Tuesday 11 September 2012


I knew it was coming...like watching a vulture circling a staggering antelope.

First a couple of my friends, then my ex-brother-in-law, then more friends, then me.  Yes, the hacked Hotmail account...on this occasion it just sent a link to a diet supplement website.  The first I knew about it was when I couldn't log on with my mobile, and then I got a few e-mails for family and friends asking why I had sent the link to them.  Sadly I suspect that means they clicked on the link, so probably now have a virus on their computer now.  Sorry.  This sort of thing is something that is beyond my comprehension and probably reflects that slowly, surely the modern age is catching up and overtaking me...that will truly be the sign of old age.

I read this in the New York Times:

Oscar Mayer Proposes a New Bacon as a New Currency

Many people, even those who are not New York State residents, have probably heard the lottery slogan, “All it takes is a dollar and a dream.” Now comes an actor, comedian and writer, seeking to make his way across the country in the next two weeks with only a dream and, oh, yes, instead of a dollar, a trailer filled with 3,000 pounds of a new bacon.
The actor, Josh Sankey, will embark this week on a promotion for the Oscar Mayer division of Kraft Foods that is being called the Great American Bacon Barter. 
Mr. Sankey’s trailer will be filled by Oscar Mayer with a ton and a half of its new Butcher Thick Cut bacon, which he is to trade for food, fuel, a place to spend the night and anything else he might need during his trip from the New York area to Los Angeles

It made me reach for my calculator...and with the figures from the rest of the article I worked out that this guy will have $20,000 worth of bacon.  Now I know that the Americans are different, but I reckon that even a fool could trade that amount of bacon for a thousand dollars worth of fuel and hotel accommodation.  The journalist goes on to say, it is "not unlike the stories about power barterers who start with, say, a paper clip and wind up with a house".  Err no I don't think so....if he started with one packet I might agree.

Anyway if Walls wants to offer me a couple of tonnes of bacon so I can barter my way to Rio in 2016, I'm up for the challenge.

The papers are riddled with articles about what the O/Paralympics mean and what the impact on the country will be.  Of course, they've covered the obvious - the recognition that sportspeople come in all shapes and sizes, and what matters is the fun, the excitement of competitive sport...especially when it doesn't involve 22 over-paid multi-millionaires.  But now the analyses are taking a more philosophical tone...what has happened to the British psyche - will we all change from the moaning, groaning Limeys who predicted failure, embarrassment and humiliation?  Well who can say?  I rather appreciated the ever so slightly mad Simon Barnes in The Times who said that the British had been for once been able to look at themselves in a mirror and rather liked what they saw.  I think he was probably right.  We may have had one of those 'Diana' moments - you know when suddenly it became OK to show your emotions, cry in public?  Well perhaps, just perhaps people will feel able to, want to, talk up the country they live in and the people they live with.  Perhaps through all the trials and tribulations of the last 60 years, a nation has emerged that should be proud of its achievements, confident of its place in the world order and happy with a colourful, multicultural society which is generally tolerant and mostly good natured.  Certainly if you look at the sheer numbers of people that have come away with a very positive summer experience, then there must be a strong likelihood of change.  In London, that effect is bound to be substantially more noticeable than elsewhere, simply because the experience was that much closer...everywhere you could see the Gamesmakers, the officials, the athletes, the signs, hear the sounds, recognise the sights....but hopefully the positive vibes have spread into the veins of the entire country