When I worked, which now seems a long time ago, Friday was the end of the working week and the start of the weekend. You looked forward to lie-ins and taking it easy, catching up on jobs around the house, meeting friends and going to the pub. Once you retire fridays are the same as any other day as life is one long weekend. The reason i mention this is that we have had two weeks excellent weather except for the weekends!The two last weekends the weather has been poor and this weekend is forecast to be very cold , snow in some places. So I feel sorry for you workers!!!!!!!

I know not everyone will have heard of A.P. McCoy (tony). He is a British jumps jockey who has been champion for the last 20yrs. He has won 4357 races and has fallen off his horse more than a thousand times breaking most of the bones in his body. He retires this weekend at Sandown park. Anyone who is interested in horses will miss this great champion.

How could a suspected rogue trader living in a small house in Hounslow, London cause absolute chaos on the New York stock-exchange. Apparently his internet connection was faster than those in New York and he disrupted the market with spoof transactions. How can this happen today. The banks and the other financial institutions just cannot be trusted. There have been huge fines handed out to the banks for manipulating exchange rates and  mis-selling financial products on both sides of the Atlantic. It is these people dont have to behave the same way as the rest of us. They think they are above the law.

Did you know that enough Polo mints are produced in one year to give everyone in the UK 114 each. I haven’t had any for ages so somebody else has been getting my share.

Argentinians speak Spanish with a strong Italian accent!

In Washington DC, the Slovakian and Slovenian embassies meet once a month to exchange wrongly addressed mail!

As i said before weather this last or so has been excellent unfortunately the tides have brought in lots of seaweed and dead fish. For some reason dogs love to roll in this mixture. Bruce of course did. The smell was incredible. It took 3 baths to make him tolerable again. Lots of dogs did the same apparently. When the weather is so much warmer it takes a lot longer to walk the dog as we tend to talk more to the other regular dog walkers. When it is bad or cold weather we just tend to mutter hullo and move on quickly.

This refugee situation in the Mediterranean is frightening. They are fleeing wars in Africa and the Middle East. We need to rescue these people where necessary and that is when tghe other problem starts. A lot of the European countries dont want to take them so at the moment Malta and Italy are stuck with them. Europe has to accept some responsibility. We actually caused some of the conflicts the refugees are fleeing from. I include the UK in this, we certainly haven’t taken many people in.

Lastly a poem about whaling     .IN PURSUIT OF GIANTS


It’s a beautiful day. Sun is shining, birds are singing, the sea is nearly blue. A sort of slatey, greyie blue. The North Sea is never a azure blue like the Mediterranean. It is only for the hardier of swimmers and probably only for  about a dozen days a year.. Surfers, (and there is some really good surfing on some of our local beaches) wear wet suits at all times, winter or summer. The North Sea is mainly for fishing and boating on , not really for entering. It is brilliant for watching wild life. Within easy reach of where I live are seal colonies and huge bird sanctuaries on the Farne Isles. Whales , porpoises and dolphins are regular visitors to these shores. I have seen them myself less than a mile out. There is also some of the best diving in the UK off these shores. The point is it is always pretty cold. The beautiful sandy beaches of Northumberland are for bracing walks with dogs not for lying on sunbathing. They are also mainly deserted! They are a secret to the rest of England so please don’t tell anyone about them. we want to keep them to ourselves.

The election squabbling contains unabated. Only about three weeks to go and it will all be over. Then all the successful politicians will go to their club in London, the Houses of Parliament, play their silly games and totally ignore us (the ordinary people)  for five years. The new Government then are safe in the knowledge they have five years to break all their election promises before the next round of lying thro. their back teeth. We are all getting ready to vote for the least worst party and that is those of us who believe we should vote. That is democracy at work in a nut shell!!!!!

Did you know the waste produced at Xmas each year in Britain would fill 400,000 double -decker buses. I didn’t realise we had so many buses! Every time I wait for one it either doesn’t appear or three come at once.

The Persians invented horse-riding and trousers. I wonder which one they invented first?

Due to a computor error in 1989 41,000 Parisians received letters charging them with murder, extortion and prostitution instead of motoring offences. I wonder how they explained the letters to their partners.

The BBC is yet again being criticized  by  the Tories and UKIP for being too left wing. I have never noticed it but do these same people ever read the newspapers. The press is 80% at least right wings. I know the BBC makes mistakes from time to time but it is still a fantastic institution. It is still admired world wide even though there must be thousands of TV and radio channels now. It stands up as a purveyor of unbiased news.

Well I will be going to support my football team Newcastle on Sunday in the hope they might actually win a game soon. In fact scoring the occasional goal would be nice. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I have attached a selection of Haikus. ( Short Japanese poems)     HAIKUS


This week has just been fantastic on the beach. Even though there has been a white frost every morning it has been warm and sunny later. I have worn short sleeves and if it continues like this it will soon be shorts, flip flops and my beard of 14 weeks will be shaved off. There is blossom on the trees and flowers are coming out in the gardens. Spring has sprung. Ok I’m not getting too carried away it is still early and we have had snow and storms much later than this. But have you noticed when the sun shines people are happier and speak to each other much more readily.

So we are talking about renewing our submarines that carry nuclear weapons. 20 billion pound for 4 submarines and a running cost of 2.4 billion per annum. Our independent system which depends on the USA satelite system. Its just silly money. If just one missile is fired, no matter by whom, the rest are automatically geared to respond. And we will all be dead at the same time. What I did not know is how few submarines there are now. USA has 14, Russia 11, and UK 4, France 4 and China 4. That’s it.

I see Barry Manilow is getting married to his male manager. He is not officially gay ( apparently his female fans would not be happy) but it is a reasonable clue to his sexual orientation. He has the same birthday as me, 17th June , but he is a year older and I ‘m not gay.

Oil has been discovered under the South of England this week. There is as much as there was in the North Sea they estimate. Pity it is under Surrey and Sussex. There will be no chance of planning permissions being granted there. If it was in the North of England yes, but not the South. Unless of course they can build a long tunnel so they can bring up in the North without causing any disruption down south!!!!!!!

The lyrics of American Pie by Don McLean have been sold this week for 800,000 dollars. Apparently people thought it would explain some of the obscure meanings but it doesn’t and Don isn’t letting on.

Did you know Tutankhamun was the only ancient Egyptian who was mummified with an erect penis!. Also his his parents were brother and sister.

Chessington Zoo near London has banned people wearing animal print onesies to stop the animals there getting confused.

One of my heros died yesterday, probably one of the most famous Australians of all time. Richie Benaud. For those of you who don’t know he was a cricketer who captained his country and became the top commentator on the sport for 40 odd years. He was a trained journalist and wrote several books. Because of his training he made every word count. Very sad. He was 84, lived life to the full. He also loved golf and horseracing and drove and crashed his MG sports car last year. He died of skin cancer , something the Austalians are now paranoid about.

I hope you like this weeks poem     THE RIVER


It’s here again, Friday and a bank holiday so invariably it’s raining. That’s England at it’s best. Cold wet and windy. Walking on the beach has been an effort this week. Sunny at times to be fair but a very cold wind. We haven’t had a bad winter on the North-East coast this year but it has now be cold for about the last few weeks. we have had white frosts , squally showers of hail and sleet an icy winds. Not a bad winter but it now seems to be going on and on. I’m just waiting for better weather so I can wear shorts and flip flops and shave off the beard I have grown over the last few months. I’m not really a beard person . I’m looking forward to shaving it off as soon as it gets warmer. And I need warmer weather to sow seeds in the garden when the frosts have gone and mend the fence that was blown down in recent gales.

I’m pretty fed up of politics already and it’s still several weeks before the election. It is a time of calling the other parties, blaming them for what has happened in the past. A time of lying, contradiction, different interpretations of the same statistics, posturing, acting, etc BUt none of them seem to understand people would like to be told the truth. This apparently is impossible for politicians.

Enough of that. Did you know sleeping on your stomach is the most likely position to produce erotic dreams, which is very sad for duck-billed platypuses as they apparently do not have stomachs!

Blind people are four times more likely to have nightmares than sighted people.!

I read somewhere this week that people could live to 500 years old soon but the spooky thing is that they might have already been born. I frightened my daughter recently as did one of those life expectancy surveys on Facebook. I told her I was expected to live until I’m 112 years ago. I did cheat a bit by saying I didn’t drink, abuse myself in any way, be nice to everybody, not lose my temper, not get excited, eat exactly what you are supposed to etc. Well I didn’t really want to know I was going to die soon did I ? The reason my daughter was worried was she didn’t want to be too old to enjoy her inheritance!!!! But I have told her I’ve made two wills. She gets everything if she treats me nicely but if she doesn’t everything goes to retired race horses. I’m just being careful in case she tries to bump me off!!

Talking of death I’m thinking of being buried at sea to save space on land. Or I will be cremated in a cardboard box and my ashes scattered at sea. I’ve chosen my music, Bob Dylan’s version of Knocking on Heaven’s Door and Always look on the Brightside of Life by Monty Python. I expect to go to Hell as I think Heaven would be too boring. Can you imagine everyone being nice to each other all the time and not having a good argument or heated discussion from time to time. So it’s Hell or possibly purgatory for me.

Miserable poem attached in line with the crap weather      Monologue for a miner