LET MY LAD HAVE A GRUMBLE – MARCH 2015
Do you know how difficult it is to come up with new grumbles? The print deadline means that I can’t be very topical and after more than 2 years, there’s always the danger of repeating myself. Anyway James my darling youngest son, told me that last month’s column was ‘rubbish’ and that he could do better, so I said, go on then.
‘Right then as you know, this is James, Gary’s son. You may be wondering why I am doing this. Well let me tell you the story. I was complaining to my Dad that the quality of Gary’s grumbles was slanting, many others may have noticed this. Mustaches, does anyone really want to hear about mustaches and facial hair? “Shredded wheat and last Tuesdays takeaway” 1.who has takeaway on a Tuesday? At least a Saturday, maybe Friday. 2. Lads have showers dad. They’re not Bigfoot hiding in their cave not washing their beard. 3. Beards are the best thing that god ever put on this holy earth. 4. GET WITH IT GAZ THERE IN FASHION!!!!!!
WHY BRING UP THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE? That was last SUMMER things like this happen, however what was annoying was that ALS ice bucket challenge was for charity, it started off like that, the media making out like Ronaldo and others donating millions. Well then it tipped into a different level, people being drama queens over 5 millimetres of water being poured onto their head and not even donating any money!! phhhppht!!! Get a grip!!!.
And Gazza (Gary) you said ‘but be aware that only 5p filters through’, well Gazza, 5p from all the what? Let’s say a million people who did it, well 5 x 1,000,000 = 5,000,000 so that’s £50,000, good goin Gaz. And if you are moaning about charity then moan about the bob Geldof band aid 30. And I know, me moaning about gaz bringing up things from months ago, however, I’m carrying the topic of charity on. So what I don’t get is, Bono from u2 and other multi millionaires are waiting for us, the people who barely have any money as WE pay our taxes correctly, to hand out money to make them look good!
How about all the selfish-singers paid THERE taxes WE wouldn’t need these fundraisers!…
… I rest my case – James Kevin Peacock.’
Well out of the mouths of babes and all that, not sure how much tax an 11 year old is likely to have paid though. His middle name is made up by the way, I’d never christen anyone ‘Kevin’. With the obvious apologies to any Kev’s out there.
I’ve updated deathoftheregular.wordpress.com with the last few grumbles.
|TIME FOR HOMEWORK – APRIL 2015
Early Sunday evening, the weekend is all but over and I’m trying not to think about the alarm going off at 5.45am, that’ll be in less than 12 hours. The last bit of relaxation before another week begins is then shattered by the familiar scream that there is homework to be finished.
I’m a fine one to moan about my kids not doing homework, as I was once called the laziest specimen in the education system, that could have left scars, but I got over it. My starting point on being asked to help with their homework is for the boy/girl/not sure, to at least make a bit of an effort before telling me ‘I can’t do it, we’ve never done this before’. Inevitably this leads to a full scale row with paper and booklets flying round the room. After the tears subside, one of us, usually my wife will be sat with the child trying to help out. It’s all very, very stressful.
This brings me neatly to the point as to why I believe homework is a kop out by the teaching establishment and is in fact detrimental to an inclusive and comprehensive education. More often than not the claim will be made by the offspring that the work is all new and they don’t know what to do, are they telling the truth? Well if they are then are we doing the teacher’s jobs for them?
And so to the sticky bit, if you’re a child who doesn’t have the support at home to help with homework then what happens? The obvious answer is that you don’t complete the work and fall behind, which means we have a two tier system whereby the kids, whose parents can help them forge ahead and those kids without the help at home fall behind. It doesn’t quite give everyone an equal chance does it? So the outcome has to be that the teacher goes over it all in lesson time and the kids who’ve done the work get bored, which then makes me think, what was the point of doing the homework in the first place and ruining my Sunday evening? Do you see my logic, it’s all a big con, a smokescreen, just one more method of upsetting my life for little benefit.
I’m now in a position to look back on the homework I might have done and have realised that I’ve never yet used a quadratic equation in my working life, I still don’t really know what an adverb is and apart from a quiz night in the Mason’s Arms in 1986 I’ve never regretted not knowing the periodic table. Makes you think doesn’t it? Or does it? Then again I do know my times tables.
Finally, if anyone has views on the ‘Swanwick betrayed’ campaign and the 600 houses that are to be built then please get in touch with the voice, and let’s get the arguments going.
INTEGRATED TRANSPORT – MAY 2015
This month I’m going to discuss the finest example of an integrated transport policy that I’ve ever witnessed, it affects me as I’m one of those strange retards who doesn’t drive, more of that later. I use Alfreton station for my commute to work, you may have heard of it, it’s the one where if you are unable to use the stairs to get across to platform 2, you’re advised to go to Chesterfield, use the lift and catch a train back. I kid you not, they won’t allow you to use the crossing on the rails as it’s dangerous and before you start it’s got nothing to do with Europe.
Anyway back to Amber Valley’s integrated transport system. If you want to catch a bus to or from the station then you need to walk up to Mansfield Rd, which is no big deal but recently there is one service that comes right into the station, I’ll not mention the company for legal reasons. What happens is that the bus turns up, nearly always empty by the way, the driver gets out has a ciggy, gets back in and then drives off just as two trains arrive at much the same time from different directions. If it wasn’t so bloody stupid it would be comical. I have no idea what is going on, does anybody have an explanation? I’m sure the drivers contemplate waving at the alighting passengers as they go on their lonely way. God give me strength.
Well back to being a non-driver, I have tried and failed 5 times, I think it’s for the best and safer for the community that I gave up, I have many tales to tell about my 5 failures, but my favourite is the can’t fail weeks course in Blackpool, I drove around the lovely resort for 4 days, Friday came and I was told that my test was in Southport, but not to worry as I’d easily pass. It only bloody rained didn’t it, we came to a halt and I couldn’t work the demister, so I wound down the window to get some air. Rain went all over the examiner’s clipboard and he failed me, typical of my travails and that’s when I knew I would be looked on as not quite all there for the rest of my life. A friend of mine’s wife said recently that she’d ditch a non-driving husband, how fickle people can be Mrs Melrose. Thatcher once stated that anyone using public transport after the age of 25 should consider themselves a failure in life.
Whilst driving around Blackpool, I turned left of the promenade and clipped a donkey’s arse with the wing mirror, it was the back donkey and what followed was like a buffalo stampede in the old cowboy films. I found it hilarious, but there were a few people there who just didn’t.
FLAMING JUNE – JUNE 2016
Here we are in flaming June, Blatter the tin pot dictator has just fallen on his sword, Sir Cliff has still not been charged and the sun is shining, or is it?
I’m currently gainfully employed in Stockport, spreading the love and bonhomie to my Lancastrian brothers, it does mean something of a long commute and even longer days. I travel north on the direct train service and pass through God’s Country before turning left across the Pennines.
I leave Alfreton in the company of my fellow commuters, generally with the sun shining. I can quite easily work out where these people are going to, by their choice of clothing. The ones who are getting off at Chesterfield or Sheffield don’t tend to wear coats, but those that are intent on going closer to Manchester are recognisable by their choice of winter attire, hats, overcoats and parkas.
Why? You might ask, well Stockport and the surrounding area appears to have its own micro climate. I’m told that Jersey has one and I know that London does because of the amount of concrete, but Stockport’s was something of a shock. It alters after you pass Edale, the cloud appears then it starts to rain and blow a gale. It seems to be a full 5 degrees colder in Stockport than it is in Derbyshire, it’s dreadful and answers the question as to why Lancashire is known as the miserable County. Joy division and the Smiths were great bands but always portrayed themselves as dour miseries. I know why now, it wasn’t unemployment and deprivation, it was the awful weather.
So to the big news of the last few days, Britain’s got talent rocked by a dogging scandal. Well I’ve tried to tell you this before, reality TV and anything with Simon Cowell’s paw marks on it, is pants. It is mundane, lowest common denominator entertainment, cheaply made trash that our Simon has made a fortune out of.
If I’ve got this right, someone doing dog tricks won the prize, but it wasn’t all it appeared, one dog was substituted for another because the original one didn’t like heights. Correct me if I’m wrong but how many of you have ever worked out whether or not your doggie is scared of heights. A load of rubbish one dog couldn’t do the trick so they used one that could. It’s a sad state of affairs when we have to add dogs to the listing of DJ’s, politicians and bankers that we can’t trust. The prize was 250,000 smackers so I’d suggest taking a bit out of the Dogger bank and investing a bit in a pet therapist to get the pooch over its phobias.
FANCY DRESS – JULY 2015
The end of an era for me, my youngest child is leaving junior school this term, which means it’s possibly the last time I’ll need to attend a school play, disco and leaver’s assembly. The again I’ll have to do the prom thingy.
I’ll certainly not miss the disco and its warm cans of beer and the ever present mantra of canna, canna and canna have a gobstopper/drink/hot dog/curly worm/burger/balloon/my face-painted/slush puppy, blah, blah and blah again. I’ve done a couple of leaver’s assemblies and this will be my last, there’ll be tears no doubt, as they are very emotionally charged events, but my tears will be of only joy as I realise that the constant money grabbing requests for cash for one thing or another, from this particular junior school are well and truly over.
So onto the play, which bore a very loose resemblance to Goldilocks and the 3 bears, my son played the part of Goldilocks’ mother, and what a picture he was. Fake boobs, enhanced arse, high heels, make-up and a blonde wig. He looked like a cross between Lily and Robbie Savage, but played his part well, got laughs and a round of applause. Even under the circumstances I was as proud as only a dad could be to see his son in drag and enjoying himself hamming it up. And that James, is sweet revenge for you pulling my shorts down when I was talking to those 3 ladies when we were camping.
It actually took me back to when, in my early twenties I went to a fancy dress night out as Hilda Ogden. A number of things stick out from that memory, firstly I decided to start cleaning a bar in a pub, moved someone’s glass to dust under it and being told to f off by some humourless hippy. It finished up with me Noddy Holder and Mary Poppins having a bit of a fracas with the hippy and his chums. Later on in a night club I found it hilarious to see Dick Turpin going crazy because someone had stolen his wallet. Last, but not least I, for some reason stayed out for the night and walked home across some football fields early the next morning, when I got to the roadway there was a panda car waiting for me and 2 cops saying that they were reacting to a report of a freak wandering around, they both knew me from playing football against them amongst other things and seemed to take great delight in taking the mick out of this vision in laddered stockings and his mum’s slippers and cardie. They insisted on taking me home to prolong their fun, but seemed perturbed that my Mother just took it all in her stride, there’s not much that fazes my mum.
You’ll note that I didn’t mention sports day, well that’s because it was postponed owing to high temperatures. I kid you not. What have we come to? When sports day is put off because the poor little cherubs might actually get a sweat on.
WH SMITHS – AUGUST 2015
Getting a bit fed up again with rip off Britain. I keep going over my data limit on my mobile phone, apparently it’s because of apps downloading on to the phone. I don’t want the apps so I ventured into the shop, I’ll not say its name, but it means that you haven’t had sex. No help at all, I need to ring up and get extra data and pay more on my contract so that I can have apps that I do not even want. I am seething.
Secondly, I went into WH Smiths to buy some fruit pastilles, I realised I didn’t have a pen and was looking forward to my Sudoku, so I got a biro as well. The glamorous assistant asked me for £2.14, I nearly dropped through the special offer tray, HOW MUCH? Came the Yorkshire war cry. 90P for the sweets and £1.24 for the pen, it was a simple black biro not a gold plated ball point. She didn’t know what a ball point was and I couldn’t be arsed to explain as she went on to tell me that she didn’t set the prices, so don’t complain to me. Her spots were getting redder so I left in case they exploded causing an eruption that might close 20 European airports.
They’ve got you by the short and curlies haven’t they? Where else can I get a pen? 5 minutes before my train comes, they have a monopoly and they use it. I am still seething.
Ted Heath eh! Who’d have thought it? An unmarried piano playing sailor in sex claim shock.
I’m a smoker, not proud of it, but there you go. The latest whiz is to ban smoking outside pubs and specifically beer gardens. Why? Well it might encourage children to take up the habit as it appears to be socially acceptable. The nanny state has done such a good job in demonising the puffers that I hardly know any kids who don’t abhor smoking. We also hear that small quantities of drugs for personal use will not attract the attention of the good old British bobbies. Is this a mixed message or is it just me? It’s ok to have a little shoot-up or pop a few pills in the beer garden but the wrath of the state will descend on you if you’re caught round the corner sucking on a fag.
The Prime Minister of Japan has apologised for his countries actions in WW2, well that’s very nice of him but isn’t it just a little overdue? We recently apologised for the slave trade to various countries for what happened 200 plus years ago. It’ll not be long before Cameroon in his heated discussions with Europe demands apologies from the Romans, Vikings, Normans and Saxons before he can hold a referendum. I’m so seething I’m going outside for a fag while I still can.
BACK FROM HOLIDAY – SEPTEMBER 2015
Just got back from Sunny Ibiza, did a couple of gigs at Pacha and went to Amnesia on the Saturday, the kids enjoyed it, but I can’t remember much about it. A couple of things stood out whilst away, one good and one not so. The good bit, well that was being able to walk past restaurants without being hassled to look at their menu or ‘just have a drink’, you may recall that it’s a pet hate of mine, so big up to the Ibizians for their courtesy.
The not so good was that the tattoo craze that seems to have taken a hold of the Continentals and I don’t just mean the young un’s. Middle aged women with medieval script all over their bodies I’m afraid is not attractive. The old tripe about it being a statement, I want to prove my individuality, it’s a proof of my love for my kids, blah, blah, blah. Well if you love them, then why not take ‘em out for the day with the money you could have spent on ya tat.
I saw one young lad with an eagle on his stomach, well let me tell you, in a few years is probably going to resemble a big tawny owl, as his gut expands. One of my best mates in my youth, let’s call him Glyn for these purposes, proved his love for his girlfriend by having her name tattooed on his arm. Of course they split up a few weeks later and he spent the next 3 years wandering around pubs and nightclubs conversing with anyone called Tracy. He thought he was in one night until he found out that her name was Tracey with an ‘E’. It’s a fashion and fashions die out, rebellious youth is unlikely to want tats when they see the faded dolphin on their granny.
There’s a subject that is splitting this country in two and will lead to greater levels of violence and disorder than we’ve witnessed for years and it really does sadden me – Racism, we dare not speak of it, well some do don’t they? The ‘facebook warriors’. To upset the liberal amongst you, if proven beyond doubt that someone is a paedophile then I would fully support castration, if someone is proven to be a terrorist or have the intention of killing and maiming innocent people then again I would support the Government in destroying them. I know the argument about the Birmingham 6, etc. But at some point we have to believe in technology and hope that the establishment has finally rid itself of corruption. I so hope that it’s not a vain belief.
And to upset the rest of you, lets always remember that all Germans weren’t Nazis, that all Irishman weren’t terrorists, that all West Indians aren’t muggers and that all Muslims aren’t terrorists or paedophiles. By all means target the criminals and guilty, but blanket hatred because of someone’s skin colour or religion is just wrong. There’s good and bad in every race, apart from the Welsh.
A GOOD OLD MOAN – NOVEMBER 2015
I’m self-employed and have discovered that I pay more Corporation tax than Facebook, something wrong here as I don’t feel like the multi billionaire that maybe I should be.
As a nation we seem to be at each other’s throats blaming each other, immigrants, emigrants, Sheffield Utd supporters, benefits scroungers or people who earn too much, for all the wrongs in society, when patently the blame is with these blood sucking, very profitable, tax dodging multi-nationals.
It’s not just Facebook, but the likes of Amazon and Starbucks who have been caught out and provided mealy mouthed excuses about them doing nothing wrong. Well it’s about time that these parasites started paying their staff a decent wage and paying the tax that they morally should. Come on Osbourne you Bullingdon clubber, stop picking on the low paid and nicking their tax credits and get some tax collected.
Whilst giving old George a bit of stick, what about his latest wheeze, the old ‘Northern powerhouse’ which is an incredibly bright yet overdue initiative, I just hope it’s more than words, because at the moment its proving difficult to get to the North with only one lane of the M1 functioning.
To more of a local issue now and the stalag type fencing that has been put around the grounds of Swanwick Hall school, not sure why the politburo have decided to spend such an amount on keeping the community off the grass, but at about £100 per metre and probably a mile long it must have been judged as being money well spent. I assume it’s to keep dog walkers out, but in reality it’s just another place where kids can’t now play, another wasted green space that is there, but not accessible.
The local cricket team stopped batting there a couple of years ago and flitted to Cray’s hill and now the junior football teams have disappeared because the pavilion/changing rooms do not meet the FA’s standards and the school has declined to make the required improvements, well they couldn’t afford it after paying the deposit on the metal retention feature, or maybe there were other reasons for them not to refurbish the changing rooms.
Always Something Behind Everything Sometimes Though, Only Saying.
It makes you wonder what might be the point of keeping a large green space locked away from the public and gradually becoming less and less utilised. I mean what would you do with a big unused field in a nice area? Fracking anyone? Or something else???
So were nearly at the end of another year blah, blah, blah. Ripley fair has been and gone, Halloween and bonfire night are but distant memories and we look forward to the season of goodwill and cheer, rain, snow, fog, sleet and the bloody cold. Bring on the spring.
A BRAND NEW YEAR – JAN 2016
Well I trust you all had a good festive break and that Santa deposited a full sack of presents for your gratification. The most wonderful time of the year has been and gone once again. I’m writing this in early December so apologies if it wasn’t so good, but I can’t tell what the future holds.
What will your reflections be as we remember 2015 and look forward to another year.
The terrorist attacks, plane crashes, the Europe debate, a general election, the Labour party seemingly disintegrating before our eyes and of course Derby County winning the league in January and then remembering that it didn’t finish until April. That wasn’t the greatest sporting disaster though, that prize has to go to the England rugby team who promised little and delivered even less. The England and Yorkshire cricket team did reasonably well though. The weather seemed to be quite good, up until the last bit when we had a bit more flooding, the 9th ‘once in a hundred year event’ since 2005. This was also the year of the Northern powerhouse, only disrupted by floods, the 50mph limit on the ‘smart’ M1 and the complete lack of housebuilding and infrastructure improvement.
Turkey shot down a Russian jet and it transpires that FIFA, UEFA and the IOC are corrupt, well blow me down with a feather Trevor, who would have thought that. Cilla and Mr Spock passed away which means the loss of a lorra, lorra, logic and Leicester City sit at the top of the Premier league.
My broadband nightmare continues, BT Infinity, the only ‘upgrade’ that I’ve come across that actually downgrades the performance. The word infinity is what I equate to the number of chargers and remotes in the house, we now have 2 drawers and 3 boxes to keep the things in. I’ve spent hours on the phone listening to level 1, 2 and 3 support to sort the internet out, listening to them drone on about what it might be, but no solutions until one of the engineers dispatched to make the service worse suggested that I invest in a booster, which is what he had to do, and he works for them. It’s been close to anarchy in a house full of people and devices all soaking up the bandwidth and moaning at me as if it was my fault……. Anyway the booster wooster worked and all is calm again in the Peacock abode, that is until the Christmas lights went up, which can adversely affect the broadband. Technology eh? This year they sent a rocket around Pluto and discovered water on Mars, but no-one can sort my internet, it just makes you wonder.
Anyway, here’s to a brand new year where world peace breaks out, corruption in sport stops, athletes stop taking drugs, multi-nationals start paying taxes and the poor are not blamed for everything. It’s sad to say, but those wishes are forlorn hopes and not resolutions.
I will have updated http://deathoftheregular.wordpress/ with previous columns