King's Lynn 2016

December 2016
Since I have been home all day pretending to be busy I have been bothered daily, sometimes twice a day, by telephone calls on my landline, by dodgy, usually Asian sounding, men who want to talk to me about my:
  • My recent car accident – never had one, told him I don’t drive, he hung up without another word
  • Microsoft engineer wanting to talk about my corrupted computer – told him I use Apple, he hung up without another word
  • Man called Dan (a well known Indian name apparently!), he wanted to talk to me about the problem with my telephone line – I hung up.
  • Another man called, I didn’t get his name due to his thick accent, he wanted to know if I want to block people spamming me with fake/marketing telephone calls? – Guess their greed overcome the irony of the situation – I hung up.
I am registered on the Telephone Preference Service, but it’s not made any difference; the thing is, when I tell some of them I’m not interested they get aggressive and challenge me.
Most people, no, scrap that, all people I know bar one, have a key chain /ring with their house keys and car keys etcetera. Not a certain person I know, he has two separate lots of keys; one bunch is his house keys; and the other, his car key.
He doesn’t always put them down in the same place when he comes back from work, and quite often puts the car key in a separate place to the house keys. This leads to him playing to a game called ‘Where’s my keys’, and after some few minutes or so the next round starts, which is called ‘Where’s my fucking keys’; this is swiftly followed by the final round called ‘Fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck, ooh, there they are, exactly where I left them!’
New annoying thing is home deliveries; people in the street are out working so the delivery man knocks on my door and asks if I’ll hold it, and he’ll put a card through the letter box of the recipient. So far, my record for holding parcels is 9 days for two parcels containing furniture, they were both close to my size, and that’s big. Still, look on the bright side, I’ve been here for 6 years (on and off) and it’s getting me to meet some of my neighbours for the first time.
The other day I was making a stir fry and put too much Fish sauce in. For a split second I thought it was Worcestershire sauce and just walloped it in. Imagine what it smells like when a woman doesn’t wash her lady’s parts for about a month, that’s what both my dinner and whole house smelt like for the next couple of hours.
More cooking things – the other day I made a bacon sandwich and decided to splash out on a healthy alternative to normal smoked bacon, and I bought Danish Smoked Bacon Medallions
Look at the photographs on the photo page and look at all the crap that came out of the bacon, and supermarkets wonder why they are losing the trust of the people.  As an aside to this I complained to Tesco’s who said they said they would send me a two-pound voucher to compensate and they would investigate and get back to me. Below is the text from the email I sent to Tesco’s Complaints Dept:
Sir, madam, I have just bought a pack of Danish Smoked Bacon Medallions from your King’s Lynn store, and I am horrified by the amount of muck that came out of them while they were cooking. First it was a liberal amount white paste that was more than a little reminiscent of semen, indeed, if I didn’t have such a craving for a bacon buttie, I would have thought twice about putting something that looked strongly like ejaculate in my mouth. Then came the water which spread the semen stuff around the pan. As the bacon medallions cooked the white stuff then started to char down in to a black and brown paste and finally in to a disgusting burnt covering of the pan. Please explain to me how; a, this is natural, and b, how this cannot be messing up my insides? I have photographs, or you can test this yourself. I look forward to your reply.
I got the voucher, which was put towards the Christmas dinner, but a month down the line I haven’t heard anything about the amount of creepy sperm in my bacon
My sister, Father, niece and her boyfriend came over Christmas day for dinner, and I bought the five-bird roast from Aldi, and too be honest, it was great; much better than dry old turkey.  Once we’d all sat down and started eating my sister asked why I hadn’t made stuffing. Bollocks! I had! I went and recovered some burnt and dried out stuffing from the bottom of the oven and dished it out.
A minute or so later someone else asked why there were no yorkies. Bollocks, again! back to the oven I went and retrieved the yorkies and dished them out. Problem was, everyone had already filled their plate and so ended up having a rather sad rapidly deflating yorkie perched on top of their dinner.
The next problem was Lacey, I looked at her plate and asked her why she hadn’t piled it up? She told me she was a vegetarian. Bollocks! I had forgotten. So, she had a minimal plate of veg. This was because the Brussels sprouts were cooked with smoked bacon and the spuds were done in goose fat.
I’m on Tinder now thanks to a drunken evening in Friends Tavern with Sarah, Inna and Julie*. I am amazed at how many women put pictures of their pets on there instead of themselves; or more disturbingly, the number who have pictured of themselves with their daughters, what goes through their minds when they post that: “I know, I’ll stick a picture of me with my daughter and see if I can appeal to a pedo, because he’ll be so much better than whatever I had before.”
*Julie and Sarah’s husbands were there, and as for Inna, she’s in a relationship and apparently, she’s too good for me, so she’s safe.
November 2016
Craig, my lodger, and I mark the milk in the fridge with our names, this is because we both swig from the bottle/container and since we are unwilling to swap spit in bed, we are also unwilling to swap saliva via the medium of plastic 2 to 4 pint containers.  Craig has now taken things to their next level with a new glyph, that makes his bottle tops super cool. See photos for an example.
I have decided to cut out milk as I want to lose weight, and I’ll be honest it’s easier to cut out liquid dairy products than scotch, so I bought some Almond Milk. It was okay, but all you can do with it is put it on cereal or neck-it.  Whilst standing there sucking the contents out, I saw the ingredients and being bored decided to put on my glasses and read the stupidly small text and made a discovery.
The list of ingredients is in order: Water, Sugar, Almonds (2%), etc, etc. In what world is this Almond Milk?  The main ingredients are water and sugar; so why is it not called Sugar Water with one fucking almond dropped in as an afterthought. Are they going to try this con with other legumes?
Also, where does the Milk in the title come from? If there was milk or soya, then I could understand the Milk reference, but the other ingredients, before anything else is calcium and then salt.  How can this be legal, it’s like me being called a sex object, I contain some of the ingredients; two legs, two arms, and abdominals. In fact, a surplus of abdominals, but only a blind person tripping on an LSD tab could consider me a sex object.
The other weekend Matthew, me, Pat and Julie went to Leeds Armoury for the weekend so I could touch some swords, the problem was that both Matt and Julie get car sick if they sit in the back; however, Matt decided to see if he would be okay and tried out the back of the car, it was probably the first time since he had a booster seat. Julie had to sit in the front in order not to get sick, where she promptly fell asleep; turns out that sleeping in the back of the car has different sensations to sleeping in the front.
After a long day of wandering the exhibits we went for dinner, now my choice would have been to go to Pizza Express, which was approx. 50* metres from the hotel, but no… Pat didn’t want to as he said it was basically an up-market MacDonald’s, so he bullied us in to going somewhere else; TGI Friday’s.
According to Google Maps it was a 30 minute walk from the hotel, but when you have a trio of clowns trying to follow the Sat Nav which couldn’t get its bearings because we were up north, and apparently, GPS doesn’t work up there; then it takes about 50 minutes.
Now, remember that Pat didn’t want to go to Pizza Express because of the fact it was a posher version of MacDonald’s; well, guess what TGI Friday’s is? Not only was it packed and noisy, but the menu seemed to have a lot less choices than a Pizza Express.
And to make me even happier, some ‘cee you next Tuesday’ spread tomato ketchup all over the red pleather bench we were on, and it smeared all over my brand new burnt mustard jacket. In other words, I got to wear the jacket once, and then had to put it through the washing machine.
During the journey, Pat played both the middle class and old man cards; he forced us to listen to radio two with Elaine Paige playing show tunes (serious suicide music) and drove at exactly seven miles below the speed limit there and back.  Sixty-three miles on the motorways and fifty-three miles on the A-roads; it was certainly fun to sit powerless in the back of the car and watch all the traffic whizz by.
I have had the end of the garden concreted over and in order that we can park the motorbikes there, and I have had a very robust chain embedded in it so we can chain the bikes to it. The amount of comments I have had about chaining young women to it shows just how well my friends know me!
The bad news is that it cost me five hundred quid, and the good news is that the neighbourhood cats can no longer shit in my garden, which means that going out of the back gate no longer means passing something that smells like an open sewer.
I have found that my writing is coming on, but I can’t type and think; I’m okay at writing and creating; whilst putting pen to paper I can let the creative juices flow through my brain (or scotch – they’re much the same ), but I have found that transposing the written word to computer to be a real barrier to achieving, I just cannot put any effort in to typing the pages, it bores me rigid!
I’ll do quarter of a page and then go on to Facebook, cartoon sites, military sites, porn, fox news, YouTube and before I know it the morning’s gone and it’s time to play computer games. It’s both exhausting and destroying my productivity, but I have now found someone who is willing, at least for the moment, to do my typing for me; thus, my productivity has soared.
*54 yards for you yanks.

September/October 2016
The end of my back garden seems to have become the main toilet for all the cats in the local area, and since society disapproves of me using an air rifle on them I have decided to concrete it over.  To save money I decided to dig it up myself and to that end ordered a small skip.  The chap at the other end of the telephone told me I needed a licence, so I called King’s Lynn Council and they said it wasn’t their issue as the land was Freebridge (the local housing association).
I then called Freebridge and explained the problem and then heard them discuss the issue for a minute or so in the background before coming back to me and telling me that it’s all good and as its Freebridge land I don’t need a license.
So, I ordered the skip and when it turned up the first words from the driver were “Hello, mate, here’s your skip, let’s see your license.”  And as pleasant as he was he wasn’t going to leave it with me without a license.
There followed ten minutes of frantic telephone calls and emails before the owner of the company got involved and agreed that I didn’t need a license and so the skip lorry which had been hiding around the corner appeared within two minutes of the conclusion of the panic and dropped the skip off.
My biggest fear about having the skip out the back was that some selfish scrots* would use it to dump all their rubbish, and that has happened to a degree, but in a rare display of manners they asked me first.  I suppose the good thing about living on a council estate populated with oxygen-thief neighbours is they are too lazy to walk a few metres to dump their rubbish and instead just leave on the pavement or grass outside the back of their houses.
With help from Marc and Chris, (but mainly Chris as Marc’s a bit big to do manual labour) I filled the skip to the brim with topsoil over the course of a very rainy Friday afternoon, and Saturday morning a man from a few doors down came over explained that the builders had denuded his garden and could he please take some of the soil in the skip?  He ended up taking over half of the soil.
I emailed the skip company first thing Monday morning asking them to come and collect, and they confirmed back that it would be gone within the next two days.  The following Monday I emailed them again to come and collect, but since I clearly had a communication problem I asked them to collect the skip in the following languages:
  • Basque – Mesedez biltzeko jauzi du.
  • French – S’il vous plaît recueillir le saut.
  • Latin Please Skip colligere.
  • Spanish – Por favor, recoger el salto.
  • Bollocks – El skipo collecto.
  • Turkish – Atlamayı alınız.
  • American – Collect the damn skip.
  • Welsh – Os gwelwch yn dda casglu’r sgip.
They turned up the next day and I breathed a sigh of relief as I could park next to my house again.
Last month I made bacon flavoured vodka, and it was gopping**.  The recipe called for bacon fat to be put in the bottle, it was disgusting, next time I’m going to use lean grilled bacon and see if that makes a difference; so I have rewritten the original recipe:
  • Fry off enough bacon so as to produce a couple of tablespoons of fat.
  • Put fat in the bottle of vodka.
  • Eat the bacon itself.
  • Leave bottle to stand overnight.
  • Put bottle in freezer for a few hours to solidify the fat.
  • Decant through fine cloth/coffee filter to remove the fat.
  • Drink vodka.
  • Grimace and discuss how disappointed you are with result.
  • Pour vodka down sink.
I have been looking at jobs, either forklift driver/operator or office manager and I have discovered a common theme; civilians are terribly paid for the work and hours they put in.  When I look at the wages some of the jobs attract it’s no wonder that a number of public sector workers are miserable grumpy bastards, which makes it more remarkable when you receive good service.  I am really looking to work part time, that is to say, just the weekends, this will free me up during the week to procrastinate.
A friend is a teaching assistant in a special needs school, in other words she works with disabled children, and I found that TA’s used to get an extra payment for the amount of clothes they have damaged by the children at her school, but David Cameron stopped it; in other words he had a disabled son, lost said son and punished the teachers and teaching assistants for it.
In 2015 the UK gave out approx. 12 billion pounds in Official Development Assistance (ODA) or Foreign Aid as we call it; of that we gave two nuclear armed counties, one of which hates both us and women; we also gave a major oil producing country a massive amount of aid.  Why; are their leaders not stealing enough from their people already and we have to top them up?
  • Pakistan – 351 million
  • India – 150 million
  • Nigeria – 253 million
(Figures taken from The Week)
Let’s take a look at those three countries:
  • Pakistan has nuclear weapons and persecutes Christians and women.
  • India has a thriving space programme
  • Nigeria has a great deal of oil
All of the above are, or should be, should be self-sustaining states.  Last I checked teaching assistants do not have atom bombs, spaceships or oil; the government seems to be prepared to assist other nations out of poverty, but at the price of keeping its own people poor.
The argument that the government is that this money buys us influence, but I would argue that influence goes straight out of the window as soon as one of the countries has a self-interest and all that money will have been wasted.
Pat, Julie, Alexis (their two-year-old granddaughter) and I spent the other Saturday at Lincoln showground walking around the Motorhome Show and had a lovely day.  As we drove up to the showground I said that I was willing to bet that since Lincolnshire is basically a giant airfield I would meet someone I know.
Sure enough a couple of hours later a lady came up to me and asked me if I was Jim Drake. Result!  Her husband thought he recognised me but didn’t want to approach me, so he sent his wife.  Turns out I had served with him at RAF Marham in the nineties for a year or so, we had a quick catch up and agreed that next time they were in King’s Lynn we would have a proper catch up.
A couple of hours after that we found a stall selling one of the greatest foodstuffs in the world, bratwurst and currywurst***.  We got some coffee and bratties and sat down and then I bumped into the second person I knew, the welfare officer from RAF Honington; we had a quick catch-up and I listened to how shit things were and was glad that I’d left the RAF.
I saw a woman in Tesco the other day, her shopping included two bottles of Tesco vodka and Tesco Every Day Value toilet paper and I couldn’t help but think, buy one less bottle of shitty vodka and then you can afford to buy Andrex Quilted and show your arse and fingers how much you care for them.
Not too exciting this month, let’s see if November is anymore scintillating.

*Short for scrotum
**Gopping – Adjective. Nasty, horrible, ugly.
*** A variation of bratwurst (Yes, I know it looks like a syphilitic dick, but believe me, it doesn’t taste like it.

August 2016
More (belated) ramblings from the metropolis that is King’s Lynn; apologies for not publishing sooner but Deus Ex got in the way and has consumed all my spare time.  For those of you who do not know what Deus Ex is, it is the most awesomely superb computer game currently in existence.
I hosted a poker night the other Friday and amongst those invited was Marc from next door.  It turns out that Marc’s idea of poker is to turn up with a bottle of Jack Daniels Honey, a bottle of Raki, and a bottle of Jagermeister, in other words, nearly three litres of spirits, and a stack of plastic shot bomb glasses.  Pat, Marc and I started drinking beer at four o’clock in the afternoon and cooked Texas Hash (basically chilli con carne mixed with rice).  Carlos and Craig turned up at about seven o’clock and the game commenced shortly afterwards.
Carlos and Marc then spent the evening swapping between Raki and Jagermeister bombs, and honey Jack Daniels and Jagermeister bombs, before going on that old favourite when the Jagermeister runs out; honey Jack Daniels and Raki bombs.  The night ended with Carlos winning and then going home to throw up three times downstairs and once upstairs all over the bathroom, as well as trailing vomit up the stairs.
Marc, the true expert of Jager bombing, got home and threw up downstairs, fell asleep on the kitchen floor for several hours before crawling to the couch and then mid-morning managed to get upstairs to bed and spent all day in bed.  Early Saturday afternoon the mating call of a moose could be heard from Marc’s house as he spent fifteen minutes trying to throw up, but since his body had gone in to self-defence mode the previous night, he had nothing left to give except his dignity.
Pat and I stayed with red wine and were not too bad the next day, and Craig the virgin drinker (that is to say he doesn’t really drink, not that he drinks virgins – that would be creepy, not to say really hard to do in King’s Lynn) was at work the next day and so set an example for all men in the mid-twenties and didn’t drink.  Next day it took me nearly an hour to clean up, but that could also be because I was moving very carefully.
We went to an air show at East Kirkby airfield and had an absolutely cracking day watching aeroplanes flying around and stuff like that.  One of the things that amazed me was the number of people who like to dress up in military gear, those who are working as actors for the day or who brought along a military vehicle and want to maintain the efficacy, I can understand, but the rest?
I always wanted to be, in order; a gigolo, a chef, or a deep-sea diver, but you don’t see me at specialist events dressed in tight fitting white pants and cravat, chef whites or a mask and snorkel.  I would be happy to wear a gimp suit; however, I have found that wearing one for more than five minutes at a time compresses my waist, which in turn causes my belly to push up in to my lungs which means that I soon become short of breath and pass out.
This has led to one or two embarrassing situations since the others involved thought it was part of the whole role-playing scenario and carried on regardless.  I have tried a couple of lycra suits, but they are too brightly coloured and detract from me being menacing; also, they just can’t take the same punishment as leather.
Anyway, back to East Kirkby, while we were walking around touching things the tannoy announced that the model aeroplanes would be up next and we looked at each other and said ‘sad bastards’.  Then the model aeroplanes took to the sky and they were bloody massive and fast as shit coming off a slightly warmed greased shovel; they could have done part-time work as military drones they were that big and fast.
I’ve decided to pretty much take a year off work in order to concentrate on writing to see if I can make it as an author, and I now realise the amount self-discipline is more than what was required when I was in the RAF; with the advent of the Internet there are so many distractions at my fingertips.
Facebook and all the nonsense people post on there is rapidly becoming a favourite, YouTube is awesome, and as a practising Atheist, there is loads on there for me to watch debunking religion.  The other day I wanted to research archery to see how I could fit it in to one of my stories and so used YouTube as my authority.  Bows and arrows led to boomerangs which in turn led Quoits which the Indians used as throwing weapons, which lead to throwing axes, and then to ninja stuff.  In other words, I am getting the art of procrastination down to a fine art.
Because I’m now retiring and going to be poor I have started to shop at Aldi and have to admit to feeling a little cheated; when I buy bacon from Tesco’s and cook it I always get a bonus – a frying pan full of water, which is quite good for helping to flavour other things such as onions or Brussels sprouts.
Aldi bacon seems to have no, or very little water, when you buy the bacon, that’s all you get, bacon!  I believe one of two things is happening here; Aldi, are removing the water from their bacon; or Tesco’s, the bastards, are filling theirs with it.  Which of the two companies do you think puts the profit worshiping, penny pinching, selfish shareholder ahead of its customers?
So I now have a difficult morale dilemma; do I continue buying good quality, natural bacon from Aldi, cheaply; or do I buy indifferent, water-pumped bacon from Tescos at an inflated price; and make no mistake, it is inflated, well at least with water.
Below are a number of statements about the two supermarkets and their bacon, what I want you to do is put an ‘A’ for Aldi or a ‘T’ for Tesco’s next to which ever statement you think accurately reflects the supermarket:
  • Cares for customers
  • Cares for value for money
  • Cares for shareholders and profit more
  • Respects customers
  • Disrespects customers
  • Loads bacon with water and possibly preservatives
  • Sells bacon in its natural state
(if you’re struggling, I have helped by colouring in the individual statements in red or green, unless you’re reading this in black and white, in which case use your imagination.)
As an experiment I’m going to buy some chicken breast from each, weigh them raw, fry them off in a breast competition, and see how much liquid they produce and how much weight they lose; in this case it’s a win-win for me as I get to both the winner and loser in a wrap.  However, Tesco’s has Heck Chicken Italia sausages which are the dogs bollocks (metaphorically, not literally)
I have now linked my blog to Google and the other search engines, but not too well it seems as I’m not getting too many hits; however, I have been cheered up by the fact that I send the link out to about eleven people, and since the 05 August, fifty-two  people have viewed my blog.  Trouble is I discovered a couple of weeks later that the I also get counted each time I log on to update or view the stats, so the number isn’t all that great.
This month i am going to try my hand at bacon flavoured vodka; Marc’s going half with me on both the vodka and the bacon, and obviously the drinking.  The recipe calls for you to:
  • Fry off enough bacon so as to produce a couple of tablespoons of fat.
  • Put fat in the bottle of vodka.
  • Eat the bacon itself.
  • Leave bottle to stand overnight.
  • Put bottle in freezer for a few hours to solidify the fat
  • Decant through fine cloth/coffee filter to remove the fat.
  • Drink vodka.
  • I have also discovered a bacon and chilli vodka which I’ll make next time.
And finally a misquote:
Marc: “My knees are starting to hurt when I go up the stairs, it feels like I’m wearing a burka”
Correction: “My knees are starting to hurt when I go up the stairs, it feels like I’m carrying a Bergen”
(BERGEN – a type of rucksack supported by a frame, used by the military.)
That’s it for now.

Normandy 16 – 23 July 2016
Pat, Julie and I decided to spend a week in Normandy looking at the battlefields, museums, eating, drinking, French food and touching things in general; and the week went something like this:
Saturday – Picked up Pat & Julie from their house and Julie immediately played the perfect flanker:
Julie: “I can’t ride in the back as I get car sick in the back seat, and oh yes, I can’t drive on foreign roads, but I can map read”
Jim: “Do you have a map?”
Julie: “No!”
And so instantly consigned herself to shotgun for the next week, my plan for the next time is to hire a Ford Transit van and then at least then we can sit three abreast on the front seat. The trip down to Folkestone was problem free and we got to the Channel Tunnel about an hour earlier than planned, but no problem, they put us on an earlier train; however, because the trains were running late we actually got away pretty much at the time we were meant to anyway. The trip through the tunnel was as expected – car rocked back and forth a little and was full of mundane middle age conversation.
French motorways are brilliant but seemingly every few miles there was a toll booth; to travel from Calais to Caen cost us 13.00 euros (roughly).  On the bright side there were no (or practically none) HGV’S on the motorways unlike England where some clown driving a HGV will overtake another HGV, but since he’s only driving one mile an hour quicker, the wonderful and thoughtful man will cause a tailback as he overtakes at the same pace as slug has sex, not rough sex, but gentle sex to prolong the experience, in other words he takes the next five bloody miles to slowly overtake.
I suppose the reason for truckers not to use the toll roads it would add another hundred euros to each load.
Our hotel in Caen, the Ibis Budget hotel was nice and clean and the rooms were freshened up every day and unlike certain other hotels they actually trusted the clientele with toilet brushes; also they were liberal with their distribution of shower gel, none of those piddly little douche containers that had just enough in to lubricate the insides of your arse cheeks.  Truly the only thing I can criticise about the hotel was the shower.
Quite possibly an anorexic dwarf would have been comfortable in the cubicle, but a 185cm bear-like middle aged man was most definitely not.  The cubicle was so narrow it was impossible to move without the clammy-cold shower curtain lovingly wrapping itself around you; if I want that kind of affection I’ll go and drag a two-day old corpse out of the arctic ocean and cuddle it.  When I turned on the shower the pressure of the water flipped showerhead out of its cradle and straight down on to smack me in the face; this seems to be a recurring theme with me.
The other issue was that the on/off lever poked out in to the (seemingly) middle of the stall, so that every move I made, meant I inadvertently either turned the shower off, or changed the temperature so causing me to scream like a little boy who has woken up and to find *Michael Jackson in his bedroom.
Julie, who it seems is brighter than me, or has more experience with enclosed spaces explained how to use the shower properly:
1.  Push shower curtain back against the wall
2. Turn on water and whilst holding the showerhead and aiming it at the floor of the cubicle to allow it to warm up
3. leave shower curtain scrunched up against the wall
4. step in to shower and shower body all over and under
5. switch off shower
6. This is important – do not touch the bloody shower curtain
7. soap up
8. shower off
9. dry body
10. spend five bloody minutes mopping up water in bathroom in order that it is a safe operating environment
11. curse size of cubicle and curtain
12. move on with life until next shower
13. repeat steps 1 -13 above
Sunday – Pat being the old romantic he was had been in contact with Julie’s pen-pal from her childhood and arranged for her to meet us; but because Julie knew nothing about it and she doesn’t like surprises, when she found out she got a right monk on and had a face like a baboon’s slapped arse for the next couple of hours, not that anybody would have noticed, what with her being in the front seat and all.
On the way to the American Cemetery we stopped off at a Café called. La Cremaillere, where It was good to see that even the French have mastered the art of shit service.  The waitress for our section acknowledged us immediately and then having teased us with a pleasant ‘Bonjour’, left us alone for bloody ages; that said the coffee was good, but too be honest the length of time it took she could have given us Mellow Birds and I probably wouldn’t have complained.
For the Americans and Europeans who read this rubbish and wonder what Mellow Birds is, simple; think of a cup of really good coffee that has been passed through the digestive tract of junkie crack whore and only then do you get to taste it, that should give you an idea of the type of taste.  I find that the best way to have Mellow Birds is to mix it with lots of milk and several spoonful’s of sugar, and then throw it down the sink and have a glass of water instead. You can disguise the taste and pretend it’s something else but coffee, but joking aside, if you have to actually drink Mellow Birds the best way is strong and hot with a spoonful of cyanide or strychnine.
We visited the American cemetery at Omaha Beach, a seemingly clinical place to be buried, then travelled on to Pointe de Hoc, where the amount of damage inflicted on the site amazed all, as did the stories of the Rangers who climbed the sheer cliff face to attack it.
After that we visited the German Cemetery at Le Cambe, which was a much more people friendly place, lots of trees and shade.  Each German soldier is buried with a comrade, and it was sad to see how many of them were simply labelled ‘A German Soldier’, this is because they have not been able to identify them.  I seem to remember that Brit squaddies are now offered the opportunity to have their DNA kept when they deploy in case of the worst case scenario.  We also visited the Omaha overlord museum which was a little interesting, just a bit small.
Monday – We walked in to Caen and stopped off at Café Le Pavillon and had croque-monsieur and really good coffee for brekkie, which was very nice as was the service and a good price.  It was then Julie came up with one of the best things I have ever heard her say; sitting there she looked down at the floor and the 50 x 50cm pebble dashed concrete slabs and uttered those immortal words:
Julie – “They’re attractive concrete slabs.”
Jim (mockingly) – “So marks out of ten, with ten being granite inlaid with gold and lapis lazuli and one being a bag of cement and a bucket of water how attractive are they?”
Julie – “Don’t take the piss, I’d have them in my garden.”
Que one not amused Julie, but it did become a recurring theme for the rest of the trip.
Spent the rest of the day walking around Caen, the only problem was that the temperature was up to the mid-to-late thirties and very soon all were perspiring rather a lot; me in particular was suffering big time.  Because I hadn’t thought about it again, I wore normal loose cotton boxers which soon became a moist sweat rag and proceeded to chew up the insides of my legs at just about testicle height.  I finished up the day with severe burning on each thigh and walking like John Wayne (wide gait).
That evening a quick inspection showed both upper thighs were red raw with probably about a micro-millimetre of skin left on each before the blood started trickling down my leg.  But because I was unprepared to go through the next day with what felt like a blow torch between my upper fat thighs, I had stopped off at a chemist and bought a spool of bandage tape which I applied the next morning to prevent chaffing.
But due to the fact that I’m not too bright I hadn’t anticipated what would happen when I had to remove said tape in the evening.  Pat’s suggestion was to have a shower and the water would loosen the adhesive and make it easier to come off.  Wrong!  The shower made it easier to hide my tears, but that was the only effect it had; I was convinced that a great deal of skin came off with the tape but a quick inspection showed a lot of hair missing but no flesh.
A challenge to all who reading this – try being my size, shifting your ball sac and trying to look up between your legs; I damn near had a heart-attack with the straining I was doing to get a look.  I put so much effort in to it my glasses steamed up so I had to keep coming up for both air and to wipe the condensation off the lenses.  FYI – if you want to know what horrible is, it’s my upper red-raw thighs viewed up close through steamed up glasses.
We stopped off in Carrefour and I bought a pack of briefs, but the French must use a different sizing chart to the Brits as the XXL I wore were quickly renamed ‘sweaty nut crushers’.
Caen Castle was very interesting and manned by very nice and knowledgeable staff and just shows what an arse Napoleon was (from what I gather he destroyed it for no other reason than it was bourgeois), the grounds and museum were beautifully kept and a pleasure to wander around, the museum was closed from 1130 – 1400 as the country was having 3 days mourning for those who died in Nice, so we wandered off in to Caen itself for coffee.
Some people, including a politician or two, seem to be working alongside ISIS/Daish/Douchbag, or whatever they are called, and making this a war between religions – this is wrong!  At the moment in the middle east more Muslims are being killed in suicide bombings than Christians are being killed in the west.
Yes, I realise that there are two main branches of Islam, but to be fighting and murdering amongst themselves is childish and ridiculous, think of all the time and lives wasted when Catholics and Protestants spent a hundred years or so of bickering over who was right:
Catholic – Our god is the right god!
Protestant – No, our god is the right god!
Catholic – Hang on, your god is our god!
Protestant – True that, fuck it, want to get drunk?
Catholic – Guinness?
Why couldn’t that be the end of Christian sectarian violence, oh I know, too many self-interests and profit.  The current war, if it can be called a war, is I believe caused by two things, and neither of them are true religion:
lack of education.  On the whole educated people are intelligent and capable of making informed choices of what is right or wrong, at least until either self-interest disguised as religion, politics, profit or the most evil of all, marketing, gets involved, then all bets are off.
Poverty/inequality/unfairness.  In Europe the killing seems to be by those who have been disenfranchised by colour (racism) and/or poverty.   They wish to humiliate the target and population that has made them powerless and humiliated them.  And yes religion is a factor, but only because it allows them or those who point them to justify their act.
Rant over, and yes it caught me off-guard just as much as you, and I’m sure someone will come back to me with a rebuttal.
Anyway, carrying on.
We wandered down to a café called L’Ardoise which served very nice coffee.  After lunch we walked up to Abbey aux Dames which was a very impressive building as was the church next to it and had a guided tour, which ranks amongst the shitiest of all guided tours. The tour was all in French  (way to cater for your foreign tourists) and because the abbey is now used by local government we only got to walk around a gallery and a couple of rooms, seriously boring.
By this time the arthritis in my knee decided to pay a visit and I was loads of pain and knackered, so I sat down on some stairs while the guide gave a brief with lots of hand-waving.  When I stood up my knee gave way and I staggered uncontrollably for about five paces and just as I was about to straighten up I hit the wall.
It wasn’t just any old wall, it was a wall with a two metre by two metre very, very old painting hanging on it, coincidentally at just about hand height.  Just as I was about to slam into it, I managed to get my hand off to one side and on to the stonework and stopped myself from ploughing straight through it; I ended in a one-armed press-up position with my nose just touching it.  You know that expression somebody has on their face when they catch you squatting and crapping on the windscreen of their brand new car, well, that’s the expression the guide had on his face.
By the time we had finished at the abbey, Caen castle was open so we spent a few hours walking around the grounds and museum and it was very nice, but again Jim showed all present why it’s not a good idea to go on holiday with an obese Brit. In the museum you exit the exhibits to the foyer by walking down a lovely staircase, when I say walking, I mean daydreaming and not noticing that there another three steps to go and falling down them in an effort to get the attention of the very attractive lady behind the ticket desk.
I got her attention and very nearly an ambulance, but once I had convinced her that was actually the way all large men from England came down the stairs she let me limp off while trying to hold in my tummy and maintain what dignity I had left.
When we had finished in the castle we went for a walk in Caen and was underwhelmed by it all and decided to have some dinner.  We choose La Poterne restaurant which continued the theme of shitness for the day; the service was good but the food fell well foul of the trade descriptions act.
As a starter I had scampi tagliatelle, which was a real let down, it was shrimps, they hadn’t even the decency to use king prawns or prawns, but bloody shrimps – the cheapest and nastiest aquatic creatures around.  The filet steak main course had bags of flavour but had the same relation to filet as I do to a great lover – it came from the same stock but in no shape or form was the real thing. It was the same size and thickness as a shoe insert and like me was swamped with fat.
I have had better frying steak from the special offer section at Tescos, and not a proper special offer, but the sad special offer counter where they put all the food that is damaged or limp or about to go out of date, you know, where it all goes to die.
The miniature glasses of red wine had aspirations of being a high quality vinegar, except it aimed high and fell low, imagine mixing battery acid and vinegar with some red food colouring and you’ll get the picture. It was a shame as the staff were so nice and helpful, but perhaps that was to compensate for the food & drink.
That evening we said goodbye to Françoise and then Pat and I went to the bar of the neighbouring hotel for a drink where met a biker called Dave who was 69, rode a Harley Davidson, was single and still lived with his mum, lucky git!
Tuesday – Went to Sword beach which we walked along for 20 minutes until Julie did her 1920’s re-enactment of a rich white woman and had a swooning fit on the beach opposite the statue of Bill Millins.  So we dumped her in the shade and Pat legged it back to get the car.  We then left her in the car with the air-conditioning running for about half an hour while Pat and I went to the cafe at Pegasus bridge for a cuppa, again it must have been some body’s day off day as the service was shit as we noticed the staff seemed to be having lunch around the back and only came out when summoned.  By the time we actually hit the museum at Pegasus Bridge Julie had recovered enough to join us, but the experience was a little tense as we kept waiting for her to hit the floor again.
Arrived at Gold Beach just as they were closing, so Julie quickly used the toilet and we left and went to the Juno Beach museum, which was interesting and covered the Canadian contribution to D-Day, but to be honest, there wasn’t enough guns and shit, on the way there we discovered that Julie had left her handbag bag at the Gold museum, and so had a minute or so’s panic, before calming down and realising that the museum was closed so there was nothing we could do at that moment.
That evening we went to an eat-all-you-can Asian buffet in Caen, which was really nice; problem was that Pat is allergic to Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and over the next couple of days his foot became so painful he was practically incapable of walking, so he ended up spending Thursday in various wheelchairs and we wheeled him around.
Wednesday – We got back to the Gold Beach museum at crack of dawn, well at 0930(ish) in order to retrieve Julie’s handbag; the museum was, although small, very nice and well laid out and also gave some local history as well as the British contribution.  From there we went on to Arromanches and visited the 360 museum there, which was quite impressive and further touched on the British contribution to D-Day.
From there we went on to Bayeux for military museum and the British cemetery.  As an aside, I still prefer British war cemeteries to any other; but that said I have only ever seen Brit, German and Yank graveyards, perhaps others are nicer.  As we went in to the museum I complemented the young lady behind the ticket counter on how beautiful France was and how nice the people in France were.
She replied with her nose in the air something along the lines of ‘I am not French, I am from Normandy!’, This is the kind of response you get when you speak to someone from Yorkshire or Cornwall.  The best thing about the museum is it had tanks, and those who know me, know how much I love touching tanks.
Looking through the photo’s for the day I see I was wearing my pink t-shirt, and again I look like a chunky man who is torn between being a thug and wanting to come out as gay; ah, choices, choices.  That evening we stopped off at Carrefour and bought some food and in the evening chilled out in the hotel garden and enjoyed a picnic.
But I am convinced there was a hidden agenda; Pat & Julie had packed a picnic set and I am sure that they were determined to use it in order to justify their bringing it along.  Still, it turns out that red wine tastes just as good from a plastic beaker when drunk with friends as it does from a posh wine glass when drunk with snobs.
Thursday – We arrived at Utah Beach Café at 0825 and as we walked in the owner looked up from where he sitting at a table with a group of friends and said “I am having my coffee, go and find a table and I will be with you when I am finished” and then ignored us.  This made me laugh as this is what I stereotype French people in France as.  I say ‘in France’ because I have worked with French Servicemen and women in NATO and they are, collectively and individually, superb.
A few minutes later he wanders through and takes our order for three croque-monsieur and three coffees, and when I paid the bill twenty minutes later I nearly had a heart attack, 39 euros (32 quid) for what was in effect three average sarnies and three average cups of coffee.  Still, Julie got to admire the concrete floor.
Utah museum was fascinating and gave a broader picture than I was expecting and was well worth visiting.  From there we went to Sainte-mere-Eglise and visited the museum there, which again was comprehensive and well laid out.  We got there at late morning and the town centre market was already closing, but we managed to grab a baguette with a large sausage which was full of fat; normally you would say that if it was a bit fatty then it was full of flavour, but in this case it was just full of fat, but credit where credit’s due – it was cheap.
We were meant to visit the Caramel factory at Isigny-sur-Mer  but it was closed so we spent an hour walking around the factory shop, well, Julie did, dragging Pat around, I just hoovered up the free samples of caramel and cheeses.
That evening we went to Flunch for dinner.  Flunch is something that would do well in GB; you collect your starter and dessert, unless it was the ice-cream, from the front of the restaurant and then choose your main course, pay up and receive a ticket.  When you have finished your starter, you wander up to the grill, give them your ticket and they will cook whatever meat or fish you have ordered, then off to one side is a counter absolutely laden with various vegetable dishes from which you can help yourself to as much as you like.  The food was really nice and as a follow up, the ice-cream counter was very impressive.
Looking back on this write-up one of the things I haven’t mentioned is where we went for brekkie most mornings.  We found that most French eateries don’t open until 0830 – 0930 and that when we went out to the museums and such, the cost of food was prohibitive, so we tended to go to MacDonalds, which like the rest of Europe, has none of this bollocks about a breakfast menu only; they will cook you anything, but just like the British MacDonald’s the coffee was pretty good, but in smaller cups.
On an unrelated subject, I note that a number of the museums and restaurants didn’t have toilet seats on the toilets in the gents; do French men crap differently to the Brits or this just a general plan to stop blokes bowel bombing on their property?
Friday – We visited the Bayeux tapestry and were very impressed, the part that made me smile was when the auto-guide said that there is a belief that the tapestry was probably made in England; the museum was nice, but could have done with more swords, spears and war like things.  From there we went to the Le Grande Bunker, a massive bunker near the sea front.
We finished the day at Merville Battery and then went back to Caen and paid another visit to Flunch where again we all tried to eat our own body weight in fresh vegetables.
Saturday morning on the journey back to England we stopped off at Honfleur and spent a couple of hours wandering around the market touching things, before finally heading home.  We got to the channel tunnel an hour early, and again they offered to put us on the earlier train, but again, everything was delayed, this time by 90 minutes, but it wasn’t a problem as we chilled out in the sun with a lovely picnic and still got home in time to do some serious drinking.
June – July 2016
Let’s start with a rant – Why when you are leaving a gent’s toilets do you have to pull the door open?  Every time I go to a public toilet there is some minger (or several) who either have had a piss or dump, and then walk out without washing their hands.
Invariably they have to grasp a handle to pull the door open, therefore spreading their germs and viruses to all who follow them; in other words, the likes of me are penalised, I wash my hands, therefore destroying the germs on my hands leaving a blank canvas for some dirty twat’s poison to infect me.
Since I doubt a strongly worded letter to any of the proprietors will make them rush off and reset the door to open the other way so I has to be pushed, or in my case – toed open, I’m going to have to start carrying hand-gel with me every time I go to the pub or indeed any other establishment where the architects have put zero thought in to just how minging the average British man is.
My printer is running out of ink so I went to Currys PC World and nearly fainted at the prices they wanted, so went on Amazon and bought what I wanted for about half the price, but this was also because I bought generic knock-offs, but the reviews were, on the whole, positive, and it’s Amazon so I know if I have a problem they will help me sort it out.
As seems to be typical with my life, I had a problem!  I opened the ink cartridge and it immediately poured all over my hands and computer desk, funny as anything if it had of happened to anybody else.  I cleaned up the cartridge and the desk easily enough, but it took several days to get all the ink from my hands and from under my fingernails.
Realising I had been cheated, or at least sold a duff product, I emailed Amazon with a complaint, and they in turn passed it on to the third party vendor, which turned out to be First Call Inks; below is the email trail between us:
15 Jun 16 – 1st email sent by me to First Call Inks about a faulty printer cartridge:
The 525BK does not work in my printer and as an added bonus has leaked all over my desk and fingers, my hand looks as if it belongs to a Dalmatian dog. Please can you replace it?  All the others seem to be working fine.  Please see attached photos which i hope entertain you as much as they do me!
Many thanks.
You only get one photo, it turns out the statement on Amazon that ‘The total size of attachments must be less than 10 MB’ is actually bollocks, and it must be substantially less; to that end, i’m not too sure you’ll be able to read the error message from my PC screen, but it says ‘An ink tank cannot be recognised.’
 15 Jun 16 – 1st email reply from First Call Inks:
We will, of course, replace the 525bk today for you.  If for no other reason that we found our whole email very entertaining I do apologise that it managed to cover your fingers in ink and for your future reference would add that you must always remove the little label tab before the orange cradle.  You may like to wait a few seconds between.  I don’t mean to add insult to injury but it’s probably handy to know.  As for the Amazon limit, I can confirm that it is not ‘bollocks’ as both your photos arrived for our office viewing.  Any further issues please do not hesitate to get back in touch.
Kind regards
 15 Jun 16 – 2nd email sent by me in response to reply above:
Bugger, my bad, just read the packaging.  If you don’t want to replace – i’m good with that, it’ll teach me that not all obese white men in their fifties know everything!

15 Jun 16 – 2nd email from First Call Inks:
Dear Jim.  We like you! It’s no problem to replace whatsoever.  Plus with comments like ‘my bad’ we’re sure you’re pulling our leg at your description of yourself!!
Kind regards
Anyway, a couple of days later a new cartridge turned up in the post and was successfully fitted after reading the instructions, so kudos to First Call Inks for their service.
Mark and I get to the gym most weekday mornings and get there just as it’s opening, 0630, and I am amazed at the number of pensioners who are there before us; if these buggers keep staying healthy the pension deficit is definitely going to get worse.
Craig and I went to the gym the other evening (Craig’s a friend and is wonderfully flexible – a quality I appreciate in young men!), anyway we were doing our thing and we took notice of the other blokes using the weights next to us; well I say took notice, to be honest the amount of swearing and noise they were making they really demanded attention.
There was a group of about 5 – 6 of them, all white and clearly King’s Lynn born, and all were being as loud and as obnoxious as a group of England supporters in Marseille, and their liberal and loud use of the words f*ck, c*nt and wanker meant they were in effect intimidating/dominating the whole gym; they were also of the weight-training school that has the doctrine of when you complete your set, drop the weights on the floor so they bounce everywhere and let everyone else in the gym know just how awesome you are.
After about 30 – 40 minutes one of them decided the lights in the gym were too bright and went and switched off the main lights, leaving on only a low-level light that slowly pulsated through red and blue light – all very romantic, but crap for training in.
In contrast there was a group of young Brazilian men on the next set of multi-gym who were actually far more impressive in their own way; they were quietly talking amongst themselves and were having a competition to see how many wide-grip pull-ups they could do.  Quite a lot is the answer, so they were a great deal fitter than the loud mouths around the corner and set a far better example; bloody foreigners – coming over her, showing us how to use a gym properly!
I spent three weeks in Bristol retraining to be a forklift instructor and I stayed in the Radisson Blu, and as seems to be the case with most of the English service industry, all the staff are foreign; Southern Irish, Indian, Eastern European and from the Baltics, and all of them are, to a man (and woman) polite and friendly.
Talking about hotels, let’s look at the difference between British hotels and American hotels.  American hotels are designed around both service and profit, British hotels are designed around the same principles but approach things differently.
A Yank hotel room will have (in my experience) a kettle, a coffee machine and fresh coffee pads, a lot also have a microwave or even a two-ring hob and, usually, a small fridge.  A lot of the hotels also have a laundry room which costs a couple of bucks to use the washing machines and tumble dryers.
British hotels are a lot different, you get a cheap kettle with some stagnant water at the bottom that even a frog would feel uncomfortable crapping* in, a couple of sticks of, in this case, Tchibo coffee, which despite its pretentious name, I think tastes like licking a dog’s left testicle, but there is usually a good selection of teas; and my new favourite gripe – a laundry facility which is not a launderette, but a service.
Below is the cost of using the laundry service in the hotel:
6 x T-shirt @ 4.40 = 26.50
1 x trousers @ 6.50 = 6.50
6 x undies @ 2.30 = 13.80
10 x socks @ 1.90 = 19.00
Total cost = 65.80
Their defense is, and I quote ‘They come back ironed’ – bollocks!  For that price I expect them to be silver-plated and delivered by slapper who’s game for anything.
Nobody in their right mind would pay that kind of money for a week’s worth of laundry, so I went online and found a launderette called ‘At the Well’ which also doubles up as a café (or is it the other way around?) which charged me 4.00 for washing and 2.00 for tumble-drying, in other words, 6.00 in total; and I got to sit in small very nice café with a cup of good coffee and perv at the female staff.
The Radisson Blu hotel room was very nice and I had only two criticisms; very low level of lighting and no bog brush.  The level of lighting is such that it’s virtually impossible to read any documents when the sun goes down; I actually had to use the torch (flashlight) on my mobile (cell) to read the control panel for the aircon.  I mean it’s very romantic but I’m not here for seduction, I’m here to study.  The best way to read at night is to walk ¾ mile to MacDonald’s (not that I would do that) or shift a side table in to the toilet and sit on the bog.
Update on above paragraph, I mentioned to the hotel staff how crap the light was and they provided me with a standard lamp with a nice bright bulb.
The missing bog brush seems to be a bigger issue; a number of hotels I have stayed at over the past few years do not give you a means of removing skidmarks.  I’m willing to bet that cleaning ladies who work in the world’s hotels are not paid a ‘turd bonus’ for cleaning up this shit.  More to the point each floor must have at least one cleaning trolley with a really disgusting brush covered in a serious mish-mash of brown DNA (the worst kind).
Found a shop that sold crispy bacon flavour vodka, but forgot where it is, for the muslims reading this, that’s like a double dose of evilness.
Traffic was awful so I elected to walk to the training facility each day, it was about two miles and gave me the opportunity to see why so many cyclists are in conflict with both pedestrians and cars.  A small number of drivers were casual knobs, but the seemingly majority of cyclists had been to knob school and passed with distinction, that qualification gave them the right to cut up cars and do the same on the pavements to pedestrians.
There is an underpass at Templemead that is in the process of being renovated and it has signs up saying ‘Cyclists dismount’.  Not a fucking chance!  Twice I heard women tell the cyclists that they had to dismount, one of whom was pushing a small child in a pushchair, and both time I heard them take some vicious abuse from some penis busy taking pleasure from having a hard saddle up his arse.
My lasting memories of Bristol are the how good the city is set up for cyclists and pedestrians and the smell of marijuana.
My next annoyance is that Microsoft are continuing their push of American culture; they keep changing my default proofing language settings on Word to ‘English (United States), so as I type all the British words like ‘Favourite’ or ‘Flavour’ keep coming up underlined in red, therefore making me doubt my own spelling.
Now I understand that the average American may be unable to cope with the occasional crazy ‘u’ thrown in to a word, but the rest of the free world has an education system that caters for the thick amongst us and teaches us correctly.  Bloody Yanks, coming over here corrupting our language with their new-fangled ideas.
The forklift instructor course was a lot more in-depth than I imagined, I thought it would be like the majority of military courses – turn up, show willing, play the game, drink tea, pass the course.  Due to my below average intelligence I was studying Health & Safety legislation practically every night and getting up early to get in some extra study.
Julie, Pat and I are in Normandy for a week in July, let’s see how that goes.
*The Radisson Blu kettle was empty.

27 May 16. First an insight to how much times have changed.  I was sitting in the fast lane of a motorway and looked in the rear-view mirror and saw a Skoda trying to overtake me; twenty/thirty years ago that would never have happened – unless of course I was driving a Lada.
Recently the BMW/Audi coalition of wanker drivers has been supplanted by a couple of new gits; Range Rover and Mitsubishi 4-wheel drive pickups.  Other than the tossers who drive Range Rovers clearly having lots more money than me, but less road sense, it’s hard to pick something to criticise, well, their selfish road sense obviously, but other than that, I’ve got nothing.
Mitsubishi drivers however!  Why would you buy, or why would a manufacturer give their vehicles names like Barbarian, Titan, Warrior?
A quick check of the dictionary of Jim shows that:
Barbarian – one who rapes and pillages, does that describe the owner – a wannabee creepy killer?
Titan – why name a vehicle after a brand of condoms and vibrators – is this because the drivers are a bunch of penises or c*nts.  If they are not named after the jonnys and battery operated pleasure machines it means they are named after the original Titans, who in their own way were just as creepy; Cronos both shagged his sister and cut his father’s balls off; and as for the rest – they murdered a child, roasted and ate him.
Warrior, okay that one’s not too bad, after all we all want to be a warrior, using swords and bow and arrows and rescuing damsels in distress, just like on Game of Thrones, where Brienne, a woman, walks the length and breadth of the country; or Jamie Lannister, a brave knight who, oh wait, shags his sister, much like those who drive the Mitsubishis/perhaps this one does tell u something about 4-wheel drivers; and too be honest probably the only difference between them and Range Rover drivers is money.
One of my Clks is a young skinny thing (male) and I noticed the other day while staring at his crotch (as you do) that his issue belt on his issue trousers is so large that it protrudes about 6-inches in either direction.  Now, when I joined up you were taught to trim your belt so it fitted with a bit left over so that after it went through the buckle there was enough left over to go through the first tab; now they are told to leave it as it is and adjust it out as they put on weight – which they invariably will between PAYD (shit food) and the drinking culture (we apparently don’t have) in the military; but at the moment it looks like he has wrapped the bloody thing around himself like a small Boa constrictor
Staying with the subject of PAYD, a couple of my lads would rather go back to their rooms and have porridge for lunch or dinner than go to the mess, when I look back on the days of how the messes used to be, it shows me how much the military has fallen.
I have joined Slimming World in an effort to lose weight and go to the meetings every Thursday with Pat and Julie.  The format is the same for each meeting; pay money, get weighed and have your inadequacies exposed to the group.  We all sit around in what is basically a big circle of trust and when it’s our turn explain why we have failed that week (in my case) or succeeded in Pat and Julie’s case.
Most of the people there are women and a number of them are quite inspirational with the amount of weight they have lost; and even with their large sizes are also rather pretty.  They are also, on the whole, quite strong characters and there is a decent amount of banter going on.  The host, or compere (not too sure of the correct spelling) is a very nice, bearded gay man, who controls all present and reads out your gains or losses and as much as I don’t want all and sundry to know how much of a porker I’ve been this past week I really don’t have a problem with him (mildly) shaming me.
Including Pat and myself there are only five blokes, and the other two are incredible; one of them has lost over five stone and the other has lost over three stone.  I keep thinking that the only way I’ll lose that kind of weight is to spend a few weeks in Auschwitz, or one of the kind of camps that Trump is going to need in order to cleanse the USA of its immigrants1.
The friend of a friend (Mark) recently dropped her phone in water, so to rescue it she put it in rice to absorb all the moisture; unfortunately, she put it in a packet of Uncle Ben’s microwave rice and wondered why it didn’t work.
Because I’m leaving the RAF, the military sent me on a 3-day resettlement course, and whilst there I had to stay in a Travelodge, cheap and cheerful sums it up perfectly.  The only two issues I had were that the bath and the breakfast were slightly inadequate.
Now I didn’t actually have a bath, but the lady I was on the course with told me that the overflow was set so low that you couldn’t actually have a full bath.  You apparently had a choice of sliding down and submerging your body, but this meant spreading your legs up on the side, or sitting upright and doing your legs and bum.  Crap way to relax after a day having your brain fried trying to absorb loads of information; but great way for Travelodge to save money on water.
The shower while nice and hot, had the shower head set so low, that the only way I could actually get a proper shower was to spend the entire period I was in the shower carrying out a forward lunge; you know, the type you carry out while you are in the gym and doing a leg workout.  The upside was that after three days my leg muscles were better exercised.
An interesting factoid for you; Travelodges don’t have dining facilities; but to be fair they do try their best, they give you a choice of one of two sugar filled buttie-boxes (see photo page).  Because I’m greedy, I accepted the buttie-box and then walked over to the Little Chef, of which there is apparently always one next to a Travelodge.
When I mentioned to the waitress that I was on Slimming World and what did she recommend, she muttered something about going to Stamford (a town just down the road) and simply gave me a menu.  From what I could see the food is not sympathetic to both dieters and vegetarians; still, going with the theme of Jim’s a greedy bastard, I had a fry-up every morning and a burger or fry-up every evening.
The upside was that the staff on the reception in the Travelodge and the staff in the Little Chef were very nice and helpful.
I have finished work for the next four months and yet I’m still up every week day morning between 0530 – 0600 to go to the gym.  My training partner, Marc, is rather large around the girth and as a consequence when he is doing mat work (sit-ups, side-sits, plank, hip raise) he reminds me of a Walrus on the beach to such an extent that I almost feel as if I’m in a nature documentary.
While we were training I noticed one of the guys who works there goes around with a Swiffer type thing wiping spit off floor to ceiling mirrors, does he hoard the used pads and then distill them down for the steroids; I wonder what his chat-up line is in the pub?
1A bit of controversy for my American friends

07 Mar 16. I have been finding work quite stressful and recently it got to the stage that if somebody sent me a snotty email or was rude to me on the phone, I had to lock myself in the toilet and spend a few minutes trying not to cry, this coupled with me not sleeping means I was signed off from work for a couple of weeks as apparently I was suffering with stress.
When I went back to work I sat down with one of my bosses and had a chat about the future and we both agreed that the workload was not going to get easier or less; in fact, with upcoming deployments for some of the staff it was probably going to get worse.
All the management in PSF/PMS work overtime practically every day, and I have now realised that between commuting an hour each way, plus going in half an hour to an hour early every day, and working half an hour to an hour extra every evening, and quite often working through my lunch break, I simply cannot cope and long term I’m going to break myself even worse and require more than a fortnight off; possibly even do permanent damage to myself.
I’m in my early fifties and I don’t want to become a nutter so I quit; my last day in the office is (approx.) 12 May and my last day in the RAF is the 31 Aug.
For all us to be constantly working this hard means there is something wrong; either we as a team are incompetent, or the workload is too great for the number of people we have. Myself, the FS and the WO have over eighty years’ experience between us, and the officers have been in for some time as well, so on the whole, it’s not incompetence. So I put it down to the workload and what I perceive as a lack of manning and a failure within our processes and procedures.
traditionally one of the ways to insult somebody in the military is to call them ‘Sir’, and the favoured response is ‘Don’t call me sir, I work for a living’; that may have been the truth half a century ago or even 10 years ago, or in the Army, but in respect of most of the officers I have met or worked for/with their defining characteristic is how hard they work.
Sure they trickle in at 0815-0845, but they tend to stay until at least 1900, and they usually take work home with them (Sometimes they forget to bring it back in, or it’s classified material), but the point is that nowadays they are a different beast to that of the past.
A lot of the problems I’m having, stem from the fact I don’t sleep much, and so two nights a week I take a sleeping tablet to at least try and get some sleep. A couple of Saturdays ago rather than have a drink, or three, I took a sleeping tablet and must have swallowed it the wrong way because I saw every hour on the clock; one out of pack must be dud to make you appreciate the rest more, perhaps next time I’ll try it as a suppository and see if it’s more effective.
The other day at work I thought I was having a migraine as I couldn’t focus on the computer screen, so for five minutes I sat there with my head in my hands with my eyes closed waiting for the attack. when I opened my eyes I noticed one of my lenses laying on my desk in front of me, it had fallen out of my glasses and I was just too stupid to realise.
I have discovered a new something that annoys me – extremely fat women who park in the disabled slots at Tesco because they’re closer to the door. News flash – being obese, having a big mouth, being common and dressed in yoga pants two sizes too small from Primark is not a registered disability; it also gave me sight of two rather large unsightly cameltoes that seemed to have lives of their own. Perhaps if the tubbies parked a bit further away they could actually burn some calories.
Maybe Primark could institute a policy of ‘When you get on the weighing scales and have to lean forward to a dangerous angle to see past your belly, then you can’t have a pair of yoga pants.’ Although, that said, they may already have that policy in force as the tubbies I saw were clearly wearing pants two sizes too small, which means their taste is worse than I thought, or they sent someone slimmer in to buy the pants for them.
The other week Craig tried the soup diet and it seemed to go something like this:
Monday – Pea and garlic
Tuesday – potato & parsnip
Wednesday – Pizza
Thursday (and onwards) – Fuck it!
I’ve heard a rumour, which may, or may not be true, that he misunderstood the concept of the soup diet and instead of replacing the evening meal with soup, he replaced all three meals a day with soup, and then wondered why he was struggling with it; but I have yet to confirm it…
I’ve started getting spam on my blog, and like Facebook it must target its content as all the spam I’m getting on my blog is either Porn or Diet related, for example:
‘do u love it to have an erotic adventure with a girl, boy or man? Visit our site for quick sex contact.’
Even randomized SEO* programs know what type of person I am
I went round Pat & Julie’s for dinner the other Weds, Julie had made Spagbol and had it cooking all day in the slow cooker; I did the taste-taste and felt it was a little short on flavour and added some sea salt. Because I’m an amateur I didn’t realise that sea salt is an awful lot stronger than regular salt, and so ended up nearly giving the whole family sodium poisoning, the good news is it’ll be a while before they ask me to help again, but that said, there is no Italian family I know who puts sweetcorn in their bolognaise.
That’s it for now & I’m counting down the days to I finish at work.
*SEO – Search engine optimization

22 Jan 16.  Greetings from King’s Lynn. Due to my advancing age I’m having a few problems so I went to the doctor who prescribed a fortnight’s course of laxatives and a month’s worth of sleeping tablets, the sleeping tablets are only for Friday and Saturday nights; however, she strongly recommended not taking both at once, and I agree. The side effects on the sleeping tablets include:
Some people using this medicine have engaged in activity such as driving, eating, walking, making phone calls, or having sex and later having no memory of the activity.
I feel that combining the sleeping tablet and a dose of laxative may lead to a new activity being added to the list above; waking up in a brown bed. The other concern about the sleeping tablet is, and again I copy and paste from the internet:
Zolpidem has become a leading date rape drug. Unlike Rohypnol (“roofies”), which was banned in 1996. This application of the drug was highlighted during proceedings against Darren Sharper, who was accused of using the tablets he was prescribed to facilitate a series of rapes.
Two things fall out of this concern; no matter who you are, if you come around to my house, don’t accept a drink that I don’t make in front of you; and once Craig learns of this application, I’ll be locking my bedroom door every night.
I’m trying to both cut out meat and alcohol for the next few weeks, not too sure how it’ll go; going meatless is a boring and tedious procedure, and combining that with no booze makes me wonder just how dull some people must live life. Those who do not drink or eat meat for religious reasons must seriously get their highs in prayer or in the case of catholic priests, bugger, let’s not go there!
Perhaps it explains religious fanatics – they are aware of crushingly boring and empty their lives are without Scotch and steak, and compensate by blowing or shooting the shit out of things. Be honest, how many atheist terrorist groups are there. There is an exception to the wacky religious idea – Church of England, or Anglicans in general; they get the best of all worlds, meat, alcohol and shagging their parishioners.
Anyway as part of this self-abuse I made a dish of roast veg and just before it was ready without looking properly reached in to the cupboard and grabbed the container of Bisto and whipped up a portion of *chicken gravy and poured it over the veg. Several minutes later I realised the chicken granules must have been off as it tasted funny. I then went to check the expiry date on the tub and realised that I had used bloody Bisto cheese sauce. In my defence it tasted nothing like any cheese sauce I’d ever had, and just what I would expect stale chicken gravy granules to taste like. So question time, why make one container almost identical to the other – idiots!


The other day I requested the presence of an airman from another section in order to, not quite bollock him, but stress that he had done something wrong and as a result, let the station down. Because I’m a biff I didn’t specify a time for him to come up and as a result he came looking for me when I was in the tea-bar taking my medicine. Do you know how hard it is to tell someone off while mixing a packet of laxative powder in to a cup of water, his eyes keep straying down to the packet lying on the counter which has emblazoned on it ‘Effective relief from constipation’?
Driving an 80 mile round trip every day to and from work I am weekly surprised at what I see and not in a good surprised way, you know like a free cake or a pre-paid prostitute or gigolo; but in a ‘Oh Fuck, Oh Fuck’, surprised way or a ‘What The Fuck’ surprised way. The number of cars and vans I see with one headlight out is incredible; driving in the other morning I started to count them and got distracted at number seven by somebody playing the ‘Let’s overtake & screw the consequences’ game and couldn’t be arsed to restart it as I realised it was 0715 in the morning and I was depressed enough at the behaviour of certain other road users.
One morning I was behind some numbnuts whose car seemed to be limited to 35 miles an hour and so I checked the road ahead and seeing what looked like a car in the distance with both his/her/moron sidelights on and one headlight out. I clearly had time to whip out and overtake, which I did, and realised too late that it indeed a car with one light out, but in front of it doing about double the speed was a motorbike.
As I pulled in front of Mr go-slow the bike roared past me, missing me by about a second and never even slowed down. A good few seconds later the clown with one headlight tootled on by without a care in the world. The thing is, I’m toying with the idea of taking my bike test and buying a bike, but at no stage will I be dumb enough to ride an all black bike, wearing black clothing on a black bloody road in the dark at approximately double the posted speed limit.
That’s the rants over for this week, but having to drive in to work every day shows me that we need more police on the roads, or at least more safety cameras. For those who are against the idea of safety cameras, perhaps we can harness technology and put artificial intelligence in to them so they only operate when somebody does something stupid and selfish; and instead of calling them speed cameras or safety cameras, we could call them Twat Detectors?
That’s it.


*Yes I know about the statement above about cutting out meat, but be honest, once you’ve tasted chicken gravy you have to wonder how many chickens were harmed in its making.

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