Thursday 23 May 2024

Annoying Electioneering

Not quite 24 hours in and I am sick of the election already.  Twitter is jammed with political offerings, usually repeated over and over again by many others, and for the most part saying nothing or repeating what was said yesterday or the day before.
6 weeks of this!
That's longer than a Liz Truss premiership mind.  
The Tory policy appears to be attack Labour rather than offer policy.  What is said are claims of success, that are immediately repudiated.  Labour say 'Change,' but do not inform us in which way.  The Lib-Dems must have said something but no-one noticed.  Reform, one of Farage's scams, says 'Migrants, Boats, black people,' and little else.  Only Canvey Island Man will be voting for them, and his numbers will not win seats anywhere.  
I have had the Tories knocking on my door all day.  I will give it to 6 pm then I will let them out.
I suspect leaflets to pile through the door soon, but a quick look at the four standing here is not encouraging.  The Home Secretary is our MP.  I think a great many Tories will not vote for him this year.  On the other hand others will simply because he is Conservative, the fact that he is not doing anything for us appears to be missed, and the past 14 years also has not hindered their support.
Labour are offering a London union man, an 'activist' they say proudly, but what does he know of the constituency?  Nothing!  He is however, the only real challenger.  Next comes a young Lib-Dem County councillor, the youngest in history.  A glance at him ended his hopes.  Loyalists will vote for him but this is a forlorn vote.  It would be better if he stood down.  Then the Reform Party offer a soldier with two tours of Afghanistan, a policy concerned with migrant boats and little else.  He probably has a Wehrmacht uniform in his wardrobe also.  His main job will be taking the 'wide eyed loony' vote away from the MP, I hope so anyway.  
The choice is not great, I will be voting against someone rather than for someone.  Many will be doing similar elsewhere.  How much better when voting for someone with something worth hearing?  Not much chance of that at this election.    
It is always interesting to note how the Polls indicate Scottish results.  Always indicating the SNP vote is sliding, always claiming Victory for Labour (they never dare say that about the Tories) and are always wrong.  I suppose only asking people in England their opinion possibly hinders the results.

The joy of technology again this morning.
The boiler man was coming from the company that made them.  They sent a text last night confirming this.  Today another text announced he was on his way, just before 8 am.  All good.  Then the mobile went haywire!  The fiend of Hades began to run through all the apps, all the technical items I never see, and just would not stop.  The brute went mad and though I pressed the power off button it ignored me.  Eventually it stopped.  Naturally, while this was going on the boiler man had phoned.  I switched the phone on, then off again to let it rest.  A few minutes later I put it on and awaited a call.  However, before waiting I checked, yes he had called again, and no the voicemail does not work.  
I mused, I pondered, I thought nasty thoughts, then the doorbell rang, the boiler man was here anyway.  The wee drip that had been found, not me, the one on the boiler, was soon traced as far as possible action taken, and  with just over 30 minutes he had changed a washer and stopped the leak.
Polite, efficient, helpful, and off he went to tour more town boilers and then up the coast to those rich folks boilers that also leak.
Then our landlords man returned to finish painting the hall downstairs and I done some ironing before I decided to follow the mobile and go mad also!  This was the best idea as I'm good at this.

Wednesday 22 May 2024

Decorate an Election

It has been a long day.  
Late yesterday I found an email from the landlord telling me the man was coming to fix the floorboards.
This was a surprise, I had not requested this.  It goes back to her survey of a few months back and she has decided to fix things (which were OK in my view anyway) and sort it.  She is female. 
So I was up early, having moved things last night, to move more things early this morning for the man who came early.  He did indeed fix the squeaky floorboards well, much to the downstairs neighbours delight, paint the ceiling, find a leak in the boiler I did not know about, paint some pipes, leave a mess, which I hoovered, then returned the house to normal.  He left about 2:30 and I was worn out!
Then a bullying email from the plumber regarding leaving my phone off, she had been trying to call me, she is also female, which I attended to.  Now I expect a boiler man in the morning to check to leak, which my man fixed, and find the cause or ensure the thing works properly.
Our man is very good.  He works hard, does the job well, he says, and moves on to one of the many other properties that require his attendance.  I meanwhile require hospital treatment for the muscles that now squeak more than the floorboards once did.  Not being used to work but glad to have done so much, including hoovering places not hoovered for many a day, and already planning other jobs that I must do while I can, those these must wait until the man tomorrow early again. 

Simpering lies from Sunak.  Covid, Ukraine war, anything but BREXIT and lying incompetent Prime Ministers, Boris, Truss, and himself.  Not only is he living in a false world he has created in his head but he rather foolishly thinks we believe it also.  A long goodbye from the man electioneering on the podium.  Just go back to your money, the money you have avoided tax on, and join the other gangsters in never-never land.
So, now to find out who is standing in this area.  We know the Tory vote will still come out, though many will remain indoors.  Who will be the Labour candidate?  If he has a name he might win well, if he is just another nobody the Home Secretary may keep his place and start a campaign for the leadership of the rump.  
I note the July 4th date.  That is the week Scottish schools go on holiday.  Did they realise this?  Was this done to reduce the SNP vote?  That will not succeed.

Monday 20 May 2024

Season Over.

Well that's that.  The season ends successfully, third place secured, largest points total for a while, lots of hope for the future with some recently introduced players finding their feet in the Scottish game, and a centre forward and captain who scored over 30 for the first time in many years.
The future is bright, the future is maroon.
Living so far away, unable to reach Edinburgh these days let alone get into the ground, I have become happy with tv coverage.  OK, it is not tv, I am not wealthy enough, but by making use of the few games covered by various TV companies I have seen the boys play and have a good understanding of them.  The use of PPV is to be encouraged, pricey but one of the ways forward, especially as SKY has been a disaster.  The SKY decisions ton only cover 41 of the 48 (?) games allotted to them is a disgrace.  Having only two games without the sectarian Glasgow clubs is also a disgrace.  No Edinburgh Derby was shown, I suspect the same will happen again, with the added loss of the Dundee derby that ought to be covered.   It is time to dump SKY or ensure fairer cover for all teams, especially the Heart of Midlothian.
With only two games of importance to go, the play-offs between Raith Rovers and Ross County for the top division place, I have decided to drop SKY after this as I am sick of the OF bias.  I will also save around £40 a month!
However, I look forward to next season as a chance for the Heart of Midlothian to improve their league position, win several games in Europe, and develop more young players for the future.  If I see them rarely I will be happy with that.

'Pop-Up's!'  I hate them!
I have just read a news site that offered me pop-ups.  
I left.
Moving on to another I had a video on one side arrive, request for link, a request for donation, and something else before I dumped it.
Every site offers pop-ups, the Daily Mirror site is so bad one of the leading men threw his phone away as he could not read what he had written on the site.  He demanded changes, and changes there were.
He was made redundant!
Every news site must ad a needless video concerning a different news story than the one you read.
Every independent site wants your money first!
Some have four 'pop-ups, some have more, and the 'Before you go' one never gets read!
When I am king all these will be banned!

Sunday 19 May 2024


A Sunday stroll in the sunshine this morning.  The bright glowing red of the wild poppies growing beside the garden wall joined the bright yellow flowers attracting beasties of all kinds elsewhere on my route.  Some folks I know have been going around those big houses with gardens or large grounds, lucky them as this is the time of year to see flowers bloom and gardens flourish.
Me, I will be in Sainsburys tomorrow.

I note the 'Daily Mail' has banned me again, it must have been something I said.  Tee Hee.  I was looking for news but there appears to be little on there.  The royals, boxing, celebs and emptiness fill the pages with rare actual news, and that pushed far down.  The implosion of the Tories is reflected on those empty pages.
Thus the day ends.
The last football of the day has finished successfully, I have not eaten properly as I could not be bothered, and sleep is fitfull these days, 5 hours followed by several 20 minute snoozes.  Time to start one now.

Friday 17 May 2024

Banned and Redeemed in Gardens

I'm peeved.
The 'Online Mail' has banned me and not even told me I was banned!
I feel rejected.
Of course I was only on there to wind up the 'wide eyed loons' who abound on the site, helpfully indicating the falseness of the DMs scribbles.  However, this appears to have been unwelcome.  I know not why, others agreed with me, maybe they have been banned also?   This of course is very much the Tory way these days.  Dictators push one line of thought and ban all others.  In the UK only the far-right are allowed to speak, just watch BBCs 'Question Time,' and see dictator led debate for example.  Only one line of thought is allowed.  Those who question this are browbeaten and not invited back.  
Now, with so much more time on my hands I must make the most of it in a positive manner.  Maybe I will spend more time of 'Twitter,' now of course known by some as 'X.'  But he has stopped Firefox from using Twitter as that browser blocks his data stealing, others do not.  So it means much less time there.
Dearie me, I am going to have a lot of time to myself now...

Well, hold on a minute!  
I have just been for a short 40 minute walk that used to take 10 minutes, round the gardens and when I return the situation has changed.  I can once again post on DM, possibly it was a 'blip.
Blips online are not easy to deal with.  At Sainsburys this morning the lassie was struggling to get onto her phone.  It seems that the staff must do everything by phone these days, holidays etc, and logging in does not work!  

Firefox would not let me log into Twitter this morning, this was a problem.  It worked elsewhere, Edge and Chrome, but adverts appeared as the adblocker was not working there.  Most annoying.  However, later, that also appears to have ended.  Others tell me Musk has been playing around with Twitter, changing servers and fiddling with things, so this may play a part.  However, he is a rogue so we do not know what he will do tomorrow.

The sun was quite hot, the flowers were opening everywhere, and the Bees were filling this bush and having a jolly old time there.  Of course, where I pressed the button they moved inside the flower!  The rear end appears to be their best side as it was offered most of the time.  

These blue things are ripening in time for the birds to enjoy.  I expect soon they will be covered in feathered friends chomping away.  I did not try them myself...

Thursday 16 May 2024

Prison Thoughts

Some noise has erupted regarding the early release of prisoners to reduce the pressure on overcrowded prisons.  Indeed some very dangerous men and women have been released early, and the pint sized PM denies this fact.  Clearly something is required to deal with this, but how did we get here?
For a start a society with no moral leadership at the top will fail to encourage considerate living.   A corrupt government, and this one is not just corrupt but makes no attempt to hide it, a lack of respect for authority, and authority that lacks respect for those they deal with, all fail to improve society.  If, say some, the MPs can rob us blind, if supermarkets can increase profits by 30%, if power generators can raise prices to ridiculous needless levels, then why can I not walk into a supermarket and help myself?  Why indeed?
Privatised rail companies, water companies fouling the rivers and seas, gas and electric providers along with the retail world all rip us off daily, and the government does nothing.  Failure at all levels is rewarded, so why should those with less not join in?
Add to this the removal of services for no good reason by George Osborne.  He cut the magistrates court cash, Boris indeed sold of many to friendly developers along with fire stations, prison staff were reduced, and private prisons use less staff than any other, the probation service was privatised so badly it had to be renationalised yet still is underfunded and overworked, and lawyers attending prisoners are paid badly.  Yet with little chance of rehabilitation, little support, and dwindling money what else could we expect?
The situation will only get worse.
The next government, masquerading as 'Labour,' will have little chance to change things, that is if they wish to!  Money is scarce and intellect scarcer!  The basis of a moral society has been taken from us to pursue business money.  That is billionaires form elsewhere lead the movement to a Class War, society suffers as the rich get richer and the rest become serfs for them.  The upcoming 'Freeports' will encourage this.  
Those at the top, the ones now in control care nothing for the 'liberal' policies of the past, they care nothing for the people or society satisfaction, they care only for themselves.  This hospitals are made to make money, not treat patients, prisons are for removing political objectors, and unions are an enemy of the state.  Soon what freedoms we have will be lost and we will have voted for this.
There are no giant politicians today, they have been lost.  The UK, like the rest of the world, is in the hands of intellectual pygmies.  The society we grew up in has long gone and will not return.
Any society that considers men can be women and vice-versa, that abortion is OK, and refuses to stand on reality will die, by self imploding.  The UK and most of the west is heading that way fast.  It is not prisons that require care, it is the whole of the west outlook.  It is now too late however.
But I worry not.  This allows Jesus to make his move among the people.  Churches are growing, though the press hide this.  People between 20-40 are moving in, the emptiness of this life has opened the way for considering a stable real life.  The church will suffer persecution, but it will grow.

Tuesday 14 May 2024

SPAM Cables


Sitting here listening to the rain drip, drip, dripping on the kitchen window while I sip coffee and wonder where my head happens to be.   Last night, against my better judgement, I eventually sauntered along to the club to meet the old men from the church.  Our monthly SPAM meeting, where we spend a couple of hours offering the same grumbles we did last time, drinking Mild & Brown, though I went for Carlsberg at £3:40 last night, and suffered abuse based on my late arrival being a way to avoid paying my round.  This was of course correct.  The club has reduced prices all round and this leaves me wondering what they pay in pubs around here these days!  
This is a social gathering, rarely anything important is said.  Much of the time the acoustics mean we cannot hear one another anyway and many words disappear into the ether.  This, it must be said, is no loss to society.  It is however, good to feel at home among the men.

Living in London you rarely see BT infrastructure.   When I moved here I was struck by the streets covered with cables here there and everywhere, going from telegraph post to house.  Walking up the road the other day I found this is increasing.  The introduction of 'Full Fibre' along with  'special price' has seen a vast uptake of the service from the various companies offering this.  Hence, as I walked I could see an increase in the number of these black cables dangling across the roads everywhere.
In Edinburgh such things lay behind all the various 'stairs,' here they are in the open for all to see.  It is all a wee bit of a mess I say, even if those paying for this get better reception on their laptops.  

Monday 13 May 2024

Blackbird Singing

This fine fellow has just been entertaining me with his song.  Just on six in the evening and he is calling to all the world that this is his patch, and if any women are looking for something to do tonight I'm free.  
The Blackbird song is one of the best in the UK.  We hear it throughout the year but especially in Spring and Summer, it speaks of warmth and happiness.  I am led to understand only the male sings but this could be wrong.  Blackbirds are found all over Europe and the song is well known, we often see them on high branches benefiting the world.  
The song can adapt as I may have mentioned before.  Round the corner a couple went on holiday leaving the house in the control of a decorator.  No doubt he done a good job however, they have an alarm system, a well to do house, and the trouble the man had trying to set the alarm before going home was quite comical.  All around could hear the alarm, off and on, off and on, before he done the job.  The siren noise emitted was of a specific note, we knew it well by the end of the week. 
In those days I was leaving the house at 4:30 in the morning passing the early morning police dawn patrol with weary officers usually.  As I turned the corner it was usual for he Blackbird in the nest in the first tree to sing out, this was quickly followed by a Robin at the far end.  By the time I got half way down the noise was terrific as every bird of whatever type was now awake.  The interesting this at that time was how many birds now included their version of the siren alarm!  It was quite clear and their appreciation of the painters problems noticeable.  

Saturday 11 May 2024

Corfe Castle Rail

Lime St Liverpool 1954

Trapped indoors hiding from the bright sunshine, though I did risk this at 7:30 when I popped up to Sainsburys, I spent some time watching people at Corfe Castle Railway Station where 'Railcam' have now introduced a live cam.  This is a Heritage line, closed by BR years ago and reopened and worked by volunteers.  A Diesel show was on this weekend, something to bring in the crowds, and many men, and with the castle itself just above us for a visit many women also, camera carrying was in vogue.  I am jealous!

I was at the castle a couple of years ago with my friends from Bournemouth.  We struggled up the hill and struggled down again wishing we had visited the place 20 years earlier.  The view of the railway was a good one, naturally no train arrived until we moved on.  It was a good week however, and I decided then we must go onto that train when the steam is being used.  I then looked up the prices and we have been hesitating ever since.  Now she is not well this trip may not occur for some time yet.

The castle was well placed defensively, situated in the valley between to hills, on the road from the dock which had been used way back into Neolithic times, yes even your granddad was not born then, and the area I suggest sees more pleasure craft than working boats.  
Cromwell decided that it had to be blown up.  His worry was those opposed to him, those King lovers, would retake the place and make it a stronghold against him.  His dynamite worked well.  What also worked well was the locals removing stones to build their houses.  Many down in the town have indications of once being part of the castle, decorative pieces, names, etc.  Today these small cottages will cost you an arm and a leg, just as much as a railway ride!

Friday 10 May 2024

Friday Fun?

It is window opening time again.  The bees are gathering somewhere near here as one or two are making their way in.   The sun has brought them out, and naturally next week, once they are all up for work, the rain will return and wipe them out again.  Such a shame really.  Global warming has produced some floods in Africa and China, but for the most part politicians just ignore this and seek to keep their jobs and the backhanders from oil companies.  The rivers and seas flooded with sewage by private water companies increasing their bonuses will no doubt attract many, though once the rain comes they will be taken away by the increased flow.  Farmers are allowed to use pesticides banned by the EU, which are harmful to Bees, which makes me wonder which Tory lackey has been getting the franchise for that.

I have been getting blocked when attempting to use 'Georgia Girl with an English Heart's page as I get this 'URL: Blacklist' warning.  This comes when a site has Malware, Phishing or such like upon it, usually from outside, and I think can be cleared by running the usual anti-malware/virus stuff.  I hope so as this annoys me and means I canny get onto the page.  'HubSpot' explains in more detail.

Wednesday 8 May 2024

O Happy Day?

It has become a wee bit tiring this awaiting an inevitable election wipe-out of the Tory party.  Today, just before PMQs, another Try defected to Labour to save her skin or possibly land in the Lords.  To accept someone so unsuitable for Labour office reveals the depth to which Keir has sunk.  This woman, who has stood out loudly objecting to immigrants arriving in Dover, her constituency, and attempted to interfere with the courts while her husband was on trial as a sex-pest, grumbling that the women just could not resist a man so attractive to them, now pretends she is for Labour.  I wonder how the constituency will react? 
I long ago ceased to watch PMQs, Boris's lying ended that for me, and Sunak sinking weekly is not an attractive viewing.  It would be worth having a Labour government majority in England just to end all this nonsense.

I realised just how tired I was today when trying to 'cut & paste' something from one place to another.  Back and forward we went, it worked, did not work, missed a bit, and all the usual flops!  Eventually, after a great many rude words it was finished, and now I see the mistakes.  Too much running around this weekend, not enough sitting around eating, and my tiredness may well have been noticed by those at the edges of town!
Still, I have found a tool to make working with Microsoft easier...

Monday 6 May 2024

Spring Rain Holiday

I'm beginning to think May is the wrong month in which to have May Bank Holiday. Mist and cloud greeted us this morning, rain followed, umbrellas are seen, damp streets and damper people pass by.
Have a nice day!

The council have taken to planting trees for one reason or another in the park, in 70 or 80 years these will be well worth looking at, today they are somewhat young.  These few were planted a couple of years ago and now are sprouting these wee purple flowers.  Not easy to see properly as the cloudy day hinders photography, but they look delightful.  No ide what they are but when the trees develop and increase I think they will look very good across the park.  The later trees remind me of those we see across France in Great War photos lining the roads.  They will be good in another 50 years.

Being a slow news day, as always, I spent some time watching lucky people travel about on steam trains!  Why they can make it while I only watch, full of jealousy, from afar I know not.  The steam gala included many large and small engines, some from afar, running back and forward, sometimes via the guards van, and all camera clicking men, and they were mostly men, were clearly enjoying themselves.  I could see that by the way none of them smiled and all appeared to ignore one another.  Tonight some volunteers will be working late emptying out all the ashes and preparing one or two engines for their return to home stations.  Lucky they!

Sunday 5 May 2024

Long Weekend

It is the time of the year when the yellow flowers begin to announce themselves.  This brings joy to the bees and other beasties that will flock to them once they emerge from their cocoons.  These ones were improving a small grass area at the side of the pavement by reflecting the amazingly strong sun this morning.  As the white blossums begin to fade the yellow flowers appear alongside many other colourful wee buds.  This makes everyone much happier and the scowls around us hide an enjoyment we all share.
Naturally, this being the May Bank Holiday, the weather has already turned and cloud is covering us now.  Monday will feature rain and sunshine with occasional lighting bolts.  Just what you want on a Holiday Monday. 

In spite of the sun I managed to make communion this morning.  How nice to meet friends, share grumbles, be ridiculed and get a lift home.  I was somewhat tired, this became obvious as I found myself heading for slumber when the vicar was preaching.  I think we need to offer coffee before the service, not afterwards.  

For reasons unknown the press has ignored the results of the local elections for the most part.  No paper led with it, the tabloids ignored it, and the Tory owners remained in a huff in their non-dom status overseas.  I suspect communication between them and Keir will be on the rise, that the media will become stuffed full of lies, as already happens in Scotland, and Rishi may well be forced by the nazi part of his party to rush into an election.  Maybe this will do us all a favour and rid us of the Suella's of this world?

Friday 3 May 2024


The 'Pint sized Loser' has been losing again today.  The count at the moment read Conservative losses 173, and that with 58 of 107 council results in.  More to come, including the Saturday count for the London Mayor.  On overall Council control the Tories have lost 5, Labour gained 6 so far.
Naturally the Tories are speaking up about the results, especially as the Houchen man won in a reduced vote up north.  Those experts we hear are of course saying this is the worst local council results since Adam was a boy, but they could be wrong of course.  
Labour, Lib-Dems, Greens and even Reform have gained votes.  Galloways 'Workers Party of Britain' won two council seats in Rochdale, where he is MP!  The first, and probably the last!   A nasty and not unexpected night for the Tories.  
However, will anything change?  Possibly in those areas where 'Independents' have joined together to get elected, this of course not on national policy but local ones.  Clearly Labour have won where they ought to win but have also won in places unexpected.  The contempt for the Tories appears to be great.  That said, many areas saw the Tory hold the seat, and ion some places they won!  I find myself asking 'Who can vote for this Conservative Party?'   I mean have they no knowledge of what has been done in the past 14 years?  Where the Tories have lost numbers the voter either remained at home or voted Reform, the new UKIP.  However, if the Tory vote was down say 25% only around 10% went to Reform, the rest did not go for the far-right.  Turning the Reform vote into General Election seats will be difficult and I think unlikely to happen.  It will reduce the Tory vote however. 
Tories no -212, Labour +138 Lib-Dems +36 Green +28 Other +17.  
69 from 107 declared.

Wednesday 1 May 2024

May Day 2024

Being the first of May I gathered wild flowers and green branches, picked up a garland or two and danced around the Maypole with similarly dressed strangers.  The great fire we lit kind of annoyed the neighbours however, not only was it just dawn it was dawning on them their house was on fire also.  Never mind.  Just like Rome in past times we celebrated the first fruits of Spring, bought from Tesco's clearance shelves, and danced the dawn away.
Such activity has little religious meaning, though it was added here and there, it is just that a proper Spring ought to be upon us, and Summer is around the corner.  Good times lie ahead and people naturally rejoice.  Usually they rejoiced so much the authorities had to clamp down upon the rejoicers!

During 1889 the 'Marxist International Socialist Congress,' mostly male middle class types, called for, among other things, the 1st of May to be a day of demonstration calling for an '8 hour day.'  Thus it has continued one way or another as a day to fly red flags and march with clenched fist against the oppression of the ruling classes.  
I added a red flag to my flowers, green boughs and garlands as I, with many thousands of others, marched through the town centre in the mist this morning.  We will stand up for workers rights, for individuals rights, and for a lawyer to clear up the mess left behind as we sit here in the local police station where the local Stasi have imprisoned us for 'Breach of the Peace.'  
Go celebrate...

A brief scan of the Online Mail this morning reveals just how much money is being lost there.  The page is filled with celeb stories and patched up with tales of US reports.  Actual 'news,' always slanted to suit the DM, is almost impossible to find.  The 'Daily Mirror' is of course no better, we know the writer has had his space reduced and is under orders to use 'clickbait' at all times.  
I feel no sadness at the death of these rags.  If they offered news, news with a sensible opinion it would be worth reading, however, in the desire to survive there is no chance of that, clickbait is all.  The papers that offer more reading either use paywalls and/or have dubious owners rendering their writers opinions somewhat slanted to suit the boss.  In the end I search Twitter to find the news, often from far-right or far-left organisations.  This is not always readable stuff!  
People require an easy to read fact filled open-minded free press, the UK does not have one.


Talking about oppressive governments I came across this the other day, a psalm/song that ought to be used at all the gatherings of the great and the good.  They consider themselves to be 'gods' even if they do not use that term, this psalm indicates their duty and their responsibility, and God will call them all to account, just as he will us.  

     A psalm of Asaph. 

1  God presides in the great assembly;
    he renders judgment among the ‘gods’:
2  ‘How long will you defend the unjust
    and show partiality to the wicked?
3  Defend the weak and the fatherless;
    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
4  Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
5  ‘The “gods” know nothing, they understand nothing.
    They walk about in darkness;
    all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6  ‘I said, “You are ‘gods’;
    you are all sons of the Most High.”
7  But you will die like mere mortals;
    you will fall like every other ruler.’
8  Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
    for all the nations are your inheritance.

Monday 29 April 2024

Travel and Humza

It's the bright lights, the excitement, the meeting people that make travel so wonderful.  While there is hassle getting there and back this is usually worth it at the end.  What can be more exciting than stepping outside and heading off into the unknown?  At least that is what crossed my mind early this morning as I left the abode and headed of to Tesco!
My best niece and my best great niece are sitting half asleep in a New York hotel bedroom at this time while I gather overpriced milk and bread from the shop.  The excitement of travel!  
If I become adventurous I may make the Post Office tomorrow.

Humza has gone.   Brought down by unelected MSPs under Westminster instructions.  The interference from our colonial overlords is no surprise, and this interference runs much deeper than many comprehend, but the success cannot be allowed to stop the drive for independence.  
The racism and Islamic hatred spewing out from a divided England towards Humza can be seen everywhere.  English nationalism, not just the Tommy Robinson kind, hates Scotland for having the temerity to refuse to bend the knee to them.  All media, including the likes of the so called 'open-minded and thoughtful' types at the 'Guardian' and 'Private Eye,' cannot withhold their glee whenever an indy lover is brought down by Special Branch.  'Private Eye' itself has never investigated the murder of the SNP lawyer Mackay all those years ago on his way to the 'But 'n' Ben.  That would not help their cause.  
The 'Daily Mail' rejoices with several ignorant and slanted articles.  The desperation of the English to keep Scotland under their control is getting deeper, they know their time is up.
A new SNP leader will arise, two names are being banded about if they wish to try, one who will be flimsy, and a woman who may be strong but a devolutionist, not a nationalist.  She also has a Tory husband which does not help.  We shall soon see who has the strength, the policies, and the party support.  Hopefully one who rejects the absurd elements of the Green Party views.

Friday 26 April 2024

'Lost Edinburgh' by Hamish Coghill

Another excellent 2nd hand book, dated 2008, reprinted several times, lastly 2016.  Is there any other way to find such books?  Bookshops close, prices rise, and Amazon and World of Books (via Amazon) are the best at the moment.
In my mind Edinburgh has always been an ancient city going back a thousand years or so.  The buildings on the High Street were to me very old and well able to speak of Kings and Queens, rich and poor, famous men abounding and history likewise.  
I was wrong!
While many buildings do indeed go back into the distant past so many were rebuilt during the 17th and 18th centuries, often because of fire and slum clearance, that so many aged buildings are in fact mere Victorian rebuilds.  The older ones, often of wood, long gone. 
From the days of 8500 BC when man created settlements, possibly temporary, down at Cramond, the area has always been inhabited.  The hills, some formed from hopefully still dead volcanoes, provided excellent sites for fortifications when families became tribes and the resources were sought by others. 
The most famous and longest lasting being Edinburgh Castle, a very strong fortification but unlikely to hinder anyone today, not with all these tourists in the way.
Hamish Coghill, a very Scottish name, begins his work in the distant past and takes us through the many famous buildings, now often discovered in ancient literature, informs us of their loss and what may have replaced them.   
The city was of course altered occasionally by English thugs, sometimes burning it to the ground because that is what the followers of St George do, and continue to do these days as we saw recently.  However, most alterations came through the need for improvements, slum clearance, fire, and occasionally a building collapsing because it was not cared for.  

Paisley Close marks the spot when in September 1861 a seven story tenement, dating back around 300 years, suddenly collapsed.  On the ground floor as in normal practice there were several shops including a bakers and a grocers.  The grocer, one Mr Cairns had become concerned about the cracks appearing in his shop and the paint beginning to loosen.  A builder was called who claimed it was not too serious and promised to return on the Monday with his men to deal with this.  There was also a rumour, but no evidence, that the baker had removed a supporting wall to enlarge his business, and some complained about creaking and rumbles in the wall.  However, the owner does not appear to have been informed or concerned and late at night the building and the 77 people within collapsed.  
Through the night rescuers fought to save those inside the ruins.  Among them a voice crying "Heave awa men, I'm no deid yet."  It is possible, but not proven, that this was Joseph McIvor, a 12 year old who had fallen down four storeys and had the rest of the house land on him.  It took some time to retrieve him as he was trapped by a large beam, but it appears his demeanour never let him down.  

Advocates Close, before clearances

Joseph was of course lucky, 35 others did not survive.  This however, caused consternation and gave great support to those who were already agitating for reforms in housing and health.  The aged city centre was by the 18th century mostly housing the lower orders, those who could moved into the more airier parts of town.  This left the poor in slumland and Dr Henry Littlejohn was appointed as the cities first Medical Officer of Health, a role arriving slowly throughout the land, in 1862 and three years later issued a report on the conditions in the town centre.  This led to many buildings being removed, wooden or stone built so many were unhealthy and dangerous, thus giving Edinburgh a cleaner healthier city.  
This was helped by fire, a constant threat in a closely bound city, and on occasions sever buildings were destroyed in this way and the inhabitants, both private and commercial are out on the street.  One such in 1824 took several days to die out, leaving huge areas of the Lawnmarket  destroyed.  The rebuilding was quick, the losses massive.
The 1865 report led to changes and was mostly responsible for the centre having this appearance, however, the creation of the North and then South Bridge again caused demolition of famous buildings.  The city then prospered enough to move out wider and wider, offering healthier living and less fire danger.
This has not stopped.  Edinburgh is much greater since I lived there.  Old buildings have been removed, many benefiting the city, some not so much.  Large housing estates arrived before and after the war, some of these have been amended since to provide better living areas and hinder the ever rising drug crime.  
The book Hamish has given us is very readable, it took me a short time to finish this.  The book is full of information, many illustrations reveal what was lost and what preserved, and Edinburgh remains one of the greatest tourists attractions in the world.
Read this book!