Sunday, July 29, 2012


Right. So I've got this thing I'm going to offer you. You have to decide whether you want it or not. Simple. Here we go.

The thing is like this: a cylinder, maybe eight centimetres long, just under a centimetre diameter, white for most of its length, a little bit of brown at one end. Sounds pretty cool, yes? You have seen NOTHING yet.

In order to use the thing, you must set one end of it on fire. Fire is cool. Everyone knows that. Then, you place the non-firey end IN YOUR MOUTH and suck.

The result is a mouth full of smoke. You know. Smoke. That thing which in fire safety videos they make a big point of telling you how dead it makes you? Yes. That. In your mouth, and lungs. Yummy.

There's nothing really good in the smoke either, the main effect of the smoke is to make you want more of the smoke.

From my description, do you want one?

Of course you don't. You're not an idiot, are you? No. It sounds shit. It sounds like I'm trying to give you fiery, smoky, make you dead things.

Thing is, according to the snazzy infographic dealy below, 340,000 children in the UK will take their first taste of smoke every year. Now, I know, children ARE quite stupid, not like you, you're clever. But surely they're savvy enough to think that maybe, just maybe, inhaling the byproduct of fire into your mouth might be a touch on the silly side. So what's the dealio?

It's probably a bunch of things. Peer pressure's likely to be a big'un. Parents who smoke, that's probably up there too. But as well as those, there's marketing.

The same people who persuade ten year old kids that they ABSOLUTELY MUST own every single item of Pokemon related paraphernalia ever to be spewed forth from a Chinese factory are also responsible for glamming up the fiery, smoky, make you dead things (I'll start calling them cigarettes now, it's easier).

We really, really ought to be doing everything we can to make cigarettes look as shitty and unappealing as possible to children (and, really, everyone else). One way we can do this is by making cigarette manufacturers have to use plain packaging.

Kids like things which are cool. Plain brown things aren't cool, apparently. The Smokefree South West campaign wants all cigarettes to be sold in plain packaging, because then kids won't think they're cool. They'll go out on their Microscooters instead. They're not cool either, but they come in nice packaging. See? See how it works?

Look at the snazzy infographic. Join the campaign. Go on, it's dead easy and will help less children put that first cigarette to their lips. You can do that for me, can't you?

Smoking facts for kids
Protect our children. Visit the Plain Packaging Campaign for more information and to pledge your support.

Silent Sunday

Friday, July 27, 2012


How tasty do you think you are?

I have few firm beliefs. I’m a bit woolly as far as my opinions and ideals go. I refer to it as being moderate if I’m being kind to myself, hopelessly non-committal when I’m feeling critical.

But I do believe I’m tasty. Tasty like a perfectly cooked steak, a box of posh chocolates or a cold beer on a hot day.

My whole family’s pretty tasty too. Tasty runs through our veins. It’s part of who we are. Sink your teeth into us and you will not be disappointed.

Don’t though, it would be a bit weird, unless you’re a mosquito, or midge, or whatever be-winged bloody thing decided to dine on me the other night.

“Welcome to Chez Babberblog Mr Mosquito, we have an excellent table available at the top of the thigh, or, if sir would prefer, the junction of the foot and ankle is looking particularly juicy this evening”

I got off quite lightly really. My hungry assailant covered a lot of ground, but only stopped off for a feed in eight locations.

That’s nothing compared to the EIGHTY-TWO bites I counted on just one of my legs following a night camping in the New Forest a few years ago. The tiny vampires must have been out en masse that evening. I was haute cuisine for all of insect kind.

Believe me, I don’t mind doing my bit for the food chain. I eat enough of the stuff, it’s good that I can put something back in (without having to die and become worm feed).

But why oh why must the resultant welt spend the next few days itching so much?

Insistent and incessant, it is the itch you can not scratch, even if you do.




*scratchscratchscratchscratchscratch some more*

Inevitable though, I suppose, given the heat we’ve been having. Hot weather means open windows. Open windows means freedom of access for the bitey little bastards.

I like to think that somewhere there’s a miniature version of the internet, where well heeled midges post reviews of their dining experiences. In that tiny online world my body is the equivalent to Heston Blumenthingy’s Fat Duck. World renowned. Exclusive. Occasional giver of food poisoning.

So far it seems I haven’t passed on my tasty genes to Cam. He remains resolutely bite free. This, I suspect, is a Good Thing. Has he experienced itching yet? I don’t know. But I know I don’t want a bite to be his introduction to the feeling.

Poor little dude, with his embryonic, flailing version of motor control, he’d never be able to co-ordinate the focused, angry, frustration fuelled scratching necessary to soothe the itch of an insect bite. I’d have to do it for him, and I don’t suppose society looks kindly on fathers who scratch their children.

No. Being tasty is yet another aspect of myself which I’m hoping hasn’t made the magical genetic journey into my son. I want him to be bland as a McDonald’s burger, or a raw potato.

Leave him alone midges, or I’ll be after you, with all the RAID spray and fly swats and rolled up newspapers I can muster.

Right, I’m off now, I have something very important to do.

*resumes scratching*

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I’m awake and I’m hot.

I’m hot and I’m sticky.

I’m sticky and I’m sweaty.

I’m sweaty and my bed feels like it is enveloping me from below while the thick, treacly air does the same from above.

I can feel the heat evaporating my sweat. Gentle, persistent tugs at the hairs on my arms and legs as liquid becomes vapour and rejoins the heavy air which surrounds me.

I can feel each breath toiling hard to get through my respiratory tubes. My lungs don’t want this air. This air doesn’t refresh. This air oppresses.

I’m not used to this. Not used to the heat. Not used to the awake. Not used to looking at the clock and seeing 3am.  

I know that if I don’t drop back off to sleep soon the sleepy fog in my brain will clear and I’ll be thinking. Thinking about work. Thinking about Cam. Thinking about Mrs L sleeping next to me and wondering why I’m not doing that. Thinking about being hot.

At least it’s quiet. The odd snuffle from Mrs L. The occasional whimper from Cam. The creaking of a house releasing the day’s absorbed heat back into the atmosphere. Nothing loud enough to warrant being awake.

Then the neighbour starts his car. The noisy one. The one with an exhaust you could hide a small dog inside. The one which throbs and snarls and spits. The one I wish he wouldn’t start at three in the morning, when he has a quieter one he could use.

He pulls slowly from his drive before unleashing the octane heavy ferocity.



He is Colin McRae and our otherwise quiet road is the terrified forest stage around him.

Mrs L stirs and utters “fucking hell Dave, urgghh”

The baby wakes, and lets out a brief cry of Subaru-derived anguish.

Then I’m asleep.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Spy with my little eye...D

Blimey chaps and chapesses, it's only bloody Wednesday already.

That can mean but one thing: it is time to join in with @jbmumofone's game of I Spy.

It works like this: Mum of One tells us the letter for the week, we take the pictures, you all guess what is in there. Simple and fun.

This week, the letter is D. Here is my photo (it's a really easy one):

Leave your guesses in the comment box, then click on the badge to see who else is playing this week.

Mum of One

Monday, July 23, 2012


Once, at the suggestion of @SAHDandproud, I didn’t bother ironing my whole shirt. I just did the front of it and kept my suit jacket on.

That was the most action my iron had seen in quite some time. Slovenliness thy name is Lewis.

I once worked with a woman who ironed EVERY item of clothing. Including socks. She also ironed her towels and tea towels. That’s weird isn’t it? Or is it normal?

Creases do not usually bother me. Why would I want to spend lots of time ironing things when they only get creased again as soon as I put them on? The time I would spend ironing can be redistributed, used for things I want to do. Like spouting inanities on Twitter, bemoaning the increased price of a Freddo bar or wondering what happened to white dog poo.

Creases in clothes I can live with. It’s the creases in Cam which I am finding concerning.

He’s a chubby little baby. His thighs are enormous. His face has a surplus of chin. At last count there were six of them, nestling under his jaw. I assume he still has the neck we used to see, but I can’t be certain he hasn’t sold it on eBay without telling us.

With chub comes creases. They’re like a free gift. Like the ones you used to get in cereal boxes. Actually, you still do get them, they’re just rubbish now.

“Free bag sealing clip in every pack”

Well, woo and hoo. I bet all the kids are swapping their bag sealing clips in the playgrounds of the nation, desperate to collect all six. That or surreptitiously throwing them in the bin, while simultaneously developing a deep seated loathing of Kelloggs.

Anyway, yes, free creases with your fat.

Trouble is, nestled within those creases is angry looking red skin, flakes of scrot and general fluffy miscellany. All things which hide away from us, quietly festering. Especially in this uncharacteristically warm weather we’re having now. I dread to think what manner of microbial beasties could be living out a life of sweaty luxury in the soft folds of my son’s blubber.

Google suggests we are not alone in having a creasy baby. Others describe similar situations for their own offspring. In bad cases the folds can apparently emit a smell similar to a strong cheese.



What, I ask of you, is the solution?

Removing the creases is not it: he is too small for even the tiniest of gym equipment, and I’m pretty sure ironing a baby is likely to get me a custodial sentence.

Treatment then. Last night we applied Sudocrem to the sore looking area. Will the magic cream help, or simply act as the agar jelly to The Creature’s Petri dish? If he smells of Gorgonzola this evening I will know the answer.

As ever, your suggestions are both welcome and appreciated, thanks for reading.

Monday, July 16, 2012


I am rubbish at losing.

Really bad.

When I was a little boy, my parents threw a birthday party in my honour. There were games. Oh the games. You know the ones: Pass the Parcel, Sleeping Lions, Musical Chairs. That sort of thing.

Pass the Parcel at this birthday party went like this: parcel is passed, wrapping is unwrapped, the eventual prize grows tantalisingly closer with each child, the parcel goes to one of my friends, the parcel looks TOO SMALL, there are surely NO MORE LAYERS to be removed, the prize is REVEALED, is grasped in the sticky hands of my (soon to be former) friend, is NOT IN MY HANDS ON MY BIRTHDAY.

I forget what happened next. It's difficult to remember anything bar the unbridled fury of my childhood self. The misplaced feeling of entitlement that my birthday had given me. Surely it was my RIGHT to win on this day?

No doubt mortified, my mum carried me away to explain the intricacies of pass the parcel (the game's not rigged, you grumpy little git, etc...) while my friends continued with the party.

I'm better at that sort of losing now. Several years of playing for an exquisitely mediocre basketball team has given me a fantastic familiarity with losing. Also, I'm English so, in terms of sport, losing is pretty much hard wired in.

The losing I'd like to be a bit better at just now is losing weight.

Me and food have a great relationship. I love it. It loves me. We are as near to symbiotic as it's possible to be without actually relying upon one another to continue existing.

Before we had The Creature in our lives, I mitigated my food intake with enough exercise to ensure I did not pile on too many pounds. I ate what I wanted, and enjoyed it. Hours of (mediocre) basketball and plenty of cycling were the antidote to my obsession with carbohydrates.

Since The Creature, I've cycled probably ten miles in total and played just a few hours of basketball.

I've been in denial about my growing mass. But this weekend I decided to weigh myself.

Purveyors of the ugly truth


Not the scales. I didn't break them. But they did confirm I'd certainly been worshipping at the calorie altar a little too frequently in the last few months. I then added to my feelings of weight based woe by placing my details in this delightful "How much of a fat bastard are you?" calculator, courtesy of the BBC. The answer, somewhat depressingly, is that I'm a fatter bastard than 84% of the world's population.


That's pretty grim. The bitter icing on that particular cake was the little bit of extra information: "You are most similar to an American in your age group". Oh good. In terms of BMI I'm most similar to the nation which is the poster child for gluttony.

The Enemy

As you may have seen already, I'm on holiday this week, and EVERYBODY knows there's no point trying to diet/ration myself while that's the case.

Therefore, as of next week, I'll be making some changes to the food intake and the effort output. Because, apparently, it's not just the ladies who need to shed so-called "baby weight", it's me too.

Top tips welcome, leave them in my comments box, along with any spare cake you've got lying around.

Friday, July 13, 2012



I'm on bloody holiday!

Not an actual holiday. One where you go somewhere and do fun stuff. Not even a (spit) "staycation". A holiday from work.

Wooyay and yippee! Six days where I would usually haul my reluctant arse into the office and sit in front of a computer all day will now be spent not doing that. Well, the office bit at least. I'm still sitting in front of a computer writing this.

The place I work doesn't call holiday holiday. It calls holiday "annual leave". Somewhere down the line I expect someone realised that calling it holiday when the vast majority of your workforce probably can't afford one was a bit of a kick in the teeth.

Anyway, whatever you want to call it, I am on it.

So far, I have discovered that having a holiday (from work) when you have a three month old child means:

- Getting up just as early as you did to go to work yesterday.
- Gaining a better idea of what it's like for Mrs L, who stays here every day.
- Compiling a mental list of all the things you need to get done which you haven't had a chance to while you've been at work.
- Deciding that all those things can wait a while, and logging on to Twitter.
- Realising that mid-day comes around bloody quickly when you're not watching the clock waiting for it to happen.

Granted, not all of those are specific to having a three month old.

The nice thing about not being at work is that this morning, instead of mainlining a bowl of cereal, having the world's quickest shower and leaving my wife and baby, I got to sit on the floor and spend a lovely half an hour with Cam. Then I got to give him a wash, change his nappy, change his clothes, put him down for a nap.

All the things Mrs L has to do every day. Routine for her. A treat for me.

I guess what I'm hoping is that this holiday isn't just a break for me, but a break for her too. She's out of the house right now actually. Out of the house without Cam. Probably for the first time this week. She's only gone to register at a new dentist (the fun never stops), but I'll be encouraging her to take some real time to herself during this week.

She won't, but I'll still try.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I spy with my little eye... Something beginning with B

Blimey chaps and chapesses, it's only bloody Wednesday already.

That can mean but one thing: it is time to join in with @jbmumofone's game of I Spy.

Don't worry, you needn't be on a long car journey, fighting with your sibling over something trivial and asking your parents over and over again whether you're there yet.

It works like this: Mum of One tells us the letter for the week, we take the pictures, you all guess what is in there. Simple and fun. Unless you forget, like I did last week. Oops.

This week, the letter is B. Here is my photo:

Leave your guesses in the comment box, then click on the badge to see who else is playing this week.

Mum of One


Do you do dancing? I don’t do dancing.

I wish I did do dancing. When I see people dancing I think it looks fun. It looks carefree and joyous.

When I do dancing it looks awkward. It looks like someone has spun me around and made me dizzy, then thrown me in the direction of some music, to see what stumbling havoc I can wreak.

I was in a dance studio the other day. It was about as far as I can get from my comfort zone without putting me in a room with some dangerous animal. Maybe a shark. I don’t like those much. Although if it was in a room with no water I reckon I could cope.

Anyway. Yes. A dance studio. Complete with a whole wall made of mirrors, sprung floor and a barre. The full thing.

Luckily, I wasn’t there to dance. I was there to have a barbecue. But I did spend some time perusing the abundance of statements about dance which adorned the walls. Here are some of them:

“Not dancing rusts your hips and your soul.”

“Dancers are the messengers of the Gods.”

“Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.”

The first one, I’m not convinced about. I reckon there are some pretty well smashed up hips as a result of all the twisting, jumping and general japery of dancing. Maybe it’s talking to people who’ve already had a hip replacement? Suggesting that dance is a lubricant for a bionic hip seems unlikely though.

Second one. Messengers for the Gods? Clearly the person who said this has never been in Oceana just before kicking out time. The only message any of those dancers are sending is “I’ll be needing a kebab and a vomit shortly”.

It’s the last one which appeals to me. Dance first. Think later.

It’s something I wish I could do. But instead, I’m all about thinking first, dancing never. My thinking kills my dancing, because it thinks “I will look like a complete numpty”. It thinks “everyone else will be looking at me, and laughing, because it will look like each part of my body is being controlled by a separate, drunk, puppeteer”. It thinks “everyone else on the dance floor will move away, will think I’m some kind of lunatic to be avoided”.

Freedom of expression, especially via the medium of dance, is not something I’m too hot on. I’m terrified of people thinking I’m weird, or rubbish, or other negative things. I expect people to think it too.

I’m really chuffed that the arrival of Cam has already made me more likely to bust moves. I don’t care what people think of how terribly I dance when I’m holding him, just as I don’t care that people get to hear a weird, high-pitch version of my voice.

I’d quite like Cam to be a dancer (not a professional. I can do without having a Louie Spence on my hands. Erm, figuratively). I want him to hang on to the joy of dance that I see in young kids before self-consciousness has a chance to set in.

Maybe it’s time I took some lessons*

*it’s not.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


That was what the person, the parent of a seven month old baby living nearby, thought it appropriate to say as Mrs L popped a dummy into The Creature’s wailing mouth.

I was not there at the time. Perhaps fortunate, as I’m fairly certain I’d have wanted to grab another dummy and use it to silence her. Possibly with a bit of duct tape for good measure.

Mrs L is a kindly soul though, and ignored the statement.

She continued to ignore it when it was followed up with “my baby has never had a dummy, she’s never needed it, she’s self soothed since she was a month old”.

Another gem: “I’m really sure that [baby] will be good at sport. Because me and her dad are both really fit and good at it”.

I checked, neither of them are in the Olympics, so they can’t be that good.

Yes, three months into parenting and we are beginning to encounter competitive parenting. I shouldn’t have been surprised, I had my warning just days after The Creature was born, courtesy of @tattooed_mummy:

I wonder how long before you are drawn into the land of "competitive parenting" *sigh* try to ignore the "oh mine was already doing that at 3 weeks" sorts of comments.”
Obviously we’re all proud of our offspring. I get that. But why do so many parents feel the need to operate as their child’s personal PR machine? Cam smiled somewhere between six and eight weeks. I forget exactly when. I know I loved it. I know I blogged about it. But I didn’t make a point of asking every other parent how long it had taken their own child to smile.

I don’t care.

Just like I don’t care if your baby never needs to have his bowel movements helped out with laxatives, or that your baby could recite the alphabet (backwards and in German) when he was just hours old. It makes no difference to me or my baby.

What it does make me want to do is tell you to SHUT YOUR SMUG FACE.

Instead, I’m going to start making wild claims of developmental excellence on the part of my baby. What can I say to the competitive parents to wipe that smug expression from their face?

It needs to be good.

“Cameron was watching Question Time with me the other night, and he just couldn’t believe how the panellists were competing over which drugs they’d done. He thought it highly immature”.


“Cameron got a call from George Osborne today, asking for some input on a revised fiscal policy. Of course he had to say he couldn’t help out, he was too busy trying to work out how to hold his head up off the floor”.

Those are rubbish. Maybe I’ll just go for some one-upmanship.

“Oh, your baby is walking already? At nine months? Amazing! Cam moonwalked out of the womb, singing Billie Jean”.

Or perhaps I’ll just carry on as I have been, ignoring them and hoping they’ll go away.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday is Caption Day...

The almighty Mammasaurus encourages us to show our photographic side every Saturday, with her glorious Satcap meme.

Here's my (highly seasonal) picture for today:

Once you've had a stab at captioning this bad boy, hop on over to Mammasaurus' blog via the badge below to see what other people have snapped, or to join in yourself :-)

Friday, July 6, 2012


Did you read my post a while back about being shortlisted for an interview? Well, as some of you know (probably all too well, seeing as I chatted about it on Twitter quite a bit) I didn’t get the job.

My initial reaction was: Bah-fuckery-tits-and-tossy-bollocks. Arse.

So, I’m disappointed.

It was a job which I really wanted. A job I think I would have been really good at. A job which would have motivated me to push myself and do well.

But I didn’t get it.

It’s a right old fucker. You see, I’ve mentioned before the trouble I have being a real person. When I read @ageingmatron’s post the other day about procrastination it struck a chord with me. That’s the sort of person I am. Why put off ‘til tomorrow what you can put off ‘til even later?

But this time I acted like a real person. I researched the role carefully. I honed my application form so that it was a razor sharp tool for precision interview snagging. I read relevant internal strategy documents and memorised key points to be able to regurgitate in response to the interview panel. I produced a presentation showcasing my talents, abilities and vision for the role. I took deep breaths and delivered coherent and well argued responses to each of the questions I was asked. I bestowed each member of the panel with just the right amount of attention and eye contact. I wore my best shirt, my shiniest shoes, my sharpest (alright, only) suit and cufflinks. I was a blend of charm, levity and AWESOME which, I thought, it would be hard for any other candidate to match.

It's not pubes. It's my face.

Perhaps I ought to have shaved the bastard thing off.


The feedback from the panel when they informed me of my failure did not cite my facial hair as a limiting factor. This is good because, without the pay rise the new position would have provided, I remain unable to stomach the frankly outrageous cost of Gilette Mach 3 blades. I may be taking shears to my face before any future interviews.

What they actually said was “your interview was fantastic, we really couldn’t find fault with it. We had to think very carefully about whether to offer the job to you or [name of victor]” (he’s not actually called Victor).

So I don’t feel angry. Usually there’s a lingering air of having shot myself in the foot with these things. My inability to focus and act like a grown up leading to a half-arsed application or interview performance has been my downfall in the past.

Instead, I have that weak, pitiful, something and nothing feeling of disappointment. Sloshing around in the brainspace. Making me feel a little bit melancholy. A little bit grumpy. A smidge miffed. Nothing stronger. Nothing that made me want to rant and rage for more than a few minutes.

Oh well. Moving on. I had a few ciders last night and I’ll mention the disappointment no more.

What disappointments have you endured in recent times, and how do you like to deal with them?

Thursday, July 5, 2012


A few weeks ago I watched as Cam worked out how his hands work.

It was fascinating to watch, the tiny fingers opening wide, then closing into a fist, over and over again, Cam’s bright blue eyes watching with an intense concentration. That was level one.

Level two came shortly afterwards, little digits opening and closing independently of each other. From a fist to a flat palm, one finger at a time. Wonder in his eyes at this new ability.

Just as I do every time he does something new, I felt an overflow of pride and excitement.

It was short lived.

Because, it transpires, level three of the development of dextrousness is “The Grab”.

The Grab is Cameron’s new trick, and I don’t like it.

Want to take Cameron away from his Rainforest Gym play mat? No. The Grab means he’s clinging onto the hanging parrot toy and Freddy Firefly with the sort of grim determination I’d expect to see when being dragged to the electric chair.

The Grab means he is now able to wait until we think he’s just about to drop off to sleep, before curling his fingers around his dummy and deftly removing it from his mouth, followed up by a triumphant smile and newfound alertness.

Oh yes, The Grab is truly a great development in the arsenal of weapons at our baby’s disposal. It’s most devastating deployment though? The one which truly puts fear into my soul? His Streetfighter 2 style special move?

The Chest Hair Grab.


What begins as a lovely skin to skin cuddle, a pairing of father and infant son in unmatched closeness, descends with lightning quick rapidity into an infliction of pain.

There is no warning, no chance of taking evasive action. The first you know of The Chest Hair Grab is the sharp stab of pain spreading outward from ground zero.

Clever too. You try to pull away and The Grab inflicts more pain than if you’d just stayed still. Like a crocodile clamping down on its prey, then letting the victim’s struggles do the real damage, it is as perfect as it is simple.

You have no-one to blame but yourself for that fetching new bald spot on your chest. You battle with the shame of knowing that you have been defeated by a baby. This is the changing of the guard. The apprentice becoming the master. The end of your run as Alpha male.

Then he lets go, and smiles, and you forget it all.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Right then banks, I'm not going to sugar coat this or pander to your enormous "too big to fail" egos. I am bored of you.

I am bored of every aspect of banking.

I am bored of going to banks to pay money in. Not that I can, because you're never fucking open anyway.

I am bored of finding out that your traders, or setters, or Chief Executives, or Chairmen, or whoever, have been doing dodgy things. Dodgy things which may not be illegal, but really aren't okay.

I am bored of you being all powerful and having the ability to ruin the ambition of small business people by deciding not to lend to them. Almost three quarters of the loans you make are to other financial institutions, or businesses which are closely affiliated with them. Only 2.5% of your loans are made to the manufacturing industry.

I am bored of no-one but bankers being able to understand the complexities of banking, when really it should be nice, simple and transparent. When even the body put in place to regulate you (albeit in a softly softly don't upset the important bankers way) quite often gets accused of not knowing what is going on behind the doors of those impressive offices I think there is a problem.

I am bored of hearing about massive bonuses. Yes. Because I'm jealous. I want that money. Or some of it. I wouldn't mind so much, but some of you are still paying those bonuses despite your banks being demonstrably RUBBISH.

*Disclaimer: I have some shares in Lloyds Banking Group, from when I worked for one of its subsidiary companies. They are worth pennies. They would probably have greater value if I asked for an individual share certificate for each one and used it as novelty toilet paper for a week or two.

I am bored of how awkward you make it for me and my wife to do business with you. Want to get a mortgage? Fine Mrs L, no problem, you'll just have to prove to us how you got that money you're using as a deposit. Oh, you saved it did you? That doesn't sound very likely, people don't SAVE money, they SPEND it.

I am bored of you being too big to fail, and indispensable. If I want to choose to remove banking from my life, I want that to be an option, but it's not.

I am bored of the thought that creeps into my head every so often: banks might actually ruin the world. Ruin the economy. Ruin the future. The future which I want to be nice and shiny and full of lovely things, so that The Creature can have a nice life.

I want banks to be boring because banks ARE boring. Because they are institutions which exist to look after our money for a bit until we need it. Is it because that's such a boring reason to exist that banks now have to get their kicks by being utterly ridiculous, greedy and borderline antisocial? In fact, I give banking an ASBO.

I don't want banks to be boring because they are in fact interesting. I don't want them to be on the news every day, being barely contrite about some new mis-selling scandal or other arseholery. I want them to be quiet and look after my money.

*turns off news forever*
*goes to scope out caves to live in*
*calms down*

Sorry about all that. I spent a really long time on hold to HSBC today.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cloaking Devices

Do any of you watch Star Trek?

In Star Trek, some of the spaceships have a thing called a cloaking device. For those of you who don’t watch Star Trek, a cloaking device somehow renders the gigantic spaceship invisible. This is useful for sneaking up on other spaceships and then surprising them with lasers and whatnot.

I don’t think the Starship Enterprise has a cloaking device. Kirk and Co would never resort to such dastardly tactics as being invisible.

Despite any possible reservations one may have regarding the use of invisibility, there’s no arguing about the fact that it is impressive on a technological level.

What’s even more impressive is some clever souls have obviously started using cloaking devices on their cars.

Yes, this is an example of science fiction being an accurate predictor of real life technology. Other examples include the internet, the mobile phone and Spam (which was clearly modelled on Soylent Green).

Anyway, here’s how to get a cloaking device on your car:

  1. Buy a car which is either silver or grey. Preferably it is also an Audi, BMW or Mercedes.
  2. Wait for a time when it is raining really hard. If you live in England in 2012 I can highly recommend WHENEVER.
  3. Go out in the car and find a road with lots of spray. For best results this is usually a motorway.
  4. This one’s important: DO NOT USE YOUR LIGHTS.
Hey presto! Your car is now invisible!

Now, get yourself in the outside lane and engage warp drive. Don’t worry, no Police can see you, you’re cloaked, remember?

Outside lane a bit too flighty for you? Then consider this: you can spend your whole journey in the middle lane! The magic of the middle lane is that you’re never in anyone’s way! Not at all! Especially in your INVISIBLE car.

The Highway Code doesn’t specifically preclude the use of cloaking devices, but it does say that you MUST use your headlights in periods of reduced visibility. Like heavy rain.

I’ve always found it disturbing to see people barrelling along the motorway in the rain, with no lights on, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are nearly invisible to all around them. I find it massively more disturbing now that I sometimes have Cam in the car with me.

I don’t want to have a crash because some people aren’t capable of recognising the dangers of behaving like a Klingon. I don’t want me, or my son, or anyone else (even a Klingon) to be rendered dead or horribly squished just because they can’t be arsed flicking their lights on.

I’m fairly certain that none of my beautiful, intelligent, sexy beyond compare readership are driving in the rain without their lights turned on. But, just in case any of those who are happen across my blog via some bizarre Google search: