It’s good that, with very little else to do (I mean, literally, as they’ve run out of policies and are now just working towards next year’s election), the Government has managed to generate a little bit of a scare – admittedly helped along in fricking spades by the media – about the Ebola thing by having a meeting about the UK’s preparedness when it comes to flesh-eating diseases that almost certainly result in death.

Realistically, the chances of Ebola finding its way over here are slim anyway and has been pointed out there are various safeguards in place which, while not there for Ebola, would serve to sort everything out just fine anyway.

But the thing is, when you’re assessing the UK’s readiness for anything, you’ve got to take one thing into account.

We can’t even cope with weather. Sun, we go to pieces and all skive off work – not only that, but we have to be issued with strict guidelines as to what we should do in the event of heat, lest we all die. Rain, everything floods. And snow? Well, a bit of snow and we are buggered. The whole country grinds to a halt. If someone with Ebola nipped in to the country during the winter we’d be absolutely screwed. I mean, chances are they wouldn’t infect anyone as they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere due to the snow, but it’s still a risk.

And, of course, this meeting of the minds, led by Cameron, is held during the Commonwealth games so we can now all watch the various events and wonder if anyone from the African nations has brought over any Ebola. One of the cyclists, I think, has been held in quarantine for four days. Which, I think you’ll agree, has given all the other competitors a hell of a head start on him.

I can already hear the Daily Mail banging out a series of articles about how they maybe thing that the Commonwealth Games should be held on a floating island out in the middle of the sea, just incase. And should maybe not include all the Commonwealth, just the countries that have treatable diseases.


Shark Weak

I watched Avalanche Shark today, which has caused something of a rift in the house.

Carole is furious that I have watched it without her, because she really wanted to watch it as well. But as I have stressed to her many, many times today, she really didn’t want to watch it.

It was shown on SyFy as part of their Terribly Good season which is – let’s face it – just leading up to the premiere of Sharknado 2: The Second One tomorrow night. The films on offer have involved two-headed sharks, giant snakes, dinosaurs, sand sharks and all sorts of other nonsense.

And then Avalanche Sharks which, according to the write-up, was a story about an avalanche uncovering a prehistoric shark which then threatened a bikini contest. That’s not what happened. At all. I can only assume that the people who write the blurb for things on Sky couldn’t even bring themselves to watch the film and based that summation on the fact that there was a shark – well, several – and a lot of young women in bikinis.

At a ski resort.

What actually happened, though, was that the sharks were vengeful spirit animals who roamed the mountainside after their sacred totems (which kept them in check) were knocked over by an explosive charge fired into the mountain to trigger an avalanche which didn’t actually happen. Although one did happen later on in the film with dramatically wide-ranging effects – smashing windows in the unscrupulous ski-resort owner’s lodge and killing him, while merely burying the sheriff’s cabin (which housed the heroes – “No, I’m not a coward. I’m a Marine!” and some interchangeable blonde ladies) but leaving enough room for them to tunnel out.


I mean, I like bad movies at the best of times. And ones that are so bad they’re good are great fun but this one was – well, it was just awful. Absolutely diabolical.


At one point, the Sheriff’s wife asks him to check for a very specific file because, twenty five years ago, something killed her parents. He opens his filing cabinet which is not even full and pulls out the file. Now, if I was that Sheriff and I’d moved to this ski resort after a career in New York which may or may not have ended on some sour note but kept getting mentioned, the first thing I would have done is have a nosey through all the files. Especially when there only appears to be about eight of them, and the one from twenty five years ago has a child’s drawing of two people bleeding to death while a blue shark looks on in it. But, you know, suspense.

And I have no idea who any of the characters actually were. Or whether the three people in the car at the beginning were any of the people on the mountain later. Or why no-one said anything along the lines of “What the actual fuck are you talking about with these sharks swimming on the mountains” rather than just blindly accepted the fact that sharks would live on a mountain.


In the snow.

At a ski resort.

Where women went around in bikinis but all the guys had to wrap up super warm in thick coats and stuff.

It was terrible. And I know, because I watched every last minute of it. Right up to the very end. Something which Carole is quite fond, it would appear, of pointing out to me. I just hoped it would get better.

It didn’t.



How can there still be sand
Under my nails or between my toes?
I went to the beach three days ago…
Is there anyone out there who knows?

At the weekend it got in our food
But that sort of thing’s bound to happen
We even got sand on some polos
Which turned the minty snack to a crap ‘un.

I get that there’s sand in my shoes
It’ll be there for some time I guess
Or it’ll all come out when I least want it to
On a clean carpet and make such a mess.

I know that there’s sand in my pockets,
The shorts I was wearing have lots
But of people who have sand in crevices
I’d rather be from the have nots.

How long should I keep finding sand though?
I’ve cleaned out under my nails
So why now and then, if I clean them again
There’s always sand there – never fails.

I’ve not been near sand since.
No other beach or child’s sand pit
So why’s it still here, clinging on like it does?
How the hell do I get rid of it?

Life’s A Beach

I walked very close to some sort of impromptu modelling session on the beach at Lytham on Saturday.

There I was, minding my own business, strolling back up from the sea, some sixty miles to my rear, when I came across what could best be described as a slightly seedy looking photographer and a bored-looking girl in a bikini who, even when she wasn’t having her picture taken, couldn’t stand normally and insisted on having her arms at ridiculous angles and her tits thrust out.

I think, if you’re going to go and do some bikini modelling, then the ideal time to do it is on a day when the beach is quite busy because there’s a kite festival on. I mean nothing adds a level of sophistication to a shot more than small children and dogs running around in the background of someone who couldn’t look less thrilled to be a model if they tried pulling some sort of pouty face which is probably supposed to be alluring but looks like a cross between them thinking they might have left the gas on and wondering if they need a poo.

That wasn’t the only thing  I passed though.

A little further on from Britain’s Next Top Model, I walked past a group of lads who were having a heated debate about music and things of that nature. Now, a lot of it washed over my head because – as we all know – I stopped listening to music when Steps split up, but I still enjoyed the lively nature of the discussion. The main gist of it was that Lil Wayne is rubbish because he sings about killing people with guns but has never killed anyone with a gun. I think. I mean, if that’s the criteria for things then probably a lot of other recording artists should be called out.

Has Sting, for example, ever woken up to a hundred million bottles all washed up on the shore?

Was Freddie Mercury ever a rocket ship on his way to Mars?

And did Dexy’s Midnight Runners even know anyone called Eileen, let alone…



The Tide Is The Opposite Of High And I’m Holding On

Yesterday, we went for a paddle in the sea.

Quite normal when you’re at the beach, you would think. But because it’s us obviously nothing is straight forward.

When we arrived at Lytham St Annes, the tide was out. Well, the tide was on its way back in, but it was definitely out. So we strolled on the beach and then went and splashed about in the sea, and watched it creep closer to where we’d left the bag and our shoes. Then we splashed about in the sea carrying our bag and our shoes. And it was great fun. And at whatever past nine in the morning we were practically the only people around and it was lovely.

We’d walked a good way down the beach to get into the sea, by this point. Far enough out to be able to see Blackpool Tower and the Big One, at least. And we walked along the beach, still in the sea, for a bit longer, chasing off sea gulls and marvelling at the fact that there wasn’t that much crap floating around in the water.

Eventually, though, we headed inland to enjoy some more of the kites and to head into the town for Carole to engage in her hobby of visiting independent bakeries to see if they do cheese straws. The one we went in didn’t, and weren’t particularly amused when asked if they could tell us a bakery that did. I was outside at this point, pretending that Carole wasn’t with me.

As the sun continued to beat down on us, and it reached noon, we headed out onto the beach to have a picnic and, again, watch the kites do kitey things – albeit less successfully as the wind hand dropped off quite considerably. I’m not sure how far off the ground a kite should be if it actually wants to be known as a kite, but a lot of them were more just elaborate beach towels at this point.

It should be noted, here, that the tide was in. Really in. Not that far down the beach at all. If we’d wanted to paddle again it would have been a simple matter to stroll for a minute or so and our feet would be wet. But we were picnicking. We were not paddling. That would have been too easy.

So the day progressed, and we explored the tackiness of the arcade on the pier. And had possibly the longest game of air hockey in the history of the world which, eventually, ended with me winning 7-5. But that was all. We didn’t spend ages playing the 2p machines, we didn’t spend a small fortune on those claw machines trying to win a series of allegedly licensed soft toys from films and popular TV series, we hardly touched any of it.

But we did really enjoy the kites.

And then we fancied another paddle.

You remember how the tide was in at lunch time?

Well it was distinctly not in when we went for our final paddle of the day. We walked for fricking miles to get to the sea. I estimated we were approximately halfway to Ireland by the time we hit water. It was almost worth walking all that way just to dip a toe in, declare loudly that we didn’t like it and begin the walk back up the beach again. We were further out than before because we could see more of Blackpool Tower and quite a lot of the Pleasure Beach as well

I mean, it was totally worth it.

It was beautifully cool and a nice contrast to the heat of the day – although we were only so warm because we’d walked fricking miles in the sun to get there in the first place.