Saturday, February 28, 2009

Uncle Alex 03

Hola tio Alex

(The following has been translated using Google Translate.)

My name is Rafael (Nadal) and I play tennis. In fact I play tennis rather well but I need your help with a personal matter. If you have ever seen me play you might have noticed that I have a problem with my underpants. I think that is what they are called in your language. The problem is this. At the start of every point and I mean every point I find it necessary to pull my pants from out of my crack. I buy only the best Calvin Kleins but no matter what size I buy they always ride up and this is very uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that it has started to cause a problem with my game and I fear losing my number one status. Please help.

Dear Rafa

I must say that I sympathise with your problem. There’s nothing worse or more distracting than a pair of shreddies that keep riding up your crack. This used to happen to me and I find the best solution is to buy your under garments from Marks and Spencer that well known British high street store. Failing that you might consider going commando. It will improve your ranking even more.
Tio Alex
No matter how big or how small your problem, Uncle Alex is only an email away. Write to me at You know it makes sense.

Friday, February 27, 2009

In the confessional

An elderly man walks into a confessional.

He tells the priest, 'I am 92 years old, have a wonderful wife of 70 years, many children and grandchildren. Yesterday, I picked up two college girls hitchhiking. We went to a motel, where I had sex with each of them three times.'

Priest: 'Are you sorry for your sins?'

Man: 'What sins?'

Priest: 'What kind of a Catholic are you?'

Man: 'I'm not Catholic, I'm Jewish.'

Priest: 'Then why are you telling me all this?'

Man: 'Bloody hell, I'm 92 years old ... I'm telling everybody.'

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I'm a morning type of person and usually better in the morning for most things (if you get my drift girls) so last night I was in no mood to learn how to inject myself. That I did this morning. But what I did do last night, was download all the information in English from the Byetta site about this drug, and how to inject. All the stuff I got from the pharmacy here is obviously in French and given my squeamishness about this subject I was in no mood to get anything wrong. Talk about self help courses.

Anyway, this morning I took the plunge, or more precisely the needle took the plunge. I'd already bought the smallest bloody needle that the pharmacy possessed and, to be fair, it was very, very small. (There's a joke here about a small prick but I won't lower myself - Ed) It's a lot smaller than the monster above.

After prepping the syringe I had to pinch an area of fat, disinfect with alcohol and then stick the needle in for a count of five.
Verdict - it was amazingly easy and didn't hurt at all. So a good result. I'm now well on my way to being a junky.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You stick it where?

It was off to the diabetes specialist today for my usual dressing down. But, instead of a dressing down, it turned into laughs, at my expense.

Dr J is a jolly chap and whilst firmly encouraging me to lose weight he usually has a laugh and a joke as well. The latest test results were not particularly good and my weight hadn't moved much. Mind you my blood pressure was very good so he quipped that at least there was one bit of good news. Anyway, he pondered things for a while and told me that he was going to switch me onto Byetta. A relatively new drug, not insulin, which is injected and is supposed to help control type 2 diabetes and, as a side effect, you may also lose weight. That's good stuff I thought!

I have to admit that the thought of injecting myself did not fill me with glee, and I asked him where I should inject.

'Oh anywhere you like,' he said. 'You should inject into areas of fat,' and with a roar of laughter he said, 'and you've got plenty of that.'

Charming. I'm paying to be insulted, but I did see the funny side!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The UK should leave the EU now

The more I read about and understand the EU, the more I think that it's a massive waste of time and money and that the UK should seriously consider pulling out.

Who do these people think they are? Read this.

Harmony, cooperation and understanding. Read this.

To my mind the whole business has become a disgrace, a joke. A joke of enormous proportions and at the expense of the man in the street.

Redundant French workers.

I was banging on the other day about strikes in France and unemployment benefit. Well, this article makes you think!

A rebuttal

Having said that, and to prove that I'm not a misogynist, I was so full of admiration for this woman. She was absolutely brilliant.

Women: Know Your Limits!

Barbara, who obviously knows her limits, sent me this public information film.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I suppose you expect me to make some smutty comment about this article, don't you? Now would I do that?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saint Peter de Saussines

A couple of things came out of our visit to the market in Sommieres today. Well three things if you count the fuzzy head I had all afternoon.

The first, was when I was chatting to a friend, and he was talking about fitting a new bathroom in his home. The existing bathroom was fitted four years ago by a French guy who left all the pipes exposed. Wanting to change things, he hired a Polish plumber, paid for his flights from Poland, and is really pleased with the job he has done. 'He also does all the little bits, like electrics, as well as hiding all the pipes. He's done an excellent job and even including the cost of the flight at a really good price. More to the point he turns up when you need him and doesn't whinge about the job.'

The second interesting thing was meeting Saint Peter of Saussines. I used to know this man when he was just a mere mortal but now that he's not drinking (or more to the point only drinking before his missus turns up) he's waiting for the call from Rome. We're so honoured.

Friday, February 20, 2009

That's what I call cruel

The funniest thing I read today was a headline that mentioned Welsh pop singer Duffy. It said, 'Duffy.....she puts the plank into plankton.'

Ouch, that hurts

The other day, needing to start a bit of spring cleaning in the garden, we started by taking several old plastic drums of acid to the tip. The acid hadn't been used to dispose of bodies but it's used to automatically maintain the pH balance in the pool.

Anyway, when we got back, Jan and I folded the sheet that we'd used to protect the inside of the car from all the rubbish and in particular to shake off some water that had spilled. Except it wasn't water. It was sulphuric acid. I don't know how it had escaped but we both noticed a stinging sensation on the back of our hands after we'd finished and so washed it off with lots of water.

This morning Jan gave me back the jeans (above) that I was wearing at the time.
And there I was thinking that the holes in my hands were stigmata.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

And about time

We meek demand a quick resolution to this.

A mystery solved

Last week we were on our way to the walk that I mentioned here. The shortest route was a fairly desolate back road through the garrigue. As we drove along with dense scrub on both sides of the road we came across a small black Peugeot with Google written on the side and a very strange tripod assembly on its roof. I said to Jan, 'what the hell was that?' It was parked up by the side of the road and in my mind the driver was looking a tad shifty. We thought no more about it until today. All is revealed. I was reading this article about a couple who had tried to sue Google for showing their house on Google Street View. The picture that accompanied the article shows a small car that looks exactly like the car we saw.

So, let's get this right. This car was stopped in the middle of nowhere in the early afternoon, surrounded by nothing but trees and doing heaven knows what. Perhaps he was scared of exceeding the mandatory 35 hour working week.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No shorts yet

Out and about today with the temperature hitting a glorious 15C. It's been fairly mild for a while now so maybe spring is on the way. Given that it has been a longer and colder winter than normal, whatever normal is, it's about time we had some decent weather. The forecast is also looking pretty neat. Yippee.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

We popped over to Montpellier to watch Slumdog Millionaire at the Diagonal this afternoon. The Diagonal because they showed the film in English, so it avoids leaving the cinema with a headache. Even though it was shown in English it was subtitled in French which was a double bonus because occasionally they spoke Urdu and it was possible to follow it in French.

At one point a character said, 'don't switch over we'll be back right away.' The French translation for switch over was 'zapper' as in don't change channels with a zapper. Interesting but hardly likely to appeal to the body that tries to protect the French language from 'corruption.'

Overall, an excellent film.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Uncle Alex 02

This request for further help has just flooded in:

"Deer Uncle Alex

Now peeple r saying I have to take a test to prove I am the dad. Pleese can u help cos I am bad at taking tests not usuly geting mor than a D-.

Trubled teenager"

Dear Trubled teenager

Please don't worry. The test will only involve a small prick. Something that I'm sure you are used to.

Uncle Alex

No matter how big or how small your problem, Uncle Alex is only an email away. Write to me at You know it makes sense.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fratelli d'Italia

I was watching the rugby this afternoon and so enjoyed the Italian national anthem that I had to share it with you. It's such a jolly song.

Uncle Alex 01

For some time now, no doubt inspired by my wisdom, people from all walks of life have been writing to me with their problems. Answering the letters is turning into a full time job and in the interest of expanding public knowledge, I will from time to time include a selection of the letters and my reply. I will call this new public service 'Uncle Alex.' Here's a very recent letter.

"Deer Uncle Alex

I am the 13 years old father of a bouncy baby girl (you may have heard of us) and I wonder if you could help? The bloody kid will never sleep, cries all the time and this is interfering with my homework and what my mam calls my 'quality time.' To go one further the bloody kid has puked on my Nintendo and the bloody thing is useless now. Do you think I can get my mam to claim for a new one from the social, whatever that is?

Me and Slapper (her name has been changed to protect her identity) are very much in love and I try everything I can to keep her happy including helping her with her homework, but the trouble is she's fifteen and I haven't got a clue about it. My teacher says that I've got to get on with my own maths before I can help her. It's not bloody fair.

I'm also struggling to make ends meet with the pocket money that my mam gets for me from the social. Have you seen the price of nappies? Fuck me, after I have bought my sherbet dips and chewing gum, I don't have enough left to buy the nappies and the kids biscuits. Have you seen the price of that shit? Mam said she's sure 'the social' will help, whatever that is, so that's ok.

I'm still not too sure what me and Slapper did to make this baby but one day it was just there. Fuck. Innit. Still, this weirdo from a newspaper, whatever that is, took pictures of me and the baby and said I would be famous, and on telly, so that will show my arsehole teachers.

Troubled teenager, 13 years 2 months."

Dear troubled teenager

It strikes me that you probably have too many demands made of your quality time so I'd get the hell out of there and leave them to get on with it. You'll soon find another Slapper.

Uncle Alex

If you have any problems that you'd like to share with me you can contact me at the following adress . I look forward to being of service.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Pictures to cheer you up

To blog or not to blog

Blogging's a funny thing. For me, it's become a bit addictive. There's a certain challenge in producing something every day. Something a bit different, something that might have broad appeal, something more than a picture of a turnip or a piece of bloody cheese. (Stop it, or you'll have to stay after class - Ed) It's quite an interesting mental challenge. (And that's not your first problem - Ed)

For the three years 05, 06, and 07, whilst it increased every year I wrote less than a post a day but in 2008 that increased to over a post a day. I'm not sure why, but I suspect that it has something to do with my disillusionment (is that better Barbara?) with the bloggers that I follow and in particular those that have found a book deal. It seems that as soon as a book deal gets waived before their noses they pay less attention to their loyal fans, no doubt because of the pressure put upon them by their new found publisher. I don't think that's right. If someone gives you the courtesy of looking at your stuff regularly then you owe them something.

Having said that it must be hard to write a book. Where the hell do you start?
I'm reading Sepulchre by Kate Mosse at the moment and not only is there a lot of it (739 pages) but the amount of research is humongous. It would drive me nuts. I'd get to Chapter two and then say WTF, I need a drink.

For me the best source of ideas come from life. Some of the fascinating characters that I've come across in my life have such interesting stories to tell. We all know them. Take our English next door neighbour. After three years in the British Army he spent fifteen years in the French Foreign Legion and fought 'behind the lines' in Gulf War 1. As befits somebody who lived this extraordinary camouflaged life, nobody in the village knew he lived here. Not even the village busybody. It wasn't until he said hello to us one day that we knew about him, even though he lives not more than 50 metres away.
I realised that he had a fascinating story to tell, and I was quite prepared to put the work in to create a draft for him, but could I get him to tell all? He had various reasons why he didn't want to tell but the one that resonated the most, as he stared with eyes fixed into the distance, was when he said, "you wouldn't want to know. You wouldn't want to know."

Happy days

Jan received two Valentine cards today. The other was from a very dear gay friend. I wonder if she's now a gay icon?

Friday, February 13, 2009

How not to impress your date

No sound necessary

Blonde goes back to work after 30 years

If you're under 30 you might not understand this.

This is the question

Is the annual shag getting closer or further away? Answers below please. (What do you think you smooth talking bastard? - Jan)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

On top of old smokey

Along with about 30 other hardy souls we took the dogs for a walk up a mountain yesterday. Most people would call it a hill but believe me as I dragged my unfit body up this monster it definitely felt like a mountain. My mate Bryan does the recce for these walks and I'm going to have to have a word with him.

La Tour de Guet de La Liquiere is a fire watch tower perched high above the surrounding countryside near Calvisson, so high that you can just see Mont Ventoux in the distance (just to the right of Jan's head above). Given that it would take over an hour to drive on a motorway to Ventoux you can imagine how high we were. Still it was a good walk and Max and Minnie had a great time with the other dogs and Minnie had a particularly good time with her friend Arri. Arri was looking to be more than just 'good friends' and, typically for a female, she told him in no uncertain terms that she wasn't in the mood. Not much changes really.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Marital bliss

To celebrate my 1500 th post I offer you this little heartwarming love story.

A man and a woman who had never met before, but who were both married to other people, found themselves assigned to the same sleeping room on a transcontinental train.

Though initially embarrassed and uneasy over sharing a room, they were both very tired and fell asleep quickly, he in the upper berth and she in the lower.

At 1:00 AM, the man leaned down and gently woke the woman saying,.......... 'Ma'am, I'm sorry to bother you, but would you be willing to reach into the closet to get me a second blanket? I'm awfully cold.'

'I have a better idea,' she replied 'Just for tonight,...... let's pretend that we're married.'

'Wow!...................... That's a great idea!', he exclaimed.

'OK,' she replied. ............'Get your own fucking blanket.'

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What to do now?

Ouch. The lads came out for tennis yesterday and William and I were thumped. Despite a glorious, warm, sunny day we (the good guys) lost both sets. We couldn't do anything right or, more to the point, whatever we did they did something better. I can't remember the last time we lost both sets. We occasionally lose one, but never two. It didn't help that I only won one service game. I tried everything, but whatever I did the ball came back with that bit extra. Good on them I say. They wanted it more than we did. We just didn't concentrate enough. At one point, during a point, I caught William checking his racquet and wondering what tension to have his strings at. Still, it was a nice day, we didn't start until 11.00, enough time for the sun to get up and warm the place up a bit.

The thought did occur to me at one time that now that I'm much older and fatter maybe I should take up a much more genteel sport. When all said and done your heart is only good for so many beats. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer, that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it harder and faster. If you want to live longer I think you should take a nap or at the most do something that involves a gentle stroll in the country. A sport more suited to men of more advanced years. An older man's sport. Maybe, something like golf? (You might get a rise out of them this time - Ed)

Monday, February 09, 2009

They cost what?

It all started when I got my eyes checked a few months back. My regular supplier of lenses told me that the lenses I was using were discontinued and were now called x. I took their word for it and mentioned this to the opthalmologist. With a flick of her hand she dismissed the change and said they're all the same, just repackaged.
Anyway, when I saw an advert for new lenses in an inflight magazine I was encouraged to try them out. So I did, and they're great. Which then got me thinking about how much we take for granted and the profits that some companies make. I have always banged on about supermarkets, never mind banks. When Tesco first made a billion pounds profit my first thought was we must be paying too much for our food. Lots of commentators were praising them for their business acumen, which is no doubt correct, but nobody stopped to say, 'hang on, they're making this much profit from what we pay them, and what we pay might just be a bit too much.'
So it is with my contact lenses. If I want to stay with my previous lenses it will cost 135 Euros for 6 months supply. The new ones from Daysoft will cost 84 Euros. That's a hell of a saving and I don't suppose that Daysoft are giving them away.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

What a good effort

Good heavens, I'm put to shame. A 56 years old woman has just swum the Atlantic.
 Me, I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I really do need to be more active. I wonder if my bike still works? (The one with the big wheel at the front? - Ed) I'll dig it out tomorrow. But in the meantime it's back to watching the football on television. With the weather as it has been recently, it's the nearest I'm getting to exercise at the moment!
Anyway, there I was sweating away whilst watching West Ham this afternoon on the television, hoping that they'd beat Manchester United, when I mischievously said to Jan, who's been working her way through the freezer recently, "tell me my beloved, what little delicacy are you warming up for us this evening?"
Jan, whose vicious put downs have improved enormously since she met me said, "I'm not warming anything up, it's poule au pot, a peasant dish. Should be right up your street!"
Grief, where's that gentle, respectful, perfumed English rose that I met so many years ago?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

That's better

Elie wasn't at the bar today because, after the floods, he was drying out all the electrical stuff in his other shop. Still, the rosé tasted very good and, because neither of us has been drinking for a few weeks, it slipped down nicely. We met up with the usual suspects, Bryan and Peter, and after a couple of hours of gentle sipping we wended our happy ways back home. Back home to watch the rugby on television.
First up today was England v Italy. Now, as patriotic as I am to my fatherland, I do have a sneaking desire for Italy to beat England. It was not to be. In fact a poor game all round.
Ireland beat France in the next much more interesting and exciting match.

And there's more

I was sitting next to Jan just now and she had her head deep into a crossword. She always has her head deep into something like that. She can sit for hours studying some puzzle or other and it can take several attempts to make contact. Still, I love her dearly - well most of the time. I swear I overheard her say, "four across - dull, slow and heavy - four letters. I suppose it could be 'alex'!" See what I've got to put up with?


I've never been bothered about kippers, that is until now. In the past (in the UK) I found them shrivelled, strong tasting and a tad dry. Well, not any more mes amis, now they're a weekly treat. For all my chums in France, check with your local Carrefour. Their kippers are large, meaty, moist, beautifully smoked and a real treat.

So much useful information and ner a picture of a door, or a turnip in sight (stop it - Ed).

Friday, February 06, 2009

Leave me alone

There I was sitting quietly, minding my own business, when Jan came up to me and told me that she had been sorting my toiletries draw. Please note that she started on mine and didn't bother with hers. I groaned inwardly. This wasn't good news. Anyway, she told me that I had enough deodorant and shaving foam to last me for the rest of my life and she had no idea where she should store it all.

Look, I don't need much to keep me ticking over and I hate to run out of anything, so over the years, and certainly each time we drive back to the UK, I add to my supplies in case of a nuclear attack, or similar. She just doesn't understand. I need to be prepared.

Then, to add insult to injury she told me that she was confiscating various unopened bottles of perfume on the grounds that a: I never wash and b: I will never use it. This is one cruel and heartless woman. Everyone thinks she's St Jan of Cannes. To me she's more Cruella de Cannes.

This tastes nice

So there I was at 10.45 last night, slobbing in front of the television and thinking about wending my weary way to bed, when I noticed my beloved working in the kitchen.

'Hey beloved', I said, 'wither goest thou?' (that's not true, you asked what the hell I was doing in the kitchen at that time of night - Jan)

Anyway, it turned out that she was cooking something for breakfast the next day. Bloody hell, it wasn't even Christmas! Nobody cooks things at that time of night for the next day, do they?

I tossed and turned all night in fevered expectation. What the hell could my beloved be going to produce that involved so much preparation?

This morning I found out. Her favourite magazine arrived yesterday and on page 101 she had seen a Quinoa pudding with cranberry compote and she was preparing the Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah for all you less culinary types).

Now far be it for me to be ungrateful, but this stuff is full of sugar. Not really what I should be eating at all given my diabetic state (you still haven't figured out that she's trying to kill you, have you? - Ed) but it did taste good. It's a sort of fruity rice pudding, but better. I told told my beloved that I liked it, which probably means that, like my mother, she'll now serve it up every day for the next six months. Ah well, it could be worse.

No more Mr Magoo

For what it's worth, my first impression of Internet Explorer 8 is good.
IE 7 is a big fat pig. I found it slow and cumbersome but because I marginally prefer IE over Firefox, I had got into the habit of looking at some stuff with IE 7 and some other sites with Firefox. Not ideal, but it worked for me.
The other day I downloaded IE 8 and, whilst it's still early days, IE 8 is much faster and seems to work across all the sites that I use. Looks good.

Whilst I'm in a consumer test mood, I should mention this. I was searching for cheaper contact lenses the other day and I came across this site. OK, to be more precise, I saw their advert in a Ryanair inflight magazine. These lenses are so much cheaper than the lenses I was using and, fully aware that you shouldn't mess about with your eyes, I decided to give them a go. I've been wearing them for seven days now and they're great. Things are a bit more blurred and I keep walking into trees but I still think they're good (NB. For all those readers who think that irony is something to do with getting creases out of clothes, my lawyers felt that I should mention that the last sentence is a joke).

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

This beer tastes watered down

As you can see, the flood water in Sommieres got to the front step of our favourite watering hole. I hope Elie gets it all dried out by Saturday.

The Wishing Well

Even after all these years he still makes me laugh. Did you know that the big hunk at the end is Dave Prowse who played Darth Vader?

What a lot a water

The weather over the last year has been a little strange. We've just finished four straight days of heavy rain. I can't remember when it has rained so heavily and consistently. Because of the sheer volume of water yesterday, the garden was flooded in parts, but a few years back, after the big storms of 2002, I put land drains in, in critical areas, and this has been working well. No water stays too long because of the land drains and because we are on a slight incline, but the garden also gets inundated with water from higher ground and it's this water that's the main cause of the excess. With the benefit of hindsight it's certainly something to consider when buying a house around here.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Something fishy

Far away in the tropical waters of the Coral Sea , two prawns were swimming around.

One called Justin and the other called Christian.

The prawns were constantly being harassed and threatened by sharks that inhabited the area.

Finally one day Justin said to Christian, 'I'm fed up with being a prawn; I wish I was a shark, and then I wouldn't have any worries about being eaten.'

A large mysterious cod appeared and said, 'Your wish is granted'

Lo and behold, Justin turned into a shark.

Horrified, Christian immediately swam away, afraid of being eaten by his old mate.

Time passed (as it does) and Justin found life as a shark boring and lonely.

All his old mates simply swam away whenever he came close to them.

Justin didn't realize that his new menacing appearance was the cause of his sad plight.

While swimming alone one day he saw the mysterious cod again and he thought perhaps the mysterious fish could change him back into a prawn.

He approached the cod and begged to be changed back, and, lo and behold, he found himself turned back into a prawn.

With tears of joy in his tiny little eyes Justin swam back to his friends and bought them all a cocktail.

Looking around the gathering at the reef he realized he couldn't see his old pal.

'Where's Christian?' he asked.

'He's at home, still distraught that his best friend became a shark', came the reply.

Eager to put things right again and end the mutual pain and torture, he set off to Christian's abode.

As he opened the coral gate, memories came flooding back.

He banged on the door and shouted, 'It's me, Justin, your old friend, come out and see me again.'

Christian replied, 'No way man, you'll eat me. You're now a shark, the enemy, and I'll not be tricked into being your dinner.'

Justin cried back 'No, I'm not. That was the old me. I've changed.'.........

'I've found Cod. I'm a Prawn again Christian'

Monday, February 02, 2009


This is interesting. Click anywhere on the picture to zoom in. It's spooky how much detail you can get or how much you can magnify the image.
Thanks to Will for this.

The Mom Song.

A few thoughts to help us all appreciate our moms.

Grumpy old men

These strikers really get up my nose. They're idiots. What realistically can they hope to achieve? What can their employers do about the situation? Nothing. With so many people losing their jobs at the moment, they should be thankful they've got jobs. What makes me even more angry is that they don't complain about 'foreign workers' who happily do all the jobs that they don't want to do. Jobs that don't pay too well or jobs that they see as 'below their dignity'. Where are their strikes then?

I remember a recent BBC news report when locals were complaining about 'foreign workers' and they interviewed several young men in the street. They all admitted to being unemployed and were all drinking in the street. These youths were mouthing off about low paid foreign workers 'taking their jobs'. The interviewer then pointed out that despite the labour force being filled with 'foreign workers' there was still a shortage of workers to pick produce in the fields nearby and they would drive them to the recruitment centre. The lads then walked off sheepishly saying that wasn't the sort of work that they wanted to do and it wasn't paid enough.

Look, if you think I'm grumpy you're not the only one. I was spouting off this morning about stupid 'pc' rules in the UK. Watching the BBC News snow report from a weather presenter who was standing next to a snowman I said, "I'm surprised that they don't have to paint the snowman brown, so as not to offend anybody."

Jan said, "you could go on that show Grumpy Old Men."

As we woke to the third straight day of driving rain this morning, is it any wonder that I'm grumpy. It's supposed to be bloody sunny here!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

I want cake

The men's final from Australia this morning was so much more entertaining than the ladies' yesterday. Grief, the ladies' final was over so quickly (they only played 15 games) and was so one sided. Poor entertainment and not a good spectacle at all. The men on the other hand played 5 sets (51 games) and it was absolutely thrilling. The winners walked away with the same prize money. I know it's an old, talked to death, subject and I'm all for equality but somehow it doesn't feel right to me.

So there I was chatting to Jan about dieting (she's trying very hard and I'm not) and the conversation gets round to living longer. Like a 'bit longer' if you don't smoke, drink no alcohol, eat sparingly, eat more fruit and veg and all that good stuff. OK, that's all well and good but the extra time doesn't happen when you're young and fit. As I see it the 'bit longer' comes when you're old, decrepit and, by definition, at the end of your days. You're probably sitting in an old people's home with a tea cosy on your head, a blanket round your knees and smelling of piss. (Sounds about right for you - Ed) And it strikes me that that's when you'd rather be dead. Bugger an extra few weeks and call me irresponsible (you're irresponsible - Ed) but I'll have a nice big cream cake now, thank you very much, and stuff the extra time!

Let's have a revolution mes braves

Some things in France just don't change. Whilst I also have great sympathy with the notion that governments should stop supporting the reckless behaviour of some stupid, greedy banksters and consider letting them fail, no one has yet come up with a sensible and viable alternative. I'd support them if they did.

An Indian teacher explains

Something to enliven your Sunday morning. Thanks to Carolina for this.