Today’s tehgraun tells me that Ofcom says that 4% of adults in the UK aged 25-44 don’t have a mobile phone. I didn’t realise we were that unusual. Apparently I’m a “handset holdout”. Actually I just don’t like the telephone much, and don’t want to spend money to be able to use it any more than I have to.

And these days I don’t seem to use it much at all, which is very good. We don’t seem to be in the Oxford phonebook, a number I’ve never used has been printed next to my name in the University phonebook, and my own College keeps getting confused and listing at least one wrong number in its own internal directory. I think this is pretty much ideal.

UPDATE: And, as fellow refusnik Jamie says, “Anyway, I have a postal address, an e-mail address, a landline and a webpage. How much more do you want, you nosy bastards?”

Ireland beat Pakistan!

It’s at times like this that I suddenly recall that my nineteenth-century forebears had names like Kalaugher, Kelly, Driscoll, O’Reilly, McCarthy, MacGuire and McAuly (not to mention plenty of eighteenth-century Anglo-Irish Brookes), and I feel more Irish than I actually am…

… although it looks as if you have to be called O’Brien to play for the Irish cricket team.

(Similarly, one of the minor pleasures of watching Wales beat England is the affinity provided by the knowledge that my great-grandfather Alfred Mathews took the field for Wales against Scotland on 9 January 1886. It was his only cap, and Scotland won on the day, but it’s enough for me. It’s interesting to be diasporic in an almost entirely non-diasporic kind of a way.)


In my world, the letters “TMS” can refer either to Test Match Special or to the Theory of Moral Sentiments. So far the different bits of that world have stayed sufficiently distinct from one another that I don’t think I’ve ever made myself horribly confused, but I’m sure the day will come when I muddle them up (and I’m also confident that the day has become closer now that I’ve become self-conscious about the possibility of that confusion).

St Patrick

It’s half-time during France vs Scotland in Paris, and there’s a distinct possibility that Ireland will end the day Six Nations Champions, if Scotland can hold on, and that the Irish cricketers may beat Pakistan in the World Cup: Pakistan are 73-6 off 22.3 overs. My goodness.

I’m trying not to get excited by the World Cup, because one-day cricket is a silly game (unless it’s 20-20 cricket, which pushes silliness to the limit, and becomes sensible, again, or something), but there’s been a satisfying amount of drama for a competition that’s still only a few days old.

UPDATE [5.15pm]: Bugger. Still, Pakistan are 112 for 8 (34.2 overs).

UPDATE [7.20pm]: Still, I always like it when Wales beats England.

Is Stephen Pollard an Idiot? You Decide.

Here’s a chunk of one of today’s posts, about the BBC reporter Matt Frei.

Frei then claims that when Ann Coulter used the word ‘faggot’ in reference to John Edwards (Frei doesn’t mention Edwards, and so fails to put the remark into context) the audience “lapped it up”. Well no, they didn’t. If he’d bothered to speak to people who were there, or even watch a video, he’d have seen that after Coulter made her remark there was silence, then some embarrassed/nervous/polite laughter.

I’m not sure why adding the “context” that Coulter was talking about Edwards makes a difference here. But what I think you ought to do is watch the clip here and then decide for yourself whether Pollard offers an especially accurate account of proceedings. One bit of “context” that Pollard unaccountably fails to mention, for example, is that there’s quite a lot of applause, too.