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The £20 bet


It’s a few days before Christmas. I am sitting at Paddington station with 40 minutes to wait for my train. I’m parked in the functional metal seats with a good view of the departures’ board. The e-mail is up to date so I get out my ipad and I’m reading the Times. Somewhere in my peripheral vision I see a chap hovering nearby. He has a look as if he’d like to speak to me, but doesn’t know wheth…

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Austen Maestro


I refer not to the rather poorly designed and ill-fated hatchback that appeared on our streets in the 1980’s (my, how cars have come on!) but the literary heroine so closely associated with the fair city of Bath. Jane Austen is on everybody’s lips right now as she is on the new £10 banknote that appears in September 2017 replacing Charles Darwin, whose be-whiskered portrait is being retired af…

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Love and Business


There is happy news in the Jenkins household, in that my son is to be married in the spring of 2018. We thoroughly approve of his bride-to-be (not, frankly, that my approval has been sought or required) and both the present Mrs Jenkins and I wish them the happiness in marriage that we have enjoyed for some 30-odd years. I am particularly chuffed to have been asked to be Best Man at the wedding, n…

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Old traditions die hard


I have noticed that many of us are very particular and indeed sentimental about Christmas. We’re all very emotionally attached  to our own family traditions and when people from different families come together, for example when they get married, there’s a very interesting little bit of jockeying that goes on as to which partner’s Christmas traditions prevail.  Real tree or artificial tree? Full-…

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I'm on the train!


I wouldn’t say I was a particularly early adopter of the mobile phone.  Maybe it was the yuppies of the 1980’s with their brick-sized mobile’s or the idiot who would talk loudly and incessantly on the train with the inevitable tag-line “I’m on the train” that put me off.  I could never quite see the immense appeal of mobile phones to my children as they were growing up and viewed the classroom on…

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