Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Twelve Days of Christmas, The True Cost of Christmas

You know the one; maids a-milking, lords a-leaping. But how much would it cost to actually have your twelve days of christmas??
Lets have a look.

Below are the costs I have found for each item:

Partridge - £46
Pear Tree - £16
Turtle Dove - £8 each
Hen (Nationalitiy Unknown) - £20 each
Bird Call CD (You try catching a blackbird!) £8.44 each
Gold Ring - £99 each
Goose - £50 ish each
Swans - £19.95 each Well it couldn't be a real swan now could it...
Milk Maid - According to Here, it would imply that you need to seek out a 'Lady of the Night'. Going rate of about 35 Euros in Amsterdam (roughly £25).
Dancing Ladies - £20 a lapdance
Lords a Leaping -£195 each
Pipers Piping - £71 each
Drummer - £50 per track

So theres the costs for the Twelve Days, lets put them together and see what Twelve days will cost. If you just want to see the end figure then scroll to the bottom.

The first day is a Partridge in a Pear Tree = £62

The 2nd day is a Partridge in a Pear Tree (£62) and 2 Turtle Doves (£16)= £88, add that onto day one = £150

The 3rd day is a Partridge in a Pear Tree (£62), 2 Turtle Doves (£16) and 3 French Hens (£60) = £148. Added to day two = £298

The 4th day is a Partridge in a Pear Tree (£62), 2 Turtle Doves (£16), 3 French Hens (£60) and 4 Calling Birds [or CDs](£33.76) = £181.76. Added to day three = £479.76

The 5th day is a Partridge in a Pear Tree (£62), 2 Turtle Doves (£16), 3 French Hens (£60), 4 Calling Birds [or CDs](£33.76) and 5 Gold Rings (£495) = £676.76, added to day 4 = £1156.52.

The 6th day is a Partridge in a Pear Tree (£62), 2 Turtle Doves (£16), 3 french hens (£60), 4 Calling Birds [or CDs](£33.76), 5 Gold Rings (£495) and 6 Geese a-laying (£300) = £976.76, added to day 5 is £2133.28.

So we are 6 days into our 'Twelve Nights of Christmas' and already the cost is just over £2k.
Onwards we go.

The 7th day is is a Partridge in a Pear Tree (£62), 2 Turtle Doves (£16), 3 french hens (£60), 4 Calling Birds [or CDs](£33.76), 5 Gold Rings (£495), 6 Geese a-laying (£300) and 7 Swans A-Swimming (£139.65) = £1116.41, added to day 6 = £3249.69

The 8th day is is a Partridge in a Pear Tree (£62), 2 Turtle Doves (£16), 3 french hens (£60), 4 Calling Birds [or CDs](£33.76), 5 Gold Rings (£495), 6 Geese a-laying (£300), 7 Swans A-Swimming (£139.65) and 8 Maids A-Milking (£200) = £1316.41, added to day 7 = £3449.69

The 9th day is is a Partridge in a Pear Tree (£62), 2 Turtle Doves (£16), 3 french hens (£60), 4 Calling Birds [or CDs](£33.76), 5 Gold Rings (£495), 6 Geese a-laying (£300), 7 Swans A-Swimming (£139.65), 8 Maids A-Milking (£200) and 9 Ladies Dancing (£180) = £1496.41, added to day 8 = £4946.10

The 10th day is is a Partridge in a Pear Tree (£62), 2 Turtle Doves (£16), 3 french hens (£60), 4 Calling Birds [or CDs](£33.76), 5 Gold Rings (£495), 6 Geese a-laying (£300), 7 Swans A-Swimming (£139.65), 8 Maids A-Milking (£200), 9 Ladies Dancing (£180) and 10 Lords A-Leaping (£1950) = £3446.41, added to day 9 = £8392.51

The 11th day is is a Partridge in a Pear Tree (£62), 2 Turtle Doves (£16), 3 french hens (£60), 4 Calling Birds [or CDs](£33.76), 5 Gold Rings (£495), 6 Geese a-laying (£300), 7 Swans A-Swimming (£139.65), 8 Maids A-Milking (£200), 9 Ladies Dancing (£180), 10 Lords A-Leaping (£1950) and 11 Pipers Piping (£781) = £4227.41, added to day 10 = £12619.92

The 12th and final day is Partridge in a Pear Tree (£62), 2 Turtle Doves (£16), 3 french hens (£60), 4 Calling Birds [or CDs](£33.76), 5 Gold Rings (£495), 6 Geese a-laying (£300), 7 Swans A-Swimming (£139.65), 8 Maids A-Milking (£200), 9 Ladies Dancing (£180), 10 Lords A-Leaping (£1950), 11 Pipers Piping (£781) and 12 Drummers Drumming (£600) = £4827.41, added to day 11 = £13219.92

So there we have it. The true cost of the 'Twelve Days of Christmas' £13219.92

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Loud Noises!

So back to moaning about commuting, but this can be stretched across the board. Generally having a tape player means you can listen to what you want when you want, and other people don't need to know that you listen to Hillary Duff. And i accept that, i too listen to some god awful stuff, mainly the radio, but i tend not to let other people know that.

Now i don't think many volume dials go to 11 but it seems so. Case in point. I'm sitting at the front of a bus, which generally has about oh I'd say 15 rows of seats? And someone is sitting towards the back. Now how high must their volume be to reach a good 18ft? And more so, what the fuck is it doing to their hearing? I don't think people realise how much it can fuck up your hearing.

I have managed to fuck my ears up to the point that while writing this my ears are ringing. Think coming out of a club in the middle of the night, you know when your ears are ringing from Bryan Adams being played loud?? That's what its like all the time. And that's from festivals, headphones, cramming crayons into my ears..

So i don't get it. Why would you want to play your shitty music to the point that the driver can listen to it? I doubt that all of those people have shitty headphones that don't retain any of the noise.

I'm thinking its a subconcious statement. Like when your 5 and you like a certain someone. You walk up to them, stomach in flutters, blushing, and you kick them in the shins and laugh as they start to cry. But in this instance its more "Look at me, sitting here, listening to some German pop about a crocodile called 'Snappy'. Oh how i hope someone will sit next to me and start a conversation about my musical tastes"

Sit down and talk about musical tastes, laugh and mutter under our breath at how much of a twat you are. You say tomato, i say tomato.

Don't get me started on the 'yoofs' who decide playing their crappy bedroom made hip-hop on their phone is cool. Its not. The musics shit. Your shit. The phones shit and hopefully you step in shit.

Friday, 30 November 2007


This is probably going to be something i mention a lot, in fact i know it is.

Now I'm not sure how many people out there partake in a daily commute to work/school but i for one have the pleasure of a total of 4hrs commuting each day into and out of London.
I know, i know. Many things spring to mind like "Why do you bother working that far away" "Surely commuting isn't too bad" "Why haven't you got any trousers on".

Whether you commute for 30Min's, or 3hrs, its all the same. You stand there waiting for the train to come, most people have their spots so the doors come to where they are standing. You get on the train and one of two things happen:

You get on the train, look for a seat and if not then you stand.
Your an upper class twat that has a 1st class seat all reserved, the peasant that they have warming their seat runs off to the back of the carriage and they sit down, not before wiping the seat.

So after your settled and your face is in the armpit of some tight arsed man in a pin stripe suit, the train starts to move.
Now the Reading - Paddington train takes on average 25Min's. Not too much, the length of your favourite Simpson's show, or a very relaxing shit. So within those 25 minutes, on a hot stuffy train, face in the armpit of pin stripe swept back hair man, you expect to be able to just relax and get to London.

Yet, and I'm pointing the finger at the business man (for reasons ill explain in a minute), someone decides to fart. And its not a noisy 'everybody chuckle' fart, or a quiet mouse squeak of released gasses, no. It's a silent leak of noxious gasses that come from the bowels of perdition, that creep up to your nostrils and and play the harp on your nose hairs.

Now why cant they go to toilet before they leave the house, like we were trained as kids to do, or hold it in until they get to London or the office? I mean its not that hard, try going to a festival and having to hold it in for a few days!

My theory, yes. The business man and his loose bowels. Right. So here goes:

Being a loose bowled, but tight arsed, businessman means that your high wired, you get no sleep so need lots of energy, so you drink coffee. But drinking coffee makes your breath smell and stains your teeth, so you chew chewing gum.

So you have coffee, which speeds up metabolism (makes the stomach work) and you have chewing gum, which contains Xylitol (at high doses has a laxative effect).
All of this combined equals the need to shit, or at least fart. And there we have it. That nostril ripping fart you smell on the train/tube in the mornings is indeed from the bowels of a pin striped businessman.

But he doesn't care does he? No for hes on the upper echelons of society, he can shit where ever he wants.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007


So August has come and gone, and so have both Lowlands and Reading Festival.

I'll start with Lowlands.

Set opposite Walibi World in Biddinghuizen, Holland, its amazing. Line up is pretty much the norm for festival seasons ( Kaisers, Arcade Fire, Groove Armada, Basement Jaxx, Dizzee Rascal to name a few), all set inside tents. The main stage, Alpha, is about the same size as a football pitch and all under canvas, which just amplifies the crowd and the music. Set in between two banks where you can sit and chill to the music if its a nice day.
Other stages included Bravo, Lima, Grolsch and Juliette. There is an outdoor cinema, numerous food eateries (Asian, American, English, Mexican etc). Massive Camping area with flushing toilets and cubicle showers, all cleaned throughout the day.
The only downside Lowlands has, is that fires are not allowed. Camping stoves are welcomed, as are BBQs, the disposable ones, but no fires. Which you may think takes a lot away from camping, but with music ending about 6am in some tents, who needs sleep??

Now how much would you pay for such a festival in the UK??? Well lets see:

Reading and Leeds Festival = £155 for 3 days camping. £20 if you want early entrance.
V Festival = £130 with camping + £8.25 fee ( £138.25) or £110 without camping + £7.50 fee (£117.50)
Bestival = £115
Glastonbury = £145 + £5 fee + £4 shipping (£154), all available, perhaps, if you registered before hand.
Lattitude = £112 + Fee
Lowlands = £95

So quiet alot really for 3 days camping, not all have the same line up but most are the same bands.

So Lowlands is cheaper for entrance, and yes there is travel, but say you fly, that's £70, which still puts the festival at £160. Alot you say, yes, but considering both Reading & Leeds and Glastonbury ( Some say best festivals around) cost in that region. Lowlands is 1.) in Holland ( we all know what that means) and 2.) Is as good, if not better than the two mentioned.

Lowlands has its own currency called Munten (Tokens), the exchange rate works out at 1 munten = 2.2 Euros ( £1.50).
Pricing is like this:
Beer,Water and coke are 1 Munten
Food averages out at 3 Munten

All merchandise is bought in Euros not tokens.
The reason this works well, and adds to the atmosphere, is that there are no muggings. If someone steals a wallet, what do they get? a handful of tokens that can only be used at the festival, for that year. Hardly worth mugging someone is it?

They also have a scheme that if you bring back 8 cups, you get one token. And as beer is one token, its not that hard to gain a few beers for the night, or even get some food with the tokens.

That's about it for Lowlands, one of the cleanest, chilled festivals around.

Suppose I better write something for

Reading Festival

Right, well apart from the outlandish pricing for weekend tickets, going up by at least £20 each year. Day tickets this year cost £70 a day. £70 a day, some of the days i saw people just standing facing a 10ft high metal fence, seemed to be having more fun.
This year you had to pay extra in order to camp a day early, every other year we have rocked up to the entrance, said good morning/afternoon and then proceeded to get drunk and put up tents. Failing that we join the thousands of people on Thursday and walk in normally.
Anyway, £20 they were asking for. Which is ab it much considering most of the people who payed that money ended up camping in Brown camp gay ( yes that is the official name) or camped right on the walkway, which if they haven't been trampled on, usually get burnt.
So having saved £20 we came on Thursday, much to our joy some friends took 16 tents between them, and found the perfect place for us to camp. And I'm getting off subject again.

So once you have paid the price of a testicle enlargement operation in Slovakia, you proceed to walk. Some people walk abit, then dump their gear, and set up camp. OK it may look good at the time, but you can guarantee that every other Tom, Dick or Arthur is going to camp there too. So say hello to your neighbours next time they are pissing on your tent, it may save you from being stabbed, mugged or your tent set alight.
OK i camped in Orange, which was the furthest point away from the main entrance. I could sit on my cheap post burnt chair and listen to the main stage. An exit was a mere 100yards away, which offered easy access to Waitrose or if i was inclined, Hookers, Drugs and Lydls.
I was far enough away that the plastic fumes were only toxic enough to kill a 10yr old child, and the fires looked like the orange glow of street lamps... which were being burnt by dying 10yr old children.

Its also a good retreat from marauding mobs waging war on Gazebos..

That said, i still managed to help in taking down a 10ft metal fence (OK so we didn't know at the time that people were camped underneath), managed to see the explosions of gas canisters and aerosol cans, and most probably some 14yr olds testicles, though if i found them i could have gone to Slovakia and gotten part exchange on a large pair for myself. We created a monster that was called Candy Cock. Placed a monument to something that included a BMW bonnet and a Jersey flag. Though no game of trolley was seen, which was a downer.

So not camping in knee deep of shit, or mud, or piss, or a combination of all three was my choice. Yay for me.

Anyway again off topic. Where was i? Ah yes money. So you pay your saved money for testicle enlargement operation, or a down payment on a polish workforce, and you set up camp. Drink beer. Oh you've run out? here come to us and pay extortionate prices on a case, or in fact come inside the festival and pay £3.50 for a pint. Oh but don't worry, we saw what they did in Holland, cheeky dutch, you too can get free beer, all we require is you pick up 10 cups (that's £35 worth of piss) and we will give you one shiny cup full of piss. Aren't we cunning! The dutch want people to help clean up, and as a reward get tokens to spend on not only food, but also beer or other drinks. We on the other hand just want you to clean up, and yes here's a beer or two. But the cost of that beer is only going to go towards cleaning up your piss stained, shit smeared, vomit ridden tent. But thanks for making us look 'Green' what with the amount of noise pollution, fumes from fires and vehicles that we are pumping in the air. Kudos.

So you have paid the ticket to camp, the beer, maybe even pay about £5 for 10 chips after your beer. Now what? Oh yes its a music festival. Lets go to the comedy tent.

Though there wasn't anything wrong with the comedy at a music festival, it offered relief from the sun and annoying emo kids. It was a sanctuary for those who liked to do other things than stand up and listen to 4 shit bands, so they can get to the front for the one band they have been waiting to see all weekend.
So your not into comedy? OK. Well you can wander between tents, or just chill by the main arena sipping from your water bottle...

Oh wait, you haven't got a water bottle have you? No that's because the 'bouncers' won't allow you to take water bottles into the arena for fear of said bottle containg alcohol, rohypnol or even water. Also for health and safety fears that bottle could be thrown at a really really shit band. Maybe if the shit band wasn't on stage, then the bottles wouldn't get thrown.
So they take your water bottles for fear of them being thrown. So you go and buy a water bottle from a vendor. But wait, didn't they just take a bottle off you for fear of you throwing it? I'm sure they have a good reason, maybe its made of that soft plastic, you know the one that when it hits your head, makes you feel all warm inside, instead of that hard plastic that makes you feel all warm outside with the blood trickling down your head.

So you have paid the ticket to camp, the beer, maybe even pay about £5 for 10 chips after your beer, maybe a £2 - £2.50 bottle of 'ice cold' water as its one of the hottest weekends of the year, and your dehydrated from all the beer, so what now?

Well you could look at the merchandise on offer from any of the market stalls, same shit you see on some street vendor, though the price is that much more. Or if that's not your thing you could erm, well that's about it. Apart from the music ( which your ticket pays for) or the food and drink ( which you pay for, which in turn pays for the music) or the merchandise ( which you pay for, which pays the vendor, which pays mean fiddler) what else is there to do?

Well, take lots of drugs, drink lots of alcohol you bought in yourself, and go fucking mental.

But of course, not so early in the weekend. No. You save all this anger at a festival that was created about the music, that is now turned into a massive cash cow, because lets face it, no other cows will be on that field anytime soon.
So all this anger at over priced tickets, food, drink, merchandise, shitty toilets ( well i mean hole in the ground), overflowing toilets (holes) because no one can be arsed to clean them, Scottish 'Specialized Security' (hey all they need is a nice uniform and speak a language no one else cares about.

So all this pent up anger, and all those drugs and all that drink lead to one thing.

DESTRUCTION. Destruction of yourself, of your possessions, of buildings, anything. There is no violence towards other people, no violence towards police, fire crews or volunteers. Yes a few bottles get thrown (Don't worry its the soft plastic kind) but they are seen as the problem. Maybe if you didn't hire the SS, sorry Specialized Security, then they wouldn't need to be bottled. OK i might be unfair to them, by our camp some people had jarred the fence and walked through. So we had a guard there. He was OK, he was funny, about my age, smoked a spliff with us, we offered him a chair and a spot next to the fire as it was freezing. He thanked us and joined in the conversation while making sure no one came through the hole. About 40Min's later some 'senior' (you could tell because he wore a red jumper, not yellow. Either that or he just beat enough women and kids to turn it from yellow to red) Security man came over and started shouting at this friendly security guard telling him "Eeeh we don't pay you to party'.

No you pay them to work 12 hour shifts without any breaks. Fair enough £500 for a weekends work is good, and your providing a helpful service to the festival goer. Though I'm sure some would waver the wage in order to deal out some punishment, but i suppose that's Leeds not Reading.

So a weekend of drink, drugs and destruction. What a way to spend a couple of hundred pounds. That testicle enlargement is at least another month away Timmy, now go back to wearing those swabs of metal wool down your pants and run along.

So that said and done it probably looks like i hated Reading Festival, oh no i enjoy it, have done for 5 years. I enjoy the music, the drugs, the alcohol, the random occurrences during the nights, the free beer, chairs, hats and inflatable sumo costumes that you may find on Monday morning. I enjoy seeing other people have fun. I enjoy spending a weekend away from home with my friends, some who i don't get to see too often and which i wished i could. I enjoy meeting new people, having fun and not being afraid that the man in the dressing gown that i stroke isn't going to get me stabbed. For being able to not care for three days that whatever i do will have any effect outside of the festival.

So this may seem a rant, well the last 3/4 probably is. But amongst all the hatred towards Mean Fiddler ( Festival Republic) and the Security guards, i do have to say thanks.

If you didn't charge us a fortune for everything under the sun, if there wasn't a fear of being raped, murdered, mugged or just plain old beaten up, then what would we have to rebel against??
Thank you for becoming as commercialised as Cillit Bang.
Thanks for letting us run rampant for a weekend, setting fires etc...
Thanks for the blind eyes when it comes to drugs and under age drinking.

Thanks Mean Fiddler for turning Reading Festival into Reading Town Center!

And remember, if your testicles are blown off by a gas canister, just know that whenever your at Reading, the many cheers you hear, will force a mild seizure, usually forcing you to crack and burn the toilets down. That'll teach em eh Timmy?

And if you have read all this? You either don't do much work, don't work or i pestered you to read. Have fun for the rest of the day.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Letters from First Class

Dear Mother,
We are having a terrific time in first class, all comfy and warm. Occasionally we have to look upon the lower classes, maybe even acknowledge them. Mother are you still reading, don't disown me.
I'll shall tell you of one encounter with the 'lesser class'. It happened not long ago on transport to Bristol. Due to another train being cancelled we had to take aboard more passengers than i would have liked. They were sweaty and smelly and i think some of them were standing.

A female attendant came across the tannoy saying that she had to 'De-classify' first class due to health and safety issues, the only issues with health and safety is the smell. The other passengers were told that if there was a free seat in first class they were to seize it under any circumstances. Well i was having none of that let me tell you. So i banded together and recruited some other 'Firsties' to rally against the others and drive them back to the lower carriages.

At first it was a struggle, they had the numbers, but we had the first class mentality. We fashioned cutlasses from our umbrellas and monocles and charged at the marauding stampede. We fought them off for a good 20minutes, through swarms of screeching aunties and wailing children. We lost some good men that day; Baxter, Thompson and we are not sure what happened to Longham, last time we saw he was fending off a gaggle of children all throwing feces at him. God i hope he isn't alive, what with the smell.

Luckily Reading came into view and with that alluring sense of alcohol they seemed distracted, so we drove them off the train and barricaded the carriages against any more 'would-be' soldiers of the lower classes.
The train staff said we could be refunded the cost of sitting with the lower class, as it was a privilege for them to even be near us, but i don't think any amount of money can make us forget the horrible ordeal that we had to go through, i think i'm going to have nightmares for atleast a week. Poor Pugersmith was underneath one of the tables rocking back and forth crying like a school boy missing his mother, we beat it out of him though.

I think we learnt a good lesson while on our train that day mother, we learnt that the lower classes will do anything for a chance to sit at the throne of society, but we must never let that happen.