Sunday April 21, 2019
Tom Winnifrith Postcard - an ode to my ancestral homelands in the Grim North
Photo Article from the Greek Hovel - good news and bad
Photo Article - walking around Stourhead with the Mrs and Joshua, the end of the Booker family memory lane

PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH

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

78 days ago

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

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Putting the vicar straight after his factually challenged midnight mass sermon

114 days ago

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.

This is the CofE so it did not take long for this lefty vicar to be telling us a story about olden Palestine, 2000 years ago, which, he noted, was rather like Modern Palestine. Here we go, thought I. And I was not to be disappointed.

As it happens Palestine is a term that only came into use about a hundred years ago so there was no Palestine 2,000 years ago but let’s gloss over that. Why spoil a good story about the wicked Jews as we celebrate the birth of the most famous Jew in history? The tale concerned a military man who ordered all the shepherds to bring their sheep to him so that he could steal them for his Roman troops. I am not so sure that the Romans actually did that sort of thing in the world covered by Pax Romana (including the Holy Land). Certainly the IDF does nothing of the sort to the poor Palestinians today.

Before I could get too cross the vicar moved onto discussing what happens where a majority tribe crushes and dominates a minority one and how this can lead to appalling things happening. He cited Myanmar as an example and I could not fault him. He then cited Syria. I shook my head. He was talking rubbish.

After a service ending with us belting out  “Yea Lord we Greet Thee. Born this happy morning”  and that magical realisation that, once again, it was Christmas Day, priest and flock retired to the basement for tea, coffee and mine pies. And after a while I found myself chatting to the vicar. “Excuse me vicar”, said I, “regarding your sermon and Syria…you are aware that the ruling tribe in Syria are the Alawites who are in fact a tiny minority? And is it not a touch ironic given your slating of Syria's rulers, that it is only under Alawite protection, that is the rule of Assad, that our fellow Christians can celebrate Christmas this morning without fear of execution since both ISIS and the other "rebels" banned the Yuletide on pain of death?”

To his credit the vicar did see the irony in this and to his real credit he conceded that the Alawites were indeed a small tribe and he had erred with that example and thanked me for pointing that out. We then discussed the contrast between Kingdom’s of men and the Kingdom of God over another mince pie. 

I did not have it in me that Christmas morning to raise the question of the CofE’s ritual factually flawed berating of the wicked Jews and lauding of the poor Palestinians. It is Christmas after all and that mindset is just part of the Church’s DNA these days, facts notwithstanding.

 

 

Tom Winnifrith

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

121 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/40048/photo-article-the-woodlarks-christmas-grotto-which-shareprophets-readers-funded-yet-again

Tom Winnifrith

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

122 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/40028/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-from-530-tonight-think-of-me-dear-listeners-as-i-undergo-sheer-torture

Tom Winnifrith

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The Carol service at a packed St Cuthbert’s

125 days ago

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.

In part the place was packed as we were joined by the flock from the sister church of St Anne’s. In part as this was a service for children, all far better behaved than Joshua.

Lefty vicar Ian started, as you would expect, with an elf n safey warning about candles. He had ensured that buckets of water were placed by the walls lest an accident occur with one of the candles we were each given. Joshua was a bit disappointed that he was not allowed to hold our candle so headed straight for the nearest bucket of water before the Mrs intervened and led him off to make a complete mess of the child’s play area. Discussions about whether we could go with him to Midnight Mass continue.

Ian was on sparkling form. For once in his life he managed to avoid mentioning the poor Palestinians and their oppression by you know who. I did not have to bite my lip this time. Being the CofE there were the usual ritual mumblings by Priest and Parishioners notably the modern version of the Lord’s Prayer which still sounds all wrong to me. Thine is the Kingdom is right. The Kingdom is Yours sounds wrong.  There was also the now traditional message from the Pulpit about how Jesus was a refugee and how we should think about other refugees at this time of year, blah, blah, blah.

But it was mostly readings and carols – the Christmas story in full. I came away feeling as if it really was Christmas and almost able to wish joy to my fellow man. For me that is a major step forward on my normal mood, soured as it is by writing all day about the multiple sins that take place in the world of finance.

Tom Winnifrith

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

129 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/39920/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-you-are-going-to-hell-and-your-blog-is-toxic-say-two-of-my-critics

Tom Winnifrith

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

130 days ago

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.

Even before Uncle Chris moved to Somerset a cheese would arrive from Cheddar for my parents and my father received Uncle Chris's cheese yesterday as did I and, I imagine, many other folks. It is just part of Christmas. Joshua had a taste of what we agreed was "special cheese" and did not complain. The cheddar is on the left.

On the right is a Yarg from Cornwall, a creamier cheese wrapped in nettle leaves. This is my present to me but also to all my relatives. Some, like Aunt Lucy and Cousin Caroline get them delivered to the front door. My siblings and step siblings pick theirs up from a batch left with my father who also gets one. I sit on one here and will deliver others from the Bristol hub to Uncle Chris and to the head of the booker family, great Aunt Rosemary who lives in the same City. It is an excuse to pop in and say hello over Christmas. 

I am not sure how long I have been sending out Yargs but it is, I think, now around a decade. So the arrival of Yargs is now part of the Christmas countdown too.

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

162 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.

I bought a few stocking fillers for others and a few £4 CDs for myself but the main object I sought was an Advent calendar for Joshua. It may come as a terrible shock to the snowflake generation including my Godless Islington dwelling daughter Olaf, but the word Advent is Latin and means “The coming”. And the coming we refer to is the coming of Jesus. It is a countdown to Christmas day.

And so the Mrs and I would like to start Joshua associating what happens in December with being more than just presents and lots of food. We would like him to know the story of the birth of Christ. Is that so utterly unreasonable?

When I was a boy if we did not create home made advent calendars we would be given ones by our Grandparents that related to the Christmas tale. Kings, Shepherds, Angels, a baby in a manger and all that sort of thing. Behind each window was a picture.  Surely such simple calendars exist today?

I am sure they do, but not in Clifton, a swamp of godless elitist liberals, the Islington of the South West. I found a calendar with a different organic fairtrade tea behind each window.  There were numerous calendars masking chocolate with images on the front designed not to offend folks of religions other than the one folks like Olaf regard it as fashionable to attack or deride. That is to say the calendars had no Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Kings, Angels or Shepherds.

Folks across this land will celebrate Advent as an excuse for an extra penis shaped chocolate every day without any idea of what the Advent really means. In the same way they will celebrate Christmas or “happy holidays” with an orgy of consumerism but with no idea of why they are celebrating at all. And any attempt to remind them of why we celebrate is laughed off as the ramblings of someone looking back to an irrational old world or an offensive gesture towards those of other faiths.

We battle on in this old fashioned household with our ways from the old world, a world that has existed for 2000 years and was alive and kicking just half a century ago but is now under attack as never before.

Tom Winnifrith

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

162 days ago

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.

As we wandered down the hill an older man came into view, a good friend of the Mrs.  He had been round for supper at least twice and is not a completely barking mad commie like most friends of my wonderful wife. I just could not remember his name.  And so as he approached, in a stroke of genius, I said very loudly “Now there’s a familiar face” and stretched out my hand. The man looked a bit confused as we shook hands.

For a moment I wondered if I had made some terrible mistake in greeting a complete stranger as he was clearly rather confused as to who we were.  So I doubled down and pointing to my son in his pram said “surely you remember Joshua?” Er yes he said .. how are you? I sensed that he was now bluffing. So I said “Its Tom the husband of R”. At that point he sort of remembered, if only by association, and we chatted briefly; he remarked how Joshua had grown so large as to be unrecognisable; and agreed that he must call my wife for a catch up.  He was clearly a bit embarrassed so I strode on.

About ten minutes later I finally remembered his name. E. But my bluff had worked. My own failing memory had been hidden. If I can remember this handy hint and stroke of genius it will come in handy next time I bump into someone whose name I cannot remember.

Tom Winnifrith

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

483 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/33439/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-merry-christmas-to-you-all-unless

Tom Winnifrith

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

487 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.

But fair dos to the godless creature she has sent us a bauble for the tree.Natch it has nothing to do with Christ the Lord but..Instead it reminds us that, under her mother's influence, she has become a bit of a die-hard cottage burner. Whereas young Joshua is already wearing Ireland pyjamas Olaf is Welsh and proud of it. The message on the bauble means Merry Christmas in the language of the subsidy junkies to the West of Offa's Dyke.

Meanwhile Joshua has learned two new words: tree and bauble and is very happy taking down the latter and scuttling off to hide them.

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

499 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/33165/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-uk-oil-gas-today-shows-why-a-death-spiral-is-a-one-way-bet-down

Tom Winnifrith

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

510 days ago

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?

There is a snotty remark from the moderator about how posters (i.e me) need to show tolerance and respect diversity. And now my comments need to be moderated before they appear. I am being censored. I fear my days as a member of this group may be numbered.

I respect the right of godless liberals to treat December 25 as a consumerfest. They can do as they wish. I do not respect their denial of fact: that is to say their failure to accept that the reason they get time off work and gifts from their friends is that it is actually Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Christ. And they need to be aware that denying that fact and saying that the December break has nothing to do with Jesus is a denial of fact and denying facts is offensive enough.

Diversity should also mean respecting that minority of folks who are actually Christians and whitewashing from the record our big annual festival is pretty offensive to me. Almost as offensive as believing that free speech is something that should be selective, something that the Godless left seem quite happy to do.

Tom Winnifrith

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

515 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/32797/your-christmas-share-tip-from-andrew-monk-to-pay-for-all-your-presents

Tom Winnifrith

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

520 days ago

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.

According to the June 2015 accounts, spending by Children In Need was more than £62 million but included £4.7 million costs of generating funds, £2.5 million grant-making and policy and £400,000 governance. Just under £55 million went out in grants. An awful lot of the 96 full time staff are earning more than £100,000 a year and all of them are very well paid.

Call me a hypocrite but at my son's nursery the staff have this week been raising money for Children in Need. After paying steep fees it is a bit rich asking for us to dip our hands in our pockets again but there was real moral pressure as they encouraged us to buy tea cakes and as they dressed up in animal costumes pedalling away on an exercise bike. So I gave a couple of quid.

I gave far more to Woodlarks which is not a fashionable charity so does not get a cent from Children in Need even though it helps children who being hugely disables really are in need. And I have asked others to donate too.

The celebs on the BBC tonight who boost their careers with a spot of charity virtue signalling are one reason I find the whole spectacle of Children in Need so nauseating. But it is the fact that so much of the cash given goes to Children in Need not children in need that really makes me angry. If you really want to help Children in Need this Christmas support the Woodlarks grotto campaign where we have raised almost 80% of our £2,500 target since Tuesday, by making a small pledge which will change someone's Christmas HERE.

Tom Winnifrith

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Christmas Appeal - the Woodlarks Christmas Grotto

524 days ago

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.

Each Christmas our hero Nick Richards and his team assemble a magical Christmas spectacle at the Woiodlarks campsite as you can see from photos of my 2016 visit HERE. And they seek to give gifts to more than 100 kids at the grotto.

But this is not a fashionable charity drowning in cash so it needs your help. Will you make a small donation HERE

Mining entrepreneur Paul Johnson has started the ball rolling with £250 after the Gruffalo in Shetlandese podcast appea HERE - all support is much appreciatedl

Tom Winnifrith

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

675 days ago

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.

Farron's faith is strong and for that I admire him. I have no faith but often wish that I did. Timmy is, because of his faith, unable to accept gay marriage and indeed homosexuality as morally neutral with a straight marriage and heterosexuality. It is his view and for that he was relentlessly persecuted in a way that de-railed his wider campaign.

And he knows it will happen again and again until the media gets their man. He has accepted the inevitable and quit. I wish him well.

I have no moral issue with homosexuality. The LGBT community should get exactly the same treatment as straight folks. If they want to get married why not? Why should they not suffer like the rest of us? But I understand that there will be those whose religious faith means they take a different view including, according to recent polls, more than 52% of British Muslims.

The liberal elites cannot bring themselves to say how appalling the views of most British Muslims are but Christians are a soft touch. Its not racist or a hate crime to bash a Christian. It never is. A cartoon of the bible being flushed down the toilet is art. The same cartoon with the Koran is a hate crime.

Sure ,the Metropolitan elites celebrate Christmas but not in a way that has anything to do with Jesus but purely as a consumerist spendfest and a chance to drink as much as possible. Indeed those of us who actually do link Jesus and Christmas are derided. My Islington dwelling daughter insists that Christmas has nothing to do with Jesus and her view, not mine which happens to be based on fact, dominates.

For the metropolitan sophisticates the power of prayer is denied, except that is when they are tweeting #prayforwhereverISIShasbeenbutcheringthisweek and even then they are not trying to talk to God they are just mouthing platitudes as part of an exercise in Group Think as if this will actually deal with the problem.

In such a climate poor Farron was obviously doomed. Already the liberal bien pensants on new media are tweeting en masse about how he should join the other current objects for communal hate-mongering, that is to say the DUP. I suppose that is what goes for humour if you are left wing.

Good luck Tim Farron you are better off without this nonsense.

Tom Winnifrith

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A page impressions anorak writes

837 days ago

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.

I predicted the 16 million number would be hit on or around January 3. But our Christmas traffic was well ahead of forecast and last year and so we passed that mark early in the morning of January 2nd. This, of course, is utterly meaningless and no-one cares a jot, not evemn me except in my most anorak-ish round number moments. But I thought I'd record it anyway.

Tom Winnifrith

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

839 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/26156/tom-winnifrith-christmas-day-bearcast-the-u-to-z-of-aim-fraud

Tom Winnifrith

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

844 days ago

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

Tom Winnifrith

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

846 days ago

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.

Before the war President Assad supported full religious diversity. Christians in Syria were safe and allowed to pursue their faith without fear. That is not the case in barbarous regimes elsewhere in the Middle East but they are our allies and Assad was and is wicked and evil, or so we were told.

In Aleppo the Cathedral was on the front line between the 1.5 million folks living in West Aleppo run by President Assad and the 250,000 living in a rebel enclave, East Aleppo. Those in the East were, according to David Cameron, "moderates" and we in the est supported them with arms and money. Our press reported daily on how they were under attack. It never reported on how rockets, fired at no particular target, landed on a daily basis on West Aleppo.

Our media did not report on how the "moderates" threw folks from the top of tall buildings for being postmen under the Assad regime or how they beheaded, in publi,c 12 year old boys they thought were spies or how they made worshipping Jesus a crime punishable by death.

And thus while about 60% of the Christians of Aleppo fled the town altogether, 40% stayed and it will come as no suprise that they all fled to the West to live under evil President Assad not Dave Cameron's friends "the moderates".

But St Elijah was quiet on Christmas Day for it was either under the control of "the moderates" for whom the worship oif Christ was punishable by death or, in more recent years, on the front line and a place that would be bombarded with rockets by the "moderates" should Christians gather to celebrate Christmas. It had already been shelled heavily.

But this year, in 2016. President Assad, the Russians and Iranians have pushed the "moderates," who you and I would recognise as Al-Qaeda backing extremist Islamofacists, out of Aleppo and after five years Christians can return to their heavily damaged cathedral, a siite where Christ has been worshipped for 500 years,  and celebrate the birth of the Lord. I rejoice in that as I am sure we all do.

But can we now perhaps recognise that the "moderates" that our political and media elites insisted we back were evil men? We have , as I have noted many times here, been backing the wrong side. Russia has been backing the right side It is our policies that have prolonged the conflict in Syria, that have created the refugee crisis, that have banned Christmas for so many.

Our leaders and the press have blood on their hands and one hopes that Christmas at St Elijah's will force them to acknowledge this and to show some contrition. Perhaps we can start with Secretary of State Clinton, President Obama and Call Me Dave...over to you guys. Oh I forgot, call me Dave just flew first class to the West Indies for a Godless Christmas in the sun, he really cannot be thinking of the Christians in Syria, who he has so utterly betrayed, as he must have so much else on his mind.

Tom Winnifrith

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Roland "Fatty" Cornish's Christmas Carol Part 1

847 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/26116/roland-fatty-cornish-s-christmas-carol-part-1

Tom Winnifrith

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

849 days ago

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.

And we still have ten litres left for ourselves. When you buy olive oil at Tesco is it this green? Nope. This is a first press of the olives from the Greek Hovel. The peppery back of the throat aftertaste is very powerful. There is no need to add pepper to this as you prepare to dunk in your bread. This is the real deal squeezed from some of the 2.681 tonnes of olives I helped harvest from the hovel a few weeks ago.

In decanting I spilled a bit on the worksurface. That was a bonus as i could mop it up with bread and treat myself whikle also clearing up so impressing the Mrs. I am such a domestic God.

Admin

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

851 days ago

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.

The main course was duck - roasted to perfection with an improvised stuffing of finely chopped almonds, satsumas and the cooked & chopped liver and heart of the duck with some herbs from the garden ( thyme mainly). It was actually rather a good stuffing created in a panic. The bird was accompanied by perfectly roasted potatoes and parsnips (par boiled first then roasted in the tray with the duck), sausages, honey glazed carrots and sprouts boiled then quickly turned in garlic butter. But my real pride, having cocked it up in 2015, was a home-made bread sauce which this time had a perfect consistency as well as taste.

Thereafter the Christmas pudding I made a few weeks ago (pictured) turned out perfectly and tasted superb and I nailed the brandy butter as well - it had a perfect smooth but very slightly grainy consistency. Absolutely spot on. It was one of those days as a cook when everything, right down to timings was perfect. The yellow liquid is rum which we burned off but for some reason the blue flames are not showing.

So how to turn the dial up to 11 on Sunday? I think adding a fifth vegetable (red cabbage cooked with vinegar, brown sugar and sultanas) might be an idea. Going for a plum with a heavy dash of port stuffing is also under consideration, as it is duck again. I have a few days to ponder this matter.

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo Article: My present to myself - it is Christmas

855 days ago

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.

As you can see it is a cheese. A Yarg. It sounds like an old Cornish name but it is a relatively modern cheese created by a Mr Gray ( geddit? work it out). A softish cheese wrapped in nettles, it is my favoured cheese and the relatives all seem to like it too.

As a diabetic I eat relatively little cheese these days and miss it dreadfully. But as its Christmas I have already enjoyed a couple of slices as you can see below.

If you have never tried Yarg I really cannot recommend it highly enough. It is one of the finest of the British cheeses.

Tom Winnifrith

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

860 days ago

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.

Exhibit A is one 16 kg can of olive oil.

Exhibit B is three 5kg cans bought last night from lovely Eleni as I said goodbye to the Kourounis taverna and to Kambos. I have borrowed a funnel from my fave restaurant in Kalamata, the Katalenos on Navarino Street where you will taste the best Octopus of your life. And I then achieved a transfer.

What happens to the excess 1 kg of oil you say? Well there was a bit of, er, leakage on the transfer. Holding a 15 kg can and pouring gently into a small funnel is not easy. So I guess there is 0.5 kg left. Tonight I meet George the Architect and it may be coals to Newcastle but I don't think he farms so he can have an early Christmas present.

And I have tested already. All three 5kg cans fit into my rucksack leaving plenty of room for the few books and clothes I brought with me. Cunning eh?

Tom Winnifrith

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

870 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.

I was greeted by the man behind it all, superhero Nick Richards. Nick had been working hard with two volunteer lads who are themselves chaps with special needs but who have laboured away to create something special this Christmas.

The tracks you see here will soon have a sleigh on it in which Santa will arrive.

At two or three places throughout the site sheds have been transformed into magical grottos where Santa will hand out gifts. What will arrive today in time for next week are massive snow machines to ensure that this is really a magical Christmas experience.

What you cannot see in that photo above is Nick lying on the ground pulling strings to make those figures rotate and move.

As we wandered through the camp and the woods around it we came upon the swimming pool. The building you see is a specially constructed changing room allowing campers to change before being hoisted into the very well heated pool in special lifts. For many of the campers this is the only place they ever get to swim. There won't be swimming next week but next summer the pool will be buzzing and much of the work on the pool was funded by readers of my scribblings.

Next week Nick and his team will bring real joy to kids who lead difficult lives. Thank you to all who donated to make next week special.

But Woodlarks is an all year round centre of happiness. If you have a few quid spare this Christmas and can donate that to a great cause you can do so HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Admin

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Photo Article: Oakley, Joshua and the silly hat

871 days ago

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.

Anyhow, Oakley bore the ordeal of his photo-shoot in a silly hat with a tremendous dignity. Or perhaps it was just too much of an effort to object.

These days babies are all dressed in silly costumes to make them look like bears, dogs or tigers so Joshua - who at 10 weeks is now almost as heavy as Oakley - also played ball without objection. There were a few who worried how Oakley would react to the new arrival. As you can see, he is utterly relaxed about the situation

 

 

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

875 days ago

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 that is Christmas these days. His mother and I both hope that he will appreciate the real meaning of Christmas, that it is not Winterfest that it is about the birth of Jesus and that sort of thing. But in Britain today I know we are battling against a strong tide.

Apparently some watchdog has just ruled that it is acceptable for Company's to have Christmas parties and say "Happy Christmas" without fearing of being accused of committing a hate crime against staff who are of another faith. That such a statement has to be made shows what a godless mess this country has become.

You may well say that Oakley, our morbidly obese three legged cat, probably also does not understand the true meaning of Christmas, yet he will be given a present by the Mrs and I. fair cop. We are sentimental fools when it comes to the cat. On Joshua we will take a firmer line. Are we missing something and likely to be reported to social services for this?.

Tom Winnifrith

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

880 days ago

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.

I waited until after dark lest anyone recognise me and wandered in moving swiftly to the pets section where, naturally, there was an abundance of Christmas gifts for your dog and cat. The Mrs had mentioned getting a whole Santa outfit for poor Oakley but sadly while there was one for dogs it was probably too small for Oakley to pour himself into.

But there was no complete escape. There was no Santa hat but there was an elves hat complete with brown ear muffs and a strap to keep it in place. Naturally Oakley will pose with patience in this hat, for our home made Christmas cards but I'm not so sure that it is a terribly spiritual message about the Season of Goodwill that we will be sending to our nearest and dearest.

I could not help but wander along aisles and aisles of complete and utter tuch. It was voyeurism as I gazed at a world that is just not mine. I suppose I should be thoroughly ashamed for being such a complete snob. But the place really was ghastly, an emporium of bad taste.

Consoling myself with the purchase of a packet of dried banana chips, the healthy option, I headed to the counter and with some shame put the chips and the elves hat on the counter. Having parted with £2.49 I buried the hat of shame deep in my pocket and headed home, a much postponed job completed.

Tom Winnifrith

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

913 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/24518/read-this-now-give-woodlarks-a-few-quid-today-to-transform-someone-s-christmas

Tom Winnifrith

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

913 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/24596/cloudtag-and-the-guaranteed-52-million-order-that-is-not-going-to-happen-think-christmas

Tom Winnifrith

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

914 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/24593/dear-santawhat-i-d-like-for-christmas-this-year

Tom Winnifrith

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

925 days ago

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.

It is three weeks to Halloween or, for my Manx readers, Hop-tu-Naa. And thus there is a whole aisle stuffed with junk for the festival. 95% of it is either plastic or sugar filled high cal treats to rot the teeth of the nation's young. I wonder what percentage of those celebrating Halloween know of All Soul's Night. I wonder if they can guess from the Manx festival why we, in a (nominally) Christian country, celebrate anything at that time of year at all.

I remember Halloween when I was a child. There was no trick or treating although we might have been making a guy as in "penny for the guy" at this time of year. My mother made toffee apples, we played games with bobbing apples. Perhaps there might be a bit of the fudge and black toffee she was making for November 5th on offer. But there was none of this commercial nonsense.

I note that there are large rows of pumpkins already on sale in Sainsbury's. Buy one now, carve it and watch it go mouldy next week. But still we are urged to buy and carve anyway. I wonder how many of those who do buy and carve will do anything other than throw away what is inside. You can make a cracking pie (it is sweet and so a pudding) or wicked pumpkin soup but how many bother? For my manx readers carving a turnip for Hop-tu-Naa, what you scrape out can be the basis of a fantastic creamy crab soup. But in 2016 Britain we just carve and bin.

Next to the Halloween aisle is the Christmas one. The yuletide started some tiime in early September at Sainsbury's but now, eleven weeks ahead of the event, it is in full swing. The Noel aisle is, like that for Halloween, stuffed with plastic junk or junk snacks. None of it will be anywhere other than clogging arteries or landfill sites by the New Year.

I think back to Christmases in the 1970s to when we decorated a tree brought in from the garden on the 24th and ensured that it was back in the garden by twelfth night to prepare for another year. I remember that Christmas stocking chocolate was such a novelty that we really cherished it, eating it over days to savour the pleasure. I think back forty years when the Church was part of our lives. Do the fat little children of 2016 wandering down the Christmas aisle demanding more sweets from their parents, know why we celebrate Christmas at all? And if they do, do they care?

Eventually I made it to the counter. As a treat for today (for the Mrs, myself and Oakley) I bought a three fresh kippers. The woman at the checkout stared at them and said "I have never seen them like that, they always come in plastic don't they?" Saints preserve us.I thought of trying to explain but my mind was deadened by 45 minutes of shopping and staring so I just stared back blankly

I returned home and want to show the Mrs pictures of a ruined Irish castle with enough fresh water and land to be self sustaining and to urge her to adopt my plans for a Greco-Irish existence away from this appalling modern consumerist existence. I do not. I know that she will stare at me with a look that says "he is barking mad, if I humour him for a while he will calm down: Sainsbury's brings out the worst in him, it will pass."

The madness is in the eye of the beholder. that my anger will pass is another matter. It will not. I shall be back at Sainsbury's in a week and will be annoyed by something else. Last week it was the array of cooking chocolates. It was all so unnecessary and wasteful. Next week I don't know what it will be but it will be something.

Tom Winnifrith

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Frigging Hot Cross Buns at Sainsbury - Its January FFS

1198 days ago

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 already Sainsbury is pushing stock that is meant to be consumed on Good Friday which, for the avoidance of doubt, is March 25th.

When I was a boy our cat ate left overs from the butchers and what he could catch and drank water. And my mother made hot cross buns as an annual treat for Good Friday. The cross on the top actually signified something.

I know that Sainsbury started selling Christmas tuch some time in September but surely it cannot be pushing Easter consumables already? I fear that the answer is that in chavtastic Britain 2016 we are now encouraged to eat Hot Cross Buns all year round - except perhaps at Christmas - just because they taste good. The religious significance has disappeared completely.

I suspect that if we asked members of the ferral underclass who are buying this shit what the cross means, and why we eat buns like this, very few under forty will have the slightest idea.

My sense of alienation from modern life in Britain grows stronger by the day.

Tom Winnifrith

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

1209 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/17513/please-fill-in-a-quick-shareprophets-survey-and-win-an-ipad-for-a-late-chruistmas

Tom Winnifrith

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

1214 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/17491/market-abuser-chris-oil-s-christmas-carol-part-one

Tom Winnifrith

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

1214 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/17484/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-23-december-the-conservative-club-and-its-all-about-earnings-visibility

Tom Winnifrith

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

1219 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/17365/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-18-december-pensioner-mugger-wh-ireland-time-to-face-karma

Tom Winnifrith

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

1219 days ago

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

1219 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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

1561 days ago

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 turned a heavily loss making restaurant into a profitable and well liked venue despite the hate campaign directed against it by certain Bulletin Board Morons. From scratch we have created a media operation which is profitable and whipping the “old factory” hands down. Just go to Alexa.com and check out how ShareProphets compares against any of the titles asset stripped from RSH. In fact this little site on which you fund this article also appears to be ahead of all of those titles as well in terms of how much traffic it attracts which really is saying something. Our annual show (UK Investor Show) now has 101 stands booked, the old place is on 32 (nearly all connected to its proprietor). So we have made a point. We have won. And the whole of the City knows that.

And we think that we can be rightly proud of the content on both sites, saying what others fear to say and, on ShareProphets, exposing financial wrongdoing on an industrial scale. We have not budged from our principles or flinched in the face of bullying and threats, legal and illegal from those who do not like what we publish.

Sticking to our guns is – as it turns out – a profitable business. Having been worth minus £250,000 two years ago following my departure from RSH my finances are now sorted out.

But it is hard work. After a while the abuse and harassment gets to you. Yes there is great satisfaction when you get a clear win as we did on Friday when shares in the fraud Naibu were suspended but there are times when you feel very much in the trenches and under constant hostile fire.  

And there are just the hours as well. I would have no problem spending hours writing an article that I really enjoyed writing – like the Charlie Hebdo piece last week – even if no-one read it. Receiving praise from journalists who I really respect for that article is a bonus. But even minutes spent subbing the work of others can be minutes I regard as time that I am wasting. Call me arrogant, if you wish, but I do not feel that my role in life is to translate the work of others into English particularly when the core message is not really very interesting or new in the first place.

The job of journalists should be to question, to probe, to make folks think. It may not make you popular as my friend Gary Newman found when penning a piece on a BB fave LGO Energy. It is all too easy to win short term friends but Gary gave a view which was negative. I am not certain that I take that view or take it as strongly as he does but he challenged folks to think about their assumptions. That is good work. I am happy to spend a few minutes subbing his material for he makes people think.  

But there are other articles we run on ShareProphets which seem to me to add little. I am wasting minutes of my life generating internet fish paper that has no value. And there is more to life than that.

I know that Darren has other business matters that interest him. I have other projects too. Rebuilding the hovel. A non-financial book. And I still want the time to devote to busting frauds on Aim which I enjoy.

Does this all mean that there are New Years’ resolutions of dramatic intent? No. we have started the process of making small changes and that will evolve. But each small change can be painful. Telling a writer that we will not publish his or her material is not a pleasant task but now that we are 47 we are going to start acting more selfishly and putting our needs first.

The intent is to ensure that there is less and less hamster wheel type activity as the year progresses. Essentially the business model should evolve but be recognisable for at least sixteen months. But as Christmas 2015 approaches then bigger decisions must be made.

The New Year’s resolution 2015 is thus to make a firm resolution by the end of 2015.

Tom Winnifrith

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Picture article: Pressing the Olive Oil from the Greek Hovel

1569 days ago

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.

Each time strapping young men wearing military trousers grabbed the bags and loaded them onto trollies. They tossed the bags on into need stacks as if they were lifting a bag of groceries. I attempted to help, almost collapsed into the pile, so heavy were the bags, and thus just decided to watch while trying to look sort of managerial. No-one was fooled. They all knew that I did not have the faintest idea what was going on but none the less humoured me.

My bags were weighed and the charming factory manager, pictured below, gave me a yellow slip with their weight.

All in all, George and his team with some help from myself had harvested 2.7 tonnes (2,700 kg) of lives. Eventually some hours after our final bags were dropped off it was time to press my olives and as pre-arranged with the manager (with Nikko and the lovely Eleni interpreting) I was there as the sacks were emptied into a hopper.

As you can see my olives are green, purple and black…they look like sweeties but the great machinery does not discriminate on the basis of colour and the lives slip gradually into the hole in the hopper before emerging going up a conveyer belt which allows a young man in combats to take time off from texting to to remove some of the more obvious leaves and twigs.

The olives are washed and then rattle across rolling bars which remove the last of the leaves and then it is into a great big whirring machine.

Inside this machine are separate chambers allowing olives from separate farmers to be multi-crushed. My olives filled three of the six chambers where giant blades turn olives into a sort of sludgy tapenade but already you can see oil oozing to the surface.

The tapenade heads through anther machine which separates the oil from the sludge which is sent off elsewhere for what I do not know. And after heading through a few more pipes a bright green liquid starts to gush out into huge vats.

From one vat we extracted 16 litres of oil. This can headed back to England with me in my rucksack and was exceptionally heavy. It has dug into my back from Kambos to Bristol, hurting every step of the way. But the first bottle from that can will today be handed out as a Christmas present.

The rest of the oil was just sucked away into a communal vat, another 336 litres. After lovely Eleni sorted out the paperwork I was presented with a chit allowing me to claim a cheque for 1779 Euro from the big Olive Oil factory in Kalamata. That factory is, you see, fed by the little presses in each of the villages of the Mani.

As the oil poured into the tank the young man in combat trousers in charge of the whirring machines took a quick break from checking the machines while at the same time smoking sixty a day to stick his little finger into the green fluid. He tasted and pronounced it to be of the highest quality. I followed suit and naturally agreed. You really can taste the olive in this oil and there is an afterkick in your throat. It is quite amazing stuff.

It is far too good for salad dressing or certainly for cooking. back in Bristol we just dip bread in it and dream of Kambos.. Meanwhile small bottles of he stuff have been handed out this Christmas to the chosen few and a few more NewYear gifts are on the way.

 

 

Tom Winnifrith

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Quindell a New Year’s Quiz for you all

1570 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/9810/quindell-a-new-year-s-quiz-for-you-al

Tom Winnifrith

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

1571 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/9750/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-december-28-retail-gloom-liquidity-events-and-christmas-pudding-3

Tom Winnifrith

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

1571 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/9733/tom-winnifrith-s-alternative-christmas-message-to-the-commonwealth-of-aim

Tom Winnifrith

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

1571 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/9735/rob-terry-s-christmas-quindell-carol-part-3-of-3

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith’s Big 10 Macro calls for 2015

1577 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/9736/tom-winnifrith-s-big-10-macro-calls-for-2015

Tom Winnifrith

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

1578 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Christmas Eve Bearcast

1579 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/9729/tom-winnifrith-christmas-eve-bearcast

Tom Winnifrith

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A Video Christmas card to Kambos from my father and I

1580 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast 23rd December

1580 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/9712/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-23rd-december

Tom Winnifrith

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

1583 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/9525/the-shareprophets-christmas-share-tips-exposes-specials-programming-revealed

Tom Winnifrith

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

1587 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/9556/a-letter-from-rob-terry-of-quindell-to-ray-zimmerman-of-zai-finance

Tom Winnifrith

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

1589 days ago

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

Tom Winnifrith

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One Hour to Christmas Pudding in Kambos

1596 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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

1598 days ago

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, perhaps a foot or two. From nothing in just 24 hours. Even as I rode home last night there was nothing there but I guess that in the mountains the rain was heavier and gathered and the, whoosh, it hurtled towards Kambos. And this is just the sort of winter. I rather wonder if I came here at Christmas might I not get cut off.

The dry river runs into a pond lying at the foot of the land belonging to the deserted monastery/convent. In the summer this sits as a small pool supported by a little spring. The wildlife diversity come here for much needed water. I remember seeing a fox drinking at the edge as I headed off fig gathering in the summer.  But now…



The water from the river gushes into what is now an ever larger pond. It may be muddy brown but it is far from stagnant. The green algae of summer has been swept away and it looks alive. It is all change in the Mani.

I now have my power back. The olive harvest is almost done and my thoughts are of returning back to the UK, of burning off the frigana, a last meal with my friends here and of a reunion with the cats and the Mrs. Not in that order.

Tom Winnifrith

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

1602 days ago

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

1617 days ago

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

Tom Winnifrith

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

1618 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/8965/friday-quindell-caption-contest-jobs-going-at-the-country-club-edition

Tom Winnifrith

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Making the Real Man Christmas Puddings 2014 – a picture gallery

1626 days ago

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:

Reda the head cook downstairs, his new assistant Oubiche, Darren, Maribelle and myself.

 

 

My wish? It is a secret natch. But its personal not professional.

Real Man starts offering the Christmas menu on Tuesday 25 November. We will, of course, also run a normal menu at all times. To come celebrate liberty and free speech in the last month of the year with us it might be sensible to make a reservation which you can do at all times on 020 7242 3246.

I shall be in London and filling in at Real Man in the busy period as of December 10th so I hope to see you in Clerkenwell. And here are some of the puddings

Tom Winnifrith

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Picture Article: And so here is the fig chutney 2014

1626 days ago

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 – was to be as close to self-sufficient as possible. We did not grow wheat so had to buy flour as well as milk, sugar, coffee and meat and corn for the ducks, geese and chickens. But our fields were converted into an extensive garden, we had our own fruit (rhubarb, gooseberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, raspberries and strawberries) and the hedgerows yielded even more.

All fruit was preserved in jars or made into jam. Chutneys were prepared. Vegetables were pickled or storied in sand for we had no freezer. September to November was time for working on often bitterly cold days – or so I remember it – bringing in the harvest and then preserving it ahead of the winter.

My own efforts are trivial in comparison. But, I hope, that it is a start of the journey back.

Tom Winnifrith

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

1629 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/8727/quindell-bulletin-board-twitter-moron-of-the-week-3-a-winner-is-announced

Tom Winnifrith

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

1655 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.advfn.com/views/8228/daniel-stewart-not-enough-cash-to-keep-the-fca-onside-but-more-than-enough-for-champagne-all-round

Tom Winnifrith

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

1825 days ago

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.



Last year there were three goats but one was infertile and so she met the Albanians before Christmas and went into Stavroula’s freezer thereafter. And then my brother-in-law moved to England and so Stavroula sent another goat off to meet the Albanians as she reckoned that two was excessive. The one remaining beast gave birth to two kids one of whom we ate on Sunday and the other of which is happily putting on weight in an enclosure unaware that she too will be meeting the Albanians in the summer



That leaves mummy who is now producing milk for two neither of whom (for different reasons) are getting access to it. And that is where Stavroula and I entered the picture.  Modestly, I say that I am getting the hang of it. I think I need a few more lessons to produce milk as well as Stavroula but as the video below shows the milk was flowing. You can hear it hitting the container quite clearly. I really did feel quite triumphant after lesson two

Tom Winnifrith

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

1876 days ago

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.
  5. My debate with the tax man over my 2013 tax return will draw to a close
  6. I will never again have to worry about West Ham getting relegated.
  7. Never again will I have to listen to arsehole England supporters singing “Swing Low” after the old enemy has defeated Ireland.
  8. Roy Hodgson will at last have a credible excuse for England not winning the World Cup.
  9. Nigel Farage will not be appearing on TV every five minutes to warn about how we are being swamped with welfare scrounging immigrants from Eastern Europe.
  10. As we wait for the final close I can scoff the last box of Christmas chocolates and drink a great bottle of Valpolicello that I have been saving without worrying about my blood sugar levels and the long term risks to my health.

It’s easy, I could think of another ten reasons to look on the Bright Side pretty quickly. Naturally I would rather that I did not have to.

Tom Winnifrith

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

1931 days ago

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.

 

 

Tom Winnifrith

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Owen Jones in my Christmas Stocking – eeeek

1938 days ago

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. His solutions to this perceived problem are, needless to say, big state and redistributionist.  I rather sense that the world have moved on.

Those members of the working class who actually work would rather pay less tax and want to get on in life. The Middle Class does not despise them at all. But do we despise the feckless welfare-addicted portions of society posing as the “oppressed and despised working class?” We sure do. And what’s more the real working class despises them too. 

And in the despisers camp we also despise Middle Class lefties like Master Jones who want to punish us for our hard work to reward the feckless and suggest that our reluctance to go along with the plans is driven by class hatred. Especially when their manifesto is such patent, wining teenage, incoherent tosh.

Tom Winnifrith

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

1939 days ago

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.

“Daddy…I am a Liberal Democrat.”

God help us. Couldn’t she just be a coke fiend or a lesbian or something harmless?

I should have seen the warning signs when she started lecturing me a couple of years ago about how I was killing the poor polar bears by using an electric cheese grater. Or perhaps when she referred to the country between Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt as “Palestine.”

Do any other parents have any suggestions for how to cope with this? Might it just be a youthful phase they go through?


We had a brief discussion on the role of the state and taxation and I see glimmers of hope. I know that my daughter is a social liberal but her grasp of economics is good and I think that with some appropriate reading matter she may yet emerge as a crystal pure libertarian and be weaned away from the dark shrowd of liberal democracy.  A long weekend boot camp with myself and Uncle Christopher (Booker) may well be needed to shake her free before this gets dangerous.

Tom Winnifrith

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Chris Patten’s BBC Christmas Carol Part Three

1943 days ago

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 (a present from the Russian state broadcaster to thank the BBC for showing the world how to cover news in a balanced fashion) there seemed lots of presents for Lady L and even a few for Dim Sum but none for himself.  “Jeepers” muttered Patten to himself “what the blazes is…”

“Only those who have been good boys get presents from Father Christmas” said a deep voice from behind him and Patten spun faster than one of the 450 good people employed in the BBC public relations and brand enhancement department to see yet another grey figure lolling in the armchair next to his desk.

“Don’t tell me…you are the ghost of Christmases yet to come are you not?” Demanded Lord Patten. “Switch on the Television” said the ghost of Christmases yet to come, for it was indeed he.

Patten obeyed, conscious that the BBCs Christmas homage celebrating the birth of Nelson Mandela was set to start at any minute. BBC One thought Patten but he could not find it. Two? Three? Digital 5? CBBC? They were all nowhere to be found. Instead Patten found himself scrolling through a series of ITV and satellite channels most of which seemed to be run by Rupert Murdoch.

The News channels were leading with a story about how the new BBC Centre at Salford was opening its doors as an all-faith (except Christians) Community forum. Patten shouted angrily “but where is that beloved national treasure the Beeb, where has it gone?”

The ghost replied gravely: “It is 2019 and with no viewers at all the Government tried to privatize it but there were no takers so it was sold to the Guardian last Christmas for £1 to use for tax shelter and it has now closed it down.”

“Cripes” said Patten. “Can it be saved?”  The ghost replied: “You could start providing impartial news, high quality content and stop pissing the license fee away on managers and programmes no-one wants, you could apologise for past errors and…”

But at that moment Patten heard the distinct sound of Cawkwell emerging from the Servants quarters and so interrupted the ghost:

“Look old fellow I will commission some consultants to look into it and we will hold a full internal enquiry and all that sort of thing but my tummy is rumbling and brekkie is on the way so can you be a good chap and just bugger off.”

 

The End.

 

Tom Winnifrith

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

1944 days ago

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 she 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 the small businessman who has risked his or her own capital to try and earn and honest crust and create jobs and wealth for all yet is faced with ever greater burdens of tax, employees’ rights legislation and regulation. Those who are vulnerable are the millions starving in the third world seeing no benefit from misguided and costly Western aid programmes and denied the right to a better life by the kleptocrats who run their Godforsaken nations.

Insisting that a bossy woman living in a big house she owns with her partner who can afford weekend shopping trips to London and top of the range fucking buggies and who seems to think that top of the range fucking buggies have more rights than her fellow man is vulnerable, is an indication of a horribly skewed world view.


Oh well it’s Christmas. No doubt at midnight mass tonight there will be a reading from the Gospel. I am looking forward to the story where Jesus sees a rich young woman holding a baby on her way to Jerusalem for a shopping trip and kicks a tired middle-aged shepherd in the cajones so that the woman can park her buggy where he was sitting. Jesus came into the world to help folks like that didn’t he?

Tom Winnifrith

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

1945 days ago

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: “I have a baby I take priority.” Hang on love you now have a proper seat I am perched on half of a seat designed for anorexic eight year olds.

Of course what she is saying is that her fucking top of the range buggy takes priority over a human being? Does it have a ticket? No. Do I have one? Yes.

 I protest “I have just worked a 120 hour week, don’t I have some rights.” She insisted that she worked harder than me. Presumably as a full time yummy mummy with a top of the range fucking buggy who gets to act like a total bitch because she has a baby.

The bitch now has a seat. To stop her brat screaming she is shaking a noisy rattle. Her top of the range fucking buggy is parked in comfort. I am on a half a seat designed for an anorexic eight year old and the now for the really good news. This bitch and her husband sold their flat in London and bought a great big house in Bristol – as half the carriage now knows. So I have the pleasure of the “in the money” bitch with a baby and her top of the range fucking buggy all the way to Bristol.

Bah humbug and Merry Christmas to one and all.

Postscript: Oh God help me, the Bitch is now loudly singing Old MacDonald to her brat. We are not even at Reading yet. Now she is shaking the rattle again. Now she is singing Jingle bells. I could scream. This is rapidly becoming the journey from hell 

 

Tom Winnifrith

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Friday Caption Contest on a Sunday Edition: The Conservative Club

1946 days ago

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 is 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 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:

The Mrs and her Guardian reading friends take a right turn and are horrified to find themselves in the same room as……members of the working classes

Post your captions in the comments section below by next weekend. Jon Pickles, I bet you cannot get Prince Harry into this one!

Last week I asked for captions to this picture


And the joint winners are:


HappyTrucker::Can the members of the House of Commons please bring their pay rise back to mid ship please.

And, with one that stockmarket anoraks like me can really appreciate:

Marab (Bulletin Board genius of the year): It's never too late for a SEDA


Merry Christmas to all Caption Contest devotees

Tom Winnifrith

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

1946 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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

1946 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.advfn.com/views/3231/jim-mellon-buys-the-assets-of-t1ps-for-a-song-and-worries-about-negative-publicity-we-wonder-why

Tom Winnifrith

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

1947 days ago

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.

Admin

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

1950 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.advfn.com/views/3179/set-to-lose-my-etx-christmas-trading-challenge-with-steve-moore-stopped-out-on-cupid

Tom Winnifrith

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

1950 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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

1952 days ago

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 is that while folks like the BBC have tried to picture him as a modern day Saint, Mandela knew that he was not. He was open about his youthful sinning and in a very Christian way appeared to accept that he was a sinner and that he was genuinely sorry.

The way that he behaved post imprisonment exemplifies the Christian ideal “forgive us our sins and forgive those who have sinned against us” in a way that is beyond comparison. In showing love for those responsible for locking him up for so many years and for imposing the vile apartheid regime on South Africa, Mandela really forced a nation to “forgive those who have sinned against us.”

And part of that forgiveness, was by the whites against folks from the ANC who had murdered their relatives. Perhaps those killings had some justification but forgiveness was needed as well.

So Mandela was no Jesus. He knew that. But his flaws and the way he dealt with then to make him an even more impressive figure among men. If there is a heaven (which for the avoidance of doubt, there almost certainly is not), Mandela will surely have gained entry and will right now be laughing with Jesus at the BBC’s fawning coverage of his demise.

Tom Winnifrith

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

1955 days ago

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 

Tom Winnifrith

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

1965 days ago

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

Tom Winnifrith

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

1966 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.advfn.com/views/2908/scotgold-resources-rights-issue-give-it-a-miss-this-is-a-joke

Tom Winnifrith

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Weekly Caption Contest – Nigella Lawson Christmas Special Edition

1966 days ago

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

And then sprinkle liberally with an extra special topping which I bought from a nice man at the Co-Op” 

Tom Winnifrith

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

1972 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.advfn.com/views/2829/the-second-trade-in-my-etx-christmas-trading-challenge-sell-range-resources

Tom Winnifrith

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

1973 days ago

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

Tom Winnifrith

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Exchanged! Hooray

1973 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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

1980 days ago

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

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Tom Winnifrith

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

1980 days ago

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 also 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

Remember the deadline to open is November 30th so you should open the account as soon as possible if you want the special bonus of up to £500.

  

Tom Winnifrith

Tom Winnifrith

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36 Hours without a cigarette

1981 days ago

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. 

Tom Winnifrith

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

1983 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.advfn.com/views/2685/cyan-indian-order-delayed-cash-almost-gone-will-this-turkey-make-it-past-christmas

Tom Winnifrith

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The Joys of the 4.47 AM from Bristol

1985 days ago

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 with me as we prepare to depart. And so I am sitting with a desk to myself, able to stretch my legs and type away.

There are no reserved seats from Chippenham or Swindon to worry about. This is my seat and my desk all the way. Only at Reading will the train start to fill up.

By the time I get to London I shall have completed my first four articles of the day and will get to my desk at Real Man Pizza well before 7 AM ready to load those pieces up, sub two from the Closet Chartist and one from Malcolm Stacey and have a stiff black Americano before starting the working day.  

By 8 AM six of the day’s ten articles on shareprophets will therefore be loaded ready for publication, by nine I could plausibly be done, only awaiting Steve Moore’s word perfect copy.

And that leaves the whole of the rest of the day for other things: my experimental Christmas pudding pizzas, lining up more stands for www.ukinvestorshow.com, chatting to more customers and staff from the Empire who wish to move to the rebel alliance, etc.

I have a full day free for making mischief. That is the real joy of the 4.47

Tom Winnifrith

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Countdown to Christmas at Real Man Pizza – 32 puddings produced

1987 days ago

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.

 

Tom Winnifrith

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

1993 days ago

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

Tom Winnifrith

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Someone else hates me – Martin Perrin FD of Vipera

1996 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.advfn.com/views/2277/someone-else-hates-me-martin-perrin-fd-of-vipera

Tom Winnifrith

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

2018 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.advfn.com/views/1937/sell-avanti-communications-at-234p-a-horrid-accident-waiting-to-happen

Tom Winnifrith

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

2036 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/views/1697/cyan-blatant-ramp-via-over-hyped-rns-so-when-is-the-rescue-placing

Tom Winnifrith

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

2042 days ago

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

Admin

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

2179 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.com/analysis/215/ruspetro-owned-by-its-banks-with-director-s-dealings-a-negative

Tom Winnifrith

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

2252 days ago

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 is that what West Ham needs more than anything is another man whose veins flow claret and blue and who will happily serve a long stint at the club offering stability, supporting the Academy and reaching out to the community in East London and Essex so that even for shitty Capital One cup ties against Rotherham the corporate boxes are sold out and the stands are full. So that kids in what should be the West Ham heartlands grow up asking their dads if they can get a West Ham shirt for Christmas not a Man United or Chelski one. If we want to be a big club we need a manager with commitment and charisma because this is a money game. Paulo can reach out in a way that no-one else could. He has shown that at Swindon and he would do so again but on a far grander scale at the Boleyn.

Being a manager is more than just getting results on the park – something Paulo has shown he can deliver and which West Ham has not delivered this year. I hope Paulo kicks his heels for a while and takes a good break and that allows Fat Sam to see out his contract, try to avoid relegation and leave with dignity. But come May if our board has true ambition they know who to call. There is no alternative.

Tom Winnifrith

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

2258 days ago

http://uk.advfn.com/newspaper/tom-winnifrith/16314/london-capital-saved-by-bid-approaches-flushed-out-by-insider-dealing-sell

Tom Winnifrith

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

2272 days ago

http://tradingresearchpoint.co.uk/2013/01/30/highland-gold-full-year-trading-statement-buy-at-114-5p-target-200p/

Tom Winnifrith

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

2273 days ago

http://tradingresearchpoint.co.uk/2013/01/29/aquarius-platinum-quarterlies-reiterate-buy-at-62-5p-with-an-80p-target/

Tom Winnifrith

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Fiscal cliff - nothing solved for the dollar

2274 days ago

http://www.littlefishfx.com/a-delayed-december-view-on-the-us-dollar/

Tom Winnifrith

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Pond Life by Robert Sutherland Smith (January View)

2279 days ago

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.

Dickens’s famous City figure, the august and cheerful Mr Samuel Pickwick, made his name at the Pickwick Club with his admirable research paper on the source of the Highgate Ponds and the life of sticklebacks; they still inhabit its waters along with the man eating crayfish beloved of contemporary journalists, in need of a good and fearful story to tell their daunted readers. Even Dickens’s did not come up with the idea of ferocious crayfish although he did create the thieving, murdering Bill Sykes and the escaped prisoner Magwich who terrified young Pip on the Kent marshes.

And talking of birds, as I raise my eyes to the wider world, I get some satisfaction from seeing chickens coming home to roost in the rookeries of the Bank of England. The retiring Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, has been telling the world that the UK government should not rely on the Bank’s monetary policy to save the UK economy from recession, but do something itself to stimulate economic growth in dear old Blighty. Shouts of ‘hear, hear’ ring out but it is curious talk from a man who hitherto has told the Mr. Osborne that he was following exactly the right policy in sticking to his ‘no turning back’, plan ‘A’ only, policy.

A few of us spotted the defects of such an approach as early as the autumn of 2010, when the Chancellor revealed his ‘one strategy only’ plan. Why has it taken so long for the Governor of the Bank of England to wake up to the lack of balance and common sense of the official economic policy of the UK over the last twenty four months? It looks a little too regrettably like the blind leading the blind amidst the mustard gas of economics.

To some of us who try to be guided by the street wise empiricism of markets, it was obvious that the foreign buying of sterling and gilts had much to do with diversifying out of the Euro and little to do with dealer’s high opinion of Mr. Osborne’s policy. Now that the Euro has undergone its deathbed recovery, sterling is being sold off and yields on 10 year gilts, are in consequence above 2% and heading higher. The Government lost the golden opportunity to stimulate the UK economy enough, when overseas central banks were pursuing their obvious policy of diversification out of the Euro.

Now they are buying it again, economically stagnant Blighty, awaits a downgrade by rating agencies. However, it is an ill-wind that blows nobody any good. At least we have a devaluing pound to help stimulate demand for British goods and services; exactly the right medicine when UK domestic demand is flat on its back and there is capacity for more exports.

And now back to the snow. The teachers may not be able to handle a five minute walk to work inm a warm classroom but this man is made of sterner stuff. The ponds beckon…

Robert Sutherland Smith will be posting his Pond Life column once a month here on TomWinnifrith.com from now onwards. I welcome my venerable 157 year old friend and ex t1ps colleague to this site.

Tom Winnifrith

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Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on Tesco

2283 days ago

http://tradingresearchpoint.co.uk/2013/01/18/tesco-a-nice-dividend-every-little-helps/

Tom Winnifrith

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Aquarius Platinum – Up, up and away

2287 days ago

http://www.advfn.com/newspaper/tom-winnifrith/15151/aquarius-platinum-up-up-and-away

Tom Winnifrith

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Mothercare: No Raison d’etre – sell

2287 days ago

http://tradingresearchpoint.co.uk/2013/01/15/mothercare-no-raison-detre-sell/

Tom Winnifrith

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

2287 days ago

http://www.advfn.com/newspaper/tom-winnifrith/15089/the-harmonic-energy-joke-you-could-not-make-it-up-as-it-goes-new-media-mad

Tom Winnifrith

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

2291 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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Greggs: Poor Trading Update – Reiterate Sell at 444p

2292 days ago

http://tradingresearchpoint.co.uk/2013/01/10/greggs-poor-trading-update-reiterate-sell-at-444p/

Tom Winnifrith

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

2292 days ago

http://www.advfn.com/newspaper/tom-winnifrith/14935/jessops-bust-who-is-next-how-can-you-make-money-from-it

Tom Winnifrith

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

2295 days ago

http://www.advfn.com/newspaper/tom-winnifrith/14690/vialogy-cynicism-bordering-on-exploitation-of-shareholders-sell

Tom Winnifrith

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

2295 days ago

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.

There will be those on the left who say “there are no jobs” thanks to the wicked Tories/banksters and of course Margaret Thatcher. That is simply not true. You do not have to speak with an Eastern European accent to work in Starbucks, MacDonald’s, etc. It just seems that way. The reason that this occurs is that whereas you are better off working in Starbucks UK than having a better than MacJob in Poland, we have created a welfare system in the UK and a moral climate where there is no shame in being welfare addicted so many native born Brits folks opt to stay on welfare rather than take a MacJob.

When RMPC advertised for a waitress a year ago we had 100 applicants. A handful were from British born applicants. We shortlisted one Brit. She failed to turn up for an interview. So we have a lovely, hard working Polish waitress. We offered a good job in a City where there are 200,000 potential British applicants currently claiming benefit. But they are not interested. Every day you hear stories of folks declining jobs because they might have to start at 8 AM or travel a few miles.

This sort of indulgence might be considered sustainable in a land where the Government was not running a huge budget deficit and borrowing beyond its means. But the UK is not in that sort of position. As a country we have to make big cuts in the amount our Government spends. And frankly I’d rather see those cuts being made on forcing those on welfare to accept jobs they do not like or want and so starting to pay taxes rather than just bleed the system, rather than on, say, closing my local Hospital. Is that so unreasonable?

If we wish to reduce the welfare budget it is not hard. And whilst it might cause resentment among those who believe, erroneously, that they have a right to a life on welfare, the 29 million of us in employment feel rather differently. I say it is not hard. It is not. Here are four easy steps.

1. As of tomorrow any new applicant for welfare (wherever they were born) will not receive a penny unless they have paid five years NI contributions.

2. In two years time no-one will receive welfare unless they have paid 5 years NI.

3. The thresh-hold at which anyone pays income tax should be increased to £20,000. That makes taking low paid work far more attractive.

4. Housing benefit payments should be capped at a level equating to 75% of the average rent bill in the UK. This will force some claiming vast amounts to live in London to move. That will in turn remove an artificial stimulus to rent ( and housing prices) in London so making housing more affordable. At the same time any Local authority house or flat left unoccupied for more than 2 months should be sequestrated and auctioned so that it joins a growing private sector rental market. Councils are just inefficient landlords. An efficient and low cost private rented sector in housing will allow greater labour mobility so those in the Grim North who claim there are no jobs can get on their bikes to move to where there are jobs.

5. Those found guilty of welfare fraud should have all of their assets equivalent to 150% of the amount stolen removed and they should receive a lifetime ban on receiving any state benefits at all. No custodial sentence is needed. My solution offers the chance of financial recompense for the taxpayer and would, I suggest, act as a real deterrent to the fraudster.

Easy. Welfare would remain a safety net for those between jobs. But it would cease to be a career path. Welfare crime would not pay. It would be simpler to move to find work and lower paid work would be financially far more attractive than they are now. And the taxpayer would be far better off.

Is this heartless or just common sense?

This article appeared earlier today in my bi-weekly Tomogrpah newsletter which contains links to my his articles on 10 leading UK and US financial websites plus original exclusive content.

Click HERE to sign up for this free bi-weekly Tomograph newsletter where the midweek edition also contains a free share tip.

Tom Winnifrith

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All Year Round Hot Cross Buns?

2296 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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

2296 days ago

http://tradingresearchpoint.co.uk/2013/01/06/ruspetro-a-shocking-profits-warning-what-is-fair-value/

Tom Winnifrith

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As Requested by Blog Readers: Oakley Update

2299 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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

2302 days ago

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

Tom Winnifrith

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Visiting the Birthplace of Baroness Thatcher

2302 days ago

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 is a small stone plaque above the shop.

Maggie plaque

I have written before about how some folk will celebrate the demise of Thatcher when that sad day finally happens. Over Christmas twitter provided the usual comments from unpleasant as well as deluded lefties regretting how this, now frail, old Lady had recovered from an operation to return home. One suspects that most of those who make such comments were born in far more plush surroundings and have spent their lives pretending otherwise, squandering the lucky breaks they had and failing to seek out and work hard to grab opportunities as did Thatcher.

I leave you with a reminder of how the lessons Margaret Thatcher learned from Alderman Roberts shaped her world view ( sadly not those of today’s Tory party leaders) with her classic 1983 Tory Party Conference speech:

“Someone has to add up the figures, every business has to do it, every housewife has to do it, every Government should do it and this one will.”

“There is no such thing as public money. There is only taxpayers money”

“The state has no other source of money other than money that people earn themselves”

“Prosperity won’t come by inventing more and more lavish public expenditure programmes”

“You don’t grow richer by ordering another chequebook from the Bank”

Happy New Year to the Iron Lady.

Tom Winnifrith

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My 2012 Pig of the Year award goes to…

2305 days ago

http://www.advfn.com/newspaper/tom-winnifrith/14328/my-2012-pig-of-the-year-award-goes-to

Tom Winnifrith

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Beware the Retail Gloom in 2013

2306 days ago

http://www.spreadbetmagazine.com/blog/tom-winnifrith-beware-the-retail-gloom.html

Tom Winnifrith

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Experimental Christmas Pudding Report

2306 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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

2308 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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

2308 days ago

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.

For my parents, the ceremony the celebration of the birth of Christ is the centre of the Advent and the 12 day of Christmas. Christmas day is just one of those 37 days. But it is the main day and it is accompanied by endless family get togethers, present and card swapping and ( especially for my father) over-eating. Those aspects of excess and family which most folks celebrate are laid on top of belief.

For Olivia the event is a time when folks forget their frustrations and forgive others and just try to be happy and friendly without any religious connotation. It is a happy view of Christmas. Albeit a God free one. As a child one can have such a view before life gets more complicated.

For me there are the rituals. I make my own Christmas pudding in November as my mother did. I cook the bird wherever I am. I always attend midnight mass. It is such a joyful service despite being simple. I enjoy belting out traditional carols. I am not sure those standing near to me are so happy about this but it is Christmas. They can forgive. I look forward to a day soon when I can, as my parents did, use a Christmas Tree which spends just 12 nights a year indoors and then is put back in its normal location in the garden. I decorate any tree with baubles I have picked up from around the world.

But as you get older Christmas can also bring back other memories. The Christmas spent I spent alone when Olivia’s mother decided to trade me in for her graduate trainee – that was not fun. A favourite uncle who died at Christmas. These sorts of memories can come back as you work out how many hours the goose is meant to cook for.

But there are delights. Seeing others open presents you really thought about. Seeing them smile and appreciate that you might have actually thought about what you bought. A Christmas ring around of nearest and dearest after everyone has opened their presents ( we are a post Queen’s Speech sort of family). So it is a day of mixed feelings. It is not a day when I regret my lack of faith, that tends to happen at other times. It is a day to enjoy for the day, without looking back. Then it is a few days to recover and it is time to start looking forward. 2013 beckons.
Merry Christmas once again.

Tom Winnifrith

Tom Winnifrith

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

2309 days ago

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

Silent night, EU night
The future for us is terribly bright
The Euro brings prosperity
jobs they are a plenty
Bringing Nobel peace
Bringing Nobel peace

Of course these are not my first carols of the year. Next year I plan to record an audio cast with my daughter Olivia on piano. Pro tem I bring you once again the Vialogy (VIY) jingle bells:

Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way
Ramp the stock for Santa Claus
Every single day….ooohhhh

Jingle bells, Jingle bells, jingle all the way
we need more investor cash
we have boardroom bills to pay

And to the tune of O little Town of Bethlehem, we have the Sefton Resources (SER) carol

O little town of Ellerton
Where everyone seems to lie
The Sefton car crash carries on
The shares are set to die
Doc Green spins the tale of hope
But the cash is running out
The lies and ramps from ten long years
Will end in next year’s rout

But Ali’s report looms
To save the board once again
Chat room fools will lap it all up
More shares issued it’s just when
99 Per cent down
But the board has hoovered up
Lets sing the Sefton song once again
All praise this market pup

And finally back to Vialogy ( to the tune of God Rest you Merry Gentlemen)

God Rest you Merry Directors
And shareholders who dismay
For Chevron uses your old kit
But little does it pay

To save us all from penury
As the cash seeps away
Oh promises of better times
Better Times
Oh promises of better times

If I think of any more I shall post them here. But feel free to offer up any suggestions (first two lines, or a whole verse or two) in the comments section below.

Tom Winnifrith

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

2310 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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Friday Caption Contest – Christmas Edition

2311 days ago

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:

Call Me Dave: “What you mean you don’t put the reindeer food on expenses?”

The deadline for your entries is a week today

Last week I asked you for captions to this picture

And the winner is (for the second time) one of our two esteemed correspondents from the GNSH that is Stoke. Well done to Chris G for:

The man with blood on his hands says :“Oh great leader, please come to Britain and bring your enlightened views to the town of Rotherham”

??The former leader of Libya replies : “ Isn’t that a grim northern shit hole ???

TB : “Ah, but there’s a great job for you in the Social Services department there.”

Chris get in touch and we will dispatch your prize after Christmas.

Tom Winnifrith

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

2312 days ago

http://tinyurl.com/cl6556c

Tom Winnifrith

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

2312 days ago

http://www.spreadbetmagazine.com/blog/tom-winnifrith-on-why-any-company-issuing-results-before-jan.html

Tom Winnifrith

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Domino’s Pizza – a buy ahead of results?

2313 days ago

http://tradingresearchpoint.co.uk/2012/12/20/dominos-pizza-a-buy-ahead-of-results/

Tom Winnifrith

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

2315 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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

2315 days ago

http://www.advfn.com/newspaper/tom-winnifrith/14012/a-new-e-book-for-christmas-lessons-from-the-markets-for-2013-by-zak-mir

Tom Winnifrith

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Range Resources – I have some sympathy

2316 days ago

http://www.advfn.com/newspaper/tom-winnifrith/13937/range-resources-i-have-some-sympathy

Tom Winnifrith

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Abu Qatada to join the Church of England?

2316 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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Video Postcard Number 19

2317 days ago

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

Tom Winnifrith

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

2318 days ago

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.”

And finally, last but not least, the all time classic: “The List…liberals we can’t stand”

Enjoy

Tom Winnifrith

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Oakley – Photo

2320 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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Oakley Update – Good News

2321 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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

2321 days ago

http://tinyurl.com/d4rrf7w

Tom Winnifrith

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

2321 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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For Oakley it is Goodbye Leg Day – Light blogging ahead

2322 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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Victorian Christmas Street Fair Shipston

2324 days ago

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 the Church (mainstay my step-mum) was handing out free mince pies and mulled wine. It is better to give than to receive so I helped my step mum’s colleagues on their pathway to righteousness by receiving my mince pie. My father took the same view.

London has street fairs. They are more glitzy. I suspect that they would view the Shipston event as a bit clumsy and parochial. But the sense of community in a place like Shipston is far stronger than in the Capital. For once even the issue that has riven the town ( should they have a big supermarket) was put to one side. That is the great attraction of the boonies ( where I grew up).

The next Victorian fair is in the spring – the Sheep Fair. Even without mince pies I could be persuaded to attend.

Incidentally there was no sign of Shipston’s biggest celeb, Mr David Mills, friend of Berlusconi and recently reconciled husband of frightful leftie harpie Tessa Jowell. It seems that since the great reconciliation ( which coincided neatly with her retirement from front line politics) he is spending less time in their ( oops I meant his) mansion in Shipston and more timer in their ( oops I meant her) mansion in North London.

Tom Winnifrith

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

2326 days ago

http://tinyurl.com/cgg6m5g

Tom Winnifrith

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

2328 days ago

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 from the greedy vet. The operation was a success in that most of the tumour was removed. But, there is a but.

The tumour was not benign, as originally diagnosed, but malignant and a small bit of it was too close to the veins to operate. It will grow again. We must hope that it grew as slowly as the last one in which case by the time it becomes an issue Fat Cat, as he is known, will be well past his fifteenth birthday and years of a sedentary lifestyle and over-eating may well have taken its toll anyway.

If it has not, then it is not fatal. But it would mean the loss of a leg. I am told that cats can operate quite happily on three legs and it is not exactly as if Oakley’s existence is one based on frenetic activity. If you spend three quarters of your life asleep, 20% eating or complaining that you should be eating and the other 5% either squatting in a cat litter or very occasional wandering slowly between bed/sofa and food and back again, do you really need four legs?

It is not something I wish to contemplate. But it will happen at some stage. For now I am glad that the operation is over and that Oakley is on the mend and, like me and his long term companion Tara (aka vicious cat – a total misnomer), can look forward to a large roast duck, Downton Abbey and a good rest at Christmas.

Tom Winnifrith

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Real Man Pizza – New Menu and the Woodlarks Charity dish

2331 days ago

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 charity 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. It is a bit Spanish in its taste in that it has an “omlettey” egg base to the pizza plus a combination of various vegetables on top. It sounds a bit odd but it tastes great – and offers an unusual option for vegetarian diners. And for every Woodlarks pizza we sell £1 goes to my favourite charity (Woodlarks) which I have long supported. It offers an amazing facility allowing those with severe handicaps to enjoy a quality holiday experience that they would otherwise, almost certainly, not enjoy.

The volunteers at Woodlarks – led by the brilliant Nick – are amazing. You can check out its website HERE

I hope you visit the Woodlarks website. I hope that you visit the Real Man website and – perhaps even more importantly – pop in and visit our restaurant in the heart of Clerkenwell. If I am in London it is from there I work and am always happy to chat to any readers of this blog.

Tom Winnifrith

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

2332 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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

2363 days ago

http://www.tradingresearchpoint.co.uk/2012/10/31/hope-for-norseman-gold-oz-press-reports-chinese-saviour-by-christmas/

Tom Winnifrith

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

2363 days ago

http://tinyurl.com/8rmmgnn

Tom Winnifrith

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Christmas Menu at the Real Man Pizza Company – now live

2372 days ago

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.

Tom Winnifrith

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

2421 days ago

http://sharecrazy.com/beta/daily/7451/baroness-warsi-the-new-louise-mensch-a-christmas-prize-for-me

Tom Winnifrith

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