I hate stories like this one. Look – the sample was of 46 (count them: forty-six) women aged between 23 and 83. Assuming an even spread of ages, only 5 or 6 were under the age of 30, which, I dare say, is an age group with fewer personal committments such as husbands or children that might rein in their more liberal attitudes. So it is barely surprising that 90% of those surveyed are quite conservative in their views.

Go away, researchers – come back when you have something useful to say.

Wrong runway is no joke

Everyone seems to be treating this story as a bit of a joke – a pilot landing on the wrong runway seems like a cause for mirth, with passengers recounting amusing anecdotes of finding themselves in the middle of an army base. But I think people are missing the point.

The pilot had no clearance to land his aircraft at the army base. If, as he’d been bringing the aircraft in to land, there had been another aircraft on the runway, or a vehicle crossing it or even some fixed object in the way, the consequences could have been disastrous for all concerned – it certainly wouldn’t have been one of those "And finally…. [chortle!]" stories.

Clearly, either the systems need to be improved to ensure that this sort of error can not occur again, or the existing systems need to be more rigorously enforced. I guess we will have to wait until the outcome of the enquiry to find out which is the case.

Lacking fruit

What a fruitless day. A large chunk of it was spent trying to track down the correct brake parts for Hels’s car – ultimately I gave up searching the interwebnet and went to my local garage where they, helpfully, assured me that they were as confused as I am and suggested that the best thing to do was to take the old ones off and take them as patterns to a motor factor. Hmm.

After that, I went seeking some transparency film. Call me old-fashioned, call me a luddite, but don’t call me late for tea (very old family joke – sorry). "Why do I want transparency film?" I hear you ask. Well, the answer is that you don’t want it, I do. The reason is that I need to update my slide collection that I use when I’m giving presentations, particularly with new pictures of some of the plants that I look after in my work. But does anyone sell transparency film any more? Nope. Finally, I tracked down a particularly obscure old-fashioned photographic shop in a particularly obscure corner of NearbyTown (which is obscure in itself) and purchased two rolls of Konico-Minolta 100ASA film – not my preferred brand (always been a FujiFilm kind of guy), but given a choice of that or nothing, that will do.

I’ve also purchased a new (25 year old) lens for my (equally old) Olympus OM2N – my current one is not in the best of health and, for the sake of ten quid, the new one might just be better. Of course, the camera is not technically mine, as it really belongs to my brother, but as it has been in my possession for a considerable number of years now and he hasn’t asked for it back, I’m claiming squatter’s rights.

Subsequently, I’ve discovered that the camera had a part-exposed roll of film inside. So I’ve squandered the remaining frames on pictures of plants, of Tom and of the cats (Monty is so much better at posing than Treacle) and dropped it into Boots. I’ll be able to collect it on Saturday and, as I’ve asked for a CD of scans, you might get to see some pictures from it too. Of course, since it must be at least three years old, there is no telling what is on the first 23 frames of film. I suspect that it may well feature ex-girlfriends, which could make it, um, interesting. Hels has already said that she will delight in destroying any such photos as soon as possible. I’ll keep you posted.


Apologies if you found this site to be out of action this morning – it was offline for about ten minutes whilst I upgraded to WP2.0.2. I’ve upgraded my work site too. Yay me.

Mother’s Day

For Mother’s Day, I made a chicken, bacon and leek pie with the word “MUM” on it, and fed it to the newest mum in the family. As a bonus, there’s enough left-over to feed to, um, the most experienced mum in the family later. Double result.

I should have taken a photo – it was a particularly handsome pie. Now it is just two-thirds of a particularly handsome pie (yes, Waitrose, I’m talking to you – the recipe says “serves 4”, but we reckon that it would easily serve six extremely hungry people with some to spare).


The Inland Revenue have written to me to tell me that they agree with my self-assessment and that they owe me £1.00.

I feel vindicated.