Something strange is afoot in the countryside….

 

About a quarter of mile from my parent’s house is a country lane that runs into the Irwell Valley and it’s where mum and me walk the dog each night in a desperate attempt to make us as svelte as the hound. Well that’s every night when it isn’t raining and we can both be arsed, otherwise the dog has to make do with being dragged half-heartedly around my local park. The lane runs down the back of a housing estate into the countryside, past a couple of farms, the old Jewish cemetery, past some fields and the new Jewish crem and out by the rugby club. It’s pretty dark down there but I’ve never seen anything weird. Well there was the drug dealing but that’s more dodgy than weird and anyway, it’s just kids buying weed who ignore you. There was also the gay sex in cars period, where everytime we took the dog out he’d end up on his hind paws barkeing at whoever’s naked ass happened to be pressed against the passenger window that particular evening but when the police started cruising round each evening that died out. I guess this is what happens when you put a bit of countryside on the edge of a city, people use it to shag in. But apart from these occurrences nothing weird and certainly nothing uncomfortable, until this evening.

We set out with the dog as normal, past the housing estate, past the farm and as we rounded the corner we saw two cars parked outside the old crem with their lights on. And they clearly saw us too. Suddenly men swapped from one car to another, they started up and drove past up the way we’d come. So we assumed they were just an early season group of shaggers, until the first car, which had obviously turned round rather than just drive up to the road at the top, drove past us again going the other way and slowed down as it passed. Then we saw the other one coming towards us, there were clearly men in the back and it was slowing down. Now mum and me are not hysterical women, we are made of stern stuff but something didn’t seem quite right here so we decided to take the only sensible course of action – yes, we made an undignified scramble over a rickety gate into a field and headed towards the new crem hoping to cut through the wood and come back out on the track further down. As it got level with where we’d climbed into the field it slowed right down and we heard voices. The dog was helping no end with our stealth mission by running round like a twat and yowling but we persisted, aiming for the far end of the field. About the same time we discovered that sometime in the20 years since I last trespassed in that particular field, some bastard had installed a barbed wire fence, the car by the gate moved on round the track. We stood for a moment trying to decide whether to risk trying to climb over the barbed wire fence and and then looking really stupid as we explain to the nurse giving the tetanus jab WHY we’ve both got lacerations or whether to go back across the field and head up the way we came when the cars reached the point in the track where we would emerge if we took the way by the woods. And stopped. And cut their headlights. Decision made, we were going back the way we came, at a decidedly quicker pace than we headed there. So we practicaly jogged all the way back and emerged sweaty and slightly embarrassed into the housing estate and safety.

The countryside – clearly not only full of wolves and bears and roadkill but now also homicidal maniacs hunting in packs. And they say city streets are dangerous….

There Are No Rules – How to Find a Direct Line to Your Readers

For any of your out there who are interested in publishing what you write, here’s an article from industry insider, newly ensconced publisher and all round fantastic woman, Patricia:

There Are No Rules – How to Find a Direct Line to Your Readers.

Motoring advice

Right motorists of Manchester, I think it’s time we had a chat about driving etiquette, in particular the use of headlights.

We live in a city, a big city and it’s lit up brighter than Beelzebub’s boudoir. The purpose of your headlights is not to enable you to see in the dark, because it isn’t bloody dark, no the purpose is to give away your position to other motorists around you. This means there is NO GOOD REASON for you to be driving round the M60 motorway with your full beams on, temporarily blinding the poor bastard in front of you.  That is especially true of anyone driving one of those bloody great 4x4s whose ordinary lights are capable of causing permanent retinal damage to anyone who happens to be in front and whose full beams are of such ferocious wattage that they will cause any small furry creature caught in their glare for more than a nanosecond to spontaneously combust.

And another thing. The law states that if you are driving a car you must have TWO functioning headlights. TWO. Your car does not suddenly become legal if you make the one functioning headlight twice as bright to compensate for the fact that one of them is fucked. So don’t be a cheapskate, pay the fiver to get a new bulb and replace the damned thing.

Now we get to ‘the laws of physics’. The laws of physics state that two solid objects cannot occupy the same physical space without catastrophic side effects. For this reason it is not a good idea to attempt to put your car in the space that mine is currently occupying. Yes BMW driver who this morning attempted to wipe me off the motorway so that he could get one car in front, I’m talking to you. Trying to bully me off the road by threatening to smash the side of my car if I don’t alter the laws of physics and suddenly create a space where one did not previously exist does not work for the simple reason that it isn’t my car. If you break it, I don’t pay for the damage, your insurance does and it doesn’t affect mine one jot as I’m on work’s insurance policy. They’ll provide me with a courtesy car until the usual car is fixed then all continues as before for me, meanwhile your insurance company will put a big red stamp on your file reading ‘arrogant twat’ and stick an extra 0 on the end of your next insurance quote. So cut it the fuck out, alright?

Did I spell it right?

Have I cocked it up?

Have I opened the door to Mr Cockup?

I’ve just been scouring the internet for keepsake gifts for my gorgeous new niece. Having found one that’s perfect, I opted to have it engraved with her name and birthdate. So I filled in the details and paid.

Now that the item is ordered, I’m paranoid that I’ve spelled her name wrong or made a mistake on her birth date. I’ve checked it 6 times and even had a look on the computer’s calendar to make sure that I haven’t gone entirely mental and that it is the year I thought it was. For the reassurance of anyone else out there who is concerned that they might have accidentally lost or gained a year somewhere, I can tell you that it’s definitely 2011. I can’t see a mistake anywhere but I’ve still got a niggling doubt and it’s bugging me. If the item arrives and I discover I had some sort of major brain malfunction whilst filling in the form leading to me ordering an item inscribed “Bathsheba Jezebel” I will not be pleased…

Why working is for pillocks.

I was directed by someone to an article in the London Standard about a bogus asylum seeker (to be found here: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23912590-gang-rape-asylum-seeker-jailed-for-pound-250000-benefits-fraud.do )

This charming woman came here all the way from Somalia, with her six kids, claiming asylum because her family had been attacked and murdered and she herself had been raped. Clearly deserving of asylum and help, yes? Well she would be, if it hadn’t all been so much bullshit. What she’d actually come here (via that well known warzone, Sweden) to do is claim from our shiny lovely benefits system. Something that she clearly has a knack for, given that between 2004 and 2010 she raked in just over £260k (having already got £50k out of the Swedish authorities).

Now my maths isn’t the greatest but let’s have a go at some sums shall we?

Benefits are tax free, so what would you have to earn in order to wind up with that much in your pocket? Assuming a tax free allowance of £6k and tax paid at 20% on the first £37k then 40% on the subsequent amount, I make it £354,200 over six years before tax. Or, if you prefer, a salary of £59,033.33 per annum.

I can tell you without fear of revealing my salary that it isn’t anywhere near this amount. Not even slightly. I can also say with 99% certainty that to get this cash Ms Muse did not ever have to get up at 6am then go and stand on a shitworks in the snow while the morning turds of rural Lancashire sailed merrily by.

And this folks, is why working is for pillocks.  You do dull or unpleasant jobs with people who frequently get right on your nerves in order to be awarded far less money than Miss Muse has raked in and then to add insult to injury, the government remove a portion of it to pay Miss Muse her £59k a year and allow her to live in a house in Neasden that you’ll never ever be able to afford.

I’m all for helping those in need, those who require a helping hand, those who are ill and those whose circumstances have changed through no fault of their own however I am not for paying tax in order to support idle fuckers who come all the way here to take the piss out of the system. So, what I propose is this – pop Miss Muse back on the plane to Somalia and let’s see her try and swindle £250k out of their authorities. Just to prove I’m not mean or malicious, I’ll even give her a sandwich and a packet of crisps for the journey, you can’t say fairer than that now can you?