Saturday, 31 October 2009

A peaceful evening

I'm relieved to have had no 'trick or treat' visitors tonight.

Perhaps the habit is dying out in England? I hope so; I've never liked it. A putative joke with a hint of menace is one of the tricks of the bully.

I wonder if one can buy trick sweets? Pepper filled chocoloate, or chilli fudge would be useful. Chinese shops used sometimes to sell tamarind candy, a soft sqishy sugar coated confection containing a geat deal of chilli. That was very useful one year when the first of April  fell in College term time.

All I had this year was a little dish of innocuous sweets. I planned to leer at uninvited vistors and reply to their 'Trick or Treat?' with 'That all depends on you. Can you tell which of these are the tricks, and which are treats?'

It would have been only a feeble jest; I'm glad it wasn't called for.

Friday, 30 October 2009

The Interpretation of Dreams

For a moment I thought I was remembering something that had happened,

Junior cat had leapt through the air, leaving behind her a little cloud of burning gas, from the conflagration of which I inferred that she had farted in mid flight, and her effluvia had been ignited by a candle flame, though it was puzzling that there was no candle or equivalent to be seen.

Then I realised that the event had no definite location, and no antecedents or consequences, and I concluded that I must have dreamt it, perhaps last night, or perhaps the night before last.

Some people claim to interpret dreams. I wonder what they would make of it.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Expensive MPs

So much has been said about MP's expenses that I've tried to avoid contributing to the cacophony, but recent developments suggest people have missed something.

I understand it is proposed that MP's should no longer buy second homes and claim mortgage interest, but should instead rent houses and charge for that.

Yet rent for property is usually higher than the interest on a mortgage, partly but not only because rent includes the cost of maintenance and repairs.

The change would therefore achieve neither of its supposed aims. It would not reduce the cost to the taxpayer, and it would not relieve the taxpayer of the cost of maintenance - it would just conceal that cost in the rent. Any moats would still be dredged at public expense, because the owner would set a rent that allowed for that.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Unplanned population growth

I haven't blogged for a while because on most recent issues someone or other somewhere in the media has voiced thoughts close to my own. An exception has been discussion of the supposed need to prepare for substantial increases in the world population, and the population of Great Britain.

I'm very irritated by the tendency for people to treat population growth as quite beyond anyone's control, like an earthquake.

Babies are not delivered by an uninvited stork. They are created by human actions of which I assume all readers of this blog will be aware. I wish that those who produce the children would look after them.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Perishable Clergy

A few months before I went up to King's Cambridge in 1956, the Dean committed suicide by jumping from the top of the Chapel tower.

I've just discovered that another Dean of King's recently committed suicide, though not so spectacularly. Alerted by a friend I made an internet search that revealed this article in the Cambridge Evening News.