Sunday, 27 November 2011

There is an unexpected item in the bagging area

There is something rather 1984 let alone 2011 about being spoken to by a machine. All that deluge of techno babble from the Fat Controller at New Street Station about extinguishing smoking materials and not riding my bike on the platform or leaving baggage unattended which waits for me tomorrow morning like the dawn chorus.

So I must say I felt rather like an initiate into the resistance when I went to Sainsburys yesterday with Curly Al and he rather nonchalantly showed me the off button on the self service console. The store commandant was reduced to silence. No more unexpected items in the bagging area for me!!

The sense of power was tangible.

Sadly peace was shattered when Teapot announced she wanted Father Christmas to bring her a satnav this year. Aaagh. The thought of verbal violence in the car between Teapot and the sultry tones of the machine navigator is too much to bear.

After all as I have said to her if Father Christmas has managed all these years without one surely she can do the same.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

You have clocks.....

.....and we have time. So goes the old African proverb. But for Timelords we have time but also need clocks and the odd calendar to remind us of the day of the week (this week last week next week) as well as the hour of the day! And especially this Timelord who finds a bike ride in Sutton Park a challenge to his direction finder!

The swankiest lawyers offices have several clocks in the reception area telling the time in London, Paris, Moscow, Beijing and so on. A Timelord's paradise!

Not to be outdone we now have clocks in the Tardis set to Dubai time and Brazil time (Brasilia). My Dubai clock sits next to the photo of my friends Bill and Diana and my Brazil clock is in the office and reminds me of our friends Mike and Daveen in Trapiah.

Of course for Teapot every time is cup of tea time!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Vingt et Vin

Ever felt like M Sarkozy looks? Did someone ask when the Greek takeaway was coming? Or is it true that M. Obama said it was a good thing daughter Guilia had inherited his mother's and not his father's looks?

Fitting though that the group of 20 nations met at Cannes as our friends across the water have a peculiar love for numero vingt. Teachers grade their students out of 20 and not 10. And Paris has 20 boroughs or arrondissements. No such thing as a marathon or half marathon in the capital but the annual race is the 20 kilometres de Paris. We have a free newspaper called the Metro but the Gallic equivalent is called "vingt minutes". Why is the main TV news the "Journal de 20 heures"? What do they do with the other 4?

There is something deeply amiss about a nation which needs to take its shoes and socks off to count in 20s when reaching quatre-vingt? I am told it is not that long ago that deux-vingts and trois-vingts was still in use.

Or maybe the answer is incredibly simple. Vingt is just another way of saying vin and les francais can never have enough of it: vingt deux, vin rouge, vin trois, vingt quatre vin blanc......