Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Firing Squad!

A good way to bring a new generation of skilled practitioners to a particular skilful career is for younger people to join their chosen profession as an apprentice. They could then acquire their skills over the years and be under contract to work for their trainers for a few more years afterwards. Pay back time.

In the sixties and seventies the London underground were taking on school leavers to be railway operating apprentices. These youngsters spent quite a lot of the first three years of their working lives sitting in at different training classes that the London underground ran in White City for its employees. It made no difference to the instructors at those times whether their apprentices were as bright as a red signal or as dim as a tunnel light. No one would ever ask them how they were doing and then afterwards saying, “You’re fired!” That sort of fiction is only for television and all who believe reality television to be genuine.   No firm in the real world would fire two hopefuls in order to maintain the secrecy of which one gets the chop in reality about six months afterwards. 

What those bona fide apprentices would constantly get shouted at them instead was, “I’m not asking you to be on time in the morning, I’M TELLING YOU!” These were the REAL apprentices and they were trained to work their way up through the ranks to management and beyond with rest day working often permitted along the way as a 'Non Sugar' sweetener. Civvies however could only be worn in extra voluntary (unpaid) classes. Full uniform had to be worn at all other times.

However, no employees were allowed to qualify for a position at voluntary classes though because the unions did not like it up ‘em… They could learn the promotional job they wanted by all means but they also had to attend the regular paid training classes to qualify.  Again however, they then had to wait in the length of service queue for a vacancy to arise for them to work at the job they qualified to do.

However and more importantly though, no self made management advised them that, “You’re fired.”

Maybe the real managers never had to firstly spend much time in make up either?

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Quite Well Bread

This is what works for me...


                   800g PLAIN BREAD LOAVES

1/.   Use 550g of strong white plain flour.
2/.   Mix in 2 level teaspoons salt and 2 level teaspoons sugar.
3/.   Mix in 1.5 level teaspoons dried yeast.
4/.   Mix in two dessertspoons of cooking oil.
5/.   Mix in 340ml luke warm water and leave for 5 minutes.
6/.   With floured hands and surface, thoroughly kneed for 10 minutes.
7/.   Leave covered for 1.5 hours. (90 minutes).
8/.   Lightly punch down and kneed for 1 minute.
9/.   Leave for 2 minutes.
10/. Turn into a greased tin and leave for 1 hour. (first time metal is used).
11/. Bake in centre of oven for 45 minutes.
12/. Cool on a wire rack.
For French bread add between steps 7/. & 8/.
Additional steps 7b/.  Lightly punch down and kneed for 1 minute.

                          7c/.  Leave covered for yet another hour..
For Brown or Wholemeal loaves, step 3/. is 2 level teaspoons dried yeast
For Brown bread use 2.75g strong white + 2.75 strong wholemeal flours.
Plus add 1 teaspoon white vinegar.
For Wholemeal bread use all strong wholemeal flour
Plus add 2 teaspoons white vinegar.
Now step 7/. Need only be left covered for 30 minutes before step 8/.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Big Brother's siblings.

Big Brother and all your siblings are watching you in Sussex now so ‘belt up’ and stop complaining…

Yes it's true.  The Sussex Police have started to pilot a new scheme now to trap law breaking motorists by asking their fellow motorists to report them of any unlawful driving practices they notice, (while going about their own journey and minding their own business and looking where they’re going instead of course). This would include reporting on those who use hand held mobile phones while they drive, (including pay as you go), or travellers who are not wearing seatbelts. (Women against bondage)!  However, there will be no BOGOF fines for doing the two at the same time. (PO).

So… Here I am then, Mr average driver overtaking a slower moving car, when suddenly I see in the car I’m passing, that the driver is holding a phone. What must I do next then? Well as a good citizen I cannot use my mobile phone so I must fumble abouit in my jacket for a pencil and paper so that I can take his number. That’ll teach him for calling in to complain that I’m overtaking him doing ninety!

Apparently, if two complaints are logged against the same person in any given year, then the police will arrange a home visit. Something like your GP I would suppose.  (Waiting lists being what they are nowadays).

“I asked my wife to ‘belt up’ officer but she just carried on about my drink driving and ignored me.”

However a good lesson can be learned from all this. Which is, ‘Never use the same car twice.’ This way of course the same number plate will not be reported twice. Failing this, just paint the nearside of your car a different colour to the offside. What fun you’ll have then listening to all the witnesses as they argue.

If this is part of a Big Brother state then we are really and truly in a state.

But also however, if you witness a driver holding up a Post Office at gun point then he/she could not be committing a driving offence as he/she would have parked up on a yellow line first and then got out of the car.  There would be no point in reporting this because apart from the fact that armed robbery is not a driving offence, some of the proceeds of the robbery would later go towards the yellow line parking fines in any case, which is legalised daylight robbery as we all know.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Respecting the beliefs of others

I seem to have a problem with religious conviction. Maybe it’s because I’m an atheist and believe in scientific evolution, scientific values and a good working knowledge of right and wrong. I don’t relish being insulted or used and so I make sure I do not do likewise unto others. I am also an advocate to stop all animal cruelty.

Okay then that puts me bang in the centre of a very vast but still growing majority. A majority who knows how to live a decent life, keep within the law and only demonstrate peacefully if in disagreement. Probably I’m also from the majority that had a religious belief instilled from early childhood that took years of common soul searching to arrive at an atheist way of belief.

A good friend and Vicar of a congregational church once told me, “There are no Atheists in a hell hole.”

I pointed out that, “A God of Love would never create hell holes in the first place.”

He remained a good friend until he died of old age praying for forgiveness. Was his God never satisfied? A friend to me is one that doesn’t try to convert you to their way of thinking all the time. A friend who mutually respects other beliefs as I do myself.

My problem then would be better re-phrased as, ‘A problem with who I perceive to be a few extremists who are spoiling our planet, God given or Big Bang given, with their narrow-minded silliness.’

Again, to draw on any vast majority I’m not unique there either. We all know that the Nine-Eleven USA hits were despicable and to respect the perpetrators beliefs on that one would certainly not also be to condone their actions by any means. Likewise with any other killing sprees they’ve carried out as well !!!

Terry Jones? A pastor with a following of 58 plus himself, albeit with 58 followers more than myself, has decided to invite Imam leaders to call him.

No one from any majority would waste time on him but he has managed to have stirred up hatred in a few with his beliefs. Why cannot his social services department just section him and be done with? He can still have his values in a mental hospital anyway but without anyone having to hear them.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Harvest Festival Time


Well I can see that some of us are in splendid voice on this lovely Sunday morning.

Now… I must say how splendid your harvest festival display looks this year too with all those ageing tins of cheap creamed rice so neatly arranged around your hurriedly last minute remembered and dare I hopefully make the comment, complete and unopened, packet of Sainsbury’s economy chocolate biscuits? Exactly what you needed of course to hide that old reoccurring rusty tin of Tesco’s own baked beans in tomato sauce.

But that isn’t as good as it gets this year is it… Because surprisingly enough, some anonymous donor has even gone to a small tin of Lidl’s treacle pudding this year as well? And very nice it looks too I must admit… Well, what there is of it that is…

Now Mr. Johnson asked me at the beginning of our service this morning, why it is that this year, I have seen the need to lock our church doors while we’re all here inside God’s house together? Well as I explained then to Mr. Johnson, I have only taken this precaution for all of your own good. For health and safety reasons if you will.

You see, if you think back to this time last year Mr. Johnson, you may recall what happened when I tried to distribute those reoccurring tins of cheap Asda creamed rice to the pensioners of our congregation? Well you couldn’t have got out of here any quicker even if I’d have tried to take another collection! Not of course, that I’m actually in need of any more coat buttons you understand.

And Mr. Hargreaves. I see that you’re finally back here with us again? Splendid! Splendid! Congratulations on a full recovery are in order of course. But when you dashed out into the middle of the road like that last year Mr. Hargreaves, well… That bus driver just never saw your Zimmer frame coming. He had no chance at all did he?

Anyway, now that our church doors have been securely locked this time, I feel that after our service this morning, I can safely try again to distribute these ancient tins of Asda creamed rice pudding among you, without any of you this time at least, getting knocked down by a Nineteen bus on it’s way to Battersea garage.

And Mrs. Walker. I don’t know how you managed to get up onto that window ledge with your Zimmer frame again this year but please, can you carefully get down again now? That window was, after all, only locked for your own safety just as the doors were. We can’t take the risk of you jumping out of that window again this year now can we Mrs. Walker? Even though old Bert the gardener did make a full recovery back then.

Now… Can anyone guess what else we can do before I unlock those doors at the back this morning? No? Well I’ll tell you. I thought for once, that we could all stay behind for our final hymn and sing it together, rather than have the usual mass exodus worthy of any cinema audience before the National Anthem starts.. After which of course, as I say, I will make my usual endeavour to distribute tins ancient and modern, pardon the pun, of Asda creamed rice, among the pensioners of our little congregation…

Oh and Mrs. Davies, really. I can’t think how you could have possibly come by that pickaxe, but please try to refrain from tunnelling your way out with it during our last hymn.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Daytime TV blues

Am I missing something here? I can never work out why Jeremy Kyle should be allowed on television?

Having said that though, I wish he would call me a liar without him having a shred of proof in front of his claim of 1.8 million viewers. Try disproving that in a court of law even if the viewing figures were different. He will always claim he is only trying to be helpful and I agree there. His attitude could help people to win some nice damage claims. (Maybe some more after that too for repeat fees)?

Every time he shouts, “Get off my stage,” as if he owns it, I think of Peggy Mitchell. “Get out of my pub.”

I admit to being luckier than the Kyle show viewers in that I am not one. So what have I got to moan about then? There are countless other channels to watch if I want to watch daytime TV surely? Well yes of course there are and most are more entertaining than J K. Some of those test cards are very nice to look at too. However that is not my point. My point is that production companies that air such downgrading peeks into dysfunctional families are trying to show us something, which in their opinion, is worth watching. Again, plus repeat fees. Try telling the manager in Asda to turn off all his tellies while you are trying to purchase a copy of ‘Radio Times’ without having to hear the aggravating-grating-irritating drone of, “You need to get your life sorted out Mate!!!!!!!!!!”

No, I need to get out of this shop actually! Has anybody ever looked JK up in a search engine? Go compere.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Autotuning. Why? Why not?

What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you use autotuner on me?
Plug it in now, and I’ll sing you a song, so it sounds like I’m singing in key,
Oooh I get by with a bit of help from my autotuner. Hmmm I get by with a bit of help from my autotuner.
Well why not I say… If your autotuner has the X factor then bring it on.

Autotuner? Well it certainly isn’t a mind bending rocket science but it is a pitch bender that will help you to sing in tune for your supper or your X Factor auditions. Nobody lies on British TV surely? (Rocket science? See PS/. below).

An autotuner is a devise used in live performance and studio sessions these days. It is a piece of electronic ingenuity that no one at the birth of cylinder recording history could have ever foreseen. It makes you sound like you’re actually singing in tune and not flat out.  There must be two sides to the question of need though. Why? / Why not?

The why is quite easy and straightforward and can be best answered by proprietors in the cooked meat industry. “Why sell meat when you can sell water?” Go compere!

So… Okay, fair enough, you’ve paid to download your fav track, (hopefully), and are now entitled to sit back and enjoy it without the bum notes that would have costs extra recording hours to perform without an autotuner. Your download sounds well recorded and everyone’s a winner.

Why not?
Because the word winner cuts both ways here. If you hear something you like on a program such as the ‘The X Factor’ for instance, you may just be tempted to shell out to make a phone call in support to show how much you care.  Never mind all that autocue stuff about the lines are now closed so please don’t vote now as your vote won’t be counted but you still may be charged.   NO ONE TELLS ME WHAT TO DO,  PASS ME THAT PHONE!!!

Autocue? Naw. No one cares about how presenters didn’t have to learn their lines all day. This is all about autotuner not autocue! An autocue is merely a device to read lyrics by while singing off key to your autotuner.

But who would you be declaring an undying love for in any phone vote? The shy girl / guy with the nervous twitch or the sound engineer? After all, whoever presses all your right buttons is ticking all your right X boxes but it may not be possible to use your auto-dialler for the phone vote though.

In Rocket science. Escape velocity is achieved at a speed at which the kinetic energy of an autotuner plus the gravitational potential energy of a dud singer is nothing to phone home about. (Not a lot of people don’t know that).

Sunday, 22 August 2010

On Yer Bike

Now that the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has initiated a cycle sharing scheme with Barclays to pop around town on, I suppose it’s understandable that we are asked to pay twice plus to borrow a bike from them. After all, Bank charges are Bike charges are Bike charges are Bank charges.

So… How do you get yer not yer own bike? Well a key must firstly be obtained for a fee of £3. Then armed with your key, you can unlock a charge to access a non crossbar heavy bike with it.

But that is not as good as it gets, (for Boris at Barclays anyway). A second charge is levied on any usage over Thirty minutes. (A quid for thirty minutes and ten seconds).

For up to the first hour then, the charge is merely set at £1, (on top of your preliminary shell outs). However, for two weeks of solid hire it would be cheaper to buy your own bike with lots of gears and a lock and chain to keep it safe with. The later being a no go area for the London Cycling Scheme. No locks are provided by them and their gears are limited to three. (A push bike is a push bike).

However, you would also be allowed, by force if need be, to compensate up to £300 for any damages. Well they are built like army tanks with a front shopping basket and army tanks with front shopping baskets are expensive.

Yet can you imagine a London Taxi driver charging you for having his/her ignition keys ready to go, over and above the minimum fare to be paid at destination? Not a Mayor in London would be amused if the BUPA of the road tried that one on.

It would be the same then for the NHS travel of the road as well. (Busses),

“I know you’ve just successfully dabbed on your Oyster card Sir, but this bus is not moving until you pay the fee for holding your brolly up to me as I approached this request stop!”

But back to bikers united… what do they get for their UK Pounds? Well there’s all those cycle lanes nearly everywhere you go and not all of them have delivery drivers parked in them while they’re earning a crust or illegally parked cars. And the advice you’ll get from motorists if you complain about them making you wobble would be the most colourful you may have ever heard.

Third party insurance is included in your simple hire agreement I admit but it’s so simple that there’s not even a ‘No claims bonus’ to be had after years of patronage.

Now in my own opinion cyclists should be banned from all public roads because they are slow and dangerous without rear-view mirrors. The majority of them are colour blind at red traffic lights too. Maybe Alfred Lord Tennyson had a bike when he wrote The Charge of the Light Brigade? Or was he just whinging about his electric bill?

However, white van drivers to right of them, white van drivers to left of them, white van drivers in front of them maybe but who hasn’t cringed when a Mother on an old bike with a child in a seat behind her starts weaving in and out of their blind spots?

Yet can you imagine what would happen if the cycle was to be a 21st century invention? No government could allow the public to balance about on two wheels through congested traffic. They would be classified as weird skateboarders for the purpose of certifying.

Of course we all know that as well as birthdays and un-birthdays, Santa also brings Christmas presents to little boys and girls with a dubious claim of being good over the previous year. We also know as well that a bike is sometimes requested, nay, ordered, to go with the new laptop and the wii games list. Well why not, most credit cards will run to that. Who needs theatre tickets anyway?

A toy is a toy and children enjoy playing with toys. A trip along the pavement with stabiliser wheels intact has always been great fun. Startle a dear old lady for extra points.

“Look Mum, no hands.”


“Look Mum, no teeth.”

Once puberty kicks in though and Santa has refused your order for a sports car by telling you to get out of bed and get yourself a job to buy your own with, you shouldn’t feel the need anymore to take your toys out into the road. Surely?

We all know it’s unlawful to ride a bike after dark without lights, unlawful to ride on the footpath and unlawful to have a passenger on the cross bar but the average is three out of three on that score because Police are powerless against such behaviour. They don’t have bikes anymore!

I was walking along the sea front in Brighton recently. I was on the footpath and not in the road when an irate woman came up behind me on a bike ringing her little tinker bell thing at me.

“Get off the cycle track you moron,” she shouted above the gulls.

I’ve been called worse though, so nah nah ni nah nah to her! (See PS/.).

Apparently, although I was on a footpath, that particular footpath also contained a designated cycle lane in it’s contract despite National legislation to the contrary. A different slant on the Brighton lanes or what?

Here’s an idea… Make racing cars stay on race tracks and ban them from our public highways.

Oh sorry, we achieved that years ago. All right then, here’s another idea… Make cycles stay on cycle tracks and ban them from our public highways (and seaside pavements). Well that’s how I see things at least.

PS/.Yep. I’ve actually been called ‘A loud mouthed sex maniac’ before. It wasn’t true though. Of course I haven’t got a loud mouth!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Was there a UFO cover up?

I’ve just seen a news item on Sky. Apparently Winston Churchill covered up a UFO story during the war to avoid a mass panic. I wonder if there is any truth in that one?

Well we are told that there are more planets in the universe than grains of sand on all of our beaches so really if we were to deny the existence of UFO visitations then we would probably just be burying our heads in the universe. A ploy that keeps the ostriches happy. Naturally of course a UFO to us is merely a FO to them and perhaps if they ever land here and become a nuisance we could just ask them to FO again.

“Take me to your leader.”

“Well he’s not in there Mate, You may be pointing to the Green Mann pub but the Green party will never be elected to lead us so you can stop looking down both your noses at me.”

Mind you, at least we can all work out why aliens are seen as green people.
It’s because they build space ships that constantly revolve all the time on their travels. I mean even if they can reach us in just Five years of travelling, they’d be pretty green when they finally get here after all that revolving. Not to mention their need to eat. Just imagine a good fry up every morning while spinning through space for a few years.

I wonder what they do for entertainment though? Watching our TV is off. They wouldn’t have a licence! Card games I suppose. ‘Get dressed poker would be a good idea. It’s like strip poker in reverse. Why not. Surely they haven’t built washing machines into their saucers as well? Maybe that’s why they are depicted as almost nude. Okay, we know there are no washing machines in Walford either but they shouldn’t know that without a TV licence.

I pity the little alien kids at their local fairgrounds though.

“Dad, can I go on that rocket ship ride?”

“No Son certainly not. Anything that travels in a straight line like that thing should be banned by law. I’ve never seen anything as dangerous as that in all my lives!”

“Can I go on the roundabout then Dad?”

“That’s my Boy. We’ll make a green man out of you yet Son. Your Mother will be proud of you. She’ll be able to see you going round. She’s only over by that cafĂ© enjoying a cup of green tea.”

Monday, 2 August 2010

A true BBC rejection letter excuse

Awhile ago now, I posted off a completed sitcom script to Aunty Beeb. Albeit that it was centred around a driving instructor, I wrote in a way that a live audience could see most of it being made.

For months I researched the subject and card indexed my characters while leaving out the obvious gags about crash courses in order to let the character interaction tell a believable comedy.

After it had been re written awake and in dreams until I was sick of it and then re written again I was finally ready for my baby to leave home with a single regulation split pin binder; top left.

“Not Making A Dent,” featuring Arthur Dent and his family told the sitcom story of Arthur Dent starting out as a one man driving instructor.

Long since had gone all the unwanted scenes of Arthur working for someone else as a franchised self employed tutor before deciding to go it alone.

Scene one came in late and left early in textbook fashion as did the rest of the script double spaced in 12pt Arial.

Weeks passed since the postcard acknowledgement until one day finally out of the blue, I received answers to my work. My baby had come back home again covered in it’s own SAE with a message from Aunty with words to the effect of.

“Your characters are believable and well thought out. Not Making A Dent is a good humorous concept. I’m sorry to say however that we are not looking to develop it further. This is because I have had a word with a driving instructor friend who liked your script but he tells me that if your lone school car is ever involved in an accident then the plot would fail.”

I wrote back and thanked them for the feedback and pointed out that I had no intention of writing an accident into the series. No worries.

They replied again. "Thank you for your submission. However with the volume of submissions we get every year, we are unable to enter into any feedback but we wish you well with your work."

I kid you not…

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Your TV licence and you.

In days of your, mine too, when even the BRW, British Relay Wireless Co, weekly subscriptions included an element of the radio licence fee, no one had to buy a further licence to listen to the BBC via their rental radio. (More of a loudspeaker on a wire to a volume/selector switch actually).

Nowadays though, long long after the abolition of the wireless licence, subscriptions to all sorts of television providers are now rife. In fact, the SKY is not the limit in this field and VIRGIN are hardly virgins. Just keep your direct debits in order and you can sit back and think of England; land of the TV licence.

Yes, that little bit of statute that must be obeyed if you own anything capable of receiving television signals as they are being radiated, piped in or illicitly tapped into, is known affectionately by the BBC as your television licence. In fact even if Aliens try to contact you with old re-runs of ‘My Favourite Martian’ you must still be licensed before you can offer them a trip to your leader; if under Seventy-Five. (You that is... Your leaders age is not specified in the terms).

I of course fully recognise why the Writers Guild of GB are in favour of the licence fee and who could blame them? A fair days pay for a fair days work, plus repeat fees, has to be funded somehow if Aunty Beeb wants to use their worthy artistic merriments.

But hang on, Aunty is hardly the only program whisperer these days. Satellites and Cables carry all kinds of programming from sources other than the BBC even if a lot of them are actually repeats of BBC in times gone by. With a few ads during these old gems they are self supporting surely? In fact we paid for the licence on them when they were new anyway. But can we have a refund called a repeat fee for these? Does Father Christmas exist? Same answer.

So what do I see as a better way? Simply this. Subscriptions to program providers should somehow include the licence fee. Why pay twice? I refer you to the conclusions you arrived at earlier.

Incidentally, I wonder why the gas or electric cooker or the metal washing line, or a million other things around the house that are just as capable of picking up live colour TV signals aren’t licensed too under such rules? Oops! Better change that subject in case I ever get readers. (Our leader wouldn’t need to be a Seventy-Five year old to make use of that fact).

There’s some good news for black and white viewers though and that was not actually a racist remark because I was referring to folks who only have a monochrome TV set. The powers that be think programs can be made cheaper for such lucky people.

Ah well, look at the time, I must end here now. My program will be on soon and I haven’t set the +box to record it.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Feng Shui Fact or Myth?

Well now, because Feng Shui has been well documented for centuries down the timelines in China and their environs, Feng Shui, ‘Fung Schway’ pronounced, has a legit claim to an 'In your face' existence here nowadays.

Therefore it simply follows that if you cough up the going rate, a Feng Shui Doctor will advise you to put your furniture all round the room and leave the middle clear. Wish I’d have thought of that one first… I could have patented the concept. You’d never believe how many times I’ve walked into that coffee table and oddly enough, Fung Schway seems to rhyme with my utterances every time I do so.

Looking on the positive side though, I understand that the Feng Shui art of arranging furniture can lead to good fortune and prosperity. (A ploy worth investigating for the bedroom if you subscribe to an even older profession I would have thought). Seriously though, if I’d have paid up front for a Feng Shui bedroom visit, then I may have been advised to move the TV out from behind the wardrobe so that I could see it easier. I worked it out for myself in the end anyway and saved the money. Truly the force was with me that day…

Nowadays though, because Feng Shui is establishing itself in the Western World it's good news if your kitchen door keeps banging into the fridge. For the agreed fee, a Feng Shui specialist can advise you to turn the door around.

XXX Warning! Please don’t try that at home without a screwdriver! XXX

While in the kitchen though, if you think it’s troubled, the advisable way forwards is to bung some sea salt all over the floor and leave it for a day.  If that advice is worth it’s salt then all your troubles will be over apart from needing more sea salt of course.

‘Lo salt’ is better for you I've been told because it contains less Sodium. Oh, Sorry, that was a quote from a real Doctor.

Monday, 26 July 2010

The Gatwick Express service

Coming home from Brighton to East Croydon last Monday evening, my Wife and I travelled on the Gatwick Express service. Not that we wanted to alight at Gatwick then but it was scheduled to stop at East Croydon and so we were happy for the fast train service home and what a fast service it was too. The usual tannoy announcements told us that we were on the Gatwick Express service as we pulled out of Brighton station dead on time and in no time at all we had arrived back at East Croydon station. We got off of that Gatwick Express train there thinking how fast we had made it back home. And all because the train was not scheduled to stop at Gatwick. We went through that busy Airport station like a dose of salts.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Product Placement

Is Jim on his way back inn? Oh yes, how my age is showing now … Jack Edwardes, the pipe smoking Farmer Jack who once teamed up with his old R A F colleague, Charlie Drake as Mick and Montmorency, was one of our regulars in Jim’s Inn; the most popular fifteen minutes of ‘Ad Mag’ on British TV in 1957. Ah yes, the ‘Ad Mags’… Where communicating was seldom confused with shouting and dirt never went with a bang. Gone too were our time-slot ads… Time to light a Red and White? (Not)!

Well at least tobacco products are still at the top of the taboo-co list and never to be puffed upon again for all to see… But not so long ago Embassy were once replaced by Betfred in the Snooker world so I bet you will still be able to happily gamble away folks.

Product placing though, must be the only way forward for advertisers to get value for money nowadays. Well they still haven’t worked out how to sell you anything while you’re belting through the commercial breaks doing +30 have they? Naturally no one wants to sit through ‘We buy any car’ or ‘Go compere’ and so the +30 box is a must for our sanity. However, I imagine that advertisers are now getting raw deals that way. Well I myself can whiz through a break so fast that I find myself watching the next program by accident.

Mind you, sometimes just the pack-shot artwork is sufficient for product placing as well. Like the time it seemed as if Eastender folk only ever shopped at Lidl’s. Maybe that’s why none of them have ever owned a washing machine in Walford? Lidl’s don’t sell them. Okay so my income bracket is showing now. But a bogof has got to do what a bogof has got to do.

I don’t see that product placement will be too bad a thing on balance though, unless a soap episode will one day attempt to portray Wynne Evans on a karaoke night. Go some other street and Compere Perlease!

But will the writer be asked to account for the cat food tin because his/her screen family only keep a dog? Will the place look untidy if they cannot put the teabag box back in the cupboard out of the way? Will their mobile screenshots say this text is from T-Mobile?

Spot the Sainsbury’s bean tin and win a shopping spree. Hopefully!
Yes, 'Bring on the Wall’s' I say, but remember, there will be one product that will still attack our annual coppers with complete disregard for any added coppers earned from products placed and that will be our TV license fee of course. The Bill and Holby Blue coppers may now be laying in bitten dust like our distant ‘Ad Mags’ that were aired Five years even before Brian Blessed became a copper but our TV licence coppers will stiil be current.

Anyway, if we are soon to be offered a laugh from wall to wall advertising, then let’s just lie back on our couches and think of England, land of the TVRO.
* * *
Ah yes, I actually do remember when ‘The Esso sign’ did actually used to mean happy motoring. But will the Corrie Cab firm drivers have tiger tails hanging fron their filler caps now? No of course not… Not everyone will remember the ads of happier commercials gone by. Oh yes, how my age is showing now. On the plus side though, I’m less than Four years away now before I get a freebie TV licence. What A pity that will be… I hardly watch television.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Seven Across

In an operation code named '7 Across,' police made an early morning swoop on the London home of Professor Peter Glossop, the UKs number one authority on English literature. At a secret location in London, Police now have 36 hours to question Professor Glossop over the crossword clues that they are currently investigating.A Police spokesperson made this following statement earlier today.”Although we take our duties to the public very seriously indeed, we also view our break times just as seriously too and when we get stuck for an answer to our weekly crossword competition entry, then the full weight of the law must be used to contain such an unfortunate situation. We had no alternative therefore, but to respond accordingly.”

When asked about their current progress, the following statement was issued.

“Although it’s true that our investigations have been fruitless so far, the Intelligence we have now gathered during the questioning of professor Glossop indicates that the correct answer to three down, ‘How many mice are mentioned in the nursery rhyme Three Blind Mice;’ could in fact be Three and not Sixty as we had first focussed our attentions on. However, if this is proven to be the situation, then seven across, ‘Who had an adventure in Wonderland,’ was not ‘Tommy’ as we first suspected and so the hunt for a name ending in E is now underway with a fingertip search of all possible dictionaries. We cannot rule out at this stage however, that the name we wish to investigate may not belong to a male.”

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Vatican as I see it

What God of supposed love would let us go to war after war killing his supposedly loved ones? The same God who allows ordained preachers into the armed forces? What God would say my will must be carried out only by men? What God would drag you out of a relaxing bath tub to answer the door to a Jehovah’s witness?

What God then, would allow the Vatican stand that it would be criminal to ordain a woman; more so apparently than men of the cloth abusing children.

This is the Vatican, the defender of it’s own faith, who preaches celibacy for the ordained and shares a view that women should be treated equally, as long as they don’t attempt to be equal.

Now obviously no one is suggesting for one moment that paedophilia is a pre-requisite to the job of priesthood but they do have to learn to go to work on a Sunday morning so as to tell you that you should not work on a Sunday because it is a day of rest. They would even use an electric light to see you with which was powered by Sunday workers. Yes and answer the phone too on a Sunday as long as the phone provider does not head their words and stay off work for the day.

Are we still in the dark ages? Albeit we are now in the twenty-first century?

Hey hang on though… Just who said this is the twenty-first century anyway? Oh yes, I remember now, We mostly all started the count again from the birth of the Son of God. (Don’t get me on that one)! Okay so it was BC out and AD in. Does this mean then that God is living his dream of world domination through his Son now? Like Mothers who put their Daughters on the stage? Noel told Mrs. Worthington not to do that!

Teaching religion as always seemed like child abuse to me anyway. Instilled while unable to work out things for themselves. There must be millions of non practicing Atheists nowadays who attend church sometimes. Belts and braces being their Lordly quandary.

God help us if religion is true. Amen. (Not Awomen).