Saturday, 18 November 2017
The Alpacas were back in town today staring at the people desperate to fondle them and reacting in similar fashion to starlets surprised at the interview process in Hollywood studios, however the alpacas were less worldly in their approach. The animals were happy with the folks who brought them, they have been brought up by them sometimes fed as kids.
The lass with the pygmy goats told me how she expected soon to be hand rearing kids as some of the goats were producing at an inconsiderate period of the year. Some like the idea of working among animals and indeed it is enjoyable as we all know however she was well used to a 24 hour work timetable. These pygmy goats were happy to meet folks but happily they were not the type to jump out of the barricade which they hid behind, the one goat that could was not brought with them, though the children around would I suspect have been happy if a goat had wandered amongst them.
At the end of the month reindeer appear once again in the town centre, no sleighs following.
Grumblings on facebook forced me to rise early to find pictures of the sunrise. With red eyes almost
closed I struggled into the chilly air to seek pink skies outside the kitchen window. One appeared but the resulting snap, not to say anything about goosebumps caused by cold air, was not good enough though it was good enough in my view for the grumbler who chose to ignore it!
Later, once coffee had whitened much of the eyes I snapped the rising sun behind the catholic church, quite what it was doing there I know not. The looks from the few around me as I apparently attempted to picture Sainsburys car park I ignored and cut out said car park from the shot for decencies sake. Mornings and evenings, if up to see them, produce interesting skies.
Wandering home via the green slab of the park I noticed how the sky had changed and once again cutting cut the rough stuff found an interesting shot of the sky above us. The sight of the sky takes from my mind the thought of yet another Win 10 update that arrived last night at the wrong time. Once that had been dealt with the anti virus, 'AVAST,' followed suit and went through three restarts before I could continue. No problems have gone, the speedy machine is slower and I find it amazing that God can give us such skies after six days of work while Microsoft after twenty years of fiddling still cannot give us a safe, quick update!
Someone high up in government security mentioned helpfully today that he considered all our computers had been hacked by the Russians. This may well be true as they have been hacking for years and so many spam emails mean we all fall for some of them at one time or another, and one day they may well switch them all off or start being 'Big Brother' and talking to us from Moscow like it or not.
Interesting that nobody mentions that we too are hacking into Russian webspace and I suspect everybody else's webspace, possibly not President Trumps as we all know what he has on his laptop, but world leaders everywhere must giggle at any pictures Putin has on his! Rumour has it that the British Army has a 77 Brigade, though this could be nonsense, who's main job is to investigate the web and offer propaganda to the masses and oppose other nations hacking of the UKs webspace.
There must be such people for defence and if there isn't we have to ask why not? I wonder if one day Mrs May will knock on the door asking about my lack of support for her dictatorship, I expect her soon.
Friday, 17 November 2017
I was told today that tomorrow, Saturday, the shopping centre has its big Christmas Lights show. I queried why they were not doing it alongside the rest of the town including the museum and discovered council efficiency at work. The Lights switch on requires the High Street road to be closed off, closing off a road requires permission and investigation by the council and comments from relevant users. This was forgotten! Such permission is not hurried and the switch on for the rest happens on December 2nd instead, permission granted.
Now apart from shouting "IT'S NOVEMBER!" and wondering at council competence I wonder at the need for a big lights switch on, the reason of course is MONEY! Such shops as we possess, including ourselves at the museum, require folks to part with their cash, in our case for a good cause, and they for filthy lucre. Christmas is a time of worship, the worship of Mammon!
At least now we will not feel guilt at beginning our Christmas grab in November and can look down on others. I suspect however many other town centres and shopping havens have already offered the masses the 'Bread & Circus's' of entertaining Christmas stress. I will avoid this by sending gift cards to everyone and letting them stress for themselves, this leaves only an occasional gift to buy and life is easy again.
Thursday, 16 November 2017
From my window, as I glance out through the dingy glass, I see the colours of Autumn resplendent in the park across the road. After the rain began with night crashing down the streets were covered once again with golden rusting leaves. I doubt many amongst those hobbling along the pavement or slowly driving through rush hour really considered the leaves, tiredness, stress and hunger being higher priorities for the work slave.
When I first left work I took time to wander through the Public Gardens then run by an aged gardener. It surprised me somewhat as I had not in previous lives had such time to dwell on the foliage around me and much less time to take it in. Early morn as the sun had risen I sat in the hidden Bowery reading a worthy book and listening to the birds above me learning how to fly by bouncing of the branches nearby. I suspect reading such books today, elsewhere as vandals destroyed the seating, such reading would be devoid of young birds and leave me with a touch of frostbite. How I long for Spring already!
As one who never complains i will not mention the Mozilla Firefox update which has changed things once again to no-ones advantage as far as I can see. 'The fastest yet' they claim but not on my laptop mate! Either no difference or actually slower as they have added so much. I think I may have to go through all the 'apps' added by both updates and remove much to speed up the machine.
Just imagine, me wishing to speed up? I have been slowing down for the last ten years in everything bar laptop speed, waiting a millisecond longer than I wish gets me annoyed, yet someone wishing me to speed up on the pavement means I just stand aside and let them pass, I will be along soon enough.
Brexit, Mugabe, earthquakes, cold, heat, ...
life goes on but I am ignoring it tonight, as long as football is available I'm happy.
Sunday, 12 November 2017
The bitter wind did not stop several hundreds appearing at the memorial to pay their respects. How many came to pay respects and how many came to see their family member parade is of course never clear however a good number turned up on a bitterly cold afternoon.
George Osborne's austerity cutbacks threatened us with a shortage of police to close the road however an abundant of officers were detailed to a bigger parade in another town in the morning and several were detailed to support us. A delightful young policewoman informed me of this while complaining of freezing to death in the middle of the road. I say delightful but remain in no doubt had she the need she would break me in a moment! Never trust a woman!
The local MP, a friend of Boris, attended in spite of his fear Boris might get dumped and his chances of a minister role evaporating. He does have the right to the medals however. All the proper dignitaries were there as is right, what goes through their minds, especially those who have served in conflict at some stage?
Young and old from a variety of services always turn out, not all in uniform. The active ATC in the town has many members and those who I have spoken to always appear to have a positive future in the RAF in years to come. I suspect however it will not be a peaceful one while if we have peace at home conflict will be available somewhere in the world.
The expressions on the young are always worth watching. Most appear confused as to what is going on yet obey the commands on offer, though the flag bearers had to he instructed to lower their flag at the right time, I hope they lifted them again. Several groups of what we used to call Cubs and Scouts but now have a variety of different names were in attendance each and everyone wishing 'Long Johns' were back in fashion.
One thing I would like brought into the service is a mention of two or three names from the memorial. We had this in church in the morning as three names of those living nearby who fell were read out in our short service. I think it brings home to the public that the names are people, not just names.
E. Thorogood for instance joined up early and was turned down because of his youth, by 1918 he fell with the Machine Gun Corps during Ludendorff's Great and failing 'Push.' W. Saward was a dyer at the silk factory but by October 1915 he was 'presumed dead' at Loos. H.C. Simms was the unluckiest of all, the wireless operator on the S.S. Gitano they were headed for the Baltic during December after the war had ended and never arrived. It being presumed the ship hit a mine and disappeared and has never been found.
Over two hundred names from one war and around ninety from another but they are not just names they were people. I think the names ought to be mentioned each year after all some standing there may fall in the course of their duty the same way.
This excellent chap flies Apache Helicopters and is based quite near as often two of these noisy machines pass overhead the noise heard for miles around. These cannot be equated with stealth aircraft! I asked for a picture of his medals for the war memorial as I want such on the memorial to indicate something of the service many have offered. I did not ask his name nor about the medals as he had friends there and I did not wish to hold him up. These indicate a variety of operations, often under UN control and I note in particular Northern Ireland and Yugoslavia.
For thirty years we sent men to be shot in the back or blown up in Northern Ireland and yet to attain peace Tony Blair allowed members of the IRA Provos to be given 'Letters of Comfort' which meant these men, often men who had killed, could walk the streets free from justice. However now the police are investigating every killing by soldiers and police in Northern Ireland to see if a crime has occurred. How can murdering Provos walk free while those who risked their lives to end the conflict are threatened with jail? It is clear some rough men served in the army, it is clear things did occur that ought not to occur, it is also clear that war is a dangerous game and politicians who send men to war must be willing to take that blame instead of allowing their soldiers to take that blame.
Our soldiers deserve better.
Saturday, 11 November 2017
The BBC managed to ensure the Armistice Day was commemorated well by covering the Lord Mayor of London's Parade. This live event features many representatives of London and elsewhere marching through the City of London, a good day out for all - if the rain stays away.
Today it began with the Last Post and the two minutes silence. This was fitting and as always many soldiers, sailors and airmen are found marching in this parade. I wonder how many others commemorated this two minutes elsewhere on this busy Saturday morning?
Life continues elsewhere and TV offered me the first Christmas advert of the year. I avoid TV most of the time, I avoid adverts constantly, unfortunately I saw this one.
Thursday, 9 November 2017
Twice this week I have meandered slowly across the park ruminating on how depressing and dank a park can be when weather is dreich and the park empty of life. Trees stand bare of leaves, they lie rusting all around, even evergreens appear darker than normal and only an occasional small bird is noted high up on a bare branch shivering in the gloom. In the far distance a pale blue sky might be seen on occasion but much of the sky is battleship gray and full of the promise of rain.
How much better in the Spring when leaves develop happily, bright yellow Daffodils and other flowers dominate the edges of the par and toddlers run around with parents struggling in the rear and the air is full of birdsong and bright sunlight.
Not even the occasional drug dealer hovers during this day, gathering in the dim light behind bushes at night maybe but never in the dank daylight. Those choosing to cross the park do so wrapped up in winter garb, council workers passing through offering brightness with those high-vis yellow or lime green jackets they are forced to wear, the only bright spot in the day. How depressing a park can be after rain or in winter. Roll on Spring.
An A4 envelope crashed through the door today. Inside there was a letter from a charity, a four page letter, detailing the sob story they work amongst, a reply envelope, a car, a three page handout detailing the work at Christmas all wrapped in a big envelope. My first reaction was simple, if they can afford an appeal of this size they can do without my money. Money spent asking for money can be saved by sending out less and more to the point I say.
This came from a place I have helped before, a good place doing good work especially at Christmas. However as I mentioned to one (well run) charity a while back I do not wish large amounts of guff asking for money and all of it ends up in the recycling. Brief details well written tell more and may get my sympathy. I recall one charity working amongst children sending out small plastic packets containing a sugar/water mix that they feed starving children, my attitude was send that to where it is needed not to me!
A quick glance at 'Charity' on Google (Google, there is a charity that is doing well!) reveals hundreds and thousands of charities asking for cash. Some are small local ones, good for them, others huge national world wide operations paying the top people over a hundred thousand a year (charity eh?) and I am not sure they are making the best use of the cash with such administration.
Clearly charities have to fight to get our money, clearly there is much need, clearly this failing government is contributing to the need by throwing people on the streets and failing to provide care where it is needed. There will always be a requirement for charity and in this country people are always willing to give, I just wonder if the money is always used correctly, administration organised properly and my limited cash is being used in the most appropriate manner.
Wednesday, 8 November 2017
While hiding from the chill wind I have cogitated on the government situation. Now I know you will ask "Government? Does the UK have one?" and I will answer, "Not at this moment."
The Scottish Labour Party then leader requested those Labour voters in constituencies where the Labour man would not win to vote for the Conservative Party thus ensuring the SNP would not win at the general election. The result was many did indeed follow this instruction and the UK government was then won by a handful of seats, Scottish seats, that meant we now have a Conservative Party forming the government. Had the Labour voters voted Labour and the SNP won the seats Jeremy Corbyn the leader of the UK Labour Party would now be Prime Minister instead of Theresa May.
Theresa May's government has been a farce since she was elected as she knows the Brexit nonsense will bankrupt the UK but she goes along with this just to keep her job as Prime Minister. Her control of her cabinet is non existent and add to the farce of Brexit and the incompetence regarding the discussions with the EU we have the 'sex scandals' some of which are genuine and the loss of cabinet ministers from said cabinet.
Today we await the MP for Witham, Essex, who has been called back from Africa where she escaped to avoid answering questions in the House regarding her latest shenanigans.
It appears Pritti Patel, a woman who knows the colour of money, has been meeting with members of the Israeli cabinet on numerous occasions unbeknown to the PM or indeed her office (She is Minister for development). This is serious as such meeting s require a civil servant to be present to take notes and make reports etc but this was not done! Not only but also, she has met with and discussed government business with the Prime Minister of Israel without informing Theresa May her own PM! Just what is going on we ask?
Today we read the Jerusalem Post claiming Theresa May was aware all along these meetings (all 12 of them) were underway, and aware that no civil servant was there also. This is serious stuff and totally out of order from the correct handling of such circumstances under Parliament protocol.
Who is telling the truth?
What will be the result?
p.s. Tonight we hear the Patel woman has 'resigned,' they normal way to say she has been sacked.
This government has an easy time as Corbyn also wishes to leave the EU. Had he differed in his opinion he could bring this government down but is unable to do so. A government with a lying Minister, a lying Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson also, and David Davis the Brexit secretary claiming over 50 studies relevant to the result of Brexit are available and refusing to release them when parliament demands they are released he now claims they do not exist!
Yet Corbyn cannot bring them down?
There is no stable government in Westminster, a rag tag group of individuals on the make each eyeing up the other as a dangerous opponent. A weak opposition, a frustrated populace and all the while costs to the people rise daily (BT the latest to make a grab for another billion) the NHS loses money, the disabled, unemployed and sick lose benefits and housing and parliament is in a mess.
What a state to live under. I have never known such a mess.
I of course have a theory.
The more I look at things I begin to see judgement at work.
The UK has the Conservatives, the US has Trump! The West has political correctness and the lunatics run the asylum.
We have left the ways of God, poorly followed as they were, encouraged abortion and gay sex, worshipped Mammon and become disinterested in human life. I have mentioned the benefit claimants who are all regarded as scroungers I can add those who kill on the roads and walk free after a short sentence of four, five or six years while the dead are just dead and the victims families are not considered worthy of care.
We are worshipping ourselves, this only leads to trouble.
The more the 'self' is glorified the more we die.
Turning to he who rules is the only way forward for us.
Turning to Jesus and the way of truth is our only hope.
Few will find it while the cosmos implodes.
Monday, 6 November 2017
The release of the files indicating the billions hidden away by the elite to avoid tax is no surprise to most of us. Fiddling tax, especially when there are so many ways to do this 'legally' has gone on since time began and many grumbling about this will avoid tax on the 'Black Market' when possible.
So to be informed that leading Conservative parliamentary members of both houses are at it is no shock, to hear the queen is dodging tax is also no shock, she would not wish to tax herself would she?
However when her 'advisers,' she does not do her own accounts it appears, when her 'advisers, put ten million of her money in to tax havens and companies of dubious reputation then either she gets a grip of her money men or begins to pay her own way. This amount, £10 million, is only a small portion of her personal wealth they state, so why did she require a £10 million a year rise from the taxpayer for her royal duties bud? If she has money in the bank why is she not doing what the nation has to do in these years of austerity and cutting costs? Add to her tax paid income the £750 million being spent renovating Buckingham Palace while the nation attends one of the thousand Foodbanks that employed people have to make use of to pay their way is a question that requires an answer.
Bone, famous U2 singer who asks people to pay for the poor also has money in tax dodges, Lord Ashcroft, a man who has bankrolled the Tory party and makes a noise about buying Victoria Crosses of the fallen while talking up his patriotism has many millions resting loyally abroad. One of Trumps men, one Wilbur Ross has connections through such accounts to President Putin, no shock there, many foreign Johnnies are in on this, Canada's weird Premier Trudeau's top financier has of course got his fingers in the pile and foreign owners of English football teams are also in the game.
How lucky we are not one of those corrupt African nations where such behaviour is commonplace, how lucky the UK is so honest.
The good news is that such corruption has taken the corruption of our Westminster leaders off the front page and moved it into second place. This is good because women are still appearing, jumping on the bandwagon of fame, all accusing someone unnamed of touching, raping, abusing or just smiling at them at some date in the past, often way in the past. Whether any of this is true or whether this is just women telling the world that even though they are ageing men still want them I am not too sure. I suspect men do not want such women around preferring the more thoughtful type and not those on the make.
It is interesting the Ambera Rudd the Home Secretary and Liz Truss also a cabinet minister of some sort should appear on the list of named MP's mentioned for harassment.
This is allegedly the list of miscreants and it is worth a read. Amber is near the bottom (ooh missus) and Liz half way up, one with relationships and one fornicating! Dear me is this right?
The whole thing is of course a game. Men and women have been touching one another up for centuries, both have abused the other in a variety of ways, yet it is only bad men that get publicity, not bad women. It appears they are seen as 'being independent women, making their choices,' not 'sluts' as they used to be called. Men are not keen on 'dirty girls' as they are called, and in parliament it is clear there must be a few of those willing to make use of themselves to gain advantage, just ask that nice Edwina Currie.
Tomorrow there might be some better news, like the end of Brexit perhaps.
Saturday, 4 November 2017
Many of you will have read The Venomous Bead and her troubles with the latest Microsoft upgrade.
If you have failed to do so I suggest you do as it is funny, it always is when happening to others.
However the upgrade landed here the next day and strange things are happening to me!
This is not funny!
The most common problem is not a serious one just an annoying irk. I sign on and it runs as it ought then suddenly I must sign in again! When I do the brute is already up and almost running yet I have had to sign in twice, why? This has never happened before and is the fault of the new upgrade.
I notice they have added a 'people' sign to the taskbar yet I neither require this or wish to possess it, naturally it is not removable! The Start Page also has added many items they claim are new, though they are just upgraded, almost all of which I will never use.
One day they will invent and offer a laptop that does what I require, need, use and like, one I will not find offers items I don't wish and one that works without glitches of all kinds.
Facebook, the one that claims 126 million people contacted by Russian bots would not be influenced by them yet demands huge costs from those willing to advertise pap to the world as it will influence the viewer, that facebook fell apart the first time I used it after the upgrade. Whether this was facebook or Microsoft or myself I cannot tell but it disappeared from the screen and suddenly returned! Of course this HP model cursor has a life of its own. I leave it here and find it there, I look up a word and when I type the cursor is three lines away from where I left it. I become the curser then!
Isn't technology great?
Christmas brings its troubles. One of them is the council 'Reindeer Hunt' in which local kids are encouraged to find the reindeer hidden across town. If they are as big as this one and the one placed outside the museum I suspect they will find them easily enough. I suspect however the majority will be no more than a foot high and found in the windows of many shops.
This follows a similar 'hunt' organised by the council during the museum exhibition this summer to make people look into the windows of the shops around the town. The kids look for the items and the mums spend their money, a good and successful idea.
I canny wait to see what they have placed inside!
Thursday, 2 November 2017
A hundred years ago today the 3rd Battle of Gaza began, amongst those who failed to return were three men from the local area, all members of the local Territorial Force serving in the 1/5th Battalion Essex Regiment.
On 23rd July 1915 some 20 officers and 649 'other Ranks' of the 1/5th Battalion Essex Territorial Force sailed on the S.S. 'Grampian' for Gallipoli in the 161st Brigade as part of the 54th (East Anglian) Division landing on Suvla Bay on the 10th of August 1915 to face their introduction to the Great War. Here the battalion fought through the heat of the summer into the snow of winter departing to Mudros on the 27th of November 1915. Six officers and one hundred men had remained in position throughout their time on the peninsula, twenty seven had died in action plus ten from disease and one hundred and thirty three had been wounded including the Commanding Officer who never returned to action.
From the cold of Gallipoli the battalion served in the warmth of Egypt, much of the time being bored while guarding the Suez Canal. By March 1917 however the battalion saw action at the first battle of Gaza where they attacked the 'Green Hill' successfully in spite of advancing over 4000 yards of open ground, heavy casualties resulted but all were recalled because of misunderstandings regarding the position elsewhere.
The 5th participated in successful action during the early morning of November 2nd 1917. At five minutes to three in the morning the 5th Battalion attacked Zowaid Trench and the Rafa Redout from their positions on the beach to the west of Gaza. Darkness, smoke from the guns, dust thrown up from the beach, desperate and deadly efficient Ottoman defending plus the general 'fog of war' caused confusion and the battle was not won for many hours. The cost was terrific as an entire Turkish Division had been brought in to defend the position leaving the battalion losing 2 officers and 73 other ranks killed and having 7 officers, including the replacement Colonel wounded for a second time and 172 other ranks wounded.
Among the dead lay Serjeant William George Ambrose who fell attacking Zowaid Trench. Also there were two more Braintree and Bocking men Private Arthur William Gosling and Private James Joseph Willis.
William George Ambrose was born in Braintree in1896 and by 1911 lived in Woodfield Road. His father worked at Crittalls and William found employment as an office boy, possibly a rather tedious job for an energetic young man. With his father also being a serjeant in the 1/5th Battalion Essex Territorial Regiment it is no surprise to see William enlisting at the Drill Hall in Victoria Street when he was fifteen years of age. His photograph shown here reveals him to be a man of action and it is no surprise that he was serjeant also by the time he was 18 in 1914. For many men the Territorial Force was the only way to get away from the daily routine, meet mates and have a bit of excitement. The Battalion was dedicated to 'Home defence' however when volunteers for 'overseas action' were called for many were keen to answer that call. Nineteen was the enlistment age and many who volunteered for overseas service were below that age, some well below! William George Ambrose was an experienced fighting man of 21 years of age when he died leading his men attacking Zowaid Trench at Gaza. His body was recovered and now lies in the well cared for Gaza War Cemetery.
Private Arthur William Gosling off similar age to Ambrose was the son of a milkman living in Stine Cottage, Panfield Lane. Arthur had been employed as a painter with Gobbold and Millbank before the war. He too had joined the regiment possibly full of excitement and sharing the patriotism of the crowd but he also fell during this battle and was said to have died of his wounds, unfortunately however his body was never recovered. The damage from artillery often making identification impossible. He is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial.
Private James Joseph Willis was 19, he lived in Maltings Lane of Bradford Street and worked for Baileys the grocers in the High Street on the corner of Sandpit Road. James had left his job when 16 years of age and enlisted (by lying about his age probably) in the 5th Essex and was early in the war. He too fell somewhere during this third battle of Gaza and died of his wounds, his body also was never recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial.
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
How wonderful to get back to work and find nobody noticed I was off. Having looked around and discovered where things had been moved to, things always move when my back is turned, and settling things into their proper place I sat back to meet the rush of visitors.
She just popped in to browse!
A quiet day which was just as I wished, I did not realise how tired I was until I arrived, not that they cared. Sweet Peggy dropped me a cup of life saving tea then ran off to be worked like a dog into the ground. I watched from a distance.
I did however find the Christmas gifts I will be making use off, most appropriate I think. I never checked how many there were inside, hopefully not too many but I want my moneys worth. Now I must look out my 'Bah Humbug' hat for the festivities. Ideal for the shop.
Unfortunately as I looked at the Robins here perched in their box I found myself considering a man who works just over the other side of the park as this Robin looks just like him! The red breast is not quite the right colour but there is no doubt the shape and expression fit nicely.
Maybe I ought to send one to him...?
The painters were in when I was last here and the Victorian area has been brightened up a good deal. Lots of hard work involved there, so hard we got the men in to do it rather than kill our volunteer painter. I bet he was glad. Too much Victoriana appears gloomy and often this reflects a society of poor housing, gas lit factories and shoddy conditions, not helped by a world of smoking chimneys all around. However Pre-Raphaelite painting reveals a world of colour, men in drab outfits lightened them with colourful waistcoats and middle class housing while crammed full of often overbearing amounts of tat was full of colour also. A great period the 'Victorian' period, except of course it ought to be divided into several component parts, early, middle and late as each reflects a changing world in the UK. The changes of the period are with us still, railways, electoral changes, increasing wealth and better education. Some today need to go back and learn from the Victorians.
The organic garden is still producing bright flowers. Several, mostly these, were standing out in what sunshine there was this morning. The ever changing garden scene always provides a bright spot all the year round. Maybe I ought to eat whatever it is she feeds the plants...?