14 September 2010 (Tuesday) - Radio, Reviews, Tattoos
I had a wonderful day at work, in a room on my own. I had the radio on (via the Internet). I love Radio Four. There was an interview with girl who had been held captive by a madman for eight years. There was a feature on the problem of increasing promiscuity in the older generation - they catch manky knob-rot and other such diseases, but because of their age and sensibilities they are loathe to get antibiotics for it.
We were warned to check our compost bins for grass snakes. In many parts of the country these unfortunate reptiles are in decline, but by setting up a compost bin we can give them somewhere to live and breed.
There was the tale of the accidental contamination of a batch of beer in 1900 which led to the poisoning of thousands of people (many of whom croaked) in the
There was an amazing program about the problems that authors face when they feel they want to kill off their own fictional creations. Apparently Conan Doyle had terrible problems getting his publisher to allow him to do for Sherlock Holmes. It transpired that Christie wanted to put the kibosh on Poirot for years before finally doing so. And more recently the author Colin Dexter got rather a lot of abuse for killing off his character of Inspector Morse.
And following the media furore about a schoolchild being expected to walk twenty yards to a bus stop, there was an article about how children get to school. In 1971 80% of seven to nine year olds got themselves to school. By 1990 that figure was down to 9%. The fruits of my loin both walked to school. As did I. Kids of today…!
Mind you, the radio wasn’t all good. There was some frankly dire drivel about “Ma Vlast” (some classical music dirge) which was composed by someone going by the moniker of Bedrich Smetana. Apparently this racket has become an integral part of Czech culture. All I can say is that I hope it don’t catch on over here (!) And having that dull article being followed by “The Archers” was just adding insult to injury.
And then the news made me think. For some time I’ve been a roving reporter for a couple of pub reviewing websites – “Beer in the Evening” and “Pubs Galore”. It’s something I’ve enjoyed doing and in my (nearly) two hundred reviews I’ve attempted to be honest. If a pub is good, I’ll say so. Similarly if a pub is awful, I’ll say so. Over the years I’ve read other peoples reviews which are clearly not so impartial. Many are singing the praises of a pub which can only be described as “mediocre” at best. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to spot a landlord who is bigging up his own pub. There are also reviews which are utterly slating pubs which frankly don’t deserve the criticism. When you also consider the rate at which pubs change hands these days, reviews of pubs aren’t always the most reliable things you’ll find on line anyway.
Pubs aren’t the only things reviewed on the Internet. Hotels and restaurants also get reviews: impartial and biased. One of the leading hotel review websites is facing legal action following allegations of it’s running defamatory reviews. I’ve been expecting this for some time. I wonder how much longer “Beer in the Evening” and “Pubs Galore” have got left?
And then on with the tattooing. It’s only two weeks since “My Boy TM ” started his new hobby. He’s the first to admit he’s still got a lot to learn, but I’m pleased with his efforts so far. Even if doing me is like “tattooing a womble” (!) I quite like what he’s done to my arm, and the angel he did on “Daddies Little Angel TM ” is quite impressive…