Friday, November 10, 2006

Guess what November 15th is?

As over-consumerism sweeps the Western world, it is no better evidenced than in America where they actually have a day – November 15 – to rid the household of their excessive lifestyles.

Nov 15 is clean out your refrigerator day.

I just can’t get round my brain the need to remind the house-husbands of America that in the run up to Christmas, they have to clean out the cold storage facility? I say house-husbands, as I cannot imagine any woman in the world would need to be reminded of this.
This post comes courtesy of 123

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Preacher admits.. "Yes I'm queer"

After bending over backwards all week claiming he was straight, a family man and that gay relationships were sinful, Ted Haggard the leader of the Evangelical Church in America has indeed been bending forward and touching his toes for the boyz for most of his life.

Whereas confession is normally accepted as being good for the soul, Ted Haggard has found out the hard way that truth can destroy your career if you spend your whole life lying.

  • “I am guilty of sexual immorality,” said Ted Haggard, a confession with potential political ramifications far beyond his church in the conservative bastion of Colorado Springs (comments the UK Times).
    “I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I’ve been warring against it all of my adult life.”

Just imagine for one moment that this man, who shapes Christian thinking to millions of conservative leaning Americans, had been honest about his sexuality. A lot of pain and suffering in the church would not have occured.

If only Ted could embrace his sexuality, and dedicate the rest of his ministry to saving the church from the filth it preaches of hatred and pity to gay people... more souls could be saved.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Keep your pecker up Pastor Ted

Our prayers are with Pastor Haggard.

We want to urge on the coming of the Lord, not the indulgencies of Ted with a gay prostitute.

  • Extract from the Guardian: Mr Jones [a male prostitue from Colorado] told reporters he went public because of his anger at Mr Haggard for preaching against homosexuality and gay marriage while pursuing a clandestine relationship with him for three years.

    He said that the pastor paid to have sex nearly once a month, and that he snorted methamphetamines to heighten the experience.
If Ted confesses his sin and stops persecuting gay people for their life-choices, then I see no reason why he should not return to the Republican sponsored Evangelical Church of America.

God moves in mysterious ways. This is HIS way of healing the Church in these troubled times of rampant hatred being carried out in the name of the Lord.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The filth in American Politics - yea the candidates

Lib Dem Welsh MP Peter Black has a great little TV ad video from across the pond on his website.

Politics in America is mired in filth. When desperate men want to win the vote, they will resort to almost anything.

Republican Congressman John Doolittle is fighting for his life to hold his seat on Congress - principally due to his support of the War on Terror. He has done little else in office, so the Democrats are whipping his arse!

Doolitle states Democrat candidate Charlie Brown supports the North American Man Boy Love Association through his membership of the American Civil Liberties Union, and since the ACLU has in the past defended Nambla's free-speech rights, he is tainted by association.

"It is astounding," Mr Doolittle said in a recent press release, "that anyone could defend a group dedicated to aiding and abetting paedophiles."

So I guess the crap thrown back at Doolittle by the Brown campaign in the video on Peter's blog is therefore quite lame in comparison!

With Tory taxation you can have your cake and eat it

I am confused by the Conservatives when they talk about tax.

One influential wing of the Tories, in the Economic Competitiveness Review, call for flat taxes.

  • FLAT TAX = taxes are set at the same low rate for everyone, making them easy to understand and difficult to avoid, and eliminating the need for complex exemptions.

The other in the guise of the Tax Reform Commission says flat taxes are a bad thing as they may initially boost economic growth, but don’t pay for themselves. This ultimately leads to public spending reductions or increased government debt.

That’s the problem for policy-lite Dave Cameron and his henchman Mr Osbourne: When they have the bravado to publish policy, it’s contradicted by knowledgeable colleagues.

And we, the long-suffering voting public, are left more confused as we are stretched in both directions in this policy tug of war.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Oh no, Mark Oaten is at it again... confessing that is

Just when the shame was almost gone, Mark Oaten is at it again.

The confessions of an MP who does a rent-boy has now reached Women’s Hour as the honourable member for Winchester and his wife confess all (again) to the media.

This time the story takes on love, marriage and forgiveness in their first joint interview. But whilst a BBC journalist wonders how to pick up a marriage and carry on after such a bombshell, I am left pondering how does a political party pick itself up after such a carry-on?

There is something very Catholic about seeking forgiveness, but I’m getting rather bored with hearing this story of lust that does not speak its name.

Still at least the media has stopped blaming Oaten’s hair-loss, Charles Kennedy’s drink problem or indeed that Mark may, just may, have been interested in having (or was it watching?) sex with men?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Star Wars comes to Swindon

Just home from seeing Canadian actor Charles Ross single-handledly play all the characters, sing the tunes, fly the ships, fight the battles (on both sides) and save the universe in the One Mans’ Star Wars Trilogy.

The sixty-minute show was fun-packed from start to end, and lets face who wouldn't want to save the universe fighting with a lightsaber and sounding the hooommmmzzzzshhhh schzzzchhh schzzchh cry as you swosh your lightsaber in a galactic battle far, far away?

I would recommend this show to anyone who is mildly amused by Star Wars, or the avid fan obsessed with the original movies…
· Charles Ross is Darth Vader
· Charles Ross is Luke Skywalker
· Charles Ross is Princess Leia !!!
If this show does not ignite your inner Jedi – nothing will

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Is Greenpeace losing the plot?

Apart from buying property abroad and driving my Mercedes-Benz all over the place, I still keep a keen eye on the news over the internet.

Okay so I have not blogged for most of the summer, but that's cos I woz watchin' Big Brother. And from what I have read on-line, not many others were blogging anything of real interest.

Talking of Big Brother - there is an increasingly growing campaign against the car-driving individual with loud calls for government to punish motorists not just through their pockets, but to restrict their movement as well. It seems owners of off-roaders, Chelsea Tractors, Death Machines - whatever your name for them - they are all getting a bad press. The Alliance Against Urban 4x4s have an interesting website with quotes from Mayor Ken Livingstone "When you see someone trying to maneuver it round the school gates, you have to think, you are a complete idiot."
...and Jeremy Clarkson (the king of drivers doing it badly) "I do have to say that the drivers of these things in cities must be clinically insane." Maybe it is time to think again?

I support the polluter pays - and those who drive a lot, do pay through the excessive tax on petrol and diesel. In the Netherlands campaigners are demanding City & Town Councils deny vehicles over a certain weight and size permission to park in public car parks or along shopping streets.

Greenpeace is one of my favourites organisations. I used to be a subscribing member, and was very proud of their campaigns to halt the explosion of Nuclear (that wasn't meant to be a pun). But Greenpeace have stepped up their campaign against the motorist. I often feel a tinge of guilt when they moan about big-badge cars (although my Merc is only a baby A Class). Me thinks they have gone too too far over the top this time.

Is Greenpeace losing the plot?

They have a new video promo which has not received very much positive publicity. It's an attempt to encourage people not to drive 4x4s. I think there are many ways to push this argument... and the excessively polluting the environment argument through wasted fuel consumption is the best route.

In reality this video campaign is an offensive load of tosh. And if anything, could encourage school-playground bulling of kids who's Mums drop them off at school in a 4x4. Most adults would I hope not revert to this sort of nonsense bullying. There has to be a more effective way of pursuading people to change their lifestyles.

Detention then for the media girls and boys at Greenpeace?

Now, has anybody seen my cup of tea?

My Lib Dem councillor has got himself a blogging!

After a couple of months berating my local councillor that I wanted to hear more of his news and read more of his views than his quarterly FOCUS leaflet that hits my door mat, my councillor has got himself a blog.

And about time to!!

There is so much going on in Swindon at this time, and the town centre (where I live) is going through a most fantastic regeneration, that I could fill a political blog easily with news, views and stories.

Sadly my time of being party-political is over. Did I hear you cheer?
How very dare you
As a Policy and Partnership Officer at the challenging Swindon Borough Council, I dare not speak of party politics. Especially as those in charge are of a Blue persuasion. But hand on my heart, I think they are doing a decent job. And the Leader of the Council is head and shoulders better than any we have had for a good few years now... Very visionary.

But hey, I said I would not be party political - so shut my mouth.

As for Cllr Dave Wood and the Eastcott Focus Team - keep up the good work with the blog... I will be watching closely.

What a wonderful summer

Well the summer has been great.

A holiday to Portugal in July saw us studying Estate Agents windows. Like you do! The next thing we knew we were driving to a rural part of Faro and viewing a brand new apartment.

We were determined not to jump in with both feet, but our hearts did a double beat as we drew up the dusty lane and into the carpark of the block.

Our new property, a very large one-bed unit on the outskirts of the town where my partner Jose grew up. This new venture is all very exciting. Video camera security entry, luxury bathroom furniture with power-shower, marble flooring and granite work-tops in the state-of-art designer kitchen. Our next challenge is kiting out the living room and bedroom.

I like to think of myself as a environmentally sound, but have to confess that I want to install Air Conditioning...Should I do it when I will only visit for five weeks holiday a year?

Maybe all I need to do is open windows at either end of the unit and hope for a thru-draft... But have you ever been to Portugal in the summer - just taking a deep breath in the month of August can burn your lungs.

I'm taking my Dad over for a viewing in late September, which means I will miss the Lib Dem conference this year... But some things are even more satisfying than party politics.

Friday, April 28, 2006

HSBC - I love you

Okay, maybe love is a tad too strong!

But my credit card company contacted me today saying they would refund the £20 late payment charge imposed in April 2006.

You see, it is worth while writing to the banking world if you feel you have been treated badly.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Should bankers be spelt with a W?

My credit card company has charged me £20 for missing a payment. It's made me really mad with anger. I have been a loyal customer of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation for all of two months: it was'nt the sort of welcome I had anticipated from the HSBC who kept sending me letters to take out one of their credit cards. My relenting to their mail shots has cost me dear.

I was reminded of a discussion I'd had with a Which? employee at a Liberal Democrat conference drinks party in the Spring of 2005 - this watch-dog group are a superb organisation who stand up for the consumer when poor service is offered by large corporations. We had talked over a number of glasses of wine about the abuse of bank-charges and how Lib Dems nationally were concerned at the increasing debt people are getting themselves into.

So have Which? acted on consumer assistance against the big banks? They certainly have. Studying their website, I have fired off a letter to my credit card company and await some recompense. The Office of Fair Trading also issued a statement in early April saying big banks issuing charges in excess of £12 are ripping customers off.

There is a snivelling and predictably hilarious response to the OFT statement by the British Bankers Association (should that be spelt with a W?).

Mouth pic from - a great artists blogsite

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Olympic Iceman strips!

Just found this video of 2006 Winter Olympics champion, Evgeni Plushenko. It's a funny film where he strips on ice to Tom Jones *Sex Bomb* sound track. Check out this video: Evgeni Plushenko - Sex Bomb!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Is this the way to jail-a-rillo?

A woman in the city of Bath has been punished with an Anti Social Behaviour Order for repeatedly playing the Tony Christie/Peter Kay cheesy hit song *Is this the way to Amarillo*.

Clearly neighbours have been crying into their pillows.

Read more of the story from the Daily Mail news website. There is a wonderful feedback comment from someone in Canada who says Mrs Webb of Bath should have been fined more for playing this song.

During raids by Bath & North East Somerset council and local police, stereos were seized from the house and these are now likely to be destroyed. How can this be justified... music systems can be bought again, it's the music CD which needs trashing.

Mrs Webb, who is £500 the poorer after her conviction, will be asking “Is the road to jail-a-rillo” if she pays the music too loudly again in the next two years... as this is the knee-jerk reaction the court will impose.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Lib Dems favour Proportional Voting, don't they?

As astonishing story in The Times this Saturday reveals a large number of outspoken Lib Dem MPs have not exercised their right to pledge a second preference vote for Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Lib Dems are selecting a replacement to Charles Kennedy, who resigned as Leader in January.

All 75,000 members of the party vote one for their first preferred candidate, two for second and three for third… we call it proportional voting and it’s a rather sacred belief amongst Lib Dems that this form of second transferable voting is a better option to 'first-past-the-post'. The candidate in last place is eliminated and his backers’ second choices are distributed between the remaining two – it results in the most favoured candidate winning the election as determined by the party membership faithful.

The Times writes: For a party whose forebears embraced the cause of proportional representation for the best part of a century, and to whose members the single transferable vote has the status of the Holy Grail, their behaviour is at best inconsistent.

  • Lord Kirkwood, chairman of Sir Menzies’ campaign, admitted: “I only used one preference myself. It is only of interest to anybody if Campbell comes third and I know he will not come third.”
  • Lynne Featherstone, an MP backing Mr Huhne, confessed: “I have not used my second preference on this occasion.”
  • Vince Cable, the Treasury spokesman, said: “I filled it in the day after it came. I honestly can’t remember whether I just went for Ming and not the other two, or voted for Chris [Huhne] second.
  • Jo Swinson, 26, the youngest MP and a Campbell supporter, said hesitantly: “I cannot actually say… I’m fairly sure I voted for Chris Huhne as No 2.”

I have used my votes with Hughes – 1st and Huhne - 2nd. Unlike these honourable members of parliament who seem to support first past the post, I am confident most party members have determined who that wining candidate will be through second preference choices.

But then again the honourable members of the party would not have stabbed Charles Kennedy in the back – and this Leadership election would probably not be taking place at this time.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A most famous victory for Lib Dems

Sometimes even the media can celebrate with us, rather than laugh at the Liberal Democrats.

The party leadership election has given rise to ridicule for the third party of UK politics, but thank goodness for by-elections. In a sensational result the Lib Dems have turned round a safe Labour seat into a most famous victory for Liberal Democrats.

Even the politically neutral wrote on their website on Thursday 9th Feb that Nu Labor would hold the seat:

Labour is defending a majority at the general election of 11,562, when turnout was 59.9 per cent. With Labour expected to hold on to the seat, attention is set to focus on whether recent troubles for the Lib Dems cause them to fall behind the SNP in the battle for second place.

A story with more detail of the result is on the
Swindon local party website.

So how could Labour loose this safe seat? Maybe it is because our hospitals are dirtier and less efficient and some waiting lists are longer. Our schools are turning out an ever-thicker brand of child at the age of 16 or 18 because education reform is a cock-up failing our youth. Our police are obsessed with being nice to groups that cause public danger rather than prosecuting them. Our public transport system is expensive and inadequate. Our welfare state rewards the feckless while penalising what the Victorians called "the deserving poor". Our Armed Forces are sent abroad to die for their country on the basis of a lie.

It could be the Blair factor has passed his sell-by date, but seeing as the PM in waiting (Gordon Brown) has his home in the Dunfermline and West Fife area and represents the neighbouring constituency… maybe the result had something to do with the “Brown-effect”? For me the principal reason of Lib Dem success is that we are a party of vision and passion with the most credible of policies to make Britan great again.

And when the Liberal Democrat party can communicate it’s possitive message to a listening public, despite all the scandals which have plagued us for a month – success comes our way because people don’t care about individuals – they care about freedom of opportunity to succeed and see their fellow countrymen succeed without interferience from the state.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Hey, I made it onto the Daily Telegraph blog site of Ian Douglas, production editor of with a comment about printed newspapers increasingly becoming 'yesterdays news'.

The advent of increasing availability on-line is for many, the end of the purchasing a daily paper.

I like the internet, but there is still something comforting about reading a "broadsheet" newspaper, getting ink all over your hands and hearing the crumple of paper as overly large sheets are folded into manageable sections.

Long live the printed word!

Death to the West?

I do not like that feeling when I find myself agreeing with Tory MPs. Guilt shivers down my spine, like the winter chill factor ever present at this time of year.

The Conservative Shadow Home Secretary said

  • "Clearly some of these placards are incitement to violence and, indeed, incitement to murder - an extremely serious offence which the police must deal with and deal with quickly. Whatever your views on these cartoons, we have a tradition of freedom of speech in this country which has to be protected. Certainly there can be no tolerance of incitement to murder."

Maybe I am not fully subscribed to Liberal thinking on this issue, but why is it the political party that exists to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society and values liberty, equality and community is not speaking out against the enslaved spoken antics of an ignorant minority?

Radical Muslims who are sporting placards in our principal cities screaming: "Massacre those who insult Islam", "Europe you will pay" and "Europe you'll come crawling when Mujahideen come roaring" no further represent mainstream Muslim opinion than the Unionist radical Rev. Ian Paisley MP represents mainstream opinion on Christianity.

The rumpus and furore started last week when a
fanatical wing of Muslim followers reacted to cartoons published in a Danish newspaper in September of 2005 which was subsequently re-printed by a number of other European media outlets. The most offensive cartoon appears to be of an image Mohamed with a fuse-lit bomb as a turban - an indication that killing your enemy is acceptable for followers of that faith.

Muslims believe in one God, is it the same God who is worshipped by Jews and Christians? If it is, then that fact invites co-operation between followers of the three monotheistic religions.

As a Liberal, I prefer to focus on where we agree, rather than dwell on where we disagree. Maybe Reflecting Britain campaign is a step towards that goal, although I think Lib Dems aiming to win the voting support of Muslims in the UK is more important than getting a Lib Dem Muslim elected to Parliament.

Muslim theology claims that God has sent prophets to every people, and that Mohammed was the last of them. After him, according to orthodox Muslim doctrine, the believers are to expect not another prophet, but the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Jews believe that the Messiah will come and set the captives free. Meanwhile Christians believe that the messiah has already come in the form of Jesus - He set us free through his death on the cross and resurrection and promised to come back "the Second Coming of Jesus Christ".

All three of these religious beliefs subscribe to the ultimate conclusion. I guess I just wish He would hurry up and come back before more blood is shed in His name!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Braised Baby Onions

Just found a great food blog whilst reviewing the 2006 blogs of the year.

Here is a recipe I tried last weekend when I had some vegetarian friends over for lunch.

Prep time: about 10 min

Braising: ~45 min.

Ingredients (serves 2)

12 red baby onions
2 tsp oregano, dried
2-3 tbsp olive oil
8-10 black olives
fresh oregano leaves (to taste)
100-150g feta cheese, crumbled
season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F). Peel onions and place them in a fireproof casserole dish or alternatively on a baking tray. Sprinkle with half of the olive oil, the dried oregano and season well with salt and pepper - don’t be shy. For the first 40 minutes cover up with either a lid or some aluminium foil.

2 For the last 5 minutes, uncover, add the olives and a few fresh oregano leaves and drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the onions.

3 Serve with the feta cheese crumbles and a few more fresh oregano leaves for decoration.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Don't push... I mean it!!

Phew, I am glad this week has come to an end.

Working on a
Local Area Agreement on behalf of the Local Council to get all public services working together is extremely rewarding.

I have posted up a couple of reports that I am working on at this time in the Links section. One on Equalities and the other on voluntary and community Involvement.

Some partners appear not to want to work together. At these times I just want to scream or hit something. Good job I attended that ANGER management course

So before I fall off the edge into a pit of doom, I made time to visit a fun website a friend recommended this afternoon.

But be warned... You may wish you had not pushed this.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Is coffee poison?

At Christmas we purchased a fantastic little Espresso machine and have been knocking the black liquid in quick shots for a couple of weeks now. I don’t so much walk to the office anymore, as “fly” – I am high as a kite.

I have been worried of late that I get more headaches than I used to… Am I poisoning myself with too much coffee?

I also just read a blog from someone in Boston – home of the Mad Tea Party who is anxious he is consuming too much coffee and it got me thinking some more.

There was a scare story in the UK Sunday Times last week. And I quote:

COFFEE is responsible for as much as a third of daily consumption of the cancer-causing chemical acrylamide, research by the United Nations has found.

The story goes on to say that drinking dark-roast coffee is better than medium or light… it is the process of roasting that creates acrylamide.

So as for giving up… I don’t think I will bother, just raise a cup of the strong stuff!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Brokeback Mountain gets four Golden Globes

Three Cheers… Brokeback Mountain has won four Golden Globe Awards… it’s the Oscars next!

“Real-life couple Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams were both nominated for their performances in Brokeback Mountain: he for best actor for his turn as Ennis Del Mar, and she for best supporting actress for playing his long-suffering wife Alma”

Jos̩ and I went to Bath (a city about 40 miles from Swindon) to see the film last Sunday. Despite our key home town of 180 residents and two Multi-screen cinemas with ten screens each Рneither being prepared to show this film, we had to travel to watch the movie.

Based around two cowboys (actually sheep-herders) who find their daily routine a tad boring they discover each other, unexpected love and enduring friendship that lasts a couple of decades. But living in the conservative American West in the early 1960’s is no place for men to live together so they do what most closet gays do and marry women and raise families.

These poor women are put through the most unkind torture of being married to principally gay men and living lives of misery.

The cowboys live out their relationship through annual meet-ups – but it’s not a comfortable life for either of them.

I read this wonderful novel by Annie Proulx on the beach in Portugal in the summer of 2003.

So I knew what was coming in the movie, but have to hand it to Heath Ledger for superb acting. The scene in the trailer when he hugs his lover’s shirt is to DIE for?

It certainly is a modern-day love story which I would recommend anyone go read the book and see the movie.

Feel real pleased that we got to see the film. I have been a bit emotional since the movie... José just rolls his eyes towards heaven and thinks me rather silly. He says I am like a lost puppy that needs to be cared for.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Hurricane Katrina struck dolphins are safe, meanwhile human misery continues

Sixteen dolphins from a marine park that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina -- including several that were swept out to the Gulf of Mexico and later rescued -- have been moved to a resort in the Bahamas.

The dolphins, which have been housed at temporary locations around the country, were transported to Mobile, Alabama, and loaded onto an airplane for the final stage of their trip, officials said.

The mammals lived at Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, doing jumps and other tricks in programs for tourists, before it was severely damaged by Katrina on August 29.

Some of the younger dolphins had been moved inland to hotel swimming pools ahead of the storm. Eight others were pulled out to sea during the storm when their Oceanarium tank was destroyed.
Biologists located and rescued them on 10th September through aerial surveys.

The dolphins will be reunited and live in seven interconnected resident pools at Atlantis, a resort on Paradise Island.

The resort will also take on 24 sea lions and 22 exotic birds from Marine Life.

The dolphins have been at the center of a legal battle between the two owners of Marine Animal Productions, the company that owns the dolphins.

One of the two, Dr. Moby Solangi, had opposed moving the dolphins out of the United States.

Meanwhile the human misery continues for
Hardy Jackson, who is still searching for his wife Tonette. Her body was washed away on the day Hurricane Katrina struck.

For a moving video, see the BBC search facility.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Charles, your colleagues are bastards!

All those miserable years of Tories selecting ridiculous party leaders, then watching those same Conservative MPs destroy their leaders, has been a joy to watch over the past decade.

But now that Liberal Democrat MPs are doing it to Charles Kennedy, I am feeling quite sickened.

In a personal statement at the party's London headquarters on Thursday night,
the Lib Dem leader insisted he wanted to carry on at the head of the party.

But after disclosing details of his drink problem, he said it was
only fair' to allow the party a chance to replace him.

In the early 1990’s I served my village as a Lib Dem councilor and then from 1999 to 2005 I worked for the party as a political advisor.

Through all this time I have found the leadership of Charles Kennedy inspiring, refreshing and regularly entertaining. But now it seems the parliamentary party is having a joyful time ripping the leader to shreds.

The actions of some parliamentarians have been reckless, shameless and aggressive. Some (25 MPs at the last count) say they will resign on Monday if Charles does not.

No longer are we the nice party it seems.

It’s all quite sickening and treacherous.

But that is politics. At least we can stop lying that we are not as bad as the Tories when they decide a Leader has to go. Our MPs have been more vociferous in their words and deeds than any Tory wanting to get rid of Major, Hague or that Duncan-Smith bloke.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

You can’t win it… if you don’t claim it.

I really feel sorry for the poor soul who failed to claim their £9.4 million Lotto jackpot today. The ticket was purchased in Doncaster in July of 2005. You have 180 days to claim a win or the money is lost.

I think the month of July is a cursed month for gambling!

In July 2004 a
£20.1 million winning ticket was unclaimed, so the money was re-invested into the “Good Causes” pot.

In the
summer of 2002 a smaller figure of £7.5 million went unclaimed.

The up-side is that since the Lotto was launched in the UK in 1994, £17 billion pounds has been distributed through the Good Causes pot.

What makes me laugh about my fellow Englishmen is their capacity to enjoy seeing others suffer for their downfall. Who can forget the young May and Martyn Tott from Watford who say their lives were “ruined” because their forgot to collect their £3 million winnings? A public opinion poll at the time registered overwhelming support that the couple should not be paid the winnings as they missed the claims deadline.

Of course the trouble with the public who win the Lotto… can they be trusted to spend it correctly? I was in the queue at Tesco last Saturday morning to collect my £1 weekly ticket when the lady in front of me presented her winning ticket from the previous week. She won £60 with four numbers – and threw the whole amount back on 20 more lotto numbers and 40 scratch cards.

I stared at her incredulously and raised my eyebrows at the bloke selling the tickets “What a stupid moo!” he said. I think I agree.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

My cousin had a Quad Bike for Christmas

A great Christmas was had by all the family this year. My sister cooked the most wonderful Turkey ever (Marks & Spencer may have provided the bird, but it was my sister who cooked it!).

Boxing Day and all the family descended on my parents for party games - no television. It was wonderful to sit, talk and laugh with out the depressing BBC Eastenders bleeding its heart out in the corner of the room.

I often wonder if most families are really as miserable as portrayed on TV? Maybe a happy family sit-com would never sell?

My cousin received a Quad Bike for Christmas, so we all traveled down to the Swindon Park next to Pinehurst for a half hour of scrambling. Great fun... some of the adventure is captured on video, but try as I may, I cannot load this to my blog.