Friday, 30 January 2009

The 3 F's... Famous Facebook Friend

I am back from a couple of days in Edinburgh with work. It was a two day team meeting - The first day was quite productive, but the second dragged. I can't seem to sleep in hotels these days despite it being a very nice place, so I was exhausted by the time I got home. Not much to report, apart from this picture from the Easyjet flight on the way up: it's looking down on the Lake District - you can just about see the cloud in the valleys, below the hilltops covered in snow.

Back to the reason for this post...
I've been trying to find a famous friend for Facebook for a while. Those that advertise to become your friend don't count (Mark Kermode from Radio 5 for example) - I want a famous friend because they want to be linked to me!

I emailed a couple of actors (including minor actors who nobody but me seems to know) and singers - in the hope that the entries were actually real, but I had no success. Maybe my approach is all wrong; I have been honest and said "I want a famous friend". Does that sound more like a stalker than someone worth knowing?!

Has anyone got a famous friend on Facebook (that you are sure is 100% genuine)?

Anyway... here's hoping for a new friend soon and
here is my Facebook profile for reference... just in case you are famous!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

A short one!

I am busy with work for a couple of days, so I figured I would do a short blog post (for a change) with some information.

How do you read blogs?.....
If you follow a few, I would recommend using something like Google Reader to keep up to date with them. There are other similar sites around of course. You can always subscribe to this here blog using the option on the right of the screen

But I couldn't have a totally serious post could I?!! The last blog entry was all about the Yoann Gourcuff and I was sent a link by a blogger, to another picture of him when he was at AC Milan. I really am not sure what he is doing! :-)

Monday, 26 January 2009

What a way to celebrate a win!

This blog isn't usually that gay (you may disagree of course), but I saw a football report online about this stunning French footballer called Yoann Gourcuff and I just had to share it with the world.

Back in December, Bordeaux (his club) won a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Valenciennes. That appeared to be reason enough for gorgeous 22 year old Yoann to celebrate by stripping down to his underwear - he then gave his shirt and shorts to the crowd! There are plenty of images on the net of his actions.

It appears that Yoann is becoming quite a hit in France (with the ladies and some guys!) and doesn't appear to lack any self-confidence in his footballing ability, TV interviewing skills and simply looking great. A French magazine that Pete likes to "read" called Tetu featured him as their "December Bombshell" - spot on I would say!

And rather than just dwell on his various assets, here is a brilliant goal on YouTube that he scored recently. Shame he kept his clothes on for that one though.

Just in case you were wondering, Torres is still my number one footballer!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Bye bye Bush!

I have no intention of insulting any American readers, but… I am exceedingly pleased that George Bush is no longer President. It has always amazed me how he managed to rule the world’s most powerful nation - without doubt, he made some disastrous decisions. I found him to be slow and ignorant. I have lost count how many times I have been embarrassed to watch him speak. I had to change the channel when I saw his response to his lack of action over hurricane Katrina - it was humiliating. I could not imagine Obama or any other world leader struggling to form an answer when put in the same position.

I have wondered who voted for him. When I see British politicians from various parties, I may not like their views but 9 times out of 10, I can appreciate why someone would vote for them. With Bush, I do not understand how anyone could be impressed by this dimwit. President Obama is an intelligent and amiable.... so very different from the fool on his way back to Texas! So to say farewell, here are a few famous and infamous Bushisms:

"They misunderestimated me."

“I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe - I believe what I believe is right."

"There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on... shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again."

"There's no question that the minute I got elected, the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly directly overhead."

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

"I think war is a dangerous place."

"The ambassador and the general were briefing me on the - the vast majority of Iraqis want to live in a peaceful, free world. And we will find these people and we will bring them to justice."

"Free societies are hopeful societies. And free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat."

"Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?"

"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.''

"It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it."

"Will the highways on the internet become more few?"

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."

"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."

"Those who enter the country illegally violate the law."

"That's George Washington, the first president, of course. The interesting thing about him is that I read three - three or four books about him last year. Isn't that interesting?"

"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office."

Thursday, 22 January 2009


I have confession to make... I am a fan of Lost.

To those of you who didn’t persevere through the first series have lost out on a thoroughly entertaining and equally exasperating programme. Please note, readers in North American should substitute the words ‘season’ for ‘series’ and ‘program’ for ‘programme’.

Series 5 starts on Sunday and I can’t wait! It would have been here earlier but for a writers' strike in the USA. I know that when it returns, I will find every programme incredibly frustrating – but thankfully its entertaining distraction is wonderful. I have many “dramas” that I have enjoyed and I don’t recall many being American. I have nothing against US dramas, but I often found them a bit lightweight – there are exceptions of course. Lost is very different; it’s not high art, but I can get that on BBC4 when I want it!

After watching series one and becoming more and more confused as time went by, I thought my interest may wane, but the series finale was the hook I needed and I waited for the return of the programme with anticipation. The opening scene of the first episode in series 2 is one of the best starts to a programme ever. It totally threw me and added a twist that was brilliantly planned. I was confused, as they wanted viewers to be, but also greatly impressed.

With Lost, you have to appreciate that the story is ridiculous, the characters flawed, the acting sometimes suspect, but I love it all the same! There are clues all over the place, links to other episodes and many many unanswered questions. Great Sunday viewing.

If you gave up after the first series, have a look in the second hand shops and on Ebay for the DVDs of subsequent series and get yourself back into it! But before you rush out and buy me a boxset of Lost, don’t bother as it’s one of those programmes that you can probably only watch once as the surprise element will not be there. I did watch the last two parts of series 4 to remind myself of the situation.

There is a truly sad (in a good way!) site for Lost enthusiasts like myself HERE.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Paris weekend including Le President and his wife

It has been an exhausting, but also an entertaining and surprising weekend…

On Thursday I wrote and pre-posted the next instalment of “100 facts about me” and then Pete and I got the train to London. We stayed in a hotel on Thursday night (sitting in the bar watching the amazing images of the Airbus floating down the Hudson). Early on Friday morning we boarded the Eurostar to Paris. We have been to Paris a dozen or more times, so we decided to try and do some new things - we mostly achieved this aim.

The Eurostar was a freebie, due to the points we had collected on a loyalty card. The hotel was also a freebie! We had booked the Holiday Inn in Opera and had used Priority points that Pete and I had accumulated by staying in many hotels in our past jobs. It’s always nice to get a freebie, though this was tainted by the £35 parking ticket I received on Thursday!

The hotel kindly upgraded us for no apparent reason and the room was huge! The major downside was that the soundproofing was non-existent and we could hear the conversation of the people in the next room quite clearly at 2am. And they weren’t even shouting.

On Friday we mainly walked and took in the city atmosphere, getting lost here and there. We wanted to see the Picasso exhibition, but the queues were huge - despite it being open 24 hours a day! We had a great meal in the evening in the Montmartre area going to our favourite bar
Le Progres.

On Saturday we went to the
Pompidou centre. This is a truly great museum of modern art (and a stunning building). Surprisingly, I had never been round it properly in all my visits to Paris! We spent a couple of hours in there seeing some weird and wonderful things including some examples of an artform I know nothing about: Futurism. I know when Pete has had enough of a museum when he speeds up and looks at fewer and fewer exhibits. The end of his attention span was the sign to go and get food… So we crossed the river and went to a restaurant on Rue Mouffetard for a late lunch. This road is a narrow long winding road that has some lovely shops and restaurants – and it’s rarely mentioned in guide books… which is a crime! If you ever in Paris, check this road out.

In the evening we attended a concert by
Julien Clerc at a theatre. He usually plays the arenas, so this was an intimate venue in comparison. Julien is a singer-songwriter who has been around for decades and his albums still debut at the top of the charts. I first came across his work in the late 1980’s and have been a fan since. I can’t really think of an British or American equivalent singer-songwriter who has lasted so long. He is often classed as a "singer for the ladies", but I think that’s rather unfair. Yes, he does release the odd mushy ballad and occasional cheesy pop tune, but on every album I own, there are a few tracks that any songwriter would be proud of. The show itself was excellent.

BUT… the surprising part of the evening was just before Julien came on to the stage. Pete and I were chatting and then realised that there was a collective intake of breath in the auditorium and everyone in the audience was looking to the back of the theatre. We turned round to see President Sarkosy and his wife Carla Bruni about 8 rows behind us!

The audience was stunned and the camera flashes were blinding! The French President kindly smiled and waved to the selfish people taking photos without asking - he is more like royalty in France. I chose not to spoil their night out by taking a photo, other than from afar that were so blurry, it could be anyone (it was dark OK!).

A few songs into Julien's set and
Carla appears on stage to sing a duet! There’s a clip on You Tube here. As a gay guy, even I think she’s a stunner! Pete went to the toilet during one of the four encores and he reported Police and secret service men were everywhere.

On Sunday morning, we did another first and went to the massive
Père Lachaise Cemetery. Now, you are thinking that visiting a cemetery is strange, but the place is remarkable - the graves are mostly small Gothic buildings. We tried to find the place where Edith Piaf was buried, but failed. However, we did worship at the grave of Jim Morrison that is a tiny grave stuck behind a much larger monument to some forgotten non-rock god.

A heavy lunch meant an uncomfortable walk to the station. I was also exhausted by this point. I didn’t take my best camera as I have tons of pictures of Paris, but I did take my new compact and took a few snaps. The picture of the graffiti is a favourite… I don’t know why!

On the Eurostar home there was this posh girl, aged about 19/20 who was obviously from a good background. But, as with many young people, she had no intellect! Talking to her friend she said “did you know that the name Gabrel is the French equivalent to the English name George”.

This is not a lone example of the “youth of today”. Are we raising a nation of dimwits, who know nothing more than what the school textbooks tell them and know little about the world around them?!!?

It’s a bit like that loud person of celebrity Big Brother (Tina Scouse-woman) who honestly thought that Churchill, Rousevelt and Stalin had negotiated with Hitler at various meetings at the end of World War 2!!!

God help us.

Friday, 16 January 2009

100 facts about me - 21 to 30

Here is the next part of the "100 facts about me" list - previous entries can be found here:

21. Barcelona is the coolest place I have visited.
22. Scarborough is the scummiest place I have visited.
23. My middle name of Francis was chosen by my brothers and is in honour of Francis Lee, the chunky 1970’s footballer.
24. Pay rises in my last job averaged 9.5% per annum for the 4½ years I worked there.
25. My first car was a little Fiat 126.
26. I could happily watch 5 episodes of The Simpsons in a row as it is the best TV programme ever made.
27. I own two guitars, a Ukelele and a Mandolin.
28. My favourite word is ‘Ziggurat’.
29. I was wrong in thinking that I couldn’t be bothered to write a blog.
30. I gave up reading the ‘classic’ book Catch 22.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

The Payne I feel

Dear Mythical Agony Aunt,

I have known this for a while, but the man who I thought loves me has his eyes on someone else. It's actually been going on for a couple of years and he doesn't even try and hide it!

The one who has stolen his heart is a TV news presenter on Sky Sports News. His name is Alex Payne.

Oh what can I do!? Your advice would be welcome.



OK, I jest - but this TV guy (yes, he does look 17, but is in his 20’s) is a near obsession in our house for my significant other. It's not as if sport was a major interest for him until Alex came along! When Alex is on the screen, no-one else matters. I may as well not exist!

Alex is very well spoken (a good education perhaps?) and appears to be a very confident person. I'm a bit surprised he's still reading the sports news and not fronting some programme.

And to top it all, he even has his own facebook fan group!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

I woke up this mornin'

This was the very from the bedroom window at 7.30am. The picture hasn't been altered in any way, other than to shrink it down a bit. Nature can be stunning in it's beauty.

We didn't do a great deal this weekend other than walk. We went for a 6+ mile walk yesterday in the cold just for the fun of it. Today we walked less of a distance, but with an aim in mind... to find a nice pub! A couple of miles down the road and it's a Guinness (for me) and a Cider (for Pete). Then another mile to another pub and a repeat round. Not a bad way to spend a sunny, crisp winters afternoon.

The low fat, healthy eating continues this week and then there is a nice surprise for the weekend. More info to follow!

The press is up in arms over something Prince Harry said a couple of years ago when with his army colleagues. It's a total over reaction (especially considering the various serious news stories today) and I'm sure it happens all the time in the army - guys take the **** all the time and sometimes use wrong and thoughtless language. I am no fan of the royal family, but this all seems rather silly and it's not the place for the press to deal with it. He is taking after his grandfather and saying poorly thought out things! Despite not being a fan of the royals, I might as well include a link to a picture of a fit looking Harry.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Diary Week [Day Five] - POETS day!

Friday: Today is POETS day - the final day of this diary style of blogging. For those not in the know, POETS stands for Piss Off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday! There is even a website about it here. I could almost be tempted to blog every day, but wont for 2 reasons: first, regular readers may get bored and secondly... I may get bored!

Last night I booked the ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland for May. I am going to see my friend Jan who will be having a 40th birthday party. He now lives in Assen in the north of The Netherlands earning lots of money and speaking very little Dutch. It's amazing that I've known him since I was 16 and he was 17.

I appear to be a bit camera mad today. I'm bidding on 2 lenses for my Pentax (the one on the left obviously) on eBay and bought this little compact today in the sale. I've wanted a good compact for a while for the times when I just want to carry a camera about in my pocket. It's got a wide angle lens and lots of features, so should do me fine.

Having sold a guitar on eBay yesterday, this morning I noticed the replacement I have wanted - also on eBay and ending today. The listing stated "pick up only" and so I thought, "it's bound to be in Scotland", but it's actually in the same town as I live! What a strange coincidence... and I won the bidding war for a really good price.

When I was driving home, I saw a beautiful piece of nature and couldn't stop and take a picture as I was on the motorway. There had been a hard frost and a dusting of snow and that combination on the row of trees, and also the dark sky, made it look like the scene was a negative.

We were meant to be going to the comedy club tonight, but both me and Pete are knackered. So it's food and a film in the warm I think...

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Diary Week [Day Four] - Pain and Anger

Thursday: I went to the dentists today and was far more nervous than usual. Four injections (the first very painful) and three fillings later and I had had enough of looking at the ceiling of the surgery. I may need expensive root canal work on 2 teeth - oh joy. Teeth = Money out.

My guitar sold on eBay for a rather nice amount of money and through a nice quirk of fate, the guy that bought it works in the same town I am visiting on Monday to see a client! Guitar = Money In.

I saw something that made me very angry today. Sandown Presbyterian Church took out a 540-word advert in the Belfast News Letter just before the city's Pride event in August and basically said that being gay is so wrong that it is "an abomination". The Advertising Standards Agency just ruled against the newspaper and now Ian Paisley is on the case to reverse it. This horrible bitter man "has been a longtime opponent of equality for gay people".

These forgiving and understanding Christian people appear to me to be far more evil and full of hate than any bully I have encountered. They hide behind the bible and the church to shout their revolting angry views. I don't agree with the Advertising Standards Agency that this kind of thing doesn't incite violence against homosexuals. The hatred in the text is truly staggering and can only incite more hatred and violence.

I say that every gay guy and girl attends belfast Pride and make it the biggest gay party in the world - if only to piss Ian Paisley off.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Diary Week [Day Three] - Still frozen

Wednesday: The poor fish in our pond were under an inch of ice this morning, but the 2 degree weather during the day has helped thaw them out a little. I saw 2 clients today with a colleague - nothing much to report there as the meetings were rather ordinary.

One of the appointments was in the next town from where we live (which is better than the usual 2-3 hours drive to some appointments) and it was sad to see shops closing down both small and large (Woolworths and M&S soon) - the recession is taking hold. There seemed to be a lot of scummy looking people around and you have to wonder whether they cant get jobs or just choose not to work - unemployment rates around here are much lower than the national average.

Last nights feast of hearty home-made vegetable soup was rather good, but Pete didn't agree. He
decided that my offering was merely a starter and went to the freezer to find a pizza.

A few misc things:
- At Christmas my brother gave us Mario Kart for the Wii and it's brilliant. We have played it every evening!
- I haven't shaved since Christmas and I look a right mess.
- I made some juice yesterday in our industrial sized juicer and including a couple of large cabbage leaves. The juice had a bad smell, but tasted OK!
- I completed my "best of 2008" photobook yesterday and uploaded it to (I think their photobooks are the best around) and I await delivery - it has 413 pictures!
- Tomorrow I am off to the dentist for 2 fillings. I hate going to the dentist.

I emailed a friend of mine called Donna and pointed here towards a blog entry that she might have been interested in. Her reply was basically "how do you find the time to do all this?!". I hadn't thought much about this as I don't appear to have a problem finding time. Donna is a working wife/mother and is probably busy doing something all day long, whereas Pete and I have only ourselves to look after and neither of us choose to work particularly long hours. How lucky we are!!!

Tonight, I might sell one of my guitars on eBay depending on whether any of the 22 viewers decide to make a bid. My plan is to use the money to buy a different guitar. I have owned this Yamaha acoustic for nearly 20 years and am sad to let it go, but I've learnt that it is quite rare and I don't play it much. For those who don't play guitar, I can hear you saying "you sad bas***d"!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Diary Week [Day Two] - The Magic Roundabout

Tuesday: If I thought Sunday nights sleep was bad, well last night was bad - I must have woken up 10 times. Anyway, some caffeine helped, via a double espresso and I completed a little work at home before heading out into the icy tundra that is Hertfordshire. It has been a lovely sunny day, despite the cold and I drove to Hemel Hempstead to see a client. I've only been there once before and as I approached the town, I remembered the crazy road layout....the magic roundabout - yes 6 roundabouts in 1! It is an awful road layout that simply encourages confusion. See the diagram for proof!

I commented yesterday how much I had put weight on so I have decided to eat healthy for a while and start to get some exercise. We have a large garage with a bike and cross-trainer in, but it's too cold in there at the moment. So I have decided to just do some stretching and go running at the weekend if it's nice. I am also going to bully Pete into dusting off the bikes. We are about 10 miles away from a canal that runs the 30odd miles south into London. It's a great ride that we have done from south to north a couple of times and I need to get a little fitter before attempting, but it must be done soon!

I made soup last night (carrots, tomatoes, lentils, parsnip, onions, peppers and cabbage) and so tonight we eat meat free. I like to think that I am a good cook. I am actually OK and can attempt most things. My mum is a great (mainly self taught) cook and she always encouraged me and my brothers to prepare food. The spicy potato recipe from this blog entry has been obtained, but I am not sure if I have clearance from my mum for an internet launch!

Celebrity Big Brother has returned to our TV screens featuring Z list celebs and Pete is already addicted! It's trash TV at it's worst and you know they have been paid a fortune to sit around all day.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Diary Week [Day One] - Back to work

Monday: When I was young, I would often start a diary in January. By the middle of the month, the diary was dead. Blogging has taken the old fashioned diary to a new level of course. In honour of the new year and old days, this week I intend to post a blog entry every day for 5 days with more of a diary feel than my usual style and frequency...

So it's Monday and today I woke up at 6 (and a few times during the night), despite the alarm being set for 7 - I am not a good sleeper. Woke up horny after strange dream, which is not a good thing for a work day and feeling dog tired. It's the first proper day back at work after the Christmas / New Year break (on Friday I worked from home). I ventured to the office - a place I only go to once a week if I have to.

There was snow! All 3 centimetres of it. Snow is a rarity in south-east England and brings the country to a grinding halt. I remember back to my youth when you could be guaranteed a foot of snow in January and a day or two off school. Damn you global warming! The picture was taken from the dining room...

Anyway, I make it into work through the Arctic weather. The office is grey - walls, desks, carpet and atmosphere. I find it a depressing place to be: partly because the office is a pain to get to (it takes me 1 hour and 45 minutes to travel the 35 miles some mornings), but mainly because I find my job to be dull and I find big company working doesn't suit me. You can't make an impact at a big company. My colleagues are nice, which is a bad word to describe some good people, but as I don't go to the office much, I don't know them well. Don't ask why I haven't looked elsewhere.

Putting my suit on this morning, I found it had shrunk. OK, I had put on a lot of weight over the past 2 weeks! Therefore, after tonights Spaghetti a la Stephen, I am having light lunches and vegetable soup for dinner of the rest of the week and no beer!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Guest Blog #3 - Marco talks IT type stuff

This is by my latest guest blogger. This entry is by Marco, a crazy (and very tall) guy who finds humour in everything and was a pleasure to work with. His blog is a surprising mix of IT and cuisine! Thanks Mr S!

So here I am, guest blogging! I used to have my own blog, but gave up after half a year or so - what's the point? I mean who's seriously interested in my online ramblings... and I should spend a lot less time in front of a screen anyways (unless I'm playing Wii that is :-P).

Now, what can I guest blog about? Maybe that I told Stephen that he would give up blogging after half a year as well? Nah, he enjoys ranting, so his blog shall live forever :-)

I think I've become rather cynical about the whole online "thing" over the years. Believe it or not but in the old WWW days (that's Wild Wild West!) of illegal music downloads I met my love via the almighty Napster music exchange (that was long before they got shot down and were reborn as a paid service), about 9 years ago.

Turn the time reel back further and I remember the first time using e-mail on a Uni mainframe (that's a very, very big computer - in terms of dimensions, not really in computing power compared to what we have available these days at least!) in 1992. The darn computer was so big that it had it's own 9m3 (300ft3) pool to keep cool in the basement of our computing centre! Those were the days of green (or amber) screens and keyboards that were clicking very loudly. Looking back I'm not 100% sure if I would go for another 6 years of studying Computer Science, it was a bit long but at the same time I met some interesting people there (for technical minded people, I had a chance to chat with the folks that completely overhauled the first version of the JAVA compiler for example!).

Looking at stuff like Facebook makes me shake my head. What is it good for other than wasting time?!? I really don't get it. Even worse, I had to re-activate my account because of two friends asking me "Are you okay? I couldn't find you on Facebook...?!?" - if you're not on Facebook, then you must be dead it seems... SIGH!

I think it's quite sad that it's cheaper these days to buy my light bulbs on eBay (I am not kidding, including shipping they were 50% cheaper than in any shop that I've got around my house in N1!), but maybe this is all just leading to the final materialisation of my online-fridge idea. It's extremely simple, but will revolutionise life in the kitchen! All you need is a barcode scanner so that the fridge knows what it contains at the moment and a nice database of yummy recipes and then you can "ask" your fridge things like "What can I cook tonight that contains meat and tomato sauce?" or "What's missing in order to make lasagne for two?". If you want to go all out, then you connect the fridge to an online order system and you'll be never out of milk again and the ingredients for your lasagne will magically be delivered by TESCO about an hour after you told your fridge that you want to eat lasagne tonight... yes, I love technology and don't get too bored most days doing my IT job :-)


There will be another guest blog soon. If you are new to my blog due to Marco's blog entry - please add a comment, subscribe (on the right of the page) and bookmark (see icons below)!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Crazy Beautiful People

A happy new year to you all! It's cold and dull in the UK today - the sort of day that you want to stay indoors and watch the traditional Bond film. Or in Pete's case... Sex & The City on DVD.

Last night, Pete and myself went to a very fancy hotel and dressed up in our Black Tie outfits and drank too much champagne and ate too much rich food. Pete had gone a little over the top and booked one of the best rooms, which had access to the outdoor hot tub and sauna. Both were enjoyed in the zero degree weather. One nice touch was the TV at the end of the bath.

And now 2009 has begun with the anticipation and hope of every January the first...

Here are a couple of things that I recommend that you watch:

I noticed a review in Time Out for a French Canadian film hidden away on TV at 2.30am. The film was called C.R.A.Z.Y. and is one of the best films I saw in 2008. It is the story of a family growing up in the 60's and 70's and is concentrated on the fourth son (of five) called Zac. There is a gay storyline, but it's subtle and the story is really engrossing.

A very camp and gay TV programme that I missed on the BBC was called Beautiful People and my friend Sonny gave me the DVD of the series for Christmas. It's really off the wall and very funny. Perhaps it will appeal mainly to the English sense of humour - but worth seeing if you want some silly comedy.