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Eddie Mair | 14:53 UK time, Monday, 18 September 2006

Shortly, I'll be talking to Geoff Hoon. He'll be on his mobile in a car.

I won't be in charge of the technicalities, which is just as well.

Got back from holiday this morning to find my TV monitor and "Rolec" (which allows me to hear audio from a variety of stations and from our correspondents around the world) was NOT WORKING. I of course blamed Carolyn, and fired off the following brief email to our office manager:

My TV screen is snowy and the Rolec display completely blank. Can you help?

Moments later Gillian came over and switched it on.


  1. At 03:11 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:


    Triple blog today

  2. At 03:16 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    C'mon Eddie, two's acceptble at a pinch, but three?? How are we expected to keep up?

  3. At 03:16 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso,CPUR wrote:

    Great comments.

  4. At 03:17 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Hillman Hunter wrote:

    You seem to be doing a lot of "brief" emails and blogs today Eddie. Albeit rather frequently.

    Will 'PM' be on the full duration today? I'll be checking up later. Anyway - where can I get a "Rolec" from? I want one.

  5. At 03:20 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Eddie Mair wrote:

    Stephen - you're COUNTING?
    (PS: Just spoken to Mr Hoon. How do you think he answered the question, "what do you like best about Gibraltar?"

  6. At 03:21 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:



    Don't worry about the monitor businees - your talents lie elsewhere: I challenege you to insert seamlessly the words "spoon" and "bombastic" into your interview with the Hoon. (I wouldn't even hope for it with anyone else).

    How did Gillian turn the monitor on btw? Does she have a voice like Charlotte Green's?

  7. At 03:24 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    re 5

    er "It rocks!" ?

  8. At 03:24 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Lady Penelope wrote:

    In response to Eric's no. 5: The weather?

  9. At 03:28 PM on 18 Sep 2006, whisht wrote:

    A competition Eddie??

    Gibraltor? been there and there's a road that leads to Spain.... but I bet Hoon liked the apes.

    Now people, don't all start trying to rhyme anything...

    3 blogs - fine by me....!! c'mon - lets see if we can get 5 outta this!!

  10. At 03:28 PM on 18 Sep 2006, John W wrote:

    Well done to Sequin for switching off the Rolec at the end of PM on friday, and saving....probably one lump of coal at the power station end. But if everyone switched off equipment, those lumps of coal (or pints of oil) all add up.... and maybe London will only be inundated rather than submerged as global warming, sea rises etc...

    I wonder how many of the blogs are active (that is have entries dated today).

  11. At 03:32 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Ian Yewendo wrote:


    First day back and it's a hat-trick.
    C'mon, let's hear it for Mr. Ed!

    Hip, hip ...

  12. At 03:33 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Gen wrote:

    I'd go for the monkeys

  13. At 03:36 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:

    Re 5

    Yes I've been counting. Not least because my productivity is in inverse proportion to the numbr of PM blogs!

    And spooky or what - just been discussing Gibraltar at work, refresh the Blog and that appears.

    Do they still have red telephone boxes?


  14. At 03:42 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Lady Penelope wrote:

    Blimey Whisht, don't encourage him - the comment counter can't keep up as it is!

  15. At 03:47 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    re 11

    They're just trying to be friendly...

  16. At 03:48 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    re 5, if GH was feeling brave, he may have said "Leaving"

    re 6: Oh deary deary me, Appy! I got a very strange look from one of my co-workers when suddenly burst out laughing and couldn't explain why... A voice like Chalotte Green :o)

  17. At 03:50 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    see, now 11 has become 12 and my "re 11" doesn't make any sense. Gaaahhh!!!

  18. At 03:51 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Ummm I don't want to worry anyone, but I think we have a chatbot lurking here... I've noticed one of the regular posters here seems to say the same thing every time. I think we're being bugged....

  19. At 03:54 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Annasee wrote:

    Have been addictively reading the blogs since they started, waiting to test the water one day. Re the switched off techno gear at the PM office, there was a wonderful 5 minute rant from Eddie Izzard once about calling the computer helpline because his printer won't work, getting increasingly irate until, finally, the same reason for its non-functioning is evident.
    Decided to weigh our cat recently. Well it needed doing...5.9 kg. Now I know he's not all "just fluff" There's quite a lot of pricey pet food in there too. Any advance on that?

  20. At 04:00 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    re 17

    Really Fearless, who is it? You?

  21. At 04:07 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:

    Ref kit not being on.

    A friend of mine, who is in charge of IT at the charity for whom he works, once spent several minutes triading (is that a verb? Oh well...) at a help desk who were patiently telling him to check the mains lead.

    Now who thinks he humbly apologised on finding the mains disconnected, and who thinks he hung up hurriedly upon discovering his error?

  22. At 04:10 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    re 20, I don't think a chatbot would be able to make as many bad spelling mistakes as I do :p

    Seriously, though, one of the early posts in this thread (with very few words in it) is from the suspect. The link in their name also seems to point to a website that is a bit odd.. I have a feeling it's being done to try & drum up business....

  23. At 04:10 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    my 20, which probably won't be by the time this gets posted, would now make more sense if it began "re 18".

    I wish I hadn't started this, I really do.

    Fearless, I've eaten your Curly Wurly - forgive me, but I needed cheering up. Now I'll have to swim extra lenghths in the morning. Bummer.

  24. At 04:12 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Sir Kit Breaker wrote:

    Oh dear Eddie - What's going on? You've not been back very long and you've already caused this blog site to crash at lunch time. What else have you been fiddling with?

    You've admitted too that you did'nt switch on the BBC equipment correctly. Just what else is going to happen? Is it going to be safe to listen to PM on my car radio this afternoon? It makes me wonder if you are properly earthed?

    I think a bit more technical training would'nt go amiss either. See if you can rub a balloon on your chest and stick it to the ceiling. But check with the Health & Safety officer first.


    Sir Kit.

  25. At 04:16 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Oh now Stephen (21, at present), don't make references to "kit" being "off" when Eddie's just come back all suntanned and relaxed - I don't think I can handle it. Quick, talk about Geoff Hoon again!

  26. At 04:21 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:

    Re 21 or whatever my last entry is now. Clearly I meant "tirading" from the root "tirade".



  27. At 04:24 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Tangent Wings wrote:

    Re 10. What's wrong with submerging London per se?

    Think about this. The entire body politic not waving but...

    An end to the hosepipe ban.

    Property prices cut at a stroke (well at a gurgle anyway).

    And is a Rolec the singular of Rolex? What are they doing with my licence money if they've got Rolices (The plural of Rolex if Rolec isn't the singular) on every desk?

  28. At 04:33 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:

    For Aperitif

    With the tagline refering to spoons,
    And the topic decidedly Hoon's
    I'm rhyming again
    and being a pain
    to try and impress all you loons

  29. At 04:35 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:

    BTW, I think my point of 13 is well made. I've done approximately no work this afternoon, and its almost home time


  30. At 04:36 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    I don't know what's wrong with me today. I missed the double-entendres of "turn on" and now "kit" and "off". I really must learn to watch out more closely in future...

    re the Curly Wurly, Appy, of course it's okay:o) Just thinking of chocolate means I'll probably need to work harder in the gym tomorrow lunchtime:(

    re Sir Kit at #24: Why would Eddie want to stick his chest to the ceiling, and how will he be able to present the show from up there?

    Stephen, you're going to have to tell me how you do the direct link to the individual posts... It's bugging me!


  31. At 04:40 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Fearless, I tried the link in the name of the suspect - and, yes, that individual has made that same comment before - but I just end up with an error page. The chatbot monitor evidently knows you are on to him/her and has taken a step back. (I know this via my superpowers, btw).

  32. At 05:00 PM on 18 Sep 2006, John W wrote:


    Yes, I know what you mean. Although really an anti-chatbot, since the comments never seem to develop. But come to think of it, he did say he'd posted some pics to Sequin on day - something about chinese people in Miami, if I remember correctly.

    SB28 but been stucl at 27 for some time, and Oh, it's 17:00

  33. At 05:08 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    btw, Welcome Annasee. I know the Eddie Izzard sketch to which you refer. I believe it's the same one in which he mimes showing the monitor the rest of the kit in response to the message "cannot find printer". Classic.

    What's 5.9kg in lbs then? Nearly a stone? Impressive.

  34. At 05:20 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Oh no! I was so busy laughing at the idea of Eddie hanging from the ceiling by his chest (30) that I missed Geoff Hoon's favoutite thing about Gibraltar!

    Stephen, for 28, thank you. Re 29, I couldn't agree more.

    John W (32), yes I remember that too. Clever chatbot or real person with not a lot to say? (the latter do exist, I'm told).

  35. At 05:25 PM on 18 Sep 2006, valery pedant wrote:

    Appy - re6 and pedantry - challenege? really? (Just had to do SOME work today, sorry you got it!)

    Eddie - re 5 - the uphill cycling?

    Glad I missed all the crashing and so on earlier, but talking about things not being switched on; I was out for business lunch today and suddenly realised I'd lost an earring (yes the chat was so fascinating I was counting them for summat to do). After everyone had checked down the sides of their chairs, and I'd retraced footsteps to toilets etc, then practically stripped the car down, I came home (sobbing)(favourite, lucky earrings) only to find it still on the dressing table....oh dear, I must have had a senior moment when dressing?


  36. At 05:38 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Yeh, sorry Valery - misfingering that I didn't notice until after I'd posted. It's probably the hypocrisy rather than the actual pendantry that drive the family mad. Ho hum.

  37. At 05:39 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    PS, note also "favoutite" at no.34...

  38. At 06:04 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:


    Appy, re 31 I think it must be a Firefox thing, as I spotted the same error page when I click from work, but when I'm at home with Firefox, it goes through to a publishing site. Firefox adds a .com to addresses if there's no domain extension...

    Annasee, I'd like to add my welcome to the blog. We're a nice bunch 'round here, honest (even if we sometimes can't spell the easiet of words!)

    Glad to hear you hadn't lost the earing, Valery:o)

  39. At 06:53 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Chris the Pickle wrote:

    Re 30 (re 24) (or whatever they are now), yes, why would EM stick his chest to the ceiling?? Ouch... And why would the H&S Officer mind if he rubbed a balloon on his chest?? Friction burns maybe...?

    I've eaten two Snickers today and feel too fat to even contemplate thinking about the gym... Perhaps I should cut back, and have Curly Wurlies instead coz they're more hole than chocolate.

    I don't get remembered either :0(
    Makes you feel all forgettable and stuff, sniff...

    Btw, what are HTML tags, eh?

  40. At 07:22 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Hello Chris,

    What sort of Pickle are you btw? Gherkins (only certain brands) are my particular favourite, but I'm quite partial to a pickled pepper too.

  41. At 07:36 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Hi FFF,

    Re my 31 and your 38, I very cleverly (har-de-har) added ".com" to the address manually (womanually?) and got the publishing site. I preferredmy Chatbot-Lord Conspiracy Theory but I submit to your superior knowledge on the subject - you were right. Harrumph! Just let him try that one again, I'll, I'll... I'll ignore him with a vengence!!!

  42. At 08:14 PM on 18 Sep 2006, valery pedant wrote:

    Did you know Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper, if Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper, then where's the peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked?

    O good grief, I'm sorry. That's not what I meant to say at all. Talking about Curly Wurlies, I bought a fabulous bar of Organic chocolate today, nearly had to take a mortgage out ( I blame the upset over the earrring incident). It's called Montezuma - let's hope it doesn't take its revenge :o)
    PS, my keep fit class isn't till Thursday .....

    Annasee - Eddie Izzard is yet another of my heroes, too many favourite sketches to list... Plus, I've remembered who has my favourite male radio voice - Tom Robinson. Singing or talking - don't care.

  43. At 09:18 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:

    Can I point out that I mentioned Red Telephone boxes re Gibraltar, and that was what Hoon the Loon mentioned as his favourite thing.

    What is my prize?

    No second thoughts, who wants to be known as the man who thinks the same as Geoff!?

    FF re 30

    The secret is to look at the source. Each comment has an "anchor" element which acts as a bookmark e.g.

    At <a name="c143653" id="c143653">04:36 PM</a> on 18 Sep 2006,

    The secret is to use the value in the name in an href anchor e.g.

    <a href="#c143653">30</a>

    The "#" denotes a bookmark on the page. This can be combined with a URL to reference a comment on another blog

    Hope that helps

  44. At 10:19 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:


    Re (1) to (43) - are you guys all posting here from the same classroom?

    Is there a doctor in the stand? How do you like the game, Doc?!

  45. At 10:35 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Chris the Pickle wrote:

    Stephen L o S... what language are you speaking in your last blog entry in your re 30 bit? I see Englishness, but it translates into Mandarin in my head which is unfortunate as I don't understand a word of that... Anchors, elements, bookmarks... are you stuck in a wind-blown sea somewhere with your favourite book??

    HTML tags? Anyone? In girly English please, not grown up Double-Dutch. Thanks everso.

    Aperitif; my sort of Pickleness is purely imaginary (unless you're unfortunate enough to ever meet my mother-in-law who will tell you different)... though I like gherkins too.

    Valery; good luck with the Montezuma thing - revenge certainly wouldn't be sweet in that respect!!

    Goodnight everyone, bo-bos time xx

  46. At 10:51 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:


    "Classroom" Dr Hackenbush?


  47. At 11:24 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Annasee wrote:

    Valery, I never knew that bit about Eddie Izzard showing the printer to the computer. We had a cassette tape of the Izzard sketch (think it came free with a newspaper once) So now it's even funnier. The man is a genius.
    What I love about this blog is that for all of us it represents either procrastination (when self employed/working at home) or skiving (if employed by someone else), EXCEPT for Eddie and Lissa, who are paid to read it, because it is part of their job. Would love to know how it was put in their job description "Cyber interface feedback and evaluationwith customers/clients/comsumers/service users"?

  48. At 11:33 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:


    Re (46) - it seemed appropriate, the image being of a bunch of school ‘kids’.

    Should really go, as I’m meant to be doing something else.

  49. At 11:46 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Did you mean a school full of young goats? - I don't hold with using the word "kids" to refer to human children.

    What's your point then Doc? - I don't see today's posts as any more childish than any other.

  50. At 11:47 PM on 18 Sep 2006, John W wrote:

    Oh dear,

    Self employed. So time to rant on and on....

    I once tried to purchase the ex-post-boxes from Hong Kong just as they were to be taken over by China. Still got all the official docs etc. The plan fell flat due to the packing & transport costs of the cast iron monuments. And Customs duties into the UK, despite the Royal insignia on the things.... If I were in HK at the time, that would have been a different matter.

    I'd've loved to have one, painted it European PO yellow, and have that as my letter box for my daily post, just to wind up Royal Mail, who are conspic by their inability to deliver my post. I live in London, and, do you know, until RM announced they were disconinuing it, I had no idea there was such a thing as Second Post around here.

  51. At 11:51 PM on 18 Sep 2006, valery pedant wrote:

    Dr H - 48 - aren't we all?

    OLeader Stephen, what the - oh no that's ree-a-llly put me off html now. It's so far from making sense, why would you want/have to do all that stuff, what's wrong with a perfectly serviceable keyboard? It looks like shoving all your ideas into a sort of simultaneous mincing translator machine, and hoping to get nouvelle cuisine or summat out the other end?

    Moff to bed now, perchance to dream of htmls?

  52. At 11:52 PM on 18 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    re 47

    Did you see him interviewing Tony Blair at last year's Labour conference? Marvellous stuff.

    I'm not Valery, btw.

  53. At 07:31 AM on 19 Sep 2006, valery pedant wrote:

    Ap - 49 - perhaps I make 'being Valery' sound worse than it is? You sound keen to deny? Anyway - what are you doing reading this, you're supposed to be working :o)x

  54. At 08:05 AM on 19 Sep 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Ta, Stephen! I'll give that a go sometime....

    Valery, It's fairly easy to do the simple things like italics or bold. It's only when you want to do funky things like links that you have to think a little:o)

  55. At 08:14 AM on 19 Sep 2006, Dave Reed wrote:

    Hi Eddie,
    Welcome back! Didn't realise you are an Arctic Monkeys fan! More please!
    Dave Reed.

  56. At 09:05 AM on 19 Sep 2006, valery pedant wrote:

    Think a little? Is this be kind to the Elderly Day then?

    Have a nice one - I'll be away - thinking a little more.

  57. At 10:24 AM on 19 Sep 2006, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:

    Valery (51).

    I'm sorry if I lost you, but (trying desperately not to patronise) this is just more advanced HTML. You will find it useful if ever you want to produce websites. I have been landed with this task internally at work, and I have to say that I am learning my craft on the job, mostly by finding a site that does what I want and plagerize - sorry "adapt" - it.

    SB47 (You haven't given up as well V?)

  58. At 10:41 AM on 19 Sep 2006, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:

    Whoopsy - that should have been SB57

    and therefore: SB 58

  59. At 12:05 PM on 19 Sep 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:


    Re (48, 49, 51) - yes, hence the quotation marks - and I suppose I was thinking more of all chums together rather than childishness. Probably my outsider complex.

  60. At 12:15 PM on 19 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    re 53

    Not at all - I couldn't posibly claim to be the great Valery: I can only aspire to your dizzy heights. I almost didn't admit it, but then I thought I'd better be honest.

    I have to go out and buy my sister-in-law a birthday present now. Any ideas for a stylish, very fussy, very short 40-something?

  61. At 12:33 PM on 19 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    re 59

    Oh dear Doc, why such a complex?

    You're not a "Euan Ures" fan are you? That, I can see, would make anyone feel odd. Otherwise, I see you you as a mainstay of the PM blog - albeit a tad confusing at times (hence the requests for clarification).

  62. At 12:45 PM on 19 Sep 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:


    a) That is the way of things
    b) No I am not
    c) Request away
    d) termination succeeds - sometimes

    Either he’s dead or my watch has stopped

  63. At 01:02 PM on 19 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:


    re 62

    a) oh dear
    b) jolly good
    c) OK...
    d) What does d) refer to please?

    Who's dead?

  64. At 01:18 PM on 19 Sep 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:


    re 63

    d) What does d) refer to please?
    d) was a pun, to follow after a), b), and c) -
    Try ‘d-termination succeeds’

    He’s not. My watch has stopped. I was taking his pulse. Look up ‘Hackenbush’ and ‘Either he’s dead or my watch has stopped’ in Search Engine.

  65. At 01:29 PM on 19 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Ah. Not at all on the ball today, am I?

  66. At 04:13 PM on 19 Sep 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:


    No less so than I.

  67. At 12:08 AM on 20 Sep 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Stuff has disappeared again.

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