Wednesday, October 31, 2007

simple pleasures.

How funny. It always makes me smile at what makes me smile.

I was in the very Dickensian Birmingham Law Library this morning (Temple Street, city Centre, Birmingham) carrying out some legal research. The place was as quiet as could be, with vast tomes surrounding me, some editions going back to the sixteenth century. It was one of those times I actually felt like I was a lawyer - eight or nine books were open in front of me with piles of notes to the side. An elderly West Indian cleaner moved ever so slowly around the library, cleaning and mopping.... and humming a very old tune I knew very well. It was an old hymn and it made me smile. I was willing the lady not to go, but she mopped her way towards the exit and out of the door before too long.

A little later, I was searching for a Law Report when something caught my eye. I'd never noticed the door in the corner of the library before - in fact I hadn't been to the library in years, and, when I did visit it was generally always in a hurry. Today was different, I had some time. The door led to a winding staircase and in turn to the gents loo which I never knew existed. I opened the door to the gents loo to see that it was all still in it's Victorian, or, at latest Edwardian state. The old lime tiles and grand loo marked "The Dudley" really made me smile. A marble urinal was perched near a window that looked like something from the set of Flash Gordon. Lectern like, I could imagine Emperor Ming standing at it - not taking a whizz, but bellowing something in a cracked 30's screenplay dialogue to his archrival; Flash.

An old yellowed typed manuscript sat on a makeshift desk giving instructions to 'modern saniatation convenience' or some such wording.

From a corner of the room that seemed locked in time, you could look out through a window partially obscured by card with the lettering 'Birmingham Law Society' and watch modern busy Birmingham pass by: office workers on wp's, pedestrians on mobiles. The whole thing just seemed so odd - and peaceful - and nice.

I got home a few hours later to discover a parcel. A notable midland historian I gave some help to had posted me some books on old Birmingham. Fantastic! I opened the first book to see a picture of a place not 5 minutes from where I'd been just a couple of hours earlier circa 1905.

As I'm typing this, I'm between work - and smiling a broad smile.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Half of new jobs go to migrants....

That's the headline from today's BBC news site.

From the site:

"Ministers do not know where foreign national workers are from

More than half of new jobs created under Labour since 1997 have gone to foreign workers, it has emerged.
The government had previously claimed the majority of new jobs had been filled by British workers.

This appeared to be supported by figures released on Monday, despite the government admitting it had underestimated the number of migrants.

But it later put out a clarification suggesting 52% - or 1.1 million - of new jobs created had gone to migrants.

........But the government's figures were "chaotic" and they proved it was "difficult to keep track of everyone

..........Shadow Pensions Secretary Chris Grayling said: "This situation just gets worse; it's clear we simply can't trust the figures or statements put out by the government on migrant workers in the UK. "

There's loads of discussion about this - migrants will generally work harder and fill the menial posts that some Brits apparently won't take. It was thought that workers would come and go - they don't. They stay and more come - and more, and more, and more. Ludicrous immigration laws and policies see a staggering amount of refugees. Some are undoubtedly genuine. Some undoubtedly are not. Some who are sent home are, incredibly 'lost' in the system.

I'm not overtly political, I do follow current affairs closely, but things here have got to change fast.

What I do know is that taxation is ridiculously high (and by that I mean direct and indirect taxation). The National Health Service is creaking under the strain of the new influx of migrants (a report on the BBC Today programme this morning). Insurance is rocketing, mortgage payments are increasing and the streets are an unwelcoming place for all, particularly children. Ironically, the immigrants of the 50's and 60's suffer the most - they were wrongly unwelcomed when they came, and now, after a long, hard work life, suffer again.

We open our doors to members of the EU who become entitled to state welfare, housing and other benefits. A tiny island with a once unrivaled economy is dying on its feet. If I were from a poorer EU country why wouldn't I travel to the UK? I certainly would, and I would be attracted by the benefits. The problem is that we just cannot cope and this has to stop.

Benefits are handed out at an all time high to many, including the native population while many of those retired and pensioned who have worked here throughout their working life are living in desperate means. Yet the government coffers are emptying at an alarming rate.

Our pension system has been raped and plummeted. Money I've paid into a pension for 22 years is now virtually worthless, despite being lured into that with false promises by the Government.

There aren't enough houses being built, benefits mean that some people are actually worse off by taking work (what's all that about?!!) and gas is over £4 ($8) a gallon.

Knife and gun crime are up - apparently there's a knife crime every 24 minutes.

Despite that, Britain is still a beautiful place with a fantastic rich heritage and history. Why the Government is intent on handing over sovereignty without taking a census from it's people baffles me. The Government has sold the fabric of Britain from under the feet of its people.

Great Britain? Shafted Britons more like....

Cultural diversity is one thing. Allowing the country to fall apart, and having the population pay for it without any say is the worst crime of all the sorry tales above.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

As the days fly by in what seems like a photo flash, I'm ever more aware that another year will slip by and I'll be another year older. I can't believe we're at the end of October and we'll be into 2008 shortly. How frightening.

I've often broached this subject, but I am ever more aware of the fact that some things make much more sense to me, and others leave me baffled and just.....cold.

I am starting to realise that the time I have with my kids is finite. My eldest lad will be 19 and has virtually flown the nest - and I really miss him. My 13 and 15 year old lads are mini adults and are both grappling with the grown up issues of what they're going to do after school, girls, and other stuff that I apparently 'wouldn't understand' because I'm 'too old'.

Harry, my 6 year old stayed at Sue's brother and his wife's house and I really missed kissing him goodnight and tucking him into bed last night. That will stop eventually as he gets older and I'll really miss that.

Maybe it's just me, but I seem to care more about things now than I used to. I'll often wonder if things I say or do will impact on people, whereas before I actually enjoyed being provocative. I look at kids and the younger generation and see how selfish and shallow they can be sometimes. Was I like that? Probably. No one seems to have time for anybody either these days, do they? Do they? I'm pretty sure it was Socrates who despaired about the youth in his days - funny how history repeats itself.

So, as time marches on and I get more of a grumpy old man worrying about the 'kids of today' I can take stock in the fact that I'm appreciating life more, I'm understanding people more and I love my kids and family more.

I hate working as hard as I do, and I appreciate the time I have left. Just a few more camera flashes?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Hi there,

I'm ever so sorry I've not been around for a bit. Work is as busy as ever and the laptop has been out of action for a week or so. I'm sitting typing on the old lap-top with a new keyboard and a brand new screen, bizarre really as I thought they'd just replace the whole unit.

Anyway, time marches on, I'm heading ever closer to that big birthday in mid December and I'm absolutely desperate for every weekend that comes along. My new friend is a tension headache that I can't shake that worsens every time I wake in the early hours around 1 - 2 am.

Why is life so stressful?

I paid £1.05 for a litre of deisel, or to our American counterparts, over $8 for a gallon of gas at the weekend.

It just doesn't seem to get any easier does it?

Saturday, October 13, 2007


need I say more?

podcastpaul podcast 163 - grown up music

Download the show MP3 here - podcastpaul 163 12th October 2007

Podcastpaul podcast no163 12th October 2007
Nathan Wiley - Bride on Fire from Nova Scotia
Not 'butt on fire'
It's all go tomorrow with the Rugby - Come on England!
Hard, hard week Does life get tougher as you get older?!
Estelle Kokot - see you on Sunday - very Norah Jones- gorgeous, gorgeous voice
Is scat making a come back? Christian and I love how corny it is...
Sinister Dexter - Chasing the Clouds away. This grew on me - love the instrumenation, didn't like the vocal, I think I do now.....
What do you get if you cross Karen Carpenter, the Beatles and Dusty Springfield? Lovely run down, great spangly telecaster ... Bobby Blue - If Weird, weird influences!
Time for some blues - Blues for Stevie G; Paul Rose from his album; Promises.
The Last goodbye - Aaron Well, not quite!
Heather Sullivan - Stronger from California, I think she's a country and Western Annie Lennox, is there such a thing? -
What's with the show today? All the music is very grown up! All music today is from the podsafe music network, save for Paul Rose.
Thanks to all the great artists for their permission to play their wonderful tracks today.
send an email:

Monday, October 08, 2007

then and now.

The song lyrics read "What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours......"

Well, on that note, what a difference 35 years makes....

Sunday, October 07, 2007

podcast162 Rugby, London, chat and music from the Brummy bloke

Get the Mp3 Direct from this link here

podcastpaul podcast no162
7th October 2007
MUSIC: UrbanSpaceLab - Picture Perfect
Rugby green light for England, in their fantastic win over the Aussies. Next week we face France
Come on England!
Wayne Barnes is not a happy name in the average NZ household, sorry Clinton Gaille (listener from NZ)!
Interesting to see the NZ headlines - - lead story.
MUSIC: Stephanie Seskin - Chill now
New Jersey artist with a penchant for Yes and Genesis - lovely!
Played this morning at a 550 seater - brilliant! Love drums, but I'm now stone deaf
Christian's band are recording shortly - listen out on the show for some of their tracks.
Do you play? Send in your stuff!
MUSIC: Hurting - Paul Rose from forthcoming album; Promises.
Paul playing with Hollow Horse in a collaboration! wow!
You Tube, a great tutor
Who do you look up?
Some great bands - Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder, classic 80's stuff.... Mark King, Victor Wooton, Mick Karn for bass - Tony Royster Jr, Dave Weckl for drums
MUSIC - 3 blind mice. Baby all
3BM - the band that never, ever let you down. Every tune an absolute classic. Always there to pull some genius out of the bag.
Getting close to Christmas and the big 4-0.
Time just goes so quick!
Work 0 looking at mediation.
London - what a beautiful place..
great place to listen to This week in London with Paul Parkinson on the tube!
Sign off
MUSIC: East of West - Ride the Fade.

Why are the Welsh so wrong about Rugby?

Look at the comments on Ryan Jones' blog here If you're wondering why he got it so wrong, I'll enlighten the unenlightened; he plays for Wales.

Let's look again at the comments eh?

"The creaks in the Australian scrum are not as prevalent as they have been in the recent past, but the set piece remains the area England must pinpoint to exert pressure on their opponents. Vickery will need to be the heart of that effort.

More crucial than that, though, will be his leadership skills. He stood behind his captain, Martin Johnston, in the final four years ago as the Leicester man led from the front and set an example for his troops. Vickery will have to be as talismanic in Marseille on Saturday as Johnson was in 2003 if England are going to keep the defence of their trophy alive.Australia have a devastating backline and, with an ample supply of possession, could cut England to ribbons.

But to do so they will be reliant on the continued form of rookie fly-half Berrick Barnes."

Sorry, mate, yet another stupid, load of old tosh that frankly irritates the whatsits out of me and some might call xenophobic. You were wrong mate and the comments that follow endorse that. The creaks in the Australian scrum were so loud, I looked for the megaphones that were amplifying them. In fact, there weren't creaks, there were collapses, loads of them. They were desperately, desperately embarassing.

And Berrick Barnes? Berrick who? Berwick - on Tweed?

My Welsh colleague at work once said he'd rather support Argentina than England. Many of my Welsh friends will regaile with me with tales of the England weaknesses. Thanks for that, but I sat at Twickenham a few months ago and watched England beat, sorry, crucify, no, demolish Wales 62 -5. So, when I looked a littlemore than bored and disinterested, I do have reason.

But why is WRU so .... idiotic? I remember once hearing Jonothan Davies commentate that the Welsh were playing a clever game by allowing the English to take a lead in the game I watched, I couldn't believe my ears. I seem to remember the Welsh were getting another stuffing on that outing........again.

I'm English first, British second, I'd always plumb for a British team in any contest and shake my head in amazement at the childish way that other Brits sometimes behave.

Just watch the Welsh (I'm sorry - and some Irish and Scots too) start to buy French shirts and do everything but back the English. How sad. There are, of course, the sensible element that do back England, but there's a significant minority, or even majority that won't.

France played so well against a strong All Blacks side today. Let's see how things pan out next week.

Come on England!!!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

England 12 - Australia 10.

Australia are re-acquainting themselves with Qantas. England have just ordered another plate of snails.

What a superb game - the picture says it all really.

The Australians jeered and sneered before the game, particularly Australian Coach; John Connolly who wasn't too kind about poor old Regan suggesting he had nasty side and broke the rules. How many times did the Ozzies collapse the scrum, and how many punches were thrown by the Wallabies?

Connolly's stupid outburst reminds me of that old saying; 'better to keep your mouth shut and make a person think you're a fool, than to open your mouth and remove any doubt.'

I hope Connolly's words stick in his throat every time he looks at his miniature Eiffel Tower on his mantelpiece. Regan played a great game.

The English tabloid press largely wrote off the English pack. Johnny wilkinson on the other hand simply commiserated with the Australian team in his very English way.

What a fantastic world cup this had been.

Roll on France - or New Zealand.......