07 Jul

Bye Bye Guilfest

We have just been to Guilfest which we have been going to for er, um, at least twelve years and maybe more. It was pretty good fun, we saw the Levellers, Blondie, Kula Shaker, From the Jam and the Australian Pink Floyd Show. We met up with Neil and Pam and Matt and his girlfriend Laura came with us. Jim and Janet Collins came and spent a very cold and wet Saturday with us. It will, however, be the last Guilfest for a while. They have banned alcohol from being brought into the arena, leaving you to buy your booze from their beer tent, and they didn’t give any warning of this in advance. It just isn’t fun having to smuggle wine and beer into an event where we have always happily had a picnic with our own tipple to hand, and that combined with a weaker lineup means we shall probably not be bothering again next year.

It’s a shame, we’ve seen some great acts at Guilfest over the years, but it looks like it may be time to look elsewhere.

Matt and I had some great bonding moments, it was good going with him.

27 Jun

I saw this on Facebook and it made me smile:

“Robin D. Laws and Jonathan Tweet are now friends.”

You need to be quite a deep gamer geek to find it amusing.

26 Jun



The Tavern seems crippled by my new hosting company servers, but having migrated all my sites their over the last 6 months I was ready to close the old host account and save 7 bucks a month.

At work I have got ourselves in the stupid position of agreeing to deliver effectively the same course twice in two different schools, which given that we aren’t even paid to teach is a very silly thing to do when we could do just one and combine the students. I suspect all I will get when I suggest this is unpopular with three Heads of School.

I am starting to get really low at how Gwenthia has stopped being fun and effectively crippled once we started doing rules, even though Pete has done some really excellent work on it. We need to discuss it at Continuum.

But most of all I am utterly drained and worried about the possibility that we are facing an intimidation campaign from the people who attacked Matthew. The paint attack on the car (rumoured to have been done by 2 friends of the original attackers) was followed by a couple of cruise-bys. I worry that as the summer goes by we’ll see more of this as they try and get Matt to withdraw his testimony.

It is seriously worrying Matt, he’s sleeping with a walking stick by his bed, and has utterly crushed Ann’s spirit. I just don’t know what we can do.. the police have alternated between organisational indifference to some real attempts to help by the local police constables. But they can’t be here all the time, we need to work out some strategies and ones that don’t leave Matt more traumatised.

Off to see how much it will cost to respray Matt’s car shortly, then maybe we will go and look at security cameras at the Maplin store in town.

24 Jun

More Fun in ShitLand

I am in Netherlands, Ann is running a course in Warwickshire.
Matthew woke up this morning to discover his car has had a pot of paint emptied on it.
He rang police who were utterly uninterested, despite the previous assault and associated threats of intimidation.
Closed it immediately, no interest in collecting any forensics.
Now if this is who we think it is and they left any forensics it is a home run for the police, but they don’t care.
I then rang and tried to escalate it and was basically told if I don’t like it then complain to the Chief Superintendant.
It’s not like it was a random event in a big city, we have a clear suspect and we live in the countryside, someone had to travel to our place to do this. Ah well, the policeman who is handling the assault case is on at 9pm and I have asked him to ring. Looks like I may be becoming quite disillusioned with the police shortly. Problem is it completely destroys all the positive messages we have given Matt to trust in the system. Fortunately he has taken a positive view and has filled the house with all his mates and they’re going to have a big party and sod the vandals!

20 Jun


Just coming back from London where, in addition to work, I went to see the musical Hairspray. What a happy, joyful, anti-racist, anti-sizist bundle of great Sixties music, wonderful performances by Leanne Jones and Michael Ball and one of the only musicals I’ve been to where one felt the audience (which had many big, beautiful and blonde ladies in it) would break out dancing. They certainly were singing along.. A great show, not at all preachy with some great R&B, Motown and rock n roll inspired numbers. I can see real women (and I don’t mean just big girls, Tracey’s friend is long and lanky) loving this musical and men who love real women will love it too. It’s kind of what the Sixties should have been, and in many ways was..


20 May

Bit of a scare

My son Matt got jumped by a couple of lads who beat him around the head with a baseball bat last night. They’d already punched him up at the bus stop before driving to a bridge near our house and laying in wait for him to arrive and walk home. That is malicious, nay planned and evil. What is worse is that they had been out with him all evening on good terms, with some slight falling out over a girl between Matt’s friend and the lads. After the attack he staggered home and banged us up terrified with a bleeding cut on the head and various bruises from the bat all over. We called the police and got him to hospital and he is physically fine but very traumatised from the threats they made to him and us if he went to the police.

Long story short, today Matt gave a statement to the police, they were very good and helpful and addressed his fears. They has already arrested one of the lads and this afternoon he confessed to the attack but not to using a weapon. When the other lad comes back from work and is arrested then they’ll be released on police bail which will restrict where they can go relative to Matt and our house. They’ll probably be charged with actual bodily harm with intent or possibly grievous bodily harm with intent. Of course you can’t be sure, it isn’t always as simple as that and there is a long way to go, but since he’s confessed then I can’t see it not ending in court.

My concern is that my son is safe, and that this doesn’t traumatise him too much and/or affect his A-level exams.. next one Friday. I do want the lads punished and also taught a lesson so they don’t do that again. A premeditated ambush with a weapon aiming most blows at the head is well beyond some laddish rough stuff, it is plain wrong.

How do I feel? Very strangely calm.

16 May

Rebus’ Edinburgh

I rarely post other people’s work here but I am so utterly blown away by this picture of Edinburgh by Krasnyi Fotoapparat that I just had to share it. I know some of you love Edinburgh, or are going to live there, and I am going to the Festival this year (for the first time) so why not?

(PS: I have been quite poorly with an ear infection, that’ll teach me to take a week off work!)
(PPS: I am trying a Firefox variant called Flock that integrates all the social networking sites out there. I will feedback when I have either dropped it or made it my default browser.)

Blogged with the Flock Browser
08 May


I feel the British Labour Government is lurching ever rightward and reactionary as they lose their grip on power and reality. For all their faults the first Labour government decentralised, liberalised whilst they also strangely did the opposite in other areas. Now, as they fall apart we see them desparately trying to appeal to the populist reactionary constituency: new ill defined censorship laws that will no doubt haunt us for decades, Dangerous Porn Act; redefinition of cannabis against the advice of all experts and the police, Smith & Cannabis; the ongoing debacle that will be ID cards, and now the revelation that despite being the most spied on individuals in the world, CCTV has no realisable effect on crime at all, CCTV doesn’t work.

I shall write to my MP, even though he is retiring and the constituency is being redrawn.