Personal and undiluted views
Christmas

217 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Surely Cineworld has to be a great short, the key is the balance sheet

I start with Joshua’s Advent calendar and my great uncle the jail bird and end with Christmas news from the Welsh hovel which shows how fecking green I am. In between I look at Hurricane Energy (HUR), Angling Direct (ANG), Cineworld (CINE), Trainline (TRN), Frazers (FRAS), Powerhouse (PHE) and Metro Bank (MTRO)

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218 days ago

Photo Article: Reflections on Christmas cards at the Welsh Hovel

Before I start, I must confess that I stand guilty of gross hypocrisy. My preference, as long-term readers know, is for Christmas cards to be somehow related to why we are all having a holiday on December 25 even if we are not celebrating Christmas. That is to say the birth of Jesus.  But this year the card I sent out was of a snowman. My excuse was that it was designed by Joshua at his nursery. Last year, I failed almost as badly with the card being of a tree. It too was designed by Joshua but at his playgroup in Wales so the message was very much Nadolig Llawen. Okay, so I am a hypocrite. Next up: a confession of very minor sexism.

 

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218 days ago

Photo Article: Oops Joshua and I forced into emergency and chaotic Christmas Pudding making at the Welsh Hovel

I discovered last week that the one Christmas Pudding I had saved for two years and was planning to use this year had been got at. I am not sure when or where given that our two killer cats have made this a mouse-free zone. I suspect the damage was not caused by mice but by something else. Anyhow it is panic stations as, if various folks are happy to break the insane laws we live under, we will have two Christmases here: one with the in-laws and one with the younger generation later.

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220 days ago

Photo article from the Welsh Hovel: Almost tearful as I opened the box and smelled the smell

This will be our second Christmas without my Godfather and Uncle, Christopher Booker. Every other Christmas in my life, Chris sent first my parents, then my father, then my father and myself a cheese from Cheddar: a real organic product from the county in which he lived and loved, Somerset. Last year, much to my surprise, a cheese arrived as normal. Knowing that he was dying he had, two years ago, placed orders for both 2018 and 2019. But this year I was rather resigned to that tradition ending. This morning a large box arrived at the Welsh Hovel.

 

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224 days ago

Going back to Church – is my absence a sign of a wavering Christian faith?

Other than for my father’s funeral, I have not been to church since the start of the ludicrous lockdowns in March. For a while our Church here in the last village in Wales was closed but in September it sort of re-opened, though this family did not go.

 

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231 days ago

Dana Nessell - your ultimate Biden-loving, Jesus-denying, A grade liberal hypocrite

Whether godless liberals accept it or not, the reason they get a holiday this month is because the rest of us are celebrating the birth of Jesus. But in corrupt Michigan, the state Attorney General thinks it is fine to say Happy Holidays as that does not denigrate Christians but merely recognises “the diversity of the nation.” However, if one looks at her Twitter feed in May during Eid…

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238 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Christmas Woodlarks appeal - 148% of target reached, thank you it is all done & the appeal is over

I asked you to help raise £3500 for the Woodlarks Christmas Grotto appeal. You have been most generous. As you can see here, we have raised £5,185.15, with Gift aid £5,807.89. You have been most generous and myself and Nick Richards from Woodlarks would like to thank each and every one of you who chipped in. You are heroes. And I promise that, other than an en passant mention in Bearcast later, I shall not mention Woodlarks again until Christmas.  Nick says that the extra cash will go to even better presents for the online Grotto. Once again, I thank you.

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241 days ago

85% of way to target after 40 hours: Tom Winnifrith’s Woodlarks Christmas Appeal – if you can be generous please be generous

I know that readers of this website have given so much to Woodlarks over the years. This summer the Rogue Bloggers walk saw us raise enough to ensure that this amazing charity will not go bust despite the lockdown which has been a disaster for it.  Activities are still massively constrained and the Christmas Grotto which brings unbelievable pleasure to 200 severely handicapped or very ill kids each year will have to be a virtual one this year. But it will still cost a few quid…

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241 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: UKOG treats its shareholders with utter contempt as it loses planning battle

The big excitement of sawing wood with Joshua awaits. Ahead of that I discuss UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) where the shares are 66% overvalued, Zoetic (ZOE) which is even more expensive and Tungsten (TUNG), also a massive sell even after today’s share price slide. After 24 hours we have raised 37% or 42% of the amount needed for the Woodlarks Christmas appeal. Thanks to those who have donated. To those who have not, we are within sight of the point where I will shut up on this matter so how about getting my silence with a donation HERE?

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241 days ago

Godless liberals who think Christmas is about Santa & Dolly Parton and not, er...Jesus - meet Matt Mitchell

Do not get misunderstand me. Christmas at the Welsh Hovel will not be a dry celebration of the birth of Christ. We too, will tuck into a bird (duck), will enjoy Christmas Pudding and brandy butter. Santa will be left with a glass of Metaxa and a mince pie and will reward good boys, girls, adults and cats with a full stocking. There will be presents for all under our tree which is currently sitting in the garden where it lives for 49 weeks a year as I am a bit of a closet greenie. Indeed, in an unusual burst of efficiency, the main presents for the Mrs and Joshua are already here. However in this household we know what we are celebrating.

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263 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - Defying the stupid laws on bonfire night

Our very elderly neighbours toddled along. Joshua’s pal H and his younger brother came with their parents and, unmuzzled, we drank mulled wine as the kids had chocolate peanuts, apart from H’s younger brother who has an allergy. As my bonfire roared into life, someone a bit higher up the slope in our village was letting off fireworks and in the distance, over the river among the infidels of England, there was another defiant display lighting up the sky.

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298 days ago

Photo article from the Welsh Hovel - 85 days to Christmas

The countdown to Christmas for Joshua starts on September 16, his Birthday. That means it is exactly 100 days to Christmas and, almost immediately, we start discussing stockings. Who will get presents and who will be left a lump of coal by Santa? Critically, it has already been agreed that Santa likes to be left a glass of Metaxa and so I guess I need to stock up on a bottle of Greek brandy. Shucks.

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580 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Merry Christmas to one & all, even Godless Darren & Charles Tatnall whose RNS today is a complete shocker

Yes Merry Christmas to you all and to your families however you celeberate it and even if you are a pagan like Darren Atwater orf a sinner like some of those I discuss today: Vast Resources (VAST) and a spoof warrant exercise, my friend Andrew Bell and Red Rock Resources (RRR) who makes himself a hostage to fortune with his careless words, Drew Nelson at IQE (IQE) with an odd management greed RNS and Charles Tatnall whose Fandango Holdings (FHP) serves up the most bonkers and misleading set of results in 2019.

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585 days ago

Christmas Video Article: Joshua has a present ho ho ho!

My three year old son cannot get enough of Christmas, the tree came in from the cold yesterday and as we unpacked the decorations we found the Santa hat that used to belong to the late Oakley…

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629 days ago

Tom Winnifrith's Festive Appeal: Please join me in supporting the amazing Woodlarks Christmas Grotto

Plans are already underway for our main fund raising event for Woodlarks each year, the 33 mile Rogue Bloggers walk in the summer. The fourth walk is going to be on a different, 1 mile longer, route than the first three and takes place on June 13 2020 and I will be badgering everyone I know to ensure that we raised even more than the £50,000 we raised in 2019.  But that badgering can wait. For now, Christmas looms…

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905 days ago

Photo article Joshua & his snowball (this might be my 2019 Christmas card)

The photo is self explanatory and is so good it might just be my 2019 Christmas card...

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941 days ago

Putting the vicar straight after his factually challenged midnight mass sermon

Our normal lefty vicar Ian was at another Parish on Christmas Eve telling another flock about the poor Palestinians and the nasty Israelis, as we celebrated the birth of an Israeli. And thus at St Cuthbert’s we had a stand in vicar, an old man with a white beard who is officially retired and looked rather learned. And so to the sermon, witnessed by a bigger crowd than I can remember in years gone by.

 

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949 days ago

Photo Article: The Woodlarks Christmas Grotto which ShareProphets readers Funded yet again

Many thanks to you all for responding to this appeal. Once again, ShareProphets readers allowed Nick Richards and his team to turn the Woodlarks campsite into a magical Christmas paradise where 200 handicapped kids came to meet Santa and get a really high quality present. Once again your generosity changes lives and I thank you.

We can't show the kids in the photos but we can show you what Nick created. If this warms your heart please think about giving a few pence to our big annual appeal, the rogue bloggers walk on May 25 which you can read about here

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949 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: From 5.30 tonight think of me dear listeners as I undergo sheer torture

I start by explaining that torture and it involves sociology lecturers. I then move onto explaining why Roland "fatty" Cornish is the utterly unacceptable face of crony capitalism. Then moving from the undeserving rich to the needy,  I ask you to give a few quid to Woodlarks HERE. I then look at Frontera (FRR) where the silence is deafening, Amur (AMC), Audioboom (BUST), Angus Energy (ANGS), UK Oil & Gas (UKOG), F*ck Yu (YU.) and finally at Gulf Marine (GMS) which is about to discover that just because it is Christmas that won't stop the banksters being total bastards. There is no season of goodwill for that profession.

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952 days ago

The Carol service at a packed St Cuthbert’s

I have never seen our local church in this unfashionable bit of Bristol look this way. That is to say full. But it was packed with more than a hundred souls last night for carols by candlelight. It was all rather touching. As I belted out some of the old favourites in my own tone deaf way and as Joshua ran around misbehaving it felt like Christmas had actually begun. The story almost came to life. I did feel a sort of bond with my fellow worshippers – ordinary folk, shepherds not kings.

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956 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: You are going to Hell and your "blog" is toxic say two of my critics

I deal with the critics in turn. The former, a Christian, has me wrong, the latter, a knobhead, is an apologist for enablers of crime. I then look in detail at Purplebricks (PURP) and is inevitable descent to zero, and at the implications of the sad tale of African Battery Metals (ABM). Then it is onto Bonmarche (BON) blaming Brexit for its woes not the crass stupidity of the bird who runs this business of the wider macro picture which she fails to recognise could sink her business completely. I also comment on BCA Marketplace (BCA) and on the pre-Christmas plans of Joshua and myself for today, far more important than this stockmarket malarky.

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957 days ago

Photo article: a tale of two cheeses at Christmas: both arrived yesterday

Yesterday was the day the cheeses arrived all over the country as part of family traditions. First up was a Cheddar, from Cheddar itself supplied by Uncle Chris Booker. This has been part of my life for all of my fifty years.

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989 days ago

Why can’t I get an Advent calendar featuring Jesus?

The main item on the shopping list yesterday as Joshua and I headed into Clifton was a new Jeremy Corbyn, Strong & Stable, mug for the Mrs to replace the one Joshua had smashed, in an early sign of his sound gut political instinct. That mission was accomplished. Jeremy Corbyn is already making me poorer and the Sinn Fein/IRA loving old bastard is not even in power yet.

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989 days ago

“A familiar face” I shouted (a stroke of genius)

After a good lunch of fish and chips Joshua and I started to make our way back from snooty Clifton, where we had been Christmas shopping,  to our unfashionable Edwardian suburb at the edge of Bristol. The theory was that it would be a good walk for me and that we might find some more Christmas presents on the way back.

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1311 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Merry Christmas to you all unless...

I start with the issue that has been bugging me all week, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I review a number of villains like Rob Terry, MySquar's holocaust denying fraudster scumbag of a CEO Schaer & also the China team at Pinsent Masons and look at what 2018 has in store for them. I ask very serious questions indeed of the compliance department at Woodford Capital as Cynical Bear continues to take Neil Woodford apart. My experience as a failed fund manager gives me some insight into the mess I think Nomates is now in. I look at the shocking behaviour of London Capital (LCG) and Real Good Food (RGD) on Friday. Tosserrs. And, like Malcolm, I have a Christmas message for you all and send you all my best wishes. That is unless you are Woodford, Terry etc

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1314 days ago

Photo article: Godless Cottage Burner of a daughter chips in to the Christmas spirit

16 year old daughter Olaf believes in Santa Claus as the patron saint of consumerism but like the rest of the metropolitan elite thinks that those of us who think Christmas has anything to do with Jesus are clinging to the "old ways" and are fair game for year round ridicule.

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1326 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: UK Oil & Gas today shows why a death spiral is a one way bet (down!)

Uk Oil & Gas (UKOG) today provides a case study in death spiral share price destruction. The only question wis whether the provider converted another tranche a few days ago and UK has not bothered to tell us or whether it converted today and is already selling hard. Elsewhere I look at the Tony Baldry car- crash on the way at Wesztminster Group (WSG) and try to put director share purchases at Condor (CNR) and Concepta (CPT) - which we own - into perspective. I look at Yolo (YOLO) which does not impress me much and blockchain madness at Vela (VELA). I ask what I should get the Mrs for Christmas, I am out of ideas.

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1337 days ago

I'm being censored by some Godless liberals for believing in Christmas

I wrote earlier today about the LinkedIn writers group discussing alternative greetings to "Happy Holidays". I posted my thoughts HERE and put up a similar comment on the LinkedIn Group.Guess what?

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1343 days ago

Your Christmas share tip from Andrew Monk to pay for all your presents

Top broker Andrew Monk is such a n ice guy that he wants to pay for your Christmas. Not actually pay - be serious he is a broker after all. But he has a share tip which he reckons is a slam dunk cert to race ahead in the next five weeks and pay for Christmas. Just call him Father Christmas.

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1347 days ago

Don't Give to #ChildreninNeed - give it to a real charity instead

The loathsome, state funded, fake news producing, BBC will tonight tell you that “all your donation will go to Children in Need.” They will not tell you that "all your donations go to children in need." Do you get the difference? It is c£8 million quid of difference.

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1352 days ago

Christmas Appeal - the Woodlarks Christmas Grotto

This is the time olf year when I ask you to consider making a small donation to ensure that folks far less fortunate than we all are enjoy some real joy this Christmas. Woodlarks is a charity with whom I have worked for years. It provides a one-off service: full holiday acccomodation for those so severely disabled that they would otherwise not get such a break.

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1502 days ago

Tim Farron quits as Lib Dem leader as he faces witch-hunt for being a Christian in sad new Britain

Tim Farron was a pretty hopeless leader of the Lib Dems. His weasel words and demands for a second vote on Brexit were laughable and the way that he kept on insisting that he was the only working class ( pronounced with no r) was just plain cringe worthy. But the reason that he has quit as Lib Dem leader is that in modern Britain being a Christian is not acceptable, at least to the fake news wolf packs of the liberal metropolitan media.

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1664 days ago

A page impressions anorak writes

I flagged up just before Christmas that the two websites with which I am involved ( this one and ShareProphets) were set to him landmarks in page impressions in Christmas week: 14 million for ShareProphets and 16 million combined. I was too pessimistic.

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1666 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Christmas day Bearcast - the U to Z of AIM fraud

Happy Christmas One and all. This podcast follows on from A-E HERE, F-J HERE, K-O HERE and P to T HERE. Okay I cheat a bit here but with these letters it is tough but, inter alia, I cover: the USM, Uramin - my old pal Jim Mellon's company, United Cacao (CHOC), Worthington (WRN), the three Ex's , Xcite Energy (XEL), Xtract Resources (CTR), Yolo Leisure (YOLO), Zeus Capital and the late lamented Gable (GAH)

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1671 days ago

Video: The 2016 Christmas card from myself, my father & baby Joshua to the village of Kambos Greece

This may all be Greek to you but this is the Christmas message from myself and my father and my son Joshua to the folks in Kambos in the Mani near which our little house is located. Happy Christmas to everyone in Kambos especially those in the Kourounis taverna

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1673 days ago

Mass on December 25 in Aleppo cathedral after 5 years and yet we are still backing the wrong side in Syria

Here in Bristol we prayed for Christians around the world who were suffering for their faith and we prayed for peace in Syria. And on Christmas day I hope we all rejoiced as the cathedral of St Elijah in Aleppo held its first Christmas service in five years. What joy that must have brought to the 100,000 Christians still left in Aleppo.

The Western media reported this rather sheepishly. Because it exposes the folly and wickedness of the policies of our Government in Syria, policies that the Western media has lapped up and promoted with lies and bias throughout. Here are the facts.

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1675 days ago

Roland "Fatty" Cornish's Christmas Carol Part 1

It was the night before Christmas and Roland "Fatty" Cornish, a man widely known as the worst Nomad on the AIM casino staggered across the threshold of his £3 million luxury mansion in Chiswick. For the sake of Mrs Cornish he pretended that the stagger was because his chubby little arms were full of presents. The reality was that he had just enjoyed his final meal of the year at his favourite City restaurant, le Corchon Évitement fiscal.

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1676 days ago

Photo article: Decanting those last Christmas Presents from the Greek Hovel

The photos below are self explanatory. One five kg tin has been changed into ten presents. Eight were posted yesterday, after 2 hours was spent at the Post Office wrapping them in the prescribed manner. I know that it worked as the first has just landed in London. Two more remain for hand delivery or post Christmas sendings.

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1678 days ago

Photo Article: Christmas Meal Dummy Run - it was just perfect

Yesterday was Christmas day number one as my daughter came down to Bristol for a Christmas meal. I am rather worried that having scored a perfect ten on this one it will be hard to up my game for Christmas Day itself.

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1682 days ago

Photo Article: My present to myself - it is Christmas

I am not sure when I discovered this particular gift but it is now a tradition at Christmas that I give to all my closest family (2 sisters, 3 steps, my father, one uncle, one Aunt and one cousin of my mother) that which I give to myself. My father gets a couple of other bottles as a bonus but for everyone else it is this one gift. Outside that circle I am afraid I tend to ignore a wider family.. Is that a sin? I do rather worry about that.

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1687 days ago

Photo Article: The olive oil harvest at the Greek Hovel - I have a cunning plan

Each year I take 16 kg of the olive oil from the Greek Hovel back to the UK with me in a big can and sell the rest. But the can is just too big for my rucksack so means I have to pay both to put it in a special box (30 Euro) and also for an extra piece of hold luggage ( 25 Euro). It is still cheap oil but that rankles. But I have a cunning plan.

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1697 days ago

Photo article: Visiting Woodlarks seeing where readers money is transforming lives

On my way to Heathrow I stopped off at the Woodlarks campsite in Surrey a place where I have had an involvement since the birth of my daughter Olaf almost sixteen years ago, as I explained HERE. This site provides holidays for folks who are severely disabled and who would otherwise not get any sort of break. It is not a fashionable charity but it is one I have supported financially and which readers have supported over many years. To all those who have donated both to the Christmas festivities for 181 kids and also to the ongoing work here is the proof that your cash has made a difference.

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1698 days ago

Photo Article: Oakley, Joshua and the silly hat

As you may remember, the Mrs forced me to go to a chavtastic shop called The Range to purchase a Christmas hat for our morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley. It appears to be part of a cunning plan for home made Christmas cards. How very spiritual.

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1702 days ago

I am thinking of giving my son absolutely nothing for Christmas: what do you think?

Young Joshua will be roughly 14 weeks old on Christmas day. And so he will not know or care what is going on as long as he is fed and has his nappy changed and stays warm. So I could give him all the tea in China or absolutely nothing and it would really make no impact at all on him. As it happens various caring grandparents and others have already ensured that he has been swamped with clothes and presents for which we are grateful. 

No doubt in a couple of years Joshua will, like nearly every other kid in Britain, be caught up in the consumerist and materialist spendfest

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1707 days ago

Visiting the Christmas store for Chavs, the Mrs makes me feel so ashamed

Not only does the Mrs insist that I need to buy a Christmas hat for our morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley but she then tasked me with making the purchase. And thus I found myself in a store called The Range which is a consumerist paradise for poor people with no taste whatsoever. You want a masturbating Christmas gnome for your garden? This is the place to get it. Ghastly Christmas decorations utterly unrelated to the nativity in 15 shades of gold and silver for your council flat are what you crave. Come along to The Range and you will be spoiled for choice.

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1741 days ago

READ THIS NOW: Give Woodlarks a few quid today to transform someone's Christmas

If you read nothing else on this fine website this year please read this article. Woodlarks is a charity I have backed for years since its amazing driving force Nick Richards contacted me 15 years ago. It is a totally unfashionable charity not a well funded luvvie endorsed body. We have just donated £250 to transform someone's Christmas at Woodlarks. Can you spare a few quid?

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1741 days ago

Cloudtag and the guaranteed $5.2 million order that is not going to happen - think Christmas

I have written to Santa and think that I have been a jolly good boy this year and so I have made him a list of presents which you can see HERE. One of them concerns Cloudtag. But the matter of Cloudtag (CTAG) and Christmas is praying on my mind - when will the fraudsters admit that the guaranteed $5.2 million of orders for this year is not going to happen?

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1742 days ago

Dear Santa...what I'd like for Christmas this year

Don't break it to the millennial generation but Christmas is actually about a bloke called Jesus not Santa Claus. None the less I reckon that I have been a pretty good boy this year and so I have written to Santa, who like firm contracts for African Potash really does exist, with a short list of what this stockmarket geek wants for Christmas. Here goes...

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1752 days ago

My weekly Sainsbury shop, I am addicted to this exercise in despairing at modern life

I am the main shopper in this household, spinning down to the local Sainsbury once a week to provide for myself, the Mrs, Joshua and, most importantly of all, my morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley. I work with a mental shopping list and wander around in track suit bottoms to blend in with my fellow shoppers. I plod slowly trying to take in the full horror of life in modern Britain. It is addictive but each week I return to then emerge in ever greater despair.

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2025 days ago

Frigging Hot Cross Buns at Sainsbury - Its January FFS

My boycott of all supermarkets is going well. Or it was until yesterday when an ailing Mrs ordered me to get some comfort food for her and some cat heroin for Tara the cat. When Tara sees the fridge opened she starts wailing. The only thing that will quieten her is cat milk. It is her heroin and without several fixes a day she gets very cranky. And so I headed to Sainsbury.

I walked in and staring me straight in the face are s stack of packs of hot cross buns at 80p a bag. For fucks sake it is just two days after twelfth night and

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2036 days ago

Please fill in a quick ShareProphets survey and win an IPad for ( a late) Christmas

It is easy, spend a few minutes filling in a quick ShareProphets survey and one lucky person will win an iPad for Christmas.Seriously folks...

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2042 days ago

Market abuser Chris Oil's Christmas Carol Part one....

It was the night before Christmas and young Christopher Oil stood staring out of the window at the Bed & Breakfast he liked to refer to as the castle. Outside, the snow was beginning to fall heavily and this filled Christopher with great joy. He turned round to look at an elderly lady sitting by the fire reading a bunch of papers marked "pension statement" and, barely able to contain his excitement, blurted out "Mummy, if it carries on snowing, will you let me make a snowman in the morning with my bestest friend Daniel?"

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2042 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast 23 December: The Conservative Club and its all about earnings visibility

Everything today is delayed by last minute Christmas shopping including the duck fior Christmas day and the stocking presents for the cats and by a visit to the Conservative Club as I explain. In the podcast I again warn David Lenigas and Afriag (AFRI) shareholders that I have a special Christmas Day treat just for them, just as I had for fraudster Rob Fielding of Quindell (QPP) and the convicted Nigerian fraudster Andrew O'Dua on December 25 2014 - HERE.  Elsewhere I look at Sovereign Mines of Africa (SMA), Fitbug (FITB), Game Digital (GMD), Panmure Gordon (PMR), the pensioner muggers WH Ireland (WHI), Levrett (LVRT) and the shoddy scumbags at the Mail on Sunday, Pittards (PTD) and Audioboom (BOOM).

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2046 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast 18 December: Pensioner mugger WH Ireland time to face Karma

I am still on the prescription pain killers as you may be able to guess. And I am still pondering what to get the Mrs for Christmas - any ideas please post away in the comments section. I end with a question for Jabba The Hutt and Afriag (AFRI): tell me David Lenigas what is happening on January 20 2016? In the podcast I cover Infrastrata (INFA), disappointing news from Armadale Capital (ACP), Inspirit (INSP), Octagonal (OCT) - two John Gunn /Lenigas creations - Asian Citrus (ACHL), eServGlobal (ESG), Impact Holdings (IHUK) and ask the question could WH Ireland (WHI) - full dossier on its sins HERE -  run out of free cash soon? The answer after today is that the pensioner muggers could well do so. Karma.

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2046 days ago

Picture special - getting in the Christmas spirit with my morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley

There are again lavatorial issues with our two cats Chez Winnifrith. One of them has disgraced himself or herself with a deposit just inside the front door. But it is the season of goodwill and as you can see below my morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley is taking it easy...

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2046 days ago

Merry Christmas Kambos - a video card from myself & my father

If you do not speak Greek you might just struggle with this. It would be all Greek to you. But this card is for the folks in the small village of Kambos in the Mani, Greece, the nearest settlement to where the Mrs has a property needing, er, one or two repairs. And so from both Tom Winnifrith's here is a few words for Christmas.

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2389 days ago

It is that birthday week for Darren & I again and New Year Thoughts

Once again it is that week when Darren Atwater and I both turn one year older. Last Monday the pizza hardman turned 47. I stop being 46 this Monday coming up and as it is the start of the year you naturally think about what you have achieved and what you want to achieve.

We are getting older. Perhaps as importantly our parents are getting pretty old now – Darren’s in Canada, mine in Shipston. As they all head towards eighty you have certain thoughts. I guess both Darren and I are also contemplating that we are closer to retirement age than to the start of our careers. In his quiet way he still has a bit more hunger than I do to achieve and conquer. I think I’m well past that now.

Professionally we can look back two years with some satisfaction. We have

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2396 days ago

Picture article: Pressing the Olive Oil from the Greek Hovel

In the summer I used to drive past this old shed on the main street of Kambos every day. I was told that it was the olive oil factory but it looked deserted as if, like so much of Greece, it was a relic of times gone by when folks actually had jobs. But how wrong I was. By mid-November this place is a hive of activity. It is positively humming.

From late morning until well into the evening there is a constant queue outside of pick up tracks, of trailers pulled by tractors or just of ordinary vans and cars each bringing in bag after back of olives for pressing. Some folks deposit just a couple of bags, a trailer behind a tractor might disgorge fifty or sixty.

My seventy five bags arrived in three trips made by George the chief olive picker at the Greek Hovel in his battered blue pickup.

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2398 days ago

Quindell a New Year’s Quiz for you all

There are some new questions now in place for the chumps now nominally in charge of Quindell (QPP) following a bit of post-Christmas digging but also some oldies. As you know I regard this fraud as worthless and it is my number 1 sell of the year (HERE) but for any who are still strong, long and wrong here are ten questions you might want to ask your board. Or perhaps readers might care to post their answers in the comments on ShareProphets?

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2399 days ago

Tom Winnifrith BearCast December 28 - Retail Gloom, Liquidity Events and Christmas Pudding 3

I am now preparing for my third Christmas lunch. Duck, goat now goose. Each time followed by Christmas pudding. Ahead of that "treat" I reflect on possible liquidity events next week, tips of the year, Avanti Communications, Quindell, why I am bearish short and medium term, the folly of just publishing buy tips and question why anyone invests in retail any more. I just do not get it.

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2399 days ago

Tom Winnifrith's Alternative Christmas Message to the Commonwealth of AIM

In case you are bored at 3 PM here is an alternative broadcast. 2014 was an annus horribilis for AIM investors but as with the story of the nativity while there is sadness, pain and suffering there is also hope and Tom outlines two great signs of hope for the junior market in his forthright Christmas message.

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2399 days ago

Rob Terry's Christmas Quindell Carol Part 3 ( of 3)

After not one but two visitations from the ghostly figure of the grandfather of Christmas share blogging, Rob Terry was jolly glad to be back in his massive four poster bed. His faithful watchdog Cencord slumbered on, snoring loudly and oaccsionally licking his master's toes, but still young Mrs Terry had not returned from her girl’s night out and it was now quarter to midnight.

This created a vague sense of unease

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2405 days ago

Tom Winnifrith’s Big 10 Macro calls for 2015

Tomorrow I start serving up my ten share tips of the year. On reflection given my bearish take on the markets I am going to go with a 50/50 long/short split. Other writers will be serving up plenty of buy ideas but I cannot bring myself to do that given my macro-take on the world. I am sorry to be so gloomy this Christmas day but for what it is worth I wish you a Merry Christmas. Now to the macrobabble:

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2406 days ago

Merry Christmas to you all from Oakley, Tara, myself & The Mrs

Yesterday I posted my Christmas message in Greek to readers in Kambos. Today in English a message from myself, The Mrs and our two cats Tara and the three legged Oakley pictured below.

We all celebrate Christmas in different ways. For the Mrs and I it is a traditional day. Midnight Mass here in Bristol, perhaps with a swift sherry at the Conservative Club beforehand. It is on the way to Church after all!

And then stockings in the morning. Well I know she is getting one as she has been well behaved all year. I cook the duck and trimmings, presents, calls around the world to family and friends and then a collapse as we await Downton Abbey.  It is on Boxing Day that the travel nightmare of family days starts with a Greek Christmas with the wife’s sister and Greek Husband in Hertfordshire. Goat followed by Christmas pudding.

For Oakley & Tara it is just even more food than usual and, yes, they have both been fairly well behaved and so get a stocking too.

Whatever you do, we all send you are best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

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2406 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Christmas Eve Bearcast

Happy Christmas to you all - unless you are a director of Quindell. More on that later.  This Bearcast explains why Ben Turney is 100% wrong to back the board at Gulfsands Petroleum - it should be booted out at once. I also look at Charaat Gold (pathetic placing), Deltex Medical (POS & Profits warning) and at a range of oil juniors notably IGAS, Northern Petroleum, Enegi Oil and IGAS - suggesting a new stress test for your holdings in this sector.

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2407 days ago

A Video Christmas card to Kambos from my father and I

You may well say that this is largely all Greek to you..,a video message from my dad and I to the folk in Kambos the village in the Mani where the Greek Hovel is located.

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2407 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast 23rd December

The penultimate pre-Christmas bearcast and the profits warnings are coming through at a rate knots from across all sectors: Cloudbuy, Thorntons, Mountfield - what does that tell you? A brief look at the resources sector's woes and then another clue on what exactly is my Christmas treat for a senior Quindell staffer...when will I ruin his Christmas? Problems, problems...

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2411 days ago

The ShareProphets Christmas share tips, exposes & specials: programming revealed

The BBC has already published its Christmas programme schedule and it appears to be 70% repeats. ShareProphets is being rather more daring and will be producing novel content and so, for you, here is a sneak preview of what is in store, it is tips, drama and exposes all round.

Starting with the share tips. I shall publish my macro predictions for 2015 on Christmas Day and from Boxing Day until January 4 will serve up a 2015 tip of the year (mostly longs but some shorts) once a day.

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2415 days ago

A letter from Rob Terry of Quindell to Ray Zimmerman of ZAI Finance

I am really trying to be helpful here to Quindell (QPP) because I am just such a nice guy and its Christmas and West Ham are almost safe from relegation and that sort of thing. And in that vein I have drafted a letter for Rob Terry to send to Ray Zimmerman, the boss of ZAI Corporate Finance. It reads:

Dear Mr Zimmerman,

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2416 days ago

Weekly Video Postcard #94 - Christmas & why West Ham needs to send me to Greece (urgent plea) edition

In my weekly video postcard I have a few thoughts on Christmas including my Christmas Tree competion which you can enter HERE. I then turn to West Ham and make an urgent plea to Fat Sam and the West Ham board - pay for me to live in Greece until May and we can win the Premiership. Here's why.

In my weekly video postcard I look at why PLC fraud has become harder to hide  in the internet era but also at how companies that have committed fraud behave in their final months. Yes I am looking at Quindell again and that video can be watched HERE

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2424 days ago

One Hour to Christmas Pudding in Kambos

There was a certain confusion about what to do with it. Do I put it in the oven said lovely Eleni? But with help from a truly bilingual member of the community we are underway. One of the Christmas puddings brought from Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell is now steaming away in the private kitchen of the lovely Eleni at Kourounis taverna. In about an hour it will be ready. I hope. My friend Nikko finished his harvest and pressed his oil today. I now have 2.1 tonnes of olives at the factory. The last bags will come down tomorrow morning and then we press.

I shall take home a couple of cans to rebottle and use as Christmas presents for the chosen few as The Greek Hovel olive oil. The rest we sell and Eleni will pick up the cheque and repay me in the summer. So we celebrate the (almost) end of the harvest with something no-one else here in Kambos has ever tasted before. Fingers crossed.

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2426 days ago

After the storm at the Greek Hovel Part 2 – The dry River flows

The river bed, at the bottom of the valley between the deserted monastery/convent and the start of the climb up snake hill to the Greek Hovel, sits dry all summer. It is parched and it is hard to think that it ever sees water. Even as I arrived in Kambos two weeks ago it was dry as a bone. Puddles formed on the track but the river bed was like dust. That all changed with the storm. 

The ford is a ford for a good reason. The ground had been raised with concrete and across it the water was perhaps only an inch deep. Pas de problem for my magnificent motorbike.



But looking upstream the water was rather deeper,

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2429 days ago

Christmas Menu starts serving today & yes that includes Christmas pudding pizza at Real Man

It is the official start of Christmas at Real man Pizza in Clerkenwell. The normal menu is still running but as of today we have two Christmas menus which you can see here.

All the traditional fare is included as well as a few of our own house specials including the Real Man
Christmas Pudding Calzone (a folded up pizza). It may sound crazy but with brandy butter it tastes
awesome.

We tend to get rather busy in the run up to Christmas so if you plan a visit it might be worth booking your tables in advance on 020 7242 3246

Merry Christmas from Maribel, Tom, Darren, Aziz, Reda, Victoria et al

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2444 days ago

Video Postcard #89 - The Real Man Christmas party & back to the Greek Hovel Edition

On Monday I head off to London for the 3rd Real Man Christmas party. I reflect upon those who attended two years ago and how the list has grown. And then I am off to Greece to return to the Greek Hovel and I think about my hopes, my concerns, my worries and my excitement about that trip: snakes, motorbikes, the lovely Eleni and all that lies in Kambos.

In my weekly financial video postcard I forgive the Quindell shareholders who have threatened and abused me during the past six months. They have my sympathies as they face wipeout and I have a few words of advice, even for the folks who sent me death threats. That video can be watched HERE

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2446 days ago

Friday Quindell Caption Contest - Jobs Going at the Country Club Edition

Are you a member of the QPPSAG and worrying about how to explain to the Mrs that Christmas is going to be cancelled until 2021? Are you employed by a well known Fraudulent company based in Fareham and worried that you are about to lose your job? Or are you a board member at Quindell facing an enforced career change within the next few days? I am here to help, The Sheriff can reveal that one Hampshire based business is hiring aggressively. Yes it is the Country Club!

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2454 days ago

Making the Real Man Christmas Puddings 2014 – a picture gallery

And it is done. The 2014 Christmas puddings have been prepared and steamed and now sit in a dark room awaiting their fate. It might seem a bit early but while most of these puddings are for the restaurant others have to travel. Three head off to Canada for a family gathering of pizza hardman Darren Atwater, four head off to Greece with me for Susan Shimmin at The Real Mani but also for lovely Eleni at Kourounis tavern, for Foti the Albanian and for my neighbours at the Greek Hovel in Kambos for our post olive harvest meal. A few are earmarked for gifts.

But the rest will be served at Real Man either as Christmas pudding on our Christmas menu HERE or as Christmas pudding Calzone – a festive desert pizza. It sounds odd but it tastes great!

As is now a ritual Darren and I made the puddings and then all staff members on duty had a stir and made a wish – five pictures five wishes: 

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2454 days ago

Picture Article: And so here is the fig chutney 2014

The leaves are now turning yellow on the fig tree that dominates our garden in Bristol. We have a fig tree in Greece too at the Greek Hovel and it was yielding fruit in the summer that was ripe and wonderful. The UK offering has been a little bit less ripe but I was determined not to get it go to waste and so as a family treat we harvested some of the figs and …hey presto we have a perfect fig chutney.

Three smaller pots have already been handed out as presents and the Mrs and I are working our way through a large pot at home. I reckon it might just last until Christmas.

My only regret is that I did not start this earlier and make more chutney on an industrial scale. The figs start dropping in early September and a good number now lie squashed on the paving. As the leaves fall from the tree I can see another batch of fruit that was hitherto hidden and looks pretty perfect for use.

As ever I shall resolve to be more organised next year and make twice as much. Sadly, with such small volumes produced this year, this product is not available at Real Man Pizza Company although it would be fantastic with our Yarg led cheese board. Maybe in 2015.

When I was kid, autumn was a time for boiling and preserving on an industrial scale. The aspiration of my parents – mainly my mother

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2457 days ago

Quindell Bulletin Board/Twitter Moron of the Week 3 – A winner is announced

The standard of entries in last week’s Quenron (QPP) Bulletin Board/Twitter moron competition was staggeringly high. There are some incredibly stupid folks out there on this shareholder list. If we add in the classic entries from week one (HERE) and week two (HERE) we are half way to a nice little Christmas stocking filler book “In their own words, the dumbest people ever to buy shares” The full list of entries in week three was glorious but the top four are, IMHO:

For sheer malice and nastiness:

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2482 days ago

Daniel Stewart - not enough cash to keep the FCA onside but more than enough for champagne all round

You could not make this up, Daniel Stewart (DAN) the City Crony capitalists who make their cash from advising firms on the AIM Casino has today admitted that it is truly financially buggered but not so utterly buggered that it can’t afford lavish champagne receptions at Christmas. Having made millions floating Quenron (QPP) and the China frauds Naibu (NBU) and China Chaintek (CTEK) as well as raising cash for blue-chip Globo (GBO) this is a comedy that keeps on giving. 

In its statement today the Cesspit advisor ‘fessed up and admitted: 

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2652 days ago

Goat Milking in Greece – Lesson 2 a triumph captured on video

One of my ambitions in life is to get the hang of milking a goat. Okay, it is not quite playing for West Ham or changing the world bit it is achievable but a lot harder than you may think. A year ago I had lesson one which was captured on video HERE and was not exactly a triumph.

However I was back with the in-laws of the Mrs during Easter and the wonderful Stavroula (pictured below) consented to let me try my hand again.

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2703 days ago

If there is to be World War Three – 10 reasons to look on the bright side

Naturally I rather hope that events in the Ukraine do not spiral into World War Three as I rather sense that this really would be the war to end all wars. And everything else. But always seeking solace of a silver lining in every nuclear cloud here are my ten looking on the bright side reasons for cheer.

  1. I do not have to worry about being on the hook for alimony for the next thirty years and any more sniping letters from lawyers.
  2. We can stop panicking about where to house the cats when we go on holiday this summer
  3. I will die vindicated in the belief that all that money the Government spends telling me that smoking will kill me was utterly wasted.
  4. As the planet goes into nuclear winter even the BBC and its sister paper, The Guardian, will stop banging on about global warming caused by man-made carbon emissions.

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2759 days ago

My global Christmas Tree 2013 says goodbye – 2014 will be different

As I am off to London tomorrow and as our Christmas tree is a good two foot taller than the Mrs it must come down tonight, 24 hours early. A sense of guilt now descends as I prepare to lug the bare tree onto the Street where it will next week be collected by the Council and head off to meet its maker.

When I was a boy my father planted a tree in the garden. Each December it would be uprooted and find its way in a few days before Christmas. It would be dressed and watered and looked after. And on January 6th it would return – feeling rather tired and over-heated as it sat in a room with an open fire – to its real home in the garden. By the end of the spring it had shed its dead leaves from its Yuletide horror and by the next December it was a bit taller and ready to go again.

Now that we have a garden of sorts we plan (okay I plan but the Mrs has not objected) to do the same thing. And so this 2013 will be the last year of wasting a Christmas tree in this way. Come the early spring I shall plant a five foot tree in the garden hoping that by Christmas we have something on which to hang my global decorations.

Luckily the Mrs was not big on Christmas trees and so this is one area that in merging possessions it is just a straight takeover. I have always picked up a little something from wherever I have been to add to what goes on the tree as well as a bit of tinsel and the normal baubles. And so there are two, three legged Isle of Man Christmas decorations, ornate elephants and also stars from India, a small soldier with moving legs, some red and also white wooden stars and a mouse from France, a couple of stars from Israel, there is a tortoise from Ecuador and from Greece a small picture of Christ. Next year’s travels? A trip to the USA in April is planned and I shall return with something else for the tree.

 

 

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2766 days ago

Owen Jones in my Christmas Stocking – eeeek

Santa (aka the Mrs, formerly known as the Deluded Lefty) included in my stocking a book called “Chavs” by Owen Jones. The Mrs was not fully aware of quite how loathsome Mr Jones is but surely the fact that at the top of the back cover is a quote from Guardian Harridan Polly Toynbee about how wonderful this book is must have been a giveaway.


Toynbee is, as you know, wrong about everything – the Toynbee Rule.

And so the book is dreadful. Mr Jones seems to think that quoting the opinion of some frightful lefty establishes what that frightful lefty believes as a matter of fact. That is even when it has been shown that the factual evidence shows that the views of the frightful lefty in question are just not borne out by hard reality.

I can understand when the students of the Mrs (studying sociology at a former Poly) cite the author of the Spirit Level to demonstrate the “fact” that inequality of wealth causes unhappiness all round. They are just 19 and are not a self-proclaimed one-person think tank for the Left. But when Owen Jones makes the same sort of claim you wonder what fuckwit offered to publish his book? Surely it would have been cheaper to have bought a few essays from her students off the Mrs and republished them?

Jones purports to show how the Middle Classes demonise all working class folks as chavs.

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2766 days ago

My 12 year old Daughter’s shock admission – something no father wants to hear

And so it was a day or so after Christmas and my daughter was down in Bristol for Christmas Number 2. How about we pop along to the Conservative club for a quick drink I suggested, keen to lead young people along a path of virtue and righteousness.

But Daddy I have to tell you something about me first, she answered.

Oh Cripes thought I. “Will I be upset?” She responded honestly: “Daddy, you won’t like it.”

Oh double cripes.

What could it be? Might she have a boyfriend? Tried a touch of Nigella with her schoolmates? Could she be “coming out” already? After all she does live in Islington. Surely she cannot be pregnant? My mind raced through all these dreadful scenarios.

But it was worse.

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2771 days ago

Chris Patten’s BBC Christmas Carol Part Three

48 hours ago, the chairman of the BBC met the ghost of Christmas Past. If you missed that you can read it HERE

In the second part of the Chris Patten’s Christmas Carol last night, the chairman of the BBC met the ghost of Christmas Present. If you missed that you can read it HERE

The story continues…

After his twice interrupted night the good Lord Christopher Patten, chairman of the BBC, was awakened by a gentle kiss on one of his many chins. Then came another and another. “Lavender” he mumbled but awoke to find that the good Lady Patten was still snoring gently beside him.

Instead Chow Mein’s now near senile successor, named - for some reason - by his staff in Hong Kong as Dim Sum, had managed to clamber onto the four poster bed to wish his master a Merry Christmas. Lord Patten took the hint and, after putting on his ermine dressing gown wandered downstairs, eagerly awaiting the delights of Christmas Day, starting with breakfast.  Quoting to himself the old Chinese motto “a man who has a solid breakfast is built to grow”, Patten rubbed his tummies and thought hard about the first meal of the day.

Breakfast would, as always, be prepared by his faithful eighty year old manservant Cawkwell. For the good Lord was a man of habit. For him merely a “healthy man sized” portion or two of freshly prepared kedgeree made with line-caught haddock and Tuscan organic eggs from the Toynbee estate, followed by locally produced bread lightly toasted ( as only Cawkwell knew how) covered with Honey flown in from Argentina with a healthy bowl of porridge to finish off.

But Cawkwell, or for that matter his breakfast, was nowhere to be seen and so feeling rather peckish the chairman of the BBC wandered into his study where he had a hidden stash of mince pies. These had been craftily concealed from both Dim Sum and Lady Lavender under a stash of printed emails marked “Saville –URGENT action needed now 2009” which he was planning to start reading after Christmas.

Lord Patten looked at the 14 foot tree, decorated last night by Cawkwell while the family watched carols from Kings but something was not right. Rummaging at the foot of the pine

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2771 days ago

The Bitch with the baby on the train is NOT “one of the vulnerable”

I am bashed by a reader for standing up to the bitch with the baby on the Bristol Train in Sunday in refusing to give up my seat for her top of the range fucking buggy. Apparently I am picking on someone who is “vulnerable.” Bollocks. 

Someone who lives in a big house in Bristol who can afford not only to have a baby but to buy a top of the range fucking buggy is not vulnerable. Someone who can afford to take baby & buggy up to London for a spot of Christmas shopping is not vulnerable. Yes this woman has a baby but that is her choice. It is not my choice but my obligation to pay taxes to give this pampered cow child benefit but I just have to do it.

The point is that this woman and her partner have wealth and income (as she told the whole damn train). She has choices in life. So just because he has opted to pass her bossy and selfish genes onto the next generation that does not make her vulnerable.

Those who are vulnerable are folks who cannot afford housing at all. Those, such as immigrants, made ever less welcome and more marginalised in British Society. Those who are diseased or dying. Those who have just lost their jobs and are seeking new work not welfare dependency. Those who work long hours for low wages and yet have the taxman claw too much of that back to subside women like the bitch with the baby via child benefit. 

Those who are vulnerable include

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2773 days ago

I’ve got a baby so I can be a total bitch on the Train

The trains to Bristol is jam packed. I am perched on one of those pop up seats nominally for disabled folks but in fact designed for anorexic eight year olds. I am surrounded by folks standing in the aisles and with luggage all around me.  Some bitch with a baby has just got on, forcing her way through. Can you move please as I have a baby? She demanded of me. She is a bitch who is used to getting her way.

Some chap gave her a seat and perched his charming little daughter on his knee. But the bitch persisted. This space (i.e. where I am sitting) is for wheelchairs and buggies she insisted. Actually the sign says it is for wheelchairs, there is no mention of buggies. But heck the bitch has a baby so let’s not bother with the finer details.

I say that I will move some other folk’s luggage. “I don’t want you doing that she insisted – I want YOU to move”. So I must give up my seat for her fucking buggy (empty). I refused. After a 120 hour week I am confident that I feel more tired that her fucking top of the range fucking buggy.

I move some folk’s luggage and am now crammed in surrounded by a top of the range fucking buggy and everyone’s luggage. The bitch with a baby persisted:

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2773 days ago

Friday Caption Contest on a Sunday Edition: The Conservative Club

I am yet to enjoy my formal interview at the local Conservative Club or indeed to find out whether they have fixed the Wi-Fi yet. But with snow forecast the Mrs may well have to grit her teeth again and visit the only boozer which is not down at the bottom of a slippery big hill.

The Mrs are convinced that the blue lights now in the windows of the Club (pictured below) are some sort of political statement. As a BBC watching Guardian reader she might have forgotten that Christmas was on its way. If course she has not! Only kidding.

My father (a deluded lefty) has already decided that faced with cheap beer and a short walk or expensive beer and a long walk he is quite willing to throw principle to the wind when visiting. But then if you have spent the past few years drinking at the White Bear in Shipston-on-Stour with David Mills (Silvio Berlusconi’s friend and once again Tessa Jowell’s husband now that the old bag is quitting front line politics) you will drink with anybody.

Anyhow, are there any suitable captions for the picture of “my club” below



My effort is:

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2774 days ago

Should Justine Sacco the PR bimbo be fired for twitter racism?

Justine Sacco is some American PR bird (quite high flying until yesterday) who tweeted ahead of a flight to South Africa “Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just Kidding. I'm White!' One suspects that her employer IAC will be sending her a P45 for Christmas.

IAC has already suspended her, airbrushed her name from its website and says it will be taking “appropriate action.”

Her tweet is tasteless and it is racist. IAC will undoubtedly be able to show that she has breached its employer handbook (bibles of political correctness and jargon) in some way and/or that she had brought it into disrepute. We all know that making a racist remark is now the most uber-crime of all. Ok it is marginally less of a heinous offence in the eyes of a Western liberal than first degree murder but it is marginal. Incidentally the crime is not just making a racist remark but making a remark that may be deemed racist. And that means saying more or less anything.

Hence in the 21st Century West Ms Sacco is toast.

For the avoidance of doubt I do regard her remark as racist.

Thirty years ago this thick woman would have made this “joke” next to the office water cooler and got away with it. Thanks to email and twitter comments like this go viral and once the “activists” and media elite get onto the case there can only be one outcome.

My Christmas hope? Ms Sacco learns her lesson. Her prejudice is unpleasant but if she can keep it to herself I hope that she finds another job and is allowed to get on with it.

Do those baying for her blood really want to ruin her whole life? I suspect many of them do. And I find that just as unpleasant as the prejudices of Ms Sacco.

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2774 days ago

Jim Mellon buys the assets of t1ps for a song and worries about negative publicity. We wonder why?

By guest writers Han Solo & Luke Skywalker

We rather sensed that this was coming…the disturbance in the Force was clear. While Rivington Street fails to inform its shareholders officially of the progress of the pre-Christmas sale of its assets at knockdown prices, others are being told.

CEO Mark Roberston announced that he had bought the flagship BlueCurve operation ( for a song) on LinkedIn having neglected to tell the administrator – as he had as a director been charged with doing – of a potential trade buyer known to him which could just have realised a far greater sum for Rivington.

The market research operation Viewpoint (profitable according to the Rivington website) has been sold for less than £20,000 to a competitor and we understand that PR firm Bishopsgate (profitable according to the Rivington website) has been sold to its management for the sum of a box of mince pies. No we made that up. It is less. Try £1. Merry Christmases all round.

Yesterday t1ps finally admitted 

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2774 days ago

£5 all day on all pizzas and all pasta at Real Man In Clerkenwell

Isle of Man symbol made of Christmas stockings

Your favourite Celtic Italian restaurant goes on a two week break as of 11 PM tonight! Whey hey it is holiday time! And to celebrate this – and to clear any surplus food hanging around in the larder – for today only ALL pizzas and all pasta dishes are priced at just £5 each. At the Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell.


Including our world famous chocolate pizza.

We hope to see you at 91-95 Clerkenwell Road, London EC2R 5 BX at some stage today.

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2777 days ago

Set to Lose my ETX Christmas Trading Challenge with Steve Moore – stopped out on Cupid

I have a bad feeling that it will be me rather than my young apprentice sending a £50 donation to Woodlarks as a result of losing our Christmas spread betting challenge. The force is not with me on this one.

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2777 days ago

Lucian Miers popped in for a very quick drink last night...

Just a quick drink said Lucian, who was already well refreshed aster launch with Evil. I am bringing Matt Earl ( the dark destroyer) and A.N. Other who has asked to have his identity protected and not be be quoted on anything. Just a quick drink, Lucian promised.

I don't feel very well this morning and am watching hangover Despina Vandi music videos as I ponder the day ahead. I do not think that it will be a terribly productive one. But hey, it is Christmas.

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2779 days ago

Mandela, far from Jesus, far from an Angel but in his contrition there is something amazing

The BBC is already starting its annual process of celebrating Christmas without mentioning Jesus, the nativity and all that religious crap too much. It is all so terribly 19th Century. Let’s talk about multicultural issues, get as many Imams as possible to speak of brotherly love, look forward to the Eastenders special and talk about getting pissed. Just do not mention the Jesus word.

But in another context, it was a BBC reporter who first compared the late Nelson Mandela to er….Jesus. In another age that might have been consider blasphemous.

In this age it should just be considered ridiculous. I am in no position to cast judgement on the fact that Mandela was serially unfaithful to two of his wives. Heck, from what I have read I rather admire the stamina of the old goat in his younger days. But it is also clear that Mandela as a younger man was a bully and a wife beater. Not quite following in the footsteps of Jesus.

The great thing about Mandela

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2782 days ago

Last few free copies of my New Amazon listed book on offer

I had 250 free copies of my Amazon listed book (normal price £10.25) on offer for free. All bar a couple of dozen are now gone. So if you fancy picking up a free copy of “The 49 Golden Rules for Making Money from Shares” …HURRY UP!

You can get hold of one of the few remaining free copies on my book HERE

We also have about 20 copies of Evil Knievil’s new guide to making money from short selling ( with an introduction by me) still going and you can get yours HERE

Happy reading & Merry Christmas

Tom Winnifrith 

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2792 days ago

Trade 5 in my Christmas spreadbet challenge with ETX – Sell Cupid

I had never done a spread bet in my life until eight days ago. But I have just completed my fifth trade – selling Cupid (CUP) at £4 a penny at 54p. My stop is set at 64p. 

Steve Moore & I have both opened accounts with ETX and been given £50 to trade small cap shares. If we were to trade Forex or indices we could get another £450 free. This is not a special deal for us you too can get your free trades with ETX starting right now.

THIS OFFER HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO DECEMBER 13 SO TO GET YOUR FREE DOSH OPEN YOUR ACCOUNT NOW!

All you need to do to trade is to open an account which you can do in minutes – CLICK HERE

Any profits that I make on my Christmas trading challenge will go to the Woodlarks charity. So far I am afraid to say I am ahead on my Range short but behind on my @UK ( now called Cloudbuy – CBUY) long. So there is no Christmas windfall for Woodlarks. Yet.

Why short Cupid? We have zero earnings visibility here and the recent departure of founder and CEO Bull Dobbie is very odd as Lucian Miers explained here 

Anyhow, for me Cupid shares will slump. It is not a matter of if but when.

Most spreadbetters won’t allow you to bet on stocks as small as Cupid. ETX will which is why we teamed up with them.

You can start spreadbetting small caps with ETX right now HERE but to get up £500 free to trade with you need to open an account TODAY

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2794 days ago

Scotgold Resources – Rights Issue: Give it a miss this is a joke

I approve of AIM Cesspit listed companies doing rights issues rather than discounted placings to City insiders. But not when the company in question is, to use the technical term, fucked. That brings me to dual listed Scotgold (SGZ) which, I have noted before on this website, is a total POS.

Last week with the shares at c1p it announced a 3 for rights issue at 0.5 cents (0.28p) per share. The fact that this company is doing a rights issue not a placing is nothing to do with its hopeless directors believing in shareholder democracy but everything to do with the fact that City punters just will not play ball. That is because ScotGold is fucked.

The company owes £1.5 million to a bank (RMB) that was mad enough to lend to a pre-production company. It has said that it may roll that loan (due for repayment before Christmas) over as long as 

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2794 days ago

Weekly Caption Contest – Nigella Lawson Christmas Special Edition

There is only one story I care about this week, the fall from grace of Nigella Lawson, the woman formerly known as the Domestic Goddess and now known as a major consumer of Colombian marching powder. 

In light of that I bring you a Highella Christmas Special and ask you to supply suitable captions in the comments section below.

 

For what it is worth my entry is: Nigella says

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2799 days ago

The Second Trade in my ETX Christmas Trading Challenge – sell Range Resources

Well here goes…I had never done a spread bet in my life until yesterday. However, I am challenging Steve Moore to a trading challenge to run until Christmas. And I have just completed my second trade.

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2800 days ago

The First Trade in my Christmas ETX SpreadBet Challenge – buy @UK

Well here goes…I have never done a spread bet in my life until just now. I am challenging Steve Moore to a trading challenge to run until Christmas. And I am now underway.

We have both opened accounts with ETX and been given £50 to trade small cap shares. If we were to trade Forex or indices we could get another £450 free. This is not a special deal for us you too can get your free trades with ETX starting right now.

All you need to do to trade is to open an account which you can do in minutes – CLICK HERE

My first trade ( using my free £50) was to buy @UK (ATUK) at just over 55p with a 48p stop loss. The Closet Chartist says that the stock is heading to 80p, I like the management – having backed them at c5p a few years ago – and I hope this is a winner.

Any profits that I make on my Christmas trading challenge will go to the Woodlarks charity.

You can start spreadbetting small caps with ETX right now HERE

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2800 days ago

Exchanged! Hooray

An email just in from the Ewok (the Mrs) conforms she has exchanged on the sale of her flat and purchase of a grown up house in the fairly respectable Bristol district of Brislington.

On Friday the buyers of the flat tried to pull out having discovered a clause in the leasehold agreement (supplied two months ago) which spooked them. Good work by the Ewok and her lawyer dealt with that but one working day before exchange was due it was an unpleasant moment.

Now we are all set to complete and move well before Christmas. Hooray.

PS In case any companies thinking of suing me for libel are reading this, the house is 100% owned by the Ewok, I am merely a tenant with no assets at all.

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2808 days ago

Experimental Cooking at The Real Man Pizza Company – Christmas Pudding Calzone

This was fun. A calzone – for the uninitiated – is a folded up pizza. So it is shaped like a Pasty but it has a thin pizza crust.  I had a little bit of extra Christmas pudding mixture left over, not enough for one pudding but enough to steam. I could not resist.

And so the steamed Christmas pudding mix was cooked inside the Calzone in the oven. What came out was doused in warm brandy and then set on fire. We served with cream – our home made brandy butter will not be ready for two weeks. Thoughts:

1. We used a 7 inch base but for a Christmas pudding dessert that is too large for one. We move to 4 inch in v2.

2. It tastes great. The Christmas pudding is pretty alcoholic and fruity – and the contrast with the very slightly salty pizza base is just amazing. A normal pizza base is crispy. A Calzone is softer. That works for Christmas pudding. 

And so a new recipe is born at The Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell. Christmas Pudding Calzone. 

It will go on the menu (alongside normal Christmas pudding and a full Christmas menu) as at December 1st. If you are looking for a Christmas booking at Real Man you should book now on 0707 242 3246

Example static alt text

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2808 days ago

Open your spreadbetting account with our partner ETX ( as I have done) and get up to £500 free – offer ends November 30th

We are approached by all sorts of spread-betting firms to partner up with them. After one not so great experience I am very picky about who we deal with. And so I am delighted to say that we have kissed the frogs and without reservation teamed up with ETX.

I have opened an account ( for a Christmas trading challenge with Steve Moore) and you too can do so here

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2808 days ago

36 Hours without a cigarette

I arrived back in Bristol at 2 AM Saturday morning and very deliberately had a last cigarette of the day. Then I scrunched up the packet and threw it and my lighter away. That is the sort of gesture I have made many times before.

I think my longest without a fag was five years. But then the mother of my daughter Olivia then ran off with her graduate trainee ( naturally not mentioning this when filing for divorce, that was down to my unreasonable behaviour, blah, blah, blah), and just to show the old health Nazi I took up smoking again. Sensible move. That really showed her.

Anyhow I am trying to quit again. I have been smoking far too much. It inhibits my ability to run up stairs and is making my cold last longer than it should. It is an expensive habit and makes me smell.

No doubt I shall fail to quit again. Christmas brings with it many temptations. But I do want to quit. This is not the Mrs bullying me, she never does although she’d like me to stop. And right now, although I feel terrible as I write, I really do want to quit. 

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2810 days ago

AIM Cesspit Posterboy Cyan, Indian Order Delayed (again), cash draining away fast

Oh dear. Oh dear. More grim operational news from AIM Cesspit posterboy Cyan (CYAN) today and all the time its cash is draining away. Which has more chance of surviving past Christmas? The stockmarket cash gobbling turkey Cyan or one of the gobblers on one of Bernard Matthews’ farms? On balance it is Cyan but will it make it to Easter? That is a rather different matter.

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2812 days ago

The Joys of the 4.47 AM from Bristol

The Mrs hates me catching this train as she is woken up by my alarm clock at 4 am. I understand her point and so only take it now and again as a treat, when I have to be in London early. But it is a treat. It is the last train before 9.30 which does not cost a second mortgage to catch, but it is the best train of the day.

The cab speeds through a deserted City in minutes. There is no traffic, no jams which serve simply to annoy. A quick fag and I climb aboard a deserted train. There is just one other person in coach D 

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2815 days ago

Countdown to Christmas at Real Man Pizza – 32 puddings produced

Making three Christmas puddings is easy. But scaling up to make 32? It was fun! Pounds and pounds of currants and then pounds and pounds of sultanas, candied peel and a while pot of mixed spice. Fifteen apples, 45 eggs and six lemons gave in to the cause.

But the real joy was the alcohol. It was an opportunity to polish off a bottle of white rum and a bottle of calvados (apple brandy).



And then to pour into a huge mixing container three quarters of a bottle of Italian brandy and the same amount of Masala wine (a drink a bit like sherry). Our Christmas puddings will have a bit of a kick.

As a bonus there are a few of our 32 which post steaming have been left to rest for a few weeks with a healthy dose of Shetland vodka to add to the mix – they will be serving a special purpose.

What do 32 Christmas puddings look like? Well here are 15 so double up and you might imagine.



We will start serving our full Christmas menu at Real Man Pizza, Clerkenwell's finest Italian restaurant, from December 1st.

For details of that full menu & for Christmas bookings (meals or parties) CLICK HERE

Trade is already getting pretty hectic ahead of December so for a meal, normal or Christmas, at Real Man from here on in we would advise making a booking by calling 0207 242 3246 from 10 AM any day.

 

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2820 days ago

Teaming up with Spreadbetter ETX & I open my account for a Christmas challenge

We are approached by all sorts of spread-betting firms to partner up with them. After one not so great experience I am very picky about who we deal with. And so I am delighted to say that we have kissed the frogs and without reservation teamed up with ETX.

I have opened an account ( for a Christmas trading challenge with Steve Moore) and you too can do so here


Shareprophets will earn a small percentage of the spread each time you deal with an ETX account opened here so I hope that you do open such an account.

It was pretty much the same deal on offer across the board so why did we pick ETX?

1. They will allow you to spreadbet all the normal bets ( indices, forex, blue-chips, commodities) but almost uniquely they will also allow you to place a bet ( long or short) on small caps with a market cap of as little as £10 million. So you can short like Evil in a way you could not before but also0 place leveraged buy bets on the long tack.

2. ETX is a long established and pukkha firm which won’t be disappearing overnight like some newbies in this market. They are good guys.

3. You get a bonus of up to £500 for just opening an account. Can’t say fairer than that.

I will start my Christmas trading challenge with Steve (any profits we make on that will go to the Woodlarks charity) next week.  Spreadbetting is not suitable for everyone, your leverage means that losses are in theory unlimited.

But if you fancy a free bonus for signing up and want to spreadbet small caps I hope that you open an account HERE


  

Tom Winnifrith

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2824 days ago

Someone else hates me – Martin Perrin FD of Vipera

Oh dear. I guess that in another corner of the AIM Cesspit I appear to have been struck of yet another Christmas card list. As I ruin the weekend and cunning plans of Vipera (VIP) PLC I guess its finance director Martin Perrin thinks I am a bit of a shit. I guess the Nomad and broker, the chubby and pompous Roland Cornish won’t be very pleased with me either. RESULT.

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2845 days ago

Sell Avanti Communications at 234p – A horrid accident waiting to happen

I once believed in Avanti Communications (AVN). I also used to believe in the tooth fairy, Santa Claus and the idea that West Ham might one day win something again. How naïve. A while back I became a mild sceptic. I am now convinced that this is a colossal accident waiting to happen and should be shorted aggressively. It is my top AIM short to pay for Christmas.

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2863 days ago

Cyan – Blatant ramp via over-hyped RNS so when is the rescue placing?

AIM Cesspit posterboy Cyan (CYAN) is – after 8 years of non-delivery – set to run out of cash by Christmas. Hence today it issued an utterly over-hyped press release (go ahead sue me for libel, see where it got Sefton) in an attempt to ramp the shares ahead of it, yet again, asking investors to pony up for a rescue share issue.

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2870 days ago

The First Big Christmas Booking of 2013 at Real Man in Clerkenwell

Yes it is time to think about Christmas already. We have just had our first big booking – the whole place will be closed for a private party from 3PM on 18th December (until very late). Do you want a private party here? We can offer either the run of restaurant or our basement room, with its own music system and bar.

We have also published our 2013 Christmas menu – in fact two of them if you want to book a Christmas meal at Real Man, the quirkiest Celtic Italian restaurant in Clerkenwell. Whether it is for 1 for 60 we would be happy to oblige.

You can access the Christmas menus here.

We will stay open this year until Saturday 21st December and will re-open on 6th January. So all the time up to and including 21st December we are open for festive bookings.

If you want to discuss bookings feel free to pop in at any time or call us on 020 7242 3246.

Maribel, Darren & Tom

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3007 days ago

Ruspetro – owned by its banks with director’s dealings a negative

Fully listed Ruspetro (RPO) is the sort of company that should be on the cesspit AIM market – in fact its track record to date would put even parts of AIM to shame. Although the company – at 39.25p – is valued by the market at £140 million it is in reality already controlled by its banks – the equity is grotesquely overvalued.

As a reminder this was the company that served up a bullish trading statement in late November only to issue a grim profits warning at 6 PM on the Friday of the week between Christmas and New Year. It then announced it would refinance its debt via a bond issue. And then said that it was not going to. It really is a laugh a minute with our comrades from Siberia.

 

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3080 days ago

Di Canio quits Swindon – Fat Sam Bookie’s favourite for next Premiership P45

It had to happen sooner or later, Paulo di Canio’s relationship with whichever consortium thinks it is managing Swindon Town these days has broken down irretrievably. It had become a bad marriage and di Canio has quit with immediate effect. Selling a key player behind the manager’s back really is like shagging the wife’s best friend. It was game over at that point.

Di Canio achieved wonders at Swindon and will, I guess kick his heels for a while not wishing to rush into a jon with the sort of club that sacks its manager at this point in the season – i.e. one heading for relegation. But come May the contract of Mr Sam Allardyce expires at West Ham. Even the biggest Fat Sam admirer must now recognise that this season is starting to look like a bit of a painful experience. We are on 30 points – still three wins away from probable safety and for from almost certain safety. I look at the fixture list and, I suppose, hope for 6 points from Reading and Wigan at home but frankly I cannot really plot a clear course to safety.

For all the money spent we will have 2 early cup exits and a league finish of 12th- 18th to show for it. That is why Fat Sam is now at 10/1 the bookies favourite for the next Premiership managerial P45 – although it is probably about time for Chelski to sack someone again.

My reason for wanting di Canio

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3085 days ago

London Capital – Saved by Bid Approaches ( flushed out by insider dealing): sell

London Capital (LSE:LCG) was not one of my more inspired share tip ideas of the Autumn. I rated them as a speculative buy on October 23rd at 52p. The company rewarded my faith and hot share tip with yet another profits warning pre Christmas. Worryingly net cash at the year-end was down to £20 million. Given that much of that is tied up as regulatory capital I can only contemplate what the actual free cash position is and despite cutting its costs, depressed market conditions mean that it is still losing money

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3099 days ago

Highland Gold Full Year Trading Statement: Buy at 114.5p target 200p

AIM-listed, Russia producing gold miner Highland Gold (HGM) has published a calendar 2012 trading update which reads very well. There was an 18% increase in group wide production to a record 216,885 ounces of gold and gold equivalents, exceeding guidance estimates of 200,000-215,000 ounces. The shares have ticked up to 114.5p on the news capitalising the company at £372.5 million. I wrote a buy share tip, at 91p, shortly before Christmas so I am already partially vindicated. But this re-rating has a lot further to go.

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3100 days ago

Aquarius Platinum Quarterlies: Reiterate Buy at 62.5p target price 80p

On Christmas Eve I noted that there looked to be value in shares in main market listed Aquarius Platinum (AQP) at 55p. Earlier this month the shares hit more than 75p but currently trade at 62.25p, capitalising the company at £296 million, following the announcement today of production results for the quarter ended 31st December 2012. So is it time to bank gains and sell?

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3102 days ago

Fiscal cliff - nothing solved for the dollar

Forgiver the delayed appearance of the December column for me. I have two excuses. The first is that amid all the present buying, goose cooking and mince pie eating I just got a bit snowed under on the work front. But better late than never. Okay. That is a poor excuse. The second is that I wanted to see how dust settled on the US fiscal cliff drama before commenting. It has settled. I comment.
I never really had any doubt about what would happen. Bluster, bluster, last minute compromise and nothing really settled. We have been here before and it seems with increasing regularity there is almost a sense of ennui. Perhaps that is the wrong imagery. A better one is heroin addiction.

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3106 days ago

Pond Life by Robert Sutherland Smith (January View)

Christmas day at the Highgate Ponds – where allegedly lunatics and pike swim and crayfish behave like sharks – is the top of the yearly swimming market; overpopulated with unfamiliar crowds pulled in by the ‘greasepaint’ momentum of the occasion but woefully unfamiliar with the joys of swimming throughout the seasons.

In consequence, it is my habit along with the other waterfowl to duck out of the Christmas day plunge; going short of the mulled wine, the hoisting of the Union flag on the ruins of the old high diving board of the long vanished, once celebrated, Highgate Diving Club; the traditional bugle call across its steel grey water – and of course, the hyperventilating joy of Christmas Day hyper cold water as men in rubber swimming hats and snow white bodies, dive in to race across its bitterly chilling surface – to the distant cheers of a well wrapped, North London spectacle seeking onlookers. Even the ducks, coots and the grebes take off until this Christmas day festive peak is passed, and the place sinks quietly back into the consoling values of solitude and the wintery beauty of Boxing Day, when I returned.

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3111 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on Tesco

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years. at t1ps. He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. He is a great one for focussing on yield. He is also going to do a monthly column for me on this blog on the subject that really interests him, life on Hampstead Heath. I am sure we all look forward to “Pond Life” – I wonder if he will be swimming this weekend? RSS today looks at Tesco. Neigh… Yes he does.

Tesco (TSCO) remains Britain’s favoured food retailer. But, at least in stockmarket terms, it has for some time been suffering the outrageous fortune epitomised by the Bard himself in his phrase about troubles when they come, coming not as single spies but in battalions. Just as we were adjusting ourselves to the company overcoming the problems of Christmas past (I refer to the trouncing they took at the hands of Sainsbury and Morrison’s in the trading period Christmas 2011) Tesco is hit by a horse burger scandal. I love the brutal market joke about what do you put on your Tesco burger? Answer; £5 each way!

Very clearly, given the importance attached to own brand retailing, the discovery that Tesco’s ‘everyday value’ beef burger was 29% horse and some pig – not Lord Emsworth’s ‘Empress’ I hope – is not without market significance

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3114 days ago

Aquarius Platinum – Up, up and away

I wrote a strong buy note on Aquarius Platinum (LSE:AQP)on Christmas Eve urging investors to buy at 55p. Well ho, ho, ho and a Merry Christmas to you all. I hope that you filled your stockings. I mean boots with that hot share tip. The shares are now 71.75p Why? Thank Anglo American (LSE:AAL) which today announced that it was mothballing some of its platinum output. The platinum price has already rallied strongly since Christmas ( ho, ho, ho once again) and this news is very positive indeed.

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3114 days ago

Mothercare: No Raison d’etre – sell

The Christmas trading reports from the retailers do not make for pretty reading. There are some who simply cite consumer confidence (or lack of it) in austerity Britain. But I would suggest that there are far wider structural changes afoot, ones that make me wonder if some companies really have a raison d’etre at all going forward. If it did not exist already would anyone bother to establish Mothercare (MTC)? Somehow I rather doubt it. Certainly when it publishes its Christmas trading statement on Thursday it will be grim.

Of course not all retailers are doing badly. Before turning to Mothercare’s woes it is perhaps worth looking at Tesco (TSCO) in that its relative success is one of the reasons for the failure of others

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3115 days ago

The Harmonic Energy Joke – You could not make it up as it goes New Media Mad

I have written a number of times about how UK websites you are meant to trust like MoneyAM and UK-Analyst (and now Digital Look has also trundled along the walk of shame) have been accepting money to send their loyal readers a promotion for US OTC stock Harmonic Energy (OTC:ASUV) stating “This is the one stock you must buy now” and suggesting that gains of 3,200% are possible. In very small print on these promotions it is admitted that they are paid for by a shareholder who wants to sell shares. In other words this is a pump and dump operation. And in the latest SEC Filing of 14th December we discover that Harmonic has almost no cash, no revenues and is burning cash – it should be clean out of money within a couple of weeks. The auditors flag this as a going concern issue. Er…just a bit. At 95 cents today the company is valued at $59.9 million.

The whole thing is total joke as I described on the largest US website Seeking Alpha just before Christmas HERE .

US Investors are happily dumping shares and guess which suckers are buying? Er… Yes Limeys it is you thanks to those mailings from websites you thought you trusted. Heck that is the special relationship in action, the yanks get to offload their shit on the Brits and we send them Piers Morgan in return. Unless you were one of the folks suckered this is almost funny.

That supposedly respectable UK websites take cash to pump out this crap is a total disgrace but the story of this mega stock promotion for a total nothing company gets funnier still as I am sent the latest release from Harmonic with blockbusting news

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3119 days ago

Andrew Bridgen MP (Con) – Out of touch tosser?

It is reported that speaking on radio 4 today, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said that for many MPs choosing to live on an MP’s salary meant “foregoing Christmas presents for their children”. An MP earns £65,378 a year. Plus expenses. The less said about that the better. The average male salary in the UK is c£30,000. The average woman earns £24,000.

Either MP’s kids all ask Santa for Porsches every December or Bridgen is a totally out of touch tosser. Enough said.

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3119 days ago

Greggs: Poor Trading Update – Reiterate Sell at 444p

Yesterday Greggs (GRG), the leading bakery retailer in the UK with more than 1,670 retail outlets, released an update on trading for the Christmas and New Year period (5 weeks ended 5th January 2013) and for its 2012 financial year (52 weeks ended 29th December 2012). This included that the company anticipates that it “will report full year results broadly in line with expectations when we make our preliminary announcement on 13 March 2013”. However there were caveats and with concerns about the UK economy and consumer spending – particularly on the high street, the following is my take on the current outlook for this company…

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3120 days ago

Jessops Bust – Who is next? How can you make money from it?

Camera store chain Jessops is appointing an administrator as it is effectively bust. What caused this privately owned firm to go under and who is next? As it happens I bought a camera from Jessops just before Christmas and as I did so I wondered why on earth this store existed in the first place. That should not detract from the issues the entire High Street faces.

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3122 days ago

Vialogy – Cynicism Bordering on Exploitation (of shareholders): Sell

Director lifestyle (oops I meant to say oil exploration services) group Vialogy (LSE:VIY) needs to raise cash urgently or it is going bust. That is not just me saying that,. That is the bombshell from its auditors that the company snuck out over Christmas when no-one was watching. Its attempts since then to sucker private investors into buying the stock so that it can get a rescue placing away ( at a huge discount ‘natch) display a cynicism which is quite extraordinary. Anyone buying the stock in the market is being exploited shamelessly as I shall detail below.

The shock warning from the auditors came out on December 31st. Yup, New Year’s Eve when no-one was paying attention. I try to watch this company like a hawk but I missed it. The statement is pretty clear:

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3123 days ago

Welfare Scroungers & Fraud – The Deluded Lefties do not get it!

Every time I write about welfare scroungers or fraud I am accused of being a heartless, pampered Tory boy by a range of deluded lefties. I just do not understand this. For starters I am not a Tory. When they stopped believing in low taxes, a small state and started cowering to every EU diktat I gave up on them. Secondly I have worked for everything I have, I am not a beneficiary of inherited wealth. And thirdly if being heartless means objecting to those who work hard having to support either thieves or those who opt not to work hard, sure I am heartless. I believe in a welfare system that acts as a safety net but not in one that becomes a lifestyle choice. To me it is heartless to take away money in tax from those on low incomes to redistribute it to criminals or those who opt for idleness. Het I am not Scrooge but equally I do not see why all those who have been naughty should get Christmas presents paid for by those who have been god. Do you?

There was a damning statistic or two out this week. Firstly we learned that one third of the money collected in income tax is spent on welfare payments. That is an extraordinarily high number. And it is calculated that c 7% or 8% of those payments are made to fraudulent claimants. More damning still was that 43% of those claiming benefits and not working had in fact never worked in their lives. They are on a career of welfare dependency.

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3123 days ago

All Year Round Hot Cross Buns?

Wandering around the Co-op on the 11th day of Christmas I noticed that the store was selling Hot Cross Buns (a simple bun with a cross on its front). Frankly the Co-op can sell what it wants and I gather that it sells this item all year round not just at….er…Christmas. But there is something not quite right about this.

When I was a boy my mum used to make Hot Cross Buns as a special treat for Good Friday. That was when, historically, we in Britain ate them. The cross signifies the cross on which Jesus met his end on Good Friday. The buns taste great so if folks want to eat them all year round that is their call. I just wonder how many kids growing up today actually realise how this dish came into being and what its significance is. I have a sneaking suspicion that if you polled 100 eleven year olds in Britain today very few of them could actually tell you the day of the year when we celebrate the crucifixion of Jesus.

I wonder how many could tell you what Advent means and why they have an Advent calendar. What Easter Sunday represents and why they have a chocolate egg on that day? Or indeed why we give each other presents at Christmas. I wonder if any at all could explain why they get even more chocolates at Halloween?

Though I am not a believer (I struggle to be one but just do not have faith), I do find the idea that the Christian festivals are now blurred into one great mish-mash of chocolate and consumerism as rather sad. That kids today have no idea why they celebrate as long as they can celebrate is all rather depressing. If it’s Christmas/Easter/Halloween all year round, the actual days themselves become less and less special.

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3123 days ago

Ruspetro: A shocking profits warning – what is fair value?

Ruspetro (RPO) has already served up a profits warning in 2013 and for its timing as much as its substance it is already in line to win an award for the biggest shock of the year. The share price at the close on Friday was 83.5p, valuing the firm at £278.4 million but given that the release went live at 6.30 PM the stock will be hit hard on Monday. At what point should you buy if at all?

6.30 PM? Yes that is not a typo. To release a profits alert on a 3 day Christmas week is band enough. After hours is poor form. But to sneak it out at 6.30 PM on a Friday when the few people who were at work last week were already onto their third after work pint is quite shocking behaviour. A management team that serves up such an announcement will need to prove itself consistently for a good period to regain the trust of investors.

What makes it worse is what the statement actually said.

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3127 days ago

As Requested by Blog Readers: Oakley Update

Forget the fiscal cliff, my share tips of the year or why Fat Sam should be sacked as West Ham manager in May. Forget my pilgrimage to Margaret Thatcher’s birthplace, my Christmas culinary triumphs or my witterings about music – I am currently listening to Lene Lovich in case you were wondering. Judging by tweets, postings ion the blog and emails what folks want to know about is Oakley, my eleven year old cat who as of the week before Christmas has only three legs. Quite right… first things first.

He is not quite himself but the trend is positive. No longer does he have to wear the collar of shame to stop him scratching where his leg used to be before it was removed to deal with the tumour. He can scuttle around the place at quite a rate when he wants to. Which is not often. He can now jump up onto a bed. Rather frighteningly he was also able to jump out through a window and onto a slippery ledge four stories high. I panicked (being someone who suffers from chronic vertigo). He waited until I had left the room screaming and then hopped back through the window and sat there calmly grinning at me as I rushed back in.

Tara, my other eleven year old cat, is now sleeping alongside him and seems to have come to terms with his new shape. Indeed she rather enjoys the fact that Oakley demands to be carried to food since she can nick most of his meal before he realises it is there. In some ways he is back to his old self, crawling up the bed so that he can look directly into your face all night. In other ways there is still a bit of hesitation. There is a tendency to hide away most of the time under a bed or behind a door waiting to be fetched to be plonked onto a sofa.

He seems to be slowly coming to terms with what has happened although the poor creature will never understand. It is only two or three weeks ago that his leg was removed and so I am not surprised that he has not fully adjusted mentally. But the trend is positive. Thank you for all your kind wishes. I shall endeavour to post a couple of new photos next week.

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3129 days ago

My Fifth 2013 tip of the year ( of 7) is now live: a blue riband UK tech play for New Year's Eve

It is New Year’s Eve and my FIFTH share tip of the year ( of SEVEN) is now live ( here).

There are 2 more tips of the year 2013 to come

On 30th December my FOURTH share tip of the year ( of SEVEN) went live ( here).

On 29th December my 3rd share tip of the year ( of SEVEN) went live ( here).

On 28th December I published my second share tip of the year ( here).

The day before I published my first share tip of the year ( here).

On Boxing Day I published my macro-economic assumptions for 2013.

The next three tips will be published in various places. This article will be updated as each goes live with a link. And I shall send out a twitter alert. That is apart from the 7th tip of the year which will be the first tip published on my new venture with ADVFN – Onefreesharetip.com – it will go out at 9 AM on the 2nd of January.

The only way to receive that tip in your email is to register HERE at OneFreesharetip.com .

And if you do, you will then get one free share tip each and every working day from an all star panel of around 20 share tipsters and commentators.

So you might as well join up anyway. .

Go on, you know it makes senes

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3129 days ago

Visiting the Birthplace of Baroness Thatcher

And so I found myself in the grim North this morning and being just down the road from Grantham thought that I would pay a visit to the birthplace of Britain’s greatest Prime Minister. I cannot say that I see much to take me back to Grantham. Baroness Thatcher was born above the corner store owned by her father Alderman Roberts. It is a couple of hundred yards away from the town centre but not on the posher side.

These days the store sells holistic nonsense as you can see in the photo below. What strikes me is just how small it is. Thatcher was a leader born in truly humble surroundings. A small room, above a small shop, in a “secondary” part of a small town. When she suggested that others pull themselves up by their bootstraps she knew what that meant as that is exactly what she (and I imagine her father) did themselves. Her background made her the great leader she was. Just like Call Me Dave’s background made him, er……

Tom in front of shop

The fact that the person who not only became our first female PM but was without doubt the dominant figure post WW2 in British Politics was born in this town is almost unmentioned. That is to the eternal shame of whichever tossers are in charge of the town. All one can see

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3132 days ago

My 2012 Pig of the Year award goes to…

PrintThe temptation is to award this to those who (illegally) accessed what they thought was my home address and sent a malicious, inaccurate and spiteful lawyers letter (hence matter settled at no cost to me) to a Mr T Winnifrith who happened to be my aged and rather infirm father. It is only because I do not wish to upset him further that I have not yet taken this matter to the authorities. I know that those responsible receive this newsletter and hope that as they enjoy the Christmas break they consider just why Santa did not bring them anything this year. For this action I shall never forgive them. Christmas or no Christmas this was beyond the pale.

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3133 days ago

Beware the Retail Gloom in 2013

Insolvency firm Begbies Trainor grabbed the headlines just before Christmas with a claim that 147 retailers across the UK were zombies, the living dead, poised on the brink of insolvency. The headline was scary enough. But the detail was even scarier. I sense that the bloodbath on the high street will reach a rather unpleasant finale during 2013…

We know why high street retailers are in trouble. They face competition from giant online retailers who do not have expensive properties to maintain and enjoy huge economies of scale (i.e. they can screw suppliers). Worse, Tesco (and to a lesser extent the other supermarkets) grab an incremental share of the off-line non food trade each year. And finally, the overborrowed UK consumer (and it seems US consumer) has finally stopped spending. That trend will not change in 2013. In fact none of them will.

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3133 days ago

Experimental Christmas Pudding Report

As you may remember, my Christmas rituals start in November with the cooking of a Christmas pudding. The day I eat a Jamie/Delia/Hugh. Heston Christmas pudding is the day I have given up on life. This year’s recipe was somewhat experimental. And yesterday it was steamed and served up and …if I say so myself it was a triumph.

The pudding slipped from the bowl in perfect shape. The texture was spot on, smooth with a firm layer on the outside and soft, moist and alcohol charged on the inside. The decision to drop candied peel and replace with a range of dried fruits including apricots worked well and swapping breadcrumbs for oats was a winner. It meant that the pudding was a slightly lighter shade of dark brown than normal but it actually have it just a bit more texture.

Combined with homemade brandy butter ( the simplest thing to make and anyone who buys that in a store deserves to be shot), chilled in the fridge for twenty four hours, it was – if I say so myself – a triumph. This year’s experiment becomes next year’s recipe. 10 out of 10.

The main course: goose, excellent, honey glazed carrots, worked a treat as did the sprouts ( are sprouts getting bigger or am I imagining that?). Roast potatoes and parsnips could have been a tad crispier. With a sweet chilli side sauce: 8.5 out of 10. Let down by the neeps and spuds.

Overall, not bad. Think I might need to do a few shifts in Real Man Pizza’s kitchen to get those spuds right for next year.

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3135 days ago

Christmas Day always starts with the last verse of O Come All Ye Faithful

I am not sure that I shall be a regular attendar at the Church where I celebrated Midnight Mass. The drum kit and amplifiers to the left of the alter were a clear warning sign for me. But the serice was traditional enough and the folk friendly. For me Christmas Day always starts as you belt out the last verse of O Come all ye faithful and prepare to leave the church and trek home in the cold night air.

Yea Lord we greet Thee, born this happy morning. That is the starting gun. It is 12.15 AM and the day has begun.

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

I hope once again that you have a wonderful day and, frankly, that you do not read this until the 27th.

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3136 days ago

Merry Christmas to you all - what does it mean to you and me?

May I start by wishing all the readers on my own blog or the ten other sites to which I now contribute (going to eleven in January), a very Merry Christmas and – of course – a prosperous New Year. But what does Christmas mean to you? I have no idea. I know what it means to me and my family. For starters it is not just a holiday it is Christmas. I am simply not having a happy holiday or sending season’s greetings. Whatever your own personal views on religion you are getting a few days off work because you live in a Christian country and Jesus was born on Christmas Day. Get used to it and stop pretending otherwise.

Actually it is extremely unlikely that Jesus was born on 25th December, in 0 AD, in Bethlehem or in a manger. But that is another matter.

My family is religious. My step mother is a lay preacher and my father an enthusiastic member of the Shipston church although possibly the worst singer in Warwickshire. I was brought up to attend church and know the bible well enough. But try as hard as I can, and occasionally I have tried, I have never been a person of faith. I just cannot believe. I am not hostile. I leave that to my eleven year old daughter Olivia who has grown up with a mother who has a real hatred for the Church. Olivia is thus a proud Islington atheist. And thus three generations bring three views.

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3137 days ago

Christmas carols for Sefton Resources, the EU, Vialogy and the Modern World

Some young chap from UKIP was running a “Christmas carols opening two lines for the modern world “ chat on twitter tonight. His first entry was:

“Once in royal David’s city, Stood a lowly cattle shed, But when the Palestinians Bombed it, We build 200 new settlements instead”

To which I countered:

“Arrest you merry gentlemen from the BBC
You’re all screaming perverts it is now plain to see”

Naturally this got me started. And so ( in either English or German) I offer you the Evil Empire’s Silent Night

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3138 days ago

Register now for Weekend Tomograph - Pig of the Year & Christmas issue

The weekend Tomograph Newsletter will go out on Sunday Evening. This will be an abridged Christmas issue but will also announce the winner of the 2012 Pig of the Year award (EU & Westminster category).

To ensure that you receive the newsletter and these articles which will only be in the newsletter and not accessible elsewhere for some days click HERE.

The newsletter should be out on Sunday Evening.

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3139 days ago

Friday Caption Contest – Christmas Edition

I have just completed my first shift as a waiter at Real Man Pizza Company. Sadly for the Bulletin Board morons this is not an ongoing feature of my life just a response to a hectic pre-Christmas Friday. I think I am not a very good waiter. Now devoid of energy and polishing off a glass of red I offer a picture of two well known gentlemen. One is a character that some people believe in and who always delivers and the other is Prime Minister David Cameron.

To win an “It’s Time to Leave T-shirt simply post your caption entries in the comments section below

You can always buy your own It’s Time to Leave T-shirt, mug, hoodie, sweatshirt of thermos flask here.

For what it is worth my entry is:

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3139 days ago

Own your own small business? Try to switch off for a week

Unlike most writers, I do actually run my own small business so my tips come from real life. I know what it is like to be in at the deep end. You wake up in the middle of the night recalculating cashflows, thinking about that next order or about a troublesome member of staff. Your other half asks you what you are thinking about and you dare not admit that it is ( yet again) work rather than what you are meant to be cooking her for a romantic meal. I just say I am thinking about West Ham’s next game. That ends the conversation. Please do not let my other half know that there is a summer break for soccer otherwise I am in deep trouble.

But this time of year is different. There will be virtually no business done next week. My restaurant is closed. No-one will be reading any articles I publish. In fact is anyone reading this? So whatever great plans you make, whatever business decisions you take cannot be implemented until Wednesday January 2nd. That, for what it is worth, is the first day back at work for my colleagues. The restaurant re-opens and the writing begins in earnest again. But I cannot see us doing much trade that week either.

As such the great plans I have for 2013 can wait until then. The sales calls that I tried to make pre Christmas but where I was foiled by Christmas parties and year end audits can start again then. The new wine and beer menu can be printed then

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3139 days ago

Why any company issuing results from Monday to January 2nd is a sell

I rather lose track of which days the stock market is open between now and the New Year. Some days are holidays. Others are half days. And on others the market is open but as far as I can see only utter stock market anoraks (my good friend Zak Mir and myself) or the criminally insane will give two hoots about what is actually going on over Christmas. But there will be announcements, and those will include prelims and interim results. Frankly however, any company issuing results between now and January second is one I would not wish to own shares in. There may be the odd exception but generally it is a golden rule.

Companies will issue results when nobody bar Zak, myself and the criminally insane is looking for one of two reasons.

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3140 days ago

Domino’s Pizza – a buy ahead of results?

During my twelve years at t1ps.com I tipped fully listed Domino’s Pizza twice. The first time was in June 2001 at 62p – I advised selling at 693p in 2007 (a gain of 1018%). The next time I tipped the shares at 193p in July 2008. The share price is now 494p. Not a bad return for share tip given that there is a decent dividend stream on top. But now we face not only a Christmas trading statement * due out January 8th) but also full year numbers (for the 53 weeks to December 30th) which will be out on 25th February. I am a bit nervous about soft consumer spending, fearing that on the high street at least Christmas will be a washout. So what should one do with Domino’s which is today capitalised at £810 million.

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3142 days ago

Mark’s In: Mark Slater completes all star line-up at UKInvestor Show on April 13th

f you want to hear quality speakers there is only one UK Investor show to attend next year and that is The UKInvestor Show held on April 13th at Excel in London. The speaker lineup is now almost complete with news that Mark Slater, the most successful fund manager of his generation is on board.

Mark joins as the other main stage speakers: Nigel Wray (Britain’s Buffett), Nick Leslau (property legend and secret millionaire), bear raiders Lucian Miers and Evil Knievil, gold guru Dominic Frisby and UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

And that is not all: The trader’s session (also a main stage event) is chaired by Steve Moore and stars Clem Chambers, Alpesh Patel, Simon Denham, John Piper and Zak Mir (plus one name to reveal shortly)

And in the breakout rooms we have the Goddess, Amanda VanDyke on making money from mining stocks, Stanley Gibbons boss Mike Hall on alternative investments, Roger Lawson on shareholder activism and Christopher Booker on how global warming costs you so much.

There is the Poulden v Winnifrith debate (10 minutes of main stage comedy) and 80 companies presenting at CEO level.

No other show comes even close to assembling such an all star lineup.

There are just 2,500 tickets on offer. They go strictly on a first come first served basis. Already more than a fifth are gone ahead of the official launch of the show campaign in the New Year. Treat yourself to a free gift this Christmas. To book your free seat and to get more details click HERE.

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3142 days ago

A New e-book for Christmas: Lessons From the Markets for 2013 by Zak Mir

Zak Mir is an old friend and godfather to my daughter. He is a very funny man. He can be incredibly cool and he can also be Geek of the Year – ask him about his fascination with weather patterns. That is train spotting for the middle classes. The one chink in his armour is his deprived education background. Not a reference in a PC way to the oppression of a you Asian lad growing up in a post industrial Glasgow decimated by the evil Thatcher. Oooooo all those nasty white racists and bloody English. Thatcher! How they suppress my fellow Celts. Nope, Zak lived in a posh bit of Glasgow ( I gather there is one) and went to Harrow which is clearly a dreadful school as I have never met an Old Harrovian who could write more than three words (they all seem to be able to manage f*ck off pleb) without introducing some spelling mistake or grammatical error.. .And so we come to Zak’s latest ebook – an ideal TA Chistmas gift.

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3143 days ago

Range Resources – I have some sympathy

Range Resources (LSE:RRL) was forced to issue a statement on 14th December saying that it noted unusual share trading activity and knew of no reason for this but that it plans operational updates within the next few days. Though I continue to believe that the shares are materially overvalued at 3.95p (my target share price is 1.5p) I find myself having real sympathy for the company. I guess it is all that Christmas spirit filtering through even to my black Ulster heart.

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3143 days ago

Abu Qatada to join the Church of England?

Abu’s legal aid bill tops £500,000 and to celebrate he has moved him and his large welfare funded family to a brand new luxury pad paid for by you. This fat, welfare dependent, bearded loon is open in how he despises the West, wants a global Sharia Kingdom and is clearly linked to Islamofascist terrorists across the globe. I imagine his new neighbours are not happy to see him in the hood. Well I imagined wrong. The local vicar is reported to have said:

Absolutely anyone is welcome to our church and I would encourage Mr Qatada and his family to join in our Christmas celebrations and reach out to the local community.

Heck: maybe Abu could pop along to the gay marriage presided over by a transsexual priest planned by the Rev for Boxing day. Go on Abu reach out and join in. The C of E loves you. The C of E loves everybody.

The Established Church and is desire for inclusiveness and brotherly love: you have to admire its style as it disappears into oblivion.

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3144 days ago

Video Postcard Number 19

Recording in freezing and wet Warwickshire with a new camera I hope the sound and picture quality is alright. My old camera has gone astray somewhere between Real Man Pizza Company, drinks with Lucian and St Albans. I fear it will not be seen again.

On the Agenda

1. Nigel Farage joins the speaker line-up at UKInvestor Show on April 13th. A real buncjh of men and women who one would describe as a Master Investor plus Farage. It really is a cracking lineup and you can book your tickets here.

2. Another two tips out this week on the Nifty Fifty. You can gain immediate access ahead of two more tips next week here.

3. Centamin and the idea of quantifying political risk in any stock

4. Northern Petroleum, director buying and market over-reaction

5. Plans for a Christmas slowdown by me

You can watch the video below:

Approximate Running Time 9 minutes

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3145 days ago

Saturday Music Medley – The Right Brothers, Christmas shopping for deluded lefties

The shock revelation that my deluded lefty sister Naomi is to give her poor husband Labour Party membership for Christmas naturally begs the question what do I get the rest of my family ( all deluded lefties) for Christmas, or Winterval as they would have it. And so my Saturday musical medley starts with a classic from the Right Brothers “

That is a pretty American list. Maybe for the UK my family and other deluded lefties might start with “Letters from the Chestnut Tree cafe” available at just £5 HERE. or perhaps with a selection of “It’s Time to Leave” T-shirts, sweatshirts and coffee mugs? Perhaps for folks who talk about the Malvinas (Naomi) a “Piss off Argentina T-shirt? The mugs and T-shirts are all available HERE.

Back to the music. A couple of other offerings from the Right Brothers who seem like a sensible bunch of chaps. I shall skip over “Bush was Right” and start with “Stop Global Whining” which is pretty self explanatory but does highlight the inconvenient truth of the medieval warm period pretty brilliantly.

Next up is one for the teaching profession: “Shut up and teach.”

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3148 days ago

Oakley – Photo

As promised the first photo on Oakley post op. The look on his face rather says it all. On the plus side he is able to indulge in ha favourite hobby (food) after his 24 nil by mouth hours. On the minus side he has to wear a daft collar for a while and he is only slowly learning to walk on three legs. Right now it is more falling down than walking. But as I have noted before, a cat who spends 60% of his life sleeping or “resting”, 15% eating and 5% walking between food, bed and litter tray does not need to walk that much.

And in 36 hours he will be reunited with Tara his companion of eleven years, which will delight them both as well prepare for a relaxed Christmas.

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3148 days ago

Oakley Update – Good News

Oakley (my cat) is through surgery. That is to say he now has only three legs. He is still at the vets but is expected to leave this evening. He appears to be more interested uin the fact that the nil by mouth regime is over and that after a day of fasting he can once again stuff his face. He was not known as fat cat for nothing.

There is one last trauma and that is that Tara ( his soul mate) has shifted to a Christmas home. She has showed her displeasure at the separation by a) mewling constantly and b) urinating in a bedroom c) refusing a breakfast of fine bacon. The two animals are not brother and sister but have not been separated in 11 years.

The great reunion is either tomorrow or Friday depending on other family matters – I trek back to Warwickshire tonight.

A photo of the patient will be posted later. Thanks again for all your kind enquiries and best wishes.

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3148 days ago

6 t1ps for Dealing with SME Christmas cashflow issues – Part 2

We all know that a this time of year Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can face cashflow problems. Your costs are pretty much unchanged but for most places not only do you enjoy one week’s less trade but it just seems as if others are reluctant to pay. Cheques just get delayed in the post seemingly forever. What to do?

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3149 days ago

Oakley Update – Operation delayed but now completed - spending night at vets

Thanks for all the emails and the odd tweet. Oakley’s operation was delayed but his leg was finally removed later afternoon. He is spending the night at the vets and should be leaving there tomorrow. Tara – my other cat is not happy having spent her entire life with the Old Boy. But we are getting there. Thanks for all your kind thoughts. Roll on Christmas and recuperation for us all.

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3149 days ago

For Oakley it is Goodbye Leg Day – Light blogging ahead

I admit that one reason for light blogging is that I was led astray by Lucian, the Goddess and a few others at the Real Man Christmas drinks. I feel a bit fragile today. I am too old for all of this. But there is another reason for light blogging – Oakley (my cat) is back on the Vet’s operating table as we speak.

Greedy vet one clearly feels a bit guilty about the fact that he has stiffed me with an £846 bill and the operation has failed. Oakley’s leg was so weakened by the tumour that the skin cannot heal. And as such Oakley is off to a charity vet today. I shall leave without £140. Oakley will leave without one of his legs.

I know that he is just a cat. And I am all too aware that there are humans in much worse shape. But it is still not a day that I expected to come. It has all happened rather quickly.

I was trying to think of some convoluted and clever sentence involving the flag of where Oakley was born (the Isle of Man) – the triskelion , three legs. But I am a bit too hungover and worried to string words together. I am told that the Old Boy can have a good quality of life with three legs but somehow that seems a little hard to believe. To misquote animal farm “three legs good, four legs better.” It will all be over soon and then back home for a restful Christmas. Extra duck for Oakley.

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3151 days ago

Victorian Christmas Street Fair Shipston

I am spending more time these days in Shipston-on-Stour in southern Warwickshire where my father lives with my (not wicked but just deluded lefty) step mother. I could not live there full time. The average age is about 97 and everyone seems to know who everyone else is. I just want to be left alone. But walking along with my father between the White Bear (his “office”) and home about once a minute there is a greeting of “Morning Professor”. Dad was not actually a professor just a senior lecturer but he looks the part.

Friday evening saw the Victorian street fair. Some folks dressed up in 19th century garb. There were clowns on stilts and a brass band blasted out all those Christmas carols you remember from childhood. Truly it was freezing and felt like it was very much the Bleak Midwinter. All the local societies had stalls. Naturally the Cats Protection League was my fave but

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3154 days ago

6 answers to Small Business Problems: Dealing with the Christmas cashflow issue Part One

As it happens Christmas is a good cashflow month for my business in that away from the media side we own a restaurant – the awesome Clerkenwell eaterie that is the Real Man Pizza Company. Driven by our cracking Christmas menu (which you can read HERE ) bookings are strong. We still have some vacancies so if you need a meal or a party venue you can still contact us HERE but we know that there is enough cash coming in to pay the bills. But for many other businesses that is just not the case. Christmas can be a nightmare. Not only do you have ten days when more or less everything is shut so revenue is nil but in the ten days leading up to Christmas everyone else seems to drunk ( or out of cash) to pay their bills. Yet your staff and other supplies insist on getting paid for a full month. Sods. This can cause a cashflow issue. So how to cope?

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3155 days ago

Oakley (one of my cats) Mixed News – Poor him, poorer me Part 2

The old boy had the operation yesterday. He is now back from the vets missing a chunk of tumour/leg. He is feeling sorry for himself. I am still feeling miffed at a total bill of c£750. The operation was a success in that most of the tumour was removed. But, there is a but.

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3158 days ago

Real Man Pizza – New Menu and the Woodlarks Charity dish

I wonder how many blog readers have eaten at my restaurant in Clerkenwell London, the Real Man Pizza Company. Clearly I wish it were more! If you have yet to come along to sample our unique dishes such as the UK’s hottest pizza (The Snaefell Diabola), the Manx Queenie Pizza, our chocolate pizza and banana & butterscotch pizza or (my favourite creation) the Manx Spirited Treacle Tart, there is now a good reason to come along a brand new menu and the formal launch of the Woodlarks pizza.

You can view the menu and a recently upgraded wine list HERE – as you can see as well as our quirkier dishes we also serve a range of more tradition Italian pizza and non pizza dishes.

As it is Christmas there is now a special Christmas menu (well two of them actually) live and you can view that HERE

The Woodlarks Pizza is another one of my own creations.

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3160 days ago

New: It’s Time to Leave (the EU) T-Shirts and Mugs Now on Sale

You may remember those deluded lefties who were setting up an operation to sell organic, ethical eco-friendly T-shirts with messages about what a jolly good thing the Evil Empire the is. They are my inspiration as I launch my new range of It’s Time to Leave T-shirts and Mugs. An ideal purchase for any UKIP supporter or EU-realist.

Any orders will be produced by good capitalists (and they are German owned capitalists). The T-shirts are cotton but there is no claim of eco-nonsense- the shipping of them uses lots of carbon. And the message for the Evil Empire is clear. It is an oppressive, authoritarian, anti-democratic organisation and it is time we left.

My problem of what to get my deluded lefty family for Christmas is solved at a stroke.

You can place your orders now here.

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3190 days ago

Hope For Norseman Gold – Oz Press Reports: Chinese Saviour by Christmas?

Shares in AIM and ASX listed Norseman Gold (NGL) remain suspended following it s decision to put its operating unit into administration – something it stated was (hopefully) temporary. Many folk have understandably written the shares off as worthless but they are, quite probably, wrong. Press reports from Australia suggest there is real hope and that the shares could be trading again by Christmas. Let me explain.

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3191 days ago

Learning to Say No – the Hardest Thing at the Start of a Business

Starting a business and running it in your early years is bloody hard. We all know that. We now that 70% of start ups will go bust within seven years. We would all rather be in the 30%. And in your early years there is a temptation to do almost anything, to take on almost any contract in order to ensure that your business is in that 30%. But that can be a mistake.

As it happens, twelve years after starting my first company I find myself more or less starting up all over again trying to grow my revenues as a writer through various enterprises and agreements. Naturally I have a business plan. Naturally I will not hit the targets set out for years one and two (if ever). Given the uncertainties that exist in any business I may beat them. I may miss them. All I know, from past experience, is that I shall not hit them exactly.

There is a temptation

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3199 days ago

Christmas Menu at the Real Man Pizza Company – now live

Forgive the product plug but this blog is actually owned by The Real Man Pizza Company and so I am only obeying orders! We thought long and hard about this but the menu is now live. I am not so sure about the Christmas Pizza ( turkey with all the trimmings) but Aldo says that it is winner. Mots of the rest of the two set menus are more traditional seasonal offerings.

The two set menu offerings can be found here [PDF]

There is a great value offering and an even greater value offering. And if you book your Christmas meal for a date in November or December you get 10% off.

If you have a party of 20 or more and want to dine away from our other guests we will open up the downstairs room ( which also holds half of my library so if your colleagues bore you, you can always read a book). That room is also available for party hire should you wish and can cater for up to 60 if you want music and a chance to grope your work-mates under the mistletoe.

If you wish to make a booking or have any questions contact the star manager Aldo on 020 7242 3246 or you can always book online.

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3248 days ago

Baroness Warsi – the New Louise Mensch & a Christmas Prize for me

I saw an advert for Christmas goods yesterday – that is 1st September. It strikes me that Christmas is still rather a long way away. Do I win a prize for the earliest Christmas spot of the year? Or did someone pick up on something in August?

Meanwhile I see that the gap left by the imminent retirement of Louise Mensch MP for the “thickest Tory politician” is rapidly being filled by Tory Party chairwoman Baroness Warsi. I do not know much about this frightful creature and what she has ever done outside politics apart from the fact that she plays the professional Northerner. From what I can see she has not really been a great party chairperson and is now pleading to keep her job because she can “reach out to women, ethnic minorities and Northerners” and so help Call Me Dave with the next election.

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