Friday, September 30, 2011


Back 11 October.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The sad story of the blackbird

One evening last October I came home from work and was opening the back door to get in when I nearly tripped over a female blackbird huddled on the doorstep, her feathers ruffled and not looking at all well. Panicking that she'd jump inside, I shut the door quickly and went in the front door instead.
When my dear husband returned an hour later, I asked him to go and see if she was still there. Yes she was and she was clearly unwell. He took out a saucer of water and some bread for her. Two hours later she was still there. We called the RSPCA for advice. They said it was very common for birds to shelter on doorsteps for warmth in the autumn and to call again in the morning if she was still there.
The following morning I went out of the house through the front door and went round to the back: hurrah, she'd gone! I was reversing my car out and then I noticed her in the headlights. She was in the corner of the courtyard, looking perkier than the previous night. I got out of the car and approached her. She was not amused and hopped towards me, head down, squawking at the top of her voice.
I was worried about her because my neighbour has two vicious cats and it didn't look as if she was up to flying. Anyway, I left her and was driving away when I happened to see my gardener. I told him the story and he promised to take her away from my garden in order to save her from the cats.
When I got home from work that evening there was no sign of her. Phew! I bumped into my gardener three days later. "So you found the bird?" I asked him. "Well..." he began, "I did go to look for her but couldn't see her. However, I did find her yesterday: near the rose bed, without her head."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dogs of the week

Poem of the day


Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

John Masefield

Monday, September 26, 2011

New sermon on the mount

How do you like David Hockney's interpretation of Claude Lorrain's 1656 painting?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rug stats

I met an Indian hair oil company yesterday. Before the meeting officially began, I was talking to the Head of Investor Relations who told me that 96% of Indians use hair oil as they believe it is good for the health. 52% of the company's customers are men and 48% women. The women, he said, use more oil as they have more hair. The Finance Director then entered the room and the meeting began. He explained in more detail why the oil is good for the health: "It is massaged into the scalp and the essential oil rejuvenates the skin. Hair is dead but rubbing oil into its roots is beneficial for health." I took up this issue with the IR man, "If the oil is used to massage the scalp rather than the hair, why should women use more?" "Oh," he said, "the reason is that women's hair density per square inch of the head is three times greater than men's." Is that true?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Snooze of the day

Racing to a decision

It is staggering that the board of UBS is flying to Singapore in order to make decisions regarding risk control post the Adoboli scandal...just so they can watch the Grand Prix. That alone is a reason to sack Oswald Gruebel.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bling of the day

If you have £2.9m to spare, you could buy a gold plated Tata Nano. It boasts amongst its constituent parts, 80kg gold, 15kg silver and 10,000 precious and semi-precious stones. You'd better have a secure garage, though.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Letter of the day

Sir, If the so-called unauthorised trades had resulted in a $2bn profit, would the "rogue" trader have been arrested? Would anyone even hear about it? Would UBS cancel the trades and return the profits to the counterparties? The answers are no, no and no.
Stan Trybulski

Turban of the day

The man on the left is Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, who has begun a three day fast to promote communal harmony.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The grim reaper

This has been the worst week of the year: one friend died, one was pronounced terminally ill and two were diagnosed with cancer. I define "a good year" as being one without a funeral. Haven't had one of those since 2006...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spectacle(s) of the day

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Virtual shopping

The Korean company, Homeplus, has taken shopping to a new level by launching the world's first virtual shop in the Seoulleung subway station at Gangnam, south Seoul. Customers can buy 500 different types of processed food and household goods shown on the virtual display by scanning the bar codes using their smartphones. They then choose their delivery time and look forward to their shopping being delivered to their door.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lies, damned lies and statistics

My American friends' friends adopted an Afro-Caribbean child. They were moving to Massachusetts and, not wishing their new son to feel out of place at school, trawled the census statistics to find the most ethnically diverse town which would fit their requirements. They needled in on Concord, found a house and moved in. Their son started at his new school. He was the only non-white boy there. They could see no non-whites on the streets of Concord. They raised the question with the headmaster of the school. "Oh, that's a statistical anomaly!" he said. "The 12.5% non-white population all comes from the prison which is within Concord for census purposes." Just goes to show, it's worth visiting a place/school before making decisions.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Malapropism of the day

There's a notice at the reception of the local gym in Bournemouth saying, "The spa is closed for repairs. This will take a few days as the work is difficult and odious." When asked why it was odious work, the manager said he was simply repeating what the contractor had told him. He looked bewildered at the possibility that the contractor may have said "onerous" instead. Then again, maybe he said "odorous".

Thursday, September 08, 2011

A numbers game

Apologies to all my readers for this blog being sabotaged. I don't know how to debug it. Anyway, I managed to get in today via
My American colleague's baby is due on 9/11. He's hoping it will be born at 8 minutes past 7 on 9/10. His mother-in-law is praying for 9 minutes past 9 on 9/9.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Baby of the day

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Outfit of the week