Train Complains and The Rock [Podcast]

In this show we talked about a fight on a train, the things passengers do that bothers you, The Rock's new acting partner and more.

Here's the podcast of it for you to download/listen. (Originally broadcast on Monday 24th of July 2017.)

Download the mp3.

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Get the info on how to listen to the show live here.

To find more radio show minipodcasts see here.
All past episodes can be found in the radio podcast archive.
And if you enjoyed that check out the SomeNews Topical Podcast.


Altercates On A Train

There's an unusual story about a train journey in the news. If you live in the area served by Southern Trains you'll think the strange element to this is that the train was actually running and the drivers weren't on strike. But that's not it.

On a train from Paddington to Exeter a first class passenger (he was a passenger in the first class section, I'm not passing judgement on him as a man), Dr Peter Ellis got annoyed when a fellow passenger from the lower classes kept popping into the first class bit to nick nibbles.

On the fifth food dash made by this Leslie Gilmer the Doc had a word. Leslie left the first class section, then came back and crammed a £10 note into Peter's mouth. I'm not sure where he'd be expecting the change to drop out.

This is the problem with the new plastic £10 note, you could cram it into someone's mouth and, if you're willing to wait and ideally own some gloves, you could get it back a day later. There's no loss for the thug.

Dr Ellis said, "I felt an object being pushed into my mouth." There's never a good start to a story.

He said Gilmer slurred, "Eat this you c***!" That's how the wrote it in the newspaper. Could be "chap".

Again, that's not a nice way to deliver. If someone says, "Eat this you c***!" it's only good if you're in a restaurant in the East End.

Gilmer was found guilty and had to pay £1,740, which for some food on a train, is about the usual price.



Legs, £20 and Washing Machines [Podcast]

In this show we talked about washing machines, what you'd do if you found a £20, my shorts, and other stuff. Plus we did generic dedications - it might catch on.

Here's the podcast of it for you to download/listen. (Originally broadcast on Thursday 6th of July 2017.)

Download the mp3.

     | Subscribe with iTunes | Subscribe via RSS feed | | |

Get the info on how to listen to the show live here.

To find more radio show minipodcasts see here.
All past episodes can be found in the radio podcast archive.
And if you enjoyed that check out the SomeNews Topical Podcast.



Local Paper Review - 30-06-17

As part of the Afternoon Show, we look at some of the local papers in the Essex area, joined in the studio by guests from the Ilford Recorder and Romford Recorder.

There's been a bit of a break but I thought we'd get the podcast back, so here it is.

Edited down from the live radio broadcast into a podcast, you can listen back below.

There will be another episode broadcast on Friday at 2pm, and you can listen live here.

You can also download the mp3 here or subscribe to the RSS feed here. And it's now on iTunes.



When the 5p charge on bags came in, I have to admit I wasn't a supporter. I worried that this would be the end of the carrier bag and if you didn't have your bag-for-life with you your only option would be to fill your pockets and try to juggle the rest.

My fears only partly came true. Sometimes in a shop you want to use a bag and they have a member of staff handing them out. They're 5p. I don't think they need personally guarding. Everything else in the supermarket is just left on shelves but those 5p bags get a guard.

In general the plan worked, there has been a reduction in the number of plastic bags used and therefore sent to landfill. However, the bags-for-life we use are thicker and they go to landfill too. Either the shops are selling us something that isn't fulfilling it's promise or they don't think we're going to live that long, which is a worry because they know what we've been eating.

This week science may have found an answer. They have discovered a moth that eats plastic. Wax moth larvae enjoy nothing more than munching on a plastic bag so we could use them eat the bags instead of sending them to landfill.

If we learned nothing else from the old lady who swallowed a fly it's that some solutions lead to bigger problems. We'd have loads of wax moths everywhere. Eventually we wouldn't be able to keep up with their hunger, we'd couldn't feed them more bags, they're 5p each now. They'd eat anything plastic and pretty soon that will include the £5, £10 and £20 note.

Pretty soon we won't be able to afford to buy things. That'll save even more carrier bags, I suppose.



We’re in an area where housing is an issue. For some the dream of owning their own home is painfully less likely than the dream where they turn up to work with no clothes on.

One solution we could copy from North London is the so-called naked homes. There’s a development plan to build low-cost homes that are no-frills, and by frills they mean interior walls, floor and even bathroom.

These 22 apartments in Enfield will have a kitchen sink, which is perfect for when people say, “What do you need for your new place?”

You get to say, “I need everything but the kitchen sink.”

The homes will be 40% cheaper than the market price but that’s in North London, so it’s still more expensive than most of us will ever manage without a good scratchcard.

It’s down to the buyer to finish the property which could be expensive. If I have learned anything from watching Grand Designs it’s that everything goes over budget and causes a divorce.

These homes are only really for people who can do the DIY themselves. What about the rest of us who were persuaded by previous governments that going to university would be a good idea? I can’t build a partition wall. Most of my DIY involves Blu tack.

I’m like the people who bought a diesel car when the government said they should. Where’s my education scrappage scheme?

If you can afford to buy one and do the work yourself you could get a good return on it.

But it has no bathroom. By the time you’ve moved in, sorted the floors and the walls you probably would have needed the toilet and there’s just that sink there. So you know what that sink will have been used for. And that shaves some money off the asking price.



L Test

Another general election. That’s nice. It seems like ages since we had a vote that divided everyone.

On the day Theresa May announced the election they cancelled ITV’s Loose Women, so at least some good has come from this.

While people get ready to fight about the details of Brexit again I tried to look for a story that could bring us all together.

The driving test is being changed. Anyone who has to share the road with others has probably thought the test needs updating, apart from bringing in retesting. People who drive already seem less keen on that.

I think the additional training part of the test would be key. It’s all very well being able to pass the basic test but if you’re going to use the roads it’s worth taking some advanced tuition. Like a course on how to deploy the indicators on a BMW. Really advanced and difficult stuff like that.

The new test will not test the driver on reversing round a corner, which makes sense. The only time you need that skill is after you have just realise you’ve turned down the wrong side street and you are so flustered you do a manoeuvre that looks like it’s from the film The Italian Job.

Learners will now be required to reverse park into a parking space. It’s similar to reversing round a corner but if you get it wrong you don’t just fail your test you also get a bill for some paint work. It’s that higher jeopardy that will focus the learner’s mind.

When trying to reverse park under test conditions it can get confusing. Some people will veer to the right, some veer to the left and some will mess things up. So maybe it is like the election after all.


Con Air

I often use this space to complain about travelling in our area. I spend on average 2 months a year queuing on the A127 at Ardleigh Green. That's not based on any real data but it sure feels like it.

Coming into town is bad enough but the queue going westbound is made worse by the fact only one lane is in use for driving down the A127 and one lane is basically a dedicated slip-road for a fast food restaurant. How bad are we getting that we have as many lanes for fatty foods as we do for actually driving?

Other times my anger has been aimed at our rail services. An actual piece of research said that office workers would be healthier if they stood up for around 2 hours a day. Looks like TfL are trying to help with that.

If you travel on the trains in the mornings there's a good chance you don't even know what colour the seats are.

I have also commented on c2c trains. I sit in the quiet carriage in the hope of some piece but there's always a young person using the phone loudly, saying the word “like” between all other words. I do what any proud Brit would. I quietly tut and look at the “Quiet please” signs.

All my travel complaints have disappeared now thanks to United Airlines. They are the ones who were filmed dragging a passenger from his seat when they had overbooked the flight. As he is dragged out of the plane his shirt rides up and his belly is on show.

As I sit in a queue or stand on a loud train I am grateful I'm not being carrying off with my belly on show. And those around me should be grateful of that too.



A list of the best views in Britain has been compiled. I sat down to read which local site would get an honourable mention. Imagine my surprise to fine that we didn't place.

The top ten includes hills and fields and such. Those rural scenes are all very well but you have to travel ages for a coffee shop, which seems odd because the milk for the latte comes from cows and you get those in fields. It's almost like they haven't thought it through.

Anything this list can offer we can do just as good locally.

They mention the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim, famous for its broken up rocks. So? Have you seen some of the pot holes we can offer? There used to be one outside Poundland you could holiday in.

At number three on the list is Stonehenge in Wiltshire. Forgive me if I'm wrong but Stonehenge is simply and old building that has been abandoned and left to go into disrepair. I think we can match that without even trying.

They also say Loch Ness is one of the best sights. When you go there it looks great, but you're actually there trying to see a big creature that you simply won't see. Stroll down Winston Way round the back of the cinema at night and you can see some creatures. Foxes and things, I mean.

At number one on the list is Snowdonia, specifically the view of Llyn Llydaw from the summit of Snowdon. I have seen many Lyns in Ilford and most have been a nice sight, thank you.

We always think scenery formed by nature is the best, and it is lovely, but don't miss out on the everyday sights we are surrounded by. What we human do is pretty good too.


Blue Passports

We're a week into life under Article 50 and already there have been some unexpected outcomes. We nearly declared war on Spain over Gibraltar, which is worrying. I think we'd win that war but even the mention of the W-word pretty much guaranties we won't get any points at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

While war is generally considered as a bad thing it's worth taking a look at some of the positives we're getting from Brexit. A recent YouGov poll found that number two on the list of things leavers wanted to see brought back is the blue passport.

The Home Office has confirmed it will spend almost £500million redesigning our passports, which seems a lot but it's only two weeks worth of the £355million that's not going to the NHS.

Of all the real reasons to leave the EU passport colouring is up there with banana curvature but some people take this seriously.

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell said, “The humiliation of having a pink European Union passport will now soon be over.”

If I'm honest, I never gave it a thought. I certainly didn't refuse to travel abroad to avoid the shame of having to whip my pink passport out in a customs queue.

You see some UK tourists with their bright yellow shorts, socks paired with sandals, a bum-bag and Timmy Mallett inspired sunglasses. They don't look like they'd be embarrassed about the colour of their passport.

And it's not pink. It's burgundy. A colour named after a region in France. How is that now worse for a Eurosceptic?

If we're spending £500million on this I want a passport like the Nokia 3310 with changeable fascia. That way you could pick the cover you'd want.

I might pick a burgundy one. It goes well with my sandals.




Have you seen them? They are everywhere. You cannot escape them. And they are annoying.

No, I'm not complaining about the charity muggers on the high street for once, I'm talking about drones.

The number of complaints about drones has drastically increased. There were 3,456 incidents last year compared with only 1,237 in 2015.

It's a predictable trend. There are more drones these days so there will be more complaints. Back in 2011 the only drones you heard about were American military ones being sent in to destroy targets. So there were fewer complaints back then although possibly more serious ones.

There are many ways that we have found to misuse the drone technology. They are often used to smuggle things into prisons. I'm not fully sure how. All I know about smuggling things into prison is from watching Orange Is The New Black on Netlix and there is no way I'd want to have to shove a drone in there.

One of the most common complaints is about invasions of privacy.

Prof David Dunn, from the University of Birmingham, said: "Previously you had a hedge, you had a wall and you could do whatever you wanted in your garden without people disturbing you. That has changed because of drones."

I don't know what they do in their gardens up in Birmingham but do that indoors, you fool.

It's not the drone's fault, it's us. If you give us technology we'll misuse it. My mum used to enjoy standing by the curtains seeing what was happening on the street. If she had access to a surveillance drone she would have loved it.

We just need to stop the bad people using them for bad things. Now, if only there was a way we could keep an eye on them.


New Pound

It doesn't seem that long ago I was writing about the new five pound note. They were boasting of its technological advances, its fancy polymer and its see-through parts. They said it would be the hardest note to fake but the only thing it will be remembered for is its meat content.

No one seems to know how but cows were used in the production of the new note. I don’t get to feel as upset about that as a vegan, because I keep my notes in a leather wallet, but I was still surprised.

So I have been waiting to see what scandal will surround the new one pound coin that came out this week.

The dodecagonal coin is now legal tender and the same storyline happened. We have heard from experts saying it’s a state-of-the-art lump of metal with its hologram effect on the front and its tiny writing that make it hard to fake.

Now we wait for the scandal. They have laid the ground work with the Royal Mint saying there are extra security features inside the coin that they are not telling us about.

So we’re left the guess that the innards of this new coin are probably made of beef. And to make things worse, they got the beef from a cheap supermarket so it’s actually horse.

I bet the coin is hollow. Or the metal in the middle is actually cheap imported steel from China, putting UK jobs at risk.

What else could the immoral security feature be? They make the disc using the tallow from stray dogs they catch. That’s why it’s called a dog pound. Maybe.

The truth is, it’ll be the least forged pound because these days the pound is so weak there are no criminal gangs who can be bothered.


Office Crimes

There is a crime that is touching the lives of many people. It is a crime that is going unreported. Its victims are often left visibly shaken. It may have happened to you or someone you know. That crime is office lunch theft.

New research has found that a third of workers have had their lunch stolen in the workplace. I’m self-employed and often work from home so if it happens to me it’s actually a home invasion.

31% of office workers have also had their favourite mug stolen, which goes to show how some people have no morals. At least you can put a label on your mug. You can’t put your name on your lunch as easily. If you sew name tags onto all of your sandwiches it would take ages. It’s quicker to simply change your surname to Ginsters.

Put your name on a mug at work and someone will still use it. That’s why I had a special mug made that says, “World’s Best Impetigo Sufferer”. No one has touched it since.

It’s not just food – if you buy milk it will magically disappear, leave a nice pen on your desk while you walk to the printer, you may never see it again – but it’s the theft of food that seems the most galling because there’s nothing you can do. You can’t call the police. They tell you to stop bothering them.

You have to take the law into your own hands. I started leaving a Post It note on my sandwich in the office fridge that read, “Steve’s food. Do not eat. I have licked this sandwich.”

The good news is, no one took my sandwich that day. The bad news is, they left another Post It that read, “So have I!”

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