Thursday, 14 April 2016

Kings award

Ah, the Queen's Award to industry. Do you remember those? 

If you were awarded one, you were presented with an rather angular plastic trophy and you gained the right to fly the Queen's Award flag outside your company premises. I wonder if all this still applies?

So: What is going to happen when King Charles III rules our country? I doubt Charles will approve of the ghastly trophy and the wretched business of rewarding the middle classes for their awful pursuit of mammon.

No. I expect the rules will be re-framed thus: 

You will need to be a company of two employees or fewer that has always made a proper product (Briar pipes, leather Armchairs, wind up Gramaphones) using the original methods (pole lathe, flint axe and spokeshave). 

So I call on you makers of Oak Commodes, Gas Mantles, Pewter Epergnes and Coal Scuttles. Step forward and claim your place in history.

Monday, 11 April 2016


What an excellent bread knife.

Note the even ground finish and the attractive logo. This surely marks you out as a professional bread cutter. Actually everything is "professional" these days. You wouldn't buy a knife that had "amateur" written on it, would you. Nothing is amateur and nothing is small, these are forbidden words in advert speak..

Anyway, it is such a shame that this knife is completely useless when it come to cutting bread in a straight line.

Sunday, 10 April 2016


I tried to doff my cap today:
My cap would not be doffed.
I quickly turned the other way,
apologised and coughed.

Thus each must own his station
In life's great master plan.
Together forge a nation
for manners maketh man.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Weirdness 3

Look! A picture of actual atoms.

I photographed these a while ago, and I think these are the weirdest thing I have captured on film (or in RAM).


Friday, 8 April 2016

Weirdness 2

Two more weird things from West Berkshire.

We have one of these in Newbury. It doesn't work, and it hasn't worked for thirty years, but we keep it all the same.

And sometimes you see this happening. Next thing you know, there's a crop circle there.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

New Tech

I recently spotted a new invention. 

It is a wireless doorbell. 

OK, nothing clever so far in this modern age where remarkable things are the new normal. However, this new doorbell doesn't need batteries. It harvests the energy from your hand to power the transmitter for a moment to send the wireless code. That is cute.

Alas, the other end of the invention does need power. It is a receiver plugged in to a power socket, though you do get a choice of several ring tones.

It seems to me this invention is half baked and lacking. 

Let me propose a proper battery free doorbell that is also completely wireless. It harvests energy from your hand and converts it directly to sound. No batteries are needed. The volume is fully adjustable and the range of ring tones is limited only by the user's imagination. This example is undergoing a long term trial at Durham Cathedral.