As one enters the autumnal years, I reckon it’s not a bad idea to unburden oneself and own up to past transgressions. My reasoning for this is quite simple: if the ‘Man Upstairs’ decides he wants to see me ASAP, it’s best to announce one’s flaws in advance, so no-one gets surprised in the interview process. The problem is what sort of sins should one cough up to? We’ve all given the odd commandment a bit of a nudge now and then, so I thought the old ‘seven deadly’ jobs would make… Read More
Okay Em: I read it and whilst I realised the importance of the event to you and indeed to all of the fair sex, I couldn’t help thinking that you’ve had 40 years to ready yourself for the biological time-bomb while I only had about 13 to prepare for nature’s wake-up call to teenage boys. It’s not like ageing you know, you can’t just roll with the flow, it’s as swift and painful as a kick in the privates, if you’ll pardon the analogy. One day I was reasonably normal with more… Read More
As the car drove off, I faced a few days fending for myself and I realised that it wasn’t going to be quite as simple or relaxing as it once was. The old system worked fine in a big house; the washing, dishes, pots and empties could be ignored until the eve-of-return blitz. In a small cottage however, some sort of system would need to be followed to get the full benefit out of my temporary return to batchelorhood. First, a quick stock-take: the liquids were easy, tea, a few beers and… Read More
After donning my plastic identity vest, salting my donation bucket to ensure a guilt-producing rattle, I took up my station for the street appeal day. That’s when I met most of you, not in person of course, more in personality. The rules governing street collectors are unwritten but quite basic: don’t obstruct the footpath, don’t accost pedestrians, smile lots and thank everybody.
In a recent murder trial down here, the fact that the accused had extremely violent tendencies and had carried out acts of vandalism was withheld from the jury on the grounds that it might influence their decision on the case before them. After he was acquitted and the broader facts were made public, there was an angry, and to my mind, justified outcry from the public, followed by the usual somewhat paternalistic response from the Minister of Justice and the legal profession. What struck me as odd was that the public ire… Read More