Filed: This Life

The Shock of the New

SkyRest Travel Pillow

It’s been over nine years since the Innovations catalogue bit the dust, but I still miss it and all the things it sold that I never knew I needed.

Admittedly, I don’t recall ever buying anything, but it was nice to know it was there in case I ever felt in need of a handy portable paper shredder, some snore-stoppers, one-size-fits-all galoshes or a fun fur-lined vibrating golf club cover. Read more ›››

If I Ruled the World

Pre-loved Footwear

There are all sorts of royal secrets leaking out in jubilee year, such as the fact that HMQ doesn’t leak much at all for a posh lass, or seeing her knickers up for sale on e-Bay.

But the one that I liked the sound of was the queen having some flunky to break in her shoes so they’re all soft and comfy. How about that for royal prerogative? Read more ›››

It’s an open and shut case Mr Lansley

Noel Coward

At the moment this post goes public, we should be rumbling down the tarmac at MIA on our way to Philadelphia, but I couldn’t let a day slip by without saying anything, so I’m writing on a topic dear to my heart from the day before yesterday.

I suppose you were expecting a rant against Andrew Lansley’s latest assault on smokers by stripping branding from cigarette packets. But you’d be wrong. I think it is a brilliant idea that could return this country to its glory days. Read more ›››

Any News of the Iceberg?


I’m not sure how I’ve managed it, but I haven’t seen any of the countless programmes about the sinking of the Titanic that have been on tv on the run-up to the centenary today.

This wasn’t a deliberate boycott on my part, although I did make a point of missing Julian Fellowes’ dramatisation after reading that it was a sort of Downton on Ice. Read more ›››

Curtains for Smokers


Further to my little rantlet the other day about the bonkers legislation banning large stores from displaying cigarettes and tobacco so that we smokers might forget they exist, not everyone has entered into the spirit of it.

Most stores have fitted special cupboards with sliding doors to secrete the filthy weed, but others have gone a more DIY solution. Read more ›››

Smokeless Fool


The topic I resisted writing about yesterday was the ban on the display of tobacco products that came into force yesterday. I’m a smoker you see, so I risk condemnation or accusations of bias. But then I thought, what’s new?

The rationale behind this latest crack down on the evil weed is that it will curb the numbers of young people who take up smoking, but I’ve seen no evidence to back-up this claim. Read more ›››

Democratic Deficit


It’s been a long time since I failed to vote in either a national or local election, but it looks as if there will be a first time come May when we’ll be away.

I thought we might be able to manage to get a postal vote, but these won’t be sent out until after we’ve left. The only other option is a proxy vote and relying on the kids to remember to go to the polling booth. Read more ›››

You, Yourself, Argh!

What is it about government euphemistically named helplines that has me pulling out what is left of my hair?

I had reason to get in touch with a neighbouring local authority today to pay a £25 parking fine that our son had thoughtlessly picked up on Mrs P’s behalf. Read more ›››