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A donnish dive

March 22, 2017 6 comments

Colin Dexter, the creator of E. Morse, the curmudgeonly Oxford detective, has died aged 86, having introduced us all to his favourite haunts in the city – like the Turf Tavern (above, if you can find it!). ‘Two pints of Flowers, please, landlord.’ Read more…

Categories: Flounce, History

…and thicker

March 20, 2017 7 comments

Squeeze the facts to fit the goal – and yes, your bum does look big when you do!

There’s a self-styled voice of reason in the Olde Countrie called the committee for the protection of rural England or CPRE for short. Its latest protest concludes that the major road projects over the past few decades have failed to the extent that they have increased the traffic on the roads affected!

I’m tempted to write ‘d’oh!’ But Backside is otherwise imprisoned today so here’s a more reasonable response.

They cite the Newbury bypass as evidence. Now I remember it from before it was installed – a legendary bottle-neck in Newbury town which held up north/south traffic every day. Of course the CPRE is correct, the traffic was diverted and the town recovered. And the traffic entered rural Emgland’s holy portals. But more traffic? Unlikely. Why suddenly drive around remote villages? Maybe a few white vanmen enjoyed careering along ‘short cuts’ but they’ve always done that.

I must consign the CPRE to its fate as a special interest group we cannot rely on!

 

RIP, Chuck Berry

March 19, 2017 6 comments

Gideon’s way

March 17, 2017 4 comments

You may well frown, Prime Minister. He’s not leaving the back benches just yet. He’s taken a day-a-week job for £13k a day – oh yes, and he’s now editor of the Evening Standard in his spare time. Will he be a stranger to his Cheshire constituents?

Excuse me?

March 15, 2017 13 comments

Try to keep up

March 13, 2017 6 comments

I realised how out of touch I am when one of my young clan emailed me on my birthday, ‘Haps baps Gramps!’ A swift google informed that’s how the incrowd say it these days.

But senility apart, I’ve always been fascinated by dialect expressions, from Cockney slang to common or garden terms. All my grandparents (b. 1878 – 80) used them constantly. ‘Be said!’ ‘It’s a new gansey.’ ‘Give it some elbow grease!’ ‘I’ve got it fast here.’ ‘They’re gilli flowers.’ ‘Give me a dollop o’ that.’ It’s really taters out.’

Still awake? OK – show me yours!

 

Cheer up!

March 12, 2017 6 comments

The prophets of doom need a cause. The flavour this year is Brexit failing and the downfall of civilisation as we know it. Every hack has an informed source to prove the point; conspiracies, rebellions and incompetence abound in every corner of the Tory camp. Allegedly.

So may I respectfully aver that the Eurolands have no interest in a dead Brexit, whatever their unelected prats may say. In the next two years the wobbly wilderness aka the EU will be struggling to avoid further flounces, bankruptcies and distractions;  never mind scoring a famous own-goal by upsetting its almost-former member, their trusted trading partner.

So come on Ms May, do it on Tuesday and stick it to those self-satisfied Europrats.

 

That’s the spirit – or is it?

March 10, 2017 23 comments

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/03/09/brain-activity-can-continue-10-minutes-death-new-study/

Who or what is the entity known as ‘I’? The whole composite of mind and body? Or just the persistent voice in ‘my’ head that tries to deal with the rest? And how do ‘my’ deep-sleep dreams fit into the definition you prefer? Thinkers down the ages have wrestled with the topic and supernaturalists have formulated conflicting explanations, leading to revolution and war. And now some new science will fuel the flames of the debate. There seems to be brain activity after ‘death’ as defined by accepted medical practice.

Does this persistent brain activity have any ‘purpose’? Is the owner ‘conscious’ of it? That is, what is it for, if anything? Or is it like the decapitated chicken that keeps on running? Or a turbine spinning after shut-down?

Fascinating, huh?

Caption, anybody?

March 9, 2017 4 comments

 

Categories: Competition

Mad Men

March 6, 2017 13 comments

 

The second series has finally arrived in the Nordic region. Stale news, I expect, for many viewers on the cutting edge, but hey! I’m eating it like the best mature cheddar, with relish. And I have my reasons, which I think Christina might recognise.

40 Berkeley Square, JWT, 1954

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