Saturday, 29 April 2006


Every so often I take to writing, but I never get far. Recently I had an idea for a short story. I began to scribble the main idea, some of the characters, and one or two relevant points. I got no further. Somewhere on a disk is the beginnings of my major work, 'The History of the First World War.' The war lasted from the fourth of August 1914 until 11th of November 1918. My book makes it to midday on the fourth of August 1914 and falls asleep! There are several more, history based, items I have found. Not one is going anywhere, a sad reflection of the author!
Others are more able to make use of their talents. The word 'talents' I use there of course depends whether you like what is written or not! There are those who write weighty volumes, with hundreds of pages, that I would not use to kindle a fire with.
Woman's fiction is a good example of wasted paper if ever there was one!
When I first came to this backwater I looked into the charity shops for cheap books. In London these shops were always full of a wide selection of books able to satisfy every taste. Out here the predominate taste was Joan Collins, or Barbara Cookson! Dozens of similar volumes filled the bookshelves awaiting another feeble minded, self centered lassie desperate to escape into an unreal fantasy world. Yet , something to consider, these folks can vote! Time for a rethink I say!
Is it possible to find a woman who can write properly? A female who understands the world and has experience of life? Do thinking women exist?
Well yes as it happens. I admit you have to look for them, sometimes it takes a bit of digging, but they can be found. I found one once, beautiful, intelligent, kind, thoughtful, full of charm, grace, and all things good. I was in love!
She ran off with a Frenchman!
But there are still others around. I know another, and she is an author in waiting.
Blackberry Juniper has attempted novels, short stories and the like. Possibly she has put her mind to non fiction also, she certainly has the ability! Maybe she ought to combine the two and write a historical novel, set in the Victorian era, and become world famous?
This would be the least she deserves after all her troubles.
One day one of her attempts, and maybe one of mine, will end in print.
The world waits.....

Friday, 28 April 2006

Great Saling

Went for a little jaunt this morning. First time in years I was in the mood to cycle. The sun was up, the wind a bit chilly, coming from the North and all, but not too bad I thought. I cut across to the old railway line, now called the Flitch Way, and trundled uphill into Rayne.
This is an excellent way of using old railway lines. Walking, cycling, or in some parts at least, horse riding along them makes a grand day out. With blossom on the bushes and trees, birds singing overhead, the remnants of what appear to be badgers setts, and of course rabbit holes aplenty, there is much going on all around. Middle age women jogging , younger ones jogging with a push chair, can also be seen. Hope the kid appreciates it!
Stopping on occasion and just listening is worthwhile. Not much sound, a bird or two, rustling leaves, something dashing through the undergrowth, not very exciting maybe, but after town life a welcome change, and just plain enjoyable!
being brave or stupid I decide to venture down the Shalford Road. I knew it went on for a bit, but I intended to cut off and make my way past the old Andrews Airfield, and once again wonder how B17s took of from there during the war! Those big lumbering airplanes, loaded with bombs, on that small field trundling uphill and rising into the sky one after the other must have been some sight. And, I imagine, some noise too! The thoughts and feelings of men in their teens and twenties heading over the channel and crossing well defended enemy territory known only unto themselves. The thoughts and feelings of those left behind, giving the orders, not much different.
However, I passed into Great Saling and decided it was a bit much to continue down the Stebbing way, not being sure how far it was and all that, and instead made my way back past Blake House farm and into Rayne once again.
Country roads, when not being used by white van man or baileys feed lorries, are refreshingly quiet. Sure some use them as a chance to pretend they are in a Ferrari at Monza, but I found few, and most were careful of the bike. The road allows time to stop and stare at the fields and the distant hamlets. To wonder what history has gone before over these quiet places. Who has passed this way in times gone, the famous, the infamous, the vassals working the fields as slaves, or the big house owners jealously guarding their lands.
Did any leave these fields and join the 'peasants revolt' all those years ago? This area certainly took part. How many had survived the plague? The fields, now worked by one man and his machine once had twenty or thirty at one time working all the hours God sent. What work that would have been at harvest time!
Airmen, drunkenly making their way here from Braintree or Rayne, winding up the hilly roads, not that hilly but try it after a few pints mate! Vassals and peasants. Lords and Ladies,Kings and Queens maybe passed along this small narrow, roadway in times past.
And here was I also!
Great Saling has little to show the world. The 'Orangery,' whatever that is, was clearly an important red brick complex from times past. What it is now I am unsure. A few old world style thatched houses and little else to see. The village shop has closed. How will the gossips get their news now?
Back down the rail track and home and into the bath was all that remained.
An enjoyable way to spend your leisure, if the sun shines!

Thursday, 27 April 2006


History is, after reading, writing and arithmetic, the most important subject to learn. Not only does it teach us what went before, but tells us about ourselves. 'What will be has already been, and what was will come again!'
We learn where we come from and this gives us a place from where to view the world. We learn how folk handled situations, usually much worse than our own, and note that they are just like us. We see how people are just the same now as they were two thousand, five thousand, and even ten thousand years ago, people were just the same as us!
On top of that, it is just interesting!
Who doesn't find old buildings, be they castles, churches, or strange mounds in the earth, something to investigate. The success of such programmes as 'Time Team' show this to be true!
History also shows up the myths that most of us grow up with. Each nation has a mind set, often built on tales of activities in it's past history. But investigating these shows that the myths never fit the facts. While they may not be always wrong, they are all to often glibly misinterpreted to suit the wishes of the day. The population would prefer a myth to reality.
Many are happy to watch 'Braveheart' and reckon it tells us of Scots history, when in fact it does no such thing. The actual facts, while similar, are very different, but it suits us to have half a story rather than the truth. The truth of Scots abuse by the English invader is much worse, but not so straight forward as it seems.
Learning other subjects have their place, and such study ought to be encouraged, but knowing our history, and that of others, helps us understand the world, and our place in it.

Wednesday, 26 April 2006

The Self

The Self is the centre of the world. That place deep within us that only we know, and sometimes that is the place we do not wish to know. Deep within our heart is a centre in which I am god! I am what counts, and I alone matter.
Now many will say that people are good at heart, that many do wonderful acts of goodness and mercy around the world, and I agree wholeheartedly. But they too share the creation within of a heart, a self, that considers that self to be the first and only.
occasionally we let it escape. When we do, the best of us can be seen for what we are. What is revealed is not nice! A vicious, deceitful, hard, uncaring, self lies in the very centre of our being.
Getting it to change is impossible.
Jesus is the only one who can change us. He died to give us a new heart, as the old one is so bad.
But obtaining that new heart, the amended self,while simple, is not easy!
Why? Because the heart does not want to die! The Self wants to rule!
No Christian who attempts to seek the best has ever found it easy!
Simple to test this. Just stand in front of Jesus and say, all that I have, all that I am, belongs to you, and mean it. If you do there will be only seconds, maybe minutes, before you realise you have taken back what you said. The Self dies hard!
DOMINUS FLEVIT. And no wonder.

Tuesday, 25 April 2006


How come I am always tired?
I thought it was just work, it's too physical, and being on my feet or using a bike all day is wearing me out. But add to that the virus (or is it 'virii?) that seem never ending and I think I have the reason!
I hoped this week off would help but so far no good. The thing is the brain is more tired than the body. This makes me more irritable than normal, and that is normal, and I just have not got the energy to bother or care any more.
What is the answer? Change jobs, well, with the condition of my knee that may happen anyway, but to what? I am getting old, I know nothing, and am discovering just how dumb I have always been! This has not been good for me I can tell you!
Still, I had better go and eat some foul concoction and see if it gives any sign of revival, fish maybe, but I doubt it.
Gloomy? Me? No, this is me positive mate!

Saturday, 22 April 2006

Fridays Highlight

The highlight on Friday was the six year old who came out to me from number 9 and gave me a Cadbury's Easter Egg. One of the famous little ones that nobody can resist. 'Thanks for delivering our post,' she said. Then ran back indoors. I often speak to those at that house, and she usually opens the door once the mail has gone in, and shouts 'Thank you,' as I move on. Made my day that. Lovely!

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

Explaining God

I can never get over the difficulty of explaining God to people. In times past it was accepted that some believed and others didn't really. Now, it is considered mad to actually believe in the God who created the world and then gave his Son in an attempt to save it! So, how do you get folk to listen? I am talking here about decent, thinking folk, not callous, off hand types.

I can tell them how Jesus drew me to himself, proved that he was who the bible said he was by answered prayer, and give account of the things he has done for me. But even those closest to me call me mad for believing this! I cannot deny what Jesus has done! I cannot change the facts! Yet my words cannot make others see what is real, and what has been done to make me what I am. Well, what I could be if I had not mucked it up so badly!

Only the Holy Siprit of God himself can open us up to him.
If only he would let it shine through me.
If only I would let him.......

Thursday, 13 April 2006

Cycling Idiot

Royal Mail bikes as you know are old, but stout beasts. On the front they have that nice little basket to hold the huge bag of mail the postie will endevour to deliver that day. This is a fine idea.
However, at the end of the day the postman has several of these bedraggled red bags on his bike. 'So?' You might ask, but probably will not bother asking, as you are not reading this are you? Anyway, at the end of the day the postman has too many bags on the front of his bike. There is little in them, except packets folk are to pig ignorant to be in when they arrive, and 'signed for' letters, and the occasional missort, which we will not mention as they are not supposed to happen. So, the man has five bags on his bike. A handfull of light letters in the topmost bag, and heads for home.
Home is the sorting office, you know, the one at the bottom of the hill. All he has to do is drift down the hill and round the bend (something he knows all about going around I can tell you) and up into the bike shed. Simple. Only an idiot could fail to accomplish this simple, straightforward chore.
Ah yes, there is one thing. The wind.
See, as you go forward the air pressure around you meets you. On the bike this 'wind' is much more noticeable and can hold you back. Indeed, when going downhill, as our hero has to, means he meets a bit more of this air coming up to meet him. This means the topmost bag, you know, the light one with not much in it, tends to rise of the basket and fly up into the air.
Simple again. Put out a hand and push it back down. Easy.
Well, yes. But, if the bag begins to float to the postmans left side, and a taxi is right behind him at the time, and he is negotiating an obstacle, and he then loses control of the bike and the front wheel juts against the kerb, then what?
Then I can humbly tell you, he loses it altogether!
He stops pushing the floating bag, sticks a foot out towards the ground, lets go the bag, grabs the handlebars, far too late, feels the bike going from under him and heads for a meeting with the pavement. That's what!
Why is it he asks afterwards, that the taxi does not stop, GIT! But the next car does, enquiring after your health, and wondering if the taxi had hit you. Again I ask why is it that behind him are several other cars, each occupied by men sneering with straight faces and leaving you feeling embarrassed and with a bruise on the shin?
I don't know, but I am that man. Where's the germoline eh?

Friday, 7 April 2006

Spring Colours

The colours of Spring stood out today.
Daffodils aplenty have opened and their yellow heads brightened up many a garden. Alongside were deep blue and red flowers, the occasional snowdrop hanging it's head, blossom burgeoning on the trees, and the sunshine bringing out the various hues therein.
That is what has been missing in recent days, colours! The depressing darkness that winter brings, gray clouds overhead for days on end, rain, hail or snow, all wrapped up into a biting wind oppresses the spirit. Spring lightens that melancholy. Daylight is the best cure for depression. Bright sun and colourful gardens replaces glumness with cheerfulness.
Those who spend six months of the year in darkness in Scandinavia suffer much from despondency. Sometimes leading to suicidal tendencies. No wonder the Vikings wanted to come here! And we know how cheerful they were!
Maybe it's time to move to the sun. Anyone got some spare cash?

Thursday, 6 April 2006

Early Morning

One of the joys of starting work at four thirty in the morning is the sounds of Spring. Dark it may be, with the stars, and occasional planet, shining brightly above. Chilly often, made worse by winds trying to keep the winter temperature going, yet the sounds are joyful. The trees resound to the early bird telling all and sundry that they are alive, and this is their home.
The sound of a Blackbird early in the morning is a wonderful tonic to one who has a long weary slog ahead of ageing tired bones. One by one the birds call out. The trees by the Police Compound harbour many, mostly Blackbirds, with a variety of other species hang around the houses and gardens opposite.
The noise lifts as I pass, not that they notice me, but as one starts further beaks are opened and an announcement of their presence is made. None can be seen of course. Too dark to make out the nest. Still bare trees ought to make them known, but the early hour, an unsteady bicycle, and a weary eye make finding them difficult.
However, seen or not, they make the morning. I am glad of them

Sunday, 2 April 2006

Hearts 4 Hibernian 0

Nae bother at all eh?
I was never worried! Four goals to nil against the 'young flair' team.
Why two of them bothered to get sent off escapes me. I mean, it doesn't help your lost cause does it eh?
Ah well. Now for Gretna in the final. Another 'wee team' to destroy!

Semi Final

Just about an hour to go.
I have not got SKY so I will not see it, unless I cvan find it on the web.
The Hearts World option may be the only one.
But, if they score first it is sooo hard to listen and not see what is happening!

Maybe I will just go out.......

Saturday, 1 April 2006

Heart of Midlothian v Hibernian Semi Final

The tension mounts.
Now we know that our opponents in the final will be Gretna, the up and coming team from the lower leagues. Surely we ought to beat them! However, the Heart of Midlothian often make hard work of small teams. So nothing is going to be easy!
Oh yes, we still have to play Hibernian, so that is why the tension is mounting. But really, we ought to beat them, we usually do! The overall scores since the eighteen seventies shows the Heart of Midlothian as well ahead on victories over the 'Wee Team!' So tomorrow it stands to reason that will not change.
Well, except that Stuart Dougal is to be the referee of course.
That is one thing in Hibs favour eh?