Tuesday, 26 August 2008


There is a (denied) rumour that this PC Government has banned the world-famous Red Arrows from appearing at the 2012 London Olympics because they are deemed to be 'too British'? Organisers of the event say that their military background might be 'offensive' to other countries taking part in the Games.

The display team have performed at more than 4000 events worldwide, but the Department of Culture, Media and Sport have decreed that the display team is 'too militaristically British.' Red Arrows pilots were said to be 'outraged', as they had hoped to put on a truly world class display for the Games, something which had never been seen before.

Being axed from a British-based event for being 'too British' is an insult - they are a symbol of Britain and have been excellent ambassadors for British overseas trade, as they display their British-built Hawk aircraft all over the world.

They performed a short flypast in 2005 when the winning bid was announced, but their flypast at the Games was to have been truly spectacular. It is to be hoped that common sense prevails.

If these persistent rumours are true (and I have it on good authority from impeccable sources that they are) and you disagree with this decision, sign the petition on the link http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/RedArrows2012/?ref=redArrows2012 Forward this on to everyone you can. What the hell is this country coming to?

And finally ...............I Believe that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but, we are responsible for who we and our country has become.

Monday, 25 August 2008


We went to a classy wedding this weekend involving a stay over at a swish hotel. Unfortunately OG had chemo on Thursday and was feeling so ropey that all he saw of the hotel was the inside of the bedroom. When we got home I asked if he would like me to get him a McDonald meal so that he could get one of the free “to die for” Coca Cola glasses. I thought it might lift his spirits. It doesn’t take a lot to please us!

So off I trot to our local McD

“A double cheeseburger meal with diet coke please”

“We don’t do a cheeseburger meal, but if you order a cheeseburger with fries it’s cheaper anyway”

I couldn’t quite get my head around how a cheeseburger with fries was cheaper than a cheeseburger meal that they didn’t do, but I went along with that one without comment!

“OK, but do I get a glass with that?”

“No we’ve run out of glasses, and anyway they only come with the large meals”

“But I only came for the glass”

“Sorry, we’ve run out”

“So your advert is wrong, I can’t get a glass with a large meal”

“No, we’ve run out”

By this time a queue was forming behind me, people were getting restless.

“But that’s dishonest, I should get a glass as advertised”

“Sorry, we’ve run out, we tried other restaurants but they don’t have any either. We may have some tomorrow though”

“But surely your manager should arrange for anyone that qualifies to come back and pick up the glass tomorrow”


“Yes what?”

“He should have, I sorry”

If the girl had been cheeky or rude I could have got mad, but she was so sweet and there was a crowd gathering so I dropped the subject and ordered a double cheeseburger with fries. I must be getting soft in my old age.

Despite DogLover’s scepticism I attest to the fact that this is a true account, as is everything that I write (well almost everything)

And finally…..money will buy a fine dog but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

Sunday, 24 August 2008


From time to time (well, quite often actually) I find myself wondering why I bother to blog. It’s childish, I blab about private stuff, I sometimes cringe at the things I write and make a vow to stop. …and then something strikes me as sad, funny, peculiar, wonderful or just plain daft and there I go again, writing about it.

This morning I was in this mood. Stop it Ann, grow up, behave yourself and then I saw this saw this and here I go again.

I know, it’s only washing on a line. Nothing special or spectacular in that you may say but let me tell you that it’s 7 o’clock on a Sunday morning and what you can’t make out is that it’s pouring with rain. Now know that I could be considered the Queen of Weirdness but my neighbour pips me to post for that particular award. She always pegs her washing on the line very early in the morning, but ONLY if it’s raining. Am I missing something here?

And finally, the nicest thing about the future is it always starts tomorrow.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008


I was having a rant in the car on the way to town. OG was sitting beside me very, very silent.

“Sorry, I'm going on a bit aren’t I but I had to get it off of my chest”

“When did you last blog?

“Oh, about a week ago I should think”

“Well for fuck sake get it out of your system on-line, not in this car”

“Fair enough, I’ll take it that you want me to shut up then?”

“You’re damn right I do”

"Well fuck you too"

I think that he would do well to remember that I am betrothed to Francesco!

And finally German beer cans, when finished with, are compressed and made into park benches.

They aren't use as such in Germany, since they are below the standard required by German law.

So the benches are exported to Russia. They go to Irkutsk in Siberia where they are used in public parks and streets.

However the weather is always too cold in Irkutsk for anyone to want to sit out in the open.

Just thought you should know. Roll on global warming, I say.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008


Yesterday was a strange day of three totally contrasting parts.

Part 1. Two little girls and I set up our new Wii and between us became totally frustrated and confused but in a companionable, amiable sort of way. Then the littlest girl went to the builders merchants with granddad and came back with chocolate. Chocolate = hyperactivity.

Part 2. Pre, during and post lunch was a descent into hell leaving me absolutely brain dead, so much so that granddad offered to take the girls out on another builders merchant run to give me peace.

Part 3. Having re-grouped and re-assembled my poor mind and body I summoned up the energy to go to town to collect the book my French family had bought for my birthday and attend the book signing ceremony and boy am I glad that I made the effort!

I have been a drooling, panting, pathetically adoring fan of this author for some years and the thought of meeting him in the flesh (as it where) was too good to miss. And he didn’t disappoint. He tells a good story and is soooooooo charming.
This is what he wrote in my book.

Can you read it? it says "To Ann, will you marry me? Francesco da Mosto". He then looked at me and with a twinkle in his eyes said "have a good time, ciao" because he knew that I would be lunching out on this inscription for the rest of my life!

And finally - money can't buy happiness - but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than in a Kia.

Friday, 8 August 2008


“I spy with my little eye something beginning with ch”

The little one doesn’t quite get the rules of this game, but hey, she is only 5.

“OK, ch – is it a Chair” “No”

Her sister chimes in “Is it in the car?” “No”

“Is it on a tree?” “No but it’s right near you now, now it’s gone”

We drive along a bit further.

“Can you see it now?” “No”

“Wow that’s really hard, I give in”

“So do I” says her sister.

She giggles “Shall I tell you?” “OK” “Chaffic lights”

Talking about traffic a man is stuck in a jam for 4 hours on the M1. Eventually he sees a guy walking along between the lines of cars towards him. "What's the hold-up?", he asks. "A ministerial Jag has been hijacked. They're holding Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and the minister for transport to ransom for £10 million, or they're threatening to set fire to them. We're collecting donations.""OK. How much is everyone else giving?""About a gallon!" Boom! Boom!

Sunday, 3 August 2008


David McMahon on http://david-mcmahon.blogspot.com/ has asked the question "Which song brings you the best memories?" It has to be "I can see clearly now the rain has gone" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3KwpJUrgN4. My first marriage had broken up and life was pretty bad and then I me OG. The song seemed to say everything that I felt at the time.


Compare my “French family’s” health care schedule with OG’s. My SIL has arthritis and was feeling unwell and my daughter suspected that my grandson has a hernia. It was decided that a trip to the doctor was in order and this is how it went:

Thursday 07.45pm - Called doctor’s surgery for two appointments
Friday 10.45am - They both saw a doctor at the same time
Friday 11.30am – The doctor confirmed that my grandson probably does have a hernia and made an appointment for him to see the professor at a top children's hospital.
Friday 12.00pm - SIL had an X-ray taken which was handed to him
Friday 12.15pm - SIL’s bloods taken and results available on website at 4pm
Monday 09.00am – SIL has appointment to see doctor to discuss blood and X-Ray

My daughter than commented that although they had to pay, the experience was so different from the UK and she wonders how could we have got it so wrong? I know what she is talking about because it is the same in Switzerland. They don’t have any understanding of waiting lists. They simply don’t exist.

First let me say that although she had to pay she is saving a fortune by NOT having to pay a National Insurance contribution of 11% towards a “free” NHS. To this 11% a similar amount is payable by the employer. As a company the NI portion of our monthly PAYE cheque is higher than the IR contribution The amount that we pay is scandalous and the service that we get for it is 3rd world class.

In Switzerland it‘s compulsory for everyone to pay into a private health insurance scheme of their choice according to their means. People on low income don’t pay but have exactly the same health care as people who have paid into the scheme. There is a “one tier” system free at the point of delivery. You don’t have to “sign on” with a doctor. They work a free market system and you have choice in the practice you attend. For example you may prefer a GP that specialises in diabetes. This keeps the doctors on their toes and they have to give good service otherwise you vote with your feet.

Back to OG’s schedule. He was backward and forward to the GP from mid July to mid October when we had to cut short our visit to America because he was in so much pain. He was referred to a consultant who sodded around until 21st December when he confirmed OG had bladder cancer, referred him to a surgeon who also sodded around until 18th March and finally operated on him. By this time the cancer had travelled into his prostrate and two of the six lymph nodes examined.

Then there was the post-op farce. He was scheduled to see the Uri-Oncological Nurse Practitioner for 6 to 8 consecutive weeks. On week 3 OG was not well enough to travel the 150 mile round trip and we cancelled the appointment. This was on 14th April. The following week another appointment was set for 27th JULY! We tried to get an earlier date but were jerked around so much and finally gave up trying.

Throughout all this OG has been experiencing problems with his bowels and would like to know if this is usual following this operation or is it something that needs attention. The GP wrote to the surgeon to get him an appointment. He didn’t get a reply. The chemo nurse rang the surgeon’s secretary to get him an appointment and he still didn’t reply. The chemo nurse then told the oncologist and he finally got OG an appointment to see the surgeon next Monday. It’s all a total nightmare.

And do you know the scariest thing about this? OG has private health insurance and has probably been treated better than he would if he were a NHS patient!

Friday, 1 August 2008


I know that I bang on a bit, but this is what I read on Valleys Mams blog recently http://merchmerthyr.blogspot.com/

"Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 600 employees and has the following employee statistics .

29 have been accused of spouse abuse
7 have been arrested for fraud9 have been accused of writing bad cheques
17 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
3 have done time for assault
71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
8 have been arrested for shoplifting
21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
84 have been arrested for drink driving in the last yearWhich organisation is this ?

It's the 635 members of the House of Commons, the same group that cranks out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line.What a bunch we have running our country - it says it all.And just to top all that they probably have the best 'corporate' pension scheme in the country "

And as a direct result of THAT, THIS is what happens, and I quote from my delightful lunch companion:

"Yesterday a Peterborough Council van turns up at my factory. From this small van emerged man mountain in his hi-vis jacket (part of which had been hanging out of the door of the van). He asked to see the blue bin we use for recyclable waste, inspected it, said it needed a micro-chip, got back into his van (again shuting the door with the the hi-vis vest still sticking out !!!) and with a "I need to go and find a drill so I can fit the micro-chip it needs" drove off into the vast blue yonder.

More than 24 hours later he hasn't returned - obviously still driving round trying to find the drill (or another MacDonalds snack???)

My first comment - "I want his job"!!!! Or should it be "Let's look at our council tax bills" 'cos that has just cost us a packet!!!! My next comment "I micro-chip my pets so I can a) find them if they wander off or b)take them abroad with me."

As I don't anticipate that my battered blue bin will go walk about without my permission because I already have it well trained and I sure as hell don't intend taking it with me on holiday (it's hard enough getting an average size suitcase through security let alone a 550k council blue recycling bin and anyway, the bin says it doesn't do sun very well and wants a stayloday this year to count towards its carbon footprint), what the hell was that all about?

So, you criminal morons, sort out the mess before we sort you out.