Monday, 21 December 2009

Just Testing

This exercise may prove interesting. This App is called OneNote from Microsoft. It allows text entry and a limited amount of formatting. How cool is that. The previous text was pasted to this entry (it lost the formatting). BathNick MOBILE Signing off from the Kings Arms, Bath.

Monday, 14 December 2009

A Thought

How easy is this to use from my mobile phone? Well, the screen is certainly usable and typing is not an issue for a 2 finger typist. So I think I may start blogging from here or here or there. Where am I? Eeeek!!! Time to go. I'm late.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

The 6th Annual Cornish Beer Festival - The Star Inn, Bath

It's that time of year again. As last year Paul at The Star Inn in Bath is, as I type organising his annual 'home from home' Cornish Festival of Ales and Food. I've just received a text confirming that most of the ales are already cellared and the pasties are presently being made for this great event.
The date for this great event?

Thursday 16th July
I am looking forward to seeing as many lovers of great Cornish Ales as I do every year and hope the the singing reaches the same tuneful heights as ever. Now where's my song sheet from last year?

Thanks to for the flag

Saturday, 4 July 2009

The Great British Pub... Going, going, gone!!!

Here we go again... The steady decline of the Great British Pub continues.

What a wonderful place The Harrow Inn in Wanborough should be. I'm not sure how long the web site will remain.

When in the name of whatever_you_believe_in will this wanton destruction of our traditional community meeting places cease.

I may be wrong but I speculate that Enterprise Inns pushed the tenants to the absolute limit of their overdrafts, credit cards, life savings and still expected them to pay more for their overpriced tied beer and rent based on an inflated expectation of market growth where there is none. With £4.5bn in debt to maintain then the likes of Enterprise Inns and their ilk will have to ensure they can take an average of £50,000 pa profit out of every site they own. It's a disgraceful business model that should not be allowed to ride roughshod over peoples lives, their homes and our communities any longer.

Why not write to your MP and support your local Licensees - use their pubs or you will surely lose them.

The BEC Report - Pub Companies

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Wacky Jacqui - Down and Out

BBC NEWS Politics Home secretary 'set to step down'
No one could be more pleased than I to see the last of the Jacqui Smith - Home Secretary, who has almost single handedly made the role a complete farce. All we have to do now is make sure all the crap that's been introduced under her watch is swept clean away.
Cut the cost of ID Cards - scrap them!!

Monday, 4 May 2009

Grandad Again - Thanks Kate

Hi All. Thanks to my daughter Kate (and her husband Keith) - I'm a Grandad again.

Tully-Mae was born at 11:27 this morning weighing 6lb 8oz.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

I was on my way to Sainsbury's...(another Alcohol Question perhaps?)

I was on my way to Sainsbury's this afternoon...

If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I probably wouldn't have believed it Ho Ho Ho... the antics some people get up to when they may have stayed too long at the Bar!!

That'll cost a pretty penny to put right and there's no mistake.

Young whippersnappers what will they get up to next.

An engineer assessing the site this afternoon said it was done some time early Sunday morning.

Friday, 17 April 2009

I was in Sainsbury's yesterday... (The Great Alcohol Question)

I was in Sainsbury's yesterday evening to pick up the odd bit of shopping and to check what was left on the 'short date' shelf, as I do.
After collecting potatoes I passed the cheeses and turned left into the spirits aisle to pick up a bottle of vodka. Clustered round the vodka shelves was a small group of lads in their late teens and early twenties deciding what to get - "we'll get this one 'cause its only about 3 quid each" I overheard. That's a Sainsbury's litre of vodka at about £12 a time.
Some 15 minutes later I spotted the lads sat around on a makeshift bench, near the exit to the Green Park Station part of the Sainsbury's site in Bath. Between them on the bench were 4 paper cups, a 2 litre bottle of a famous brand of cola and the aforementioned vodka.
This activity seemed so well organised that I can only assume that it's a regular occurrence.
"We'll go to town for a night out, but on the way we'll pick up a bottle and get half pissed on the cheap, before finishing the night hammered in a pub or club"
We are currently being bombarded by talk of initiatives to curb our 'binge drinking culture'. The government, medical officers and advisers are issuing statements and reports left right and centre asking for increased controls on the 'on-trade' such as pubs and clubs and yet these are the very places where alcohol can be consumed in a safe and controlled fashion.
Somehow we have ended up with more alcohol being consumed on the way to the pub than in the pub. Go figure.
One of the core issues here is price - as always when the consumer is being considered. Either alcohol is too expensive in pubs and clubs, or it's too cheap in supermarkets. At the moment the pubs are caught between a rock and a hard place. Most of the tenanted and leased pubs in this country are paying high rents and are being charged higher than free market prices for stock. Pubs are completely unable to compete with vodka at £12 per litre plus cola at 60p per litre. A large (50ml) vodka and cola in a pub will cost £3.50 or more and only 70p from a supermarket.
The companies that own the pubs that the tenants and lessees rent have massive debts running into many billions of pounds which they used to buy their great estates in the first place. In order to service this debt in a shrinking market they are overloading the rents on the properties. In addition with tied supplies the property owners can negotiate large discounts with the brewers and continue to charge their tenants the full price (or more) while pocketing the difference to further support their debt repayments.
The end result is, that this country is not only losing a valuable community resource - pubs - closing at the rate of 6 per day but the drinking masses are getting hammered at home on cheap and relatively unregulated drink.
I can truly see a time when there will be so few pubs in some areas that for any sort of social drinking life will be had by popping down to the the back door of the local shebeen, knocking and asking for Fred. Heavy drinkers will be going blind on the poorly distilled alcohol and criminals and terrorists will be providing the product and the security.
I do hope I'm wrong.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

The Mark of Friendship, Millbrook

The Daily(ish) Millbrook: "'Arking Back"
Congratulations and a warm welcome to the new lessees of The Mark of Friendship in Millbrook.
I had seen the ad in The Morning Advertiser and wondered who would be brave enough in these straitened times to take it on, and I'm still wondering how a place as small as Millbrook is able to support one local hostelry let alone 3.

Things being what they are with Punch these days, I hope Dick and Megan managed to squeeze a really good deal out of their BDM on the rent and tied supplies to get them a good start.

That said I am very much looking forward to enjoying the fruits of their cellar and wish them the very best of luck with this venture.(Picture courtesy of The Morning Advertiser/Punch Taverns)

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Steeleye Span - St Georges Bristol

Steeleye Span at St Georges Bristol
Prompted by The Millbrooker's reminder about The Gigspanner gig at Kingsand, I went for a Google and found that Steeleye Span are indeed touring their music as the 40th Anniversary Tour, complete with Maddy Prior on vocals. Woo-hoo. Now I'll have to check my bank balance, train times, bus times and which planet I'm on, but I'd love to go.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Here's a question...

Has anyone worked for a company who, when you hand in your resignation withholds your last months salary and pays it late - 'to ensure that there is no overpayment'?

Why don't they just get it right? Oops! Sorry - the entire pub industry is run by underpaid and over worked administrators, managed by incompetent bean counters who have only one priority - the great god 'Shareholder Value'.

I would be delighted to open a list of companies that do this.

1. Spirit Group
2. .....

I look forward to adding to this list.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

'I will regulate pubs, but I don't visit them' - General news - Politics - Morning Advertiser

'I will regulate pubs, but I don't visit them' - General news - Politics - Morning Advertiser: "Alan Campbell"

Can you imagine our government being any more ridiculous. It must be time for them to leave. Perhaps a large bell and a call of 'Time Please Gentlemen and Ladies' should be rung at great volume from the visitors gallery of the House of Commons.

For Alan Campbell and whoever appointed him this clearly demonstrates the crass stupidity of this administration.

As I have said in a previous blog which I can't be bothered to look up (you can if you want): The only effective way to control the damage people are doing with excessive alcohol consumption is to restrict access to the only controlled drinking environment - the pub. If you force pubs out of business and allow the whole sale price slashing of other suppliers then the consumer will get just as drunk at home or in shebeens that will spring up where there were once local pubs.

Will someone please call a halt to this stupidity!!!

Join the Facebook Cause 'Save the Great British Pub' and have a look at the Campaign for a Fair Pint too.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

What a Surprise

Well, after a break of over six months due to nothing more than total apathy I was amazed to find that this Blog had received 39 page hits last week. On closer investigation - I went to the counter site (sitemeter) and found that the new series of Shameless which I managed to miss last night had yet again attracted attention. The page in question is buried deep in the archive pages from last April ( David Threlfall stars as Frank the head of the dysfunctional family of Gallaghers living on the Chatsworth Estate. Amazing show - please everyone watch and enjoy.
Now I should appear further up The Millbrookers Links list.