Lucky Col
Dance as though nobody's watching, love like it's never going to hurt

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

You set 'em up, I'll tap 'em in

Labour MP's AND activists have been told to rally round John Prescott.

Well, it is a long way.

Boom boom.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Male grooming

I've never worn make-up.

OK, that's a small lie. The one & only time was when I was 10 years old and because of my height it was felt that I was an ideal candidate for the role of Ugly Sister in the school panto. This was in the days when the school panto was a proper school panto and not a politically correct exercise in forcing stage struck lemmings to sing non-denominational Beatles songs to banks of video cameras.

As the years have gone by, the aging process has taken its inevitable toll on me, as it does for everyone.

So I've recently taken the major step of using a cream to stop the spread of wrinkles under my eyes.

I'm sure a good night's sleep once in a while would perform the same task, but where's the fun in that ? There's a reason why a candle has got two ends.

So far, though, I've not noticed much difference. Well, apart from just one …

I can honestly say that the skin on the tip of my index finger is the smoothest it's ever been.

It can't come soon enough

Sometimes you have to endure severe hardships to appreciate the good things in life. Saving for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, for example, or the period of upheaval when you have some major structural change to your house.

On a similar note, before the month of nirvana that is World Cup 2006, not only do we have to endure the annual tedium of Big Brother, but now ITV have stepped up (down, surely) to the mark with Celebrity X Factor.

The usual list of celebrity nobody's and has-beens, trying their hand in a 'doing it for charity, but really I'd like to rekindle my career' kind of way.

The last I heard, Paul Daniels was supposed to be leaving the country if Labour got into power. It was one of the major reasons I voted for them.

As well as the midget magician and his salaried wife, there's the pig-bothering half-wit slapper, the soap star who obviously wants a pop career 20 years too late, the women who makes a career from telling people to eat better by informing them that their s**t smells (get away) and the glamour model trying to prove to herself that she's more than just a big chest.

But I'm destined to watch the lot.

What choice do I have ?

If I put my foot down now and demand the TV is turned over, by the time South Korea v Togo comes along, I wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

Friday, May 26, 2006

So now we know

Ever wondered which came first, the chicken or the egg ?

No ? Me neither. But apparently a specialist in evolutionary genetics at the University of Nottingham has been wondering and even better, has come up with the definitive answer. (I won't spoil it for those who do want to know)

Over the next couple of years he's starting to formulate the 'birds in hand' to 'birds in bush' ratio.

Prof Brookfield was keen to stress that:

scientists did not spend endless time and money discussing the chicken and egg question.

If you replaced the word 'endless' with the word 'any', it might sound a bit more like you weren't p*****g University money up a wall, professor.

It's a stick up

After all my promises to the contrary, I found myself watching events from the house last night.

The young blonde (I still don't know their names) was whinging on about something, splitting up the older members of the house and there were a couple of immature tantrums from the others, all watched over by professional psychiatrists.

It was only when they all went to the sea-side I realised I was watching 'House of Tiny Tearaways' and not Big Brother.

If you watch '...Tearaways' on a regular basis, you realise there are only two things you need to bring up kids properly:

  1. Firstly, you have to stick together and portray a united front, otherwise kids will spot a weakness and play you off against your partner

  2. And secondly, you can change any child's behavioral problems almost immediately with the use of lots & lots of coloured stickers

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Statistics - Lies, Damned Lies & Complete B******s

Below is a copy of the Nottingham City Council & Notts Police response to the utter crap Reform crime report. Including suicides in murder statistics is a fantastic piece of statistical analysis, and that's before discussions on population size.

Andrew Haldenbury (Reform, the slap-head pictured on the left, looks like his head isn't screwed on properly) claims that his report is 99% accurate. I can do better than that; 100% of the replies I have seen dismiss the report as rubbish and label the Reform group as a bunch of right-wing failed southern journalists.

Maybe Mr Haldenbury didn't get the right grades to come to Nottingham University and has held a grudge ever since. Maybe one of his mates did and got him up for the weekend on the Nottingham promise of 3 women for every bloke, but he went home unloved & unwanted (obviously, see photo above). Maybe, we'll never know.

If you want to mail him and teach him how to add up, be my guest, this is his e-mail address:

He has offered to work with the council on a different, hopefully more accurate, way of compiling figures. If he does, can he let me know when he's coming, and I'll help him off the train.

Nottingham City Council and Notts Police say some of the figures used in the report are inaccurate.

Disputed figures

The authorities say the population figure of 249,584 is too low, thereby making every per 1,000 of the population calculation higher than it should be.

And they claim there were nine murders in the city in 2005, not 13 - despite the police having provided the figures themselves. The higher figure included manslaughter and suicide cases.

A revised population figure of 275,100 reduces the crime rate to 104.8 per 1,000 population putting it second below Leeds. Over the past five years, all crime has reduced by 21,404 offences (13% drop) across Notts and by 10,864 offences (14.7% drop) in the city.

Authorities also claim using the higher population figures would mean Nottingham drops from first to sixth for car crime, people would be significantly more likely to be a victim of robbery in London than in Nottingham, and the city drops from third to fifth for burglary.

The figure for gun crime would also drop. Gun crime in the city is at its lowest since 1999, with a reduction of 16.5% in Notts (62% in the City of Nottingham) in 2005.

Other errors cited by the council are the report's claim that Leicester is larger than Nottingham and that Derby is almost as big as Nottingham. The area described as Derby includes south Derbyshire - containing huge areas of rural countryside.

Statistics for Nottingham are based on the City Division of Notts Police. To be more accurate in comparison with places like Manchester, authorities say the figures for Greater Nottingham - with a population of 632,100 - should be used.

City council leader Jon Collins said: "The comparisons made don't stack up."

But Reform director Andrew Haldenby stood by the report.

He said: "In compiling this report we have used statistics from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and given to us by the police.

"Our population data was taken from a document outlining urban areas, published in 2004 by the ONS, which was based on the 2001 census, not the census itself.

"Those urban areas may not be the same as authority boundaries, but were compiled by the ONS.

"We used the same data for all of the areas we looked at and the statistics we have compiled - even if they are only 99% accurate - are the best available."

He would, he said, be willing to work with the council and police on a different way of compiling figures.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

More likely to get a repsonse from this one

I noticed the other week that the makers of Stilton had created a fragrance.

This may have a certain appeal to a small specialist area of the market, but north of the border, they should have more success with this.

Not long to go now

Whenever my Scottish relatives ask me whether we will win the World Cup, I always say the same thing:

We could do, we need a bit of luck, but we could do.

But then Phil Neville gets a call up.

Nooooooooooooo. The memories of Romania in 2000 are still strong.

Change the record, this one's getting dull now.

Nottingham is the most dangerous city in the country. Apparently. Yawn yawn yawn. We've heard it all before and quite frankly, it's b******s.

Now I may be a touch biased in my opinion on this, there's plenty of cities in this country I'd be risking my neck walking through and Nottingham isn't one, but it would seem from the Reform report splashed all over the news today, that I'm not the only biased one. Someone really has it in for Nottingham, and is going to make sure that everyone else knows it.

Nottingham has the highest rates of murder in 2005, according to the report, but then that was helped by a man trying to become a serial killer bumping off the homeless.

As the list goes down, the author lets their true colours out. Place X has the highest level of certain crime, place Y is next, place X has the highest level of the next crime, place Y is next and so on and so on, until you get to burglaries, where place X has the highest, place Y is second and Nottingham is third. Why feel the need to mention that ? You haven't mentioned the third level place on any of the others.

Clearly police forces across the country have different methods in recording crime and producing information on crime figures. Forces across the country police very different areas. Nottingham, a town of a quarter of a million people with little (if any) rural areas is incomparable to an area such as, off the top of my head say, Cambridge, with their associated countryside. Apples and pears. The Reform group responsible for the report were even told this by the West Midlands police (page 29) and were asked not to include their figures within the report. Reform did anyway.

Which then begs the question, what is this report for ?

Is it a report to show which is the most dangerous city in the country, an honest appraisal of all the data available, even if all the data available is, at best, inconsistent?

Is it therefore a report highlighting the inconsistent nature of police force statistics, pleading for publicly available performance figures? As their executive summary puts it:
"Accurate, relevant and easily intellible local data on crime would put pressure on police-forces to improve."

What, like schools and hospitals ?

Or is the report a half-baked, Friday-afternoon, lets-get-it-done-and-go-down-the-pub exercise in London-centric, shoddy, pseudo journalism aimed at making the South look better than it is and keep the employees of the Reform group in a job for a bit longer than they should be.

Look at us, look at us, we're important.

No, actually. No you're not. You're tossers.

*** Additional ***

Reply from Cllr Collins

Friday, May 19, 2006

Things I've already learned from NOT watching Big Brother

  1. Vietnamese families that have MIA (missing in action) relatives from the Vietnam war can contact a government funded agency that finds soldiers remains in unmarked graves by using psychics who talk to the dead. From the BBC.

  2. One of the contestants on this years Big Brother used to live in the house next door.

A trip to the theatre

I only tend to go to the theatre for comedy, Little Britain, Mark Thomas, Ken Campbell and the like. If I want unfunny comedy performances, I'll go down to the City Ground.

So to link everything together, football, comedy & theatre is not to be sniffed at.

At the Nottingham Playhouse until June 10, Cloughie - The Spirit of the Man.

I went to see this last year and is well worth an evening out.

I'm not ashamed to say I had a small tear in my eye at the end.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Daft question of the week ....

"So, how many people are there in the country you don't know anything about ?"

Daft answer of the week:

"We don't know, but if we introduce ID cards, we'll have a better idea of the number of people we don't know about."

Got to feel sorry for them

Arsenal's valiant attempt in the Champions League final last night had my eldest & I feeling a touch sorry for Arsenal last night.

On the other hand, there's still only 4 teams in England who can rightly lay claim to stars on their shirts.

Why Don't You

I used to hate the TV Program Why Don't You with a passion. Blue Peter showed you how to make things out of left-overs that we never had in our house, so was never a threat to the status quo. But Why Don't You would have me mam nagging on for hours if she saw so much as a half-decent reason for us to leave the TV during school holidays. The bloody stuck-up, stage-school, Grange-Hill reject t*****s.

Tonight sees the start of Big Brother 7.

I won't lie and say I haven't seen any of the others, because I have. Mainly through lack of choice, but always with a sense of hatred towards the wannabee idiots inside.

This year, I'm making a pledge not to get involved. I don't care who goes in the house, I don't care if any of them shag anyone else on screen and I don't want to see anyone go into labor & give birth. Again.

All this nonsense of having a house with the furniture on the outside and grass in the kitchen. Any house round our way like that would be raided by the police on a regular basis.

I've got a plan. What I'll do if anyone mentions Big Brother to me over the next thirteen weeks is ask them this question, taught to me 25 years ago by several pre-pubescent, TV producer offspring:

Why Don't You
Why Don't You
Why Don't You
Why Don't You
Why Don't You...
...just switch off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead ?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Stepping back in time.

Back in the days when people used to get their bread delivered and a mobile was something Blue Peter used to make at Christmas, the only live football on the TV was the FA Cup Final and the European Cup Final. I can still remember my dad letting me stay up to watch the European Cup Final in 1977, but only if I could properly pronounce Liverpool's opponents that night, Borussia Mönchengladbach. As an inocent 8 year old, I was struggling with the concept of Europe, let alone pronounce foreign team names.

Because of the scarcity of live football on the TV, the FA Cup final was seen as a special occasion, and was therefore NEVER a bad game. Unfortunately, nowadays, it's just another game for the neutral. Last year's final was so dull, I counted the number of ceiling tiles in the bar of the Nelson, 136. I don't recall the score in the game itself.

This year, though, was a fantastic exception. Marlon Harewood's inclusion gave us a valid reason not to support Liverpool rather than having to rely on petty 30 year old bitterness, but the twists & turns of one of the best Cup Finals I've seen meant that, by the end, it didn't matter who won.

Several bottles of Hampshire Brewery's finest from the off-license in the BPitW may have had an effect as well.

Straight after the game and the one FA Cup Final tradition to stand the test of time recommenced, the Basford pub crawl. This year with a twist. It included Hucknall.

Back into the Nelson to start things off and to check that none of the ceiling tiles had gone. A quick walk to the Horse & Jockey before deciding that we really should make the best use of the tram facilities so kindly provided. Hucknall's only 20 minutes away by tram, quicker if you've had a few.

Into Chequers for a few, a bit of 80's disco and a quick game of 'find the toilet in the strange pub'. Across the road to the Plough & Harrow before finishing the evening in the Pilgrim Oak.

And not a sign of a bad head on Sunday morning. Superb.

*** Additional ***

It's now Wednesday afternoon and I've only just heard from Shed Boy who met up with friends in Hucknall and stayed overnight. His interpretation of whether it was a good night or not:

"Apart from being really hammered, losing my phone and being chased by some prehistoric apes! yeh good night! I lost the phone somewhere between leaving you and it goes a little vague from there on!"

Friday, May 12, 2006

Should you be in the mood

Ear candy for the coming week:

The latest from one of the best bands ever.

Lloyd Cole & the Commotions asked a question on their early eighties album Rattlesnakes, which Camera Obscura have got round to answering over 20 years later. Superb stuff.

It's Friday, midday and the sun's out

I used to work for a brewery in Nottingham and Friday lunch-time drinking wasn't only allowed, it was positively compulsary.

Eau de ????

You've just picked up the courage to go over and talk to the very attractive person you've been eyeing up all night. As you start to chat away, you notice the aroma of the other person's fragrance, it smells familiar but you just can't quite put your finger on it.

It could well be this .....

When I was a lad

What did we do before mobile phones ?

My dad used to make the phone ring three times to say he would be home soon, partly to reassure me mam, but mainly to make sure the kettle was on.

You couldn't take photos of your mates in the pub. Gone are the days of meeting someone in a club, arranging to meet them the night after (by the Lions, naturally), but being overcome with panic at the thought that actually, you've forgotten exactly what they looked like and may insult them by walking straight past them in the Market Square melee.

People didn't know your exact location ALL of the time. "Hello ……… I'm on the bus …….. About ten minutes ……. Bye". Had they had phones in the sixties, Goldfinger would have called up James Bond "Hello ….. Just outside your secret warehouse …… Black suit ….. Bye".

Off the top of my head, I can think of three occasions when a mobile phone would have been the right tool for the job in the not so distant past:

I was due to travel to Scotland on the Saturday in order to get married the week after, but on the Friday afternoon, I had a hospital appointment. My work colleagues at the time took me for a celebratory drink Friday lunch-time, which unfortunately led me to being a touch late for my hospital visit. The hospital very kindly called my wife-to-be to ask where I was. My wife-to-be, predictably but incorrectly, assumed I'd got cold feet and ran off somewhere. What a fantastic reception awaited me when I got home.

EURO 96, England v Scotland at Wembley, and I'd got tickets. My brother-in-law, my mate Kev & I would travel down to London at 7am Saturday morning, travel on to Staines where we were staying the night, before going on to the game. My brother-in-law, Kev & me clearly needed to be as fresh as daisies on the Saturday morning, and planned on a quiet night on the Friday to accomplish this. We all agreed at 3am Saturday morning that this plan had failed, as we tried in vain to flag down a taxi in the centre of Nottingham after a night clubbing. 6am, my brother-in-law & I were awake, breakfasted & caffeined up and were being driven to the station. It wasn't a surprise that Kev didn't show. What was a surprise was the station announcement at St Pancras as the train pulled in asking me personally to go to the information desk. There, the station announcer read a message from Kev asking me to, and I quote "meet him outside Wembley before the game". The announcer could barely stiffle his guffaws at these northern bumpkins thinking Wembley was a village square, but it didn't bother me for two reasons: I'd lived in London for a year so knew what a ridiculous request this was and secondly, as I mentioned, I'd got the tickets. The now two of us travelled to Staines, left our bags and went for the train back to London. We decided on a quick pint in the Garibaldi, Staines, before continuing (that is important, honest). We took the tube to Wembley, full of banter between Scots & English until some bright lad in our carriage accidently put his hand through one of the fluorescent tubes, leading to a more subdued, police watched journey. The plan to flog the spare ticket outside the ground changed when we got off the tube, walked down the steps into the old Wembley station underpass, to see Kev sat at the bottom of the stairs with his head in his hands. The jammy b*****d.

EURO 96, England v Scotland at Wembley, and I'd got tickets. A good afternoon was had by all, apart from my Scottish brother-in-law who had had a relatively s**t afternoon. It wasn't going to get any better for him. As we walked down Wembley Way having the usually back & forth, he was there one minute, and gone the next. Now he's not a short lad, a fireman by trade and my mate & I are both 6' 5", so we should have been able to spot each other, but it was like an episode of the twighlight zone or that film where Jodie Foster loses her kid on the plane, bizarre. All we could do was carry on down Wembley Way in the hope that we'd spot him. But we never did. We travelled back to Staines without him and hoped he'd do the same. At the very worse, he had his return train ticket to Nottingham, so he could use that. As we sat in the Garibaldi, one of the local lads offered us the use of his mobile, we declined, this was 1996, who ELSE had got one ? 7pm came & went, as did 8pm, I didn't really want to phone home and say I'd lost my brother-in-law, who'd NEVER even been to London before. Gulp. I plucked up enough dutch courage to make the call, but just as I did, in he walked, just before 9pm. He didn't know how to get there, but had asked his way around, gone in & out of London twice but, like a true Scot, homed his way back to the pub we were in earlier that day. William Wallace would have been proud.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Summer's here

You can tell it's summer when people who have never been interested in cricket suddenly appear as if from nowhere claiming full knowledge of the sport.

Guilty as charged, m'lud. I sometimes go to Trent Bridge for a one-day match, but mainly because you can drink AND watch sport at the same time, without really being too interested in the result.

At least the Notts wicket-keeper Chris Reid is making an effort to make the sport a touch more interesting, by introducing an element of boxing into the proceedings, story here.

It'll keep us going until the end of the cricket season, which this summer has been brought forward to June 9th.

Nothing to worry about

During my 18 month stay in the North of Scotland, there were several things I had to get used to:

  • If I wanted to go to the cinema, I had to travel 45 miles to Inverness (I once offered to take my brother-in-law to see the latest James Bond film so asked him to find the showing times in the local cinema in Elgin. His response ? Wednesday & Thursday!)

  • The longer licensing laws, which I never got used to, despite ALL that practice

  • Low flying RAF Tornados right over the village in which I lived

When I say low flying, you could tell the time off the pilot's watches. By the time you'd heard them, they'd gone.

So to hear the following on Grampian TV's North Tonight on Wednesday made me inwardly wince:

The RAF are continuing to search for part of a practice bomb which fell off a plane flying over Moray.

A tornado jet from RAF Lossiemouth was travelling over the Spindle Muir area when the smoke cartridge fell.

Officials from the base say it poses no danger, but are warning people to steer clear and report it to them if they see it.

Part of a bomb .... fell off a plane .... poses no danger.

Well that's me convinced.

Monday, May 08, 2006


That's that then.

One day your planning the journey to Cardiff, where you'll stay, who you'll be going with, who you fancy in the opening day of the next Championship season; and 24 hours later the season's over with only more cold evenings of third division excitement to look forward to.

And it all started so well.....

Parked up and in The Bradford Arms by midday, we even got served before half past, double rounds a necessity owing to the complete lack of bar-staff. Plenty of sunshine, thousands of fellow trees and beer flowing, what more could you ask for ?

Well, nothing.

The team tried, the crowd sang but everywhere else in the country results went against us. By the time we equalized, the game was up.

Just as we laughed at Gillingham fans 12 months earlier as a good but ultimately useless Eugene Bopp equalizer condemned them to join us in trips to Yeovil & Blackpool, so it was the turn of the Bradford fans to laugh at us. What goes around comes around.

A fairly quick trip home was a relief, only to find that not only had the bottom fallen out of the season, but while I had been away, a great chunk of something rusty had fallen out of the bottom of my car.


Friday, May 05, 2006

Not getting much work done today

Of course, the ONLY thing occupying my mind today is the impending League One decider at Bradford tomorrow.

It's probably a little bit sad that a 37 year old bloke is pre-occupied by the possibility of getting into the play-offs, especially as three months ago it was as unlikely as a 62 year old man climbing a tree.

But I know from experience that there are three things that are guarnateed to happen between now and 5pm tomorrow afternoon:
  1. I'll have my recurring dream, the one I have before any event where I have to be on time. Think a cross between John Cleese's 'Clockwise' & the superb 'Trains, Planes & Automobiles' ("I want a f***ing car and I want it right f***ing now!").
  2. In between me getting up tomorrow morning and my mate picking me up, I won't be able to sit down.
  3. Forest will win, the sun will shine and everything will be excellent in the world. Or not.

Where the real talent lies

Interesting article on the BBC regarding The Dirty Pretty Things, it's clear to see who had the real talent in The Libertines.


Throughout the wilderness years of the mid-eighties & early nineties, the predictably disappointing Tory re-election in 1987 and the "still can't believe it even now" but equally disappointing Tory re-election in 1992, at least you had the local council elections to look forward to.

Tory bloody nose after Tory bloody nose made the activists (of which I was one for quite a while) believe that next time, next time, we could do it.

John O'Farrell summed it up better than me. If you have ever spent day after day posting leaflets though doors, canvassing in all weathers & asking voters for their polling numbers outside your local library but haven't read "Things Can Only get Better", buy it today, read it tomorrow.

In those days, for some bizarre reason, people would quite happily vote Labour locally, but then pat their wallets as they walked to the polling booths for a General Election.

Now, that's turned full circle. I suppose it brings about a mixture of ruling parties throughout the country. We wouldn't want anything close to a one party state.

However, there is a line to be drawn.

How can anyone possibly think that it is acceptable to vote for the B*P ? Shame, shame, shame on those that did.

But to actually elect councilors, this is serious. What has happened to this country that we actually electing people to represent us & make legislative decisions, when 60 years ago, we were lining them up in courts for human rights abuses. We fought wars against these people, we shouldn't be inviting them to make decisions on local services.

I won't mention the leaders name. He's a c**t and needs starving of the oxygen of publicity.

Personally, I'd just like to starve him of oxygen.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Live album re-release by The Fall next week (15th), 'Twenty Seven Points'. Buy it for nothing else but the cover of 'Lost in Music'. Fantastic.

Never Trust a Hippy: Pledge to help Barnet FC

As much as it is quite easy to complain being a Forest fan in the third Division, sometimes you have to realise that supporters of other teams have REAL problems that could possibly effect the very future of their clubs.

Read Never Trust a Hippy: Pledge to help Barnet FC and follow the instructions if possible.


Saturday April 29

A chance to catch up with an old friend before the game (ay up Kev) and a couple of pints in Casa settling the nerves. The big screen showing Man Utd's title challenge disappearing down the same drain as England's World Cup hopes. Bugger.

An indifferent result at the City Ground leaves everything hanging on next week. Nerves are a horrible thing.

Unfortunately, Lady Luck has decided to take a break from Trentside. She's, hopefully only on a short term weekend away and is still planning to make the short trip up to Yorkshire on Saturday sporting her red & white shirt. I hope she's got a ticket. We're leaving on Saturday around 9:30 in the morning, for a journey of only 80 miles. I wonder what we'll do between midday and 3. mmmmmmm, I wonder ?

Saturday night was spent in the BPitW, The Fox & Crown, Old Basford. Real Ale brewed on the premises, freshly cooked Thai food and staggering home. Superb.