Friday, April 08, 2011


Prime Minister Cameron recently named Ed Balls the most irritating man in British politics. Rude, yes. Boorish, yes. Conceited, certainly. But surely unpleasant rather than irritating.
My vote goes to Professor Doctor Lord Winston. Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College, Chairman of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Trust, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow, and the Institute of Biology, Chairman of the Council at the Royal College of Music.
Add honorary doctorates from sixteen universities, member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, patron of The Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Forgive me, Your Lordship, for any titles, positions and honours that I have failed to include.
Lesser mortals attempt to hold the moral high ground. Lord Winston is the moral high ground. He speaks with a certainty that the Pope must envy. Mere mortals fear to contradict - even when His Lordship is in error.
In error?
Forgive me, Your Lordship. The very suggestion is a sin.
I will do penance by suffering that utterly confident monotone in my dreams...

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


A Spanish biker, Alejandro Menendez-Chacon, has posted on Facebook a pic of the Bridge Of The Americas. It is a railway bridge built by United Fruit to connect their banana plantations on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica with the banana port of Almirante in Panama. Loose planks either side of the rails enable the bridge to be used by road traffic. Alejandro's pic shows the safety netting is new. This is my pic. I crossed in the rain on my ride south from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego - see pic in OLD MAN ON A BIKE. The wet planks were slippery and lengths of safety net were missing or had big holes. I lost my nerve and tipped the bike inward over the rails. A transport driver picked me up and loaded the bike into the back of his truck. See this Blog, July 8/9, 2006...

Monday, April 04, 2011


Germaine Greer is Professor Emeritus of English Literature and Comparative Studies at Warwick University. She gives me the impression of being both unpleasantly arrogant and conceited. I may be wrong.
She is often on the BBC TV Friday night art show. She seldom has anything pleasant to say concerning the reviewed works of writer, actor, composer or painter.
Last week she panned a film of war time children sent to Australia as researched "wrong" as opposed to wrongly researched. Though even the latter would have been poor English usage. Inadequate or incompetentt might be better.
Misuse of English is no big deal - unless when criticising the work of others in an intolerably superior manner.
Am I a pot calling the kettle black?