Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Dead Cert Predictions

After my amazingly successful prediction of the outcome of the Michael Jackson trial, it's about time I made another.

We won't get the 2012 Olympics.

I'm sorry if you were holding up any hopes, but really, we haven't a hope. We'll lose comfortably (if we're told by how much).

We won't win for the same reason that we're rubbish at the Eurovision Song Contest.

They all hate us.

They hate us for being like yanks. They hate us for arse-licking the yanks. They think we're all hooligans. Curiously, I think old Tone may have won some votes back with his standing on EU funding, but they still hate us.

Maybe it's just me.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Jerry

Our existence is uncannily like that of The Good Life. This has been remarked upon by nearly everyone who has visited us.

I'm Tom Good with my lovely wife Barbara. We keep chickens, geese, ducks and goats. In our time we have reared lambs and pigs, had them slaughtered and eaten. We also grow vegetables.

Next door are Jerry and Margot. Jerry is retired. He was a barrister (I think) and was head of the legal department of a large local company. Margot has inherited wealth (I think). They live in a lovely large house (I believe our bungalow was originally "their" gardener's cottage). They are a thoroughly decent "old money" family.

I have never talked to them about the Good Life analogy. There is absolutely no doubt they would agree. Our relationship with them is exactly as that depicted between the Goods and the Leadbetters.

They have been neighbours now for 23 years. They have seen all our four teenagers grow from babies. We have seen their young children turn into grown-ups with families.

Jerry died this week. We will all miss him.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Switzerland

We (siblings and I) took my parents to Switzerland for a surprise long weekend to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary. We flew to Milan (Bergamo) then drove to Dangio, Ticino, Switzerland, a little village stacked full of Cimas.

The highlights:

  • The look on mum and dad's faces when they realised what was going on. Mum cries easily.
  • Driving a minibus in the Milanese rush our (vita ora?)
  • The food
  • The scenery. Never forget the scenery
  • The classy looking women by Lake Lugano
  • The mad Italians
  • The way the swiss cows really do have bells round their necks and the chalets look like giant cuckoo clocks

The lowlight:

  • The way you have to kiss all the relatives three times: right, left, right. It takes bloody ages. You even have to do it to the blokes. This alone is enough to put me off going again

Monday, June 06, 2005

Fire Alert

On Saturday evening we took our youngest daughter (13) to a Blues Brothers tribute band concert in Stroud. She seemed bemused (or maybe embarrassed) at the gyrations of the mainly over-forties.

My Git Of A Son was on half-term holiday in Devon with his mate and wasn't expected back till Sunday.

We returned at about midnight to find GOAS in a house full of smoke.

It turns out they decided to return a day early (without letting us know). GOAS decided to cook himself a meal (full marks for initiative) but left the oven glove on the Rayburn hotplate.

The bloody thing caught fire. GOAS was in the living room watching the soon-to-be-retired telly with the door closed. The house was only saved by the smoke alarms.

He chucked the flaming glove out of the window.

The Value Of Telly

The TV Licence renewal dropped through the letterbox this week.

Well, we don't actually have a letterbox in a 'hole in the door' sort of way, so the Postie chucks the letters on the damp porch floor. We bought a metal post box and screwed it to the wall, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. He still chucks the letters on the floor.

I digress.

The TV licence is about £129 (I can't remember exactly). My wife said that friends of ours, with one child, offered him the licence money in exchange for getting rid of the telly and he took them up on the offer.

I thought I'd try the same thing. The trouble is we've got four kids (teenagers). I offered them £33 each in exchange for getting rid of the telly. The decision had to be unanimous (I pay the bills; I still make the rules), so one could scupper it for the rest.

To my amazement, they have all agreed. Also, I have already paid the eldest, so there is no going back.

The current licence is valid until 30th June. After that it's going and Honey End will be a telly-free zone.

I'll have to go to the pub to watch the footie.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Jerk Reaction

After the trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky ,George W Bush said:

"As I explained to him (Putin), here you're innocent until proven guilty, and it appeared to us - at least people in my administration - that it looked like he had been judged guilty prior to (having) a fair trial,"

Is this the same administration that detains prisoners at Guantanamo Bay without trial and without access to a lawyer?

Surely not.

On the latest Amnesty report, Dick Cheney put things straight:

"I think the fact of the matter is the United States has done more to advance the cause of freedom, has liberated more people from tyranny over the course of the 20th century and up to the present day than any other nation in the history of the world,"

These are, without question, the most dangerous men on the planet.