Out With The Old In With The New

Its been a long time since I posted anything here and with today being the first day of 2017 I thought it was time to post.

2016 was a funny old year, from a personal perspective it was a good year, work is good, home life and family are good too, I had the holiday of a lifetime and with solar panels and CCTV added to the house the property value has been enhanced and I have no major health issues despite being morbidly obese at 27stone 2lb (380lb/173kg). I’m hoping that 2017 will be an even better year and last week embarked on a diet, in the past I’ve dieted half heartedly and had mild success but this time it needs to be for real. The health risks aside, the practicalities of life also demand it. Simple things like buying clothes that fit without using online specialists would be great. On top of that, the cost of clothing is high and most things look like a sack I’d love to wear good looking clothing again and I have a wardrobe full of the stuff too so it will be a no cost win until I hit my target weight of 15 stone (210lb/96kg).

From a political standpoint though the world is in a state of turmoil, Brexit came and still has no actual movement and now it looks like the UK vote has encouraged other EU nations to consider the same, could this be the end of the EU? Then we have President Trump, America is divided on this issue, I’ll admit that I’d not have voted for him if I was an American because he just seems so volatile, however at the same time I don’t think I’d have voted for Hilary Clinton either because I don’t think she is a much better option to Donald Trump. That means my two options would to be NOT vote or vote for the independent guy, Gary Johnson, both options are pretty much a waste although if those Americans that felt the same way as myself voted for Gary Johnson I think we’d have had a very different outcome. I really can’t see 2017 being a good year politically but we can hope and lets face it Donald Trump has set his own bar low already so the ability for him to make things worse than many are predicting is slim and he could even surprise us all should he turn out to be a good president.

2016 was a year of celebrity deaths, many of my childhood icons passed away, here are some of them:

  1. Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart, Radio 1 DJ & Crackerjack presenter
  2. David Bowie, singer/songwriter
  3. Alan Rickman, actor (Severus Snape in Harry Potter)
  4. Terry Wogan, Radio 2 DJ & TV presenter
  5. Keith Emerson, musician & co-founder of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
  6. Paul Daniels, magician
  7. Johan Cruyff, footballer
  8. Ronnie Corbett, comedian
  9. Victoria Wood, comedian
  10. Prince, musician
  11. Burt Kwouk, actor (Inspector Clouseau’s manservant Cato)
  12. Muhammad Ali, boxer
  13. Caroline Aherne, comedian
  14. Kenny Baker, actor (R2-D2 in Star Wars)
  15. Gene Wilder, actor/comedian
  16. Jean Alexander, actress (Hilda Ogden from Coronation St)ut me where I am’.”
  17. Pete Burns, musician (dead or Alive)
  18. Robert Vaughn, actor (Man from UNCLE)
  19. Andrew Sachs, acto (Manuel from Fawlty Towers)
  20. Peter Vaughan, actor (Harry “Grouty” Grout in Porridge and Maester Aemon in Game of Thrones)
  21. Ian McCaskill, weatherman
  22. Greg Lake, musician (Emerson, Lake and Palmer)
  23. John Glenn, space pioneer and former US senator
  24. George Michael, musician
  25. Carrie Fisher, actress (Princess Leia in Star Wars)

Hopefully 2017 won’t be quite as brutal for celebrities.

I’ll signoff now and wish you, your family and your friends a great 2017.

Out With The Old In With The New

Why Great Britain is the Best Sporting Nation on Earth Not America.


So the Olympics are over and love them or hate them they truly are an amazing sporting spectacle.However, this time round I never caught the Olympic fever because of the overlap with my holiday in the US, and I feel guilty about that because I missed out on a lot of great spoting moments. So as my tribute to our sportsmen, women and animals that shed blood, sweat and tears during the past 4 years to make us proud to be British I’ll have a roll of honour here to celebrate their success

Gold Medal Winners

Silver Medal Winners

Bronze Medal Winners

  • Adam Peaty: 100m breaststroke, swimming;
  • Alistair Brownlee: triathlon;
  • Andy Murray: tennis;
  • Charlotte Dujardin: dressage;
  • Giles Scott: sailing;
  • Great Britain: women’s hockey;
  • Hannah Mills & Saskia Clark: 470 event, sailing;
  • Helen Glover & Heather Stanning: women’s coxless pair, rowing;
  • Jack Laugher & Chris Mears: men’s synchronised 3m springboard, diving;
  • Jade Jones: taekwondo;
  • Jason Kenny: individual sprint, cycling;
  • Jason Kenny: keirin, cycling;
  • Joe Clarke: K1, kayak;
  • Justin Rose: golf;
  • Laura Trott: omnium, cycling;
  • Liam Heath: solo kayak 200m;
  • Max Whitlock: floor, gymnastics;
  • Max Whitlock: pommel horse, gymnastics;
  • Men’s coxless fours: rowing;
  • Men’s eight: rowing;
  • Men’s team pursuit: cycling;
  • Men’s team sprint: cycling;
  • Mo Farah: 10,000m, athletics;
  • Mo Farah: 5,000m, athletics;
  • Nick Skelton: eventing, showjumping;
  • Nicola Adams: boxing;
  • Women’s team pursuit: cycling;
  • Becky James: keirin, cycling;
  • Becky James: sprint, cycling;
  • Bryony Page: trampolining;
  • Callum Skinner: individual sprint, cycling;
  • David Florence & Richard Hounslow: C2, canoeing;
  • Jack Laugher: diving;
  • Jazz Carlin: 400m freestyle, swimming;
  • Jazz Carlin: 800m freestyle, swimming;
  • Jessica Ennis-Hill: heptathlon;
  • Joe Joyce: men’s super heavyweight boxing;
  • Jon Schofield: double 200m, kayak ;
  • Jonathan Brownlee: triathlon;
  • Katherine Grainger & Vicky Thornley: women’s double sculls, rowing;
  • Liam Heath: double 200m, kayak;
  • Louis Smith: pommel horse, gymnastics;
  • Lutalo Muhammad: taekwondo;
  • Men’s 4x200m freestyle relay: swimming;
  • Men’s sevens: rugby;
  • Men’s 4x100m medley relay: swimming;
  • Nick Dempsey: RS: X, windsurfing;
  • Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: women’s 200m individual medley: swimming;
  • Team dressage: equestrian;
  • Women’s eight: rowing;
  • Amy Tinkler: floor, gymnastics;
  • Bianca Walkden: taekwondo;
  • Chris Froome: road race, cycling;
  • Chris Langridge & Marcus Ellis: doubles, badminton;
  • Ed Ling: men’s trap, shooting;
  • Great Britain: 4x100m relay;
  • Great Britain: women’s 4x400m relay;
  • Greg Rutherford: long jump;
  • Joshua Buatsi: boxing;
  • Katy Marchant: sprint, cycling;
  • Max Whitlock: all-round, gymnastics;
  • Nile Wilson: horizontal bar, gymnastics;
  • Sally Conway: 70kg, judo;
  • Sophie Hitchon: hammer;
  • Steven Scott: double trap, shooting;
  • Tom Daley & Dan Goodfellow: men’s synchro 10m platform, diving;
  • Vicky Holland: triathlon;

The official medals table tells a great story of how Great Britain finished second to the all powerful Unisted States of America and Rio 2016 was, undeniably, an amazing Olympics for Team GB and whilst the gold medal tally is down one, from London 2012, overall we got more medals improving on the London 2012 tally of 65 to Rio’s 67 medals and improved our ranking from 3rd in 2012, behind the US and China, to that second spot.

But there are lies, damned lies and statistics and I realised that our little nation, or group of nations, actually did much better than most countries on that list despite our size and relatively small population. Then I got thinking about how successful we were per person and decided to check to see what the medals table would look like if we factored in population. the result is shown below.


The results are only the top 10 nations but of those Team GB rank top in gold medals with 1 medal for every 2.3 million citizens, sadly we didn’t finish top in overall medals, that honour went to Australia. Other countries leap frogged the mighty US team too, Germany, South Korea and France all performing better than the human resource pool available to the US.

However America still ranked 6th on the list ahead of the Russians, Italians, Japanese and Chinese who all performed statistiically worse than the Americans. The Chinese haul of medals looks impressive however their gold medal work out at only 1 medal for every 53 million citizens, which would give Team GB a lowly one medal. That really puts the Team GB performance into perspective, as we denied the odds and beat the world, well almost. Could we ever challenge the United States’ dominance atop the Olympic medal list? I doubt it purely because of their commitment to sports and their popultion being 5 times that of Great Britain but we’re closing the gap and hanging on there with our true bulldog spirit.

Why Great Britain is the Best Sporting Nation on Earth Not America.

Back to Reality


Today I’m back to reality, no more touring the USA at the speed of a rock band and sitting back at my desk for the first time in 4 weeks. No idea what I’ll have waiting for me and hoping that the lack of news from my colleagues is a good thing rather than a sign of impending doom.

Rightly or wrongly I have faith in Nada and Gary, who were left to cover me in my absence and only time will tell if the training and instructions left for them was sufficient for this confidence.

Back to Reality

I’m So Excited!


With just 9 days left to go before my wife and I set off to New York for our 25th Anniversary USA Road Trip I’m getting both excited and nervous. My biggest concern is the car hire, if that goes wrong the whole trip goes up in smoke but I’m sure that won’t happen, right? At least if the agent I have used lets me down, we have a credit card and if that fails me Id have had bigger problems with the trip anyway. I’m hoping to sneak an upgrade from the Ford Taurus to Ford Taurussomething a bot more sporty but if I can’t make that happen the Taurus is a very good second place and for our length of trip probably more comfortable anyway.


The next worry is my health, I’ve been relatively healthy since coming off of the night shift working pattern until April when I lost half a tooth eating a pizza and have spent the last 3 months trying to get it sorted, that is now bodged by my dentist who has put a short term filling in which I’m hoping will last closer to the 2 years he estimates and not the 2 weeks that I fear. Then last Thursday evening I started to come down with a cold and that has now kicked in and I can barely speak as doing so makes me cough my lungs up like I used to before I gave up smoking some 9 years ago, yes folks it was really that long ago I gave up the even weed, not THAT WEED, I meant tobacco which apart from alcohol and adreneline is the hardest drug I’ve ever consumed, yep I’m a real life party pooper.

Anyways that me just sharing my immediate thoughts prior to me embarking on a day of world class sport watching and hoping that 2 out of 3 will give victory to 2 British sportsmen (Lewis Hamiltoin and Andrew Murray) and having to suck up to the French as Id rather see them win Euro 2016 than the Portuguese.

Have fun folks 🙂

I’m So Excited!

And we’re out!


The BRemain/BRexit referendum has done and remarkably the British people chose to leave the EU. Before anyone asks, yes I voted to leave, my reason for this was nothing to do with immigration, because I don’t think our exit will fix that problem, nor was it financial because I think much of our trade is done with non-EU countries and while some of that is via EU membership we’re still a major global player and I think we stand to gain as much as we’ll lose, it’s the old swings and roundabouts scenario.

My reason for wanting out was because the EU would never go as far as I believed it should which was a truly United States of Europe, one leader, one central governament, one currency, one set of rules and all be one big happy European nation. Now that may surprise people who know me because I am a proud Englishman and I always refer to my nationality as English despite being declared British on my passport. However no EU member state was ever going to allow the EU to go as far as 100% unity and most people throughout Europe want to hold on to their nationality, their traditions and their laws. The fact that many EU countries are now hearing calls for their own referendums really show that this national pride is there across the EU. My belief with anything is that if you’re not committed to go into something fully you may as well not bother at all.

Interestingly, this whole thing isn’t something new, no seriously. Sure we may be the first member to leave the EU but cast your mind back to your school days and think about your history lessons. There once was a king who fell in love but sadly that king was already married to his deceased brothers wife. He begged the Pope to nullify his marrige but the pope denied this request. The king was angry, he took decisive action and declared that he would make himself the head of his own religion and by doing so give himself the power to end the marriage. That king was of course Henry VIII and while it hasn’t all been smooth life carried on and now the two branches of Christianity live side by side (in most communities) and everyone gets on swimmingly.

It will be an interesting journey as we invoke article 50, David Cameron was right to give us time to make that move and the French and German governments can whine all they want about us delaying that step and not having a fully committed leader, its pointless rushing in and making a bad decision in replacing Cameron and why should he be the guy that negotiates how we leave when he isn’t going to be around?

There will, I’m sure, be many more political casualties joining David Cameron who quit within an hour of the results being announced. Will Boris Johnson become Conservative party leader and our Prime Minister in October? Will we get an election before October? What becomes of Ireland and Scotland? Will we get a 2nd referendum?

So many questions to be answered in the next few nervous months.

And we’re out!

Twitter TV?


So Twitter have won the rights to broadcast live NFL games. That is really unexpected news and one that both excites and worries me slightly.It excites me because I may be able to get to see some live NFL without having to spend the price of a ticket each month and while it may only be the Thursday night game it is better than nothing and I may get to see the Falcons live once this year.However the excitement is outweighed with a lot of fear. Not because Twitter won, but because they were one of many social media brands bidding for the coverage (Yahoo, Amazon and Facebook were also in the running).

This is a massive shift to the way live action TV is delivered and as one of the worlds super high-speed internet have-nots, my ISP can only get me 2mbps, means another step backwards for my ability to get quality broadcasts unless I move home. The BBC have already made BBC 3 online only and that is a sign of what is to become, I’m not saying this progress is bad just not good for us have-nots.

Here in the UK the telcos need to up their game to protect the little man and not leave rural communities in dark ages. I know BT are working on fibre like speeds over copper but one telco isn’t enough as it leaves us with no choice so its time for the other telcos step up to the plate and give us at least some options.

So hopefully I’ll be able to download and watch it pseudo live rather than watch a stream because if that happens I’ll be no better off than I am now. Is it time to move to the US? I can but dream.

Twitter TV?

Belgian Bombings

brussellsI’m not a political type of person, yes I was union rep back in the 90s but I think that was me wanting to exert some authority in a business environment prior to becoming a manager back in the day, but I digress, and being politically neutral I view world events from a moer moralistic stance. Sure they ar my morals but I think I have enough of a grasp on reality to be considered ‘a normal person’. Therefore things like revenge attacks and terrorism disgust me.

brussells02I grew up in the 70s when the IRA were the threat that I was aware of it was on the news often as the bombing were, then as time passed the bombing slowed and things shifted to a more global view as the West and East Europe issue conflict dominated but there was no terrorism just the threat of world destruction under the fingers of Russians and Americans. Since the  emphasis shifted to the Middle East/West and major terrorist attacks in New York (9-11), London, Paris and now Brussells.

What makes this attack disgusting is that it is most likely an act of revenge on the Belgians who had the audacity to arrest the man accused of being a major figure in the Paris bombings. These terrorists have no morals and don’t deserve anyone’s respect. I’m really confused as to why these terrorists see these barbaric acts as form of justice. Does it not just create even more hatred towards them and their cause?

Belgian Bombings