Archive for January, 2011

Stag. Night.


The deer was blameless, although he showed poor judgement in deciding to cross the road in the dark, in the face of two streams of traffic. I was driving. “DEER!!!” yelled Mrs R as she glimpsed the inconsiderate animal silhouetted against the oncoming headlights. “Where?” I enquired thoughtfully. “Oh, just there…” I realised a millisecond […]

Phew. I’m back safely. I didn’t have to chop off any of my limbs, although my fingers got so cold I thought that they might shatter if I banged them on a rock. My compass seems to be defective. It points north in many directions and disagreed with my GPS device. At first I thought […]

Mrs R probably suspects it’s a mid-life crisis… I’ve dusted off my ice-axe and found my warm sleeping bag. I’m off to the Lake District for an unexpected day of solo hillwalking and a bit of camping. I can’t find my crampons anywhere. It is possible that I discarded them morosely when I found out […]

Light work


Living in a rural area you can observe agriculture on an industrial scale. They are planting replacement street-lights in our town. A gang of workmen are roaming the pavements, digging small holes. They will place something in each hole, a bulb presumably, which will grow into a new lamppost. This will probably happen as the […]

I thought that I would watch television. I don’t do this often. The remote control was nowhere in sight. I looked under the furniture, on the bookcase, behind the TV, in the next room etc. I removed all the cushions from the sofa. I carefully shook each cushion. Finally I spied the controller, wedged down […]

Myth taken


History is created by those who write it down. The people who offer to do the writing and preserve the record are often supported by those in charge at the time. We would never have known about Hannibal’s magnificent march across the Alps with his war elephants without Livy’s efforts to write the history of […]

Has anyone else looked at iTunes U (the online ‘university’) and downloaded a load of (free) worthy learning materials? Did you do it with good intentions, but with no idea of when you would find the time to learn a new language / study art criticism / master genetics / re-cap on basic physics etc? […]

Sleeping assets


Mrs R. woke me with a bloodcurdling scream. “Wha…wha….wha…th…ffff…?!?” I gibbered blearily as she sighed, turned over and went back to sleep. “Why did you scream in the night?” I enquired a bit later at breakfast. “Oh that,” she replied cheerfully. “I was dreaming that someone was trying to take my laptop away.” Next time […]

Wild geese


Five hundred geese flew overhead, honking. It was an impressive sight. In fact there may have been a thousand, or four hundred. They were difficult to count, flying fast at high altitude. At an average weight of 2-3 kilos per goose, that made about a tonne or a tonne and half of gooseflesh, enough for […]

Photo shopped


A 78-year-old retired professor was stopped by police in Norwich after complaints that he was taking photos of buildings.  This caught my eye. I have a camera. This year one of my plans is to take some photos of buildings in Norwich, relating to a historical theme. I may also take photos elsewhere in Norfolk. […]

I said “Happy New Year” to all the acquaintances I happened to meet today. This seemed appropriate. But how long can you keep saying Happy New Year after 1st January? Obviously you only need to say it to people whom you are seeing for the first time this year. I don’t, for example, greet Mrs […]

We were expecting guests for dinner. “Shall I light the fire?” I asked helpfully as Mrs R messed around in the kitchen cooking for everyone. ‘The Fire’ is a small cast iron wood burner in the living room. For 363 days a year it is dormant and cold to the touch, acting as a useful […]