Archive for March, 2010

Drain man


The rain had just stopped as I walked through Cambridge at lunchtime. In front of me a man in a smart suit strode along swinging his furled golf umbrella. It was the bit-too-large sort of umbrella that gets decorated with eyeballs in a busy street. I expect it carried a corporate logo and had been […]

I walked down Ludgate Hill. The vast bulk of St Paul’s Cathedral casting a shadow across the road behind me. “Sorry,” said a bearded central European with a large camera and a small girlfriend hanging round his neck, blocking my path. “Sorry,” he said again, “St Paul’s Cathedral please?” He gestured around in the manner […]

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Inky fingers


Left-handed President Obama signed the US Healthcare Bill with a series of 22 fountain pens taken from a ceremonial rack. Apparently the pens gain some historical value when they are used for such an event. The used pens are given as gifts from the President to favoured visitors. The demand for such gifts exceeds the […]

Memory trails


Mrs R drew my attention to an advert in the paper. “Departs 8 April 2012… Titanic memorial cruise… 12 night voyage of a lifetime… will follow RMS Titanic’s original itinerary, calling into the Irish port of Cobh, before sailing across the Atlantic… we will arrive at the Titanic site on April 14/15 exactly 100 years […]

Small measures


This week has been a bit busy. I needed to be in two places at once, or at least two states of being at once. Apparently this is possible and has now been scientifically proven. I’d like to try out quantum level multitasking, although it would probably be too cold for me to be productive.

Old crock


It is my birthday and my 23-year-old car will not start. It goes whirrrrrr….clickety clickety…clickety…click…click…….click…………click…………….cli I’m no mechanic. But I have a 23-year-old car that I bought as a ‘project’ (Mrs R’s translation: self-indulgent waste of money and time), so I must diagnose the problem and fix it. Fortunately, for my birthday my children have […]

Electric shock


Three months ago I told you that we had a new electricity meter. You may recall that the meter is connected to a device in the kitchen which shows us how much energy we are using every 15 seconds. A bright green, amber or red light alerts us when our electricity use gets higher. Since […]

Sitting tight


There was an outbreak of train rage on the way to London this morning. A silent elbow nudging battle erupted into verbal aggression in the seat across the aisle. I was worried that there would be fisticuffs, but it subsided into harrumphing and grumpy rustling of newspapers before it came to blows. The rest of […]



It’s my birthday soon. My son would like to give me a present. He told me what I need to do… I’ve just searched on Amazon for a book that I want and checked that there is a copy in stock. Then I emailed him a link to the relevant page and used my credit […]

The bright sunlight shamed me. I looked at the Winter debris scattered across the lawn. How can a garden get so untidy when no one has been using it? There were twigs and small branches all over the grass, piles of leaves scattered around the edges, yellowing moss, feathers and muddy patches in the middle […]

Park life


When it comes to parking, Mrs R is the most law-abiding person I know. She always parks in the permitted places, buys a ticket and leaves before the ticket expires. Which is why I was surprised when, after my music exam (it was ok, thanks) I returned to the car where she had parked it […]

Testing time


I haven’t taken an exam for about 25 years. Today I’m taking a Jazz saxophone exam. The last time I took a music exam was nearly 40 years ago, when I was seven years old. I hated it. That’s probably why I am so nervous this morning. I’ll let you know how it goes.

“Lemons,” said my twelve-year-old daughter,”and guavas”. Excited by the imminent arrival of Spring I had foolishly asked the family which vegetables I should plan to grow this year. “Vegetables,” I reiterated, “not tropical fruit. I can’t grow tropical fruit due to the garden’s position on the globe.” “Spaghetti”. I sighed and made my own list, […]