Russell Brand and The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Russell Brand, the man of the moment, whether he’s loved or loathed, hero-worshiped or hated, is causing quite a stir with his revolutionary hullabaloo. Everyone is having their say, from celebrities to social commentators, right-wing politicians to left-wing footballers, he’s being shot down or smothered with love from every angle. Good. Even his biggest critics can see at worst he’s encouraging debate and activity. For a long while (the Big Brother years) I couldn’t turn off the TV quick enough when he appeared with his cock-sure, overtly sexual gesticulations, which were as off-putting as the piece of shit programme he was presenting. But people change. Or some become better entertainers. Continue reading


World Mental Health Day – are we learning?

Today is World Mental Health Day. A day to raise awareness and understanding, to encourage discussion and learning, and boy is it needed. Yes, we are getting there slowly. Very slowly, through intelligent discussion and the work of many fantastic charities and organisations, but as long as our understanding of mental health conditions falls way behind our knowledge of physical problems, our ability to help and support those in need will continue to drop woefully short. Continue reading

One world – independence is a state of mind

So this morning I woke up to the news that we are still the same United Kingdom. It looked for a few days recently like that was all about to change as the No Thanks campaign was on a mission to self-destruct, that was until Gordon ‘The Lionheart’ Brown stepped up to the plate. Brown’s passion, intensity and bravado clearly showed up Darling’s consistently feeble efforts, almost willing Scotland to part. Continue reading

Jeff Lynne’s ELO party like it’s 1979

After working nearly 24 hours over the weekend in Speyside, the prospect of a four-hour drive home to Edinburgh late on Sunday was not an enticing one. It was dark, I was knackered, I had little money, food or energy. The packet of crisps, bar of chocolate and can of glucose beside me was of little comfort. But then I switched on the radio, and quite unexpectedly and magnificently my mood lifted completely. Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra made it happen, such is the wonder of his music. Continue reading

Looking back at the Isle of Lewis

With more days in Lewis as there are roads on the island, a six day stay took us to most parts, discovering a unique island of beauty, mystery and wonder. Passing places, in their thousands, dominate the roads, outnumbering most things on the island – humans, habitable buildings, gulls, gannets and guillemots – but not the lords of Lewis, sheep, for whom traffic stops and life depends. Continue reading

My vasectomy experience – part 3

So, I thought I’d document my vasectomy experience.  For some gentlemen unsure of the real nitty gritty involved (whether it hurts or not) I thought it may be a chance to be informative without prejudice. I’m not a chemist, doctor, surgeon or involved in the contraception industry.

Going by the statistics (being number obsessed I can’t not look at them every day) it appears my first blog was of interest to many, my second too but less so. I thought I’d end by writing about the second and third post-op weeks, to round off my vasectomy experience. This won’t take long… Continue reading

My vasectomy experience – part 2

It’s been a week since I had my vasectomy, commonly called ‘the snip’. The snip sounds so, um, delicate doesn’t it? Like something you’d do when needle-working or scissoring a loose thread from a pullover. Testicular surgery should be called ‘the vice’ or ‘the chop’, surely. Reading back on my first snip blog it actually sounds a little dramatic, when in fact apart from an unexpected amount of blood leakage immediately after the operation, it all went rather swimmingly. Much as I would like to tell tales of testicular trials and tribulations (only to make this a more interesting read), I have to say the last seven days have also been – as far as post vasectomy recovery goes – all rather routine. Continue reading

My vasectomy experience – part 1

The reason I started this blog site was quite simply for me to write about things of interest, occurrences in my life and around the world that entice me sufficiently to put pen to paper, or digit to device. I currently feel sufficiently enticed, as I sit in the garden three hours after undergoing a vasectomy. I have a sanitary towel twixt testicles (for they are weeping blood, slightly) and pants, basking, relaxing in 27 degree heat, listening to nature’s way whilst sipping a bottle of Peroni. Any pain, for it will almost certainly come – to a minor extent hopefully – is clearly yet to kick in. I thought it might be jolly to journal my vasectomy experience, for future personal chuckles and to pre-arm fellow gentlemen who may be considering the operation with some honest, first hand information. Continue reading