Friday, December 21, 2007

Advent #16 - 21st December: Christmas party

This is a made up story. Any similarity with persons living or dead is entirely co-incidental.

You can learn a lot about good management just by observing the people you work with . You can learn how to be a good manager and you can learn how not to be a good manager.

Today I observed our team leaders breaking the first rule of good management.

Last night was the team "Christmas do". I couldn't make it but by all accounts they "had a good time".

As today was our last day at work before Christmas and the college was closing at 13:00, we were looking forward to an easy day and an early finish. Just a departmental meeting at 11:00 to go to.

But at 9:45 I received a rather sheepish call from J who'd stayed over at S's house. They'd just woken up and realised they should be at work. Having only gone to bed at 5:30 they were both a bit worse for wear and certainly not up to driving.

Of course I went to pick them up.

Now they weren't just a bit tipsy - they were both still drunk and I had trouble keeping the pair of them in the car.

I did worry for their careers.

Back at work we thought the meeting would be a quick do, wishing us a happy Christmas and off we go. So we weren't expecting the guest speaker or the full-on PowerPoint presentation.

We knew we were in for a good time when she started by telling us she was going to talk about a subject that we didn't need to know about and possibly would never need to do anything about. Things really got going when she told us that she hadn't designed the PowerPoint presentation herself and and it was a bit dull - but she did promise to be as quick as possible.

As the meeting wore on I looked round at the people who didn't look too well after a long night, who were badly hung-over or still quite drunk, and wondered why we where there.

Thankfully after an hour they let us go. But not before at least two people had serious giggling fits and were asked if they needed to leave the room.

Inspired be the team meeting (or was it the team party) one of my colleagues decided the best way to impress a young lady he rather admired, was to lower Santa from our first floor window past her window on the floor below.

Sadly, in his excitement he made a serious error and lowered it instead past the window of the Health and Safety manager. She was not too chuffed.

If you look carefully you can see her arm as she opens the window to shout "take him away".

Meanwhile, back to the first rule of management.

Never plan a boring meeting the morning after a staff party.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Job

I have just seen a new job on telly that I didn't know existed. I have been watching Greatest Ever Disaster Movies on Channel 5. Lots of clips of disaster movies strung together with comment from actors and movie critics.

One persons caption indicates that he is a Disaster Movie Experts. How do you become one of those? Is there a qualification involved? How many are there? Are there many openings for Disaster Movie Experts?

Advent #15 - 19th December: Christmas food

I've just watched Hester Blumenthal perfect Christmas Dinner. He went to such incredible lengths to make his meal. He used gold, frankincense and myrrh as ingredients in his first course. Well actually he couldn't use myrrh because it's so bitter so he used it as a spoon (if he was any sort of chef he would have made something out of it:)).

He made reindeer ice cream (he couldn't bring himself to serve Rudolf). He had a fragrance made specially which reminded him of his grandads living room?! He fed some "happy" geese some special food to make it taste just right.

The visitors to his meal, really appreciated his efforts they seemed really amazed at what he had done. Although it did seem a bit over the top. I mean how exciting can it be to eat Christmas decorations.

To celebrate a had a Fair Trade Chocolate Biscuit and coffee.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Advent #14 - 18th December: Christmas advice

I took the day off work last Friday because Matthew wasn't feeling too good. So I was watching a bit of morning television when an item came on about men who don't know what to buy for their wives. At last I thought some help from daytime television.

But it appears that Selfridges are offering a service to blokes who are not sure what underwear to buy their wifes. They obviously help them choose tasteful stuff and the right size. One shop assistant was interviewed. Apparently, a gent came into the store and when he was asked about the possible size of his wife he was able to show the assistant a picture of his wife on the phone in the buff.

Today as my advent picture I have included......

A picture of a Nativity scene at my mum and dads house.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Advent #13 - 17th December: Step Santa

I have some catching up to do on the Christmas Advent because of a busy weekend. so, here is a picture of the stairs in our house with a Santa on each step.

The one near the top played an annoying tune everytime you stood on the step, so that got switched off.

Advent #12 - 17th December: Liverpool Nativity

Well it's all over. Rehearsal ran straight from Carolling on Saturday afternoon through to 7:30 in the evening, then started again for us on Sunday afternoon immediately after the Sunday morning meeting (service). In fact as I arrived to the terminal on Sunday, the ferry with all the cast and crew had just arrived and we were greeted by a panicking floor manager. We all managed to get our kit together and do the rehearsal as soon as we all arrived.

The whole band got together for the last rehearsal on Sunday afternoon on the final run through which was meant to run in real time but didn't quite.

The logistics in running the production where immense, we saw a bit of what went on in the background.

There was a lot of waiting around for "our turn" and the evening turned very cold as darkness came (-3 when we got in Pete's car to go home). We struggled with tuning and we couldn't really hear what was going on with the recording.

At the last minute, just before the ferry came, there was a water leak from some equipment on the landing stage which immediately froze solid just where we where walking through the "thugs". I had thoughts of the band falling over on live telly, and having a bit of a Laurel and Hardy moment. But people where careful and it went OK in the end.

Pictures from Glyn (Thanks mate)

Mark and Geoff marching in to save Mary and Joseph.

Dave, Wally and Kev.

Steph Dave Kev and a bit of Glyn S.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Advent #11 - 13th December: Part of Christmas

A day without Carolling or rehearsals, so my plan is to do some college work (as I need to hand in an essay next Tuesday) and I am away all weekend.

So I thought I would just write this before I start,

oh and I need to check on the Internet for a report on Everton's win against West Ham last night.

And Heather will be home soon so I need to make her some tea ....

I wonder whats on telly tonight?

The Christmas Radio Times (essential part of Christmas) - we only ever get the special two week edition.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Advent #10 - 12th December : Liverpool Liner Landing stage

This is a post is catching up on the dates. Its a good picture taken with my phone from the new Liner landing stage at Liverpool.

Advent #9 - 12th December : Liverpool Nativity

We had our first 'block through' our scene in the Liverpool Nativity this afternoon. Just five of us went as the rest of the band was at work. Our scene is down at the new Liner Terminal at the Pier Head. Most of the production team where there and so we commandeered them as temporary bandsmen so they could see how things looked.

It seems that we rescue Mary and Joseph from Liverpool Yobs when they get of the ferry.

Geoff Hughes
had a go at my cornet, there was much laughing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Advent #8 - 11th December : Carolling

A night out caroling near our church

I got accused of forgetting Al's coat, so he had to wear his Pa's oversized coat.

Sarahs Birthday

Its my nieces birthday tomorrow. She will be one. We had her birthday party tonight at Petes house. She was a star.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Advent #7 - 10th December: Decorations

In response to Heather challenge to find "over the top" outside Christmas decorations, I was able to snap this picture on the way home today.

This one score highly in several ways. It has a sleigh and reindeers and a inflatable Father Christams (Can't tell what the small things are over the windows).

Advent #6 - 10th December: Carol Concert

This is catch up from yesterday (too tired last night).

We had our two Carol Concerts yesterday. I suppose its technically the same one done twice. Really good crowd of people turned up for both. It finished with a play by the Sunday School (Kids Alive). Everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves.

I was sat behind the piano with Mary (my sister-in-law not the mother of Jesus) and had a poor view but I managed to get a shot of Mary and Joseph singing a duet. I had to look twice at the costume that Joseph was wearing, I am pretty sure that I wore that curtain when I was the second wiseman (But I had a crown with Fruit Gums as jewels).

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Advent #5 - 8th December:

It's approaching the time of year when I enter into "negotiation" with Heather about the Christmas decorations. I tend to have an aversion to filling the house with Christmas tat and Heather enjoys the process. Heather also wants to buy Christmas lights every year, but I don't see the problem of using the same ones as last year.

Anyway here is a picture of the latest Father Christmas for the Father Christmas shelf (please save me!)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Advent #4 - 7th December: Can he fix it?

Bob the Builder, along with Roly his Steam Roller, turn up at Sainsburys to 'fix' an unwitting Liverpool Walton Band.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Advent #3 - 6th December: Christmas Dinner

The canteen at work prepared Christmas dinner for us today. We where going to pay £6.50 for three course dinner, but they forgot to give us the parsnip soup. So we paid £5.00 for main course and pudding.

Actually, it was not too bad. I took a picture, it's my first Christmas lunch so it counts as a Advent entry number 3.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Oh No! Heroes has finished

I've just watched the last episode of the first series of heroes.

Hiro is always talking about Star Trek, he's a big fan and can do the vulcan salute thing.

So I have just have one query:

How could hs he go through the whole first series without recognising that his dad is, in fact, Mr Sulu from the original Star Trek?

Advent #2 - 5th December: The corner of wrong

At work they have been decorating the canteen with Christmas decorations. For some reason they have decorated the coffee machine with the following unusual "thing".

I'm not sure if it's scary yet, but I do have to look at it every time I get a coffee.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Advent #1 4th Dec: Santa and Scrooge

Heather is trying to do a picture everyday up to Christmas, thought I would have a go. Here is number 1 (late starting).

At work, Barry, the outdoors man, has brought in a Father Christmas for use on the high ropes. All the students have to give him a hug or a kiss before he lets them down.

Barry must feel an affinity for Santa Claus, both having outdoor jobs and climbing etc. Unlike Jason (friend at work in picture) who is having a bit of a "Bah, Humbug" moment because Barry has hung Father Christmas in the staff room.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Calm Down! Calm Down!

December is almost here and I am guessing that we (Liverpool Walton Sally Army Band) will play about 250 carols in the open air and one Beatles song (All You Need is Love).

But it's the Beatles song that we have spent longer rehearsing than any other carols. This is because the BBC have asked us to participate in the Liverpool Nativity which is to be broadcast live on BBC 3 on December the 16th.

I know that we will only be on screen for 10 to 30 seconds but I don't know how many people will see or hear us.

The paperwork involved in getting on telly is amazing. Everybody has to give their name address, date of birth and passport number, presumably so the BBC can come round to your house if you play a wrong note and make your life a misery.

If you get a chance tune in and cheer us on, we will appear at the new Liner Landing stage, presumably when Mary and Joseph gets off the Mersey Ferry. (That, not so well known part of the Christmas story) (presumably singing Ferry Across the Mersey).

Expect Liverpool cliches will abound, I am thinking of kitting the band out in fuzzy wigs and (yellow?,) red and blue track suits. (We could even stage a fight, "You playing my part! Calm Down! Calm Down! eh! eh! eh! eh!")

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sally speak

I have been thinking about Heathers posts (and here) and about a recent visit to Transitional Church Weekend. It seems every church or corps claim to be welcoming, which makes perfect sense as nobody would claim to be unwelcoming. But are we really welcoming. I have been thinking about the "Sally Speak" we use.

You will often find the Officer saying "We will stand to sing the first song". But if someone actually did this they would be standing on their own for a considerable time before the rest of the congregation joined them. What actually happens is the Officer will say this and then go on to tell everybody about the song. Then everybody stands and sings. Don't believe me? Watch next Sunday morning.

The band and songster "message" is not in the form of a letter or even a note, but a carefully rehearsed piece of music.

The offering is a plate which you put money on. Which is immediately followed by somebody saying a prayer not down the microphone.

Even singing is something the man in the street may not have done. Young people don't sing in secondary school, unless they joined a specific choir. They listen to music all the time, through mp3 players but don't join in.

I look at some of the words we sing and I find them difficult to understand. I can't imagine what the man in the street thinks if he hears (nevermind understand) some of the stuff we sing. Perhaps we should use Song Books and use the overhead digital projector as a glossary to the words of some of the songs.

I will look for some more this Sunday.

When a group of people (usually wearing dark suits) come to meet in the hall for a couple of hours to sing songs and listen to the officer.

The guy in a dark suit who sometimes leads the meeting

A group of people in dark suits who stand up and sing a song in the middle of a meeting

A group of people in dark suits who sit and play brass instruments

Monday, November 19, 2007

The trouble with you lot is ....

(Warning Sally Army post)

I have spent a very long weekend at Sunbury Court (near London), attending a Transitional Church weekend. I think we sat though easily 10 hours of lectures my head is spinning with too much information. I need time to think it all through, but there are some highlights that have stuck so far.

  • Alan Burns wants to interview some of the early Christian Mission people to see if they where cheesed off with the new fangled Salvation Army.
  • "The trouble with you lot is you're not traditional enough!"
  • Early Salvationists didn't wear uniform to meetings on a Sunday. They wore them to work in the morning.
It was good to make some new friends, (York people, Isle of Man people, Scottish people, (Although I must apologise to the Scottish Cadet who wore his Scotland shirt on Saturday night (Scotland lost 2.1 to Italy thus being knocked out of the European cup... again) worse still Isreal beat Russia thus keeping England in the competition, so again sorry (Will pass this on said Scottish cadet)))

It was good to see some good friends that I haven't seen for a couple of months/years join us on Sunday.

The sad thing is ..... they are all Divisional Commanders (a bit like bishops in Sally speak)!!!!

But never the less it was good to see you all. (As they are DC's they won't read blogs or even know what they are.)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Youth sub groups

I have been looking into the groups young people put themselves into. I have a few categories below.

Emotionals. They like to be a bit sad. They are defined by their music and their clothes, I think. I know a Emo who has a really long fringe and likes to hide inside his black hoody top.

Like to wear a particular type of clothes and chains. Again defined by the music they listen to and the black clothes they wear. I think they may lobby their parents for body piercing.

Trendies or Scene People
Bright happy clothes usually expensive. Obviously mortal enemies of the Goths and Emos.

All scallys refuse to belong to this group. Every knows who they are apart from the people who are scallys. They usually wear sports equipment, track suits etc.

I will add to the list as more occur.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A blog roll

I have decided to start a blog roll, I like Johnny Lairds idea of asking people to be included. If you want to be included in my blog roll, drop me a comment and I will check you out.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Working out the meal costs

We have just been out for a meal with the Cookies and Pearsons in London. There was thirteen of us, so working out the split of the costs was a major deal. Despite having an two accountants, a civil servant and a doctor. In the end the doctor worked it out.

I'm thinking that I could use this situation to help me persuade Heather buy a new Apple laptop. Seeing as Will now has one.

We are planning to go out tomorrow and visit all the monopoly sites??!! I will let you know how we get on.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Some very good friends of mine, recently had cause to look after their two young nephews for a couple of days. I think they found it a bit of a shock. Lynsey (for that is her name(no point in hiding now)) described her morning of trying to get kids out of bed into clothes, breakfast eaten and off to school, with a look of horror that I rarely see from her. Because Lynsey and Neil are precise and careful people. I can imagine Neil out with the hoover before a spot of dust manages to hit the floor of their lovely house (although he can't change the wheel of a car:)).

Neil was so traumatised by the experience he went to work (as a solicitor) with odd shoes on.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


We have bought a iTrip for our iPods. It turns your iPod into a small radio station so you can use a radio as speakers. I was coming home last night from a stressful day at work unwinding listening to the Best of the Monkees. I got stuck in the Mersey tunnel for half an hour, but my radio kept on getting interference from another nearby iTrip. So I decided to listen to theirs instead. For the rest of the journey home I was able to listen numerous other iPods. I invented a new game "place the tune to the other people in their cars".

Great Sport.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


I was thinking the other day on the way to work about Grandma. She is 101 years old now, she has given up jogging and the local rugby club has stopped asking her if she can turn out for the second team, but she still managers to get to most of the meetings at the corps.

She is starting to get more and more confused. It was her birthday the other day and it was great to see her surprise everytime she noticed the same box of Uncle Joes Mint Balls we had bought her. She kept on forgetting that we had bought it for her and she would put it back in the same place and then pick it up several minutes later "Ooh are these mine", "Yes Grandma they are for your birthday. You are 101 today". "No, I'm not that old". Mum caught her later on doing the sum on the back of a piece of paper "1906 - 2007".

Grandma was in her 40s when Hilary and Tensing climbed Everest. Television wasn't available until she was in her 20s. She was in her 50s when the first motorway was built. She has lived through 2 World Wars. She left school when she was young to work in the local mill and she entered the Salvation Army Training College, I the first or second session at Denmark Hill.

She is pictured here with her latest great grand child who was born 100 years after she was.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


We do a few quizzes at work. It helps with team building and we have a laugh.

Question: What is carried by a Aquaduct

Long silence

Prompt: The clue is in the word AQUAduct

Long silence

Answer: Ducks?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Future for Socks

The future is a bit bleak for Socks the Blue Peter cat.

It's that time of year again #1

.. when Salvationist start their annual keep fit campaign around their local houses for Annual Appeal. I did write some hints last year and so I am going to apologise if any of this is repeated, but it is what I was thinking last night as I ploughed down "Long Lane" (as the name implies it is very long).

1. Play "guess the age of the occupant" as you walk up the drive. Young married, retired, married with kids. Based on type of car, size of house, type of furniture, type of door etc.

2. Notice again that Vauxhall can't make red cars.

3. Good signs on approaching the house, Car with fish sign in back window, religous icons in the porch.

4. Not good signs, no car at all at the house, no lights on in the house, boarded up windows, workmen outside the house.

5. Knock on door, youngster answers "Its the Salvation Army ....", "'I'll get my mum" they reply and go upstairs "Noooooo!!". Three minutes later a harried parent appears with in a towel or dressing gown. "Can you help the Salvation Army in their Annual Appeal?" you ask sheepishly.

6. Go to a door, all is black, you knock on the door and ring the bell. Wait. As you are just about to leave, a light goes on inside. You wait. The light goes off. You wait. Then you leave.

7. Walking down the garden you see the family watching Coronation Street inside. Ring the bell and knock on the door. No one answers. They watch you walk away from the house. Resist the temptation to wave.

8. Knock on the door. Usually a bloke answers, "Would you like to help ...." etc. "There's nobody in" is the reply. Smile to "nobody", thank them and leave.

9. You always think of the funny answers when you are walking back down the drive. Knock on door, "Would you like to help the Salvation ...." etc. "How?" is the honest reply. "Put some money in the tin?". "Oh right fine". What I should have said is "or can you play a Trombone".

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandma

We went to Grandmas 101st birthday party on Monday. Heather and I had considered what to buy for her but struggled. What do you buy somebody who has everything they need in their flat and perhaps wouldn't remember what it was anyway.

Its only recently Grandma has started to forget things, but she seemed to have such good time on her birthday. All her daughters and son's in law where there, Mary (my mum), Ruth and Alice. She loves sweets and cakes and she had a lot.

We decided to buy her some Lancashire stuff (because she was born in Burnley). We got her Lancashire Tea (like Yorkshire Tea but not as famous), Eccles cakes and Uncle Joes Mint Balls.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I am getting old ... or perhaps?!!

I spent Tuesday helping Will, Debbie and Katie move to Denmark Hill. I went with Will in the big 7.5 Tonne van (surely it's illegal to drive one of those without a proper license, but Will did a good job (will need to apologise to a bus driver in Liverpool about his mirror, but Will was just getting used to the size of the thing then). Debbie followed in her car with Katie.

During the drive we decided that there is one phrase I cannot use, that is "I remember going wrong at this junction.....". I used this twice during the trip and Will did precisely the same thing. The first time was at Oxford services "I remember going the wrong way of this junction and having to go all the way to Bicester to turn around". That cost us 20miles. The other one was "Be careful going over the Vauxhall Bridge, I always get the wrong exit towards the Oval there" That one only cost us a few minutes but just as annoying in a large van.

We spent the evening carrying Wills belongings up to the 2nd floor flat. 5 flights of stairs and 40 stairs. It wasn't long before I was out of breath and I didn't believe how tired I felt. I must be getting old.

The answer was next morning I came down with a heavy cold. This must have accounted for my tiredness whilst carrying Will and Debbies stuff.

Thats possibly, isn't it Doctor Will??????!!!!!!!!


I have added Heroes as one of my favourite TV shows. I must admit that I have not really got into some of the recent American imports (24, Lost etc) so this is a first for me. My brother Peter says they are all the same and they will string you along with unresolved plot lines between series and never really deliver.

So, we'll see........

Monday, September 10, 2007

Differences between France and UK

We got back from France last week and I have been considering the differences between the two countries.

1. France has longer and straighter roads. Because France is bigger and so therefore the roads need to be longer reach all the towns. They are straighter because France is bigger and so everything is more spread out, so you don't need to drive around things (for instance London and the M25).
2. French motorways only have two lanes generally. This means that French drivers generally will drive two inches from your rear bumber at 80mph and flash their lights if they want to get past.
3. All French people wear really nice clothes, but I couldn't find where they bought them. All shops in French towns sell tat, bread or chocolates. The conclusion is that French people buy all their clothes from secret shops, so foreigners can't buy them.
4. French yobos clear up after themselves.

I will post some more when I remember them.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Why I dislike IKEA

Before I post about my holiday in France I feel I need to post about my mild dislike of IKEA. Whilst I recognise the effect that IKEA has had on the chintz in peoples homes in this country it is possible to idly dislike the store for the following reasons.

1. Inside the store is too hot

2. There are two types of trolleys. One type has a bar across the front which you push and it can go in any direction but sometimes bangs your feet. The other type has handles either side, can go in any direction, can badly damage ankles and can go in any direction.

3. You are expected to express an opinion on something that you have no knowledge of at all. I was asked to pick out some curtain poles. But they all seemed to be able to do the job quite adequately. (I can't comment on them aesthetically, I suppose one or two would not have been out of place in Frankensteins castle and I recognised another couple from the original series of Star Trek)

4. I don't like the fact that when you leave the store (with three trolleys full of stuff which you cannot do without, even though you only went in to buy light bulbs (that you can't by anywhere else)), you feel the need to buy a piece of plastic called "BOVT" which cost 49p, specially designed to catch candle wax from getting onto your dining room table or for storing aforementioned light bulbs.

5. I noticed that they had a chair on test which they had a mechanical bum sitting on it for up to now 150,000 times. It doesn't seem to be the original chair that was installed when the store was built. What happened to it? Did it break? I wanted to see that happen.

6. We spent some considerable time looking for hooks for kitchen towels, we found some hooks for bathroom towels and other kitchen equipment but not for kitchen towels.

7. A good thing now is you can take your purchased goods over the car park to the car without having to jockey for position near the entrance. The cement bollards would not allow you to take the trolleys away from the store. It must have taken IKEA ages to work out that trolley thieves (and there must be many) will not steal trolleys which are designed to maim (see point 2)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday (rit) dear blog (pause)
(a tempo) Happy Birthday to you

Friday, August 10, 2007

Come on you blues

The football season starts tomorrow, and European action for Everton.

I have started a fantasy football league, if anybody wants to join, drop me an email or give me a ring and I shall give you the web site details. The more the merrier.

Come on you blues!!

Monday, August 06, 2007


Well I got to London after completing the important things on my list (see below).
List of things I did in London.

  • Met Heather and Matthew of the train
  • Went on tube to Mel and Hamish's house in Camberwell
We don't have the tube in Liverpool/Ormskirk we have trains. The difference seems to be the temperature (it's so hot in the tube), it's only crowded in the rush our in Liverpool, in London when you blow your nose, it comes out black!

  • Went to London Museum, because Matthew wanted to see about the Great Fire of London. In the end he got most concerned about the Black Death. (I think the Liverpool museum would be about fighting and litter (only joking, I live here)
  • Went to the Science Museum, saw the rockets, cars and old computers (which I worked on when I was at college (PDP 8))
  • Met Heather from work near Bush House
  • Went to get coffee from IHQ (but it was closed, it has only ever been closed when I have been there)
  • Had coffee outside Tate across the river
  • Went into the Tate Gallery. Saw poo in a can. (Apparently there is some discussion if the "artist" has put his poo in the can, I suspect if it where me I would just put a new label on a tin of tuna. Far less messy and art just the same. I mean who is going to check!?)
  • Went back to Mel's and had an Indian takeaway.


  • Had a lazy morning (Finished reading Harry Potter, (Ron dies, (no he doesn't)))
  • Went to meet Helen (sister in law) and the girls in Greenwich Park (great view of central London (forgot camera)
  • Had a lovely afternoon. Matthew, Lauren and Fleur did play grounds and went on the pedalos.
  • Went to Helen and Howards and had tea
  • Matthew stayed for sleep over
  • Drove back to Camberwell (getting lost on the way, obviously)


  • Packed for trip home
  • Went to get Matthew, Lauren and Fleur from Bromley.
  • Drove to Reading
  • Met Mum and Dad
  • Saw Alistair (Andy, Brad and Steph) at TMS final festival (They where all fab)
  • Drove home
  • Arrived home at 1:50
  • Went to bed

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Out walking

I've been out with Matthew in London today. We walked for miles. I passed this sign on the road
We walked for miles to get to the exhibition..... Must have walked right passed it.

Ho Ho!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

List of things to do before I go to London...

I have a list of jobs to do before I go to London to meet my wife and children on Wednesday after work.
  1. Clean the kitchen floor
  2. Phone Alistair about paper round
  3. Do the dishwasher a few times (remember to use as few dishes myself to cut down on dishwashing (and be kind to the environment, obviously))
  4. Tidy the living room
  5. Tidy the bedroom
  6. Pack my bags to go to London
  7. Remember to take Heathers make up bag
  8. Go to work on the train
  9. Phone about a new car
  10. Socialise with my mum and dad (probably around tea time)
  11. Watch "Casino Royale" on DVD
  12. Watch "Hot Fuss" on DVD
  13. Sync up and charge my iPod
  14. Go and watch Everton verses Werder Bremen at Goodison

Now I have done some of these things on the list. I leave it up to you to guess which ones I have done.

Friday, July 27, 2007

People care about Chocolate

I took a lot of grief about my choice of chocolate bars for my last poll. People asked why it was Neslte and Mars no Cadburys. So I have chosen the best Gerry Anderson show for the next one.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Clangers

I've been watching some retrospective television programmes on BBC Four recently about some sixties and seventies cult hits. Oliver Postgates The Clangers and Bagpus where featured. I can appreciate The Clangers, but Bagpuss never did it for me. I found the busybody mice annoying.

There was a look at "Blakes 7" which I remember watching as it was the same time that Stars Wars was released on the cinema.

Second time around, I was amazed at the shaky sets and the slow paced script compared to todays amazing computer generated graphics and committee written scripts.

(Warning Sally Army content coming up)

Recently, I have had the opportunity to think about our church (corps) 10, 20 years ago. Have we moved on? Do the sets wobble?

I know, as a section leader, I am always thinking about the style of worship (perhaps too much). We don't do tambourines anymore. When we sing an old style "Army" chorus I am left thinking "What was all that about?".

What are we? Seventies or sixties or eighties with Bill and Ben, Blakes 7, Renta Ghost, Wonder woman, Adam Ant, Dallas

Or more upto date with the 90s Tellytubbies, This Life, Reeves and Mortimer.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Polls

We have a feature to create Polls now. I have tried a Poll, to see which is the best chocolate. Lets have a go.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ford Fiesta (RIP)

Yesterday our N reg (at least 12 years old) Ford Fiesta passed away on the way home from Heathers work. It's down at the garage but they have spoken to Heather and there is nothing that can be done for it. It's done 107,000 miles, it's had at least two break ins. A couple of bumps and dents (we don't notice or count them anymore).

Its engine has finally ceased. I'm looking at the train and bike now for work.

We are all a bit sad :(

(I think Alistair will be sadder when he finds out, I think he was counting on learning to drive in it)

I will try and find a picture to post here.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bankrupt tooth fairy

Matthew (aged 7) went to hospital yesterday to have some teeth taken out (something to do with his bad parents giving him too much to eat, probably). In the end he had nine taken out. I was more nervous than anybody else, I didn't like the fact he was given a general anaesthetic. I'm sure my mate Will would tell me not to be so stupid and it happens every day. But as I am now "all counselled up", I need to recognise that my feelings are just as valid as his dismissals.

Or am I misrepresenting you, Will. Go on give me some statistics.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Two Drifters

(Warning Sally Army content)

We have a large community programme at our Corps. The premises is used by adult learning services as an outreach centre for the local community. We are always trying new ways to get involve. Tomorrow (Thursday) we are holding a end of term celebration for people who have passed their courses. (Heather is getting her certificate for Counselling).

As a corps we are providing musical entertainment. Mary (sister in law, not mum) has set up a small singing group, and we have been practising hard for our "Big Night". As well as Army favourites (Moment by Moment, O Happy Day, This Little Light) we are singing some music written by (Major) Burt Bacharach, "What the World Needs Now" (Once you start singing it you will be singing it for days). (Colonel) Henry Mancini "Moon River".

The group consists of Glyn (piano, with comedy bandage on finger of left hand), Alistair (drums), Mary, Jenny, Lynsey, Heather, Jeanette, Neil, Peter and Me. The problem we have is we can't get through "Moon River" without giggling like kids. It is something to do with the line "Two Drifters" and the fact that Peter held Neils hand when they first started to sing it.

We have resorted to singing this song with our heads stuck in the books. We know if we look at anybody else it will end in tears.

Anyway it will be a great night.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Watching in a super market

(Warning Sally Army content)

I have spent an hour and a half collecting for Red Shield at my local Morrisons on Friday evening. I spent my time watching the people who shop.

One lady approached the internal shopping gates so slowly that they failed to open. She waited until somebody more mobile passed her into the shop.

Another Grandma used the shop motorised wheel chair. As she passed me I noticed it had a "flappy" control like the one used in Formula 1. The similarity didn't end there, she went through the shop with the same abandonment as Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone (always taking the racing line, regardless of ankles and toes).

Several people chose the entrance to the shop to pause and look at their lottery ticket. They usually stopped in the most congested part of the shop, causing a queue of people behind them. But nobody ever asked them to move on, they usually just "tutted" loudly and waited impatiently for them to move on.

It did make me consider my "technique" for box collecting. Should I:

Always look into the mid distance so trying to make it easier for people to walk past me if they don't want to give.
"Eyeball" them as they put their change in their purse when they are at the tills.

Thank everybody profusely. Especially people who give less than 20p.
Save the thanks for the people who give more than 20p.

Make sure I give people plenty of room to walk past me.
Get in their way so they have to say excuse me or give me money to get out to their cars.

Concentrate on people leaving the store thus ignoring people entering the store.
Ignore everybody in the store.

Hope I get a low amount of money so they don't ask me again.
Realise I have no control over how much I collect and they will always ask me as my mum and dad are running the appeal.

Listen to my iPod.
Smile at everyone leaving the store whilst whistling Army tunes.

Be cynical about the store advertising when you are there long enough to read the small print.
Thank the store and security guard for allowing you to collect in their store.

Try and keep a count of the money going into the tin. Then give up after £3.25
Accept defeat before starting.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I know where you live!!!

I have installed a new feature to my web site that gives me all sorts of data about the types of visits to my website. Google Analytics.

It tells me how you arrive at my blog (mainly from Heathers). How long you stay here. How many people are new to the blog (well you all are at the moment, because it has just started to collect data)

And where you live!!!!

Well what continent you live on. So come on America, Africa, Asia, Australasia. Europe is beating you hands down.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A walk in Worthing

(Warning Sally Army content follows)

We had the visit this weekend of Cardiff Canton Songsters (Choir). They did a concert on Saturday night and led worship at our church on Sunday. At the same time Worthing Band visited Southport Corps down the road.

A couple of years ago I was invited to go with Blackpool band to Worthing, to help them out for the weekend. Before the Saturday night concert myself and a couple of the lads went for a walk on Worthing promenade. One of the Blackpool lads said to me "What's that funny smell". I must admit I didn't recognise it (but it was unusual).

"That's the smell of donkeys" he said. And he was right, on the beach was a couple of donkeys giving rides to kids.

Now that's a specific, unusual skill, to recognise the smell of donkey mess. And can only be possessed by someone who lives in Blackpool. (not Southport, they don't have common donkeys in Southport its a bit posher there)

I don't know what smell I would have recognised, a lad from Liverpool, but it definitely wasn't donkeys.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Local Radio

I had reason to come home early today. On the way home I tuned into local BBC Radio Merseyside and I caught a few minutes of the Billy Butler show. He was interviewing a French Beatles tribute band. Just two guys where in the studio as they where promoting their full band coming over in September.

Bearing in mind this is a Beatles tribute band, Billy asked them how many there are in the full band. There was a slight embarrassed pause and they replied that there was four of them (I believe they are "fab").

I'm as square as they come, and even I know there where four Beatles. I might even hazard a stab at the original Beatles names. I might apply for a job at local radio, surely I could do better.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Giving something back

I've been looking at other peoples blogs and thinking that my blog does not say an awful lot about me. So I have decided to take a picture of all the tanning studios that I pass on the way home from work. Please note that when I saw a tanning studio shop I just pointed the camera in the vague direction and pressed the button.
I do have some personal favourites.
The first shop has the g missing from the Tanning. Tannin is the material they used make hides go leathery.
Please note the surprised/disapproving look from the guy in front of Tropical Sun.
I have noticed since posting these pictures that most of the shops seem to be closed or closing. I would like to think that seeing that it is amongst the hotest days of the year and the sun is cracking the flags that they have all shut up for the day, but it's gone five and it's closing time.

My cricket whites

Murray asked if I could play cricket last night. I couldn't because it's practise night. But he borrowed my cricket pants/trousers. But he wouldn't wear my white inserts (i might add here that they are freshly laundered). So he played with his tartan boxers underneath. I missed the sight but Heather said there was no mistaking they were tartan underneath.

I don't know why this is funny, Perhaps it reminded me of Michael Vaughan yesterday, losing his trousers while fielding.


I seem to deal a lot in inappropriateness these days. Whether it is language or behaviour (both learners and Salvationists, you all know what I mean (wink, wink)).

I have referred learners to counsellors who have been given the task of writing down their inappropriate behaviour and language, on a piece of paper during the week for review later. One particular learner was asked to asked to write down not only what he said, but what he refrained from saying. (I think so that at a later date the refrained comments would be bigger than the expressed comments)

He was given a paper to write this one which he quickly replaced with a notebook. This he then proceeded to pass round anybody who was interested. So we all could get offended not only by what he said to us but what he didn't say to us. I think someone missed the point here.

On the way to church/Army on Sunday morning we pass a large field which from May to September hosts a large car boot sale. We can't actually see the stall/car boots because there is a hedge all the way around the field. A couple of years ago someone installed a large bouncy "castle" near edge of the field which was in the shape of a sinking ship (presumably the Titanic, a Bouncy Titanic). Is it too soon? Is it OK to have screaming kids sliding down the deck of a sinking ship.

I think the experience should be made more like the actual event by having freezing water at the bottom of the ride with attendants throwing deck chairs down after the children. Perhaps a string quartet at the top playing "Nearer My God To Thee".

Friday, June 01, 2007

I went Ape ..

I have started a counselling course as part of my job. One of the things the tutor has encouraged us to do is to record how we feel in different circumstances.

Gemma arranged a outdoor activity in Delamere Forest on Saturday called Go Ape. Here is a link to their web site. It is a high wire activity set amongst the forest trees. I have recorded some of my feelings below.

Indignation. At being asked to "Go Ape..." I'm not prone to profanity, or loss of selfcontrol but then it was pointed out that the title of the event is much more literal than I had imagined.

Self conscious. When we put on our harnesses, Wes pointed out to all the boys that it did a good job of "lifting and separating". Thanks Wes

Stupidity. When I attached the carrabenas to the wrong cable in the wrong order and was the only person to do this. Every time.

Indecisive. Should I do the easy or the hard elements.

Macho. I obviously should do the hard elements.

Regret. At choosing the hard elements. As the "Stirrups" nearly where incredibly difficult. I had visions of Cheshire Fire Service being called to save this "fat bloke" from up in the trees. The Stirrups on the Go Ape Web site are listed as the most technical, there not it just seems impossible.

Terrified. There are rope bridges and like those seen on Shrek and Raiders of the Lost Ark (I think, or is it The Temple of Doom?). But unlike those, there is not a molten volcano or alligators underneath them. This does not make them any less scary. Just better entertainment for those watching.

Even more stupidity. At not learning at previous experience of Indecisive, Macho, regret as yet again I chose the hard option for the big Tarzan swing. somebody asked me if I was doing the the Tarzan shout/yodel when doing this element. But I was too busy praying.

Relief. When I was helped back up to the trees when I couldn't climb a rope net.

Exhilaration. When I came down all the zip lines.

Great day out can't wait to go again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The construction race

I have previously posted about the race between the workmen building a new retail park round the corner from our house and the men replacing our kitchen.

Time for an update.

Well the new retail park is going up in direct proportion to the profits at the local chippy. We usually get home and decide that we can't have chips again, shall we go to McDonalds again?

But recently the work going into the kitchen has showed some sign that it may well be finished some time. Heather went out to th'Army last night on the agreement that I would try and put the shelves together in the completed kitchen cabinets. Easy, one might think. But thoughfully, Heathers dad came round for advice on how to make his mobile phone louder, so that took an hour or two. And it would be impolite not to make him a drink.

Eventually I got round to the job, I found a missing cupboard door in the garage. Then I decided to address the corner cupboard shelving. A mistake. After scraping most of the skin off my arm and banging my nose on the shelve when pulling it out. I decided the job was for a professional so I left it for the workmen to round to it. I don't do hardware, only software.

As for the race well the work on the retail park seems to have stalled recently. Perhaps they thought they had the "game in the bag" and decided to go for a sleep ala "tortoise and the hare". My boys at home are on the final leg.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

It's my mums birthday today ..

... so I thought I could give you a list of the things I didn't buy but considered:
  • Playstation 3 (too expensive)
  • Inkjet printer refill (again too expensive, did you know that InkJet ink is the second most valuable liquid on the planet. In first place is snake venom. They didn't have any snake venom in Asda either, but it would have been too expensive anyway).
  • Big Night Out CD featuring Mika/Girls Aloud/Take That/Scissor Sisters/Just Jack (I don't think she likes Scissor Sisters)
  • King Size Duvet Set (I don't know the size of their bed)
  • NAVMAN F20 Satellite Navigation kit (Dad drives her everywhere)
  • New kettle (possibility)
  • BBQ set (they haven't got a garden now)
  • Plastic Dog (Dad doesn't like dogs)
  • Tennis racket (possibility)
  • Pair of jeans (Never seen mum in jeans, they might suit. She would need a proper make, not George)
Isn't Asda a marvellous shop, full of possibilities.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Eddie Bongo

On the way home from our church (SA), I pass a pub/sports bar. Now this is in quite a "rough" part of Liverpool, but the proprietors are obviously trying to raise the standards by putting two notices in the windows. The first notice is, "No under 25's and sports wear on Friday and Saturday night". This is an attempt to dissuade the track suit wearing teenages from trying to gain access to the bar.

The second notice is much more effective in my view. It advertises a regular guest artist for Friday and Saturdays. "Eddie Bongo, original member of Kid Creole and the Coconuts". Being aged 45 now I really can't remember Eddie but I am pretty sure that his music will not be the taste of the regular "Liverpool Scally".

Friday, April 20, 2007

Major building projects

There are two major building projects that have started in Ormskirk this week. There is new commercial and industrial units being built half a mile from our house. I believe there will be some sort of diy store and some new offices There is also a new kitchen being built in our house. I am not, of course, a betting man, but my money will go on B&Q finishing first.
So far we are eating cereal, climbing over an obstacle course to get to the upstairs bathroom and cleaning the dishes in the shower in our bedroom.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Hey! I have found another thing that indicates that I am compatable with Heather (my wife), (apart from being married for 21 years.).

She likes the top of hot cross buns and I like the bottom (of hot cross buns, obviously).

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The High Ropes

The department I work in incorporates outdoor education. The outdoor ed lecturers are generally of a certain kind. They are all men, they all wear fleeces with no brand name, they all rarely shave, they all swear a lot and they all are called Barry.

The outdoor ed people run the high ropes course. The high ropes are a set of telegraph poles with ropes strung between where teams of people are encouraged to climb up, walk across and jump off while attached to a rope with an outdoor ed lecturer at the other end in case people fall off (which they do frequently). The job of holding the ropes at ground level requires a reasonable strong and heavy lecturer the whole time a person is on the ropes. (I lifted a Barry a couple of feet of the ground when I jumped from the top pole)

A few of us where in the canteen the other day (we seem to spend a lot of time there), talking about various session that we had done. Barry told us that he had recently taken a psychology group on the ropes the previous day. He said a student had climbed to the top of a pole and was having a problem jumping off, the psychology lecturer asked the student how he felt. Barry said he was still holding the rope 45 minutes later while the student explained how she felt. I don't know why I thought this was so funny. I think is was that I knew that Barry holding the rope during this conversation was just saying to himself "Just $£$%%E jump!", but didn't to say anything.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Could eat no lean

Jack Spratt had convenient relationship with his wife in regards to eating meat. Apparently he couldn't eat any fat and his wife was unable to eat "lean". I think this relationship is convenient as the rhyme says they are "unable" to eat fat or lean.

In our house the relationship is slightly more stressed as Heather criticises my sweeping up skills, (when I can be bothered to give it a go) but she is unable to actually put the piles of dust, breakfast cereal and small assorted pieces of plastic in the bin. This leaves me to come into the dining room and see the offending collection of mess in a neat pile on the floor, find the dustpan and put it in the bin (I don't swear often, but I am tempted to stray at this time). Or not see the pile and kick it across the floor again.

We have discussed this situation with each other and decided that we should carry on being married, even though the relationship does not seem to be as easy as Jack's and his missus. But there again, perhaps Jack does all the cleaning in his house, he is obviously the fitter of the two.

I think I may have started something here???!!!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Roots 07

Roots is nearly upon us and the traditional March/April panic is well under way. If anyone fancies working for Roots as a steward (its a great job, you get to meet loads of people you wouldn't ordinarily talk to) let me know.

(Sorry for the advert)

Monday, April 02, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

At last I have the DVD. If anybody wants to watch it. Let me know, and I will lend it to you.

This weekend was "sick weekend"

And it wasn't even me who was sick.

Friday night I went straight to the gym and beat Murray at squash. Hurrah! Got home and stayed in with Matthew because he was still unwell from last week. Heather went to Southport to see her dad and mum.

Saturday morning stayed in Kitchen man comes to size up the job to replace our new. We started to take the tiles off the kitchen walls. What a horrible job, and it leaves a horrible mess. But we have at last a date for the new kitchen to be built. 2 weeks time. Hurrah!

Saturday afternoon Heather goes to see her mum and dad, I stay in with crying, sick Matthew. Get Heather back quickly because he wants his mum. Stay in Saturday night consider taking Matthew to drop in centre but it is closed.

Sunday morning I stay in and look after Matthew while Heather goes to Th'Army for Sunday meeting and worship workshop. She gets back at late in the afternoon and I am getting a bit "stir crazy" (I watched a black and white war movie on Film4!?), so I go and do her job and visit her mum and dad in Southport. It was a pleasant drive and it meant Jim could go for a walk on Lord Street.

Got home and made "comfort food" for supper, scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon and bread and butter pudding.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

We are back ...

... Hurray. Virginmedia have finally got their act together. With a collective sigh of relieve the Elliott family rejoin the Internet community. Has how it been since we have been away? Have you missed us? Is there anybody there? Hello?!

Monday, March 26, 2007

I went shopping with Will and well ..

I've got a new iPod Video (It is a very cool thing). We went to the Apple shop in London and looked at all the shiny things. We thought of buying everything in the shop, fortunately Debbie was there and common sense prevailed.

Will tried to drop me in it before I could tell Heather, by sending her a picture of me and the iPod before I could ring her; but my telephone call just beat his picture text to her phone.

As I don't have broadband at home at the moment (hmmmmm!!!), I downloaded some games and a video, to test it out whilst I was at my brother-in-laws house.

Which reminds me, when we got to Hamishs house; Heather and I both dived for the computers to look at our emails and read blogs which we have not been able to do for a few weeks. Possibly ignoring relatives living there that we both hadn't seen for a few months.

Do we have a problem?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's freezing today..

and I have to go outside and work.

Its seems my contribution to stopping global warming is kicking.

  • I have one person committed to seeing An Inconvenient Truth
  • Will has given me some low energy light bulbs that I need to install (It's the thought that counts)
  • I occasionally remember to turn off the telly when going to bed
  • We don't light up Ormskirk with our upstairs lights when we go out
  • We go to bed early now (this is probably because the internet is down in our house though)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Oh no! The internet is down.

Lured by the cheaper price and bigger bandwidth offered by Virginmedia, we have migrated our broadband. But before BT could do the business, NTL have cut us off. All sorts of things are happening:
  • Al has been outside the house and had his hair cut. (probably thought he could get wireless access at the hairdressers.)
  • Heather is coming to bed before 1:00am.
  • Dr Bill will be able to beat me up in Torncity soon.
  • Matthew can't play on the CBBC site.
  • I can't watch a film on telly with looking for the mistakes. (doesn't everyone do that?)
  • We won't be able to use it a bible fellowship tonight when we ask Biblegateway to read the passage from Daniel to us.

I have pleaded with Virginmedia several times now, but they don't seem to understand how important it is. Apparently somebody at BT will decide to get round to it as soon as their tea break finishes.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Disappointing the B & Q boys

Our new kitchen arrived this week I took Thursday off work because Heather was away in York for a couple of days. Alistair and I had a happy hour matching the parts delivered to the delivery note.

We had some of the delivery a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday morning and Heather answered the door in her pyjamas. Heather asked me to check and sign the note on this occasion because the delivery bloke was obviously having difficulty keeping his mind (or eyes) on his work.

I did expect a posse of delivery men on Thursday, but only two arrived to move the new kitchen into the newly cleared out garage (four trips to the tip!!).

(couldn't think of an image for this post?!)

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindle

I watched a programme on Channel 4 called the Great Global Warming Swindle. I felt a bit uncomfortable watching it, I must admit. You can see links from this blog to Al Gores "An Inconvenient Truth". I have been trying to think why the programme made me feel uncomfortable and I am not entirely sure.

What was the purpose of the programme? Was it to encourage us to keep on using the resources that are available to us? Is it OK now to keep my telly on overnight? Does it want us to not be careful about the world we live in? It's a fact that we in the "west" can afford to use less. So even if the science argued by AIT is in doubt, what is wrong with encouraging less consumption (big cars, turning off tellys, using different light bulbs)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

My mate Ray ....

... has been done for speeding. I don't know why this is funny.

Perhaps its because:
  • He is the Corps Sergeant Major and they shouldn't do bad things (it's going in the corps newsletter)
  • Nobody at the corps (church) or his family are going to let him forget it (especially Simmo, he's a bobby)
  • He is showing off that his Skoda goes that fast

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I must admit I hear loads of excuses during the day from learners, why they haven't been there, why they haven't done that. But last week someone told me they weren't in college because they had been to the hospital and they had been told that they where missing two Vertebrae in their back.

Now I have checked this with my doctor mate this morning. And we reckon:
  • We should be able to carry him around in a bucket.
  • Or a scientific specimen jar for closer examination
  • He should be in the circus
  • Or perhaps he telling me fibs.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Moan and Laugh

I know what North West Gas contractors got for Christmas. Portable Traffic lights. It seems they have been given them and they are determined to use them. There is small road works on the out of Ormskirk and they are using their new toys. It must put 10 minutes on my journey to work in the morning. (Grumpy old man)

Digital television is marvelous. Don't let anybody tell you that they are struggling to fill the schedules. There was a triumph on the Discovery Channel last night. The channel is scrambled on our telly but I would definetly watch "Sex Change Operations Uncut".

Normally, I hide behind the sofa when any real blood and guts is on telly. Heather has to tell me when its safe to look. Doing a Sex Change Operation without cutting, sounds like a great idea. In our house it was suggested that the scalpel must be replaced by size 10 boots.

If I was the director I would be tempted to add comic sound effects as well.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentines day

Yesterday I bought Heather a Valentines day card. I knew she was not home late so I chose one from the shop yesterday. When I gave Heather the card she noticed hit had a picture of a elephant on the front.

"So you think I look like a cute elephant?"

I said "I don't think your cute", it came out before I could think about it.

"Any way how do you know its from me?". You know you have lost when you resort to this line.

I thought I had done really well going into town to buy a card and spending seconds choosing it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


.. is my 45 birthday, had a good day.
Sadly, Heather is on the way back from London so I will not see her until tonight.
Got up late.
Had breakfast.
Realised I left phone at Army Hall last night.
Realised I needed to tidy house before Heather comes home.
Spoke to Heather on the phone. Apparently, Matthew has been sick in London so Heather hasn't had much sleep.
Opened Birthday cards. Didn't get any Valentine cards :(. Never mind
Went to town, bought stuff. Got hair cut. Had to wait ages - half term, loads of kids.
Went to gym. Didn't have too long so went for swim.
Had lunch at Gym
Thought about what to spend my birthday money on.
Went to PCWorld
Met Gemma at Hall for CAP work. Picked up phone.
Did CAP work with Gemma.
Drove back to Ormskirk. Picked up Matthews new glasses. Had cup of coffee in Ormskirk.
Thought avout what to spend my birthday money on.
Went to Currys
Went home
Almost passed out - Alistair has tidied up, house looks OK.
Watched a bit of football on telly
Alistair makes fab tea with birthday cake and everything (apart from singing, he refused)
Watched a bit of what is probably the worst telly programme of all time "Relic Hunter".
Will & Deb not going to Corps Council (I will have to be stroppy for them too:) )
I am now going to Army for Corps Council.
See Heather later.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

New picture of Sarah

Here is a new picture of Sarah. This was taken last Friday at our house. She is sitting on Lynseys knee (I think).

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A little bit older than my teeth

When I asked my Grandma how old she was, she would always say the same thing. I not sure what the first bit was, but it went something like "I'm as old as my hair and a little bit older than my teeth". Well I know that Grandma is over 100 now and she still has her hair, I don't think she has had her own teeth for some time now, and I lost a valuable tooth yesterday at the dentist.

I am eating noodles and pasta for the time being. When the dentist was taking it out it felt like my eyes where coming out as well. But she gave me the tooth in a small envelope with the tooth fairy on and it looks relatively small. Especially considering the pain and inconvenience it has caused over the last few months (It broke on Christmas Day).

I'm in mourning for the tooth, we have been through a lot together, it is well known to Geoff (my old dentist and friend), who has spent many hours xraying, root filling, poking and prodding it. Now it in a tooth fairy envelope and redundant.

I'm 45 in two weeks ("never" I hear you say) and I hoping that no other bits of me get left behind.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Popular Cultural Reference #2 - ITV Play

I heard today on the radio that ITV Play have been "told off" by Oftel, because there questions are too obscure. Apparently, the top answer to the question "What is found in a womans handbag?" is rawl plugs. Another on the list is a balaclava.

I wouldn't be surprised to see rawl plugs in Heathers handbag, but I would be surprised to see a balaclava. Although, if you have a look and see the type of thing she was wearing when she was small ....

... and balaclavas are very practical. They keep your head AND your ears warm (and are handy in a jewelry theft).

Monday, January 15, 2007

We've hit the big time now lads

The star of such classics as Judge Dredd, Tango and Cash, Stop or My Mom Will Shoot, Cliff Hanger, The Specialist, Demolition Man etc is fan of Everton Soccer Club.

(Oh, and Escape to Victory)

I'm so proud.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Fashion absolution

Having been born in 1962. Had my teenage years mainly in the 70s, I feel qualified to offer the following service:

Do you want to confess your worst fashion sin. Of course this may have been in simpler times but you need to confess now, you know you want to.

Post them here and I will deal with your problems.

Beware there may be penance to be paid.

Popular Cultural References #1 - Jade Goodie

During the current series of Celebrity Big Brother, I have come to realise, its not her fault, I now feel sorry for her....

....Now I see her mother.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Christmas Carolling

Warning: The following post contains Sally Army references which may confuse.

I did add up the number of Christmas Carols played in December but I am not sure if it is accurate. I think it is around 400 to 500. I know most of the carols now so my mind tends to wander whilst I am playing them. Here are some of the games I play.

1. Looking out for celebrity shoppers. This is very difficult in Liverpool, especially as I don't or have never watched any of the local soaps (Hollyoaks - Chester, The one in South Liverpool that has finished now, can't remember what it was called). So even if one of the actors came over and started to conduct the band, I wouldn't have a clue who it was. And some of the more well known Liverpool celebrities wouldn't now be seen dead in Liverpool in December (certainly not in Asda or Tescos), Cilla Black, Jimmy Tarbuck etc. Now I have seen Ken Dodd but not whilst Carolling, he was buying a SCART cable from Richer Sounds and I also saw him buying a book in Waterstones. I have although seen Alexei Sayle in Sainsburys Woolton with his mum. And various Everton and Liverpool footballers.

2. When carolling in a supermarket, I watch people leaving the store and try and guess what car they have. I always get this wrong.

3. When carolling in Liverpool City Centre there is amusement to be had watching illegal traders evading the police.

4. Picking carols at the bottom of the page to make our bass players grumpy.

5. Dodging shopping trolleys driven by older people. I got hit twice in 10 minutes on one Saturday morning.

6. Looking out for bargains in Sainsburys on the last Saturday before Christmas. Last year Simon and I bought sprouts for 10p. In fact I think I owe Simon 10p because I didn't have any money in my coat pocket.

A couple of Christmasses ago we where asked to call into the local radio station to play on the Billy Butler show on Saturday morning. We all trooped into the studio and played Away in a Manger and Silent Night. Billy was so taken by this, he decided to include the band in his quiz for the day. So Billy said to the band on air, "I know let's give these fellas an 'orse".

I looked at Ray (who was at the time PR officer at DHQ) quizically. What's a norse. Then the penny dropped he wanted us to select a horse in a race for him to back. He was showing us a list. Ray started to splutter "Ah, well you see we can't ....", but I chipped in with "Let's have that one" and Billy said "OK". So our band backed a horse on "live" local radio.

I think Ray was thinking of the questions from the DC on Monday morning on the way to carolling. The rest of the band where laughing too much, of course non of us where employed by the Army.

The horse came in second, but we didn't see any winnings.

Of course gambling is a bad thing and I regret .......

An Inconvenient Truth

We have been using a DVD at work called an Inconvenient Truth. It is a presentation by Al Gore (ex American Vice President) about global warming. We have based a number of sessions around the issues raised. I would recommend watching, (there is a fair bit of American sugar and slop) but it has a good message (and a bit scary). Al Gore comes across as a good man (he was almost the president instead of George W. Bush!)

There is also the web site well worth a visit.

Turn of those water taps, televisions and lights!!!