Archive for the ‘Terminally boring’ Category

A moving picture

January 27, 2014 7 comments

Migration map2

Does this tell you anything startling about human behaviour?

The Grauniad is banging on about it ( but I wonder if you’d find any different ‘dynamic’ (trendy word) in the hinterland of any European or American capital?

People get on their Tebbit bikes to get jobs and leave for gentler environments when they can afford it.

On a personal note, please notice that Londoners prefer Coventry! Don’t ask.

Copacabana Dreams

January 21, 2014 7 comments

The left footers really should know better. Don’t they read the good book? Graven images aren’t allowed. God is not happy. After trying to hold his temper and count to, I don’t know, a virgintillion and one his patience ran out and he rained down on the Rio statue of Christ the Redeemer some very, very frightening tautological thunderbolts and lightning.

Aiming this year to travel more, Brazil is one of the countries on my goto list. My goal is not to help fix the statue or swim in the Amazon river or look at the rock paintings in the Parque Nacional da Serra da Capivara. Would you believe I’m not even going there to watch the skimpily clad carnival girls rocococoing in the flesh. My mission is to make the natives better at football. Coming from where I come from I’m sure my ministry will be helpful in this godforsaken land of no-hopers. After all, my five-a-side team have won their last few matches.

Gin and Fat.

January 21, 2014 9 comments

Well this started out as a comment on Sipu’s recent post, then as usual it got so long and convoluted I decided it better belonged here.

A number of unforeseen consequences of Whitney’s cotton gin followed rapidly after its wider application.  The rapid growth in cotton fibre production in the southern states was accompanied by a huge supply of cottonseed, for every bale of cotton (480 lbs) an astonishing 700 pounds of cottonseed were produced, most of it was dumped in the nearest river (gins were often water powered) or simply left on the ground to rot.

Read more…

War and Gin

January 19, 2014 24 comments

Had my father been alive, this month would have seen him celebrate his 100th birthday. Of course 1914 is better remembered for being the year that The Great War commenced.

It was an earlier great war, what Southern States call, ‘The War of Northern Agression’ aka the American Civil War, that saw the birth of my grandfather, in November 1862; exactly one year before President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.

The Napoleonic Wars had not yet commenced when my great grandfather was born 220 years ago, in February 1794. However, they were well under way when, at the age of 16 he went off to fight with Wellington against the Corsican upstart. Much to his chagrin, my ancestor was wounded at the battle of Quatre Bras, which took place two days before Waterloo and thus was unable to take part in that more famous battle. Read more…


December 30, 2013 19 comments

New Year 2014Like every good businessman I started by checking how I did last year. Bad idea. My report said “must try harder pending sanctions”. I blame Backside of course but I realise not all of you have easy access to a whipping boy.

My mantra since achieving my three-score-years-and-ten has been the well-worn carpe diem but it goes hand-in-hand with procrastination! Concentrate on the big stuff and let the little things take care of themselves? All well and good – until you can’t move for small, irritating duties lying around for you to trip over.

So next year (oh yes, it does come!) I’m going for a couple of hours’ trivia followed by the carpe diem targets – that should please Mrs J and keep Backside quiet. He’s usually exhausted (read bored) after an hour’s interference.

How about you?

Ho, ho, ho!

December 19, 2013 2 comments

A member of the Skipper yacht club dressed as Father Christmas

The grand old Duke of York

December 12, 2013 11 comments

The Duke of YorkNow I’ve heard it all! Andrew Windsor says he is “just a different kind of entrepreneur” – which being interpreted means he recycles public money for personal gain.

There is considerable doubt whether he has either the IQ or the staying power needed even to emulate his nursery-rhymed namesake, either on the ascent or the descent of the fabled hill.

He is a supporter of Norwich City Football Club.

But if my cherished reader is now ensnared by this revelation, there’s more!      PS Royal bashing rating: 7/10

The bigger they come…..

November 30, 2013 11 comments

I have noticed that Nigella Lawson has earned the admiration, not to say infatuation of the odd cherished colleague hereabouts – for her culinery presentation, I presume, or was it her fast developing Rubenesque form, now no longer in evidence. Read more…

Very nice caption?

November 7, 2013 3 comments

How do you do? Charles chats with Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj after the ritual

Too many cooks

October 23, 2013 5 comments

Elizabethan_night philip harbinWhat is the appeal of tv cooking shows?

They were forgivable in the ’50s when there were only the Joe Lyons caffs; hardly any prepared foods except baked beans; and housewives with time but limited, even rationed ingredients on their hands. And suave Philip Harbin, with skills freshly honed in the Catering Corps, offered light relief as only BBC toffs could (just one tv channel in those distant days).

(Shown demonstrating Tudor cuisine to Jeanne Heal, another family favourite in 1953.)

The only other memorable chef for my money – hair-of-the-dog after long hours of dipso-Delias and ‘normous Nigellas – was Keith Floyd, who was capable of being both naughty and nice with interesting food from many cultures. Young Oliver, rude Ramsay and the rest can just bake off.


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