Entente cordiale?

August 2, 2015 13 comments

Help me out here.

Thousands of ‘migrants’ are congregating around ugly Calais, apparently destitute but equipped with wire-cutters and determined to get into the Tunnel to Blighty.

OK so far?

Why? What’s wrong with Spain, Italy, France (etcetera ad nausem) where they entered the fabled EU?

Send answers please to a jobsworth in Brussels who will reply after les vacances, peut-etre.

Living with the Han 2: other than that it wasn’t so bad.

August 1, 2015 5 comments

I walked through Huzhou last Saturday in a desperate attempt to change money. I did not expect a good rate of exchange or stellar service, but I did expect it to be possible. After all, even with the rise of touch-pay mobile phones and nearly-universal use for bank cards it is still advisable to carry some cash. My efforts were futile. Most banks only exchange money on weekdays and only for their customers. The one bank that will exchange currency on weekends for non-account holders is the Bank of China but they require extensive documentation and special residence papers. At that point, I had neither. In frustration I quietly returned to my flat with a small pile of cash in hand that might as well have not existed. I went to sleep nervous. The internet installer was supposed to have come the following day and I could not pay him. At around 1 AM I woke up and decided to give it a last go. A bank was 2 blocks away and they had a secured cash machine. My losing streak broke – my account was open and I could withdraw cash.

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Categories: General

Some more sunset pictures

July 31, 2015 3 comments

Sunset WH 3

Sunset WH 1Last night sunset walk with dogs on Watlington Hill I thought the light and colours were amazing so some more pictures taken on my little Nokia 206 phone.

Categories: General

This week’s Spectator.

July 30, 2015 13 comments

It’s almost worth getting this week’s Spectator for the competition. I’ve copied some of it below.

Competition: Open and shut case Lucy Vickery.

In Competition No. 2908 you were invited to submit a comically appalling opening to an imaginary novel. Thanks are due to the inventor of the annual Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest from whom I have pinched the idea for this challenge (Edward Bulwer–Lytton is often described as ‘the worst writer in history’). It was a pleasure to wade through your florid, convoluted prose, over-elaborate metaphors and inconsequential tangents. Dishonourable mentions go to Bill Greenwell for an opening composed entirely of hashtags and to C.J. Gleed. The best of the worst earn their authors £25 each. The bonus fiver is Edward Gilbert’s.

Inspector Falcon Foot was an experienced murder investigator. He had seen it all in his long and distinguished career. This case felt very familiar. A body lay cold on the beach, barely a world-class javelin throw from the morning tides, which foamed softly like partially flat, inferior lemonade. Foot examined the corpse carefully. He could see that the man had not died peacefully in his sleep. Aside from the compression marks on the neck, the irises of the victim were like those of a Pacific chinook salmon that had swum up the Sacramento river, made it beyond Red Bluff but had expired from exhaustion before Battle Creek after numerous near-misses with natural predators (excluding the now-extinct Californian grizzly bear). Foot lifted his handset and spoke to his colleague. ‘Dead body,’ he said, laconically. He clicked the receiver off. He raised his eyebrows resignedly, reflecting on the banality of evil.

Categories: General

Captions, by order

July 30, 2015 9 comments

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall

And another thing

July 28, 2015 7 comments

Mayor Boris has proved his proletarian potential by giving his goodwife a ride behind him on his bike.

Billedresultat for boris on bike pics

But the only acceptable second seat on a bike is the croggy – or for the posh lot, the cross bar. The lady is then safely embraced and close enough for canoodling. Ladies’ bikes are useless for the purpose of course, which explains why modern females ride fellas’ bikes.

My pic shows Boris offering a couple of ladies a ride.

Yes, I know what I said……

July 27, 2015 9 comments

But some news can’t be allowed to pass without comment.


At last a gubmint has found the stones to do what has been crying out for attention for decades.

Supernaturalists use their ‘faith’ to ‘justify’ everything from female genital mutilation to polygamy and the cruel slaughter of animals for food. Frankly I don’t care about their weird practices in general but I care very much when there are innocent victims, either human or animal who/which are given no choice in the matter.

Hurray for commonsense and b*gger the protestors! Yes, you too, rabbi!

Living With the Han 1: Spite and Malice From a Thousand Li Away.

My grandparents and a family friend, an eccentric Pole of partial German parentage, drove me to Konz Hbf. I felt little when I left. To say that my efforts in Hunland were in equal measures frustrating and frustrated is to verge past the point of understatement. Yet, I could not manage to muster much enthusiasm for China. The process thus far has been long, costly and drawn-out. That my nerves were already taxed to the breaking point led me to having a certain measure less patience than I normally would have had. Still, it seemed as if things worked out in the wash.

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Categories: General

A walk before sunset.

July 24, 2015 6 comments

At around this time of year it’s nice to walk the dogs just before sunset. It’s quiet and the fading light lends something.Photo0089

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Categories: General

Almost Family – A Short Story

July 23, 2015 54 comments

Then he lost a leg.

By this time he’d become accustomed to this. It had ceased to embarrass him but it had caused a bit of hysteria from the crowds intent on their Christmas shopping, because he looked so human, he supposed. He’d stepped awkwardly on the edge of the kerb and it just parted company with the knee joint. He picked it up and stuffed it into his rucksack, and hailed a passing taxi home.

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Categories: Creativity, General

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