3 days to Marathon day - and Mrs Block is getting pretty sick of pasta right now... I made Meatballs and spaghetti last night and it was pretty awesome even if I do say so myself. I've been tasked with organising the godless hordes that will descend upon our house on Saturday from the four corners of the midlands. We've got 7 coming so far, with another 2 on Sunday. I hope they're either bringing beds or can sleep standing up. Not sure what to do for breakfast for everyone on Sunday, I'll see if I can find Jesus' recipe for cod in breadcrumbs - he managed to feed 5000 with that one, so it should do the trick.
Anyways, we had the budget yesterday where the chancellor Alistair Darling (or comedy eyebrows man as he's more commonly known) did his usual trick of raising taxes and telling us that he got all the figures wrong last time, and we're a lot more screwed than he thought. He then tells us that there's no reason to panic, as this time next year we'll all be millionaires - so pretty much the same things he said last year. It all gets a bit complicated to follow, so I've listed the main points here for you:
Cigarettes - price is going up - given that there's a looming problem with people living to a ripe old age and the government worrying about how they're going to pay for everyones pension, the smart thing would be to put the tax down. People would smoke more which means more tax overall, and die before getting their pension, it's win win!
Alcohol - see above. (Is it just me, or does he seem to have it in for me?)
Income tax - anyone earning more than £150,000 has to pay 5p more tax. Apparently this is going to plug the £93Squillion hole.
Economy - The British economy will shrink this year by 3.5%. But next year it'll grow by 4256% and we'll all be driving Porsches.
Petrol - Going up to £942 a gallon so we won't be able to afford to drive the Porches anywhere.
Borrowing - National debt now has so many zeros after it that the calculator broke - but they're going to have a whip round at the weekend so that's alright then
And that's pretty much it. There was some other crap about tax credits and mortgages, but seeing as I have neither, I turned over to watch 'Deal or no Deal' instead
I now know how to make a Tutu. Another of life's essential skills mastered there then.
This is actually for my wifey. No, she's not a ballerina, she's running the London Marathon on Sunday, and has decided that to make things just that little bit trickier - and increase her chances of getting on TV, she's going to run it in a Tutu, hence us walking around Soho on Saturday trying to find suitable Tutu material.
So last night, we got out the scissors and YouTube, learnt how to make one without sewing, and voila - 45 mins later, half a Tutu. We just need to go get some more fabric and we'll have a full one in no time. It is surprisingly easy - you should all try it.
Anyways - I was watching Breakfast on the BBC this morning whilst ironing the wifeys shirt for her - God I'm starting to sound like a right domestic goddess today aren't I. Anyways, I was manly ironing a shirt this morning, watching Breakfast on the BBC, which is something I don't normally have on - in fact I don't normally have the TV on at all in the mornings, and watching it I remembered why.
Bill Bloody Turnbull.
As a journalist and news presenter, I guess he's OK, but they really shouldn't let him speak to people. They had Lady GaGa on this morning, and he just kept banging on about her eye shadow like it was a totally new concept for women to put coloured powder on their eyes. Nice one Bill, we wouldn't want to hear about the music or anything, make-up tips are what keeps your show real.
This was closely followed by him telling the gorgeous Natascha McElhone that her TV series Californifaction was quite a bit like 'The OC'. Yes Bill, they're both set in California I'll give you that, but perhaps you should watch them first yeah?
I don't know, it's Kate Silverton I feel sorry for.
Anyways - as treat for you all today, this is my mate's band, Alberto Veto, when they played down here in sunny London about a month back. A great gig, if you listen closely, you'll hear me clapping.
Sorry about yesterday's post. I get a little irate sometimes and feel like screaming at the world. I've had a few deep breaths and cigarettes since then, so I'm feeling much calmer today.
And it's Friday - that mystical day of the week when nobody really gives a flying monkeys arse about work and stuff - and just looks forward to the 2 Utopian days we call the weekend. Bliss. Saying that, I am actually doing sod all this weekend. No money until Monday, and it's rained solid for 2 days. I'll have to see what fun things I can do inside that are free. Suggestions on a postcard.... I also need to get writing. My 'living next door to god' story needs some working out. I'm hoping to get the first draft done sometime within the next week - then the hard work of editing, re-writing, editing, re-writing some more - you know the drill. Good job I enjoy this shiz.
In random news - the guys over at Pirate Bay have been sentenced to a year in Jail each. Those of you who don't know what the pirate bay is/does, where have you been for the last 5 years? Not that I'd ever download anything illegally of course - not ever. Honest. Moving swiftly on...
Another day, another living-in-a-police-state incident...
Those of you who don't know, and I don't know who of you don't know or know, or even care come to that, might be interested in knowing that the UK has more CCTV cameras per person than any other country in the world. You can also be held without charge by the police longer than in any other democratic country in the world - and there are a lot of those that aren't very nice to live in. We also have the largest DNA database - mostly populated with the DNA of innocent people who have not been convicted of any crime, and children.
Anyways, back to the point - a 69 year old Austrian tourist was out with his 15 year old son in my part of London, when he was stopped by police who deleted all the photos he'd taken of a bus-stop, as well as taking his passport number and hotel details. According to the officers, it's now illegal to take a picture of anything to do with transport in this country. Perhaps they should have a word with Google street-maps then. This comes hot the heels of a new law that's just been passed which means you can be arrested for taking a picture of a policeman which gives a hint of sad irony to the following. During the recent G20 protests, Ian Tomlinson who owned a newspaper stand and was merely passing by on his way home from work collapsed and died of a heart attack. Originally, the police claimed they'd had no dealings with him and where hampered by protesters when they tried to help him. The IPCC (internal affairs type people who investigate police misconduct) said that no CCTV cameras where in the area. That is until this video was handed to the newspapers showing him being assaulted by a policeman to whom he had his back to (and had his hands in his pockets) just before he collapsed and died. Also handed in to the newspapers, photos of the scene with police controlled CCTV cameras pointing to the place where it happened. There's now a growing collection over at the guardian of the police beating up journalists, women, setting dogs on people etc... And don't even get me started on arresting opposition politicians for no reason.
Sorry if this is somewhat of a political rant - but sometimes things just piss me off. There's things about my country I love, but there's a growing list of things I don't as we creep slowly but surely from a democracy to a police state. Orwell was right, he just got the year wrong.
Sorry I've not written in sooo long, I've been particularly busy at work and all that 'real life' stuff that tends to get in the way.
So happy Easter everyone - not particularly religious myself, but nothing like a good excuse to eat chocolate and have a couple of days off work. It being a bank holiday, Mrs Block has had me wallpapering and clearing out the spare room. Does look pretty now though, so time well spent. I've also been working on a new short(ish) story I'm thinking about sending off to a competition. If it doesn't win, which is statistically likely, I'll post it in installments here. It's broadly about a guy who looses his job/girlfriend etc.. and ends up living next door to a guy who thinks he's god. Hopefully it will make more sense than it sounds.
Anyways, it being Easter also means we get bombarded with shit TV. 50 channels of 'which-idiot-thought-this-would-make-good-TV?' so far, with the odd sprinkling of the worst of what Hollywood has to offer. Still, there's a Dr Who Easter special on tonight - with Michelle 'bionic woman' Ryan as the new assistant which might be good. Also, Dave (that's the name of the TV channel) have made 3 new episodes of Red Dwarf - one of the best things the BBC ever did in my humble opinion - apart from the last series which was pretty awful.
One of the worst things the BBC ever did is also running at the moment - 'My Life as an Animal'. This 'groundbreaking' show follows 8 volunteers as they live with animals. The last one had some guy living with pigs. This doesn't mean he invites a pig to stay with him at home for a week, oh no. Instead he goes and lives in a pig sty, with a bunch of pigs, 24 hours a day for 4 days, eating what they eat, 'talking' to them in grunts, sleeping with them etc... you get the picture. Why would anyone want to do this? No bloody idea. Why would anyone want to watch this drivel? Sorry - can't help you there either. Nice to know that my £120 a year for TV licence is being spent well by the 12 year olds that make up the management team there. Well done guys, I can see now why you cut the budget for all the news programmes and generally interesting stuff in order to fund this. Nice one indeed.
Anyways, enough of my rants, here's a pretty picture to calm me down. I took this on holiday a couple of years ago. If anyone can guess the country, you'll get - er well, sod all really, but I'll give you a shout out and a well done.
And I promise to post more often. Honest. Whether you want me to or not - so there.