularly well right now. Got a chest infection, so probably not a good idea to be smoking anyway.

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