Thursday, 30 November 2017

A Mild Autumn

Today I wore my Winter overcoat for the first time this Autumn. In most years I'd have been wearing it for a week or two by this time, so while others deplore the cold weather, I treat its late arrival as a sign of a mild Autumn.

Another sign is the profusion of flowers still in bloom, including the zonal pelargoniums - the plants we often wrongly call 'geraniums'. They are moderately sensitive to cold weather and have usually given up much earlier in the Autumn than this.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Don't be Distracted by Nectar Points.

From time to time I'm offered 250 bonus Nectar points in exchange for spending £60 in a fortnight.

Checking my expenditure carefully I found I usually spend rather more than that so the offer looks like something for nothing. 250 Nectar points are worth £1-25, so the bonus is worth having but is not enough to justify disrupting one's shopping habits.

I suspect that some people don't check their expenditure carefully and are lured into extra expenditure when the points could be theirs with no special effort.

250 points can sound quite a lot to someone who forgets that each point is worth only half a penny.

I recall once visiting a model railway exhibition where one exhibitor sought to deter meddling fingers by displaying a notice that said 'DANGER 5000 MILLIVOLTS'

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Praising the BBC World Service

I'm considering adopting the BBC World Service as my default radio channel.

For many years I've relied mainly on BBC Radio 4, or the Home Service as it used to be. The World Service was hard to find with a radio set, and when it could be found reception was usually poor, so listening to Radio 4 became a habit.

Now, however, I usually listen to radio broadcasts through a television set fed either by cable or by Free View, so reception of the World Service is excellent, and I enjoy calm and lucid reporting of current affairs.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

A Philistine Thought

The Leonardo painting just sold for 400 million dollars struck me as distinctly uninspiring.

There is historical interest in something so old, but I found nothing to admire in the depiction of a depressed looking androgynous figure, apparently making a rude gesture towards the cosmos. Was Leonardo really a good painter?

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

A Strange Request

A recent email from my energy supplier bid me: "Simply peel off this sticker and place it on your boiler."

I'm thinking of treating that as a Zen koan on a par with "the sound of one hand clapping", and meditating on it in idle moments.