Showing posts from July, 2011


So the announcement that F1 will be "shared" with BSkyB and BBC next year is a massive blow for me. Anyone who follows this blog will know I like racing, F1 in particular. But now a quick trip to the BSkyB site tells me I have to fork out basically £40 a month or £50 if I want HD so I can watch F1 every other weekend (on average). Flipping heck - £600 a year! And to a company in the Murdoch News Corp empire - well enough in that I have to date in my stand against his dominance of the media steadfastly refused to deal with. Now the dilemma - fork out the money and bite my lip about my reservations about how a company like News Corp operates or stand up for my beliefs and forgo watching one of my favourite sports.

The outside view of addiction.

The sad death of Amy Winehouse once again has pushed the issues of addiction into the public spotlight. However as of yet no known cause for her death has been established remember - it may just be that some other cause is found let us remember. However you cannot deny the very public issues she had with drink and drugs. I found this article on the BBC site which asks the question "Can a parent save their child from addiction?". So in my experience and observation the answer is no. Indeed to quote the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous where the "three pertinent ideas" are introduced, in Chapter 5 just after the 12 step programme has been outlined the second pertinent idea is "That probably no human power could have releived our alcoholism". The belief of the AA programme is that once in the grip of addiction no human power, that is the addicts themselves, friends, family, doctors etc. can bring them out of it. Whether you agree with the spiritual

Quiet Sunday morning

It is Sunday morning. Normally about now there is a queue for the bathroom, tv/radio/iPod blaring from more than one room, teenagers (well my son is 20 but you know...) lolling in the front room moaning about what the other is watching on TV - one wants Hollyoaks/Friends the other The Andrew Marr Show... but today. Mrs F is lying in the bath and I'm here on the computer in total peace... ahh... odd though this doesn't feel much like our house at all :-) Daughter-of-Furtheron keeps texting with updates of the "educational" water sports trip to Spain. "Just going shopping now", "been sunbathing by the pool", "banana boat was a laugh" etc. apart from some kayaking and a 6km bike ride sounds a right old doss .... how much did I get stung for this in the name of education!!! Son-of-Furtheron trekked off to North Wales yesterday to visit his girlfriend and have a few days to prepare her for her first ever visit to us in Kent - shame, she

Norway, Winehouse, Rehab

What an odd couple of days. Norway - not the country you'd expect such a thing. So far it hints at this guy being a "neo-nazi" (why are they always neo?). Sad that any one thinks that is the way to change things for the better. Amy Winehouse - how sad, another 27 year old gone, like Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain. I actually was in a rehab last night - well a detox unit, talking to the folks in there about AA and just saying really "give it a go once you get out". It worked for me and they need something to help them in the battle ahead.

First one then the other...

We've reached that time in our lives where we are slowly becoming surplus to requirements as parents. Daughter-of-Furtheron has gone off on her school watersports trip to Spain - apparently they will be working very hard! She was so excited yesterday as we drove her down to the school and in a noisy dance studio where all the girls with families in tow were gathering the one voice you could hear above all others was... yes Daughter-of-Furtheron! They all got pink t-shirts to wear, which she is proudly showing off in this picture - this is her cool pose by the way! As I write this she be nearly at the place in Spain they are going to after an overnight ferry and coach trip down through France. As we waved goodbye to her after she'd got on the coach Mrs F was tearful and I was my usual sympathetic self :-) Still it is another milestone. She is back in a weeks time for a few days then off to Turkey with her best pal's family for another holiday! Honestly my kids have it e

Brilliant interview with Bill Ward of Black Sabbath

BBC Interview with Bill Ward

The British Open... at Sandwich

Yes... at Sandwich - i.e. where I work. This has led to a load more traffic!!! I thought at one point this morning I might see whether I could get something read out on national radio to get all the golf fans to pull over and let me through! To be honest it's not too bad except for a real pinch point where the M2 ends and everyone has to get off and go round a roundabout to get on the A2. Luckily my backroad route into work is off the preferred route and that hasn't been too bad - the only other hassle is the buzzing of helicopters over the office ever 2 mins ferrying the rich to and from the club. There is a lot about the money this brings into Kent - however most people seem to be just driving down from London for the day and going back. I did hear a wonderfully funny story about the club... they still don't allow women in the clubhouse at Royal St George's... funny that it is called Royal since I presume the Queen can't go in there if she wanted to. Anyway

Book Review - Conn Iggulden Empire of Silver

Haven't done a book review for ages. This book follows on from Conn's trilogy that was all about the life of Genghis Khan - which I really enjoyed. I've always had a bit of a fascination with the Khan story, how this nation that wasn't even a nation but a load of squabbling tribes was forged into the incredible military power that took on the Chin and won and then forged out West to Europe as well. So the story picks up after Genghis is dead and there is a power struggle with the family left behind - Genghis had set up Ögedei Khan as his successor. He starts to build a city, contrary to the nomadic lifestyle under Genghis. Also under his reign the expansion of the Mongol empire reaches it's height reaching far into Europe and China. If I am honest I found this slightly heavier going than the original series, I think to be honest I'm more wanting to get to the next stage in the saga that leads to Kublai Khan taking over which is another era I've interes

There and back again...

I went to Wales over the weekend, to pick my son up. He finished at uni a few weeks back but stayed over so that he could move flat. He has a really lovely bedsit on his own this year. It is super, the only downside being that you need oxygen by the time you reach his landing! Well maybe that is just an indication of how unfit I am these days. I stayed in a pub just a couple of doors along from him and managed to get a cooked breakfast for both of us which was a result. I was lucky on the drive up Friday. It rained all the way pretty much, just as I was on the last stretch up over the Cambrian's into Aberystwyth it started to bucket down, real cloud burst stuff. On the news that night they reported lots of flash floods in mid-Wales and driving back we saw plenty of evidence across the road, I think I was lucky with the timing another hour or so later and I'd have struggled to get through I think. He had already moved into his flat in a week or so ago but needed to get some ut

Read all about it...

So the News of the World is gone. Good ridance, sorry but I've never bought it and the way it has exposed stories always makes me question it's motives and practices. The phone hacking is just the latest - the sting on the snooker player is one I remember where his defence was that he thought he was being threatened and agreed to the bet just to get out of the place. I don't know if it was right or wrong but... it's a snooker match, do I care? No. I don't like the media so dominated by a small cabal of people in one organisation pushing their views and opinions so much. I don't buy from News Corp on that principle, we don't have Sky, never buy the Times, The Sun etc. Simple I vote with my consumer feet. Shame is in all this condemnation of the actions of this company how many even consider that? Just watch - The Sun on Sunday will launch in a few weeks with all the same people and same motives... the URL was registered on 5th


Stolen was a drama by the BBC that was on BBC1 last night. It is on the iplayer if you didn't see it and want to. It is 90 mins long btw... It was a hard hitting drama about child trafficing in the UK today. It was based in Manchester but no doubt could have been any large town/city and showed the story of three different kids brought into the country for slavery. Yes I use the word slavery I don't hold back as there is nothing else to describe it. Children bought and sold, forced to work without pay, forced to keep out of sight of others etc. Following from yesterdays post where I spoke about how lucky I am - it doubly re-enforced that and also made me realise this stuff is happening all around us now. Do I see it - No I don't. However I live in a nice suburban environment where most of the families around us have all lived there since we moved in... in fact I think we are still the "new lot" after 19 years! I actually like that - we know people, they k

All that I have...

So I was very annoyed with myself over the Bank Rant etc. the other week... btw they have cocked some else up now! But this time I'm trying take it calmly. It annoyed me that little things, or maybe they were big things I don't know but whatever they got in my head, disturbed my peace of mind and caused me to be focused on negative thoughts. I just remembered a quote I should have remembered in the middle of all this. I can't get peace of mind while I am giving out a piece of my mind. Some good stuff is happening - my son has his new flat, his 21st is on the near horizon, my daughter has two holidays one with the school - oh sorry that is GCSE PE trip... to SPAIN!!! and the other with her best friend and her family. There is some other good stuff floating around as well that I'll not share just yet. But I'm trying to focus on the open(ing) doors not the closed ones. Also on a daily basis I'm working on my gratitude. I have so much, the family, my health


Don't you love the little irony of the first official visit to another country by the newly-wed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is to Canada. Canada for those of you geographically challenge is less than a stones throw from the USA. And the timing of this visit which already has shown a superb level of pomp and fanatical support for the British monarchy is timed to be over the same weekend the USA have their celebration of independence from said monarchy. Priceless. Whoever came up with that is a total genius!