Friday, 30 March 2012

George Galloway is back in parliament.  Some see this as a welcome addition to the House, others as a distraction from real life.  Whichever you fancy it is clear that there will at least be some life in that dull, well suited, public school boy front bench talking shop now.  George has some daft ideas, but he is clever, very clever.  While a member of the Labour Party many thought he could one day become leader, and then Prime Minister!  Sadly he was not only to far to the left for the Blair types, he is almost certainly barmy!  His victory in a by-election few knew was happening took many by surprise. This was a sad indictment on the political class and their followers.  George was clearly going to win, and how do I know?  Muslims!  George was never keen on the wars in the middle east, and made this clear.  Many of us agreed with him there.  he often took things to far, including meeting Saddam Hussein and even referring to the dictator as 'indefatigable!'  He suffered a lot of loss for that remark.
However in Bradford he has clearly taken note of the people, mostly Asian, centred his outreach on the Muslims, his posters were found in no other areas but theirs, and concentrated on their prejudice and understanding of the UK/US and the middle east.  Pandering to their beliefs, right or wrong, he won by a huge majority.   

Listening to the radio early in the morning I was reminded of others who have used the same tactic.  Moseley the Fascist became a clever rabblerouser in the thirties, Enoch Powell and his 'Rivers of Blood' speech in the sixties, was another extremely clever and well spoken politician who said what he thought, but missed out what he did not wish to see.  George is following their line, although from a different political colour.  Tell the voters what they wish to hear and be elected, then forget them and do your own thing!  What will George do about the economy in Bradford, especially as the council is Labour and there are two other MP's, one Labour and one Lib-Dem?  How many jobs can he create?   His party, 'Respect,' had, and may still have, one MP in East London, another very Muslim area.  It is also riddled with corruption but nothing has changed there.  No jobs have flooded in, possibly the opposite.  I suspect we will hear a lot from George Galloway, a Scotsman, but all to no avail.

Too many have pandered to race, too much time is taken up with sex discrimination, to many Gay rights activists shout others down.  It is time we took another approach, it is time we spoke only about 'People!'  It is people who matter, those who live where we are, and we ought to spend no time discussing from a minority attitude but instead from an attitude of what is best for all, not just a few.  No more 'rights,' but 'responsibilities' and indeed 'duty.'  Care for others rather than 'me first.' 

Race was in all the papers in Thatchers Britain, but a Church of England report, much despised by the mad baroness, showed clearly that race was tenth out of ten priorities for inner city dwellers.  Jobs, homes, schools, hospitals all came way ahead of race, and this when there were riots blamed on 'race,' rather than 'criminality!'  I lived in the middle of London and race hardly ever got mentioned, the other things did, and by folks of all types, there again we were not on the make.

I look forward to seeing George in action, but I expect little advancement for Bradford this way.  This video (1 of 5) reveals something of his ability as he smashes the senate committee into the ground.  This was the high point of his popularity in the UK.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Grove

Westbourne Grove London, in the 1880's.  At this time the Grove was the place to be, just look at the Brougham's and Hansom's outside Whitley's shop.  Whitely was a man who knew how to bring in the customers.  Very much influenced by the Great Exhibition of 1851 Whitley was determined to open a store providing goods from across the globe, and make a name, and money, for himself.  He succeeded!  His personality did however bring problems, seven times his stores were burnt down, and while he left behind a very smart building around the corner from this photograph he himself was shot dead in the building shown.  A young man believed Whitley had used his mother and he was the result!  In some degree of anger at the store owners attitude to his mother he took it upon himself to converse with the man he believed to be his father, took out a pistol and shot him dead.  Sadly he was mistaken, sadly he was also sadly hanged.  I suspect however more people felt sympathy for the gunman than for Whitley!

This was the place to be seen in London.  Not far off lay Kensington gardens and Hyde Park.  There folks would promenade just to be seen.  Royalty and the people that mattered might pass by, or rub shoulders in these very shops, common types were not required.  The houses nearby were very much the 'Upstairs Downstairs' type.  many a butler or footman would be employed in the large dwellings, servants occasionally being allowed out to see the sky above, and the sumptuous flats would enjoy possession by London's elite.  Shops remained open until late in the evening, indeed this was common throughout the land I believe, and assistants were housed, and strictly controlled in employers dwellings.  Their conditions were poor, as were the wages, the hours long.  A 'Punch' cartoon shows a shop owner grumbling at an assistant because a lady left without buying.  'We had nothing she wanted' says the lass. The owner informs the assistant she is there to 'Sell what I stock, not what she wants!'  Typical of the service of the day, which we are told constantly was better than now. I see little change myself.
I spent many years in this area, not as a butler or during the heyday of wealth.  Somewhat rundown and ill treated the area has however been popular with the trend setters of the day.  While I lived in a small flat, paying a cheap rent and being told 'It's cheap,' whenever a roof was requested, today the flats have all been modernised to a very high standard.  They have to be, the cost of a small one bedroom apartment ranges from half a million to almost a million!  Rich trendy pop folks, media people, and country dwellers looking for a 'townhouse' fill the gap left by derelicts like myself.  Not sure if I can afford to return..... 


Wednesday, 28 March 2012


As I trundled around the world the other day I noticed the aged door on the Norman arch at Felsted Church.  An aged door, although I know not how aged, with this large knocker on the front.  How much more reliable is such a thing on the door in comparison to the electric bell that only 'ding dongs' if the button is pushed correctly, if the batteries work, if the thing is in the mood.  A dirty big knocker like this will always get an answer as such an iron brute will be heard all around the town when the postman calls.  Not that the postman would be delivering to the church tower I suppose but you never know.  You do know he will ensure you hear him knock however.  Well you would if it was me!

For those interested, and you are interested,  this is the door upon which is found the knocker.  I love these aged doors.  The iron nails and spars along with the aged wood do have a certain charm and attraction.  Compare these to modern hollow doors that are found in most houses, the glass horrors in modern buildings, which are difficult to see at times, and the general quality in comparison to modern rubbish!  Good job I'm not one to complain eh?


Monday, 26 March 2012

Just a Minute

'Just a Minute' is my favourite Radio 4 programme.  Hosted by the ageless (well almost 90 actually) Nicholas Parsons the simple format requires each of the four panelists to speak for one minute on a given subject without hesitation, repetition or deviation.  Simple yet very difficult when put to it.  At any infringement of the rules others will jump in and collect a point, if correct, and often huge hilarity does come about.  

Today however saw yet another attempt to transfer this long running show to television.  During the forty five years since it first began, in 1967 before I was born you understand, there have been occasional short lived TV adaptations, none of which have worked.  It took just a minute to realise that once more it will fail!  The whole power of the game lies in the spoken word, and television looks for image, not words.  The gimmick on this occasion, to enliven the programme for stupid people, was to keep the camera constantly moving slowly as the panelist spoke.  Worse still was that other needlessly annoying habit of closing slowly into the speakers face until we are right up their nose!   Not something we do in the normal conversations we have I believe.  

I couldn't look!  Instead I played a solitaire game, not easy on this laptop, there again nothing is easy on this brute, and listened while they made their hesitant way to completion of the programme.  Indeed there were good moments, although heightening the laughter needlessly as TV does was not one of them, but this is a standard for radio programmes, and will not succeed on TV until TV people consider the viewer rather than their trendy ideas.  The image, and the trendy fashion of the day, concerns TV people far too much.  The last thing they care about is the viewer.  Return the programme to the radio please, and another blessing is we don't have to look at Sue Perkins either!


Saturday, 24 March 2012

17 Mile (ish) Trip

Huge covering of mist greeted us today, however by half seven the sun broke through as I pedalled slowly past the early morning dog walkers and huffed and puffed my way to the back roads.  Here I delighted in avoiding dead rabbits and various birds left by speeding careless, or uncaring drivers and as yet undiscovered by the crows.  And were there crows?  I'll say!  Of course they could be Rooks but as no-one can tell the difference it makes no difference.  Each time a skwack was heard each nearby tree had a dozen nests.  Soon they will be full of raucous young, deafening anyone within earshot.  I would have pictures but they are remarkably shy and the mist hid the brutes anyway!

The idea when I began was to trundle around the back roads in the sun looking for interesting things.  The mist did hamper this somewhat, as did interesting things that were too far away or too near the windows of the expensive houses that I passed.  I know these houses are expensive as there were Mercedes and the like parked there in abundance.  Now I am not one to look through folks windows but I did notice few people were up and around.  Few closed their curtains either!  While I enjoyed the trip I did make the slight mistake of going down a new road and enjoying the slope downwards.  Great relief from the pedalling but the road sign at the far end pointed me towards Dunmow and unwilling to go back up the slope I foolishly went on, this was far too far from home for my knees.  There was nothing for it but to continue until and hope for a way back to appear.  Luckily I stumbled on a road back and ended up in Felsted instead.

Felsted has yet another 12th century church and I suspect a Saxon one stood there for a while before this time.  Again possibly this spot was used as a pagan site even before the Romans began their tour of Brittanica.  A lovely church, closed today sadly while they spend money renovating the place.  Nice door at the base of the tower, with a Norman arch (please confirm).

Just how many people have passed through this door over the years I wondered?  Today I suspect merely those intent of playing the bells that hang high above, certainly not to fix the clock on the side that appears to have been stuck at three minutes past twelve for ten years!  Right next to the church is an old school building dating to the 1500's.  I wondered why there were names cut into the wood.  Graffiti has always been with us.  We must let the world know we exist.

The flash was required as they lie in a darkened alleyway, but it is possible to make out some names, and the date 1806.  About that time the school moved to an impressive site just down the road and became a major public school.  The school was popular enough for special trains to run from Liverpool Street to carry the sons of the rich to their education at beginning of term.  

A gurgling river would have made a better picture had I not been looking into the now bright sunshine.  The scene would also have benefited from not having an empty water bottle lying there.  Plastic has brought much benefit to us, as well us filling us with toxic chemicals, but people's inability to dispose of it properly is a pain!  Wallace would agree!



Friday, 23 March 2012

Thursday, 22 March 2012

The Sunny Chancellor

The UK budget occurred yesterday, I missed it.  Usually I sit through most of the hour or two while the man responsible for the British economy mumbles on, sipping whisky and water and supported occasionally by gruff cries of "hear hear," from his side of the House.  This year I just couldn't be bothered.  Whatever they say it is clear you will suffer.  This year it appear Gorgeous George has made a complete hash of things, lowering taxes for the rich and raising taxes for pensioners, good vote catching stuff Georgie!  When asked if he would benefit from lowering the top tax rate he claimed he did not earn enough!  Just his MPs salary. Hmmm I believe him, but he is lying in his teeth!  (Sue me George!)

This morning I jumped on the bike to avoid his smarmy lies on the radio and made my way, slowly, to Felsted station.  Actually this has been a private house for many years but the 6 miles and 12 chains distance was more than I have managed this year! That's 12 miles and 24 chains plus a bit more today.  I'm getting so fit I may soon be almost human. (A chain is 66 feet by the way.  Railways, estate agents and others still require to use this measurement today. 10 chains make a furlong (used in horse racing) and 8 furlongs make a mile, but you knew this.)  I almost went a bit further however the bridge at Felsted has been removed and this means a roundabout meander to continue.  Behind the old station house lies a Gypsy camp and I wandered into this by mistake.  The dogs were quickly awake at a strangers approach, one keen to eat my leg was a bother, and a chap standing by a huge bonfire, there is always a bonfire in such paces, pointed out the way to go.  As I made my way back, once again assaulted by the dogs, I was impressed by the amount of broken glass lying around.  One or two skips overflowed into the road, but the glimpses inside the caravans, mobile and static, through open doors showed a high standard from the women of the house.  No surprise there.  I would have continued on but at the beginning of the trail lay another pack of dogs so I decided to return home.  Just as well as I was knackered by this time.  Two slices of brown bread and cheese is not sufficient sustenance!

It impressed me that the dogs I encountered were all small 'yaps.' No big dogs to be seen.  Very good watchdogs, loud and aggressive, but the bites considered less dangerous and newsworthy than the bite from an Alsatian or Doberman.the fact is such dogs are much more likely to bite, just ask any postman!  Appearances deceive and these folks are no fools.  It is about ten years since I was last there, and the camp appeared very much tidier the last time, maybe it's just me?  Some folks complain about gypsies, the mess they leave when they camp unwanted, and I have endured that outside my door before now, the criminal element, and the all round trouble they cause.  Much of this is true of course, and gypsies, or 'travellers' as the media has decided we must call them now, do not do themselves any favours all too often. On the other hand I have seen similar conditions in this town, from the noble locals, and big cities have areas so 'deprived' no traveller would dare park a caravan there overnight.  There was a report that some in that camp were Christians and did a lot of good in the area, and a radio programme recently revealed a christian group composed of gypsies, and proud of it too, running an proper evangelical group on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

I wonder if it is within us all to make barriers between us?  What comes first, crime or rejection, being different or being bad?  The chap who gave me directions was friendly enough, although all the other eyes contained suspicion and glares.  Mind you I find that walking the streets everywhere I go, maybe it's just me.....

Anyway, do you like my style?  geddit?  Style, see....oh forget it.


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Underground Heritage

Jenny's excellent post regarding her outing along an old London Underground (but overground) disused line brought to mind the websites devoted to disused stations.  These stations are historical masterpieces, well sometimes, and always interesting to inspect.  Many overground lines have been turned into pathways much used for leisure purposes while some, if the remain recognisable, are derelict and much vandalised.  Two very good site on the underground are :


British Railways lost most of their stations and rural lines in the early sixties.  This means the vast rail network left behind a vast network of pathways, many now developed for leisure use, and ageing station buildings.  For some years rail enthusiasts, often called 'anoraks' round here, have photographed such places. These also are fascinating, especially for the nostalgic who once used them when steam was king!  Obviously only me then......
Check this out:

You may also be sad enough, like me, to enjoy this:


Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Just a bit peeved at the site of trees that have been chopped down.  In the UK removing trees requires permission from the local authorities because of a variety of reasons.  So I was surprised to find the folk controlling the old railway line have chopped down lots of the trees that graced the path.  I accept many were getting old, and that one or two looked a bit dicey, but there is now a row of stumps awaiting beasties to move in.  The colour is much brighter than my picture shows, it appears a bit feeble on this laptop so use your imagination here.  The bright yellow wood stands out against the leafless trees and not yet grown weeds around.  No doubt the Rangers know what they are doing, but it still seems a pity to lose so many lovely trees.

Joyce Kilmer. 1886–1918

119. Trees

I THINK that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.


                                        Joyce Kilmer   (A man by the way)


Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Early (ish) Bird....

Spotted this pigeon earlier today as the sun was attempting to push through the dank Spring cloud cover.  It shoved its way past the cumulus now and then to the delight of those walking the dogs. Actually this chap was walking the dog, the other two broke away full of high spirits from a chap who daily passes by with seven dogs.  Usually the tails are wagging and the smiles are evident as the beasts thoroughly enjoy their trail, noses twitching, through the park.  He was somewhat loud in his rebuke as these two unwillingly returned, tails between their legs, after him yelling at them to "Stay," "Come here," and "Come back here," each time louder and more gruff than before.  I have never seen them do that before, possibly just high spirits and a female dog in sight.   

Recent days have been a bovver.  The PC smoking has ruined my life.  This laptop is slow, so veeeeerrrrrry slow, and it keeps doing things it ought not do!  Using this daft 'Touch Pad' causes trouble. The curser takes on a mind of its own, it races up and down unbidden, the pages change of their own accord, pictures disappear and the browser separates into differing browsers by itself!  I slammed it shut the other night as it was taking hours to change and I was most indignant with it.  I yelled at the world, got no reply, but yelled anyway.  The yelling began all over again when I went downstairs yesterday morning and discovered ANOTHER puncture in the rear tyre.  It had appeared OK when I got home yet here it was flat as my singing voice. It's a disgrace the way I am treated by technology!  And 'tyre' is spelled 'tyre,' not 'tire.'  Will someone tell this dumb American spellchecker! Don't they have schools in the US?

Life did improve during lunch time however.  The Heart of Midlothian, Edinburgh's finest and Scotia's Darling's, once more walked, at half pace, all over the wee team from Leith, Hibernian.  This time we merely scored two goals to their nil, but we don't need to do much to prove our superiority over them again do we?  I wish them well in their fight against relegation to the lower division.  Maybe Rangers liquidation will secure their place for another season?   The marvelous Craig Beattie (pictured) scored the first goal from 'Man of the Match' Ian Black's wonderful pass.  Suso Santana rubbed salt into Hibernian's wound (snigger) with an even better goal in the last minute.  What fun!

A few hours later and more good news as the other half of the evil empire called the Old Firm (That's Rangers and Celtic to you) were defeated by Kilmarnock in the League Cup Final by one goal to nil.  A deserved victory for a team supposed to crumble in such an atmosphere.  Sadly the joy felt by Killie was ruined when the father of Laim kelly, a Kilmarnock player, suffered a heart attack at the end of the game. This follows on from the incident at the Tottenham Hotspurs v Bolton Wanderers game yesterday when a Bolton player, Fabrice Muamba, suffered a Heart attack on the pitch during the game.  The shock of his collapse causing  the match to be abandoned.  Both men appear to be in a critical condition. 
 Football knows its place at such times.

The afternoon saw the clearing of the skies later in the day, an end to the rain that had washed the pigeon off the lamppost, and left behind the first decent sunset for some time.  How nice to watch the sun descend slowly and brightly, causing alarms to go off all over the antipodes shortly afterwards, and leave us one of those wonderful skies.  Good morning Australia!

I hope this week brings good things, and no cardiac arrests, to one and all.


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Misty View to World View

The sun rose as early as usual this morning but had to struggle past the mist that formed late last night and attempted to hinder the suns approach come the dawn.  Funny how enlarging the picture and looking directly at the sun made my eyes water as if I was looking at the real thing!  Anyway the mist cleared by lunchtime and when the sun reached its zenith I naturally fell asleep.  Something wrong somewhere I think.  

The 'Daily Mail,' that organ of truth and righteousness, apart from the half truths, lies and sheer blatant deception, does have a scientific journalist.  I use the term 'journalist' sparingly.  However the Science section knows how to bring science to the people, lot's of pictures and few words, and those repeated often to aid learning.  This is a good idea as we do learn by rote and understand later, in spite of what educationalists may say.  I think it fair to point out my spelling was incorrect there.....

Anyway Eddie Wrenn, if indeed he exists, has written an interesting piece with few words and lots of pictures.  This, like much found in the media today, he discovered while surfing the web for something interesting to earn his wage.  He found a site full of pictures and worth publishing and I must say I agree. The site is called  and, to the delight of the readership, is dead simple (insert own joke here).  The site contains picture taken from Google, showing interesting pictures from around our blue planet from high above.  There is a button at the bottom that enables the viewer to vote for or against each picture and so in this manner we can discover the most popular.  I recommend a look at this site, some of the pictures are excellent, and you are able, so they say, to move the map around and take your own favourite shot and upload this.  Worth a look.

David Cameron's favourite Prime Minister, himself, is indulging in his favourite activity this week, Publicity Stunts!  He has outdone himself however by popping over to the United States (which include the Southern States) to visit a proper politician, President Obama.  The photographs showing him 'one of the boys' at a basketball game (whether he knew what  was going on is unclear), and with wife at a banquet, look good adorning his fawning press.  The 'special relationship,' between the 'English speaking peoples' still being strong, in some English papers at least, and mentioned dutifully even if he doesn't believe it either.  In between stuffing his face, posing for cameras, and wondering why they all speak so funny, it is to be hoped the two men can work out a strategy to leave the Afghanistan mess they inherited, sort out the extradition treaty that Blair slanted in the American favour, and do something, however slight, to ease the Syria situation.  There again while there Dave could possibly look into standing as a Republican candidate, he is empty of policy enough to satisfy quite a few I suspect.  

The 'Special relationship' was of course something Winston Churchill dreampt up during the war. His mother was from the US, and not a very good mother it seems to me, and Winston really did like the place.  However Winne suffered from a romantic view of history, his views on the great 'British Empire' were very romantic, and he did see a 'special relationship' between the 'English speakers.' (What about Australia or New zealand, or even Canada I hear you ask?)  The presidents of the US naturally never quite saw it his way however.  There is indeed rightly a good relationship between the nations.  A shared outlook on defence, and many, but far from all, foreign policies have similar outlook.  The UK is always ready to fight Americas wars for them, even though they are late in arriving for ours, and in recent years has foolishly followed George Bush's  military mistakes, at great cost.  There is no 'special relationship' if we are honest, just a similar outlook in many things, and the UK as always is the one that loses out all too often. The many successes British troops have accomplished can easily be lost by one American breaking down under the strain.

I note that the New York Times has a mention of Cameron's visit, hidden away under politics, and mentioning only the banquet, nothing else.  No success of the PR front there Dave.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012


London 1890.  There is not much difference between the traffic then and the traffic now.  People meander across the road in a similar manner today, although there is not quite so much room in between vehicles.  The machines today are of course faster but a horse and cart was just as deadly.  In fact a man who;s name escapes me obtained permission to erect a traffic island in the middle of one road in an effort to make crossing safer.  When it was complete he was so excited he ran across to it and was killed by traffic!  You will note the police still question suspects, buses make up their own rules, and men stand around being important.  Women are to be found there but most will be elsewhere, in the shopping districts!

Monday, 12 March 2012

A sunday Drive, so to speak....

Not so much a drive as a trundle along through a few back roads in the sunshine.  The haze was quite thin, the sun shone, the cabbages, or maybe Brussel Sprouts, were growing in the fields and emitting a noticeable fragrance, if that is the right word.   I stopped alongside a field of grass like shoots and watched a skylark hover twenty feet above.  The song is one of the best you can hear, no wonder it inspires music!  In the distance a grouse like creature croaked away, his throat must be sore, and in between the birds there was silence, complete silence.  With traffic right outside my door, the old 'Stane Street' runs past my window,  and a bypass close enough to allow the noise of busy traffic to be murmuring in the background, it was delightful to sit in the sun in almost complete silence, bar the bird life.  An occasional 'four by four' came by, one or two driven by farm folks, the rest by people suffering in the recession,  and by the time I got out the roads were become home to Sunday drivers again.  

I stopped of at Cressing church on the way back.  Standing here for almost a thousand years, and this spot used most probably for pagan worship long before that, the small church building stands in a graveyard used to this day.  The normal attitude today is to allow parts of the graveyard to run wild to some extent, just behind the memorial it is possible to see small daffodils and snowdrops peeping through the grass.  One half of the yard is tended while the rest grows wild in a controlled manner.  Up at Black Notley some time back I noticed the sheep has broken through and were happily ruining the controlled part of that graveyard.  Here all was peace, especially as no service was being held that day.  Three or four churches are now controlled by one man quite often, this one was High Church, that is Anglo Catholic, and communion was held elsewhere.  At least it is used but this does mean it is always locked when I pass by.

This small side door, possibly to allow objectionable clerics to escape,  looks as if it has been here for years.  Certainly that end of the building is constructed in a different manner from the main part.  I wish I had looked up the history again now.  No time at present however. So a close up of the construction of the wall of the main part, very common around here.  There are a couple of old Roman bricks in there but I think the majority are later.  There were Roman villas around here in days gone by.

What do they call this, Charnel or something like that?  Most church buildings here have such construction, sometimes they are quite big also.  A few Roman narrow red bricks also.

Just clearing up and I have deleted the last post I made and once gone never recovered!
I was not born an idiot you know, I had to work at it!


Friday, 9 March 2012

Cycling Early in Morning

Having managed to cycle up the old railway this morning, and already losing the aches, I intend to follow the line a bit further tomorrow on the basis that if I am out of this place I will not be endangering the laptop!  It's fascinating in a way that at one time, like 1914, thousands of miles of such lines covered the nation.  Small towns and out of the way places were connected by railways, as long as there were some bigger towns along the way to make it pay of course.  Engines such as the one shown would chug along at speeds between 20 to 50 miles an hour, stopping at well made stations and small halts comprising no more than a twenty foot platform, an oil lamp and an entrance way.  Some became very successful and carried thousands of passengers, many struggled from the off, built by enterprising local men with grand but sadly mistaken ideas.  By 1950 most were overtaken by the more convenient bus and the beginnings of the car worship that was complete by the 60's.  A shame in many ways, as railways are more romantic than cars, but the cost, especially of steam, was prohibitive.  Famously Dr Beeching, under instructions from transport Minister Marples, who had made his money in road building, killed of the majority of the local lines.  
Tomorrow I intend to get as far as what remains of the station, although not this one, it's 15 miles away!  I must get some fitness as Spring is Spinging and punctures permitting I will be away.  I wonder what the ambulance service is like....?


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Another Day in the Life......

Life changing moments come out of the blue.  You walk innocently under a bus, war breaks out when on holiday, your team loses to Hibernian, a disaster of such depth is never expected.  When I worked in the Infirmary the most common comment each day was !I never expected to be here today," but they were!  The other day I rose early and headed into the day.  I scanned the papers online and considered shopping for breakfast at 'Tesco's' more interesting.  When I returned I switched on the PC and sat mesmerised as smoke drifted slowly from the back of the brute and curled its way towards the dirty spot on the ceiling.  My brain numbed in the way politicians brains numb when asked to be honest and I cogitated ruefully on the disaster beside me.   When the smoke cleared, the burning smell abated, an aroma not dissimilar to my last stew I must say, I considered my options.  This I did in a mature manner. I curled up into a ball on the floor and let out a Munch like scream for an hour or so.  

The days following passed like a ten year jail sentence in solitary.  I did steal obtain a laptop, which it turned out required a 'wireless connection' which I don;t have.  That took days to arrive, locking me into an 18 month contract via an hour long call to Mumbai.  Using 'Windows7' it failed to link up with my e-mail, it does not connect with the printer, is desperately slow, distorts every time a car passes, took hours to install 'Windows Live' as an e-mail client which would not work, told me to verify, then told me nothing could be sent for several nonsensical reasons, the buttons are fiddly and this keyboard has keys in the wrong place for my fingers, hurts my eyes, and I have to re-install almost all my links, not counting the things I lost. 

The emptiness without contact with the real world!  Things were so bad at one time I went outside and spoke to people!  The radio, limited to the old set in the corner, gave me what it wanted, not what I wished to hear.  With no TV I could not see the meaningless empty guff that I would not watch anyway, but I could not use the BBC iPlayer where I can find things to watch, like football!  Life was almost dead, I felt bereft.  There was no help around, the only expert I knew left a while back to start a new life in the Orkneys!  However I have managed to get back online, send an e-mail telling folks to use the 'Google Mail' address, and discovered the 'Windows Live' sent out all the e-mail it told me it did not send out!  During the operation to set that piece of junk up I managed to use words I last used at Firhill Park, Glasgow in 1969!  On that occasion Partick Thistle beat us by five goals to nil, but they had the ball in our net TEN TIMES!  I did not realise those words still existed.  Of course 'Windows7' not connecting with my e-mail meant searching through the ISP to find it.  They, naturally, went down!  It took until today to find my mail and I had to sift through pages of stuff, and using a very poor system in comparison to 'Outlook Express' I must say.

The problem was I had no spare pc as backup.  The problem was I use the internet for everything now.  Research, blogs, e-mails, keeping in touch, reading intelligent folks like you, searching for work, sending out CV's to people to delete, listening to the radio, watching football, so many things go through the web that when it died I was at a loss.  It was as if I had gone deaf, blind and been locked in a desert island, a cold one at that!   Still I have some sort of connection now, and I can use this laptop from my bed rather than be trapped here all day, says he trapped here today.  

It shows I spend too much time on here, I managed to read vast pages of books during this time, in between curling up into a ball and bawling loudly enough for the neighbours to call the police twice.  That reminds me, I must thank that doctor who allowed me a double dose of Valium when he thought I was about to jump of that ledge.  The web is a place in which to live life.  Everything is here, good and bad, that an individual wishes for.  The only thing missing is the way to make money to cover the expenses incurred amid curses and tears over the last few days.  That is a problem I must now face.  The situation also reveals the weakness in our stuffed,self satisfied society, cut the electricity and we die!  Well, at least I almost did!


Thursday, 1 March 2012

The sun shone all day today, it is almost possible to believe Spring is Sprung, well almost.