Wednesday, 28 December 2005

Christmas Alone

Christmas day I spent alone. With the family being in the Edinburgh area, and having to work Christmas eve, it was not possible to get home. Not the first time this has been the case, but sad as I wanted to be there this time.
Thing is, whenever I mention this today at work people tell me how much they wish they had been with me! Not that suddenly I am popular in a fashion hid for so long, but more the memory of the crowded Christmas day they had endured.
It is great to be with the family young and old together, presents, laughter, crying, too much to eat and far too much noise, shredded wrapping paper and carboard boxes a plenty! But as age tells on the human frame, it is amazing how lovely the silence when they have gone!
So today, for a while, I was the object of jealousy among many!
Probably for the last time!

Tuesday, 27 December 2005


The Leith I remember is a place much in need of renovation.
The shops then, from the fifties up to the seventies, were always bustling places. We went there most Saturdays as Princes Street was half day closing on a Saturday. Half day closing, who gets that now, let alone on a Saturday? Not in big cities that is for sure.
It was full of folks scurrying about their business, women chatting in all the shops, men wearily wishing they were at the match, and kids being dragged unwillingly to and fro for things they did not see any reason to accumulate. The tenements were old and it showed, Victoria sat imperiously outside Woolworths, and in the dim distant past there was a cinema overlooking her.
Just up from the stone queen stood a large station building reflecting the once important, but long gone, railway. Pubs a plenty took the pence willingly from men willing to part with it. Buses followed the routes laid down long before up Leith Walk and into Edinburgh, the road trod by many over hundreds of years, hence the name.
Today, there is an abundance of dreary shops in Leith. Big stores have gone, or just faded, charity shops preponderate and a general 'down at heel' appearance is found.
The dockside is rapidly being renovated. Old whisky bonds are turned into trendy flats, statues to those men of the past remind us of their works, and pubs with dubious reputations are now wine bars, with camp waiters to match.
I was reminded of all this by a Christmas gift, the book ' Leith at Random' by David Stewart Valentine. An excellent production! Short pieces on Leiths' past and photographs to match.
The type of short book that carries so much weight, because it covers a lot of ground quickly and simply, revealing fascinating facts about things obvious but ignored.
A good read for me at any rate. I never lived there, but spent so much time there, and have memories from my early years in the shops and of finding my first job working in Arthur Bells Whisky Warehouse in Leith Walk! A death trap if ever there was one!
A book worth giving a glance at, and of a type I wish I had written.


Big clumps of white stuff falling all over the place!
I don't want it!
I mean, it's all very nice and that, it makes the whole world a different place, it quietens the sounds and brings joy to the kids, but why? Why now?
it is just horrible stuff to walk through, it's horrible to work in and it's all over the place!
Add to that the simple fact that it is very, very cold, and that ends it for me.

This is the warmest, driest county of England, and while here I do not want to be remembering the snow that clogs Edinburgh at this time of year. Oh yes, Edinburgh in snow looks lovely.
Wonderful pictures can be made there, lovely photographs. But it is no fun watching the bus skittering down the cobbled hills towards Comely Bank is it?
There is no joy playing football on an open field with snow all around and more clambering past Burntisland with you in its sight. No sir. I have had enough of those days.
I want sunshine!

Oh Sunshine. Warmth, pleasure, T-shirts and cold drinks, scantily dressed women and long evenings with darkening deep blue skies. Oh joy!
And we have snow!

Excuse me while I rejoice...........

Tuesday, 20 December 2005

Niece picture

The best thing so far, for me, is the small picture of my great niece which arrived today.
Almost seven, yet with a look that holds nothing but trouble for her folks.
OK for me however as I am four hundred miles away! Hooray!

Lovely to get such a pic. Very nice indeed.

Friday, 16 December 2005


Recently there was a suggestion in the Scots parliament that Scots History would be dropped or at least downgraded in Scots schools. How foolhardy would this be?

after learning how to read and write, how to count and something of geography to know where you are, kids need to know the story of the area they live in. Local history and national history are the most important subjects to understand if an individual is to develop a true knowledge of themselves and their people.

Of course this needs to be true history, not the mythological propaganda that is all to often poured out as history. It is interesting that while children of diplomats in the European Union share lessons in many subjects, the history they are taught is always slanted towards their own particular nation. Myth and wishful thinking rules over facts.

Scots need to understand their own past. Not just since Wallace and Bruce, but before that, well into the distant ages. It must be 'warts and all' for the teaching of history does not tell us about happenings long ago, it tells us about ourselves.
No matter who the characters, no matter the place or the situation, in the end those we learn about are just like ourselves. They can be an inspiration or a drawback. They make us ashamed or proud, but really they tell us more about ourselves than any other subject.

And in these fascist politically correct days, the truth about our self is more important than ever.

Thursday, 15 December 2005


Every where you go these days people are talking about yobs!
The nation is surrounded by young folk taking over complete streets and enslaving the locals.
The police sem unable, or unwilling to stop them. The courts hand out slaps on the wrist, that are not even slaps! Robbery, muggings, stolen cars left burnt out, and a constant stream of abuse at passers bye continue with no end in site.
The government invents the ASBO, yet still the problems continue.

What to do?

No easy answers.

One effective answer is to change the heart of those involved, and only Jesus can do that.
The fact is that such behaviour in the young reflects the truth about the state of our hearts.
Our inner being.
As we get older we have a better attitude to others, at least, most of us do.
But when adolescent such understanding is often lacking, and the self rears its ugly head.
The desire to have our own way leads folk into the use and misuse of others.
Often an attitude that never leaves once begun.
Consideration for others is rejected for actions that are know to be wrong, but excused anyway.

The vileness that is seen in yob behaviour is within us all, not just the young however.
The heart is the root of all that is wrong in society. The self rules and cares naught for anything but, well, the self!

Only the realisation that we are guilty of wrong. Facing the fact of eternal judgement by a God who has no fault can cause a change of heart. Not just by the fear of judgement, a real and right fear, but also of the love this God shows by dealing with our wrong.

By taking human form and offering the sacrifice of himself for each one of us God shows his love.
Bad as we are, he dies for our wrong doing. Our wrong and twisted self!
That is love. Because we are clearly not worth it otherwise.

The yobs, of whatever age, can be changed by receiving a satisfied life.
Not an easy one, but a real one.
Found only in this Jesus who cares, and will one day judge, each one of us.
Whether we believe it now or not.

Roy Keane

So, Roy signs for his boyhood hero's.
Nice for him.
Hope he does not think it is a soft touch in the SPL, he will be in for a shock if he thinks so!
On top of this the Heart of Midlothian are in turmoil.
Hibernian have reached a height that will end when their players are sold in January, and Rangers may have found some form.... maybe.

The rise of the Scots league may have hit a buffer.
I hope not.

Friday, 9 December 2005

Day off

What a blessing a day off is!
There is nothing better than getting up an hour late and considering those workmates, who at this very moment, are struggling along with their heavy burdens. Time to stop and think of them for a moment....and when you have finished smiling smugly, go back to sleep!

However, I enjoy adding to the days pleasure by wandering round Sainsburys early in the morning. This has two great advantages, one is the freedom from those women who fill the store throughout the day, shoving you aside rudely, allowing their kids to get in the way, shout and scream. and be a general nuisance. With these dangerous folk not around it is possible;e to quick;y grab what you want and head for the check out. Their the second joy of the day can be found. For it is at this checkout you mentioned casually to the women sitting there that it is indeed your day off and you may go back to bed when you get home.
Her expression, as she awaits the mob of hysterical women about to descend on her, is a joy to behold. I am not always so sure her vocal expression is in agreement with Sainsburys customer relation policy however......

The pleasures of the day unfold as the day progresses. Reading, eating, sleeping, enjoying the things you like and ignoring those responsibilities that can wait! Joy indeed!
I always make a list of things to do, and sometimes do them! It is not uncommon to find dozens of things to do, and at the end of the day discover nearly none of them done! A good day as I see it!

Must go, as I have just glanced at the list, and I have one or two things to avoid!

Saturday, 26 November 2005


It's late November and already I am fed up with Christmas!
The shops are full of Xmas gifts and adverts on TV and Radio gushingly exhort us to spend our cash on stuff that will be forgotten by January the first. Countless others tell us where to get the finance to pay for it, or to clear up the debts left by last years overspending.
All around folks are putting decorations on their houses. Some spending several thousand pounds to place plastic santas and reindeer, with snowmen and other creatures lit up and moving all around. All this to raise money for charity. Nothing to do with attention seeking eh?
Giving the cost of the lights and the electric to run them would raise more.

Christmas is still several weeks away! Yet we have an abundance of emptiness screaming at us from all around! Buy this and that and happiness will flow through your Xmas time. No it won't! On the contrary Christmas is a time of loneliness for many, and arguments and domestic disputes for far too many others.

Television will soon be full of blonde, brainless, grossly overpaid women, dancing overexitedly onto our screens telling us what a wonderful time we are having. These creatures will gush and yell 'wonderfull time' 'amazing' 'fantastic' and many other empty meaningless words while 'pap' of the worst possible type fills the screen.

Must it be like this?
Christmas is a time when families can get together and have a good time. People need a midwinter break and the hope that soon the nights will get shorter and warm days will return.
But do we need the commercial hype, followed soon after with the emptiness off the morning after? No. Certainly not.

Christians realise that Christmas is a time when the entrance of Jesus into this world is remembered. They know that the actual date of his arrival is not known. But having met him for themselves they know he came, taught his disciples, carried our sin nature to the cross, and by dying left it there. His rising from the dead and sending of the Holy Spirit gives life to those who accept it. They also remember that soon he will return.

The death for us puts this sham Christmas in it's place.
Time I think to drop it and replace it with 'the real thing.'

Sunday, 13 November 2005


Funny how we treat remembrance.
It has become popular once again to stand for two minutes on November the 11th at precisely eleven o' clock and consider those who fell in two world wars. A long ignored habit has returned to the nation. I wonder why? And for how long?
Yet while we watch the service at the cenotaph and note the number of ex servicemen marching past, I find myself asking, 'What about tomorrow?' Will we remember them then?

If you have a man next door who on occasion screams loudly during the night, appears depressed at times and possibly suicidal and unapproachable, and acts in a strange manner, do we care why? Or is he just a menace to us all?
Many men who served in the major wars, as well in the countless small conflicts that this country has participated in since 1945, have very good reason to act this way.
The sight of dead friends, guilt over their own merciless actions, horrors they would never want their children to know about, these things remain deep in their mind and return again and again to them, often in their dreams.
But do we care?

We remember the dead.
We wear the poppy, often with pride, we acknowledge survivors and read their memoirs, sharing, from a safe distance, their tale. We see ourselves as one with them.

But then forget them.

Who cares for those disabled in body or mind by war? The government? Hardly. After 1945 those demobbed were just told to go home and get on with their lives. Is it any different today?
It seems to me that there is far to little done for those who endured and suffer serving the nation. The nation does not grant decent 'post traumatic stress' counseling in my view. The public just don't want to know if the man next to them drinks too much and cannot control his aggression. 'Lock him up, he's a danger!' is the best they can do.

However, on this date, at the cenotaph, and countless memorials throughout the land such men are honoured.

Then forgotten.

Thursday, 20 October 2005

Tory MP's

Why is it that they change the leadership of their party, but not the attitude?
Just listening now to the comments regarding the fight for the top job. None of those speaking can be trusted, the women in particular speaking with no sincerity whatsoever.
'Lepoards and spots' comes to mind.
When you speak you tell us about yourself, not by your words, but by they way you say them.
Insincere, is the Tory way.
Disgraceful, yet that is how it has always been.
Politicians always spin the news. They always have and always will.
But the Tory folk are less honest than any others, in appearance at least.

Could this new leader be the end of the party?

Tuesday, 18 October 2005


How wonderful are communications today?
We take them for granted that we can see football matches and parliament at work, that news worldwide reaches us within minutes of the happening, and that our leisure time is filled with gutrenchingly bad reality program's. But we can't have everything we want can we?
How things have changed since the two channel black and white sets that dominated until the mid seventies!
Thirty years ago the telephone was a big black thing. Well, actually red ones were becoming available, and we had the 60's 'trimfone' that soon fell out of favour. Often because the starlings soon picked up the sound and irritated folks by imitating the ringtone!
But now everyone has a mobile! This is a good thing in that I use mine for emergencies, others use theirs for work, and kids can send each other pics of things mum and dad must never see! Well, I think in spite of that, they are still a good idea.
Even fifteen years ago the idea of a computer in every other house was laughed at. Now people carry them around and work on trains, at cafe's, at football matches and up mountains!

Some say these things are a blight. Maybe so, but they are more of a blessing to us all. Certainly they can be abused, but no more than anything else, and we need not abuse them need we? I am grateful for them all, especially 'Freeview' TV that enables me to see documetaries instead of 'pap!' And brings me up to date with news and football latest.
What more could you want?

Wednesday, 5 October 2005

Put your faith....

In Jesus.

Yes Jesus, the man from Nazareth, known as the Messiah, the Christ.
That's the one.

He came down for Heaven, spent around thirty years here on earth as a small town builder.
Wandered around for three years teaching a small group of men, and a larger group of mixed followers, about the 'kingdom of God. That is, what God and his life really is all about.

Because we are basically bad people, I know we have some good bits, sometimes really heroic bits, but deep down we all do so much damage to each other and ourself, he offered himself as a sacrifice to put us right with God.

He died for me, and you, and all those around us. Each and every one!

That is why it is written in the letters of the new testament, 'We love, because he first loved us.'
This is not that soft, sentimental 'love' offered in some television programs, but a love that knows the depth of our depravity, that knows how bad we are, yet loved us, individually, enough to die for us. 'This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us!'

I commend this to you. He who died for us, offers you and me, us! a new life if only we will receive it. As he died for us, so he rose for our justification and new opportunities of life!
Life! Abundant LIFE! Not an easy way out of problems, but truth! The truth about ourselves and the truth about the world around us. A truth that sets us free from all that destroys.
Not an easy walk, but one that will be glorious one day, and can taste better each day of our life.
NOT EASY! But we will see great things with this Jesus walking with us.

Please let him take your life and make it new.
Consider the truth of his love for you, and let him set you free, bring you a life that 'tastes' and satisfies!

What have you got to lose?

All the best

Sunday, 2 October 2005


Sunday, the day Christians set apart to worship God. Ignore the fact that he ought to be worshipped daily of course, but on this day, by mid morning, millions world wide come together and attempt to worship God in some way or other.
Why do they come?
Because Jesus has reached down into their lives and they have responded with some degree of positivity, because they have seen a life before them that they could never have imagined at one time, because they have problems and want his help. Many come out of habit, many reluctantly. Some would prefer to indulge their favourite sin rather than be there in front of him so to speak, and sit guiltily looking the other way in case he notices them.

I think of the cartoon in a reformed magazine aimed at pastors and ministers of churches. from the pulpit the minister looks out over his flock and above each one is a word balloon. In one it says 'Love me!' another 'Help me!' the next says, 'Lonely' alongside the next reads, 'Desperate.'
A good image of what a pastor sees when the church gathers together.
The image of a 'Walton' like group meeting in churches is so false and far from the truth it amazes me that some want to believe that this represents the church. But people prefer to believe the half truth and myth rather that the real facts. They are to demanding!

In a 'Barnabas' cartoon strip their is one featuring the monks gathering before God. God reaches down and points to an empty seat, 'Where is Barnabas?' he asks. 'I miss him when he is not here!' Now that speaks volumes of God and his attitude to us, bad as we are.

World wide people gather. Different churches worship in varied forms. Nothing wrong with that as long as it is real worship of the living God. But so few in comparison to the numbers around them. Millions more follow false gods, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists etc. Serious people often, but missing out on the one who claimed 'I am the way, the truth, and the life! No one comes to the father, but by me!' Not a claim anyone else has made, or could.

Those who sincerely follow their faiths are often likeable and good people, most are at a glance. And the Christians who profess to know their God are often not so popular. It seems to me that there are two reasons for this. One is the clear difference holding on to Jesus can make to the individuals life. In that by no longer sharing the lifestyle of those around you, the Christian stands out, and does not fit in so easily. This need not make them unpopular, just different. But by holding to a stricter moral code ca cause untold conflict at work, home, etc.
The other reason is that some make themselves unpopular by the way they express their faith.
A closed minded dogmatism which does not listen, only points out the faults in others, and is cold, harsh and unloving. Such people make themselves unpopular.

It is possible to stand out from others and have your own opinion on the way of the world and not be hated by one and all. Though this does not always happen. Sure if you hold on to Jesus you will have enemies, but by being yourself and one of them (in the world but not Of the world) you can be generally and truly standing for Jesus, and make him acceptable to those who would otherwise ignore him. Too many, far too many, try to be different from the world and either appear as a throwback to the 'Waltons' or a cold stuffed shirt.

Why did Jesus come? To bring life! If you are born of his spirit you can enjoy life! It is there for you to enjoy, and in a much more fulfilling way then the unbeliever can! While the world gets worse, and it will only degenerate, it will never improve, you can have life amid the mess around you! Fun and joy are allowed! Terrible things are happening, and will continue to happen in the world, the poor are with you always, but life brings light to those places so go out and bring light!!!

Nothing is easy in this joy filled life. Worship is difficult (note how often I have used that word) because it means putting yourself aside and Jesus first. That is hard! Very Hard! But when we do and allow him his place life blossoms within and around us. Nothing is harder than letting our self go and putting Jesus in his place as boss in our life. Nothing is harder than the joy filled life he brings. But look at the joy he always possessed! It can belong to the believer too!

Sunday ought to be every day for the Christian. At home, at work at play. Worship brings life.
Worship, and enjoy life today!

Wednesday, 28 September 2005

Melting Polar Ice Caps

Another frightening announcement today about the melting polar ice cap. But nobody seems to bother much. I wonder why? Are we just too interested in what is in front of our nose to care? Or just fed up with ecological disaster news?
Either way if true what does it mean? What is the cause?
Is it global warming or a natural phase? By that I mean the sun warms up and cools down over a period of time. Is this happening? Or have we damaged the planet so much things are going wrong?
Maybe it is a sign of the end times. An overcrowded planet, nuclear weapons, natural disasters, and of course human natures wonderful ability to have wars left right and centre!
The Christian can lift his head and say, I will give myself to God even more now. Putting the kingdom first instead of self. What a freedom that will be for him, whether it's the end or not!

Do we care if low lying areas are flooded? The US was not very interested in protecting New Orleans, let alone the Maldives! Bangladesh and other places are far away, so does it matter to the powers that be? I hope so! But I wonder.....

Sunday, 25 September 2005


Share your thoughts with the world the blurb says. But the world may not be looking eh?
My thoughts at the moment at diverted by silly small things that give, great, deep, joy.
The sun is shining!
Now to those who are ignoring this blog from sun filled nations this may not seem a point worth making, but to one brought up under the gray skies of Edinburgh I can tell you joy is very real when the sun comes out! I am in fact four hundred miles from Edinburgh these days, but the weather is not usually four hundred miles better. A few degrees warmer, and less wet, but not the southern reaches of the Mediterranean I can tell you.
So I can look out towards the park and see the tree dappled with yellow sunlight. The various greens beginning to turn slightly brown as Autumn takes a hold. Blue sky with distant white clouds complete the vision. How can those who dwell in sunny climes ever turn out depressed? How come those who live around the Mediterranean have such surly dispositions? Smiling and laughing seems a far distant trick to those I have met from that part of the world. Africans can smile, even Arabs give it a go, Asians are almost always smiling! We are a people that are difficult to please are we not?

Well I can tell you the sun makes me happy! Wandering around in the warm air, enjoying what I can before the chill becomes lasting, I see the sun making even those places that are run down and dilapidated look good. The people do not respond as I do though. If they do they are keeping it a secret. The miserable looks I see all around me bring despair to my little mind. Why is it that the more we have the less we enjoy life? The nation is fat! Rich yet unhappy.

Only Jesus can make them satisfied. But as always they ignore him and are looking for things to bring joy, things that do not last. Relationships last, and what better relationship than with a god who satisfies?

Saturday, 24 September 2005


All over Edinburgh people are celebrating.
Well, it is Saturday night, and the place is teeming with folks looking for a bit of fun and laughter.
However, many will be dwelling in the joy that comes from the magnificent fighting defeat of the ogre that is the Rangers Football Club!
This resounding victory has shown the deliberately scoffing world that the Heart of Midlothian Football Club has returned to its rightful place at the top of the Scottish Premier League!
THAT is something worth celebrating after all!

Nobody can be fooled for long into thinking a football result can be so important that an individual can hang their life around it, but nonetheless it can give people a great lift in the drudgery that is everyday life for most of us at some time or other. Many years ago when Sunderland reached the final of the English Cup production in Sunderland rose 300% between the semi final and the final tie. That is a lot of inspiration for any town! Similarly each of us gets a lift when our team has a good result. It may not be permanent, but its effects can be rewarding. We are right to make the best of them when they arrive on our doorstep.

So, in the morning many will complain of the effects of the night before. All will feel a deep sense of satisfaction at knowing that the Heart of Midlothian have overcome once again and are rising from the depths in which they have dwelt for far to long!

Friday, 16 September 2005

ITN News

That's the word. Almost the only word that ITN news actually know.
Every evening the Six 'o' Clock news begins with a pair of stuffed dummies standing, somewhat awkwardly, informing us of the 'Main headline tonight.' This headline, often of no news value whatsoever, nearly always features the word 'shocking.'
'Shocking news for women,' 'A shocking report,' 'The crime that is shocking the nation,' and so on.
At no time is journalism allowed to appear in such headlines, and rarely in the report that follows. Sensationalise the news, twist the facts, and ignore bits that don't grab attention.

Such journalism is indeed, 'shocking.'
Why do we, in a nation with such a high standard of literacy, need to boil the news down to a brief headline and a sensationalised report? is it because the people are too stupid to think for themsel;ves? No! This nation has some of the wisest and most aware folks in the world. Could it be that we would ignore the facts if not represented in this narrow minded manner? Again no! Give the facts and the people understand the why's and wherefores about anything, and better than most nations would.

Why then the 'shocking' headlines that are the mainstay of this dumbed down news service?

Bread and circuses, that's why!
Yes, bread and circuses. The Romans gave the people free bread to stop them going hungry, and kept them busy with the circus acts. What better way to stop the population from rioting than to watch gladiators beat one another to a pulp, or to have your fill of criminals thrown to the lions or covered in pitch and burnt to death.
Today our bread is overflowing! The nation suffers from an epidemic of 'obesity. The word itself is used instead of the actual word for this disease, 'fat,' and has all it desires foodwise. Telivision and the press provide the 'circus' part of the deal. The great mass of the public do not want to fill their heads with facts and details, they want simple entertainment to make them feel good.

Sure in this country there is a great awareness of the needs of the world. No-one is surpised at the hunger around us, the natural and man made disasters that occur, and often the United Kingdom population is the first to offer help. But for the most part we want to go home, shut the door, and ignore the world outside for a while. All to often of course, the short while becomes a very long time indeed. ITN recognise the shallowness that dwells within us and seeks to satisfy this with its narrow news service. World affairs are touched on, but close to home, and, often cringingly small minded, stories come first. Tabloid news at its best.

Sad nation we are. All the benefits and privelages of one of the richest nations in the world, yet content to be filled with vacuousness.

Tuesday, 13 September 2005

Fuel Crisis

So they are panic buying eh?
All over the country the pumps are running dry as overdressed, overweight people in oversized cars too big for their needs desperately fill up with petrol and diesel in case the protest brings everything to a halt.
How daft are they?
Panic buying is no new thing, it occurs every so often, but is it right this time?

There are three types of person more selfish than the rest of us. Smokers, who think their foul habit ought to dominate the lives of the rest of us. it does not seem to matter to them if we, or they for that matter, develop bronchitis or cancer, their nicotine is more important than our miserable lives. Car drivers also follow the selfish path in a manner which makes 'B' celebrities chasing a television appearance look humble. It appears to them that parking the car at the shop door, nay, at the checkout itself is their right! Life ought to enable the car driver to park at the very spot they want, irrespective of any obstruction that may be in the way. Have these peoplelost the use of their legs maybe? Does the fear of exercise make it needful to park on the pavement as the road is three feet to far a distance to walk from?
Not only does the motorist consider himself more important than the rest of humanity, he feels no guilt about polluting the air we breathe. Parking with the engine on throwing particles of diesel down our throat means nothing to the egocentric driver. If we consider this undesirable it is likely the lad will have some meaningless music derived from the BBCs radiophonic workshop, or just a fault in the player, blasting at 100 decibels and shaking the foundations of heaven itself!
Not that he will notice of course.
Of course it could be worse.
It could be a woman!
Just imagine a women driver, with cigarette in mouth attempting to park at the local 'Tesco.' She will give you a lot of thought eh?

Monday, 12 September 2005


The problem with work, is work! I can cope with all sorts of interesting stuff, but having to spend a day in drudgery and effort is not what I feel made for. I am much more of a 'Let's do it later/ let them do it' type. Still, it brings in the cash, and today I met friendly kind people who appreciate what I am doing for them. That's nice, makes it worthwhile.

Saturday, 10 September 2005


From the window it looks a bit misty outside. Once out there it is in fact fine rain falling not quite gently enough to saturate, but hard enough to upset the postman attempting to keep his bag of goodies dry. Good job it's Saturday so it will be an early finish for them.
But the atmosphere on days like these is good. Quite close and muggy, 300 yards away the misty haze blocks the view, and the light increases as the sun rises. Had I been working out there I might be displeased, but in here I find it relaxing, and enjoyable.
Maybe I ought to get out more.....

Friday, 9 September 2005

Returning from Edinburgh is always a strange affair. It is so hard to settle in when there, and once back in the family groove it's time to leave. Back home the people who were on top of you are suddenly missed! Within days the old ways return, and work and the daily grind make the 'Athens of the North' a distant memory.

What is far from a memory is the stale smell that this flat emits whenever I return. It clearly is always there, but one gets used to it and it fails to register. Now however it just plain stinks! A complaint to the landlord brought little response, probably because the fault is nearly two hundred years of suffering that this building has endured. Not much can be done....without cash! Don't mention that to him!

Guatemala and its treatment of women.

The other weekend I read in the Sunday Times an excellent item on the way women are abused in Guatemala. Normally I ignore these articles as I have had it up to here with self obsessed girls giving out with their percieved problems. The only problem they usually have is caused by a deficient personality and a self obsession.
However, the mere fact that females of all agaes are murdered, often brutally, at a rate of one a day is something to make us think.
Girls are dragged of the streets, attacked in their own homes, raped, tied with wire, violently beaten and abused, and either killed or left for dead. Age means nothing here. One twenty something was beheaded, and the one year old child she was looking after was beheaded also!

Why? The country has suffered over thirty years of warfare. Dictators supported by the U.S. Goverment have abused the people on the grounds of 'fighting communism.' The macho attitude of the men is added to a nation in which moral scruples have long been forgotten.
The result is that no woman is safe anymore.

So why do the authorities not step down on such things?
The most obvious reason is that those perpetrating these foul abuses are the law officials themselves! There is a police department set up to investigate such outrages. Nobody is ever found guilty. Nobody is ever likely to be found guilty!

This is an affront to common decency!
Why do womens groups around the world stand back and refuse to ghelp women who need help? Why do goverments ignore such abuses of human rights?

Over three hundred women a year, brutally murdered. yet no-one cares.
What strange people we are!