Thursday, June 29, 2006

Slow down...

We do struggle for local TV evening news around here. The ITV contribution for our region is Calendar but unless you live in deepest Yorkshire, there's no news for these here eastern parts. The only alternative is BBC's Look North which, rather like Big Brother, is so dreadfully bad that it makes compelling viewing.

In the interest of balance, I ought to clarify that I'm only referring to the evening news - the morning bulletins are much more informative, delivered in a friendly style by Hannah, Jenny or Caroline (sorry - couldn't find a Caroline photo to link to) and even at the unearthly time of the day I'm getting ready to leave the house, they are all quite pleasing on the eye.

Tonight's hard-hitting headline-grabbing bombshell was their claim that a new report from the BMJ implies that perhaps speed cameras aren't as effective at reducing road accidents as the police would have you believe.

Firstly I had a quick look at the abstract here and can't say I agree with the Look North interpretation. It looks to me like another costly investigation to establish nothing in particular whatsoever, but I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

So, back to this evening's debacle and our BBC crew had set off on a quest that would give the grail hunters a run for their money and tried to find some local motorists who had something to say against speed cameras. Hilarity ensues...

My name's Bill and I've just got three points because of a speed camera

My name's Tom and I've just got three points because of a speed camera

My name's Mike and I've just got three points because of a speed camera

And so on. Ad nauseum.

Not to be picky, but they didn't get points because of a speed camera; they got them because they were driving too fast past the things.

Fair play, I'm sure we've all crept a little over the limit in our time but if you're unlucky enough to get caught, or not alert enough to spot them in advance and slow down then it's not really the machine's fault is it?

But thanks to Look North and their intrepid team of journalists, there can be no room for doubt that if you do drive past one of them too quickly, you stand a good chance of getting a speeding ticket and your license endorsed with points.

A valuable lesson for us all there then...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Seriously funny...

OK, enough waffle about my penchant for a pop or two, put the speculation of our footballing chances on hold for a while, don't even mention Tim Henman - the moment's passed already. I've just taken delivery of my Janet & John CD.

For the uninitiated, Terry Wogan reads out these stories from time to time that parody the Janet & John childrens' books but are absolutely littered with double entendres. Fair enough, I accept that my description does them absolutely no justice whatsoever but ask anyone who's heard any of them and they'll confirm how incredibly funny they are. Frankly, I'm amazed at times that some of them managed to get broadcast on a breakfast show.

However, the real highlight and the reason I'm telling you all about it here is that all of the proceeds are going towards the Children in Need appeal. The last I heard, they'd sold in excess of 60,000 copies at a tenner each - that's six hundred thousand quid raised!!!

It's a bloody funny CD, well worth ten pounds of anybody's money and you're making a decent charitable contribution to boot so get yourselves to this site and order yourself a copy.

In fact, whether you buy one or not, please use the same page to join the campaign to get a dispensation from the VAT levy and ensure all of the money raised is directed where it is intended...

Stick to what you're good at...

Completely out of the blue, I got a phone call yesterday afternoon from Steve saying that he and Mel were over from Toronto for a couple of weeks and asking whether I fancied joining them for a drink or two that evening.

Well you know how it is, my drinking skills are not what they used to be of late, and on a school night too, I really ought to decline. However, if they've travelled 3,500 miles then the least I can do is join them both to catch up on happenings across the pond and show off my new-found skills of drinking like a complete wuss.

As it turned out, apparently this was not to be; well certainly not the latter. Sure, we all went out and had a great night. Lots of laughs, some excellent live music thanks to the Tap Acoustic Culture regulars, plenty of catching up, all accompanied by generous quantities of ale - yes, Seany the beer monster is back. A gallon down, home just the safe side of midnight and still up with the larks in time to get to work early this morning with a completely clear head. Bearing in mind the weekend ahead, I'm not sure if this is a good sign or not.

I was once advised that once you've discovered something you're good at, you should stick to it - well that would certainly explain why I like to drink and sleep so much...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bring it on...

The world cup tournament continues and try as I might, I can't turn my back on it. Between that and the continuing exploits in the Big Brother house, it's a wonder I get to see daylight at all.

You have probably gathered by my occasional business trips to Porto that there is a significant Portuguese influence in the company I work for and although I missed last night's match, I discovered this morning that Portugal beat Holland and will now face us in the quarter finals on Saturday. Which isn't a "school night". And it is the day after pay day. Oh dear, I can already see a picture of this weekend's events unfolding before me.

My mate Steve is helping me to move some shelving on Saturday morning and the least I can do is take him out for a beer or two afterwards to say thank you. By the time we've had a couple of pints, we'll probably need something to eat and before you know it, the big screen's down, the red and white attired locals are assembled and it would be just rude to leave too early.

I never thought I'd hear myself say this but it's not just about football anymore...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Nice day for it...

So England are through to the quarter finals and whilst watching the match I enjoyed a delicous plate full of pork in ginger & spring onion, of my own making I hasten to add. Another weekend off the pop (I was drinking shandy at Friday night's party in case you were wondering) and all of the weekly chores completed and a couple more besides.

So why "nice day"? Well possibly not but now I can check exactly how nice (as can you) by means of the Metcheck link I've added to the blog template this evening.

OK, even in June we're bound to be destined for wind, rain or possibly snow around these parts, but at least I can get an indication of how deep it's likely to get and how soon...

It's only a model...

Just over a year ago, I posted with pride on the discovery that Legoland Windsor had recreated some of Grimsby's best known landmarks in Lego.

I've always been a fan of Lego and that trip did little to sway my judgement otherwise. However, for a work of pure genius, take a look at this video recreating the entire Camelot song from Monty Python's Holy Grail.

Impressive eh? Apparently it was made five years ago so I'm surprised I've not stumbled across it before. Full credit to the people responsible (probably some of those lucky folk who get paid for playing with the stuff all day).

If you're looking for more on a similar theme (go on, you know you want to), check out these.

'Tis indeed a silly place...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A few more kind words...

While I'm still on a roll from the previous post, I've got a couple more special mentions.

Firstly, I went to a party last night for an old (well thirty now) work mate of mine - this seems to be the year for surprise parties. It was great catching up even though I could only stay for a couple of hours. If you're looking in Bri, hope you enjoyed the rest of the party and thanks again to Helen for the invitation.

Secondly, I got in last night to find a message on the answerphone from Little Sis to say she has succesfully completed her exams and final assignment, which means she is now a fully qualified teacher. I think it takes a lot of guts to quit your job and put your whole life on hold to pursue something you've always wanted to do and I'm glad it's paid off for them all.

On the chance in a million you've actually decided to catch up on the blog, I'll go on record to say well done Little Sis, I'm proud of you...

Many thanks...

Wow! So soon after my last message of this nature and here we are again with the counter registering another 1000 hits. What can I say? And what's so special about the number nine?

In my tyically tenuous manner, I'll go the fact that "nine" in English sounds like the German word for "no" so I will proceed to thank you all in nine languages:

I hope you get the message!
Please keep looking in, if for no other reason than to see what happens if it reaches 10,000...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

As the nights draw in...

So today marks the summer solstice and therefore, the longest day of the year. Well I don't know about you but mine's certainly been a bloody drag.

I'm never entirely sure whether I should be marking the occasion because after all, for the next six months I'll have to find a diminishing number of excuses every day for not getting things done in the remaining daylight hours. Not that I'm accountable to anyone other than myself but I have to self justify my natural laziness sometimes.

It so happens that the neighbours are away today so perhaps I should erect a monilith in the back garden and although I've missed this morning's opportunity, I could convey my thanks for all things earthly by dancing around joyfully (suitably dressed or otherwise) as the longest day draws to a close.

Somewhat reminiscent of one of the council complaints letters that Jasper Carrott used to read out in his show "I'm writing to complain about the man next door who has an unsightly erection in his garden"...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


So here I am again, adorned in appropriate shirt, alcohol free (so far), poised to watch the match and already bored to tears with the hour's worth of pre-match waffle. What's the temperature in the stadium? What do the pundit's think of Sven's selection? Where does Becks get his toothpaste from? Will Rooney start? If so, on whom?

We're through to the next round whatever tonight's result but apparently this match is important because we haven't beat the Swedes since I was two. Oh, and if we win or draw this one then the next one will be against Ecuador instead of Germany. Is that supposed to be a walkover? Did they overlook the fact that Ecuador will also have made it far as we have? They're even predicting the whole tournament so far as to claim that if we score this, then that, then the other, the first tough game we get will be the final against Argentina. Hmmm... not exactly convinced yet.

I'm really trying to get into the spirit of it all, honest, but I wish they'd just cut the bullshit and get on with it...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

So tired...

I'm concerned that I may have been exposed to the alcohol equivalent of kryptonite as I seem to have lost my beer drinking super-powers.

Si Nichols made a welcome return to the Tap on Friday night and as expected, gave us all a great night's entertainment. Whilst in there, it would have been rude to pass up the chance of a good meal and a few ales which seemed non-excessive at the time, although I've been absolutely knackered since waking up Saturday morning.

I've still managed to get all of the necessary stuff done but if I sit down for more than five minutes, the next thing I know, I'm fast asleep. Perhaps [he hopes] it's not at all beer related and just a symptom of the incredibly warm weather we're enjoying right now, which I'm certainly not about to start complaining about.

I've been meaning to take five minutes aside to look up narcolepsy but... zzz... zzz... zzz...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

All for one...

Did I mention that I'm not a huge football fan? Oh yes, all the time and it still stands. I wasn't particularly bothered that I couldn't get away from the office in time to watch the start of this afternoon's England match but I did get to listen to the first half in the car and enjoy the journey on unusually quiet roads. I have to say that the radio commentary was less than flattering of our team's performance and I didn't feel inspired to get my foot to the floor to get home any sooner.

Home by the end of the first half, I threw some ingredients together for tea and left them bubbling away whilst I superstitiously put on my England "home" shirt, turned on the box and perched in front of it with a cuppa. Yep, the radio commentary was pretty spot on and I was not witnessing a team who looked likely to pass the group stages let alone win the tournament. (That said, I thought Brazil put on a pretty lacklustre show against Croatia on Tuesday too).

Like most people I know, I've been getting pretty fed up of late with the constant jabbering on about Rooney's broken metatarsal and how the nation's hopes are resting on his speedy recovery (which incidentally seemed to pick up a pace quite remarkably in this last week). However, in my naive little world of football ignorance, I had no idea that his team mates were completely reliant on his recovery too.

From the moment he stepped over the sideline this afternoon, we changed from a piss-poor half-interested bunch to a team who believed they might actually achieve something; 34 minutes and two goals later they had done. England are through to the next round. Great I suppose, but why did they leave it so late to get their act together? Why should it all be down to one individual's mere presence let alone contribution?

As I keep saying, it's a good job I'm not in the slightest bit interested in football...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Lazy blogging...

Every now and then my blogging muse abandons me (some would suggest more often than not) and as tonight is one such occasion, I'd like to share one of my favourite e-mails with you - all alledgedly genuine quotes taken from GCSE English essays:

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two other sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a tumble dryer.

3. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

4. McMurphy fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a paper bag filled with vegetable soup.

5. Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.

6. Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the centre.

7. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

8. He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.

9. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

10. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left York at 6:36 p.m. travelling at 55 mph, the other from Peterborough at 4:19p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

11. The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the full stop after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can.

12. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

13. The thunder was ominous sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.

14. The red brick wall was the colour of a brick-red crayon.

15. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long it had rusted shut.

16. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

17. The plan was simple, like my mate Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

18. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for while.

19. "Oh, Jason, take me!" she panted, her breasts heaving like a student on 31p-a-pint night.

20. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

21. Her artistic sense was exquisitely refined, like someone who can tell butter from "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter."

22. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a lamppost.

24. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free cashpoint.

25. The dandelion swayed in the gentle breeze like an oscillating electric fan set on medium.

26. It was a working class tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with their power tools.

27. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a dustcart reversing.

28. She was as easy as the Daily Star crossword.

29. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature British beef.

30. She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.

31. Her voice had that tense, grating quality, like a first-generation thermal paper fax machine that needed a band tightened.

32. It hurt, the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.

Do you know, I dont really care if they're genuine or not, but I find it in my e-mail archives every now and again and it always makes me laugh...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Easily forgotten...

How easy it was to sit here all smug and gloat to the world how easy it is to lay of the ale for a few weeks. It's even more fun announcing to everyone how you've every intention of picking it up from where you left off and going back into beer monster mode.

How could I possibly have been so dumb to forget the slightly less fun you can endure the next day? Since discovering real ale all those years ago, I've never been one to suffer from hangovers, especially when suitably dosed to the eyeballs with milk thistle, but I suppose it's fair to say I was a little out of practise. As a result, it's also fair to say that Friday evening's little sojourn chez Tap was hardly preparation for the marathon session that Saturday held in store.

I'm told the weather was superb yesterday, but I didn't see any of it. In fact I'm still quite certain that had I been accompanied by someone suitably qualified, I could well have been pronounced clinically dead for much of yesterday.

On the plus side, all ill-effects have long since disappeared just like old times and I can barely remember the performance of our World Cup winning wannabees...

Saturday, June 10, 2006


I never really was any good at onomatopoeia, but that is supposed to be the sound of me falling of the wagon last night and although the health-kick is going well, I'm still a long way from wafting down from anything.

Yes folks, after five weeks I was re-acquainted with my old friend the Hobgoblin last night and I'm ashamed to admit that it was rather like bumping into an old friend. Strictly speaking, it's not been completely alcohol free for the past five weeks but I did last from 6th May to 5th June without a beer, with only a couple of glasses of wine in between to accompany the Sunday dinner I cooked for everyone the day after Mum's birthday.

The trip to Porto was relatively uneventful beer-wise although we did manage a couple of nice meals washed down with a two or three glasses of Super Bock, which even in the stout variety, doesn't count as real beer in my world. It was nice to escape from the hotel this time and see a bit more of Porto - clearly a city still going through significant re-development but quite charming in places all the same. Other than that the time was consumed either in a particularly drawn out and fruitless meeting or sat in airport lounges honing my su doku solving skills.

So, I hope you've all been keeping well while I've been away - I'll be catching up with everyone's blogs in between the world cup matches. Yes, I know I don't particularly like football but somehow I've managed to amass six England football tops so I ought to get myself down to the pub and do my bit to support the lads.

Peer pressure is a terrible thing...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Not so Big Brother...

[in dubious Geordie accent] Day 24 in the Big Seany house...

I've already admitted within comments on Delcattos blog that I've found this year's Big Brother more compelling than any sane person ought to so I'm not about to go over that old ground again.

No, I'm just here to gloat update on the results of the new healthy regime before I disappear on my travels for a few days (where quite honestly I'm destined to go at least a little astray).

It wouldn't surprise you to read that I've managed to stay of the cigarettes for another 16 days over the big 500. I'm sure it would surprise you to know that it's four weeks since I've had a beer. However, what really surprised me is that in the last 24 days I've managed to lose over 4kgs! Not eating any less, just an hour's exercise every weekday morning and what little alcohol I have enjoyed has been in the form of the occasional glass of wine rather than battleship-floating quantities of ale.

It's going to be tough keeping the momentum over the next week or so whilst I'm visiting family and then nipping across to Portugal to enjoy some 5 star hospitality either end of a particularly long and arduous meeting.

Tough indeed, but somebody has to do it...