Read Warren's hilarious weekly spiel as published in The Gloucestershire Echo and The Citizen.
Monday 23rd March - Long Live The King...
“Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of York.....” (By the way Shakespeare was way ahead of his time - York, like Tewkesbury, has a big church and also floods)
A polite clap all round for those who spotted that was a very famous line from Richard the Third (or as the kids text “Rick 3 1s”. It’s been a fun couple of years since ol’ R3 had his bits and bobs dug up in a car park in Leicester and lets face facts, for those of us following the cherry and whites year in and year out there’ve been a few times we’ve wished we could curl up and die in Leicester too.
So on Sunday our Dickie (ex Duke of Gloucester) finally got a burial fit for a king. Perhaps not surprisingly there was an almighty to do as to where his final resting place should be. Leicester (Bosworth) were always the favourites but York and London all chirped in with their claims to have him laid to rest in their respective areas. In truth Gloucestershire fancied it for a while but it was never really in the serious running.
Not really a bad thing either as someone somewhere finally has to be summoned to court over “R 3’s” resting place of over 500 years…. An NCP Car Park in Leicester (this is no joke). Now anyone who’s ever had a run in with our friends with pricey parking fees knows they want their ££££ because technically Richy boy was “on property” without paying for a fair old while...500 years
It’s not often the county council get praise but well done lads and lasses for not getting too deep into this one. You see, with a basic bit of maths, you can easily see Dickie’s unscheduled stop over is quite expensive, really expensive.
Let’s assume the stay over was exactly 500 years, that’s 26,000 weeks. Let’s also assume the average weekly NCP parking rate of £45 is in operation....That’s a cool £1,170,000 we owe to Leicester. Can you imagine that conversation? “Can we pay weekly about £50? How about we spot you 3 tries every Gloucester v Leicester game?”
Hmmm so all in all Leicester is very welcome to King Richard.
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am.
Monday 9th March - Too soon to be thinking about Christmas?
Clever office managers all around Gloucestershire are already well ahead of the game.
The game being “book the Christmas party before we end up leaving it til November when only a pound store in Swindon is available.....And they want you in at 6pm and gone by 6.25pm”
I think the Heart Christmas party will very much be the above this year, financially it surely has to be. Why? Well because we’ve embarked on our biggest giveaway ever and to be fair as the station that regularly dishes out £100,000 with our competition “who’s on Heart” we know a thing or two about big giveaways.
So here we go..Introducing (drum roll etc etc) “Heart’s 100 Happy Days.” The basic idea is simple (which is good because so am i) We’ve taken 100 consecutive days. We’re giving away four really great prizes each day and we’re simply saying if you win one of the four daily prizes you’ll go into a draw on day 100 to then win .....£100,000.
It’s a bit like the gift that keeps on giving (except it’s a lot better than the sandwich toaster you’ve been trying to offload on unsuspecting in laws etc each Christmas) The initial very cool prize, followed up by an even cooler hit of a life changing cash!
Now you’d better get your skates on as we’ve been playing Heart’s 100 Happy Days for 37 days including today, so the good news is you’ve still got about two thirds of the game’s run time left to play.
Some of the daily prizes we’ve already given away include
- -Tickets to see One Direction (you’d be parent of the year if you won them)
- -A VIP salon experience with hairdresser Nicky Clarke
- -Tickets to any day at any venue of this years Ashes tests in the cricket
- -Tickets to Ladies Day at Cheltenham
- -A weekend for 2 to Rome
So remember. 4 prizes each day (which we’ll tell you about from 6am every weekday) win one of them and you’re automatically in the draw to win an opportunity to tell your boss to go take a running jump...Or as it’s more commonly known “A life changing £100,000”
Pretty cool eh? Well except that it probably means we’ve spent the Christmas party budget...Tut
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Monday 2nd March - A shiny new car…
I’ve got a new car! It’s got all the mod con’s and whistles and bells.....Er like an engine and er.....4 wheels. Well 5 actually if you include the steering wheel (which on this car I'm led to believe is an optional extra). Doors and lights are also included.
Now for those of you who suffer Heart breakfast regularly (sorry listener) then you’ll know I'm not a man for details, so my long suffering sister Yvonne picks up the reigns for me there. She is a fully qualified accountant. She’s so good in fact that she retired at the age of 40 after selling her firm for £££. “Our Yvonne” is the brains of our family. I left the details, finance stuff etc etc to her and just ponied up the dough… Then sat back, relaxed and spent the whole of last Thursday waiting for my new motor to be delivered.
I waited...And waited...Did a bit more waiting.....And waited. Eventually I called the dealership it was coming from - One in the North West. A very nice lady informed me that I shouldn’t worry and that the lovely delivery man was on his way - Happy days! 30 mins turned into an hour which turned into 90 mins and still no sign of my car.
Trying not to sound like a total idiot I rang the dealership again. The polite lady apologised, said there’d been an accident on the motorway and “Dave” was (according to his sat nav) 13 minutes away! Happy days!
13 minutes turned into 20 and that turned into an hour. It was 5.25pm and this time i called the dealership intent of having it out with them. Id spent all day since 11am inside at home waiting for the b&&**% car and i was getting might hacked off. “Ahh Mr Moore” said the receptionist “apologies it’s late but Dave couldn’t find anyone at the property but has secured the car and posted the keys through the letter..Happy driving and thanks for your custom”......
I checked the letterbox...My heart sank...There were no keys. “Fiddle di dee” I said (or words to that effect) “where’s my car?”
10 minutes later Yvonne called...”Why is your new car on my drive way?”........”Fiddle di dee” I replied (or words to that effect) ...I only had one job, to make sure the delivery guy got my address for the drop off...Not my sister’s
My problem now? Yvonne doesn’t live in Gloucester. Actually she doesn’t live in England...My new car is currently taking pride of place In her drive in....... Loch Lomond, Scotland
Fiddle di dee.....(or words to that effect)
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Monday 16th February - The Oscars…
Oscars fever, Oscars this, Oscars that and Oscars the other. Blah blah blah.....
We’ll find out Sunday night/Monday morning our time who’s won what. Will Eddie Redmayne get his gong for a fantastic portrayal of Stephen Hawking or will Mr Cumberbatch pick up first prize for The Imitation Game?
Either way “nobody goes home empty handed” as they say in all the best game shows and this years nominees will end up taking home a “Oscars goodie bag” even if they don’t take home a gold statue. The goodie bag has become quite the tradition. It’s packed with all the latest Hollywood A List must haves and in true Tinsletown fashion the nominees of 2015 will be walking home with a bag that contains £81,000 worth of toys….. Go read that last line again. It’s no typo. If you get a nomination in one of the top 7 or 8 major awards (best actor/actress/director/film etc) you get a bag with £81,000 worth of cool stuff inside. Try telling Hollywood there’s a recession on!
Among this years more pointless items in the bag-
A Haze vaporizer - £150
A “special toy for ladies” ahem -£150
A “reset your life pamper makeover” - £9,500....Again no typo
However, amongst the really cool stuff in the bag
A 3 night stay at a hotel in Tuscany- £1,000
A luxury train trip through the Canadian Rocky Mountains- £9,500....And you thought Virgin were expensive
A years worth of Audi A4 rental from anywhere in America for free- £12,000
But the very best part of the package....”Distinct Life founder Olissia Kantor will personally fly out to meet all nominees and discuss their personal 2015 horoscopes, analyse dreams and teach specific mind control techniques”....Value- £13,000. Yep, £13,000 to be told “Hmmm Bradley Cooper my crystal ball predicts many things, including that you’re going to be offered roles in films.....”
The Oscar Goodie bags have now become so ridiculous in its financial amount the IRS (American Inland Revenue) are now asking for the items to be declared in the celebs tax returns!!!
Hollywood… No place quite like it eh
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Monday 19th January - Latte love...
I like my coffee and for that matter anyone else's. I’ve a love affair with my “cup a Joe” that dates back to being a student in America where it’s pretty much a national sport to get incredibly “caffeine wired” first thing and end up going around all day like a squirrel on red bull.
Yep.... I’ve had all The Costa in Gloucester and as for Cheltenham, let’s just say I've had more than zero in Cafe Nero right?
So it caught my eye that good old Starbucks in America have taken things one step further for coffee lovers. They’re now offering – at select sites - the chance to get married inside their shops. That’s right get your nuptials with your Nescafe, your flat white with your floral bouquet and your Bridesmaid as a barrista (at the time of writing we were unsure if the happy couples wedding gift were Costa card points)
You’ll most likely think I'm making the next bit up, but it’s true (just remember it’s in America). The latest couple to get hitched come from Wisconsin in the states, and with current temperatures at minus 10 you need a bit of coffee. The bride looked radiant in white (no sugar) and the groom wore a black (no milk) tie but here’s the genius of the thing, their actual wedding oaths were changed somewhat to fit their surroundings (or should that be groundings.... see what i did there?!)
Our bride DeAnna and our Groom Jordan celebrated with lines from her to him like “I promise to love you a latte” and him to her like “I swear to you Jordan I want to Machiatto an honest women out of you”.....Awful......
Don’t worry though it didn’t stop there, later the best man’s speech featured such classic zingers like “I went to the doctors and said Dr everytime I drink coffee I get a sharp excruciating pain at the back of my neck.” Doctor said “Probably best to take the spoon out of the cup sir”... or what about “people ask me if I woke up grumpy this morning? I said know I just made her an Americano” and “what sort of coffee does a cow that’s just given birth drink? De- calf-inated”..... Actually I quite like that one!
Ahhh coffee... Helping us do things quicker since about 200 years ago!
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am.
Monday 17th November - To Infinity and Beyond...
I’ll come clean before we start this week, me and science....We don’t work well together.
I was always the kid trying to blow up the school by leaving the gas taps on in the school lab (fyi Gloucestershire Police, that’s no admission of guilt)
I was however very impressed by “the science lot” when they made a space craft the size of a dishwasher land on a rock that looked a lot like Orville The Duck. Oh and they did all this at the speed of 45,000 mph. Regardless of the fact they landed it in the wrong place, and the battery is knackered, it’s still pretty good work.
Got me thinking though. If we can send this dishwasher off on a 4 billion mile trip and “speak to it” through space, why does my mobile cut out every time Im in Newent on the a4215? Or trying to speak to someone going up Birdlip Hill?
If we can send this dishwasher to deepest darkest space (btw - we are at the time of writing unable to confirm what brand of dish washer tablets were used) then why is it my Virgin Tv box thingy goes all fuzzy and wonky when it rains hard in the box. All this whilst our friend “dishy” fires in info from 4 billion miles away?
If science can send this dishy all the way to meet Mr Comet up there where the air is clear, why can’t i get a failsafe system to stop me recording Downton Abbey and not Strictly on a Sunday?
Science a crazy thing, and yet as my mate Dale lays in a Critical Care Unit on a life support machine in Gloucester Royal it’s science, and the love and care of many expertly trained Dr’s and nurses, that’s keeping him alive. I owe science, and I owe the caring NHS staff at Gloucester (and their counterparts in London who are now looking after my pal) a huge debt of gratitude.
So from the dumb kid trying to blow up his school via a gas tap a massive thank you to science, for the fun of The Rosetta Probe and more importantly for keeping my pal still with us
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Monday 22nd September - Still Together...
So farewell Alex Salmond, Scotland has said no on going back to Chinese rule (I'm pretty sure that’s what they were voting on, right?) and as a result he says fairwell. Interesting to note that his deputy and probable successor is called Nicola Sturgeon. Anyone notice anything here? Salmond....Sturgeon? Is this some massive conspiracy set up by the sea people to ensure First Ministers of Scotland have to be named after fish? Standby for John Halibut and Jane Cod in future years.
Now the votes done the wooing back of Scotland has officially begun. Including a Chinese takeaway in London making a sweat and sour version of haggis - Let me tell you, as the son of a Scot, haggis isn’t great. It’s basically the liver heart and lungs of a sheep. Not even the act of covering it in massive amounts of mono sodium glutamate (sweat and sour) and frying it can improve it. It’s still sheep leftovers.
However one British election tradition was adhered to beautifully in the referendum - the art of voting incorrectly. Across Scotland Presiding Officers called out the results very well. However, as well as telling you who won it’s their legal duty to inform us of how many people spoiled a ballet paper or better still got the voting procedure wrong. A stunning 487 ballot papers that historic Thursday contained the following - Next to the question “DO YOU THINK SCOTLAND SHOULD BE AN INDEPENDANT COUNTRY” 487 people ticked the yes and no box! A superb display of democracy at work. It doesn’t matter if you’re stupid democracy says you still have a voice...Even if that is the voice of a fool.
However, my favourite piece of Scottish Referendum juvenile banter came at a Polling Station in the Highlands where it’s alleged a middle aged Gent popped in, displayed his voting card and was giving his ballot paper. He goes in to the voting booth and pulls the curtain behind him. After some time and the sound of some struggling he emerges in just a shirt and boxer shorts. Holding up his trousers he exclaimed “These are lovely trousers but do you have them in blue and a 38 waist please!”
300 plus years together and like all “guid pals” as my Scottish ancestors would say we’re still going strong. There’s an old Scottish saying “Be slow picking your friends...And even slower changing them” I’m happy there’s no change.
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Monday 21st July - The Autograph Dilemma...
Feels a little odd to be sticking up this week for a multi millionaire, normally I’m all about “the little guy” but just for a change Rory Mcilroy - the millionaire in question - gets my backing.
So there’s Belfast boy putting out on the 19th to win the greatest golf tournament in the world - The Open. He’s being whisked away to the players tent, to record his score with the bosses, when all of a sudden a chubby young lad somehow breaks through security, sticks a piece of paper in front of Rory and says (on live tv) “sign this please Rory”. The newly crowned champ stops for half a second, and then walks on. The kids ushered away. Since then Rory’s had a bit of flack for not stopping. I don’t agree.
You see he’s at work. Sure his office might be shared with 40,000 fans on a golf course but he’s still working. There’s plenty of opportunity before or after a round of golf to do autographs - and Rory’s one of best at stopping off for half an hour to sign away...But not when he’s working. Some might not know but until his scorecard is checked, signed and countersigned and made sure it tallies with what the official scorer has as Mr Mcilroy’s score then the score doesn’t stand. Tournaments have been lost by not signing or a bit of incorrect maths. Just because he’s holed his last putt his job’s not over.
It puts Rory in an impossible situation. If he doesn’t sign he looks a bad guy. If he does sign it encourages everyone watching or there to invade a sort of regular working day and he’d never get anything done.
The young lad meant no harm, he’ll now probably be a bit of a legend amongst his pals too. Ironically he’ll be better known now than if he’d have got his signature and he’s got a story to dine out on for the rest of his mortal. I’ll wager Rory’s PR team will get this kids address and he’ll find a signed ball or glove turning up soon in the post.
On a happier note, congratulations to Rory’s old man Gerry. 10 years back he stuck a bet on his then unknown son to win the open before he turned 26. Sunday’s win earned him £50,000! Although I’m guessing that now his talented son is paid £10 million a year by Nike his mortgage was dealt with a few years back!
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am.
Monday 9th June - The World Cup Has Arrived...
This weeks column will be a short and sweat affair.... Here goes. ENGLAND WILL WIN THE WORLD CUP... Thank you and goodbye......
Hang on oh-ye-of-little-faith, what do you mean “No we won’t it’s our weakest team to be sent to a major football tournament in 25 years” I have no time for you nay sayers. You see i’ve seen it in the stars and I predict England will win the World Cup. Read on as I scientifically prove this theory.
Following are several “events” that occurred in 1966 (when we last won the thing)
1- Austria won the Eurovison Song Contest
2- The Champions League was won by Real Madrid
3- The Spanish league was won by underdog Athletico Madrid
4- Fulham were relegated from the top flight of English football
5- A team came from 2-0 down to win the F.A Cup
Now before I conclusively prove that England will win The World Cup a small disclaimer. He’s called Sepp Blatter and he runs football’s governing body FIFA. A man, who under suspicious circumstances, gave the tournament in 2022 to Qatar...And I’m led to believe for £2.50 and a bag of grapes will tell you who’ll win it there too. Should Sepp (not a fan of England) decree a new law stopping English players taking to the field of play without blindfolds and 1 leg tied to the other then I cannot be held responsible for this......Otherwise it’s ours
And now to prove how. Read what happened in ’66 again. Now read below what’s happened already this year
In 2014 1- Austria won Eurovision (Thank you bearded lady!)
2- The Champions League was won by Real Madrid
3- The Spanish league was won by underdog Athetico Madrid
4- Fulham were relegated from the top flight of English football
5-A team came from 2-0 down to win the F.A. Cup (thank you Arsenal)
So there it is. A message, a sign if you will, that our “weakest team in 25 years” will win the World Cup. No need for a German octopus to point a tentacle at the winning teams flag (although he was 100%) and no need for doubt. England will win the World Cup.
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Monday 12th May - It's on it's way...
Well, like it or not it’s on the way. Like an unstoppable juggernaut. It’ll bring some families together and tear some apart... It’s now only a calendar month away.... The World Cup.
Assuming Carlos the Brazilian builder pulls his finger out and actually finishes the tiny things a world cup needs (like stadiums, roads and hotels) and gets his Health and Safety certificate then we’re go, go, go for near enough a month of top quality football...Oh and England.
There are however certain certainties a world cup brings. Here are a few
1- The Official England Replica kit----- Problem is to show your support for the lads Nike would like you to show them £90. Solution? Nip down to Tesco/Next buy a red or white shirt for £3.50. Buy a gold pen. Put a “Nike swoosh” on your left man boob and a single gold star on your right and hey presto. I just saved you £85
2- The World Cup bore---- Oh they’re out there, normally alone, waiting 'til your mates leave you to buy a pint or pop to the loo. Then you’re vulnerable to his sliding over and intro of “Course I remember in ’86 when we played the high up the field offside rule.” Usually followed by “used to play football myself” which normally turns out to mean he did a season at Forest Green Rovers doing the pies
3- The World Cup Adverts---- It’ll start soon mid way through an ad break you’ll see Steve Gerrard pop up in an advert and hear the voice over giving it “If you see Steve Gerrard’s face in any pieces of our bread then you’re off to Rio!” In truth if you see his face on any food it’s better to contact Environmental Health first.... Or a psychologist
4- The World Cup Flag of St George--- You promised you wouldn’t. You actually said “No, not next time they always let me down” but if England manage to score just 1 goal you’ll do it. Straight up to the loft and the flag’s are coming out. One for the roof, two in the garden, 18 on the car/van and then the crushing devastation of taking it down 25 minutes later when El Salvador equalise
Yep, there’s a World Cup on the way..... Just thought I’d warn you
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Monday 17th February - Say goodbye to work forever...
Let me set the scene for you...
It’s a wet chilly Tuesday and you park your car at work. Whilst all the other down trodden members of the rat race trudge head down to get their souls destroyed for nowhere near enough pay you stride confidently into work.
You’re scheduled in to have a meeting with your boss and H.R. Normally this would put the fear of death in you....But not today. Not this time and not this meeting......Because it’s you who’s called for this meeting.
In you go, dressed in shorts, T shirt and flip flops (shades optional) and casually announce you’re leaving. That’s it...You’re done with work, at least their work. No more for you the corporate run around.
Out you stride to your desk and wave farewell to Dave in I.T and Cheryl in accounts (It’s a shame that never happened, you think to yourself) You think something along the lines of “I wish i’d bothered to get to know half of you in here”.....But your future lies on a very very different path
You head back to your car, throwing your security pass over your shoulder, and realise you don’t have to head back to proper work again
So what brought this on? I’ll tell you. You were the person clever enough to listen to “Who’s on Heart.” You were the person smart enough to go “Oh, I know who those secret celebrities are” and you decided to call us and collect on your cool £100,000. Yep £100,000. So that mortgage you had...It’s gone. That credit card you had- Paid off...That business you always wanted to start but never had the money.....It’s started. The kids University fees....Sorted
It’s back. 3 secret celebrities stuck together to say “Who’s on Heart”....You hear us play it and hopefully do 1 of 2 things
1- Tell us another identity of one of the celeb’s and we’ll pay you £20,000
2- Tell us all 3 and we’ll pay out the life changing amount of £100,000
By the way, thanks for all the “we’ll split it 50/50 with you Warren” bribes....Sorry no can do. Turns out only a handful of staff know who they are – And I’m not one of ‘em!
All the best...Question for you though - If you walked off with £100,000 would you tell everyone or keep it a secret?
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Monday 10th February - Surprised by Sochi...
And so it’s here...The Winter Olympics. A lot like the real Olympics only with more lycra.
I’ll admit this much.... I like it. Those of who were worried they’d out do London 2012 were put nicely at ease when one of the Olympic rings didn’t light up during the opening ceremony. Condolences to the 10 people who Putin will have had shot for the error by the way.
Once you take the Winter games for what they are (stupidity in the cold) then it’s quite easy to sit back, turn the central heating up and enjoy watching lunatics.
Actual Olympic/Russia fact here for you Sochi, our host city, was originally created by the old Soviet Union to be the place where all the lunatic asylums were to be built. So anyone with mental health issues – or just disagreed with the establishment- was sent packing to Sochi......Anyone from the old lunatic days must have a warm glow watching proper lunatics on not much more than a tea tray going head first down a bobsleigh run at 90mph....Who’s the bigger lunatic now eh Boris???
For those who prefer life at a little slower pace we have the sport that was created for a chilly wet February afternoon- Curling! There’s something good for a human’s soul watching people from the remotest part of Scotland lobbing down bits of rock then going hell for leather brushing away imaginary things with a Vileda Super mop...The screaming of the word “Hurry” at the top of your lungs to the inanimate lump of granite is optional. It’s effectively bowls on ice and I love it. It should be noted that a dull game of curling can be brightened up with the x32 fast forward button. You can still understand what’s going on.
Best of luck to the Olympians from places such as Thailand, Jamaica and Australia who all have one thing in common... They’ve never seen snow before. Some advice for these brave hero’s and heroines – Check your travel insurance covers you for long stays in Russian A & E departments.
Ahhh the Winter Olympics....
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Monday 3rd February - The Winter Olympics are on the way...
Let me set the scene for you... A meeting room in the BBC...A few fancy high flying TV execs are having a problem commonly known as the “Winter Olympics”
Exec 1 - “Ok guys, problem numero uno. Since we lost the rights to televise women’s knitting to Sky Sports we’ve only been left with the winter Olympics”
Crowd in room in unison “What’s the winter Olympics?”
Exec 1 -“ Errr it’s like the real Olympics but not as good. Thing is seeing as it’s all we’ve got now we’d better make it sound brilliant so I want everyone to go away for 30 minutes and come up with ideas for an advert to tell our viewers just how great it. Please work extra hard on a catchy slogan”
30 Mins pass....
Exec 1- “Ok, so we’ve done some serious blue sky thinking, some mind mapping and set sail for the ocean of ideas so let’s drop the anchor and hear those thoughts to make viewers actually give a damn about the winter Olympics...Hit me”
Exec 2- “we’ve got this....The Winter Olympics on the BBC, like the real Olympics except nobody cares”
Exec 1 “mmm punchy, our core demo will love it. Ok next?”
Exec 3- “The winter Olympics on the BBC ...Because Sky Sports didn’t want it”
Exec 1- “Wow...Very wow. Powerful stuff, any more?”
Exec 3- “Well we also came up with - The Winter Olympics, because life’s fun when you wake up at 2am to watch Scottish ladies take on Latvian’s in curling”
Exec 1- “ You guys...Oh you guys you’re on fire! This is all gold baby!”
Exec 4 “ Hang on boss we’ve got some thought’s”
Exec 1- “Tarquin, great, fire away!”
Exec 4 (Tarquin) “ The Winter Olympics on the BBC...Like the proper Olympics only colder”
.................. Stunned silence in the room.............
Exec 1 “ Tarquin”
Exec 1 - “If i weren’t a man and more importantly was able of actually feeling emotions I’d kiss you. That’s beautiful....
Tarquin- “ But wait...I have more....”
Exec 1 – “Ohhh Tarquin!!! This is more than any BBC high powered Executive can handle...Go on “
Tarquin- “The Winter Olympics on The BBC....Because it’s good for Sue Barker to keep busy between A question of sport and Wimbledon”
..............................................Room erupts in applause....................................................
So enjoy The Winter Olympics.... Still at least Eddie Edwards can dust of the ski suit and earn a few extra quid. Good luck mate!
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Monday 20th January - The End of the Egg
So farewell the egg. You’ve been well and truly scrambled, boiled, had your top sliced off and been dipped with eggy soldiers.
In truth my relationship with the egg in Gloucester was a brief affair. One summer evening after several hours of “refreshment” I was “caught short” between town and my gaff in the docks and...Well...Err the egg provided “relief”
We all know it’s been a bit of an eyesore but how many remember the eggs original purpose?...No, not as an outpost for Al Qaeda operatives who got lost in Bristol and needed refuge. Back in 1972 the egg was created to “represent new architecture in the city” and it originally hosed “The Golden Egg restaurant” which was meant to be a cheap place to eat
Thing is time waits for no man or woman and the egg soon looked out of date and the restaurant, fondly though it’s remembered, had to shut. Presumably unable to compete with your fast food joints that crept up out of no where in the late 70’s and 80’s
The egg had some staying power though. It saw off 8 different Prime Ministers, and the same number of U.S presidents. The beginning and end of the Space Shuttle programme and the majority of Concorde’s time in the skies. 10 World Cups and 12 Olympics. Yep it may well sum up the word eye sore beautifully but the thing stayed up for 42 years
Politicians on a local basis have come and gone all promising something or another about the egg and in truth knowing full well nothing would happen but times caught up with the old girl and it’s time for something new.
Funny enough a local bookmaker will offer you sporting odds that the eggs replacement wont last untouched for 42 years. Jolly good luck collecting on that bet come 2056, although if you’re feeling old and frail by then presumably your flying car can drop you off outside the bookies in the high street...Assuming we still have a high street then!
So to it’s replacement. Hmmm how about something that sums up modern life In Gloucestershire? Something that says “Yes! We are citizens of a cosmopolitan area and proud?”
Or we could just flatten it and bung up a Costa an Subway..........Hmmm
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Friday 10th January - It's a New Year!
Happy New Year ( I can still legally say that without a knock on the door from GCHQ right?)
Still if you’re in Tewkesbury, Upton, Tirely or any where it’s been soggy lately the rules of Happy New Year take on a different meaning
If you’ve been flooded you’ll know there’s not really a happy start to the year. The only laugh or giggle you’ll manage to raise is probably at the expense of those in the media, namely TV presenters.
You see it seems that over the latest Christmas floods TV presenters have suddenly become superior beings to you or I. The normal rules and regulations, maybe even laws, that we all abide by do not apply to them. They are after all super humans....Let’s never forget that
How do I know this? Well here’s a transcript from a news broadcast between Christmas and the New year
News Anchor- “....So a reminder there from the experts and the life boat crews to keep away from open water or areas of flooding this new year due to the obvious dangers. Crossing now to XYZ reporter who’s actually at the flood in the south west, XYZ what’s it like down there?”
XYZ- (stood inches away from a raging torrent)- “Well as you can see conditions here are extremely dangerous and Police and emergency services are saying do not come near here......”
This scene was played out time after time on your news channels all over Christmas. It seems that TV has taught me the following rules about flooding
1- Open water/flooding is dangerous...Unless you’re on TV In which case it’s perfectly OK to stand near the stuff (often in Jeans and high heels)
2- If you’re on TV and get caught in these waters Superman/Spiderman/Batman will of course immediately swoop to your rescue because you’re on the telly and therefore are a superior being
3- Whoever has shares in “North Face” outdoor clothing is probably coining it in as that’s all I seem to see our superior being friends wear on the box
Of course it’ a 2 way street. Should the flooding get worse and TV crews camp out in what used to be the main street remember the rules of profiteering are as follows
1- Bacon Sarnies/Hot Dogs to hungry crews- £15
2- Tea/Coffee- £7.50 (Please remember to use off milk and pass off as “ fresh from a Peruvian goat this morning” telly types love that
I wish everyone a happy, flood free 2014....Unless the TV turns up. Then it’s everyman for himself
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Are you Gloucestershire's secret millionaire?
People are idiots. ....To be fair you didn’t need me to remind you but we really are.
Allow me to set the scene for you. Turns out a month ago a man (let’s face facts---Only a man could be dumb enough to do this) walks into a shop in sunny Gloucester and buys a Euro Millions lottery ticket...He clearly then forgets all about it.......
Problem is...It’s a winning ticket. The bigger problem is...It’s a ticket that’s won £1,000,000. Yeah...That’s right. A cool 1 million. Except it’s not very cool. It’s currently burning an almighty 1 million pound shaped hole In a bank account...Because this guy who bought his ticket, the winning ticket has not claimed his prize!!!
There are 2 options here. Option 1, this guy is so loaded he can easily afford to not bother to nip down to the corner store he bought the ticket from and claim his ticket or----Option 2 He’s completely forgotten about the whole thing
Can you imagine the irony of struggling through the hardest economic time in modern history, grafting away to keep the wolf from the door, when all the time 1 million is sat in a bank with your name legally, fairly and morally written all over it?
“Sorry guys, we can’t afford the family holiday this year”...Er actually you can
“Ohh we need a new car but can’t afford it”.....Er actually you can
“I hate my boss...Wish I could quit my job”...Er actually you can
So what happens now? Well the good folk at Euro millions (Camelot basically) are going to sit on the money for 180 days (6 months) They’ll keep it safe and secure in a nice bank waiting for you. After that...Times up....It’ll get passed on to good causes and charities
I suppose there’s always the option that someone somewhere in Gloucester is thinking “arrrrggghh..It’s me and I’ve lost the ticket” In which case all’s not lost, they just need to contact Euro millions and sometimes a happy out come can still be achieved. Especially if you can name the shop, time and paid by card or have a direct debit etc.
Here’s the thing I can’t get out of my head though. If this £1,000,000 had been claimed, It’s owner would have already earned a lovely £14,000 in interest alone....Ouch!!!
I’m thinking it might be time to have a little butchers down the back of the sofa!
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Friday 12th July - The Royal Babies on it's way...
Lucky for you you’re reading a quality paper. Lucky for you you’re not sat down in your favourite chair, with a smashing cuppa, reading the following article that I read earlier this week.....Not, I hasten to add, in this fine paper....
“Fact - The royal baby will be the 23rd cousin twice removed from Beyonce and Jay Z’s daughter Blue Ivy”
Boom...There it is. Move over quality journalism, step aside swash buckling reporting and enter jaw dropping exclusives such as the above. You see that’s how it’s going to be for the next couple of weeks. Since earlier on this year when the palace informed us of the impending arrival the media have scrapped the barrel to an extent that someone somewhere thought “I know, a really, really useful use of my time at work today will be to find a connection between the royal baby and Beyonce.” What’s worse is that this guys boss thought “That’s great work...Hold the front page”......Staggering
It gets worse. Not content with Beyonce and Jay Z they’ve also figured out that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are also distantly related (very distant)
I’ve had enough. So with great journalistic skill (I had to borrow that - I don’t have any) I’ve been to the library to do my own research on who’s related to the new royal nappy wetter. Of course due to cut backs the library was shut down....So i googled it.
Turns out to be an interesting reading. You see It all starts with a bloke called Denzil from Dursley, who’s a pig farmer from the forest. He reckons that (back in the day) he met a bloke from Frampton Cotter who reckons his Mum (who used to work in Woolworths on the pick n mix counter) knew the fella who used to present the local news on the telly back in the 80’s. He reckons the bloke who sold him that seasons Gloucester shirt from Tewkesbury knew the barmaid from The Queen’s Head in Gloucester and she reckons that she’d heard , on the quiet, that Noel Edmonds was in fact the rightful next heir to the throne - But seeing as he was booked in for Deal or No Deal he couldn’t do it so, in the end Noel did a deal (probably with the banker) and gets first dibs on the job when Channel Four axe the show”
Believe it? Of course not but let’s be fair it’s not quite as ridiculous as the “23rd cousin twice removed” business ....However you’ll probably be a bit more interested when Noel leaves Channel Four eh?
In the meantime here’s to the most important thing - a happy, safe and successful birth!
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Friday 28th June - Warren talks tennis
There’s an old Rudyard Kipling piece of work called “If”...”If you can keep your head when all others around you are losing theirs...If you can meet triumph and disaster and treat these imposters the same” etc etc....
The full poem is on the wall just inside the centre court clubhouse at Wimbledon, on finals day you’ll often get the BBC doing a montage of Kipling’s work read by the players...Funny then that during the 2nd & 3rd rounds at this years tournament some of these players forgot the part about “treating triumph and disaster the same” when the moans, whines and bleating of the so called professionals started about Wimbledon and it’s legendary grass playing surfaces
“It’s dangerous” “It’s too slippy” “It’s different than last year”......All these and plenty more came out in the post match press conferences of all and sundry that had a microphone shoved in his or her mush. Except for 2 players. I say players, perhaps I ought to say legends of the game. Maybe I ought to say true gents, better still “professionals” These guys? Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer
True it can said that it’s easier to be graceful in defeat when you’re a multi millionaire, but if you think that then you’d be forgetting the thousands of hours of blood sweat and tears these lads put in to just get to the top of their sport - Oh and a killer hatred of defeat. That said they both had the grace and dignity to lose with respect. Respect for the game, their opponent and themselves. There were no “Courts too slippy” “bit dangerous out “ there was no “I woke up not feeling too great and if it was any other tournament I'd have pulled out...But it’s Wimbledon” etc etc. None of that from these two. They’re too classy
Whilst many would duck out of the compulsory press conference after the match, and just pay the fine that goes with missing it, these two fronted up. They sat in the hot seat and answered the questions that came their way. Why? Well, perhaps in a dumb naive way, I think that these fella’s realise that part of being a truly great champion is to recognise that losing (even if it’s hardly ever for them) is a part of the game
They may well have popped out of Wimbledon a good week too soon but I get a funny feeling they’ll be back next year and, like all great champs who’ve suffered a defeat, they’ll be back fitter, stronger and better than ever
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Friday 14th June - Warren Meets McFly
It’s funny isn’t it? The people you meet in life. I rocked up at Kingsholm Thursday night to stand on a stage say “Hello Gloucester here’s Mcfly...Goodnight” and wander off home. Didn’t turn out that way though.
Normally backstage areas at gigs are security tight and if you thought that was tight with heavy duty body guards wait til the stars themselves turn up. Full of ego and self importance and choc full of security types that the S.A.S wouldn’t say not to. However, it was all different for Mcfly.
I could tell it (or they) were going to be different when walking into the stadiums “Lions den” area I saw Harry from the band smashing out a gym session on the weights tucked away in the corner. No security either- “s’cuse me mate could you pass me that water bottle” was all he said. He finished his reps, wiped off the machine and got changed
I knew it was going to be REALLY different when the 4 lads of Mcfly sat down for a plate of good ol Gloucester Rugby home cooking (meatball & rice or chicken curry) Nothing unusual in them having a bite to eat pre gig - But not sat down laughing and joking with the crew who set up the stage and roadies etc. Trust me, that never happens. The celebs eating with “the little people??” no chance
As the evening wore on I got yacking away to a bloke in his 50’s called Tom. Nice fella. We talked and sank a beer until at 8.27 pm he said “right, I’ll go get the boys”. Turns out “Tom” was in fact Mcfly’s tour manager! “You’re that Warren from Heart aren’t you - you got a microphone?”.....What followed was a very impromptu 3 minute interview with the boys 4 minutes before they went on stage. Again, trust me.....That never, ever, happens.
I shouldn’t be surprised. I’d heard the rumours about Mcfly. Hard working, talented but above all decent kids, but they went over and above, with the fans, the people back stage and with us at Heart.
If I’m being picky, really picky, there was one small sour taste in the mouth moment. Harry, during his gym session, was wearing........A SARACENS SWEAT SHIRT!!!!!!!!!!
Good guys, a good gig and at a good venue. Well done Gloucester Rugby and well done Mcfly!
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Friday 10th May - Fergie Retires After 27 Years At The Top
Sir Alex Ferguson has spent 27 years at the same company. My Uncle Horris worked for the same company for 27 years, impressive no? That said my Uncle Horris also religiously asked my Auntie June “how many sugars do I have in my tea June, love?” every day for over 40 years of marriage so in truth you can’t go putting him in Sir Alex Ferguson’s category. But 27 years at the same place - That’s something.
It’s something in terms of an ability to reinvent yourself, stay fresh and above all stay motivated for as near as damn it 3 decades.
It’s been fun these last few days watching the history of the man. It’s encouraged me to do a little delving into how things were when Sir Alex started in 1986
1- The Prime Minister was Margaret Thatcher (in his time Fergie outlasted 5 Prime Ministers!)
2- Ronald Regan was President (he also saw off 5 U.S Presidents)
3- In 1986 the press (and Britain) suffered Fergie mania. Sadly for Sir Alex the Fergie concerned was Sarah Ferguson (as far as we know Sir Alex never sucked toes)
4- In ’86 a litre of unleaded was 38p. Actually you’d struggle to find unleaded. It was either petrol or diesel
5- Going to the pub would cost you 90p for a pint and about £1.20 for a wine
6- The biggest selling song of ’86, like Sir Alex also came from Scotland, Jimmy Summerville and the Communards “Don’t leave me this way”
7- The average pay in Gloucestershire was £9,000 per year
8- Your house was probably worth about £30-35k (if you were a bit flash)
9- Saturday night’s on the BBC consisted of Noel Edmonds and a show called Casualty launched in the autumn of 86. Cilla was busy doing her thing on ITV.
10- The highest earning footballer on the books at Man Utd when Sir Alex walked through the doors was taking home £115,000 a year...A year mind you. There’s now around a dozen to 14 players there taking that home a week
So farewell Sir Alex, i hope your health remains strong and you and yours have a happy retirement. I shall miss your comedy touchline rants, your difficult to understand press conferences.....And begrudgingly, even as hard as it is for me to say as a Man City fan, your teams excellent football
Thanks for the memories
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6am
Friday 8th February - David Beckham Takes On The French
The French are revoulting! No it’s not the old Morcambe and Wise sketch or in fact the Les Mis reference. It’s a nod and a wink to David Beckham’s signing at Paris Saint German.
It’s all kicked off (pardon the pun) because Becks has decided to give his entire wages whilst in Paris to charity. Read that line again…I’ll wait for you.
That’s right, French politicians, and David’s new team mates, are having a dig at him for basically giving away 3 million euro to charity. Local Parisian good causes too. Not something he’s set up to look good in the media in a country far far away that nobody’s heard of. Nope we’re talking about charities strapped for a few quid in France….Amazing eh?
On one hand you’ve got your French politicians. You’d sort of think they’d just jump at having football, and one of sports, greatest icons hanging out in Paris wouldn’t you? Instead they’ve accused him of nothing short of tax evation. At the moment France is pretty skint and the new gaffer over there has pretty much anyone who’s anyone getting taxed at 75% and as D.B’s giving away his income they’ve decided, through a pretty devious “we’ve not said it but we’ve said it” sort of way, to call it tax evasion.
Right…Let’s get this straight shall we. If old goldenballs wanted to tax avoid/evade he’d simply have to set up some kind of limited trading company in France, claim extremely high expenses and take a so called “small wage” out of this business. But he hasn’t. He’s effectively decided to give away 3 million euro (whilst still having to perform for it too by the way) Never mind Sir Beckham its getting more like St Beck's.
The French media have picked up on this story and run with it for a while, but they’re missing the point. Instead of belly aching on and on they should gather up all their cameras, microphones and tape recorders and pounce on all the French politicians who’ve gossiped in public and ask them live on T.V one very simple very clear question “How much are you donating to good causes this week?”
We live in an era where footballers are pictured falling out of nightclubs, starting twitter wars and appearing in courts of law about as often as some actually appear on the back pages. It’s slightly baffling that when one of them pops his head up and says “lets do some good” he receives criticism.
So Bonne chance dans Paris Monsuier Becks. I’m pretty certain you’ll receive a warmer welcome to France from the kids you’re helping than the one you’ve already had from the Government.
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6
Friday 1st Februay - Bake A Wish
I am not Jamie Oliver. Iam not Delia Smith (sort of a relief) Iam not Gordon Ramsey or Rick Stein. It should be recorded for the recorded I am not Gary Rhodes, Fanny Cradock or Rusty Lee. It’s in your best interests to note Iam neither Marco Pierre White or Raymond Blanc.
By about now you ought to be building a picture that Iam not a chef. Iam not even a wannabe I’ll give it a go chef. No. Best entirely that me and cooking are given something of a wide berth.
I’ve managed to fake being useless at cookery for about 39 years now and was planning on making it a round 40 when this years Have a Heart appeal rather put the brakes on it. You see Have a Heart is Heart’s charity and for several years we’ve been trying to raise money for various charities and good causes through various fund raising ideas and this years is……..BAKING!!!
Immediately you see the position this puts me in. I mean me…Baking???
Still in everymans life there comes a moment of truth. A moment of do or die, flight or fight…Or bake or flake as the case maybe here. So with charities needing money to help provide great days for seriously ill children I’ve decided to “man up” and get baking.
I fully appreciate that Gloucestershire Fire Brigade will have to provide a 24/7 fully manned service for anyone living around Gloucester Docks to deal with the effects of me burning things (I mean it’ll be like Chernobyl) On the plus side it’ll be great business for the lads in the local smoke alarm trade- That’s their mortgage paid off- Obviously the downside for anyone having to eat my baking is clear for all to see but if children who’ve already suffered more than enough in a short lifetime get to meet a star or have a day with an experience that’ll give them fantastic memories then I think it’s a price worth paying…Perhaps the smoke alarm people might give me a discount for cash too eh???
Oh before I forget we’d just love to have you on board for our little bake a wish. There’ll be more info to follow in due time but for now please pop to our website www.heart.co.uk and you’ll find all the info you’ll need for now.
I really appreciate you taking the time to read my article this week and I know the families of kids who don’t have the precious gift of health also appreciate it. Thank you.
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6
Friday 30th November - Christmas day running order.
I figured just In case any of you were thinking of coming round to mine for Christmas I ought to put together a running order of events
5am- Awaken to the noises of the youngest in the house excited to see what Santa has delivered (I wouldn’t mind but he’s 27)
6am- TV On- Classic Only Fools and Horses. Del Boy falling through the bar
7am- Wake up Gran
7.15- Keep Gran away from The Bailey’s
9am- Breakfast (Quality Street)
11am- TV – Great Escape followed by Only Fools.. Del Falling through bar
12pm- Practice fake “Ohh great socks, thanks Gran” smile
12.15pm- Use “Ohh great socks” face
12.30pm- Trip to petrol station for batteries (that weren’t included)
1pm- Offer guests some baileys
1.10pm- Find Baileys empty….Find Gran full
2pm- TV on- Classic Only Fools and Horses from 1988 Where Del’s falling through bar
3pm- The Queen
3.10pm- Christmas Dinner
5pm- Re assure Gran (on 2nd bottle)Hitler isn’t “alive and after a 2nd go again”. It’s just The History channel showing a World War II documentary
6pm- 1st turkey sandwich request
6.15pm- Work hard to lie to partner that “no it’s great if your parents want to stay til the 28th . No that’s fine, really, It’ll be great”
7pm- TV on. New show “repeat of the best repeats of 2012”….Followed Only Fools and Horses where Del falls through bar
8.25pm- 2nd Turkey Sandwich request
9pm - Batteries run out
9.15pm - Patience runs out
9.30pm - Tv On. “Harry Potter and the search for the kid with the funny looking ears and ginger hair or something” …..Followed by classic Only Fools and Horses. Del/bar….
9.40pm - Relax with a drink
9.42pm - Discover Gran had the Bombay Saphire too
10pm - Bed………For all but me. Washing up to do
11.30pm - Bed
11.31pm - Forgot to do bins…and take dog out
12.15am - Sky Plus on. Discover it’s recorded a Classic Only Fools and Horses……………
6am Boxing Day……Repeat above
So that’ll be Christmas at mine this year. Can I come to yours next year…..Please!
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6.
Friday 23rd November - Warren's letter to Santa...
Well I suppose it’s got to that time of the year hasn’t it? Here goes then
I’ve been ever such a good boy this year…Well granted there was the thing with the speed camera on Bruton Way but apart from that I’ve been ever so well behaved. Now then Santa I know you’re busy but just wanted to put a few words down to say thanks for agreeing to help our Have a Heart charity out
It’s very decent of you to say that for a suggested donation of £5 you’ll write a personalised letter to a little boy or girl in Gloucestershire and have it delivered to them via Rudolph mail and it’ll all come with the Lapland postmark! In case you’re wondering Santa the money raised will be going to Heart’s chosen charity which this year is Childline so it will help provide a better Christmas to young kids that really need it.
I know some of your elves had said they’d spread the word but if you could remind them to go look at www.heart.co.uk for more info they’ll find it all there.
Now look Santa just in case you didn’t get my previous 2 letters, text, email or telegram I just wanted to remind you I’m still at the same address as last year although I’ve changed the security code on the alarm (I know you do the magic thing to stop it going off but the neighbours complained last year when Rudolph’s antler tripped the sensor and I got a nasty letter)
As I was saying I’ve been a good boy- I helped old ladies across the road (even when they didn’t want to cross) cleaned my teeth twice a day and am very proud to say I was amongst the 11 people who remembered to vote the other week so I’m going to keep my Christmas list short and sweet this year
1- Jennifer Anniston (or if this is not available)
2- I’d like a fat bank account and a thin waistline
You might recall I asked for something similar last year? I am not one to moan normally Santa but did you get my order right, honestly? It’s just that Susan Boyle plus a fat waistline and a thin bank account kind of suggest to me that you were in a bit of a rush
Anyway, thanks again for helping out our charity and can I wish you a very Merry Christmas!
Warren Moore (aged 38 and two thirds)
I’ll catch you weekdays from 6
Friday 9th November - Do you know who the Prime Minister of New Zealand is?
He may well be the regular contact from N.Z to chat with Her Majesty once a month but he is an idiot. Why? He’s slagged off David Beckham. It gets even better. He slagged off David Beckham whilst our hero was In his country acting as an ambassador of footballing goodwill! Nice touch Mr P.M
It turns out the Prime Minister spoke “off the record except it wasn’t off the record” to a Radio New Zealand reporter and said about Becks “he’s as dumb as bat &*%*”….A little harsh don’t you think?
But you know the response D.B came back with? The killer quote? The words that ruined a Prime Ministerial legacy……………………? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Stone cold silence. Not a single word. Genius!
Wanna know why? Well quite possibly because he’s a gentleman. Quite possibly because like the rest of us Becks hasn’t heard of the Prime Minister of New Zealand…Or quite possibly because our footballing Olympic hero knows it’s just best to turn the other cheek. A genius p.r move
He’s stood firm (and silent) when I and many others would have been dying to fire back with “Hmmm New Zealand- Be nice when it’s finished” “Australia’s ugly sister” or “why did we spend 26 hours non stop on a plane to get to a carbon copy of Scotland?” The insults go on
Not for Mr B though. He has the satisfaction of self confidence. Knowing he has the sympathy of an adoring u.k crowd who’ll back him all the way and perhaps more importantly the sympathy of a nation of good folk who have been rather embarrassed by some pretty silly comments by someone who is now better known for slagging off a decent fella than being a decent leader
I’m not saying Id chose David Beckham as my phone a friend on “who wants to be a millionaire” but when it comes to leading a British Olympic delegation to Singapore in ’05 to win the bid then Id want him. When it comes to needing a massive British icon to drive a speed boat up the Thames and look a million dollars, well guess who?
David Beckham showed a level of intelligence not seen too often from so called celebs these days. In the face of some pretty nasty words from someone who ought to know better he turned the other cheek. He carried on being a great ambassador for his team and saying nice things about a nice country.
Oh and by the way the 38th President of New Zealand is a Mr John Key….Though I doubt he will be after the next election
Catch you weekdays from 6 - W
Monday 10th September - The uncomfortable truth about the council...
I am neither proud, happy or comfortable writing the following words. However it is the truth and as a part time journalist/ radio wireless disc jockey type it is my job to report, with accuracy, the events that surround my dealings with a local Gloucestershire Council this week. It is therefore with some sadness I have to report to you, Mr & Mrs Council Tax payer the disgusting, vile putrid news…..That everything’s ok…It’s all fine. In fact the council’s customer service team I dealt with over the phone were actually really nice and very useful
I appreciate many of our long term readers will immediately set fire to the newspaper (and who knows possibly themselves too) in shock and disgust at this news but it’s true. I needed quick and good service from my local council this week …..And I got it. You see for years it seems as if local councils/ councillors have been a bit of a figure of ridicule “It’s raining- Blame the council”…”I’ve cut my finger open at work- Sue the council”…and “Someone’s erected a giant monument in Gloucester Docks that looks like it’s either gone rusty or it’s meant to look like a giant kebab at tremendous expense to the taxpayer- Blame the coun…..”…Ah well actually on that one you can. But in all seriousness I needed my council this week and they came through for me
Thanks to my bank being useless all my direct debits were cancelled (their fault) as a result I spent 2 hours and 25 minutes and who knows how much ££££ ringing up customer service departments trying to get my monthly direct debits re set up before pay day so I wasn’t on the naughty boy list with them. After 1 hour of Ronan Keating as phone hold music you’ll snap, after 90 minutes of Ronan and some fool actually transferring you to the wrong department for the 3rd time only to have to start the conversation all over again you’ll begin to think your name is Brenda and you live in Botswana. After 2 hours of the above you’re about ready to start the surgical procedure to actually become Brenda, but 2 hours and 25 minutes of call centre baffoonary and you just want anything…Anything at all just as long as it’s got nothing to do with baffoons…And call centres
The last place on my list to ring was my local council to re start my direct debit for Council Tax. In truth I expected your stereotypical council sort- Moody, inefficient and slightly non human. In reality I got the following- a local number (a joy after 2 hours ringing 08 numbers!) a pleasant person on the other end of the line who not only understood the situation but took down my bank details and the very next day sent me written confirmation of my direct debit. Council Tax problem solved in 2mins 15 secs!
We moan as tax payers when we get rubbish service- So it’s only fair to praise when it’s good!
Monday 3rd September- Are you a 'flag-ist'..?!
It sort of crept up out of no place in particular around the time of The Queen’s Jubilee. We kind of had it around for The Euro football, seemed to get very into it for The Olympics and of course it’s still with us for the Paralympics…..I’m talking about The Union Flag. There…I’ve said it. I’m no longer “flag-ist”
I’ve never been a very “flag proud” sort. I should be. I lived In America for 18 months- A more flag devout nation you could never find. On virtually every street corner, shop or even government building you’ll find a stars & stripes. Even their anthem celebrates the flag and a very nice one it is too, but nope…Never too flag happy this end
I spent 10 years, on and off, living in South Wales and just like the Americans you’ll always see a Red Dragon flying proudly somewhere or other. Same too when I pop to see my Dad in Scotland. The Saltire flies and reigns supreme…But for me well, the flag of St George, my own national flag…It’s never really been a symbol of pride. Don’t get me wrong I’m a proud Englishman but it seems a concoction of low talent football teams, political parties who’ve stolen what it stands for and a general malaise about being “English” and …well…Old George, his flag, and me never got on (I liked his range at Asda though- Appreciate the work with the dragon too pal. Thanks)
Then suddenly 2012 rocks up and from no place we see this thing “The Union Flag” (p.s it’s o.k to call it The Union Jack- That’s an old nautical term for it. But it’s all good) on every street corner. At first I rebelled…But then…Well I’ve rather liked seeing the odd boat with the old union flag fluttering In Glaws Docks. I’ve grown accustomed to lovely bars in Cheltenham and Tewksbury just putting out the flag bunting for the punters and my personal fave, the massive one in Malswick as you head to Newent up the A40.
So my point? Well as someone that’s spent a couple of decades shying away from a flag, I’ve found myself getting quite attached to our lovely little union one all of a sudden. I don’t want it to disappear now our Olympics are nearly done and the Queen’s had her bash.
The Union Flag is a world renowned flag, business leaders and decision makers know it, like it and dare I say trust it. Hey come on which of us hasn’t felt a little better in a dingy airport abroad when a B.A or Virgin plane with our flag taxis by and who out of us didn’t love seeing each medal winner wrapped around it last month?
Take it down? Not just yet if you don’t mind
Monday 30th July - The truth of the Olympic medals...
So congratulations all new Olympic Champions! The world is now your lobster. For the next 4 years men want to be you and women want to be with you. Sport companies will now beat a path to your door and offer contracts with many many noughts in…You, you are the champ
Congratulations Bronze winners! Statistics from previous Olympics show that nearly two thirds of Bronze medal winners were delighted to finish above their predicted goals and actually pick up the last medal on offer. Watch out for Team GB to collect plenty of bronze. The same research also shows that a “home crowd effect” spurs on relative unknowns to exceed all previous bests and pick up 3rd place
And so to silver…..The medal that nobody wants. Well at least hardly anybody. Ok put it this way take 30 seconds now to think of all the delighted post event interviews with the runner up…..Go on…I’ll wait…Do it now…….
I can think of 1- Roger Black in 1996 for the 400m. Simply because nobody, I mean nobody, was going to beat Michael Johnson that time. It really was a race for 2nd place and Roger won it. Anyone else? No I didn’t think so…Put simply silver sucks.
As the American’s put it “first is first …Second is first loser”…In the dog eat dog world of professional sports that’s the bottom line. Win gold and go write your own cheques. Win silver and you might get a lovely pat on the back from the mayor and a free haircut in town but that’s it “what gets done gets paid”
Gold- On that day you were the finest at your chosen discipline. Forget 4 years of training it’s more like 8, so for nearly a decade you’ve worked like a dog with a single minded determination and commitment that nobody else could match. Nobody can take away the fact that you’re the worlds greatest on that day
Bronze- Chances are you were never going to win but you were well above your average put simply you delivered. You added to the medal tally in a way that we never really expected and hey if you’re young enough you’ll have amazing experience for next time in 4 years.
But silver- Oh boy it was so close eh…Better luck next time. The secret anguish of silver. 1st loser, the one nobody remembers (or at least you hope they don’t remember because if they remember that means you were the nailed on gold cert….and it went wrong) the having to deal with the “nearly tag”
Sometimes we moan that sportsmen and women have it easy. Waking up at 5am 6 days a week 50 weeks of the year for 2 gruelling training sessions a day. Weight training, mental preparation, media scrutiny and strict food and no alcohol diets year round….Well that’s hard enough if you cross the line first, but imagine doing all that to finish second
Spare a thought for silver please
Monday 2nd July -
It’s investigative journalist mode this week. I want to find out the real reasons behind millions of customers not being able to access their cash from the banks. Here now is a full transcript of my interview with the fat, bald and ugly looking fella the banks have stuck in front of the cameras this week. I want to find out what’s really been going on..
W.M- “Mr Fat Banker what’s the real reason behind this new banking mess?”
F.B- “It’s Gary from the I.T Department”
W.M- “Sorry? You’re claiming it’s an individual member of staff at fault?”
F.B- “Oh no. It’s not him as such…..It’s his packed lunch”
W.M-“ You’re saying a packed lunch brought an entire banking system to a halt?”
W.M- “Well what are you saying?”
F.B- “It’s worse than that. It was his pickled onion Monster Munch crisps…..That were in his packed lunch”
W.M “I beg your pardon?”
F.B-“ Yeah as he’s walking along minding his business he’s accidently tripped up by his desk, crashed right into it and sent his packed lunch flying. Thus sending the lunch box spinning in the air. Of course when it’s hit the deck the Monster Munch…”
W.M- “The pickled onion ones?”
F.B-“Yeah- Well they’ve split open and gone everywhere. Turns out that overnight one of ‘em that we didn’t pick up has melted and it’s gotten stuck into the back of a new fancy computer thingy that we’ve been using for banking- The ones that are very expensive…”
W.M-“ You mean the tax payer funded computers?”
F.B- “Warren, of course it’s tax payer funded. We’re a bank…Ha ha that’s a good one. They’ll love that one down the club. Anyhow the pickled onion Monster Munch has got stuck down the back of this machine and it’s a proper melted mess and bang…The whole things offline”
W.M-“ Mr Fat Banker…Sir…You’re expecting me and our loyal readers to believe that this almighty mess up in the banking system has in fact been caused by a single rogue crisp?”
F.B- “Well why not? You believed us in 2008 when we said there wasn’t a banking crisis”
For those like me who’ve spent hours on a phone listening to appalling hold music only to be told “you’ll need to come in to the branch sir” or “we can’t see that your wage has been paid in madame” you have my sympathies and I’ll leave you with a simple fact. Did you know that statistically you’re more likely to get divorced or separated than leave your bank. I think after the last week there’ll be plenty of separations- Some of which certain banks will not enjoy
Monday 14th June - The truth about the Olympics Opening Ceremony..!
We are, by gift of birth, a county and nation of organisers. You just have to look at The Queen’s Jubilee to figure that one out. It’s what we do. We organise, plan and carry events out very well. That said I’ve come across some rather worrying noises made by The British Olympic camp about the always tricky Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Here’s what the director of the opening and closing show Danny Boyle has had to say “It will be a traditional and idyllic view of the British countryside”….Oh dear God no….Please stop it…Please stop the nonsense now- However the facts we’re beginning to learn about the opening show continue- It will include “12 horses, 3 cows, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, 9 geese, 70 sheep and 3 sheep dogs”…….This is a bad dream right? I’m going to wake up in a minute and discover it’s all a really bad dream aren’t I….Aren’t I??
It appears not. Now let me get this straight. We’re spending £27 million pounds and had 7 years to plan the opening and the best we can put together is a scene out of “All creatures Great and Small”
May I just remind everybody this isn’t a BBC recording of “One Man and His Dog” this is The Olympic Games
I’m pro Olympics. I can see what the benefits of a good games could be to Gloucestershire never mind just London but if we get this wrong then overnight we become the world’s laughing stock. You see when all’s said and done a 100 meters final is the same the world over and what’s more 15 years down the line nobody remembers who won what at your Olympics-But if you get the Opening and closing ceremonies right…Then Bingo…. That’s a combined t.v audience of about 1.1 billion watching and thinking how cool your country is and looks. Which like Sydney, L.A, Atlanta and Beijing means big £££££ in tourism and worldwide investment- Get it wrong like Athens or Montreal (who are still paying for their games 40 years on) and ….well….You ever been to Montreal? Exactly.
I hope I’m wrong. I hope I’m putting two and two together and coming up with 9. I hope that London 2012’s Opening and Closing ceremonies are the sort of thing that people worldwide are diving into Youtube for months after the event because it’s a light and sound spectacular. Not because 12 horses went on the stampede after being frightened by an off key Paul McCartney(he’s confirmed by the way) who had inadvertently tripped up over the winner of Big Brother who was selected ahead of Sir Steve Redgrave to light the Olympic Stadium Torch. Please Danny Boyle, you did an amazing job with Slum Dog Millionaire. Please give us an epic like that…Not something resembling Rolf’s Animal Hospital circa 1998
We’ve had 7 years and £27 million thrown at this. It’s got to be done and it’s got to be done right
Monday 7th May - Peek in our postbox...!
We get some great letters and emails through to us at Heart Breakfast. I figured I’d share some with you. All correspondence is genuine and within the last month- I’ve just changed some of the names to protect the innocent etc etc..
Letter from “J.R of Brockworth- Dear Warren. I hear you talk from time to time about Uni. I go to York Uni in 3 months any tips?”
Reply- “Dear J.R- The 3 rules of uni. 1- Give blood it saves money on getting tipsy. 2- Pot Noodles are your friend. 3- If by the end of it you can remember uni then you did it all wrong”
Letter from “ Andy P of Leckhampton- Alright Wozza? I’m getting married in June. Could you say hello next Tuesday to my intended Debbie? Also any advice on marriage..Ha ha!
Reply- “Sure Andy we’ll say hi. As for advice…Hmmm I’m probably not the right guy to ask but I’ll say this, I’ve enjoyed all my marriages
Email from “Jason L-Quedgeley- Hi W. We’re planning on doing a charity do for Cancer research In July. You free? How much would you charge?
“Wait…Hang on…Can’t stop laughing….You seriously think I get paid!! That’s a hoot…I’ll tell my boss. That’ll kill him. Sure I’m free and it’s f.o.c- Producer Anna can’t make it though. I’ll see if she’ll let you auction off some of her top lip hair though. In certain Eastern European countries you’d make a fortune flogging it”
Letter from Annon “You think you’re really funny don’t you? Let me tell you you’re not. I switch off every time I hear your stupid stupid voice. Please leave”
Reply “ Hi…Oh…It’s you again. I thought we’d told security to lock you out. Anyway what have I told you about contacting me at work?
Email from Andreas- Malmo Sweden “Hi’s to you from de Sweden. Is it rain with you? If you send $50,000 I get you’s great job in Sweden Government- I looks ahead to hear from yous”
Reply “Dear Andreas. I thank you for all the great things Sweden has given us. Volvo’s, ABBA and Bjorn Borg. Sadly it’s a bit tight this month on the old £££ front pal. So would £2.50 a bag of Monster Munch and last seasons Gloucester Rugby shirt get me into political power? I really looks ahead to hear from yous toos!!
Email from Julie S- Newent “Warren, my fella thinks he saw you at Ross golf club Sunday- Was it you? Hey what do you make of Tiger Woods then?”
Reply “Hi Julie. It was probably me. I played pretty good Sunday as nobody died. Re Tiger Woods- It’s tough what to say really as I’ve never played there but it sounds very tree lined and tough”
Do keep the letters coming in it’s always lovely to hear from you….Sadly though the dream of political power in Sweden never came to fruition. Ho hum!
Monday 30th April - Warren's a TV star..ish..!
So it turns out I’m an international T.V star in Bangladesh…Surprised? Hey, with a natural swagger, a look of Daniel Craig in the Speedos and a razor sharp wit like mine it was only a matter of time right? Ahem
The story, or as I like to call it- The Pathway to fame and fortune- began in Gloucester Docks Barge Arm the other Sunday. I was hungry and popped to the corner store for bread. A film crew were recording away. I got my bread and as I walked back to my flat one of the fantastically dressed Asian gentlemen being filmed said “er…Excuse me sir would you come over here, you’re exactly what we’re looking for”- To be fair they must have been looking for a scruffy looking bloke in jeans rugby top and baseball cap and considering id been at Spartan’s Rugby club and got myself “slightly refreshed” the night before then I’m also guessing what they were looking for was not far short of a British looking tramp (perhaps with a drinking problem)
“We just need you to point over there as you walk through camera and sort of look like you’re talking”…..”Er….Right…Ok” said I……And there it is. The start of my T.V career in The People’s Republic Of Bangladesh. They asked me to do about 4 takes of walking through the shot and looking like I was half interested in something or other. That was it. They asked me to fill in some form with my details on and job done.
I say “that was it” but afterwards once they’d gone I suddenly thought about what a prat I’d been. I suddenly began to think what I’d done. I’d obviously fallen for the biggest con ever and after filling in a form with my name and address on I was clearly going to get burgled when I wasn’t in. I’d just virtually handed them the keys to my front door…I’m normally a prat but even by my pratish standards this was gold medal stuff
A week passed with no burglary-Fair play though I had beefed up the security (well I’d left the telly on whenever I left the flat) and to be fair I’d forgotten all about the incident until a letter arrived marked “For The Attention of Mr J.R Hartley” (well I was not gonna give the TV crew my real name was i- I wasn’t that hung over) The letter had a post mark from Dhaka.
Much to my surprise Dhaka isn’t just the other side of Tewksbury it is in fact the capital city of Bangladesh. Inside the envelope was a compliment slip from “NTV-Bangladesh’s favourite TV Channel” and a cheque for 1,457 Bangladeshi Taka’s (their currency- Converts to about £20) It turns out that as they’d used the recording I was being paid a one off performance fee!
Now if anyone has one of those dodgy satellites that picks up all sorts it shouldn’t then I’m being re broadcast on May 7th 12.25am local time. I’d love a copy…Ahh today Brockworth tomorrow Bangladesh!!!....Oh I’m afraid I don’t know if the loaf of bread made it in to shot by the way.
Monday 23rd April - Simon Cowell...Love or Hate..?
..Don’t tell anyone, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You know all these “Simon Cowell- Me and Danni snogged” “Simon Cowell- Me and my fiancé were shocking together” “Simon Cowell- I dated Red Rum for 8 months” headlines you’ve been seeing lately? Want to know why you’re seeing them? Well here’s the answer….It’s over on BBC 1 and It’s called “The Voice”
You see what you’re seeing on a fairly daily basis, with these headlines, is the media world in full operation. Britain’s Got Talent isn’t doing too well against The Voice so guess what? Simon goes on the P.R charge. Don’t believe me? Go read some of the articles. I’ll bet you a pound to a penny each one at some point in the story contain the phrase “Cowell who’s back for another series as head judge”…Or words to that effect….So you see it’s all a PR game. It’s a game as old as the hills and It’s a shame Simon’s having to play it, because it sort of suggests time’s up and that saddens me
I like Simon Cowell. Did you know he’s a proper fighter? You see this guy who’s conquered Britain and America has had his tough times. Bankruptcy to the tune of about £400k in the 80’s for a starter when his first record label went bang. Yet here’s a guy who picked himself up, dusted himself off and like the song says “started all over again”…Only this time I think he doesn’t probably get out of bed for £400k!
He’s a total British success story. Name me anyone else from The U.K who’s had a bigger impact on American culture and life than Mr C in the last 20 years? This is the bloke who’s altered TV and the music business beyond belief and In doing so has kept us entertained for quite a few Saturday nights in the process
So if this is the beginning of the end (BGT figures down, American Idol figures not as great as they were, X Factor in U.S not fairing well and beaten by Strictly over here) I hope it’s quick. I hope it’s with dignity. I hope it’s not a parade of stories like the Danni Minogue one that we’ve had to read about lately In a lame attempt to generate a bit of publicity for a show. If it is the end then what a career it’s been over the last 10 years and what a bank balance to boot. Life won’t be all bad soaking up the sun in L.A or Barbados for the winters.
No, for sure Simon Cowell is an exceptional business man and I salute him….But please no more stories like the ones we’ve had to read about lately Simon!
Monday 23rd March - The truth behinf the Jubilee...
You know what? I quite like The Queen. Yes I can understand those that say there’s some free loading going off in certain areas of Royalty but not Her Maj. 2 facts about our Lizzy
1- Last year The Queen worked 305 days. The average mon-fri 9-5er worked 220 days
2- The Queen is a trained motor mechanic. This is true- I’ve not made this up. During the Second World War her ATS Training meant she had to dismantle then assemble a motor engine…In short if you’re going up Birdlip and the car goes boom if Her Maj is in your passenger seat you’re getting home safe and sound
This is one impressive lady. Head of an organisation for 60 years is some achievement so it’s only right and proper that we celebrate this. Which we’ll do early June by er…..The er….Ya know the sort of Jubilee thingy with the days off business ….er……Yeah?...I guess
And that is the sort of response you’ll get when you ask the average Tom Dick or Harry about “The Diamond Jubilee Holiday..........Celebration thingamajig…jobby” When I sat down to write this I had to check the calendar as to when it actually is (2,3,4,5 June- Yessss 4 day weekend..Nice one Ma’am!)
This is one of the 10 most famous people in the world and nobody really knows how we’re going to celebrate the occasion. Maybe the problem lies in the fact that a Diamond Jubilee is a really rare thing. Not like last years Royal Wedding. We all knew what’d happen. Ceremony-Kiss on balcony-screaming crowds etc etc….Pippa Middleton’s backside everywhere for the next 5 months, but a Jubilee? Hmm not so easy
We have Bank Holidays celebrating Easter, Christmas and I’m led to believe one where we’re encouraged to dance in cricket whites with bells on and dance around a may pole in May but what are we going to do for The Queen’s big do and why do we know so little? Like any good reporter I’ve done my research. The official events are basically as follows
1- A load of boats going down The Thames (Health & Safety will knock that right back)
2- A few beacons being lit across the country (see Health & safety)
3- Gary Barlow’s organising a big pop concert (aka Gary Barlow’s big pitch for a knighthood…Also keep the noise down or Health & Safety will get involved)
Do me one thing for me will you? Go on the internet. Check out Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor. This is one extraordinary woman. Learn one or two facts about her on the likes of Wikipedia (er except the one about her playing second row for Gloucester in the 74/75 season. I couldn’t resist sticking that on Wikipedia- sorry) This is the least any of us can do. Hey after all it’s because of her we’re getting 2 days off work!
Monday 27th February - Kids these days eh!
Ok. Hands up those of us who’ve used one of the following phrases lately. “Ohhh kids these days” “Kids are so rude today” “Kids don’t know they’re born.” I guess if we’re honest we’ve all used one of the above probably more than once. Sometimes about our own and sometimes about other peoples
I’ve put together a few stories here just to show that in my opinion a pretty high percentage of “kids these days” in Gloucestershire are not all “bad un’s”
Story 1- It’s a Saturday afternoon and a lady who’s probably seen out most of her three score and ten is really struggling with a heavy shopping bag and struggling even more with the mind numbing concept of “The Shared Space” for pedestrians and drivers on Kimbrose Way in Gloucester. One pace forward, one pace back scared half witless in case she ends up in front of yet another driver going faster than the 20mph speed limit. Then a kid, no more than 12, grabs Grandma’s hand (and the shopping) and escorts her on her way safely across. I know because before I could help the young un’ just got on with doing what was right. Nicely played young man
Story 2- Here’s a nice story from a pal of mine who was just about to give up his seat on the bus for a young mum (who looked like she had another on the way) when up pops a kid about 13 who says “excuse me- would you like my seat?” As fate would have it the young girl got off at the same stop In Cheltenham as the laden down Mum and then helped her with the pram. All this whilst no other adult gave a damn
Story 3- And the most personal story to me. Last Thursday I lost my wallet. In it was £20, a security pass for work but more important than any of that was a picture of my old Mum taken a year before she passed away. I’ve had it since 1996. I was pretty down. I figured the only thing to do was kiss goodbye to the £20, cancel the bank cards and console myself with the thought that I always had my memories if I didn’t have pictures. I got a phone call from work late Thursday saying my wallet (and get this bit) all its contents had been returned. The kind individual had found it then walked halfway across town to drop it off at the radio station after putting 2 and 2 together about who I was and where I work.
On Friday morning I picked up my wallet. There was no name or contact details of my Good Samaritan because “they just dropped it in to reception picked up a car sticker and left” I went through the cctv footage to see who my saviour was. Guess what? A kid, on half term! Couldn’t have been more than 11
So mystery young man. If you’re reading this you need to do the following. Get your Mum and Dad to drop you off at Heart Studios where I have a studio tour waiting for you. Oh and a crisp £20..!
Kids these days eh!
Monday 20th February - The exclusive Big Cat interview..!
I try to make this column fresh, up to date and above all relevant to the lifestyle we have In Gloucestershire. I hope you’ll agree that this week I’ve surpassed myself. Yes dear reader this weeks column will send shock waves through the corridors of power in the county because this is the column they didn’t want you to read. I can exclusively reveal that through my contacts in the animal world I’ve tracked him down and that you are about to read the thoughts of the very being that everyone’s talking about, that’s right I’ve spoken one on one with the big black cat. There now follows an exact transcript of our conversation
“WM- Mr Black Cat, err is it ok to call you that?”
“B.C- Oh you’re amongst friends here Warren, so please feel free to use my Christian name- Gerald”
“WM- Gerald my first question- Are you wild?”
“ G- Wild? Wild? I’m absolutely livid. Wouldn’t you be if a bunch of wanna be Attenborough’s rock up at your place with cameras asking questions all the time”
“WM- and then of course the headlines and allegations”
“G- Warren I can’t tell you how hard it’s been on me and my family over the past few weeks to wake up and see some of the headlines. There’s been fair and balanced reporting in this paper but some of the tabloids have really crossed the line”
“WM- Presumably you’re referring to the “BLACK CAT AND KATONA TO MARRY” headline?”
“G- That’s just the tip of the iceberg. “BLACK CAT TO BLAME FOR GREECE CRISIS” “BLACK CAT TO TAKE OVER FROM CAPPELLO” and “BLACK CAT TO BE NEW X FACTOR JUDGE”
“WM- I can see how all those torrid lies would begin to destroy you after a while”
“G –“ Well hang on, there not all lies. Simon Cowell wants me to replace Gary Barlow next series”
“WM- Are you going to accept?”
“G- Hmmm doubtful. I’ve already agreed to be Gloucester Rugby’s big new off season signing and what with that being on a Saturday too I just won’t have the time”
“WM- You’re a busy cat then?”
……………At this point Gerald halts interview to accept a call from Max Clifford his agent………..
“G- Errr. Sorry Warren where were we?”
“WM- You’re a busy cat?”
“G- Warren I hate to be a pain but Max’s just advised me not to say anything else”
“WM- Oh was it something I said?”
“G- No we’ve just signed a deal for a photo shoot with Hello Magazine and they want it to be exclusive”
“ WM- Oh..Well in that case Mr Black Cat, err sorry Gerald, thanks for your time”
“G- Thank you Warren”
So there you have it. Remember who brought this local legend nay icon to you first. It was me. In years to come you may see him on “I’m a Celebrity” or “Big Brother” or if he’s lucky “Celebrity Bargain Hunt” but never forget we had him, Gerald, first
Monday 9th January - Nicely behaved celebs...
There are certain rules and codes of conduct that “celeb’s” have to adhere to. For example Rule 1- The wooing and courting of another celeb. This rule dictates that the general early stages of said relationship be played out for all to see on the front pages of most tabloids.
Rule 2- The wedding- Well by now even us mere non showbiz mortals understand the wedding must be a lavish do in either i- Foreign territory (preferably Barbados) or ii- Fancy pants castle In Ireland/Scotland. The guest list must contain more a-z list celeb’s than actual friends so the magazine deal you’ve acquired pays top dollar.
Rule 3- The separation/ Divorce- Must have at least 5 months speculation of impending disaster for said couple. “Sources close to couple” must speculate at length how “they never see each other.” Couple must be pictured apart and not, repeat not, be wearing wedding ring. Note- If either of couple are singers then the next album release must contain lyrics about said marriage and perhaps be titled “she got the gold mine I got the shaft” etc etc
These are the generally accepted rules and have been followed for years (I’m looking in your direction Katy Perry/ Russell Brand) but it’s refreshing, and genuinely sad, to read that Katherine Jenkins and Gethin Jones are separating after 4 years together. This is refreshing and a good thing why you might ask? Well because it’s all been done in private
The split was announced via Twitter (isn’t everything these days!) but no fuss, no hassle, no great fanfare and most certainly not any moody pictures in the tabloids. What makes it very unusual (and actually adds to the sadness) are the words they’ve chosen to write about each other. Heart felt, honest and truly sad words that express sorrow that two adults just couldn’t make it work during very tricky and busy periods in their careers.
Refreshing is a poor phrase but it’s the best I can find. Refreshing that 2 fairly young people can decide to make a very mature decision during a very difficult emotional time and decide that they’d rather face some heart ache now and alter the paths of their lives rather than end up separating in a nasty bitter divorce. Which ultimately would end up in a “he said/ she said” magazine deal (Although it’d probably lead to a Christmas advert contract for a frozen food manufacturer)
No, these two are smart cookies and obviously care too much for each other to get dragged down into the mud, and the old smoochie romantic in me sort of thinks that once the dust has settled and the careers calm a little maybe one of them might send the other a text. A sort of “hey, fancy a coffee?” text and from there……….Well who knows. The maturity of their initial decision has not closed the door. So maybe don’t cancel the hat for the wedding just yet!
Monday 19th December, 2011
A look back on 2011...
Well a week from now it’ll all be over and as we munch on turkey leftovers we’ll start looking ahead to 2012. If you’ll indulge me I’d like to cast an eye over 2011 on my final column of the year. It concerns a couple of highlights that shone out for me over the past 12 months.
In January we saw and heard news reports of an earthquake In Fukushima Japan. It turned out to be so powerful that it caused a Tsunami, but it wasn’t until days after the first tremors were felt that the world heard about the nuclear meltdown in reactor No.1 at the Fukuyama nuclear plant. For those of us that grew up in the 80’s the throw backs to Chernobyl were strong. Men in fluorescent protective radiation suits heading in to do whatever men in radiation suits do when a plant goes in to meltdown. The image of those lads getting out of a transit van and going in to a potential death chamber will stay with me forever. We never got to know their names and we never got to see their faces but if you need a definition of bravery for 2011 then think of these lads
The earthquake and resulting Tsunami was so powerful it caused shutdown in Tokyo and British nationals were advised to return home asap, but as foreign citizens fled Japan spare a thought for the Japanese engineers who re built an entire bridge connecting east and west Japan. Oh and they did it in 6 days. 6 days! Remember this when the roadworks on the M5 happen
It was 3.35am on May 1st when I woke up. I’d nodded off and left the radio on as I sometimes do. I got up and went to the bathroom. It was while I was in there I heard a rather nervous sounding news reader say “we’re getting unconfirmed reports Osama Bin Laden has been killed.” I switched on the tv and there it was. The world’s most wanted man-Dead.
Joe Haughney is an American friend of mine we met when I went to uni in Miami ’97. We’ve been friends ever since. On 9/11 Joe’s big brother Jim was working as a cop for the NYPD and just like the lads in Japan went into a building when everyone else was running the other way. Jim never came out. So from my little flat In Gloucester Docks at 4.05 am I called Miami. “Hey, I guess you’ve heard “ were Joe’s first words. There were no cheers, no screams of delight, no chorus of that awful “USA, USA” chant you often get, it was just a bloke after 10 years of pain able to finally have a little closure.
I miss Joe so it was lovely to get 20 minutes with him at a very personal time until the cries of his 6 year old daughter Elle meant Dad had to go. Elle never knew Jim, but she’ll learn all about her hero uncle in good time.
Those are just a couple of highlights from 2011. Hopefully proving the milk of human kindness still flows, even if sometimes it’s a little semi skimmed and not quite full fat!
From me and mine to you and yours may I wish you a very Merry Christmas and peaceful and prosperous 2012
Monday 15th November, 2011
There are 5 weeks until Christmas. I’m not hanging around I’m getting my aggression in first. I’m writing my letter to Santa right now. Sure it’s a certified fact that this is Santa’s favourite paper but just by being a reporter for it doesn’t mean I get extra special treatment. There are no back handers when it comes to the Christmas list. Purely the old good kid/naughty kid test is the way it gets done by St. Nick…So here goes...
“Dear Santa- I’ve been a very good boy this year. Well ok there was the incident with the speed camera on Bruton Way in Gloucester, but all in all I’ve been a well behaved boy this year. Granted the episode with the model sculpture horse in Cheltenham did not look good but the judge was a kind man and after a while the electronic tag around my ankle stopped rubbing. That said the 7pm curfew has caused issues with my dating/love life…Anyway enough of the negative stuff
Any chance of the following? I would not say no to a new woman in my life. Nobody too fancy, Ohhh let’s say Jennifer Anniston in her stockings in my stocking on Christmas morning would go down a treat thanks. I know I asked for this last year and appreciate your efforts but let’s face it Susan Boyle was a let down and dare I say it a poor second choice. She did not mix well with the sprouts for Christmas lunch either.
I know it’s a way off but could I have a go carrying the Olympic torch through Gloucestershire when it’s our turn? I didn’t get any tickets for the events and it seems the dwarf throwing team from Papua New Guinea who are setting up pre games in Tewkesbury have signed Mike Tindall and don’t need me anymore. FYI Santa- I would accept shower attendant to the Ladies Brazilian beach volleyball squad if the torch carrying is a no go.
I would not say no to a decent win on the lottery Santa, I’d look after you with a few quid too. Put it this way Rudolph could get his red nose done privately with some of your share if ya catch my drift? I’d cut a few charities in of course and the Greeks can have a slice too. Perhaps just enough of a win to buy Corfu would be nice. Actually at last count it was going for a bout £7.85 on ebay. I’d be after more than that please.
Well that’s more or less it. Of course the usual bits of world peace and good cheer to all man/woman kind go without saying. Oh you may note that’s it’s just a mince pie and no booze that I’ll be leaving for you on Christmas Eve this year, this is due to you taking the entire bottle and not the nip of whisky In the glass I laid out for you. That was the good stuff Santa and It wasn’t cheap. I was not impressed. That said if the Jennifer Anniston thing works out this year then I’m fairly confident in saying I could probably forgive you
Merry Christmas Santa
Warren Moore- 37 and two thirds.
Monday 8th November, 2011
I wanted to use the column this week to say a massive thank you to two people who really made a difference to my life. They work in entirely different fields, have probably never met each other and probably never will but regardless in their own individual ways they changed my life for the better this week
The first is a gentleman who took me into his office, stripped me half naked, oiled me up, made me lie on a bench and then for about half an hour effectively threw me around the office for a bit. At the end of the session I paid him and left the building. This is not some sordid view into my personal life and granted it does sound like I’ve been caught out by the News Of The World (RIP) in a z list celeb expose. The gentleman’s name is Simon, he is a chiropractor (a very good one at that) and thanks to him and his talented hands my back doesn’t hurt anymore.
I’d always thought people with back pain were either slackers or just a bit lazy. That is until I heard a funny cracking noise that my spine started to make after a game of golf. It’s now safe to say that I believe anyone who says they suffer with their back. I couldn’t believe that something which I thought was “just a little niggle” can cause chaos in everyday life from bending down to pick up a pen to trying sleep. Simon, put simply thank you for making a difference!
The second person is a lady called Liz. Liz works In a local hospital that the Heart Breakfast team popped along to last week. As far as I could see her job (as well as her excellent colleagues) was keeping kids who were in as patients entertained and stimulated during what could be a stay of anywhere from 24 hours to a few months. Let’s be honest any parent knows how hard that can be during a half term but try doing it for a living!
We popped in to try and brighten up the afternoon for a few kids who couldn’t get out and trick or treat for Halloween due to illness and in the end they ended up entertaining me! When I arrived at the hospital I’m ashamed to say I wasn’t in the mood for it. I was tired from a long day, grumpy about my back and hacked off at a hefty bill from the car mechanic .Within 10 minutes of being around Liz and the kids life seemed a better happier place and even with a dodgy creaking back I was made to realise just how lucky and very fortunate I am with my lot in life. To Liz, her team (and of course the kids) I wish you health and happiness and thank you for opening my eyes and making me take a bit more notice of the good thing we have around us.
Monday, October 3rd, 2011
Uh oh it's that time of year again...
There’s a lot of frightening things happening in life at the minute. Crime figures seem to continuously grow, the Greek and Euro economic debt crisis looms large and the prospect of Susan Boyle’s R&B album. These are all pretty serious and frightening prospects, but they all pale into insignificance when you get your head around the very frightening, very real prospect that Christmas is exactly 85 days away
Don’t get me wrong I love Christmas, it’s just the fact that it’s only about 4 months since the last one isn’t it? Maybe it’s the “Indian Summer” we’ve just had this weekend that makes it feel as if the big day is a lifetime away but we’re talking 11 weeks away. 11 weeks!
It’s the way it creeps up on you like a trained yuletide ninja and blindsides you. I bet you’ve already seen or heard adverts for the big day (let’s be honest though, thank God For Coca Cola who at least have the decency to wait til mid November before singing that “Holiday’s are coming”…Love that ad!)
It’ll be present buying season soon and as all men know thank God for internet shopping, and thank whoever your personal God may be again for the box which says “tick here for gift wrapping at £2 fee”
The internal email “to all staff” will be doing the rounds again telling you the date time and venue of the next chance to have a crack at the really hot girl in accounts (or the Christmas party as we used to call it) followed by the mad rush to book a half day off for the hair-do, bikini wax and fake tan on the afternoon of said get together (I dunno what the ladies do in preparation by the way)
The always tricky/potential bombshell “where are we for Christmas this year love?” conversation needs to had around mid to late November. The “no it’s my parents this year, we were at yours last year and besides your Dad gets letchy after a few and eyes up anything in a skirt when he’s been drinking” row needs to get pencilled in around early December. This should not clash with the “I’m sorry we’ve completely sold out of them-It’s the hot toy this year-Next batch in February sir/madam” shopping trip. It’s useful to diary that one in for around the 2nd week of December
So apart from reminding you to buy the tree (not the cheap one that the dog ate and ended up at the vets with like last year)that It’s roughly an hour per pound in the oven for the turkey, you don’t want to be cashing in on the in laws inheritance just yet, and to keep Gran off the Bailey’s, she’ll only go on about the war that’s about it
Oh and if anyone could grant my festive wish of peace to all mankind, and more importantly Jennifer Anniston in my stocking, then that’d be just fab. Suppose 85 days out I ought to be the first to wish you “Merry Christm……..” no hang on it’s too soon
Monday 26th September, 2011
It’s been quite a week. In fact it’s been quite a crazy week. Britain’s been watching travelers not travelling and also on a more local level we’ve learned that if the political boundary experts have their way then Gloucester will probably end up in the Edinburgh North constituency. Much to the amusement of everyone in Cheltenham, which if the rumors are true looks set to end up as part of Newcastle South- At least that’s what I’m hearing...
It’s with all this weirdness in mind that I seem to have done my own stupid crazy thing this week. I’ve joined a gym. Now I don’t enjoy admitting this but even at the spritely age of 37 (and three quarters) I can feel the clammy hand of father time just gently giving me a nudge as if to say “Oi fatty- Eat less move more”
So it’s with health and a ticking heart in mind I’ve decided to jump on the treadmill. Turns out though that’s not enough, you actually have to switch the damn thing on, tut. I offer my apologies now for those of you who are eating, are of a nervous disposition or are under 18 as the idea of me in lycra
Is not a kind thought.
So far so good down the gym, actually that’s a shocking lie. For those men who want to experience the true pain of child birth then do what I did the other day and join in one of those pilates classes. The next 2 days felt like I’d had the first male ceaserian section. I swear that work had to hire a JCB to lower me up and down from chairs and the loo.
I think the person I feel most sorry for has to be one of the trainers that work at the gym I’ve joined . The site of me running on one of his treadmills must have cost him half his trade in just one week. It’s not a pretty image. Rather like an un coordinated octopus falling out of a tree.
Time was when I did plenty of running in my youth. Sadly most of it was running after girls at college (who were out of my league) So if you’re down your local gym and see a bloke looking like he’s died three times over (and that’s just after the warm up) then you’ll know who it is. For the slightly hard of thinking It’s me….Not Seb Coe
Monday 19th September, 2011
How good is your spelling...?!
Not long until the Cheltenham Literature Festival starts and with that in mind we here at Heart have decided to go back to school and learn our ABC’s . With the emphasis on the “b”
Have you ever heard of the concept of a “spelling bee?” It’s an American thing really, the ultimate idea being to improve kids spelling in a quick easy way but most of all in a fun environment. In the states it’s part of their national education system and you’re as likely to find the spelling b team hard at practice as you would the football or athletics team. In fact the school’s champion speller is likely to go to a regional final, from there it’s on to the state final and then the big one “The National Spelling Bee Championships” held every year in the nation’s capital Washington D.C. It’s not unheard of to see the odd President handing out the trophy to the winner from time to time.
We unashamedly love the idea and have decided to bring our own version of it to schools in Gloucestershire. We’re going to spend 2 weeks in late September going into schools, specifically years 5 & 6, and helping our kids with their ABC’s in our version of the spelling bee.
We have 2 rules. 1-It’s going to be fun 2- Kid’s will improve their spelling. That’s enough rules
If you’re interested regisister here!
Now of course seeing as it’s an American concept you may be new to the idea of the spelling b. It’s very simple, the kids line up and one after the other are asked to spell a word that’s appropriate for their age group. If they spell the word correctly they stay in the competition, if they get it wrong they sit down. In our version everyone taking part will receive a nice certificate, they’ll hear a special version of the game played by The Wanted’s Nathan Sykes (He can really spell- Ribston Hall 6th form should be proud of their ex pupil!) the winner will get to take part in a region wide final, your spelling will improve…..Oh and if your lucky then you might miss double maths!
I’ll be acting as the “Judge” so I’ve been polishing up my “I before e except after c’s etc etc” and I’ve disabled the spell check on my laptop pre writing this to see how my own spelling is (hmmm 1 or 2 t’s in writing??!)
It’d be great to spend the fortnight we have for our spelling b popping into as many schools as possible (2 s’s in possible?) so please feel free to use the email address above and I look forward to some spelling in schools soon!
Monday 12th September, 2011
The Unsuspected Joys of Losing Your Phone...
I’ve had one of the most liberating experiences of my life this week. I’ve lost my mobile phone and I have to say it’s been amazing.
Ok, liberating is perhaps a slightly O.T.T phrase to use. It’s hardly like the liberation of Libya or Egypt (by the way I swear I saw Gaddafi last week. In his comedy little golf buggy going down the A40) but it’s still pretty liberating when all’s said and done. Sure at first it was a frightening thing. The initial panic of “Oh God! Where’s my phone?..Fumble..fumble..I’ve lost it.. Is there anything incriminating on it? Does anything on it link me in any way to the JFK killings?.. Thank God no. It’s just phone numbers and some really bad pictures of me and the girl from accounts at last year’s Christmas do etc etc”
It’s been liberating because, as anyone over the age of 30 will tell you, it’s suddenly made me realise that we did actually have life in Gloucestershire pre mobile phones-Kids if you need more proof on this statement then ask Mum and Dad. Well probably not Dad, he’ll be on his I-Phone. Better still ask your Grandparent’s.
After the initial onset of “nobody’s text me within the last hour-Iam unloved” you start to detox. Once the sweats and shakes have subsided life becomes liveable once again and you learn a truly amazing thing…Life is possible without a mobile phone.
You don’t believe me do you? Infact the buzz/vibrate/ringtone of your little handheld pal has probably gone off a time or two since you picked up this paper. That’s fine, I was exactly the same ‘til fate stepped in and meant I’ve had to go “sans mobile” for 8 days. After a few days you actually get used to no pointless texts from mates saying just “hey” or replies of “lol!” I can truly say I’ve not missed “rofl” so much either.
Still not convinced? Well ask yourself this question. When has anyone ever called you up on your mobile offering you something free and amazing? Be honest…Never! I’ll bet though that there’s been plenty of “Hello Mr Smith? I’m calling from save the Duck-billed platypus. We’re after a donation of £50 to save the duck-billed from going extinct in areas of Tewksbury etc etc” or the all- time classic text of “Have you got wet in the rain over the last 5 years? If so you can sue God now. Simply call I got wet lawyers on blah blah”
I’m not turning into a luddite “smash the computers” type. I mean mobiles are extremely handy modern day gadgets. The female driver broken down at night and person calling 999 on one are proof enough.
I’ll be interested to see if mine gets as much use as before when I pick up the new one tomorrow. Hopefully not. However if it does then “ C U L8R…LOLs xxx”
Monday 5th September, 2011
One Man and His Sofa...
I’ve had to buy a new sofa. Turns out it was all Mike Tindall’s fault…
Now for legal reasons I should point out that at no actual time was Mike Tindall actually involved in the utter destruction of my sofa. Neither was Mr Tindall responsible for the earth shattering crack that echoed around Gloucester Docks the other Saturday as my sofa was, for want of a better expression, sent to a better place for all dead sofa’s (no not Cheltenham the council skip)
My jumping up, then back down very quickly, as the Right Honourable 3rd Duke Wing Commander Twice removed from Matson (that’s his official new title now he’s shacked up with Zara by the way) broke his way through the Irish three quarters defence lead to a sudden “twang” and then a very awkward sag in my sofa. It’s the day any decent thinking red blooded male dreads…..The day a sofa dies
The bond between man and sofa is a holy bond. A unique union. Experts claim the bond between man and sofa begin in times of ancient Rome when Anthony came home to Cleopatra after a hefty session with the lad’s (probably after throwing a few wrong un’s in the lion’s den) Anthony slumps into bed wreaking of booze and no doubt the Roman version of a kebab only to find Cleo is in no mood for it and says the famous words that started it all off “Oh no Mr, you’re on the sofa”……And so it began
Think about it. All the great moments in history- The moon landings, Royal Weddings England 1966 and Diana’s death- Let’s be honest for those of us who weren’t there on the scene (and that’s 99.9% of us) we had the next best view. Sat on the sofa, eyes glued to said event on the telly. Technically speaking the sofa is as much a part of the family as the dog, or even Gran. Face it fella’s you don’t even have to pick the sofa up on Christmas day, feed it Bailey’s and then put up with it’s stories of “How it was all better in the old days-You don’t see Max Bygraves on the telly much these days” and having to stay the right side of sober all day just to drop her back off again on Christmas night…No, none of that with a sofa
So this week I’ve had the curtains closed, dressed in black and generally mourned the loss of my old dearly departed sofa. I’ve bought a new shiny one but it’s not the same. For a start it’s going to take some time before “the male ass grove” really fits my liking and I’m still a little frightened of feet up on the sofa. I suppose the lads are going to have to take me out on the razzle one night soon so I too can be ordered to the sofa for a nights sleep.
I suppose there’s one potential fix. I spy a Rugby World Cup on the horizon. 3 pool games, a quarter and then semi final and then final…Hmmm that’s what, 6 games- At 80 mins a pop (plus pre match build up) that’s about 600 minutes or 10 hours of proper 1 on1 time with the new sofa. I suppose then and only then the healing process could begin…Oh and Lord Tindall, please would you mind giving me a little wave before making any darting runs through the opposition. Just so I know to not destroy another sofa..Ta
Monday, August 30th, 2011
We're all Telly experts
I'm going to give any women reading this a look into the deepest inner soul of her man. In years to come you will thank me for this. However there's no such thing as a free lunch, so later I'll be expecting your help. Deal? OK….Here's all you need to remember about men…….We love TV…….There you have it. Remember that. Keep it at the front of your mind
Don't believe me? Well run this little scenario over in your mind. You're on holiday, you've just arrived at your hotel room, you're unpacking and stopping the kids from dive bombing German tourists. What's your fella doing? That's right, flicking through the local TV channels.
Still not convinced? OK, how about the time he had a mood on about going to "that thing" you wanted to do/see/be at? Real reason he had a mood on? He wanted to watch TV.
We can't help it, it just combines all the major things we love. Gadgety stuff, shiny things, sofas and beer. It's deep within our very fibres and, dare I say it, if you give us the ultimatum "It's me or the TV" then boy …. We'd miss you. So there you have it ladies. The very simple truth about men.
We love TV. Keep us near one and we're happy fellas. There's just one blot on the landscape. It's called HD and it's frightening us. Here's where you come in
Men feel empowered by TV. We like to think that when the fella at the TV store sells us the latest 46in plasma beast, we know all about it. We like to pretend we know why we paid £200 extra for surround sound and we like to think we really know why we're buying a fancy scart lead and more importantly what the hell it does.
We don't, we never have and never will (oh and thanks for playing along with the charade that you think we're great when it comes to TV stuff. It's great for the hunter gatherer ego thing) There's just one thing that's appeared, it's called HD
We have to have it because we are weak-willed sheep when it comes to TV but secretly we just don't get it. We're told by our masters (the TV channels) to buy it or we're not real men, so we do as commanded but in all honesty…..It's …well…..It's all right, it's not great, it's just like someone's played with the contrast button a bit or you've put your specs on. In a moment of weakness we may confess this to you.
Well HD is in our opinion a bit rubbish. Please don't call us on this. It would shake us to our very core, as we can't be seen to diss TV in public.
Why do I mention this? Well apparently HD viewers have reached an all time high in Gloucestershire.
What does this mean? Well it means an unhappy camper of a fella because on one hand we have to have it and yet on the other hand it's not quite as glorious a thing as when we first moved from a black and white to a colour. It's not quite as fabulous as getting live pause and rewind on the telly and ultimately we haven't got a clue how the hell it works
So here's your part of the deal ladies. Please keep up the pretence that you think we think we know all and everything about TV. Our ego's have been dented by HD, we don't know what the hell it really is and we don't really know if it's any good and your nodding along and "yes dear, that's right. Oh you really are king of the castle on TV. Oh you showed that TV salesman dear" well just keep it up ladies…Thank you on behalf of mankind