Are we “Rip Off Britain” ??


     For sometime now, I have wanted a propelling pencil. I wanted one of the so called ‘old fashioned’ type, that you have to twist to move the lead out. I have a number of the more modern ‘clutch’ type, the ones that you click to move the lead. Whilst these have their uses, I often find that too much lead is ‘propelled’ with each click. This means that you only need to put the slightest over-pressure on the pencil and the lead will break. With the twist type, you twist out only as much lead as you need.

     I looked in the two main high street stores and a couple of specialist writing shops. The high street stores only had the clutch type, and the specialist shops had some, but they Pencilwere ridiculously overpriced. I then found one on Ebay at a very competitive price indeed. It was just what I wanted. I then realised that I would need some spare leads. Again a trip to the high street proved a waste of time. One did  not have any 0.7mm (not good Theo) and the other wanted £4.99 for a pack of 24. As this was more than the price of the pencil itself, I left empty handed. It was back to Ebay!!

     There were many sellers offering the type I wanted at various prices. I settled on one from Hong Kong who was selling the leads at £1.88 for a pack of 40 with free postage. As they the same make as I could buy in the high street, I bought them. Granted, it took about ten days to arrive, but at that price, it was too good to miss. They arrived this morning, by air-mail, well packed with a postage of $2.50HKD. A quick check with the currency calculator, showed that the postage converted to …………just over 20p !!!!

     Are we being ripped off ?????? Twenty pence postage from Hong Kong !!!! £1.88 against £4.99 !!!! I agree, there is always a risk with buying over the internet, but anyone with an unusable gift voucher for HMV, might think it’s a risk worth taking.

Will it do any good ??????


So Wikipedia is having a ‘blackout’ in protest at the SOPA/PIPA. Will it make any difference ? Well I don’t really think so. Not here in Britain anyway. Two people have mentioned it in the office this morning. One thinks it is about ‘getting rid of internet porn’ and the other person thought it was because ‘Wikipedia is having money problems’. There was a brief mention on the BBC news programme at 08:00am, but nobody seems to have much of a clue really.

Does anyone really believe, that the governments, have no control over the internet ??? I only have to offend a public figure on Twitter or post an inflamatory status on Facebook to have the Police knocking on my door. No, in my opinion (and possibly others too) the  internet content is already monitored by ‘the authorities’ all over the world.

I wish Wikipedia, and the others that are supporting opposition to this type censorship, all the best luck in the world. However, at the end of the day government, whether in the UK or the US, will not change their policies, just because they may be unpopular.

General Observations (Opinions)


     Another dismal result for England yesterday. A key qualifying game for Euro 2012, and we could only scrape a draw. Could I offer my perspective on the reason English football is so often so poor ?

     I think for part of the answer, we must look to the Premier League. I understand (not certain about this) that the percentage of non-English players in this league is at the upper side of 50% – 60%. Now, I have no issue, with foreign players in English teams, and no issue with the numbers. I think they bring a diversity to the game, that is much needed. However, this does not seem to be a two-way thing. How many English payers, play abroad ? Surprisingly very low, I believe. I think that could be a key factor here. It is often said, that the best way to learn another language is to live in that country. Maybe that is the same with football. Maybe the reason that international teams tend to be better than us, is that there are so many international players here, learning the English game. So that when they play us at international level, they know how we will play the game. English players do not have that advantage. It’s an opinion.


     And now onto Jim’ll Fix It !!! Sorry, that should be Britain’s Got Talent. Did anybody really think, that after to revelations on the web, that Ronan Parke would be allowed to win!!!!!  The thing with these ‘phone-in’ shows, is that the viewing public has no proof, that the results are genuine. Where are the number of votes for each artiste published ? Who has verified them ? Can the be challenged? Are they accurate and how many callers do not get through ? These are questions that should be answered. I thought it quite funny, when Michael McIntyre said that he had voted, then very very quickly explained that it was a joke !!

     Tonight, we have to look forward to ‘Pop Star to Opera Star’ (groan.) Maybe that should be called ‘Has Been Pop/Soul/Rock Singer Has A Stab At Singing A Classical Aria’ ????? Doesn’t quite trip of the tongue. Bt that is basically what the program is about. Is Simon ‘I never met him’ Cowell involved in this at all. Oh and by the way, much as I love Katherine Jenkins, she is not an opera singer, she is a classical singer … her words.

     I suppose the next big thing will be ‘Simon Says’, more popularly known as ‘X Factor’, or will it be ‘I’m Someone Who Wants To Be In The Limelight Again, Get Me Out Of Here’ !!!!! Oh for the days of real Saturday night entertainment.