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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wise words...

Honest, I met this bloke down the pub the other day and he was a ringer for Gordon Brown. I asked him what he was going to do when he became Prime Minister? And, do you know what he said, he said: "I'm going to scrap income tax!" I suppose you could call it the 'sit' campaign, or better still 'The sit in the pub all day and dream up daft ideas campaign!' Which would of course really be 'The sit pad ad up i' campaign.
What do I know? Not a lot, these days, it would appear. But life/things go on and nothing stays the same for long. Take the weather! Yes, honestly, you can have it, take it away - take it back to your neck of the woods, I/we don't want it. This is meant to be summer but all we seem to get these last few days/weeks in this town is RAIN! However, the rain is a sort of blessing in disguise, because I'm doing jobs around the house at present - a little decorating - fixing - repairing stuff - decluttering - etc. and if it was sunny outside, I'd be really mad, at missing it!
I'm a terrible shopper, so I appologise in advance to shopkeepers everywhere. I usually take/make about three trips to the shops before I make a purchase. You see, my problem is, that the shops don't stock the things I want/need. So, shopping becomes a compromise, I usually end up buying something that will do the job - but not the product I was looking for. Mops! for example, I need really good quality mops and buckets to keep my bathroom floor the way I want it. I already have a professional mop bucket with a lever to squeeze the mop - but I don't like it because even though it wrings out pretty well - it mixes the dirty water back into the clean water - so you end up washing the floor with smelly water. So, I bought one of those buckets with a divider - clean water in one side - dirty wrung out smelly water in the other side. Great idea, but the actual wringer bit thingy that comes/came with it is detachable/loseable and yes if I'm honest, it's lost. But I still use the divider bucket with one of those magic mops that are like a sponge on a stick with a squashy lever that wrings the sponge bone dry. But when we went camping in Norfolk recently, I came across the most fantastic mop bucket - however, the only thing I can tell you about it is it was red and it had a really deep wringer thingy that fantastically wrang out the mop. I want one - but of course nobody sells them - the shop keepers think I'm stupid - I'm wasting their time. I'm MYSTIFIED!
Well, it has to be Martin Amis this week after mentioning him last time. Yes another writer and a prolific one at that. You can clink the link to the Martin Amis web site.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hot and cold...

Well, that's what's forecast for tomorrow anyway. It makes you wonder about all this talk of global warming sometimes. The weather here has been nice, some days, but not others. In fact if you were to ask the proverbial man in the street about the weather he would say, it's back to normal. Normal in these parts means rain!
The comedian Bernard Manning is dead! He died this week in a North Manchester hospital, close to his home, aged seventy six.
25/8 UPDATE...
Last week I mooted 'Move it to Manchester' and guess what? Writer and shared birthday fellow Martin Amis, I just read in the local paper, is moving to Manchester to lecture at the University! How quick was that?
I don't think I've had a footballer (soccer player) sharing a birthday with me before, but this week I'm going to feature Dutch International and ex Man City goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus, remember him? Well, he only played a couple of games for City, in the league cup and none in the league before moving on to Rangers of Glasgow. I believe he is playing out his career in the United States these days but he is getting on a bit now in footballing terms, being born on 25/8/1970. Most of the stuff on the web about him is in Dutch or current stuff from America, so I'll give you a simple English link to clink - clink the link.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Back on track! ...

Well it's back to normal after a couple of hairy scary weeks! Well, nearly! When I say normal, I really mean EXCITING! I mean, it is isn't it? To think that I'm sitting here and you're sitting there in your comfortable chair and you're reading what I'm writing. How normal's that? Anyway, on with the blog! First off, apologies to all those people who clinked this link the last couple of weeks and came up empty. You may have noticed the sub heading now says: Nearly Every Tuesday as that is more accurate than the previous one. So, nearly, nearly? No, not really!
25/8/1956 MATT AITKEN
This week in this section of this blog. Songwriter Matt Aitken of Scott, Aitken + Waterman fame, was born on my birthday in the year 1956. You can clink the link to find out more about him, but you might have to do a google search yourself - try the Scott, Aitken + Waterman site. Anyway, if you share my birthday - August 25 you can write in and let me know! And I'll give you a BIG write-up!
This is not really a political blog, although I do get on me pulpit sometimes. So, I'm just going to suggest a couple of little things for anybody else who wants to run with the ball, so to speak. The first one is: Move It To Manchester! If you've got a business or a great business idea/plan, then where better to develop it than this fair city? Move it to Manchester - you won't be sorry! The second thing I wanted to say was: SIT! Scrap Income Tax! Imagine that? Well it could be a reality, I have it on good authority that the powers that be are considering just that. However, it won't be such a bonus as you might think - 'cos they also have big plans to increase sales tax and VAT and to introduce a local sales tax.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Fast Forward...

I was reading in the local paper a letter from a guy proposing a Monorail system for Manchester. Great idea! We can apply for it, there's nothing to stop us from dreaming that one day the powers that be will wake up and actually fund a reliable public transport alternative for this city region. City what? City region, I said, notice how you start to pick up the political speak when you start dabbling in transportation issues! (transportation? how American sounding is that?) Anyway, a monorail right down the middle of Princess Parkway/road from the Airport to Manchester Central (formerly G-Mex, originally Central Station) would be a good start. Of course it doesn't have to be a monorail, it could be a Metrolink tram, or a dedicated busway, or just a couple of bendy-buses, of course if we/they were really adventurous we/they could dig up the old street tram lines which are still buried under the central reservation and save us all a few bob!
Seriously though, this congestion charge nonsense is way out of control - It's a political thing and nothing you or I can say about the matter will make an ounce of difference. Nobody I know wants it, that's about all I can say, if you want to pay an extra grand a year or more to drive into this city at the peak period then write in and let me know, please! Because what the political odd bods don't/won't tell you is that sticking an extra/unfair road charge/tax on the people of Greater Manchester is only the beginning. Yes, this is to be the testing ground for the provinces and if people are daft enough to pay the charge here then they (central government/every local authority) will soon introduce the same thing to your neck of the woods. So, if for instance you work in Manchester and live in Liverpool you will quite likely need to pay not one congestion charge but two or three. You see, Liverpool will charge you because you live there, Manchester will charge you because you work there and of course Warrington will have to charge you for driving through their borough twice a day during the rush hour. By the time all this happens (in a couple of weeks?) there'll be a toll on the Motorway as well, so driving out of Manchester you'll have to pay the M602 toll then the M62 toll and if you use the M56 and M60 you'll need to pay their tolls too. Don't toll booths cause congestion?
Of course the real solution to all of our problems transport wise in the Manchester area is to re-instate the railways. Doesn't it make you mad driving round this city and seeing all those dismantled railway lines. The Victorians had the right idea, the roads were clogged up with horse and carts but no-one was bothered because they were all on the train! The trouble is, these days the train tracks have been dismantled and even where we have nice train lines we don't have any blooming stations! Mad? It gets madder! Take Wythenshawe for instance, a third of the population of the whole of the city of Manchester lives in Wythenshawe and there's not even a direct bus service to the city centre (more about that later!) There is however, a nice railway line that runs right through the middle of Wythenshawe, but there are no stations on it. The said railway line or should that be sad railway line links up with the metrolink interchange at Altrincham and runs through Stockport to Manchester Piccadilly in the opposite direction. It also crosses a couple of other strategic routes where interchange stations could be created, not least, the airport line.
Well, things have gone weird again on the web. This computer is running really slow and in general things aren't the way they should be. Weird Web! I had to miss posting to this and other blogs last Tuesday and today, I've tried changing the heading from every Tuesday to nearly every Tuesday but so far it still reads every Tuesday. Hopefully by the time you actually read this posting I'll have got it right.