Zut alors!

The ever-unctuous Jacques Chirac has finally been convicted of corruption. Luckily for him, it is so long since he committed his crimes that he can no longer remember them, allegedly.

But, the French Court, doing little to boost confidence in its reliability for justice, has sentenced 79-year-old Jack to two years in prison – suspended!! Which usually means that the culprit should take care not to repeat his transgressions. As if! Under what conceivable circumstances could he now commit corruption?

Maybe a cherished colleague could unravel this piece of French logic?

Nice ‘nisser’

Just a note of appreciation for the Chariot’s seasonal banner depicting what are known locally as ‘nisser’, maybe ‘elves’ in English. They are at the heart of yuletide culture hereabouts, far more popular than any modern notions of supernatural events. In fact they are in evidence the whole year round. A house is said to have ‘a good nisse’ if it feels like home. But for children it’s the special nisse, the ‘julemand’ (Father Xmas) who deserves most attention. This little fella hails from Norway and lives in a barn.

Too silly

Yes, I know I’ve already had one turn today but some things just have to be said. What’s wrong with this sign in Hamley’s toy store?

It is ‘guilty of gender-apartheid’, allegedly.  Which means you can’t identify a toy as suitable for or likely to appeal to a boy or a girl! So Hamleys, bless their unisex cotton socks, have changed their signs (oh, sorry ‘signage’, woo-oo) to categorise toys by type only.

Personally I’d be happy if they’d changed them to say ‘ boys and junior dykes’ and ‘girls and latent poofters’. How about you?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/8952627/Toy-signs-changed-after-Hamleys-accused-of-sexism.html

Darkest December

Today should be cancelled. Hurricane-force wind, driving rain and no light to speak of. Even the birds are hiding under our eaves. Except this little fella – whose portrait I have borrowed from you-know-where. He’s a nuthatch who enjoys a lone foray into the yard where our bird-table stands. And he just eats.

Maybe he’s got the right idea.

Yawning

A Beeb story (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16052112) suggests contagious yawning has its origins in animal or at least caveman behaviour – most likely to occur amongst family or friends, as some kind of ‘heads up’ signal.

All I know is that it was outlawed by my parents outside our own four walls (rude, they said) and by school teachers, who perhaps interpreted it as a sign of tiredness (go to bed earlier) or boredom (I’ll bore you, lad; just wait and see). Funny how what was probably a way for the tired body to wake up the brain with a fix of blood became a social phenomenon worthy of comment among our mentors!

Just to be clear on the pesky Euro…….

“The eurozone faces an imminent, acute funding problem. Member states need to  repay over $1,100bn of debt in 2012, the bulk of it due in the first six   months. On top of that, European banks, heavily dependent on state largesse, have around $665 billion of debt coming due by June next year.” DT today.

And Matt says:

Does Father Xmas visit countries in the Eurozone that are naughty?”

And all the Europrats have talked about is budgets and fines for malefactors! Good luck if you think the UK should be in there too. In my book it’s better to disembark before the ship sinks – probably next summer.