Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Nanny's mouthpiece does her bidding...again...

Roused again from the fumes of my Burgundy induced stupor (Actually, I'm at work, but one can dream) I am yet again riled into saying something.
Devil's Kitchen got here fairly early - check his view here .

Now what gets my goat is this......not only is the convenient crisis timed to hit us at Christmas (yes I am as cynical as you) but let's look at some of the coincidences, shall we Chaps?

1. It comes out at Christmas,
2. It is timed with the BBC's 'No Home' Season,
3. It is timed with a demand for a wodge of further public spending from Gordo Broon,
4. The cross media branding cogs together like a well-oiled Campbell machine.

Not only has it all been trailed and cross media-ed across radio and telly, but they wheel out that odious leftie Ken Loach to drone on the Today programme about how good it was when we had a command economy: We dug coal nobody wanted, ran empty trains and built shit cars no one could sell - purely to provide jobs to wheezing old commies like him. Handy he was available at short notice.....
No doubt Nanny will leap in and tell us she is going to spend some of our pocket money on this.

So one wonders - is Nanny up to her tricks again? IE: She creates a problem, gets us worried, then says she is fixing it, so we feel more comfortable clinging to her skirts?
Except this time - her mouthpiece is Shelter and Auntie Beeb is doing her vile bidding.

Interestingly, 21% of Shelter's income comes from Nanny.

So ironing out these wrinkles: Nanny funded charity calls crisis, via Nanny mouthpiece, calling on said Nanny to do something. Should we be surprised if there is another 'eye catching initiative' coming out from Nanny soon?

On that note, I shall return to my slumber dear reader. And I shall continue chronicling my Invasion of France soon.

Oh, and Ken, if you are reading this can I suggest you stick to making telly programmes rather than thinking you can tell us who work for a living about your vision of an economic utopia soviet style? It is abundantly clear, that in your case, as with most dimwits and window lickers, that being well-known is not the same as all-knowing. You obviously know squat about economics.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

French Chap

There is more between us and France than the English Channel.

A dilemma.....

As my time for jetting to the Colonies in the realms of the New Zealand draws closer, I am aware that my time on here is getting more limited.... therefore, dear reader - time for you to decide. Vote! Vote! Vote!

What should I talk about next?
Waffle on about bamboozling the French?
Go on about my trip to the South Seas to lord it up over the Colonials?
Slink off to the Gents with a copy of the South China Morning Post? free polls

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What a chap does on his Holidays is entirely between him, the Gendarmes and a 1000 Turkish whores.

Communiqué Number One.

Dear Reader,
I have promised you tales from my invasion of France, and tales I shall present.

As you know, Nanny thinks it is better for us not to choose whether not to drink ourselves to death, or do anything like that, but she feels we should be disincentivised by her placing a ruinous tithe upon that which a Chap craves. To whit - Fine virginian rub, Excellent Burgundy and other comestibles which intoxicate, soothe or enlighten one. In fact, she is so stern about what a Chap chooses to do to himself that some of the more colourful tinctures of enlightenment she seeks to prevent us from having at all! Obviously we are not to be trusted with our own lives, and cannot think for ourselves. But enough of my Anarcho-dandyist libertarianism.

A while ago myself and co-conspirator decided that we were to wipe the eye of Nanny (again!) and smuggle ourselves onto the continent, befriend some of the locals, get them to part with their finest wines, cheeses and patés and repair at once to home, under the very nose of the revenue men! Whence home at the 'winehead' we were to split our booty and go home to communue with the swag.

The rest of the tale shall be split into a number of sections to keep it simple, and to stop me spending all day on here and try and be productive at my personal hamster wheel.

Wednesday 8th November 20.00 GMT B(Booze)-Day -1
Arrived at Base camp 1 (Baghsot) and prepared for an extremely early start in the time honoured fashion. Four pints of local ale and a bottle of Fixin Clos Napoleon Premier Cru, plus an oversized dinner each to prepare us for the joys ahead.

Thursday 9th November 02.45 GMT B-Day.
Rose at an hour appointed for those enslaved in 'trades' and clomb aboard the chariot for the frontier. A flask of Earl Grey, a flask of weapons grade coffee and two rounds of parsnip sandwiches were to be our companions as we crept across the south to our secret rendezvous.
Co-conspirator had arranged with a sympathetic French boatman, based at a quaint fishing port to be our carrier across the chops of the channel.

A quaint fishing port, yesterday.

Imagine my horror when I discovered that we were actually to board one of the ghastly contraptions above. Stuck on a ferry with the underwashed! Still, we get to watch the Chavs being sea-sick. Nature knows best.
Despite all this, the chaps here seem terribly well organised, and instead of lurking on some dingy quayside awaiting a darkened lamp from a furtive sea-dog - an engaging and comely young lady in a flourescent jacket seemed only too willing to help us, and even gave us a ticket for these contrivances. She then asked if we were going to France to purchase alcohol - with a conspiratorial wink. She even went on tell us how much we can 'get away with' under the noses of the revenue types. Worringly, though, she did seem to dwell on how many cans of lager we could carry, and knew nothing of a suitable apothecary to purchase laudanum.

It would appear that these coves are entirely complicit in spiriting enterprising young types such as us into France, leaving me with a sense of satisfaction and the knowledge that we wouldn't have to slip past the revenue cutters lurking off the downs.

Thursday 9th November 0515 GMT B-Day
We board the ferry. To our surprise, not a white van man in sight. However, there are a large number of Eastern European Truck Drivers, in identical shell suits, clutching small hold-alls and twirling their 'tasches nervously. They appear to be straight out of central casting. Nothing on the boat was open, including the drivers' lounge, so these sinister looking coves were left to stump about the deck glaring at everyone. I find a corner of comfort, and let morpheus drape his soothing cloak.

To Be Continued...................

Monday, November 20, 2006

Nanny is not pleased with us

Thanks to Guido, I spotted this, and a number of others are as well - Rachel, Iain Dale etc. (Oh the Blogsphere!). Check it out here

Seems Nanny is not pleased with us Chaps. Normally this would involves some stern words, and if we are lucky a little bit of light discipline....
No, Nanny's outgoing uberwonk doesn't like us bloggy types running his lot down. (Truth hurts, eh, old boy?)

So not only does Nanny want to run our lives, but she wants to control what we say amongst ourselves, lest we stir up and see things differently to the way she wants us to.

I do see his logic. If we can't say bad things about Nanny, then we will all think everything is perfect. In the same way that ghastly Bean Counter at No.11 keeps telling us we are living in paradise, so hand over more of our hard earned treasure.
No doubt, we would all be happier bloggers if we sent our entries through his machinery to make sure we are singing the praises of the workers utopia we find ourselves in?

It all sounds frightfully Soviet. It will be the wonders of productivity at Scottish tractor factories next. (As opposed to wonders of productivity of Scottish talking shop legislature machines)

I'm not easily riled, and more often than not see life through a dreamy haze of pipe tobacco and the fumes of fine Burgundy, but come on - what next? You are trying to control the seas around us, the air above our heads, and now the very thoughts in our heads. My dear old Granddad wasn't torpedoed three times so that blaggards like you could tell me what to think and say.

Normally us chaps simply stand for decent tailoring and the gentlemanly pursuits of sloth, intoxication and indulging our whims and muses. But as more and more of us pick up on this shocking behaviour and jot down our vitriolic scribblings is it just possible the national concsiousness might change?

Does this mean we are part of a movement?

How terribly 1968!

It sounds like the sort of movement a Chap can relate to - none of this mucking about with those vulgar marches, carrying crudely fashioned placards and all that hanging around trafalgar square waiting for Tony Benn to show up and ruin things.

No, This movement involves complete sedentary behaviour, and pouring one's bile from the comfort of the armchair. I applaud it, and I am personally delighted that even a minnow like me is a part of such a thing.

That nincompoop has made me clean forget my holiday dear reader. I shall return soon with tales of Burgundy - or 'How to get a French Cove to buy me a drink'. I promise.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Before I tell all about my holiday...

I was at my aerodrome the other day and I chanced upon some information in the industry press regarding what those blighters in Whitehall were intending to do my noble sport.

As you know (or maybe you don't) Gliding is not controlled by a Nannyist bureaucracy enforcing pages of health and safety legislation in every corner of it's world - as powered flying does - no, the British Gliding Association runs the show instead.

Now, Nanny wants us to fit heavy electrical equipment to our delicate little aeroplanes so that the sinister coves at 'Air Traffic Control' can see us when we pootle about the skies.

Or that's what they are telling us.

As you know, us Chaps are not given to taking what Nanny says without some cynicism, but we are not the types in tinfoil beanies. However, why should ATC want to see me fluttering about below controlled airspace at all?

I shan't go in to all the wonkery they lay forth. However, there is another reason.

Remotely Piloted Vehicles.

If we are invisible to ATC radar, then the RPVs Nanny wants to be in the sky can't see us, and consequently can't operate.

Why should Nanny want these things - more used to droning above the skies of battle fields in frightful places where Chaps take to shooting one another?

The answer is simple: To spy on us............Oh, they will tell us we need it for 'security' in the same way apparently telling Nanny who I am when they know perfectly well who I am, and criminalising my natural reluctance to do so - makes me somehow 'safer'.
No - these blasted objects are there to spy on decent honest chaps like me, engaging in moderate speeding on the highways, jumping the odd red light, and scuttling off to the chap who lives on the estate who provides me with relaxing cultural cigarettes.

You can bet it won't be used to track proper criminals, as it will infringe their human rights.

A humble Chap like me is not the sort to start a movement, as there is one running already. I have decided to take my own stand instead, and purchased the item below from B+Q. (Ghastly place it is though.) I think it will look good on the roof and I intend to loose it off at the first RPV I see. That'll teach 'em.

Available at most larger branches £1.2 million a shot. 10% discount on bulk orders, matches, guidance radar and liquid oxygen not provided.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Back in Blighty

Sorry - been off the wire for the weekend. I have kept copious notes about the Chappist invasion of France. Lots more to follow. Unfortunately the expedition involved me being away from my hamster wheel in the office for two days. I have now got shitloads to do, so give me a few days and I shall post up the results of our antics, dear reader(s).

Needless to say objective has been achieved, and myself and co-conspirator are happy chappies with the volume and quality of the swag.

I must really suss out how to post up pictures.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Is anyone out there?

I know that I have one or two regular readers.

Which is nice.

However, I need to know that I am among fellow travellers.....

Time to put a couple of theories to the test. Have a shufti, and see if you fulfill the criteria of being a chap .

Let me know how you get along.

This time tomorrow...

A scant day lies between me and hurtling across the French countryside. Unfortunately, I have been a bit of hamster.
Unpleasant as it is, this chap still has to slave away at a desk to scrape together the funds to enjoy the lifestyle to which One has become appointed. Hence my mused scribblings have been absent.
Even more unfortunate, I appear to have acquired an infection of a respiratory mucoid type. I fear for my tastebuds.
Co-conspirator is normally a fair to middle judge of the grape. Under normal circumstances he could be relied upon to assist with the selection of the finer bottles.

However - he recently moved to Bagshot. He judgment and wits are clearly on the wane.

More News (followed by Sports and Weather) later. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A road trip beckons

Arch conspirator and Burgundy loving chum came over at the weekend, bringing his girlfriend and an apple and blackberry crumble as well. (Both good with custard, he advises) We consumed Donald for luncheon washed down with some cracking Beaune, and I over-catered on the parsnips.

He is a good old chum, and we tend to encourage the more extreme chappish behaviours in one another, much to his girlfriend's consternation.

We are in the final throes of planning our annual road trip to 'Our Chap In Burgundy'.

'How now what's that?' asks you, dear reader?

Well, I have a taste for Burgundy. It is IMHO the king of wine. Over the last 8 years we have been thundering down the autoroutes in ever larger cars to stockpile quantities of improving wine from the same vineyard tucked in the golden slopes of the Cote D'Or. The family there make some of the most fantastic reds, and very good whites. His Gevery Chambertin is some of the finest I have tasted.
(Not telling you who he is either)

Each year, we vary our trip with diversions to Sancerre, Chablis or more recently the Rhone.
Each year our behaviour becomes slightly more extreme in our indulgences and generally chappy behaviour.
We would do it in an old Healy with a wicker basket and clothed in stout tweeds, if we could carry the requisite volumes of the grape back to blighty.
We take his Large Company Car instead. So what we lack in outward style, we replace with Panache and attitude.

The planning process is based entirely on empirical methods. After enjoying a bottle of fleurie a few weeks ago, we decided we really ought to give Beaujolais a go. We got out a map, prodded it a few times with the end of the Old Briar, and a plot was hatched.

And now the appointed time is almost upon us!

We shall rise at an hour reserved for the chap who delivers milk, and board a ferry with hordes of the underwashed and overscented. (The days of the airbridge to Le Touquet are sadly gone).

Actually both of us being yachties means we rather enjoy the nautical interlude. We get to behold the sun rise over the Dover straits, inhale the salt air and savour the delights of watching 300 chavs getting seasick. Nature knows best, eh?

And South we go!
Not for us the unmitigated continental horrors of French motorway cuisine.
Earl Grey tea, Boiled eggs, Parsnip Sandwiches and Pork Pies shall be our fare. The one sop to the continent shall be the brussel sprout pate we have prepared to dunk our sandwiches in. There are also some emergency hob-nobs mouldering in the glove compartment should the gallic excesses need curbing.
Normal road trip rules apply - we stop according to the needs of the strongest bladder alone and falling asleep at the wheel is a sign of weakness and a Lack Of Moral Fibre.

We also have a diet of Unabridged Patrick O'Brian on audio book to absorb all the way there. (14 CD's of impenetrable 19th Century Nautical Jargon! Joy!)

In a mere ten hours, we shall pull up at the Inn in Beaujolais and demand some devilled kidneys, a bottle of Sillery some hot tea and a scullery girl to light our cheroots.
With luck, they may even understand what the devil we are going on about.
Fortunately co-conspirator croaks the lingo, so we may get something approaching decent service and food they have not spat in.

I shall keep the blog going dear reader, and hope to post to you via the interweb in some rustic corner of La France. That is if the local welcoming committee haven't wheeled out the guillotine and decided to serve us out with their equivalent of 'Care in the Community'.

A solitary pursuit

Regular readers (both of you) will know that I am a complex beast of contradictory pleasures - as any modern anarcho-dandy should be. I love the smell of hot oil and petroleum fumes as any sound fellow should, but there are times when it is more leisurely to draw one's entertainment with out resorting to lining the pockets of the temples of mammon herself - the purveyors of petroleum spirit. In an ideal world, petroleum would be preserved to the manufacture of the finest nylon stockings, and not used to power motor cars with excessive aerodynamic additions, extra loud exhausts, neon lighting and the like. (Neon should be strictly the preserve of the windows of the more exclusive gentleman's establishments where affections are to be negotiated).

I digress.

Saturday was a day of gentlemanly flying.
Not cramming oneself into a hideous tube filled with underwashed and overscented individuals purchasing scratch cards with the change of the pound coins they used to acquire the flight - but taking to the firmament alone and learning the noble art of soaring.

However, despite the truest assertion - that a sound character and some stout brogues will allow a chap to achieve anything - this one has much to acquire in the way of skills in this craft.

A couple of flights with an instructor served me out. A much humbler chap landed - chastened in the way of the air - as the noble artisan who sought to teach me had showed.
So I skulked off to our airfield bus to seek solace in some Virginian tobacco, a contemplation of one's own limitations, and to stare at the indigo sky - beholding the mystery of the craft I sought to learn.

Instructor fellow was having none of it. I was to keep going, and I was presented with the next craft I was to fly. She was a single seater. Solo again!
I beheld the craft with some trepidation. She was small, impossibly light, and in my chastened state, must confess to be concerned as to my ability to direct such a contraption without a sudden and painful end to proceedings.
Now - I must say I have been looking forward to flying such a machine. With these modern times, the opportunity for chap as oneself to get airborne and bang off a few rounds at Jerry in his Sopwith are slightly restricted. Needless to say, he is our friend now, and fashions rather good motor cars. We are not even allowed to take a pot shot at the French, or Johnny American.
No, the closest a Chap can get to such sublime delights is to take to the air and contemplate the mysteries of the skies alone in a glider. (Suffice to say one can make rather good machine gun sound at pigeons that pass your route, but it is hardly the same)
So I clomb into the cockpit of this machine, with parachute aback and proceeded to start my routine.

I shall not bore you with the technicalities nor the details of my short flight. I shall merely indicate that the blighter was faster than I thought, and I shot skyward at such a rate, I was pleased to wearing my brown hunting tweeds.
I was pleased to report that this and the subsequent flight went without incident.

Now - you may be wondering why a modern Chap - who would normally avoid such taxing ways of spending one time away from spanking mammon - should not only expose himself to such risk, but to have to learn such technicalities involved with the aeronautical pursuits at all?

An adventurous chap needs a muse - an outlet.
What finer muse than the skies above and the patchwork of Merrie Englande in her autumnal glory below?
I am denied the pleasure of sailing at the moment, for the yacht lies idle for want of crew to haul the sails, serve gin and salute their captain - so solitary pursuits beckon.
Also - the skill alone gives a certain masterly look to a chap's eye - which I am assured by The Current Prospective Miss Chap would be offset by a suitable uniform (A soul clearly as degenerate as mine.) I should avoid such suggestions. Wouldn't want to look like a chauffeur.

PS: It is rather good fun. See previous posts re: sex.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Skiing to Handbags to Envirofascists and back to handbags - in a way

Why is organising a ski trip like herding cats?
Just as soon as I think we are close to actually nailing something down, one of the extended group want's something different. What am I? A bloody travel agent?
I know I like organising things for my friends, but there are times when I wonder if I should bother.
Still - I fear it could be nailed down soon!

I had asked my particular friend if she would like to come along, but we now think that on reflection it could be a little soon - we are have barely started seeing each other, it is months away and we have both got a lot of travelling to do. I'm in New Zealand, and she's in Chile.

Speaking of my particular friend she wants to have a rant about handbags, and wants a forum. Bit like a rather interesting rant about shoes and lazy journalism had by another blogger in interwebland. (I really need to learn how to do links - but I have a day job - but it is in technology (there's an irony) can someone show me an easy and quick way so to do? I will be v.grateful)

So Em - here's your forum, rant away!
I will say they seem to be getting bigger and bigger. Soon they will have wheels on them. Speaking of which - I saw one website selling those sort of granny trollies with wheels - like my nan used to go to the greengrocers with but this trolley had a trendy red monochrome flower print on it. Did any one actually buy one? (Those trollies) I don't know.

You know, my nan used to walk to the greengrocers - dragging this little tartan trollie thing, and buy just enough veg for my granddad for a couple of days - and took them home in environmentally brown paper bags. And all this before the envirofascists were telling us this is all we should do. She did this not as a lifestyle choice or the government wanted to tax her more but because they could never afford a car.

Pithy quote of the day - I would hat-tip it, but I can't remember who said it so I can't attribute it:
How come we put man on the moon before worked out we could put wheels on cases?
Pah! Consultant's handbags! Still they are useful when you travel on work (as any fule kno), and you need to perch your laptop…..chiz chiz chiz…..

Today Programme

I'm no media whore, but I was delighted to hear Stourton and Montague getting flumoxed on today by chap sending morse code. I can't do morse, but it was rather nice to hear them trying to interrupt the morse code chap, and failing.
We could do with more of his type in the broadcast media, and less of theirs.
More of people who do things with their lives rather than sitting around and sneering at those who do.

Morse code man - You may have an anorak, a flask of weak lemon drink and a note pad with what I suspect are train numbers on it - but you are cool in my books.

From one anorak to another, I salute you.

Still - I couldn't help think of Tony Hancock's Radio Ham……..

Is Flying better than sex?

What a glorious, glorious morning. I love this time of year more than any other. Well, I actually like cold frosty and sunny mornings. As I was driving to work, I was listening to my Hernan Cattaneo CD, (when I have worked out links, I will send you dear reader to his webby - his mixing is a joy - I reckon he is as good, if not better than the old masters Sasha and John Digweed) and beholding the rainbow iridescence of the really high ice clouds in the inky blue sky.
All I want to do in weather like this is be outdoors, either sailing or flying. A shortage of crew (as ever) means that I shall instead be flying tomorrow, instead of communing with the Solent.
There isn't much energy in the sun at this time of year, so I doubt I will be soaring (plus I have only just gone solo - so I am still learning how to centre in thermals and find lift)
I am desperately looking forward to it - it is almost as good, and sometimes better than sex. The fact is that gliding, is however, a largely solo activity, so in some ways it is like an awful lot of sex that an awful lot of (ab)users of the electric interweb get.
The difference between Gliding and Sex though is one of opposites. Learning to Glide is a dual activity, and when have developed the skills of coordination and air-awareness you get to go solo. Sex starts as a solo activity, and if you are lucky, good looking or rich, you get some dual control action. The two disciplines diverge here. When you go solo in a glider, you use everything you learned when you were two up. I am not sure there are transferable skills for the other activity.
There is an obvious gag about joysticks and cockpits, but I shan't make it.

Chap Sticks - where two's company and three's a readership. Hat tip to Max Headroom for that gag.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

First Musings

Always a bit tricky as to where to start these things, getting the ball rolling as it were.
I don't want to drift into meaningless domestic trivia like hassles with my boiler or new needles for my decks - nor do I presume to be a weighty commentator on matters of state.

But there is a great deal that intrigues me about the blogsphere.....

Firstly - there is a real libertarian-free-speech-access-to-democracy kind of feel to it still. Remember the days of the really early internet - how we all felt part of a global online community as yet untarnished by mammon? (I'm not saying that the commercialisation of the internet was a bad thing...I'm just saying it changed it) The fact that there are bloggers in countries with desperately repressive regimes able to access the right to free speech (now matter how odious that speech may be) I think gives me a good reason for once to be a part of this phenomenon. I'm not saying it is a movement in an 'Alice's restaurant burn your draft card kinda movement' (showing me age there chaps) but it is I think on the whole a good thing. Is it a killer application? (E.G: Email or EBay? Time shall judge).

Secondly - and I think it is a contributing factor to the first point in ways too numerous to expound - this is an anonymous media - in the way that much of the internet is. This creates a social reaction that I think is unique to the Interweb. Much of what is odd / unique about how a lot of people communicate via the interweb is that this anonymity allows them to either create false persona or characters (Bad) or - more intriguingly - to allow facets of the views / beliefs / personality to be reflected without fear nor favour of ridicule of their peers, colleagues or society in general. In interwebland you can be who want to be and say what you want to say. Now, provided you do that with the unwritten rules of interweb land - ie: maximum respect for other's privacy, rights, freedom of speech and moreover - their right to be who they are without prejudice and who you are is not judged by a free society to require removal or restraint in free society - then you have the right for you and your views to be respected.

I have been an interweb user for a while, and this is a recurring theme. And one that is positive, and hopefully I will explore as the weeks wear on.

Back to why I am here.

I thought it would be good to participate and I reckon I have something to say. Plus a good 'friend' said I was funny and should do it. I wanted a snog off her, so I wasn't going to argue.

So - to home, and to see where my muse shall take me...... Intelligent erudition and sparking wit... or the sordid ravings of one mired in hades. Let's see what a half decent bottle of burgundy, plenty of fine cheese and exposure to more exotic corners of my imagination does for the old cogs.
Phew getting started. Can't believe I am having to dust off my HTML. Gawblimey guvnor. Does everyone have to do this sort of thing?

Hey ho so much for thrilling content. I had better do some work. Get back to the real world and give me something to rant about.
So I have at last started my own blog. This will be the place for my daily ravings, rants, and musings on the world today from the perspective of a modern day decadent gentleman - a 'Chap' if you will. (Hat-tip to Vic and Gustav at the chap magazine)
As the days and weeks progress I am sure a theme and structure will develop - and with luck someone will actually read this.

I invite comment, argument and discussion, but I will moderate them. But please, keep it bilious, controversial, political or left-field.