There is a new rule in England. If there is an independent body then our Prime Minister will appoint his friends to make those bodies definitely not independent. It started with BBC News. Then the media watchdogs and it’s just getting silly now. There is an independent body that advises on ethics in public life. Guess what. He has appointed an old university friend, who with Johnson was part of a notorious drinking and partying private club. That’s modern England for you.

So clearly it’s ok to appoint whoever you like to anything these days. So why don’t we all do that. What fun we can have. How easy life will be.

So here are a few of my appointments.

I would like to appoint myself as James Bond.

I would also like to appoint myself as the new Thor.

I would also like to appoint myself as the next winner of the Great British Bake Off.

I would like to appoint our family dog, Captain Chaos as my Countries Prime Minister. Far more qualified than the current numpty and our dog doesn’t lie. The Cap is also not a racist, sexist or homophobic.

I would like to appoint our family cat and gerbils as his Government.

On discussion with my son I would like to appoint Hawklad as the new Darth Vader, Head of Disney and lead guitarist of Iron Maiden.

Further appointments to follow.

May the 4th be with you

May the force be with you. May the fourth be with you.

I noticed the significance of the date just a few minutes before it was the 5th May. Clearly the FORCE is not strong in me. Maybe I would fall into the third Star Wars category. Not good enough to be a Jedi or a Sith, so I would be in the third class of characters. Only good enough to be ‘canon fodder’.

For what it’s worth I just had enough time to see what the online Star Wars name generators would come up with for me. Last year I think I was Hans Up….. This year apparently I am HOR VADER. The mind boggles….

It’s Yoga but not as we know it

Why do I always hear Spock’s words to Captain Kirk whenever I try to do yoga.

It’s life Jim but not as we know it!”

It’s yoga just not as we know it. That sums up my yoga talents perfectly. I do try. I guess it’s like my parenting as well – it’s parenting but not as we know it. Anyway back to that instrument of torture which is yoga. I’m part of the Yoga with Adriene App community. She’s really really good but even she can’t sort some people out. This person out. But at least I can laugh at the many times I lose balance and then hit the ground.

Like most things in life, we have to find our own way.

The last ME/MUPPET guide to yoga went down so well and it guided so many lost souls to yoga perfection – well then clearly you need another one. Again I will be assisted by some brave and fearless (mostly) mini lego figures. I will be played this time by Shaggy. Bizarrely the rest of the yoga group are Star Wars characters.

First point is that it’s so important that you get yoga mats, leggings and blocks that are the right size for you. Anything other than a perfect fit could lead to injury or worse, embarrassment.

A perfect fit for a yoga block

Remember to place your mat next to people who have similar abilities to yourself. In my case I tend to look at for certain key signs in the other yoga attendees. Badly fitting gym clothes, a few spare tyres round the middle, scrapes and bruises to the knees, bandages on the elbows, squashed nose and a slightly bemused look.

Perfect person to be next to ?

Be careful if you get your selection wrong then it will only ever end in disaster. Some people are better equipped to do certain yoga positions than others…..

Motorised hips, no arms and no knees make the crow pose so much easier.

Remember it’s a badge of honour to be the only person in the session standing on the wrong leg repeatedly.

I’m on the correct leg everybody else is wrong…

There will come a time when you will be asked to do a one legged dancer’s pose. Don’t be fearful, embrace it. Especially when you find out your the only person in the room who can’t do it.

Can you explain that move just one more time….

Breathe deeply. Struggle onto one leg. I find swearing really helps. Then as gracefully as possible try to headbutt the floor. You may get a sensation something equivalent to five neutron stars exploding in your hips. That will be the correct Dancer’s pose. A certain feeling of lower half detachment may follow.

That hurt…..

The other important tip is to embrace the journey you go on with the instructor. At the start of the session he or she may seem the nicest and most kind person you could ever hope to meet. In my case Adriene’s words are like a warming blanket, settling deep inside my soul. Then the true journey of discovery begins. After about 10 minutes your instructor will start to talk about ‘nice detoxifying hip openers’. At this stage you will now start to view the instructor as more akin to a prison guard, barking out instructions with the threat of a gun.

Do as you are told…

Your yoga journey will be complete when your instructor tells you to adopt the crow position so you can be ‘truly grounded and at one with the earth’. At that stage you will see the instructor as a predator, a carnivore about to feed on your lifeless and broken carcass . Don’t worry this is completely normal and just means that you still have 5 minutes to go before the session has ended.

Only 5 minutes to go before you have been properly tenderised.

I hope this has been of some use to you. Remember your body is a temple. Probably in urgent need of a preservation and restoration order. You can do this. NAMASTE….

Time for your daily yoga.

Don’t say I never give you new features. First there was bereavement and autism. Then came parenting. Then virtual trips to Switzerland and world exercise bike tours. Then helpful baking tips. Poking fun at the government came next. Then muppet guides.

I hear you. You want more. OK

Brace yourself people. Don your comfy shirts and brightly coloured tight leggings. It’s time for your first Yoga Guide. Today I’m going to start with transitioning into the Warrior Pose. To add to the difficulty (as I am an elite athlete) I will be doing it dressed up as a Star Wars Clone Trooper.

Find a comfortable position. That is difficult dressed up in tight plastic battle gear, so I will just fall to the ground in a heap.

Now transition into a lotus pose or as close as you can comfortably manage.

Now with the grace of a charging Bison, extend you legs while keeping your head in line with your heart which is in line with your buttocks. Brace your thighs as you transition into the warrior pose.

If you are new to yoga or are a lego figure then you will probably find that the use of support blocks will help with stability.

Now hold. Your body, legs and joints will be screaming for mercy. Remember it’s good for you. Count to 10.

Now release the hold. See how good that feels.

Look at the pure delight on my face as I realise just how good my body now feels.

So hopefully you found that most useful. Remember I am an expert so don’t expect to be as good as me straight away. Stick with it and over many months you might end up not feeling so inferior to me.

Please let me know if you would like any other yoga or fitness activity explained to you.

NAMASTE my friends.


You know your garden is badly overgrown when you manage to fill a wheelie wheelie big Wheelie Bin full of weeds in less than 15 minutes. I guess that’s one of the advantages of council refuse collections only happening every two weeks. After only a few minutes weeding you might as well stop for 2 weeks.

I have to say the weeds didn’t go without a fight again. Nothing like trying to pull out angry nettles. They are the Sith Lords of the garden kingdom. Today I was prepared. Thickest gloves I could find, long sleeve top and combat trousers. I still have a lot to learn in the ways of the dark side. One particular large nettle was refusing to come out of the ground. With one final effort the nettle exploded out of the Yorkshire soil. Unfortunately far too much upward force had been applied and the delightful stinging plant whacked me in the face and neck. Shall we just say it’s smarting a tad….

I wasn’t weeding out of choice. The house had become very much off limits. Son had to voice record a presentation for school. He was suitably unimpressed. So to try and not put him off, I went outside to garden. I’m not sure how it finally sounded and I’ve promised him not to listen to it. But the barbed mutterings from inside the house did make me smile.

How am I supposed to perform under theses conditions….

Typical I do a good one and I forget to start recoding the stupid thing….

I bet Johnny Depp would struggle with this script….

And breathe….

Argh, why does this microphone make me sound like a Sith from Star Wars….

Oh for the love of …. I’m sounding like a chipmunk now….

Oh god I’m starting to sound like my Dad….

Sadly he is starting to sound like his Dad. My habit of shouting at pieces of technology has clearly rubbed off on him. I just wish these nettle stings would rub off me now. I definitely have a face perfect for radio tonight.


I’ve done my Sunday morning exercise session. The poor bike is a bit like me, during every session something either stops working, starts creaking or drops off. So the bike is going into therapy for a day or so. Can’t think of a worse punishment than having my large behind perched on you for that length of time.

So now I’m sat outside. Now that’s a rarity. Sat with my iPad typing these ramblings. This is my view.

Apologies for the legs and yes my trainers are in real need of replacement. Actually forget the trainers, my body is in need of replacement. I’ve used this one up, can I have another one.

During the lockdown I just haven’t found the time to sit outside and relax. Where does the time go. Its not as if I am undertaking any huge Home Makeover projects or painting a landscape masterpiece. I guess it’s a reminder of the investment you need to make when you signup to a parenting gig. The greater the investment, the higher the chance that your parenting will actually prove worthwhile for your kids.

But this sunny morning I’ve found the time to sit for a few minutes. The main reason is that I’ve just seen the weather forecast. It’s back to proper Yorkshire weather this week. The next scheduled settled sunny spell is not forecast until sometime in 2024. So I had better make the most of that bright yellow thing in the sky while it’s still here.

Looking at the view and the sun slightly hidden by early morning thin mist, reminds me of the ending to last nights movie. The last Star Wars movie. I won’t give away the ending or the key story moments. Mainly because I am waiting for our Son to explain them to me. I found switching off the brain and ignoring the inevitable questions, actually turned the movie into a really fun adventure yarn. Visually and sound wise it was stunning. However the repeated interjections from my resident film critic suggested a few too many issues with the storyline. The general message seemed to be – I’ve not seen so many plot holes since we watched the Alvin and The Chipmunks Road Chip Movie.

And with that the clouds have moved in. So like the current Star Wars story arc, our summer is FINISHED…

A Star Weekend

I was corresponding with a really good friend this morning. Corresponding that’s a good word and I can’t remember ever using it before. Anyway during the corresponding (that’s twice now) a long forgotten memory popped into my head.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..

In a time before my partner,before our Son, before Aspergers…

A friend had seen an advert for a reasonably local Star Wars Convention. It was decided that a small an exclusively stupid group would partake in the trip. A plan was formed involving fancy dress, a pre Convention drinking event and attendance at the aforementioned convention. What could go wrong…..

So a few weeks later I was sat on a train next to Darth Vader. In the seats opposite we had Hans Solo and Yoda. I myself being Obi-wan. Oh the looks we got.

The pre Convention drinking event was indeed just a little bit drunken. Strangely the Star Wars characters found much competition with a myriad of Stag and Hen night ragalia. A particular mention has to go to Darth Vader who could not get to grips with a revolving dance floor.

The morning after found a hotel room with sore heads and a few costume issues. Darth Vader and Hans Solo still almost intact. Unfortunately Yoda had forgotten to bring his green makeup with him and looked rather ungreen after the nights festivities. Unfortunately his pillow was now distinctly green. Meanwhile Obi was a sorry sight. I had lost my light sabre and false beard. When I say lost I mean that they had been confiscated by the nightclub bouncers as offensive weapons. Plus my Jedi cape was last seen on the revolving dance floor. Bizarrely I was twice asked why my Captain Kirk costume was so rubbish.

So while the others had a late breakfast I set off in search of a new Obi costume and some Yoda face paint. Unfortunately Northern cities don’t tend to have a Star Wars Costumes R Us. After two hours no luck. However as it was October I could find plenty of Halloween stuff. So I eventually returned with a Dracula costume. My thinking was as Christopher Lee had played both Count Dooku and Count Dracula, I could go as a vampire Count Dooku. Unfortunately the only face paint I could find was red. So Yoda went to the dark side and became an odd looking Sith Lord.

So we headed off to the Star Wars Convention in good heart. Just outside the event the others headed for a public toilet so I entered the hall first. Most odd many posters of the Starship Enterprise – I cant remember seeing Han Solo flying that. Then it dawned on me. This wasn’t a Star Wars Convention it was a Star Trek Convention. Thinking quickly I told the ticket person that I may have a passing resemblance to a vampire but in fact I was a replica of a Klingon Bird of Prey. A few minutes later Darth Vader strode magnificently into the hall. He was soon surrounded by a group of rather none too pleased Spocks and Kirks. AWKWARD.