01 December 2010


Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.


  1. Ah, lovely picture Montana! Could do with toasting my toes in some warm sunshine right now. Fresh inundations overnight and it's still falling. Hardly anything moving outside as far as i can tell through the blizzard. 'spose I should stir myself and get ready to wade through it to work.

  2. Sheff - Listening to radio Sheffield and there advice - 'unless you are a heart surgeon on call don't move!'. No buses, trains or any public transport.

    Looking at the traffic cameras online theres no cars on the big roundabout at St Marys gate at all. All markets shut - for first time apparently. so think you should stay put!

    My mate is due to give birth and she is scared she won't be able to get to the hospital - don't know if ambulances can get thru it?

    Deep council cuts and deep snow = no go! (New Tory logo).

  3. The leaks are superb. Cameron and Osborne "out of their depth" - Mervyn King. Osborne's "high pitched vocal delivery" offputting. And now we hear the UK assured the US that "measures have been put in place" to protect US interests at the Chilcott enquiry.

    No wonder these shameless little toads are crowing about "endangering innocent lives" with leaks. Watching Hilary Clinton and various officials try and spin this whole saga is hysterical to watch.

  4. morning all! happy december! grrrr, no advent calendar. must get tree out later.

    jay - the chilcott 'measures' are what intrigue me most. am going to have a look at that now...

  5. How about a people's panel on false identity theft?

  6. Woohoo!

    Jaffa Cakes banned in communist version of Balamory!

  7. so - the MoD have a D-notice out, understand. But quite a lot seems to be out - one would have thought it was the chilcott thing they were trying to gag - if i heave self over to le monde to try to find out from the french, take it i should be looking for a story other than:

    mervyn king squeaky
    prince andrew a bit of a git
    dave and georgie-boy plonkers
    chilcott hamstrung

  8. Happy December everyone!!

    Full-on snow day in Hull too! Just woke up, looked out of the window, and did one of those involuntary, spontaneous little squeals/dances that kids do when they're really, really excited. It's Brilliant!!!


    Give us a quick shout, if you're about fella!
    (Can't imagine a caravan in a field's too warm right now, and I haven't seen you about for a few days....)

  9. MIE

    "I find the use of the term "not very bright son" rather problematic, in a racist way, and both in terms of discrimination and lack of class conscience."

    ...so why didn't the internet fold in on itself and get sucked into a parallel universe through the worm-hole spontaneously generated by that singularity which...scientific consensus has long predicted...a comment bearing such cosmological levels of bloated self-regard should produce?...fucking quantum physicists...worse than weather forecasters...at least Michael Fish can carry off entertaining knitwear

    ...and don't try telling us it was a joke Martyn...you don't have a sense of humour remember?...unless everything you've ever written is a joke?...in which case the presence of a sufficiently concentrated stream of ironically oriented photons would have caused a bathetic reflux cloud which in turn...

    yes that must be it...that would explain everything...you've saved the interweb with your out-sized ego and rampant bullshit...hooray!!!!

  10. realluke

    You a dog owner by any chance?

  11. monkeyfish - was very puzzled by his response to my 'what a friend' gag. it was late, but...

  12. Good morning, Sheffield is officially closed due to the weather.

    Not a bus running anyway. Can't find my car, everything in the garden is weighed down with snow, including the washing line which looks like a string of very large sausages.


    Tell your pregnant friend not to worry. Babies don't wait for the weather to clear, but the NHS rarely lets you down. Tell her to get in touch with her midwife for a chat about it.

  13. have just started reading the eve ensler piece.

    initial reaction: whaaaaaa.....?

  14. Morning all

    Snow Day \o/

    James - I woke up late because there is just no noise here at all!! No trains, no planes, and only one car going by every 5 minutes v e r y s l o w l y

    Yes it's brilliant!!

  15. Phillipa

    I think it was the phrase "not very bright son"...probably brought back bitter memories of childhood and his Celtic Rabbi father's resigned acceptance-at the fateful parents' evening-on hearing from Sister Fidelma that, despite his prodigious charm and gift for the piano, Martyn's abilities for channelling other cultures meant he should seek his fame and fortune as an interweb pundit and raconteur...rather than follow his heart and a career in sheep-husbandry.

  16. MF - aye, should probably have hyphenated that, to ameliorate the class / race-based judgment...or something.

  17. I gave in yesterday and put on the heating in the front room, I couldn't bear the thought of getting out of a warm bed into an unheated home again.

    It's lovely

    This weather has brought back a lot of memories of childhood,getting dressed under the covers and ice on the inside of the windows, our only heating was a coal fire.

    I am a professional northerner. ;)

  18. BB,

    I love it. And am really chuffed that I got to see it while I was here.
    And not just a little bit, either!!

    Now, where's that Christmas CD....??

  19. "..aye, should probably have hyphenated that, to ameliorate the class / race-based judgment...or something."

    No point...you don't have anything like the required taste, civility or subtlety to outflank his ultra-sensitive, highly attuned antennae for a perceivable sleight...unfortunately his apparatus is only calibrated for external signals...theoretically, he could call someone a "housenigger"...or maybe even suggest an Oedipal attachment to their mother..and not even register a blip on the offence-oscilloscope

    Thankfully, he is supremely self-aware and so that sort of thing's never a problem

  20. Snowed off today...so I'm filling in by playing fairy-godmother to a guy from Scunthorpe...

    "Princess Diana always said she was as thick as a plank but she married the Prince of Wales, became an overnight media star, extracted a huge divorce settlement and had she lived, would no doubt have bagged herself a zillionaire by now.

    I'd like to be that thick."

    Wish number 1 granted...and I didn't even have to take out my wand

  21. i know, MF, but if i don't at least try, i will never better meself...

    jen - good call. hope you are toasty.

  22. a correspondent from Greece writes..

    "But they don't appear to be as thick as the British population who still seem to be over-awed by a bunch of lazy, arrogant, rude, scrounging in-breeds and show no sign of booting the feckers out... How stupid is that?"

    a self-assured chap from Spain opines...

    "Surely the intelligence of the Royal Family is hardly the point, is it? Getting rid of them seems a no brainer as well, which nonetheless, so far has baffled the nations great and good republicans."

    a brewer of sumptuous beverages from Brussels comments...

    "My ears nearly dropped off this morning."

    If only this country hadn't been so short-sighted as to allow the 'brain-drain' of such talented all-day ex-pat internet poseurs...when I think of the happy, glorious, flourishing and fulfilled nation we'd be...if only we hadn't hounded them from our shores with our cheap shots and thuggish ridicule

    Sod it...I've had enough...I'm going out...I may be some time

  23. Morning all. It being freezing here and so early in the year I thought that I had better check up on the hardship funds for vulnerable people that I mentioned yesterday in case any of our members do need to access them.

    A Google brought me first to an article by the dear old Gaga. Turns out that the provision is more patchy than I had realised. I thought it was a statutory obligation but going by this article it is not.

    On the plus side these funds are seriously under-plundered.

    So I thought I would post a link (well the URL) in case anyone does come across people who are struggling or feels that they cannot pay to keep warm as this goes on.


  24. Philippa -- did u get The Accountancy Age link ?

  25. Just read the Eve Ensler piece. I am annoyed and a bit upset that that was the best they could do to mark World Aids Day.

    More tea needed I think, til I calm down a bit.


  26. Shit, my post has disappeared. Would someone mind taking a look in the spam bin?

  27. dave - erm, no - must have missed it. bit random yesterday - is it on the last thread? hang on.

  28. Right - bailed out of work as No1 son is 'poorly and has all the kids at home and partner is stuck in London, so am doing grandmotherly duty.

    Princess/MsC - had a fantastic trudge in almost knee deep snow from the Wicker up to Burngreave - shops mostly shut, occasional car sliding sideways, very few people about - it's literally a beautiful, silent ghost town.

    If the kids stay quiet I can catch up on the leaks...

  29. Lords accuse auditors of deceiving investors

    "AUDITORS "MISLED" investors in the lead up to the crisis by supplying UK banks with a clean bill of health after being told taxpayers' money would be used to bail them out, a House of Lords Committee has heard."

    "Going concern [means] that a business can pay its debts as they fall due. You meant something thing quite different, you meant that the government would dip into its pockets and give the company money and then it can pay it debts and you gave an unqualified report on that basis," Lipsey said.


    Shareholders who bought bank shares after these whitewashing audits, and then lost out, would surely have a case for a class action?

  30. am in the AA website but am not sure which article is the key one.

    amused to see that the Lords heard from "the UK’s top six accounting firms" (Grant Thornton cheer wildly at being included - they've been trying to change 'big four' to 'big five' for a while) which are then described further as "the Big Four – PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst & Young – followed by their mid-tier rivals – BDO and Grant Thornton" (Grant Thornton sulk, BDO die laughing at having been put first)...

  31. presume it's this one:
    "Going concern [means] that a business can pay its debts as they fall due. You meant something thing quite different, you meant that the government would dip into its pockets and give the company money and then it can pay it debts and you gave an unqualified report on that basis," Lipsey said.

  32. Morning!

    Hasn't snowed enough for me yet ;(

    Got to go out and try and do some werk.... bloody freeeezing out there!

    Excellent link here... well worth a read.

    the end of public university in England

  33. "Wish number 1 granted...and I didn't even have to take out my wand"

    I think it's a bit unfair on Diana...

  34. "realluke

    You a dog owner by any chance?"

    Yes Monkeyfish. Are you (Heyhabib doesn't count).

  35. I have a dog...but he doesn't have a nose.

  36. Jack,

    How does he smell?....


  37. No, she went of her own accord.

  38. My uncle Ian has still got my nose. Bastard took it off me with his finger and thumb when I was 5 and never gave it back again...

  39. BB,

    You think you've got problems! My Grandad did that when I was 5, then upped and died on me when I was 10 without giving it back! ;-)

  40. @Philippa

    There's one thing I've always wondered about the big accountancy firms. How did they choose which names to get rid of in mergers? Whatever happened to Whinney, Lybrand, McLintock, Mitchell, Haskins, Sells, Touche and Ross? I miss them.

  41. Meine Frau ist nach Westindien gereist.
    Nein, Trinidad.

  42. This may have already been posted, if so I apologise. This kid is just fantastic - I am a cynical old git, but I would vote for him in a flash!

    Barnaby Raine

  43. Aww, Luke, are you still pissed off with me?

  44. peterj - trust me, it forms a large part of the merger talks. i was around, back in the day, when Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand went seven rounds to the mat in a tag-team contest, Mr Lybrand eventually being stretchered off and all the spaces retreating in a sulk....

    my old firm went through a smaller example when a small specialist partnership joined up, causing the signpainter to render a small 'buzzacott livingstone' for floor 4 only, the remainder staying simply 'buzzacott', whose first name, you might be interested to know, was 'fred'.

  45. Jakarta? Nah, she went in a plane.

  46. @Philippa

    Ha! I hoped it was something like that. I bet it was the same at Glaxo SmithKline when Mr French was shown the door.

  47. Ah, Peter b4 me... ; )

    No buses in the Borders.. It's not fun anymore, still pretty, but getting boring.

  48. I thought I’d have trouble finding a word to define a gentle offshore wind ranging from 4-27 knots. But actually, it was a breeze.

  49. peter - all depends on the normal shortening, s'pose - PW was always, erm, PW, so they kept both of them. Coopers was usually Coopers, so...

    rumours were that haysmacintyre 'one-worded' (when they are usually "hays-mac" - "with fries" being a comedy addition) because they didn't want to be mistaken for hays recruitment consultants...

  50. Is everyone having a silly day today?


    Just braved the blizzard for some badly needed shopping and realized that although I do sympathise with the frail and elderly in this weather I am neither frail nor elderly and snow is fecking ace.

    Don't know how I got it into my head that I don't like this weather, it's massively exhilarating, nothing wakes you up like a blizzard in the face.

  51. Luke, I've got you booked in for your next comeback - a week on Friday okay for you? There may be cancellations before then...

  52. Pissed off habib? Incanfuckingdescent. I won't forget that 'not very funny' crack I can tell you. I don't come here to be insulted you know.

  53. I took the lift up to the fourteenth floor. My office is on the fifteenth, but that's a another storey.

  54. "I won't forget that 'not very funny' crack I can tell you."
    Oh hell, I didn't moon you as well, did I?

  55. James - 0/ Cheers.

    Well warm and snowed in, about 12 inch now accumulated here on the Wold.

  56. Sheff - I am staying in the warmth but looking out over the Bradfield and Loxley valleys from my upstairs window. Its blooming beautiful it is!

    MsC - thanks for the advice I will tell her to do so. She is so worried that ambulances won't be able to get to her if she can't get to the hospital but I have told they must be able to get around - or at least the paramedics will. They will need to be able to get to anyone who becomes seriously ill etc.

    Another pregnant and due lady phoned into radio Sheffield this morning saying she was up in Woodseats, so miles from either hospital, and she was saying she was in a panic too.

    God I do love the comments re this wiki leaks stuff about King. SO many people saying 'Yes the Tory's are weak we should have stuck with Brown'. Others saying 'it was 13 years of socialism wot did it.' None of them getting it - that its quite patently clear that the REAL issue is the fact that King is talking about the UK economy to the US and is also more in charge than who we elect.

    On top of which he never saw this coming, thought free markets and ever rising house prices were a good thing and now his only answers are decimating the public purse to prop up an ailing finance sector, while printing lolly on the side. You couldn't make it up and yet all everyone is doing is playing my party is better/worse than yours.

  57. Hey Deano,

    Good to hear you're warm!!

    You OK for supplies too??

  58. Shortly before my grandfather's death, my mother covered his back with lard. After that, he went downhill fast.

  59. Excellent quote from RationalWiki about Christopher Hitchens, just posted on the Dawkins thread:

    "Christopher Eric Hitchens is what every self-respecting gentleman aspires to be, viz. a drunken, chain-smoking, atheistic, foul-mouthed, British smartarse."

    One tries one's best.

  60. @Spike

    Did you see my ideas for stopping noisy ads on Waddya?

  61. I saw the Paxman interview with Hitchens the other day, and I have to say, I do think he's a bit of a dude...

  62. "After that, he went downhill fast."

    Should have put an intravenous dripp in'.

  63. James I watched that interview too, what kept me laughing all the way through was that the Beeb announcer introduced it as Jeremy Paxman in conversation with Peter Hitchens which I bet really pissed Christopher off.

  64. I've got ad blocker on Firefox and it is great. You just hover over the ad and a little "block" tag appears above it allowing you to obliterate it.

    Turm - liking that lad. Fifteen, according to the vid. Bloody hell, he's good.

    Only Day One of the snow here, so I'm still at the "Woooooooo! Pretty!" stage. But by Friday I will be pissed off with it. Must be bloody frustrating to be village-bound. Mind you, this is right next door to Gatwick and there are virtually no trains running by the look of things. Southern Rail "Live Departures" says :

    "There is no report on the progress of this service yet
    The service has not yet started the journey
    The expected report for this service is overdue"

    Three or four inches of snow and the sixth biggest economy in the world comes to a grinding halt. Incredible.

  65. Maddie McCann Wins Cosmos Travel Hide and Seek Contest for Fourth Consecutive Year.

  66. a drunken, chain-smoking, atheistic, foul-mouthed, British smartarse.

    I've been aspiring to that status all my life and agree that Hitch does it better than most. I could never hope to match his heights but he's been a great role model.

  67. Hitch on religion is always worth a listen.

  68. Yeah Deanno! A measly foot? Its at least three here, more in the drifts, two branches down from trees in my garden, the ancient yew should look like the tines of a fork, i.e vertical - was looking like a spiderplant, til the wind thankfully blew some of the snow off.

  69. Spike/Habib,

    Crying with laughter into my Lemsip!


    Ah, thank you, needed something not funny so I could stop!

  70. Brian Blessed asks for a burger from the van.

    with relish?


  71. @PeterJ

    Yeah, thanks! I'll check them out later (just dealing with a work emergency at the moment).

  72. Only a dusting of snow here, so life carries on, except colder than usual.

  73. Philippa

    That Eve Ensler piece is a peach isn't it?

    Is she some kind of spoof?

  74. You're welcome dotterel. In case I'm not around next time you need to stop the flood of comedy induced tears here's an emergency dose:

    "# About me: Having been born in Alpha Centauri as a result of all seven of my fathers and three out of four of my mothers having been dying for a cuppa, I was part of the "equality for all 17 sexes" movement on my home planet before emigrating to Earth. On arrival here I found my appearance and background meant I was qualified for only five things: being a leading intellectual in the study of teopolitics, arguing on internet fora, keeping an eye on the FSM (he's one of ours), being a biologist and making an exceptional cup of tea.* <> *(one or two of the above may even be true)
    # Interests: Tea, teopolitics, cake"

  75. It is bastard snowing again.

    Have put up photos by a friend, and a friend of a friend.


    Oi Luke, my Gran died with dementia in a nursing home.

  76. Yep I agree Luke, my CiF profile is getting a bit tired, I need some help from someone funny to oomph it up a bit.

    Spike/Habib/Turminder, any suggestions?

  77. In a nursing home" You should suet.

  78. I was just thinking, it was funnier than your chat...

  79. Realluke

    Nah...no dog...kids've got a rabbit

    Plenty of people on here have got dogs mind...maybe you'd like to tell us something about your dog?...just turning up now and again and blowing your own bubble isn't healthy...mind you..I bet you were happy with last night's outcome.

  80. re: the weather.

    Last night in Amsterdam, the mayor ordered the police to go around picking up homeless people and drive them to emergency shelters set up as the temperature hit -10.

    Nice to see some civic responsibility. Pity it's not all year round.

  81. Afternoon all

    Everything is so eerily quiet around here.I live near a railway line which is silent.Little traffic on the road.No people about.The sky looks as though it's gonna dump another load of snow on us at any time.

    Still feeling like shite so enjoying a day at home and intend doing sod all.I've just read that David Beckham has stated he will fight to the last to ensure England host the 2018 World Cup.Right!

    Don't know if anyone saw tha Battle of Barking on More4 last night.It was great seeing the BNP getting trounced .And shows what can be achieved when people are mobilized.Made me laugh when one BNP bod instinctively called the police when a Black guy threatened him.The racist shithead clearly went to pieces when the boot was momentarily on the other foot.

    On a serious note i do think that sections of the White working class have some justifiable grievances.And that their abandonment by the LEFT is what has driven them into either political apathy or the arms of extremists.But whatever they felt enough of them showed their basic decency in Barking by playing their part with Black voters in battering Nick Griffin in the General Election and defeating all 12 of the BNP councillors in the Local Elections Barking and Dagenham Council.

    @Really like the picture at the top of the thread Montana.

  82. With reference to the discussion yesterday about pensioners dying of hypothermia, I have just read an article from a doctor on Cif saying that winter deaths rise 1.4% for every degree the temperature falls below 18C (doesn't sound right to me and damned if I know how they would work that out).

    Apparently the main cause is strokes and heart attacks as severe cold increases the chances of blood clot formation.

    I never thought there would be people actually freezing to death but having lived a few days in intense cold I can't believe it doesn't have a powerful negative effect on the body.

  83. Dott, about changing your profile. It's up to you, but I shouldn't bother, unless you can do one of those text mosaics with a middle finger raised.

    I like it as it is.

  84. Jen

    (a bit late, was out stocking up for my gran...)

    I missed the first two minutes of the Hitchens interview, but that is a wee bit of a faux pas....

    (The Hitchens differential is quite intiguing, and Christopher often finishes his 'the numpties on the right..' rants with, 'like my brother'!!)

  85. I've no idea what 'intiguing' is either....

  86. Happy to BW, if you can let me know how to get it past the mods?!?

  87. I was just going to play a song, while James was waiting, but BW made me laugh a bit too much! Fantastic!

  88. Has anyone taken a look at the Prem Sikka thread? Wow, just wow. Sikka makes eminently sensible suggestions regarding the ultra rich and their contributions (or lack of) to society and whooomph!- "How dare you", "they worked hard for that", "It's all theirs", "leave them alone", "You want them treated like kulaks"......

  89. Nah, Duke can't be arsed. Prem's always been quality. Hardly surprised about the neocon trolls who have made Cif their own.

  90. Duke

    I saw that thread .Responses are depressingly predictable.Can't be arsed to challenge them right now.


    Lol! Nice one.


    Nina will be spinning in her grave when she see's that:-)

  91. Just ¿que? the fuck am I talking about?..if Christmas weren't approaching and I had a spare £50, I'd take 13-8 you know very well Lukey..

  92. Duke, you forgot "that's theft!"

  93. @Your Grace

    It's a time like this that selfmademan is sorely missed.

  94. "They came into this world empty-handed and will exit in exactly the same way"

    Prem speaks well.

  95. Paul, I dunno, I think she'd laugh.

  96. Woof, Monkeyfish, woof woof!

  97. Spike,

    If Selfmade is still around here somewhere one of us could forward his letter on this issue to the Manchester Guardian?

  98. Habib

    Was certainly funny but Nina wasn't known for her sense of humour.

    btw-What have you done to upset Luke.Been on his blog criticizing his sounds or something?

  99. Paul, ha ha, no, I just suggested he was twat. He conveniently stepped into the twat-shaped sarcophagus that was waiting for him. He'll always blame me.

  100. Great idea from Prem Sika - can you imagine the outraged squealing there'd be if anyone tried it? Although Buffet seems to be up for it - perhaps he can persuade his mates to chip in a bit.

    Just put a pic up of the river across the road to add to our winter collection.

  101. I can never understand the rush to protect the super rich from the usual suspects, they are never going to be personally affected by any measures taken against billionaires.

    I don't swallow for a second that the super rich work hard every minute of the day but I seriously doubt they waste time posting right wing guff on Cif.

    Do they think Lakshi Mittal will be reading and do something nice for them for defending his cash?

    Or is it because they have £50,000 in an account somewhere and are afraid that at some point someone might expect a £5 out of it.

    Dick heads the lot of them.

  102. I love the snow photos, the one Turm put up of the sun over the fields is brilliant.

  103. This comment has been removed by the author.

  104. Thanx Jenn, wish I'd taken it : )

    nice too Shef : )

  105. I was somewhat taken to task last week or so about my claim that asking questions was seen as a sign of weakness or rudeness in Chinese education.

    Today I came across the following article:

    An editorial last week in China Daily revealed that a survey of 21 countries, conducted by International Educational Progress Evaluation Organization, highlighted that Chinese students tied for last place when it came to using their imagination and were fifth from the bottom in creativity. Chinese students finished first in math.

    According to the editorial, the survey confirmed what Chinese parents know, that their children rarely are challenged to use their imaginations
    to solve problems.

  106. Just been over the photos. Some of you lot are pretty talented aren't you !

    And who got the jack russels ? Wanna sell one ?

  107. Can somebody ping me a log in for the photo gallery, or whatever it is I need, please!?



  108. Turminder

    Agree with Jen.That picture of the winter sun shining over the field is beautiful.Have you started your new job yet?

  109. This comment has been removed by the author.

  110. they're winging their way to you now James

  111. Should have started today Paul.. Snow joke...

    Put back til Monday, but dunno if the road will be clear by then...

  112. Cheers Sheff!!

    Much appreciated!

  113. Turm

    That photo of the gate is just stunning. Your mate's got real talent.

    Snuck in to the Prem Sikka thread to take a look and snuck back out again. God it's depressing dealing with turkeys voting for christmas...

  114. Sheffpixie
    Can you forward to me as well ??? Lost mine, and have some doozies to go up there.

  115. Course I know what you're talking about monkeyfish.

    Heyhabib - do you really think I'm pissed off? And about 'twat'? I thought 'shit-stirring hypocritical cunt' was a bit rude but I'm not pissed off with anyone here.

  116. Is there a dead easy way of explaining to a technophobe how he should upload photos and avatar etc?

    Please speak S..l..o..w..l..y !!


  117. paul

    for an avatar - go to the top of the page - on the right you'll see 'dashboard' - click on that - then 'edit profile' and take it from there.

    I can send you the log ins for the photo page if I have an email address for you.

  118. Fab day doing not a lot, aside from a trip to the local co-op to see what was left on the shelves. No milk or bread, no meat, no veg.

    The good news is that they haven't run out of chocolate. And I've just seen the garden's resident blackbird, so he's survived despite his shrubby home being bent over under the weight of the snow. Which is still falling, btw.

    Not had a look at CiF since this morning.

  119. Right, off to play...

    Have a good evening folks!!

  120. Cheers sheff.

    Wasn't the best camera, but the scenery did most of the hard work...

  121. sheff

    Thanks for that .I'll try and master the avatar first and take it from there.btw I liked your wintry urban landscape picture.Had to enlarge it to fully appreciate it if you get my meaning.:-)


    Nice pics from you too.Makes me realize just how beautiful this country can be and how little of it i actually know.:-)

  122. Great photos James, I especially like the titles. :)

    Paul a couple of years ago I went on a mini driving tour of the country with an American friend and it made me realise how gorgeous the UK is (we went to Scotland as well).

    Familiarity breeds contempt and all that.

  123. There was a report about Sheffield on the tea time news, worst affected place in the country today, hope everyone down there is ok.

  124. Evening MsC

    Just had a call from work - my building is closed tomorrow so a day off courtesy of the snow...wahey!

    How're you doing up there?

  125. Well I went through St Pancras this evening and they were announcing a train to Sheffield, no disruption or anything.

    And we all know that more than three centimetres of snow means complete rail paralysis.

    So I think it is some sort of Sheffield conspiracy and they are just making it all up.

  126. @Sheff and Jen

    I've just been listening to some guy at a Sheffield tea company describing how two of his workers walked to work this morning, setting off at 3am. From Doncaster.

    And they're walking home again this evening.

  127. sheff

    Just emailed you. It's pretty rough - very much 1963 revisited.


    Even if the train gets to Sheffield, I doubt if the passengers will get anywhere else. No buses running, roads closed or perilous to drive on. It's pretty much impossible to go anywhere in Sheffield without going up or down a hill. And I mean a proper hill, not one of those gentle slopes that Londoners call a hill!

  128. Today was a great day for Middlesbrough bus companies they took the buses off at 4pm therefore trapping all those who had made it into work in the town centre.

    And even better than that they didn't release the news until after the buses had already stopped, total chaos.

    In fact the whole thing has been handled badly, they are not announcing which schools are closed until the start of each specific day and there seems to be no pattern to the closures, so far my niece was off on Monday, in on Tuesday and off today, tomorrow who knows.

    Not much use for working parents.

  129. Peter J

    That is just stupid, I had that must go to work unless you are actually dying thing drilled into me by my mam but honestly.

  130. I still cannot access these picture albums. What do I need to do?

  131. Peter

    No way am I walking the 20 or so miles to work. Did all that in the 70s, when we had tons of snow one winter & a public sector strike - so no gritting, no buses, no non-clinical staff at the hospitals etc. Didn't mind so much then - I was lot younger!

  132. They'd both been working at the company since 1973 with no days off, Jen, so true old-timers.

  133. Not much snow here but it is brutally cold.

    I spent the morning getting paranoid that what I said yesterday about the rarity of pensioners getting hypothermia might have tempted fate so I rang up lots of people to check they were ok, and ended up going to buy a fan heater for someone!

    Around London it seems to be oddly patchy. There is almost none here (yet) but apparently in Croydon it is thick.

    And because it is so cold the snow isn't melting at all. So I keep seeing cars with six inches of snow on their roofs that have obviously driven in from somewhere else.

    Very odd.

  134. Peter I can understand why they did it and in a way it is admirable in another way it is totally stupid.

    If the company ever decides to get rid of the workforce in order to be able to relocate to Poland (as happened up here recently) will the fact they have dedicated workers stop them?

    It is a dangerous thing to do at any age especially in order to get to a bloody tea factory, brain surgeon maybe.

    Self esteem through work? Sounds more like mental slavery to me.

  135. Dear me. When people asked for a piece on the public health white paper, I don't think they expected John Burnside's suggestion that we need psychedelic drugs or religion instead.

  136. Walking 20 miles to work in the snow?

    Are they fucking mad???!

  137. thauma

    Fortunately my employers aren't expecting me to walk there. I brought a laptop home last week & have worked from here for the past few days.

  138. My work is ten minutes walk away. And if it gets really really icy, which is not often as it is mostly down a main road, I do have some crampons.

    So not much excuse really.

  139. I was going to suggest to Jess that Prem do a CiF on the Accountancy Age ---House o' Lords one .... off to see.

    Surely there is a shareholder case against the Auditors of the bailed-out Banks ?

  140. Well, my sister was stuck at work and would have had to walk for approx 3 miles in the middle of a snowstorm (and the heels she wears are not even suitable for sitting in as far as I am concerned) and this is before she went to pick the little one up.

    Luckily her friends husband finished his job early and was able to pick her up, when she rang earlier she was almost hysterical with anxiety.

    She had money for a taxi but apparently you couldn't get one for love nor money.

    Poor show Arriva. (Did I really just say poor show rather than fuck off and die?)

  141. Blimey

    Walking that far in the snow - I can imagine there are a lot of people out there who are so shit scared of losing their jobs in the current climate that they will go to any lengths.

    I don't realise how lucky I am to be self-employed in that respect. OK, I only get paid when I work, and I have no sick pay or holiday pay or whatever other benefits, and I don't like turning work down unnecessarily, but when I got the call this afternoon at 4.30 for tomorrow I was able to say "nah, too much snow, too dodge" and not be frightened that someone would say "well, don't bother coming back then! Here's your P45"

  142. And stopping buses without warning people is a bloody disgrace, Jenn.

    One of my friend's husbands left work in London at 5pm last night and a journey that would normally have taken about an hour door to door took him six and a half hours, the last 3 miles walking in the snow because taxis were refusing to take people outside of the main town.

  143. @BB


    I am feeling guilty now, having just taken delivery of pizza, fags and booze from the place down the road rather than drag myself up the hill to the local shop.

    Not that guilty though. At least I didn't make a local pensioner get them.

  144. Peter on a kind of related note, I went to the shop earlier (I did my big shop earlier today thankfully) and they have no milk, bread, well basically fresh stuff at all.

    Lots of booze though and everyone seemed to be stocking up, massive queue of people cradling bottles.

  145. PeterJ

    That's where children are useful. I sent my lad and his friend out for milk and bread yesterday with the bribe that they could get a pot noodle each with the change.

    It was money for sweets when I was a kid, not bloody pot noodles, but hey...

  146. BB - my daughter loves Pot Noodles, too. Where did we go wrong? :o)

  147. Round here, the buses stop running when there is no alternative route still open to them and there is not usually any warning when they stop. I don't think it altogether unreasonable that cabs won't go places you want to go in bad weather - they do have to get safely back again. Some years ago my bro-in-law's black cab turned over on on its roof after skidding in snow on the Stocksbridge road, out past the northern edge of the city. Fortunately he & his passenger were ok.

  148. You Bastardos, the lot of you.

    Firstly - there's no bloody snow in the Midlands, hence no excuse to stay at home.

    and secondly - i was pissin meself laughin when I read today's posts... at lunchtime... in the office..

    Now everyone thinks I've gone gaga..., mainly due to Spike and 'Lard', but also Turm and Habib
    and BW.


  149. Have they named a new designer drug Pot Noodle for a laugh?

    Or are kids rebelling against the roasted local veg with everything trend?

    Either way, good for them. ;)

  150. tascia

    Now everyone thinks I've gone gaga...

    I think we all are!

  151. Always amuses me that the chicken-flavour pot noodles are suitable for veggies.

  152. Now this is really gaga:

    1 December 2010 7:37PM


    'Inequality is part of life and a natural state of affairs'.

    Not only is it natural, it's moral too. I could see no reason why we should suppress the superiority of individuals just to appeal to the slave morality of lefties. The current malaise in Europe is entirely down to the incentivisation of impotence, debauchery, irrationality in the form of the welfare state.

  153. MsChin - I can work from home too, so snow is not a sufficient excuse unless the sites are closed.

    Spencer - I also have tampons, but haven't noticed them helping with walking on ice.

    Jen - my sis works in Buffalo (western New York) and a few years ago got stuck at work in the middle of a horrendous blizzard. She managed to find the last hotel room in Buffalo and I think about 6 of them slept in it. They couldn't get out for days.

  154. Tascia - no excuses here either, we have some snow, but our school doesn't close, so no days off... :o(

  155. Pot noodles are the new sherbet dabs, I reckon.

    And yes, MsChin, my lad eats the "chicken" one because there is not a nano-ounce of animal product in it. Hell of a lot of bloody chemicals, though, but there you go...

  156. I also have tampons, but haven't noticed them helping with walking on ice.

    Wine down nose, laughing...

  157. Ms Chin

    I'm not having a go at either bus or cab drivers I am having a go at the fact that people are expected to make their way into work whatever the conditions and once they are there then fuck them.

    The weather is terrible, it isn't getting better any time soon, unless you are in an essential position then you should just be able to stay at home instead of putting yourself and loved ones at risk.

    Our Cath was told that since her daughters school was closed she could stay home, as long as she had enough lieu hours to cover her shift or she could put a days holiday in, she has neither left and so she had to go in.

    To sit in an office doing nothing for her specified hours, her 'clients' obviously couldn't make it into town easily either.

  158. "Spencer - I also have tampons, but haven't noticed them helping with walking on ice."

    LMFAO Thaum. :o)

  159. When I was a veggie, sixth form college obviously, I lived on chicken and mushroom pot noodles and dark chocolate hob nobs.

    My mother was one of those people who thought that picking the bits of liver and onion gravy made it vegetarian.

    She honestly once gave me egg and bacon flan with the bacon taken out.

  160. Jen -
    Our Cath was told that since her daughters school was closed she could stay home, as long as she had enough lieu hours to cover her shift or she could put a days holiday in, she has neither left and so she had to go in.

    That's why we hardly ever get permission to close - because many parents need the childcare. So even if there's only 3 members of staff in and we can't teach, we'll run a DVD in the hall or do PE or something - basically the only reason we'd shut is if there's no heating.

  161. @MsC

    How do you incentivise impotence and debauchery at the same time? Ann Summers vouchers, I suppose.


    I also have tampons, but haven't noticed them helping with walking on ice.

    Me neither. For all the use they were, I might as well have stuck them up my...

  162. @ Thauma..

    Wee lad goes to chemist, "A pack of these please."

    "are they fer yer Ma, or yer sister?"

    "Nah, they're fer me."

    "what fir?"

    "well the advert sez you can parachute, swim, climb mountains, n roller blade wi these beauties, so it''s WOOOAHHH Ohhhh... Body form fer me!"

  163. shaz

    It must be difficult from both sides and I can see why the school are trying their best to stay open but surely it would be better to say that they are closed for three days (or even a week) rather than making parents wait to find out every day?

    They are literally left not knowing if the school is going to be open until very shortly before they have to leave the house to get there.

    I realise it is probably a lose/lose situation.

  164. My little sister was once sent to the shop for a packet of tampax and came back with ten woodbine, I can't imagine the conversation in the shop.

    We have never let her forget it.

  165. Jen: Our HT or deputy sends a text to all parents at about 7am if we do have to shut. But basically, all our parents should know that the likelihood is that we'll be open.

  166. Turm - there I was, innocently hanging out at the pub the other night, when one of my mates sidled up to me and said, "Err ... why have you got a tampon hanging out of your mouth?"

    "Oh my god!" I said; "What have I done with my fag?"

  167. Shaz

    That is the weird thing, yesterday was just as bad,weatherwise, as both Monday and today but they were open yesterday and closed Monday and today.

    No pattern to it at all.

  168. You can laugh all you like but they were damned useful in Stornoway last Christmas when it was all iced up to buggery and the gritters just gave up.

    I even met someone else crunching around town with some on at one point. Pretty much everyone else who had ventured out were crawling around with broken legs and hips!

    Never had to use them in London though, but I live in hope.

  169. Ok here's a favourite...

    Salesman rings doorbell, wee lad, about 5, answers, he's got a silk dressing gown on, a goblet of brandy, and is smokin a cigar.

    "Is yer Mammy or Daddy home?"

    "Does it fuckin' look like it?"

  170. Ha Turm the old ones are always the best. ;)

    I like.

    Boy 'Mum, mum, what's an orgasm'.

    Mum 'Ask your father'.

  171. Damn it's 'I don't know, ask your father', I give up on jokes.

  172. Turminder, ha ha. That's brilliant.

  173. A Jewish housewife is at home alone one night when the phone rings. She picks it up and hears heavy breathing.


    Eughhhhhh... heughhhhh... I want to come round there, I want to tear all your clothes off and I want to shag you silly...

    And all this you can tell from "Hello"?

  174. jen

    Wasn't having a go at all, sorry if it came over that way - I'm completely sympathetic with your sister's plight. Totally nuts that anyone was insisting she had to work and showed no regard for her childcare arrangements.


    Fascinating post, wasn't it? And at least you can up with a some sort of erm, sensible solution to the juxtaposition dilemma within it!

  175. Jen

    When i was a kid my parents always sent me out to get fags and booze .Was 'normal' then or certainly was where i grew up.

  176. Hello everyone; just posting a link to an interesting article in The New Yorker about Julian Assange.


  177. Paul

    It was perfectly normal, we often went to the shop for fags for our mam and dad but being sent for sanitary items and coming back with filterless smokes is never going to be normal. ;)

  178. Jen

    Oops! Methinks i ain't read the thread properly.I shall withdraw quietly and discretely :-)

    ps Hope you're bearing up x

  179. Paul

    I am doing really well, massively good moods for no reason, from what I have heard both my sister and her kids are feeling the same (I am sure it is more intense for them).

    I have no idea of the psychology behind it, I honestly thought that this Christmas was going to be the worst ever (the one with the dying mother is always going to be hard to beat) but it is the exact opposite.

    My sister is now in touch with two of the girls (not girls now, women) and she is feeding us tidbits from their lives, some of it is awful but a lot of it is inspiring.

    It's weird how things affect you, it seems like everyone has had a massive lift just through reconnecting and being honest about the past.

    I hope I will get to see them again in the new year, and it will possibly be brutal and raw but it will be worth it.

  180. Good for you Jen.Sometimes facing up to the ghosts from the past is what is needed to help you move on with your life.I know from my own experiences that it can be intensely painful but hopefully in the long term it's worth it.:-)

  181. Adam Johnston, come back to Boro, please. :(

    We will never have a player like that again, possibly.

    Spindly legged, badly fed players seem to be ten a penny round here.