A – Algeria Welcome to the 7th century from your one-eyed, fundamentalist tour guide! The geography of North Africa will soon be as familiar to us as Afghanistan and Iraq and just as bloodstained.
B – Blockbuster Video Are you still here? Apparently not anymore. How they survived that long…
C – Chelsea Disgraceful behaviour by Hazard. Perhaps if he got stuck in with the same courage on the pitch? Equally disgraceful are all the apologists for his assault.
D – Durango Unchained Released this week , looking forward to seeing this Quentin Tarantino film.
E – Euro Ambassadors Thats the best job! In an unnecessary and parallel foreign office for the EU, a marvellous sinecure with shedloads of perks for dozens of underserving and undeserving eurocrats. Caroline Ashton, ex policy advisor for Gordon Brown, heads up the European External Action Service EEAS ( or Easy life for short ) rewarded by a pittance of a £320K salary. Not enough, in my view, for someone who has never been elected by anyone and cannot speak any languages at all.
F – Florence Third full day done. There is a reason why it’s best to have kids in your twenties.
G – Gordon Strachan is appointed the new Scotland manager. We can look foward to some memorable quotes if not results from the wee master of the cigar smoking celebration
H – HMV Called in the administrators, the third one this week to blame t’internet for its demise. and another store that I must confess to spending very little time or money in over the last 5 years.
I – Inn at Whitewell as good as ever for lunch after a wedding scouting trip. It will look even better in August.
J – Jessops Victims of being a free showroom for online buyers. The last camera I bought was from a Jessops outlet because I wanted it there and then and didn’t mind paying a small premium. People forget that service costs money.
K – Kagawa Shinji, the jury’s out for me. Some very nice touches like beautiful pieces of calligraphy but is he too lightweight from the Premier League?
L -The Lottery Camelot doubling the price of a lottery ticket and their management bonuses in the same week. An addiction not only for the poor but also the government with the revenues it brings in. Does that mean double the prize money and the amounts for good causes? Answers on a postcard….
M – Meat from horses in burgers, reminds me of the fly in the soup joke. I personally would rather eat some of Shergar than Mechanically Recovered Meat slurry.
N – Nugget A 12 lb gold one found near Ballarat, Australia by a guy with a metal detector. On our visit to to this town near Melbourne all we found was a poorly run tourist office and a rather disappointing cafe.
O – Obama Officially installed for a second go of being stymied by congress on health, guns, etc
P – Pochettino The Argentine ex-manager of Espanyol where his win rate of less than 40% was enough to secure his new post as Southampton manager replacing the luckless Nigel Adkins who could only boast a 54% win rate, back to back promotions and a recent draw with the European Champions. Obviously he deserved to go. Note to Southampton chairman, watch the film Moneyball and remember, it helps if your managers can speak English.
Q – The quick and the dead This week’s funeral was a poignant reminder of this odd phrase.
R – Rory McIlroy 140 million dollars from Nike. Just how much margin do they make on those galoshes made in Bangladesh?
S – Snow They said it was coming, the usual apocalypse warnings on the news reports. It’s like it’s ’63 again. No it isn’t!
T – Tax Self assessment done ( cue Gordon Ramsay voice) and submitted a week earlier than normal. Please remember me in the New Years Honours list, I have probably paid more than Google and Amazon combined.
U – Utopia Channel 4 TV drama featuring saturated colours, a strange soundtrack, a cast of weird people in a dystopian world and unnecessary violence. It is quite unique but perhaps not for everyone. I don’t care, other people like Deal or No Deal or plays by Stephen Poliakoff. Another positive is that AA Gill hates it.
V – Vouchers See above from HMV. How to seal the fate of an already doomed enterprise; announce that you will not honour vouchers. Store vouchers have only one winner. They actually budget for a certain percentage not being redeemed. Boycott vouchers from anywhere, pay cash. You pays your money for our vouchereses and we keeps it, my precious.
W – Wolf Hall A prize winning book by Hilary Mantel. Worthy of all the fuss, quite the best novel I have read in years
X – X-Rated bonus paid to Goldman Sachs boss
Y – Yawn Lance on Oprah ( The mind boggles), will he admit to cheating?
Z – Zut Alors! ‘e was a cheat after all or to quote Wiggo : “A lying bastard!”