8 days ago
I was only joking when I suggested that someone here in the last village in Wales, snitch-on-Dee would report me for having a bonfire. But hey ho..meet Abi Lancelotte, the teenage curtain twitcher.
924 days ago
I have been given a massive run around by Barclays (BARC) today and I hate them with a passion. I have also had domestic issues with flooding. I explain all but am in a foul mood. Phil Hammond is not being straight with us in the Budget. He is a knobhead. I explain a few truths you will not hear from him, or indeed the other lot. At a company level I cover Warpaint London (W7L), I3 Energy (I3E) and Frontera Resources (FRR). Warning this podcast contains very bad language. The only high point of my day was a sweet email from Abbe Aronson - the girl who broke my heart 32 years ago - after this article on the US mid-terms. Abbe, thanks for brightening an otherwise shite day.
924 days ago
I accept that calling the US Mid-terms a week early is a tad dangerous. There are a number of wild cards which could upset my calculations but having called the Trump win in 2016, here are my predictions…
1130 days ago
I take mental health very seriously and would never trivialise it. My mother killed herself when I was 8. I have suffered from bouts of severe depression and have been open about having a serious breakdown some six years ago when everything went wrong and I just could not cope. That I met the woman who is now my wife at my lows as I considered diving into the abyss I thought I faced, may well have saved my life. I do not joke about or trivialise such matters.
1316 days ago
A nation is grieving, said more or less everybody after the awful events in Las Vegas. Really? In the old days one grieved for the loss of someone you knew or were related to, someone you had cared about before they headed off to a better place. It was part of the process of coping with the absence of someone who had been part of your life but was now just not there anymore.
1476 days ago
As you know I measure my fluctuating weight by the waist size of the trousers that best fit. 32 inches and I am back where i was at 18 when Abbe Aronson broke my heart, something that still traumatises me to this day. I was also at 32 when the Guardian newspaper, in a very rare moment of vision, described me as "the housewife's favourite" as I presented SMTM on Channel 4. 44 ( or was it 46) was my bloated peak. I started this holiday in 36 inch jeans.
1541 days ago
Just over a third of the way between the Hovel and the far end of the land lies an old ruin. I think it was a house once and in a sense it still is. For inside the ruins there lived a snake all of last summer and the summers before. I heard it many times as I rushed on by. When foolish enough to prune the olive tree at its edge last summer I saw a snake shape disappearing into the grass. This is Mr snake's house. But not for much longer.
1665 days ago
My friend Elaine tweets out that all straight men love lesbians. I think she extrapolates from the fact that we all love her, the specific, to the general. I am not sure she has much to go on in the way of first hand experience to speak for all straight men.
1844 days ago
Desperate to avoid speculation as to the cause of death of weirdo pop legend Prince, the death of the singer and songwriter dominated the news channels last night. It was the lead story on Channel 4 News with Jon Snow paying his respects to the man. Sod Syria or the amazing investigations by Michael Crick into how the Tories broke election law in a wholesale manner ( great work by Crick), Prince was the main story of the day.
He was at his height when I was young. His music played as Abbe Aronson spurned me so cruelly and broke my heart, a trauma the heartless woman still refuses to acknowkledge, so causing further agonising heartache when we chat every couple of months or so. Shall I ever recover? I digress. I was not much into Prince himself although he was clearly a pop genius writing hits for a stack of other artists as well as for himself.
I still remember heading to the Birmingham Powerhouse
2790 days ago
Bad news for Abbe Aronson, the girl who broke my heart in 1985 – she will have to go topless for now. For Abbe requested a “Sefton is fucked T-shirt” which I dutifully ordered for her but had not quite got around to posting. And blow me down but a customer rolled into Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell today and said he really, really wanted to buy one. The chap is apparently trying to get a mining exploration company in Afghanistan underway. If he ever organises a press trip, I told him he can offer my place to someone back at t1ps who really deserves a week or two in Helmund province. Don't all say it - I am just too much of a nice guy.
Anyhow, sorry Abbe. On that holiday you are planning (I really do recommend Albania) you will have to go topless. I shall order another one for you right away.
2845 days ago
Call Me Dave this week boasted that he wanted “to export gay marriage” around the world. I support the idea that gay men and women should be allowed to get married and divorced just like straight couples. Why should the misery of this institution be the preserve of heterosexuals? Spread the pain. But at every level David Cameron MP just shows himself up as a member of a metropolitan Elite with a particular world view which makes me despise ever more.
My starting point is that as a libertarian I believe that you have every right to do whatever you want with your own body. As such there should be no differentiation in law between gay folk and straight folk. Homosexuality, like playing Hockey, watching Golf or going to Ibiza has never appealed to me personally but whatever floats your boat. So
2947 days ago
I took the booking on Sunday Morning as I prepared a private lunch for a friend at Real Man Pizza Company. A table for twelve on our quietest evening – Monday. Sure thing. The 12 turned out to be students from New York University studying in London for a year. They loved their pizza and chatted gaily. Can anyone name the capital of South Dakota? Er.. I was happy to assist. It’s Pierre. Bit as they chatted happily I look at my computer and saw what was happening in Boston.
I told them. Immediately they grabbed their i-phones and sat their gaping at the awful pictures, swapping snippets of rumour and mis-information, stunned. The natural reaction: did they know anyone in Boston. Of course they did. Emails and texts were sent. Will there be other attacks elsewhere. New York is in lockdown. Or maybe it is not. Who did it? Does it matter? Naturally we all have suspicions. But no-one aired them.
After offering them some chocolate pizza on me, my mind turned instantly back to Lockerbie. My first great love Abbe (who so cruelly spurned me all those years ago) was a student at Syracuse. So too were a big party on that fateful flight. Some died at once. Others only as they hit the ground after a 30 second freefall. I know Abbe has been haunted by the friends she lost and by a terror of flying ever since. I guess it is more than 25 years ago now.
There will be some folks in Britain who will harp on about America getting its just desserts. The same sort of revolting people who will be celebrating as others mourn on Wednesday. As it happens I regard America as, generally, a force for good in the world and a free and dynamic society I can only but admire. But as these youngsters wander back tonight I feel for them. They will be exposed to the nasty side of Britain as the nasty left spits bile not sympathy. All they will want is to be back home with their families.
My thoughts are with those hurt, killed or mourning in Boston. But my thoughts are also with a stunned and unhappy group of twelve young Americans wandering home tonight.
2974 days ago
Yesterday David Cameron climbed down and agreed to the demands of Labour, the Lib Dems and Hacked off Campaigners like Hugh Grant (who was not at the time getting a blow job from a roadside hooker) and has agreed to State regulation of the press. Indeed it is worse than that since the new body set up will also cover anyone who publishes news related information in the UK. So that might get my Dad involved. The Shipston on Stour Parish newsletter is within the scope of this new legislation and should my father wish to moralise about the domestic arrangements of local celebs Tessa Jowell MP and David Mills, now happy reconciled as of one week after she stepped down from front line politics, Jowell could in theory report my poor father to the new regulator. And any blog is potentially within this remit if its primary discussion matter is news related – which includes celebs and hookers.
The press were not involved in agreeing the new Royal Charter and oppose it. But most big news organisations will eventually sign up to the code although the Telegraph appears to be. If you do not and the political stooges who manage it find you have breached you could face company destroying damages. And as things stand you may have to pay damages if you are hauled before the new body and found innocent.
This is therefore a fundamental assault not just on the press but on free speech.
It is a sad day. It will make it easier for the same MPs who have pushed through this legislation to lie, cheat and steal. It will make it easier for celebs to portray one image and get you to buy their merchandise while doing whatever they wish on the side. It will make it less likely that the crimes of future Jimmy Savile’s, expense fiddling MPs, hooker using politicians (Archer) or celebs (Grant) will be exposed. It truly marks an acceleration towards the world of Airstrip One.
3202 days ago
I rather sense that Facebook is the tip of the iceberg. In case you missed it the company has admitted that 1 in 10 of its (almost 1 billion) accounts are bogus.
Worse still, a customer has pulled its advertising claiming that 80% of the cash it paid over on a click per payment basis was for clicks generated by bots (automatic programmes). But I suspect it is not just Facebook where an obsession with headline users masks one or two issues.
I found myself celebrating this week as on Thursday I moved into the top 18 million Tweeters on this planet in terms of followers. By Friday I was in the top 17 million and by the time you read this I expect to be in the top 15 million. The power of my tweeting! My Chest swelled as I thought how, in 8 weeks, I have overtaken the vast bulk of the world’s 500 million tweeters in terms of following. Gosh I must be funny! Ahem. I then disovered that around 1 in 10 of those folks had not actually tweeted anything and had no followers at all. It appears that by the time my step sister Flea, plus my amour of 1986 Abbe and Karen, Colombia’s second greatest export after cocaine, had followed me I had already overtaken about 20% of twitter users in terms of following.
3205 days ago
One of the minor matters that I have resented during the past few years has been the idea of dressing to a corporate standard. There are greater issues that have caused me angst but this is an easy one to address going forward. When I started t1ps my attire was T-shirt and shorts/jeans. When the office was in my home I used to work in my underpants. It was a time when life was simple, work was fun in that I did only what I enjoyed (mainly writing) and was – I think – quite good at what I did. And no-one told me what to wear. I remember Algy Cluff being a bit surprised to find me wearing Irish rugby shorts and a T-shirt with some vaguely controversial message across the front, but most CEOs judge you on your work, not on what you wear.
Gradually, the pressures increased to smarten up. I found a review of a talk I gave a long time ago where I was lambasted for wearing a crumpled shirt. Heck did the reviewer know that was an upgrade? Looking back I can see some inverse sort of correlation between freedom to wear what I want & to write what I wanted and my move to do other things and an increasing sense of frustration and unhappiness. However that was suppressed at the time. Maybe weight gain was a symptom of that.
And so, going forward, whatever I do it has to be on the condition that I will be looking rather casual as I do it. I guess that rules out a career at Morgan Stanley. Drat. But my lifetime love affair with the T-shirt can once again come out of the closet.
3207 days ago
Finding a set of scales to weigh yourself seems impossible here in Greece. I have asked at hotel after hotel but with no joy. I tried a couple of beauty salons and a place where you stick your feet in a tank of fish but no joy. It is as if in a sort of medieval fairy tale like way, the fat crooks of Pasok and New Democracy who have for the past 30 years eaten all the pies while pretending to run the country, had purged the land of weighing machines. This was a desperate attempt to ensure that no-one could check out how grossly overweight they were after all those pies, as the economy moved into the latter stages of anorexia.
But today I struck gold and weighed myself in a small chemists shop. And dear readers .. I am now just 2 lb away from being officially what the British Heart Foundation describes as a “normal healthy” weight. I shall be off on a run later today to celebrate. Putting this in context, my peak weight was 19 stone six pounds. I am now 13 stone 10 pounds. Put another way