Category Archives: Personal

New money: pound for pound

new pound coinI like new coins.

Some time in June 1982, I got change from a shop that included shiny new 20p coins.

The design was like nothing I’d ever seen before in British money – heptagonal like a 50p piece but much smaller and lighter (the new light 5p and 10p coins were not to appear for another 10 years, and the lighter 50p coins not for five years after that).

I recognised it instantly as a British coin, but a new coin for a different value. I liked it. (I had a similar feeling when the £2 coins first appeared in 1998.) And in 1982, I had had no idea that 20p coins were about to be a thing.

Today, 28th March, new £1 coins appear: dodecagons. We haven’t had dodecagon currency since the thruppeny bit was discontinued in 1971.
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Filed under Childhood, Supermarkets

What happened in 2015

My dad met death like an unwelcome guest
who had come to his door unasked: and he
must ask death in, give even death’s request
a fair hearing: offer to make some tea.

My mum meets death with her eyes closed: asleep,
her heart enlarged strives one more beat, her breath
rattles her chest, her legs kick, her words keep
putting away her own belief in death.

Twenty-fifteen the year I saw my dad
meet death open-eyed, going away from us
quietly as if he had his own work, had
to go away alone: naught to discuss.

Twenty-fifteen the year I saw my mum
follow her husband, whatever may come.

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God Save Our National Anthem

Good thing we won the Battle of Britain.

Otherwise, people might be forced to join in singing patriotic songs to prove their loyalty to the regime.
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Filed under Other stuff on the Internet I like, War

Borders Railway

Borders Railway UnwrappedYesterday, on Saturday 5th September, I took a train from Waverley to Tweedbank: today you can too, for £11.20: the whole trip from the centre of Edinburgh to Tweedbank in the Borders will take you 57 minutes.

A few months ago I was sitting on a bus and an advert popped up on my tablet: 35 Golden Ticket winners and their guests could win a Golden Ticket and be the first passengers to travel from Edinburgh to the Borders by the new Scottish Borders railway: just say why you want to go, in 50 words or less.

For about five years – I think from when I was about six to sometime before my 12th birthday – my parents rented a cottage in the Borders from the Buccleuch Estates. The rent was £5 a year, and the cottage had running water (which had to be turned off in the autumn, before the first frost led to burst pipes) but the only means of heating the water was to have a fire in the hearth in the living-room.
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Filed under Childhood, Trains, Travel

GE2015: Liberal Democats

Liberal Democats

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Filed under Cats, Feng Shui Kitten Fixes Stuff

Personal: no connection with WWI

I mentioned on 27th June that blogging would be light in July, and this is why:
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Personal: July blogging

I’ve news – good or bad?

Awhile ago, I decided that for personal reasons, I was going to have to make July 2014 a light blogging month. Mostly for personal reasons, which I’m sorry not to be able to share with you.
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Filed under Personal, World War I

Ukip talking Turkey

UKIP Women's BoardWho are, or were, the UKIP Women’s Board? They were a Facebook group that existed briefly and seems to have deleted itself.

Here’s what they did.

There’s a Facebook group called Women Against UKIP. They joined earlier in 2014, and they now have upwards of 5000 Likes.

UKIP Women's Board appeared on 31st May 2014At the end of May, Women Against UKIP had upwards of 3000 Likes, as I recall.

As you can see from the screenshot at the top right, taken on 4th June, in four days UKIP Womens Board had 3153 Likes. Quick work in four days! A lot of women must support UKIP!

Yes. 3185 women support UKIP. Aged between 18-24. In Istanbul.
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Filed under Corruption, Other stuff on the Internet I like, Politics

Mary Moriarty is a BEM

Port O LeithWell, it’s all a load of royalist imperialist hooey, of course, but once in a while the Honours List does light on someone who you think “Yeah, she deserves it!”

The Virtual Inglenook said of Mary Moriarty in 2009 that even she “only retires once”. He did not predict that Moriarty’s idea of “retirement” involved the Leith Festival (Gala Day yesterday, continues to the 20th, enjoy!)
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Filed under Drinking, Other stuff on the Internet I like

Christmas post

Atheist's Guide To ChristmasI meant this post to be a compilation of a few pleasant links to celebrate Christmas, but then I got a dose of norovirus for the solstice, and if you have ever had norovirus you will understand, but if you haven’t yet: I spent Sunday feeling like complete crap, and the next couple of days recovering.

My best gift to myself was remembering that oral rehydration therapy would both be good to drink and do me good:

  • 30 ml sugar : 2.5 ml salt : 1 liter water
  • 2 tbl. sugar : 0.5 tsp. salt : 1 quart water
  • 6 tsp. sugar : 0.5 tsp. salt : 1 liter water

ORT – simple solution of sugar and salt in water – is reckoned to be one of the biggest medical discoveries of the 20th century, which has probably saved more lives than any other. I wouldn’t have died of 24-hour norovirus: I am a strong healthy well-nourished adult. But people can die of prolonged vomiting/diarrhea due to dehydration and sodium depletion: and ORT both helps replenish fluid and the sugar solution helps the gut absorb the salt it’s losing. Although packets of ORT salts are manufactured under the supervision of WHO / UNICEF, anyone with access to water, sugar, and salt can mix up an ORT solution at home, and if you are even slightly dehydrated, it’s much safer to drink than plain water.

So, having cheered you all up: who’s going to watch The Bishop’s Wife? (BBC iPlayer til 30th December.)

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Filed under About Food, Benefits, Charles Dickens, Other stuff on the Internet I like