Entertaining photos.

I opened my emails this morning to find that one of my friends had sent me this:

 

 

 

Brilliant. I so hope this is real and not a mock up. My friend assures me that it is genuine. All I need to find now is one of Gordon Brown with the slogan "Lying Bastard" behind him and my little cup of joy will be full.

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Something needs to change.

These prize specimens are Brendan Harris who is 15 years old and Ryan Herbert who is 16. Yesterday they were in court. What for? Was it for nicking car stereos? Nope. Was it for affray or showing their pant-rats on the upper deck of the number 93 bus? Nope. It was for something else entirely.

 

 

Robert MaltbySophie Lancaster

Robert Maltby and Sophie Lancaster were taking a walk through a park in Bacup, not very far from where I live. Bacup is a very ordinary Lancashire town, maybe not that affluent but pretty ordinary. Anyway, Sophie and Robert were taking a stroll. As they were walking through the park they were noticed by Brendan Harris and Ryan Herbert and their little gang of chav chums and this group of morons didn't like the fact that the pair were goths. As has come out in recent weeks, Goths aren't any strangers to verbal abuse but that isn't what Harris and Herbert went for, possibly because the single brain cell that the gang had between them was out on loan that day. They were drunk and they started to attack Robert Maltby. They beat him till he lost consciousness. They did this:

 

While he lay on the ground his girlfriend, Sophie, held on to him and shouted at them to stop. So they started on her. They kicked her and punched her and when she was on the ground they jumped up and down on her head. Some youngsters who were in the park at the time called an ambulance and it and the police arrived. The two goths were so badly beaten that the police couldn't tell from the faces which was male and which was female.

Robert Maltby eventually recovered but Sophie Lancaster never regained consciousness and she died 2 weeks after the attack.

This sounds horrific, it is horrific, but the frightening thing is that in Britain today it is not unique. A few weeks ago a youth was charged with the murder of Gary Newlove. Mr Newlove had challenged some drunken youths about their behaviour so this vile little excuse for a human being beat him to death in front of his daughters.

A few months back a young Asian man was beaten to death for daring to tell off some scumlord lad who was throwing rubbish into his sister's car.

I don't know about the countryside but people in cities are now frightened of teenagers. It's a fact. 5 years ago I lived in Salford, a shit area of Manchester with a lot of poverty. I drove a 12 year old nissan Micra and it kept getting broken into. One night I came back from the pub and I heard a noise outside. I looked out of the window to see a group of about 5 chavs trying once again to lever open the door of my car. I saw red and went haring out of the front door shrieking like a scalded banshee. The youths took one look at the rather drunk, half undressed screeching harpy heading their way and obviously decided I was mentally unbalanced. They legged it and I went back inside. I wouldn't do that now. If I saw a gang breaking into my car now I would quietly phone the police and wait for an officer who won't come because they are too busy dealing with drunken scum who are causing bigger problems elsewhere in the city. Then I'd dig out my insurance details and wait for a claim number. I would never, ever challenge a group of kids because I, like most other people in this country, am aware that many of these kids now carry knives and worse than that, they know no fear.

Not everyone is like me. When some morons threw a firework at his disabled daughter, Dave, who used to live next door, went into his kitchen, grabbed an enormous carving knife, scaled the fence and the wall, grabbed the nearest chav and held him against the wall with a knife to his throat till he apologised to both Dave and his daughter and promised never to do anything so silly again. But I'm not like Dave, I was never in the foreign legion and frankly, I'm just not that tough. I'd get the shit kicked out of me and no mistake.

The government thinks that the problem is drink. One of the 2 little scrotum-dwellers that kicked Sophie and Robert to pieces in the park said that he'd drunk 2 litres of cider, peach schnapps and lager when he attacked them. Christ, if I'd drunk that much I wouldn't be in a park picking on people who don't look like me, i'd be in Manchester Royal Infirmary having my stomach pumped and wondering why I was suck a fucking pillock. Maybe drink does come into it, all the cowardly wastes of space who attack in gangs seem to claim that they were pissed at the time.

Personally I think that drink is only part of the problem. The main problem is that they have no fear. They aren't scared of the police, they aren't scared of a custodial sentence because unless a crime is as horrendous as Harris and Herbert's then the chances are they won't get jailed. We don't have any space left in prisons anyway. They've been told for years that it isn't their fault they are fucking feral and have the brains and the emotional depth of teaspoons, it's society's fault. It is the fault of the middle classes for having too much and not sharing it. They think they can do anything they like because the world owes them something and they feel hard done by. They know their rights but they don't give a shit about the rights of anyone else, for example the right of a young couple to walk through a park without being beaten into unconsciousness.

They are frankly frightening.

So what is the answer? I don't know. Maybe there isn't one. Maybe this bunch of complete twats is just too far gone and the best thing to do is to pack up and leave for somewhere a bit less menacing, the countryside perhaps, or better still, abroad. What I suspect may happen is the rise of vigilante groups, groups of men and women who have had enough of seeing their cars vandalised, their families abused and who have had enough of being too scared to venture out after dark on a Friday night. Perhaps our cities will start to experience curfews. I really don't know but what I do know is that I'm 28 and even I can remember a time when Manchester wasn't nearly as scary a place as it is now. Knives, guns and violence, that's all you hear about. I was born and brought up in this city but I sure as hell wouldn't bring a child up here now, not in a million years. Don't get me wrong, it's not all bad but the bad is beginning to outweigh the good.

Something needs to change but I'm buggered if I know how to make it happen. Tragically the government and the police are buggered if they know either so I suspect that Sophie and Robert won't be the last people we see on the news getting murdered by mindless little arsewipes who haven't got the brains to spell their own name let alone give a reasoned argument as to why they are so angry.

Perhaps Britain is just fucked.  

 

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The Shower Weasel.

For weeks my bath has been draining more and more slowly. I realised it wasn't quite normal for a bath to take 50 minutes to empty but the last straw came yesterday when I spent a pleasant 20 minutes in the shower standing calf deep in cloudy water topped with hair-dye coloured soap scum. It was not nice, especially when the used shower water became luke warm so I decided that hey, I am a girl of the new millenium, I will take the bath and plumbing apart myself and see what the problem is. I don't need to wait for my other half or indeed anyone with half an ounce of plumbing knowledge, I can sort this myself. After all, I knew a plumber once, his family only had one functioning brain cell between them and that belonged to the dog so how hard could it be?

I armed myself with a box of tools and sat back to decide what to do next. Clearly the first step was to remove the bath panel so I tried to lever it off with a screwdriver. This wasn't entirely successful so I went to get a knife from downstairs. After 5 minutes of levering with a fruit knife the panel was bending…it was coming…nearly there… little bit further….then ping! The sodding thing shot out of the bracket smacking me sharply in the nose and knocking me over backwards into the dog who was nervously observing the proceedings. Still, if you ignored the small cut across the bridge of my nose and the fact that in a couple of days when the bruising comes out people are going to be speculating as to whether I get smacked about at home, I had a successful result.

Mercifully, removing the round tightening-and-attaching-the-pipes-white-thingies (technical term) and lifting out the u-bend was much easier and so I crawled under the bath to see what the problem was. I stuck my hand into the pipe and could feel a soggy mass. It wasn't especially pleasant, even through a pair of rubber gloves but I am nothing if not persistant so I got a good grip and pulled. Out shot what looked like a soggy dead weasel covered in shampoo scum. Why, I thought to myself, has someone taken the time and trouble to insert a small dead weasel into my plughole? Have i been targeted by weirdos? Was the man we bought the house from some sort of weasel-torturing pervert? What was going on?

 

 

On closer inspection, it turned out that the weasel was not in fact a weasel at all. It was actually a weasel sized/ shaped massive ball of hair. I was not only appalled but also astounded and I have now been left with a question that I can't answer ……

If I'd lost that amount of hair in the time we've lived in that house then surely I would be as bald as an egg? I would have the smoothest, shiniest dome in christendom. So does this mean while I'm at work some evil genius is breaking into my house with a troupe of long haired women and is spending his day shaving their heads in my shower? Or do I just have far more hair than I suspected?

It's one of life's little mysteries.

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Tuesday musings

It's that time of the week again, time for Tuesday musings. So, here is what is delighting and disappointing in my world at 8.33am on a Tuesday morning.

 

Disappointing

  • The long bank holiday weekend is over. Done. Not to be repeated for another whole year. And I wasted 2 whole days of it participating in the extreme sport known as "Ultimate Hangover". Yes, thanks to downing my own bodyweight in alcohol twiceover the long weekend, Friday and yesterday were a complete write off. You'd think I'd learn wouldn't you? You'd be wrong.
  • I'd been back in work precisely 10 minutes when a group of North East agents managed to create a problem that I now have to deal with. I will breathe deeply and be a calm and serene individual, I will rise above it. I will not give in to my first instinct which is to ring round hte lot of them and tell them that it's their problem, they can deal with it and as between them they've got the IQ of a teaspoon I'll be interested to see the results. No, I will merely deal with it without comment. Pillocks.
  • I'm skint again. I may just put that as a permanent Tuesday thing as I am always skint.
  • I got up too early. My eyes don't work and I can only communicate in surly sounding grunts. Given that everythng appears to be going tits-up already I may just give up and go home, start again tomorrow.

 

Delighting

  • Hmmmm. Tricky one. I'm not dead? Ooh no, I've got one, it's only a 4 day week this week.
  • My boss is out of the office so I can go out to my site early and then go straight home, meaning I get an early dart, hurrah!

 

So now I'm off to go and see if anyone has yet ventured to go and get milk. That way I can have some coffee and perhaps my powers of speech will return. Or perhaps  not, who knows? 

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Christmas arrangements and making a payment.

So, today in my very exciting life I have 2 things to report.

1)     After the last fiasco at Micah's mother's house (involving a lot of drink, a tantrum form his stepdad, a 90 minute game of 'hunt the secret booze stash that Rob is using to get twatted', a panic about the fact that he was drunk and angry and had access to a selection of shotguns, my mother in law having hysterics, having to be locked into our bedroom due to aforementioned problem with drunken stepfather and guns, mice under the bed and the fact I didn't get to sleep till 5am) I informed him last night that although I was happy (and by 'happy' I do of course merely mean 'resigned') to visit his family for christmas this year I wasn't willing to stay at his mother's house again. This isn't just because of his drunken stepfather who has the most amazing ability to completely ruin any social occasion by getting steaming drunk and starting a fight, but also because of his sister, an eerie creature who doesn't blink and who has many of the characteristics of Semtex. She is the only person who has ever screamed at me for no reason and not received a gobful in return and the reason for that is I was completely astounded. I'd never seen a 35 year old have a tantrum before and believe me, it's quite a sight, especially since she's cross eyed.

Unbelievably Micah just agreed that it would be best if we didn't stay there, which means I wasted an hour of my day thinking up convincing arguments as to why we shouldn't for no reason because he didn't even question it. This concerns me slightly because he said the reason he agreed so readily was because of the guns. Now, I just thought he was being completely paranoid and a bit of a drama queen (his family do have a touch of the histrionics from time to time and are rather prone to exaggeration) but for him to just state that he is quite happy to upset his mother by not staying at their house means he must have actually been genuinely concerned. Which bothers me because maybe that means there is something to be concerned about. My brother reckons I should shop him to the local police as an alcoholic which would mean that the guns would mare than likely be taken off him. I don't know why he keeps them anyway, he's usually pissed and when he isn't he's got the DTs so badly that his hands look like rest of him is standing on top of washing machine on spin cycle. He's got less chance of hitting a target with a bullet than I have of winning gold in the Olympic 100m sprint. Alarmingly I think this is what the rest of his family are counting on to stop them from receiving a direct hit from a 12 bore.

 

2)    Today I received a letter from the Next Directory to tell me I'd forgotten to pay my bill this month. Oops. So I attempted to pay online through their website but when the payment went to checking it came up with an message that said 'error on template'. As I had no idea whether the payment had gone through or not I thought I'd call customer services. So I get through to 'Joanne Smith' in Delhi and explained the problem and it's then that things got annoying:

Joanne: Well it is that you can be making a payment on your card Now. Are you be wanting to do that?

Me: Yes.

Joanne:  Is it that the card that you will be paying with is registered to the address that the account is in?

Me: Erm…no. Because I don't live at the address that the account is registered to, it's my parents address and the account is registered to there because I used to live there. I didn't change it because there isn't anyone at my new house during the day to receive the products.

Joanne: It is that you are only able to pay on the account with a card registered to the account address.

Me: But I don't have a card registered to that address because I haven't lived there for 4 years.

Joanne: It is that you are only able to pay on the account with a card registered to the account address.

Me: So do I have to change the account address to pay over the phone with my card?

Joanne: yes, that is being it.

Me: But doesn't that mean that all the stuff will be delivered to the new account address, my house, during the day while no one is in?

Joanne (happily): Yes. That is being it.

Me: But that isn't really going to work is it? Because you can't give stuff to someone who isn't there can you?

Joanne: No. You can't. Yes that is it. Deliver to account address, pay account, yes, that is it.

 

Give me strength.

 

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Tuesday Musings

And once again Tuesday is upon us so it is time to let everyone know what is good and bad in my world.

 

THINGS THAT GIVE ME PAIN:

  • The fact that my boss has just given me a rollocking for missing a couple of forms in the massive stack of paper that was in the office. Yes, well, if I was just doing my job rather than my job, the job of the Bowden site manager and most of the job of the useless twat that is my counterpart in the NE perhaps things would be running a little smoother wouldn't they? And incidentally I'm pissed off because I'm underpaid for what I do.
  • I'm skint again.
  • The bastard council tax has gone up again. Yet the service offered by the council has gone down and they have made swinging cuts. So if the amount of money they are spending has gone down how does my council tax need to go up? It doesn't make sense. Unless you take into account the massive wastage and huge swindles that go on in local councils in which case it all adds up perfectly.
  • The fact that the UK is becoming a complete rip off. Politicians are corrupt, petrol is at an all time high and set to rise higher, the streets are full of pissed up chavs armed with knives and guns and some horse-faced arsehead has scratched the side of my sodding car.
  • I can't get another job because I'm 28 and married so everyone assumes I'm about to go off and breed. Which I'm not but the equal opportunity laws means that they aren't allowed to ask and I'll look like a right lunatic if I march into an interview and announce that I am not about to have babies.

 

THINGS THAT GIVE ME PLEASURE

  • Because of Easter not only is it a 4 day week this week but it's also a 4 day week next week. Sometimes religion is a good thing.
  • My cheque has cleared for the money my parents owe me which means that once I sober up from Thursday's girls night I can start planning my garden. which currently is a rectangle of scruffy grass liberally decorated with dog turds but which will soon be an oasis of outdoor happiness. I suspect that keeping it as such is going to involve retraining the dog.
  • I have a girls night at an old school friend's house on Thursday night. We are all dressing in red and going round for meatballs and bellinis to plan Sarah's wedding. Proper girly fun. And contrary to what my husband believes (thanks to film and tv) girly sleepovers DO NOT generally end up with all the girls getting it on.

 

So there we have it, the good and the bad for today. Have a nice day all!!!

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The budget has been announced – and it’s time to rant.

Alistair Darling, our badger faced Chancellor has announced the budget and once again it has annoyed me. Why? Because once again I might as well have given him a list of all the things I enjoy and do as a full time employed middle class female who has a car then watched him work through it slapping a new tax on every item. Let's hav a look at a few of his announcements shall we?

BOOZE

The government fears that Britain has a problem with booze and antisocial behaviour and for once they might just be correct. I'm forever tripping over pissed up teens on my way to Spar to buy some soy sauce. So the government have decided to tackle the problem head on. Have they announced an education programme to get teens educated about alcohol? Nope. Have they announced investment in youth clubs to give kids an alternative to hanging around at the end of my road getting smashed? Er…no. The solution they've come up with is……the NuLabour favourite, whack a bit more tax on it. And it's really well thought out as too. 14p more on a bottle of wine – so those of us who like a glass of decent Cabernet Sauvignon with dinner a couple of nights a week will be out of pocket. If they've put that on a bottle of wine then surely the teens favourite tipple, cider, will have been taxed into the middle of next week, won't it? Well actually no, it won't. Cider is up 3p a litre from Sunday. This means that a litre of Diamond White, enough, to encourage the average teen to smash the bus stop then throw up over mum's Axminster will be up from about £2,50 to….about £2.50. Alistair, you're a fucking genius.

 

CARS

With this bit of the budget Alistair is trying to convince us that the government cares about the environment. As we all know, this isn't actually true because if it was none of them would have a car and they certainly wouldn't drive large performance cars. On expenses. There is to be major reform of vehicle excise duty so that 'polluting' cars pay up to £950 a year in tax while lowest polluting cars pay nothing. I'm willing to bet that the average car (mine's a Fiesta 1.25 if anyone's interested) goes up in tax. Added to which, the most polluting car I've sat behind ina  while was a 12 year old Datsun Sunny which contained 7 Asian chaps and was pumping out thick black smoke from the rear. Chances that they have £950 to spend on car tax? Slim. The answer for your average punter? Don't register your vehicle and slap a false set of number plates on it. The result – Britain will be full of unregistered vehicles making dealing with car crime virtually impossible.

The congestion charge was introduced in London to cut congestion, obviously. For a while it worked but then people realised that you could get round it by cloning the number plate of someone else's vehicle and sticking it on yours. This is quite common now apparently. The other problem with the congestion charge is that is hasn't worked. Congestion in London went down briefly then went straight back up again and is now worse than ever. This scheme has been such a fuck up that Alistair and the other government goons have decided to…….set aside funds to introduce it to the rest of the country. Again, well done chaps, who needs joined up thinking anyway?

 

THE ENVIRONMENT 

Laws are to be introduced to tax plastic bags if shops aren't charging for them. I can't even be bothered to go into how utterly mental this is except to say – what are they going to do, send auditors round to my gaff to riffle through my drawers and cupboards in order to find illicit Tesco carrier bags? Maybe they could retrain the police sniffer dogs, no more hunting out smack for them, it's carrier bags all the way for Fido and friends. Completely bloody mental.

Apparently, for 'environmental reasons' fuel duty will rise by 0.5p a litre in real terms in 2010. Environmental reasons? Do I look like I just dropped out of a fucking tree or something?

 

There's plenty more I could say but frankly I can't be arsed, I'm just making myself angry and I'm actually meant to be doing some work. So, for all those out there who don't spend their days sat on their arse watching Jeremy Kyle, drinking Special Brew and smoking Rothmans, for those who work or are at home trying to bring up their kids to be reasonable, well educated, fair people with a decent work ethic, for anyone who doesn't live in London so doesn't have a possible public trainsport link to every bit of their hometown I suggest this:

 

Take the above picture of our eyebrow-heavy buffoon of a chancellor, print it out, cut round it, glue it to a bit of cardbord, wall mount it and throw darts at it. Pretty soon it's the only entertainment you're going to be able to afford. 

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