Yesterday evening saw the third guitar class.   Right said John (skinny smoker, 40’s, North London) we’re gonna play ‘Mr Tambourine Man’.   The air held sudden stillness. Perhaps I wasn’t the only one in shock.   He wrote the chords on the whiteboard (the photocopies hadn’t arrived) and gave us an excellent demo including vocals.   We spent some time vaguely rehearsing.   For the first time in my life I visited G major: fingers 2 and 3 on low strings with the little finger on a high string, the latter proving quite a contortion.   I had to wrest the unused little finger into position.   (What do we use the little finger for?   The occasional scratching of an ear, I suppose.)   By the time John called for a collective performance, I hadn’t had time to examine the next three chords.   And that was just the first line!   I glued my fingers to G major waiting for the off in breathless terror.   And away we went.   While all around me came a clashing, humming buzz of guitar noise with occasional evidence of change here and there, I stuck firmly to my G major like a Titanic survivor clutching a plank.   And then I saw that our teacher was looking eagle-eyed at our left hands for evidence of movement.   I stuck to my G major, partly because my left hand was in a state of terminal paralysis, and partly because I hadn’t a clue where to go next.   Also it afforded me some small solace that, as his suspicious eyes roved up and down his flock, I was in the position of the church clock that was stuck at six o’clock … at least there were two occasions during 24 hours that it showed the right time.



An issue raised by Five Live this morning was whether or not Thatcher should have a state funeral.   Nation-wide street parties I’d have thought.


As I enter the third week of my online Parapsychology course (extrasensory perception) and the talk on the radio is of the cost of university fees and how to repay them, it occurs to me that online courses will be the thing of the future.   I’m getting a course book, onscreen documents, audio interviews with leading world experts, and blogs with my colleagues and course tutor. I suppose there could be telephone or skype conferences, too.   I paid a concessionary £100, half the standard fee, for a 10-week course.   All I’m missing are Refec chips.

I thought it was commendably fitting of Her Madge to cancel this year’s public Christmas party because of the straitened circumstances faced by her subjects.   It’s a shame that her sense of fair play is not echoed by Samantha Cameron, who has spent £30,000 of her inherent wealth refurbishing the No 10 kitchen.   This is considerably more than the U.K. average annual income.   At a time when her husband is devising ways of making us all poorer, it smacks of Let them eat cake.

If David Cameron screws up my beloved NHS, I’ll come back and haunt him.   (Claire Rayner’s last words 11,10,10)


The right wing Tea Party in the States is likely to do rather well in the forthcoming congressional elections.   One of the partiers is Christine O’Donnell of Delaware, who came through her primary with the support of the Tea Party.   O’Donnell claims that evolution is a myth and backs the view with the question Why aren’t monkeys still evolving into humans?   Hasn’t she seen George W. Bush?

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