I was stuck on a word in a crossword this morning. It was four letters, ended in an O and the clue was patron saint of sailors. I had to admit defeat and look up the answer which to my utter surprise turned out to be “Elmo”. Elmo? Rosie’s friend Elmo of whom I wrote recently (see “Elmo and Rose” ) was the patron saint of sailors? Surely not. Please forgive my ignorance and not being a religious person, I had to consult Dr Google to check this out.

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Dogs go

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”

Will Rogers


It was a memorable prank. I was working as a programmer in the early 1980’s on a project designed to run on an IBM S/34, a big metal “cupboard” on wheels that sat in the corner and churned away. I worked on the project with one of the guys from the company, a nice little guy I will call Arfa because he was probably born within the sound of the Bow Bells. We had set him up with a database on the S/34 to manage his passion, breeding budgerigars. Arfa was one of those pet owners who some would say bore a resemblance to his pets with a beaky little nose and a cheeky and curious personality.

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