Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Morning Shines Brightly


Amazingly the morning has shone brightly several days running now.  Today I trundled the rusty bike with my rusty knees along the way to see if I could catch it somewhere.  Indeed this old path with aged oak trees to one side (an aged map shows them there over a hundred years ago, how long can an oak tree last I wonder) offered a pleasant view at the top.  Beside me birds sang in the trees, young squirrels frantically looked for the way home and a proper forest, six foot wide, ran alongside the path.  This contrasts to the huge school field the other side of the fence justly hidden behind a stout fence and much vegetation. 


Only one early morning dog walker met my greeting and he was more concerned with his mobile phone and the many secrets therein to notice me.  The fact that he knows me and was too occupied to recognise me I let slide and passed on.  I suspect if we were able to read the messages contained on his phone we would not in the least find them interesting yet he stood head down ignoring the bored dog that wanted something to sniff while he perused his phone, he might still be there.

  
When they laid out the housing estate the clever people allowed much of the copse that existed to remain.  If you choose to ignore the old crisp packets and plastic bottles lying around from the scruffy unkempt types who wander through it does give a brief indication of a wood.  The more we build houses the more we require such small glimpses of green to enable us to breathe freely.  The mind can only comprehend so much stone and brick, it requires trees and green grass with areas of sky to let the mind relax.  The Victorians knew this only too well.  The rise in suburbs expanding out from town and city centres, slums all too often left behind, caused a longing for a romantic and unrealistic country life.  The song lines 'You could see to 'ackney Marshes, if it wasn't for the 'ouses in between' comes to mind.  The romantic vision ignored the damp country shacks, the poor life of the villagers, hard toil in fields and the disease that was just as prevalent as in town.  However from a crowded slum tenement after a 96 hour week it could be made to look attractive. 
Life is always better over there.   


This strange colour has been hanging all over the country today.  
I think the sky is broken!


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Wedensday Birds


To avoid the incessant noise re Manchester I kept my head in my laptop finally finishing the rebuild of the WW2 memorial.  A rebuild that almost went wrong as another glitch threatened to kill it once again.  The air was almost blue.  To ease my ageing eyes I wandered in the sunshine looking at half naked women admiring the glow of a sunny day.  Sitting on a bench, broken peanuts strewn before me, I eventually attracted a couple of Blackbirds to pose for me.  It was noticeable that when she approached he moved away, either a married couple or he was in her patch.  A Robin looked in but refused to be anything but blurred, he moved away. 


When I returned to the news I found the usual 24 hour concentration on the 'Big Story' unappealing.  Now I appreciate the importance of the Manchester event, I feel for the victims, I realise the seriousness of the situation, however I would rather journalism was once again introduced instead of the squalid reporting shoved down our noses today.  
Maybe I am just used to such outrages, maybe I note that when it happens elsewhere, Beirut or Kabul for instance, few bother to comment let alone 'stand with' those people.  Maybe I am just sick of pap masquerading as journalism for a lazy audience.
Interestingly the 'Sun,' Rupert Murdoch's main tabloid offering, gave the whole front page over to an attack on Jeremy Corbyn and his supposed support for the IRA Provos.  The Manchester deaths were hidden inside.  This speaks volume for Murdoch.   
I have just read that someone claims a UKIP individual is demanding the return of the death penalty...for suicide bombers!


The weatherman indicates tomorrow might reach 23 degrees, that's 73 in English!  A heatwave has hit us, the sun has been switched on and I have nowhere to go.  I need to go somewhere as the cooker requires cleaning as does the fridge, the cupboards, the windows, the bedroom, the East Wing, the everything else, and I wish to avoid such chores.  Now that I appear to have the old laptop under control I feel I can go outside again.  The fact that I just cannot be bothered, the effort appears to great for my fat, unfit, squalid body, and we have seen all that this area (without an automobile to use) can offer.    
I may just go back to bed...



Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Tuseday Tittle-Tattle



Last night I sat entranced at the bright red sky as the sun went down.  Had I not been otherwise occupied I may have tries to get outside and capture the sky.   Around half nine the sky was still stunning and I attempted pityfully to capture the night.  It was almost like this.  I awoke at ten past four this morning and found the sky lighter and still stunning.  How wonderful this time of the year can be, if it doesn't rain or cloud over.    
Of course as the sun shone I was inside the museum meeting good people and watching the boss work three peoples jobs.  I could not help while working the shop, most unfortunate.  The school was good, cheery kids.  
I had to rush home because the man was coming to check out the sink that had sunk.  Naturaly he came after two as planned, around five actually as not planned.  They had been working in Camoludunum.  Once here they quickly decided the job would entail replacing the entire unit, this meant a big job in a narrow space and both agreed it was time for going home.  So this will be replaced in time, probably a long time, and I will struggle on with the damaged tap until he can work up the courage and time to do the job. 
I might leave home while they do it!


Another outrage in Manchester, not the first they have suffered.  The media are filling spaces with masses of speculation and little substance so I am avoiding them. When I awake at four this morning I heard the early news and the guesswork as to what was happening.  I gave up as they began the tedious repeating of the same question to different people to get the same story over and over with little understanding of what was going on.  This is not journalism just filling air time.
 So what are we to do, what are we to make of this killing of around 22 people and wounding of dozens of others?  The rest of the audience, mostly adolescent and teenage girls, will be somewhat traumatised for years after this.  The apparent lack of stewards to guide or control them after the event was worrying and a greater disaster was avoided by luck it appears to me.
Today everyone is 'standing with Manchester' as you might expect.  This is good but we must ask will it happen again and why does it happen?  

The UK and the French, then the USA have been kicking Arabs about for over two hundred years.  The needs of Empire, or just greed, have ensured the woshes of what was considered the backward Arabs was of no importance to London or Paris.  The greater game was their concern and the dying Ottoman Empire and Arab opinion dd not count.  
Britain and France under the Sykes-Picot agreement, with Russian acceptance, divided the dead Ottoman Empire between themselves after the Great War.  The only Arabs considered worthy of discussion were lied to and their understanding of the situation totally amended to suit the agreement.  They were not happy.  
The resultant creation of several new nations, not all split thoughtfully enough it must be said, has led to nothing but war, assassination and bad feeling ever after.  
Now in more recent times to save the west from the nasty Iranians under the Ayattollah the Americans (That nice Mr Rumsfeld again) gave the Iraqis help when fighting Iran and ignored the million or two dead and dying because they were not 'us' and anyway far away.  What could possibly go wrong?
Well Saddam did not play ball for a start, the first Gulf War causing many thousands of deaths, but mostly Arabs, the second, needless, war cost more and being badly managed by Rumsfeld and Cheney led to the break up of Iraq, the growth of Al-Queda and Islamic State and how many other Islamic type groupings.
Now add Obamas desperate attepmt, an attempt desired by most in the US, to bring his troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and see the fear rise in Saudi Arabia at the growth of Iran and their nuclear weapons.  Result?  The war against Syria led and paid for by Saudi's using ISIS and all the others to break up a peaceful and more tolerant state than Saudi Arabia. The result of this is the growth of ISIS and their attempt to build up and take over Saudi!  
It gets confusing from here on so I will let you guess the rest.

Now we have young men in many places convinced they ought to be strict Muslims fed a diet of radical teaching by persons unknown.  Those less competent as well as those who should know better respond to this as young men do who wish to change the world.  Many have died fighting in the Middle East.  Others have attempted action in the UK with only police action defeating them and usually with information from Islamic sources.  Fed a belief that dying makes you a martyr and glory awaits encourages many to enlist.  Young men respond to this and some take action.  
Whoever took action last night considers his act worthy of his faith.  With Muslim men, women and children killed by the west he considers his actions defending his faith.  Any Muslim killed would be seen as a martyr also, others merely unbelievers.  The fact that most were young girls will not deter him, the Middle East has seen many such suffer terribly over the years from Muslims and a few westerners would not cause the conscience much trouble.

We cannot defeat this behaviour by force.  It requires propaganda and actions to stabalise the Middle East and deal with each nations fears.  There appears little suggestion of such happeneing these days.  The US has just sold billions of dollars worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, no doubt also to Israel, and anyone else who toes the western line.  That will not ensure peace.  
I thought I had a conclusion to put in here and I discovered I have none.  All that is in my mind remains the thousands of Muslims who die this way and we care not.  Baghdad, Beirut, Kabul anywhere in Pakistan all suffer outrages and most are not reported in the west.  We stand with one another in the west heightening the separation of two sides, each outrage polarising opinion and killing sensible debate on both sides. 
No wonder people read the media for easy answers.

  

Monday, 22 May 2017

There's Nothing on Tonight!


I am sitting here vacantly staring at the laptop.
The screen is blank.
There is nothing on.
Nothing, not one thing.
There is no football to watch anywhere!
The season has ended.
All players are off on holiday bar those awaiting a cup final of some sort or an international game.
Unless their agent wishes them to discuss money with a club possibly even the one they already play for.
This means there is no football tonight.
Nothing.
I am beginning to see spiders....


Looking up from the eye strain caused by looking down at the laptop for twenty years I note the election is still under way.  I have discovered a simple means of not getting wound up by this I don't watch the TV news (bias towards the Tories) I ignore the radio except news highlights (Tory bias) and have stopped reading the online press (Crap).  At least that's what I said today but I forget in the morning.  By listening to Radio 3 in the morning I seldom get excited.  Music may soothe the stormy breast or something but it does not get you excited over politics and the lies bouncing about everywhere.
In truth I just canny be bothered today.
The Spring bug is still hanging around, my eyes are strained, me head fuzzy and few notice any difference.  However i cannot be bothered listening to the political arguments which as always are half truths and lies with added whataboutery all the time.  
So I have been working on the Spring clean and managed to pull the tap apart sending water gushing up into the air all over me.  That dealt with I spent time drying off and contacting the landlord.  His man has known for a while that the sink unit will need changed and did not fancy the hard work involved, tomorrow he gets to decide if he does change it or get a plumber to do so.
This will be after I have spent the day at the museum, short staffed and I think with a school in. 
Oh joy.

 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Numpty Donald





Donald is in the Middle East at the moment.  He is on a mission to end wars there by selling Saudi Arabia and Israel $100 billion worth of weaponry.  This will help.  Of course he is not the actual salesman, he just takes the credit while others bribe sell the goods so they can bomb children in Yemen or bump of another Palestinian or two.  What does Jesus really say about this I ask?
Anyway our boy is still tweeting, carefully in a land where they cut bits off, and revealing to the world the reason he is considered mentally unbalanced, rash to the point of dangerous and unfit for the office of President of the United States of America.  
However, there are those who would say that he is no worse than many others who have held this esteemed post, indeed he is clearly more capable than some.  While I agree that he is a danger to society, that nuclear war will be avoided only by the US military chiefs ignoring his commands and the Russians backing down Khrushchev like, that North Korea might soon be a blackened wastlend and while it is true that he is likely to fall out with the leaders of Japan and France and possibly attempt to seduce Merkel if he ever gets to meet her this man still remains no worse than many who have sat in the Oval Office before.
Lets peruse some.
Abraham Lincoln.  Abe is seen as a great man.  His standards were high, his integrity great, these combined to get him shot while watching a play at the end of the civil war.  This was inevitable as Lincoln had failed in almost everything else he did.   In 1832 he lost his job, in 35 his sweetheart died, a year later he had a nervous breakdown.  He was however elected to the Illinois House for the Whigs.  He tired for Congress and failed, eventually being elected three years later, he later lost the nomination for this.  In 1849 he was defeated for Land Officer, 1854 defeated while attempting to enter Senate, 1856 defeated as Vice President, 1858 defeated again in attempt to enter Senate.  He did however become President and cause a major civil war.  He then got shot dead.
Andrew Johnson.  While Licoln lay on his deathbed Andrew Johnson the vice president arrived, Mrs Lincoln, like Abe no friend of their associate, screamed at him to get out.  This he did and wandered off to get drunk.  When Lincoln was pronounced dead Johnson had to be woken from sleep to be sworn in as President.  His first speech as president abused the beaten South, though he himself was senator from Tennessee and agreed with slavery, and was somewhat thoughtless.  He had his own slaves, his first, a woman, had three children who were somewhat light skinned it was said, hmmm.  He handled the rebellious southern states roughly possibly because he was one of them, he survived attempts at assassination and soon fell out with both Republican and Democrats, the Republicans had him impeached but acquitted but he was acquitted by one vote.  Tact was not his greatest talent.
Warren Harding.  Some say this was the worst President the US ever had.  Women had just received the vote in the US during 1920 and he was chosen as Presidential candidate because of his good looks.  I know how he must have felt.  Harding himself did not bother to be there when the vote for such emancipation was taken.  This was not because he did not like women, indeed he liked them so much he often mde use of them, women are attracted to power.  That explains why I do my own ironing.  He also favoured drunken parties at the White house which was considered unfortunate by some as Prohibition was then at its height. Scandals abounded, possibly behind his back his chosen helpers being not as nice as he and while he probably did not know about them till later he probably didn’t bother much even then. 
Ronald Reagan.  None in the free world outside of the United States could ever imagine electing a ‘B’ actor of such limited intellect as this yet the Americans did so, twice!  Famous for doodling (or was that drooling) during cabinet meetings and stuffing down jellybeans while his wife searched astrological charts to inform him of what days he ought to do certain actions he was however remarkably good at communicating with the American people.  His stye would have him laughed out of office in any other nation but he knew how to appear before an American audience and many loved him for it.  He reigned through and possibly did not notice, the Iran-Contra affair, war in the Middle East, the shooting down of an Iran passenger jet leading to the downing of Pan-Am 103 over Lockerbie awarding the US captain who shot down the Iran jet a war medal!  
We know all about him so let him speak for himself: -  

''I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.''   
''Well, I learned a lot....I went down to (Latin America) to find out from them and (learn) their views. You'd be surprised. They're all individual countries'' 
I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting.”  

It is not known if he was joking.
George W. Bush.   George became Governor of Texas and managed to do very little.  Following on from Dad George entered the White House with a desire to emulate and possibly better his father in his job, this however was somewhat spoiled as he was aided by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, two of the more murky characters ever to be found in Washington, and that says something.  Tony Blair’s aids indicated that at no time was he left alone with George, Cheney was always there a strange presence at George’s side.  We know about the needless Iraq war, the huge deficit increase, 9/11 and all the rest, too soon to have forgotten, but have we forgotten his statements.  These were delicious even for a US President :-  

''You work three jobs? ... Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that.''—President George W. Bush, to a divorced mother of three in Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005. 
''Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.''  
"You don't need to be smart to be president"--Republican Congressman J.C. Watts - said at a February campaign appearance on Bush's behalf. Washington Post, 6/11/00 "I think anybody who doesn't think I'm smart enough to handle the job is underestimating."
--U.S. News & World Report, April 3, 2000.  
                                                       "Rarely is the question asked: is our children learning" --Florence, SC, Jan. 11, 2000

"One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures." -George W. Bush
"It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it."--Reuters, May 5, 2000
"I think we agree, the past is over." --On his meeting with John McCain, Dallas Morning News, May 10, 2000.

I have not bothered to mention Richard Nixon as he was more sad than bad, too stupid to really appreciate how bad he was. ''When the President does it, that means it's not illegal.''  A great phrase which he probably believed.  To avoid upsetting some I ignore George Washington who never told a lie, he said, and who failed at every battle he fought yet with French help defeated the failing English redcoats.   
I will however mention one or two clever Presidents.   
Thomas Jefferson.  This man spoke French, Latin and Greek, knew his History, philosophy and maths, and became a competent architect.  He was a competent musician also as well as a keen gardener, he studied ancient life and wrote poetry.  In between he managed to come up with "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal."  Beat that!
I doubt he would be elected to Congress today.
James Madison.  Another who would not get the power is James Madison.  This president also became fluent in Latin and Greek adding Italian and Spanish also.  He put his mind to History, maths and science also and was influenced by Aristotle and John Locke concerning liberty.  He was influential in developing the US Constitution, so blame him!
John Adams.  As you know this president was the great, great, grandson of Henry Adams who with his wife and seven children emigrated from Braintree in the heart of Essex to the New England Colonies in the 1630's.  John Adams was famed for his oratory as well as working with Madison on the Constitution.  They say his speeches pushed this through the then parliament.  He worked well with Madison and they got on spedidly together, they got on so well they both died on the same day in 1826, the 4th of July! 
   
There are many others to mention, both good and bad, but the point I am making is that Trump is dangerous and illogical but no better or worse than what has gone before.  The chances of nuclear war are slim, but always possible, the chances of him being impeached much greater.  
We need worry only about Mother May dictating to her cabinet and forcing them to follow where she leads them and us, even though she does not know where she is heading.