In The News

Why hedge funds are a bad idea

> What is upsetting the hedge funds is that if between 10% and 15% of VW shares were on loan to be shorted and only just over 5% were available in the market, it is likely that many of the funds that shorted VW had borrowed the shares from Porsche.

> It meant that because Porsche had not declared the proportion of VW shares it controlled, traders may have been indirectly and inadvertently borrowing shares from Porsche, selling them to Porsche, buying them back from Porsche and then returning them to Porsche.

And there it all is, in a nutshell. If ever you’ve wondered why hedge funds have a reputation for being a bit edgy, then here’s the explanation. Money is strange stuff.

Here’s the original article.


Dailies for Sunday 26 October 2008



Maisy has an assertiveness problem. She’s not been defending her turf with quite as much success as we were hoping that she would. Instead of claiming this garden as her own, it feels like every time she goes out to use the facilities, she’s paying the neighbour’s cat 20p for the privilege.

The other night, I was sat on the sofa with Maisy on my lap. In the conservatory, I heard the sound of some foreign animal attempting to enter through the cat flap. Maisy launched herself off of my lap and ran to the top of the stairs, where she nervously sat down. This location was clearly chosen because it is as far away from the conservatory door as possible, while still maintaining line-of-sight.

A few weeks ago, she left a dead mouse on the patio. At the time we assumed that she had killed it and brought it back as a gift, but I’m wondering now if our initial assessment was incorrect. It seems likely that the mouse was actually chasing Maisy back into the house, and then slipped on the edge of a paving slap and broke its neck.

Maisy’s problem, if you wish to call it a problem, is that she likes to sleep. Any time not spent curled up on the Poang, or under Bernard’s bed, or on a chair in the conservatory, is time wasted. She has no work ethic whatsoever.



handlebars from my perspective

My handlebars remind me of batman’s utility belt, so I thought I’d post a photo. From left to right:

1. Grip shift to control the front gears
2. Cycle computer. Battery has run out, and the mounting bracket is broken, so I think this one might be removed soon.
3. My new horn. I had a bell once, but Karen needed it more than me, so I donated it to her.
4. Headlight. It’s a Nite Rider UltraFazer 3.0. Despite the name, it’s fairly good. Takes 2xAA batteries.
5. Behind the front post is my Topeak top tube bag for carrying my wallet, phone, keys and multi-tool. It’s got a nifty yellow lining.
6. Cheap headlight from Argos. Takes 2xAAA batteries. I use it on its flashing mode to be seen.
7. Another Nite Rider UltraFazer 3.0 – when it’s completely pitch black, one isn’t enough.
8. Simple friction lever for the rear gears. I used to have a grip shift, but it broke, and I don’t like grip shifts anyway, so I replaced it with this.

handlebars from an oncomer's perspective


Dailies for Saturday 25 October 2008

Top Photos



About Me Meander

Aunt Rachel

Today I went to my Aunt Rachel’s funeral. I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing there, to be honest. She was never interested in me, my sister or my son, and I was never interested in her. There were no specific things about her that I disliked, we just had nothing in common.

I spent most of the ceremony sat in the front row feeling like a fraud. Behind me were rows and rows of people, Rachel’s friends. I expect that most of them didn’t even know that she had a nephew. I felt that they were her real family, not me. They were the ones who would miss her. I sat and listened, feeling a lump in my throat here and there, looking to my left to gauge my dad’s reaction, to my right to see my sister’s. My dad was staring ahead, his face betraying no emotion. My sister would catch my eye whenever I turned to her, her face reading as something like “assuming that you’re thinking the same thing as me, then yes, I agree.” Anyone with a sibling will know that one.

As the ceremony ended, the first person to leave was John, her husband. And as he passed in front of me, I saw an expression in his face that turned the whole afternoon on its head. There was the determination of a man who was focussed on making sure that his wife got the send-off that she would have wanted. There was the relief of a man who was glad that his wife’s 20 month dalliance with cancer was over. And there was the despair of a man who had lost the woman that he loved, the one that he had chosen, the one that he had lived every day with. I realised – there’s a man that has lost his Karen.

And my concerns about feeling like a fraud were suddenly insignificant.

Incidentally, Rachel’s decision to have Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood played as her coffin was removed from a black motorcycle sidecar and carried into the crematorium was fucking awesome. I shit ye not.

Top Photos



At the Lakes Aquarium, Lakeside, Lake District, Lakelakelakelake.

In The News

An open letter to Iceland

I do not support our government’s inappropriate use of anti-terrorism laws. Our leaders are idiots. Rest assured, we’re going to vote them out at the next available opportunity. I wish that we could vote them out sooner.

All of the real human beings in the UK have sympathy for the real human beings in Iceland. The shit that we are going through is nothing compared to what you are experiencing, and we are all aware of this.



An Inconvenient Freecycler

> Hi there

> *** in *** freecycled her Dyson today, but accidentally gave away her new one instead of the old. She would really like to swap them back, please! Can the man who collected it, please give her a ring on *** or reply to me on this email?

> Many thanks and sorry for the confusion!

I believe that she was momentarily distracted by a volcano in her kitchen.