How I Very Nearly Became Sir Bruce Forsyth CBE (Deceased)

Sir Bruce Forsyth

Much-loved British entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth died in August 2017. He passed away a few months after he’d undergone key-hole surgery to repair a couple of aneurysms. In case you’re hazy on aneurysms, they are bulges in an artery that could burst and kill you. I know because I had one that almost killed me. Sir Bruce … Read more

Losing Weight Wasn’t As Tough As I Thought

How losing weight could be a struggle

I’ve always been overweight. The “body mass index” seems fraudulent to me because it takes no account of the shape or build of a person’s body. But despite the prevarication, I’ve known for some time I need to drop a few pounds. Losing weight would make me more healthy, I know that. But knowing isn’t … Read more

Join the Beer Club for Real Ale (and Cheese)

Real ale and cheese

Britain’s position in northern Europe makes it natural beer, real ale and cider country. It’s all to do with the weather. Southern English vineyards like Nyetimber, Ridgeview, and Rathfinney have recently achieved spectacular success. But our climate is better suited to growing barley and hops. That’s why the UK, Belgium, Holland, Germany, and Poland brew the world’s … Read more

Stewart Lee on “Not Writing”

Stewart Lee wearing spectacles

Comedy is subjective. So is writing. I’ve just come across a 45-minute video I felt I had to share. It skirts around both subjects and comes up with some savoury little insights. The video will not please everybody. The comments below it are a testament to that. But anyone who shares my vague interest in … Read more

Separated at birth?

Separated at birth?

Separated at birth? You tell me… So, what do HM the Queen and Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards have in common? The obvious answer is money. They are both stinking rich, though one more than the other. I’ll let you work out which is which. As you’ll have gleaned from reading my About Me page, … Read more

Glastonbury on the BBC

Glastonbury Festival

It’s hard not to find mentions of Glastonbury on the BBC. Most mornings I rise to the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. This morning, sixty-nine-year-old rightwing journalist John Humphrys was at Glastonbury. But why should I be surprised? Every year the BBC turns itself into a massive PR machine for this commercial enterprise. At … Read more

Bilderberg, Blair and the New World Order?

Dollar bill sign of new world order

Here’s a conspiracy theory for all you New World Order conspiracy nuts. Type the word “Bilderberg” into Google search and see what you get. Although the Bilderberg Group is one of the world’s most reviled organisations, when I did the search, all the results on page one were supportive, informative. Or, at the most, mildly … Read more

Mick McManus vs Dr Death

Mick McManus New Cross

If you heard a barely discernible phut at around 1 am on Wednesday 22nd May 2013, it was very possibly the sound of an era ending. The death of Mick McManus, baddest bad man of British wrestling, closed a chapter in British history that encompassed Morecambe and Wise, frozen orange juice, and the Boston crab. Mick … Read more

Obama, Guantanamo, Torture

Guantanamo torture

Obama, Guantanamo, torture. Three words guaranteed to start an argument when used individually. Together, they’re like a 50-megaton nuclear warhead. On January 22, 2009 President Obama vowed to close Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp “within the year”. As of May 2013, “Gitmo” is still operational. 166 men still detained without charge or trial. Most of them have … Read more

What Does UKIP Stand For?

What does UKIP stand for?

UKIP, or the United Kingdom Independence Party as they’re known to their friends and carers, has become the hottest political topic in the United Kingdom. Well, probably just in England, but let’s not split hairs. But what does UKIP stand for? Nigel Farage is UKIP’s leader, a likeable, middle-aged, middle-class gent. Often pictured with a … Read more

Stop Racism With A Brain Pill

Stop Racism

With the European Football championships diverting attention from racism at home to racism in eastern Europe, it’s time to look again at racism. It might not be as easy to stop racism as we thought. In January 2012, a little-reported but important Scientific study found distinct links between low intelligence and racial prejudice. The research … Read more

Charles Dickens Characters

Charles Dickens characters and author

Charles Dickens‘ characters fall into two main categories: the memorable and the totally unforgettable. I can think of no other author who has created such vivid fictional characters. In no particular order: The Artful Dodger, Smike, Joe Gargery, Fagin, Scrooge. Wilkins Micawber, Sam Weller, Daniel Quilp, Mr Dick, Bill Sykes. Magwitch, Frederick Dorrit, Mr Merdle, … Read more

Top Conspiracy Theories

Twin Towers

Top conspiracy theories? How a run-of-the-mill conspiracy theory gets the “top” tag is interesting enough in itself. But what makes one conspiracy theory better than all rest? Can it be because it is true? Surely some of them must be, just according to the law of averages? Or maybe because it is totally outrageous. Along … Read more

Motivational Quotes and Positive Thinking Quotes

Have you ever searched the web for motivational quotes or positive thinking quotes? If so, you are not alone. Tens of thousands of us do it every day. It’s grown into something of an online business, as people around the world look for a single phrase or saying that will kick-start their lives. It seems … Read more

Seasick Steve and Key Lime Pie

I’ve just been watching Seasick Steve on a Sunday morning cookery programme on BBC Two television called Something For The Weekend. In it he sang a song, drank a cocktail and grated cheese into a bowl in order to make it look like he was making a key lime pie. The presenters oo-ed and aw-ed … Read more

Totally Useless

Is it me, or has there been a sudden outbreak of incompetence in the world? An epidemic of uselessness, a plague of purposelessness. Has the world ceased to function correctly? Everywhere I look, people seem incapable of, or unwilling to do their jobs. From the tele-clerk who won’t believe you are who you say you … Read more

Mobile Telephony

Man consults his mobile phone

Some people don’t like the term ‘Mobile Telephony’. Well, phooey to them, I say. It’s better than the article it is describing. One way to discern a person’s real age is to discover how they feel about mobile phones. If they regard them as an extension of themselves, as an add-on that continues everyday conversation, … Read more

East Europeans Cleaning Up

We have a Polish cleaner. There, I’ve admitted it. For a liberal, woolly-minded Old Labour person like me, that’s a big admission. Or, at least, it used to be. Now it’s perfectly normal to have ‘help around the house’, and to justify my actions I’d just say that if I didn’t employ her, she’d be … Read more

Interesting Facts About Europe (Can You Trust The Truth?)

The title ‘Interesting Facts About Europe’ is misleading, but that’s the problem with facts. One person’s truth is another’s lie. As it’s not in my nature to disappoint anyone, I kick off with 5 very Interesting Facts About Europe: 1. The World’s 14 Most Charitable Countries are in Europe. (Official Development Assistance by country as … Read more

Complaint: From Minor Moans to Principled Protests

Making a complaint

Talking about complaining, can I just say that Profile Books has just published a book called Complaint by Julian Baggini. It is claimed that this 224-page paperback is the first to be devoted to the subject. All I can say is: It’s about bloody time! Call yourself a publishing industry, making us wait 568 years … Read more

Total Cost of the Credit Crunch

cost of the credit crunch

Let’s not worry about the true cost of the credit crunch. I’m sure it’ll all come right in the end. Actually, you’ve got to feel sorry for the banks and credit card companies. They sustained us through the good times, barely taking enough profit to carpet their meagre offices and keep their executives and shareholders … Read more

Life As An Out-Of-The Loop Music Promoter (Part 1)

Slambovian Circus at Rhythm Festival 2009

I’ve been a music promoter for most of my working life. It’s basically the same as being a theatrical impresario except, instead of plays, I organise rock ‘n’ roll shows. The wife likes to think of it as being something like a professional gambler, but that’s just her. A music promoter hires a venue, finds … Read more

The Lies Start Here *(if you believe the facts)…

Piles of books in a bookshop

Although I’ve never kept a diary, as a facts-lover, the idea of a blog is strangely appealing. Thanks to the European Nuclear industry’s Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau, it is now possible for just about any living person to read what you have to say about the world. George Walker Bush. Fidel Castro. Gordon Brown. … Read more