Diary Of An ADI

A Driving Instructor's Blog

Another story in yesterday’s press (and covered further today) dealt with the female driving instructor, Denise Dawson , who had been mugged by a gang of violent thugs on an estate in Bristol. She’d positively identified the one who robbed her – and with whom she had struggled – at an identity parade.

The thug in question was Liam Perks (20). As it turns out, he is obviously some species of pond life:

The court heard that Perks, of Henbury, Bristol, had admitted a separate charge of conspiracy to burgle, for his involvement in a gang which stole motorcycles and prestige cars. He is awaiting sentence for that offence

You’d think this little weasel would be on a hiding to nothing, wouldn’t you? Not so. The Judge – possibly a victim of a blow to the head at some stage in an earlier part of his life – decided:

…Mrs Dawson’s good character and compelling evidence could sway the jury, even though she had had only a fleeting glimpse of her attacker.

He said: ‘Denise Dawson was a particularly impressive witness because she showed courage, clarity of thought and was undoubtedly honest. The jury may lend more weight to her evidence than the facts allow. You cannot be sure she got it right.’

The judge said that her evidence was not enough for a conviction.

You couldn’t make it up, could you? A positive ID of a known thug ‘isn’t enough for a conviction ‘.

This so-called ‘judge’ (Jamie Tabor ) also freed a woman who tried to poison her husband with rat poison because he (her husband) was cheating on her. Mr Tabor seems to have an unfortunate habit of imagining up complicated backgrounds to relatively simple cases. You can’t help wondering at what point he would actually side with the victim and against the accused…

I mean, if someone is happy to try and poison a family member, surely they have committed a crime which puts other people at risk no matter how out-of-character it was, how sorry they were, or how disturbed they may have been? Same as someone who kills, mugs, rapes, and so on.


The Mac is 25 on 24 January. This is that video everyone raved about when it was shown during the 1984 Superbowl :

You can read more here, but the one quotation I really like is from John C Dvorak in the San Francisco Examiner:

The nature of the personal computer is simply not fully understood by companies like Apple (or anyone else for that matter). Apple makes the arrogant assumption of thinking that it knows what you want and need. It, unfortunately, leaves the “why** out of the equation **” as in “why would I want this?** The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a **˜mouse’. There is no evidence that people want to use these things. I dont want one of these new fangled devices.

I like it when people say things which could so easily blow up in their faces.

Most embarrassing of all has to be how anyone thought the Mac would ever beat the PC.


This in an interesting story from today’s press – well, those which have space after they’ve covered that bloody UFO fiasco.

I didn’t realise BSM got all its cars free of charge from Vauxhall . That’s one heck of a deal they have going there. Or it was. Looks like General Motors has decided it can’t afford this anymore and it wants BSM to pay.

Vauxhall is now in talks with the driving school to get it to pay for the fleet. The change in policy is expected to cost BSM several million pounds.

The credit crunch is hitting even the biggest players, it seems.

I know that people on school franchises pay a lot of money, so I wonder if this will affect how much BSM drivers pay? That’s one of the advantages of being completely independent: you don’t pay anywhere near as much for your car… and things like this don’t affect you either. At least that’s one good thing for me with everything that’s going on at the moment.

EDIT 18 Feb 2009: I noticed someone searched for ‘has BSM recently been sold’ and only came to this page! For goodness sake, look for more recent posts – for example, the one which gives itself away really: BSM Sold To German Buyer !

*** Click Here! BSM and FIAT sign deal (23/07/2009)***

EDIT 13/10/2010: But BSM is switching back to Corsas after only one year.


Nick Pope simply cannot consider any other possibility!

I wrote the other day about the UFO that had undoubtedly flown into a wind turbine in Lincolnshire. Nick Pope is the 'renowned' UFO expert who did not – even for a split second – consider any possibility other than it being a UFO from another world. The next day the story developed a little and it was being suggested that the collision might have involved a secret robotic stealth aircraft being tested by the military. Mr Pope was quick to dismiss this outright as an absurb idea – it was definitely an alien spacecraft which did it.

It does make you wonder what colour the sky is in Mr Pope's world.

And today, in The Sun newspaper again (paper version – I can't find it in the online version), Mr Pope is now saying that even if it was a stealth aircraft the technology it used was not of this world.


This is the daft woman who has banned the use of the word ‘school’ to identify her school. I wrote about her a couple of weeks ago.

According to my stats she is still the most popular search term by a mile. I bet if I look at the source of those searches they’d be in a very narrow geographical area. I’m sure those involved with the decision are still anxious to see the stir they’ve created. Maybe they should be teaching – sorry, I mean ‘conveying knowledge’ to their pupils – or would that be ‘recipients of knowledge transfer’?

I have to keep checking to make sure it isn’t April 1st.


As a bit of additional background to the story on the YouTube ban I posted on 2 January, I was reminded of a skiing holiday I went on in France some years ago.

You have to remember that mothers who have just had a kid are not a full shilling. Indeed, some of them remain a few pennies short for much of the rest of their lives. And these days, thanks to successive governments trying to warp nature, a lot of men appear to be more likely to opt for a frontal lobotomy before they start thinking about vasectomies once they get their first kid – in this way they can behave irrationally and inconsiderately in front of everyone else.

At work this doesn’t usually amount to anything other than minor irritations. I suppose the worst is the preamble to the start of any meeting – all the mummies and daddies exchanging details of their sprogs’ latest antics. Then, after a few years, you start getting the ‘paintings’ – swashes of colour stuck up on filing cabinets (“Jake – 3½”) – followed by the coloured egg-boxes and other constructions. Or the framed photos.

But a million times worse than this is the combined result of the genetic (women) and deliberate (new-age men)  stupidifying – I made that word up – when out in public. It doesn’t matter how old someone’s kids are, they allow them to get away with murder – and the parents  are oblivious to the effect it has on everyone else around them.

But anyway, back to that skiing holiday. A bunch of us were in a plush restaurant and we’d just started eating our main course. At the table next to us there was a family with a kid in a high chair (I remember they were eating a raclette). All of a sudden there was the most God-awful smell – you knew immediately what it was the smell of, and I nearly vomited there and then. I said to my friends “I think that baby has crapped itself”.

It had. They went and changed it, but the smell hung around for the rest of the meal.

Why should anyone have to put up with that? Changing a nappy is a lot more involved than cleaning yourself after you’ve been to the loo, so there’s no telling how well people clean themselves after they’ve changed junior. And because of the stupidifying they have undergone, being covered in baby poo is not seen as a problem to most parents…

You just have to hope the restaurant doesn’t use those open salt cellars, or hand the same bread basket around…

Hey, and don’t even think about the salad bar at Pizza Hut…


This is a very old story. A more recent one (January 2015) suggests that scientists have found a way to make the old-style bulb more energy efficient (better than LEDs). I should point out – since the Daily Mail skims over it – that it is only “proof of concept”. Such bulbs are not being manufactured yet, and I would suggest that they are years away – and they may not even make it to market. For one thing, they will still “burn out”, whereas LED bulbs don’t.

Not to be outdone by those Luddites at The Daily Mail , The Sun is giving away energy-efficient light bulbs. This particular story is from 3 January, but in today’s paper copy they’re advertising that tomorrow they’re giving a free one away in partnership with Asda .

Incidentally, I’m getting a lot of hits by people searcing for ‘ Pharox 240v light bulb ‘ or similar. The Pharox appears to be quite difficult to get hold of but you can easily buy equivalent models – take a look here and here.


A variation on the Prog Rock stuff the Beeb has been covering recently. This one features the BBC’s interpretation of what it calls ‘Guitar Heroes’ . It’s live on the BBC4 website at the moment, but you can’t watch it on their iPlayer unfortunately.

Some of the older clips are pretty much OK, but I don’t think I’d lump The Police or U2 in that heading – especially U2’s earlier stuff. It’s all jingly-jangly – OK to listen to, but not in the same class as Carlos Santana .

And missing out guitarists like Rush’s Alex Lifeson in favour of commercial lightweights just goes to show how subjective it all is.

The program is followed by a documentary about Les Paul .


Great stuff in yesterday's press. The Sun (registered at the Post Office as a comic) declared:

UFO Hits Wind Turbine

across its front page. The Daily Mail – which has got into the habit of reporting exactly what The Sun has, but a day later – has enhanced the story:

Unmanned stealth bomber could have been UFO responsible for destroying wind turbine

I love the way the most ridiculous explanation possible comes so readily and excitedly to these people.The Definitive UFO Picture

When you consider that a sparrow is quite capable of bringing down a 747 if the two happen to meet unexpectedly you can't help but marvel at the technology which could smash into a 65ft wind turbine blade and then fly off unharmed. Even more so when you remember that the same technology wasn't quite so robust over Roswell in the 1940s.

I particularly like the 'definitive' photo of (the) UFO taken by a local village idiot. The crash happened at 4am (that's in the middle of the night – when it's dark) – the photo is clearly taken in broad daylight . The Mail reckons the crash happened 'hours later' – technically this is correct, but 'many hours later' would be a more appropriate claim given the position of the sun in that photo, and allowing for the fact that sunset is around 4pm this time of year.

So this photo was taken more than 12 hours earlier – probably more than 15 judging from the sun's elevation. Getting on for a whole day earlier, in fact. Not quite as neat and tidy as they'd have you believe.

But anyway, back to that photo.

Anyone heard of Sundogs? (Sorry to use Wikipedia as a reference, but it illustrates what Sundogs are all about. In any case, it's probably the primary research source for most journalists involved in this story anyway). Can anyone see the obvious similarities here?

Let's face it, the 'definitive UFO picture' isn't a UFO at all, is it? It's just an optical phenomenon caused by clear sky, low sun, very low temperatures, and a few clouds or even aircraft contrails.

It's a Sundog!Sundog Example 2

It even appears slap in the middle of a cloud or contrail – precisely the way it happens!

Yet the jackasses at both The Mail and The Sun aren't interested in facts, and behave as if the photo is actually of a UFO. Doesn't it occur to these people that the simplest and most logical explanations must be considered first?

And the official crazy guy… sorry: UFO Expert … Nick Pope, who follows all these things up said:

What's particularly exciting is that because there's been a collision, there will be residue of the object involved.

What's funny is that they haven't even found the missing turbine blade, let alone the Mothership it is apparently embedded in. So Mr Pope is perhaps a little premature in proclaiming:

Forensic science will enable this material to be recovered and analysed. This elevates this UFO case, because with most sightings all you have is eyewitness testimony or indistinct and shaky film footage taken on a mobile phone.

Yeah, it's a good job that photo of the UFO is so incontrovertible! It's got to be the funniest story for a long while.


After that repeat I mentioned there was a documentary about Pink Floyd on BBC 4 the other night – you can see it here (until 12 January).

Now, I was never into Pink Floyd that much and I’m still not – but it was interesting all the same. I still maintain that all they ever did until Dark Side Of The Moon was make a bloody noise, and that thing with the cows and the howling dog just back me up on that.

But the overriding thing which came out of it was how much of a shame it was that Roger Waters appeared to be such an egotistical prat (allegedly).

(The other overriding thing that came out of it is that Bob Geldof  also comes across as an egotistical prat (allegedly), but I don’t think this is really that much of a surprise to most people).