Thursday, March 27, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014


A woman in Rugeley has been the victim of a hate campaign after someone posted a photo of her breastfeeding in a public place. It has aroused an unbelievable reaction on the social media, vehemently for and violently against.
I have to confess that on the few occasions when I have seen a woman breastfeeding in public, it has disconcerted me, though I cannot tell you why. One thing's for sure: I would not condemn her, but I would probably avert my gaze.
For those of you who are all in favour of public breastfeeding, sit back, relax and enjoy this videoclip.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Set phrases

A friend of ours / came round / the other evening / and / it took us ages / to get rid of him.

The man who wrote that sentence on the blackboard (yes, this was a long time ago) during a teacher-training weekend gave me a fine piece of weaponry in the battle to teach English to foreign learners. I stole his idea - we called it eclecticism in those days - and drummed that sentence and a hundred like it into the heads of generations of young folk. I like to think that even today in Zurich or Stuttgart or Toulouse there are ageing bank managers and tooth doctors and masseuses who, at the drop of an idiom, can talk about a friend of theirs and about it taking ages to get from here to there and how they'd love to get rid of dandruff, etc.
It was a new idea but the methodology was as old as Moses: to commit to memory sentences containing whole phrases which, individually, did not yield easily to analysis. Go on, mock if you wish, but it worked. And if you are a teacher of English as a foreign language, please eclect.

Envoi: the writing of this piece was provoked by discovering two of my old workbooks from the nineteen-sixties, their pages creased and yellowed just like me, but full of happy memories and good stuff. Just like me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Finding a wife

A man wanted to get married. He was having trouble choosing among three likely candidates. He gives each woman a present of £5,000 and watches to see what they do with the money.

The first does a total makeover. She goes to a fancy beauty salon, gets her hair done, new makeup; buys several new outfits and dresses up very nicely for the man. She tells him that she has done this to be more attractive for him because she loves him so much.

The man was impressed.

The second goes shopping to buy the man gifts. She gets him a new set of golf clubs, some new gizmos for his computer, and some expensive clothes. As she presents these gifts, she tells him that she has spent all the money on him because she loves him so much.

Again, the man is impressed...

The third invests the money in the stock market. She earns several times the £5,000. She gives him back his £5,000 and reinvests the remainder in a joint account. She tells him that she wants to save for their future because she loves him so much.
Obviously, the man was impressed.

The man thought for a long time about what each woman had done with the money he'd given her. Then he married the one with the biggest tits.