Friday, August 31, 2007

Proud to be British?

....absolutely, but what an odd day.

From the seriously moving tributes of Prince Harry to the utter trite puerile nonsense of the Big Brother Final.

One remarkable woman whose memory will live on for an age to come, to a dozen or so nobodies who'll we'll struggle to remember in a fortnight.

On the one hand, poise, dignity and everything I love about the true meaning of what I believe is to be English first, British second, to the pathetic scrambling of wannabe z class 'celebrities, literally fighting for space on a very poor 'reality' show. I am so glad this trash finishes today as Sue has watched this nightly for what seems like decades.

How immensely proud I was to see the Queen, the Princes, the Union flags and pictures of the late, beautiful Diana.

How sickened I was to catch a glimpse of a dozen embarrassing idiots all believing they're Hollywood stars.

Talk about a game of two halves.......

Thursday, August 30, 2007

looking forward to the weekend

I've had a pretty stressful week, and have a couple of matters in court next week I've just finished prepping. There's something to be said for getting your files spread out at home, without any distractions on a big dining room table.

I don't know about you, but I'm sick to death of being in the office, trying to concentrate with the 'phone continually ringing, email pinging, mobile buzzing, text messages bleeping and faxes flying in.

I can remember twenty odd years ago wondering how on earth a fax worked - sending it down a phone line. I can still remember being blown away by electronic typewriters (you needed Tipp-Ex or a white correction ribbon).

As great as all the gadgets we have, they are pretty demanding - you're on call at the drop of a hat anywhere anytime.

Well, gadgets and other stuff will no doubt abound at the weekend - I'm at Podcamp UK in Birmingham, just 6 miles north of home. It'll be great to meet up with new and old faces. If you're coming along, nudge me and say hello - if not, watch this space!

Oh - and a podcast in the bag in the next day or so.

Roll on Saturday.......

Sunday, August 26, 2007

bitbox and fish

this is brilliant!

Wise words mate.......

er........ what?

For true enlightenment, watch this

Clearer now?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Acapella fast food style

how about this for an impromptu bit of singing? What a cracking band - Straight No Chaser from Indiana University. Beautiful.

Click this link to see the video

I love the Eighties!

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the Eighties.

Facebook is a brilliant social network and I'm really into it at the moment.

Check out the group at this link here and join in - loads of pictures, videos and chat about the eighties.

Sigh. kids these days just don't know what they're missing. He he....

Friday, August 17, 2007

Back from hols

I'm just back from holiday - another jaunt down south in the caravan.

The weather was vile, but the company was great - my mates, their kids and my brother and his wife; Phil, with Phil's mate, Gary.

I'm bored of going abroad, and I never thought I'd have so much fun in Weston Super Mare on a rainy Tuesday.

Harry had a brilliant time, as did all the kids.

Hmmph. Back to work next week. No more 2p slot machines for me.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I'm going on holiday on Friday. These days I can't bear taking two weeks from work as so much can go on in a fortnight, so I stagger a couple of weeks over a month usually.

I'm not travelling too far, but I will be away with friends and my brother: Phil. Listen out for some podcasts on my return.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


I am sitting watching 'Equator' - a BBC documentary about travel across the equator.

I can't help but feeling the pull on my heartstrings every time I see anything about the plight of folks in Africa. For all the poverty, corruption and sadness, there's an astonishing wealth of culture. I'm saddened I won't be back in Swaziland this November, but I'm anxious to get there next year. Before I went to Swaziland, I was hardened to the images of stereotypical Africa - kids surrounded by flies, staring miserably at a handful of rice. That image is based on ignorance and the bigger picture of Africa is much more complex and more difficult to solve than shipping out bags of food. I don't even pretend to know the surface of the problems, but I'm not daft enough to ignore the difficulties in the small part of the world I saw.

I've such a respect an admiration for the everyday folks of the folks in places like Swaziland, Somalia, Sudan, Mozambique and the Congo. We talk about postcode lotteries with hospital provision here in the UK. What about the worldwide lottery? Every 15 seconds someone dies from AIDS yet we worry about how in fashion our mobile phone is. It really does put things in perspective, particularly when you see and meet Africans who put up with abject poverty yet retain an air of dignity, enjoy a rich culture and know family respect.

I cannot help but think that the forty years I've had here in the UK should really be balanced by trying to help......but how? I wish more than anything I could leave to help in some practical way, particularly in Swaziland, but I'm not that practical. I keep saying to Sue that she needs to get ready for when we move there, and I'm half serious, no, I'm actually three quarters serious. It would be incredible to think that I could re qualify as a Swazi lawyer and help with the corruption that is rife in the court system. Maybe that is something I should consider long term? I would love to live on the farm amongst the kids and see Sue help with the teaching in the nursery. In reality that's a pipe dream, but it's not something I'm giving up on. Then again, tempering that view, why do I and many others feel we have the ability to don a cloak and rush to the rescue? Perhaps many who do that do so naively and cause more problems in the long run?

I can honestly say that I would rather my children learn the respect and culture of many Africans than the selfish material West that we live in. That sounds really harsh, but it's only when you see how little others have you understand that we actually have too much. Coming back from Swaziland, I remember the vivid image of kids without parents, living in huts without basic essentials and switching the tv on to see some bimbo mouthing "because I'm worth it" on a Loreal advert. It's a salutary lesson to know the stark differences when we think we have problems, they usually are so shallow and skin deep.

So how can we help, really? This is where the aid agencies come in. Projects like Swaziland TC are wonderful - but they rely on financial support. That's the best support any of us can give.

It's a good thing to always remember the fact that however little we think we have, we have so much material more than many others.

The fitting end to this post is the tv programme Mike has just switched on - 'American Idol' with David Hasselhoff. That just about sums it up.....

Saturday, August 04, 2007

podcast159 podcastpaul come on England.....

Download podcast 159 direct from here (MP3) podcast 159
Hello / intro
Laurence Elder - mind has a mind.
Christians band - seem to be playing every other week - great to get kids involved in music. Supported The Orange Lights - one of the best bands I've seen in ages.
My ears!
Passed exams - amazing...... looking forward to final year - planning on a couple of recreational degrees......! Some do recreational drugs, I do recreational exams.... they're both hazardous to health
Dankelsco - utopian. I'm looking forward to the weekend - England v Wales ....... songsheets
What are you up to this weekend?
Horrible emails.......
Horrible weather
Terrible disaster in the US, Terrible flooding in the UK, disaster in Asia with the flooding
Howard Jones, Revolution of the heart - be there or be square, Sat and Sun 1/2 September
Ebay - I love it! bet there's good money to be made.
Search for Zen, Mangomad
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