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London Country Route 341

Nostalgia was texted today to me from SW. He sent me a photo of a die cast toy Routemaster Bus of the same type that used to serve on the 341 route - which as a kid I used to catch with my mum and dad back from St. Albans town centre to Marshalswick. Consequently I did a search on Google Images and found the photograph shown above.

Bent "Lords"

Lord Taylor -- Would you pay this 79 year old crook £10,000 a day as a consultant??

Lord Snape -- A rather apt name methinks!

"The power of the House of Lords is entirely dependent on its credibility. In the absence of the democratic mandate that comes from election, the legitimacy of the Lords relies on it serving its purpose well and with unimpeachable integrity. That is why the allegations against four Labour peers, that they willingly sought changes to legislation in return for payment, are so serious. They call into doubt the viability of the House of Lords in its current guise.
The allegations read like a definition of corruption. Reporters from The Sunday Times posed as lobbyists acting for a fictitious business from Hong Kong interested in amending the Business Rates Supplements Bill to facilitate the establishing of a chain of shops in this country. They allege that Lord Truscott of St James, Lord Moonie, Lord Taylor of Blackburn and Lord Snape were all ready to negotiate a price to help." -- Taken from The Times On-line.

Did anyone hear the extracts from the recordings that the The Sunday Times reporters made?... UNBELIEVABLE!!! Yep give us a £100 grand and I'll get the law altered for you. Jeezus - these scumbags have got to be sent down. Pompous and arrogant beyond belief their sole concerns are to line their own pockets. Makes me sick.

Rant over.

Slumdog Millionaire

From the fantastically grim images of Mumbai to the Bollywood style dancing at the end - this film is brilliant! It follows the life of Jamal Malik as he grows up in the slums of Bombay and is inter cut with the present day where he is a contestant on Millionaire (the Indian version) and is incredibly about to win the jackpot of 20 million rupees. Each question he faces is linked to a landmark event in his life. I urge you to go and see this film. In an age of remakes and sequels it is a breath of fresh air. Terrific.

Rating: 9/10


I finally got around to watching Beowulf on DVD the other day. I was quite impressed with the animation, however I still found the characters a bit stiff and dead even though they uncannily looked like the actors who were voicing them. Okay maybe Ray Winstone isn't 6'10" tall and physically very fit but facially you could see it was him. I was disappointed that Grendel was killed off in the first part of the film after a bloodthirsty battle but the dragon at the end was great. I reckon it would have been better if they had made it live action but I dare say the budget would have had to be 10 times bigger. An entertaining film and well worth watching.

Rating: 7/10

Kitchen Roll

What really irritates the hell out of me is trying to start a new roll of kitchen towel. Every soddin' time I attempt this task the top layer pulls away leaving the bottom layer behind, meaning that the first half dozen or so sheets are wasted. I bet the manufacturers do this on purpose...!

Rant over.

Patrick McGoohan

I was sad to read that the utterly brilliant Patrick McGoohan has died at the age of 80. For me he was the star of the greatest TV drama series of all time... The Prisoner.


A couple of weeks back I was going to rant about why gas and electricity prices haven't come down when petrol has... and then I read an article on MSN which asked the same question and came up with the answers. It was partly obvious ie. the providers are not passing on any kind of discount so as they can ramp up their profits and rip us off and the other part of the puzzle was that the gas producing countries (Russia, Iran etc) have decided to form a cartel much like OPEC so as they can charge an inflated price for gas. For every bit of economic downturn some git is making a mint.

On a separate note but still to do with cartels... I didn't realise what the penalty was if you are caught conspiring to form a cartel in the UK. The authorities throw the book at you (wrapped around an anvil!). Massive and I mean massive company destroying fines plus a lengthy prison sentence. So when you think about it those nice chaps in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia... in UK terms are nothing but criminals.

Rant over.

Lucy Pinder

I am embarrassed to admit that I caught the eviction of Lucy Pinder from the Celebrity Big Brother House last Friday. Okay, okay... I must be pretty sad to even accidentally watch this tripe - however I did notice a comment that this waste of space bimbo made when she thought the cameras weren't running. Immediately after they had given her the boot she said "I wonder if they will transfer my money now so I can spend some of it over the weekend". Says it all really doesn't it?

Rant over.


West Somerset Railway

Mission to Minehead

Minehead is a town on the north Somerset coast and also borders the northern edge of the Exmoor National Park... it was also the location we selected for a 5 day break over the Christmas and New Year holiday. N, MO, JO, GO, NS, TS and yours truly set off on the morning of the 29th and arrived there mid-afternoon. We stayed in two largish, open plan cabins which were fully equipped with kitchens and two bedrooms in each.

After an excellent dinner, orchestrated by masterchef's MO, NS and N - out came the dreaded 30 Seconds! MO of course won again and would continue to do so whichever team he was in. Even when we switched to playing Rummy he would still win... a fact which he would continuously remind us of.

The bedrooms were pretty small with barely a foot's worth (30cm) of space between the edge and the wall. Naturally storage space was limited and of course when I came to put some of my clothes away in any of the drawers I discovered N had beaten me to it.

Day 2. After a lie in and a fry up breakfast we headed off into Minehead town centre to see what was about. We decided to split up... N and I took a ride on the West Somerset Railway which is the longest heritage steam railway in the UK and the others went and splashed around at Butlins. To the uninitiated Butlins is a holiday camp. You stay in chalets in a self contained complex which has swimming pools, a funfair, restaurants etc. The people that stay there tend to be lowlife chavtypes... tattooed and shavenheaded - and that is just the women!!! Anyway the others bought a day pass and enjoyed themselves immensely. Meanwhile N and I took the steam train ride down to Bishops Lydeard which was about 20 miles or so away. We had a quick look around the railway museum there, before getting the train back to Minehead and rendezvousing with the others.

New Year's Day... and we headed off in the afternoon to Lynmouth which is a small, picturesque seaside town about a half hours drive from Minehead. Our route took us across part of the National Park and on that particular day it was pretty misty which made driving a bit hair-raising! In Lynmouth we had a bit of a wander before ending up having tea and coffee at a local pub.

At long last it was time to go home... of course the temperature was still freezing and typically the windscreen on our car slowly froze up and we ran out of screen wash - so I had to pull off of the M4 and chuck a bottle of water over the windscreen and wipe it down. 3 hours or so later and we were home.

Crap Comet

Today we bought a sat nav unit out of Comet. I never thought I would buy such a thing but I reckon it will come in handy now and again. Anyway that's not the point... what I want to state is how rubbish Comet are. We had reserved the thing online via their website ready for collection, when we got there we found that the price was higher than indicated on the Internet. We went up to the customer services desk and queried the price discrepancy with the toddler behind the counter, who said: "I dunno, I'll go and ask someone". Then he promptly walked off and didn't come back. A woman turned up and asked if we needed help... lets say she wasn't exactly friendly. We told her what had occurred and she replied (with no apology) that the lower online price was the one we would pay - but she said it in a way that implied we were stupid to think otherwise. We asked to have a look at one and that threw her. "We don't normally open them up for you to have a look at before you have paid for it" Where the f*ck was this drivel coming from??? Eventually we got our hands on one and decided to buy it. Once I had paid she handed it over without even putting it in a bag.

It truly beggars belief - Comet are staffed by absolute retards! Almost up there with Homebase...

Rant over.

And the 11th Doctor is...

"Matt Smith - He has performed in theatre, TV and film and is best known for his appearances in BBC adaptations of Phillip Pullman's The Ruby In The Smoke and The Shadow In The North, alongside Billie Piper. He also played Danny Foster in the BBC TV series Party Animals. Matt Smith becomes the youngest actor ever to play the role of the Time Lord." from MSN.
Okay... so I was wrong - Paterson Joseph is not going to be the 11th Doctor. I hadn't heard of Matt Smith until I watched Doctor Who Confidential just now, however having seen a few clips of him I reckon he is going to be pretty good (I hope). My only concern is that he isn't too much like David Tennent.

A belated "Happy New Year!"

We've just got back from a few days in Somerset and I would like to wish all my avid readers a happy new year!