Sixty four years ago today, George Orwell died from tuberculosis in a London hospital. Not only was he - in my opinion - the finest writer in English, in Politics and the English Language he left scribblers some of the finest advice. Here it is... "A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will... Continue Reading →
The curse of sounding professional.
A while ago, I was amazed to get a letter from my bank telling me I was in credit on my credit card. I came across it in an old file today - and it's just as I remembered. It was from a real person - Paula Stevens from Card Operations. But it didn't really sound like... Continue Reading →
Three wheels on my wagon
Bikes have been part of my life since I first tried a friend's 50cc Monkeybike at the age of 11. I couldn't wait to get a licence. In Frome, there was an independent BMW dealer, Difazio's. I'd walk the 3 miles from home to stand and gawp at the unfeasibly swoopy-faired R100RSes, RTs and -... Continue Reading →
Dialogue or broadcast? Where’s democracy going?
The way we communicate has always changed. We’ve discovered and harnessed new media time and again – all the way from cuneiform to computers. But the newest change is possibly the most powerful and is already starting to change the way we’re governed, sold to and employed. Actually, that’s not quite accurate – yet. What... Continue Reading →
Aristotle, the web and modern citizenship
In early August 2011, the UK’s citizens got involved in politics in a very practical way. They looted, burned and rioted their way across London, Salford, Manchester and Birmingham. Commentators will debate the reasons – and the ethics - for years to come, but its clear that these were people who are not usually politically active. ... Continue Reading →
Dolores Umbridge. Now in charge of speed limit policy.
Speeding fines handed out by courts are hitting a new high. In 2013, nearly 115,000 drivers waited while a magistrate looked down, wagged a reproving finger and dished out an average £169 fine and three points. In 2012, failing to match the number on the stick to the number on the dial accounted for 56% of the 730,000 fixed... Continue Reading →
Well, it’s certainly an Apple, but is it a watch?
The world’s gearheads were gathered around their laptops this evening as Apple unveiled their new Apple Watch. It’s a remarkable piece of kit. It’ll tell you if your heart’s beating (handy) and how fast. It’ll tell you where you are, how quickly you’re running and even the reason - an incoming email from your boss... Continue Reading →
The one watch I’ll never sell.
Gun to your head... which watch would you never sell? Unless you have Harrison’s H5 marine chronometer or George Daniels’ Space Traveller stashed in your watchbox (and if you do, an invitation to tea would be splendid), every watch you own is utterly replaceable. And if they’re all replaceable, it doesn’t actually matter a damn... Continue Reading →
Don’t vote. It just encourages them?
It’s election day 2015. Politicians are, depending on the colours of their allegiance, either about to start weeping into their espresso or taking a pull on another celebratory pint of bitter. In the European elections last year, Marine Le Pen's Front National topped a nationwide poll for the first time ever. The UK front pages... Continue Reading →
The more you ride an old bike, the more its quirks and wrinkles become normal. I realised this today after spending most of it tinkering with the Ural. Urals are possibly the exemplar of quirks and wrinkles. I went to retrieve it from its new garage on the other side of the village and, of... Continue Reading →