Friday, April 29, 2011

They call me Sparky for a reason!

(Circa 1996)

To set the tale.... A good few years ago (when I was married the the first time) and the bungalow I lived in had an external Garage which the previous owner had kindly 'wired' up to the Mains, plugged into a normal plug, under a slightly leaking kitchen sink, via a cable running along the top of the adjoining fence!

Well... this cable powered the supply at the far end of the garage, and I decided (or should I say my then wife decided), it would be a good idea to have a garage light, so after careful planning on my behalf, I decided that surely it would be a simple task to put a junction box inside the garage that allows the power at the far end of the garage to continue as permanently live AND have a 'spur' off of it to power 2 internal strip lights (carefully Zip tagged under the pre-fab roof 'leaking' of the garage!

(Noticing a pattern here?)

Now (and I am getting there!) as I've already said, this Live power to the Garage was a 'plug-in' under the sink (YES I SAID SINK) which would occasionally drip onto the cable and 'PUFF' Fuse the house, which was nice! so I came home from work, it was light... (as it was August, I hadn't left my wife just yet, that came at Christmas!) I had my security lamp at the ready and was all geared up.

Now you people out there will have to admit that there has been at least one occasion when you are running on Auto-pilot (for example, you get to work by car an cannot remember certain parts of the journey and usually SHIT yourself when you realise this!) and I was (on that fateful day) in such a mode.... ON AUTO!

I went into the kitchen, opened the under-sink cupboard and simply switched the switch on the power plug leading to the garage OPPOSITE to what it happened to be and thought nothing more of it.....


I grabbed my ladders, walked outside... the birds were a-singing, the evening sun was high and was oblivious to the Peril I was about to put myself in!

Out to the Garage, opened up the up-and-over door, and after 15-20 minutes had attached the Strip light to the ceiling of the Garage (well... it was Zip Tagged for now - but that was the least of my concerns)

"HA" I thought to myself, "Not such an idiot after all!" (My ex-wife seemed to have this illusion that I was thick as shit and she a Genius, although in saying that I did marry her after all?)

I led the wire from the light, through a crack in the roof, fed it through the roof frame and held it next to the area ready for my surgery of inserting a junction box into the existing single power line. I set up my ladders.... UNFORTUNATELY, It had been raining and as the roof did leak here and there, the floor of the Garage was a bit of a lake, so the ladders were IN THE WATER!


I climbed up the ladders, and out came the cable snippers (JUST HOW LUCKY I WAS AT THIS POINT I ONLY NOW REALISE!) and 'SNIP' through the cable, after a little snipping here and there, re-connected the existing cable through one of the junction points and re-connected the other trailing end to the outlet to feed the existing double socket...

OK.... stripped the end of the cable from the Security light and connected the first wire (EARTH),

"No problem" I thought.. "She'll be well made up when she get's home, I might even get my leg over for this one?"


  • I was on a Metal Ladder
  • In Water
  • With Exposed Electric Cables in my hand (under the illusion that I'm safe!)

As I connected (By Hand!) the LIVE wire from the Security light, to the Junction box 'CLICK'... the Strip Light Flittered a bit, then Came on... now after a brief second of confusion, I was made up! "YES!" I thought to myself "working like a dream! - I'm not as stupid as I thought!"

It was only after another few seconds or two that it dawned on me that I had my finger pressing down the LIVE wire of a LIVE Electric circuit that was powering the security light!

"OH SHIT SHIT SHIT - What the Hell am I going to do?"

Just then..... My neighbour drove down his drive, after what seemed an eternity of me keeping my finger where it was and trying not to breathe (or follow through) he got out of the car smiling and walked towards me...
"Nice Bright Light that Mark!"

I replied.... "Yeah... Erm..... Listen!could you do me a favour?" (Trying not to Weep!)

"Of course, what do you want?"

"Well... and PLEASE don't laugh.... Could you go into the kitchen, go under the sink and SWITCH OFF the socket under the sink?!"

"Erm.... Yeah sure..."

< a short time later, the Security light went off >

I hurridly finished the junction box, shut up the garage, went inside and Changed my trousers!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Siamese cats can't paint

I've mentioned in a few of my Stories now the 2 Siamese cats I used to have, "Bastard" & "Shit head"; Well not long after moving into the house we live in now (somewhere around 2003) we'd started on the mammoth task or decorating.

The wife wanted the en-suite doing, sounds glamorous I know, but its about 6x6 foot, and I cant use it because the shower cubicle is too small, (not that I'm fat or anything - I'm an ex-Navy seal remember), that when I bend down for stuff, I tend to bounce my arse off one side of the cubicle, ricocheting and then head-butt the opposite wall on the way back,

Kind of like Pin-ball.... but not as funny...

Anyway, I was painting the roof with a roller (white paint), with the roller tray (full obviously) in one hand, my right foot on the toilet seat, and my other foot (streatched a ways) on a mini-step ladder...

What I 'should' have done was lock the cats downstairs, but I neglected to do that, they came in, saw me, and as affectionate as they were, jumped on the toilet seat and started rubbing my leg (wish the "mrs" was that affectionate), unfortunately, me being stretched from one side of the bathroom to the other, on tippy-toes, mouth agog (in full concentration) trying to roller the roof, and balance a full roller-tray in the other hand I was taken a-back in shock, feeling something rubbing my leg, jumped, my foot went straight through the toilet seat, causing me to be off-balance as I'd now dropped about 8 inches into water (urgh!), I dropped the full paint-tray onto the floor, covering cat number 1"Bastard" who legged it, startling cat number 2 ("Shit head") who bolted through the roller tray, I also then slipped off the step ladder with my other foot finding said roller tray myself, which unfortunately still had some content, "Shit head" taking a vast amount with him on his paws through the bedroom, across the landing, down the stairs.... all of which had new carpet...

The Carpets were Red.... the Paint was White!


Monday, April 25, 2011

B&Q must REALLY hate me!

Ok, the present "mrs" bought some new patio furniture, thankfully nothing too expensive but it now means that I had to get the desktop patio heater we bought about 4 years ago, out of the shed and assemble it...

(there's another diary entry all about that and a chainsaw following this one when I get the chance)

But... Of course the stock pile of calor gas cylinders we have around the perimeter of our house aren't the right size, shape, colour, connector, flavour and various god knows other things... Typical!

So (under duress) I had to return to that hell-on-earth place that I just 'hate' B&Q (you'll find other stories on here involving this pit of inadequacy) as it happens, I also needed garden turf, and that's for the big hole I still have in the front garden from my chainsaw episode of a few months ago...

So, B&Q (St. Helens) I set off to, car boot all nicely protected with big bin bags...

I Get there and it's chaos!
For a moment I thought the "God Squad" from the other weeks holiday had set up camp in the car park, it's like the Oklahoma friggin land-race in that car park, someone sees a free spot and it's anyone's guess who'll get there first!

I get in and ask the first "employee" I see:

"Hi mate, where's your turf?"
"Yeah... Grass, Turf... For the lawn... "
"Turf or Seed?"

(I paused... Could this be the Cretin I had the 'paint' issue with last year?)


"err... I dunno, maybe outside?"
"nope, I know that's where it usually is (out front) but it's not..."

"dunno then? Maybe try gardening..."

(I had already thought that but just thought I'd ask an 'employee' but that didn't work, so I guess I'll go and find some breeze blocks and strike up a more fruitful discussion with them... and off I trundled)

I found the gardening section and it was utter carnage, it was like a scene out of a jailhouse riot... I eventually found the TWO pallets of turf that B&Q must assume is enough for demand but the turf that was there resembled the leftovers of a kids party, there were pices, chunks and tufts all torn into bits, none with any real 'sellable content.... That was it?

Being the half-full :0) Kind of guy I am I thought I'd strike up a conversation with another 'employee' (there being no breeze-blocks around)

"Hya, is this your section?"
"I'm here aren't I?"

(I really do seem to Bring out the Best in people don't I)

"is this all the turf you have left?"
"yep! Why how much do you need?"
"I only need 2 lengths"
"there's more than 2 lengths there!"
"I know, 'just' but it's scraps and tufts... I need full bits"
"well that's all there is..."

(and... He... Turned... His.... Back... ASSHOLE!)

Ok, turf abandoned...

"excuse me mate, I also need gas, calor gas, 6kg bottles with the new push connector?"
"(and) We don't do 6kg..."
"(and) Theres no such cylinder...."
"(and) Are you sure thats what you want?"
"We do 5's"
(I'm sure I heard a hushed 'idiot' in there...)

.... Deep breath mark ....

"ok... 5's then..."
"we've got none..."

... I stomped off like a 2 year old chunnering vulgarisms in bi-polar Irish mark!

At the tills I thought I'd ask one of the 'assistants' if they could call the other local B&Q for me to see if THEY had turf/gas...
Apparently 'we don't do that anymore'
So I called them myself, but "I'd better hurry, as it's real busy and we may sell out"

Quick jaunt down the motorway, "Kablam!" RIGHT outside, on pallets, TURF!
gorgeous, thick 'whole' lengths of green, carpet quality Grass!

("I'm bloody well havin some of that!" I chunnered)

Pushed my trolley to one side, grabbed a roll (which turned out to be heavier than I thought as as it happens, this I worked out just as my Sphincter expanded and I touched cloth!)
when to my horror, some fat arse was just about to bugger off with my trolley..
"OI!!! geddoff my trolley"
('it' stared at me blankly.... Obviously one of the generations of 'in-breds' being allowed to continue breeding on benefits!)
"why is it YOUR trolley?" it mumbled
"because it is mate, I've just put it there so I can put this turf in it... Do I look like Geoff Capes?"

(it had a puzzled look, perhaps it wasn't as old as it looked, all those years of inbreeding and standing outside the benefits offices waiting for this months Giro had obviously taken it's toll! And it probably didn't know who "Geoff Capes" was?)

I dumped the 2 rolls of turf in MY trolley and scarpered, there were bricks lying around and the 'inbred' might revert back a couple of years to it's 'neanderthal' state and club me then take me for it's mate or something...

Ok, lots and lots and lots of BBQ's all boxed, along with lots of signs "Don't forget your Gas, BBQ's don't run on Air!"

(they'd better tell that to 'captain cave man' outside, I thought)

So... Where IS the Gas?
Aha... Another 'assistant' surely they're not all idiots?
"Hya... I've literally just rung from being at one of your other depots, you have a limited supply of 5kg propane calor gas with the new 'push' fit connector?"
"we have??? Oh sorry, yes... We HAVE!... Have you got ID?"
"ID? why do I need ID? your flattering me a bit aren't you? I've not been 21 for a few years now!"
"(Sarcastically) Didn't they TELL you on the phone? We need ID! Otherwise you can't have gas?"

Now at this point, my blood had been boiling, the red mist appeared and I lost my manners...

"We're in B&Q.... I'm SURROUNDED by Nails, Screws, Timers, Switches, Wireing, Batteries, Fertiliser and Hundreds of Gallons of various Poisonous, Acidic and Deadly Flammable chemicals... IF I had the knowledge, motive and intelligence or access to Google I'd be in the Middle of a Bomb makers wet dream, and your enforcing this on me for a 5kg cylinder of Calor Gas?

I left....

Actually (the wifes just remined me) as I went through the till, paying for the Turf, I thought I'd be clever and ask her if I could get Gas - she tannoyed for assistance - SH*T - and who should come to the call.... yep - the bloke I'd just had the bing with - I looked like a proper arse!)

Unfortunately, it didn't 'quite' end there, because as I was putting the messy, dusty, crumbling turf into my boot, I brushed against the spare pair of Work/Suit pants I always keep in my car (another story, another time) got covered in soil AND the protective Bin-liners I'd put in there to stop the mess....



Friday, April 22, 2011

Log Rolls

(Around April 2002)
OK, having just moved into our new house, the Garden's were nothing but a loose covering of crap turf on an even crapper surface of crap, sand, more crap, clay and even more crap (with the occasional wooden pallet in there believe it or not!), so one of my tasks being the awesome gardener I am , was to make something of them. So I decided to dig beds aroung the edges, and to make the beds more evident and tidy, I decided I'd need some sort of borders to hold back the soil.... LOG ROLLS!

So off I trundled to Homebase, and out into the Garden section outside.... Aha! there they are, hundreds of them in different sizes, and colours... Perfect!

So having pondered which size and colour would go best, I started to load them into the shopping trolley, one at a time...


just as I picked one up and raised it above my head to traverse through the odd columns of logging, neatly stacked 4 or 5 high, I felt the tickling sensation on my arm... .Huh?

With a look, I saw a terrantula crawling down my arm, surely coming to tuck into my neck or something... I say terrantula, and what I actually mean was something a little smaller, but equally as terrifying to someone like me who HATES spiders, and with that thought in mind, I had no alternative..

I threw the log roll down, and danced around waving my arms around like a demented chicken, screaming and squeeling like a friggin Telly-Tubby, meanwhile, and in slow motion, the flying log-roll just happened to hit one of the columns of other log rolls, which in turn hit another and another, until there were log's falling all over the place, and making a SH*T LOAD OF NOISE!

then silence, there I was half way up the garden center, with a scene of utter chaos and confusion left in my wake... without further adew, I spun around, and without a conspicuous bone in my body, slipped out of the garden center, and past the tills out into the car-park.

Hopefully they didn't get it on camera!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Schooldayz With Henry Cooper

Well... I tell a lie, it obviously wasn't the REAL Henry Cooper (Being an Ex-Navy Seal, I'd have obviously took his ass out!), but read on and all will be revealed!

Basically when anyone went to Art school, they had to trek across the village my high school was in to an old, stone building, which is just about still there to this day, not as an Art school, but a boarded up memory; and they're building Yuppie houses and apartments around it.

Basically, it was probably in the 1st. or 2nd. year, and I was there with 3 of my 'school dayz' mates;

Michael Wellstead,
Wayne McCarthy and
Ian Hopkinson

Now, I was a tyrant at school, and as usual, we were pissing about, when I decided to go to the bog (toilet, for you upper-class foreigners), and wandered off in the direction of the old hallways to the gents; as I glanced behind me I 'thought' i saw Ian get up and follow me, gesturing to the other two, something sinister!

Once out of view, I decided to leg-it, and hide in wait for my victim (Ian); after a few seconds I heard the clip-clop, clip-clop of shoes on the old-stone floors.... lying in wait, I waited, and waited, holding my breath, until out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement, and LAUNCHED myself into the path of the on-comer, shouting some rubbish like 'Boo...' or 'Ugger Bugger'..


It WASN'T Ian!!

It was the Head Teacher at the Art school, Mr. Dekeyne, a tall and quite frightening aura of a Man, who instantly punched me to the chin, knocking any sense I had in my head at that time, through the back of my head... I seem to recall hitting the front doors of the school, and sliding down onto the floor, then vaguely remember being dragged back into the class, and dropped back to my chair where I was ordered to stay for the rest of the day!

Can't quite remember if I ever DID get to the toilet that day or just soiled myself there slumped against the wall...?


Paint Along with Nancy

Any of you as old as me (EARLY 40's) will possibly remember a Painting programme that used to be on TV called 'Paint Along With Nancy', now this programme used to be hosted by Nancy (obviously) who looked like my ex-mother in law, Dark hair and reminded me of the Wicked With of the West, and some old geezer who used to stand next to her whilst she painted and said admiring things like 'Ooh, you wouldn't have been able to tell that was a tree before would you viewers??'

Anyways, I refer to this cos when I was younger (around 5) my parents would watch this all the time, and as I didn't have anything else better to do I used to paint etc. now when real young of course, my parents wouldn't VOLUNTARILY let me use REAL paint (Oil etc.)

So I used to paint with Water colours, now of course., Water colours involve, water paints and a big jug of water to wash your brush in, however, for some reason when I was painting I'd get the urge to DRINK the water in the jug, AFTER I'd washed my brushes in it, which no doubt was before the British Standards didn't allow TOXIC content in paints and crayons...

Wonder if that explains anything??

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hot Tubbin

A MISSED Defining moment in my life!

OK, I was 17 or 18 and working in my first REAL job I suppose, at a Towel manufacturer in Horwich, Bolton. I was virginal and extremely cautious of anything whatsoever.
We used to order our printing paper and stationary from a well-known Printers based in Manchester at that time, and our 'Rep' used to come in quite regularly, and I was in charge of dealing with him and ordering new printer paper as and when it was required.
Anyway, on this particalar week we'd just ordered a SHIT LOAD of paper, can't remember why, I think it was the yearly stock-take so we were expecting to do lots of printouts for the runners going around the factory and warehouses counting Towels etc.
I got a call from the Rep.
"Hi... it's Mike from ???????... .you are never going to believe this, but I've won Sales Rep of the Year, and your large order tipped me into first place, thanks a million!"
"No problem Mike.." I replied, "we needed the paper.... so what did you win then?"
He replied "A weekend skiing in Austria/France ad that's why I'm ringing......... Do you wanna come?"
......... LONG PAUSE ......... < basically as I was shitting myself >
NOW.... not that I'm homo-phobic or anything, BUT I was having visions before my eyes of all sorts of horrific things going on in this ski-chalet' somewhere up in some mountains where no-one would hear me scream!
Basically whenever this guy came he Wreaked of Aftershave, and always seems to be super-well groomed, with gold bracelets and the like, so me being the sheltered guy I was, obviously added up 2 and 2 and came to 11.
I made my excuses and left it at that. We still ordered paper from them up until I left and never heard of Mike from ??????? again!
Many, Many years later I was working for a CCTV Manufacturing company in Swinton, Manchester and we had just employed a new guy, from Newcastle...
After a few days/weeks we got-a-talkin' about past companies and it turned out that he'd been in and around Manchester for some years (he'd come down with his girlfriend) and had actually worked at the ??????? Printing company from this past history of mine, AND had also worked WITH the Mike as mentioned above.
Now... this is where my life turns upside down (or the lack of it up-to this moment shall we say!)
It turns out that this Mike quite regularly won this award and was well known for his Hot-tubbin, err.... shall we say fun, Fun, FUN! parties, usually with MANY very, attractive women and basically most things legal and illegal would often occur.
So, as far as defining moments in life goes, I took the sub-way, when I could have taken the Mile-High route!

Feet like a Hobbit

In my life (all 42 Stupid years of it), I've broken my feet/toes umpteen times, in such ludricous ways as :
Kicking a radiator
The first time I broke anything, aged probably around 9/10, as I've mentioned in other 'Stupids Diary' entries, me and my brother were classic fighting syblings. On this particular occasion we were chasing each other around the cottage we lived in at that time, and for some insane reason, I decided to kick out at him, WHILST RUNNING!
BONG! instead of contacting with him, I kicked the radiator at the top of the stairs, breaking most of the toes and fracturing some of the bones in my Left Foot! (surprising as I'm Right Footed)

Playing football
At Senior school, but probably aged somewhere around 11/12, playing football in the gym after Cross-Country training, and both myself and the teacher who used to do the out-of-hours Cross-country, went for the same ball at the same time, both contacting at the same time. The was a HELL of a sharp pain shot through my RIGHT foot, and hours later, at the hospital, it was diagnosed as broken toes!

Has to be one of the stupidest ones. I wasn't that bad as far as swimming goes at school. On this occasion, I was swimming widths and decided to try a Tumble-Turn...
I approached the poolside, assesed the approximate distance and started my turn... However, at some point in the turn, I managed to cock it right up and smacked my feet onto the top-side of the pool, right on the tiles.
Broken toes in LEFT Foot.

Jumping over a Wall
As usual larking about outside school at lunch, an d for some reason I had a lazy ankle, which kept my foot pointing down as I jumped OVER a wall, I ended up catching my toes, going ASS over TIT, landing on my face, and clutching my throbbing LEFT foot.
Broken toes again in left foot!

I didn't do Karate for long and this is probably one of the reasons why..
I was put into a sparring couple with a Brown/Black belt, who was very, VERY helpful, if a little rough (considering I was only a Yellow Belt), but he was quite encouraging in the attacks he would advise me to try. Unfortunately, this one particular move he told me to do, he said he had a retalitaion/defence for, but still told me to do it for my own learning experience.
I was to try a couple of dummy leg kicks, to throw him off guard, but on the Third kick, actually follow through, BUT of course he was expecting it, and as I struck, he slammed his elbow down onto the main mass of my foot.
I was crippled for about a week, and had the BLACKEST foot I'd ever seen (resembled Frost-Bite).
Broken bones in my Right Foot.


Its NOT What it looks like.... Seriously!

(Circa July 2002)

I have a real problem with work phones!
The problem that I have with it is, that for some reason there are times that you REALLY don't want it to ring, and when it does I snatch at it; Now the rea lproblem with me snatching at it is when the snatching only loosely grabs it, lifting off the base station, but the momentum of the grabbing is not enough to keep a hold of it, thus it usually ends up flying across the desk, to the surprise of those sat opposite me...

Luckily these phones have the coiled wire on them, so they inevitably come to a halt, mid-air and start their acceleration back towards either me or the mug of coffee on the desk - To add to that, the person on the other end of the phone also get all the clattering and screaching (and inevitable a "Bollox" from me) and usually hang up by the time I actually get a hold of the handset again, which adds to the spiralling stress levels of the day!

What made this regular occurrence more enjoyable for me on this particular day was that I'd just eaten a Twix and had a fingers full of melted ooze at the time I did the usual snatch for the telephone, so after everything else, I then had a phone covered in brown sticky mess!

To then end up with the toilet roll observation, which was that I then went to the Gents to grab a handfull of bog-roll, and 'in a temper' which is nothing unusual for me, I stomped in, burst open the cubicle (luckily for them, no-one happened to be in it at the time), snatched (you think I'd have learned my lesson by now wouldn't you?), at the roll of toilet paper, obtaining about a metres worth, yanked (in the hope that the paper would detatch itself from the roll, but it didn't, No... of course that would have been too easy...

The metre's worth I had simply ripped part way across the roll, and then continued to extend, came off the holder and became about 30 feet's worth all strewn across the marble bathrooms that this particular workplace had!

You think that would be the end of it wouldn't you.... but NO! someone just HAD to come in at that time; so if you can picture the scene....

Me, hands covered in a brown, sticky substance, with toilet roll ALL OVER THE PLACE!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Mate Ted

(Legacy posting Circa 2002)

What can I say about my mate ted, (now an ex-colleague from years ago) apart from the fact that EVERY time, without fail we go out, I always seem to get soaked in Beer; this has happened a few times in different ways, as follows :

The Old Smack the Bottle Trick

Now.... what Ted does here, is wait till u have your bottle of Budweiser exposed, and he taps his bottle on the top of mine in a downwards motion, (the first time saying 'cheers') and mili-seconds later you have beer gushing out of your bottle all over yourself, so now I try never to sit down near him, otherwise it looks like you've Pissed yourself all night.

When Head-butting a woman, aint the best way to go...

We went out yonks ago on a leaving do, and were in some club in Manchester stood around in a circle, when Ted thought it would be a good idea to shake up his bottle of beer and put his thumb partiaially over the spout (like Grand-prix winners do) and spray it all over me... Unfortunately he did it so's the beer flooded all into my face, so blinded me, and a natural reaction was to flip my head back, but there was a group of women (with boyfreinds) behind us, and one in particularly DIRECTLY behind me so I inadvertantly rear-head butted her which sent her flying. Now I couldnt see for a while, and rather luckily the group of boyfriends obviously say that it was an accident as they didnt come and pound the sh*t out of me!


The Grinch who stole the Christmas Penguin

How I made a little girl cry (unintentionally of course) at B&Q pre-Christmas 2002

Well, I'll try to cut a long story short and say that this particlular weekend (which I'd quite fancied as being a lazy one, alas not!) we'd been to B&Q on tha Saturday as a 'drive out' rather than sitting at home, watching TV and doing Bugger all else... (nothing wrong in that you'd think), However, as we had a pile of Ironing in every spare room, and growing, we decided to get our ass in gear and do it..

[ Bear with me, I'm getting to the point of the story, but I'm trying to build you up to why I was grumpy on the Sunday! & also, to add a quote from a Colleague & Friend of mine"Mister Magoo" - Listening to Mark tell a story is like watching him Fall Down Stairs?!]

So, Sunday came, and we'd basically done the vast part of the Ironing, me being the helpful (Supervisory) self that I am, I'd tucked in and done one or two bits every few minutes hours!

Now... for those of you who don't know me (You BLOODY WELL SHOULD BY NOW!) I'm a bit nomadic on all things that I do, and to put into context, we've been in our new house a little less than a year, and I've lost count of the number of times I've swapped some of the content around in said rooms; the room my office is on now (for now!) has been a bedroom, an office, back to a bedroom and back to an office (and I may have missed one out there!)

The same can be said for our living room, in that I finally got the living room I wanted (Big part of choosing this house was the size of the living room, so that I could finally get the TV of my dreams, BIG!).
So, to the rest of the story!

I've been pondering swapping the organisation of the room around for some time now; my girlfriend shudders with fear when she recognises the look in my eye (No! not that one!) when I'm pondering a move...
However, on this occasion, I'd only pondered it, not actually seriously considered it... YET!
Sunday, 3pm (time your winding down in preparation for bugger all else happenning) and she says 'out of the blue'

"So then, are we swapping the room around then?"
"Huh?" I replied
"Come on... you've been wanting to do it for ages, lets do it!"
Hmmm.... (I pondered), I've been wanting to do other stuff for ages, but you won't let me...
"Yeah, but if we do, I'll have to sort out all the Sky cables and everything again?" (i.e. extend then from one side of Living room to the other)
[ Getting to how I was going to cut this story about How I made the Little girl in B&Q Cry - Honest! ]

Long Silence here as my girlfriend was gesturing 'And ????' (i.e Implying that I actually had nothing else to do??)

OK.... Went to B&Q.... (and Here's where the Penguin Comes into it...

Now we're almost there, and what you need to know at this point, is that we actually had already been to B&Q the day before and seen these really cute (Sh*t Did I say Cute??) like bouncy Penguin things... to try and describe them, they're about 10-11 inches tall, with feet and a body, but connected with a huge spring, which when you prod them, they kind of bounce, really cute like (B*llocks, said the Cute word again!)
So there I am in B&Q buying the aforementioned bits and bobs, when I suddenly thought to myself 'hmm.. way to get into the good books, I'll go buy the penguin' well.. y'know how it is, I get to where they were and there are NONE LEFT...
but just then, I hear a whining brat of a girl, "mum... mum.... mum.... mum.... can I have... I want.... Gimme' y'know the kind of thing...
I turned around to scowl at the child when I noticed that she had the Penguin in her hand....

(If you could picture my face now, it'd be a cross between Roger Moores Trademark eyebrows-a-twitchin and Jack Nicholson in the classic scene from The Shining where he's hunting people)

I thought to myself...

and just as if Satan himself was a sittin on my shoulder, the mother spun around (obviously pissed off already by no doubt constant whining) and shouted, while scowling "Put that back, we aint having it, we have enough Xmas cr@p already" to which the brat sulked and stomped and pretty much through the penguin back upon the shelf.

Now, at this point I KNEW I had to work fast, the aisle was heaving and there were plenty of people looking at it as she put it back on the shelf, so in a zoomed, just like Action Jackson, I barged, and shoved and grabbed it off the shelf before it had stopped bouncing... but.....just then....

"WAHHHHHHhhhh!!!...... Mommy.... Mommy.... That man's just grabbed my penguin!"

Busted! - The brat from hell yelled at the top of her voice and the aisle fell silent! everyone turned to scowl at me...

"Oh F*ck!"

err.... smiling and giggling innocently (like Scooby Doo) - JUST like the grinch, I set off hot-footing it up to the tills, feintly hearing the cries of Hell-Child, but I didn't care, it was mine, mine, all mine, just like Golumn from Lord of the Rings, it's not like I'd have to see her again is it!

Hee Hee Suckers!


Didn't you Cancel Sky?

(June 2002)
Now, I know what your thinking.... "Sky?... I thought you cancelled Sky?" (reading a previous legacy posting) 

Well... yeah I did, WAYYYYYY back in November/December 2001, but to my complete shock, this particular weekend I received a letter from them saying that because I'd cancelled my Direct Debit they were now fining me (as an Administration Fee) £4 AND they would be re-issuing me another invoice for what I owed them which would also incur an admin fee!
Now, this letter actually got to me through Post office re-direction.
so.... I grabbed the phone and rung, and surprising as shit, I got through straight away...

"Hi.... can I give you an account number please...?"
"Of course Sir.."
"and can I have the name and address of the account please"
"Fred Bloggs..... 99 any street, anytown etc.."
< pause >
"Ok Mr. X, how can I help you today?"
.. so I explained the letter and the confusion seeing as I'd cancelled sky so, so long ago etc...

"Well Mr X. in all honesty, there is no recollection of the fine here, and to be honest, we actually owe you 97p, but as far as the letter goes, you're probably better disregarding it as it's probably a computer error"

I replied that I'd rather not just leave it, as these things have a habit of coming back to bite you in the ass, but she told me I'd have to ring back on Monday (as this was Saturday)
I then enquired (and this is where you'll be in desbelief) as to how much it would cost to re-get sky TV again as we'd been a previous customer..

"Erm... I'm afraid you can't as you've already been a customer and benefitted from the Free package deal before"

< Now.. in all shock, I just shot back (after hitting the ceiling as usual) that it would be Sky's Loss... and hung up! >

Ok... so it's now Monday morning, and I want to progress this SKY TV fine somewhat more to be sure it's not going to come back to haunt me!

< usual blah blah blah as I get through the ultra-hig security fence at Sky TV >

Same result, "Just ignore the letter, the reason for it is that you never cancelled the Direct Debit with your bank" was what I was told
"Eh? where do you get that answer from ? The letter says that 'BECAUSE YOU CANCELLED YOUR BANKS DIRECT DEBIT' and I did actually cancel the Direct Debit with the Bank actually!"

< Stony Silence >

"Just ignore the letter Sir!"
"OK.... while I'm on though, can you tell me WHY I can't get SKY at home any more even though I was a customer once?"
"Yes Sir... becuase you got Sky with a Free/Reduced price before, and it's only ONE per household!"
"But.... I was one of the Mug's that actually went to Comet/Curries etc. and paid £200 QUID for it?"
"Yes Sir... and that was a reduced price!"
"Reduced... From What? for Gods Sake?"
"Ooh Much, Much more sir!"

I left it at that....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gargh! without fail!

Does anyone else have any of these 'automatic air freshener b@stards!?'

I know what your going to say, "Don't stand in front of it!"

....but I Sh*t you not, I could drag some poor sod off the street and park their ass in front of it all day and nothing, yet, I'd move them out of the way, take their place and "Psst!" Right in my face!

there's a sensor on the front of it, but can I find the bloody 'off' switch anywhere?

Oh Hello Mr. Sun

So we're on our way home from Wales, and
Oh Hello mr. Sun... And Where the Frig have you been all week..?
What's that?
You've been up in the North West..
And.. A HEATWAVE.. really?
So.. Your here now why?
Cos we're on our way home..

Aw thanks for that!


- Posted from iPhone..

Friday, April 15, 2011

Holiday Blog - Day 5 - "Fly Fishing"

While I've got a bit of Internet thought I'd write up a couple of notes.

As you know we're in this awesome static caravan that we've been lent for the week, and the kids being as meddlish and clumsy as me, I'm a tad petrified of what's going to get broken while were here...

Izzy found the fishing rods on the day we arrived and proceeded to start whipping it up and down the hallway very much like a veteran Fly Fisherman, thankfully there was no hook on the end of it or I'd have been yanked off the couch by my J.R. Hartley's

Also, Harry found the feather duster and asked what it was... Me being the bad parent that I am, I told him it was for weekends when Mummy and Daddy come down without the kids.... I'll be having it removed from where the 'present' mrs. Eastham shoved it later!

Then (as you also know now by my relentless rants at the "God Squad") we have been surrounded by hundreds of "The Faithful" who've had most of the 'entertainment' on the site closed because it was "temptation" either that or they're just miserable sods? which had infiltrated (between Gospel classes) the "Splash Zone" swimming and water fun complex...

Strange though... Didn't see any of them walking on water?

- Posted from iPhone..

Holiday Blog - Day 5 - Something I said??


The "God Squad" are all packin up and shipping out, at least that means the kids arcades and normal activities are opening again as they're no longer "temptation"

Funny that temptation thing.. They all seemed to pile into the bar at night for wine and Internet access... ;-)

Miss you!

- Posted from iPhone..

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Holiday Blog - Day 4 - Ants Nest (Rant)

11:00 it must be chuckin out time at the "God Squad" Tents cos were tryin to get out of the Site (in the car) and the Bible Bashers are comin out of every orrifice
on this site like Ants from the nest.

They seem to have an inain "fearless" complex about them or they're just plain rude, which I'm leaning towards the latter as they just scowl at you and meander along the road cursing at us (without vulgarity of course)

Even the lad (7 yr old) is beginning to get fed up with them now, his view is that they must think God will resurrect them if the mrs. Bounces one off the bonnet..

Me, I just like reminding them that this isn't a scene from the A-Team, they will not get out from under this car, shake their heads and lumber off back to base

(Rant over, yes I know I'm going to hell)

- Posted from iPhone..

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Holiday Blog - Day 3 - its Peter Kay...

Well it's not really, but one of the compare/Quiz master thinks he is (and to steal a line from the Master) he's like Peter Kay in that "he also has a head!"
My Grans more like him!

The other compare has one of those voices that made the whole room spin their heads around like something out of the exorcist,
it's a Man.... With the voice of a Gerbil that's stuck in your tyre tread... SQUEEK... SQUEEK....Quite shocking...

I suspect he spent most of his youth head shoved down a toilet with his Y-fronts Yanked up his Ass Crack!

Holiday Blog - Day 3 - Holy War on The Titanic

(no real Internet connection so this will be brief)

The boy is with me in the main pool complex in 'water peddalos' in the wave pool with about 10 other kids, obviously the wave pool isn't on as that would be sick and end up being a bit like "Titanic II", albeit would make a great scene for 'Harry Hills Home Videos' and would have paid for our week here... but these boats have rotary hand pedals on them, all these poor kids are knackered, and will no doubt start chucking up in the pool shortly, which would earn me another £250 if I was allowed to video it (let's not get started on the PC brigade)

The little one us at a Teddy Bears Picnic over in the main complex, nice idea, they had to pay for it but am not averse to spending, however apparently the "God squad" have descended in their hundreds into the area where the kids are and they've been forced into a corner, nice of The Bible Bashers that, isn't there something g in the Bible about "Blessed are the little Squiddlers"

Bloody Bible Thumpers,

...Good job theres not an "Al Quieda" convention here too, otherwise we'd have had a Holy War..

Monday, April 11, 2011

Holiday Blog - Day 1 - ASDA stocks old bags

Called in at ASDA in Pwllheli and had a run in with an Nowty old bag... One of those that really doesn't like kids..

Proper Grotbag!

Unfortunately she made it past the Chest Freezers or she'd have gone in, Tits First with the frozen cod!

- Posted from iPhone..

Holiday Blog - Day 1 - Jesus

So here we are at Haven site in Wales (Pwllheli)
Site is fabulous, caravan (mini HOUSE) is awesome (mucho thanks to the wonderful Chris & Gary)


Only us could come the week that some of the night entertainment is shut beeeecause...

Were surrounded by HUNDREDS of Bible Thumpers!


- Posted from iPhone..

Sunday, April 10, 2011

And Why WOULDN'T it be Empty Lou?!

(This has LITERALLY just happened @ about 7:30pm)

ok, we're madly packing, unpacking and re-packing for our weeks holiday to Wales (where men are men and sheep are nervous!)

I'm in and out of the loft like Friggin Santa tonight, when I've finally lost it and decided the cr@p on the landing SHOULD be in the loft and not where its been all week, a number of items including a Baby's Potty/Commode (ours is pink), if you've never had one, its an item that cost a fortune, and served very little purpose more than a normal potty would have, but it has a lid and a slide out drawer to get rid of the... well... am sure you know!

(can you tell what it is yet?)

The boy is in his room, plotting ways to annoy me (with him mum) and the 3yr. old girl is next to where I am (at the loft ladder) Ironically, On the toilet!

Anyway, one by one, these items went up, until it came to be the Potty's turn, I picked it up, held it aloft, then proceeded to clamber up the ladder, LOOKING UP..

Suddenly, it was like a Hurricane dropped out of the loft, it was raining on me, for a mili-second I assured myself it was water (for some reason) but alas not, the smell, the colour and unfortunately the taste (not that I'm a connoisseur or anything) corrected me like a baseball bat...

I was covered in Kiddy P*ss and I'm pretty sure it had matured some over the past week....

So the argument then started, in between the howls of laughter from my 3 'soon-to-be' EX-family, and the wife came out with her fateful line...

"Didn't you think to check it first to see if it was empty?"


And THAT is why I can't go back to Tiggi's

Christmas 1999, and the company Do at 'Tiggis' in the Trafford Centre (Manchester) - I don't think its there any more, but thats nothing to do with me!

The company had their usual 'Yawn Fest' Speeches, etc.. etc. which like most people, I wasn't paying too much interest in, as we were all ready for our meal and then Gargantuan P*ss-Up in one of the Italian Restaurants up-stairs....

Well many hours and drinks later, I was past tiddly and at the point where I was Heavy-Breathing, trying not to puke, when my then-girlfriend (Now Wife) collared me to inform me that one of her work colleagues had err.... well.... .NOT been practicing the Heavy-Breathing technique to NOT puke, and had filled her handbag.

Now... at this time (and I still don't quite remember how it came about), I decided or was told to, take the bag to the Gents (downstairs) to clean it... So... < you keeping up? > I'm well pissed done the Gentlemanly thing, slung the Handbag (with a splish-splosh noise) over my shoulder and made my way through a CROWDED bar downstairs to the Gents with this Handbag and probably a very stupid (and mistakenly CAMP) smile!
On entry to the Gents, I came upon a scene reminiscant of many B-movie horror flicks... There appeared to be blood all over the floor, walls and sinks. The toilets in this place are magnificant marble, which was a shame - It wasnt Blood, but a variant colour of all the 'Shorts' that had been on offer over the bar.

One of my colleagues was bent over the sink bringing up everything he contained, he looked up, through the mop of sickened long hair (he was a bit of a hippie) and then proceeded to continue.

I thought I'd take a piss at the same time, which upon opening a cubicle found that to also be caked in the red puke, I came out where he apologised as that's where he'd started (how he got it so high up I dont know, but he should be in the fire brigade!)

Next cubicle I thought...

Upon opening the other cubicle I found another colleague, sat on the toilet, pants around ankles, covered in puke, having a dump.... BUT on seeing me he seemed to burst into tears, stand up (I DREAD to think what dropped out at this time) and started lumbering towards me... I backed out of the cubicle, with him grasping at my body, hoping he wasn't about to puke, to which he then slumped, slid down my body onto his knees!

So now picture this (AS PEOPLE ENTERED THE GENTS!)

ME, Handbag over shoulder, Male (number 1) being sick in the sinks!
and Male (number 2) On his knees, Pants around ankles with his head at my CROTCH...

Not a proud day for me!


Hair raising in the African Plains...

Ok.... to this day, my cousin (a mobile hairdresser) denies all knowledge of this event, but I'm sure she and my mother were there and did the deed (so to speak!).
As said above, my cousin was a hairdresser (to the young) and so was my mother (to the old and senile, the only people who'd let her near them), and this particular evening my cousin came around to do our hair and had an idea...
she said
"Lemme do something new with yours if you don't mind?"
"ok... such as.....what?"
"I'd like to put streaks in you hair if that'd be ok?"
"Sure... As long as I don't look like a ponce...? go for it!"

Now I've never had streaks before (and won't again!) and had no idea of the PAIN involved in having them done. First goes on the rubber cap, so I look like so sort of contraceptive (condom for the foreigners out there!). This being put on has got to be one of the most painful experiences of my life!

Once the cap is pulled on (and I can feel my head ache at the memory), out comes some tool that resembles a Spanish Inquisition torture implement, or more recently a shoe hook!, and they started to pluck my hair from INSIDE the cap, through the holes onto the outside (Again most painful!)

Once done and I resemble something out of the horror flick 'Hellraiser', they wrapped me up and started to paint this blue goo all over my head, which stunk!
Now, because of the smell, I was put to the back of the living room, and had a polythene bag wrapped around the offending ooze!
Problem (and where I made the fateful mistake) was that I was watching Coronation street, and because of the cap, I couldn't hear as it was flapped over my ears, so..... (EEK!) I pulled up the sides of the cap, to rest ontop of my ears so I could hear!

20+ minutes later (after Coronations street), the terrible duo returned to me and shrieked! "What have you done, and how long ago did you do it?"
"Huh... What?"
"The cap.... when did you do that to the cap, stupid!"
"I dunno? about 20 minutes ago.."

I was whisked up-stairs and my head shoved over the bath and under the shower head (minus the cap), and rinsed..... and rinsed.... and rinsed some more!

I stood up, was gawped at (possibly laughed at by my dad, nothing new there!) and turned around to see a HORRIFIC appearance in the bathroom mirror.... I had completely WHITE sides, and the strangest Zebra-like stripes in and around the rest of my head. (It hadn't gone well!)

Hmmm what I' d done, in pulling up the sides of the cap, was to pull the ooze (BLEACH) INSIDE the cap, and then squished it, when I put the cap sides back down, all of 20+ minutes ago!

"So... what the hell can I do now? I can't go to work like this, I'll get beaten up..."

My mom (ever ready and quick to act) drove to the nearest store on the main road, and came back with about 4 'blondish' colours, the nearest I could find to mine (so I thought..) was Strawberry Blonde, and we did it, and afterwards, it looked ok, so we thought!

alas.... EVERYONE at work spotted the offensive colours immediately andf I took to having my hair trimmed every week for the next month until it grew out!

Not the best time of my life!


Do I look like Alan Titchmarsh?

Those of you who know me at home, will know I'm NOT Green Fingered by any means, If I could get away with it, I'd Astro-Turf the lawn...

A few years ago, I had a job where I was away most of the week, only returning back late on Friday nights, then with the return trek back to wherever on Sunday nights or early Monday mornings, so indoor plants weren't a good idea and didn't fare well...

My Father, who IS very green-fingered, recommended plants that didnt need alot of care, water or anything else, such as 'cactus' and 'Air Plants', they're pretty much self-keeping, in that you don't really have to do a hell of a lot to assist them other than give them a 'spray' of water every now and again... PERFECT!

Unfortunately, it wasn't long before the air plants snuffed it and the rest weren't well, so a Post-Mortem was ordered...

Dad: "Mark... what ARE you doing to the plants, your away all week, and I've told you to give them a 'spray' every weekend... that's it isn't it? your not doing anything else to them are you?"

Me: "Yep, just a spray, every Sunday morning in the bathroom"

Dad: "Bathroom?"

Me: "Yeah... I load them all into the bath, turn on the shower for a minute then leave them there to drain"

Dad: "When I said 'spray' I meant a 'MISTING' Not a shower!"


Try that Monkey Sh*t with me and see what happens!?

Many years ago (I'd be around 15-16), I started doing Karate with a mate of mine (Mikey), and we'd only been doing it for a few months when we progressed from the default 'White' belt up to the next stage 'Yellow' (still no feat, but at least we we're Karate Virgins any more), and I started to get a little cocky; that and perhaps the fact that I think I'd sprouted an inch over my brother so I felt SUPER-CONFIDENT, and as such we squabbled somewhat.

Now on this particular occasion we were in the kitchen, washing/wiping up the post I suspect, and a ruccas started. For some reason I decided to Karate punch my brother in the chest or somewhere near and after his recovery (and my possible bouncing around Rocky style with arms upward pointing, and listening to the Virtual Cheers going off in my head) my brother decided to challenge me to do it again, but HARDER...

"You taking the P*ss right?" I asked, "You just got over my last punch!"
"Go ahead, Monkey D*ck... try that sh*t again!" < was the sort of reply I got >

so.... I built up and built up (visions of Karate Kid in my head!), flexed back, breathed in through the nose ready to deliver a punch that he'd wake up surrounded with a Chalk Outline...

....and shot my "fist of death" forwards like a cannon!

a flash of movement from my brother and then a resounding


sound rung through the air almost as fast as I hit the floor in complete agony...

My b@stard brother had set me up and as I thrust my fist towards him, he swung a kitchen pan from behind his back and downwards and across my knuckles...

To this day, I still think he actually broke my fingers! which amongst other things probably affected my sex life for months!


How NOT to cut stuff

(Circa 1991)
OK, this happened when I was about 21/22 and I have my first real car, a Caspian Blue Ford Fiesta XR2 (Mark2) and it was a real piece of Sh*t! (I have a number of tales to tell about this car so look out for them), everyone who came with me to view the car before I bought it said it was a piece of sh*t, told me not to buy it, my Mom even did a check on it (as she used to work for a Finance company) and told me that the Computer said it was a piece of sh*t (litterally it came up right across the screen), and had been written off; My brother (who is far, FAR more worldy wise that I, especially with cars said it was a piece of sh*t)

So.... are you getting the message??? It was a piece of sh*t, but I had to have it and did, and surely enough and within a very, VERY short space of time, it screamed at me itself, that it was indeed... a piece of sh*t!

So... getting back to the observation about How NOT to cut rubber... One of the problems with this car (apart from it being a piece of sh*t) was that it leaked like a sieve and the drivers door, wasn't quite air-tight (or water tight) so it leaked (not only from the door, but everywhere actually) so I had to do something about it.

My solution.... purchase a strip of rubber, and glue it along the inside frame of the door, and make it water tight.

The rubber strip was a few inches too long, and me being me afterall, decided it woud be too much hassle to walk the 30 or so feet up the drive to the kitchen to get some scissors, and would cut it with a stanley knife instead, however.... I had nothing to lean on, (I did actually lie it on the bonnet and prepared to cut it there and then when my brother reminded me (how stupid I was for buying such a piece of sh*t but also that it would damage the paintwork...?) and he walked off... (Shaking his head I think)
Aha - yeah ok that would be stupid, so I knelt down on the drive, placed the rubber strip across my knee, and cut across the rubber.


Well.... it wasn't too long (a mili-second perhaps) before I got that sudden coldness shoot up my spine..... something wasn't right.....

I froze, letting the stanley knife drop (in slow motion) onto the drive.... clank.... then the rubber strips (as there were now TWO of them) dropped either side of my leg, onto the drive..... and there it was.... a perfect slash mark right across my knee-cap...

The adrenalin started pumping through my veins like a steam train, the heart palpitation began, I felt the hairs going up on the back of my neck (and I may have touched cloth as well)

I clutched at my knee cap, looking around to see if anyone had seen the STUPID b@stard trick that I'd just done.... and limped (like a hunchback) up the drive, through the front door, up the stairs and into the bathroom, slamming the door then my ass down onto the toilet..

NO... of course I hadn't just shit myself... but instead I just sat and stared at the back of my hand, that was still clamped across my knee... what the f*ck was I gonna do, what's gonna happen if I let go, will my leg fall off? am I going to bleed to death?? I had visions of people laughing themselves stupid at my funeral, discussing how I'd managed to kill myself, they'd have to call ambulances to the funeral, people wouldn't be able to breath because of the laughing.... Jesus, What am I gonna do???

So... a deep breath, and I was in preparation...

I grabbed a wad of bog-roll, and slowly lifted my hand off my knee.... there it was the slash mark, quite artistic and surgical really... I opened up the material of my jeans, to gaze inside at what I was expecting to be a scene from Alien... and.....

Nothing.....? Eh?? No Blood.... No Ooze?? What??? How can that be.....?

I tore open the material for a better look, and still nothing.... How Bloody lucky was that!

But.... of course this is me afterall, and surely enough that wasn't the end of it, I just had to push the envelope didn't I....

I straddled my knee cap with two fingers and prized the skin apart....


Blood everywhere, and there it was.... my knee-cap..... Yep... I could clearly see what appeared to be the cartlidge of my knee-cap.... What the FRIG am I gonna do now.....

OH MY GOD....... Speaking of which, Yep, you guessed it.... I felt the Holy-Call burst up from my stomach, and BLARGHHHHhh..... straight into the sink, I puked for England, am pretty sure my ring-piece came up in one of the Heavings!

Some time later (after cleaninig up the Carrots and Baby food - that's how sick I was!) I still remembered that I had a wound on my kneecap that would need fixing.... but me being squeemish and all (didn't really fancy another conversation with his holyness that day to be honest) I decided NOT to tell anyone, otherwise they'd have had me down to the hospital for stitches in no-time... so... I checked the medical cupboard and did my own repair.... with plasters.....

I must have had plasters wrapped half way up and down my leg for a week!

And now many years later, I look fondly at the scar (which doesn't seem quite so big now) and ponder on what I'll tell my kids when they ask me

'Daddy.....? How DID you get all those scars?'

My Woe's with BT Broadband

(Circa April-May-June 2002)

I ordered ADSL (Fast Internet) because I was so sick of slow internet connections at home, and I was trying to get a Home Web-Design venture off the ground. So I ordered it over the phone on Thursday 11th. APRIL, and was assured that by 24th. April I'd have it up and running, this was all promised via the smart web campaign as follows :

"Life in the Fast-Lane - You can order broadband fast and be installed in around 15 working days. Or with our new Plug & Go installation option, you could be on line in just 10 working days"

I recieved my box of tricks for the self install within a week or so and plugged it all in, this was well before the aformentioned date, but was hopeful that it may indeed be working, alas the light on my little ditty ADSL box was flashing which meant 'No ADSL Dial-tone' ho-hum it would have been nice, but alas not.
I thought I'd try it on and ring the customer support line and ask if it could be activated at the exchange before the due date as I had the kit; I rang the number, waited and waited and waited and 35 minutes later, I got a
'No! Sorry!'
Ah well I thought, I'll just have to wait till next week. (As it happens, the first thing you now hear on connection to the Customer-Support line is a recorded message saying that they cannot bring activation dates forward!
The 24th. Came, I arrived home, full of high-hopes to find my wife (then girlfriend) stood in the hallway...

"Are you in a good mood?"
"Err.... why? whats up?"
"Seriously... I'm asking now... Are you in a good mood?"
"Why? What've you done???? Whats up??? Are you pregnant? Pranged the car? Maxed out the Credit Card?"
"Of Course not!", she replied, "But theres a message from BT saying that your ADSL Activation is not going to happen today, but if you wanna call them they'll tell you more details!"

SH*T.... SH*T..... F*CKITY.... F*CK..... HALLELUJAH.... HOLY SH*T!

As you might understand, I was seriously p*ssed!
I rang, and after 15 minutes of button pressing through the really Annoying Menus "Press 1 to.... Press 2 to...." etc.. etc... I got someone who informed me that due to unforseen circumstances the Exchange was down and engineers were working on it! (Visions of sweaty fat engineers, in string vests leaning againsta spade, eating meat piesand reading the Sun came to mind.....)
I went out into the back garden, and calmly as ever (for those of you who know me you know that's bullsh*t!) kicked all the plants around the patio, and had a general rant and rave and HAD there been a very small man in my garden at that time, ooooh! he'd of bloody well suffered, I can tell you!!!
Some moments later, my neighbour leaned out of his back window to enquire as to what the problem was... I told him to which he replied that his was working quite alright!
"Huh..... you takin the piss?" I enquired....
"Nope... all fine and dandy here, am downloading Dutch Education Videos as we speak!" [Only Jokin' 'J']
So I got onto BT again, and ranted at them that their last excuse was bollocks!
They replied that it must be the line..... "Oh.... is that the Line that I'm calling you on now?"
"Err.... let me get back to you" was the response...
Some time later, someone rang me back from BT to say (and I fell down the stairs upon this one!) that the Exchange was down and that engineers were working on it.....
"You have got to be pulling my leg...... I've just had that one and it isn't that at all!"
< Now I'm gonna skip forward nearly two weeks now >
Guess what, Yep! NO ADSL as yet, so again I rang....
"Err.... the Exchange is down, and Engineer........" < I interrupted>
"Let me help you out... I've heard that one, and the one about the BT line being down, so please, for the love of Jesus tell me what the real problem is..."
"I'm afraid that the problem is apparently a little piece of plastic... and that we do not have them, when we do, we'll connect you!"
so... that's where I'm at (apart from the Exchange also still being down and that (yep you guessed it) the Engineers are still working around the clock (and the month) Apparently)
The web-site had pulled it's order tracker page (rather coincidental) so all you now get is :
"Welcome to BTopenworld Broadband Track My Order page. We are sorry but due to some technical difficulties we have had to temporarily withdraw this service. We hope to fix the problem soon and will reintroduce the service as soon as we can.
Once again we are sorry for the inconvenience."
and if you email the orders address, it comes back unknown recipient - that's good init!
(As of late May, the tracker page is back on-line)
As of Wednesday 15th. May 2002
Have cancelled the ADSL with BT, (Even though not connected yet), they came up with some Bullsh*t story that the new activation date, was to be today... (Yeah Right!), and am going with PIPEX, they did the same service but for about £5 a month cheaper - I really recommend this group!
I actually got 3 or 4 emails from crf_user (BT) all to the BT account number associated with me, but all to different names?? to say that it's been cancelled....hmmmm this can't be good?
<which is why, when you get to the bottom of this and wonder WHY I cancelled the BT in the first place, I did!>
As of Thursday 16th. May 2002
PIPEX contact me to say that BT haven't relinquished the line, so they cannot connect it, can I ring BT and check that it HAS been cancelled.
Ring BT, they say that it has been cancelled but as the ADSL has been activated (which it hasn't!) it could take between 3 days and a week to remove the ADSL (seems to me their taking the piss and dragging their feet..... Losers!)
Ring PIPEX back who say that they cannot progress with it (or even try again in a few days), I have to re-apply when I know the BT line is relinquished - Jesus Christ!
Got home tonight, to find that my BT ADSL is connected - CR@P! but I cannot log-on, because I've cancelled my account, which is ok, as I'll be getting it from PIPEX sometime next year (probably) for a fiver less!
As of Wednesday 22nd. May 2002 (Week Later!)
PIPEX again contact me to say that BT still haven't relinquished the line, so they cannot connect it!
I ring BT on their ever so helpful Broadband line to be told that it has been cancelled, it has not (I reply), and after mych, much long holding (Air on a G string music can become extremely annoying after 20 minutes), I'm told it will be ANOTHER 2 days (Friday at the earliest???)
Got home to find YET AGAIN a witheld number has rung (now, this has been happening pretty much every day since this fiasco started, so I'm assuming that it's someone from BT trying to contact us....) HOWEVER, whoever it is appears not to understand the concept of answer-phone's and never leaves us a message!
I find that we have a letter from BT in the post... it's on BT letterheaded paper, with a rather scant (very few words) and in what appears to be in a very abrupt tone, indicating from a Ms. X (shall remain nameless) that they have tried to contact us on NUMEROUS occasions without success (thus compounding my previous statement about answer-phones); so I ring the number indicated in the letter, which as expected is the automated number for BT Broadband... so after rough guessing which sequence of moronic numbers to press, I get through to a human
I ask for Ms. X...
"and Which department is she in Sir?"
"Err.. Sorry, but I don't know I'm afraid, I just have a letter here from her, asking me to ring this number with this reference..."
"...Yes.... but which department ?"
"I don't know... as I just said I just have this letter, from Ms. X at BT Broadband...."
"I need to know which BT Broadband you want?"
"Just BT Broadband.... that's all there is at the bottom of the letter, on this number...."
"Again... which BT Broadband?"
"BT Home 500 Broadband"
"Yes sir, but which one!!"
"For Gods sake.... how many are there???"
"Well... there's BT broadband and BT Openworld Broadband, which one?"
"How do I know, what's the difference?"
"Well!" <she's getting really on my t*ts now> " do you pay on your BT bill or via Credit Card?"
"Credit card...."
<click> on hold music (I was really pissed at this woman by now)
<answer phone message>
"We're sorry, but the department your calling is now closed... Our normal office hours are 8am to 6pm...."
What the F*CK???? it's 5 past 5 for christs sake???
I rang again, got no joy and eventually thought "Bollocks!....." I'll ring 150 and ask for complaints department (which you can't get to via phone, but they do have a number for any issues you think have not been dealt with!
I eventually got through to someone who said "I'm sorry sir... we don't deal with BT Broadband problems... let me put you through to the BT Broadband department...."
I shouted as quick and loud as possible.... "PLEASE.... don't put me through to them, they don't care and I'll probably get cut off again anyway.. can SOMEONE there PLEASE for the love of God find this woman and get her to call me back?????"
< pause > "Of course Sir.... let me ring the BT Broadband number... can you please hold for me....."
< CLICK > (on-hold music...)
After some time (now nearly 6pm) she came back and said... "we don't seem to be able to find the Ms. X your after, but I do have a colleague who can help you, they'll call you back if that's ok?"
"Of course love, many, MANY thanks....."
I waited... and waited and guess what... NO BUGGER RANG ME BACK!
now... at this point, I'm of the opinion that Ms. X doesn't actually exist... it's just a name they put on a letter so that you get real P*SSED off and eventually give up, and as far as I can see (and with hope that tomorrow will indeed bring a closure to the BT fiasco) this will indeed be the end of it all, and I' now getting myself rattled (and no doubt heading for a stroke or at minimum an embalism) for nothing!
As of Friday 23rd. May 2002
OK, so here I am, 2 days later, and guess what... YEP you guessed it, ADSL is still active when I switched on my PC this am, and again last night when I got home, there was another 'witheld' number (I'm assuming BT) and no message, so FIRSTLY I change out answerphone message with an extra special message for anyone calling from BT (to instruct them on how to leave messages on an answer-phone), then when I get in today, I ring again....
"Hi, can you put me through to Ms X please?"
"Ms. X.... I have a letter from here at BT Broadband, to call her..."
"Which BT Broadband Sir?"
FOR F*CKS SAKE (came to mind again!)
"I'm sorry, but have you got an hour, I have a story to tell...."
so I told the story, to be told I was speaking to the wrong person, <click> I was on hold, and after a few more minutes of Greensleeves or Air on a G-String, I got another human....
"Hello..... BT Broadband, how may I Wind You Up today?"
"Hi.... can I speak to someone who can confirm whether my ADSL connection is cancelled or not?"
"Err.... yes of course sir... is it BT Broadband or BT Openworld Broadband?"
* SLAM...... SLAM.... SLAM *
< this is the sound of me slamming my head in a drawer! >
I repeated the whole sorry tale to this poor woman (who no doubt will throw herself under the first bus she sees at lunchtime) and got a supervisor.... the top and tale of this mess is as follows :
  1. The Engineering Department are overworked due to high-demand
  2. They never received my or the automated cancellation request
  3. I'ts raining outside???
They have assured me that it will indeed be cancelled today!
As of Tuesday 28th. May 2002
NOPE! - Still B@stard connected!
Just rung BT again, asked for Mr. K (Supervisor I spoke to the other night!) and guess what.... "I'm sorry sir, we have to go through some procedures before I can call a Supervisor, he's very busy... let me check with Engineering and get back to you... putting you on hold!"
<CLICK> On-hold music from hell!
The kind lady (who I'm trying not to scream at) has just come back from speaking to the Engineering department who say.....
"There is no record of a request to cease your ADSL with the Engineers, even though the screen says Terminated 22nd. May?"
"YOU HAVE GOT TO BE JOKING? It was supposedly showing on screen as being cancelled A WEEK AGO WEDNESDAY which was the 15th. May!.... Please put me through to your most senior supervisor....."
"Err.... I can put you through to Mr. K...." (For those of you who are still with me, Mr. K is so far the only guy who's got back to me, and of all the people I've spoken to up-to now, the one I think kindly of!)
<CLICK> On-hold music from hell!
"Hi this is Mr. K..... I'm really really sorry for the problems your having.... everywhere I look on our system it's cancelled.."
"No Shit!...Listen X I know your just taking this on without too much knowledge of whatever else has happened... but WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON AT BT????? How hard can it be to do something in reverse that shouldn't have happened in the first place?"
"Let me take this on board for you today, I'm here till 5pm and will get back to you with a result!"
< 1/2 Hour passes >
Phone rings....... "Hi Mr..... It's Mr. K from BT Openworld..... How are you?"
"Well.... it depends on what your going to tell me doesn't it??"
"Well.... I've been assured that the cease requerst has NOW gone through and it should take up-to a couple of days max!"
"Hmm..... it always seems to be a couple of days and never is... how can I be sure this time?"
"Well.... it should be today, but try it and let me know if it's still on in a couple of days.... Sorry for the Inconvenience....."
What the F*ck.....??????
I just get an email from BT saying.....
Dear X,
Your BTopenworld Broadband service has now been activated. Welcome to BTopenworld Broadband!
If you need help or assistance with your new broadband service you will find a
comprehensive set of help files on your BTopenworld CD-ROM, or you can call the BTopenworld team for assistance at any time. Home users, please call 0845 600 7030. Business users call 0845 600 7020. Calls will be charged at BT standard local call rate.

Please contact us immediately at if you not yet received your pack or have identified a problem with the content of your pack.
If you find that you need any additional ADSL filters you can purchase more by visiting: Please remember that you will need a filter for every active telephone socket on your ADSL line. If you need more information about filters then please visit our frequently asked section at

Billing for your service will commence the day after your service is activated.
Please note that this is an automatically generated email for your information only. Unfortunately we cannot respond to 'Reply' on this address but we would like to help with your enquiry so please email us at
Thanks again for choosing BTopenworld Broadband.
Best regards,
BTopenworld Customer Services
"OH...... MY...... GOD!"
I ring them, ask for Mr. K (The supervisor I just spoke to) who's just apparently gone on his break (either that or thrown himself out of the nearest window??) but am ASSURED by the very, VERY nice gentleman I'm speaking to, that all is well and the account is closed!
As of Wednesday 29th. May 2002
Still connected!
I am not surprised at this and was not going to get myself wound up (as the Mr. K from yesterday) did say it could be a couple of days, that was 'however' until I got an answer to my 'heated' email to them, as below!
Dear Mr X, (me!)Thank you for your recent comments.
I can inform you that a cease has been applied to your account to remove the order that is causing your problems. This cease should complete within the next 48 hours.
I apologise for any inconvenience that this may have caused.
Best regards,
BTopenworld Broadband Team
So from this I'm to understand that it will be another 2 days, not today or tomorrow as expected (at the latest).....
< biting my fist here trying not to flip! >
As of Thursday 30th. May 2002
Still connected!
Got Mr. K, 'eventually' who tells me 'in disbelief' that he's stunned I'm still connected, I demanded to speak to his Supervisor.
<click> on-hold
"Hi Mr. X....this is still Mr. K, am trying to get a Manager for you.... but have looked into this a little deeper, and unfortunately although the cease did in fact take place on the 28th (as we told you)..."
< I interrrupted > "Yeah, that one did, but what about the numerous others that were apparently actioned?"
"Err... I don't know???? but...."
< I interrupted again >
"Mr. K.... I don't mean to be rude, but PLEASE put me through to YOUR Manager....."
<click - on hold >
LONG.... LONG time
"Hello Mr. X, this is Graham, I'm a Manager hear, how can I help you?"
"Do you know the story??"
"Err. .yes, briefly..."
I told the long sorry story, and basically (too be honest, I'm bored of typing this now) He says that as far as BT are concerned, they DID cease it as they said they would on the 28th. May, and it will take up-to 5 WORKING days to disconnect it, and because it's Jubilee weekend, it's be the 5th. June!
and that's it... No Sorry..... Thanks..... Kiss my Ass or nothing!
Now, those of you reading this, may think I'm foul mouthed etc... but explain how the Best of British, can make so many mistakes, with no audit, and so many 'jobs-worths' and still expect me to be patient!
so... see you on the 5th. June! and no doubt I'll still feel like I'm banging my head against a wall!
As of Wednesday 5th. June 2002
Well... as I god damned expected, my conversations with numerous account managers and supervisors and supoervisor to supervisor 'G' has had p*ss all result!, I'm still connected!
So, this am... I emailed them, rather sternly and Watchdog again, then went out for the day (expecting to be solved when I got home.... and.... NOPE! however, I did get a mail as follows which I'd sent on the 28th. May (as it was still connected, and as expected the person who replied, gave this answer, as follows :
Dear X,Thank you for your recent email.
I apologise for the delay in this reply. Your service can be ceased anytime between the hours of 08:00 and 18:00 of that working day.
Your service has now been ceased.

Best regards

C. R.
BTopenworld Broadband Team
So.. this Lady, is actually saying (to my complaint at still being connected on the 28th May, that I will be disconnected sometime THAT day (up-tp 6pm), but it didn't answer until today (6th. June) - you make any sense in this?
let's see what happens now, cos early on in the sham, I was told that th reason was my fault because I'd not emailed to (regardless of actually speaking to what I thought was a human, which may have turned out to be a stapler for all the good I got), I replied to say that I will start bombarding them with CANCEL requests.... let's see if I get anywhere!
As of Thursday 6th. June 2002
but... I suppose it is only 9am, so I'll give the Engineer time to eat his breakfast!
(Just been on hold for AGES), got through to someone, had to go through the bull of telephone number, name etc, even though I'm asking for a manager (G. or D), then to be told, "But it IS disconnected?"
"No Shit!"
"Are you trying to connect to another supplier, for example PIPEX?? they should have no problems connecting?"
"Oh really, why are they telling me that it's your Provisions Department that are bouncing it then?"
After much raised voices and my apologies to this guy as I said "You aren't paid enough for this grief mate!, please put me through to a Supervisor.." but before he did, he reminded me that it takes up-to 7 days for a line to be discontinued!
SHIT BRICKS, 2 days, 3 days, 5 days and now 7 (~what about the near month that's passed?
I also asked at this point for someone to ring me back or to be put through to the Customer Services number... I was told that they don't ring back AND that Customer services do NOT have a number to be rung on and will only ring YOU back if they have a complaint in writing!
"Ok, I can see one now, just hang on..."
< Click > bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..... < The line went dead - and they never rang back >
Got through to PIPEX Customer Services and asked them to re-activate the 'dormant' order (from 15th. May)
"No problem sir, please hold the line while I check with BT..."
< some minutes passed >
"Hi Sir, BT say the line is still active, but they're working on it to be resolved before tomorrow, so I'll try again then and call you after I know what the outcome is to be.."
So..... BT despite, mails and letters and calls I've made, and their assurances that the line is indeed dead, it's not!
Will let you know what happens tomorrow!
Just this minute checked my e-mail ( and guess what....
YEP! got a reply (to my multiples of mails of complaint, remember.... I'm sending the same email 20+ times each time I get a numb response.... this is the one I just got (BEAR IN MIND WHAT'S HAPPENED TODAY!)
Dear X,Thank you for your recent email.
I spoke to our engineers who confirmed that you service was ceased yesterday.
Should you require further assistance or information, please do not hesitate to contact us at or telephone us on 0800 169 8649 option 2.
Best Regards

BTopenworld Broadband Team
--- Original Message ---
Received: 06/06/2002 01:30pm Romance Standard Time (GMT + 2:00 )
To:,,,,,,,,,, orders@bto
Subject: still awaiting disconnection

how amateur are BT Internet?

Will you PLEASE for the love of GOD, get this bloody ADSL disconnected, as promised on 15th. May, 17th. May, 19th. May, 21st. May, 25th. May, numerous on 28th. May, then 30th. May, then 5th. JUNE

So.... numerous people at BT say it's dead, my ADSL modem still thinks it's live, yet PIPEX are being told it's also still alive....hmmmmmmm........
As of Friday 7th. June 2002 (12:17pm)
Spoke to Pipex (new ADSL supplier) who tell me again 'Sorry Mr. X, BT are still bouncing the connection, claiming that it's THEIR line!'
OK.... so I check my BTINTERNET mail and guess what.... the following is there!
Dear X,Thank you for your e-mail.
I apologise for the delay in the ceasation of your line.
I have been in contact with the engineers and they have informed me that there was a complication and delay in ceasing your line however it was being worked on today and the line should then be ceased.
Again please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.
If you have any further queries please don't hesitate to contact us.
Best regards,
BTopenworld Broadband Team
What a load of Bollocks.... The woman from PIPEX has just told me that she's dealing with a guy who's now SUING them after still being connected 18 MONTHS on from his cancellation!
Have just rung BT number, and after the usual Bullshit of Name, Tel, Reference, and having to explain the story AGAIN, I get that he cannot put me through because a Supervisor will not speak unless they know what it's about!
"Mr. X. according to our records, you will be disconnected today or at latest tomorrow!"
"Sorry Mate, I don't know you from Adam, and it's not fair to let fly at you, can you please get a Supervisor 'DW' or the Manager 'G' both of whom I've had mails, telephone copnversations with and letters from."
< Click > on-hold!
some minutes later (and STILL the mind draining Air-on-a-G-string music!) a new person...
"Hi Mr. X, this is J. W."
< to cut a long story short > I've just explained the whols sorry saga, and said my opinions on BT and the people I've spoken to up-to-now.... She's putting me on hold to make some calls!
The ADSL modem is now not showing the Green Icon (so it's not connecting or finding an ADSL dialtone) so that's good, just trying to get through to PIPEX to get them to connect it!