Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Mike S Impression


Did you hear about the new line of Elvis Presley-themed steakhouses? They'll be for people who love meat tender.

I always wondered why the ball was getting bigger as it came at me..... then it hit me

Individuality: Always remember that you are unique. Just like everybody else...

Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

Tradition: Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.

One day while walking down the beach with some friends someone shouted....'Hey, look at that dead bird!' The blonde looked up at the sky and said...'where???'

I read a book on addiction, Iliked it so much I bought several more.

Sunday, 27 September 2009


Photos can be deceiving sometimes. This idyllic setting is just behind the railway, and not far from a water sluice with a small building rumbling away. The picture manages to miss the plastic bottles floating among the green algae that covers most of the stream (which they refer to as a 'river.') and the occasional beer cans left behind by wee neds as they struggle through adolescence. Still, early on a Sunday, when the sun is shining and the sky is blue, a wander through the vegetation is quite relaxing as the only passers-by are the occasional dog walker as desperate as I, and the dogs, to avoid the crowds. Where the water is clear Mallards can be found and incredibly, on occasion, small fish are noticed, usually wearing oxygen cylinders, and crash helmets - in case they meet the beer cans!

Again the camera lies, the 'river' is to the left and a housing estate just across the top of the hill. In spite of the sun, the greenery and the peace this is not a beauty spot. It is however a few minutes of nature that we all need. Isn't it funny how we need to walk among green stuff? Since around 1850 most folk in the UK have lived in towns or cities. Before then the majority were country bumpkins. We really did live off the land. In many parts of the world this is still the case, although some claim the majority actually are now urban, and I suspect, in between the aches and pains of the toil, these folks have a satisfaction in their work we do not have in towns. I am not convinced that we are made to live in office blocks or concrete jungles. 'Building sickness' is often relieved by large windows and ordinary daylight, surely this tells us something? Many find relaxation in gardening, miners often do, alongside pigeon fancying, and having your own green space, shaded and hidden from neighbours, is a strong selling point in many house sales. When Adam and Eve were thrown out of the garden of Eden they, at least he, was forced to toil on the land. Some part of us still wants this connection to the earth.

Thursday, 24 September 2009


Very warm today, and the blue sky was full of interesting cloud patterns. Nothing makes the heart feel better than a blue sky and a sunny day, unless you have toothache of course! I was out there attempting fitness once again. I say again as I am quickly unfit after sitting around for say, three minutes! Yesterday and today walking fast and taking a longer walk than required has left me aching and stiff. However I am not one to complain so I may try similar tomorrow, maybe....

Now here's a thing, I made up a small site containing a few pics of my dad in China. I sent it to 'Yahoo' for their search engine, and now it appears there when I search for it. I added it to the Google sit, however while it appears when I search using the link at the top of the 'Google Chrome' browser it is not found when using the 'Google search engine' on Firefox! Why? It is not found on IE either! Why???? 2 KOSB in China & India

Lovely isn't it?

Wednesday, 23 September 2009


This pitiful picture of a pitiful tree was intended to reflect the wonders of Autumn colours that I saw this morning when wandering about searching the litter bins for breakfast. I was struck by this tree, I should have watched that branch, and was intrigued by the colours glowing in the sunshine. All around the leaves on the trees are beginning to change from various shades of green to yellow and brown. There is something attractive in all this, except when you are the one who has to pick up all the fallen leaves of course. Autumn can be a delightful season, although I prefer Spring myself. Spring brings long days, and the promise, but never the fact, of warmer weather, Autumn heralds cold winter around the corner! I am not one for winter myself, I have seen enough of that and look forward to global warming I can tell you! In fact whenever I can I break into parked cars and turn the engines on and let them run for a while. I give cigarettes to kids and have spent a lot of time demanding the return of steam engines on all our railways - so far without success I might add! They could at least drop me off a bit of Welsh coal to keep me warm during the next few months!

One of the irksome things that er, irk me, is the driving licence in my pocket. I had rather hoped that when I achieved this level of competence, in spite of the examiners hesitation in actually giving it too me, I would be able to slip into a job driving around the countryside in a wee van dropping off some goodies now and again! It has not happened. Nothing has happened, again! In fact nothing happens quite often around here. There are times when nothing happens so often around here it becomes extremely tiring nothing happening. Anyway I am still waiting for that job, indeed any job, falling from the sky! I could do with one of these little Skoda cars to practice my driving. They would be helpful as I am forgetting how to do it already! However to be honest my forgetfulness is er, ...I forget.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Army Cuts

I must say the cuts in the British Army do go quite deep. While we are dragged into Afghanistan to fight Americas wars for them I suggest they ought to be paying for the equipment used there. Look closely and see just what 'our boys' are being forced to 'make do' with against a force armed with rocket propelled grenades and Kalashnikovs! It's a disgrace!

I came across Radio Set the other day. It plays Gregorian Chant 24 hours a day, daily.
Gregorian Chant is, and I quote their blurb :-

"Plainsong with melodic contours which are closely tied to the spoken rhythms and inflections of the text. Introduced in the liturgy by pope Gregory I (540-604), this strictly calm and soothing music spread throughout Europe having today hundreds of melodies known."

Calming, enjoyable, emotive and well worth a listen, if those around you will hold their wheesht!
Click this link RADIO SET and enjoy!

(One point, it is VERY slow to load, and there are long Radio 3 type pauses in between tracks.)

Have I posted this before? Taken from south of the Thames some years ago, heading out east through what once were bustling dockyards full of poorly paid dockers nicking everything they could get their hands on! My first job at the whisky bond in Leith brought me in contact with lorry drivers who often took our whisky to these docks for expert. Men used to the rough side of the docks yet few of them enjoyed a trip here. Glasgow, and worse Liverpool were bad, but they disliked London docks greatly. Today however the ex dockers speak of it as if this place was somewhat romantic! Indeed the pay and conditions were poor, but the people were no saints!

This pic was taken in a refurbished area and the sculpted cat caught my eye. This is art I thought, but this will win few prizes! Mind you, some lout has probably broken it and chucked it in the water by now!

Saturday, 19 September 2009




1. My darling, my lover, my beautiful wife:

Marrying you has screwed up my life.

2. I see your face when I am dreaming.

That's why I always wake up screaming.

3. Kind, intelligent, loving and hot;

This describes everything you are not.

4. Love may be beautiful, love may be bliss,

But I only slept with you 'cause I was pissed.

5. I thought that I could love no other

-- that is until I met your brother.

6. Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you.

But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead, the sugar bowl's

empty and so is your head.

7. I want to feel your sweet embrace;

But don't take that paper bag off your face.

8. I love your smile, your face, and your eyes
Damn, I'm good at telling lies!

9. My love, you take my breath away.

What have you stepped in to smell this way?

10. My feelings for you no words can tell,

Except for maybe 'Go to hell.'

11. What inspired this amorous rhyme?

Two parts vodka, one part lime.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Sculpture on Buildings

I took this pic of a small sculpture above a doorway near the Thames, not far from Waterloo station. The building stands amidst the wreckage of appalling buildings erected in the aftermath of the second world war. Bring back the Luftwaffe to finish the job I found myself thinking! However this one stands on the corner of Lambeth High Street. Old people (Yes I mean you!) will remember the famous song 'Doing the Lambeth Walk' which was popular in the late thirties. You could try it today, but not at night as you may well be knifed! I have a pic of the building itself, which while useful, does not help me understand what the sculpture (would you call this a frieze I wonder) actually represents. Enlarged there appears to be a great many earthenware urns and vases around. Several men are discussing them and one woman is seen painting one. Only one man is working, at least he is moving away from the work, and he is the only male with no beard, just whiskers and a moustache! A pottery empire perhaps? Or an empire that has gone to pot?

Fantastic Victorian over the top architecture, totally at odds with today's architects, most of whom have been brought up on Lego bricks it seems to me! The colours of the bricks don't show obviously but they stand out just as well in black & white. Whether the inside is workable is another thing, and I suspect in the late Victorian day the inside was dark brown or even darker green! Just imagine the poor facilities, the male dominated (as it should be) workforce dressed in waistcoats and jackets, with high collars and always wearing a hat and beard when they wandered around outside, pipe in mouth. When you think of it, if it were pottery then many would be cheap labour females! The men (naturally) being in charge!

How times change. Today the materials are better, stronger, long lasting, but tatty. Any of the blocks of flats nearby will be functional and efficient, although dated 1940/50's in design, but better than the buildings destroyed by the Germans however. The old blocks would have looked solid enough, and probably attractive brick like the kind shown here, even if not so elaborate. However they would have been slums by 1939 and the people benefited greatly after the war from the new buildings. Shame so many are awful now! Partly the design but mostly the inhabitants to blame for that!

While we are on, here is one from the south east, just of Tooley Street. A slim, somewhat run down building, once the home of 'Harding and Sons, Hardware Merchants,' Japanners. I did come across their history somewhere, but lost it! Efficiency is my middle name. I am not sure if the building was built at a slant, is falling over, or whether I was standing on someone at the time, but it looks squeegee to me. One thing for sure, when I lived in London there was a greater incentive to go out with the camera. In this small town most pictures are found quickly. However in the area I once lived I note a one bedroom flat, two doors from my old slum, was recently sold. The asking price £499,000. I think this a bit much for me......

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Heart of Midlothian v Kilmarnock

The first win of the season and the first of many I can tell you! To be honest we have lot's to do as yet. We still require a proper centre forward, Gary Glen who played tonight is a finisher, as they said on Radio Scotland, not a leader of the line. Nade is, well Nade, a leader who makes no effort, a great big ball of lard, but with talent, which he does not use! The centre of defence shows weakness also. Gonzalves is a left back, and we miss Zaliukas. or any domineering defender. Kevin Kyle showed up that weakness. He was playing for the wrong side tonight, he ought to have got himself a hat trick wearing a maroon shirt! Ah well, the first win is important and as we climb the league life improves.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Now as you know I am not one to complain however once again...

So I got up this morning at th usual six thirty, glanced at the blue sky outside, switched of the alarm, rose slowley and looked in the mirror to check I was still alive. A strange gray face stared back at me and for a moment I wondered who this was, then realised I was looking at a black and white photo of my late aunt. I am not at my best early on.....

After a cup of rotten 'Fairtrade' coffee I looked at the gear shift on the bike. A few moments maniplutation and it fell apart completly in my hands. Engineering was never my thing, I'm more of a 'buy a new one' type of fella. Remember if you will the time I made my intention of fixing the electric socket and was confronted by two neighbours making fire engine noises and understand my levels of ham fistedness can reach proportions Michael Crawford would fail to equal! However the effort was made so I cursed it in love and retired to attend to breakfast. That was rotten also!

So later, with a smile and joy in my heart, I headed for the shops to spend more cash I don't have on a black cartridge for the printer. This was acquired at high cost from Argos, and leaving me peeved at the price, and soon I was struggling, amid foul oaths, to push it into the appropriate slot. Once done the blessed machine insisted the colour ink was 'incompatible!' "Incompatible," I asked? "Yes," It replied. "HOW COME IT IS 'INCOMPATIBLE' WHEN IT IS ONE OF HP'S OWN CARTRIDGES THAT WAS WORKING FINE THE OTHER DAY?" I requested. "Incompatible," it said like a call centre employee reading the script. I screwed up the various packing material and stopped myself stuffing it in the printer by sheer will power. I wanted to speak to one of the HP employees and inform him of my thoughts but do not have a number. I searched online for an answer THAT DOES NOT EXIST and the blessed thing will not print even the black words unless the colour is also working.
Excuse me once again...

Sunday, 13 September 2009


This was the sky yesterday, today we have not seen it once! There has been a cloud a thousand miles long covering the land today, or at least the eastern half! How annoying is that? The sun makes the worst days appear worthwhile, and gray clouds or darkness deepens our gloom. A gloom made worse as I climbed aboard the bike this morning to discover the gear lever mechanism has bust! I think my neighbour moved it yesterday when shifting furniture, and has damaged it by mistake. Now it only works in top gear! So no cycling for me. This adds to the money I am spending just now, money I do not possess! The new monitor, the gear mechanism,. and a new cartridge for the printer are just three items added to the pile. Two birthdays that cannot be avoided arrived this week, and the credit card bill, and some folk thinks those on the dole spend all their time sitting in pubs!

However as you know I am not one to complain. I just put on my cheeriest smile and face the world with joy in my heart. Sometimes this is encouraged by circumstances outside of my ken. Today one of these moments arrived. Hibernian (Edinburgh's 'Wee Team') fans have been boasting on 'Hibs Mad' (an appropriate name) that their manager is bringing in many new players and that third place in the Scottish Premier League is theirs for the taking. (Third place ensures European competition) Today this world beating combination travelled to Hamilton Academicals to play the team bottom of the league. They lost by two goals to nil! A Hibs man at the game denounced them as 'Non-triers!' He was downhearted by their feeble performance, which included their new buy stars. Excuse me for a moment.....

Oh dear, I did enjoy that! Life feels so much better now.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Now I am Not One to Complain but...

So I got up this morning, put on my happy smile face, and went out to meet the world. A glance at the 'To Do' list was greeted with joy as I had forgot to put anything down. Using this as an excuse to do nothing I ate breakfast and browsed the papers online. As I noted the Glasgow Mafias desperate attempts to attack George Burley I also noted a birthday on the calendar! Yet another nephew needing a card and demanding cash within it! That is the second birthday this month, and it's only the tenth! Jings there's another on the twentieth! So with my breakfast spoiled I went out to deal with this situation. However unknown to me trouble was brewing!

Yes a supermarket! This one has just taken over the 'Woolies' that closed recently. Today it opened, without answering my offer of employment with them, and foolishly I entered. I admit I was still half awake from my late breakfast, and I rather stupidly walked in looking for 'Mince Pies.' As the store had just opened it was full, how full, and how badly organised I soon found out. The idea of carrying a basket/pushing a trolley without hitting every single person in the vicinity did not appear to strike most of the females and many of the men in the shop as important. I have stood in a football crowd of more than 137,500 and felt safer! I am reading about 3 Para serving in Afghanistan in 2006 and believe this would have been a better option than 'Iceland!' Eventually I gathered a few items and headed for the queue to find I was already in it! Those folk browsing the shelves were doing so in a line, a long line, and I was at the far end of it! Around a decade and a half later I reached the checkout! Several billion people, ten thousand trolleys, four buses and a herd of Buffalo had barged us aside as we waited, and then at last we saw the girl at the desk. We might have been quicker but the attempt to place her goods on the counter by the blonde was taking a while, discussing what Mary had been doing at the club meant she could only place one item, with one hand, at a time in place. GET A MOVE ON BITCH!!! Before she packed her bag she had to spend several eons looking through her purse before deciding to pay. It may surprise you to know I was frothing at the mouth by now, and not because we were in line with the special offers on booze! Surely 'Magners' is cheaper than that in Tesco? On top of this the main reason for the staff sloth was the Iceland 'Bonus Card.' Every single person was asked to fill in a form and collect a card! WHAT!!! How slow is this? Half of them cannot write joined up and the rest take for ever! Three women had collapsed and died of old age by the time I collected my goods, 'No! You can shove the Bonus Card dearie!' I then carried on for the birthday card, one that was by now at least a year out of date!

It was when I got home things took a turn for the worse. The monitor has been giving problems recently in that it would not switch off. Today it suddenly decided to not switch on, or at least it came on but went bye bye after ten seconds. Much cursing and pushing buttons convinced me the PC was OK, but the monitor was dead! I stared at the bills lying beside me, and the kind note from the bank about being over drawn, I keep that with the two letters from folks asking why the direct debit has not been paid, and somewhere in my head a light went out. There was nothing for it but to visit Tesco, they being the only place to buy such devices quickly. They had one, I took it. As I passed I thought I would acquire a new indoor TV aerial as mine is poor and needs replacing. Money, who cares now? Back home I first thought about the TV. I had not used the telly all day, I was avoiding the arrogant English 'We will win the World Cup' cobblers that was on every channel. After careful placement, and some tinkering I know have a new TV aerial that doesn't work on Freeview at all! I realised how Napoleon felt when an aide whispered, 'Blutcher's here.' Getting up from a prone position on the floor I set to with the monitor. After a comparatively short time, about half a lifetime, it now works and the PC is up and running again.
I would smile about this but I have yet to work out how to tone down the brightness which is burning though my retina! Still, wearing dark glasses, I continue.

Oh and as I sauntered out to Tesco's I decided to fly spray the abode to remove the sudden influx of flies. Whether this was caused by the milder weather or the slackness in clearing the rubbish this week i dare not say, but I suspect the latter. So I sprayed each room, closed the door and windows and left. Since returning I have been attempting to fix the aerial and monitor all the while breathing the stinking stuff! The windows are open, and I am freezing as the north east wind is now bringing air that should be at home in the Faroe Islands comforting cormorants to my desk! Of all the times to have a north east wind? Have these weather people no thought or consideration? It's a disgrace!

Quite how I manage to keep such a smiling appearance during such days is a wonder to me. Especially after another glorious Scotland defeat last night. For a while I actually thought we were about to achieve our goal, but naturally with old fashioned Scots ineptness in front of goal, we failed. However I still think Burley did well to fight the Glasgow Mafia, the SFA stabbing him in the back, Several Rangers players doing likewise, yes Chris Boyd, I mean YOU! Most players gave their all for him but the press will make sure he is removed. I may be a little bit cynical sometimes, but I reckon the new man is already in place, and he, gasps of astonishment, will be one of the Glasgow crowd! To top it all the day started with an early postal delivery. The postman, obviously one of my old friends, was keen to chat for a moment and I realised why as he made his way back to the vehicle. 'Up the Dutch' he cried, smug grin on his face, and drove of satisfied. I bet there was a fight to see who could deliver that packet this morning! Bah! I'm off to bed!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Mindless and Distracted!

For over a week now I have been mindless and distracted. I have no concentration, little energy and no desire for anything but mindless loafing. No a cynic might not notice the difference from my situation when a postman, but they are avoiding the very real issue here of 'The Bug!'

Yes indeed 'The Bug' has returned and I am sick of it, and indeed with it, once again. Last Monday, the holiday you lot all enjoyed, saw me cycle around twelve miles, and not one of you cared! I was rejoicing at my near fitness and yet, within 24 hours I noticed the bug returning. The swift annoyance, lack of concentration and sharp tongue when provoked, especially by people saying nasty things like, "Hello." My insides were grumbling and food was not tempting, although this may have something to do with what I can do with a potato! And only now, after several early nights and daily cat napping, can I begin to see some health once again. This bug, er bugs me! It keeps returning and making life miserable. Doctors say, "Exercise and eat well, lose weight and it will vanish." Or, "It's a bug, sod off I'm busy." They are of course right!

I have met others who suffer these strange 'cold like' symptoms, some minor others quite severe, but nobody has a clue what to do, nothing helps. This continues for years and may be a sign of age, cold/flu virus adapting and changing and the body having some resistance but not enough. It could of course be that I am just a wimp who should, if I was speaking to myself in an encouraging manner, be told, "Just get on with it and stop whining!" The serious question regards how to keep a job if this goes on? Of course I have to find one first!

Now there is a thing, Jobs hunting in a recession! I have attempted this before in the eighties after breaking my leg and being turned into a brain dead zombie working with brain dead zombies in Selfridges (better known as Selfishes!) so called accounts department. No woman with an IQ over four works in such a place, actually one did, a sweet little Indian lass who was far to good for them! I almost fell in love, and would have had her her husband not had a way with a hatchet that the Vikings would have been envious off. In those days Thatcher was closing down all training course for folk over 35, and I was 36! Now Labour are encouraging many attempts, some good some bad, at helping folk back to work. When they work they are great, but there are no jobs to apply for, and when they fail it is because the course offered are badly prepared, staff untrained and inappropriate for the district. Most suit folks who are under 50, and I am, er...over 21 now. On top of this there are no jobs out there! At one time the job shop was signing on 400 a week,and that is here in a backwater! So many were small companies who supplied goods to larger ones that have failed and left them high and dry. Sad for many men who are often skilled, but in the wrong thing.

Dumb people, like me, skilled in moving things, packing and other manual labour, and this is a skill in many instances, are too old or dumb for what is out there, office jobs mostly. When something suitable arises 300 men apply! The hospital porters job I went for, and should not have as I am supposed to be off my feet, not my head, gave the girls interviewing two, and I think, three days of work for one position. That of course discounts the applications ignored! What to do? The training was not there for me, so I began driving lessons, and I notice all those fences and lamp posts have been replaced now. This was a good idea in my little mind. Cars are really a necessity out here with such poor public transport, thanks Maggie! Many jobs are in outlying areas, on farms and the like, and impossible to reach otherwise. Naturally by the time I passed the test, and I did, the recession had brought out all those other drivers, and with a lot of experience, and the riving job I dreamt off, running around the country in a little van dropping of packets to pretty young farmers daughters, has so far come to nought. I have forgotten how to drive now.

Being limited by gormlessness and sloth a lack of suitable easy appropriate work I am left sending out CVs to any one who will recycle them, often tot he most inappropriate people who must be scratching their heads at the CVs landing on their desk. However you have to show willing and make an effort. It is a bit upsetting when the folk at the dole office ask if you will be at the Christmas party mind, one even gave me a form to discover how much of a pension I would receive! Not yet dearie! Still, this time has it's advantages. I can be sick if I want and lie abed all day. I can sit in the sunshine, when it arrives, and read books and do interesting things on the PC (no dear not that!). Had I money I could do a lot more and see interesting places and people, however I am limited to Tesco's for that at the time of writing. There is a growing list of what I could have been doing had I thought I would still be here, and been as rich as I once was. But it must be said I am also quite happy sometimes not working. In the eighties I was frantic to work. When I came here I despaired at not working at first, but today I am just tired of it. The 'office politics' of any job, the 'rat race' element, miserable people, bullies, meaningless jobs that mean a slog to finish them, and for a minimum wage. All these I can do without. It would be nice to do something worthwhile and even enjoyable, or work amongst decent folk, and the people at Royal Mail were for the most part decent enough to work with. Such work is found only in dreams, and when no-one replies to the begging letters I find an attraction in lying on the floor staring at the ceiling once again. Ah well, maybe I will risk £1:50 on the lottery of Friday. £37 million this time. Just enough to clear my Visa card. Oh must go, I have to hide, that bailiff is wandering around outside attempting to look in the window.....

Sunday, 6 September 2009


I'm sick of TV adverts! I turn on Sky Sports News to be greeted with "When we come back...." so I switch to the Sky News and find those bloody Meerkats selling insurance! Now I note that these creatures have been a success, I suspect the kids are thrilled and daddy has to buy insurance because of this, just like that fat mutt adverting the Churchill rip off insurance. I turn to any other channel and find all have adverts on at the same time! No peace for the wicked, no freedom from the constant repetition on all channels of the same bloody adverts!!!! Insurance, dominates, and finance is not far behind! Several over cheery women sell 'Vanish,' promising to remove all stains from your laundry, don't buy it, this is a fraud! It never worked on my Royal Mail shirts! A vast number of cars whizz across the screen promising male watchers an image they cannot resist. You will note the actual performance of the car is rarely mentioned in such ads, all is image.

Not only are they always on, they last for four minutes (it feels like more) on all channels. Any programme going for eight minutes now halts for "A short break." No it isn't, it's a long break with the same bloody adverts we saw last time and the time before and the time before that! One more image of a clown wearing an oversized light bulb on his head desperate for a cheap loan and I will swap the light for an axe! (I have one spare!) One children's charity showed an ad featuring a small boy, three times in every break. This advert worked. The little boy is now buried in my back garden! The ad is not shown now.

So let's leave TV and the one hour programme that comprises four, yer four, four minute ad breaks, an intro that takes two minutes plus, and four "When we come backs..." which take two minutes each. Add to this the "Welcome back, coming up, ..." which takes another minute and a half, and we are left with twenty eight minutes of programme each hour! Only Murdoch could think this worth while! Many of his readers/viewers probably don't notice how little they actually watch, and much repeated from earlier in the day! Let's move to the radio. Hold on, three minutes of adverts, mostly for local companies, before the news comes on. Blasted Meerkats are there again also and that 'Direct Line' one! Enough, turn to something else, a talk show, even they are stopping off for a 'break!' Right, BBC it is. Guess what, they are shoving a trailer for an upcoming programme down our throat. They advertise themselves, even on the 'World Service' and 'Radio 3!'

Right that's it! If you want me I will be at the zoo. I'm going hunting for Meerkats!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Scotland 2 Macedonia 0

Thanks to a marvellous second half display,and an excellent goal from James MacFadden Scotland have left themselves with a chance of qualifying for South Africa! In spite of lively opponents, when they were not wasting time lying on the ground, we survived several smart moves from the visitors, and one or two poor efforts at goal. In the first half I was sure they would score, Macedonia are far from a poor side, and the 'team spirit' and hard work required of any successful side paid of in the second half. Scott Browns diving header was due reward for his hard work, and 'hard man' attitudes (you can tell he comes from Cowdenbeath) and the MacFadden second goal finished the tie and made up for his dreadful miss early on.

So we sit back and rejoice. We look forward to meeting Holland on Wednesday knowing that we must beat one of the teams tipped to win the World Cup. Are we worried? No way! Scotland have been here before, and will be here again - many times! No point in worrying, just fix up the wounded and get the boys prepared for Wednesday!

Isn't it nice when a woman knows her place?

Friday, 4 September 2009


Scotland play Macedonia at Hampden Park in a very important World Cup match tomorrow. George Burley the manager is 'under pressure' the press tell us repeatedly, and they would know! They have been against him from the beginning so he would be 'under pressure' wouldn't he? Having led the Heart of Midlothian into a position to challenge the finance led domination by the bigot twins in Glasgow he was always considered an 'enemy.' Not belonging to the 'Glasgow Mafia' leads the press, who do belong, to treat you with contempt, no matter the results from the team. In recent days we have been hearing of the importance of this game, the 'pressure,' and that this is 'win or lose,' as indeed it always happens to be! However the 'suits' that matter are shaking out their blazers and clearing the way for Burley's removal and ensuring they do not get any blame! George Peat, the president of the Scottish Football Association has put down his glass to let the world know that failure will remove Burley, and it's not his fault he was appointed. Declaring the managers position will be discussed after the Holland game he let everyone know that if we lose he will be sacked, 'The compensation package is already in place,' he said. What he meant was, 'It's no my fault!' he then returned to his table and the other suits. Gordon Smith was attending a referees meeting at the Lodge and was not available for comment.

Mike at Auld Reekie Rants has been ranting on about the latest attempt to deal with troublesome pupils, sorry, students, in Edinburgh schools. Apparently if the 'child' considers he (and it's always a 'he' apparently) will be troublesome in class he can use his 'Get out of class free' card, and excuse himself. This, considers a gathering of social workers, psychologists and head teachers, is an appropriate way to deal with such youths. Teachers are being instructed on handling difficult situations, and there is a possibility other 'Education Centres' (what happened to 'schools?') . Read Mikes item and then glance through this excellent site and consider your honest heartfelt response to the situation. 'Instruments of Punishment'

To finish try this BBC quiz.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

September the 3rd 1939.

Today we commemorate the beginning of the Second World War. Actually it had begun on the First of the month when the Nazi party dressed prisoners in Polish uniforms and set them to attack, with no bullets, German border post. They were machine gunned into silence, and from this excuse the German invasion on the First began. The United Kingdom, under Chamberlain, one of the few men to interrupt Hitler when he was ranting, took Britain to war to free Poland, an objective never lost and unachieved only because of exhaustion and the red army.

For today's generation this is an event so far in the past as not worth talking about. This is of course understandable, as my generation, born a few years after the war, thought little about late Victorian Britain, or indeed anything outside of our ken. However the war meant a great deal to us. We ran about the school playground singing "We won the war, in 1944!" and this was twelve years after this event, revealing how close the memory was to the nation. The cinema was in the fifties filled with actors portraying a wide range of hero's on land, sea and air. 'The Dambuster's' was a highly emotive film, showing the bombers courage and reminding folk of the morale boost this gave at a time of many losses. 'The sea shall not have them,' was another reminder of the endurance of the men in both Royal and Merchant Navies, films, plays and books were used to release many inward tensions and emotions hidden during the actual conflict. This continued when TV became standard in the house. Sure attention was indeed more on the 'brave new world' built after the war, and television reflected this constantly, however the war would not go away. The first programme we saw when the TV arrived in our humble abode was a comedy called, 'The Army Game.' This somewhat unfunny programme did speak to millions who had endured, or understood, the 'joys' of military life! Field Marshall Montgomery appeared showing diagrams of how he had won the war single handedly, and would have done so quicker had the Yanks not kept interfering. "The enemy was Heeeyiah, Heeeyiah and Heeeyiah!' his plumy voice announced, "And my troops Heeeyiah, Heeeyiah and Heeeyiah! and I won!" He was of course right, and few would disagree that he was the best general of his time in the field, he certainly wouldn't!

The war that affected us so much had cost around fifty million lives, give or take a million. It had led to a rebuilt Europe that would see decades of peace for the fist time, possibly ever. It brought the US and the USSR to the fore and while we saw a peaceable 'Cold War,' ignoring the Cuban Missile crisis which brought us within minutes of mutual destruction, around fifty million died in proxy east v west wars in Central and South America, Asia and Africa. However they were far away so we let it happen! In some place the war did not end until 1974! Vietnam had been dominated by the French for many years and suffered invasion by the Japanese who came to deliver them from the western powers. Their domination was even more heartless and after they had been removed the French returned and fighting continued. The American suffered ignominious defeat there and at last the nation has peace, after almost forty years of conflict! We had it tough did you say?

War at least encourages invention, and aircraft as well as bombs, ships as well as radar developed in a handful of years. By 1945 the German Messerschmitt 262 jet fighter was bringing down allied bombers and piston engined flight was about to recede. Men had fought in the desert, in an almost 'chivalrous' way, in the jungle and on island against the Japanese in a far from chivalrous 'kill or be killed' manner. The Soviet forces, brutally handled by Stalin, had fought tooth an nail to remove the Nazi threat with at least twenty million dead in an action that was surely the worst known, so far, to man? Shipping in the Atlantic was devastated, men endured days and weeks in small lifeboats, many never recovered, while back home in spite of government warnings many still wasted what food was available, or made money on the 'black market.

Those who fought, losing friends and comrades never forget what they have seen. Rarely do they talk about it in depth, their emotions hidden in that 'manly' fashion. A fashion that often kills them when they allow the thoughts to surface many years later. Those who lose loved ones during the bombing often never remarry, other lost homes and never recovered their social position. Many of course found excitement and adventure, as long as they survived, and could say they enjoyed the war. Women found a freedom, usually sexual, that was missing during peacetime, and employment in ways they never dreamt of before the war. In short for those who served and those at home, whatever side they were on, the war was the biggest event they could ever face. The rest of their lives were governed by this event, and often the changes, especially during the sixties, were never comprehended by such as they.

One thing is sure, had Britain not 'stood alone,' had American not, eventually, entered the war, had Russia been ruled by a lesser man, we would not have a freedom nor a wealth that we possess today. Indeed without their sacrifice, often ignored by today's generation, we would not be here!

Can you imagine any politician daring to erect a poster like the one above in today's world?

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Tetris is Good For the Brain!

According to reports in the 'Telegraph,' playing 'Tetris' develops the brain power! For office workers everywhere this is good news! Psychologists in Albuquerque somewhere in the US have been investigating changes in the brain when this game is played. The mental effort involved in juggling the shapes into lines across the board develop cortical thickness and develops a healthier brain. It has long been claimed that mental exercise, crossword puzzles and the like, prevents the brain deteriorating and keeps people young longer. The mental agility required using 'Tetris' is an excellent way to keep yourself alive!

'Tetris' is one of those silly computer games which have quickly spread worldwide, and now is enjoyed by millions everywhere. I am not surprised as it appears to me the most successful games are often the simplest, not the most complicated ones. Invented by Alexey Pajitnov in the USSR in 1984 the name combining 'Tetramino' & 'Tennis.' A 'Tetramino' as you are aware is a geometric shape. As the patent was granted to the USSR state the inventor made little money from his game. Regaining the patent in 1996 an effort has been made to remedy this. However as so many companies have patents, mostly illegal, many court room battles have taken place over the ownership and these continue today. A wide variety of imitators exist.

One thing is for sure, when interrupted in future for 'wasting time playing daft games' I can respond that I am merely improving my 'little gray cells.'

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


Now I am not one to complain, as you know. However, today I checked, being the first of the month, what the banking situation actually was. No point yesterday as it was a 'bank holiday.' I found myself overdrawn on my overdraft, so I went up today and dug another hole to fill this one, and placed it, neatly, into the account.

Now normally when I pay in early it shows up by mid afternoon. Today it did not do this! However two unpaid Direct Debits did! This means the grasping bank, with huge profits in spite of the catastrophic Halifax/BoS takeover, will charge me £20 and probably still not pay the standing orders, unless I ask them to and then be charged for it, even though money is now there!

I was tempted to enter the bank and discuss this with the teller, but the crowd was rather longer than my temper and just as well as they would probably not serve me with the stocking on my head. I suspect whoever has not been paid will want more also. Looks like they can sing!

However I did come across a job that would really suit me, and I was gagging for this one. trouble is it is in Bournemouth, a hundred and something miles away! It's a cruel world. Still, worse things happen at sea. Which, when you think about it, is where I am at the moment!