Spoons and Planets

Now that we are fully one quarter of the way through 2023, I’d just like to point out that there is a fortune to be made by a canny importer bringing authentic soup spoons to America and organizing distribution in the nation’s thousands of restaurants. You heard it here first.

Sadly I just don’t have the time to take this one on. So if you do find this improvement to the quality of life in all the Great States falls to you, please remember where you got the idea and cut me in for half a percent.

I do not mean this:

There are all kinds of spoons out there announcing themselves as spoons dedicated to soup – falsely so, in my opinion. A true soup spoon is simply a justly shaped semi-circular bowl at the end of an elegantly shaped handle. The bowl should have some depth, but not approach to that of a ladle, nor to an imitation of those porcelain or plastic scoopers you get when you order hot and sour, or corn egg-drop.

Not this, functional and handsome though they are: 

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I would post an image of the perfect soup spoon. But I can’t find one!!! You take my point? This is what things have come to!?!

I must be getting on for retirement age, this is the kind of mildly disgruntled, mildly splenetic letter-to-the-editor type prose that could appear in an edition of The Oldie.

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In other news:

Pluto, as you are doubtless aware has entered Aquarius, and is giving us a teasing taste of its presence there, before it does a brief nip back into Capricorn in mid June before finally settling in for its twenty year residency in the airy sign of the water bearer in January next year.

Pluto and Charon courtesy of

What does this mean? Well right on cue Pluto in Capricorn bookended its time there with the 2008 banking crisis and the 2023 one. 

In Aquarius? Of course I don’t know, and if you are interested there is a generous supply of astro-punditcy on the subject in the usual outlets. Given that some Plutonic attributes are: invisibility, power, and volcanic disruption; and amongst Aquarian ones we have: the creative co-existence of the Conformist archetype with the Maverick.

possible effects might be:

Ever more surveillance 

Expansion of digital currencies

Explosion of interest in astrology

You don’t need to be Madame Arcati to notice that these trends are already up and running. Whatever Pluto does in this sign we are likely to notice.

And while we’re on the subject, the International Astronomical Union (IAR) has decided to categorize Pluto as a dwarf planet. There is a page of explanation here.

One is minded of George MacDonald’s fairy great-grandmother in his novel Phantastes: “Ah, that is always the way with you men. Size is nothing, but form is much.”

On the other hand, the IAU has elevated Ceres to equal status with Pluto … if you, like me, credit mythological significance, this is a good thing.

From an astrological/mythological point of view there can be no question that Pluto may be small, but he is mighty. Likewise, Ceres.

And finally, the editorial decision is that over the next couple of years this blog will post less frequently than formerly. I.e. once a quarter. 

Can’t get the staff…

Happy (late) Equinox.


Mood Swing


Sometimes you hear of dramatic mood swings when doing a juice fast or detox or any kind of woo-woo-adjacent adjustment… Well I’m here to report on one.

When I commute to work from Pleasantville to New York City, I usually choose the quiet car. This is the carriage at the end of the train where the rule is, no electronic devices with sound, and conversations in hushed tones only. There are signs fixed to the carriage roof that confirm this. If you need to make a phone call, you are cordially asked to walk into the next carriage where people are talking as normal.

The day before yesterday was Santacon. This is a charity event where people dress in Santa Klaus costumes or allied festive, brightly colored garb, and raise lots of money for good causes. It may also include heroic feats of alcoholic consumption (I have no firm information on this last – just a guess).

So, there I was in the quiet car, preparing to read a peaceful book and transition calmly into the day’s labors.


All of a sudden and noisily, about 250 people, all of them right around the age where it is legal to drink in the USA, (some under some over), got into the quiet car (alright there were probably only 20 of them, but it seemed like a lot more).

They swarmed up and down the carriage uttering mottos of seasonal celebration. “Hey Britany – there are seats up HERE!!!” for example, or, “Matt, uncork me another one, wuddya?”

I caught the eye of a passing reveler, “Er excuse me,” I said in my best Downton Abbey accent, “this is the quiet car.”

“HEY YOU GUYS” bellowed the reveler, ” THIS IS THE QUIET CAR!!!”

A compote of deafening expletives erupted from the group. To their credit, they agreed to move to the next car (or carriage as we Brits call it). The motion was a noisy phalanx as each member of the group insisted that the others “KEEP IT DOWN, DUDE!” About half the group passed into the other car, before the collective changed its mind (the train being very full), the ensuing melee put one in mind of the outnumbered Spartans against the hordes of Persia.

Having regained the quiet car, the group then had a brief post-debacle analysis of the situation before moving on to other topics which were then discussed for the remainder of the journey at ever increasing volume.

And me?

One of the finer British magazine publications, which I commend to my readers, is The Oldie. The pages are filled with splenetic and amusing articles from grumpy retirees on the decline of standards generally. At one time I would have written a letter to the editor across the pond and signed it “Disgruntled of Pleasantville (ex-pat).”

But on this occasion… on this occasion, my inner curmudgeon had subsided. I simply sat there, mellow on my green juice, with a friendly smile “Ah, let the young people have their fun.” I mused.

And if that isn’t a mood swing, tell me what is.