The dangers of oil painting: Health and Safety acts

13th February 2022 6

 The dangers involved with extreme sports are obvious; some fools are determined to have a go at the luge, the Bobsleigh or climbing the Matterhorn without a harness but most of us choose safer recreations. But now it seems even painting may present danger. ‘Turps is lethal,’ said a friend recently. She really believes that and is not alone.  Solvents … [Read on]

BBC humour has stopped at the potty.

14th January 2022 6

‘Ma’s out and Pa’s out, let’s talk dirt! Pee-poo-titty-bum-drawers!!!’ As a child I was a bit shocked when I heard that the esteemed (by adults) duo Flanders and Swann, had sung such a song, not on TV, ‘Auntie’ BBC would not have liked that in the 1960s, or Flanders apparently lingering in his Falstaffian basso over the word ‘drawers.’ These … [Read on]

Facebook killed the Xmas Card

16th December 2021 8

Phone Rings: Me: ‘Hello? Yes. Oh, it’s you. No, I am still alive. I didn’t send you a Christmas card to you this year because I haven’t heard from you in person for six years, not since the family funeral. I sent emails and then I phoned, remember, but you said you were too busy to speak to me, and … [Read on]

How I failed as a do-gooder

10th December 2021 13

During a Zoom group I got a call from the organiser of a mental health charity where I’ve been a volunteer for five years. The quiet voice told me I was banned from going on any more of their group outings. Once a month I received a social calendar listing events which I discussed with someone I have specifically befriended, … [Read on]

Twitter revives the ducking stool for unwoke witches

30th November 2021 26

I’ve just received an email from Twitter showing a list of accusations against me, accusing me of violating Twitter rules and German law, via the ‘Network Enforcement Act. Alarming, especially when followed by a second one. I considered a new ‘Nuremberg Defence;’ ‘I was only trying to stop people following orders.’ Happily, Twitter acquitted me on all charges. Relief!  But … [Read on]

The Blob

24th November 2021 7

My grandfather seemed really fond of me as a child, expressing it by praising everything I wrote, drew and painted, carrying extracts from my oeuvre around in his pockets, showing examples to people on trains. My other relatives thought he was eccentric. Praise was not usually given, the idea being that it was bad for children and would put them … [Read on]

1642 the Puritans closed all the theatres, 2021 and the left is at it again.

9th November 2021 22

Comedian David Baddiel recently commented that his last play had every line scrutinised to see whether it might offend or ‘trigger’ anyone on the grounds of race, gender or disability. Strangely, he wasn’t bothered at all and wants more policing of our language. Last February, his book, Jews Don’t Count, argued that antisemitic bias remains largely unpoliced and this week … [Read on]

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