Saturday, November 28, 2015

German word of the week: Kabelsalat

See entertaining Kabelsalat article below by Nicole Glass, Editor of The Week in Germany, published at

I am pleased to report that in my office the only cable that is visible is shown in the photo below. 

Monday, November 23, 2015


Day excursion to Manchester, where Sue had a work meeting at the interesting Bridge 5 venue.

Surrounding area interesting too – see photos below.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

360° virtual tour of Church of the Nativity, Aylestone Park

Confession: Although I'm a regular visitor to the Church of the Nativity 'function' room (particularly in my capacity as a committee member of the Aylestone Park Residents Group), I have never been inside the actual church. Still, I think you will agree that the 360° virtual tour of the Church of the Nativity at the corner of Cavendish Road/Richmond Road in Aylestone Park, Leicester, is quite impressive.

Click on 360° virtual tour in the text above to view it

The Spider


I’m just a tiny creature,
far smaller than a mouse.
I know that I’m not welcome,
but I do live in your house.

You never have to feed me
or take me to the vet,
I’m gentle and I’m friendly,
and yet I’m no one's pet.

I know that some folk hate me,
I give some folk a fright;
but I’m really inoffensive,
and I’d never ever bite.

I have some naughty cousins
who come from far away;
I know they bite in anger
and hurt folk every day.

But I am no tarantula
or widow dressed in black,
I’m just a common spider
with my eyes upon my back.

So please do not be frightened,
I’m harmless as can be;
I will never hurt you,
so please do not harm me.

Alice Drury

Published in the September/October 2015 newsletter of the Church of Nativity, Aylestone Park, Leicester

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Compost Corner

Entertaining 'community event'.

The world stands as one

The Avaaz Paris Solidarity page under the heading The world stands as one is here.

Leicester pays its respects to the victims of Friday's bloody massacre

Update Monday, 16 November:
Hacktivists declare ‘total war’ on ISIS after Paris attacks – ‘Anonymous will hunt you down!’

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Quality of Leicester revisted

Interesting talk. Looking forward to the new edition of The Quality of Leicester.

Tributes paid to Helmut Schmidt

According to the Helmut Schmidt obituary published in the Guardian, one of his watchwords (and another of his English puns) was: 

“The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement”.

Helmut Schmidt at a reception in Berlin to celebrate his 95th birthday last year.
Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Further reading:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cosseted climate change denialism

Quote from a Guardian article under the heading Pacific islands make last-ditch plea to world before Paris climate change talks  (or A climate crisis in paradise in the Guardian Weekly edition) by Oliver Milman:
Media coverage of climate change in Fiji doesn’t have the luxury of wallowing in the sort of cosseted denialism seen in the US, Britain or Australia.
Palau’s Rock Islands in the tiny Pacific nation of Palau.
Photograph: Matt Rand/AFP/Getty Images

Monday, November 09, 2015

Max und Moritz 150

In der heutigen Ausgabe der Deutschland-Nachrichten steht zu lesen:
vor 150 Jahren hieß es das erste Mal: „Dieses war der erste Streich, doch der zweite folgt sogleich“. Sicher erinnern Sie sich an die Streiche der beiden frechen Lausbuben, die Witwe Bolte, Onkel Fritz und Schneider Böck zur Verzweiflung brachten. Die Rede ist natürlich von Max und Moritz. ... Weiter
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This is the badge of my trusted old beetle, which I drove from Heidelberg to London in 1984 for my 6-month placement with Ove Arup.

Meanwhile, the German satirical magazine Der Postillion reckons that the original beetle was probably the last VW car with correct emissions readings. See article (in German) here.

On a more serious note, a German columnist reckons the best way forward would be to let VW go bust and transform it into a future-oriented company in state ownership, focussing on electric cars and e-mobility. See Spiegel article (in German) here.

The front page of the 30 October issue of the German engineering weekly vdi nachrichten reports on its front page that the Made in Germany brand has been severely damaged. Hmm, yes – pretty obvious really...

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Thank you lot's and lot's

Apostrophe howlers continue to provide a seemingly inexhaustible source of despair and/or entertainment for diligent linguists. Here is a thank you card I received a while ago.


Attended The Richardson's 15th Annual Bonfire Bash yesterday evening.
Very impressive all-round!

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Grace Lee Boggs

Thanks to Prof Tony Marmont for drawing attention to this thought-provoking quote by Grace Lee Boggs:
People are aware that they cannot continue in the same old way but are immobilized because they cannot imagine an alternative. We need a vision that recognizes that we are at one of the great turning points in human history when the survival of our planet and the restoration of our humanity require a great sea change in our ecological, economic, political, and spiritual values.

More info about Grace Lee Boggs on Wikipedia and on her website at