Sunday, July 30, 2006

Angels...

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Summer brief...




Hello all....normal blog service will be resumed next week, what with babies, holidays and general heat malaise it's all been going tits up...ah never mind, it'll give you more chance to catch up on those summer blockbusters..

Oh by the way, who else thinks that its odd that Suri cruise (tom and katies baby) is now supposedly 100 days old and nobody has seen any sign of it yet...how weird!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Visit...

oooh hello...didn't know i was going to be here this evening, forgot that matt is away on his holiday so here i am for a quick little visit...if you hit the flickr box above the blog you will see the photographs of 3steel's new edition to the family (awww i hear you all cry) went to see mummy claire and baby emily in hospital yesterday and it was a beautiful and emotional time...I got into the reception and the lady asked me if i was a visitor or a new daddy, I welled up and realised that I was experiencing maternal instincts..I suddenly realised that this is a feeling i will be forever deprived of and toddled of upstairs to see Claire Steve and baby...what a beautiful family scene. Claire was tired and a little emotional as baby emily is still suffering jaundice and cannot come home yet. Emily looks like a little angel even more so because of the ultra violet light pack that she has on, apparently it breaks down the blood cells so the babys internal organs work more efficiently (i think). When you see Steve with the baby he looks so proud..and then the moment came when I actually got to hold her. Her little hand grabbed my thumb and i became wrapped up in a world of emotional blindness. When you hold a new born baby, nothing else in the world matters and I sat there realising that we are all now responsible for this baby growing up into a world that will remain peaceful, free from pollutants, free from racial and sexual harrassment and a world that will give everybody the right of free speech and freedom...all that from one little soul...welcome to the world emily x

Neil x

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Home is where the heart is...

Panorama on BBC1 on Sunday night was a follow-up programme to the one shown earlier in March 2006 about the national home swindle – basically the sick and elderly having to sell their homes to fund their NHS care, when they need to go into a nursing home.

The follow-up programme came about due to the high emails and letters that they received (over 5,000) about this scandal. Most of them came from relatives or friends that seen loved ones having to lie to their parents, aunts, uncles etc rather than tell them that they have sold their house to fund their care.

To think that the majority of these people worked hard all their lives, scrimped and saved to better themselves brought their own houses and then at their most vulnerable are denied the basic care needs by beaurcracy and assessments is outrageous. And lets face it when I think of my grandparents they did save if they wanted something they saved up to get it they did not go out and purchase it on a credit card and pay for it later, they made do until they could afford it. They were encouraged to save for the future, they thought that buying a house would be an investment for the future and something of value to leave the family.

The whole issue around this home swindle is the assessment that is carried out to see if a person is entitled to fully funded NHS care or whether they will have to pay the service.

There are two issues about health or social care

Services that are provided by the NHS are free at the point of delivery because NHS pays for them
Services, which are provided or arranged via social services departments or local authorities, are means tested
If care is provided via social services all or some of the cost can be passed onto the person receiving the services depending on their finances. They are charged for their care, in some cased even if they receive benefits.
If care is provided via the NHS then there should be no means test or charge

Since 1996 all health authorities have had to have eligibility criteria that specify who is eligible for fully funded NHS care and who is not (who must pay via the Social Services means test.)

Many elderly people have been placed into homes by social services think the state is paying for their care because social services are paying their care costs but the reality is they are paying towards their costs by being charged out of their income – including benefits and pensions.

In 1999 a disabled woman Pamela Couglan challenged the NHS via the court of appeal and argued that the NHS were responsible for her care. This was due to her condition and the type and level of nursing care that she required. Her local health authority challenged saying that she did not meet their criteria because she only needed general nursing and not specialist nursing. Mrs Couglan challenged the authority by saying that the NHS had wrongly transferred responsibility for health services including general nursing onto social services and that meant that people were being charged for health care which should have been paid for by the NHS.

The Court of Appeal agreed with Mrs Couglan and laid down a new test for deciding who was responsible for funding a care package in a nursing home. This was to become the `couglan test` which said that

The NHS were responsible if the persons reason for the placement in a home was primarily a health need

The local authority social services department can only be responsible for nursing care if the quality and quantity of nursing care is `merely incidental to the provision of the accommodation` The court said that social services can only be responsible for services which are of a nature which a social services can provide.

In 2001 the government introduced a new system called `free nursing care for all` however this is not the same as fully funded NHS care.

This system is a three-tier system, which involves the NHS making a small contribution towards the overall care package. It is for care that is provided by registered nurses employed in nursing homes. It does not pay for care provided by nursing assistants. The NHS bases the banding on High Medium or Low, which results in different levels of contributions.

The government pointed out that this would not replace the `couglan test` which was the one to be used for eligibility although there are concerns that in practice people are being assessed as being entitled under this system instead of the `couglan` way there they may be entitled to full funding.

The system is a mine field of who is and who is not eligible, and because of this many do not question or challenge the decisions that have been made by the powers that be.

More and more people are encouraged and helped to stay in their homes when they have high health needs and palliative care and many receive free help from the local nursing services but the NHS should also pay for the social care side of their package. They should have all parts of their care paid for them not just the district nurses.


Lisa

For more information check out the Panorama website where you will find lots of useful information and comments.

`Guide to fully funded NHS care` booklet March 2006
Age Concern www.ageconcern.org.uk
Alzheimer’s Society www.alzheimers.org.uk
Help the Aged www.helptheaged.org.uk
Royal College of Nursing www.rcn.org.uk



Monday, July 24, 2006

Sunday, July 23, 2006

"I see dead people..."

helloo my dahlings....thanks for joining me on this balmy sunday...I hope you enjoyed yesterdays storm in the UK...there was I basking in rooftop sunshine when all hell broke loose with hurricane force winds, me chasing a pine tree across the roof getting soaking wet (which was actually quite nice), the pigeons taking cover whilst thunder and lighting flashes ambushed the place for about 20 minutes. Having now cleared rooftop flooding damage it is now calm and sunny as usual!

3Steel sent me a picture of Emily through my mobile today and she's lovely, as soon as i can get a pic from 3Steels flickr site I will post it on here...he's a very happy daddy!

Just finished watching the whole of the first series of 'Ghost Whisperer', I did actually rave about this a couple of weeks back but the series is so good I really beg you to watch it, its on tonight on E4 and its only the second episode..suffice to say jennifer love hewitt runs an antique store and has a gift where she can see and talk to dead people who normally want her to do something so that they can finally cross over to the other side. It's a beautifully done series and each episode normally ends with a two tissue weepie scene, it's magnificent and scmaltzy and just presses all the right buttons...series 2 has just been commisioned in the states...yay!

Lisa is coming round for Pizza after she finishes work so I must tidy up a bit and put some more clothes on, I wouldn't like to frighten the delicate little flower!
all for now

Neil x

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Message from Rosie...

Rosie Gaines is a fantastic singer (ex- prince vocalist) and from her Myspace account she sent out a bulletin to all her friends..I want to share this message with you as I thought it was very true and very coherent...over to Rosie...

Hey guys just been sitting at my computer wanted to share a few things with you, most of you know about my daughter being in a car crash thankfully she is doing okay now, But it got me thinking about how jacked up this country of ours can be, in terms of medical bills and expenses etc, We really live in a country were you cant really afford to be not well or be involved in an accident and I put myself in that category to because I struggle.

In the uk they have the national health service were you get the best of care regardless of your financial situation okay I imagine its not perfect but at least they try, as a county were not really good at looking after our own people we seem to live somewhere were the rich get richer and the poorer poorer and we base a lot of ourselves on how successful we are how successful we appear to be or even how we look to one another, Remember God made us all in different sizes.

There should be three basic things in the world that people should receive food, shelter and medical maybe if we had these things there would be less crime and poverty in the world, the governments spend enough on war and the military so why not look after the people for a change, there should also be rent control because everybodys rent shouldnt be getting jacked up all the time from unscrupulous landlords its just another instance of greediness, just remember that the power lies with us the people and we should consciously get together as one and say enough is enough and do something about it, dont forget they work for us, maybe its time we took our own power back. We should treat each other as brother and sisters and take back our dignity.

And to everybody that gave prayers to my daughter you dont know how much that means to me I love you so much, thank you for that and your continued support of the music

One love

Rosie G



The Highlight of the TV year...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Its A Girl!

A Quick congratulations to 3Steel and family who produced a beautiful 6lb 12oz girl this morning at around 10.00 am. She will be taken into the fold and called by the name of Emily Alice ....aaahhhh...all the best from piddy's place and friends...

a box on wheels and my cooking ring in me backsack

I was lucky enough last weekend to make one of my regular trips to Newcastle. Because I am married to a Geordi I am lucky enough to go and visit this fantastic city regularly throughout the year every time I visit the north of England I drive up the A1 which is right on my doorstep and therefore very convenient. Between three and a half and four hours later I am in the fare city usually drinking beer but always having a good time. The journey north is always quite a pleasant one but as I drove this last time I became aware of the rather large and frequent problem on the road I am of course talking about bloody caravans.

I have long been known to hate loath and detest the caravan I have never been able to understand why anybody would consider spending money on one, towing one behind there car, or spending a miserable week sitting in it watching the rain come down. My philosophy has always been if god had meant us to live in caravans he would not have invented the hotel. And then another thing struck me as I was driving up the road, for the amount it actually costs to buy one and the extra petrol you going to need towing one you could have quite a few really good foreign holidays.

Why buy a caravan in the first place. It's not as if you can even pull up at the side of the road and park it where ever you like. There are rules and the rules say that you have to park in neat little rose in fields full of porta cabins, wash blocks and proper electric supplies. Then of course there are the people who actually enjoy caravanning, they are best summed up with two worlds Margaret Beckett. Yep she is president of the caravan in association and if that doesn’t some up low rent no sophistication I don’t know what does. A caravan belongs in a strange middle ground on the one hand you have proper camping with a tent and a rucksack, and on the other a hotel with bathrooms restaurants and staff.

People in caravans are too scared of proper camping and too poor to enjoy a hotel (HA HA HA...You are going to hell for that one !.....blogmaster) so they are stuck in this strange middle ground in a time warp of 1953. Then of course we come on to the damage that caravans actually do to the road, or rather everybody else on it. If ever there was a case for legislation then caravans deserve it. They should be banned from travelling during the hours of daylight and if you are going to tow one you should have to have a car capable of sustaining a decent speed. Since I started driving in 1982 I have probably sat behind thousands of traffic jams caused by people trying to pull their latest purchase with a 1973 Austin allegro. And for all I know some of them are probably still on the same journey. Come on this is the 21st century we have New Labor and vicious health and safety laws people can't fart anymore with out a license. How come no one has sorted caravans yet. There a throwback to an era that should be forgotten.

This blog was planned and written (Yes I know it’s hard to believe but its true I do think about what I write) before the edition of Top Gear was aired on Sunday. But I suppose it just goes to show that great minds all hate caravans.
Matt x

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Wax Story...

Had to share this...a friend sent it to me!

"Why WAX is Not your Friend"

All hair removal methods have tricked women with their promises of easy, painless removal - The epilady, scissors, razors, Nair and now...the wax. My night began as any other normal weeknight. Come home, fix dinner, play with the kids. I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next few hours: "Maybe I should pull the waxing kit out of the medicine cabinet." So I headed to the site of my demise: the bathroom. It was one of those "cold wax" kits. No melting a clump of hot wax, you just rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you peel them apart and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and you pull the hair right off. No muss, no fuss. How hard can it be? I mean, I'm not a genius, but I am mechanically inclined enough to figure this out. (YA THINK!?!) So I pull one of the thin strips out. Its two strips facing each other stuck together. Instead of rubbing them together, my genius kicks in so I get out the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees. ("Cold wax,"yeah...right!) I lay the strip across my thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and pull. It works! OK, so it wasn't the best feeling, but it wasn't too bad. I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me! I am She-rah, fighter of all wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire. With my next wax strip I move north. After checking on the kids, I sneak back into the bathroom, for the ultimate hair fighting championship. I drop my panties and place one foot on the toilet. Using the same procedure, I apply the one strip across the right side of my bikini line, covering the right half of my *hoo-hoo* and stretching down to the inside of my butt cheek (Yes, it was a long strip) I inhale deeply and brace myself... RRRRIIIPPP!!!! I'm blind!!! Blinded from pain!!!!....OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!! Vision returning, I notice that I've only managed to pull off half the strip. CRAP!!! Another deep breath and RRIIPP!! Everything is swirly and spotted. I think I may pass out...must stay conscious...Do I hear crashing drums??? Breathe, breathe...OK, back to normal. I want to see my trophy - a wax covered strip, the one that has caused me so much pain, with my hairy pelt sticking to it. I want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair. I hold up the strip! There's no hair on it. Where is the hair??? WHERE IS THE WAX??? Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet. I see the hair The hair that should be on the strip. I touch. I am touching wax. CRAP! I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, which is now covered in cold wax and matted hair. Then I make the next BIG mistake.. remember my foot is still propped up on the toilet? I know I need to do something. So I put my foot down. DAMN!!!!!!!! I hear the slamming of a cell door. *hoo-hoo*? Sealed shut! Butt?? Sealed shut! I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to do and think to myself "Please don't let me get the urge to poop. My head may pop off!" What can I do to melt the wax? Hot water!! Hot water melts wax!!! I'll run the hottest water I can stand into the bathtub, get in, immerse the wax-covered bits and the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it off, right??? WRONG!!!!!!! I get in the tub - the water is slightly hotter than that used to torture prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment - I sit. Now, the only thing worse than having your nether regions glued together is having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of the tub...in scalding hot water. Which, by the way, doesn't melt cold wax. So, now I'm stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cement-epoxied myself to the porcelain!! God bless the man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a phone put in the bathroom!!!!! I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and has some secret of how to get me undone. It's a very good conversation starter - "So, my butt and who-ha are glued together to the bottom of the tub!" There is a slight pause. She doesn't know any secret tricks for removal but she does try to hide her laughter from me. She wants to know exactly where the wax is located, "Are we talking cheeks or who-ha?" She's laughing out loud by now...I can hear her. I give her the rundown and she suggests I call the number on the side of the box. YEAH!!!!! Right!! I should be the joke of someone else's night. While we go through various solutions. I resort to scraping the wax off with a razor. Nothing feels better then to have your girlie goodies covered in hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in super hot water and then dry-shaving the sticky wax off!! By now the brain is not working, dignity has taken a major hike and I'm pretty sure I'm going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counseling for this event. My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving grace....the lotion they give you to remove the excess wax. What do I really have to lose at this point? I rub some on and OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!! The scream probably woke the kids and scared the dickens out of my friend. It's sooo painful, I but I really don't care. "IT WORKS!! It works!!" I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up. I successfully remove the remainder of the wax and then notice to my grief and despair....THE HAIR IS STILL THERE.......ALL OF IT!!!!!!!!!! So I recklessly shave it off. Heck, I'm numb by now. Nothing hurts. I could have amputated my own leg at this point. Next week I'm going to try hair color...... Now that's funny ......... Notttttttttt.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The rambling rose....

Lots of random ramblings but no substance…….

Well I have been given until 6pm to get this blog to Neil or suffer the consequences – I was tempted for a moment to see what the consequences were but then decided it would be easier to write a blog.

Well I picked a good week to have off the weather is fantastic and I hope you are all enjoying it – I do feel for the people that have to work and think there should be something written up that says when it hits a certain temperature its too hot to work and everyone should be allowed to go home. I know this may bring the nation to its knees but we have known for ages about climate change and the ozone layer so you would think companies would be investing in some form of cool air systems for its employees.

I don’t think for a minute that employers can be getting the most out of their staff when they sit in hot and humid conditions sweating. Lets go European and have siestas lol.

I have been invited to Arsenal again to watch the first team train on Thursday at their new stadium called Emirates – does not have the same ring as Highbury but from the prctures that I have seen it looks an amazing stadium, so I am really looking forward to it. This time I will be taking a digital camera hopefully will get better shots than I did last time!


Mercury Album of the Year Shortlist:

Arctic Monkeys -- "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not"
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan -- "Ballad Of The Broken Seas"
Editors -- "The Back Room"
Guillemots -- "Through The Windowpane"
Richard Hawley -- "Coles Corner"
Hot Chip -- "The Warning"
Muse -- "Black Holes And Revelations"
Zoe Rahman -- "Melting Pot"
Lou Rhodes -- "Beloved One"
Scritti Politti -- "White Bread, Black Beer"
Sway -- "This Is My Demo"
Thom Yorke -- "The Eraser"



Anyway my random ramblings with no substance have come to an end must try harder for next week think of something that will get people talking, and leaving comments, rub people up the wrong way ……………….mmmmmmmmm maybe I will leave that to Neil

Until next time thank you for reading and enjoy the weather I am off for a Pimms

Ciao
Lisa xxxxx

Monday, July 17, 2006

helloooooeeeee....sorry about the lack of blogs over the weekend but blog towers seemed to have been hit by heat malaise!....now i'm not one to moan about the weather, enough to say that when i got up this morning I thought I had woken up back at the Red Sea and was staring into the Saudi mountains eating my honeyed yoghurt and drinking my fresh orange juice...but i wasn't , I was waiting to go back to work for the first time in 5 months...it was weird, really busy for the half day that i worked, it seemed that all residents had been saving up every minor thing to throw at me when i came back...boy am i tired now though, hot and tired!

Lisa just took me to a wonderous land called Tesco...how things have changed...I really haven't had a good snuffle through all the aisles for a couple of years and what I found amazed me...the amount of ethnic foodstuffs that are carried now is just jaw droppingly brilliant...and when i found frozen ethnic with the saffron ice cream and frozen sheeps eyes i was stunned...how good this is, it's fanatastic that every taste bud can now be catered for within one supermarket...bring it on bigtime!...

Musically it's a bit quiet but I have had favourable reports from 3Steel and Lisa about the new Motorhead album...it's not due out till August 29th but old Captain Kidd here managed to get them a copy...'more musical' and 'it rocks' were the comments received so its a success i believe. Watch out for new Tom Petty albums and a new Edie Brickell album, which is excellent considering its her first album for 16 years!

Oh its too too hot to think anymore today...I am going to douse my testicles in a bowl full of ice and suffer the consequences...

Ciao...ouch!
Neil x



remember fuzzbox?

Friday, July 14, 2006

What's that coming over the hill...is it a monster?

The Automatic....EMO at it's best!

Well pop pickers, as predicted 'Wolfmother' have started rocking the world in a big way...i wonder who will be next in piddys hall of fame...one spectacular abscence is the 'domebadthings' who after some amazing gigs and a really good album exploded into smithereens and were never heard from ever again....that was a real shame.

I was going to talk about something really important today but i have forgotten what it was...i hate it when that happens and it does worry me that it happens a lot more frequently than it used to...first of all it was funny but now its just plain embarrassing...I can walk into the next room to say something and i get there and its completely gone...how shit is that!

I have been enjoying Matts NASA link on his blog the other day...last night i listened in to a conversation between a govenor and the chief astronaut man..its just like big brother but in space with intelligence!

You may have seen a link on the right to a thing called 'Pandora'..this is an amazing website and very addictive...the idea is that you type in the name of an artist you like and it will create a radio station using similar musical ideals as the artist you typed in...it works fantastically and will even tell you why it chose to play you a track that it does ie..that the track had the same vocal characteristics, orchestral timbre etc etc...it's bloody brilliant...nothing to download either....click on the create station button now and see what happens!

Did anyone see the 'Ghost Whisperer' the other night...it was fantastic, very emotional...jennifer love hewitt very good, the guy from 'Prison Break' guest starred and a good cry was had all around...watch this on E4 next Wednesday..i think it's the start of something good....by the way if you missed it it's being repeated on E4 on second chance sunday.

Congrats to David Walliams from 'Little Britain' who successfully swam the English Channel the other day and raised around a million for 'Sports Relief' charities.

Neil x


Thursday, July 13, 2006

moments with Matt...

As we rapidly approach the end of yet another school term millions of parents are thinking about the annual summer holiday. For many lucky families this might include a flight on a plane to some faraway exotic place.

I can picture it now screaming children, fraught parents, food dished up in little preformed cardboard containers, all in the name of enjoying two weeks away in sunnier climbs. But the joys of sitting in a small tin cigar surrounded by lots of other sweaty bodies with your knees around your ears and your bottom going numb from sitting on a horrible seat although not pleasant is not my main complaint. The real problem is the cost of it’s or rather the cost of it during the summer holidays. When the children break up at the end of July it certainly doesn’t get more difficult for a plane to stay in the air. The distance between two points does not increase just because we are in the summer holidays. The real cost of aviation fuel does not increase just because we're in the summer. Actually aviation fuel is probably the cheapest of all the fuels for engines. And whilst I’m on my high horse there might be some green eko dimwit out their starting to complain that jet engines and car engines ruin the planet with toxic gases, and yes they do but planes trains and anything else that uses an engine is now a fact of life in the 21st century and instead of just banging on about how unhealthy it is we should start looking at ways to improve their efficiency because they ain’t going away let’s face facts.

No the reason that the prices of air flights go up during the kids summer holidays is because idiot mugs like us are prepared to pay them the artificially inflated prices. Don’t get swallowed in by all the advertising Airline companies and, the travel companies are not there to give you a great time and to make you wish that everyday was your two weeks summer break, airline companies holiday companies and anybody else connected in the travel business are there to do one thing and one thing only make money from you. There a business you can’t blame them, well you can but that’s another story. My advice is be creative (sell the children into slavery and invest the money in a decent holiday and always travel business class, that last comment by the way for all our American readers who are known not to have a sense of humour was a joke) don’t go on holiday just in the summer holidays look at other times of the year. Mind you it might all change if the government gets its way and introduces the four terms school year, then those long lazy summer days will disappear quicker than John Prescott credibility and the contents of your wallet.

On a completely different subject for a moment can I recommend that everybody looks at the live feed from the Space Shuttle and the NASA space agency It's strangely hypnotic just watching the world go round below.

http://www.unitedspacealliance.com/live/nasatv.htm

Matt x

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Torch...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

For Syd....RIP

big time establishment fucking...

I did say last week that I would not write anymore about the World Cup but seeing as I live in an area with a large Italian population I just wanted to say Congratulations and thanks for the fireworks, blaring of horns and cheering that went on to the early hours of the morning – should England ever win the World Cup I promise to repeat the favour. 

The reason I have decided to write about the World Cup again is that the BBC News website had a great piece written by Sean Couglan for the BBC News Magazine about the Zinedine Zidane sending off.

The article basically was saying that France’s hero ZZ was going to end his glorious football career on a high by competing in the ultimate football showcase the World Cup Final but instead was sent off red faced for a spectacular `head butt`. The article then goes on to ask how would you leave your job on your last day in a way that won’t be forgotten.

The 10 ideas that Sean put are these:

10 things to do on the last day of your career
By Sean Coughlan
BBC News Magazine


France's football hero Zinedine Zidane ended his glorious career in spectacular style - getting a red card for headbutting an opponent in the World Cup final. How are you meant to leave the office in a way that won't be forgotten? Here are some ideas... and send us your suggestions.

1. Use your leaving speech to deliver a verbal Zidane-style headbutt. Affairs, expenses scams, inflated bonuses, wigs, how the place has gone to the dogs. Feel the room get colder than an eskimo's beer fridge as you give them your wit and wisdom.

2. Leave a challenge for your successor. When President Bush's staff took over the White House they complained that the Ws were missing from the computer keyboards (as in George W Bush) and that an office had been renamed Office of Strategerie.

3. If David Beckham can cry when he's leaving his job (as England captain) then so can I. Don't. Bad move. Nothing is going to fill an office with more horror than the prospect of Jeff from accounts showing emotion. It's not what open plan is about.

4. Leaving speech II. Talk at interminable length about your own glittering career - that time you really showed them who was boss over the faulty photocopier - and deliver rambling anecdotes about characters who left years ago. Just keep talking, it's your last day. What are they going to do? Sack you? You've listened to them for long enough. Look, I can just keep going...

5. Hand your identity dog tag to the craziest frother in the shopping centre and tell them where they can get free coffee and meet lots of new and hospitable friends.


6. The Mozambique chardonnay has all been drunk at the leaving party, they're playing the get-your-coat-on music ... and that special co-worker is just about to say a final goodbye. But it's never, ever a good idea to tell someone you've worked with for 20 years that you love them. Life isn't a Christmas special edition of The Office. It's much more cruel.

7. When you read your leaving card there's always a great big signature and a message from someone you've never heard of. Find out who they are and promise to meet them for a drink... since you're such big friends. It'll scare the hell out of them.

8. Check your e-mail in-tray for the bitchiest messages from your colleagues - you know, the ones slagging off people in earshot - and then threaten to send them out to the entire organisation. Watch your leaving present fund grow and grow.

9. Refuse to admit that you're leaving and just carry on as if nothing has happened and that you'll be there forever. This is technically known as "the Prescott".

10. That "exit" interview. This will be the first time you've come across the gleaming 20-storey office block occupied by floor upon floor of the "human resources" team. It's your big chance to tell them exactly... Are they listening? Hello?


He then asked for people to email in suggestions and what followed were some really classic ones but I have to say that the one that caught my eye was from a guy called Andy Staves in Andover who wrote the following :

When I lived and worked in America I decided to buy a handgun. It takes several days for the checks to be carried out, so I had a date to pick the gun up. I put this on my diary at work. I was asked to leave before this, and when my computer was searched, 'pick up gun' and 'meet with manager' were scheduled for the same day. I didn't have to do anything, that scared him enough (it was sheer coincidence)
Andy Staves, Andover
So the moral of this story is be careful what you note in your electronic diaries!!
I would love to write what I would do on my last day in my job but careless talk costs lives or in this case jobs so you will have to wait for that one.
Please feel free to leave your comments and of course your suggestions anonymously of course

Lisa xx

Sunday, July 09, 2006

In the name of all that is holy.....

hi everyone...you find me in a downcast mood today...I'm finding it very difficult these days to keep this blog going, we don't get comments, we don't get people joining in on the questions i ask, whats the point...i think the others are losing heart too..I don't know what to do with it really...I get a report of how many visits the blog has in a week and last week was the best week yet but when I read other blogs thay all have comments and a bit of community interaction...here we have nothing, it is an important part of my life but I'm not going to let it stress me out. I am going to request once more, I NEED MORE WRITERS!...if you feel like contributing 10 minutes of writing (really, thats all that it takes) once a week please contact me and let me know...anything goes but i do have overall editorial control.

I am allowed to take ten things to a desert island...what would they be...hmmm..

1. portable solar powered dvd player and my x files dvd box set
2. a wireless solar powered laptop with satellite internet access
3. a bottle of thierry mugler 'angel' for men
4. a bottle of remy martin
5. a copy of 'chicken soup for the soul'
6. this mortal coil ' filligree and shadow' cd
7. a poratble camping stove
8. a rubber bodysuit that converts sweat to drinking water
9. a bar of galaxy chocolate
10. a picture of lisa

what about you?....and i'd better get some fucking answers :)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Sorry...this was meant to be posted yesterday...yesterday was a day of reflection and reaction.

Enjoy an Imogen Heap video...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Phone Moan...

I have just replaced my mobile phone and it should be a painless and enjoyable experience, so how come I am left feeling as if I have just gone ten rounds with the heavyweight boxing champion of the world. It all started about two months ago I received a text message from the gentleman and I use that term lightly who sold me my current handset which has just come to its first birthday. You are eligible said the text to a free upgrade text back yes and I will organize everything for you. So I did and that’s when all the shit started to happen.

First of all Mobile phone makers seem to release new models so frequently it makes your head spin. And although brochures and all the information within are aimed at people who want to use their mobile for anything other than talking, I would like to use mine to talk to people, radical I know. Call me old fashioned but I always thought that was the main reason for having a phone. Secondly it’s only been twelve months since I last replaced my handset but every talk plan has changed so I can’t just have the same again and that pisses me off, if it ain’t broke why try to fix it comes to mind.

When you want to buy a car or a piece of a Hi Fi equipment or a camera or anything technical you can go into a shop or showroom and play with the model of your choice listen to what it sounds like, how it takes pictures etc etc. And with nearly every other products I can think of the salespeople have at least a general knowledge of the products they are trying to sell. You know it might help them sell more just a thought.

Not so the mobile phone shop oh no their staff are young teenage fashion conscious idiots who think no further than a mobile phone being a fashion accessory to dangle around your neck covered in a complimentary color to your nails and or lip gloss. Just as an experiment I are asked the young sales assistant if it would be possible to try out the mobile phone I was interested in, after all when I bought my camera I was able to try it take pictures and make sure it fitted my requirements. I think the young sales assistant thought I had just dropped from another planet
“ why do you want to try it out “ was her reply
“ to find out if it's going to do what I want “ came mine
“ Oh no we don't do that” she said
“here a picture of it in a brochure”
I swallowed hard and realized this was one battle I was never going to win. OK I said it looks nice in the picture so with the talk plan I want and the handset from the picture what sort of deal will you to keep my business. And then she uttered the immortal phrase
“ oh you’re an existing customer are you “
“yes” I said “I have been very loyal to you that’s why I thought you would give me the best deal possible to stop me spending my money with the opposition”
. “Sorry” she said “All these deals we have printed in the brochure are introductory offers for new business”
“so there for new customers only” I said with a slight smirk.
Little miss dimwit didn’t get the reference to the television advertising campaign and with a very straight face said “Yes sir there for new customers only”

I find it absolutely amazing that a company that relies on customer’s spending money should be so shortsighted to only focus on new business. Let's face it there can’t be that much new business in the mobile phone market anymore. It must be nearly at saturation point. Everybody I know has one and some people have two, who is there left to be new business. The only new business are the customers so pissed off with being treated differently to new customers that they have to go to the competition and start again to get a good deal. The whole system is about as ludicrous as George W, one brave company needs to have the foresight to sort out the situation and look after there existing customers, they would probably clean up. Because lets face it trudging around looking for the best deal is a real pain. Come on mobile phone companies get your act together. The futures bright, no it’s fucking not.
Matt x

Oliver Paine

First of two blogs today...I am writing a special blog today due to being thrilled with a musician of such quality that it has to be shared...


Oliver Paine - Fritz Kahn and The Miracles (www.oliverpaine.com)

This is one of the most important double cd sets that I have heard for a long time, why?..for one the quality of the musicianship and the production is second to none, secondly it will put shame to some of the bands and musicians that are currently signed to major labels.

So what do we have, we have a musician who is part Damien Rice, part Rufus Wainwright with Pink Floyd production values. Oliver has one of the most poignant singing voices I have heard in a long time and the album as such is so easy to listen to over and over again.

The concept of the songs is about a little boy who falls down a well and what might have happened...

The album is split into two discs, disc one features 'Playing God' and 'Rest in peace' with 'The Party of our lives' and 'Beautiful country' which are also featured on the second disc. 'Rest in Peace' is beautifully structured and was written for Olivers Father.

The main album opens with a Cabaret inspired 'Welcome', the song humourously portrays the type of bordello sing along that songwriting story tellers love to partake in, the heady smokey bar noise is successfully inspired.

'The Party of our lives' is a great 'festival' song and a perfect summer anthem, sounds of the accordion mix neatly with acoustic guitars and hand clapping galore! I dare you not to join in by the end of the song!

Delightfully we bounce through 'My Perfect Love' to encounter the first ballad of the album called 'My Girl', Oliver sounding like Jamie Cullen on a jazz tinged paeon to a lover. Olivers songwriting skills are at the forefront of this song, being able to portray a love story successfully within the space of 2.5 minutes.

What I like about this album is that it encompasses different genres through each song that you travel with. 'Snarky' is a song that lives in the era of early Simon and Garfunkel, it's lyrically and musically pleasing and flows out of the speakers with emotive poignancy. The build to the crescendo at the end is thrilling with musicians rythmically taking a war like stance. 'The Crystal Palace' perfectly paves the way forward with the vocals taking a disturbing cadence throughout the second part of the song. Beautifully strange.

'Mother' takes a bluesy stance and reverberates the room with lyrics such as "I will suck on your breasts, poison on my lips...", this is a great song with commendable keyboard work and backing vocals.

My personal favourite song is the strangely titled 'Leanan Sidhe' (a fairy name) where Oliver successfully transports you to the realms of Jaques Brel and Scott Walker. Olivers vocals on this track are just top notch and the pretty musical refrain which backs him does not deter from the majestic vocals in the least. A music box winds down to lead to 'Its not the end of the War', an anti-war song calypso style which gets its message across nicely.

'Here comes my Woman' is the track on the album which i found quite hard to deal with emotionally, it's beautiful. Its a personal thing with this track I think, you either get it or you don't...I got it and it affected me. The piano and vocals are sublime, it's very moving.

Continuing our journey through Olivers world we stop and bask in the folk blues aspect of 'Beautiful Country', the song has a beautiful chorus in a creole type style, another album highlight.

Oliver takes an anti nuke stance with 'An Atomic bomb called Danielle', but what I like about Oliver is that he gets his messages across in a lyrically sophisticated style, it's not in your face, the music is once again very emotional with a fantastic string arrangement, the song has a message...listen to it.

At this point of the album you really are wishing that it won't end but unfortunately that has to happen (unless you have the repeat button pressed!)..the album moves on with the Noel Coward stylings of 'Xangri-La', its a fantasy song that works in many different ways, if you like foot stomping this ones for you, it's an ingenious percussive device used in the refrain. Sweet!

And to the last song 'Devotion', it compliments the beginning song of the album..too many drinks, the remorseful feelings follow and the singer sings his sad song and wanders off into the night to reflect on his life.

It's an albums of extremes which works on so many different levels, and with all my years that I spent in the music business it's not very often that music excites me...this is one person who has rekindled the flame...Oliver, thank you.

Review Copyright Neil Piddock 2006.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tagine...is that a noncy word for stew?

well another day goes by in the big brother house and the entering freaks get wilder and wilder...jayne with a y is one of the biggest shit stirrers around and definitely has it in for lea..michael the new gay is prancing around trying to get his own sleeping arrangements in the bedroom sorted out without giving a shit about anybody else, and Jennie, well she's just a scouser..an accent i find slightly more irritating than the birmingham accent..she's young and stupid, what more do blokes want form a television show. Aislean has really fucked up big time and one of her 'friends' is going home on the bus tee hee.

Have been enjoying Ramsays F Word show, although I do feel that he is in danger of becoming a walking caricature of himself...great advice and great cooking though..can't wait to see the pigs slaughtered lol...the look on the kids faces will be priceless!

welll.I have just seen 'Superman Returns' ...it's magnificent, it really is...had me enthralled for 2.5hours.

A couple of gripes follow...

****SPOILERS*****

Wasn't quite sure about the plot line with Lois being an unmarried mother since Clark Kent had seen her last, and the son turning out to be supermans boy!

Thought the 'first flight' segment was nowhere near as good or romantic as the Christopher Reeve and Margot routine...really missed the 'can you read my mind?' segment.

****SPOILERS OVER****

One thing that did suprise me was the use of the original theme music...Bryan Singer obviously new he couldn't better the John Williams score.

All in all it was worth the wait and Bryan Singer has obviously loved working on every minute of this film. Kevin Spacey excellent as Lex Luther but i feel he may have been a bit underused..imo. See it as soon as it opens at the cinema...

I have no conception at the moment of what is happening in real life world..I spend the days resting, playing with Tiger Woods (not literally), reading, studying up about bee keeping and thinking of photography projects that i might do...that's all to end soon..have to go to doctors next monday and hopefully i will be returning to work on the 17th..you really can have too much time off you know...it's been interesting but it will be nice to get back to normality...spoke to the boss and he has asked me to go part time for the first couple of weeks so I can drift back to the work ethic slowly...i thought that was nice!

back to Tiger now...I hear him calling!

Neil x

PS. That has given me an idea...can you please email me at piddy77@ntlworld.com and suggest a photo that i may take...I will then post the results on the blog with whose suggestion it was...that sounds like a challenge and a bit of fun.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

She's football crazzzzzyyy....

Well its all over for another 4 years and I know from that there will be a few of you cheering the fact, no more having to listen to arm chair critics talk about how good or how bad we were. Poor old Sven he would have been a god if we had managed to win all his past misdemeanors would have been forgotten he would have been a hero. Instead he will become a scapegoat and all five and half years will be analysed and debated and torn to shreds. All those football pundits that have slated him over the years will feel that they were justified. I as you all know love football, love watching it and have enjoyed watching the World Cup and will continue to watch it despite England not being in the semi’s or the Final (cheering on France to win now!)

I have to say that most of the games have been excellent but a few have been marred by bad refereeing and bad sportsmanship – by this I mean the diving, some of the European teams have mastered this art brilliantly and have even managed to convince referees it was a foul.

10 uses for an unwanted England flag (courtesy of BBC Website)
Millions of England fans are waking up to unwanted flags on houses and cars. A few suggestions on what to do with them.
1. Use them to dry your eyes. Despite most flags being made from synthetic materials, typically woven polyester, some of them can be absorbent enough for your most lachrymose moments.
2. Continue to display your England flag with pride (part I). If anybody asks, point out England are still in the competition, Saturday was all just a bad dream, lightning never strikes so many times, it's going to be an England v Germany final. Place hands over ears and repeat "naa naa naa, I can't hear you".
3. If you're a Sun reader you could consider using the flags as stuffing for an effigy of the newly-crowned "least popular man in the Premiership" Cristiano Ronaldo. Don't burn it though as some polyester can give off pollutants.
4. Recycle it. Some polyester fibre can be recycled effectively.
5. Return them to China. They made them.
6. If you know anyone who's a dab hand with a sewing machine why not consider turning the flags into clothing and shipping them out to developing countries.
7. Bleach flag, convert into cross of St Andrew, get behind Andrew Murray. There isn't a single French, German, Portuguese or Italian player left in the men's singles at Wimbledon. So frankly, who cares about the World Cup. (Correct at time of going to press).
8. Continue to display your England flag with pride (part II). England kick off the World Lacrosse championships on 14 July. Best of all the tournament is being held in London (Ontario). Come on England.
9. Try and get a refund or exchange. The Trade Descriptions Act 1968 makes it an offence for a trader to knowingly or recklessly make misleading statements about services. Any flag trader who suggested England enjoyed a vague chance of actually winning the thing should surely feel obliged to offer you at least a France flag in exchange.
10. Save them for next time. Euro 2008 is in Switzerland and Austria. With David Beckham likely to head off to spend more time with his hair, England might really have a chance of winning. There's only 705 days to go.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/bbcworldcup

Lisa x


Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Monday blog appearing on a Sunday...who'd have thunk!

awww...you catch me on a distraught sunday evening ...I have just witnessed Marissa Coopers death in 'The OC'...she died in the arms of her one true love, Ruan Atwood...who was also suitably distraught after having rolled the car down a hillock after being pushed off the road by Marissas current nasty boyfriend Vorcek...well thats that then..a new series starts next year without any of them being still based in Orange County..lets see how that goes...'Hallelujah' by Imogen Heap played as Marissa died...it was beautiful.

I don't know whether I have mentioned my new family but here in the rooftops I now have baby pigeons..I was hoping to clear the mess up that they have left, as they are now venturing out of the nest and flapping their wings a bit...but i looked behind the flagstones and there are two new eggs..they weren't there this morning so now what do i do...I can't commit pigeon abortion, i really can't, so i will have to see what happens in the next week or so...I will keep you posted...

I am now feeling well enough to go dating again so if any of you have any eligible friends, I am looking for someone fairly conversant in most things, someone who doesn't really care what I look like :) and someone who is prepared to date a man of limited means...answers on a postcard please..

Music for the moment...I beg you to listen to the official bootleg of 'Dream Theater - Dark side of the moon'...yes a totally live recording of the Pink Floyd album which is magnificent, they also do more of Pink Floyd including 'Comfortably Numb' on disc 2...I don't know why they have done it but it's great and compliments the original very well indeed.

Lots of Ray Lamontagne adverts on telly at the moment..had forgotten about this album as it was released last year, great for listening to in a darkened room with a bottle of wine and a loved one (they are allowed to provide their own drink!)...beautiful lyrics and tunes...you know i'm nearly always right with my music so trust me on this one and buy the album :)

That'll do for now....too damn hot!
Neil x

Sunday...