The rat in the plane – Graham Coyle

Some years ago a test pilot was flying a new model of jet.   At one point in the flight he heard an unusual, non-mechanical sound.  He looked down at where the sound was coming from to see a rat gnawing through one of the cables.  He realised that this was not good.  He could not deal directly with the intruder himself as he was engaged in flying the plane.  If he aimed to return to his airstrip he was fairly certain that the rat would finish its task first, probably with catastrophic results.  His only option was to deprive the rat of what it most needed; oxygen. (more…)

Blog – Graham Coyle

People ‘of a certain age’ may relate to this.  I was in a conversation a little while ago with a group of long-standing friends.  These are good friends, the type of friends that have passed through a lot in each other’s company.  We had got together just to be together and because it had been too long since the last time.  We sat in comfortable sofas in a room heated by a newly installed log-burner.  The conversation, which I hasten to add I was not a part of at that time, became very animated as my four friends discussed the merits of various dental plans. (more…)

When we change everything do we stay the same? – Graham Coyle

I’ve noticed something about change.  I suppose that I’ve noticed this because there has been more than the usual amount of it about recently.  Especially in political terms.

I suppose the thing that I’ve noticed is the way that people respond to it.  Now, I have no interest whatsoever in commenting on the reactions that I have observed, as I do not believe that there is any great purpose to be achieved in that.  So whatever your own reaction to recent and current events, God bless you.  One observation I have though is this.  (more…)

What value our dreams? – Graham Coyle

Up until 27th June I hadn’t heard of Marcus Willis, I’d be surprised if you had.  On 29th June I, along with perhaps millions of others, watched him play Roger Federer (I’m assuming that most of you will have heard of Roger) on the centre court at Wimbledon.  In a matter of a few hours Marcus Willis had become a national celebrity.  I had seen a clip on the news of him walking through the grounds of Wimbledon and people were clamouring for his autograph.  He seemed uncertain of what to do, as if he were a bit of an imposter but eventually he paused to sign some and those that he stopped for seemed genuinely delighted. (more…)

It must be something to do with umbrellas – Graham Coyle

I have recorded elsewhere an ‘encounter’ that I had with some ladies carrying umbrellas and recently I had another ‘encounter’ but this time with a bloke trying to see me an umbrella.

I was in a foreign city that I had never visited before and it was raining; really raining.  Despite this I was determined to see something of the place, so armed with an umbrella I set out.  Incidentally, did you know that the meaning of umbrella is ‘little shadow’ and that originally they were designed as sunshades to protect the complexions of genteel Italian ladies?  You didn’t, well there you are then, an interesting fact to pull out at the next suitable opportunity.

I was making my way across an open area, umbrella aloft, when I was approached by a man offering to sell me – an umbrella.  (more…)