Archive for January, 2015


January 31, 2015 Leave a comment

Tiger Woods’ 82 yesterday is being compared with his second worst score as a pro, his 81 at Muirfield. It shouldn’t be.

I was there when Tiger shot that earlier round . . . well, to be accurate I was there when he finished it by birdieing 17 and parring the last. When I saw the storm coming I did the local thing and went home till it passed over, because I knew how bad it was going to be. Tiger couldn’t; he had to play on through the unplayable, in waterproof gear that looked hopelessly unfit for the task in hand. His 81 was probably a couple under par for the conditions and next day he went round in 15 fewer shots.

What I saw in telly last night as he shot his 82 was a man who has lost it beyond redemption. Around  the greens he chipped like me; that’s not pretty, and I’m not kidding.

If he ever wins another golf tournament it will be a miracle. Thanks for the memories, Tiger.

Categories: Sport


January 28, 2015 Leave a comment

I’ve just watched the fantastic last-ball finish of the final of Australian cricket’s fourth Big Bash League. I’m sorry it’s over for another year, but at the same time, I’m pleased to have my mornings back.

All the English players who’ve been in Australia taking part have come home saying the same thing; that domestic cricket has to adopt the franchise system and organise its T20 competition along the same lines as the model that has proved so popular there and in India. As far as I can discern, none of the decision-makers are listening. They’d rather play four-day county games all summer before empty grounds.

Categories: Sport


January 28, 2015 Leave a comment

News from the front: my political satire, ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow‘, published by Portador Books and available from Amazon and, is currently inside the top twenty of the Kindle political fiction list.

Thanks to those who put it there and thanks in advance to those who’ll help push it higher. All it takes is a couple of clicks; links to the right, on this page.

Categories: General, Politics


January 27, 2015 1 comment

I drove through Figueras the other day, behind the biggest bull-dozer cum excavator I have ever seen on any public highway. Overtaking was impossible; it took up a full lane and part of another, with its driver sitting on top, encased in a  perspex box.

It must have been bloody difficult to drive, even more so since the guy was on the phone all the way.

Categories: General

Sorry friends, but it’s not my fault

January 19, 2015 4 comments

In Scotland, BT is my internet provider. I run my email though a separate Gmail account, but the BT package comes with a built in email address. I have never used it, and yet it has been hacked three times, and used to send spam mail. ‘How can this be?’ you ask. Well, it seems that the BT account automatically copies my Gmail contacts, and uses them.

After the first incident I deleted all contacts from the account, but the damn thing went and did it again.

Finally after the third hacking, I went into the BT system and closed the email account; I took the address out of play altogether. Or so I thought. This morning, that deleted account was hacked again. I don’t know what to do any more, and I’m stuck with the infuriating problem, since I’ve just renewed with them for another year.

So here’s my message. Be as entranced as you like by Simon and all the other twats in the BT tv ads. Be as sold as you like on the Superfast, To Infinity and Beyond service that they offer. But never forget this. BT Internet security is bloody useless.

Categories: General

Cutting it fine

January 16, 2015 Leave a comment
A Catholic Priest, a Baptist Preacher and a Rabbi all served as Chaplains to the students of Northern Michigan University Marquette in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
They would get together two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop.  One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn’t really all that hard, a real challenge would be to preach to a bear.  One thing led to another, and they decided to do an experiment.  They would all go out into the woods, find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert it to their religion.
Seven days later, they all came together to discuss their experiences.
Father Torpey, who had his arm in a sling, was on crutches, and had various bandages on his body and limbs, went first.
‘Well,’ he said, ‘I went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I found him, I began to read to him from the Catechism.  Well, that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around.  So I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him and, Holy Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle as a lamb.  The Bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation.’
Reverend Billy Bob the Baptist spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, had one arm and both legs in casts, and had an IV drip.
In his best fire-and-brimstone oratory, he exclaimed, ‘WELL, brothers, you KNOW that we Baptists don’t sprinkle!  I went out and I FOUND me a bear.  And then I began to read to my bear from God’s HOLY WORD!  But that bear wanted nothing to do with me.  So I took HOLD of him and we began to wrestle.  We wrestled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to a creek.  So I quickly DUNKED him and BAPTIZED his hairy soul.  And just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb.  We spent the rest of the day praising Jesus. Hallelujah!
The Priest and the Reverend both looked down at the Rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IVs and monitors running in and out of him.  He was in really bad shape.
The Rabbi looked up and said: “Looking back on it, circumcision may not have been the best way to start.”
Categories: General


January 13, 2015 Leave a comment

My thanks to everyone on the staff of the the CAP in L’Escala, and the ER in Figueras Hospital who dealt so well and so swiftly with the consequences of Eileen’s accident yesterday. Now she has a plaster on her broken foot and will be on crutches until it’s time to go back to Scotland, but compared to last year it’s minor.

Categories: General


January 10, 2015 Leave a comment

Anyone who hasn’t seen it but has the opportunity to watch the replay today’s Australian Big Bash League game should put everything else aside. Tightest finish I’ve ever seen to a game of cricket, and maybe the tightest ever.

Categories: Sport

Machine-gunned in both feet

The BBC (Health warning; it’s Nick Robinson) is reporting that David Cameron is refusing to participate in TV debates during the General Election unless the Green Party is given a place also.

I have two comments to make about that.

One, Cameron is trying to sabotage the debates because it has finally dawned on the simpleton that he has  absolutely nothing to gain from them and everything to lose.

Two, the Green Parties in England and Wales and in Scotland are separate entities, under separate leadership. Since you can bet that DC does not envisage both Natalie Bennett and Patrick Harvie (especially not Patrick Harvie) taking part, his reported stance undermines completely the cosy consensus that has been cobbled together by the Tories, Labour, and Lib Dems to exclude Nicola Sturgeon from the TV line-up.

There are few certainties about May 7, but one is that the SNP will wind up with many more seats than the Greens. In all probability it will form a larger parliamentary bloc than UKIP. Even my fair-minded friends on the No side of the independence question might agree with me that something stinks about the whole proposition.

Categories: Politics


I’ve been following the Ched Evans case, and I can’t help feeling that somewhere the legal process has  got it wrong. There are some professions from which a rape conviction would mean an automatic life ban, but in most it’s left to society to sort out what is acceptable and what is not. The way things stand, Evans is free to pursue employment, but doors are being slammed in his face, largely by potential employers’ commercial sponsors.

That’s fair enough, but should it have been left to them? Couldn’t the sentencing judge have imposed a penalty that included a fixed term ban from working in any profession with or alongside any person under 21? That would have been devious but effective.

Categories: General

Music while I work

Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow – Counting Crows. I’m back in Spain for a few weeks, working, and at the stage where I have a lunch break, then start again. Today’s interval choice as I sat in the sun, (sorry) was the most recent live album by my favourite still-working American band, but here’s how disciplined I was. I only allowed myself the first three tracks.

Categories: General

Snow on the Pyrenees

January 6, 2015 2 comments


Categories: Pics


Watching Jools. What am I missing about Paloma Faith?

Categories: General


Happy New Year, hope mine is as good as yours.

Categories: General