Showing posts from March, 2018

The kindness of friends

A little while ago I was inspired to join the Big Issue Foundation's Big Bristol Sleepout - an event where we would sleep out, to recognise, draw attention to, and raise money for the incerasing numbers of homeless people in Bristol. The event was last Friday night - which happened to be the coldest night for  years - well into sub-zero, with snow and freezing wind. I got a call from the Big Issue Foundation on the Wednesday, after I had packed my spare socks and gloves with my sleeping bag, but before I had set out, telling me the event was cancelled because the First Aiders could not guarantee the safety of sleepers in severe weather conditions. I travelled to Bristol anyway, as I was working there on Thursday and Friday. It was indeed freezing cold - bitterly so - and I was lucky enough to catch the only train apparently leaving Bristol on Friday morning (having gone to the station early to check the services), so I got home. My journey was fine - an extra couple of hours

Bread and cocktails

A cocktail has as many calories as half a loaf of bread. This is the kind of statistic The Meejah love. How many calories are there in half a loaf of bread? What sized loaf? What kind of bread? What sort of cocktail? I am left bemused by this kind of statistic, which is almost but not quite totally devoid of meaning. It is what I would call a 'factoid': a fact that is at the same time surprising, seemingly dodgy, but probably - within its own logical scope - true in a sense. Actually it isn't a real factoid - a factoid is epitomised by my son James's factoids, which are totally true, quantitative, specific facts that are, however, surprising either in being contrary to what one expects or (better, for a good factoid..) just the sort of fact you never thought you would ever need to know or wish to know. James is, and always has been, good at factoids: a photographic memory combined with attention to what most of us ignore equips him to store factoids, and is