A dog’s life – Border Terriers know best

As another hectic work week ends for many and an equally stressfull weekend starts its time to take stock and be grounded.

With all due respect to other breeds and those of none, the humble border terrier seems to have got life under control and in balance.

They grab every chance to relax and sleep, enjoy the company of those other humans around them but also be content to lie on the grass and contemplate life without the need for electronic interaction.

As 21st century humans we are conditioned to measure ourselves on achievements that are often mere titles or numbers..sometimes at a very banal level.

This dog has no Facebook account let alone any followers. She confided in me yesterday she doesn’t know how to use Twitter and her photos won’t get any likes on Instagram.

Is she bothered…of course not when you can sniff the flowers, chase the occasional squirrel and in her words ‘don’t even venture near my space if you are a cat’ . Yes she said my space not MySpace. (For anyone under age 20 or so, not so familiar on the rise and fall of various social media platforms, MySpace was up there with Facebook..but now very much in decline.)

Maybe that says it all….

Summer in the city ..so sex, coffee and rock ‘n roll are on hold

The UK has its fair share of coffee shops , some more esoteric than others and on day when there is drizzle, a chill wind and an outside temperature barely in double figures (and that can be a day in May) the city dweller is drawn to these places like moths around a lamp.

But come the summer we are transformed into ‘al fresco’ eaters and drinkers.

There are some unwritten rules of how to behave when the sun comes out in the uk:

1. Have a barbecue, even if you are vegetarian or just don’t like them…not having a barbecue is frowned on.

2. Complain that it’s too hot

3. Have all food and drink outside . Even if a. The establishment or licensing laws don’t allow it, b. Even if there is no space, c. even if inside is cooler and comfortable with available tables and chairs

It only takes a walk slightly off the main streets of the west end to see the smallest London courtyards can be transformed into something of almost meditterean charm.

For the city centre pubs its a case of just let the drinkers spill onto pavements but with barely a table or chair to accomdate them at some.

Some local bylaws have strict ‘where you can stand laws’ and you will see a white line chalked on the ground. The white line cannot be crossed as if so some major heinous crime would obviously be committed and a huge electronic force field woukd annihilate the offender. Ok I made up that last bit on the force field but the rest is true. You can even see it in this picture.

And finally, even a troupe of Morris Man may turn up..baffling the tourists and ignored by locals.

However our summers are sometimes short and always unpredictable. This is who we are and what we do in summer and I wouldn’t really want to change it.😎

Are cufflinks an essential part of your life?

If you are a city slicker working for a merchant bank in the City it’s sure to be a ‘yes’ that your crisp white T M Lewin shirts needs these. Why, to replace the buttons that aren’t there on your cuffs. I think jts called style! Unless I am mistaken however, for the rest of us the need for cufflinks is another ‘trip hazard’ in the wirld of male dressing (but not female dressing, as far as I am aware…however as always I am open to being corrected on this last point)

So for the majority of the population its a problem , not a style statement. Most men have probably at some point in their life bought or been given a shirt that need these..often a smarter and higher quality shirt that might only get an occasional airing (and ironing!) and therein lies the problem. Often these shirt owners and the said garments are making a rare trip to a wedding, funeral , conference, job interview or whatever kind of event that is a distance away from home.

So picture the scene , bag being upacked, smart shirt making its debut, (or revival tour) and then sinking realisation. The b$$$$y thing needs cufflinks. And home is probably where the required pair of cuff links might be, often sitting in a sock drawer waiting patiently for an opportunity to shine on such an occasion.

Its not that men don’t like them or have them. Many a brother/son/grandsons birthday gift selection has been such an item – that glimmer of opportunity for a desperate present seeking mother/sister/grandmother seeing domino shaped cufflinks that little Johnny will just love. The fact that little Johnny last played dominoes in 1983 aged 7, has no bearing. In fact a dominoes pizza shaped cuff link may be far more relevant..but probably not readily available at most jewellers.

The issue is that many of us wear them so rarely, the cuff links are often forgotten. And this is where it sorts out the improvisers (I’m sure I can make some if I can just find two paper clips), the brave (I am sure nobody will notice my flapping cuffs) and the fearless (I’ll just ask all the other guests – somebody is bound to have brought a spare pair!) There is no real moral to this story other than always keep a pair in your bag, if you don’t need them somebody else probably will. At last a chance for those “never worn” cuff links made from your recent kidney stones , to have a chance to shine.

Above us only sky

John Lennon’s words back in the 1970’s don’t really reflect aviation today. Actually, they are not supposed to, I think it was more about revolution and hippy stuff. But it’s a great phrase and on a clear night or day if you look into the azure blue or dark night sky we see a truly vast emptiness and maybe some aircraft . Until relatively recently, unless you lived near an airport and had lower altitude aircraft in descent or extremely good eyesight all you could surmise was that indeed it’s a plane. The internet, cheap 3g/4g data plans and free or very low cost apps have changed all that.

So now the closed world of planespotting has been gatecrashed/or overtaken by mobile Apps such as Flightradar24 and various others. There is something quite amazing in clicking on the aircraft icon on a map reflected in the overlay of your location and seeing that the silver shape above you is a Lufthansa Airbus A380 going from Frankfurt to Denver at 580mph, 38,000feet above where you stand in rural Britain

Spotting is perhaps still the category for the archetypal anorak wearing persons found at railway platform ends, or grasping binoculars and radio-receivers at airport viewing galleries. But for the rest of us whether we are basic bronze version app users just taking an interest or gold version users feeling needy for an essential bonus data such as colour of the captain’s socks etc. This not us all being turned into a geek; it’s the opposite – its being informed and being information ready. It is also deemed by most as quite good fun!

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