20150402 Puzzled...not hacked : my website lays an egg for Easter.


Sorry about this. Something's gone horribly tits up with the website. It looks terrible. The layout has somehow gone mad. The tech people are baffled. I think it would be faster to toss this version away and start again, the trouble with that is we all liked it when it was first installed and working.

So please bear with us while we address whatever has gone wrong in the bowels of this usually simple system.

What's puzzling everyone is that the problem is affecting both the desktop and the mobile versions - but in different ways.

20150306 Hold the front page: I agree with something in The Guardian

As readers know, despite the fact I make my living writing (well, some small part of it anyway) and am therefore, theoretically, part of The Guardian's target constituency amongst the intelligentsia, intellectuals and artists' communities, I'm generally on the other side of most of its fences. Its forceful promotion of interests under the guise of liberalism, while actually promoting restrictions on the rights of the majority and its constant, unbalanced drip feed of undergraduate common-room socialism is not only boring but an unsavoury attack on most of the values I consider the glue that holds society together.

So, imagine my surprise to find an article that flies in the face of The Guardian's more common "heterosexual man, bad - short haired-moustachiod- long earing wearing- droppy tits woman in shapeless dresses, good" attitude.

One swallow does not a summer make but an article by Monica Tan is at least a breath of crisp, clean, spring air.


20150117 If Randy California's estate beats Led Zeppelin, then the last 250 years of music is up for grabs.

Stairway to Heaven has, reports say, earn USD659 million in royalties for the band that wrote it, England's Led Zeppelin.

But someone says he wrote it, and his heirs are suing Zep for at least a chunk of the money.

But here's the thing: it's not a rip-off, it's not a copy, it's not even an homage. For sure, Randy California's "Taurus" which he recorded with his then band Spirit, which was Led Zeppelin's support band has some similarity to Stairway to Heaven but it's not close enough, surely.


20150213 Big Bang ( not Theory ) - To The Mountain

I've had to delete series 3 of Lillyhammer from my PVR; I kept watching it not because it was brilliant (it was, of course) but because, especially in the last episode, 8, the music was outstanding.


20150209 When someone dies...

A very close friend recently had a bereavement: his mother died.

She was a wonderful woman: I know everyone always says this because of the convention that we not only don't speak ill of the dead but should actively say good things. We airbrush out the bad things in life and, sometimes, we paint in imaginary good bits. But in her case, it's absolutely true.

20150202 Despite what The Guardian says, tax avoidance is not "illicit"

Today, UK newspaper "The Guardian" published an article by Mark Anderson headlined "Africa losing billions from fraud and tax avoidance."

The article drew from a report jointly produced by the UN's Economic Commission for Africa and The African Union Commission which, in its summary of the report, refers to "illicit financial outflows." The "high level panel" is chaired by Thabo Meki.

The report is at the UN ECA website, here