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Edward Trunk

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  1. They're called "Scoutleaders" now. "Scoutmasters" went the same way as the "News of the World" (in which they often featured.)
  2. Clair, thankyou for that. The chips produced all seem a bit like poor imitations of the real thing. I might postpone my healthy lifestyle sine die.
  3. Has anyone ever used one of these chip-makers that cooks with hot air and an eggcup-ful of oil? Mrs Trunk and myself are thinking of getting healthy for 2013 and we wondered what the chips made in this way tasted like?
  4. It will be counted in France as part of your taxable earnings for 2012. It will not be taxed in the UK. I would not dream of advising you to conceal the lump sum from the French tax authorities.... 
  5. I had lots of pain after a bout of opthalmic shingles, and my medecin traitant recommended I go to a sorcière. I thought he was joking but he was perfectly serious. When the doctor can't help you. you go to the withdoctor.
  6. A company called Serco was given the contract to provide out-of-hours care for the whole of Cornwall. Its service has been appalling; at one point it had one GP available for the whole county. It has been caught out lying repeatedly to the regulator about its activities. It has, of course, being trying to stuff up its profits by cutting its staff. Is anyone surprised?  
  7. There's a new stuff called Stronghold, worth trying. It's useful to know that sprays to treat the environment will not be effective against the pupal stage of the flea. They will tell you that the stuff kills adult fleas, eggs and larvae, and this is all true, but what they don't tell you is that there is a fourth, pupal stage which is impervious to insecticides.
  8. The Iranians are not Arabs. They are disliked and feared throughout much of the Gulf because Iran is overwhelmingly Shia, and those Gulf countries with substantial Shia minorities, such as Bahrain, see Iran as a destabilizing influence. The Saudis would far, far rather see Iran go under than Israel. The real tragedy for the Palestinians is that most of their fellow Arabs, whatever their public rhetoric, couldn't give a stuff about them.  
  9. The Israelis may well use the uncertain time around the presidential election to launch a strike against Iran. If so, expect oil prices to rocket.
  10. Because it would encourage tit-for-tat measures in Ecuador, and possibly endanger the lives of our diplomats there.
  11. The German for the Assumption is "Maria Himmelfahrt" - Mary goes to heaven. Apart from 60 million Germans, not many people know that.
  12. I know the "C" (C*mer*n) word is indeed very bad, but it seems to be getting through the forum filters....
  13. When I was at school I had to satisfy my teachers and they had to satisfy the exam board. In the 1980s all this changed; it was believed that competition and choice would improve standards. The results were that schools now had to please the students, and exam boards had to please schools. Faced with league tables and the threat of being "named and shamed", schools did what any organism does - they sought to defend themselves, by going for the softest subjects from the easiest exam boards. If I go into a shop, all I need is money in my pocket. The shop has to please me, or I take my business elsewhere. Education doesn't work like that. Parents need a commitment to the education of their children, and children need a commitment to their own learning, and too often this commitment is not forthcoming. Gove is as Thatcherite as they come, but even he seems to have realised that competition has its limits, and he has cut down competition among exam boards.
  14. In the episode I saw last week the Caroline Proust character was being disciplined for unlawful use of a baton, yet in every episode they are always beating seven sorts of crap out of their suspects. Fists OK, batons not OK? C'est drole.
  15. We had a hornets nest close to our garden. They used to buzz terrifyingly close to us as we sat in the garden, but never gave us any bother. Unlike wasps.
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