Thursday May 23, 2019
Photo Article - a Woodlarks training walk up the River Dee
Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - this is what I do when not writing or walking
Photo Article update from the Welsh Hovel - a sight to delight daughter Olaf

PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH

Are we at peak coffee?

4 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42598/are-we-at-peak-coffee

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo Article - a Woodlarks training walk up the River Dee

10 days ago

In twelve days time I will walk 33 miles from Horse Hill to Woodlarks with 11 other rogue bloggers to try to raise £40,000 for a charity that really needs that cash. So if you are yet to sponsor me please do so now HERE. Sagturday saw a training walk allowing me to explore the area around my new home, the Welsh Hovel, on the River Dee.


I started at the Hovel. It had been a cold morning so I had three layers on. And for once I did not take my rucksack so had no water with me, a schoolboy error.


The first half a mile or so was on the Welsh side of the Dee before crossing over a 13th century Bridge into England. It is on this bridge every morning and afternoon as I drop my son Joshus off at nursery (in England) or pick him up that he says “Goodbye Wales” and then a minute later “Hello England” or vice versa.


On the far side, I headed towards Chester keeping the Dee close to my left apart from in one place where there was a field full of bulls and I decided to take a rather long detour.


I walked through woods and fields on a path that seems, after a while, to be rarely used. I met few walkers and as I waded through nettles in some places I undersgtood why. Joshua would have loved the deep dark wood and would have started chattering about the Gruffalo. In one wood the smell of wild garlic was almost overpowering.


At about two and a half hours I saw a small village ahead and reckoned that I had done at least seven miles so turned and headed back the way I had come. By this time the sun was hot and I was sweating badly and feeling a tad dehydrated as my schoolboy error came back to haunt me. But my feet were fine and though a fourteen mile walk is no real test, that it was essentially so easy, is a good sign for what is to come. And the scenery was wonderful, the North really is not so grim after all.


If you are yet to donate to Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks please do so HERE







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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - these companies are just taking the piss as management troughs it

10 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42498/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-these-companies-are-just-taking-the-piss-as-management-troughs-it

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Another scoop on dissembling POS Bidstack & a strange deal at ValiRx

22 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42264/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-another-scoop-on-dissembling-pos-bidstack-a-strange-deal-at-valirx

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Not grabbing Mrs Chav's Pussy and as Julie Meyer threatens myself and Nigel Wray - how I will respond

33 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/42104/tom-winnifritrh-bearcast-not-grabbing-mrs-chav-s-pussy-and-as-julie-meyer-threatens-myself-and-nigel-wray-how-i-will-respond

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - another high yielding blue chip Neil Woodford is having to dump & another shite note from FinnCrap

45 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41933/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-another-high-yielding-blue-chip-neil-woodford-is-having-to-dump-another-shite-note-from-finncrap

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: after 30 years of kissing Neil Woodford's arse Jeff Presstrip becomes the penultimate rat to abandon ship

58 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41667/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-after-30-years-of-kissing-neil-woodford-s-arse-jeff-presstrip-becomes-the-penultimate-rat-to-abandin-ship

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnfrith Bearcast: Brexit bollocks, the real threats to the economy, Crest Nicholson's dividend and Charlie & Lola

61 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41626/tom-winnfrith-bearcast-brexit-bollocks-the-real-threats-to-the-economy-crest-nicholson-s-dividend-and-charlie-lola

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: if you wait by the river for long enough...

64 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41587/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-if-you-wait-by-the-river-for-long-enough

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: the Mother in law has some harsh and damning words for me

91 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41043/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-the-mother-in-law-has-some-harsh-and-damning-words-for-me

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: the bloke who did not beat me up makes a critical point re share buybacks

96 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41033/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-the-bloke-who-did-not-beat-me-up-makes-a-critical-point-re-share-buybacks

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: From the Grim North my Argo folly compounds itself

96 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/41019/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-from-the-grim-north-my-argo-folly-compounds-itself

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo Article: Joshua's Goat

123 days ago

 My two year old son Joshua has a tendency, these days, to say that everything belongs to him. So it is "my house", "my car" and pictured below is "my goat." Of course it is not.

It is a goat that lives near the woods about half way between our house in Bristol and where my training walks meet up with the River Avon. The old boy seems much loved by the community and so, invariably, when Joshua and I arrive there is someone else talking to him and handing him food. He must be one of the best fed goats in town.

When we move to the Grim North, we hope to have some land and Joshua and I are lobbying hard for the purchase of both goats and chickens, on the basis that we can find someone to tend for them when we are in Greece. The Mrs is not so sure about this cunning plan.

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Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: It looks as if the move to the Grim North is full steam ahead

129 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/40456/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-it-looks-as-if-the-move-to-the-grim-north-is-full-steam-ahead

Tom Winnifrith

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Is my wife’s Bristol "tradition" just a middle class fantasy? Anyone want a broken pushchair covered in cat hair?

133 days ago

The house is now on the market as we prepare for a move up to the Grim North. We already have five viewings lined up for Saturday so keep your fingers crossed. Ahead of that day I have been working hard at clearing out six years of accumulated junk in the garage.  There have been one or two rather good finds. There was a package marked fragile.

It must have arrived two or three years ago and for some reason I had not opened it. Lo and behold it is a 14 year old ( I guess it is now two or three years older) presentation bottle of Whiskey from my friend, and comrade from the Clontarf veterans rugby team, John Teeling and his sons eponymous distillery in Dublin. How very pleasant. Thank you John.

There is also an awful lot of junk.  The Mrs claims that there is an old Bristol tradition of leaving items outside your front door on the street for folks to just take away if they fancy. I rather suspect that this is the sort of Middle class fantasy about the good old days of community spirit and genteel working class poverty that Nick Hornby waffles on about in Fever Pitch. And as with Hornby’s Highbury I sense the working class Bristol of old that the Mrs thinks still might exist, never really did.

But who am I to argue. And so being a good German I have put out on the street a slightly broken pushchair, covered in hair from the neighbour’s cat who often sleeps in our garage. Oddly there have been no takers to date. I can’t think why.  The Mrs agrees that if everyone resists this great temptation by tomorrow it will join a lot of complete rubbish making a one way trip to the recycling bins. I will bet the ranch that it will be making that trip.

Meanwhile the garage is 80% cleared and cleaned and now looks almost smart. I hope that those viewing are duly impressed.

Tom Winnifrith

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The Mrs has to give a lecture on “Greed is Good” – will she do so as well as Gordon Gekko?

164 days ago

The Mrs has been to see her new colleagues in the Grim North and has been given her lecture schedule for next term. And on it is a talk called “Greed is Good”. Of course it damn well is.

Greed drives capitalism, it drives free markets. It spurs on progress, advances in medicine and technology. Greed has caused life expectancy to surge and given us all material comforts our forebears could not even have dreamt of. Greed will give us new greener means of transport and will take the human race to other planets.  Greed is not only good it is great.

The problems with capitalism occur when the Government butts in either to prop up failing companies or industries or to regulate good companies out of business. Such behaviour encourages recklessness and criminality and stops the invisible hand from allocating resources in the way society needs and deserves and would enjoy if greed was calling all the shots.

As a child of Thatcher who worked on Wall Street in the good old days of the mid-late 1980s, naturally I leave it to the great Gordon Gekko to express this better than I can. Somehow I suspect that this is not quite the message that the Mrs, the woman formerly known as the deluded lefty, will be delivering to the snowflakes after Christmas.

 

Tom Winnifrith

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Photo article from the Greek Hovel - take that Bernard! Mr Fire is here

166 days ago

During the week that he was here, ShareProphets reader Bernard from the Grim North of England, c/o Donegal tried manfully to get my new wood burning stove going. It is jolly chilly at night. He failed. Over to the maestro.

This was last night. To be fair to Bernard I think the twigs he brought in are now that bit drier. Or maybe it is just my superior technique? Anyhow I lit it again to keep me warm while I prepared breakfast today so it was no fluke. It looks good does it not?

Admin

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Day 5 of the Olive harvest at the Greek Hovel and a final P&L – Don’t all laugh

167 days ago

I have been sitting on this account of the final day of the 2018 olive harvest for some days as I am rather cross. I know the sums involved are trivial but none the less….

Having thrown four workers at our harvest for a couple of hours the son of George the Albanian dropped nine bags of olives weighing 442kg down at the press in Kambos. So ended day four of the harvest. More than eight of those bags were the results of the labours of team GB: myself, Andrew Bell and ShareProphets reader Bernard from the Grim North of England (c/o Donegal).

On day five, George lead a team of five who pitched up a quarter of an hour late at 8.15. Once again he insisted that they would be finished within a day. Bernard and I helped make up a magnificent seven. It was soon clear that the way they would finish was by tackling only really full trees. We stopped for lunch which George’s Mrs had prepared – a cracking sort of cheese pie and a custard version of the same for pudding. I showed them inside the house which they agreed was splendid but that break was only half an hour.

At about two thirty in the afternoon I had to break to do some work on my computer. I emerged at 3.30 to find that they had “finished” the entire lower terraces on one side of our lands and were packing up to go. Tackling the best trees on the hovel that day had produced just under nine sacks.  We had a Greek coffee made by Mrs George on a portable stove and George and I discussed payment with his son translating.

200 Euro he said. That seemed fair. Then he added on 50 for yesterday. And 20 for taking the olive bags to the press in Kambos. Hmmm. I handed over 270 Euro and said that I'd pop into the press later. That I did to find that we had 856 kg in all. I was a bit pissed that the total was so low and really could not be arsed to watch my oil being pressed but left four 5kg cans (one for Bernard, three for me) for my oil and headed off to lovely Eleni's Kourounis taverna to write an article or two.

The news when I got back was not good. 146 litres minus my 20. Minus 10 for the press. So that is 116 litres which will be sold at just 2.5 Euro per litre which is 290 Euro. Knock off a 9.46 Euro admin fee and I am left with a profit (ignoring my own oil) of 10 Euro. The price of oil is down because, although it still tastes great, the quality of oil from Kambos is deemed to be lower because of chemicals sprayed all around – though not on my land – to combat the flies.

However, the bottom line is that hiring team Albania was an economic disaster. Had we merely sold the olives produced by team GB in the first two and a half days we would have cleared 140 Euro. Had team GB minus Bell carried on for and done five days we would have netted almost 300 Euro. The way I have to look at this is that I have transferred a portion of wealth from rich GB to an impoverished Greece. But I do feel a bit resentful. Had the yield not been cut by around 40% by the flies, storm Zorba and the strong winds of ten days ago the same trees harvested in the same time would have made me an additional 100 Euro profit. So that is God’s joke on me.

None the less I am a bit cross and George the Albanian has lost a customer. I feel that I contribute enough to the Greek economy already without paying over nearly all my revenues for the pleasure of his company and a great portion of cheese pie.  Next year, with or without volunteers from the British Isles, I shall harvest without local help. I have all the equipment I need and if, God plays no jokes on me and I tackle only the better trees in a five or six day hard slog I could easily produce 15-20 bags alone or 30-40 ( depending on God’s jokes) with help from a new team GB.

The point of me harvesting is not to make money. It is about being part of the community here in Kambos. So there is no great bitterness in me. Each year I learn more about pruning and about how to harvest so I should get better returns from my trees. 2019 will be the year to go it alone. Perhaps if God can play his part with no more of his little jokes I might just make a real profit.

Tom Winnifrith

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A tale of two crimes on the way back from Birmingham and the Grim North - my own moral maze

288 days ago

My business at the Greek Consulate in Birmingham was done with all the efficiency you expect of Greece - that is to say with long delays, over-runs and numerous stamps impressed on my piece of paper. I then hurried back to the civilised south of England as fast as I could.

A nice Sikh taxi driver took me to New Street station. On his dashboard he had a Confederate flag with the words "born rebel" on it. In the US the flag of Dixie is seen by many as a sign of past racial oppression and many on the left want it banned. I asked my driver why he flew it. "Because I like it". He also had a big sign up, "born in England and proud of it." I could have been in Tommy Robinson's cab. I did not pursue small talk and was soon on the train back to Bristol braced for paying the bastards at Cross Country Rail £4 for two hours internet access on top of my usurious fare.

But here's an odd thing. I sat in the first seat in second class with the next door carriage being where those on expenses sit. I switched on my laptop and got my credit card ready. But the screen for Cross Country popped up and insisted that I was in First Class and so had nothing to pay. Reader I must admit that I did not protest and just surfed away happily. Is this a crime?

Back in Bristol i got in a cab at the station and we headed back to the Mrs and her house in unfashionable Bristol. The driver half missed a turn and I had to shout as he tried to go the wrong way. He stopped and reversed and then headed the right way but that all added a bit to the fare but we were soon outside the front door of a near neighbour. I never stop outside my own door in case I have a row with the driver. The fare was £6.80 and I handed over a tenner.

The chap handed me £3 but I pointed at the screen and suggested he owed me an additional 20p. He said "sorry i have no change" and then pointed at an unused ashtray crammed with 5ps, 2ps and 1ps. Having been overcharged because of his error I really was not minded to tip and just giving the wrong change is surely theft on his part is it not? Call me a pedant but I said that i'd take the extra 20p in small change and so I now have two 5ps and ten 1p pieces in my pocket and heading for my piggy bank.

Do you think I was being mean or was I right to insist that crime - him short changing me - should not pay?

Tom Winnifrith

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Is the Mrs reading Grazia Magazine grounds for divorce?

1054 days ago

Back in the UK I sit at my desk looking out on a quiet surburban road. It is all very different to the view from the rough table at which I write at the Greek Hovel. I see people, cars and neat brick walls rather than olive trees, sheep, the abandoned monastery and the wild of the Mani countryside. Here in Bristol, I also spot in a magazine rack next to my desk a copy of Grazia magazine.

On the front cover is Harry Potter star Emma Watson offering her opinions on things I don't care about plus pictures of other celebs whose names I do not recognise. Grazia is an inane magazine for women.

I ask the Mrs "surely you did not buy this?" because spending cash on such matters is surely grounds for divorce. Last time such a publication entered the house, the Mrs claimed to have found it on a train. This time she claims that her friend Katie brought it with her when she trekked down from the Grim North for a visit the other day.

I detect a pattern here. Surely catching your Mrs reading such piffle, however it came to enter the house, is a valid reason for divorce?

Tom Winnifrith

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New Oakley Video: cat inaction in bed with the Mrs

1566 days ago

It strikes me that videos of my morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley are now getting more views than some of the writers on ShareProphets. Perhaps I should fire a few of the scribes and just go into business with my cat? Maybe not. As Oakley is a 14 year old obese cancer survivor the actuaries would not rate this long term business model.

Oakley regards our marital bed as his own and gives me a dirty look when I intrude on him and the Mrs. Normally fishy breath snuggles up to the deluded lefty and gazes adoringly into her eyes. And she reciprocates and they talk about Coronation Street and other matters that concern folks from the Grim North. But if he hears my footsteps he heads off to the other end of the bed and plays all innocent.

And so as the public sector worker (the Mrs) received her 8.30 cup of tea in bed, served by the wicked capitalist who was already 105 minutes into his Saturday working day), Oakley heard my footsteps and scuttled to the end of the bed. I am sure that as I returned to my evil capitalist desk, he returned to his normal position to once again gaze into the eyes of his girlfriend as they laughed together at the toils of the wealth producing classes.

Tom Winnifrith

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Explaining the difference between cocaine and washing powder to a Northern git

1638 days ago

On top of my fireplace at the Greek Hovel in a picture I published the other day is a large bag of white powder. At once the self-styled Northern Barons my good pals Doc Holiday and Brokerman Dan were tweeting in a frenzy that I had a large stash of coke with me. Dan reckoned I was going to dose my Albanian workers tomorrow and get the olives harvested at record speed. I am sorry to disappoint the Northern gits. 

For behind the bag is a box marked Tide. This is a product called “washing powder” which in the South of England we use to wash our clothes. In the North I guess they just hang their shell suits out in the rain until they are marginally less grubby and then leave them to dry next to the pigeon loft. The next time that my good friends trek down from the welfare addicted wastelands of the Grim North I will try to explain to them what this is all about. 

The picture below is of the washing powder but also a larger bag of yellow powder which is Sulphur which I use on the edge of the garden to keep snakes away.  For readers in the Grim North who might not understand what a snake is it is a bit like a Quindell shareholder. That is to say it has a small brain but some varieties are poisonous and no-one likes any of them. The only difference is that snakes can be worth a bit of money.

Tom Winnifrith

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The Northern Petroleum Rampathon, Proactive Investors and Crony Capitalism on AIM

1665 days ago

http://www.shareprophets.advfn.com/views/8585/the-northern-petroleum-rampathon-proactive-investors-and-crony-capitalism-on-aim

Tom Winnifrith

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Thinking about grapes in Bristol and at the Greek Hovel

1693 days ago

The Bristol vine harvest was completed last weekend. About enough liquid for ten to fifteen bottles now sits fermenting in a bucket. We have added sugar and yeast and must just wait for a week before straining and decanting into a demi-john. I may try to make grappa with what’s left as an experiment.

Our Bristol grapes were red but small and of varying degrees of sweetness. They were not the lush bunches of grapes you’d expect at a Roman orgy. Nor the lush bunches of sweet grapes that hang around the Greek Hovel.

My guest this summer gave me firm instructions as to how I must assist the vine for next year by pissing against it. As a woman she was not able to assist but urine is a great source of nitrogen and so I followed her instructions every day. I am not sure that I saw any immediate response from the gnarled trunk. But I guess we will find out next summer.

It is the end of my first working week back in the UK. Right now my friends in Kambos are gathering at lovely Eleni’s Kourounis taverna. It is starting to get dark. I would at this point be tapping away for another couple of hours before Vangelis – the man in the pink polo shirt – said in Greek, it is not if you are drinking but what are you drinking. And we’d be off. Back in Bristol I prepare to cook supper for the Mrs instead and to learn more about life in the Grim North by catching up on this week’s episodes of Coronation Street. It is a life of contrasts.

Tom Winnifrith

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I have a terribly guilty confession and is Manchester packed with homosexuals?

1794 days ago

I have a terribly guilty confession. It really is shameful. But I am open with you and so confess that …I have started watching Coronation Street. It is really quite gripping to discover what life is really like in the Grim North.

The Mrs – hailing from the entrepreneur free, economic wastelands of the welfare addicted Grim North, that is to say Nottingham – is a lifelong Corrie fan. Until recently we have agreed that when I am there she records and when I am away she gorges and catches up. But then I started watching. It really is fascinating.

I had no idea that life in the North was so interesting. Apparently there is a murder on the Street about once every six months. Folks disappear for unexplained reasons (because the actor who plays them is on trial accused of being a nonce, a rapist or both) and no-one lives with their actual parents. In the North it is apparently compulsory for kids to live with a step parent and their new partner while their actual parents both live with new partners and the children of other folk.

It is all very confusing but since The Mrs is a sociologist she is able to explain it all to me. Right now someone called Tina who seems to have had sex with every man in the street (apart from the large numbers of homosexuals camped out in Corrie) has been murdered. The main suspect is a white man whose son by his first marriage appears to be black and lives with his white ex-wife. Go figure. The main suspect lives with the wife of his father (currently a “disparu”) who is not his mother.  The other suspect is the main suspect’s wife (not yet divorced).  In fact the killer is the brother of the main suspect’s wife whose girlfriend is the sister of the main suspect. Or is it half-sister? Whatever. As you might gather it is all gripping stuff.

My wife says that Corrie is set in the traditional small c conservative part of Manchester not the liberal gay friendly part. Yet roughly 10% of the population of Corrie have apparently been openly gay or Lesbian in the past two years. Cripes. In the trendy City centre of Manchester I guess almost everyone must be gay.  Perhaps my good pal Dan Levi might care to tell me if he and Rio Ferdinand are “The only straights in the village” that is Manchester.  

Anyhow the Grim North seems a fascinating place. But what with the fact that one person in every street gets murdered every six months and with all the unexplained disappearances I am not sure that I have any great desire to get my passport out and pay another visit just yet. Corrie tells me all that I need to know.

Tom Winnifrith

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Friday Caption Contest on a Sunday – the Church of England on Finance Issue

2040 days ago

My father has done more than his fair share of work as Treasurer of the Shipston Parish. Its finances are okay – thanks in good part to my father handing over far too much of his dosh – but the finances of the wider C of E are a shambolic disaster. The reason is that it is a failing organisation – it keeps on losing customers to the grim reaper, other faiths and sects or to apathy and it is not replacing them.

One reason for this may be that the Church, like other once respected bodies such as the National Trust and the RSPCA seems intent on straying off its core patch. All three of these bodies have made themselves look ridiculous with their pronouncements on matters such as global warming and hunting of animals. But they just cannot help themselves.

And thus the Archbishop of Canterbury has today waded into the energy price debate telling companies that they should sacrifice profits by cutting prices ( prices agreed with the regulator) so folks are less badly off. Why not instead cut this Government’s ludicrous energy taxes imposed to help reduce our carbon footprint? Er…. Because the Church still thinks the planet is getting warmer (even though we are now in year 16 of cooling).

This is not a moral point the Church and the Archbishop is making but a political one. He wants wealth taken from shareholders in private companies and given to the British population. Of course lower prices might mean we use more fuel which will cause global warming won’t it?  Archbishop Justin Welby is like his predecessor set to be another misguided, failing CEO of an organisation in what appears to be terminal decline.

As an aside I would note that a large number of the other contributors to Shipston Church are little old ladies living by themselves on a fixed income derived from bonds and safe high yield shares like…er….the utilities. Cut their dividend stream and a) they cut back on fuel usage and b) they give less to the Church.

As such I offer you a suggestion for the next Archbishop of Canterbury Mr Gordon Gekko. He knows as much about religion as the CofE knows about economics so what would Gordon say? Post your captions in the comments section below by Friday at 9 AM



For what it is worth my comment is:

Having been appointed as the next Archbishop of Canterbury, Gekko states:

Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms: greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only create those with enough private wealth who will donate funds to mend the roof of Shipston Parish Church, but through the same process will save that malfunctioning corporation called the Church of England. Thank you very much.

Last week I asked you for comments on this picture in our Polly Toynbee Grim North edition

Congratulations to the winner, Revidiver for this:

 

Here's a shilling Polly towards your villa in Tuscany.

 

Tom Winnifrith

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Escaping from the Grim North back to Civilization

2047 days ago

We departed the Grim North (Nottingham) at 5 PM on Sunday. Sadly during my stay I did not sample local culinary delights such as Cock-on-a-stick (Nottingham) or Pikelets and Wrights Pies (Stoke). Instead it was wonderful food from the mother-in-law, who showed great self-restraint and managed to praise Tony Blair only once during our visit). And there was no time to go out and visit the abandoned factories and look at the poor folks who cannot afford shoes as they searched the garbage cans for their next meal. An opportunity missed.


Getting back to the civilised south was the problem. As we moved down the M42 traffic slowed and then ground to a halt. Perhaps there was a problem at passport control as the few thousand Northerners with a work ethic jammed the gates as they headed back to paid employment in the bountiful south after a weekend with the wife, kids and whippets? Actually it was a lorry on its way back from bringing emergency relief to the folks in Stoke, that had jack-knifed and left us stranded in the pitch black for almost five hours. 


At last the Old Bill cleared the hard shoulder and we made our escape finally arriving in Bristol at 12.30. Downton Abbey was videoed and that treat awaits tonight.

Tom Winnifrith

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Friday Caption Contest on a Monday Edition – Polly Toynbee and the Grim North edition

2048 days ago

The highlight of the week was Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee, possibly the most annoying and stupid woman alive today, blaming the 2007 death of Baby P on the wicked Tories. I am sure you can spot the flaw in that pathetic smear.

With that in mind I have arrived in the Grim North, where Labour likes to keep folk poor so that they still support the People’s Party, for a weekend with the in-laws. It has rained solidly since we passed passport control in Leicestershire and so I have not ventured out to check out the poverty porn in great detail. But I guess that all those folks whose welfare payments won’t stretch to buying shoes will be feeling pretty cold, wet and miserable as they troop off to the local to blame everything on Thatcher and the bankers.

Since I am assured that no-one up here bothers getting up before midday I shall pop out tomorrow to have a look around. But in this vein, for this week’s caption contest I ask you to supply a witty few words for the picture below.

For what it is worth my own effort is: “Polly Toynbee explains that not only were the wicked Tories responsible for Baby P’s Death in 2007 but it was Thatcher who created the slums of Victorian England.”


Please post your entries in the comments section below.

Last week I asked you for captions to this picture



Though not funny, Happy Trucker gets 10 out of 10 for factual accuracy with this attempt:

The BBC new slogan. "Proud to be the only establishment able to waste more taxpayers money then the Government without going to war

Tom Winnifrith

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Saturday so far: Filming @PinsentMasons and the pizza triumph

2048 days ago

First up I met up with Darren to film a comic video at the offices of uber expensive bully boy City lawyers Pinsent Masons. It will go live next week when an agreed statement between myself, Dan and Sefton is published. V is no longer for Vendetta, V is for Victory! I think the video is funny. I am not sure that our pals at Pinsents will be so amused.

Then to Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell to drop something off before heading off to the Grim North for a weekend with the in-laws. Damn. Super cook Leo was not there and was running very late. And so Maribel and I opened up and pondered whether we would rather have a customer before Leo arrived or not. Shucks a cute young American arrived. We played for time but eventually she summoned me over to order food.

I prayed to God that she wanted pasta which I am pretty damn good at serving up. But maybe he was punishing me for becoming an Islamic spiritual mentor because the bird ordered a pizza. Damn. The chaps have tried to teach me how to make pizza but it is really hard. But I rolled my sleaves up and gave it a go.

I rolled the dough, pushed it out with my fingers and after a while produced a pretty excellent base. I added the toppings and Maribel and I struggled to get it onto the pizza spade and into the oven. “Yes, yeeees, yeeeeeeeeees” gushed Maribel (in a somewhat disturbing manner) as I managed to get the pizza into the oven. Three minutes later it was on the table.

After a while the girl asked for her cheque and said “that was amazing pizza I am so glad that I found you.” I ‘fessed up that it was my first ever commercial pizza. On that high I now announce my retirement as a pizza chef.

And now off to the Grim North… 

Tom Winnifrith

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An Ambassador for the Cultural Quarter of Stoke on Trent arrives at Real Man Pizza

2052 days ago

It is a quiet afternoon at Real Man with a nice couple sitting here having a glass of wine or four… They tell me they have travelled 300 miles to come to Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell. And who can blame them with our great new cook Leo earning rave reviews. So where are you from? I asked. Stoke on Trent they say.

I say that I have correspondents (Messrs Green & Rowley) who try to educate me to the delights of the Cultural Quarter of lovely Stoke. I say “yes you have some sort of pies don’t you.” They explain about Wrights pies but say that the famous oat cakes are even better and that Stoke’s third culinary delight is a Picklet (pronounced Pike-let) which is a bit like a muffin. Whatever…

I have now learned two new “facts”.

1. Stoke is not as I thought in the Grim North. Everything north of the cultural quarter is the North, everything south of it is the south. The cultural quarter is the centre of the universe.

2. If you stick a compass in the cultural quarter and draw a 70 mile radius circle around it you go as far south as Stratford and 70 miles further into the Grim North. Apparently it is a fact that this circle contains the birthplaces or more men and women who changed the world than any other such circle anywhere on the planet.

I sense that correspondents Green & Rowley have been underselling the cultural quarter and I feel like a moth to the flame, increasingly drawn to make a pilgrimage.

Tom Winnifrith

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I am pushed out of the closet (again) by Bulletin Board Moron of the week Jellyman 2

2142 days ago

Over on the ADVFN Sefton thread it appears that one or two folks have a few bad things to say today about Jim Ellerton and Sefton Resources (SER) following Brokerman Dan’s shocking new revelations (which you can read here) and my own expose which you can read here.

But Sefton has its defenders. Jellyman 2 lashes out at one critic with this post:

To have contempt for je and sefton is fine, IF you are a holder and are loosing ££££'s. But to spout bollox and ridicule people for losing money shows what small minded, lowlife animal fuckers you really are!!!!!! and all because your gay lovers bmd and tw ARE too SCARED to post here.

Cripes. I think I am pretty open minded when it comes to sex. My partner is after all from the Grim North and is a Guardian reader. I mean how frigging tolerant does that make me?

But a gay threesome involving Dan Levi and some unnamed BB poster? Dan is a very nice fellow but there are limits to my metrosexual liberal open mindedness.

But what is it with BB Morons that they think that being gay is some sort of word of abuse? You will remember that some other BB Moron insisted that I spent my life in gay bath-houses (I have never been to one in my life, for the avoidance of doubt).

There is nothing wrong with being gay. It is not an insult. It is not something to be ashamed of. Now outing yourself as a Sefton shareholder on the other hand… yuk. But I suppose Sefton shareholders are adults who have consented to being financially buggered. If that’s what floats their boat…

Tom Winnifrith

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