Notepad on Life

October 16, 2014

Peter Hitchens on what design tells us about ourselves

Filed under: Uncategorized — - @ 1:36 pm
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You thought the spartan, minimalist look was just a trend? Maybe not…

“I am fascinated by the assumption in so much modern design that people no longer know how to behave – the public loos of my youth were ornate affairs of porcelain, glass, brass and wood, now they are increasingly Spartan, armour-plated, unbreakable and unadorned. It’s the same trend that has led many pubs to serve drinks in plastic containers rather than glasses…

“We cannot be trusted to behave in a civilised fashion, so we must have our hands kept away from dangerous materials, we cannot be allowed to have breakable or delicate facilities in public places…” – Peter Hitchens, Mail Online

September 9, 2014

Referendum threat? Hell, even our unwritten constitution is up for grabs…

Filed under: politics,Royals,Uncategorized — - @ 10:57 pm
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So let me get this straight: Prince Charles voices concerns on any aspect of British society and is routinely slapped down by pompous Westminster windbags, who insist on strict observance of the British tradition that the Royal Family stays out of politics.

A referendum on Scottish independence threatens the powerbase of our political parties, on the other hand, and suddenly the Queen speaking out in support of the Union, “could make all the difference”, in the eyes of those same grandees.

Number One – that politicians believe the populace can be so easily swayed in opinions that they have had months to come to, shows yet again how little they really think of us.

Number Two – I can’t think of a better way for the Monarchy to assure its survival for at least another 50 years, than if a letter from the Palace to Parliament – “Her Majesty asks me to inform you that this proposal may be placed where the sun doesn’t shine” – were somehow leaked to the media.

July 25, 2014

Mitch Albom on anger and self-obsession

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“We seem so dissatisfied with our lives these days — despite having more than at any point in history — that big, assertive action attracts us, it elevates us, it lets us pound our chest and feel that we, at that moment, are in charge of things. As opposed to all the moments feeling that we are not.” – from Soccer referee’s death reflects our rage


June 8, 2014

A tweet to read (or, “If social media posts were always this good, Zuckerberg could have doubled his price…” )

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From Facebook:

‘Left work, put my earphones in and cranked up some banging tunes for my walk to Charing Cross. Sense a man walking quite close behind me. Speed up. Notice in the reflection in a window that he’s too close. Speed up even more. He speeds up too. He’s wearing a suit and it’s daylight. Surely he wouldn’t try anything? Keep walking. He touches my shoulder. I spin round, primed for a fight. He is holding a letter I dropped. He’s been trying to alert me but I couldn’t hear him. He looks a bit annoyed. I apologise sheepishly for my karate stance.’

June 3, 2014

I smell a double standard, officer…

Filed under: Uncategorized — - @ 9:00 am

“The landlord hasn’t committed any offences with his ‘White family only’ sign, and when we went round and asked him to take it down, he said ‘fair enough’ and took it down.

“We spoke to him and gave him some advice, and were satisfied it was not intended with any sort of malice.

“It was, in his opinion, to have some nice residents in the area..

“But the reality of the situation is, it might be deemed to be distasteful or inappropriate, which it is my opinion.

“There was no criminal act committed, and we would have dealt with it seriously if there was.”

That ring true to you? No, me neither.

I’m visualising officers hammering at the offender’s door instead, giving him a thorough dressing-down – in front of cameras, of course, just in case their diversity credentials need buffing  up at a latter date – before leading him off for further questioning with the disgusted air of suburban householders removing a pubcrawler’s turd from their prize rose bed.

Yet when a ‘Just Pakistani Family’ sign went up in the window of a three-bedroom rental property in Nelson, Lancashire recently – rightly condemned by on all sides, it should be said – the police attitude towards it was as described above. A sort of chummy, arm-around-the-shoulder, “could we have a quiet word…?’ approach. The police officer as social worker.

I make just one point: if you want to de-stabilise any society, one of the best ways to start is to put the notion firmly in your population’s heads that there’s one law for some, and another law for others…

May 28, 2014

Multi-tasking is for people, not equipment…

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I do wish my wife would stop chopping garlic on the bread board. I’m not sure this is what’s meant by ‘French toast’.

May 26, 2014

Bloomberg has heaven and New York horribly confused

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English: New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

Michael Bloomberg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And there I was thinking hubris was a generational thing.

While I found it impossible not to be ultimately charmed by Luisa Zissman‘s beauty and vivacity in Celebrity Big Brother, earlier this year, I was struck by her unashamed self-aggrandisement. More than once, she mentioned how she couldn’t care less about other people’s opinions of her and on one occasion she even blurted out, “I think I’m amazing.”

Some things sound so much better when they come from the mouths of others than from your own. What is it with the young and this me, me, me mantra, I remember thinking.

Well, it looks like I owe the young an apology. No-one could say that former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is a spring chicken, yet his lack of self-awareness may be even more pronounced than Ms Zissman’s. This excerpt from an interview with The New York Times, in which Bloomberg’s efforts towards the control of guns, tobacco and carbonated drinks are hailed by, er, Michael Bloomberg, is just breathtaking…

“I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed, I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.” 

For all that this chutzpah came “with a grin”, I struggle to think of anyone who genuinely believes in God uttering such sentiments even in jest. In fact, despite his qualifier, I would suggest Bloomberg’s remarks bear the hallmarks of someone who believes there is no God. To talk of heaven as if it’s the sixth borough of New York City and you’re still Mayor; of calling the shots in the presence of the Creator of the universe – like you’d have that option; these point to a man who holds God in as much the same reverence as he does Mickey Mouse.

Where there’s no God, however, there’s a vacuum. One which unbridled human ego is only too happy to fill.

And it’s not just kids’ stuff any more.


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March 7, 2014

Alec Baldwin on social media

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English: Alec Baldwin at the Tony Bennet Birth...

(Photo: Wikipedia)


Whatever you think of him, this is not far from the mark…

“In the New Media culture, anything good you do is tossed in a pit, and you are measured by who you are on your worst day”

March 3, 2014

Where civilised values and business collide

Filed under: Uncategorized — - @ 9:00 am
Image of sado-masochism

(Photo: Wikipedia)



Looking around the vet’s reception area this morning, a thought: if you’re running a sado-masochism parlour, do you bother with one of those ‘Aggression towards staff will not be tolerated’ notices?

September 3, 2013

Simpering Britain – the counter-revolution begins

Filed under: Uncategorized — - @ 9:00 am

Bet this bloke didn’t do hugs…


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