It’s all in the edit

September 16th, 2019

I had a letter printed in Radio Times this week. I say letter as it was actually an e-mail, but you get my drift.

Other than the rather odd sense of excitement (not least because it was awarded a prize for comedy letter of the week), I was slightly disappointed to note that they had only used two thirds of the actual body of what I had originally sent. It could have been a space thing, or it could have been that only two thirds of my rant was worth publishing, but I’ll never know.

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What is the point (actually)?

September 10th, 2019

I’m not given to introspection or navel gazing, life is too short for that, but sometimes you do have to sit back and think exactly why am I doing this?

I read an article recently that discussed the all pervading e-mail and how it had come to mean that you were never uncontactable. Ironically, I read the article when I was on holiday, but that’s a whole different basket of apples.

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Not upset, just very disappointed

August 19th, 2019

I park run. I don’t say that for any kudos, but it’s something I enjoy and it gets me out of the house on a Saturday morning. This weekend, however, something amazing nearly happened.

One of the female runners not only smashed the (ladies) course record but came second overall, only eight seconds behind the first place runner. Halfway round I felt like stopping, just to watch the end of the race.

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Charities

July 10th, 2019

We recently attended a golf day in support of the Fiona Foundation www.fionafoundation.co.uk, which, among other more local projects in South Manchester, provides bursaries for female undergraduates studying Chemical Engineering at Newcastle University. We’ve been a proud supporter of this event for a number of years but I also wanted to highlight the other causes that we support:

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Reasons to be cheerful

July 1st, 2019

I’m never sure whether cricket is viewed as a niche sport in this country and therefore it may well have passed you by that the World Cup is currently being held at various grounds.

As with all major tournaments there are always elements that cause griping – the weather, the view that the semi-finalists were pre-ordained, the length of the tournament. But then, in a curiously English way, everything changed.

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Here today, still here tomorrow

June 17th, 2019

The business lunch seems to have gone the way of the fax machine, filofax or knocking off early on a Friday afternoon, a relic of a bygone time. I’m lucky if I get two in a year, so two in a week is riches indeed, and two in consecutive days comes around as often as Halley’s Comet.

But this is the situation I found myself in last week. Given the fact that my companions were people I had known for many years, and I was not needed to impress them with either my etiquette or flashness of the restaurant, the conversation naturally turned to families, shared experiences and laughter.

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Too good to be true

June 10th, 2019

The Neil Woodford story is the latest, if most high profile, crisis to hit the pensions and investment market. It is too much to call it a scandal because, as far as I can make out, he hasn’t actually done anything wrong.

What Woodford had been offering appeared to be cast iron investments, not some get rich quick Ponzi scheme. He wouldn’t have been able to become as successful as he has without stockbrokers and fund managers wanting to invest their clients’ funds in his portfolios, and being too lazy to actually assess whether the results would be there.

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Better than the good old days?

May 20th, 2019

So the finals of the two major European football competitions will this year be contested solely by English teams. A great achievement you might think, a shining example of the quality of the Premier League and back-up evidence of the progression of the English national football team?

But that’s not the case really is it? The clubs are English in name only, with the vast majority of the players involved recruited from overseas, with Chelsea and Arsenal by far the worst culprits.

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Clear as mud

May 14th, 2019

This has surely got to be one of the greatest pieces of management-speak ever, from the Chief Executive of one the Welsh rugby regions.

“The Ospreys are adequately funded for the foreseeable future and will continue to seek a more equitable distribution model which, at the moment, is weighted towards subjective criterion capable of improper manipulation, rather than an objective formula based on impartially quantifiable metrics and success.”

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Misogyny in the US of A

April 29th, 2019

It was quite disheartening to read the recent coverage of the appointment of the new Chief Flight Director at NASA. The successful candidate has worked at NASA since 1998, was the “outstanding leader in the group” and the unanimous choice. She also happens to be a woman.

This is not newsworthy. If a child, or a chimpanzee, or a single cell amoeba had been appointed to the role, that is newsworthy. The headlines should have read “most appropriate person gets job”, but that’s not very interesting is it?

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