Filed: This Life

Grin and Bear It

The signs are there that winter is just around the corner. This morning I had to sit in my car with the engine running for five minutes to de-ice the windows after the first heavy frost, and then come lunchtime I’m accosted on the street by people in ‘funny’ costumes and day-glo wigs demanding money with menaces.

It’s Children in Need time again. An opportunity for anyone to act as daft as they like with the excuse that it’s all in a good cause. (Isn’t there something a bit sus about a grown man wanting to dress as Pudsey the Bear?) Read more ›››

Escalation Policy

Have you ever noticed how much more difficult it can be to negotiate a broken escalator than a moving one? I know I do — suddenly putting one foot in front of the other is no longer natural and something you have to really concentrate on, and it seems the more you concentrate, the harder it becomes. Read more ›››

Umpteenth Way

There is a warm glow around the UK that now that smoking is to be banned — in ‘enclosed spaces’ — ‘where food might be prepared’ — neither of which is defined, and which will take another four years to frame into legislation and implement. Meanwhile, ‘backward’ Bhutan sorts it out by Christmas.

Being British

There is an excellent article in today’s Telegraph by Philip Johnston on what it is to be British following a worldwide survey sponsored by the Royal Society:

Politeness was also agreed upon as typically British, though this was also considered by some to be a front for reserve and an “uptight” approach to social situations. There was a widely-held perception of the British as strongly individualistic and politically independent, a trait especially noticeable in the country’s somewhat ambivalent relationship with the rest of the European Union, its unwillingness to join the euro and its stubborn insistence on continuing to drive on the left. Read more ›››


It was Eid-ul-Fitr yesterday, the Muslim celebration to mark the end of Ramadan.

As usual there were problems on Wilmslow Road in Manchester with young Muslims driving at breakneck speed, sounding their horns, steroes blasting and hanging out of car windows. Read more ›››

Age Shall Weary Me

“I now have the definitive list of the stars who will appear in the latest Band Aid recording,” burbled the BBC reporter from outside Air Studios. “And I can tell you it is literally a who’s who of pop music.”

He then read out the list, but apart from Paul McCartney, Bono and Robbie Williams, plus a few vaguely familiar names, I hadn’t a clue who he was talking about. What an old git I’ve become. Read more ›››

The Last Laugh

It’s eleven o’clock and the country is remembering both the dead and survivors of ninety years of war.

Not much more to say other than to post The Last Laugh by Wilfred Owen, my favourite war poet, although in some ways I prefer the earlier Last Words on which it is based. Read more ›››

Mutton Dressed as Mutton

I’m not usually a big fan of the ideas of the Prince of Wales which tend to wander into the foothills of loopy, but I’m right behind his campaign to make mutton popular again.

When I was younger, we didn’t eat lamb because it was too expensive and mutton was the affordable alternative. Read more ›››