Filed: This Life

Moral Turpitude

When we were applying for visas to visit the US a few years ago, I was left scratching my head over whether I was guilty of the sin of ‘moral turpitude’. I was pretty sure I wasn’t, but looked it up just to be sure.

It turns out that this is a legal concept covering ‘conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals’ and relieved that I had passed the test, I ticked the no box. But I wonder how many people simply lie? Read more ›››

Have a break…

Have a break...

…have a Kit-Kat. That quintessential English chocolate and wafer finger snack forever linked with a cup of tea and elevenses, well at least from 1911 when it was invented by Rowntrees of York.

It so much a staple snack that some might call it boring, but I recall the excitement when Nestlé introduced the Kit-Kat chunky which like a Kit-Kat except it was… er, chunkier and who can forget the limited edition dark chocolate version. Oh yes, here in the UK we are not afraid to push back the boundaries of confectionary exploration. Read more ›››


When I was younger, the advice I was given whenever I was stuck for an idea of what to buy a woman as a gift, for Christmas, birthday or other occasion, was this: ‘Buy her scent. You can’t go wrong with scent.’

And good advice it was too. Even at my most uninspired, a decent bottle of perfume always got me lots of brownie points, especially if the smelly was of the expensive variety. Read more ›››

Dolly Dot

I caught an item on the radio the other day when the two presenters expressed surprise that dogs outnumber cats among the UK pet population and you are more likely to find a dog, rather than a cat, is any given household. (PFMA Pet Population Survey 2015)

Presumably it is because media presenters are the sort of people who keep cats themselves and assume that everyone else is just like them. Goodness knows why. A more selfish and self-obsessed creature you wouldn’t wish to meet. And the cats are no better… Read more ›››

Bad Penny

Bad Penny

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the blogosphere, up turns Mr Parrot like the proverbial bad penny.

I haven’t written a word for well over a year and, if I’m honest, there is no good reason or excuse to explain it. I just ran out of steam as far as blogging was concerned to the point where it became a chore, not a pleasure, and my posts simply fizzled out… Read more ›››


Sparrow Hawk

There are some people who like cats, there are those who prefer dogs and there are even those who claim to like both. Not that I believe them – that’s just mutually contradictory double thinking.

Nineteen Eighty-Four aside, I fall very much into the canine camp for all sorts of reasons. On the positive side, dogs are loyal, loving and think you (the owner) is perfect. In fact the only animal to have seen his god as someone once said… Read more ›››

Too Many Cooks

Heaven forfend that I should ever be asked for careers advice these days, but if I were then I’d point any aspiring tyro in the direction of the kitchen.

It isn’t that the call of the sauce pan and blender is such a great way to make a living – the pay isn’t great and the hours definitely unsociable – but it is the path towards the one place you can find guaranteed employment as a tv chef… Read more ›››

The Best Medicine


Watching programmes on the Discovery Channel and BBC4 I’m often struck by my own ignorance of all the things I didn’t know I didn’t know across a range of subjects, but I reckon I’ve come up with a question that Google, Brian Cox and even Stephen Fry couldn’t answer:

Where do we get our laughter from? Read more ›››