A freelancer's blog

The grammar of herbs and spices

Buying spices in the supermarket always feels harder than it should be. I know they’re alphabetically ordered, so I look for basil between allspice and cinnamon, but fail to find it. Then I look down and see basil on a completely different shelf. I vaguely wonder why it’s on a different shelf, but I rationalise it away: “Maybe it’s a different brand or something.”

Not a lawyer: making a request under the Freedom of Information Act

I’ve always tried to avoid blogging about the law. I’m wary of looking like That Guy, the one who thinks that a mixture of received wisdom and googling makes you practically a barrister because hey, this law stuff is easy. It’s a fine line between contributing to an online debate and suddenly turning into the Queen’s Counsel of the Comments Section, saying things like “I think you’ll find that’s technically assault,” when you really have no clue. It’s easier to steer clear of the whole subject. But... you can guess what’s coming next, can’t you? I’ve changed my mind.

Fake buckets and bungee jumps: charities have the wrong approach

Not long before Christmas, a Red Cross fundraiser knocked on my door. I took one look at him and said: “Sorry, I don’t set up direct debits with strangers on the doorstep.” He replied, “No, I’m actually collecting sponsorship for a bungee jump at the weekend.”

I said I would be happy to sponsor a bungee jump and went for my wallet – only to find him laughing. He’d been joking about the bungee jump and wouldn’t take any cash. So I closed the door and put my wallet away.

In which I resolve to read less

“You can see it’s not normal, though, can’t you?” my husband asked. A few days ago the Jehovah’s Witnesses popped by with a leaflet urging me to read some Bible verses. My response was to flip through my Bible looking up the verses, while getting annoyed that they’d supplied a reference for looking them up rather than just printing the relevant verses.

“I mean, it’s only a short bit. They could easily have fitted it all into the actual leaflet.”
“What are you doing?”
“It’s not as if you’d have any copyright issues with the Bible. I mean, the authors are all dead.”