Tick Tock of Brexit Clock

As we wait with bated breath the guys in Westminster behave in a manner that would scare the bejabbers from all except Gengis Khan.

For some strange reason the political bods in Westminster and Brussels believe the average man in the street fully comprehends the words of wisdom set out in a 850 page document none of us has seen. 

We rely on a bunch of chaps who are either for or against Brexit. This being slightly confused by constituents who may have voted with an opposite majority. And then again by party leaders who also find themselves supporting the opposite policy to that which they voted for. In out in out and shake it all about.

If we check out the negotiating team in Brussels their job was to listen then say no which is far better than saying yes or suggesting alternatives. But this is no shock. The whole Brexit thing arose because the EU have been doing their own thing for years and invoicing the U.K. accordingly. 

Forget Fracking Drilling Glass Is Much More Traumatic

In the quest to enhance the appearance of the house I hold with the great belief that candles have a significant role to play.

To me it’s complete  natuaral to acquire two fancy glass candlesticks. Not that large mind you but these two beauties were fitted with a hollow stem filled with decorative small glass beads.

Designed to enhance the appearance it was my believe they would look better withought the beads. No matter said I, privately, with my nice new and rather expensive ceramic drill I should be able to drill a hole through the top of the candlestick into the stem and tip out the glass beads.  The intended outcome was that the candlestick would then have a slender glass tube supporting it. This is where assumption overtook reality – as is often the case with my projects.

The thickness of the glass was grossly underestimated. Due to an optical illusion what I thought was to be a 3 mm thick  piece of grass turned out to be 14 mm. Once the drilling commenced we were committed.

Ignoring the fact the drill scooted slightly off centre progress was disturbingly slow.  The drill bit also started to get bleeding hot and on several occasions I had to stop to let things cool down concerned that the grass might crack. An hour and a half later the drill bit was actually sparking and a reddish light seen in the depths of the whole, finally broke through into the glass beads.

At this point I at least had the presence of mind to tip the glass beads into a small plastic container, just in case the mission was to be abandoned. I duly positioned and the empty glass tube, which I thought was rather fetching on the dining room table and sumoned the higher authority to review the outcome. Long story short it was ceremoniously rejected, saying “you’ve got far too much time on your hands, that looks bloody awful and you spent how long drilling that bleeding hole?”

Reversing the processwas slightly demoralising but in the spirit of maintaining harmony I poured all the glass beads back into the tube. This is where I discovered They had become mixed with the powdered glass, (grey) and 3 million particles of disintegrated drillbit, (black). It looked awful and now Way would it pass the quality control check that hovered.

The remedy appeared simple; just give the  beads  a quick wash and separate beads from the offending matter using the kitchen sieve. Regrettably I was spotted. My explanation I was merely trying to remove powered glass and distingrated drill bit from the beads Was met with an icy stare. “Stop me when you spot the flaw” came the reply; Kitchen sieve, cooking, eating, powered glass shattered drill bit, yummy”. Moron.

Having so far wasted one and half drilling the hole, a drill bit I spent another hour rinsing powered glass using paper kitchen towel as filter paper and picking tiny, tiny drill bits with tweezers. Glass beads were finally reunited with candle stick and all is well. And life can rebegin.



It’s Too Darn Hot

Another in my series of signs that have little impact. So the door from the kitchen of this pub is supposed to be closed at all times but when the outside temperature reaches 30 degrees all bets are off and the chef switch to salads only. Or just maybe he or she have walked off – through this door presumably.

Did They Really Mean This

Most signs are designed to give unequivocal advice. What to do and where to do it etc. The sign above appeared above a door in a hotel. It clearly  tells you where to do it, but did they really mean this? I bet they meant the toilets can be found off the reception area. As it stands  weird sods like me have a vision of the reception area hopefully planted with sufficient shrubs and bushes allowing the process of one’s toilet without being in full view. Maybe a few dock leaves would not go amiss either.

No Parking

Our life is full of signs. Do this, don’t do that, don’t ever, ever even think of doing the other. Etc. Some signs state the bleeding obvious, others give a degree of unintended ambiguity. My wasted favourite, although it may ever have existed was the sign in a park frequented by school children; “It is forbidden to throw stones at this sign”

Some signs are superfluous, some have achieved their objective. This includes the one in the picture. At some point parking presumably was an issue. The sign has clearly done its stuff!

Leap Of Erroneous Faith


Sometimes the ageing process creeps up to give a brutal reminder of the current state of affairs. This happened recently when I had the ambition to leap across a babbling brook. Not just any babbling brook, this was on an idyllic tropical island with golden sands. None of that description is truly relevant, I just wanted to paint a picture of a relaxed atmosphere inducing  reduced responsibility.

Back at the babbling brook it  was tracking a furrow across the sand to the sea and blocked my onwards progress. Devious thoughts sprang to mind, was this fresh water running from a stream towards the sea, or more probably a drain with strange nasty things in it. I opted for the safer option and regarded it as probably hostile. It needed jumping. No worries, I would take a short run at it and leap across.

Regretfully this part of the plan lacked substance. Half way across, it was about 1.5 metres, came the realisation several vectors had been miscalculated. The speed of approach was a little lower than required; the effect of wind resistance and rotation of the earth had also been completely overlooked. The downward trajectory thus began ahead of schedule. Although the leading foot made reasonable contact with the far side, the sudden impact caused the sandy edge of the brook to collapse followed by the crumpling mass of yours truly. Not a pretty sight even though I effected an excellent roll out. The earth and I renewed our acquaintance rather abruptly. Stunned although not defeated I surveyed the situation, realigned the body to the vertical, brushed off the sand, gave my best look of ‘nothing to see here’, and strode on implying a new standard of brook jumping had been established.

Image courtesy of tuelekza at freedigitalphotos.net

Housework Is New Way To Stay Healthy


Not wishing to miss the opportunity of setting a New Year resolution, yet profoundly short of ideas I came across the following statistics in the press.

Apparently women folk spend 5 hours a day doing house work, chores and stuff, even in the garden. The article was angled at maintaining health in the elderly, so it didn’t account for younger women also at work. These we could only assume completed the same tasks at some point – probably all jammed in at the weekend.

Now here is the thing. Menfolk statically only spend 3 hours a day doing essential stuff about the house. This leads to certain conjecture; are they completing the same tasks more efficiently or missing bits out. Yet the option to improve the load share are limited. Those of us banned from certain operations through incompetence; loading the dishwasher in a haphazard way; shoving delicates through a boiling wash springs to mind,

This is where the New Year resolution pops up. Not only are we menfolk allegedly more efficient but statistics prove that chipping in with the housework actually makes men 25% more healthier. Critically it makes no mention of further housework improving the odds. Thus the optimal relationship seems to be based on men doing 3 hours of housework. And the NewYears resolution is to maintain the required 3 hours without getting in the bleeding way.

The review also revealed that women include DIY in their 5 hour total. This is dangerous territory. Next they will claim to fully understand IKEA assembly instructions. We will become emasculated. This is dreadful.

image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Inappropriate Seating


For those of us with a penchant to sit in the bleeding way on the floor – this not a place for you. Presumably sitting on this corridor could result in being ingested by a random hoover. Thus the elfin safety guys insist they tell you when to park your rear on this corridor floor.

Others Will Rule The World


The recruitment advertisement above seeks a range of skills that Wabtec need. Most are for recognised areas of expertise but I’m intrigued by the last classification. What skills do we need to be rated as competent  ‘Others’? Perhaps there is a mission to mystify employment regulations to baffle or bypass Brussels.

I know that we “Others” also use budget airlines. These flyboys now separate we mortals into those who wish to pay for a seat; now regarded as a ‘Biz or Priority borders’ and the remainder – now classified as ‘Others.” As all airlines spend their days copying each other to grab an extra quid profit, perhaps they want us to overcome the stigma of being an ‘Other’. But this surely will mess up Wabtec’s plan to recruit us.

Following the saying that the meek will inherit the earth – if that’s OK by you, there could be significant grounds for we “Others” to have a crack.


British ‘Terracotta Army’


This fascinating sculpture by the British -Trinidadian artist Zak Ove’ is certainly “value” for money. As well as the visual impact of a single warrior the fact there are 80 of them each standing two metres high and arranged in regimented rows adds hugely to the drama. The overall impression is akin to the terracotta warriors of the Qin  Shi Huang tomb in Xi’an, China.

The Zak Ove sculpture, and a full description of this magnificent work  can seen at the Yorkshire Sculture Park  

Sunshine Desserts Lives On


The photo above brought back memories fond memories of the TV series “The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin” featuring “Sunshine Desserts”,  the office block in which Reggie worked showed a different letter from the name  missing each episode.

At some point in the distant past “Humpty Dumpty” was a children’s clothing outlet, alas fading letter by letter into the dust, but it still provides a wry smile each time I see it.

Is There An EU Proposal for Brexit


The season of party political  conferences is amongst us. A mixture of bright and sometimes scary ideas emerge of which deep, deep down you know the vast majority will never be actioned. Phew you might add, at least the conferences will not be plagued with endless discussions on Brexit because, with a nod to the French;  it’s all a fait acompli.

But wait, the government are all of dither as to what to do, when to do it and indeed how to do it. And now Labour are having a nod towards abandoning leaving all together and asking for the ball back. The background soundtrack to the news has switched to the “Hokey Cokey” – You put your left leg in , your left out and you shake it all about, etc. The  remaining countries or EU27 as they are now called must be wondering which way is up. A saving grace maybe the French are having a close look at ‘Jupiter’, their new leader ‘s crown seems a size too large and has slipped down around his mouth. The Germans’  Angel – Angela has got her work cut out dealing with a huge upswing in domestic issues. So who is left to sit at the Brexit table? Clearly not our chap David Davies who seems to only pop in now and again. Bojo Johnson spends his waking hours trying to remove his foot from his mouth and Tessa May has only just spotted the age old management adage – there is no ‘I’ in the word TEAM.

The negotiations appear to be all British led. The reactive stance by Michel Barnier is similar to the game of Battleships where Britain chucks in a couple of proposals and M Barnier advises if we have hit the target or more likely not. What if the  table are turned and the EU is charged with originating the exit proposal – to get them into a proactive frame of mind. And pigs night fly.

IPA Leads To IPB


Indian Pale Ale – IPA that delightful beer fortified in the 1700’s with a triple dose of hops to allow it to travel by sailing ship around South Africa to India without going off is causing a new medical issue.  Men are growing manbreasts from drinking the stuff.  This is a case of  Inadvertent Production of Boobs ( IPB)

You know its going to be a bum day when the morning news reveals yet another health warning. You could wait a week as there is bound to be a contradiction. Thus poised with butter instead of Flora on the knife and IPA on the brain as you are about to hit the toast as you scan the pages of the newspaper or online news desperate to find  permission to use butter. Alas this week it’s all about saturated fats – and Flora has the edge. You console yourself with a Catch 22 fact, butter has gone up in price as dairy’s have run out of full fat milk from the disappearing milk herds. And by the time the market switches back from Flora to butter’s turn to be the good guy  another 100 diary farmers will have gone bust waiting for orders.

I mention this ‘chicken and egg’ fact about butter just as the hop growing farmers have announced they have had a bumper harvest this year and are keen to service the growing demand for IPA. So we may have to accept we could become a nation sporting man boobs and get use to buying  jerseys of the next size up. The article makes no mention of ladies drinking IPA who may actually take delight in the possibility of painless boob augmentation. Way to go. In the meantime we await news from  a research institute who discovered the beneficial effects of something that will make Brexit a done deed.



Own Goal For Yorkshire


Greater London has a population of c. 8.6m and has its own parliament. It’s actually called Westminster and reportedly serves the country but as 86% of all MP’s representing the UK live in the London area, they visit their constituencies by exception. There has thus been an alleged and unsurprisingly focus of government expenditure in London and the South East.

Scotland has a population of 5.3m its own Parliament and flag.

Wales has a population of 3.2m its own Parliament and flag.

Yorkshire has a population of 5.4m and its own flag.

There is a proposal to form a ‘One Yorkshire’ combining all the local authourities under one Mayor – like those of Liverpool and Manchester. But this would mean historic feelings of antipathy between locals towns and cities being abandoned. Not an easy task as this is a common occurrence across the UK. Almost all towns have a reserve that is tribal  when dealing with their neighbouring conurbations. A great shame as the government had promised £30m funding to help with updating transport projects etc in the One Yorkshire area. But as Doncaster and Rotherham, for example, have blocked the move believing all this cash would be swallowed by Sheffield – where do you start?

As the government transport plan under Chris Grayling has advised the regional funding to improve rail transport in the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ has been largely swiped to support Crossrail 2 in London, Yorkshire stands little chance as a divided entity to oppose the move.