Sunday Round-up

Maths test of the week: Can you work out this little brainteaser? I’ll give you a clue: if you think the answer is 15, then you’re wrong.

Comeback of the week: ‘Ooo Betty’ Michael Crawford is set to reprise his Frank Spencer role from Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em for the first time since 1978 in aid of Sports Relief. Read more ›››

Trust No One

I was quite a fan of The X-Files back in the 1990s when it was new and fresh. The idea that there were all sorts of paranormal jiggery-pokery going on around us and kept secret by a sinister FBI definitely appealed to my inner conspiracy theorist.

What made it work were the Mulder and Scully characters, the one a believer, the other the skeptic, and there was no jiggery-pokery of there own to get in the way of the plot romantically, at least not until the later series. Read more ›››

Past It

The thing about getting older isn’t so much the approach of the skinny bloke in the black hood and his scythe, it’s more the regret of the missed opportunities vanishing into your past.

Like being picked for the England football squad, or learning to play the piano, or speak Mandarin, or how to tie 74 different kinds of knots, or any of the things you promised yourself that you’d do someday. Read more ›››

Hang Ups

We once arrived back from Cyprus in the early hours and our plan was to phone a local taxi firm to get us home from the airport, but it proved more easily planned than than done.

We only had Mrs P’s new iPhone and the battery was flat. That was my fault because I had wrongly assumed that we could use my iPad cable to charge it, only to find that the new model had a totally different fitting. Read more ›››

F is for Lawrence Fish

Mankind is never more inventive than when he is trying he is trying to maim or kill his fellow man and during the Second World War, the German secret service came up with many ingenious, if rather Heath Robinson, devices for assassination and sabotage.

Although known by MI5, detailed illustrations of these devices remained hidden until the turned up in the effects of artist and graphic designer, Laurence Fish, in the summer of 2015. Read more ›››

Selfish Selfies

When we were in Edinburgh at New Year, I was amazed by the number of people using selfie sticks, gurning up at themselves to record just about every minute of their time there. I knew they were popular, but not how much, and I’ve mostly looked down on the fad since most of the end product then ends up as vanity image on Facebook, Instagram etc, saying to the world look at me! look at me! Read more ›››


I’ve never really understood the attraction of using your mobile phone as a camera. I appreciate that it is handy to have something always about you that you can capture the moment with, but the pictures are invariably rubbish in my opinion. The limitations of the lens affect quality, but for me it’s the fiddliness of lining up the shot, then pressing the touchscreen shutter while trying to keep the damned thing steady. Read more ›››

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