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Showing posts from June, 2011

JP’s strike update

I have enjoyed the spike in readership recently arising from my comments on the rubbish strikes and the fact that lots of people seem to be searching for “Southampton” “Bin Strikes” and the like.  It’s probably been better for my ego than it should have been.Anyway, if you were one of those folk who have come searching, I feel as though I should help provide answers. The current situation seems to be that the Unions have rejected the council’s latest offer (surprise!) and that “agency staff in hire vehicles will clear black bags piling up in Southampton from bin men strikes. Council says side waste now a health risk" (via Twitter).  At least someone is doing something sensible.Interestingly, the offer includes raising the threshold for pay cuts to £22k.  So whoever was bleating about the poor “vulnerable” bin-men now has less of a leg to stand on.I’ve been enjoying the comments but you will have to debate amongst yourselves this time.  I am off to somewhere hot, with good food.  …

Helpful signage

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One of the good things about having a camera built in to my telephone is that I invariably have it with me should I see something I’d like to snap.  My photo collection is full of all sorts of weird and wonderful observations, many of which I really should share with you at some point.Look at this one, for example.  I think I took it at Bristol Parkway station.  What sort of person needs directions like that at the top of a staircase?Just think, next time you feel ripped off by the cost of your rail ticket, remember that a small portion of your hard earned cash has gone to helping people who really need the obvious spelled out to them.

On rubbish strikes

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If you are a resident of Southampton, you will know that the bin-men have been on strike for the last couple of weeks and that some of us could be without a collection for more than a month in total (in fact, for recycling, the gap between collections is likely to top six weeks).  So it’s like Naples, but less trendy because we can’t actually blame the Mafia.  And it’s not as hot.  And the food here isn’t as nice.Anyway, it goes without saying that I have no sympathy with the Unions who are behind the strike action.  The official Southampton City Council position is detailed here and although I do have sympathy with those who are facing a pay cut - never ideal - we have to realise that we are in a recession (and remember that there are many who have lost their jobs completely).  However, the Unions have apparently refused to negotiate (no surprises there then), and the Labour Party are offering no constructive help or solutions.  Sadly, using the opportunity to play political games ra…

Tu das illis escas tempore opportuno

So it seems as though the activity today in this Corner of the Blogosphere is like buses.  You wait ages for a post and three come along at once.This is one of my more serious reflections (there’s only so much wit a man can offer in one day) but I thought that I’d share it with you anyway.  One of the many great traditions I enjoyed as an Oxford student is the fact that the preprandial grace is read by the Bible Clerk at Formal Hall.  I was, back in the day, said Bible Clerk, and can still remember the Latin off by heart.“Oculi omnium spectant in te, Deus! Tu das illis escas tempore opportuno. Aperis manum tuam et imples omne animal tua benedictione. Mensae caelestis nos participes facias, Deus, Rex aeternae gloriae.”On Friday, I very much enjoyed being invited back to High Table (perhaps I shall bore you with that another time) and the grace was duly said.  In fact, the current Bible Clerk jokingly asked me if I would say it, and part of me wishes that I had taken him up on the offer…

Sodcasting, and other anti-social behaviour

I have learned a new word today – “sodcasting.”  Even if you don’t know what it is, you just know that it is anti-social.  Well, you do, because you’re an upstanding member of society.  According to the BBC, however, there are some members of society who would disagree.One of two profound questions asked on the BBC News Page this morning is "why do people play music in public through a phone?" Or, apparently, “why do people sodcast?”*As part of the article, some kids on a bus in Hackney are interviewed, one of whom disagrees with the idea that it might be anti-social.  Evidently “the people who think it's anti-social don't really listen to this type of music."  Part of me likes his logic, even though I think he’s an idiot.  Fancy disturbing your neighbours at 2am?  So long as it’s not their type of music, you might just get away with it…Anyway, I digress.  I’m not actually sure that many people do listen to his type of music (whatever that may be) because the fu…

“Hmm, not the place, then…”

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So read the subject line of an email I received this morning.  Attached to the email was a photograph of a bookshop in Hong Kong (more on that in a minute) and the guy wrote that it “must be photoshopped, I thought. However, if it is, so is the Hong Kong telephone book...”Indeed, said bookshop is listed as an approved OUP Retailer.  I know that this is generally a family blog for family people, but sometimes there is something for you here.  I couldn’t resist…

On smelling like a girl

Normally, when it comes to deodorant, I’m a Lynx man.  If you’re a fan of JP Trivia, that one’s for you.*The other day, however, I was in the Men’s section of the Toiletries aisle in Waitrose and, out of the corner of my eye, I spied an offer; two for one on ‘Right Guard 3-D.’  I like a bargain, and decided that I could manage without the Lynx Effect for a while.  After all, I was sporting some stubble, I have the beginnings of a proper tan, and my physique is starting to show the benefits of my recent bout of swimming.   Plus, if you’re an “I’m-not-shallow-it’s-all-about-the-personality” type, I am witty and charming.  And modest.**So, having given Lynx the cold shoulder, I headed to pay, oblivious to the fact that this was not to be the end of this particular non-story.  Instead, let’s fast-forward a couple of days…I was at a morning prayer meeting before work and - don’t tell anyone – my mind was wandering.  As everyone else was thanking God for things, or praying for something, I …

A Black Mark for Bernice

For those of you who have been returning every few minutes desperate for news about what happened in my fight with easyJet, the wait is now over.  I apologise for the inconvenience, but it is not my policy to offer compensation.  If this blog had Terms and Conditions it would state that work takes precedence over broadcasting to the Blogosphere and I have actually had a productive few days (yes, really).Anyway, the saga has not gone well.  When I published my last post, I had complained to easyJet that my flight had arrived an hour late.  They had responded with the irrelevant fact that my flight had only departed 47 minutes late and that I therefore did not qualify for compensation.  You can imagine them saying “better luck next time” as though I’d just attempted some fairground game, but they didn’t.  What they did say, however, was this:“In times of a delay of less than one hour easyJet do not offer compensation. In the case of a flight being delayed for over one hour passengers ar…

Superiority Complexes

So it seems that there is some controversy surrounding the use of the word 'chav.’  Unsurprisingly, Polly Toynbee has found something to whinge about, suggesting that “chav is acceptable class abuse by people asserting superiority over those they despise."This is quite ironic really, given that when it comes to asserting a sickly tone of superiority, Miss Toynbee is better* at it than most.*the silly woman will probably whinge about my use of the word ‘better’ next.  How dare I compare one person with others and make such comparative judgements…