Morning from hell, sat in a car for four hours.

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Search the people you follow on Twitter for possible Mastodon/Fediverse accounts. I forgot the link! https://pruvisto.org/debirdify/ Thanks @pruvisto for such a nice tool. Evan Prodromou https://prodromou.pub/users/evan/statuses/109333475701913097

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My eight year old has watched so many US kids' TV shows that he now self-identifies as American.

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THE PRINCE OF ABERYSTWYTH

With the Prince of ActivityPub’s return to the fold, I can sense a #tinap reunion in the air…

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Feels like a lot of effort just to make a cup of coffee.

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I’m about to eat a yum yum.

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PUMP DOT IO

Muskovite Twitter’s demise is imminent. Everyone’s go-to Twitter-alternative place of refuge Mastodon is swamped with an invasion of Tweeters seeking a better life. What better time for a reprise of Pump Dot IO?

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ABANDON ALL HOPE

I reported an abandoned car to my housing association. It’s been left in our little communal car park since the middle of last month, taking up a neighbour’s parking space. It’s got no tax or MOT. I previously reported it to the police, who got back to me to say “it’s not of interest” to them, and to my local council, who have apparently done nothing. Presumably because it’s not classed as being on a public road.

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Is this thing on?

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AN ANCIENT HISTORY OF WELFARE

In 1997 the UK government was spending an annual £24 billion on sick and disabled benefits. In 2010 it was spending an annual £24.6 billion on sick and disabled benefits. Some 2.6m people claim incapacity benefit, or its successor, the employment and support allowance, at an annual cost of about £12.5bn. There are now 3.16 million people receiving DLA and forecast expenditure on the benefit for 2010-11 is £12.1bn. There was a £93 billion total welfare benefits cost in 1996-97:

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TRIGGER VOTE FOR SHARMA

In July 2019, I attended a public meeting with Public Health England to discuss air pollution problems created by the development of the old gasworks site. At this meeting, I asked Public Health England if it is true that people with Asian and African heritage are genetically more at risk from poisoning from naphthalene – one of the main causes of the stink coming from the gasworks site. Do you know what they said?

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STRAWBERRIES FOR PIGS?

Little did we know at the time, but these little strawberries were usually engulfed in a toxic plume of benzene, naphthalene, and god only knows what else. Sensibly, the wife refused to eat them. We later discovered that official planning documents for the nearby old gasworks, which was being dug up in the open air for new homes to be built on the contaminated land, stated that no vegetables should be grown on the land.

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HOW I CAUGHT COVID

I tested positive for coronavirus yesterday. I started to feel unwell – like I had flu – on Sunday afternoon. After a night felling too hot and too cold, Monday morning I had a temperature of 38.3°C. I went to my local walk-through testing clinic later that afternoon. It was a self-test. If I’d known, I would have ordered a test-at-home kit, although I wouldn’t have got my result as quick.

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CHAOS AND CONFUSION

If you thought last year was bad…. No one could have foreseen this! British coastguard sued by French charity for failing to save drowned refugees. Broccoli and cauliflower thrown away. A shortage of lorry drivers. Renationalised energy companies.

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NATIONALISING SAUSAGES

Navy gunboats defending our fish from the French. An army of Sikhs feeding European lorry drivers caught up in Kent. Shortages of broccoli and lettuce. Nationalising sausages doesn’t seem like such a crazy idea, now, does it?

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HIGH TRAFFIC NEIGHBOURHOOD

Took me an hour (as opposed to 10 minutes) to drive my lad home from school this afternoon, thanks in part to the High Traffic Neighbourhood (‘Improving access for HGVs’) in Southall ‘Green’. Like a rat, I tried the side streets and back roads option and found those to be jammed, too, and Scotts Road - although confusingly still two-way throughout - is now No Entry from the eastern end.

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A SUCCESSFUL HOME DELIVERY AND THE LOCKDOWN/LOCK-IN.

My second son was born late Saturday night (what would normally have been my beer night) two weeks ago, after a short, but intense, labour. He was delivered at home by two brilliant midwives, who were fully protected courtesy of customised #tinap bin bag aprons, unused clean air protest dust masks, and disposable gloves my wife stocked up on back in February when – without any scientific advice whatsoever – she somehow accurately foresaw the current coronavirus global pandemic somehow reaching the UK’s shores (and airports).

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RETURN TO WORK

I returned to work last week after my extended absence due to respiratory illness, which may or may not be related to three years of breathing the poisonous gasworks' air. I find I now have to literally climb over two rough sleepers camped outside the door of my workplace in order to get in. There is no more space in the nearby doorway, and the doorway around the side entrance is similarly occupied.

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SOUTHALL UNDER SIEGE: THE NEIGHBOURS FROM HELL

‘A lack of scrutiny,’ says John Freeman, Regulatory Services Officer at Ealing Council. He’s talking about lessons to be learned from the council’s response to the new asphalt plant built in neighbouring Hillingdon borough in 2014. ‘We didn’t expect there to be so much odour from a new building, or so many complaints.’ Moving swiftly on. Oppressive odour The highly contaminated old gasworks site in Southall has been kicking up a stink, too.

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TAKING THE PISS

Last night I arranged to meet a beautiful young woman and we spent an hour together alone in a dingy bedsit. Two weeks ago, I reported a crime. A broken window in an empty first floor flat, a couple of empty cans of Stella Artois in a small black plastic carrier bag, and a toilet bowlful of urine – the water tank had been drained and capped weeks ago, so there was no running water with which to flush away the evidence, or remove the stench.

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INCONSIDERATE CONSTRUCTOR

Lorry driver on his phone while leaving ‘Southall Village’ building site, right next to school entrance during school run. Got a load more verbals from the driver and his colleagues on site - ‘Did he hit anyone?’, ‘He doesn’t work for us!’ All part of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, aka Couldn’t Care Less Scam.

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SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND

Or, why I became a soccer manager. Not Top 100, SM or even football-related. Three years out of date. Depending on this last stab at pop stardom, I will be resigning from my post as Hamburg boss in the New Year, to focus - Pablo/Dani Osvaldo-style - on my musical career.

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SAME OLD ENGLAND

I’ve been writing (if that’s the right word) about the England football team elsewhere since 2006, and this is basically the theme: (even when we win) England are shit. If that’s not depressing enough in itself, and you are curious for more, here’s a little summary of what to expect should you enter the rabbit hole: The best place to start is my preview of England’s ill-fated plan to get to the final of the 2012 World Cup in South Africa under the guidance of disciplinarian Italian capo Fabio Capello.

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HOW TO BE A TOP FOOTBALL MANAGER

Leaked documents and video reveal the FA’s shortlist and assessment interview questions for the England manager’s job. Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce, who presided over some of the least attacking and creative Manchester City and England U21 sides in living memory, was asked to give some expert coaching advice on how to play more attacking and creative football in line with England’s DNA blueprint. In a rambling and incoherent response, he finished off by reminiscing about how he used to psych out opponents.

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A NEW INGERLAND

I wasn’t even born when we won the World Cup I’m forty-six now and all hope I’ve given up My wife asks me now ‘Why don’t you be a better fan?’ But all the players I loved at school already failed for Ingerland I loved you then, but I don’t love you still I bet you’d beat Portugal, but it ended nil-nil I don’t feel bad about letting you go

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