Showing posts from August, 2010

Strange English Laws

Early this morning I enjoyed reading about Weird American Laws in a post by The Old Geezer. Did you know it's against the law to sleep in your 'fridge in Pennsylvania? Or that birds have the right of way on all highways in Utah?

Of course every country has its collection of strange laws that it's government hasn't got round to repealing or that are forgotten but remain on the statute books. This is certainly true in England, where I live. Below are some examples of strange English laws still on the statute books. If you know that any of these are no longer true, please correct me.
It is illegal to fly a kite within the London Metropolitan Police District. (Town Police Clauses Act 1847). This is because the Victorians feared spread of disease.Taxi drivers are supposed to ask if you are suffering from 'the plague'. If you are he/she can charge you the cost of disinfecting the cab.I think it is illegal to keep a pigsty in front of your London home. Londoners, corre…

Held up in Supermarket

I've just got back from "a quick trip to a supermarket".

But it's never quick is it?

3 things hold me up:
meeting people I knowdithering over so much choiceall the goods have moved since my last visitthe shortest queue at the checkout turns out to be slowestWikihow has a rather boring article 'How to Practice Supermarket Checkout Etiquette'.  It has 8 'Steps'. I won't bore you with the details, but here's the headings:
Obey the express lane limit.Avoid standing in the walkway.Double check on your groceries.Have membership cards and coupons ready.Bag your own groceries.Relax and have patience.Respond to the cashier in a positive manner.Be sure to allow ample room between your cart and the person in front of you.Step 6 'Relax and have patience' is the hardest for some people. I'm usually patient in a queue - partly personality, but also due to my tried and tested strategies for passing the time. Some are more fun than others. Here's…


When the wood-pigeons round our way are not courting, mating, breeding, or sleeping, they are feeding.

Eating at one end has consequences at the other. Most of the year these consequences are more or less off-white. That I can tolerate, except when it lands on me.
But now -



That's why my hands are stained purple from harvesting and processing blackberries etc. The pigeons don't seem to go much for the blackberries, but they love the fruit of the elder (Sambucus Nigri).

Oh the joy of large deposits of purple bird faeces on the places where we walk or on the car. Even now I can see wood pigeons gorging themselves on the ripening berries of the elder tree just over the garden wall.
I study their subsequent flight patterns carefully.

Purple poo bombing raids on our car are all part of the fun en route to their post-prandial perch. Washing off the sh*t is my task.
I like elderberries. Today I don't like pigeons.

Now w…

Instant Analysis

The internet is awash with programmes for instant analysis of almost anything you care to mention. What sort of writer are you? What sort of parent are you? What is your personality type? What is your learning style? Which celebrity are you most like? You know the sort of thing.

Many of them are out there as bait to persuade you to buy something, after you've answered their quiz qestions. Or you are asked to enter a small sample of your prose writing and an automated system congratulates you and flatters you by saying 'you write just like...' (naming a successful published author), hoping you will spend money on a 'Write Better' programme. Well, I for one, won't.

I blogged here about one of those programmes that instantly assesses your personality type from a small blog sample. The result was surprising. Autolycus had a better idea and tried several and varied samples from his blog post, with a variety of always flattering results. Which only goes to prove that w…

Disaster under your Nose

It's happening under your nose (and mine). It's a "crisis of catclysmic proportions" that could be the "greatest environmental disaster" in the history of the United States, according to a brilliantly ironic news article published by

I enjoy irony, so it made me smile - at first. That's before the 'ouch' factor hit. No, not the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but the consequences of a legal delivery of a dangerous substance in a port in Louisana. I noticed this thanks to a link posted by my god-daughter on her Facebook wall. Thanks D!

I don't live in the US, but similar shocking and  legal events are passing unnoticed through UK ports and land transport systems and other places world-wide. Enough from me - you've got to read this - Millions Of Barrels Of Oil Safely Reach Port In Major Environmental Catastrophe


I don't use GPS navigation when I drive. And I make mistakes in unfamiliar places.

However carefully I've studied the map, a multi-lane roundabout often becomes a place of confusion. (Roundabout = traffic circle or rotary intersection if you speak American English. Correct me if I'm wrong.)

I know where I want to go, but there are too many signs and I can't see any indicating my destination. If I have a navigator with me, he will probably have chosen this moment to fall asleep. Which lane should I be in? I don't know. Where should I exit? I don't know.

As stopping on a roundabout is forbidden, there are only 2 choices. The first is to exit by the most likely looking road, hope it turns out to be right or will become obviously wrong very soon and there'll be somewhere to turn round easily. The second is to imitate an aircraft pilot with no permission to land yet and assume a holding pattern. This means driving all the way round the roundabout again (and again) …

Mechanic? You've got to be joking!

Based on instant analysis of this blog's content, an automated system thinks the author is a 'mechanic' type or 'ISTP' in Myers-Briggs terms. This is probably not true. Ask my husband or children!

I have  Prodigal Kiwi (see below) to thank for today's time-wasting activity. It's been around a long time now, but the Myers-Briggs system to identify 16 basic personality types has been found a useful tool by many organisations. It's based on Jungian psychology. Years ago I undertook the tests a few times in association with my former occupation in social work and also in ordination training for the Church of England. It doesn't matter how I answered the questions - the result was consistently the same. My Myers-Briggs personality 'type' is INFJ, which fits, but perhaps not completely. The Myers-Briggs Foundation summary of the INFJ type is:
"Seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. Want to understand what…