With apologies to Kacey Musgraves

It was pointed out to me today that my blog has the same title as an album track of Kacey Musgraves.

Ooops, if anyone has come to this blog in search of info on the Multi Grammy Award winning , top billing country artist Kacey Musgraves…then you are in the wrong place.

But I expect you have worked that out already.

Thanks for dropping by anyway, say hello to Kacey for me.

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Ok Google, leave me alone!

Sometimes Google you are annoying. I frequently use a walking route where it seems there is a house offering guitar lessons. Google always wants to know how was my lesson or at least what did I think of Fred Bloggs guitar school. Actually it’s not actually called Fred Bloggs but understandably I dont want to promote a stranger who maybe is Eric Clapton or maybe just Eric axe murderer and con artist luring in passers by.

And it could be worse…I could be passing dwellings where other lessons are offered. I think the ‘double-entendre’ of ‘French Lessons available ‘ here as seen on cards by flat doors in Soho in the swinging 60′ s is obvious enough that it requires no further explanation! Try explaining that question from Google to your loved ones.

I get this too for every place of transport …’how was Manchester Piccadilly station?’ Fine thanks..it was full of people and trains.

Before you all say..but just turn off location settings or whatever..doing this and actually I may lose features genuinely useful to me. So come on Google let me live in a world of guidance but not constant questioning. And before you ask …yes I did visit my living room this morning. It was fine, and no I don’t want to write a review’

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Race for Life

It’s Race for Life day today in my local park.Today will see 500 or more Woman and girls walk or run for this nationwide Cancer research fundraiser.For those reading this outside the UK, these events happen on various dates across the UK and are very inclusive. You will find runners of every ability and none. Actually it really doesn’t matter…it’s about being there and supporting the charity, and sadly for many marking their commitment for those that have been lost to cancer.We live in such divided times in the UK at the moment. We have embittered remainers and leavers, those fiercely pro-government and anti-government, and most sadly ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’.Today at least for these people, that is forgotten .We need more of these days.Enjoying these posts? Please like, subscribe if you want to get notifications of new posts and share on your social media platforms using the buttons.

Unexpected item in the seating area ..why wear Fluffy slippers on the Jubilee Line?

Hot on the heels of wearing your hair in rollers when out in town, is wearing your fluffy slippers on public transport.The Liverpudlian trend of being happy in a hairnet and managing to look cool and trendy back in 2015 soon spread. No longer did people assume that these millenials were escapees from a salon hostage situation but that these were people on the leading edge of fashion.Things have moved on and it seems it is now acceptable to wear your fluffiest slippers wherever your mood draws you. Travelling on the Jubilee line in London recently, I was dutifully following protocol and not engaging with or making eye contact with other humans and so staring at my feet. It was a bit of a surprise to see their neighbours attire!This is not just trendy London. This week I found myself in Germany in a large town not normally associated with extreme fashion…and I see the same again.So we live in a growing culture of just wear what you want..no bad thing at all in a world where the pressure to conform has at some times been a very damaging one.Enjoying these posts? Please like, subscribe if you want to get notifications of new posts and share on your social media platforms using the buttons.

Phew it’s hot

Today France recorded its highest ever temperature of 45.8c That’s 114F to you folks in North America and indeed any British people still in denial about metrification. By any measure that is pretty hot and obviously a concern for those for reasons of health who are impacted by this. In the more northern parts of Europe we haven’t reached the 40’s, but the 30’s are now commonplace and on a daily basis we are hearing cries of…it’s too hot, it’s too humid, we need aircon, etc.You have probably noticed these protests are coming from exactly same people who one month ago were bemoaning our month of May being one of the wettest ever, and the winter before last being one of the coldest etc. This begs the question what is the optimum temperature, humidity, wind speed etc. that will generate shreeks of this weather is just perfect?…. not sure if that day will ever happen.Enjoying these posts? Please like, subscribe if you want to get notifications of new posts and share on your social media platforms using the buttons.

Not every caterpillar becomes a butterfly

I really struggled to book at the hotel I normally use near my employers HQ. They found me a room eventually but explained they were very full as they had a caterpillar conference on.I was somewhat excited by the prospect of my somewhat different fellow guests.Will there actually be caterpillars there? Presumably safely contained in jars to avoid them munching through the hotels plant displays in reception? I also had visions of bearded botantists with magnifying glasses examing their fellow scientists rarer specimens. The scene was truly set.Anyway I arrived to indeed find the place full .But full of salespeople from the cut and thrust world of diggers and bulldozers!In fact, the very things that are one of the threats to the caterpillars world.

Are cufflinks an essential part of your life?

If you are a city slicker working for a merchant bank in the City it’s sure to be a ‘yes’ that your crisp white T M Lewin shirts needs these. Why, to replace the buttons that aren’t there on your cuffs. I think jts called style! Unless I am mistaken however, for the rest of us the need for cufflinks is another ‘trip hazard’ in the wirld of male dressing (but not female dressing, as far as I am aware…however as always I am open to being corrected on this last point)

So for the majority of the population its a problem , not a style statement. Most men have probably at some point in their life bought or been given a shirt that need these..often a smarter and higher quality shirt that might only get an occasional airing (and ironing!) and therein lies the problem. Often these shirt owners and the said garments are making a rare trip to a wedding, funeral , conference, job interview or whatever kind of event that is a distance away from home.

So picture the scene , bag being upacked, smart shirt making its debut, (or revival tour) and then sinking realisation. The b$$$$y thing needs cufflinks. And home is probably where the required pair of cuff links might be, often sitting in a sock drawer waiting patiently for an opportunity to shine on such an occasion.

Its not that men don’t like them or have them. Many a brother/son/grandsons birthday gift selection has been such an item – that glimmer of opportunity for a desperate present seeking mother/sister/grandmother seeing domino shaped cufflinks that little Johnny will just love. The fact that little Johnny last played dominoes in 1983 aged 7, has no bearing. In fact a dominoes pizza shaped cuff link may be far more relevant..but probably not readily available at most jewellers.

The issue is that many of us wear them so rarely, the cuff links are often forgotten. And this is where it sorts out the improvisers (I’m sure I can make some if I can just find two paper clips), the brave (I am sure nobody will notice my flapping cuffs) and the fearless (I’ll just ask all the other guests – somebody is bound to have brought a spare pair!) There is no real moral to this story other than always keep a pair in your bag, if you don’t need them somebody else probably will. At last a chance for those “never worn” cuff links made from your recent kidney stones , to have a chance to shine.

Ask and you might receive….

Recently I was asked by a family member what did I want for an impending birthday. Awks…as one would say if one were cool and aged 16. Anyway I had more adult response but basically the same sentiment. Difficult and awkward question, as one neither wants to give a pious answer, oh nothing your love/friendship/running club comradeship/work colleague loveliness is more than enough. Nor is it appropriate to reel off from memory an Argos catalogue number, or an Amazon URL. So how to deal with the issue? Guidance came from a surprising source.

My mother’s local priest in his sermon one week drifted on to the subject of his parishioners hard work fundraising at a recent parish coffee morning but he apologised for the very shabby and worn kitchen knives from his house that were used at the event.

The following Sunday he commenced his sermon by remarking how surprised and overwhelmed he was to find a complete set of shiny new knives giftwrapped waiting by the front door.

Continuing to beam at his loving congregation, he then said, so now to today’s sermon, can I start by saying how St John’s Gospel that we have just heard , of course might draw our mind to a 32″ Panasonic HD ready , network TV.

Very awks!

Gamers doing good!

Computer gaming (as in playing online games, rather than putting the contents of one’s bank account, plus your shirt, on 13 Black in online roulette) is one of the worlds most popular pastimes. People often tag gamers as geeks but we need to look beyond the stereotype and challenge this.

The Oxford English dictionary definition of geek is an unfashionable or socially awkward person.

Yes , these are what we expect and portray…teenagers ensconced in darkened bedrooms who list their best friend on Facebook as their x box controller and consider the best weekend ever in their lives as a games convention in Birmingham rather than a clubbing weekend in Ibiza.

But hang on, as hobbies go, or indeed as attributes of hobbyists go, give me the gamer anytime. These people unlike some (albeit , a tiny minority of ) soccer fans who think racist chanting, aggressive intimidation or just general loutish behaviour is ok. Equally I am not aware of gamers being drawn into the world of street crime and anti social behaviour fuelled by drink or postcode wars.

But it’s actually better than that. Gamers are now very actively involved in using their critical mass in charitable fundraising. And this goes beyond the gaming itself but the YouTube video channels that are immensely popular in this genre. The most well known of these the Yogscast Jingle jam. But if you think that is big , just look at this.

BBC News – How ‘charity speedrunning’ made gaming the new telethon
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-48690483

So gaming…it may not be my world or yours, but it is actually a very giving world.

Dire Straits

‘Money for nothing, drinks for free’. This was the lyrics of this 1985 mega seller for Dire Straits. Actually what they were really singing was ‘Money for Nothing, Chicks for free.’ So my version was just about free beverages,

There’s was, well, a bit more rock’n’roll in its meaning. Anyway my version stuck, although has faded in the passing years. However it all flashed back yesterday on seeing this sign.

I walked past a beachside cafe with this on Jersey (where I was fleetingly yesterday) . The song later goes on about ‘we’ve got to shift those microwave ovens’ Probably a seriously large amount of litter has to be collected to get one of these!