Wednesday, 28 November 2012


I've just finished watching Magic Mike on DVD.  It's not a good film!  But it does feature the lovely yummy hunky Alex Pettyfer.

Monday, 26 November 2012

And he called himself a Christian

One of my brothers posted the image below on his Facebook timeline today and it reminded me of the only negative gay moment I have experienced.
I had a very good business relationship with a Salvation Army member in the late 90's. We got on really well and we kept in touch after I changed jobs.  When I was going through my 'active coming out' stage, I told him I was gay in an email.  We had emailed a lot and I felt I needed to be honest.  He didn't reply.
I sent another couple of emails and he eventually replied saying he was really busy. I chased him again and he replied saying he wouldn't be in touch again for "various reasons". We all know why and it's because the Salvation Army takes a hard line on homosexuality.
But let's face it, anyone with a brain cell can read into sections of the Bible to suit their own message and the whole gay topic is extremely blurred in the text. In fact, one religious person said to me that, "if being gay was so bad, why does the Bible only mention it in passing (and not clearly) and Jesus didn't even have an opinion on it?!"
So next time you see a Salvation Army building or hear a band playing upbeat Christian songs, remember that they may preach the word of God, but choose not to be open, forgiving, welcoming or loving.  I may not like organised religion, but their attitiude really doesn't sound very Christian to me.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

What did I learn this week? #3

I went to Edinburgh in the week and found Luton airport in the morning was packed with Eastern Europeans - I felt like a complete outsider! On the Easyjet flight, they have just introduced allocated seating and it was a nightmare. With people sitting down, getting up to let someone in, sitting down, getting up again, struggling to find somewhere to store bags etc, it must have added 10 minutes to the boarding time.
I am behind the times. At my cousins wedding reception, a group of people were dancing in Gangnam style which meant little to me and still means little to me.
No job is secure. I lost a few colleagues this week and it's a sad and stressful time - I have been made redundant twice and it's not pleasant.
I'm no fan of UKIP, but that Rotherham council decision stinks. It's all about council officials playing with people's lives for no good reason. If someone who makes these decisions had concerns, then they should have done their homework before disrupting lives.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

9 Daily Habits That Will Make You Happier

Edited from Inc.Com.
Happiness is the only true measure of personal success. Making other people happy is the highest expression of success, but it's almost impossible to make others happy if you're not happy yourself. With that in mind, here are nine small changes that you can make to your daily routine that, if you're like most people, will immediately increase the amount of happiness in your life:
1. Start each day with expectation.
Life usually lives up to (or down to) your expectations. Therefore, when you get up - think of a specific positive aim for the day.

2. Take time to plan and prioritise.
The most common source of stress is the perception that you've got too much work to do. Rather than obsess about it, pick one thing that, if you get it done today, will move you closer to your highest goal and purpose in life. Then do that first.

3. Give a gift to everyone you meet.
Your gift can be your smile, a word of thanks or encouragement, a gesture of politeness, even a friendly nod.

4. Deflect partisan conversations.
Arguments about politics and religion never have a "right" answer but they definitely get people all riled up over things they can't control. When such topics surface, bow out.

5. Assume people have good intentions.
Since you can't read minds, you don't really know the "why" behind the "what" that people do. Imputing evil motives to other people's weird behaviors adds extra misery to life, while assuming good intentions leaves you open to reconciliation.

6. Eat high quality food slowly.
At least once a day try to eat something really delicious, like a small chunk of fine cheese or chocolate. Focus on it; taste it; savor it.

7. Let go of your results.
The big enemy of happiness is worry, which comes from focusing on events that are outside your control. Once you've taken action, there's usually nothing more you can do. Focus on the job at hand rather than some weird fantasy of what might happen.

8. Turn off "background" TV.
Many households leave their TVs on as "background noise" while they're doing other things. It's not required.

9. End each day with gratitude.
Just before you go to bed, write down at least one wonderful thing that happened. It might be something as small as a making a child laugh or something as huge a deal at work. Whatever it is, be grateful for that day because it will never come again.


Sunday, 18 November 2012

November movie update

Here are the films that Pete and I have received from and watched on TV and DVD over the past month in reverse order, with my ratings out of ten from my movie list on the IMDB.
Friends with Kids (2011)  5
You can see exactly how this film will pan out and finish within the first scenes. It was far too obvious, had some average script and terrible acting from some of the ensemble. And for a comedy, it only had a couple of laughs. The worst part is how Nespresso was worked into so many scenes - the most blatant and insulting product placement ever!
Monsieur Lazhar (2011)  7
A touching film about a teacher in Canada taking over the class after their teacher had commented suicide (no spoiler there as it's in the first minute).
Beloved (2011)  5
A fim stretching generations, but it failed to grip me despite featuring the great Louis Garrel.
The Haunting (1963)  5
Classic horror - a weird film and must have seemed extremely strange at the time of release.
Badly acted, rubbish story.
Skyfall (2012)  8
A great film and an even better Bond film.  My review(ish) can be found here.
There wasn't anything really wrong with this film, it was just really boring! Acting, story, subplots all extremely dull.
Café de Flore (2011)  7
A very confusing French film set in different cities and time zones. It lost me a few times, but it was still an interesting watch.
Ethan Hawke acting in French for some of the film. Quite a good drama but rather depressing.
The Tree of Life (2011)  1
This film will divide people. It certainly is beautiful and intriguing, but it's also up it's own arse and makes no sense. And then again, some people will like the off-the-wall strangeness - we gave up after an hour.
The final part of the trilogy and it doesn't quite work. It is chock full of great acting though.
* Previously viewed.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Children in need 2012

It's part way through this year's BBC Children In Need as I type this.  I have just watched a heart wrenching film about the care given to 3 children when their mother was dying.  It was quite upsetting, but you could see the positive impact the councillor had on the family.
And like all TV money raising campaigns, they change the mood quickly and there is no better way than showing Tom dancing in trunks and he is showing off his new tattoo.
If you can spare some cash, give a little here.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Being gay is choice

Yoinked from somewhere on the net...
Because it's a choice, it is perfectly acceptable to treat gays as a second class citizens and strip them of certain rights and privileges that everyone else is entitled to. Gays are bringing about the downfall of society by destroying the moral fabric that binds us all together as human beings.
Furthermore, gays have no place in government, as they simply cannot be trusted not to push the gay agenda on their fellow citizens. What is the gay agenda? Recruitment. Since no one is born gay, gay people have to try to indoctrinate and recruit the rest of us at an early age, before we have the wherewithal to figure out for ourselves that the gay agenda is a lie. Because of this agenda of recruitment, which includes lying and neglecting moral behavior, gay couples should not be allowed to raise children.
This is what christian conservatives believe.
Now read it again, substituting the word "christian" for the word "gay".

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Holiday snaps

Some random photos from our recent holiday...

Sunday, 11 November 2012

What did I learn this week? #2

I visited Luton this week for a client meeting and have to say that I didn't feel safe. I can officially say that, despite visiting some rough places in London and beyond, Luton is the only place I have felt that a mugging was imminent! The area was very unpleasant and the people seemed to have nothing in the eyes - you know that dead stare?
You have to question how the editor at Newsnight could let the story run that hinted at a pedophile without concrete proof. This could have ruined an innocent mans life.  And on the same topic, why Philip Schofield thought that News Of The World tactics were appropriate naming pedophiles named on the internet, I will never know. You cant go spreading rumours without facts, despite having the Prime Minister to hand. I was annoyed that David Cameron then mixed pedophiles with gay men - we all know that such perverts are hardly ever gay.
Crystal Palace go 13 games unbeaten since the first 3 losses of the season.  :-)  I will enjoy it while I can.
I received my voting forms for the local Police and crime commissioner. My concern is that I know absolutely nothing about the candidates and very little about the job itself. The decision for people to vote for a someone to do such an important job baffles me. I suspect that 90% of people will be in the same position.  I can see that the next time we come to vote, the candidates will be thrashing around statistics and therefore the voting will be based on short term performance rather than the overall role including long term planning.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

4 weeks and 2 days old

This is Zac... and we will pick him up in 3 weeks(ish).

Friday, 9 November 2012

Mitt the dimwit

What the hell did Mitt mean?!
“I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.”

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Pride and joy

In an occasional series of very random songs, here's a fantastic blues rocker that came up on shuffle on my iPhone today. It's the live version of Pride And Joy by the late Stevie Ray Vaughan.  I was introduced to the music of this amazing guitarist many years ago by my guitar teacher.  He died far too young...

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Four more years

There was never a chance in my mind that the most poweful nation on Earth could have had a leader called President Mitt.  Such a thing would sound like a cute little glove puppet on a childrens TV programme if you ask me.
I'm very glad the US election is over, I think our news has wasted far too much time and money on another country's elections. All this hassle for a two party state that wastes billions in electioneering.
Though I do wonder if 4 years is long enough in these modern times to put into effect the changes required.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Welcome Ian

Ian Holloway has just become manager of Crystal Palace, following the departure of Dougie Freedman.  I appreciate that you are not all football fans, but Ian is well known for his post match comments:

Ian Holloway on Cristiano Ronaldo: 
“He’s six foot something, fit as a flea, good looking – he’s got to have something wrong with him. Hopefully he’s hung like a hamster – That would make us all feel better. Having said that, me missus has got a pet hamster at home, and his cock’s massive.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

What did I learn this week? #1

Starbucks manages to pay hardly any UK tax, using any trick they can to avoid paying - perhaps it will OK for us not to pay tax (other guilty parties include Vodafone and Ebay).
Anything can happen in football - the departure of Dougie Freedman from Crystal Palace to Bolton was for no other reason than money it appears. Even the press agree with the fans.
People in Bilbao never walk across the road unless there is a green man flashing. I felt guilty walking across the road, despite it being clear of traffic.
Force 8 weather means even a large ship is going to be tossed around by pretty huge waves.  And the motion is up, down, sideways, diagonal etc etc and repeat. Luckily I have some sea legs, but it was still a challenge. This image shows the ship we were on!
The media seems to go overboard with specific topics. The Jimmy Savile coverage is now completely out of hand and sensationalist. Some of the comments from one MP when questioning the BBC boss were simply stupid.  There's no doubt that Jimmy was a bad person, but one MP was just grandstanding and should be ashamed.

Saturday, 3 November 2012


I am back from a weeks holiday - a short cruise to France and Spain including a fun roller coaster ride across the Bay of Biscay.
I have lots of photos to share, as you would expect and will post some soon. Apart from being much heavier, I am very tired and intend doing nothing today.  Watch this space.
It's cold in England this morning is all I can say, and here is a teaser photo taken at the Guggenheim!