Charles Glass discovers that women are now cancelling dinner dates by text. What’s the world coming to?For the sixth time in as many months, a woman has cancelled our dinner. In and of itself, a cancelled dinner is a trifle. The cancellations themselves were less surprising than the timing and the method. Did the women, all of whom are friends, give me time to make alternative arrangements? Did they call? Did they explain or apologise? Did they hell! Each of these grown women sent a message via text or SMS to my mobile telephone.
Last week the United Nations still had no staff at Banda Aceh airport, which is the focal point for the tsunami relief effort in Indonesia. What could more graphically illustrate the miserable inadequacy of this once great body than its failure to act decisively following the Boxing Day disaster? It lagged behind the Americans and the Australians in bringing aid to the devastated areas and was slow to coordinate the activities of international NGOs.
‘What happened to him?’ I said, meeting the eye of a thin magpie through the bars of his cage. Andrew Meads, veteran bird rescuer and proprietor of Safewings wildlife sanctuary at Isham, near Kettering, Northants, related the following case history. A fortnight ago a man driving a stolen car suddenly lost control, mounted the pavement, crashed through a wall and came to a halt in a flower-bed of a suburban front garden.