Notes from West London · Technology

Why I won’t be signing up for Uber anytime soon

Like many decisions this one is based on a combination of personal experience and stories in the news. I hadn’t signed up for Uber (the cab hire App) before last Friday and, based on our night out in Ladbroke Grove, I won’t bother anytime soon. One of my friends is very happy with Uber, has… Continue reading Why I won’t be signing up for Uber anytime soon

Health · Notes from West London

A newly acquired fear about injections

Today I had a lengthy dental appointment, having an old crown replaced. On the way I pondered just how old the previous crown was. It was definitely from the 1980s. When it was fitted Margaret Thatcher was still prime minister, Ceaucescu was still president of Romania and the Berlin Wall was still standing. And I… Continue reading A newly acquired fear about injections

Conversation recall · Reading

Conversation Recall: Martin Rees, or Martin Amis?

I haven’t written about Conversation Recall yet this month. Some people are not so good at it. They misremember conversations, or just make things up. Some years ago I was having a conversation over dinner with some friends. We were discussing books. A member of my family was in the room, not really taking part… Continue reading Conversation Recall: Martin Rees, or Martin Amis?

Catchphrases

“You gotta phone, incha?”

“You gotta phone, incha?” That’s our cockney rendering of the phrase “You’ve got a phone, haven’t you?” It’s our catch-phrase for any question with a factual answer that’s somewhere on the internet. What’s the capital of Burkina Faso? “You gotta phone incha?” (It’s Ouagadougou, which has long been my favourite capital city name.) Who’s top… Continue reading “You gotta phone, incha?”

Technology

Two ways that I will never use technology

Two stories late last year showed me the gulf between how I use technology (smartphone or laptop computer) and how other people use it. In Simon Hattenstone’s excellent, lengthy piece (over 9000 words) about alleged bullying in the Tory Party and the sad death of Elliott Johnson there’s a paragraph about how someone was blackmailed,… Continue reading Two ways that I will never use technology