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…)
The next station stop
For people with a large sum of disposable income, I have a cast-iron, copper-bottomed, gold-plated investment opportunity guaranteed to return vast amounts of money for very little effort. All that is needed is initial start-up capital to provide basic raw materials.
I intend to lay a pathway of gravel between a picturesque if insignificant town and a deserted village some miles away. The path will be routed through various hamlets of between three and four houses. The actual location is unimportant but it must be within striking distance of the motorway network. On top of the gravel, I will place short yet stout wooden beams and at right angles to these will be two parallel steel rails at four foot, eight and a half inches apart. Four foot eight and a half is far more sensible than seven foot and a quarter of an inch because of some grooves at the gateway to a ruined Roman town in Northumberland and is the width of a chariot once the wheels have come off. I shall call my invention “a railway.” (more…)
Silly Abbey Road
Of all the government departments labouring away in the dark recesses of Whitehall, none is more expert at artifice, trickery and prestidigitation than the secretive Ministry of Magic. Employing sleight of hand and illusion, its job is to conjure up enough distraction to deceive a gullible public into thinking that everything is going to be alright and that government is kind and is not stealing money from tax payers.
The latest piece of trickery is to announce a complete non-story via the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government that an oath of allegiance to “British values” might be introduced. Elected officials, including MPs and local authority councillors, civil servants, council workers, teachers and employees of the NHS and BBC will be expected to verbally pledge their loyalty to the crown. Smoke and mirrors are again being cleverly deployed to shift attention away from the ludicrous farce and ongoing train wreck that is our government`s stance on leaving the European Union. (more…)
Sky Walkers Crisps
When something outrageous or provocative is broadcast on television or radio, there is a simple solution that could avoid a dangerous increase in blood pressure, impotent fury and a desire to hit the domestic appliance with an unusually heavy object. The answer is easy; change channel or switch the bloody thing off.
If the irrational ranting of an anonymous blogger pretending to be a polypropylene even-toed ungulate river horse causes outrage of such incandescence that you are moved to quote the Daily Mail as fact, do not read the blog and look instead at pictures of cats. There is, by the way, no need for any Mollie Sugden references here thank you very much.
If you take umbrage at a total stranger on Twitter or Facebook and feel the need to threaten them with rape and or beheading then the problem might be residing in you rather than in the opinions you disagree with. Try getting out more and maybe attempt to find a girlfriend or, indeed, a boyfriend or, as a short-term measure, another actual human being capable of an actual conversation that aspires to more than basic grunting. (more…)
When the details of a secret that was never really a secret are revealed to an incredulous public, there are some punters with attention deficit who will be genuinely surprised and others, with something of an alternative agenda, who will feign shock and outrage to further their own political ambition. The two worst-kept Westminster secrets latterly revealed occurred on one mercifully slow news day. Firstly, Heathrow is to have a new runway and, secondly, the current Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has finally exposed himself as being a totally irredeemable half-wit. Who on Earth spotted that one coming? (more…)