One of the ‘must reads’of the week is the Doors section of the Sunday Times. Last week it pointed the way to Cabinet Magazine and an article about Pykrete. This was one of those nutty professor type inventions, basically ice and wood pulp mixed to that was easily shaped and used to make massive ships. Geoffrey Pyke’s idea was to use it to build a massive aircraft carrier, allowing bigger and more heavily armoured aeroplanes to be taken nearer the enemy. Read more ›››

Faliraki Dress Code

The British police have flown out to Greece to advise their counterparts on how to deal with the outbreak of loutishness in Faliraki. The main thrust of which apparently is not to sell cheap booze. You’d have thought they could have told them that over the phone. Read more ›››

Professor of Revolving Medicine

So Alastair Campbell is to leave 10 Downing Street. (See BBC) Personally, I’ll be sad to see him go. For one, he showed that the unelectable can be made electable through sheer will and application, and just because he used ‘spin’ to achieve it does not mean that he didn’t have sincere belief in the causes and policies he espoused. Indeed, I would go as far as to say that spin can only work if you truly believe in the arguments you are putting forward. Read more ›››

A Doll of a President

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 ›››

B-I-N-G-O and Bingo was his name-o

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 ›››


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 ›››

To blog, or not to blog?

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 ›››