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Showing posts from May, 2019

The road to salvation if you want to provide astonishing party small talk, impress those dumb enough to be impressed and want to cut a dash: read The Economist. (NB You won’t find it in doctors’ or dentists’ waiting rooms and you’ll have to buy it but there’s a downside to most things, eh?)

For several years in the 1980s and 1990s I was rather impressed by my younger brother’s knowledge - and not just his general knowledge, but his sometimes quite specific knowledge of business, politics, world affairs and I don’t know what else. If you mentioned something, he had to hand the facts and figures, the latest development, a general prognosis of how things might well develop and quite often details of a minority view, why the accepted view of matters was possibly too pessimistic or too optimistic or something. The things he knew, the obscure snippets he could - and would - come out with with startling ease was often quite astonishing. How can he know that? I would wonder, and often felt very thick.

Strictly he - Mark - was only my ‘younger brother’ until December 22 of a few years ago, but our older brother Ian died that day, so now my younger brother has been bumped up to ‘my brother’. And please don’t think me heartless for making such a quip in bad taste. My older brother w…