Monthly Archives: August 2012

Grayson Perry, need I say more?

You may have heard of Grayson Perry, seen him on the Rob Brydon Show last week or caught his exhibition at the British Museum amongst other places.

He is an unabashed transvestite, choosing to dress in his own version of womens clothes, as the fancy takes him, whilst also having a wife and a daughter. His art is sought after and commands significant prices in the art world. He mostly does ceramics, which can be quite entertaining and enjoyable as shown on the Saatchi Gallery website (if you are in Chelsea it’s worth strolling around the gallery, which is free, regardless of who is being shown, it’s just off Sloane Square with easy bus and tube access).

I can’t say I mind too much how people dress. I much prefer people to wear what they want rather than what they think they should wear or what they are told to wear. Alas, conformity is probably still the norm although it depends to what and with whom you conform with right enough. Wearing Union Flag attire at the moment is very popular because of the limpics and the plimpics and I don’t see myself indulging in that either now or in the future although I hope those who do enjoy the experience, such as it is anyway.

Football and rugby fans, punks, emos, crusties, mods, rockers, grunge, hippies bikers etc. etc. All uniforms, which identify people as, being from a certain, shared value, shared opinion, shared motivation sort of clan/group/ movement. We’ve probably all been there one-way or another. Go to the golf club and there’s a way you have to dress. Go to church and it’s the same thing but maybe less so in recent years. Going to work even. We all conform to something.

Grayson lists one of his influences as Boy George who certainly went out of his way to be different. I well remember seeing Boy George on Top of the Pops and not knowing whether it was a boy or a girl I was watching. The name sort of gives it away right enough – BOY George! Doh!!!!

Grayson is not alone in his enjoyment of wearing women’s clothes of course, apart from the millions of women worldwide who wear women’s clothes on a daily basis, there are other chaps who are also transvestites such as Eddie Izzard who is a very funny man indeed. He just wears what he thinks is fine depending on his mood etc.

Let us all just be ourselves. Throw discretion to the wind! Dress as you feel you want too as the mood and fancy takes you! Go on you know you want to.

I’ll join in as soon as everyone else has. Honest. Well maybe. Or maybe not.

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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in Art, General


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No fracking gas yet?

In the USA franking has been used to great benefit. The cost of energy has dropped by 40%. Isn’t that great! How does that compare to the UK? Our cost of energy is going to go up by around 12%. There’s something wrong in the state of Denmark,well the UK actually.

In the UK lots of environmentalists are up in arms about fracking. It’s dangerous. It causes earthquakes. It causes pollution. None of these things actually happen though so why would they want it stopped?

It’s bound to be because of CO2 emissions then. Well no because using this gas has actually contributed to a drop in CO2 emissions in the USA. Not that CO2 has any part to play in anything anyway.

How about lower energy costs saving lives? More people die because of the cold rather than heat. It’s Mainly old people who can’t afford to heat their homes properly who die. Is this what the people who don’t want fracking to go ahead want? How many people would die because of fracking activities even if there were any serious problems in doing so?

Do they protest on the basis that fracking isn’t sustainable? It would reduce CO2 emissions, which is a good thing as far as they are concerned. There are huge reserves, which will last for decades at least. That would buy more time for them to make their windmills and other green energy power sources work would it not? They might even be able to make them efficient and not need conventional power station back up for the days it’s not windy enough or it’s too windy or they are being serviced or they have broken.

Fracking is a no brainier. It would also help our economy by reducing the cost of energy to business, which would be passed on in part to consumers here and overseas. That might get our economy up and running again. People would get jobs, make money and enjoy a better life. Maybe they’d go on holiday. Maybe they’d invest in green energy. Maybe they’d give more to charities.

Come on Dave, time to grab the potential of fracking and get it going and delivering before next winter. Tim asks if you are a man or a mouse, well what are you?

If you’re a man you’ll get fracking moving pronto. If you are a mouse you’ll end up as a small foot note in history and I get the feeling that you wouldn’t like that, you wouldn’t like that one little bit.


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The limpics are finished but here come the plimpics!

He’s a busy man that Seb Coe. He single handedly planned and ran the limpics and now here is doing the same for the plimpics! Does his family ever see him? Does he have time to eat? He has all that time to put towards meeting and greeting the great and the good like leaders of countries, royalty and slebs, oh yes, and all those athletes.

I’m not altogether sure he’s been meeting with Call me Dave though. If he has, either he’s been very diplomatic or his eyesight is failing him badly. Call me Dave bunged Seb the job of making sure that the “legacy” of the limpics, shortly to be joined with the “legacy of the plimpics, is maintained. If you saw the pics of Call me Dave on his hols at the beach you may have noticed he maybe taking up sumo wrestling as his favourite “legacy” sport.

It’s not his fault obviously, good grief no. He as a country to run, he has lunches and dinners to attend and he gets whisked about in a bomb proof car even if he just pops next door. Not his fault. No. I won’t let it be said. It’s not as if he’s lecturing us all to get fit, eat less, eat better, don’t smoke, don’t drink too much, try not to breath or if you absolutely have to, do it for the smallest time possible.

It wasn’t a pretty pic. He was mostly covered but enough was left exposed to be recognised, by those of us who have been there, as lardy, bloater or fat. Let’s be generous and use Call me Dave and his friends language. He is obese. He may even be morbidly obese. BMI? Heading off the scale. Lecture from Doc and anyone else working in his practice including the receptionists who always know way more about medicine than the Docs.

In the short term Call me Dave, please get a bigger towel and try not to get your kit off apart from in your own marital bedroom, preferably with the lights off.

Talking about people getting their kit off what about the Prince Harry pics. I’ve not seen them. Hey, life’s way too short for that kind of drivel. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas apparently unless you are a British Royal then it doesn’t stay, it flies around the world by first class and in full colour. This gives new meaning the Las Vegas strip!

His Grandmother is pretty ticked since she doesn’t really want to see his bits at all never mind on a full colour double spread feature in a tabloid. His Dad is being all embarrassed and stuff. Maybe his Dad should have given him lessons on sneaking about and doing stuff he shouldn’t be? Just a thought.

The Army aren’t pleased. Good grief they have their reputation to consider, unlike the Royals. Mind you, whilst the top brass are ticked the rank and file have come up with best reaction and response. They have posted pics on Twitter and on the Internet generally, in various states of undress. Excellent! The lady soldiers have also joined in! No actual bits are visible from the pics Mrs TT showed me. Thank goodness for that, I’d have been embarrassed and shocked otherwise. Mrs TT is in full charge of keeping up with these sort of topics via the Daily Mail and bringing the most interesting to my attention of an evening.

Back to Harry who looked like a Dick whilst carrying on like a Tom. Good luck to him. He has the money, some of which we gave him and he is a sleb, which means he has to make a video or have pics taken whilst exercising his libido. It’s the rule, think Hilton, think Tulisa, etc. etc. He’s ticked the box on that one, probably several times over.

I’ve been to Vegas a few times on business, well to Comdex the huge computer industry show, which is defunct now. I got carried away once when I was there. Be prepared to be shocked.

I went down to one of the gambling halls and bought a $10 cup of quarters. I then went to play the one arm bandits. My money went down then it went up to over $15. Oh the excitement of it! Then it started to go down again. When it reached $10 dollars I cashed it in and went back to my room. Way, way, way too much excitement for one evening!

No one took pics though, which is how it should be.



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Yeo ho ho and a Deben chum.

There’s been a bit of a discussion in the press with regards to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change Chairman Tim Yeo and to the potential confirmation (having been nominated by Call me Dave) of Lord Deben AKA John Selmer Gummer as the Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change an independent committee with members who provide independent advice to the government to help tackling and preparing for Climate Change

However, both Mr Yeo and Lord Deben may not be as independent as per the definition of “independent” as is recorded in any reasonable dictionary. They both have wide interests in businesses and\or projects, which rely on government decisions on whether they should be funded, or not.

You may wish to check out the facts by visiting this article written by Christopher Booker writing in last Sundays Telegraph or James Delingpole in today’s Telegraph. (No I don’t take the Telegraph but these two columnists are entertaining as well as stating how they see things).

Whilst Lord Deben has not yet been appointed there is every likelihood that he will be and should Mr Yeo remain as Chairman of the parliamentary committee? It seems pretty strange that men with vested interests could be in a position to push those interests, which may have a positive financial impact on them and their families lives allegedly.

In government, or coalition if you prefer, Mr Camerons father-in-law makes substantial amounts of money from windmills which are situated on his land.

It’s interesting that Tim Yeo was challenging David Cameron to start moving ahead with a new runway for Heathrow. The environmentalists will be very pleased about that. It will give them a great excuse to skip school, get out the wellies and set up a camp to demonstrate against the runway.

Remember that this is the same Tim Yeo who is Chairman of the Parliamentary Energy and Climate Change Select Committee. Is is he saying that more flights will not increase CO2 levels, which is the major driver of climate change according to the warmists? Good grief. Just where does he stand on all of this?

Are we expecting too much from our politicians?  Is it too much to ask that they do the job they were elected to do and do not use the knowledge and connections they make through their Westminster work to make more money?

Is it right that people with vested interests should be chairing committees, which may benefit them?

Given what we know about their interests is there any likelihood that they will leave the room and take no part or do not mention their views to their fellow committee members when topics, which may impact them positively financially, are being discussed?

Is this the way to run government?

Just a small aside.

Do you think it’s likely that Mr Selwyn Gummers daughter has taken him to task about her being made to eat a beef burger on the evening news one night? She was “encouraged” to eat it to prove that there was no possibility that people could get CJD by eating meat. If the meat is safe enough for his daughter it will be safe enough for everyone? What sort of man would do that to his daughter?

If she hasn’t taken him to task yet could it be televised when she does please?


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IPhone and IPad imminent new models

We are probably around two weeks away from the arrival of the latest Apple IPhone and possibly three weeks away from the arrival of the new small Apple IPad. There are two events being put together by Apple and it they won’t just be about slight tinkering here and there with their mainstream offerings.

The latest IPhone is a few months late and for this model we have been able to see a lot of how it will look and even see some of the bits inside. The screen will be bigger but not by much and certainly not as big as the Samsung Galaxy 111S. The back looks like it will be brushed aluminium and some of the sockets and cameras will have moved a wee bit.

Biggest change will be that of the USB connector/charger. The new phone will have a much smaller socket and any existing cables you have won’t fit. The most important change inside will of course be the new antenna, which will no longer rely on the casing. This should finally solve the lack of signal or poor signal, which all IPhone users have had to live with.

A lot of IPhone users are now out of contract and there are more of the networks which now sell the IPhone. There may be some improved tariffs on offer so it’s worth keeping an eye open for those. Whilst there will be a rush and queues etc. for people to upgrade to the new IPhone I’m not so sure it will be as frenetic as it has been in previous years.

The new IPad which may or may not happen will probably have a 7” screen size and will probably compete with the Samsung Galaxy 111S as an internet devise at least. The existing IPads are all maybe a bit too heavy which is mainly due to the glass screen so the smaller size should also reduce the weight. A smaller IPad will also compete with the eBook devices and could also replace the IPod Touch range of music/video and gaming devices.

The momentum has been lost somewhat at apple, which had to happen sooner rather than later, regardless of the death of Steve Jobs. It may be that Apple will regain that momentum but will they ever see again the likes of the period when the IPhone and IPad rolled out and started completely new markets?

Lets hope they do. Lets hope they get their new, out of London, flagship store open in Princes Street Edinburgh before Christmas. That’ll save the odd trip to Glasgow.


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Public transport in and from Edinburgh

Now isn’t that just the most exciting blog title ever? No? Okay perhaps not.

If you mention public transport in Edinburgh everyone grimaces and starts on about the trams. I’m not going to say much about the trams only to note that the number of shops in Shandwick Place which have for let boards up greatly outnumbers the shops still open.

Buses are held up as a great example of how a good bus service should be run. The Council own and run them via an arms length company. The buses go all over and some services run at five-minute intervals. Most reasonable routes run at no more than ten-minute intervals and the buses are pretty new, clean and well looked after.

It’s £1.40 (no change given) a single journey and £3.50 for a day pass which is good if you are jumping on and off for a while. Mrs TT and I used 5 buses on a route that normally a single bus would have managed but due to a technical problem, getting on the wrong bus to start with, we had to adapt as we went along. We could actually have used another bus just to increase the record to six but lifes too short.

Last week we encountered an all too familiar issue with public transport and on a bus in particular. A guy got on at one stop, sat behind us and started coughing without covering his mouth. Pretty unpleasant. It happens. You catch stuff and that can happen no matter the mode of transport. Oh yes and there’s a tradition in Edinburgh that you thank the driver as you leave the bus, even if he has driven like a maniac.

Taxis are easy to find and one operator has an app based booking system. There is an Iphone/Ipad app, which you can use to book a time etc. and they come right on time. If you use the computer based app you can apparently see where your taxi is as it comes for you. The taxi drivers are pretty much the same the world over. I usually hope that if it’s an early morning trip the guy isn’t too chatty. There’s no box to tick on the app if you want a quiet driver, well not yet anyway.

Trains? Head to Waverley and you can go to most places. The booking hall can get quite busy especially around summer and the Festival. There are lots of booking machines but for some journeys you need a human to interpret for the train companies. The worst aspect of trains from/to Edinburg is the East Coast Line service.

The government runs the service because the previous franchisee went pop. The service is okay but the trains themselves are appalling. They are okay to look at and the seats are okay but the trains themselves date back to the 70s and they are shoogly. Big time shoogly. Its difficult to work at times, the wi-fi is slow and sometimes the power sockets don’t work.

Virgin are being bumped from the West Coast, no chance of the government getting them to run the East coast? I think Virgins first class service is the best by far. I booked a return journey to London and I got a special offer, which upgraded me to first class on the shoogly. It was okay but not brilliant on the way down and it snowed the day I was coming back. The East Coast line was closed so I went to Euston and asked the guy at the Virgin desk if I could travel part of the way on their service. No problem he said. I checked that my offer ticket was valid on the Virgin train. Again no problem.

I got on and away we went. When the conductor came along he said the ticket wasn’t valid in First Class. By that time I had a free drink and some free peanuts. I argued the toss for a few minutes and then gave in although I said I’d finish my drink and peanuts before I moved.

The carriage was very glitzy and stylish. My ticket was valid but it was only to Birmingham and then I had to change to Cross Country. The least said about them the better.

Waverley is in the process of being redeveloped again. The Council are removing the taxis from the station. Who’s bright idea was that? A Johnny turns up with huge amounts of luggage and has to drag it up an escalator or drag it up the ramp to get to the taxis. What a nice way to welcome people to Edinburgh. NOT

There are also Edinburgh Airport buses for now and there are tourist trail buses, park and ride buses and all manner and size of single and double deckers which serve some of the larger towns around the capital.

There’s definitely a bus to suit you although you may never find it!


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Another week another diet.

A couple of years ago Mrs TT and I decided it was way past the time that we should get fit and lose weight. We were, and are still, not a pair of lardies but we felt it would be good, health wise, for us to lose a bit of weight.

We tried the gym, which worked initially but took up far too much time and didn’t really make the difference we wanted. So we turned our attention to dieting. I should say that we enjoy the odd meal out or brought in and we especially like the café culture that is popular in Edinburgh.

Mrs TT cast her net and came up with the Dukan Diet. If you are not familiar with this particular diet it’s based on eating proteins one day and mixing vegetables and protein the next. Basically we paid for the length of time we would be on the diet to reach the weight we wanted.

For the payment we got access to the website and Dr Dukan sent us personal messages (yeah right) everyday based on what we put in our diaries the day before. It worked pretty well for us although there didn’t seem to be an end in sight really. We got down to our target weights and over the next few months slowly put back on a lot of the weight we lost. Yes you’ve been there too.

A few weeks ago we decided it was time to lose the weight we’d gained and that we would find a diet that might be easier to live with and which would be “sustainable”. (That has to be the most misused and tedious word in the English language at the moment!)

We saw the “fasting” diet programme on BBC which featured Michael Mosley. That’ll do for us. Decision made and off we go.

So on day one of the diet a female has 500 calories and a male 600 calories maximum to use. It’s surprising how little food that actually is. It’s something of a challenge to spread the calories throughout the day although it’s manageable. On day two we can eat whatever we like. We just keep repeating this; day one is a down day and day two is an up day.

We’ve lost about 2-3lbs each in just over a fortnight, which is a reasonable rate, and it’s likely that we will lose more weight more quickly for a few weeks as we get used to the diet.

Interestingly the diet has also reduced my blood pressure. The diet seems to benefit health in general so we shall see what else happens.

I think we will be on the diet for some time although we can increase the down day calories if we aren’t looking to lose much more weight. Down days with little calories and up days with the calories we decide on isn’t so bad. Some people do five up days and two down.

Would my Scottish Granny be spinning in her grave? Clean your plate and keep to a balanced diet where her watchwords.

Maybe but then things were different in her day.


Posted by on August 28, 2012 in BBC, Family, Health, Science


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