UPDATED

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

Amber valley voice, Aug ’14 and beyond

AUGUST 2O14 – THE SCHOOL PROM

 

Well I tried not to upset anyone last month and it didn’t work, so where next? Well I think all the people who had a bit of a moan at me for being unpatriotic and dismissive of England’s chances at the world cup owe me an apology. It turns out I was far too optimistic, overpaid pussy cats who just rolled over and got tickled by Costa Ricans. Whilst on the subject of global sporting events I watched the tour de France in God’s county, it was a fantastic spectacle the speed and bravery of the riders is a sight to behold. One of our party missed the first stage, which was a shame, you’ll have to ask Bryan ‘lightweight’ Sole why he was absent, it must have been sickening to miss such an experience. After the success of the Yorkshire ‘tour’, you lot really need to get your act together and get Derbyshire on to the world stage.

And so to the grumble, the school prom, what’s it all about? Party frocks and stretch limos. Where did all this come from? Well the good old US of course. When I was a young man, I did my last exam and that was that, no-one said goodbye, there were no tears, you just walked away and got ready for real life. The prom seems to be so retrospective, a celebration of what’s passed rather than what is to come, and maybe that’s part of the problem with our youngsters seemingly unprepared for the real world. I asked a few people in their 20’s if they’d had a prom and it seems that the phenomena became popular in the early 2000’s and was influenced by American teen television programmes, Hannah Montana and all that garbage. Anyway my main problem with it is still to come, in 2 years my daughter will want me to spend no small amount on a dress and pink Rolls Royce, add in the nails, hair, eyebrows and spray tan and I think I’d better start saving now. I suppose if they enjoy it, then it’s worth it…..

Not sure how much of it will have come out by the time you read this, but the first signs of one of the biggest cover ups in history are out there. For many years there have been rumours of an ‘Establishment’ paedophile ring, High ranking police, judiciary and politicians all being involved and covered up by the last few Prime Ministers. This is going to make Hillsborough and the Guildford four cases look like small oversights and further erode our trust in those that we expect better from.

Also involved, is an iconic pop figure, who’s outing will shock and upset many of you.

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2014 – COFFEE SHOP NIGHTMARE

 

For the last few months my work has been taking me to Leeds and Birmingham, I change trains at Chesterfield and usually buy a coffee at the station. I assume it’s one of those chains that doesn’t pay any tax in the UK, anyway that aside it’s a ‘retail outlet’ that really gets up my nose. Do I have a loyalty card? Do I want to upgrade to a £1 bacon or sausage sandwich? Do I want chocolate sprinkles on my cappuccino? No I just want a cup of bloody coffee. We then get to the health and safety section of the customer experience, I’m one of those sad unhealthy freaks that still has one sugar in his drink, now I know that it’ll likely fur my arteries and give me a mental illness in later life, but so be it, I like a bit of sweetness in my drink. ‘Would you mind not putting the lid on please’, and the reply ‘fraid not, elf n safety’ in that wonderful early morning Chesterfield drawl. So they weld the lid to the cup add a bit of no nails and then twist the thing just to ensure that the cup is as air tight as a Russian nuclear submarine. You then have to move outside to the ‘sugar station’ and somehow get the lid off to put the sugar in, and that’s where the fun starts. Coffee spilling everywhere and then the Rubik’s cube task of getting the lid back on, but it never fits does it? Burning liquid everywhere, down my trousers in my newspaper and all over the floor with the rest of the sugar addicts residue.

Now don’t get the wrong idea about me being some sort of sophisticated coffee snob, if they sold instant I’d probably have that, but they don’t do they, it has to be some fancy name that none of us had heard of prior to 1990. My choice of cappuccino came from a process of elimination, I tried a latte which was a bit of a let-down, and I’ve known babies with a bigger kick. I once heard someone ask for an espresso and thought I’ll have a go at one of them, well I thought they’d made a mistake, a big cup with a miserable drop of mud in the bottom. If that’s how you want to take your caffeine then you may as well inject it. Why is life never easy?

It’s just been on the news that Robin Williams hung himself, what is it with comedians and depression? He was a truly funny man who lit up many people’s lives. He was one of those people who you grew up with. Nanu nanu till next time.

 

NOVEMBER 2014 – BLOODY EAST MIDLANDS AIRPORT

 

So the Devil’s work is upon us, Ripley fair, Halloween and Bonfire night. Well, I’m not going to moan about the autumn treble from hell, I’m going to look back fondly on the summer.

The family and I have just got back from a week in sunny Majorca, the holiday was fine, it’s just the pain of getting there and in particular the task that is east midlands airport. You turn up and have to pay a quid to get near the terminal. Why? Is it worth peeing so many people off? We got dropped off at the garage and we weren’t alone, it’s amazing that so many people will walk a couple of 100 yards just to save a £.

At the check in with Ryanair you begin the hike around the carefully constructed slalom of barriers that lead you up and down the hall 17 times before you get to the nice man who says that your luggage is half an ounce over the limit, but that he’ll let it go this time. How pleased I am that they’ve decided to up their customer service, thank you Michael O’Leary.

Then you waltz past the rather strange holograms telling you to make sure that you don’t have any liquids on you and into another malaise of barriers. Is there someone whose job it is to see a space and work out what would be the maximum mileage that they could make you walk around in such a small square? Well if there is, then the lad at east mids deserves a bonus. There was no-one in this section so I dipped under the barrier and was told off by a very youthful spotty jobsworth.

It took over an hour to get through security, in part because James Peacock didn’t listen to the hologram and had a bottle of water in his bag. During the delay I was in a dilemma, I wanted a pint before boarding, but the delay would reduce the kids spending power before getting on the plane. It turned out I had time for a pint and the others said they were hungry, so off they went to burger king with another £20 note that I’d produced earlier. I went and sat with them to be informed that there wasn’t any change and that my wife had to put a few pounds in as well. Over 20 quid for 2 unhappy meals and a burger, double what it would be in the real world.

By this time I was too knackered to muster up a groan, all the walking had tired me out. So my tip for the next time you fly is pay the quid, it’s probably worth it.

Not sure what the outcome of the Scottish independence vote was, but you can read my piece from a few months ago at deathoftheregular.wordpress.com.

Happy autumn.

 

 

DECEMBER 2014 – A LIVING WAGE

Low wages and the benefits system have been in the news recently. I’m not taking the Daily Mail on here by demonising ‘scroungers’ with 17 kids and a disabled dog, I’m talking about genuine working people who work full time, do their best, but are deemed by the government not to earn enough to get by.

They can claim tax credits, rent and council tax rebates and a host of other stuff, yet they still pay tax, whilst this keeps administrators at the council and HRMC in work, can you see how ludicrous the situation? Where do these top ups come from? Well it’s the taxpayer, stupid, the ones who don’t get any benefits as well as the drinkers, smokers and drivers amongst you.

Private companies and the public sector pay low wages knowing that the state will top up or subsidise their employee’s weekly pot of cash. This and previous governments have presided over the most complex benefits system in the world, adding bits on and taking bits off at each budget.

The government must have calculated the amount req’d to live on, or they wouldn’t be able to decide the level of top up, so my solution is to raise the minimum wage to that level, so that with the exception of disability and child allowance there wouldn’t be a need for any tax credits or benefits, allied to that we should set the personal tax band at the same level so that only people above that wage would pay tax. It seems so simple to me, we’d save billions on bureaucratic nonsense, call centres and civil servants, not to mention a decrease in fraud. At last we’d be able to cut that bloody deficit that they all whinge on about.

There has to be a downside of course, prices would increase, the highly skilled would need pay rises to keep parity and we’d have a load of unemployable button pushers on the jobs market. The dreaded inflation would return of course, but I for one would enjoy few price rises if I knew that my fellow man/woman was earning enough to live on.

Obviously big business would be against it, they couldn’t possibly afford to increase pay and would threaten to take their factories and offices to the 3rd world. The conclusion has to be that these corporate entities are profiting by having their employees subsidised by our taxes, and the sting in the tail is that these companies do everything they can to evade paying any corporation tax in the country where they make their profits. A double whammy, they are taking the pee and none of our wonderful elected representatives seem capable of doing anything about it.

Anyway I’ll apologise if all that was a bit dry or even Marxist and wish you all a grumpy xmas and a prosperous new year, if you earn enough that is.

 

 

JANUARY 2015 – ANOTHER HAPPY NEW YEAR

 

Well a happy new year to one and all, last year at this time I made a few observations about what might happen in 2014, obviously most of them were spot on including Swanwick Parish council erecting a Christmas tree that was slightly bigger than one of those Japanese garden plants. Well done the council then, the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. They’ve still not done anything about the potholes or litter bins though.

So, what do we have to look forward to in 2015, there’s the rugby world cup for a start, which reminds me of my 2014 ‘error of the year’. My rugby going chums and I had targeted Italy v Canada as our autumn day out, I applied for tickets and received an email telling me that I’d got 6, £20 tickets, a couple of others had managed to get 4 tickets, so we were in for a good day out in Leeds. A couple of weeks later I got a call asking me who my tickets were for, the inference being that I was going to sell them on. I responded that I didn’t have everyone’s date of birth, but gave them some names. ‘How many required wheelchair access’ was the follow up, none I replied. The penny dropped, I’d only ticked the box for disabled spaces. My money was refunded and no tickets, what a div, looks like we’ll be watching it on TV.

There’s also going to be a general election this year, so whoop, de whoop de whoop. Who’ll win this time, probably no one and we could be going the way of Italy in the ‘70’s where each month we have a different grouping of parties colluding for power. I can see it being a right old nightmare with UKIP, the Greens, Scottish nationalist’s and some other bunch of fools holding the balance of power. This might very well result in policies swinging right to left to the downright ludicrous every other couple of weeks. Let’s see what happens, but I think we’ll be in the proper poo poo, this time next year.

Hopefully Richard Branson will launch his ‘space vacation’ again this year, who would you like to see on the shuttle? Maybe a few Hollywood celebrity couples, anyone who’s been on strictly x factor in the jungle? All the leaders of our political parties, Katie Hopkins, Andrew Neil? Or how about Jeremy Clarkson sharing a cocktail with Mario Balotelli? I’m not suggesting that anyone would like to see them all blown up of course, but then again……….

Finally a request, if anyone knows of a secure field where I can exercise my 2 dogs, then please get in touch.

 

FEBRUARY 2015 – ALL THEM DO-GOODERS

 

Well, I have a January confession to make, I didn’t stay dry for the month, I also didn’t partake in last summer’s ice bucket challenge and believe it or not I didn’t bother to grow a tash in November. Getting a bit much, isn’t it? Doing ‘whacky’ things for charity. ‘Look at me, look at me, I’m just so out there, with it and crazy, I’ll do anything for a laugh and a bit of sponsorship I will’. Well I’m sorry but you’re all sheep, just following the ‘trendy’ herd. There’s nothing rebellious about having a bucket of water poured on your head, if half of the bloody country is doing it.

Thinking about it, there’s a few other things I won’t be doing for charity, such as a bungee jump, walking to Glasgow and back or cycling to Venezuela, whilst living on a dollar a day. Some might say that I’m being a tad harsh, and I suppose I could be, when you consider all the money that might be raised through these selfless acts. So my advice, carry on following these noble crazes, but be aware of the likelihood that only 5p in the £ actually filters through to the worthy cause.

Another symptom of our do good- feel good society at the moment is that minutes applause thing at football matches, it’s beginning to grate just a little bit. ‘And we’ve reached the 49th minute of the match, and both sets of fans are clapping to show respect for Billy Van Blockhurst, who played with such passion for both teams, but sadly passed away in 1949 on his 49th birthday, it brings a tear to the eye Michael’. All over the country there must be football supporters, thinking they’re missing out, checking which minutes are left and trying to find a tragedy to fit. Where and when will it end? Maybe at the cup final we’ll have applause for the duration of the game, covering every minute and every possible incurable disease and plane crash.

Finally back to the tash thing. Exactly when did it become fashionable again for young men to grow beards, let me tell you something, ya all look daft, if you have a girlfriend believe me she doesn’t like it and if you want a girlfriend then get the clippers out. In my day it was only the hippies, geeky IT geeks and tramps who had beards the collective noun by the way was ‘bores’. If I pop into one of the pubs in downtown Swanwick I sometimes feel like I’ve walked into the Klondike Arms in deepest Alaska. Wall to wall fuzzy facial hair covered in toothpaste, shredded wheat and last Tuesday’s takeaway. It’s not good lads, have a word.

So, if you have a beard, did the ice bucket challenge and have ever done the minute thing, then my thoughts are with you.

 

Welcome to Gary Peacock in Blogland

I’m a 52 year old, deeply happy and satisfied soul. I like to give the impression though, that I am a right miserable git. Believe me it’s an act.

Last year I published a book, which was loosely based around four deceased pub friends of mine and the area of Swanwick in Derbyshire, in which they enjoyed their lives. The book also looked at why so many of our local pubs are closing and my musings on the reasons for this. Some people enjoyed the book and I was asked to pen a monthly column for a local magazine. The Amber Valley Voice is one of those freebies that advertise plumbers and waxing parlours. Some of my writing has caused something of a stir and upset a few people, which of course was my intention. I was also asked to contribute a column to the Alfreton Town football programme, which takes a sideways look at modern day footy.

Hence the blog, this is where you can read my already published rants.

That book of mine, Death of the regular is now out of print (it sold out), but you can still get the  kindle version at the following    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-regular-Gary-Peacock-ebook/dp/B008MVN27W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1386760735&sr=1-1

Yes I know it’s a long link but it does work. If you enjoy the blog then please share within your various networks.