27 November 2010


Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.
-Søren Kierkegaard


  1. Those of you who remember the McLibel trial will be aware of McDonalds tactic of planting spies. This is standard counter insurgency practice as is the use of agent provocateurs to foment violence to discredit the movement. I remember the hippie cops in the 'underground press' in the sixties.

    So, who's your spy, your resident intelligence officer?


  2. Hey Bumwit, still raping those ducklings ?

  3. Methinks you give yourself too much credit 'Halfwit'. This is a public blogging site !!

    Keep smoking the weed Halfwit - one day it may make you achieve the lofty elevation of obtaining a post that is both; a) coherent and b) relevant !

  4. In case you hadn't noticed, the UK government has just had a defence expenditure review. They have told us there will be a massive expansion of defences against cyber attacks upon UK institutions and businesses.

    To openly boast of such activities seems to me to be the height of stupidity unless, of course, you are working for the intelligence services. Remember what happened to the airport tweet man, Paul Chambers.

  5. I'm surprised Helmet manged to get his tongue out of the Grauniad's anus for long enough to address the helots of UT. Honoured, I'm sure.

    Check out the very funny Stuff White People Like blog. Here, for example, is their take on Moleskine notebooks:

    Since all white people consider themselves to be “creative,” they are constantly in need of products and accessories that will allow them to capture their thoughts. One of the more popular products in recent years has been the Moleskine notebook.

    This particular type of notebook is very expensive and was quite popular with writers and artists in the olden days. Needless to say, these are two properties that are highly coveted in the white community. In fact, it’s a good rule of thumb to know that white people like anything that old writers and artists liked: typewriters, journals, suicide, heroin, and trains are just a few examples.

    Much like virtually everything else that white people like, these notebooks are considerably more expensive yet provide no additional functionality over regular notebooks that cost a dollar. Thankfully, since white people only keep their most original and creative ideas in the Moleskine, many of them will only be required to purchase one per lifetime.

    But the the growing popularity of these little journals, is not without its own set of problems. One of the strangest side effects has been the puzzling situation whereby a white person will sit in an independent coffee shop with a Moleskine notebook resting on top of a Apple laptop. You might wonder why they need so many devices to write down thoughts? Well, if a white person has a great idea, they write it by hand, if they have a good idea, it goes into the computer.

    Not only does this help them keep their thoughts organized, but it serves as a signal to the other white people in the shop that the owner of both instruments is truly creative. It screams: "I’m not using my computer to check email and read celebrity gossip, I’m using it to create art. Please ask me about it."

    So when you see a white person with one of these notebooks, you should always ask them about what sort of projects they are working on their free time. But you should never ask to actually see the notebook lest you ask the question "how are you going to make a novel out of five phone numbers and a grocery list?"

    Ouch...I blame Bruce Chatwin.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Woohoo!

    A sort of yellowish anthelion smudged under broken brown clouds!

  8. damnit, I've got a moleskine notebook around here somewhere...

  9. Paul


    I don't give a shit what you guys think of me but not one of you said anything when MIE called me the UT House Nigger.So don't you three cunts ever try and take the moral high ground with me about anything.Cos i tell you what.If MIE crossed the line with any of you guys i would have said something irrespective of whether i liked you or not.In fact i have spoken out on your behalfs when people have crossed the line with you .Yet in return all you fuckwits can do is sneer.Well the three of you can go fuck yourselves as far as i'm concerned."

    WTF's all this about?..have I missed something here? I still refer to this more or less every time I mention the daft cunt...even last night I wrote: "The traditional response is: "Martyn...where do you-a known fantasist, cheerleader for 'pan-Celtic revivalism' and an aficionado of racist abuse-get the fuckin nerve to call me a racist?""

    To be honest Paul, feeling the way I do about Martyn, I'd have taken the opportunity to ram "housenigger" right back down his smug throat at every opportunity anyway, regardless of my opinion of you...however, I think you're a fine poster and unlike the man himself, motivated by real situations and events rather than a constant desire to present yourself as something you plainly ain't...however, the idea that I haven't taken the guy to task over what he said is way off beam...I'd look back on here only I can't be bothered...not to mention all the stuff that will have been wiped on waddaya and CIF...I even suggested to Joseph Harker that he clear up the "housenigger" debate by giving us his take now that one of his fellow "ATLers" was defending the use of the word...but generally speaking I've hit out at Martyn on countless occasions over the incident.

    If by, "but not one of you said anything when MIE called me the UT House Nigger."...you mean I didn't run in and commiserate and tell you to bear-up and stay strong and don't get upset by the nasty man...that's because I never had you down, even for a moment, as a fuckin self-pitying fanny...still don't

    but nor do I really understand your post...I'm personally minimally affected by anything people choose to think of or write about me...but if you want to have a go Paul..you'd better pick a topic with some meat...Telling me I've failed to condemn Martyn over his racist posts is just silly...I do it all the fuckin time

  10. Ahem ..

    Good morning.

    I don't own a moleskine notebook. In fact, my current 'notebook' is any old scrap of paper that comes to hand. Now I'm wondering whether I should aspire to the moleskin version so I can be a full member of the white folks' community but I'm coming to the conclusion that I'd rather die happy with a million scraps of paper ...

  11. Oh good! Lots of snow...city looking serene and peaceful this morning


    I'm in a worse case as I have a mac laptop too! I also frequent independent coffee shops - often the one at the Showroom - our independent cinema where you go if you like films with subtitles. I guess that's about as pretentious as you can get. am I beyond redemption Jack?

    Hey duckie...keep sucking on the groan's barren teat.

  12. brighter news - oisette is 'practising' her chocolate tasting skills, and a second opinion is needed.


    top chocs at 10.30 am. feel very decadent.

  13. Philippa

    Any chance of sharing? I've ransacked the house & there is no chocolate to be found ;(


    I knew I should have bought some wellies!

  14. sheff - my favoured notebook is an A4 mock-vellum suede-covered number from Messrs WH Smith, so I'm probably beyond help too.

    mschin - the remnants are being firmly guarded. may ave had my lot. peh.

  15. "But you should never ask to actually see the notebook lest you ask the question "how are you going to make a novel out of five phone numbers and a grocery list?""

    "five phone numbers and a grocery list" is more than adequate..."I will show you fear in a handful of dust"...as a 'fiercely' white poet once wrote...I can show you the world and all its wonders with 5 phone numbers and a shopping list..in fact..depending what's on the list I could possibly strip away the phenomenal world completely

    What is a moleskin notebook btw?..is actual moleskin involved?

    Apropos of little..this is an interesting excerpt on TS Eliot's gift for 'synthesis' in creating the most important poem of the 20th Century...

    "Still, it is surprising to find no mention at all, in this extensively sourced volume, of Madison Cawein's poem "Waste Land". Cawein was as distant from Eliot, in poetic terms, as it was possible to be. He was a Kentucky blues man and a barroom versifier. However, like Eliot, he was fascinated by the Celtic twilight and the search for the Grail. And his verses, with their haunting title, did appear in the January 1913 edition of Poetry magazine. Since that very issue also contained an essay by Ezra Pound on the new poets writing in London, it seems more rather than less likely that Eliot would have read it.

    I looked at the man; I saw him plain;

    Like a dead weed, grey and wan,

    Or a breath of dust. I looked again—

    And man and dog were gone,

    Like wisps of the graying dawn.

    Wonderful bit of 'synthesis'...I got kicked out of an exam once for trying to synthesise the answers from my neighbours answer script...apparently if you're not a poetic genius, it's called 'cheating'.

  16. another dispatch from dad, who has received my christmas card cum advent calendar, faeturing a renaissance cherub...

    I am working up some stuff on angels at the moment, partly to provide some sort of biblical/theological backdrop to next weekend's 'Angel Festival' at L---- (they were hoping to do a Christmas Tree Festival, like somewhere else in the Circuit, but realised their electrics couldn't cope with all the fairy lights...

    now have a vision of all the sparks in suffolk standing around looking at a dimly lit tree in a vestibule, sucking their teeth, and saying "now, guv, the thing is..."

  17. I have to confess, Sheff, I too have a bunch of Moleskines. Although I'm a beige person (and in a pathetic attempt at a defence) I bought them from my local (Whitechapel) newsagent who had a stack of them and was knocking them out for a quid each. Knowing that that retail for something like £15 each, I bought 10 of them.

    What made me wince about that Stuff White People Like piece was the observation that the notebooks generally remain pristine. Mine have. They're just so damned nice that I'm reluctant to soil them with anything less than profundities.

    Sadly, I have profound thoughts as rarely as Major 'Guilty, Your Honour' Bracken has self-effacing ones. So they remain empty and accusingly so. I really am going to start eating more fish.

    MF, the late fantasist Bruce Chatwin wrote a whole bloody essay about Moleskine notebooks. He was another 'synthesiser', although I did like In Patagonia, Utz and The Viceroy of Ouidah.

  18. Phillipa

    My M notebook is small and brown and bought at Rymans. It has one of those elastic thingys to keep it shut and for some reason has a quote from the Magnificat in it.

    He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble and meek etc...

    Also references to Sibelius's 4th symphony and the Hawley Tool Collection at Kelham Island Museum amongst other unintelligible scrawls. Could I make a novel out of that?

  19. sheff - try thinking along non-narrative, more emotional, lines, throwing in something about the plight of the working classes in mid-victorian shropshire and a flashback to childhood, and call it a 'think piece'.

  20. (just in case that gets taken seriously by the cultured element, erm...kidding.)

  21. Jack

    Am sorry to learn that Chatwin was a fantasist (had vaguely heard some such) as I like his stuff. (liked Utz) very much).

    I am very jealous of your M notebook collection. You should bring them to the next UT meet up as I'm certain you could flog them off for a good price and assuage your guilt by getting a round or two in.

    I do not see you as a biege person - more a scarlet harlot of words, which is a compliment btw.

    My M notebook whilst not pristine is not well used I must admit.

  22. On the subject of moleskin notebooks.

    Surely the answer is presents. I got my sister one a couple of years ago. She wanted a notebook. She didn't want a moleskin one particularly but how could I get her a spiral bound one for a quid in the pound shop, for her birthday?

    It is stupid of course, paying way over the odds for something just so you don't feel mean.

    But I do think that must be the answer to how moleskin get away with charging so much.

  23. spencer - aye - although 'paper blanks' are even posher. beautiful jewel-toned colours, magnetic fold-around front cover which makes a satisfying 'clunk' noise on closing...

    look and drool...

  24. He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble and meerkats etc...

    When Bruce Chatwin was dying, he said that it was from a rare condition, so far only found in one Chinaman and a whale.

    It was Aids.

  25. To be fair to Moleskine, Spencer, they are well-made--good-quality paper, well-bound etc.

    Having said that, I bought, for a quid, a pack of 4 notebooks last week, spiral-bound but with rather groovy transparent day-glo covers (violet, plum, gooseberry and rhubarb) and with the elastic-band Sheff mentions which I love (it makes me feel like a hard-bitten hack in some 40s flick; I keep getting the urge to shout "Hold the front page!"). Hard to justify paying the full-price for Moleskines...

    Re; Chatwin, Sheff--it's come out over the years that Chatwin invented great swathes of In Patagonia (which he had described as 'non-fiction' and parts of The Songlines that he'd also so-described.

    He also created a far posher background for himself (his snobbery and fawning over aristos was, I found, desperately unappealing). As @atomboy points out, Chatwin's snobbery extended to his illness--no ordinary pleb disease for him...but Mr. Death doesn't give a shit how classy your illness is, otherwise we'd all be desperately trying to acquire the gout or something.

    He could write, though, and ultimately, that's what I require of a writer...

  26. Didn't one of the flying pizza monsters also pick up a handful of dust and breathe life into it?

    Looks like we all just copy forwards and backwards in an endless loop, without ever quite catching up or being outrun, like Mobius and Listing.

  27. I very much liked the line 'white people like anything old artists and writers like, typewriters, suicide, heroin and trains being examples' I will have to check that site out.

    I'm glad I am not the only one who doesn't know what a moleskin notebook is I've got a pink spiral bound notebook with a picture of a comedy spider on it, that's cool, right?

  28. The same criticism has been made of Ryszard Kapuściński. I don't really get it. It isn't as if either write in a documentary style.

    You can tell that both Chatwin and Kapuściński are always going to choose sounding good or interesting over factual accuracy.

    But so what? That isn't what you are reading them for, is it?

    Mind you Chatwin was right about the Brujaria of Chiloe, they do own the world.

  29. Montana, they did use to do this a lot in SA (the planting spies thing) - it created huge paranoia in the mass democratic movement, and while occasionally the real spies were flushed out, often innocents were identified with disastrous effect, and sometimes the spies managed to stay underground for years without being identified. It was a very, very effective as a means of breaking down solidarity.

  30. As for moleskin and other fancy notebooks. Well, yes, they look nice in the shop. But it would be idiocy for me to spend anything like that on a notebook even if I had anything to write in it.

    I would just lose them or mash them up or leave them in the rain in about 45 minutes flat.

    I do take a notebook on my walking trip so that after a hard day's slog I can sit and make notes in the B&B or hostel of the interesting occurrences for my blog.

    But by the time I get there I am much to knackered and can usually only think about having a shower and getting some food and wine down my neck.

    So they come back to London with me (if I manage not to lose them), battered and stained with a couple of indecipherable lines.

    And I write up that day's events too weeks later using the map and photos to job my memory instead.

    Actually, I think I have pretty much lost the ability to write longhand.

  31. Morning all

    According to the Daily Heil yesterday I should be under about a foot of snow now, instead of just a sharp frost.


    How can someone "spy" on a public blog? Or are you saying you have tasked the manuphage to disrupt us and report back to you?

    In fact, what are you saying, exactly?

    Re moleskine notebooks - I have never owned one, but I am tempted to buy the Music Journal one for my nipper for xmas. They have different ones available here. and could be quite good pressies.

  32. Surecate

    I'll just point out, at the risk of being prodded with a sharp stick, that MontanaWildhack is our hostess.

    MontanWildDuck, on the other hand, is simply EnglishHelmet from Dribbly.

  33. "Looks like we all just copy forwards and backwards in an endless loop, without ever quite catching up or being outrun, like Mobius and Listing."

    which kinda explains CIF...I think its recently completed its first full circuit...it's all starting to look the same second time around...I'd say it's more of a torus with localised singularities around which certain themes: for instanced, everything Polly T writes, the I/P stuff etc have been completing much smaller orbits and 'resynthesising' for years now

    ...but if you look at the big picture...the totality has now completed its cycle...and we're back to square one...as a an organisation desperately dependent upon and attuned to the corporate world-view struggles in vain to persuade us all that fundamentally, it retains the heart and soul of the spindly legged, vegetarian, single-parent social worker in the clapped-out 2CV...only we've had too many glimpses of the 4 wheel drive zooming past, the au-pair, the private school, the cottage in the Cotswolds...and it won't work next time around either.

  34. I'm a great admirerer of Kapuściński myself and obviously, it's understood that a writer will sacrifice the quotidian 'truth' in the service of a greater 'truth'. It is a fine line, though.

    I mean, if one says "such and such a thing happened at such and such a place" in a piece that's described as 'reportage', I think you have to stick as close to the facts as is commensurate with not dropping some poor bastard in the shit.

  35. My apologies, I missed that. Thanks atomboy.

  36. Know what you mean re Cif MF, on pretty much any ATL I could pick one of a dozen comments from my history, cut and paste it, nuff said, so why bother...

    I had a moleskine diary for 2005, didn't use it much, but did a couple of years latter, just had to amend the days.. One can purchase copies from asda for about £3... A good foot+ of snow on the ground here, should think about shifting some of it i suppose...

  37. (I had assumed we were talking student riots and stuff :-) I shouldn't post before I've had at least three mugs of tea....)

  38. Phillipa

    I love stationery shops, especially the old fashioned kind that are fast disappearing. If I had a fortune that's where I'd spend it. Buying online is not the same - you need the paper and ink smells and textures. I still have a proper fountain pen and a bottle of Quink.

  39. monkeyfish

    I think they lived for far too long on the myth that Georgina Henry did something startlingly original by opening up a section of a news site for comments.

    If anything, they were slightly slow on the uptake of a technology which had already taken off and proved its worth.

    They are now living on a myth which all the acolytes and arselickers feed each other at every opportunity, which is that CiF is the best news commenting site on the internet.

    Not only are there plenty of other news media with online commenting communities, but the whole process has now gone from the avant garde and outre to the yawningly, numbingly boring and pointless.

    Of course, it provides a locus for those who cannot imagine their lives without it, the fantasists and the socially inept and those who think they have an important message with which to bless or damn the world.

    It has, for me, now slipped off the side of the thingy which tells me where I usually go on the internet.

    Without the reminder, I now only go there when someone here highlights a car-crash moment which seems worth pointing at and laughing.

  40. "MontanWildDuck, on the other hand, is simply EnglishHelmet from Dribbly."

    ...he's the village idiot...he actually used to think people took him seriously..it's good that the message has finally struck home...finds himself largely ignored..in some cases pitied these days...mind you he's only got himself to blame...for some reason he thought that by publicly smearing himself in shit and running around waving his arms and quacking...he was making a serious point about...what was it again?...oh yeah...he wanted to let us know that..erm...sorry...fucked if I remember now...sorry

    He's no fool though...taken a leaf out of the guy from Scunthorpe's book...when all else fails...calling people Nazis/ hitting the abuse button/ calling for support from a non-existent 'fanbase'...what you do next is hint at legal action...yeah, right? a complete fuckin tool IMHO ( I synthesised 'IMHO' from the wandering Celtic Jew...let's you all know how humble I really am)

    go on Kermit...blow a fuse, you sad old cunt

  41. sheff - my leaving present from last work was a lovely parker pen, although i use the cartridges, as i am not to be trusted with bottles of permanent...

  42. Hank/scherfig/monkeyfish
    I don't give a shit what you guys think of me but not one of you said anything when MIE called me the UT House Nigger.So don't you three cunts ever try and take the moral high ground with me about anything.Cos i tell you what.If MIE crossed the line with any of you guys i would have said something irrespective of whether i liked you or not.In fact i have spoken out on your behalfs when people have crossed the line with you .Yet in return all you fuckwits can do is sneer.Well the three of you can go fuck yourselves as far as i'm concerned.

    I'll echo monkeyfish here - WTF's all this about? Yet another meltdown? I know you dislike me intensely and you're a great man for carrying a grudge and frequently abusing others ...but...WTF?

    Here's my take on it fwiw, not that I owe you anything. I wasn't around when martyn did his nutter thing - I heard about it much later and most of the posts were deleted. Why you think that everyone who doesn't ride to your rescue is a racist cunt beats me. After all, you're the guy who claims to have a backbone and who can annihilate people on-line at will. But then you always were a pathetic whining fool. So fuck off.

    PS. For future reference, if anybody ever says anything bad about you on the net, consider me to be standing in your corner holding your little hand. I wouldn't want to be called a cunt three months later for not being there for you.


  43. "To openly boast of such activities seems to me to be the height of stupidity unless, of course, you are working for the intelligence services. Remember what happened to the airport tweet man, Paul Chambers."

    Good point...but surely blowing up an airport and taking the piss out of bewildered auld hippies who turn out on closer examination to be authoritarian little Englanders with a 'thing' about the supremacy of 'English Culture' (whatever the fuck that might be) aren't really morally equivalent..

    So anyway...what's all this about 'boasting'...you mean the way you boast about your activities over here?...has anybody ever congratulated you Helmet?...ever wondered why not?..go on..think hard

    here I'll give you a clue...rearrange these words to form a sentence


  44. I've never had a moleskin notebook, 'ave a diary and a 'reporters notebook' ie a cardboard bound 50p collection of A5 sheets which I sometimes jot various odds and ends, including my score from Monday's university challenge.

    In other news, Spencer particularly might be interested, snow AND heavy gales has hit the western isles and it looks like my ferry will be cancelled or severely delayed, meaning I miss my non refundable train connection from Inverness tonight. There was also a lorry crash yesterday on the main artery between the mainland ferry terminal (Ullapool) and Inverness. I probably won't be going home tomorrow becuase the Sunday timetable (as a sop to the religious lobby who could not bear the though of the ferry running in parallel with church hours) is not synchronised with buses and trains to Glasgow. So looks like I'm here til Monday.

    Two days of home comforts! The snow is heavy as hell now.

  45. The great Dory Previn sings the 'cheesed off with CiF' song.

    Followed by The Replacements urging you to abandon CiF. You know it makes sense...

  46. Nap

    Two days of home comforts! Lap it up.

  47. I looked at my post and wondered who "Paul" is then I remembered I shouldn't use fictitious names on my E Mail accounts.
    If it weren't for having to change identities for Cif purposes I probably wouldn't have to.

  48. Next task, improvise prod from 7 foot pole and lawn rake to push snow off splaying branches of ornamental yew.

    So are you on Rumm, Muck or Eigg, then Nap or stuck in Glesga?

  49. Indeed BB, in some way I am glad. Mum's home cooking, meeting up with a few friends, nice walks in the snow, a pile of books to read and my brother's Xbox for a bit of light relief. Yes, a very easy few days,

  50. Isle of Lewis, my dear Turm.

  51. Some of you will have already seen this - another in my series 'economics for idiots, ' this one courtesy of Oz.

    Clarke and Dawes ask the million dollar questions

  52. I askt where you were, not what TV shows you like.

    ; )

  53. An extreme close-up of a jaffa cake in cross-section!

    Er... Woo-hoo?

  54. @turm

    When you get round to the joy that is Surface Detail, you'll understand why I'd almost like to get banned so I could change my name to Demeisen.

  55. Bleagh... post-birthday-drinkies-headache... large scald across hand from water heater at work...no snow here but bloody cold... have I missed anything?

  56. Sounds like fun, Charles. I just hope I get up for Christmas and back again OK. I sort of feel that I used up all my luck last year.

    I got the sleeper to Edinburgh to connect with a train to Inverness to connect with a plane. Set off from Euston, fine. But instead of waking in Edinburgh I woke up outside of Carstairs in snow. Frozen points. They fucked around for about two hours before limping into Glasgow.

    The train I got did get me to Inverness in time, but only just. It kept stopping and barely made it over the summit past Aviemore. And we must have been one of the last trains through before that frieght train derailed and put the line out of action for a couple of weeks!

    On the way back I got a sleeper from Fort William to London. Woke up to find the train was stuck in a snow field somewhere in Lancashire. But they got it going in time for me to make it back for work.

    And it is a very long time since I have had to spend a night in Ullapool so I have the feeling I am due for my luck to run out soon.

  57. Hi Shaz. Your birthday? When?

    A single treatment for both hangover and scald: more drink.

  58. Right - out in to the sun and snow - can't bear another day stuck indoors.

    Happy b'day Shaz - careful with that hand!


    Lewis must look gorgeous in the snow - Can you do photos for the gallery?


  59. Sheff, very funny. Terrifying, but funny.

  60. Yesterday... got into work to discover desk covered in balloons, much to joy of class... ritually humiliated in assembly with birthday sticker & whole-school rendition of HBTY... only answer was to go & get plastered after work...

  61. How do you put photos in the gallery?

  62. question - will courgettes turn dangerous if they are reheated twice?

    (cooked once, then reheated, then reheated again, mean)

  63. Am saving SD Spike, it's about 3rd in a big pile, but I've got the 1st 3 books of Kirkman's Walking Dead + all this months comics to read, a dozen dvds to watch, and a new job to start on Wednesday! I just don't know how I'll fit in time to struggle through the snow to the opera or ballet this week!

    Happy Birthday Shaz! Ws wondering the other day, does your webname have any Robin Williams connection?

  64. If they aren't slimy, or furry, they'll be fine Philippa :)

  65. spencer - there's a UT login and password, montana can provide (not sure where mine is)...

  66. turm - hehehehe. have just had traditional fortnightly 'clean out fridge' lunch, which instead of removing leftovers, has now left me with, er, leftovers.

    was very nice, for all that.

  67. E- mail Montana{wildhack} (not the Duk o Delusion), Spencer, she'll send you login details : )

  68. Shaz - happy birthday! Sounds like you got the love and respect of your kids and colleagues, too. :o)

    Spencer - I will whizz over and email with the password etc for the flickr account.

  69. Hi Turminder - no, no Robin Williams link - is there one?

  70. That's what I'm havin' Phlippa : )

    Sweetcorn fritters, mash & stir fried cabbage with pepperoni and garlic.

  71. Ah, sorry Shaz, miss firing connection ; )

  72. Thanks for the happies, chappies (oh dear, sorry) - daughter has sent me a 'onesie', rather like a babygro, which apparently are the thing to have for evening slobwear amongst B'ham's student population... I suspect it'll just make me look like a large and ridiculous tellytubby...

  73. @Shaz

    Many happy returns of yesterday!

    Tinky-winky, Laa-laa, Po or Dipsy? Or given the circumstances, you could create your own Teletubby persona - Dipso - accessorising with the traffic cone. ;-)

  74. sweetcorn fritters? mmmm. nice. what binding agent used?

    (mine was half a baked potato - reheated - a 'gratin' of leftover veg - 80% courgette, hence the question - with a side of green beans in tomato sauce - am now stuffed. just enough room for a chocolate that has been left unattended)

  75. Sh. Don't mention the traffic cone :o)

  76. My lips are sealed.

    Right, I'm off for a brisk walk in the cold. Eight days off the cigs now and I'm determined not to put on weight. So it's time to explore the new section of riverbank footpath just opened while listening to the Now Show on mp3, giggling enigmatically and alarming passers-by.

  77. while listening to the Now Show on mp3, giggling enigmatically and alarming passers-by

    I do that listening to Eddie Izzard. Particularly the cat drilling bit.

  78. Sweetcorn, mushroom, egg, flour, water. Filling, if not thrilling ; )

    Also stuffed. : )

  79. monkeyfish

    The issue with MIE struck a nerve with me which i'm not going to go into here.But from your post it's clear i've certainly got you totally wrong.All i can do is apologize to you and i hope you'll let me buy you a pint when we get to meet.

  80. turm - hmmm, must see if can think of a few 'thrillers' to throw in there - there's usually a dying chilli kicking around the fridge somewhere...

  81. Had chilli powder, s&p, HP n ketchup ; )

  82. Paul

    Stephen Hawking in A Brief History Of Time starts with the anecdote.
    A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a
    public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the
    sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the centre of a vast collection
    of stars called our galaxy.

    At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at
    the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish.
    The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant

    The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is
    the tortoise standing on?"

    "You're very clever, young man, very clever,"
    said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down."

    The current political set up is a fragile China plate which would fall and shatter into a thousand pieces if only it weren't resting on a "media consensus turtle" which in turn rests on an infinite pile of arseholes motivated by self-interest, fawning compliance, small-minded prejudice and class interest...anyone who's prepared to kick out at the arseholes whether it's ATOS, Clegg or Martyn in Europe is OK with me...all this "OK, move on...boring..we've dealt with this before" is another way of saying "Shut up or the arseholes might get restless and start slipping."

    Never forget "It's arseholes all the way down" and..as I have often discovered, calling out an arsehole every time you see one might not do you any favours career-wise or do your social life much good if you're into joining things...but at least you can look yourself in the eye every morning while you're shaving.

  83. Sheffpixie 12.33 "Some of you will have already seen this - another in my series 'economics for idiots','

    Good ones Sheff, should be compulsory viewing for the 'idiots' who think they're in charge ... needed a larf too.

    For the emergency cupboard I found a 5kg bag of lentils for £5 equivalent, best deal for a while:) Plenty of spices and onions already.

    Now to cook my last aubergines and courgettes, and rescue those peppers in the freezing polytunnel, starving !

  84. Spencer, yes it is a beautiful train journey up to Inverness, there is a hill up there where a sign proudly proclaims it to be the highest point on the rail network.

    I know you like trains and maybe you have an ethical issue, but couldn't you always fly up? I've found that to go from Gatwick or Luton to Inverness by Easyjet and then go the rest of the way by bus and ferry to be very cheap.

    As to photos, Sheff, well I don't have a digicam. I suppose I could ask to borrow my wee brothers one but I won't get much done, it'll be dark in an hour or so, plus I'll only be going around the town, the really beautiful landscapes are generally to the west and the south.

    I'll think about it though. I'm going out for a walk in the castle grounds now before it gets dark. I'll take the cam with me.

  85. Charles, have fun in the Castle Grounds. I am jealous. Don't suppose there will be snow by the time I get up there, though there was last Christmas.

    I do prefer to avoid flying. Partly carbon but I am not consistent enough with that to claim it is the major thing. But it all takes so long and is so much fucking hassle.

    The flying bit is quick but you have to get to Luton or Stanstead or wherever, then you have to fuck around and go through all those stupid paranoid safety checks. And then hang around some more. And then collect your stuff at the other end. It ends up taking longer than the train which goes from a single bus ride away (15 minutes max if I can face the tube).

    And I really don't find it cheaper. I just booked my train ticket down from Fort William in the New Year. £27.50

    OK so I have to get to Fort William and the bus is a ridiculous price these days. But if I flew I would have to pay all those extras, the train from Luton is over a tenner, etc.

    And also, if I fly all the way I have to change in Edinburgh or Glasgow and experience tells me that I will probably have to spend hours between flights, bored in charge of a credit card, and there is a serious danger that I will buy a camera that I don't need.

    So trains work out cheaper. But I am flying from Edinburgh to Stornoway because the planes are more reliable than the ferry in winter and I am travelling quite close to Christmas.

    The idea of being stuck in a hotel in Ullapool for Christmas is not one I can face. Very nearly happened years ago too, and the crossing was so rough when they finally decided to risk it that I felt sick for the whole of Christmas.

    Unless that was to do with all the rum I drank waiting to see if the ferry was going to sail (they opened the bar to keep us happy while they deliberated on it).

  86. Charlie/Spencer,

    wid you twa haud yer wheesht, yer makin me right homesick so yez ur!


    The current political set up is a fragile China plate which would fall and shatter into a thousand pieces if only it weren't resting on a "media consensus turtle" which in turn rests on an infinite pile of arseholes motivated by self-interest, fawning compliance, small-minded prejudice and class interest...anyone who's prepared to kick out at the arseholes whether it's ATOS, Clegg or Martyn in Europe is OK with me...all this "OK, move on...boring..we've dealt with this before" is another way of saying "Shut up or the arseholes might get restless and start slipping."


  87. "but not one of you said anything when MIE called me the UT House Nigger."

    Paul, what a truly horrible thing. I'm so sorry. I didn't know this had happened. Disgusting language.

  88. ffs. i wrote that this morning. How the hell did I manage to post it at 16.59? sigh. I clearly shouldn't be on t'interwebby today. I'm dysfunctional.

  89. Well, that has done some interesting things to our goal difference, not to mention Berbatov's stats!

  90. @Spike

    Bit of a fluky win, that.

    I have Surface Detail too, which arrived in the Amazon order with my new hotpot pot. Which itself is now going to be filled with a huge cottage pie, to be served with as many different veg as I can fit on a large plate. Banks will have to wait a bit.

  91. And happy belated birthday Shaz!

  92. Evening all

    Just had great afternoon with my daughter trawling wee shops for Chrissie presents for the kids. Followed by a large glass of Merlot and proper char grilled burger with melted blue cheese and pommes frites in the one burger joint in the city that really does them properly. Am totally stuffed.

    Skated cum staggered home over the ice and am now collapsed. When I've got my breath back will make large hot toddy with spiced rum, lemon, cloves and honey - then probably pass out! All in all rather a good day!


    arseholes all the way down

    We'll just have to pick them off one arsehole at a time...

  93. Anyone who likes Banks' 'Culture' novels, William Gibson, Bruce Sterling and Neal Stephenson (until he lost the plot, i.e. post - The Cryptonomicon) as much as I do will very likely enjoy Philip Palmer, who I only discovered recently. I devoured Debatable Space, Red Claw & Version 43. Excellent work.

    Also check out Richard Morgan's trilogy Altered Carbon, Broken Angels & Woken Furies (another recent discovery). Great stuff.

    And Alan Furst has a new one out. For anyone unfamiliar with his work, beg, borrow or steal the first 2, Night Soldiers & Dark Star. You'll rapidly succumb to Furst-addiction.

  94. More arsehole-kicking collected around at georgewashington2's blog on friday.

    Paul Krugman wrote yesterday:

    These debts were incurred, not to pay for public programs, but by private wheeler-dealers seeking nothing but their own profit. Yet ordinary Irish citizens are now bearing the burden of those debts.


    Punishing the populace for the bankers’ sins is worse than a crime; it’s a mistake.
    Mike Whitney noted yesterday:

    Don't believe the hype about European unity or saving Ireland. My ass. This is about bailing out the banks. The bondholders get a free ride while workers get kicked to the curb.
    And Mish pointed out last week:

    Today the Irish Government sold its citizens into debt slavery by agreeing to guarantee stupid loans made by German, British, and US banks.


    " Why the average Irish citizen should have to bail out foreign bondholders is beyond me, but I do note that the same happened in the US with taxpayers footing an enormous bill for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG. " (gw2)

  95. Spencer, I am probably buying another ticket for Inverness-Glasgow for next Monday night. Thing is for advance tickets, you have to book 48 hours in advance. Only a tenner though. The advance single I bought for tonight obviously is not gonna be used and they are not refunded. Hopefully I will get the oMonday night train or that's another tenner down the drain!.

  96. @jack

    I already have all the Furst books, although he seems to be running out of steam a bit recently. Still good, but not as great, if you see what I mean.

    Thanks for the tip on Palmer; hadn't come across him.

  97. I agree, Peter. The first 6 were just wonderful. The last few, while good, felt like a bit of a falling off. I'm about 3/4 of the way through his latest Spies Of The Balkans and I'm enjoying it well enough.

    Even below-par Furst is worth a million Dan Browns or the Grauniad's own 'Sam Bourne' aka J. Freedland.

    What a cynical fucking ploy that was. Counting on the kind of half-wits who read Dan Brown not to know the difference and making sure that the name comes just before Brown's on a bookshop shelf. Bah...

  98. Jesus, Jack, I didn't mean to put Furst down among the dead men in Dan Brown's Locker. I just felt that Spies of Warsaw and Spies of the Balkans were a little formulaic, and that other writers like David Downing had started mining the same seam and weren't as far behind as they used to be.

  99. Forgive me, Peter...I hadn't intended to suggest anything of the kind. I was making a point clumsily, as usual. Don't know Downing. Is he good?

  100. Downing's not bad. It's a series set in Berlin before, during and after the war, with an English/American emigre journalist who gets involved in sort-of spying for the US and Russia. It has the same general atmosphere as Furst, although you tend to finish one thinking that not much has actually happened. Worth a try, at least.

  101. Bitterweed said...

    Cheers, glad you could fit in a discussion of this online caper while sat by your dying grandma.

    Not sure what you're on about her BW but one of my grandmothers died before I was born and the other sometime in the sixties.

  102. Oh, and I wasn't offended at all! A little outraged to see Furst and Brown appearing in the same paragraph, perhaps. :)

  103. Can someone give a review of Surface Detail.

    I was a bit disappointed with Transitions. I am sort of despairing that Banks will ever get back to his best.

    I re-read Espedair Street recently and the contrast in quality from recent offerings was stark.

    But he is still readable so I will no doubt persist.

  104. Paul said...

    I got a lot of support from the UT posters when MartyninEurope was racially abusive.However with the exception of Hermione i got none whatsoever from the people on Waddya who were nevertheless quick to congratulate MIE when he gave his mockery of an apology.Because many of them lurk here they clearly knew what had happened but weren't prepared to say anything.So don't you dare have a go at decent people here like Boudican on my account .I f you feel so strongly about it challenge those on waddya who when push came to shove showed their true colours.

    Well I'd have been only too pleased to have done so but every time I try to post one of your people here acts as censor and gets me banned again.

  105. Damn you people with your talk of moleskines and other fancy journals!!! Have I not told you of my stationery fetish before? I could never actually bring myself to buy one, but that never stopped me from picking them up and wistfully caressing them when I'm in a shop that sells them. There's no shop in Cowpat Jct. that sells them, so I haven't actually been able to touch one for years. *Sigh*

    Actually, this is what I want more than anything else in the world right now. Part of me says they're oh-so-wrong. But most of me things they're freakin' awesome.


    By the time I read your comment, I'd forgotten that EnglishFuckwit had visited again and I was wondering why you were telling me about spies infiltrating the democratic movement in SA. Had a bit of a, "Yeeaahh, soooo?" moment. The severity of the brain-fart was such that I also forgot where you're from and read "SA" as South America. Was all set to tell you about this haunting documentary about Argentina that was on PBS recently.

  106. Boudican said...

    Forgive me peeps. Just going back over the posts I missed while imbibing. Bitey, are you saying that you planted your dad when he had expressed a wish to be cremated? And you have the gall, gumption, nerve, to suggest to others here that they are not morally upstanding? Move to the shore carefully, the ice you are on is quite thin.

    I was on a plane somewhere between Beijing and London when my father died and was informed about this when I reached the hospital. And yes although he had said he should be cremated, between this decision and when he died, his Altzheimer's meant he was in no condition even to discuss alternatives - such as woodland burials, which hadn't been available when he'd made his decision. So after I did the research, and put the results to my mother, not only did she agree with the suggestion, but rapidly justified it from her own religious viewpoint, and later booked a place next to her late husband.

  107. But most of me things they're freakin' awesome.

    I even think they're freakin' awesome.

  108. @Montana

    That is freaking awesome. I know someone who needs one of those, as soon as humanly possible.

  109. >>alternatives - such as woodland burials

    That is freaking awesome. I know someone who needs one of those, as soon as humanly possible.

  110. The sound of Classical acoustic guitar is wafting in from the next room, sounds fucking wonderful to me!

    I do so wish I could do that.

  111. Cuddly toys aren't awsome. THIS is awesome.

    A book I'd recommend, Peter, (if you haven't read it), is Blue Blood by Edward Conlon. Conlon is a NYC cop--started as a beat cop, now a detective.

    Descended from 4 generations of Irish-American cops, he's a bit unusual in that A: he's a Harvard graduate (not many NYC street cops are) and B: he writes very well indeed.

    Throughout his police career, he's kept a journal and for a few years, he had a regular New Yorker column, sort of a cop's diary (the name escapes me at the moment).

    If you liked The Wire and writers like George Pelecanos, Michael Connelly and James Lee Burke, I think you'll like this as well. Straight out of the 'truth is stranger than fiction' stable.

    I knew I was going to like it when in the first few pages, Conlon describes an interview he's conducting:

    'I asked him to describe his assailant. "Oh, brown hair, brown eyes...5 foot 11, maybe 5 foot 12..."

    Bela Fleck and Oumou Sangare. If this doesn't make you want to shake your money-maker, check your pulse...maybe you're dead.

  112. JackCade Cars aren't awesome. Just smelly, noisy, big boys toys.

    Bloody hate the things. Always have.

  113. Jack

    Agree an E Type is a great car - but for a real beauty you can't beat this - understated elegance and style, great comfort...and speed!!

    Sorry Spencer, they're girls toys too - am a bit of a petrol head when it comes to old cars. Although don't have a car of my own these days.

  114. "Bloody hate the things. Always have."

    I hate my car; it's a bastard...a backstabbing peace of shit..who, even as we speak, is rejoicing in the arctic conditions and working out the most inconvenient time to fail to start..or the best place to break down..hopefully to subject its harassed owner to frostbite and lost earnings...other people's cars seem OK though...they seem to exude warmth, surround sound, efficiency and competence...mine's a fuckin arsehole with a an atrophied joyless soul.

  115. @Sheff:

    You have a reply. :-)


    I googled just now and, as luck would have it, the column was apparently called "Cop Diary".

  116. piece of shit even...can't think what a 'peace of shit' would look like..unless one day I'm abducted by aliens and after we'd had a chat and stuff...they say: "You've been such a great abductee...we've decided to let you play the 'Wish Wheel of Fortune'...we will grant you any wish...as long as it features two items from our wheel of fortune...so give it a spin"

    I give it a spin and the arrow lands on the word "Peace"...next time round: "Shit"..so I think and I say..."Every time anyone thinks of doing anything which would jeopardise peace..a bucket of shit appears from the sky and lands on their head"

  117. How weird. I know that Jack's name was between the @ and the : on that comment when I typed it.

    As for cars, I'm largely with Spencer here. Hate the damn things, for the most part. The only car I ever loved was a black one of these.

  118. I've never had the car gene either. I hired one in Ireland, and I can't remember what it was apart from it being small and reliable for the week I had it.

    I did have a soft spot for one of these, though (in dark green), because it was the only brand new car I ever bought with my own money. Apart from a Fiat Uno, which doesn't count, obviously.

  119. Sheff, Oh, I know. I nearly put it in too. I know plenty of petrol-headed-females.

    Guns too. When I was in Nicaragua in the 1980s, the lefty pacifistic girls with us were the ones who went all misty eyed at the sight of all the AK 47s.

    "Ooh, ooh, can I touch it?" (The Sandinista companero blinks, uncomprehending)

    (me) "Eh, I thought you were a member of feminists against war and male violence?"

    "Yeah, yeah, I am, I am.... but kalashnikovs are just soooo... sexy! I just want to give it a stroke..."

    I exaggerate, of course, but only slightly.

  120. We once had one of these for a few years (1952 model) - was a real beast to drive but fantastic fun - crap brakes. My ex got it by swopping it for a piece of his sculpture.

  121. I don't really hate all cars as individual bits of machinery, though it is quite true that I got through my boyhood with nothing but puzzled contempt for toy cars.

    It is what they have done to Britain and the world. The way the country has been ravaged for the convenience of petrol heads.

    The way that in many places you cannot even choose to walk without, say walking down an A road with no verge to dodge the speeding cars and lorries. Walkers don't count. Cyclists, don't count, horse riders don't count.

    So long as Jeremy Clarkson and his pals are happy.

  122. spencer

    I agree in principal about the damage cars do and my love of the old monsters is a bit of a secret vice. Have no time for modern ones as they're are just boring, almost without exception.

    Definitely not a fan of guns though.

  123. Sheff, ah... but have you ever had the chance to stroke an AK 47?

  124. Spencer, your opinion is noted. I was going to invite you for a short ride in my fast machine...don't think I'll bother now.

    But I do have to laugh at all the self-righteous finger-waggers (this is not directed at you, Spencer) who act as if they are in no way complicit in the whole mess.

    Hypocrites like Monbiot, who flies off to a conference in Canada but can't coherently explain why he actually had to be there and couldn't just teleconference.

    Or rancid twits like Mr and Mrs Sting, who probably 'hate' cars but have done more damage to the environment between them than 10 million average drivers.

    I live in London and I don't drive: I walk or cycle. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate good engineering or design, where, ideally, form follows function.

    Believe it or not, there's actually more to cars than the drooling idiocy of dolts like Clarkson might lead you to imagine or the sanctimonious bleatings of Monbiot would have you believe.

    No matter; every time you turn on a light, log on to your laptop, post on this blog, buy a pint of milk or a packet of crisps, you help to perpetuate the whole inevitably catastrophic edifice. You are part of the problem. We all are, cars or no cars.

  125. Yeah, I can see the appeal of Rileys.

    The one car I might admit under torture to having a soft spot for is a certain Daimler with running boards. I cannot remember what it is called now as it is years since I have seen one.

    And a friend of mine once had a Morris 8 which I have to say I did quite like going for a ride in.

  126. Bitey @ 19:39--Fair enough if that is what you and your mother decided. Tough decision under the circumstances, but I think honoring the last wishes are all we can do for the deceased.

    On a happier note, Happy Bithday Shaz! May you enjoy many more.

    Spike, that was United's best performance of the season to now. Berba was in fine form and the ball seemed to drop kindly for him.

    Spencer, where I live we are slaves to the automobile as it is 90km to the next town with no public transit available. And Sheff, I like the Interceptor but would prefer a Jensen Healey.

    jack cade--That Bela tune rocks. thanks for that.

  127. Jack Cade. You missed out the best one, John Travolta who suggested his fans should fight global warming whilst owning five jets and his own private runway!

  128. Ha, great post from Xenium on Waddya. I do like that guy.

  129. spencer

    I spent some time back in the 80s surrounded by blokes (and women too) toting AKs. I even carried one briefly. It was in Eritrea and there was a war on, but I could never get attached to the things - especially not after I saw what they did to people.

  130. Spencer, haha, Travolta's a real Greenie isn't he? Actually he needs that runway for the next earthly appearance of his boy Xenu.

  131. Fair enough, Sheff. That sounds very interesting.

    I have some Eritrean volunteers and an elderly member of the scheme who is great. She doesn't speak any English but comes out with us on day trips anyway.

    Now I can sometimes get a volunteer to translate but when she started she had to come out with a whole bunch of people from an entirely different culture speaking an incomprehensible language.

    Not an easy thing, though no doubt she has been through much worse.

  132. Montana

    email not arrived - can you send again

  133. Ah, John Revolting. Battlefield Earth is one of the most craptasic films ever made. I never miss it when it comes around. This spoof poster always made me laugh.

    Glad you liked the Bela Fleck, Boudican. I love him. Check out his wonderfully funky/eccentric cover of the Beverly Hillbillies theme song, The Ballad of Jed Clampett.

  134. Is it music time? These two songs have been running round my head all day, for no apparent reason.



  135. Sorry to go back to cars but this seemed slightly odd.

    My father had some old monstrosity which was always just called the "straight eight" Daimler and I always remembered the number plate.

    So, I thought I would Google straight eight Daimler and up comes this.

    My father's old car.

  136. Wow AB - that's a fabulous beast. I bet you had fun rattling around in the back of that.

  137. Gosh, AB. Are you royal or just distressed gentlefolk? Spooky, nonetheless.

  138. Sheff

    I was not much more than a toddler when it was used regularly, then it seemed to just sit for years in the garage.

    I am semi-allergic to cars and certainly have no interest in them.

    I occasionally see one which is a nice colour or has a nice shape, but they are forgotten almost as soon as I look away.

  139. PeterJ

    No and no and yes, it did seem odd.

    Anyway, Atomgirl is now calling me to watch a film, so see you all later.

  140. Montana

    There's a post upthread from a Paul who isn;t me.Will get confusing if two or more Paul's post here.

  141. Is there a heart so dead that it remains unmoved by this custom 1939 Bugatti 57C? Don't all shout at once...

  142. @Sheff:

    Have made two more attempts to reply. Second attempt seemed to go (just as the 1st one did). Tried a 3rd time from a slightly different place & got an error message about a bad attachment. ??? But it, too, is in my sent mail. Have you got anything yet?


    Yes. It would get confusing, but I think it might have been a one-off.


    Saw your theme song on Waddya. It was one of the 3 that I played "eenie, meenie, miney moe" with to choose the one that suited my "essence".

  143. Good old Janice Ian.

    On a completely different note, I just posted this on t'other place, but am reeling from reading it. I just don't understand how this could happen, or how anyone could justify this woman having a criminal record. She was raped and abused ffs. Do we really have a justice system that is incapable of understanding why someone in that circumstance might withdraw a charge? What on earth is gained by prosecuting her for perverting the course of justice? It's horrific.


  144. Makes your blood boil doesn't it, Surecate? He does all that to her and she's the one with the criminal record, separated from her kids, while he sits at home with them.

    Any sick piece of shit that would rape his wife and then pull one of their children out of bed to further humiliate and intimidate her should be locked up in a windowless cell until the day he dies.

  145. Just seen it, Surecate

    Words fail me.

    Any prosecutor has to look at the interests of justice test before moving to charge someone. I really cannot see what possible interest of justice there is in this bloody travesty.

    Horrifying. Truly horrifying.

  146. scherfig

    Wasn't having a meltdown last night and you're wrong when you said i'm frequently abusive to people here.

    I don't expect people here to fight my battles for me but i do expect them to be consistant. And you are someone who periodically appears here and critizes-sometimes viciously-another poster for language you consider to be either racist or sexist but said nothing when MIE had his outburst.And contrary to what you said earlier your were around soon after.Plus you do seem to lurk a lot because when you do appear you invariably know what's been going on.

    Bearing in mind the number of times you've attacked certain people here you really are in no position to critcize my online behavior.I will however concede that i have as low opinion of you as you do of me.

  147. It's a toss-up, Montana, I'll give you that--a handbuilt oxblood Bugatti or a beige Yugo drophead brick...decisions, decisions...

  148. scherfig

    Oh one more thing.I will accept that i had a bit of a drunken rant in the early hours.Different from a meltdown IMO.

  149. Surecate & Montana,

    This was met with very little sympathy on cif, I think that this mentined the same story...


  150. Surecate said...

    On a completely different note, I just posted this (what?) on t'other place, but am reeling from reading it. I just don't understand how this could happen, or how anyone could justify this woman having a criminal record. She was raped and abused ffs. Do we really have a justice system that is incapable of understanding why someone in that circumstance might withdraw a charge? What on earth is gained by prosecuting her for perverting the course of justice? It's horrific.

    Time was I'd have been all night arguing with the neanderthals about this, but now if I get in three posts before getting banned, I consider it a good day.

  151. But then, this mixed up two very different cases...

  152. This comment has been removed by the author.

  153. Helen

    I remember that thread. Yes, the two cases were very different indeed. I cannot make head nor tail of the Gail Sherwood case, whereas the other case I can understand perfectly because I have, sadly, seen it so many times with domestic violence prosecutions.

    When you have the photos of injuries in glorious technicolour and the victim either refuses to turn up at court at all or turns up and tells you she doesn't want to give evidence because he "loves" her and she wants them to get back together again, it makes you want to scream. I can well imagine that kind of coercion happening in cases of domestic rape too - the emotional blackmail not only from the husband but from other family members.

    And there is no absolutely no excuse, in those circumstances, for charging the woman, imo.

  154. Montana

    Yes. It would get confusing, but I think it might have been a one-off.

    Mmn!I think the mist is beginning to clear!

  155. Hi BB,

    I thought that the thread following that article was particularly revolting... People making their minds up with limited info, the people insisting that one had been jailed for a false allegation when it was for a false retraction (jesus - what public good does jailing someone who has clearly been abused and hurt for a false retraction do?)
    On the other hand it was perhaps unhelpful to put this case together with the other. Having said that I think you are right, the other is by no means clear cut... for someone to make up what she did and go through the trauma/rigmarole of reporting it to the police etc etc, I think she probably needs and deserves help more than anything else and she clearly has some problems. I only think it unhelpful to juxtapose the two different cases as - from reading cif and online comment boards - it seems to me that most people are far too capable of making their minds up and judging without the benefit of any actual knowledge or any actual facts and then refusing to allow that they could be ill informed or wrong..

  156. Helen

    Yep, that was the point I was trying to make at the time about Gail Sherwood too. If she had really made stuff up to the extent of putting herself in a field with gaffer tape round her wrists in a state of undress - and it seems that there is cctv footage where the police were watching her house to find this stalker and attempted rapist where she was caught out lying about the attacks - she clearly has need of help rather than prison.

  157. And yes, people are quick to jump to conclusions. Which is sad but all too common. I know I have done it myself on different threads and regretted it afterwards.

  158. This comment has been removed by the author.

  159. Gah - too tired to keep my eyes open. Will have to catch up tomorrow.

    NN everyone xx

  160. I did read your comments at the time :-) and without having heard all the evidence, to have done something like that, well, it's extreme and not a sign of a happy or settled person... so many on cif seem so unrelentingly unforgiving, that no one could possibly make mistakes or have some mental health problem that they couldn't just get over if they wanted to. Perhaps it is all posture and sounding off... perhaps they really are that sorted and perfect or automatons.. but it is also why I rarely read cif any more - the articles are entirely predictable - just fishing for comments and btl comments - well you have to scroll by at least 7/8 to see an intelligent or interesting response... well to me anyway. Just don't have the energy for it anymore. :-)

  161. Ah, missed you, night BB :-)

  162. @Helen

    I don't want to come over all devil's advocatish here, but aren't you also making your mind up and judging without the benefit of any actual knowledge? I agree that prosecuting the woman in this latest story would appear to be pointless. But in a situation where the police and CPS are routinely vilified for failing to investigate and prosecute rape cases properly, it must be frustrating for all concerned that the woman not only withdrew her charges - which could have allowed the case to proceed - but then claimed that the charges were false, and was presumably prepared to testify to that effect. In which case, the prosecution would fail.

    It's possible to argue on the police and CPS' behalf that prosecuting the woman would serve the interests of justice by discouraging other women from withdrawing their allegations under similar circumstances. I'd hesitate to argue that, but I can see that it could be done.

    As it stands, it seems that the police and CPS get slagged off no matter what they do.

  163. BB -- I'm confused by the legal side . LCJ Lord Judge says that her allegations were 'truthful', but doesn't follow them up, and punishes her for retracting when everyone knows she was pressured into it .

    The CPS , bloody hell .. . don't they 'talk' to the coppers involved ?

    On the Barnados thing " This formal but not legally binding agreement stipulated that her sister would care for the children in the event that Sarah was sent down." In France the Juge d'Enfants would be managing all of that.

    Any deviation, the bloke gets zapped .

  164. Peterj --was also thinking along your line there, actually, but she didn't have advice on the difference between withdrawing charges and saying they were false ? Not my field .

    Prison conditions are often vile .

  165. @Peter,
    You are right, I do not have all the facts... I'm just another person reading what is reported... It is yet another example of one persons, or judges, or newspapers, presentation of the facts as they see them... Maybe I am no better. I hope that what I didn't do though was condemn an individual or not bother to try and empathise... Sorry if that is a terrible explanation but I have a) drank a bottle of wine and b) was always better at maths than english ;-)

  166. Oh and Dave ff.. I think that they rape court case is still going ahead... just not been tried yet.

  167. @Helen

    No, that's fine; I understand completely.

  168. Helen -- gotcha. I'll send off the link to an OZ Family Court Judge(ret) to see what she makes of it .

    There does appear to be a large hole in the English system where nobody seems to be properly looking after the kids . Barnados FFS, they must be a good lot, but nothing enforcable is plain stupid ?

  169. Also, I would be interested in how/why you think you could argue that this would discourage women from withdrawing allegations.. Taken from a long view of actually not discouraging them from reporting in the first place... I think that going through evidence collection/physical examination, a trial, giving evidence against someone that raped you, especially when it wasn't stranger rape, is a big enough disincentive to even report... I would rather support/counselling given and if that all failed, well you just have to accept it and hope that for the victims sake it doesn't happen again...

  170. Incidentally amazon.co.uk one click ordering is evil... especially when you factor in said wine...:-/

  171. @Helen

    Damn right about Amazon. I had to turn one-click off, as stuff I forgot I'd ordered kept turning up.

  172. @Helen

    And on the prosecution thing, I'll have to give it more thought. The more I think about it, the more sides and angles I come up with. Maybe I need to sleep on it.

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  175. Sorry - deleted comments were me trying & failing to do links. Which is odd because I can normally do them. Nothing more sinister. Night.

  176. Sorry to interrupt this sensitive conversation but if "Bitterweed" shows up could someone tell him he didn't e-mail me the directions?
    As you were!

  177. NN Chekhov ! Our mate Golem on fire again, and the other one too .


    NN ALL !

  178. Am dosed up with night nurse which is supposed to knock me out.Has had the opposite effect and i'm buzzing.

    Read the thread a bit earlier and i'm also shocked at the case of the woman who was raped and abused by her partner and then prosecuted for perverting the course of justice.Surely there should be some leeway within the CPS when it comes to deciding whether a case should go to court.I'm not a legal bod but it seems to me that a bit of good old fashioned commonsense should have been applied in this case.

    Have become a bit of a Joni Mitchell fan so here's something from Court and Spark for any people lurking.

  179. Love this song...

  180. Chek - sorry, emailed you just now !!!!

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  183. In the US, criminal charges are filed by the District Attorney and, once filed, the victim doesn't have any control over whether or not the charges are withdrawn. Of course, if the victim recants, the DA might withdraw the charges for lack of evidence, but I believe that physical evidence & the victim's original statement to the police can sometimes be enough to convict, even if the victim changes their mind. Note: I'm not a lawyer, so my information isn't definitive.

    But from a domestic violence perspective, the case is "textbook". Denying access to money, family & friends, using the children, blaming her for her own victimhood. And when you live with someone who's that controlling, the fear will make you do anything.

    But frustrating as it must be for prosecutors and the police to have a woman who has so clearly been a victim change her mind & tell you that she made it all up, charging her with a crime because he got to her & intimidated or charmed her into retraction is just victimising her all over again. Surely that can't be right?

  184. "But frustrating as it must be for prosecutors and the police to have a woman who has so clearly been a victim change her mind & tell you that she made it all up, charging her with a crime because he got to her & intimidated or charmed her into retraction is just victimising her all over again. Surely that can't be right?"

    Of course it's not right. Who gives a shit what is right anymore? Why would there be any "moral compass" when the banking system has took us all to the cleaners and made the Mafia protection racket seem positively ethical!

    I was having a conversation with my brother- in- law and his son about the current financial crisis; (his son is 16 and his Dad is a "bean counter" for the NHS.)

    Anyway we were discussing where all the money went with the bail out.

    I got pissed and went to bed but William is a smart young man and he wanted more, having slept on it...so, consult brother-in -law's- brother who is a merchant banker.....I'll do this in dialogue because I'm lazy:

    Will: where did all the money go?

    Uncle: I don't know.

    So, there you have it from the mouth of a merchant banker..... if he doesn't know what the fuck is going on how are we supposed to make sense of it!

  185. the harder they come...


  186. Paul
    Choice stuff. Joni is up there with Dylan, Lennon & McCartney, imho...

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  188. @chekhov

    "Of course it's not right. Who gives a shit what is right anymore? Why would there be any "moral compass" when the banking system has took us all to the cleaners and made the Mafia protection racket seem positively ethical!"

    I hear what you're saying, but I do worry a bit when we sidestep what is very clearly a gendered issue to locate it as a very generaly socio-economic one. While I appreciate that 'ethics lite' appears to be where our society is at, this kind of case seems to me to be a significant step backwards in terms of the management of women victims of gendered violence. I think we need to keep the eye on the significant gendered problem that this case epitomises.