27 May, 2009


A serious post today.

Three of my workmates are currently undergoing treatment for cancer. Three different women, three different cancers. 'Sophia' is a young, vibrant, funny, intelligent, crazy, lovable, generous woman. She's also facing cancer for the second time in a year. Her only hope of a cure is a stem cell transplant. She has no siblings and only has a 25% chance of a match with a parent. That's bad news for most of us but even worse for Sophia as she only has one parent.

I can't tell you how devastated we all are for Sophia. Not that we've given up and I know she certainly hasn't. She now has to start the search for a compatible donor and hopefully start the life saving treatment which will give her back the full life she so richly deserves.

Why am I telling you all this? I want you to help Sophia and all the other Sophias out there who need to find that person who can save their life.

I can't help. I can't donate blood in Australia due to the threat of CJD so I can't be tested to see if I can help Sophia or anyone else for that matter.

Please give blood. Please ask about other ways to help. Please. You might be able to save someones life.






13 May, 2009

Live long and prosper

Two posts in one week. You lucky people.

Why I am bothering you again so soon? I don't know, really. Probably because I've annoyed everyone at work by talking about Star Trek and Doctor Who for the last three days so it's your turn.

So - Star Trek. Don't worry, I'm not going to talk about the plot. I would ask commenters to refrain from doing so at the moment as one of our regular readers is going tomorrow night and I don't want to spoil it for her.
What I will say is that I thought it was spectacularly good. I was a bit apprehensive but it grabbed me within the first ten minutes and I was there till the very end. I cried, I laughed, I jumped up and down in my seat, I clapped (quietly), I watched through my fingers, I laughed again, nodded approvingly and jumped up and down a bit more. I don't think that prior Trek knowledge is required but there are plenty of nods for the fans. I'm going to watch it again at the weekend.

I wasn't always a Star Trek fan. My older brother used to watch it but to be honest I found it all a bit boring. Star Trek (or TOS as it's known by the obsessives) always seemed quite sexist to me. Yes, there were a couple of women but they didn't really seem to do much. Uhura picked up signals via that massive earring and told the boys about them and they went to a strange planet, had a fight, won and came back. It didn't really grab me.

Star Trek - The Next Generation (yes, TNG) was more my cup of tea. Here was a Star Trek I liked, more equal, more cerebral, more interesting. Whilst the series hasn't stood the test of time it certainly had me hooked in the 90s. I loved Picard, had a strange crush on Worf and wanted to be an empath like Deanna Troi, even though I knew it wasn't possible. TNG gave us the irrepressible Q and the Borg, the most fearsome sci-fi enemy since the sinister plunger wielding pepperpots themselves.

Deep Space Nine was less than interesting to me, I never liked the idea of a fixed station and couldn't warm to the Bajorans, no matter how hard I tried. They had a silly way of clapping for starters. The Kardassians were just plain ugly and that Latinum loving Ferenghi was like a big eared toad. Worf was introduced as a regular and it picked up slightly but to be perfectly honest if they'd all been sucked into the wormhole I wouldn't have cared one iota.

Voyager. Finally, a captain I could relate to. Janeway tried diplomacy then theatened to blow any enemies to smithereens. Well, not always. But you knew she had it in her. We had the enigmatic Tuvok, so beautifully Vulcan in every way.I so desperately wanted them to get home safely even though I knew that would be the end of the story.

Enterprise. No. Sorry. I watched two episodes and that was two too many.

So here we are again in 2009 and a new Trek. The future is bright, people.

11 May, 2009

A walk down Memory Lane

I really do seem to have slacked off here lately, don't I? I have no particular excuse. Work is annoying as always, I still work with a collection of psychopaths and lazy fuckers. Still, nothing will change short term so I continue to mutter darkly under my breath and plot their demise using the power of thought alone. I'll let you know how it goes.

I was thinking the other day about my old school. I had a great time at school, not so much at my second secondary (tricky, that) school but all the others were great.

I remember watching a TV programme once where a man had been held hostage for a prolonged period. He said he used to pass the time by retracing the route he used to take when walking to school as a boy. I've never forgotten this and from time to time I find myself picking one of my schools (I went to five in total) and walking there in my mind.

The least interesting of these trips is the one to my favourite primary school which basically involved leaving home, turning left and walking past three other dwellings before walking through the school gates. That one was particularly handy.

I suppose the longest one was to my first secondary school. The walk took just over 40 minutes at a brisk pace and slightly longer in winter due to the snow. I doubt todays schoolchildren would be able to accomplish such a feat without stopping for Coke and a Mars Bar at least twice along the way or calling their mothers on their fancy mobile 'phones and whining that their legs ached. Alas, a lift in a warm car was not an option for me and so after a bowl of Ready Brek I would set off, hoping that my face would not freeze and fall off before reaching my destination.

I can remember every step of that walk. Sometimes I lay in bed at night and walk to school in my mind. I pass the houses, cross the main road, pass a corner shop, walk down the 'cut' till I get to the Rec ground and walk over an unispiring field before reaching another main road. I plod down the main road before turning into a smaller street and see the school gates in front of me.

I went to the anal retentive lengths of digging out my A-Z and looking at my school route. It can't cover more than a mile. And yet surprisingly after all these years I was pretty spot on with a path that I only followed for just under a year over 30 years ago.

I don't 'walk to school' very often but when I do it always makes me feel melancholy. Sometimes I wish I didn't live so far away.

04 May, 2009


I know, I know. I'm a slack tart.

I do have an idea for a post but I don't have the concentration span at present. Here's a joke instead. You need to read it out loud.


A chicken goes into a library and approaches the librarian.

"Book book?" he asks.

The librarian gives the chicken two books. The chicken leaves.

An hour later the chicken comes back into the library and puts the two books on the desk.

"Book book? Book book?" he asks.

The librarian gives the chicken four books. The chicken leaves.

An hour later the chicken comes back and puts the four books on the desk.

"Book book? Book book? Book book? he asks.

The librarian gives the chicken six books. The chicken leaves.

The librarian is understandingly curious about how the chicken is managing to read the books so quickly so he decides to follow the chicken and see what he's up to. He follows the chicken across the road - oh yes, I went there - and further along the road until the chicken reaches a pond. The librarian watches as the chicken places the books in front of a frog. The frog looks at each book and says,

"Read it. Read it."

Did you like it? You did, didn't you? You liked it. I knew you would.