Cleaning Up After Mother Nature…With A Chainsaw

26 10 2014


Unless you are a lumberjack, waking up to the sound of a chainsaw can be a vaguely unsettling experience. Even more so if you are located on an island that is known primarily for its pink sandy beaches, reinsurance market and rum-based libations of varying strengths.

But for many Bermudians, the depressing sound of nature being chopped into small pieces has become very familiar in the last few days. As most people on this side of the pond are more than aware, this 21-square-mile patch of land was hit by two major weather events in the space of a week – “Tropical Storm” Fay and Hurricane Gonzalo – and while Fay reportedly caught the country with its shorts down, residents were more prepared for the extreme winds that picked up where the storm had left off.

Read the rest of this entry »


Here comes Honey Boo Boo…John Logie Baird turns in his grave

10 09 2012

If you were to sit down in a pub with your mates at this moment in time, the chances are that your conversation over the next few hours would cover a lot of subjects.

Most would be related to sport, sex or politics. In some cases, a combination of all three.

You might talk about how religion should not be the reason why you vote for a future President, or discuss why the first song to be transmitted from another planet was by a Black Eyed Pea instead of a Thin White Duke. You could even find out if anyone managed to catch the remake of Total Recall in the 47 hours that it was available in movie theaters.

There could be millions of things to discuss, hundreds of paths to go down, thousands of tangents to follow and several pints to drink.

At some point, either social media or reality TV will make an appearance. Someone will tweet or update their Facebook status, somebody else will check in at the place you are all sitting and there are likely to be pictures taken to be uploaded later as evidence of what a fun night you are all having.

Spoiler Alert: You don’t know what fun is until you have hung out with “Crazy” Tony at the local dump looking for clothes for your teenage daughter in a dumpster. Fun is something that can only be achieved by rolling around in mud, feeding six-year-olds a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew and breaking wind wherever (and whenever) possible.

Welcome to the world of Honey Boo Boo. Read the rest of this entry »

March 17; Acceptable Heavy Drinking Day (apparently)

17 03 2012

If you’re reading this you are either not yet drunk or you have decided sensibly to avoid all the Emerald Isle themed nonsense that will be taking place in the streets around you.

March 17…St. Patrick’s Day…the one day of the year when being green is nothing to do with climate change or recycling. Unless you are recycling the 18 pints of Guinness and a plate of cabbage onto to the pavement/sidewalk/your own shoes/somebody else’s’ shoes.

Two years I ago, I wrote a piece about how much I hate March 17.

My feelings towards AHDD have mellowed but I am not a big fan of the day itself. All this week, I have been trying to work out where I can go to avoid bagpipes, Irish dancers and cabbage.

I have not been overly successful.

I hate the enforced nature of the day, the determination of people to prove that they’re Irish by getting shitfaced and asking complete strangers to kiss them. I hate the shelves full of Irish novelties, I hate the marketing of the whole drunken occasion. I don’t find leprechauns sexy, I don’t like red beards (especially on women) and I object being told that it’s all part of the “craic”. Read the rest of this entry »

The Joy of Sox

31 08 2011

Another Thing That Didn't Happen

Feeling shit when your team loses to hated rivals on home turf has been a familiar feeling for many years.

It’s part of the territory when you support Tottenham Hotspur, my beloved football team and a part of my life since 1976. Most of that time has been miserable; a rollercoaster of intense highs and crushing lows with occasional euphoria married to  misplaced optimism thrown into the mix.

But I thought that when I moved away from London N17, dislocated myself from the physical pain of attending games and became an overseas “armchair or convenient bar” supporter, the feeling of nausea that grows when you are defeated at home would fade into the background.

Distance would be my remedy to actually having to face supporters of Arsenal or Chelsea. Because I wasn’t really that interested in any American sports and so the possibility of actually caring about results would no longer be a worry.

Then I went to my first Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park and realized that I had managed to become attached to another team with the capacity to induce despair and joy in unequal measures. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Not The Size, It’s What You Do With It

6 01 2011

Somewhere in here is an Object of Desire

January is normally the time for reflection after the over-indulgence of the holiday season. A month where the individual will begin to be concerned about the conspicuous consumption of December which culminated in the giving and receiving of presents whilst wishing good health to all and sundry.

So what did Santa leave in your stocking? Did your virtual shopping actually produce physical product or did you decide that the traditional way of purchasing was the most effective means of showing loved ones that you cared?

It probably doesn’t really matter how you personally shopped. Whatever you bought wouldn’t have come naked and shivering but snugly wrapped in a protective coat.

Or packaging as it is known.

The end of the decade has brought many things and most of them have come through the continued growth of the Internet.

The information superhighway that allows us to maintain connectivity from the comfort of our own homes, a social network that provides community without the tiresome act of physical contact with other people and the accumulated knowledge of the world at the touch of a button. Read the rest of this entry »

Resolution Requires Strength of Purpose – Probably

2 01 2011

Is that a resolution in your pocket or are you pleased to see me?

I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.

Anais Nin (Writer, Diarist, was involved in female erotica)

Day 2 of 2011 has dawned and the thorny issue of New Years Resolutions has meant that I find myself trying hard to come up with realistic goals for this year.

I would like to procrastinate less, write more and not become irritated by the aspects of life that I have no control over, but that just seems to be a wimpy reaction to trying to maintain some sort of structure.

So I feel that something more concrete is needed so that I don’t let 2011 slip away into the void.

So here are my resolutions for the Year of the Rabbit (and they are in no particular order – that would imply structure and considered thought): Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of Poo; Not A Shit Idea

6 10 2010

Whilst not becoming a tree-hugger or an eco-warri0r, I have become more concerned with sustainability and the innovations/effort that will be required to ensure that we continue to encourage “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (source: Brundtland Commission of the United Nations, March 1987). The following was published on Clean Journey, in a blog called “Some Maintenance Required”. Clean Tech is not just Wind Farms, Solar Power and Electric Vehicles.

Cute, Playful and Sustainable

Picture the scene.

An inner city park in the early evening. The gentle sound of birds twittering in the trees, small children playing sport using jumpers for goalposts, young couples walking silently hand in hand, joggers running with the steely determination of people who would rather be on the couch eating pizza. On a bench dedicated to an upstanding member of society, a tramp continues to debate the nature of existence with his shopping cart full of tins.

As the dusk begins to fall, a dog barks. And then does what dogs always do in parks, it relieves itself.

The owner, being a conscientious individual, bends down and picks up the excrement. Scooping into a bag thoughtfully provided by the Parks Department, he heads towards one of the many lights that ensure that the park is safe to traverse after daylight. Dropping the bag into a receptacle, he cranks a lever and the light flickers into life, bathing the dog and his owner in a soft glow.

The dog pays no attention to what has just happened. Squirrel!

Getting power from dog waste is not as insane as it seems. When it comes to innovation in renewable energy and sustainability, it certainly helps to think not just outside the box but also as far away from the box as possible.

The Park Spark Project is the brainchild of conceptual artist Matthew Mattozza and is currently being trialed in Cambridge, Mass. Using a device called a Methane Digester; the aim is to create power by using anaerobic digestion (without oxygen), is a series of processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen.

Or in other words, using the power of poo. Read the rest of this entry »