Getting wood with Graham Norton

Hoorah!

The wood we ordered arrived yesterday afternoon – and not a day too soon.

We had enough wood left for one night’s fire and then it would have been the Calor gas heater which isn’t too effective – especially with some one degree nights forecast.

You buy wood here in cordes and steres. Apparently a stere is a cubic metre of wood, and there are three steres to the corde. We ordered two cordes which now looks like this:

P1010365

Two hours earlier it was just a heap on the drive…

Firewood here is almost always oak or beech, although chestnut is also available. Personally, I couldn’t give a flying fuck if we got a lorry load of teak if it was cold and we needed a fire!

Whilst sitting waiting for the wood man I saw a trailer for the Graham Norton Show.

I have nothing whatsoever against anyone of any sexual orientation or gender bent – as long as nobody gets forced into anything they don’t want to do or to which they are mentally incapable of consenting – but Graham Norton really pisses me off. I know a few gay people very well and they don’t camp around or bitch like Norton, so why do some high profile gays seem unable to appear without exhibiting this stereotypical behaviour?

What Norton seems to be is a grotesque caricature – not a million miles away from the camp, bitchy, mincing homosexuals that Kenneth Williams and Hugh Paddick were portraying as Julian and Sandy in ‘Round the Horne’ in the 1960s.

The big difference is that Julian and Sandy were far more amusing and infinitely more subtle.

Does Norton piss gays off?

I’d like to know.

Missing musings with Merlot

Seeing as we’re not exactly rushed off our feet here, getting up is a leisurely and fairly late affair.

The alarm usually goes off at 9.30 during the week and the first job is to put the coffee machine on so that a 4-mug pot of Colombian can be consumed as soon as possible.

Then it’s usually coffee and cigarettes with BBC1 ‘Breakfast’ on, so we can get the headlines in the UK and in the region we left.

Yes, I know exactly what a puddle of utter arse gravy ‘Breakfast’ is, but this morning it surpassed itself.

Between about 9.40 and 10.10 (French time, so knock an hour off if you’re in the UK – and if you’re in the US do whatever the fuck you want as you normally do anyway) there were three what can only be called advertising slots for:

  • A ‘Riverdance’ in Beijing DVD plugged by its principal lead dancer – whose name escapes me
  • Some dodgy singer warbling on about Aretha Franklin in a song from her new album – whose name escapes me
  • Some dodgy singer touring the UK singing Hollywood songs – whose name escapes me

Now, whilst I can see what the guests and the various organisations and people behind them get from these plugs on the show, what does the BBC get?

I assume these people get paid to appear, in which case it’s fucking doubles all round for them, isn’t it?

However, even if they do it for free then they at least get the plugs.

Do they pay the BBC for the publicity? I doubt it – unless it’s brown paper bag time involving BBC execs and artistes’ agents – but if they do pay a fee then that’s advertising revenue being generated and is really no different to advertising the VW Polo or Andrex toilet paper, in principle.

However, whether the BBC gets paid or not, it’s still advertising and if it’s for free, then why not fucking charge for it and defray some of the costs and reduce the licence?

If it isn’t for free then why not advertise cars, nappies, funeral plans or baked beans?

Whether it’s a new book, play, TV series, film, tour, album or show the BBC seems to bend over backwards to publicise it and that, as far as I’m concerned, is advertising.

Or am I missing something here?

Given that the majority of the budget of Universities and other higher education bodies consists of staffing costs, why not drastically reduce the length of vacations and thus make 3 year courses last only 2 years?

At a single stroke, tuition fees for a degree course would then be reduced by a third, making any future hikes in tuition fees unnecessary in the immediate future and more affordable in the long term.

Or am I missing something here?

Here’s something I didn’t miss.

Fancy a little jaunt over to France? There’s a music festival on in Le Mans next month and of particular interest is one of the acts towards the bottom of the bill:

P1010354 (2)

(Written with the aid of a bottle of Merlot whilst waiting for some real bacon to grill…)

The French paper chase – update – and Tiny Tom Cruise

I am now the proud owner of a…wait for it…

Certificat d’Importation d’un vehicule terrestre a moteur en provenance  de la commaunite Europeenne par une personne non identifiee a la TVA

Armed with this document and a few others I can now go to the prefecture at Laval of the departement in which we live – Mayenne – and get the car re-registered.

After two trips to Chateau Gontier in three days I’ll leave the final stage for next week.

Godammit – it is almost the weekend…

OK…the One Show…I had the misfortune to catch a few minutes of this evening’s edition.

There was a segment about how some people have been conned out of thousands of pounds by romance scammers via internet dating agencies. Personally, I wouldn’t give money to anyone I hadn’t at least met face to face, but some people obviously have more money than sense.

Then the One Show cuts to a red carpet interview with Tom Cruise – the diminuitive Scientologist film star – and the male One Show host’s (his bastarding name escapes me) first question to the Hollywood dwarf?

What do you think of online dating?

Now, whilst I realise that the hosts of the One Show might not be investigative journalists with searching and incisive questions springing naturally to their lips, and that the One Show itself isn’t exactly known for probing inquiries into matters of pressing public concern, what a stupid fucking cunting question.

Thank fuck I don’t have to pay a TV licence anymore, because if I did I’d be contacting the BBC as to why they were wasting the licence fee revenue employing cunts like the One Show twat and paying him good money (and lots of it) to ask stupid fucking questions.

It’s just one small step from ‘What’s your favourite colour, Tommo?’ – in fact, that might even be a more relevant question under the circumstances, as it’s probably something upon which Cruise has an opinion, but his experience of online dating must be rather limited, to say the least. Or so I would imagine.

And whilst I’m in rant mode:

What the fucking fuck are the Hairy Fucking Bikers all about?

Why are they being paid good money to fart around the country acting like the arsing Chuckle Brothers with a motherfucking cook book? All I can see are two mouthy cunts who are about as funny as a sack of drowned puppies and two more ‘TV chefs’ who ought to thank their lucky stars that they’ve got their talentless paws on the seemingly limitless supply of licence fee dosh provided by the gullible British public and chucked about like confetti by the BBC.

What’s more, BBC execs are getting even more money than these motherfuckers are getting paid for putting them on the screen in the first place.

It’s high time the BBC gravy train was derailed – I favour strapping the entire fucking cast of ‘My Family’ to the points, but that’s probably just me…

Miners helmets and beaves

anvil

According to Stephen Clarke – author of the ‘Merde’ series – in his latest book ‘1000 Years of Annoying the French’, the wife of the 20th century UK PM Harold Macmillan was a tad eccentric and enjoyed gardening at night wearing a miner’s helmet.

Too late for a ‘heads up’, but this short post gives me an opportunity to rave about a very rare thing – a good TV program.

If you can catch it in BBC iPlayer or something similar, then I can heartily recommend ‘Anvil – the Story of Anvil’ in the BBC4 ‘Storyville’ series.

It told the story of 1980s Canadian hair metal band Anvil’s recent attempts to make a comeback and eclipsed the classic ‘Spinal Tap’ film.

I don’t doubt for a moment that some of it may have been staged, but much of it wasn’t, I’m positive, and had me in stitches when Lips – the lead guitarist and vocalist – was describing the meal rota at the cooked meals suppliers he drives for and almost in tears when the band walked out to a packed house in a Japanese venue after expecting no-one to be there.

Then there was the drummer, Rob Reiner, who, when asked the reason for their current lack of success, said something the lines of ‘I can say it in one word…two words…three words what’s wrong…our management’s no fuckin’ good.’

There was also the inevitable fight between long term members Rob and Lips with Lips sacking Rob and then a tearful making up.

A further, rather surreal delight was Rob’s artwork. Several canvases of street scenes totally empty of people – ‘I like buildings’ – not to mention his painting of a giant sculpture of an anvil in a park which dwarfed the people near it.

Apart from all that, any band who writes lyrics that include the word ‘beaves’ has to be paid some attention…

Anyway, just try and see it – definitely my favourite TV program of the year so far.

Next, please!

When we were back in the UK was week, one of the questions we were most frequently asked was how were we coping with the French language.

Our standard reply was that in this part of France, at least, very few people either didn’t speak English or felt inclined not to, so we had to do our best to communicate totally in French. This was getting easier as we were amassing a useful vocabulary and were beginning to understand the spoken language better.

Indeed, why should the French speak English? It’s their country, after all, and it’s up to us to adapt and not them. So, we shall struggle on – no doubt making many mistakes, faux-pas and gaffes but learning all the time and possibly amusing a few of the natives into the bargain.

I’m not sufficiently fluent yet – and I strongly doubt I ever will be – to tell if someone is using French correctly or to be aware of change in general use of the language, but after nearly 60 years of speaking English I think I’m better qualified to notice these things in my own language.

So, step forward the BBC.

Long cited as one of the bastions of the Queen’s English, the Corporation seems to have embarked on a mini-Crusade to change not just a very basic and common word, but also a fundamental concept that guides each and every one of us through life.

The word is ‘next’ and the concept is sequence.

This culminated last night in a rant at the television between the penultimate and the ultimate episodes of the latest series of ‘Doctor Who,.

Having just sat through episode 12, the overpaid continuity announcer then informed me that “next on BBC3’ was a film about dragons called ‘Reign of Fire’, but first the last episode of ‘Doctor Who’.

What the fucking fuck?

That’s like me saying that after today (Saturday) the next day coming up is Monday, but first we’ve got Sunday coming up.

Sitting here, in the kitchen, I can see a row of mugs on a shelf. looking from the left I can first see a stripy mug and then a blue one and lastly a yellow one. That’s a basic sequence and describes exactly what I can see. I haven’t got a stripy mug and next a yellow one but, oh look, there’s a fucking blue mug before the yellow one.

The sequence is stripy, blue, yellow.

End of.

Just as last night’s schedule was ‘Doctor Who Episode 12’, ‘Doctor Who Episode 13’, ‘Reign of Fire’.

What the blistering cunting fuck was the problem with saying something like, “Next on BBC 3 is the last episode of ‘Doctor Who’ and after that a film about dragons called ‘Reign of Fire’”? It’s informative, correct and logical.

Similarly, I’m getting mightily pissed off with the word ‘best’ used to mean ‘favourite’. Although I don’t listen to BBC Radio 5 anymore, early on a Monday morning during his book phone-in when Dotun Adebayo used to ask listeners to ring in and tell him what ‘my best book’ was, it used to drive me fucking mental.

Dotun, you drivelling shithead, it’s ‘favourite book’. ‘Best’ implies that it’s either the smartest one on the shelf or it’s the writer’s master work.

I realise that language evolves, but this doesn’t have to mean that it loses precision or meaning. As our chief means of communication, language is precious, particularly the spoken word, which is how we all interact on a daily basis. Fuck with this and you could cause all sorts of problems. I mean, you can argue all fucking night about what the terms ‘democracy’ or ‘freedom’ mean, but surely ‘next’ or ‘best’ are so clear cut that we can all use them without the need to puzzle over them first.

Anyway, fuck the BBC and their publicly-funded shit, I’m going to post this to my blog.

Next I’m going to go to bed.

But first I’m going to sit outside with coffee and a smoke, have lunch, play guitar, sink a few beers, have dinner, watch a DVD and read for a while before turning out the light… 

Hard stools and ‘Sex in the City’

I’ve made a New Year resolution!

From now on I’m going to adopt a more mature attitude when blogging, so…

Let’s talk about POO!

In between the usual Christmas dross on TV, ad breaks seemed to feature a lot of adverts for patent medicines – it was as if the entire nation was suffering from colds, flu, indigestion, trapped wind and hard stools.

Now, I don’t know about you, but at Christmas I tend to eat a lot more meat, lots of things like chocolates and nuts that I’m maybe not used to in such quantity, I drink more alcohol and consume far less roughage and water than usual.

The result – and let’s not be coy here – is that I go from being a ‘one good dump a day’ chap to maybe three times a day and with products of varying quality. Sometimes it’s too easy and at others a tad more difficult. Sometimes I get the shits and sometimes it’s sheep droppings time.

Those ‘difficult’ sheep shit times are hard stool moments.

I really couldn’t give a shit (see what I did there?) though, as I know that a return to a normal diet will restore me to ‘one good dump a day’ normality.

But the peddlars of patent medicines are wise to this. They know that people are going to be having a difficult time shitting at Christmas, so they put ads like this on:

It’s ‘Sex in the City’ with bowel movement gossip:

“When I went to the loo…bowel ‘stuff’…it was hard and really uncomfortable again…”

All this said with a look of acute embarrassment…

…and hushed tones that indicate some dreadful sexual and moral transgression – meaningless sex with disabled Great Danes whilst burning polar bears, possibly? – rather than a bit of a strain whilst on the cludge after three days of over-indulgence.

Her blond friend – I’m guessing she’s the Kim Cattrall figure in this low-rent production – says “You need…” which always makes me want to shout out, “A good shit!“, which I sometimes do when I’m feeling easily amused, which I often am.

But then ‘Kim’ whips out the DulcoEase which:

works by softening your stools. Each capsule contains 100mg docusate sodium. This acts to increase the amount of water and salts absorbed by your stool by decreasing your stool’s surface tension – making it softer and more comfortable to go to the loo.

However, on a more serious note, how the fuck is Ms ‘Coy’ going to be able to cope with finding blood in her stools? That’s really going to freak her out and what could be just a minor nick in the rectum, but could be a sign that something more serious is going on – like bowel cancer, all gets ignored.

Well, just maybe this advert could help if it makes a group of people chat about their shitting problems over lunch. Maybe one of them will come out with something that inspires one of her friends to suggest she sees a doctor.

But is all this crap (see what I did there?) really likely to happen?

Do people really discuss their bowel movements over lunch?

I very much doubt it.

Question Time with Griffin – a wasted opportunity

montypythonhg0450

After all the hype, last night’s Question Time proved to be rather underwhelming.

The panel of Jack Straw (Labour Justice Secretary), Baroness Warsi (Tory shadow communities minister), Chris Huhne (Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman), Bonnie Greer (playwright and critic) and Nick Griffin (BNP leader and MEP) immediately split into the factions of Griffin versus the rest and went rapidly downhill from then on.

It soon resembled nothing more than ‘An Audience with Nick Griffin’ and concentrated almost exclusively on the BNP policies regarding race and immigration.

Straw seemed to doze off at times and he reminded me of the incontinent old gimmer who sits in the corner at parties and wakes up every so often to moan about the music being too loud before shitting himself and nodding off again.

Huhne was blandness personified – nothing he said really registered with me.

Baroness Warsi performed reasonably well and gave Griffin a few tough moments but never really got going and when she did, Dimbleby reined her in and moved on to the next question rather abruptly.

Bonnie Greer came out with some amusing stuff but seemed more concerned with making herself look clever than with making Griffin look a fool. Even then her historical banter with Griffin showed that neither of them had much grasp of history.

In short, the panel lacked intellect and gravitas.

The debate never widened and we never got a chance to hear how Griffin’s party would sort out the economy, improve policing and the justice system or tackle Afghanistan.

So, how would I have handled this edition of QT?

The panel would have been stronger: Redwood or Hague for the Tories, Cruddas or Field for Labour, Ming Campbell for the LibDems and Shami Chakrabarti as the non-politico (although that’s open to debate!)

The questions would have been far more wide-ranging so that the emotionally-charged  matters of race and immigration were far less dominant and the audience should have been less partisan.

That way, there would have been more of a level playing field but Griffin would have had to prove himself as an ‘all rounder’, which so far he seems not to be.

As it was, Griffin emerged as a one issue politician who was fortunate to have only been asked questions on his ‘specialist subject’. I doubt whether his performance boosted his popularity to any significant extent and he had one or two sticky moments when he looked like a blustering idiot, but he could have emerged from the programme far worse than he did.

In short, a wasted opportunity and the only winners were really the BBC, who managed to attract 8.2 million viewers.

The usual Daily Mail dogwank

OK…back to some Old Skool Daily Mail bashing.

So, if you have a swear filter, plug the fucker in NOW because some shit’s about to fly.

If you haven’t got a swear filter and don’t like bad language, please fuck all the way off.

If you haven’t got a swear filter and you’re a Daily Mail reader then please fuck all the way off after having rolled your shitty reading matter up into a stout cylinder and stuck it up your arse.

If you don’t give a fuck about swearing then welcome…

I’ve been very restrained on the swearing front lately and I’m going to grab this cunt of an opportunity with both fucking hands and really enjoy the motherfucker.

Ready?

Right…

Here’s the headline:

Muslims refuse to use alcohol-based hand gels over religious beliefs

Here’s the story.

Here’s the first line of that story:

Some Muslims have refused to use alcohol-based hand gels to combat the spread of swine flu because they claim it is against their religion.

See what the Daily Fucking Mail’s doing?

Your attention is grabbed by the headline and then after you’ve assumed that all Muslims are going to stop using hand gel – thus allowing Swine Flu to kill everyone in the whole wide fucking world – it qualifies the initial statement with ‘some’.

A real cuntish trick.

However, how many is ‘some’?

Some of those employed by St Albans Council in Hertfordshire have complained about the antibacterial lotion, which is considered a key strategy in containing the virus.

Officials were concerned because the Koran bans Muslims from consuming alcohol, so council chiefs issued them with non-alcohol hand gels, which studies have shown to be less effective in killing bugs.

Ah, some of those employed by one town in one county.

Furthermore:

…Muslim leaders criticised the council’s decision to change the gel, pointing out that Islamic teachings allow Muslims to use alcohol for medicinal purposes.

The Muslim Council of Britain said: ‘We would advise people to follow the medical advice so we would, of course, encourage people to use hand gel. ‘People need to find ways to accommodate their beliefs.’

So, that’s some Muslim employees from one town in one county acting against the teachings of their own religious leaders.

Out of the 8 comments so far made (yes, only 8 because it’s not about people in gay marriages adopting children or plummeting house prices) on the article by readers (and I use that term very loosely) there’s the usual frothing:

All those who are unwilling to adhere to set guidlines should be sacked. Yes, we all have the right to practice our chosen religion in UK, a privalidge not afforded in all countries. But this does not equate to increasing the risk of infection to others solely on the basis of your chosen religion.

Why are muslim advisors invoved? This is a matter of public health, infections do not discriminate.

– diane, london, 26/7/2009 00:41

Stop wasting our tax money on coming up with expensive alternatives to anyone who refuses to abide by the rules on “religious or any other non ridiculous grounds.” There are troops out there dying because of lack of funds and equipment. Please – somebody rescue us from this clueless party – Labour.

– Emily Moran, Wokingham, UK, 26/7/2009 01:21

Thank you Emily and Diane – now fuck off and screw yourself with your precious fucking newspaper.

However there’s also a bit of reason evident for a change:

‘But Muslim leaders criticised the council’s decision to change the gel, pointing out that Islamic teachings allow Muslims to use alcohol for medicinal purposes.’

So what’s the fuss ?

– Jay, Liverpool, uk, 25/7/2009 23:42

I’m guessing Jay found his usual paper had sold out and he had to make do with the paper read by fuckheads.

So, there you go…

More cuntishness by the paper that never fails to surpass itself in cuntishness.

A nice bit of alarm-rasing for those easily swayed.

Result?

Hordes of pig-ignorant pillocks with dogwank for brains are going to read that headline and then accuse every Muslim in the country of putting the entire nation’s health at risk.

Well done, chaps.

I bet Paul Dacre’s really proud of you.

Cunts.

It’s not just the BBC…

…that’s acting like someone’s bitch.

Take Fox News.

(Somebody, please, just fucking take it!)

Old Rupey Murdoch certainly has Fox jumping to attention – well, he is their Chairman…

There’s a video on there which WordPress won’t let me embed, but just in case you can’t be arsed to watch it, here’s what mediabistro.com wrote about the Murdoch interview:

All the media moguls are in Sun Valley, Idaho this week for the annual Allen & Co. conference. NBCU’s Jeff Zucker has already been on CNBC saying the marketplace has reached bottom.

Meanwhile, on FBN, News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch says the overall mood of the media summit has been “bearish” on the economy.

But it was anchor Stuart Varney’s first question to his media mogul boss that stopped the interview dead in its tracks:

Varney: The story that’s really buzzing all around the country and certainly here in New York, is that the News of the World, a News Corporation newspaper in Britain used —

Murdoch: I’m not talking about that issue at all today. I’m sorry.

Varney: No worries, Mr. Chairman. That’s fine with me.

Murdoch: I’m sorry.

Varney: OK. That’s all right, sir.

It’s a wonder he didn’t offer to lick Murdoch’s shoes clean…

Hat tip to Allegoricus for alerting me to this.

Three whores

I see that Esther Rantzen has confirmed that she will be standing as an independent candidate on an anti-MPs’ expenses fiddling ticket.

All well and good, especially as it may be against the corrupt and disgraced MP for Luton South – Margaret ‘Piggy’ Moran:

However, it seems that no sooner has Rantzen started to float her ‘big idea’ than she has become an apologist for our disgraced MPs.

I’ve just heard Rantzen on Radio 5 Live defending Shaun Woodward.

This may appear to be a strange way to start a campaign to clean out the Augean Stables that Westminster has become, but not so strange when you consider that Rantzen and Woodward worked on ‘That’s Life’ together and are friends.

My suggestion is that as many people as possible send all three of these characters a root vegetable amusingly shaped as a penis so that they can be rammed up the appropriate orifices.

Incidentally, I apologise to anyone who may have regurgitated their duodenum at the sight of Piggy Moran’s hat – but please note that I spared you the sight of Rantzen’s teeth….