What I've Been Doing

Christopher Fowler

Iceberg Ahead

A couple of weeks back I slipped over to Barcelona to pay bills, do repairs and clear up our flat after the upstairs neighbours had 1. flooded it for the third time and 2. projectile-vomited from their balcony onto ours, which really takes some doing. And this is in a good part of town. Of course Barcelona is a city where life is played out on the streets, so anything can and does happen in full view of everyone. The city felt as if it had fully returned to normal. The skies were sapphire, the air sharp, fierce and hot/cold in the way southern places are in winter. I have a limited amount of energy to use each day - I think of it like being on the moon and having to regularly check my oxygen supply - but it's getting easier to move around, so I walked the city only to find that most of my favourite quirky tourist shops had gone. One resident friend says British tourists aren't much missed; they were usually on a budget whereas other European countries have more to spend. 'You let those public school scumbags line their pockets with the profits made from Brexit,' he said, laughing at our stupidity. I'm not angry at things I can't fix, but it's still depressing to be ridiculed.


I finally got my tastebuds back, so we went to the worst restaurant I’d ever been to. A good friend, reliable, urbane, a gourmet, recommended it. It has a bazillion Likes on Instagram and Tripadvisor (the Tripadvisor motto: ‘Why not take advice from a stranger you’d never want as a friend?’). The restaurant had an elegant setting, high quality ingredients, great service, interesting wines…and a completely wrong-headed chef, like Aubrey in ‘Life Is Sweet'. And like Aubrey's recipes for Liver in Lager and Pork Cyst, dishes arrived that made us that made us burst out laughing. Every dish was drowned in truffle oil. A slimy bowl of mushrooms was submerged in cheese and truffle liquid. A fine Argentinian steak turned up in a thick peanut sauce with crunchy discs of dried plantain sticking out like coins in a Christmas pudding. Plain green vegetables were covered in vinegar, pistachios and...gold leaf. I stuck to a piece of salmon that arrived lost beneath a mountain of fluorescent lime green foam. It looked as if it had just been fished out of a bowl of Fairy Liquid. This must be pea, I thought. But oh no, it was peppermint. A honey ice cream was heavily laced with truffle oil. None of it was remotely edible. Five stars on Tripadvisor, apparently.

Passive Amusements

I'm doing a little exercise now, just to get me started again. Life exists between treatments. One day the news won't be so positive but I remain upbeat until then. I think of myself as Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate in 'The Great Race'. He's discovered the iceberg they're on is melting fast, but sidekick Peter Falk thinks he should be quiet for the sake of others. 'I'll shut up about it for now,' Lemmon fumes, 'until the water reaches my mouth, then I'm sure as hell going to mention it to someone!' So that's my attitude to illness. While I'm waiting in hospital queues I play word games, read and watch films (tricky, as you have to listen out in case your name is called), and have ended up watching things I'd never normally see. However, just as author Rob Young's viewing affected his childhood in his memoir of television 'The Magic Box', my choice is skewed away from anything even vaguely approaching kitchen sink drama. Instead, it's Korean drama like 'All Of Us Are Dead' and Spanish series, with '30 Coins' now filming season 2. Can't wait!  


Stu-I-Am (not verified) Tue, 15/02/2022 - 15:24

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

@admin Delighted you've got your tastebuds back. After the experience you describe, they may decide to go back into hiding. Your first mistake was going to a restaurant with those kind of rave reviews. As you found out, high-end dining these days is more likely to be the culinary equivalent of performance art, than offering appetizing, let alone edible, dishes. Just keep in mind the related mantra, 'there's nothing that can't be made better by drowning it in truffle oil (and hyped on the menu).' Although with some exceptions, most truffle oils are chemical aromatic compounds. Which would make the extravagant use of it in a Barcelona restaurant all the more egregious, since Spain is well on its way to becoming the (black) truffle capital of the world.

Rob C (not verified) Tue, 15/02/2022 - 16:01

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Truffle…eugh, since my Gastric bypass that’s one thing I can’t stomach (pun intended), anything with a hint of truffle and off I go to communicate on the big white telephone :-(

I’m amazed how much of it is used by low skilled chef’s hoping to be the next celebrity chef.

Paul+C (not verified) Tue, 15/02/2022 - 16:56

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Glad to see you escaped to the sun for a while.

Read a rotten book last year set in Barcelona called Barcelona Shadows by Marc Pastor who is a crime scene investigator there. Utterly awful.

Roger (not verified) Tue, 15/02/2022 - 18:03

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Top end restaurants seem to specialise in unamusing amuses-bouches nowadays and no actual food. I stick to builders' caffs and visits to Simpsons-in-the-Strand once a year with my only wealthy relative.
There are films that benefit from being seen on mobile/lap-top screens, no doubt, Admin. I spent the afternoon in an ENT Dept. which was like a bad soap opera and regretted I didn't have anything else to watch.

Stu-I-Am (not verified) Tue, 15/02/2022 - 21:21

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

@Peter+T Peter, let's see if I can run this into the ground... If I'm not mistaken, the Austin Princess and the Sheerline shared the same (or very similar) chassis and differed primarily in their engines (number of carburettors ?). They were the first new British motors to be introduced after WWII.

Helen+Martin (not verified) Tue, 15/02/2022 - 21:27

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The positive health remarks are such a joy to hear and the fact that you're even able to take exercise is even more welcome. Too bad about the restaurant - I almost vomited myself at the peppermint covered salmon. Even allowing for the fact that it was Atlantic salmon I could imagine the flavour and wondered what the chef was smoking.
The people upstairs: are they Barcelonians or tourists renting? Why do people do that sort of thing when they're away from home? I know, I'm a boring person who doesn't want complications in my life, but projectile vomiting is so nasty for others.

Jo+e (not verified) Tue, 15/02/2022 - 23:48

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

You're right Stu, Austin produced two more or less identical chassis in 1947, one for the A125 Sheerline, the other for the A135 Vanden Plas Princess. The first built in Longbridge, the second in London. Same engine and, as you say, different number and make of carburetor. A continued tradition of manufacturing cars to compete with themselves that lasted until and contributed to their demise.

However I don't think the hearse in the Robert Frank photo is either of these, although coincidentally possibly still an Austin - a prewar Austin 18 perhaps.

What would be interesting to know, as this patently isn't, is where the photo was taken, the name of the street. Perhaps Mr Bryant would know? It looks as though a crime could have been committed there and the road sweeper looks shifty.

I'm thinking North London somewhere between Bayswater and Pentonville Road, so quite a big search area. What is that on the other side of the street at the end of the road? A pub? A shop? Something with columns? Fairly sure it's not Barcelona, although the girl may be running back in time for truffle oil crumpets. Or Trumpets as they were called then.

Stu-I-Am (not verified) Wed, 16/02/2022 - 00:35

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

@Jo-e Jo, I suppose a pre-war 18 could be possible, but the flared rear fender/wing and distinctive nave plate/hub cap (as Peter pointed out), still leads me to believe that since the photo was taken in 1951, the hearse strikes me as more likely to be a Princess or Sheerline which were introduced in 1947.

snowy (not verified) Wed, 16/02/2022 - 02:05

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

For those that find the recent outbreak of Vintage Vehicle Spottery really 'grinds their gears', [it bothers me not one bit I must add], may I offer a potential distraction?

Jean-Pierre Jeunet has a new film out:

BigBug [2022]

In 2050, artificial intelligence is everywhere. So much so that humanity relies on it to satisfy its every need and every desire even the most secret and wicked. In a quiet residential area, four domestic robots suddenly decide to take their masters hostage in their own home. Locked together, a not-quite-so-blended family, an intrusive neighbour and her enterprising sex-robot are now forced to put up with each other in an increasingly hysterical atmosphere. While, outside, the Yonyx, the latest generation of androids, are trying to take over.

[It won't be a film for everybody, it is very Jeunet [which means it looks gorgeous but every thing is a bit weird]. And it is a farce in the French mode, [if you have ever seen anything by Molière on stage, you will know what you are in for].

A link to the trailer is secreted under my screen-name for your viewing convenience]

BarbaraBoucke (not verified) Wed, 16/02/2022 - 02:20

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Thank you Snowy - my knowledge of what vehicle is which is next to zilch although I have a minimal knowledge of Morris Minors because my sister-in-law used to have one. I don't go to the movies anymore, but that's ok. I've just missed your comments. They were always there when I first started reading this blog back in 2020, and I looked forward to them.
On the word game mention, I play the New York Times Spelling Bee every day - texting back and forth with my sister. It's not free, but it keeps my aged brain functioning.
And thank you Mr. Flowler for Arthur's analogy about the PCU being wool-carders (in The Bleeding Heart). A well thought out Arthur comment and one that I will print out and save on my bulletin board.

Christopher Fowler Wed, 16/02/2022 - 07:03

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Welcome back, Snowy!
I was very disappointed by Bigbug. While it's visually fabulous (although set almost entirely in one room) the film is hopelessly confused. It has two sets of robots, one funny, one sinister, and neighbours who seem more interested in sexual puns than moving any kind of plot forward.
It's outrageously French; backward-facing, colourful but shallow, filled with puppets and mime. At least it's pretty and I love the living room that turns into a bedroom. A missed opportunity, though. Jeunet has never been as good without Caro and this reiterates the problem - it's silly when it should be serious.

Peter T (not verified) Wed, 16/02/2022 - 08:44

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Yikes, I apologise for starting this hearse business. However... it's possible the undertaker updated his pre-war vehicle with more modern wheels. And, coach builders also put hearse bodies on the Austin FX3 taxi chassis. You think you're waving a cab and a hearse pulls up in front of you with a cheery "Jump in the back."

Paul+C (not verified) Wed, 16/02/2022 - 12:23

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

US writer P J O'Rourke has just died. Really enjoyed his books Republican Party Reptile and Holidays in Hell. Very sad.

John Griffin (not verified) Wed, 16/02/2022 - 12:42

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Jeunet et Caro......Delicatessen. A wonderful film to show a prospective partner/duvet buddy. Sorts 'em out. If they love it, they're a keeper.
Alas, I did not enjoy City of Lost children near as much.

Helen+Martin (not verified) Wed, 16/02/2022 - 18:27

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Good to see you, Snowy. The trailer was fun in spite of those - very - toothy grins. I have a creepy feeling that that's how you'd feel after viewing the film - creeped out. Shades of HAL there, I think. I don't mind the antique car spottering at all. Always glad to see evidence of great depth of small area expertise.

Jo+e (not verified) Wed, 16/02/2022 - 20:58

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Or a more cheery ‘Room for one inside’ from the knowing hearse/taxi driver? I think Dead of Night - Ealing Studios.

Jo+e (not verified) Wed, 16/02/2022 - 22:02

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

BigBug distraction from the History of the Austin Hearse gratefully received Snowy. Mixed reviews I see but it looks entertaining and Jeunet is in my Top 10, so may be enough to warrant actually signing up to Netflix. I stayed in a hotel recently which proudly boasted it but was bitterly disappointed in the choice offered. Perhaps there are different levels and they just had the Bronze?

The bright, vivid and manic BigBug trailer contrasts well with the Robert Frank photo in the previous post. It does illustrate just how far we have come, or indeed gone, in such a short while. Is there a future which is not dystopian? Or are the two words inextricably linked as life lives up to its movie prediction?

Peter T (not verified) Thu, 17/02/2022 - 00:27

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I promise this is my last contribution on Austin hearses. As Jo says, there's something pre-war about the coach work; post-war the bottom of the tail would almost certainly have flared out rather than curving in. As for the hub caps, they are most probably Austin. The Princess and Sheerline used them, but some pre-war 20 and 28 models did also. I think the prize for best idea must go to Jo. If only I were still in contact with an old friend from university; he would provide a definitive answer. He ran an old Humber and found the best source of cheap spares was the Undertakers' Gazette. Incidentally, there may have been room for two in the back as many were double-deckers, top floor for show, of course.

Perhaps, we can go on to the more recent photo of the pink pyramid built on a foundation of art nouveau chocolate source? Or Jeunet's latest - I fear the theme is already in our reality.

Welcome back Snowy!

Stu-I-Am (not verified) Thu, 17/02/2022 - 02:48

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

@Peter T Moving on to the Mayan (the flat top) Chocolate Pyramid. Definitely post-Maya.

Button (not verified) Thu, 17/02/2022 - 02:54

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

If you're looking for something absorbing to watch to take your mind off doctor visits, I would recommend the Jesse Stone series of TV movies - especially No Remorse. Feel better soon!

snowy (not verified) Thu, 17/02/2022 - 03:46

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

You are not getting off that lightly Peter... [wink]

There is a picture of the front of the hearse, [link above - 4 picture from the bottom], same street, same man pushing a dustcart. Taken by Robert Frank in 1952 as noted by Jo.

[Readers that like to enjoy a cup of tea while reading comments are advised to take especial care to avoid accidents should their gaze discover the link on that page to 'Dr. Young's Ideal Rectal Dilators' in the side bar.

These were a PROPER MEDICAL DEVICE and not remotely kinky in any shape or form. Oh no.... definitely not.]


[Delicatessen might be too harsh a test, many people find the relative 'foothills' of The Fifth Element insurmountably strange].

Jo+e (not verified) Thu, 17/02/2022 - 07:30

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Well done on finding those pictures Snowy -beautiful photographs and a commendable piece of investigation. The hearse is slightly older than I thought but as Peter says, the lower tail gives it away as pre-war. How about a 1934 Austin Heavy 12/4?

Still like to know where the street is.

Peter T (not verified) Thu, 17/02/2022 - 09:41

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Ace work, Snowy. I googled location to research the street to find the photo is located in about half of the major museums of the world and has passed through most of the big auction houses at huge prices. I hope Mr F owns one. They are wonderful pictures. There were a lot of Rees-Moggs around in 1951-52 or are they all undertakers and hotel doormen? For the vehicle, I'd go for a six cylinder, quieter and smoother for its purpose.

Are we taking on the characteristics of the associates of Mr Bryant?

mike (not verified) Thu, 17/02/2022 - 14:15

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

A good site for old photographs ( and more) of London is Spitalfieldslife. Spent hours on there instead of decorating the house.

Alan R (not verified) Thu, 17/02/2022 - 15:30

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Chris, "waiting in hospital queues, playing word games, reading and watching films you would never normally see" does not fall under "Passive Amusements".

Recently my wife and I were laying in bed when I realised she was talking to me in Norwegian, and I was answering in Spanish. She moved onto Korean and I switched to Swedish.

Since Covid, we have been binge-watching subtitled series on Netflix. With School French as our only other language we were both amazed, häpnadsväckande, 잘 보내다, and delighted. What a bonus. Imagine being called by a Korean Doctor and being able to greet him with h제 이름은 Chris. You would get the very best care.

I guarantee that if you persevere passively with Netflix with the dedication June and I have committed to, you will be able to write in at least 3 other languages by the end of 2022. Just think

I am really surprised to hear about your bad experiences in Barcelona. Catalans are very clean people and I believe the driving forces and demands for separation from the rest of Spain were driven primarily by their distain of the hygiene habits of the other people they share the Iberian Peninsular with. You may have heard the phrase "Perro sucio " when Catalns are addressing non-Catalans in Spain.

I only wish we had good friends that were reliable, urbane, and gourmets.

If you lived in Africa, you may wish your tastebuds have never recovered. You hear what I'm saying.

Sjáumst á morgun! Chris and All.

Helen+Martin (not verified) Thu, 17/02/2022 - 19:06

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

As of midnight last night we are allowed to take a party of any number of people to a restaurant and not only walk around the place but dance - DANCE, I tell you, (after showing a valid vaccine certificate, of course.)

Stu-I-Am (not verified) Fri, 18/02/2022 - 00:47

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

@Jo+e Jo, I going to go with North Kensington for the location of the Frank photo. My final answer --- and as close to an actual street as I am going.

Jo+e (not verified) Fri, 18/02/2022 - 22:51

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I like it Stu, thank you. I shall wander up and down Google Street View when I have a few minutes and let you know if I find it.

Keith (not verified) Sat, 19/02/2022 - 15:15

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The burden of cancer treatment very often outweighs the benefits it can bring. The change in taste (daily) is annoying to say the least. Most food seems bland and tasteless, other times I’ve experienced food I used to despise, quite delicious.

Admittedly I’ve never been a ‘foodie’. Growing up in the 60’s my mother would make us dinner in this enormous pressure cooker that that scared the bejesus out of me every time I’d walk past it. Then the thing would give an ear-splitting train whistle to signal the start of our Sunday dinner.

As Northerners we wouldn’t touch sea-food or anything considered ‘foreign’. Our only takeaways were from the fish and chip shop. And even now I dream of walking home from the pub late at night and stopping in at the local chippy for cod, chips, mushy peas and sweet curry sauce (usually with sultanas). No tartar sauce for us.
Not a thing I could eat now…. So, dreams, please persist.

Friday evenings a neighbor opposite, would bring, to my father’s delight, a slab of Tripe- which dad immediately start to cook before chowing down upon. Reason enough for me to don jacket and beeline to town center pub.

Before relocating to Holland, I can’t remember ever sampling ‘fresh’ food. Discovering Manchester’s Curry Mile on more recent visits back to England was something of culinary explosion. But this was still in the mid-1980’s.

Bafflingly, everyone looked good and were so damned skinny!

Off topic, anyone who remembers or who has never seen the hilarious and surreal show Black Books (Bill Bailey &amp; Dylan Moran)- all three seasons are now available to watch on YouTube. A treat for sure.

Wayne Mook (not verified) Sat, 19/02/2022 - 21:14

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Since I'm not very knowledgeable about hearses, Geoff or other wise I'll stick to turnips.

There is a turnip with truffle oil recipe on the Wild Carrot site, It's turnip fries; after all if you're not going to fry potato why use salt and vinegar to sprinkle and pour when Parmesan cheese and truffle oil will do.

I finally watched the Russian film Sputnik, an excellent low budget horror set in cold war years, early 80s. I did like the sub plot of the orphanage.

Jo e - It is Dead of Night, the segment is based on an EF Benson tale, The Bus Conductor, he used the same plot in at least one other tale. It reminds me of Lord Dufferin's tale.



Stu-I-Am (not verified) Sat, 19/02/2022 - 22:06

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

@Wayne Mook Wayne, you do realize you don't have to buy your turnips (?) There's a variety which grows in the wild on river banks and can be found in abundance along the Thames (with many other things of limited culinary interest, of course). Moving on to vegetable insults (we were weren't we ?), calling someone a turnip ('nabo') --- or the vegetarian substitute for dumb, stupid or clumsy --- is a common one in European Portuguese. I'm sure as a man about produce you can produce others.

Joe (not verified) Sun, 20/02/2022 - 00:21

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I enjoyed the Lord Dufferin Tale. I thought it was going the same way as When Death Came to Bahgdad/Appointment in Samarra but it conjures up a vivid image. Perhaps Lord Dufferin met the old chap again but the third time didn't live to tell the tale.

Root vegetables and brassicas seem to generally do well on the international insult leaderboard although turnips appear to be a favourite. C'est un navet - it's an awful film.
Mung Bean has an insulting sound to it though.

Stu-I-Am (not verified) Sun, 20/02/2022 - 16:06

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Off topic, but must be said. Of course, there are now ways ways to cheat at or hack 'Wordle.' Apparently personal satisfaction is no longer enough. I blame social media. But then, as you may know, I blame social media for everything (including inflation and the relegation of the Wycombe Wanderers ).

For those of you who have been running a B&amp;B on Tristan da Cunha, 'Wordle' is a word game in which you have six chances to guess one daily, randomly selected, five letter word (although there is now also a four word version called appropriately enough, 'Quordle.') and which has taken the internet by s t o r m (or become an internet uh...c r a z e).

It's not bad enough that what was once free will likely soon have a price tag of one kind or another attached to it. Let's face it --- 'The New York Times,' which recently bought the game, doesn't shell out what is said to be 'in the low seven figures' for something out of altruistic motives. So apart from 'sanitising' the approved dictionary and culling 'obscure' words, there well may be adverts (at a minimum) in the future. And to top it all off --- you can cheat by using several online vocabulary resources to select words with varying characteristics, you can fake a 'win' by using a browser's privacy mode and hack the game to find out the next day's word. Links ? Shame on you.

Peter+T (not verified) Sun, 20/02/2022 - 16:42

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Stu, Wordle: Just tried it. I must have been very lucky as I found the answer on the second line. I'll give it tacit approval, for now.

Helen+Martin (not verified) Sun, 20/02/2022 - 20:01

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

But why would you cheat? That doesn't prove anything at all and there's no fun, either.

Stu-I-Am (not verified) Sun, 20/02/2022 - 21:25

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

@Helen+Martin Helen, it's called online 'bragging rights.' And it can't have escaped your notice that for too many these days, how you play the 'game' is a distant third to winning at all costs.

Jo+e (not verified) Sun, 20/02/2022 - 23:52

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I had heard about Wordle and have now tried it, thsnks. Once I realised the example was an example not a clue (I know, I know, read the instructions) it seemed very straightforward, if a little boring. But why cheat? Does it not negate the reason for doing a puzzle in the first place? Particularly if you are playing yourself. Maybe the challenge is now how fast you can cheat?

But no adverts yet Stu, which are a curse from more or less any online publication. Aside from shouting at you from the sidelines it becomes more or less impossible to read anything due to paragraphs skipping around while the page attempts to load photos, news of J list celebrity hairstyles and PENSIONERS IN BIGGLESWADE ARE MISSING OUT ON £5000. Local papers are the worst. But then there is a long tradition of awfulness to follow I suppose.
I think life was more straightforward in black and white.

Stu-I-Am (not verified) Mon, 21/02/2022 - 00:49

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Jo+e Jo --- Why do people cheat ? Let me count the whys... Let's go with 'beating the system' being more rewarding than solving the puzzle. In the case of Wordle, maybe seeing your mates do well and you with the vocabulary of an anteater. Nothing for it but to get a little 'extracurricular' help to make it on to the Facebook ranking.

snowy (not verified) Mon, 21/02/2022 - 02:21

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Jo, ads are an optional annoyance and can be safely removed with very little work.

If you have a trusted geek knocking about [that will work for biscuits], ask them to add uBlock Origin to your browser.

[If you are confident adding it yourself, every browser has a list of approved add-ons in an official 'store' accessible from the 'Tools' button, search the store for uBlock Origins and follow the instructions.]

snowy (not verified) Mon, 21/02/2022 - 02:51

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Oooops! the last line has and extra 's' on the word Origin which might confuse matters, ignore it. Origin singular.

<i> Should've stuck to reading about Henry 'Box' Brown; who escaped slavery by posting himself to Philadelphia! Not the strangest thing posted in the US, unaccompanied babies anyone?

There is a UK/London link, he spent time as a Magician/Hypnotist touring the halls.</i>

Helen+Martin (not verified) Mon, 21/02/2022 - 06:13

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Oh how I've missed the Snowy missives.
I'm with you, Jo, I don't see any point in cheating.
Advertisements. I am of two minds on this since I understand the profit motive and if people aren't paying to access your site then someone else will have to - hence advertisements. The question is how are the site owners gaining control of their pieces of the internet? Who are they paying for access and how did those people gain control? Someone had to decide that anyone wanting to use the little piece of WWW that person A controlled would have to pay for it and then it snowballed.
I have been reading The Unusual Suspect about the young man who decided to level the financial playing field by robbing banks and giving the money to the poor. It all went completely wrong, of course, but I have been thinking about modern money and the fact that there is nothing supporting it any more. It is worth what we're prepared to accord it and we can all see where that is leading.
I think I'd better go to bed.

Peter T (not verified) Mon, 21/02/2022 - 09:10

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Oh dear! The first thing I did after my first attempt at Wordle was brag about it. Does the NY Times produce it for their own amusement or to make money? The latter is either by directly selling stuff or, in the more devious ways of the web, learning about you to sell you stuff later.

Helen, A few years ago, a friend and I spent a some time trying to understand modern money. Our conclusions were disturbing. About the only solid reason that it has value, is that it's necessary to pay taxes. Worse still, the debt on which it is based drives us into an exponential race to destruction. Here's a vote for The Unusual Suspect.

Stu-I-Am (not verified) Mon, 21/02/2022 - 13:59

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

@Peter T Peter, it is still unclear how the NYT will monetize Wordle. Whether eventually making it a part of its 'Games (Crossword)' subscription (no adverts) or as an advert-supported 'free' service. At present, it is using it as a way to attract eyeballs, with the hope of also attracting subscriptions. But as I said, a newspaper --- and especially these days --- doesn't pay a seven figure sum for something out of the goodness of its corporate 'heart.'

Jan (not verified) Mon, 21/02/2022 - 17:24

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I know I don't get about on t' internet much. In fact with this ancient Kindle (I broke the newer version) hardly at all but wasn't this Wordle finger just the same idea basically as a recent afternoons itv programme introduced by the Asian guy who turns up as a presenter on GMTV ? It seemed to me to be pretty much the same idea except there ended up with tons of hype around the internet Wordle.

Jan (not verified) Mon, 21/02/2022 - 17:25

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Hello again Snowy I see Ian's been back again recently

Wayne Mook (not verified) Thu, 24/02/2022 - 18:04

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Wordle isn't that dissimilar to idea of the old Mastermind game, except it was coloured pegs. There is a quiz show on ITV that has a similar premise, which again is a variant of Wheel of Fortune, only limited goes being the real difference.

Helen - money has always been worthless in that it's only worth what someone will give for it. I blame Kublai Kahn and his bells.

Stu - Trafford keep clearing the banks of the Mersey of plants that don't make the place look nice, and yes there was flooding here, but on that stretch of the Mersey there always was, it's why there was open land, football pitches and farmers fields but the wise mandarins so we need to build more houses on flood plains. (And don't get me on the lack of A&amp;E in Trafford, we only have 2 of the major sporting venues in the world here and a mass of motorways and Ringway (Manchester airport) on the doorstep.

You know the more I see that pink sludge with bright colours and the more I think of some of the monstrous culinary delights of Fanny Craddock.

Wayne. (only once this time.)

Helen+Martin (not verified) Thu, 24/02/2022 - 18:15

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

What part of "flood plain" do city planners not understand? We have the same thing happening along the lower reaches of the Fraser, but the really big one is the fact that we drained a whole lake just after 1900 and put farms all over it. When the little river that flows along the international boundary floods the water comes into Sumas Prairie (as Sumas Lake is now called) and that was why we had those massive floods in November. There is an International Boundary Commission that is supposed to deal with matters like that but this is not settled. That's what you get when your geographical features all run N-S and you run a boundary E-W.

Ian Luck (not verified) Thu, 24/02/2022 - 21:36

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Chris - maybe the Restauranteur had been influenced by the cookbook written by the Futurist, Marinetti? Most recipes look startling, but are inedible, some are weird social exercises, and several have eau de Cologne as an ingredient, If I recall correctly.
I remember reading the 'Futurist Cookbook' many years ago, and came to the solemn conclusion that Signor Marinetti was, in fact, taking the piss.