Monday 15 April 2024

Spring Leaking


Spring remains in the air.  Indeed the air was full of Spring much of the day.  The west wind, curling round from the north blew heavily across the park encouraging a drookitness unpopular with the dogwalkers and passers-by.   I was OK though.  
Usually we say 'The farmers will like it,' but as we know farmers are never happy whatever the weather, and many have seen far too much rain this year already and the crops are not happy about it.  Mr Tesco and Mr Sainsbury are already increasing their prices even though they are as yet unsure of the particular crops involved.  
Cocoa in warmer areas has increased three fold in price, Olive Oil also, both caused by the weather and corporate greed.  Other fruits imported from the EU are suffering also.  That did not stop me buying some tasteless Spanish strawberries, know doubt covered in various chemicals to aid growth, for tea.  My health being what it is these preservatives may aid me rather than hinder.  

Sunday 14 April 2024

Spring to Kirk

 


A delightful blue sky greeted me as I tumbled out this morning.  I was able to dump the big coat and wrap up in a jacket for a change, though I felt the chill at first.  
How delightful is Spring?  My favourite season. 

 
The blossum has appeared, this always makes the world a better place.  The trees abound with these bright white petals, red ones just a few trees down also, and a cheerier disposition is given to the dog walkers who would rather remain indoors asleep.

'S. C.'  Samuel Courtauld.
 
On the way down I pass several houses built in the 'Arts & Crafts style of the late Victorian age.  These were created by the Courtauld's for some of their work force.  The mills produced masses of Black Crepe which became popular with Queen Victoria when Albert died, so the fashionable types jumped on the bandwagon and gave Courtauld a massive profit.  Such black crepe controlled the Funeral fashion market for years, and dying was popular at that time.  
This was a company that spread their wealth among the town, building schools, houses, churches and providing doctors and eventually a hospital.  I suspect this house, built at the crossroads was given to a very senior man indeed.  Either that or one of the lesser Courtauld's themselves.


I was tired, the brain asleep, and I had the job of offering the intercessions this morning at Kirk, a short prayer time for whatever came to mind.  As I approached late in the service to the podium I was wishing I had stayed at home!  
However, by including prayer for all those involved in various jobs conected to the running of the church I found friends.  One good way to create friends is to mention them publicly and ensure all must realise that such people are important!  
They are not ignored.  
Everyone else ignored me.  
Next time I will mention the rest...

Thursday 11 April 2024

The King Above the Law

 

I have for a while wondered about the monarchy.  
We were all brought up to understand the monarch represented the nation, we stood to attention in the classroom in the morning, saluted the flag if I remember right.  At Cub Scouts we did the same, flag flown, 'dib dib dib' to you mate! The map showed all the bits 'we' owned, it was ours, and we were proud.
By the time we reached secondary school we cared a lot less for monarchs.  By 16 I was with the SNP pushing leaflets through doors, the monarch may have been a 'nice old lady' but was afar off.  
Today all has changed.
Since Charles was forced to marry a dim lassie to create an heir, and her friend Fergie hanging on to Andrew, both without respect for responsibilities or duty, the monarchy has seen much loss. 
Now I can understand the stifling rigidity of the lifestyle can be a killer if you are not bro.  Especially if you are harassed by the cretins of the press constantly, but it is clear the sense of duty, real or proclaimed, that arose before and during the war has been lost with the next generation. 
The old queen is dead, Harry has gone off, Willy has his mum's brain, and both have wives who run the show.  The list of other royal benefit scroungers is a long one.
In Scotland of course an increasing, but not always thinking, majority wish for a republic.  In England many still see the monarch as representing the dead empire and their only reason for pride, so they keep a hold on a flag waving mentality.  An even less 'thinking' response than in Scotland.  

Today I read of the monarchs intrusion into law making, and intrusion extended even into the Scots and Welsh parliaments.
There is a convention that allows the monarch to be informed of any law that affects them.  They can then refuse to sign any law they disagree with.  Now this does not concern things of great merit, this concerns laws which affect their estates.  For instance, a wildlife crime on a Balmoral estate cannot be investigated by the police without royal permission!  Laws concerning animal and workers rights have been amended to suit the monarch.  The beloved queen in her 70 year reign consulted 1000 bills before signing them, we do not know if any were amended to suit her.  Her sweet nature appearance hid a determined woman who sought to get her own way at all times.  Charles himself has already noted around 20 Laws that affect him and his estates.  What changes were made, how is the monarch protected from legal action, how come the King is above the Law?

In the USA a madman pretending to be president has led a coup against the state. The response, eventually, means he has been charged with many offences and the courts are taking action.  In the UK, a monarch breaking the Law can avoid police action, because he says so!  Clearly this is unacceptable, though it has been a continuous aspect of Law since way back when.  It is time for a change.
I disagree that anyone should be above the Law, King or commoner.  A king who demands more money during a cost of living crisis time is not being responsible for his people, his sense of duty has wavered.  With two dim sons (why has Harry got red hair?) an eejit brother, and many hangers on to care for I say it is time to dump the monarch, certainly in Scotland, and make them pay accordingly for the vast estates in the country they control.  
Referendum anyone?


Tuesday 9 April 2024

I Hate Technology!


I hate tech!
I may not have mentioned this before, but I hate technology!  Especially today's modern technology.  You know, the stuff that makes life easier, quicker, and smarter, and doesn't!
The colour toner runs out, I insert a new troublingly expensive colour toner, reset everything, insert proper cables, click on the letter with colour pics I was scribbling for the niece, and start to print!
Nothing happened.
I reinsert the colour toner, it goes through the rigmarole again, and settles down.
Click to print.
Nothing happened.  
More fiddling, more clicking, more nothing happening.
Bah!
I walk off through to the west wing.
I fume, I cogitate, I mutter to myself.
Then I hear the printer printing!
Several items are printed, one after the other.
Hooray!
Hold on.  They only print, faintly in Black and White, where is the colour?
Now I also realise the Black is almost out.
A search has to be made 0 for B&W toner, and see what happens.



Ha!  Found one in the never used drawer.
Quick fight with the wrapper, clearly this one fell out of a 2-pack earlier, and ready to insert.
Hold on!
This is a colour one!
Fool!
So, it is reach for the 2-pack at the back of said drawer, open the plastic wrapping, using a rusty 'Stanley knife,' fight with the carboard box that does not wish to open, then struggle to open the wrapper around the B&W toner, well Black actually, and then prepare to insert.
Finally, after strong coffee, new rude words, and a minor migraine all is set.
Printer runs through proper sequence and all is ready.
Test print, set it up, click print and wait.
And wait, and wait, and hit 'resume' hopefully, and wait.
Switch printer off, resume rude words.
Switch back on, wait, press resume, and it works!
Fabulous, it prints in faint Black only!
Bah!
Now, urgently, and not too gently, remove colour toner recently inserted, insert, once it is out the wrappings, new colour toner, also dated May 2021, slam shut door, allow sequence to run, click print on test print, and , glory be, a colour printed sheet comes out!
Over an hour has been spent on this!  Is this old, new toner bust?  I know not, I dump it angrily, switch it all off and will search for reasons of failure later.  
Is it too early for a dram...?


Like me, you may not have bothered re the solar eclipse passing over us yesterday, but many people did.  Lots of space taken up with comment on this, possibly the media trying to avoid mentioning other proper news, yet lots of folks did want to see this rare event.
It did not pass over our territory, though I do remember a proper eclipse some 20 or so years ago being not as exciting as folks made out.  This time of course no-one here bothered.  
Such events are worth noting, especially if young, and the more the merrier I say, but there again, once you have seen one it is time to seek other pleasures. 

Monday 8 April 2024

Transistor Radio

 
Noting a transistor radio on here I was immediately transported back in time to listening to Radio Luxemburg on a Sunday night while bathing before the week ahead.  Listening also to one of these, usually someone else's, at the football trying to discover the results of other games that day.  What an invention, cheap, reliable, mostly, and enables the user to wander the streets annoying the public with loud music they hated.
My brother thought he was clever and bought a kit to make one for himself, I think the bits lay about for years.  Relatively cheap, they fitted into the pocket, offered a earphone to prevent others listening in, and abounded in time.
Radio's, with better quality, soon followed.  Everybody had one, all kids had one, on their beds usually, while searching out new radio stations, often situated on the seas nearby.  Eventually the BBC was modernised and Radio One came into being, playing better music than before.  I doubt it is better music now.  
The only downside was the ability of some to pay their battery powered music at high volume outside.
There were heard in parks, on beaches, and being thrown through windows by less than happy temporary neighbours.  Being trendy is not always popular.
I wonder how many of these things still lie about folks houses?

Sunday 7 April 2024

Hot Water Bottle

 



These chilly Spring days mean I have a choice at night to either put the heating on for a while and increase British Gas or Eon's profits, or place a hot water bottle in my bed.  I choose the latter.  For some years now I have realised that a hot water bottle, a rubber one obviously, behind your back is the quickest and easiest way to heat the body and save cash.   
When young, we used stoneware bottles like the one in the picture, there were two in the house, of different types, but both could be heard throughout the area when they accidentally fell onto the floor, which was common.  The rubber one, I have two though one is hiding somewhere, which are sufficient to keep me warm sitting in bed in the evening, unless the temperature drops too far.
The past couple of days have seen a strong, very strong, wind coming from the south.  This brings warm air and sand from the Sahara region, which I am grateful for, not all like the sad however.  The nights have been warmer indeed, and today heading for Kirk I was fair blown along by the storm force winds. No sand blown in my face though.  it's always good to remember, old fashioned technology still works, is cheap, and does not break down requiring a 14 year old geek to fix, at high price.   
Maybe I ought to write this with my fountain pen or pencil, while listening to my phonograph, and check the sundial to see what the time is, better than trusting Microsoft.... 


 

Thursday 4 April 2024

The Press


A quick glance at the 'Online Mail' this morning reveals the low state of the 'newspapers' in the UK.  Truly they are the least trusted outside of North Korea.
The story selected for the top spot features a 25 year old woman suffering a cancer.  The Prime Minister is trying to take us out of the ECHR to  concentrate on his farcical 'Rwanda' policy, yet the Mail places a sick woman as the top story?  This is accompanied by similar major events, 'Parking wars in Ipswich,' the trials of being married to a 'sex addict,' though I did not read on to see if it was a male or female one, several stories of celebs trials flash by while the next top story informs us it will rain a lot, in April!   
I could have investigated the 'Premier league love rat,' or the female train driver being 'forced to work Saturdays,' or Charles 'opening Balmoral to tourists,' but I have just had breakfast.  Putin thinks he is winning in Ukraine, UK aid workers are killed in Israel, the election is due soon, and the press fill the pages with pap like this?  
The 'serious press is little better.  The 'Telegraph,' which I had free for a short time before they demanded money, the 'Independent,' the best of a bad lot, and the 'Guardian,' once a newspaper, now a woman's grudge campaign, all pretend to be serious but follow the world view in different ways.  The 'Telegraph' having become a serious 'Daily Mail,' and never mentioning the ongoing fight to own the once Tory paper.  We cannot mention the BBC, this is because Boris killed the journalism there by installing Tory control, now independent journalism is rare there.
What a mess, I now find news via Twitter, even though Musk has killed much of it, and the porn on offer, alongside dubious ads can be annoying.  If you search here you can find reliable sources, as well as the many false leads.  However, the news from US channels is more informative than that in the UK. I suspect European news agencies are also more reliable than the English based press.  All Scots press is controlled by England, so that is of no worth.
Possibly North Koreans are better informed re the UK than the UK?


Wednesday 3 April 2024

A Grumble re SKY Sports

 


I'm losing interest in 'SKY Sports.' 
I watch via a laptop, the cheapest option.  Once upon a time you could log on and choose 'sports' and be faced with what was on offer.  The live action was clear, on the top, and easy to find.  Upcoming items were below and easy avoided.
Now, you find the top row advertising items way ahead and the live action you wish for is not always clear.  On occasions I have had to search for a game advertised yet not to be found!
Even worse is the decision, by the woman who now runs this farce, to put women's football at the front, on an equal basis to real football.  This weekend the lunchtime Saturday game was a girlie offering.  I am left wondering what the numbers watching was?  No English Premier game on offer, no Scottish Premiership game, though two could have been used, instead a girlie game was shown.
As to the actual coverage of a game there are many faults still.
The number one is the use of too many cameras.  This means instead of watching the game we are forced to watch a goalie at one end while action occurs at the other.  Why?  He is not involved, his last action, good or bad, does not require us to look at his face long after this is over!  Just watch the game!
Last night, near the end of an interesting Portsmouth v Derby game,  the camera decided to show us the nervous fans, why?  Do we not understand how fans behave at a game?  Must we see the chairman shivering in the stand when the ball is in play?  Why can we not just have a couple of cameras, one for replays, and watch the match?  SKY are bad at this, but much better than BBC ALBA who's coverage of a game leaves much to be desired.  They copy the SKY system but without the number of cameras and without any knowledge of football whatsoever!  Send these men back to soap operas where they belong.
Anyway, enough is enough, I will dump SKY, I only got them so I could see the wonderful Costa Rican star player score goals for the Heart of Midlothian.  As they avoid offering Hearts game, preferring the sectarian bigots in Glasgow, I see no point in them any longer.  I might keep the bad camera angles on Premier when it takes over from Viaplay, but we will watch and see there.  
I watched one game on SKY recently, a supplementary one apparently, only the central camera, one feeble commentator, and no replays.  Apart from the lack of a replay this was much better coverage in that you could actually follow the game properly.  We need more of this!
I find today that I really enjoy BBC Scotland's 'Friday Night Football.'  This reminds me of places I have been, before the change of century (which century?-ed) and the football itself is always full of surprises. The team watching are good and sometimes the camera director does his job, sometimes.  I no longer need SKY, and the £40 or so saved each month will be useful.  I might wait until season ends mind.


Sunday 31 March 2024

Easter Sunday 2024


Christ has risen,
He has risen indeed!  

Considering how many have taken off for the holidays we had a reasonable turnout this morning.  Several new families are appearing, all black African types, with children, which is good indeed.  We need young folks arriving, so many are not as young as they are, and those who were once young are now adolescent and have run off to find themselves.
A visiting retired speaker, whom we know and like, though he is a 'liberal' regarding theology, which is why I will not refer to his sermon as it was somewhat 'loose.'  At times I wondered what he really believes.  The Anglican church in England is indeed a strange place.  
Whoever decided to lose an hours sleep on Easter Sunday requires to be shot in my experience.  I was half asleep all morning, and even though I snoozed once I got home, I am still weary.  Lose an hour next Sunday and it would be OK!  
The weather is grey, the people I passed did not reflect joy and gladness, though dogs heading for the park certainly did.  Traffic was slow, the holidays mean people are away, Easter means chocolate eggs fill the kids hearts, and folks are visiting family.
For the most part we were happy, the visiting vicar loud and cheery which left me exhausted, and people ran for home and a large family lunch.  
I cooked mine in the microwave...

Saturday 30 March 2024

Saturday Blether...


I was attempting a quiz in a national rag, these once a week quiz's used to be easy, and this time I found how little I know about things these papers consider important.  The quiz is intended for the readers, not people like me passing by, and it indicates how 'culture' today dominates the thoughts of the masses.  How do I know who married who?  How do I know which song this line came from if it appeared after 1974?  I did at least know what we called water that had frozen!  
I do like quizzing, especially on subjects that I know a little about.  It is amazing how much I learn from them.  However, when I used to watch things like 'Eggheads' with the insufferable Jeremy Vine as quizmaster, I found all too often the questions were on science or the like, which you will be surprised to know, left me dead.  We all enjoy quizzing, that is why so many appear on the telly, and it is great to be on the team that wins a quiz.  This I have been I must make clear, though this was back in 1967!  I have lost many since.  It's just a shame general knowledge questions these days all ask things that are not general knowledge to me!


I have this on my laptop, I hardly use the phone and find it easier to read on here, yet looking around so many people appear to consider this 'app' an urgent requirement.  I know not why.  Certainly it can be used to get in touch with people on the move, send pictures of places visited, or foodstuffs being scoffed, and also museums, companies and the like use it to advertise themselves.  But is it worth it?
For me, a couple of people I know who rarely offer pictures, several interesting museums and little else is worth looking at.  Using the search facility we see what others are offering, usually somewhat overdeveloped women exhibiting themselves, football players, young drugged up youths and an occasional picture worth seeing.  It is all very tiresome to me.
Contacting people is important, but there is 'WhatsApp,' 'messenger' and Texts, and speaking on the phone ignorantly and loudly on buses, so why bother?  Personally I prefer email, short and too the point, and long and explanatory if required.  Pictures and videos can also be added to your own pleasure, but maybe not the recipients. 
Still, it gave me something to moan about...


I've just dumped a bunch of dead and dying daffodils in the bin, and now I feel somewhat saddened by this  These delightful bright flowers have lasted about 10 days, which is not much for £1, but they have gladdened the heart.  Now, with all the care of a Tory cabinet minister I throw them out, their work completed, and it all feels like a real death.  There are others on the desk, two varieties, both doing their job for a week or so, then they too will go the way of all 'Lillie's of the field.'  We are surrounded by such a variety of flowers, some considered 'weeds,' yet they are so well designed and look so good.  Gentle, yet strong, colourful and varied in shape and usefulness.  These all come with a warning, 'Do Not Eat!' upon them, leading me to ask questions.  We need to consider the 'Lillie's of the field' more carefully I say.

Friday 29 March 2024

Good Friday 2024

 

Good Friday:  Richards sermon on Palm Sunday appropriate for use here today. 

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Old Groceries


I came across this picture of the groceries we knew way back in the 50s and early 6os.  Many have developed, others have disappeared altogether, or changed name to suit the customers.  I recall the soap powder, always powder then, 'OMO' in the shop round the corner and under the sink at home. What happened to that I know not, but I think it still goes by that name in the EU.  'Scott's Porridge Oats' still exists but has now been packed in plastic, while 'Force' wheat flakes I never knew until I lived in London where I took to them for a while in the 70s.  'Tizer' was a common drink then, it might still be in some areas, 'Lucozade' of course abounds though without that orange paper kids used to like around it.  
Notice how few exotic dishes appear?  This was the days when we 'never had it so good,' which followed on from the days when we 'never had it at all.'  So fancy stuff had not arrived, though the expensive shops used by the 'higher classes,' like Bank Mangers, Toffs and Spivs were doing OK.  Notice also that 'Own Brand' has not yet arrived in the supermarkets.  The supermarkets themselves only arrived in 1950 if I remember correctly, when Mr Sainsbury opened one somewhere in London.  We had a At Cuthbert's Co-op supermarket round the corner, built about 1952, which lasted 20 years.  I still remember the Dividend number, 47280, which was offered whenever we bought from there.
Today folks complain that supermarkets limit us to what they offer, this is true, and they whine that small shops have closed because of the Tesco's that arrived, which is also true, but they are they ones who stopped using the shops to go to the supermarkets because they were better!
We have so much more and still complain.  We have so much more yet more people are struggling to pay bills, and not all of these are wasting cash and failing to budget.  Still, the millionaires in the cabinet are doing OK, and they will not remember items we see in this picture, nor will any of them remember struggling with bills...

Albert Goodwin - Westminster
  

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Saltire, Moscow and Tomb


I'm sitting here reading the online newspapers, though apart from a tragedy in Baltimore there is little actual news on offer, when I looked up for inspiration and found this!  Here above me was the Saltire!
Clearly this is a sign, of what I am unsure.  Possibly this indicates Scotland will defeat Northern Ireland in tonight's friendly match, possibly it indicates independence is round the corner, possibly it indicate two aircraft coming and going from Stansted almost hit one another!
I do not know.
Sadly, the air stream has moved the Saltire on elsewhere.  No doubt Sunak passing by in one of his £600,000 helicopters saw this and destroyed it in a piece of tetchiness for which he is well known.  
Englishmen have made use of such attitudes for a thousand years, but we are still here!


The tragedy in Baltimore has removed the Moscow outrage from the front page.  Questions regarding why that occurred are ongoing.  ISIS-K, the ISIS working in Russia, hates Christians, and believes all Russians, and indeed all Westerners are Christians.  Of course ISIS hates everybody who is not ISIS, Muslims, Hindu's, Indonesian, Taliban, Iran, Shia's etc, almost the whole world, so it is easy for them to find a target.  The Chechen war some years ago heightened their disgust at Moscow and this is not the first outrage that has occurred there.
Questions arise however, as to how four men got into the theatre with automatic weapons, dressed in fatigues and opened fire.  The FSB, the Russian security service is very efficient, the US, among others had warned of an attack, and yet this was allowed to happen.
Some imply Putin was involved himself allowing the attack to take place to turn attention away from both the death of the opposition leader in the gulag, and the losses in the Ukraine war.  Indeed one report speaks of men dressed in similar outfits, blue jerseys, blue jeans, with guns, hindering people attempting to escape.  These may be conspiracy theorists but many questions have not been answered. Add to this the housing block demolished by bombs some years ago which was blamed on Chechens if I remember correctly, conspiracy theorists again wondered if the Stalin impersonator was responsible, it is like him, and human beings are worth little to Putin.  
We await answers, though we may wait some time.


As it is Easter Time here is a quick look at the Holy Sepulchre, the place most likely to have been where Jesus was crucified and the tomb in which he may well have been laid.  Constantine's mother led the way in identifying the places, and he built this structure over it, but a historical perspective is somewhat ruined by that.  Worth a look however.


Monday 25 March 2024

View From Above


Sitting here admiring the daffodils beside me brightening my world.  The clouds disperse for a moment to allow tantalising glimpses of blue sky, then continue northwards at pace.  Sometimes I wish I could float along with them, head north, fly over the land observing the world like a bird, though preferably without being blown off route.   

The world is a different place from up high.  Those early pioneers who risked their lives to fly in the first balloons or the early flying machines could benefit from being the first to view their world from a height.  How lucky they were.  Of course, the fact that many died in doing this does make it less enjoyable.

Since the end of the Great War photography from the air has had many benefits. Those internet maps for one, archaeology greatly helped by air observation, and governments keeping an eye on one another's defence capabilities most of all.  

Sometimes however, it can be useful to us as individuals.  Away back in the early 1960's my brother joined the RAF as a photographer.  Here he learned the strict standards that were required, and also observed pictures taken at high altitude by RAF planes engaged in secret missions.  One such secret mission, no longer secret, was Bob asking a pilot heading up to Leuchers airport in Fife to take a couple of pictures of our home as he passed.  I have found two, a third, much clearer shot, has disappeared into my files somewhere.  At the top of this picture a main road crosses  right to left at an angle, from it a small, narrow road heads north.  Opposite this wee road lies the block in which I spent many years developing into the idiot I became.  I was probably at school when this occurred.  Such aircraft often flew over us, most of which have long since been scrapped or lie in some aircraft museum somewhere.

Observation from the air is difficult.  I can recognise my area from this picture, but would I if flying over it?   Flying over regions known to the flyer does not mean recognition comes easily.  The land below is hard to define, and only obvious places can be identified, coastlines, castles, or towns like Milton Keynes which stand out like a sore thumb below.  Landing at Edinburgh these days we fly in over the Forth of Forth, even from that I can recognise the various docks but too a long time to find our abode. 

Sadly,  today I remain on the ground. 

Sunday 24 March 2024

Palm Sunday 2024


Psalm Sunday.

I dragged myself out this morning, far from willingly I must say, as I was feeling the lack of foodstuffs, the diet losing weight but not feeding me well.  
Many greeted me, the women offering hugs, the men distain.  
Back to normal then.
I was glad to be there, various things had hindered me for a while, and Psalm Sunday is one of the major events in the year.  The Anglican lot have many 'feast days' and memorials to various people, many of whom are better forgotten in my view, and Palm Sunday, Easter and Christmas are three that must be remembered.  
Unfortunately, today coincided with what they call 'All Together Sunday.'  This began when many kids were around, fewer today, and instead of a proper Palm Sunday the man in charge brought along people working among 'youth.'  
'Hooray' thought I.
Now the work they do is tremendous, speaking for Jesus in schools, clubs and so on everywhere, and they offer what appears to be a proper Jesus to the young, though why she called the 'children' when they are teens I fail to understand.  Luckily, when the speakers spoke, my mind was so tired I failed to concentrate and missed the practicalities, including the news of lack of cash.  
While this spoiled things for me, others were encouraged so it was not all bad.
I was glad to be there, to speak to one or two, and listen to others gabbing away.
I failed to join in the 'march' around the church waving my palm branch, as you may expect, but many did parade happily.  The CoE member is easily pleased.  The tambourine's and shakers on offer also missed me when handed out.  
I did not manage to avoid getting my tea mind.

Saturday 23 March 2024

Baking Books


I appear to have done it again.  
I have accidentally collected too many books to read. 
Certainly I took advantage of an 'Amazon' card to obtain three 2nd hand books via 'World of Books' for just over £7, this I find the best way to obtain them, but am I to blame for other books being given or er, found in places?  They cannot be left lying around, someone might steal them, so taking them to a safe refuge such as my bookshelf is important.  
Looking at these books I am wondering why I was looking through the 'Amazon' shelves again just because there is another £7 or so pounds to be used up.  Shall I go for more Ronald Blythe, or another trip around the country?  Possibly yet another 'must have ' Great War book that ought to be on my shelf?  Suggestions, and I get them, to obtain books teaching spelling, grammar and 'How to Write Properly,' will be ignored as they were while I was at school.
A woman on Twitter the other day mentioned how she attempted to offer books to the local school.  They were grateful but only took one.  It appears kids will not read books, possibly the mobile phone and online research is good enough to get them through, depending on the subject.     


Trying to warm the place up cheaply, I decided to bake what one woman called 'Wartime Shortbread.'  Whether it has any other name I know not.  4oz, marge, 8 oz flour, 2 oz castor sugar, she says, though I tended to just dump it in, and 20 minutes later out comes a biscuit.  
The last one I made tasted OK, though some fool had put in too much castor sugar.  The same fool accidentally put in more this time.  I need something late at night to accompany my tea and this is the answer, a cheap biscuit.  Even I can do it, but it will never sell.
A similar version using oats worked last time, but it tends to put on weight when you just eat the lot in one go!

Friday 22 March 2024

Two Women


There is either an election or a fight for the Tory leadership going on at the moment as Priti Patel is constantly in the local paper being photographed at various needless functions.  Whether they wish her to be there is not made clear.  She represents the neighbouring constituency and as it was enlarged she has fought off the other MP there.  She will run the whole show, and she hopes, the rump of the party.
She may be seen as the most responsible and sensible of the various contestants, which tells us something!  
The daffodil does not represent Priti Patel, but I had no 'Snapdragons' available.
 
 
After I scribbled that I searched for something interesting to grumble about.  There was nothing of note, just too much querying Kate and her dubious photo, lies from MPs, gunmen in Moscow and Tesco's new lunchtime menu, and a new 'England' shirt costing £125 that people object to, nothing important.  
When I had dumped it all until tomorrow we find Kate appearing to speak of her next PR stunt.  This one however, is serious.  Whatever the cancer is, and I have lost three family members to various types, we know she will get the best treatment, unlike those under the Tory thumb.  
We also know the press will fill their pages with sentimental slush, the opposite of the vile attacks they were making on her in recent days, as they realise that their making use of her as 'Diana 2' might be coming to an end.  Yet they also know the vast pull out sections now being prepared will make lots of cash.  They can keep her in the press for ten years or more, whatever happens.
Do any of them actually care?  No, of course not!
I have little time for the royal benefit scroungers, however, this is upsetting for those close to her, and will not do dim Willie much good.  A sad story, but one the press will run with for all they are worth.
 

Thursday 21 March 2024

Food and Ambulance


Last night I had the pleasure of a visit from my favourite Great Nephew!  He has a dew days of and motored down to Duxford to see the great airfield there, the vast collection of aircraft and the tanks at the far end.  Even he found it much larger than he thought.  It is a great huge space.  
I did not go.  
Twenty or so years ago I was there twice, both time with an attractive young woman, and we both found it exhilarating and tiring at the same time.  The 'Battle of Britain Ops Room' a room where part of the  Battle was directed from, the Fighter Collection, USAF, several aged passenger liners and the large Tank collection at the far end make it a great day out.  It cost him  around £30 however.  These places are not cheap.
When he arrived, eventually, he found following my clear directions difficult, I fail to comprehend this as there are only two main roads in this town, he arrived and we set off  down the road for dinner.
The 'Yak & Yeti' is a Ghurkha themed restaurant which turned out to be quite quiet, apart from those collecting their online orders, or taking them to the customer.  Cleary the place is popular.  
Our hot stuff was very good, the Ghurkha lager also excellent, far better than the stuff the yobs drink, and as he paid, in spite of my desperate pleading to pay, the evening went very well.  
It has been many years since I saw him, and most of the others, one day I will make it up there, and not for a another funeral!  


After he had left, I sat here attempting to sort the day out in my little head when there was a knock on the door.  This means it could only be the downstairs woman.  I heard some chatter down there and thought they were discussing who should take the dog out last thing.  
It was very different.  
I had not realised an ambulance was standing outside the door.
He had begun to have a stroke, the conversation was about calling an ambulance, he not bothered, she worried.  The ambulance came, told him he was going with them, and off he went.  No arguments with them.  
She came up to inform me of this problem.  One he has had before, and the lass was understandably worried.  She remained here, probably for the best, and this afternoon I can hear him return to the fold.  No doubt I will here soon about the result.  
We can worry about global warming, WWIII, Freeports, and who will replace Sunak, but for most of us it is the reality of life that matters, strokes, arthritis, leg breaks, schools, and holidays are more relevant.  As always, great happenings are occurring all around us, but it is where we are and what is happening to us that is really important.

Stieglitz

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Another Exciting Day in the life.....


Almost 5 am, I am awake.  
Again!
My preference is to rise around 7 am, here I am again awake at 5.
And awake it is.  No drowsiness, no yawning, no weariness appears.
Wide awake.
The street light has come on, soon followed by hints of the rising sun afar off.
At least those hints sneaking through the cloud cover.
Cars begin to pass by, sometimes three at a time, this because they stop at the traffic lights up the road.
Many have failed to stop at the red light, they are often halted outside my door by the unmarked police car and smug officer who at last has something to do.
The 7.5 ton bread van noisily heads up to Sainsburys.
An artic throbs its way in the opposite direction, his load removed and already an employee who wishes he was elsewhere is increasing the price of the goods left to astronomic levels.   
I am still awake.
5:15 am
I attempt to put noise into my head, on comes the radio built into the mobile.
All the programmes I have kept are rotten.
I do not want any at 5 in the morning!
Instead I put on the sound of lapping waves.
These will lure sleep back into my mind.
5:45 am still awake.
The lapping waves have been making me feel seasick so have been swapped for bird song.
6:01 am still wide awake.
What sounds like a bad tempered buzzard forces me onto Radio 3 while I seek gentle tinkling piano music.
Screeching opera woman finds mobile lying on floor!
6:20 am. Still awake.
My mind fills with bad thoughts, depressions, failures, and confusion.
7:16 am I awake tired and weary, groggily searching for the door and heading for breakfast.
I will be like this until my lunchtime nap.


Just on 10 am, washed, coffee'd, and weary, I am sitting watching grey hair being blown across the floor.  I suggest that it is actually Blonde, but the barber woman will not accept this.  She does accept the two pound coins as a tip on top off the £11 cost however.  
Suddenly feeling the air colder I head for a cheap trip round Tesco special offers, this was once again disappointing.  Hobbling home the air appears even chillier, though some Spring flowers are appearing in the gardens, this is encouraging.
15:16 pm.  Much work to do, cleaning, tidying, hoovering...
Luckily, the neighbour downstairs has come home early, this means I canny hoover, I may as leave the rest also, just in case it disturbs him...

A Supper Party - 1903   Julius LeBlanc Stewart (1855-1919)