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Great Inventions No 2

2011 October 6
by Stephen

Following on from my post the other day, as promised here is another brilliant idea for you. 

We recently fought through the endless bureaucracy to register our child here in Spain.  I will be publishing a 4 volume self help book for other people who find themselves trying to register a child and sort out Social Security etc.)   The next step was to take out a British passport so we can do the rounds of present collecting in the UK. 

Before I go any further with this I should state my opinion with regards to Baby Passports utterly bloody stupid.

There appears to be a lot of issues regarding getting acceptable photographs.  How you can ever have an acceptable photograph is beyond me for two very simple reasons.

1.  All babies within their racial group look alike especially to people other than their parents.

2. If you do succeed in getting a decent photograph, with the speed at which babies grow by the time the passport has been produced the picture will be nothing like the baby.

Therefore in a effort to make life easier for new parents, I propose putting on line a collection of “acceptable” baby photos and the stressed out parent can just download a suitable approximation of their baby.


2011 October 6
by Stephen

Just a very quick note that I probably should have posted earlier to say that on the 23rd of August my life changed for ever and Brynn was born and apparently he was/is fine.

Please no comments on how wonderful my new life will be or any other gushy crap.  I will make up my own mind if it was a change for the better and will post my opinion here sometime in the next 18 or so years.

Great inventions No 1

2011 August 11
by Stephen

I don’t know if it is impending fatherhood but my creative juices seem to be flowing freely at the moment.  I’m just about to patent my latest invention and I thought I would share it with you.

As I’m sure you all know we have two cats, one of which we found abandoned at only 2 weeks old (so we had to hand rear it).  Which incidentally I’m sure will end up being very useful experience when it comes to junior.  Back to my new invention.

A little kitten at 2 weeks old probably has a brain the size of a walnut and a new born baby perhaps the size of a tennis ball, hence a baby is more intelligent than a kitten.  If we were able to train said kitten to use a litter tray in a few days then surely it must be possible to train a baby to use something similar.  Now I’m not so cruel as to use sharp grit or to force a baby to try and climb over the side of the tray.  So my new invention has a sloping side and is using a proprietary litter absorbent but soft. I can’t give full details yet as the patent is still in process.  Watch this space for more great inventions coming soon.

A bit more about Junior

2011 August 11
by Stephen

Woops it just occurred to me that I have not mentioned anything about the sex of the child.  We actually had some difficulty in finding out as junior seems to take after me i.e. shy and timid, therefore its legs were always crossed.  Anyway for those of you with no interest whatsoever it is male.  Although to be fair I should mention that whilst there is no longer any doubt about the sex there is some uncertainty about what race of creature he is.  The horns and tail are causing some consternation.  It is probably a bit late to worry about now as the first day of the end of my life is shortly arriving.

Don’t buy Kaspersky products

2011 June 16
by Stephen

Dear Readers

It’s time I put my “Watchdog”  hat on again and save you all from a dreadful mistake.  I’ve long been a fan of Kaspersky Internet Security products and have in the past recommended them to friends and family.  I’m afraid I now have to rescind that advice.

Let me tell you a story (don’t worry I’ll keep it short)

A while back I renewed my copy of Kaspersky Internet Security (upgrading 2010 to 2011).  I use the product on my two home computers and had the consumer license  which covers you for up to 3 computers.   All was well until about a week after installing it on my 2nd computer the application stopped working and informed I had breached their license terms. Although I had  renewed it directly from their consumer “3 computer” product,  unknown to me they had issued  commercial license to me.   Note Kaspersky Internet Security  failed to start, there was no warning, you are left with no protection at all, no time to fix or query the issue.   I know that companies have to protect their investment and fight piracy but for a security product to stop working with no warning is bloody irresponsible.

To cut a long story short, I twice fill out their on-line response form, and I emailed  4 times to them both to their European office in Germany and their Head office in Moscow.  The emails all had read receipt ticked so I know they arrived and were opened.  I did not get a single response.  It is impossible to complain and argue your case when a company is apparently so indifferent to their customers they can’t even be bothered to reply.  So I am left with no other option but to tell everyone I kn0w (or don’t know for that matter) Don’t buy Kaspersky products.

Lost Drinking time

2011 June 7
by Stephen

I was thinking the other day about how much drinking time would be lost, how many beers missed, how many wines un-tasted. This brat was going to cost and cost big time.

So a plan of action was needed. Assume that the creature was going to be around and fully dependent for a couple of years, (I wanted to extrapolate longer but the maths got too heavy). This means that in the not too distant future, opportunities and time for imbibing and talking bollocks to other old drunks would diminish by 80%. Factor in only 2 and a half months left (less actually, because I suppose I will have to stay sober near the time for driving cars etc.). Without going into details over the calculations suffice to say I need to drink a shit load in the next couple of months to carry me through.

However, even this has been denied me. Erstwhile normal, cynical old farts in the village are turning into sloppy, brain dead pseudo uncles (and aunts).

I go out trying to forget and hopefully spend my last couple of months in some semblance of normality but I can’t. Either everyone wants to know that N is OK, or they want to tell me that I’m weird cos I’m try to make light of everything. Another part of the village keeps wanting us to know how blessed we are. Worst of all are the people who are supposed to be my friends, all those bastards want to do is laugh at me and remind me that my life is over (or at least the one I knew before).

Well my message to all of you is “piss off” (or because they are Spanish “jodarte”). I know I’m screwed and I have very little time left. But please please let me have a fucking pint now and then without reminding me of my mistakes (or in case junior ever reads this “our planned for miracle”)

How I got out of doing the Camino de Santiago

2011 June 1
by Stephen

Ok for the 000’s of followers of this ground breaking blog, I know you are fed up of me making you wait for news, but I had an excuse this time.  Something has occurred that we wanted to hold off from announcing (might have been some element of “being in denial” involved as well). 

Yet again it is possible that the reason behind this blog is going to change.  I¡m sure that bits about life in Spain, food, booze etc. will continue to appear, equally I’m sure that the odd complaint will creep in.  But now it will also contain posts about the stupidity of……..

Becoming a father when you are almost too bloody old to climb the stairs let alone coping with a thingy.

So I deemed it better for my continued well being not to leave my dear wife for two months at this time.

PS Due sometime in August (I think).

I take back all the rotten things I’ve said about my wife

2010 September 28
by Stephen

Well most of them.  The woman is a genius.  As you will know she recently challenged me to walk the Camino de Santiago and I accused her of trying to get rid of me.  Well just in case I can’t find a good excuse to get out of it, I thought I’d better get some training in.  So I did a 3 hour walk today and then stopped at a bar where had had a couple of beers and a hamburger and chips and the great thing about it was that I did not feel guilty at all.  As I said she is a genius.

Going to go for another walk tomorrow cos there is this place I know where they do Suckling Pig.

Is my wife trying to get rid of me?

2010 September 13
by Stephen

Ok you might think that the title is a little strong,  but the other day she (my wife that is) issued me with a challenge.    Her words went something like this.  “You now have plenty of free time you should do something useful,  all you do is spend your days drinking in the local bars with your old cronies and philosophising”.  Now maybe I’m behind the times but spending hours trying to right the wrongs of the world over a few bottles of wine, does not seem a waste of time to me.

Anyway my opinions aside, her thoughts carried on like this.. “you may like being a fat lardy arsed bastard drinking with all the other old intellectuals/farts ” (OK intellectuals is my word but I’m sure she was thinking it) “but I bet you can’t do something really impressive like….. walking the Camino de Santiago and don’t try to get away with a half arsed attempt.  Why don’t you do it from Madrid.” 

At a rough guess I would say the distance is around the 700 – 800 kilometre mark……

You have to bear in mind that I really am a fat lardy arsed bastard and I do spend my time getting pissed with a group of opinionated old farts.  I do have an excuse, I have a dodgy heart (after one heart attack I had to start drinking wine as a precaution.) added to general degradation of most of my other systems (OK I admit that most of that may be my fault).  But hey so much exercise could easily kill me (hence the title).

So I am now find myself desperately looking for excuses.  The only one I can think of at the moment is to try and find some type of contract/job that will mean I can’t do it.  So if anyone has any other suggestions to get me out of this (that don’t involve self mutilation) then please let me know.  Failing other excuses, anyone know how you go about finding work?

Of Welshmen and Sheep

2010 September 8
by Stephen

And no it is not what you think……

I’m afraid this is another moan brought about by stupidity, the only problem is that this time it is my stupidity. 

It is even harder here in Spain to buy mutton than it is in the UK, there is no point going to a butcher where they really only sell:

“Cordero Lechal” (milk fed up to about 6 kilos max)

“Cordero Recental” (about 90 days old and around 10 – 12 Kilos)

and if you are lucky, especially if you live in the centre of Spain you may find “Cordero Pascual” , this is closer to the lamb you find in the UK 6 months to a year old.

Anyway me being the resourceful fellow that I am I found a farmer who was happy to sell me a sheep for a very good price.  He would also kill it and skin it,  further butchery I would have to do myself .  So this morning I trotted out to see my friendly farmer and acquired a still warm sheep of about 30 kilos (carcass only).

Now we come to the stupid part, I’ve already said that I’m OK doing the butchery but like all freshly killed meat you have to hang it for a week or so.   Where the Bleeding Hell can you hang a 30 kilo lump of meat in your average house, somewhere cool (don’t forget I’m in central Spain), somewhere where it won’t be covered in flies within a few moments of hanging it out and somewhere where the flaming cats can’t get to it.  Any suggestions on a postcard please.


PS Watch this space cos I might be asking for advice on what to do with 30 kilos of rotten, maggot strewn meat in the not too distant future.