Monday, July 31, 2017



one of the more interesting, and indeed challenging, dynamics of parenting more than one child is balanced fairness. this i know to be very much something those that have done this are quite aware of, look you see, but stating that which may be obvious to some works as a reasonable introduction here.

during recent times it came to be that James was invited along by a friend to go and bear witness to the most recent Oscar-baiting entry in the Despicable Me series of films, with this one entitled Despicable Me 3. we had absolutely no problem with this, and so off he went and i believe it was good. William, alas, was quite cross. he is most enthusiastic about the chronicles of the Minions, and so too wished to see this film.

what to do? well, there was little point in taking James to see it again so soon after he first witnessed it. that would be like, say some 30 or so years ago, going to the cinema 6 (or so) times to see Top Gun purely as the Odeon had it on and were charging 99p a ticket. our decision, then, was that my (considerably) better half would take William to see Despicable Me 3 whilst, thanks to a fortuitous quirk in screening times, at the same instance i would take James to see Dunkirk. see, i got to the point of the title of this post eventually.

a spoiler free review of the film? well, i am late as it has been out for a little while, but should you wish to know my opinion then it merely supports much of that which has been spoken. yes, Dunkirk is a superb film. i am not sure such was required but it firmly cements Christopher Nolan, along with PT Anderson, as one of the greatest filmmakers of our time. to perfectly present a complex historical event in a way that comes in south of two hours and trusts the audience whilst doing so is a true talent.

the idea of spoilers for an historical film is interesting. yes, it is possible. not everyone, you must bear in mind, knows that which you do. so much of the audience might be unaware of what happened at Dunkirk in 1940. also many "historical" films, in particular those made by Mel Gibson, are so far removed from accepted or recorded historical fact that yes, the plot could be riddled with spoilers.

so is Dunkirk a film which is historically accurate? i cannot say. whereas yes, true, i have a degree in history, i studied at a time when the emphasis and focus was firmly on pre and post political diplomacy. to that end, we did not learn dates and events parrot fashion. my understanding is that most with more knowledge than me - that is specific Dunkirk students and indeed survivors of the event who attended the film's premiere - broadly say yes it is. 

quite, that would indeed be James and i having a quick, cheeky selfie before the movie starts. on the one hand i did feel somewhat misplaced using my phone in a cinema theatre even though the ads hadn't even started, but then on the other my behaviour in such was not so base and crass as others. as in, in the same screening we were in, a lady was sat reading her e-book thing with a very bright backlight right up until the BBFC certificate came on screen.

should you wish to do anything else but watch the movie you have paid a considerable fee to watch, may i respectfully suggest that you don't go to the cinema? i mean, to each their own, freedom, etc, but it does seem like a silly waste of money with all you achieving is annoying others. which, in fairness, is the sort of thing some people live and breathe to do.

a cost has come to the short, taunt run time of the film. whilst there tends to be a general acceptance that Dunkirk is as close as one could get to being historically accurate within the confines of cinema, there are mutterings of the film "not telling" the whole story. to do so in a film of any length would, you would think, be virtually impossible. when anyone tells a tale something always gets left out.

oh, yes, concessions prices at the cinema remain ludicrous. for £3.90 one can get a "film combo". this includes a handful of popcorn, a mouthful of coke, more ice than you could possibly need this side of a nuclear reactor and a very easy to count number of skittles. hey ho.

i am not too sure i wish to analyse or go into detail on the film. that said, it would be amiss of me not to highlight aspects which, to me, made Dunkirk so exceptional. much of it would be in the way the story is told. a lot of this comes from the way in which visuals are not so much allowed to dominate in telling the story, but dictate mood and reaction. echoing, in part, the brilliant opening hour or so of There Will Be Blood by the previously mentioned PT Anderson, dialogue is kept to a minimum. as mentioned earlier, the audience is trusted to draw and understand what they will rather than having a morality or emotion drawn for them or forced upon them.

the disjointed, dislocating nature of the narrative is also an inspired move. whilst dealing with what is ostensibly just a few days, the audience skips back and forth in time across them. you get no warning that this will happen when it does. strangely, indeed superbly, it does this without revealing any key details concerning the eventual fate of the many characters you encounter.

no, that above has nothing to do with the film Dunkirk. my mate Spiros, who i have mentioned in passing here once or twice before, reckons that there are certain things i do which should see me wearing a "classic" late 80s or early 90s Chicago Bulls cap. the above would be the closest that i have found to such, and the price of them says no i am not.

much has been said of Christopher Nolan's directorial genius and his seemingly innate (although i speculate hard work and study too) ability to craft superior films. a lot of this comes to fruition in the form of an inspired cast. surely yes, the headline grabbers have been the well known actors to appear, namely Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Kenneth Branagh. to this i would add Mark Rylance, who if such is required is "the star of the show" with a compassionate, introverted and extraordinary strong performance. much of the focus, however, falls on the (relatively) unknown cast who carry the burden of the story. they, in particular Fionn Whitehead and Aneurin Barnard, are superb.

to the controversy, then. the decision to cast Harry Styles of One Direction fame in the film. this of course isn't the first time a Christopher Nolan decision was controversial. the backlash against Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight made Star Wars fanboys seem restrained. that was until we all saw the film, were left devastated by an incredible performance and adopted the stance "in Nolan we trust".

so is the introduction of Harry Styles to the world of cinema as inspired and impressive as the Heath Ledger incident? no, but not negative no. in many respects yes. he is not the focus, the film is not about him and he does not get dominating screen time. what he does do, though, is play the part assigned very well indeed. thus, you are not watching a pop star play at being a solider, you are witnessing solid acting. if he were to continue on with a film career i would suggest he has every ability in the world to do so with measured success. well done, lad.

i disgraced myself a bit with the above book. perhaps i would remain silent and no one would know, but the truth shall always out. in order to purchase Dunkirk by Joshua Levine for the wonderful price of £2 i had to at the same time buy a copy of The Sun for 50p. in net terms this made it cheaper than the cheapest price for which it could be purchased, £3.85. so i did it. many of the people i respect in this world, and am so fortunate as to consider friends, are firm advocates of the "Don't Buy The Sun" campaign. i wholeheartedly endorse this and am sorry to have broken it. forgiveness, perhaps will come in the form of the motivation.

much noise is being made about how one "should see Dunkirk on the biggest screen possible". indeed yes, the visuals are sweeping and impressive. and Nolan's love of using the Imax format is well known. i would, however, speculate that this film can be enjoyed, or rather appreciated, as and when the DVD, Blu Ray and "streaming" release all happens.

and what did James, a young lad who as part of school studies is learning of World War 2, make of Dunkirk? with the greatest of respect to motion picture statements such as Despicable Me 3 he now considers Dunkirk to be the greatest film he has seen.

he, as in James, was concerned about how sad i was at parts of the film, in particular some key scenes with Mark Rylance. i explained that, but for a fate of time and history, that could well have been me with my Dad on a boat trying desperately to make others survive. should we also fail to learn from history, one day that could just as much be me with James doing that. yes, he gave me a hug.

well, anyway, there are other things i could say - in particular a moment which was the absolute perfect personification of the English way of doing things - but let me leave it there. if this has all been of use or interest to someone, well then so much the better.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

leader, knighthood, legend, etc.....


for something of a noticeable number of approximately 0.078% of the incumbent UK population, look you see, the rather well known John Terry was, perhaps is, aspects of the title of this post. indeed variations of this are applicable to a global population, such has been the rather lucrative marketing and branding of the Premier League around the world.

steady on, you say. yes, quite. much caution must be used when discussing John Terry, and so i shall. this post may well then be brief; rather that than litter it with text such as [text removed on legal advice] being what you read here more than anything else.

calls have been made from a fraction of the registering number of the 0.078% above for John Terry to be awarded a knighthood, or have the title "Sir" formally bestowed upon him. this would be in regard of his many, many achievements. the most recent of these, in looking for an excuse to have a picture in this post for many get really distressed by text only posts, is his (ahem) "winning" a trophy for his new employers, Aston Villa.

i am led to believe that this trophy was won in valiant fashion via beating some German team or another across the course of a 45 minute "special" match. well done to all involved, then.

there are some who disagree with the idea of John Terry being awarded a knighthood. they do such protestations in quite strong terms, citing all sorts of reasons not to which i am reluctant to repeat here, less i need to speak to a lawyer or do that whole [text removed on legal advice] thing.

something we could probably take as a given is that one day John Terry will release an autobiography of sorts, or an "official" biography. there can be little doubt that the cover shall feature he resplendent in a full Chelsea kit, and be called something like "Mr Chelsea" or "Chelsea Legend". should he be awarded a knighthood, and he was quick about it, i suppose he could release it under the name "Sir Chelsea", i suppose.

what you have to remember about John Terry, and again i am being as careful as possible with the wording, is that he is in an elite bracket of professionals to have been awarded / given the England captaincy twice. thus, he is in an even smaller elite bracket of people who have found themselves not England captain for very specific reasons.

overall, i say yes, give John Terry a knighthood. it would be with enthusiasm that i would watch with entertainment what happens next. and, those who say no, remember - unlike the England captaincy you really can only be stripped of a knighthood the once.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

بيمجري قائم بين المجرات , كوكبي , كوكبي , بيمجري قائم بين المجرات

hello there

as is rather inevitable on the internet, at least in the way we have created it, there's been a bit of a backlash to a post what i done. well, kind of. i mean this backlash, for what it is, tends to exist only in my thinking as such, look you see. it is a backlash all the same, and so should be addressed.

some time ago i composed a post in celebration of Intergalactic, that magnificent recording by the most splendid and charming Beastie Boys. specific reference was paid to one of the greatest artistic expressions of all time, which is when some genius combined Intergalactic with the proper version of Battlestar Galactica from the 70s. should you so wish to make yourself familiar with that post, please do consider clicking these colourful words to take a gander.

well, for some the pictures cheapened the article. probably. no pictures featured of the Intergalactic single as such, and there was scant (as in none) images of proper Battlestar Galactica off of the 70s. this post seeks to address such disappointment, anger, frustration and sadness. if, indeed, anyone felt such at all.

my most earnest hope is that the above, within the confines of clarity of Commodore 64 mode, illustrates a satisfactory level of committent, allegiance, dedication and compliance with both the Intergalactic single off of the Beastie Boys and, indeed, proper Battlestar Galactica off of the 70s.

why didn't i simply show all of this off in the original post in order to save a lot of fuss and silly bother? to do so would have robbed me of material for a second post. also, i have only just recently stumbled on these in a box or two as i was looking for some other concern. be not sad for what was not, be accepting of what is.

looking at the reverse of the items pictured above reveals something, for i added it as an afterthought for this particular picture.

quite, yes - that is the novelization of Battlestar Galactica by Glen A Larson and Robert Thurston, published in 1978. i rather fancy it covers only the "double pilot" episode what got turned into a movie of sorts rather than the series entire.

to my knowledge my DVD collection of Battlestar Galactica compromises all of the available releases related to the proper 70s version, at least as far as England or if you like UK editions go. These four sets are the Battlestar Galactica "pilot film" comprising the pilot episodes and a few extra scenes, the entirely of the proper 70s Battlestar Galactica TV series, Mission Galactica The Cylon Attack which was a film made out of some episodes with extra bits added, and then finally Galactica 80, when the ship made it to Earth and found it to be a backward place.

it would be my understanding that the whole of proper Battlestar Galactica off of the 70s has been issued on that new fangled format, Blu Ray. from a budgetary perspective i am not so inclined as to "upgrade" or purchase again, so yes you may accuse me of not being a proper fan in that respect if you would so wish to. people who hate are always going to find something to hate, so there you go, that saves you time looking.

those with little or no interest in proper Battlestar Galactica off of the 70s but for some reason are still reading this would quite possibly wish to know more of the Intergalactic CD single. this is one of at least two variants issued. whilst the other, which i do not have, features many remixes of the song (no the Battlestar mix is not on it). this two track CD has on it the album version of Intergalactic and Hail Sagan (Special K). in respect of the latter, so far as i am aware this song was only available on the "tour edition" of Hello Nasty, and then on the celebratory 2009 special edition reissue of the album.

pretty much all that i could have said about Intergalactic and Battlestar Galactica Proper was done over in the other post linked above, so i will just bung another picture of my quasi complete collection on here for you now, ok, very good, to be sure.

one of the most wonderful things about this, and yes i probably said so before, is that proper Battlestar Galactica off of the 70s and Intergalactic off of the Beastie Boys are excellent in themselves and in their own right. bringing the two together just so happens to make it all the more awesome, even if doing such is not so essential.

anyhow, that's that for this, on to other concerns.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

lamenting falling standards


when no less than John Lennon invented the classless society i believe, to be sure, what he intended for was the standards of all to be in parity by raising. oh, hang on. no. sh!t. not John Lennon, John Major i mean. back in 1992 it was, look you see, when he was on the campaign trail. or trial i suppose, since those who would seek to be elected are in a sense judged.

anyway, whichever John what it was that invented it and got elected on the back of it i am sure, as i said, that they wished all to be elevated upwards in terms of the English way of doing things, and not have everyone brought down to the lowest most common and crass of denominators.

this, alas, did not happen. well, yes it did. the latter has come to the fore rather than the former. many crimes are allowed to be in consequence of this. commoners, for instance, are now allowed in to Fortnum & Mason without wearing a proper, formal suit. and, perhaps most heinous of all, once prestige, luxurious biscuits intended only for the higher classes are now made available for costs affordable by the former working class and the levels below.

yes, the Viscount luxury biscuit. and this, once, was quite the luxury. in this bold and brave new classless society invented or instigated by some John or another it has fallen considerably from that status, but we shall get to that aspect.

for now, history. many of my fellow readers will either have grown up in England (or the broader UK) in the 70s and 80s. a significant number of others will not, but be interested in it. to this, if you had a select number of relatives which you visited in instances it was invariably the case that one of them was "posh". this can be real term posh or by default, i.e. they were posher than all them other relatives you visited.

when you visited such a relative you were instantaneously made aware of the fact that, in their eyes, you were lower class and most decidedly inferior. their home was full of all sorts of intricate posh things that you dare so not much as look at never mind touch. on those instances where you were allowed to be present in their home you were usually served tea in a cup beyond your own financial possibilities. further, you were offered the poshest of the posh biscuits to go with it. biscuits that you could only normally salivate at the prospect of tasting.

from time to time these would be what many consider the holy grail of posh biscuits, which was Club, but normally it would be Viscount.

to take a brief pause from the history of them, indeed is above a look at the Viscount biscuits i was most recently able to procure. sorry, i cannot show you one with a bite taken out. other than such an image being crass, it would allow fraudsters to make a 3D print of my dental records.

as for what they are actually like as biscuits, well, think Jaffa Cake, but with a firmer biscuits and the gooey minty innards of an After Eight mint inside rather than orange or similar citrus joys. yes, they taste exquisite and exceptional; just as you would imagine that most prohibited of forbidden fruits would.

so anyway, when back in the 70s or 80s a posh relative offered you Viscount (or Club), it was in a specific way. this was always with the host thinking "society and the accepted English way of doing things means that i must offer my guests, as urchin, cretinous, lower class trouble as they are, a delicious biscuit with their tea, tea that is far too good for them". as such, they were proffered in your direction with your host - posh, lest we forget - most distinctly raising their nose to the heavens so as they may be seen as elevated from you.

theoretically they were offered in a manner which suggested you could take more than one. should you have done, though, however, you would have been greeted with a tut, and it is highly unlikely that you would ever be allowed one again, should you even be permitted a further audience or visitation.

and, by jove, you ate the Viscount carefully and slowly. not a single crumb would you allow to fall to be discarded. each and every moment of this opulence and luxury was to be savoured, for it is was unlikely that you would experience such any time soon thereafter.

now, in this enlightened time of the great classless society, in the name of equality Viscount biscuits have been ruthlessly devalued. no more than £1 is charged for a packet, with them being freely available at establishments such as Poundland, as well as the "bargain" or "savers" shelves of prestigious retailers like Tesco.

if not quite the opium, Viscount biscuits have then become "the marijuana of the masses", i suppose. whilst it is wonderful that they are now so freely available and virtually all may enjoy them, i lament for some of the special magic associated with the privilege of being able to have one has gone away, perhaps forever.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

the western man with one lung gone

hello there

much, i would speculate, of my morning rituals (or routines) would be matters that you have little interest in. indeed, as point of fact, it may be prudent to say you'd rather know not much of them, to be sure. well, in this instance i feel obliged to reveal one of them, look you see. it is on or of a morning that i, when dining upon breakfast alone, consult the website of the BBC to look at the front pages of the newspapers for the day today.

on the instance of this morning (or yesterday, or a few days ago, depending on when exactly you read this) there was one common theme the newspapers of the UK apparently wished me to consider. yes, true, usually the newspapers are similar in covering the same story on the front page, but in this instance it was thematic. and that theme was, in the sense of the ways in which Frankie Goes To Hollywood thus spake, spunk.

in continuance of the Frankie theme, papers were giving the spunk loads in that direction in two ways. one scientific; the other what one might call the practical application. although perhaps this is all one in the same. anyway, let us gander.

i would say please do ignore the horrible, ghastly picture of Theresa May, but to do so would in a tacit way imply that it was possible to have a picture of her which was neither ghastly, horrible or beyond. terrible woman; despises the people she would claim to lead and i have had all the expensive experience of this that i need.

please do, for the moment, also ignore the standard stuff on the front page of The Guardian, which is to say all the anti-Tory, pro-Labour comments. instead look towards the bottom. that is where you will find one of many stories today relating to what The Guardian considers to be a "shocking" fall in the level of sperm count. in, yes, western men.

there is every chance that i shall step on the toes of things that people believe, advocate and support as i go on with this. should your disposition be that you simply do not like to read things which disagree with what you think of the world then perhaps now, as you have the point of all of this in broad terms, is a good point for you to depart to another corner of the internet.

my understanding would be that The I is all that remains in a physical sense of the newspaper The Independent, with that now being an all online concern. be that as it may, as you can see The I has elected to go full tilt with all of this spunk worry.

what's the gist, so to speak? apparently scientists are concerned that, "for a number of reasons", sperm counts in western men have fallen considerably. no, the front pages do not say if this is comparative to, for instance, eastern, southern, northern or those oh so often overlooked central men.

quite a serious story, to be sure, and i would not wish to underplay it. but it is also something i feel compelled to say "hang on a minute" about, and pose comment.

to start with, for the last couple of decades (at least) what we, the general population of this planet, have been hammered with is "over population". not necessarily by scientists, granted, but the lesson repeated to the point of acceptance has been "there are too many of us, we are producing too many people, we have to stop the population explosion or we are all doomed". and now the new teaching is "oh dear we are not being able to produce more people".

did The Sun by any chance also cover spunk on the front page today? yes they did, but from an entirely different angle.

as many of you will not need me to tell you about The Sun has always seen itself as a champion of inspiring the production of many buckets of heterosexual spunk, except for instances when they have upset non-hetero communities a bit too far for the usual and have to do some token pieces ostensibly advocating tolerance if not acceptance. they, then, have elected to cover something called Love Island, which from what i can gather is all sex of the hetero variety and so in fitting with The Sun.

no, i have not seen Love Island but far be it from me to knock or be critical of a show which is so popular. by the sounds of it the show is exactly what we of my generation would have absolutely loved to have had on the tele in our bedrooms in our early teen years, but we made do with them illicit "red triangle" broadcasts on Channel 4.

to venture back briefly to The I, well, i appreciate that this is not so much what scientists are saying but rather what the editors out of The I have elected to focus on. they say smoking, "chemicals" and obesity are "possible" causes of the lack of spunk in the western world. undoubtedly they are. the problem is the wording. you could argue anything is a "possible" cause of anything you like, really. in this instance, with variations in level of direct experience, i can pretty much assure the readership of The I, and the world at large if so required, that fat smokers who have come into contact with "chemicals" do indeed have sex and would seem quite able of producing children.

a collapse is what The Daily Telegraph considers the sperm count, indicating that it could cause the end of humanity. for my thoughts on how to interpret "could" in this or any news story, please refer to my comments above in respect of "possible causes". to wit, it both "could" and it is "possible" that there's some secret code in place, and if you phone a Ferrari dealership and fart down the phone at them then they give you a free car.

i understand that in the modern world many declare themselves to be "atheist" and take it as a given that this means they are more intelligent than anyone else. the backbone of this approach to live, and for the most part i am all dig what you dig, live and let live, is that atheism relies on a dedicated belief in the ways of science; the argument being that science is all the fact where religion is not.

this description of science tends to be a misnomer. scientific discovery or interpretation is "fact" only so far as it is accepted to the point where someone else disproves it or provides an alternate theory. whilst not as openly, granted, in essence science is just as open to interpretation and debate as any religion you care to name. in my view, anyhow.

however, if we take "science" to equal "fact" for the moment, there's the problem. science deals with interpretation and definition within a frame of reference. it has no interest in belief or feel. thus it seldom considers the actual living, people with emotions and capable of thought indications of what is produced in the name of it, or the implications of how they will change what they do in accordance with any such findings, revelations, etc.

yes, The Daily Mail getting all excited about Theresa, all dirty on diesel and apparently no interest in spunk at all. but diesel is another instance of science, is it not? twenty or so years ago science was all "oh, diesel is much better for the environment, hey everyone switch to diesel and the planet will be fine". now the song of science is "oh dear studies show diesel is absolutely knacking the planet, hey everyone ditch diesel use petrol instead and the planet will be fine".

much of the ills of the modern world are not so much down to our all of a sudden lack in understanding that 2 + 2 = 4, but rather that we tend not to realise that this 2 and that 2 need to be added together to get the answer. take, for example, the NHS. we are informed that the system is over burdened, resources are stretched and please do not visit doctors or hospitals if it is not an emergency. and yet go to any chemist in England (and to an extent the UK) and it is always the same, ask to buy anything self diagnostic, be it headache pills, something for a tummy bug or a touch of cold, and you get "oh have you been to doctor? you must go to doctor, see a doctor to check it".

an extension to the above which goes sinister is the NHS and the "pension shortfall problem". everywhere you turn there's stories of how the NHS and pensions are knacked because everyone is living longer. at the same time, eating, drinking, smoking and lifestyles are being (in a mix of subtle and overt ways) forcefully changed to ensure that people live longer. well, as i said, there seems to be a great reluctance to take the one 2 and the other 2 to add and get the answer. no, i do not have any suggestions or theories about what to do after that.

understand the effect of a cause rather than be distracted by the cause and effect sequence, then, would i suppose be a "tl;dr" thing for this. i am reminded of an incident at the 1992 European Championships in the football. Sweden played host, and as is the generous nature of the Swedish, they decided to set up tents to give English football fans free beer. wouldn't you know, a little while after these same Swedish were complaining that they had to deal with drunk English football fans.

perhaps, yes, i should cease considering the front pages of newspapers on a morning, or simply not spend so much time thinking about them.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

futher book review sort of things

hello, fellow reader

at least i presume you're a fellow reader. well, you are as point of fact reading this, look you see, and so it's not much of a stretch to say that reading is something you do. theoretically i read what i am writing, so fellow also seems pretty appropriate in that sense.

right, ok, with that all said and done, on to the books. i have read another two, to be sure, since i last did this sort of post, and so comment on them is what comes next from me. as ever i have absolutely no clue if this is of interest or use to anyone, but here it all is on the off chance that yes it indeed is.

here's a look at what it is i have read of late, then, followed by some quick, spoiler free sort of overview comments if you are in a rush or simply want to (perhaps wisely) engage in a spoiler free reading experience of either at some stage.

it is with some delight that i say Helka's Children by James Brogden was one of the most enjoyable reads i have had of late and is pretty much what i would consider great and perhaps essential reading (or consideration) for any fantasy / horror fans. there is slightly less delight, however, with Burning Angels by renowned urine enthusiast Bear Grylls. whilst at the time it is a good read, and helpful in wrapping up parts of the previous one, Ghost Flight, ultimately it's hugely disappointing.

with that being the overview, please do take it as something of a given that a *** SPOILER WARNING *** so merrily exists and is in place for the remainder of this post. please don't say i didn't warn you, as i did, just then. also, links to where one may purchase the books from pretty much any address in the world are there purely for convenience - they're not any sort of affiliation or endorsement by me.

ok, right, yes, let's get on to the first of these two books that i read, in the order i read them in. which means we get to start with the better of the two, Helka's Children by James Brogden.

provenance of my copy? i forget which precisely, but £2 or £3 off of Tesco. i think the lower, former number, actually. it's smart that Tesco randomly has a novel that you might not otherwise buy for a low price every couple of weeks. perhaps it is a "loss leader" to attract people in, but we are not here to discuss their marketing.

plot? tricky to summarize without giving much away, despite the spoiler warning standing. but, anyway. four student apparently vanish into mid air during an outing involving walking the hills of Sutton Coldfield. one returns, but has no memory of what happened and no idea of where they went too. about a decade later the incident is brought to the fore with the discovery of a body. at first the body is thought to be thousands of years old, but certain anomalies seem to connect it to the missing children. this serves to bring the teacher responsible for the children back to the area in order to try and work out just what exactly happened......

how good is this book? as it went on i got a distinct sense of late 80s, early 90s Clive Barker. as in, yes, that good. although elements are familiar this is one of the funniest, original and entertaining horror / fantasy books i have read in quite some time.

obviously if you don't really like horror or fantasy then you need to avoid it. also, some pretty gruesome violence crops up from time to time. for me, i loved it, and i say bring on March 2018 when apparently his next book, The Hollow Tree, will be made available to the public.

any downside to this book? actually yes. in the bio section James Brogden describes himself as a "part time Australian". this is not good enough chap. you should be proud of where you are from, not worry so much about where' you're at, and describe yourself as a full tilt Australian.

on we go then to Burning Angels by Bear Grylls. i suspect this is his 2nd work of fiction, but am certain that it is at the least the second novel what he has done to feature the entirely imaginary protagonist of Will Jaeger. as in this is a follow up or if you like sequel, to be sure, to Ghost Flight.

provenance of my copy? costing and location of purchase withheld, for it was a most thoughtful Father's Day gift. received with great thanks, for my children were not to know that, ultimately, this novel would be something of a let down. no, actually, disappointment.

the plot? this really is quite tricky to do without spoilers for that first novel, so do be considered as being extra warned. with that yet another disclaimer in mind, the action picks up only a short while after the end of Ghost Flight, with Jaeger and his team determined to rescue a missing member from that first mission. after that there's more unravelling of the mysteries of the Nazi war plane which was at the heart of Ghost Flight. Jaeger is drawn in to finding the truth of what Nazi secrets escaped the war, where his kidnapped family are and incidentally saving the world.

so yes, much of this does kind of echo a Ben Hope novel off of Scott Mariani. which is no bad thing, as mostly they are fun to read. the pacing of this novel makes it something of a pleasure of a breeze to read, it's just that the content, structure and conclusion pretty much leave you left flat and deflated at the end of it all.

a breakdown of the novel in percentage points? why not, warning again of spoilers....

20% of it is wrapping up events of Ghost Flight
15% of it is referencing things that happened in Ghost Flight
30% of it is the actual plot and story of this novel in itself
00% of it is related to things you can do with urine
10% of it is related to saving elephants and twatting poachers as a sub plot
20% of it feels like it is setting up the premise of a third novel
05% of it is just wrapping up the whole thing in a rushed, this will do sense

it would be fair to say that something of a 'Catch 22' exists with this novel. should you have read an enjoyed Ghost Flight then you will want to read this to see how the story ends. but as you are likely to head to disappointment there is little point in reading Ghost Flight if the only ambition you have in doing so is that this novel will make sense.

the most surprising element was the complete lack of urine related matters, bar a small thing with the elephants. universal advice says that writers should try to play to strength by writing of that which they know. my understanding of Bear Grylls is that he made fame by making some television shows which depicted him drinking his own urine to survive, using his own urine to cure all sorts of ailments, bites and infections, and having celebrity guests come on his show to urinate on him as and when the presumably magical powers of it could cure him.

so as to repeat myself once more, my most earnest hope is that these reviews, or if you like comments, are of some use to someone somewhere. most happy day if i in a certain capacity have assisted you in selecting something of interest to read, or perhaps to avoid.

proudly on i march, then, to the next books. one of these shall be the most recent John Grisham one to make it into paperback; The Whistler it is called, i think.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

how soft your fields so green

good day

a bit of a cheeky, perhaps saucy post this one, look you see. underwear is the unavoidable subject of this post. well mostly it is, to be sure, as so gloriously indicated by the title. yes, i know - blimey, they will be saying in Britain, strewth they will be saying in Australia and a whole load of unmentionable cursive words will be uttered by Americans. but, by jove, i am going to do it.

recently, as opposed to some distant future date, i was going about my business when i was confronted with what i consider to be a bargain. strangely this was not within the realm of Poundland or similar. no, it was in a much more posher shop. not that there's anything wrong with Poundland; just some stores have a more discerning set of patrons.

my instinct, perhaps more of a proclivity, is to not leave a bargain abandoned or wasted. it was with a sense of such obligation, then, that i purchased the item i saw which struck me so very much as being of a value not to be betrayed.

yes, as you can see, the bargain to be brought to my attention (and subsequently bought) was an undergarment. ladies knickers, to be precise, although one suspects you have no need for my words of clarification with the precision of Commodore 64 mode being used for this initial image.

it is indeed the case that this item is portraying a celebration of a love for England.  all too often in this day and age the do gooders, the social media justice keyboard warriors and those with too much free time on their hands with absolutely nothing better to think about try to suppress celebrations of England, saying that to do so is in some way "racist". we, as a country, have so many faults, true. so does every other country that ever existed, except Australia if you ask Australians. but we have done oh so very much good too, thank you. every now and then it is ok to recall this.

no, there are to be no pictures of i or anyone else wearing them in this post. i do try to keep this blog relatively clean and non-provocative, you know. i can't say it all avoids upsetting people because everything ultimately upsets someone somewhere. such is life. 

cost of these celebratory, apparently designed for the ladies England undies? 50p, ladies and gentlemen. that is what they were marked and thus that is what i paid, despite them coming up as 25p north of this at the till. i corrected the retailer, they checked, said sorry and applied the correct pricing.

place of purchase? Boyes, where the haberdashery section has gained something of an infamous if not notorious reputation for being a hotbed of repressed sexual longing being unleashed. whilst there i also bought these special limited edition packets of Fox's glacier mints what are ice cream flavoured. i picture them as the price was £1 a packet, but if you bought one you got one free; effectively making one packet the same cost as the pair of undies. so yes, for all you comparison fans, there you go.

are these Fox's glacier mints, or if you like Fox's glacier's mints's, of any significance? maybe. i mean, Peter Jackson et all spent years and years making them Hobbit Rings films, to be sure. there's every chance that at one point a member of the cast or crew had a packet of these on the go. 

quite, yes, the above image is, in non-Commodore 64 mode, the back of the undies. or the reverse if you like. as you can see it depicts St George's Cross, or if you will the Cross of Saint George, fashioned from delightful little love hearts.

i suspect this might be my most favourite part of the underwear, outside of course of the fact that they only cost 50p flat sterling. a recent survey, which i have just carried out here alone in my elevated shed, has revealed that the most sexy thing in the world (excluding David Lee Roth) is the undergarments worn by Austin Powers out of Austin Powers; the ones which featured a Union Flag on the back. yes, the one we all call the Union Jack, but pedants will always insist that you only call it the Jack as and when it is on a ship or something like that

just what do i propose doing with these undies? i am not certain. my (considerably) better half might consider wearing them, i suppose. that said, selling them on has not entirely been ruled out. from what i can ascertain the Japanese in particular are most enthusiastic about purchasing ladies items of the underwear nature. there is much, if not plenty, of Yen i could coin, then.

further comparisons of cost for you, then. the above are indeed 3 CDs, purchased as is, which is to say sans boxes or packaging beyond a sleeve. yes, what you see is indeed Greatest Hits by Queen, which i recall fondly from being on my walkman as a tape made by my Dad in the early 80s, Hounds Of Love off of Kate Bush and the celebratory Ten by Pearl Jam. cost? 49p each. so that makes each disc 1p south of the cost of these undies. it really is criminal how music has been devalued these days, but then again also beneficial i suppose.

do i, when out and about with my business, make it a habit to inspect and see the price of ladies undergarments? not really, no matter what you may think of me. these for sale cheap undies were on prominent display in a section of Boyes far removed from the standard clothing sector; near the hardware as point of fact. i was thus lured in.

true - if nothing else ever comes of them then i have spent an effective 50p, in real if not actual terms, on something that has enabled me to write a blog post which may entertain one or two people around the world. and of course there might be some Japanese reader eagerly stroking their credit card as they read all of this (or simply look at the pictures), considering making a suitable offer so that they may take custodianship if not ownership. the tag says they are a size 14, by the way, whatever that means exactly.

should for some reason your interest in this world be low cost underwear which commits one to making a statement by wearing them then i shall trust this has been of great interest. for everyone else, well, splendid if this turned out to be all more interesting than you suspected it would be.

and now, then, to get on with further matters i must surely do.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

and so scams continue

hello again

yes, quite, one of them "public service" sort of posts i do every now and then, to be sure. i just figure that these might be of help to someone searching for answers if they get similar messages, look you see.

the title of this post implies plural, which is as it should be. not one, not three but most decidedly two attempts to con have been received in the last few days. it struck me as apt and useful to cover both in one post.

of these the first we shall look at is the most modern or newest of scam attempts, the text message. whereas text messages on mobile phones have been a thing for some two decades, give or take, it feels like a concerted effort to con via them has only been on the go for the last couple.

here, with some details edited out so as not to give them the air of chance of people trying, is the latest fake text.

at a glance you would be forgiven for assuming this is a valid text off of that bank called Natwest, or if you like NatWest or Nat West indeed. what the con relies on is your mind tricking you into thinking that in a glance you saw "Natwest" and so it must be legit, whereas in reality it says "Ntwest", meaning there is an "a" missing.

under no circumstances would any (proper) bank ever send you any message that blindly asks you to login to a site to "verify your details". that is a message which must be relayed and repeated again and again so no one forgets and all are aware. you may be thinking "but i know that". well, others do not, which is why this scam works from time to time.

if this is all too late and you have clicked on something like the above, perhaps it is not too late. stop reading this and contact your bank immediately for assistance. otherwise, as and when a text like this comes on your phone, just delete it straight away.

one of the perpetuated myths about texts like this is that "but how did they get my number" question. there's no intelligence or obtaining of data behind it. these scammers simply set up computers to generate millions of numbers which follow the pattern of the standard for mobiles in any particular country. the whole thing is automated, sent out in a "hit and hope" manner with the wish of catching someone.

to bring in the second, here's a look at a decidedly internet related form of scam - the scaremongering, made to make you fear pop up browser window demanding coins of money

let it not be said, at the least, that scammers don't have their finger on the pulse of the news. they know that many shall be aware of this "wannacry" virus ransomware thing, in particular as, from what i remember, it affected a number of NHS computers.

this demand pop up window is utter nonsense. no, Microsoft are not really saying they are watching your well being, and they are certainly not the ones you would contact if you followed the request for details on this.

should a pop up like this strike you whilst browsing the net simply close the browsing window and it is all gone. do not click on the links, do not call the numbers given and most decidedly do not hand over any information requested.

sometimes it seems that the browser window with this nonsense is "locked", as in it does not close easily. simply start Task Manager (on a Windows computer at the least) to close it down. you can access this by either right clicking over your tool bar (the bit at the bottom of your computer screen) (unless you have moved it to the side or top) or by pressing the Ctrl, Alt and Del keys at the same time.

well, there you go - hopefully for those concerned or curious this has all been of some reassuring help. or has given you a clue what to do if you've clicked on entirely the wrong thing.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 21, 2017



sometime an introduction which elaborates upon a set title is unnecessary and, to be sure, superfluous. this, i would imagine, is very much the case here. i would like to think that you, dear reader, have ascertained from the subject matter of the title of the post that yes, indeed, once again, look you see, i have been replacing a toilet seat.

not just any toilet seat, though. no. especially not in terms of cost, gentrification and all that fancy good stuff. as we shall see through the course of this post - or at least you will if you continue to read as such - this is possibly the single most expensive toilet seat which i have ever handled.

frames, or frame, of reference for this story - and it is a story - are or is perhaps a good idea. one of the hinges on our then current, or if you so wish the incumbent, toilet seat had eroded to the point of breakage. it seemed quite distressed, but possible to repair. also, possible not to do so.

as my (considerably) better half was rather fond of the existing toilet seat (and in fairness it was quite class) she requested that i look a replacing the hinge rather than the seat entire. i explored this possibility and found it to be, as we shall see later on, impractical.

the nearest best i could do, then, was to purchase an exact or perhaps precise (identical, maybe) replacement. and so this is what i did, as you can clearly see above. what is it? i would not have thought you would care too much to know what toilet seat we have within the home, but if i am wrong then it is the New York model off of Bemis. they seem to name all their model of toilet seats after cities in America; go figure.

and what did this cost? an extravagant and somewhat eye watering £38 ladies and gentlemen. yes, thirty eight, for there was no typing error. unless i have managed to make the mistake twice. this, i am assured on various review sections, is considered a mid-price toilet seat cost. probably good enough for minor Royals and select members of the aristocracy, then.

from pure respect from the high number of readers i get around the world, here's what that cost for 1 (one) toilet seat breaks down or otherwise translates into in other currencies.

¥5598.70 (Japan)
BC 0.02419 (Bitcoin)
$AUS 63.53 (Australia)
$NZ 67.71 (New Zealand)
$US 49.75 (USA)
CZK 1131.04 (Czech Republic)
€ 43.38 (Eurozone)
₯ 14,788.04 (Greece)
₪   176.90(Israel)
B/ 49.75 (Panama)
R 648.66 (South Africa)
₽ 2937.96 (Russia)
रु  5131.07(Nepal)
$B 99.50 (Barbados)

i have every reason to suspect, however, that the price is not applicable in Germany. my good friend Spiros has lent me some documentaries on social etiquette in Germany over the years. everything about these suggest that as and when a German has a call of nature they express this in a decidedly unconventional way, using a friend, partner or stranger rather than a dedicated plumbing facility.

the relevance of the costing will come somewhat agreeably to the fore when i get on to the matter of hinges. this is agreeable in terms of the tale rather than agreeable in any practical sense.

yeah, them are all the instructions and screws and bolts and other such things you get for your money. as well as a look at the underneath segment of the seat, should you be interested.

reflecting on an earlier comment, tying everything all together i suppose, is this a reasonable price for a toilet seat? there is a school of thought which says don't buy cheap for something you will rely on long term. it's a cost vs comfort thing. a reliable piece of advice in this world is never ever buy a cheap mattress - it won't last and you are going to cause yourself all sorts of agony when sleeping on it. the same, i would think, is true of toilet seats.

the mid-price claim on this one is interesting. for a start it was the most expensive one on sale at where i went, which was and indeed is B & Q. you can get seats sub-£20, or if you like south of £20. these, however, tend to be rather lightweight, and for some reason tend to be beautified with glitter patterns or picture of puppies.

as far as this New York one goes, i totes understand why my (considerably) better half was sad to see the demise of the other and why she is happy with the direct replacement. it is heavyweight, being made of moulded wood according to the box, and most comfortable. the mind boggles as to what ones which cost north of £40 perform like - perhaps so immersive and excellent an experience that once one sits on it they never leave.

speaking of cost, yes that is one of them "curious" discounts that stores from time to time offer and become an internet sensation. this plumber's tape reduced from 52p to 50p per role suggests that B & Q are not all that keen to get rid of it in a hurry. my mathematics has temporarily let me down; this discount works out at either just north of 1% or possibly a little bit north of 3%. either way, any saving is most splendid.

right, the business end of this post in respect of hinges. any entrepreneurial machinists, fabricators, metalworkers or other such manufacturers may want to make some notes here. or save all this info as a potential "win" for a business idea.

in referencing comments at the start, my first action was to investigate replacing the hinges on our incumbent toilet seat. this plan fell apart. whereas standard toilet seat hinge replacement sets were reasonable, costing considerably south of £10 (do your own currency conversions please), the hinges for the Bemis New York were, alas, decidedly not standard.

that there is the hinges on this seat. as you can see, although it is sideways, the part where it connect features a horizontal section, or plate or panel or beam, whatever the right word is for where you screw it on to attach. standard seats, i have discovered, have the opposite, which is to say a vertical section. arm, perhaps.

cost for this style of hinge? the cheapest i saw was £22, whereas the most expensive (and readily available) was somewhere about £1 north of £30.  so replacement hinges were between 58% and 84% of the cost of a whole new seat and fittings. as wasteful as it seemed, for there was little else wrong with the original seat, it seemed silly and to make no sense not to just purchase an entire new toilet seat set rather than the part i needed. welcome to the wasteful nature of first world problems, i guess. and us consumers are far from being alone in respect of guilt for this.

so, if you are enterprising, if you could manufacture these hinges and sell them for around £10 or £15, you would undercut the existing market in some style. now that i think about it, sure i only looked at suppliers and didn't think to consult the Bemis company directly, either through their website or anywhere else.

indeed yes that is me, or if you like i, out shopping at the prestige of B & Q for the toilet seat. no, they don't keep the toilet seats near the chainsaws. as point of fact i had to walk a good mile or so from one end of the store to the other in order to take this picture. why? well, chainsaws. they are smart and very useful items to have, in particular in the car whilst driving around.

by the way, the price of this Bemis toilet seat is not me reflecting on the idea that B & Q are an expensive store to be a patron of. far from it, or close to it, perhaps. it is not like i buy all that much DIY stuff, but the pricing they had seemed in accordance with what i saw around the web.

how did i get on with removing the remnants of the old toilet seat and attaching the new one? quite well, it just so happens. yes, no, DIY is not a strong point at all, but i've done so many of these now that i profess to being somewhat of a dab hand, to be sure.

all in all it took an hour or so, with most of the time being spent on tightening the nuts, or bolts, or whatever, to keep it in place. awkward angle, look you see. it's not easy when the toilet itself is in a corner as such, as you have to sort of reach and hope you are turning the right way for the one side.

the instructions were quite well laid out and indeed useful. one thing they skipped, though, if you for some reason are here looking for advice, is to test you have the bolt section in the optimal hole for fitting before tightening it all up. this i of course did, which was just as well, for if i had assembled it with the bolts in the central most of the middle holes it would not have fitted all proper at all.

and with that we have reached, or i have reached, pretty much the conclusion. yes, it was indeed a friday night i spent doing this, obviously earlier than this one when i wrote it. everything is later on, really.

right, well, i have things to be getting on with and you quite possibly do too. we shall call it quits here, for now, and no doubt more shall follow. although there are only so many posts one can write about replacing toilet seats, i suppose.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

the advert

hi there

i was recently having a bit of a gander at some football news, to be sure. in doing so i was confronted by that most perfectly normal of things that seems to get people all worked up. adverts on the internet, look you see.

for some reason people get all upset with such, believing that websites should just be all free and not have adverts on them. if only such was possible, but the reality is the way we have made the world means that one must make money to survive in it. perhaps if the machines take over we can all live a life of altruistic leisure, but not so much now.

that said, i can totes understand why some get fed up with the adverts they encounter on websites. mostly they are not very good. rubbish, in fact, to the point of irritation. like, for instance, this one.

no, not the Spanish bank thing, the big advert below it. i will of course trust you to work out the quite glaring problem with it.

a shirt signed by Eric Cantona, or if you like Ooh Aah, would be smart. alas, the pictured image of one signed by Rooney would be considerably less smart. awful, as point of fact. what question comes from this advert is which is true, are they offering a class Cantona shirt as worded (clumsily) or a massively less attractive Rooney one?

on the whole the advert would seem to be a waste of time for all parties, except the website hosting it. they, to be sure, would make a couple of pennies of income every time someone clicks on it. but then again who would click on something which at best is badly made and at worst appears to be some sort of sloppy attempt at misleading?

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

another most massivest strawberry


and so Wimbledon, as tennis experience look you see, will be pretty much forgotten and discarded for another year by the time you read this. gone it is, and tradition says that with it so too should the strawberries for another year. not so much in the modern world, though, to be sure.

in order to preserve them as being something special, once, strawberries were only available in England during the two weeks it took them to hold the tennis tournament. this was at a later stage expanded to allow for them at that Queen's tournament before it. eventually it was decided that strawberries, in the interests of freedom, could be available for the whole year in England, just as they had always been in the more exotic parts of the UK, particularly Wales.

get to the point? surely. as shown or perhaps it is better to say illustrated this very year (assuming we are still in 2017 as you read this) William is most enthusiastic about most massivest strawberries as a concern to eat. he was, whilst not being an active advocate of the sport, quite delighted this Wimbledon encounter to find yet another huge one or two of them.

an absolute pair of beauties, them, i would boldly suggest you will find. well, yes, they are if you happen to like strawberries in general and massive sized ones in particular. to be honest i am no particular fan, and cannot recall if they bigger they are the sweeter they are or if that means they are more sour. and your variation of appreciating these strawberries would have some bearing brought about by if you like them sweet or sour and which one of them the bigger is.

to my knowledge and in my experience William has yet to meet the strawberry which he did not like. he is quite enthusiastic about fruit in terms of eating it. this is no bad thing in accordance with what the experts say, for it is widely believed that the consumption of fruit makes one all the more healthy in terms of how they live.

since James gets a fair amount of updates here due to my outrageously excellent cricket coverage, let's take the time to ride how this has started and do some William updates. as a parent i suppose it is important to get some kind of balance. friends and family, i know, don't really mind which aspects of the family i update on, so long as it is not me in too much of an overt or often way.

yes, as you have no doubt ascertained already, that is William atop one of them wooden (and metal) (with some rope) play fort things down the park. this was on the instance of a particularly sunny saturday afternoon. James, as is the will and the way of his age, was off gallivanting with his chums, so William and i went off on an adventure of our own. which didn't cost me as much as you might think it would.

if that clear, lovely crisp (hello, Faye) blue sky suggests it was a magnificent day, indeed it was. we had splendid fun at a fair, at the park and in purchasing ice cream. which i did too, in the latter, which meant i had the inevitable brain freeze. i should know better than to eat it as it does that to me, but some of you enjoy learning of my discomfort.

one day after school William asked if it was OK if he made a flag. being of a persuasion to absolutely encourage any creative streak he has i said of course. that said, i didn't pay too much attention as he got on with it. right up until the point where he asked if he may have paint, for he had made such a massivest flag it was a chore to colour in pencil.

so yes, i did indeed crack open the paints and continued to let him get on with it. quite big, or if you like massivest, it is. apparently the idea to do this flag came to him during a conversation with a friend, or if you like chum, at school. he took it in to school the very next day, presumably to show the chum in question the fruits of his efforts. let us hope that he is so diligent when he is of a school age where homework is frequent.

more from the park? surely. here's William on a slide; one that he really rather enjoys climbing up as much as he likes sliding down it. yes, i suppose i should encourage him to use it in one direction alone, but just where would the fun reside in such.

with the summer holidays coming up, and theoretically we getting to have a form of summer holiday at least by English standards i suspect the play park, or if you like park where one can play, shall feature a lot in my days. this is no bad thing. the benches are magnificent, and i shall simply take a book along and read as William - perhaps James too, depending on his social calendar - get on with it all, to be sure.

on the off chance that rain should bless our summer what will we do? get wet, i suppose, of we go out. otherwise there is cinema, films at home, and playing 2s and 8s with cards. it's a game Mum taught all of us, and so i have taught the boys. we will think of something.

anyway, those who have visited this blog and this post in particular on the promise of most massivest strawberry business are probably distressed at the sudden lack of this. to conclude, then, here's William with just one of the two massivest ones seen right at the start.

so that's that for this post. indeed possibly that's that for massivest strawberry finds for a while, unless we get another particularly large one in a packet, or if you like punnet. as we can now enjoy them all year around as part of the new English way of doing things, this is of course a little possible.

for those interested in balance, yes, of course, more James as and when i do more cricket coverage. which should be quite soon.

may all be most magnificent in the massivest way possible with you, dear reader!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

more bubbles


let it not be said that i don't give you what you want. blimey, that's a fair few negatives to start off with, to be sure.

for some reason quite a few of you were very interested in a post i did about some bubbles, look you see. how many?  just north of 1,100 of you (with you being readers at large) have clicked on it and had a gander. or if you like read.

i am not at all sure what i wrote in that post, or just what might be the interest in the pictures. hey ho, if that's the sort of thing you dig then it is but the work of a moment to give you some more of the same here. only not the same, different.

well yes, no, not quite. again with the negatives, man. whilst these are indeed, or as point of fact, more images of more bubbles in my beloved washing machine, it's not all quite the same as the last rather tacitly celebrated post. there's something extra been added to the usual detergents this time around.

and just what got added? an item which is luxurious and bourgeois, if price or stated value of an item equates to such. yes, good assumption - some of that quite costly Vanish Platinum has been added.

for those not quite so heavily involved with laundry detergent trends, or indeed if you lack my enthusiasm for the same, Vanish Platinum is the latest chapter composed for the book of Vanish, the somewhat self-styled leading brand for stain removal products. this comes off the back of previous episodes which included just straightforward Vanish and then Vanish Gold, which promised to elevate stain removal to an entire new level.


Vanish Platinum is, then, one would presume, supposed to be a game changer. i must say that it is quite brave of Vanish to market in this way (well, Vanish or whoever makes it), for each new product of this nature features branding that suggests "oh that other stuff we sold you is actually rubbish, this is better, honest". and not once sold cheap, please note. but still, the advert on the tele and that for this new one suggested that i really should give it a go.

why? because in the adverts Vanish Platinum offers, if not promises or leads to suggest, the chance to really fix up the whiter sorts of white clothing. make them all crisp (hello, Faye), clean and shiny white, as it were. as washing cricket whites is now a significant factor in my life as i know it, and yes often i do wonder, much like the Talking Heads song, how did i get here, i thought i had best jolly well give this stuff a bloody go, what what.
and yes also seeing it at a marginally cheaper, on special offer price led me to give it a whirl. i do not recall the exact specifics and should this ever become a legal issue the courts shall just have to go whistle for i cannot produce a receipt as such, but i am sure the tub you see below - resplendent in Commodore 64 mode - was £5. as opposed to the £7 or north thereof that seems to be the going rate.

so is it worth all the fuss, the fanfare and the celebration which greeted it being advertised on television and sold to humbler clothes washers such as i? in truth no, not really. i did all the soaky, scrubby, washy, pre-wash stuff what the bottle (or tub) said to do and in my view the results were, at the best, satisfactory.

yes, sure, it got the stains out, but no better or noticeably different than how regular Vanish or that Vanish Gold stuff did the job. no i haven't done any qualified scientific comparisons or measured tests, but to my eyes the results are no more shiny than what would be normal after a wash.

those of you capable of playing videos here on this blog will, undoubtedly, be feeling or itching for a video right around now. to sate this, here you go - the Vanish Platinum bubbles in a moving visual form for your enjoyment.


whether you were able to play that video back or not i think all of you that were so enthusiastic about the bubbles post of last month will be let down with this one. that is because, pure and simple if we accept that the poor writing i offer is a constant unlikely to be enhanced, there are decidedly less bubbles to view here.

i think that might be my biggest disappointment with this whole Vanish Platinum business. normally the use of stain removal liquids or powders lends itself to the creation of more bubbles during the clothes washing process, very much so. not so with this stuff. if anything it's like they have for some reason made Vanish Platinum in a way that is bubble retardant, if such a thing is possible.

yeah, i probably am so void of ambition that had this Vanish Platinum stuff produced lots and lots of lovely bubbles then i would not be complaining about what it does, or doesn't do. to compensate, then, here you go - bubbles and washing machine in ZX Spectrum form.

do i, dear reader, sometimes find myself sat with my head in my hands, wondering why exactly it is so that i write things such as this? often, quite. it's not so much crying about where i went wrong with my life to get to this point, rather just playing the hand i was dealt. that said, with every strike of the key as i write this there is little beyond bitter resentment and spiteful anger that i was not so blessed with outrageous fortune enough to be David Lee Roth. there he is, out there being a most prolific sexualist, doing smart high kicks and performing ace tunes. and here i am writing this. talk about knowing your place in this world.

am i in any way inclined to offer suggestions or advice in respect of using Vanish Platinum? not much i can say beyond the above, i suppose. and then i have perhaps spoken too much, looking at that really sorry state of a paragraph above. in my experience with it thus far, and i have but used it twice and have made no real time like for like comparison, it does not particularly perform any better than any of the other Vanish stain removal things i have tried.

well, hopefully you've enjoyed further bubbles, and splendid on anything you may have drawn for yourself as a conclusion in respect of Vanish Platinum. i, alas, cannot really sit here and write any more (or much more) on the subject/s. things to do, to be sure. sure, none of them as exciting or interesting as what David Lee Roth does, but stuff that needs doing all the same.

my thanks to you all again for taking the time to read this sort of thing, or at the least for passing by and having a look at the pictures.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!