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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

'Tis the season to be jolly!

The Christmas traders are out in force as usual and taking lots of dosh! Why wouldn't they, though? With all that pester power and peer pressure about! We went shopping in Manchester Arndale Centre at the weekend and it was packed. The streets outside were just as busy and the continental markets were doing a roaring trade. The thing I don't like about this time of year is the cold weather - I suppose that's why there are so many seasonal festivities - people perhaps thought them up in times of old to take their minds off the weather.
We haven't started to put up any crimbo stuff yet, we've not bought a tree this year 'cos last Christmas we purchased one with living roots and planted it in the front garden and guess what? Surprise, surprise! It's still alive and its grown a few inches and filled out a bit too. So, in a couple of days I'm going to take my spade and dig it up!
One of the girls who works for Nic is a Vegan and it's often difficult for her to go out to eat as there always seems to be some dairy product or some little meat or fish thing that people offer her. So, I was quite pleased to find out that Uncle Joe's Mint Balls (made in Wigan) are suitable not only for vegetarians but also for Vegans.
Anyway, she asked what we were going to have for Christmas dinner.
And I replied Cold Turkey!
Does it make any difference if it's hot or cold she asked.
Well yes, I answered, It all depends on what you believe.
Of course, I'm virtually a vegan myself - I tell a lie, I'm nearly a vegetarian! It's true, I eat my five lumps of fruit and veg every day and swig four pints of water. I am partial to a nice piece of fish though and the odd bit of chicken or cold turkey, organic, of course! And that's what I mean when I say it depends on what you believe. You see, if I really was a vegetarian, I wouldn't eat fish or meat - I wouldn't eat anything with a face! I wouldn't want to be a pescatarian or an organicarian - I would go the whole hog (pun intended) and grow my own f+g!
Of course, I would need a slogan to make me feel special, something like One mans rust is another mans riches. Perhaps, although I think that is probably just a paraphrase of another earlier saying. However, after the manner of that, I could say: One mans meat is another mass murder! It makes you think, doesn't it? Errm, and it is about time to write down my New Years Resolutions! Excuse me a mo, I'm on the dog 'n bone, "Is that the Butcher's???
Edible underwear has been around for quite a while now, not as long as edible hats but that's a different story.
Edible undies? What a horrible thought! But what a great idea!
Edible Jo Grundy's?
No! I'm talking recycling here.
Hold on a bit, eating your undies, skid marks and all, is recycling! Isn't it?
Okay, I suppose so, but when I say recycling I mean RECYCLING! with a capital E!
Capital E? Don't you mean...
Let me explain! I believe that ALL RETAIL PACKAGING should be EDIBLE!
Is that possible?
Of course it is! They make edible undies, don't they?
You can read my really bad pub-poetry blog SweetTalkingGuy.. clink-the-link-HERE.
Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Way to go...

The usual madness is well underway as we find ourselves in the retailers heaven known as Christmas. The supermarkets are packed at all hours of the day and much of the night too from what I hear. The panic buyers are out in force and the pester power of their offspring is creating a demand for the latest electronic wizardry.
Driving is a nightmare at times too. On Sunday we went to Liverpool, Nic and her Mum and Nic's Brother Steve went to see Echo and The Bunnymen and Jack and I went to the flicks to see Hitman. The Hitman must have killed about 200 people and walked away without a scratch. The stuff of dreams, the essence of movies, pure escapism.
I clicked over to Nic's webpage earlier and she has had it decorated for Christmas. If you would like to see the holly you can clink-the-link-HERE. What happened to the mistletoe I ask you?
You can visit my really bad pub-poetry page but please leave a comment to say how bad you thought it was. Of course if you want some really really bad and I mean veally veally bad poetry, as the Monty Python people might say, you can come over to Wigan on Thursday night to the Crimbo Slam where I'll be performing! It's at the Tudor House Hotel in the town centre and it kicks off at 8pm. Full gig details from
No, not the Christmas pressies, the blog for this week!
However, before I go I must tell you that the December Issue of Nicola Batty's Newsletter Raw Meat is now Online at:
Oh yes, and you can clink-the-links in my sidebar to some of my favorite places on the web! More next week...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

All in a days work...

They say that there's nothing new under the sun - and 'they' may well be right. I've been waiting for the leaves to fall off all the trees in my extended back garden so that I can see the Tower at the end of Deansgate, which is about a mile away from this keyboard. Today, I was finally rewarded, for the first time this winter I can actually see the darn thing. I checked this blog to find out what date the same thing happened last year and found that we're about three weeks late this time. Global warming? Perhaps!
In fact, so little has changed since this time last year, as far as unresolved issues go, that I think I will actually re-post two or three of my little bits an' pieces today, rather than try and rework the same old points of view.
First posted on Saturday November 18 2006
Scraping Skies...
I looked out of Jack's bedroom window today and I saw the Beetham Tower. Nothing unusual in that, if you know Manchester, you'll know that you can see this sky scraper from more places than you can't. The reason I mention it is because, only yesterday I couldn't see it at all. I looked for it yesterday and the day before that, but it wasn't there. You see, it was there really, I just couldn't see it because of the leaves on the trees. However, the last few days have been quite windy and cold at times and enough of the autumn gold things have dropped off the trees to allow me to see the Beetham Tower.
The bottom half of the Beetham Tower is a hotel. And on the twenty third floor, which is sort of halfway up the building, there is a panoramic viewing room. Jack was telling me that when he went to the cinema across the street, in the old Great Nothern Warehouse, he could see a queue of people waiting to be admitted to the Hilton Hotel. How mad is that?Although, I do know that the view is pretty good from up there, because I used to live on the sixteenth floor of a tower a mile or so away in Salford. From my kitchen window, in those days, I could see the Runcorn Bridge, which is thirty five miles up the Manchester Ship Canal. Heady days!
Before I go, I must mention the Penthouse apartment, or whole top floor, I believe in the case of The Beetham Tower, which is occupied by the architect who designed the building. I've read that it's worth in excess of £3,000,000 (yes, that's Three Million British Pounds!) and that he has imported an olive grove of three hundred year old olive trees from Italy and has replanted them in a giant conservatory on the roof of the tower, five hundred and sixty one feet above the Deansgate pavement. The highest residential accomodation in Britain? Go on Tarzan, eat your heart out!
First posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006

I got a bit of stick on a couple of web sites for saying that it was too expensive to go to see City at the new stadium.
I wasn't having a go at City or at City fans and supporters.
Firstly, I am and always will be a City fan.
I may not find myself in a position where I am able to find the money or the time to visit the stadium, so I guess whoever it was that called me an armchair supporter, was right.
I support arm chairs, in fact I wouldn't sit on anything else.
Secondly, because I don't go to the match these days, I can't call my self a City supporter, because I don't support them financially.
I was a season ticket holder for many years at Maine Road.
I stopped going after they made it compulsory to sit down.
The last song I sang at Maine Road was 'You'll never seat the Kippax!'
Yes, my daft poetry blog StraightTalkingStreetTalkingSweet... is at:
First posted on Sunday, November 19, 2006
What really annoys me #2...

As previously promised, I was going to have a moan about bus deregulation, but everybody else seems to have jumped on the bandwagon and put their twopunnce worth in first. So, just to put the record straight I'm going to reprint a little thing I wrote on the subject in 1991 in my publication W N Funzine.
Hi, I'd just like to get a few things off my chest about the 2/8 (two and eight, rhymes with state) of public transport in this country.
Firstly, it is painfully obvious that 'deregulation' didn't work.
Secondly, the 'mini-bus' psychology of certain operators is a retrograde step.
A) Because it makes our streets reminiscent of a Banana Republic.
B) Most of the so called drivers are madmen.
C) These buses don't appear to run to a timetable.
D) They don't go where you want them to.
E) They are uncomfortable.
F) They are difficult to get on and off, with shopping etc.
G) They are driven much too fast.
H) They are reknowned for 'sailing' past bus stops.
I) They always seem to charge different fares.
J) Only the driver is allowed to smoke.
In closing I might add that ALL Third World economies are mini-bus MAD!
Of course there remains a lot left to be said about the state of the nations buses. In Manchester we seem to have reached crisis point. There are two or three big operators and a few other players. Nothing's changed since I wrote the above piece apart from the fact that a lot of the smaller operators have folded. At one time we had the crazy situation of having over seventy bus companies competing for business on our city streets. Now we are back to the near monopoly situation, with private companies in the driving seat (no pun intended) instead of the local councils. Anyway, I'm going to stick a couple of rhymes, on my daft poetry blog, that deal with the bus issue. The first one Buses was also written in 1991.
The second one Bus Degradation was a little later, I think 1992.
Anyhow, to check them out, you can clink the link marked My Poetry.
Or go to or clink on My Poetry Archive in the right hand column of this blog. Better still you can clink this permalink straight to the relevant page.
I must tell you that I'll be performing at The Wigan Christmas Poetry Slam at The Tudor House Hotel in the centre of Wigan by the bus station and a few mins walk from the main line railways. It's at 8pm and it's FREE admission. So, if you're not too square - I'll see you there!
Had enough of this nonsense?
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clink-the-link-to-Raw Meat..