Friday, 21 January 2022


 On the way home from coffeeing with a friend at The Woodlands  I stopped  at a garage to get a latte as a surprise for a friend whose office I pass on the way home. 

The two youngsters serving were chatty and another customer in his 20s appeared, ordered and commented on the terrible loss of Meatloaf. 

"How old was he?" the customer asked.

"70" one of the servers responded.

I was just about to correct him and say "74" when the customer said "What did he die of?"

The assistant looked at him and said "He was 70 for heavens sake when you get to that age you're old and you die.  You don't have to die of 'something'. "

At this point I felt compelled to have my tuppence-worth so I said something like "Hang on.  70 isn't old. I'm nearly 80 and I'm not old and I'm certainly not thinking of "just dying" anytime soon."

I was reasonably appeased by the look of astonishment about my age but then I suppose if you are walking without a stick and wearing a tie with yellow ducks on it you're not exactly a typical Lewis bodach. 

The conversation continued on the agreed merits of Meatloaf until the latte was ready and I drove off into the morning gloom and delivered the coffee and wondered if my friend looked at me and though "Ah well, he's survived another day."

R.I.P Meatloaf. Thank you for all the pleasure you have given to so many of us.

Monday, 10 January 2022

Use By....

This morning I had, in the fridge, a small amount of milk left in a 1.1 litre plastic container it was supplied in. It was labelled 'Use By 2 Jan'.  I've been using it until today and it smelt okay but then I've just had a dose of not being able to smell anything. So I disposed of it down the sink. That's not good because milk is quite a pollutant.

I was eating my banana and muesli quite happily with the fresh milk when I was informed on the news that the supermarket chain Morrisons is to replace the  'Use By' date on milk with a 'Best Before' date.

Doubtless other supermarkets will all follow suit. I hope so. In any case I will now continue to rely on the smell test.

This has made me think about milk in glass bottles and delivery of milk to the doorstep both of which were common when I was a child. Perhaps another post in due course. 

In the meantime I hanker for the days when the bluetits used to peck through the milk bottle top and drink the cream floating at the top.

Saturday, 8 January 2022


I don't often write serious posts. However some of the recent goings on in the world really have tested my ability to sit back and ignore them. I'm not talking about the riot at The Capitol which might well have resulted (and might still result) in the end of democratic rule in the U.S. but in more minor and insidious incidents which gnaw away at the fabric of the Rule of Law which keeps us all in the UK safe.

Anyone who, like I, who worked with politicians all his professional life, knows that politicians are often economical with the truth. In order to save their political skins and jobs some tell downright lies on BIG THINGS as well. They always have done and always will do. On being found out the majority do not survive.

That, however, is becoming a thing of the past.

We now have a Prime Minister who is liar both as a politician and in his previous incarnations as a journalist and editor in our prestigious press. I was going to justify that statement with examples but as a friend said the PM not only doesn't try and defend himself from those incidents but, on occasion, actually boasts about his survival.  They are, in any case, very well documented.

The problem is that if the most senior person in the Government is seen to be a liar it gives a blank cheque to everyone else. If he can get away with it why can't I?

In my mid 20s I knew a lady who was a Justice of the Peace (JP, the most junior member of the judiciary). She regarded exceeding the speed limit as breaking the law and therefore if she realised she had knowingly exceeded the speed limit by even a few mph it would have been a resignation issue. Regardless of the legal niceties of breaking the speed limit  I know of no one else who has been that extreme.

However, I heard that the Chief Justice in Northern Ireland attended a golf function recently which was illegal under the current regulations in that Country. He accepted that he did it. He said that it was not a resignation matter.

How, I ask, can any member of a country's judiciary never mind the most senior one, make such a statement and then expect anyone to respect him or his decisions ever again.

I'll try not to do this again. 

Monday, 3 January 2022

Two Days; Two Views

From my kitchen window on New Year's Day


Of course it wasn't like that all day on either day.