Get Well Soon, @themarkrad

I’m not into celebrity worship. I get enough of that at home, in the streets of Cape Town, in the gym and… well… everywhere. I recognise that it can be wearing for the celebrity involved.

But this is Mark Radcliffe and he’s been part of my musical education, upbringing and enlightenment since I can remember.

On Wednesday evening, he announced that he would be taking some time off work as he had been diagnosed with cancer. And he did it in typically understated style:

His tweets followed an advert on his timeline for his local pub’s annual conker championship, because that’s the sort of bloke he is. And in case you were wondering how others feel about him, there were tweets from every decent band going, artists, fellow DJs, football teams and apparently most of the general public wishing him well.

I’m really hoping that everything works out well and that we’re not deprived of his frivolity and humour for too long.

Get Well Soon, Mark.

Manx SciFi news

When you see the line:

The Dalek was built by Robin Burchill, 18, from Bride, and was being operated by his girlfriend Nina.

in a news story, you just have to delve deeper.

And not do any obvious women driver jokes.

Basically, it’s the story of a bloke who builds Daleks in his spare time, whose most recent Dalek:


broke when it hit a pothole on (FTTH-free zone) Ramsey Promenade in the Isle of Man.

[sad trombone]

This isn’t “news”. I’m pretty sure this sort of thing happens worldwide on a daily basis.

Says Robin:

Upon completing my Dalek, I decided to take it for a test run on Ramsey Promenade. We decided to take it from the promenade over to Mooragh Park as there were a few more people over there, when crossing the road towards the park’s car park driveway, the Dalek fell into a pothole.

A test run for what? Are you planning some sort of invasion, Robin? Why go towards the people, Robin? People are scared of Daleks. I’ve seen Doctor Who – those wheelie bins with laser guns are dangerous. Were you putting some sort of evil plan into practice here?

Unfortunately, when the Dalek hit the hole, it caused significant damage, its head came off, its eye was smashed and the dome suffered a nasty gouge. Robin said both of these were quite large and fairly costly repair jobs.

Both three of them? Right.
But wait for it, folks…

He said that he had contacted Ramsey Commissioners to inquire about compensation, as the road had remained in a state of disrepair for a while.

Worth a try, I suppose. I wonder if they took the claim seriously?

Robin said: “I have to this day received no response. I imagine they did not take my claims seriously.”

Ah. Right.

Ramsey Commissioners told the Manx Independent that they had not heard about an incident involving a Dalek.

And it’s really the sort of thing you’d probably remember, isn’t it?

Robin says that he is more concerned about the possibility of an elderly resident crossing the road on a mobility scooter and fears they could be injured.

Of course you are, mate.
And you were going to put your compo towards that, weren’t you? Not towards building another bloody Dalek or anything.

Ain’t no compassion like faux compassion.


I’m not yet back into my running – my knee still doesn’t like that sort of thing. Once I’m able to start again though, my first goal will be the World Marathon Record, recently set by Eliud Kipchoge.

A bit of training will be required, obviously. But it was difficult to know how fast I’m going to have to go to claim what’s rightfully mine. So I shamelessly borrowed this table from here.

His half marathon time is only just slight better than half my half marathon time (albeit that he then went and ran another one in the same time again), so I reckon I’ve got this one sorted already.

Also, I can run 100m in far less that 17.3 seconds. It’s just that, again, I might then struggle to replicate it a further 421 times.

Everyone has been crowing about this amazing record and how long it is going to stand, but that’s surely only because my leg seizes up when I try jogging at the moment. I’m coming for you and your 2:01:39, Eliud.

I might have to use a car to get there, but that record will soon be mine.

More local paper sausage roll anguish

Who could forget the sorry tale of Linda and Tony Gilkes and their pie-related FURY at Morrison’s supermarket on Teeside?

Nope. Me neither.

But irritation involving savoury pastries is not a particularly common occurrence, and I – quite reasonably – thought that we were probably done with it for this year.

How wrong I was.

Because suddenly, there was this:

Here’s the first bit of the story:

A PENSIONER who eats ten sausage rolls a day was horrified to find that his packet only had nine.

Horrified, readers. HORRIFIED. (Just like you were when you found out that he eats ten sausage rolls a day.)

Please meet our 74-year old protagonist Tony Francis, described thus:

a regular purchaser of the snacks from his Aldi supermarket at Boundary Road in Portslade

As you’d need to be if you were stuffing ten of the bastards down seven times a week.

He might be from the opposite end of the country from the Gilkes’, but he is equally pissed off at his local supermarket because when he took his 9 sausage rolls, he found that they were full of METAL!

(Except they weren’t.)

Mr Francis said: “I was gobsmacked.”

Gobsmacked, readers. GOBSMACKED!

Gobsmacked enough to get in touch with his local paper and tell them all about his non-story. What follows is that story in the words of Mr Tony Francis.

I was in Aldi and usually buy the pack of 10 sausage rolls. When I got them home I found out there was only nine. So I tried to get in touch with the supplier, but ended up going through to Aldi itself. That’s when I found out that the rolls I had been buying every day had been taken off the shelves because metal was found in them.

On the plus side, Mr Francis is now magnetic and hasn’t misplaced his keys in weeks.

I’m joking, of course. The batch that he’d been eating had no metal in them at all, and weren’t the ones involved in the recall, as confirmed by an Aldi spokesbeagle:

The packet Mr Francis bought was not affected by the recall in June.

See? So all’s well that ends well, right? Not quite:

Mr Francis said the supermarket should have done more to warn him about the danger:
He said: “I’ve decided not to eat them. Surely they should have said it was not safe. I know it is not good PR. As a business, I would try to keep it quiet and move them off the shelves.”

Ah yes – the old hush-hush approach.

Like… er… this?

Aldi says product recall notices were displayed in prominent places such as the store entrance for six weeks. It includes a picture, product name, and reason for the recall.

Six weeks is forty-two days. That’s four hundred and twenty sausage rolls in Tony Francis’ world. You’d think he might have noticed that (what we presume must be) his favourite snack had disappeared off the shelves and was featured in big posters at the door of the store each time he entered. Or perhaps he missed the signs because he was so intent on foraging for his delicious flaky pasty-coated addiction in the discount superstore.

There’s a lesson in there for us all. Mine probably involves Castle Milk Stout.

There is good news for 6000 miles… at the end of all this though, thanks to a suitably bizarre inclusion in this wholly bizarre tale.
Here’s Mr Francis one last time:

But as a customer, I live on my own and this is a regular purchase for me. I’m not very IT friendly, and when I learned about it, I thought ‘crikey, how bad could it have been?’

It could have been really bad, Tony. Really bad. But your prowess in this new-fangled online world is of limited relevance here. Even if you were Bill Gates and you were eating ten metal-infused sausage rolls a day, it could still have been really bad.
The only positive about your lack of IT gumption is that you’ll likely never see this blog post taking the piss out of your allegedly traumatic experience at the hands of Aldi and their plutonium sausage roll manufacturer.

But we wish you well, and hope that you have found a less metallic, better counted replacement snack for your eating needs.

Maybe try to cut down a bit on the numbers though, ok?

Cape Town beagle warning

Today’s weather is utterly perfect in Cape Town, but local beagle owners are warned that the forecast for the rest of the week is much less peachy – and Monday in particular looks like being the antithesis of today’s glorious sunshine and calm conditions.

Thus, local beagles may present tomorrow with flappy ears, damp fur and muddy paws. It is recommended that beagles take a basket day and spend the daylight hours dozing somewhere safe and warm indoors and the nighttime hours… er… also dozing somewhere safe and warm indoors.

Goat owners are urged to take the usual precautions.