Back To University Days

This week finds me in temporary residence at the Midland Hotel in Manchester as part of the work I am doing inspecting the CPS.

Last week was spent in Nottingham. That is a City that has a lot of memories for me. I still remember the Nottingham miners scabbing during the miner’s strike in 1984/5. I still remember  being forced onto the pitch from the main stand at the end of the 1986/7 season. I remember Steve Stone scoring a goal that meant we could not win the league. I spent a lot of time there in 1997-1999 as well as my ex lived there, so its a city I know well.

When I was at University, I travelled to Nottingham to see Newcastle v Forest, and it took me 3 days to get home! The joys of alcohol! I wouldn’t have minded too much but when my mother rang my student digs, someone told her I’d probably been nicked. Cheers mates!

It is an interesting place.It is the capital of the East Midlands and has a lot of government agencies there. [Apologies to  Derby & Leicester, but Nottingham is the premier city in the region]. There is not much to report about my few days there. Work, hotel, eat, sleep. Exciting stuff eh?

The only interesting thing was the Power Station case i referred to in my post last Monday/ Tuesday. It has been interesting to see how people are willing to jump to conclusions based on inaccurate and clearly one sided cases in the newspaper. The left wing Guardian has published a series of partisan articles on the case that are as clearly inaccurate as they are one sided. There is little attempt to report partially (Newspapers are under no duty to be impartial). Reading numerous message boards discussing this subject, it seems that people are too willing to jump to conclusions and not prepared to accept there may be other sides to the story. To even suggest this is to open yourself to hostile invective. The irony of it is that the people who are so narrow minded fail to realise that I am actually of a similar opinion to them about the overall issues.

This weekend I went to Newcastle to see Michelle & her family. Smile As ever, it was all to short a time period. Probably not helped by going on Saturday to watch Spennymoor play at Ryton in the Skill Training Northern League, which is 9 divisions below the Premiership!


[Ryton v Spennymoor – Luxury Facilities for the Mass Crowd]

As you can see from the photographs, its not exactly a premiership ground and its not exactly a full house either. Spennymoor won 2-0 in a game ruined by the weather. The pitch was like a bog, and the wind was blowing at gale force down the hill. It made Spennymoor’s 2nd half attack down the hill ineffective. The wind blew the ball faster than anyone could run, so the ball kept going out of play. Good job Spennymoor got 2 in the first half against the wind. It was important for Spennymoor to avoid injuries as they are playing away at Cadbury Heath on Saturday in the FA Vase. I went to the game with Michelle’s youngest son and Michelle as well. I think Michelle had the right idea to stay in the clubhouse in the warmth all the game rather than stand outside and watch the game. I was still feeling the cold hours later when we were at home after the game.

After the game, Michelle and I had a night alone as her two boys were out on the town or with their Dad respectively. So, being the romantic type, I cooked Michelle a candlelight meal washed down with a bottle (or 3) of wine. When I say candlelight, I of course mean that no one had ten bob for the electricity meter so we had to use candles.

Michelle say’s I have to tell you the meal was no ordinary meal, it was an S&M meal for £10. That’s right isn’t it Michelle?

We followed up this meal with a session on the sofa – that is a session of snoozing through Saturday night TV! That is TV meaning television before your dirty minds think otherwise!

Sunday brought an early start for Michelle as that much put upon lady drove me into town for a 09:00 rendezvous with a pint or two of ale before the trip to the great unwashed. (See other post for more on this). Obviously, we had to avoid going on the special trains/ Metros that had been put on for Newcastle fans and went on the ordinary service Metro. Its a point of principle! The principle is to be an awkward git and apparently I’m good at it.


[The Stadium of Sh*te – can you spot the difference from Ryton’s ground?]

Back in Newcastle after the game, a few beers were had with the lads before Michelle drove into town to pick me up and take me home for a cracking Sunday dinner. That lady knows how to cook a meal Smile! If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then Michelle has my heart with her cooking, never mind the rest of the way she looks after me.

Some of you will remember my post from 31st October 2010 The Fridges of Northumberland County . Well, being a good Inspector, a follow up inspection  was obviously needed to see if things have been rectified. I can safely say that the fridges of Northumberland County that I re-examined are definitely not dirty. They are also well stocked with lots of rather nice food. Following this theme, I can confirm that the laundry basket and the ironing basket are also kept well stocked Winking smile. Obviously, you will appreciate that I am unable to name the location of these items.

I have been told that I have to say that most of the items in the 2 baskets are my clothing and that I create more washing and ironing than the rest of the household put together – will you stop hitting me now please Michelle?

I left Michelle’s this morning to head down to Manchester for work. It was nice to have a relatively leisurely drive down to Manchester as I was not expected to start work before lunchtime. I even had time to pop into the supermarket on the way down to buy some green tea as both myself and my colleague drink that at work! What an exciting life I lead. I won’t advertise which supermarket it was, but “every little helps”. It also helps that there is an “Express store” next to the offices we are inspecting! Not hard to remember in those circumstances.

Manchester was of course where I spent 3 happy years as a student in the Hacienda and listening to the Smith’s. It is good to see a few old haunts Smile I just hope the CPS aren’t doing what The Smiths sing about.


People ask me is this blog true? All I can say is I’ve been a compulsive liar since I was a month old.

They’ve Got No Decorum

Who, what, why, where, when, what is he going on about.

Well, a certain rather fat and ugly man from Corbridge might remember this phrase from 31st October 2010. Why? This was Steve Bruce’s description of Newcastle United and its fans because at the end of the Newcastle v Sunderland game (which incidentally Newcastle won 5-1), the tannoy played The Monkeys’ “Cheer up Sleepy Jean”. A song incidentally which the Mackems released themselves as a record some years ago.

Strangely Mr Bruce didn’t use that description for those unwashed from Wearside whose idea of celebrating an underserved last minute equaliser in the return game was to invade the pitch, assault the Newcastle goalkeeper and throw numerous missiles at those of us in the away end.

Perhaps the ugly fat one was upset because his boasts in the press before the game to have a record to play when the Mackem’s won came to nothing.  So much for your boasting eh?

Steve Bruce to Name The Song?

All this from someone who repeatedly claims to be a Newcastle fans, but whose actions have repeatedly been to put Newcastle down throughout his time as a player and a manager.

Its rather pathetic and hollow to hear Sunderland Chairman Niall Quinn, Steve Bruce and other assorted Mackems making rather hollow apologies over the assault on Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper by a Mackem fan DURING the game.

Hollow apology

Why is it a hollow apology? Well at ever single Derby game we have played at the Stadium of Sh*te when the Mackems have scored the great unwashed have invaded the pitch. it is also the second successive Derby at the Stadium of Sh*te when one of the great unwashed fans has assaulted/ threatened the Newcastle goalkeeper. You would have thought that by now, the so called family club would have taken appropriate steps to stop these pitch invasions and attacks on players.

The S*nderland Echo manages to rewrite history by failing to mention all the other Mackems who invaded the pitch and implies that both sets of fans were to blame Mackem Lies . Funny also how the same paper manages to forget all the other instances when the Mackems have invaded the pitch in this fixture. Also, perhaps the paper would like to tell us exactly how many Newcastle fans invaded the pitch yesterday?

The Lies Continue….

The Mackems issued a statement today saying:

“The vast majority of fans in the 48,000 capacity crowd behaved very well and we thank them for their loyal support.

“Sunderland AFC operates a zero tolerance policy towards anti-social behaviour of any kind within the Stadium of Light, and we are proud of our reputation as a family club.

“Working closely with Northumbria Police, we will ensure that appropriate action is taken against anyone found to have been involved in any such behaviour at yesterday’s game.

“The club also recognises the positive role Sunderland supporters played in helping to identify the small minority responsible for anti-social behaviour to stewards and the police.”

So there you have it in the 2nd paragraph– Sunderland AFC do not think pitch invasions or assaulting goalkeepers is anti social behaviour and they are proud of such actions.

Strange that the 3rd paragraph makes no mention of banning those on the pitch, only “appropriate action”. Wonder why most clubs ban those who invade the pitch or assault players, S*nderland praise them instead

The fourth paragraph praises the fans. Its incredible that this statement makes no condemnation of those who invade the pitch, assaulted the Newcastle goalkeeper or threw missiles, either this time or at any of the previous derbies at the Stadium of Sh*te.

Oh, and a point of order S*nderland. The referee identified the person who assaulted the keeper, not the great unwashed. Or are you suggesting the referee is a S*nderland fan – well actually, you have competition there as Liverpool think he is a Man U fan.


So Mackem Scum, Is this Decorum?

Mackem Scum

Oh and a quick message for Titus Bramble “SHE SAID NO TITUS, SHE SAID NO”.

Interestingly I see that Darren Bent  has decided he’s had enough of being at the great unwashed and a transfer to a club in the relegation zone (Aston Villa) is preferable to staying at the Mackems.

The Kiss of Death?

Now, the title will have you wondering! Read on and I may explain, there again, I may not.

I got in around 150 miles today. Sadly in the car not on the bike. Why? Well I am working in Nottingham this week, so had to drive here as I have to make a number of other journeys. It would not be practical by train and certainly not practical by bike.

Why am I in Nottingham you may ask, and even if you don’t ask I am going to tell you. I am here as part of our work looking at the capacity and capabilities of the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) Complex Casework Units (CCUs). The CPS have asked us to look at their units and see whether they have the capacity and capability to take on more work and whether work needs to be moved into or out of these units.

We seem to be bad news for the CCUs. We are inspecting 2 CCUs this week, The North East CCU and the East Midlands CCU.

Well the week before Christmas the North East CCU hit the headlines after the Judge stopped a Jury Knobbling Trial after deciding the CCU and in particular the Head of that Unit had behaved improperly in relation to the disclosure of unused materials. North East CCU & John Sayers Trial 

Then today the East midlands CCU were on all the media after the trial of 6 people in relation to a planned protest in April 2009 collapsed at the start of the trial over allegations relating to an undercover police officer. Defendant’s Version of trial Collapse . BBC Report of Trial Collapse

Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station – the key place in criminal court case

Neither of these two stories are the reason we are visiting these two CCUs. Indeed the reporting of the two stories in the media does not reflect the reality of the situation. The truth however would make less sensational reading/ viewing and so the media is unlikely to publish the correct facts. It was an reminder today to see how the media report stories in a way that has little connection with the truth.

When ever a story breaks in the media, there are always two sides to the story and it is wrong to jump to conclusions. It is also interesting to see the spin the newspapers put on the stories according to their political views. It seems that spouting their political views is more relevant than reporting the truth to the newspapers. Treat all you read with scepticism, even when the stories seem clear cut.

I am staying currently in the Hilton Hotel in Nottingham for work. We always get a double room for single occupancy. It is a good job that there is only me in this room as I can’t recall ever having such a small double room in a hotel. I think prisoners get bigger cells than I have here. What is worse though than the size of the room is that I cannot get BBC3 on the TV so am unable to watch Family Guy on a night. Crying face. This must be a breach of my Human Rights. What is the number of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg?

The good news is its only a few days until the weekend, and what a weekend it promises to be. Certain person to be seen- its been too long since I saw them. Open-mouthed smile She knows who she is.

Virgin on the Ridiculous (Aka Virgin are ridiculous)

Well, its been a while since I last posted on here. I know some of you will be glad for that. Why the silence? Well contrary to rumours following my last post, I have not gone yet. Nor is it because I have done nothing – its never stopped me blogging before.

No, the reason is because those clowns at Virgin media are unable to supply an internet service that works. Those of you with a long memory will recall me posting about internet problems before Christmas and how Virgin arranged an engineer to call out and then on the day cancelled the engineer despite telling me originally he was on his way, but running late when I queried why he had not attended. Good old Virgin Media not only fail to do what they agreed to do, but they lie about what they are doing. After the engineer had been cancelled, why tell me he was on his way but running late?

Well since I returned back to London last Monday, the internet problem still remains. I have made at least 6 calls to Virgin on 2 separate days in the last week. Every call results in me being told a different story about the issue, from it being my computer at fault, to there is no problem and that having an intermittently working connection is all I can expect.

Tonight, I was told that apparently there was a fault in this area and their engineers were working on it and fault had existed for 2 days. When I pointed out my problem was initially reported on 18th December , i.e. some 22 days ago so this could not be the cause of the problem, more waffle occurred before the call handler went off to carry out another test and never returned. Perhaps he was coming here in person from India.

A second call going over all the test  the initial call had done was also unsuccessful as the cordless phone went flat as a result of being used so long today to call Virgin.

A third call again repeated all the other tests etc. before I was told the reason for the problem was that Virgin engineers were apparently improving my service by increasing the server capacity. So, improving service is done by providing a service that doesn’t work? Interesting idea Mr Branson- seems your media service is as successful as your balloons were.

Further questions were asked

Me “ Why is it taking so long to fix my service?”

Virgin “It is taking so long because we are working to increase the server capacity”

Can you explain how that answers the question?

Me “ Why if the problem existed only a couple of days ago have I not had a reliable service for 22 days?”

Virgin “ Our engineers are working to increase capacity”

Would it surprise you to learn that the call handlers were not from England?

The matter was left that Virgin are to refund me the last month’s broadband fee and claim they will have the problem fixed in 3-5 days. As I am busy over the next few days, I’ll wait to see. I am prepared to wager a large sum that it won’t be solved though. I will wager an even larger sum that Virgin won’t even reimburse me the money that they promised.

Oh and as for the missed engineer’s visit last year: –

a) Virgin have not yet arranged a new appointment, or even offered to arrange one

b) Virgin have filed an acknowledgement of service indicating they intend to defend the claim I brought against them. It will be interesting to see what there defence is. Firstly they never notified me of the cancellation of the appointment and then they lied on the day to claim the engineer was still coming but running late in a call at approximately 12:30 when engineer’s appointment was between 08:0 and 12:0. So they clearly must have deliberately lied in the call at 12:30.


Happy Customers

Another Satisfied Virgin Customer

Well, what else have I done? I managed 3 days cycling this week. Tuesday and Friday return commutes to work and on Saturday I rode up to the club session at Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club which is held every Saturday at Redbridge Cycle Centre . I wasn’t due to be there on Saturday, but I realised I had not dropped off the diary for the recording of club sessions etc. So, to rectify this I had a quick ride up there and dropped off the diary.

Once there, I remembered there was to be a visitor from Evans Cycles to discuss their Ride it weekend in March when they want to use Redbridge Cycle Centre for their event. They however seem to have forgotten that we at LVYCC have the circuit booked for the morning and Evans cannot simply flex their muscles and expect us to simply cancel our session for the day. After some negotiations, I think we have reached a compromise solution that all can be agreed upon. We are waiting for Evans now to confirm the heads of agreement in writing.

A consequence of my being at that meeting was I missed a text message from my Barnsley mates John & his daughter Hannah who were coming down to East London to see Barnsley play at West Ham. The supporters bus had stopped in Ilford for drinks before the game and John was inviting me for a drink. Sadly, by the time I saw the message, there was insufficient time to get there for a drink before they set off for West Ham’s Upton Park.

Saturday was the day I was going to Stevenage to watch Premiership Newcastle, fresh from their 5-0 thumping of West Ham, progress into the 4th round of the FA Cup. It was to be a certainty as Stevenage only got into the football league this season and are struggling in the 4th tier. Drinking in the bars in Stevenage brought the great news that the Mackems had lost at home to league 1 Notts County and the Child molesters from Middlesbrough had thrown away a lead to lose at league 2 Burton Albion. This had all the makings of a great day out.

It got better in the ground when the legend that is Kevin Keegan came past the away end walking to the main stand. He still gets the reception that befits a Toon legend. I have to say he is still my hero. Could the day get any better?

Sadly the answer is no. The 11 players representing Newcastle were a disgrace to the shirt and produced a performance lacking any  effort or skill. It was still 0-0 at half time only thanks to luck. I think Newcastle had one chance in the whole half. Never mind Alan Pardew would sort the team out at half time and we’d win comfortably. Well 10 minutes into the 2nd half, and I was heading back to the town centre for the train home. We were 2-0 down and looked like we would never score in a month of Sundays. It was dreadful to watch and I had no intention of staying to watch.

By the time I had walked back to the town centre and got a quick pint the situation had got worse. Newcastle were now down to 10 men after Tiote was sent off. By the time the game ended, I was already on a train back to London and Newcastle had lost 3-1.


The Newcastle players should be ashamed of themselves. Losing is one thing, but to lose in the manner they did, with no commitment, passion or effort displayed by any of them. The players do not deserve the support of the Toon Army who supported their team for the full 90 minutes.

Wembley it ain’t

What else has happened in the last week?

Well, I have managed to just about figure out how to use my head cam. I need to adjust the angle of the camera slightly but think I have it sussed now. It is not brilliant at night time. I think a camera with a much higher frames per second rate is needed . I may of course be completely wrong. The filming during the daylight however is excellent and I can’t wait to use it more. Sadly (or fortunately?) there was nothing to post of any interest from Friday/ Saturday’s ride.

Re work issues – matters there are still on going. I have taken some advice on things. Unions do have their benefits. Yes, those of you who thought I was to the right of Genghis Khan politically will be shocked to know I am a paid up card carrying member of a trade union.

I had to break the news to Michelle that I was not going to be in Newcastle for work this coming week. Sorry baby- sometimes life is sh*t. Instead, I will be heading to Newcastle at the weekend to:

a) See Michelle – which is the highlight of the week

b) See Spennymoor Town play at Ryton supporters-club-002-255x300

c) See Newcastle United at the Mackems – the biggest game of the season. They will be desperate for revenge after the 5-1 humiliation in October. Both sides were of course humiliated on Saturday in the FA Cup and will be seeking to bounce back.



Hopefully the weekend will produce lots of scoring opportunities Winking smile



A bloke walks into a brothel and says: “I’m a bit kinky, how much for total embarrassment?”
The madam replies £150.00.
“Wow, what do I get for that?” he says.

She says: “A baggy green cap and an Australian Cricket XI shirt.”See more

Should I Stay or Should I Go?


The good news is I cycled to/ from work today – some 27+ miles in. It seems ages since I last rode my bike. No incidents to report. I tried out my headcam, and tomorrow I will remember to turn it on! Whoops

Work itself – the least said the better. I’ll let Mick Jones and Co say it all for me regarding work. Ironically for a lawyer, I think I need a bit of legal advice  on my rights.

Take it Away Boys

PS – Thanks Michelle for: –

a) The gorgeous pizza I had for my lunch

b) Listening to my rant tonight

c) Not making an issue me not being there next week owing to aforementioned work issues

My Christmas–the real truth exposed

Well, I’m now back at my house in London, having driven back today from the North East. I am now  free of the domineering and bullying influences of my family and my captor and can reveal the truth. Read on dear listener for the shocking exposure of the real Christmas I endured.

Firstly though, I need to explain how / why I am back here.


The how is easy, I got in my car and drove! All 290 or so miles. I decided to drive from Horsley via the A68 rather than via the A1M. Driving down the A68 took me near my parents house, so I called them and arranged to see them for a quick cuppa on the way. This of course delayed me for sometime, but did enable me to enjoy the delights of Bishop Auckland’s new football ground and the adjacent Sainsbury’s supermarket. Its an interesting place, being adjacent to a large Tesco as well. If nothing else there are thousands of car parking places near the football ground!

From there I drove the remaining 220 or so miles back to London whilst listening to the bank holiday football matches on the radio. A strange journey, driving back to an empty house and work in the morning after nearly 2 weeks off work.

The only good thing to come from the return to London is that I have actually got my finger out and put away all my clothes and other apparel I had taken to the North East.


I could say that I am back here because Michelle has had enough of me hogging HER sofa and taking control of the TV remote. I could also say she objected to me asking her to turn off her radio so I could listen to the football on the internet.

I could say all of the above, but I’m not brave enough.

So instead, I’ll blame it on the eviction order that Michelle’s two dogs got against me. apparently they objected to me sharing their doghouse any longer.

Tom 008Tom 017

My fellow residents in the dog house


Well firstly, I’m sure some of you may have thought I had a good Christmas and got lots of nice presents. Well the truth will shock you.

Firstly- the luxury food I have described Michelle as cooking. Does sausage, egg and chips sound luxurious? Yes, this is what I was greeted with when I arrived on 23rd December. Killing the fatted calf? not exactly – they were pork sausages, so it was the fatted pig silly. I have to say, sausages were Sainsbury’s finest pork and caramelized red onion ones, the eggs were Matfen free range eggs and the chips were unbelievable- they were Sainsbury’s finest oven chips and are definitely recommended. The nicest sausage eggs and chips I’ve had outside of East Ham / Hornchurch (well, I’ve got to creep to Diane or I might not get invited round again)

I came up to the North East to spend quality time with my family and with Michelle and her family. So Christmas Day with my family what happened? Well, we all managed to find different rooms in the house to watch TV. The only time we nearly had a full gathering was to watch HM The Queen deliver her address to the Nation. Obviously all the pigs’ snouts were in the same trough at feeding time.

Quality time with Michelle, consisted of shopping, not just any shopping but a daily visit to at least one and usually more of the supermarkets in the area. We managed Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s, Netto, Spar, Aldi, Lidl and the local corner shop. That was just in one afternoon. The rest of the time I was either forced to do washing up to earn my keep or drugged with alcohol to keep me quiet. As for washing up, how does one lady manage to make so much washing up?

Alcohol! Now if you read some of my previous posts,  you may have been under the impression I enjoyed drinking lots of alcohol. I can reveal now that I am alone, that I was forced against my will to drink copious quantities of rather good red wines, delicious Oyster Bay white wine, rather nice port, several  bottles of baileys, numerous pint glasses of vodka and wash it all down with bottles of Stella. As I am sure you realised by reading between the lines in the earlier posts, this was all against my will. Indeed I did try to protest and ask for a nice cup of tea instead, but my fear forced me to say wine/ vodka etc. instead of tea.

Some of you may think that Christmas was a time of laughter for me. it was a time of hysteria. I have never laughed so much. Indeed I think I have broken a rib from sneezing whilst having a hysterical laughing fit. I wanted to say i broke a rib when I was punished for being too slow to fetch Michelle a refill for her empty wine glass, but she told me if I said that, she would break the rest of my ribs.

I must say I got lots of great presents from my family this Christmas. Literally, I MUST say that or else I may get cut out of my parents will. I mean, who could not be delighted to get a chocolate fireguard or a 2010 calendar featuring cats (yes 2010!)? Actually this year I didn’t get any unwanted presents, in fact I didn’t get any presents!

Seriously, I got some great presents this year, including, cameras, DVDs, drink more drink, a fantastic DVD set of porridge AND a DVD of the Toon beating the Mackems. Even the potato peeler and oven cleaner were accepted in the spirit of the p*sstake they were given.

Now, I know that some of you may now be wondering what actually happened at my Christmas break and what the real truth is. Well how the heck would I know, I was too drunk to remember it!

Writing this today has been hard as I’m suffering the DTs and am going cold turkey from the drink I had to drink this holiday.

Tomorrow, its back to work, back to cycling and the diet starts immediately. I am looking forward to all three of these. They are all needed, and I can try out my head cam tomorrow on my ride to work. Watch for footage on here over the next few weeks.

Take care and thanks for reading


PS Michelle – please forgive me. I can’t take more beatings (well I can, but that’s a matter for the bedroom not for this blog Winking smile )

New Year’s Resolutions?

Instead of listing all my New Year’s resolutions, I  decided to start with my New Years wish list.

NEW YEAR DEATH POOL – I am wishing a swift end to the Go-compare man, closely followed by the advert.

FOOTBALL – relegation for the Mackems (sadly not likely, so I’ll have to settle for them missing out on a European place on the last day of the season.

Mike Ashley – preferably to vanish and take his cockney mafia with him. Ashley you FCB, get out of our club

Newcastle to keep their place in the Premier League

POLITICS – it would be asking to much to find a politician who is neither motivated by self interests or with their snouts in the trough. I’ll settle for politicians respecting Human Rights and condemning those regimes that abuse such Rights. Yes, China, Iran, Afghanistan and USA amongst others I am thinking of you.

CYCLING – I wish for a p*nct*re free year, but the chances of that are probably nil, so I’ll wish for an accident free year for me and all those I know and those who read this blog.

POLICE UNITY TOUR – I wish all those involved in this, whether those riding, those providing the invaluable support and organisation of this fantastic event, a very successful event this year. I hope we can raise more than the $1 million we raised last year. Thanks to Harry and Pat and everyone behind this event.

CRICKET – It would be great to see Durham do the double, the County Championship and a win at Lords in the C&G Trophy. I’d settle for one or the other.

The Land of The Prince Bishops

LOVE LIFE – I know what I wish for this year and it is going to happen I hope.

It will indeed


Right, that’s my New Year’s wishes out of the way. Now, what about my New Year’s Resolutions? Well, I know you aren’t really interested, but here goes:

  1. To give up chocolates, sweets & crisps for January
  2. To lose 2 stones (28 lbs.) in weight between now and The Police Unity Tour ride in May 2011.
  3. To try to run in preparation for a go at the 2011 Great North Run (knee permitting)
  4. To get out on my bike more in 2011 than I did in 2010.
  5. To get a liver transplant following the amount of alcohol I’ve drunk this Christmas and New Year.


I’ve just had someone from Alcoholics Anonymous at the door. Apparently they are being proactive this year. He was telling me about the evils of drink, and how it harmed you.

AA “When did you last have a drink sir?”

Me: “1958”

AA: “ that’s fantastic sir. you clearly have heeded all the warnings re alcohol and the harm it does. I won’t trouble you anymore. Goodnight.”

After he left, I thought it strange that as it was only five past eight, he thought going without a drink for seven minutes was good!

Have a good day. I’m off back to London tomorrow, so back to my empty house. So, I think if I get back in time tomorrow, I will post a review of my holiday period before I go back to work on Tuesday.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 43 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 71 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 24mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was December 21st with 141 views. The most popular post that day was Bobby Shaftoe.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for train station signs, peterborough fc ground, scarborough athletic, spen666, and argos direct email address.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Bobby Shaftoe November 2010


Who Am I? June 2010


Police Unity Tour November 2010


In The Beginning Was The Word…. June 2010
1 comment


Why You Should Avoid Homebase or Argos Direct November 2010
1 comment

A New Start

With today being New Year’s Day, I was up at 5 am, bowl of porridge for breakfast and out for a 5 mile run with the dogs before coming home to wake Michelle with breakfast in bed after I had done all the housework for her. Then I woke up…

Ok, I’m drinking another glass of wine whilst typing this and am just having my lunch at 17:00, not having had cold Chinese as my breakfast until 12:00. Yes, a rather lazy start to the day.

Last night was a rather quiet night in for Michelle, Josh & Elizabeth. Michelle and I were rather restrained last night, only having 1/2 a bottle of Bailey’s, 2 1/2 bottles of wine and a bottle of champagne between us. I mean at one point we were even drinking a pot of tea! Rock and Roll lifestyle eh? A soap overdose with Corrie x2, Emmerdale and EastEnders just proves how out of control we are. I am not sure Granny Gilhome quite appreciated the finer points of  Family Guy that Josh & I watched.

Did I mention the Chinese takeaway we had? The local Chinese is rather nice and a banquet fit for a fat lad was had, with lots left over for today’s breakfast!

Never mind Charlie, one of Michelle’s dogs entertained us with his best schizophrenic routine when someone let off fireworks outside at around 20:00. To calm him down, he was allowed to jump onto Michelle’s lap for a cuddle. (He is not normally allowed up on the chairs). The little *&^&^%$& made the most of it and demanded to sit on sofas or laps for the rest of the night. Who says dogs are not clever?

Midnight brought a rather pathetic attempt by Michelle and I to launch Josh’s Chinese lantern. Sadly, it crash landed twice before we had to extinguish it to avoid setting fire to next door’s house. Still we do have a 2nd lantern so can have another go later. I’ll have to succeed just to prove to Josh I’m not just a p*ss artist.

For some reason the local pub’s promised fireworks display did not materialise. So, the TV footage of the London display had to do to drive Charlie schizophrenic again.

Once Josh was in bed and Liz had gone home, Michelle and I managed to continue to giggle at anything and nothing. I’m not sure why we were sat up at the dining table rather than on the sofas though. By about 02:30 – 03:00 we eventually pulled ourselves together and welcomed in the New Year properly.

A rather late start this morning was deserved. I resisted the urge to eat any of the sweets / chocolates / crisps left over from last night before breakfast, so the resolutions were not broken before 12 noon on 1st January. The will power I have amazes me.

I decided to take the dogs out for a walk. Well take Ruby for a walk and Charlie (aka Woodbine) out for a drag. For some reason he was reluctant to go out today. We did eventually reach the business Park at the end of Horsley, where I let them off the leads as usual. All good, the dogs had a run round, then Charlie decided to head home alone. Every time I called him, he stopped for me till I got in grabbing distance of him, then he ran off again. The sight of a fat bloke chasing a Jack Russell up the street must have amused anyone who saw it, especially when I kept grabbing for Charlie and he would run off.

This afternoon brought a pleasant drive out to Hexham and a walk round the town and through the park. I’ve been to Hexham many times to visit the court, and usually parked my car next to the park without realising what a beautiful park it is. I even went into the historic Hexham Abbey for the first time in my life. The trip was rounded off by a trip to Tesco.

Sadly, I haven’t got my bike here as I’d have loved to cycle today to start the year.

Time to visit Liz & Keith’s for a roast tea now mmmmmmmmmmmm I can’t wait