Sunday, April 05, 2015

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Mobile Phones are Evil (Part Deuxty-fünf)

Here's another thing I've just discovered that have been screwed up by mobile phones.

In years past when people showed you their holiday snaps at least you could see the buggers.

"Here's us on the sea front at Frinton... and here's another one of us on the beach at Frinton.  oh and here's a picture of that man walking his dog.  Remember, Gladys?  and here's another one of us at Frinton....

Whether the pictures were on small glossy prints, handed to you one by one to be passed around, or   on slides, projected onto the wall with the lightest, least garish wallpaper - at least you could see the buggers.  They might have been the dullest least interesting thing in all God's creation but at least you could see them

"Oh, this one's upside down... I'll just have to... help yourself to some more Twigletes..."

Last weekend Merriol and the girls spent two day travelling by train to go to The Harry Potter TM  Making of  Harry Potter TM World Studio Potter TM Tour in London.  They had a great time. Lots of Harry Potter TM stuff to look at and buy.

Gathered around on the sofa the next day I got to see some of these Harry PotterTM delights via the gazzillion photos Merriol'd taken on her spanking new phone- well, I would have done if her thumb wasn't in the way swiping to the next picture, or rotating the screen, or the phone was so angled that all I could see was reflection - if I was lucky.  Sometimes I couldn't even see the phone at all let alone the screen. To be fair that was often Eben getting his bonce in the way as he tried to get a look.  Boy has that kid got a big head!* 

"And here we are at Gringots (whatever that is) again, and here we are with Grubious Penile's costume, and here we are at Dubious Krotchkiss Whumping Wardrobe..."

...and all I can see is a thumb or Number One Son's left ear.

They tell me they had a good time.

  * He's  also got chocolate belly button at the moment - he coloured it in himself, but that's another story.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Overheard in Morrison's supermarket this afternoon:

"They've got a good deal on the Frozen DVDs.  They're twelve ninty-nine but buy one get one free.  That's two for a tenner!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I officially avoided becoming old a couple of weeks ago. I can recommend it.

Many many years ago (this was well before the kids).  I was self-employed and working long hours making crap jewellery which for some reason was selling by the bucketload. My partner and I were making lots of money, we owned our own house outright (not bad for a couple in our mid twenties) and didn't spend much on anything but cat food (for the cat) and the odd crate of fizzy falling down water (for us).  At some point, in an attempt to put some of this money we had sloshing about to some use, we bought ourselves a couple of pensions.  I think the plan was we would keep adding to them and have a healthy nest egg for when we were wrinklies but I never did get round to it. Things went a bit tits up shortly after we started them and I've never really had disposable income since. My partner and I moved to Scotland, got mortgages on a couple of semi-derelict buildings, spent all our cash doing them up - and then we separated.

I pretty much forgot about the pensions - apart from the (dutifully filed) annual statements telling me that, when I retired, I would be able to buy a cup of coffee with the accumulated surplus.

This year the letters were different; they were asking how I wanted the money.  When I had sat in my accountant's office all those years ago (I used to have an accountant!) the age '55' and the year '2014' seemed as far distant as I could imagine.

It's tomorrow.

The other day, after weeks of avoiding facing up to the fact that people in multi-national investment companies were trying to turn me into a pensioner I rang them up.  Rather timidly I asked if it would it be possible for them not to pay me the pension for a few years?  They looked at me down the phone like I was some sort of an idiot.  If you translate what I was saying into multi-national investment company terms I can see why:  "Please, take my money away for a few more years.  Don't pay me...."

Yes, they said, wondering what the catch was.  There isn't one.  I'm no longer going to be a pensioner tomorrow; I'm happy.  They've got my minuscule amount of pension fund to play poker with for another few years; they're happy. 

If they win a few hands I might be able to afford a packet of biscuits to go with the coffee.

The day after my Birthday we all vote in the Independence Referendum.  If you haven't bought me anything you could just vote YES.  It would make an old man very happy if we won.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Another Brief snippet From the Screenplay of my Life:


Various members of the family (and a family friend) are returning from Fort William after the usual Thursday kids' drama and adults' shopping session.   Daddy has the car up to 60mph on the only decently fast bit of road. It is a fine day; bright and sunny and, unusually, the windows of the car are open. Holly, sitting in a back seat sticks her face out of the window and lets the rushing air batter her about the head.  (Like the way that dogs do when they get the chance.)  After a couple of minutes she  flops back into her seat, flushed and exultant.


That was the best thing EVER!
 - I can't feel my face!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

There's a thread over at the sffchronicles forum entitled 'The 5 Most Influential Books in My Life'.  Here's my list.  As you would expect from a group of SF and Fantasy enthusiasts there are a lot of SF and Fantasy books in people's lists and a lot of 'this book changed the way I looked at the world' titles.  Here's mine:

The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard - a 1957 book about media manipulation and advertising techniques that turned my 12 year-old self into a hardened cynic and really really difficult to sell things to. Reading that book has saved me a lot of grief and money over the decades.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by neurologist Oliver Sacks - confirmed my belief (which is obviously true) that my subjective reality is as weird as yours and no one can prove anything from their own subjective experience and that God is therefore unprovable and obviously therefore does not exist.

Tokyo Style by Kyochi Tsuzuki - a thick, small format book containing hundreds of pictures of Japanese house interiors. Not nice, elegant, classically traditional, Zenny interiors but cluttered, everyday, untidied messes. Unmade beds, and piles of unwashed pots. When I get depressed, fed up with the state my kids leave this house, I go read it for a bit and cheer myself up. All the text is in Japanese. I have no idea what 99.9% of the words mean - but wanting to know is one of the reasons I'm trying to teach myself the language.

{Turns out there is an English language edition.  Same pictures.}

The House at Pooh Corner by AA Milne - the first book which made me cry like a baby at the end of it. And then I turned back to the first page and the characters were still there and it hadn't ended. I could repeat the experience! It was a revelation!! I was in my mid-twenties; I think I must have been stoned out of my box. (It was still a revelation though.)

Have Space Suit Will Travel by R A Heinlein. The Golden Age of SF is 12. I read all Heinlein's 'Juvenile's when I was 10/11/12. The Sense of Wonder those books generated in me is something I will never recapture - partially because I went and read The Hidden Persuaders so it's my own fault - but I miss it. Been looking for it ever since.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Another Brief Snippet From the Screenplay of my Life


A cosy domestic interior.  DADDY is heading towards the washing machine carrying a basket of almost dirty clothes discarded in various locations around the house by the female members of the family.  Some of them nearly need washing. 

EBEN is sat on the sofa calmly and contentedly staring into space.

What are you doing?

Waiting for my sixth birthday....


Missing CD? Contact vendor

Free CD
Please take care
in removing from cover.

Copyright (c) 2004-2007 by me, Liam Baldwin. That's real copyright, not any 'creative commons' internet hippy type thing.

(this copyright notice stolen from

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