Thursday, 30 March 2023

Reformation, MacCulloch

This is a big book!  
There are 708 pages of small font, followed by notes and appendix and index.
And being by a great Church historian it is not an easy read.
None of his books are. 
Diarmaid MacCulloch, as you can tell by the name, is an Englishman!  His grandfather was an Anglican vicar, his father also, and during the 1970s Diarmaid also wished to become a clergyman.  This however, was hindered b y his homosexuality, which he did not hide.  Today he would be welcomed and rushed through to Bishop hood!   This has been a sore point with him ever since, every book he writes, every TV and Radio appearance, every article makes clear his anguish at being rejected.  He himself also makes very clear the biblical teaching throughout indicates that this is a fault, and a sexuality that if acted upon becomes sin.  However, underneath each page he is trying to change this.
This does not detract from his research work however.  Covering the period from 1490 - 1700 he delves into the working of the church, and then the churches, throughout Europe at this time.  And what a mess there is to investigate.  On one side we have the two straight forward sides Roman Catholic and Protestant, it is soon clear that the advantage of teaching people to read and giving them a bible to actually work on, the invention of the printing press came at a good time, also released a great many versions of understanding the clear 'Word of God.'   As time passes Anabaptists, Lutherans, Calvinists, Catholics seeking reformation, Catholics not seeking reformation, Inquisitions, states which accept differing opinions, states which accept only one, some large states, some small.  
Each page offers another 'great man' who has diligently come up with his own understanding, some thoughtful some absurd, every so often this one or that is burnt at the stake or exiled because of their beliefs or lack thereof.  On top of this there is straight forward war between states.  Catholic Spain dominates the Netherlands, and were not too happy about it, Austria had wars, Poland tried not to have them, France had Huguenots and liked them until they didn't, England had a King desperate for a son and dumped the Pope because he disagreed with that kings efforts to obtain one.  So Anglicanism, the Church of England with a monarch as head was born.  Scotland became Calvinist under John Knox and was better for it.  For states in the east of Europe there was the Orthodox tendency and the Ottoman Muslim attacks from the south, they held much of the Balkans and Austro-Hungary at the time. 
Two things come out of this.  One is the lack of the Supernatural in this.  Talk is of the Holy Spirit but little appears to be seen.  People argue, for several reasons not always honest, for their view of the bible, but almost none expect the supernatural intrusion from the Holy Spirit which is where true believers begin!  Intellect may help you find God but not without the Holy Spirit to open you to receive.   Much argument, little Biblical Love.
This brings out the second aspect of this book, violence.  These were violent times.  Punishment for crime was rough and unpleasant.  It is not a surprise that various religious groups used similar tactics on their enemies, sometimes to avoid them being used on themselves.  However, to our eyes, in a day in which punishment appears to have been removed from society,  we find, flogging, beating, exiling or burning people unsatisfactory.  I am quite pleased we take this attitude today.
It is fair to say he is an outstanding historian, one I would always recommend.  This tome if full of information which reflects the long period of research which has gone into the work.  The length of the book would be shorter bar the authors delight in giving individuals their full title, always adding his opinion of them as he does so, thus adding 150 ages to the work!  There can be no doubt that if you wish to understand the Reformation this is one book that must be read to inform and, to some, delight.
I began this book just before Covid arrived, then put it down as during that time I had difficulty reading, I just could not sum up the energy, and little was read.  Since then I have been trying to finish all the books, another one of this man's sits already begin on the shelf, it will remain there for a while, as I fight my way through all the books piling up on the 'to Read' shelf.  
I am however glad to have finished this book.  I learned a great deal, especially about biblical arguments, clearly you can make the bible say what you wish if you refuse to read what it actually says!  The arguments and history, the vast number of names that flash across the page, can be very distracting, so much information is found here.  That said I recommend this book to anyone who has the time to read it, in paperback, much History will be found, much about church and much about people all the way through.  A good thorough, but long read.

Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Scotland Returns, Forbes Withdraws, and Prices Rocket

Last night Scotland deservedly beat Spain by 2 - 0 in their second game of the European Championship Qualifying stage.  This was not a shock result, this was the result of an ongoing process carried out by manager Steve Clark, a process that has had it's ups and down's over the period he has been in charge.  Scotland, the nation that not only invented the game of 'Football,' but developed the Laws of the game as they now stand, alongside the 'Scientific Football,' that saw them dominate the game before the Great War, has been through a tough time recently.  Until Steve Clark took charge Scotland were on the way down in football levels, last night they revealed the results of hard work and team discipline which combined with decent tactics and the always required luck, saw them return to the world stage, a stage they have not appeared on since at least 1998.
There has been moments when things looked like they may improve, only for them to fall down all around us.  Individual players of quality have appeared occasionally, but sadly too many lacked the quality, the managers the tactics, and hope that rose soon dissipated.  Questions can always be asked regarding how some players or managers obtained their place, eyes always glaring in the Glasgow direction at such times, but today is not the time for recriminations today is the time for hope and encouragement.  Hope that a renovation of the Scottish League to suit all sides rather than two will occur.  Hope that clubs can develop young players, especially those who are capable of making it overseas in places such as Italy.  Encouragement for those already involved, in spite of their obvious limitations, to continue to give all and develop on the field individually and together.  This is a time of hope, at last Scotland can look forward into the football future with hope, much development still is required, but as a man once said, "This is not the end, but it is the end of the beginning," or something...

Humza is swearing in himself and his new cabinet as we speak.  Each will have been carefully chosen to support the cabal that has undone the independence debate over the last few years.  To begin with offering Kate Forbes a lowly job at 'Rural Affairs' can only be seen as an insult.  Her supporters are also beginning to turn down the low jobs offered them.  This cannot be the way to unite the SNP.  What this man has done is to force half the SNP people who voted for Kate to one side as if unimportant.  This politically is dangerous as they will then gather around her and Ash Regan, we have no idea if she has been offered a post as yet, and form a powerful opposition to Humza within the party.  This sort of behaviour make the SNP look like the Conservatives and can only lead to disaster.  Maybe we can ask again regarding Special Branch operations with the SNP?


I came across this on Twitter this morning, 'Which' offering an idea of the rise in prices at the major supermarkets.  As they say, Aldi and Lidl remain cheapest, but still it gives a good indication of rising costs. 
I noticed this as I scrutinised my bread in Tesco after reading this.  The fancy type of bread I like, instead of the 'Plain Loaf' variety, now costs either £2:25 or £2:40, according to taste.   It was not that long ago it cost £1:60 or £1:80.  Now Brexit is too blame indeed, other factors such as rising energy prices, transport costs, slight wage increases must all be taken into account, but for me the real reason prices increase is greedy supermarkets!  They have us all on the end of a lead.  There is little opposition to a large supermarket, other than a large supermarket.  In my reach lie Sainsburys and Tesco, up till now Tesco were cheaper, but lately they have been catching up with the crooks at Sainsburys.  There is a Lidl up the road, too far to walk these days, but I never found them cheaper anyway.    
Now I can survive this, I simply do not spend on what I can no longer afford, I buy the cheapest stuff if required to.  Some however, suffer.  Gas prices like electric are doubling for me, or at least so they say, what may happen will no doubt be different, and many will struggle to cope.  Many of these will be working people at that.
Remove the government where the PM pays less tax than the workers, where MPs line their pockets on second jobs, and bring in a government of the people, for the people.  Hold on, I see a problem here.  The opposition do not know what a woman is, they have no policies bar getting the 'red wall' votes, and Keir Hardie is turning in his grave at what they have done to the workers.  Maybe an election is not the way forward after all...?

Monday, 27 March 2023


Humza Yousaf has become the new leader of the SNP, but only just.  Only half the party want him, and many others are not happy that a man who has not been seen as truly successful, would now lead the party.  Others are very happy about this, the Labour Party, the Conservatives, of course Alex Salmond's ALBA Party, and no doubt the mentally unstable Greens also.  The population are looking the other way and hoping this is not happening.
Humza is seen as a continuity candidate, that is, he has been forced into this place by the 'powers behind the throne,' and this to continue Nicola's programme, much of which was manifestly absurd. 
So, we expect little obvious change, lots of votes drifting away, possibly a rise in ALBA, and independence drifting far off the agenda for a long time.
Maybe Nicola was a 'Special Branch' agent after all?

Sunday, 26 March 2023

In Search of England

Henry Canova Vollam Morton, better known as H.V. Morton, followed his father into the journalism world.  However, he became better known for his many, many travel books which covered many parts of the world.
Morton moved to London and was fortunate to be the only journalist around when Tutankhamen's tomb was opened in 1923.  A 'scoop' if ever there was one.  I have a vague idea there was some trickery involved in this, but I may be wrong and hove not got time to investigate more.  This deed made his name and travel writing became his game.  The 'Daily Express,' for whom he worked, were happy to offer his many journeys around London, which he made into book form.  And he was to continue this type of work, mostly on London, for years.  It was common in days past for the papers to offers such 'features,' unlike today where celebrities and half truths dominate.
During 1926 H.V. travelled around England in a small 'Bullnose Morris' car.  His task was to discover the England of the day, eight years after the Great War.  At this time few could afford a car, unemployment was rife.  Indeed my father had enlisted in the Kings Own Scottish Borderers the year before because work was difficult to find.  The sight of rural England was unknown to the majority, a day holiday might mean a trip by rail or bus to the seaside, or a long walk there and back, the whole village or district marching together on a rare day out.  The sight of an educated man in a car 'from London,' might well have impressed, or not so much behind his back, the rural people.  Indeed in Norfolk he meets one local more than unwilling to divulge much but weary contempt.  
Life may be different today.
The idea is simple, he drives out of London, stops at an appropriate spot, describes what he sees and moves on.  His writing is at times very descriptive, involving present situations, history and fables from the people in residence.  This is usually excellent, occasionally, where he imagines the ghosts of times past a bot wearing, as this appears more to entice newspaper readers than describe a historical event.  On the other hand however. it works very well.
Beginning in the south west and heading north via Stonehenge, where the American visitors apparently dominate, blocking the roads with their 'charabancs.'  From Cornwall to Gloucester, visiting cathedrals, castles, Inns where he can remain overnight, including one pub where the fire in the main room has been continuous for over 200 years, and on to the Lake district.  Hadrian's Wall, York and into Lincolnshire, making a special effort to visit Rutland, wherever that was, and into Norfolk.  
Stratford is not forgotten, he was born in Warwickshire, his father editing the 'Birmingham Mail,' and he once again discovers how charabancs full of visitors, often American, destroy the very towns they wish to visit.  This remember, was 1926!
1926,a mere 97 years ago, and the changes in the UK since then are made clear through this book.  The roads are narrow, little traffic, the rise of the charabanc and tourism for the middle classes and Americans.  Many Morton meets appear to imply life is changing, and not for the better.  The 'it was better in my day' attitude is not new.  H.V. fills the pages with his somewhat sentimental, sorry, patriotic, love of 'England.'  This is not a love I can share.  One reason being it represents an attitude from a different age, an age that had just lost sons in the war, and occasionally this is mentioned by those around the author, an age that wishes to believe the loss was worth it, especially while the nation was bankrupt and life had not returned to how it was.  Indeed, women who moved to towns and cities returned with skirts up to their knees, amongst other changes.  Morton manages to notice almost all the women he passes.   The patriotism and deep feeling for an England that never existed runs through this book.  People are always looking for the time when things were better in the past, or when the nation was more powerful, richer, better.  All such dreams are just that, dreams.  
For those who wish to see an England in 1926 I recommend this book.  His writing is always good, and he does describe both fantasy and reality as he found it very well.  Those who know the places he passes through will quickly note how this England of today is not the England of 1926.  Well worth a read.

Friday, 24 March 2023

Porthcawl Sea View


At first sight this appears a rather uninspiring view.  A dark grey sky, restless grey waters, grey stonework filling the screen, and little of joyful movement to be found.  However, early this morning I began watching this, I filled the screen with it as background while I did other things, and became taken by the sea, the restless, ever moving sea.  
There is something relaxing about watching waves build up and heave themselves over the breakwater, or is this a sea wall?  The incoming tide carries great weight and as many know erodes vast areas of coast line in the UK.  The Norfolk coast on the east of England has for many years seen villages and even towns disappear under the sea.  Heavy tides in winter can crash across the beach removing vast tons to distant parts never to be seen again.  Dunwich famously is now a mere collection of debris where once a town stood.  The sea now covers several hundred yards of what once was a busy, bustling town.  On the west coast of Ireland the half circle remains of a Neolithic settlement can be seen.  Originally this was a round defensive wall, not far from the edge of the cliff.  These cliffs are not the soft east of England shores but hard rock with a cliff now quite high.  The strength of the Atlantic waves can be seen among the ruined settlement where large stones, many tons in weight lie scattered around.  These once formed the cliff, now they have been hurled high up and onto the clifftop.  It is no wonder the people moved inland!
That said, the sight of waves gently or as this morning, with a somewhat rougher edge was still a pleasure.  The waves splash along the wall, every so often building up until first, at the lighthouse end, they crash across the wall, and then much more powerfully, crash over the wall, reaching even to the further side.  Such a sight is not unknown in most parts of the UK.  In Arbroath, on Scotland's east coast, the football team ground is only a small road with away from the North Sea.  Crashing waves are a danger during storms  as they are known to come over the football ground wall and saturate anyone taking a corner kick at the time!
Considering how powerful waves can be, how much water there is between one land mass and another, and how difficult it is to create a raft that can cross such water, I am always amazed that man took to the water just to see what was 'over there.'  They reckon (Note the use of the word 'they' to fill in when I do not know who) that five thousand years ago, and maybe more, men made a couple of dugout logs, attached to a sail, a craft that travelled across the Pacific ocean enabling them to reach places like Fiji and other far spread islands.  What skill!  What talent, what courage!  This comes from that strange desire to look around the corner just to see what can be found.  I think we all have that to some extent.  But sailing such craft?  Amazing.  Just as in similar fashion we crossed from the British Isles to what is now Ireland.  A hollowed out log probably, and an adventurous, possibly mad, young man or two.  Maybe they were just trying to impress the women?   But how many did not survive the experiment?

The camera is situated on the Porthcawl RNLI building looking in a south east direction along the southern coast of Wales.  The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) operates a small but lively lifeboat from breakwater.   While a lifeboat was arranged by wealthy locals in the 19th century the RNLI as we know it today has operated from here for some 50 years.  In the past lifeboats were just large rowing boats, the operators local men who knew the sea, and knew the risks they were taking to save lives.  In my view there can be few volunteer organisations more worthy than one where the operators, in spite of the training received today, understand that each time they leave shore they may not return.
Fast rubber boats, high skills, good training, yet in the past strong me rowed out into the roaring seas just to save people.  Lifeboats developed, attempts to enable boats avoiding sinking grew, but in the end whatever safety feature is created it is the man in the boat that counts.  
There is little to equal such an enterprise as this.

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Thursday? What Day is it...?

This Magpie was chancing his luck yesterday.  I caught him from a fair distance via a dirty window.  He was sitting quite contentedly in the area belong to the Crows of this parish.  Had they seen him there would have been a stramash of epic proportions.  These birds are very jealous of their roost and the surrounding area. He was not in their roost, that is over the other side, but this is their feeding grounds and had he met them then he would have been their feed.  
A bird has a difficult life.  From learning to fly, by being pushed out of the nest by mum, to seeking food, nuts, worms, beetles, scraps etc, and all the while keeping a wary eye on larger birds or other animals that might delight in making you lunch.  You never see small birds just resting, their heads are always warily on the move, one eye on the surroundings.  A little bit like me wandering around Tesco this morning.
Thursday is a good day to shop.  It once was the town's 'closed day,' a chance for those forced to work Saturday's to have a day off.  Some still close Thursday but it has really come to an end that attitude.  However, the townspeople still react by not shopping on Thursday, all shops take less on that day than any other, the museum was the same.  Naturally, for this reason I try to shop Thursdays each week.  I will pop up to Sainsburys for bread and milk on Saturday but hopefully all other items are now in.  
It was once the norm for each town to have a 'half day closing,' in Edinburgh when I was a boy it was Saturday!  Until the 60s Edinburgh's main shops closed on Saturdays, Leith on the other hand closed on Wednesday's.  That explains why I was dragged through Leith on a Saturday, in spite of the crowds, and 'up town' on other days.  All very confusing for a wee boy.  
Today almost everywhere is open all the time, holidays included.  Easter and Christmas may see a day off for many, but even deliveries to your house may be made seven days a week, rather than a more sensible five days and Saturday morning.  
The nation requires a rest day.  The idea that we can have what we want, when we want it, sounds fine, unless you are forced to work those days.  Busy traffic seven days a week outside your house may benefit some, but it does not do you much good.  Living in big cities or towns does have advantages, it is also noisy, polluted and horrible at times.  Having this seven days a week lowers the lifespan, stress, neighbours, noise, all add up and wear you down.  We need a day off.
The Romans had many days off for 'religious' reasons.  Some say they took a month off altogether once a year, if I read that right.  Less lucky people do not get a day off, let alone a week.  How lucky we are.
The biblical one day off to rest and worship God, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath,"  is a good way to deal with things.  Six days is enough for most to obtain what they want, few really need to shop on a Sunday, no matter what most say, and I have done seven day shifts in the past, plenty of time to obtain the needful.  A quiet street, even a busy one is always good, the locals need it, the people need a day to themselves, and not like it was in the 50s where nothing at all happened, and the parks were locked in some places.  Enjoyment must be the thing on such a day, not more misery.
I should talk like this.  Once more I had to check the calendar and the laptop to ensure this is Thursday the 23rd.  Each morning I have to ask 'what day is it?'  A day off would just confuse me!

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Boris's Losers

PM Rishi Sunak has successfully put one over on Boris.  While 'Lard Boy' was lying in his teeth in the Committee rooms Sunak put through his revision of the Brexit Northern Ireland deal to almost everyone's satisfaction.  The result was the 'Ayes 515 the Noes 29.'  Some 22 Tory backbenchers, all the usual suspects shown here, voted against the Bill.  Six members of the DUP of Northern Ireland also voted against, plus one Andrew Bridgen, now an independent MP as his party do not want him.  Clearly the farce that is Brexit has reached a stage now.  A stage in which the return to the EU, or at least a close working relationship benefitting both sides can be reached. 
On top of that Boris and his ERG supporters, all as mad as the march Hare, can be seen to be on the way out.  At the head Boris is fighting, I mean lying for his life in the committee room.  His main tactic is to blame everybody else, indeed one commentator explained more buses had been called for as Boris had thrown so many people under them London was running out of them!  
I have followed his lies via Twitter.  I just cannot stand listening to him.  His bare faced lies, his buck passing, his sense of entitlement are too much for my tired mind.  
As far as I know the committee is still in session.  Tomorrow the air might be clearer, his guilt obvious, and his fate looming.  
Interesting to see how the commentators under the 'Daily Mail' stories are mostly against him, no matter how Paul Dacre and his lackeys try to defend him.
It could really be the end of Boris.

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

Costa Rica Tarrazu and Italian Style

For a while now I have been using those Cappuchino coffee sachets that coem 8 to a box.  These wake me up to some extent each morning.  However, the cost has risen to £2 a go and that has brought this to an end.
Some time back I was using ground coffee in an indvidual cafferiere thing and jad discovered a wide variety of coffees.  This became a trend for a while and ended in the way such trends end.  So, having been offput by supermarket money grabbing I returned to the ground coffee.  Now one of my highly intelligent and beautiful nieces had sent me a coffee maker of sorts, ideal for Expresso, and a bag of Costa coffee to go with it.  I tried this again and remembered I also had a jor filled with the previous coffee, Costa Rica I believe the origin thereof.  I also noted that Sainsburys had given me a pile of extra token vouchers so, at Sainsburys this morning I made use of them.  However, to get them I had to spend more than I hoped so ended up with an Italian job also.  Once again the main coffee is from Costa Rica, and so, in spite of having the dregs of the previous lot for breakfast, I made use of my new purchse and, adding double cream instead of milk, obtained a delightful drink that I much enjoyed.
That was this morning, It is now nine in the evening and I am still awake!  This may be a long night...

Saturday, 18 March 2023

King, WW2 and Rolls, What else is Required?


You will be as delighted as I am to read that Prince Louis will be attending the coronation alongside George and Charlotte. whoever they are.  My heart leapt at this news, didn't yours?  
No?  I am not surprised.  
This is just another 'Daily Mail' story ignoring the real problems in the UK and pandering to royalists everywhere.  Their Tory lies have not convinced anyone so talk about something that distracts the readers is the usual way.  So, the 'Online Mail' fills the top of the page with tripe like this.
A serious point has to be made however.  Charles, they say, (always 'they' whoever 'they' are) wanted a 'cut down' coronation.  So who decided to make it a bog occasion, Holiday, long weekend, pubs open late, and all that?  Surely this was a government desire to blind the population to their faults, if indeed they are still in office come the day.
Surely if the monarch wishes to be popular he would avoid spending millions on an event in times of cost-cutting?  Surely he would be avoiding large gatherings and seek a cheap coronation?  Now, after fifty years awaiting his enthronement I can understand Charles wishes to have his big day, but consider the effects on the public.  
In Scotland support for the monarchy is falling, 36% were in favour, if I remember the last poll correctly, 45% against.  So a third of the country is for a monarch, mostly Tories and Rangers fans, and an ever growing number wish to lose royalty.  This in a nation where the monarch was known to wander the pathways around Balmoral freely, accompanied only by a security man and rarely recognised, and usually ignored by the public.  A friend of mine walking there one day met Camilla and her guard wandering the hills.  They chatted amiably and went on.  This ought to continue whatever the decision, but for Charles to ignore, or not be made aware of the publics view is a mistake.  
There is also the question of the Stone of Scone (pronounced 'Scoon') now kept in Edinburgh Castle.  On this stone the King of Scots is crowned, and until now it has been placed under the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey.  Stolen by Edward I the brutal imperialist English king in 1296 during one of his failed invasions, and removed to London where it was imprisoned until returned by a desperate London government seeking to stop Scottish Nationalism in 1996.  That failed.  The question now is, ought the stone to remain in Edinburgh?  Should Charles be forced to come to Scone Abbey and be crowned 'King of Scots' there?  I wonder if the new First Minister has the guts to ask this question?
I doubt it.

You can tell it is a Saturday simply by looking at the 'Online Mail.'  Every Saturday without fail we find a Second World War story, this time one featuring Plaszow Concentration Camp, an unruly, lawless place, even by Nazi standards.  This story tells us off a violent man who allowed the power to go to his head, and the survivor who sought him out after the war and had him brought to justice.
Now the tale is not pretty, but the tale is not important.  What is important is to remind the reader that 'They are British,' and that 'We won the war,' and allow them to sink into the Brexit dream of imperialist greatness that would make Edward I jealous.  The facts of the war matter not, most of the readers were not born during the war, it is the 'British Flag Waving' that counts.  As indeed does the coronation story at the top of the 'Mail Online' page.  
Journalism, who needs it? 

There has been a bit off a hoo-hah in the press because a Glasgow company, 'Morton's Bakers,' has ceased to exist.  This Bakers has become famous in the west of Scotland for providing the morning roll so beloved by Scots, especially on a Sunday morning!   While this is sad news for Glaswegians it kind of surprised me as in Edinburgh it was more normal on Sunday mornings to walk to the local bakers shop for rolls and then gather the newspapers from the nearby newsagent.  It is to be hoped the clever people in the house already had bacon, eggs or square sausage available for the rolls, or there would be trouble!  As far as I know this is still normal procedure for many.  Huge bakeries may supply rolls to supermarkets and large shops, but the rolls from the local baker are always the best in the world.  All over Scotland small bakers can be found hard at work at a Saturday midnight as they prepare the requirements for the morning.  In times past, when I was walking home, too late for a bus, to cheap for a taxi, I often made my way through Stockbridge.  Just after passing Royal Circus on the right hand side were a row of shops.  Amongst them there was a small bakers shop hard at work, and on a quiet, late summer night the fragrance of the bakers work filled the air all around.  Marvellous!  I remain unconvinced such wee bakers can survive with large supermarkets around but surely many do.  There is nothing better than entering such a shop, being served by a 16 year old (if that) on her first job, possibly buying a 'snowball' or two, and maybe a couple of 'Fly Cemeteries' for later.  Now, we have a large 'Greggs' in this town but there is no way I would buy in that shop (I use Tesco) if there was a suitable bakers nearby.  Sadly this area does not possess one such wee baker.
However, for the hungry, I have found a suitable recipe for those able and willing to learn how to eat properly.  Scottish Scran  Go read and learn how to eat properly!

Friday, 17 March 2023

Dreich Day


As the Spring equinox approaches it is no surprise to find the rain teeming, the air cold, and Dreich being the order of the day.  This suits my mood perfectly.  I'm fair scunnered with all things at the moment, the never ending virus, the weariness, the empty media praising liars, and nothing being quite right or as good as it once was.  That sort of a day.
Nothing is what it was.  Twitter, once a good place to argue, meet new enemies, and learn things, has now become a drudge.  Musk has decided to change everything, mostly without any idea why, and ruined it for all.  Things and people I follow do not appear on the new 'Following' thread.  Things and people I have not followed, and certainly do not wish to know about, US College Basketball, Pakistani politicians, Movies, Arabic and Indonesian football?  I mean how does the algorithms find such things?
Rarely is anything suitable.  
Some things have disappeared, rather like Putin's opponents, other things appear unwanted.  Just what is the schoolboy owner attempting to do, other than force us to read far-right posts supporting Russia?  I think stepping into one of his rockets and firing himself off to the moon might be a good idea.  

I note the International Criminal Court has put out an arrest warrant for President Putin.  It appears that some of his actions in invading Ukraine, massacring people, dropping missiles on cities, and blundering about with a broken army has not gone down well.  If you happen to see him when you are out and about either ring the local police or make a citizens arrest on him.  
There might even be a reward...

Thursday, 16 March 2023

I Forgot a Title...

Yesterday, though I did not notice, the multi-millionaire man Hunt, known by some as a famous mispronunciation, announced proudly a Budget for the rich.  As always with Budgets I ignore them on the day and await the other side revealing what has actually been announced.  So it is today.  The right-wing media speak of 'growth,' while the 'other side,' not always one party, speak of tax cuts for Hunt's rich friends, like himself, and nothing for the rest.  It may, they say, be a Budget ready to be fixed just in time for the next election.  Whatever, prices will continue to rise, Brexit will continue to harm the nation, the Cabinet millionaires will continue to gain in wealth, wherever it is hidden, and you and me will get little or nothing from the Budget.  Less than two years for this bunch of gangsters to line their pockets, how much more can they get? 
I was interested in the idea of forcing over 50s back to work.  Clearly, a millionaire sitting in a warm office surrounded by well paid lackeys might consider this a good idea.  A man who has dug up roads, fixed railway lines, shoved post through your door, or a woman who has walked miles around a hospital, taught kids, or taken you cash at a checkout may all feel that this is once again the Masters telling the Serfs what to do.  As a serf I know what I would tell these Masters what they can do, and indeed I may help them to do it!  I hope the nation responds accordingly.

So I filled the kettle, I placed it on the power, and went back to playing Solitaire work.  It was several minutes later when I realised I had once again forgotten to press down the 'On' switch!  This has now become commonplace in here.  Also common is the heating the water, filling the mug, sitting down and, several minutes later, wondering why my tea is still standing over there!  
This morning the milk turned sour as I put water (which I had remembered to boil) into the mug.  Thus, much against my tired body's wishes, I trudged up to the shop.  Milk, bread, and with the aid of two vouchers 'Wooster Sauce (home brand) and Organic Oats!  As I left the shop I remembered I had forgotten to take the vouchers out of my pocket and use them as I paid!  The thought had crossed my mind as I placed things in the bag but I still forgot.  Much of this past few weeks has seen me sitting here trying to remember things I must do.  Every so often the cloud clears to allow me to return emails, send off information, contact family, or...what was it again?
I have become used to switching screens on the laptop before hesitating while attempting to remember why I did so.  I am also used to walking through the room and asking, "Why am I here?"
It is common to go through there and do something only to return having not done the actual thing I went through for!   
I have trouble remembering names, though this has always been in this family a bit of a problem.  Age has made this worse and much time is spent staring at a mental image of a face wondering what the name is.  Forgetting appears to have become a full time lifestyle these days, and I would go into this fascinating subject but I have forgotten all the other instances of forgetting.  And forgetting to remember the things you forgot is a sign of forgetting professionalism, don't you think...?

Monday, 13 March 2023

Nothing Much Today

Nothing has happened, so here is another Daffodil.
Gary Lineker has defeated the fascist BBC controllers, but we knew he would.
All remain in place.
So far.
Some badly dressed females, they may be women, fill the press.  Quite where the glamour of such events went to I have no idea.  'Slappers R Us,' would be a better name.  This the result of some award ceremony.  Much excitement about nothing.  
70 million or so in this island yet there is nothing else reported.
Must be a quiet day?
Not that I would notice.  
I think I will just go back to bed...


Friday, 10 March 2023

Gary Lineker and Prince Who?

The Gestapo like control from the Conservative controlled BBC continues.  Having refused to Kow-Tow to Tory policy Gary Lineker has been removed from his position on 'Match of the Day' because the Tory government demands this.  The fascist takeover of the nation continues.  The journalists that report facts objectively have been removed, anyone who disagrees fears for his life, so they keep quiet, and now Gary is being used as a weapon to demand obedience Nazi like from the Conservative controlled board.
A reminder, the Board of the BBC has 12 members, 9 of whom belong to the Conservative Party.  The Chairman of the BBC gave almost half a million pounds to the Conservative Party, he also 'arranged' a 'Loan of £800,000' to Boris Johnson.'  The Director General of the BBC stood as a Conservative Candidate at an election, and failed.   He headed up the Hammersmith Conservatives for some time.
Now they accuse Gary of 'lacking impartiality' on one of his personal, not BBC, Tweets on Twitter.  Here he likened the Tory approach to asylum seekers arriving by boat as similar to Germany in the 30s.  He was not wrong and has gathered great support.
Today we hear he has been forced to stand down from his job.
Sieg Heil I say!

Who is this?
Have you heard of him?
Nobody appears to have any knowledge of this man.
However, King Charlie III has.
Not only does he know him, he has decided to use this man both to fill up a gap in the royal protocols, and to annoy his brother Andrew.  Charlie has named this geezer 'The Duke of Edinburgh.'  
Now, you and I know this man has never been to Edinburgh, and indeed may not go there for some time, if at all.  We know this has been done because Andrew, awaiting trial in the USA, is not fit for purpose and must be shoved aside out of the way for another few years.  So, whatsisname comes in as 'Duke.'   This man already is a Duke, the Duke of Wessex, but that title now gets passed onto his son.  Gosh isn't this interesting?  Edward, for this is he apparently, is already Earl of Forfar, if he knows where that is, and is no doubt keen to be seen wasting folks time around Scotland.  
What do the people think?
Have they noticed?
Do they care? 
Well, no...

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Dreich Again

The rain pitter-patting outside greeted me this morning.  Had it been pitter-patting inside I may have woken earlier.  I trudged through to the East Wing, agitating the dust on the carpet, brushed aside a cobweb or two from the electric kettle and made tea.
As I clumped up to Sainsburys through the saturated streets, I noticed the sodden pigeons in the park seeking breakfast, oblivious to the rain or the puddles on the pathways.  As I entered the store I greeted the security man, as I did so the water slithered of my cap onto his mobile phone.  I did not snigger.  He did not laugh, but did follow me around on my trail for a while.  Too early for the girls to be on the checkout I made for the self-service counters.  These were busy, and the one woman in charge busier yet.  "Someone is coming to help you," cried one machine after another.  I began to formulate an idea re criminal punishments.  I wondered if instead of 'community service' whatever that is, criminal had to operate the self-service department in supermarkets.  If they were not already psycho then they would be after 24 hours in charge of these!  However, surprisingly nothing went wrong!  I put the stuff through, paid, took the receipt and six needless bits of paper offering extra points for things I bought once a year ago, and went back out into the downpour.  
Splashing my way home I noticed a young man, well dressed, but unfortunately dressed as one of the characters from 'Peaky Blinders' or whatever that was called.  I suppose he is trying to make out he is some sort of 'hard man.'  I would have encouraged him to travel up north and wander around parts of Glasgow dressed this way had he not been on the other side of the street.  I suspect he would dress differently after s day in Bridgeton Cross or the Gorbals.
So the day is set.
Yesterday I made Chilli, and put four bowls into the freezer.  I also attempted Flapjacks, according to an old recipe I once used a lot.  These were a wee bit soft, that is they fell apart.  Maybe next time.  Today, it is chicken casserole for the freezer.  Good grief, any more of this and I will do the ironing, clean the house and dress as a woman and claim all their advantages!  Self ID appears to be the way today. 

The media is full of a terrible incident, Gary Lineker, the well known football presenter, has spoken the truth!  The right-wing have risen as one to attack him and defend the fascist Home Secretary.

The Home Secretary proposed and won with a bill to stop asylum seekers reaching the shores via small boats coming across the channel.  She claimed a hundred million can claim the right to land here, in one paper the term 'billions' is used concerning those who may seek to arrive in the UK.
Gary's tweet brought out all the bile reserved for those who speak truthfully.  Naturally all the 'right' Tories have arrived to defend a woman they all know to be incompetent.  The Daily Mail has more stories on Gary than on the royal family today.  Not even Meghan gets a look in here.  The BBC, in an effort to defend its 'impartiality,' called Gary in for a word re 'impartiality' on tweets.  The BBC has a board of 12, 9 of whom belong to the Tory Party.   The BBC has a Chairman who has donated £500,000 to the Tory Party and arranged a loan of much more for Boris (or was that the Director General? Corruption looks the same in suits)  The Director General stood as a Tory candidate in Hammersmith and has removed almost every journalist offers an objective view on the political situation.  All newsreaders and the ones behind them are Tory led, all political programmes are Tory dominated, few opponents are allowed to speak.  With this as the situation it is hard to understand why Gary's comments are threatening 'impartiality.'  Interestingly, I am told the BBC did not lead with the Bill itself, they led on Gary's Tweet!

The UK has voted, under the lie of Brexit, for a right-wing coup.  This has succeeded and we do not know where this will lead.  It is two years before the next General Election, though something may arrive that changes this, and we have a corrupt and inefficient government, an opposition wearing Tory clothes (which is understandable as they do not know what a 'woman' is),  and the outlook is not a positive one for this country.  
I tell you this is a judgement.

Wednesday, 8 March 2023

Spring is in the Air

We awoke to snow, wind and sleet this morning.  This of course had been foretold by the weathermen, supported by the screaming headlines in the tabloid press.  The vile tabloids are the reason we see the weathermen exaggerating the forecast.  In times past there have been storms, snow, floods heavy rain and bad weather which have caused difficulties across the land.  Screaming headlines demanding action, which quickly disappear when the sun shines once again, force the forecasters to make clear that winter weather can bring snow, rain, fog, and even a storm or two.  Such weather conditions appear not to have come to the knowledge of the vile people at the tabloids.  
My favourite is the 'Daily Mail.'  A couple of years ago screaming headlines warned of three months of approaching bad weather.  The indications were terrible, we might suffer and die if we did not take careful action.
The comments below were wonderful.
"It's called 'winter' DM."
"Three months, December, January and February, DM?'  
"How old is the writer?"
And so on.
Each year the same story appears, slightly different and with worse grammar and spelling than what you see on here.  It typifies the tabloid approach to anything, not just weather.  A screaming half truth, exaggerated out of all proportion, large headlines, pictures of storm damage (often with misleading scrawl underneath), and occasionally an outright lie.  
It is no wonder such papers are dying.
Anyway, we have this for a few more days.  I will be reluctant to venture out, and endure the comments from way up north where the sun is shining brightly!  
How unfair!

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Talk Halted


I was going to regale you with talk of my coffee drinking in here today, however, due to circumstances beyond my control, housework, cooking, and sloth, I have not yet got around to it.  I could do it but time is pressing and you have little interest in how I accidentally made the coffee too strong this morning that my shredded brain has not unshredded itself as yet, and my eyes are still staring in a fixed manner straight ahead.
Another reason was the interruption to my day by time spent reading the story of an electric kettle on one young ladies splendid blog.  Through France to Costa as it were for a kettle!  Try it Bead.  
This followed on from a very interesting walk around Bermondsey with another young lady.  (I am open to any young female)  This captivated me and brought back memories from times past and is well worth a read, though I suspect you will have already read both these splendid works by now anyway.  
This, plus watching Saturdays football highlights, means time has run out and so my work here is finished for the day.

Sunday, 5 March 2023

Men With a Hobby


Edinburgh Bus.  (Canny find @ sorry)

I was looking at a photograph of a cut down bus being used as a repair vehicle for the Bournemouth Trolley Bus service.  Now, before you start I realise you are yawning with your mouth closed but anyway, this intrigued me.  This was not the picture in itself, a routine snap of daily life in the early 1950s, but the follow up comments on Facebook.  Such pictures bring a flurry of men 'who know!'  Indeed, many did know, they knew it was not a 'bus,' as the poster had called it but a repair wagon, a cut down ex-bus.  Soon we knew it was a Huddersfield bus cut down in 1945 and used by Bournemouth buses.  We also knew the date of the picture, the repair man was not repairing but removing trolley bus overhead wires, that bus route had ceased and normal buses were being introduced, and I was somewhat surprised the life history of the man (wearing a tie and jacket) working there was not offered.  
The point of this the need for men to have a hobby!
Men require something to do, something they understand, appreciate, and can show off with.  Buses, their origin, age, design, engine power, and a host of other needless fancies, can fill some men's mind for days.  Show a 1958 'Green Line' bus to some me and they will wax lyrical about the bus, the routes, the tall tales about driver, conductor and passengers, some of which will actually be true.  Their wives will however, roll the eyes, mutter something under the breath and change the conversation to a more practical boring subject, one which we shall ignore here.
One place I worked fishing was the thing.  This I find boring and somewhat needless but when one of the boys laid down a copy of 'Trout Monthly; or whatever it was a long boring, but quite excited, exchange of view of trout, their habits, where they could be caught, how different men went about the deed, and on and on and on and on they went.  But they were happy.  My parents had a friend, Bob, who would go off into the Highlands with his fishing gear, just to get away from her indoors, and one his own or with a friend I know not, but would return with fish for the tea.  Interestingly, this couple had an old black 'Range' on which to cook, well into the 1960s.  Quite how they managed that, and they in Morningside at that!

Alfred_Stieglitz The Hand_of_Man_

Railways of course add another level of joy to a man.  There is no limit, and no possibility of reaching the limit of knowledge about railways, both in the UK and abroad.  The subject is limitless, and some can go on about it for ever.  I once mentioned in the museum a particular railways engine, sadly I gave it the wrong name!  I was jumped on from every side, where in two minutes I had received a history of the said loco, the proper colour and name, where it is preserved, and how to see it, if I was wishing to do so.  There are almost 20 sites on facebook dealing with railways of some sort, no doubt fishing and buses also, and I keep in touch with one.  Railway enthusiasts, never 'anoraks,' can find details on almost every engine ever made somewhere on line.  There is a man, always a man, who sits and lists all engines, coaches, trucks, stations, sheds, workmen's sheds, nameplates, badges, pay details, drivers names, old lines, new lines, new lines overseas, old lines overseas, uniforms, signalling, flags, hots, oil lamps, shoes, and on and on and on and on.....They also write books, of which I had read some...
Cars also drive many a man mad, and indeed one of my highly intelligent and beautiful great nieces is indeed mad on cars.  Naturally, being a woman she is fussy about which car she wants, the colour, the wheels, the seats, the engine (which she understands better than most men, and she finds I never mention cars to her.  I get bored.

Motorcycles also have men running around, especially when the wife finds him mending the oil caked ex-army 'Matchless' 250cc on the kitchen table.  Some men take great delight in restoring such beasts.
Several thousand pounds, that could have been spent on her, hours and hours of work can lead to great satisfaction and possibly a divorce.  However, keep in mind you can always get another woman.  
The hours spent on bikes or cars, alongside travelling on aged buses, and long distant rail journeys pulled by steam engine cannot be beat by any of the rubbish filling the tv today.  Men need a hobby, photography, cars, fishing, birdwatching, you name it, men will be filling the day doing such important activities.  
Note, I say men.  Certainly women do similar things, have great knowledge and understanding, but it is mainly men who do such as this.  You see them huddle in groups around an engine, all knowing the best thing to do, standing freezing at the end of railway platforms, gazing into the skies around airports listening into radio traffic between aircraft and control.  Men need this.  It would be easy to claim this was because they had lost faith in the living God, but many such men do have such faith.   Certainly their faith enables them to avoid living for the hobby as some do, for many it is all they have to fill their lives, and the faith in the creator God who enabled man to devise such machines as steam engines, cars or aeroplanes gives much pleasure.  A great bug engine which came out of the ground a s a bit of metal, now transformed into this beast is worth considering.  And without the Lords input would they have been created?
We all have this need to do something, to be creative, to use the hands, to write, build, see, follow, and keep ourselves occupied.  Those who do not have such hobbies end up in pubs, trouble or death.  The hobbyist repairing a machine that has not worked for 40 years has more satisfaction than many of us sluggards can ever appreciate.