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  Issue #133

Stop fooling with your trumpet Edith - there's sales on!

Mike's Pith & Wind - Maturity
Maturity: The state or quality of being mature; full development.
I suspect that I shall continue to avoid maturity or it will continue to avoid me. As you know I’m already vastly old in years, but I can only sustain the gravitas that one usually associates with age and experience for minutes at a time. In fact, on the whole I think I was far more serious when I was much, much younger and, although I have no intention of emulating the incongruous giggling of the Tibetan spiritual leader in exile, I can see myself becoming less and less serious as I hurtle through the last few years, months or minutes of my allotted span.
This doesn’t mean I don’t have serious thoughts, but given the relative scarcity of invitations to parties where I might have the alcohol-reinforced nerve to expound them they rarely get an airing. In any case, parties present a major problem for me on two counts; 1) I can hardly remember anybody’s name and 2) my hearing is so compromised I find myself tuning out of discussions and affecting an air of baffled indifference, neither of which traits are likely to earn me future invitations to anything but funerals.
I think that 2015 will see me actually having to do something about the hard-of-hearing situation. I’ll proudly tell you that I’ve not heard a consonant correctly for years now, but it’s getting past a joke, especially now that I’m in a permanent relationship. There’s nothing quite as annoying (I imagine) as having to constantly repeat oneself, even if the deaf bastard.. read more

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Dick's Toolbox - Caravanning
It was a typical dinner party, the only sort you can have when you are being entertained in a luxurious house-sit on the edges of a lake as a storm blows over the horizon, bending the trees back on themselves and raking the lake into white waters. Everybody had an area of expertise, excepting myself who knows nothing about everything. But one thing caught my ear between the talk on modern timber laminates, farm stock ratios, and climate change was the concept that the traditional way that we vote, alone with a large sheet of paper in a voting cubicle was needed to maintain a sense of community. I suspect that the sense of participatory democracy is far greater for the people handing out ‘how to vote’ cards who will often substitute for one another when necessity calls than it is for the huddled and silent masses who stare at ballot papers with the desperation of a person drowning at sea being given the plans of the Titanic.
But it did get me thinking about the much vaunted sense of community, the Left, read more

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