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Well it's

Eddie Mair | 11:55 UK time, Monday, 5 November 2007

good to be back. Wish I had slept a bit more than I did last night but that's jetlag for you. Quite how I got it returning from the Isle of Wight I do not know.

As it is told to me, the Blog, which was decidedly dodgy for days before I departed, pretty much exploded for a few days. I am told it is working normally now.

(Pause for laughter).

Another thing. Why do I get colds after long plane journeys?

It's been a busy time here at the office what with one thing and another. When I feel a bit more awake I will write some more. I try to keep the rubbish to a minimum (pause for more laughter).


  1. At 12:08 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Brian Christley wrote:

    Many of the old westerns attempted to made their hero appear more intelligent by giving him an idiot as a side-kick – George Bush Snr followed suit by choosing Dan Quayle, Blair then chose Prescott and now Brown is attempting to look brighter by choosing Ed Balls.

  2. At 12:22 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Piper wrote:

    ...well, I take your point Brian @ 01, but I recall that sometimes the ploy you describe, backfired: as this conversation shows:

    The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert.  After they got their tent all set up, both men fell sound asleep.

    Some hours later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says, "Kemo Sabe, look towards sky, what you see?"

    The Lone Ranger replies, "I see millions of stars."

    "What that tell you?" asked Tonto.

    The Lone Ranger ponders for a minute then says;

    "Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.

    Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three in the morning.

    Theologically, the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant.

    Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.

    What's it tell you, Tonto?"
    "You dumber than buffalo t**d.   Someone stole the tent!

  3. At 12:34 PM on 05 Nov 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Well nice to have you back though a big round of applause for the lovely Carolyn who really entered in to the spirit of the blog.

    Now Eddie - when are we going to see all the lovely holiday snaps?

    An ideal time as we are entering the 'silly' season.

    Are the team celebrating the fact that chocolate is once more allowed in the editorial areas :-)

  4. At 12:35 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    “Why do I get colds after long plane journeys?”

    Could it be the close proximity to other people? Statistically, the chances of getting on an airliner-scale plane where nobody on board has a cold, must be negligibly small.

  5. At 12:39 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Three weeks on the Isle of Wight? No wonder you're feeling under the weather. Long plane journey ..... Ah, so it was BA, doing a detour over the Arctic Circle. What is known in the trade as the scenic route from Ventnor to Heathrow. ;o)

    Sorry you're not well. You're in good company, though - so as I sit and sniffle and cough I'll think how I'm sharing the Mair strain of flu.

    Hope we can bring a smile to your lips.

  6. At 12:51 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    May I take this opportunity of waving to Whisht - on this thread as it's more recent. I didn't spot your appearance last week, mate - hope you enjoy your period of downtime and find a few more swans in friendly hotels.....

  7. At 01:05 PM on 05 Nov 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    Eddie.....sorry Eddie who.....do we know you!

    LOL....welcome back, hope you had a fun time on IOW.....that reminds me...

    wots black and white, dirty, smelly and comes steaming out of cow[e]s twice a day?

    ok...ok.....i'm going


  8. At 01:09 PM on 05 Nov 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Welcome back Lord Eric! It will be a delight to hear your dulcet tones again (if the mucus isn't too bad....)

  9. At 01:27 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Brian Christley wrote:

    Surely with the advances in modern training methods the media could train its sports and news staff on the way to phrase a question? Even high profile presenters and correspondents with Sky, BBC and ITV continually start a question with the dreaded “How” word – there is no benchmark or quantifiable answer to the “How important is/was it,,”? or “How did you/they feel when…”? type of question. They must realise that those they are questioning are usually nervous and that is not the best time to expect them to construct a meaningful from 0 to 10 answers.

  10. At 01:40 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Saucy newsletter!

    Yes, it's good to see you in there, Lord Mair ,,,,

  11. At 01:47 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    DIY (7)

    I know the answer, but are you sure you've phrased the question correctly?

    Do we really have to have much on tonight's PM about security? MK has just done an interview on it.

    Seems to me that if Gen. Musharraf (sp?) diverts his troops into controlling the Pakistani masses, they won't be available to fight terrorists. Therefore his participation in the "War on..." will terminate, putting him out of favour with Dubya. Maybe other countries could now refuse to recognise his government (whatever that means).

    What does Imran Khan think of it all?

  12. At 01:49 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Belinda wrote:

    It's lovely to see you back Eddie. I'm sure that PM will be in a safe pair of hands with you while Sequin is away.


  13. At 02:03 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Perky wrote:

    Welcome back, Eddie. Hope you're beautifully refreshed.

    I have given up chocolate this month to keep sequin company (she'd better still be doing it because it's killing me already), so please, no sweetie-related items for the next couple of weeks :)

  14. At 02:20 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Humph wrote:

    Welcome back, Eric. I noticed that you sign off today's newsletter as a Mr. Calzaghe. Is that why you have been away for the last few weeks - final preparations for last weekend? If so, I noticed that you had a good-points win ;o).


  15. At 02:33 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Piper wrote:

    Brian @ 09

    ...well, I think I get your drift

    But I've always thought the word "How..." to be the most appropriate opening to a conversation to get one directly to the point. Consider this:

    ...Some years ago, a cowboy rode into the desert in search of a Red Indian Brave who, it was claimed, had a perfect memory. The Brave was said never to have forgotten anything

    On meeting each other, the cowboy and the Brave exchanged the customary greeting of "How"

    The cowboy then said he'd come to see the Brave because he'd heard that the Brave had never forgotten anything he'd seen or heard during his life

    The Brave confirmed that was the case and invited the cowboy to ask him a question about his (the Brave's) life

    The cowboy thought for a moment then asked:

    "What did you have for breakfast 20 years ago today?"

    "Eggs" replied the Brave

    The cowboy thought about the answer for a second or two and realised he could neither verify or disprove what the brave had so, saying adios, rode away

    20 years passed and the cowboy riding through the desert, came across the Brave again

    "How" said the cowboy

    "Boiled" replied the Brave...

  16. At 02:35 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Sweet of you to stand in for Sequin, Eddie. She's a tough act to follow, especially now she's sneaking in those clever one-line questions towards the end of interviews. You should try that; it might work for you too.

    I look forward to seeing your pointless postcards from the latest vital mission. Although I had a feeling in my water that you were headed more East than South...?



  17. At 03:11 PM on 05 Nov 2007, UptheTrossachs wrote:

    Why do you get colds when flying? You're lucky not to have contracted TB, if I've interpreted this article correctly.
    I know, Eddie, you will be far too busy to read it today ;¬)
    Welcome back


  18. At 03:35 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    From this week's Ironic Times: (namelink)


    First Test of Hydrogen- Powered Car Goes Poorly
    Second test delayed.


    P.S. Welcome back, stranger!

  19. At 03:38 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Charlie wrote:

    Got a cold you say Eddie?

    Well, I'm happy to share a proven, long-time family remedy with you:

    "Drink half a bottle of Scotch a day until the cold symptoms disappear then, once free of the cold, step-up the Scotch intake to a full bottle a day to ensure the cold never returns..."

    I believe the remedy works equally well for cases of 'flu and that Gin or Vodka can be substituted for the Scotch although, for reasons I don't fully understand, no one in the family who's followed the above practice has lived long enough to try alternate alcoholic combinations

    Bad luck I guess...

  20. At 03:41 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Bedd Gelert wrote:

    Any chance of an interview with Nigel Hastilow ?

    I could do with a bit of a laugh !

  21. At 03:54 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Piper wrote:

    Okay Eddie. I give up

    Tell me, why do you get colds after long plane journeys?

  22. At 03:57 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Mermaid wrote:

    Today's Newsletter? Where is it? I keep receiving them several days late. Somehow last Thursday's letter doesn't have the same interest on a Monday. I'm not that far under water.

  23. At 04:10 PM on 05 Nov 2007, jonnie wrote:

    In answer to the question about colds - and I've noted Dr Hackenbush's comment.

    It is indeed to the circulation of the cold virus.

    During pressurisation the fresh air is taken in - and a small amount is removed via the controlled vents at the back of the aircraft. Hence an ideal atmosphere for coughs and germs to circulate and multiply.

    I note that the BBC is airing this wretched Queen documentary that caused Peter Fincham to resign.

    Of course the (BBC) error was far more serious than the (Met Police) shooting someone in the head at blank range on an underground station - hence Sir Ian Blair still having his job!

  24. At 04:10 PM on 05 Nov 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    Vyle (11)

    is the 'missing' word backwards?


    ....did you see wot I did there?.....

  25. At 05:10 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Carolyn Quinn wrote:

    Perky : Delighted to see you are keeping to the chocolate fast. You've only got to wait till December 1st! Well done.

    Welcome back Eddie. Lovely to hear you again. I'm listening from home as I'm supposed to be reading up on the Queen's Speech. Hmm!


  26. At 05:26 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Ahhhhhh, Sequin! ;o)

    "I'm listening from home as I'm supposed to be reading up on the Queen's Speech. Hmm!"

    C'mon now, can we have just a wee hint of what's in it? Nobody will know ..... Nobody will tell ......

  27. At 05:39 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Mermaid (22): If you contact me via my namelink, I'll forward the newsletter to your email address. Same goes for anyone else for whom the word 'oldsletter' seems more appropriate.

    Or, do what I did: subscribe to it again. Most days I get 2, about two hours apart!

    Fifi ;o)

  28. At 06:23 PM on 05 Nov 2007, madmary wrote:

    Welcome back Eddie. Hope you had a nice one!

    Great interview of government minister about enforced work. You haven't lost it I see.


  29. At 06:30 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Lovely to hear your voice on PM tonight Eddie. Not that Carolyn hasn't done an excellent job while you've been away. Especially with the new healthy diet she's been encouraging amongst the froggers, and at the office. I trust you will uphold her high standards. Get rid of those giant-size T*blerone bars you bought at Duty-free immediately!

    Look forward to hearing about any of your holiday adventures that are repeatable. So it may be a short blog post then? Go on, throw caution to the winds, you know you want to tell us all....

    (PS You're already in Ariel this week in case you've not had a chance to see it - photo & all. You can't have many secrets left after that.)

  30. At 07:17 PM on 05 Nov 2007, tony ferney wrote:

    So Carolyn is in a brown study.

    Okay, I'll get my coat.

  31. At 10:57 PM on 05 Nov 2007, nikki noodle wrote:

    CQ: "there's no place like home"

    "you just click your heels together...""

    croons, whistfully:

    "Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high, There's a land that I heard of
    once in a lullaby.

    Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream
    really do come true.

    Someday I'll wish upon a star
    and wake up where the clouds are far
    behind me...
    Where troubles melt like lemon drops,
    away above the chimney tops,
    That's where you'll find me...

    Somewhere, over the rainbow, bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow,
    Why then - oh, why can't I?

    If happy little bluebirds fly
    beyond the rainbow why

    night all!

  32. At 04:45 PM on 06 Nov 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Welcome back Eric.

    Your newsletter was far too familiar for one who has been away so long.

    I am considering whether or not to forgive you. What do you think Sequin? Should he be shown open arms? (Good to see you here, btw).

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