Monday, 28 February 2011


A few comments and thoughts for a Monday afternoon:

  • I knew it was going to be tough this time round but job seeking is proving to be harder than I thought. There just doesn't seem to be be many suitable positions out there but I try to remain positive.
  • The government is considering an increase to the motorway speed limit to 80mph (about 130kph). Having attended a speed awareness course recently I'm not sure I can agree.
  • Some readers will know I have an interest in tracing my family history. It's proving to be a whole lot of fun and quite informative. No connections yet to anyone famous or notorious mind you. I doubt there will be.
  • The Royals just about kept their promotions hopes alive on Saturday with a 3-all draw away at Crystal Palace.
  • Commercial television in the UK has got it's way and from today product placement will be permitted during certain programmes, together with an increase in the number of adverts per hour. Apparently this is in response to falling advertising revenue. Here's a thought- make better programmes. Audiences figures will rise and then you can charge more for advertisement spots.
  • Apparently attempts to move the UK permanently to Central European Time have been shelved. Would have made for lighter evenings but much darker mornings. Oddly reports suggest Spain is now considering moving back an hour to GMT.
  • My doctor told me this month I have a "lung age" of 56. Back on the meds for me. :-(

    Wednesday, 23 February 2011

    Farewell Brigadier

    The actor, and Doctor Who fan-favourite, Nicholas Courtney died yesterday aged 81 due- I believe- to a cancer related illness.

    His first Doctor Who appearance was in 1965 opposite the original lead, William Hartnell. However the role he is perhaps best remembered was that of leader of the fictional United Nations Intelligence Task-force (UNIT), a role Courtney played from 1967 opposite Patrick Troughton. He then appeared regularly throughout the original "classic" tv run working with the first 7 Doctors, with the exception of Colin Baker.

    Although mentioned a few times in the reborn Doctor Who, he did not get to appear in the new series and Courtney's final tv appearance as the (retired) Brigadier was guest starring in 2008 in a two part story for The Sarah Jane Adventures, first shown the BBC's CBBC channel.

    Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. A real hero, BBC style.

    My own lasting memories of the character are tied with "my Doctor," the one I grew up with, Jon Pertwee and the Earth based UNIT stories of the 1970's. You might even argue it was a vital part of my childhood: The Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith and The Brigadier, fighting (weekly) alien invasions of the English country-side and the odd chalk quarry. Happy days.

    Tuesday, 22 February 2011


    Recent results for The Royals has been somewhat variable:

    4 Feb Reading 0 - 1 QPR
    12 Feb Norwich 2 - 1 Reading
    15 Feb Sheffield United 1 -1 Reading
    19 Feb Reading 1 -1 Watford
    22 Feb Reading 2 - 1 Millwall

    Reading crawl back to 9th in the Championship on 47 points, some 7 points below the teams currently in the play-off zone.

    Wednesday, 16 February 2011

    Seeing Stars

    Please take a couple of minutes to wander over to my Webshots page, where you'll find some new images of my latest work. I've put a handy link here.

    Tuesday, 15 February 2011


    (That's Pounds, Shillings and Pence)

    It hardly seems true but 40 years ago today saw the adoption of decimal currency in the United Kingdom. Until 15 February 1971 our coinage had been based on a system that dated back to Roman times whereby 240 pence equalled a pound weight in silver. We even referenced the old Latin terms: Librum, Solidus,  Denarius.

    First introduced in the 16th century, a pair of Thrupenny bits or 3d (3 pence). Not to be confused with cockney rhyming slang LOL.

    For the record there were were 12 Pennies in the Shilling and 20 Shillings in the Pound. I can't begin to imagine how we all coped.

    Read more here.

    Friday, 11 February 2011

    Brush Up

    I've recently switched to using an electric tooth brush. No big deal you say and I quite agree. The fact is both my dentist and hygienist have been suggesting for some time I should introduce such a device to my regime. I guess if it saves me pain on my twice yearly visits, I'm all for it. And it might just help keep my dental bills down.

    Anyway while fighting with the hermetically sealed packaging I studied the bullet points thoughtfully laid out for my instruction by Braun.

    Apparently I'm encouraged to "brush like a dentist." I imagine that doesn't actually mean donning a protective smock and face mask LOL?

    Wednesday, 9 February 2011

    Have-A-Go Hero?

    Take a look at this attempted robbery in progress. Keep an eye out for the lady in red. The video clip can be found towards the end of the article.

    I just hope this brave woman is rewarded universally with praise and thanks, rather than a claim of assault from the six wrong-doers.

    Wednesday, 2 February 2011

    "We Was Robbed"

    After an "iffy" call from the referee, giving Cardiff a penalty chance and ultimately an equalizing goal, the Royals had to settle for a single point for their efforts last night. The score from their trip along the M4 to the Welsh hosts finished at 2 - 2.

    Other recent Championship scores for the Royals are as follows:

    15 Jan Doncaster 0 - 3 Reading

    22 Jan Reading 1 - 1 Hull

    The Royals remain outside the promotion play-off zone, in 8th with 42 points.

    By the way, happy Groundhog day!