24 December 2005

Right, you can say it now!

It's 24 December, so I hereby formally announce that you are now allowed to mention the 'C' word. Yep, Christmas!

I'm off to stay with my pals Bungle and Zippy for a couple of days and to have a jolly good time. Now, last time I saw Zippy, he looked like this, which I found rather amusing. Therefore, I've charged up the spare camera batteries and will take no prisoners ...

Right, I'm off to load the bike and get gone. So to the rest of you out there,

Merry Christmas!

21 December 2005

Nuisance Bus Lane

Bolton Council has announced that it is going to put spy cameras on the bus lanes, to catch those drivers who use them improperly. Great!

But, hang on a minute ... what about the bus lane at the junction of Deane Road and College Way? It causes traffic problems already. This is probably one of the busiest junctions in the town and probably the worst designed end of a bus lane.

There are two lanes, one is right turn only, the other is left turn and straight on. However, the bus lane ends only three car lengths from the junction.

This results in the following:

  • When three cars are waiting in the left lane at the lights, other cars stack up behind them, in the bus lane.
  • Those drivers, who obey the law, continue in the right-turn only lane until the bus lane ends, before pulling into the left lane. But no! They can't pull over, because there are cars stacked in the bus lane! Even worse, if there's two buses waiting at the lights, no-one can (legally) pull over at all.
  • Those drivers who do actually want to turn right, get annoyed at all the cars stacking up in their lane, and try to get round them by going on the other side of the road, causing oncoming traffic to swerve. This is even worse when there is a waggon delivering to the factory on that side of the road.
  • Most drivers stacked up in the bus lane won't let the law abiding drivers in, causing much stress and foul language.
So, Bolton Council, before you put the spy cameras up, can you shorten the bloody bus lane so you can get at least 10 cars in at the traffic lights, please? If the bus lane ended at Chamberlain Street, the problem would be solved.


Is it just me, or are polo mints really crumbly these days? Every packet I get, the damn things just break up. They never used to be like that. I wonder if it's since they stopped using gelatin?

20 December 2005

it's that time of year...

when drivers' brains turn to jelly. This morning, I was just about to exit a roundabout (and indicating accordingly) when a driver leaving the motorway decided to pull out on me, forcing me to stop (and the 2 cars behind me). Because he'd blocked my exit, I had to continue round the roundabout. I was a tad peeved.

However, 5 seconds later, exactly the same thing happened to the car in front of me at the very next exit, so he was forced to stop (and, ergo, so did I, and the car behind me) and then continue round the roundabout too.

What is it about the run up to Christmas that drivers seem to turn into Mr. Magoo? I mean, I had my lights on, I was indicating, and my road position was correct. The driver in front who also got pulled out on was also in the correct road position, indicating and had his lights on.

If you can't drive, stay of the fkin roads!

15 December 2005

greater love hath no friend than this...

that she not only gives her half of her Maya Gold, but also produces a copy of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, performed by Pinchas Zukerman.

20 years ago, I was bought a copy of the aforementioned music, and I played it so much that the tape wore out. I was absolutely gutted and tried in vain for many years to obtain a replacement. Other violinists were good, but not as good as Zukerman.

Today, I happened to mention it to my pal Linda and she said "oh, I've got that". Linda, I love you! I am now a very very very happy Womble indeed. The slave, however, is not impressed now that the Four Seasons is on its fourth playing at high volume, despite the quality of the recording ...

one demon slayed

I am very pleased to report that I passed M206 (now discontinued OU course). Only just, but I passed.

This may not seem much to some of you clever peeps out there, but given than my study year was completely screwed up by missing two months of study for the general election period, followed by illness and impending divorce, I'm pretty bloody chuffed.

This means that I have to complete only one more course to obtain both my Dip. Comp and my Bsc. However, given the stress I've had this year, I've decided to take a year off.

So near...

14 December 2005


There appears to be an affliction, affecting drummers and keyboard players - they keep hiding, which makes it damned hard to get good photos of them in action. This was evident at the Lost Weekend gig last week, and again at both of the Magnum gigs on Friday (Manchester) and Saturday (Glasgow).

Both Magnum gigs were superb, although I thought the sound was better at Glasgow. At both gigs, I managed to get myself right to the front, although it was a bit of a crush. Ray (doing the Tommy Cooper impression in the photos) came up with a great plan to wind up Bob, and we bought a load of tambourines to play along with one of the songs. I think it went down well, it certainly caused a giggle among the band anyway.

I was pleased to hear Bob suggesting that Jimmy Copley will remain as the band's drummer because he certainly put in two excellent performances on this tour. Indeed, when he played at the Astoria back in April, he was bloody good then. I know there's a few people said that they would rather have Mickey or Harry, but in my opinion, Jimmy is a damn fine drummer and I think he's good for the band. Keep it up, Jimmy and I hope to see you on the next tour.

After the gig, we went for a drink or four in Weatherspoons, where the bouncers asked us very nicely not to play our tambourines cos it's a 'no music' venue. Shame. Then we went on for a curry before heading off to our beds. It was great to see old friends again, and to meet some new ones (hi Hazel!). Can't wait until we meet again - Bob Catley tour anyone?

Oh yeah, nice tongue Dave ;o)

13 December 2005

out of order

I have got tonsillitis and I'm feeling very very sorry for myself.

Normal service will be resumed when I can drag my head off the pillow for more than an hour at a time :o(

nose job?

So, how exactly did my mate end up with a cut either side of his nose? Fighting? Nope. Walked into a door? Nope.

Apparently, he had his face in someone's bra and when he tried to pull away, it snapped back on him. Then he got his head stuck in her t-shirt and fell on his arse.

Ha ha ha. Hope it gets better soon, mate ;o)

12 December 2005

Mostly Autumn

There's something about Bryan Josh's guitar playing that transports me to a different place. I can just close my eyes and float away on the music. It's reminicent of Dave Gilmour, but played with a passion that is most definitely Bryan's own. I don't know if he saw me at the foot of the stage, but I was the one standing there with my jaw on the floor, completely blown away.

I saw Mostly Autumn live for the first time at Burnley Mechanics last Thursday and I was almost in heaven. I just couldn't understand why the venue was only half full, because this band is one of the best on the circuit at the moment.

The support act for the night was provided by Chris Johnson (Evernauts) and Olivia Sparnenn, who make a great duo. Olivia has a fantastic voice (although most of the blokes seemed to be more interested in her bod than her voice!) and I suspect that she'll be a huge star in the near future

08 December 2005

another Lost Weekend

Lost Weekend's gig at the Golden Lion in Halifax on 3 December 2005 was an absolute stormer. The pub was completely packed the atmosphere was great.

The lads were on fine form and played a cracking set of songs both old and new, including some from the forthcoming album.

I'm absolutely shite at writing reviews, so all I can say is they're a bloody good band and you should go and listen to them, cos they're all superb musicians and I've never heard them play a duff 'un yet. They all enjoy themselves immensely and they're a really nice bunch o' lads.

Book 'em for your rally now!

I don't have any pics of Jack actually playing the drums cos he's always hiding at the back, and Irvin's just as bad - I think he must duck every time he sees a camera. Just wait till I get the proper camera out - I'll blind the buggers wiv me flash :o) There will be no escape. Ha ha ha.

To be honest, I'm surprised they haven't shoved the camera up my arse already.

Some of the band has been instrumental (geddit?) in the writing of Bob Catley's forthcoming album, Spirit of Man, so get that on yer wish list too.

05 December 2005

Edible decorations?

I cried laughing when I read BigBod's little Christmas tale published over on the 100% Biker forum... Cheers for letting me nick it :o)

I had a very bad experience with crepe streamers years ago....nasty horrible things......

They don't taste very nice and the dye stays round your lips for days afterwards.

Twas many moons ago aboard HMS ---------- , mess deck party the night b4 captains rounds. Each mess had been given £25 to decorate, to cut a long story short, we got pissed and ate the decorations!!!

Captains inspection the next day was a fraught event. Presenting the mess as being ready for inspection with red dye round my mouth and the skipper commented that there didn't appear to be 25 quids worth of decorations in our mess. I don't think he believed me when I told him we'd eaten them...

02 December 2005

More humbug

Hey, I don't even need to rant - someone else has done it for me :o)


It's still not Christmas yet

Apparently officials in the House of Commons have informed staffers they can't put Christmas decorations up until 5 December, and some staffers think it's mean. Actually, I think the officials are dead right.

I think I'm gonna join a 'Keep Christmas at Christmas' campaign.