“EVERY MAN lives by exchanging.” – Adam Smith.
I think perhaps I have discussed before how most of the great cities of the world, in general, became so by accident rather than by design. London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc, can all trace their roots way, way back to distant antiquity starting out as crappy little, pestilent trading posts on some transport route or other. Most such places faded away, but some, for various reasons, survived and eventually dominated the other crappy little pestilent trading posts along the way.
“WHEN I am good, I am very good. But when I am bad, I’m better.” – Mae West.
I am one of those people who still, perhaps sweetly and naively, tries to think the best of people. As much as I have been slapped about a bit over the years, I still, as my default position, assume that people by and large are or at least try to be good and honest, until such time as overwhelming evidence pushes me to the reluctant realisation that they are in fact evil bottom dwelling scumbags.
“GIVE a man a beer, waste an hour. Teach a man to brew, waste a lifetime.” – Bill Owen.
There is nothing like a temporary suspension or reduction in one’s income to focus the mind, somewhat laser- like, on where the money goes. Unless of course you are Labor party politician, in which case budget deficits are always purely revenue issues and the taxpayer really must try harder.
“THE British nation is unique in this respect: they are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst.” – Winston Churchill.
The press did not come into existence and subsequently evolve into its infinite myriad forms, in order to tell us good news.
“REALITY is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” – Philip K Dick
The boundless ability of the human mind to suspend disbelief in the face of overwhelming evidence and to instead latch onto whatever trivial and mindless bit of fantasy that that happens to be wandering past at the time, does make life interesting and certainly keeps the churches of the world in business.
“NO Dogs, No Women.” – sign in the carpark of the Royal St Georges Golf Club (now removed).
“What would men be without women? Scarce sir, mighty scarce.” – Mark Twain.
Time was when you could get away with doing silly things without them coming back to bite you on the bum in later life.
“IF IT were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly.” – Macbeth.
My gran, I am told, came from a simpler, more practical age.
“TO have a good idea, have lots of them.” – Thomas Edison.
My kids are getting on a bit now. Growing up, getting all independent and surly, and getting a little less respectful of me unless of course they want something.
“WHEN beggars die, there are no comets seen;
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.” – Julius Caesar, Act II Scene 2.
“THE reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” – Samuel Longhorne Clemens.
As I have said over and over, prediction is a tricky business even at the best of times. Largely because I suspect we insist on making predictions about things over which we have absolutely no control.
“I WAS recently on a tour of Latin America and my only regret is that I didn’t study Latin harder in school so that I could converse with those people.” – former vice president of the United States, Dan Quayle.
“NOW is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
And all the clouds that loured upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.” – Richard III.
It would of course be remiss of me to start this week’s column without reference to the big story of the week: that being the discovery of Richard III beneath a Leicester carpark. Or, at least it was the big story of the week up here.
“JEALOUSY is the fear of comparison.” – Max Frisch.
I am not inherently a man of rigid routine, beyond that which is a requirement or that which just makes sense, that is.
“COWARDS die many times before their deaths:
The Valiant never taste of death but once.” – Julius Caesar, Act II, Sc II
“YOU hear that Mr Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability.” – Agent Smith, The Matrix.
Firstly I must assuage the concerns of all my frantic readers; I survived!
“YOU just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don’t need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free.
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free.” – Paul Simon, 50 Ways to Lose Your Lover.
“THE mob rushes in where individuals fear to tread.” – B.F Skinner.