The Edmondson Blog

Work THEN Play

For the first time ever, I earnt my curry last night. Invariably, I award myself a vindaloo for no reason at all and feel ashamed of myself for the following 24 hours. Last night, I went to the gym for an hour, threw some bits of metal round the room, then came home and ordered a ripper from the Bombay Bicycle Club to be delivered. It is highly recommended. They even throw in poppadoms and the day's Evening Standard for you. AND I ordered online so got £10 off my next order. Ahh, the Raj... That reminds me of the time I challenged an Indian work colleague to a Chicken Phaal eating competition. Probably the worst decision I've ever made. My vision became blurred for 12 hours. No jokes.


I wish they still taught the old Greco-Roman at school.

Weekend Jam Session at the Edmondson's

Featuring Russell Edmondson as the kid on banjo; Rick Edmondson as the dancer; Special guest George Cazenove as the clapper.

Moby Dick

Great song. Awesome drummer. Notice how the hi-hat keeps a constant beat throughout. Unbelievable.

Fact of the Day

The original Playboy Mansion was a 70-room residence in Chicago at 1340 North State Street. It was built in 1899 for George Swift Isham and acquired by Hugh Hefner in 1959.

For a period in the 1970s, Hefner divided his time between the Chicago mansion and the Mansion West, moving full time to the California mansion in 1974.

The Chicago mansion boasted a brass plate on the door with the Latin inscription, Si Non Oscillas, Noli Tintinnare ("If you don't swing, don't ring").

Background Sounds

Earlier, I was thinking about sounds you hear in the background of songs you're listening to. The two I always listen out for are:

Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones: At 3:04 into the song Merry Clayton's voice cracks on the word "murder" from the strain of her powerful singing. A second afterward an unknown voice, most likely Jagger's, is faintly heard shouting "Whoo!" in approval.

Roxanne - The Police: During recording, Sting accidentally sat down on a piano keyboard in the studio, resulting in the atonal piano chord and laughter preserved at the beginning of the track.

Any others?


Hey Jude - The Beatles: During the recording of the master take, Lennon shouts "Oh!" followed by "Fucking hell!" at 2:56 and 2:58, respectively, into the song. This occurs after he sings "let her into your skin" under McCartney's "let her under your skin."

Rocket Queen - Guns n' Roses: It is said that lead singer Axl Rose brought in a woman (possibly a stripper) to the studio for recording. Steve Thompson, who was a mixer on the album, said the following in an interview: "Axl wanted some pornographic sounds on Rocket Queen, so he brought a girl in and they had sex in the studio. We wound up recording about 30 minutes of sex noises. If you listen to the break on Rocket Queen it's in there."

Spiders on Drugs

You don't watch videos like this in your biology class nowadays.

Hat tip: Lee

Lamb on the BBQ

Had Tanya, Andrew and the twins round for lunch today. They were treated to the world famous Edmondson BBQed lamb. Here I am looking after Ridley (one of the twins; the other is Luca) just before his afternoon nap.

Preparing to Die

My babies are slowly maturing and I've just discovered they are producing fruit! I might start wearing gloves whilst tending to my children.

Balanced Views of The World

For a balanced view of the situation in Iraq and whether the UK should pull out, you could do worse than read this.
Just when you thought the simpering, flouncing, kilt-wearing British people couldn’t get any worse; they do something that exposes them for the effeminate, Jesus-hating Shakespeare-quoters they truly are.

I speak of course of the news that the Brits have decided to run away from Iraq. Yes, that’s right. As America’s mission to bring the Word of Christ to the islamofascists turns a corner and surges steadily towards victory, our limey "allies" are turning tail and mincing back to their land of bad teeth, cross-dressing and blood pudding.

An insightful, fact based post. The comments are even better.

Dans Le Noir

On Tuesday night I was off to Dans Le Noir, a French restaurant in Farringdon where you eat in pitch darkness. A blind waiter escorts you to your table where you are served a surprise menu and you're left to struggle with the wine, water and bread. It's a fascinating experience: without your sight, you realise how much you rely on hand and face gestures when talking; you're not sure how far people are from you so are unsure about how loud you should be; and you take a lot more care about tasting what you're eating. You also retain muscle memory, so rather than knocking glasses all over the place, you remember where you placed them.

The food was good, but at £50 per head, a one off experience.

Tucker Max

Anyone who introduces their website with...

My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole. I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead. worth a read. FOR ADULTS ONLY.

Hat tip: Roly

Proud to be British!

Weekend at Cooney's

Spent the weekend in Castletownroche, County Cork at Casa Cooney. It was the perfect weekend of Guinness, BBQs and country walks. The weather was bad news, which means I didn't take many photos, but that didn't stop a great few days.

Breaking Up BAA

If there's one reason why BAA should be broken up it is this: one returning to Heathrow last night I went to the first gents that visitors from around the world are greeted by, to be met with overflowing urinals and broken soap machines. The sign on the wall said the facilities were cleaned every 60 minutes; the actual time since the last clean was 4 hours 42 minutes. BAA can't even clean the bogs. Shameful.

The World's Strangest Laws

25. It is illegal for a cab in the City of London to carry rabid dogs or corpses.

24. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.

23. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside down.

22. In France, it is forbidden to call a pig Napoleon.

21. Under the UK’s Tax Avoidance Schemes Regulations 2006, it is illegal not to tell the taxman anything you don’t want him to know, though you don’t have to tell him anything you don’t mind him knowing.

20. In Alabama, it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle.

19. In Ohio, it is against state law to get a fish drunk.

18. Royal Navy ships that enter the Port of London must provide a barrel of rum to the Constable of the Tower of London.

17. In the UK, a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants – even, if she so requests, in a policeman’s helmet.

16. In Lancashire, no person is permitted after being asked to stop by a constable on the seashore to incite a dog to bark.

15. In Miami, Florida, it is illegal to skateboard in a police station.

14. In Indonesia, the penalty for masturbation is decapitation.

13. In England, all men over the age of 14 must carry out two hours of longbow practice a day.

12. In London, Freemen are allowed to take a flock of sheep across London Bridge without being charged a toll; they are also allowed to drive geese down Cheapside.

11. In San Salvador, drunk drivers can be punished by death before a firing squad.

10. In the UK, a man who feels compelled to urinate in public can do so only if he aims for his rear wheel and keeps his right hand on his vehicle.

9. In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on Sundays can be jailed.

8. In Kentucky, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon more than six-feet long.

7. In Chester, Welshmen are banned from entering the city before sunrise and from staying after sunset.

6. In the city of York, it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

5. In Boulder, Colorado, it is illegal to kill a bird within the city limits and also to “own” a pet – the town’s citizens, legally speaking, are merely “pet minders”.

4. In Vermont, women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.

3. In London, it is illegal to flag down a taxi if you have the plague.

2. In Bahrain, a male doctor may legally examine a woman’s genitals but is forbidden from looking directly at them during the examination; he may only see their reflection in a mirror.

1. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast is legally the property of the King; the tail, on the other hand, belongs to the Queen - in case she needs the bones for her corset.

Hat tip: Charlie

New Poll

There's been a weak response to this month's poll. Please register your vote now - I'm going to put a new poll on tomorrow!

Dwarf glued penis to Hoover

A show called Circus Of Horrors lived up to its name when a dwarf accidentally glued his penis to a vacuum cleaner.

Captain Dan The Demon Dwarf was taken to hospital when he became stuck to the the machine after misreading superglue instructions.

The 42-year-old pulls the vacuum across the stage with his manhood at the Edinburgh Fringe production.

Its attachment came loose before a performance so he tried to glue it back on.

He left it to dry for 20 seconds rather than 20 minutes – and it stuck to him when he tried it out.

'It was the most embarrassing moment of my life,' he explained. 'When I got wheeled into a packed A&E on a wheelchair with a Hoover attached to my willie, I just wished the ground could swallow me up.'

Staff at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh managed to remove the attachment after an hour.

This is close to the perfect story! It contains all the essential elements.

Woman killed by Camel

A woman in Australia has been killed by her pet camel after the animal apparently tried to have sex with her.

The woman was found dead at the family's sheep and cattle ranch near the town of Mitchell in Queensland.

The woman had been given the camel as a 60th birthday present earlier this year because of her love of exotic pets.

The camel was just 10 months old but already weighed 152kg (336lbs) and had come close to suffocating the family's pet goat on a number of occasions.

On Saturday the woman apparently became the object of the male camel's desire.

It knocked her to the ground, lay on top of her and displayed what the police delicately described as mating behaviour.

As convincing as "falling on the Hoover".

Blurred Boundaries

I went to a fascinating talk at the Policy Exchange yesterday to hear about Channel 4's dealing with the West Midland's Police since they showed a documentary titled "Undercover Mosque" earlier in the year. There was a heated debate where two points crystalised out:

1. The police had no right to refer Channel 4 to OFCOM
2. Interference is causing censorship to slowing creep its way into broadcasting, especially where uncomfortable subjects are being tackled

I'll leave it to others to explain the issues in a more succinct way than I can, and there were certainly some well known faces in the room, including Michael Gove, Stuart Wheeler, Janet Daley, Nick Cohen (who has dreadful teeth), Damian Green and some minor politicians like Evan Harris and Mike Gapes. Obviously, an issue many people are taking extremely seriously.

Fun for ALL The Family!

Chocks Away

In a desperate attempt to become more cultured, I went to the theatre last night to see Boeing Boeing, a comedy about a French architect who has, what he thinks, is the perfect setup: three girlfriends, all stewardesses, who are always in Paris at different times. That is until their flights are delayed or cancelled and they all appear on his doorstep.

After a slightly slow start, the comedy really gets going as the main protagonist tries to hide all the girls from each other in different rooms round his house. A very amusing play, with some strong performances. Highly recommended.

What's a Jockstrap?

Charming the Snake


Result! My phone is finally back online. I now have to find out how I can reclaim the £150 of erroneous data charges I've incurred.

The Amazing Football Prediction Game

I have chosen Ronaldo (Man Utd) and Eduardo (Arsenal) as my nominated strikers. I use no skill whatsoever in predicting scores. Somehow I'm at the top of the league (ignoring the handicap of choosing such expensive strikers).

I hope the new boy and pretty-boy perform well this season.

Autobots Transform

I went to see Transformers last Wednesday, not because I was an avid collector of the toys as a child (my parents never bought me one; once when I was ill they left me at home when they went shopping and asked me what I wanted. "A Transformer" I answered. They came back with a Transformer...pencil sharpener) but because it's the kind of film which deserves to be seen on the big screen. It didn't disappoint: the CGI was stupendous; the plot was non-existent. The film included all the stereotypes you'd expect: the good looking girl who likes football players but by the end of the film fancies the geek; the young lad with overbearing parents; the trigger-happy soldiers. Luckily the film doesn't takes itself too seriously, and contains some rather amusing lines. Despite the gaping plot holes, it's a good film to take in at the multiplex. Just leave your brain with the cashier outside.

Get On Your Knees, Scumbag!

One of the best monologues in cinema history?

Geek Chic

I've been thinking about my career recently, and I think I'm going to resurrect my idea of being a travelling geek or "gentleman with a laptop", driving round London to help old ladies get their computers going, in the same vein as the HandySquad. I'm going to put together a business plan. Any ideas, get in touch.

Do you feel this?

The best scene from an awesome film.

Things You Learn in Movies

Some oldies, but all goodies.

- During all police investigations it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.
- All telephone numbers in America begin with the digits 555.
- All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets that reach up to the armpit level on a woman but only to waist level on the man lying beside her.
- The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No one will ever think of looking for you in there, and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty.
- Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language. A German accent will do.
- A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
- Kitchens don't have light switches. When entering a kitchen at night, you should open the fridge door and use that light instead.
- If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises in their most revealing underwear.
- Cars that crash will almost always burst into flames.
- Wearing a vest or stripping to the waist can make a man invulnerable to bullets.
- If you find yourself caught up in a misunderstanding that could be cleared up quickly with a simple explanation, for goodness sake, keep your mouth shut.
- Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant.
- A cough is usually the sign of a terminal illness.
- All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off.
- When in love, it is customary to burst into song.
- When confronted by an evil international terrorist, sarcasm and wisecracks are your best weapons.
- One man shooting at 20 men has a better chance of killing them than 20 men firing at 1 man.
- Creepy music coming from a cemetery should always be investigated more closely.
- If being fired at by Germans, hide in a river - or even a bath. German bullets are unable to penetrate water.
- Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communication systems of any invading alien civilization.
- Freelance helicopter pilots are always eager to accept bookings from international terrorist organizations - even though the job will require them to shoot total strangers and will end in their own certain death as the helicopter explodes in a ball of flames.
- Most people keep a scrapbook of newspaper clippings - especially if any of their family or friends has died in a strange boating accident.
- All computer disks will work in all computers, regardless of software.
- Police Departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite.
- When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other.
- Action heroes never face charges for manslaughter or criminal damage despite laying entire cities to waste by their actions.
- You can always find a chainsaw when you need one.
- Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds - unless it's the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside.
- You can tell if somebody is British because they will be wearing a bowtie.
- When driving a car it is normal to look not at the road but at the person sitting beside you or in the back seat for the entire journey.
- An electric fence, powerful enough to kill a dinosaur will cause no lasting damage to an eight-year-old child.
- Honest and hard working policemen are traditionally gunned down three days before their retirement.
- If you are blonde and pretty, it is possible to become a world expert in Nuclear Fission at age 22.
- The more a man and a woman hate each other, the more likely they will fall in love.
- Having a job of any kind will make father's forget their son's eighth birthday.

Hat tip: George

Out of Touch

Sorry if I haven't been in touch recently. Apart from being off in Sicily, O2 have put a ban on my mobile phone. When I was in Cork a couple of weekends ago, I somehow managed to download 28Mb of data, racking up a bill of £150 in one night. Due to excessive use, O2 have blocked all calls from my phone. It is taking a ridiculous amount of time to sort out this mess. Service, and social life, will resume soon.

Airports in Crisis

BAA seems to be getting a kicking in the papers at the moment. With holiday season upon us, it's time for the annual travel misery, but rather than the ire aimed at the airlines (lost baggage, strikes, delays) as usual, it's the airport operator who's in the firing line. I believe with good reason. Privatisation in the 1980s was the right thing to do at the time, with the government imposing restrictions on landing fees, which they rightly saw as the big worry for consumers at the time.

Times have changed. With the public increasingly seeing flying as a right rather than a privilege, airports should be able to compete for business. It's time BAA was broken up. Sorry Ferrovial, but Heathrow is a mess and more than enough for one company to sort out. I believe BAA have taken their eye off the ball: they treat passengers as shoppers rather than travellers and are more worried about squeezing out the last penny in the shops rather than improving the travelling experience. I completely agree with Jeff Randall: it's time for real competition - let's allow Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted compete for our pre-departure tourist dollar. And I bet that would make the airports wake up to the OTT and disorganised security measures and do something about it.

Weekend at Whitstable

Having to return home from Sicily early for Pop's funeral, I had the weekend in hand, so made my way down to the coast. I stopped off at Herne Bay for lunch (see picture of typical seaside fare) and a walk along the beach, before heading west to Whitstable and dinner at the Whitstable Oyster Company. Herne Bay has an old school seaside resort feeling to it, with working class families coming to the pebbled beach for the weekend, peeling off their football shirts (including baby Jimmy's) and frollicking in the sea, with tats all on show. Whitstable, on the other hand, has pulled itself together and it squarely focused on the middle class family (i.e. BMW-driving men who wear three-quarter length trousers and have silver tinted sunglasses permanently on the forehead): clapboard beach huts; locally brewed beers and expensive fish restaurants (being resolutely working class, I felt very out of place). The Whitstable Oyster Co. is excellent: juicy oysters followed by a whole sea bass washed down with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc hit the spot. A return visit is definitely on the cards.

Yachting on the High Seas

You can take a look at some of the photos from my trip to Sicily here. It was a fantastic trip to the Med: two days in Cefalu followed by six days on a 49' yacht sailing around the Aeolian Islands, which I can highly recommend. I know nothing about sailing, but I did pick up two facts: the Italians love driving their motor yachts seriously fast in all situations (including harbours) and feel naked without obscenely tight white Speedos.

Printer Steganography

I have previously blogged about the EURion Constellation, a pattern of dots printed on bank notes to stop forgery. This has apparently been extended to colour laser printers.

Printer steganography is a type of steganography produced by color printers, including HP and Xerox brand color laser printers, where tiny yellow dots are added to each page. The dots are barely visible and contain encoded printer serial numbers, as well as date and time stamps.
[T]he measure [was] brought in during the 1990s by companies such as Xerox seeking to reassure governments that their printers would not be used for the purposes of forgery. The identification is by means of a watermark, often using yellow-on-white, embedded in the printout of each page, and in conjunction with other information can be used to identify the printer which was used to print any document originally produced on a wide range of popular printers. It may be actual text, or a repeated pattern of dots throughout the page, more easily visible under blue light or with a magnifying glass, and is intended to be very difficult to notice with the naked eye.

Hat tip: Puppa

Nipple Count

An early display of my budding interest in Fleet Street. Sent February 1991 (I was aged 14).

Highlights from Pop's Funeral Oration

Ronald Edmondson. But nobody has ever called him that. When he was young his family called him Bun. Without exception, his friends called him Eddy. And we at home always called him Pop.

He was born in Liverpool on 28 September 1917, the only son with three sisters, Norah, Mui and Mai. He left school at 14 and went to work as a tea boy and messenger for Liverpool Corporation and while there trained as surveyor.

Pop fought in North Africa and Italy and received a battlefield commission at Monte Cassino, after all his officers had been killed or wounded.

Thankfully, he came back from War whole, uninjured, and in good spirits.

He also brought back with him a knowledge of an entirely new and unknown technology that he had seen in the secret war-time research department of Alfa Romeo in Turin – plastics injection moulding.

With what he had learnt, he built his first moulding machine – he was adamant that it was the first operational screw injection moulding machine in the world – and he always said he would have patented the idea if he hadn’t stolen it in the first place!

In 1968 we almost lost him to a heart attack and in 1987 he had another. His cardiologist suggested a by-pass operation but warned that because of his age – 70 – there was a slight chance of triggering Alzheimer’s Disease. And so it was.

Alzheimers is a cruel disease and his memory relentlessly faded, like the curtain slowly coming down prematurely on some grand and magnificent opera, but not smoothly and quickly, but jerkily and intermittently but always relentlessly.

Seven years ago he went into the special care at Sunrise Senior Living who have treasured him and cared for him as he just faded away in all meanings of the word, his memory, his strength, his appetite, his weight, his magic.

Ma visited him regularly and was with him Thursday two-weeks ago and sensed the end was near. She gently told him it was time to go. And so it was. He passed away the next day, 5 weeks short of their 65th wedding anniversary and a couple of months short of his 90th birthday.

Pop had a fabulous sense of humour and enjoyed laughing and making the people around him laugh, too. I do not recall him as a “teller of jokes” but he was always up for what he called a sky-lark.

I recall when James and Russell were very young we were travelling by train as a family and Pop took the boys off for an explore. Five or ten minutes later the whole train was treated to the three of them singing The Pop Club song – “Pop goes the weasel” over the public address system. It caused great laughter through the entire train, and the poor guard, who had been at the very far end came running through to end this outrage.

Pop’s plastics businesses and the foundations they provided have brought untold material wealth. For a family that started off in a tiny terraced house – with an outside privvy and the bath in the kitchen – on the Progress Estate in Eltham we have come an extraordinary long way.

But to make great store of this is to miss the point. This Golden Age – this magical time – is more about the attitudes, beliefs and the headlines ... being passed on. I look at Ma and Pop’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren and truly, their lives and those of the generations yet to come have been touched by Pop’s magic. And I hope in some little way that magic has reached out and touched the wider circle of friends around him.

Pop's Announcement

The Telegraph, 27th July 2007:


Ronald 'Eddy'. Peacefully on 20th July, aged 89 years. Much loved husband of Margaret, father of Raymond, Richard, Ronald and Ann, grandfather of Philippa, Sarah, James, Russell, Natasha, Claudia, Talya, Ross, Olivia, Sonia, Rowan and Melissa and great grandfather to Amelia, Oliver, Sophie and Emily. Founder and Life President of The Pop Club. Funeral Service on Friday, 3rd August, 1.45p.m. at Eltham Crematorium, Falconwood. Family flowers only but donations if wished to Alzheimer's Society c/o Welham Jones, 156 London Road, Sevenoaks, TN13 1DJ.

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog