Gone soft?

In his Speccie column this week, Toby Young illustrates how soft the present day public school is by reference to his wife’s experiences at Cheltenham Ladies College 25 years ago.

But that was the least of it. She was forced to sleep in a dormitory that was so cold, in winter she would wake up to find ice on the inside of the windows.

I have news for Toby. He had better not come and stay here, as we invariably wake up on winter mornings with ice on the inside of the windows – except when we have the windows open.

But then we went through the system some 50 years ago, and have had much longer to get used to it.

Tugging one’s forelock

Telegraph sub-editors sometimes slip one past. In the paper today (though interestingly no trace on-line, so no link) a small piece on the Prince’s Teaching Institute’s schools programme mark. This recognises inspirational ideas to enhance the teaching of English, history, geography etc.  And the title of the piece? Prince promotes ‘traditional’ subjects. Well he would, wouldn’t he.

Should I just buy bigger glasses?

I sometimes wonder about the world our politicians and their advisers live in (although as reports of this alternative universe (nearly) always come to me through the media, perhaps a pinch of salt is a necessary accompaniment). I was much taken by this morning’s report (no online link available) G&T at home? Mine’s a double by Kate Devlin in the Telegraph (a quick read of the Telegraph is the alternative to listening to Today on Radio 4, if you like a little irritation to kick-start your day).

Apparently, according  to a study conducted for the Government’s Know Your Limits campaign, when pouring drinks at home, we get the measures wrong (i.e. we get carried away and end up drinking much more than we mean to).

What I most liked was the idea that if only we had this pointed out to us, we would start pouring the ‘correct’ amount. What’s the betting that we will soon be able to get optics on the NHS?

Pulling up my socks

Blue socksI always look forward to Monday mornings as it means another piece by Lucy Kellaway in the FT. This morning’s Only the smart will survive, so pull up your socks is well up to the usual standard, but somewhat disheartening, as today finds me in a very fetching (or so I thought) pair of royal blue socks with pink and yellow lozenges.

Tomorrow will find me back in the usual black socks (but long ~ just below the knee! There is nothing worse than English short socks, except sock suspenders!)

You cannot keep an old dog down

A post in the Yahoo Financial Stability Group this morning

You may be amused by the following quote from a well-known 19th century economist……



“Owners of capital will stimulate working class to buy more and more
of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more
and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable.
The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be
nationalized, and State will have to take the road which will
eventually lead to communism.”

Karl Marx, “Das Kapital” 1867

Essex crabs

The drive home this evening was brightened up by a report on PM (Radio 4) about Chinese mitten crabs, and the damage they are causing along the Thames. Apparently, however, they are edible when they are sexually active.

When the interviewee from the Natural History Museum was asked by Eddie Mair when that was, the answer was that we don’t exactly know: but that when they feel the urge, they move towards more saline water; so  they decamp from their Chiswick Eyot burrows and make their way downstream to Deptford. The suggestion was that they should then be harvested and sold ~ I suppose to the Chinese.