3 August 2008

The Great British Press……………..

I love my newspapers. One of my morning rituals is to sign onto the internet and read these papers in the following order; The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, The Scottish Daily Record. I reckon this cross section of tabloids and broadsheets from both sides of the border gives me a balanced view. I would like to read other papers online but they tend to have a design which just does not appeal. Having said that, the Daily Telegraph has recently changed it’s on-line format and I’m having trouble adjusting to it. If ever the statement, ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it’ is valid, then it is when applied to the nerds at the DT who changed a very readable design. The Sun is a pure rag but I do like my pictures of Brittany Spears and Colleen McCoughlin every morning with my cornflakes. The Daily Record keeps my Scottish roots alive.

It wasn’t always like this. We only got broadband just over a year ago – seven years after asking for it ! Being in the telecoms business I knew that there was a technical reason why we couldn’t have it (distance from the main telephone exchange) but eventually, after a campaign by the locals, we got France Telecom to spend some money and fix the problem. Before that reading the papers was a nightmare. Click on an article, go and make a cup of coffee, come back and see if it had loaded.

Nowadays, switching on the PC and bringing up the daily’s is something of a pleasurable habit. It keeps me out of harm’s way and prevents me being dragged into a bout of housekeeping which J thinks we should share equally now I’m retired. My response is that I have to read the papers so that when we are invited to dinner (not often – see previous blog) at least one of us can talk authoritively on ‘world affairs’.

My take on some recent articles shows that I do not take things seriously. Today there was an article on a guy who had both arms sewn back on after a farming accident. Thing was, they weren’t his arms ! They were from a dead man. Now what if the ‘donor’ was an habitual nose picker….or even worse ! Will these new arms suddenly start doing their own thing at any old time ? When he caresses his wife, to her will they feel the same or will it be like having a new man ?

Another article was about a strange creature washed up on a New York beach. Various theories were discussed about what it was – a dog which had drowned, a shell less turtle, a new species of underwater creature. But as the scientists rushed to the scene some old guy, carted the corpse off and said he was ‘going to stick on my wall’ !! Only in America.

Then there was the ‘disturbing’ article about a UK man who committed suicide by chainsaw. There were few details but what bits did he cut off first ? Couldn’t have been his arms or he wouldn’t have been able to continue ! I know that I could not do this as my chainsaw typically cuts out (if you’ll forgive the pun) just as you are starting. Can you imagine – you’re just about to end it all, you raise the traconneause (as we call them in France), you grit your teeth and then the bloody thing cuts out cause it needs more petrol !

On the subject of death by chainsaw, Julie stays well clear when I get my chopper out. In fact she goes out for the day ever since I showed her an article in the papers last year where some old guy (again in the UK) managed to chop his wife’s head off with a chainsaw in a terrible accident. Apparently he was up a ladder cutting his hedge whilst she was holding it so he would not slip and injure himself. Well, he did slip (so he says) and the chainsaw unfortunately cut his dear wife’s head off as he fell. He got away with it ! Incroyable !

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