Archive for the ‘Big Brother’ Category

Well, it’s bound to be. Or else, it’s not dangerous per se (annoying phrase and possibly miss-spelled but I’m too tired to think of another one) but ‘studies’ somewhere, at some point, will show that too much of it (breathing), or doing it in a manner other than a technique prescribed by experts and approved of by the government, is not only life-threatening but dangerous to others — especially unborn babies.  This threat will have a name which begins with the word ‘passive’. If you continue to get your breathing wrong and fail to take advice  you will then be a social pariah and a child-killer, just because you didn’t listen to the experts  — whose livelihoods largely depend on them drawing our attention to how everything will kill us and how we are (passively) killing everyone else.

They’re on about ‘environmentally-friendly’ lightbulbs now and how they may be a threat to health. Of course. I’m sorry to gloat but I’m glad it’s something that was previously on the ‘approved’ list (in fact, I’m almost certain that ‘they’ — raving environmentalists — were getting ready to force us to use these type of lightbulbs to the exclusion of all others).  Zealots can never admit they were wrong, though, so they’ll probably issue some statements saying that any damning study was flawed (but all studies which support their views are, of course, totally spot-on and cannot be questioned).

I tried to get a carrier bag to carry home my shopping this week and had to face an interrogation by a supermarket cashier, who wasn’t even impressed by my defense that I had brought my own bag but couldn’t fit everything in, as I’d bought some products which were on a special two-for-one offer (in an attempt to keep myself and loved-ones out of the poorhouse). I pleaded my case as best I could but she didn’t care that I would have to struggle home on public transport with bananas sticking out my coat pocket or that my half-price bloomer would be flattened to the size of a pancake by the time I got through my front door. She was a member of the bag-police and had right on her side. My only consolation was that she had horribly misshapen rabbit teeth. As she lectured me and gave me the evil eye, all I could think was: rabbit, rabbit, rabbit; orthodontist, orthodontist, orthodontist… The tooth thing had probably warped her mind and ruined her life — I might have been doing her a favour if I had punched her teeth out right there and then (only joking, Word Police).

You can read more about all the lightbulb business over at The World’s Gone Mad. I love that blog. Sometimes I get so mad about things that I can hardly speak about them, let alone write about them. And sometimes I get so annoyed that I’m beside myself and we look at each other and don’t know what to think. It’s then that I head over to the ‘Gone Mad’ blog to find out what Billy Seggars has to say about things. Billy usually has a nicely controlled rant but manages to stay witty and coherent throughout.

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I’d forgotten about my Best Blogs category and to be quite honest I think I’m reluctant to single out blogs here, as I have so very many favourites. So if you’re mentioned here consider yourself honoured and very special. I have to write this post fairly quickly, as I want to get everything done before the start of Big Brother 8.
Oh, don’t start – you know you’ll be watching it sooner of later and you might as well get in at the beginning.

The housemates are bound to be nervous this year, though. It’s got to be Walking On Eggshells time, after what happened with the last Celebrity Big Brother — that really was too uncomfortable to watch. But I hope they’re not going to be excessively nice to each other this time — not that I’m hoping for any real vindictiveness and bile but it’s just not the same without a good dose of bitching, bickering and backstabbing. Unfortunately, it’s on at the same time as The Apprentice, so I’m going to set-up two televisions side by side, so I can watch both. What a good idea, you are thinking. That is what you are thinking?

Anyway, back to Best Blogs. I’m posting two today (to catch-up on my backlog) and the first is Dad Gone Mad. I’ve only just found that one and nearly missed it, as the title almost put me off – I tend to avoid blogs with the words Mum or Dad in the title, for some reason. The ‘Mad Dad’ is Danny Evans and — although he writes with a bit too much enthusiasm on his nose-picking habit for my liking – he’s definitely going to be a permanent feature on my favourites list. Danny is laugh-out-loud funny, for a start, and I love bloggers who make me laugh. His writing is intelligent and honest and he just comes across as a likeable, genuine person (even if he does write about sport now and again – but I’m letting him off on that, as he’s an ex-sports writer). And he complains a lot too, which I love. I’ll have to complain more here; I’m too easy-going. Just wait until I start – there’ll be no stopping me.

The other Best Blog is Miss Doxie. I’ve been reading Miss Doxie’s blog for ages but it wasn’t until I saw her mentioned on Danny’s site that I remembered to put her in my Best Blogs category. Actually, I’m quite proud of the fact that I’m including Miss Doxie on my list, because it shows that I’m not eaten up and bitter with envy about someone who clearly has bucketloads of talent and who is sickeningly photogenic. But one of the very best things about Miss Doxie is that she doesn’t take herself too seriously and seems to have had a vanity by-pass, so it’s easy to forgive the fact that the Gods have bestowed their bounty on her with such generosity (whilst giving certain other people a body-swerve).

Miss Doxie is an attorney by day and a super-witty blogger in her spare time. She’s also an artist and has recently opened a shop (which I write about here) to sell her artwork. Go buy some of her stuff and have a look at mine while you’re at it – I’ll really have to start plugging Larkin & Catcher a lot more. I’ve been way too reluctant when it comes to self-promotion but ecommerce is a jungle and I need to be a bit more pushy if I want to put a dent in the machine.

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to write much about Big Brother 7 here (yet) *evil laugh* but this programme is going to be almost unavoidable in the UK for the next few months. Even people such as ourselves, who shun such low-level so-called entertainment and prefer to spend our leisure hours in more cerebral pursuits (watching Hollyoaks) will have it inflicted on us by selfish flatmates and inconsiderate relatives.

Last night, for instance, whilst perusing a tome of Philosophia Mathematica, my eye was momentarily diverted away from the page by the antics of one the the first contestants to enter the BB house —  ‘Shahbaz’:  determinedly Glaswegian, screechingly camp, sickeningly touchy-feely, cross-dressing windbag (not that I’m not going to like him).

 As his souped-up Mrs Doubtfire tones invaded my brain-space, I found myself thinking, ‘why does he have to be Glaswegian?’ Now I’d have to put up with yet more ‘Weegie’ jokes from my Edinburgh-born housemates.

If you live in Scotland you’re no doubt aware of the friendly(ish) rivalry between the residents of Edinburgh and their neighbours in Glasgow. As I have affection for both cities — having been born in one and having spent most of my life in the other — I thought I’d give my unbiased account of the whole business.


It is unfair to say that the people of Edinburgh are mean — it’s just that the boundless generosity of Glaswegians is so overwhelming that Edinburgers will forever live in their shadow in that respect. If you call around unexpectedly at the home of an Edinburger near mealtimes (the height of bad manners, surely) you will be met with the phrase “you’ll have had your tea”. Note please, that they’re not asking if you’ve already eaten but are in fact telling you that you’re getting nothing out of them; not a sausage. Even if they’ve just been to Sainsburys and done a big shop and even if they have vanloads of groceries parked in their driveway, there’s no possibilty that a morsel of their food will pass your (starving) lips.

Glaswegians are quite the opposite. As soon as you ring their doorbell, or even if they just catch a glimpse of you passing by on your way to work or the chip shop, and even if they don’t know you and you have never before set eyes on them — they will attempt to feed you, whether you want it or not. This will happen even if their fridge and their food cupboards are entirely devoid of contents and even if they don’t have a pot to piss in. If necessary, they will make you eat an imaginary meal with them.

Friendliness (to strangers)  

Once you get to know them, Glaswegians and Edinburgers are equally friendly. It’s their inclination to strike up a conversation with a strangers which sets them apart. And no-where can this be witnessed more clearly than in doctor’s waiting rooms.

 No-one in Edinburgh talks to anyone else in a doctor’s waiting room. It’s an unwritten rule (just like the one where you don’t make eye contact with anyone at a bus stop). Even if the doctor is called away on an emergency and there’s only two of you left sitting there for a couple of hours, the other person will prefer to re-read the copy of Country Life that they first made acquaintance with when they came in for their Measles booster in 1974. If you do attempt to strike up a conversation with them — even of the most innocuous sort: “ah, the night’s are fair drawing in, are they not?” — you will only be met with a noncommittal nod and thereafter will be studiously ignored.

Glaswegians, on the other hand, will quite happily talk about (and possibly show you) the boil which has led them to the GP’s door, before getting ripped into what they see as the failings of the present government, the state of the pavements, why Hogmanay is not he same these days and why they believe that Lord Lucan was, indeed, innocent. Sometimes it all gets a bit much and you have to leave before you start bleeding from the ears.


It is a truth, self-evident, that when it comes to accents, Edinburgers have the upper hand when it comes to consistancy. Take a person out of Edinburgh and ten or even twenty years later they will still sound the same as the day they left (apart from Sean Connery, who is a man apart and barely mortal).

Glaswegians, however, do one of two things when they move away from the place of their birth. The first option is that the Glaswegian adopts an American accent. This can occur even when thet’ve spent their entire exile from The Dear Green Place in some leafy Suffolk glade and the nearest they’ve ever come to The States is the odd outing to McDonalds. You might find that hard to believe but I can think of at least a dozen people of my acquaintance who have taken up this strange affection.

 But there’s a far worse fate that can befall a Glaswegian who decants to distant climes: they can become very very very exaggeratedly Glaswegian. This happens even if they’ve lived in the Ukraine since 1946 and had, in fact, left Glasgow as mere infants. This tendency becomes worse if they are at all exposed to another Glaswegian (or even anyone who is perceived as possibly having some vaguely Scottish heritage). And if they happen to get hold of a copy of The Steamy, then all restraint is abandoned and everything they say for the next year or more is incomprehensible to even the closest members of their own family.

 In time, the dire day arrives and they end up (God save them) talking like GMTV’s Lorraine Kelly (who isn’t even a real Glaswegian, but has adopted our dulcet tones because she knows the accent comes high in the ‘makes you sound sincere’ polls).

There are a multitude of other differences between the lovely people of Glasgow and the fine people of Edinburgh but I’ll have to give them a miss, seeing as this whole blogging business is taking up too much of my time and I still have not finished my business plan.

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