Barmouth image via visitwales.com
One of the great advantages of growing older is that behaviour that was once considered reckless is now casually dismissed as being merely eccentric. Another joyous consequence of impending dotage is the fact that allegedly “grown-up” children can be expected to feed themselves and not inflict too much damage on each other if left unsupervised for longer than 30 seconds. As hairlines recede or turn to grey, the spontaneity of pre-parenthood can, with courage of conviction, occasionally be reclaimed.
So when by chance a couple of commitments fell through leaving blank diary pages for several days, a late-night internet search trawled up a last-minute holiday cottage in Wales going for a song. Imagine our joy when the kids announced that they could rearrange their work and education schedules and would be able to join us. On Saturday morning with the promise of limited Wi-Fi and intermittent phone signal, we loaded the car and headed to where Snowdonia meets Cardigan Bay. (more…)
Imagine that after defying all the odds and confounding both critics and supporters alike, you wake up to find that you have guided Leicester City to unexpected and ultimate success as Champions of the Premier League. Alternatively, imagine looking in the mirror and discovering that you are a Thai billionaire duty-free shop magnate with an interest in football that only extends to the amount of personal wealth that can be made. Just nine months after an astonishing sporting achievement, the loyalty of fans toward Claudio Ranieri seems undiminished unlike the loyalty of a chairman more interested in television revenues than fans and certain mediocre players more interested in the transfer market than loyalty to the manager.
Imagine waking up as “Sir Mo”, the darling of the tabloid press only to go back to bed as plain Mohamed after your coach has come under suspicion of being up to no good. (more…)
Who let the dogs out?
It is a source of constant delight and unexpected entertainment that a news agenda varying between the absurd and the terrifying should provide a story that requires no less than Michael Heseltine to vehemently deny that he killed his mother`s pet Alsatian dog by strangulation. Quoted in the Tatler magazine, the former Deputy Prime Minister originally claimed that the dog Kim had started to exhibit irrational violence so my Lord Heseltine “took Kim`s collar – a sort of choke chain – and pulled it tight. Suddenly he went limp. I was devoted to Kim, but he`d obviously had some sort of mental breakdown. There was no choice.” Tarzan might have been on safe ground with the readership of the Tatler, but animal lovers and the RSPCA took umbrage at this conservative approach to dealing with canine mental illness and Heseltine changed his story to claim that Kim was later taken to a Vet and mercifully put down. (more…)
Following the marvellous Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, it has never been more obvious to any member of the voting public blessed with the ability to clutch a pencil and mark a cross, that Theresa May is the best Prime Minister that this nation has ever seen. We know this to be fact because her press secretary said so and it is her destiny to remain as Prime Minister for a glorious reign of at least a thousand years. We know this to be fact because of the number of votes she gained during the leadership election, the number of young people removed from the electoral role and with a spectacular piece of gerrymandering not seen since Gerry first Mandered, the redefining of constituency boundaries.
Even before the latest product of the Nightmare on Broad Street franchise hit the screens of Birmingham and beyond, the occasional confusion grenade was lobbed at a gullible public in order to distract from the main feature. The return of the grammar school was waved in front of Downing Street cameras as a diversion from the clueless attempts at an early withdrawal from Europe. “Oh you naughty boys,” giggled a coquettish government, “you have discovered my little secret.” (more…)
Whiter shale of paid
I freely admit that I have absolutely no idea if the process of extracting shale gas and oil using hydraulic fracturing is either economically viable or environmentally safe.
Mercifully, this shocking ignorance is quite rare as the rest of the planet is divided into those who are convinced of the definition of “viable” and others who are certain of the definition of “safe”. Even sensible “experts” not usually prone to the smooth hyperbole of drilling companies or the hysterical claims of anti-fracking campaigners seem divided. Some say; “Yup…it`ll probably work” but others remark; “Hmm…I dunno…needs more research.” (more…)