A street cleaner from Bolton has fulfilled his dream of becoming an osteopath after commuting to London for weekend lectures over a period of five years.

The 400 mile round trip didn’t deter 45 year-old Mike Doyle who left school with no qualifications. He decided on a career change after being successfully treated for a back injury.

Vimod Thakur, 21, is also following his dreams by performing on TV show India’s Got Talent. Vinod has been impressing audiences with his dance routines, despite having no legs. Rock on.


‘It’s never too late to be who you might have been.’

George Eliot, novelist


The first faint whiff of impeding damnation is present in the workplace as people begin to realise that the Coalition Government’s crocodile of unemployment is hungry for more victims.

The Government is so fixated on reducing the national debt that it doesn’t seem to mind impoverishing half the population in the process.

It’s the perfect excuse for Cameron and Co. to carry on Mad Maggie’s legacy under the auspices of bringing the economy back onto an even keel.

No pain, no gain grunts chancellor George Osborne as he shafts the nation into fiscal submission.


It’s entertaining to see GPs suddenly realise that being given the power to decide how and where money is spent on health care in the UK is tempered by the fact that the buck stops with them.

Yes, boys and girls, you get the honey pot but you also get the sticky hands from holding it – and all that sticks is not sweet.

The days of palming off tough decisions on primary care trusts are coming to an end as trusts wind down in anticipation of the transfer of power to GP consortia in 2013.

It will, for the first time, see GPs collective head firmly above the parapet as primary budget holders. Break out the tin helmets and flak jackets.

  • Writer Robert M Pirsig has his first book rejected by 121 publishers. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance went on to become a cross generational bestseller in 27 languages.
  • Young Frank Woolworth was told he ‘didn’t have enough common sense to serve the customers’ when he was working in a dry goods store. He went on to found Woolworths, one of the largest retail outlets in the 20th century.
  • US president Harry Truman was turned down by the US Army and Navy because of poor eyesight. His previous jobs included being a mailroom clerk and cinema usher.
  • JK Rowling was a single unemployed mother living on benefits when she began writing a book about a young magician called Harry Potter. She is now the world’s best selling author and one of the richest women in the UK.
  • One of Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita’s first products was an electric rice cooker which sold poorly because it tended to burn the food. The pair went on to co-found electronic giant Sony.
  • Stephen King’s wife saved the manuscript for his first book from the rubbish bin after the frustrated writer binned it after numerous rejections. Carrie went on to become a bestseller and was one of the biggest grossing horror films of the 1970s. King is now one of the world’s most prolific authors having written more than 30 bestsellers including the Oscar winning Misery.

The onerous task of naming new streets and place names usually falls with local authorities.

You see patterns emerge where planners get so fed with the name game that they go for a collective theme, such as naming a handful of roads after fish as can be found in Bow, East London.

Another set of roads in nearby Manor Park are imaginatively named First, Second, Third, Fouth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues.

Countries like India adopt a more surreal approach. The last national census in 2001 identified 638,000 villages which calls for some serious name calling.

I came across a number of bizarre place names during a three month walk across the Indian Himalaya several years ago.

These included Ascot, Slapper, Jam, Dung, Pung, Sanatorium, Zero Point and Azad Memorial Tree.

However, my heart remains with the magnificently named Herbertpur.


The auspices of the recession are used to bring into play all manner of thumb-screws on employees.

Slippery eel speak is the order of the day. People are being asked to do more for less and the unspoken word is that we’ll be collectively selling bootlaces on a street corner by Christmas.

In an effort to allay fears, our glorious leader is about to embark on a floor-by-floor ‘meet the riff-raff’ tour where he will reassure us that all is well upon the burning boat and we should stay at our posts.

We’re doomed when that barracuda in a suit decides to walk among the great unwashed.


Our beloved finance team has emailed its latest list of austerity measures detailing how we must engage in shallow breathing during office time to save the NHS oxygen.

The three most laughable recommendations for cutting this year’s multi-million pound debt include switching to second class postage stamps, reducing use of stationary and cutting down the availability of hospitality sandwiches for meetings.

The one that really got me puffing was ensuring ‘the Sickness Policy is implemented effectively.’

Anyone reading my curmudgeonly diatribes will know what a joke that is considering the antics of our resident office skiver who’s off again this week.

What next? Water rationing and licking down envelopes to save on glue? It looks like we’ll be breaking up the furniture for firewood this winter.


Many a young man paces the planet with furrowed brow and serious counternance. Some of them seem in an awful hurry to grow up without realising they’ve got the rest of their lives to spent there.

I met such an earnest young bod on a voluntary course last week.

M. was 17 (going on 70), had a fledgling milk moustache and wanted to be a doctor.

The tutor asked each of us what attributes we’d look for in a potential friend. His po-faced reply was ‘someone who isn’t juevenile and takes life seriously.’

Crikes! He should be the boatkeeper to Hades with such a sunny disposition.

There was something really sad about it though. Not because he knows what he wants but the lack of lightness, laughter and freedom everyone at that age has a right to enjoy.

A light soul never stopped anyone shining.

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