Wednesday, 28 December 2011


E-readers? What are they all about?

For the uninitiated an e-reader is a mobile electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital e-books and periodicals.

It is similar in form to a tablet computer. A tablet computer typically has a faster screen capable of higher refresh rates which makes it more suitable for interaction. Tablet computers also are much more versatile, allowing one to consume multiple types of content, as well as create it. The main advantages of e-readers are better readability of their screens especially in bright sunlight and longer battery life. This is achieved by using electronic paper technology to display content to readers and viewers.

Impressive stuff!

A recent survey revealed that the Amazon Kindle is the most popular e-reader in the UK (47%), followed by the Apple iPad (31%) and the Sony Reader (14%).

But let’s face it a row of e-readers on your bookshelf seems like a very mundane assembly to me where each device looks much the same – if not exactly the same – as the others. Truly boring and dull...

Give me paperbacks and real books anytime. I remember the books of my youth – especially the works of Capt. W E Johns who wrote over 100 volumes detailing the derring-do and exploits of Biggles, the RFC fighter pilot of WWI. The titles come back to me now – Biggles Secret Agent, Biggles Sees It Through, Another Job for Biggles, Biggles Delivers the Goods and my own particular favourite Biggles Flies Undone.

Interesting fact - Akathisia is the inability to sit still, an involuntary jiggling of the leg, or a terror of sitting.

The Black Horse
91 Church Street
North Yorkshire
YO22 4BH
Tel: 01947 602906

Thursday, 22 December 2011


Season’s greetings!

Aaahhhh Christmas! – my dear Mum, bless her, truly loved this time of year – for as she used to say it was the only occasion she got to strangle a turkey! Not one for protocol either was she - you would often see her dipping into the After Eight mints from 7:30pm! She didn't care! Outrageous!

Naturally it’s that special occasion to celebrate with family and friends, of course it is  - but it’s also a time to reflect and think about those who are sadly no longer with us.

As a ten year-old, I pestered my poor Dad endlessly to get me a bike for Christmas... 

I’ve got my eye on a Raleigh bike, Dad! It’s in the cycle shop window on the High Road! Come and have a look?”

Aahhh! Keep your eye on it son by all means” he jokingly replied “because I doubt you’ll ever get your ar*e on it!”

I shouldn’t have been so surprised really with my Dad; he gave me an empty shoe box the year before proclaiming that I had been given a rare Action Man figure – a deserter in this case - and then there was Christmas three years earlier when he convinced me that the cupboard under the stairs contained my own special money box – only to realise many years later it was the gas meter!

So I decided to ask God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way; so I stole a bike and asked for His forgiveness, instead!

I never did quite understand why my Dad treated each festive season with such military discipline and an approach to those few days at home where almost a siege-like mentality existed. It wasn't so much a time to relax and pig-out but more a restaging of the Siege of Khartoum - he never quite accepted that the shops would indeed be open for business directly after the holidays and food, toilet rolls and cigarettes would be available once more. If there was ever going to be a dysentry outbreak in greater Nottingham during Christmas - we were more than prepared for it! Three days at home without shopping, that's all we had to contend with - but we ended up with enough food in the larder to last until Burns' Night...

Cherished memories...

Christmas cracker - and no mstake...
Remember - Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad...


Wednesday, 14 December 2011


Office parties – very much the thing this time of the year. Ho, Ho, Ho!

Can’t stand them in all honesty and best avoided in my case. Highlight of the year or an opportunity for shame and ignominy? – take your choice. I tend to end up telling people who I don’t particularly see eye-to-eye with exactly what I think of them – in an alcohol-fuelled fug no less - and then spend the rest of the holidays worrying about exactly what it was I’d said. If you are being urged to let your hair down and have a good time – that’s fine – but you realise people don’t necessarily share your sense of humour. And don’t some people bear grudges? I stopped going to these things over 30 years ago. I can still recall a young Chris Miller aiming peanuts at the back of our boss’ head – and being successful in most cases  - bouncing off  his balding pate they were – for the duration of one boring party when I worked in the City. Miller thought he got away with it – (he couldn’t remember anyway) – but sadly that was not the case – he was overlooked for promotion for the next 10 years... Good lesson that though - no matter how great the temptation to throw nibbles and cocktail sausages around on these occasions - resist it! He never did find out if our boss was gay, incidentally!

To sum up - office parties... If you're the sort of person who is a disaster in social situations (like me!), or deeply misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Derby County (like me!) or otherwise bigoted in any other area or you work in an oppressive, miserable environment - where you are underpaid and unappreciated, then avoid them... You know it makes sense!

Give me a few drinks with mates anyway – I’m OK with that – but have real difficulty making small talk with people where I don't really give a monkey's! I have never mastered the art of putting on a brave face, so no longer try!

Office parties – No, No, No!

And then there are the antics of the women! Standing under the mistletoe next to the gent’s loo and puckering their lips (facial that is!) when you approach the karzie – it’s not a pleasant sight in all honesty. “Kiss you under the mistletoe, love? – I couldn’t kiss you under anaesthetic!”

Doctor Browns
135 Corporation Street,
Tel: 01642 213213

Friday, 2 December 2011


Image consultants – what on earth is all that about?
A serious amount of money can be earned giving advice on personal styling and image consultancy.
A personal image consultation is intended to enhance confidence and improve business performance.

Give me strength!
When you wear a colour near your face the light reflects upwards either enhancing your look or casting shadows and making you look tired. Wearing the right colour near your face will make you look bright-eyed, more vibrant and younger.
I see where I have gone wrong now...

The Dog and Gun Country Inn
Cooper Lane
North Yorkshire DL6 3HQ
Tel: 01642 700232