Signs of the times ……

One of the things that leaps out of a photograph of modern day street, in comparison to one from 50 years ago, is the proliferation of signs. I hate it.

It is visual cacophony – a multiplicity of individual messages desperately trying to attract my attention – the advertising hounds baying at a terrified public!

Apart from this visual bombardment there is one type of sign which creates a shudder in me that would register on a seismograph. the pointless road sign.

There is a particularly fine specimen which I see regularly. It’s the sign which informs me that ‘The street lights are not in operation’! Obviously during daylight I would hardly expect them to be operational for it is clear that the sun is more than capable of supplying sufficient illumination. Night time it is a different story. It is dark. If whilst proceeding down the motorway, the driver’s powers of perception are insufficiently developed to detect the lack of lighting, or, darkness as we usually call it, then I would suggest that perhaps that person should not be in charge of a vehicle.

Even worse, of course, is the electronic sign which informs me that ‘This sign is not in operation’ which is clearly untrue since it is communicating information to me albeit useless incorrect information.

Though at one level this 21st century conundrum may be seen as an updated version of Epimenides Paradox or even more profoundly an irony based on Magritte’s ‘The Treachery of Images’, it is essentially totally and utterly pointless.

There are many things in life which are so obvious as to not need stating and on that basis I shall not write THE END. (Rowland’s Paradox 2018)



Outgoing head of disgracefully badly run Network Rail has been awarded CBE for services to the railway industry.

Someone said it’s like awarding the Captain of the Titanic – presumably for services to iceberg maintenance!

Any other suggestions ?

Jonah CBE?


So I receive a message from 3 saying I’ve used all my data. Seems unlikely so I try to access the App. BUT the app doesn’t work via WIFI so how can I access it to see what my options are?!?!?

Ambassador ?

I wonder how George Clooney feels about being referred to by The Sun as ‘Nespresso Ambassador’? I think his acting career is a little more than that ……..

The Cinematic Experience . .

A short while ago, I had two entirely different cinematic experiences.; first watching the new Bladerunner film at a multiplex and secondly watching ‘Loving Vincent’ at Home, an arts complex in Manchester.
Both being of a certain age, Lesley and I are entitled to reduced price seats and have the freedom to watch films at off-peak times. So far, so good. It was with some amusement and delight we discovered that we had a 256 cinema to ourselves! The show starts and the interminable ads and trailers which have long replaced the B-movies of yesteryear commence. It is during this time that some other people arrive and being Brits, follow the numbered seats routine and sit next to us. At this point, I realise between them, this family of three, are carrying sufficiently large quantity of snacks and fizzy drinks to dress the set for a 21st-century version of Belshazzar‘s feast or even ‘La grande Bouffe’!
Immediately the person sitting closest to me begins to shovel food into her mouth with a metronomic and robotic movement whose timing is so precise that the next portion arrives at her mouth at exactly the moment she’s completed the deafening process of masticating the previous dose of food substitute. I am galvanised. I tolerated it for more time than I should’ve done as by the time we’ve moved I am a twitching wreck unable to enjoy the cinematic pleasure.
In contrast, the arts cinema was small, full and was completely lacking in earth-shatteringly loud snacks. I enjoyed the film except for the presence of two women sitting to my right who constantly laughed at on screen events which were NOT particularly funny in that superior way that implies they had noticed a set of nuances which us mere mortals were unable to discern. This flaunting of faux discernment was a conceit is clearly underlined by the fact they sang along to the odious ‘Starry starry night’ which the producers had predictively chosen to end the film!
So: which is it to be ?