Sunday, November 26, 2006

Tis the season to be jolly...

Thursday night, Morley lights were switched on. I was surprised to be interviewed as part of the proceedings, although it was mainly to fill in due to the lateness of some Panto performers. Morley FM's Charlie Keith was Compere, referred to as "Charlie Chuckles from Chorley FM" by Guy from Real Radio!

Friday, we went to see Annie at the Grand. A good show, a bit of a "chick flick" judging by the audience make up, but not one to be talked about for months afterwards, unlike Saturday, when we saw "Little Britain Live" at Manchester Apollo. There were a lot of children there, somewhat inappropriate considering how rude it was.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A kick in the balls...

Our local MP Colin Challen must be alarmed to discover that Ed Balls, the current MP for Normanton, intends to become the next MP for Morley and Outwood, the new seat after forthcoming boundary Commission changes. (It was in the Morley observer & Advertiser today but it is also in the Telegraph Online.).

Now if I was Mr. Challen, I'd be feeling a little uncomfortable. Ed Balls is Gordon Brown's best buddy, whilst Colin Challen is regarded as a sad, anorak wearing, climate-change obsessive greenie fruitloop who drives a sewing machine. (At least, according to Jeremy Clarkson!)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A little bit of politics...

I once came across something called a leftist lexicon not too long ago that gave realistic definitions of big sounding processes & behaviours (the Private Eye does something similar called EUphemisms). The one that particularly stuck in my mind was something to the effect of Consultation: a method of ignoring people while simultaneously patronising them. This immediately sprang to mind when I read the front cover of the Morley obtiser. It seems that the world and his dog want to consult stakeholders about our leisure centre. It was built in a hurry just before the 1974 reorganisation (at thich point the Borough had to hand over everything to Leeds City Council) and popular opinion was that it was built on the cheap. I'd rather think that it was well constructed to a price but has been wantonly neglected in the intervening thirty years despite being extended and with a massive Gym investment. It gets patched up and redecorated but another euphemism for that is known as "turd polishing". The pool was closed for most of the summer holidays to repair the rather dilapidated false ceiling and once it re-opened it didn't look that much different (apart from the wayward metal strips no longer hanging on by friction and rust). It turns out that there are serious concerns about the consequences of draining the pool (involving structural failure, i.e. the side walls end up on the bottom of the pool) so most of the closure time involved a very elaborate scaffolding operation in-situ.

There is potentially PFI money available for a new centre but the building may be entirely rebuilt which would involve extended closure and the "stakeholders" are restless.

Local authorities appear to be particularly bad at running leisure centres and this is probably due to education and social services gobbling up most of the budget so the development plans are more focussed on all of the staff make-work endemic in the public sector rather than catering for what the users want. I don't like PFI deals. Not because I object to the private sector making an homnest buck, more so that it is like buying stuff on the never never with no scope to take the goods back if they aren't up to scratch. Yes sir, I know this Mobile Phone is expensive, but it is very desirable. don't worry about the money, just pay us £5 a week for the rest of your life...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The moon on a stick...

Driving home yesterday, I heard an interesting Vignette on Radio 4 about the strange business of the moon looking much bigger when near the horizon. It was on More or Less and can be heard again about 20 minutes in here (while it lasts). Whilst I listened to a range of theories (& no satisfactory conclusion) the moon hung large in the sky over Morley. Towards the end of the feature, the presenter suggested that we look at the moon upside down between our legs- and to explain that... (The host, Andrew Dilnot, warned us to take care if we tried it at home).

Later that evening, passers by would have been amused by the sight of a thin boy and a fat man looking at the moon by bending down and peering between our legs. Apart from making me slightly dizzy, the elusive big surprise passed me by, and David as well. A t'internet search brought up this which didn't tell me much and left me mostly none the wiser.

Maybe the morley Moon is less subject to misleading perception by us down to earth Yorkshire folk, where we call a spade anything but an earth inverting horticultural implement.