Do you get calls from school like this?
SCHOOL: Is it ok for your son to hold a duck egg, while wearing gloves?
I’ve lived in shared houses where the phone only received calls – a precaution by the landlord to prevent large bills being run up. Sometimes I wish my own home phone only made outgoing calls and couldn’t receive them. It would mean the end of phone spam, courtesy calls, “we’re doing a survey in your area” and… calls from the children’s school.
I’m not talking about the call every parent dreads – serious accident or injury or worse. I’m talking about the call every parent resents – the call that masquerades as serious. This phone call came just after a school trip, before the parent’s son had reached home.
TEACHER: Mrs Morrow, this is Mr E, I have some very grave news about your son.
MUM (panicking): What? What? Is he ok?
TEACHER: Oh yes, but on the school trip at the weekend I lent him 50p and he has not as yet paid me back.
MUM (trying to recover heart rate): Oh you stupid man. <hangs up>
It seems like life or death summons. The truth is teasingly delayed until you race to the rescue. Like with the mother who was told over the phone that her child was “doing as well as can be expected” after being hit in the face with a brick Continue reading
Forget Eldorado, the Grail, the Philosopher’s Stone or the fabled elixir of eternal youth – I’ve discovered something far more sought after.
The recipe for guest blogging.
You can see for yourself here on the People Per Hour blog. Hurrah. They asked me to write for them. So I did. The post is called Why you need to be more like Steve McQueen. (There are a couple of photos too. I’m in one. The good one features Steve McQueen.)
It turns out the secret is simple Continue reading
The Book Barge - pic from the Guardian
It is hard for me to dislike any bookshop. If it stocks books, that’s usually good enough for me.
But some establishments rise far above the rest. It could be because of their ambiance or their range of stock. Maybe it’s the expertise or hospitality of the staff. Or perhaps it’s just the comfy seats. Or something else entirely.
This one – The Book Barge – is extra special.
It has books. And it’s on a barge. Floating. From place to place along the English canal network Continue reading
My voice as fictional characters.
Air hair lair, it’s old Plummy Voice here.
Something bizarre and almost unbelievable has happened. Something odder than Rupert Murdoch giving us “the facts Ma’am, just the facts.” Something hitherto thought less likely than Ireland winning the World Cup – the football World Cup that is – not something easy like rugby or cricket. Something even more unusual than an honest politician Continue reading
Filed under blogs, friends, life
Starring Colin Firth as Hugh Grant, and Mr Bean as...
How’s this for super quick reaction? Hackgate: The Movie.
It’s here. Well – the trailer is anyway. And what a star-studded cast. Colin Firth plays Hugh Grant. Hugh Grant plays… someone else. I forget. Watch the trailer to find out.
There’s an inspired (or too obvious?) casting for the role of Rebekah Brooks. But Ed Miliband and David Cameron – perfect casting choices. (No, I’m not telling you. Watch the Continue reading
Our shopping habits are changing. Or changing back.
In the past you could put in an order and a butcher’s boy would turn up with sausages in the basket of his delivery bike. Then that died out and we all had to go to the shop. Now we can order online and get it delivered once again. Full circle.
Not all the “progress” has been for the better. Just ask Grandad in the picture. (Click on the photo to make the text bigger.)
Packaging is another one. It galls me to see bananas wrapped in plastic – or any fruit which already comes in its own natural wrapper.
But we’re lazy and squeamish and alienated from the reality of food. The very thought of having to wash mud off a potato… or the idea that a pig had to die to make that sausage… puh-lease! Let’s not dwell on the seamy side of life.
Some places – like Ireland – have made significant progress in reducing pointless packaging – plastic bags in particular. Environmental legislation and charges made the difference there. But it’s more fashionable these days to nudge people towards different behaviour, rather than compel them… to provide attractive alternatives.
So what about a shop encourages you to bring your own reusable packaging/containers/boxes/bags/jars? Could it catch on?
And guess what? It’s not launching in Vermont or California – but Continue reading
Not with that moustache Katy. You've got the uniform down though.
Is Katy Perry the new Hitler?
Maybe I should rephrase that. As you may know, we got famously the last time we met, nose to nose, popstrel to kangaroo. What I should have asked is this: Is Katy Perry’s Hot n Cold the new Downfall? Continue reading
Filed under Music, politics