Archive for the ‘General’ Category

On The Hooghly

August 30, 2016 Leave a comment

I’ve posted about this book before and have just finished reading it for the third time and it hasn’t palled. Written by Malcolm Hamilton Beattie it is an count of his years in the Bengal Pilot Service as a pilot on the Hooghly. I particularly like the dedication which is copied below.

You can get a .pdf of the whole book here


I SHALL dedicate this book to Jimmy Keymer.

All through the South-West Monsoon the gulls who keep

us company at the Sandheads are small white fellows with

black heads. But when the North-East Monsoon has quite

set in, a big, greyish-brown gull makes his appearance. We

called him Jimmy Keymer, after an old pilot of long ago

who was extremely skilful in his day and had become a

legendary hero. October is a cyclone month. The early

part of November is not too safe as to weather. But when

Jimmy sails into view we know that we are all right, and

that the North-East Monsoon is really in. In grateful

recognition of his friendly reassurance in many successive

years I dedicate this book to him.


Categories: General

Crisis, What Crisis?

August 28, 2016 16 comments

The average age of a Charioteer is most likely in the Chris Woakes bowling speed range. Well played, those said charioteers for being long lived. Your blushing, “youngish”, modest, unassuming Arts Editor hits the big Hawaii Five-O this autumn.

I don’t expect any round of applause for making fifty. I won’t raise my bat,  5-0 is not the middle of life any more. Fifty is the new twenty. However, as I near the new twenty a crisis has happenstanced.

There is a new woman in my life. She understands me more than my wife. This woman…

She is Black.

She is slim

She is pretty.

She has shark-toothed  fret markings.

Here she is. Read more…

Categories: General

The evolution of Left wing politics

August 22, 2016 3 comments

Used to be the Democratic party in America was mostly about protecting and representing the interests of the working classes. In 1993, to that end, Nevada senator Harry Reid spoke out against illegal immigration and birthright citizenship. Bill Clinton, in a SOTU address echoed his sentiments.

Twenty plus years later the Democratic party’s position has ‘evolved.’

Is it any wonder that Trump’s most fervent support is coming from the … working classes? – Which, by the way, Democratic – and Republican – elites are now mocking.


Categories: General

Bone of Contention

August 19, 2016 5 comments

Bone of Contention or in this case it’s the Hide Chew of Contention. Meg buried this hide chew apparently some time ago because a shrub had since grown over it. A couple of days ago she dug it up and has been parading it around the place growling at anybody and particularly Ollie attempting to relieve her of it.




Categories: General


August 18, 2016 13 comments

Those days in Dorset merged together in a glorious melange of memories, sites, sounds and experiences. Where to start? Where to stop? Dorset ice cream in a park, fish and chips on the river walk. Did I mention that I visited the Keep military museum? Excellent experience – so much history that isn’t always thought about in a place you’d hardly expect it to be. Did I discuss going to Weymouth? No, I doubt that. Read more…

Categories: General

What’s the world coming to, eh?

August 18, 2016 5 comments

Categories: General

I Like This

August 18, 2016 2 comments

Can’t make up my mind which I prefer, the French or Italian ?

Categories: General

BBC Impartiality, Peter Hitchens

August 16, 2016 13 comments

Categories: General

Not an Occupation, Merely on Holiday.

August 12, 2016 31 comments

The ghastly Romanian left a few days before I went on holiday. Landlady and I had a few chats about the changed situation in the days after. The atmosphere in our little flat improved beyond measure. It is cleaner and quieter. Our moods have been elevated to heights higher than had seemed possible for months. On my final day my students all rose from their desks and shook hands after I gave my last lesson. The day slipped quickly away. A last minute cancellation – no worries, I still get paid; a final work-out before a quick chat with landlady’s son to let him know that I was taking my leave. Never counting on airline service I popped in to my favourite Bolivian coffee shop for a light supper before going to airport. Read more…

Categories: General


August 9, 2016 21 comments

I can only claim to be a Mackie because of  my mother. Her surname is one of my middle names, in traditional Scots style. It’s what we do, nomenclature-wise.

In case you have forgotten it. that is why Bob Wilson, stalwart keeper of the Arsenal goal, and one of the better Jock custodians.  in my opinion. rejoices in the middle name of ‘Primrose’. Read more…

Categories: General