Thursday, 31 January 2013

Valentine's Day: Shop In The Name of Love

It's here! A huge welcome to Valentine's Day, as we're induced to show love for our partners by giving them hopeless junk.
I love Valentine's Day, though I never get any cards. That's not important. It's the rubbish touted in the name of VD, as I like to think of it, that I  admire. On VD, if you don't shower your other half with tat you're in deep trouble.   
VD - To Do List

  • Petrol for shopping expedition
  • Bunch of flowers
  • Chocolates
  • Card with badge, song and arse-clenchingly embarrassing message
  • Useless doll, or four-foot tall toy animal in pink: lurid pig, Mr Hippo, perhaps a great big hephalump.
  • Book table for two (early-bird). Not Indian.
Instead of joining in though, it might be more fun to see which of you can find the most pathetic or stupid VD gift. You'll still have to spend a bit of money on junk, but you'll have a great laugh presenting each other with the item you've chosen.

I guess it's important to get your significant other's agreement on this wheeze.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Football: Shamed Penberthy Kicks Out At Ball!

In a shock incident which has rocked European football, Camborne Athletic's 48-year-old midfield general Rutter Penberthy saw red last night after kicking out violently at a ball. The controversial episode took place during Camborne’s crucial Cornwall Division XVI match with bitter local rivals Redruth.

Penberthy, desperate to influence the game after his side trailed 18-17 at the interval, ran the full length of the six-yard box before lashing out viciously with his heavy soccer boot. The ball bounced more than once before rolling into a little puddle marking the penalty-spot. Shamed Penberthy received a straight red card for violent conduct, while the match was delayed as the ball was wiped clean and re-laced.

The high-profile Camborne battler has denied any wrong-doing. In a statement his lawyer said: "Rutter's always conducted himself well, on and off the field. Everyone associated with the club hopes this episode doesn't darken his name. By the way, he’s currently available for Celebrity Big Brother.”

It’s a tough time for Penberthy (56) who’s made over 9,000 appearances for Athletic and is nearing the end of his career.  He’s also splitting from his wife, Ukrainian actress and agricultural worker Tatiana Legova, though details are blocked by an injunction. Ms Legova (19), who's set to start a modelling career with fashion retailer Peacocks, giggled infectiously when asked if she's the subject of a gagging order.

Penberthy can't be named for legal reasons.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Falmouth's Gangnam Police Go Viral!

Sexy officers dancing in Falmouth with their fanbase!
In Cornwall a Gangnam Style charity video made by Falmouth police officers has gone viral, raising over £8,000 toward transforming the life of a disabled boy.

Sergeant Gary Watts cajoled colleagues into helping him re-create the Psy chart hit, to raise money for young Joshua Wilson. On Monday afternoon the video was released on YouTube; since then viewers have donated £8,600. The money will fund adaptations to Joshua's home, to help meet his needs.

Sgt Watts said the team were “absolutely overwhelmed” and thanked everyone who’d donated, watched and shared the video, adding: "When we’d finished editing we didn't think people would watch it, but the feedback has been tremendous."

Dancing with Gangnam Gary were PCs Barry Nicholas and Chris Vincent, together with PCSOs Ellie Grey and Chris Braddon; for the filming, all were given permission to wear uniform.

It’s a truly generous act by the bobbies which has brought smiles to thousands of faces. As well as helping a good cause, Gary and his company have done wonders for plod relations with the wider public. To watch the vid:

And don't forget, if you run into any of the troupe on Falmouth's streets pull a Gangnam move on them - they’ll love it!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Charles Windsor's Country File: This Week, Fields and Concrete!

Windsor: hypocrite or confused?
Charles Windsor is in the headlines once again. This time he’s reached new heights of odious hypocrisy.

During a recent address to the Oxford Farmers’ Union, Windsor warned of the threat to Britain’s rural way of life from “insensitive development.”  
He said: “It is the people and what they do that creates the beating heart of our countryside … it comes from the tractors in the fields, the skilled workers, the livestock, the growing crops and the landscape’s biodiversity.”

Windsor continued: “All these elements make up a living, breathing countryside which is as precious as any ancient cathedral.”

But meanwhile, in Cornwall plans continue for the construction of new housing and a giant food centre on Duchy of Cornwall land just outside Truro. The mastermind is … well, guess who?

Windsor says his Truro project will allow local food producers to compete with supermarket giants, and provide much-needed accommodation. But his plan would destroy a beautiful valley, replacing it with urban sprawl he supposedly abhors. Farmland which currently supports a fine dairy herd would be wiped out, together with cherished trees and hedgerows.

Despite Windsor’s sometime claim to support Cornish food producers, one of the partners behind his scheme is Waitrose – the toffs’ supermarket which coincidentally stocks his own expensive Duchy Originals wares.

Waitrose would share the new food centre with a consortium, which would buy goods from local sources and sell them under a brand called Taste of Cornwall. But the supermarket would have three-quarters of the store, Taste of Cornwall merely the remainder; so much for helping local producers.

Truro City Council’s leading local opposition to Windsor’s stupid idea. The Council believes shoppers would visit Waitrose, perhaps have a look at the Taste of Cornwall items and then return home without bothering to go into Truro itself. The result? A ruined city centre: renowned Georgian streets deserted, the farmers’ market gone, indie shops closed.

Windsor’s previous meddling in country planning led to the Poundbury development in Dorset, his deluded dream of the perfect English village. A hotch-potch of inferior buildings, the pop-up wasteland has failed to create any sense of community and is detested as self-important by local people in nearby Dorchester.

For Cornish folk who want it, near Truro there's already a food centre at the A30 Fraddon turn-off. Selling over-priced unnecessary items, the centre’s effete snootiness is counterpointed by its location. Thanks to a McDonalds further up the gradient, the spot’s known locally as Hamburger Hill.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Music: A Sense Of Priority

On a cold January morning in Washington DC six years ago, a man sat in a subway station with a violin.  For 45 minutes the busker played Bach pieces. Since it was rush-hour, during that time around 1,100 people passed through the station, mostly commuters.

After three minutes, a middle-aged man slowed and stopped for a few seconds to listen, but then hurried off to his train.

A minute later the violinist received his first tip; a woman threw money in his open violin case but without stopping, continued on her way.

The person who paid most attention was a three-year-old boy, who stopped for several minutes to listen to the busker. Finally, his mother tugged at him and the boy continued to walk, turning to look back. Similar interest was shown by other children, all of whose parents moved them onwards.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only six people stayed to listen and tip. About 20 others also gave money, but continued walking at their normal pace. The busker earned around $32. When he’d finished playing no-one noticed. No-one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

The violinist was Grammy award-winning Joshua Bell, among the world’s greatest musicians. He’d just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell’s incognito playing was organised by the Washington Post, as a social experiment examining people’s perception, taste and priorities.