Filed: This Life

Puzzle Solved

I had a quick whizz up to the City of Manchester Stadium and the ‘B of the Bang’ has been sunk into the ground, but there is obviously lots of more bits to weld on before it reaches its final height. (Click on pic for a larger version)

I was expecting to find the structure all silver and shiny but it isn’t. It has a uniform rust colour and will get even rustier over the years which is a bit of a let down. When did you ever see a matt-rust coloured explosion? Read more ›››


I came into work this morning fully expecting to see Manchester’s latest landmark from my office window. “B of the Bang” was meant to have been erected next to the City of Manchester Stadium in celebration of the Commonwealth Games held here two years ago. Except it isn’t there. I think I can see the crane they’re using, but no big bang. Read more ›››

Litter Bug

Tonight’s Manchester Evening News led on a story of a 12 yesr old girl being fined £50 for dropping litter. Her dad was really upset — don’t fine the kids, use the money instead to teach them to be environmentally friendly.

In other words, it’s not my fault. Me, I’m just a parent. Not my job to make kids behave. Read more ›››

Carrying the Can

Poor Hazel Blears seems to be carrying the can for putting the wind up people by telling them to stock up on Spam, other canned foods and bottles of water in case there’s a terrorist attack in the UK. Seems pretty sensible to me, given that terrorism has a section all to itself on the Home Office website, and surely all the preparations on the UK Resilience site can’t have been made just for the hell of it. Read more ›››

Arrows Survival

A mate of mine is into aircraft in a big way and though his main interest is in commercial airlines, we have been to a number of airshows if there was an opportunity to fly there and back on an old plane.

So it was that years ago we found ourselves at Brize Norton, having flown there from Liverpool on a Dakota DC3. It was a hot day and after trudging round for hours, we plonked ourselves down with our backs against the wall of an out-building, beers in hand, when I idly inquired when the Red Arrows were going to show up. At that very moment, there was this tremendous whooshing noise as RAs came in low over our heads. Read more ›››

Deep Depression

I’m beginning to think that we won’t see another barbeque this year. The weather has been pretty depressing since May and I swear we have had more rain than we had during the winter. Read more ›››

Cold Calling

One of life’s more irksome irritants is the unsolicited phone call. From “you have won a luxury holiday,” to “we can save you thousands if you agree to being a show house,” and, of course, the all time favourite, “I’m not trying to sell you anything.” Stock reply 47 — then your company will go out of business?” or Mrs Parrot’s preference, “In that case, can I interest you in some double-glazing?” Read more ›››

Capital Idea?

They’re an odd lot in London. For a start, most of them aren’t Londoners, just people who have gravitated to the city from other parts of the UK and beyond — it’s rapidly becoming a sort of people black hole, sucking the life out of the rest of the country. Okay, so there’s money to be made for the fortunate few, but the majority are doing ordinary jobs for ordinary wages surrounded by an extraordinary cost of living. Read more ›››