Larry’s Diary, Week Two Hundred And Ten


Good morning cat lovers, and welcome to another week of reports from Downing Street. I see we had another big pro-Palestinian march in London where the marchers were shouting about jihad and waving Palestinian flags. But the police didn’t arrest a single person, saying jihad has multiple meanings. The only people I saw being spoken to were two people who the police warned for having Cross of St George flags. This is the flag of England and trying to ban it is clearly wrong. The Met Police seem to have come out against the indigenous population and in favour of Islam.

This morning I read that the Arsenal Women’s team is being criticised for a ‘lack of diversity’. Strangely it is very diverse with players from numerous countries including Austria, Holland, Spain, Germany, Australia, England, Scotland, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Brazil, Ireland and the United States. They also have a number of lesbians in the team, but that is not the diversity that moaners want, although they don’t say it they mean black players. This is clearly ridiculous; these idiots would have a team including players based solely on skin colour and not ability.

I read Belgium is upset with Sad Dick and TfL over breaches of its data protection laws. It seems that the TfL collection agents Euro Parking Collection has sent 20,000 fines to people in Belgium after they obtained the names and addresses of drivers from a Belgium court bailiff. However, since we left the EU, we have no rights to obtain the details of drivers for civil offences, only criminal offences. The bailiff has now been banned from accessing the Belgium database and is under investigation for criminal offences. Belgium is also demanding the repayment of fines paid by their nationals, I wonder if Sad Dick will comply.

I see that at the weekend a Tube driver was leading the passengers on a packed train chanting ‘free, free, Palestine’ over the tannoy. I really cannot understand how Transport for London says they can’t identify the train driver. Surely, they have access to the train rosters. There is film circulating on the internet of the incident surely it is time and date stamped and can be used to identify the driver.

A Norfolk woman was away in Europe on holiday when she took a phone call from a neighbour of her holiday home near Atlanta Georgia. The neighbour asked if she had authorised contractors to demolish the holiday home. She said no and asked what was going on. The neighbour said there was a gang of contractors demolishing the house and went to ask what was going on only being told to ‘mind her own business.’ The owner then had a relative visit the home, which was now almost completely wrecked, he asked to see the contractor’s demolition permit and discovered they were at the wrong address. After he pointed it out the contractors stopped working and drove away. The Atlanta company has failed to talk to the owner but has told a local TV station they are in discussions to sort it out.

A report out today describes lots of problems with the smart meter rollout across the country. Apparently, we are years behind on the rollout programme with only 57% of homes having a smart meter of any description. That percent includes homes that have either a gas meter or electricity meter or both. But it doesn’t stop there as apparently 10% don’t work properly, because for example they have been installed in flats and the electricity or gas supplier can’t distinguish the individual signals and if you live in a rural area the signal is often too weak to read. Then I hear that at least seven million meters use the old 2G and 3G phone systems and will need replacing or they will be no better than the dumb meters they replaced when that signal is turned off shortly. I wonder how many more millions fixing that lot is going to cost. While a change from an old analogue meter to a smart meter is free to the consumer, I understand that an upgrade to a smart meter to swap it to one capable of using 4G or 5G is chargeable.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Needs replacing?
PG&E SmartMeter,
Steve Wilhelm
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

A story reaches me from the Carnival Magic on a cruise out of Norfolk, Virginia. Apparently, someone was drunk in the theatre and shouting out during the show. A man seated in front of him objected and the drunk hit him over the head with a glass. The attacked man was given emergency treatment in the ship’s hospital. While the attacker was locked in his cabin and taken away by the local police when the ship arrived back in Norfolk. In addition, he has been banned for life from all Carnival Group cruises.


It’s another damp start to the morning, but the forecast says it’s not going to rain again until I have retired to my comfy cat basket. So, Hamas have decided to release two more of their Israeli hostages, two sick old ladies one aged 80 and the other aged 84, why now? Well, I suspect it was to try to deflect the media from the horrendous unedited GoPro video taken from cameras on dead Hamas terrorists.

After yesterday saying it was impossible to identify the Central Line train driver who led the chants of ‘free, free, Palestine’ over the train’s Tannoy, TfL have today announced that a driver has been suspended for ‘misuse of the train’s Tannoy’. What caused them to be able to identify the driver, could it be the publicity that the media gave the incident? TfL now say the driver is suspended while under investigation.

For the first time in 78 years, the RAF’s XI fighter squadron has visited Malaysia. In 1945, towards the end of WW2, the squadron were stationed in what was then Malay. In 1945 the squadron’s Spitfires arrived on board aircraft carrier HMS Trumpeter, this time round the XI Squadron’s Typhoons flew the 7,000 miles in one hop thanks to air-to-air refuelling from an RAF Voyager which also carried the supporting servicemen. The planes took part in an exercise of five nations including Australia and New Zealand.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
I prefer the sound of the Spitfire’s Merlin.
ZJ932/DB Eurofighter Typhoon F.2 of XI(F) Squadron RAF Coningsby,
Jerry Gunner
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

In Petersfield, Hampshire an equestrian statue of William of Orange (William III) has adorned the town square for around 100 years. In recent years the lead statue has suffered and among other things William lost an arm! The local council has an obligation to maintain the statue so a few months ago William was lifted off his horse and taken away to be repaired. The horse remained on the statue’s plinth as it was undamaged. However, underneath William a pocket was found containing a time capsule which contained documents detailing the origins of the statue. The council decided to add documents about the repair and an enlarged time capsule was included when the repaired William was put back on his horse over the weekend.

News comes in from North of the Boarder that Wee Krankie has passed her driving test. Back in March, shortly after standing down as the Scottishland First Minister she revealed that at the age of 53 she was taking driving lessons. Now I hear she passed the test at the first attempt. Well, I suppose that having a license will come in handy for driving the party camper van parked off the in-law’s drive, that is of course if the police give it back.

The Royal Navy has decided to end the tradition of using Chinese laundrymen on its vessels. For nearly 100 years our sailor’s uniforms have been washed and pressed by Chinese laundrymen, mainly recruited from Hong Kong, but now they are all to be sacked because of suspicions that they could be spying for China. I guess the Chinese only need one spy on each ship to be successful. I doubt they have access to much secret information, but they could easily plant something like a homing device on board. In time of war this could be absolutely devastating.

For many years ‘experts’ have been predicting peak oil, one of the earliest was published by someone called Hubbert who predicted 1976. Well clearly that was wrong as were most of the others, I can’t say all as some of the predicted dates haven’t been reached yet. Today I read of another prediction, this time it’s 2035, which I somehow don’t expect to be any more accurate than the dozens of others made in the past. New oil fields are still being found regularly, and many of these predictions are just wishful thinking by the predictors.


Well, I must say it was horrible when I ventured on my morning constitutional. I waited in the forlorn hope that the rain would ease but it didn’t, so I finally bit the bullet and ran as fast as my old legs would carry me. So today I hear Sir Beer has been caught out lying. In an interview, with LBC last week, he said Israel were acting quite legally to turn off power and water to Gaza. Yesterday he denied ever saying such a thing, so LBC have been playing the two recordings back-to-back to let listeners make up their own minds.

I always thought the Aussies were one of the more sensible nationalities, but I am begging to wonder if I should reconsider my opinion. Earlier this week Chinese electric car maker BYD announced that they are going to start selling its Seal model in Australia with first deliveries before Christmas this year. The importer, EV Direct, put a configurator on its website so that potential customers could cost and order a model. But with over 50,000 trying to use it in the first 24 hours, it crashed. In Australia the basic Seal starts at A$49,888 (£25,910) before on-the-road costs so it’s not exactly cheap.

The Global Warming fanatics want to blame every storm, flood or drought anywhere in the world on man and the output of man-made carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Today I read that this summer’s good weather was probably the result of a volcanic eruption in the Caribbean the previous year. The eruption in question was La Soufrière on St Kitts. Many of the Caribbean islands are of volcanic origin and some are still active. You probably remember the eruption on Montserrat which destroyed half the island including the capital city and the airport. I saw an estimate that volcanos output 98 million tons of CO2 annually and other thermal activities put out another 66 million tons annually.

The Celebrity Silhouette cruise ship has left Southampton for what is possibly its last visit. Celebrity has decided to swap the ship it uses for summer cruises out of Southampton and next year the newer and slightly larger Celebrity Apex will be used. The Silhouette is currently on a repositioning cruise to its new home port of Fort Lauderdale via stops in the Azores and the Bahamas. If you want a cheap cruise, it is these repositioning trips you need to look out for. They are not terribly popular with passengers as you tend to spend a lot of time at sea and must fly in one direction. Most big cruise lines tend to move some ships from Europe to the Caribbean in the autumn for the winter season and then the reverse in the spring.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
Goodbye to Southampton.
Bow and starboard side of Celebrity Silhouette,
Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

A nasty incident in the North Sea off Germany where two ships were in collision with the small British freighter sinking with seven crew on board. A major search and rescue operation is taking place with over 20 ships at the site, including the P&O cruise ship Iona. I hear that in the early hours of the morning passengers were woken by a ship-wide announcement calling the crew to their rescue stations. Apparently two survivors and three bodies have been recovered as I dictate this.

Transport for London are investigating the possibility of running some of its London Overground services into London Bridge. Back at the June timetable changes Southern cut several of its services into London Bridge, causing overcrowding on the remaining services. Local authorities, particularly Lewisham Council, have been in discussions with TfL who are looking at offering these new services, as well as additional trains on some of its existing routes. However, TfL say they are having to be very careful about timetabling services so as not to interfere with existing services.

An interesting article in the paper yesterday talked about the uptake of the government’s boiler upgrade scheme that was one of the Rich Boy’s ideas when chancellor of the exchequer. The scheme had a pot of £450 million, enough for 90,000 grants of £5,000 towards replacing gas boilers with heat pumps. In the last set of numbers that were released in August, it was revealed that only 23,000 grants had been applied for. A short while ago it was announced that the bribe for installing a heat pump had been increased to £7,500. I assume that this new figure will be available until the £450 million pot of money runs out.


Morning friends, a sunny start to the day but damp under paw. The girl on the TV just said if you are going out take an umbrella, do they make umbrellas for cats? Another mass shooting today in the States. Reports are saying at least 20 people killed and over 50 injured by a nutter with an automatic rifle. It seems to happen regularly (over 600 such incidents so far this year) in the US but still the gun lobby shout about them being free because they can carry weapons. I think I would rather live in the much safer U.K. with its strict gun regulations.

The managing director and the chairman of Ferguson Marine have appeared before a committee of the Scottishland Parliament to answer questions about the CalMac ferry shambles. A couple of interesting points came out of the questions. At least £35 million of the cost overrun came from having to redo work because of design changes after the work had been done. But one of the biggest problems was that the clamshell doors and hydraulics that drive them were made from mild steel instead of the specified stainless steel and had to be removed and replaced. One of the other problems was the replacement of 10,000 metres of cables. These two ships have been a very expensive disaster.

A story from Oldham made me laugh. A well-liked pub in Oldham has recently been demolished, the site cleared, and permission has been granted to build a drive-thru KFC and Starbucks. Work has started but has had to be halted because a sinkhole has opened up. At the moment, the report I read said it was being looked into. I assume they mean investigated and not that the builders were looking down the hole. As most sinkholes are caused by old mine workings or underground waterways washing the ground away, I suspect the surveyors are in trouble.

The latest numbers for people working from home seems to have fallen substantially in recent weeks, but why? I read that last winter many of those working from home realised that it was costing them rather a lot of money heating their homes. In the last few weeks the weather has turned and if you are working from home the heating has had to go on. This has led to the realisation that in the office the heating is free. So the number working from home has fallen from over 50% to 37% in the recent past.

A deal between Transport for London has been announced that saves the London Travelcard. For those of you who live outside London, the Travelcard is a handy way of paying for your return train fare to London and travel on buses, tube, and overground all with one discounted payment. TfL said they were losing money on one-day Travelcards, compared to other types of fares available to Londoners. TfL said they were subsidising people who live outside of London to the rate of £40 million a year. Now they have come to an agreement with the train operators who offered one-day Travelcards – the ticket is safe for the foreseeable future. Mind you there is no word if the cost of the ticket is going up.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
It’s safe for now.
London Underground Travelcard,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.5

EE, the BT subsidiary, have announced a new TV box rather like the Sky Q box but working over the internet. EE say that with the box you will be able to get most of the channels offered by Sky as well as Netflix and Amazon Prime. But EE boast users are going to be able to record up to four channels at the same time onto the box, a feature the Q box doesn’t offer. EE say, ‘The recordings are available on the box forever.’ Which is only partially true, for if the hard drive or the box fails or it is swapped for a new box your recordings disappear. Sky recognised this and recordings on the Sky Q box are made to Sky’s servers meaning they are still available if the local box fails. You pay your money, and you make your choice.

Some years ago, the Premier League and the Football League brought in what they called Financial Fair Play (FFP), a system designed to reduce the financial clout of the bigger clubs as opposed to the smaller clubs. Over the years several clubs have fallen foul of FFP and have usually suffered a points deduction rather than a fine. I see that Everton have been investigated for a breach of FFP. The problem seems to be associated with the massive losses run up by Everton over the last three years, far over the amount allowed under FFP. The Premier League considers this to be a serious breach of the rule and is pressing the independent tribunal investigating the incident and have recommended a 12-point deduction. As Everton have only managed to accumulate seven points so far this season. It would leave them in a desperate league position cut adrift at the bottom of the Premier League table and facing the prospect of relegation. A sad position for one of the league’s longest-serving clubs at the highest level.


Good morning all, well it was dry when I woke up, but I see rain is forecast for later. The Rich Boy is making a speech about artificial intelligence this morning and setting up an institute and a conference. I hear the conference is already in a bit of trouble as Sniffer Joe and Emmanuel Macaroni aren’t coming, but the Chinese are.

I read that the Israeli forces have a new weapon, a ‘sponge bomb’, which is neither a sponge nor a bomb. It is in fact fast expanding foam that hardens very quickly. The idea is to use it to block the Hamas tunnels’ exits to stop the terrorists escaping through back doors. I guess it is something like the insulation foam used in cavity walls, between roof trusses and around pipes where they enter houses. Not a new invention but a new use for an old one.

Earlier this year Transport for London lost a High Court case which ruled it was illegal to use CCTV cameras to read the number plates of cars parked in bays on London’s red routes. TfL are now appealing in the case because if they can’t overturn the verdict, they are going to have to refund up to 500,000 motorists who were issued with £120 tickets (reduced to £60 if paid in two weeks). The calculations say they will have to find around £17 million in refunds.

Yesterday KFC cut its ties with Deliveroo for home deliveries and KFC has been removed from the Deliveroo app. Of course, KFC is still available on the Uber Eats and the Just Eat apps. Why the split? Well, this cat understands that it was money. The Deliveroo contract was up for renewal and KFC were looking for a bigger cut of the delivery charge. I’m not quite sure why KFC should get a cut of the delivery charge at all. If they can make a profit on the chicken they sell to people over the takeaway counter, why do they need a cut of the fee that customers pay for a home delivery?

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
She won’t be bringing the KFC.
Deliveroo Blonde,
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Thank goodness I don’t live in China. I hear that Chinese police, acting on a tip-off, have just stopped a truck loaded with over 1,000 cats as it headed towards the south of the country where the cats would have become kebabs and sausages. In China cat meat is often sold as pork or lamb. The cats were all being transported in wooden crates in the back of the truck and had been under police surveillance for several days before the raid. I hear that cat meat sells for about 50p a catty, a Chinese weight measure roughly equivalent to 600 grams. A cat will normally be able to be divided into five catties. I understand that if it walks on land, flies in the air or swims in the sea the Chinese will eat it.

The Financial Times has been scrutinising the new book by Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Chancellor, called ‘The Women Who Made Modern Economics’, the FT says it plagiarises articles from online blogs, Wikipedia, The Guardian and even Hilary Benn. The publishers admit that they have failed to reference every quote and article, while the FT says there are over 20 such items that have been lifted from other sources. I don’t think I want a copy of this tome for a Christmas present.

Next week a new record is to be released by the Beatles. I understand that the track, called ‘Now and Then’, was originally a demo track written and recorded in 1974 as a solo piece by John Lennon. In 1994 Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono gave Paul McCartney two cassette tapes that included the song. Now the band’s surviving members, octogenarians McCartney and Ringo Starr, have added base and drum tracks to the song sung by Lennon. In addition, George Harrison’s abandoned guitar track for the song from 1994 has been found, resurrected and added. I wonder if the ‘Beatles’ will appeal to today’s audience or if only those who were teenagers in the 60s and 70s will be interested.


Gosh, it’s wet this morning, there are several new ponds on the grass and even the path to the bottom of the garden is flooded. I popped in to visit the gardener in his shed, he is a nice bloke when not on that mower. He said hello and gave me a stroke. But I only stayed until the downpour eased, my breakfast was waiting.

A few facts today about EVs. I hear that there are currently about 1,000,000 on the roads of the U.K. and that is about 3% of all cars. Of that number over 50% are company cars, meaning the user is not the owner and probably only drives it because it is loaned to him by his employer, who is raking in subsidies. Then we need to look at chargers; there are only 50,000 public chargers in the U.K. and around 50% of those are in London and the Southeast with the majority being within the M25. One point of interest, those companies now opening “public charging stations” offering 30 or 40 chargers in one location are only in it for the money as the cost of charging your car there is around six times the cost of home charging. Who says running an EV is cheaper than running an ICE?

I see my old friend Bozzie has announced he is joining GB News. Apparently, he will be holding forth on the upcoming U.K. and U.S. elections and presenting a series of programmes on the U.K.’s strength abroad. I understand that as a former government minister he is supposed to get any job he takes within two years of leaving office cleared by the independent Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba). I hear he has done just that, and they have cleared him to take the job. I wonder how much he is getting paid.

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
On GB News next year.
Yukiya Amano with Boris Johnson in London – 2018,
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The problems around Sir Beer Korma’s stance on Israel are getting worse. With so many Muslims in the party and voting Labour, he is being pressed hard to call for an immediate ceasefire, something that would show him up to be weak. But there are 5,000,000 Muslim votes in the U.K. and very few of them vote Tory. So, if he doesn’t bend his knee to them then he will probably lose those votes. They probably wouldn’t turn to the Tories, either abstaining or putting up their own candidates. If Sir Beer did turn against Israel, he will lose the Jewish vote, and possibly the British vote, but there are many fewer of them than Muslim voters. About 50 Labour councillors have resigned including 13 in Oxford. Now Sad Dick and Humza Useless have come out calling for an immediate ceasefire, Sir Beer appears to be between the devil and the deep blue sea. I am interested in how he is going to get out of this one.

I hear of a rural crime in County Tyrone. Two containers of bull semen have been stolen from a farm. The semen is normally stored in straws and deep-frozen in liquid nitrogen. The PSNI are not sure if the robbers knew what they were taking or if it was opportunistic. Depending on the pedigree of the bull whose semen it was, the theft could be very valuable. If this is the case here has not been said, but the empty tanks cost about £2,000 each. The thieves could be in for a very nasty shock if they don’t realise what they have stolen and open the containers.

I am sorry to report the passing, due to cancer, of my distant cousin Jess the station cat at Andover station. He was believed to have been the fine old age of 19 and had lived at the station for the past 13 years after just turning up one day. His previous owner never claimed him, so he was looked after by station staff and lived in the booking office. Jess was a friendly old cat, adored by both staff and passengers who brought him many treats and presents especially at Christmas.

Ages ago I told you about the man in the gimp suit who had been haunting county lanes in the West Country and how several women drivers had been distressed by seeing him. Well, a man appeared in court in Bristol yesterday, pleading not guilty. Unfortunately, he was caught red-handed when a police officer stopped and searched his van finding three gimp suits in it. When he was searched it was found he was only wearing trousers, but a pair of women’s tights were found in the van. He was alleged to have told the police ‘I have problems.’ It certainly sounds like he was right. He was found guilty and fined £645 with costs.

I’m done for yet another week’s tale telling. It’s still raining, with some big downpours. Is anyone building an Ark? It’s an extra hour’s sleep tonight as the clock goes back. It will definitely be a comfy chair in reception again today, I am not chancing getting caught in one of those massive downpours. I’ll be back with you all again next week.

© WorthingGooner 2023