Tuesday, December 02, 2014


Well maybe it`s because it`s Tuesday and it`s dark and it`s cold and it`s wet but whatever it is, it has put me in the mood for the ironic stark contrasts which caught my eye today.....even if, like the picture above, they were completely unintentional. 

The first came when I was watching the BBC News this lunchtime and amongst all the various news items, two came along one after the other, thanks to whoever it is that decides the running order for news stories.   The first concerned the speculation about who might be the first woman bishop to be appointed in the Church of England.  There are some upcoming vacancies and the bookmakers (this isn`t the irony, honest) are taking bets as to which of four prime candidates will be the first to don the vacant mitre.

This item was immediately followed by one which reported Mario Balotelli`s latest faux pas in that he has been forced to withdraw a post on his Instagram account (whatever that is) which contained alleged racist and anti-Semitic references.   It struck me that there could hardly be a more stark contrast between women bishops and Mario Balotelli coming together in the BBC News.

Somehow it reminded me that much closer to home there is perhaps an example of an even more stark contrast, this time between two adjoining `businesses.`   In the same road where my stylist, Chris of Larkfield, pursues her hairdressing career for discerning gentlemen, there is an example of ironic juxtaposition which it would be impossible to make up.  Here it is:-

I am perfectly certain that clients of the business on the left do not expect immediately to avail themselves of the business on the right, for there can be no question that the one on the left practices anything other than the most rigorous food hygiene regime.  Now those who know my penchant for plain English fayre would know that I am unlikely ever to enter a Chinese takeaway establishment.   Pity the same can`t be said for the business next door.

Monday, December 01, 2014


Maybe because it`s Monday and it`s cold and it`s dark but whatever it is it`s one of those days when you`re not quite sure whether you have woken up in the real world or some parallel universe where everything seems `odd.`  Here is just a small selection of things that are confronting me this grey winter`s morning.......

.....HM Gov. are planning to spend £2 billion to ease the congestion on the A303 around Stonehenge.   It was all of 35 years ago that `improvements` to this notorious bottleneck were mooted and we`re told that today`s proposal will probably take a good ten years before it gets completed - if it gets started at all, of course.

Now I use the A303 quite a lot on our journeys to and from the great south west, so I know all about the Stonehenge problem, but at my age I`m beginning to seriously doubt whether I will live to see the announced improvement.  So from my point of view what`s needed is a quicker fix and there are a couple of options.   The first one, which will cost so much less than £2 billion, is simply to move Stonehenge to another more remote location and the second obvious solution is to build an entirely new Stonehenge at a tourist hotspot which will guarantee a return on the investment.

.......and speaking of returns on investment, how about the Dartford Crossing, where the cost of building it had been recouped in toll charges many years ago with the promise that it would then be free to cross.  Today, the price of the toll charges has risen by 25%, the Highways Agency are scrapping the toll booths and drivers will now have to join DartTag, pay on line or by phone and if you don`t there will be a hefty fine.   All well and good, but what if you are an easily confused elderly pensioner without access to the internet or a phone?  My answer to all this will be like my answer to most things -   I`ll just go the long way round

.......and finally for this miserable Monday morning, I`m getting a little tired of the constant barrage of appeals for cash from so many charities that it`s hard to keep track of them all.  Now I give to charities of my choice and I do so quietly and willingly so I don`t need to be harangued with television adverts, people banging on the door, letters in the post, wristbands, ribbons, telling secrets, rattling tins or `celebrity appeals.`   I just wonder if, like politicians who browbeat us to vote one way, the compassion overload we`re now having might just turn people away from supporting anything.   

Well, it is Monday morning.  Have a nice day!