Late Life Crisis - August 2020

I must have a downer on Waitrose. Their latest  "Important News" for customers starts, after instruction on what customers must do: "You will also see our Partners in Waitrose and John Lewis stores will be wearing face coverings." So far so good - I go into a Waitrose or John Lewis store and every member of staff I see will be wearing a face covering.

Late Life Crisis - July 2020

My School Song - time for a reappraisal. 

Let me explain. My grammar school was in earlier incarnation a minor public school. Because of this we had a vibrant House system, a cadre of Prefects who had power to put a boy in detention, and competitive sports. We also had a School Song, that was sung lustily at the last full Assembly of every term. I never managed to work out its genesis. Random internet research indicates that it might have come from a poem by Robert Browning. I'm not sure if I could do all the words now, but that doesn't matter, as the opening lines say it all:

Late Life Crisis - June 2020

White legs. Despite the balmy weather I resisted the temptation to get the shorts on for going outside (approved exercise only). I have been against the grain for many years. In Crouch End the chaps always got the shorts on in March as soon as a sunny Saturday emerged, irrespective of temperature outside. More recently shorts have been appropriate even in winter, worn with a puffa jacket. That is apparently fashion, and the fact I don't get it is immaterial.

Late Life Crisis - May 2020

Beginning of May. At times like this it is good to revert to grammar. A columnist reports a text from Ocado that opens: "Dear [      ]. As one of our best customers we have made two slots available to you to book over the next 14 days." That is grammatical nonsense. Read literally, it means that Ocado are one of their own best customers. Ocado is not alone - this is a classic construction from marketeers. How to correct it? Easy: "As you are one of our best customers we have made available.....". Just add two words. Mind you, who is bothered other than pedants like me?

The Virus Crisis and Dad's Army

Some who know me well will know of my love for the antics of the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard platoon, who valiantly sought to protect the town against the threat of invasion by Nazi hordes. There is a stack of nostalgia here, but also the TV series gave birth to a bunch of finely-drawn characters, in story-lines that pointed up all the foibles of human nature.


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