Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 59 – August 2005

“Here we are knee deep in garbage, poverty and starvation firing rockets at the moon”.
(P Seeger)

Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger. Volume Thirteen- October 2001. (directly after 9/11)
….Are we going to defeat this mentality with bombs? I think not. Indeed I believe bombing them will make them stronger, not weaker. Bombing them will bring more bombs into our own backyards and very possibly chemical or nuclear weapons to boot. Extensive and extended bombing may well unite Muslims everywhere in the world, even those who would otherwise be peaceful. At the moment many Muslim countries are united with the West but bombing is exactly what bin Laden wants and expects us to do. The attack on the twin towers had many purposes. One was to stir the Western powers into a reaction in order to unite more Muslims to his cause when we retaliate. ‘An eye for an eye’ results in many blind men on both sides. We tried, wrongly, to subdue the IRA with force, and it took thirty years and Bill Clinton to bring us to our senses. The Muslim is a very different species of humankind to the Irishman. We must be very careful what we do. When our forces go into battle they are hoping they will survive to return home to their love ones. The Taliban fighter looks forward to a glorious death, but not of course before he has slain as many infidels as possible. We will be fighting an opponent who is not only, not afraid of dying, he welcomes it. The Americans must remember their borders with Mexico and Canada stretch for thousands and thousands of miles. There could be many suicide bombers crossing into America in the next few years ahead. Sleeper units are probably already installed in both America and Britain. Immigrants have been slipping into England through the Dover tunnel for months. We must remember too that it is our attitude combined with their poverty that has driven these extremists to take the action they have. I do not condone what they have done, but we must examine the reasons and understand that every argument has at least two sides.

Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger. Volume Fifteen - December 2001.
…..I don’t think for one minute that the battle with these extremists is over. At least 1,000 immigrants enter this country illegally every year. The figure in reality might be closer and even exceed 5,000. A vast majority of these immigrants are Muslims, and there is bound to be a percentage amongst them who support Bin Laden and his fundamentalist ideals. The American borders are even more vulnerable than our own. We must all be on our guard.

Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger. Volume Twenty Seven - December 2002. (Directly before the Iraq war).
…..Oh I don’t know, perhaps I’m just being an alarmist! However whilst I have lived at the very best of times the future does not look good for my grandchildren and I fear it doesn’t look good for yours either. I've had the privileges of advanced medicine. I’ve experienced technological advances beyond my wildest dreams and along with my contemporaries I’ve lived through relative peace all of my adult life. Why I’m even looking forward to having a plastic knee replacement. The Irish problem (which in truth was and always has been an ‘English Problem’) will be as nothing to what is to come in the future. Soon they will be blowing themselves up in London Tube trains. I really fear for our children's lives. Britain is a haven for terrorists all seeking paradise. The network is in place, the motive and the desire for revenge grows every month. Death holds no fear, especially where life is cheap. For Tel Aviv read Telford. For Bethlehem read Birmingham.

Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger. Volume Thirty Five – August 2003.
…………. I suppose all Prime Ministers over the decades have withheld important information and misled the public to proceed along lines that the public would not have agreed with had they known the whole truth. Churchill is a prime example. But to excite a war by telling the public that Iraq could deliver weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes was irresponsibility gone haywire. Did Blair not realize, when the war was over, that he would be found out?
It became obvious to me (and I assume anyone else with a semblance of intelligence) about 7 days into the conflict that there were no weapons of mass destruction. I had indeed always believed there were none, but when the allied troops started the invasion it was obvious. Had Saddam had them, he would have used them.
Blair’s speech to the American Congress in mid-July was nothing short of sycophantic nonsense. It’s very easy to stand up in front of a host of people with guilty consciences to tell them that what they did was right and to receive rapturous applause. To say that History will judge us as having acted correctly is another ‘Blairism’, clever talk and manipulation of words. History does not have a conscience. History is incapable of making decisions. History cannot think. History will however dictate that two very strong Nations combined to defeat one very weak Nation and did so after convincing it’s electorate that the weaker nation posed an immediate threat that had to be quelled. Whether it will also dictate that its by-product was world wide terrorism by extremist Muslims against Western Imperial Nations remains to be seen. Using the tactics of Blair I can safely say that it will, because of it doesn’t I can very easily later deny having said it!
People who join the armed forces do so knowing that they are putting their lives at risk and they know too that they are willingly and openly joining a society which believes in the credence of ‘kill or be killed’. To be fair I think they are very brave people. We need armed forces certainly to prevent others attacking us. But I have as much sympathy for them as I do for people who smoke, get cancer and then complain that they should have been warned by the tobacco companies that smoking was a dangerous activity. If you deliberately put smoke into your own lungs you cannot in any sense of reason turn round and blame somebody else when it harms you. Likewise the military forces; if you play with guns you must be prepared to die the same way. You can’t turn around and say “Oh I didn’t know if I joined the Army I might get shot”. I do however have great compassion for those who get unnecessarily mercilessly slain, maimed and raped. Particularly if they are children. I also have great compassion for those yet to die in this country from suicide bombers incensed by the actions of Blair and Bush. The London Underground is not a safe place to be these days. It is only a matter of time before a religious lunatic slips the MI6 net and blows himself up on the Northern Line in the middle of the rush hour.

Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger. Volume Thirty Nine – December 2003
…………….The capture of Saddam Hussein is of course something that we in the West should all celebrate. However I still believe that Iraq was free of terrorists whilst Hussein was in power and I also still believe that we have opened the doors to terrorists by deposing him in the way we have done. Only time will prove me either right or wrong.

Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger. Volume Forty One – February 2004.
……………So Mr Bush is now considering putting men onto Mars! Well that’s a very sensible idea I must say! It all brings back to mind the two line song with which Pete Seeger opened an LP about 30 years ago. “Here we are knee deep in garbage – firing rockets at the moon.” It’s little wonder the poor undernourished neighbours of planet earth rail against us westerners.

Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 42 – March 2004
……………..So, whilst our governments might understand that Muslims are fanatics who blindly follow the Koran and visit Mecca to hurl stones at pillars of the devil whilst trampling to death hundreds beneath their feet in the excitement of it all and that they will happily blow themselves apart with bombs strapped to themselves because they are religious zealots living mostly in poverty, they do nothing new to persuade those of the Muslim religion that we actually want peace, freedom and equality within the world. (Not bad for one sentence).
Why? Because Bush does not want peace equality and freedom within the world. Let’s face it. He doesn’t even want that in Texas!
What was it old Georgie boy said the other day? “I want to get to the truth of the matter”. Well it’s a bit late now. The time to get to the truth of the matter was two years ago before this lunacy started.
How can we seriously allow Bush and Blair to continue leading our governments? Should we seriously consider arresting them as war criminals? Or even planet criminals? George happily ignores the menace of rising temperatures, sea levels and planet destruction to appease the oil magnets who keep him happily gorging himself in his own self indulgent megalomania. Enough is surely enough.
My only hope for this planet is that the Republicans lose the next election and that George Bush follows his father into inglorious ignominy.

Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 43 – April 2004
………Another obscene atrocity or form of pornography to hit this planet is the bombing of trains in Spain by Al Qaeda. Although frankly I am not the least surprised. My only surprise is that the terrorists chose Spain before Great Britain. America like Britain, as I have said countless times previously, can also expect a similar attack. My greatest fear for my own family, most of who live in London, is that when terrorists do attack they will use chemical weapons that will wipe out half if not more of London’s population. Because if the terrorists really want to bring the Western World to its knees they have only to send in a suicide attacker with a chemical weapon and it’s goodbye to scones and cream teas for the rest of us.

Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 45 – June 2004
…………….Of course things are going to get worse, and if you are beginning to wonder if it will ever end you will discover the answer to be never. I have said before and do not want to bore you, but we will never defeat an enemy that wants to die. The Vietnamese did not want to die, neither did the average German soldier in the great wars. But we have an enemy today that actually welcomes death, and by attacking Iraq we have played straight into the hands of the lunatic terrorists who see their number rising by the hundreds, if not by the thousands, each month.

Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 46 – July 2004
…………A recent report in America has stated that Al Qada was not operating in Iraq whilst Saddam was in charge and it is unlikely that any terrorist cells or activities stemmed from Iraq until 2004. This must come as a terrible shock to the millions of Americans who thought otherwise. Whilst in America in the autumn of last year nearly every pro-war person I spoke with believed that Iraq was responsible for 9/11!
Where on God’s earth did they get that idea?

Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 47 - August 2004
………………It’s August 2004, and Americans who don’t read The Ramblings of an old Codger are suddenly all waking up to the unpalatable fact that Iraq was not involved in 9/11! It must be a hard concept for them to understand. Their government has been lying to them for three years! I watched the recent debate on TV on Iraq from the House of Commons, and I have to say that Tony Blair is an incredibly clever manipulator. The only difference between our leader and the leader of America is that ours is a genius whilst theirs is a buffoon. Only a small difference I admit, but it is nonetheless a difference. So who gains from this? Well at least the majority of Americans can now see they have an idiot for a president and with any luck he will be voted out of government come November. Meanwhile our slithering snake will continue to beguile the nation with forked tongue and words so silver plated even I might start to believe in him. Well it’s possible! Blair made nonsense of the Conservative Party during the Iraq debate and I’m afraid the Liberal Democrats, who admittedly are the only party with any honour left, still appeared as a rudderless ship with a turnip at the helm.
We have now been informed that a major terrorist attack is not just likely, it’s actually a certainty. So the government is now to spend 8 million pounds producing a leaflet to tell us all what we must do when the attack actually comes. That’s 8 million pounds on top of the billions of pounds the government has already spent attacking a country for no real purpose except to exacerbate a terrorist attack. Which is exactly what I warned would happen in my Ramblings 34 months ago. I hope you guys and gals enjoy paying your taxes.

Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 49 - October 2004
…………..And where will it all end? Well seeing as I’ve led you on this fanciful, but not altogether impossible change of history, I’ll tell you. And guess what? You are not going to like it! The world is heading towards WW3. Indeed it might already have started. By unnecessarily attacking Iraq and embarking on an unjustified and illegal war both Great Britain and America have fanned the flames of discontent. We here in Britain are every much as guilty as the Americans.

Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 53 – March 2005
………….And what of the world? Can we look with any hope into the future? Can we guess what’s coming around the bend as 2005 rolls into 2006? President Bush has another four whole years to wreak devastation and destruction on weaker countries under the banner of “Peace, Freedom, Independence and Democracy.” Rather odd don’t you think? But then again he is a Republican!

Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 56 - May 2005
………….My mother has always voted Conservative. She’s 88 this year, can’t remember what she did 5 minutes ago; but by gum she’ll be voting Conservative all right. “Winnie Churchill was a lovely man”. So her vote will go to the slimy Mr Howard, that dirty little coward who voted to attack Iraq but now hides behind a Tory smoke screen claiming that Labour lied to them. Stabbing people in the back is of course Tory policy; it’s something they really shine at. At least those of you who read this column regularly know I’ve never wavered on my views. Attacking Iraq was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and we will all live to pay for this atrocity in some way or another. David Kelly died for it. Suicide? You must be joking!
Subsequently of course in recent election speeches Blair has stated (and I quote) “I decided it was better to remove Saddam; the world is a better place with Saddam in prison.” No mention of WMD I notice; but he did emphasise that it was him who decided to remove Saddam, not parliament and certainly not you and me. Of course he needed our approval, so he lied. OK the world might be a better place with Saddam in prison; but try asking the relatives of the 100,000 Iraqi’s that have died since we attacked Iraq what they think. Ask the relatives of dead soldiers in Britain what they think. Pointless asking the relatives of dead Americans; most of them still believe that Saddam was responsible for 9/11 and consider their dead relatives to be martyrs for a cause. Lies, lies and more lies. Americans are so dreadfully brainwashed they fly the flag of freedom outside their Christian homes totally unaware of the truth and what they’ve done to this planet, and not only in the last 4 years – try the last 40.
Mr Blair sent me a letter in April, in which he told me that the Tory party is committed to making £35 billion worth of cuts on public services. But, how many billion pounds did he spend (and is still spending) attacking Iraq?
Meanwhile of course the cost of fuel is reaching astronomical levels. In America, as everywhere, people are complaining about the cost of fuel but seem completely at odds with the idea that prices have risen due to the simple fact that there is no oil coming out of Iraq. When the largest supply of oil in the world is interrupted it would be foolish to think that a world shortage would not follow. But I fear this country is going to vote that wretched liar back into power just as the majority of Americans were daft enough to give Bush another four years. Are we all masochists or what? It is understandable with America. A vast majority of people in that country simply have no idea of the real world and its problems. They live this cocooned life of happiness and luxury totally unaware of virtually everything outside their own borders. America presents itself as a free country, but restricts its occupants from knowing anything that remotely resembles the truth. I should know; I’ve been there enough times!

Of course there will be those of you who follow the Labour Party line that the recent atrocities in London would have happened anyway. This is possibly true, although only countries involved in attacking Iraq have been bombed thus far. But the intensity of the attacks, both past and in the future, have been multiplied countless times over by the unnecessary, unwarranted, illegal attack of Iraq. Anyone who thinks differently is deluded.

I’m angry that a silly old duffer like me could foresee these problems, yet Blair (Bush of course is an idiot) could not. What was it Woody Guthrie said? “It was a mighty thin stew though, even the politicians could see through it!” And the nation fell for the sucker punch. WMD in 45 minutes. Blair lied then and he lies today when he tells us that attacking Iraq has made no difference to suicide bombing in London. Come on Britain; get wise to this charlatan.

I was slightly incorrect of course when I suggested the suicide bombers would be immigrant, however there is no reason why future bombers should not be. But the very fact the first were homegrown indicates to me, almost without doubt, that they were inspired by the Iraq War having undergone inspirational lectures (brainwashing even) in Pakistan since the Iraq War started. Please note I deliberately use the word ‘started’ as I don’t for one moment think the Iraq War will really be over until we remove our troops.

But the war against terrorists will continue, our troops will continue to stay in Iraq and the two wars will eventually merge into one very long one. Can anybody see any likelihood of a withdrawal from Iraq whilst we have world wide terrorism? If not, would anyone like to hazard a guess and date the end of terrorism? Thank you Mr Bush, thank you Mr Blair; brilliant strategy and well worth the effort considering the innocent slain exceeds 100,000 people; men, women and children. This figure will of course continue to rise in Iraq, Britain and probably America for many years to come. What was it Mr Blair boasted about history remembering him? Too bloody right it will!

Here in Britain at the moment I feel that the bombing has possibly brought the Muslim society closer to the Christian society. The words issued by the Muslim Council of Great Britain following the bombing are very encouraging and I felt no atmosphere of hostility when visiting my favourite Asian restaurant recently. All colours of skin were relaxed and those discussing the bombing condemned it out of hand, although of course the bombers would have done likewise 24 hours before that fatal Thursday as they were trained at keeping their mission secret whilst acting naturally. It has also been interesting that on three occasions now I have heard adult Muslims blaming the parents of the bombers for not bringing their children up correctly.

And, what about brutality in Iraq? Has it been removed? Where does the truth lie today? Remember, first we attacked Iraq because they had weapons of mass destruction and then Mr Blair changed the reason to “Getting rid of the evil dictator”. Well we now know that the new leaders of Iraq are fundamentally no better and no worse than the previous ‘Saddam’ government. Torture is a part of every day life in Iraq and always will be even under the watchful eyes of Messrs Bush and Blair who condone and promote the new government.

“As bad as Saddam?” I hear those of you muttering who know nothing of the predicament of Mr Hassan an-Ni’ami. Well actually Mr Hassan an-Ni’ami is dead and gone. But just how did he die?

When he was washed in the Mosque the day of his burial, 24 hours after his arrest, he was still wearing a police handcuff around a heavily swollen wrist (actually both wrists were swollen) indicating that he had been hanging by his arms for many hours with his legs not touching the floor. Both his nipples and surrounding breasts bore scorch marks similar to scars left by a hot iron. His nose was broken and he had whip marks around his body together with cigarette wounds. Both his knees had been drilled through (a modern form of kneecapping not using a gun) and an arm was broken. He had finally been shot in a prone position through both the chest and mortally through the head. Nice way to die don’t you think? Perhaps more importantly you should ask yourself how much of that torture you could have borne before cracking? But perhaps you would have been forced to undergo that awful death if you simply could not tell the inquisitor the words he wanted to hear. An innocent man tortured to death perhaps?

Those who think I am making this up should refer to The Sunday Observer newspaper of July 3rd page 18, which also includes a picture of the poor wretch’s arm. Mr Hassan an-Ni’ami only spent 24 hours with his interrogators, so it’s nice to know that they don’t waste time if you don’t give them the information they want to hear in the first five minutes. At least they get down to death by torture reasonably quickly which must save the victim hours of mental torture wondering what will happen next.

So now in Britain we have a government that supports torture, a government who illegally started a war, but nonetheless tries its own soldiers for cruelty. Is this double standards or what? The buck should stop at the top. Mr Blair is the guilty party and should be tried as a war criminal.

Of course I in no way condone the terrorists, but I’m ashamed to be British.

Obituary
I remember the excitement as a young lad in 1958 getting off the train at Charing Cross Station. Across the road in Villiers Street Long John Baldry would be playing the blues in ‘G’s’ or Guire and Gimble’s to give it the correct name. I had no idea at the time that John was only 6 months older than me. I held John in very high esteem, even when he had his hair cut from the beatnik look to that of a pudding bowl. I was not alone, even the Rolling Stones worshiped him. John’s untimely death in July at the age of 64 came as a big shock. When I eventually became a professional performer myself I had the honour of appearing in concert with him on two occasions. First at a theatre in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight with Downes and Beer and later when I engaged him to perform at my own club; The Tram Shed in Woolwich.
During his career he made more than 40 albums, he discovered Rod Stewart when he heard him singing late on his own one night on Twickenham railway station and Sir Elton John changed his name from Reginald Dwight in homage to John when he first played in John’s band ‘Bluesology’.
In 1967 he changed course a little moving into the mainstream with a number one hit ‘Let the Heartaches begin’. For my part I preferred the original version of LJB.
In 1978 he settled in Vancouver and became a Canadian citizen. He toured Britain occasionally and had planned an extensive tour this year, however he got a chest infection in April and never recovered. I’m sure Leadbelly, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and all the other legends of the blues are pleased to meet him. I’m saddened that I won’t see his like again.


Joint Fixture List for Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead.

2005
Aug 26th (KM) Bridgnorth Folk Festival
Aug 27th (KM) Bridgnorth Folk Festival
Aug 28th (KM) Bridgnorth Folk Festival
Sep 2nd (KM) Hull Sea Fever Festival
Sep 3rd (KM) Hull Sea Fever Festival
Sep 4th (KM) Hull Sea Fever Festival
Sep 7th (Joe) Guernsey Festival of the Sea
Sep 8th (Joe) Guernsey Festival of the Sea
Sep 24th (KM) Halifax Traditions – All day
Oct 10th (Joe) Harden WI, St Saviour’s, Harden, Bradford – Valparaiso round the Horn
Oct 13th (Joe) Notton W.I. – The life and times of Paul Robeson
Oct 21st (KM) Minstead Village Hall, New Forest, Hampshire.
Oct 22nd (KM) Royal Southampton Yacht Club.
Nov 18th (KM) Walton on the Naze Festival of the Sea
Nov 19th (KM) Walton on the Naze Festival of the Sea
Nov 20th (KM) Walton on the Naze Festival of the Sea
Nov 23rd (Joe) Whitkirk Probus Club, Leeds (10.30am) – Valparaiso round the Horn
Dec 3rd (KM) The Square Chapel Halifax
2006
Apr 29th (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester
Apr 30th (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester


Letters
Hi Joe,
As always, a very enjoyable news letter.
The piece on Leysdown was very amusing.
I was sorry to hear that you were disappointed with a low turn out of people for your party. I had assumed at the time, that it was a good size crowd but now realise, that a greater number should have been present, considering your personal effort to advertise the event. Even more frustrating then, to hear that the Landlord of The Puzzle Hall Inn, (who put so much into the organisation), ended up worse off financially, for his efforts. It would be very sad to think that another Joe Stead's Birthday party may not possible because of a lack of interest by friends and fans.
For the record, the lads and myself, (The Tolly Crew), had a wonderful weekend. We were all struck by the high quality of the musicianship and the friendly nature of the musicians and for that matter, the patience they exercised in putting up with the sound technicians (sic), who were, quite frankly, embarrassing.
I did offer my own services, on one occasion, after one of them fell over and knocked over a friend’s full pint of beer, (not replaced).
Apart from that, we left with many happy memories, which will be reflected on for years to come.
Thanks for inviting us all to a brilliant party, Joe.
Paul ‘Muggins’ and friends.


Joe,
Gotta agree with you about Leysdown. My sister used to live at Minster on the Isle of Sheppey and I thought it was the arsehole of the world 30 years ago - all the worlds crap used to pass through there! They only used to lift the bridge to stop the escaped prisoners from getting off the island. If they wanted to punish the prisoners even more they would let them out into Leysdown for a few days. That'd keep the buggers in line! My sister’s house was full of cracks where the foundations were settling down as the island was sinking into the sea and I used to think that that was the best place for it.
Neil Kimber


Joe,
Thanks as ever, for your latest. I was very taken by your remarks on Leysdown. A couple of years ago our mutual friend Eddie Walker wrote me to say that Sheerness in winter was as bleak a prospect as he could ever recall from his years on the road.
And then I told him he had not LIVED...that he ought to (as I did back in1979) go to Leysdown in WINTER to call on a customer (I was in the Wine trade at the time, and temporarily covering the territory whilst waiting for a new rep to be appointed).
I arrived on a day when it was snowing and blowing a gale. I cannot recall such bleakness. Even Princetown to a Dartmoor escapee would have seemed inviting by comparison. Zinc panels had worked themselves loose and were banging dementedly in the howling winds.
And guess what? The off licence was closed. My customer record card omitted to say that the shop only opened for the summer months!
Kindest,
Dai Woosnam.


Hi Joe and Nora,
Just wanted to say I had a great time with you and thanks for organizing everything so well and making the weekend go so well.
What is it about the north...or is it the music that does it as well...or a combination along with hard working people behind the scenes cooking all day in hot weather....drain men managing a smile or three even though everyone else is enjoying a beer etc while one man climbs the face of the 'Puzzle Inn' to descend into the bowels of the drains to explore our pooh and announce that even our pooh is musical and very funny.......
The there is the therapy dished out in huge chunks by Mr Amazing Smith.....and the late night discourse of Mr Downs exploring the theories of 'working at night is less stressful...' in that wonderful seminar he conducted till dawn.......or maybe it was the sun and showers so conveniently booked to cool us all down.....or perhaps it was the musical glue you pulled together from all over the planet...whatever it was a lovely weekend and my thanks to you and Nora for making it happen...memories to cherish....bless ya'.
Love,
Nigel Mazlyn Jones.


Joe
Radio Britfolk - from July 1st - at www.radiobritfolk.co.uk
Radio Britfolk is a new and exciting web-based radio project for the UK folk world, and it's happening right NOW! Developed by a group of professional folk musicians, it aims to become a major hub and world-wide shop window for the folk music of these islands, available 24/7 on your home computer.
It's a new concept in folk radio. Imagine an on-line folk festival - with main stage shows (like other radio stations), themed shows and documentaries (sometimes with a strong local slant), programmes showcasing lesser-known music and artists, plus workshops and tutorials (how to play an instrument etc.). Imagine each programme is supported by web-based content so you can look as well as listen and find links to artists, instrument makers and record companies. Now imagine you can tune in 24 hours a day, wherever you are in the world, and find programmes offering a balance of traditional and new music from Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England and beyond, with all genres and styles represented. Good, yes?
Radio Britfolk is licensed from 1st July, and that's when weekly programming starts - even though not all the features (such as the shop and the bulletin board) will be complete by then. Soon there will be 10-20 hours of folk programming available at any one time, with the schedule changing every week. Behind the front page of available programmes, there will be listings pages, an on-line shop, message board, news and links pages and more.
Listening to Radio Britfolk is free. If one wants to access the archives for the programmes of previous weeks, and for additional in-depth features, one can become a member for a nominal charge. People can also sponsor various parts of the site, and even post their own album tracks on the Britfolk Billboard, a separate section reserved for promotion.
Potential programme makers who are able to offer top quality ideas, professional presentation and production values are encouraged to submit proposals for shows to the Radio Britfolk executive programming team. The details of how to do it are all in the FAQ on the website. It's not an exclusive club. Many programmes are presented by well-known musicians and established broadcasters, but we encourage anyone with a good idea to get involved.
So who's involved already? A diverse bunch of performers, broadcasters, media people and journalists - a mixture of names you'll already know and some you won't - who perceive a need for broad-scope folk radio. The brain behind the web site is Phil Snell of Limbo Creatives, Yorkshire-based folkie and programming genius.
The Radio Britfolk team is excited about this and they hope you will be as well when you hear it. Go to www.radiobritfolk.co.uk , and give it a listen. and see how you'd like to be part of it! Remember, pre July 1st it's only a trial site. From July 1st there will be a new set of programmes. Radio Britfolk needs your support, so keep logging on and checking what's available as the concept develops. Listen, become a member, make programmes and support independent, democratic folk radio on the internet.
And yes, the Fat Greek is involved too, in a small way; and a couple of my tracks are already on the Billboard. Yours could be too…
George Papavgeris
"singing the praises of ordinary people"
mobile: 07747 768 868
email: george@folk4all.net
web: www.folk4all.net

Funnies
The other day I came home to be greeted by my wife dressed only in sexy underwear but holding a couple of velvet ropes. “Tie me up” she purred, “and you can do anything you want”.
So I tied her up and went fishing.

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Have you heard of the new Sushi Bar that caters exclusively for lawyers. It’s called ‘So-sue-me’.

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A man entered his favourite restaurant and sat at his regular table. After looking around, he noticed a gorgeous woman sitting at a table nearby, all alone.
He motioned the waiter over and asked him to send their most expensive bottle of Merlot over to the woman, knowing that if she accepted the bottle, she would be his.
The waiter took the Merlot to the woman and said, "This is from the gentleman seated over there," indicating the sender.
She regarded the wine coolly for a second, not looking at the man, and decided to send a reply note to the man.
The waiter, who was lingering for a response took the note from her and conveyed it to the gentleman.
The note read: "For me to accept this bottle, you need to have a Mercedes in your garage, a million dollars in the bank, and 7 inches in your pants."
After reading the note, the man decided to compose one of his own in return. He folded the note, handed it to the waiter and instructed him to return this to the woman.
It read: "For your information, I have a Ferrari Maranello, a BMW Z8, a Mercedes CL600 and a Porsche Turbo in my garage. There is over twenty million dollars in my bank account. But, not even for a woman as beautiful as you would I cut three inches off. Just send the bottle back."

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The golfer and the genie
A husband took his wife to play her first round of golf.
Nervous, the wife promptly hacked her first shot right through the window of the largest house adjacent to the course.
The husband cringed, "I warned you to be careful! Now we'll have to go up there, find the owner, apologize and see how much your lousy drive is going to cost us."
So the couple walked up to the house and knocked on the door.
A warm voice said, "Come on in."
When they opened the door they saw the damage that was done: glass was all over the place, and a broken antique lamp was lying on its side near the broken window.
A man reclining on the couch asked, "Are you the people that broke my window?"
"Uh...yeah, sir. We're sure sorry about that," the husband replied.
"Oh, no apology is necessary. Actually I want to thank you. You see, I'm a genie, and I've been trapped in that lamp for a thousand years. Now that you've released me, I'm allowed to grant three wishes. I'll give you each one wish, but if you don't mind, I'll keep the last one for myself."
"Wow, that's great!" the husband said. He pondered a moment and blurted out, "I'd like a million dollars a year for the rest of my life."
"No problem," said the genie. "You've got it, it's the least I can do. And I'll guarantee you a long, healthy life! And now you, young lady, what do you want?"
"I'd like to own a gorgeous home complete with servants in every country in the world," she said.
"Consider it done," the genie said. "And your homes will always be safe from fire, burglary and natural disasters!"
"And now," the couple asked in unison, what's your wish, genie?"
"Well, since I've been trapped in that lamp and haven't been with a woman in more than a thousand years, my wish is to have sex with your wife."
The husband looked at his wife and said, "Gee, honey, you know we both now have a fortune, and all those houses. What do you think?"
She mulled it over for a few moments and said, "You know, you're right. Considering our good fortune, I guess I wouldn't mind, but what about you, honey?"
"You know I love you sweetheart," said the husband. I'd do the same for you!"
So the genie and the woman went upstairs where they spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying each other.
After about three hours of non-stop sex, the genie rolled over and looked directly into her eyes and asked, "How old are you and your husband?"
"Why, we're both 35," she responded breathlessly.
" No kidding," he said, "Thirty-five years old and both of you still believe in genies?"

Another golfing story.
A Woman was out golfing one day when she hit the ball into the woods. She went into the woods to look for it and found a frog in a trap.
The frog said to her, "If you release me from this trap, I will grant you three wishes."
The woman freed the frog, and the frog said, "Thank you, but I failed to mention that there was a condition to your wishes. Whatever you wish for, your husband will get times ten."
The woman said, "That's okay." and for her first wish, she wanted to be the most beautiful woman in the world.
The frog warned her, "You do realize that this wish will also make your husband the most handsome man in the world, an Adonis whom women will flock to".
The woman replied, "That's okay, because I will be the most beautiful woman and he will have eyes only for me." So, KAZAM! she's the most beautiful woman in the world.
For her second wish, she wanted to be the richest woman in the world. The frog said, "That will make your husband the richest man in the world and he will be ten times richer than you."
The woman said, "That's okay, because what's mine is his and what's his is mine."
So, KAZAM! she's the richest woman in the world.
The frog then inquired about her third wish, and she answered, "I'd like a mild heart attack."
Well the man had a heart attack but it was ten times milder than his wife.
Moral of the story?
I leave that to you!

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POTATO GARDEN
An old man lived alone in the country. He wanted to dig his potato garden, but it was very hard work as the ground was hard.
His only son Fred, who used to help him, was in prison.
So the old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:
Dear Fred,
I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my potato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here, all my troubles would be over; you would dig the plot for me.
Love, Dad
A few days later he received a letter from his son:
Dear Dad,
For heaven's sake, Dad, don't dig up that garden, that's where I buried the BODIES.
Love,
Fred
At 4 am the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left.
That same day the old man received another letter from his son:
Dear Dad,
Go ahead and plant the potatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances. Love,
Fred

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

It was opening night at the theatre and the Amazing Claude was topping the bill.
People came from miles around to see the famed hypnotist do his stuff. As Claude took to the stage, he announced,
"Unlike most stage hypnotists who invite two or three people up onto the stage to be put into a trance, I intend to hypnotize each and every member of the audience."
The excitement was almost electric as Claude withdrew a beautiful antique pocket watch from his coat. I want you each to keep your eye on this antique watch. It's a very special watch. It's been in my family for six generations."
He began to swing the watch gently back and forth while quietly chanting, "Watch the watch, watch the watch, watch the watch...."
The crowd became mesmerized as the watch swayed back and forth, light gleaming off its polished surface. Hundreds of pairs of eyes followed the swaying watch, until suddenly it slipped from the hypnotist's fingers and fell to the floor, breaking into a hundred pieces.
"Shit!" said the hypnotist.

AAADD
Recently, I was diagnosed with A. A. A. D. D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it manifests:
I decide to wash my car. As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is post on the hall table. I decide to go through the post before I wash the car. I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk post in the rubbish bin under the table, and notice that the rubbish bin is full. So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the trash first.
But then I think, since I'm going to be near the postbox when I take out the trash anyway, I may as well pay the bills first. I take my chequebook off the table, and see that there is only one cheque left. My extra cheques are in my desk in the study, so I go to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking. I'm going to look for my cheques, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye - they need to be watered. I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers. I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.
I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers. I splash some water on the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels, and wipe up the spill.
Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do. At the end of the day: the car isn't washed, the bills aren’t paid, there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter, the flowers aren't watered, there is still only one cheque in my cheque book, I can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys!
Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I’m really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail. Do me a favour, will you? Forward this message to everyone you know, because I don't remember to whom it has been sent. Don’t laugh. If this isn't you yet, your day is coming!
GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY.
GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.
LAUGHING AT YOURSELF IS THERAPEUTIC

Keep smiling, keep singing.

Joe Stead