Imogen Heap – Half life

September 25, 2009

I can’t wait to go and see Imogen Heap play live again – Mrs F and I have been to see her twice before, and she is truly magical presence on stage. This beautiful track, entitled Half Life, is from her new album Ellipse.

Statesman of the Year (WTF?)

September 23, 2009


Gordon Brown, Prime Mentalist of the United Kingdom (pictured left looking statesmanlike), despite being the most utterly incompetent holder of his office in history, has managed to be named Statesman of the Year by these people. Obviously the presence of Bono will be setting the alarm bells ringing for anyone reading this, but to highlight the stiff competition Gordo faced, I thought I would share the other members of the shortlist:


Gonzo the Great


A small Edam cheese


A Death Watch Beetle.

My understanding is that the early voting favoured the Edam Cheese, but unfortunately due to a misunderstanding about the lunch arrangements Henry Kissinger ate it. Someone then trod on the death watch beetle, and Gonzo the Great was discovered in flagrante with a chicken in the stationery cupboard.

I am sure all patriotic British people will join with me in congratulating the Prime Numbnuts Minister on this singular honour, which will no doubt be of great comfort to him in his enforced retirement at a remote secure hospital in the Highlands.

James Kirkup versus the Pandas

September 22, 2009

James Kirkup (day job – Political correspondent at the Telegraph), responding to the remarks of Spring Watch irritant Chris Packham, puts the boot into the Giant Panda on his blog here

“Thank you Chris Packham, thank you. Thank you for saying something I’ve been trying to persuade people of for years. Pandas are pointless, wasteful and silly. They should die.

Let’s look at the facts here. A lot of conservationists argue that pandas are the victims of man’s actions, that urbanisation and industrialisation is killing the precious bamboo they need to live.

Eh? Bamboo? They are bears, but they eat leaves. Hello, excuse me? Panda bear. Bear. You know, large, aggressive carnivore. Big teeth, claws. Grrrr. You’re supposed to eat meat. What on earth is with the bamboo thing? A panda’s digestive system is still set up to digest meat. The reason they can only eat only one of the hundreds of different types of bamboo the world has to offer is that their guts aren’t supposed to break down bamboo. It’s elevating fussiness to the level of suicide. It’s like me eating only car tyres and gravel and then asking for sympathy when I starve to death. Idiots.

As for industrialisation and all that, well, hey, it doesn’t seem to bother other animals. I don’t see foxes complaining about cities. Rats seem able to cope with cities rather well. Countless other species seem to be able to deal with a changing world without going bleating to the WWF. This is evolution: adapt or die. Being cute and fluffy doesn’t give you any special rights, fatso.

Then there’s sex. Pandas don’t like sex. All that weird, zoo-keeper stuff about putting two of them in a cage and seeing if they’ll mate. Honestly, an animal either wants to perpetuate its genes or it doesn’t. And the idiot-bears clearly have some species-wide death-wish. Who are we to stand in their way? I thought the whole conservationism thing was about allowing nature to follow its own course without human interference?
Pandas don’t work. Let them go.

Incidentally, keeping each of the 150-odd pandas currently in captivity costs around £1.5 million a year. How many of our own species could we feed and house for that? We should turn the podgy oxygen-thieves out on their stupid furry ears and see how long they last on the streets with the foxes.

Actually, that would be a waste. After all, there must be some good eating on a panda. These are 300-lb grass-fed animals raised in organic conditions with exquisite care. At the very least it’s got to be worth a try. Panda steak, anyone?”

He’s got a point, though, hasn’t he!

Miss Fleet back in action

September 19, 2009


It takes more than a spiral fracture of the tibia to keep Miss Fleet away from the swings!

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

September 18, 2009


A quick reminder that tomorrow, like every 19th September, is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.


Thelma and Louise Junior

September 14, 2009


Miss Fleet (5) has spent the day demonstrating why it is not a good idea to jump off the top off the top of the climbing frame at school, hand in hand with your friend. Her friend appears to have survived unscathed. Miss Fleet, who presumably landed underneath, has a broken leg. She is being very brave.

Interesting Wheels

September 12, 2009


Walking in Abingdon today I came across a couple of splendid MG sports cars parked in the town square. The one on the right is an MG RV8, the crude but charming reanimation of the MGB manufactured between 1992 and 1995. The one on the left is intriguing. It’s got the nose of an RV8 but has the fastback body of an MG BGT. I hadn’t been aware that the RV8 had been produced in a fastback shell, and a bit of searching on the web has failed to turn up any evidence that any were. I regret now that I didn’t take a look into the cockpit to confirm my suspicion that what we have here is an old MG BGT with the nose of an RV8 grafted onto it, for the RV8 had a rather luxurious interior which was very different from the rather austere original MGB. The license plate (V-reg; 1979-1980) would tend to support his theory, assuming it’s not a vanity plate.

Whatever it’s history, it’s a very handsome vehicle, as is it’s soft-top cousin parked alongside. Abingdon was the home of MG for many years, although the Abingdon plant had closed long before the RV8 was built.