Friday, 24 October 2008

On a mission

If I do nothing else this weekend I have to sort out the central heating. As previously mentioned now being in my mid to late thirties it's time for me to worry about such things as insulation. Have bought the necessary equipment to venture down into the cellar however so far the motivation to do it has not been forthcoming.

So this evening, I know it's a Friday, I Jon Cuthill will be playing with my pipes. It's a truly sad state of affairs that it's come to this. Fridays should be fun. At no point should the words central, heating, pipes or lagging feature in anybody's Friday. But tonight is the night.

Rest of the weekend looks like a spot of surfing (haven't checked forecast yet but there might be a bit about if the wind picks up), I think I'm going bowling (am rubbish but haven't been for years so may have unwittingly developed skill) and am working Saturday night with a group of ghost watchers. Can't say I believe I'm going to see anything but they seem like a fun lot so should be a giggle. Apparently everyone's taking cake.

Which is a good start.

Have a great weekend. See you Monday.

So here's the joke ...

A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter.

'What are you doing?' she asked.

'Hunting Flies,' he responded.

'Oh ! Killing any?' she asked.

'Yep, 3 males, 2 Females,' he replied.

Intrigued, she asked. 'How can you tell them apart?'

"Well ..., " he replies, " 3 were on a beer can and 2 were on the phone."

Mental Maths (with a Friday twist). Wasn't so much the maths today that was the problem so much as working out what the actual numbers were. Still - lots of right answers ....


A bakers dozen
plus a brace
add a score
take off the value of the green ball in snooker
divide by the number of turtle doves (12 days of xmas)
add in cockney terms a pony
add a a quarter of a century ...


Thursday, 23 October 2008

Where is the love?

This morning really reminded me of skiing.

Saying that I've never tried it. I'm a snowboarder and from day one as a boarder you're taught to be naturally suspicious of skiers. It may be the pastel all in one jumpsuits, it could be the head bands, it may even be the way they do a silly little jump turn as they plant a pole with their knees together and their bum sticking out.

Anyway whatever it is it's best to leave them well alone.

Today the cyclists and the motorists got stuck into each other over who was more of a menace on the roads. The pedal pushers claimed the drivers were giving them no respect, that they were being pushed off the road and that they're all inconsiderate and forget once they were on a pushbike too. The drivers were shouting back lights would be good at night, that red lights mean stop even for bikers and that they should get off the pavements.

I got the feeling they're never going to like each other but they may just one day learn to tolerate each other.

Why not one day everyone swap? All the motorists get on a bike. All the cyclists take a car.

I doubt it would solve anything but it would be bloody good fun and I bet a lot quicker to get into work.

So here's the joke ...

Some race horses staying in a stable. One of them starts to boast about his track record. "In the last 15 races, I've won 8 of them!"

Another horse breaks in, "Well in the last 27 races, I've won 19!!"

"Oh that's good, but in the last 36 races, I've won 28!", says another, flicking his tail.

At this point, they notice that a greyhound dog has been sitting there listening. "I don't mean to boast," says the greyhound, "but in my last 90 races, I've won 88 of them!"

The horses are clearly amazed. "Wow!" says one, after a hushed silence.

"A talking dog!!!"

I went soft on you today for Mental Maths but well done if you got a gold star. Even if you're fairly sure it takes nerves of steel to hand it in. Tomorrow comes the twist. Enjoy today.


times 9
take off 8
minus 7
add 6
add 5
add 4
divided 3
divided by 2


Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Bad timing

Timing has never been my strength. In fact thinking about it timing, or a lack of it, has often proved my downfall.

Today is a classic example. The lovely Kate Humble is due in (with Bill Oddie) to talk all things Autumn Watch. The sofa has been moved to Brownsea Island this time round so brace yourself for endless pictures of badgers, flappy things (birds I believe) and anything that dare move and/or look slightly alive.

Anyway - have never met her - but there are some people in life who you just think would be lovely if you ever did meet them. Kate Humble being a fine example. She seems to be the perfect girl to sit and watch a badger with - and to be fair - there aren't many people you can say that about.

The upshot of it is that just as I go she's due in and so like ships of the night we will never meet.

Mind you so far at no point in my life have I had the slightest inclination to sit in the dark on a damp patch of grass watching a fairly small, grey, slightly odd looking hairy thing.

But enough about Bill Oddie.

So here's the joke ...

Shakespeare has had a really hard day at the office. Not only was he trying to get over a small bout of writers block but his new secretary had just advised him she was pregnant and he knew that finding a temp was going to be time consuming and expensive.

As he left the office he should really have gone straight back to his wife, as they had friends coming for dinner, but he needed some down time.

So, to unwind, he drops into his local tavern on his way home. He walks quickly up the bar and says "A jar of your finest mead, please, bartender".

But the Inn Keeper replies "Get out. You're bard."

Mental Maths time and back to a more straight forward sum for you today. Lots of you liked the twist yesterday so get ready for more of that to come. First though here's today's.

Time for Mental Maths - proving the South can still add up without using a calculator or pen and paper ....


add 38
divided by 5
times 4
subtract 17
add 6
take off 21
treble it
and give me 20 percent of that ....


Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Warning: boring entry do not read

To be fair even Keith Richards must have the odd day when life doesn't quite seem too rock'n'roll.

Surely he can't always be driving a Rolls Royce into the hotel swimming pool. Occasionally he must actually want to watch tv instead of throwing it out of the window. (Mind you if Anne Robinson is on he may have a point.)

Anyway I feel I need to apologise for today's entry as I am about to bore you rigid with a story about lagging and central heating pipes. Please feel free to go back to Google and type "there must be something more interesting than that" into the search engine.

The fact of the matter is that it is now officially mid winter(ish). The central heating is now burning hotter than the sun in a hopeless bid to bring the temperature of my draughty old house above freezing. And I hear that gas is getting rather pricey these days.

For the past 5 years my central heating appears to have been heating the basement more efficiently that the house. Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought heat always rises? Apparently not - apparently heat always rises unless it's in Jon's cellar in which case it will stay there until the summer. I've actually seen mice taking tiny towels down to the basement for their daily sauna - sat next to the thimble of water just in case it gets too hot which is probably will.

Sorry rodents - but you've had your last hot tub. For tonight I am off to buy lagging. This evening I will be lagging anything that looks remotely like a pipe.

Duck tape and insulation - that's all you need for one crazy night in.

Move over Keith.

So here's the joke ...

Bob was in trouble. He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was really cross. She told him "Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE !!"

The next morning he got up early and left for work. When his wife woke up, she looked out the window and sure enough there was a box gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway.
Confused, the wife put on her robe and ran out to the driveway, brought the box back in the house.

She opened it and finds .... a set of bathroom scales. Bob hasn't been seen since.

Mental Maths and here's the twist. Weirdly it was the texters who struggled today. Apparently it was the months that caught everyone out.


a dozen
times the number of days in a week
take off half a century
halve that
take away number of months beginning with J
add the number of letters in the alphabet
In Roman Terms take off X
double that
take off the value of a green ball in snooker .....


Monday, 20 October 2008

Feeling a little horse ....

No need to call the animal welfare authorities - just a simple typo.

Horse as in hoarse as in sore throat. Now I don't want to start sounding like a pathetic man all of a sudden (no change there) but this tonsillitis (self diagnosed - I have internet access) is really starting to get a big boring. It's stopping me from doing my two favourite things - talking and eating.

Everyday I wake up hoping that today will be the day I can sing Pavarotti and eat crusty bread only to find my hopes dashed. At this point I have to confess I have never had a huge urge to sing Pavarotti and/or eat crusty bread - but just in case - I'd like the option to be there.

In the meantime it's back to humming and ice cream - which to be fair isn't all that bad.

Still at least the later starts now mean a bit of a lie in. It all feels a little bid odd at the moment - just like the day after the clocks change - which incidentally they must do soon.

Now that's going to feel really weird.

So here's the joke (which I forgot to do ....)

An elderly lady receives an e-mail from the son of a deceased (but wealthy) African general, asking whether he could transfer millions of pounds into her bank account in return for a 20% cut.

All the son needs is the sort code and account number. Not realising she is the victim of a Nigerian 419 fraud, she e-mails back the details.

A couple of minutes later she receives an e-mail back from the general's son.

"Landisbanki? What do you think I am - stupid?!"

Mental Maths and the supply teacher has been hard at work with this one. Most people got it spot on but there were a few miscounts along the way. Tomorrow's MM is slightly different so you'll need to be on your toes ....


Minus 50
Minus 10
Multiply by 2
Three quarters of that
Third of that
Half of that
A tenth of that
add 9
multiply by 10


Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Read letter day

It's just occurred to me I haven't actually written anything for ages.

Yes I dribble on with this blog everyday but it's not proper writing. Proper writing involves a pen, paper, an envelope and an address. When was the last time you actually wrote a handwritten letter to someone?

I don't think we do it enough. It's all emails, texts and msn messenger. There's something very special about getting a personal letter that someone has taken the time to write you (unless it's in crayon - and then you just worry and/or call the police.)

So today my challenge to everyone is to write one handwritten letter to someone. Perhaps someone you haven't spoken to for years or perhaps someone who you've just spoken to just a moment ago. Anyone - but you have to write it by hand.

I reckon it would make their day.

So here's the joke ...

A man and a woman who have never met before find themselves in the same sleeping carriage of a train. After the initial embarrassment they both go to sleep, the woman on the top bunk, the man on the lower.

In the middle of the night the woman leans over, wakes the man and says, "I'm sorry to bother you, but I'm awfully cold and I was wondering if you could possibly get me another blanket."

The man leans out and, with a glint in his eye, says, "I've got a better idea... just for tonight, let's pretend we're married."

The woman thinks for a moment. "Why not?" she giggles.

"Great," he replies, "Get your own damn blanket!"

Mental Maths time and controversy reigned supreme with this one. If you turn a six upside down what does it become?


plus 18
add 29
halve it
divided by 7
times 9
take off 27
divided by 3
turn it upside down


Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Just say yes ...

It's a whole lot easier. Just say yes.

Don't say no. Don't say it won't work. Don't say but surely .... Don't say anything - just say yes.

I'm going to try it. It may not work but life could be easier, won't it?

(Answer is yes, obviously)

So here's the joke ...

Once upon a time God decides the world needs another flood. He gets on the phone to Noah and advises that he and his family prepare themselves.

"Same as last time? Usual ark?" asks Noah.

"No," replies God. "Not the usual one - I want you to design me a really tall ark with lots of decks."

"Oh - ok, fair enough," says Noah. "Two by two - same as last time?"

"Nope," replies God. "Can you fill it purely with fish this time - carp I think."

And so Noah builds a very tall ark and fills it with the requested type of fish - of every size shape and colour. Good to His word the rains come and the great flood washes over the earth. After weeks afloat the waters subside and Noah, his family and his fish survive.

"One thing I have to know, God" says Noah. "What was the fish thing all about?"

"Oh," says God. "I just fancied a multi storey carp ark."

Mental Maths times and this was a good 'un. No idea why but it seemed to get a lot of both right and wrong answers. If you got it wrong here's what happened.


add 6
divided 7
times 9
take away 15
divided by 8
square it
take off 17
minus 8


Monday, 13 October 2008

And they're orf ...

OK - so after the whole "if it's not cruel why do the jockeys have whips?" thing was out of the way I did actually enjoy it. What helped was the fact is was a beautiful day and Goodwood on a beautiful day is truly spectacular. And a beautiful day is always helped by a beautiful pint. Everything in moderation, of course.

Granted I came away down on the day but I'd like to think that was a protest at the whipping however it was actually due to my complete lack of knowledge and experimental betting system.

Now whilst some people may rely on form, gate and condition of the horse I decided to judge where my money should go purely on the stable girl leading the nag around the paddock. At this point I have to admit to having to seek permission from Jemma for my rather unique way of picking my bets however once successfully negotiated it proved a very entertaining method.

There were a couple of misunderstandings at my comments about the state of backsides, legs and teeth however for legal reasons I have to point out in each case I was actually talking about the horse itself.

Anyway to cut a very long and uninteresting story short it didn't work. This may come as a shock to but if you don't look at the actual horse you're betting on you're more than likely not to win.

I did win 16 quid on an each way bet which came in third.

It had lovely legs.

(The horse)

So here's the joke ...

Two lobsters were sunbathing on the beach.

The girl lobster suggested that the boy lobster go get them an ice cream cone.

Having purchased two cones, Mr Lobster made his way back to the beach, deciding on the way to eat his ice cream. By the time he had finished the ice cream, he realised that his girlfriend's had started to melt all down his claw, so he licked it up and ended up eating it too.

When he arrived back at the beach Ms Lobster exclaimed "Where's my ice cream cone?

"Well", he said. "I decided to eat mine, then yours melted so I ate that too."

Mrs Lobster was incensed.

"You shellfish bugger."

Mental Maths and all fairly straight forward today. Bumper turn out for the maths lesson but a few of you slipped up so here's the problem.


plus 27
take off 17
add 34
double it
minus 40
halve it
take off 6
divided by 5


Friday, 10 October 2008

Weekend plans

So that's another week then.

Highlights included my winking research establishing there is no connection between the eye you find it easier to wink with and the hand you write with. Also I'm now on MyFace Spacebook or whatever it's called so have join the Appreciation Society. No idea what happens now but you've got to be in it to win it.

Off to Goodwood for the weekend. Living it up on Saturday and watching the racing on Sunday. Can't say I'm massively into horse racing but it makes a bit of a change, doesn't it? Will no doubt have the usual arguments with the racing fraternity about whips and the question whether they really enjoy running around with a wee man on their backs?

Charlie was banging on about putting something on a nag with a reference to white in it's name. She's convinced it will win.

Although not quite convinced enough to put a tenner on it.

So here's the joke ...

Once upon a time there were two little skunks named "In" and "Out." They lived in a hollow tree with their mother. Sometime In and Out played outside, but other times they played inside. One day In was out and Out was in. Mother skunk told Out to go out and bring In in. So Out went out and in a few minutes he came in with In.

"My my, Out," she said, "How did you find In so quickly?"

Out just smiled and said "Instinct."

Mental Maths time and a clean sweep by class mates on the phones and email today. Sadly a couple of texters got it wrong so here it is ...


give me 25 percent of that
times 12
50 percent of that
divided by 5
add 19
minus 24
times itself
treble it


Thursday, 9 October 2008

It's all coming out now ...

The plot thickens.

Now I've always thought all local councils were short of cash. There are the usual rounds of apologies as Council Tax is put up. The normal rounds of Chief Executives complaining about a lack of government funding. The normal excuses when local services don't their job "if only we had the money we so desperately need ...."

But here's the funny thing.

Now the Icelandic Banking system appears to be up the swanney (correct financial term) organisations have spent today admitting exactly how much money they did have invested in the country's banks. And whilst I have a whole load of sympathy for places such as Naomi House who've been caught up in the madness of world economics my sympathy starts to fail ever so slightly when local councils admit they had millions of pounds stashed away.

Now I have to make it absolutely clear that I'm no accountant and I'm sure there are some very good reasons why a council is putting millions and millions into various Icelandic accounts. And I have to make it absolutely clear I have no idea whatsoever about the ins and outs of local authority funding. I'm sure it's very complicated and beyond a simpleton like me.

But hands up who'll open their council tax bill with a wry smile.

So here's the joke ...

A farmer needs a bull to service his cows but needs to borrow the money from the bank. The bank manager who lent the money comes by a week later to see how his investment is doing.
The farmer complains that the bull just eats grass and won't even look at the cows. The bank manager suggests that a vet takes a look at the bull.

The next week the banker returns to see if the vet helped. The farmer looks very pleased: "The bull has serviced all my cows, broke through the fence, and has serviced all of my neighbour's cows."

"Wow," says the banker. "What did the vet do to that bull?"

"Just gave him some pills," replied the farmer.

"What kind of pills?" asked the banker.

"I don't know," said the farmer. "They taste kind of chocolatey ...."

Mental Maths and here's the puzzle from today. Remember no pens or paper. Follow it all in your noggin' and see if you arrive at the answer.


times 7
plus 19
divided by 5
add 27
divided by 7
times 12
take off 36
and give me two thirds of that ....


Wednesday, 8 October 2008


So Gordon Brown has decided to bail out the banks to the tune of £50 billion.

Now I'm no economic genius and I suppose at times like these you just have to trust the people in charge but it's made me a little bit cross and I'm not sure why.

Perhaps it's because the £50 billion is apparently tax payers money. So a rough calculation is, what, about 30 million people working in the UK? So that's 30 million hopefully paying tax. So 50 billion divided by 30 million is ... er ... 1.6 million pounds?!?!?! Hold on that can't be right. How many 0's in a billion? It's a million, million. So that's 12 0's.

Now please check my maths someone as according to that the government, on my behalf, has just put down 1.6 million pounds of my taxes.


A couple of questions spring to mind ....

1) Have I been paying too much tax?
2) Can I pay it back in installments?
3) If it all goes horribly wrong and the banking bail out doesn't work - do I owe someone 1.6 million quid?!

The other question is - if there's now 1.6 million pounds of my own money knocking around the banking system does that mean it's easier for me to borrow a couple of thousand for a basement conversion?

Come to think of it - loan?! What am I talking about - they owe me! I'd like it in 10 pence pieces please - no fifties.

So here's the joke ...

After Quasimodo dies, the deacon advertises for his replacement. After many fruitless weeks, a mysterious stranger enters the church and enquires about the job.

The deacon directs him towards the bell rope. However, instead of using the rope, the stranger goes up to the bell tower and starts nutting the bell with his head.

It produces a wonderful, sonorous tone and deacon hires him on the spot. In his joy, the man has a heart attack and drops dead.

When the police arrive, the deacon is asked who the man is.

"Dunno," says the deacon. "But his face rings a bell."

Mental maths time and unbelievably it all seemed to work today despite me getting the question wrong. Well done if you got it right - here's what happened if you got it wrong.


add 38
double it
take away 37
plus 3
add 39
minus 27


Tuesday, 7 October 2008

In the dark

OK so as you know by now Monday night is football night.

Another distinctly average performance which resulted in a solitary goal and not much running around. So I get home thinking I need to make little more of an effort on the pitch ie actually run around more than the absolute bare minimum (although to be fair I am 37).

Anyway I get home and out of nowhere the thought comes "Why don't you go for a run?"

It's half past ten at night, it's pitch black, I am wearing mainly black (no I'm not the ref) and my brain is trying to get my body out for a run!?!?! Am worried this may be a flash of mid life crisis but unbelievably my body went with my brain and off I went.

To be fair I did quite enjoy it but, and this may surprise you, I appeared to be the only runner pounding the streets at 11pm. There are pro's and con's to the late night run. A plus is the lack of traffic at junctions which means less stopping and starting. A minus are the people post pub who tend to weave on the pavements making judging a (low speed) pass quite tricky.

Oh as for the wearing black in the dark whilst running that is a particularly foolish thing to do.

Apologies to the cyclist whom I seemed to take entirely by surprise.

So here's the joke ...

A salesman was driving his car and his boss rang up, and said 'You've been promoted.' He swerved.

And then he rang up a second time and said "You've been promoted again." He swerved again.

He rang up a third time and said 'You're a managing director." And the man crashed as he swerved into a tree.

The policeman came up and said 'What happened to you?' And he said "I careered off the road."

No mental maths today due to footy coverage. Back tomorrow maths fans.

Monday, 6 October 2008

A lesson in perspective

Big things apparently look smaller the further away they are.

It's not new - it's even got a name. Perspective.

However every now and again I forget. And so there I was on Boscombe seafront with surf board surveying the now shifting horizon (that possibly should have been the clue) OK so it was a little bit windy and OK it was a little bit rainy. Perhaps the fact the rain didn't actually land and was travelling horizontally should have been clue 2.

Anyway in I pop skipping through the surf. Wallop! Back I go to the beach. Next I try a slightly more assertive run into the waves. Wallop! Again I arrive back on beach. And so it went on for the next hour. Every time I tried to go out a rather huge wave would quickly assist me back to the beach.

Now I know what you thinking - surely, Jon, that's the basic principal of surfing. You go out and then come back in. However am finally sure one of the rules of surfing is that when you come back you should be on or at least in the near proximity of your board.

I wasn't.

Am walking slightly like John Wayne today but am sure it'll all heal. They may even grow back.

PS Note no mention of my serious man flu condition despite my suffering.
PPS If I make it through will write again soon.

So here's the joke ...

A young pet monkey had an accident and needed a brain transplant. The veterinarian told the monkey's human family, "Brains are very expensive, and you will have to pay the cost yourselves."

"Well, how much does a brain cost?" asked the family.

"For a male brain, £300,000. For a female brain, £100,000," replied the vet.

All the men in the family nodded because they thought they understood. But the mother was unsatisfied and asked, "Why the difference in price between male and female brains?"

The vet replied "That's because the female brain has actually been used."

Mental Maths and the supply teacher set this one. Some of you liked it others struggled a bit with all the taking away. And it's nasty numbers for subtraction.


Minus 37
Minus 7
Minus 37
Minus 7
Multiplied by 12
Minus 44
Minus 37
Minus 7


Thursday, 2 October 2008

Pain in the neck

Today I need to talk to you about the whole man doctor thing.

Suffice to say I am pretty bad at the whole responsible adult thing. Problem is I don't have a huge amount of responsibility in life and get distracted pretty much at or by the drop of a hat. To me the fun stuff seems slightly more important than most of the sensible stuff.

Anyway after what probably is far too long of putting up with headaches, bad nights sleep and general grumpiness I went to see the doctor about my neck. Everything was going fine until he asked me how long I'd had it for. That was when all of a sudden my "fun filled don't worry about the sensible stuff plan" didn't seem that clever.

I felt like a naughty school kid sat on a chair in the headmaster's office. Worse still was the follow up question - why exactly I hadn't come in earlier? And do you know what - I couldn't actually answer it.

Just did my best smile and shrugged. Did the whole comedy Wallace and Grommit I've-just-been-asked-a-tricky-question-that-I-can't-answer face.

Now it's not like my head is about to fall off or anything serious but it was a little bit of a wake up call. Have made a mental note to self to sort things out when they happen and not just keeping putting stuff off because it's easier to do nothing.

Apart from the washing up.

So here's the joke ...

Mummy mouse was getting food in the kitchen with her baby when the cat pounced in.

Snatching up the child mum ran for the mouse hole but it was obvious she wasn't going to make it.

Finally in desperation she whipped around and shouted "Bark, Bark" at the cat.

The cat skidded to a halt and ran away. Mummy mouse turned to her baby and said,

"Now do you see the benefits of learning a foreign language?"

MENTAL MATHS and this one caused a few problems today.


times 4
give me a third of that
times a half
times it's self
give me 2 sixths of that
take off 5
times 9
add the digits together ....