First ever son-in-law

Hey everyone,

For those of you who don't yet know, I have some very exciting news - I got engaged to Ryan last Thursday. This means there is going to be a potential male in-law in the Keeling family, although so far, my efforts to persuade him to take on the surname have been unsuccessful. This is all extremely exciting for me and I am proudly displaying the ring on my finger, trying to put off giving it back to the jewellers to have it adjusted. The great question was asked on the balcony of the top floor of the oxo tower, which was a little chilly, but very special. We are thinking of getting married in Summer 2008, once we know the date, we will let you know and if anyone already has any plans, please tell me asap


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Drunk in charge of a bus pass...

After an evening of eating, drinking, and talking I left the (brilliant) Indian restaurant and got on a bus I had not taken before, intending to change in the Highbury & Islington area. Sadly the champagne had gone to my head and I daydreamed all the way to Stoke Newington.

So I got off the bus, crossed the road and got another one back. But within a couple of stops I realised I had just used the last pound on my Oyster card (an electronic bus pass to you non-Londoners), had no cash and had another bus to pay for in order to get home.

Spying a bank, I hopped off the bus in order to get some money. But on arrival at the aforementioned, I found that I had in fact mislaid my card.

So I walked part of the way home, then got a taxi and woke up my kind landlady and made her pay for it.

Moral: don't try new bus routes while drunk xx

Gohome and stuff

Just to say I looked at Gohome (,0.55324,18z,sat) it's great i found Jacobs and you can see Granny's rose garden. Which I thought was wonderful.
I'm back in Leeds studying hard and next time I come back home it will be at a new house which is a strange feeling! Apart from that no other exacting news it's just been very windy up north!
Lizzie x

Simon's 50th

Simon's 50th at the War Rooms was a real blaster. He managed to assemble loads of friends and relations, from the ones I haven't seen for years, to the ones I didn't know existed.  Mark and Nick Crean, a representative from the Gaynor family, Tavy, leading legal counsel, Andrew Caldecott, who I haven't seen since I left Eton, who told a story about me that I am sure is libellous, probably so that I would have to consult him on to see whether or not I could sue him.

David Kirke was there, complete with a picture of him in  the Dangerous Sports Club, but now with white hair, looking dangerously middle aged. Carolyn was there, and  told me that he frequents the Oxford bars, where he met Ruth. Apparently one of Carolyn's friends was so concerned that Ruth was mixing in the wrong company (wth David Kirke) that she warned Carrie that Ruth really shouldn't mix with him! So nothing changes then.

Henry Hyde Thomson was there asking if our Dad could contribute a story or two, to an up and coming eulogy to his dad, Paul Hyde Thomson. Henry said that he was a physicist looking for another  assignment to take him through life.

All the brothers were there, including George, who must have flown in from Spain for the  occasion.

Apparently there was a party after the party, which unfortunately I couldn't make, as I was on my way to work at that point, and couldn't find the restaurant in the Strand.

Anyway, a good time was had by all.


After Simon's 50th party, anyone and everyone is invited to dinner (dutch style) at a secret location near to the Gov HQ Simon has appropriated. More details to follow. Simon says there won't be a "super abundance" of food at the underground bunker, but if he's just being modest, the secret post party feast will be abandoned and alternatives sought.

In short: please join me for a meal after the party.  xx David

From country bumpkin to city slicker

My new job at Whitehall & Westminster World is going well. The picture shows the view from my desk (no joke), but there has been no day dreaming going on as there is plenty to do and I am really enjoying it all.

I do the writing for the online bit of the publication, and you should all be able to have a gander - if you so wish - at I work in an editorial office with about 10 other people who work on things like amongst other things.

Even though I am always writing about the civil service (not the most fascinating subject, I know) I am fully immersed in the world of politics as everyone in the office is a brimming over with political knowledge and gossip. So, instead of listening to people at the Oxford Mail moan about there not being enough golden weddings to fill the paper, I listen to people discuss whether Lembit Opek's affairs of the heart will damage the Liberal Democrats.

My walk home
Already in my 10 days with the company I have had the full tour of parliament, including the roof, the infamous 'lobby' press room, and the obligatory pint in the press bar; I was sent to watch the top civil servant from the Home Office being questioned at a select committee just after all this criminal records business blew up; and they have invited me to attend the paid for slap-up company Xmas lunch (we had to pay a £1 at the Oxford Mail, and it was held in the canteen.)

The only bummer is that my bike has broken down and we're still trying to find somewhere to live. But, every cloud has a silver lining and staying at my friend Tam's house is great. And I get to walk past this on my way home every night!

: )

extending the blog

If one has a friend who wants to know about us just tell them to look at the blog, then they would be able to catch up on the latest keeling gossip. should we extend it to include the gibbs side of the family, and how about the john keeling's + mark + nick + bill?

What are people's thoughts? Comments please.

I think perhaps I was misunderstood. Perhaps it would be good to encourage other parts of the family to have their own blog, so that we could catch up with their news by reading their blog.
Posted by: rob | January 20, 2007 at 06:16 AM

May I congratulate George and the other blog foundes on creating a medium through which the bros can communicate easily. Well done I think it is a big improvement on the pre-blog I haven't heard any news from Rob, Trev, George, Simon, David, Jim or Paul for oops six or twelve months. The new situation is much more friendly.
However I do not think extending the blog is a very good idea. The news that is transmitted at the moment is pretty trivial, but nice to hear. Therefore I cannot imagine that anyone outside the eight would have any real interest in our chit chat. It is of some interest that Rob and George use skype and that George has laid a path in Spain. I do not think I would be that interested to find out that John or Bill are using a new telephone network, or that Bill had helped a friend to knock down a wall recently, for example.
Perhaps our blog will be different in the future and then it might become of more interest to the rest of the world, but for the moment I would say steady as she goes.

Posted on January 17, 2007 at 01:07 PM in Tom's posts |

I agree with David. But I think Rob is suggesting that we should tell them about So they can read of our fascinating stories. I do support that. I've all ready been telling all my friends about it. One, Augusto, put a complementary comment about it.
Posted by: George | January 16, 2007 at 09:28 AM

No: Forty odd people are enough! xxx
Posted by: david | January 15, 2007 at 09:23 PM

news from norbury

51 Baldry gardens Jo's house has almost been sold. Jo has exchanged contracts, and will move out on around 26th January. She is moving to a smaller house, with a bigger garden and a garage. Rumour has it that she will make half the garden a vegetable garden, so home grown vegetables will make Jo's momentuous cooking even better. Not that it needs to be made better, as she all ready puts many chefs in first class restaurants to shame.

skype is in it's infancy, as the benefit of it depends on being near your PC when the other person calls. But I spoke to George again for free, who is in Spain and was able to remind me of the loggin details for this blog. It would be good to organise a family meeting for for those with skype, so when the rest of you do get skype, as I am sure will happen sometime let us know on the blog, and we'll call you to, and we can set up a meeting with loads of people talking at the same time, and so on.

Can Carbo, Figueres

Flew Stansted to Girona (1p + tax on Ryan Air) yesterday. Michael picked me up and we had a lovely fish dinner in Girona. Today I have cleaned the kitchen (they are messy here), cleared dog poo,  burnt some rubbish, been shopping (the fridge was empty), unpacked, helped Mat build dust proof room-ette in the kitchen, picked stones for Anat who is laying path.

Here's a pic of the lovely new path to my room. This is quite a new Can Carbo feature and lessens dust impact and is beautiful.We just finished dinner with red wine, preceded by a couple of gin and tonics. La la.

Update 30th July 2009. Can Carbo is up and running and lovely. The have a web site at Definitely worh a visit - the website and the hotel.

george's closing down party

Thanks for coming all of you who did. It was huge fun. The hardcore carried until about 10pm on Sunday. I had a few hours sleep before then. Some others slept here for a while. We've just finished the clearing up (13:00 Monday). Alexander and Ronan are pictured here. Ronan and Marco announced that they are now, officially, boyfriends DING DONG. Liz - if you could get Jo's pictures emailed to me I would love it. Try to make sure that your email program does not shrink the pictures when it sends them. So I'm off to Spain the day after tomorrow (10th Jan). I'll be back briefly on the 22nd for Simon's 50. So may see you there. Lots of Love George.

Rob wrote: Of course it is sad that George is leaving London, but he gave himself a good send off to see himself on his way. It was good to see everybody of course, and Jo took some pictures of George, (PG rated you'll be glad to hear), and hopefully with Lizzie's guidance, Jo will get them up on this blog.

It was also good to see Bill, who has taken up cycling, and bought a chocolate factory in Acton. He says that he has to sell £1m worth of chocalates every year, to break even, so if there are any chocaholics out there, I am sure that he would be delighted to feed your addiction.

Carrie came down from Oxford, and is looking forward to the new year, and dealing with loads of screaming kids in her theatre.  She and Jo went to the Tate Modern, where apparently there is an amazing spiral sculpture in the middle of the Fire Chamber. May be I should check it out.

my experience of the health service

I was interested to read George's experience of the health service. My experience of the health service is mixed.
The treatment I have had from the NHS has been from good to downright appalling.
When I got cellulitis, (blood poisoning in my legs), the casualty service that I got out of the NHS was good, and if they hadn't been there, I probably would have had to have had my leg(s) amputated, or would have died. I've been treated two times in the NHS, the first time on a general ward, and the second time, they put me in a private room, which was even better.
The second time, I was knocked off a bicycle, and injured a shoulder muscle, as a result of which I was unable to work as an electrician.
The NHS's response was to put me in a queue to see a specialist. The hospital was so badly organized that they made the appointment for me at about 9.00 in the morning, to see a specialist at about 11.00 that day. The specialist kept me waiting in a hospital until about 1. So I was kept waiting for two hours. Doctors in the NHS have total contempt for patients time, and if you are ten minutes late for an appointment, that's great from the doctor's point of view, because it means you miss your slot, and they can begin to catch up with the backlog that their incompetence has created.

When I finally got to see the specialist, he said that I needed a body scan, for which there was a three month wait. So I had the prospect of not working for three months, while the NHS got their act together.
Fortunately, the company that I was working for at the  time, had all it's employees covered by BUPA. So I was able to start the whole process all over again, with BUPA. I was able to get an appointment within three days with a consultant, who confirmed that I needed a scan. He made an appointment for a scan for the following week.

Unfortunately, due to a traffic jam, I was about an hour late for the appointment. If it was the NHS, I would have been stuffed. As it  was BUPA, there was no problem, and I was just slotted in at the end of the queue. The Scan confirmed what the consultant thought, that I needed surgery. I got a slot for the surgery in about three weeks.

Anyway, the surgery was done, and I was put on a course of phsyiotherapy, and got back to work after nine months. Had I had to have relied on the NHS, I reckon it would have been more like a year and a half.

As to Gordon Brown being good, well, I am not quite surethat claim stands up to examination. UK Plc was in a fairly good state, when Tony and his cronies took over.  Tony made the Labour Party electable, because he borrowed a whole load of Tory policies, and ditched Old Labour. In order to do this he essentially had to lie. Which he does to perfection. Even Gordon Brown was quoted in one of the Sundays as saying he no longer trusted Blair, when he was talking about stepping down.

Gordon Brown on the other hand has set himself up as the model of prudence, while in fact mortgaging the younger generations future, which has to be paid for by the PPP (Private Public Partnership) funds. What it means is that you, the younger generation will have to pay for all the hospitals through leasing agreements that Gordon set up, so that the money he was spending, wouldn't appear in the accounts of the current government, so that he could con the electorate he was doing a good job, when in fact he was using sleight of hand to fool electorate.

Don't worry, if you don't understand this now, you'll have the next 15 years or so of steadily rising taxes that will be needed to pay for Gordon Brown's spending spree of building hospitals.

Not that I  should complain, as I have spent a large amount of time building hospitals, and which has provided me with a good income over the years.

News from Robert

hi everybody here is my christmas news. due to Jo's extraordinarily good cooking  (beef wellington, good enough to put most first class restaurants to shame),my waistline is now 42 inches, and i tipped 13stone 4lbs on the scales. 
New Year has come, and having got bored of the Dear Deirdre column in the Sun, have signed up for the Sun diet, which is going well as i've only been on it for two days, and haven't had the  chance to give it up yet. yes i guess that i was attracted by all the page 3 girls, and am seduced by the idea that if i do the diet, i could end up recapturing my youth, and looking like them. also i have given up milk in tea, using vanilla flavoured soya milk, which now i am used to it is ok.

i read George's blog, about his favourite christmas presents, while i was amusing myself with my favorite christmas presents, an electronic fart machine, and eating the last of some delicious cheese and chutney, while reading a tantalising book on the history of my favourite food, baked beans. comforting myself, that if i stop eating beans as the result of my diet, i can still simulate the audio results of beans electronically.

then i was made incredibly jealous by George's best christmas present, a skype phone, so that he can phone world wide free. using the old adage, if you can't join 'em beat 'em, i ordered a skype phone too, but mine is a video phone. The sales blurb on the back of the package says that you can talk to up to 4 people on  a video link, (as long as they have skype) call old fashioned phone numbers around the world, cheap, very cheap.

but for us as a family, if everybody was on skype, we would be able to have video conversations with each other, as we scatter geographically, we could come together electronically.
ps would if be a good idea if the password was changed to xxxxxxx [the idea was taken on board]?  this way it would be easier for the younger generation to remember what the password is, and the older generation, what their brothers names were? Just a thought.

news from Tom

After a very happy new year's celebration with Siobhan and the children in Taunton along with friends down here, we set off for London for a theatre trip to start 2007. Siobhan and the girls went to see The Sound of Music which was a huge success (as you might have read in the newspapers). They had teamed up with Siobhan's sister and her family and there were not enough tickets for me and the boys. So we went to see Evita instead which we greatly enjoyed. Arthur and Edward were thrilled by the show (quite a relief as I had been worried that our evening would be rather second fiddle to The SoM).

Back in Somerset now with the wind and rain howling round us, so I hope we do not share David's recent experience in Suffolk.

Best wishes to everyone for 2007. Tom

Wonders of the NHS

I always wonder why (older) people sometimes go around with huge lumps on their faces. I guess they get used to them as the lump slowly grows. Earlier this year I noticed a small growth under my right eye. It grew a bit and in early October I went to my GP. She didn't think it looked too serious and sent me to the dermatologist at St Mary's Paddington on the 18th Oct. (Booked in with medium urgency on the famous 'broken' NHS system. And I could pick a date.) I had it removed on the 5th Dec and they did a biopsy. I saw the dermatologist again on the 20th Dec. She said it was a bla bla bla and benign. Today I got a letter from her, copied to my GP, saying its a basal cell papilloma (seborrheic keratosis), which is benign. Doing it privately couldn't have been any better and I bet you can't see a scar. Hurrah for Gordon Brown and the rest of the gang.

Costa Rica

Happy New Year to All.  I guess that I was the last to see it in this year and by the time I was getting started you had moved on to nursing your heads!  Having a fantastic time here, surfing with sea turtles, lunching with howler monkeys (and that´s not the boys!).  Seems like we have been all over this country, Primary rain forests in the south. Volcanoes and white water rafting in the middle and one long endless beach of a life in the north!  Surfing has improved quite remarkably, you should onle be glad that I can´t plug my camera into the hotel computer and bore you with the photos!

Hope you all had a great Christmas and look forward to catching up on our return

It sure sounds like a lovely place. Will you ever spend Christmas in England again??
Posted by: Tom | January 03, 2007 at 07:03 PM

Sounds like heaven. Wish I was in Thailand. But not Bangkok.
Posted by: George | January 03, 2007 at 11:19 AM