Archive for October, 2010

The road closure continues. Most drivers have acknowledged the reality of the massive hole in the road and have stopped ignoring the signs. My potential revenue stream has dried up. With hindsight I should have asked for the money before giving the directions… The massive hole is a mystery. I have a suspicion that the […]



The main road is closed nearby. I walked past the roadworks on the way into town. About a mile and a half back up the road there is a ROAD CLOSED sign. There is also a signposted diversion. There are no alternative diversion routes less than a mile and a half away. There was a […]

Slim pickings


It was a fine breezy autumn day, so we decided to pick some blackberries. This was despite last year’s warning from a warty-nosed old woman dressed in black, whom we met whilst blackberrying on a quiet country lane. “You shouldn’t pick them after the first frost,” she cackled, “ ‘cause a witch has pissed on […]

Step change


I couldn’t go ballroom dancing tonight. I had a meeting. Mrs R. went on her own. “It’s amazing how much easier it is dancing with someone who knows what they are doing,” she reported, dispiritingly.

Russian chill


Here we go again. It’s only mid-October and I passed a gritting lorry on the road this evening. I’m hoping for another long, cold, snowy and disruptive winter. Fortunately I haven’t got around to putting away the de-icer, the windscreen scraper and the snow shovel since I last used them a few months ago. But […]

Cyber-terrorism was today announced to be one of the most serious threats to UK security, along with international terrorism and natural catastrophes. I can understand this, but I was surprised to find that Cyber-distraction was not listed as a threat at all. You know. Cyber-distraction. When you start doing a very simple, useful task using […]

Window pain


Installing update 1 of 16… Sitting in front of the family computer I reflected that running Windows XP is like bringing up a child. You look after it carefully, but even after many years it can still find ways to irritate you. Do not turn off or unplug your computer; it will turn off automatically… […]

Free lunch?


Apparently some bloggers get approached by PR companies and are offered small (or large) inducements to write about specific products or events. It doesn’t always go right, as the story of Bangsandabun and Mission PR illustrates. I am happy to reassure you that Alexoutside does not receive any inducements, bribes or generous gifts to influence […]



A good tennis player has nerves of steel, laser-sharp concentration, insect-like reflexes and the ability to hit a moving object with a racquet. I am not a good tennis player, as Mrs R demonstrated when she beat me 6-1, 6-3 yesterday afternoon. It didn’t help that there was a football match going on next door […]

Week 5 of the ballroom dancing lessons. There is no danger that Mrs R and I will be appearing on Saturday evening peak time TV. We can negotiate the floor in a couple of simple dances, as long as the music is not too quick.  For some reason my sexy hip-shake seems to become a […]

Eye eye


Do you fancy yourself as a crime fighter? Does Gotham City need you? Since yesterday it has got a bit easier to pull on your batcape and become a mouse-clicking superhero. I’m sure you saw the launch of Internet Eyes. For just £2 a month (being a superhero isn’t cheap) you can register to receive […]

I opened the freezer and extracted one of the value packs of 14 fish fingers. Fourteen? How can a family pack of 14 fish fingers be useful? It’s not divisible three, four, five or six. In our family everyone expects equal distribution. If there are not equal shares, it can get nasty. Fingers should come […]



I climbed the 311 steps of London’s Monument as briskly as I could. Built by Sir Christopher Wren and his collaborator Robert Hooke in the 1670s, the Monument is a tall column. Ostensibly to commemorate the Great Fire, the tower might also have been constructed as a laboratory for covert experiments in physics. These days […]