Archive for October, 2009

Trick or treat


When I was quite small my family were early adopters of trick or treating. We had spent a couple of years on loan to the United States and learnt all about Halloween ‘traditions’. I can not remember very much about these early tricks and treats, except the time that one of our young playmates was […]

Even when I am not working I am proud to say that I am exercising my finely honed skills as a corporate change agent (uh?). In a matter of moments I have detected a data error and caused a process to be changed for the better. As a consequence the foundations of British commerce are […]

Corn fed


The half term holiday (what? already?) is a good time for family activities and treats. Like going to the cinema. As I queued to get the tickets I said to my daughter, “please can you get some popcorn? Get a bag for yourself and a larger bag for Mum and I to share.” She staggered […]



The phone rang just as I started thinking about lunch, feeling particularly peckish because everything is an hour later today. “Is it twelve o’clock?” Asked my daughter from her university room. “Ye-es,” I said slowly. “The clocks have gone back…right?” She continued. “Yes, we put the clocks back last night,” I affirmed. “Good. Thanks. Bye.” […]

Early bird


When I opened the curtains this morning there was a peregrine falcon on the back lawn eating a freshly killed pigeon. After a few minutes of single-minded scoffing it flew heavily up into an apple tree and wiped its beak carefully before flapping off to digest high in the lime trees. The rest of the […]

Question time


I have found out that I can now get closer to my readers with an online questionnaire. I’ll start with an easy one. Please reply honestly.



The downstairs corridor at Felbrigg Hall has a large display of stuffed birds. It is a fine collection or a barbaric collection, depending on your point of view, of many species, several of which are now near extinction. The birds were shot in second half of the 19th century by the grandfather of the last […]

Free running


There is an advert for my local gym in the paper. It offers a ‘100% money back guarantee’. No conditions are mentioned. I’m contemplating joining. At this time of year as the nights draw in I am tempted to take my exercise indoors. As opposed to labouring outside with the paint sprayer or the garden […]

Tickly subject


The aftermath of Swine Flu appears to be a persistent cough (assuming that it was indeed H1N1 that afflicted the poor boy – who is now recovering, cheered by the news that 15% of his school were absent last week). It is very wearing, living in a house with someone who has a persistent cough. […]

Spray on


The beguiling words on the remarkably-expensive-fence-sprayer box promised that it would only take 4 minutes to spray each fence panel. And the container of fence panel coating promised that it would cover 30 to 60 square metres of fence (in small letters “depending on the porosity of the material”…ha!). They were lying. Or perhaps I […]

Private view


Some people are concerned about the use of body scanners at airports which show a ‘naked’ picture of their subject. They were using such scanners at Moscow’s Domodedevo airport a couple of years ago. I passed through them many times. Each time I was outraged that the bored lady looking at the screen did not […]

Teenage sicks


“From now on it can be said that plague was the concern of all of us. Hitherto, surprised as he may have been by the strange things happening around him, each individual citizen had gone about his business as usual, so far as this was possible.” (Albert Camus, La Peste (The Plague) 1947) Swine flu […]

Gassing games


Back from Australia and full of jet-lag fuelled energy first thing in the morning I read the paper with particular concentration. On the other side of the world there was a debate in the press about whether Australia, the world’s biggest exporter of uranium, should start importing nuclear waste for long-term storage.  In Britain I […]



My Australian adventure is drawing to a close. No more whales. But I have seen a Harbour Bridge, an Opera House and a data centre. Back in Brisbane I took some photos on my morning stroll through the city.

When I travel I always carry a camera. Just in case I see something interesting which could be recorded and posted here. You can probably tell from the lack of pictures in this blog, that I don’t often see interesting things. I pondered this as I stood open-mouthed on my hotel balcony looking out to […]

Beach boy


That’s more like it. Just a couple of hour’s drive and the weekend has arrived. This isn’t a long posting because I don’t want to get sand in my keyboard.