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Blogging With Dr P... Blogging When I Can - Honest!
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Welcome to Blogging With Dr P... blogging when I can - honest

Your Blogging With Dr P... search result is below this annoucement.
In April 2008 Blogging With Dr P... moved to Blog Bypass.

If you're using the Blog Studio Search Facility to find a link to a previous blog, then I've been very generous, and NOT included an automatic re-direct which would take you there.

So, what this means is you have to use this link: Blog Bypass to find more Blogging With Dr P....

Thank you to Blog Studio for all the help over years! :)

(Feb 2010 Update): Haloscan is no more. Therefore the comments on this blog are no more. Sad, but true. I'm not paying $12 a year for the occasional comment with Echo. Apologies to all those who have commented. I have saved them and may well stick them somewhere else at some point.

Sunday, November 30, 2003 How To Beat The Traffic...

If only we all had a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Car...

Yup. This is the original CCBB car as-seen-in-the-movie, and now purchased by some insurance company and used a promo device. A few weeks ago it was in Lakeside shopping centre. And so was I.....:)....

Kids with cameras, eh? Lol....:)

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Saturday, November 29, 2003 About A Movie....

We just got done watching About A Boy, the Hugh Grant Brit comedy about a guy...and....well...a boy. And it was very nice. It was a very pleasant movie. It had a start, a middle and an end. It contained no violence, no car chases, no excessive bad language. There were no nudity scenes, no horror, no sci-fi special effects. There was no cast of aged movie has-beens, there were no ex popstars playing at being actors, there was nobody hamming it up for the audience.
Now,it terms of a modern movie, it doesn't sound as though it was much of a movie, right? So, what did it have? Well, it had....

1. Great writers - Paul & Chris Weitz , (American Pie & Down To Earth)
2. Great actors - Hugh Grant, (Yes he is - so stop arguing! )
the other people.
3. Values. Good v Bad. Love love. A feel good movie.

And apart from that it was made by working title films, who have done plenty of major league good work in the past.

Interestingly enough the Weitz brothers never did get back to me about my idea for a fourth American Pie movie. I think I'll drop them a line soon :)

And while were on the subject of writing, here a little essay question for y'all:
"Your 'mom' or your 'mum' is separated by only a vowel and an ocean - discuss."

There, that's something to think about isn't it? :)

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Friday, November 28, 2003 Back Pain

Reading Rats' recent back pain nightmare, it makes mine look a bit more insignificant. The other night, whilst up in the hotel in Coventry, I was stepping into the bath to get a shower. As I did that, my trailing foot got the edge of the toilet, unbalanced me, and sent a shooting pain down to the lower part of my back. Undeterred by such trivial pain (yikes!) I soldiered on through the next few days......with my back getting stiffer and sorer.

Last night was my monthly/five weekly visit to see Andrew, my osteopath. (I have treatment on my neck for a serious whiplash injury from a car accident I had - actually that should read - "...because of a lady driver smashing into the back om my stationery vehicle whilst she was doing approx 70MPH...." - back in 1998). He did his usual, and then did some extra work on my back. Well - bloody hell! I know all that he was doing will benefit me in the end, but I couldn't help feeling like a lump of fish on the fish monger's slab as he threw me around the treatment I kept watching his hands to make sure a filleting knife didn't appear! :)

Anyway - here we are the next morning. My lower back is as stiff as a board, still slightly inflamed, but not as painful. I guess Andrew didn't print those certificates in the frames himself, eh? ;)

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Thursday, November 27, 2003 There's 'Boy Bands'...Then There's 'The Osmonds'

Over here in the sunny/gloomy UK there is a TV/theatre event called The Royal Commnad Variety Performance where lots of variety acts from around the world get on stage and perform in front of the Queen. All ver nice, right? In recent years it appears to me that the acts have a greater tendency to be singers.
Last nights televised event had people like Westlife, Busted, (modern, and then at the other end of the scale, (quite literally in this case), was Luciano Pavarotti - what a big bloke indeed! He started off with a favourite of his - well, it must have been because nobody else knew what the Hell he was singing about, as there weren't any other 300yr old Italians in the room - and then he went onto......leaving the stage, I think, only one song - what a guy. (He might have done another, but my brain had switched off at that point).

Anyway, for me, and obviously the 100's of screaming girlie fans in the audience, (I wasn't screaming by the way - I was sedately slurping on a cup of tea), was the arrival on stage of the man himself - Donny Osmond. What a guy - such a smoothie! And what a great performer. And not only did he make an appearance, but then he brought on the rest of the Osmond bros which brought on a medley of the old classics including - Crazy Horses. Admittedly, they were a bit, well, old - but still a class act.

The rest of the show icluding some balancing Chinese peeps, an unknown Scottish comedian, and appalling bad young jazz artist, and a series of old has-been presenters stringing the thing together. The Queen looked okay :)

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Wednesday, November 26, 2003 I Was Working In The Lab Late One Night...

"...When my eyes beheld an eerie sight...." - FOG - around the M25 this morning. Lashings of it. All around the Essex/Hertfordshire stretch. Layered across the carriageways as if it had been spread across the roads with a big butter,(fog), knife from the sky. (Side Issue: If this is the case - then is the fog stored in a fog dish on the side of the great table in the sky?). Anyway, there it was - fog. And, as ever, with the fog comes the inability to drive in it. Or does the fog contain some sort of brain sapping moisture which seeps into people's cars and makes them drive like complete jelly heads? Whatever the case, I was stuck in a traffic jam containing the lost & bewildered of Essex and Southern England. Naturally it took a long time to go anywhere. I even had Stephan phone me from South London and tell me that it took him 55mins to go three miles - this could have been just an excuse for arriving late (!) - but I knew he was telling the truth :) - as I was stuck in it too.

Thankfully the snow hasn't started. Remember last year? Well, it's not that cold ......yet(!). But the old car has just clocked 70,000 miles, and it's cold starts aren't as good as they used to be. It's only about 3 years old, but we tend to do a fair bit of mileage in my job, and the cars get a lot of hammer as well. Apparently, I have an option to buy it - not bloody likely, ha. I know how it's been driven - by me :)

But Christmas is fast approaching. Take care when you're out on the roads. I know some of you across the pond will be doing bizarre things like attaching chains to your tyres, (Side Issue: Is there a vehicular S&M website?), in order to get through the snow. Or you spend half your time digging out your cars, children, dogs, houses etc. But just remember one thing......Have you got my present yet? No socks please. An outrageous tie would be nice :)

Oh yes - Have a great Thanksgiving! :)

Toodle pip!

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Monday, November 24, 2003 Being Sent To Coventry.....Again

....and I've not done anything wrong either! :). It's just for a meeting up there tomorrow. Oh joy - the M1 & M6 in winter - I can hardly wait.For those who know those roads - you know what it's going to be like. For those who don't's not a nice drive!

Anyway - time to go and make myself look pretty for work. (Yes I do get up early to perform this operation!)

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Sunday, November 23, 2003 "England Are The World Champions!"

It's not a phrase you hear mentioned that often is it? Not since 1966 I think when we beat West Germany 4 - 2 in the soccer World Cup Finals. But I'm glad to say that England beat Australia in the rugby World Cup finals yesterday in Australia. The game was on live here in England, (around 9am our time), and I kept phoning my brother in Brisbane just to remind him, (and his Australian wife), about the score! :)

Yes - sometimes it's great to be English :)

On a completely unrelated subject, here's a little thought that just popped into my head whilst finishing breakfast...(It happened whilst finishing breakfast because I said to Sue "Honey, that was a breakfast that any cowboy would have been proud to have eaten before he hit the trail roping doggies").....
Imagine what it must have been like when the first cowboys tried to herd the first herd of buffalo they came across. One of the buffalos would have turned to another and said - "What's he doing?". To which the other would have replied, "Oh it's just some white guy on a horse messing about. Shame I'm going mess up his outfit if he gets too close"

Okay - abstract thoughts over and done with. I think I'll nip back to Kazaa and download some more software of dubious licensing agreements (!)

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Saturday, November 22, 2003 The Street Artist

On the recent excursion to France, I did, as you may remember, stay in Versailles. Whilst there I took several dozen photos, or so. Some of them you've seen already. But there was a little series of photos which I'd forgotten about. Which tells a little story of the The Street Artist...

There was this artist sitting on the ground...

...drawing this statue...

...and everyone was watching her...

...sketch the marble masterpiece on her pad...

I could have sat all afternoon watching her draw. The dedicated artist out in the low autumn sun's glare. Was she a student finishing a project? Was she French - or had she travelled from across the world to draw this staue? Had she drawn all the other statues in Versailles - of which there are hundreds? Was she going to sell the drawing to buy a few loaves of bread? - this is our romantic outlook of the French street artist. Or was she merely enjoying herself by sitting down, getting her sketch pad out, and drawing for her own amusement?

Who knows. But she takes a great photograph...:)

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Friday, November 21, 2003 Boys From Leers

When I took this snap outside the PC City Superstore in Leers, (it's near Lille, near Belgium), it was my colleague Stephan who got the title for it straight away.......

Christophe's Angels

Well, I don't know about angels, but they were a good bunch of lads. Nobody ever said they were Belgian, so I reckon they were okay up to a point.....for Frenchies....:)

God bless the European Community - and thank God for the English!

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Thursday, November 20, 2003 The Ghostly Farting Bedroom of Bordeaux

I know. I find it hard to believe myself. But I was there, and lived to tell the tale. It was a dark and stormy night..........

Okay, it wasn't in Bordeaux either - it was actually in Creteil, Paris, but Bordeaux just rhymes better in the title. What the hell - it was in France okay! We had first booked into smoking rooms on the 5th Floor of our hotel. Ah - the 5th Floor - that smoke infested corridor of hell - I damn near hit the alarms and called the Sapeur Pompiers when I stepped out of the lift. It was smokey and stank. I managed to grope my way to my room. Thankfully there were no open doors along the corridor, as the bathrooms tended to be next to the bedroom doors - and a groping Englishmen falling into a steamy French bathroom might have some explaining to do to several people! Needless to say, (side issue - another useless expression needless to say - I mean it's such a damned good build-up to something that it obviously was worth saying in the first place....still with me? Good.....let's continue....) Needless to say, I didn't stay very long in the room.

After using the oxygen mask which automatically sprang from the ceiling tile above my seat in the room when I sat down - (and there was (!) a stewardess in the corner demonstrating how to unfold a towel after a shower & where the TV remote control was.....just like being on a plane really) - I phoned reception and asked for a non-smoking room. "My GAWD - you must be English!?" she said in an outrageous accent, (she doubled as a receptionist as well as a waitress), "I'll see what I can do.". After several minutes of watching the in-flight hotel stewardess demonstrating the placing-the-towel-back-on-the-rail-and-not-flung-on-the-bathroom-floor technique, the receptionist rang back and told me there was a room free two floors down. As my newly operated upon nose had now had it's keen sense of smell obliterated in a nasal genocide attack on the 5th Floor, I proceeded to grope my way back along the corridor to the lift. I'll never forget the look on the maids face as I fell into the closet with the open door half way down the wall. She had that "My GAWD! These English - and they expect to win the rugby on Sunday? HA!" look on her face. But we are made of sterner stuff, and I think the spray of Cif in the face actually woke me up as I staggered towards the relative safety of the lift.

After getting to my non-smoking room, (which had the lingering smell of sweaty housemaid attached to it), I stripped, showered, burnt my clothes, called a priest to bless the room and all my belongings - and I got him to bring some air freshnesrs as well. It was going to be an interesting stay.

My colleague, Stephan, and I went for dinner in the restaurant downstairs. (They don't have a restaurant upstairs.......but I mentioned it just in case you thought it was upstairs. I mean, some hotels have first floor restaturants don't they? The Terrace Carvery or some such nonsense they are usually called. And the waiters speak with an outrageous accent, when they all come from Liverpool or some section of East London. Still....we weren't in a place like that......). This was the hotel restaurant of the infamous 2003 Armenian Boxers Convention, (which I think is in my March'll give you something to do by clicking on the link in the right hand side of this page. Call it interactive blogging if you like. Or maybe I just can't be bothered to put the link in. Guess we'll never know, eh? ;). The carpets still had not been cleaned.

And afer a meal of boiled something, with stewed something else, followed by a dessert of continental something,(There was always something on the menu - you just had to guess what it was), it was time to go to bed. I wished my colleague Stephan good luck on the expedition along the smokey corridor of death, and I popped out of the lift two floors below him into a room which now was a shrine to incense, air freshners, and Pledge. (I had the in-flight hotel air stewardess constantly dust the place while I was out).

With the stewardesses dismissed for the evening, the candles & incense sticks extinguished, I settled down for a good nights kip. And so it went one........although I wasn't really involved with it that much, as I was asleep at the time - I mean, you never eally get to see how good your good night's sleep actually was, because you're doing it at the time, right?

Anyway, everything was going really well on the sleeping front, (alledgedly), when all of a sudden I was awoked by a very loud FART! Yes - it was a bottom burp of enormous proportions, so much so, that it woke me up. (And here's where it gets a bit medical.....). It wasn't me. It definitely wasn't me. I mean, lets be honest - you'd know - wouldn't you? You'd know if you broke wind in bed, right? You'd be awake, right? Ask yourself this - have you ever heard of anybody ever SLEEP FART before? (Okay - if you have, then let me know below in the comments bit below - because that would be worth reading about :) ). And another thing, (unless you've got incredibly irregular bladder/bowel control), you usually wake up in the middle of the night to go to the loo. So, I'm guessing that should the sleep farter exist, there must be some kind of automatic which prevents any further folllowing an incident.

Okay - so after theorising about all of this in about a split second, I am left in a darkened hotel room in Paris. Just me.....and a fart. At this point I shall explain my reactions from the point I was woken up:
1. "WTF was that?"
2. "It was a fart. A bloody loud fart!"
3. "Where am I?" (An interesting reaction I know).
4. "What do I do now?"
I'm left with the only one sensible option - and that's to roll over in the ridiculously over-sized bed......and face the evil of the night, and see if there was actually anyone there on the other side of the room who had just farted. As ridiculous as it may sound (!), I felt this was the only course of action open to me, as my outrageous, (I used to be a barman), imagination would not let me rest until I had investigated all possibilities as to where the noise had come from. Naturally, there was nobody/thing there - and I fell back to sleep.

In the morning........I never mentioned this story to a

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Wednesday, November 19, 2003 Bon Soir Mes Amies

I've just got back this evening from sunny Bordeaux. Yes - the wine was gorgeous, thank you :) (No, it did not fit in well with my Weight Watchers activity!). But when in ice-cream, right? :). This is just a quick hello to say hello. I've still got a bit of a hectic week ahead of me. I've got a 5.15am start tomorrow, (it's 11pm now), and I'm also working 5pm-midnightish, on Sunday evening. Soooooooo, I just popped on to say hi. Thank you to those who popped by while I was away and kept the place clean, opened and shut the curtains, put the lamps on a timer, watered the plants etc......

....side issue - do you think such places/services exist for people who are going on vacation/working away for short periods, and do not want it to seem as though they're weblogs have been abandoned. Wait! Here's an idea:


A service that will take you passwords etc and place spurious entries, (given to them by you before you go), of things to say over the period of time you are away. They will also place comments in the box from other 'readers', i.e. the service themselves.

What a great idea? Does anyone know if anyone does that? I might start it up myself, and charge a paltry $5 through Paypal :)

Anyway - Bordeaux was lovely. England thrashed France 24 - 7 at rugby on Sunday, and alls fair in the world. I shall be back here again with a full roundup of bits of French shenanigans over the next few days.

Good night y'all.

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Saturday, November 15, 2003 France NOV 03 Part Un

Here's the first litle instalment of my mini adventure in France - more details & pics(!) to follow.......

Air France lived down to it's expectations once again ? we sat at Heathrow Airport, London, for an hour on the runway. "It's buzy today. We are eleventh in the queue. Thank you for your patience". This is part of a cost-cutting exercise, Air France is cheaper from Heathrow Airport, (West London), than British Airways is from Gatwick Airport, (South of London). BUT...I live east of London, and it's easier for me to get to Gatwick, so..
1. Driving time, businees mileage, and gas costs are cheaper,
2. Parking is easier,
And, most importantly - when British Airways say their flights leave at 11am - that's when they leave !

Oh - do I look like a terrorist? When leaving Heathrow, a security guard swabbed my shoes with a cotton wool ball soaked in a chemical and ran it through a machine to test for explosives. I recommended that he didn't send any sniffer dogs down there, as they may not come back alive :)

Anyway, we arrived at the posh CDG 2F Terminal in a blaze of people rushing to the loo - expect the door at the end of the glass tube was locked. Oh la la! There was a large cross-legged queue waiting for a man in a yellow fluro jacket to open the door. Unfortunately, the first toilets you come to off the plane are ones which are almost unisex - just a cleaners cupboard separating the cubicles - with only two cubicles on either side. Remember this ? - well it was a bit more crowded than that ! So, the more experienced traveller knows there's some other loos under the escalator in the baggage arrival hall. So off I raced to find them before any little accidents occured, as I don't think my insurance covers dry-cleaning under! Two bags later, a quick parlez avec Monsieur Le Taxi - and we were off on our way to the Gare Du Nord, and a train to Lille in north east France.

Lille was fun. I left my personal mobile phone in a taxi one morning going from the hotel to the store. I treid to phone the driver almost straight away, but he had just finished a night shift and had gone to bed for the day - mon dieux! So, I phoned the network provider in England to barr all incoming & outgoing calls to the phone, as I wasn't really sure it was there. In the meantime, I'd gone back to the hotel - but the room had been cleaned, (and it wasn't there), so I went down to reception - he checked with le housekeeping, but nothing had been found. Several hours later, (after the taxi guy had woken up and received several messages on his mobile phone to call the store!), I got my phone back when he came to pick us back up again later that afternoon.

Work was fun, (as ever), in Lille - details to follow later.

Oh - do I look like a terrorist? When arrving back from Lille to Paris, we got stopped by the Customs Officers on the platform & had our baggage searched etc. Zut alors! Welcome to Paris.

The plane was delayed on the runway for half an hour in Paris....then circled for half an hour over London.....thus making an alledged 45min trip the usual 1.45hrs trip - hell I could fly to Africa for that! Hmm, I wonder, maybe we should open some stores in Marrakesh? :)

Okay - must dash, got stuff to do, washing etc, work, (sadly), etc - and fix up my brother's PC so he can take it back with him tomorrow. I'll fill you in on the rest of the French adventures when I get back later this week.

See y'all soon :)

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Thursday, November 13, 2003 (France - WAP phone entry) - Kass - 1. I am allowed a small no. of characters in a message, and 2. It takes a long time typing all this into my phone - lol : )

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Wednesday, November 12, 2003 (France - WAP phone entry) - On the train between Lille & Paris. The overhead mirrored bag rack is providing the usual 'in-flight' entertainment : )

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 (France - via WAP phone) Lille is cold & foggy this Bank Holiday, (in France), morning. Oh la la! Ou est l'ete ? : ) Ou est mon petite-dejeuner? Lol :)

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Sunday, November 09, 2003 Off To France Again

Remember my whereabouts? Well, I'm up to Weeks 5 and 6 now. Which means this coming week, (in fact in several hours time!), I'll be off to Lille, (a little town near the Belgian border........I suppose somebody has to live there!), then Creteil, (a suburb of Paris on Thursday/Friday). I'll be back home next weekend for a day - HURRAH! - then off to Bordeaux for the Sun/Mon/Tues of the following week.

I do hope some of you saw the eclipse.

I switched my phone to GPRS - apparently it's going to make it cheaper to update my weblog via the WAP facility.......who knows?! Anyway, look after yourselves, have a great week or so. I'll blog in when I can.

Be good.....or......just don't get caught ;)

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Saturday, November 08, 2003 Lunar Eclipse Today!

Aren't these NASA people very clever.........

"On Saturday, Nov. 8th, the full moon will glide through our planet's shadow. Observers on every continent except Australia can see the event, which astronomers call a lunar eclipse.

Sky watchers will first notice a shadowy darkness creeping over the moon's northeastern limb at 23:32 Universal Time (UT) on Nov. 8th. Watching Earth's shadow sweep across the moon's terrain is fun. Even better is totality, when the entire moon is covered in shadow. Totality begins at 01:06 UT on Nov. 9th and lasts for 25 minutes.

The totally eclipsed moon won't be totally dark--and that's what makes it totality delightful. The Earth's atmosphere bends sunlight into our planet's shadow and onto the moon. This sunlight is reddened as it travels a great distance through our dusty atmosphere, and so the moon looks red. Sunsets on Earth look red for the same reason.

Almost none of the eclipse will be visible from Hawaii; all of it will be visible from the Eastern time zone.

This is the second lunar eclipse of 2003. Observers of the first one in May might remember that the moon was nearly invisible during totality. This eclipse will be different. During totality on Nov. 8/9th the moon will remain relatively bright, and there will be a pleasing gradient of color across the face of the moon--pale-white on one side, crimson-red on the other."

So - could someone open a window & have a look this evening over in the US?. The last eclipse for the UK was that one back in the 1999, I think. It was seen as a total eclipse down in the south west of England, (Cornwall) - and 1000's of people travelled down there. Unfortunately, I was unable to go at the time, but even in Essex it was still kind of spooky...(mind you, it's like that most days with, or without, an eclipse!). Everything went slightly grey.......and the temperature dropped - (it's frightening to think how the planet could be wiped out if the sunlight was blocked like that permanently.....urgh). Anyway, and I remember all the birds stopped chirping, and there was an eerie silence for a few minutes. It must have been really confusing for cavemen when this sort of thing happened in the past..........yes, there were a few drivers on the A12 between Brentwood & Chelmsford who looked a little confused as

Anyway, if anyone does get a chance to have look......then go have a look - and take some piccies if you'd be nice to see that. Further details, and such, are likely to be on the NASA site anyway.

Right, time to go shopping now. After all this Weight Watchers activity I decided to try on the few suits I have kicking around the wardrobe. And, surprisingly enough they don't fit! So, I digged out some older ones from the drawer under the bed. One did fit.....but until shiney, brown, flared spiv-looking suits come back into fashion...(!)...I'd best get some straight forward M&S special.

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Friday, November 07, 2003 Lets Do This Properly......

I've been searched for, and been found from Google, Yahoo, AOL , MSN etc for a wide variety of things (!) - as I'm sure we all have. I've even written about tham in the past. (No, I still haven't fogotten about my Catherine Herridge Shrine :) ).

But, here' the longest search that has ever found me:

The world's my oyster, except for the fact that I just rammed a wooden stake in my brother's heart because he turned into a vampire, even though I don't believe in vampires. Aside from that unfortunate business, everything

...well.....I ask you? Fancy that. Imagine finding that in your stats box? And I! Apparently I think the searcher in question was actually after this:

Kate: Are you okay?
Seth: Peachy! Why shouldn't I be? The world's my oyster, except for the fact that I just rammed a wooden stake in my brother's heart because he turned into a vampire, even though I don't believe in vampires. Aside from that unfortunate business, everything's hunky-dory.

- which is a few lines out of From Dusk Till Dawn - the Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino movie - oh, and Juliette Lewis.

Still, I was 3rd down on the page below that link and another about vampires. Maybe I should start writing some freaky vampire stuff - maybe I'll make the top of the page!? :)

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November 5th 1605 - The Gunpowder Plot

Julia had asked me who was the Guy Fawkes bloke, anyway? So, here's bit of a history lesson for you.........

"Robert Catesby was the leader, but Guy Fawkes became the most famous member of the Gunpowder Plot because he was the one who was caught under the House of Lords, early on the morning November 5th 1605, with 36 barrels of gunpowder. For two days, Guido, (as was Guy's real first name), was the only suspect in custody and his name became synonymous with the Powder Treason, as the Gunpowder Plot was known at the time.

But what was it all about.........

After Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, English Catholics who had had a rough time under her reign had hoped that her successor, James I, would be more tolerant of their religion. Alas, he was not, and this angered a number of young men who decided that violent action was the answer.

One young man in particular, Robert Catesby suggested to some close friends that the thing to do was to blow up the Houses of Parliament. In doing so, they would kill the King, maybe even the Prince of Wales, and the Members of Parliament who were making life difficult for the Catholics. Today these conspirators would be known as extremists, or terrorists.

To carry out their plan, the conspirators got hold of 36 barrels of gunpowder - and stored it in a cellar, just under the House of Lords.

But as the group worked on the plot, it became clear that some innocent people would be hurt or killed in the attack. Some of the plotters started having second thoughts. One of the group members even sent an anonymous letter warning his friend, Lord Monteagle, to stay away from the Parliament on November 5th. The warning letter reached the King, and the King's forces made plans to stop the conspirators.

It's unclear if the conspirators would ever have been able to pull off their plan to blow up the Parliament even if they had not been betrayed - some people think the gunpowder they were planning to use was so old as to be useless. Since Guy Fawkes and his colleagues got caught before trying to ignite the powder, we'll never know for certain.

But Guy wasn't in prison alone for long. Soon, many conspirators were either caught outright as they flew from London, or surrendered shortly thereafter. Some, however, including the ringleader Robert Catesby, were killed in a siege within a few days of the failed attempt.

All the conspirators who were not killed in the siege were imprisoned, tortured, and executed in the most gruesome way (except Jeremy Tresham who fell sick and died while in prison).

As is often the case with confessions made under duress, plotters admitted to everything they knew, and complemented this information with whatever authorities wanted to hear - in hopes to end their ordeal. The result was questionable confessions, at least partly manufactured by authorities for their own purposes. These "confessions" conveniently incriminated two leading English Jesuits (Catholics) - who according to some historians had no involvement in the Plot. Regardless, it allowed the government to justify further anti-Catholic and get rid of at least two problematic Catholic leaders.

All imprisonned plotters were executed publicly in March 1607. They were "hanged, drawn, and quartered", a brutal practice which authorities hoped would instill terror in other potential traitors.

These days, Guy Fawkes Day is also known as Bonfire Night. The event is commemorated every year with fireworks and burning effigies of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire. Some people have been known to wonder whether they are celebrating Fawkes' execution or honoring his attempt to do away with the government!"

My thanks to Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night for all the above info.

There. Be happy. Be

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Thursday, November 06, 2003 Dog Shoots Man

Only in France, don't ya just love 'em.......?:

PARIS, Nov 5 (Reuters) - A French hunter was shot by his dog after he left a loaded shotgun in the boot of his car with two dogs and one of the animals accidentally stepped on the trigger, police said on Wednesday.

The man, from the village of Espelette in the Basque region, was admitted to hospital in the nearby town of Bayonne on Monday with leadshot injuries to the hip.

"As he was driving along, one of his dogs accidentally set off the gun," said a police official.

- must have been a gun dog,....? :)

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Wednesday, November 05, 2003 HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME - ONE YEAR BLOGGING!!!

Wow. It was actually yesterday, 12months ago, that I first left a permanent mark on the internet. The following day, Guy Fawkes Night, I posted this little pearl of wisdom....

"In the beginning was the word.......and the word was...'aardvark'.....?
It's a funny old world, eh? Last week I never even knew 'blogs' existed - and I thought HTML was some sort of injection they give to the elderly at Xmas to stop them getting rare monkey something.

And here we are now.

Throughout my time, (about 5 years or so), 'playing' on the net - surfing or chatting mainly - I always thought that having a webpage, or website, was something far too complicated for me to do. It was the domain of 'The Geek' :) But as we know, what with all those 'free website' communities like 'XXXX' and 'XXXX' etc (names hidden to protect the innocent/guilty), it became a little easier to do.
However, it was all 'online' tools - which used to really piss me off before the days of flatrate 24/7 surfing. Was I going to be paying a fortune at a 1p per minute, using my 386 PC and a huge slow moving browser, waiting for pages to update ? Or perhaps I could get me a dictionary and find put what the Hell FTP, HTML,cgi, Javascript etc meant ? the average PC user this was all still 'Geek Country'.

"Buy software to create websites with?" I hear you cry. Here's a little story - I still have an unopened trial copy of MS Frontpage :) I ordered it from Microsoft when it was about to be released........I never used it. I saw the reviews - and again it all seemed a bit too technical for me.
Basically - I wanted the minimum amount of work to create the maximum, desired effect.(Lazy bastard - yeah I know lol)

And here we are now."

And here we are now indeed. Having left Pitas and come to Blog Studio, I have travelled a path with all kinds of gimmicks and devices on this weblog. Lordy - go take a look at what the blog looked like back in November last year. I quite liked the bright colours all over the place - honestly :). But then I learnt a bit more about design etc - and settled on #efdfbf for my background colour.

Yes - I've Zonk boarded, Haloscanned, Flexwindowed, Tagboarded, Sqauwkboxed, my way through the past 12 months. And right now I'm Backblogging and even webcaming with a new piece of trial software. Yes! When the little blue icon at the top right hand side says I'm on line just click on the Click Here! - and you'll be whizzed to my streaming webcam - Paul - Live & Interactive - even with it's own chat box thingy! :)

But that's enough about the techie stuff. I hope you're having a fun Guy Fawkes Night. No ghost hunting for me and Sue - we're staying wrapped up safe and warm this evening. Last year I was witty enough to write this:

"So it really is 'Guy Fawkes Night' tonight.
Little old ladies shivering behind net curtains. Motorway junctions at a standstill because a 'youth' has decided to fire a rocket at a canvas articulated lorry full of illegal immigrants. Parents being dragged into muddy school fields and parks, and forced to eat undercooked hotdogs, whilst staying close to the St.John's Ambulance van in case they get on a 'Reality TV' programme.
'Red Watch' having to miss out on everything from Colin Fry/John Edward (Living TV), straight through Emmerdale, Eastenders and Holby City - the worst times of the evening for fires.
And our boys in blue having to contend with some drunken arse, (in every 1.25 pubs this evening across the UK!), who will find it highly amusing to let a Catherine Wheel off on the table just after a round of drinks has arrived - and a big fight ensues because one guy thinks it's got to do with the other guy '...staring at his girlfriend....'. (This often occurs on other nights throughout the year, but with a differing frequency.)"

This year - it's like a battlefield out there at the moment, (just past 8pm). If there was an opportunity for a military strike by a foreign nation with a grudge against us - now would be the time! You wouldn't notice the difference until there was some foreign flag flying over the Houses of Parliament, and tomorrow's Daily Mirror was printed in some incomprehensible gibberish showing a front page picture of the storming of Buckingham Palace!

Still - might not be a bad thing, eh? ;)

[Link] - | Old Blog Search

Tuesday, November 04, 2003 Free! Free! Free!

Nope. Not really. But for all those people looking for free stuff on the internet - hello :). It's very rare that you actually find free stuff. If you want my advice - search under Google:Groups - it's far more lucrative to click on some of the links in their messages to websites containing all kinds of free stuff. Remember to have a good virus checker if you're going to download stuff - there's some nasty little buggers out there as well just waiting to mess with you PC.

So - how was your day munchkins? Mine started off as usual - phone ringing, long conversations, note writing, me nodding, (why do we always nod when we're on the phone?), and me finally putting the phone down saying - "Bloody marvellous! What a great start to the day!" - this is sarcasm by the way - even more difficult to see in print than it is to understand from us Brits :)
After that, I had a cappucino from the salubrious Kenco Coffee Machine - hmmmmm, yum yum. Not. Bits of powder along the rim of the paper cup reminded me of the last time I'd bought one,(20p!), and how I must be in a state of shock still from my phone call.

I'm not saying it was devastating or anything. But I just had my job direction changed down a path that I would rather it not have go. In fact, it was in direct contradiction to conversations I'd had with my boss several months ago. Okay, things have changed in my dept, people have left, been made redundant, processes undergoing change etc. But for all that - it feels to me like I got the shitty end of the stick in this particular dept. shuffle. It may well be temporary - 12 months or so - but that's a long time doing something you'd rather not do. Oh yes, the benefits of it were spelt out to me, but that really doesn't matter when I don't want to do it in the first place.

However, I have started to formulate battle tactics already. We have a meeting when I come back from France, (again! Lille, Paris & Bordeaux this time), to discuss the new dept structure and the way ahead, next step forward etc etc. Don't get me wrong - I'll do a bloody good job of what I'm being asked to do, it's just that I'm capable of being able to do a lot more than this, and it seems like a bit of a retrograde step for me. I shan't go into details, suffice to say that I'll have a really exciting year ahead - sarcasm again :)

I'm sure there's people who've had shittier days than this today. You might have had one yourself. I mean, my comments aren't working at the moment either - so leave a message in the guestbook if they're not.

No, I'm not feeling sorry for myself, I have a happy enough life as it is :) - but a few cakes & choccy bars wouldn't go amiss - thank you :)

[Link] - | Old Blog Search

Monday, November 03, 2003 Another Winner!

Yup. One from the Dutch lottery this time. (I know - what's a Dutch Lottery? - eating an unknown stew with either tulip bulbs or turnips in? Or buying an unmarked packet of cigarettes and either getting completely stoned, or no effect at all? Who knows?)

I just don't know where to spend the money? Any suggestions? One whole ?1! - it cost them more than that to post the damned

[Link] - | Old Blog Search

Sunday, November 02, 2003 British Library Archives Websites

"The British Library is now able to store web pages and e-mails in its archive after a legal change. The library had pushed for electronic items to be included because of the rise in web-based publishing.

"This new legislation will now mean that a vital part of the nation's published heritage will be safe," said MP Chris Mole, who supported the move.

The archive will comprise selective "harvesting" from the 2.9 million sites that have "" suffixes. The new law was given royal assent on Friday, 31st October. The library already has six legal deposit archives which hold a copy of everything published in the UK since 1911. The new formats - which also include CD-Roms - will join these archives, and be available for future study. Under the new law, proposed in a Private Member's Bill, future mediums will also be able to be stored as they are developed.

The law follows a voluntary system that has been used since 2000. The number of journals published electronically in the UK is expected to jump from 52,000 in 2002 to 193,000 in 2005. The deposit libraries already hold more than 51 million printed items."

I wonder if I can Blogging With Dr P... in there? I mean, I have are hundreds, nay thousands, of historical documents, (ahem), which would be useful for future generations to read about. Just recall the kind of subjects we've covered wouldn't you like your grandkids to be able to read all about me online in the future? ;)

Where do I apply ? :)

[Link] - | Old Blog Search

Saturday, November 01, 2003 Most Haunted - Re-Visited

Bloody Hell it was COLD!. Beaulieu Abbey is a very nice place. it probably would look a whole lot better during the daytime...and in summer when it's nice and warm. However, there we were last night - us and 1,400 other people. Yes, there was a lot of people there - the biggest interactive outside broadcast they had done. The evening started off with a little video, and then a Q&A session from the troops...

(l to r): Yvette Fielding,(one of the shows hosts),Richard Felix, (historian), Derek Accorah, (show's medium)

Following that we then split into three groups, (depending on the colour of the wrist band that was attached to you when you went in - clever, eh?). We were sent to The Cloisters. This was the main outside broadcast area. We were shown at every commercial break as the overhead camera swung by :). Below is a screenshot of the start of the programme as the camera flung overhead:

Me & Sue In The Crowd!

The evening dragged on at some points. One of the highlights was the mad rush by dozens of people racing to the loo at the commercial breaks. I mean, it was cold - and we'd all drank lots of tea! During the broadcast the show was brought outside to the masses who were freezing to death...

Me & Sue In The Crowd II !

And by about 12.30am - it was all over.

No - they found no ghosts. Yes - I'm not a Photoshop expert :)

[Link] - | Old Blog Search

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