Thursday, January 21, 2010


A villain's death

If I get a worse score for the exam than you, I'm going to tie one end of a rope to the toilet door, the other end round my neck, stand in the toilet and pull the chain.

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Easily confused

GLYN: I once thought I'd broke my neck when I was snowboarding. Honestly, I've never been so scared in my life.

DAN: But that's a good sign, isn't it? If you'd broke your neck, you wouldn't have been able to feel fear.

Brief pause. Gulls cry in the distance, waves lap against the shore

DAN: Ah, no - legs. You wouldn't have been able to feel your legs.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The agony and the ecstasy

We had the joy of seeing Coventry City on the idiot box last week in their FA Cup replay against Portsmouth.

Sam and I dashed into Coral beforehand to lay a couple of wagers on the outcome.

In a fairly dire game, Coventry led from the first half, before scoring a dreadful own goal in the 89th minute.

As I had laid a fiver on Coventry to lead at half time and be level at full time, I wasn't exactly taking the kitchenware to my wrists when this happened.

Sam, also a Cov fan, was a little less chipper - none of his bets had come home.

Neither of us were particularly pleased with Cov's defending during extra time, particularly when they conceded in the 119th minute, to consign dreams of cup glory to the cupboard for another year.

I did have a £70 win to sugar the pill, though - call it heartbreak insurance.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010


Obituary: either the luckiest or the unluckiest man of all time

Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the only person officially recognised as a survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings at the end of the second world war, has died aged 93.

Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip for his shipbuilding company on 6 August 1945, when a US B-29 dropped the first atomic bomb on the city. He suffered serious burns to his upper body and spent the night in Hiroshima.

He then returned to his hometown of Nagasaki, about 190 miles southwest, which suffered a second US atomic bomb attack three days later. On August 15, 1945, Japan surrendered, ending the war.

Japanese survivor of two atomic bombs dies

The Guardian, Wednesday 6th January


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Adventures in democracy, part one

I had an epiphany on the train today: rather than just voting in this year's general election and bewailing the paucity of choice, why not go the whole hog and run for Coventry South?

Of course, there are practicalities to be considered if I am to make my dream reality, so I need to come up with a brand, then work on getting funding for my campaign.

So, here's my first idea for my fledgling movement:

The Tyrant Party - Leading from the front

Pledges: to disenfranchise the entire electorate (most of whom won't notice), then get on with the serious business of leading the country without cynically pandering to the voters by not locking them up and shooting their dog.

Policy Areas

Europe: Pursuing the vision of a united Europe, under the iron heel of my jackboot

Education: Largely vocational, involving coal mines and steel mills

Iraq: Ballache - sack it off

I'll also be bringing closure to the MPs' expenses scandal by disbanding the House of Commons and packing members off to a retirement camp in Siberia.

This year, vote for a stark, unflinching dose of tyranny - vote tyrant!


Of course, as I am, by definition, a one-person party, it will be very difficult indeed for me to win the overall Commons majority needed to form a government and bring my sweeping changes into effect.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Weekend entertainment on the cheap

Glyn had a good idea - Ready, steady, cook! night. All participants to bring three ingredients, totalling no more than a fiver in value.

Then he and I (his intended co-chef having bailed) cooked a variety of weird and wonderful dishes from whatever showed up with the various partygoers.

My ingredients were rice, mushrooms and spam. The first two went into fried rice, unsurprisingly. The spam was reincarnated as spam bhaji, which must be an all-time first. Didn't taste half bad either.

The drinking games were a bit more fraught: some genius came up with the rule "Dan has to lose an item of clothing every time a red card is drawn."

Fortunately, said genius didn't proscribe the putting on of clothes between cards, so I was able to preserve what little modesty I had by nicking other people's scarves and hats.

On Sunday, I trekked round London on the Sherlock Holmes audiowalk, which was a great laugh.

I made it twenty yards from my front door before I encountered my first miscreant. A young boy blindsided me with a snowball as I was walking past Coram's Fields.

My urge to giggle outweighed my urge for retribution.

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