Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Snooze you lose

OK so here's the deal.

I am pretty rubbish at the whole getting up kind of thing. Now I'm sure there are some people who on only the second ping of their alarm clock are already out of bed, showering, having breakfast and chomping at the bit to get on with their day.

I on the other hand take a slightly more considered approach. And this is the problem.

The snooze button.

Snooze buttons ruin lives. It's a fact.

Don't be fooled into thinking you'll get more precious sleep by repeatedly hitting that button. You are just kidding yourself. Yes, technically you are in bed, but you will find yourself in a bewildering world of sleep and no sleep. It's the sleep equivalent of having a warm can of coke on a hot summers day. You know you've just taken liquid on board but somehow it didn't seem to quench your thirst.

Every five minutes bang! your arm's flapping like a giant beached tuna attempting to hit that button to send you back to a sleepless oblivion. Every five minutes you're snapped back to reality with a shudder trying to remember where you are and possibly more to the point who you are.

My theory is for every five minute snooze you take you lose what feels like an hour of regular sleep. All I'm saying is I hit that button so many times this morning it feels like I haven't slept for days.

Am starting a campaign group. Join me.

So here's the joke ...

A man was walking along a California beach and stumbled across an old lamp. He picked it up and rubbed it and out popped a genie. The genie said, "OK. You released me from the lamp, blah blah blah. This is the fourth time this month and I'm getting a little sick of these wishes so you can forget about three. You only get one wish!"

The man sat and thought about it for a while and said, "I've always wanted to go to Hawaii but I'm scared to fly and I get very seasick. Could you build me a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over there to visit?"

The genie laughed and said, "That's impossible. Think of the logistics of that! How would the supports ever reach the bottom of the Pacific? Think of how much concrete...how much steel, let alone the massive environmental impact!! No, think of another wish."

The man said OK , "I wish that I could understand women....know how they feel inside and what they're thinking when they give me the silent treatment....know how to make them truly happy."

"About that bridge," says the genie. "How many lanes do you want. Two or four?"
Mental Maths time and today's question caught a few of you out. Remember it's all done in your head - no writing anything down. See if you arrive at the correct answer.


take off 29
divided by 3
double it
add 24
reverse the digits
swap em back
add 6
divided by 4


Monday, 29 September 2008

London town and a working weekend

I know, I know but it's not because I don't love you.

I've been hob nobbing in London Town for the last couple of days. All good fun although the best bit of any course/conference does tend to be the beer afterwards. Some people call it networking. Either I'm not grown up enough to do that (that may explain the career) or I just prefer having fun (and beer as it turns out although sadly none of the beer was expense refundable.)

Anyway that was how last week ended. And then there was a 40th birthday party at the weekend - well 3 actually. A sort of combined 120th although it was one of those parties you go to where you don't actually know many/any of the people there and you spend most of the night thinking you'll get turfed out as a gatecrasher. Luckily I found out I could do 40th birthday small talk very well and a super fun time was had by all.

Meetings today, prerecords and general Monday stuff. Will be a bit on the hectic side this evening as I promised to go and see the Southampton Ukulele Jam tonight in Southampton (they are hilarious - it's basically people playing The Undertones and Talking Heads on ukuleles). Then it's on to Romsey for footy.

I may be the only one holding a ukulele wearing football shorts.

For some reason that sounds ruder than I meant.

So here's the joke ....

Bob was a farmer and was helping one of his cows give birth, when he noticed his 4-year-old son standing wide-eyed at the fence, taking in the whole event.

"Oh great...", thought Bob, "...he's only 4 and I'm gonna have to start explaining the birds and bees. No need to jump the gun - I'll just let him ask, and I'll answer."

After everything was over, Bob walked over to his son and asked, "Well son, do you have any questions?"

"Just one." gasped the still wide-eyed lad...

"How fast was that calf going when he ran into that cow?!!"

Mental Maths and the supply teacher set this one for the class today. Don't get too freaked out about the high numbers. It's all fairly straight forward for a Monday.


times ten
take away 4
divide by 3
take away 32
divide by 100
times 15
take away 8
times 3


Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Bedroom disaster

Was running around trying not to be late for Monday night's footie match in Winchester (which incidentally ended up a glorious 3-3 draw). Anyway rushed into the master bedroom in the west wing and whizzed the dimmer switch around to illuminate the boudoir.

Straight away I knew all was not right and so it was proven when I attempted to switch off the light to leave. The light would not turn off. At all. Despite numerous attempts of twisting, pushing, pulling and begging it to switch off it remained very much on.

And so it was four hours later that I found myself lying in bed in an extremely well lit bedroom attempting to go to sleep. Couldn't work out which fuse I should take out in the fuse box and all the bulbs were now nuclear hot and would melt even the sun itself.

All I'll say is I wouldn't recommend attempting a restful night under direct bulb light. My body clock has all gone to pot and currently I have no idea what time/day or even year it is. As I speak my bedroom remains very well lit. Apologies Al Gore.

Am off to B&Q after work today. It can't be that hard to change a switch, surely? Mind you if the traffic lights dim when you're driving home you'll know it was rather more complicated than I anticipated.

Well wear my marigolds and rubber wellies.

So here's the joke ...

An Elderly couple walk into a café. They order one beefburger, one portion of chips and one drink. The old man unwraps the beefburger and carefully cuts it in half. He places one half in front of his wife.

He then counts out the fries, divided them into two piles and placing one pile in front of his wife.
He takes a sip of the drink, then sets the cup down beside them. As he begins to eat his few bites of his beefburger, the people around start whispering: "That poor old couple- all they can afford is one meal for the two of them."

As the man begins to eat his chips a young man comes to the table. He offers to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man replies that they're just fine- they're just used to sharing everything. The other diners notice the old lady hasn't eaten a bite. She just sits there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking a sip of the drink.

Again the young man comes over and begs them to let him buy another meal for them. This time the old woman says: "No thank you, we are used to sharing everything."

As the old man finishes and wipes his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again comes over to the little lady and asks: "May I ask what you are waiting for?"

"The teeth."
And onto Mental Maths. Here is today's puzzle. Again quite straight forward but under pressure quite a few fell at a rather awkward subtraction hurdle ...


plus 14
times 4
divided by 2
take off 44
divided by 6
add 9
three quarters of that
times 3


Monday, 22 September 2008

Where've you been?

Well alright - it's more like where have I been?

To be fair I have been working very hard. I'm not whingeing - the boss never reads this but as well as the radio show I also do the odd bit of filming and last week it just went a bit bonkers. Loads of good stuff which you might end up seeing on the web or hearing on the radio. But it was the filming equivalent of buses - nothing for ages and then all of a sudden ... chaos.

So in between that I have made two purchases which should improve the quality of my life.

The first is a ukulele. Not any old ukulele but a flying V which I didn't think they made. (Picture in your head the sort of ukulele that ZZ Top would play and you're nearly there). Anyway having met the Southampton Ukulele Jam I've decided to learn and join the 40 strong membership of mass ranks of ukulele. Seems like a whole load of fun however my fingers do seem a little on the chubby side but am sure I could always go on a diet or exercise only my digits.

Therefore my second weekend purchase was an X-Box 360. To be fair I may be a little old for that sort of nonsense but I've been console free for nearly a year and I do miss it a bit. Rebecca has been telling me today that I am the perfect age for it.

I fear she may be saying I'm a tad childish but that's what producers are for.

Am thinking of combining the two - Ukulele Hero anyone?

So here's the joke ...

A man goes into a wine bar wearing a shirt open at the collar and is met by a bouncer who tells him he must wear a tie to gain admission. So the man goes out to his car and he looks around for a tie and discovers that he just doesn't have one. He sees a set of jumper leads in the boot.

In desperation he ties these around his neck, manages to fashion a fairly acceptable looking knot and lets the ends dangle free. He goes back to the restaurant and the bouncer carefully looks him over for a few minutes and then says ....

"In you go - but don't start anything."

Mental Maths time and after your online week off here's today's puzzle. Fairly straight forward this one - follow it through and see if you arrive at the correct answer.


two thirds of that
double it
a quarter of that
times itself
double that
take away 19
plus 2
divided by 9 ...


Monday, 15 September 2008

The issue that won't go away

OK ok ok - I know I've gone on and on about this cake but ...

Finally here is the definitive recipe for Tomato Soup Cake. Thanks to Pauline and Doug from Gosport. I can vouch for the fact that all your basic criteria for a cake are covered by this one ...

a) it looks like a cake
b) it tastes like a cake
c) despite it's dodgy tomato soup ingredient - I truly believe it IS a cake

Scroll down for the recipe - it is very tasty (unlike my efforts last week)

Elsewhere over the weekend I ended up visiting Ikea and buying a basket full of stuff I didn't really need. I can now provide ice in four different styles (normal cubes, jigsaw pieces, bottles and sticks). Also I am able to scrub by back and scrub my feet (not that I wasn't before) courtesy of the bathroom department. And - I am living the rock'n'roll dream, baby - I have 3 extra tea towels to add to my arsenal.

All of that I can live with but I made a rash purchase of a new light. All I'm going to say is that the showroom must have been deceptively spacious as I now have a light which gets in the way where ever you are in the room. Imagine a lamp on the end of a fishing rod that's bending over under the strain and you've just about got it. I fear it's going to have to be consigned to the dining room where it will attack unsuspecting guests.

Either that or ebay is just about to gain one more item.

So here's the joke ...

After suffering through years of his wife's awful coffee, the man spat it out and took the coffee maker to his lawyer.

Dropping it on the lawyer's desk, the man growled, "Here they are!"

"Here are what?" the startled lawyer asked.

"The grounds for divorce ...."
Mental Maths time again and all fairly straight forward for the start of the week. Rules are simple no writing down, do all the sums in your head and see if you can get to the answer.


take off 4
times 6
double it
take off 36
divided by 4
take away 9
times 9
double it ....


And finally ....


2 cups plain flour
11/2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
11/2 teaspoons ground allspice (not mixed spice)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 can of condensed Tomato Soup
½ cup vegetable shortening ( I use vegetable oil )
2 eggs
¼ cup of water

Grease and flour two 8-inch sandwich pans.
Preheat oven to 350 F 180 C Gas 5

Put all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix on low speed until ingredients
are blended. Then at high speed for four minutes. Divide equally between
the two pans and bake for 35/40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and cool completely.

Cream cheese filling
50g softened butter
50g cream cheese
Icing sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla essence

Blend butter and cream cheese, add vanilla. Add enough icing sugar to make the right consistency.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

In need of something savoury

Am feeling slightly unwell.

May be something to do with consuming a victoria sponge, a chocolate and coca cola cake and a tomato soup cake. If that wasn't bad enough here's the recipe, as promised, for the chocolate and mayonnaise cake. (Thanks to Rona)

Oh - and it's in American measurements. I appear to have had trouble with my cup sizes. Apparently it's a common trait in most men.

Chocolate Mayonnaise cake

A chocolate mayonnaise cake, made with mayonnaise in place of eggs and oil.

* 2 cups flour
* 1/2 cup cocoa
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup sugar
* 3/4 cup mayonnaise
* 1 cup water
* 1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda and salt. Cream together the sugar, mayonnaise, water and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; stir until well blended. Pour batter into greased and floured layer cake pans (or a 9- x 13-inch pan). Bake at 350°F. for about 25


So here's the joke ...

A man sits at a cafe, enjoying an after work aperitif, when a gorgeous young woman walks in. He cannot take his eyes off her. The woman notices his attentive stare and walks directly toward him. Before he can apologize for staring, the woman says, "I will do anything for you, absolutely anything, for just £100. There's only one condition."

"What's that?" asks the flabbergasted man.

The woman says: "You have to tell me what you want me to do in just three words".

The man considers her proposition for a moment, withdraws his wallet from his pocket and slowly counts out five twenty pound notes, which he presses into her hand. He looks deeply into her eyes as he says ....

"Paint my house."
Mental Maths today left everyone going round in circles. A little bit sneaky I know but I think you all enjoyed it. Here's what happened.


take off 8
minus 12
subtract 15
take off 6
subtract 8
take off 19
minus 13
plus 81


Tomato Soup Cake

I know, I know.

The words tomato, soup and cake should never be in the same sentence let alone the same tin. But in the interests of science I have made one. Granted I've yet to try it and there appears to be some sort of 'issue' with the frosting but it does look vaguely like a cake should.

It is quite heavy though and I have had to go on a manual handling course in order to lift it from the oven to the stand. It appears I mistook a mug for a cup and so I have made a whopper.

So here's the recipe.

Tomato Soup Cake
Serves: 8
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 60 mins


Cake mix

Half a cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 small tin tomato soup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Half tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Frosting (optional)

1 tub cream cheese
1 tblsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
icing sugar

Blend the margarine with the sugar using an electric mixer or a wooden spoon, until soft.
Add the tomato soup into which the bicarbonate of soda has been stirred. Next, sift the dry ingredients (excluding the nuts and fruit) and add to the mixture.

Now stir in the raisins and nuts. When it has been mixed thoroughly, pour the mixture into a greased and lined baking tin. Bake in a moderate oven (350F) for 50-60 minutes.

FROSTING (optional)
Beat one tub of cream cheese and add one tablespoon of melted butter and one teaspoon of vanilla essence. Add enough icing sugar to make a spreadable consistency. Decorate the top of the cake.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

More of a whimper than a bang ...

I must admit I did slightly squint for a moment at around about 8.30am when the world was supposed to have ended. Shoddy time keeping by the world's leading scientists meant I did look like I was about to sneeze for a good 4 or 5 minutes.

Just thought if the world was going to end when they switched on their proton collider thingy (I gave up science early) it might smart a bit and somehow by squinting it would lessen the effect. (Note: I do it a lot - the whole something's about to hurt so squint a bit - it's kind of my natural anaesthetic - particularly for the removal of plasters).

Anyway turns out the world didn't end and more to the point turns out they weren't even doing the colliding stuff just sending a few protons round the block as a bit of a warm up. The real thing isn't happening until October.

More sleepless nights.

Perhaps I'll combine the End of the World Part II with the removal of a plaster.

So here's the joke ...

Doris was a little tinker. Young beyond her years she goes to live in an old people's home.
It all seems a little boring so she decides to liven things up. Doris proceeds to run up and down the halls in the nursing home. As she goes, she flips up the hem of her nightgown and says "Supersex...".

There'd she go - up and down the corridors flipping her hem - "Superersex, supersex, supersex ...."

She walks up to an elderly man in a comfy day chair flipping her gown at him.

"Supersex, " she says ...

The old man sits there silently for a moment or two lost deep in thought ..... Finally he replies ....

"I think I'll take the soup ...."

Mental Maths and a bumper batch of homework handed in. The window cleaners of Gosport and Lymington are slugging it out. New rival carpet fitters and posties have joined the fray.


times 4
divide by 3
times 4
plus 23
take off 11
divided by 5
double it


Tuesday, 9 September 2008

The simple things

All I'm going to say is ....

Picked up the ball on the halfway line, skipped past one, cutback past another, into the box - one more to beat, faked a left, went to the right - and curved it right to left on the outside of the boot.

Life went into slow motion, for an instant the world held it's breath, the keeper stayed put beguiled by the sheer sporting poetry of the moment as the spinning ball danced into the back of the net.

That was a moment.

That is living.

That, as Lee McKenzie would say, is whadi'mtalkinabooouuuutttt!

(The fact I missed another 4 or 5 absolute sitters and couldn't hit a barn door from 3 paces for the rest of the game and can't quite walk straight today .... well - that kind of spoiled the story).

So here's the joke ....

A husband and wife were sitting out on their back porch, enjoying a glass of lemonade after a long hard day. A bird flew over and, with perfect aim leaves a deposit squarely in the middle of the wife's head. She reached up, felt the damage, and shouts 'Quick, get some toilet paper.'

'It wouldn't do any good,' replies the husband. 'He's miles away by now.'

Mental Maths time and I promised no fractions today. All fairly straight forward if you had your wits about you. It's just the big subtraction in the middle which threw a few.


times 3
times 3
times 2
times 3
take off 74
divided by 11
times 3
halve it ....


Monday, 8 September 2008

I blame the scientists

There I was - having a nice old life, everything bimbling along as it should and now I've been told the world is going to end on Wednesday. I am somewhat cross. Something to do with a bunch of scientists beneath Switzerland and France playing around with atoms and protons and things generally you should leave well alone.

Now I'd like to think I'm a big fan of progress - man's eternal quest for knowledge has brought us many breakthroughs saving countless lives and improving the quality of life for billions. But when there's a tiny ickle chance the next experiment may cause a black hole which would suck us all in, cause the sun to explode and end mankind and the very universe itself I would like to think someone, somewhere will be thinking "Can I just run through the numbers again?"

As my grandad used to say "Measure twice, cut once." In this case he probably would have approved of multiple measuring just to "make sure". Unlike 4x4x2 wood I hear a new galaxy is quite hard to come by. They don't do them at B&Q.

On the upside at least I won't have my mid life crisis.

Every cloud.

So here's the joke ...

Once upon a time there was a wise man called Indian Chief Cheesecake. His was very fond of his desserts. He was a clever and kind man and much loved by his wife. But one stormy night - well into his twilight years - his time comes and he dies peacefully in his sleep.

The next day the villagers gather to discuss plans for his big send off. After much talking it's decided his wife should carry out the duties. All of a sudden one of the elders begins to laugh.

"Why do you laugh old man? Do you wish to disrespect our ancestors?"

"No," says the old man. "But I've just thought .... Squaw bury Cheesecake."

Mental Maths was really sneaky today. And great news Shifty and Daz in Gosport now have some rival window cleaners in Lymington. Will be keeping scores.


divided by 2
times 4
divided by a half
halve that
take away 1
plus 9
times a quarter
take off a half


Friday, 5 September 2008

I'm still a kid from the 70's

This Internet thing. It is quite good, isn't it?

Having grown up with ZX81's and wobbly ram packs, Commodore 64's and dodgy tape decks and of course ZX Spectrums I can't cease to wonder at the marvel of technology that is the World Wide Web. Now I'm sure that it is used daily by the world's top scientists in a bid to further mankind, cure all illnesses and improve our understanding of why we're all here but .... last night I played pictionary with someone in Denver?

How cool is that!?!??!

I was a bit bored kicking around the house so decided to, I believe they call it, "surf" the net. Find a site that lets you play pictionary online with other people around the world. It was so cool - you get your word, attempt to draw it and everyone else has a go a guessing. Then you join in the global guessing of some, let's be honest, quite shambolic doodling.

Turns out it's quite hard to draw an "oxygen mask" using a mouse but I gave it my best shot. Was more successful with "rain drop", "mountain goat", "green bean" and "railroad" (it's American - you'll have to forgive them).

Now all I need to find is an online version of Mousetrap and my life will be complete.

So here's the joke ...

An infant rabbit was orphaned. Fortunately though, a family of squirrels took it in and raised it as if it were one of their own. This adoption led to some peculiar behaviours on the part of the rabbit, including a tendency for it to run around like his step-siblings rather than the more regular rabbit hop. As the rabbit grew up, however, it soon faced an identity crisis. So when day the little rabbit goes to its squirrel step-parents to discuss the problem. It said how it felt different from its step-siblings, was unsure of its place in the universe, and was generally forlorn.
Their response was simply ...

"Don't scurry be hoppy."

A slightly sneaky Mental Maths today but it still caught a few of you out. Never altogther comfortable with the whole 17 & 18 thing. Here's the puzzle ...


add 18
plus 17
add on 18
plus 17
add 18
add 17
plus 18


Thursday, 4 September 2008

Decisions, decisions, decisions

OK - here's the dilemma.

Do I ...

a) Buy a VW campervan - found a beauty ex German police tintop needs a respray but solid as a rock. At the moment it's very orange but new wheels and new paint and it would look fantastic.

b) Do up my bathroom - original intention of funds was to do bathroom following kitchen. Bathroom alrightish at the moment but could do with a tart up.

c) Move house - seen a place for sale with a proper garden that I can't just about afford if I'm good and never drink or eat out again (am ignoring any alleged credit crunch)

I can only do one - but which one. Any help appreciated. Decisions, decisions, decisions ....

Answers of a postcard to ....

So here's the joke ...

A man, preparing for what could be a lengthy divorce case, is researching potential costs. He walks into a lawyer's office and inquired about the rates.

"Fifty pounds for three questions, " replied the lawyer.

"Isn't that awfully steep?" asked the man.

"Yes," the lawyer replied, "and what's your third question."

Mental Maths time and a bumper attendance in class today. Just a shame I had to hand out so many detentions. See you tomorrow at 11.15am sharp.


double it
times itself
take off 2
double it
double that
take off 7
double it
double that


Wonky axle and the DVD

Granted it does sound like the latest Indie Band all the kids are listening to but in reality it is just an accurate description of last night's activities.

As you may have worked out I haven't quite cracked the whole wobbly wheel problem on the bike (I may have to put on hold my application form to be part of Lance Armstrong's pit crew) but it did actually get me home. Granted I felt a bit like Coco the Clown (all I needed was the squirty flower but, despite a mild sense of nausea from it's wonkiness, it got me home.

Back to the workshop today.

I went crazy when shopping last night and bought 3, that's right 3, DVD's. Three quid each it was a case of what haven't I seen. One of the 3 - The Constant Gardener - I watched last night. Cracking film but was left slightly confused at the end. What was the significance of the lake? It began and ended at the lake - any reason? And how did they know he'd be at the lake at the end?

Answers on a postcard please.

So here's the joke ...

A married couple were asleep when the phone rang at 2am in the morning. The wife picks up the phone listens a moment and says, "How should I know, that's 200 miles from here!"

She hangs up.

"Who was that?" says the husband.

The wife says, "I don't know. It was a woman. She wanted to know if the coast was clear."

Mental Maths time and sorry about the slight hiccup with the text system today. It's all been fixed but it was a bit of a let off for some of you as it was quite a brain fryer.


add 27
take away 17
minus 7
add 27
take away 8
add on 18
take away 8
add 27


Tuesday, 2 September 2008

For heaven's sake ...

.. I am 37 years old and I am still rubbish at anything involving a spanner and or torque wrench. How can this happen? Was there a day I missed when all of a sudden, as a man, I wake up with the ability to strip anything in the dark (steady), grease, oil and reassemble?

Clearly that day has yet to happen as it is now nearly week 2 of the long running saga "Jon attempts to fix his bike."

Wow you're probably thinking - not surprised he's struggling - he'd need to be some sort of gifted mechanic to work on a motorbike .... If only - it happens that my push bike - yes the basic invention from the 1800's has developed a wonky wheel. However it also happens that the stupic invention from the 1800's has beaten me.

I've taken the rear wheel apart (easy), grease it up all (love the smell of tubs of grease) but am now struggling in the final - and some would say equally important part - of reassembling said rear wheel. It's got the stage now that it's too embarrassing to ask any more people to help. My only solution so far is to learn how to do a front wheelie thus enabling me to continue to use said stupid, poorly thought out, ridiculously illogically manufactured bike.

Stupid bike. Stupid Jon.

You decide.

So here's the joke ...

Young James, moved to Lymington and bought a donkey from a farmer for £100.00. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey. The next day he drove up and said, "Sorry son, but I have some bad news, the donkey died."

James replied, "Well, then, just give me my money back."

The farmer said, "Can't do that. I went and spent it already."

James said, "Ok, then, just bring me the dead donkey."

The farmer asked, "What are you going to do with him?"

James said, "I'm going to raffle him off."

The farmer said, "You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"

James said, "Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he's dead."

A month later, the farmer met up with James and asked, "What happened with that dead donkey ?"

James said, "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two pounds a piece and made a profit of £898.00.'"

The farmer asked, "Didn't anyone complain?"

"Only the person who won. I have him his money back."

Mental Maths time and here's the solution to today's problem. Lots of right answers but a fair few in detention today. More Mental Maths tomorrow at 11.15am on the show.


times itself
take off 15
divided by 7
plus 16
times 3
take off 30
divided by 3
times 4


Monday, 1 September 2008


Summer is officially over. It is now Autumn. Soon be Christmas.

Had a super holiday down in the South of France. It is truly beautiful. Very - er - French. It was one of those vineyard-next-door-baguettes-down-the-lane jobs. Ended up in a 200 year old farmhouse with a pool in the middle of nowhere. St Tropez was a quick hop over the mountains.

Found out a couple of things. I actually like driving on the other side of the road. Never done it before. Did a couple of comedy window adjustments instead of gear changes and visa versa and of course got in the passenger seat a couple of times despite being the driver. Roundabouts were a huge novelty. Felt slightly naughty about driving the wrong (or in the French case) the right way around them. All very exciting. And much quicker if you want to turn right.

The other thing I discovered was that I'm loving the French. I mean I've never had a problem with the French before - but I didn't really get them. Now I do. I want to be French. Zut Alors! I think it's the chilled out nature of Farmhouse living which appeals so much. That and the cheese. And popping next door to the local chateau seems somehow more romantic than a trip to the local branch of Thresher.

Also had an amazing time on the car front. Where we stayed there was a large barn full, and I mean full, of some beautiful old forgotten cars. Peugots, Renaults, Citroen. Also out front was something that look a bit like a VW camper that had been washed too hot. Will stick some pics up but it was super cool. Had samba roof windows and a three way stable door at the back. A bit of research found out it was a Renault Estafette. Big in the 60's and 70's. Very cool - got lots of character - sadly not the HP. But could it give the VW a run for it's money in a few years? Anyway if you know anymore let me know.

Speak soon.

So here's the joke ...

Little Johnny is talking to a couple of boys in the schoolyard. Each is bragging about how fast their fathers are.

The first one says, 'My father runs the fastest. He can fire an arrow and get to the target before it hits!'

The second one says, 'You think that's fast? My father's a hunter. He can shoot his gun and be there before the bullet!'

And then Johnny stands up and says "That's nothing. My dad works for the council. He leaves work at 5pm and gets back at 4.30pm."

It's back - Mental Maths. If you went wrong today here it is. Remember your lines and if you want to take part see you at 11.15am on the show.


Multiply by 12
Divide by 2
Three quarters of that number
Double it
Take off 17
Times 10
Take off 95
Minus 45