Archive for April 2016

Turner wins a Prize

April 23, 2016

Joseph Mallard William Turner, an English Romanticist landscape painter who was born in 1775 and died in 1851, has been chosen by the Bank of England to be the next character on its £20 note. A magnificent choice as Turner was one of the all-time great painters. He will replace the current £20 quid avatar of Scottish economist, Adam Smith. The new note should be circulated by 2020.

Each country’s currency is unique and while the office was having a game of monopoly during a liquid lunch break (where we got liquidated in two different ways) we discussed the more unusual banknotes that have brightened up our days.

50 Kaneek – Belarus

Belarus love their wildlife. The Belarussian 50 Kanneek (circa 1992) features a red squirrel. how nuts is that? Other notes printed at the time included images of beavers, bears and wolves. It makes you wonder if the saying, name a famous Belgian should have been name a famous Belarusian instead. I expect a Belarusian wolf at the door any day now.

Punched out Mobutu Banknotes (Zaire)

Dictators always get their comeuppance, one way or another. In 1997 when the new government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo found itself short of notes it used used 20,000 Zaire (DR Congo’s name at the time) notes and punched out the face of the old dictator, Joseph Mobutu, creating a polo mint currency. This was a Rumble in the Jungle that Ali and Foreman would have been proud of.

10 Dollars – Cook Islands

From the wretched to the beautiful. And what could be more beautiful than the Cook Islands’ ten dollar bill? Although the region primarily uses the New Zealand dollar, the Cook Islands still issue their own distinctive currency – including this one-of-a-kind note featuring a topless woman riding a shark. Strangely, no other bank in the world will exchange this currency. It must be something to do with Jaws. Sharks don’t half get a bad press.

Now you may laugh or marvel at these outlandish offerings but I tell you what, seeing as I’ve not got any Turner originals on my wall or stashed away in the cupboard I’d love to have just one of those notes. Just one of them in my hand would cure my money problems. You see, I rolled the dice and it didn’t come up trumps. I’ve landed on the Sub-Editor’s Mayfair box and he’s got a hotel on it.


Cheddar is for the shredder

April 10, 2016

Ordinarily, I am not one to worry but worryingly, the symptoms had been occurring for over two weeks. For once, I was starting to look on the dark side. One area of general knowledge I am ignorant of is medical matters. I never consult a medical tome. What you don’t know won’t harm you. Still, it was over two weeks thus invoking the Balzac quote “our greatest fear lies in anticipation” I pulled from the shelf a book on illnesses.

The stomach pain while not being overly painful was irritating. It came and went at intervals. There could be many reasons for this ache. An ulcer or worse was noted. I prayed it was just indigestion. Thankfully, this was the case.

Dyspepsia is one name for this condition. It comes from the Greek. Dys is the prefix for bad and peptos is Greek for digested.  Now we know that anything with dys at the beginning is bad: Dystopia, Dyslexia, Dysfunction, Dyswebsite.

Clearly, there was something wrong with my diet and something had to go. I listed my dietary behaviour to find the Rogue One. There was no way that McEwans Export, Coca-Cola or chocolate was to blame for my plight. These guys would never harm me. We practically grew up together. These juices wouldn’t do a Judas on me. They were staying. Harummphh, as if chocolate digestives could give you indigestion. Ridiculous.

There’s a lot of savouries flung down my throat: pies, stake bakes, sausage rolls. There’s a question mark about their digestive properties. Could the fabled, protractor shaped  bridie be sent to Forfar?

Then it dairied on me that I do a lot of cheese. You know, I put cheese on everything. Cheese on toast, cheese toasties, baked potato with cheese, cheese burgers, chips and cheese, cornflakes and cheese, cheesy blogs. By cutting out cheese altogether I could determine if that was the culprit.

It was. So cheese no more. The mozzarella has had its last dance. It’s spicy chicken pizza from here on in. My stomach can handle that.


Copper futures and old Police

April 10, 2016

2016 was meant to be the year of copper yet as the graph below shows the metal is on course to be named year of the cropper. Early gains at the back end of last year, a weak economy and weak growth in developed markets is stunting the copper price.

The future of copper is not bright. This is a shame as it is one of the most under rated of metals. It is not as esteemed as its close cousins: Gold and Silver. Indeed, one of the alloys of copper is bronze which is normally associated with third prize in athletics events. The more well-off cousins are first and second. Not fair, I’d love to buy a bronze ring.

Unlike the mighty Iron, copper does not get rusty. A sub-mariner at heart, it is immune to water and when it reacts with atmospheric oxygen it forms a layer of copper oxide that protects the copper from further erosion. It’s as if it’s wearing a coat out in the cold. Wrapping up warm, good for you, copper.

Those Americans got it all wrong when naming their currency. A five cent coin is called a Nickel. Yet the mint is composed of 25% nickel and 75% copper! It should be called a copper. At least here in the UK, we say about our minor loose change- I’ve got some coppers in my pocket.

Coppers is also the nickelname for policepersons. Various answers are cited for why cops are cops. Eventually, after 200 words or so of drivel or cheese, I’ve got to the point of the blog. The long arm of the law. A Police record.


There’s not a team like the Glasgow Rangers

April 10, 2016

Follow, Following on from winning the Scottish Championship in midweek, Glasgow Rangers added the Petrofac Training Cup to their honours list at Hampden Park today. Well played, Rangers.

Quintessentially British, Rangers are more than a club, they are an institution. My grandfather supported Rangers, my old man supported Rangers, I support Rangers and my sons support Rangers. You don’t need to ask who the unborn grandweans will support. It’s a Rangers family thing. And there’s hundreds of thousands of Rangers families like that.

History. We’re Rangers, we’ve got plenty of that.