Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A Lady of the Emerald Isle?

"Very fair was her face, and her long hair was like a river of gold. Slender and tall she was in her white robe girt with silver; but strong she seemed and stern as steel, a daughter of kings....."

Today we celebrate the arrival of a baby girl into Timelord's wider family. Her father is an aspiring author and so it is fitting to see her in the annals of Rohan, a descendant of that ancient people of Middle Earth. Her mother may be from the Emerald Isle but there is no denying the blood line she inherits.

Timelord himself made a visit to the shire this last weekend. There is nothing to beat the charm of the hobbit house and to see Sam again. What adventures are there laid up in store for him? A ring perhaps or even a spat with an outsize spider and may be even the becoming the mayor of the shire.

Grow strong little Sam, sleep well and listen to the stories of the heroes of old. And you too may join the Fellowship of the Ring!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Newt for President

"What ho Jeeves", I said, as I rubbed my eyes and glanced at the morning paper, carefully laid out on the tray beside a plate of the best E&B. "What ho....", I repeated feeling a certain strain in the grey matter brought on by the exertions of the night before coupled with the paper's headline.

Newt for President

Jeeves inclined an eye in my direction. "Jeeves", I went on, " are my eyes deceiving me but can our cousins across the pond be thinking of electing a newt for their President? Did they cut the ties from the maternal  apron for such a thing as this? Did they dispatch all that tea into Boston harbour to be ruled by one of Gussie Fink-Nottle's pets?"

I must hand it to Jeeves. Even first thing in the morning he is all tickety boo bright as a button and not even the weird and wonderful ways of the Yankeedoodlers can phase him.

"Sir" he replied, "You have mistaken an amphibian of the family Salamandridae for the former speaker of the House of Representatives. Mr Newt Gingrich, for that is his name, is indeed a candidate for the office of President of the United States of America. And if I may say so he is likely to be referred to in many more reptilian likenesses before his campaign reaches its climax at the Republican party convention in Florida such is my understanding of the rough and tumble of American politics. But he is most definitely homo sapiens or as close to one as any candidate for the nomination of that party might get"

Just managing to stay in touch with Jeeves formidable intellect the famed Wooster brain clicked fully into gear. "I say, Jeeves, I have a great idea. I am meeting said Gussie at the Drones for a spot of lunch today. Just think. At last a use for those infernal pets of his. All of Mr Newt's supporters will want to show their undying loyalty and support by having one of his namesakes to remind them of their hero everyday."

At this I detected a slight cough coming form the Jeeves direction. The kind of noise you get used to hearing when Jeeves is none to impressed with one of Bertram's schemes. But Bertram was not deterred.

"Pack the bags, Jeeves, make the reservations. We can even use the time on the crossing for Gussie's newts to go forth and multiply. Florida here we come!"

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Just a second

Being a timelord I am permitted a wry smile at the meeting of the world's experts at the International Telecommunications Union in Geneva today about whether or not to keep the leap second. This smile breaks out into a broad grin when the assembled cognoscenti decided to defer a decision for a few more years (and leap seconds) into 2015.

The UK wants to keep adding the odd second here and there to make sure time told by atomic clocks and earth time stays together. Others like the US and France say the leap second causes mayhem for Satnavs, the internet and flight control systems and so on.

As a master of time I am looking forward to being consulted directly on all this over the next couple of years. I can say with confidence that the controls of the Tardis have never been troubled by the addition of the odd leap second. Interference from Teapot yes, but it would need more than a conference in Geneva to fix that! And who needs a Satnav? Give me a good old sextant any day.

Truth is that the extra leap second has proved invaluable over the years in making all the difference to catching the train home to Four Oaks. Wrist watch time, blackberry time, laptop time and Cathedral clock time all operate in their own peculiar zones and it needs a cool head to select the correct one to guide the nightly dash to New Street when I am in the office.

So the really urgent need is for a conference to synchronize Station time, Cathedral time and Timelord time.   Invitations will be on their way soon.