Thursday 23 April 2009

wishful thinking

Early smoking days are a memory ringed with the golden penumbra of nostalgia but, even with that distorting illumination, certain parts of the memory retain a vestige of fact. The BOF remembers his first encounter with a budget price-hike on cigarettes, or at least thinks he does.

They went up to 6/7 (that's six shillings and sevenpence or just over 32.5p).

Having just paid £6.30 for a packet (and the brand is almost the same - Chesterfield then, in the beautiful plain maroon, red, and white packet, Marlboro now) a simple calculation reveals that the price of a single cigarette now is almost the same as that for a whole packet then.

Perhaps this is the moment to stop...

Saturday 18 April 2009

c'mon you reds

So it's off to Wem-ber-lee with mixed feelings. Even to a johnny-come-lately supporter like the BOF, Wembley means finals, the top of the heap, last men standing. It doesn't mean semi-finals.

Or it didn't used to mean semi-finals. It does now, and that probably won't change, even though the brand has been devalued. It would be too gomish of the BOF to refuse attending this titanic red/blue clash, this southern semi, on the grounds that it should not be like this.

This is how it is, and so the red shirt will be donned, the vocal chords will be given their lubrication, alternately extravagant and pessimistic predictions will be exchanged, injuries will be bemoaned, past glories will be talismanically resurrected, statistics will be uselessly bandied about, and songs will be sung.

Whatever will be, will be.

Saturday 4 April 2009


Well, well: it's a fool who won't consider changing his mind if the facts change. Despite the rather curious wording of Google's auto-generated reply when requesting the removal of an image, they appear to be delivering on the promise which filled yesterday's airwaves. 

The BOF's house has been removed from streetView, within less than 24 hours. Accordingly, Buckingham Palace Road is now off the bofCam.

Let's hope it's a permanent removal...

Friday 3 April 2009

met trick

The method used by the police on Wednesday to contain the demonstrating crowds, known as 'kettling' , is coming in for some criticism.

The Met is not being given a fair hearing. Their behaviour, as witnessed by the BOF, was almost entirely decent. While one or two donned their helmets with blazing eyes and and a set jaw, the huge majority behaved in a restrained and controlled fashion.

By the time most of the demonstrators had had enough of it all, they had realised that they would have to stay for a little longer. Every exit appeared to be blocked by a double line of day-glo yellow jackets, or helmets and shields. Yet the crowd appeared to be thinning.

How could this be, when every request for information about the opening of the cordons was met with the same answer?

"We know as much as you do. Nothing."

The BOF decided to explore. Moving down Victoria Street, he walked into an alley which appeared to be a dead end. It had a passage leading off at right angles, hidden in shadow, and the passage led to freedom. There was not a policeman in sight.

The intention was clear: by allowing a slow trickle of participants to leave, there would be no sudden rush of hyped-up crowds, no storming of public transport. And all the while those who were either determined to stay and cause trouble, or those who were too stupid to find their way out (and therefore best left in the hands of the authorities) could rant at being held captive.

It was a kettle with a smart leak.

Someone has to say it: well done, the Met.

bugger google

Google are racing up the charts of world's-most-hated companies. There is talk of the company potentially being open to over one billion dollars worth of litigation. So far, they have managed to antagonise the worlds of film, music, book publishing, image banks, and now the ordinary householder.

However, there are a couple of householders in the UK who seem to have escaped the reaches of the Google Street View camera car. Mr. Gordon Brown and Mrs. Elizabeth Windsor can both sleep easily at night, in the knowledge that their London residences do not appear on the intrusive pages.

This 'facility' is voyeuristic and unnecessary. While it is unlikely that, in reality, many burglars will be able to exploit the images, there is no real purpose to their existence.

The BOF suggests that all those who know their houses to be on the system email Google to request that the images be removed. This is done by viewing the image and hitting the (tiny) 'report a problem' link at the bottom. Mentioning the fact that Gordon Brown's house has been removed may help. Good luck!

Wednesday 1 April 2009

happy birthday, dear Tony

On from Threadneedle Street to Trafalgar Square, a more genteel affair. Having escaped the city cordon (more on this later) the BOF arrived just in time to hear Tony Benn's speech and, joy of joys, to join in with the singing of "Happy Birthday to Tony".

He looked a little pained by the experience - but how many people have stood under Nelson's Column and heard the entire square sing to them, and how many deserve it more than he?

business as usual

The lack of life within the RBS building didn't deter be-helmeted police from defending it with full vigour and assorted horses.

Royal Bullshit Show

Don't believe everything you hear - part 1. The so-called Branch of the RBS which had its windows broken today was an empty office.

More later...