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You have to laugh...

In the very last blog entry, I wondered if I had been blacklisted from magazine offers as a net loss.
Guess what arrived in the post today? 😂

I wonder if people hadn't made complaints about the quality of the Android devices offered, given that now I can choose from five shiny new free gifts.

Take your pick...

First up is a Xiaomi smart watch, more specifically a Redmi Watch 3 Active.
By my bed is the watch my uncle gave me a very very long time ago, over a quarter of a century ago. It has not run in nearly twenty years, in part due to being American (so it's a weird size battery) and in part due to... apart from work and having appointments like the dentist, time just isn't a thing here. I'm sitting outside writing this on the Android portable (be nice if the sun decided to join me...) and, you know, I'll go in when it gets too cold or the bitey bugs turn up or it starts raining. On my weekends, I get up when I feel like getting up (usually to answer the call of the kettle), and, you know, there aren't any particular plans. I needed to mow last weekend, but if I did or didn't... it all happens organically, not to a schedule.
Additionally, I'm not overly keen on leaking god knows what sort of biometrics to god knows who, so while these sorts of things might be useful, they aren't fully autonomous and that's a problem.
List price is quoted as €49,99; but aren't they up to Redmi Watch 6 or 7 now? Amazon's prices are all over, but I can get it for €45 (or €69...).

The second gift is... the device I'm writing this on. Maybe I should get another as a spare?
List price is quoted as €179. These things are not on Amazon, but Danew's site wants us to believe it's €249 (for the USB-C version). You're getting into much more capable entry-level Windows portables and Chromebooks for that sort of price...

Third option, dinky little in-ear earphones. JBL Tune Beam. I can see myself losing these things far too easily. Plus, as a listener to symphonic metal, I don't feel that something so small would be capable of producing a decent bass even if it claims to have "Pure Bass". It also would appear to have active noise cancelling, but to be honest I find my soundcore Q20i headphones (from Amazon, €40) to be surprisingly good for the price. Plus, the noise cancelling is not affected by the wind so I can happily use these headphones whilst mowing. Little in-ear things? Granted, I have no experience with them, but I don't think I'd enjoy Nightwish with something so small.
List price is quoted as €79,99; Amazon's price is just a smidgen more.

The fourth option we can just skip right past. It's a chunky looking black plastic Delsey Binalong cabin case. It looks okay, has a pull-out handle and four wheels and a capacity of 34 litres. In dimensions, that's 55 × 40 × 19 (or 21" × 15.8" × 7.9" for those who understand The Old Ways), or the "XS" size if you look it up.
Problem is, I don't travel. So it's not a whole lot of use.
List price quoted as €89,99; Amazon's prices are about twice that - eek!

The final gift option, that I would imagine would be the popular one, just drop €50 into your account. This, incidentally, probably gives an idea of how much the portable really costs.


Now, let's do some maths. Que Choisir (think "Which?") was offered to me, last time, at €3,75 a month with a minimum subscription duration of 12 months. I may suck at maths, but I make 3,75 × 12 out to be €45. In addition to this, they'll post the magazine to you and it is cheaper than it is on sale in the supermarkets and newsagents, which means they aren't "hoping you forget to cancel" as you still come out ahead compared to buying it yourself. The actual price is a little higher as most magazines come with special issues once in a while. But it's not like you aren't getting something for the extra cost.
So... yeah... I really don't get how they're making money on this.



According to, in 2023 there were 36,704 people entering the UK by irregular means (note that they don't call them "illegal immigrants") with 80% of those people coming over in small boats. As in the (in)famous "Stop The Boats".

That seems a lot, doesn't it? It's about the same as the population of Fleet, Hampshire.

However, the House of Commons Library says that in 2023, there were 1.2 million legal migrants to the UK, and half a million getting the hell out, giving a net legal migration figure of +672,000.

To put that into context, the population of Liverpool, in 2019, was 496,784. Manchester, also 2019, was 553,230.
The entire population of Cornwall (2018) was 565,968.

More people than would populate Cornwall, and eighteen times more than the irregulars arrived the UK legally last year. Not in total, just last year.

So can somebody please explain, why the godforsaken Tories who are clamping down on "the feckless unemployed" (otherwise known as soft targets who don't have the resources to fight the government) for costing the state so much, seem quite happy to piss away hundreds of millions on trying to dump the relatively small number of "undesirables" into the middle of Africa? It seems as if £220M has already been thrown to Rwanda, with maybe another £270M to follow once people actually turn up there.
Together, that's just shy of five hundred million quid (or half a billion). For what? I would imagine, if they're lucky, their powerful deterrent would maybe round up a few hundred people. If we be really generous and say that the government proudly declares getting rid of the scourge of four thousand unfortunates... well, that would amount to about a hundred and twenty thousand per person. How is that a win? I understand that "Stop The Boats" is a three-word rallying call for the stupid racist fuckwits that are moving in droves to support Reform instead, but how much more does this need to cost (don't forget the coming legal challenges) before somebody in a position of power realises that just giving them a council flat and a work permit would have been a hell of a lot cheaper and more productive.

But it isn't about saving money, is it? It's just pure unadulterated vicious hate. And in true Tory fashion, it's not enough to kick the unwanted foreigners. They're coming for your sick and wounded now. Keep the light in, it'll be your turn soon.



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C Ferris, 25th April 2024, 12:07
Where are you planning to put these people - there is not enough houses for local people - they are already stuffing hotels with them.
Rick, 25th April 2024, 15:02
We're getting to the kind of money where you can count "building them" into the pricing...
David Pilling, 25th April 2024, 17:08
Labour have apparently decided to build on the 'green belt'(under certain circumstances) - it has to happen if the UK population is going to expand.
jgh, 26th April 2024, 18:59
The Tories' policy is: look over there! No, not here, over there!
C Ferris, 27th April 2024, 09:27
Down here they have gone mad - piles of new houses - solar farms - windmills - where is our food going to come from - Africa,:-/
David Pilling, 27th April 2024, 13:02
Makes sense put the people were growing stuff is difficult. The snag may be that the UK is deeply in debt (as is the USA, and France), every time you mint a new UK citizen you have to mint a load more money to keep them in the same style. Things that can't go on, don't. Even inside the UK you can find abandoned housing, when the money runs out people move away. 
Peer through the time telescope, lots of nice trees.
C Ferris, 28th April 2024, 14:33
Err Do you think people will be a bit like Robin Hood - chasing deer / boar for food :-/

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