Tuesday, 23 September 2008


There is a vote this Thursday in the European Parliament that seeks to regulate blogs and stop people blogging, like Troy, anonymously. Typically, it a centre-left politician who wants to interfere. They can’t abide the idea that people want to criticise the European integration movement. A British Conservative MEP rejects such regulation and points out that blogs have become the life blood of a vibrant democracy.

Apparently a European Commission report found that the EU was losing the battle for hearts and minds online. Big Brother is not happy! You MUST learn to love Big Brother! Expressing thoughts of your own, especially anonymously, is dangerous.

Troy supported the “Common Market” when it was put to the vote all those years ago. However I am vehemently opposed to the concept of a European Union run on continental socialist ideology by primarily unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats spending unaudited billions on their pet integration projects.

Troy fears he may have to end his days as a geriatric freedom fighter in the English Independence Army. Let’s hope it doesn’t have to come to that and instead I can enjoy my old age on the beach, in a deckchair, with a good book and my Daily Telegraph!

Friday, 19 September 2008


Gordon Brown calculator

I hope you enjoy playing this Gordon Brown Tax Calculator which comes from The Tax Payers' Alliance. I would also recommend their blog - a link to them is shown on right hand side of my blog.

I couldn't get the image above to quite fit my blog. It is too large - a bit like Gordon's public sector!

Although I loathe Gordon Brown intensely I do sincerely hope he is still the leader of the Labour Party at the time of the next General Election.

Monday, 15 September 2008


Today is turning out to be “One Of Those Days”. They are so, SO frustrating. The problem started at about 8am but I had to take Troy Junior to school so I left home just hoping for the best. I collected my newspaper from the village store and walked back home in the sunshine. How was the morning going to turn out? A quick nervous look on my return home confirmed the worse!

I phoned my wife at her office – “We’ve got a complete disaster here at home”

“What’s the matter, what’s happened?” she responded, full of concern.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do – I can’t seem to fix it”

“Tell me what’s wrong!” she demanded.

I couldn’t hold back, I had to give it to her straight - “The internet is down, it’s been down since 8am!”

East Anglian Troy is a man of habit. That habit is seriously tested when the internet is down. And today of all days; with Lehman Bros. going into bankruptcy protection and stockmarkets around the world going into freefall. It’s no time to be cut off from the information superhighway. Had I been a little calmer I suppose I could have looked on Teletext, but that now seems so 20th Century.

I fiddled around rebooting the BT Hub – nothing. I unplugged the mains lead – nothing. I just need that one particular light to be green – it isn’t. It’s completely ungreen.

Then it turned green. I hurried off an e-mail to Mrs Troy at her office. Subject heading – “Life Just Got Better”. She should be the first to know I’m back online. It’s sent, it went!.

Then that truly awful click sound – and all the lights are flashing on the BT Hub, and then they all go out. Spoke too soon. Yes, it is going to be “One Of Those Days”. I left my study, went over to the Hi-Fi and put on Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” CD, closed my eyes and enjoyed her melodic voice (Mrs Troy calls it a screech). Several times I checked back into my study – no internet – so I rebooted or unplugged/replugged the box. Quickly between each CD track.

The relevant light finally came back on. I’m no longer alone – I’m reconnected. Quick check on my e-mails. Mrs Troy has replied to mine. It reads:-

“Oh thank God for that. I was very close to calling 999, but wasn't sure whether to ask for an ambulance for you...or the police to investigate the matter!”

And so, dear readers and fellow bloggers, it seems I must turn to you for a little sympathy…….

Friday, 12 September 2008


Mrs Troy is spitting blood. It appears that some of you may have mistaken her e-mail (which I reproduced in my last blog) which read “You don't fancy doing some ironing instead of pissing around with blogs all day!!!!!” as suggesting that I'm the one who does the ironing in the Troy household. In all my life since I’ve lived with Mrs Troy I think I’ve only ironed three shirts and one pair of trousers. In fact every time I do get the iron out I find it is a different and more complicated model to the one I used previously and I don’t know how to use it! So that must be about once ever six or seven years at best (or worse, depending on your viewpoint).

In a feeble attempt to redeem myself with my female readers I should like to point out that I do enjoy vacuum cleaning. I do the vacuum cleaning in the Troy household. Me and my Dyson are like Fred and Ginger. We waltz around our rooms in perfect harmony. (Just to avoid any more confusion – Fred and Ginger have never waltzed around our rooms – it’s just either a metaphor or simile, don’t ask me which). I also wash up our breakfast items after Mrs Troy has gone to work and walk Troy Junior to school.

After all that excitement I then just like to spend a few minutes at my computer screen to catch up on the world events, see how my investments are performing (usually woefully) and explore the “wonderful world of blogland”. And surely I’m allowed a few minutes to compose witty, winning captions for DJ’s Wordless Wednesdays? Mrs Troy should be proud to be living with a two-times award winner. I mean when was the last time Hugh Grant or Pierce Brosnan (her heartthrobs) got such an award?

And do WE seriously think THEY do the ironing in the Grant and Brosnan households?????????

Sunday, 7 September 2008


Over the last few weeks my eyes have been opened to a wonderful world out there in “blogland”. I’m indebted to my good friend, John Woodman of “Thoughts from the North” for introducing me to the concept of blogging. His earlier blog, charting his attempts to roll back the yellow peril in Northumberland, inspired me to start up my own blog. However my real joy has been in meandering from blog to blog and discovering a whole new world out there.

In the space of a few weeks I’ve learnt about :-

- Falling off ladders and wind farms
- Kissograms, Morris dancing and handbag contents
- Blackberry jamming and the challenge of writing photo captions
- Spirits visiting a Northumberland farmhouse
- Learning Latin at home
- Mothers’ thoughts about children returning to school
- Front doors and heroic levels of volunteering
- A love letter from a secret French admirer
- Elliot Cowan being divine (from a female perspective)
- States of Emergencies in Thailand
- Home selling adventures in France
- Demolishing cooling towers
- Sandcastles on the Yorkshire moors

Hopefully you’ll recognise yourselves somewhere among that list. I think I've got most of your links shown on my sidebar. Thanks for being out there, and for being both entertaining and educational. And thanks to everyone who has dropped by here and left comments – it is nice to know some people are out there and finding my musings are of interest. I hope you’ll keep returning.

One thing that has struck me – just an observation not a scientific study – is that the ratio of female bloggers to male bloggers out there in “blogland” seems to be about 7 : 1. I’m wondering why that is? Mrs Troy, who works part-time, reckons it is because so many women are at home all day and have time on their hands!! She even sent me an e-mail from her office last Thursday - quote “You don't fancy doing some ironing instead of pissing around with blogs all day!!!!!” What do you ladies (and gentlemen) think about Mrs Troy’s point of view?

Friday, 5 September 2008


I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has becoming heartily sick of the extensive BBC coverage of the 2008 US Presidential campaign. This was especially so during the earlier part of the year with the coverage of the race to the Democratic nomination between Clinton and Obama. There seemed to be some frankly obnoxious hero-worshipping by the BBC of the “first black candidate for the White House”. Whoever becomes the leader of the USA is, of course, an important matter for us here in the UK but the contest could have been covered as a regular but minor item on the news rather than taking up the first ten minutes of the programme virtually every evening.

However I must make one exception to that general observation. This week “A STAR IS BORN”. In the space of less than one week I’ve become a top fan of Sarah Palin. I think there is a very good chance in 2012 that she will become the first female President of the USA. Full marks to McCain for plucking this woman seemingly out of obscurity and having the guts and foresight to choose her as his running mate.

The similarities with Margaret Thatcher are many. In her speech on Wednesday, and in her general demeanour, she comes over as warm and genuine. Compared to that bitter old harpy Hillary, Sarah is a breath of fresh air. As with Mrs.T., the left-leaning liberal media are sticking the knife in and deriding Sarah Palin’s small town, provincial background. As with Mrs.T., Sarah is obviously no shrinking violet but rather she is a woman of strong convictions and an articulate, clever fighter for the things she believes in. As with Mrs.T., she will be an intensely partisan figure, loved and hated in equally measure depending on where you stand on the political spectrum. However, like Mrs.T., I think Sarah Palin will connect with “the common voter”. They will regard her as someone like them, someone who understands the everyday ordinary problems that real people face. And understanding them in ways that the average affluent, left-wing, patronising politician just doesn’t.

So “Rock On Sarah”. Now the race to the White House is very open. If her presence on the Republican ticket isn’t enough to get McCain elected in 2008 then I’m convinced she will be odds-on favourite to get there herself in 2012. If I was American, she’d have my vote.