Thursday, 15 November 2018

Very Bad Value

If baffled by the need to choose Christmas presents likely to delight some fastidious acquaintance, one might be tempted to send them a 'hamper'.

Don't !!!!

The ones I've seen advertised seem to be extremely bad value for money. I've just checked through one I saw advertised on line at a price of £110, and estimate that the ordinary retail price of the contents would be in the region of at most £40.

Fearing liability for a libel action I don't give a link to the site, but I suspect that almost any hamper being offered would be as bad a buy.

Just check if you doubt my word.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

An Extravagent Gift

As we celebrate the end of a war that hardly anyone is old enough to remember, we hear of people 'giving their lives'.

I picture people queuing with little boxes, waiting to give them to some official, and dropping dead when the box is accepted.

Actually many of those who died were compelled to fight by governments, so often the architects of great wrongs.. Their lives were not given, but were stolen from them.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Vulgarity in High Places

I've just read a news headline that says:
"Groping suspect says Trump said it was OK to grab women"
That was followed by a link to a video of the President discussing his carnal ambitions in lurid detail.

I can't think of anything more to say !! 

Monday, 22 October 2018

Bogus Arithmetic

What is 95% of a deal?

95% of the text?  95% of the cost?  95% of the time needed to make the deal?

I don't believe that any calculation supports the Prime Minister's claim to have completed 95% of a deal concerning our leaving the European Union. In making the claim she demonstrates little more than her poor understanding of percentages.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Oppressive Mis-Education.

The most miserable period of my life was three years from age 8 to10 when I attended a junior school which seemed to be designed to suppress original thought and self expression. A ferocious headmistress used to patrol the corridors, cane in hand, to ensure that no-one spoke while proceeding from room to room.

Moving to a grammar school was a great relief. There we could chatter as much as we chose between classes.

I've just been appalled to read that a secondary school in Birmingham is to impose a rule of silence in the corridors.

A school should be a place of learning where ideas are developed and exchanged, not a prison where unimaginative pedagogues suppress thought.

Sunday, 30 September 2018


For several years I've noticed that it's getting quite hard to find soap. There used to plenty of choice, but now shops that sell soap offer only a few varieties, and tuck them away on a small shelf that's quite hard to find. Where there used to be a wide selection of soaps in different colours with different scents, there are now lots of plastic bottles of dubious and often quite expensive potions, and things called 'wipes' that look as if they'd be hard to recycle.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Mixed Blessing

A few years ago I was delighted at the prospect of having bills, statements, and similarly boring material delivered electronically. I hadn't thought through the full implications.

I'd imagined it would be like receiving email, which can be skimmed through and then filed very easily.

Of course email is not secure, so I don't receive bills and statements by email. Instead I get emails telling me there's a message on line. I then have to log on to the relevant site, using the password so secure it's hard to remember, navigate through a site to find messages, and then work out which of the vast collection of messages I haven't already read.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Chilly days Ahead

Yesterday I changed into my tweed jacket, ready for Autumn and Winter.

So far this year weather has been disappointing.

Spring was unusually cold, and when hot weather arrived it was too hot to go out, except for brief visits to the shops early in the morning, and much of the evenings was spent watering thirsty plants.

Monday, 10 September 2018

A Triumph for an Aged Brain

When I went shopping today I left my shopping list behind, but still managed to remember every one of the nine items on it !!!

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

A Relic of the Drought

Although we've had a fair amount of rain in the last few weeks the River Welland is still just a trickle, mainly obscured by nettles growing in the river bed. Most of the rain water must have been soaked up by the parched earth.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Vetting Bishops

Catholic priests often influence the running of schools and have unsupervised and private access to individuals, including children, in the confessional.

That seems to  justify official checks on the appointment of priests, and especially of bishops who create priests. Perhaps episcopal appointments should require ratification by the Department of Education.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Forgiveness by Proxy

It seems presumptuous for a third person to forgive someone for something they've done to someone else. I think that only the injured person is entitled to forgive.

Today it was reported that the Pope had asked God to forgive the Catholic Church for child abuse committed by members of religious orders. So far as I know it has never been claimed that God was the victim of abuse, so the Pope's appeal was misdirected.