My family and other animals

Wolf PackBeing the eldest of three boys is not always fun….it can be, but not always.   Especially when your brothers get to the age where your Mum starts asking you to take them with you wherever you go.

I have to say that the age gap helped, so I wasn’t forced into that too often.   That said, I love my brothers…although back then it was mainly for their usefulness.

We were living in Leicester many moons ago – I will never forget it..the Eyres Monsell area of Saffron Lane.   It wasn’t that bad really, but the local borstal was just up the road…anyhoo I digress.

I learned real quick that my brother Kev was a tough nut, always throwing himself everywhere and just getting up and laughing when most kids would be crying…actually, now I come to think of it, Zak is just like that now.   I was babysitting once, and decided to play football in the house…of course the ball ended up bouncing up onto the wall unit and breaking something (I forget what – sorry Mum), but Kevs exploits meant that it was plausible.   I escaped with a telling off for not keeping an eye on him, instead of being grounded until…well…now I suppose.

He was pretty fearless though, but this got him into trouble from time to time.   My Mum had her friend over and they were chatting and drinking wine.   After a little while, they notice that the bottle of wine has gone from the kitchen…it was open but untouched.   Kev was found drunk and a panicked Mum had to figure out ways to sober up a small child…it was made slightly worse, if I recall, by the fact that he had used a straw…

Younger siblings always tend to copy their elder siblings though, and I caught him stealing a cigarette from me once, so I forced him to chain smoke until he was physically sick.   I am actually quite proud of that as (to my knowledge) he has never smoked since.

My brothers have both always had their heads screwed on though, certainly more so than me.   They both excelled at whatever sport they turned their hand to and Paul in particular puts us all to shame with his dedication to academia.     Through it all, they have managed to be leaders, not followers and noone ever has a bad word to say about them.

Kev is married now and my nephew is 1 and Paul is engaged and about to enter into that most heinous of crimes….living in sin.

It’s strange to say, but we are a very close family…we just don’t feel the need to be in constant contact that most people seem to think being close requires.

My Mum and Dad have always been very supportive of me and my foibles….I was the one that got into all the trouble…smoking, drinking, wreaking havoc with my friends.   My Mum is incredibly forthright and will let you know if she isn’t happy with something…my Dad is a little more subtle, and he has always been the calming influence on my life I suppose.   I definitely needed it from time to time.

I remember my Dad and I walking across the base, on the way to the bowling alley.   The base was an RAF Officer training camp, so there were a lot of young kids that had rank.   We were in street clothes (civvies) as Dad wasn’t at work, and we walked past this snot nosed Officer Cadet.   My Dad casually said hello to him as we walked past (you never salute unless you are wearing the uniform yourself).   The cadet stopped and started having a go at my Dad.. “You will salute an officer and show some respect”…or something similar.   My Dad, simply leaned in and then really quietly, but with no small amount of contempt said “When in uniform, I salute your uniform and respect it and the rank it gives you, I do not however, have to respect the fucking idiot wearing it”.   Then he turned, put his arm around me and we went bowling for the night….legend.

My Mum and Dad are also responsible for my knowledge of drinking games, my sense of fun, sense of humour and my morality.

Thanks Mum and Dad


P1030527.JPGOK, put the paramedics on alert….for soon….I shall run.

I have visions of my athletic prowess from my youth springing to the fore and running a record time around Frankfurt, passing professionals with consumate ease and mocking them mercilessly….. Visions that are definitely suggesting that I am not entirely in my right mind.   There may well be a number of small quakes measuring well into the Richter scale in Frankfurt shortly……followed by the headline “Escaped Panda found shaved and dead” in the following mornings paper.

That said, I have decided to give up smoking, go on a diet and start exercising.   Oh crap, now I have put it out there, I will have to do it for fear of humiliation.   It is a bit like not telling anyone you have your driving test, so you don’t risk the ignominy of telling everyone you failed.   What people don’t know can’t hurt you I suppose.

I am a little unprepared for it though..if there is some type of festival thing going on (there always seems to be in Frankfurt), everyone will assume I am in an Uncle Fester costume and will be waiting for Morticia or Cousin It to be following somewhere behind.

I don’t mind though, I have been moaning about my extra poundage for a looong time now and done precisely…nothing about it.

Now is the time.   Never in the field of human conflict has so much been drunk by so few and added so many pounds….. or something.

I have been to the Doctors and got myself a prescription for a miracle stop smoking drug…although apparently my health insurance won’t cover it and it will cost me â??150 8-O That said, I spend that on cigarettes every 15-20 days……

As a smoker of many years, it is difficult to analyse it, but if you have to produce the money that you will spend on cigarettes in one seems impossible.   But you can produce the money every day for the month with relative ease.   I don’t fully get that, but I will try it in the next few days and see how it goes.   I have used this wonder drug before and gave up smoking for 4 and a half years, so I am pretty confident it will work again….hopefully for longer than last time too.

So there you have it, a statement of intent.   Intent to stop the procrastination and actually do something for once.   Women will want me and men will want to be me, I will be the perfect physical specimin and probably compete in the next olympic games.

Now, I am just off to MacDonalds to bulk up…that’s how you do it right?


SP comedy gold..

A typical American Marine?So, whilst SPs decline from the dizzy heights of casanovadom continues at a rapid rate of knots….he does still have his moments.

This report was submitted to LW headquarters by our roving field reporter GF.

The location:   Daves living room (AKA the Anglo Irish)
Those present:   SP, GF and a random American Marine

Details are sketchy as to how the introduction came to pass, but before I start, let me give you a little back story of the inimitable SP.

SP is a former member of the British Paratroopers, largely considered to be a Special Forces Unit in their own right, even though they are regular army.   Now, over various “visits” to the worlds hotbed of arsehole activity, SP has encountered many American Marines, and has formed his opinion based on these many encounters.   Now, in an effort to avoid the inevitable death threats…I need to point out that I am sure that not all American Marines conform to the stereotype that SP places on them…that said, he has his experiences.   I won’t drink fizzy water for example….case closed really.

So, back to the introduction…

The SP is introduced to a random American that looks like he overdosed on steroids…referred to as your typical person of this type.   On discovery of the random Americans profession, SP makes the following statement:

“Oh are you?   A Marine?   All Marines are gay”

Cue rapid ascent to the heavens and cartoon’esque steam coming out of the guys ears.   He starts to rise from his seat in a, dare I say it, slightly aggressive manner.

At this point our roving reporter GF decides to intervene…

“hahahahaha – He is only joking around…. hahahahahah – Just kidding man”

SP, without batting an eyelid, responds thusly.. “No I’m not, Marines are all homos…admit it, you suck cock” and then walks away.

Genius I tellsya.

When questioned about this almost pavlovian response by me later… I discovered part of the reason for this *ahem* opinion of the American Marine.   SP tells of being on tour, I think in Kosovo (he will no doubt correct me) and meeting up with a number of American forces.

During one of these meetings, an interesting discovery was made.   The American forces were all presented with a small credit card sized information card that said the following:

DO NOT drink with the British
DO NOT gamble with the British
DO NOT fight with the British

You will lose!

I think that adequatly sums it up.   SP is actually trying to find me one of these cards as, let’s face it, they sound like the stuff of urban legend.

A special shout out to our newest field reporter GF….nice start sir :)

Normal failure based service will be resumed shortly on “The Life and Times of a Failed Casanova”


Behind the scenes

Eddie Izzard is one of my favourite comedians and I was trying to think of a way to shoehorn in one of his best routines, so I thought it through and this routine makes you think of what else is going on that you don’t see in a movie…well, it makes me think anyway.

Some things that you probably won’t see in any of the sequels or behind the scene DVD extras:

The Matrix:

During the film, they make a big deal about what the mind experiences, the body makes real.   O….K…… with you so far.   blood out of the mouth in the Matrix – blood out of your mouth in the “real world”….I get it.   What if you were to eat a stupidly hot curry though in the matrix?   They never show it, but are those chairs they all sit in actually comodes?…and could they put them in a refrigerated area?

What about sex….you remember the woman in the red dress and that the little guy was trying to pimp her out.   That would be embarrassing for the operator back in the real world surely?   It would be very difficult to look Neo in the ejaculatory glow and all.. when he just blew a wad in your hair…


We saw him get drunk in one of the early movies when he was bad Superman for all of 5 minutes…we never saw him drunk dialling Lois…or trying to extricate himself from the ridiculous pants on the outside ensemble.   They could have had fun with an old joke though don’t you think?:

A guy is in a bar at the top of a skyscraper and gets talking to the guy next to him

Guy in bar:   You know, there are some amazing thermal currents around this building
Guy next to him:   Really?   What is so good about that?
GIB:   Well, you can actually step outside of the window, float around for a while and come back in
GNTH:   No way, that’s bullshit
GIB:   I’m serious, want me to show you?
GNTH:   This I gotta see…..go for it

So the GIB walks over to the window and steps out.   Sure enough, he just floats around for about a minutes and gently floats back into the bar.

GNTH:   Holy shit, I gotta try this

GNTH walks over to the window and steps out…..where he falls 48 floors to the ground and dies.

Barman:   Superman…you can be such a wanker when you are drunk, you know that?

I like my superheroes to have a dark side…


You never see Bruce Wayne having to stay at work late and leave Gotham to deal with the criminals itself due to an anti-trust lawsuit or some other stressful project that he has to deal with.   Or even having to call a technician to the batcave because the computers got a virus and bluescreened.

What about getting the various bat vehicles through their MOT and then insisting to the insurance company that a batcave is more secure than a garage and he should get an extra discount.   Speaking of insurance, he never stops to exchange details during the inevitable trail of crashed cars he leaves behind.

Anyone got any others?



A short while ago, I visited Zurich, and was very surprised to realise that (at the time of writing) the smoking ban hasn’t been adopted. Not only that, they positively embrace it.

See, smokers aren’t 2nd class citizens after all, just ask the people at Zurich Airport.smoking lounge

It’s quite rare that we are welcome anywhere really, but it’s true.   What’s better though is that the rooms are air conditioned, designer furniture strewn comfort zones.   The non-smokers are stuck on plastic school chairs in a corridor with no air-con.   This place is genius.

Smoking Lounge at the Zurich Airport

Sure, we have to ignore the same warnings that we get on all the packs…when the call came to board the flight, I was that comfortable, I didn’t want to leave.

I had strolled across the uncomfortably hot non-smoking area to purchase an ice cold beverage and a piece of literature to peruse.   Sauntered jauntily back to the comfort zone that is the smokers lounge to relax and await my boarding call.   Trouble was, I was that relaxed and comfortable, not only did I smoke half a pack in just over an hour…I almost missed my freakin’ flight.

Totally worth it though.

Then…a week or two back…the German government cave to pressure from small bar owners and go partway to revoking the smoking ban.   Basically, any bar that is less than 75 meters squared and doesn’t serve any food that doesn’t get served in a packet, can smoke again….which includes my living room!!

Thankyou German government, I can now calm myself properly during those stressful Liverpool matches and not have to walk out for a calming smoke..just as a goal is scored.

I love Germany…..and Zurich airport.

Gout burger?

On my most recent “White Van Man Excursion” I was a little early again for my train, but was hungry and thirsty and decided to stop at the Eurotunnel terminal for a bite to eat.   Whilst outside sucking down a “Fatal Friend” I noticed this sign.

Now, ok, it is easy to laugh at a foreign language sign…Germany has many of them, so why shouldn’t France?   The big issue I have with this is that the entire terminal is decked out in both English and French….you would think they would have at least asked someone…….

That said, it is fair to say that I wasn’t bloody hungry anymore – I mean seriously, a Gout burger…with Maxi Gout and Mini Prix….my Prix is mini enough thanks very much…I don’t need a French fast food outlet reminding me of the fact, especially when I am eating.   Not only that, but they are using crousti chicken.   That just can’t be sanitary.

What next?   A salmonella sausage sandwich?   Botulism Bacon Burger?   Scampi with added scurvy?   A Fillet’ o’Fish?   Ok so that last one is real, but it is still a valid point…

The sign to the left is just as bad if you are a German…Oma means Grandmother in German, so Grandma Fred?   That must be a special kind of family unit they have going on there for crying out loud.   Hi, meet Grandma Fred and Grandad Denise, Uncle Catherine is coming soon and my brother Sally will be downstairs in a minute 8-O

I probably have to stop being awake for so long before undertaking these journeys.

Once again though, customs were too scared to unpack my overfilled van and they let me whoosh straight through, same on the way back….even though they literally stopped every car and caravan in front of me.   I never should have turned down that family of 27 refugees….damnit.

I only fell asleep twice this time though and both times I managed to pull over before it happened….which is a minor improvement on the last journey where I slept around 4 times…whilst doing over 140 Kph on the motorway.   Sometimes my caffiene addicition really doesn’t help, if I get tired and decide to get a coffee for that necessary “jolt” that most people seem to get…my body thinks it is bedtime and tries to bloody sleep more.   If I drink loads of water (which actually keeps me awake bizarrely), I have to stop every 10km for a toilet break.

I don’t think I am cut out for this white van man thing after all… thats me done.   I have hung up the road rage and coveralls and will never drive one again…until someone bloody asks me and I agree before I have managed to switch off my mouths autogabble feature.


Tales of the unexpected…..muahahahah

P1000950Ok, I will admit that I got the idea for this post from another blog….I don’t remember the blog, just that they did a post about ouija boards when they were a kid.

This reminded me about the time at school when our R.E. Teacher (Religious Eductation) decided to cave to the constant questioning from us all about the beyond and ghosts etc.   Let’s face it, there probably aren’t that many kids of 12 or 13 that are genuinely interested in religion….well, there certainly wasn’t at our school.   So, in honour of halloween, she caved and agreed to setup a Ouija board to dispel the myth once and for all.   In return, we all faithfully promised to listen and pay attention to the rest of the classes she would deliver.

I am sure, with hindsight, she realises that it wasn’t a great idea and could never really end well.   If I recall though, she was quite new to teaching and keen to impress.   I think that was her biggest downfall.   Taking advantage of her willingness to go the extra mile, we persuaded her to allow us to dress the room up for the event…including the table that would ultimately be used for the demonstration…..of nothing according to her.

So the windows were duly blacked out, various halloween type ornaments adorned the doors/windows and hung off every available surface and, crucially, a large black curtain covered the table with stars and moons crudely marked upon it.   The Ouija board was duly placed on top and I made sure that the object to be used for “channelling the spirits” was predominantly metal.     At lunch, I snuck in to the room and placed a seriously powerful magnet under the table that I stole from the Science department.   A quick test revealed that I could move the object around with relative ease and almost no noise from under the table.   10 minutes later with an incredibly dull light and some chalk, I had pretty successfully recreated the Ouija board on the underneath of the table.

The plan was hatched and was easy to carry out….I stayed under the table where I couldn’t be seen and when the teacher called out my name…one of my friends responded for me.   The room was dark and eery, so noone was really sure anyway.

Then came the time of the Ouija board….a few people put their hands on the object and I let them do all the build up and everything…and did nothing.   So they tried again…nothing.   I think I let them try a few times and as soon as the teacher started to talk about how she was right etc, I chose that moment to move the object.   I couldn’t have planned it better though, I had waited until noone had their hands on it.

After the screaming subsided (mainly the girls and the teacher, but a couple of lads too), some of my mates started asking questions about who the ghost was etc..   I duly answered, very slowly of course.

Everyone freaked out and in the ensuing panic, when the teacher was turning the lights on and tearing down the window blackout stuff…..and most of the class were legging it outside…I calmly removed the magnet and ran out with the rest of the class.

I honestly don’t know if the teacher got in trouble for it, certainly she was still teaching long after I left.   I also can’t be sure how many people were scarred for life by the experience.   All I know is that my mates and I had a bloody great laugh, got out of a seriously boring lesson early and scared the bejesus out of loads of or classmates.

Good times.   Irresponsible and mentally disturbing times….but good nevertheless.

What nefarious schemes have you lot cooked up?

Dog or Hydrant? (feat. SP fails again)

I don’t remember where I heard that phrase, but it is true don’t you think….sometimes you are the dog, other times you are the hydrant.

I was making myself the hydrant until recently and that has all changed now – So all of the passworded posts have gone and I am on the hunt for material….which will put anyone that knows me on alert….Especially SP.

I have to tell you about his most recent spectacular fail.

We were out at the weekend, when a Hen party turned up at the bar…fairly early in the night.   Now, there is a tradition out here, that Hen Parties (and some Stag parties) get the bride to be dressed up in some bizarre clothing and normally a T-Shirt with embarassing photos or slogans on them.   It is also traditional that the bride to be (with the assistance of the hundreds of other women with them) sells various bits and bobs to fund the evenings festivities.

Things they sell range from sweets through condoms, shots and even kisses.   Now most groups of this type, storm up…spend 5-10 minutes trying to persuade your group to part with cash for various things and when they either get your cash, or realise it ain’t happening, they disappear into the night.

This particular group were fairly unique, insofar as they seemed to genuinely be having a good time and decided to stick around for a laugh, well after they realised we weren’t giving them any cash.   Invariably, most of them were swarming around SP like ants on a picnic table, so G and I leaned back and watched the action unfold.   A pathetic attempt to get SP to remove his shirt by spilling a drink on him later and one of the party starts whispering to SP and then disappears.   5 minutes later, she is back and glaring at SP from the other side of the bar.   Eventually they all leave, run back in a minute later to ask if we are staying all night and then run off again.

It turns out that this particular lovely lady was inviting SP to meet her in the toilets (not the most romantic place, but still)….he didn’t show and she got annoyed.

Later, they came back and he didn’t even notice….

SP – FAIL – Spectacular Fail some might say (yes, the capitalisation is required).

I think the funniest thing for me is, by the end of the night, SP was saying things like “There has to be some women in here somewhere”…. I don’t know if he realises what a comic genius he is sometimes.

Also, a Stag party went past on this…

Genius, it’s a fully functioning bar that everyone sat at pedals and moves along – I want one :)