Robert Hampton

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December 2007

2nd December 2007

Gimme Shelter
Posted by at 11.44am | It's My Life | No responses

The bus stop near my house is incredibly badly located. The pavement at this point is fairly wide, and the shelter is set well back from the edge of the road. Unfortunately there is a tree directly in front of the shelter, which blocks waiting passengers’ views of oncoming buses, and more importantly, blocks bus drivers’ views of waiting passengers. This means that the bus shelter cannot fulfil its primary function, as you have to keep stepping out from under it to see if a bus is coming. Also, the bus lay-by has a big pothole which quickly fills up with water every time it rains.

On Friday it was raining quite heavily. I was waiting for a bus and stepped out from under the shelter to see if one was coming. At that moment a car decided to pull into the lay-by to use the nearby cash machine.

SPLASH! All over me.

The driver got out. “Did I splash you then?” he asked.

When I responded in the affirmative, he was mortified and offered a profuse apology. I was genuinely taken aback. I don’t usually get apologies, and definitely not from car drivers where the general attitude seems to be that it’s entirely one’s own fault for getting in their way and deigning to use feet for something other than the accelerator or clutch.

I was so surprised at his contrition that I found myself going very over the top in the forgiveness stakes. “It’s OK, don’t worry about it,” I babbled repeatedly, even after he left, which must have alarmed the driver of the 82A when it eventually arrived and I climbed aboard.

9th December 2007

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
Posted by at 5.41pm | It's My Life | No responses

I was a man on a mission today, determined to finish my Christmas shopping. Here’s my log of the day.

11.46am – I arrived at my local station minutes after a train was due to depart, but hurrah – a helpful announcement said it was running ten minutes late! I took up position on the platform next to two old dears.

“It was supposed to be here at quarter to,” said the first.
“It must be late,” replied her friend.
“You’d think they’d make an announcement,” she tutted.

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12th December 2007

They’re not just THE emergency services, they’re YOUR emergency services
Posted by at 7.40pm | In the News | No responses

The Police want the right to strike. Personally, I think Sting has earned quite enough money and shouldn’t be holding out for more.

Seriously though, if the police walked out on strike, it would be disastrous. Crimes would go unsolved! People would walk the streets in constant fear of being mugged! Dialling 999 would get nothing but an indifferent, slow respon… oh.

Anyway, what’s to stop the police from going on strike now? It may be against the law to strike, but who enforces the law? The Police. And what happens if the police go on strike? Do you see where I’m going with this?

Seriously, do you see? Because I’m not sure myself.

13th December 2007

The Good Ship Lollipop
Posted by at 1.25pm | In the News | No responses

Ooh, it’s in the Telegraph! We are going upmarket!

A lollipop lady has been banned from wearing festive fancy dress because of safety fears.

Margaret Russell, 54, has delighted pupils, parents and motorists in Millbrook, Southampton, for two decades as she collects for charity.

But after a complaint by two parents, the city council said she could not take children across the road unless she wore her reflective coat.

Surely, says the Silent Majority (and they can stay silent as far as I’m concerned), this is political correctness gone mad?! I mean, look at this picture — can anyone really say that this cumbersome outfit, complete with peripheral-vision-restricting headgear, is a safety risk for someone charged with escorting children across a busy road?

Well, I can: “this cumbersome outfit, complete with peripheral-vision-restricting headgear, is a safety risk for someone charged with escorting children across a busy road.”

16th December 2007

Liverpool Nativity
Posted by at 11.16pm | Liverpool, Television | No responses

Ooh, that were good. Sound seemed a bit dodgy in places, but when you’re performing live on a Mersey Ferry, these things can be forgiven I think. Less forgivable were Onslow‘s attempts at singing, but never mind; it was great to see Liverpool as a backdrop to a highly-publicised show like this.

Best of all, the plot revolved around the perfect red-rag-to-a-bull phrase — “asylum seeker” — meaning that the letters pages of the Liverpool Echo and the phone lines of the Roger Phillips phone in will be red hot for weeks with moaning pensioners. It’s political correctness gone mad!

Anyway, after four and a half-years of crap, BBC Three has finally produced something worthwhile. If you missed it, try to catch the repeat on BBC One on December 23rd and again on BBC Three on Christmas Day.

22nd December 2007

Video killed the radio star
Posted by at 12.58pm | It's My Life | No responses

That’ll be me on the right, then. I was all done Christmas shopping until yesterday, when I spied an irrestible new gadget: a rather nice Sony Camcorder, selling at about 60 quid off the RRP. Of course, in my haste to purchase this item I neglected to note the various other items I would need, which include but are not limited to: tapes, a spare battery, a FireWire cable to link the camera to the computer, and a FireWire card for the computer itself. All of which will probably add an extra 100 quid to the price by the time I’ve bought them all. Still, I’ve had a bit of a play with it, and it’s a nice bit of kit for the price.

Still, once those other bits arrive and I have a way to actually get video into the computer, I will have the option of videoblogging! Imagine what this blog will be like with sounds and moving pictures to accompany it! Surely this is exactly the sort of thing YouTube has been waiting for! That’s quite a lot of exclamation marks!

23rd December 2007

Bore on Christmas
Posted by at 11.59am | In the News | No responses

This great piece by Polly Toynbee from Friday’s Guardian should be the last word on the “OMG Christmas has been Banned!” nonsense that surfaces every year.

Birmingham City Council never actually renamed it Winterval, y’know.

25th December 2007

Dicing with death
Posted by at 11.02am | Fun | No responses

So, you’re spending Christmas with your family and at first it seems like a good time is going to be had by all: a shedload of presents, her Maj telling us what’s on her mind, the cheery prospect of Christmas dinner to come, and special episodes of Doctor Who and TV Burp to look forward to. But what happens after that, when things start to flag slightly and the prospect of Twelfth Night is actually starting to look appealing?

Obviously, it’s time to pull out that great family get-together standby; a game! Obviously the game has to be chosen carefully, lest an unholy Christmas-ruining family row break out. With that in mind, here’s my handy guide to the best games on the market today. Not literally today, of course, because the shops are shut. Oh, you know what I mean…

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