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About blackandgolduk

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  • Birthday 18/03/78

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    Forest Gate, London

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  1. Fag packets are crap these days, and they're getting crappier. A mate at work had a pack the other day, Mayfair I think, in the new plain packaging. I think 'they've' finally made smoking 'uncool'; the fags you smoked used to be a reflection on the smoker. A chap I worked for chugged through 60-80 JPS Superkings a day - unsurprisingly he's no longer with us, but by God, did he love smoking. I smoked B&H Gold back in the day, moving on to Dunhill in the latter stages before packing it in.
  2. Loads of this goes on in our office. A very fruity place... My submission: Wastrel. A word I hope to bring back to common parlance.
  3. I found that I was watching the Beeb, C4 and occasionally some of the natural history stuff. I've always preferred the 'wireless' so we binned it. I like a good drama/box-set/film and the news/current affairs/politics but find myself hitting the 'off' switch more and more. Still, if you're looking for money off Sky, tell them you're leaving and refuse the first two offers of discounts. The third or fourth person you speak with will offer you a year for free 'to think about it'....
  4. I made the Sky channels disappear from my TV quite some time ago, saving me eighty quid a month. Don't miss it at all, bought a Humax box to retain recording ability through the existing dish. They offered some hefty discounts along the protracted drawn out route of leaving (Skexit?) before they finally accepted that I actually wanted to cancel the contract - surely worth a go if yu're looking to save some cash?
  5. I collect pretty much anything that I can get my hands on - probably have around fifty; Poljots, Raketas, Vostoks, Volnas etc. I have a re-issue Strela (which I love) but never bought an original when the prices were lower. Are they more available in Russia, and if so, how much do they sell for? I also regret not buying an original Sturmanski when I had the chance.
  6. The wording was (most probably) not sloppy, but deliberate. Referenda are not a usual mechanism in our democracy, partly because we haven't had a history of direct plebiscite and partly because they are difficult to incorporate into a parliamentary system which takes it's power to legislate from the Crown, not the people. Take a look at the referendum in 2011 to change the voting system from FPTP to AV - had it passed, it would have been binding. It would take more than three extra words to commit the Government to legislate without discussion. Either way, the final decision must be legal and it must follow the proper due process. One scenario is that it was placed as a failsafe (a poor one, admittedly) which gave (and to some extent still gives) the Government an out should they need it. If this was its purpose, then it has most possibly failed in its objective due to the Government's inability to curtail the forces of the media, the public and the EU. Another is that it allows for legal challenges to be made (as is happening now) which allows for Government breathing space to gauge moods and take advice, whilst absolving them of accusations of procrastination. Either way, the general mood of the country, at least at the time of the referendum itself, was massively misjudged by Cam & Co., of course not helped by Boris' rebellion. Aside from this, Cameron probably banked on the Lib Dem vote holding up and having a junior partner to veto the referendum in return for returning a majority in the HoC. I understand your reasoning re: the article 50 vote - however, suggesting that MPs stand down based on the referendum result smacks of mob rule as opposed to reasoned representative democracy - those MPs voting to trigger A50 will have an opportunity in the house to state their case and persuade those who may be having difficulty, and put the public case across. It goes without saying that those who feel differently should have their say prior to the vote being taken. The public can then make a choice as to who represents them at the next election. I think everyone recognises that this is a huge event - I have no doubt in my mind that it will happen and will prepare as best I can for its subsequent effect on my life - however, all this 'enemy of the people', faux-revolutionary fervour (as espoused by the Daily Mail and other mouthpieces of the obscenely rich and powerful) that surrounds the nuts-and-bolts of how it's to be done is getting tiresome. The Government are offering secondments to ACAS negotiators to work on international trade deals, which concerns me greatly as it suggests that it's amateur hour behind the scenes, but if we ll stop seeing those who have a different viewpoint as the enemy then we may just about get through the next few years in one piece.
  7. I don't think it can be called undemocratic - unless Parliament as a whole overturns the referendum result and even then it would take a team of lawyers to pick and unpick the means used. That example would certainly be against the spirit of the referendum, even if legally legitimate. MPs are there to make decisions based on what they think is in the best interests of their constituents & the nation as a whole. A fair few of those MPs probably hail from 'remain' voting areas and want to keep their seats, others may be having a genuine crisis of conscience (as would I in their position) and some may just want to make a name for themselves or rebel against Corbyn. It would be pretty boring if all MPs fell in line. The Lib Dems and SNP aren't going to vote to trigger article fifty, some Labour will join them, but it should pass barring any major change of heart in the meantime. Whatever we think, the referendum wasn't legally binding - the wording of the bill was very clear in this. The fact that the public weren't told this explicitly, or that they couldn't be bothered to look it up shows just how much the British public take the notion of democracy for granted IMHO. This is always a dangerous position to be in.
  8. Yes, I've only just discovered this site. I bought a few NOS Poljot movements back in the day - there are plenty of non-runners on here that I reckon I can breathe new life into. Hardly surprising that prices have caught up, but I've seen a few (Russian & Swiss) that just seem far too over-priced, or with silly £15/£20 postage costs. Let the hunt begin!
  9. Yep, thought so. I did notice some absolutely rotten frankens - I'll be avoiding them. It looks to me as though my best bet is to buy some of the non runners for dials, hands and cases and then source replacement movements to put them back together. Should keep me occupied, but I think I'll have to commit to a Strela sooner rather than later... I've always loved the Slavas, and you're right about the Okeahs - used to be available for under a ton at times. Still, they are all good runners, quality movements IMHO.
  10. After a (not inconsiderable) break from 'actively' following, buying and keeping up to speed with my collecting habits I've found myself slowly drifting back to adding to the collection and wearing different watches each day. Over the past few years my time has been taken up with house buying (and the inevitable DIY), getting married, having kids, working etc. and the watches took a back seat. A week or two ago I started perusing eBay again, and naturally the search terms of 'Sekonda', 'Poljot', 'Slava', 'Raketa' etc. were duly typed into the search box. Russians were always my thing, along with vintage Swiss. When I first started collecting, I had next to no spare cash and I used to scour the 'Bay in the early hours searching out bargains and built up a decent collection of about 30 pieces, some picked up for literally pennies - but now, wow! I'll admit to being shocked at some of the prices people are looking for - I've seen a few up which I would have paid a tenner for a couple of years ago being offered for £70 or £80. There were a few pieces that I've bid on, and a couple (such as the original Strela, to accompany the re-issue which I have) which I've reconciled I'll have to pay current prices for, but I'll admit to having been shocked at just how much prices have risen. Having been out of the loop for so long, is eBay still the best place to buy the vintage Russian pieces, or are there other sources? I also noticed that many are being shipped from abroad (with high postage charges) - is this now common and have the UK 'found in dad's drawer' supplies pretty much dried up? I can feel my wallet getting lighter as I type, but it's good to be back in the fold...
  11. Reckon I'll have the VW T2 camper in two years... I think the missus was hoping for something a bit more luxurious, so I'll have to get an awning!
  12. Funny, isn't it - just a few years ago, people working, saving and prepping so hard for their retirement would have been seen by many as a bit of a waste of youth or an unnecessary worry. However, I fully intent to stop working somewhere between 55 and 60 (so, what, 20-30 years retired, hopefully in reasonable health, in contrast to a couple of years?) and with the way that pensions are going, I'm planning now for my income, to the point where I save/invest a fairly large slice of my monthly income for the future. In terms of 'keeping busy' I have enough hobbies, interests, plans etc. that if I gave up work tomorrow I'd probably have things on that I'd never get round to. The wife and I had planned to buy a bolt-hole in Greece sometime in the next few years, although the EU ref may have put paid to that if it becomes increasingly difficult to travel/conduct financial transactions, but we'll see. One plan I have is to drive the entire coastline of mainland Britain in a camper van, and then do Ireland if there's enough time. In the short-term, a move to rural north Devon is on the cards in three to five years - all this with a view to building a bit of homestead and then gradually work towards a simpler, more satisfying (for me) kind of life. Not totally self-sufficient or separated from 'normality', but very much more free of 'stuff'. Old Jag, camper van, good tent, pantry full of pickles - that sort of thing I'm genuinely excited by the 'slow-burner' nature of such a shift/plan and feel more settled than I have done in years. Life is good, I want to keep it simmering along in such a way.
  13. Noooo! If there's one thing I like after a shave (a proper DE shave) it's the astringent sting of a high alcohol tincture being rubbed all over before the moisturiser. Weird, I know, but it works for me, and I still love the smell of OS.
  14. At one point I had a shelf full of the stuff, as I liked to have a 'change' now and again. However, in a rationalisation of 'stuff' (i.e. having one quality pair of shoes, one quality pair of boots and one pair of trainers instead of the bottom of the wardrobe being full of crap) I have two and will not be changing from them, ever. Dior Homme Intense is the go-to smell, with a bottle of Old Spice for when I've had a shave. I don't care what anyone says, Old Spice is a brilliant, brilliant aftershave.