Archives for category: Hair cut

Thursday and what needs to get done?  

The car is still at Mickey’s (he’s not a mouse for those of you wondering) awaiting a brake calliper. Experience tells me it may be there for the weekend as this particular type of calliper is manufactured by the same people that make hen’s teeth and rocking horse sh!t, but as we’ve recently learned – whatever (or ‘It is what it is’ if you’re not into the whole brevity thing) As much as it’s in theory a hindrance not to have the car at my beck and call, it’s also very enlightening. The weather is warm so Mrs G doesn’t object to cycling to work and of course it is good for her. 

On the work front, Pooh and I are nearing the end of the heavy phase of our adventure with the baseball player (see: This book, not that it will clarify anything for most of you). This means we have time to reflect you would think, but not a bit of it. There’s another piece of work involving tennis that urgently needs attention and I’m allegedly the man to attend to it. 


It’s a piece that has to be priced, approved and with the customer in 5 working days, and that is the first problem. Ironically it’s being led not by anyone in the UK or US but by a bunch of cowboys for whom the word ‘communication’ doesn’t have a passport, so there’s our second problem. The third problem is that everything that is known about the story so far is held in the head of a person who is off sick and a database that I don’t currently have access to. 

That’s about the size of it. I’m squarely in the frame for the unachievable. To quote Detective Inspector Derek Grim of Gasforth Police station “My arse is on the line and I don’t want a cock up!”

I may exaggerate slightly. After all, we’re all aware that “You can only do what you can with information available” and “Whatever” (see above re: brevity). Ultimately I know I’ll have support from the other members of my team should it be required – if only the cowboys would stop with the re-fried beans and get on with the cattle rustling. 

An early morning call with our antipodean cousins confirms all this frustration. All is not well, but “we are where we are” 🙂

Next job is a haircut, so with no car that means 10 minutes on the bike to get it sorted. Normally this would be 20 minutes in and trim and out, but I hadn’t taken into account the lazy, slovenly, over-holidaying teachers who are up in arms because their loosing some of their pensions. I’m sympathetic to most cases of the little guy being screwed over by “the man” but not this time. Public sector: Welcome to my world. I had this pain last year and no-one in public service gave a flying-fig. I think there was a question in parliament that got generally ignored so why should I care now you’re suffering the same fate?  In fact I celebrate the fact that we’re all on a more even keel (apart from the stinking rich who are far to busy not paying taxes to be interested).


To return to my point. I’m now sat in the barbers waiting room with half a dozen screaming kids who aren’t getting the education this country so badly needs them to get so that we can increase our lead in innovation and invention which will fix our economic issues such that we wont need to cut pensions in the future. As it is, the teachers are helping us breed a bunch of kids who’s lack of qualifications will make them perfect to work in manufacturing, just not in this country – more likely here:


In summary, I suspect the future of teaching in this country is heading in a similar direction to the miners and the steelworkers, so at some point we’ll have outsourced edu-macation to foreign climes as well. In the mean time, you might like to encourage your uneducated kids to learn chinese while you still can.
Back home post hair cut and cycling (chinese manufactured bike, by the way) and I see from the email on my (chinese manufactured) laptop that chief sh!tting bull is no nearer answering any question of import and that I am basically faced with a crock of cack to try and fix.  My predecessor to this job, as it transpires, has done a sterling job up to now, but the current demands are unreasonable.  God knows what CSB has been smoking in that peace pipe.
This is a scary moment for me, being the first deal of any size that I’m sort-of running on my own….   It’s OK.  This year has taught me to embrace fear, laugh in the face of adversity and tweak the nose of death. In short, I have new balls thankyou. Might need new trousers (preferably not from China) at the moment though. 😉

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Cross shire journeying today. Following the immense success of yesterday’s haircut, and when I say success, I don’t necessarily mean on my part, but it was a success for the barber insofar as there was hair and he cut it…. until there was hardly any hair left.  I think he got carried away with the discussion the room in general was having about Kate Middleton’s sister, Pippa.  Such are the ways of Barber shops and not a quartet in sight I noted.  The remains of my hair make me look rather extremely right wing. I’m not as bald as a Chelsea fan 🙂 but I’d be alright in the army.  I have it on good authority that it will grow back.
There was also a general failing on the part of Maplin. Very disappointing as they are usually such good value for money, and almost always have what I’m looking for in the way of geeky electronikery. On this particular occasion it was a replacement Bluetooth earpiece for the iPhone.  I wouldn’t ordinarily condone the idea of an earpiece, and they’re certainly not to be used in an office environment, (they just make you look self important and therefore stupid). However, when it comes to driving anywhere, you need a decent hands free solution, and of course you would never make an outgoing call. I’ve had a perfectly good one up until now (which I do use in my home office – where no-one can see me looking stupid until we all start using “Facetime” properly) but the “hook” that goes behind the ear has finally given up the ghost and fallen off. Hence the need for a replacement.
The rule here appears to be don’t skimp on the price, because the audio quality will show it’s cheap.  Sure enough, 15 quid doesn’t do it.

It might look great, but it sounded awful.  The badman has once again come to my rescue though, as he has the exact same model as I had previously that he never uses.  I imagine that’s because even with a headset in his ear, he wouldn’t be able to hear a damn word above the volume of the throbbing diesel engine of his off-roader, or the roar of his vespa.  Or perhaps like me he thinks they make you look like a bit of a tit.
In other news….
Daughter is going to be away for a few days, off down south until Friday.  Missing her already. She just needs to keep away from the Lions.
L’s father passed away on Friday, which while expected is still deeply sad, and I hear the G-B’s mother has also passed away, so yet more sadness there.
Talk of G-B reminded me to get accomodation organised for the AGS 5th Anniversary do in August.  It being on the bank holiday weekend, and so close to Mrs G’s birthday, I’ve had to tread carefully. The long and the short of that means that Triple B and I will not be in the same hotel as the rest of the lads because it’s fully booked. On the plus side, we’re in a much better hotel that’s centrally located and almost double the price. Well, you can’t have everything, but I have no doubt it’ll be a great time – as is always the case when we get together.
And with that, I’m away to the northern edges of the shires.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Snow stopped… Looks beautiful, if cold.

Tried to get a hair cut yesterday, and after a bit of ringing round, discovered that all the barbers within walking distance of home were closed. However, I do have it on good authority that “Foxes” is going to be open until at least lunchtime today, so with any luck I can get a trim in there.

Just going back to my Eggs Benedict notes from earlier in the week….  Daughter has found a fantastic cheat that’s going to make the whole process sooo much simpler…

Strictly speaking it’s cheating, but she’s a star.

Interesting bit of Vince Cable bashing going on.  Mr Cable is one of the few politicians I have any respect for and I’d hate to see him loose that especially as a result of trying to save the british people from Rupert-bloody-Murdoch of all people. The fact that Vince was honest with a member of the press just goes on to prove why I hold him in such high regard.

“Following comments made by Vince Cable to the Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister has decided that he will play no further part in the decision over News Corporation’s proposed takeover of BSkyB.”

“In addition, all responsibility for competition and policy issues relating to media, broadcasting, digital and telecoms sectors will be transferred immediately to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.”

“This includes full responsibility for OFCOM’s activities in these areas.”

“The Prime Minister is clear that Mr Cable’s comments were totally unacceptable and inappropriate.”

But just how did this story come to light?? Radio 4’s news last night said that it was release to the BBC’s Robert Peston by a “Whistleblower” who was concerned that the Telegraph hadn’t publish the full transcript of Mr Cable’s “private” conversation.  Who is this Whistleblower? Surely the public should be told!!  Where’s “Wikileaks” when you need them ??  Julian Asange must be smashing Peston’s door in!

Who benefits from the news that Vince Cable doesn’t want Rupert Murdoch to have a majority control over BSkyB ?? Not really anybody to be honest. I don’t want him to either!!  and it’s quite likely that neither do you, although you may not know it… or even care.   More likely that the Murdoch team feel their position infront of OFCOM has been strengthened and that OFCOM are more likely to find in their favour. For the British public, this can only be a bad thing.  How so??  Have you ever watched “Fox News” ? as owned by News Corporation as owned by Rupert Murdoch… (Not that Sky News is a whole lot better)

What got me scared about the Fox News situation is the John Ellis story from the US Election in 2000.

It’s said that “Having control of the media, is having control of the people”.  But we do have our own brain cells.  Just remember to use them for yourself, although let’s not get all David Icke 🙂  Conspiracy is everywhere they say… but they say all sorts of things.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

As we all know, today is: never a day to miss coz, Saturday is Tiswas Day. WooHoo. Summer is over with as the rain has returned just in time to drench the great British public on a bank holiday weekend, naturally. Of course the sun is out now, just to lull you into a false sense of security, but mark my words, the minute you get those shorts and sunglasses on the heavens will open. This IS England afterall. We DO have traditions you know!

The plan then.. First off get the mop chopped. Long overdue a trimming, starting to get the shaggy dog look and the grey is showing through. Don’t know why I don’t get it cut during work time, afterall it grows during work time. Back to my favourite barbers who I’ve mentioned before, so I’m sat in the converted living room with 20 other blokes in need of tidying. He talks about having a new rule where customers should bring him a gift back from their holidays instead of talking about them all the time. One of them had brought him some cigars from Cuba. As he’s of Irish decent I suggested I bring him some Guinness assuming I haven’t drunk it first but he tells me he’d rather have puchine. He’s very demanding for a barber who drinks meths.

How do you make the stuff anyway ? Well, it turns out that it’s pretty simple (obvious if you consider who made the majority of it). You scrub and slice 5lb of potatoes, boil them in 1 gallon of water, then put them in a bucket and add 3lb of sugar (dissolved in part of the gallon) along with 1 camped tablet some pectin distorting enzyme and some citric acid. Next you simply leave this mixture for 24 hours before adding yeast and yeast nutrient. Finally stir daily for three days and transfer it into a clean demijohn. Seal it with an airlock and when the fermentation process has finished you just need to distil it. With a Still – wherever you get them from 🙂 because of course you can’t distill alcohol without a rectifier’s licence (according to the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act of 1979) – oh bu**er.

Mop all groomed, Mrs G and I had a walk to town as I’ve found the long lost book token of Atlantis. Well I say I found it, actually it was Auntie S who found it in a bag at her house. Turns out it was the bag that had carried beer and wine to one of her soiree’s. Bizzare! I’d been promising myself Mr Kermode’s book ‘It’s’s only a movie’ so that worked out a treat. £9.99 in Waterstones. Couldn’t find anything else to go with it though, so I’ve saved the rest for future use. Also decided on one of this Marks & Spencer’s £10 for two meal deal things for dinner. Looks quite promising – will report back tomorrow on the results.

Lunch consisted of Cheese rolls followed by Mrs G nipping to visit S and daughter falling asleep in front of “Friday the 13th Part III in 3d”. Youths have very strange ideas about what to see and when. But then of course they have some much choice now – something we never had back in the day. We were lucky if we could get a lift to a cinema that was showing something that hadn’t been on for two years in the first place. She’s very cute when seen dozing with 3d specs on. Bless her.

My thoughts have turned to holidays and where to go. Mrs G would be perfectly content to just go to somewhere on the Med’ again, but I want something a bit more adventurous and have been considering Cuba. I guess the encounter with the cigars in the barber’s reminded me of the fact so I’m off to do a little research into that, and see what’s about. Of course it’s a long old flight, but got to be more interesting than Europe (again) and of course is not particularly expensive either. On top of this, my geography of Cuba is non-existent, so I wouldn’t have a clue where you should or shouldn’t go. Clearly this is going to take a whole bunch of reading to figure out, but anything to keep me off the blabber of the election…. oooo…. careful…. I nearly slipped back into it there…. Far too self aware for my own good.

Final thought is horse racing. Cheltenham’s last event of the season is one evening next week and I thought I might see if any of the lads are up for a little trip up there. Nine quid a ticket is a bargain, and would be an entertaining way to spend an evening for a change.

So today is mothers day in our house. This will enable our mothers (mine and Mrs G’s) the abilty to visit our fathers mothers tomorrow. That’s complicated isn’t it ? It’s also daughters first day of training in the specials which she’s been very excited about if a little tired (having only got in from work at 11.30 last night). Incidently last night went to plan. Quiet night in with a curry from the Balti Hut (local Unlicesed Indian restaurant) delivered a mere hour after it was ordered (not bad for a Friday night. Couple of glasses of vino, the rest of come dine with me, a couple of coronation streets and the endof casualty. Slthouh at this point I went up to bed and watch part two of the Eddie Izzard Marathon Man documentary which I’m finding quite fascinating.

So here we are on Saturday morning and there’s many things to do. I really need to get a hair cut, have to pay a cheque into the bank and parents arrived for mothers day lunch at about 11.30 (although probably earlier because parent do that sort of thing).

We’ve then got to try and figure out how we are going to deal with the Aunty S situation this evening. She’s taking her kids bowling with her new fella (who’s very nice) but she hates bowling and wants us to come along aswell. On the surface this is fine, but. As you may have read, I’ve pursuaded Mrs G to go to the Cinema (a rareity in itself) and I don’t want to let her down because I love her (obv). Of course we also like to be supportive of Auntie who’s had a tough year – so what do we do? Well it seems my sister has decided she’s taking the train down from Manc’ to join us for lunch, so I’ll have to take her to the station to get home at around 8ish – which is just too late for the bowling – but just early enough for the cinema. Hey Presto – Sister’s are useful after all 😉

…..and now for something completely different…..

Baked beans on toast. That was the last breakfast I had. Well that was the last meal I had actually. The last normal meal at any rate. Must be almost a month ago now. It seems so strange that the world we used to know lives on in our memories but in physicallity it’s gone and will probably never return to what we knew just 4 short weeks ago.

…..that’s got you interested hasn’t it ?? 🙂

more about that later. So here I sit in the barbers in a queue that’s actually pretty short for a change. Often on a Saturday they’re lined up outside the front door. And it really is a front door. It’s a converted terraced house, pre war I shouldn’t wonder. You enter through the front door and wait in the front room. The hair cutting takes place in the back room, what would have been the kitchen in days gone by. It’s got the feeling that it’s been here forever although in reality I would think early/mid sixties. There’s seating for 9 in the lounge, but I’ve often been here when there’s 15 blokes waiting to get a trim. This is down to two reasons. Firstly the price. £6.40 for a haircut really is a bargain especially when you consider most women think nothing of paying 70 quid. It always seems a terrible shame to take a perfectly good blonde head of hair and spoil it by dying the roots black – never understood that ;-). Secondly, the banter. Paul how owns the place and took over from his dad Gus is a friendly churpie chappie who’s very knowledgeable on the subject of football and turns out to be a Queen fan (the group not the woman – although he’s probably a royalist too). He has an eastern European sidekick who mans chair 2 and also carries the banter just as well as Paul although you have to listen carefully to understand his accent sometimes. From here it will be the bank, the post office (mrs G needs a new passport) and then back in time for the inlaws and outlaws.

So the cheques paid in, picked up a copy of my eyesight prescription (figured I should get some new glasses, 2 pints of semi-skimmed and 2 passport application forms (because one will have mistakes made on it)

The post office has been refurbished since I last visited and very smart it looks too. This happened in July last year according to the nice lady that got the forms for me and quite frankly I don’t believe her. I’m certain I’ve been in there more recently than that, but she was adamant. Turns out they are not allowed to have passport application forms on display and you have to ask fir them. Something to do with identity theft paranoia probably.

Standing in the queue at Sainsburys with the milk, the gent in front of me who had 3 bunches of flowers, turned round and offered for me to go infront of him. We then got into a lengthy conversation (which I showed interest in to be polite) about the fact that he was buying mothers day flowers on behalf of his daughter who is travelling around the south island of new Zealand in a camper van. Her return flight from LA is on April the 4th with British Airways who ‘s strike will have finished 5 days previuosly. He’s separated from his wife, his daughters learnt to scuba dive off the great barrier reef, been bungy jumping and hammering his emergency credit card which he’ll worry about when she gets home. He’s clearly very proud of her (she’ll be a changed woman when she gets back even at 23) and he’s clearly not told enough people about it. Full of regret for not doing it himself when he was her age, but in my view if he had, he wouldn’t be stood here telling me all about how wonderful his daughter is.
I do love the diversity of the human condition.

Right then. Time to go. 3 S’s and the lunch with the mob.