Monday, 30 August 2010
Yours truly loves cowboy movies, because they are tales of good and evil. The good triumphs and the good guys often have white hats and the bad buys are in black. Now, of course, this is a generalisation and does not mean that everything is black and white, or even that black is a bad colour and white is intrinsically good. If that were right, then Johnny Cash would not be as loved as he is, although, of course, we do like his darker unpredictable side!
What I am saying is that, pictorially, I want to look up to higher things and metaphorically, I want to be a guy who wears a 'white hat'. Are you with me, guys? I don't mean to be obscure for a Monday morning, because, actually , I feel light as a feather. This reminds me of angels. I want to be on the same side as the angels. Feathers,? Well, some people say that if you see a feather, it means an angel is near and you are protected.
It's a lovely thought and I won't ever knock such things. After all, when my dear wife died, a little robin came to my bedroom window every morning for weeks and I genuinely felt comforted, as if it meant that my dear one was telling me that she was in paradise and I should not fear! There you are. Mr William is not entirely a 'gog', grumpy ol' goat/git.
No, I always feel that my life and soul is safely held under God's wings and I will one day sing with the angels--if they will let me. I've heard that they look upon everyone as making a joyful noise, but I have neighbours , who might get up a petition in heaven, if they heard my singing for eternity, or maybe that's what happens in the other place-my singing is piped down to them as a torture, and 'I beg of you, pipe down' is what they would cry for ever!
Anyway, goodness is all about the intentions of your heart and how that is shown in your life. Can people see kindness and generosity? It's not about perfection and obeying lots of rules laid down by religious types. So, I want to wear a white hat in this imperfect world. In other words, I will try to be kind and make whatever small changes/contributions I can. That's the intention of my heart and mind and I look to God for the strength to do it!
Before I sign off this thoughtful blog, I wanted to mention a couple of things I have observed, where people are not wearing white hats. Drug and arms dealers, pimps and people-traffickers, murderers and sexual and violent people of all sorts. How can these things ever be justified? You say, of course, that this is obvious, but what about all those dubious acts we overlook or say are grey areas? Our streets are full of rubbish;how can someone justify throwing something down at their feet? We sit and worry about house prices, while 1 million more people are displaced by new flooding in Pakistan. Where does our heart lie? People keep dangerous dogs and then children are killed. Is there an excuse? NHS are not feeding older people properly in hospitals, according to a charity. How can this be?
Even the most famous man in a white hat needs to look carefully at his heart. The Pope wishes safe rescue to the Chilean miners. Good, but what is he doing or has he done to protect vulnerable children in the Catholic Church?
Anyway, off now to do a copycat 'Spiderman' climb of the tallest building in Sydney. If he can do it, why can't I?
Yours meditatively yet always looking up
The blogging Gogfather!
Friday, 27 August 2010
Image by Julie70 via Flickr
Fun-packed Friday to you in cyber world!
I love picking these pics for you each day. One shows you graphically that yours truly will search down into the profound to seek out the meaning of the universe, and the other represents my realisation that I am simply a daffy duck, looking up from my paddling pool existence to the heavens above.
Either way, you can be sure that my eyes are open and I will give my opinion. My daughter keeps telling me that I am too honest! I will always say exactly what I think, but I never wish to offend. My motto is that life is too short to faff about and honest directness has generally served me well. Mind you, since I have reached octogenarian status, I have lost my inhibition gene, and occasionally a lady or her significant other have made me wonder if I was cruisin' for a bruisin', know what I mean? Not all ladies want to be flirted with by a matinee idol. Can't understand why, but that's life!
Anyway, I am going to continue to be frank(and you can be Earnest-old ones are the best!). When a lady coyly asks me if her bum looks big in something, I say yes, if it is - and let's be honest, it generally does. What they don't get is that I am only trying to help. I love ladies of all shapes and sizes, just like I love life with all it's little imperfections. Stretchmarks don't bother me, ladies, just arrogance- that's what I don't like, although I reserve the right to be a bit up myself!
Also, when my cleaner recently asked me, if she was being stupid about something, I told her she was. She seemed non-plussed, mumbling something about my ravings and what an old carmudgeonly git I'd become. She loves me really; it's her sense of humour! Well, I hope you can see that Mr William is a straight talker and the world will be a better place for it!
Here are some opinions on the news items. Taliban targeting relief charity workers in Pakistan--lowest of the low! Taliban target Cameron's chopper--obvious contract job by a desparate organisation that will stop at nothing- yes, Clegg and the Lib Dems! Miracle baby saved in OZ by mum's cuddle--mother's love is so amazing! Mums in Uk allowing their kids in too many cases, to either roam the streets or become obese(I am not sure if you can do both at the same time?). NHS bill for obesity surgery now £46bn--many mothers, and dads for that matter, should remember that loving a child means caring for it's health for life!
Channel4 plans an offering named, 'Beauty and the Beast'. Apparently features a 'pretty' person and a disabled person--new depths being plumbed? It will be the Roman circuses soon- the old , 'Give the poor bread and circuses and that will stop them being revolting!' Sorry, that should have read, revolting, not being revolting, but I think I will leave it! In the same vein, some weirdo is bringing out a show that features a story- line and images redolent of the Jamie Bulger horror. Words fail me!
Talking of words failing me, I see X Factor is back in all its ignominy. Now we have voice tampering and a mentally ill singer. Clearly heading up market every series. Wondered if the rumour was true that Simon 'Boo Hiss' Cowell bought in the voice fixing gear, when he realised that Ginger Spice might want to squawk? Meanwhile, video game makers unapologetically promote a game called, 'Medal of Honor'. It allows our morally challenged adults to pretend to be the Nato troops or the Taliban in Afghanistan and they can happily annihilate each other. I am tempted to say that I hope they do annihilate each other for real, but I would be allowing my anger to make me just as deranged as they are . Secondary issue is that adults are buying these games for infants and you can only guess at what this does to their vulnerable minds!
Finally, I realise why I am such a daffy duck. Seems the GCSE and A level results are getting better each year. Obviously, people are getting smarter. Therefore, an ol' git like me must be as thick as champ--stands to reason? Although I see that Lineker's progeny didn't quite make the grade. That made Gary prick up his ears. What do you mean, they were like that before? Nooo! At least thousands of students who have to wait for a uni place are doing voluntary work abroad. Hope for the next generation there!
Off now for a bath. that rubber duck pic reminded me that it has been some months or is it years since I took the plunge. Well, this armchair is comfy and I have lost my sense of smell, thankfully!
Yours jauntily yet with a nose for the bizarre
The blogging Gogfather!
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
A Triumphal Tuesday to you all!
You know sometimes people tell me that I must be making this stuff up, but, believe me, you couldn't. You see, I may have ideas above my station, but I don't think so. I know I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth- only minor hiccough was that I swallowed it and it only reappeared again about a week later, looking a little tarnished. Story of my life? Maybe.
Imagine my excitement though, when I was perusing my Saga magazine yesterday morning. I, of course, am not old, just 86 years of miles on the clock, but I got a man to turn my clock back.(Just don't tell anyone!) I only get it for the occasional good article on bungee rafting in the Amazon or such like, and, of course the large discounts, which, as you know I can't pass up. I now have 43 Tens machines, a lightbox to cheer me up(as if I need that!), 33 unused motorised wheelchairs and half a dozen gadgets to lift items dropped on the floor. I could open a shop. Maybe, I will.
Anyway, there I was staring at Judith Chalmers telling us how wonderful it is to be orange and leathery in old age, because, that way, you know you have been about a bit, when all of a sudden, I saw an article about the beekeeper at Buckingham Palace. Yes, that one, where QE2 resides from time to time, counting the days till she sends my centenary telegram!
Well, the article was ok, but it was the name of the bloke that got my attention. They said it was Bernard. No surname given. Yikes, at that moment, a surge of excitement and destiny coursed through my aristocratic veins. I just knew it. You see, my grandfather's first name was Bernard and I had always been told that there was something royal in his background, but the messages handed down were a little mysterious and garbled. Now, though, the mystery was solved. This Bernard was obviously some sort of distaff, off the record, descendant of my noble grandfather, and where else would he gravitate to than a Royal household!
Thus began my adventure. I rang Buck House forthwith and had a discussion with a rather snooty lady(who frankly seemed a little too confused to be allowed to answer phones for royalty). I simply asked her for the surname of the beekeeper. You would have thought I was after nicking the Crown Jewels. I could almost hear alarm buttons being pressed and she gave the spiel about security and confidentiality. After a while, she softened and seemed to accept my innocent enquiry, but there was a tone in her voice like she was humouring me, while a trace was being made on the line. Any road, eventually, she said I should write in and my query would be passed on. There was no mention of an invite to a garden party or such like, but I suppose it is only a matter of time.
Well, that was all very exciting and draining. I went over to close the curtains for a little snooze and, I might be wrong, but I thought 2 blokes in suits, in a black sedan, with blacked-out windows were eyeing me up. Maybe Her Majesty has immediately assigned them to me for round the clock protection of my noble person? Time will tell! Off now to polish up my silver.
Yours nobly yet with a modicum of humility
The blogging Gogfather!
Monday, 23 August 2010
A Mystery-filled Monday to you all!
I almost typed 'mystery-fillied' there. Can you have 'typed' Freudian slips? If so, aren't you lucky, I check over my blog before posting? Whoops, I nearly did it again, as Britney Spears almost said,(and she would never be guilty of innuendo in her lyrics, would she? By the way, I am sure that was her poking me on Facebook the other day, but I ignored her. I have a reputation to maintain!)
Anyway, this is crazy digression, but it does show you how I am today--all over the place. I had a quick video conference with my new life coach, Tamara S. Paradise,( I had to dispense with the last one, Ivan Issue--it was complicated!) and she immediately diagnosed that my yin and yang were out of sync. She said she could tell because my eyes weren't focusing on her embonpoint as per.
I didn't like to tell her I was roadtesting a revolutionary new type of contact lens, where you see right through people to their inner core--nothing smutty, missus! They are called discernment lenses and apparently they are offering them to people from all walks of life, particularly the most gullible, to further test something called the 'placebo effect'. Well, I don't know about all that, but I have spoken with 3 lawyers, two journalists, a couple of bankers, estate agents, wheelclampers and most importantly, my local politician and they all seem like open books of honesty to me! So, obviously, the lenses work. I am seeing my accountant and insurance broker later. I'll let you know how I get on.
Sorry, again. See, I'm off on one! Here am I sitting in my armchair, looking out at the pouring rain, and now the life-coach tells me, without the aid of a verbal safety net, that my 'chakras' are out of alignment! So, naturally, I asked what could be done. She said it would be unethical for her to prescribe anything, and anyway, she said she had only finished the first chapter of Paul McKenna's book, but she would get back to me!
Some expert she is. I think I will just self-diagnose in future, although there was that time I worried myself sick when I got a rash. I tried everything the pharmacist could give me, until the doctor eventually told me the rash was due to me worrying myself sick about the rash! Back to the chicken and the egg thing? Talking about pharmacists, did you hear about the pharmacist who became a doctor instead? Yes, he gave up drugs and took medicine instead! Alright, what do you expect for free, humour?
Anyway, despite my mocking of therapies etc, I am a very spiritual person, mostly gin, vodka and whisky, it has to be said!
I mentioned eggs above. Well, I'm now off to my local fertility clinic with my Sainsburys free-range eggs from my fridge. Why, because some expert was on today saying there was big money to have if you were physically attractive, very intelligent and didn't need all your eggs. Well, that's me to a tee! They say I could get £800. Now that's an embryo of an idea there, that could give birth to a whole industry. Wonder who the brainchild was?
Yours discomfitedly yet steady as a rock
The blogging Gogfather!
Saturday, 21 August 2010
You see, it's hard to explain, but I am definitely high on life, and no,I haven't been at the cooking sherry, magic mushrooms, wacky baccy or any other artificial stimulant you can think of! No, as I was trying to say to my daughter the other day, when Iwas merrily whistling a happy tune, ( Lady Gaga or Leonard Cohen or somebody like that!), I have always been jolly and find pleasure in the littlest things ( As the actress said to the bishop)!
I had fun as a child and was probably a bit of a jolly rascal from my mum's perspective. Many's a time, she had to haul my bacon out of the fire, only to roast it again, when she got me home! That broken window was not my fault; I was aiming my catapault at his green house- the one with the prize tomatos. I ended up with a tomato coloured behind!
I was ecstatic at boarding school.volunteered for everything andso I ended up as captain of the rugby team and head boy. I think they just liked my enthusiasm! I played the lead in the school play and no, it wasn't our production of 'Lassie come home' -Lassie, lead, --never mind! No' it was an Agatha Christie job and I was Poirot. I had to learn a 10 page speech for the reveal/dénouement, you know the telling you 'whodunnit'(Who decided to use rubbish grammar for such a posh genre?). Anyway, it all went off well and I got a standing ovation. I think that's what it was; they got up as one person, clapped slowly and started throwing eggs and tomato sandwiches at the stage. I said we shouldn't have laid on a buffet! Thing is , I remembered all of that , now I can't even recall the name of the play, but I digress.
In my army life and in every job, I always volunteered. It's probably good for me that I wasn't in the First World War or this blog would not exist, unless you received it through a medium. I am actively considering developing some sort of 'app' to allow my musings to continue for my loyal followers,should it happen that my genes and enthusiasm let me down some day and I have to go on that final wonderful adventure!
Anyway, before I get maudlin, Iwanted to say that seeking fullness of life and saying yes to every adventure is always better than self medicating to ease the pain and struggle of life. Whatever opportunity comes your way today, give it a go. What have you got to lose? We all have to go some day anyway. Might as well go out with a bang, rather than a whimper!
I'm off. I have a great day planned. Bird-watching at the duck pond( and yes that misunderstanding with a lady sunbathing has been cleared up. She eventually accepted my explanation that I was trying to focus on the mating blue tits behind her) and later I might admire my garden and read the paper. Oh yes, and will ring Dicky 'Branston' Pickle, to see if he will take me on his next round the world balloon trip. Wish me luck?
Yours excitedly yet with clear focus
The blogging Gogfather!
Thursday, 19 August 2010
A Thoughtful Thursday to you all!
In our modern society, people are always banging on about their rights, and, of course, all perceived injustices and inequalities should be tackled. Personally, I feel we have begun to forget that with rights come responsibilities. Should we stand on our 'rights', in every case? How do we balance one person's or group's rights and freedoms against another's, if they clash in some important way? I want to hear from you on this topic, please!
As I sit here in my armchair, as a privileged white, western European male adult, with enough money to cover my needs, and with all the benefits that flow from the above, I don't have much to complain about really, when I compare myself to many others, and for me, this is the point. We have to keep a sense of perspective, don't we?
By the way, I know I rabbit on with my views. The point is that I am exercising my right ot free speech, but I have to be responsibile in how I do that. You might feel that my observations are pithy, and no, I don't have a lisp, but they are only opinions.
Let me muse a little, with your indulgence? I have the right to marry in Vegas and get a 'quickie' divorce; I could father hundreds of children and not support them, I could get rich, by legal, yet morally suspect means, as a financial trader and not give a penny of it to anyone, including the taxman, if I had a good enough accountant! I could be cruel and mean, without breaking the law, but the point is, I wouldn't want to do any of these things, even if I had the right in law! Why, because thay are ethically bankrupt and hurt others!
Anyway, most of these activities are now beyond me. Like my hero, actor, Leslie Phillips, I am a man of many 'parts' but only some of them work!
Here are some examples from today's news, where rights are brought into question or debate. I read that victims of crime reckon that the criminals are given more support than they get. Here, in Norn Irn, photos of young rioters are put up on lampposts to ask the public to identify them. A young people's pressure group says this is breaching the 'children's human rights!' Some of the 'children' were trying to kill police officers, who had to stand there and take it!
Raoul Moat, a vicious murderer is now a facebook hero and has achieved superstar status, posthumously, I grant you. Surely, the people with their right to support him could be glorifying murder and cause copycat killings for fame and notoriety! I'll not even comment on the immorality of violent video game makers and sellers and pornographers. Their gain of filthy lucre has had an obvious effect on society!
Today, also, a wheelchair user said that an adult passerby used his right to free speech to mumble, 'Disabled people look like Daleks!', and then he laughed. Charming! Meanwhile, a fancy dress hire company defends it's right to rent out Nazi uniforms. They said it's 'only a bit of fun!' Yet more. An English council exercises its right to sterilise a woman due to her mental state. The 29 year old woman, with a mental age of 7, is to be taken away, drugged and fitted with a contraceptive device; all totally without her consent. The argument is that she has had two children already and they have been taken into care. This story is upsetting and I will exercise my right to reserve further comment!
Here again, in my home province, arguments have dogged relations between dog owners and others on beaches, where dog owners insist on letting the dogs free to rampage and leave dirt amongst the sunbathers. One lady said that it ruined her day,as she feared a large dog might hurt her tiny grandchild. A dog owner said that the former lady should move off to somewhere without dogs, as 'It is a dog's right to run free, and anyway most dogs are better behaved than children!' You know, you can't make this stuff up. I know I wouldn't want a large dog landing on my meat and 2 veg when I was picnicing on the beach!
So, how to balance competing rights? I'm going to leave the last word today to millionaire businessman and 'Dragon', James Caan, who said he intends to go out to Pakistan to hurry up the distribution of aid. He said he had to do it as 'We shouldn't sit around and do nothing, while people are dying!' This is a man who could afford to do nothing, but he is foregoing some rights and privileges for others. Way to go!
Yours forthrightly yet with reserve
The blogging Gogfather!
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
A Truthful Tuesday to you all!
You know, we all have to look ourselves in the eyes everyday, when we look in the mirror. I, like everyone else have made mistakes: sometimes I was bad, occasionally a little intoxicated, foolish or whatever. I have said sorry more times than just about any other phrase.
Sometimes, though, I claim it wasn't my fault- it was just a mistake, a misunderstanding and maybe no-one accepts or believes that! My point is, ignorance or foolishness is not a defence before the law; I feel we have to take responsibility for our actions and not try to shift the blame or tell ourselves soothing lies!
Anyway, I have been thinking about responsibility. Now that I'm 86, I forget things and tend to get confused in the heat of the moment. Is this a crime? Surely not! Nevertheless, I still must accept responsibility for what I do!
Talk about being forgetful, this morning, like many other mornings, someone arrived when I was leaving the house. I can't always remember when people are coming. This time, it was the window-cleaner, and in the heat of the moment, I locked myself out.
Well, I was about to phone 999 or my daughter for the spare key(Whichever was handier and quicker!), when the window-cleaner managed to climb in through an open window round the back and let me in. He mumbled something about security and burglars. I told him he was lucky I had the foresight to leave that window open for him. He looked confused. So, as you can see, I am someone who sees things clearly and realises my responsibilities!
See in the paper that Tony Blair is giving the possible £5m revenue from his memoir to the British Legion. Seems like a legion of commentators and those who see him as a warmonger, are seeing this as an admission of guilt and almost 'blood money'. Well, from my armchair, I venture to suggest that the former PM is acting honourably and has always been willing to be accountable for the momentous decisions he has made. Comment below?( Otherwise, I don't know if you are reading my blog and your opinion on what I say. I take full responsibility for my opinions, even if I am wrong, I am sincerely wrong!)
Funny to see that Mr Clegg has popped up now Cameron is away on hols. It is like Smithers speaking his mind when Mr Burns is away! He is making some tortuous argument about Trident renewal and people on benefits. If you figure out what he is saying, can you let me know? I like a laugh! I think he is just reminding us that he is there and holds a position of responsibilty. Believe me, Cameron will hold him responsible for what he says, when he comes back to run the 'Nuclear Installation' that is the Coalition!
Can someone also tell me why they won't let Jade rest in peace? Now someone wants to use her in an ad. Has decency become an alien concept? Talking of people for whom decency is an alien concept, I hear that the days of dodgy wheelclampers are numbered. Thank the Lord! At least pirates used to send a shot across your bows before they came on board to ravish your women and plunder your cargo! These guys put up a tiny warning sign, then waited till someone trundled off in their wheelchair or something; then they pounced and held your car hostage until you came up with the ransom. Daylight robbery!
Motorbike thieves in England got away as the police decided, under Health and Safety legislation, that they could not pursue the robbers as the miscreants were not wearing helmets. Well, that beats all! Is it not the responsibility of the police to catch law-breakers and protect the citizenry? What do you think?
A top doctor says that drugs should be legalised to reduce crime. Government has rejected this. Opinions?
One young lady who acted irresponsibly in any one's book, is the young pop singer from Germany , who knew she was HIV positive and continued to have unprotected sex with a number of men. She may be jailed for 10 years. Does it matter that she claims that her life was a mess?
Finally, best wishes to Michael Douglas, who has throat cancer. Surely, finding a cure for cancer is a prime responsibility for us all!
Right, I'm off now to sort out my house keys. I'm sure it was that blinking window-cleaner's fault!
Yours confusedly yet always on the ball
The blogging Gogfather!
Monday, 16 August 2010
Image by Brandon Christopher Warren via FlickrA Mindful Monday to you all!
You know sometimes, it's difficult to get the whole picture in perspective. Often, appearances can be deceptive and you can't tell what is real and what is made up. That's why I liked this photo.
So, I have been reading my Telegraph from cover to cover and I really must get out of the armchair when I finish chatting to you or rigor mortis will set in again. Again, you say? Well, there was that unfortunate incident I may have told you about, where I took the one-day trial for cryogenic freezing. Well, it was free and I did it on the same basis as I buy all the bogof -buy one, get one free- offers ie it's too tempting to miss a bargain, even if there are unwanted consequences. With the freezing, the consequences were quite dramatic. It took me 3 days to thaw out. There are still water marks all over the carpet, as they trollied me home on day 2. When I eventually came round, I thought it must be 2060 because the Conservatives were back in power. (I went in on election day). There are no residual side effects, as far as I know, although people tell me I occasionally black out, but don't remember a thing............oh, what was I saying?
Anyway, back to the newspaper. I now read that the glorious Coalition have taken on ex Labour Cabinet Minister, Alan Milburn, to advise on Social Mobility. That will be useful, as a report today suggests that the Midlands have disappeared in a 'New North/South divide!' He is doing it for free. Cameron probably reckons this is a great wheeze, 'Let's get everyone in the UK to work for free!' Prezza Prescott, former Labour 'attack dog' Deputy PM, says Milburn is a 'Collaborator'. Surely that's a bit strong!
On the one hand, Coalitions lead to helpful compromise and new politics; on the other hand, it is like 'new age' pick and mix religion, where you can believe what you like? Comment below? Maybe, it's a case of the much quoted comment, 'If you don't like my morals and ethics, I have lots of others you might like!'
Talking of morality and politics, I see that Doctor Kelly's inquest (The man at the centre of the UK political storm when he died during the heat of controversy over the Iraq War) has returned a verdict of 'inconclusive'. You can draw your own conclusions then!
I read that trees will be planted beside busy roads at regular intervals, in order to slow drivers down, by giving an illusion of great speed. I think it will give drivers panic attacks or put them to sleep!
Libya celebrates Maghrahie surviving a year after his release. is the the unacceptably high price of oil?
Dead cows are being cloned to ultimately end up in the foodchain. Is this ethical? Apparently, the US Govt. have said yes and the UK is thinking about it. Surely, this could be seen as a 'sacred cow'?
A widow, aged 70 may face fines of £2500 for dropping cig ash on the ground. No butts! 'Burning' question is, what you would be charged if you dropped ya loved one's ashes on the way home from the crem?
Final story is sensitive and a little bizarre, but nevertheless, it's true. Some UK local councils, through Social Services are funding a young man with learning difficulties, to go to Amsterdam to have sex with a prostitute. The money is coming form a £500 million budget called, 'Putting People First'. It is designed to help disabled people have the best possible quality of life. Some wag has already dubbed this, 'Helping People Come First!'
Well, I have so many questions about the morality of this and I am sure you do as well. My view from my armchair, and I have been in a wheelchair at times, as had my wife, what should come first, (unfortunate unavoidable pun!) wheelchairs , much needed equipment and all the other shortfalls for the disabled or sex holidays? This is taking 'Disabled Access ' too far! Yes, help everyone in society to have dignity and support financially as needed, but this is faintly ridiculous.
Although, I wonder if they are offering freebies for the elderly. My dating agency has drawn a blank!
Must go and read up on that.
Yours searchingly yet humanely
The blogging Gogfather
Sunday, 15 August 2010
A Serene Sunday to you all!
As you know, I am a peace-loving sort of a gent. I prefer to negotiate and see conflict as the last resort. The only arguments I have these days are with myself and occasionally with recorded voices asking me to hold interminably during business calls! I don't want to be told that 'Your call is important to us.' If it really was that important to them, they would stick a few more staff on the phone lines!
Anyway, as Churchill once said, (Again, I do not mean the blessed dog on the tv ad), 'Jaw, jaw is better than war,war!' Well, he should know, and particularly today, on VJ day, remembering the victory over Japan in WW2, we should be moved by the largely forgotten veterans, who were starved, tortured and murdered in their millions by the Japenese. I say again that war is horrible and should be avoided if at all possible.
Well, political pundits are saying today that the UK Coalition may lead to the end of tribal politics. Hallelujah! Better to sort out differences by agreement. So, in the name reason and common humanity, why are Republican dissidents trying to take Northern Ireland back to war? Yesterday, they almost killed 3 children in an attempt to attack police-officers and derail the peace process. So, blind insane hatred and rebels without a cause and a brain cell are trying to overthrow the will of the people. Believe me, a cell with the key thrown away is the only place for them!
On this holy day, we should also remember the fallen soldiers and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, together with the flood victims in Pakistan and the threat now posed of a cholera epidemic. Did you know that it is relatively cheap and easy to cure cholera?. It just takes support of the aid agencies and some political will! Sadly, we might all have to pray a little harder for our 'daily bread', if the Russian wheat situation worsens! Spare a thought for what the Russian people are enduring with the heat and the horrific fires!
On a lighter note, brides to be are embracing the need to buy cheaper dresses and rings, rather than shell out the average £20,000 for the big day and nuptials. My view from the armchair is that weddings had started to become mentally overblown, where couples were in danger of forgetting the simplicity, beauty and harmony of two people being in love- hopefully in some cases with each other! Ha, got you there. You thought I had gone all schmaltzy.
Well, I have decided to keep that sentimental stuff for my visit to my local Multi Movie Ripoff palace to see 'Toy Story 3'. I believe that grown men have been observed reaching for their partner's tissue and pretending they have something in their eye--yes, tears, apparently. I normally cry when I see the price of the popcorn. It's the ol' captive audience thing, or what I call, 'Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask!'
To finish today, I want to ask if you think the same way as me about the following. People say things like ,'Jobs are in jeopardy, dire staits, have gone south, up the left, down the river, in peril.' I know it's childish, but I think to myself, 'Oh, that's good, the unemployed can look there then!' Yeh, you're right, I am a big kid!' The other thing that makes me smile is the verbal, yet gauche dexterity of football pundits. Today, some reporter says in all innocence, 'That ball was like a bar of soap. It was always going to drop clean out of the goalies hands!' Bet you, he was 'sick as a parrot!'
Well, off to oil the springs on my armchair. There is a strange squeaking sound, and no, it's not me. Well, not always, anyway!
Yours amusingly yet with appropriate solemnity,
the blogging Gogfather
Friday, 13 August 2010
Cover of Hello
Fantastic Friday to you all!
I know I was really serious yesterday and I wouldn't want any of you to think I had lost my sense of humour. No, that's never going to happen! I love life and fun, but I will feel the pain of others and will say what I think. What else would a diarist of our times do?
I will always look out and look up towards what is beautiful and best, but I am like a pilgrim on a journey. That sounds high-falutin' but aren't we all?
Today, I have been reading my hero's autobiography, "Hello", by the great Leslie Phillips. Like me, he would describe himself as an 'Officer and almost a Gentleman'! He and I were both army officers, but we both had and have an eye for the ladies! I may be 86, but I keep everything, including my upper lip well and truly starched! You see, that's what military service does for you. I still rise at dawn, fully at attention and salute any flag in my vicinity! It doesn't matter if I go to bed at 9pm or 4 am, it's my duty!
I still have a military bearing like Leslie, but I gave up the facial hair, as it started to interfere with my enjoyment of soup, and the ladies complained of chafing!
After boarding school and army life, I am now mostly alone, but never lonely! Ladies still flock to my door. I say, 'Helloooo!', but soon we mutually say, 'Good-byeee!'
A couple of memoirs of my own to share. I was a British Gurkha officer, which is why Joanna Lovely is eternally in my good books and vice-versa! I was stationed in India and several things abide with me. One was the stunning scenery and the fabulous mountains. Another was the incredible railway journeys, but above all the beautiful people I encountered--the Gurkha soldiers and particularly my men, who would have died for me, but mostly just made me smile and watched my back!
One time I had just one drink too many of local hootch and got on a train to who knows where. I could have been robbed, but I woke up the next day and my batman was making breakfast beside me in the train, and believe me, he had one hand on the kukuri sheath! Before you ask, yes, the rumour is true. A Gurkha will only draw his kukuri to spill blood and he will smile and tell you to nod your head and you can guess the rest!
The other incident that sticks in my craw is the day we all had to have a rabies injection, when a rabid dog came in to our compound. It took three painful injections into the stomach to immunize you. We all rolled about on the ground for days in agony. Better than death!
So, there you are, Mr William has had an exciting life and now is quite happy to chat about his adventures. Let's face it, there's a lot to reminisce about!
Off now to read more about Mr Leslie. He's making the memories flood back!
Yours boldly yet reminiscingly
The blogging Gogfather
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Yours truly has decided to be serious today, because not everything in life is funny. I hope you will understand my sentiment when you read on. Two news items transfixed me today.
Firstly, our Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness, former second in command of the Provisional IRA, tells us that it is time the republican dissidents 'woke up and smelt the roses'.
Leaving aside the enormous irony of the situation, I would say that if the dissidents do not desist, some poor soul's relatives will have to wake up some morning and smell the fresh lilies, to be placed on a coffin. Maybe that will give you some idea of the atmosphere currently in this small province! Let's hope that anyone who can influence the situation for the better will do so and fast!
The other story relates to a young teenage girl, Robyn Nixon, age 15, who ended her life last year by jumping from the top of a multi-storey carpark in Weymouth, West Dorset, England. She had been the subject of "psychological bullying" for 18 months by school students, even receiving taunts when she was on a family holiday. She had been 'excluded' by friends and had broken up with her boyfriend shortly before her death.
I don't intend to dwell on the possible reasons brought out at the inquest and I am not going to speculate on who could have helped prevent this tragedy, if that had been possible. The bullying was, of course, inexcusable, but the coroner kept his most searing comment for some of the passers-by, who decided to take mobile phone pictures of the dying girl. He said this made him "worried about humanity". Personally, I will say that I am appalled, sickened and incensed at the inhumanity of these particular excuses for humans!
The view from my armchair is that a society, where schools and parents tolerate or fail to effectively tackle cyber and all other types of bullying, and tolerate young people calling everything they dislike or disrespect 'Gay', will never properly safeguard it's most precious members- its children and its future!
Moreover, the coroner called the actions of those who took photos, 'Shabby'. Maybe it is time we all took a long hard look at our moral values and what we are teaching our young people. Some people seem to have no moral compass whatsoever. Why? Failure to address this will lead to more totally bankrupt actions, like the tragic case of Robyn.
I make no apology for this blog, as humour and happiness can only be appreciated, if we have the humanity to feel pain and sadness.
Yours solemnly yet ever hopeful
The blogging Gogfather
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Image by fluterirl via Flickr
A Wanderlust-filled Wednesday to you all!
Time doesn't stand still and waits for no man or woman. We all know this and yet we procrastinate, mostly out of fear and anxiety, to have a go and follow our hearts and sometimes, even our conscience. Time is totally democratic-we all get 24 hours per day. The only variables are the number of days we are allocated, our circumstances and our mindset.
I reckon I have spent most of my life doing what was expected of me, but now is my time to spread my wings. At my exalted age of 86, with some of my marbles intact and a body that only mildly hinders me, it is my moment to spread my wings and fly.
Better not do the Icarus thing from classical legend, where he used wax on his wings and flew too close to the sun. In Norn Irn,we would call that a 'wick' effort. No, no-one can hold a candle to me. In the absence, though, of the James Bond individual flying machine, together with my fear of heights, I will have to pass on the bungee-jumping etc.
No, what I am talking about is flying in the attitude sense. I now say what I like and take a few more gambles in the relationship stakes. This new found boldness does get me into scrapes. I find myself giving my opinion, before it is asked for and being what people call pass-remarkable about whom I like/fancy and vice-versa.
Strangely, I have noticed my nearest and dearest counting to 10 under their breath. Can't think what that's about!
The day I told my daughter that my preference was for natural blondes, like the sainted Joanna Lumley, my daughter bit her knuckle and went into a padded, lead-lined room, she constructed recently and didn't come out for a full hour. All I could hear was muffled groans and the occasional mumbled comment that sounded like, 'Why me, Lord?' When she came out, I gave her tea and sympathy. I think she has been having a hard time at work!
Anyway, folks, enough about how brilliant I am, I see that ladies in Coronation Street are seizing the moment, or the gigolo in their case, in the form of the excellent Nigel 'I play bounders' Havers! Apparently, the time and tide of the Aegean wait for no Shirley Valentines!
Also, I notice from my armchair that Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, has spared us a little of his precious time to tell us that the roller-coaster that is the economy might be heading for a double dip. Let's just hope that someone knows what they are doing before our carriage hits the buffers.
Finally, I never cease to be amused by football pundits, so-called experts, who constantly tell us with a straight face, that 'at the end of the day' footie is about scoring goals. Genius! Well, I don't know when this figurative end of the day is, but I'm getting on with making the most of my time.
Well, got to fly now. I'm going for sword swallowing and fire-eating lessons. My daughter suggested these to keep my mouth occupied. Charming!
Yours timelessly yet punctually
The blogging Gogfather
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Thoughtful Tuesday to you all!
I've just had a bright idea. I'll chat to you about some people who have had bright ideas. Unlike mine, they should, in many cases, have kept them to themselves. I often wonder how many inventions come to a person, just like an unexpected thunderbolt or lightning strike, just out of the blue, when they were getting on with the ordinary things of life. Is it the case that Newton was musing about his meat and two veg(his dinner, what do you think I meant?), when the apple struck his conk? And did he say, 'Core, that must be gravity!'
Is the rumour true that Alexander Graham Bell found that the line was engaged, when he first rang? Furthermore, is it concievable that his colleague eventually answered and said, 'Whoever you are, go away, I've already got double-glazing?
My simple theory is that there are two types of bright spark inventor- the prof type who locks himself away for years trying to invent something in particular. He gets his meals pushed under the door by a housekeeper called Mrs Hudson. He will have long white hair and beard and if he is lucky, someday he shouts 'Eureka'!
Although, I think if you ran stark naked from your bath these days, shouting eureka, your charge for flashing while acting like a looney would come up next week. I should know-I've tried it a few times over the years!
The other kind of inventor simply trips over a discovery and then takes the credit, much like a boss who pinches his staff members' ideas when he likes them! Of course, there are just some great minds like Einstein, Hawking etc and blokes with super ideas like the Dyson guy.
I myself hope someone will invent clothes that self-launder and food that prepares itself, and I am still awaiting that car they promised that would drive itself and let me put my feet up and listen to Frank Sinatra, singing My Way!
The guys, of course that select and help a lot of new inventors are the 'Dragons' Den ' dudes. It really is hilarious to watch bonkers ideas and deluded souls getting the steely eye and then shown the door. There are some little gems, where they don't say, 'I think you're cracked, so I'm out' and that's good, but sometimes I think they should remember their Levi Roots and recall life at the bottom of the food chain!
Befor I go and wrestle with my non-stick frying pan, which incidentally was an off-shoot of the Space programme(So, it wasn't all a waste of time then--that movie they made of the space landing! Conspiracy theory paranoia? Me? Who said that?), I want to tell you of a true and serious eco proposal from the news.
The idea is to turn sewage into methane gas to run cars. Amazingly, it is odourless and cheap to run. Some wag suggested it could be fuelled directly by the owner to cut out the middle-man. Don't know about you, but I think the whole idea is a pile of bull****! Anyway, what do I know? I thought that television and phones would never catch on!
Yours brightly yet strikingly
The blogging Gogfather
Monday, 9 August 2010
Confused today and need some light on a few subjects. I suppose it all comes down to health and longevity. As you know, I intend to jog up to the palace to collect my message from the Queen for having the audacity to survive 100 years on this spinning ball. If I go to her, it will save her having to remember my birthday and putting a stamp on the card. Let's face it, I am sure she is fed up of seeing the royal mush on stamps!
Anyway, you know that my recipe for long life is wine, women and song (Happily the asbo to stop my singing has still not been served!). Believe it or not, though, I do believe in moderation, although my tolerance levels can be a little elastic! I gave up smoking years ago, as my cough was beginning to get in the way of breathing. I see a top doc is saying today that parents who smoke in front of their children are guilty of child abuse. He might have a point. When I was young, we were turned into kippers by our family. The ceilings had to be repainted every 6 months and you could not see out the windows of buses for the thick cloud all round you--and that was just the school bus!
Mind you, despite the warnings you still see pregnant women smoking. They must be past caring about their brain cells, never mind the unborn child! Recently, I visited a friend in hospital and saw a number of patients on drips, dragging the equipment to the smoking room for a drag on a cig. Not a pretty sight! Believe me, I know how addictive tabacco is , but surely we all have to be responsible for our actions! Comment below?
As regards alcohol, well, I try to be moderate.Well, I'll put it this way, my doctor, Ida Hedu-Cation, did a health MOT check and asked about the fire-water consumption. I told her I have the occasional sweet sherry to toast the Queen's birthday, (Well, I have to keep her sweet for the old telegram). She raised her eyebrows in a quizzical manner and said she would put me down as a social drinker. Got off lightly there!
The big thing now is the 'Food Police'. I really do get it that we have to eat carefully and exercise. Why else do you think I jog down to the fast food emporium? Shock horror, though. Today, they tell me that Chinese takeaways typically have a wineglass-full of lard in them, plus the salt and sugar! I know some people eat until they are medically obese and there are psychological reasons for this. Also you have to factor in poor diets and social deprivation, but is a serious operation, like a gastric band the answer?
I just feel that moderation is no longer popular. Footballers used to play a game and then have fish and chips, followed by a couple of pints. They seemed pretty happy. Two final thoughts. Meat is about to be cloned. Maybe they could make it low fat and save us all the worry! Secondly, a designer is going to make clothes for sizes 14 and above. At least, he has seen the light. Clothes for real people!
Before I go, I hear that all sorts of official and unofficial items have been made for the pope's UK visit. Yes, Pope PR the Disaster is coming to town. Some eejit has come up with a souvenir. It's a plug-in for your PC and it claims that the The Virgin Mary will bless your computer's memory. Bonkers, isn't it?
Off now to cycle to the pizza house!
Yours quizzically yet enlightened
The blogging Gogfather
Sunday, 8 August 2010
Yes, it's that time of year again, when we all get out the old sombrero and bucket and spade for the seaside, UK weather permitting, and it often doesn't! Been thinking about travelling to foreign climes to ensure the sun and have scraped together the spondulicks, you know, the necessary wonga!(What would we do without slang? Probably understand each other better!)
Anyway, trouble is, I like a quiet holiday and everywhere I go, I meet crowds of people from these islands, where peace and tranquillity is the last thing on the agenda!
In observing the British and Irish abroad, it is clear that we are not used to the sun. We go out whitey/pink and come back as lobsters via the foreign emergency room. Before 'elf 'n safety, we used to cook ourselves here when we could, even using butter and tin foil in some cases. Now lots of people spray on the tan, if they have been sensible enough to avoid the sunbeds. Let's face it, we don't do sun very well!
Something we do extra well is consuming vast quantities of alcohol in the shortest possible time and then we either sing, shout or fight! A recent beer ad claimed that 'lager had evolved' Maybe, but you can be sure that most of the drinkers of it haven't!
Finally, on this little rant, there is the totally impolite tendency to go abroad and expect everyone to speak our lingo. If they don't, we just talk louder! Then, we gravitate to restaurants that serve food from back home, always with chips, because we reckon that you can't trust the local delicacies. 'It's got tentacles and things', we say. Is it any wonder that the Eurocrats want the right to pursue us home to 'feel our collar'.
Now, for the purposes of brevity and humour, I have generalised greatly. Of course, there are exceptions. Yours truly is, naturally, highly cultured, and no doubt, dear reader, so are you. I am not trying to get at anyone, just trying to understand our psyche in these islands. Is it because we are islands at the extreme of Western Europe and the next land west is thousands of miles away? Answers on a postcard, please! Or below?
The other statistic that could be considered is that we have the highest rate of teenage pregnancy. There is lots about in the news. My simple view is that if children are routinely having sex before age 11, then there is something wrong in our culture. We don't just need more education, we need 'different education ' for our children. Have you seen how young people dress to socialise in Britain and Ireland, compared to Western Europe?
Anyway, one person who is working hard now, he says, is David Cameron. He and his Coalition are planning cuts, which will involve 'Pain and a Prize'. Yes, pain for the poor and a prize,as always for the rich! Looks like we are returning to the Thatcher,'Milk-Snatcher' era and we will all be milked dry, unless we are fat cats! They still get the cream!
Got to hand it to Cameron- he does work hard. With Pakistan, this month, he has insulted them, sent them aid, entertained their leader and played them at cricket. He tries to keep a straight bat, but he does bowl some googlies! Finally, on the cricketing analogy, Robbie Williams 'bowls a maiden over and shouts 'Take That' as he marries Ida Feel, sorry, Field.((Sorry couldn't resist it!)
So, must go and dig out the tin foil. I see a blink of sun!
Yours roastingly yet chilled
The blogging Gogfather
Saturday, 7 August 2010
Hope it is sunny where you are! Believe it or not, one of my few guilty pleasures is watching Big Brother. I like to kid myself it is a social experiment and I am analysing the psychological aspects of disparate personalities in a confined space. Yah, right! I'm like everyone else, I want to see what Sam Pepper says next and who will walk out in a strop!
Young Sam is obviously there to 'pep' things up. Trouble is, he may give the public dyspepsia and have to be unceremoniously blown out! Who wins? You decide. Unlike the excellent new Sherlock Holmes, Mr CabbagePatch or Cummerbund or whatever, I haven't a clue!
Anyway, they rang my bell the other day, when they dressed up as Dickensian characters from 'Oliver' and sang, 'Food, glorious food'!
You see, like the glorious Mr Leslie Phillips, he of the 'Well, ding dong' variety, I actually have two passions. One, I may have allured to, is chasing after the ladies, mostly fruitlessly, but I do get some women winking at me in a suggestive manner. With my eyesight, though, I have to be cautious. Last time, it turned out the lady had something in her eye and looked most confused, when I asked her out on a date. I had to plead insanity. Sadly, she seemed to believe me! My other passion is food.
At least it doesn't get me into diffs- no slapped wrists or angry boyfriends, but nevertheless, I think I might be obsessed by food! I tend to gobble and run, when I'm invited anywhere. I'm saying grace as they hang up my coat and when the nosh is scoffed, I'm off--no time for idle chit-chat! At home, woe betide the unwary phone or door caller, when my dindins is almost ready. They are as welcome as a you know what in a spacesuit! I have got to have my food hot, really hot. I'll make a begrudging exception for ice-cream. I used to be in India and now if the curry does not induce spontaneous combustion on contact with my mouth, it's for the bin!
I like my food fresh. In another quarter, I may have shared my problem with my freezer, in this regard. I tend to buy when I am hungry , then bung everything in the fridge and the larder. Of course, some things go off, before I get to them, so my daughter suggested using my freezer and taking things out as needed. I told her I would love to do that, only the last time I looked in there, a trout from who knows when was eyeballing me in a menacing way! I backed off and thought I would stick with my system!
Sometimes I do order fast food, although it couldn't be fast enough for me. I love some of the names for the emporia for 'Fish 'n chips'. I quite like the 'Fryer Tuck', 'The In-Plaice', and very appropriately in Northern Ireland, 'For Cod and Ulster'!
My only beef, pun intended, (not likely to miss that one, am I?) is the 'Big Brother Food Police' society we live in today. 'They' would all tell me to stop eating and drinking everything I like. They want to have 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, eat less fat, sugar, salt, minimize alcohol, never smoke and run 5 miles in a pair of shorts. Well, for Seb Coe, I am still working towards the 2012 Olympics. Today, I will please him and Big Brother by doing a relay of recycling. This will involve several journies to my eco bin in the kitchen. got to do your bit!
I will leave the last word to the American comedian, Chris Rock, who is known for his straight from the hip talking and turning the air blue, which doesn't sound environmentally friendly, does it? He ventured onto the 'One Show', where celebs are asked their opinion about every issue on the show. You just couldn't make it up! He was asked what he thought of veganism, factory farming and green issues. Well, his response was bleeped and Christine went a funny colour! Like me, a man who knows his own mind!
Well, got to go. I've something on the stove and I wouldn't want you to outstay your welcome!
Yours gastronomically yet spicily tasteful
The blogging Gogfather
Friday, 6 August 2010
Image via WikipediaFun-filled Friday to my lovely Readers!As you know, I am a senior citizen and inevitably a little more cautious than I was as a young buck. You could say that I'm normally quite reserved and cautious and have my feet firmly planted on the ground.
I must say, though, that I am still full of fun and adventure. I want to try new things. I told you yesterday that I have taken up base-jumping over buildings. As usual, I have started small. I will mount and descend my doorstep, without the aid of a safety net!
Why should Stephen Hawking and Richard 'Branston Pickle' have all the fun. Once my lottery win comes in, I will air-balloon around the globe and go weightless in the Virgin space-flight! Unlike the balloon(I don't mean Dicky Branson), I am not just full of hot air!
In the meantime, I might just go to Vegas, make some dosh on the slot machines and visit the Star Trek Convention. William Shatner and I are so alike in many ways. I will collar him at the event and tell him. We both have the need of a good 'rug', both are well past our sell-by date and have made something of ourselves with a tiny speck of talent. Also, we don't take ourselves too seriously.
Thinking of my tonsure, you know the old 'hair today and gone tomorrow'? Well, I forgot to tell you the other day about a time when my feet were not firmly on the ground and I took my life in my hands! I went to a men's barber's. They had about five male hair dressers and advertised that there was no waiting. I innocently shimmied in, as I was in a hurry, and took a seat.
I noticed that everyone was being served but one barber was clearly being avoided by the punters. Anyway, I had a little snooze and suddenly a customer tapped me on the arm and said I was next. I jumped up and into the chair for the barber. I could hear muffled guffaws and chortles behind me. I later realised that they had sent me into the lion's den-my barber was known as 'Sweeney Todd of old Belfast town', more Jack the Ripper than Vidal Sassoon.
His hands shook so much that they were a blur. Years of drinking alcohol instead of water had given the poor guy the shakes, but the boss obviously wanted to give him the dignity of work. Trouble was, this was before 'Elf 'n Safety came into our lives. I escaped with a nicked ear and a Mohican instead of the short back and sides. Trust me, I was less scared the day the army told us we were going into no-man's land and we all sang 'Abide with Me'!
Anyway, got to go. Checking to see if Ryanair fly to Vegas! Live long and prosper!
Yours older yet not wiser
The blogging Gogfather
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Image by Stuck in Customs via FlickrThundering Thursday to you all!
Don't know why I was so jolly there in my greeting. I am actually feeling a little forlorn today. Say ah! Just like the lost sheep at the shack of lost hopes, by the lake of despond(I know, you say, it must be really bad), I am realising that I am unwanted.
Yes, it would appear that yours truly, one of life's eternal matinee idols can no longer get arrested in the romance stakes. The problem? Unless Dame Judy Dench, Helen Mirren, Kylie Minogue and their like are intending to knock my door some time soon (That wasn't an innuendo, by the way. I'm not that bad!), I have to advertise my wares to the world.
I know, of course, that if they meet me, they will be under my spell and putty in my hand. You will already be aware of my hypnotic charm and devestating boyish good looks. All the greats have come to me over the years for tips on attracting the ladies. I don't like to brag, but I will. Brad Pitt, Tom Jones, Tom Cruise, Warren Beatty owe it all to me. I even tried to help Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards and Piers Morgan, but some people are beyond help!
My trouble is, dear reader, (Oops, I've gone all Jane Austen!), that when I put out my details to dating agencies, sites and print media, they have the audacity to ask my age. When I inform them that I'm 86, they often chortle and say they don't get a lot of call for dates for people of my age! How ageist and anyway, I'm not people of my age, I'm Mr William, debonair man about town-an octogenarian with a face to launch a thousand ships. (Not break a thousand mirrors, as you thought!)
I know where I have been going wrong now--I tell the truth. I tell the lucky respondents to my ads that I may be 86, but I'm 60 from the waist up and 90 from there down. You see, my legs get sore when I walk far. My daughter says I should stop using this silly joke, as she says that implying, even in jest, that you are dead from the waist down is not going to aid my romantic prospects!
I can see that everyone else bends the truth and some jump up and down on it till it begs for mercy! I once spoke with what I thought was a lovely lady. She did have a deep voice, but I put that down to a hard life and smoking 60 Bensons a day. Turns out though, it was a crossdressing, all-in wrestler, who wanted to meet me at a motorway service station, and it wasn't for tea and scones. I think he had crumpet in mind! Lucky escape there.
From now on, I will play the same game as the rest. I will say I'm Peter André-only problem will be if they say they are Jordan!
Well, I'm off. Today's preparatory challenge for the 2012 Olympics- a new fun sport called base jumping. You clamber over and jump across buildings in the urban landscape. Well, it's better than staying at home and 'climbing the walls' until I get a date!
Yours charmingly yet increasingly frustratedly
The blogging Gogfather
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
I am definitely having what they call a 'bad hair day'. I can't get anything done and I can't find anything, including my comb! It's maybe an age thing. I write notes to remind me to do things and then I forget where I put the note. Anyway, my hair is bugging me today, and no I don't want you to take that literally. I may be ancient, but I am fastidious in my ablutions, in other words, I'm spotless.
No, my hair has got a life of it's own today, not wildlife. The combover won't stretch over and bits are sticking up at a jaunty angle! It's a case of hair today, gone tomorrow! If this continues, I will have to talk to Brucie Forsythe or Elton about a rug or a weave. Wonder could I make one myself? Can't be that hard and it will be just as unconvincing as theirs!
Anyway, my hairdresser or what I used to call a barber's shop has mostly female stylists. Thing is, I want a simple old blokes' short back and sides. I don't mean I am simple, but I'll let you make up your own minds there! I found this place by looking for the traditional twirling red and white sign- not the Amsterdam type ones. I'll call it, 'Toupet or not Toupet', to protect the innocent and more importantly, to prevent an ear bashing , when I next go in! Incidentally, I did see a barber's once and the sign said, 'A Snip in Time'. I did a doubletake, wondering if it did minor family planning procedures in your lunch-hour!
So, the first time I frequented my tonsorial emporium, you know, the barbershop, the lady pointed me to a seat. I asked if I could wait for the male barber. She was awfully polite, as I explained my lifelong aversion to lady hairdressers trying to be creative with my barnet, but I did notice her getting a little twitchy with her scissors, when I glanced back in the mirror. All I said to the male barber was that I was glad they had retained a 'proper' male barber!
Well, I'll go down tomorrow and have a consultation with him. Have you noticed, before I head on, pun intended, that Ladies' hairdressers have inventive names. I saw 'A Cut Above' in a posh area and ironically, the 'Oldest Little Hair House' is in a less salubrious part of town. I was a little taken aback by 'Curl up and Dye'. Can you just imagine the phone call for an appointment. 'Hi, Curl up and Dye. Hardly a great start. What do the phone people at 'Hello' magazine say. 'Hello, hello'? or at 'OK', 'Hello, OK'? Very confusing!
Off now to find my comb. Need to keep my matinee idol status intact at all times!
Yours tonsorially challenged yet perfectly groomed
The blogging Gogfather
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Top Tuesday to you all!
Thought I would have a rant, sorry a word, about the typical Norn Irn (Northern Ireland to 'normal', wharever that is, english speakers) summer weather. I put this pic in, so that you wouldn't get too depressed, unlike the poor inhabitants of this most westerly corner of Europe.
The 'met' people say it is all to do with the Atlantic and jet streams etc, but I just think God looked at us and said, 'Well, if they want green fields, a reputation for being saints and scholars, they can mortify the flesh all they want, going up Slemish mountain in the rain!'
Well, surely there is a happy medium to be struck?( As my dad used to say, 'Doris Stokes is a happy medium, but she won't like it if you hit her!' Too obscure? Closing brackets now). In Norn Irn, we get 4 seasons every day, but the most obvious aspect of a typical day is that it widdles incessantly from the heavens!
So, what do we do? We moan about the weather and each other, we prettify our houses and go the seaside and pretend we enjoy it! That is, if we can't afford Magaluf or some other serene destination. Now with the credit scrunch, only the parents of that 7 year old painting prodigy will be able to go abroad! Well, with the return of staycations, I would like to share a few realities from my holiday memories.
My holidays of yore here were worse than being at war. The rain turned every holiday park into a freezing battlefield of mud and despair. It was like a harsh lesson for children that you can't have everything you want, or for that matter, have anything you want! It was the equivalent of National Service and it was a wonder that Social Services didn't intervene on the grounds of cruelty!
You think I exagerrate? Well, you had to be there. The sea was so cold that you had to dare each other to brave it and you came out blue, hoping someone was ready with the blowtorch and the resuscitation gear! My dad insisted on being jolly about it. He said stuff like' 'It'll harden you!' 'Yes, dad', I wanted to say, 'Rigor mortis hard!', but yours truly was neither brave enough, nor had my deathless wit fully developed!
The other abiding memory was the log cabin we went to. Let me tell you, it had no toilet, measured 10 feet by 10, had a gaz stove and candle light. I don't remember washing facilities. It seemed like a bundle of laughs at the time, but I was clearly not discriminating at that age.
Years later, my dad showed me endless, grainy photos of dozens of relatives standing in front of the cabin, smiling from ear to ear. Where they all kipped and why they were smiling is beyond me. The Dunkirk spirit? And no, I never found out where the loo was! I recall two things,clearly, the birds on the roof in the morning sounded to me like rats, so I named it 'Rat HQ' and secondly, we found money under the cushion of the sofa one day and we all went out and had a slap-up fish and chip supper. Great times! Ah, there, I've said it now, it may have been treacherous and the rest, but we were happy. People expect and are given too much now!
Anyway, I'm off to dig out that family photo album. I think I'll dust off those grainy photos of the cabin and have a reminisce.
Yours jocularly with a happy camper attitude,
The blogging Gogfather
Monday, 2 August 2010
Image by k.barker via FlickrMomentous Monday to you all!
Just a quick word or two about dreams today. Some people unkindly say that yours truly is just a dreamer, always in my own thought bubble. Well, I am in the sense that I think about things a lot and have many hopes for the future, even at my advanced age! Apparently, though, we all dream about 4 times every night for periods of about 20 minutes, even if we don't recall anything.
I was getting this from a dream 'expert' on the radio- Ima Fraud, I think the name was. No, I jest. Although I normally feel that 'experts' tend to state the bloomin' obvious, this one got me thinking. Please bear in mind, that what I know about dreams, you could write on the back of a postage stamp and still have room for a secret message. Having said that, however, like you, I have had some quirky and weird dreams over the years and I think we would all like some explanations.
The expert was saying our dreams are our subconscious telling us things and trying to sort things out, to keep us sane. Well, how can I put this, I reckon it only has limited success at that in many cases! She said there are many common themes in dreams and she has compiled a top 100. Typically, I was amused when she said to a phone-in caller that 'Going to the loo in public is our number 2'. How appropriate, you couldn't make it up!
She also said that every character, even people we recognise, in our dreams is an aspect of ourselves. Makes you wonder if multiple personality disorder isn't greatly underdiagnosed, if my dreams are anything to go by. Moreover, she said recurring dreams are your subconscious telling you more and more loudly to sort something out. Well, ok, but I seriously doubt if Dame Judy Dench will go along with the idea of a wild night of passion, but I'll send her a text and see where it goes from there!
At least these days, the experts don't slavishly ramble on about Freud's theories of linking just about everything to 'the other', you know the 'How's your father?' (If you haven't got it by now, I'm not going to spell it out, unlike Freud!)
One reassuring thing, in a way, was that she said that it was unlikely that individuals had premonitions about world events, just before they happened. A study was carried out after 9/11, when a number of people dreamt just before of images they felt related to the 'Twin Towers'. The conclusion was that a tiny percentage will have dreams that seem to refer to the event, when you consider that every human being has 4 dream sessions per night! So, we don't have to fear our dreams, just sort out our issues when we are awake.
Thought I was getting to grips with this subject, then I heard a synopsis of the new movie, Inception, and now I'm confused again!
Anyway, got to fly, I have just got a text reply and it might be Dame Judy. In the meantime, happy dreams!
Yours dreamily yet wide awake
The blogging Gogfather
Sunday, 1 August 2010
Serene Sunday to you all!
People are always hankering after the 'good old days', when everything seemed innocent, simple and happy, like the young whippersnapper in the pic. I reckon, ironically, that nostalgia 's not what it used to be. It's just that we look back through rose-coloured spectacles to our youth and hey-day. I hear you cry,'But Mr William, things were better- higher moral standards and you could leave your back door open etc etc'. I still leave mine open, but that's forgetfulness!
Maybe, but if you go back not so very long ago, there was endemic polio, the Black Death, no penicillin, no anaesthetics and we lived with farm animals in our homes and died in droves in infancy. I admit you have to go back a bit for the ol' Black Death and no, I wasn't around then! I will look forward to lots of comments on all of this!
Talking of medecine, my dad always used to say that 'Medication is worse than the illness'. I am sure he had a point, but he did tend to side with the Luddites and see things in black and white, including tv -he didn't get to see that in colour.
Let me remind you of a couple more inconveniences we had. When I was young, there was no tv and we huddled round a radio to hear the news. Sound quaint? No, it was cold, no central heating or double glazing, no fridge, freezer or washing machine. Mum used a mangle for the laundry. We all nearly lost a hand in it! Yes, we made our own fun, mostly watching a spider crawl up the wall!
Cars, now when we eventually got one, it had those running boards, where you could pretend to be Al Capone and we kids sat in the back with no seatbelts. We all unwittingly played Russian Roulette as to who would go through the windscreen first! One day, my mum was driving and a wasp got into the car. She was distracted and we all ended up in the ditch. Nobody badly hurt, thankfully! Fun to look back on, but it was nearly curtains for yours truly at the time.
Anyway, let me know what you think. Were things better? I certainly loved listening to the 'crooners' back then, Frank Sinatra and Bing etc. My daughter got me a Michael Booby or Bubbly CD. She told me it was just like listening to Frank Sinatra. Well, I may be a bit mutton-jeff, but I told her' 'If I wanted to listen to Frank Sinatra, I would get a Frank Sinatra cd!' Yes, I know, I was a bit of a grumpy git that day, showing my 'gog'(grumpy ol' git) side. My old war wound was playing me up that day. Did I tell you I got shot in the Dardenelles?
Things have changed for the better in some ways. The Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, got married to her Jewish beau. Great to see this level of understanding between religions. Things were more circumcised, sorry, circumscribed, when I was young. Meanwhile, here in Northern Ireland, progress has been evidenced as the target of 30% Romans Catholics in the Police force has almost been reached. Who says miracles don't happen? It will good to see economic rather than military targets becoming the order of the day!
One person hoping to see better days currently is Mr Cameron. It's not good when people are burning effigies of you! If his ancestors are anything to go by, sabre-rattling runs in the family!-Bit of satire!
Anyway, off now to look at my photo albums of way back when. Sentimental? Well, I am only human! Although, someone messaged me the other day and asked me to reply to prove, I am human. Well, I resisted the urge to send the 2-worded one, where the second word is off!
Yours nostalgically yet always on the pulse
The blogging Gogfather!