Wednesday 31 August 2011


I've never noticed before what cumbersome birds magpies are. I saw one fly slowly past me just now and I felt sorry for the poor thing burdened with that vast spray of tail.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Things That Annoy Me: introductions to novels

This is perhaps the most frustrating sort of writing known to humanity, and it's not just a case of tl;dr (I've recently worked out what that means, and I've been dying for a chance to use it) although that's a part.
OCD says I ought to read it first, since it's the introduction and all, but when I choose a book, I usually want to read it, not read about reading it. I suppose it's meant to be a sort of tasting notes, telling you what to look for if you want to be highbrow about it and not just enjoy the book, but quite apart from the tedium I'd really rather read it myself, intact and undissected.
This is but a minor irritation next to the spoilers. How often do you find a succinct synopsis, robbing you permanently of every bit of the author's painstakingly crafted suspense and mystery, should you be so incautious as to read the introduction as an introduction?
Perhaps even more infuriating is when the writer of the introduction confines themself to describing
 The most important event in the story.
It's just not fair to put that sort of thing at the start. It ought to be at the end of the book; an extroduction, if I may be allowed to coin such an absurd-sounding word.

Friday 26 August 2011

Overreaction: forecourt rage

Yesterday I was in the car with my mum and we stopped to get petrol. And this isn't quite such a boring story is the opening sentence sounds. We'd pulled up on the wrong side of the pump, so we reversed out and went to the other side. Now I'll admit that we might have been a bit less considerate than we could have (I'll also freely admit that it wasn't me driving): there was another car, still behind us, about to pull into the space we ended up in. He did have to put his brakes on. Perhaps the generous thing would have been to let him go first. But.
He got out of his car and started insisting that we'd 'put his children's lives in danger' - we'd both been moving at less than five mph - then he got back in and drove right up to our bumper and tried to stop us using the pump. He eventually went to a different pump, after we'd threatened to call the police.
He said he was going to report us for dangerous driving. I don't know what he planned to say: 'This woman shouldn't be on the road.' 'And why's that?' 'I nearly drove into the back of her.' Then he made a big show of photographing our car and writing down the number, then he tried to photograph us.
For once, I thought of the right response at the right time: I posed for the camera with a huge cheesy grin, and I wish I'd had a camera myself because his face was a picture. I thought there was nothing better I could do than show him just how ridiculous I thought he was.

Monday 22 August 2011

Excellent Quotations

Here's probably the funniest thing I've heard recently: conceived by the genius of the remarkable Terry Pratchett.

Thursday 18 August 2011

Pearls of Wisdom

If you own a cat, at some point you will give in and accept cat hair as the universal decoration and condiment. Make it easier for yourself; bow to the inevitable.

Monday 15 August 2011

This is purely academic and I am in no way suggesting anyone do this

I wonder how many night-time burglaries you could get away with using the following simple strategy:
Wait until you think everyone's asleep, then as you creep round the house keep a glass of water to hand. If no-one wakes up then fine, but if they do just mumble 'It's all right, it's only me. I was just getting a drink.' Betcha at least half the time you could make good your escape before the half-asleep victim cottons on!

Sunday 7 August 2011

Reader response question of the week

What's the best way to stop my mum from reading my blog?


How many kids with hay fever think they're allergic to rhinos?

Hello and Welcome

I've been meaning to start a blog for ages: now I have. I'll try and update at least a couple of times a week with my thoughts on life, jokes I've heard, pictures, questions, hand-crafted pearls of wisdom (amount of wisdom may vary), and anything I think is interesting.
Reader comments are very welcome, although I can't promise to read them all if there ever end up being loads (readers are warned that comments may be referred to in future posts, trolls will be laughed at).