Friday, 27 February 2015

New arrivals

A splash of purple has arrived in the garden and one daffodil is out.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Green around the edges

I saw Stephen Green sitting alone in a corner of a London club yesterday. He didn't look at all well.

Monday, 23 February 2015


Barack Obama on Rahm Emanuel: "when he lost his middle finger it rendered him practically mute."

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Happy Year of the Goat or Sheep!

Over the past 20 years China has:

·         Increased its GDP and GDP per capita over 15-fold and surpassed Japan along the way to become the world’s 2nd largest economy from a position in 1994 where it was the size of a combined Korea and Hong Kong
·         Gone from a weighting of 0% in the MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index in 1995 to 27% today
·         Seen its urbanisation rate almost double
·         Witnessed auto production move from 2m per annum in 2000 to an ave of over 2m per month in 2014
·         Increased its foreign exchange reserves from US$73bn in 1995 to US$3.8 trillion (the size of the UK’s stock market)
·         Added 150m people to its population – and returned Hong Kong and Macau to its sovereignty 
·         Become only the third nation to independently put a human into space
·         Provided a >5x increase in average annual wage since 2000
·         Become the world’s largest single consumer of a long-list of consumer items and natural resources
·         Moved into second place behind the US for highest number of millionaires
·         Joined the WTO and projected its economic (and military) strength across the globe
·         Risen from a position of nowhere to become the world’s biggest luxury-goods market
·         Become the number 1 global patent filer
·         Doubled its living space per capita while adding billions of gross floor area square-metres in housing
·         Built the world’s largest business port and longest high-speed rail network
·         Hosted a successful Olympic Games
·         Increased the number of commercial aircraft >5x and the amount of international travel 10x

Monday, 16 February 2015

The ram's tale

Robert's wife gave him a lamb which turned out to be a ram whom they named Billy. Billy adored Robert who'd take him for walks like a dog, although his lead was a strong chain. He hated everybody else and would charge at anybody who approached. The postman took a dim view of that. After 10 years, Robert decided Billy was too unsociable and sold him to a sheep farmer. Billy made the farmer very happy for 5 years as he fathered 300 lambs. He then went mad and was killed.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Edinburgh jokes of the day

"I used to live next to a farm and every time I passed the cows in the field I used to inexplicably shout abuse· at them. Turns out I'm dairy intolerant." Alfie Moore 

"Most of my life is spent avoiding conflict. I hardly ever visit Syria." Alex Home

"My name is Fin, which means it's very hard for me to end emails without sounding pretentious." Fin Taylor

"You ever hate your job with the passion that your boss claims you lack?" Stuart Black

"I like to hold hands at the movies. Which always seems to startle strangers." Tom Rhodes 

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Quarry of the day

One of the wretches which have been digging hills in the lawn. People say that razor blades are a good deterrent but they sound too cruel to me. Traps give them heart attacks: horrible but a quick death.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Signs of spring 3

Daffodils outside the hospital yesterday. Have switched treatment to a more effective one, I hope.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Bad joke of the day

A vagabond travelling in the English countryside came across an inn with a sign outside saying George and the Dragon. He knocked on the door and the innkeeper's wife stuck her head out of the window.
"Could you spare some food?" the vagabond asked.
The woman looked at his shabby clothes and poor condition and replied rather sternly, "No!"I
"Could I have a pint of ale?"
"No!" she snapped.
"Could I at least sleep in your stable?"
"No!" she shouted.
The vagabond tried again, "May I please...?"
"What now?" the woman interrupted impatiently.
"Do you suppose I could have a word with George?"

Monday, 2 February 2015

Personal ad of the day

"Tough but sensitive ex-classical scholar, ex-secret agent, ex-guerrilla leader, 31, recently reduced to penury through incompatibility with post-war world, would do anything unreasonable and unexpected if sufficiently rewarding and legitimate."

This advertisement was placed in The Times in 1950 by Xan Fielding. There he is above with his wife Daphne and Dirk Bogarde.