Where angels fear to tread


Dear Hillary,

Is it safe to make an arrangement to meet someone through a social network? I have been chatting for a couple of weeks to a woman who lives fairly close to me, and she has been suggesting that we should meet for dinner. I am no spring chicken (64), and neither is she (42 years old and divorced she said) so we aren’t silly teenagers. I just worry a bit about what I can be letting myself in for?



Dear Harry,

It is safe enough, as long as you remember that details given out over social networks are not necessarily the truth. Hiding behind a computer screen it is easy to say you are 42 when actually the truth is 52. What if she isn’t divorced but is just looking for a bit on the side (a “gik” in Thai culture)? And the husband is a black belt in karate? Go on your blind date, my Petal, but don’t hold out great hopes. If nothing else you get a nice meal out of it. Miss Terry Diner’s column each week will give you plenty of ideas as to where to go.


Dear Hillary,

I read in the papers that there has been a crackdown recently about copy goods – shirts, CDs and watches and the like. Pictures of them being burnt in the street and all. Why is this? Everyone knows that you go to Asia to buy real bargains. I always bring back a sack of watches and all the latest movies on DVD and some footy shirts for the blokes. What’s wrong with this? If I can’t get the stuff in Thailand any more, do you know where I can get them? I like Thailand, but I have to look at what I can take back to sell, to pay for the trip.

Copy Cat


Dear Copy Cat,

This is what they call a vexed question, Petal. How would you feel if you made some type of special goods and your living came from selling them throughout the world and then found that cheap copies were being marketed at half the price you sell them for, and you don’t get anything from that sale? Mind you, I think that many of these overseas goods are highly over-priced too. The whole question of copyright is well beyond me, I’m afraid. I’m just worried about getting landed with ‘copy’ champagne. As to where you can go to get the things you want – the markets here still have them I believe, but don’t tell the powers that be. Unless the powers that be are running the market!