Monday, 31 May 2010

Bank Holiday

Today was a 'Bank Holiday' in the UK. It was possible to know this because a) the banks were closed, b) most shops were closed and c) the sun disappeared! Although the weather is joked about in every part of the nation one joke is almost always right, if it is a holiday the clouds will arrive! The British Isles, as opposed to Britain, is situated to the east of the Atlantic Ocean. This means that anything affecting the sea affects the land. Any disturbance, a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, or the wind changing direction over the sea, creates a change in the weather patters here, almost always bringing rain clouds! Luckily the weather often changes direction and winds blow from the east. This you will be pleased to hear does not bring horrid rain, however as it begins in the Arctic Circle and passes over Russia, Poland and several refrigerator factories it brings only    freezing cold winds and snow drifts. If it arrives from the north it brings the same cold result, with the occasional Icelandic volcano thrown in to upset the airline people. I have noted wind coming from the south on occasions,the wind from the Sahara that rushes across Spain occasionally brings warmth to this land, although it leaves the sand in the Spaniards homes thankfully.  

The weather does bring benefits of course. One English king, his name escapes me but they are all the same butchering, imperialist type, chased a Scottish army one summer in another failed attempt to dominate there. The Scots withdrew and withdrew into the hills and the king doggedly followed after them. Unfortunately for him it was raining heavily at the time and his army and their stores suffered badly. Living off the land was impossible and after three weeks, yes three weeks, of the constant rain his troops began to rebel and he went home disappointed!  

The doom mongers were telling us recently that the UK would gain a Mediterranean climate under 'global warming' which some tell us will heat the planet and it's all our fault (always man's fault, never woman's you will note), others tell us that 'global warming' does not exist and it's all man's fault. I am rather annoyed that we will not be sitting under our own fig tree and drinking home made wine. Tea and toast do not have the same elegance I reckon.


Sunday, 30 May 2010

Sunday Evening

This afternoon I had the delight of watching Engerland playing their last friendly match against Japan. It was a delight to me! Japan are not the mediocre side of the past, however they are still not world beaters as yet. England had most of the play and yet did not dominate their hard working opponents, indeed they went behind to a nicely worked goal early on. Cue cheering from me! The second half saw a better England side, even the commentators had begun to realise their boys were not doing very well in the first half! Yes it was that bad! A silly penalty from naive Jap defending ought to have given the equaliser to Frank Lampard. I could see from here where the ball was going (goalkeepers instinct never die) but I did not expect the goalie to save it and he did! Laugh, what me? Oh yes! Sadly as the home side desperately attempted to sort themselves out the unfortunate defenders twice put the ball into their own net! This game revealed to almost everyone the nature of England's footballing record. Not organised or capable, yet get lucky penalties and even luckier goals. This makes them think they are world beaters! In a few days they will be playing for real. I look forward to how they deal with the top sides opposing them, oh hold on they have the easy group once again! Indeed they have, USA, Algeria & Slovenia! Now I must say the USA now have a quite powerful side and the contest will be between these two, and I am looking out my USA flag for that game! Algeria are poor and Slovenia I am not sure about at all just now. Still, in a couple of weeks we the hype reaches its zenith and then comes the fall! Wooppee!

A nice picture for a Sunday evening. Unfortunately I cannot remember where I got this nor who the artist is. However I like pictures of this type and will find out the answers soon enough. Good innit?

In today's Telegraph we find Ken Clark, the only Tory I have any time for, defending David Laws after the ex- Treasury minister stepped down. This is loyalty and understandable but what does this situation tell us about government today?
Laws, who made his money in the city and became a millionaire by the time he was 22 I heard, had been claiming expenses for a flat used by his boyfriend. Claiming they were not 'in a relationship' so I suppose they were just friends who played with one another?  What irks me is not their private life, which always ought to remain private, but that a multi millionaire, demanding vast cuts in government departments which may lead to thousands of job cuts, is using tax payers money (@ 'Daily Mail') to the tune of £40,000 to pay for his weekends away! Resigning this morning he continues to imply he has 'done nothing wrong' and cannot see how this financial misuse is unacceptable? Do these people not live in the real world? I suppose he never has, his background and work life are not similar to one cleaning office floors or sitting on a checkout getting bored.
Ken Clark, who ought to be the leader of the Conservative Party in my view, is right in saying this man may well reappear in a year or so, and I suspect this will be right, however parliament needs to realise just how out of touch many of them are!

Saturday, 29 May 2010


You can tell it's summertime by the rain!

This picture was published in the 'Daily Mail' this morning. In between the many (far too many) articles demanding benefit claimants are hanged, drawn and quartered, and that all MP's are grasping thieves, they occasionally offer something interesting or, as in this case, 'sweet!'  Here we find eleven young Long Tailed Tits sitting on a branch being fed by mum. For some reason she looks a bit worn, I wonder why? I did read somewhere that Blue Tits catch around 18,000 caterpillar beasties for their young. I wonder how hard this mum and dad have been working in recent days? The harsh winter has badly affected small birds this year, so many less around here in comparison to last summer, but at least these residing in the RSPB reserve in Yorkshire will be supported in their new life.

You may remember the story of 'Half Hangit Maggie' from a while back. The lass who was hanged and considered dead, yet revived on the way to her burial. An e-book, "The Hanging of Margaret Dickson" by Alison. J Butler, is now available on, price 99 cents. .

Friday, 28 May 2010

Friday Evening Musings

I really like the wee blue flowers that pepper the area just now and no matter how hard I try I just cannot get a decent picture of them. The fact that most of them are two feet off the ground at most does not help! This feeble effort, hindered and not helped by the flash being on when I thought it was off, is the best of today's effort! Shameful innit?  I understand yellow flowers abound at this time of year to attract insects, why do so many blue ones appear also? I do like them and Susan has some in her garden, and a few better pictures than my talent camera can obtain.   

I had some dumb spammer, or his PC, send a dozen unreadable spam messages onto my comments today. Most went to items going back yonks. What is the point in sending out spam that nobody can read? I suspect it originated in China or somewhere in the far east as my PC is not set up to translate their doodles but I am not sure. It just wastes my time deleting the stuff and their millisecond sending it out. If you must spam, spam in English, then at least most folk will know what kind of porn you are offering.

What me? Cynical? Never!
Craig Levein hopes England will win the World Cup? He claims this will improve football in England, and Scots players earning large sums of cash there. Or is he just following the Rangers backed SFA line, which is 'support our team in spite of a thousand years of English oppression as it keeps the Ulster folks happy?' If this turns out to be the case then Craig can go now. He has already brought back self obsessed Rangers players, on his 'own decision' he claims. he is willing to play anyone with a tin of shortbread willing to be called 'Scots' even though this is not necessary in my view, nor is it right! The future makeup of 'Scotland' is being altered out of our control by suits and people on the make!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Dunkirk 70 Years On.

There are so many anniversaries commemorating events from the second world war these days. Each one with less veterans of the event with each passing year. Usually they commemorate victory, Dunkirk celebrates defeat! Hitler's army had smashed its way through France with one man noted that he drove over the Somme  battlefield in one day while his forefathers had spent four years there. (The 'Battle of the Somme' in 1916 lasted from July 1st until late November.) British and French forces, armed with inferior weaponry, were forced into withdrawal. Eventually they gathered on the beach at Dunkirk and disaster loomed. 

Meanwhile Goering had persuaded the Fuhrer that his Luftwaffe would destroy the trapped armies on the beach. Hitler ordered his Panzers to stop and gave the tired Brits an opportunity. With the nation only too aware of the Nazi danger a call went out for boats to help, they came in their the hundreds! Crossing the Channel they picked up men from the beach and took them to the destroyers and larger ships waiting to return them to Blighty. The cost was tremendous! Many ships were destroyed by strafing and bombing, a great many volunteer sailors suffered alongside the men they were attempting to rescue. 

Back home it was announced like a victory! Over three hundred thousand British and French were rescued from captivity and while they themselves came home ashamed at their retreat they were greeted as hero's who had escaped the enemy. In his postscript programme which was broadcast right after the news on the BBC that evening J.B. Priestley spoke of the little boats in such terms that the 'myth' of the action sunk deep into the British conscientiousness. Here was a nation now fully aware of the danger and power of the Nazi force and yet they had rescued their men from under the nose of the enemy and now were becoming bound together in their desire to stand up and oppose the foe. This was the nation that had defeated a German army twenty years ago and they were determined to do the same again. A retreat it certainly was, fear of the enemy  invading filled the land certainly, but the desire to stand and fight grew in the British people. All because of a few small boats that crossed the Channel.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The Opening of Parliament and the Queens Speech

Watching this example of 'Pomp & Circumstance' at its best I was becoming very depressed by the time 'Black Rod' entered the House of Commons. The usual, and somewhat tiring, quip from Dennis Skinner (aka 'The Beast of Bolsover') and the laughter from a small group of left leaning 12 year olds around him, the saddening sight of those who lead the United Kingdom parliament, and the despair that whoever the nation votes for we get whoever eventually manages to squeeze over the finish line and take power. Two losers on the government side, smug in their position of power, and one unbalanced woman, rejoicing in her moment of glory as leader of the opposition, today represented power in the United Kingdom. Three sad power hungry losers! 
I am just depressed by this. 

Many rejoice in the compromise coalition government and expect great things, I cannot see how? Those who believe the voting system will change from 'First past the post' to Proportional representation,' will I fear be sadly disappointed. 'Dave' will dump his boyfriend 'Nick' at the first opportunity that comes along. The backbenchers on the Conservative side will push for this at all times, and the Lib-Dem men will demand changes that rile the suits on the right. Sitting alongside his new 'partner' the Prime Minister will watch carefully his enemies on all sides, (and they will be, as always, on all sides of the house), but he will observe especially the weakness of party opposite him as they decide which smug grin will lead them forward. It is to be expected that yet another middle class, 'Saville Row' suited graduate, with no experience of the real world, will by the Autumn become the leader of what will is termed the 'opposition.' Those who can identify differences between the three men are asked to write these on a postcard and inform the rest of the world!

So many love the pomp of such occasions, however absurd much of it appears. There is nothing inherently wrong in this and all nations have their own version of historical pomp. However the power games that lie behind this homage to tradition leave me flat. Michael Portillo has just finished a run of three programmes for Radio 4 questioning what 'Democracy' actually is, how it works and asks if it is working. Well it certainly remains the best of a bad lot of systems but has one sad failing throughout, the human nature that runs it. As the leaders of the parties gathered in the door of the house of Lords to hear the Queen's speech I thought of those many similar men who had stood there, devious, twisted by jealousy and resentment, full of ambition, occasional greed for personal gain, often with an ideology more important than an understanding of what is best for the nation, many different backgrounds but in the end only one aim, to have their own way come what may! Sour as this sounds I am aware many had desires to do what was best and many advances were made which benefited the nation, however it may just be looking at the slimy faces that stood there today that narks. Personal ambition brought about a government built on a desire to grab power, not a desire to improve the world. I feel very uncomfortable about this, and within a year or two it will all be over and a single party, the Conservative Party, will regain power, until then I just wonder........ 

Sunday, 23 May 2010

All Saints Cressing

I came across this magnificent Celtic cross at All Saints Church Cressing very early this morning. It belongs to a man called Colonel Sir John Page Wood, a 2nd Baronet at that! (Do you know or care what 'Baronet' means? Neither do I if truth be told!) I made the mistake of not noting down all the info and now I can find no trace of this man on the web. I recall he died in 1908 but that is all the info I can remember. I may have to search a bit more diligently for that. A Page Wood was the vicar of this small church and it is clear this family were people of substance and importance in the area. Not important enough for folks to write about them once they had departed it appears!

All Saints is an Anglo Catholic Church situated at the end of the small village of Cressing. However it is fair to say that what is described as 'Cressing' also includes several small hamlets round about. For many years the main occupation must have been agricultural I suspect. The village has seen occupation since the Iron Age and an archaeological 'dig' uncovered many finds from before Roman days to the East of the church building. Also a small number of houses were burnt down, possibly around the time of Boudica's revolt. While the church itself was begun just before 1200 evidence has discovered previous church building posts going back to the 9th century. Burial finds indicate this may well have been an area used for pagan worship for years before this.

Today the church, and village, appear quiet, the headstones around the building surrounded by Spring growth allowed to prosper to aid the cultivation of the insect wildlife which suffers deprivation these days. It is interesting to contemplate the number of people who dwelt in this village during the past two and a half thousand years. Tilling the fields at whatever period of time would have caused each to grumble at the weather and their ceaseless toil. Most would have been subject to the ruling Lord of the time, we forget just how 'free' we are today, something our predecessors would never have understood. Travellers from distant parts, even from over the far away sea, would have brought trade even here. Roman life was settled enough for large villas to be built in the district, many churches contain Roman brick, and religious life would alter slowly, in spite of whatever the rulers of the time insisted upon. Life would be dictated by the seasons, opportunities limited for much of the time, and in time of war the men would be expected to leave everything and join up. Nineteen names are found on the Great War memorial, with only one added from WWII. Like all such hamlets the house prices would shock those original inhabitants if the could come back today. A smart residence can be obtained from between £279,000 and just under half a million!   

Just a pity that the light fingered of today leads to such places being locked at all times. The history to be found inside an aged church is always worth considering. The styles of worship, the smell of the people who considered washing irrelevant, flowers left on the floor to dull the odour, reformation leading to changes, priests who could not read in times past, and those who don't know their God today, nominal churchgoers, those worshipping to keep their jobs, the rich who attend to lord it over their people, hundreds possibly thousands of souls who have walked along the path and ventured inside. History is always interesting.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


These Ivy leaves are more interesting than what is showing on my TV. With the digital set refusing to switch on I am now missing many of the channels U have become used to. At the moment, and until fortune favours me once again, I am limited to five channels on terrestrial TV. I did not realise just how much I enjoyed 24 news channels! All day long a cocktail of house improvement programmes, antique type shows and bloody chefs fill the screen. These are interspersed by aged black and white, and occasionally, colour films or chat shows full of females and their trauma. As Groucho Marx said, "When the TV comes on I reach for a book!"

Monday, 17 May 2010

Ah Sunshine! Consonum Ensemble and US Geography

Ah Sunshine! Is not an expression used by a member of her majesties constabulary as I approach, bag full of copper wire under my arm, him in the middle of the night, it is in fact my thoughts as I looked at the picture above. Indeed sunshine has arrived this week, hidden behind periods of what I take to be volcanic ash, if the reports in the media are to be believed that is. What a difference sunshine makes to the world! OK the chill wind bringing the volcanic ash in our direction is of course leaving the Arctic Circle, crossing Iceland and running in through the cracks in the window ledge, but at least there is sufficient brightness to watch the clouds flying by high overhead.

Encouraged by the bright sky I tossed aside the ageing army blankets and leapt slowly out of bed. Slamming the radio alarm clock against the wall out of habit I breakfasted on stale bread and staler coffee and headed up the road. Taking the old Roman road west I flew down the hill like John Surtees of old and struggled up the other side like John Surtees today would on my bike. That was a slow couple of miles, and against the breeze powerful wind at that. Turning into the old railway I stopped to enjoy the early morning. The sun shone, the ponies in the field flicked their tails at flies, birds flitted from branch to branch, as did the squirrels and the wee beasties flitted over the stagnant pond, now bare of the ducks who obviously couldn't stand it any more. The sound from the bypass to my right informed the dog walkers and myself of those racing to their employment, dropping the kids of at the better schools or ending their long weary night trip from far off lands such as Birmingham and Cardiff. Guilt once again crossed my mind and I find this hard to keep away. (When I returned home another employer showed no such guilt by rejecting my advances to him, just like all the rest.) So nothing left to do but enjoy it while I can so passing the smiling dogs, and unsmiling owners, I made my way down the slope. This is of course the good bit! Having struggled up the roadway to get here I required a downward slope or a defibrillator! I used to cycle further than this you know! Anyway past the horses and the natural world around I continued homewards in contemplative mood. Happy with my efforts at attempting fitness I began the climb up the minor road near home when I was overtaken by a cyclist going up the slope at high speed. "Good Morning," she spat spitefully as she saw me struggling for it was indeed a she on the bike! "Bitch!" I thought, "Just you wait until you want a jar opened!"  As I began the last leg I noticed her heading towards the industrial estate, hopefully a forty ton lorry will mistake her for a rat and run her over! (in love obviously) 

I stole this from the excellent Ben Lomand Free Press 
a website you need to visit!

Look carefully at this picture from a US Sports broadcast!

For those of you in the Surbiton area I suggest you need to visit this 
excellent programme from the Consonum Ensemble
An excellent musical treat in store here.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Shop Fronts

I came across this shop doorway in Harwich when a beautiful woman drove me there hoping to push me into the harbour. This very small town, now somewhat run down, was abounding in public houses, probably because of the historical harbour, and certainly because the Royal Navy based the submarines there during the Greta War. However this shop doorway caught our attention and no wonder. It was closed, and appeared to have been that way for a while, and whatever product Mr Smith retailed to his clientèle was not obvious to our eyes. 


However the wonderful tiled picture portrays a nattily dressed male collecting fruit of some sort, possibly apples, and passing them down to his lady, also overdressed for working in the fields. There are no large superstores in the town as far as I could see but there must be one a short drive away. Such stores were the death nell for small shops and while many complain about the closure of the High Street few are willing to pay the higher prices that are charged there. 

Modern shops are not as well presented as this one, and this is a pity. Plastic and large glass panes, often with lurid lighting and lettering, now deface many otherwise attractive buildings. Many ancient tenements are ignored by the passer by however a few minutes observance will reveal the talent that went into their construction. Scotland has of course many such buildings. Scots egalitarianism was aided by the need of Edinburgh's citizens to live in close proximity on the High Street leading up to the castle. It also bred many famous diseases and this in turn led to many famous doctors learning their trade and discovering their cures simply by existing in such squalor. Life is far better today and the buildings now feature all the most modern appliances, however, as Stephen Sweeney's photo of this Glasgow example reveals, they could sometimes do with a bit of cleaning!


Note the pinkish sandstone much used in Glasgow, the windows, and the decoration. The quality of the work is outstanding. Compare this with the Pink shop doorway further up and wonder! 

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Funny Old World

"It's a funny old world," the man said, though actually he didn't, someone having put words into his mouth. Now imagine trying to do that to a woman? However the thought was right enough as this world can be very funny at times. Many tales are heard from the United States for instance of people suing successfully for injuries received by their action. Take the man who attempted suicide by jumping in front of a train. He failed to die, suffered horrendous injuries, sued the rail company and won millions! Or the woman who sued a burger joint because she slipped on coffee spilt on the floor. Coffee spilt by her badly behaved and uncontrolled child! It happens here also, a while back a burglar fell through a glass roof of the house he was attempting to enter illegally and successfully sued the householder for his many injuries. Legally then it is indeed a 'funny old world.' 

Meaningless thoughts like this often cross my mind as I wander around town looking for something to complain about. I often creep about the supermarket car park as there is always a vehicle to grumble at, badly parked, the driver maybe throwing rubbish out of the window, or just being the wrong colour. I hate that!  If it's just grumbling I wish to fill my time with then wandering into the supermarket itself does this easily enough. Here for instance is a trick all the shops use, an exclamation mark means 'LOOK HERE! THIS IS A BARGAIN' but in fact the price has actually increased and dafties like me come along and buy twice as many as we require. Shops own beans are another good example of the funny world of ours. These were selling happily at 9p until the recession hit. Up jumped the price to 29p and the supermarkets encouraged us to buy the 'Shops own' labels. This we all promptly began to do, convinced we were getting a bargain and shovelling large handfuls of cash into the directors coffers! No wonder their profits are greater than many countries Gross National Product!  Worse than banker these folk may be however they are not worse than the women who shop therein. If there is a child screaming somewhere it will be accompanied by a deaf mother. If there is a hold up at the checkout a woman will be slowly, ever so slowly, searching for her cash, which she will pay one coin at a time. If there is a clear aisle to be found one woman plus one trolley will shortly be filling it and making the whole place grind to a halt. Men of course do not act in this manner. Men always know what they want, obtain this quickly and leave in an orderly manner, unless of course they have retired and have all day to swan about in shops. Such men take all day, chatting to everyone, forgetting what they came in for, and indulging in hour long conversations with the bored lass at the checkout. Some shops have little cards advertising local businesses near the exits. It is quite fun to take one of the cards from a local funeral director and slip it into the pockets of these men, as a hint like. Consider this, they say there are more deaths caused by arguments in kitchens, because that is where the sharp stuff happens to be, but I suspect supermarkets may lead to more deaths than people expect. You will notice there are no sharp or heavy blunt items placed near the checkouts.

This years election has of course produced some funny goings on. The absurd TV debates brought the almost totally ignored Liberal-Democrat leader Nick Clegg to the fore. Sky News had demanded the 'Leaders Debate' because they realised David Cameron's personality would outshine the dour Scot Gordon Brown. This did not happen as Clegg outshone both and suddenly the Conservative victory disappeared from sight. That made me laugh anyway! Now that no single party obtained the right to govern we have a shambles. Political skulduggery, back scratching, threats and yet behind it all are three losers who are attempting to form a government! If that is not something funny I do not know what is! They should all be out on their ear. The 24 hour TV coverage has sapped my telly so much the thing no longer works, and I cannot blame it. While the story is important do we really need such over the top coverage on 24 hour News Channels? Does nothing else happen in this world?
Ha! After I mused on that the man Clegg has seen fit to put the man 'Dave' into a position of responsibility. David Cameron Prime Minister! Is he our version of Bush? The two 'toffs' have stitched this up as they are so eager to grab a piece of the action. While I understand this I wander how things will turn out. A poor election, a poor result, and a poor government in front of us, this all augurs badly for the immediate future. I have never known an election like this! 

This week will see along queue of desperate people lining up to obtain their Lotto tickets. The roll over on Wednesday is worth £10 million and that would pay even my credit card bill. On Friday the 'Euro' Lottery offers some £87 million as a prize. It is no wonder people buy the tickets. I watched a queue last week and was put off somewhat buy the desperation in the eyes. The idea that this money, only £57 million last Friday, would end all their problems is of course a dream, but still we try. Most would be happy with enough to pay all the debts, look after the family, and possibly to retire, buy the house or take that 'special' holiday. How many of us could really cope with so much money? Could we actually spend that much? I could, but only a small portion on myself. The things that could be done to improve life in a million small ways, the smiles that could be produced by careful use of the cash, and still plenty for the self, that most evil of all creatures. However money does not bring peace an security. Illness cares nought for cash, not does misfortune or Lady Luck. What we worship we become and so many spend so much time with money they only wish to have more. Millions are never enough. There is something missing within us when we are so desperate to win that Lottery. I know it every time I find myself day dreaming of what I could do with all that lucre. Hmm is that the time. Time I put my mince and tatties on to cook..... 

My luck with technology continues. As I mentioned in passing my TV has died. It was working perfectly well earlier but when I switched it on nothing happened, a little bit like opening my wallet these days. Naturally I changed the fuse, and then blew one myself as it made no difference. I suspect this state of affairs may continue for a while now. I could make an effort to search the web for info regarding fixing the brute but the last time I made to mend electrical equipment my then neighbours stood there making fire engine noises and that made me change my mind. Life without a TV, some folks could not exist this way. In 1978 I gave up the telly, and missed many programmes people told me were 'classics.' I did miss the football, and the news pictures, but my news came from the BBC World Service on the radio and I read lots of books, and of course worked shifts at the time and I did not return to TV possession until 1986. That of course was World Cup year and it was time for a change. The absence of the box sharpened my appreciation of the programmes offered and is one reason I despise almost all on offer today! Mind boggling 'pap' is the majority and until this years World Cup begins there will be little on view to change my opinion. It's a funny old world that changed in the early fifties when TV became available in almost every house. This screen educated, entertained, and brought a new world into many lives at that time. It was indeed an exciting adventure. However the face glued to the box killed some conversation and did it have a detrimental effect on family life? Not really sure if that is true, if not watching the box the family would be involved in their own affairs anyway, that is how it is.

Books however do change lives and in my view for the better! Standing in a bookshop some time back it crossed my mind just how useful, or destructive books can be. While they can entertain, educate and enthral it is possible for them also to fill the mind with propaganda of a vile sort. Books which aim at the lowest common denominator, in any subject, often sell more than books with a high ideal! Books, unlike a TV company, can cover any subject and reflect the life of the day in a way impossible for a programme that really has first of all to sell itself with reference to TV ratings before anything else. A book can be thrown aside and forgotten only to be picked up, possibly years later, and still change an individual and even the world! 
We learn through books, no school can do without them no matter how many PC screens are in the classroom, skills are developed by study of books on almost any subject under the sun, the world is explained by books, sometimes correctly, and also entertained in a way TV cannot accomplish.  God reveals himself through a book he has caused to be written, commuters ignore fellow travellers by hiding their face in a book, soaking up the sun on holiday the tourist occupies their mind through books, illness which brings limited movement is often eased by reading books. How can we live without them? I confess a bias as I read constantly, although not when walking down the road. At least not since the incident at the grocers. The bathroom contains several books that I am working through, according to my mood, the bedroom has many lined up there (Yes Mike two of yours are there) and around five hundred fill spaces here and there. The one thing I fear if I won large amounts of cash would be walking into a bookshop. This could be dangerous! 
Yet in my family few read much. An occasional paper, and a few 'coffee table' books can be found, but the TV and gossip supplies most of their needs it appears, and unlike me these folk are quite bright. One nephew has always got his face in books, and books I have no time for, novels! What a waste of time these are. Write a novel and it will be regarded as something of importance when in fact it is just a story, such books may as well begin, "Once upon a time..." It is funny how folks get so hot under the collar about their novels importance and the intellectuals demand such books are regarded, not  as stories but, 'novels,' something that changes the world. 
Sorry pal, they don't. 

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Seasons End

The season ended today, at long last. This has been a trying time for the supporters of the Heart of Midlothian, although that is a phrase that is not unheard of at this time of year. Cabsa Laslo's side had their good points, and he had earned a Europe place with a third place finish the season previous, however all was not well and by January Vlad had removed his umpteenth manager and brought in the man recently sacked by Kilmarnock, Jim Jefferies! This Hearts great, both as a player and the manager who brought the cup back to Tynecastle after a long, long wait, was the ideal man to stiffen the resolve and get the best out of the flotsam and jetsam that lay about the dressing room. This he did ensuring a top six finish, a thing at one time that appeared impossible, and almost got the club a place in next years Europe competition. Ah well, that can wait as now Jim has the opportunity, and hopefully the permission to bring in cheap and experienced players who can give us a top three finish, and possibly more. 

There is no doubt the Heart of Midlothian are the only club in Scotland who can challenge the Old Firm and under Jim's frown there is a chance we can once again do this. The proof of our ability is found in the Glasgow media's desperate attempts to unsettle our players and spread scandalous stories about the club and the fans. However this is what we expect of them!

This long hard season ends and we can forget about football, apart from a cup final or two, and rest our weary emotions before we cheer on anyone who is playing England in the World Cup when it starts in June. Ah yes, the cars in this part of engerland are displaying more and more St George's flags these days as the engerland fans build themselves up into the usual state of hysteria such competitions bring. These folks really do believe that they are superior beings, they really do believe that England are one of the top nations in the football world, and they really do come crashing to earth when the truth hits them in the face like a brick through a window. Of course they will blame us, that's what they usually do!

For sadists who wish to delve deep into the heart of a true Heart of Midlothian fan and wish to share the emotional roller coaster that this God given life offers I can do no better than refer them to our friend Mike Smith (Mrs S giving permission for him to be up at this time of night of course) and there the depth of Hearts life will be revealed.
A 'must read' this one! 'Last Day Shenanigans.'

p.s. He is old, he is a granddad!

Friday, 7 May 2010


I'm exhausted, I have been attempting to understand how our newly elected government works and am finding it all too much. They were all bad, all full of promises, all expected victory  and what happens, disaster. 'Dave' thinks he has won but in truth has failed to win because he through away a huge majority and has been left short of victory, even Tories don't want him really. Clegg expected a huge boost and got nothing except a chance to be used by the other two. Brown was to lose and yet still remains in office and might continue for years yet. The English blame the Scots and Welsh for not voting Tory - in spite of what the bitch Thatcher did to them - and some cry for an English parliament, ignoring the fact they have one at Westminster. A shambles and I told you it would be!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

May 6th Voting Day

One thing that annoys me, and I am not one easily annoyed, one thing that annoys me are the people who must always be first in everything! You see them everywhere these days, standing at the front when the sales are on, pushing though the crowd to board a plane first, buying the latest technology or fashion just so this capture can be paraded before the awe struck world, all this for empty pride! It's a disgrace and this annoys me. It annoyed me even more this morning when I went to do my citizens duty and cast my vote at 7a.m and found four such people there before me! Typical! I imagine they got up early just to be there before me!They just had to be first to make me wait while they collected their voting slip, and then watch them vote for the wrong man! It's a depressing sight.

There again while doing the 'YOUGOV' survey this morning I found myself asked, "Who will you vote for" and I had no answer! I didn't want to vote for any of the names, or parties, on the slip. Six candidates from established political parties, no numpties applying this time, although an anti tax on fuel chap was considering this. When I took my slip and entered the voting booth I still had no answer! Six candidates and whatever one I voted for was going to leave me feeling guilty about selecting them! They are all bad, both the individual candidates and the parties they represent. However it is vital we all vote and this I believe ought to be compulsory so at times like these we need an extra space on the form, preferably marked 'Abstain' or 'I reject them al!' I made a selection and have been carrying the guilt all day, and when the result comes through I imagine I will feel no better. This is a poor election and the enthusiasm some have shown is a sad reflection on this nation.

What do you think this drink is made of? 
Will it really be made of 'Birds Nests?

A 'landmark' study has announced the astonishing 'fact' that many of us human beings carry within us the genes of Neanderthals! The BBC report goes into this at some length and it appears some scientists have been surprised by such findings. Of course there are those among us who have had experience of 'face to face' meetings with such creatures, either humans who contained Neanderthal genes, or full blown Neanderthals of a type often seen at Ibrox or Celtic Park. Such beings are easily identified, whether wearing blue woad or green. Look out for them.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Cloud Hanging Over Us All!

Today, the world rejoices, is the last day of electioneering! Tomorrow we go to the polls and choose one or another mediocre failure to lead the nation into the great anti-climax that lies ahead of us. Now I am not one to complain as you know, and I am not cynical in any way, but this is the worst election I can remember, and whoever wins will be a disappointment! Even worse will be a 'hung' parliament (and what a good idea hanging parliamentarians sounds) is also bad. Either winner will chase the Lib-Dems for support and they will encourage daft ideas, not that they could be worse than many already filling our world. 

The futures bleak, and none of this lot will provide the answer!

Monday, 3 May 2010


I read somewhere today that the 1st day of May was the beginning of 'Summer.' I am not sure if that is true, but as it has rained constantly for three days and the northern wind has been dumping left over volcanic ash onto us, along with the blossom petals flung from these trees I suspect it might be summer after all. 

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Derby Day Disaster - for Hibernian!

Some things can become a habit, alcohol, drug taking, and Heart of Midlothian beating the Hibs! Once again we went with a squad that had failed miserably last weekend, a squad struggling for form this season, although clearly revitalised by Jim Jeffries return. Hibs had of course begun the season with one of their rare 'blips.' beating all comers at home and away they began to indulge delusions of grandeur as the fans actually talked of 'splitting the old firm.' The only things to be split were the sides found on Hearts fans! Naturally by Christmas the signs were there, winning against the run of play, fans unhappy with attitudes and performances, and inevitably the post Xmas slide. The 'Big Team' meanwhile had found an ability to fight for survival under Big Jim and took their place in the top six. In spite of a lack of experienced forwards the club has achieved results and the win at Easter Road was to be expected.

Dougie MacDonald, in my view the best referee in Scotland, unfortunately is known to support Hibernian and in previous games there has grown up a 'suspicion' that he allows them benefits unavailable to the Heart of Midlothian. I have come to perceive this is not true, however in the best tradition of Scots referees our Dougie gave Hibernian a penalty clearly unwarranted, at least it looked that way on the radio! Non of the commentators considered a penalty ought to have been awarded and as a result Hibernian took a one goal lead, against the run of play. (You BOO! at this point)  However our boys behaved as Hearts players always do in such circumstances, we just got on with the game. A substitution or two and before long we found the wee man Elliot laying the ball back to our man Suso Sentana and the Spaniard scored our deserved equaliser. (You may cheer at this point) It was not long before the natural order of things resulted. In the 88th minute a mistake from the Hibernian goalkeeper, something Hibernian goalkeepers are famed for, allowed the mighty Obua to tap the winning goal over the line! (You may cheer and jump about and 'wave' at Hibs fans as they leave the ground at this point!)  Once again the Heart of Midlothian defeat Hibernian. 
The Edinburgh Derby, Belonging to the Heart of Midlothian since 1875!

It was clear today that an election is near. The towns MP was wandering about with his lackeys handing out 'Vote for ME!' leaflets and lots of false smiles. His lackeys, each and everyone dressed 'Tory style' bore their rosettes with pride, as you would when you have a three thousand majority and thanks to boundary changes you will possess a six to ten thousand majority on Friday morning. He at least understand football and after living in Newcastle became a true fan of Newcastle United! Not bad for an American! (Being a Yank explains his strange name I suppose!) I came across a quote this week that appears relevant, "People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election," and Otto von Bismark should know! Debating with a politician is like trying to hold oil in your hand, slippery and non co-operative! Oil of course does not give you half truths and a 'pass the buck' attitude however. Anyway I almost missed them as the sun being out meant that in spite of the chill wind that blew the girls all dressed for the beach! One badly placed lampost near the junction had several men walking into when looking at things bouncing past them. I bumped into one or two myself, although that was no accident. Watching reflections in shop windows is an old trick......