Conversations with Catrin (29)

August 2nd, 2015 by Roger Darlington

My granddaughter Catrin is now four and a half.

*****

C: “Do you want to hear a joke?”

Me: “Yes, please.”
C: “Why did the banana go to the doctor?”
Me: “I don’t know. Why?”
C: “Because he wasn’t peeling well.”

*****

C: “Do you want to hear another joke?”

Me: “Yes, please.”
C: “Where does the fish keep his money?”
Me: “I don’t know. Where?”
C: “In the river bank.”

*****

While we are playing a board game:
“Can you help me please? I’m struggling!”

*****

We visited a shop where we usually buy her an ice cream or a little chocolate egg:
Me: “Do you have some money?”
C: “No because I’m wearing a skirt. I will have money when I have pockets.”

*****

We bought a little chocolate egg which contained a jumping frog toy and she told me;

“If you practice until you are as old as my great grandma, perhaps you can get it to jump to outer space,”
[Great grandma is 95]

*****

Usually she is very good about bath time, but one evening at her place she became very obstreperous:

“I’m not having a bath tonight! The water is too wet!!”

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A review of the new comedy film “Hot Pursuit”

August 1st, 2015 by Roger Darlington

Don’t rush to see this movie at the cinema, but you might to catch it on DVD, streaming, or television. It tries to be different. You can read my review here.

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A review of “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”

August 1st, 2015 by Roger Darlington

The “Mission: Impossible” film franchise has now been running almost two decades and produced five movies. I’ve seen them all and reviewed the latest one here.

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What do these three political campaigns have in common?

August 1st, 2015 by Roger Darlington

1) In the American race to select a Republican candidate for the presidential election next year, 69 year old Donald Trump is currently leading the field of 17 runners.

2) In the American race to select a Democratic candidate for the presidential election next year, 73 year old Bernie Sanders is drawing exceptional support even though he is running against a firm favourite in Hillary Clinton.

3) In the British race to elect a new leader of the Labour Party, 66 year old Jeremy Corbyn is currently the clear favourite.

What do these three political campaigns have in common?

  • Hardly anyone expected these three candidates to make much of an impact on their respective elections.
  • Each is seen as speaking with an authenticity that is a contrast to the usual cautious political language of establishment figures.
  • Each is offering a more radical agenda than the other candidates in the election which appeals to a significant section of their political party.
  • Many observers feel that, even if he won the current election, he could not possibly win the subsequent general election.

What do you think?

Posted in American current affairs, British current affairs | Comments (0)


My 21st short story: “More Than Lust But Less Than Love”

July 31st, 2015 by Roger Darlington

We think that the one thing we know for sure is our own lives. But maybe we don’t know it all. This is the inspiration for my short story “More Than Lust But Less Than Love”. You can read it here.

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A review of the new movie “Southpaw”

July 30th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

Jake Gyllenhaal makes this movie and confirms his status as a major star. You can read my review here.

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A review of the novel “Before I Go To Sleep”

July 29th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

I saw the film adaptation and found it intriguing and so I’ve now read the novel which is a real page-turner. You can read my review here.

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A review of the film “The Hundred-Foot Journey”

July 29th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

If the only movies you enjoy are action-packed, stunt-filled blockbusters, look away now. If on the other hand, you are open to a quiet and humorous look at rivalry between French and Indian eating establishments, this is a film worth watching on television. You can read my review here.

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When President Barack Obama completes his second term, what will he do with the rest of his life?

July 28th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

Barack Obama will step down from the US presidency in January 2017. At that point, he still only be 55. So what is going to do?

I suspect – and hope – that he eschew the opportunities to make lots of money from private sector appointments and that instead he will return to being an academic. But I have a dream …

Hillary Clinton becomes the next presidency and, during her term of office, has the opportunity to appoint a judge to the Supreme Court. She appoints Obama. Remember where you heard it first …

Is this possible, you ask? There are no formal qualifications for membership of the Supreme Court, but Obama has all the legal knowledge necessary for the post. And there is a little-known precedent …

William Howard Taft (1857-1930) was the 27th President of the United States (1909-1913) and later the 10th Chief Justice of the United States (1921-1930). He is the only person to have served in both of these offices.

You can read more about William Howard Taft here.

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Why is opinion polling becoming harder and less reliable?

July 27th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

All the pollsters failed to forecast accurately the result of the British General Election in June 2015. We are still awaiting the outcome of an inquiry by the British Polling Council to determine what went wrong and how it can be fixed.

Most of my work as a consumer advocate involves working  with regulators and companies who are constantly surveying the views of customers, consumers, users, citizens (the terminology varies from sector to sector and survey to survey). The mantra of all government departments and local authorities is that there should be more consumer and citizen engagement.

But if more and more polling is being done of ever busier people in a changing context of technology and life style, how reliable are these polls and surveys? This important question is discussion in this short article.

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