Tag: satire


Sorry there hasn’t been an update of johnsunter.com in a while. I’ve been run off my feet at work.

Mickel Trafford Village Club (this picture does'nt do it credit).

An unusual evening on Saturday. I have started to try and broaden my horizons, hence visiting Chester cinema club, and stuff like that.

The other evening, Glenn invited me for an evening out, at the village hall in Michel Trafford. Amazingly, its run by the Parish Council, and the bar staff, are actually volunteers.

I was wondering whether it would be like the vicar of Dibley, but in reality, it was quite smart. A a practical point, the bar star were very polite and the service very personal (but it would be, its a village hall). I was also impressed with the price, at £1.80 for a pint of Carlsberg (took me back to 2003 !)

One downside, was that the website advertises free wireless broadband. Glenn, had brought one of his 2 (2 !) IPads to try out (I wanted to try them out and write a review, I cant help feeling that Glenn wanted to show off to the locals). Unfortunately, the service doesn’t seem to be popular there, and had been disconnected for non payment.

Overall, a pretty interesting evening. I hope to go again in a couple of weeks, and try out the free pool table.

Sex and the City 2

I know some people reading this, will be surprised that I’m a fan of sex and the city.

I remember hearing a story about a prisoner of war, who was beaten every day at 10am. When he was released, it was found that his body had compensated for the ordeal, by pumping adrenaline into his system at 10am each day. The irony was, that he was actually uncomfortable not being beaten.

I can’t claim the exact same thing, but in a relationship some years ago, I was “made” to watch Sex and the City, and a similar effect took place (and to be honest, I think my love of travel destinations, and the scenes of New York helped to numb the pain).

Anyway, Sex and the City 2 came out, and I went to see it on Saturday afternoon (to avoid loads of couples and people on first dates, and other rubbish like that).

Enough intro, so what did I think:

The film opens with a brief history of New York, and a few visuals of Carrie and her friends, when they arrived in NY, around 1986.

It then moves on to a garish gay wedding. Its hard to describe exactly, but it was an affront to the ears and eyes.

We are given an update, on what’s happened since the first film (I mean that, from the point of the characters. From the point of the producers and actresses, its obvious that they needed some more money).

I do like Big as a character. It would be easy to fall into the perfect guy, who just isn’t in touch with his feelings cliché, but it never happens.

On the subject of cliché, they are many, including watching black and white “classics” together. Vom.

The plot then moves to Abu Dhabi (except that I immediately recognised Marrakesh airport in Morocco, so knew that’s where it had been filmed). At this point it got a bit out of hand, with the kind of clash of cultures between the girls and Abu Dhabi society, ending in a free for all in the market.

I know the film is exaggerated, but from experience, New Yorkers are probably the most street wise westerners in existence. Brash surely, but they know every inside track, every trick, the lot, wherever they go. Unwittingly getting arrested in the way implied in the film, would just never happen.

Overall, I enjoyed it, but like the 1st, it was 2 and a half hours, which felt a bit long.

I did love the music, Empire state of mind, by Jay Z, featuring Alicia Keys. Since watching the film I cant stop singing it.

One line from the film “eventually the baby will get tired” took me back to the original series, and all the things I liked about it.

I was sorry to hear about the death of Gary Coleman from the series different strokes. It reminded me of this hilarious sketch of Tony Bobbins (a spoof on the real life peak performance specialist, Tony Robbins) which he appeared in.

Other things happening on the TV front. Well, loads of series have finished this week. Before anyone asks, I went off lost after 4 episodes, so I didn’t watch the final episode, and don’t really care what happened.

Ashes to Ashes finished after 3 series, and ended a 5 series arc, incorporating Life on Mars, one of the best TV programs of the decade.

People have been critical, but I thought it wrapped things up pretty well, and I enjoyed it immensely, just like the rest of the series.

I caught up on about 8 episodes of 24. I only started watching them again, after season 2, last year at season 7. This season really is dazing, and I cant wait to see what happens in the season finale.

Two series I am getting into are Human Target and White Collar. Human Target is based on a comic book, and basically action from beginning to end, with enough plot to tie it together, and nothing else.

Blue Collar is interesting. It about an FBI agent, and a former Con man/Forger who he enlists from prison. I was  talking to Glenn the other evening and he mentioned it.

I commented that when I saw the program, the first person, Neal Caffrey reminded me off, was him.

The Final episode, series 2 of Fringe. A recommendation from my brother last year, its excellent.

I’ve also been watching a series called Broken Bad. It was recommended by an old friend Jason MacDonald. He wasn’t wrong, its simply made, but quite dazzling.

Peter Kay. The Immersions On !.

Things have turned around, and the mortgage is getting paid, so the house is safe, but money is very tight.

It will take a while to turn things around, but in the meantime, I am trying to live as I did when I was unemployed, an dleverage every money saving and/or value enhancing tool available.

For example, earlier in the blog, I mentioned going to see Sex and the City 2. I get my gas and electric from Powergen. They give me Tesco points for paying my bill, by direct debit. I convert the points into cinema tickets, and get to see 2 films a month or “free” (the reasoning is that I would have bought food etc. from tTsco and electric/gas from Powergen anyway).

One thing I’ve just tried, is putting a 2 litre bottle of water in the lavatory systern. The idea, is that less water will be used when the systern fills up. Its a project I’m keen to see the results of (modern myth, or money saver).

One final inspiration, was actually from Peter Kay.

I used to always have the hot water come on with a timer, twice a day. Obviously, If I didn’t have a bath or anything, that hot water was wasted.

Shows how times have changed. The Peter Kay joke, where he is invited out for a drink or something at the Phoenix club, and explains that he cant, saying “the immersion is on”, took me back 30 years.

In my youth, the immersion heater would be put on, to heat hot water. It would take an hour to heat 2 baths full of water. Using the water was sacrosanct. If I was going out or to the shops, I would be strictly ordered home, so the water wouldn’t be wasted.

Made me wonder. Wasn’t Gas and Electric, relatively cheaper then, than it his now, but many homes today have heating/water switching on for several hours, when they aren’t even there.

I’ve learned my lesson. I put the water on, when I need a bath or a shower, and turn it off again, 20 minutes or an hour later. The savings have been significant.

Near and far, best wishes, the search for adventure continues…

Politics :)

I was sent these 2 spoof political adds, that I just wanted to share. There isn’t much that’s funny about politics, but these made me laugh.

David Cameron "promotional" poster for the Frog & Nightingale

If you click on this picture of David Cameron, you’ll see that its not actually an advert for the Conservative Party at all, but an invitation to the Frog and Nightingale.

Gordon Brown - say it like it is ?

Is Gordon Brown a bully ?. I don’t know, but it got a Guffaw out of me.

If you have any similar pictures, send them to me, I’d love to see them.

British SUL.

bowler hat

This seems to be doing the rounds by email. I can’t say that I found the things said about other nations, particularly funny, as I have friends from most of them. I did however think it captured the essence of British’ness really well. Have a read and tell me what you think.

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to a “Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

The Scots raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line in the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide”. The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country’s military capability. It’s not only the French who are on a heightened level of alert.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout loudly and excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans also increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose”.

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual, and the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Americans meanwhile and as usual are carrying out pre-emptive strikes, on all of their allies, just in case.

And in the southern hemisphere:
New Zealand has also raised its security levels – from “baaa” to “BAAAA!”.  Due to continuing defence cutbacks (the air force being a squadron of spotty teenagers flying paper aeroplanes and the navy some toy boats in the Prime Minister’s bath), New Zealand only has one more level of escalation, which is “Shit, I hope Australia will come and rescue us”.
Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be right, mate”. Three more escalation levels remain: “Crikey”, “I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend” and “The barbie is cancelled”. So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

Freezing Weather.

A sunny day. We won't see those for a while.

Well, we won’t see many days or have the opportunity to do things like, this for a while. In short, the weather here in Chester (and indeed the rest of the UK, is pretty terrible).

Lunatic walking across the frozen Canal.

Walking back from a shopping trip the other day, I spotted this “yoof” walking across the ice, being egged on by his friends (from the safety of the bank).

He made it all the way across, and back again, before lampooning at the waters edge, and sinking to his chest in freezing water, before his friends pulled him out.

A Snowman in someone's garden.

On a more traditional front, some of Amelia’s neighbours made this rather excellent snowman, complete with hat, buttons, the whole lot.

Its a sad indictment of society, that they had to put up a sign saying private property, to stop hooligans from destroying it.

Me, well, I’m wearing 2 jumpers as I type this !.

Christmas Day.

A winter walk along the Canal.

Christmas day. Up bright and early, I finish off a few last minute things, and then head of for my Christmas dinner.

Its a beautiful winter morning. I’m heading out towards Saughall and since its such a nice day, I decide to walk along the canal.

The water is frozen solid. People have tried to break it with bricks. When they haven’t succeeded, the bricks appear to “float” on the Canal.

I meet various poeple along the tow-path and wish them a Merry Christmas. After a few miles, I see this barge, listing heavily. The windows are open, and its half filled with water. I’m glad I didn’t sleep in there last night !.

Tony and baby Daisy.

My hosts are Tony and Lorraine (and baby Daisy).

Most people know, that I’m not big on things like cars and houses. Tony’s house however, was demolished and then rebuilt just the way he liked it. I have to say its impressive.

Presents are opened (most of them are for the baby). A sort of bedtime elephant, that says nice things in a slightly patronising voice is my favourite.

Dinner is put in the oven, and we head to the local pub (a 15th century establishment, called the  Greyhound).

Christmas festivities and Cakes.

For a village pub, I was expecting to find old George, an Alsation dog and the landlords teenage son/daughter with their entourage of friends.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was absolutely packed to the rafters. Whilst there, Tony introduced me to some of the village people (I mean the people who live locally, not a group of gay men dressed as red Indians/policemen/sailors  etc.)

Three really nice girls were there (I mean that they were really friendly and not, not that they were attractive (although it has to be said, that they were attractive as well, but that wasn’t where I was going with this)).

The kind girl on the left, had actually baked cakes, and was handing them out. I had one of the fairy cakes, and they were delicious.

A couple of pints, and then back home for dinner.

Me eating Christmas dinner.

A feast of a meal awaits, with the ubiquitous can of Fosters.

In the evening, we drank red wine and watched a variety of television, ranging from Eastenders (and Archie’s demise) right through to Citizen Kane.

Lorrain, who cooked the delicious dinner.

I thanked Tony and Lorraine for entertaining me on Christmas day. Lorraine (who’s whit can be likened to Obsidian !) joked and said I sounded like someone on Oprah Winfrey !.

Overall, a brilliant day.

Noughties, Dr Who and Theology.

The "Noughties - Crap.

I’ll be writing personal Christmas emails tomorrow to everyone, but if I don’t get time, or some other problem, please accept my best wishes for Christmas and New Year, to everyone reading this.

If there is one thing that makes me want to scream at the moment (apart from climate change and X factor !) its the phrase used to describe the decade. The noughtie’s.  Utter crap. It should be called the Zero’s, and sounds like something that children would say.

Anyway, those good old Boys at BBC News have published a list of 11 photos that define the decade.  I don’t like the royals being in 2 pictures out of the 11, think the David Cameron Photo is hilarious and liked the simple picture of a girl standing in the rain.

They also have an A4 sheet you can print with slogans and logo’s of the decade. You can download it here (I’ve printed it and put it up in my room, its quite good).

David Tennant as Dr Who.

The final Dr Who episode The end of time, with David Tennant will be shown on Christmas day. Most people (well me) believe that David has redefined the character and program.

Surprising then, that he is being replaced by some demographicaly pleasing replacement along with a demographicaly pleasing assistant. Personally, I think Bill Nighy would make a superb Dr.

Anyway, to go along with all that, they have produced a new logo. I think its rubbish, but what do I know.

For people who have watched the Dr at some point on Saturday evening, throughout the last 4 decades, you can look up your favourite logo here.

A picture of "God" I got from the BBC website.

As an atheist, I don’t believe in God. Put simply, I don’t believe in a supreme being who controls everything.

There is a technique used by Tony Robbins, for when someone says I can’t/it can’t be done, etc. After a pause, Tony says, but if it could, what would it look like, how would it work etc. (you get the idea).

I tried this on myself, and asked, if God was real/existed etc., what would he be like ?.

Enlightenment. Its Simon Calder.

For those that don’t know (the kind of ignorant people, who read the sport section of a newspaper, rather than the travel section) Simon Calder is probably the best know travel journalist in the UK.

Unpretentious, practical, and yet passionate about travel, he defines the simple pleasure’s of adventure by his very personality. I was delighted to see a video about things to do in Chester (my home town) made by him, you can watch it here.


The Rosetta Stone

I’ve written before about the irony of visiting Athens and then finding out that most of the Elgin Marbles, were actually back home in England, at the British Museum in London.

Exactly the same thing happened in Cairo, where the Rosetta stone is made of plastic (the original, being once again, in the British Museum, London).

There was a brilliant article about it today, on BBC News.

On the subject of adventure, Richard Branson has finally taken delivery of the vehicles which will enable him to offer tourist trips into space.

I’ve found somewhere on the internet, that do Wills for free.

I’ve also realised that my old boss, looks like Robert Peston, the BBC finance expert.


Night Vision scope. Used by Special Forces all over the world, and sold at Aldi.

The good news, is that both phones are working fine now, number ending 320 is the one I normally use.

Ive changed my mind. The blog isn’t being discontinued after Capetown (thanks to all of you, who emailed in, and said I should keep it going.)

Old johnnsunter.com is actually working. Its a snapshot of how the original website looked. I know that some people like to look at the pictures of my wedding and stuff like that. By splitting the website, it solves the dilemma. You can look at it, by visiting www.oldjohnsunter.com

finally, in terms of posting comments to blog entries, I have modified the criterion.

If you want to post a reply, you will need to type some characters (so that automated programs, called “bots” can’t post all sorts of rubbish onto the site).

The good news, is that its no longer moderated. I don’t have to authorize your posts, whatever you say, goes straight up there, for other people to read.

Will probably be selling some of my un-needed stuff soon (bushcraft axe, compass, things like that, that I dont use that much).

Ill post a full list later, but if any of you, have a liking to a bit of kit, that Ive got, and want to make me an offer, ill be happy to hear it (Capetown is around the corner, and cash it tight).

Two website Ive been visiting recently (both completely different, but interesting an usefull).

Daily Mash a satirical look at the news (recommended to me by a lad a used to work with called Jason). I cant look at that site, without laughing.

say no to 0870. Recommended by Amelia mum. The basic idea, is that if you need to call say British Gas, they will give you a premium rate number. By looking it up on this site, you can find out the local number, get through to exactly the same people, but save a bit of money as well.

Both of them can be reached by googling.

Two random thoughts occurred to me recently:

1. Why would most ordinary people need a night vision scope ?.

2. If they did, why the hell would they go to Aldi to buy it, and what the hell are Aldi doing selling them anyway !.

Finaly, ever wondered what that sort of Stick and Handerkerchief Rucsack is called, that Dick Whitington used ?. Its actualy called a Bindle (thanks Sean, the local Crossword genuis for that.


The Queens Park bridge in Chester, that everyone now calls the "Hollyoaks" bridge !.

Don’t you just hate it when something traditional, starts being referred to with a daft modern name.

Here in Chester, a century old bridge, was featured in a storyline of the daft teen soap opera Hollyoaks.

A dozen times, in the last couple of weeks, I have heard people referring to the Hollyoaks Bridge.  Infuriating.

Just as annoying, is beautiful piece of music called Adajio for strings. It featured in a famous Vietnam war film.

I have heard the music, on many occasions, both before the film, and after it, and it always annoys me to hear it refereed to as the “Platoon Song”. ridiculous.


The City/United Derby.

Last Saturday marked the first time in my life that I actually went out to watch a football match. My family have always been keen City supporters and Ive spent a lot of time watching United while out with Dan, so I decided to go out and watch the Manchester Derby.

Before the match, a sign was held up at the United end saying welcome to Manchester. I wondered how many Silver BMW driving, Surveyors from Surrey, it had taken to make it.

The match begins, and Rooney score’s early (in the first 2 minutes). As Rooney slides around on the wet grass, I shout Red Bastards. I realise, that I have actually chosen a side (something I wasn’t intending to do).

Loyalties in the Pub are clearly behind United. Dan points out, that there is only one city player on the pitch, who was playing for them last season, calls me a glory hunter, and then asks which “spreadsheet” football team I will be supporting next season. City score not long after.

His point is perhaps a fair one. City have always been supported as the underdog. Today, they are the wealthiest club in the league, and on paper have the best team in the world. I wonder for a moment about their identity, but a man with a beard who has a womans voice, distracts me, and its back to the action.

The match continues with breakneck action, which had everyone on the edge of their seats (including me, who normaly says he would rather watch Goldfish swim around a bowl !). The bearded lady tries to engage everyone (or anyone !) in converstation, and then its half time.

In the 2nd half,  I realise:

1. Danny isnt a complete Biggot, and compliments City on thier Goaly.

2. A player called Berbatov, looks a lot like Andy Garcia.

In the last couple of minutes, United score (extra time) to win the game. Several people comment that the referees watch was a gift from Alex Ferguson :).

Well, the point is, I travel all over the world, to meet new people and enjoy their customs, and I just wanted to try out a traditional UK one for a change.

Hope I havent offended or misrepresented anything (you can post replies if you think I have).