Thursday, January 31, 2008


Thursday 31 January 2008

Today didn't start too well with the closure of the Forth Road Bridge northbound and only one lane open southbound. The D7 was delayed so much that some passengers got off and walked to the Ferrytoll. I don't know why they bothered because it was total gridlock and no other buses could get there. Eventually an X57 came and the long, and remarkably patient, queue shuffled on. I got chatting to a girl form Standard Life and we had a good laugh about the foibles of public transport use and what winds up us. "People" seemed to be the answer to every problem. I finally got into work at quarter to nine, forty five minutes late, although quite refreshed after my cathartic chat.

By half past ten I was on my way home again! Those of us who reside over the bridge had heard some worrying reports about the bridge and the weather and we decided to take the cautious approach and go back home. We thought we were being sensible but some people seemed to think we were "pulling a fast one". Oh right, so that's why we all took some work home is it? If I wanted to take the piss I wouldn't have bothered coming in at all. I'm not going to apologise for living in Fife and I won't apologise for travelling by public transport. Lord knows I suffer enough without Edinburgh-based car drivers having sly digs. End of rant.

The GLW doesn't read the (De)Press. I read it then give her the edited highlights, which cuts out a lot of the parochial dull crap which dominates its pages. Here are this week's "highlights":

1. MSP Jim Tolson wants Stagecoach to pass on the savings from the soon-to-be-gone tolls to passengers. Doug Fleming of Stagecoach says "We review our operating costs levels across the network on an annual basis which will reflect the removal of the tolls and these findings will apply to our fares revision later in the year". For revision, read rise. With Stagecoach losing out on Fuel Duty Rebate (unlike their English counterparts), they'll be pleading poverty and putting up fares and blaming it on the Government. It's not the passengers fault but it's us who suffer. It's not even as if the service gets better.

2. Schoolchildren montoring the car park at St. Leonard's Primary School, in an attempt to prevent inconsiderate parkers are being verbal abused by the offending drivers. How brave of these selfish twats to have a pop at primary school kids? Maybe they'll think again when the first fatality occurs. Although, they almost certainly won't.

3. A taxi driver who had a metal object thrown through his back window when leaving the "big" Asda has spoken of his concerns, "It was £60 excess on the insurance but it was the boss's car. You are looking at over £200 to get that fixed". Getting his priorities right he goes on to say, " I'm actually going to go to the doctors because I can't get rid of the headaches. I keep getting the flashbacks and I just can't keep this up". Now I don't want to belittle his ordeal but his own health should surely come before any damage to the car.

4. Always one for making a drama out of a crisis, John Aitchison, not my favourite individual, has said that the redevelopment of Dunfermline city centre is causing "mayhem" to the economy of the taxi drivers. "People who are entering the town are brassed off", he whined on. You're right John, but only because the place is a concrete shithole. I had to laugh out loud when he said "We get customers from the West Fife villages who say they are going to Alloa for their shopping and people from the eastern expansion think nothing of going to Edinburgh or Kirkcaldy". Alloa? Fuckin' hell, how bad must shopping in Dunfermline be? I'll tell you - it's chronic. If you want a haircut, a Stephen's steak bridie or a rake for Mantovani LPs in a charity shop, you're laughing, otherwise forget it. With the redevelopment of the city centre Dunfermline will be turning into even more of a Tescoville and any butchers or fishmongers who remain will soon disappear.

John argues that a thriving taxi industry is vital to the city centre becoming a successful shopping and business hub. Wrong again, John, a thriving taxi industry is only good for taxi drivers. Only new shops and businesses will improve Dunfermline. Some of us haven't forgotten your ill-founded comments about the Yellow Taxibus and the threat to lone female passengers. We haven't forgotten either how taxis drivers refused to pick up passengers from James Street who had just got off the Yellow Taxibus. And let's not even go down the road of the behaviour of some of your drivers and family when they get behind the wheel.

5. 3123 pupils were expelled from schools in the Kingdom in 2006/2007, with 478 of those from primary schools. The main reason for most of the expulsions was behaviour classed as violent conduct or verbal aggression. Their parents must be so proud.

6. McDonalds in Dunfermline has won the company's award for Restaurant of the Year in Scotland. What for? The most neds hanging off the window sills on a Saturday afternoon! No wonder there are so many misshapen fat fucks in Dunfermline. All pushing buggies with a fag in one hand, a burger in the other and their bairn with a face full of sausage roll.

7. It seems that the new bus station in the redevelopment of the city centre may not be used to it's full potential because Stagecoach are planning to use James Street for only "some of its services". What a waste of money and another concrete carbunkel (or should be busbunkel) awaits future generations of West Fifers. I was however pleased to see John Park MSP say, "It's important they communicate with the public on these matters and don't repeat the mistakes they did when changing services in the eastern expansion recently." A clear reference to Stagecoach's cessation of the only direct bus from the eastern expansion to Edinburgh (X57), which I campaigned to save.

8. Saving the best for last, the biggest story of the week is that the GLW has won the crossword! A family meal for four to the value of £50 at Frankie and Benny's awaits us!

I need to renew my 12-journey £23 ticket tomorrow. I'll be interested to see what ticket the driver tries to sell me. My money's on the wrong one.

I'm applying for a couple more game shows. A new one called "Stumped" with the ubiquitous Chris Tarrant and I've persuaded the GLW to go for "Are You Smarter Than A Ten Year Old?" She has a wider knowledge than me and her experience with the Guides would serve her well.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Saturday 26 January 2008

A spontaneous trip to the Play Planet today for the whole family. The Flickster can run about daft while the GLW and I attempt the Daily Record (1) and Telegraph (2) crosswords. Then it was over to Dobbies to get some plants and a book each. Actually mine was a How To Learn Guitar DVD and book. I’ll be playing “You Made Me Realise” before you know it. To be honest I’d settle for “Can’t Seem To Make You Mine”.

After lunch I spent some time in the garage digging through boxes of tapes looking for some to digitise, during which time the GLW came out to tell me that Havant and Waterlooville had taken the lead at Anfield! Ah, the romance of the FA Cup. I text the news to Joe but he’s at home and knows already. Usually on a Saturday afternoon Joe is at the Hibs game and I’m at home watching the scores come in. If any goalscorers with funny names come up on Sky Sports I text them to Joe. Saturday’s funniest one was John Joe O’Toole. I said, “tool”!

Also on Saturday afternoon, I had the misfortune to witness one of the stupidest things I’ve seen on the road. As I looked out my front window I spotted a grown man riding a mini-moto bike in the middle of my street (which is illegal in itself – the manoeuvre, not the street) whilst holding on to a boy of about 8-10 years of age who was being pulled along on roller blades beside him. I did jump in my car to try and see where they’d gone but they disappeared. I reported it to the police anyway although there wasn’t anything they could do about it then. It’s just in case it happens again. I couldn’t believe anyone could be so stupid, especially on a street prone to boyracers.

Watched “Duel” and then found out that there’s an Edinburgh audition for the second series on Tuesday 5th February and they’re recording at the start of March for four days. As I sent off my application before they started re-advertising I’m hoping I haven’t been missed out.

Sunday 27 January 2008

Up with the lark and off to Tesco for the Sunday papers. I happened to notice that the post box in Tesco now has a sticker covering the Sunday collection, which I assume means that there is no longer such a thing. I’m going to e-mail the Post Office and find out just where I can post a Dunfermline for a Sunday collection. Not like the Post Office to cut back on services. The country’s gone to the dogs and no mistake.

By the time the girls had been dropped off and then collected from church, the competitions and crosswords had pretty much been done. It’s my mother’s birthday on Tuesday (the same day as Roddy Frame) so I decided to visit her with Flick to give her her presents. She’s such a cheery soul – not! But it’s over for another year and I probably won’t see her again until Christmas.
Hideous sight of the day was a normal car with four bright pink hub caps! It was disgusting to the point of distraction.

Monday 28 January 2008

All this week I'm working in another office. We're a bit quiet and two other departments on our floor need some help so we're all mucking in together. A change, as they say, is as good as a rest. Because I actually had some work to do I was busy and the day went quickly. They don't have a radio in the office I'm working in radio but I only shout at it anyway. I did get to take in my own chair, which was specially made for me. It has a longer seat because I have long thighs and not, as some wags suggest, to fit my arse on!

If it's Monday, it's Mastermind, University Challenge and Damages. A quizzer I don't like was on Mastermind tonight and I take no little pleasure in his not winning.

Dave e-mailed me at work and asked for my Top 10 Opening Songs from Albums. I went for:
1. The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
2. The Smiths - Headmaster Ritual
3. The Smiths - Reel Around The Fountain
4. The Pixies - Debaser
5. Television - See No Evil
6. Sonic Youth - Teen Age Riot
7. Radiohead - Airbag
8. Violent Femmes - Blister In The Sun
9. Oasis - Rock 'n' Roll Star
10. Belle and Sebastian - Stars of Track and Field

What floats your boat in the opening-track-on-an-album department?

Friday, January 25, 2008


Wednesday 23 January 2008

WMESB™: No problems today. I received an e-mail yesterday from Stagecoach Fife’s Operations Manager confirming, yet again, that I was correct to ask for the £23 ticket on Monday. I was tempted to inform the D7 driver this morning (the same one as Monday) but he was already running late and I didn’t want to make it worse.

Mentally, I’ve been struggling over the past few days. I’m finding it difficult to get motivated and have been rather listless. I’m sleeping on the bus, both to and from work, which I never do. There’s little work in my office just now and I’m struggling to keep myself occupied during the day.

People are constantly telling me that I’m “wasted here”. I have so much to offer but I just can’t find an employer in the media or broadcasting where I can rekindle my energies. I spend most of my time thinking about projects at home or writing ideas for the Jock n Roll website.

Friday 25 January 2008

WMESB™: Had to wait 35 minutes for a 53 or 55 at the Ferrytoll, during which time I was in agony as I was feeling rather tender in the stomach era. I received another e-mail yesterday from Stagecoach Fife’s Operations Manager and it had me reaching for the hankies:

“We are about to enter into a particularly difficult year and every passenger will be like gold dust. Unlike in England the Scottish Government have frozen Fuel Duty Rebate (a subsidy in effect for bus passengers to enable fares to be kept lower than they should) this will cost the Scottish Bus Industry millions with the rising price of fuel. To this end I think you will find that companys (sic) will be moving to a period of service cuts and larger than inflationary fares increases. It really smacks in the face of the Governments objectives to get people out of there (sic) cars when they then take so much money out of the industry!!”

I think he’s just trying to get me on side before they have another fare hike, sorry, revision and cuts in services. Deep joy.

By the way, when I finally got on the 53 and fished out my mp3 player, what do you think the first track I heard was? That's right, "I Travel" by Simple Minds!! Fast forward.

Current favourite tunes:
1. Candy Payne - A Different You
2. Betty Everett - Getting Mighty Crowded
3. The Icicle Works - Hollow Horse
4. First Class - Beach Baby
5. Eels - Rags To Rags
6. Tammy St. John - Life and Soul of the Party
7. Julie Rogers - Long After Tonight Is Over
8. Ronnie Spector - You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory
9. The Flatmates - Shimmer
10. Railway Children - Brighter

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Tuesday 22 January 2008

WMESB™: No problems today, except for a couple of ditherers, who always seem to be at the front of the queue for the 53 or 55. Make your bloody minds up!!

Talking of public transport, a colleague mentioned she’d seen a piece on GMTV this morning about Stagecoach issuing a leaflet on how to use the bus. I found the article on the Telegraph website. Sadly, the leaflet just comes across as rather patronising, especially to anyone with the slightest semblance of intelligence. Let’s take a look at the advice given:

“When you see your bus approaching the bus stop (check the route number on the front) simply signal for the driver to stop clearly putting your arm out. Wait for the bus to stop and the doors to open and hop onboard!”

The first line is common sense but its amazing how many people don’t do it and are then amazed when a bus drives past them. The driver’s not a mind reader. Of course at some stops into Edinburgh it doesn’t matter if you indicate correctly or not because the bus won’t stop. Usually down to the driver being in the wrong lane and not being bothered to correct his own error. Anyone trying to get on a 53 or 55 at the Garden Court Holiday Inn at Craigleith will know exactly what I mean. As for the hopping?

“Tell the driver where you are going and what type of ticket you require – if you’re ensure then your driver will be able to advise you”

I wouldn’t bet on it. Regular passengers like me know the buses better than the drivers. Although to be fair to them, passengers don’t do enough research of their own into what buses go where and what ticket they might need. If they did the buses might not be delayed so often.

“But please remember you are not the only passenger on the bus, it’s not very nice for people to have to listen to loud music or ringtones, smell other people’s food or wade through their litter. Keep the buses nice for everyone!!”

Individual ringtones can’t be helped but when you have some moron playing every single ringtone to their friend or playing games without the mute button then, as far as I am concerned, they are fair game for a verbal assault of Alex Ferguson hairdryer proportions. People should also ensure that they have good quality earphones so that other passengers don’t have to listen to their shite taste in music. Anyone listening to girl groups, 60s pop, 70s powerpop or 80s indie is obviously exempt.

“If you are unsure about where you have to get off, then simply tell the driver when you get on where you need to be and ask if he can let you know when to get off. If you know where you are going then just press the bell once when you want to get off”.

We only need ONE person to press the bell ONCE. We don’t need a full rendition of The Floral Dance.

There is certainly a missed opportunity and I’d like to add a few suggestions of my own to improve the use of public transport.

If you’re at the front of the queue:
- Be positive and don’t dither. It’s your responsibility to move as soon as your bus comes into view. As the head of the queue, you’re in control and people behind are looking to you for guidance. Don’t wait for the bus to stop before you move because the people behind you will get very irritated and you also risk being overtaken by scourge of the public transport user – the queue-jumper. Having said that, if you don’t move, you’re fair game and will be left behind. It’s survival of the fittest and no room for, er, passengers.

If someone tries to jump the queue:
- Confront them and shame them. Remind them that there is a queue and you’ve not been waiting for half an hour in the cold just for some Johnny-come-lately to saunter past within 10 seconds of arriving at the stop/terminus/park and ride. Back up the person confronting the queue-jumper and they’ll soon take the hint. Unless he’s built like a brick outhouse. Or the driver.

If you’re not sure what bus to get:
- Do some research. Phone the company or visit their website ahead of time. Don’t leave it until the last minute and assume there will be plenty of buses. All this does is delay the bus and upset the regulars who will scowl at you when you finally take your seat. It’s not hard; it’s not rocket science.

Be vigilant:
- Don’t assume the driver knows where he’s going, especially on a route that constantly changes. Passengers in Fife can confirm this. You don’t need a degree in Public Transport Use but it helps.
- Don’t assume the driver knows how to use his ticket machine either. It pays for regular bus users to know what buttons on his machine he should press for your ticket. That way you can inform any new driver that he should actually be pressing “Mega, 8”. What the hell, you might as well drive the bus too so make sure your driving licence is up to date.

- Put your feet on the seats. It’s rude and disgusting. Other passengers have to sit there. Again, shame these people by pointing out what they’re doing. If you see someone else challenging a miscreant, back him or her up. Too many people sit back and do nothing, whilst moaning under their breath…mutter, mutter, youth of today, mutter...
- Assume that every other passenger wants to hear all the dull details of your uninteresting and pointless existence, especially at a Spinal Tap-esque volume of 11. Not all passengers have headphones that they can use to block out your inane ramblings. Pipe down – we don’t care about your kitchen extension or your extended family.
- Get on the bus without having performed some sort of personal hygiene routine. There’s nothing worse than sitting next to someone who has BO or stinks of wee.
- Take up more than one seat. You only have one ticket and it entitles you to ONE seat. If you’re on a rush-hour bus, especially, then ensure that any prospective passenger has some room beside you rather than having to sit all the way home with one butt cheek in the aisle. The same goes for bags. The luggage rack is there for a reason. Use it. Always make a point of asking for a seat that someone has put a bag on.
- Leave your litter on the bus. Take it with you. Most bus stops have a bin so you can drop it off when you get off the bus. Don’t stick it in the Used Tickets receptacle either.
- Jump the queue. It’s rude. Be patient. Prepare to be confronted if you choose this rudest of habits. You’re not better than a murderer and should be treated accordingly.

There, that's the buses sorted out. Which way to Iraq?

Monday, January 21, 2008


Monday 21 January 2008

WMESB™: Another day and another debate with the driver as to which ticket I should be sold. Since time immemorial the 12-journey ticket to Edinburgh has been £23, yet they’re trying to sell me a £22 one. Now, I suspect you’re thinking why not just take the cheapest one? I could but that’s not the point. It’s the WRONG ticket and further underlines the poor communication and training within the Stagecoach organisation. To be fair to this morning’s driver, he was polite and knowledgeable and I didn’t feel like I was being spoken to like an idiot by an idiot, unlike previous drivers.

I was reading some interesting discussions on a popular quiz website forum about the new ITV quiz/game show “Duel”. It seems that the production assistants from the show, made by Ant and Dec’s Gallowgate production company, are trawling quiz forums for “names” and then ruling these people out of the application process because they’re classing them as “professionals”, irrespective of ability. This is an interesting, if somewhat worrying development.

It’s further proof, as if we really needed it, that television is being dumbed down. They don’t want “professionals” or even serial applicants; they want thickos and quiz show virgins (BBC1’s lottery show “In It To Win It” is the perfect example). These production assistants don’t seem to realise that pros and enthusiasts alike inhabit these forums, albeit under pseudonyms. How do they differentiate between the two? Maybe they don’t. Maybe they just make a sweeping judgement and rule out everyone who uses these sites. This is unfair. I use these sites occasionally and I would never class myself as a quiz “pro”. I like quizzes and can probably hold my own on a good night but I’d be well pissed off if I was barred just because I talk about quizzes with other quiz-minded people on an internet forum. Is this Gallowgate’s idea of a transparent and open application process?

It seems that everyone from one particular quiz forum didn’t make it through the application process for the current series. It might be thought of as just a coincidence until one poster, a well-respected quizzer, pointed out that a friend of his in TV had heard about Gallowgate boasting about their sneaky methods.

Of course, most pros would just deny they use these particular quiz forums and blatantly lie on their application form about what shows they’d been on. The pros have been doing this for years and even amateur quizzers will be forced down this route – honesty doesn’t pay, no matter what production assistants say. As far as I’m aware there isn’t a database held of which people have been on which shows (I had a link to a Beeb one but I can’t find the link). As soon as production companies get their heads together and join databases, the pros will be squeezed out. There has never been a better time for the quiz show virgin to start applying. The GLW has only ever done one show and I keep badgering her to apply for shows because she has such a good range of knowledge that she couldn’t fail to succeed.

Maybe this is just part of the game. The companies change the rules and the applicants adapt accordingly - that’s certainly what I do. Like Goodfellas, the moral is to keep your mouth shut and don’t rat on your friends.

Dear BBC1, why wasn’t “Damages” on last night? You get into a Sunday routine of “Kingdom” followed by “Damages” and then the powers that be change it without an explanation. Apparently, it’s on tonight instead, along with Mastermind and University Challenge. Can you imagine if they dumbed down University Challenge? Jeremy Paxman would lose it big time. Mind you, he's too busy getting his knickers in a twist with Marks and Spencers over their underwear.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Wednesday 16 January 2008

WMESB™: Four people on today. The driver sold the guy in front of me the wrong ticket but I couldn’t be bothered to tell either of them. Another girl got on at the Crematorium and complained that an earlier bus hadn’t appeared. Welcome to Stagecoach. Again, I just managed to catch a 55 and spent the first few minutes, as usual, unravelling the headphones of my mp3 player.

Despite my low mood, I’m cheered up somewhat by seeing my Top 5 Girl Group piece in today’s Scotsman. I shall be signing fish suppers wrapped in it over the next few days at your nearest Brattisani’s.

Yesterday, Yazz and Dingo (sitting in for Boogie and Jill) on Forth One were reading out texts and e-mails from people who had found things in their food. One person e-mailed to say that he’d once found a pencil in his burger. I contacted them to suggest he should put some HB sauce on it! The GLW said it made her day.

Last night I didn’t really achieve much and just flicked between the channels. I ended up watching Taggart, which I hadn’t seen for years, and quite enjoyed it. Well, okay you can hardly describe a show with a murder rate of 1 every 15 minutes as “enjoyable” but you know what I mean). Also watched “Shameless”, which really has gone off the boil somewhat. It’s still watchable but by the high standards of the first couple of series it’s gone right downhill.

I wrote to the Official Charts Company to try and find out the Top 20 selling Scottish singles of all-time (excluding Rod Stewart). I suspect they might want to charge for such information but if you don’t ask…(Stop Press: They couldn’t provide the details because accurate sales data between the 50s and 80s is difficult to get hold of. Still, he (Phil) was nice about it. I also asked about the top selling Scottish records, excluding Rod Stewart, and the Top 3 he gave me was Wet Wet Wet’s “Love Is All Around”, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards’ “Amazing Grace” and Rod the Mod’s “Sailing”. What does that trio say about Scottish music?)

There’s a Valentine’s quiz at work on 13 February but my attempts to bring together a crack squad are being thwarted. The GLW, a banker for the celeb gossip/royal family/handbag questions, is unavailable for selection and my second choice is on holiday. It may well be a case of not playing at all, rather than play with a “lesser” squad. I’ve already insulted one of my colleagues by suggesting that she may not of the quiz quality I’m looking for. “You don’t choose to play with Ronaldo; Ronaldo chooses to play with you!” is what I might have said to her had she not stormed off in a strop!

Only half through January and the social calendar is building and my diary is filling. Naturally, the first thing to go into my new Collins 2008 diary is the remaining football fixtures and the big sporting events of the year. Names and addresses follow (after some thoughtful weeding of those I don’t see or speak to anymore) and then the tickets start being bought for shows. So far it’s “Dr. Doolittle” (with The Flickster) and “Eurobeat”, both at the King’s in Edinburgh. A trip down south for a christening has been abandoned as it’s been too short notice to do any wheeling and dealing and the costs, whichever way we go or travel, are prohibitive. We’re also off to see “The Black Watch” and Frankie Boyle and there’s a 50th birthday party (not mine thankfully) and a wedding. Throw in the Eurovision Song Contest, the Tour de France and Euro 2008 and you have a schedule filling up quite nicely thank you very much.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


It's Brits time again. My predictions/desired outcomes are in BOLD and my comments are in italics.

British Male Solo Artist

Jamie T, Mark Ronson, Mika , Newton Faulkner, Richard Hawley

Mark Ronson to pip Richard Hawley but only due to a bigger profile/more hits. Newton who? Get you hair cut, son. Is Jamie T Mr T’s son?

British Female Solo Artist

Bat For Lashes, Kate Nash, KT Tunstall, Leona Lewis, PJ Harvey

Kate to get it ahead the X Factor karaoke queen. Bat for Lashes? Aren’t there four of them? PJ Harvey is obviously the new Kate Bush when it comes to Brits nominations.

British Group

Arctic Monkeys, Editors, Girls Aloud, Kaiser Chiefs, Take That

Personally I would have gone for the Arctic Monkeys but I think Take That’s strong body of work during their comeback will swing it. Girls Aloud? Fuck off. Kaiser Chiefs? Aren't they just the new Herman's Hermits?

Mastercard British Album

Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare, Leona Lewis – Spirit, Mark Ronson – Version, Mika – Life In Cartoon Motion, Take That – Beautiful World

Again I think it’ll be the Arctic Monkeys versus Take That, with Take That winning again.

British Breakthrough Act
(Top Five Selected By The Academy. Winner Chosen By Radio 1 Listeners)

Bat For Lashes, Kate Nash, Klaxons, Leona Lewis, Mika

Kate Nash to win this ahead of Mika and that Lewis woman.

British Live Act
(Nominees Chosen By A Panel Of Experts In Association With The Live Music Forum. Winner Chosen By Radio 2 Listeners).

Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs, Klaxons, Muse, Take That

Arctic Monkeys to be compensated for not winning the Best Group or Album with this award.

British Single
(Nominees Voted For By UK Commercial Radio Station Listeners And The Sun Bizarre Column Readers. Winner Chosen Live On The Night).

Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love, Mika – Grace Kelly, Take That – Shine, Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby, Sugababes – About You Now, Mark Ronson Ft Amy Winehouse – Valerie, Kate Nash – Foundations, The Hoosiers – Worried About Ray, James Blunt – 1973, Mutya Buena – Real Girl
They haven’t even selected Take That or Mutya Buena’s best singles of 2007! My personal choice would be Foundations but Kate’s accent will split her vote, in which case I would plump for The Sugarbabes. However, I think “Bleeding Love” will take the gong on account of her dominance towards the end of the year – unfortunately.

International Male Solo Artist

Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West, Michael Buble, Rufus Wainwright, Timbaland

I suspect Kanye West will win this but his music leaves me very cold, although footballers seem to love him. They may even give it to whoever makes the trip over to play live.

International Female Solo Artist

Alicia Keys, Bjork, Feist, Kylie Minogue, Rihanna

Rihanna to win this even though she’s known for that one nippy song. Is it just me or do Bjork and/or Kylie get nominated every year in this category, irrespective of output? See also Kate Bush/PJ Harvey.

International Group

Arcade Fire, Eagles, Foo Fighters, Kings Of Leon, White Stripes

Tricky one this one and I think it’s down to the Foo Fighters and Arcade Fire. I’ll go for Dave Grohl’s gang, if only because I prefer them.

International Album

Arcade Fire – Neon Bible, Eagles – Long Road Out Of Eden, Foo Fighters – Echoes Silence Patience & Grace, Kings Of Leon – Because Of The Times, Kylie Minogue – X

Arcade Fire to get this one to compensate for not winning International Group although I suspect one artist may win both if can’t be there in person to collect the award(s)

Critics’ Choice Award



Outstanding Contribution to Music

Sir Paul McCartney

Obviously the biggest star they could get to play live on the night. Yeah, he probably deserves it but when was the last time that he actually made a decent record?

I was going to leave my Brits predictions as a standalone Blog entry but then I got wound up by something at work – something I must share with you all.

We have an Intranet site at work and there is a Feedback page where staff can make comments/complaints about various topics. Over the past few days one particular subject has been discussed a lot (I won’t go into details) but one thing about the discussions that has wound me up is the fact that some of the entries have been made, completely, in block capitals. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! Sorry, aaarrrggghhh!!!

As is my want, and right, I posted an entry making the point about it been classed as “shouting” and that if people wanted their comments to be taken seriously and read they should make their entries in a more accessible fashion. Block capitals, piss poor spelling and appalling grammar is not the way to do it. With the reaction of some people you’d have thought that I’d shot the Queen!! I’ve had two personal attacks, with one branding me as a “vulture” and another says that I have been “undermining the views expressed”. I haven’t undermined any views, only the way they’ve been made. Don’t people have standards anymore?

My brother is a teacher and he says they’re not allowed to correct pupils’ poor spelling anymore. I think that’s appalling. He says that some of his current class of 12 year olds can barely write, let alone spell. What is the education system coming to? No discipline and no basic skills is a recipe for disaster. The GLW is horrified by some of the application forms she has to sift through when looking for new staff. Whilst spellcheckers are by no means perfect there’s no excuse for not running an application or presentation through one to “tidy” things up.
People, you can't live with them and you can't live with them.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Friday 11 January 2008

No bus problems to report this morning - only a slight delay after getting over the bridge due to a nice little five-car pile-up.

Last night I went up to Carnegie College to get details of an 8-week Dreamweaver course. The Jock ‘n’ Roll website is made using Dreamweaver 8 (after an interesting phase as a Blue Peter-esque Microsoft Publisher project!!) but I only really know enough to do the basics. I’d love to be able to do more.

The only TV I watched last night was “Never Mind The Buzzcocks, which featured the ravishingly lovely Lauren Laverne. I could listen to her to read the obituaries.

This week’s Dunfermline (De)Press contains the usual misery. The front-page headline story is about a 9-stone man who was attacked and thrown against a wall by a 21-stone man. The victim now has “cognitive problems” and the judge’s sentence was 300 hours of community service. Judge Lord Brodie also said, and this kind of statement makes me so angry, that the victim should not receive any compensation because Miller would not be able to afford to pay the appropriate figure!! Un-bloody-believable.

They didn’t bother printed my story about the continuing problems of overflowing post boxes. Maybe it’ll take a theft for something to be done about it.

There’s also a great letter on the Letters page (best place for a letter methinks) about West Fife being "the most dismal place in the world". The (De)Press are obviously trying to provoke a reaction from locals by making the headline in a very big font of sensationalist proportions. "West Fife's a virtual monoculture; middle class is a filthy term; having as little as a Barratt house gets you branded a "snob"", says the writer. Couldn't agree more although if the poor locals had the misfortune to stay in a Barratt house like me they'd return to their local housing association list quicker than you can say '20 B and H and a bottle of Buckie'.

My expenses cheque came through from Brainbox Challenge. I must say that of all the shows I’ve done they pre- and post-show care has been excellent. Some other production companies could learn a lot from them.

I got an e-mail this morning from the Institute of Sales Promotions, which confirmed that I was right to tell Forth One that their running of their “Just The Job” competition in November/December was unfair. To recap, this was my original query to the ISP:

“Two players are up against each other. Each is asked, in turn, a (different) question and assuming they are both right (or both wrong) the quiz then goes into “sudden death”. According to the rules of the station concerned, if Player A gets his next question wrong then Player B is automatically deemed to be the winner without answering another question. I think that this is unfair on Player A. For example, in a football penalty shoot out that goes to “sudden death”, even if Team A misses their kick Team B still has to score to win it.

What are you views on the fairness or otherwise of this quiz/competition? I’ve argued with the station that the quiz is unfair on the Player A. They even admit themselves that Player B has a “slight advantage”. By the way, I am only involved in this as a listener and not as a contestant.”

I am glad that I’m been proved right because one particular individual at Forth One was particularly dismissive of my concerns. They seem to have forgotten that it wasn’t just television that was involved in the scandals of 2007. I'll e-mail them on Monday...


Monday 14 January 2008

…but not enough to shoot all my colleagues…

I had Saturday to myself as the girls headed off to the ballet of “Sleeping Beauty”. I did some quality ‘pottering’. Went into Dunfermline to get a haircut and a new watch until I realised I had no money, or at least not enough. My neighbour informed me that person or persons unknown had keyed his car between Christmas and New Year and it wasn’t just one scrape, it was several. Bastards.

The replacement Tigger arrived from Ravensburger and it worked perfectly. I must thank them for their prompt response and good customer service. I may be the first to complain about poor service but I’m always the first to thank people for good service too – as it should be. I’m still awaiting responses from DFS, about their advert, and Channel 4 about their “Fingers on Buzzers" game, which we’ve already returned to Amazon.

As a keen quizzer, I watched the Beeb's Lotto show “In It To Win It” and it is the closest I’ve got to forcing my foot through the television in a long time. The dumbing down of the BBC is complete with the thickest set of contestants I’ve ever had the misfortune to witness. One contestant, let’s call him “Daz”, didn’t know that “Sun Coast” was a translation of “Costa del Sol” or that “The Joshua Tree” and “Rattle and Hum” were albums by U2. All the more remarkable when you consider that Daz is some sort of “entertainments officer”.

Daz eventually got bumped back to the start and at the end, when the balls had to choose between him and David, who’d waited patiently for his turn, they threw up a pink ball and Daz was back. I really felt for David, especially as Daz was jumping about rather disrespectfully in front of him. Not to worry as Daz and another male got their questions wrong and £45k was split between two women. They don’t get off Scot-free though because one was thicker than a thick thing with a degree in thickness from the university of thick (she didn’t know that Hibernian played at Easter Road and she couldn’t even pronounce Kilmarnock) and the other one was a bit of a hustler as she hammed it up just a little bit too much at the end as she got an easy question right to collect her £22,500. Also, Dale’s “old queen” routine is getting rather tiresome.

Contrast “In It To Win It” with the “Celebrity Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” where Patrick McGuinness and Peter Kay did all they could to undermine the format (e.g. distracting Chris Tarrant whilst pulling out a mobile phone). Unfortunately too many wasted lifelines and they blew a chance of £20k to fall back to £1000. Even having Egghead Kevin Ashman as their Phone A Friend couldn’t prevent their meltdown. However, it was funny and will no doubt be one of the TV highlights of 2008 come December.

I’ve been engrossed in Sid Waddell’s book about darts, “Bellies and Bullseyes - The Outrageous True Story of Darts”, and I haven’t read a book so avidly since Andrew Collins’ “That’s Me In The Corner”. (The book has just been nominated in the biography section of the British Sports Book Awards). Unlike all those films that are fraudulently advertised as “laugh-out loud funny” this book is the real deal. You don’t even have to be a darts fan. As a kid growing up with a dartboard in my room, I was always a big fan and the book brought back memories of names I’d thought I’d forgotten: Ceri Morgan, Alan Glazier, Paul Lim, Allan Evans and man-mountain Cliff Lazarenko. Did you know that Sid Waddell was actually “voice of the balls” for the National Lottery in 1999? He lasted one show. He believes he was sacked for being “too Geordie”!

Sunday morning was spent doing the comps and crosswords, as usual, and by the time I finished them all and posted them at the Sorting Office there were 14 envelopes.

Sunday night found us watching “Kingdom” (ITV) and then “Damages” (BBC1). As most of ITV’s Sunday night input tends to be a variation of Where The Heartbeat Royal Is, “Kingdom” is a refreshing change and, as far as I’m concerned, anything with Stephen Fry in it will always be watchable. “Damages” is an American legal show starring Glenn Close and it has so much going on that I daren’t missed an episode. There are a lot of flashbacks and flash-forwards, which are easy enough to follow.

This week I’ve been listening to three Eels albums that I’d almost forgotten I had. A dip into the Es in the CD shelves usually means Even As We Speak or Echo and the Bunnymen. As a result I’m keen to get the new Eels releases, one a Greatest Hits and the other a B-sides and rarities compilation. I told you, I’m so far behind the times. Next week, I’ll start getting into that new Liverpool band The Beatles!!

The other 4 CDs on the 5-CD changer have been The Wedding Present’s “Hit Parade 2”, Matthew Sweet’s “In Reverse”, The Raveonettes“Chain Gang of Love” and “1 x20 (red)”, an “indie” compilation from back in the day.

Following on from the e-mail from the Institute of Sales Promotions, I passed on their findings to Forth One this morning and again, rather cheekily, offered my services to help out on quizzes and competitions. I suspect they won’t entertain me but if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I trust this time I won’t just get a “noted” response, which irked me somewhat last time.

This week's favourite tunes:

1. Wedding Present - Go Go Dancer
2. Eels - It's A Motherfucker
3. Close Lobsters - I'm Going To Heaven To See If It Rains
4. Matthew Sweet - Write Your Own Song
5. The Raveonettes - Little Animal

One word...magic darts!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Tuesday 8 January 2008

WMESB™: Three, including me, and the other two got off at Rosyth. At least today the bus went the right way. I avoided the problems of yesterday’s X57 because, thankfully, it was late today and I got a 55 instead - an altogether more “enjoyable” journey into work.

After the traumas of yesterday morning, I scrounged an evening lift home from a colleague (thanks Louise), who, rather ironically, informed me that her dad is a Stagecoach bus driver! Still not had a reply from Steve Walker yet. I would suggest that he’s probably stuck on a bus somewhere but he told me once that he doesn’t use the bus because, and this always kills me, he gets “motion sickness”!

Monday night, as usual, means University Challenge and last night’s was a high scoring contest, even for the GLW and I. No other TV of note.

I’ve not been one for resolutions but I have resolved to use my time more constructively. I start off with good intentions and then usually end up playing iPool. Although I did some work last night and wrote a Top 5 Girl Groups for Claire at The Scotsman. (For information, I plumped for The Shangri-las, The Crystals, The Go Gos, Fanny and The Runaways). I’ve also made a promise to read more. I have so many books to read that I won’t get to if I don’t pull my finger out. I’m nearly finished “Guitar Man” by Will Hodgkinson and I think I’ll move on to Sid Waddell’s book about darts (insert name here) next.


Thursday 10 January 2008

I took the day off yesterday. I woke up to the news on Radio Scotland, only to hear that only cars, at the time, were being allowed over the Forth Road Bridge due to the horrendous weather. Our double-glazing was rattling and I took that as a sign to stay at home. As it turned out, it was the correct decision as the Bridge was closed to all vehicles later in the day and didn’t open until about 10pm.

Wednesday on the telly was very much Consumer Awareness Night. Martyn Lewis, of the excellent Money Saving Expert website, now has a show on Five called “It Pays To Watch”, then at 8 I switched over to "Watchdog" on BBC1, which was immediately followed by "Scotland’s Property Nightmare", which was all about the licence-to-print-money industry of the property management companies.

The latter programme, in particular, was of special interest as we are having problems with our property management company. Our factors, Life Property Management, didn’t bill us for three years and now they appear to making up for lost time. They told us at a meeting in (insert month) that we would only receive two bills a year (we had three in 2007) and that if payment weren’t made we would receive a 14-day letter and then a 7-day letter. We delayed our last payment because we had a number of queries about our bill (the call has been returned) and we received a letter demanding payment within 5 days! What made it worse was that it was sent 2nd class and during a postal strike!!

At the aforementioned meeting, they never gave a straight answer to some of the deeper questions and just came across as a couple of dodgy used-car salesmen. It seems that we have to pay for absolutely everything and they have no financial responsibility of their own. The current bill includes a charge for a “No Ball Games” sign. We received no notification of this and we weren’t even asked if we wanted it.

Another problem is that The Paddock area has been lumped together with the neighbouring Atholl Brae area, even though there is a clear delineation between the two, namely three ponds. (We’re also paying for the maintenance of the ponds even though there is an ongoing court case as to who actually owns them). So if a hedge at the far end of Atholl Brae needs trimming then everyone in Atholl Brae AND The Paddock (and a couple of smaller areas) has to pay for it!! I don’t mind paying for maintenance in my own local area, even if I don’t utilise it, but why should I pay for work carried out in another area a mile away?

I suspect this will be my campaign of the year, to try and unite the areas and have LPM binned. I’ll set up a website forum first, publicise it and take it from there. I just hope it doesn’t descend into farce like the last forum in the area, which resulted in name-calling, legal threats and general small-mindedness.

On a BBC “Have Your Say” forum, relating to last night’s programme, Patricia Ferguson, MSP for Glasgow Maryhill, has asked for people to take part in a consultation in relation a Bill she wants to put through Parliament relating to a Register of Factors and the introduction of a mediation service. If interested, you can e-mail her at: Patricia.Ferguson.MSP@Scottish.Parliament.UK

I’ve thought about setting up my own property management company. I’d call it the DEX Factors. They’re certainly a licence to print money, even more so than the Royal Mint.

Monday, January 07, 2008



I had really hoped that this year would be different and I wouldn't have to write to you so often but, here we go, the first day back at work and I have not one, not two but three complaints/queries!

1. The driver on the D7 this morning once again tried to sell me the £22 ticket instead of the Mega-8 £23 ticket. I insisted on the £23 ticket. It seems the problem we discussed before has not been resolved (14 Dec).
2. The driver then went the wrong way. After Rosyth, he turned towards Inverkeithing and insisted that this was the way he was told to go! It's supposed to go direct to the Ferrytoll.
3. The driver of the X57 didn't want to stop at the Learmonth Hotel. Again, I insisted as you had told me that all the depots had been informed that it was to stop there. He then tried to tell me that it didn't even say X57 on the bus stop. Notwithstanding the long-running problems with the numbering on stops by Edinburgh Council, I pointed out to him that it did actually say X57, right next to 57!

It's bad enough returning to work after two weeks off but I really could do without this stress before I even get to work. Please sort this out. I shouldn't have to worry about whether I'm going to get the right ticket, go the right way and get off at the right stop before I even set foot on the bus.



One day into the new working year, one bloody day, and I encounter three bus problems in one morning! I felt like screaming! The above missive was dispatched to Steve Walker, the Operations Manager. I await his reply with interest. I've got to win a car...soon...

Sunday, January 06, 2008


In 12 hours it'll be back to work and it's fair to say I'm not looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to having some new music to listen to on the bus(es) and some new books too but work, nah, I'd happily give it a miss. Something has to happen this year, in terms of a new job. It's got to or I might as well throw myself off one of the 47 bridges across the Forth.

Saturday's Scotsman carried the piece about music at work. Claire Smith had phoned for an idea about some appropriate pro and anti-work songs and some of my suggestions made the article, as well as a quote from yours truly on behalf of the Jock 'n' Roll website. Perhaps these occasional contributions will lead on to something more interesting in terms of employment. Only time will tell.

The new year is only five minutes old and I've already sent off some complaint e-mails! What am I like? The first one, more of an observation than a complaint, was to DFS to point out that their recent advert, which feature an Eskimo and a penguin is the mother of all continuity errors. Why? Because Eskimos, unless lost on a Stagecoach bus service, live in the Arctic and penguins frequent the Antarctic. The penguins in Edinburgh Zoo are obviously the exception that proves the rule. I did ask them if I'd won a free sofa for pointing it out!! I've got more neck than a bag of giraffes. I'll let you know what DFS say.

I also let rip at Channel 4 about their "Fingers on Buzzers" interactive DVD game, which I mentioned recently. Not only is their television advert misleading (families are forced to huddle round the game because the wires on the buzzers are so short yet the ad gives the impression that you can sit a long way from the telly) but the reviews on Amazon are very dodgy, with a massive of positive reviews that appear to be form Channel 4 employees or PR people on behalf of them. again, I'll keep you posted on any response.

Place your bets on my first complaint to Stagecoach will be. I reckon by the end of the week.

The Dunfermline (De)Press didn't print the overflowing post boxes story, preferring instead to repeat stories form the past 12 months, so I passed it on to Kevin Keane, the Fife correspondent at BBC Online.

Today's News of the World didn't have a single competition in it!! What's that all about it? I usually buy it for contrast with the Mail and Express (both of which have plenty of crosswords) but if they're binning the comps I'll get one of those broadsheets that has 74 supplements instead.

Having driven for over three months I'd now like to list my five biggest bugbears:
1. People who don't indicate, especially at roundabouts. Are they now option extras?
2. People who peep at me after a nanosecond if I haven't moved off quick enough at the lights. Can't you see the big green P?
3. People who use their mobile phone while driving. I always wag my finger at them. Sometimes they wag a finger back!
4. Boy/girl racers and old-enough-to-know-better-racers.
5. Tailgaters. Get your full beams out of my mirror toss wanks (my friend Tracey's favourite swear when driving)

I've sent off forms for "Deal Or No Deal" and "Only Connect" so we should hear from them soon and I'm still awaiting delivery of another "Bounce Bounce Tigger" game (to give it it's correct title) and my prize for winning the Mojo crossword. I was sooo disappointed when the postie walked straight past the house on Saturday afternoon. Another thing to look forward to are our neighbours moving. They're as welcome as a trapdoor in a canoe. As soon as they go we're putting up a little wire fence around our lawn so that the new neighbours are in no doubt as to where our property ends and theirs starts.

Dave, co-founder of the Jock 'n' Roll site, sent me a list of sid Waddellisms and here are the pick of them:

· "He's got a heart as big as Moby Dick!"
· "That's the greatest comeback since Lazarus."
· "Bristow reasons ... Bristow quickens ... Aaahhhhh, Bristow."
· "Jocky Wilson ... what an athlete."
· "He's about as predictable as a wasp on speed."
· "When Alexander of Macedonia was 33 he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer - Bristow is only 27"
· “That was like throwing three pickled onions into a thimble!”
· “Look at the man go, its like trying to stop a water buffalo with a pea-shooter”
· “The atmosphere is so tense, if Elvis walked in with a portion of chips, you could hear the vinegar sizzle on them”
· "Cliff is off and looking for something yellow in a tall glass - and I don’t mean daffodils."
· “It's like trying to pin down a kangaroo on a trampoline”
· “Well as giraffes say, you don't get no leaves unless you stick your neck out”
· “His eyes are bulging like the belly of a hungry chaffinch”
· “It's the nearest thing to public execution this side of Saudi Arabia.”
· “His physiognomy is that of a weeping Madonna.”
· “Under that heart of stone beat muscles of pure flint.”
· “He looks about as happy as a penguin in a microwave.”
· “He's been burning the midnight oil at both ends.”
· “That's like giving Dracula the keys to the blood bank”
· “As they say at the DHSS, we're getting the full benefit here.”
· “There hasn't been this much excitement since the Romans fed the Christians to the Lions.”
· “The players are under so much duress, it's like duressic park out there!”
· “This lad has more checkouts than Tescos.”
· “John Lowe is striding out like Alexander the Great conquering the Persians”
· “There's only one word for that - magic darts!”
· “Keith Deller's not just an underdog, he's an underpuppy!”
· “I don't know what he's had for breakfast but Taylor knocked the Snap, Crackle and Pop outta Bristow”
· “Steve Beaton - The adonis of darts, what poise, what elegance - a true roman gladiator with plenty of hair wax.”
· “Eat your heart out Harold Pinter, we've got drama with a capital D in Essex.”
· “If we'd had Phil Taylor at Hastings against the Normans, they'd have gone home.”
· “He's playing out of his pie crust.”
· “They won't just have to play outta their skin to beat Phil Taylor. They'll have to play outta their essence!”
· “Darts players are probably a lot fitter than most footballers in overall body strength.”
· “There's no one quicker than these two tungsten tossers... ”
· “Look at him as he takes his stance, like he has been sculptured, whereas Bobby George is like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
· “He's playing like Robin Hood in the Nottingham super league”
· “Phil Taylor's got the consistency of a planet ... and he's in a darts orbit!”
· “The atmosphere is a cross between the Munich Beer Festival and the Colosseum when the Christians were on the menu.”
· “Jocky Wilson, he comes from the valleys and he's chuffing like a choo-choo train!”
· “He's like d'Artagnan at the scissor factory.”
· “Steve Beaton, he's not Adonis, he's THE donis”
· "If he had a hedgehog in his hand and aimed for bull it would probably bounce out"
· "I can't believe my geordie eyes!"
· "It's like watching a one-legged ostrich trying to lay an egg..... on a crutch!"
· "I fancy him more than a fat mouse in a cat factory".
· "It's so quiet you can hear the fat drip from a chip".
· "He might have palm trees on his shirt, but he's got a tropical draught on the tungsten".
· "He's sweating like a donkey in a sauna".

As Fred Trueman use to say on Indoor League, "I'll see thee..."

Friday, January 04, 2008


Good news: Ravensburger are going to send us another "Tigger Tigger Bounce" game. I just hope it works. Anyway, it shows that it does pay to complain, especially if you're polite. Good customer service on their part too.

Bad news: The Dunfermline (De)Press is still as parochial as ever. There's no sign of the story I gave them about the overflowing postboxes and yet this week's issue is a cop-out with stories from the last 12 months and very little by way of actual news.

Good news: Two of the three CDs I ordered from Amazon (to compensate for only getting one CD for Christmas) have arrived. I ordered Candi Payne's "I Wish I Could Have Loved You More", which will arrive soon but the postie made by day by bringing "Dreambabes Vol 8 - Stockingtop Pop" (aka the musical subsection known as "brass and birds") and another Mod compilation called "Take My Tip (25 Sixties Mod Gems)". "Dreambabes 8" is more of the same as previous volumes although it is more set in the 70s.

Bad news: The Scottish Football Association's decision (or should that be non-decision) to only cancel some of the games in the wake of Phil O'Donnell's tragic death.

Good news: Claire from The Scotsman phoned me today to pick my brains about any songs that might fit into the category of Pro-Work or Anti-Work. The first one came to mind was Cilla Black's "Work Is A Four Letter Word" (from Dreambabes Vol 2). She said that I was becoming her "musical source", which was a nice thing to say.

Bad news: Watched The Simpsons movie, which Santa brought me, and I was somewhat underwhelmed by it. It was good but not that good. still, it came with a free spider pig.

Good news: I've applied for two more quiz/game shows today. At long last, there's been another casting call for "Deal Or No Deal". It was on the show this afternoon and not unsurprisingly the website was bombarded and the server went down. I tried later on, filled in the form and sent it off with a reasonable picture. Fingers crossed. The other show is one called "Only Connect". It's a pilot, to be filmed in Cardiff, with posh totty Victoria Coren.

Bad news: Only three days until I'm back at work. Deep joy.

Good news: Did my bit for recycling by updating our Christmas card list (for next year - whose in and whose binned) and split the cards so that the fronts can be reused as postcards for competitions. Sometimes we serrate the edges too. also went to our local "civic amenity" to dump our old PC and DVD player, which has finally packed in. We can't complain because it's about 7 years old and we won it in a competition. I went to Tesco Extra in Corstorphine and got a replacement one (a Phillips) for less than £30. I also got myself a CD Walkman for under £7!! £7 - that's ridiculous.

Bad news: Went to Asda in Dunfermline to get two copies of the Simon and Garfunkel collection box set, which had been priced at £9.77 before Christmas. My worst fears were realised when I found it, but with no price. I asked the girl in the Electrical department for a price and was greeted with "£14.97, is that alright?" "No, it bloody isn't", thought I. I thanked her and left. I then went to PC world to get CD labels as I couldn't find any in the study (I'd made a compilation for Hazel's birthday, the 31st, and I needed to finish it off before I could post it). PC World, a place I detest, didn't have what I wanted and certainly not at the price I wanted. Sure enough I go to Tesco Extra and they have what I want and at another crazy price.

Good news: I'm not making any resolutions. I do need to lose some weight but I don't smoke (well, not for a couple of years) and I don't drink too much. I just want to get a new job, preferably in a more creative environment. Only time will tell.

Bad news: I still haven't finished The Herald's Christmas Crossword (not even close, in fact) and I'm frustratingly close to completely the NME Christmas Quiz. I only need 6 - three pictures of indie star' teeth and three quotes from NME interviews in 2007. Just in case any readers know them, here they are:

1. "No song and dance, it's not a big deal, it's just a piece of music"
2. "I don't recommend anyone getting stabbed. It's shit"
4. "My first thought was I'd shoot him down with some choice words, but in the end I resorted to violence".

I've sent an e-mail to the co-writer of the quiz, who I know, offering sexual favours but I haven't heard back from him!

Here's to an interesting 2008 - Happy New Year one and all.