Ravings From The Bog

McCain Palin 2008 New Campaign Picture

Love it, love it, love it!


My Secret Life

This is one of those Sunday magazine supplement features that can be fun. Here are my answers:

My Secret Life

The home I grew up in…

Was liberal, tolerant and relaxed, but not plentiful.

The moment that changed me forever…

Was on 19 December 1987 at 0145, when my first child, Chris, was born.

My greatest inspiration…

The direct debit for my mortgage…

If I could change one thing about myself…

I would have a supernatural power to stretch time

At night I dream of…

Kristin Scott Thomas

What I see when I look in the mirror…

George Clooney

My style icon…

Christopher Biggins

My favourite item of clothing…

Is a t-shirt that says: “God Is Busy. Can I Help?” (see my post with the same title)

You wouldn’t know it but I’m very good at…


You may not know it but I’m no good at…


All my money goes on…

Expensive gadgets like iMacs, iPhones and iPods, and lots and lots of books.

If I have time to myself…

I waste it! (The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time – Bertrand Russell)

I ride…

Nothing, as motorbikes scare me, but I’m tempted towards a Vespa or Lambretta scooter.

My house is…

Unfinished! Decoration has never been my strong point…

My most valuable possession is…

My sanity – people have tried to mess it up at times – mostly at work.

My favourite building…

The old Bank of Ireland building at the end of Royal Avenue in Belfast. An Art Deco masterpiece – I wish they’d clean it up.

Movie Heaven…

Watching an extended (by 12 hours!) version of The English Patient with Kristin Scott Thomas in her desert outfit, in my own private cinema, with Juliette Binoche serving the drinks in her nurse’s outfit.

A book that changed me…

Stig of the Dump by Clive King – a class reader in primary school, it started my ravenous hunger for reading.

My favourite work of art…

The Angel Of The North

The shop I can’t walk past…

Any Apple shop – and we’re getting one in Belfast next month!

The best invention ever…


The last album I bought/downloaded…

America’s Greatest Hits, by America

In 10 years’ time, I hope to…

Be driving across America with my wife in a convertible.

My greatest regret…

Is that I didn’t apply myself in school. I wanted to be a journalist – inspired by photos in Time magazine of the Vietnam War.

My life in seven words…

Stepping carefully between the stools of life!  

Italy Pays Libya For Colonial Crimes – When’s Our Turn?

Italy has agreed to pay Libya US$5billion in reparations for their 30-year occupation of Libya that ended in 1943.

That’s a great idea, Silvio, and I’m absolutely certain that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the millions of barrels of oil reserves that Libya is sitting on!

It may, however, be a very dangerous trend to start. I don’t think it has been thought through fully. Simple mathematics tells me that if we divide the $5 billion by 30 (years of occupation) and multiply that by roughly 800 (years Britain has been occupying Ireland) and then divide that tidy sum by 1500000 (current population of Northern Ireland – NB: the “West Brits” living in the south are still minted from the Celtic Tiger economy and aren’t the type to share with us), we’re set for a windfall of at least £88888 (US$178998) each!!! What will you buy with yours?

Now…apply this principle around the world and it gets even better. Suddenly, (but temporarily) the current US economic worries are forgotten with the reparations owed by the UK (1629-1776!). Of course, very shortly after that, the US needs to raid Fort Knox to spread some real aid to all of it’s pseudo-colonies (mostly political, puppet-government run, second and third world countries, but with some exceptions). You can see where I’m going here… Dream on!

Italy agreed Saturday to pay Libya US$5 billion as compensation for its 30-year occupation of the country, which ended in 1943.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi signed a memorandum pledging a US$5 billion compensation package involving construction projects, student grants and pensions for Libyan soldiers who served with the Italians during World War II.

“It is a material and emotional recognition of the mistakes that our country has done to yours during the colonial era,” Berlusconi told reporters at the airport on his arrival. “This agreement opens the path to further cooperation.”

In return, Italy wants Libya to crack down on illegal migrants turning up on Italian shores, and Italy will fund US$500 million worth of electronic monitoring devices on the Libyan coastline.

Gadhafi received Berlusconi under a big tent in Benghazi where they discussed the agreement over lunch. The Italian leader said US$200 million of the package would be for infrastructure projects over the next 25 years, including a coastal highway stretching across the country from Tunisia to Egypt.

The two leaders exchanged gifts, with Berlusconi giving Gadhafi a silver inkstand, sculpted in the form of a lion’s head, with two pens inside to sign the agreement. The Libyan leader gave Berlusconi a linen suit.

Berlusconi’s office said in a statement that the premier would also hand over to Gadhafi the Venus of Cyrene, an ancient Roman statue taken in 1913 by Italian troops from the ruins of the Greek and Roman settlement of Cyrene, on the Libyan coast.

Relations between the two countries have warmed over the last few years, with Italian leaders meeting Gadhafi several times. However, it has taken years of negotiations for the two sides to reach a deal on compensation for Italy’s rule over Libya from 1911 to 1943.

Libya named Aug. 30 Libyan-Italian Friendship Day.


Shortish, Hairy, Overweight Men Needed – Quick!

At last, some good news…

There are opportunities coming up for men of all shapes, sizes and looks – but you’ll need to emigrate to Australia. That’s not all bad if you can stand the G’Day accent, as when the country isn’t suffering wild fires, the civilised bit around the edges of the desert that is Australia can be quick a pleasant place to live.

So…if you’re thinking of making a change in the marital arrangements, or you’re so physically challenged that you haven’t been snapped up yet, head “down-under” quick. Apparently the beer is quite good. Get a copy of the “LoveMap” before you go though – might save you some time.

Australia Suffers “Man Drought”

The statistics have revealed that there are almost 100,000 more females than males in Australia.

The problem is worse in the coastal cities, where women have moved seeking better jobs and lifestyles, while many men have gone overseas.

Thirty years ago Australia was with flush with men thanks to immigration policies that favoured males.

That position has been reversed because thousands of Australian men in their 20s and early 30s have gone overseas either to travel or to work.

It has caused a gender imbalance that is having far-reaching implications.

Major cities in Australia now have concentrated groups of unattached women, along with dwindling numbers of the opposite sex.

Demographer Bernard Salt says the exodus of young men to foreign countries is leaving its mark.

“If you go into the United Arab Emirates census you’ll find there is around 12,000 Australians living in Dubai, mostly male, mostly in the 25 to 34-year age group.

“Here is an example of one country that has drawn out a specific age demographic out of Australia which has contributed to the ‘man drought’.”

But the situation outside of the larger towns and cities is very different.

Vast numbers of women have abandoned the countryside seeking better jobs or education in metropolitan areas. They have left behind communities overloaded with younger males.

In the town of Glenden in the northern state of Queensland there is one single female for every 23 men.

Demographers have compiled a so-called “Love Map” that shows how the various clusters of unattached men and women are distributed across the Australian continent.


Guantanamo Bay – Child Care Division

What’s coming next? Let’s get Obama/Biden into office now!

Someone Just Woke Alistair Darling Up…Ssssh!

Our genius Chancellor Of The Exchequer has just declared to the media that we are entering a severe downturn in the economy – well that’s not news to anyone else in the country…unbelievable!

Am I missing something? Did he bang his head getting out of bed this morning? Wake up and smell the coffee doofus. Sounds to me as though he’s blaming the economic downturn for his party’s shitty handling of everything in the last few years and preparing the way for a new Prime Minister. 

The UK is facing its worst economic crisis in 60 years, Chancellor Alistair Darling has admitted.

He told the Guardian newspaper that the economic downturn would be more “profound and long-lasting” than most people had feared.

Using strong language, Mr Darling acknowledged voters were angry with Labour’s handling of the economy.

Ministers are expected to announce a package of measures next week to kick-start the moribund housing market.

Britain is currently undergoing “arguably” the worst economic troubles in 60 years, the Chancellor said.

He admitted the government had “patently” failed to get its message across that it understood people’s concerns about rising living costs and growing job insecurity.

He said that voters were “pissed off” with Labour’s handling of the economy, a key issue at the next election, and said it was “absolutely imperative” that ministers communicated their intentions better.

“We have got our work cut out.

“This coming 12 months will be the most difficult 12 months the Labour party has had in a generation, quite frankly.”

The Chancellor has been criticised for sending contradictory signals over possible measures to assist homebuyers, particularly the prospect of a temporary suspension of stamp duty on home purchases.

He also faced a backlash over the abolition of the 10 pence tax rate.

In a wide-ranging interview, Mr Darling said that Labour had to rediscover its “zeal” if it wanted to be re-elected for a fourth term.

But he admitted that was “a huge problem for us at the moment”.

Mr Darling hinted at tensions within Gordon Brown’s cabinet by saying there were “lots of people who’d like to do my job” and “no doubt, actively doing it”.

But he appeared to rule out an autumn cabinet reshuffle as Labour tries to wrest back the political advantage.

“You can’t be chopping and changing people that often. I mean, undoubtedly at some stage before the end of parliament he [Gordon Brown] will want to do a reshuffle but I am not expecting one imminently.”

The Chancellor’s remarks come after a summer of unremittingly bad economic news.

House prices are falling at their fastest rate in 18 years, leading to fears of a wave of repossessions in the upcoming months.

Mortgage lending has slowed dramatically due to the credit crunch while key indicators have suggested that the economy could be poised to go into recession in the near future.

The economy showed no growth in the second quarter of the year while building firms and retailers have laid off thousands of staff in recent weeks amid fears that the economy will deteriorate further.

A member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee said on Friday that radical action was needed to ensure the crisis did not get worse and warned of a sharp rise in unemployment.


Jesus Hangs On By Fingertips!
August 29, 2008, 11:08 pm
Filed under: Art, Culture, Entertainment, Fun, Life, Religion, Society, Taboos, Thoughts, Weird & Wonderful | Tags: , , , , , ,

Another in my series of clever marketing adverts. This one is just outrageous enough to court some controversy while making most of us smile at the cleverness of the concept. Not quite as good as the VW ads, but not a bad attempt from Peugeot’s advertising company.

It would definitely be a hit with the target market of boy-racers!