Friday, 31 December 2010

New Year’s Resolutions

The new year marks a turning point and a symbolic opportunity to change old behaviour patterns and habits.
New year TV adverts are usually full of celebrity exercise videos, diet clubs, and quit smoking treatments, exhorting people to get fit and healthy by making them feel guilty. Gym membership peaks in the first few weeks of January as people feel they should be doing something about their festive podge.

As the old year fades away what are you planning to do in the new year?
Have you got a list of resolutions that you feel you ought to be doing?
Have you got some exciting goals that you want to achieve?
Do you think resolutions are a good thing or doomed to failure?

I’m aiming to do more exercise as my new year’s resolution.

Wishing you every success with whatever you decide to do for your new year – even if it is not to make new year’s resolutions.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas

The shops are shut. The turkey is well and truly stuffed and Christmas is here.
It only seems like five minutes since last Christmas.
I hope Santa brought you what you wanted, and if he didn’t then you can demand a refund or roast his reindeer.
I hope your relatives all behave themselves, and that Christmas passes without any festive punch-ups – verbal or otherwise.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

£250 for a Christmas pudding???

Waitrose sold Heston Blumenthal’s Christmas puddings for £13.99. They went like hot cakes, so to speak. Now punters on eBay are charging £250 for the puds.
Some people must be mad if they are prepared to blow £13.99 on a Christmas pudding, let alone £250!!!!
I made mine for a few pounds - a gluten free one for my sister and a traditional one for the rest of the family.
Christmas pudding is very easy to make, the only drawback is the eight hours simmering, but the house smells wonderful and Christmassy. I must confess to being rather partial to the hot brandy sauce that accompanies the pudding.

I bet mine tastes nicer than yours Heston!!!!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Beware - Google can see your knickers

A Japanese woman from Fukuoka is trying to sue Google for showing her underwear on Street View.
The woman, who has not been named, is reported to be after 600,000 yen (£4,588) from Google, after claiming she suffered psychological distress as a result of her washing line being featured on the Street View function.
According to Japan's Mainichi newspaper, the woman told a court hearing, that she was frightened that she would become the victim of sex crime after Google showed her knickers drying outside.
The name of the town sounds like something from a Carry On film, so may be she has grounds to fear the rampant passions of the locals.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Happy Birthday to Jane Austen

Many of my blog readers are avid Jane Austen fans. Some are even doing their dissertations on her novels.
If I had to choose one book to take to a desert island, it would be Pride and Prejudice. I must confess to hating it when I had to read it at school for O level. Years later I was mesmerized when Colin Firth emerged from the lake at Pemberley and became the quintessential Darcy in his dripping white shirt…swoon.
I read Pride and Prejudice again and became hooked. No matter how many times I read it, I get more out of it. It is the classic chick-lit love story.
I also love Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility ( I think the latter had something to do with Dominic Cooper in the BBC production).

Which is you favourite Austen novel???

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Telford is famous at last!

Have you ever been to Telford?
When I first came to Telford, I thought the place was a confusing collection of roundabouts and housing estates – with more roundabouts. It took me ages to find my way around.
Myth has it that the design for Telford came from the planners' tea cup stains on their blueprint for the place. If you’ve ever tried to drive round Telford then you will know what I'm on about.

Telford’s roundabouts featured on Have I Got News For You, last week.

Guest presenter Miranda Hart asked: "Telford's roundabouts created what?"
Comedian Greg Davies replied: "A vortex that sucked in anything picturesque and all sense of hope."

In 2005, the Roundabout Appreciation Society produced a calendar of Telford’s magnificent roundabouts, but I doubt many people bought it.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Writing Competition

Hello Writers – how are things with you?
If you are in the third year then you probably don’t have any spare time due to the volume of work.
Just in case you need a break from the grind, could do with £2,000 , a one-week writing retreat at Chawton House Library and a day with a Virago editor then have a go at the Mslexia Short Story Competition.
The closing date is 24th January 2011, and the judge is Jackie Kay.
2,200 words max, on any subject you like.

It does say ‘Women’s Short Story Competition’, so although I think this is sexist and unfair, it is for ladies only.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Missing Snowman

Are you enjoying the snow boys and girls?
It has caused chaos all over the country, and put a strain on the emergency services.
I bet the police in Kent were annoyed when a woman rang 999 to report her snowman had gone missing. Here is a transcript of the call:

“I haven't been out to check on him for five hours but I went outside for a fag (cigarette) and he's gone," said the female caller.
When the operator asked who had gone she replied: "My snowman. I thought that with it being icy and there not being anybody about he'd be safe.
"It ain't a nice road but you don't expect anybody to nick your snowman," she added.

The Police were not amused – no wonder one in ten of the police force is off sick according to today’s figures.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Free Books!

Hello fellow readers and writers – you might be interested in World Book Night which starts on Saturday 5th Match 2011. It is a celebration of reading and 1 million books will be given away by 20,000 readers to people across the UK.

From 2 December 2010, members of the public are invited to apply to be one of the 20,000 givers of 48 copies of their favourite book chosen from a carefully selected list of 25 titles. Most givers are expected to be passionate readers who will take pleasure in recommending a book they love to other readers. However, World Book Night will also encourage givers to pass the books on to others who either may be reluctant readers or who are part of communities with less access to books, bookshops and libraries. 960,000 books will be distributed by givers and a further 40,000 will be distributed by WBN to people who might not otherwise be able to participate.

The link for the World Book Night is below if you are interested.

Monday, 22 November 2010

How do you cook?

I’ve had some fascinating conversations with people about cooking. It seems that some people are really organized and slavishly follow recipes. They buy all the ingredients specially, and are heavily into experimentation. They have books by all the TV chefs and try different menus every day.
Then you get the other sort of people who make concoctions out of random things, based on what needs using up, or what is left in the fridge and cupboards. It can lead to some fabulous meals or awful disasters.

I wonder if ‘scientific’ types are into the former method of cooking and ‘artistic’ types favour the latter.

And last but not least are the sad lot who can’t cook at all – shame on you!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Kate’s Ring

Are you excited about the royal wedding? I think Kate and William seem like a well matched couple.
The only thing that bothers me is that she has been given Princess Diana’s ring.
I don’t know what you think, but I think wearing the ring of someone’s dead mother is a bit creepy. I’d rather have a ring that someone had chosen specially for me even if it only cost £5, rather than a ring chosen for someone else originally.
Or perhaps they are being mindful of hard times and recycling.

What do you think?

Monday, 15 November 2010

How happy are you?

Did you know that the government is planning to measure how happy we are?
The Office for National Statistics is going to devise a household survey that will test people’s happiness levels quarterly.

Bet you can’t wait to take part.

This is the brain child of ‘Dave’ who reckons that money isn’t everything.

What will the government do with the findings?

Will they impose a tax on people who are grumpy?
Will they put Prozac into the water supply so that we don’t care anymore that we are all paying for the greedy bankers gambling habits?

What would make you happy?

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Communing with nature

What do people in rural locations do to pass the time?
Well, I woke up this morning to find that a phantom graffiti artist has paid a visit to my neighbourhood in the night.
I live in a semi rural location that has woods and lakes. It is a beautiful, peaceful place with lots of wild life. People sometimes put posters of their missing pussies on the lampposts, but nothing else detracts from the tranquil idyll.
Now thanks to ‘Liam Ball’ (? the graffiti artist’s real name) the footpaths have been ‘decorated’ with phallic symbols - lots of them.

Is young master Ball in some sort of cult advocating ancient fertility rights? Or was he just off his head on solvents and spray paint last night? If ‘Liam Ball’ is his real name then he was a bit silly to sign his handiwork.
Anyway, the place looks very strange today with all these phalluses.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

24th November

Here is a very important date for your diaries fellow students.
The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts is planning a day of action on Wednesday 24th November. There will be mass walkouts at universities across the country.
Hope you can all support it.
There is a site on facebook for our university if you want to add your support to the fight fees campaign.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Student Protest

Thousands of students will be marching through the streets of London today in protest at the proposed rises in tuition fees. Many of us want to be there with them but can’t.
You have our support.
It is time students spoke out. Let’s hope that the government take notice. This country needs a well educated work-force. Cutting back on education is a short-sighted solution.

Friday, 5 November 2010


What do you think of the new-look breakfast programme on ITV with Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley?
I don’t like it at all. I preferred GMTV and I think that ITV have made a very expensive mistake by changing the format and poaching BBC’s dreary double act from the One Show. Daybreak is BORING, despite all the money wasted on high profile guests.
The other day Adrian Chiles had his flies undone on air – sorry Adrian even that won’t help to boost the flagging ratings.
Please bring back the old GMTV it was fun, light-hearted, entertaining and brightened up my mornings!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Dark nights and horrible Halloween

The clocks go back this week-end with all the attendant faffing about altering clocks and watches.
To make matters worse it is Halloween - so one will have to endure the misery of endless visitations from horrible snot-dribbling children dressed as frightful monstrosities, demanding money with menaces.

Do you find the dark days before Christmas difficult?

This time of the year seems to make a lot of people feel miserable and lethargic - going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark.
Dr. Mayer Hillman, writing in the BMJ today, thinks we would all be a lot healthier and happier if we could leave the clocks as they are in winter, and move them forward an hour in spring. Sounds like a sensible idea.
I would prefer, however, leaving the clocks as they are all year round, so as not to have the bother putting the time backwards and forwards.

What would make me really happy though is banning Halloween!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Is it OK to lie on your blog?

Is your blog a confection of lies – a rambling outpouring from your fervid imagination?
Do you pretend that you have an amazing social life – one that would make William Burroughs Naked Lunch look like a barn dance at the Church Hall?

Do you think it is acceptable to tell lies on a blog that is connected with your job?

Conservative MP Nadine Dorreis admitted that 70% of her blog about her political activities is fiction. I am sure some people might be annoyed and disgusted to hear that. The public has not forgotten the ‘snouts in trough’ sagas.

Politicians seem to be skilled in the art of obfuscation and verbal conjuring - So perhaps it is stretching things to expect a politician’s blog to be truthful.

Surely it would be better to say nothing rather than to concoct lies?

I don’t read any politicians blogs, and having had a quick look at Ms Dorries blog, because of the furore it has created, I won’t be reading any more – it was boring.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Are miniskirts to blame for society’s ills?

If you are planning your summer holiday, just bear in mind that the mayor of Castellammare di Stabia, Luigi Bobbio, is threatening to impose a ban on immodest dress. So, anyone wearing miniskirts or flashing a bit of bare flesh could be subject to a fine. Mayor Bobbio, in conjunction with the local parish priest, Don Paulo Cecere, wants to clean up the town and bring back modesty. They are also planning to ban swearing and stop people playing football in parks.

What do you think?

Is this a good idea?
Will it help to improve the morals and behaviour of the town’s citizens?
Should it be implemented in your town? - or do you think it is silly?

Answers below please.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Stuck up a tree

Usually you hear about cats getting stuck in trees, but on Cannock Chase the fire brigade thought it was a hoax when they were called out to rescue a dog from a tree.

Belle, an eight- year- old border collie, managed to climb 30’ up a horse chestnut tree and got stuck. I’ve never heard of dogs climbing trees before, so the mind boggles as to how she accomplished this amazing feat.

The poor creature was left dangling on an eight inch wide branch for six hours. Belle’s owner is a dog trainer – so hopefully she can train Bell not to go walkies up a tree next time!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

What should writers wear?

I wonder what famous writers wear when they are writing.

We had a discussion about what we wear at Uni yesterday, and most of us prefer to write in our pyjamas.
I’m a morning person so I’m usually in my dressing gown and pyjamas too. Later in the day I swap them for aged track suit bottoms and my furry No Fear fleece complete with skulls. This is no reflection on my other interests - it was reduced from £50 to £6 at the local discount sports shop and is very warm. I alternate it with a very cosy cardi that has holes and rips in. The fetching ensemble in finished with a pair of woolly socks – very necessary in the effort to keep warm. I suspect the neighbours feel sorry the ‘student’, and the post man has got used to the frightful sight when he delivers my parcels.

What do you wear when you are writing?

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Howard Jacobson

Congratulations to Howard Jacobson for winning the Booker prize. It is great to see a comic novel winning the prize for a change. This might be a sign of the times - that people need cheering up in this gloomy world of austerity.
Jacobson is a wonderful writer, and what’s more he once taught at our university! Read Coming from Behind if you want something to cheer yourself up, and take your mind off assignments.

Monday, 11 October 2010


Which is your favourite day of the week?
I don’t have a favourite, but I always assumed that lots of people hated Mondays
The London School of Economics has been doing research on the moods of 22,000 people via an iPhone application called ‘Mappiness’ which logs the person’s mood and location.
The research showed that Tuesday was the least favourite day of the week. Probably because the effects of a nice week-end or the binge drinking have worn off and the next week-end seems a long way off.
People in Bournemouth seem to be the happiest in the country according to this research.

Friday, 1 October 2010

‘Mature’ Students

Here is a bit of light entertainment about an American University, where the mature students don’t like nerdy types – Don’t worry the mature students at our Uni won’t be getting any ideas from Johnny McCocky!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

John Milton’s musings

Did you enjoy Paradise Lost?
Wasn’t Milton an awesome poet?
Well, Jennifer Batt, a lecturer at Oxford University, came across this poem "by Milton" in a long-forgotten volume called the Oxford and Cambridge Miscellany Poems, published in 1708, 34 years after the poet's death.

Extempore upon a Faggot

"Have you not in a Chimney seen
A Faggot which is moist and green
How coyly it receives the Heat
And at both ends do's weep and sweat?
So fares it with a tender Maid
When first upon her Back she's laid
But like dry Wood th' experienced Dame
Cracks and rejoices in the Flame."

I’ll leave you to work out what this is about.

So, Milton was clearly a bit of a lad, under his zealous Puritan façade - That is if he did really write this poem.

I must admit though, 'Extempore upon a Faggot' seems more like the sort of thing that my favourite poet the Earl of Rochester would have created !

Monday, 20 September 2010

‘Lefties’ are more aggressive

According to psychologists at Merrimack College in Massachusetts people who are left-handed are moodier and more aggressive than right-handed folks, and they are said to be clumsier. Apparently their cerebral hemispheres are more interlinked or something, which the psychologists reckon is the reason for these traits. Or maybe left-handed people just get fed up coping with a world designed for right-handed people, but their brains are more evolved as a result. About 13% of the world’s population is left-handed.
Famous left-handers include John McEnroe, Bob Geldof (known for their strops) and Barack Obama,

David Cameron is a ‘leftie’ too.

Do you think these psychologists are right or are they spouting a load of nonsense?

Friday, 17 September 2010

Pervert of the week award

This goes to Yeovil voyeur, Joshua Drummond, aged 20.
This trainee quantity surveyor from Cavalier Way hid his mobile phone in the ceiling of the ladies loo where he worked and took films of his female colleagues. He used to wait till the ladies had gone then retrieve his phone and watch the show.
Luckily one of the women spotted the phone and it was traced back to Mr. Drummond.

Drummond got off lightly (excuse the pun), and was not sent to jail, but he will be on the sex offender’s register for five years.

I must say that the workings of the male mind never cease to amaze me.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Pope’s visit

Are you excited about the pope’s visit or does the whole thing leave you bored rigid? Many tickets remain unsold for the pope’s venues, and there could be lots of reasons for the lack of interest, ranging from the recession to increasing secularization.

This papal visit has certainly generated a lot of mixed feelings.

First there is the problem of the sexual abuse scandals which were hushed up by the church.

Then we have Cardinal Kasper who likened Britain to a third world country, full of aggressive atheists

Then an ice cream company got into trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority for displaying posters that featured a pregnant nun eating ice cream. The company was told to remove the posters because they were offensive to the Catholic Church. The company, however, is planning to display posters with a similar ‘theme’ in time for the pope’s visit to Westminster Abby tomorrow.

As the product if a mixed marriage I had the misfortune to attend a dreadful Catholic convent school which contained some very nasty nuns and sadistic teachers. Thankfully I did not have to stay there for too long, but the place was enough to put anybody off Catholicism.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Happy Birthday to me

I won’t be celebrating with this - the world’s most expensive sandwich. It costs £110.59 (why the 59p??) and has cheddar cheese sprinkled with gold dust and white truffles.

Instead, I’ve been to Blackwell’s bookshop in Oxford and spent a lot of money on books for my next term at university – much more fun than a posh sandwich (?).
Blackwell’s is great - you can sit and read the books over a cappuccino.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Are you proud of your dancing?

According to Dr. Nick Neave an evolutionary psychologist at Northumbria University, women are more attracted to men who are ‘good’ dancers. In his study he showed women videos of men dancing. Dr. Neave found that the ‘good’ dancers were more likely to be healthier with better reproductive potential.

Humm… I don’t think women need some scientist telling them who is ‘fit’ and who isn’t, because attraction is very much in the eye of the beholder. Although women are less likely to go for men who are pissed out of their skulls dancing like deranged windmills and also the ones hopping up and down on the spot flapping their hands like constipated hens.

No, what women could do with is a scientific study that helps them to sift out the psychopaths and serial adulterers from the nice guys.

So get working on that one Dr. Neave!

Friday, 3 September 2010


Yes my pal Tony is back in the public eye again with his magnum opus of ‘memoirs’. It comes as no surprise that he admits that he had a difficult relationship with Gordon Brown.
Tony and Gordon always appeared to be an uneasy couple in public. The tension between them showed in their strained smiles and gritted teeth. Looking back, it seems pretty obvious that they did not really like each other.
They both appear to have colossal egos and I doubt that either of them would have been willing to back down in a scrap. The image of a couple of old dogs fighting over the same bone springs to mind.

Do you think that they should have maintained a gentleman’s agreement not to slag each other off in public?

Is it best to reveal all??

Or does anybody really give a damn???

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Bank Holiday Sunday

Are you having a good time today folks?

What have you all been getting up to?

I’ve been watching the constant change from sun to drizzling rain, whilst editing a short story. Not the most inspiring way to spend a Bank Holiday you might think, and you would be right.
This however looks like fun.
If you like getting dirty then why not consider bog-snorkeling. The town of Llanwrtyd Wells is hosting the annual bog-snorkeling championships today. The art of bog-snorkeling seems to be to glide through the mud in fancy dress without inhaling too much of the putrid bog-water. A good dose of spirits is probably needed, especially as it is a bit chilly today.

Enjoy yourselves, whatever you are doing!

Saturday, 28 August 2010


Is it just me or does anybody else think that a lot of programmes on the television are total rubbish?
It worries me that things might get worse if the Murdoch Empire becomes so powerful that it has a stranglehold over what is available - Probably bland, mind-numbing rubbish to rake in even more money for Mr. Murdoch.
In my opinion having lots of channels and choice has resulted in poorer programme quality and content.
I personally would not like to see the BBC wither and die. The BBC has produced some fantastic programmes over the years, especially the costume dramas. I thought that the recent Sherlock series was brilliant.

What programmes do you like?
Would you be happy to for the Murdoch Empire to provide all your TV programmes?

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Scary Dinners

Do you eat out a lot, or live in an institution where all your meals are cooked by others?
Has it ever crossed your mind that you could be very vulnerable if someone with a grudge or some other sinister motive tried to poison you?
Thankfully this kind of thing is very rare.
The pupils at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire had a lucky escape. Their carrot and coriander soup was laced with a poisonous cleaning chemical. Luckily someone spotted that there was a problem and the children were not harmed. Kitchen porter, Maxwell Cook, 57, was arrested and is pending a court hearing.

Seems a lot safer to do your own cooking!!!!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Fancy a bit of excitement?

If you have nothing better to do tonight, then why not stay up late and sit in the garden. You will need a comfortable deck chair - a nice alcoholic beverage or mug of cocoa would be an added bonus.
After midnight you may be rewarded with a celestial show.

No Ewar, not Anna the tennis player getting her kit off in the bedroom across the road.
No Vole, it is not Paul Uppal venturing into Wolverhampton.
No Fou, it is not Mr. Hanky,

The celestial spectacular is the Perseid meteor shower. It is supposed to be a good night to watch as the sky should be darker than usual.
Have fun!!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Are you off to university this year, or leaving home and escaping from your parents?
Are you planning to move into rented accommodation?
Well, it might be a good idea to invest in a carbon monoxide detector, especially if you think you have a dodgy landlord.
I had a fascinating discussion with a British Gas engineer who told me all about unscrupulous landlords who fit shiny new gas appliances in a property in order to pass the safety inspection. Then they take out the ‘new’ appliances after the inspection has been successfully passed and install old, nasty appliances in their place. The ‘new’ appliances are then re- used in the next property that is due for inspection and so the process of substituting old for new is repeated.

There are about fifty deaths a year in the UK from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. All you may notice is general ill health to start with, such as headache, nausea, dizziness - vague flu-like symptoms, but without the temperature.
Left undetected it can lead to death.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

A brilliant invention

I was very impressed with this story.
Timothy Whitehead, a graduate from Loughborough University, has invented a bottle that can sterilize dirty water and make it safe to drink. The water bottle contains two chambers. Dirty water is put in an outer chamber and the inner chamber is plunged through it, filtering water particles as small as four microns. Once filtered, the water is sterilised by a wind-up ultraviolet bulb in a process lasting 90 seconds. A prototype was effective in killing 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. Timothy has won the UK James Dyson award for his invention, and will be one of the finalists in the global awards in October.
It is a great pity that the bottle has not been mass produced. It would be of enormous help in natural disasters such as the current floods in Pakistan.

Tim deserves to win the global prize as his invention could literally be a life-saver.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Raymond Scott - part two

On Monday I was musing about people who live a lifestyle which is not commensurate with their apparent income, and Mr. Scott provided a fine example of this, with a life of fraud, crime and debt financing his extravagant tastes.

Anonymous has posted some fascinating information about Scott on my blog, saying how Scott was a ‘character’ at school.
This set off a further train of musing that odd, eccentric or deviant people often exhibit these traits in childhood and early adulthood.

Did you have any weirdos, psychopaths, colourful or creatively eccentric characters at your school that have become notorious in later life?

Anonymous has supplied a link to Scott’s school picture. Scott is the second one from the right on the second row from the front.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Raymond Scott

Do you get a bit suspicious when someone supposedly living on benefits seems to live a jet-set lifestyle and keeps a Ferrari?
Scott, 53, has never worked and he lives with his mum in her terraced house in Sunderland .Scott drank expensive champagne, bought designer clothes and regularly flew to Cuba to see his girlfriend.

So how did he do it?

Scott has just been given an eight year jail sentence for ‘handling stolen goods’. He is guilty of cultural vandalism to one of Shakespeare’s first folios. The folio in question was stolen from Durham University library in 1998. Scott had it in his possession for ten years then tried to sell it to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC for £1m. The folio had been badly damaged, in an effort to remove evidence of its provenance. Luckily the staff at the Folger were astute and called in the FBI.

Scott turned up for his month long trial at Newcastle Crown Court in a limousine with four bodyguards. One day he attended court dressed as Che Guevara, spraying the photographers with champagne. It was revealed that Scott had a string of offences for fraud and theft stretching back 32 years.

So, that is how he managed to live like an international playboy, together with his £90k debts.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Fake pound coins

Have you ever had the annoying experience of trying to pay for a ticket and the machine keeps spitting out your pound coins. The chances are that the pound coins you are using are fake. I was horrified to hear that 1 in 36 pound coins currently in circulation are counterfeits. The figure is rising year on year.
It is illegal to use counterfeit pound coins so how do you spot them?
This depends on the quality of the fake.
Here are some guidelines from the Royal Mint – you can look at their website for more detailed information.
The date and design on the reverse do not match (the reverse design is changed each year) – see royal mint website for details
The lettering or inscription on the edge of the coin does not correspond to the right year.
The milled edge is poorly defined and the lettering is uneven in depth, spacing or is poorly formed. The obverse and reverse designs are not as sharp or well defined.
Where the coin should have been in circulation for some time, the colouring appears more shiny and golden and the coin shows no sign of age.
The colour of the coin does not match genuine coins.
The orientation of the obverse and reverse designs is not in line.

So next time you hold up the queue at a ticket machine as it spits out your pound coins you can thank the scumbags who are making the fakes!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Toxic mothers

Do you have a loving mother? Well, if you do, then you are very lucky. You are likely to have grown up with good self esteem and you are likely to be good at handling the stresses of life.
If a mother is emotionally cold or hostile, then a child more likely to grow up suffering from anxiety and have a poor self image.

These findings came from a study carried out at Rhode Island over a thirty year period. The researchers studied interactions between mothers and babies and interviewed the ‘babies’ again thirty years later to see how they had turned out. The results were published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Many people have the misfortune to have odd mothers, but hostile, critical mothers who don’t show their children that they love or want them do a lot of damage.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Britain’s Got Talent vs. British heroes

I’ve been in France – hence the lack of blog postings for a while. I got back to see these two items in the news. One was about a woman, Emma Amelia Pearl Czikai, who claimed she had been humiliated by Simon Cowell and was suing him for £2.5 million for the distress she suffered as a result of his comments about her on the show. I saw a clip of Emma Amelia Pearl Czikai ‘singing’ and it was awful (although there is another clip of her on YouTube in which her singing is a lot better). Everyone knows that Simon Cowell is very forthright with his opinions, but demanding compensation of £2.5 million for what was a truthful opinion, is in my opinion, barmy.

Contrast her ridiculous demands with the treatment of brave soldier Aron Shelton by the benefits agency. He lost his £180 p.m. mobility allowance after honestly stating on his claim form that he could walk 400 metres with his prosthetic leg. That is, on a good day. He is in constant pain and the effort leaves him wiped out. He saw his friend killed in action and has clearly suffered a great deal to help his country. I hope that he gets his mobility benefit back, as he clearly needs it.

As for the operatic prima donna- I hope her extortionate claim is laughed out of court.

Emma Amelia Pearl Czikai - Britains Got Talent 2009 Ep 5
Uploaded by metora83. - Classic TV and last night's shows, online.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Bad teachers

Did you have any bad or useless teachers at your school?
Did the bad teacher affect your grades or sabotage your career plans?

Zenna Atknis, the chair of Ofsted, does not think it matters too much if a school has bad teachers. She thinks it can help people cope with life.
Do you think that is a valid reason for people having to put up with bad teachers?

We had one notoriously bad teacher at our school, called ‘Zombie’, who taught French. That was not his real name, but the name we called him behind his back. He was very timid, despite his vast stature, and he was unbearably boring .I don’t think anyone learnt anything in his lessons because people were too busy tormenting him. Those of us who wanted to learn could not hear the lesson above the din of mockery and disruption.
We also had a maths teacher who was an aggressive psychopath, with a volatile temper. His lessons were terrifying ordeals involving routine humiliation, and the hurling of homework books at the ignorant. Needless to say I am completely maths phobic thanks to him.
Then there was the PE master who thought he was God’s gift… but that’s another story…

Meanwhile in Essex, the children at one school have been having sex education lessons from a teacher who leads a double life. In his spare time he is Johnny Anglais - porn star, pictured above.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Paul the psychic octopus

I have been fascinated with Paul the octopus. He is the most interesting thing about the World Cup.
So far he has accurately predicted all the German results in this tournament.
But poor Paul has had death threats from disgruntled fans, who want to boil him and eat him.

Paul has predicted that Spain will win on Sunday (and that Germany will come third in the play-offs).
Now Paul has a rival in the prediction business – a parakeet from Singapore has predicted that Holland will win instead.

We will have to wait till Sunday to find out who is right – Will it be Paul or the parakeet?????

Thursday, 8 July 2010


Have you been watching the police manhunt for Raoul Moat?
It is only a few weeks since the murdering rampage by Derrick Bird, and here we are again with another murderer on the run. I hope these murderers have not set a precedent for a proliferation of copy-cat killings by people who ‘snap’/ hate their mothers/ have been jilted/ got out of bed on the wrong side that morning etc etc. England is starting to feel like the Wild West, and it is very scary.

Moat’s mother has disowned him, which may be an indication of the awfulness of his personality and behaviour prior to this atrocity.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Paul’s predictions

Are you watching the football match tonight?
I’m not. I’m going out.
But if you are interested then Paul the psychic octopus at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre has predicted a win for Spain.
I find the antics of the octopus far more interesting than the football, although the German players have been very impressive on the pitch.

Will Paul be right again, or are his psychic powers waning??
We will know tonight.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Tough times for graduates

A poll of employers has revealed today that due to a shortage of jobs there are as many as seventy graduates chasing each job vacancy. Employers are also demanding a 2.1 degree as a minimum requirement.

I was annoyed when a man on TV this morning said that the job problem for graduates was the fault of people doing too many ‘soft’ degrees like the one I’m doing and ‘media studies’. He also said that students should be made to do ‘proper A levels’ and only people wanting to enter a profession should be allowed to study at university. Everyone else should consider apprenticeships and vocational qualifications.

Do you think he has a point?

Would the world be a better place without humanities degrees?

Monday, 28 June 2010

Paul the octopus got it right!

What did you think of the England team's ‘performance’ yesterday?

There are no excuses - they were appalling.
The players did not show any team spirit, or national pride.

They are a disgrace to all the people who wasted their time and money travelling to South Africa to support them.

How can you have a decent team when the members are overpaid, overhyped tabloid celebs, more interested in the trappings of wealth than doing a good job?

Would it help to have a manager who was from England?
Was the fault Capello’s? Is he a useless manager? He certainly seems to have communication difficulties, so perhaps the ‘team’ struggled to understand what he wanted them to do.

What do you think?

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Octopus predicts football results

Do you have a psychic pet?
The Germans believe that they have.
Here is Paul, the psychic octopus who can predict football results.
Paul lives at the Oberhausen Sea Life Aquarium in Germany.
So far Paul has accurately predicted the results for the German football team in the World Cup.
Sadly for England fans, Paul has predicted that Germany will win tomorrow.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

What has happened to our gnomes?

The gnome used to be an important design feature in traditional British gardens. But times have changed and so have people’s tastes. The craze for wind chimes and low maintenance has lead to gardens becoming boring.
Gnomes with plump rosy cheeks and red pointy hats are no longer to be seen dipping their little rods into ornamental fish ponds.

Sad isn’t it?

Have you ever wondered where all the gnomes have gone?
The answer is – the tip. Best place for them you might think.
But Neil Goode from Birmingham has been busy rescuing discarded gnomes from a recycling centre, and has given them a new lease of life, by repainting them in World Cup colours.

Once the World Cup is over I suspect the poor gnomes will find themselves back on the scrap heap, unloved and unwanted.

As for the England team, judging by yesterday’s appalling performance, they will be too.

It is about time people questioned the obscene amounts of money paid to football players - all they do is fill the tabloids with their lavish lifestyles and wanton behaviour.

You can see his gnomes on the link below.

Friday, 18 June 2010


Do you like books?

I expect most of you do. I’m a student and I seem to spend more money on books than anything else.
In these cash strapped times, with the prospect of swingeing cuts under the ConDems, please don’t be tempted to emulate this Cambridge graduate, if you are short of cash for textbooks.
This villain, William Jacques, 41, stole £40,000 worth of rare books from the Royal Horticultural Society’s library, by smuggling them out under his tweed jacket. He also used a false name. The staff at the library became suspicious when he was noted to leave the library, on a regular basis with his ‘left arm held stiffly to his side.’