A young lass has lumbered me with what is called the 'Versatile Blogger Award,' for reasons of spite I believe!
The rules insist I must first post this :-
Here instead are seven things that have crossed my numbed brain during this time. Maybe some of those who bother to read, and being Friday few will be around, life offering them a break from the routine at last, those who bother to read might identify with dome of these things. Help is available if you do, but please don't jump off tall buildings, it hinders the traffic, apparently.
The Bike! Yes this bike is struggling a bit these days, it is about 15 years old, and that's older than my mentality. The gears are not quite what they should be, my technical skill remains at switching on the light and turning a key in a lock, the mudguards have long lost the screws that keep them together (and replacements do not exist you must buy a new mudguard!) and the tyres are so thin that punctures come easily. I was out for 15 minutes this morning and had one by the time I returned! However that said one of the great activities open to most people whatever their age is riding a bike! If you have quiet streets, a country lane, or a path by the beach it can be even better. Some folks are into walking, over long pathways, hills and mountains and even deserts, but nothing beats riding a bike. You cover much the same ground and at three times the speed. If the view is boring you accelerate, if it is excellent you stop. The only hassle is rain, wind and motorists. Oh and punctures! One of the great joys, and I would do it more if my knees did not keep aching. I will be out again tomorrow although I think I made a blooper fixing the tyre, it may go again!
History! There are only four subjects kids need to learn at school, reading and writing, counting, geography and history. Everything else should prepare them for the real world in whatever role they wish to participate in. Lack of proper History teaching leads to myths, and all nations have them. These myths are often propaganda that began during war time and have become part of the nation. Often half truths and omitting those events that put the nation in a bad light myths can come to be a major part of a nations psyche. You will know of many in your own land. Factual history not only tells us the reality of the past, and we need to know this to see how we became what we are, but the truth enables us to develop a better structure for the future. Some people slant history to their own advantage, though I have never known a Scot to do this, and politicians are very adept are taking portions that speak to the nations heart, whether right or wrong. The study of History is therefor the most important and in these days one of the least supported by education establishments. This is a pity. History tells us about ourselves, and maybe that is why it is not too popular! However I find it not only important but fun! There is a strange and difficult to explain thrill to stand where a great event in the past, so long talked about, occurs, whatever this may be. To be on a battlefield a hundred years after the war is not only safer, it aids understanding and sets the mind working. To stand on steps Jesus must have walked on, and by working it out by yourself rather than trust a guide, is a thrill. For some reason while watching 'Time Team' I found myself very interested in what once was the doorway into a store, yet if I stand outside a warehouse today I find it less interesting than one stuck in the mud from 250 years before? Hey ho, life is strange. But history tells us about us, because wherever folks come from and whatever time they lived they are just like us, human nature never changes.
Blogs! Yes I know there are a hundred billion of them out there, and that one third have not been updated for yonks, but they are a fabulous way to keep in touch, entertain, inform or just let of a scream into the world! The last is what many people are indeed doing, yelling "I am here and I am important too!" to a disinterested world caught up in its own importance. Writers, both serious and er, dilettantish, can state their opinions, sort the world, meet people, and I have met good people this way, and upset most off them, and widen the experience of life by crossing frontiers from a keyboard. Lonely old folks, or indeed younger ones, would benefit by making n effort this way, much better than staring at a TV as many do, numbing the mind and killing and wasting the life experience of many. Blogs and bloggers, whatever their reasons, are excellent I say! Oh yes and you can post your fotos also, which is another fabulous use of a blog, try it!
Dole! There is nothing like being unemployed! The lack of money, the debts that do not go down, the threadbare shoes, and the sideways glances from those that say, "Scrounger, workshy and lazy,' all these can wear you down. Nothing is more objectionable however than millionaire Cabinet ministers (Yes Duncan Smith I mean you!) appearing in the press saying with an innocent expression 'The unemployed just need to square their skills with the vacancies.' all the while ignoring the fact that there are five unemployed, at least, for each one, and that most are unsuitable! This from a man who is putting seriously sick people onto the dole just to save a few bob on sickness benefit! Maybe it's my age but I don't care as much as I used to. I have had enough of office politics, inept and often corrupt management, and the buck passing that work brings. I want work, indeed a man needs to work, it is part of his makeup, but after all this time I wonder what to do? I have on occasion found myself sitting in the park with a blank expression, having done all and having no idea what to do next. Usually this is followed by tales of some nobody who finds a penny and within a year is a multi-millionaire and a member of the House of Lords. I hate folks like that! Sometimes I think I should have struggled on at work, although that did not appear good at the time, sometimes I wonder what is the point? However, searching for dead soldiers, reading blogs and keeping in touch with the football brings me back to life again, unless we get royally stuffed of course! Something will turn up, one day.
Edinburgh! Scotia's darling! My birthplace and the best city in the world, apart from the rain of course! The city has a thousand years of history for those who like that sort of thing. The life of the everyday people mixing in close proximity to their leaders engenders an egalitarian attitude not seen in Englandshire. This does not preclude a social structure of course, oh no, an establishment exists here indeed! The castle towering over Prices Street has seen wars, indeed it was bombed in 1916 by a passing Zeppelin, royal births, massacres (of English mostly so that's alright), tattoos and festivals, and today ranks as one of the most visited tourist attractions in the British Isles! The half million people can crowd in shops and offices, and some factories exist but not as many as in the past, and nowhere near as many as in Glasgow and the west, and finance still makes Edinburgh second only to London where money is concerned, although what the banks do with it is worth pondering. To the north the Firth of Forth rolls into the north sea, and once watched as the fleet sallied forth on the Forth to defend the waves she claimed to rule. They did not all return. Behind Edinburgh rise the Pentland hills, with the odd historical site, a gun range and people of old age sauntering along in a manner that makes me weary! The city has everything most folks wish for and these days is, they claim, full of jollity and fun, carnivals and exhibitions, young folks entertaining, with cafe's and bars, and an openness to visitors. Sod that for a game of soldiers, I'll stay here where it's miserable enough!
Humour! Jenny, an intelligent and able lass, whom I will not mention because she is the woman who lumbered me with this, appears to think I have a cynical view on life, me? I fail to see why she links me with Anthony Aloysius Hancock. He was a great comedy actor who, using the writings of Galton & Simpson, brought the nation to a halt once a week, whether on radio or TV. It was claimed that some 25 million people would turn on the gramophone and listen into 'Hancock's Half Hour' in the early 50's. Later, along with Sid James, Bill Kerr and Hattie Jacques he transferred to TV and again stopped the world. Hancock's ability to read a script and act it out first time perfectly, plus impeccable timing, made him a giant of the comedy world. His talent matched the writers skill perfectly, their insights both into the subject and his personality and the world in general still makes the programme worth listening out for. Individual lines have stayed in the nations memory for generations now. The programme is broadcast still on BBC 4 Extra. Quiet how anyone could say I was cynical like Tubbs escapes me I'm sure. Before we had TV the family would visit 'The Empire Theatre,' or the Edinburgh 'Palladium' for a variety show. I used to laugh my head off all the way through these shows, right up to the end, until a David Whitfield type singer would appear and I demanded to go! Few escaped my censure apart from Wee Willy Harris, emerald green Teddy Boy jacket and red hair,in 1957! Or the man with the golden trumpet, Eddie Calvert. I liked them. I would have loved to be a comedian and to that end I lacked only one thing, talent! Oh yes, and humour! Oh and wit, understanding, timing, ......
God! The one thing that keeps me from topping myself on gloomy days is the thought that this man Jesus not only died for me, he came and told me about it. Now I don't wish to give the wrong impression, there was no voice or manifestation, but Jesus broke into my life, and over (far too) many years has been trying to get me to trust him completely, and his life will flood mine. This has been a struggle, he has sweated a lot over me I can tell you! Yet the Love of God is seen in his coming to seek me, and only I know how bad I am, and offers forgiveness and life, to me! You see people also who have found this, a strange lot some say, but when the living God appears you must change. Even sitting blankly staring after another joyless meeting at the job shop if the thought of Jesus love comes to mind all else is put in perspective. I sometimes ever smile at strangers! My twisted personality would be awful without his interference. In fact I would be dead by now. As a teen I just wished to visit Edinburgh's 500 pubs, and chase women, no doubt had drugs appeared I would have gone for them like an idiot and been long dead! Looking back it is clear he led me to London, although quite what I am to do out in this wilderness is less clear I can tell you. The car crash in 1986 revealed God's hand. We could easily be dead. The healing afterwards saw Jesus at work in many ways, and his participation in the life of the church at that time was evident. He is alive today and wishes to let us know him! Nothing tastes in life once you have tasted something better! Jesus is the best!
Oh yes, another rule of this was to list 15 pour souls to pass this on to. However I do not know 15 souls, only a handful. I will mention the names of some, and if you wish to pursue this or not I leave with you. I select first the great Max, then Soub, a man of many talents! Mike, is a man who understands the world, RDG, a poet and a sweetie, and 'A,' who makes me laugh! Rab also, a thoughtful and erudite man well worth reading. Feel free to ignore this if you wish. These things usually annoy me yet how can I resist a pretty face?