Exclusive – First Twinterview with Larry the Downing Street Cat..

Today I had the honour of being the first blogger to interview Larry, the new Downing Street Chief Rat-Catcher.  I approached him nervously as he has already attacked a journalist this week but offering him a saucer of cream seemed to appease him.  To gain his confidence I told him about my puss-cat Pickles, named after the big man of the moment, Eric of course.

Rat-Watching, Downing ST Style..

I asked Larry about his past, all I really knew about him was that he is four years old and was brought in to sort out the pest problem in Downing Street which has been growing gradually worse since May 2010.  Huge rats have been seen entering No.10, they are growing in confidence as well as size and have even been known to wave at photographers!

Larry is no stranger to rodents, having served his apprenticeship with the Marquis of  Carabas, then forming a partnership with an odd young man with big ideas. Together they headed to London where he was initially treated as a hero but soon forgotten as his then Master became more and more wrapped up in a crazy bicycle rental scheme.  

Poor Larry was at his wit’s end, penniless and forgotten when he was invited to stay in a Big house, along with other losers guests. Larry loved it in the Big house, he had as much cream as he could eat and played happily with the others until he was suddenly thrown out back on the streets again.

Since then Larry has tried to find work, appearing on the odd TV programme but finding himself ridiculed and even despised.  

Until now..  this could indeed be the lucky break he has longed for.  His mission is to clear out all the rodents and undesirables, not just from Downing Street but the whole of the UK.   Our Big Society cat.

Watch out, Larry's about !

TwitwatchUK – Week Three (24th Jan)

Welcome to this week’s TwitWatch UK..  as usual we have a load of old crap some great stories from the past week to share with you.

Weather-wise, it was reported that 2010 was the coldest UK winter on record,  whilst  being the 2nd warmest year Globally. Do you think someone has it in for us? Maybe it’s a conspiracy along the lines of “why can’t we ever win the Eurovision Song Contest” despite cheating our way into the final’s every year donating towards the contest costs?
 

Yay!  Top Gear came back!  Clarkson heroically had a helicopter land on the roof of a car he was driving.. it was like watching James Bond, only well, you know.. Clarkson is really scruffy, annoying and not in the least bit fanciable. APART from that.. it was awesome : ) Another Yay! Richard Hammond finally cut his hair, I think Mummy must have put her foot down although he is still wearing his 18-30s necklace..  Best of all though, they introduced a new Stig, who says women cant’ drive? ; )

A new comedy show was launched on TV this week with a live format.. The 10 O’Clock Show.. it was good but a bit like watching a Twitter stream that’s already three days old.

The best news of the week for me was that Ed Balls was finally appointed as Shadow Chancellor, sadly at the expense of Alan Johnson’s resignation but hey, the HOC will be a much livelier place from now on! Hopefully he is the man to kick Ed Miliband up the jacksy and we will see some proper opposition at last.

Andy Coulson also resigned this week so Twitter has de-twibboned from  “Sack Coulson”  and re-twibboned “Arrest Coulson” instead.. 

Mama Mia, here she goes again..  Meryl Streep was spotted at PMQs last week, swatting up for her imminent role as Margaret Thatcher in the film “The Iron Lady”. Humphrey just hopes it’s not a singing role, although “Money Money Money” would be rather appropriate.

Lastly and Ghastly.. my favourite tweeter stopped tweeting :*(   This post (sorry it’s crap) is dedicated to the much missed @Gaijinsan21, we hope you come back soon, Humphrey Twitter just isn’t the same without you x

2010 in a coconut-shell…

2010 was weird and wonderful in equal measure.  As I lost my mobility and personal freedom, I gained Twitter and blogging.  Twitter gave me company and self-esteem through a horrible year, I have even made real-life friends through it, “tweeting up” locally and in Derby. Blogging kept me sane and allowed me to explore writing styles and share my sense of humour in bigger doses than I could do on Twitter (sorry about that 🙂 ).

The Eurovision and World Cup gave me the best laughs of the year as I was inspired to make avatar pictures to represent each country. Eurovison night itself was a massive challenge as I had to change profile picture 25 times! 

Eurovision Avatars!

 

World Cup Avatars

 

Throughout the year I raised awareness for many different causes.  I got myself into a LOT of trouble with my local MP who “outed” my real name, much to my dismay. I really like being Humphrey!  Then, in November I won two Twitter awards, which I am incredibly proud of.

I also cried a lot, more than I have done since I lost my father to cancer.  I cried through sheer self-pity, pain, frustration, anger and loss. Coming to terms with a disability is one of the hardest battles I have ever had to face. I am still dealing with it, every time I look at my feet in the bath I imagine how they will look with their scars and shorter big toes ( first operation is 25th January *shudder*) .  I love my feet!  Always so proud of them, with their elegantly sloping toes and dainty nails.  I think I will have them tattooed with flowers when the surgeon has worked his magic, to cover the scars and make them pretty again : )

Not much else happened through the year, I had a couple of dates, annoyed some people, lost two cats, gained another who is my darling : ) 

Jasmine & Pickles

So, yup!  That’s just about it..

Here’s to 2011, may it be filled with knowledge, wonder, laughter, moustaches, love, excitement and joy!

It might all go horribly wrong..

To mark the fact we’ve entered a new year, @Chislehurst has suggested I make a news round-up avatar every week.. (so blame him)..  My idea is to write a blogpost to accompany it, as I said.. it might all go horribly wrong!

Watch this space.. 

(but not for too long, it’s only Sunday – a week from now is a long time to stare tbh)

A Christmas Star…. @Ivan_Jelical #OMFG

Have been trying to find the words to describe this video.. I have watched the contents unfold over the past 24 days with a mixture of horror, dread and total, unequivocal glee 😀 😀  

Ms H Cushion proudly presents “Ivan_Jelical’s Advent Aventure”

        *         *         *         *         *          *          *           *          *           

Surely a YouTube star in the making ; )

Heads I Win…

Since 1840 the Monarchy’s head has appeared on British stamps, one attempt by Tony Benn in 1965 to change that failed.. Now, just 8 months into our Coalition government, Royal Mail is up for sale and the back of our Monarch’s head could be licked for the last time.  Whilst images of bright orange Tango or Easy Jet’d post boxes and vans spring horrifically to mind,  the Coalition blame Labour, Labour blame the Coalition, Labour/Coalition, Coalition/Labour… lets call the whole thing off….

Personally, I am surprised by the government’s epic failure to protect the status quo, however it does leave Ms Cushion with a marvellous opportunity ; )

Thanks to @johnrisby for the stamp link ; )

How was it for you… ?

Derby was bloody marvellous…!  Wish you could have all come but space was a little bit limited.. maybe next time, Wembley Stadium?

The trip started off with me collecting @Feisty_Onion from the station, getting rather lost through us talking so much and so arriving a hour late to be embraced by the most welcoming hotel and people ever..

Onion & Humph

 

We had a little rest (my feet were killing me from the drive) and then joined @ADMaclennan, @IainMonty and @lesleyalmost at the bar.    Soon we were joined by Mr & Mrs @Ivan_Jelical, she was so brave to come having never spoken to any of us before!  Finally we spotted @SteDoubleu lurking at the bar.. we were all there : )  Dinner and drinkies followed, the beer of choice ran out  *cough* although the kitty did not. 

Kitty!

Stephen, Lesley, Onion & Iain

We were asked by the very patient staff if we could clear off as it was past their bed-time so reluctantly stomped off to bed, re-grouping for breakfast and lunch where we were joined by the fabulously funny @MartinB1884 😀

Jane, Iain, Lesley and Neill (Ivan)

 

PIE !!!!

 

Martin & Andy

As I suspected, it felt as though we had known each other for years, there was never a dull moment.. we laughed, we drank a “little”, we hugged and had a marvellous time..  Roll on Xmas, we’re headed towards the Big Smoke for that one though : )

I’ve asked all the attendees to sum the event up for me in 140 characters.. you ve heard mine so here are their views of #Derby:

@ADMaclennan  A strange but great occasion, meeting for the first time people who were somehow already good friends. They were equally nice in person.

@lesleyalmost Derby? A surprise and no surprise at all. Seeing faces not avatars. Speaking and not typing, voices, laughter and fun. Warmth and smiles.

@SteDoubleu  Brill night out with some *real* characters. Discovered that “Tayto’s” isn’t slang for boobs but is in fact a brand of potato crisps

@Feisty_Onion  8 Twitter friends but real-life strangers met in Derby. They drank the inn dry, kept the waiters up and laughed like loons.

@Ivan_Jelical  Make the weekend fly by, meet 8 twitter friends for the 1st time in a pub, add booze & let the fun begin. Just so sad to leave though.

@IainMonty  Magic weekend with fantastic people who are proper friends. Laughs, eats and conversations that are just as good in *real* life as in tweets

I LOVE this one from @MartinB1884  Sunday dinner with drinks, laughs, serious discussion and doppelgänger spotting. This wasn’t 140 characters- this was 7 lovely characters.

Onion & Andy

It’s all David Jason’s fault…

Strange title I admit..  Had a “delightful” conversation on Twitter this morning with @Obotheclown who certainly lives up to his name : )  We were “discussing” tax-evasion and the “undeserving poor”..  That phrase, “the undeserving poor” rang a bell with me but I couldn’t place it at the time, I ll come back to it in a bit.

Wayne & Waynetta Slob

My argument was that tax-evasion costs our country £15 BILLION  per year, whilst “benefit thieves” cost  just over £1 BILLION per year (source) .  George Osborne has announced measures to clamp down on these “thieves” , including a £50 fine if they are found to be claiming illegally.  I very much doubt that will have much impact, although if caught three times they will  cut the “thieves” benefits for 3 years as well.  Fantastic! *applause*, that’ll teach the blighter’s.. erm, to burgle, mug, rob.. ? And what will become of their children?  Send them into foster care as their parents can’t afford to feed and clothe them?  Not especially well thought out Mr Osborne.. no change there then.

In order to wheedle out these “no-good, thieving, low-lives”, they are firstly putting incapacity claimants through new tests in a project being piloted in Burnley and Aberdeen, due to be rolled out to the rest of the UK next April.  The aim is to get people who can work off the benefits and onto another benefit.. Job Seekers Allowance, which pays less.  The Work Capability Test which they will face is costly and has a history of mis-diagnosing the ability to work,  70% of appeals against negative decisions are upheld.

Which brings me to the point of this post (yes, there is one) .. who are worse? The “undeserving poor” or the “tax-evaders”?   According to my chum Obo, the “undeserving poor” are.. but I wonder, how did this myth originate?  I have a theory and I lay the blame squarely at the door of one Mr David Jason.. tax evasion is “cool”, to be admired, clap that man on the back…  “Del Boy” is a national hero!

Whilst Vicky Pollard and Wayne and Waynetta Slob are despised, ridiculed and much maligned on our TV’s, David Jason’s Pop Larkin is a cheeky, charming tax dodger with four TV’s and a Roll’s Royce.  Little Britain even showed their wheelchair user Andy as a benefit thief!   The only “undeserving poor” person portrayed on television that I could think of to refute this myth is the fantastic Stanley Holloway… what do you think?

“VII—A MAD TEA-PARTY”

I keep seeing tweets and headlines about a “Tea Party” in the USA, curiosity finally got the better of me today..

” The Tea Party is a political movement in the United States that emerged in 2009 through a series of locally and nationally coordinated protests.

The movement has no central leadership but is a loose affiliation of smaller local groups. The movement’s primary concerns include, but are not limited to, cutting back the size of government, lowering taxes, reducing wasteful spending, reducing the national debt and federal budget deficit, and adhering to the United States Constitution. Many of the movement’s members also speak out on a wide variety of other issues such as illegal immigration.

In 2010  Tea Party endorsed candidates upset establishment Republicans in several primaries, such as Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Nevada and South Carolina, giving a new momentum to the conservative cause in the 2010 elections, and boosting Sarah Palin’s visibility.

In the fall 2010 elections, the New York Times has identified 129 Republican House candidates with significant Tea Party support, as well as 9 running for the Senate.” taken from Wikipedia

Recently the Tea Party produced posters comparing Barak Obama to Hitler..

Last week, following a vote of the Tea Party members, Sarah Palin was only voted into 2nd place as chosen figure-head, being ousted by rival Chris Christie. (wonder if he’s a Christian.. the Christian Chris Christie? )

The Tea Party Movement puts Ms Cushion in mind of our very own wackos Libertarians..  Last week, Sarah Palin made this peculiar speech.  Thinking about Sarah Palin and “her” Tea Party Movement  reminded Ms Cushion of another wacky tea party..

“VII—A MAD TEA-PARTY”

Alice played by Sarah Palin

Mad Hatter played by Chris Christie

Dormouse played by Barak Obama

March Hare played by Ms Cushion

The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it. “No room! No room!” they cried out when they saw Alice coming. “There’s plenty of room!” said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.

I’m glad they’ve begun asking riddles—I believe I can guess that,” she added aloud.

Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?” said the March Hare.

Exactly so,” said Alice.

Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.

I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least—at least I mean what I say—that’s the same thing, you know.”

Alice gave a weary sigh. “I think you might do something better with the time,” she said, “than wasting it in asking riddles that have no answers.”

Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.

I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can’t take more.”

You mean you can’t take less,” said the Hatter; “it’s very easy to take more than nothing.”

At this, Alice got up and walked off. The Dormouse fell asleep instantly and neither of the others took the least notice of her going, though she looked back once or twice; the last time she saw them, they were trying to put the Dormouse into the tea-pot.
 
At any rate, I’ll never go there again!” said Alice, as she picked her way through the wood. “It’s the stupidest tea-party I ever was at in all my life!”
 
Never was a truer word spoken” said The March Hare.

The Stupidest Tea Party?

Extracts from “Alice in Wonderland” written by Lewis Carroll.

** Latest news: Reality TV takes Palin into political wilderness

Nadine Dorries “says Sorry”..

Taken from YouTube, with grateful thanks to “TheAslanOfNarnia”…

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