The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell

Tag: Money

Saturday, 10th September 2016

I took this photo of a ticket machine screen at Ealing Broadway station on 28th August. The first off-peak day return that’s displayed costs £16.85. So some people looking for a same-day return, especially if they’re in a rush, will buy that ticket. It’s only when you look in the second column that you see another off-peak day return that costs £11.90. The difference with this ticket is that it’s ‘Not valid for travel via…’ (presumably) central London. But, given that there’s a regular and direct service from Ealing Broadway to Cholsey (which doesn’t go via London), for ninety per cent of passengers, routes and changes are irrelevant. And yet the more expensive ticket is the more prominently displayed, almost as if FirstGroup wants passengers inadvertently to waste their money. Shurely shome mishtake.

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Wednesday, 22nd April 2015

The Bank of Mum and Dad is, apparently, ‘(especially in the context of property purchase) a person’s parents regarded as a source of financial assistance or support’ (ODE).

Shome mishnomer, shurely? That’s the Bank of Mater and Pater.

Monday, 27th October 2014

I stand at an intransigent cashpoint, trying to coax out some beer money to place me amidst my cups. I’m bartered down to requesting just ten pounds, but still money comes there none. Instead I get a curt message, and realise for the first time why these machines are called automatic tellers: what can one say to ‘You do not have sufficient funds’, except ‘Well, that’s me told.’

Wednesday, 26th March 2014

During the Second World War George Orwell noted approvingly that the railings around many of London’s private garden squares had disappeared: ‘the object was partly to accumulate scrap-iron, but the removal was also felt to be a democratic gesture.’

Nowadays, walking around the affluent residential areas just outside central London, I notice more and more railings. And they’re not around garden squares, but plain old front gardens; as if the owners, who would really like to live in gated communities (or closer in to town, around a garden square), are forced to settle for railed-off communities consisting of one family each. Perhaps some of them are starting to think, subconsciously, that they probably deserve to be burgled or have their Porsche keyed. In any case, the sliding, remote-controlled railings can be jumped over as easily as the postman opens a gate. In Orwell’s time as now, ‘where there is money, there are railings’, and they’re ‘not only unnecessary but hideously ugly’.

Sunday, 1st December 2013

Walking past a hospital I spot the most craven example of brand pollution I’ve ever seen, on (would you credit it?) a wet-pain sign. Stop the press,

NHS Trusts Dulux™ for big bucks…

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