Monday, 30 April 2012

House of Wessex (restored)

It can be said that the Reign of the Danish House for the first time of asking, was exetremely brief, but the Return of Wessex wouldn't last for long.

King Æthelred returned in 1014 after the Danish King had died and was required to swear loyalty to the noblemen, to bring in reforms and to forgive the noblemen of everything they had said and done in his previous reign.  This is an important agreement in terms of the constitution, as it is the first recorded pact between a king and his subjects.

Edmund Battles Canute
However, Sweyn's son, Canute, began preparations with his allies, the men of Lindsey, to mount a force against Æthelred but was interprupted when Æthelred launched an expedition against him in April 1014 and Canute withdrew leaving his allies at the mercy of Æthelred.

The next few months saw Canute conquer most of England and Æthelred, with his son, Edmund Ironside, defended London.

Ashington Hill - Likely location of Battle
It was here that Æthelred died on 23 April 1016, leaving Edmund to face Canute, and at the Battle of Ashingdon (18 October 1016) Canute triumphed however, Edmunds reputation as a warrior was great and Canute agreed to divide England giving Edmund Wessex, and Canute having the rest of the Kingdom above the River Thames.  However, Edmund died on 30 November and the rule of the House of Wessex came to an end as Canute became King of the whole country and so the Danish House took hold of the crown once more.

Titanic 2 and Olympics

The Original Titanic - Hardly Used

Titannic Idea

Didn’t anyone say that History has a well know problem of repeating itself.  New Titanic 2 to be built after the newly released 3D Titanic film sank without trace.

And here we have a bloke with more money than sense saying that it won’t sink.  Hmmmmm, ok where have I heard that before????

Bond: “Vodka Martini, shaken and not stirred.”
(Bartender hands Bond his drink.)
Bond: “I said shaken dammit.”
Bartender: “Hold on Mr Bond, Iceberg dead ahead.”

 Olympic Idea

Well, the Olympic Games could well be more entertaining this time around me dears.

Is Team GB possibly attempting to introduce a new sport here me thinks?  Or is this a new form of keeping the crowds entertained in between events.

TV Presentor: "Well, that’s Canada winning the Gold for the Transvestite Cross-Dressage competition, and before we get to the medal ceremony, here’s a few missiles to keep you happy."

Commentator: "And they’re off………Shame that the Iraqi Scud missile was irratic, but no surprises that it missed by miles, and here’s the Hammas attempt………….whoops, brought down the Israeli Boeing 737 there.  They’ll be gutted by that. 

The Republic of Ireland now has it’s representative ready and waiting with a protective balaclava in place.  Oooh, multiple weapon-heads there laced with added semtex, purely for decorative effect it has to be said. Yep, Number 10 hit (bus that is) with several wayward off shoots.  I’m sure the judges will be deducting points for a sloppy job there.   

The North Koreans have launched theirs……oh, it’s failed less than twenty seconds into flight– the American’s are putting in a complaint for time wasting, but the North Koreans are insisting it was a successful launch of an extremely short-range missile. 

Here’s the Swiss attempt………hold on……..hold on……….steady as she goes……….hold on…………nope.  A dud then folks, seems they’re a bit reluctant in hitting any target for fear of hurting anyone’s feelings,  and the Americans…….errrmm…..the Americans……well now, there seems to be a slight technical hitch here ladies and gentlemen…..we keep getting this message…….."You have reached Team USA. We are unable to come to the phone right now. At the tone, please leave your name, number, and target or list of targets, and we'll launch as soon as we can. And have a nice day."

Thought for the Day

I maybe a schizophrenic.....but at least we have each other

House of Denmark

Sweyn Forkbeard
With Æthelred now in exile, the House of Wessex was no longer the dominant force in England, and up popped the Danish King, Sweyn Forkbeard to bring about a new era in English Kings.....or would he???
Sweyn Forkbeard was to become the first of the Danish Kings to have ruled England.

He had become King of Denmark after his father, Harald Bluetooth (yep, they had Bluetooth in them ther days) died in either 986 or 987, and had effectively become King of Norway in 1000 when he forged an alliance with the Trondejarl, Erik of Lade.

According to the chronicles of John of Wallingford, Sweyn has made a number of raids during the periods 1002–1005, 1006–1007, and 1009–1012 to avenge the massacre on St Brice's Day where his sister was one of the fatalities.

The Five Boroughs
Sweyn first went to Sandwich, and then mopped up East Anglia and upwards along the Trent as far as Gainsborough. He soon added Northumbria as well as the people of Lindsey and then the people of the Five Boroughs. After he realised that the people had submitted to him, he got provisions and horses and moved southwards, with the main part of the invasion force with the rest commanded by his son, Cnut Canute).

After Watling Street fell, he moved on to Oxford where the people bowed to him and gave his hostages.  From there he moved on to Winchester (who did the same), and then eastwards to London.

However, London put up more resistance as Æthelred and Thorkell the Tall (a viking leader who had defected) held their ground against him. Sweyn then moved to Bath where the western Thanes submitted to him and gave hostages, and fearing any revenge that Sweyn might undertake, the Londoners followed suit leaving Æthelred and his sons, Edward and Alfred, little choice but to exile themselves to Normandy.

Sweyn was then declared King of England on Christmas Day 1013.

Sweyn now began to organise his new Kingdom however, having only been King for five weeks, he died on 3 February 1014.

Although Canute was named King by the Danish Fleet, councellors had arranged for Æthelred to return as King, and when he did, managed to drive Canute out of England. 

This, however, was not the last time that Canute would be heard of by the English, and the newly returned King would face the ongoing Viking challenge to wrest the crown away from him.

Friday, 27 April 2012

English Monarchs - House of Mercia

774 - 796  Offa

This little blighter was the most powerful of those rulers of the House of Mercia which between the 6th and 10th Century was the most dominent member of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (which comprised of the south, east and central areas of Great Britain), and was the only ruler to call himself King of the Angles.

During his time, he managed to get workers to dig a trench which has been recorded in history as stretching from sea-to-sea, and goes by the name of Offa's Dyke as wellas introducing to the country the first silver penny.

Offa's Dyke
Red Line: Offa's Dyke
Offa's Dyke is a massive linear earthwork, roughly followed by some of the current border between England and Wales. In places, it is up to 65 feet (19.8 m) wide (including its flanking ditch) and 8 feet (2.4 m) high. In the 8th century it formed some kind of delineation between the Anglian kingdom of Mercia and the Welsh kingdom of Powys.

During the time of his reign, Offa had killed of all of his rivals to ensure that his son, Ecgfrith, would survive him and retain the Kingdom but sadly his son died four months after his passing. The next king of Mercia was only distantly related to Offa, and power passed to the House of Wessex.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

English Monarchs - House of Wessex

This House effectively ruled the Kingdom for two centurys from 802 through to 1013.

The Kings were:

802 - 839Egbert
839 - 858Æthelwulf
858 - 860Æthelbald
860 - 865Æthelberht
865 - 871Æthelred
871 - 899Alfred the Great
899 - 924Edward the Elder  
924 - 924Ælfweard
924 - 939Æthelstan
939 - 946Edmund the Magnificent
946 - 955Eadred
955 - 959Eadwig
959 - 975Edgar the Peaceful
975 - 978Edward the Martyr
978 - 1013Æthelred the Unready

England, during Egbert's reign
Egbert: was the first King to have overlordship over much of England after defeating the Mercians in 825 and became Bretwalda * in 829 having defeated Wiglaf of Mercia and received later that same year, the submission of the Northumbrian King at Dore.  Although having lost the dominant position the following year when Wiglaf reclaimed the throne of Mercia, he retained control of Kent, Sussex and Surrey which were given to Egbert's son Æthelwulf to rule as a subking.

Æthelwulf's Tombstone

Æthelwulf: Upon becoming King, he split the kingdom up into two, giving the eastern half (Kent, Essex, Surrey and Sussex) to his son Æthelstan and kept the western half (Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and Devon) for himself.

Æthelbald: Second of the five sons of Æthelwulf and was Regent of Wessex whilst his father was away visiting Rome.  He was probably involved in a plot preventing his father from returning, having heard about his father's marriage to  the Carolingian King Charles the Bald's thirteen-year-old daughter Judith.  To prevent a civil war, his father allowed Æthelbald to continue ruling Wessex and continued doing so after his father's death with Æthelberht becoming King of Kent.

Æthelberht:  Third son of Æthelwulf and became King of Kent and other eastern parts of the kingdom when his father died.  When his brother Æthelbald died childless in 860, the Kingdom of the West Saxons passed over to him. Whilst King, the south eastern conquests became a new kingdom, as opposed to appointing a family member as under-king. A charter issued in his first year of rule reflected a new kind of assembly by a West Saxon King in that a full complement of West Saxon and Kentish witnesses were included.

 Æthelred: His first year as King saw a great Viking army arrive which in five years had destroyed two of the principal English Kingdoms (Northumbria and East Anglia). HIs brother in law (Burgred, King of Mercia) first suffered at the hands of the Vikings before seeking help from Æthelred, and his brother, the future King, Alfred the Great.  It was during the period of intense battles which followed that Æthelred was killed, in the Battle of Merton in 871. 

Alfred - 13th century
Alfred the Great: was the only English monarch to be given the byname of Great, hence Alfred the Great.  Even though Æthelred had two under-age sons, Alfred succeeded him as King due to an agreement that whoever of the two brothers outlived the other, would inherit the property etc of King Æthelwulf.

During his reign, Alfred was successful in defending the kingdom from the Viking attempt of conquest, and also encouraged education whilst improving the country's legal system and military structure.

He was the first to be called King of the Anglo-Saxons.

Edward the Elder: Having dealt with the challenge from his cousin, Æthelwold, for the throne, Edward began to take back land at Mercia, East Anglia and Essex which the Danes had previously occupied during the reign of his father, Alfred, and went on to annex the cities of London and Oxford, with the surrounding areas of Oxfordshire and MIddlesex.

Relations with the Danes at Northumbria were unsettled and the two armies eventually fought the Battle of Tettenhall where Edward destroyed the opposition and from then on, the Northumbrians never raided south of the River Humber largely due to the fortresses that Edward had built afterwards to keep them at bay.

Ælfweard: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that Ælfweard died 16 days after his father and that they were buried together at Winchester Cathedral but mentions no reign.

However, there is a list of Anglo-Saxon Kings in the 12th Century Textus Roffensis + which mentions him as his father's successor with a reign of four weeks.

Æthelstan's Tomb - Malmesbury Abbey
Æthelstan: Managed to succeed in obtaining the submission of Constantine II, King of Scots at the treaty of Eamont Bridge in 927 and afterwards forced the welsh princes to accept his authority and therefore claimed to be 'King of the English', and perhaps a more wistful claim, to be 'King of Britain'.

His Crowned Bust coinage of 933-938 was the first Anglo-Saxon coinage to show the king crowned together with the title Rex totius Britanniae, King of the Whole of Britain.

Edmunds Murder - drawn by R Smirke
Edmund the Magnificent: Faced the threat, after being pronounced King, from King Olaf III Guthfrithson who conquered Northumbria and invaded the Midlands, and it was only when Olaf died in 942, did Edmund regain the Midland and two years later, Northumbria.

One of Edmund's last known political movements was his role is restoring Louis IV of France to the throne.

Edmund was murdered by Leofa (an exiled thief) while celebrating St Augustine's Mass Day on 26th May 946.

Mortuary chest purporting to contain Eadred's bones
Eadred: Managed to control Northumbria in 946 and obtained oaths that the Scots would do all that he wanted but faced challenges from two scandinavian princes who had designs on Northumbria up until 952, where Eadred promised the northumbrian supporters of the foreign prince great havoc if they did not desert him.  A threat they took seriously as desert him they did.

Eadwig: Chosen by the nobility to succeed his uncle but his short reign was marked by conflicts with his family, members of the aristocracy and the church.

His marriage to Ælfgifu was annulled and unusual in that it was against both their wills and politically motivated by supporters of the church.

The Kingdom was split along the lines of the Thames to prevent a civil war, with Eadwig keeping Wessex and Kent in the south, and his brother, Edgar, controlling the kingdoms to the north.

Edgar the Peaceful: Crowned at Bath and annointed with his wife Ælfthryth, thus setting a precedent for a coronation of a Queen in England.

The service, performed by Dunstan (recalled from exile) and celebrated with a poem in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, forms the basis of the present day British coronation ceremony.

It was during his reign that the Benedictine Rule peaked in England's undisciplined monastic communities.

Corfe Castle
Edward the Martyr: Although the eldest son of Edgar, he was not considered to be his father's acknowledged heir (that being his younger half-brother Æthelred) but as he was a legitimate son of Edgar, was crowned by his clerical supporters, Dunstan and Oswald of Worcester.

During his short reign, the two great nobles of the time, ealdormen Ælfhere and Æthelwine quarelled and civil war was narrowly averted, although the nobles took advantage of Edward's weak rule to dispossess the Benedictine reformed monastries of land and other properties which Edgar had pledged to them as support.

Edward was murdered near to, or on the mound, where Corfe Castle now stands although who murdered him remains unknown and was buried without any ceremony, however he was later reburied at Shaftsbury Abbey in 980, and then moved to a more prominent place in 1001.

Æthelred the Unread: Was no more than 13 when his half-brother died, and since that death occured most likely at his mother's behest, it was difficult to rally the nation against threat especially as the legend of St Edward the Martyr grew.

From 991 onwards, he paid tribute, or Danegeld (Danish Tax) to the Danish King. However, in 1002  ordered a massacre of Danish settlers (including the Danish King's sister) which prompted the King Sweyn, to invade England and in 1013 Æthelred fled to Normandy.

* Bretwalda is a title given to rulers of the Anglo-Saxon who have achieved overlordship of some or all of the other Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms.
+ Textus de Ecclesia Roffensi per Ernulphum episcopum ("The Book of the Church of Rochester through Bishop Ernulf"),

Joke of the Day

The worst pub I've been to was called 'The Fiddle'..................It really was a vile inn. 

Monday, 23 April 2012

Top Ten Films

Ok folks.  You've had my musical choices and now it's time for the cinematic variety.

Again, I'm wondering about the wisdom of only producing a list of ten as there is so many more to enjoy, but I'm going to make myself stick to the ten, and as always, nobody can stop me from making another list later on.  Anyway, read on and see if you agree or not.

The Shawshank Redemption - It’s a ‘slow burner’ of a film with a nice subtle twist towards the end of the film and yes, it does have a bit of swearing during the first half an hour of the film (not that I’m against swearing mind you, but only when necessary), but if you can ignore that and stick with it, you’d be treated to a fascinating, gentle, and wonderfully well told story. 

I’d seriously recommend this film to anyone who hasn’t yet seen it.  Simply brilliant.

A Beautiful Mind - Russell Crowe stars in this biographical film about John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, and how he sees his paranoid schizophrenia affects those around him including his wife and friends.

Russell Crowe’s acting here is simply top rate, and considering that I don’t have a high opinion of him as a person, I have to admit liking him in several of the films that he appears in.

Mr Holland’s Opus -  This drama about a teacher who harbours a dream about composing a piece of orchestral music which throughout the film appears to be pushed to one side as he realises that he is a marginalised figure in the schools faculty’s heirachy.

It is essentially a 30 year video biography of this fictional man and of course, has an emotional and uplifting ending.

I’ve never seen much of Richard Dreyfuss’s career and other then Close Encounters of the Third Kind, this is the only other film I’ve seen him in, but what a beautiful performance he gives.

The Sixth Sense - This pyschological thriller sees Bruce Willis (Dr Malcolm Crowe) attempting to help a young boy (Haley Joel Osmont) who states that he can see and speak to the dead.

I happen to be one of those people who likes to guess who did what to who and when, and I try to forsee the ending before it occurs (with more success than not), but the surprise ending in this film is one that I never even comtemplated and totally surprised me which just made it even better for me on top of the marvellous acting from both Willis and Osmont.  Another one worth recommending.

It’s a Wonderful Life - Yes, this an ‘oldie’ and Yes, it’s a black and white film, but it just goes to prove that such a great film can stand the test of time.

An american christmas film shows James Stewart as George Bailey as he comtemplates committing suicide only for his guardian angel to show up showing him how his life has touched others for the better, together wth how life would have been without him.

Even though it's regarded as a flop at the time of release, it is justifiably one of the top 100 films produced according to the American Film Institute.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day - It is extremely rare for a sequel to be better than the first film, and this is just one of the select few that manages to pull it off.  Mr Schwarzenegger is now battling for the good guys in an attempt to stop a new improved Terminator from killing John Conner. 

It is a shame that Edward Furlong (who plays John Conner) was a bit of a let down but hey, it’s Arnold, playing the Terminator with top of the range (at the time) special effects with a story that kept the pace of the action full tilt to the very end.

K-Pax – This science fiction mystery film had me hooked from the word go. 

Kevin Spacey produces yet another fantastic performance (along with Jeff Bridges), depicting a man who has been committed to the Psychiatric Institute of Manhattan where he impresses patients, as well as the psychiatrist, all believing him to be prot, an alien from the planet K-Pax.

This is just a film where everything about it just feels right (well, as right as any alien can be).  The two leads both convince easily of their personas and yoou enjoy the film or what it is.

Being There – Peter Sellers stars here, in his last film, with an amazing performance playing Chance, a middle-aged man whose whole life has been spent gardening for a wealthy man in New York.  When his benefactor dies, Chance is forced to leave and the film shows his experiences of life in the outside world.

I just liked the simplicity of the lead role in this film, showing a man who couldn’t grasp the basic shenanigans than mankind displays and Chance’s innocence and naivety shines through with his words of wisdom, which often makes me smile wryly when others misinterpret them.  A gentle understated film that shows that Sellers could actually act, and act well.

The Green Mile - This film drama, adapted from Stephen King's book (of the same name), shows life inside an american death row penitentiary from the viewpoint of one of the correction officers, Paul Edcombe (Tom Hanks), and he time when John Coffey arrives at death row convicted for raping and killing two young white girls.

This film is again, another 'slow burner' but one where it is a joy to watch the officers interact with each other, and you even laugh with them when they make an unpopular fellow officer, called Percy Wetmore (a cruel, sadistic and cowardly person) suffer for his treatment of the prisoners.

Master & Commander : The Far side of the World - Well, Russell Crowe again, but in my opinion, deservedly so.

An american historical drama where the plot and characters are taken from Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series.  Captain 'Lucky Jack' Aubrey (Russell Crowe) has been ordered to locate the french privateer Acheron and to 'Sink, burn, or take her as prize'.
Again, the whole cast are perfectly chosen and gel so well together, as we follow the pursuit.  The HMS Surprise encounters the Acheron three times, being damaged the first, and barely escaping the second time before the third meeting.

Well my friends, there is my list such as it is.  It was difficult having to leaveout so many, and those missing out by a close whisker were The Matrix (either the first or second), The Day the Earth Stood Still (the black & white version) and Somewhere in Time (yes, I do watch romantic films too) and Tim (starring an very young Mel Gibson).

Thought for the Day

"Honesty is the key to a relationship. If you can fake that, you're in."
Courtney Cox Monica on "Friends"

Others in my Top Ten list  Films  :  Books  :  Comedy Moments  :  Music

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Top Ten Musical Masterpieces

 Others in my Top Ten list  Films  :  Books  :  Comedy Moments  :  Music

Well, not necessarily but I have thought maybe it was time to personalise this blog with one or two of my best loved music, films TV programmes and such so todays entry is going to be about my favourite music.

You know, it simply isn't easy to get a top ten list purely because there is so much stuff out there that before you know it, you've picked 600 odd tracks and have to whittle this down to just ten.  Reality TV programme judges, eat your heart out.

So, here goes, and in no particular order.

Ennio Morricone - Once Upon a Time in The West


I first heard this on a compilation cassette (oh yes, the good old days when your cassette player chews up tape and spits it back out keeping the most important bit of the track stuck in it's mechanisms).

It's moody, melancholy, and yet uplifting but sad again. It's one piece of music I can never tire of. 

Catherine Jenkins - When You're Alone

A sad fact this, but heard it on a TV programme.  Yes folks, it's Doctor Who.  BUT, having said that, it is really a good piece of music, and when I looked at the lyrics, I had to do a double-take as they really are quite ordinary, but sung so magnificently well by Catherine Jenkins.

Not a huge fan of hers I must admit, but if she can make something so trite sound so wonderful, what she must be able to do with some top-notch lyrics must be worth hearing.

ABBA - Like An Angel Passing Through My Room

I know, but everyone secretly has one song of ABBA's that they simply love, and for me this was it.  Not a mainstream pop release but tucked away on the second side of their album 'The Visitors'.

Loved it then, and still do now.

Bob Morgan & Steppin Out - Marguerite

Not many will recognise the name but to those British television viewers with good memories, will instantly remember this and associate it with Vision On, and Take Hart with the famous Picture Gallery.

This was one of three pieces of music used for this section of the Take Hart program and I loved all three of them, but this is simply the best of them. Wonderful, and dreamy.

Ennio Morricone - On Heaven As It Is On Earth

Having seen the film, The Mission, I wanted to get the soundtrack and was surprised to find out that Ennio Morricone scored the music.  He simply is fast becoming my favourite composer and there are many of his works I could add to this list but have limited it to ten, and even allowing a second one in might seem unfair but tough.

Clannad - Wilderness

Ahh, Clannad.  An Irish band first came to my attention when they scored the music for the TV series Robin Of Sherwood.  Very atmospheric and moody.  I loved it, both the programme and the music and as a result brought some of their albums.  The one that sticks out in my mind is a short, but beatifully arranged piece, called Wilderness, and is on the album, Anam.

Marty Robbins - The Ballad of Bill Thaxton

I blame my mum for this one.  She had a 'thing' for Marty Robbins and I did my best to not like him as even back then, he was considered 'old taste' BUT I have always remembered this song, and I have tried over the years to find this on the internet and have only just recently found this.  Not sure it would normally have made my top ten, but as I've just reacquainted myself with it again, here it be.

Billy Joel - The River of Dreams

Fell in love with this song from the first moment I heard this, which for me, is rare for a vocal song. Again, never been a Billy Joel fan, or liked any of his songs but this is one I can't help stopping to listen to wherever I am.

The Fureys and Davey Arthur - When You Were Sweet Sixteen

I remember hearing this when it made number one here in the UK charts in 1982, and over the years was another song that echoed in my head in parts and have struggled to remember who sang it and what it was called.  Thank heavens for You Tube I say.

Madonna - Beautful Stranger

I'll say it here, I think madonna is extremely over-rated as a singer relying on her musical videos to shock and outrage BUT this track is just wonderful.  I think it captures the period of the sixties (where the Austin Powers character is loosely based on) and yet was modern at the same time. The official video was brilliant too with Mike Myers doing a great job on it.

Well pop-pickers, thats how my list stands at this moment in time.  No good thinking about any more as I'll know I'll have to swap and chop and change and all that marlarkey and that's when it gets difficult.

I was however, going to list those that didn't quite make it onto this list.....but hey, I can always make another list  - 'The Ones hat never made it' lol.

Thought for the Day

Half full or half empty

The person who is no longer trapped in The Matrix (whatever one might call him/her) says: "There is no glass..."

Thursday, 19 April 2012


Right, I'm going to have a rant here, and yes, it's all about motorbikes.  Actually, that's not strictly true.  It's about the drivers of said motorbikes and their continued ability to pee me off.

OK, here in the UK, we sometimes have signs erected saying "Think Bike, Think Biker" and generally attempting to raise awareness of the poor deluded motorcyclist struggling to get from A to B in their highly overpowered two wheel lean, mean death-trap machines.

Oh, I'll give due respect for the considerate motorcyclist, who follows the rules and laws of the road, but as for the others (read that as most)..........grrrrrrrr.

Aha, Got ya!!!
You're always being told (well, especially when learning to drive) to always check your blind spot. Why????  Cause that where the Motorcyling Driving Instructors tell the little bleeders to hide themselves. 

Picture this, you're approaching a set of traffic lights and have stopped behind some cars queued up already and there are some more queued behind you.  There you are, merrily listening to the radio/CD/iPod awaiting the lights to change when this motorcylist, having long since lost the ability to wait patiently in line (probably since he past his test two weeks ago), drives down the middle of the road until he/she can get to the front of the queue, or as far down the line as humanly possible, and stops alongside the front of my bonnet fully expecting me to duly give way when the lights change.

Sod that for a game of soldiers, since when did he get the right of way to pull ahead of me??? If I did that, in my car, to a motorcyclist, I'd get 600 merry versions of hell sworn at me, and rightly so.

So much for moving into the middle
Naaaaa, I now stop as close to the middle of the road to ensure that any silly prats (ahem, bikers) attempting this has to go into the oncoming traffic to get past me. But guess what???  They still go ahead and do it.  Even if it risks that the oncoming vehicle has to swerve somewhat to avoid him. Unbelievable. AND the bikers then shake their fists at the offending car as if it's their fault, I ask you.

AND as for overtaking - just because they have an overpowered engine (and even then, some only have the basic 50cc variety but have grand delusions instead) they think the whole damn road is a racetrack purely for their pleasure.  And I've seen many a stupid, moronic overtaking maneuvers done by bikes, even on blind right hand bends (remember, we drive on the left hand side of the road here in the UK).

And then,  AND THEN, when an accident happens, its almost every time, blame the car driver.

Go for it Grandma
A solution is required.  Either ban the lot of them, or allow us car drivers to fix machine guns to the bonnet of our cars and paint targets on the bikers jackets.  Fair game I reckon.  If we're gonna get blamed for killing the sods, might have well have some fun, and do a decent job of it.


Thought for the Day

Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Monarchs - The English Kings

Right another trip back in time dear folks, but before doing so I shall give some background information to those kind souls who have sat on the throne (and no, I don't mean the toilet)  whatdya mean - it's a pile of crap??

A coin with Offa depicted
The list of English Monarchs begins with some scrawny bod called Offa of Mercia back in 774 AD.  and yes, Elizabeth I would have loved him -"Offa with his head".

He became dominant in the late eighth century and his power based covered most of England except for Northumbria (darn those northeners).(include picture here)

The ninth century however, saw some blokes from Wessex up sticks, became unruly, and dominated the Kingdom under Egbert (Chief unruly person), who conquered Kent and Sussex from Mercia in 825. After this, Alfred the Great and his son Edward the Elder used the title "King of the Anglo-Saxons".  (Sadly Edward the Not-quite-as-elder, or Edward-the-Lesser-Spotted-Less-Elder couldn't maintain the family tradition of reaching old age) .
Map of Olde England

So after Athelstan conquered Northumbria in 927, he adopted the title 'Rex Anglorum' (well, who was likely to object eh??) and starting with Henry II in 1154, the title then became 'Rex Angliae' (King of England).

The Principality of Wales was incorporated into the Kingdom of England under the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284 whilst the crowns of England and Scotland were joined in personal union under James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England. By royal proclamation (AKA by simply saying so) James titled himself "King of Great Britain", but of course no such kingdom actually existed until 1707 when England underwent legislative union with Scotland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain, during the reign of Queen Anne. 

So for the Scottish folk, it the lawyers fault that finally brought you lot into the state now known as the UK.  We English merely hacked and slashed and killed, maimed and pillaged BUT the dirty deed was finalised by lawyers - God save the King!!.

The Monarchs are also usually known by the family names which are shown below.

774 - 796House of Mercia
802 - 1013 House of Wessex
1013 - 1014 House of Denmark
1014 - 1016 House of Wessex (restored, first time)
1016 - 1042 House of Denmark (restored)
1042 - 1066 House of Wessex (restored, second time)
1066 - 1154 House of Normandy
1154 - 1399 House of Plantagenet
1399 - 1461 House of Lancaster
1461 - 1470 House of York
1470 - 1471 House of Lancaster (restored)
1471 - 1485 House of York (restored)
1485 - 1603 House of Tudor
1603 - 1649 House of Stuart
1649 - 1659 Commonwealth
1660 - 1707 House of Stuart (restored)

My god, shoddy workmanship I must say - all that restoration going on, whatever next!!

And here endeth the first lesson.  

Next time, on 'Who wants to Be Bored', I shall list for your amusement, the Kings who ruled during the period above, and subsequent posts will also include the British Monarchs, taking you from Queen Anne, to the present day.  I will warn you, there is a lot of chopping and changing......and that's not including the beheading!!!!

 Thought for the day

All generalizations are false, including this one.

Doctoring the Money

 Local ATM's

(Article: Here)

Just when you thought it safe to grab your money and run, and with the olmypics coming up as well,  let's make the whole damn thing of using an ATM that much more difficult.  Don't you just love us Brits.

Anyway, for those wishing to know a few examples of terms of money that we Brits use (but mainly cockneys) then a few are listed below, and not all of these are obviously rhyming slang, and are by no means guaranteed to get you around london any quicker.

Oxford5 shillings or a crown
'alf an Oxford 2 shillings & 6 pence or half a crown
SixpenceTanner, Sprarsy Anna, Tilbury
20pEdge Pence
£1Nicker, Quid, Nugget, Alan, Squid, Huckleberry Hound
£5Melvin, McGiver, Ching, Sky diver, Pam Shriver, Jackson
£8Garden Gate
£10Tenner, Pavarotti, Paul McKenna, Ayrton Senna
£15Wicker Basket
£20Score, Apple Core, Bobby Moore, Plenty
£50Bullseye, Thrifty, McGarrett, Nifty
£1000Grand, Bag of Sand
ShrapnelRefers to loose change
SheetsGeneral term for paper money
DoshAny sort of money

For a more detailed list and with possible explanations as to how they came about can be found here.

Bedside Manner

(Article: Here)

They never learn do they these Doctors and nurses, tut.  A while back it was codes that they used on patients charts and now they extend their bedside manner to ringing you up and insulting you at home, and it's all free on the National Health Service (NHS).  Bargain.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Gay Windows

Windows - Coming in Flavours 

Well, well.  The next version of windows is to be shown in three flavours.

So, does this mean the flavours are as follows:

Flavour 1 ) Just about working, but random glitches (read: every flipping day) occur.
Flavour 2) Works only after having installed it three times, and corrupting your hard drive, boot sector and supplying only some of the device drivers required, following by calling IT support for 3/5ths of the day in an time-wasting exercise which only serves to boost Microsoft's coffers.
Flavour 3) Don't bother unpacking the CD, it'll never work in a month of sundays and basically just wait until the next OS to come out.

Call me sceptical, but considering Windows 7 was Vista but in full working order (well near enough), I really don't hold out much hope of a smooth transition from the old OS to a new one.

"Microsoft has called Windows 8 the most significant redesign of the Windows interface since its groundbreaking Windows 95 OS."

Only because users wanted to pound OS into the ground in sheer disbelief.

"A preview version of Windows 8 launched late last year and more than 100,000 changes had been made since the developer version went public".
 100,000 Changes!!!!!! - More like a group of programmers in their daily 8 hours group session (I mean meeting) suggests "This idea will work"  (Change 1).

"Naaa, don't be silly.  The feedback drainage from the 3amp seismic residue wouldn't be able to shift the inertia created by floating point calculations" (Change 2).

"Tea anyone?" (Change 3)

"Nope, but coffee if you're offering" (Change 4).

"Jim, Any ideas???"

"Last night's Big Bang Theory was better than the week before" (Change 5)

Group argument ensues (Changes 6 to 39)

And so on and so forth.

For the first time since its inception, the trademark Windows "Start" button will no longer appear - instead being replaced by a sliding panel-based menu.
Well, thats a 'Start' (excuse the pun).  Hopefully next time they'll remove the 'Windows' aspect to it as well.

Gay due to stroke

Well gentlemen, be careful when (ahem) playing with oneself, as indeed, a stroke it all it takes.

Thought for the day

"Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the world together."


Monday, 16 April 2012

We're just Crazy

Let's Kill Joss Stone

Well, as with most things, there's gonna be some folk who love a certain thing/someone, whilst others simply detest, or even dislike intensely..

Take Joss Stone............(please, somebody just take her lol), if those of us who wish to see her dead (but in a nice way of course), does this mean that we'll all have to have our mental health assessed??

And what about the French.......Us English have a history of unbenevolent feelings towards them, so should each indivual be assessed for madness???

Would be a lot easier just to lock the french up and throw away the key :)

Making the Grand National safe

Ah, this is an easy one - Don't have it!!! 

Or better still, let's get the jockeys to run it and have the horses running after them with whips to ensure the blighters keep moving.

Hold on - sorry, the Judges of this fine and illustrious country already have first dibs on being whipped by the fillies.

Thought for the Day

Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.