Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Thanks Again

Thanks again for prayer.
I had reached a 'crisis' point and I am afraid I 'muffed it' badly!
Thanks for your prayers and thoughts but I may not be on for a while.

Thanks again

Monday, 28 April 2008


Thank you for praying.
I am seeing some benefit!
And I am grateful as I can see Jesus responding.
However I do not see me responding as I ought......
This is hard.


Saturday, 26 April 2008


Jesus and I need to sort out 'a little local difficulty.'
A problem that has troubled me for some years.
Can I ask those who know how, to waste some of their valuable time by asking the Lord for me?
Selfish I know, but I would be grateful.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

St Georges Day

Today is St Georges Day.

I don't care!
Do you?

Childhood Games

Someone reminiscing about their childhood made me ask what did we do as kids. Until the age of ten or eleven when total football took over we had the usual variety of kids games. 'Hide and seek,' sometimes in large groups and involving hiding in many strange places, the coal box at the back was good, brings back a good feeling, 'Peevers' (hopscotch to the ignorant) was really a girlie game which we sometimes joined in using an old polish tin to push along the ground. Girls bounced a ball against the wall in a variety of different games and played with skipping ropes. Boys naturally avoided such games and those who dared to participate were clearly big Jessies. Thankfully common sense prevailed and playgrounds were separated in those days so the kids could grow up naturally and not hounded by middle class women with chips on their inadequate shoulders. 'Japs and Commando's' and a British version of beating the Germans (name forgotten) was common with the occasional Cowboy and Indian stuff. Funnily enough I started school in 1956 (oh joy) and we spent several years running around the playground singing 'We won the war in 1944!' I suppose that died out before the PC teachers intervened. 'Matchbox,' 'Dinky' and 'Corgi' cars were often bought,1/6d for the big ones and 9d for the 'Matchbox' series. Some very good vehicles there which disappeared with the passing of time, although they had changed greatly in appearance, especially when tins of 'Humbrol' paint were discovered! Marbles were often the cause of fights. A game of 'Bulls' could be as gentle as playing with 'Lego,' one of the best toys invented I say, yet the kid upstairs just did not like being bettered and a squabble would ensue. It was never me cause I was nice, but usually we got on all right.

Because there were two roads at the front we often played in the wee road in perfect safety. While the main road had heavy traffic occasionally passing by it was for the most part comparatively quiet, unlike today. I remember the fish lorry heading for Newhaven passing by. As it approached we could see it stacked high with fish boxes and waited while the lorry passed. As the vehicle rumbled on it's way the smell would follow behind like a wake behind a ship spreading to the side as she passed. Lovely, well no actually! The traffic on the wee road was minimal. Next door there was the 'Highland Queen' lorry from the man on the top flat and Dode's bakers van. That is while it was the bakers van. His habit of drinking too much meant it often changed names on the side! A small Austin 7 belonged to the man upstairs, who we hardly ever saw, and far up the road another vehicle would be parked here and there. The field opposite, soon turned into a school field, meant there was plenty of light and no-one opposite. A great place to grow up! That road also saw 'Kick the can' being played as well as the occasional failed attempts to become 'Zorro!' The small verge between the roads could be used for some games but mostly it was a kind of border rarely crossed.

In the backgreen we would use the washing poles to play 'Long banging.' A simple device to enhance the goalkeepers ability even though this centre forwards talent failed miserably here. Only later did I realise this was why I was such a good goalie - oh yes I was! - as the practice here helped. One day we went round to play with the big boys and I was forced into goal. I was wonderful! From then on until about fifteen years of age it was football every night!
We played in the field opposite for a time, then decamped to the large roundabout round the corner where we used half to play and occasionally the whole circle was used for big games and 'take ons' against lads from just outside our area. Rarely did fights intervene and 21's the winner was the norm. It became my habit, wherever we played, to come in at night at place my sodden muddy jeans in the old cola cellar. Next night I would break of the hardened mud, replace the jeans over my skinny legs and go off to perform heroics once again! If it wasn't for my eyesight and no scout ever calling on me I could have been somebody you know! We also played a football version of a 'Squash' like game by banging a ball against a certain area of wall and the next in line had to get the ball from wherever it ended up and return it to the same spot. I forget what we called it but this was good, when you won.

There came a time when this all changed. The wee road became too dangerous as wealth crept in and folks parked their cars there. Ford Anglia's and 'Z' cars appearing in the late 60's reflecting the economic growth in society, even where we lived. Football seemed to die away in the late seventies or early eighties. On the roundabout someone planted four trees, they are still there today! We had come across a 'No Football' sign there at one point and some of the boys chucked it over a fence! Not today's men. No-one plays football any more unless they go 'training' with their team. The type of football that gave us Alan Gilzean, Bobby Walker, Denis Law, Willie Hamilton and Jim Baxter has been obliterated and is occasionally seen only in school playgrounds. Now kids are coached from an early age,tenderly cared for in seven a sides, and not allowed to play to many games in case 'it has long term damage!' What rubbish! There is a story that Dave MacKay signed for the Heart of Midlothian while running from one game to another while a schoolboy. If not true it sounds it! To much care for the little darlings does not do them good.

Do they play games now? In our family the kids have far too many toys. Especially as they only have one kid each and it gets spoiled, although no more than I was to be fair. Being girls for the most part I cannot say whether their games are better than before, as they still play with dolls, as normal girls do, fight and play sweet when they want something. Boys get the guns and cars, although much more space orientated than before, more 'Star Wars' than the World War Two stuff we were surrounded by. (While the war was long over by the time I arrived, an 'accident' my mother used to say, it was still deeply imprinted on everyone's mind.) Boys remain noisy, loud, obnoxious brats as all boys have always been - myself excepted naturally, and remain the same at heart in spite of the daft attitudes so often seen today.

The good times in the past were all in our heads. We heard of 'wars and rumours of wars,' but these were forgotten when the Ice cream man's bell was heard. George had several years service round our way and saw many of us grow up. But he did not have the 'Mr Whippy' type van and looking back he must have struggled to keep himself going. In those days often the men would get out and fight it out for the round, an idea stopped when Edinburgh Corporation licensed them, George however could always rely on our support. Nobody was assaulted by dirty old men, although our folks warned us about them, mothers were far from neurotic but did keep a watch on us, and life was better. Child abuse happened but was not splashed over the papers, and if our dads found someone doing it they had the means to bring it to an end, quietly and quickly! But in spite of the overprotected habit of today, the fear engendered by the press and the PC brigade who care for themselves through their nonsense, is life more dangerous for kids than before? I don't think so, and the brats grow up just the same. If they are allowed to do so by their elders. If they go wrong it is their elders fault, yours and mine, there is no one else to blame.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

It's Driving me to Drink!

Every time I switch a radio or TV on I find adverts!
Now I have turned the thing on for the football and they go off for 'a break.' ITV spend more time on 'Breaks' than they do football. In the few minutes the programme has run nothing sensible has been said, and what was was uttered at pace because a 'break' was coming up!

I put 'Talksport' on this morning, a Rupert Murdoch station which gives us all the intellect a fan of Jeremy Kyle requires, and was confronted by adverts. Adverts which assume you are male, white, drink too much, waste money on the horses and are a 'white van driver!' I tuned into the World Service of the BBC because it gives good news coverage, and it was some boring science talk. I returned to 'Talksport' and it was still adverts, so I went to Radio 5. Here they were, once again, droning on about the house price situation. Off to Radio 4 - House prices, on to Radio 3 and it was opera! I went back to 'Talksport' and found they had another break!

Liverpool and Chelsea have just walked out onto the pitch. ITV have gone off for adverts! I think I need 'textspeak' for what I want to say now.......

And I don't have a bottle of 'Black Bottle.' Just Tesco's 17p fizzy water.
Rejoice rejoice.....

Monday, 21 April 2008

Text Speech

I was confused today. Now some might think this is not unusual, after all I do switch off the heating and then switch it on two minutes later thinking I am switching it off don't I? However this was real confusion! I received a message and could not understand it. I looked at it wondering if a drunk had found a keyboard, or if it was some sort of secret code that had come from the Russian Embassy by mistake. I unravelled the mystery by the simple technique of looking at the senders name, why had numpty not thought of that before you ask, well because, just because! When I noticed the name it all fell into place. She has to talk in text speak because of her kids or they don't understand her! This habit is continued when talking to normal folk rather than teens.

Text speak! What a great invention. Now it is possible to speed up the communication between kids sitting five feet apart as they communicate with one another – while talking to the person they are texting at the same time! Being young they are able to swear at the teacher while under English instruction and still text correctly afterwards. This capability reduces as time passes, I find, as does the ability to understand just what on earth someone offering 'l8r' means. ('Later' it seems!) Knowledge of the 'text' language can speed up sending messages by text, and there is many times 'texting' can be useful – if you have a friend to text of course – but it can surely be dangerous! Where does it stop? For instance I heard it said that had the apostle Paul used text we would never had obtained much of a new testament. Instead of two long letters to the Corinthians it would be a short ' plz luv al ttyl.' 'Please love one another, talk to you later.' I hesitate to suggest that this would not be as effective as writing in Greek has been.

But where will it lead? Shall we return to hieroglyphics? Instead of poetry and prose will we just have line drawings of birds and a big fish with a sun above? A few squiggly lines and a jar next to a fox maybe? What would this do to bloggers? I am aware that on message boards some young brats appear now and again and insist on using such 'talk.' The gentlemen there are swift to inform them, without the need for text speak, as to what exactly they can do with this terminology. Such suggestions are not possible to put into text speak surely?

For those with a desire to disturb their mentality I suggest a site or two where you can learn this gobbledygook for yourself.



Good luck!

Friday, 18 April 2008

R.I.P Heart of Midlothian F.C.

So, from a brief report of the Heart of Midlothian AGM I read in the News I see the end is nigh!
One important point is the clear implication that Stephen Frail will be the full time manager from next season. The suggestion that an experienced 'British' man would be found is pushed aside with comments regarding "The reality is that to find a manager is very difficult, most managers are already out of work or ready to jump from the clubs they are working with and seeking profit."
"If you find me a manager who won't do that then fine but give a chance to our guy Stephen Frail who is already at the club." In other words there is no new man, the cheap option prevails. Now Frail is a good guy but not a man capable of running this club, or indeed any club at this level. He remains there simply because he lets Vlad pick the team. A proper manager would not!

The needless tirade against the Scottish League is just a poor attempt to divert attention from Vlads failings. Sure the OF dominate and heavily influence things but that would not stop a properly funded team taking the title. We are all well aware of the referees who lean towards the bigot brothers, but that would not stop any side, properly financed and managed, winning the league. Burley could have done it, Vlad ruined it! Vlad junior should stop reading other peoples scripts and write his own speeches, preferably his resignation!

Absurd is the word for his reaction to the debt. "Romanov continually brushed off questions and asked how he planned to wipe out the club's increasing debt the clearly frustrated chairman retorted: "by selling players for £9 million." Who is the next I ask? Neilson? Maybe Nade will run to leave for a big fee, if he actually can 'run?' They either have no answer to the debt or do not care. Maybe it is time the Scottish Premier League or the Scottish Football Association moved in?

We have it clearly before us. Vlad either has no idea what to do or has not concern. Sure without him the club would have come close to extinction, sure we had a great start under Burley, but what is much more sure is the fact that we have absolutely no idea what will happen now.

I despair now. I am sorry to say this but the end is nigh.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Flowers at Scene of Tragedy

The other day a couple decided to argue while standing on the edge of a railway platform. Now to me a couple arguing in public is bad enough but to do so while standing at the edge of a station platform is plain daft! This stupidity became a tragedy as an express passed through the station at eighty miles an hour while they continued with their disagreement. It appears he attempted to pull her back from the edge but the both were drawn under the passing train and killed instantly. What they were arguing about is not yet known and may of course never be known. What is known is that they are very dead and a train driver, and possibly one or two passengers, are now in shock.

So the station is closed for a day while the police go through the routine of checking the situation, questioning witnesses and informing relatives of their loss. The press gather around harassing the police, asking dumb questions of people, often far from the scene and photographing the dead (from a distance thoughtfully!). A flurry of excitement arises once again (this is not the first dead at a railway around here) and soon it is all forgotten and life goes on.

But why I ask, do people feel the need to leave flowers at the scene? I always viewed this as one of those Anglican/Catholic happenings that suited the English mentality and until recently this never happened in Scotland. I does however appear to have begun occurring their now. It is of course understandable to me if the victims are known to folk. There are flowers left once a year just around the corner from me to commemorate a daughter killed in a high speed accident while fleeing the police some years ago. I knew the mother, she mourns greatly for her daughter even ten years on, but why leave flowers or trinkets to mourn someone you never knew, and possibly often ignored in daily life when alive? I find this very creepy and wonder what it says about us? We all feel touched, usually, by a tragedy, but why this response? A quick look at any busy street show us how people are very willing to avoid others, and any railway station early in the morning is full of commuters more than happy to ignore all and sundry. Why then the rush to the florists for those we do not know. There is nothing we can do except give suitable space to the relatives and the proper authorities. If we ignore them while alive it is a bit disturbing that we are concerned when they are dead!

The need to leave something reached its height when Diana died and the absurd pile of rotting flowers at the gates of Kensington Palace revealed the emptiness at the heart of the Godless nation, sheep without a shepherd. Reflecting on a nations misuse of a woman almost as much as the press misused her and she them! This cannot be said when those unknown to us die horribly. Could it be just human sympathy and concern for others leaking out when reality breaks into our little world? Whatever, for those not personally touched by misfortune to be involved, or wishing to be seen to be involved, appears very creepy to me.

Fair Scunnered Ken?

I have been fair scunnered quiet a lot in recent days. Over eighteen months on the dole, having nothing to offer and few jobs available often leaves me this way. All I need is a Daily Mail reader to cry, 'Get these people to work and out of the pubs where they spend their days drinking my money,' and I can appreciate the motivation of the local axe murderer, (and there is a few of those around here I can tell you!). However after sending out letters and CV's, talking to anyone who might have an opening, e-mailing a wide variety of uninterested employers, and applying for totally unsuitable work just because it's available can be depressing. It is all the more depressing when you really believe you have a good chance of work and then get a letter, that is if you get a letter, turning you down.

“Dear Sir,

We regret to inform you that someone younger/fitter/more female/who

can actually do the job/and get on with us lot, has been given the work.

Please accept our regrets, we are doing OK, so sod off and die!

Thank you.

The failure becomes more noticeable when watching other folks make a right hash of their work while knowing you could do it yourself better than they. 'They' however have the face that fits, the right age, know the boss or wear tighter jeans than your £3 offering from Tesco! But it was ever thus! Life is not fair, and I have a bucket full of torn Lotto tickets to prove it! Just why do inane folk who will greedily consume (and waste) several million pounds on themselves and their chav progeny win the Lottery? Why does it not go to those who will use the cash for the benefit of mankind? Well, for some of them anyway.... But in truth this is how it has always been. Life is not fair, and you just have to get on with it!

(Short break while I burst into tears – again)

Now I should not be in this position. I know God loves me, and recently reminded me it was he was went looking for me, not me for him. I didn't care a whit about him but he came looking for me! Fantastic! But while this is good it does not mean life is smooth! After all, if Jesus went for a job and another, more needy, also applied, would he not step aside and let them have the work? For him the other would be more important than himself, and God would supply his needs anyway – even if they did not meet his wants! Our wants and desires do not fit in with our ability to obtain them or his to provide! When unemployed and in a state of poverty it is really amazing what we can live without. Now I am not starving, the days of the 'soup kitchen' are thankfully gone in the UK, but in many parts of the world there are riots caused by food shortages. Should I complain? Travel is limited, I have not been in Edinburgh since February last year, and will not be there soon unless someone falls ill. I know what you are saying, 'They have not missed you!' And you would be right! But it means I cannot buy for others what I wish to buy, and this is a blow at times.

Something will turn up. I suppose I must look for, and accept, anything that is offered, even if I do not like it. I am not unwilling to take the lowest place, in fact that may be a step upwards! And of course I am actually looking and not finding much available. So, with a clear conscience I look for work and enjoy the free time, and continue to lose weight slowly. I can enjoy the blogs, read my books, (Livy's 'History of Rome' at the moment) and exercise as I have just endured this morning. Those dumbbells are difficult to lift eh? The schedule says they must be increased to a full kilo altogether tomorrow and I am not looking forward to that! Phew!

Now, is it time for a coffee break yet......?

Monday, 14 April 2008

The Giant Axe Head

According to the BBC this Giant Axe Head "...a 1.5 tonne sculpture which overlooks Loch Dee - is one of seven stone sculptures installed near cycling and walking paths in the south of Scotland to encourage forest visitors."

What is it about 'artists' that they think that spoiling the fabulous view with examples of their 'art' benefits anybody? Who, in their right mind, would be encouraged to cycle or walk along these paths just because some self absorbed eedjit plants one of their misshapen heads there?

How often do we see the wonders of nature around us spoiled but such misjudgements? There is a great view here, not the best in Scotland, but well worth the trip, and dumped by some well paid 'fly tipper' is this lump or stone that would have looked far better back home in its hillside. I'm sorry, but too often we see a variety of contorted materials blemishing the world in the name of 'art.' Who benefits? The artist gets a name, and far too much cash. The council or authority folk involved can keep in with the 'chattering classes' but rarely, if ever, consider the public's opinion on 'public art.' Not long ago Radio 4 had a short programme debating 'Public Art' and it was clear councils and other responsible took no notice or concern for the public's opinion. They may well pay the money, and how much money is wasted this way, but their opinion is ignored by the 'experts.' Edinburgh Council once placed a 'Kinetic Sculpture' at the top of Leith Walk. This comprised about thirty feet of scaffolding with coloured tubular lighting attached. The lights switched on and off in an irregular pattern. Around 1972 this cost £12,000! Who benefited apart from the con artist who got the money? Art can be a fantastic benefit to any area, urban or not. 'Art,' has however, to be 'art,' and not just an opportunity for a few to burden the rest of us with their 'taste!'

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Typical Idiot!

Of course it had to happen! There I was, washing down the skirting board that was last cleaned when Maggie Thatcher was still kicking people out of work, and lo! There was the answer! I had moved the cupboard on which stands the non working printer, and noticed the cable had worked loose.

Now, apart from struggling (still) to fix the 'No Audio Device' problem, I also had to work out why the PC would not accept the 'All in One' Printer existed. This meant a trawl, long and arduous for a non geek, through the HP website. I spent a short eternity downloading drivers that I thought were going to update the thing, no they didn't. On top of which I wandered through the web looking for help. Non came.

Several days later I discover it was the cable coming loose when I had to shift everything to get the PC back in place. This is going in my new book, 'How to be an Idiot.' maybe however I would be better calling it, 'The Diary of an Idiot,' and just putting down the day by day acts of folly that cling so close? You ask why I gave up working on hospital wards do you......?

Friday, 11 April 2008

The Jeremy Kyle Show

Having a tea break between washing down the doors, that required their five yearly cleaning, I browsed the TV channels and came across the 'Jeremy Kyle Show,' and a similar offering on one of the 'Freeview' channels. Now once again I ask, 'What is the point of this?' Here folk were coming on TV to discuss topics of great importance to the nation such as,'You told me to leave and find a man who could make you pregnant,' and 'It's your fault I slept with your sister!' Now maybe it's just me, and possibly over the years I have come to believe that folks problems, if real and not actors, ought to be dealt with quietly. Here we find all sorts of people, well, actually usually the same sort of person if truth be told, appearing on telly to loudly proclaim their stupidity and woefulness!

OK, I accept that many of them are 'intellectually challenged' and come from backgrounds where consideration for themselves and others is not one of the basic precepts taught, but here they are bringing their problems and family disputes onto our screens. While some may be performing for the camera others appear to be very involved. What do they expect to get out of this? Money for appearing? Certainly that brings many on. Fame? Being able to walk around your local 'Lidl' knowing folk are talking about you as a TV star may appeal to some. Is there a genuine desperate appeal for help here from these poor souls? Maybe I should write a book, 'Common Sense for Daftes!'

Indeed there is the possibility that, for some, this is the only way they can work out their difficulties. No-one local can offer common sense or show them a better way to live. Such folk have no 'role models' to copy and learn from, that is if they wish to learn of course. The 'lowest common denominator' television offerings encourage them to think such TV appearances are normal, and there are so many such programmes from home and abroad available. While women's magazines offer countless advice to trauma struck lassies there is little face to face help available anywhere in this nation. Much advice, from what I've read, appears dubious to me and appears not to be directed at the numpties who come on to such shows. Just what d you do if your wife turns out to be sleeping with you dad? How do you deal with a situation in which your son has three children and claims he is gay so will you take his wife? Shooting, I am sorry to say, is not an answer. Local Council By-Laws forbid this. If you have such a difficulty and are not the sharpest tool in the box where do you turn for help? The telly! There you will find your kind of people, with problems you have known all your life, and this will be your help in time of trouble. Jesus wept indeed!

It makes me annoyed that these people can be paraded like a freak show so that others can laugh at them day after day. I can get so angry when I see folk used in this way, and the people who run these shows know exactly what they are doing and are paid very well indeed for mocking the hapless victims. If there was a determined effort to help people sort out their lives it may be acceptable. Quite how building up folks emotions and having a crackhead audience taking sides is going to help I know not! This is naturally, in keeping with the attitudes of the day. 'Bread and Circuses' and the people will be happy. But there is an audience out there more than capable of coping with quality programmes. They should not have to struggle to find them nor discover such quality lurking late at night on obscure channels. A revision of broadcasting is sorely needed in the UK. But I doubt it will ever happen. As long as folk are used and abused, but not wise enough to care or do anything about it, such trash TV will continue.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Another Day, Another Load of Spam

So I get up this morning and search for emails. I had twelve Spam and one regular email. Four of the spam were for 'male enhancements!' Now if there is something I do not need.....
Later in the day the spam keeps coming. Casino's and enhancements appear to be what sells to others but not round here! There was so many today the 'Mailwasher' marked two I wanted as 'Spam.' Just doing this out of habit I suppose! Someone somewhere is buying this stuff and encouraging the crooks behind it to keep sending these out. Considering the number and the effect it has on the Internet as a whole I wonder why governments do not do more about it? Could it be it might upset one or two 'touchy' countries? Maybe they would lose money, or just not be able to deal with the culprits.

However I continued my 'get fit' regime by painting the hallway, such as it is. Yesterday I had to clean it down and paint all the nooks and crannies, and how many were there? I thought it would take an hour or so, and how wrong was I? So knackered was I watching the Liverpool v Arsenal game saw me wanting sleep long before the end! Today I touched the hall up and finished the kitchenette. If you want exercise, do not bother with the gym, decorate or start the 'Spring Clean,' and all muscles you have ever heard off will begin to tell you of their existence!

To much sitting around has meant what fitness I had, and not a lot at that, has slipped away. To think I used to be always on the go, always the one helping folk move house, always involved in lifting and humping. Not now! I am becoming a useless lump, and if I do not get something soon I will begin to wonder. Sixty five jobs in this town today, and none suitable. I will try for at least one of these but before I do I know the answer. Something will turn up, but I would like an idea soon, like yesterday!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Jake! Where are You?

So the Olympic Torch has moved on to France and Jake appears to have gone with it! The audacity of the Chinese to oppose anyone who speaks against them instead of admitting their wrongs! Internet warriors who are just as effective as the Jade Warriors found on display in museums.

Jake, read what was written for you and think about it. Life is too short to be under the thumb of a political tyranny.

The Olympic Torch has found the going tough in France and the Chinese refused to allow the gathering to proceed as long as pro Tibet banners were seen high above on the Eiffel Tower! Where the Torch is not is unsure, and I wonder if it will be seen anywhere else, except in China and possibly Tibet. What fun that will be for the Chinese authorities. More opportunities to kill and imprison Tibetan monks who oppose the Chinese oppression!

The Olympic Torch running through the streets of competing countries has become the usual forerunner of the Games. This was not the way of the ancient Greeks but an invention by those who choreographed the Games in 1936. Yes indeed Adolf Hitler , probably under Speers influence, introduced the Torch for the Berlin Games. I wonder what those who wish to separate politics from Sport would have said then, or in deed what would their comments have been in 1945? Hitler and Communist China, what is the difference? Totalitarian, inadequate, dangerous and the rest of the world does not stand up to them until too late.

C'mon Jake, excuse Chinese brutality once again!

Monday, 7 April 2008

Olympic Torch in London

This image from the Guardian is typical of what fills the papers this morning. The Police doing what they enjoy most, charging through the streets 'protecting' a target from attack. The Olympic Torch was taken on a 31 mile run through London streets as part of the lead up to the Games in China. Naturally those who are concerned about Chinese brutality in Tibet were going to be there protesting, as indeed were many Chinese students. The students probably under orders, the protesters from choice!

Whether the police action was heavy handed, as it so often is in such circumstances, or not you can decide, but was it right for the Torch to be taken this far when so many organised protesters were waiting? Was it right to give the Chinese such support? I don't think so. The Communist government, Communist in name only, are abusing Muslims in the north of China, Christians throughout China and anyone who dares to oppose the regime. Just because they are a large powerful nation does not give Gordon Brown the right to bow to their pressure and give them implicit support! When it was clear the Torch display would become a farce it should have been halted and a back up plan brought in. The Chinese consideration ought to have been pushed aside for the sake of the UK's image. This morning the image is one of farce!

One name stands out for me in this whole escapade. Dame Kelly Holmes. This women was given support by the while nation as she achieved Olympic gold, yet here she was yesterday, a smug grin on her face, carrying the torch through the streets. The grin was seen when answering questions about the tortured, imprisoned and indeed killed, Tibetans. 'I believe sport and politics should not be mixed she lied.' While what she really meant was, 'I don't care about the dead and imprisoned as long as I can run the race.' The disgraceful attitude of many athletes who attempt to separate sport from politics show they put their selfishness above the suffering of others. But business with China goes ahead I hear you say, indeed, so let's temporarily halt this, and make China sit up! But that would be too much for our economy would it not?

The UK is such a civilised country, always willing to stand up for the downtrodden and help those in need. As long as it does not cost us too much money or stops us enjoying our little pleasures. What will we sacrifice for the sake of others?

Sunday, 6 April 2008


SNOW! It's disgusting! I knew it was a clod north wind blowing. I knew the freezing blast coming through the gaps in the windows contained some rain. But I remained surprised when I awoke this morning to see the field covered in this white stuff and more daintily falling!

It's horrible! The government should do something about this! Snow should remain up north and far from me! How could they let this happen - and in April at that! The traffic is stuttering along on the motorways, except when it is slithering off them. Runways are closed at Heathrow - more bags to be lost then? The entire world is covered in clouds bearing more of this horrid stuff. The suits at the gas board are jumping up and down at the prospect of everyone switching on their heating. Council employees are grumbling at having to start up the gritting lorries and earn their triple overtime - poor dears!

I want to move to the Mediterranean! I want a place in Cyprus, or Malta or Crete! I was born to be warm! Now I have to dig out my granddads 'long johns' and sit here wrapped around a hot water bottle just to make it through the day.

I want to hear the blue tits and green finches at the nut holders. I want blue sky and sunshine. I want to see daffodils and bluebells breaking through and folks tending the gardens once again. I don't want to see whitened fields and gray clouds. I don't want cold wind from the north pole travelling through Norway and Iceland and ending up my trouser leg. I don't want to see kiddies laughing and joking as they play in the snow - throwing snowballs (Full of stones!) at innocent passers by.

I WANT SUNSHINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Police Box

This Police Box pictured here stands somewhere in Edinburgh. I came across it on a site full of Glasgow Police Box's. A great site!
These blue boxes used to be found everywhere and were first erected in 1928, soon spreading throughout the nation. They were much used by the bobby on the beat to keep in touch with his station, report any action, long before personal wireless and sat navs, beat up recalcitrant prisoners and have a fly smoke. Policemen were six feet two at least until Thatcher decided to lower the height restriction, thus enabling an increase in police numbers. My dad was refused entry after the war because he was nearly an inch too short! This was a pity as he would have been an ideal 'Dixon of Dock Green,' helping old ladies across the road and smacking neds around the head in those happier pre-PC days!
The box contained little bar a chair and a desk, a duster or two and a feeble electric fire. The light on the top would flash to inform the bobby that he was to contact the station. This he did via the phone linked direct to his home base.

The phone was also used by the public. Until the sixties (remember them?) the majority did not have phones or cars, and all the other trappings of a wealthy society. Trappings which today include obesity, tabloid celebrities and puerile television! The public could call for 'Fire, Police or Ambulance via the Police Box if there was no public phone box nearby. However while this must have been abused by passing drunks on occasion it was often misused by little boys from the school nearby. My school was one such! Personally I never got involved with such activities but at least one lad was renown for his larks. On more than one occasion we learned the police had received a call the 'The skools on fire!' from a lying fun filled brat. Our information came from the class door opening and the boys name being called out in stern tones. 'You, Headmasters office now!' I saw him lurking in 'The Goblet' one evening when I was about 19 although we didn't speak. Next I heard of him was his death being announced in the columns of the 'Evening News.' My mother, like women in that city, keeping note of everyone we knew via the 'Births, Marriage and Deaths' notices of said paper. No reason given for the death, so an early drug death is what comes to mind. He must have been 21.

Using the Police Box as 'The Tardis' in 'Dr Who' may well have been a brainwave in the early sixties, but how many brats understand the significance today? The 'Time and Relative Dimension In Space' machine is certainly a useful way to improve upon the Police Box of yesterday. None are used by our 'Boys in Blue' today as the radio controlled, fast car approach is a wonderful help in reducing the crime that we see all around us, if they turn up that is. Other disused police boxes have been removed and sold to those who like such things in their (large) gardens for use a sheds, many have become coffee stalls, one called 'Coppuchino,' and it must be said, considerably cheaper than Starbucks I would assume. I bet the service is cheerier!