Spitting Image 2020

. 1570 words; about 8 minutes.

If you can, cast your mind back to your childhood in 1980s Britain. It is Sunday. The day has dragged on for about forty hours already. Sunday dinner has been eaten, washed-up, and the vegetables have been put on to boil so they will be ready for next Sunday. The crushing boredom was nearly enough to make one consider doing one's homework. Nearly.

Fortunately, it is now 10pm and time for the weekend's swan song.

50 People Who Buggered Up Britain, by Quentin Letts

. 739 words; about 4 minutes.

This book was picked semi-randomly out of a second hand shop's three quid pile when in a rush to catch a train. The provocative title sounded interesting, and the author's name was vaguely familiar from Radio 4, so I was expecting something moderately entertaining and/or thought-provoking like Radio 4 output often is.

There is a saying that assumption is the mother of all cock-ups. Well, I really dropped a bollock here.

Railtrack and Other Letters, by John Hein

. 1041 words; about 6 minutes.

I knew John Hein through some rather entertaining Usenet posts over the years. I'd formed an image of a large red-haired Scotsman who lived in a Glasgow tenement and had a bizarre fasciation with trains and telephone systems. As it turns out, I was wrong: he lives in Edinburgh.