Archive for February, 2013

I am become death…

…destroyer of owls. 

I forgot to mention, a week or so ago I was tootling along, minding my own business, when one of those flat faced owls swooped across the road, noticed me trundling towards him (grammatical ‘him’, couldn’t guess the sex) and instead of carrying on out of my way braked in mid air and started dithering about. I whacked straight into the poor bastard. I was gutted. Not as much as said owl I’ll wager, but pissed right off none the less. Poor little sausage.

That’s a pigeon (don’t care, stupid birds) a suspected bat (bit miffed, I like bats – if it was one) and a lovely fluffy white owl.  According to Chris Packham that’s one of the reasons why they are planting all those trees alongside motorways; so the owl’s hunting glide will be above the level of the traffic.  Eyes like a hawk, ears like a bat, brains like a penis.


In other work related news, that is about all I am doing.

I rode in for three days last week. This means I set off at 1400, work until 0300, ride home, strip wash, have a brew and get in bed for 0430. On a good day sleep till 1230 (eight hours of interrupted daytime sleep), get up get a shower, make my dinner and butties and set out to work.

On Thursday and Friday I had to get up at 1130 (Kung Fu and big shop respectively) so seven hours shitty daytime kip. But both events made me too late for the bike so at least I got home a bit quicker in the car.

All I’m doing is literally work and sleep. From Monday at 1400 until Saturday noon. I see Wendy for half an hour on a Monday morning (when I run her in to work) and about an hour or so (as I’m doing other stuff) on Wednesday, then it’s Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

Bag. Of. Shit.

Today I got to bed at 0500 and was woken by a neighbour’s yappy dog less than five hours later. Then the neighbour’s grandkids. Not only loud but high pitched. I got another hour or so (dragged a mattress into the hall and shut all the doors) but I’ve been half dead all day.

I’ve bitten the bullet and applied for another job! Go me!

That one with Hermes I wanted before I got this one. Their website says they are after 12 drivers. Watch this space.


I finally got to fill the car up again on Friday. Real world figures make it 49.56 miles to the gallon. There was some experimenting with acceleration in those figures so 50 mpg is not too shabby.


That fiasco with the bank has ended up with us being spanked fiercely. They cancelled the 2k overdraft down to a 1k without notice then charged us for 9 counts of ‘unauthorised overdraft’. £161. Ker-Ching!  Bastards!

I’ve just paid the tax man his blood money for this year and we will be back in credit with the bank when I next get paid. Then it’s just a matter of paying off the credit card. Again.

Still, at the minute I’m working 55+ hour week’s, so I may not have a life but shit is getting paid off.

If I get this new job it’s better pay, guaranteed minimum of 40 hours, with time and a third overtime (of which there will doubtless be much). The down side is you have to do some weekend work.


There is a tiny chip in my windscreen. I went online to arrange to have it glued up. (Free on my insurance! Yay for minor victories!) They wanted to know make, model, reg etc. Then they had a box: “Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?” I tried to be helpful by telling them “I kissed a girl and I liked it.” They didn’t mention it when they ‘phoned to confirm. Ingrates. You go the extra mile…


Also I was getting pissed off with people dazzling me with full beam headlights at night. I started a rant on Twitter:

There are only so many times one can fantasize about deploying a retina-frying laser before one builds a death-ray. Dip your headlights!

As we all know ‘laser’ is just the process. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. So first I’ll need lots of light.

The USians do daylight saving over the Summer (which explains our dearth come Autumn) so they should have lots of spare light, cheap.

Get them to Skype me some weapons grade stuff and we are in business.

Amplifying the light shouldn’t be too difficult, I’ll just turn the Skype up to 11. Wasted as a lorry driver. Physics is my natural calling.


Which whimsy brings me to my seriously truncated Twitter week.


The DMreporter was all over the news:

NOTICE: We are closing this account with immediate effect. David Cameron’s collaboration with One Direction has ruled satire irrelevant.

FINANANCE: RBS chiefs to get £6m bonus payout for ‘having the decency to admit they’d been defrauding the public for years.’

SOUTH AFRICA: Police admit they’re stumped over Reeva Steenkamp case and appeal for “wild, unfounded speculation from Daily Mail readers.”

POPE: Resignation linked to gay homosexual parties with gay homosexuals doing gay homosexual things.

SCROUNGERS: 95% of benefit claimants are jobless single mothers of 11 children, all of whom are laughing at you.


Some general observations:

I guess I knew my marriage was doomed when the first song at my wedding was "Life Insurance Payout", a song composed by my wife.

There is much to admire about the Sugababes. They survived an entire line-up change. The Beatles never managed that.

Why use a shampoo that ‘nourishes rebellious hair’? THIS WILL SIMPLY ENCOURAGE THE WRONG KIND OF HAIR, YOU THICK FUCK.

Birds Eye withdraw beef products over misleading labelling & #horsemeat concerns. This the company that sells fish ‘fingers’.

Martyrdom is the only way a man can become famous without ability. ~ Schopenhauer

I let people know I was back in training:

Windy today. Forgot how much* I like cycling. (*Not. At. Fucking. All.)

Job interview: "What’s your greatest weakness?" "Honesty." "I don’t think honesty is a weakness. "I don’t give a f**k what you think."

I believe Winnie the Pooh has a right to bear arms.


Politics/ Tory scum:

#Workfare does not end the "something for nothing" culture. It elevates it to the corporate level. That’s all.

BBC reports Cameron thinks it’s "completely wrong" to criticise the monarchy. BBC says nothing on the morality of Cameron destroying the NHS

What a cheek. Europhobe Boris wants EU to bail out his #dangleway that no one uses …

Bloody unemployed poor people, stealing all rich folks money!! Bastards.

Dear Gideon, you said judge you on whether we kept the AAA rating. We lost it, i’m judging you; fuck off you cruel arrogant bastard

#BBCNews‘s piece on unemployment figures might just as well be a picture of a reporter with their nose lodged in IDS’s anus.


Best. Sidecar. Ever.


And finally, hella-cat!


Bah, barely worth me saying I’m on Twitter anymore! *tired grumpy face*



Hill run!

It’s been another eventful week at work to which I will refer in a minute, but as a consequence I didn’t get to bed until 0330 today and didn’t get up until 1305 hours.

By the time I’d had a shower, eaten some toast, let it settle, faffed about, then driven to Bolton it was 1620. I was going to do three laps of the 8 mile sampler run we did a few weeks ago.

Obviously I immediately got lost when I started running. Luckily the summit of the ascent is that huge great mast on top of Winter Hill, so you know for miles around in which direction you should be heading. And the carpark is next to a 265ft chimney, so I was pretty confident I could find my way back as well, which is a bonus.

The first ascent was pretty bad. Over marshy fields, looping around roads, trying to avoid the rivers running down the tracks.

Once I’d made it to the top I thought it would be easier to run down the way I should have come up, then back up again so I’d know the proper route. That didn’t work out right either, but I found a more direct way. Massively steep, but a straight line at least.

When I went to do lap 2 it was already pretty dark. I grabbed my torch and soldiered on. Stupid idea. Running over rutted, rocky, muddy, washed away tracks in the pitch black. There were still patches of snow on either side of the path, so it must have been fair chilly still. Going up, slogging, wasn’t so bad. I was really getting worried coming down. I ended up running down the streams as the mud had been washed away there and it was firm underfoot. That was bracing. I was really getting concerned in case I had a mishap. I was soaked in sweat (and river water) if I’d have bust an ankle it could have got serious quite quickly in the cold and wind.

Anyway, I did it. Only managed the two laps (16.38 miles) as there was no way I was going back up again in the dark. And it was getting on. And I was cold. And, let’s face it, I was quite knackered.

This is what it looked like as a graph:




Work!  What a bloody joke!

They want me to do that Gateshead run, back to Crewe, then back to Irlam. It takes 5 hours and a few minutes driving time to get there. That means, if you have a clear run back you can make up the extra few minutes due to no traffic hold ups and make it within the legal maximum of 10 driving hours. Twice a week. The other three shifts (maximum 9 hours driving) you don’t stand a hope. Now, just to add to my enjoyment, they’ve closed a massive section of the A1/ (M). This detours you through some one horse, single lane, twisty B roads all over North Yorkshire. It’s a nightmare and adds 20 minutes to your time. Which means I’ve not got back to Crewe all week.

I was still doing 12+ hour shifts even so.

One of the days they had left the bay, unto which I’m supposed to back (then tip myself), completely full. I’d pulled the truck around and was looking to see what I could do about it when a fork lift driver came up and told me to pull my curtains so he could unload me. Fair enough. I wasn’t in any position, I’d just stopped and got out for a look. The unit was still at a slight angle to the trailer. Then whilst tipping me the forky drove straight into my units lights. Totally smashed the lense cover.  Ace. Then he got a strop on saying it was my fault as I hadn’t parked straight. I was parked. If you choose to unload me in that position the onus is on you to be able to do it. Just tell me to straighten up if you can’t do it.

He went off in a big sulk and got his boss. I just wanted a new lense cover. I couldn’t drive back in that condition.  Eventually they went and bought me a replacement and fitted it. What a palaver!

The next day I was concerned as they cancelled me. It’s not a run that gets cancelled. I thought Gateshead had been on and told them they didn’t want me on site. I rang Crewe but they said it was because my old run wasn’t needed that day, so they’d sent the full-timer who’s now doing that on my current run.  Fair enough.

Apparently the works had ‘phoned the agency in the morning to tell them I was cancelled, the agency hadn’t been bothered to let me know. So I turned up at 1500 only to have to come home. I’ve got the cheapo gym option whereby I can only go 0700- 1700 Monday to Friday. This meant I had to leg it to get a quick hour in. If the agency had done their job I could have had a proper session. Arseholes.


The bank gave us a bit of a surprise this week. When I got the car I thought it would be cheaper and easier to extend the overdraft facility to £2,000, which I did online. The form said for me to confirm my details, name, age, still working as a warehouse operative at DHL, etc. The bastards always get their money back so I just clicked ‘yes’.

Suddenly this week they must have caught on. We could spend up until 1300 hours on Thursday, at 1400 ‘no available funds’. Oops.

I was whinging to Wendy,I mentioned I may have slightly falsified my application, which she referred to as “fraudulently attempting to gain credit”.  What do they care? We’ve always paid them back.

Apparently they care.

Anyway, just transferred a grand to the card and we are back in business.  Two months, maybe three, and it will all be paid off again, so the interest shouldn’t be that painful. This month we pay off my £600.20 tax bill. And still reduce the other debts.

I may not be able to do anything other than work and sleep on this new shift, but it’s handy for paying the bills.


I managed to make it to both my Kung Fu classes last week. That’s good. Did I mention the reason I didn’t see my turn off on the M62 for my Newton-le-Willows class was because it was off the M6? Professional lorry driver fail! Twice! That was my St Helens Tae Kwon Do class that was down that way. D’oh!


On to Twitter. Again I’ve not had as much time to peruse as I’d like. I just catch it on my breaks and days off mainly now. Which is some sort of human rights abuse, as far as I can tell.


The DMreporter kept us abreast with:

HEALTH: “Box-ticking culture has destroyed the NHS” says Cameron “but it works really well when deciding if disabled people can work.”

POLITICS: Homosexual campaigner criticised for claiming voting Conservative “is just a phase.”

OPPRESSION: White, middle-class, Christian, home-owning Daily Mail readers “among the most persecuted in society.”

WILDLIFE: Urban Fox cull is the highest priority, say countryside badgers.

BREAKING: Attractive woman wins court case. Afterwards she gave an interview where you could almost see her breasts. (Pictures).

CONFLICT: “Mali could be Britain’s Vietnam” warn experts with absolutely no understanding of military history.


Some top tips:

KITCHEN roll laid over scattered popping candy makes for a hellish minefield for slugs.

Whenever I’m on the Channel Tunnel, I like to pour a bottle of water over my head, then run the length of the train shouting, "IT’S LEAKING!"

To Do List : 1: Buy 4 Pigs 2: Paint numbers 1,2,3 & 5 on their backs 3: Release them in Wal-Mart 4: Sit back watch Security search for #4

ENSURE your kids stay in bed at night by standing at their door in a clown mask with plastic cutlery taped to your fingers.

VATICAN. Increase awareness and swell your coffers by using this opportunity to launch Pope Idol


There was this sad story:

Girl Gets Boyfriend’s Name Tattooed Across Face Less Than 24-Hours After Meeting IRL [In Real Life] (Originally Met Online)

To which I added: Sweet Jesus I hope that works out for that poor girl. What a muppet.

And a chum replied: yes – she should’ve gone for a marker pen for the 1st couple of dates at least


General observations:

Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is that you’re stupid and make bad decisions.

I noted:  “On run, crossing road, BMW driver went straight through on red. They should change the badge to a steering wheel with an arsehole behind it.”

Watching Harry Potter on TV reminds me of the time my parents were killed and I was adopted by muggles before going to a school for wizards.

Imagine my piratey distress at discovering Seabiscuit is in fact a horse. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT HASN’T BEEN CONTAMINATED?!?! 🙁

We are seeing foxes more often round our way, these days. We now keep our glacier mints safely hidden in a cupboard

About 2,500 or so children killed or seriously injured on our roads every yea, no one gives a damn. 1 child hurt by a fox, thats a crisis?

My mother just called. ‘Is the Internet open yet? Can you check something for me?’ Told her it opens at 10am.

Dear bloke on the train with the Quagmire from Family Guy ringtone. I do hope you can dial using your colon.

The newsreader just said that we should be prepared for more unwelcome news. That’s not really selling it.

The Pope, a packet of Tesco burgers, Richard III and Chris Huhne walk into a bar. Twitter melts.

Sometimes when getting off a train with headphones on I wait til the person next to me moves then follow muttering "target is moving".

Sky News just described someone as "the victim of a gun-related shooting".

Hard to know where this guy’s parents stood politically:

I drew this during a training session. it’s called "your powerpoint presentation killed my bunny."


The Pope resigned:

The Pope has resigned. My guess, he was involved in some sort of horrible movement when he was younger and doesn’t want us to find out.

So remember: when you’ve got the Spanish Inquisition and the Hitler Youth on your resume, eight years leading Catholicism is all you get.

Wanted: Celibate bigot with experience of enabling paedophiles. Infallibility preferred. Bullet proof van provided. Salary: Unlimited

@TonyForPope (Tony Blair spoof account) tweeted: Ask me my three main priorities for the Papacy, and I tell you: transubstantiation, transubstantiation, transubstantiation #TonyforPope

And got this reply: Surely he would be against sin and the causes of sin ……

Pope walks into a mosque. Imam says "Why the wrong faith?"

BREAKING: Statement from Vatican says Pope resigning so he can "spend more time judging your family"

Just realised the pope resigned 2 days before lent… Seems like someone didn’t want to give up cigarettes or roller-blading.

@paddypower have put odds on Richard Dawkins @richarddawkins becoming Pope at 666/1.

The Pope in Rome Tweeted:  Phew! David Cameron has praised my decision. I was worried he might mention the whole kiddy fiddling thing for a second there. Panic over.

On the up side this does mean I’m free to play The Emperor in Disney Lucasfilm’s upcoming Star Wars trilogy. Have your people call my people

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. This was my decision alone. We are in control. Now eat this magic bread.

I observed:

Someone saying Brits can’t knock nazi pope as our royal family have links. Royals aren’t considered God’s gobpiece. And I want a republic.

As I recall it ended rather poorly for the last monarch who claimed the divine right of kings.


Political observations:

really enjoy the phrase "the anti-war left" like not liking wars is some niche trotskyist talking point

Comparing US drone killings to Latin American death squad killings is just silly. The US is in *North* America.

Sarah Palin posted on Facebook: "A CNN anchor asked if an asteroid was caused by global warming. Duh! Asteroids are caused by GAY MARRIAGE."

Voting UKIP because you don’t like the Tories & Labour, is like saying "I hate Pepsi & Coke, so I’ll drink piss.”

Blimey, clips from ‘Metropolis’ in a report about the Cait Reilly #workfare legal victory: I sense #newsnight has taken a view..


Tory Scum:

Are we seriously doing the whole killer urban foxes thing again? Those toffs just want an excuse to mount up and hunt the poor things.

So foxes (which are in essence wild animals) attack twice in 5 years. Dog attacks are reported almost daily yet no action. #hiddenagenda

Jeremy #Hunt is delivering this speech like he has never seen it before, let alone written it. Or seen paper. Or words.

Boris Johnson on urban foxes: They look cuddly, but they’re a dangerous menace. Oh the irony Boris, the irony.

Fox harms one baby & MPs scream for a cull. Coalition sends thousands to poverty & even death and NOTHING. When do we cull toxic Government?

The most outspoken opponent of a mansion tax is Boris Johnson. Estimated value of Boris’s home: £2.6m.

If #Newsnight covered horsemeat like they did NHS privatisation, we’d have hours of promotional videos for Romanian abattoirs.


And some from the vaults:

I wonder if Adele is over me?

How bad was the break-up, on a scale of 1 to Adele?

Fine Young Cannibals? That’s ridiculously lenient sentencing!


Right, enough for now.



Gateshead revisited.

On Monday I turned up at Crewe to the joyous news that I am now on the Gateshead run. This means I have to drive for 50 minutes from Irlam to Crewe, swap trailers then drive to Gateshead (next door to Newcastle upon Tyne.) Right up in the (possibly cannibalistic) North East. Which means I have to drive back (past Irlam,) then around the M60 (Manchester circular motorway) and over the highest motorway in England. In rush hour.

Another brilliant bit of planning.

They then want me to return to Crewe, trailer swap, then back to Irlam.

Not. Even. Nearly.

It takes 5 hours of driving time to go from Irlam to Gateshead (via Crewe). By law I have to take a break after 4½ hours driving time, so there’s another 45 minutes on my time. And I’m only allowed two 4½ hour stints a day. But this can be extended by an hour twice a week.

So, with the quieter traffic on the very late return journey I can just scrape in the full trip, twice a week. The other three days it’s straight back to Irlam and they can whistle for it.

So, that’s the hours. Piss poor.

Then there’s the driving over the Pennines in the snow. Focusing.  Trying to overtake the want-to-live-forever crew by pulling into the middle lane, where there was still compacted snow and ice, was a hell of an experience. As soon as you touch the go pedal the cab starts snaking about, pivoting under the trailer pin. Bloody tense times. The other driver said that truck was “skittish.”

The same night as I was doing that a van driver got killed along the same stretch.

This means the hours are all wrong, the run starts at the wrong place (if one of the Crewe drivers brought the trailer to Irlam I would be travelling in the right direction and could manage to get back to Crewe/ Irlam every night.) The motorways cop for the bad weather, and when I got to Gateshead they said “back yourself into the warehouse, up to the bay and tip (unload) yourself.’”

The good just keeps on coming.

The end result is that I’m starting at 1500hrs, and not getting finished until 0400hrs, by the time I’ve nipped to th’Asda and had a brew I’m not getting to bed until 0530 or so on the long nights.

Just work and bed.


Then, just to enamour me further of my new run, on Thursday I got to Crewe, dropped my trailer and hitched up to the loaded one. I did my walk around checks and the trailer was bollocksed. Hissing like a bastard from around the wheels. I reckon one of the big air chambers (that hold the compressed air for the suspension and brakes) had popped. I defected it. They then asked me to do some shunting so they could tip it and load another trailer. I moved a trailer off the bay, put the knackered one back on, then moved it again when empty. You’ve got to hitch up and dick about for each of those moves. They finally gave me new paperwork. I looked at it, it seemed to say my name, the time it was loaded (1600) and the bay it was on; D3.

As the only information I could use was the D3 and that was scrawled to look like DJ I went in and asked. The guy confirmed it was D3. So I hitched up and set off. I got to the end of my driving hours (4hrs 25min) and was pulled over having my butties when work rang me, I had the wrong trailer! My arse totally went. That would be the very definition of a ‘not good thing’, in trucking terms. I re-examined the paperwork, the 1600 was in a box that had, in the tiniest of print, the legend; ‘Trailer No’, and it wasn’t 1600 the time, it was 01600 the trailer. Oh very dear. Arse in a sling. As I’m still agency that would have been me.

It wasn’t until I was actually back in Irlam that I realized it said 9600, not 01600. The trailer I’d picked up was, indeed, 9600. Off bay D3.

Arse. Covered. *phew*

The mistake was wholly theirs. They’d written the trailer was on D3, and it was 9600. Which is what I’d taken. The fact that my load was actually on a different trailer on D8 was entirely their fault.


That was my week in trucking. Eventful and stressful, but ultimately I got to keep it and get loads of hours. This is good news for my bank manager. It was a 60 hour week, for which I get paid 55 hours 15 minutes.

I can’t see it being much less any time soon. In a way that’s good. The last run I was getting cancelled quite often as I was doing a second, mop up, run. If they didn’t have enough for two trailers I was cancelled. I only got paid for 28 hours last week. This is just the one run and it’s a long one.

God knows how I am supposed to train around it, though.


The Outlaw tweeted yesterday, saying it’s 21 weeks until the race. DON’T PANIC! DON’T PANIC! *panics* And it’s only 3 weeks until the Bolton hill marathon. I’ve done precisely one run over 10 miles this year. Mostly a lot less. I was working on speed over shorter distance. Then I got that bug and haven’t done anything for 3 weeks.

Today I went out for a longer run. I did 19.63 miles (according to my satnav MapMyRun thing) at a steady (ie, shit-slow) 8 m/m pace. And I was bollocksed! Dear, oh dear, oh dear.

It was just a matter of gritting my teeth and getting on with it. I fear the Marathon will just be an exercise in willpower.

The wake-up tweet by the Outlaw means I’m back on the bike on Monday. And swimming. And running. Quite when I get to do all of this is the mystery. Ho hum. At least we can pay our debt off quicker.

The downside for you, my imagined audience, is that I have had much less time to spend on Twitter. Sorry.

Here is the little I’ve caught:

The DMreporter:

INTERNATIONAL: China hacks Twitter to steal photos of YOUR breakfast.

GAY MARRIAGE: 400 MP majority in favour “a bad day for democracy.”

HEALTH: Food standards agency announce meat content in frozen meals to be measured in hands.


The equal marriage vote:

Can we compromise – what about gay people marry other gay people and Heterosexual people marry heterosexual people? If they marry at all.

Argh, what’s that feeling!? It’s my marriage being devalued, melting away, worthless! They warned this would happen, if only I’d listened!

I do understand those MPs worried about teaching homosexuality to children. It is hard to explain:

Proud that all six Muslim Labour MPs voted for equal marriage today, dispelling the Daily Mail myth that we’re all intolerant extremists.

NEWS! People who tell people to move to Iran if they don’t like it, urged to move to Iran if they don’t like it

The front page of tomorrow’s Daily Mail will be in heart attack font.

It’s an equality bill, not an equality Belinda.

I’m gonna marry so many gays now.

For the first time, this evening, millions of gay men in the UK can hear their biological clocks ticking.



A friend once lost her keys & texted her neighbour "I’ve just managed to lick myself out. Can you come & help?" Best typo ever.

@DeathStarPR noted:

That awkward moment when you say "Swag" and/or "YOLO" and we’re forced to destroy your planet with a giant death laser.

6 yr old: "Let’s go on holiday." Me: "Where?" 6 yr old: "The Bahamas." Me: "Too expensive." 6 yr old: "Watford?"

Absolutely superb comment on the BBC website about the #RichardIII skeleton: "Why did they bury him under a car park?"”

sooo deflated, my newsfeed on fb just suggested Jeremy Kyle as a friend – just gonna up alcohol intake

"There was an old woman who swallowed a horse … it’s Findus of course" #FSAsongs

I remember once seeing some poets on a field trip describe the fuck out of a lily. It was horrific. Then they laid into a sunset.

#Findus declining in popularity according to a gallop poll

I added to the Findus horsemeat revelation commentary: It’s what other meat was used and undisclosed that is worrying. I’m avoiding the ratatouille just in case. And: It’s the cat’s whiskers. Errr…, the dog’s bollocks. Errr,.. the bee’s knees. Shit, I’m never eating again.



The only cartoon a child needs to properly understand the story of Noah’s Ark

A top tip:

CONVINCE neighbours you’re invisible by stiffening your dog’s lead with starch and sending him out for a walk on his own.


(Upon Chris Huhne pleading guilty to the speeding/ perverting the cause of justice)  What people forget is #Huhne ‘s crime was committed under the last Government #ItsAllLaboursFault 

My son just asked me what a Conservative is, so I stole half his toys and gave them to the rich family next door.

#Cameron utterly exposed at #PMQs for reassuring #millionaires that he won’t impose a #mansiontax while imposing #bedroomtax on poorest

If #Eastleigh Labour Party chooses me to be their candidate, I’ll give it 110% (and campaign on falling standards in Maths).

See, this new run is ruining my blog as well! I can’t plagiarise everyone else’s wit and kitten pictures.

How much can one man take?

Ho and indeed hum.



PS, just came across this review of my lovely, lovely VW:

“One obvious weak point in the old pre-’05 Polo line up was the inclusion of the archaic 1.9-litre 64bhp SDI diesel engine. We regularly advised buyers to steer well clear of this budget unit, a powerplant that could be wheeled out to show how far modern diesels had come. Wheezy, harsh but frustratingly gutless, this engine had little to recommend it and Volkswagen thankfully wielded the axe as part of the ’05 facelift.”

Well screw you, Mr review monkey! It’s a spiffy car, mechanically bullet-proof engine, and it will happily chug along at 90+ mph (allegedly, m’lud) and return good MPG. Up your arse. If I’d wanted a turbo with more bhp, less MPG, higher insurance and more to go wrong mechanically I’d have bought one.


It never rains but it pours.

You remember those glorious, debt free moments we enjoyed?  *sighs wistfully*

Totally over that now.

It’s been an eventful week.

Cast your minds back. Remember me waxing lyrical about the KA when I got it a year ago, how it had no ‘advisories’ on the MOT, a new exhaust system, etc, etc? I took it for it’s MOT, and got laughed out of the garage. Two shocks snapped (£200 minimum) and three big rust areas, (minimum of £300 repair) they’d have to drop the axle (I think they said) to get at it, they suspected they were going to find a lot more when they did. 

“The curse of the KA” The guy said. Apparently they are know for being shitty little rustbuckets. Not by me, obviously. As I was taking in the bad news a girl walked in behind me and said hers had died of rust. She’d had a 20mph crash and it had folded. Written off. The two shocks thing (both on the same side) could have been a contributory factor to my graceful spin on that island.

Anyway, that left me three days to get new wheels before the KA was illegal.

At the same time I was being stressed out by my accountant.  I went at the beginning of the month and he said to contact him again if he’d not got back to me by the 22-23rd. 24th I called him. Nothing. I sent him an email on the Monday morning. He replied he’s have it to me the next day. Nothing. More emails. Finally sent him one saying “I have 45 hours until I get fined. No pressure.”

He finally got his arse in gear and did my return. The good news on that being that when I tried to do it I had £1,200 left to pay, he’s got it to £600.20. Nice.

Then I could switch my stressing back to getting a car. 

After the KA debacle I asked around. I only got it because our next door neighbour had one for years and never had a day it didn’t start, oh and Clarkson said they handled really well, as I recall. I had no idea they were infamously shite. Some guy who works in Cowley is a bit of car wheeler dealer it transpires. He knows loads about cars and engines.


I wanted something reliable. Something with a good build quality and a bulletproof engine. In my limited experience I thought of Volkswagen.   I remember the works van my dad used to drive sometimes. It was awesome. It was so airtight that to slam the door properly you had to open the window a crack. Little things like that stick in the memory.

So I was thinking VW with a diesel engine. Not a Golf.

I was looking at the Polo.

Then there was the choice of engine size. And did I want a SDI or TDI? After lots of googling it turns out SDI doesn’t have a turbo, TDI does. The turbo gives you more BHP, but to my mind it wasn’t an advantage. More BHP means dearer insurance, worse fuel economy and is just one more thing that can go wrong. The chap at Cowley said the seals wear, they suck up oil from the sump and blow the turbo.


I finally found a 3 door, ‘05 Polo, 1.9sdi, 122,000 miles for £2,395.

I would have preferred a 5 door, but it was dearer and older. The chap at Cowley said that was bob-on, and the interweb said that particular engine (in a Skoda, same engine though. All owned by VW) was much beloved of taxi drivers as it was economical and good for 250,000 miles before developing engine faults.



I drove over to some godawful one cow town right over the A6 to take a look. 63 miles. Thought I’d nip over. It took me 2½ hours to get there.

I was intending to buy it if it was any good then go back by train (£49, 2½ hours again!) the next morning to pick it up. The chap said he’d knock of £100 for the KA, so I saddled up and rode the Polo home. I was going to scrap the KA, and it saved me the train fare and hassle so I was glad to get shut of it.


It’s a lovely motor. Pity about the price. I was thinking a grand was an outrageous amount to spend on a car, but no sellers agreed. Greedy bastards.

My thinking is, if it’s taken it 8 years to get to 122k I should (according to t’interweb) get another 8 years out of it. I’d bloody better.

Anyway, car, Canada visa (still no word, btw. Not even taken the money yet) accountant, tax bill, etc etc, we are back to 4k in debt. Gotta larf!

Still, got to be done. Hopefully the car is a long term solution.


After them cancelling the Bolton hill marathon recce run last week (after I’d got up after little sleep, grrr) the rescheduled it for today. So, a smidge over 5 hours kip last night. Ace.

The bright side being that although the run is indeed constantly uphill for the first 4 miles, it’s not as evilly steep as the graph suggests. It’s going to be a ‘paced’ (read: ‘shit-slow’) run, but not as bad as I thought. The down side is someone said “it’s five weeks away.” WHAT?! Shit! 20 mile run tomorrow.


…Sunday. Bugger. Kung Fu (at Stockport) at 1600, got to nip our Lisa’s, before that, not going to have chance to run 20 miles. I’ll do what I can.


In other news this week I noticed I couldn’t read small print close up and if I moved it away it was too small to read well. Bugger. I was fine last week, this week I’m old. Got myself some ‘readers’. And a zimmer frame.


At least now I can put my hair up and look demure in my gigs, then take them off and shake my hair loose a la 50’s cliché secretary. 


My Kung Fu week is one of fail. Took the wrong exit off the motorway on Thursday, couldn’t get back on and was too late to go. Today I was about to set off when I realised I’d got my timings wrong, I had just under half an hour (the time it takes to comfortably get to the St Helens one) but I give myself at least 40 minutes to get to the Stockport one. Bugger. Bugger. Bugger.

Wendy is sure it’s a not-very subconscious attempt to deliberately not go.



Talking of fail, as it’s a new car that I want to run for many, many years I gave it a service. Or tried. I changed the air filter, got some new windscreen wipers and bought oil and a new oil filter. The windscreen wipers didn’t fit, despite being advertised for that model. One blade (on the car) is smaller than the other, so they went in the bin and I had to get a set from Halfords.Then there was the oil and filter. What a palaver! I couldn’t even see the oil filter. It turns out, after much hammering of the internet, you have to remove a cover from underneath the engine just to get access. This allowed me to drain the oil at least. Into my fancy arse oil tray/ container. Which obviously malfunctioned and pissed oil everywhere. The internet said that the oil filter should have a bolt shape on the end so you can unscrew it. I couldn’t find any such thing. The old method is to drive a screwdriver through it and just turn it, then throw it away and replace. This bugger you have to unscrew it properly as you are only replacing the filter inside it. And I wasn’t even sure that the suspect component was the oil filter as it lacked the bolt on the end. I didn’t fancy tearing something off it was say, something electrical. In the end I made do with just changing the oil. Oh, I forgot to say, the bottom cover was held on by star shaped bolt heads. You know what I mean. I have flathead and crosshead screwdrivers and allen keys. The one tool I don’t have is fancy arse star shaped screwdrivers.

So that was fun. As is the resultant oil slick. 

Lots more research suggests it was the component I thought. But you need a special tool to get it off. Ain’t happening any time soon. Bastard faff.


The weather is warming up so I think I’ll cancel my gym membership tomorrow. That’ll save a few bob. Plenty of running, swimming and cycling. Must.Do. It.


But enough of my waffling, “What of the wonderful world of Twitter?”, you ask.

Amongst the usual suspects was the DMreporter;


HEALTH: Number of career women killed by alcohol soars past those of men, raising fears these little ladies can’t handle positions of power.

This week’s Daily Mail Cancer List: Mon) Silk Tue) Jigsaws Wed) Horsemeat Thu) Onesies Fri) EU membership Sat) Bubble bath Sun) China

POLL: Should we leave the EU? 1) Yes, I like kittens 2) No, I think children should be murdered by paedophiles. YOU DECIDE.

BEDROOM TAX: B̶u̶c̶k̶i̶n̶g̶h̶a̶m̶ ̶P̶a̶l̶a̶c̶e̶ ̶a̶d̶v̶e̶r̶t̶i̶s̶e̶s̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶2̶4̶0̶ ̶l̶o̶d̶g̶e̶r̶s̶.

PORN: Join our crusade to help a small minority of uptight, sexually-inhibited busy bodies infringe on the rights of free adults.

HEALTH: Migrant jobless with no health insurance who don’t live here and have no plans to move “won’t get NHS treatment” rule MP’s.

WILL THEY NEVER LEARN: Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand rape kittens and laugh at disabled children in “disgusting” new chat show episode.

GAY MARRIAGE: Conservatives insist “it’s Adam and Eve, not an all-you-can-eat cock buffet.”

DISGUSTING: BBC accused of forcing toddlers to watch hardcore pornography after advert for CBeebies website suggests using the Internet.


The real Daily Mail called an 8 year old girl a “leggy beauty”:


There were some misunderstandings:

I adopted a panda but it turns out the panda doesn’t come to live with me and now my panda themed guest bedroom just looks ridiculous. 🙁

don’t really understand the concept of ‘limited edition’ sandwiches. Are they a good investment? Surely I’d be better off with an ISA.

Holy bias, Batman. ‘Lenin’ Delingpole, that Commie Warsi and the the Marxist Taxpayers Alliance on #bbcqt? Left-wing BBC strikes again!

Just screamed, jumped up, leaped about & ripped top off while retching; saw a spider leg in peripheral vision down top. Yup, loose thread.


Some facts:

“Great Britain has invaded about 90% of the world’s countries.” And we are just waiting for a reason to invade the other 10%

annual reminder that Bono wrote to Captain Beefheart asking to collaborate, & Beefheart sent back a letter that just said,"Dear Bongo, no."

Billy Brag on radio today. Stopped doing ‘Between the Wars’ because some were getting nostalgic for Thatcher. What a star.

Always a relief when you get to a premier inn and lenny henry isnt waiting for you sprawled across the bed.



Tory scum:

ComRes poll gives Tories a 5-point Euro boost, taking them to three points below level of support that failed to win them the 2010 election

What a fucking state the rail service is in this country. Can’t wait for private companies to bring this magic touch to healthcare

If you’re in charge of state education and it’s not good enough for your child, then you shouldn’t be in charge of state education. #bbcqt

Every time James Delingpole speaks, a thousand new socialists are created #keepitupcomrade #bbcqt

primary purpose of this govt is to move public money into private pockets as fast as humanly possible,under cloak of austerity



Some general advice:

A friend is just a stranger you regret meeting.

The NRA should do some rebranding like the way the "estate tax" became the "death tax". Maybe "school shooting" becomes "angel making".

Buckingham Palace has a big fence and armed guards – why not put nuclear waste there ?

After the events of Paint it Black, Mick Jagger’s friends told him to never darken their doors again.

"This ain’t my first rodeo, honey," I lied. "I’m gonna pet this cow now."

Young Earth creationists, stop using fossil fuels, you fucking hypocrites!

Never lick a gift horse on the mouth. Always wait for the horse to make the first move.

As if being a wolf in sheep’s clothing wasn’t bad enough, he paired it with goat accessories and horse shoes. Total. Fashion. Disaster.


Twitter noticed that #superbowl could be read as Super Bowl, the American football thing, or Superb Owl, hence:

@QueenUK was in a jovial mood:

Hey, hey one’s a monarch and people say one monarchs around. But one’s too busy reigning to put anybody down…

Genius advice for would-be sculptors:

A fool-proof method for sculpting an elephant: first get a huge block of marble & chip away everything that doesn’t look like an elephant.

And, just because: