Monday 28 February 2022

Get ready for World Cyber War 1

 If you are reading this, it hasn't started (probably). I don't think any sane person would seriously want to start a nuclear war and I doubt Vladimir Putin is insane. His talk of nuclear was is for the consumption of the general population of the West, in an attempt to make us weaken our support of the government of Ukraine. A nuclear war would do no one any favours and if I was Vladimir Putin, I'd not want to see my nation annihilated. It was interesting to note that he didn't look at all well. He looked like he'd had a minor stroke, with one side of his face not really moving. 

Putin has shown us that he's prepared to use nerve agents and radioactive material in the UK to further his ambitions, so we really should be under no illusions as to what he is capable of, but why would any sane individual sign their own nations death warrant?

It seems to me that Putin must feel he has cards up his sleeve that won't result in the destruction of Russia. What could these be? My money would be on a devastating cyber attack on the West. What form would this take? The easiest for them and the least damaging are what are called denial of service attacks. These simply mean that the attack disables access to websites for a period of time. Usually these are very inconvenient at the time, but have little long term effect. Often such attacks are simply brute force attacks that swamp websites, resulting in them being unable to resspond to geniune requests. 

Then there are ransomeware attacks, where malicious code is introduced. Usually this is done by criminals who effectively hold the systems 'hostage' in return for cash. We've not seen a government officially launch a ransomeware attack, but surely it is only a matter of time. It seems unlikely that Russia would be able to take down government sites with such an attack, but they could cause mayhem.

If I was Putin, the nature of attack I'd favour is a hack to find embarrassing information that governments don't want to be released. If Putin could access our state secrets and share the most embarrassing ones, who knows what chaos he could cause. 

So which of these do I expect to see? I'm sure that Putin would launch all three if he had the capability. We rely on the Net for so much. The West has kicked Russian banks off SWIFT, so I'd be less than surprised to see wholesale attacks on our financial networks and information systems. A hack attack where millions of passwords etc for our bank accounts were released to criminals would cause mayhem that would suite Putin down to the earth and if he could be on the receiving end of some of the cash, very useful.

It is really not a matter of if but when we see this. Are we prepared? Our government and large companies spend billions on ensuring their systems and networks are safe, but there is a saying that in a battle between the Sword and Sheild, the Sword always wins. What can we do? Today may be a good day to change your passwords and take a few screenshots of whats in your account! Tomorrow you may just wake up to find you are a bit worse off and none of your cards work!

Sunday 27 February 2022

The tweets of the week in the Borough of Barnet - 27th February 2022

 It has been an appalling week. Possibly the worst since I started writing this blog. I try and keep this feature light hearted and agonised over the content this week. Sometimes we need reminding of the good things in the world.

1 For me, this tweet ticks all of the boxes. Wonderful tweeting

2. As ever we support Mark Amies and his campaign to Save The Railway Hotel in Edgware

3. A nice bit of Cricklewood history from one of London's finest bloggers

4. I wish I'd been old enough to go to see dog racing at Hendon dogtrack. It holds far more fascination than Brent Cross shopping centre ever has, for me personally

5. A new account for this feature. I love this picture

6. Another new account to us. I am intrigued by this tweet

7. I was gutted that I couldn't make it to watch the finest team in the Borough of Barnet yesterday, was at a friends daughters Baptism. Luckily, I kept in touch via Twitter. Here was the pick of the goals. Well done to Hadley on another superb 3-1 victory

8. And great to see Blakeys Patio open at our favourite Rugby club

9. Looks like our friends at A Better Mill Hill are thirsty and a tad disappointed!

10. Amusing tales of studio booking cancellations

Lets hope and pray that next week is a better week than last week.

Saturday 26 February 2022

The Saturday list #338 - My ten recollections of the USSR

What we are seeing in the Ukraine is an absolute tragedy. My family has very close ties to what was formerly the USSR. My wife did Russian studies at Manchester University, including a course at the Minsk Language institue that lasted three months. That was the year after Chernobyl and it was nearly cancelled due to the disaster. She made many close friends, many visited us, one of whom married my sister. They came from all across what was then the Soviet Union. Gorbachev was the general secretary of the Communist party and the Soviet empire was falling to bits. As soon as she finished her course, we visited the USSR, visiting Moscow, Leningran and Minsk. Most of her friends were still at the college and I got to meet many of them. They were a diverse bunch from what is now a collection of countries, including Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Azerbajan. I also visited Vilnius in Lithuania illegally, without paperwork, pretending to be a drunk Beolarussian peasant, which was then part of the USSR. It is amazing how invisible you can become and what you can get away with if people think you are drunk and insane. 

 I met many Lithuanians who were desperate to see the end of the USSR and join the EU. It seemed a ridiculous proposition at the time. I started to write a book about it, but with the end of the USSR, it seemed to be a pointless exercise. 

In light of events, I have been thinking of those times. I simply couldn't imagine a situation where Russia was at war with Ukraine back then. They were all mates at University and there were no divisions on ethnic lines. I thought the situation warranted a list of my recollections. I have to say, I get no pleasure reading of deaths of Russian soldiers. Each one  is the beloved son/daughter of a mother, a brother or sister to someone. What for? Nothing. War is futile and perhaps never more futile than this conflict.

1. The beer bar in Minsk. Russians drink vodka. They didn't really understand my love of beer. When I met Clare's friends, I asked if they could take me to the pub. The concept didn't really exist as such in Minsk, as we know it. But eventually they relented and took me to the beer bar. The nearest anaology in British terms I can give is a bar at a non league football ground in the 1970's. It was full of very working class middle aged men. My student friends felt quite uneasy taking me there. I loved it. There was one brand of beer on sale. There was no womens loo and no traps. The urinal was a piece of corragated iron draining into a gutter. Clare was not too impressed with the place. I proceeded to get into an argument with an old Belarussian guy who called me a fascist, because I was British. I told him I was no fan of Margaret Thatcher and reminded him that the USSR was in a pact with  Hitler when Britain was at war with them. That went down very badly, but I enjoy a good row. Later some black Cuban students arrived. I started to discuss Castro with them. They told me of their undying love for their leader. I said they were being ridiculous and I was more than happy to criticise Thatcher. They said that was because Thatcher was not a bad person wheras Castro was marvellous. One of my Russian friends later told me that any criticism of Castro would have meant a return to Cuba. My friends got very embarrassed when the Cubans started to get Racist abuse from the local workers. They told them off and said that they were an embarrassment to the USSR behaving like that in front of an English visitor. That was when I realised that the USSR was a in reality deeply racist. It disturbed me and made me realise that for all the talk of Communist ideals, you get racism and stupidity everywhere.

2. The train back from Lithuania to Minsk. One of my friends, Sasha, a Ukranian studying in Minsk, asked if I'd like to visit his parents with him in Vilnius. I am by nature reckless and used to love putting myself in danger. I had no papers to visit. It was a long train journey. He gave me strict instructions that under no circumstances was I to speak English. The cover was that I was a Belarussian drunk. On the train back, an attractive young lady joined us. The trains were divided up into compartments. She chatted to Sasha for an hour. She seemed very nice. I just sat there drinking beers. When she got off, Sasha looked very relieved. She was working for the KGB. She'd told him that she 'hated drunk Belarussian peasants'. I am a very good actor.

3. The slice of fat. When we arrived at Sasha's parents, they'd put on a big spread for us. His father worked in the aviation industry. There was all sorts of meats and fish. I saw a large slice of haloumi cheese, that I loved and said "Ah, this is my favourite, thank you for getting this". I took a slice and when I bit into it, I realised my mistake. It was a slice of pig fat. I nearly gagged, but to be polite scoffed it down. I thought I'd got away with it, but Sasha's Dad, having seen me wolf it down so hungrily, gave me another slice.

4. The Menus. In the Soviet Union, you'd go to fine restaurants and the food would be decent and cheap. You'd get given an extensive menu, it was most impressive. There was just one snag. They only had the items on the menu that had a price next to them. The rest was just for show. Clare being a vegetarian, it was all a bit of nightmare. She had eggs and tomatoes at many places and they thought she was bonkers. 

5. The Beryozka. The shops for the local populace were very poorly stocked. It was only when I visited the Berioska that I realised that the Soviet version of Communism was rotten from top to bottom. They were well stocked shops that took hard currency and were only open to foreigners and party officials. It offended my sense of fairness and justice. The workers in the beer bar would never be allowed anywhere near the goodies on sale. If you really want to understand Vladimir Putin, you need to understand that he was a man of the Beryozka, a man who believe in the privelige for the few who ran the show and stale bread and cheap vodka for the masses.

6. The train explosion. We were in Minsk when there was a train explosion. 575 people died and 800 were injured. It was an absolutely awful accident. There was a day of mourning to commemorate it. The mood was somber and sad. Many of my friends were angry and felt it was a symbol that the Soviet Union was failing.

7. The Kremlin. Growing up, the BBC always portrayed the Kremlin as a grim and scary place. When I visited it, I was shocked beyond belief. The building we associate with it, St Basil's cathedral, is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. The rumour has it that after it was completed, Peter the Great had the architects eyes pulled out, so he couldn't make anything better. I went to see the corpse of Lenin, the man who caused all of the trouble. It was all a bit odd. When I was at St Vincents school in Mill Hill, they had dead nuns in glass coffins, supposedly saints who's bodies were preserved as they were so holy. When I saw Lenin, it reminded me of that and I realised that Leninism was in many ways a quasi religious cult gone wrong. 

8. The Pirate Radio Station. I was delighted to learn that one of Clare's friends was running a pirate radio station at the Uni. I had the honour of being interviewed on it. What especially impressed me was how they'd built all of the gear themselves. I realised that there were such stations all over the USSR as the mainstream stations there didn't really play Western music. Their tastes were a bit AOR for my tastes. I was surprised at the lack of interest in Punk Rock. It didn't really occur to me at the time, but punk is quite quantly English in many ways. Bingo Masters Breakout by The Fall doesn't really translate. It took me a while to fully understand that.

9. The Vodka party. For our final night in Minsk, Clare's friends held a party at the Uni for us. I'm not a Vodka drinker, I'm not really into spirits, but they insisted. We had vodka with lime, vodka with tonic, vodka with coke. When all the mixers ran out, we even had vodka with Mayonnaise. I have to say that all it really did was confirm my dislike of vodka, but it was great fun. I also found out that you get a very different quality of hangover with Vodka. You feel very glum, grey and miserable, quite fitting for living under a dictatorship.

10. The wedding party. My sister got married in Minsk Cathedral in 1990. I went over with my Mum, my missus and my sister Catherine. I'm not entirely sure why the rest of the family didn't go, probably because it was expensive and difficult to travel. Under Soviet Law, if you got married you got a special pass that allowed you to have a  proper party at very little cost. There were 40 or 50 people, mostly friends of my brother in law. The food was amazing, but what really caught my eye was that between every two people there was a bottle of red wine, a bottle of white wine, a bottle of vodka and a packet of Marlboro cigarettes. My Mum was most impressed that the whole thing cost less than £400 with a DJ and a band to boot! Sad to think that some of the people at that do will have sons and daughters possibly fighting each other as we speak. 

Have a great weekend. A couple of years ago I wrote a song that seems quite appropriate to the current situation, although written for a different nation and a different scenario

Friday 25 February 2022

How music and football saved my life

The world is a difficult and dangerous place right now. I don't think I'm alone in feeling anxious and worried for the future. Not so much for me. If a nuke took out Mill Hill tomorrow, I can safely say I've had ten lifetimes worth of fun, but I have three children and they really do deserve better. I sometimes marvel at how I got through it all. When I was 13-14 years old, I was in a very dark place (I documented the reasons for this in THIS BLOG). I was on medication for anxiety and in hindsight I was probably borderline psychotic, although thankfully this manifested itself as very dark thoughts rather than anything worse. So how did someone who was a complete mess end up approaching sixty years old feeling satisfied and contented. Of course a huge chunk of the thanks must go to the missus, without who I'd be adrift. But in terms of my mental wellbeing, I think that there is a pressure release that has saved my life and my sanity. 

I'm very lucky really. I play in a rock & roll band & I play five a side football. That means I have 4-5 hours a week where I'm in a little world of my own where the world is a better place. When you're trying to remember a guitar riff whilst singing or score you forget your woes. I'm quite prone to anxiety, music is really the only thing that has kept me sane over the last 45 or so years, since I first picked up a guitar. All the time spent practicing, all of the time gigging and all the time songwriting has transformed me from being a nervous wreck at age 14 to someone who considers myself stable and successful.

It really is never too late to get into music or to pick it up if you stopped. There are amazing community choirs if you don't think an instrument is for you. It is something you commit too and have to concentrate on. I often dread band rehearsals as I'm feeling tired and lazy.But I have never finished a jam with the boys without feeling a million times better. Followers of my blog will know about the tragedy that befell the band last year. What you may not know is just how amazing it was as a unit to come together and carry our drummer through it.

So to finish off, never think music is something you can't do. I've never been on TOTP or the OGWT, but my life is immeasurably better for the time spent practicing, rehearsing, doing gigs in pubs and clubs and by the huge circle of friends I've collected on the way. 

As for football, I still play every Thursday at Powerleague Mill Hill. I cannot describe how much better I felt when I finished the game last night to my feelings at the start. I'm a rubbish footballer, but football has given back to me so much. I believe that being active and doing exercise is an essential part of good mental health. From what I've seen people who sit in there bedroom bashing away on social media 24 x 7 end up becoming very detached from reality. Football and music, for me at least, are an antidote to the worst ravages of the ridiculous nature of social media. 

In short, I believe that football and music saved my life. My Dad always taught me that if you can play a musical instrument or play a team sport, you will always make friends, whereever you travel. It was perhaps the best advice he ever gave me.

Stay Safe

Here's a little track that I wrote and performed with the band. Please have a listen and tell me what you think, I hope you enjoy it.

The Friday Joke - Boy do we need it

 Things have been grim, we've smoothly transitioned from a global pandemic to World War Three in the space of a week. I was tempted to write a blog, but having seen some of the complete crap people are posting on social media, people who have no clue and know nothing of the area, I decided to do what we really need right now in the UK. Here is something that will make yo smile. I've always been of the opinion that Ronnie Barker was the greatest of all the UK's comic genius's. Hopefully you will watch this clip and it will put a smile on your face and you'll agree. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday 23 February 2022

The Wednesday Poem - Don't Blame Me!

Don't Blame Me

Don't blame me when you're firm goes bust,
Don't blame me when dreams turn to dust,
Don't blame me when savings disappear,
Don't blame me you can't afford a beer,

Don't blame me when your kids blame you,
Don't blame me when your bank forcloses too,
Don't blame me when the world erupts in war,
Don't blame me they're knocking on your door!

I did my best to try and make sure,
You don't believe those leaflets they put through your door,
I wrote six million words, telling you in this blog, 
So don't you dare say it's all your fault Rog!

Copyright 2019 Roger Tichborne

I've not posted a Wednesday Poem for a while. I lost my poetry mojo back in March 2020 when the pandemic started. I was looking through some old Wednesday Poems. I came across this one, which I rather like. We have council elections in May. This blog has chrinicled the decline of the London Borough of Barnet under various Tory regimes. In that time we've seen various Leaders such as Mike Freer, Lynne Hillan RIP, Richard Cornelius and now Daniel Thomas. In my humble opinion, Richard Cornelius was the cleverest, Dan Thomas is the thickest and Mike Freer was the slipperiest. Poor Old Dan needs to employ an officer to read the local blogs to him, as he admitted yesterday. Mike Freer would hold "Meet The Leader" sessions so he could ignore me to my face. Richard Cornelius went so far as to get the Barnet Alliance For Public Services to arrange a "Meet the Leader" session for him, so he could enjoy the company of assorted Leftists and bloggers. He confessed to me that he thoroughly enjoyed it. Sadly Thomas is made of far less stern stuff. I suspect he's only really comfortable on home turf, where he has a tame audience. Richard Cornelius won the Tories the biggest victory in Council Elections for a generation. His reward? They dumped him and replaced him with Thomas. It will be interesting to see if the Tories get the reward they deserve for this. Either way, don't blame me!

An apology to Councillor Daniel Thomas

 When this blog makes a mistake, we put it right. Yesterday we made a schoolboy error, having erroneously been labouring under the impression that the Barnet Tories had not put up their councillor allowances during the pandemic period. I was wrong. In April 2020, when we were all locked down, my business was closed and I'd vowed not to criticise Barnet Council as they had bigger things to worry about than irritating criticism by bloggers, they snuck in an inflation busting rise which I missed.

Councillor Daniel Thomas (who saw his allowances rise from £43,618 to £45,489 (a 4.3% increase by my dodgy maths)  in April 2020 and to £46,285 under the new arrangements) emailed me to tell me off for this error yesterday. To quote his email 

"I don’t read your blog, but officers have advised me that you’ve made a comparison to an old allowance schedule. "

I was shocked by this statement. It appears that the Leader of the Council is employing officers to read local blogs, because he can't be bothered to read them himself. Even when I was a fierce critic of former Mayor Brian Coleman, he admitted at a Standards hearing that all of the Tory councillors read my blog. It seems that since he's become leader, Dan Thomas no longer feels the need to engage with mere mortals. I am surprised that he's not interested in what bloggers have to say. I run a business and it is only by reading criticisms that we improve. If all he wants to hear is praise and what officers tell him, I'm not surprised that the Council is a mess. Former Tory Leaders Brian Salinger and Richard Cornelius would often ask me, off the record, my opinion on various matters. They generally disagreed with me, but always listened and on occasion took it on board, telling me that the feedback was useful. 

Anyway, I offer a heartfelt apology to Councillor Thomas and the population of Barnet for my failure to properly check whether he'd organised a 4.29% payrise for himself in April 2020 and I acknowledge that this was highly remiss. Had I beend doing my job then, I'd have shouted to the rafters about it. This time it is a mere 1.79%. I wonder what he'll organise next year if he gets elected again?

Tuesday 22 February 2022

Barnet Tories proposing a payrise for themselves

 Next week, we see the Barnet Council Budget Commitee meeting. Item 14.1 is to vote themselves a payrise. In 2019-2020, the last year for which paid allowances have been published, the basic allowance was £10,569 (for this you need to turn up to a minimum of two meetings a year). There are other allowances for chairs of committee's, the Mayor, etc.

Councillors are lucky. They can vote themselves pay rises. It may come as no surprise that they are doing just that next Tuesday. You can see the new allowances BY CLICKING HERE. It seems the Barnet Tories are putting this up to £10,998, a payrise of £428.31 since the start of the pandemic

As for the leader. He currently gets £43,618.63 in allowances. This will go up to £46,283 - a payrise of £2,664.47

You can see what your councillors were getting at the start of the pandemic in 2020 BY CLICKING HERE. How many people in the public and private sector are getting 4-6% pay rises in this period? My guess is only ones who can vote for it themselves.

Interestingly, there is nothing in the agenda for public questions. Is this because they don't want difficult questions about giving themselves a payrise?

I find it disgusting at this time, when the budget is under real stress that they are giving themselves a payrise far in excess of that which most taxpayers in Barnet will be getting. I also find it disheartening that they can't even spell conclusion.

I have submitted a question, even though it doesn't appear that they are allowed. I have asked the chair & CEO  to use their discretion to accept the question. The question is :-

"Does the committee believe that at a time when every household in Barnet is suffering from a squeeze as a result of the cost of living crisis, voting for an inflation busting payrise, subsidised by Council tax payers reflects well on the council"

 *** Please note this blog has been corrected since first published as we mistakenly believed councillors had frozen allowances in the 2021-22 period in solidarity with the general public. We apologise for any distress caused to Barnet Council  - the current payments are DETAILED HERE ***

Time to legalise jumping red lights - A guest blog by Lou Knee

Congratulations to Boris Johnson for abolishing his Stalinist Covid controls on the UK population. Adults do not need governments to run their lives and make decisions for them. For two long, the UK has become a sea of pointless regulations, designed by bureaucrats to make work and politicians who live in cloud cuckoo land. Many of these have the opposite effect of what they are designed to do. Take traffic lights as an example. Back in 2016, the Daily Express estimated that 18% of the time spent in cars is spent waiting for traffic lights to change. Traffic lights were introduced for two reasons. One was to improve traffic flow and the second was to improve safety at junctions. Proceeding through a traffic light will result in a £100 fine and three points on your license.

We all follow these rules, like sheep. No one ever asks "Why do we have to wait at a traffic light when there is clearly no traffic approaching". In the USA, motorists are sensibly allowed to turn right on a red if there is no traffic approaching. We always hear about the climate crisis, but no one ever says "How much carbon is generated whilst we wait at red lights when there is no sensible reason to?" I do much driving in the early morning, when there are no cars on the road, but my car sits at light after light burning petrol and creating CO2 to no good purpose. We have a very sensible law that forbids us from driving without due care and attention. It would be far more sensible to make traffic lights advisory symbols. A red light indicates that other traffic has right of way, but if there is none, then you can proceed. Just think how much CO2 would be saved. If the tree huggers are telling the truth, this will save lives and save the planet.

Of course,  if you cause a crash, or endanger a pedestrian or vehicle by performing a dangerous manouvre, then yes, you deserve a fine and points or loss of licence, but we all have eyes. The law should be, similar again to the USA, that if you approach a red light, you stop and then can proceed with caution if there are no hazards. Driving in the UK is a minefield of laws and restrictions, many of which lack common sense. Parking rules are often scams to generate cash. Yellow lines are deployed, not to keep traffic moving but to enforce the anti driving bias of local councils and governments.

If Boris feels we are grown up enough to decide for ourselves whether we can legally spread an infectious disease whilst infected, we are grown up enough to decide whether we can pass a red light when there is not another car in sight for miles.


Lou Knee is a Barnet Resident and a libertarian (his description). Guest blogs are always welcome at the Barnet Eye

Monday 21 February 2022

The day the UK went bonkers - All covid restrictions abolished

Lord help you if you have a compromised immune system, are elderly or have other health issues. I'm all for going out to gigs and football matches if you are not infected with covid. What scares the hell out of me is the abolition of mandatory isolation for people with covid and the removal of financial support for those who have covid. Last week my wife had covid. She was happy to isolate. Despite the fact that I love my missus, we were both happy to be sensible and not see each other for ten days. Saturday was the first day we could. We put this too good effect seeing a band at the Old Bull arts Centre in Barnet. I'm not someone who wants to see lockdowns, but I want a sensible balance. 

This week my studio manager also has covid.  I wouldn't want him in work if he was positive. If he spread it to a vulnerable customer, both of us would have that on our conscience. 

Last week the UK saw over 1,000 deaths with restrictions on people who are infected, to me this is not a pandemic that is over. The purpose of the restrictions was to stop people who are infectious spreading the disease. Boris Johnson stated that he would follow the science. Where are Chris Whitty and the rest of the crew to back Boris up if the science is there?

The true purpose of todays announcement is to remove support payments for people isolating. This means that people will be forced to work to pay bills. There is a #COSTOFLIVINGCRISIS after all. I would have supported a scaling back of restriction. I cannot see why we are removing the requirements to self isolate. Boris Johnson states that people will use their common sense. How can they do this if he's scaling back testing. How can you use  common sense if you can't pay the bills?

If you have a job where you are working with someone with a compromised immune system and you think you have covid, but you are falling behind on your rent, what do you do? 

The sad truth is that for those who are struggling, they will be forced to make the most terrible decisions. I'm relaxed about abolition of vaccine passports. We can make our own choices about going to pubs and clubs, but we can't about work. 

We have been isolating when infected for good reasons. These reasons have not gone away. We are not even past the worst of winter. This has been a decision taken to pacify right wing nutcases in his own party. I've always believed that the first duty of a government is to protect it's most vulnerable citizens. Making people who are likely to infect them go to work is, quite simply, a failure of Government. 

Sunday 20 February 2022

The tweets of the week in the London Borough of Barnet - 20th February 2022

 Sunday has come around rather quickly. I've had a mad week. I had three gigs in three days. Thursday was a rather good tribute to Stevie Wonder at Crazy Coqs, Friday was the very excellent Brit Funk Association at the 100 Club (a real toe tapping evening) and last night was the Silencerz at the Bull Arts Centre in Barnet, a great evening. On top of that I went to Wealdstone FC v Wrexham yesterday. Wealdstone are based in Ruislip. I was delighted to find this just around the corner from the ground. I really miss the one in Mill Hill!

That's enough of my week, how was your week? This is what the local tweeters have been up to, for your delectation

1. If you care about your community and our local waterways, here's a date for your diary - 26th February - click the link for more details

2. Another date for your diary in Cricklewood this time

3. I could have filled the item up with storm shots and damage. This was one of the reasons Thameslink was disrupted

4. And on the subject of the storm, some sad news

5. I used to work just around the corner from that. Nice tweeting from a new (to us) account

6. This post is of special interest to me, as my Dad flew Wellington bombers for 40 squadron during wW2, I miss seing the old bord when I visit

7. What is not to love about this tweet. Barnet FC in their rightful home at Underhill and legend Jimmy Greaves wearing the shirt

8. We are all members of the Dr Julia Hines fan club here. Like Calvin, I consider myself priveliged to call Julia a friend

9. Whatever your political persuasion, I do hope you agree that this is not good enough. It's shabby and horrible.

10. And finally, the happiest tweet of the week, I hope it makes you smile as much as it made me smile!

That's all folks!

Friday 18 February 2022

The Friday Joke - The English language at its best - A selection of the finest insults

 These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.



A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.”

"That depends, Sir, " said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."



"He had delusions of adequacy ."

-Walter Kerr



"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."

- Winston Churchill



"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."

-Clarence Darrow



"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."

-William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)



"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."

-Moses Hadas



"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."

-Mark Twain



"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."

-Oscar Wilde



"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one."

-George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill



"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one."

-Winston Churchill, in response



"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here."

-Stephen Bishop



"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."

-John Bright



"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."

-Irvin S. Cobb



"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."

- Paul Keating



"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."

-Charles, Count Talleyrand



"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him."

-Forrest Tucker



"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"

-Mark Twain



"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."

-Mae West



"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

-Oscar Wilde



"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination."

-Andrew Lang (1844-1912)



"He has Van Gogh's ear for music."

-Billy Wilder



"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But I'm afraid this wasn't it."


Groucho Marx