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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Smile - Day 8

Another hint of a smile...with shoulders!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Smile - Day 7

This is about as close to a smile as we get from Bobby in this epsiode.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Smile - Day 6

Pity it has to be thanks to slimey Leslie we get to see this hand shot.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Here's looking at you, kids

Big and not-so-big cats were in a lazy mood, but the squirrel monkey was in the mood to chat.

My big boy Dandy likes to chat, too - but do you think he'd give me his usual 3-minute discourse? No chance! He did demonstrate his pneumatic drill of a purr, though.

Smile - Day 5

Today, it's just pure handsome gorgeousness.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Taxing Time

I received three tax coding notices today, two of them informing employers to charge me tax at 40%. Even more surprising was that one of them was with regard to an employer I left in August 2010, and not a single one applied to my current employer. Considering I had a conversation with the tax office last year about their unilateral decision to remove my tax allowance from my pension, the only income that will remain stable forever, I was, to put it mildly, somewhat bemused.
It took me 25 minutes to actually get through to a human being. Meanwhile I had to listen to some really naff music interspersed with the same message over and over again that I could find lots of information on the website. NO, I NEED TO TALK TO A PERSON! At the very least, they could change the message (and the music) every few minutes, couldn't they?
I spent 15 minutes thrashing the matter out with one of the tax officers, and knowing that they are overworked and understaffed thanks to the same government that has frozen my pay till kingdom come, I was determined to be polite, sympathetic and, if possible, lighthearted. I'm glad to say that I managed this, and even raised a laugh for the poor, beleaguered woman.
I then had to phone the National Insurance office about a related problem, and though this call was answered more quickly, I still had to spend a further 15-20 minutes of my life trying to sort things out. Even so, this evening I have had to put my problem into print so that I can send it in. So there go a couple of hours I'll never get back.
On the plus side, I've managed to get another letter printed in my TV listings magazine, the BBC's "Radio Times". This time, I wrote about the pronunciation of the newly honoured ROYAL Borough of Greenwich. Ever since the run-up to the Millennium celebrations, I have regularly had to cringe to hear broadcasters use the posh, yuppy-incomer (or alternatively New York) pronunciation of the name. "Grennitch" they say, oblivious. "Grinnidge" true locals say.

The Cutty Sark before the restoration.

And in a recent programme about the restoration of the tea clipper The Cutty Sark, the young Queen, speaking at the 1957 opening of the tourist attraction created by putting the ship into dry dock, called the place - TA-DA! - Grinnidge. It's the Queen's English. Literally. I rest my case.

And as a reward the Radio Times is sending me some audiobooks, including Oliver Twist read by Martin Jarvis.

(Just a reminder of the tragedy that befell the ship during the restoration, when a fire ripped through what was left on site - luckily much of the original timbers had already been removed to workshops elsewhere.)

The Cutty Sark on fire, May 2007.

The day after the fire.

Smile - Day 4

After yesterday's belly-bounce, today we have the groin grope.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cutting Edge Punishment

I tossed up between staying at home this afternoon and vegging out, or strolling to the shops to take advantage of some less freezing weather. The outing won.

My route to the shops takes me across a small river, through a new housing estate, and under a railway bridge, where I cross the road to the shopping centre.

There was a loud noise that I couldn't identify (there's also a large building site nearby, and the sound reminded me of very intrusive drills). As I advanced, I realised it was a helicopter, which was confirmed as this vision rose just above the rooftops:

It must have been ticking over nearby - can't imagine where it had managed to land in a busy town centre - but this was confirmed when I reached the road, and found a serious traffic jam, and a road ambulance and police cars along the roadside. Inside the shopping centre, the central square was cordoned off and the Sainsbury's supermarket was closed. A police support officer was informing people that there had been a stabbing. The victim was on his way to hospital, his assailant was under arrest. The supermarket staff had been sent home in shock and the crime scene techs were inside doing their stuff.

I overheard later that the victim was the store's security guard, but this was unconfirmed.

There is just too much knife crime in the UK, and the penalties just don't keep up with the seriousness of the crimes and the resulting maiming and death. I am no fan of Sharia law, but I guess having your hand chopped off would stop you ever stabbing anyone again.

Smile - Day 3

Anyone for a belly-bounce?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Smile - Day 2

Hands up all those who ever thought they'd one day lust after a trousered knee!

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