Charging our phones to cope with the end of days…

17 02 2013


Over the years, I have contemplated Armageddon hundreds of times. Not in a how do I achieve it sort of way, but more along the lines of what happens when civilization breaks down and the ants – or worse, the programming department at MTV – take over.

Pop culture has prepared me for a worst-case scenario, normally to the sound of a power ballad and the sight of some last heroic act of defiance. With the destruction of most of the planet  now assured,  the natural consequence of this anticipated disaster is always a plucky band of survivors who set out to rebuild society, while fighting off zombies or Republicans.

This is, of course, utter bobbins. Read the rest of this entry »


And now, the end is near…

5 11 2012
Remember remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…

In 1605, a plot to assassinate King James the First was hatched by a motley crew of conspirators, who planned to replace the ruling monarch with a Catholic leader.

History shows that it was not successful. The authorities, getting wind that something was not quite right under the Houses of Parliament, descended on the seat of government on November 5th and arrested a man called Guido, or Guy, Fawkes. He was found in possession of a large number of barrels of gunpowder and, tellingly, a match.

He was sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered – an unpleasant means of death at the best of times. Happily for Fawkes, he decided suicide was a less painful option and he hung himself while in prison for his botched attempt at seventeenth century terrorism. Read the rest of this entry »

Sixty Years On The Throne; Long May She Reign

6 02 2012

Sixty years ago a young lady ascended to a position of power just as the country that she was born to rule was going through some enforced changes.

The Empire was showing signs of wear and tear, the natives were still recovering from a brutal conflict that had claimed the lives of millions and the death of King George VI came at a time when questions were being asked about the continued role of the Monarchy in a rapidly modernizing nation.

Princess Elizabeth was 25 years old, married to a man of no financial standing who was a foreigner. She had been groomed to replace her father but when he died, the young princess had to assume the throne with the same stoic attitude that could be considered as aloof by her new citizens.

Sixty years on, only Queen Victoria has ruled the Commonwealth for longer than Elizabeth.

Queen Elizabeth II has ruled with a steady hand and a fantastic collection of hats. She has had to put up with all kinds of nonsense from her spouse and her children.

She has lived through royal divorces, the death of a princess and a grandson who thought it was funny to go to a fancy dress party as a Nazi. I don’t know whether she ever saw Helen Mirren’s portrayal of her but I like to think that it is in the DVD collection at one of her residences and I am fairly certain that she is not a big fan of the Sex Pistols song about her.

But without wanting to sound flippant, Liz rules.

She is the only member of the Royal Family that I have any time for, I hope that sits on the throne for a long time to come. Because although I live in the USA, Elizabeth II is my Queen.

Congratulations again ma’am, enjoy your diamond jubilee year – especially as we have the Olympics to look forward to as well!

Legally Speaking…

31 01 2012

This is what it was all about.

Being legal, being deemed a Lawful Permanent Resident, being allowed to stay here for a bit and enjoy the Land of the Free.

I may even watch the Throwball Final on Sunday…



Trick or Treat; Occupy Movement Needs to Focus

1 11 2011

Yesterday was All Hallows Eve.

The culmination of seemingly weeks of haunted happenings and a continual festival of pumpkin-themed events combined with a vague threat of mischief enacted out by children with the full support of their parent/guardian.

Or Halloween as the marketing department of Hallmark and the National Association of Pumpkin Growers refer to it.

Across the world, gangs of children dressed up in costumes that ranged from the cute (princesses, Disney characters, some sort of furry creature) to the fashionable (Captain America, Wolverine, Lady Gaga) with the odd dash of terrifying (Ghostface from Scream, Jason, Wall Street Banker).

And in the gathering dusk of October 31 2011, they roamed neighborhoods. No longer bothering to say “trick or treat”, they just expected that candy would be given to them for doing nothing else apart from taking part in an annual costume parade.

And the kids in my neighborhood seemed to be very successful at the gathering of treats with no need for tricks. Read the rest of this entry »

Searching For Employment is a Full-time Job

9 09 2011

Since arriving in the USA, there have been several things which have become of increasing concern.

My realization that following the Red Sox can be very frustrating, the fact that hamburgers can be a daily food group, the desire to take public transport to locations where none exists (for example; The Gillette Stadium in Foxboro) and the satisfaction felt when watching Jon Stewart reveal the true nature of Fox news.

All of these have come into my life and are now part of my American Dream.

I was also hoping after two years to have some sort of regular employment and the ability to pay for healthcare. In this way, I am no different to many other residents of The Land of the Free – which is not a statement on the Ponzi Scheme that is Social Security (apparently).

But it hasn’t happened yet.

I don’t qualify for any government handouts, have managed to stay healthy (despite the burger diet) and yet the job at Rolling Stone still eludes me. Read the rest of this entry »

Not Rocked Like A Hurricane

29 08 2011

Living In Extreme Apathy

We were ready.

Bottled water, check. Working flashlight, yup. Garden furniture stowed in safety of inflatable paddling pool, you bet.

We had tracked the storm, knew where it was going and were preparing for a blustery day. Concerned emails from friends and relatives had been answered, Facebook status had hinted that our internet would be down and that we may lose power but as Irene headed towards us, we were confident that our bare minimum would ensure our calm before the storm.

It rained quite hard for a bit (I know this because I was out in it shooting video footage), the wind howled and the trees bent. The roads started to fill with nature’s shrapnel and the sound of police sirens echoed through the almost deserted streets.

In our little house in Cohasset, Massachusetts – the pink “extreme” bit – we sat and watched Doctor Who while waiting for the power to go off.

Which it didn’t. Not Once. Read the rest of this entry »