Happy Birthday, John!

The man who started it for me (and millions of others)

Happy Birthday to John Mayall!

This is my original Mono copy bought in 1966!

Virtual currency ……

I am fascinated by the BITCOIN and the fact that it is being dismissed as being ‘virtual currency’ because ALL currency by definition is virtual. It is simply an accepted standard – whether it be euros, dollars, pounds sterling or lollipop sticks for baby sitting services, these have no absolute value; simply, an agreed value. In the beginning, we had barter – the exchange of two objects or services at a mutually agreed valuation. It was not always a simple matter, and may have often have ended in difficulty with a conversation that ran: ‘have you change of a suckling pig, my fine fellow? followed by the inevitable sharp intake of breath, and the response . ‘Nay sir, I am fortunate only to the level of a ferret and two small but ripe and tasty damsons.’ So progress brought us to the gold Standard – a much more sophisticated level of exchange, taking as the absolute unit of wealth a substance recognised as valuable because it was shiny. This I feel, says something about the level of sophistication to which humans have evolved, and clearly defines Bankers are magpie’s with briefcases ‘Unkind’ you say? see Dante for much harsher condemnation. Of course, this did not simplify commercial transactions a great deal as the enquiry ‘Have you got change of an ingot?’ would still have been problematic. However it was convenient (and shiny) enough to be used until 1971.

Thus we had arrived, slowly and unsteadily, to the currencies of today ranging from the staid sterling, to the continentally stylish Euro, and the flashy ‘buck’; the unpronounceable Polish Zloty, and Bhutanese ngultrum; the appropriately lengthy konvertibilna marka of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the terse but no-nonsense yen, and finally the dong of Vietnam.

And now we have the Bitcoin BUT why is it that the Bitcoin is causing so much fuss? Could it simply be the fact that it is not under the control of the Banks? No …….. surely not. Mind you, I wouldn’t bet my last dong on that.


From a speech by Tony Benn:

“The NHS held a boat race against a Japanese crew. After Japan won by a mile, a working party found the winners had people rowing and one steering while the NHS had eight steering and one rowing. So the NHS spent £5 million on consultants, forming a restructured crew of four assistant steering managers, three deputy managers and a director of steering services. The rower was then given an incentive to row harder. They held another race and lost by two miles, so the NHS fired the rower for poor performance, sold the boat and used the proceeds to pay a bonus to the director of steering services.”


I have to say I am tired – so tired of being asked for feedback. Even in the doctor’s surgery this morning they were asking for feedback would you recommend this place to your friends and family?’ It’s a doctors for God’s sake! If somebody is not well, do I need to  recommend going to the local doctor?

I’ve been asked it at the post office!! ‘How likely are you to recommend the post office to your friends and family? I would suggest that if my friends or family were conscious enough to understand how to, say, write a letter they would probably already know the post office might be a good place to purchase a stamp and post a letter, don’t you think?

Sent from my iPhone

Grrr . . .

Jeremy Paxman is on University Challenge to read questions and give or confirm answers – a role that requires little skill, frankly. However his arrogance means that he cannot resist pointing out something that he knows in relation to someone else’s wrong answer. Of course, he never says: ‘I didn’t know that !’ though I suspect that would be more frequently appropriate. Smug and condescending beyond belief…… odious !