Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Good Old Days

People of my age have a tendency to talk about the ‘good old days’. I recall that when I was young people did so then as well. In reality there has probably never been anything as general as ‘the good old days’. I recall Harold Macmillan saying “We’ve never had it so good.” and then, off the record, turning to the person at his side and saying “And we never will have it so good again.”

I happened to be in the local hospital recently and whilst I was able to walk in through the front door with no problem all other exterior doors are now open only to code-holders as are many interior doors. I can understand that I suppose.

When I started work as a (reasonably senior) public servant in Western Isles Council (as it then was) any member of the public could walk into the council offices and seek me out and knock on my office door (metaphorically because it was usually open unless I was engaged). And people frequently did.

I was recently in the Council offices and there are still a few people left from my era (I retired from there over 20 years ago). I was invited upstairs to wait for someone but this involved various people with different passcodes accompanying me just to get me through doors. Apparently now even people who work in the building do not have general access to other areas of the offices. Security in all its forms now rules most things that are done.

I can't foresee what might happen that would make people who work there now look back in thirty years and say "Ah those were the good old days." I won't be around but I hope upon hope that things don't get any worse.

Monday, 26 June 2017


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Books From Blogs - The Book

In my post on  12 June I discussed some alternatives for  converting blogs to books. I decided to try out Blook. I now have the book and an ebook in three formats which should cover any ereader. The book has 154 pages and covers the first three months of blog posts for my first blogging year in New Zealand (which, unfortunately, was not my first year there).


Advantages: It took very little time and is very simple to do. The quality is good.
Disadvantages: There is little flexibility and if a post has one word (one of mine had a heading: 'Paper Wasp' and a text 'R.I.P.'.) then it still occupies one page. Only softback is offered.
Cost: The cost of the paper book alone was £49.31. The cost of the ebook at £3.44 (standard rate regardless of size). The cost of carriage worldwide was £6 (regardless of size).

Having done one I will certainly do more. My next one will enjoy a 15% discount.

I anyone want to have a go then the first person I introduce who produces a book will get a 30% discount. (as would I).

I may also have another try with Blog2Book which, last try, met with technical problems.

Post script: Since writing this several commenters have pointed out that there are no dates on the posts in the book. I hadn't noticed! Silly me. That is quite a serious disadvantage. I shall investigate.

Monday, 19 June 2017

A Mug's A Mug For Aw That

Some years ago (in fact, and rather scarily, well over a decade ago) I came across this mug. It's rather chunky but it appealed to me because it was unusual and very comfortable to hold. Unfortunately I couldn't find out who made it.

When I was watching the morning news on the BBC's Breakfast programme it struck me that no one held their coffee mug by the handle.  Everyone held it like this:

Thank you Marcel/David. I try to live by this mantra.
So I wondered what you might think of the innovative design and how you hold your mug. 

Those who prefer China tea cups need not respond.