Is That A Dead Parrot?

14 March 2013

Microsoft has opened a new Headquarters in Cambridge (UK) and to help their U.S. staff who are moving there, they’ve produced a 44 page booklet of useful information.

I was particularly struck by their advice that it’s illegal to import dead animals into the UK.  I’ve relocated twice to other countries and have never felt any compulsion to bring along a dead animal, but maybe Microsoft staff are a different breed?  Or have watched too much Monty Python?

They also point out that you don’t need an appointment to attend A & E at the local hospital.  Unless you’re a clairvoyant, yes it would be difficult to predict when you’re going to have an Accident or Emergency.  

Other than that though it appears to be a little more up-to-date than a similar guide issued by one of the American airlines to US holiday-makers visiting the UK in the early 1970’s.  That one advised that women should always wear gloves when visiting the theatre, that most city streets are cobbled and warned against drinking the water.   

I’m sure there are similar stupidities listed in guide books for visitors to the USA and other countries and I’ve probably believed them.



  1. Thank you for making me chuckle!

  2. He’s kicked the bucket, he’s shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible!


    (couldn’t resist 🙂

    • But are you carrying him around in your suitcase?

      • Nah… He’s nailed to the perch so he doesn’t nuzzle up to the bars do his cage and go VOOM!

      • He;s just having a rest!

  3. Maybe they’ve had trouble with people trying to bring their deceased and stuffed pet with them.

    A Canadian guide provided by my employer for people temporarily relocated to the UK had lots of reasonably useful information on the education system, about the TV tax, etc. However, the part I remember most was the British-Canadian translation list. Some entries that I think were in there were:
    public school = private school
    A&E = Emerg (in Canada, A&E is the Arts & Entertainment cable TV channel)
    999=911 was probably also in there.

    There was a bit of culture shock when the information package from the college included details of how to arrange for stabling of your horse and the price of having tea delivered to your room every morning.

  4. As a Mac user and convert for the last ten years after probably 30 years of Microsoft, I’d say Microsoft are dead in the water.

    • Not wrong there – windows 8 has managed to do even worse than Vista.

  5. My husband works at Microsoft in the US and so we had a good laugh. Some days I think pets would be easier to take care of if they were dead, but that’s only on the bad days when the dog wants to sniff the porch for the 500th time and I am sick of letting her out. Just discovered your blog and had a good laugh. Thank you!

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