Sunday Round-up

I'm getting worried now: It seems to be a be a tradition that the New Yaer should be welcomed in with apocalyptic visions. I mentioned last week that both the US CDC and Amazon were preparing for a zombie apocalypse last year. Now comes news that students at Leicester University estimate that human kind would be wiped out within 100 days with fewer than 300 survivors outnumbered by millions of zombies. Read more ›››

Going to the Zoo

We had a family tradition when the kids were younger that we would visit Chester Zoo in the hiatus between Christmas and the New Year. Now they are grown, it is a tradition that lapsed, at least until Tuesday.

Work and other commitments meant that we had to wait until the calendar turned to 2017 before we could all be together for a family outing and off we set. Read more ›››

Count Louis Zborowski was a wealthy, pioneering racing driver, engineer and the inspiration behind one of the most enduring children's stories – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

He was born in 1895, the son of William Eliot Morris Zborowski and American heiress Margaret Laura Astor Carey of the prominent Astor family. The Zborowski family background is interesting, but I may come back to his father at a later date. Read more ›››

Christmas Cornucopia

Now that Christmas has passed, I'm afraid I have some bad news for you – if you add up the value of the presents you bought for other people and subtract the value of those you received then you almost certainly made a loss.

It has nothing to do with your relative generosity or having children to buy for, but something that clever economists call a deadweight loss. Read more ›››

Word of the year: For the Oxford Dictionaries it was ‘post-truth’ which is the epitome of brevity compared to Austria's word of the year: ‘Bundespräsidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung’. Those 51 letters translate as ‘postponement of the repeat of the runoff of the presidential election’.

Yakety yak: An early example of post-truth came in April when a story about a man who bought a yak online when spaced out on sleeping tablets went viral. But it wasn't true. Read more ›››

Esio Trot

The Christmas and New Year holiday has been a gorge fest of television programmes but of all the films and ‘specials’, the one that has stood out for me is the re-run of Esio Trot.

This BBC made-for-tv film first appeared in 2014 and is one of the most charming, eccentric and heart-warming productions you could ever hope to see. Read more ›››

Plan D

You would think with all the Christmases I've seen that I would have got the hang of the festive season or at least its immediate aftermath, but apparently not.

On Tuesday we had the bright idea of taking a trip to the cinema. Had this involved Mrs P I dare say the planning would have been more precise but as it was just me and son and daughter things were rather vague. Read more ›››

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