Archive for November, 2011

Party animals


It is still only November. The Christmas Party Fashion Supplement in the newspaper advises me that I should wear red stilettos and an above-the-knee dress. This is helpful. I am going to a Christmas party in a few weeks and I was wondering what to wear. I could have looked a bit fashion-backward if I […]

The first Christmas card arrived this morning. Like red and green carrier bags and special festive cups at Starbucks, it seems too early. I haven’t even cleared away my tomato plants by the back door yet. Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but I always sense a competitive edge in the earliest Christmas […]

Analogued out


The television age has ended. Our TV is a fully working anachronism. Technology has moved on and left it stranded like a costume drama on a Saturday evening. All the screen shows is a white noise blizzard on four channels. The big switch over has become the big switch off. Transmission ends. Unless I buy […]

The ‘Occupy’ movement is becoming dangerously influential. I told teenage son that I could help him focus in this important A-level year by imposing an internet curfew. I said that I would switch off the router at 10pm each evening, to limit multi-player games and facebook use. He said that free access to the internet […]

The youngest teenager had a friend to stay. Apparently they had a good time. I don’t know what they got up to, but I have pieced together a small part of their weekend by analysing the mess left behind. They decided to go out for a walk across the fields at some point during the […]



“Could you fill this in for me?” Asked Mrs R., handing me a short questionnaire. “It’s for work. They said we could get someone who knows us well to fill it in, so we can compare it with our own answers.” I looked at the questions. It was an evaluation of communication skills and listening […]

Facing up


We are now one week into NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month to its full name. The aim of the month is to help aspiring novelists by giving them a specific aim: to write a 50,000 word novel between the 1st and 30th of November. That is just 1,667 words a day. There are local […]

Trying to arrange a teleconference with two different places in the southern hemisphere, one of which has just changed to summer time, one of which hasn’t, I was painstakingly counting hours ahead of GMT. “There must be an easier way to do this,” I thought, “I bet there’s an app for that.” There was. Which […]

Buzz off


Has anyone else encountered a lot of wasps in the house this autumn? Usually we get three or four solitary wasps buzzing around the curtains and tops of the windows on the occasional sunny day from late September until the first frost. They are looking for somewhere warm and quiet to hibernate. Unfortunately they are […]