Monday, April 24, 2006


I'm an optimistic packer. We're taking Snicket (4) and Boo (1) to Italy for seven days and I've got out four novels, a PSP with 4 games and two films and a portable DVD player with a CD wallet of about 20 DVDs all to fit in amongst the nappies, toys and Mrs Backroads' thongs.

What are the chances of tackling any of those? Slim, that's what. I'm gonna unpack them all.

Yes, what's far more likely is I'll buy some something highbrow at the airport like, er, NUTS and that'll be my intake of culture for the week. At least Ryanair won't be able to charge me for being overweight.

Oi! The cases.

Monday, April 17, 2006


A visit to Hardwick Hall places you not only in the clutches of the NT but also that of English Heritage who have the Old Hall next door. The idea in the 15th century was simple. Fed up with your collosal mansion. Build a bigger better one right next door. At least that was Bess of Hardwick did and she was only a shopkeeper's daughter. Ah, life might have been brutush and hard, but you could still make something of yourself with some pale make up and a fancy ruff. I mean, you wouldn't mess would you?

Little did she know that 500 years later there'd be coach-loads of M&S'd up trippers tucking into butternut squash soup in her kitchen... never mind the stuff in the gift shop. We bought a stress ball, a frisbee, a travel mug and some Joy Division oven gloves. Now that's a cultural day out.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


...that's what I say. You can tell spring is here because it hasn't snowed for three days. Plus I still have the cough and cold from deepest winter which should tide me over until Whitsun.

Check out Manchester Passion tomorrow. It'll either be toe-curlingly embarrassing or toe-curlingly embarrassing.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Went to the dentist this morning. He'd been on a canalling weekend near Skipton which, due to the adverse weather, sounded a throughly miserable affair. His twelve year old son said to him.

"Dad, this reminds me of cross-country running at school"

"Why's that, son"

"Well I always prefer cross-country running in heavy rain because people can't see that I am crying."

Sad but funny.

Monday, April 10, 2006


A roast chicken dinner accompanied by a fine bottle of wine, eaten with friends in a North Yorkshire cottage in front of a real fire whilst watching the elements do battle outside is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The journey home was hazardous but all in all the Family Backroads had a good day.

Felt lousy this morning though. The bug that's been shadowing me for three weeks has finally taken hold. Had to go into work though but, thankfully, my afternoon meeting was pulled so home I came. Tonight it's Alias, Lemsips and curling up with a good wife.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I've placed a bet. Look and learn:

Hedgehunter £5 each way - Starting Price
Forest Gunner £2.50 each way - Starting Price
Iznogoud £2.50 each way - 201 to 1

Friday, April 07, 2006


As I'm struggling to keep up the momentum with my blogging output at the moment I thought I'd post tomorrow's entry early. Then I can have a day off.

Well exercise didn't work.

Diets failed.

Yep, hypnotism is all the rage chez backroads. Paul McKenna is our best mate. All you have to do is read his "I can make you thin" book (quite amusing in three places), listen to his CD each day (28 minutes of voodoo hocus pocus which makes you turn into one of Kreskin's stooges (younger readers ask your dad) every time you set eyes on a donut).

All you need then is his "I can give you more free time" book and CD to enable you to find the 28 minutes each day to lock yourself in a darkened room away from job, kids and life to listen to the Get Thin CD. Trouble is you have to find time for the 25 minute Free Time' CD* as well. I tend to put this on my iPod and listen to it whilst I'm having my regular Big Mac Meal of a lunchtime.

Cheers then.

*Despite all this it really works. Oh yes it does. It really works. It does. Yes.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Seems the arduous process of convincing a series of local authority f**kwits to approve our plans to extend Backroads Manor is over and, despite some bizarre alterations to the original plans made just so the thick-arse civil servants can feel like they have some power in life, we seem to have got a tick in the box. In triplicate naturally.