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Brave young men

Wow! That Horatio Hornblower is one brave and dashing hero. I’ve just finished the first of eleven books that my son is reading about this naval chap who sails from one adventure to the next. Is there anything that Horatio cannot do? Steer fire-ships away from an anchored fleet? Easy! Capture a Spanish galley with…

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Me, Myself and I

I was watching Carol King in concert yesterday – her 2016 ‘Live at Hyde Park’ concert. She was 74 at the time of the performance, and didn’t miss a beat, and held spellbound the zillion people who were in the audience. But during the concert, a few extraordinary things happened. She sang with her ‘20…

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A real man after all

I must be losing it. I was standing on the train the other day, and a lady asked me if I wanted to sit down. And she looked older than I was! It reminded me of a time in my twenties when I bought some weights at a sport’s shop, and the female attendant asked…

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Left in the dark

Last week I was trying to find a glass shade to replace a broken light fitting, and so visited a lighting shop that seemed to stock millions of lighting accessories. The lady at the counter recognised the unique fitting that I was looking for and understood my request, but apologised that the store room was…

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The glorious repair

Today I became my grandfather. One of the arms of my reading glasses snapped, and I dutifully reattached it with a piece of sticky-tape. It looks dodgy and hideous and just like I remember the healed pair of glasses that my grandfather wore. I can’t wait to show my daughter, who will be predictably mortified…

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The Bible Remote

I had reason to replace the DVD player yesterday, but was dismayed to discover that the remote was made by leprechauns for their infant children. I had to throw the silly thing to my daughter just to pause the movie that we were watching. Why can’t remotes be designed for real human beings?! It made…

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Infernal assistance

I sometimes think that it would be more strategic for the devil to do nothing at all, than to put his hand to things that are not only overruled by a sovereign hand, but turned to the Maker’s advantage. For example, the devil seemed determined to secure the tomb in which that they buried the…

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Luck of the Irish

I’m up to the part in the story (of some Australian pioneers ‘Kings in Grass Castles’) where the Irishman Dinny Skeahan is ordering some cloth for the station, and instructs his son to write away for 100 yards. “How many noughts in a hundred, Dad?” he asked. “Put two,” he said “and another one for…

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Relaxed Fit

I checked the label on one of the new shirts that my wife bought for me. ‘Relaxed Fit’, it read, above the washing instructions. Admittedly it did feel good, and I have no complaints, but I wonder if my doctor would have used that same ‘complement’ about my waistline. It reminded me of a medical…

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Year of the Dog

It’s not going to happen. Even in this Year of the Dog. Even though my daughter drags me again past the ‘little doggies’ in the window at the local pet shop. You know, the ones with the eyes that are big, brown, and hypnotic. (The secret of resistance, I found, is to avoid eye contact…

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