I was amazed to read in the Manchester Evening News yesterday that you can buy a George W Bush action figure in the US for a cent under $30. At just over a foot high, you simply "press the button on George's back to hear him say 17 powerful and patriotic phrases" although it doesn't specify in which part of the doll's anatomy they have placed the speaker!

Obviously I've led a very sheltered life because a Guardian article from April 2002 reported that a doll of Osama Bin Laden was out-selling one of Tony Blair. Then I found a more recent Tony doll which has a clip of him addressing the US Senate and House of Representatives in July. Read more ›››

Bingo, the older of our two dogs, went in for surgery today to remove two cysts, one on his eyelid, the other on his front paw. Neither was a major problem, but the vet thought it was a good idea to do it now before he became too old to survive the operation.

We literally found Bingo eight years ago, lost/abandoned on Werneth Low. The vet reckoned he was then about two years old, but we don't really know how old he is. Read more ›››

Introductions

Sorry, I should have introduced myself. My name is Ian and I live in Stockport in north west England. Married with two kids and a mortgage.

My age? Well let's just say that if I were to have a mid-life crisis, it would happen about now. Read more ›››

Blogging? Not a very elegant word, but having read (and enjoyed) quite a few blogs, I decided it was time to add my own musings to the web. So why "Shooting Parrots"? Well, primarily because it seems you need an odd title for this blogging mularkey.

The story behind it goes back some years when we were taking our kids to Clayton Vale, a country park in east Manchester. It was once the industrial heartland of the area, but now it is a strip of green, running from the city centre to Ashton-under-Lyne, either side of the River Medlock. Read more ›››

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