Friday, January 23, 2009


Had a bit of a panic after christmas I can tell you. Saw a notice in work that said there was a virus going around. I wasn't having any of that! My body is a bit of a temple. Went off to town and stocked upon my favourite remedy, 'night nurse'. Had a few drops there and then before going back to the office. What wonderful stuff - no man flu for me. Woke up just in time to go home. Could have been worse, could have been a computer virus. 

Friday, January 16, 2009


Life has its perks. When in the land of the garlic munchers I still drive around in my 'beast', but when I last landed at Liverpool International I headed over to my new mates at Hertz. I was offered a Fiesta and between you and me I was surprised that they new what my favourite reading literature was. Of course I accepted the offer hoping that I didn’t already have it.. (I will have to buy a new suitcase as the one I keep at my mates house is getting a bit full), How disappointed was I to find that I had been offered a car called a Fiesta. Not for long though. Its like my beast but with more power. In fact its very much like my favourite magazine. Pure joy!

Friday, November 07, 2008


I feel it is my duty to pass on some advice today. I don't often do this - I usually just think people should know what to do - but I'm feeling generous today. For a start, that awful band weren't playing this week in my favourite drinking establishment, so I'm in a good mood.

Now that I am a seasoned European traveler, I learned a few things along the way that I feel I should impart on you, the dear beloved reader, as to how European travel should be done.

First of all, the airport transfer. Traditionally, this is the mad dash in a very dodgy (but cheap!) taxi to some shed in middle of nowhere, pretending to be the airport for one of our major cities, and as such costs an arm and a leg. I now have a solution. It's called a Tractor transfer. Now, I don't find myself sitting behind a long queue of traffic on the way to the airport. I'm the cause of it, and that is one of the most satisfying things - I feel like the Pied Piper. Secondly, you can park it anywhere at the airport, as nobody will give you a ticket for fear of sparking mass riots by the farmers in every major city, so it's a win win!

Now, business class. I have found that due to my many airport trips, I now get invited to fly business class. However, as this is Ryanair, it seems to mean that I only get preferential seating - I've not had to sit on the knee of anyone in weeks!

Everyone in France has moved on from man bags. Now, we all have Murses, or a man purse. It's a great idea. All I keep in mine is my passport and flight or train tickets, some spare cash (you never know what last minute goodies you'll find in the airport! I'm a sucker for Toblerone) and this monstrosity of a thing called a "mobile phone". Hateful thing. However I think I'm blazing a trail with my Murse in the Midlands, as nobody else seems to have caught onto it yet. At least I can be a bit stylish while I go about my business! I mean, even Chewbacca had a man bag, he's a real man (well, wookie, but let that one slide ok?) so why shouldn't I carry one too?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Sartorial Heros

Some of you may have noticed that I'm one of the sharpest dressers out there. I have a wardrobe full of designer gear at home, and I like nothing more than wandering around Covent Garden on a Saturday afternoon buying clothes from Paul Smith and the like. You should see the suit linings there, just heavenly! As an example, on a recent shopping excursion I couldn't resist this little outfit for when I go to the local market in France:

Snazzy huh? I think the root of this comes from my special forces training, where we spent all the time in fatigues and combat gear. That will always have a place in my wardrobe for special occasions (for example, I think the next door farmer is stealing my apples, so I have to keep him under surveillance. To do this, I hide out in a bush while in full combats - I'll tell more another time), but I love nothing more than the feel of a cashmere jumper, or even better, my cashmere underpants - I usually go commando but when the need arises, you have to wear the best.

Anyway, I take as much pride in my appearance as anyone I know, and always aim to be presentable. There is a line though, they say you should never dress better than your boss, so I've had to tone my look while at work, and when I go out socially with the follow workers. The problem is I don't really know what that look should be, so I've had to understand how "normal" people dress. I hate the clothes though, bloody awful stuff, I'd rather be lounging in Gucci or Prada, but what can you do. So I undertook some research as to what normal people wear by watching TV.

I found that the clothes normal people wear are so dull. Where's the silk lining? Where's the colour? Anyway, one person I found I've based my whole look on. He's the ideal person on who to base my style on. He is a dedicated family man who'll do anything for anyone, always chipper and greets you with a smile, much like myself. He works hard for both himself and his family. What more could you want in a role model? He has this odd thing called facial hair as well, so I've even tried to copy his, although I can only dream of the day I have a moustache as bushy as him. Even better though is his love of green jumpers, it's like a comfort blanket for me! I know he has been featured before, but the man is just so cool, I can't help but not declare my love for him. Tell me dear reader, can you think of a more deserving normal person to base my look on?


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Undercover with the Wurzels

Dear Blog-readers,

I know there are many of you who are keen to learn more about my musical tastes, and as it happens an event this week gives me the perfect opportunity to expound upon this topic. It would appear some members of my project have during my recent period of absence from Worcester inadvisably attempted to form some kind of local band. "Colonel Sin and The Bon-Bons" they have named themselves, though for the life in my I cannot work out why. In any case, this very Wednesday evening just passed, I found my evening one of my regular haunts (a pub which those on the project refer to "amusingly" as "Spur 0") disturbed by an almighty racket from the back room. Whereas I had been intending to spending the evening holding forth on a number of topics dear to my heart -- readers I trust are aware the high esteem in which my holdings-forth are held -- with colleagues, I found myself having to speak much louder and hold forth on said topics against the backdrop of a number of songs -- which were ill chosen in the first place -- being murdered by a bunch of incompetent amateurs!

Don't get me wrong - I am no musical snob. Indeed I have the widest, the most catholic (small C, I don't do hymns) taste in music which you could imagine anyone with my facial hair pattern to have. Very people would look at me, for example, and believe I was once the only white person to attend a Niggers With Attitude concert during their heyday. I've no fear of being in the minority, oh no, although I should confess I did black-up a little for the occasion. Unfortunately I forgot to do around my eyes much so I ended up looking like some kind of latter day Black and White Minstrel and was soundly beaten up. Anyway, that's an aside. Where was I? Oh yes, musical diversity. Very few people would also know to look at me I am somewhat of a Mahler expert, indeed I can only describe his 5th symphony as one of the most uplifting and life affirming pieces mankind has produced. Sadly NWA never covered it - which is a real shame.

My musical eclecticism doesn't stop there, however. Doyens of this blog will know I spent some time with the Special Forces in a previous part of my life. I don't like to talk about it much for reasons of national safety of course, however I can reveal perhaps a glimpse of what one of my assignments was like. A major fear at the time was that British Scrumpy and Western bands were in fact far from being innocent and amusing oddities, but were in fact a major breeding ground for home-grown terrorists and anti-capitalists. On the particular assignment in question, I was sent undercover to be a "roadie" for the Wurzels, a prospect which as you can imagine at first was not a particularly appealing one. My mission was to gather intelligence on any suspicious activities of this band or any of their sort, especially at concerts and festivals. One threat was thought to be a plan to attach miniature warheads to the tops of turnips which could then be used as explosives e.g. in crowded markets and at bring-a-turnip parties. However the worst I encountered on this front was a hollowed-out pumpkin with a sparkler in it on bonfire night. Which was fair enough - we all like a bit of fireworks now and again. No, reader, these were no "Wurzels of Mass Destruction" as had been suspected, and in fact (returning finally to my point, I thank the reader for their patience) over the period of time I spend with this great band I came to admire them immensely. Their great musicianship, their pithy, down-to-earth lyrics, their antipathy to regular washing. My particular favorite of theirs is the great, anthemic "I've Got a Brand New Combine Harvester and I'll Give You The Key". That's proper music, and I sometimes sing it out loud as I sit bare-breasted on my Massey Ferguson at the end of a long day's toil.

I have no audience (other than the odd crow) for these al fresco renditions, dear friend, but I dare say if I had it would go down a lot better than this Colonel Saunders lot I was subjected to this week. I mean, since the advent of "reality TV", "X-factor", "Stars in their Ears", and other similar televisual garbage, anyone thinks they can put a leather jacket and shades on, pop down to the local pub and make a din whilst perfectly decent, ordinary people are trying to have a beer or few. It's not cricket. Not that I play cricket, can't stand the game - no idea what it's about. Neither have the French for that matter - there are no wickets in a game of petanque. Which reminds me of a rather amusing incident recently in the village near my chateau, where for reasons of inveigling ourselves with the local community I was forced to engage in a game of 'boules' with the Mayor and his family. No one however had gone to the trouble of explaining the rules to me, some my throws were somewhat random. How was I to know the objective was not to hit members of the opposing team? The major's wife only suffered a minor fracture however, and all is smoothed over. Another one of my "boules" went astray and was later found up the business end of a cow in the adjoining field. Anyway, we're certainly known in the area now.

Mmmmm, I seem to have digressed again. Returning to my main thesis ... well, I didn't have a thesis really. If any of you want to see the audio-visual insult to which I was subjected on the evening in question, head over to "MySpace" and search for Captain Sin and the Blue Bums (urgh! baboons -- that's another story, did I tell it already?). Just remember to cover you ears, and your eyes, as you watch.

"Oooooh I am a cider drinker ...
I drinks it all o' the day ...
I am a cider drinker ...
It soothes all mi troubles away ....
Ooh aar ooh aar ayyy ..."


Friday, October 03, 2008

The return...

Well folks, far be it for me to leave my eager public wanting. Yes, I'm back from exile with the cheese munchers, and just in time for the legendary English autumn and winters. Which means I'll get a cold for the next 6 months and have to buy a new jumper. Maybe even in a daring new colour. I hear black is the new green...

So what news? Well, the absence of curry and beer, mean that I'm a new and improved Boston. I feel grown up now, I have a wonderful family who are all are well, and I've worked hard to provide a home for them. I've even finally managed to grow some facial hair, which I think adds a touch of european flair and a touch of style.

I've based my new look on this guy:

Maybe with a bit of this thrown in as well...


Monday, October 15, 2007

Trains - Thoughts of a World Traveller

It's been a while, but I thought I'd wax lyrical about the high-speed train service I use every week.

Zipping across France at 200 miles an hour certainly leaves most of the traffic behind, although I'd like to think I could give the TGV and Eurostar a run for their Euros in the old Volvo estate. But then I wouldn't be able to pretend I was working in the Volvo. Mind you I couldn't work on the trains either until I cut out the audio distraction of the vulgar babbling masses by equipping myself with the latest geeky wizzardry : smart headphones that cancel out their chatter with a calculated dose of 'anti-noise'. I must try turning them to speaker mode and upping the volume to see what the rest of the carriage makes of that. Ecoutez-ca, Froggies.

I tried the 'connection' at Lille (an industrial town in the North - but entirely lacking in huge smokestacks, back-to-back housing, and mills and very few vestiges of its coal-mining past; you'd have expected a devcent pub!) last time instead of Paris. Never again. An hour and forty minutes in an aircraft hanger of a waiting room with no food, no drink and nowhere for a fag.

One thing I've not worked out about the tunnel itself is where the chicane in the middle is as we change to left hand drive. Presumably the faster we go the less chance there is of meeting one coming the other way on the crossing, but it's a tad worrying.

Those navvying-Jonnie types on our side of La Manche have now completed the fast route all the way to London, and the refurbished splendour of St Pancreas. I'll have to see if I can jiggle my journey plan to wangle a night on expenses at the revamped hotel instead of 'Chateau Fownes' one time. Pity in a way though - Waterloo is a much more satisfying destination for a train from France. Anyway, from next month it'll be a two hour sprint from Paris to London.

Obviously in a further two hours from Paddington I'd still be lucky to get as far as Didcot, let alone points further west where I would anyway be chancing my luck with square wheels on iron rails over the Cotswolds. So for me it'll remain a change of mode to the motorcar and back to my comfort zone in the fast lane of the M40 for the last leg to my usual suite at 'Chateau Fownes'.

Work colleagues might soon benefit from my speedier journey, and I don’t just mean my less grumpy disposition on arrival. I've been promising to bring them some French produce from the local patisserie for some time (''qwazzants' they vulgarly insist on calling them). Truth is I've actually left home a few times so equipped, but I've never yet managed to pack enough for it all to survive my attention the whole journey. I'll have to further stretch their anticipation by pointing out that a faster Paris-London leg next month might finally allow the prospect of some sustenance arriving intact and fresh.