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

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Boots On The Ground - Day 16

Feigned surprise. Just waiting for the eyebrow wiggle.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Lifeboat Ahoy!

When I was a child, we had yearly visits at primary school from the River Police. They had a flipchart of colour pictures showing the dangers of the River Thames - the dangerous muck you could cut yourself on and get blood poisoning, the current and the tides. A girl at my secondary school had a father in the River Police, and we were all shocked when he died in an accident while on duty.

I'm not sure exactly when they lost their rescue function, to revert to being a plain old police force, but in 1989 when the dredger Bowbelle hit a party boat, the Marchioness, capsizing it, with the loss of 51 young lives, it was not in a position to do much to help.

In the aftermath, there must have been some decision (though I can't remember it receiving much publicity) to employ the lifeboat service to supply search and rescue on the Thames.

The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Insitiution) is best known for its rescue work around the coast of Great Britain and Ireland. Its Severn class lifeboats cost £2.7 million, all raised by public subscription, all manned by volunteers. They can go up to 50 miles out to sea.

They can also handle the roughest of seas, and can capsize completely, then right themselves in less than ten seconds.

During our recent floods, however, the RNLI has been helping to rescue stranded people in flooded areas.

And today they were at school telling the kids about their service (and of course letting them try on jackets, lifebelts and helmets!)

Don't we do fun stuff?

Boots On The Ground - Day 15

Two for one. Bobby doesn't know whether to look at the blonde's face...

...or her boobs:

Thursday, November 29, 2012


A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that the government was planning to close Accident and Emergency and Maternity at my local hospital. It's getting really hard to get anyone outside the local community to sit up and take notice. A march last Saturday was briefly reported as having as few as 2,000 people taking part, whereas best estimates are between 10,000 and 15,000. The news coverage was minimal. It was raining, so the cameras didn't stay beyond the first few minutes, and didn't show the rally at the end or the "hands round the hospital".

Last night there was another public meeting in the local theatre.

It's clear that the stated aim of "reorganising local services to improve them" is a complete crock. The only plans are those which allow for these closures and the sale of two thirds of the hospital's land to developers. There is an assumption that there will be a fall in the number of people needing these services, though all the evidence is to the contrary. To get to the alternative hospitals, there being no decent public transport and relatively little (and rather expensive) parking, more people will need to call for an ambulance. There is no mention of the effects of the increase in these calls on the mortality rate of people such as heart attack victims. If the ambulance is dealing with another, less critical (but still very serious) case, it will be delayed. People will die. But hey, they won't be Conservative Party voters, so what the heck?

The person who produced the report didn't ask local people about how they would get to the alternative hospitals. They suggested we look on the Transport For London website. Yes, that's the first thing you do when you need to get to hospital urgently. They also consulted Deloitte's, a tax and corporate services company, to come up with travel times for an appendix to the report. Again, these geniuses didn't consult with the people who might be able to give them an accurate answer. They used online information, and came up with timings for conditions of "no traffic". THIS IS LONDON! Such conditions will only apply at about 2am, when there are no buses anyway. Multiply the time by three or four for most of the day.

Sadly, I think the government will nod this through no matter what we do. The only possible hope is that it is supposed to be put into practice over three years, by which time there will have been a general election, and with luck this bunch will have been kicked out and the next lot might listen to reason and stop it in its tracks.

Don't hold your breath there either.

Anyone who wants to see if they can sign the online petition please follow the links on

Boots On The Gound - Day 14

Did I surprise you, sweetheart, when I appeared naked in front of you like that?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Best Ever LOCI Scenes?

I love Chinoiserie, especially the scenes where Bobby's having so much fun. It was on last night, and I smiled all over again, just like I always do.

Boots On The Ground - Day 13

Bobby looks like he's about to swear.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Brilliant Video

Just saw this on Cheezburger and had to share - it made me cry with laughter.

Watch It If You Can

Last night there was a fascinating documentary on Channel 4 about two brothers suffering from a form of the genetic condition Leukodystrophy so rare they are the only people in the world known to suffer from it.

The Clark brothers reached their 30s before begining to lose their faculties, and are reverting to childhood. It was extremely moving.

The Clark Brothers

Many of you will remember my student Alex who suffers from Adrenoleukodystrophy, a form of the condition that generally strikes boys aged between 5 and 10, disabling them comletely within months, and usually killing them within two years. The condition figured in the film Lorenzo's Oil. Alex, like Lorenzo, is a long-term survivor, and is now 19. He, his mother Sara and his brother Ayden featured in the programme (so did their dog JJ). The link below will take you to the programme via the online on-demand facility. Sadly, I doubt if it works outside the UK.

It's also repeated on Thursday at 11.25pm on Channel 4.

on Channel 4 at 11.25pm on Thursday. I highly recommend it.

Boots On The Ground - Day 12

Back to basics. Woof!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Boots On The Ground - Day 11

This is a bit like that pose when he was a guest on that show with the fake Hillary Clinton before the 2008 election. Would have spilled the beans to him then, would spill the beans to him now.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Boots On The Ground - Day 10

What's Bobby thinking here? Answers on a postcard, please...

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