Monthly Archives: November 2012

Minimum Pricing: Great News for Bootleggers

Here we go again with the government telling us how to live our lives. Just as we all have to drive over speed humps because of a few idiots behind the wheel, now they want us all to stump up … Continue reading

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Melon Farming for Beginners: A Brief History of Swearing in the Movies

Back in the days of silent films, packed picture houses enjoyed the latest offerings of Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle and Harold Lloyd to the accompaniment of suitable piano music. At one screening, a stereotypical villain, dressed in top hat and … Continue reading

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A Couple of Con Tricks

Some years ago I shared a flat with my friend Graeme. The accommodation came rent-free as part of the caretaker’s job I had at the time and, while this was pretty much Easy Street, my duties sometimes tied me to … Continue reading

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Childhood Christmas Memories: The Tree, The Toys, The Temptation

They say that as we get older we remember things from childhood with more clarity than recent events. I don’t know how much truth there is in this but I have certain memories from when I was a child that … Continue reading

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Organisational Headaches: Then & Now

I recently read an essay by George Orwell (1903—1950), in which he illustrates the life of a book reviewer in the years immediately following the Second World War. It makes interesting reading, as the opening paragraphs give us a snapshot of … Continue reading

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Beware the Siren of Nostalgia

With Halloween and Bonfire Night out of the way, we find ourselves at the top of that long slide that will take us straight down to Christmas. Blanket festive TV ads, packed shopping malls and the switching on of town … Continue reading

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Liquid Gold

One of the must-watch TV shows from my childhood was The Monkees; the madcap adventures of a pop group comprising three Americans and a young Englishman. There are three jumbo-sized chunks of trivia associated with the show, and these are:  … Continue reading

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That Old Blue Touchpaper

The modern fireworks display is very much centred on bangs and explosions. Firework selection boxes that offer comparatively timid squibs, such as the volcano and the Roman candle, are often shunned in favour of those that screech, flash and burst. … Continue reading

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Bonfire Night Turf Wars

When I was a kid, one of the most exciting aspects of the run up to Bonfire Night was the gathering of as much wood as possible in a bid to have the biggest inferno in the area. While legitimate sources, such … Continue reading

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