Friday, January 17, 2020

Food for the Brain

Exercising the brain is good for the brain. Not so long ago I was quite incapable of the slightest manipulation of the computer. Today, I am still a shadow of my former self in this respect, when I was known as the go-to man for all IT problems, but I am at least far more proficient than I was one or two years ago. Different people find different ways to stimulate the brain - Sodoku, crosswords, but I find that trying to come to terms with different operating systems is what works best for me. I have a choice between Android, ios, Chrome OS and Windows, although the last one on the list is now virtually a thing of the past as far as I'm concerned. And then there is the added challenge of dictating rather than typing text. Lastly, and certainly the most difficult of all, there is the task of writing this blog.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Grey's Anatomy

Meredith is hot, right?
Yes, she's hot all right.
And Addison?
She's hot too
What about Izzie?
She's hot as hell
And the guys: is Berk hot?
Is that how you spell it?
I think so. What's the name of Izzie's husband - the one who died in Season 2 or 3?
You mean McDreamy?
No, McDreamy is Derek
McDreamy is Derek? If McDreamy is Derek, who is Finn?
Finn is a vet

Sunday, December 03, 2017

East Suffolk

As I wrote to my good friend Michael Leddy this morning, I have yet to hit my stride with this attempt at picking over the bones of the past. The result, compounded with my wretched memory, is that I am left floundering about qute a but,but at least I have a couple of intellects at the ready to put me back on the straight and narrow...
So, for the time being at any rate, it is best to consider what follows as a series of impressions rather than a reliable account of my early years...

Our worldly belongings are packed into and onto our old car which, in my memory is a blue Triumph convertible. We are leaving Great Wenham behind us to start a new life outside Halesworth in East Suffolk. My stepfather, Pont, has bought Lower Hall Farm and is now trying desperately to make a go of things.

It's very easy for me at this distance in time to say that the project was doomed from the start My stepfather was not really cut out for a farming life and even, if he had been, the postwar year could hardly have been less conducive. Lower Hall Farm was, as I have said, set in the village of Linstead Magna (I almost wrote Leptis Magna! other glimpses: farmhands were sometimes paid in kind and we ourselves received provisions from family and friends in Australia and Canada.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

West Suffolk

It is an early spring's day in the mid 1950s and we are on our way for lunch at the Red Lion in Needham Market, little more than 15 minutes' drive from our base in Ringshall, though in those days of intermittent transport, it might as well have been on the other side of the world. We are travelling in Dickie's car and the passengers include, Mose,Alice, Johnny and I suppose the scribe himself. I remember next to nothing of the Red Lion itself, though I do recall delicious runner beans were on the menu.
For most of the decade, getting to Stowmarket or Ipswich involved taking the private Cooper's or Taylor's coach company, or else catching the red national double decker to Ipswich via Claydon and Bramford.
It all seems and is a long time ago and if you want to get an idea of life in this beautiful but unforgiving Suffolk clay, you can get a very good idea from some of the early short stories by Penelope Lively or novels by Patricia Highsmith.
I always thought there was something very Dutch about the villages but cab find very little trace of that nowadays

A New Start

It is as though at some point in the last year, and without my being aware of it, I had suffered a mini-stroke, leaving behind a severely impaired memory! And yet I cannot pin such an episode to any particular event.
But without going so far as that it is true that the longer you leave something unattended, the more difficult it is to pick up the thread. 
Of all the things since I last reported in my blog in any meaningful fashion, so many momentous things have happened to me  and yet, viewed from a different angle and at different times they appear so trivial.I hardly know where to begin, but I do know that I would like to make some changes:

  • Firstly, I've become aware that I've never really found a substitute for handwriting, even though there were and are many good reasons for abandoning it in my 35 years as a translator. Those of you who defy the odds and continue to do me the honour of reading this blog will not notice a difference in this respect since, to the best of my knowledge, there is still no way of converting handwriting to type? But it will be an opportunity to treat the script as a rough copy, as I did in the old days. That's the idea anyway.
  • Secondly, rather than abandon altogether attempts to comment on the outside world, I thought I might try to  delve into my past and use that as a point of departure.
  • Don't expect miracles, bearing in mind that both my sister and brother have sharper memories than I have.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Demise of Donald Trump

Different people have different views of when his star at last began to dim. I personally put it back to the day when I managed to break though security on prime time television and to confront the president in front of millions of viewers. Visibly shaken, Trump started to tremble. "Please don't hurt me", he whispered in front of Sarah  Suckerbee and shocked members of his inner circle. In a couple of minutes, Trump's coterie had arrived. But not before he had been revealed as a bully and a coward. The damage had already been done

In the coming months,Trump did his level best to erase the picture of his humiliation but there was no escaping the image of my punch to his solar plexus and of his paunch doubled up in pain.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


As many must be aware by now, iCat changed his name by deed poll to The Black Cat earlier this year. More recently he changed it again to The Black Arrow, a reference to the way he sped upstairs in the summer months and invited me to play hide and seek with him. In actual fact, the move did not turn out as he planned as it became very apparent that he was not really black at all, but rather a very common off-brown colour. He was not black; he was just brown; that's all.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

More from the Hollywood Star

Speaking for the defence, Sir Charles said that his client's unusual behaviour could be placed fair and square at his attempt to negotiate with four different operating systems at the same time: ios, android, windows and chrome (as in Chromebook). As Sir Charles said, it would be too much for someone in full possession of his faculties, let alone a raving lunatic.


Hello everyone. Please forgive me if my attempt at gallows fever fell more than a little flat! It wasn't my attention, I can assure you. And many thanks to those of you who may feel they have been left in the lurch recently. The problem, as far as Ican make out, seems to be with my iPad which should have been (but wasn't) updated.

Food for the Brain

Exercising the brain is good for the brain. Not so long ago I was quite incapable of the slightest manipulation of the computer. Today, I a...