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Posts archive for: November, 2007
  • Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

    Oh well at least it means we won't get knocked out after a penalty shoot out in the quarter finals this time!!

  • It’s your security

    A day trip to Scotland has served to remind me why someone who used to fly a lot on business now prefers to let the train take the strain wherever possible. It had been almost a year since the last time I flew from a UK airport and I wasn’t really expecting the over the top security that was put in place after the alleged “liquid bomb” plot to still be in place.

    Alas it was and if anything it has got even tighter over the past year.

    My first mistake was assuming that I could take my “man bag” and laptop bag – NO! Still only allowed one bag on board. So off I go back to the car park to ditch my laptop bag (and as it turned out – my money!) after removing the pc and putting it into an already overflowing bag.

    I head back to the terminal building and about three quarters of the way back I walk past a sign and something catches my eye. Surely I can’t have read that right…….but I have! Apparently that humble presentation aid the laser pointer has now been declared a dangerous weapon and is now strictly verboten on board the plane so back to the car I go to ditch the one in my pencil case. I amuse myself by working out scenarios about how terrorists could employ it.

    So finally I manage to get through the departure gate and now the fun really starts!!

    I’m standing in a line with a lady bellowing instructions at us.

    Take off your coats!
    Take off your belts!
    Take your laptops out of your bags!
    Put your documents away you won’t need them!

    Etc etc.

    When I reach the front of the queue I place all of my items on the conveyor belt and I’m informed that I also need to removed my sweatshirt – I’m fast running out of clothing here!! Oh well at least I get to keep my boots on!

    Except I soon wish I hadn’t as the steel toecaps set off the metal detector and I’m subjected to a very thorough full body search.

    I pick up my clothes from the conveyor and stand there getting dressed again before putting my laptop back in my case and finally walking away…..except I didn’t get very far! Just outside the door was a new addition to the security service and I had to remove my boots and have them x-rayed!!

    It’s strange that this has only recently been introduced as the failed shoe bomber was years ago – think how many times a bomber could have got a boot full of semtex through between now and then!! And let us all be thankful that the terrorists have never thought of hiding the explosives up their bottoms or who knows what indignities we would now have to suffer at the airport.

    And of course this whole charade was then repeated on the way back at Glasgow airport except that my sweatshirt wasn’t considered a security risk in Scotland and as they made me take my boots off before the metal detector I was spared the body search!! It did however notice the sign that gave me the title of the blog.

    “It’s your security”

    It’s like by making this statement they are suggesting that they are providing all of this for us. It’s what we want and need. Well I’m putting my hand up and saying no it’s not. I feel that by having to undergo such intrusive searching my personal freedoms are being violated. Terrorists attacked the London Underground twice but I can get on that without having to take off my boots and have them x-rayed.

    A bomb on the 7:40 from Gillingham detonated as it arrived at Victoria would have a devastating effect but I don’t have to strip half my clothes off to catch that train. So why do I have to be poked and prodded and humiliated just to catch a flight to Glasgow. Incidentally no one even asked to see the photo ID I was told I would need to take with me so I could have been anyone – it’s all bollocks really and leaves me with the feeling that the terrorists have scored a huge victory by making all our lives just that little bit more miserable!!

    (Posted from the departure lounge at Glasgow airport while waiting for my flight which has been delayed by "at least" 45 minutes)

  • Interesting facts #273

    You know how when you let go of an inflated balloon it zooms off bouncing off anything that gets in it's way?

    Well apparently removing a cats testicles has the same effect!

  • Two musical disappointments

    Firstly there was the Guardian - I got an e-mail from them advertising a new feature which is running at the moment called "1000 albums to hear before you die". I thought that sounds good so I set a reminder on my phone so I wouldn't forget. I need not have bothered.

    I dashed into WH Smith at Victoria on Saturday evening to buy the paper, almost missing the train in the process. When I found the feature, instead of the glossy supplement I was expecting it was just another part of the paper and there was no more than a sentence or two on each album - very disappointing.

    The second disappointment was switching over to watch the World Music awards only to find it wasn't the "World Music" awards but another bog standard awards ceremony trying to boost it's own ego with a grandiose title

  • I'm an Uncle!

    At about 1:15 this morning on the other side of the world my sister-in-law had a baby boy!! On her Birthday!!

  • Everybody's gotta learn sometime

    When I got home tonight I discovered that Ben had been following everybody into the toilet today! He had told his sister that when you flush the toilet the poo goes down the pipe and out of the house. Smart kid huh!?

    Anyway when I needed to go he duly followed me in there. When I started to go - his brow furrowed with a look of serious concentration and he lent forward to inspect what was going on. I laughed so much I could barely wee straight!!

    Who'd be a parent eh?

  • The cat crept in and crept out again

    Diesel the freecycled cat has been under house arrest since we got him. Firstly because we had just got him and didn't want him to try and make his way back to his old house and anyway we knew we were going to move and then obviously because we had just moved. However mostly because he needs his undercarriage adjusting so we don't end up with little Diesel's all over the neighbourhood.

    Anyway last night I suddenly realised that I hadn't seen him for a while and a search of the house turned up empty - he appeared to have gone AWOL, I looked out the back door and just as I did I spotted a white flash shoot up the back wall and in through the utility room window. Turns out he had discovered he could get outside via the smallest window you've ever seen!

    So today he's been in and out all day so Sarah has arranged for the undercarriage adjustment to be carried out on Sunday. However as a taste of thing to come we were sitting watching "I'm a Celeb" - yawn! when Diesel came racing into the room and dropped something that looked like a rodent onto the middle of the floor. everyone leapt up but we were all relieved to find it was only a leaf off the Sycamore tree in the back garden!

    Bloody animals!!

    ETA The dozy sod didn't even have the sense to have a crap while he was out there and proceeded to do the smelliest poo when he came back in - thanks mate!!

  • Down with the Law

    I did an event I wasn't expecting to do today as I got a panic phone call last night asking if I could go along and showcall for an awards ceremony. I agreed and turned up this morning not having any idea what to expect. In the end I had quite a nice day.

    The event was the Justice Awards and was presented by Fiona Bruce and the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland of Asthal. The Lord Chancellor - Jack Straw and the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith were also in attendance. It could be said to be very strange to see the Home Secretary greeting the Attorney General with a kiss!

    Our son who is just coming up to two and a half amazed us tonight by telling us that it was "six o'tock" and indeed it was (well 5:45 anyway) but blotted his copybook later by lobbing his toy broom across the room and smacking me on the head with it.

    The lump on my head was later joined by a sore wrist as I tripped over the kerb outside the house as I was returning from Asda with the shopping.

  • Baby you can drive my car

    We went to watch the London to Brighton vintage car run today. We had originally planned to go down to Brighton but decided to watch them as they passed through Croydon instead. They set off from central London quite early so we got there about 8am to watch them go past.

    car 1

    It turned out to be quite a good place to watch from as it was on a straight road so some of the old cars actually managed to pick up a bit of speed. There was also a pit stop there and some of the cars stopped as they were already in need of some TLC!!

    car 2

    We watched for a couple of hours as all manner of weird and wonderful machines went past from one that looked like a skateboard with an engine to ones that looked like motorbikes with a seat on the handlebars. There was even a Penny-farthing or three!!

    car 3

    In the afternoon we went to Ikea - it's a place you always look forward to going to but instantly regret having done so the moment you get there!! Anyway among the things we bought was an armchair which had the most unnessacery packaging I have ever seen. The whole armchair which was wrapped in plastic was then put into a cardboard box. This was not only a pointless bit of packaging but also made it more difficult to transport.

    ikea

    In the end I decided to make Ikea corporately responsible for the disposal of this unnessacery packaging and left it in one of their trolleys!! I hope they dispose of it in an environmentally friendly way!!

  • What a week that was!!

    I'm been away all week working of course.

    It started on Monday when I left the house at 10am with Sarah's suitcase and headed up to London on the train. I had meetings all day then I had to oversee a rig from 6pm onwards at a venue in London. Once that had finished I grabbed a cab and headed for Euston.

    I then caught the overnight sleeper to Edinburgh - it left about midnight and arrived in Edinburgh at 7:30 the next morning. I had something to eat in the restaurant car before heading off to bed. To be honest the room was a bit basic and it was like sleeping on a roller-coaster. Breakfast was delivered at 6:30 and by 7:30 I was feeling really claustrophobic and was glad to get off!!

    I was then stuck in Edinburgh with nothing to do for three and a half hours and it was really cold. I decided to head for the hotel where I would be staying that night and leave my bags. When I asked if that would be ok the nice lady behind the reception actually gave me my room which meant I could go and get some work done.

    The hotel in question was the Parliament Hill Hotel which is 5 minutes walk from Princes street. My room overlooked a cemetery but was really nice non the less. At least I didn't have to worry about noisy neighbours!! I then spent most of the day working at the Balmoral Hotel eventually getting finished at about 9pm.

    We set off for something to eat but decided to have a drink first and we ended up in a pub called the Black Rose Tavern which was a rock pub. It was all dressed up for Halloween and the barmaid was in full Goth outfit (well t least I think she was dressed up for Halloween for all I know she might always dress like that!!) They had bowls of "trick or treat" sweets on the bar and went round at one point handing out toffee apples!!

    It was strange to see all these people dressed the way I would have been dressed at their age and listening to the same music I was when I was their age!! The juke box was really good and we ended up staying there all night and never did get to eat!!

    Next morning after eating a full Scottish Breakfast (including Haggis) we caught a train to Leeds. I was in Leeds for about 3 hours while we set up the same event as yesterday before catching a train back to London to do an awards ceremony that evening. While standing on the platform in Leeds I turned round and found my mate Chris was standing next to me - weird huh?

    After the awards ceremony I stayed in a hotel in St. Jame's which was nice but I had the housekeeping knocking on my door from 8am when I was trying to have a lie in. After a Jolly nice breakfast I set off to do off site rehearsals at my clients offices for the show on Friday - these included a skit on "Have I got news for you".

    Afterwards i headed for the Savoy where the show was the next day and it was 10:30 pm when I finally got finished. We had problems getting a Quick Time movie which had been created on a Mac to play on a PC. We then headed off to find somewhere to eat and ended up in a theatrical's restaurant called Joe Allan's which was nice but they didnt seem to know the meaning of either of Medium rare or French Mustard!!.

    Back on site at the Savoy at 6am and I finally got home at 3pm on Friday when I promptly fell asleep on the sofa!! What a week.

  • I'm back

    No longer the Bloke in the Big Blue House so I'm now the Bloke from number 142!!

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