Thursday, 26 September 2013

How to Save Electricity and Spare the Planet.

Save the planet.
Disconnect your Ecometer.

For the last twelve years my electricity supplier has tried to persuade me that  'for customer convenience' I should read their electricity meter and send the results to them by phone and I have, with unfailing courtesy, consistently pointed out that 'for the electricity supplier's convenience' they installed my meter on the outside wall of my house in a locked box to which only they have a key.
     All that changed recently when a charming man came along and installed an electricity Smart Meter and took away their, presumably, Stupid Meter. This new intelligent counter will tell its employer exactly what electricity I am using without any intervention by me and without their having to open the box. The man also gave me the gizmo pictured aside to help me save electricity. This is plugged into the mains so that its digital readout can tell me my current current consumption in Kwh and with three very pretty lights in red, orange and green will inform me of my level of power use. It can also calculate my carbon footprint and has a facility whereby they can send me text messages.
     As part of their responsible attitude to power use economy the man was also obliged to deliver me a little lecture of useful tips such as using the washing machine for small loads rather than large loads, switching off lights in unoccupied rooms and not leaving appliances in 'stand by' mode.
     "That is splendid advice," said I as I unplugged the gizmo, put it back in its box and shoved it in the cupboard. 
     "Why have you done that?" he said. 
     "Because," I explained, "it is the only appliance in my house which will run continuously for twenty four hours and do nothing. It is actually using electricity that I have to pay for to tell me that I am using electricity."
     He was looking very pensive when he left.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Officials admit mistake in British passport

Spelling mistake in British passport of 1924

The French text was removed from British passports in 1851 and did not reappear until the blue passport was introduced in 1921. Despite French being the language of diplomacy and the Foreign Office being responsible for issuing passports, it would seem that their command of the language had deteriorated in the intervening years. Illustrated is the title page of the first British passport booklet. In 1924, when they had been issuing these passports for three years at a monthly rate of at about 12,000, the Foreign Office realised that the French translation of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland had been rendered incorrectly. It should have read, ET D'IRLANDE.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Choose your bra at the Holiday Inn Winchester

Travelling around the country, giving talks as I do, I occasionally have to spend a night away from home. Many hotel chains issue customers with loyalty cards and after you have spent about a thousand pounds with Holiday Inn your card becomes gold, which means that you are now entitled to a free copy of i newspaper, price 20p, delivered to your room whereas everybody else has to pick up their free copy at the reception desk on their way to breakfast. A few weeks ago, whilst staying at the Holiday Inn, Winchester which, incidentally is a splendid hotel with friendly staff and fine cuisine, I noticed that not only did they provide the standard Holiday Inn Pillow Menu but they also encouraged me to avail myself of the brassiere menu. Now, if a pillow menu is for choosing pillows then a brassiere menu must surely be for choosing bras.
Waitress, I'll have the breast of.....