05 January 2010


Burgundy became part of France when Charles the Bold was killed in the Battle of Nancy in 1477.  Preston North End became the first Football League Champions in 1889, having gone unbeaten all season.  Ford Motor Company announced that workers would have an 8 hour day and earn a minimum wage of $5 per day in 1914.  Construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge in 1933.  The warmest temperature ever reliably measured in Antarctica was 15°C at Vanda Station in 1974.

Born today:  Shah Jahan (1592-1666), Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967), Robert Duvall (1931), Umberto Eco (1932) and King Juan Carlos I (1938.

Tonight is Twelfth Night.


  1. Snowed in here in my part of Yorkshire. It looks wonderful outside. I'm about to venture out into the blizzard for some essentials like bread & milk. Brrr.

  2. Good article by Jennifer Abel - and she's added some quality comments btl too.

  3. MsChin - we are waiting for the snow here. Due to arrive some time this afternoon, I think. Hope we get enough to make travelling to work tomorrow impossible! :-)

  4. Snowed up here too MsC - no work for me - whoopee!! Am helping out with kids as nursery and school are closed. Off to park in a bit for tobogganing and boarding.

    Its lovely out - still and quiet with practically nothing and nobody about - just gentle snow falling - heaven!

    Apparently the town centre has a power cut.

  5. thauma

    If the snow is heading your way, you may well be at home tomorrow. We haven't had this much snow for a long time - 1996?


    Fab, isn't it! Enjoy the park.

    I can see kids towing sledges to the woods nearby, where there is a lovely long slope which is clear of shrubs, trees & other obstacles, so perfect for sledging.

  6. Apparently the buses have stopped running & all major roads are gridlocked.

  7. MsC
    no buses, gritters or anything else except the odd 4x4 at all along Scott road which is deep in snow. The baby's asleep, the two year old engrossed in a heap of toys, andthe 7 year old is in the garden building a snowman - the peace is blissful

  8. RapidEddie is back on the Aga theme again, with a blinding post over on Michael White's 'class war' thread.

  9. Hi Weather Watchers

    Hope the cold and snow hasn’t caught anyone unawares.

    I think the snow is forecast to arrive in London tomorrow. Normally I’d be looking forward to it, but as I’m due to drive to Cornwall on Friday to start my new “job”, I’m slightly less enthusiastic.

    Is that terribly self-centred of me?

  10. 3p4: That’s a great story.

    When I read the headline, I assumed at first it was a bar in Boston, MA, and that the cougar was some sort of pet, but now I see Boston Bar is a town in BC. I hope you don’t have wild cougars in your backyard…


  11. Morning all...!
    rome weather update.......RAIN.....

    that dog story's great don't think my hound would face off a cougar...
    then again cougars are a bit thin on the ground round these parts!

  12. andy

    Don't be daft, it's an opportunity for you so can't blame you for wanting to get there!

    Looking at the Met Office site, you've got serious snow to come, but should be ok-ish by Friday?

  13. Andy - yea terribly.

    Your a terribly self centred wild uncaring bastard who is to make a wider contribution for next to nowt- but I like you nontheless.

    Safe journey Friday (or whenever). We will all look forward to your notes from Cornwall when you get down there and online.

    Enjoyed the dog link 3p4. Nothing better that a warming dog story on a cold day.

    Still snowing here, I think Mungo has discovered some ancestry, he's outside laying in the snow and delighting in watching it fall.

    I sense a bout of I, Mungo, play the husky coming on - he certainly has powerful rear legs and his favourite game in all the world is tugging.

    Shef/Chin - hoped you might find yourselves with a bonus day off. Enjoy the fun not that you ever need any encouraging.

    I wished I had paid attention to my roof and awning roof supports earlier. ....Ah the price of indolence is puddles on your floor.

    Still as Sheff says the pleasure of the acoustic blanket effect of snow (even in the relatively quiet countryside) is an extra joy. It goes well with indolence.

    Keep your fingers crossed thuama and the rest of you UK UT's you might be lucky soon.

    gandolfo - I shall discuss with Mungo the expected and appropriate response in the eventuality of our meeting a Cougar whilst out.

  14. It's starting to come down now - am hoping to leave early!!

    This'd better not interfere with our plans for Saturday, though.

  15. Re: Sat, I was just thinking along the same lines, thauma.

  16. I hope you don’t have wild cougars in your backyard…

    the cougar story was already the second one this year,,

    where i live,,
    saw a raccoon on the street couple of days ago,,family of five skunks cruise past twice a night,,they have zapped my dog twice,,saw a coyote in the park couple of years ago,,black squirrels everywhere,,in the summer crows often tell the neighborhood there is an eagle around,,
    all this is as urban metropolis as it gets,,in the exact middle of vancouver,,4 blocks from the stadium,, 6 starbucks,,etc

    woman was attacked by a bear last year in a suburb only a few miles away ,,actually bear stories are fairly common,,as are coyote stealing small dog stories,,not always a safe place for small dogs,,

  17. deano
    let me know the joined up thinking outcome of cougar verses dog... ;)

  18. oh yeah and i forgot woodie,, the woodpecker who gets confused by the air conditioning outlet at the school and tries to drill a hole through the
    aluminum vent,,either confused or a Ginger Baker fan,,spends hours hammering away on its metal drum

  19. 3p4
    remember whilst in canada decades ago my uncle's cat getting zapped by a skunk didn't half stink...got a bath in tomatoes juice...that kinda sorted it...
    regards small dogs..true story a friend of my parents had a puppy chihuahua got eaten by their cat......

  20. i always have a large can of tomamto juice in stock,,the first time it happened was at 3 am,,
    six hours till the grocery store opens,,

    for any one who has never experienced this event first hand gandolfos "didnt half stink" is rather a mild description,,this is chemical warfare,,organic chemical warfare,,fresh skunk up close is as violent as cs gas,, and lasts a very long time on any surface it touches,,

    and yes ONLY tomato juice can clean pet fur,,

  21. MsChin:

    Looking at the Met Office site…

    Yeah, I’ve just done that too. Things look pretty severe for the next couple of days, and I suspect I’ll still be scraping the ice of the windscreen come Friday morning.

    At least I’ll have the chance to build one final snowman before I head for the sub-tropical South-West, though I still have a shit load of stuff to do before then.


    let me know the outcome of cougar verses dog

    I’m no expert, but I reckon Mungo will have to do a bit more than just exchange lines of poetry…

  22. andy LoL 1-0!!!!

    maybe mungo speaks in rhyming couplets he is deano's dog afterall


    god my english is suffering or maybe I'm becoming dyslexic is that possible lots of things start going to pot in ya 40's...

  23. 3p4

    So envious of all your urban wildlife - all we have round here are foxes and hedgehogs and lovely as they are they can't compete with bears, coyotes and raccoons. fresh fox shit has a truly revolting pong - so it hard to imagine how bad skunk is, which is much worse so I'm told.

  24. Sheff - it's immeasurably worse. 3p4 is not exaggerating when he says it's like chemical warfare - it'll make your eyes stream. And it's still discernable for weeks, even with the tomato juice bath.

  25. thaum
    do your dogs ever roll in dead animals? I'm wondering whether tomato juice would work on that..that is a stink that i can do without...

  26. gandolfo:

    Sorry about that, I’m just unable to avoid spotting and commenting on any sort of spelling mistake which gives me an opportunity for a “joke”. It’s an illness, really ;-)

    (And I can confirm it gets worse as my forties go on.)

    Fox shit is pretty much the worst smell I’ve ever come across, so I’ll count myself lucky I’m unlikely ever to run into a skunk.

  27. gandolfo - she is very fond of fox shit. A previous one loved rolling in dead fish.

    Both of these smells are easily handled by dog shampoo, though.

  28. skunks are actually delightful to watch,,they are very pretty and elegant,,they have a supremely confident attitude,,and disciplined family structure,,i regularly see the family file
    past (had to really think about that word "file"
    there is a specific quality to their movement) from sleeping quarters to forage location at dusk and back again at dawn,,they go right down the sidewalk (pavement) right on the edge in a neat parade straight line always the same order from big to small,,

    makes my smile last
    as i sees em file past
    with a big hairy tail
    like a bg furry sail
    dont mess with a skunk
    it'll say "hey punk
    nobody gets
    that lucky"

  29. Montana (just in case you think I’m not paying attention):

    Ford Motor Company announced that workers would have an 8 hour day and earn a minimum wage of $5 per day in 1914

    That’s interesting, do you (or anyone else) know any more about this?

    Did Henry Ford just wake up one morning in a particularly good mood, for instance, or was there a little more to it?

    (I’m betting it wasn’t that, but it’s a genuine question to which I'd like to know the answer)

  30. Afternoon all. Can stil only access here to post from work (a reversal of some folk's situation, I guess...).
    CiF is dismal at moment isn't it, with phony war electioneering shite going on. Vile New lLbour apologists abobve the line, Tory wankers below (and as annoying, NewLabbers who think any criticism of their failed fuck-up of a project makes you a tory troll:get a bloody grip, NewLab are just ToryLite)

  31. Andy, as I recall, he was trying to prevent his workers organising, so decide to pre-empt possible union demands. (There's a famous story about him and trade union organisers. IIRC, he beat them with a stick.)

    He was also clever enough to realise that if his workers could afford to buy the product they were making, they'd sell more of them.

  32. From a little review in the G2 of Mel P's prog yesterday:

    Phillips is a bright woman and social commentator, so it was hard to see how the limitations of these lives came as such a surprise to her.

    What a surprise indeed - when did not knowing about something before pontificating on it ever prevent the Mel P's of this world from sounding off.

  33. Just had a look at Wiki's entry on Henry Ford, Andy - see the sections 'Labor [sic] Philosophy' and 'Labor Unions'.

  34. Andy

    re your Henry Ford enquiry - found this which might interest you
    efficiency wages

  35. gandolpho

    My lovely old girl (a Bernese Mountain dog) died a few years ago and I still miss her. She adored rolling in fresh fox shit, rootling around in dead sheep innards and ate cat shit - a truly disgusting beast in some ways but absolutely without par in others. Incredibly loyal and affectionate.

    I lost count of the times she had to have unspeakable messes hosed off her in the yard though! I'm sure she'd have found skunk irresistible

  36. Sheff, actually dogs don't like skunk either. (That's how bad it is!) They get sprayed when they go after the skunks.

  37. thauma & sheff: Thanks to you both.

    The wiki page on Ford is interesting, as is the one on Welfare Capitalism to which it links.

    Here’s a few quotes from the latter:

    “Two important goals, articulated by Henry Ford with his $5 dollar daily pay rate, were to reduce turnover and build a long-term loyal labour force that would have higher productivity”

    “Recently in the US there has been a trend away from its form of welfare capitalism, as corporations have reduced the portion of compensation paid with health care”

    “Welfare capitalism was also used as a way to resist government regulation of markets, independent labor union organizing, and the emergence of a welfare state. Welfare capitalists went to great lengths to quash independent union organizing, strikes, and other expressions of labor collectivism—through a combination of violent suppression, worker sanctions, and benefits in exchange for loyalty”

    So let’s remember - what the Fords giveth, the Fords can and will also taketh away.

  38. welfare capitalism - bit of an oxymoron isn't it. As you suggest Andy, when the benefits to the employer/corporation stop being convenient and/or profitable it will be the first thing to go

  39. sheff:

    Phillips is a bright woman and social commentator, so it was hard to see how the limitations of these lives came as such a surprise to her

    Is it just me, or could Mel P’s name be replaced by any number of oh-so-right-on Guardian writers (male as well as female) with the basic point being equally valid?

    Pot, Kettle, Black, anyone?

  40. If anyone is snowbound and wants to use an idle moment to fire off an email, here you go.

    You might want to change it or tidy up its appearance, but why should anyone have to take their stupid pile of shit without flinging some of it back?

    Cameron's address seems to be camerond (at) parliament (dot) uk

    (Having to split this here)

  41. Dear Mr Cameron

    Thank you for launching the Conservative Party's Draft Manifesto for the NHS on January 4, 2010.

    Perhaps you would be able to clarify the following, which is taken from the manifesto:

    1.2 A More Accessible and Accountable NHS

    Our reform plan for the NHS will put patients first. They will be choosing the care they receive, and when and where they receive it. This will drive up quality, bring down waiting lists and improve cleanliness and infection control - because patients will choose to go to the best and safest hospitals where they can be seen most quickly. [...]

    One in four British adults experience at least one mental health problem in any given year and poor mental health costs the economy £77 billion each year. So we will remove the rules preventing welfare-to-work providers and employers purchasing services from Mental Health Trusts so that many more unemployed people and at-risk workers can be helped.

    Perhaps you could explain how the figure of £77 billion per annum has been calculated.

    How is it going to help people who are "unemployed" and "at-risk" and, presumably, with mental health issues by allowing employers and welfare-to-work commercial operations to purchase services from Mental Health Trusts?

    Presumably, these are services and provisions to which the individuals are entitled anyway. Welfare-to-work businesses are paid by the state to get people into employment, a task traditionally seen as the function of JobCentre staff. Is it sensible to extend their remit into accessing the provision of healthcare and how will their financial imperatives cloud the issue of how and why that provision is administered?

    How is it going to help to pay these commercial welfare-to-work enterprises money from the public purse, which could be used to directly help the people with mental health issues? If they are also funded from the public purse to lower the unemployment figures and save the state money in benefits, is this not just saying that state money is better going into the pockets of big business rather than into the direct care of sick people?

    It needs to be clarified, since there is a growing concern that these enterprises which depend upon public funds to make a profit are abusing their positions and forcing people into work when it is entirely inappropriate and probably medically dangerous and for rates of pay far below the minimum wage.

    This from The Guardian newspaper (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/jan/03/retreat-on-draconian-disability-testing) headed Retreat on 'draconian' testing for disability benefit:

    Neil Coyle, director of policy at Disability Alliance, said the tests were too rigid. "They do not measure ability to perform work functions (eg, typing, packing or sweeping) but are based on someone describing their average day and simple tasks like picking up a coin from the floor (to test movement, for instance)," said Coyle.

    Evidence from the first tests for ESA showed that many people who needed help were being wrongly judged as fit to seek work. As a result, they were being placed on jobseekers' allowance and denied access to programmes to help them find suitable employment, such as Pathways to Work, specifically set up to help those on incapacity benefit.

    Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: "The government's draconian approach of forcing people off incapacity benefit when they clearly can't work is having tragic consequences and robbing people of help when they are in most need. The government needs to urgently review the employment and support allowance capability test."

    Copies of this document and any reply received will be sent to Mark Serwotka, Neil Coyle and The King's Fund, along with any appropriate websites, as I am sure you would wish this debate to be taken to as wide an audience as possible.

    Yours sincerely

  42. Hello and happy new year all,

    back from the snowy depths of the Highlands with a mission not to drink until Burns Night but after reading the pre election campaigning I think I'll be back on the sauce in no time.

    andysays, further to your link on Ford and Welfare Capitalism, you should check out Jon dos Passos' 'USA trilogy'. He nailed Ford, JP Morgan and Andrew Carnegie and their philanthropist shit way back in the 1930s.

    Carnegie was the most nauseating of the lot. Never shy of getting Pinkerton guards in to shoot Union activists, he reneged on 'enlightened' promises made to Steelworkers to tie wages in with profits so both owner and worker would share in the good times and bad.

    When the bad times hit, the Workers cut their wages as agreed. However, when the good times returned, Carnegie reneged on his promises.

    A firm believer in the iron law of wages, he famously said that to pay a worker more than subsistence was to ''encourage the slothful, the drunken and the unworthy.''

    However, as a champion of welfare capitalism and philanthropy he is seen as a hero in both the USA and here in Scotland as an enlightened champion of the worker. Was his philanthropy to salve his conscience who knows?

    But to get to the nub of Carnegie's legacy, and indeed the oxymoron of Welfare Capitalism, Teddy Roosevelt of all people nails it:

    “if Carnegie had employed his fortune and his time to doing justice to the steelworkers who gave him his fortune, he would have accomplished a thousand times what he accomplished with his generous philanthropy.''

  43. 13D:

    Glad to hear you’re back home safe.

    Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve never read dos Passos, though someone else (scherfig?) has mentioned him before. This time I’ll try to follow it up.

    We should perhaps remember that there are (at least) two versions of welfare capitalism, and the welfare state we’ve had in Britain is another way of providing the same type of support.

    It’s better, arguably, because it provides support directly to those who aren’t working, but it’s still ultimately dependent on the willingness of business interests to pay for it in higher levels of taxation.

    And those interests are becoming ever less willing, so it’s not just when the benefits are paid directly by the employer that they will be cut - the same is happening and will continue to happen in Britain.

  44. Atomboy:

    As someone who has been dependent on Incapacity Benefit for a number of years now, who has had numerous struggles with the DWP and ATOS to continue receiving benefits, and who has had a variety of experiences with more-or-less commercial welfare-to-work enterprises in the Mental Health area (none of which actually did what they were supposed to do), I can’t really see very much difference between Labour and Tory policies on this.

    To take just one example, the Employment and Support Allowance has replaced Incapacity Benefit, and makes it quite clear by the name change that even those who have an illness or incapacity are expected to prepare for and seek work.

    I suggest that the purpose of this, as with many other pieces of Labour government policy, is quite simply to drive down wage levels in the interests of the employers, in an attempt to boost the falling rate of profit.

    It doesn’t surprise me that both Labour and Conservative put forward similar policies, since they both agree on the fundamental importance of maintaining the capitalist system in its essentials. And if that means that some of the Welfare of Welfare Capitalism has to go, then so be it.

    It does surprise me slightly that you’re concerned enough about Cameron’s intentions to compose this e-mail for us all, and yet you don’t appear to realise that there’s very little between the two major parties on this one. Have you previously conducted a similar campaign aimed at current Labour government policy in this area?

    I’m beginning to suspect that you may be what AliC referred to @ 15.22 as a New Labour apologist, though I’d be happy to be proved wrong.

  45. Thaum, sheff
    no foxes around so no fox shit,in fact never seen one here got more sense not to come into the roman traffic...
    my fellow loves a bit of dead cat or dead sheep the most common dead stuff around...vinegar seems a good antidote...

    @andy your joke made me laugh!! shall read your links...

    @atomboy great email

    @sheff mel p indeed....

    @13D hi!

  46. Evening all!

    Sprinkling of snow here in the night but nothing to write home about really. Colder than a well-digger's ass* here tonight though - almost too cold for snow, if that makes sense.

    And meanwhile my lad went out with a shirt and t-shirt on. I know he is half canadian but that is bloody ridiculous!

    *a quid to the first person who can name that tune.

  47. Tom Waits BB - but can't remember which song

  48. It would be an unusual New Labour apologist that could bring himself to copy his emails to Mark Serwotka...

    .........Copies of this document and any reply received will be sent to Mark Serwotka,..."

  49. Been snowing all day here, had grand day with kids in park tobogganing etc. We're now quite satisfactorily snowed in.

    Have two charming Iranian chaps cooking dinner for me tonight, keeping the sheesha pipe alight and the shiraz flowing - so I'm not complaining about anything right now.

  50. "... Colder than a witches tit in a brass bra...."

    Amazing what you come across on google!

  51. 50p to Sheff and a quid to Gandolpho! :o)

    I love that song. In fact, I love Tom Waits in general. "The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)" is a masterpiece.

  52. LOL deano - never heard that one before!

  53. andysays

    The reason for composing the email is simply that the launch of what will be a long and weary election campaign somehow seemed to prompt David Cameron into producing a draft manifesto for the NHS and I noticed something which seemed to have a dodgy ring to it.

    I hope that I have never been a New Labour apologist, at least willingly or intentionally but would extend that to any other party.

    However, I get tired of seeing lots of people both here and in the other place who complain about what is happening, but never seem to actually do anything other than type out their complaints and pat each other on the back.

    I include myself in this process, of course.

    I agree with you that there is no real difference between New Labour and New Tory in this area and nobody could look to either for sanity or salvation.

    Perhaps the best we can do is to pop the bubble of the propaganda of power and put our own variety in its stead.

    Certainly on CiF in another few months, there will be a long drawn-out wail about how awful life is under Cameron.

    The problem is, if all we do is spend our time in futile and sterile exercises of complaining and mutually licking our wounds, is it any wonder that we keep being abused?

    Is it any wonder that those in power and those who queue up to take their turn view us with contempt and assume that they can treat us however they choose with impunity?

  54. Sheff - also fascinating what a change of avatar and a break in Constantinople can do. Shiraz, sheesha pipe and two Iranian gentlemen!

    Enjoy young miss! I daren't say double enjoy ;-) I do miss you old avatar though.

  55. andysays, I may be wrong, but going by Atomboy's illustrious posting history (under different names) he's no Newlab apologist, and hates them with a vengeance as do so many of us who have felt bitterly betrayed since '97.
    You are right, in that NewLab or NewCon it' sthe same old horrendous shit:Purnell's 'reforms' are exactly the same kind of bullying and despite his departure NewLab are wedded to the bullying of the weakest in society.

    Right that's me offski from work, and so off from here for a while as I can't post from home (dongle still not letting me, and bearded spiv/chancer Branson's crew haven't fixed our fixed-line home broadband in the last 20, count 'em 20 days). Will be reading what everyone else post,mind.

  56. If you absolutely insist I will change my avatar back to the laughing Lily Blick

  57. BB:

    “a shirt and a t-shirt”

    Soft Southern Poof…


    I never said he wasn’t unusual. And he is suggesting e-mailing Cameron, after all.

    As I said, I’m willing to be proved wrong, but it’ll take a little more than that.

    Right, I’m expecting my brother round soon, so I’ll be otherwise engaged cooking the dinner etc for the rest of the evening.

  58. there Deano - the avatar should be changed back now. sorry you didn't like my Medusa from the Yerabatin cisterns - I thought she was rather magnificent

  59. Enjoy your family meal Andy.

    When I've got one on me - I email the fucking Queen, Blair, Brown, Cameron and Boris Fegging Johnson et al - my justification is that it consumes some of their resources in having it read and replied to.

    It also helps occupy the time and energy of the typically evil shits and arse suckers who work for them...

  60. Sheff - xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx!

  61. Bon appetit, andy.

    Deano is right, that avatar is much better, Sheff. Is it actually a pic of you?

  62. Evening all. Sheff and MsChin - him indoors took a snow day too and we walked the dogs in falling snow through walkley cemetery. It was gorgeous. such a wonderful Gothic old cemetery that it is - it looked so stunning in the snow.

    AtomBoy - good one for writing to Cameron. I wrote to him a while back (re Tories furthering of the Shitdribbles policy) and didn't get a reply. I also wrote to my MP and got a reply from her lackey - full of shit it was too. The only person who bothered to reply to me in person and who tried to have a proper debate with me about it was Theresa May (well it still might have been a lackey but it was signed by her etc etc).

    Deano, please, please, please copy us in to your emails to Her Maj! Wonderful.

  63. Sadly no BB - its from a print by Alexander Rodchenko a Russian constructivist (love the constructivists) of a lively woman called Lily Blick. MsC thought it looked like me - but being a kind hearted woman she hasn't accounted for my wrinkles!

  64. I thought it was a photo of you from a year or two back, to be honest, Sheff. No flattery, just the truth!

    MsChin - re writing to MPs. My local MP is a Tory *spit*, yet every time I have had call to write to him he has annoyed me not only by replying, but also replying cogently and with responses that make me feel that I would vote for him if he wasn't a Tory.

  65. Evening Princess. Had a lovely day today playing in the snow with small children. Must go to work tomorrow though as have been off for 2 weeks and haven't a clue whats going on.

  66. Well folks today i took my passport off for my visa...no mean feat! Hopefully they'll give it back tomorrow....
    ....doggie gone into military service for a few months with a friend all i gotta do is pack me rucksack!!!
    so I'm humming this but check out that groovey shirt...

  67. Sheff - it might not be safe to tomorrow if still like this. I saw a fair few skids and stuff today - so do be careful if you have to go in. I think him indoors is going to try to go in tomorrow too but if it keeps up snowing all night he wont. But it is going to be heavy again thursday and friday too so who knows you might get another snow day at the end of the week!

    Welcome back your dukeship. The electioneering is enough to turn anyone into a raging drinker. I do not know how I am going to bear five months of this.

  68. Andy - not a lot of point in writing to Labour these days - might as well address the future regime, which will probably be even more evil.

    Princess - any chance of your coming to Warwick for our meet-up on Saturday? Or anyone else who hasn't already said so?

  69. Fuck tha politicians - I'm going to look at the G-spot thread.

  70. Hi Thauma - I cant I am afraid. Due to the stomach issue - not to be too indelicate but I dare not be too far from my bathroom right now! Sorry to all those with a sensitive constitution who I may have just upset.

    But as soon as I get to the bottom (oh how droll) of this I definitely would love to meet up - have said I will meet with Sheff and Ms. Chin too so maybe we could have another get together a bit later in the year? I will be very sad though and you all have to have an extra drink for me and then tell me all about it so I can live vicariously through your exploits!

  71. thauma

    If the weather keeps up like this and travelling/driving is difficult/risky - any chance of putting the get together back a week say?

    Would hate to miss out because we can't get down.

  72. Sheff - sadly, one week is no good for me (sister coming to visit for weekend) but a fortnight could work....

    Dunno whether to try to reschedule it now, or wait until we see what the weather does? What does anyone else think?

  73. PCC, it's nice to be back cheers and hello to you Gandolfo.

    Great top tip in Viz re the election:

    Tories. Avoid wear and tear on your vocal chords when asked about poverty by simply shrugging your shoulders.

  74. Blimey - His Grace the 13th Duke is back and I missed his post!

    Welcome back, Your Grace. :o)

  75. Thanks BB,

    enjoyed an extended Highland vacation courtesy of the weather.

    Ceilidh hogmanay and new years day where my Gordon was as Gay as a Gok Wan/John Inman combo, my white sergeant as dashing as David Niven, my Barn Dance more Canadian than the maple leaf and I stripped more willows than a platoon of Archers on the eve of a medieval battle.

    And drank more whisky than a thirsty Oliver Reed.....

  76. The technique when no reply to an email is received, and the issue is of significance to you, is to ensure the progressively irritating follow up eg:

    i) Further to my email of ......to which I am still awaiting a reply I would be grateful if you would indicate when .......is likely to

    (Repeat seven times - Copy and paste every other day for seven cycles. On the last occasion include an appropriate further enquiry .."are you or your staff ill?"

    in the event of continuing rudeness:

    ii) I am writing because my brother/sister aunt/uncle/mother/father/dog ..cousin/first cousin/second cousin....etc (each one provides a subsequent email opportunity in turn)

    ....Mr/Ms xyz wrote to you on .....and seven subsequent occasions, he/she has since broke her/his hand and has asked me to write on his/her behalf to enquire when a reply to his'her enquiry of ........and.........and...........and............and............may be expected.

    please reply to me C/O her /his email/address

    Further to my email of ......to which I am still awaiting a reply I would be grateful if you would indicate when .......is likely to

    Yours truly ABC - First Cousin of XYZ etc

    (the innocent aim is to take the first email and via the notion of geometric progression turn it into 100+ as quickly possible. Quite acceptable to have a cousin and a brother and a sister writing on alternate days)

    all leading to:-

    iii) Further to my, and my wider family's 137 email communications and your unfortunate failure to reply. I am concerned for your health and am;

    a) to write to your local newspaper to draw attention to the sorry state of your office and those who work there. As one of HM's loyal subjects I am duty bound to point out that you are routinely treating communications to your office as spam whilst taking Her M's noble shilling;

    b) to enquire of HM/PM/Leader of the Oppostion if the record shows that you are still alive and continuing to draw funds from her purse.

    The computer and the power of copy/cut/paste are yet to be fully realised by many correspondents.......what mischief, what glorious mischief, there is yet to be unleashed.

  77. "...And drank more whisky than a thirsty Oliver Reed....."

    What wonderful news!!

  78. What wonderful news indeed! Sounds like you had a fab time. I had SingStar on the wii at my sister's party instead of the authentic hogmanay experience, and Jools Holland on the telly at midnight. Poor, poor substitute.

  79. Hi All--Seems most of you are getting white weather.Hope you're coping with it,though some on here welcome it, so enjoy. Warm sunny balmy 12 degrees here, highly unusual but welcome.

    3p4--Good story with the brave dog saving the boy. We've had several cougar attacks over the years( The village is cut out of the rain forest) with one young lad having lost an eye and his scalp nearly torn completely off. Poor kid has gone through years of reconstructive surgery. Not unusual for the RCMP to shoot 2-3 cougars, bears, and the odd wolf every year. Mostly sickly or aged animals that can't hunt in the wild to feed themselves.

    Sheff--I vote for Lily Blick as well.

  80. Duke - glad to hear you enjoyed yourself! I too indulged in a bit of whiskey - 10yo Bushmills single malt. Mmm.

  81. Andrew browns new thread

    Hate elves and hobbits hereBy popular request, a place to discuss the literary demerits of Lord

    Why is it that people find Tolkien dull and turgid? I can ......... .... .......

    ..... ........ just a space for anyone who wants to denounce him in an entertaining or thought provoking way.

    Feel free.

  82. deano,

    for a whisky drinking lightweight like me, ceilidh's are wonderful. You put that much effort into the dancing (especially strip the willow)that you sweat out the hangover effects of the whisky long before you hit the hay.

    BB, not to worry. I see that the makers of 'guitar hero' are brining out 'Ceilidh hero' in time for next New Year.

    Apparently the gameplay is, is that if you complete all the dances correctly, you get to elope with Bonnie Prince Charlie as a blushing maid of the north. Or something.

    No matter where you are in the world, you'll get to enjoy the experience of birlin' with sweaty kilted blokes (or effeminate pretenders to the throne) in the comfort of your own home.

    thauma, I was enjoying an Auchentoshan 12 year old through the festivities. Funnily enough the distillery is in my post-industrial home town but there's no mention of that anywhere on the bottle.

    It's all 'foot of the Kilpatrick hills this, takes its water source from just over the Highland line that.' Seems post industrial location doesn't quite cut the mustard when selling whisky to the Americans and Japanese.

  83. Duke - Scots pretenders! Bushmills is the world's oldest distillery. And we don't have to wear kilts or perform silly dances to enjoy it. (Although we can if we want to.)

  84. Ceilidh Hero! I'm buying that! :p

  85. Evenin' all and welcome back, Wybourne.

    3p4, "Not another fucking elf!" was CS Lewis's contribution to the debate. Don't agree with his view, but it was funny.

    Gandolfo, mama Cass? There's a great spirit gone.

  86. Men and bloody remotes! It was bad enough in the past when all they could do was hog it. Now my hubby seemingly sits down, programmes his viewing preferences for the evening, then falls asleep in his chair snoring while the telly turns itself over on its own...

    Bloody hell.

  87. evenin'habid, BB

    indeed cass eliot wot a voice that woman had...

  88. This comment has been removed by the author.

  89. An enlargement of Sheff's delightful avatar for those who may not have encountered it.....

    Lilya Brik - a siren and muse

    ...much much more enjoyable than Medusa.

    Ms Brik was plainly a lady of sensibility, and one who to one might make an improper suggestion without fear of more than a slap...

    Just had to clear the snow from the awning I could hear the structure groaning.

    Miss Diesel loves the snow but it is no friend of long haired collie dogs, it just builds up in the hair around her paws. Like rolling a snowball the snow 'boots' just gets bigger with every step she takes. Twenty or so steps and she has to sit down and bite them off

  90. Still waiting for pix of Miss Diesel and Master /mungo deano

  91. deano
    any cougar feedback from Mungo?

  92. Duke--Hello and welcome back. Would that be the Auchentoshan aged in port barrels? A fine malt in any case.

    Habib--Good tune, loved the big lady's voice.

    3p4--Ready for the big game? Got to like our boys at home, I think. Should be a good one. World Junior hockey final, Canada vs USA, for those wondering.

    gandolfo--Where you off to?

  93. This comment has been removed by the author.

  94. hi boudican, how are things?
    i'm off to India and Nepal for a few months..first to see friends in Rajasthan, then south to see other friends and then to the mountains on the Tibet-Nepal border can't wait!!!

  95. Ms Brik was plainly a lady of sensibility, and one who to one might make an improper suggestion without fear of more than a slap...

    That really reads as double dutch so lets try....

    Ms Brik was plainly a lady of sensibility, and one who you might have made an improper suggestion to without fear of more than a slap...

  96. currently watchng the bronze medal game

    us/can amateur hockey is one of the best entertaiments around,,mens womens or kids

  97. BB - Miss Diesel & Mungo's pictures.....I'm still working out how you load the pictures to a link here. I've made a start by working out a way of keeping the Mungo/dog stuff together.

    Mungo's Blog

    I had intended to let you have a note on the difficulty I encountered in sorting out Mungo's xmas present, but he was such a sod it all got out of hand.......

  98. Superb Deano! Mungo's own blog! I shall follow!

    3p4 and Boudican - which bit of Canada are you in? My hubby is a Montrealer. Only bit of Canada I have been to, aside from a long weekend in Toronto ("Tarahna"). :o)

  99. Don't even think of asking me how I got into an argument with a dog about Nelson's dress uniform and an albatross...........the memory is just too fucking painful.

  100. Hi gandolfo--Doing well, especially since my neighbour just dropped off 2 rock crabs which he caught this morning. Wish I could share with you all.

    Sound like a memorable journey, and maybe enlightening too. Enjoy it to the max.

  101. Back again.

    Nice to see the Dook's back in one piece after being stranded with no internet.

    You lucky sod, gandolfo.


    "and one who you might have made an improper suggestion to without fear of more than a slap..."

    She's made quite an impression on you, I surmise.

    And lastly - how's this for a conversion? I can't see it catching on with the fair sex, however.

  102. gandolpho - sounds like a fab tour you got planned there. I would love to go to Tibet although I doubt it is anything like I imagine it to be...

  103. Hi BB-- I live in a village called Gold River on the west coast of Vancouver Island. About 200 miles from 3p4 and approx. 300 miles from Montreal. The west coast ( as i'm sure 3p4 will attest) is quite different in many ways, not the least being cultural.

  104. 3000 miles from montreal

    west coast rocks

  105. BB--Oops, that should read 3000 miles from Montreal.

  106. Oooh - my hubby has an uncle lives in Vancouver Island. I will ask him if he knows where you are. Never made it that far out west myself, though, but would love to some day.

  107. thanks guys!! i shall hack together a blog with some photos and stuff on it...
    I'm not actually going to tibet for various reasons amongst these
    1. won't support a regime that is effectively implementing a policy of genocide in Tibet and also dumps loads of toxic waste there. Tibet also has one of the largest natural deposits in the world of uranium...no wonder the chinese don't want to give it back, that and its geopolitical position...
    2. it's not so easy to get there without being on an organised tour and i prefer DIY.
    I'm heading for Sikkim which borders nepal and Tibet but there are lots of Tibetan exiles there and it has strong a Buddist tradition..should be interesting and no doubt very beautiful..not been there before...

    @deano get pictures of you 3 musketeers on mungo's blog i'll follow it!!

  108. Chin - I've just always loved the idea of a muse - amuse, bemuse etc............what fun.

    The wheelie bin toilet is one to watch - conceptually (but not design award winner) it's a vote winner for blokes in a CCTV dominated world.

    Street corner lavs like the Parisians have would be more pleasing to eye and sensibilities too, but the issue of making money (fines) from blokes having to piss in the street after closing time for want of public loo's remains a growing issue.

    I always carry a plastic bottle with me ------------"nay officer I weren't pissing in the street I were pissing in a plastic bottle. (aka a bed bog)"

    I'm intending to have BB defend me if they then arrest me.

  109. PCC
    Good posts on the Yvonne Roberts thread!

  110. Deano - what kind of a Mungo blog doesn't actually have a pic of the poor lad on it? I demand a refund.

  111. gandolfo - me youngest (30 yr old) son took the trin ride up through China and across to Tibet. He saw Everest from the Tibet side before continuing by road on through Nepal and down into India.

    He was on his way home from his brother's wedding in Fiji three years ago - it was his journey of lifetime. He took six months to get home!

    Now a source of gentle friction/rivalry between the sons since when the older one took a year out for a round a the world trip last year - the Chinese had closed the border to Tibet so he couldn't follow in brother's footsteps.

    The piss taking between them is such that the elder was already prepared to argue that Everest was higher Himalayas are still growing) when he saw it later....

    Enjoy your journeys my friend.

  112. thauma - I'll get them up one day I was just seeing how these blog things actually work.

    Mungo is not shy - a little overly ambitious, in his sartorial taste but certainly not shy.

  113. In France it is perfectly legal to piss where you want. In fact, there is no law preventing you pissing against a shop window if needs be. Strange but true. I had a book called "Le Guide de L'Emmerdeur" - the Annoying Git's Guide is the closest translation.

    You can also, by law, go into a French deli or wine shop, ask to taste everything in there and not be obliged to buy anything at all.

    Full of useful information, that book was. :o)

  114. deano sounds like both your boys had great trips...
    I hope to see everest whilst i'm in nepal...i've been to the western part of nepal and to see is to believe those mountains are bloody amazing...

    now if you don't post mungo and missie i give you my boy

  115. Thauma

    Phew...just escaped having eaten more tonight than i normally do in a week. Iranians always cook mountains of food! Left the boys with the sheesha pipe playing
    and finishing off the plonk. am knackered.


    Shall we leave it till Friday and see what the weathers like?

  116. Thauma - I know there's not two of you - must be a bit the worse for wear....

  117. Atomboy:

    Apologies for suggesting you’re a NewLabour apologist.

    I don’t read CiF anymore, and I suspect I was confusing you with someone else. But if AliC, who is most definitely not a NL apologist, reckons you’re not one either, that’s good enough for me, at least on that score.

    However, I don’t think you’re on terribly solid ground when you suggest that

    lots of people here… …complain about what is happening, but never seem to actually do anything other than type out their complaints and pat each other on the back

    or that

    all we do is spend our time in futile and sterile exercises of complaining and mutually licking our wounds

    All we know of each other is what people choose to reveal, and they don’t always do it in a “Ooh, look at me and all the great stuff I’m doing” way (there are exceptions, of course).

    Reading between the lines a little, I suggest many of us are involved in campaigning and other activities in the world beyond the internet. These things may not set the world alight or receive publicity or recognition, they may not even be successful, but they’re still a worthwhile contribution, as is the debate we attempt to have here.

  118. These things may not set the world alight or receive publicity or recognition, they may not even be successful, but they’re still a worthwhile contribution""""

    they are actually the be all and end all of change

    and most headline flash has very little real bang for the buck

  119. BB - you, young miss, are Mung's first fan. He'll have me sending out paw prints soon.

    thauma & BB - I should explain that the Mungo's blog, as it stands, is still a learning experience for me. I aim to get some hands on experience on how it all works. When I'm not so indolent I'll develop it but as the saying goes don't hold your breath too long.

    The yarn of Mungo and the albatross doll from the RSPB that I wanted to buy him for Christmas, and Vice Admiral Nelson's dress coat that he wanted is along drawn out yarn that I must finish one day. Thus far I've only worked out how to import a photo from the National Maritime Archive and cut from the RSPB site ............so still a long way to go

    Vari's kids (my honorary grand kids) will prick me conscience one day - virtual conscience could become tiresome but I ought to give it a go.

    BB - I hope you are giving some serious thought to how I am to be defended for pissing in a plastic bottle in the street in protest at Cameron's lack of funds for public toilets...

  120. Oer. Might be a snow day tomorrow. Looks like Southern Trains are operating a "revised timetable due to weather conditions". Wooohooo! \o/

  121. Deano - I will give the pissing in bottles question some thought. It would be down to whether or not you were exposing your "person" as they still call it...

  122. gandolfo - fine looking beast. I like dogs with white socks

    Miss Diesel has four white sock/knee length boots and a white cape. Mungo is a flash long tan socks type.

  123. thauma & sheff

    I don't mind if the get-together is postponed for a couple of weeks, but we can wait & see how it goes, weatherwise, at the end of the week.

    Mungo's blog - yahay!

    And your dog's a bit of a looker, gandolfo.

  124. BB - In a doorway?

    Chin what are those cardboard bottles called they use in hospitals

    BB would five blokes passing a cardboard bottle between themselves be done for an orgy of public pissing?

  125. BB--Would this entail a profile of said "person"? I probably shouldn't go there.

    BTW--Vancouver Island is roughly the size of Scotland, with climate generally considered to be the most temperate in Canada. Some of you may recall the young killer whale 'Luna' in the news. Happened right here, sad his end was.

    3p4--The Swiss didn't offer much competition, today, I suppose beating the Russians was their moment of glory.

  126. Chin what are those cardboard bottles called they use in hospitals

    No idea, as I've not had occasion to use one personally - but isn't 'bed pan' the generic term ?

  127. BB - I meant in a bottle shielded by a doorway. If the evidence is in the bottle rather than on the wall/door will it help in mitigation?

  128. gandolfo--I like your friend. Good pic.

  129. @deano and mschin thanks he was having a good day...!
    deano i like collies very much...
    he's just a lad on a mission to jump on all little dogs (apart from jack russells-he knows which side his bread's buttered on:)

    @deano as regards pulped paper peeing bottles they dissolve after heavy use...just warning you cos i know what you're thinking about chatting up the local nurse to get your hands on some ;)

  130. gandolpho/Deano - so jealous of your lovely beasts. Can't have one as I work 4 days a week in a dog unfriendly job.

  131. thanks boudican...he is infact of indian origin...not so gandhi-esque though...a long story..

  132. Sheffpixie, I liked the little blast of Persian music. Here's Umm Kalthoum, an arabic singer, kind of a Maria Callas/Billie Holiday from Egypt.

  133. Boudican

    The "person" is a euphymism for the willie, basically. Which is funny.

  134. BB--I know, which is why I said we might not want to go there, although there is a young librarian......

  135. Thank you Chin - that's the word I was looking for bed pan not bed bog..

    "...........Well me Lord ..........having refused to pay a fixed price fine .......and having exhausted the local Magistrates..........we find ourselves here .....the question remains ........perhaps one of law ............the law of necessity...........perhaps one of common sensibility..........nontheless...........my client (and his four mates) .........find themselves here on a charge of.........................common assault on a bed pan........My learned friend will argue it was a vile and unprovoked and plainly indecent assault.

    I will...........say that my client.."

    I have such faith you in BB. Remember it won't be easy to re home Mungo.

  136. LOL Boudican.

    Deano - if it ever happens, I will do it pro bono just for you, hon. :o)

  137. Habib

    Umm Kalthoum was wonderful. Here's another classic of hers

  138. Thanks everyone for comments and stuff.


    No apology needed.

    Just to bore you for a moment, in Melville's Moby Dick the two boats which go out from the main ship in order to harpoon the whales are piloted by two different characters, Starbuck and Stubbs (from memory). One cajoles and gently entices the crew to row harder, mumbling quietly, hardly above a whisper. The other shouts and screams and threatens and spits with rage.

    It is not particularly that either method works better or worse, but that it finds a suitability and appropriateness for the crew concerned and gets results by achieving an harmonious resonance with their temperaments.

    I have no idea what anyone here or anywhere does or does not do and it is not my concern.

    However, in the same way that I feel it is a duty of anyone to prod and pierce and puncture the propaganda of the powerful, whether that is an advertising message or political proclamation, it is also necessary that we remind each other of the need for vigilance and action.

    When Kurt Vonnegut's fictional alter ego, Kilgore Trout sees this scrawled on the wall of a public lavatory:

    "What is the purpose of life?"

    He wants to reply, but cannot find anything to write with.

    What he wants to say is this:

    To be
    the eyes
    and ears
    and conscience
    of the Creator of the Universe,
    you fool.

    I will keep pushing and keep pulling down.

    I'm sorry if that annoys you, but we are probably working in the same direction.

    I hope your move goes well and that the snow does not cause too many problems.

  139. someone is back on WDYWTTA...

  140. Oh and bon voyage to gandolfo, have a safe and fantastic journey, here's some Northern Indian music to wish you well.

  141. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is stupendous Habib - another one gone to meet their maker and leaving us bereft.

  142. Good stuff again, sheff. I once worked for an old professor from Cairo Univeristy who said he'd heard her sing when he was a little boy in wartime Alexandria. Some people lead fascinating lives.

  143. habib thanks off sunday night...nusrat what a voice and presence saw him a few times in london....
    here is a friend of mine who is playing the bansuri flute in a concert in berne... he is imo very good

  144. "..@deano as regards pulped paper peeing bottles they dissolve after heavy use...just warning you cos i know what you're thinking about chatting up the local nurse to get your hands on some ;)

    We'll put the vile allegation of my turpitude by young gandolfo on one side for a moment - there is dear male friends an important evidential point the young man draws attention to.

    BB - I hope you take note ..".... me lord there is the additional difficulty that the receptacle of the piss has now plain gone and dissolved.......to put it mildly the DNA evidence of five blokes pissing in one cardboard bottle is inconclusive.."

  145. deano lol...you're fantastic!!

  146. gandolpho

    thats gorgeous. You might like this Happiness is

  147. BB

    Re: Waddya. Ease up, gal, & don't take the bait.

  148. gandolfo, you're mate's bloody talented.

  149. Atomboy - that's a very good way to put it:

    "...I feel it is a duty of anyone to prod and pierce and puncture the propaganda of the powerful....

    I agree completely with your point. And I believe that many of the folk I know here also see UT as a collective - a place to collect observations and ideas that help us all do just that. Our collective job is to hoist the bastards on their own petard, whilst we wait for Madame Guillotine to rumble down our streets.

  150. habib, he's played the bansuri all his life he also plays classic flute and tabla...and is one of the nicest, funniest people I know (damm good cook too!)...he's also a bloody good artist...i wish there was more of his stuff out there so that you coukld hear


  151. MsChin

    I get what you're saying, but it is coming to a head now. I think I deserve a right to reply on CiF (even if it will all be deleted in the morning).

  152. atomboy
    i agree there is too much complacency around and people seem not to believe anymore that they can actually be part of change...

  153. hi montana
    that's great...they even stink when they're dead...talk about vendetta!!

  154. deano and gandolfo


    Atomgirl has been going through a lengthy and wearying case and I think I am in "chivvy up" mode at the moment.

    Perhaps I am just a natural heckler, though, with fingers always seeking the nearest rotten tomato or slimy, stinking cabbage and cocking my head with one winking eye at any moving target.

    Everyone needs a hobby - or hobby-horse.

  155. That was great Montana - I read a beaut recently about a bloke who had been living here in the UK on road kill meat for a decade or more.

    It was if I remember correct a BBC link so I don't want to be insensitive.

    Kindly remind Sister - you've got access to BBC Radio and Website but not TV ??

  156. Atomboy

    I can be a bit of a heckler at times. I was once called a Northern gobshite by someone from the north east who regarded himself as wearing that label with pride. It's probably the best compliment I've ever had.


    That roadkill prog was on Radio 4 on Saturday morning, I think?

  157. Atomnoy

    "... I think I am in "chivvy up" mode at the moment....

    Nowt wrong with that our kid - was it yesterday or thereabouts when Montana posted the dates of Newton?

    If only, if only, we could get the guys and girls to see that the idea of " ...standing on the shoulders of giants..." is an expression of collectivism.

    I cannot see far, without the standing base of of my colleagues and forebears.

    I wish.

  158. Atomboy - please to forgive my misspell of your logon

  159. Chin - as you so often are, it was not a reading but a listening - xx.

  160. deano

    Not at all - although I did check that they keys are contiguous!


    Perhaps we should form a heckling club?

    I remember being told, with a friend of mine some years ago, that "It's like working with a couple of six-year-olds!"

    I was so proud.

  161. Hehehe - excellent MsChin and Atomboy.

    The best compliment I was ever paid of that ilk was by my late Mum the night I was called to the Bar:

    "You were difficult to have. You've been difficult all your life. At least now you have found a way of making money out of being difficult". :o)

  162. Another attractive label - when someone I know was awarded an MBE, her son said the letters stood for "Meddlesome Battleaxe Extraordinaire".

    A fitting epitaph for any woman's tombstone, imho. Or we could get T shirts printed up with the slogan now & flog 'em down the market.


    Like the sound of the heckling club!

  163. I like the sound of that club too! :o)

  164. Which makes me sorry to have led you astray only to let you down for the evening.

    I think I had better go to bed in case I am needed for anything important tomorrow where I have to have a wit or two about me.

    (Nah! Ain't never gonna happen).

    However, I shall have to say goodnight.

  165. BeautifulBurnout - in that fraternal, amongst other, senses I also think you a honey. You deserve the respect you enjoy here and there.;

    My mam always said of me ".....well our dean might be on this earth but he ain't of it.."

    talk about a welcome. She would nonetheless defend me against all comers even though she couldn't quite recall me name. There is a plainly no possible confusion between Jack and Dean

    For recent UT's my long late mam is still adored by me.

  166. those waddya threads are quite the success eh,, every time they put up a fresh sheet ,,boom off it goes,,it was my idea you know ,,

  167. You know, Deano, no matter what, you only ever have one Mum. I fought like cat and dog with mine between the ages of 15 and 30, but was very glad that I got on with her in the last 10 years of her life.

    She was prudish, narrow minded, a bloody Alf Garnett Tory, harsh at times, and a bit quick with the belt round the ear for my liking. But she was also loving, caring, sympathetic and a marvellous support when you needed her. I would still give 5 years of my life for another hour with her.

  168. I'll think on, that one, 3p4

    Night all - as ever enjoyed your company and warmth.

    habib hope the night not too long brother.

  169. 3p4

    Gone off like a rocket tonight. Bitey fas been goading me on CiF for a few days now though.

    Seriously, have you got a link to the freemason stuff? Would be interested to see it.

  170. Night, d.

    Where's Colin tonight? Must be painting beautiful snow scenes somewhere ..

  171. Night Deano. Keep warm in this weather x

  172. weird life meant very little time spent with my Mum,,when i was mid twenties i quit my really good secure govtment job in canada and went to England to see her,,she was having a rough time with stuff,,we found an instant and very deep relationship that we had never had the like of before and then she collapsed and died instantly and unexpectedly six weeks after i had arrived,,

  173. my ol' dad taught me to heckle he's famous in happy horsham for his 40+years of heckling tory mps despite being one of their safest ever seats...never stopped him and he's still at it..

    @all time for me to sleep...nighty night don't let the bed bugs bite!

    deano your mam sounds great and me thinks you got your sense of humour from her:)

  174. 3p4

    That was a precious 6 weeks for you, albeit with a sad ending.

  175. BB - my young miss, you plainly have the measure and weight of the notion..........My sisters did the same with my mam .............I later came to understand it was all about learning.

    I 'd give ten for time with mine, but then I'm an older folk so perhaps its of less value.

    What you and I and others here on UT can agree - we have had a thing with our parents. Some of us were more fortunate than others.


  176. 3p4 oh how awful and what a shame...

    I loved to have a day with my mum bless her...she was a great person..dedicated to her political beliefs (thank god not tory!) one of the last political things she did before she died was to march against the war in Iraq...she was so disappointed with Nulab I'm glad she hasn't seen the mess they've made.. but I bet she's gobbing off to someone in nirvana about it!!

  177. 3P4 - Sorry about your mam our kid.

    I've made notes here about the death of mine - it makes or breaks us kid.

    I have to have some sleep cos I have to take dogs to vets tomorrow for their annuals.

    I' dreading the possibility that I may be not kind enough to old Miss Diesel. She is a love of my life - I hurt at the possibility that we may have to say goodbye soon

  178. BB--You are so right about mums. Mine passed only 4 years ago, and left a huge hole in my heart, nothing but fond memories though. Always regret not having spent more time with her. If we knew then what we know now never rang so true.

    3p4--Shame that it happened that way for you. Good that you had that close connection.

    BTW BB--Loads of Masonic info on google now. My dad was a freemason, so I went to several Demolay (kind of junior masons) functions, but it wasn't for me. Religious stuff turned me off.

  179. Aw deano, it's always a tough call but you have to trust to yours & Diesel's judgement.

  180. Much love to you guys. Losing a Mum before her time is harsh. If you have been close, you never get over it, as such. You just learn to live in a different way.

  181. i have always considered it a blessing that i made a sudden and most unlikely decision acted in extreme haste without any tangible discernable reason,, in order to get those last 6 weeks,,beginning of my examination of unspoken communication ,,

  182. "Without any tangible discernable reason".

    The universe works in the strangest of ways, 3p4.

  183. boudi,,giyus is going to love you,,
    pucks about to drop,,i had the appropriate supper
    an hour ago,,a large mushroom cap from exotic climes,,the (an)other end of that journey of examination of unspoken communication,,

    should be a great game

  184. Cheers Chin - that's the measure of it. My golden rules to help focus me head - does she want to eat and does she want to walk.

    The answer to both at the minute is yes - but in the bits in-between she is seeming more discomforted as she moves from this minute to the next. I'm scared.

  185. Evening to all Untrustees still abroad.

  186. Deano

    Hope Miss Diesel passes muster.

    Boudican - yup. Big hole there where Mum used to be. Spent the first year trying to fill it with all kinds of crap before realising that the only thing I can fill it with is myself. If that doesn't sound too mystic.

  187. me and mine are not far behind Deanno,,good luck tomorrow,,

  188. deano, I feel for you man. One of life's cruel bends, agonising really. You'll do your best for her, of that I'm sure. Bye for now.

  189. Great to see you again Medeve - it wasn't something you said (at least as far as I'm concerned) I'll catch you later with pleasure.

    An owl calls.

    Regards deano.

  190. the only thing I can fill it with is myself. If that doesn't sound too mystic

    only to the flakes,,sounds blooody obvious to me,,
    but then if i had a label it would say buddhist with a small b ,,non of that tibetan lunacy,,just the eightsome spoked reelwheel stuff,,and sidd saying "hey dude you wanna do it,,? go ahead !"

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