A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

I am a builder. I’m going to build a house. When my house is finished, or rather a day after my house is finished; logically my house is one day old. Now, in order to build my one day old house, I used the following materials. There were bricks, timber, slates, plasters, sand and cements, various metals (steel, lead, copper), and plastics.

Bricks are manufactured; usually by firing raw clay. The brick manufacturer probably makes bricks about two years in advance of them being delivered to my site. The clay was probably delivered to the brick manufacturer 3 months in advance of him firing his bricks. The clay on the other hand, has been laid underground probably since the beginning of time.

Now bearing all this in mind, my house is one day old. Or is it? Can you see where we are going? My one day old house, because it was made of bricks, suddenly becomes as old as the planet.

God to, is a builder. Instead of building houses though, He builds universes, galaxies etc. To build said universes, He too uses materials. So which builder’s merchant does he go to? As a creator, God cuts out the middle man. He cannot buy his materials like I would; He is responsible for sourcing, manufacture and delivery of all the materials He requires.

By counting back through the Bible, a fair assessment of the age of the earth would be a meagre 8,000 years (stay with me here). Yet modern day scientists would have us believe that through the science of carbon 14 dating, using the known decay rate (half-life) of radio-active isotopes of carbon (carbon 14), the earth would more realistically be aged at 60,000,000,000 years of age. Here we have a huge quandary. Do we believe the Bible, a book that has some degree of proof to it (More to come on that one later). Or, do we believe the scientist: Thus rendering the Bible to be incorrect. If so, then we must ask ourselves; why is it correct only some of the time?

Perhaps like my day old house built of ancient materials, the planet earth was made of materials previously known to God. The human race is historically a very self centred, even arrogant race. We assume that everything revolves around us. Where we are told that the earth was created in seven days, we wrongly assume that God was created along with it, even though no where are we actually told that this was so. God could well have been around 60,000,000,000 years ago, creating the materials, the very components He required to create our earth. The fact that it took a mere seven days to cobble them all together now seems somewhat irrelevant.

Science, a means of proving theories by measurement, calculation, observation or experiment has gone a long way towards disproving the doctrines of the Bible. (Carbon dating being one example). Darwin’s theory of evolution is another point in view. Here, Charles Darwin, following his father, relates a theory that all life forms have evolved from one main species. In a course of natural selection, the survival of the fittest, he tells us that species have evolved to best suit their environs. From this theory, science tells us that man has evolved from the apes. Using the horse as an example, we have been shown that from a creature with the stature of a medium sized dog, the horse has evolved to its more recent size. We are given a long array of similar skeletons charting the horse’s evolutionary history.

Can we apply the same train of thought to mankind though? After all, there are still to this very day, some very large gaps in our skeletal history and most importantly we are still missing proof of the initial transition from apes to humans. The Bible tells us we were made in the image of God. We should therefore have already been perfect. Why then would we need to evolve? Humans, unlike any other creatures we know of, are capable of thought. We don’t need to evolve. If we cannot stand the cold, we develop a means of harnessing heat. If we are hungry, we learn to farm or hunt. we develop tools to help ourselves in our quests. Instead of evolution, the deployment of learning and teaching what we have previously learnt to our offspring is a better way of depicting the way that man, Homo-Sapiens Sapiens, has developed. Something which modern manufacturing has termed research and development - R & D for short.

Another problem with evolution is that of the time scales that are involved. By selective breeding, it can take centuries to make any real impact. Of course these days, things can be speeded up by means of genetic engineering. But who was there around to carry out such fantastic feats as these if we hadn’t by then even evolved? When God had finished creating the earth and all that is on it, He looked at his work and said that it was good. Why then the need for change? Does this not suggest that “Good” was somehow not good enough and who are we to judge anyway? Maybe the provision of evolution was always a part of God’s master plan. After all the Bible tells us He was ‘the beginning and the end’. With his foresight, he would have known in advance that things would have to meet planetary changes. Things would have to develop. This being the case, why replace creation with evolution? Why can the two not go hand in hand?

As proof (something the scientist really gets off on) of how conceited we are, once upon a time the earth was the centre of the universe. We knew it too. After all, we are the be all and end all aren’t we? Now along comes some smart Alec with a telescope (scientifically developed of course) and changes the whole structure of the universe. All of a sudden, we are not the centre of attraction, we are just another planet, one of nine, orbiting a new centre of attraction – the sun. To make things even worse, our sun was just one of many other suns rotating around a galaxy, not even in the centre of that galaxy. And worse still, that galaxy is one of many others, not even at the centre of the universe. The poor men who discovered this lot went against the church by implying that God’s master plan was flawed. But where were we actually told what God’s master plan really was? All we had to begin with was a theory that somebody put forward, that the church leaders of the day chose to accept and then guarded it as if it were their own personal crown jewels. Their problem now lies within the bounds of infallibility. For them to change course they would be seen to be fallible. How could they let that happen when working for God? This is really where all the problems regarding religion stem from.

The trouble with religion is, which religion do you follow? Time for a quick history lesson. In the beginning, the Bible tells us of the Jews and the Gentiles (Atheists). When Jesus was crucified, he took with him all the ceremonial laws of the Jewish faith but the Jews rejected Him. So a new religion was formed – Christianity. The problem now of course is that there is an awful lot of Christianity to choose from, each group, church or sect purporting to be ‘the one’. But which which is which? How can all these Christians be so different and yet still claim to be Christians? Why so many denominations?

When I was ten, my father bought a computer; in its heart it had a chip. This chip was a 286 processor. He had a 286 computer, at the time the only real computer. Then, came the 386 processor. Then the 486 and the 586 (Pentium). So what have we got? Now we have four different chips, four different processors, but at the end of the day we still only have a computer on our desk. The only difference is the level of spec with the inclusion of progress. As with computers, Christianity can be defined in the same way. This is quite an over simplification, but let’s see how it unfolds.

In an ideal world, the scriptures would have remained intact, as pure as the first day they were written. The early Christian church was charged with all religious matters and did quite well up until the day they were adopted by the Romans. Through this marriage, the church became apostate. They adopted all forms of pagan doctrines and rituals, removing their parishioners further and further away from the truth. These were the Roman Catholics.

It was not until the onset of the Protestant reformation that people started to re-affirm the basic principles of ‘Sola Scriptura’ (the Bible only), past truths were slowly being rediscovered, and one by one, corrections were being made. Now when people form a certain set of beliefs, they tend to sit on their laurels, happy with what they have discovered; their ‘new light’, their quest for truth inevitably ends. This is where we are with Christianity.

When God sent his son to the people of Israel, they REJECTED new light and truth. The Jews refused to change from the religion they were brought up with, hence Christianity was born. The Church of Rome (Catholic) took charge of Christianity, watering it down and burdening its faith with rituals, traditions and ceremonies, changing fundamentals like the Sabbath and adding mystery with transubstantiation, Holy Water, confession, purgatory, penance and indulgences. The Bible was removed from the public, ignored and forgotten. It was in the dark ages.

Then came the Protestant Reformation. After the Church of Rome had turned cruel and apostate to God’s truth, new light was given by Martin Luther, the Catholics REJECTED it so was born the Lutheran Church. When God further gave new light through Conrad Grebel about Baptism, the Lutherans REJECTED it, so the Baptist Church emerged. Then came the Calvinists with more light and when further truth came through John Wesley, the Calvinists REJECTED it so now we have the Methodists. Then came the Sabbath truth and along came the Adventists. This story goes on and on and on with so many more and more denominations being added to the list. That is why the Christian Movement carries such a wide spectrum of differing creeds all trying to sell the same story. Like the computers mentioned earlier, each one a Christian, but with a different level of spec. Each denomination  not moving forward through fear of losing their infallibility. This is why the argument for Christianity so often fails.

So let’s look towards science then. Science, a practice in its relative infancy has had many great successes. Something which it can genuinely be congratulated for. There are two problems arising though. The first problem arises, when, because of its past successes, it gets carried away with itself, proclaiming truths of its own – even when they remain unproven (e.g. Ape to man). It too can be fallible. Take for instance the drugs industry not too long ago, where supposed wonder drugs did more harm than good (Thalidomide for example). Although science does have a habit of taking over, who is it that tests the testers? Wherein lies probably the greatest flaw of science.

Science comes at a cost and in this day and age the bearers of said costs are usually only interested in pushing science toward their own goals and objectives. Science can and often does carry a bias for the paymaster, so is our science as infallible as it likes us all to believe? And how can we be really so sure, in our relative infancy of modern science, as to challenge the true creator of all things, GOD?

CREATION - EVOLUTION Why not both?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Dear Malcolm, 
     The first thing to say is I'm sorry. I know it won't be easy for you to believe after recent events, but I deeply regret the mess I've made and the embarrassment I've caused you. I've had time to turn it all over since I've been here – to be honest, there's not much else to do but ruminate once you've wandered around the market and visited the Orang-utan sanctuary - so I'm writing to try and explain. 

     It's true, Alex and I didn't have the best relationship, but I wasn't the only one in the cast who found him difficult. He's a fine actor, of course, but it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say he also has an ego the size of a small planet. As a director, you wouldn't know what it was like to be around that all the time. The way he strutted around back-stage in those tights. We used to say the only reason he'd climb a balcony in real life was if he knew there'd be a reflective surface at the top. You don't know what it was like to come in and see him every evening, warming his voice, poring over his notices, practising his Jude Law smile. I knew he'd never give me a chance. Apart from anything else, he seemed to have the constitution of a Shire horse – not so much as a runny nose, or even a headache.

     Actually, my own head is pounding rather. It must be the heat. Apparently it's so hot because the rains are due, that's what one of the local children told me anyway. There are a little gang of them who like to practise their English on me. They're a welcome diversion from my thoughts. They were asking me questions this morning. 

     'What is your name?' 
     'Where do you come from?' 
     'Lancashire, England.' 

     Then one of them, a little girl of about seven, asked me, 'What are you doing here?' I didn't have the phrase in my book for 'I've committed actual bodily harm against one of the rising stars of British theatre,' so I said I was having a holiday. 'Where is your wife?' she asked. There was a blinding shaft of sunlight between us, and the ground was wobbling with the heat. All of a sudden I felt so terribly wretched. The theatre is my wife, I thought, and now I've gone and lost her. And I began to sob. Right there in front of them. Well, they all ran away of course in hysterics and who could blame them. 

     But this is what I want to explain. The theatre is the only thing I've ever wanted, since I was a child myself - almost before I knew what it meant to be an actor. I don't come from a theatrical family. Mum and Dad didn't take us for a quick burst of a Chekhov and a Zeffirelli double-bill; it was Bob's Full House and The Daily Mirror, so they had no idea where I got the notion from. Actually, it started with The Wizard of Oz at primary school, I was a nine year-old Tin Man and I had a costume made out of foil-covered boxes. I can still remember the song: 
Just to register emotion
Jealousy – devotion
And really feel the part.
I could stay young and chipper
And I'd lock it with a zipper
If I only had a heart.

Later on I used to sing that song to myself at castings, except it became 'If I only had a part.' 

     So Mum and Dad helped me get through drama school, even though they wanted me to get a nice safe job, something with a pension plan. My younger sister, Dianne, works in risk management and drives a convertible Golf GTI. Mums always impressed because Dianne buys bottles of balsamic vinegar which are tied with raffia around the neck. Mum had never eaten an olive until Di introduced her to one. All I've managed to introduce her to; is a feeling of vague anxiety. As I said, my parents aren't middle-class; they don't understand what we affectionately call 'The Arts'. So my motivation wasn't all self-interest, you see. I owed them. You can't have your parents carrying on the same awkward conversations for years. “Oh yes, Andy's still acting… Hm? No, he's done a bit of radio work though. Yes, The Archers. Yes, just the one episode. An assistant vet. He's in a play at the moment. No, we hadn't heard of it either. It's touring. Middlesbrough, we think.”  At the very least you need to show them a picture, a press cutting. Something. Anything.

     But I knew, I knew in my heart, that I didn't lack talent. I just needed the opportunity to prove myself as the Andy Robinson I could be; not the bit-playing, spear-carrying walk-on, but the scene-stealing, balcony-scaling leading man. The prospect of becoming one of those unemployed older actors terrified me, a lifetime spent creaking about in the shadows, gradually filling up with a sort of Jimmy Porter vitriol, hanging around in WH Smith to skim read copies of The Stage. So I decided I wouldn't, couldn't let it happen. 

     This has all been my own doing, and I'm not laying blame at your door, but I do wonder; would this have happened if I'd had a chance sooner? Perhaps if you'd put me on for the occasional Wednesday matinee? Let’s be honest, it doesn't bother a party of school children who's playing the lead, they're only there to show off in front of their mates - like that time one of them called out, 'Oi, Romeo, when you gonna give her one?' and the entire balcony erupted. But I never did get a matinee, and it was quite clear that Alex wasn't going to give way. So desperation took over. 

     After a couple of trips to a Chinese herbalist on the Old Kent Road, and a bit of experimentation, I found something that would do the trick: short term effects with no lasting damage. I was too cautious at first, sprinkled some into his pre-performance Campari and he barely noticed, just murmured something later about indigestion (as I said, Shire horse). So next time I was more generous, and it worked like a charm. Within fifteen minutes he was complaining about stomach cramps, and soon after that he was sleeping like a baby. Of course, I felt a bit guilty, rather like a benign Macbeth, but I knew he wouldn't be seriously affected.

     How can I describe what it was like to stand there at last and do what I'd dreamed about all my life, to speak those lines, to move an entire audience to tears?

     It's true, I gave an immaculate performance, but I needed to be seen by the people who mattered - the critics. So I got a mate of mine to round up some journalists and casting agents to come and see the performance the following night. I knew the part inside out. I'd studied every subtlety and mannerism. I was ready. So imagine how I felt when Alex phoned up the next morning right as rain and ready to go back on. The critics would be turning up to see me, it was my big chance. But Alex was fighting fit. I was in a fever. I wasn't being rational, as Shakespeare has it, “These violent delights have violent ends, and in their triumphs die, like fire and powder, which as they kiss, consume.” It was too late. I was already consumed. My entire professional life was there and then, hanging in the balance. 

     It was a blustery afternoon, and I remember there was a child flying a kite as I walked through the park towards Alex's house. I remember watching the wind toying with the kite, hardly conscious of my body, as if I were walking through a dream. When I got there I hid behind a Clematis bush beside the front door and put the mask on that I'd filched from the props department. I didn't know when he'd be back, but he was usually at the theatre by six, so I waited. My heart was going like a train, and I was sweating – let me tell you Malcolm, it was worse, far worse than any stage fright. At five o'clock Alex rounded the corner and as he put his key in the lock I sprang out swinging the cricket bat. It was going to be a mild knock on the head, a gentle concussion, but he turned at the vital moment and pushed me back - he has very quick reactions, it must be all that fencing he does. There was some kind of tussle and I was sort of swinging at him with the bat, then he made a lunge for me and that's when the mask became dislodged. We stood there staring at each other for a fraction of a second, and I could see the word beginning to form in his mouth, “An…” and that's when I panicked and took another swing at him. You must believe me; I didn't want to harm him seriously. Perhaps I was in shock; because the next bit is blurry, but I remember kneeling down to check his breathing, which sounded regular. There was some blood, just a little bit of a trickle around the nose, which looked a different shape, sort of squashed. I called for the ambulance from a pay phone and went home. An hour or so later you rang me to say I'd be on.

     “Andy Robinson gave a charged performance,” said The Times. But I wasn't acting that night; that was the real thing. I held Juliet to me as if she were my dying career; and all I could do was weep and rage. Afterwards I got on a plane and came here. 

     It's getting dark now. They'll be setting up the tables soon for dinner, and I've said all I needed to say so I'll stop. I hope Alex is willing not to press charges, but that seems unlikely, given the circumstances – after all, who wants to swap a career as Romeo for one as Richard III? I intend to write to him soon, I just need to find the right words. 

     Forgive me if I don't include a return address, I'm keeping a low profile for a little while. But then again, I suppose I'm used to anonymity aren’t I. 

FAMOUS I NEVER WASSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

When styling any room, it's usually always the little things that create the most interest. Bearing this in mind, we now bring you some collections of bathroom taps that can easily add a little 'wow' to even the most mundane of bathrooms:



TAPSSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

In this day and age, it is far from the norm to have simple pressed steel radiator panels as an integral part of a home's central heating system. Many people are opting for designer the many differing options that are now available to chose from. Here are a few of theses options:



Always bear in mind when choosing a new radiator though, that each radiator has a different heat output.

When installing any form of heating, it is standard procedure to measure a room for its heating requirements. To do this properly you must first establish the volume of the room and take into account its fabric (accounting for any additional insulation used). You also have to allow for the number of doors and windows there are in the room too. When calculating the room's requirements your answer should be in Btu's - British thermal units. This is how the heat output on any radiator is measured and subsequently detailed when sold.

If the radiator of your choice doesn't emit the correct output for the room, no matter how nice the radiator is, the room will not reach a comfortable temperature. If you really must have an undersized radiator, be sure to compromise with the addition of extra supplemental radiators elsewhere within the room.

DESIGNER RADIATORSSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tile M for Murder.

It's a hot day and I hate my wife. 
We're playing Scrabble. That's how bad it is. I'm 47 years old, it's a blistering hot Sunday afternoon and all I can think of to do with my life is to play Scrabble. 
I should be out, doing exercise, spending money, meeting people. I don't think I've spoken to anyone except my wife since Thursday morning. On Thursday morning I spoke to the milkman. 
My letters are crap. 
I play, appropriately, ‘BEGIN’. With the N placed on the little pink star, that's twenty two points for me.

I watch my wife's smug expression as she rearranges her letters. Clack, clack, clack. I hate her. If she wasn't around, I'd be doing something interesting right now. I'd be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. I'd be starring in the latest Hollywood blockbuster. I'd be sailing the Menai Straits on a 30-foot clipper called the New Beginings - I don't know, but I'd be doing something better than this.
She plays ‘JINXED’, with the J on a double-letter score. 30 points. She's beating me already. Maybe I should kill her. 
If only I had a D, then I could play ‘MURDER’. That would be a sign. That would be permission. I start chewing on my U. It's a bad habit, I know. All the letters are frayed. Eventually, I play ‘WARMER’ for 22 points, mainly so I can keep chewing on my U. 
As I'm picking new letters from the bag, I find myself thinking - the letters will tell me what to do. If they spell out ‘KILL’, or ‘STAB’, or her name, or anything, I'll do it right now. I'll finish her off. 
My rack spells ‘MIHZPA’. Plus the U in my mouth. Damn. 
The heat of the sun is pushing at me through the window. I can hear buzzing insects outside. I hope they're not bees. My cousin Harold swallowed a bee when he was nine, his throat swelled up and he died. I hope that if they are bees, they fly into my wife's throat. 
She plays ‘SWEATIER’, using all her letters. 24 points plus a 50 point bonus. If it wasn't too hot to move I would strangle her right now. 
I am getting sweatier. It needs to rain, to clear the air. As soon as that thought crosses my mind, I find a good word. ‘HUMID’ on a double-word score, using the D of ‘JINXED’. The U makes a little splash of saliva when I put it down. Another 22 points. I hope she has lousy letters. 

She tells me she has lousy letters. For some reason, I hate her more.
She plays ‘FAN’, with the F on a double-letter, and gets up to fill the kettle and turn on the air conditioning.
It's the hottest day for ten years and my wife is turning on the kettle. This is why I hate my wife. I play ‘ZAPS’, with the Z doubled, and she gets a static shock off the air conditioning unit. I find this remarkably satisfying. 
She sits back down with a heavy sigh and starts fiddling with her letters again. Clack, clack. Clack, clack. I feel a terrible rage build up inside me. Some inner poison slowly spreading through my limbs, and when it gets to my fingertips I am going to jump out of my chair, spilling the Scrabble tiles over the floor, and I am going to start hitting her again and again and again. 

The rage gets to my fingertips and passes. My heart is beating. I'm sweating. I think my face actually twitches. Then I sigh, deeply, and sit back into my chair. The kettle starts whistling. As the whistle builds it makes me feel hotter. 
She plays ‘READY’ on a double-word for 18 points, then goes to pour herself a cup of tea. No I do not want one. 
I steal a blank tile from the letter bag when she's not looking, and throw back a V from my rack. She gives me a suspicious look. She sits back down with her cup of tea, making a cup-ring on the table, as I play an 8-letter word: ‘CHEATING’, using the A of ‘READY’. 64 points, including the 50-point bonus, which means I'm beating her now. 
She asks me if I cheated. 
I really, really hate her. 
She plays ‘IGNORE’ on the triple-word for 21 points. The score is 153 to her, 155 to me. 
The steam rising from her cup of tea makes me feel hotter. I try to make murderous words with the letters on my rack, but the best I can do is ‘SLEEP’. 
My wife sleeps all the time. She slept through an argument our next-door neighbours had that resulted in a broken door, a smashed TV and a Teletubby Lala doll, with all the stuffing coming out. And then she bitched at me for being moody the next day from lack of sleep. 

If only there was some way for me to get rid of her. 
I spot a chance to use all my letters. ‘EXPLODES’, using the X of ‘JINXED’. 72 points. That'll show her. 
As I put the last letter down, there is a deafening bang and the air conditioning unit fails. 
My heart is racing, but not from the shock of the bang. I don't believe it - but it can't be a coincidence. The letters made it happen. I played the word ‘EXPLODES’, and it happened - the air conditioning unit exploded. And before, I played the word ‘CHEATING’ when I cheated. And ‘ZAP’ when my wife got the electric shock. The words are coming true. The letters are choosing their future. The whole game is – ‘JINXED’. 
My wife plays ‘SIGN’, with the N on a triple-letter, for 10 points. 
I have to test this. 
I have to play something and see if it happens. Something, unlikely, to prove that the letters are making it happen. My rack is ‘ABQYFWE’. That doesn't leave me with a lot of options. I start frantically chewing on the B. 
I play ‘FLY’, using the L of ‘EXPLODES’. I sit back in my chair and close my eyes, waiting for the sensation of rising up from my chair. Waiting to fly.
Stupid me. I open my eyes, and there's a fly. An insect, buzzing around, above the Scrabble board, surfing the thermals from the tepid cup of tea. That proves nothing. The fly could have been there anyway. 
I need to play something unambiguous. Something that cannot be misinterpreted. Something absolute and final. Something terminal. Something murderous. 
My wife plays ‘CAUTION’, using a blank tile for the N. 18 points. 
My rack is ‘AQWEUK’, plus the B in my mouth. I am awed by the power of the letters, and frustrated that I cannot wield it. Maybe I should cheat again, and pick out the letters I need to spell ‘SLASH’ or ‘SLAY’. 
Then it hits me. The perfect word. A powerful, dangerous, terrible word. 
I play ‘QUAKE’ for 19 points. 
I wonder if the strength of the quake will be proportionate to how many points it scored. I can feel the trembling energy of potential in my veins. I am commanding fate. I am manipulating destiny. 
My wife plays ‘DEATH’ for 34 points, just as the room starts to shake. 

I gasp with surprise and vindication - and the B that I was chewing on, gets lodged in my throat. I try to cough. My face goes red, then blue. My throat swells. I draw blood clawing at my neck. The earthquake builds to a climax. 
I fall to the floor. My wife just sits there, smiling as she watches me. 

DEATH BY SCRABBLESocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

This is the home base for PadPimpers. Every room in this room has had the PadPimpers treatment in one way or other. You can view it at your leisure with this link: http://lu.mu/6E 

Fortunately for us, the house is sold so please, don't be harassing the estate agents with offers.

PADPIMPERS CENTRALSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Dear anonymous,

Thank you for the comment you kindly appended to my entry "GHOST" at 21:40 on Sunday 23rd May 2010.

I really do appreciate this act of courage on your part, it's just a pity you weren’t brave enough to put your name to it. Perhaps if you had spent a little more time on the site actually reading, you may have come across my post "TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT ~ Social Networking" in which part 6, sections IV. and V. state:

6) Any form of ‘counter-content’ will however, be treated with respect to the following criteria:
IV. Sender is anonymous and 'counter-content’ is unqualified. – Ignore it.
V. No form of ‘counter-content’ that makes personal attacks against any individual will    be tolerated. – Any such discussion that goes this way will be terminated. Any form of  ‘content’ or ‘counter-content’ should not be used to incite embitterment or argument.

Like it says, you would have normally been ignored. But for the purpose of this exercise, that is not going to be the case.

Firstly, it is refreshing to know that you have based your 'unqualified' opinions on the sum total of only around 500 words (no, I didn't count them, my word processor does that for me), of which almost half were other people's comments, on a site that carries in excess of 80,000. This to me is an interesting indicator of the type of personality disorder we are dealing with here.

See, already we know something about you. Your mask of anonymity is starting to slip. Let's see what else we know shall we?

Well you came to the site via a choice of 65 possible links posted on my facebook wall. Which gives you the rather dubious title of, a ‘friend’? At 21:32:46, you linked to the entry marked "A HOT DATE" - Are you; some kind of a pervert? On the lookout for cheap thrills? If so, then yes, maybe my site isn't as good as the millions of others on the net. The ones that peddle porn for saddo's like you. Some of us are happier with the real thing.

Probably disgruntled by the lack of visible, fleshy bits and bobs after the page had loaded, you clicked on the recent comments box on the side bar which then took you to the entry, "BACK TO THE GRIND" where the comment that drew your attention, was posted by my good self, purely as a preamble for my next entry "A FORMAL COMPLAINT". You must have liked that, because you clicked back to it 3 more times. I guess that's where you became first inspired to write your very own words of wisdom; shafts of wit; wafts of shit.

From there you went to the page titled "GHOST". That must have really pissed you off. Still no porn, only 16 words including the title, and not even a real ghost to look at. Back to the recent comments box you went, which took you to the page titled "REVENGE OF THE LAWNMOWER".

Now I know you didn't read any of that, because you weren't there long enough to have done so, just enough time to locate and read the actual comment. So you went back to "GHOST" again. That was when your bravery pill must have kicked in. You went to fill in, the ‘post a comment’ box. Your nerves must have kicked in too though, either that or you ballsed it all up, because you had to have another go didn't you?

Not to worry though, the comment was finally sent. But again, you did worry didn't you? Your own insecurities got the better of you didn't they? You just had to know that your point had been made. You made 5 further loops back to the page, even coming back through my twitter links, just so you could revel in a piteously depressing self glory after having seen your comment light up the screen. You had just publicly humiliated me and it made you feel good. Weird that, considering you spend so much time rooting through my public channels.

What a pity you never got to see it eh? Little did you know, it was being queued for moderation. So there you were, defiling my site, while courageously hiding behind the name of Mr. or Mrs. anonymous. Or would you rather; Mr. or Mrs. sexually deviant, hard of reading, excitable and insecure stalker, all at the same time - and anonymouse. After all, that's what we ALL know about you now.

But wait, stick around. There's even more to tell. We also know you're somewhere in the UK. Your ISP is B Sky B broadband, you have Windows 7 with a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 and you use Internet Explorer for browsing with. This also leads us to the assumption you might be a bit dim too, because most computer savvy people know that Internet Explorer, is only good for installing Fire-fox, Safari or Google Chrome with.

I also have your IP address. So if I actually gave a shit about what you really think, I could go to your ISP and get you cut off for being abusive. I could also publish it here and run the possibility of having your computer attacked by viruses or your inbox spammed by benevolent hackers, but fortunately for you, this time I won't. Let's just call it a warning shall we?

Ooooh look, here's a photo of you: This is just a snapshot view. The more detailed view tells even more about you, like whereabouts in the UK, you are based, etc.

Aren't traffic counters wonderful tools?
But never mind, you're anonymous and quite safe aren't you? 

Maybe instead of showing the world your own particular style. Of ignorance, that is. You could have been a little more constructive. Helping an AMATEUR (That's all I ever claimed to be) writer out, by offering assistance where you might think it was needed. Although the content of my musings may not be to your liking, I will state here and now, that what I do write, is both spelt and grammatically presented, correctly. Yours however, isn't. You opened with speech marks, but failed to close them,  and you could be missing a question mark. - Fool!

Discussion terminated!

DEAR ANONYMOUSESocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Probably the most often overlooked part of many existing houses, would be the staircase. Take a look below, there's ten great ideas to add inspiration to one of the most visited areas in any house.

And dare you be brave enough ...
You might like to try these.

STAIRWAYS TO HEAVENSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

When Dawn initially came to us, she told us she had an uninspiring room adjoining her kitchen and it never quite felt like a part of the house. No matter what ideas she came up with, the room never lived up to expectation and it was now time to consider some serious remodelling but she was at a loss where to start.

We asked her what her main objectives for the room were, and how she hoped to use it in the future and she came back to us with the idea of a functional breakfast room for a busy morning household with the added convenience of plenty of storage. She also wanted a room with the feel of space and light whilst remaining functional and inviting.

At the start of the project the room was dull, the laminate flooring was cold, tired and curling up at the edges and the whole room looked thirty years out of date, uninspired and very uninviting. The existing table was pushed up against a wall and obviously unused in an area of the room which was an extension to the existing. This extension was set up with a very low and arched ceiling which felt imposing, and a decor you would expect to find more within a gypsy caravan. This was to be where most of our work would be carried out.

Together, we toyed with a few ideas and from an initial starting point the room evolved into the breakfast room of Dawn’s dreams. One of the more radical ideas we adopted was to incorporate her fridge into the room, adding to its functionality of a breakfast room, and thus free up some much needed space in the kitchen for a large double freezer.

With our plans verbally agreed, our first task was to rip out the existing gypsy caravan style decor panelling and arched ceiling to the extension (a remnant of the previous owner). This left us with a rather cumbersome looking beam across the ceiling of the two areas and it was decided that it would be better and lighter to lower the extension ceiling to the level of this load bearing beam. By doing this, it would also be possible to include down-lights to the new ceiling independently wired to give the room some form of mood.

Any project, when tackled properly should address all of the following:
Electrics  -  are the sockets adequate and positioned correctly for your needs.
Lighting  -  Use lighting to create mood and ambiance, add feature lighting for extra effect and remember to consider your main lighting too.

Heating – Consider your choice of heating. You can move or change unsightly radiators, opt for under-floor heating or include a feature fireplace.

All of the above should be your main priority in any major room change. This is your best opportunity to get these things right. Do it now, before you even start to consider the home straights in your project as they are the major disrupters, and any retrospective tackling can be twice as costly and cause major upheaval to your wall, ceiling and floor surfaces.

Having fully routed all necessary cable and piping changes (including new supplies to radiators in the adjoining kitchen and hallway), it was now time to make good the room surfaces. We started with the suspended ceiling to the extension area and continued by re-plastering all the wall surfaces that were not up to scratch. With all our surfaces prepared now for decoration it was decided to opt for a stripe wallpaper with all its inherent disadvantages (see home decorating discussions), purely because it lends the illusion of height. And green because it is relaxing, calming for the early morning bustle and above all else, inviting.

Although the room is practically square in shape and size, as you walk into the room from the hallway, you see right into the kitchen and through a window into the garden. This makes the room appear longer than it is broad and that is why we deliberately laid the new floor (real wood for extra warmth, not laminate) across the room’s width. This is again a trick of optics, giving the illusion of more length along the grain and thus making the room feel square again with its trick dimensions.

Having laid the flooring, it was now time for the final fix. This was to include a double bank of wall units incorporating a breakfast bar top for use with bar stools, fitting a designer radiator for a more crisp and modern feel, and some shiny chrome light switches and fittings for added bling. The Cupboards chosen were white to increase the light and airy feel of the room and a grey granite worktop chosen to match and compliment the existing fridge.

The full use of trickery, including colours, optical illusion, lighting and textures has all worked in harmony to bring this room more fully to life. It now has the functionality it needed and a feel of more space and warmth even though the room has more going on it now, than ever before.

DAWN'S DINER - A PadPimpers ProjectSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

It might not be as exciting as the new Cappuccino Maker or the Wide Screen Plasma TV but the boiler is one of the most important pieces of technology in your home. We now bring you a guide to the world of hot water and warm homes.

There's usually the mournful shaking of the head, the quick sucking in of air between the teeth and then the phrase every home owner dreads "Oooh dear. You're going to need a new boiler here and no mistake". It's enough to strike a chill into the stoutest heart. However not only are boilers probably less expensive than you think, they're also a key part of the home.

With a good boiler you can have a plentiful supply of heating and hot water provided efficiently and economically. An old or unsuitable boiler is likely to leave you with ever increasing heating bills, while making you vulnerable to a system that is unable to provide hot water to more than one outlet at the same time (we've all been there - the shower goes cold as someone starts doing the washing up in the kitchen) or packs up completely if someone dares try to have a bath while the heating is on.

Source: The Energy Saving Trust recommends that you should think about replacing your boiler after 15 years. Whilst boilers beyond this age can and do often still function, their effectiveness and efficiency becomes highly reduced. Boilers over fifteen years old can have an averag of around 65%, this is compared to over 90% efficiency offered by newer "A" rated condensing boilers.
The first thing to decide when choosing a boiler is what sort of fuel you're going to use - town gas, LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas), solid fuel, or oil. Then you need to decide on the size of the boiler, measured in BTU (British Thermal Unit) or Kilowatts, the number of radiators, the type of hot water system and whether you're planning to upgrade your system in the future, and what flu-ing arrangements are required.


Conventional Flues

These are the ones consisting usually of a vertical pipe leaving the top of the boiler. They usually terminate in an existing chimney via a flue liner, or through an external wall terminating above roof level. These pipes should be twin walled to reduce risk from burning when touched.

Balanced Flues

These come off the rear of the boiler horizontally. They allow cold air in as they expel the exhaust gasses. They terminate on an external wall.

Fan Assisted Flues

These are fairly standard kit on the newer condensing and combi boilers. They have a distinct advantage over other flue type in as much as the boiler can be positioned up to 3 metres away from an external wall and they can also turn corners more freely.

Special consideration must be made as to where a flue will terminate as the regulations concerning this are really strict. They are put in place to ensure that exhaust gasses will never penetrate a property. The biggest part of a gas engineers training relates to the flu-ing of appliances. Thats how important it is.


It is important to take advice (preferably from a Gas Safe registered engineer for gas, or an OFTEC registered engineer for oil) before deciding which boiler is best for your home.

Don't ever install a boiler yourself. It must be installed by a qualified engineer and inspected regularly. It is not sufficient that the owner of the company be Gas Safe registered, the person fitting your boiler must be able to demonstrate that he/she is also registered by showing ID and registration before you permit access. Even then, be sure to check the registration is for the type of work being undertaken.

Once fitted you will need to have your system checked regularly. In the meantime you should know enough about the workings of the boiler to be able to spot any drop in water pressure which could damage your system.

You may wish to take out a service care agreement against any future problems with the system and be prepared for any unexpected emergencies.

If you haven't had your boiler replaced in the last 15 years you could do worse than replacing it with one of the new generation of high efficiency condensing combination boilers which could save you as much as 37p in every pound you spend on heating and hot water.*

*Source: SUDBUK boiler efficiency database, published as part of the Government's Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme. Applies to energy-saving (condensing)boilers, depending on type of boiler being replaced and consumption. Based on the average life span of a boiler (15 years) in a standard three bedroom semi-detached house and on an average UK gas price of 1.41p/kWh as recommended by the Energy Saving Trust, December 2001.

Maintaining Your Heating System Tips From British Gas

·         Ensure your central heating and gas appliances are serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

·         Never block or cover vents. Clear vents allow your gas appliances to breathe and burn safely and efficiently.

·         Consider fitting a carbon monoxide detector in your property - one of these small, inexpensive devices could save your life. Maintained correctly, they will warn you if the carbon monoxide level in your home becomes dangerous.

·         Although in the summer the weather may be warm and sunny, fire up your central heating system occasionally to keep it ticking over and prevent it from jamming when the cold sets in.

·         Bleed your radiators every now and again to ensure they have no air in them. You'll know if they need bleeding as they may be cold at the top.

·         Check the pressure levels on condensing and combination boilers. Top up when necessary.


Conventional Boilers

If you have a gravity heating system (with a water tank in the loft) then you'll need a conventional boiler. These use a traditional system which heats up a store of water before you need to use it, via a hot water cylinder and header tank

Condensing Boilers

Although more expensive than a conventional boiler a condensing boiler is highly efficient - using an extra heat exchanger to extract further heat from the water vapour produced in the combustion process, so very little heat is wasted.

Combination Boilers

For a flat or small house Combi Boilers are most suitable since they don't need to store water but instead heat the water as you use it. There is no cylinder, no tank and no connecting pipe work, which saves space and reduces hot water costs. A combination boiler produces a near instantaneous supply of hot water on tap, 24 hours a day. Unlike conventional heating and hot water systems, a combination system does not store hot water. Bear in mind here though that it is now illegal to fit a non condensing combi boiler in new installations. They can only be used now in like for like swap-overs. It is also worth checking on the flow rate on the hot water side. 11 ltrs per minute or more will guarantee a full bath in a reasonable time.

ALL ABOUT BOILERSSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Some of my more popular posts

Search This Blog

About This Blog

Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

Please, please, please, dive in and enjoy this blog and all that I will ever ask in return, is you add a few comments whilst passing through.

And if you've enjoyed reading the contents as much as I have compiling them, help spread the word through your friends.

Thanks again for dropping by, hope to see you again real soon.

Need a little more?

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP