Wednesday, 28 March 2012


I've just become hooked on a new game to play on my smartphone. It's called a smart phone because it's too clever just to be used for talking to people.

I wouldn't quite say that I'm addicted - at least not yet. Perhaps I'm addicted to statistics because not for the first time, my game playing led me to find out the top ten strange addictions which people get. I'll be honest about myself - see if you admit to any of them.

10. Shopping. Not for me. I can take it or leave it.

9. Exercise. I didn't get this body through exercise plainly.

8. Tanning. Nope. This is rust.

7. Cosmetic surgery. There may be a good case for it but I haven't succumbed.

6. Ice chewing. This is a form of craving for non-nutritional food. Mine is all nutritional hopefully.

5. Hair pulling. Chance would be a fine thing! Not an option.

4. Tattoos. Not since schooldays when you could buy fake ones with bubblegum wrappers.

3. Eating dirt. Same problem as 6 above. Not for me. Though my Grandma would say ' we all have to eat a speck of dirt before we die'.

2. Gaming. Getting closer but not there yet.

1. Internet. You got me!

How did you do?

Sunday, 25 March 2012


Let's assume that you are a greedy, inhuman soul and let's also imagine that you are a landlord - but I repeat myself. I also jest.

Many landlords are very pleasant and accommodating people (sic). My question is, if you were such a kindly landlord, would you allow your tenant to keep a pet?

I suppose that this might well depend on whether you were an animal lover. My good friend Charles is. He told the lady who was to rent his property that he had no problem with her keeping a small dog named Beatrice who was the joy of her life. The problem arose after she had vacated the premises. A couple of weeks later, Charles discovered that the gravel patio in the back garden was not a patio at all. It was Beatrice's toilet being full of dog mess. As you can imagine, it cost him a lot of money to replace the gravel. So much for being charitable.

However it seems that Charles got off lightly. Recently Derbyshire council finally gained access to one of their council houses only to find that the pig had flown. The tenant, who has disappeared with his animal, had allowed a fourteen stone Gloucester Old Spot pig to have the free run of the ground floor in the house. This has caused £15,000 worth of damage.

When they do catch up with the pig they will presumably give him to a new owner. Might I suggest a good butcher?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


I have recently celebrated my 65th birthday. Following this, I have discovered that for some strange reason, insurance companies are less keen than they were to pay out large sums of money to my family in the event that I should die at some stage during the next twenty years or so.

This reminder of my mortality has prompted me to check up on my will and give it a tweak or two. I do hope that your own is safely in place.

This in turn had me looking to see what others had put in their wills and I have picked a few choice ones for your general amusement.

1. Our very own 'Will', William Shakespeare, famously left his wife, Anne Hathaway, his 'second best bed'. This prompts the obvious question 'who got the best bed?' to which I have not found the answer.

2. It seems that a namesake of mine, Anthony Scott, wrote in his will 'To my first wife Sue, whom I always promised to mention in my will. Hello Sue!'

3. Then there was the person whose will had not been very carefully checked since it included a sum of money for 'The Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds'. Vultures presumably.

4. Another person's will wished for 'peace and affluence to all my friends and a piece of effluence to all my enemies'.

5. Spare a thought though for the lady who left her beloved cat her entire house. The lady's funeral took place on a glorious sunny day and her cat who was happily sunning itself on the drive was run over by the hearse.

They make my own will seem positively dull by comparison.

Sunday, 18 March 2012


Think of the poshest restaurant you know. Now imagine one that's even more exclusive. The sort where you have to book months in advance - in short, the sort of restaurant which is where the celebrities eat.

Now imagine that you are to dine there. A well meaning friend has decided that you could do with a good meal and has given you a voucher for two people for £500 off the bill. You wonder if this will cover it.

My question is - what will you wear? Black tie? Your smartest interview suit? Hire a white tuxedo?

The solution you may think, is to look at the paparazzi photos of celebrities leaving their favourite restaurants and see what the form is.

Having done this I have discovered that you should wear a scruffy, wrinkled pair of trousers plus a shirt left hanging out and of course no tie. The point they are making I presume, is that because they are rich, they can dress as they like.

I beg to differ. I may be a dinosaur but I think it is important to make an effort to dress smartly when dining in a smart establishment and I fully support dress codes in such places which should apply to everyone regardless of their wealth.

Steggy has spoken.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


How does 'going along to adult education classes' sound? Assuming that you're not totally sold on the idea try this ...

How does 'going along to adult education classes where you get to drink wine and eat nice food' sound? That did it didn't it? Now you're asking 'where do I sign up?' Well sorry but the course is full. What's more, I'm enjoying it so much that I might well go again next time round so I'm not going to give away any details about enrolment so there.

Yes, I'm learning about wine, (school was never like this), by drinking it and comparing different ones. Then we get to try them out with food. Things like Gewurztraminer and Roquefort cheese - which was like angels dancing on my tongue.

Anyway, I thought you might like a few fun facts about wine which you might not have known.

1. Poor soil quality tends to produce better wines. The idea is to "challenge" the vines by making them "work" harder.

2. Red wine can only be produced from red grapes, but white wine can be produced from both red and white grapes. (Champagne is usually made from red grapes).

3. Among the world's fruit crops, wine grapes rank first in terms of the number of acres planted (20 million acres).

4. Drinking wine regularly helps you stay fit and healthy. It reduces the risk of gum diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and heart diseases.

5. A woman who constantly talks about wine that she will open but never does, is popularly known as a “cork-teaser”. (Just checking if you were paying attention).

Sunday, 11 March 2012


It is reputedly a well-known fact that women who attend car maintenance classes are on the lookout for a man. This got me thinking about which class was the male equivalent - i.e. the best to find a new lady friend. If you're a male 'on the pull' here is my advice.

Clearly a rogue male attending either pre-natal or ante-natal classes would be regarded with suspicion. Anyway it would defeat the object since there is a strong likelihood that the women attending would be spoken for. Even if they weren't, they are likely to come with 'extras' which might cramp your style.

Flower arranging classes and the like are unlikely to project the macho image which you no doubt would seek to display.

On the other hand offering yourself as a nude model for the ladies' painting class leaves nothing for their imagination to work on.

If you are something of an adonis, then Pilates or Yoga classes would show you in a good light but then I suspect that those males who have more than their fair share of good looks would not need to resort to this sort of subterfuge.

The answer of course is ballroom dancing classes. These will give you the chance to get up-close and personal and there is every chance that there will be more ladies than men present.

Finally, if you are genuinely ugly I may have the very thing - drama classes. Gives you a chance to show off, be loud, grab their attention and with a bit of luck they'll be rehearsing 'The Hunchback of Notre-Dame' or 'Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' in which case there'll be a perfect role for you.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


It's a well known fact that men are very bad at reading instructions. It was surely a man who coined the phrase 'How hard can it be?'

In our defence, some instructions are so ridiculous that they become a joke.

Take these examples ...

On Marks & Spencer Bread pudding - 'Product will be hot after heating'

On a packet of Sainsbury's peanuts - 'Warning, contains nuts'

On Boots children's cough medicine - 'Do not drive or operate machinery'

On Nytol sleep aid - 'Warning, may cause drowsiness'.

I bought a new electric toothbrush several months ago. It came with a book of instructions in many different languages. I thought 'Let me guess ... add toothpaste, switch on, brush teeth'. So I threw the booklet in the bin without looking at it.

The brush works just fine except that it has an annoying habit of making a funny noise every now and then. I told my lovely wife of the problem. She laughed and explained that it was designed to make the noise every 30 seconds so that the user could spend an equal time on each quadrant of the mouth totalling the recommended 2 minutes in total.

How was I supposed to have known that?

Sunday, 4 March 2012


Some good friends of ours were on holiday in Italy recently and sent me a photo of themselves sitting at a table at a beach cafe. Nothing unusual about that you might think except for one strange detail. I was sitting there with them.

They had apparently encountered my double and I had to admit that my 'twin' was a near perfect match.

There is a commonly held belief that we all have a double. The French call it your 'sosie' which means 'look-alike' and the German name is 'doppelganger' which we Brits have adopted as a term in our own language.

Of course if you are lucky enough to be the spitting image of a celebrity you can make a good living out of it - but there is always the downside when celebrity doubles are pestered for autographs or photos in public.

There is one other problem. A popular superstition suggests that meeting your doppleganger can bring you bad luck because you may be encountering your evil twin.

Of course if the guy in Italy were to meet me it might be him who was face to face with his evil twin.