James Miller


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Watching Football and Other Sports


My wife, Celia, died in December and since then I have taken out a subscription to both Sky Sports and Setanta. In some ways it’s been a lifeline and a great help to get my life back on track. You’d be surprised at some of the offerings I’ve enjoyed. Especially the Indian Premier League.

But she would have disapproved!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Acres v. Hectares


This was prompted by a letter to The Times. I sent it in, but it wasn't published.

As an engineer, who worked for ICI in the early seventies, I’ve never really used Imperial units, as that company went to SI (metric) units in 1956 or thereabouts. I also have a copy of The Times for the 20th July 1969, which as well as announcing the birth of our first son, Edward, also documents the first landing on the moon, by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Tucked in the middle of that paper is the report of the Decimalisation and Metrication Board, which had intended that we all use metric units by 1984.

Whatever happened to that aim? At least we got rid of Lsd!

As a stud farmer can I visualise an acre? No!

But a hectare is easy and I see one every time I go to watch Ipswich play football, as a hectare is the approximate size of the pitch.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Churchill on Economists


If you put two economists in a room, you get two opinions, unless one of them is Lord Keynes, in which case you get three opinions - Winston Churchill

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The New Lotus Evora


They’ve just announced the new Lotus. I know that supercars are a bit passé, but at least with a Lotus you get economy as well. If I could afford it, my name would be on the list.

I’ve just returned from a holiday in Germany driving my 1990 year old Lotus Elan. What fun! There we were travelling down the autobahn at well over a hundred mph, with all the Merc, BMW and Audi drivers giving me a “What the fuck’s that sort of look?” It never failed to turn heads when I parked it. That’s one of the reasons I always say it’s the second best car in the world.


Here’s a picture of Yellow Dog or K9WFF.


Note that I wrote the text some years ago.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Roman Law


Celia nearly didn't end up as a barrister.

After her first year at University College, Celia had failed Roman Law. It so happened that summer that we had swapped houses with people in Westport Connecticut, as I was trying to sell PERT7 to the Yanks. No-one has ever realised that the data structures of PERT7 and Artemis were exactly the same. As the first one worked, why shouldn't I have used it again.

What held a dark hand over this holiday was that Celia was trying to revise her Roman Law, which on the one hand she hated and on the other didn't think it was that important.

At one point we were travelling down the freeway and all her notes on the subject started to disappear out of the window. At this point, I stopped the car and attempted to retrieve the notes. Celia thought I was mad running about in the traffic.

But I got enough for her to pass the exam.

Would she have passed if I hadn't?


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Celia and Robert Kilroy Silk


If there was one person that Celia detested it was Robert Kilroy Silk.

He had been her tutor at Liverpool University and it had annoyed her that he had proceeded to chain smoke Capstan Full Strength or some other noxious weed throughout all of the tutorials she attended. As she died of a secondary lung cancer and these tutorials were the only time she was ever in a seriously smokey atmosphere, I do wonder if there is any connection. I doubt it, but it would be nice to blame someone for her death.

She only ever saw him once after she left Liverpool and that was at Newmarket races. I urged her to go and say hello, but she didn't. She felt he was too obnoxious to bother to be worthy of a greeting.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dunlop Tennis Tournaments


With all those tennis fans out there perhaps someone might be able help me.

In the 1950s and 60s, Dunlop used to run a series of tennis tournaments at places such as Frinton, Hoylake, Torquay and all round the country. My father used to print the handbills and it was always my job as a child to compose the type for the tournaments.

I’ve always wanted a copy of one of those that were printed by my father, but they seemed to have disappeared without trace. They would be labelled “H. Miller and Sons.”

Someone must have one somewhere!


Frinton for the Incontinent


I just searched for the title of this post and everybody seems to be having a dig at the Essex town. But I did laugh at some of the posts and especially the paid for web site called allaboutincontinence.co.uk.

It's just the name.

But it's good that it's being talked about. It'll probably get me in the end!

Golfing in Frinton


I must admit that I laughed at the story about long socks with shorts at Frinton Golf Club on BBC yesterday.

Very in tune with the sign at Manningtree Station, that used to say "Harwich for the Continent", to which some wag appended "and Frinton for the Incontinent".

Celia knew all about Frinton and was persona non grata in the town. Not that she would have ever wanted to visit. Except perhaps for the same reasons I would go to the States, whilst they have the death penalty. To do some work and collect a large cheque.

So why was Celia on the list of those not wanted in Frinton?

She was the barrister who acted for the Co-op to get the first off-licence in Frinton. Unfortunately for the Incontinent, the applicant was a rather nice Asian guy, so the magistrates did not turn the application down.

Checking on Google, it appears that there are more than one in the town. Oh dear! I wonder if Celia realised what a terrible flood she would be bringing to the town.

Of course she did! And she told the tale of the off-licence many times.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Inefficient Police


Someone I know is a lawyer, who handles terrorism cases. They will say that some police forces are so much more professional at doing the investigation than others.

If you look through published cases, you will see that some forces charge people much quicker than others in what appear to be very similar cases.

So is one of the reasons for 42 days to cater for those forces that haven’t got their acts together? But then we’d never know as this vital information will never be published.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Smoking in Holland


The BBC has just announced that it is now illegal to smoke tobacco in restaurants and bars in Holland. But it still legal to smoke cannabis in coffee shops, provided it’s not mixed with tobacco.

I did laugh!