Saturday, 27 June 2009


Well, what a week.

The last 7 days have been some of the most difficult and challenging I should ever wish to endure. My truly excellent father-in-law passed away on Wednesday, after losing his battle against the evil that is cancer.

7 days ago (almost to the minute), my lovely wife and I were sat at some really good friends of ours in Wigan, enjoying a pizza and a beer. My wife then received a phone call from her mum saying that she had been unable to wake her dad and an ambulance was on it's way. We'd both had a drink (which was an entirely reasonable thing to do as we'd walked the 15 minute journey to our friends), so neither could drive the 37 miles to my parents-in-law.

My wife's friend, whom we were visiting, hadn't drank, so very kindly offered to drive my wife there. I rode shotgun so I could navigate her back to Wigan. I followed the next morning.

My wife, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law spent every minute between that Saturday night, and late Wednesday morning when he sadly passed away, with him.

He was a very special man. Not only for being responsible for two beautiful daughters, but because of his integrity, honesty and sense of fair play. People like him don't come along every day, and I am proud to not only have known him, but to be known as his son-in-law.

As well as that devastating news, something else occurred this week that would have made Keith very proud. My son spent his first couple of days with his childminder. My lovely wife and I thought it was very important to make sure that Luke attended as arranged, and that his routine should be disrupted as little as possible.

Luke did his grandad proud. On his first day (in a cruel twist of fate, it was Wednesday), Helen (his childminder) opened the door, and in he trotted without even looking back. I bid my farewells, and left him there for 4 1/2 hours. He was absolutely fine when I picked him up. Day two, I thought, would be more of a challenge. But no, in he trotted without looking back again. Excellent! Well done, son!

My mother in law has received dozens and dozens of cards. I think I'm right in saying that it is easily over 100. Every day that comes, brings another knock on the door by the postman, with a handful of cards. He's given up posting them because it is taking too long!

The funeral is one week on Monday and that is going to be a very emotional day for all involved. I hope and pray that his wife, daughters and all of us who cared about him have the strength to let the day pass in a way that would make him happy.

You asked me to look after Debbie and Luke, and Keith, rest assured mate, I will. Take it easy up there, make sure you get yourself into the quiz leagues. Oh, I hope you enjoy meeting my mum and sharing a pint and a chat with my Dad.

I'll miss you.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The One About The Tramp And The Bush

Hello reader

Life is a funny thing. It kicks you - you find your feet, and set on your way again, and it kicks you harder. Why does it do it? Nobody knows, but sure as day follows night - it does it. It's cruel. Cruel and unfair, and that is the side of life that, fortunately, hopefully, we don't see too often.

This is another blog from work, so I'm scared.

Last night in work, I noticed a tramp loitering outside our building. Before I go any further, if tramp isn't the "pc" term for... a tramp, then I apologise to all tramps for any offence caused. Although I don't suppose many tramps have internet access. Anyway, I saw this bloke loitering, then he went behind a bush and fetched a bottle of cider that he had, apparently, stashed there, and begin to neck it. This was at about 4:30 am. I then noticed about 6 empty bottles of the same stuff he'd just had (white lightening no less) that he'd thrown in our manicured bush! (I never thought I'd ever refer to a manicured bush and not mean a well maintained pubic area). The girl who was in on nights said that she'd seen him on her way into work at about 2:45. Sad? Funny? (Marcus Bentley voice coming on)... You decide!

I'm finding it difficult to blog at the moment. I feel raw, you see.

I spent ages working on my website earlier on. I had decided that I wanted 4 feeds from the motorway cctv camera's on the front page. So, I designed the pages, inserted the image links and viewed the page. Bliss! It worked a treat. Then, one by one, they went off. I was greeted by 4 images telling me I was not allowed to view them. Bastards. Why on earth not? Ridiculous.

I spent more ages working on my half yearly appraisal earlier. It's on Monday. I've got a swanky folder and printed loads of stuff off to fool my boss into thinking I'm good. It looks impressive, what I've done. I hope my ploy works, and I receive a decent rise next year.

Oh, and I found out this evening that I'm going to start getting paid monthly. That is wubbish. Getting paid 4 weekly means 13 pay days every year. The monetary difference between 4 weeks pay and a months isn't going to be much at all, so it's going to seem like I'm missing a whole 4 weeks worth of pay. Boooo employer, booo.

On the plus side, I also found out (can you tell i've spent a fair bit of time on the works intranet site?) that I am entitled to "up to 3 occasions of 5 days paid leave" for IVF treatment. Cheers for that.

I'm getting Virgin's V+HD installed at the end of this month. I am excited at the thought of it. I need to buy a new 5m HDMI lead before the time, though.

Struggling to think and stay awake now, so I'll say goodbye and apologise for how brief this is.

Yours drinking Dr Pepper.
What's the worst that could happen?

Monday, 8 June 2009

To BNP Or Not To BNP

a fair old bit has happened since I last spoke at you.

I've been for an appointment at a private hospital in Manchester to discuss the potential of our trying another cycle of IVF. Following that, we buggered off to Scarborough for a 4 night break. Came home and watched England beat the Kazak's 4-0, and now the BNP have won two European Parliamentary Seats.

The visit to the hospital was interesting. I had to produce a "sample" (wank in a pot, basically). I was escorted into a small room, which had several prints on the wall of things like the Eiffel tower, the twin towers, and other such phallic imagery. To help me along, they had a plentiful supply of soft porn. The stuff of 15 year old boys dreams. Readers Wives, Escort and Fiesta. How these publications make money in these modern internet days is beyond me, but still. Having done this before, I was prepared this time. I downloaded and converted loads of porn for viewing on my iPod. Job done. I had 3 sperms in my sample. None of them moving, but hey - god bless them for trying.

We then drove, for what seems like an eternity, over to Scarborough. We arrived at the caravan site where we were staying only to find that the security people had no keys for us. After waiting for 40 minutes, someone with a clue turned up and found the keys. Hmph. The holiday itself was really nice, though. We stayed at Cayton Bay, which is equidistant between Scarborough and Filey. We visited both places and had a lovely time. Luke tripped over my feet and banged his head on the ground. His head is grazed, and my lovely wife is telling everyone I assaulted him.

We were going to visit Flamingo Land on the last day of the holiday before driving home that evening. Sky News told us the night before that the weather on the Friday was going to be shocking, so we decided to drive home early Friday instead. The weather turned out to be lovely. Bloody Sky News weather. Uber-fit presenters, but rubbish forecasting.

On Saturday we had friends round to watch England vs Kazakhstan. It was a lovely afternoon / evening that we spent together. Their two daughters seemed to poo almost constantly, so that was amusing (and slightly smelly). Oh yeah - I rang Morrisons to complain about a pizza we'd bought. It had ingredients missing off it. I've never rung one of those phone lines before now but I was enraged that not only did it have ingredients missing, but those that were present were sparse. I am waiting on a call back from William Morrison plc today.

Sunday saw me officially become middle aged. I've been middle aged in my head for as long as I can remember, but given I am now 35, and I have no optimism that I will live beyond 70, I am middle aged. Initially, I greeted middle age with despair, but I'm kind of getting used to it now. My slightly large middle can be put down to "middle aged spread". Brilliant! I am looking forward to other "middle aged" things happening soon. We travelled down to my sister-in-laws on Sunday afternoon where we were all treated to a birthday curry from The Viceroy. Very very nice it was too!!

Sunday evening saw the count of the European Elections. There has been a furore (one of my top 5 words) over the BNP securing two seats. I've had a mooch round the news websites this morning, and I have learned that just over 14 Million people voted, and the BNP secured just over 900,000 votes. The response to this on Twitter has been interesting. Just about everyone (except some Aussie bloke who's pissed off with the rioting Indians in Melbourne) is of the opinion that it's a sad day in politics, all the Brit's have become racists and how could this happen in our green a pleasant land.

I believe that rather than being upset with the BNP, who have, to be fair to them, performed very well given their minority support, we need to question why over 900,000 voted for them. The BNP has the image of being a party of racists, but what they did in the run up to this election was campaigned in towns and villages who might be, say, more tolerant of them, at grass roots level. Problems with wheely bins, and litter, and the state of parks and gardens, etc. They promised to tackle simple things like that. That sort of campaigning won people over. When it came to the time to visit the poll booths, all the media reports of MP's expenses are still at the forefront of people's minds, and they trust nobody. And then they remember the "nice" man from the BNP who promised to sort out the wheely bin collections, and they place an X in a box.

I doubt very much indeed that the BNP will hold on to either of their two European seats in the next election. They should act as a huge kick up the arse of the mainstream parties, conveying the message that the UK populus is running out of political options.

I'm off for a haircut.