Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Right, so that's the new in house comments working, sorry about the palava, I think you have to log in to post comments, if you want to post anonymously, just add your name in the comment itself. My stats counter seems to have vanished, odd, it was there yesterday.

I've got a new whizz bang PC, AMD Athion 64 3200+ 2ghz 1gb DDR DVD writer nvidia geforce fx 5500, I don't understand one letter of all that bullshit, but it has got a whopping 240 GB memory, I'll never delete anything again.

What really annoys me about this whole PC thingy is, why don't they ever work properly first time ? The computer and IT industry must surely be the slackest industry on earth. In any other field you simply would not put up with the rubbish that they produce.

If I bought a car, filled it with petrol and it stopped working, then the mechanic said it would only accept Pure Highland Petrol which is only available at three filling stations in the Orkneys, I would assume he was having a laugh.

If, upon inserting my new copy of Donnie Darko into the DVD machine, it flashed up a message along the lines of "Exp.dll has conflicted with win.ap203, system will now commit ritual suicide" I would have every right to be a little miffed, I might return the machine to the shop where I bought it and demand my hard earned money back.

But, let me say again.....but, this is the way the home computer market operates, has anyone ever purchased a machine on which everything runs correctly the first time ? Are they so badly designed on purpose ? Is it too much of a conspiracy theory to think that these machines are made very poorly on purpose so they an milk us for heaps more money on their premium rate 'help lines.' I say help lines, but what I understand these to be is the chance to be belittled by some spotty degree student. If you rang the TV company to complain about your picture quality, they wouldn't' advise you take the back off and set to work with a pair of pliers, NO, they'd come out and do it themselves, under guarantee.

Why should I have to understand the inner workings of this machine ? If you come and dine in my restaurant I don't expect you to have to pop into the kitchen and rustle up dinner for 30 (though any help would be appreciated.)

We paid a fee for a man to come out and install the new machine, I'd bought McAfee, the idiot who sold me the machine didn't say that it had Norton pre-installed (even though I had already informed him about McAfee), thus an extra hour of buggering around as the two systems caused the system to crash or seize.

After he had set up the system and gone, I couldn't get any sound from it, this turns out to be because he hasn't fitted a power source to the speakers, well done that man.

Finally, when I press the e-mail button, the internet options dialog box opens, I'm not horrified or even vastly surprised, I don't suppose it will be the last cock-up I discover on my new purchase.

Go on kid, let him have it.
Shockwaves were felt around the world of football yesterday as another of the sumer transfer sagas came to an end.

Liverpool fans were left in a state of uproar as club captain Stephen Gerrard decided not to renege on the contract that has made him a very wealthy young man.

"It's so unfair," said one distraught Liverpool fan yesterday. "Now he'll probably stay until the end of his contract and we'll get nothing for him."

A director said yesterday "Players ought to realise that they can't just go around signing contracts and then keeping them. Clubs rely on the vast backhanders, erm, transfer fees to keep the directors flying first class to Monserrat, erm, I mean support grass roots football."

Andy Deepockets-Shortarms of the Screwthefansforalltheirworth Football Agents said "Do they understand that because of players refusing to break their legal and binding contracts some of our agents are having to make do with as little as six months holiday this year ? Some of my members can barely afford to but a Mercedes for their butler."

It is thought that Mark Viduka, Robbie Fowler, Ashley "Bankrupting Bradford" Ward and many others are still perfectly happy to grab tens of thousands of pounds every week that would be better off in the pockets of decent, hardworking, family men.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Broughton Hall Game Fair 2004

Managed a day off yesterday along with Mrs YS, we had a wonderful day out, off to Broughton Hall in the morning int he beautiful Yorkshire sunshine, walked around the game fair for half the day, then went to see Shrek 2 in the evening.

Action from the BASC Gun Dog Scurry as the highly trained working gun dogs retrieve dead birds after shooting.

The nice folks at the archery centre let me loose with a bow and arrows (Yorkshiresoul pictured wearing a rather nice new hat), I do like these game fairs, they seem very keen to press lethal weapons into my hands, shotguns last year, hunting bows this year. The result of my three shots was, one miss, one glancing blow but the third one was a heart shot! Bring me that deers head.

A very old, and very nice, Rolls Royce at the classic cars display, alongside the older cars were at least two Rovers that my dad used to drive.

Up at the shooting, the machine in the foreground throws out the clays for the shooters to hit, this is a clay rabbit thrower, the disks run along the ground the simulate a running rabbit, when the shooter hits the 'rabbit' a second machine off to his left throws out an airborne 'pheasant' clay.

The rabbit runs.......

....but doesn't get away. It might be a bit hard to see, but in the very centre of the picture you can see a cloud of clay shards as the shooter hits the 'rabbit', at the back right is an airborne clay thrower.

It's not all hunting, shooting and fishing though. Here is a splendid bit of Yorkshire insanity..........terrier racing, the rabbit zips past ona rope, the terriers are let loose, some follow the rabbit, some run strait back to their owners, some remain in the hutch, one or two ran out of the arena and presumably were never seen again.

The traditional aftermath of a terrier race, small children chasing after excited dogs, this usually lasts four or five times longer than the race itself. There was some very good humoured Tyke commentary going on as well..........

"It's a brown dog from a brown dog from a brown dog, you'd have thought they could have mixed the bloody colours up so I could tell one dog from another"

The Birdman Challenge, £1000 and a barrel of ale to the first person to fly across the river, this was the first valiant, brave and wet effort.

Honestly, I think the wings held him back, he'd have jumped further without the drag.

Nice try little man.

The bi-plane, hang on lads, one of your team appears to have fallen off, and he's carrying the wing!

The Rocketman prepares to use him home made jet pack to fly across the river.

Oh dear, send for the fire brigade.

Yorkshiresoul, in fashionable new hat, braves the Cave and Fell Rescue teams rope bridge, much of the proceeds of the daywas for the rescue teams.

A really big chicken, Shrek was great too.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Summary justice in Hundred Acre Wood as the residents catch the honey burglar.
Welcome to...........a change of style, I've gone for a blogger standard issue but for the life of me I can't get their comments system to work, so you'll have to keep all your criticisms to yourselves for a while.

Next week I'm getting a new PC, so I'll probably be off air for a week when I lose all my passwords/cookies/junk etc.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Book Review, The curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time *****

Christopher is 15.

He has Asperger's Syndrome.

He doesn't do touching.

When he eats, his baked beans can't be allowed to touch the broccoli.

Christopher doesn't like anything yellow or brown.

Four red cars makes for a good day, four yellow ones makes for a REALLY BLACK DAY.

He does do maths, really well, but not emotions, he does logical thinking, but not feeling, he likes detective novels because they follow a logical trail of events, all other forms of descriptive writing are alien to him.

When next doors dog is killed with a garden fork, Christopher sets out to investigate the death of the dog, as he doesn't like talking to people very much, this is not an easy investigation.

Mark Haddons insight into the day to day life of an autistic teenager is an absolute joy, everything Christopher does seems entirely logical to himself, but appears baffling and disturbing to people unused to his habits, this proves most distressing for everyone concerned when he is questioned by a policeman and reacts in a strange, then violent manner.

Christopher's life isn't easy, and it isn't easy for those who care for him from his mostly patient, but very human and fallible father, to his teachers at his school, but Haddon's brilliantly vivid writing illuminates wonderfully the interactions between a mentally different child and the rest of the world.

Christopher continues with his investigation into the dogs death against his fathers express wishes, he is unable to lie, but partially conceals his actions by telling only selected portions of the truth. As his investigation progresses and a terrible revelation is made, the boy makes what he thinks is a logical decision, and embarks on a journey across the country, pet rat in pocket.

I really can't recommend this book highly enough, it is absolutely magical, and I mean that in the way it opens up peoples lives to the reader rather than having a pleasing and happy ending. It is often amusing and sad at the same time, a bitter sweet thread runs through the book as Christopher stumbles from one situation to the next, driven by his slightly warped view of the world.

Wonderful, charming and impressive, 'The Curious Incident' is all of these things, it left me with a wistful smile at the end, nothing works out perfectly, not at all, but I did find it a positive and uplifting read.
Book Review, The Football Factory - John King ****

Nasty. That sums it up.

Along with millions of other hard working, law abiding, going on middle class folk, I'd like to believe that people don't really think and behave like this, but it's only too obvious that they do. Football hooliganism has not disappeared, it's just not reported any more, a BBC series shown last year revealed large scale disturbances each and every week at Millwall and at a number of other (mostly lower division) sides.

The modern day violence takes place well away from the footy grounds, in the streets and pubs, mostly between gangs of hard line supporters looking for a ruck with other firms, but as the BBC documentary showed, woe betide the lone fan who parks in a Millwall back street when the home crew come upon him mob handed.

It is this world that King's novel describes, in an almost flow of consciousness style he follows in minute detail the lives of a small group of Chelsea thugs, their lives as they revolve around work, petty theft, getting laid, getting drunk and the biggest buzz of all, getting into a really good fight.

They plan their forays into enemy territory with precision, seeking to outwit the police in order to get a few minutes to launch a violent assault on the opposing firm, they travel to matches near and far, dressed casually, not tooled up 'cos only niggers and spics and jews do that. They're not after the Saturday afternoon supporter in his last season home strip, they want to prove themselves against the hardest men in the other firm.

King's portrayal of (mostly) white, working class life makes for depressing reading, here is an under class of people, utterly disenfranchised, believing in nothing and no-one except for themselves, wanting to achieve nothing beyond getting a blow job from some slapper on Friday night, and kicking the living daylights out of the Hammers on Saturday afternoon.

Racism is a double edged thing, the firm don't generally trust blacks, except for Black Paul, he's ok 'cos he's a fucking nutter, and he's our fucking nutter. I've seen this myself at Elland Road, fans making monkey noises at Carlton Palmer when he played for Sheff Wed were cheering Rod Wallace in their next breath, it's like people are only niggers when they're not on your side.

When the Chelsea enter into a climactic confrontation away to Millwall and one of the lads gets a kicking so severe he ends up in hospital, I almost expected the character would have a blinding flash of light, a realisation of the pointlessness of it all, but no, a month later he's back on the streets laughing as one of his makes gets a stanley knife across the buttocks.

There's nothing but the blackest of humour in King's novel, no hope, no revelations, it's a dark yet compelling read and at the end you really feel as if you've walked a mile in someone else's shoes, or steel toecap boots in this. I'm very glad I'm not like this, glad I don't have this amount of hatred and poison eating me up, glad I don't have this propensity for violence.

Once you've read this book ask yourself this question. How can we stop football related violence ? When people have this mindset, and the next generation is brought up with it, I think it's an impossible task.
We're a strange little island, a nation of contradictions. Last week in the local government elections I was appalled that natives of my fair Yorkshire had returned four representatives of the reprehensible British National Party to Bradford Council.

This week, reading in the Express, I am delighted to learn that there are more mixed marraiges in England than in any other European nation, as I said we're a funny folk.

Now some people that know me and Mrs YS well know that we're a mixed marraige, a balance of two different cultures and races, an amalgam of ideas and ideals, in short, Mrs YS is, ahem, you know it's that I'm ashamed of her background or anything, it's just that..............oh dear, deep breath..........


And if that's not crossing the racial divide then I don't know what is.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Still starving in Zimbabwe while we do nothing.

This article was written a year and a half ago, and since then, things have gotten far worse in Zimbabwe.

It is thought that up to 80% of all land taken in farm seizures is now lying fallow as the war veterans have neither the necessary skills to farm successfully, nor have they seeds to plant.

As reported on R5 on Sunday, the charming war veteran mentioned in this article, Stalin Mao Mao, is now resident in the UK. Amongst his many business and property interests is his advice service, where, for a large amount of cash, he helps Zanu PF supporters to pretend to be persecuted MDC voters in order to cheat the Home Office regulations to be allowed to stay in the UK.

Another practice linked to Zanu PF recently was the sending of spies to UK holding centers. Once there they would talk to the detainees, discover their true political affiliations by pretending to be fellow MDC's, then get themselves deported back to Zimbabwe. Once back in Harare they would compile the notes into handy check lists so that any MDC supporters deported from the UK could be picked up immediately at Harare airport.

What happens to arrested MDC supporters ? The 'lucky' ones are sent on intensive brainwashing courses, the less lucky turn up as battered corpses, or they're just never seen again.

Babysitting for the wifeswappers

This situation came about because we wrote a little fanzine for our Venture Scout group and sold it at the Scout fayre, amidst the gibberish printed within (much like a prototype Yorkshire Soul) was a short note about each of the scouts, under my name was the phrase 'Hung like a Brahma Bull'. Innocent(-ish) fun.

Whilst serving drinks at the Red Lion a couple of weeks later, a couple who had bought the zine made reference to the comment, more or less asking me right out if the comment was true or not, I blushed, nothing more was said.

Shortly afterwards they asked me if I would babysit for their children, sure, ok, no problem. I arrived at the house, they showed me round, the kids were already in bed. Just before leaving, the husband said he had left some magazines for me to read on the coffee table. When they had gone I looked at the glossy selection, motor magazines, Health & Efficiency (wahey!) and a total result for a teenage boy, Escort.

The kids remained in bed, I looked through Escort, towards the back, in the readers wives section, you know I can't be sure because her face is half blacked out, but she doesn't half look like the lady I'm child minding for.

They came back, were the kids good ? As gold, never a peep. And the magazines ? Blush, yeah great. Same again next week then ? Sure.

The next time, the kids are already in bed, beer and pizza in the fridge, and they've left me a video to watch. It's a home video, they're both in it, sans clothes, and they're really going at it, and, hang on, who's this other bloke, hello, and another woman. There are two or three scenes on the video all featuring my couple and various other people.

They return. Kids ok ? Yes. Enjoy the video ? Furious blushing, yes. We chat for a while, she's sitting close to me, I mean really close, but I've got to get home.

Now, at 18, I'm young and very naive, although if I was reading this tale now I'd be able to forecast the end, I couldn't then. So, same time next week then ? Sure.

I arrive, there's heady smell of something smoky in the sitting room (I didn't recognise the smell of dope). Would I like a beer asks the husband ? Sure. He says his wife is still getting changed. We sit around chatting, open another beer.

I ask whether I should go and say good night to the kids, just to let them know I'm here ? No need says the wife from behind me, I turn around, she's wearing a peep hole bra and rubber pants and fishnet stockings.

'The kids are at their grandma's for the night, we're not going out.'

Sunday, June 20, 2004

I'm just trying to decide on a kit for the waitresses football strip, sadly they turned down my first idea of having a topless all in jelly wrestling team.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Album Review, Greatest Hits - Thin Lizzy *****

In January of 1996, I stood in a tatty, sticky floored venue in Liverpool awaiting Marillion, Fish came onstage before the gig, he said he had some news for us, some very bad news, Phil Lynott had just died, so passed another of our brightest stars, another shining young life wasted by drugs.

I'd almost forgotten just how good Thin Lizzy were. Despite the drugs, booze, women, fighting and chaos that surrounded the band throughout it's career, they managed to produce some of the finest rock music you could wish to hear.

Lizzy's first big hit was the rocked up folk song 'Whisky In The Jar' and this sort of softer edged rock was the musical form Lynott preferred to write, although they produced a few absolute barnstormers like 'The Boys Are Back In Town' and the excellent cover of Bob Seger's 'Rosalie', for the most part their music had a melodic, sometimes almost poppy approach.

Younger music fans might not be aware of the fantastic wealth of music Phil Lynott and the various incarnations of Thin Lizzy left behind, but their line ups read like a who's who of rock, Gary Moore, Snowy White, Scott Goreham, Brian Downey, John Sykes, (bizarrely - Midge Ure), and many of their songs will be familiar, 'Out In The Fields', 'Do Anything You Want To', 'The Rocker' and you'll recognise the electro pop of 'Yellow Pearl' if you ever used to watch Top Of The Pops.

People often say that Thin Lizzy were a rock band with soul, if you listen to their music it certainly sounds that way, Lynott put a lot of feeling into his work whether it was a dedication to his newborn daughter 'Sarah' or his frustration over Elvis Presley's untimely death on 'Kings Call', and how prophetic a song did that turned out to be.

I really would recommend this album for anyone who likes rock, it's a superb career retrospective of one particularly talented man and the equally gifted satellite band members, it's feel good music, puts a happy smile on your face, and who wouldn't want to back in '82 again, aged 15, down at the front row in the Queens Hall Leeds, just for the night, singing your lungs out to 'The Boys Are Back' and thinking it was never, ever going to end ?

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Doh. Waiter Ric decided, after a few beers, to stand on a table in a pub and sing happy birthday to waitress Rachael, he goes the whole hog, arms waving, trying to get the rest of the customers involved but to no avail.

After his solo effort finishes he sits down and someone shouts "How old is she?"

Oops, it's Rachael's 17th birthday.
Really, really rude joke follows..........
Q - What do you call a female copper with a badly shaven fanny ?

A - Cuntstubble
News just in, and I'm not making this one up, a couple in Keighley are moving thier insurance brokers office to a new location as customers have complained that they can see the couples neighbour making love to his inflatable sheep as they approach the office.

Judge Gullick said that 45 year old Stephan Halan's daily bout of plastic animal abuse was not breaking the terms of a previous harassment order.

Keighley, they shag plastic animals, they returned BNP candidates to council, no surprises there then.
In an article in yesterdays T2 about Stella Vine's forthcoming exhibition 'Prozac And Private Views, Andrew Billen described Geri Halliwell as 'Fat and happy.'

Curvaceous, decidedly feminine and womanly I would say, rather than waifish and childlike. I thought this was rather sad, but entirely typical of the media pressure heaped upon young girls.

Why is it that the media/fashion/music industries would rather have women who have the bodies of little girls..........

......rather than women who have womens bodies ?

Monday, June 14, 2004

How did we manage to lose to France ????

May I offer two possible explantions ?

Emil 'Donkey' Heskey.

Stephen 'Brains Of Two Pounds Of Best Liver' Gerrard and the most suicidal backpass in recent sporting history.

I don't really follow the rugby so I don't quite understand how we were slaughtered by the Kiwis, but we were.

In the arena of real sport though, Michael Vaughan and the England boys cruised to a whitewash 3-0 series victory over New Zealand. Well done to Graham Thorpe for producing an excellent century in the second innings when we were looking a little shaky.

Fleming must be sick of seeing New Zealand's batting collapsing time and time again (hang on, that used to sound familiar). Chris Cairns retires at a very youthful 34, and had his last hurrah spoiled by the rejuvenated Ashley Giles who slipped a cracker of a ball twixt bat and pad and knocked over his stumps.

Bring on the Windies. Bring on India. Don't bring on Zimbabwe, let's not go, take a few weeks off then go and beat South Africa in the winter.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

DSP Andy reports that he's stil having a tough time on the blind dating scene, witness this date from Tuesday last..........


Thursday, June 10, 2004

Wild Dances by Ruslana

Just maybe I’m crazy,
The world spins round and round and round
shi-di-ri-di-duy, shi-di-ri-di-da-na
shi-di-ri-di-duy, shi-di-ri-di-da-na

I want you to want me as I dance
Round and round and round
shi-di-ri-di-duy, shi-di-ri-di-da-na
shi-di-ri-di-duy, shi-di-ri-di-da-na

Forever and ever go, go, go wild dancers!!

Day-na-day-na Wanna be loved
Day-na Gonna take my wild chances
Day-na-day-na Freedom above
Day-na-da-na-da I’m wild ‘n’ dancing


Inside you
My head spins round and round and round
shi-di-ri-di-duy, shi-di-ri-di-da-na
shi-di-ri-di-duy, shi-di-ri-di-da-na

I want you
To want me
So I dance round and round and round
Hey, shi-di-duy, shi-di-ri-di-da-na
Hey, shi-di-duy, shi-di-ri-di-da-na

Forever and ever
Go, go, go wild dancers!!

Day-na-day-na Wanna be loved
Day-na Gonna take my wild chances
Day-na-day-na Freedom above
Day-na-da-na-da I’m wild ‘n’ dancing


Dance forever, come and be mine,
Dance together, till the end of time
Dance together go, go, go wild dancers!!

Day-na-day-na Wanna be loved
Day-na Gonna take my wild chances
Day-na-day-na Freedom above
Day-na-da-na-da I’m wild ‘n’ dancing

The song is obviously pants, but here's
Ruslana sans pants, tickets for the front row please, very, very Not Safe For Work.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Lancastrian Car Wash.
"Mum, Dad, I'm bored."

I can't remember exactly how annoying I was as a small boy (not half as much as I was as a teenager eh Mum ?), but hopefully I didn't utter this phrase as often as some kids.

I joined the Cubs as a nipper, progressed to Scouts and eventually I was kicked out of the Scouts, along with Stuart, Ivan, Beaky Dawson and Sniffer Lambert (we were a bad influence to younger children, older children and hardened criminals apparently) to form Burley's first Venture Scout unit.

We hiked, swam, climbed, potholed, abseiled, ran, jumped, fell in, fell over and camped on most of Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland during my time with the association. The Scouting Association rulebook was called P.O.R., Policy Organisation Rules, we were a more freeform unit and christened it Press On Regardless.

Although my Dad always was (and still is) my hero and role model (Mum too, don't feel left out), two blokes in the scouting movement had a great impact on my upbringing, Tom and George, our errant, erstwhile and upstanding Scout leaders molded us into their own image and did their level best to turn us into decent, God fearing young men, even to the extent of handing out the worlds most lethal wedgies when the situation demanded. (I clearly remember Ivan's pained expression as the legs of his underpants were hooked over his shoulders).

As boys we did Bob-A-Job, and what a great idea it was, although in this sad, modern age the overwhelming and largely misplaced fear of pedophiles and child abuse has probably done away with Bob-A-Job. We were never abused, except perhaps by the old dear that asked us to mow her lawn for 50p and then showed us into an overgrown expanse of virgin rainforest the same size as Surrey.

We went on amazing, and insane, adventure weekends as older boys ( and girls too at this point, a wahey was often in order). I remember building a raft from oildrums and driftwood and floating it onto a reservoir in order to light a flare on it, abseiling down a cliff to build an A Frame at the bottom (this involved much blood, tears and heroism, more later) and blowing up a Zephyr dinghy with our mouths in order to row a frying pan full of water 200 yards along the shore, why ? Who knows, it was great fun though.

I walked through the Dales, the Peaks, the West Highland Way and many parts of Norway, some of them unmapped to this day. I went down Gaping Gill on the worlds most rickety chairlift and played football in the cavern below. I pushed a toilet on a wheeled sled from Settle to Burley, and even better, while the village rough boys spent their nights in cheap cider fuelled pointlessness on the park wall, I drank with the boys, camped out miles from anywhere, smoked fags, drank brandy (hello Anne!) and (look away Mum) had sex with girls, (just to make this clear, one girl at one time, I don't wish to portray my self as a bigger stud muffin than you know me to be).

To put it mildly, we weren't the most orthodox of Venture Scout units.

I shall return to this topic in future, along with the Quartermasters Song (cheers for the soup John!), super keeno Rob and the 40-1 home vote, the great Bradley Wood Collapsing Tent/Brillo Pad Disaster and why you should never tell wifeswappers you're hung like a Brahma Bull.

Again though, as with my recent music post, I seemed to have wandered far from my original point, which was, get your children into the Scouts, it is simply the most marvelous childrens organisation there is, and as parents, you'll bless the Scouts when they take your teenage offspring off your hands and leave you alone with your partner for the weekend. "Here ya go Jimmy, here's a tenner, bugger off camping for the week."

Join the Scouts, see the world, meet interesting people and tie knots in them, to this day I can still whip up a Reef Knot, or impress the ladies with my Round Turn And Two Half Hitches, I was once arrested for demonstrating a Sheep Shank though.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

The mighty England continue to impress. A few years ago a score of 400+ by an opponent in the first innings would have had us all praying for rain or a draw, but now things seem to be different.

Some magnificant batting from Trescothick, Jones, Flintoff and Strauss put England in command, and after a very average bowling display in the first innings, Englands seam attack tore the Kiwi's apart in the second. Let's go a whitewash at Trent Bridge.

Despite the Windies finally remembering how to play the game, I still think we're going to beat them when they arrive later this month, and if the team can avoid injuries we can look forward to a really good winter in South Africa.
I like cricket, I like sitting on the boundry with a cold beer, nattering with my friends, half an eye on the game, getting burned because I forgot the sun cream.

I like listening to heavy metal, and speed metal, and The Streets, and bouncing around in a drunken manner at concerts.

I like reading, and writing, and travelling when I can find time, I've been to places all over the world.

I like dropping in on others people's blogs and leaving comments, some of the these people are black, some are Jewish.

I only have these freedoms, which we all take pretty much for granted, because 60 years ago the finest young men of a generation were conscripted into the Allied armies and threw themselves upon the beaches and landing fields of Normandy.

Thankyou one and all.

During the coverage of the D-Day commemorations there were a series of very short interviews played on R5 in which school children were asked about D-Day. I found their level of ignorance a bit frightening, so I thought I would ask my own workers.

All my current staff are aged 16 - 22. At the lower end, those aged 16 - 18 and taking their GCSE's/A and AS levels, not one of them could really explain what D-Day was, nor could they tell me anything about WW2, it's causes or who fought on which side. They did not know what had happened at Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

I asked about the Holocaust, things were a little brighter here, but only just, at least they knew that the Nazi's wanted to eradicate the Jews.

I pressed on with more recent events, Suez - nothing, Northern Ireland and The Troubles - nothing, Korea, Vietnam (they had seen war films about this, but couldn't actually explain what was going on), Rwanda (don't think they could find it on a map), Sarajevo, and I would have been happy for either the assasination, the Olympics or our cowardly retreat and the massacre, Yugoslavia, oh dear, this produced the following result..............

"Yugoslavia fell to pieces, one bit called Slavia, and cheese got really expensive."

Now to defend these youths, they are all bright, they are all doing very well in their exams, academically there is nothing wrong with them, but they seem to have no interest in the world beyond Ibiza and Ayia Napa.

As far as the newspaper headlines that proudly stated "We Must Never Forget Them", well I'm sorry old soldiers, but todays youth has never even heard of you.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Music, I'm going to have a ramble. I've been confusing my staff (all in the 16-19 age group) by playing lots of Led Zeppelin and trying to explain to them why Led Zep were the biggest band on the planet. Cue blank looks all round.

Led Zep couldn't synchronise their moves, often they couldn't synchronise their legs, they didn't use backing tapes, dozens of dancers, video imaging, multi level stages with moving sections or vast chorus lines. What they did was play real music, with real instruments, live, night after night and night, really, really well.

I'm confused by a Radio One advert that shows about ten different people djing, putting records on a turntable, and then adds the tagline 'Summer of Live Music'. Does it then follow that if I play my cassette recorder out in the garden I'm a musician ? Playing bloody records is not 'live' music' you muppets.

I like classical music. There, I've come out of the closet. I like Prokofiev's Dance Of The Knights, Mussorgsky's Great Gate Of Kiev and Khachaturian's Sabre Dance. But I couldn't ever go to a classical concert. Have you seen one ? They all sit in deeply silent rows, doing buggger all, and then applaud politely after a well performed piece.

Arse to that.

When the Halle Orchestra is hammering through Ride Of The Valkyries wouldn't you have to be off your feet doing helicopter impressions and shouting "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" ? When 'Mars' is booming out from the stage don't you just want to swing your arms around and perhaps pretend to shoot the people in the posh seats ?

You see, rock fans all want to be rock gods, they would really rather like to be up on stage, axe in hand, throwing some shapes and fretwanking to distraction, but......classical music fans just don't want to get involved, when was the last time you saw someone stagediving to Pomp And Circumstance No.1 ?

I can't listen to Purcell's Chaconne without wanting to dress like a goth and throw my hands in the air (very distracting to Mr and Mrs Upper Middle Class in seats 156 a and b no doubt), when the orchestra stike up Coates' By The Sleepy Lagoon, well I'm sorry, but it's time to reach for the bag of rotten fruit.

I had a life changing moment when I saw Megadeth for the first time. It was at the Queens Hall in Leeds, an ex-tramshed with all the acoustic properties of, well, a tramshed to be honest. It was part of a three all-day festival called Christmas On Earth, which featured as the other two headliners schoolboy fiddler Gary Glitter, and I think the Sisters Of Mercy, but you can correct me on that if you can.

I stood all day amidst the happy moshers, a myriad speed and thrash bands came and went, the only ones to stand out were the Cro-Mags (bloody hell!!! What was they about ?) and Overkill (I think, my memory grows hazy with time). At last though, Dave Mustaine and his boys took to the stage, I was stood about halfway back through the crowd, which exploded as the brutal riffage of 'Wake Up Dead' hammered out from the speaker stacks.

Thw whole crowd moved, and not just a little bit. It bounced, it swayed left and right. For those folk familiar with the mechanics of the crowd, I spent a lot of time hopping in one direction or another, desperately trying to keep my balance. And the people!! They came flying from the stage, from the speakers, from the railings, from each others heads.

A fight broke out ! No, not a fight, well, not quite, a sort of semi-controlled riot, you got pushed and shoved a lot, but didn't really get punched, but the closer you got to the front, the more people landed on your head. The sound came and went as well (just like an outdoor festival then), unable to hear himself in the monitors, Mustaine fired his soundman live on stage............."and you can pay your own fucking airfare."

In the depth's of his own drug induced psychosis he dedicated 'In My Darkest Hour' to the very recently deceased Cliff Burton, but we all knew it was really about an ex-girlfriend. Both the Daves kept vanishing off stage (to top up on coke, speed and smack I presume), the set was fast and loose, and bloody amazing.

Never again would I be content to sit at the back, it's down at the front or stay home and watch it on tv, participate, appreciate, involve yourself.

Wow! (Sorry if this is your pic, I 'borrowed' it and then promptly forgot where I got it from.)

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Wahey, I've had a day off at last, Rebecca and 'Right Hand Girl' Lisa ran the kitchen, I went up to Grassington to wander through the fields and woods. I followed a little walk from Mary Welsh's book 'More Walks To Yorkshire Waterfalls', and rambled much off the beaten track as well.

Striking out Westwards from Grassington, this was my first target, the Grass Wood Nature Reserve, ok, so it's not the best photo, it was tipping it down at the time.

Aaargh!! It be the Headless Cow of Grassington Moor. Although it was pouring with rain, the day was so warm and muggy that the cows were literally steaming, you could see clouds of moisture rising from them.

Grass Wood is an ancient Ash woodland standing on limestone, as you can see here....

The woods were badly neglected after WWII and many conifers were planted and allowed to grow at will. The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is gradually cutting down all the conifers and replacing them with Ash and a scattering of other native trees, they estimate they can have the wood as it was in ancient times by about 2,200AD.

Prehistoric ruins in the depths of Grass Wood, well, that's what the sign says, to the untrained eye this might appear as a pile of moss covered rocks.

A pretty flower in a glade. I'm disappointed that due to work I didn't do any woodland walking during early May when the bluebells carpet the woodland floor with their vivid flowers.

Hawthorn, I think.

Logpile, I know I've got this thing about filling the picture with texture, it appeals to me, expect more logs/grass/hedges/walls in future.

Stacks of conifer logs waiting to be taken away.

Down through the woods, a short walk along the road then turn right onto the river bank, this is the Wharfe at Lower Grass Wood.

Another stunning Yorkshire Soul ornithology piccy, spot the Oystercatcher.

Ghaistrill's Strid. Strids are sections in the river where the action of the water has cut a narrow, but deep, cleft into the limestone bed, the rivers run deep and fast in these strids, they are obviously hazardous, but still, every year, some foolish child, or adult, braves a strid and vanishes from sight, often held under the water for days before the river releases the body.

Fly fishing on the side of Ghaistrill's Strid.

Looking up Ghaistrill's Strid. I didn't take many more photo's as the rain set in quite heavily at this point, still, it was warm, and I'm not some soft Southern lad, so I walked on for the rest of the afternoon.
It's the 2nd test at Headingly today, or maybe not. This is Yorkshire in high summer, so it's pouring with rain this morning, thus Englands green and pleasent land.

Michael Vaughan seems to have lost something, self confidence perhaps, the world's best batsman two seasons ago has now dropped himself to #4 in the batting line up in order to get Andrew 'Lord Brocket' Strauss in to open.

Many congratulations to Nasser Hussain on finishing his test and county career on such a high, despite running Strauss out he was on awesome form at the end of the first test, the last three balls of the innings, all hit for fours, were a joy to watch.

"At 10 for 2, I've done it for you." Fascinating (well, for cricket anoraks anyway) stats analysis over on Wisden of how well Nasser performed when England had lost early wickets.

I always liked Nasser as a captain, he was a strait talking bloke, he praised the team to the heavens when they had done well, but didn't ever try to cover up for them when they had played like puddings.

Also in cricket news, The Windies struggled to contain the mighty Bangladesh last week. In the first innings the Banga Boys made a very respectable 416, including centuries from Habibul Bashar (great surname for a batsman) and from Mohammad Rafique batting way down at #9. In response the Windies made 352, with Chris Gayle making almost half of the total. Batting into the final day, Bangladesh made 271-9 dec, but only left themselves 23 overs of bowling at the Windies, they really should have had a little more confidence in themselves. Match drawn

A vibrant red horse chestnut tree, there's a whole row of these fabulous trees on Owler Park Road up behind the club.

A pretty Clematis flower, all Mrs YS' own work.

Some nice flowers, I don't know what they are.

Nope, can't remember what these are either.

A man can be happy living under this, the Wharfedale sky.