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Showing posts from March, 2012

Four things you never knew about Cable & Wireless

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Chapter 11 In December 2003, Cable & Wireless decided to sell its money-losing US operations to a Los Angeles investment firm for an announced price of $125 million. The deal included a Chapter 11 filing for the American unit (which was a separate corporate entity from the British parent company. At the board meeting at which this decision was taken, every single board member had at least one lawyer, sitting beside them in the meeting, advising them on every word they said.
Football Cable & Wireless introduced football to Portugal in 1876 when the staff of the local Cable & Wireless Cable Station at Carcavelos (http://www.portugaltravelguide.com/en/carcavelos.htm) showed the locals how to play the beautiful game. Brothers Edward, William and Frederick Pinto-Basto formed the backbone of a team that local Portuguese teams all aspired to beat at the local ground, Quinta Nova.
YouTube In April 2009 Cable & Wireless was part of a consortium that signed a turnkey contract valued …

The Dummy Tree

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How do you wean your child off her or his dummy (or, as the Americans call them, pacifiers) and, more to the point, keep them off it? The Swedes have the answer!
The photos attached (taken in Lund, southern Sweden) show a ‘Dummy Tree’ – and, no, we do not mean a tree that is not too bright! The tree is situated near two nursery schools and when parents deem it time for their child to dispense with their dummy the child is taken along to the Dummy Tree and, with great ceremony, the dummy is hung on the tree. Sometimes the child hangs the dummy on the tree and sometimes father has to climb a step-ladder and hang the dummy high up. But the dummy is then LEFT ON THE TREE!
Photos are taken and great play is made of the fact that this is a permanent arrangement.
Any parent will see the advantages of this ploy: the child feels grown up and has done something significant; if the child asks for their dummy back the answer is, ‘Sorry darling – it’s on the tree.’ Hanging the photo in the house endo…

From Tescos to Morrisons

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I do the weekly shopping in my house - have done for years, and for most of those years that shopping has been done at Tescos. Not any more! I now shop at Morrisons.
There’s been a subtle change at Tescos since Chief Exec Terry Leahy left in March 2011. I also, presciently, sold my shares in Tescos when he left – best not to fly with an unknown pilot, is the maxim there.

Anyway, the reasons dear readers, the reasons. Essentially Morrisons is better value: it’s cheaper. I know, I know – Tescos will rail at me, saying they will ‘beat any price” and all that guff. I don’t believe them. What I know is that overall my shopping trolley is cheaper when I buy a similar weekly shop at Morrisons. And forget the Clubcard: I’d rather have no frills and lower prices.
There are other, food-based reasons as well. Their goat’s cheese is nicer, they do the most fantastic jalapeno hummus, their lemons are nicer. I could go on.


Oh, and there are little things that Morrisons do that Tescos do not. Like, …

Letter in The Economist

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What a way to start a blog!
I’ve subscribed to The Economist for well over two decades. I love it for its honestly, integrity, humour and intellectual insight.
But now I really feel part of the Economist ‘family’ – they’ve published a letter of mine! I’ve tried before but this one obviously hit the right spot. It’s about eating grey squirrels  - that’s right, eating grey squirrels and you can find the letter here http://www.economist.com/node/21550231