Peter Cook and Dudley Moore – "Goodbyeee"

Yesterday, we were in the midst of saying goodbye to someone (we knew we would see them again about 30 minutes later). It was tending to be a very long drawn-out goodbye. So, in the end I broke into:

We’re leaving now,
We wish you all goodbye
Fartatata, fartatata..

My daughter thought I had just made that up and that it wasn’t a real song – so, when we got home, our played her this fond memory, which is from the end of a 1973 BBC TV production of “Excerpts from the London production of Behind the fridge”:

The extraordinary mining activity in Western Australia

south bound 08It’s well worth seeing “Australia with Simon Reeve” now showing on BBC2 and here on iPlayer.

It was great to see him yesterday travelling down the Bruce Highway, which we did over two days. I didn’t know there was so much sugar cane in the world.

One of the things which comes out of the series (apart from the surprising fact that there are more camels in Australia than in any other country in the world, including Egypt) is the extraordinary mining activity in Australia. Simon Reeve visited Perth airport to witness the vast “fly in fly out” (FIFO) activity which ferries mine workers in and out of Perth to remote mining operations in Western Australia. It is estimated that 30% of the passengers going through Perth airport are FIFO “resource related” passengers – about 52,500 a week.

Seeing Simon Reeve standing amongst the planes preparing to fly at around 6am, and walking amongst all the mine workers waiting for their planes, brings home the sheer magnitude of mining in Western Australia.

Photo above: Some rights reserved by Fernando de Sousa

Has David Cameron given up?

I am totally OK with DC going on holiday. “UK Crisis” is a ridiculous way to describe the aftermath of a tragic murder. If the PM waited for the funeral of deceased armed services members before he went on holiday, he’d never go on holiday.

But what intrigues me is the unbelievable “in your face” Cecil B. DeMille production job given to provide the press with photo-ops of his holiday.

David Cameron is a former PR man. He knows what impact such photos have in a sensitive period.

He could have quietly slipped away with no photos. I believe Nick Clegg did recently.

But no, Cams rubs our noses in his holiday, knowing full well it will get negative headlines.

Has he basically had enough of trying unsuccessfully to lead his party? Has he given up any idea of being PM beyond 2015 and decided: “What the hell, let’s enjoy the moment and show everybody what a glorious holiday we can afford” ?

Woo! Hoo! Newbury Bayer 10K completed in personal best time @teammacmillan

medal pic I’ve just completed the 2013 Newbury Bayer 10K in a personal best time of 1 hour, 7 minutes and 47 seconds.

Very well done indeed to our daughter, Rhea, who was considerably ahead of me. This was the first 10K where we’ve run together.

Very well done indeed to Alex Muir who came third!

Thanks very much indeed for the overwhelming donations to Macmillan Cancer Care to sponsor me! My JustGiving page is still open if you are in a generous mood.

Woolwich killing – let's not get carried away

The awful killing of Drummer Lee Rigby was chillingly horrific and a terrible tragedy, for which my heart goes out to his family.

There are roughly two intentional homicides a day in the UK. You can see some of the victims here.

None of them normally involve the degree of cold-blooded butchery and the “terrorist” connotations of the Woolwich murder.

So, we have all sorts of discussion kicking off about terrorism, hate preachers and “send them back to where they came from” etc etc. That is exactly what the perpetrators wanted to happen. For one single murder, a double daily event in this country, to be blown up into a major national crisis.

We should look very carefully at lessons which can be learnt from this appalling act.

But let’s all calm down a little and reflect on this in a measured way.

My personal first take on the murder, is that the professionalism of the armed response team, who were first on the scene, was mind-blowingly first-rate. We should all be very proud that we have officers who are able to respond in such an exceptional way.

The musical phenomenum that were the Top of the Poppers

OK I’m started…

Before “Now!” you had K-Tel compilation albums which were, more often than not, the original versions by the original artists, although they did, I seem to recall, sneak in the occasional re-recording.

But “Top of the Pops” compilation albums were something else… Cheap cover versions recorded by session musicians.

As a sample, here’s the “Top of the Poppers” version of “Johnny Reggae”: