Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Shop the Politicians



Rather pleased that while Tesco have made a hash of their accounting procedures, or fiddled the books very badly indeed I should say, they are not closing any of the THREE shops in the town. Only one is withing walking distance but as we also have Sainsbury's, Lidl and Morrison's it is interesting how they manage to make so much money.  All claim to be losing profit, all customers claim to be broke, yet the shops are always full and the people fat! There are two small 'metro' Tescos also, one already open and another being built, who will use them?
I find it difficult to comprehend how a store of this size could mismanage the cashflow so badly. Can it be the other supermarkets are innocent of such accounting?  I doubt it.  Can other businessmen be less guilty?


You may not have noticed but there is an election occurring.  A brief nod at the media will reveal the present Prime Minister 'Vowing,' 'Promising,' and 'ensuring' things will be done.  The things that appeal to the Tea Party that is. So far none of the 'vows' made in the last five years have arisen but they will not notice.  Ed Milliband struggles to appeal having no idea what he stands for. For a while the failing Lib-dem ledear Clegg was never out of the media telling us of his marvelous deeds and actions, none believed him, and all the others keep appearing with smiles on their faces and lies in their mouths.
I fear for the UK after this.  Whoever wins the only hope lies in a massive turn towards the Scottish Nationalists getting around forty seats in Westminster. That way they can influence all that occurs to the benefit of the entire nation. A Tory victory will be disastrous as  the rich only will benefit and 'Dave' will still be there, and even the Tories want rid of him.  It looks dire, the future is bleak.
If only a Gladstone would arise!

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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Museum Day



One of the delights the kids go for in a big way are stones!  There is nothing in these except coloured stones!  Just bright coloured stones of little value (70 pence each) but loved by kids and adults also. Once there were a wide variety of such but it became impossible to deal with a dozen excited kids and attempt to identify and price each stone so we appear to be letting it slowly die off except for these cheap colourful beauties.  
This does reflect the wide variety of material that comprises the earth on which we travel through space. A lump of stone, chopped up, polished (not by hand surely) and sent on its way looking marvellous. Quite a number of places sell such stones, usually larger ones aimed at adults, but few around this part of the world.  Hippies loved them because they were of mother earth and brought peace man, except when they through them at one another, some believe different stones affected the mood and I suspect sat holding different stones in an effort to remove ill emotions, bad vibes and warts.  I doubt this would work myself.  
They are just stones, delightful right enough, but just wee stones.  I like them but have no need of them.  Hold on, I just remembered, I have some stones picked up when in Israel long ago, something many people do I suspect.  These were marked with sticky notes to indicate when each came from, all have long since fallen of and I know have a handful of bits of small rock!  These originate somewhere in Israel but no longer can I separate them.  Not bright and shiny but nice to have and surely we all have something like this as a memento of places?  
"Stone me, what a life!"  A phrase not to be used in Saudi Arabia.


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Monday, 26 January 2015

Laptop View



My eyes! My eyes!
This has been my view all day, this laptop and screens of missing men!  Five from the first war and two from the second have been dealt with but it appears to be unending.  Scrolling down long lists of names, census returns, deaths, military, births, on and on and on.....
Stopping only to eat, I had to eat as I forgot to eat on Saturday and have been a bit off ever since, this ruined Sunday I can tell you, I nourished myself with thick lentil soup and struggled on.  I eventually drew back the curtains at lunchtime and discovered the grayness outside.  It remained there and I did not invite it inside.


Elsewhere the Aussies spent today, well yesterday, celebrating Australia Day! This I am assured has nothing to do with inventing cheap lager or stuffing English poms at cricket, indeed it is a moment of great pride when Aussies celebrate being themselves.  Good on them.
Famous for being discovered by Captain Cook sometimes in the seventeen hundreds, ignoring the Dutch who got there first, large rodents called Kangaroos, a large desert region and the majority of the population being descended from English and Irish criminals!  The Scots of course are neither criminal nor willing to go to Australia, Scots went to New Zealand and farmed sheep instead.  The glaciers there reminded them if home more than any desert might. 
The Australian is a great individual, at least I have met many when in London and all were the best type. Hard working, humorous, and the women all good looking.  Let them celebrate, they deserve themselves!

p.s. don't confuse them with Austrians, they are different.

Much excitement in politics as the Greeks stand up and rebel against austerity, an austerity much worse than that found in the UK.  It is implied by this victory by what is called the 'left wing government' the European economy will collapse when the Greeks refuse to pay their debts, and the debts are huge! Fear stalks the world and the papers are excited, especially the German ones who are paying for all this. Mind you the Greek holiday spots may be cheaper this year. Our best loved tourist guide may well be considering a return this year.



Sunday, 25 January 2015

A Tribute



In tribute to Rabbie Burns....

TO A FISH SUPPER *


Proud partners o’ the deep-fried pan,
Oh whit a boon ye’ve been tae man,
While ower the coonter ye I scan In bilin fat,
Ye are ma prey, as there I staun Just like a cat.
Bereft o’ scale an skin they took ye,
An in a pail o’ batter shook ye,
Haddy, whitin, skate or fluke, ye Couldny escape,
Syne in ten meenits, oot they hook ye In golden drape.
Tae add mair noise an’ steam an’ skirl,
In neeborin pan your partners whirl,
Sizzlin an’ dancin’ wi a birl Till golden broon,
An’ syne like garland on a girl, Adorn you roon.
Oh ecstacy! On plate or paper,
A shake o’ vinegar, sa’t an’ pepper,
That’s all ye ask tae gie ye savour, An taste supreme,
Ye’ll nivver, ivver gaun ot o’ favour, Ye’re sure a dream.


I prefer broon sauce masel...


*Author unknown.

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Saturday, 24 January 2015

Friday, 23 January 2015

A Slur Has Been Received



Lee, who shall remain nameless, has slurred manhood by insisting men cannot multitask.  This slur is often offered to the main sex by woman, especially women who fail to finish any job they are given to do.  This needs examination.
Let us consider Mary.  Mary was a lovely women I worked with some years ago. Her popularity was based on two things, her playing the agony aunt for the girls and her inability to refuse any request that came her way.  
It was common, far too common, to enter the office and find a conversation in hushed whispers, as hushed a the female psyche can manage, concerning the man in the lassies life.  Rarely did the talk centre on world politics, football, climate change, Wittgenstein or such like, it was always her failure to understand him, and it was his fault!   One occasion saw the door burst open and a just twenty something  flew in, "Mary! Mary! I've got a spot!"  
My contention that this was larger than her intellect did not ease her panic.  This girl eventually left to make money as a self employed dressmaker, hmmm.  One day the flying door flew almost of the hinges as the receptionist stood in the door in the full flush of victory.  
"Mary!  It is true, it says so in this magazine.  If you have flowers in the room when you are pregnant the baby will be born with no sense of smell!"  
The door then shut and we sat and stared at one another, before the giggles set in.  We dared not enquire as to the magazine.
Mary however successful as an agony aunt failed however, as women do, with the multitasking requirements of the day.  Job 'A' would arrive and kind Mary began the work.  As she did so job 'B' would be offered to her and she would turn her attention onto that job.  In the middle of this Job 'C' would arrive and become the most important part of her life!  And so it went on all day.  At times I would look at her sitting at her desk, patting the pile of papers lying there searching for her glasses laid down some time before and suggest a simpler, manly way.
She could never comprehend this however.  She may yet be sitting there yet!

I offered her an easier, male, way of working.
This is a simple, easy to operate procedure, one men instinctively fall into in any situation.  
A job arrives, possibly followed by two or three more.  The man studies the work, decides what needs doing, chooses priorities and begins.  The main job is attended to, possibly being put aside while part of another job is dealt with, and within a controlled day all work is complete as much as possible in time and done properly.
Mary is meanwhile looking for her glasses, the ones she put down while going to make the tea in the kitchen thirty yards away at ten minutes past ten.  By eleven fifteen she has still not returned.

Men multitask successfully all the time, only the other day I watched football, ate and drank all at the same time, it's easy!  Tsk!  Wimmen eh?      

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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Thursday Run Around



I spent much of this morning cleaning the hoover.  This fancy piece of Tesco cleaning technology requires cleaning itself once a month and I may have missed a month or two.  There was so much muck that I could not get it open. Once open the dust had solidified so it would not come out.  This is where the use of ageing chopsticks come into their own.  Every home requires a set of cheap chopsticks as one of these rammed up inside the blessed equipment eventually releases sufficient dust to require another hoovering of the whole house!  Once I had poked, brushed, shaken and thumped several parts of this almost totally plastic machine I put it to good use, clearing up the mess left by cleaning the brute.  It did make a difference mind, the thing almost stuck to the floor once I put it to use and soon the place was back to the normal standard of grime.  A whole morning spent on this!


About noon the weather chilled a wee bit and I wondered about turning on the heating.  There was a New Zealand soldier from the Great War I had to research and was surprised just how easily his information could be found.  The Aussies are similar regarding Great War men.  However I had to download 24 pages and this took over an hour.  Interesting stuff mind but it took time.  
As my fingers began to freeze an email from the museum that was somewhat confusing arrived. The effort of answering this meaningless communication (she is a woman) led me to consider it might be better to go there and talk to her. (When there it still took a few moments to get through and in the end I was not sure I knew what was what!)  Anyway as the museums heat was on off I went. After avoiding the hundred Victorian children running around learning about the past we discussed WW2 and the stuff I have been ignoring!  It looks like I have lots to do now, starting tomorrow.  

When there I took one or two not very good pictures of stuff in the shop in an effort to sell them to the locals online.  I was a bit rushed and will have to do it all again on Tuesday when it's quiet.  The pictures of the headscarves and cards came out just about workable but the others were a bit peely wally.  It is amazing what folks buy in a museum shop.  As we are linked to the silk mill museum down the way we have many cards based on their designs and women are always buying them, every day we sell cards for a variety of purposes, and before the cards shown (not from the silk mill) were on the shelf they were being bought.  Personally I want folks to buy books re the town history but money keeps the place open.  
A whole day in which only three things have been done!  I don't usually manage that many. 

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Horrid, Disgusting Stuff!



This was the view that greeted my weary eyes this morning, snow!  Horrid, disgusting snow!  Great lumps of it falling from the gray clouds above and hanging around everywhere.  It's a disgrace, we ought not to have this sort of thing around here, this is a nice part of the world, sometimes.
Clearly the government ought to do something about this, snow belongs up north, where the lower orders reside, not down here where the money brains of the nation are to be found.
There is nothing else for it but to close the grubby curtains once again and stay indoors doing the ironing to keep the place warm.  I might have to iron every shirt twice in that case!  Bah!


A couple came into the museum yesterday, she in a wheelchair, he pushing, and made their way around the building.  It was clear she had little response, no more than a baby seeing the world for the first time.  I considered her to be less than forty years old and her understanding of what was around her probably was little more than a childs.  What care would this lass receive if there was no national Health Service?  Would she be aborted at birth perhaps?  If this is the result of an illness would they encourage her to die? Human life is worth so little in these Darwinian days.    
With the election in the offing the papers are so willing to indicate faults with those they dislike and therefore many have highlighted the UKIP leader Nigel Farage's desire to bring in a US style health service.  This has been roundly condemned by the UKIP Party membership who strongly favour keeping the NHS as it is and improving it.  Indeed while most UKIP members are really Conservative members (mostly afraid of immigrants) at heart they understand just how important the NHS has been to the UK. Following the US pattern would be a disaster for all but the richest.  
The lass in the wheelchair requires 24 hour care, which but the rich could afford that?  When at Maida Vale thirty years ago an emergency brain operation and aftercare would run into many thousands of pounds, how much now?  Even turning up and a dentist or doctor could cost a fortune and no insurance coverage would ever enable an NHS as successful as the one we have now.  We must fight to keep and develop the NHS not sell it off.
The recent policy of running down the NHS and then demanding privatisation as the only answer comes from politicians who not only have an ideological as opposed to practical understanding of the NHS and the public's needs but also own many shares in American private health organisations! Now who would have thought that?  The elite care for their public so much that they will ensure their personal profit comes before public requirements!  Vote them all out!  We need a strong and safe NHS, we are in danger of losing it and the majority, not the few, will suffer.


As I mentioned before the repression of Christianity in the UK continues apace. The latest school to suffer this attack via Ofsted is Grindon Hall in the north east.  This school is a Christian Free School with the highest educational reputation but has been called 'troubled' and now put into special measures by Ofsted simply because it does not encourage gay sex or celebrate non Christian festivals.  Individuals are sacked, in spite of their work record, for sharing such views as those biblical ones found at this school.  Teachers, nurses, doctors, workers in all sorts of businesses are hounded out because of Christian beliefs. This because they are considered 'intolerant!'  I suppose a police officer is intolerant if he arrests someone?  A judge intolerant for sentencing a prisoner? It appears 'British values' as espoused by the nation today does not include 'tolerance' of those who indicate something is wrong. Similar intolerance was shown to those who opposed slavery yet they were proved right in the end. What a confused world political correctness has produced. 
This is just the beginning.

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The View



The view from my window at work as the sun was going down behind the Library.  Quite why it wishes to land there I am not sure but it appeared to have little effect on the temperature which remained lower than Edinburgh's all day! Having sat all morning in the museum attempting to inform my little mind on the history of 'Hicks buses' as few people chose to enter the shop this morning I was enlightened at the last minute that my replacement was once again not turning up. Typical woman!  Probably having her hair done I suspect.
So I remained at my post all day, slogging on with my book work interrupted only occasionally by visitors.  January is a quiet month as we are all money starved.  Bills arrive from the gas man, sleekit faced as always, the result of Christmas shopping pops through the door, and cash in hand is sadly not in hand after all so not much sales to be expected anywhere I say.  Mind you the suffering supermarkets, grumbling about falling profits, are still crowded and their prices still appear to rise, usually alongside large signs indicating how many prices have been reduced!  
One interesting happening was listening to one of the boss women talking on the local radio station. She was there to discuss our upcoming WW2 event and asking for peoples to come forward with their stories. This is one thing local radio is indeed good at, alongside traffic/rail reporting.  However we had to endure that banal music loved by such stations, if I have to sit through Cher one more time I may say something on their website that they will notice, and while we waited for the news, the informing us of what's coming up later, another bouncy empty song, and more info we were eventually allowed to hear the tale. This station is very much loved by the type who read and believe the 'Daily Mail.'  UKIP now has a large following here, because of all the immigrants, however we don't actually have that many but the media informs us they are everywhere and folks believe it!  
I suspect we will get lots of info from this so the short appearance will prove beneficial and I look forward to the work offered, as she is doing most of it, not me!

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Monday, 19 January 2015

Monday Meandering



In light of the Islamist extremist lot that bothers society so much our government, through cabinet minister Eric Pickles, wrote to all the Imams and Mosques asking (telling?) them to stand up against the extremists.  What the letter actually said I did not bother to read but the Imams and Muslim leaders were not very happy.  In their eyes they were being blamed for extremist action and this they did not like.  Now we know some mosques have indeed seen speakers who ought not to have been allowed but the tactlessness of the letter shows a lack of understanding of the Muslims among us.
The PM has of course stood up and supported Pickles letter (after all he probably thought of it) and finds it difficult to accept the objections.  Could this be he does not understand where most Muslims are coming from?  Could it be that Teresa May, the Home secretary, announcing to a Jewish meeting that this country needs Jews to remain here and not run off to Israel, has a part?  A cynic, and I am no cynic as you know, might read all this as a 'telling off for the Muslims' to get the Jewish vote, and the Jewish vote in North west London is huge!  Tsk!  Imagine the PM playing politics with Muslims who mostly vote Labour.  Who would have thought?


So loud announcement from British Gas that they will reduce their prices by 5 percent.  Brilliant!
Of course this will happen at the end of February when the cold weather ends. Brilliant piece of theatre from the lying money grabbing crooks that they are.  I particularly liked the stone faced spokeswoman who when asked why not reduce prices straight away like EON did last week she immediately talked about the overall average reduction and ignored the question.  
We must nationalise these energy companies, no matter what!  We are being ripped off, the energy world is a mess and the public suffer.  There is no other way than nationalisation, but this will never happen!   


So I got a message today from BT on the ansafone about my account.  I had to phone them and undergo a female Scots voice giving me the runaround for a while before there were no staff available to take my call.  I decided to call later.  I called later, and after one failed attempt got through to a charming chap who told me the thing needed reordering.  This he did and on Feb the second it will all change.  Talk Talk will be out and legal Scots football will be in!  
Unless something goes wrong!

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Sunday, 18 January 2015

The Usual Sunday Stuff



While the antipodeans cover themselves in layers of sun cream there was no danger of sunstroke from the sun hiding behind the light gray skies this morning.  Even worse there was a determined effort to drop dirty great lumps of snow on us yesterday afternoon which luckily did not prove sufficient to lie. Yuck, we don't want any of that here!

Trapped indoors wrapped up like Nanook of the North instead I participated for a short while in keyboard warrior action.  A Celtic fan, claiming to be 'anti- sectarian, refused to accept the proven fact that his club is as sectarian as Rangers.  He quickly descended into 'whataboutery' a well know tactic in which they avoid the issue and point fingers elsewhere.  It took some time but he eventually disappeared convinced of our error, occasionally others joined in, and determined to believe he represented a club as pure as the snow I hate falling near me.  
Forums, Twitter and newspaper (I use that word loosely) comment columns are full of such people. The 'Daily Mail' is one of the best, and most likely to delete any comment that disagrees with their view (the Guardian, that centre of 'free speech' is much, much worse at censorship than any other) and surely the keyboard anonymity allows all sorts of psychopaths free range to discuss their 'views.'
One 'gay' discussion soon brings out the bile.  No-one is allowed to indicate gays are in the wrong.  You must accept and never disagree, no matter what the situation.  The comments always follow the same routine, cut and paste questions, quotes and texts from a gay forum and refuse to accept any answer. Debate is impossible as openness is not allowed.  The 'Gay Manifesto' from 1970 has working its way through the nation and few have noticed.
Secularists are the same.  The 'cut and paste' follows identical patterns, giving rise to the thought that a few people use many names and cover two topics regularly.  Openness is declared but rarely seen.  
I sometimes wonder why I allow myself to get involved when I know the answers, probably having met the same folks before.  However the Celtic one I had to speak on, the bile from both sides destroys the west of Scotland and proper government action is long overdue to the influence these two football clubs have on this.  Removing the sectarian influence form both would lead to a cleaner nation and happier people.  It would take time however.

I note, but have no link, to an NHS employee fired by her organisation for offering to pray for a Muslim friend.  There is more to this story but the woman comes out well yet the authorities have refused to accept they did wrong.  This is yet another example of the anti-Christian attitudes that are now prevalent in western society.  This is to be expected in India, where the Hindus are at this moment attacking Christians and Muslims in a deliberate policy to eradicate them from India.  It is common in Pakistan, Iran and other Muslim states but in the west?  Many are suffering in India and such places yet the western media ignores this.  The west is now doing the same, authorised by parliament and encouraged by the liberal middle class.
The real power is of course the spiritual one in high places that is indeed leading a major attack on the church.  It has crept up during the last forty years unawares to most but is now free to operate throughout the land.  The days ahead will be dark for Christians, and secular and gay lobbies will be leading this, under the guise of 'toleration' and 'equality' probably!  The days ahead are dark indeed.

   

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Friday, 16 January 2015

Dawn



Stupidly I awoke long before I was awake this morning.  Why on earth do I do this I ask?  It was dark and as I struggled bleary eyed to find something for breakfast I could hear the birds in the trees beginning to waken also.  Maybe I disturbed them?  I took this pic at 7:20 a.m. long before the rest of world was awake and the birds and I ate our breakfast while we read the papers online.    
Another week has ended and I still have not got through Tuesday yet!  Time flies when you are having fun or if you look away for a moment.  Time flies though my mind confusingly today as I spent part of the morning researching a man from the Great War and in the afternoon I was after a sailor in world war two!  At times my little brain confused the lists I was searching and managed to be twenty years out several times.  I need to eat more fish!  

The day ended in the failure of the referee to abandon the game at Ibrox before the kick off like he ought.  Instead we struggled to watch the Heart of Midlothian kick a yellow ball in a snow covered pitch.  Imagine, Ibrox yet not one orange ball to be found!  After twenty minutes it alls topped, and probably for the best. However as we were well on top it is difficult to avoid thinking this was because Rangers did not wish to lose, as if!  Worryingly the weather man says some snow might land here tomorrow , how disgusting!
Kids like snow because they are stupid!  Snow freezes the streets, makes walking difficult, causes accidents and stops football getting underway.  Snow should either be banned altogether or sent to Norway where it belongs!  How can anyone like snow?  What is the point of it?  I agree it makes nice photographs, though the photographer gets frostbite taking pictures in it. Certainly it provides hours of amusement for kids, dogs and daft folks, but really can they not all jump on a plane and fly to Norway? Maybe I need to move to Australia?  Anyone willing to send the cash?  There you go, stupid question number one!
I now sit here, wrapped in old blankets, trying to keep warm while sleep that has never left me all day takes me into dreamland.  Unless of course I fail to dream.  Funny how some nights I have clear colourful dreams and on other occasions I am not away of any dream whatsoever.  The last one involved the building in London, clear as day from the outside but a bit jumbled indoors.  Not the first time I have dreampt of this place.  How strange the way memories come into dreams, a wee bit distorted but clear enough.  Tonight I expect to dream of sitting in front of a laptop, freezing, while searching for a man or his family and getting confused the further I seek.
Or did I dream that today and I am now asleep and will wake up any minute?
Oh I am confused now......  
    

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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Listen to the Silence



I switched off the TV, the laptop stood silent on the desk.  The kettle made no noise, the traffic was light outside the window.  I had no book in my hand, no letter to read, no booklet to study.
The silence suddenly appeared very loud.
I cogitated for a moment.  Maybe we use things to keep the world at bay, shielding us from that we do not wish to contemplate.  How much of the world is hidden behind the television set I wonder? How did we cope before Radio and TV?  I suppose we went to the pub, joined groups of like minded hobbyists, or, whisper it quietly, talked to one another.  Maybe that is pushing it a wee bit.
How often do individuals sit alone, quietly, and just listen?
We are only forced into this if we wake at three in the morning, then the silence can be agonising, the thoughts in our tired heads terror filled, peace hard to come by.  How strange, yet most people endure such moments.
That is different from silence by choice, a positive move I say.
Standing at Fort William looking over the Loch to the hills I was struck by the silence of such large objects, and the hills are very large.  A seagull swooped across in the far distance but no sound came, just loud silence.  Behind the town the bulk of Big Ben towered up into the clouds but again the silence was noticeable.  This type of silence refreshes the mind, encouraging thinking not making the mind afraid to think.  Silence amongst creation refreshes the mind and the heart.  
How rarely we listen to the silence, how often we block it out via the things that fill the mind.  Does this occur because that is what we wish or because we do not take time to stop, think, listen?
I will be silent now, for a time.     

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