scotland the grave…

Dear diablog,

Sometimes life plays you a bum hand – a free trip on the Titanic, a course in Turkish mining, hair like Arthur Scargill, a sense of smell when a dung beetle – or being born a Scot.

My views on the upcoming ‘Yes we want to be an insignificance/No, we don’t want to stop leeching off the rest of the UK’ vote are already well known. Heightened now by an excited email from a Scottish friend telling me that though he lived in France (see what I’d said about leaving the place!) and couldn’t vote, a German friend of his living in Glasgow (who, bizarrely can vote) had offered to vote ‘on his behalf’.

So there you go, they are skanks as well and appear to be pleased to adopt voting procedures common in Zimbabwe and Bosnia. Niiiice.

But then, from time to time, things perk up and you realise you weren’t born a Scot and you have just been royally entertained by someone – and that, even better, Glynsky and Pete may be on the verge of recruiting a new ‘part timer’ on a ‘Zero hours’ pay scale!

Apparently, wanting to be known in the future as Erasmus,


(for reasons only he knows) said geezer’s views are not only at worst parallel to mine, they on occasion go into orbit leaving me as mere cinders spilt on the carpet.

As an intro, here are some of his thoughts on ‘Scottish and Irish Questions’ :

The origin of all the problems was William lll of England who was a Dutch orange and kicked the shit out of James ll (or Vl if you are a Scot) banishing him to the ignominy he deserved as a) a Scot and b) a habitual paddler in deer blood. For the purposes of this story, a plonker.

As a confirmed protestant (not a good idea being a catholic in England at that time) he then looked around for those best suited to the next kicking and chose the Micks. This was a bit sad really as most of them are quite nice and friendly despite having been chosen later and for the same reason by Cromwell.

He needed a few more people to assist in this intention – and at the lowest possible cost (being Dutch). So he set about recruiting a large number of Scottish Presbyterian Neo Nazis doling out promises of packets of land with slave income to recompense them for the ‘liberation’ efforts they exercised over the north of Ireland.

Their willingness to assist was fuelled by the in bred desire of all Scots to escape their depressing and crap climate which had been forced on them by being caged in by the sun worshipping Romans who recognised the bipolar Picts for what they really were (bi and near the pole) and, as the NHS should do now, pinned them behind a wall to keep them from scaring the shit out of kids.

In later years the English, of course, were much cleverer and sold the world the notion of ‘The British Empire’ which was not in fact British but ‘Scottish’ as their pathological and lemming like desire to leave was exploited by those bright southerners to get someone (anyone!!) to go to stinking hot climates, meet people who they could regularly bomb or beat up (the continuing Scot desire for self aggrandisement) and to steal local stuff (which they had done for centuries to the Irish) and send it back to England for those who could appreciate it.

There is but one way to dispose of the problem – in keeping with the great American tradition of a 3 Point Plan.
• Charter P+O to supply sufficient ex Korean ferry boats to relocate all of Scot parentage back into the land of their fathers.
• Get the Queen Victoria to accompany any of Irish parentage from Glasgow back to Ireland.
• Relocate Celtic (and probably Liverpool) Football Club to Belfast.

So there you have it, History like she should be taught, ideas for a new series of reality TV shows, shades of Simon Sharma and, I hope, a possible future contributor to G+P.

Yours, diablog, toasting oranges

English English

Dear Reader,

Our head honcho, aka Glynsky, always claims that only the English speak and write proper English. Following please find a perfect example of “English English”, provided by an English supporter of Diablog. For Non-English readers, WikiPedia about the NHS, but you could substitute NHS with any other large organization.

The weekly newsletter from NHS Networks / The gas and air principle

All NHS staff must learn a second language before they can be truly proficient communicators: they need to be able to speak NHS.
In the latest in our occasional series of tutorials, we offer further tips for the aspiring NHS speaker.

In most languages, verbs are “doing” words. In NHS they are “actively considering” words. Saying that you will “do” something may make you appear brash or over-confident. Acceptable alternatives include “aim to”, “take steps toward” and “formulate a vision and strategy for”.
When you have practised each of these, you can use them together to convey the desired nuance or level of obfuscation.
So while “aiming to tackle the causes of health inequalities” could still be mistaken for a commitment, “aiming to take steps towards formulating a vision and strategy for tackling health inequalities” avoids the risk of embarrassment and disappointment when nothing happens, but demonstrates very strong active consideration.

In English, nouns – or naming words – denote a person, place or thing. In NHS, nouns are used to create the impression of something tangible.
For example “stakeholder” is a useful term meaning someone who is not involved and you have no intention of involving, but who cannot be ignored. A patient is a good example of a “stakeholder”.
When you have mastered “stakeholder”, you can start to introduce “ownership” into your everyday conversation. Here are a few phrases to practise, with English translations in brackets.

*   “I’m going to give you ownership” (“It’s your problem now”)
*   “We don’t have ownership” (“Nothing is our fault”)
*   “We are working with stakeholders to establish full ownership” (“No one knows what’s going on”)

Adjectives in English are used to describe things, usually to make them clearer. Adjectives have a slightly different role in NHS, which is to make statements more emphatic. Simple ones to start with include “key”, “core”, “vital”, “meaningful”, “strategic” and “high-quality”.  In NHS it is mandatory to use at least one of these words in front of any noun.
“Increasing” is among the most useful adjectives in NHS. Describing all problems as “increasing” helps to explain why they continue to get away from us despite the steps we have taken to formulate a vision and strategy for aiming to solve them.

Putting it all together

Continue reading “English English”


Dear diablog,

It is the weekend, well almost, and today is a kind of  ‘catch up’ to clear all the chaos in the International HQ created by the week’s endeavors so only really time for a couple of shorts (apt in the weather conditions) from Smiles


and Cousin Giovanni.


The first shows the vain attempt by Glynsky and Engine Room to capture Pete to write something – anything!

Whilst the second shows where Pete had rushed off to.

Yep, he’s old enough to have been there.

Yours, diablog, dreading filing


one shade of grey…

Dear diablog,

Pete, Iren


and I (with the occasional interjection from Engine Room and Smiles)


have discussed various aspects of the ’50 Shades of Grey’ book – which by the way has only been read by one of the above in its entirety!



has come up with a completely different angle. She writes:

At some point in a man’s life it comes down to this:

Four guys have been going to the same lake for a fishing trip at the same time for many years.

On the day before the group is due to leave, Ron’s wife puts her foot down and tells him he isn’t going. Ron’s mates are very upset that he can’t go, but what can they do.

Two days into the trip the three mates return to the camping site to find Ron sitting there with a tent set up, firewood gathered, and dinner cooking on the fire.

“Shit Ron, how long you been here? How the hell did you talk your missus into letting you go ?”

Continue reading “one shade of grey…”

your time is up, farewell november…

Dear diablog,

It seems that all of life is full of trials and tribulations, but that these can sometimes disappear or become less important as one gets older.


True that all sorts of ‘age related’ problems make their presence felt in advancing years, but at least one, as I was recently reminded by Michaela


is able to reflect on and improve cultural experiences.

Into this category falls a particularly beautiful poem which she sent me about getting to terms with growing older and is well worth the read. It is called  ‘Walk with me as I age’….

Continue reading “your time is up, farewell november…”

pot noodle…

Dear diablog,

Sad news – Mme wasn’t looking where she was going and fell and broke her kneecap!
Ooooer, it really hurts!

However, not daunted and sassy as ever she decided, ensconced on the sofa with a glass of Gavi in one hand and fresh Amaretti in the other, that Glynsky was up to the challenge of starting things off to be ready with food in the freezer for Christmas entertaining.

The Glynsky family (usually about 30 strong) have a tradition of congregating about 10 days before the main event for what has been nicknamed ‘The Ham Fest’ and as it is to be this year at Glynsky Towers there is much to do.

Everyone looks forward to Mme’s cooking so there is no escape, and as usual in trying times, it has to be Glynsky to the rescue.


This year the star dish is to be Pappardelle al Cinghiale


– a classic Tuscan dish of Pappardelle (which are wide and flat pasta which is perfect for holding rich sauces) and a truly amazing Wild Boar sauce.

Her recipe is so stunning (and popular!) we felt it ideal to share with you as an option for the holidays to come. So without ado here is all you need to make Nonna Papera’s

Pappardelle al Cinghiale


though before we begin she has insisted that I…