Archive for June, 2005


Thursday, June 30th, 2005

I’ve lived in my present location for about fifteen years. Not far away is an avenue of trees. I’d mentally assigned them to the BnJ classification of ‘public trees’.
These are nondescript, big green things that are just there in rows in public places. A bit like magnolia paint is used for interiors – it’s there but you forget it’s there because it makes little impact. Now that’s not strictly true of these trees because they are big buggers being of the mature variety. Those Victorians knew how to do municipal planting. Anyway, before this post gets even more wooden [I know] I’ll geddonwithit. For the first time ever I’ve noticed that the trees are flowering. I noticed this because I went for a walk the other night, passed underneath them and was engulfed in the most beautiful, subtle perfume. I couldn’t work out where it was coming from as the flowers are very subtle too. But the more I looked the more I could see masses of flowers stretching way up to the sky – all giving off the most divine smell. The longer I live, the more I realise how subtle the natural world is and how it takes gentle appreciation to understand it. How many layers there are to be uncovered in the simplest of situations. How we can miss things no matter how often we see them. How stopping still for a while, pausing, can reveal things to you that are very special. I think that principle works in all kinds of ways.

Do you believe?
“The stress of the terror attacks on the US in 2001 changed the way many Americans viewed the world, and…left the population open to tricks of belief manipulation. A recent survey, for example, found that more than half of Americans thought Iraqis were involved in the attacks, despite the fact that nobody had come out and said it.”
Interesting reading on how our beliefs influence what we do. Having leisure time gives us more thinking space. No wonder blogging has taken hold.

Earth calling Google
Birdy linked to Google Earth. I went there to try it but they’ve shut shop for now. It looks amazing. Watch this space. One day soon you’ll be able to googlezoom in to your neighbour’s eyeballs even when he’s on holiday in Ulan Bator then videoconference with him to show him the houseplant you killed in his absence.

Be gone to sheol oh troll of greed
More familial evilbile from my deranged relative today. I’m only blogging it to give some objectivity to the situation. If I send it out there onto the web it’ll get dissipated and take it’s rightful infinitesimal significance with all the other crap floating around. Hopefully some of the crap will flow back in her direction real soon. Not that I’m bitter you understand. I’m lovely, you don’t have to tell me..
I may remove this bit when I’ve calmed down. Or I may not.

Pain in the neck

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

Are you sitting comfortably?
Then I’ll begin.
Who would have thought that buying an office chair would be so complicated?
About 18 months ago I took a fancy to a new chair for my impending power base. I settled on a little number from Habitat. I’d seen similar chairs on Newsnight – so they had to be good right? Looks a bit like this but with arms. After two months one of the wheels fell off. Habitat replaced the chair. After another twelve months one of the wheels fell off. The chair was beyond the guarantee period so I had to get busy with the Araldite and glue the wheel back on. Meanwhile I’d begun to suffer back and leg pain. I managed to convince myself that it was a sign of decrepitude and nothing to do with my uber-stylish chair. It was only last week when I had to go and have acupuncture on my neck that I finally admitted style had triumphed over sanity. I needed to get another chair. Just as I’d faced reality another wheel fell off.

Today I spent 4 hours touring local office equipment suppliers being instructed in the subtleties of synchronising, tilt and swivel, mesh back versus solid, collapsing foam and gas lift leakage. One salesman decided to tell me about the benefits of leather covering “because it protects you if you come off your motorbike”. Somehow I’d stumbled into another dimension in which I would be travelling at high speed in my new chair and risking death. Makes a change from wheels falling off I suppose.

How was it that when I told him I wanted something ‘well padded with good support’ at an ‘entry level’ price he offered me a wonderbra – [only joking] – then tried to sell me some US made carbon fibre contraption that is so over engineered it could land on Mars unaided and send back pictures of sand. And all for the bargain price of £300! I hadn’t the heart to remind him that my budget was nearer 10% of that. So, here I am still sitting on my 4 wheel 5 leg throne of pain. Actually more like slumping than sitting. There’s a funny ache in my knee. My right shoulder blade feels knotted and when I tilt my head back it synchronises with a weird clicking in my ear. I went out determined to buy a new, healthier chair to work in. I came back confused . Should I go for the £250 purple high back with adjustable everything, the blue mottled medium back with bouncy inflatable lumbar support, the matte black Italian mean machine with chrome knobs or the 50 quid swiveltastic number with cast iron base but dodgy gas lift? I’m confused – and desperate. If I leave it much longer another wheel will fall off and I’ll need a CT scan.


Monday, June 27th, 2005
Summertime menu
Come home from work.
Take your clothes off.
Go out in the back yard.
Light a fire in an old oil drum.
Slap on some dogburgers [25p each from Offalmart].
Smellllll that aroma.
Crank up the stereo with some old Status Quo numbers.
Drink loadsa laaaaaager.

Stunningly gorgeous day today.
Clear skies, warm sunshine, gentle breeze, beautiful assistant rubbing oil into my body.
OK two out of three’s not bad.

Are you too smart for your salary?
This fiendish online test will give you a cash/cleverness coefficient.
I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours…

Big Brother

Sunday, June 26th, 2005

I’m hooked now.
The whole secret garden thing has done it for me.
Very clever. Shades of Whitehall farce – in one door out another. Deception, fear of being caught. We viewers know something they don’t. Brilliant. The chemistry between the three secret housemates is interesting. I vote Kinga [the minga] and Eugene to stay. Poor Eugene. Stranded in those green velour pants – no wonder he was in tears. Kinga has enough boobage for page 3,4,5,6-20 with appendices and supplements to go. She’ll go far.

Makosi is stunning and has real star quality. She’s in her element with all the bluff and double bluff. She’s a real delight – and we want her to win.


Saturday, June 25th, 2005

Do you know the way to San Jose?
How much is that doggy in the window?
Can you feel the love tonight?
Is this the way to a new pillow?

Life is full of strange paradoxes.
I’m very much in favour of recycling. I’m also very much in favour of beer. I’m very much in favour of having a nice view from my windows. I’m not very much in favour of the bottlebank that the Bignjuicy Council have installed in my eyeline from one of those windows. You can’t have it all ways can ya? Could be worse I suppose. Could’ve been a Bigjuicy Council dog poo processing and aroma unit…

Friday, June 24th, 2005
It’s raining

Blessed relief

News update

On Monday I made some news predictions. Lets see how I did:
YorkshireFlashFlood – has, so far, not dominated the news. GlastonburyFlashFlood has, instead, grabbed the headlines. Nothing to do with five thousand media peeps on site I suppose?
GlobalWarmingEuropecrisisNuclearPower rumbles on. Nobody seems to have picked up on TB’s new title of ‘President’. [It’s what he’s always wanted]
There seems to be a growing acceptance of the idea of a total public smoking ban rather than the previous limited proposals. [Cough cough]
Chirac is fading fast. TomCruise on the other hand is still up there. Being a squirt squirted, getting engaged to a child and having great teeth – waydago Tommy. Popbitch tells of Tom’s on-set Scientology tent when making War of the Worlds.
WimbledonSueBarkerTimHenman / StateOfBritishTennis / McEnroe is at full-life sapping-throttle. She was on two channels simultaneously last night. Tim ‘crashed out’ [there is a god]. Only 15 more weeks to go before it’s all over for another year.
[and there’s a New Boy]
Geldof’s African odyssey is a refreshingly different take. Positive and beautiful images abound. Geldof’s gift of gab is a bit irritating but maddeningly engaging.
Jo Whiley got flashflooded off air at Glasto = more Moyles = result.
No hamsters this week.
Enuff now.
Late breaking update: We have hamsters!


Thursday, June 23rd, 2005

It’s a bit hot here today. My brain is affected. I’ve resorted to taking siestas the last few days. They appear to work too. Beats being slumped over a hot terminal pretending to excel at excel. I’m feeling a bit tense having to deal with legal fallout from the fertiliser explosion just over a week ago. Given the heat and the tension I may well resort to violence if anyone gets on the wrong side of me. I’ve already given the cat a good talking to. How do you handle temperature induced tetchiness?

Simon has had an interesting reply from his MP, whom he wrote to about the National ID card ‘scheme’. The reply seems to indicate that this whole scheme has not been thought through. Given that the government appears to be sneaking this into law when most MPs are away, I think the eventual shape of this scheme will be far from what is initially proposed. Prepare for compulsory implants folks.

More stuff
Mark has got a lovely tooth photo on his site and a choice description of his nasal contents lower down the page [not stomach safe].
Witchy is being rebalanced as we speak – I hope she’s going easy on the lager..
DG is famous at last.
Sensiti is back on the scene with more great photies.
Birdy has been galavanting around the med again [ jealous? oui ]
Alan’s gone full frontal.

Q: What is that on top of Donald Trump’s head?

Thanks for your test comments below. It was frustrating when I couldn’t comment back. It would seem that something had been changed at the Haloscan end which is causing some weirdness. I’ve been plugging away via their support forum and it looks like it’s not just me having the prob. I’ve been trying to comment on a few blogs these last days and become like a silent screamer as each has been eaten as soon as I clicked the ‘publish’ button. I have been visiting you – it’s just that I haven’t been able to leave my calling card.

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005

No comment
Seem to be having a spot of bother with my comments. My comments on other blogs just seem to disappear into the ether and I can’t even get a comment on my own blog to show up! I’m wondering if anyone else has had the same prob here [or elsewhere] – drop me a line at [juice at] if you have – ta.


Monday, June 20th, 2005

The term has been around for a number of years and seems to have originated in the US. I only became aware of it today. It is ‘affluenza’.
“A painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.” or “The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 2. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by dogged pursuit of the American Dream. 3. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth.” [from Wikipedia]
Certainly there is plenty of evidence that it’s crossed the Atlantic. Who buys all those pre-packaged meals from the supermarkets with no time to cook? Who doesn’t have time to see their children during the week because they’re working? Who spends their life chasing the bigger house, newer car, new kitchen / bathroom / boobs / bimbonic wife / alpha male? Consumption is the name of the game.
Are you afflicted? Find out here.
There’s a project too.
And an org – which presents society as a jigsaw and attempts to show how affluenza permeates everything from agriculture to justice.
A wee book to read, “an eye-opening, soul-prodding look at the wretched excess of today’s American society”.
Still want that new gewgaw for your pad?
It may not make you happy you know…

This week’s news ticker
[Check back on Friday to see how my predictions fared]


Friday, June 17th, 2005

It finally feels like summer.
The locals have started to disrobe. Vistas of badly roasted cellulite waddling down the road assail the eyes. Secret body hair is revealed to the neighbourhood and the scent of badly barbecued animals wafts across the back gardens in the early evening. Earlier I played ‘Summertime’, by Ella and it felt so right – even though there’s no cotton plantation within a thousand miles of here – we can dream eh?

It’s been a roller coaster week this week. Not just for me but for other readers too if blog posts are anything to go by. I’m glad it’s going to be hot enough to change the way I feel this weekend. The kind of heat where you just have to go with the flow and stress takes a back seat. I hope you get the chance to stand and stare this weekend. Or sit down, take the weight off your feet – look into the middle distance and dream a bit. [Glass of something cool and alcoholic optional but recommended].