Park life

July 18th, 2017

A walk through Hyde Park earlier and an encounter with the latest fitness fad. A phalanx of sweaty runners accompanied by topless ‘trainers’ (also sweaty) carrying tinny portable speakers blaring out crappy ‘inspirational musak’. This I presume to motivate their victims to ever more perspirational efforts as they pound relentlessly around the byways intimidating lumpen bloggers into the undergrowth for fear of being trampled.

No wonder we lost The Empire.

Meetings after meetings

July 15th, 2017
  • You rock up to the meeting.
  • There is lots of moderately expensive dark suiting in the room but InfluentialPowerPerson is not wearing a jacket.
  • You spend hours trying to look interested while a succession of non-entities circulate their poorly typed reports or show you their poorly designed powerpoints.
  • You earnestly circulate your own poorly typed report, give a dull but safe ‘overview’ whilst wishing you were on a beach in Barbados.
  • The Chairdrone sums up, thanks everyone and concludes the meeting.
  • Nobody stands up.
  • People shuffle their poorly typed papers and tap on their Expensivesmartstatusgizmos.
  • They rearrange their designerpens before slowly decanting them into their man/woman/nongenderspecific bags.
  • Someone stands up, closely followed by their neighbours who all engage in chitchat.
  • On the far opposite side of the table InfluentialPowerPerson stands up and is immediately surrounded by several WannabeLadderClimberPersons.
  • They all sidle into a corner of the meeting room and mutter powerfully to each other.
  • InfluentialPowerPerson cracks a funny and all of theWannabeLadderClimberPersons guffaw excessively. It can’t be that funny becauseInfluentialPowerPerson is notoriously dull.
  • By now you have rearranged your pens and updated your Expensivesmartstatusgizmo as much as you feasibly can without looking like you are loitering with intent to join a MeetingAfterMeeting.
  • You notice anotherMeetingAfterMeeting gathering near the doorway and, just as you do InfluentialPowerPerson extricates themselves and brushes past the door MeetingAfterMeeting saying a few words to MinorPowerPerson who promises to email ImportantPowerThing later.
  • Finally you accept that nobody is going to engage you in any sort of MeetingAfterMeeting so you leave, feeling that you are missing out on something vital to your future.


July 13th, 2017

You had all the personal warmth of a bottle of bleach.
I thought you’d grow on me and I you.
Your customary coldness, noted in our previous meetings, I’d put down to reticence. Or reserve.
But that was all there was. Coldness.
Tempered I should, in fairness add, by the merest whiff of kindness.
In so far as it didn’t compromise your schedule. Or your pocket.


June 9th, 2017


May 21st, 2017

One of North Korea’s missiles is called ‘Nodong‘.

Dieu merci

May 7th, 2017

Now Monsieur le Président may I humbly suggest that you devote considerable resources to ridding your beautiful country of its apparently large population of Nazis. With best wishes.

New house

May 3rd, 2017

I’d love to hear more about your new house, more than you told me yesterday and the day before and last week too. Yes, it is so wonderful that your old house sold so quickly and yes, I can quite understand how that young couple simply adore it and want to move in as quickly as possible. Isn’t it just fab that you will be neighbours with that minor-celebrity-that nobody-has-heard-of-but-appears-regularly-on-Radio-Four. I had no idea that your new house is fully wired for ‘twenty first century broadband’. Equally I have no idea what ‘twenty first century broadband’ is and neither do you. One thing I enjoy even more than hearing about your new house is your trip to New York. Yes, it does bear repeated tellings and no, the stories of your expensive shopping trips don’t get any less fascinating with each of the twenty iterations to date. How absolutely splendid that you found just the right original artwork for your ‘very successful geologist’ son in that quirky exclusive gallery you can’t pronounce properly. Your smirks of pleasure as you tell us again about your expensive holidays make our lives that little more complete. Thankyou and go to hell.

Perky tweet

April 30th, 2017

You caught me by surprise. Your perky tweet hopped into my timeline with an enticing link to your YouTube review.
There you were looking all smiley in your tasteful front room being all perky and gushy. A wave of pleasure began to spread over me as you launched into some glowing praise. [Sincere head tilt] Great build up as you set the scene perkily and engagingly. I took the time to admire your Dyson fan thingy tastefully product-placed in the background. You can afford a Dyson fan and you are only twenty something with a baby and a house. Ooh. So then you stuck the knife in. [Earnest face to camera] Eighteen months of my work dismissed in a few perky seconds. You had no idea. You probably still have no idea. It was clear, on reflection, that you are ignorant. Despite what it says on your YouTube bio. And your Twitter bio. And your linkedin bio and all the other bios you’ve plastered all over the place on your Self Promotional Journey. You’re on the up and your YourTube is a sign of what is to come; watch out world! Yes, I did notice that you retweeted your review five times in the hope that I’d amplify your latest bid for Webfame. I’m waiting for the next level of passive aggression to get my attention. Will it be an email I wonder or a DM? I can imagine a DM would be your thing – more of the moment. I’ve never been summarily Vknifed before. It hurt a lot, really. But you had no idea.

Thanks for coming


April 29th, 2017

That urban myth about cockroaches. You know the one about them being the only living thing to survive a nuclear war. The belief that their immense tenacity and success in colonising the most inhospitable habitats renders them indestructible. Their sheer staying power and irremovability no matter what you throw at them. The seeming fact they just won’t fuck off.

Schools crisis – what schools crisis?

April 26th, 2017

This is the lead item on BBC News Education just now. It’s a report about the ex Headmaster of Eton suggesting that private schools should offer free flights as a ‘thankyou’ to parents. This, presumably, is the most important education story in the United Kingdom right now in the view of the BBC.
Meanwhile The Independent details the report of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee which is heavily critical of Government spending priorities that it cites as wasteful, poor value for taxpayers money and ‘incoherent’. Amongst numerous examples of a severe funding crisis in state education it documents that: 85 per cent of schools are known to have asbestos in their buildings, there will be a 6.5% real-terms cut in spending per pupil between 2015-16 and 2019–20. The report paints a damning picture of huge disparities in funding between un-needed free schools which duplicate existing provision and local authority schools which are being starved of resources.

Strangely, this scathing Parliamentary report features nowhere on the BBC Education page.
Obviously the ‘free flights for private schools kickback’ story is more important.