I have decided that I need to write a blog which is just a disclaimer. So many times, I get myself in trouble by people taking my humorous blogs literally, that I thought I should write a contractual let out clause. Here it is:

“The party of the first part (hereafter to be called the first party; TFP) is in no way responsible. By this we are in no way suggesting that ‘TFP’ is in any way lacking in cognitive capabilities. We do not indemnify against fire, flood, injury or force majeure (whatever that is). Neither shall ‘TFP’ be in any way responsible for the content he, she or it writes. If ‘TFP’ so chooses, they may, with no acceptance of guilt upon himself, herself or itself, write jokes which are deemed suitable for the general public (hereafter called GP). If the GP so wishes, they may choose to laugh, groan or titter at the said jokes. However, any misunderstandings arising from the so-called jokes, will not be the responsibility of ‘TFP’ (hereafter called Blog Writer General; BWG). The GP (hereafter called people Who Read; PWR.) may well be puzzled that the blogs (hereafter called the Evidenicary Paperwork; EP) ever got published, much less that they have wasted time reading them. That is a matter beyond the purview of this document (hereafter called the Disclaimer Document; DD).

In summary: If the BWG writes any EP’s and they are read by PWR’s then this DD comes into force and has full power to restrain any action.”

We hope this clear up any confusion and prevents any future misunderstanding. It should certainly stop anyone taking me seriously.

Please like and share my blogs

Gas Giant

I have been taxing my brain; not a big task. Over how to make it easier for Mary to push me in a manual wheelchair. We are looking at very occasionally using one so that I can access a non-wav taxi when they are running again or a normal car. Plus, in the future to make flying to see out daughter in the USA an easier possibility. I know you can take a power chair to a plane, but they do not treat them well in the airplane hold. With these ideas in mind we are trying one out, but Mary is much smaller than I am and I have gained a little weight since I last had a manual wheelchair; only an ounce or two, give or take a few pounds. I am unable to assist Mary. So, I was contemplating how to make it easier; I need to be lighter, much, much lighter.

So, there I was drinking zero alcohol larger at lunchtime and suddenly I realised, CO2 makes things lighter, it’s a gas after all, so I need to fill up on alcohol free larger before using the wheelchair. Alcohol free because I don’t react well to alcohol; I don’t mean I get drunk; I just feel ill. Or maybe I could just attach a hot air balloon to my wheelchair. I can just see me floating away in my wheelchair, hot air balloon above, Calor gas cylinder on the side, flames shooting above my head… maybe on second thoughts. Either way, what’s needed is gas. I hear you saying you have plenty of hot air; why not use that, that’s just rude.

Now you are probably thinking an easier option is to lose weight and I am fully with you on that. In fact, I gave up sweets, cakes and all processed sugar products a year and a half ago, so I am trying. But without the ability to exercise losing weight is hard work.
Let’s think about dieting then as exercise is out. Obviously I need to lower my calorie intake. Well lying on the floor in a downstairs room, at sea level is a good way to start. That way all food is low fat and I can eat anything. Also I could just eat Ice cream, as that can’t have calories in it as a calorie is a unit of heat. I could just think thin thoughts, after all you hear a lot about the power of the mind. ‘You are thin, very thin Mike.’ If push comes to shove, I could eat less. But let’s leave such extreme measures to a last resort.

I also have a great theory of dieting based on my observation of bonfires. If calories are burnt off then we need to get that fire burning brighter and bigger. When I have had a bonfire in years gone by, I used to find that the more you fed it and stoked it then blasted it with oxygen the faster it burnt and quicker everything disappeared. Applying that theory to dieting if I eat loads of fat and breath deeply I should be able to stoke that fire and burn it all off, including the fat already in my body. What do you think? Any nutritionists reading this are probably just getting up off the floor. I don’t charge any extra for the shock treatment. You can close your mouth, as Mary Poppins says ‘we are not a goldfish.’ By the way if you try my dieting ideas and find they dont work and want to sue me my address is:

Mr Kid Ing
1 Way

I do have a better idea, reduce the weight of the wheelchair. Or wear less clothes; what do you think? No, wheelchair slimming it is then. Mind you it is already a bit flimsy. It flexes over every bump and I feel every one of them. So maybe it’s back to losing weight; huge bonfire diet here we come. Or shall I just become a gas giant?

Please like and share my blog

Effort Cup

In my photo scanning, did I mention I am scanning all our old photos. Anyway, I am and it’s an interesting trip down memory lane. In doing this I have been finding photos of our children with effort cups from their various schools, (Awarded for putting in extra hard work). Such things never existed when I was at school, but if they had I would have needed a ‘little effort’ or ‘must try harder’ cup. That’s what my school reports used to say, which is very unfair; how did they know I wasn’t already trying hard? Staring out of the window daydreaming in class is hard work. Concentration isn’t only reserved for listening to the teacher. It is not easy having to explain to the teacher day after day why your homework is so brief. I never understood why the teachers got so excited about the summer holiday projects they gave us; they should have just called it homework, not projects. ‘This will keep you busy and occupied all summer,’ they said. I didn’t need to be kept busy and occupied, what with my film making and imaginary games I was busy enough. I could barely fit in family holidays, much less ‘projects’ from school.

Actually, on the subject of film making, yes, I was. I bought my first 8mm cine camera when I was about 10 or 11. I bought it with my earnings from helping my Granma and Uncle in their part time jobs cleaning, plus occasionally going out with my Uncle in his lorry. It was second hand of course, but expensive for me to buy. My mum or my grandma used to treat me to the occasional roll of film (it included processing). 8mm cine film was 3 minutes long per roll so you had to learn brevity. These days with digital stills and video we tend to film everything and photograph anything that we see. At that time in the early 1970’s, wait that can’t be right I wasn’t even born then surely! At that time, we were careful to plan what to film. If you believe that of me you are very gullible. I was still very free in my way of doing things and I planned very little. Most of my films, which were either Sci-Fi or Horror, were written and performed (by me and my siblings) on the fly. I would get a vague idea, put up a set; that sounds grand. My sets were paper, cardboard, old chairs and ancient radios sprayed silver. Star Trek looked old fashioned compared to the amazing quality of my sets. Don’t even get me started on costumes. If I found a brightly coloured nylon top it was a space ship uniform, just added an insignia. Tomato sauce was generously distributed for blood and fire-lighters were held on tin plates in front of the camera to look like everything was on fire. Given all the cardboard, paper, wood and man-made fibres in an enclosed space I am amazed everything wasn’t on fire. I shook the camera and we all leapt around for every explosion or take off. Amazingly detailed, or should I say lack of detail, cardboard models flew off in cut-aways. My cine camera was silent so I added sound afterwards, I had a sound projector and used sound film. The words were add-hock, often thought of as we filmed. Mostly we just had fun.

When I wasn’t film making, I was out with friends rescuing small animals. We formed an animal rescue group, the three of us. Travelling on our bikes with small animal first aid kits. We never actually found any wounded animals, but we whizzed around searching.

Then there were games of war on two opposing hills, exploring the woods and fields around the village where we lived. Long cycle rides and walks. The two weeks of family holiday each summer. A week or two with my Granma in Hastings. When was I supposed to fit in homework!

I have just realised that I owe an apology to any teachers reading this blog. It must be very difficult being a teacher, certainly not a job I would choose. Teachers, if you searching around for that apology it’s not here, I just said I realised I owe you one, not that I am going to apologise.

Where was I? Oh yes, burning my brothers Airfix models, another thing that occupied a lot of my summer holidays. Burning models and trees and all sorts of things as cut-aways for my disaster movies. They were a bit disastrous, but what I mean is they were movies about disasters. Like Titanic, but without the iceberg or nudity. I was ahead of my time really, in fact George Lucas probably got his ideas for Star Wars from me, or at least he would have if he had seen my films. Close Encounters was a definite rip off from my ideas. I was always making mountains out of mashed potatoes. As for Terminator, the number of times I said to my mum ‘I’ll be back,’ really, I should be paid millions in copyright infringement.

I think I have gone a little off topic and I am trying not too after that letter from Mr M adeup, see my last blog ‘Complaints department’. So, I had better return to the issue of Effort Cups. They are a great idea, I just wish there were cups for people like me; ‘if only we’d known you were trying, you just seemed to make no effort,’ cups. Perhaps I need to create one.

Please like and share my blog

Complaints Department

You will be as astonished as me that I’ve had a letter of complaint. In the interest of transparency it seemed like a good idea to deal with the issues it raises publicly so that my readers can see how seriously I take such things. After all you may well share his perfectly justified, if wrong thoughts. So, let’s take a look at the letter and see what can be done, if anything to make the trouble maker, I mean reader feel better:

‘Dear Sir,’

I do like it when people start letters with such a mark of respect. I’m not actually a knight yet although I am hoping the Queen might read my blogs and feel an increasing desire to swing a sword in my direction. But I do feel it shows a right attitude towards writers, one that I have to say has been largely lost in this day and age. An age when we tend to think we all know best. Obviously, that can’t be true, only I know best. Let’s hope that the writer of this letter continues in a suitably humble fashion after this great beginning:

‘I want to complain about the way you always jump around in your blogs.’

That’s good, straight to the point. Isn’t it awful when people waffle around and don’t get to the point, I don’t agree with the content of this letter, but at least it’s direct and to the point; straight in there. My school teachers never used to get to the point you know; especially when teaching history. Us innocent students would be hanging on their words, waiting to find out about the middle ages and the teacher would spend ages looking at what they wore and ate or where they lived. We were all waiting for details of the weapons and armour. Our teacher never learnt; he did that for every period we looked at, always wasted time on unnecessary background. As for French lessons, the teacher kept looking at grammar! I wanted to learn how to speak it, not how they constructed it. My mother didn’t teach me grammar as a baby, she just said da, da, da and ma, ma, ma, I turned out alright. I thought you went camping in tents, the French teacher kept telling me there was such a thing as the past and present tent; honestly, teachers. I suppose we’d better look at the rest of the letter:

‘Knowing you, I bet you are not even concentrating on my letter. In fact you are probably rattling on about something inane.’

Well that’s a cheek, what an assumption. I really dislike people making assumptions like that. Assumptions make an ass of you and me. Hang on, not me surely. I was thinking when I got this letter that perhaps I should have a complaints department to send such letters to. I don’t have any staff, but it would sound good, ‘I have referred your letter to our complaints department.’ Always a good way to fob people off. One company tried that one on me when they refused to deal with a problem. So, I contacted their CEO and by the time I got a reply from their complaints dept. saying they had reviewed the case and decided to do nothing, I also had a reply from the CEO and got the issue sorted. But that’s an aside and I know my complainant doesn’t like those. Back to his letter:

‘I really believe we would all be much better served if you focussed your mind on the issue at hand. I read your blogs for information, not diversion.’

I think there we have the nub of his problem. Sounds like I need to tell him my blogs are informative and diverting. Or is it diverting from information, or divisive? Or are they divesting? No, can’t be that. Anyway, it sounds like he lacks a sense of humour and you do need that to read my blogs. In fact, I wrote one the other day that was absolutely silly, I hear you, very unusual for me. Well the responses I had to that blog suggested that some folk thought I was serious. It’s why I tend to put warnings on my blogs now. Well we do live in a day and age when knives have to display: ‘danger sharp’ warnings on them. When I grew up most people knew that. I guess I had better finish reading the complaint letter, get it over with. I tend to like to get unpleasant things out of the way quickly. For instance I eat the things I don’t like first, that way I get the bad things out of the way. Best get this letter out of the way.

‘In conclusion I hope you will try much harder in future to stay on topic. I want to continue to follow your blogs, but will only do so if they contain less waffle.

Yours Sincerely

Mr M Adeup
Little Fakenham

I will off course be filing this letter in the appropriate place and following its advice carefully. When I was working in my first office as a young man in the early 1980’s, a salesman there used to say that all memos from the bosses were LATU (laugh and tear up), then got filed in the round filing cabinet (bin). I think this letter deserves equal care. Meanwhile I was thinking, where has the sunshine gone? I hope the serious attention I give to my correspondence will encourage you to contact me.

Please like and share my blog

Special Advisor

Anyone who has read my blogs will not be surprised by an email I received recently. Actually, I probably shouldn’t share its contents yet because it’s all hush, hush. But I am sure none of you will tell anyone. It was from the top-secret UK government think tank; Scientific Planning Assessment and Management (S.P.A.M.). I had to rescue it from my overzealous junk mail filter. Of course, being a top secret quasi-governmental organisation, I wasn’t surprised they needed my date of birth, mother’s maiden name and bank details to confirm my identity.

You are probably all on the edge of your metaphorical or real seats wondering what exciting and important task our PM has asked me to do via his minions. I’ll put you out of your misery; he wants my input on the next stage of getting back to normal as the lock down lifts. Now that doesn’t surprise me at all. The PM probably read my article on hooped skirts for everyone as a social distancing measure and my suggestions for the use of light sabres. Not to mention my helpful observations on cyborgs as a parliamentary aid; after all they would be much less trouble than human ones. So, I have been working hard drawing up plans for the next stage. Before you see it announced by the PM at one his regular press briefings, I thought you’d like a sneak preview. But I would ask that you don’t share it too widely; as I said at the beginning, it is top secret.

I have been exercising my brain on the problem of small shops. How can they open if they lack sufficient space for social distance? You will not be surprised that I have the answer. They just need to move all their wares outside onto trestle tables in the middle of the road. I am getting to the problem of cars, so bear with me. I really can’t think why no one thought of selling outside before, it’s such a good idea. In fact, all the shops could do it, not just the small ones. We could set up rows of tables down the street. Don’t worry, I can almost hear your objection; the weather. Yes, it does rain a tiny bit in the UK. I have thought of that. Metal frames and plastic tarpaulins, a row of tables covered by them; did you know that you can get stripy tarpaulins? That would look nice. Who knows, people might feel free being outside, to be a bit more vocal about what they are selling, and shout out the prices; very un-British. Why hasn’t it been done before? We have online market places, this would be a… what could we call it? A street of shops outside. Not sure of a name for now; any ideas?

Traffic I hear you cry out in frustration at me. Well we have managed for three months without cars; some of us. I have a radical plan to extend that. Did you read your history at school? There was a time when everyone used to spin and weave at home. People mainly lived in villages and they didn’t travel much. Now everyone is at home baking bread and sewing clothes or at least masks, arguing with each other; hang on that’s not relevant. Cutting their own hair and pulling out their own teeth, teaching their own children. It seems to me the natural next step is a post-Industrial Revolution. Sort of come full circle, we all return to spinning and weaving in our homes; or carry on if you already are. The environmentalists will love it. No need for cars or buses or lorries or trains.

The world will take a giant leap backwards. Just think Apple will be a fruit again rather than a Tech company. The web will be what spiders spin in your attic. Zoom will be to run into the garden. Communication will be talking to people. Mobile will be when you move around. Chip and PIN will be a potato you eat and the sharp thing that pricks your finger. A bank will have grass on it, PayPal will be giving something back to a friend, DropBox will hurt your toes and the Cloud will be back in the sky. Broadband will be the width of your belt. Smart will mean clever thinking rather than technology you can’t get to work. Streaming will be what your nose does when you have a cold and kindle will be getting a fire ready to burn.

There are a few little things need ironing out before I send my plan to the PM and you hear it on the next press briefing. First local government. I am thinking for simplicity a return to a Lord and Lady of the Manor. I know that will make us all serfs, but is that really so bad? I’m sure they will only hang draw and quarter repeat offenders and the stocks will be a deterrent. Also, Horrible Histories probably over exaggerated all the bad stuff. It’s true, we will have to draw water from a well, use tallow candles for light and have open sewers, is that so bad? I’ve always thought deodorant was over used anyway. The more I think about it the more things I miss. I will miss McDonalds, and running water, electricity, modern plumbing, food from shops. Maybe it’s not such a good idea. Let’s just stick with my brilliant ideas like open air shopping. We just need to solve the problem of cars in the road…

I think it’s all coming together brilliantly. You can see why they chose me. Big sky thinker that’s me. Mustn’t forget to make that payment to S.P.A.M. when I send the email back.

Please like and share my blog

Flying Wheelchairs

(I have not written for a little while. I have found the Lock Down hard going. So here is a bit of silliness now I am back writing)

I was watching Star Wars the other day and noticed a great invention, obviously a totally possible one; flying wheelchairs, there were a few (even Yoda had one). I got thinking about it, no more problems with bumpy pavements, no more looking for ramps or lowered pavements. No issues with stairs. Perfect, absolutely perfect and I can’t see any downside; well maybe cost. I don’t know if the NHS would run to one. But maybe fund raising…
Anyway, it got me thinking about all those brilliant things they have in Sci-Fi movies that would help in real life. Just think how useful a light sabre would be, you’re thinking about it aren’t you. I bet you have come up with as many useful situations as me. No more problems with lost keys, just cut the door open. No more need for tile cutters, circular saws, jigsaws, drills, just think how easy it will be to prune the garden; the mind boggles. I bet you were thinking all the same things.
Then what about droids? C3PO, human cyborg relations could be very useful in parliament. A bit of good manners and protocol will sort everything out. Then there are other Sci-Fi movies, I am thinking of The Matrix. Being able to do a triple somersault from a high-speed motorbike that is flying off the top of a building is a very useful skill. I bet you are counting all the uses. I can’t think of any at the moment, but I am sure there are loads. Then there’s Star Trek, wouldn’t it be great to have a tiny communicator that you could hold in your hand and contact people anywhere in the world? What do you mean we have smart phones? I can’t say ‘beam me up Scotty’ into my smart phone. Unless I want to look a complete wally. Plus, a smart phone does all sorts of extra things, like being a computer. Whereas on Star Trek the original series they had to call their space ship to use a computer; much more civilised.
Now let’s be sensible for a moment. I saw one Sci-Fi where they had AI (artificial intelligence) wanting to take over the world; actually, that was most of them. Well we only have real live human beings who want to do that. So you see real life is definitely lacking something; AI that want to take over the world.
Getting back to my very sensible and realistic starting idea of flying wheelchairs. I wonder how we start out the design and production? First, I guess we need an anti-gravity engine of some sort. Well that can’t be too hard, although I suppose it might help if science understood what gravity was first. Currently they only know what it does, not what it is. Let’s skip over that and come back to it, I’m sure it will be easier with fresh eyes in the morning. I believe when you are designing something and hit a problem; shelve it for later, come back to it fresh. So next we need a lightweight and long-lasting power source; ideally very cheap and able to power the anti-gravity engine we haven’t yet designed. That can’t be too hard; any ideas? Me neither. OK, another problem to shelve for now. Next, we need to design it’s looks, that’s easy, copy Star Wars; one problem down. Now we are really flying; or we soon will be. What do we build it out of? Probably depends on what the power source and engine need. In the Sci-Fi movies they always talk about the type of radiation that the power source gives out. OK shelve that for now. So, where are we? We know what it looks like; see the one in the Star Wars movie. Everything else we need to come back to later. I think we are really getting somewhere. I feel like this is a break through, we have a design we could put down on paper. We could even show videos of it. Maybe I’ll design some anti-gravity boots next.

Please like and share my blog

Hooped Skirts

As we now start thinking of social distancing BBQ’s I was amused to read one scientists advice on the BBC. He was talking about various ‘sensible’ precautions to make things safe for everyone. One of my favourites, which made me laugh out loud was:

“You could ask your guests to set their alarms for every 45 minutes or every hour in a staggered way, then everyone could wash their hands when their alarm goes off. If you’re hosting, say to everyone “we’re all going to wash our hands once an hour.”.”

Not only will people be queuing for the toilet, one person at a time into the house, but every 45 minutes all six people queuing to wash their hands, I can really see people following that advice. Mind you most of us don’t have gardens the size of tennis courts anyway. The scientific expert pointed out that six people social distancing take up the area of half a tennis court. I think most people will have a garden that can maybe take 2 people or perhaps 4. If you have a garden at all.

Still we are getting used to queuing now. I do wonder how other countries manage, not all countries do queuing. Years ago, back in the 1980’s we visited Israel and discovered that they don’t really do queuing there. I gather that is the case in several countries. In Israel we were doing our British orderly queuing and then a couple of people just walked right in front of us. We were horrified. Of course we apologised to them and assumed they were right, we are British after all. Not really, we got cross and said we were first. They ignored us and carried on, so we gave them a hard stare, I bet that taught them a lesson.

In the USA they have a totally different system. No orderly British lines. People must have amazing memories over there. As you arrive somewhere you take note of who is in front of you and who arrives after you. Then when your turn is. That way you can stand wherever you like and wait your turn, mentally noting arrivals and counting off the people in front of you. It seems only Brits stand in orderly lines. So social distance lines must work differently elsewhere. I wonder how they work? Do you think in Israel that they stand around outside at a distance, sort of milling around 6 feet apart; each person trying to stay near the door but being gradually pushed away by the movement of each other. Then when the steward on the door says: ‘next’, the person who has manoeuvred best to be near the door slips in quickly? It must be a sight to behold.

Another great idea this scientist had were 6 foot sticks. You twirl them around to check social distances. I wasn’t sure if you were meant to carry them all the time, sort a defence system, like a lance. Or just to set up social bubble markers. He did mention drawing marked out areas in chalk. So maybe just for measuring. Shame because I fancy having a lance to swing around as I go down the High St. That will ensure people give me 6 feet clearance. Although as the footpath is only about 3 foot wide I might smash a few shop windows. Do you think the shop owners and police will understand it’s on scientific advice?

Now I realise that some people will have been waiting for a mention of hooped skirts. After all that was the title of the blog. If you have stuck with me this long; well done, you deserve an answer or maybe a medal. Here we go; I have an amazing idea for social distancing. Hooped skirts, bring back hooped skirts. You know the type of thing I mean, those Victorian wide bottom hooped skirts that have a structure holding them out. Except my idea is even better, mine are 6 feet wide. So, 6 feet wide hooped skirts for everyone, yes men and women, young and old. It’s a medical necessity so don’t feel silly about wearing it. Not only will it keep us all in social bubbles but it solves the problem of young children not understanding the whole keeping away concept. They will just bounce off.

A few practicalities do occur to me. We will need wider pavements. It will work better in the USA, their sidewalks (pavements to us Brits) are already that wide. Not sure a 6 feet wide hooped skirt will fit everywhere in Wellington where I live. Might be a bit of a squash in the chip shop and could be an issue down the aisles in Asda. Again the USA will score on the wide aisles in their shops. Then there is the issue of sitting down, might be a few issues of the front lifting up and unintentionally showing your underwear. Plus us wheelchair users. We will need special wheelchair hooped skirts that go around the wheelchair. After all to wear one in a wheelchair is silly, it would stick up in the air and cause a draft. No, much better to put a hooped skirt on the wheelchair itself, you can see how sensible an idea that is. There is then the issue of what police Constables should wear? Is a hooped skirt the most practical outfit to chase criminals in. Builders might struggle to climb scaffolding in a hooped skirt, not to mention racing car drivers. I don’t think one would fit in a formula one car. In fact the more I think about it the more areas might have one or two minor issues. But I am sure these tiny problems can be overcome. Then we can all start wearing our new outfits and be safe. I look forward to the day when we all sweep down the road in our multi coloured hooped skirts; did I mention they were multi coloured?

Please like and share my blog.

%d bloggers like this: