Are oil prices too high?

I would like a reporter to stop me in the street and ask me what I think about the price of petrol, child abuse, salaries of politicians, corporate executives and crime rates. I also would like to know what idiot makes up the questions and for what purpose. Continue reading

Religious Freedom

This morning on TV there was a report from China which told of the difficulty of being a Christian there. Church services have to be held in secret because the government only permits certain Christian communities to pray. The legal ones have to vow their allegiance to Communism. I had not heard of this about China before. Of course, I knew that the Falun Gong and Falun Dafa had problems with freedom of worship, but did not realise that the Chinese Government fears organised Christianity so much. Continue reading

French ban on smoking

France has come kicking and screaming into the 21st Century with a ban on smoking in public places. The ban had been approved and came into effect on New Year’s Day in 2007.

Now they’ve gone one step further and are going to ban smoking in restaurants on the 1st January 2008. Now this is quite a shock for me because I can’t believe that there won’t be another French Revolution over this issue. Continue reading

Celebrities and Perfume

We used to have exquisitely romantic names for perfumes such as “Chanel No.5”, “Arp├Ęge”, “Evening in Paris’, and “L’air du Temps” by Nina Ricci. Those names evoked glamour and passion and when I dabbed them delicately along the pulse points on my wrists I felt as if I were transported to a place where life was special.

This week I visited a perfumery. There are still some classic perfumes but there is also an irritating addition to the range. Continue reading

Palestinians are not interested in peace.

When our sons were young we imposed a rule that there should be no hitting. Differences were to be resolved with discussion. It’s a fact that you could hear the discussions miles away, but when I look back through my rose-coloured glasses we had a pretty peaceful household. Isn’t the mind wonderful the way it shoves unpleasant thoughts into the subconscious. There was one incident, however, that we remember vividly. Continue reading

Can’t spell, can’t talk, can’t write

What a coincidence! Last night (see previous post) I lamented the decline of teachers and today the paper is full of articles on school standards. Two such articles are “Uni gets tough on command of English” (The Australian, Dec.19) and another (also from toady’s “Australian”) which announces “Grammar tests return to classroom.” This second one says that in May the government will include an extra “language convention test” on spelling, grammar and punctuation in its national literacy test. Forgive me for asking, but aren’t grammar, spelling and punctuation an integral part of literacy already? Continue reading