Zero carbon? Zero bull?

This is a tough one, the subject is open to as many opinions as there are bands appearing at this weekend’s V Festival (where the fcuk did that come from?).

The story in bullets:
* Wiltshire student (Tom Tapper)
* Aiming to cycle John O’Groats to Land’s End
* On-board solar panel will recharge their gadgets
* Aiming to make the journey zero-carbon

But this isn’t right, is it?

By discounting the carbon footprint that the build/manufacture of everything he wears, rides, uses and cycles upon, isn’t Tom Tapper distorting the true picture?

Otherwise it’s like the situation of an astronaut standing on the International Space Station throwing a small metal box at the sun and making a declaration that the journey of the box (from ISS to the sun) is a zero-carbon journey.

Whereas if we consider the process by which the box and the astronaut came to be on the ISS in the first place, the journey is far from zero-carbon.

Tom Tapper (and his team) are using modern bicycles made in an intensive industrial process. The ingredients include carbon fibre. The tyres are made from various manufactured materials and will include rubber – tapped in and transported from trees in far-away, exotic forests before being transported thousands of miles and put through an industrial process. His clothes will also have been manufactured in industrial processes (and probably manufactured in and transported from foreign countries).

And – oh boy – let’s not even think about the carbon footprint that the manufacture of solar panels produces!


So not a very zero-carbon journey at all.


My point here is nothing to do with the carbon/zero-carbon argument.

I’m just having a little poke at the misrepresentation of a story and the obscuring of some fundamental facts.


Knew this would happen

Don’t often twitter about the 9-5 side of things but…

Last week I accepted a very interesting opportunity in Wiltshire that I’m due to start on Monday (one of the reasons that Antonia is starring as our guest blogger).

Since accepting this role I have been offered:

A contract in Staffordshire

A contract in Oxfordshire I interviewed for so long ago the details are now hazy

An interview in London which I’ve been told is a formality

Another interview in London

An interview in Sussex


The truth is that the job in Wiltshire attracts my brain as well as my enthusiasm.

But this consulting/contracting lifestyle – the phrase “like buses” springs to mind.



Friends Reunited

Friends Reunited seems to have taken a back seat in the Web v2.0 explosion.

Peculiar really, given that Friends Reunited has a much better search facility (you try looking up ‘Belinda Thomas’ on Facebook and then flip to Friends Reunited and use their advanced search page!).

Yeah, I know.

Why am I lying in bed (just gone noon, thanks very much), listening to Millie still howling next door looking up my arch nemesis on Friends Reunited?

Well come a little closer my friends and I’ll tell you my answer…


I don’t know.

There, that’s it.

I think that – starved of sleep and with the edge of reasoning beginning to become unravelled like a kind of tartan travel rug that’s been used a little too often – I’m subconsciously looking for somone to gloat over.

Because I can’t hurt Millie, right?

Right, that would be wrong.

So I want to know how badly Belinda Thomas has fared in life.

I want to find out where she’s failed, I want evidence that there is a Karma that gets the really bad people in the end.

I want to peel apart her life, layer by layer until every one of her mistakes, every moment of the futility of her existence is exposed to my penetrating stare.

And she was really bad to me.

Oh yes.

She ‘dear johnned’ me.

It felt that as soon as I had boarded the train to RAF basic training she rushed to her dining room table and, under the careful supervision of her mother (another cow of cows who deserves the full might of bad Karma) penned the most poisonous of letters to end our relationship of 18 months.


But sadly not even Friends Reunited’s advanced search tool can yield her up to my penetrating gaze.

Which makes me feel a little better.

After all, I rationalise (perhaps mistakenly but hey, I’m so short of sleep I know I’m hardly thinking straight), she really must be crap if she’s not even on Friends Reunited.


Anyway, I have to go now.

I’m going to fashion a couple of voodoo dolls, one for each of Millie’s owners.

And then I’m going to stick pins in all of the most sensitive places I can think of.

Oh boy, can I think of a lot of sensitive places!


More doggy thoughts

Yep, it’s been over an hour since my last post and Millie’s still at it.

So now I’m having ‘fix the doggy’ thoughts.

Weedkiller-flavoured raw steaks pushed through next door’s letterbox fluttered through my head about half an hour ago.

But that would be wrong so I’ve dismissed it.

I mean, it’s not Millie’s fault that her two owners are totally rubbish human beings, is it?

No, of course not.

So I need to fix the owners, not the dog.


hits head against the bed headboard

I can’t do it.

I can’t come up with a way forward.

Robbed of sleep my brain is refusing to function.

Suggestions please!


Good morning!

Ah, Sunday morning.

Breakfast in bed, an ogle at The Lovely S, a quick tap of the laptop.

And all accompanied by the ever-present howling of the bl**dy dog.

It was 02.20 when one of the owners arrived home last night – which silenced Millie.

But he went out around 10.00 this morning and she’s been howling ever since.


The Lovely S just said to me that perhaps we’d better go out soon.

We don’t have anywhere in particular to go.

She just means ‘perhaps we’d better get away from that howling dog’.





This might be badly constructed because it’s a rant driven by anger and because I’m angry I’m not going to be terribly nice.

So there.

See how much I just don’t care?

That’s a sign of anger that is.

This post might also contain swear words but hopefully I’ll have the presence of mind to edit those out before I press the ‘submit’ button.

The time is 01.50 (or ten minutes to two in the morning if you prefer).

I’m awake due entirely to the unbelievable thoughtlessness of our stupidly dim neighbours.

They have a dog, our neighbours.

It’s a kind of Basset Hound.

Her name is Millie and she’s eight years old (but if she was within reach of my hands right now the odds on her seeing her ninth birthday would be remarkably slight).

Millie howls when she’s left alone.

Guess what?

She’s alone.

And howling.

I’ve been upstairs in bed trying to sleep since 00.15 (quarter past midnight).

Entirely, conclusively and demonstrably unsuccessfully.

What selfish b*st*rds my neighbours are.

They know their bl**dy dog howls when she’s left alone.

They know because it’s been mentioned to them.

And now they’ve gone out for who-the-hell-knows how long and left their bl**dy howling b*st*rd of a f*ck*ng c*ck-s*cking bitch of a f*ck*ng dog alone in their house to howl all f*ck*ng night.

I really don’t care if they’ve gone to hospital because she’s having a baby.

That makes it worse in my view!

They didn’t see this coming?

They haven’t had at least six months to think out a dog care arrangement?

They didn’t?

They really didn’t?

Well how stupid are they?

It’s inconsiderate b*st*rds like this who give the rest of humanity a bad press.

I want to ring the police and report the dog for disturbing the peace.

And then I want to ring the RSPCA and report the owners for neglect.



F*ck ’em.