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    Twitter update

    I have been using Twitter for around 3 weeks now and although I had my doubts about it originally, I have found it an entertaining concept, maybe that”s just the little boy in me. So I think I will stick with it for the foreseeable future.


    A couple of days ago I decided to unleash my inner teenager and jump on to the rapidly growing bandwagon known as Twitter, I am still not sure why I did it or how long it will last. It’s all based on a simple idea, you just answer the question ‘What are you doing ?’ in 140 characters or less, a bit like web text messaging, except it is available for everyone on the site to see. Those who read your entries can decide to follow you and vice versa. If you feel you need to know more, you can check it out here. Or you can just look in the sidebar to the right where you will see my last 5 updates and replies.

    Shrinking trousers, I blame IKEA

    There seems to be something wrong with my wardrobe, I hang my trousers up as normal but when I return some time later to put them back on they appear to be smaller round the waist.
    I am not sure if this phenomenon is common to all wardrobes, or just the IKEA ones we have at home. So be warned, if you don’t want your trousers to mysteriously shrink avoid IKEA wardrobes at all costs.
    By the way, if you are looking for traditional sweets from your childhood, you can’t do better than A Quarter Of, they sell some fantastic sweets in very large bags, hold on a minute.....................

    Tesco and plain English

    It seems that Tesco, after a recommendation by the Plain English Campaign, is going to change the wording of the signs on its fast-track checkouts from “10 Items or less” to “ Up to 10 Items”. This apparently is to avoid any confusion amongst people who cant count to 10, see story on BBC website
    I would suggest they need a few other signs to go with it, such as,
    1. Parking for Parents with children only, not for you arrogant sod’s who think you can park anywhere and cant be arsed to walk 30 yards to the store entrance.
    2. People who start hunting around in the bottom of their bags for a purse after all their goods have been scanned will be stoned for holding up the queue.
    3. Lazy shoppers who leave trolleys in parking spaces will be reversed over.
    4. Shoppers who say, “sorry I’ve just got to nip back and get the 42 inch plasma TV I forgot” While leaving their shopping half scanned and holding up the next person will be shot.
    and finally
    5. A trolley is not a basket, arsehole !

    Let's save the planet ?

    The postman delivered a parcel about 2 hours ago, it was a lens hood for my Canon camera which I had bought on ebay. The item cost £5.19, is about 3 inches across at its widest point and weighs a few grammes. The postman handed me a parcel wrapped in brown paper, it was about the size of a shoe box. Inside was a strip of large cell bubble packaging, which was wrapped around the original Canon box containing the lens hood.
    Surely the Canon supplied box could be wrapped and posted as it was, or at the very least put inside a padded envelope. Not a very environmentally friendly way to send a parcel.
    On the other hand if it had arrived damaged I would have been moaning about it not being packed securely enough.

    Hood small

    Local history lesson, pay attention at the back !

    I live in Bridgend, South Wales about one and a half miles from the site of Camp 198 / Special camp: XI. So what’s that all about ? I hear you ask, this was the WW II prsoner of war camp that saw a mass breakout of 70 prisoners of war by tunnel, on the night of Saturday the 10th of March 1945.
    Why has the camp got 2 names ? well it was originally called Camp 198, but during March 1945 the last of the 1634 prisoners were moved to another camp in Nottinghamshire. as a precaution in case there were more undetected escape tunnels.
    It was re-opened as Special Camp XI in November 1945, to hold German officers captured in the battle for France. These included the father and son Leutnant Hans Gerd von Rundstedt and Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt. Some of the officers held there were among Hitler’s closest advisors.
    Unfortunately the camp was demolished in the early 90’s, the only remaining building being hut 9, where the escape originated. Despite objections, the local council has “preserved” this hut, at the time of writing it remains boarded up and fenced off, but so much vegetation has grown over the fence you can barely catch a glimpse of the building.
    If you want to find out more, visit these painstakingly researched websites by local men, Richard Williams and Brett Exton.

    No parking, update

    The acting Chief Inspector of Bridgend Police station got back to me as promised, to tell me he had spoken to the officer in question, but assured me the vehicle was only parked illegally for 10 or 15 minutes, and in future, parking in this area of double yellow lines was not going to be tolerated, an instruction having been given to station staff to that end. Obviously I helpfully pointed out that being parked illegally for 10 or 15 minutes, is still being parked illegally, and a member of our gallant, overworked, underpaid constabulary should have known better. He obviously had no choice but to agree with me, and thanked me for being so observant and bringing the matter promptly to his attention, desperately trying to sound like he meant it.
    So while walking through Bridgend in future I will make sure I always pass the Police Station, just in case, after all where would our gallant boys in blue be without observant public-spirited people like me ?

    No parking ??

    While walking past my local Police Station this morning, I noticed a Police van parked not only on the pavement, not only on double yellow lines, but double yellows with the 2 stripes on the kerb (no stopping or parking). Being a good citizen, I decided to take a photo with my camera phone, which I then emailed to the station in question, the South Wales Police HQ and The Chief Constable, inviting comments. I had a reply within the hour assuring me my email was being dealt with, and sure enough another message arrived later that day asking me for my phone number which I duly supplied.
    I have since had a conversation with the Acting Chief Inspector of the station in question who assures me he has looked into this but is unable to deal with it using a fixed penalty notice, as after checking with the Chief Traffic Warden and the local council, he has discovered the land is apparently private property. This was as much a surprise to him as to me (apparently). But he also agreed with me, as he had no real choice in the matter, that it sent out all the wrong signals to the great unwashed, and he would be dealing with the matter internally.
    I have been promised another phone call tomorrow to inform me as to how he has finally dealt with the matter, watch this space !

    New camera

    As my 50th birthday is rapidly approaching, I decided to treat myself and bought a new digital SLR camera, the Canon EOS 400D. I have had a few Canon cameras in the past and have had no problem's, so decided to stick with them. Canon-eos-400D
    I bought the camera with an 18-55mm lens as standard, I also splashed out on a Canon 55-250 Image Stabilization lens and LowePro Fastpack 200 camera backpack. All I need now is a decent Canon flash, a tripod, some filters, a remote release and so on and on and on.

    Getting closer

    I am 26 days off my 50th birthday, up until now as far as I was concerned it was just another birthday, just another day. Except it isn't any more, as each day goes by I am thinking about it more and more, if life begins at 40, I assume the countdown to death begins at 50. More and more bits of your body start siezing up and dropping off and you just accept it as another sign of impending old age. My only salvation is that although my body is rapidly approaching its 50th year, my mind is still around 18 years old. I dont feel like I should be 50 because my inner child constantly tries to tell me otherwise. Let's hope my mind wins the battle, I think I need to go and lie down now.

    Dont forget the card !

    This is a photograph of a friend of mine who forgot to buy his wife a Valentine card, its not pretty, but then again he wasn't exactly pretty before.DSC00122_400

    Dr Who

    Just returned from Cardiff, where we took the kids to see the Dr Who exhibition, if your a real Dr Who fan (which I'm not) you would probably have enjoyed it. As it is £14 to see a few costumes and flashing lights was a bit over the top, the only impressive bit was the full size Dalek, which frightened hell out of Lewis the 8 year old, but Cieran the 3 Year old was OK with it. When I was a kid the only Doctor Who monsters which frightened me were the Cybermen, a real behind the settee job, but the modern Cybermen just dont seem to be as scary. On the way out (surprise, surprise ) you were routed throught the extensively stocked Dr Who gift shop, which cost us another £28.

    Big school

    Today was an extremely important day for Cieran my son, at the age of 3 years 3 months and 7 days he started in the nursery class of our local infants school. There were a few tears (on both sides) but all in all it went pretty well, and when I picked him up he was extremely excited and couldn't wait to show me what he had made. At the moment he is only attending for 3 hours in the morning, the next big test will come in September when he starts going all day, something to look forward too.

    Cieran uniform_25

    Well and truly over

    Well that's it Xmas and new year are well and truly over, only another 352 shopping days left till the next one ! Now its time to sit back and review all your wonderful presents, as I bought a phone in November I didn't want anything on Xmas day, but still had the usual books and DVD's. One book from my sister is called Grumpy Old Christmas (The official handbook), I cant think why she gave this to me, the only reason I can come up with is that she meant it for someone else but I ended up with it by accident, yes that must be it. I also had an excellent Anthony Hopkins film called The World's Fastest Indian, a brilliant true story of one elderly mans struggle to get to the Bonneville salt flats in Utah from his native New Zealand to attempt to break a motorcycle land-speed record. My darling wife bought me a number of things including the boxed set of all the Monty Python feature films, loved by people of a certain age, unfortunately I seem to have passed that age a while ago. The next thing I have to look forward to is my 50th birthday in March and after that death, oh well its been an eventful life.
    link to culinary arts