Monthly Archives: December 2017


I cannot recall why I am on Pinterest. It must have been when I was looking for something or the other. Something useful, like a solid wooden front door, or a cast-iron knocker, or an armillary sphere, or a Georgian-cut shirt or a theorbo.

leggingsAnyway, they sent me this image. Now, I have never given any indication to Pinterest that I want long leggings. I have not the necessary gender, nor the legs, nor any cross-dressing tendencies. Besides, it is warm here – no one needs long leggings. Why would Pinterest assume I want long leggings? That said, they do look good.

Perhaps fortune will send me a tall, slender, elegant wife one day, and if global warming turns out to be a complete nonsense (likely enough) she might need Continue reading

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red belly

Not my red-bellied black. And not me doing the stupid thing.

I have just spotted my first snake at The Phenelry. After 2 years + here.

A red-bellied black, I fancy.  But a splendid looking fellow anyway.  Around 5 feet long, I’d guess.  I tried to fetch my camera, but he was soon gone, into the welcome waters of my dam.

My tacit understanding here is that I do not kill or maim the locals, and Continue reading

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Sprechen Sie Deutsch

ColossusMy builder and my garden designer have now each discovered that the other is originally German.

It is like that moment in Colossus: The Forbin Project when Colossus and Guardian start talking to each other.

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The Quick and the Politically Dead

I have no idea if Damian Green was a competent member of the government; he was a minister who operated largely well back from the front line. But he has been forced out by a thoroughly incompetent Prime Minister.

maltby full

The “uncomfortable” Kate Maltby, as she posed herself for the press, pretending to be in high heels

On two grounds, apparently. The first is that he made a journalist, Kate Maltby, feel “uncomfortable”. The background was that Ms Maltby had posed for a tabloid newspaper in a corset and leggings.

Now, if senior politicians are going to have affairs, or even flirt, they should IMHO stick to elegant, discrete women, and stay well clear of overweight blabbermouths. So it was an error of judgement for Green to send a message to Ms Maltby saying:

“Long time no see. But having admired you in a corset in my favourite tabloid I feel impelled to ask if you are free for a drink anytime?”

Clumsy and inappropriate.  But hardly a sacking offence. If Ms Maltby feels uncomfortable, that may well be because of her wholly inappropriate choice of clothing.

The other ground concerns Continue reading

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Old School

Major Sir Hereward Wake MC (14th Bt) has died, at the age of 101. He was the son of Major-General Sir Hereward Wake (13th Bt). His title goes to Sir Hereward Wake (15th Bt).

The original Hereward – a Welshman – was notable for resisting the invasion of England and Wales by the Europeans in the later part of the 11th century. Unhappily, without success. It was not until 400 years later that the ghastly Normans were eventually eased out of the chair by another Welshman – Henry Tudor.

It is hard not to like the final note in Continue reading

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There is no Accounting for Google Tastes

Google accountsEither Windows has recently done something really tedious to stop Gmail working in Outlook. Just to annoy Google? Or Google has recently done something to the same effect. Just to annoy Microsoft?

I have four main email accounts. My personal one, which is a Microsoft-hosted one, which works fine and is easy. My chambers one for work, which involves a weird and wonderful exchange system which is German and therefore requires a degree in computer science and a certificate from the EU to do anything useful with. A Gmail account, to which all my exchange server stuff gets automatically sent so I can actually read it, even if I am using my tablet or my phone.  And finally, a groovy family one, set up by my son Charlie, which ends in “io” instead of “com”. That is supposed to be for “Indian Ocean” apparently, but since there is relatively little demand for localised email addresses in the Indian Ocean, it has been adopted somehow by clever people on dry land with a quirky sense of style.

Anyway, after a considerable amount of faffing around, I eventually worked out how to fix the Gmail one. It turns out that buried within Google there is another password regime. Not your normal Google password.  Oh no. A specially annoying second one. With 16 letters. I found the following advice. After five very annoying steps, here is the key to whole Continue reading

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After you, Claude

Jean-Claude Juncker, right, puts his hands on the neck of Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos.All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and so I spent a few moments this weekend searching the Internet to see whether, when the UK first joined the Common Market (as then was) back in 1973, did our continental friends say:

Non, non, non, mes amis! No need for you to put your hand in your pocket just yet. Absolutement pas! We would not expect you to pay for any of the projects that we planned before you joined, nor ever to have to pay for the pensions of our existing bureaucrats.

My research of the 1975 referendum suggests that the answer is emphatically “no”, but I have been unable to find the figures. Perhaps one of my Europhile friends could oblige?

Why is this the least bit interesting? For this reason: we already know that the UK has no obligation to pay anything to the EU following its departure from the club.[1] But unsurprisingly, the avaricious wastrels who now run the EU are telling the UK that there is some sort of implicit or moral obligation on an outgoing member of the club to fully pay out any existing projected expenditure anyway.[2] The basis of this argument seems to be a suggestion that the burden of paying for any EU expenditure falls on whoever were the members at the time that expenditure was planned.

But if, as appears to be the case, there was no such suggestion when the UK joined, it is hard to see that there is any implicit or moral justification for that suggestion now.

And as far as the morals go, nobody with a set of decent bones in their body would seriously suggest that it is morally right to Continue reading

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