The English Bridge Union lost a legal challenge against HM Revenue and Customs aimed at reclaiming VAT on competition entry fees between June 2008 and December 2011. In 2012/13 alone the income from fees totalled £631,000, so there was more than just pride at stake! A tax tribunal has ruled that contact bridge is a game, not a sport. The judge’s view? Contract bridge would need a significant degree of “physical activity” in order to be considered a sport. The 300,000 regular, competitive bridge players in Britain will obviously disagree with the tribunal judgement. Contract bridge can be every bit as gruelling and competitive as football or cricket. Indeed the card game is recognised as a sport by the International Olympic Committee, the Charity Commission and several other European countries. National bridge organisations in France, Holland, Belgium, Ireland and Poland were not charged VAT on entry fees. A non bridge player might ask, ‘where is the athletic element in the game of bridge?’ A s a former contract bridge player I can attest to the fact the activity can be just as rigorous as soccer. You might start out seated at a table, but by the time you or your partner have play the wrong card for the fifth time, well, fists fly and blood is shed!
*Learning the basic rules of bridge is not good enough to take up a seat at a table. Unless you can remember every card played, don’t bother turning up!
A woman suffered a painful, five-day erection of the clitoris that left her barely able to function. The 29-year-old had been taking medication to boost her libido. The unnamed lady was part of a clinical trial group taking the anti-depressant medications wellbutrin (bupropion) and trazodone. When she began experiencing pain and swelling in her genital area, she stopped taking the drugs, but regrettably the symptoms did not subside, in fact they got worse. The condition priapism is where a penis or clitoris becomes engorged with blood, causing a painful, long-lasting erection. So be careful what you wish for, you may receive it!
Landing on Pitcairn Island – Bounty Bay in 1970’s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The 52 residents of the tiny, (just two miles long and a mile across) isolated, South Pacific PITCAIRN Island have benefited from millions of pounds in funding from the UK Department for International Development since 2009. British taxpayers have sent almost £10million in aid to a paradise in just four years, equivalent to £69,230 for each of the island’s inhabitants, descendants of sailors who took part in the famous MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY. The money pays for almost all public services on the island, because the local pay no tax. Meanwhile, back home in good Ol’ Blighty, we’re suffering CUTS left, right and centre. The axe has fallen on the police, border forces, social services and councils. Christ, street lights are often turned off at night!
Never mind PITCAIRN being a British Overseas Territory, and thus home to British citizens, the inhabitants financial support is no more than GUILT money. If the British government cut the islanders off, no doubt they would sue us Brits for Captain BLIGH’S harsh treatment of his sailors before the 1789 mutiny, and kidnapping! Second-in-command, Fletcher Christian became a fugitive from British justice and settled on Pitcairn Island, along with other Bounty crew members and some Polynesian girls they had kidnapped on Tahiti. Their descendants still live on the island.
Bulletproof (Photo credit: jillmotts)
Manufacturer Charles Alan Inc., in Fort Worth, Texas, US, will build your bespoke fire-rated, weapon-storage couch to order. ‘CouchBunker’, a couch that can store up to 30 rifles and with bullet-proof cushions that can stop a .44 Magnum bullet at point blank range is now available in America. The cushions, fitted with straps, can be worn as armour when on the move. Presumably this is when you are the victim of a home invasion? Still not convinced, well, the 900lbs CouchBunker is available in a range of colours and materials to match soft furnishings and curtains for a mere $6,700.
If you already drive a bullet-proof car, wear bullet-proof clothing and Kevlar underwear, why not buy yourself a bullet-proof couch? No home should be without one…or a panic room! On the other hand, have you thought about making more friends than enemies?
A Victorian church where Sherlock Homes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tried to contact the dead has gone up for sale. The Cedars Spiritualist Church in Ipswich, Suffolk…once a hotbed of British spiritualism…is on the market for between £500,000 and £700,000.
In the 1920s the acoustically sublime church hosted packed meetings where psychics (mostly charlatans) would try to contact non-corporeal people, or if you prefer, the spirits of people who had passed on to pastures new. Doyle, a famous spiritualist, found solace in the practice after losing his wife Louise in 1906 and his son Kingsley just before the end of the First World War. Ipswich Psychic Society hosted popular garden parties and talks that attracted as many as 1,000 people. If you liked your mediums ‘rare’ the Cedars Spiritualist Church was the place to go!
The Cedars will be going under the hammer at Goldings Auctions at Wherstead Park next month, but what the auction catalogue omits to mention is, the church has three sitting tenants, and one is the ghost of master criminal Professor James Moriarty that promises to scare the shit out of anyone foolish enough to move in! Do remember, a house is not always a Holmes!
All-male comedy panel shows will be consigned to the history books, after BBC bosses told producers that female guests must now be involved with the programmes.
Danny Cohen, BBC director of television, this week promised a better gender mix on such shows as Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week, Would I Lie To You, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and QI, which typically comprise all-male panels. The move is part of a drive by the BBC Trust to address gender imbalance on our television screens. So it’s no more ‘token women” on their programmes.’
I have a problem with that! Comedy panel shows are a male preserve for a good reason. There is an abundance of experienced, male stand-up comedians and writers of comedy. The time women spend raising children, their male partners are ‘out there’ honing their trade. Furthermore, it is acceptable for men to be crude. Not so for women!There is nothing worse than watching a female panel show guest trying to be funny and not pulling it off. Having said that, the few women who do appear on shows are generally as funny as their male counterparts. For the sake of political correctness, why spoil a winning formula? There is no substitute for experience, and men have it!
James Randi’s The Truth About Uri Geller (1982) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A new law making forced marriage illegal is currently being pushed through UK Parliament and is expected to become law early next year. Currently it is not a specific offence, and police are forced to use charges such as kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault, harassment and making threats to kill. Between June and August last year, the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), a joint operation by the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, received over 400 reports. Almost half of the 1,485 cases handled by the FMU each year involve Pakistan. It has also assisted in cases linked to a further 60 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America.
Anup Manota, a project manager at Derby charity Karma Nirvana told Huff Post UK: “Many of the victims have in fact been promised to someone from birth, or maybe even before birth, with families saying the daughter or son is promised to another family in exchange for business or land. We are finding that is a common occurrence.” So it’s all about the money…money…money, hence cousins wedding first cousins!
Teenage girls taken abroad to enter into forced marriages are being advised to hide a SPOON in their underwear on the basis that the spoon triggers airport metal detectors, leading to the individual to be taken away for a search, thus enabling them to raise the alarm safely and in private. This would be the one last opportunity to disclose they’re being forced to marry. Well let’s just hope that none of the airport spoon wearers encounter Uri Geller!
Meanwhile, over in Australia, a 70-year-old man has had a 10cm fork safely removed from his penis. Apparently the utensil had been lodged in his urethra for sexual gratification. The fork was removed by a team at Canberra Hospital using forceps and “copious lubrication” while the patient was under general anaesthetic. Doesn’t anyone use forks and spoons to eat with anymore?
English: Fish and chips traditionally wrapped in white paper (for hygiene) and then newspaper; frequently eaten with tartar sauce and ketchup; Stromness, Orkney. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I went to court this morning to lend support to my friend Michael who had been arrested for battering his wife Julie. Giving evidence, he said, “It was a sex game that went wrong, that’s all. Julie insisted, that since our marriage had gone a bit stale…we should spice it up! Although it fell to me to initiate it…it was she who mentioned FOOD! So I covered Julie in a mixture of eggs, milk, breadcrumbs and some paprika. How was I to know the batter would harden, causing Julie to fall over and break a leg?” I left immediately after Michael had given evidence in order to purchase some fish & chips.
Forty-seven-year-old Cambodian Chin Chean who tried to have sex with a corpse after digging into the grave was arrested when he fell asleep in the coffin. I say, if you’ve lost interested in f**king the dead, you’ve lost interest in life itself! Well whatever punishment the court dolls out, the would-be necrophiliac will just have to take it on the chin!
Flat-pack giant Ikea…which made global profits of £2.7billion last year…has had a forestry stewardship certificate suspended after it was revealed the furniture chain has been felling 600-year-old trees from protected woodlands. The Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes the responsible management of the world’s woodlands, says the wood Ikea cuts from forests in Karelia, Russia, isn’t being harvested sustainably. Swedwood, the Swedish firm’s forestry subsidiary, has been refused certification by the international not for-profit organisation for its Karelia operation until action is taken. Swedwood has leases to log 700,000 acres provided it avoids old trees and does not clear steep slopes, which erode without tree cover. It appears responsible forest management only occurs when there are ‘eyes’ on you! The worst of it is, you could be erecting a bookcase or wardrobe made from 600-year-old tree. How sick is that? And if you don’t think its sick, then I’m afraid you are sick!
Often prior to blogging I usually scour the newspapers for the unusual or absurd newsworthy story. I have found another one here! A scorned customer left embarrassed after a prostitute refused to have sex with him has complained to trading standards about her brothel. Harrow Council in north London has admitted it was shocked when they were asked by the client to punish the sex worker and her employer because of his ‘wasted trip’. Council officials politely suggested the gentleman took up a more wholesome pursuit such as visiting historic churches. Yeah, that’s certainly going to get his juices flowing! If a man so desperate for sex he can’t even find a prostitute to service him, perhaps he should try another deodorant or adjust his attitude? Boy, talk about a loser!
Having a low metabolic rate I’ve always had a problem maintaining my weight. I’ve often been slimmish, but I’m not at the moment. I’ve temporarily given up on strenuous exercise but not on food! The holy grail must be to remain a slim figure without cutting down on your food and without exercising regularly. Yes I know, the impossible dream…until now!
Someone heavily involved in ‘the dark arts’ has developed a procedure that lets us literally pee out our fat. A water solution is injected into stubborn areas around the body, breaking down excess fat cells, allowing us to absorb them into our bloodstream – and then wee them out. Aqualyx, claims to be an effective alternative to liposuction. It contains plant polymers, which binds with the cell walls of the fat tissue before rupturing and releasing the fat to be dissolved. Why I’m already getting excited! The formula liquefies the fat cell which is then eliminated when you urinate over a three-week period. And if that wizardry isn’t enough for you, it is claimed the Aqualyx solution completely destroys the fat cells so they can’t grow back. So it’s bye bye fat, hello chocolate éclairs! Cost to you and me? £250 per session. However many sessions you need, it’s got to be cheaper than any privately funded surgical procedure, don’t you think?
Dr Arun Ghosh, from the private Spire Hospital in Liverpool says the injections could pose a health threat. ‘It’s dangerous to re-absorb fatty acids into your bloodstream because if it’s dissolved down into salt it would send cholesterol levels sky high.’ Yes, but surely only for a moment or two. Once you’ve urinated surely your cholesterol level would go down? Anyway Dr Ghosh would say that, wouldn’t he? If the injections work, and are proved safe, private hospitals would lose income.
English: First municipal and purpose built beach in the UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Faced with rising land costs, developers are offering buyers of new homes a paltry 495 square feet of living space…hardly room enough to swing a cat! (Not that I would condone such an action). A spokesperson for The Royal Institute of Architects has voiced concerns over one’s mental well-being together with the risk of increased marital problems when sharing such a small space. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I recently inherited two beach huts in Brighton. I’ve rented them out to six families (38) individuals, seven dogs, three cats and an anaconda. I don’t hear a whisper out of them! I know what you’re thinking…its only a matter of time until someone proposes me for The Citizenship of the Year Award. You’re not wrong!
doctor’s equipment (Photo credit: Lynn Kelley Author)
On the rare occasions I attend my local doctor’s surgery I’m usually kept waiting approximately twenty minutes for my appointment. How do I occupy myself? Do I watch the TV, read a newspaper or read notices posted about the place relating to such things as flu jabs, smoking and VD? No! Being a bastard, I study the faces of the other patients waiting to been seen and wonder what it is they’re suffering from and if they’re contagious. I’d like to think you do the same?