6 days ago
I have not enjoyed a gooseberry fool since my mum made them almost fifty years ago. But the dessert gooseberries are now ready, red not green and sweeter than ordinary gooseberries. So I thought I might tempt Joshua to try them in a fool with a bit less sugar than the traditional recipe.
30 days ago
I explain my anger, and why the weekend ahead will be sheer torture. Think of my suffering and donate to Rogue Bloggers, HERE. Then, put 10 September in your diary, and keep it free. More on that next week, when I shall be in Frogland with Joshua and Olaf. In today’s podcast, I cover Versarien (VRS), Audioboom (BOOM) and Advance Energy (ADV).
32 days ago
Madame Le Pen would ban Muslim headgear. In some places, Burkinis are banned. And so, I bring you the view from directly in front of where Joshua, Olaf and I sat.
91 days ago
Ten boxes of books headed to Greece last week to complete the library at the Greek Hovel. But, still, all the bookshelves here in Wales are full and I am packing additional books into storage boxes until a solution is found. I do have a cunning plan. Occassionally a gem emerges.
137 days ago
Nobody gives a fuck about the problems working parents face when school is shut. Half term for my son Joshua was already going to be extended by the teachers having one of their seven INSET days, a week on Monday. Now it is extended at this end as, yesterday, Wrexham ordained that all schools here will be teaching online today.
183 days ago
As you may recall my thirsty daughter Olaf has been brought up in Islington and has therefore picked up some freakish liberal traits such as wishing to not only rejoin but to work for the accursed EU, bleating on about polar bears and the global warming cult and being a pescetarian. That means she will not eat meat so for her late Christmas meal with us, I prepared a whole salmon, not hooked in the Dee from our garden but bought in. Starting to fish in the river is a resolution for 2022.
189 days ago
The family of the Mrs are a sober bunch, worryingly so in my view, so made a very limited dent in the hoard of booze we had accumulated ahead of their Christmas visit. Indeed it has,net net, grown thanks to the donations below.
193 days ago
The Mrs has managed to get the lights working, the tree is topped with Olaf’s angel from 17 years ago, the in-laws have arrived and we’ve had our first covid scare.What more could one want for Christmas? To all readers of this, my personal website, even those neighbours here in the last village in Wales, who tried to snitch to the Council on the new English folks in the village or who berated me as Emmanuel Goldstein in a two minute hate, myself and my family wish you all a very merry Christmas and hope that we can all enjoy a less miserable, end of Mark Drakeford, 2022.
195 days ago
A reader asks what sits on top of the Christmas tree here in Wales? It is the same as it is every year, as you can see below.
227 days ago
In the run up to my next Greek trip, once every few days, I am now decanting various of the fruit gins and vodkas made in late summer. The Mrs and i are still working our way through the plum vodka. Yesterday I decanted the rhubarb and ginger gin.
238 days ago
After the bonfire party here on Friday some of the grown ups tried a shot of my home made Chillie vodka. The father of Joshua’s pal R managed two but he is Polish so it is in his DNA. The rest of us managed only one glass and, boy, did it need tonic as my home grown chillies are uber powerful. I have now started pacakaging up two shot bottles as Christmas presents for my siblings and, ever thirsty, daughter Olaf in remembrance of my father who appreciated a modest drink or two and loved devilishly hot food. Fear not, better presents will also be given but this is for dad.
245 days ago
He’s a dark horse is my boy Joshua!. He left this certificate below at school before half term but we picked it up today. Yes he was the Welsh Speaker of the week. The Mrs is not playing this game but Joshua and I both now drop words of Welsh into conversation with Jayarani who is now starting to understand a few ( cat, sit, etc). Joshua learns his Welsh at school, I am teaching myself a bit on the internet and so we exchange a few words every day. But he is better than me. He pronounces correctly, can say his school prayer in Welsh and much more besides. I am considering getting formallessons myself.
265 days ago
Having spotted some blackberries in the churchyard yesterday morning, when the Mrs arrived home to take charge of Jayarani, I headed back through the drizzle with young Joshua to harvest. We discussed the weather in Welsh as walked up the hill. We both know all the key phrases and also “it is sunny” not that we get to use that very often.
277 days ago
I have since added a couple more red hot chillis to these jars of vodka which I have prepared ahead of a promised Christmas visit from thirsty daughter Olaf. The Mrs and I tasted a drop yesterday and they already have an almighty kick. “Good for clearing your sinuses” remarked the Mrs, before adding “Presumably you do add tonic?” I think we will be doing so. as for Olaf, I assume she will be drinking it neat.
300 days ago
It is hoped that daughter Olaf, currently spending a term at the Sorbonne in Paris, will honour us with a visit at Christmas and, as you might have gathered, she is a thirsty young lady. As such, I have today been adding to the plum and damson vodka, gently becoming even more fruit flavoured on the larder shelf.
320 days ago
As I prepare for blackberry picking with newly arrived Olaf the bearcast today covers just one company, one where I was a shareholder but would not go back, Falanx (FLX). I do mention Jubilee Metals (JLP), en passant.
321 days ago
Tended by P and watered by God, the garden at the Welsh Hovel has come on by leaps and bounds in my absence. There is so much to photo, eat, preserve, freeze and pickle so where to start? Let’s kick off with one of the two patches known as Joshua’s garden so these are really his vegetables.
321 days ago
Daughter Olaf arrives this afternoon but will be gutted to hear that what sits below will not be ready for two months.
321 days ago
If we had arrived back a week earlier the harvest would have been far larger. The old plum tree at the bottom of the vegetable patch was dripping with plums last year but, this year, most of them have already dripped all the way to the floor and have rotten. But I salvaged a few from there and then had a pleasant surprise.
356 days ago
I have yet to update you all on the dynamics of the, now four, eateries that surround thde small square in the centre of Kambos, the village closest to the Greek Hovel. As Greece implements new laws to make life for all four of them that much harder, it is topical.
358 days ago
I start with bad news from Olaf, then consider football before – at length – answering the question in the title.
358 days ago
We can talk of awful fouls and the penalty curse but should not deny that Italy played better football and deserved to win the European Championship. No doubt many of us are still in denial on that matter today but the statistics do not lie. I say this as someone who came into the tournament not supporting England for a range of reasons but who was won over by the charm of the young squad and of the manager and by the way it seemed to unite and give joy to the whole country. All of those involved in England did their country proud. I shall now go back to supporting Northern Ireland, but in this tournament the match against the Hun was the key turning point for me.
360 days ago
You may remember that, aged three, Olaf gained admission to a wonderful school in North London after a rigorous interview by headmistress Mrs P. The first question was to me “how is your father?” for Mrs P was the ex of my father’s oldest friend, “vicious”, who was also my godfather. I sense that Mrs P would detect Olaf’s innate brilliance and she would gain a place despite an appalling comment from Big Nose on the virtues of the National Curriculum. That was a schoolgirl error for Mrs P is delightfully old fashioned. Mrs P is a relatively new reader of this website, approving of my views on a range of subjects, and has asked for a few photos of the Greek Hovel to which she knows she has an open invitation. Here goes.
360 days ago
Joshua and I had a day or so’s notice so yesterday tidied frantically. Even the bat room, of wildlife diversity invasion infamy, now looks pretty spotless. Compounding our triumph of being able to assemble a vacuum cleaner with twenty parts, we also managed to get the washing machine with Greek only options and instructions to work. And thus everything damaged in the bat room, Olaf’s bedroom should she pass covid tests and pitch up next week, is now clean and, if you can rid your mind of the thoughts of its former inhabitants, ready for use.
361 days ago
No photos this time as, unlike with the snake, this time I was called into action to despatch the latest horrors to emerge.
367 days ago
I have written before about Olaf’s godfather Joe. In his mother’s stomach, he left Corfu just in time in 1941 when the Italians were in charge, heading to Egypt and then to Israel before washing up in England. Those Jews who did not get out in time were shipped out by the Germans en masse, when the Hun took over from the Italians, first to Piraeus then, by train, to Auschwitz.
377 days ago
The photo is from the weekend. The backpack used to hold Joshua - here he is in it as we climbed up to Zarnata castle overlooking Kambos in Greece. In the heat, that is some climb. Anyhow, now I have eight-month-old Jayarani on my back and as you can see she is gorgeous. Before you say it, she must take after her mum.
377 days ago
I discuss my local Tory councillor being a spinless cretin, my daughter Olaf being a girly swot and with reference to Peter Brailey’s most excellent article earlier the nature of death spirals, they are not all the same but bad companies attract bad finance.
391 days ago
In today’s podcast I look at Alien Metals (UFO), have a lot more thoughts on Kefi (KEFI) where I agree with PL’s plan to align Harry Adams’ interests with ours as shareholders and have urged the company to consider it, at [email protected] Capital (SYME) and at NightCap (NGHT), the financial creation of La Willingham.
412 days ago
Well not really and it was a long time ago. But it comes up when I discuss NightCap (NGHT) and why the numbers are all bonkers and it will end in tears. Then I look at Mirriad (MIRI) and ADVFN (AFN) parallels. Finally Amigo (AMGO) where the directors make threats that would be ruinous for them personally if they implement them. As ever, if you are bored, why not donate to a wonderful cause HERE.
428 days ago
Not all of them. Certainly not daughter Olaf. But at least one of them has ruined my day and made me livid. Elsewhere I discuss Hurricane Energy (HUR), ADVFN (AFN), the fraud Zoetic (ZOE) and Westminster Group (WSG) and the curse of Tony Baldry of 3DM infamy. Ahead of another weekend training walk please be generous and donate HERE – £99 short of the one third mark!
437 days ago
It was 13 days ago that I did this walk – just over 20 miles. Last week my woke snowflake daughter Olaf joined me so I did just 11 miles not wishing to be accused of breaching her human rights with an act of patriarchal oppression. The route is the same as ever: along our fields by the Dee in Wales, the Bridge over to England and then walking the English side of the Dee towards Chester and back. This walk saw me end up walking past some of the smaller houses belonging to the Duke of Westminster on his extensive lands by the Dee. It does make you think a bit about the nature of inherited wealth.
439 days ago
If you are not a parent neither of these little landmarks would seem to matter. But if you are you will understand the feeling. First up is Joshua, aged just over four and a half and still at nursery in England. But that will change in September.
440 days ago
I was siting there with two middle class, university & public school educated affluent lefties discussing why the working class was abandoning Labour. One, that being the Mrs, opined that it was because they liked voting for Toffs, that is to say Boris. This was a theory of one of her colleagues in the world of sociology. The other, daughter Olaf, did not dissent. Such is the state of denial among the British left.
442 days ago
I start with Neil (one L) Woodford after today’s exposes from Nigel on this website. Then it is onto Neill ( 2Ls) the loathsome Ricketts who will be sweating like a pig ahead of 8.30 AM tomorrow for reasons I explain HERE and who has blundered big time with a fascist lawyer’s letter. Today’s Woodlarks training walk was just 11 miles – a stroll – but I had to listen to daughter Olaf with her woke views for the whole of it so show sympathy and donate HERE
442 days ago
Peter Brailey’s article of earlier makes one think about AIM and capitalism. I explian why, at ever level, UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) and is pig of a boss Lyin’ Steve Sanderson make me, as a capitalist, despair. I offer a few words on Phil the Greek and a few on Woodlarks. Tomorrow sees Olaf accompany me on a training walk and as the woke little snowflake struggles pity her and make a donation HERE.
448 days ago
Daughter Olaf reckons that young folk have been hit hardest by the bonkers lockdown and so, like Brexit, which like everyone else in Islington she considered a monstrous display of alt-right Xenophobic ignorance by stupid poor people, this is a crime against the young by bloody old people. Of course, and not for the first time, she is wrong.
471 days ago
Last night, I discovered two more boxes still unopened since our move to the Welsh Hovel two years ago. Within them, there is an old photo of the rev David Cochrane, my great great grandfather, looking very dour and stern as one would expect of a respectable cleric from Donegal. There was also a copy of The History of the Royal Military Canal by my Grandfather Sir John Winnifrith, signed and addressed with love to me. I tried to say how interesting that is as subject but the Mrs was not entirely convinced. I shall try again tonight, it is bound to put her into a good mood before bedtime.
476 days ago
It seems that I am now required, as a man, to start any article on this subject by saying how appalling the murder of Ms Everard was and how I condemn rape and sexual assault. Both should be a given but in 2021 that is not enough. As a male, I must repeat that testament of faith before being allowed to express a view. Yesterday I explained how the reaction of my wonderful daughter Olaf in her young, metropolitan woke echo chamber was wrong but she is not the only one whose good intentions make this matter far worse.
477 days ago
Green Baroness and career politician Jenny Jones said she might propose a 6 PM curfew for all men. That Bonkers Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford showed some sympathy with the idea is surely all the proof that you needed that it and Jenny are mad as a nest of snakes. But my wonderful, but a bit woke, daughter Olaf lambasts me for saying so.
479 days ago
If you have not tried to get your kid into one of those horribly competitive North London prep schools where everyone wants their brats to be educated, you have no idea just how competitive and nerve-wracking it all is. I am reminded of this as Olaf’s old HM from The Village School, an occasional reader of this website, ticks me off for my poor grammar.
524 days ago
In case you missed it, today is the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and thus it is Holocaust Memorial Day. At 8 PM tonight we will light a candle at the Welsh Hovel as I hope that you all will wherever you are. It is important that we remind the younger generation of the sheer horrors of what went on, so that man’s inhumanity to man cannot be expressed in such a vile way again. The problem is that people are forgetting or perhaps just don’t know at all.
526 days ago
Behind a hut made largely of asbestos, which when we arrived was almost invisible as it was surrounded by the jungle, is my new pride and joy. Yes, it is my very own compost heap! Exciting or what? I can’t wait to tell daughter Olaf, I bet she will be thrilled. The Mrs, a townie who does not know anything about gardens, now understands about separating waste and I only have to remove the odd bit of plastic from what she dumps there. When the weather improves, there are a stack of rotten apples and some leaves from the formal lawn to go in.
527 days ago
Wine Merchants across the UK are, according to the EU’s fave PR mouthpiece the Financial Times, having to add £1.50 to each bottle of wine imported from the EU as a result of Brexit. Natch the poodles on the pink paper tell their rapidly declining number of readers that this is another disaster caused by Brexit. That fecker Farage and we dirty 17.4 million dirty, smelly, stupid xenophobes in the sticks have another crime to account for. But hang on?
537 days ago
If I tried to explain my pride at what you see below to daughter Olaf she would just roll her eyes with that “daddy you are so old and boring“ look. So, dear readers, humour me and share my pleasure at what you see below.
537 days ago
When daughter Olaf calls me, she inevitably starts the conversation with the words “I’m bored.” She wants it made clear that she has run out of everything else she can possibly think of to do before her next interesting thing to do and thus, scraping the barrel, she calls her old father. Keen to reinforce the idea that I was boring, I bought myself a birthday present of some Georgian brass candlesticks HERE. But perhaps that is not boring enough for Olaf.
540 days ago
So says daughter Olaf who has repudiated her father’s DNA and is now identifying wholly as Welsh. She is perplexed that I laugh at the Welsh and its certifiable political class, predict that Independence in the short term would be an economic disaster for Wales as well as Scotland yet support the cause, as a Welsh resident, most strongly. Our starting point here is that my daughter is a teenager, lives in Islington and is a bit of a lefty. As such, she, by definition, does not really believe in jokes and many of my comments about cottage burners are said in jest and, thus, she does not understand them.
541 days ago
Today’s expose of Iconic (ICON) is shocking and shows that Dave Sefton is again getting shareholders in a PLC to takle the equity risk for his private ventures. I explain the pattern and what Damon Heath at Shard Capital needs to do about this on Monday. This has got to stop now. Then I look at the religious cult members Evil is tackling with his Tesla short and how it will play out. I start with my act of lockdown defiance today which has confifrmed to daughter Olaf what a boring old man I have become.
541 days ago
I risked an entanglement with Covid lockdown zealots of the North Wales Police today, crossing the bordcer into the land of the infidel, that is to say to visit Oswestry in England. My aim was to pick up a birthday present for myself. My teenage, for a few months more, daughter Olaf thinks I am becoming a boring old man as I should be celebrating the great day at an underground gay bar in Shoreditch like all her fellow Islingtonians. Whatever…
551 days ago
This rather surprises me. I was convinced that the top 30 would be packed full of waspish, libertarian or anti-woke articles. But it seems that many of the most read pieces on this website are the ones the Mrs thinks no-one reads, about life at the hovels here in Wales but also in Greece. Anyhow, here are my top 30 non financial articles of 2020.
554 days ago
The day is looming when I must consider my New Year’s Resolutions. It is no great shock in that my top few are all to do with being a little bit, no a lot more, healthy. Spending those last couple of weeks with Dad and his death, covid, the second big lockdown here in Wales, the new baby and now Christmas have not been good for my health. The large Christmas jumper given to me by my mother in law is a little tight. I am all too aware of what needs doing. I am 53 in two weeks time and I have a one month old baby so I need to up my game in the healthy living department. It is all very well me considering plans for wind down and retirement but you have to live long enough to get to spend more time with your children and goats.
555 days ago
It is amazing. The Mrs and I tried it for the first time last night, aware that thirsty daughter Olaf is on her way soon and that all thinks liquid are thus in peril. I cannot quite describe how it tastes other than to say it is superb. Next year I shall make this in industrial quantities.
557 days ago
Noted at Oxford for being a thirsty young lady, daughter Olaf is coming up after Christmas for a three day stay. I have prepared for her arrival. From our new kitchen, I ask my daughter: is this enough for you and your stepmother?
559 days ago
Gosh, the tree and its oak barrel container are heavy but a friend and I somehow got it inside for its 16 days of warmth. Then it will be back to the garden where it has lived for the past year, gaining about two and a half inches. I reckon it is now just under five foot nine tall.
562 days ago
I start with Joshua’s Advent calendar, where window 20 leads neatly to Lyin’ Matt Hancock and the illegal escape of daughter Olaf and her mother Big Nose to stay with Olaf’s grandmother in West Wales. Then I discuss the difference between contrarian investing and bad investing with reference to Peter Brailey’s article today on oil stocks. Finally I flag up what to expect from 23rd December on this website. Get your camera ready!
565 days ago
The argument for the biggest assault on our civil liberties since World War Two and for actions that are wrecking the economy, causing suicides and job losses to soar and bankrupting businesses across the land is that we must act now to save lives. The monumental folly of this is demonstrated in this one chart below with data sourced from the ONS. Read it and then I challenge any one of you to disagree with me that all those responsible for lockdowns and other measures should be put on trial for their crimes.
565 days ago
She is due for a visit after Christmas and seems to have become ever thirstier since her arrival at Oxford four terms ago. No doubt she will also lead her stepmother astray.
566 days ago
To make Matt Hancock appear like a logically thinking quick witted genius is a task which is almost impossible, as I noted yesterday. But there is one man in the British isles who can do it, that is to say the first minister of Wales, Mr Mark Drakeford. This poltroon should have been, as I have already flagged up, taken away by the men in flapping white coats many months ago for his utterly illogical lockdown response to Covid. As I sit here at my window, gazing out at the river that runs at the edge of our garden and fields and which keeps the English infidels, on the other side, away, the rain sodden principality appears utterly cursed.
615 days ago
I have been sent a stern email by the Vicar in Shipston about tomorrow’s funeral for my father. She knows my views and position but reminds me that the Church is only following the law in requiring us all to muzzle up and not sing. Naturally I have replied but the attachment below, the Church’s guidance on Covid prevention, strikes me as a monstrous deception which, in time, it will be forced to recognise and will come to regret.
615 days ago
Today an email arrives from sister T about my father’s funeral on Thursday. It generates a strong but measured response to all attendees from me. Were we 30 who were attending the funeral to head off afterwards to a grouse shoot that would be legal. Were we to head to the White Bear and book five tables in a crowded back room and sit there mask free that would be fine and dandy. But if we go on from the church to bury my father in the same plot as my late step-mother, in an open field, right on the edge of Shipston, there is a problem.
624 days ago
Queens Colleage Oxford has enccouraged students to snitch on their peers and my daughter, now under house arrest, has fallen victim. What a mad and dark world we live in. After discussing this I look at all the mining stocks I own and one I sold, reviewing where we are now and where the real excitement lies at: Kefi (KEFI), Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV), Centamin (CEY), AEX Gold (AEXG), Ariana (AAU), Asiamet (ARS), Jubilee Metals (JLP), Pensana (PRE) and Red Rock Resources (RRR).
641 days ago
From this corner of North Wales my prayers are with President Trump as he battles not only creepy Joe Biden but also, now, Covid. And thus a new bumper sticker for my battered old van has arrived and is, as you can now see, on display to trigger both Olaf and the Mrs as well as any other godless liberals in these parts.
648 days ago
Although term for Oxford University students does not start for a couple of weeks, daughter Olaf paid a visit yesterday to check out her accommodation for the second year and to meet up with pals who were already up. She reports back on a city which today would give George Orwell an idea for a sequel.
664 days ago
This is the third in this series. The first two podcasts are HERE and HERE. This time I pick up daughter Olaf on the way to Shipston, discuss young folk’s behaviour and then learn that the Government is introducing new, utterly bonkers and unjustified, restrictions on us all as it wilfully misinterprets data all over again.
678 days ago
Big Nose and our daughter Olaf are on the train to her mother in West Wales and I am on the phone to the latter. She has a medical exemption and is a proud non-mask wearer. We agree that it is rubbish. Her mother shouts over that she is also a rebel. This top City lawyer goes round M&S not only not wearing a mask but also heading the wrong way on the social distance arrows trail.
693 days ago
The last time i had an article to write on Zenith Energy (ZEN) I made the mistake of contacting the company via a PR and was bullied and harassed as a result. So this time as I receive, via Winnileaks, a document which appears to show that it lost its only real asset, Tilapia in the Republic of the Congo, on June 4th, I just publish it in full. I have asked my daughter Olaf to translate it for me which – through her usual hangover – she did over the phone and it reads appallingly for Zenith. It looks kosher to me so there are only three scenarios here:
706 days ago
I wonder how Nigel Somerville is celebrating. I wonder how long the gold rally will continue and discuss why Red Rock Resources (RRR) could utterly roof it if it can IPO its Oz gold arm in time. I just need another 25% and I am back at break-even. On an Andrew Bell stock, how many folks can say that? Only kidding Andrew – maybe we are in the right place at the right time? In the podcast, I also look at EasyJet (EZJ), Intercontinental Airlines (IAG) and how the woes of vodka fiend Olaf may be a sign of worse to come for all. I cover [email protected] Capital (SYME) and look at results and the rum ‘n’ coke valuation of Dev Clever (DEV).
732 days ago
I had a brush with the celebrity historian David Starkey about fifteen years ago when he used his celebrity status to bully, humiliate and put down my daughter’s godmother as we ate in an Islington restaurant. He picked on her for no reason as she read Olaf a story, not too loudly, saying at a high enough volume for every diner to hear “Will you just be quiet? Some of us are trying to eat.” Maybe the American accent grated with Starkey’s patrician senses.
744 days ago
I am not sure who created this game, which looks ideal for snowflakes like my daughter Olaf who might eschew the evil capitalist game Monopoly, but whoever did so is a genius. Enjoy.
753 days ago
Though, as I demonstrated earlier, he invested not a cent in slaving, the statue of philanthropist Thomas Guy is now officially for the melting pot. First they came for the statues. Then they came for the comedy. I have just played the video below to my woke Islington based daughter Olaf and she laughed loudly.
757 days ago
Firstly the links. For reasons discussed, if you are not registered with Primary Bid register for free now HERE. Secondly we are at 33% help us to save Woodlarks donate HERE. Heck even daughter Olaf has dipped into her vodka funds to donate. In the podcast I look at IWG (IWG), Pathfinder Minerals (PFP), Cineworld (CINE), Bidstack (BIDS), Fox Marble (FOX) and, sorry Jim, Condor Gold (CNR). I also look at the “wisdom” of appointing a Chief Diversity Officer.
804 days ago
Daughter Olaf sent me on a bread making course a couple of Birthday’s ago. Of course, I have forgotten everything I learned but as I was up late last night I thought I’d make some dough and this morning I baked a loaf. Okay it may not score that highly for artistic impression but it tastes so much better than the crap from the supermarket and its so cheap. The Mrs, I kid you not, said “you are amazing” as she enjoyed her first slice.
840 days ago
My daughter Olaf seems to be recovering well with her mother in London. That is the good news but I discuss how she must have contracted Covid 19 and the abject failure of Queens College Oxford to show a duty of care and just how useless 111 was when contacted. I look at why the Government statistics on Covid 19 are sheer fantasy as it has been stalking us for far longer than Boris admits. And finally I explain why my family and I are now in self isolation and locked down here in North Wales for the next three months and how we must adjust how we live as a result. By the way I shall do my 34 mile charity walk on June 13 come what may but I sense there will be no team hugs at the end. You can sponsor me HERE.
877 days ago
Only two subjects today. Firstly, and most importantly, my father and I were expecting to console ourselves with the thought that at least Olaf will be happy. But I am delighted to say we need no such consolation. I refer to Ireland’s triumph today. Then Versarien (VRS) and a stack more questions for multi millionare Neill Ricketts and a personal challenge to Neill…
880 days ago
Gay rights and civil liberties campaigner Peter Tatchell is my hero and a photo of him with my daughter Olaf sits proudly on my desk. Can you believe that Tatch turned 68 the other day? I marched against clause 28 and will take no lectures on tolerance of the LGBT community from anyone. But the decision of Haringey Council to build a gay pride rainbow road crossing outseide of a local school is just daft virtue signalling.
951 days ago
I still have not worked out what it is called these days but other than the name nothing changes.
1055 days ago
My sister T spent her entire school career coming home from exams insisting that she had screwed up. It would subsequently emerge that she had finished top of the class every time. Okay my hard working younger sister did not get into Oxford but she gained entrance to a place in the Fens which is, I gather, almost as good.
1066 days ago
This was the scene at 10 AM as I headed out for a day of culture. Will daughter Olaf get a swim before she flies on Tuesday? It is touch and go…
1067 days ago
And then at 7.30 AM today (only 2 weeks late) the tiles arrived as did workmen and now the pool is being tiled. I doubt it will be finished by the time poor Olaf goes home but they are working hard at it. By the side of the pool, Gregori the snake killer and his team of sone masons are completing the surrounding wall. we will get there…
1067 days ago
Poor Olaf. I promised her a swimming pool but until this morning this is all that she saw from the balcony… no tiles had arrived it was just a hole and she goes home on Tuesday. Bad father.
1079 days ago
The photos from George the Architect show men hard at work at the Greek Hovel. I am assured that the infinity pool will be ready by next weekend which is good news as daughter Olaf arrives the week after having been promised a pool as a condition of visiting us. Me, I expect it to be finished in many avrios time.
1101 days ago
As you may remember, daughter Olaf has only agreed to visit the Greek Hovel thus summer if we build a swimming pool. Her wish is my command. George the Architect has been in tough with photographic evidence of progress and questions about what colour and type of tiles we require. The pool will look out on the valley towards the abandoned convent on the other side. This week the concrete will be poured and tiles should start being added from next week as will the wall around it designed as part of the snake defences.
1102 days ago
In this podcast I reflect on the birth of my daughter Olaf (Olivia) at just 26 weeks, weighing 1lb 4 oz all those years ago as she turns 18 today. I look at Boris Johnson’s proposed stamp duty bribe and why it is wrong at every level. I answer the questions I raised yesterday, about Chris Oil’s share trading in Union Jack Oil (UJO) and I discuss the “news” (it won’;t be to you dear listeners!) that Neil Woodford’s Equity Income Fund is being gated for a lot longer than the first announced 28 days.
1149 days ago
I came home to the Welsh Hovel late last night to see cat Quincey sitting outside in the yard. In my absence the Mrs had, for a second time, let him escape his new home. after driving almost 400 miles in a day I let rip with a few choice words and then wasted an hour of my life coaxing the wretched cat back inside where I pounced and recaptured him. He has just rewarded me with another shit on the kitchen floor.
1183 days ago
George the Architect sends over photos from the Greek Hovel where there is good news and bad.
1204 days ago
Don't the skies look glorious above the Greek Hovel? How I wish I was there to see the little snakes emerge after their winter sleep. The weather is improving and thus a digger has made it up the track and so work on the swimming pool for daughter Olaf is, as you can see, accelerating. George the Architect assures me that the olive trees we had to move, about seven, are being watered every day and are recovering well. All is good...
1208 days ago
I say start. Bad weather has hampered the workmen with the rains causing walls on the track above Slater slope on the way to the hovel to collapse so making them impassable for lorries and the excavator. But now the work is, as you can see, underway.
1229 days ago
George the architect has made it up to the Greek Hovel for the start of the spring campaign to completion. He will take a few days out in March to come to England/Wales to help draw up plans for the Welsh hovel. But for now it is full steam ahead in Greece. Or rather not.
1230 days ago
My daughter Olaf is on half term and bored so has called twice to discuss the great issues of the day. Being an Islington leftie she reckons that ISIS supporting nutter and her son should be allowed back into the UK. I disagree. In the podcast I also look at Footasylum (FOOT) and the lardbucket loud-mouth wild card when it comes to being short retail, at Yourgene (YGEN), Falanx (FLX), African Battery Metals (ABM) and Red Rock (RRR), Victoria (VCP), Motif Bio (MTBF) and Plexus (POS). To go heckle Zak Mir, drink as much free booze as you can and grill Andrew Bell next Monday book your seat HERE
1254 days ago
As each anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Holocaust Memorial Day, comes about I find it more and more depressing and painful. I think of the relatives of two of the godparents of my daughter Olaf.
1273 days ago
I am not sure who makes me prouder this fine day: daughter Olaf or son Joshua
1304 days ago
I suppose I should declare a bit of an interest in the annual ritual that is the bashing of Oxford University as an institution run by elitist snobs who hate poor people, in that my daughter Olaf spent last week in the City of my birth facing interview panels. We will find out whether she has got in on or around 9 January. But the press, this week, has been all over Oxford as it emerged that, last year, eight of our poshest fee-paying schools managed to get more folks into Oxford last year than the bottom 75% of British schools.
1315 days ago
You may remember that two olive trees had to be moved to allow the hovel to be extended. One perished quickly. The other one appeared to be at death's door by the summer. Thus I applied the sort of fertilizer only a man can apply at every opportunity and as you can see below... it is a sea of green. It has made it. I am not sure if it will bear any olives next year but the fightback has begun.
1333 days ago
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.
1349 days ago
Islington dwelling daughter Olaf seems to be in charge of securing public speakers for a posh girls school debating forum. She asked if I knew any funny and controversial speakers. I offered up friends such as James Delingpole of Breitbart and Dominic Frisby but was told that they were Alt-Right, fascists or just not acceptable. I am sure you get the picture. In this world anyone to the right of the Guardian is Alt-Right and should not be offered a platform
1405 days ago
Right now I am in a luxury hotel organised by the Mrs for daughter Olaf's last night in Greece and for me to recover in after a ten hour road trip to drop Miss W off at Athens airport."Baywatch" has a great view, a lovely pool, ouzo is on tap, the internet works allowing Joshua to sit like a moron watching Thomas the Tank Engine without interruption and the Mrs is lolling happily. And there is no wildlife diversity to report. Not so back at the Greek Hovel. Let us start with the scorpion.
1408 days ago
The ruined Frankish castle of Zarnata sits on top of the hill overlooking Kambos and on its nearer side the village of Stavropiglio. I often sit staring up at it, in awe at the largely still standing outer wall which threads its way around the hill, when enjoying an ouzo in Miranda's or from the tables outside the Kourounis taverna run by lovely Eleni. In an attempt to inject a bit of culture to the holiday of Godless daughter Olaf, I led the family on a trek up that hill yesterday, with young Joshua on my back.
1409 days ago
Okay, I am biased,m but surely you would agree that my son, two in just over three week's time, is pretty good looking. takes after his mum natch. Here he is borrowing her hat at a posh restaurant in Kardamil,i as we took time out from the Greek Hovel to allow daughter Olaf to go and breathe the same elitist air as her Islington kith and kin who tend to swamp this particular town.
1409 days ago
This church is in the middle of nowhere on the long climb up from the sea at Kitries towards Stavropigio, the next village to my home one of Kambos. We drove up that road today after a day by the shore. I remember driving past this church with my father and late step mother on her last holiday before she passed away. She was clearly very ill at that point. We stopped the car and myself and Helen went inside. There was barely enough room for the two of us and the small lizard we found there.
1412 days ago
And so daughter Olaf has survived her first night at the Greek Hovel. She slept in the Rat Room, I slept in the Bat Room. She is even using the eco-loo without complaint. Meanwhile building work continues at pace as you can see below.
1412 days ago
This may be the main bearcast or it may be a bonus. It all depends on how I feel and daughter Olaf feels after I pick her up at 4.30 AM Athens time in the Greek capital. In this I look at Falanx (FLX), the red flag of a rapid change in advisers ref Halosource (HALO) but also in more general terms and then at a shameless performance by John Meyer of SP Angel as he is interviewed by Justin the Clown over Bluejay (JAY). Meyer is at best an idiot, at worst he is covering up for what appears to be market abuse by his employer in relation to Bluejay shares. I will not let this one go. The clown's podcast is torture to listen to but can be found HERE if you feel you deserve 20 minutes of torture.
1412 days ago
At 4 AM I picked up daughter Olaf at Athens airport and by 5.30 AM we were peering down from a bridge over the Corinth canal, at the isthmus. It was light enough to see that the drop was a mile and while Olaf peered, I, suffering from vertigo, gripped the back rail and pretended to peer.
1412 days ago
And as a bonus, daughter Olaf and the Mrs will be able to get hot water for their showers. Those of us who remember the, post rugby, freezing showers we were forced to take at Warwick School with some old master perving at us all in the pretence that he had to ensure that we went home clean for our parents, do not need hot water. By the time the stuff has arrived up at the hovel in largely metal pipes it is already a lot warmer than those Warwick showers of old.
1413 days ago
Today's podcast is recorded ahead of an overnight trip to Athens to pick up daughter Olaf. It is not a trip that I look forward to greatly. In it I discuss EVR Holdings (EVRH), HaloSource (HALO) and Frontera Resources (FRR).
1413 days ago
They all know that daughter Olaf will be here tomorrow morning and that she is a terribly frightening creature. Actually that is a lie but one I have spun consistently and thus the workmen are slogging away as you can see below. There is real progress.
1414 days ago
George the Architect said that the doors and windows man would arrive this afternoon to ensure that his work was complete before Thursday when daughter Olaf arrives. Mr Window swore on his mother's life. I have bad news for his mother.
1418 days ago
For the past few days I have been sitting at the Greek Hovel on a large box of books as I tap away at my laptop in the Bat Room. What's wrong with that? Why can't everyone make do thus? It seems as if the Mrs and daughter Olaf have different ideas and have demanded chairs and as you can see...
1421 days ago
Like a true imbecile I left the cable i use to connect my camera to my PC back in England so I head back from Kambos into Kalamata in a few minutes to buy a replacement. For I have spent a wonderful hour up at the hovel with George the Architect and it looks magnificent. That is not to say that it actually has any doors and windows bar those in the Bat Room where I shall sleep tonight but...
1422 days ago
I started today at 4.30 AM GMT in Bristol. I did not have the rub of the green with logistics in Athens and thus I did not arrive at my posh Kalamata hotel until 6 PM GMT, 8 PM local time. I have checked my emails , enjoyed a Greek salad and am just about to order an ouzo. But the really good news comes from George the Architect…the Bat Room at the Greek Hovel is wildlife diversity secure, the power and water is still working and so tomorrow I move in….
1447 days ago
Okay my labouring in the snake fields is not a fraction as hard as the work the chaps rebuilding the Greek Hovel do but they are used to it and I am not so I reckon our suffering is equal. And here is how we keep going.
1449 days ago
Fear not daughter Olaf, I have now laid down the snake repellent at the Greek Hovel. Two canisters, as you can see below, 10 yards away from opposite corners of the house now emit a smell which snakes are meant to regard as foul and so will keep the hovel, if not the snake-fields, free from serpents for three months until Autumn hibernation. Well in theory.
1453 days ago
Once before I arrived at the Greek Hovel to find workmen proudly admiring a construction made of brand new shiny bricks. Much to their pleasure I had it torn down, an extra days work for them. I rather assumed that the message had got through. You can imagine my horror when arriving at the hovel yesterday to find piles of shiny new bricks in the new wing and the rat room. Cripes!
1459 days ago
By noon London time on Tuesday I shall be up at the Greek Hovel to survey progress. I gather that the polished concrete floors, a very smooth white surface, in the rat room and the new wing have been laid and expect to post photos before I go. Next week the roof really does start to go up, something the Mrs and daughter Olaf - who arrive in 40 days view as important. Pedants.
1467 days ago
I start by wishing my daughter Olaf a happy 17th although she will not be listening and indeed wants me to retire so I stop embarrassing her by expressing my support for Trump, reservations about abortion or other crimes against the new world of 2018. It was Olaf's birth all those year ago at 1lb 4oz that got me involved with Woodlarks as I explain. This weekend my training walk will be 26 miles in this scorching heat. Think of me and if Olaf can spare a tenner so can you - donate HERE. In the podcast I explain why Julie Meyer must be stopped it is not just investors that need protecting. I cover FastJet (FJET), Action Hotels (ACHG), Akers Biosciences (AKR), Management Consulting (MMC), UK Oil & Gas (UKOG), Angus Energy (ANGS) and Amur Minerals (AMC).
1480 days ago
Not even mentioning Father’s Day, which she will no doubt forget tomorrow, my Islington based daughter Olaf honoured us with a visit to the boonies and Bristol yesterday. She was checking out the University in an open day and has decided that if things don’t go the right way at a proper seat of learning on the M40 she will, like all the other Oxbridge rejects, come here. Having checked out the University and come away really impressed she met up with myself, the Mrs and Joshua for lunch.
1499 days ago
On Friday, the Irish voted to legalize abortion at up to 12 weeks. It is now Sunday and the BBC - my only English language TV here in Greece - is still covering this story with a manic obsession. "What a modern nation Ireland has become: a gay PM, abortion on demand, the Church in tatters, cue picture of joyous crowds." Okay, it does not mention its joy at the collapse of the Irish church but it makes its views clear with pictures of nuns scuttling away from polling stations looking miserable.
1501 days ago
As you may have gathered, both the Mrs and daughter Olaf have suggested that lavatories are a bit of an issue at the Greek Hovel. Both are unconvinced about my solution of eco-loos. Well girls, prepare to be shocked. The first eco-loo, made by the same chap who crafts the doors and the Bat Room Bed which has also arrived, has landed as you can see below.
1507 days ago
Daughter Olaf has agreed to join me at the Greek Hovel in late August but only after making detailed enquiries about sanitation. As you can seem the bat room now has a ceiling, a door to keep out the snakes and a shower! What more could a young Lady want? I shall be in The Mani by next weekend so more photos soon.
1513 days ago
And so as summer looms daughter Olaf is preparing for an exchange with a Spanish student to help her with A level Spanish, not that she needs it. And so her teacher reads out a few details... this will not be a problem unless you are a militant atheist.Er...
1522 days ago
Those of you in the Woodford session at UK Investor Show may have noticed that when coming off stage I was greeted not only by the Mrs and Joshua but by a very pretty teenage girl who was chatting to Mark Slater and Nigel Wray. That is my Welsh Nationalist daughter Olaf who is the reason Nigel and I have been involved with Woodlarks for so long.
1529 days ago
I could not sleep this morning as I pondered me and drink. My prompt was the ramblings of a pal who was, I fear, drunk in charge of a keyboard. In days gone by I too was a heavy drinker.
1550 days ago
This was not intentional but I just happened to be walking by and I thought the two photos below would annoy the Mrs, Godless liberal daughter Olaf and others so here goes.
1569 days ago
My mother used to bake all of our bread back in those hippy dippy days of self sufficiency in Byfield in the 1970s. As a diabetic it is not perhaps top of the skill set I seek to acquire as I consider my own future after the world of shares but none the less the Little Kitchen is a small local cooking school about 500 yards from where I live and I was delighted when daughter Olaf said she had enrolled me on a course there as a birthday present. I headed off through the snow yesterday to join four other souls who had braved the weather, and our teachers.
1592 days ago
My father has been watching the rugby like a hawk. Here in Greece I have been unable to watch but have kept in touch via the internet and calling my father after each game. Now this may not go down well with England supporters but in an Irish supporting family it was a perfect team as both our favourite teams won.
1609 days ago
I start with why this bearcast is late. I got back very late from London where I was watching my daughter play Harold Wilson in Made in Dagenham and she was brilliant. So too was the musical. Well done Olaf although you are wrong about the gender pay gap! I look at the market bounce and the shit that is leading it. I look in real detail at the trading statement at Reach4Entertainment (R4E) where I am a shareholder, at Woodford dog RM2 (RM2) which is going on a one way trip to the vets in a fortnight and also at Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT). Post bearcast it announced its NAV at 85.93p which means gearing must surely be through the 20% barrier. I also look at Optibiotix (OPTI) and the warrant exercise issue.
1658 days ago
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.
1759 days ago
I see that my Oxford Contemporary Jacob Rees Mogg is under intense fire from the liberal left, notably for his views on homosexuality, abortion and because he has never changed a nappie. A woman who once campaigned to lower the age of consent to 14, that is to say the niece of Lord Longford, woman of the people Harriet Harman reckons the nappie offence makes Jacob a deadbeat dad.
1775 days ago
My daughter Olaf remains in the doghouse for showing a lack of respect for her old dad when , for the second year on the trot, she messed me around with summer holiday plans. The upshot is that I have not seen her since Joshua's Christening in late June and until she can learn that one should do what you say I am not particularly minded to change that. Notwithstanding all of that I was naturally keen to hear how she had fared in her GCSE's.
1831 days ago
16 years ago it was a terrible day. A 26 week pregnant wife - Big Nose, a rushed Ceasarian, a tiny little creature weighing 1 lb 4 oz emerging and being stuck in a fish tank in intensive care at UCH at once. She stayed there for three months. Who would have thought she'd be sixteen today, eating cake in bed and opening presents and phoning her old dad afterwards?
1833 days ago
Tomorrow my daughter Olaf turns 16. I still cannot quote believe that "the miracle baby" has reached this landmark. I call her a miracle because she really should not have lived. 16 years ago her mother's preeclampsia got so bad that the doctors told us that Olaf was not growing so we had to extract her or face her certain death. Olaf emerged aged 26 weeks weighing 1lb and 4 oz. It was eight weeks before the doctors talked about when she would come home, not if. Folks around the country prayed for the miracle baby and she made it.
1834 days ago
There seems some scepticism from, inter alia, daughter Olaf, that any progress at all is being made in turning the Greek Hovel, our 100 year old farmhouse, into a habitable palace. Ye of little faith! Let me show you three photos.
1839 days ago
It has been troubling me deeply that in the plans for the Greek Hovel, the room known as the bat room will not be connected to any other part of the house. Since this bedroom will be for daughter Olaf, who will be 16 in exactly one week's time, I worry what happens if she gets scared by a noise at night or sees a snake? Heading out through her front door into the dark is hardly practicable. So I have changed the plans.
1877 days ago
I have been updating you on progress on what was known as the bat room but is now know as Olaf's bedroom at the Greek Hovel. The initial task was to dig out the earth and rock floor so that there was 7 foot of headroom rather than 5-6 foot in what was once where the animals lived. I should say that my almost 16 year old Islington dwelling daughter did not respond with great excitement to the first photos HERE. Fear not Olaf, things are looking better.
1880 days ago
My almost sixteen year old daughter Olaf has so far declined to visit the Greek Hovel. It was something about the homemade eco-loo. Or was it the hosepipe that is my shower. Or perhaps it was the snakes, rats or scorpions. Honestly, kids today. No gumption at all. But Olaf will be delighted to see how much progress has been made on what will be her bedroom when she stays, what is currently known as the bat room.
1888 days ago
Of course these two good folks have a lot in common. They are both part of the metropolitan elite who think that the real downside of Brexit is that there might be a shortage of folks to serve them organic semi-skinned macchiatos at £6 a pop in ponsey London cafes. They both know who I am and say that I swear too much in podcasts. But they have a deeper bond. And it is once that marks them out as total freaks. Today is May 4th. you know the 4th of May. May the 4th be with you! Still Paul Scott does not get it, nor will Olaf who I am seeing later. Today is Star Wars Day.
1937 days ago
I like to boast that I spend fewer than five day a year in London so much do I loathe the place. But as, bad, luck would have it I am drawn to the capital today on personal business. And thus when my soon to be 16 year old daughter, known as Olaf, called to ask if I was free to attend her parents evening - which happens to be tonight - I was able to say yes.
1942 days ago
My father was bracing himself all day and watched the rugby to the bitter end. Today he will be with the rest of Shipston's small Irish community in the Horseshoe drowning their sorrows and wishing Scotland the best of luck against the Old Enemy. I could not watch after half time such was my sense of foreboding and - to the delight of the Mrs - switched to watch a Miss Marple I had seen many times before. The Alzheimer's is still at bay, I knew the killer at once and even why he did it.
2041 days ago
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.
2041 days ago
Those who have been reading my scribblings for long enough will remember that my daughter was born weighing just 1lb 4oz at 26 weeks. that was almost sixteen years ago. It was three months before UCH said that it was "when" she came home not "if" and even then we were warned there could be all sorts of problems.