Saturday, December 28, 2013

Know your onions

See the graph above. I've now decided that "onion farmer" is the one thing I will not permit my children to be. Surely if the price of onions varies from time to time, then the idea of making a living through growing and selling them becomes a ridiculous and unattainable dream? Let your heads rule your hearts, girls, I'll say. The notion that you might make a living through the propagation and sale of onions on a commercial basis, coping with price fluctuation by means of, say, some kind of budgeting exercise, is fantasy, pure and simple. Some dreams must simply remain unlived.

And don't let that fat liar Salmond tell you otherwise. Him and his madcap plans for allium husbandry. 


Thursday, December 26, 2013

The road not taken

Driving instructor: Good morning Mrs. Smith. You want to sign up for some lessons, I believe?
Mrs. Smith: That's right, yes.
Driving instructor: Great. OK, if we could first of all just....
Mr. Smith [muttering]: Bloody waste of time.
Driving instructor: I'm sorry?
Mr. Smith [loudly and challengingly]: I said: “Bloody waste of time”!
Mrs. Smith: Darling, we agreed that...
Mr. Smith: “Agreed”? Ha! I didn't agree anything. You didn't give me a chance. You just decided. [Muttering] I never get a say in anything any more.
Mrs. Smith: Darling, we agreed that I'd do this.
Mr. Smith: Yes yes. All right. Don't go on.
Mrs. Smith [to the instructor]: So where do I sign?
Driving instructor: If you could...
Mr. Smith: Are you saying I can't drive?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Squillion Pound Black Hole

Black holes are really interesting, aren't they? “But I wonder”, I thought, “just how big black holes actually are? How 'big' is something so unimaginably dense that it sucks even light into itself? Is that really, really big or really, really small?” And then I thought “Where on earth am I going to find THAT out? What entity will possess the combination of wisdom, gravitas and expertise in matters astrophysical that I need?”

I thought, of course, of the two obvious answers but NASA was less than helpful, frankly. Their answer to the question “How big are black holes?” is: “Black holes can be big or small.” “OK”, I thought, “Better Together it is then”. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A humbling tale of everyday folk

Better Together recently announced that it had received further donations, amounting to £1,121,000, from six donors. Blair MacDougall, campaign director, is reported in today's Sunday Herald as saying that “we know the money that we have managed to raise ourselves is dwarfed by the almost limitless funds available to the Nationalists”. He is said to have described himself as “humbled” by the actions of supporters who have managed to scrape together a donation in these “tough times”.

Tough times indeed. I was listening to Radio Scotland's Headlines this morning to stories of one person deemed fit to work despite the recent discovery of a cancerous tumour and another who had her benefit stopped because she'd mistakenly applied for only 27 jobs instead of the targetted 28 (and this seems to be that woman's own story). And we are of course all in it together. So, who are the generous heroes, willing to hand over cash even when faced with these kinds of mind-numbing stresses and pressures? Who are the selfless six, fired by a sense of injustice, who will stand up for the poor and downtrodden against the vile Nationalist onslaught? Just how horrific are the stories of personal hardship and sacrifice that so moved even an old cynic like Blair?