Monday, January 31, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

Was that the calm before the storm?

Not quite.  But it was boring weather for quite a while and now it is going to get somewhat more interesting.

Tonight is the last cold night for a while, -3'C.
Tuesday will be a bit milder, 7'C, cloud increasing during the day with some patchy rain in the afternoon.
Wednesday should start fine, but again some patchy rain in the afternoon, and quite breezy, but milder, 9'C.
Thursday should be fine, some sunshine likely and 8'C.   Chance of a shower.
Friday looks cloudy, and particularly windy, chance of some rain at times, but mild, 10'C.
Saturday remains windy, but at 12'C won't feel too bad - unless it rains, which it probably will at some point, more likely in the afternoon.
Sunday will remain windy and mild, 12'C, again a chance of rain, especially later in the day.

The outlook after that remains unsettled, and probably a bit colder.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Year Of Blogging

It was a year ago today that I decided that I required a blog.  I cannot remember who suggested it, but I do owe them a debt of gratitude.

The reason was because I was generally quite bored.  I am less bored now!

The highlight was my review of Cocoon In The Park being mentioned on a Facebook post by Sven!  I did quite enjoy my political postings too - and a lot of people visited my blog on the day of the election, 48 in total, which beat my previous record of 17 by some way!  58 came from Cocoon In The Park.  And also 58 on the day that Russia were announced as hosting the 2018 World Cup.

And I have had visitors from 76 countries across the world.  1,984 different people across the world have visited my blog.  Enough to fill a good nightclub.  Visitors have definitely grown over time.  I know my blog is far away from having a significant impact on society, but the main reason I do it, is because when I find things of interest, I want to share them with as many people as possible.  Whether that be good music (see my top tunes blog), something funny or just my opinion on something...I'm just trying to make the world a better place, at least in my perspective of 'better'.

Anyway, I just wanted to mark the occasion.  Happy 1st birthday dear blog.

I've had plenty of fun along the way, and I intend on trying to make it as enjoyable for myself as possible.  And hopefully that will replicate into you continuing to enjoy it too.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

Want some exciting weather?  Go book a holiday.  Get out of the UK.

At least I know my forecast should be accurate!  Only question is how much cloud each day, and will there be any fog?

Tonight, cold, -3'C.
Friday, sunny, cold, 3'C, -4'C overnight.
Saturday, sunny, cold, 3'C, -4'C overnight.
Sunday, maybe some cloud, ooh!  4'C, -1'C overnight.
Monday, sunny, 4'C, -4'C overnight.
Tuesday, probably still fairly sunny, 5'C, 1'C overnight if there is a band of cloud.

Look, it just carries on like this, ok?  Maybe reach 8'C next week but not certain.

Around 7th it could reach 10'C with some wind and rain, which goes against my long-range forecast of February getting colder.  But the models have down-graded this option slowly over the last few days.

Signs of colder weather for mid-February but far from guaranteed.

Easiest forecast I have done in some time!

If only it was summer - this would be 25'C and lovely!

The Correct Way To Explain The Offside Rule To A Woman ...(I cannot take credit)

You're in a shoe shop, second in the queue for the till. Behind the shop assistant on the till is a pair of shoes which you have seen and which you must have.

The female shopper in front of you has seen them also and is eyeing them with desire. Both of you have forgotten your purses.

It would be rude to push in front of the first woman if you had no money to pay for the shoes.

The shop assistant remains at the till waiting.

Your friend is trying on another pair of shoes at the back of the shop and sees your dilemma.

She prepares to throw her purse to you.

If she does so, you can catch the purse, then walk round the other shopper and buy the shoes!

At a pinch she could throw the purse ahead of the other shopper and "whilst it is in flight" you could nip around the other shopper, catch the purse and buy the shoes!

BUT, you must always remember that until the purse has "actually been thrown", it would be plain wrong for you to be in front of the other shopper and you would be OFFSIDE!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Few Things Of Mild Interest

Most importantly for today, I have discovered that Angry Birds toys are available for sale on Ebay.  Not too late to get me a birthday present.  My desk at work is particularly boring.

At £10 though I might just get myself a badge for £1.50 (see title link).

I read quite an interesting article here about Berlin, and the anger that some of the locals are having towards the gentrification of the city (ie rich people moving in and their squatty dumps being replaced by nice flats) and that they are threatening to target tourists.  Won't stop me going again - a fantastic city and well worth a visit, especially if you enjoy sunbathing in the nude which is perfectly acceptable there.

I might do a proper evaluation of the UK economy and the risks to it at some point, but all I am going to say is don't worry about -0.2% GDP growth in Q4 of 2010 - the UK always gets a dip after coming out of recession, and with the bad weather, this is perfectly normal.  Plenty to be hopeful about - perhaps unless you are over-paid or lazy.  Or bought a way over-priced house/flat...especially flat as they are poor stores of value over the long term.  Seen any flats from previous decades that look nice?  Bet you have seen plenty of houses from previous centuries, let alone decades that are good though.

Also, I hear there is going to be a wine festival in Reading in June...bring on the wine!

Still waiting for my guest writer - if you are reading this, hurry up!

Oh and yes, as previously suggested you may see a snow flurry or two any time from tonight until Saturday but don't be too expextant and if it does, don't expect anything above the tiniest temporary covering.  It is going to be much colder though.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lineswomen, Brazil & My Football Bet

I'm a little perturbed about the fuss over Richard Keys and Andy Gray being derogatory towards a female linesman.

After all, if women can be derogatory towards men with accusations of manflu, then what is wrong with stating that women don't understand the offside rule?

I'm going to go one step further and state my strong dislike for hearing that woman who commentates on football on the BBC. It just sounds wrong.

As would anyone commentating on rugby league that didn't smoke 40 a day, drink 15 pints of bitter a night and come from some backwards northern town like Featherstone.

Nor would I want to see a guy play Juliet in Romeo And Juliet.

Some things are not to be messed with.

However, I have just come across a lineswoman from Brazil. I might be about to change my mind...


On another topic, I'm a bit skint at the moment.  Nothing too serious, but this 6 weekend month since the last pay-day has put a dint into my overdraft of a few hundred quid.

I had a football bet on Saturday - not often I do it but was encouraged by my sister.  I picked 5 teams in an accumalator, Aston Villa to beat Man City, Sunderland to beat Blackpool, Fulham to beat Stoke, West Ham to beat Everton, Newcastle to beat Tottenham.

I don't think any of these were favourites but all were winning come injury time - until Everton and Tottenham both scored.

Bastards.  I would have won just over £200 for a £1 stake.  Would have done very nicely!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

The main reason I gained a substantial interest in the weather as a child, was the varied and unpredictable weather in the UK.  The last week and the next couple are anything but.  I would worry about boring you but as my previous forecast managed a huge 3 readers, I am not too worried about that.  However there is a small potentially interesting event this week - not highly confident but a possibility.

Anyway, for the sake of a forecast, here goes.

Tuesday, mainly cloudy, perhaps a light shower or two, 8'C.
Wednesday, cloudy start, maybe some sun later, becoming cold with increasing winds, 5'C, -1'C overnight and a small chance of a wintry shower.
Thursday, much colder with cold wind, variable cloud, chance of a snow flurry or two, 1'C and -3'C overnight.
Friday probably sunny but cold again, still cold breeze, 2'C and -4'C overnight - possibly colder if wind dies down by then.  Small chance of snow flurry.
Saturday probably sunny but still cold, 3'C, -2'C overnight.  I cannot promise it will be dry but it probably will.  Cold wind should be gone.

I foresee a week of dry weather afterwards, perhaps longer, hopefully sunny but no higher than 5'C with overnight frosts.

I did say winter was coming back around 25th January a long long time ago - though I guess in comparison to December this is nothing!

Currently looks like getting a bit milder and more unsettled afterwards, which goes completely against my long range winter forecast...oh well...bored of cold anyway.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Goldenfry Gravy

This my friends, is the daddy of gravy.

I never used to be able to buy it in Reading, my mam used to send it down to me sometimes but she cannot do it often enough to satisfy my gravy demands.

A while ago though, Sainsbury's in Broad Street in Reading started to stock it and I was very excited, but now they no longer do so.  I wrote a letter of complaint - here is the response


Dear James

I’m sorry you’ve been unable to buy Goldenfry gravy in our Broad Street store. I can understand your disappointment as you clearly hold this gravy in high regard.

Unfortunately this has been discontinued in this store and in our Friar Street store. Our buyers carry out regular reviews of all items to determine how well they are selling in each store. It was decided that because this item was not a big seller, it should be withdrawn to make room for another more popular item or to give us the chance to introduce a new product.

I’ve submitted a product request for this item to be restocked in our Broad Street store. Although this isn’t a guarantee, it does alert our buyers that there is a demand for it here.

We appreciate you taking the time to contact us and lhope to see you in store again soon.

Kind regards
Customer Manager


And my original e-mail...

Why can I not find Goldenfry gravy (chicken) in the Reading Central store on Broad Street any more? Gravy is a vital commodity in my life and makes me happy nearly as much as ecstacy, minimal techno and good sex do.

I can only find Bisto now, which to me is rather substandard.

Your other store in Friar Street does not sell it, and I don't think it ever has.

I hope you can put this right, it will encourage me to visit on a more regular basis, after all, evil Tesco Express is much closer to my house and despite how much I despise it, they offer me the same choice of gravy and a much shorter journey to purchase it.

Kind regards


I probably should add just for the purposes of any boring people reading that I am not condoning the use of ecstacy which is classified as a Class A illegal drug and according to what I have read over the years does sadly contribute to the death of a few people every year, approximately 0.01% of the amount that good old alcohol does every year.

James Winfield's Artistic Abilities Part 5 - And fabric's Opinion Of Said Artwork

I think many of you may have already seen my New Year's Eve artistic creation - with real paints, but for the purposes of history, I am putting it on my blog.

I received a friend request from 'fabric on' the other day on Facebook - and I have a policy of only befriending humans that I have met (although I am sure that a couple of slipped through the net) so I wanted to know what they thought of my artwork first...


Dear fabric On

I fear that I may have to decline your friend request because I have a policy that I actually know and have met in person anyone who becomes a friend of mine on Facebook, yes perhaps a couple slipped through in the early days that I am still confused about, but now I am more rigorous on the qualifications required.
I cannot allow myself to be friends with Yellow Taxis, or Pizza Hut...I am sure you understand.
But fabric is so ingrained into my soul, I hope you can see why I have not accepted straight away. It is difficult.
By the way, do you like my artwork?


well, It's up to you really... you are IN or OUT!

Fabric ON is not Pizza Hut ;), that's for sure!

Your artwork is OK.
I have since sent my previous two works of art - Whore Loves Money Not Art, and the X-Factor one - a further response has not yet been forthcoming.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

My forecast has to start with apologies.

Firstly, because I didn't do the usual Monday evening forecast due to ill health - however we are entering a very benign period of weather so I didn't feel that it would be so necessary to do so.

Secondly, I am quite confused and embarrassed as to how I predicted Monday to be dry and it was anything but.  I really do not know how I got that so wrong.  But as the Met Office on the same day I issued my forecast, had a forecast for heavy rain all day on Sunday which did not occur, I am going to let it pass, I don't understand where it came from, I shall leave it as that.

And that is probably about as interesting as this forecast is going to get as it is going to get pretty damn gloomy and dull.  If we could repeat this set-up in June, then we would have one hell of a glorious and increasingly hot and sunny month.

Sadly it is still January.

Friday should be sunny, cold, 3'C, -2'C overnight.
Saturday will be fairly cloudy, 6'C, chance of a spot of rain, maybe a light snow shower overnight.
Sunday will be cloudy, boring, 5'C.
Monday perhaps some sunshine, 5'C
Tuesday, maybe an early shower perhaps of snow, 5'C
Wednesday, boring shit, cloud, 5'C
Thursday, still pretty boring, maybe some sun, 5'C.

And on it goes I'm afraid.

I did originally expect winter to come back around 25th January and well, maybe it will but so far it looks like it will just be cold and dry, with possibly quite a niggly little easterly wind developing towards the end of the month.

I still do fancy snow during February but my confidence is starting to diminish on this prospect.  I also think we may see 15'C around the end of February but I am also expecting a cold spring.  March might actually end being as cold as February.  And the beginning of April may be unusually cold.

That's all for now.

What Exactly Did I Do In A Previous Life?

So I decide to take a short lunch break, however as I approach the exit of my employers beautiful building, the bus pulls away. A full 5 minutes early. So I walk to the Basingstoke Road to get a different bus, two minutes away from the bus stop and yes the bus goes by. No point in running for it. But if I had have done so, I would at least have got the other bus following behind.

It seems the world likes to poke fun at me sometimes. Not quite sure what I did in a past life. I only took a lunch break to get away from my source of

I know I moan a fair bit about it, more often on Facebook than here due to prying eyes or the potential of.  (Just in case, 80% of this was written on my mobile phone during my lunch break, admittedly I finished it at work but may I suggest that you think of it as me trying to improve my morale and therefore improving my productivity).  But I do recall the days where I enjoyed going into work, when I achieved and exceeded all expectations, and even if I made a mistake it was all part of the learning process and paled into insignificance compared to everything that delivered good it seems I cannot do anything right.

Very exasperating and frustrating, but things don't stay the same forever and I am not willing to give up yet, coming from Hull I have this warrior spirit in me and I will battle to overcome adversity...after all I could be in a far worse position so I know I shouldn't moan, but hey, blog off if you don't like it!

In fact things were much worse when I lived in Hull, my teenage years were a time of violence and intimidation - yes I am sure if I didn't react and fight back then things might have been a bit easier for me, I know I made my life harder for myself but it was a pretty shit place to grow up - I am ever thankful for a stable family life - I know several people who have had a much more traumatic start to their life than I had so I don't like to make a big deal about my upbringing as to me it pales into insignificance so I stick to hinting to difficulties and leave it at that.

But despite my slight unhappiness and grumpy nature at times recently (forgive me - it is ages since I have had any sunshine to enjoy, and yes I know I should have saved some money so I could have joined my good friend JP on his adventure through Thailand taking in the local whores, hospitals and elephants but...meh), I am actually happy inside - honestly!  I cannot quite put my finger on it but I really am enjoying life despite frustrations.  Or maybe I really am deluding myself?!

For why wouldn't one be when one has just enjoyed a jumbo battered sausage for lunch.

Also putting a smile on my face is news that Siemens is opening a wind-farm factory or something in Hull, apparently creating up to 10,000 jobs though if you read the small print the factory will actually only have 800 jobs, but still this is massive for such a run-down area of the country - a place which used to have a purpose of existence but since the Cod Wars seems to have completely lost it.  Apart from, of course, building caravans and toilets.  So it really did warm me to hear this news about my home town as the majority of the people of Hull are brilliant people.  Even better that it is private industry, yes this so-called mythical thing that the socialists would have you believe can only be provided by government - employment!  Jobs!  A future!

And then there is a reminder from my dear friends Ben and Carley who remind me that I am achieving my main goal in life, which is to make the world a better place, as I seem to have amused them with my previous blog post (Attention Women!  No link, go find it yourself, it isn't difficult).  Satisfaction indeed.  I wonder if I can persuade them to invite me round for dinner one day...I might even agree to be on my best behaviour, as long as they catch me on a good day...that'll be any day but Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday then.

And of course I turn 31 on Saturday and I still don't have a girlfriend, wife, children, car or a mortgage - and I am happy.  Screw you societal expectations.  You have been defeated.

I blame the Labour government, though I'm sure that I'll be reminded that it is actually the fault of the bankers.  Oh wait a minute - there is the solution to my problems...get a job in a bank.  Become a banker.  Then I can afford a car and a mortgage and will clearly then have a wife.

Or maybe I was a banker in a previous life?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Attention Women!

Women - those that are beautiful, single and still desire to be married a Winfield, please find your competition displayed below.

Good luck.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Early Birds & Worms

Today, I am publicly admitting to failure.

Early this morning, I was awoken - I say awoken as after a few beers and a couple of glasses of wine and no food, I wasn't exactly asleep enough to be awoken, just in some kind of zombie 'i wish it were friday night' limbo...anyway there is a story to tell and I shall endeavour to stop mumbling due to my deprivation of sleep and try to be a bit constructive here, so here goes...

It must have been around 530am, not exactly sure, I hear cries of "help", "hello", "is anyone able to help me" or something along those lines from a female voice...I drifted back into zombie land, not sure if it a dream or reality, but a few bits of time later, I hear it again and am up to investigate.

Alas, I was too slow in answering the calls.

It seems the rather attractive young lady in the flat below had got stuck on her balcony as the window had closed behind her, but by time I was dressed and opening the door I realised that a passer-by had managed to rescue her so I wasn't required.

Another one for the missed opportunity list.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

I'll try to make this quick as I want to go for a drink.

Tonight, rain, not too heavy.
Friday, rain for much of the day, perhaps heavy in the morning, 10'C.
Saturday, rain up north but probably fairly dry in Reading, 11'C.
Sunday, another band of rain probably in the afternoon/evening, 11'C.
Monday, high pressure building from the south, so dry, perhaps some sunshine too, 9'C.
Tuesday, hopefully sunny, but chilly, 6'C and -1'C overnight.
Wednesday, sunny, cold, 4'C and -2'C overnight.
Same on Thursday and Friday.

So we get rid of the rain, but it gets colder.  What do you expect?

25th was always my target for a return of the cold.  Nothing noticeable on the models yet but I am very confident it won't be this mild again until the end of February.  More snow is possible though currently I would say that January will finish around 0'C but with just light snow showers if anything, probably more likely dry.  We shall see.


By the way, I really would appreciate some constructive criticism if you have any.  If you have suggestions for improvement, I would much appreciate it.

Slight Lack Of Education

As a Hull City fan, I do from time to time browse the BBC 606 message board for Hull City gossip and came across this gem of a post from a Millwall fan.  Now I know that education levels in Hull are slightly lacking but nothing in comparison to this.  Anyone able to help me translate?


r lookin 4ward 2 april 4 a repeat of dis

den we gna celebrate in style by gettin smashed to phat beats like this


exactly bruv da millwall boiz r gna b back in town n tearin it up again


my ex was givin birth dat day so i couldnt go bt im making sure im der dis time init. my m8s who went said it was SICCKKKKKKKKKK!!!!


cunning m8 pussys like u r a disgrace 2 millwall. ur changin wot our club has been built on 4 years u mug cant

(this was after another Millwall fan critised him for encouraging football violence)


peter bruv u wudnt b sayin dat if u wer at da den so save it 4 wen we at ur place. we gna tear dat s h i t hole up again m8 dnt dowt it. n wer gna giv u anova 4nil beatin son



u all just cant handle me im 2 street 4 u. u boyz wait we gona bring it 2 u when we come 2 ur dump ov a ground. wer gona rip it up m8 brapppp

(getting a little predictable now)


techno techno techno techno techno!

Millwall r da best
better den da rest
hull r so weeak
wer gona make em weep
rude boi out

Brrrrapp brrraaaap brrrrrpp

(please don't tell me he goes to the same nightclubs I do!)


i am an MC m8 its wot i do wen not watchin millwall beat c r a p teams like hull init.

Brilliant.  I hope I get to meet him at fabric one day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Response From Tesco

My 500th blog post is to annouce a response from Tesco to my complaint about the baby sprouts - and the fact that they have offered me a refund!  62 pence.  Every little helps?

I may have to mention the fact that I often have to queue at their express store for more than 5 minutes as they only have one person serving despite several others in the store and the one person serving doesn't bother ringing for help.

I really don't like shopping in Tesco, but yet I still do...why...because it is 2 minutes from my door.

************* My further response ****************

Dear Ann
Thank you for your response - they only cost 62p so a refund is not necessary. I have attached a picture of said sprouts - I did not keep the bag.
The only reason I shop at Tesco is when I cannot be bothered or are too off my tits to go to my preferred supermarkets of Morrisons and Sainsbury's, Tesco Express is 2 minutes from my door - Morrison's and Sainsburys about 15-20 minutes.
Perhaps the quality of fruit and veg at a main Tesco store is better than the Express stores. It is certainly superior at Morrisons and Sainsbury's - perhaps you should do a comparison on quality. I also find Tesco Express as expensive as Sainsbury's and more so than Morrisons.
I also take amusement at the word 'Express' as normally it is anything but quick at the Tesco Express I use (on London Road in Reading) as there will be one person serving and 5-10 people in the queue...not all the time but more often than not. This is despite several people working in store at once. May I suggest that when a queue starts to build that the lone cashier rings for assistance rather than waiting until frustration is showing on all customer's faces.
I hope my further feedback is of assistance.
Kind regards
James Winfield

Highlights Of The Day

This shouldn't take too long to write then.

Another miserable and frustrating start to my working day but I am becoming somewhat used to it and have kind of immunized myself to it.  Or maybe that is the bacon and egg toasted sandwich that does that for me, hmm clogged arteries.

Nothing stays the same forever - I do miss the days when I used to enjoy coming into work - seems a very distant memory now.  But it won't be like this forever.

On the bright side though, we have slightly less cheap toilet roll at work, an improvement from sandpaper.

And it is halfway through the week, though at this rate I won't be waiting until Friday to get sloshed.

Frustratingly, I am stuck on one level on Angry Birds Halloween version and have been now for two weeks.  Level 3-12 - anyone any idea?

I still have money to spend from Christmas so I can see a shopping trip soon once my accomplice has been hired.  I must buy a big coat before the cold weather comes back (circa 25th January).

Also I have found two new top tunes.

And I am still quite tickled with my rebranding of a Cadbury's Roses tin to Cadbury's Racists - Which Colour Do You Hate?  See below post.

I do like writing my blog, it is quite therapeutic, it seems to encourage me to put negatives in a box and concentrate on positive things - even if that is just the quality of the toilet roll.

All is good/a delusion.

Which Colour Do You Hate?

I'm not convinced that giving me a paintbrush was perhaps the brightest idea given my slightly warped sense of humour, especially when sober, like I was last night yet again (this sobriety thing is getting stupid now at three days and counting especially when I still am not overdrawn).

It just had to be done.  And then had to be blogged about.

I personally only like the pinks.

Why ruin perfectly good chocolate with nuts or coffee, etc?  Whenever someone brings in a tin at work I always think "Why couldn't you bring Celebrations, or Heroes?".

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Baby Sprouts

Dear Tesco

Baby sprouts you say?

I am not stupid.

I know that the severe winter weather caused sprouts to under-develop and therefore be tiny and crap.

Please don't try to package them as if they are something special as they are not.  Like most of your fruit and veg, they are crap.

Kind regards

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why I Think Big Bonuses For Bankers Are A Good Thing

I'm getting fed up of hearing people bang on about banker's bonuses.

I'm quite happy for a banker based in the UK to be paid a large bonus.

Firstly - the bonus is taxed.
Secondly - much of the remaining income will be spent, and depending on what it is spent on, subject to VAT.
And finally, the spending will be on services, provided by companies which employ people, and products, manufactured by companies which employ people.

I could be jealous of their bonuses, but quite frankly I wouldn't want to work those long hours in such an environment.

Would it be better for the banks to keep the money?

Rant over.

Updated Weather Forecast

I quite like when the weather reverts back to the usual pattern of wind and rain as it is quite easy for forecasting purposes.  Little change from the last forecast - rain, wind but milder weather expected.  No chance of beating the highest ever January temperature of 18.3C though or coming anywhere close.

Tonight there is a band of rain coming across.
Tuesday will be dry and sunny, 7'C but rain overnight.
Wednesday will be cloudy, some rain at times, breezy too but a massive 12'C.
Thursday remains breezy with rain at times, but 12'C again.
Friday still in the south-westerly breeze, more rain at times, 11'C.
Saturday could see strong winds, more rain, 11'C.
Sunday, more rain!  More wind!  10'C.
Monday might be dry, 7'C.

From then on high pressure looks more likely but I'm not overly confident just yet.

I trust this satisfies your weather forecasting expectations.

Have You Seen My Sparkle?

I seem to have lost my sparkle the last few weeks - I think it started when I got flu and it took ages to recover properly, also a lot of doing nothing over Christmas and New Year, and I seem to have totally lost my motivation even to go to the pub at the moment!  I spent more time in bed this weekend than when I had flu!  I have become ridiculously lazy.

I have serious cravings for a good night's clubbing - if there is one thing that is guaranteed to put me back in a good mood, it is a fantastic night at fabric, etc.  Alas, I have nothing planned.

Another thing is a complete lack of exercise, even for my low standards.  Granted I didn't do much in the first place but I did at least use to walk home a few nights a week which is a good hour's walk - since the cold weather arrived I have stopped doing so!

A lack of warm sunshine too isn't helping.  Alas, I am not expecting to enjoy any such thing for several months.  Although I don't rule out some early spring-like weather this year.

I think the lack of parliament has also had a negative effect on my enjoyment of life.  I think they are back today, so finally I can get to enjoy some good politics once again.  Nothing quite like a dose of Politics Today whilst I am eating my dinner.

And finally I have stopped looking for new music.  I didn't really need the BBC to tell me that music releases a chemical in the brain that puts one in a good mood.

Oh, and one more thing - I cannot find chicken Goldenfry gravy anywhere any more.  This is causing grave upset.  Get it - grave upset...gravy upset?

I'm not exactly in a bad mood, in a 4 out of 10 mood rather than my 6 out of 10 mood which has been pervasive for the last few months.  I'm aiming for a 5 out of 10 by the end of the week!  I have a plan to try to get it back.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Things Can Only Get Better

Remember the song that went with the Labour party election in 1997?  Things can only get better?

I have to say that this week definitely gets a low scoring, a bit like an Australian cricket score you might say, but things will get better.  We are already getting more than 9 minutes more daylight each day than when we started the year.  And it is less cold.  And all this rain will help keep us away from potential drought.

I want to talk politics.

Because there are plenty of critics of David Cameron and Nick Clegg out there at the moment.

Therefore, I am trying to think of all the good things that Tony Blair did.  So far, I have come up with that he kept Gordon Brown out of power.  But then I remember that he kept him as chancellor so he could make us nearly bankrupt.  I guess he did help get rid of a couple of dictators around the world, but I'm not convinced that history will see him in the light that he sees himself in.  Increased social mobility perhaps?  Reduced inequality?  Erm...

And then I would like to remind you of who his deputy was - Mr John Prescott.  Sorry, Lord Prescott to you and me nowadays.  That famous socialist.  Of the champagne variety.  Yes, he is also from Hull, or pretends to be, anyway.

I read today that he has been paid a five-figure sum to appear in a TV advert as a boxer.  Yes, a 72 year-old and somewhat overweight (in the kind of who ate all the pies, sausage rolls, chips, pork pies, hamburgers overweight kind of way).  How dignified.  This was our Deputy Prime Minister for many years!  Is this not embarrassing?!

I think I understand it though, as those of us from Hull do have quite a self-defacating sense of humour at times.

Still doesn't excuse the hero of the working classes for choosing to spend his time playing croquet at large country manors, needing two jags to get around, or having an affair with his secretary.  If anyone is really bored, I have discovered a 10 minute battle between John Prescott and William Hague back in 2006, in which Lord Prescott advised of the economic stability and personal prosperity that the Labour government had brought to the country.  I found it quite hilarious at times. Very enjoyable viewing.

Our current Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, may have reneged on a dubious promise on tuition fees, but he surely is far preferable to what went before?

My point being, that no matter how easy it might be to moan about things, it is easy to remember something worse so things do get better.

And I have just been down to the coffee shop to buy a muffin and was told that it was half price!  Things really are looking up already.  And it is nearly time to go home and have a glass of wine or ten.  Have a good weekend folks.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

Time to get your t-shirts out.  Or your umbrella.  Depending on whether you are from up north or down south (it doesn't matter where you live).

I did previously suggest that there was a lot of cold air coming down from the Arctic, and was going to mix with mild and moist air from the south-west - the cold air now seems to be plunging far west of the UK - again quite strange but this is a strange winter.  So the chance of snow tomorrow is reserved for much further north than I previously cautioned for.

Friday will see an area of rain move north, and it may well fall as snow in the morning but it will not settle to any extent, it will start cold at about 1'C but by early evening it should be around 9'C which will feel quite a January why the fuck did I not save up enough money for a week in Thailand kind of way.

Saturday, there may still be some rain to clear away, and when it does, it might get quite cold again, briefly, for this is the misplaced cold air which I was originally expecting to be sat over us on Thursday/Friday and has come over the warmer sea, so expect a cloudy, mingy kind of day with temperatures slowly falling from 9'C in the early morning to 1'C by midnight.

Sunday sees a ridge of high pressure trying to build, but it won't last, 5'C and perhaps some sunshine, for what it is worth at this time of year, there will be a frost overnight, -3'C.

Monday sees the jetstream start to kick into action in a normal pattern for the first time in quite a while, bringing south-westerly winds which are moist and mild, and pushes the area of high pressure out of our way, it should be dryish but chilly still, 5'C...maybe more if the frost isn't so much.

Tuesday - a usual winter pattern, a band of rain during the day, 7'C, and perhaps another band of rain overnight.

Wednesday might reach a crazy 10'C, with more rain expected but probably in the evening or overnight.  I do not rule out a 12'C.  Shocking!

Thursday, same shit, different day, just like your job, rain at some point, probably during the day, 11'C.

And guess what for Friday and Saturday?  Rain, cloud, wind, yes the same again.  But still, 10'C or so, so no need to take a coat on a night out.

I still favour cold weather becoming established around 25th January again, and eventually leading to some substantial snowfalls in February before becoming surprisingly mild, but we shall see.

I am not so confident on this outcome as I used to be a week or two ago.

I am confident in saying that we have seen the coldest part of our winter - but I do expect more snow, quite a bit more snow.

Dragons & Pylons

My heart does glow warm inside, but I do have the posture of a fire-breathing dragon today.  Therefore I shall limit my words in case I say something inflammatory.

I am seeking solace at my new favourite website - Pylon Of The Month.

I am starting to feel inspired once more, I hope it does something for you too.

Hurry up Friday night...let me be free!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

December 2010: Second coldest since 1659

Some people probably know I have some issues with the Met Office and their forecasting, especially their tendancy to propulgate the global warming agenda.

However, I have to admit that I have been impressed with the accuracy of their medium-long range forecasts over the last month or so, and it has been a very difficult period to predict for forecasters.

Their credibility has been damaged over recent years for predictions such as 2009/10 being a milder than average winter, and the previous summer 'a barbeque summer', fairly at times, unfairly at other times, but I do feel they are making progress towards being credible once again with independent forecasters from the chatter I read online.

One of their forecasters that I do have quite a bit of time for is Paul Hudson, the only one of their forecasters that I have met personally (my claim to fame, go James!), and he is doing quite an interesting blog on the bbc which I receommend to anyone else with a reasonable interest.

His latest post advises that December 2010 was the second coldest since 1659 which may not surprise you given how bloody cold it was!

Quite some achievement, especially given that globally, 2010 as a whole was one of the hottest years ever.

I don't think January or February will be as cold as December, and will perhaps be very mild some of the time...but yet I expect plenty more snow too.  And maybe, just maybe, we will get an early spring come March...I'm unconvinced but I am favouring this outcome at the moment.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Shed Music Mystery

I'm afraid that there is no update on the Shed music mystery genre, not even Cocoon know what it is.


hi james,

we can't say anything about that, sorry.

the term has never been used by us and you would have to ask the promoter what he understands by 'shed music'.

best regards


Von: James Winfield <>

Datum: Thu, 30 Dec 2010 11:32:37 +0000

An: <>

Betreff: Shed Music

Hi Cocoon

I am hoping that you can enlighten me as to what 'Shed' music is?

On this advertisement with Sven and others playing in Birmingham on 26th December - the music is described as techno, minimal, house progressive, tribal, future garage and shed.

I understand all the other genres, but I do not know what shed music is.

I am very worried that I might be missing out on something very special.

Please can you help me?

Who plays shed music? Who makes shed music? What does shed music sound like? How is shed music different to house music?

Many thanks and I wish the whole Cocoon team a happy new year and very much look forward to enjoying more Cocoon events in 2011.

Much love

James x

Monday, January 03, 2011

Updated Weather Forecast

I have suddenly realised that it is a Monday evening, and therefore I need to produce a weather forecast.

You may have noticed that colder air is once again over us, though not the deep cold that we had.

Tuesday will be cloudy, with some light rain or sleet, or perhaps wet snow at times later, though some early sunshine cannot be ruled out, 3'C.
Wednesday will see a band of what will probably be rain, spread down from the north, and it could be quite heavy.  I do not rule out that it might be snow, but it is more likely to be rain, 4'C.
Thursday looks settled, more likely cloudy than sunny, still quite cold, 3'C.
Friday should be wet and windy, with temperatures of 7'C, however I do not rule out some snow on the leading edge of this band of weather, and well, maybe it will not turn to rain after all...who knows...
Saturday will see more rain.  Probably.  But it could be snow.

Apologies for the vagueness, but it is quite unpredictable as to where the boundary of rain and mild, and snow and cold is.

I do feel a little frustrated in that I have not been able to give a decent forecast, so may do another update before Thursday.