March 29th, 2008


Ashes to Ashes…Dust to Dust

I watched the last episode of Ashes to Ashes on Thursday Night. I was genuinely surprised to hear that the show has been renewed for a second series as the end credits rolled.

'Life on Mars' was genius, a glorius show the likes of which only show up once a decade or so, it tapped into a zeitgeist that was yearning for something a bit different to the PC cr@p that we have served up to us day after day. The two lead characters were polar opposite coppers from different eras each finding the others methods abhorrant, but at their hearts they were good people…ant that’s why it worked…hell it didn't just work, it ignited and blazed across our screens for two seasons of sublime telly.

DCI Gene Hunt isn't the fat homophobic racist sexist misogynist thug that DI Sam Taylor suggests he is at the end of the first series….Gene's response "You say that like it's abad thing.." is a classic and is exactly the sort of thing you won't hear in the 21Century work place. But the fact is Gene isn't a racist thug…he hates wrong 'un and thinks someone should tread on their face in big boots until they see the error of their ways.

I can't honestly say that I think he's on the wrong track.

Ashes to Ashes has been written very differently though, and is the poorer for it. The addition of a female co-lead and introduction sexual tension narc'd rather that sparked. 1981 Gene Hunt has been written as a homophobic racist in this series, and is largely a two dimensional reflection of he glorious 1973 self. The dialogue is written as a vehicle for Genes outrageous and funny one liners rather than enhanced by them and seems to be done for shock value , rather than to reflect idfferent values and perceptions of situations and circumstances.

The last espisode where DI Drake comonderes a big pink tank and is seen crushing a car was ludicrous, and in a series that prides itself on such meticulous attention to detail in continuity (packaging, product placement) clothing etc Ashes to Ashes must have replaced their Life On Mars department with a stumbling elephant of a prop/continuity department as it is so obviously fake in Ashes to Ashes.

PS you can't drive a Scorpion Tank from the Comand position in the turret. Tank drivers drive from the body of the tank NOT the turret.

So Ashes to Ashes isn't quite gone to Dust yet…..but I'd be surprised if it was resurrected for a third season……


1. Open a new file in your computer.

2. Name it "Gordon Brown".

3. Send it to the Recycle Bin.

4. Empty the Recycle Bin.

5. Your PC will ask you. "Do you really want to get rid of
"Gordon Brown ?"

6. Firmly Click "Yes."

7. Feel better ?

Tomorrow we'll do Ken Livingstone...

The BBC1 Doctor Who Trailer...

Oh. I saw the BBC trailer for season 4 of Doctor Who.

This week I are officially being excited !

Is it next Saturday yet ?

Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?Is it?...

Neighbours, Everybody needs good Neighbours…

..However, somehow I always seem to be the one that has to have the 'little understanding' while my neighbours by and large, seem to be a consistently congenitally ignorant selfish bunch of hoofing twits.

My new neighbours are picking up where my old neighbours left off by continually parking in front of my drive.

This is rather irritating especially when I want to do those minor things that I've come to expect in this fine Democratic country of ours…namely to go about my bloody own business when I narfing well choose.

They've been in about three weeks now. And a week hasn't gone past without them blocking me in or restricting access to my drive to the point where I can't get in or out of my Drive.

Last Monday (Easter Monday) I went over to Essex spend the day with Sharon. What with it being a fine Spring day we went for an Easter Walk in the pleasant snow covered woods of Essex, which surrounded a particularly picturesque one of HM's Prisons while the icy blizzards whipped up from the Thames. Really an unforgettable day which ended even more unforgettably as when I returned home I was forced to spend 20 minutes squeezing my very shiny new pride and joy passed their sodding vehicles into my drive. I gave up at first and rang their door bell , but they had gone to bed, and on being woken at 11:35 (which I do not consider that late) decided to stay in bed and ignore their greatly inconvenienced neighbour.

As I mentioned after 20 minutes riding the poor clutch and nearly scraping the side of my new car I got parked. But I was not a happy camper.

Next day I resolved to have a quite and polite word with the bastards.
I got home from work the drive way was clear. Got changed had a cup of tea, decided to pop to the shops for some milk.

Unidentified car in front of my drive, with neighbours car behind.

I decided to finish my tea and keep an eye out of the miscreants.
As it was getting dark I heard a car start up so went out and met the wife (driving her father I think) who was driving their car off….I hadn't met her before and to give her, her due , she apologised for block me out of my drive on the bank holiday. I asked if she knew who owned the car in front of my drive and she said it was one of their visitors inside the house….She said that if I knocked they'd move it…and drove off rather sheepishly.

I knocked on their door and a young girl visited, the husbands younger sister I'm guessing, answered the door, I introduced myself and asked her to move the car - she agreed . However she started on "I'm sorry but there wasn't any room to park when I arrived" to which I responded very politely " Well I understand that but it's not my problem, you should block my drive just because you can't find a parking space. She started with a youthful "yeah but…" but IU cut her off with " I'm sorry but you mustn't keep blocking my drive. Thanks for moving it " I then turned my back and left she called out another apology and I just said "thanks".

That was Tuesday night.

Fast forward to Friday evening just after four.
My neighbour is obviously involved in some sot of construction business and keeps a small low flat bed trailer with a mechanical digger on it. It leaves in the mornings when he is picked up for with in a large flat bed truck and returns in the early afternoon, usually while I'm at work.

I had Thursday and Friday off this week though and while I spent Thursday afternoon down the Gym , I was home on Friday and heard him return home. There was much revving and shouting as the large truck blocked the road while it reversed pushing the trailer up the drive. The there was an unmistakable 'snap' of wood like a branch breaking followed by the sound of scraping of metal.

I looked out and saw them pull out and reverse back in slowly. Eventually the unhooked the trailor and neighbours mate drives off.

But then while curtain twitching I see that my front boundary fence next to my new car is at ever such a slightly off angle. I had my jacket and shoes on and was out checking in an instant.

Fortunately the new car was ok, but in reversing the trailer he'd reversed into and snapped off a 6 by 6 inch wooden fence post, bending the trailers tail gate lights at the same time.

I immediately knocked on the door, and showed him the damage.

Fair do's he was very very apologetic and immediately agreed to dig out the concrete and replace the post by Sunday. First he claimed that it was his boundary fence then he claimed hadn't realised he'd broken the fence.

I was very polite very measured and not angry - but made it clear that he WOULD be repairing the fence.

So that was the endd of the matter.

Until at midnight last night while making myself a mug of tea I heard a knock on the glass.

Bit odd I though ..I looked out the frosted glass of the front door as I left the kitchen and went into the lounge but I couldn't see anyone in the close porch , so dismissed it.

But I was curious and depositing my mug I peeked out to see Michael 'swaying' on my front path.

I went out and asked if he was ok and he launched in to a drunken spiel about how really sorry he was and hop he wasn't a bad bloke or noffin' and that he regretted that he's got off to a bad start and that he'd replace the fence post but he still thought it was his fence…and he was a good bloke really and that he hoped there were no bad feelings before almost falling flat on his arse into my flower bed.

A firm blokey hand shake and he staggered to regain his balance, without squashing my tulips and I tried to explain the difference between left and right and the concept that left and right depended on whether you were facing your house or looking across the road….he struggled, uttered something completely incoherent and then made a valiant effort not to dribble ..but failing….I decided just to help him out by saying good night to him and hoping he made it out of my front garden before falling over.

So…there we go.

Still should count my blessings that the digger didn't topple of the trailer and crush my new Car…that would not be good ! My last neighbour's brother did about £1.5million worth of damage when he drove a large truck carrying a JCB through a pedestrian bridge on Gravel Hill.

Why the flip can't I ever get someone normal like Tom and Barbara from the Good Life move in next door ??!!

Herbie and FidGeT bugs of a kind.

Believe it or not despite recent posts about getting rid of my 13 year old Micra, I have never really been that sentimental about my car.

'It', laterly 'she', was only called 'FidGeT' about 2 or 3 years ago when my friend Sharon named 'her' after extrapolating names from its number plate N243FGT.

But I had had the car for a long time but was never overly attached to it though I was always proud that my first car was bought from new with money I saved hard. It's the God's honest truth that I never even took a picture of in in 13 years and only because everyone went on about it so much of late, that I got round to taking some snaps of it before the salvors came to take her away.

But this was about as far as the sentimentality went....or so I thought.

When the Salvor arrived on the wet and miserable Friday morning he arrived and knocked at the door with all the solemnity of an executioner...minus the hood of course. He handed over the relevant paper work and asked "does she drive ok ?", "Yep" I responded and handed him the keys as he headed of to hook FidGeT onto the back end of a huge and already fully loaded car transporter.

I went back inside to finish my coffee ...ok and to take a final couple of snaps as she was carted off.

I peeked out of the window as I heard the car engine turning over but completely failing to start.

I walked outside.

"Something wrong?" I asked.
"It won't start " he responded.
"It was fine yesterday " I said casually,"I took her out for a spin".

He took the key out of the ignition and looked up at me.
"Tell you what mate", he said, "She doesn't want to leave you."

As he said this a huge lump formed in my throat as I realised that I'd had FidGeT when I was still seeing Catherine and all the dates and adventures we'd had, I used to drive down to Gillingham to see Uncle Nik, I'd picked up Grandma and Grandad in her each Christmas and dropped them home, and I'd driven Antony down to Brighton for his Stag do...just the two of us and FidGeT....

He put the key back in the ignition ...

"I think I might have tried to start her up to quick and may have flooded her" he said " I'll just give her a couple of minutes".

The lump in my throat wasn't going anywhere and I just said something meaningless which I've forgotten in reply.

..and if I'm absolutely honest stupid sod that I am had to blink back a tear as I returned to the house.

That little car had soul....... :o(

Bye Bye FidGeT..