At the risk of sounding ……


I hate Christmas!

     Now I suppose, I should justify that statement. I hate to use that tired old cliché, but I hate what Christmas has become. When I was a child, Christmas was at the end of December, and it lasted, at the most three days – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. That was it! Santa had his Grotto in the main department stores, but not before the 1st of December and most people did not put up their decorations until around the 20th December. Some of the local shops did their decorations a bit earlier, but I don’t really remember them doing much.

     Of course, there was not the mass media hype that we have now. Television did not have the power it now has, so Christmas advertising was mainly driven by what we would call small, posters. Now we have Christmas from around the beginning of October, with all the pressures that it brings. It is a similar thing with bonfire night. It used to be Mischief Night on the 4th of November, when we would go around knocking on peoples doors or pinching wood from other bonfires. Sometime, the older ones would let off ‘bangers’ and then run away. Then there was bonfire night itself. The only night when fireworks could be legally set off. Now it starts at the end of October and mixes with Halloween (I refuse to call is ‘Trick or Treat’), then goes of until the weekend after bonfire night. It’s turned into ‘bonfire weekend’.

     But I digress. This rant is a Christmas rant. this is also the time of year, when charities feel obliged to try and wring more money out of us, by mentioning ‘Christmas Spirit’. I don’t have a problem with giving to charity and regularly do so. My problem is that you get inundated with them, and you cannot give to them all. That does not include the professional charity collectors. Chuggers, they are called. They are the ones that stop you in the high street, carrying their obligatory clipboard, to sign you up to give only £2.00 a week. With their usual mantra of ‘….it can do so much….’ they attempt to make you feel as guilty as possible so as to convince you that £5.00 will do so much more!

     Now, we are in the midst of the worst austerity measures in  British history, with Local Authorities being forced to strip millions from their budgets. Yet they are still expected to spend many thousands of pounds on Christmas Illuminations and the ‘C’ lest celebrities to switch them on.

     To cap it all, when it’s all over, it will be only four months to Easter!

Bit of rant and a bit of a moan.


So it’s Fathers Day!  What does that mean. Well is supposed to compliment Mothers Day, but basically, it’s just another Americanism that seems to have embedded itself into British culture. It you want a history about it see this link. I don’t like these ‘special’ days, that just seem  to be a money spinning scam for card retails both online and offline (funny how we now call shops, “offline” and not shops.) It annoys me how advertisers try to make you feel guilty for not celebrating this and similar days. Well my father died some time back, and as good as they claim to be, I bet even Moonpig.com can’t deliver one of their personalised cards to where he has gone to.

Now for the moan. I have a portable hard drive, that until yesterday, was where I was  keeping my Classic films. I say, until yesterday, because at around 22:45 last night, I decided to move them to my main laptop hard drive. Not such a difficult job and I have an applicaman-pulling-his-hair-out-300x138tion that does just that. Only problem was, that instead of moving them, it deleted them. I spent a good hour or so, searching my hard drive for sign of the files, but alas they were gone. However, I have in my software armoury, a program that will recover files that have been deleted, if it is done quite quickly afterwards. The software is called  Recuva and is part a group of very useful free tools available from a software company called Piriform. All are free for home use, and no serious computer user should be without them. Forgive me if I am sounding like a complete Geek, but sometimes specialised tools are needed and it is useful to have them on board from the start.

Living dangerously


   Eldest finally got in touch at around 10 past 1. I’d tried texting and ringing him since about 11:30, with no answer. He sent a text to say he was catching the 05:00 bus, so I got him to call. Explained that the bus was 16:50, and only every hour so he had better not miss it, or he would miss his tea. I asked him where he had got to, and to my utter disbelief he said “The Dog & Gun” !!!! For those who are not aware, the “Dog” as it is known is one of Leeds’s bad pubs. It is an estate pub in an area of Leeds, that is not very salubrious. In fact the place was shut down for a long time after a fatal shooting some years ago. I don’t think that much has changed since. It is not the pub, more the people that use the place.

   I am doing a slow roasted shoulder of lamb  for dinner,Shoulder of lamb with roasted root vegetables (no butternut squash in sight). The meat is supposed to take 3 to 4 hours to cook so it is in now. The veg will take about 1 hour 40mins, so I need to get the timing just right. I’ll be putting the veg underneath the joint, so it all cooks together. Potatoes will go in at the same time, and it all should be done by 5:45pm, fingers crossed. A query ! Where does British Lamb come from ? As Britain stretches from the Shetland Iles to The Iles of Scilly, that joint of British lamb could have had to travel a long way, to get to the supermarket. In fact, depending on where you live, lamb imported from France could be more local than the British lamb you have bought ! Makes you think a little. I will report back on the success/failure of the dish later.


   You may notice that I have changed the colour of the text on the header of this blog. I received a message on Twitter, after posting my blog, to the effect that the colour was not very good, I quote “hard to read and uneasy on the eyes”. Fair enough. I don’t write this blog just for me to read. See how this colour goes. In case you were wondering about the connection between my blog and Twitter, I have a plug-in for Windows Live Writer, that notifies Twitter when I post. I have a few bits of traffic that way.

Yankee Doodle Dandy……


Am I missing something here ????  I heard on the local news last night about some comments like “If you’re out celebrating 4th July…..”. Forgive me if I’m mistaken, but was that not the time the British got stuffed in the ‘War of Independance’ and kicked out America ?????  Why would I celebrate that ?

On another tack. I am now on linkedIn. I don’t know what it will do, but it is ‘another string to my bow’ as the saying goes.

Done for now.