Archive for August, 2006

It was a very secure flight…

The use of Churchill’s wartime image by Ryanair ‘to keep Britain Flying’ which has appeared in various newspapers in recent days – has, clearly, led to a counter-attack from other airlines.  These passengers solved the problem of delays at UK airports by having no hand baggage.

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I picked up the ‘Nearly Legal’ blog from Binary Law – and I am glad I did.  There is an interesting article on the subject of blog anonymity. For years I have been deluding myself that my alter ego as Charon QC was heavily masked – but as my blog became slightly better known, a number of other blogs gave the game away.  It does not trouble me – but for the sake of continuing self delusion, I continue to pretend that I am, in fact, Charon – when I write on here.

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Saturday in West London

I claim no originality in the idea for this pic – but as some readers may not read Private Eye and Eye did not publish the cartoon which inspired this variant on their website – I have done a variation of the idea for you. The original, worded differently (“Ladies and gentlemen…the bride and groom will now cut the wedding coke”), amused me.

Food writers and restaurant reviewers. For some reason I find many food writers and restaurant reviewers irritating. I’m not a ‘foodie’ (I do enjoy food and a penchant for reds is quite apparent, perhaps from some of my writing) so I find some reviews over the top.

Imagine if there was a restaurant called The Charon? This is the sort of overblown claptrap produced by some foodie hyperbolators. I prefer the writers who tell it straight

The Charon, 1234 Greek St, Soho
There’s great excitement at Soho’s latest bijou restaurant, The Charon. Head Chef, Marco Worral Charon, has found the last ever supply of the mouthwatering fungi Toscana while on holiday near Siena. He won’t reveal where he finds these extravagantly expensive, but delicious, relatives of the humble button mushroom – all he can say is that there are no more to be found anywhere in Tuscany this season. Chef braises the mushrooms first in a rare Chianti, then sautees them off gently in garlic butter, before sprinkling them with a fine dusting of ligurian sea salt and black Florentine pepper – to a recipe first used by Michelangelo when he carved the famous statue of David. Three of the Euro (€) sized mushrooms arrived on a pristine white plate, slightly off centre, with just a drizzle of olive oil and an exquisitely shaped piece of raw carrot, carved to look like a ‘V’ sign. My dining companion, a particularly exacting chartered accountant from one of the Big Four, told me that it was a long time since he had such an orgasmic experience. I bit into the delicately flavoured fungi. I had to agree. I gasped, such was the fragrance, the taste, like foie gras melting on the tongue. We drank a fine Montepulciano, a wine of such depth that I could not see my dining companion through the glass when I held it up to the light to look at its legs. It would have been sacrilege to have taken further food from this great chef – a redundancy.

Sadly, you won’t be able to experience this Charonic feast for yourselves, because, all the fungi Toscana have been eaten by restaurant reviewers – an ephemera…which reminded me of the death of a beautiful yellow butterfly when I was eating at an exclusive restaurant set on the hills of Eze on the Cote d’Azur above St Jean Cap Ferrat, but a week ago. (£200 for 2 with wine)

The sun has broken through. Pakistan are giving England a hard time at The Oval – which is a good thing, because Pakistan are playing superb cricket – and it is time for me to prepare myself for an evening of conversation at The Swan. Perhaps Codebreaker will be there?

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On a wet Friday… ephemera

It is Friday… and no-one seems to be around. So it is time for some ephemera and, just perhaps, a bit of law – indirectly.

To the left is a famous advert. I have a copy of this and another, depicting a doctor being woken up at 4.30 in the morning by a patient captioned “More Doctors smoke Camel than any other brand”, framed in my bathroom. Soon, of course, the social lepers that we are will be forced to pursue our evil habit in the open air (but not in bus shelters), leaving sensible non-smokers, roundheads, busybodies and members of ASH delighting in the clean air and lack of noise inside. I shall simply start taking snuff – which I do from time to time – if the weather is too appalling to nip outside for a fag. Mind you, I did read, earlier in the week that Mayor Bloomburg of New York is giving away $125 million dollars to help stamp smoking out all over the world. I am sure that this news will have had the worthies over at ASH hyperventilating with excitement as they sip their camomile tea.

A woman who returned to her car after her pay and display ticket had expired had her ticket cancelled by Brighton Council. She received a letter to this effect which ended with the request: “Please make sure your daughter only vomits within pay and display time.” Laurie Ward, 30, was not amused and moaned that she did not expect to be treated like that by a public body. Brighton Council apologised.

I am going to institute “Lobster” awards: Regular readers of Consilio will be aware that I have a plastic lobster which does strange things and goes to extraordinary places. Consilio asks readers to find the pic of my lobster – and when they do, they get a prize – a simple marketing ploy where everyone wins. Here is my lobster sitting on the chair (I am sitting on it now) which is reputed to have come from HMS Bellerophon which fought at Trafalgar (I always believe dodgy antique dealers). I will be awarding “Lobsters” for ‘outstanding conduct which enriches the human spirit’. Brighton Council gets the first award for their response to Laurie Ward (supra).

Mel Gibson is getting quite a lot of flak for his recent anti-semitic outbursts while drunk.

Here is an amusing pastiche done by roningraffiti. Worth a look if you haven’t seen it. A short film.

And something for Family lawyers…

A couple is lying in bed. The man says, “I am going to make you the happiest woman in the world.”

The woman replies, “I’ll miss you…”

And so I leave you, on this Friday afternoon, with the thought: If your parents never had children, chances are you won’t either. (Dick Cavett)

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I do enjoy visiting RollonFriday

… and yet again their journos have found a gem. Read the advert below which I have screen grabbed from LawCareers.net

Apart from a dodgy typo (and I am prone to those myself) the advert is fascinating. Here we have an entrepreneurial solicitor Tony Seymour @ hotmail (Liked the classy email address) seeking an ‘uber-secretary’, no doubt at secretarial salary (not made known) who has to possess a good (2.1) LLB, have completed the LPC, hold an LLM in advanced civil litigation and have 12 months paralegal experience. The advert, curiously, does not specify any particular level of typing skill or PA experience – was that an oversight?

Of course, there will be few legal secretaries with such a profile, and the ‘lure’ of the ‘possibility’ of a training contract gives the game away. Seymours clearly want to get a high quality trainee lawyer at a more modest cost. Why not? Probably better than luring bright young graduates into paralegal work – hinting at ‘development to a training contract at some unspecified time in the future’ – where they are consigned to the bowels of a grand building in the City to do fairly routine work, photocopying and sundry other tasks which do not require the skills of a highly qualified young trainee lawyer.

Mr Seymour clearly does not wish to be troubled initially with having to wade through pleading covering letters, carefully constructed CVs – for he requires ‘concise details (1 page only) – or perhaps that is because his Hotmail account can’t take attachments !

I may well apply for the job. I may not have the precise qualifications he seeks, nor, indeed, high level typing skills – but I feel sure that I would be able to bring vitality, enthusiasm and vigour to the post – especially if the firm provides Rioja, espressos and Silk Cut as ‘staff benefits’.

I am sure that Tony Seymour’s Hotmail in-box will soon be bulging – especially if RollonFriday discussion board members decide they all wish to apply.

I am sure that Anonymous Lawyer would approve of this advert and recruitment policy!

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…. so I decided that I would spend today cradling a dead pig in the middle of an art gallery. Well… that is not entirely true. In fact, while I have a taste for the surreal, I will not be doing this… but there is someone who will be.

The Mirror reports (or should that be ‘reveals’?) that “a naked artist will caress a slaughtered pig for four hours..at gallery funded by lottery cash, of course.”

“Kira O’Reilly, who may even cut into the corpse with a knife, says bafflingly the exhibition is about “pigginess, unexpected fantasies of emergence and interspecies metamorphose”

You may be inspired to read the full story – but, yet again, I found myself just having poached eggs for breakfast. Two weeks ago it was Gordon Ramsay slaughtering his favourite pigs for the edification of the British public on Channel 4, now a naked artist wants to cradle a dead pig, dig her hand into its belly and perhaps even cut it with a scalpel – while viewers go into a room for 10 minutes a time to gape.

As the Mirror reports…“Protesters said yesterday: “This isn’t entertainment – it’s sick. She needs help.”

On that note… I am surfing over the Independent which may have other delights for me to reflect upon. Barking!

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I visit Human Law regularly – because the blogger (Justin Patten) knows what he is talking about – and is a well known blogger. I am not given to vanity (although I do appreciate mentions from fellow bloggers – and appreciate the camaraderie of the blawg world) However….
I spilt my espresso all over my desk when I saw a pic of myself staring out at me from his serious blog! This is what Justin Patten wrote about this blawg : …. Charon is a prolific poster of content, sometimes eccentric but clearly shows a razor sharp mind. It is well worth a look.

Editorial comment: I feel certain that Justin meant to say ‘Rioja sharp’ (I have been blawging nonsense for 4 years – but using html on the Consilio magazine. This new technology version is recent.)

Reading his blog has already yielded benefits for me. On his blog roll, Charon refers to the management consultant,Nick Jarrett-Kerr – As a result of this, I called Nick up and we subsequently had a meeting in London.

Editorial comment: I know Nick Jarrett-Kerr well. His management course available from The Legal Practitioner is a serious course and – cheap. He is also an innovative thinker. A lot of solicitors would benefit from talking to Nick J-K. Thanks for the recommendation, Justin.

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