Archive for September, 2009

Sunny side up


Brisbane, it turns out, does not have a beach next to the CBD (Central Business District – Australians like to acronymise). My O’Neill lycra beachwear and my thongs will probably remain in my suitcase. This is disappointing and I have made a note to research my next travel destination on a map with a larger […]



I arrive at my destination. It is a country with strict controls about the import of organic material and foodstuffs. I have to fill in a form which asks whether I have been near fresh water in the last 6 days. And whether I have been on a farm. And whether I have any mud […]

Never say never


Just like old times, it’s early on Sunday morning, I’m mildly jet lagged and I’m in an airport departure lounge. From the window I can see what I think is the world’s tallest building, but it doesn’t look finished so perhaps it doesn’t count yet. Looking at the weather outside, very dry, hot bright sunshine, […]



So there is water on the moon. I thought we already knew that… Tintin found ice in a cave on the moon years ago. Perhaps rocket scientists don’t read Tintin books. It’s an exciting discovery. All sorts of new possibilities have been opened up: permanent moon bases, lunar agriculture (plenty of sunlight), production of hydrogen […]



I have visited two schools recently where they have new, curved perspex bike sheds with transparent walls. It made me wonder where schoolchildren can go to smoke and snog now. Historically the space behind the bike sheds was a notorious vice spot, but with modern see-through walls things have changed. No wonder children have to […]

This week I am telecommuting to Australia each day. Which is a lot easier than real commuting. Last night I was in meetings through the small hours and then again first thing in the morning. I am already feeling confused about what time it is because I have to keep translating the time difference. It […]

It may be a coincidence, but here is a second consecutive posting about lottery numbers… In Bulgaria the Sports Minister, Derren Neykov –sorry, Svilen Neykov – has ordered a review of the national lottery after the same winning numbers were drawn two weeks in a row. The numbers, 4 15 23 24 35 42, were […]

Just the ticket


So TV illusionist Derren Brown correctly predicted the UK lottery numbers. Big deal. Usually at least one person correctly predicts the numbers every week. In fact last Saturday two people correctly predicted the winning numbers. I bet neither of them put in as much effort as Derren. I think that there should be more TV […]

Of fences


“Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush. He surveyed the fence, and all gladness left him and a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. Thirty yards of board fence nine feet high. Life to him seemed hollow, and existence but a burden. Sighing, he dipped his brush […]

The ‘teaser’ is a well known media device for attracting and retaining viewers/listeners/readers. It involves giving your readers a hint of something exciting to come in future episodes, for example a suggestion that something might have happened to the washing line… A ‘spoiler’ is a well know internet phenomenon. It involves spoiling an exciting story/mini-series/film […]

Home alone


I am stuck at home waiting for a package to be delivered. Using the online tracking system I know that it will be delivered today. Or yesterday. Or tomorrow. Or some time before the 15th of the month. The online tracking system is not very specific. It says that my package is “In Transit to […]

Few lines


Three doughnuts today. I will have thighs like an Olympic speed skater in no time.* There was a washing line incident on Saturday. I can’t bring myself to blog about it. Still too painful… …Suffice to say: a stitch in time saves nine. *or possibly a belly like a sumo wrestler. Definitely like some sort […]

Thigh risk


I stood in front of Mrs R. and dropped my trousers. “What,” she said wearily, “are you doing?” Carefully I wrapped the tape measure around my thigh. “I’m measuring my thigh.” I said, unnecessarily. “It says here that the circumference of your thigh determines whether you will have heart disease.” I peered at the tape. […]

September. The end of a long, above-average-temperature summer. The sea temperature is, apparently, a degree or so warmer than usual at this warmest-time-of-year for sea. So why were there so many children at the beach yesterday wearing wetsuits? What is wrong with young people today? I went swimming and it was lovely, wearing my skimpy […]