August 5, 2011

Good Morning

A few videos to kick things off.

I can believe this especially if my weekly bill of macaroni and cheese is anything to go by.

If you have a spare $370,000 knocking around for a new car, but don’t want to compromise on practicability then maybe this is for you. On the other hand I haven’t heard anything about it being released in the UK; sounds like something just for the Yanks.

August 2, 2011

Bad News for [Swiss] Bankers

Barclays announces that it is cutting 3,000 jobs. This, coupled with the news from HSBC yesterday that they will continue to cut 30,000 jobs throughout their worldwide banks by 2013 sets a dim prospect for British Banks.

Still, it could be worse. You could be Swiss.

UBS and Credit Suisse last week said that second-quarter earnings dropped 71%. And today their stocks dropped for the seventh consecutive day. It seems to be a consequence of the fragility of the Spainish, Greek and Italian economies and the debt limit lift over the Atlantic.  This could have an effect on other European banks that are expected to follow the trend.

August 1, 2011

Uh Oh, Bachmann on Debt.

For those interested in the glamour show that is American politics. Quoted from Michael Kinsley’s article in Bloomberg Businessweek (July 25-31) on Michele Bachmann’s debt reduction policy:

I bet she’s a good mother, politics aside. But I can’t help wondering: What does Michele Bachmann teach all those kids about the importance of living up to your obligations?

Say, for example, that one of them owed some people, oh, about $14.3 trillion. Would Bachmann tell her children that a debt is a moral obligation that an honourable person will go to great lengths to pay if at all possible? Or would she tell them, Well, it all depends. Whether you pay back money that’s been loaned to you is a practical question. And if you calculate that you’d be better off reneging, then by all means do so. It’s perfectly O.K.

July 21, 2011

What the Police Commissioner Could Have Said…

…At the Home Affairs Select Committee.


COMMITTEE MEMBER: Can you tell the committee why you resigned? Bare in mind we have read your report and you say there is no impropriety as to what has happened – that you feel you did absolutely nothing wrong.

POLICE COMMISSIONER: Precisely. I wanted to quit while I was ahead.

CM: You couldn’t possibly do your job if you didn’t know what was happening in the MET.

PC: Yes. You’re right.

CM: So you did know about the phone hacking inquiry.

PC: That’s not what I said.

CM: Was there not a situation that was inappropriate for any Police Officer to receive such substantial hospitality [from the Murdoch’s]?

PC: Would you have turned it down?

CM: You had seventeen dinners with them.

PC: What can I say? I was hungry and they can get me into Heston Blumenthal’s new restaurant for free.

CM: Do you have any other information?

PC: If you asking me to hook you up with them, I’m sure I can try and make something work.


July 21, 2011

An Open University?

Not for long. See here

Just a mere increase of £3,200. That’s a snip!

Will the majority of Universities really charge £9,000? I mean, really? Tough cheese the regulator won’t let that happen. Sensationalising again?


June 14, 2011

The Best Writer Ever

Raymond Carver, he probably is the best writer ever, right?

June 14, 2011

Where’s Bill Oddie When You Need Him?

This afternoon I was sitting in the lounge and a bird flew into the window. When I got up I saw that it was on its back and it was flapping its wings a little. I was about to ring Bill Oddie to ask for some help but then I remembered he’s on holiday. I would have phoned Kate but she’s doing Springwatch in Wales and I can’t remember the RSPB number off the top of my head so I had to watch it die. Anyway, it didn’t take too long. Just a few leg twitches and it was gone.

I took a photo of it. I guess it’s a bit gross. It’s talons look massive to me.


June 9, 2011


I found myself in two bookshops today. One was good. The other was okay.

The best thing about the one that was good was that it had most of my favourite writers; specifically Carver. I’ve read his collected works, but still, when I see him on the shelf I have to pick him up – every time- and read the first paragraph of a favourite story. It makes me happy. There was also Hemingway and McEwan and Desai and a bit of García Márquez.

The bad thing about the good bookshop was that most of the best books were new and I didn’t want to pay full price. Still, they have a fairly comprehensive second hand section and I found Richard Ford there. There was also plenty of hardback Rushdie – there always is – I got one for £4.

The okay bookshop only has second hand books and it didn’t really have what I wanted. Which is why it is only okay. Although I did get 2 books. So that saves it from being bad. Maybe next time it will have more books. That would make it a better bookshop.

May 10, 2011

Rain Rain, Please Stop Getting My Washing Wet.

Blewog managed to complete the trio of great writers with greater moustaches. See his comment.

That saw an end to that.

In other news: spring is here and my washing is getting wet by an unexpected downpour.

I finally finished reading Raymond Carver’s collected short stories Where I’m Calling From. It only took 5 months. It is long. But good. Well, I think it’s the best actually. So it was worth it.

I’ve spent time doing what every good/bad unpublished writer does and scoured the Writers & Artists Yearbook for all its advice. Watch this space.

April 12, 2011

Ernest Hemingway


Also had an absolutely cracking moustache.

I think there could be something in this.

Writers who have moustaches.

There is something distinguished –

about a finely combed moustache.