Sunday, 5 July 2020

Blethering Sunday


Being the new month I had to wash today.  This is helpful as I did dust yesterday and you can imagine what stour was created by such an action!  The first free day from English Lock Down was expected to cause trouble, now news so far, and not having Facebook I now miss out on local gossip re Saturday night happenings.  For myself I made it to Tesco by 7:30 on Saturday morning to avoid the crowds and noticed a lot more stalls being slowly erected in the market.  They expected crowds I see.
It made me wonder about the stall holders.  For years now these people have had the enormous effort of erecting tables of some form, then slowly unpacking their goods for display, followed by a days trading, followed by an enormous effort to pack the leftovers into boxes and vans and going home.  Often they do this five or six days a week, I ask myself is it worth the effort?  The fish man of course has the right answer, he has a van, drops the back end into a shelf, and provides his customers with a view of the goods and an easy display and repacking and off we go.  Clearly an early start in the morning, like the fruit men at 2 am, but the van makes life so much easier.  As for the handling of several tables, dozens of boxes, often alone or just two men, to me this is hard work and much better becoming a postman.  



The sight of Boris clapping for the NHS was not one that produced a thankful response in me.  The man responsible for 25,000 deaths dumped on care homes with no PPE or testing resulting in many carers dying applauding the dead does not inspire gratitude.  It is to be hoped a proper court of law can be persuaded to inquire as to the justice or lack of it all.  Chances of that are small however the law being what it is.  'Support your NHS, Don't vote Tory.'


While some queued outside pubs many in this town were more careful how they stood in line.  People avoided one another, keeping 6ft apart whatever the PM says, and still many are very fearful of this virus.  I await the 'second wave' like many others.
Barbers shops were open, six men at least outside of those I passed later on yesterday.  I require an urgent haircut but will wait until the desperate have been attended to first.  I suspect the prices have increased to make up for 4 months lost wages.  There appears to be a Dullux dog in this house, the place is covered in white hairs that have appeared everywhere.


Friday, 3 July 2020

Worn Out Today


Rising late I expected a decent quiet day.  This was ruined by the banging of the plumber and his mate downstairs and the information that I was leaking!  It was flat Number two that reported a leak a week or two ago.  John and his mate came round attempting to locate leak.  We looked under sink, saw nothing, behind washing machine and saw nothing, concluded it was Number 5 at fault and they were out.  I heard no more until the banging today.  
In fact the plumber was at Number 1.  they had a leak also, they thought it the boiler, the plumber thought the boiler was off anyway and replaced it.  In doing so he realised I was leaking.  On inspection, much better than before, a small but persistent leak was coming from around the U-bend bits.  
Having banged and thumped at Number 1 satisfactorily he wished to check mine, then look into Number 5's bathroom.  He looked at mine, decided a refit was required, John will say rude words, I canny imagine what the landlord will say, and that is now in the process.  More next Tuesday.
Plumber goes to Number 5 who has gone out so he will be back next week also.  More banging expected.


In the midst of all this I received a new scanner.  A small device to transfer slides onto digital.  A very good idea and something I have been wanting for a long time.  The problem was they ranged between £50 to 80 and that was beyond me.  The other day however, while scanning the Online Oxfam Shop I found one for £29.  It arrived during the banging time and gave me something to annoy me all day.  
Once I had worked out how to make it work, once I discovered the lead from the plug is two feet too short, and once I had dusted down the old box of slides I discovered the colours have faded.  Whether this was because of where they have been kept or simply age, it is 30 years since I went to Jerusalem, I know not but it was time consuming beginning to put them through the scanner.  Some have been done, some are not very good, and yet I may get a couple of decent hots if I turn them into B&W when the colours do not succeed.
Interestingly, among the debris in the box was an SD card. This contained photos from years ago which a previous owner had attempted to digitalise.  Most of them are not very good, almost all upside down, reversed, but some are very good indeed and may be made use off.   
No siesta today, no decent food either, hopefully I will get a decent sleep now...


Thursday, 2 July 2020

Bored


Another day of sudden downpours, thunder and lightning.  Lovely to see, from the window at least.  
Other than visiting Tesco in the bright, reasonably warm sunshine at 7:30 this morning I have avoided polluting the streets.  Instead of original thought or real purpose I have merely eased my ears - my sister phoned last night - and concentrated on staring into space.  This some appear to consider wasting time but I prefer to see it as pondering life.  
Once, full of zeal and little sense, I wished to be out there!  The world was full of adventure and excitement.  There were places to go, things to experience, action, friends and whatever.  Not now.
Much of it I have seen, the excitement has lessened, and a dog speaking to me as I made my way home is more than enough friendship that early in the day.  Much joy can be had waiting on the postman or those white vans that draw up and pull out parcels.  Never it appears for me however.  
Of course I could buy something but I would rather it just arrives as a surprise.  That would be good.
However, with everybody broke, unemployed, locked down, or merely going off their heads I suppose surprise packets will not be arriving any time soon.  Maybe I ought to send one to someone else? I wonder what item (cheap) I could go for?  Of course once I start going for something some fool will put a price tag on it (plus P&P) and put me off.  Ah well.
No football tonight either, though what has been available has mostly been poor.  OK then, back to listening to the wireless!


Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Walking the Streets...



At first I considered these 'walking tours' somewhat absurd.  A man carrying a camera wanders along the streets filming as he goes, revealing a city or whatever from the ground, as a tourist would see it.
Then I discovered I was hooked!
There are problems with these videos, one concerns London.  Walking around London, and there are many of those as you will guess, involves meeting Londoners.  These ignorant, rude people who walk into you as if you do not exist, cut in front of you, barge past you, and generally make me glad I am now in this wee market town, appear regularly on the videos.  One other problem, the man with the camera will insist on turning the wrong way!  I wish to turn to the left, he goes right, and there is nothing you can do about this!  
However, for someone suffering Lock Down it is a window on the world, and they do cover a good part of the world now, and while you may wish them to walk down different streets or check the notices on old building more many of these are worth a look.
This half hour one covers the city of London.  Clearly he was there on a Saturday as the place is quiet.  Masses of blue suited smart people, they say, fill the area normally, making use of the pubs and clubs, cafes and grossly overpriced restaurants while seeking to do deals and make money.  So many would be happier moving out and getting a life instead!
Once upon a time I had some knowledge of the streets, watching this glass fronted, disgusting tower block filled place all I had was neck ache!  Far too many old buildings have gone, too many disgusting ones have arrived, though many from the late 19th century were pretty drab also.  The more interesting ones, where you really have to look up to see carvings and insignia, were missed!  Bah!
Worth a look for anyone who has been there or wishes to avoid entering the den of iniquity.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Monday Mump


It's been one of those weekends. Nothing has gone right.  Even my spelling has failed more than ever, according to all the red lines under this sentence.  Just like being back in school.  I had to buy the teacher six new red pens when I left.  Some refer to being 'Booted' out of school, my teacher took that phrase to heart.  She had a nasty streak after all.
Early this morning I headed to Tesco for bread.  I had been in Sainsburys late yesterday for bread but when I got back I discovered I had got everything but!  I knew I should not have followed that woman around the store...
Today I was in Tesco just after 8 am.  Wandering around, just for bread, I spent £7:27 on other things that I suddenly realised I required, but managed to obtain bread first.  By only shopping once a week I have spent much less money, today reminded me how I was overspending in these money grabbing places.  Of course the lovely lass at the checkout did not like me, that helped to make my day.
The list of things that did not work, was not possible, unavailable over the weekend, plus rain when I considered wandering outside, all added to a dreich weekend.  I did rejoice at the number of freely available football matches on telly but discovered most of these were dower, dreary typically English affairs.  The best part was the second half of the 3rd division German game I found, at least both tried then to play football.
However, with Craig Gordon returning to the Heart of Midlothian there was one piece of good news this morning.  Just as long as he does not injure himself going up to the press conference.
 

I suppose I could have been like the clever people and taken out insurance against my day.  Many celebrities take out such insurance in case their voice/legs/talent suddenly leaves them.  Others take out insurance for their wedding day just in case 'cold feet' appear.  Still others, while swimming in Loch Ness took out insurance in case the Loch Ness Monster bit them!  Similarly a cruise ship did likewise as they feared the monster might bite them!  Sometimes of course insurance is worth while.  The Wimbledon Tennis people took out 'Pandemic Insurance' after the 'SARS' outbreak some years ago, now it appears they may get back some of the £1.5 million they paid out annually, around £114 million expected to arrive sometime soon!
I wonder if they will allow 'Having a bad day' as an insurance request...


Saturday, 27 June 2020

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Thursday Rambling


Imagine my delight at 10:30 last night when outside my window a lorry, full of unknown substances, began, very loudly, to work on the road surface.  I have no idea what he was doing, I only knew I was going to  have tinnitus by morning!  I did shout at him but he could not hear me for the noise he was making.  Half an hour later he moved away down the road leaving a road surface in similar condition as to when he had started!  I fell asleep.  Just after midnight he was back, making similar noise and no effect on the other side of the road.  
Now many men had been working last night.  Other JCB like monsters moved up and down, digging here and there, spades scraping alongside, but none made a noise equal to johnny in the truck.  I thought at first he was cleaning drains, but there are none at these spots.  I thought he was washing the road but no!  He is merely employed to be a nuisance!  Grrr!
I awoke at 5, I looked out and a new road surface had appeared.  All the way down the road has been replaced with no noise whatsoever, so why did Johnny in the truck unknown have to make such a racket?  Bah!


So I crossed the road, crossed the park, stood back, as did two others and a dog, as a large jogger woman passed by.  'Joggernaught!' Thought I.  The two and myself, plus dog, decided we would not indulge in such frivolity, the dog especially pleased as he is at the granddad stage like the rest of us.
As we watched go, and she did go, I moved on, walked about the town wondering why it was 70% at this time of the morning.  I have hidden away indoors ever since.  


Bournemouth beach, one of the best in the world, has declared a 'Major Incident' as thousands of dafties headed for the seaside.  Too many people, Coronovirus still alive, and 558 parking tickets, a record, given out.  Some will not be pleased. 
Mind you Tesco was still busy, why did this lot not go there?


Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Clear as Mud


So I answered the problem of 'how to get photos from my phone to the laptop' by obtaining a suitable USB cable.  Considering I have a box full of cables and every one was the wrong size, USB 'C' apparently is required, all mine were different, possibly used for laptops, computers and radios rather than phones!  Any how I got one today delivered by 'Hermes' the worst of all courier services.  Not only did it arrive as promised (they promised to deliver between 11 - 1 after I had gone out just before 11) they actually did deliver before one O'clock.  I saw the man push the packet through the letterbox, take the obligatory photo as they do these days and depart as I was crossing the park.  Jolly good show 'Hermes.'  Since Lock Down 'Hermes' has employed many more drivers.  Their system was poor before, the worst of all, yet it appears to me they have white van men all over the place at the moment.  There were two here today, one doing large packets and this one with the small stuff.  I wonder if it will last?


So, now I have a cable to connect the phone to the laptop, I connect, it bleeps, it registers, and then nothing!  Naturally I try all things before looking for help in the instructions.  Here, as you see, helpfully the instructions are written in Mandarin, or is it Cantonese! 
Jolly good show!
Now I believe this the chinky folk trying 'soft power' in the way the US has been doing it for years, completely ignoring the people of this land and expecting us to understand what they are talking about.  I mean, Cartoons like 'Peanuts,' or 'Garfield, 'Marvel Comics, those dreadful US comedies with canned laughter and no humour, the movies and all else is dumped upon us and we are expected to know what they are talking about.  Naturally in reverse this gets nowhere!  With the exception of one small house in Georgia where a young woman lives with her own translator.  
Possibly the Beijing Emperor hopes to do similar with his export power?  I see a problem here.  While the normal citizen can translate US speak into some form of human dialogue ( you see, we used to call that 'talk') translating Chinese characters into some form of English is unlikely for 99% of the people.  Possibly they have heard the Geordie's cry 'Huawei the lads' and got the wrong idea?  
Anyway, after some struggle I found the spot to change things and discovered that I can indeed load the laptop with bad pictures taken on my feeble phone camera.  However, I am peeved that I cannot uplift to the phone from the laptop!  There has to be a way to do this, I will discover it, even though it may take a while, in Mandarin!


Sunday, 21 June 2020

Slow Sabbath...


Been a slow day.  Made slower by having to drop everything and watch Newcastle United beating Sheffield United by 3 - 0 this afternoon.  Other things had to be put aside while I gaped at the Newcastle side in a vast empty stadium.  This did not spoil the game however, I enjoyed it and was pleased at the result.  Last night the BBC gave us Bournemouth v Crystal Palace just to indicate that Bournemouth are finished and will go down.  The only hope they have is that West Ham are also chronic and may fare even worse!  


This means I have wasted no time in seeking parades or protests to pretend I care about.  In Glasgow and Edinburgh (pronounced 'Edinburra') Rangers fans act out 'British Loyalism,' which in Glasgow means attacking peaceful asylum seekers meetings and of course the police.  'Unionists' are always violent, it i the English part of their imperialistic make up.  The Glasgow police (pronounced 'Polis') often appear somewhat right wing and 'loyalist also, at least those visiting Ibrox Park, Rangers home, often find.  This time however too many punches have been thrown, too many assaults have strained the officers and I think there will be many doors 'knocked on' at 6 am soon in various 'Loyal' districts.


I did notice the weather man claiming hot weather was in the offing.  It is summer I suppose, and this means the numpties will be racing to the beaches to collect virii from close packed sun lovers. I have watched them well behaved and well spaced out on Bournemouth's well cared for beaches but others may be less disciplined.  The NHS will be looking forward to the week...



Well he tried his best but failed to rouse much in Tulsa.  He managed to enable Nigel Farage, the attention seeking Hedge Fund chancer to visit him to swell the crowds.  Nigel was barred but allowed into the US as because of 'National Interest!'  Possibly he was interested in a 19,000 seater arena in which only 6200 bothered to come and listen to Trumps lies?  


In major news it appears the Heart of Midlothian have ended their time with Daniel Stendal and replaced him with ex-manager Robbie Neilson.  I wonder if Craig offered any advice here?  With court cases ongoing, league placing uncertain, this is a bright move that will please many and annoy others.  We await with interest further developments.


Saturday, 20 June 2020

Night Highway Repair


I was a bit perturbed to see this monster outside my window the other night.  There had been some noise further up the road but I did not expect a Dinosaur type machine to look in on me.


He had disappeared by morning and much later on Friday evening he turned up again, along with several large trucks.  There was much to-ing and fro-ing by these vehicles, men in bright orange suits pointing fingers this way and that while the late shoppers at Sainsburys tried to get home.


Eventually, late on, they managed to get under way.  Grumbling re the state of the potholes has risen considerably in recent days.  The road here, once made stable by Roman soldiers giving it the name 'Stane Street,' now known by less happy terms as holes appeared everywhere.  The building of two blocks of houses on either side of the road did not help, Gas, Electric and Water all took turns in digging up the road and then doing it all over again for the other side of the street.  Then faults occurred and they had to do it all over again.  Some of the workers offered to camp in the park to save time coming and going!  The temporary patches put on the road after this did not go down well with the locals, many spleens were vented!  Being some 15 years or so since this was last resurfaced the County Council has decided to resurface now.  How long will this last I wonder?



Scrape the surface and dump it straight into the lorry in front.  The Roman soldiers slogging their way along the road would have loved this machine.  I wonder how much this costs?  I must say I have not been so fascinated with men working on the roads since I was coming up for 3.  Way back then I remember what I am sure was a steamroller used by the men creating the roads in our new housing estate.  Over the Brazier hung 'Tate & Lyle' syrup tins from a short improvised metal handle.  This was their tea!  No fancy mugs in those early 50s days. 



Being right outside my window I was not going to miss this, even though I was slouched in bed when they began.  Efficiently they removed the surface, slowly walking the great machine along, careful guiding required.  Alongside the men swept the pavement clean of dust, I had to do my own window, nose and throat myself, as they followed the craft alongside.  Quite why they all wore hard Hats when nothing was going to fall on their heads was not explained. 


The sky, being almost Mid Summer, was brilliant, deep red as the night wore on.  Well after 10:30 when I managed to take that shot.

 
See how clear it is at that time, the youths happily exchanging drugs unafraid of the police who cannot get past the men working on the road way.  Clearly this lot work together often, such teamwork requires practice.  Scraping the ground requires a truck to move in front of the machine while manoeuvring backwards and forwards to fill the truck evenly.  Then when laying the tar similarly a truck has to load the laying machine carefully, tipping it's load without covering everyone in road surface.


As the light faded various machines and men in yellow outfits wandered about.  Here they were working around an electric 'hole in the road,' doing their best not to destroy it.


Filling the beast while blurring my picture.


The first layer goes down, more to come tonight I understand, and it surprised me how hard the layer was.  The men walking on it left no impression behind.  The smell of tar is much better than the dust that was flying about earlier.


Such jobs involve much intense work followed by lots of standing about while the machine gets refilled, the men in charge discuss the next move, or some hold up arrives.  The workers appeared to get on well with the few people passing by.  The wage may be quite good, especially as most of the work is done at night.

What happened to the large machinery I do not know, I awoke to find this man running about and others painting temporary white lines in the road.   There is more disruption to follow but as far as I can see they have done it with little stress on others, not counting the Sainsburys lorry that arrived at the wrong time, and left little mess.  The cynics this morning still did not appear full of joy at the work.  I think they are hoping it fails so they can say "I told you so!"


Friday, 19 June 2020

Something different



 

Something different from the virus and shambolic politicians.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Second Covid 19 Virus Wave approaching


I notice how the media today is filled with people desperate to get into the local pub.  CafĂ©'s and restaurants seek urgently to open, at least in part, and it appears the threat of a deadly virus has faded somewhat.
It is understandable that a business wishes to reopen, much loss has occurred and many may never recover, this is extremely sad, especially for the small coffee shop close by that we had begun to frequent on occasion, I doubt he can have much cash put aside.  MP's and MSPs are pressurising the leaders to reopen everywhere, Cafes, restaurants, shops, Zoo's, almost anything and everything that has been closed down.  Of course in some areas the public reaction has been to make out Lock Down has ended anyway so lets just get on with it.
There is a problem with this, Covid 19 is still around.  What drugs that have been found to work are still only a partial help, and then only for some.  The deadly virus is still with us and while returning to normal is good it may also be deadly! 


Only a few days ago while I was out there were few people to be seen.  Tonight I visit Sainsburys and the car park is busy.  While we all avoid one another it is clear people have forgotten about the danger.  This is not completely forgotten just pushed to the side a wee bit.  I suspect large town centres where large shops are considering opening are less safe than Sainsburys.
The second wave is on the way...

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Facebook, Twitter, Google and Amazon...


Facebook, Twitter, Google and Amazon are some of the social media I have been indulging in recently.  Nothing has satisfied and all appears rather dismal in truth. 
Facebook, of course went wonky after the last Microsoft download, other things now work, once I have found the fault, but facebook is dead.  I may produce a new page later but for now it lies forgotten.
Twitter I use for most of my up to date information about the real world, mostly useful.  These recent days have been dire however.  The news is depressing, little of astounding interest appears, and Boris still lies all day and gets away with it.  
Google of course remains Google.  A helpful site if you seek information and wish them to store all the info connected to you and your 'friends' in their underground servers somewhere under Greenland. 
I am choosing to use Duck Duck Go more often, they claim you cannot be tracked, but tend to use Bing, which is Microsoft I believe.  Someone somewhere is watching you always.
Amazon.  How can we leave out Amazon?  That nice Jeff Bezos does not get on too well with that nice Donald Trump so that is one good thing to say about him.  What his employees say may be different. 
Just think, we did not require such organisations 25 years ago, how did it all change?  Far seeing individuals?  Clever computer geeks?  What was it that enabled such organisations to rise so quickly and take over much of the world?  Enabled by a public unwilling to read the T and Cs, unless we are lawyers there is little point, and all of us to stupid or without the power to stop them using our, and our friends, and our next door neighbours information as they like, we see them gaining power and money by living of our backs and dumping adverts unwanted upon us.  AdBlockPlus deals with most of these on the laptop, not on the phone, and now YouTube has new adverts on every item that requires individual removal, most annoying.  This, to be honest means I rarely see actual adverts, but they do annoy.
Indeed, I was so weary of social media and the money grab today I forsook it to make soup and a rice based hash that was uneatable.  I will finish that tomorrow.  That took up several hours, most hours spent cleaning up afterwards, and awaiting the heavy rain storms forecast for this afternoon.  Of course one passing cloud has been and gone but no storm so far.
Now it is back to Twitter but little enjoyment to be seen today so far. 
It's being so cheery wot keeps me going.
I've just thought, all that soup I made, I hope it cooled quick enough or it's Ecoli time again...


Sunday, 14 June 2020

Sunday Blast



The morning sun greeted me warmly at 6:30 today.  I was so impressed I soon wandered about the town, basically before anyone gets up and annoys me.  I was annoyed enough!  Facebook played up, and how.


So I wandered about, once again being given either 'funny looks' or 50pence for a cup of tea from the occasional passer-by, and slouched home and shaved my beard off and blocked the sink!  Now I had taken precautions, most of this grey mater was dumped by way of a pair of blunt scissors and a magic mirror.  However even so there was sufficient to lead to a desperate grabbing for Sainsburys best sink un-plugger, once I got the blasted thing open that is. Who can open childproof locks other than a child?


So I start again on facebook.  I had two pages, now I have none!  This could of course be Microsoft's fault,the latest download has been causing problems as always, but suddenly things went off.  I got one back but not the other and now I have none.  Obviously a new page can be created, whoopee, but then we have the bother of building it and if I do not open a new page the FBI will be wondering what I am up to, let alone all those marketing men I avoid by using 'Adblock Plus.'  Talking about that you will notice that while Adblock blocks the advert now on YouTube an advert appears, hidden by Adblock, but must be removed before going on.  That is new, Google must be feeling the pinch also, the virus hits home to the real owners of these Digital Giants!

 
Pop-ups!  How they irritate!  Almost every page demands you check the Cookies!  Every other page demands you 'Subscribe' or select a 'Weekly E-Mail,' yet none offer to just leave you alone!  They come in all shapes and sizes, brightly coloured or dull, cheery or despondent but all demanding and in the wrong place!   
Worse than this is the newspapers who insist on putting videos, often totally irrelevant to the story, on the page and opening, sound on and all, whether you like it or not.  Some have 3 seconds for you to decide, 3 seconds that are wasted as the page jumps up and down fitting the basted thing on the page.  When I am king such pop-ups will be banned, videos must be switched on by the reader, not the page, and those who disobey will be Beheaded, twice!   
Yes 'Daily Record' and yes 'Edinburgh Evening News' I mean you!!!