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 !

I wasn’t expecting that . . .

A guy in his late 70s got on the bus in front of me, and as I was about to sit behind him, he said; ‘I like the Pork Pie Hat!’

I said thanks and we chatted for a while about hats; Trilbies, changing hat habits, The Hat museum etc, and as the conversation was starting to slow down he suddenly said; ‘and of course there was Lester Young!’ A little surprised, we then launched into jazz chat. ‘My favourite version of Goodbye Porkpie Hat is John McLaughlin on acoustic guitar.’ I offered ‘Great guitar player,’ he added and continued ‘I really like John Schofield’ the conversation continued.

Me: I saw him in Manchester years ago at

Him:… Band on the wall. Me too!

We were in full swing by this stage (no pun intended) – we discussed McLaughlin, and Miles and the recording In a Silent Way and then moved on to local music – Phil Chapman, Kenny Shaw, Ritchie Close and then discovered that we both used to go to the Midland in Didsbury(now the Metropolitan) to hear Loose Change on Sunday lunchtimes!

There’s no reason for me to have expected him to be a music fan or not – but it was cool chatting to him. Nice.

In the name of science ………

I am frequently amazed at the type of research carried out, particularly in the area of human behaviour.

New findings published in the journal,  Nature Communications apparently shed light on the growing ‘loneliness epidemic’. ‘In sleep deprived brains, researchers found heightened neural activity typically associated with people who feel their personal space is being invaded. The less sleep you get the less you want to socially interact’ says Professor Walker ‘it’s the viral contagion of social isolation’.

It would appear that the academic and his team have incontrovertible evidence that people who don’t get much sleep don’t want other people around them and if they continue on this cycle they will become lonely.

Or in layman’s terms, if you’re always tired and grumpy you will eventually lose your friends

Money well spent, don’t you think?


‘Former Prime ministers are entitled to an allowance of up to £115,000 a year to cover the costs of their ongoing public engagements. In the 10 years since he left office in 2007, Blair has received £1,077,888 from the government through this system.

The concept is ludicrous on the basis that their ongoing probably engagement are inevitably incredibly well-paid. However above and beyond that, he has apparently NOT even bothered to provide receipts for his expenses!

Mixed messages ?

Spotted by Lesley on a jewellery site

Diamond solitaire rings are the perfect jewellery piece for asking your loved one to take your hand in marriage. This dazzling diamond ring is sure to make it impossible for her to say yes!

Artificial Intelligence

So we were sitting in the pub and Lesley and I were talking about something – I don’t know what, but we needed to check something so I picked up my iPhone.

Siri comes up with “What can I help you with ?”

Not really thinking, I said: “Go away, Siri!”

To which she responded: “What did I do to deserve that?!”

Laughing about it, I said: “Sorry, Siri…..”

and immediately got the reply:

“It’s alright Rowland. Really.”