Aide memoire

Note to self: research further proposed liberalisation of EU services market and possible implications for PFE. Also, look up Polish PM’s comments on joining euro – looks like he’s holding off for a while to carry out further economic reform, even though half his country’s economy uses the euro already.


This article is interesting, not least because several people have commented that there is more than a passing resemblance between myself and Hels’s brother.

Poor decision?

If I’d been advising the breeder of this new plant, I would probably have advised against selling the rights for £150,000, even though that is a good price. Sales of 30,000 in the UK alone in year one would return royalties in the order of £15,000. Add sales of probably five to ten times that volume in the United States, and the same again in the rest of the world, then, even after paying an agent’s commission, you should reach that asking price in a year or two. And then, after that, you’ll be getting similar royalties continuing for the next twenty years or so. Not bad if you can get it.
The shame, of course, is that I’m not representing this plant. I’ll not be earning that commission. Plants with that sort of market power are very few and far between, coming along perhaps once in ten or twenty years.


Text message from my brother:

Dad is telling the tale of when he went for a job interview for projectionist at the Odeon cinema! Another tale I had never heard before…

Nope, nor me. Dad has a habit of recounting tales from his youth, including such gems as

  • "When Tiddler Tom and I tried to blow up the pipe mines under the road at Spark’s Corner by throwing matches down them"
  • "The slit trench I dug in the parents’ garden with only a teaspoon" (or was it a toothpick?)
  • "The day they tied the apprentices’ bikes to the gas holder at Argyle Road" (my personal favourite)
  • "The day that I was chased by the police through Felpham" (absolute classic – Dad was on his bike and the policeman commandeered a car in order to give chase – bear in mind that this was the 1940s, so picture something from the Keystone Cops)
  • etc.

It looks like we have another one for the list – I hope Tim was taking notes.
I really ought to write these tales down, perhaps publish them here, although it has to be said that half the fun of Dad’s storytelling is the sight and sound of him laughing so hard that he can barely speak, turning beetroot red, with tears running down his face. That and the fact that a two sentence story gets extended (embellished and exaggerated) so that it takes upwards of thirty minutes to relate.

Pet pillows

Has your pet recently popped its clogs? Before you dig a hole at the bottom of the garden and leave it for the worms, why not consider having it made into a Pet Pillow? For just US$65, you can have your favourite moggy, erm, stuffed and throw him/her onto the sofa.
I mean, would you sit on a dead cat?
And who would want a "domestic cow pillow"?
(link via the LNR Cat Blog).

Food for thought

A note to Americans that voted for Mr Bush in the last election. Your president seems happy to run around and fly halfway across the country in the small hours to sign a bill to prevent one woman from dying a death that would have occured naturally fifteen years ago, instead keeping her alive with no quality of life at all. Meanwhile, he seems determined to continue to permit widespread ownership of firearms, firearms which lead to widespread crime including the loss of ten lives yesterday afternoon in a school in Minnesota.
To me, the priorities don’t seem to be quite right.

Water, falling

Yesterday, I had to go over to my parents’ nursery to do some odds and ends and, whilst there, I picked up some things for the garden. In particular, I got some Iris plants as well as some fertilizer for the lawn and borders. In addition, on the way home, I picked up a packet of grass seed to patch up our threadbare lawn.
Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to get straight outside and plant the Irises, spread the fertilizer and sow the grass seed before it got dark. Overnight and this morning we have had steady rain, so the fertilizer and seeds will have got a good soaking in – it will have helped the seeds sown at the weekend too.
Rain and water is certainly something I’m conscious of when it comes to the garden – it has even made the news. I’m going to invest in some hose and a drip irrigation system for the tubs and troughs, but I’m also thinking that it might be worth getting a water butt.
On the subject of water, today is World Water Day.