Archive for November, 2009

Ho ho ho


On the outskirts of a local village there is a hand-painted sign advertising the Christmas Fayre which will take place next weekend. Next to the sign there is a life-size effigy of Father Christmas dressed in the traditional red and white with a pained expression beneath his beard. He is probably grimacing because he is […]

See life


A deep sea survey, part of a 10 year census of marine life, has discovered 5,600 new species. I have always suspected that many strange and wonderful creatures lurk under our noses in places where we rarely choose to look. Unfortunately deep sea surveying is expensive and difficult. It is not something that can be […]

Knot a problem


If, like me, you rarely throw anything away, there is a good chance that you have a room, an attic, a shed and/or a garage which is deep in clutter that may come in handy. Hopefully you are not someone who has been beguiled by the minimalist mantra and decluttered your home. When you urgently […]

It was a blustery Sunday lunchtime. We sat at the table. Outside the clouds scudded by, the washing flapped and seagulls wheeled above the field. Teenage son raised his fork to his lips and said, “Oh, the washing line just fell down.” You might be surprised at the number of separate components required to secure […]

Returning from London yesterday evening, I caught up with political news on my phone. “Gordon Brown also announced that all new graduates still out of work after six months would have access to a ‘high quality’ internship, training or help to become self-unemployed” (Sky News mobile 18 Nov 2009). I’m glad to see that self-unemployment […]

(…continued) The burial place of Boudica, Queen of the Iceni, has never been discovered. Very little is known about her after she was deselected by the South Norfolk Conservative association and went on her bloody rampage down the A12 to Londinium. We can assume that she returned to her home turf up the A10 via […]

The rain had been heavy in the night. I left the house and put my saxophone in the boot of the car.  I turned and stopped. There was a hole. In the drive. Just behind the car. I peered down. It was a hole big enough for my fist. Deep in the gloomy depths I […]

To have no friends on Facebook, a blank page on Tumblr, a blog with no links, Flickr pages with no pictures and a Twitter feed without followers should be the aim of anti-social networkers. There are already several sites for shy people and the pathologically anti-social. Try Isolatr, Introvertster and Snubster. I had a quick […]

Tumble rumble


Just when I’d started getting to grips with Twitter, another time-gobbling social media next-big-thing arrives on my radar. Tumblr is the place to be now that Twitter and Facebook are cluttered up with the middle-aged middle classes stalking their former schoolmates and spying on their children… Yes, we didn’t grasp MySpace in time, but our […]

Short story


Recently there was a competition to write stories on Twitter. The challenge was to write a complete story in 140 characters. I had a try, wrote a few and then forgot to enter (I’m not a completer/finisher really…). So instead of belated twittering, I’ll share them with you here on the slow news days. Twitter […]

Card reader


“In general, it is believed, because of causality, that backward causation, in the sense that what happens at a later time influences what happens earlier, does not occur.” I expect that, like me, when you came across this statement in your recent reading about particle physics you nodded in agreement. Generally it is comforting to […]

Green grosser


Once upon a time we used to stick my daughters’ artwork on the fridge or the kitchen wall. Now they are older and they put their work on You Tube. I wasn’t sure about this. But my eldest told me I was “way too politically correct”… See for yourself. And share with your friends if […]

Feather waste


I looked at the three wheelie bins with the pigeon limp, soft and warm in my hand. Should I use the grey bin (household waste for landfill – high guilt), the green bin (plastic, paper and card for recycling – medium guilt) or the brown bin (garden waste for composting – low guilt)? The pigeon […]



My phone rang. I answered with excitement (I don’t get many calls these days). It was a wrong number. I hung up, disappointed. And then I wondered why it is that when someone gets a wrong number their tone of voice sometimes implies that it is your fault. In fact sometimes they don’t seem to […]

Like a twit


When I read that Stephen Fry had renounced Twitter, I knew that my time had come. You see I am a cautious adopter of technology. I don’t want to cut myself on the leading edge. When it comes to trends I am a surfer floundering in the choppy foam at the back of the breaking […]



First there was that family in Colorado who pretended that their six-year-old had absconded in a ballon shaped like a UFO… Then a Swedish mobile phone company dug a big crater on the border between Latvia and Estonia and pretended that it had been caused by a meteorite. In both cases the police and various […]