Filed: This Life


Mark A’s post on smoking at My Corduroyed Life reminded me of something I meant to mention on my thoughts on banning smoking.

The apparent up-side of the smoking ban in New York — romance. The snout-casts outside the bars etc get talking, and before you know it — bingo! — they’re an item. Read more ›››


It has been a grim, grey, gloomy afternoon oop north and I think it was that which reminded me of a story told to me by a bloke I once worked with.

He started his working life as a cub reporter on the local weekly paper and he soon discovered it wasn’t the life of glamour he was expecting. Apart from the awful pay, he also got all the crap jobs to do. Read more ›››

“First reckon, then risk” — von Moltke

News that a nine year old girl and her mother were among those killed in the Berkshire rail tragedy on Saturday make it all the more poignant. Already there are calls to scrap unmanned level-crossings in favour of either building bridges or tunnels over or under the lines or by manning them again.

Either solution would be expensive. The latter harks back to the age of steam and would hardly be the most exciting of career choices. The former would require civil engineering that would takes years, if not decades, to complete. Read more ›››

Legal Bombs

Some pretty horrible things happened over the weekend, but the 20-year old who had his right hand blown off by a firework was among the worst. Okay, so it doesn’t compare with what is going on in Falluja at the moment, but the thing is that patently powerful explosive was sold quite legally. Read more ›››


The news overnight that a Paddington to Plymouth train had crashed killing six people and injuring many more after hitting a car on a level-crossing was awful to hear. But I do wonder if the powers-that-be are sometimes too sensitive. I just heard on ITV that they will not now be showing The Railway Children, replacing it with Robin Hood instead. Mind boggles.


Who says romance is dead? A bunch of psychiatrists have come up with what they reckon is the world’s best chat-up line to get the country’s lads and lasses together in a bid to stem the falling birthrate.

And it is? “This time next year, let’s be laughing together.” The first bit signals commitment while ‘laughter’ implies freshness. Read more ›››

It could be you

It’s the tenth anniversary of the National Lottery today and to ‘celebrate’ they are allowing free entry to all those things it has paid for with our money over the years. Gosh, thanks.

Setting aside the arguments about which projects are worthy and which aren’t, the most interesting thing about the whole enterprise is that people still think that ‘it could be them’ given the odds of hitting the jackpot are fourteen million to one, but I suppose it has to be someone! Read more ›››

Unhealthy Obsession

I’m in danger of being accused of having an unhealthy obsession with all things American with this and recent posts. It isn’t true, honest. It’s just the way things work out sometimes.

The thing that caught my attention today was the news that the increasing weight of passengers on American airlines is costing the companies is costing them $275 million (£149 million) a year in fuel to lug the load. Read more ›››