Peter Rhodes on a huge royal bill, undersea power and giving translators the credit they deserve

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

The Duke of York – more expense
The Duke of York – more expense

A group of leading authors is campaigning for the names of translators to be shown on the covers of books, not only to raise the translators' profiles but also to hold them to accounts for any errors. Quite right. Let us know who is responsible for those classics, Winnie the Pong, The Flatulence in the Willows and Three Men in a Boot.

It looks as though defending Prince Andrew's reputation against sex charges is turning into the biggest transfer of wealth from the UK to the US since the American Revolution. His nibs has reportedly expanded his American legal team to include one high-flyer who charges £1,475 an hour.

The Queen is said to be funding her son's legal bills from her private income because, as the Daily Telegraph put it: “Despite an affluent lifestyle, he has no discernible income.” I'm surprised Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs doesn't take more interest in this. Maybe the explanation is in its title.

The design life of a PC-connected household printer is about three to five years so I can only give thanks that my old Epson served me loyally for 10 years before giving up the ghost last week. When I installed it a decade ago, it was a simple plug-and-go process. Connecting the 2021 equivalent involves a trek into cyberspace, acres of terms and conditions, an instruction book in 12 languages and a connection-code PIN which expires after 90 seconds.

Ninety seconds? It takes me 90 seconds to find my reading glasses. And all this in order that my new printer is fully integrated into my wireless home network and will be able, at some time in the near future, to have long and meaningful conversations with the fridge.

Having installed the printer (and I still don't know how) I take great pride in declining the automated delivery of ink cartridges for the rest of my life. I also learned that “Soha ne fogyj ki a tintabol.” means “Never run out of ink” in one of 12 languages but I'm not sure which one. I bet the fridge knows.

At about the time Greta Thunberg was denouncing governments for doing nothing about climate change, apart from spouting “blah-blah,” scientists were switching on the world's longest undersea power cable, bringing clean, green hydro-generated power from Norway to Britain. And that's nothing? That girl really should have spent more time in school.

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