Thursday, 22 July 2010

A Nice Little Bonus .... Gone

Two weeks ago I checked my online utility bills and was pleased to see that those really nice people at British Gas were sending me £184.51, being a surplus balance that had built up on my account. 

Within a week, the oven had blown up, the washing machine packed up and the garden fence blown down.

So that's that little bonus gone before I get it then.

Monday, 26 April 2010

A Fantastic Find During A Walk In The Forest

On Sunday me and Mrs W took a walk in the New Forest. Following a route devised by the National Park themselves,  directions got a bit vague and we found ourselves on the wrong path. Lucky for us we did for suddenly we spotted a couple of deer about 50 feet away through some trees. We stopped immediately, and as we watched realised there was more, at least eight of them. We managed to move a few paces to get a clearer view and the simply stood watching them for a couple of minutes. They knew we were there, at all times at least two were keeping an attentive eye on us, but clearly didn't feel threatened by us. I managed to get the following video of them watching us watching them - they finally ran off when we decided to see if we could approach any closer.
We are used to seeing animals in places like Marwell Park, but to see so many wild animals so close up in their natural habitat was a moving experience. 

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Remember These ?

Spotted on my way to work. It was heading south . Taken at Weston Shore Southampton 8:45am today
Ovi Mail: Create an account directly from your phone

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

That Lucky Feeling

This morning, for no apparent reason,  I woke with one of those "It's going to be my lucky day" type positive vibes. On my way to work I stopped to buy some milk, outside the shop was a guy selling The Big Issue.  Such was my feel good factor I not only gave him £2 and told him to keep the change but also an extra £1 and told him to buy himself a lottery ticket. I carried on to work with mixed emotions of feeling good and wondering what the hell had come over me!

I got home this evening and waiting for me in today's post was an envelope I didn't recognise. I opened it and found a cheque from the Premium Bonds people for £25. Happy days :-)  My "feeling" was obviously more of a "premonition". Then I turned it over and spotted the bit that said the winning bond was in the name of my daughter (the cheque has to be payable to me till she's 16 ) Not so happy days :-(  I rarely have much spare cash  at the best of times but that has to be the quickest in with  one hand and out with the other ever, even by my standards.

Still, I'm pleased for her (I even smiled through gritted teeth as I exchanged the cheque for cash for her) but I've bought myself a lottery ticket for tonight. Just in case. £17,000,000 triple roll-over , and after all today isn't over yet.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

2D or not 2D

Thanks to a busy spell and a crashed laptop a few things I would no doubt have blogged on have gone un-Wurzeled since my last blog. Like Saints getting to Wembley again and winning a trophy - great day out; a couple of new babies born to friends and family:; small matter of a general election announced; my Mum discovering she needs a heart by-pass; the start of the cricket season to name but a few.

But back up to date. Last night I went to the new Imax screen at the Odeon to see Alice in Wonderland. Not a film I was particularly fussed about (Mrs W's choice) but it was my first chance to experience not only the huge Imax screen, but also my first of the modern 3d movies.

At over £12 a ticket  (including the booking fee - why am I charged 75p a ticket for the privilege of saving the cinema the need for any employee to serve me?) I was expecting something special. Apparently it was. From the opening credits Mrs W was oohing and aahing, occasionally even dodging and ducking. I, meanwhile sat watching and wondering what the fuss was about. The trouble was that I have one eye that is  much weaker than the other. It's not blind, if I close the good one I still have vision in the weak one, but for purposes of focusing my brain simply ignores it. This can make perception of depth difficult, as an optician explained once if i lined up a snooker shot I'd have no way of gauging the distance between cue and object balls. I don't play much snooker, but was relieved to find that it wasn't imagination that, when playing cricket I can stand there bat in hand, watch the ball leave the bowlers hand and see (or rather not see) it disappear half way  between bowler and me, only to hear the dreaded noise of ball hitting stumps a split second later. But I digress. The same problem, I now discover only after paying my £12, prevents me from seeing a 3D film. I tired all sorts during the movie, crossed eyes, special glasses on, off, upside down, back to front - nothing made any difference. If you ever watch a 3D film shut one eye for a while, you'll see what I see. It's still perfectly watch-able (with the special glasses) but no different than watching a normal film.

Mrs W told me it was fantastic and never wants to bother with an ordinary film again. I guess we'll be parting company at the screen doors next time we visit the cinema.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Normal Service To Be Resumed

Thanks to my laptop hitting it's self destuct button blogging opportunities have been severely restricted recently.

A new one has been aquired, which includes Windows 7. So normal service will hopefully be resumed as soon as I have found my way around it.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

The Boathouse

Boathouse, Trevarno, originally uploaded by Wurzel.
Sometimes a photo comes out even better than you hoped.
This is The Boathouse at Trevarno.
Definitely one of my better efforts.
2 days later the camera broke - I hope the replacement will achieve comparable results

Friday, 26 February 2010


Less than a year ago Pompey fans were revelling in Saints possible (and for a while it looked probable) demise. Today the boot is on the other foot. It's our turn to enjoy their suffering, I'm sure there will be plenty more where this came from.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Curse Of The Apostrophe


St Mary's Stadium, Southampton.

Where Southampton were playing local rivals Portsmouth last Saturday.

Attendance at the match (including  a good many of my friends) 31,385

Atmosphere on the day: Red hot & volatile

St Marys, Isles of Scilly

Where my wife took me for a surprise birthday helicopter trip on the day of the above mentioned match.

Population of whole Island 1,666

Atmosphere on the day : Sleepy to comatose.

What a difference an apostrophe can make.

(To be fair it  was a wonderful trip and we spent a lovely day wandering around the island, sampling the local hostelries etc)

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Que Sera Sera

Whatever will be will be
We're going to Wembley
Que Sera Sera *

Yes, Southampton FC have made it to Wembley for the final of the Johnstones Paint Trophy. I'll be there on 28th March watching team for the fifth time at Wembley in a different competion each time - FA Cup, Charity Shield, League Cup, Full Members (ZDS) and now Football League Trophy (JPT).

We're still in the FA Cup of course, only 2 matches away from another Wembley appearance or two, plus still in with a chance, although admittedly a fading chance at the moment, of yet another appearance there in a Play-off final at the end of the season.

We're only even in the JPT ( a competition for teams in the lower 2 leagues ) because of the severe mismanagement of the previous few years culminating in 2 relegations and our near extinction before being rescued at almost the last minute. But since then we have the air of a club on the up, crowds increasing, and setting new records as the highest crowd ever in every round of the JPT we have played in (and would no doubt sell out Wembley on our own if they'd give us all the tickets.) Compare and contrast with our neighbours down the road who appeared at Wembley themselves less than 2 years ago and will now be grateful to even exist by the end of next week.

Football, as they say, is a funny old game.

*Should have been a video here of 29500 people singing this as the final whistle approached, until I watched it and realised how much my hand was shaking at the time !

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Grey Matter

For the third time this week I've been asked if I am my Dad.

Maybe it's time that the bottle of Grecian 2000 given to me by friends for a joke (well I thought it was a joke anyway) a couple of years ago, that I refused to use (but never threw away either, just in case) finally comes out of the cupboard.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

A Different Kind Of Anarchy

Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols is always in my top 3* when naming my favourite singles off all time (* exact position may vary depending on mood at time of list compilation).
Also I love seeing cover versions of any songs performed in styles different from the originaI.
I also love piss takes
So imagine my delight when I stumbled across this on YouTube. Simply brilliant

Friday, 22 January 2010

Topo Returns

The name Topo Gigio is suddenly back in the news. "Who? " I hear you ask.

Topo Gigio  was the main character in a childrens' tv puppet show that I used to watch back in the 1960s . Apparently he's Italian, although I didn't know that at the time , I guess he must have been dubbed for us English fans.

I used to have a toyTopo Gigio  about 6 inches tall, and whilst that must have been despatched to the great toy box in the sky long long ago, the name has always stuck in the back of my mind (to the extent that I actually asked for a bottle of it once when shopping for a bottle of wine, only to receive blank looks from the woman in the off licence).

Suddenly, after about 40 years he's in the news. Why?

On Tuesday Carlos Tevez scored for Manchester City against his old team and City's great rivals Manchester United. His "celebration" was to run to a spot in front of the United bench and stand stock still, hands cupped behind his ears.

No doubt warned, after the event, of the dim view that the FA takes of anything that they consider to "bring the game into disrepute" he came up with the first excuse he could think of - namely that his celebration was in fact in honour of Topo Gigio.

Whilst Tevez is working wonders for my Fantasy Football team at the moment,  I know which one I would sooner have sat on my toy shelf as a child.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Fog Blog

For no other reason than to check to see how mobile blogging works on my new phone. A foggy scene on the way to work this morning.
EDIT from PC:
1) I works, easily and virtually instantly
2) It adds annoying adverts at the end of the blog, which I can (have) remove later.
3) Nokia 5800 has a crap camera

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Monday, 11 January 2010

Why Can't Girls Throw ?

It's a known fact, white men can't dance, girls can't throw*.
During a walk in the snow yesterday with  Mrs Wurzel, she suggested that a good photo would be one of her throwing a snowball straight at the camera. "Ok", I thought, "We'll see".
I got her nicely lined up in a ready to throw pose and told her to aim straight at the camera. "Won't I damage it ?" she asked. It was a risk I was prepared to take.

Through the viewfinder I saw the snowball leave her hand, sail upwards and out of shot , with no idea where it landed. "No, aim AT the camera" I told her.
The following 5 minutes reminded me of the never-ending loop programmes we wrote at school back in the mid 70s. (We thought that such a programme would eventually blow-up the computer - disappointingly it never did)
10 Me: Aim camera
20 Mrs W : Throw snowball
30 Me: Say "Aim at camera"
40 Goto 10
There was one "mishap" when one snowball I never saw first nor last hit me fair and square in the - in cricket parlance - box region. Curiously, and I am not making any accusations here, that one seemed to have more force behind it than the others.
Eventually, I managed to end up with the shot below,probably more by luck than judgement. I use it as an example to justify the story, not because of any artistic merit. Not quite the dramatic shot I hoped for, but if I stood there any longer I'd have started to freeze.

* with apologies to Tessa Anderson and Fatima Whitbread

Friday, 8 January 2010

Not Snow Much As Promised

Following on from previous post, as usual, the severe weather suddenly diverted before it reached here.  Having said that it is still the most snow we've had for years and it doesn't show much signs of thawing i the near future.

Tuesday evening I had to go out aound the time the bulk of the snow hit. The main roundabout near us became grid-locked and I decided to turn round and go home. A good decision as it turned out because half a mile further on and I'd have been in the middle of THIS .

Eventually we got about 10cms, nowhere near the "up to 40cms" we were warned of. Apart from the few hours of blizzard, driving is pretty easy as long as you're  a) sensible and b) can reach the well cleared main roads without encountering any icy hills on the way. All the local schools(including the one where Mrs Wurzel works, she's already tearing her hair out through boredom) have remained closed for 3 days. Why? In my school-days the school only closed if the boilers packed up - if it snowed you just got out your gloves and wellies and got on with it. What lesson does it teach kids today ?- at the first sign of adversity, give up.

Plenty more snow forecast for Saturday and Sunday - we shall see.  I might get out to play in it yet.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Snow ! (?)

Here, just outside Southampton, we often watch the weather reports of snow around the country in total incomprehension as yet again not a single snow-flake dares venture within several miles of home.. So it's with mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation to see the Met Office warning for our area this evening.

 Flash warnings of severe or extreme weather

These are issued when the Met Office has 80% or greater confidence that severe weather is expected in the next few hour

London & South East England:
W Berkshire
Very Heavy Snowfall

2000 Tue 5 1100 Wed 6

There is a high risk of an extreme weather event affecting parts of Southern England this evening and overnight. A period of exceptionally heavy snowfall is expected with accumulations of 15-30 cm and perhaps in excess of 40 cm. This is expected to cause widespread disruption to the transport network and could lead to problems with power supplies.

The public are advised to take extreme care and refer to the Highways Agency for further advice on traffic disruption on motorways and trunk roads.

Issued at: 1135 Tue 5 Jan

It's goning to be interesting pulling back the curtains tomorrow morning !