Monday, 31 March 2008

Fly Me to the Moon...

[Photo: NASA]

If you have ever dreamt of travelling to the moon, then you may get a chance. The only thing you need, apart from enough money to finance the trip, is to die.

Celestis, Inc hopes to begin "moon burials" as early as 2009. They plan to crash spacecraft containing ashes into our nearest celestial neighbour.

Not exactly the most peaceful of ceremonies. Whilst I wouldn't like to criticise anyone's last wishes, I'm really not sure about this. It seems like we're going to start littering the moon with trashed space vehicles. Which might be okay now, but what happens when we start colonizing it? Maybe it won't matter, since the living humans will only occupy a small area, nevertheless it doesn't sound quite right.

I also wonder who would want such a burial. Certainly people who have always wanted to go into space, or to the Moon. Perhaps also people who really hate the thought of their relatives or "loved ones" being anywhere near them, even in death.

I think, though, that there are better places in space to be "interred". If I was contemplating anything like this I'd want to be fired into a large star. It would take the spacecraft perhaps millions of years to reach one, but that doesn't matter when you're dead.

Big stars, unlike our Sun, eventually become supernovas. Their matter is spread into space, and eventually forms into other stars and planets. It is this sort of matter that ultimately formed us - the chemicals necessary for life are only found inside stars, so the only way they get into space is by a supernova.

So there'd be a chance that some of your remains might one day become another form of life.

Now that would be cosmic...

Saturday, 29 March 2008

For Medicinal Purposes Only

The other night I woke up at about 2am, unable to sleep. So I did what I usually do and watched some TV. They were showing a repeat of "kalitera Mazi", an afternoon programme that I don't usually see.

They had a "Colour Therapist" on who was explaining how she makes a living, as far as I could tell, by telling people how to choose what colours to wear. The colour of your clothes apparently has an effect on your health.

This is because different coloured fabrics absorb different frequencies of light, so the light energy that hits your skin is different.

Now, I'm very sceptical when it comes to "alternative" medicine. The kind of "medicine" which people will swear definitely works, and yet when anyone gathers statistics they can't find any proof. The sort of medicine that cures ailments which haven't got definite physical symptoms, and yet can't cure, say, cancer.

Nevertheless, I've worked out what colours can really make a difference. If you look at a rainbow, it's the colour at the very end. The pot of gold.

I'm going to set up in business as a "money therapist". The idea is that the kind and amount of money that you keep on your person channels different types of energy through your body.

Just because I'm among friends here, I'm going to give you all a free diagnosis session. No, it's okay, you don't need to thank me, I'm just doing it to make you all healthier and happier.

I think that you're all weighed down by the money that you carry. Not so much by the notes and coins that you have in your wallets and purses, but by the plastic money. In order to become more carefree and well-balanced you need to channel that negative energy away from yourselves.

Simply check your credit and debit card balances. Work out how much you can afford to spend on them. Frightening, isn't it? Just think of every dollar and cent as a crippling weight. Because I'm so altruistic and because you're people I care about, I'll make the ultimate sacrifice and take your burden from you.

What do reckon? Try it and see. If it works, then I'll become a full time therapist and spread happiness and health throughout the world. The colour of money. That's the best medicine...

All major credit cards accepted.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


There have been a few news items that caught my eye over the last week or so, but for some reason none of them were inspiring enough to warrant a post. Or maybe I'm just suffering from a lack of creativity. Anyway, here are a couple of them.

What A Party!

You know that your birthday party's gone well when you go to sleep in some random place on your way home, and the sound of an express train going over you doesn't wake you up...

This happened to a 32 year old woman from Belarus. She lay down on the ground to have a little sleep, since she was feeling the effects of a boozy night. She didn't realise that she had lain down between some train tracks.

If she'd woken up and tried to sit up then she wouldn't have survived as the train rattled past above her at 90 mph.

All of which makes me wonder what kind of birthday celebrations she's planning for next year...

The Breath-Test Car

I'm sure this isn't a new idea, but it was on the TV last night. This is the car that has a built in breathalyser. You blow into it, and it only starts if you're not over the legal limit.

There are clearly so many problems with this idea that I won't bother to list them. But I did wonder about similar applications:
  • Mobile Disco Detector : The engine is automatically cut off when the car's stereo system reaches a certain decibel level
  • Intelligent Parking : After two failed attempts to get into the same space, the car parks itself (I need this!)
  • Flat Cap Detector : If the driver is wearing a flat cap, the car will move at twice the speed displayed on the speedo.
  • Road Pacifier : Detects high outputs of adrenaline, indicating that the driver is suffering from road rage, at which point the horn is disabled, all windows and doors locked, and a soothing medley of dolphin mating calls is played on the stereo.

Monday, 24 March 2008

24th March 2108

As you all know I notched up my first hundred years of blogging last October. I threatened then to do restrospectives from time to time (You know - "On this day 100 years ago"), especially when I get low on material.

However, today I'm going to give you the post I didn't write on 24th March 2008. I didn't write it because I didn't know at the time what was happening.

Looking back on that day, I see that it was nothing special. I'd posted a "Scary Jean Knee Special" a few days previously, and Jean Knee was talking about her concerns about a zombie invasion.

If I'd paid attention to her, I would have taken defensive measures. I would have gone out and got protective clothing, of the sort that can't be bitten through, and I would not have eaten that egg.

Ironically, I had been reading Jean Knee's post about chocolate eggs, and had commented that they were too sickly. Nevertheless, in the interests of science, I decided to try a few, so I'd gone out and bought some - they were being sold off cheap after Easter.

Little did any of us know at the time that a particular batch of eggs had been made with milk tainted with bacteria. It's not surprising that no-one knew, since it was not detectable by any of the routine tests carried out on foodstuffs.

I only realised about a week later when someone commented that I was walking like a chicken, whilst I was on my way to the butchers to buy some tripe. By then the first medically verified cases of zombification started to be reported.

As one of the pioneering "New Zombies", life was difficult. Of course I didn't go to the doctor - I would have been "cured" (i.e. killed), since in those days they didn't have zombie food, so we had to rely on biting people.

I kept blogging as if nothing had happened. I didn't dare talk about it. It was agony to hear about Jean Knee's fate. She'd predicted that she only had a 33% chance in a Zombie attack, and she was right. I knew it was my kind who did that to her. I'm glad that she didn't blame me personally for it, and that the 33% of her that was left has still managed to produce such entertaining blog posts and comments this past century.

Bee had managed to avoid the invasion, since she was out buying shoes at the time. Though if anyone could have outrun a Zombie in stilettos it would have been her. Tracy was also unaffected (they didn't get round to invading West Virginia for some reason).

As we look forward to this year's possible election of the first Zombie President of the United States (medical evidence has recently been found to prove that despite what many people believe this wasn't Ronald Reagan), it's amazing how far equal rights have come in such a short space of time.

I might write more on the subject another day, but right now I'm going to grab my shroud and go out for a shuffle...

Friday, 21 March 2008


"Aghhhhhhhhhhhh! I've had it! I'm Done for!"

"Aghhhhhhhhhhhh! No, I'm not one of them!"

"The Horror!"

Scottie woke up and hurridly looked around him. In his half-sleepy state he looked to see if she was there. He felt a wave of panic run over him. There she was! The Lady in Grey. She was coming nearer...

He should run, but he was paralysed with fear...

"You were having another nightmare, Mr Fergusson", said the nurse, taking a thermometer from the pocket of her grey uniform. "It's okay now."

Later that day he was taken to his weekly meeting with the Institute's physciatrist.

"The dream started the same as always, but this time it ended. I managed to get away, though I couldn't believe it."

"Suppose you tell me about it."

I was in the city art gallery. I love it there. Well, I did, until... Anyway, that's when I saw her. Dressed in grey sitting in front of an old portrait. She was staring at it. Her hands were frantically busy - I saw she was making something out of bits of office stationary that she must have had in her handbag.

I thought she was just a bit dotty, but then I realised the startling resemblence.

The wierd figure that she was crafting looked just like me!

But she had her back to me! How could she know? I tried to get her attention, but she kept staring ahead and crafting. Then I realised the other startling resemblence.

The woman in the old portrait looked just like the woman in grey!

I left the gallery - I no longer felt like looking, and went walking. I didn't know where, just around the city. Eventually I came to the graveyard. This seemed to suit my mood, and I walked around. Then I saw her. Her!

She was staring again. This time at an old gravestone. I walked up to her. She didn't seem to notice me. The inscription on the grave said "Carlotta Knee", and there were some dates. Some time in the 19th century. Suddenly, she turned round.

She looked straight through me and walked away. I stood there wondering, and then I noticed that she'd dropped something. It was the wierd figure that looked like me. And she'd crushed it beneath her feet...

After that, things are a bit of a blur. Days passed. Everywhere I went, there She was. In that same grey suit (or maybe she had a whole wardrobe full of them). I went for a meal at my favourite restaurant. She walked past, and I almost died. "John Ferguson, died suddenly at Park N Pizza choking on an olive." That would have been embarrassing (I don't even like olives particularly), but fortunately the waiter was an expert at that Heimlich thing.

Anyway, I decided that next time I'd confront her. But Fate had other plans. I was walking by the river when I saw someone in trouble. I jumped in and pulled out the drowning person. It was the Lady in Grey. I took her back, practically unconscious, to my apartment.

She slept for hours. When she woke up she started to thank me for saving her life. Then she stopped.

"Dang, It's you! The horror! You should have left me to drown, not bring me back so you could torture me more!"


"You keep following me. Everywhere I go. I know what you are. I know that I've only got a 33% chance of surviving an attack from zombies like you."


"AND BAD LUCK, YOU'RE THE 33%!", She shouted lunging towards me.

She had reckoned without my arachnophobia, which has meant that I have excellent reflexes when it comes to running away screaming. But she kept following me.

I ran. And ran. But I couldn't get any distance between us. Maybe she's got a phobia too. I wasn't paying attention to where I was going, and ended up at the old Mission. It's practically deserted, just the odd nun around from time to time to tend to the grounds. I headed for the imposing bell tower.

I don't know why. It was probably the old survival instinct of getting to higher ground, but I found myself pelting up the stairs.

Then I realised she was no longer there. From the top of the tower, I saw her running away.

Which was crazy, because she could have got me, especially as I've no head for heights."

"Hmmmm", murmered the shrink, "This is a good sign. The dream is finished, and maybe you can get back to reality. Then eventually we can let you out of here."

"No!", said Scottie,"If it's all the same to you, I'll stay here. This is the one place I feel safe."

"Well, I didn't say we'd let you go straight away. Now that's it for today. I have to see the new patient now - the vertigo sufferer. We'll talk next week."

Scottie left the office feeling a lot better. So it was all in his mind after all! He nodded aknowlegment to the patient sitting in the waiting room, then suddenly froze. It was Her...

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Silver Surfer

I'm not a geek!

Here is an update on the status of my computers. Something that has been occupying my time in the past few days, though you're probably not interested. If you want, feel free to skip this and comment about something completely different.

What do you mean that's what you always do?

Anyway, my laptop crashes at random intervals, and I'm going to have to find out why and possibly take it back. Otherwise it's fine...

With the security of having a second Windows machine, I decided to have a go at removing it from my main computer and installing Linux instead. It helped that I'd consumed a reasonable amount of vodka - I've never done anything like this and I don't think I'd have tried it whilst totally sober.

The operation involved reformatting my hard drive, and so deleting all of the files on it. I didn't bother to back any up. Photos, email inbox, the lot all went...

After a tense 30 minutes wondering whether I'd acutally have a useable computer at the end of all this, the operating system was installed and I could log on. It all seemed to work, and I spent the next few hours working out where and how to get all the software I needed.

I panicked a bit the next morning when I installed the video player and it only gave me sound and not pictures. No Cypriot Telly! Luckily I was able to sort that and watch a bit of breakfast TV before going to work. Phew!

The only thing I thought I might miss was Photoimpact - the wonderful photo editing suite that came with the computer, and is now history. However I've now got GIMP which is at least as good.

You might be wondering whether this is the first sign of something bad happening to me and that I'm going to grow a beard, develop a taste for real ale, and possibly take up pipe smoking, spend my weekends campaigning to save the countryside and going round National Trust parks. Hmmm, what do you think? I think not this side of Eternity...

Or perhaps I'm going to turn into a geek, though I suspect I'm getting a bit old for that sort of thing. Anyway, you don't qualify until you've physically opened your computer up and swapped all the parts for others that never quite work properly. Since I only do software not hardware that won't happen.

If you skipped all that you can start reading again

Next Time: A Scary Jean Knee special

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Woman Driver

You will of course remember last month's review of Airport (1970). I know that you hang on my every word, so I'm sure you won't need to check the link to refresh your memory.

Well, we finally got round to watching the first sequel - Airport 75. This stars Charlton Heston as an expert 747 pilot, and of course features another thrilling mid-air disaster.

As before, there are a variety of interesting and fun characters - a singing nun, an alcoholic Myrna Loy (reminiscent of Nora Charles, as Helena pointed out), a young girl on her way to get a kidney transplant (Linda Blair).

This time, the accident is caused by the pilot of a light aircraft. He is battling difficult weather, and also feeling under the weather himself, but he is eager to get back to his wife and their warm bed.

Unfortunately, he suffers from a heart attack and crashes into the 747. "Is there much damage?", asks someone. "No, not much, just a hole where the pilots usually sit!". So there is a plane load of people flying over Utah with no-one to fly the plane.

Look, no hands!

They've got the autopilot, but all that does is keeps them going in a straight line. Unfortunately they're on their way to Salt Lake City, and the straight lines all point to mountains. The autopilot is also not going to be much help with the landing.

Who Put Those In the Way?

The chief air hostess, Karen Black, has to save the day. She is given instructions on flying the plane by Charlton Heston. "THE STEWARDESS IS FLYING THE PLANE?" asks one of the suddenly anxious and panic-stricken passengers incredulously.

He'd be a lot more worried if he was in the cockpit. Karen Black's character is not exactly the first person you'd want to rely on in that situation. She's terrified, and manages to knock the radio off the correct frequency. You'd have thought with over 200 people on this plane there would be someone who would be calmer.

Eventually the situation gets so bad that they decide to winch a pilot in through the hole in the cockpit, so that they'll have a fighting chance of getting it on the ground in one piece.

Anyway, Helena's verdict on the film was that it's better than the first one. It's less plausible and most critics would say not as good, but she said that it wasn't as "dull" - it's certainly true that there's a lot more action, and less emphasis on personal relationships, though there's still loads of humour.

Maybe next month we'll get round to Airport 77...

Saturday, 15 March 2008

BOV Unplugged

I was given an early release from my house arrest, due to good behaviour, no doubt, when my wireless internet thingy was delivered at 9am.

I realised that it would be a little difficult to make sure that it was working properly without a laptop, so I ended up taking a trip to the computer shop. Having spent several hours messing around with setups, and installing all the software I need, I am now sitting on my sofa writing this.

The main justification for buying a second computer was that I spend so much of my time on it, I don't spend a lot of time sitting on my comfortable sofa, or in my nice armchair, but instead on an office chair, the same as I do at work. When I'm reading the paper online, or watching Emilia, it seems a shame not to be able to do so in comfort.

The new machine is more powerful than my other one - that's a year's worth of technological advance for you. It's black with light grey keys - the colour scheme paid no part in my choice at all, I'm afraid.

The main important thing that I've still got to do is to decide on a suitable background. That'll probably take longer than all the other setting up...

Friday, 14 March 2008

Health Corner

In view of the fact that Bee is sick, I decided to postpone the "surprise balloon" post and the Vertigo tribute and instead offer some health advice on how to beat Chiropteronic Influenza, commonly known as "Bat Flu".

So here are my top tips:

Drink Plenty - All the experts are agreed that a large intake of fluids is a good thing.

Lemon Remedies - These soothe and are a good source of citric acid and vitamins.

Rest - Try and do as little as possible.

Warmth - Again, experts are unanimous on the need for extra warmth.

All of which can be summarised as follows:

Drink a large amount of cocktails, each with slices of lemon (a twist of lime won't hurt either), hold the ice, add some fire, and get someone else to make them for you.

Something like this, perhaps:

The great thing is that whether it works or not, after you've had a few you'll be beyond caring.

Oh, and try to avoid too much excitement. This may mean restricting blog reading to the more serious ones - such as this one.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

House Arrest

I've recieved an invitation to an important party at the weekend. A train party. From Tracy who will be representing me at a variety of celebrity dinner parties. Not only is a train party not a celebrity dinner party, but because it's a children's birthday party there is unlikely to be the temptation of champagne. Or caviar. But there will be trains, which should be fun.

Nevertheless I will be unable to go, owing, as they say, to a prior engagement.

With the coming of Spring to Chicago, I have every expectation that we will finally get to go to that barbecue that Bee has been promising to lay on for us, but was forced to cancel owing to inclement weather. However, I will be absent.

I will also have to ask my ex to bring Helena round this weekend, as I won't be able to leave my flat between the hours of 7 am and 7 pm.

All because the nice lady at my ISP said she could save me £3 a month.

I phoned because they keep charging me an extra Pound or so every month for exceeding my download limit. This is due to all the Cypriot TV that I'm streaming off the internet. I don't mind this extra - it's cheaper than paying £6 more for unlimited downloads, but I was checking that my ISP doesn't mind me going over my limit all the time. They said it was fine, but actually if I start a new contract they'll reduce my payments by £3 and send me a modem with wireless capability.

This will be useful for when I eventually get a laptop, but is also the reason for my forced captivity this Saturday.

In the past, they've sent things like this by Royal Mail. Amazingly, since I work all day (how thoughtless of me), I'm never around when they deliver the parcels, so they take them to their depot for me to collect at my convenience.

But now my ISP has decided to start using another parcel company. They came round on Monday, but I was out. So they came round this morning, and I still wasn't around. They left a card saying that I could arrange for one more attempt at a delivery, after which time the parcel will be returned to sender. So I phoned.

"Don't you have a neighbour who can take delivery?", asked the lady. What? One that doesn't mind staying at home between 7am until I finish work? All my neighbours work as well.

However, all was not lost as they do Saturday deliveries. Hence my inability to go to all those wonderful parties.

It seems worrying that home delivery is getting more difficult and not easier. After all, we're told that Internet shopping is the future. And also that in the interests of sexual equality more women will be forced to work against their will, and so there'll be no-one around to take delivery of all these parcels.

All they have to do now is to find a way to deliver things via the internet, and it'll be fine.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Lead me into Temptation

"Luncheon With Oysters" (de Troy)

Today is "Kathara Devtera", or "Pure Monday", the day when the Orthodox Lent begins.

One of the advantages of not being religious is not having to give things up, but nevertheless, in keeping with the spirit of the Season, here is my list of luxuries that I won't be partaking of during this period:

1. Expensive Holiday: It would clearly not be very respectful to go off on a cruise, or spend time in a 5 start hotel in Honolulu, so I won't.

2. Caviar: A wasteful extravagance.

3. Champagne: I'll drink Cava instead.

4. Celebrity Dinner Parties: Although it will be a great disappointment, I shall not be accepting any invitations for the next 40 days.

5. Gold-Embroidered Swimwear. This will have to wait, I'm afraid.

6. Fast Cars: I won't be buying a sports car.

Of course, it's not enough to give up these things. One also has to resist all temptation. I would therefore be very grateful if you could each try and tempt me with offers of free holidays, Champagne (don't worry about splashing out on caviar or swimwear). Either I will remain Saintly and steadfast, in which case you will have the satisfaction of seeing what a great person I am, or I'll cave in, in which case you will be able to feel holier than me.

Come on, have a go...

Friday, 7 March 2008

Fashion Page

Reading Bee's eulogy of Vinny has made me realise that my readers could benefit from some more Cosmopolitan posts, in both senses of the word.

With Spring rapidly approaching (well, maybe not so rapidly for some), women are now looking at building up their wardrobe ready for next Winter. At which point, many fashion articles look at what the big designers have been showing on the catwalk (at least I'm assuming that's what they do, I've never read any). This is of course the whole purpose of the fashion show. Not to inform people about the latest trends in clothes they will actually wear, because unfortunately those off-the-nipple numbers never seem to find their way onto our streets, but to give fashion journalists something to write about.

Because ultimately, clothes "design" is a bit boring. Clothes are made to fit people, which means that they have to be the same shape as the bit they are being worn on. Since people don't grow extra arms or change drastically every year, fashion designers would all be unemployed. So, they have fashion shows.

So here are my top tips for what will be in next winter. Unless you live in Australia.

Wool - This is always a good bet. Natural and warm, and it comes in lots of colours, which is very important if you're a woman.

Coats - People tend to underrate coats as fashion items, ever since the anti-fur lobby started up. However, I think that lots of people will be wearing them this winter, so unless you want to look unfashionable, and cold, I suggest you invest in one. Preferably full length. The great thing about long coats is that you don't need to worry about colour-coordination, since they cover up whatever else you're wearing.

Sensible Boots - I'm predicting that heels will be pretty much out, especially on snowy and icy days. Except for in the Casualty Units.

Gloves - These are hated by the big designers, since unfortunately there's only one shape that works. The one that looks just like a hand. Nevertheless they continue to be a mainstay of the winter clothing industry.

No doubt Vinny will have other ideas - hopefully Bee will continue to provide us with snippets from that Sage. However, I think it's a fair bet that the following will NOT be all the rage next Winter (because smoking is just so last century):

If you're going to show off clothes like this, why not pick better shaped women? But then, what do I know?

Tuesday, 4 March 2008


Honore Daumier, The Omnibus, 1864

It's the time of year when I have to spend money on my car. It's now about 5 years old, and so the tax ran out at the end of last month. Getting a new tax disk used to involve queuing at the dreaded Post Office, but these days it's done over the phone and they post it to you. A few weeks after the tax runs out, so does my MOT (a test of roadworthiness must be done annually on cars over 3 years old), and while I'm at it I get its annual service done.

A couple of weeks ago I tried to drive over something that was too high and scraped the bottom of the car. I haven't driven it since, because I didn't know whether anything serious was damaged, or what the consequences of driving around without the large pieces that got ripped off the underside.

Since I don't use the car daily anyway, I decided just to wait until the service to get it looked at. They've had a look today and luckily the damage isn't expensive.

As usual when I'm deprived of my car for any length of time (last year a warning light started coming on in January, so I only used it sparingly until March), I start to wonder if it's worth keeping a set of wheels.

Not having a car is a viable option in this country. They build things called pavements here. I believe that there is an equivalent American word "Sidewalk", although I've rarely managed to walk anywhere in the US. I happily walk the 40 minutes to and from our town centre if I go there to meet people for a drink.

Together with internet shopping, you can manage okay. In fact I know several carless households. Admittedly most of them don't have children. That's only viable for SAHMs who don't have the inevitable long round trip between work, school and home.

I'm sure I'd save money. No tax, insurance, MOTs, maintenance, repairs. I could hire a car the odd time I needed one, and use public transport. Busses stop right outside my flat - Helena and I got one the other day, one of the rare times.

So what am I waiting for? What's stopping me putting an advert on Dan's blog. "5 year old Skoda. Low mileage. One careless owner"?

The truth is that I like the convenience. I like going to the supermarket - I don't want to do internet shopping for groceries. I like being able to ferry Helena around - that way I don't have to spend 30 minutes - 1 hour per weekend wasting my life waiting for my ex to arrive (she's never on time).

And I like my car. It's had a few knocks (only with solid stationary objects, no other vehicles), but I've had it since it was new, it's hardly ever been driven by anyone else, and it represents my freedom. By Friday it'll have a new MOT, a new underside, and will hopefully give me another year of trouble-free motoring. Maybe I'll ditch it next year...

Saturday, 1 March 2008

New Governments

Yesterday, the new Government of Cyprus were sworn in and took up their ministerial positions.

I am pleased to announce that the senior posts in our forthcoming dictatorship have also been finalised. The following people will be running the world just as soon as we can organise a take-over.

Supreme Tyrant: Dan

Dan, as he prefers to be known, will assume the title of "The People's Ruler". He will be a benign dictator, always ready to put the Ordinary Man in the Street at his ease; Always a joke and a smile for those he condemns to a hideously painful death. An expert crowd pleaser, Dan hopes that his popularity will make his rule a long and a happy one.

Propaganda Minister: Bee

Bee has had a difficult time, suffering with a split personality, and living in the shadow of her illustrious brother Dan. And no doubt, some people will suggest that her meteoric rise to High Office is as a result of family connections. But they won't dare say it to her.

Finance Minister: Tracy

Tracy has long been proactive as an advocate of consumer power. She will ensure that there are affordable and plentiful stocks of the most necessary items, such as Rum Soaked Raisins, Tiddy Bears and Girlfriend cushions. She'll also be the paid double rates, since Bee will be working for the sheer pleasure, and not for any money.

Minister for Education, the Arts and the Environment (with special responsibility for Bon Bon Tasting): Jean Knee

A tireless cultural hard-liner (she believes that opera should be a compulsory part of the kindergarten curriculum), and eco-warrior (a devoted disciple of "Father" Al Gore), the public will embrace her values and ideals wholeheartedly. Or else she'll get scary. In a nice way, of course.

There are a few other places, if anyone else wants to enter the realm of Public Office. Simply get in touch with me or any of the above with a suitably large bribe, erm, I mean, donation to public funds, and we'll see what we can do.