Friday, 28 September 2012

Friday Frivolity



High above us each day we see these vapour trails.  Aircraft passing overhead, mostly from nearby Stansted Airport, some from deep into Europe heading for the far west and vice versa.  I discovered an interesting site that allows us to track the flight of aircraft. Until recently this was only possible in Europe and certain other airports worldwide, now however planes can be tracked in most parts of the globe, and it is amazing just how many are up there at one time.  Click on Flightradar24 and find fascinating details about the airliners poisoning your atmosphere are the wealthy travel the world.   


The other day another programme was screened enlightening folks as to how we lived during the second world war.  The reasoning is possibly two fold for such programmes.  On the one hand those who lived through that time are dying off rapidly, it is 67 years since the war ended and those who were 20 at that time are now approaching 90 and therefore serving servicemen and families are becoming rarer.  Those of us who arrived just before, during or after that time have little need to understand much more of that time, we lived it after all, but so many of the present generation have no understanding of any kind of the life their elders lived.  It was ever thus, and these programmes do enlighten such souls.  On the other hand many who lived then have, quite rightly, a memory of the greatest time of their lives!  Sure millions died but they survived!  The excitement for some, the emotions that arose, the loss on one hand and often gains on the other had a huge impact on them and to this can be added the fact the they won!  These were the participants in the greatest was so far.  The shared fears and emotions, the victory over a real evil must be regarded as a huge and important aspect of their lives.  This is of course the same in Germany, although guilt and failure leave a somewhat different shade to the memories.  One thing that was mentioned was the diet.  Because food would become scarce it became important to grow as much vegetables as possible, meat would be in short supply.  The nation was commanded to 'Dig for Victory!'  And they did!  This meant the UK, in spite of so many shortages, was healthier than it had ever had been, and indeed has been since.  So I dug out some wartime recipes and bought lots of veg, at least this will keep me on the run!  Buying is the only option as there is no place to grow things here, other than the park.  I might try that but these council jobsworths get annoyed.  I know you too are desperate to lose weight eat a much healthier diet so here is the link I found.  100 Wartime Recipes Actually the only one I tried was the 'wartime Scotch Shortbread,' and while exceedingly fattening it would not have been encouraged to feed the troops of any regiment I know, that's for sure.  Maybe I did something wrong......?


I was looking for a counter for the site after 'Sitemeter' got hacked and discovered that device was introducing adverts secretly.  I ended up trying .StatCounter' which might be OK but came across 'Freeware Home'  a site I have used often in times past.  It's worth a look for mean, cheap, skinflint types, I enjoy it.......        

p.s. There is no free beer.


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Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Letterman Quiz




The Daily Telegraph have produced a 21 question British (Pah! They mean English) Quiz.  I got three wrong, 18/21, and I am quite smug about this.  'Dave' may have got about five right I reckon.  How many can you get right?

  Telegraph Quiz.


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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

CoE Choice




So the discussions are under way.  The Crown Nominations Committee meet to thrash out who is the best of the motley collection lined up to replace the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.  Under the Law of England & Wales the Anglican (Church of England) is required to ask the Prime Minister to choose the Bishop and Archbishops of the church.  This is because the church is linked into the unwritten (and rightly) constitution of the country.  The Church of Scotland of course runs in a differing fashion.  The Nominations committee select two candidates and the PM gives his choice.  In the comedy 'Yes Prime Minister,' PM Jim Hacker is offered a choice of two, "I have to choose between an atheist and a Marxist?" he says.  The comedy was near the truth in many cases.  It is time I say that the connection between the church and state was ended.  No church should be interfered with by any government.  The church must look to the Lord of the church himself, not to political connections.  This may affect the constitutional situation, but that's too bad.  Past history has distorted both the church and the state.  The BBC have linked Five leading names for this job, and some brief details of their opinions on various subjects. I found it relevant that Jesus and their relationship with him and his word was not given a look in.  That says much about the BBC, the Anglican church and the men named.  Just what PM Cameron will think I could not say.  He will be too busy getting the same sex marriage bill through anyway.


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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Monday, 24 September 2012

I was going to ....




...grumble about the rain which fell after I had gone up the road this morning.  However I merely give thanks that I was inside when it went on to hammer down once I had got inside.  I could instead murmur about the John Terry shambles.  A small situation which has gone well out of proportion just because the tabloids want to get back at him, and there are some who dislike him and exaggerate a slur for their own reasons.  He is probably not the nicest man, but even so there comes a time to call a halt.  There are worse folks walking the streets who are ignored by the media.  Just look at the Tory Party! I could whine easily about silly wee girls who get banned from school for having the wrong hair colour/trousers or whatever and run to the press in tears.  My sympathy for their breaking clear rules is very low.  My thoughts on the 15 year old who ran off with a 30 year old teacher is even less obvious.

However I canny be bothered.  Instead I wish to think of blue skies:-



or football in the park on newly cut sweet grass.  I remember that fragrance well, I spent my football career face down amongst it!



or possibly considering pretty young lassies:-



oh.....wrong picture......blast this laptop!


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Nothing


So here is a picture of unobservant workmen


Thursday, 20 September 2012

The Day Out



The day out consisted of a couple of hours in Chelmsford.  Not renown as a city of fame, in fact it is quite boring really, but I fancied a change and off I jolly well went.  The Cathedral, begun 800 years ago, is quite impressive inside.  Sadly it is on the Anglo-Catholic side of things, but it is very well done up.  Nice stained glass windows, a few interesting murals high up, a fabulous ceiling, interesting memorials and friendly staff.  The heavy wax from the prayer candles choked a bit however.  Not really how I see church but this one stores the Essex Bishop, whoever he is.  I always find an attraction in the steeple pictured against the bright blue sky, which never quite works for me.  I thought the old style light fitted in well anyway.  I would have liked to take a picture or two inside but felt that interfered with those prayer/meditating folks there.   Oh yes, and they had a door, indeed a door adorned by two of those heads.


This is a door, and one adorned by two of those head things.  A side door it may be but it does have two somewhat bashed heads.  Soub will point out why, but a 15 year old apprentice fixing things might be responsible I reckon.

  

The wrong way round but you get the er, picture.  Somewhat weather beaten angels I think. However this impressive piece was on the far end.

 

It is a contemporary rendition of Peter, with fishing boots, net, fish & key!  It's certainly noticeable.  (He should of course be called 'Cephas, as that is the name Jesus gave him, but the Greek version was 'Petras' and that stuck.  But you all know this.)  

Most of Chelmsford is to me just a pedestrianised High Street full of the usual shops, a shopping centre full of the usual shops, and a retail market with a variety of the usual stalls, including a butchers where I obtained a three pack of chicken bits for £5:99, a small fortune to me.  Shops are of course full of women, blocking the aisles, pushing folks aside, slowly cogitating on every other item they see, crowding into places like Marks & Spencers where the only men you see are being told by their women what they are buying, all shops are crowded, all very overpriced to me.  Even the Gift Aid Bookshop which drew me like a magnet was expensive.  While I am all for making a profit I am not paying £3:99 for a book, worthy as it may be when we all know most charity shops would charge £1 - £2:50 at most.  There is a huge price increase in such establishments as they go a wee bit upmarket.  While some such still stink of stuffy second hand clothes others are becoming very flash and while this may bring in cash I think it misses the point somehow.  The town itself however appears to be on the up.  Fewer charity shops near the centre, shops full and no Christmas goods that I noticed.  Good for them.  

    
There may well be other things of note worth pointing the camera at but all this walking through the hordes of wildebeest bumping into me every other step was very tiring.  Just wait till Christmas comes, imagine the crowds, buy now right enough!  I headed back for the train.  Just up from the stations stands this solid memorial to the thousands who fell in the Great War, many Essex men fell wastefully at Gallipoli, poor souls. 


Did I say train?  Oh yes, long time since we have had a picture of the railway.  This one was not mine by the way.  Our train was an older one.  The better class trains go past my stop.   Still memories of the old days were to be found here if one looks close.


The old water tank for steam engines and a dilapidated signal box.  Not used today I suspect.  Isn't that fabulous?  What, oh!  I forgot some of you are female......

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Monday, 17 September 2012

Happy Christmas!




Yes indeed that is my Christmas present for Tesco, Morrison's, Sainsburys & Marks & Spenser's who I note have started stuffing the aisles with Christmas fare!  Had it not been for the absurd Halloween nonsense I suspect more space would be taken up with Christmas already.  I can accept these shops expect people to wish to stock up early but September?  I understand that it is illegal in Denmark to put Christmas goods out before December arrives, we ought to consider that here.  Now I am one that when rich buys goods through the year for Christmas.  Having spent a time as a pauper this I have ceased.  My changed circumstances mean I can consider some things for the kids this year, a noose perhaps, and shopping early helps here, but should shops themselves begin  Christmas this far ahead I wonder?  


Naturally after all the fuss re Kate and the 'topless photos' she visits the Solomon Islands and is greeted by several topless women.  William did his best to look them in the eye.....

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Sunday, 16 September 2012

"Age shall not weary them...."



Well actually....

So I decided to be clever.  Chasing graves I could not find the other day I came up with a cunning plan.  The CWGC have friends who photograph such graves, and there are other means to identify the fallen.  The plan was simple, download the photos, print them out on one sheet of paper (cheaply) and carry this to either of the two cemeteries.  Brilliant!  In the morning I stuffed myself early on with somewhat stale bread, switched off the laptop, and got ready.  Then I realised I had forgotten to download the pictures.  This meant switching the laptop back on, awaiting the interminable time while it set itself up again, and then searching for the desired shots.  This I did.  I switched off and the laptop slowly ended the procedure, and as it did so I realised I had not printed them off!!!  I left anyway, my memory would be good enough I said, now that I had reacquainted myself with them.  I also planned to cycle there through the back paths, thereby avoiding the big hill both ways.  It's a delight going down such hills, but not if the traffic is busy.  Immediately I forgot to go the easy way and joined the early morning traffic on the main roads.

Later, after once again stuffing myself with stale bread, this time with greenish cheese, I decided to finish the first cemetery where two graves were still undiscovered.  This time I had already not only downloaded the two photos, I had printed them off!  Therefore, dressing carefully for the warm sunshine, checking the camera battery, and ensuring I would be back in time for the football, I set off.  It was as I passed the market I realised I had left the pictures at home.  Not only have I yet to find Mr Smoothy, my memory failing here, but later on I discovered a new man is also lying undiscovered by anyone somewhere in the other place!

Tonight, after ignoring all these mishaps, I spent a day with God and the football.  All went well, nothing could possibly go wrong, and it was when I was removing the beans from the microwave, after several minutes of heating, the lid came off and the hot sauce went all over my hand.  I now type with one hand grasping ice cubes, and the other keeping well away from the idiot.  What else can go wrong I ask?

This song is appropriate I feel....

    


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Saturday, 15 September 2012

Hypocrisy?



I awoke this morning to hear tales of the condemnation heaped upon the French Magazine 'Closer' for publishing pictures of a bare breasted Kate.  Kate of course, if you are unaware of such things, happens to be married to an RAF Officer who is second in line to the throne.  The response to this 'outrage' is found in the 'Daily Mail,' the 'Daily Express,' the 'Sun,' and the 'Mirror,' all of whom offers several items, plus numbers of photographs, going into as many details as they dare of this, er, exposure.  The Online 'Mail' itself showed restraint the other day by offering a dozen large pictures of Kate, with her man in the background, as they paid their respects to the dead in a Commonwealth War Cemetery.  I consider it an outrage that men who died, often from disease, torture and beatings, should be used as a backdrop so that the press can use this woman to make money!  These papers condemn the French paparazzi, scream that she ought not to be 'used' like Diana was used, and all the time use her in the same fashion they did Diana.  The 'quality press, Times, telegraph, Guardian, Herald, Scotsman, are just as bad.  While offering a more thoughtful approach they too know that her picture will help sell their papers.  The word 'quality' I must add is used in a very wide sense here.  

I am no Diana fan, and I am sick to the teeth of pictures of Kate taking up space in the press.  Why were these women there?  Because far too many other women live their lives through these women.  Diana was as false as a six pound note.  The 'fairytale Princess' who used the media to get people on her side, and the media went along as long as desperate women lived their divorce, children or looks through her.  She sold papers and magazines every time she appeared on the cover, Kate does the same.  Now having an interest in something or someone is good, using them to live your life is bad.  Whether it is a princess or a football player (David Beckham, a waste of space is ever there was one, sells papers and magazines although he has nothing to offer!) those who wish to read the minutiae of their life need to step back a moment.  It is indeed interesting to know the story of your latest superstar, but there are limits.  For one you will never be they who you follow (those eight goals I let in at Dunfermline ruined my goalkeeping career) and they have a right to a private life.  More importantly not only will much that they offer be half truths and lies, an image as opposed to themselves, you find that most 'celebs' are broken people, desperate for attention, and require much healing, a little bit like the rest of us who lack their attraction.

The media rush to grumble about the French when really they know the public today would not let them print these pictures in the UK.  Although they may be available online (I couldn't find t...er....) the public do not wish her exposed this way.  The public (women and sad men) will still rush to read about her, mostly waiting to gush when she announces her first pregnancy.  Oh joy...

The hypocrisy of the papers that use this woman, the anger amongst them because they cannot publish the pics they have now stuck up on the office wall, the petulant outrage concerning this tale, on several picture filled pages, makes me hope Leveson and his enquiry actually makes a real decision and does not offer the whitewash I expect.

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Friday, 14 September 2012

Friday Frolic




I frolicked among the graves again today, I had permission from the various bodies concerned.  This was a required return as I had missed somebody yesterday, I found him where he lay, right under my nose.  Isn't it always the way?  Another kept himself hidden, after four years in the trenches he would be good at this.  Imagine however spending all that time avoiding bullets, coming home after your regiment is disbanded in early 1919, then dying of appendicitis a few weeks later?  How sad is that?  I found him through an internet search and this means I must return again on Monday, unless he has moved elsewhere.  There is good exercise to be had wandering about, sometimes the earth has sunk somewhat and falling into a depression is always a danger.  This almost happened to me but I recovered quickly as I'm sure I heard a small piercing voice cry "Do come in...."  I found myself several seconds later at the gate and on the way out.


I came across this while scouring the old pics.  I may have shown it here before, maybe not.  This I found in a village close by a while back.   A lovely touch in a building that faces the main street, and a very noisy one at that.  An excellent renovation I would say.  That is if he actually did put another door in around the side.


In days of yore this used to be the only way to hear music outside of the wireless and the local brass band.  These days it must be impossible to buy the needles, although many must still have records and use the thing.  Oh the delight of scratching a record and having the best track on the album jump as it played, worse still to repeat the same note over and over again.  How we suffered!  Kids today, they know nothing!

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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

To Cheer Myself Up....




After Scotland's feeble efforts last night I decided I needed cheering up, so I headed for the cemetery.  Early this morning, just as the sun was shining, I wandered down the hill.  The purpose of my visit was to replace the photos of certain dead servicemen which had gone a missing when the PC went down. (I mean the pictures went a missing, the men stayed where they were.)   Having decided to search out the WW2 men also, having lumbered myself with this, I went looking for those I had not found before.  One reason I had not found several was that some lay in another place but no one had told me the cemetery was divided in two!  Bah!  However I was not the only one with a camera!  I espied another gentleman snapping a WW2 grave, and enquiring of the attendant concerning others.  He ignored me so I returned the favour, but I am left asking who he is, what he is a looking for, and is there money in it?  Anyway I found almost all I wanted, careful to avoid one man attending his deceased, one he clearly misses, and now seek only two from here and five from the other place.  It amazes me how many other war graves I found there who's names are not recorded on the memorial.  Sometimes there are reasons, others appear to be ignored.  I found one Polish gent from WW2 and am reliably informed a Vietnam Air Force veteran was buried there in 1969, I will go seek him soon.   



The small Gothic structure at the entrance appears too small to use as a chapel, but contains other useful rooms, however the entrance door features this King, and on the other side a Bishop, awaiting to greet those who arrive, one way or another. What and who these represent I know not.  I can find nothing about them after a swift Google.  Handsome aint they?





Handsome is not what last night was about?  A draw that more or less entails yet another World Cup fiasco for Scotland.  We are out already, and only two games played, or so it appears to me.  Craig Levein certainly showed a much more positive approach to this game than he showed on Saturday, but retained the one up front with no-one anywhere nearby policy.  The set up was supposed to bring midfielders right up to the one man, Miller, but as they were too busy helping out the defence it failed!  Also once again we enter a game considering the opposition 'small beer.'  We consider such teams, from smaller countries, as the type we ought to beat week in, week out, instead of realising the real world is not like that.  Macedonia contains some excellent players, and their individual skills showed early on when our overrun defence could have left us five down had they not been unlucky or misfits in front of goal.  The individual skill on show was greater than ours, and we still regard them as sides we ought to beat!  Such sides no longer exist!  Our strengths may be different, but when our desire is less than the opposition things need to change, and change soon.  Sadly I feel a new man is required, otherwise the end is nigh. 


There appears to be a problem occasionally with comments.  Some appear to be missed and turn up later awaiting approval.  Quite how this happens I know not.  Apologies if you comment and it appears to run off.

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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

No Time



No time to post.  I need to prepare for Scotland playing Macedonia tonight.  (Isn't Macedonia where they grow mixed vegetables?) It's a must win game, and with a numpty of a manager, who has replaced one of our best players while leaving the worst on the field our chances are slim.  Still we are used to this and when we get beat we will be rid of him.  That's the things about supporting Scotland, we are always positive!

Still, whatever happens I've got the stores in for emergencies.




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Sunday, 9 September 2012

Blue Skies




For reasons unknown this RAF Sea King Air,Sea Rescue helicopter flew over us today while I sat enjoying ten minutes in the hot sun, the last of the year probably.  I attempted a picture and found the sun so bright I could not see through the viewfinder and I just guessed where the brute was.  On the original pic it appears as a dot in the corner!  How difficult is it to capture a flying craft while right over your head?  This blurred image is all I can make out of it.  The ferocious sun has disadvantages after all.  I could see nothing whatsoever through the viewer, and could not see him even as a dot in the sky. I obtained an even worse shot when he returned some time later, blurry is the word.  Maybe it is my eyes?  I am left asking why was he overhead?  Near the coast this is not unusual to see, occasionally it is possible to watch them rehearse lifting survivors from the sea.  Not much call for that here.  I wonder if it was that William man using his machine to run home to Kate for a wee break?  The visit probably only cost £10,000 but that's OK.  

The Olympics are over, the Paralympics finish tonight and there are millions of women who usually hate 'sport' in all it's forms now demanding more of this on telly!  Anything is better than the dross that fills the screen normally.  I watched a documentary on Egypt the other day on the BBC iPlayer, the way I usually watch BBC these days, and was peeved.  The man never stood still!  Every new scene found him walking up a street, coming up stairs, through a door, at no time did he just stand there and speak!  This is a constant feature of such programmes today, movement is all, flash images and a movable presenter, it has become difficult to follow the story as we are made to expect him to jump up and run off before finishing a sentence.  It seems to me radio is becoming the only place to follow a documentary today, we can see the image in our mind better there.  

Now I am not one to complain as you well know, even though it has taken me until now to get over my exertions at the museum on Friday, and in fact complaining has never been an important part of my life, unlike folks who use the local bus service a lot.  No, I prefer to let things slip and lead a quiet life.  However I did find myself beginning to get irked by Craig Leveins use of the 4-5-1 system while at home to Serbia on Saturday.  Goodness gracious I thought, one innovation from the tried and trusted failures of before, Robert Snodgrass on the right side.  At least that was clearly working, that is why he was replaced with the clot Forrest!  I note also that Dixon never got an opportunity while at Dundee United but now he plays in England he gets a cap?  Black & Templeton on Tuesday I wonder?

    
Some of my readers may well be interested in this, not for themselves perhaps, just to remind another to exercise more and eat less maybe?

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Friday, 7 September 2012

Friday Chat



An enjoyable chat at the museum today with two ex-US airmen, based during the Cold War near the town.  The area of course is dotted with airfields built during the second world war and some still in use today.  On the edge of town lies RAF High Garrett, used during the war as a prisoner of war camp for happy Italians who had no intention of escaping.  Some indeed stayed on in the town after release.  The base had no runway but was used as a 'Micro-wave relay site,' during the Cold War.  One of our visitors was based there, and like so many others he took back to Wisconsin one of the ladies of the town.  Having settled back there she has lost all trace of an English accent, so it's not all bad!  The other chap had been based at Weathersfield airfield during the early sixties, possibly the most dangerous period of that era, and he also was accompanying the woman he removed from the town on a visit home.   


There must be many Essex girls now resident in the United States.  The bases were begun while Hitler was still a menace, and many young men flew from the bases nearby and never returned, and continued in use, during that fraught period, some until the late eighties.   This town has been used to servicemen since the first world war of course, and many must have good memories from those days, the publicans certainly have!  This is an interesting site created by one of the men, MSgt Cecil Eversoll, which  contains 'before and after pictures of his time in the town.  Interesting to see the world around here on the video from 1966, how times have changed.  RAF High Garrett

One thing is clear,  without the continuing presence of such men during the years following the war we may well have had to endure a more dangerous time.  I suspect many more will wander in to the museum in days to come.  An enjoyable conversation, and they also appeared to enjoy meeting the others who discussed the things they remembered so well.

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Thursday, 6 September 2012

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Sour & Sweet



I spent a wee while this afternoon reading through a forum relating to the days when I used to travel around Scotland following the Heart of Midlothian football team.  It was a strange experience.  On one side names and descriptions on offer brought back memories of many Saturdays trundling through the countryside to Dundee or Glasgow, Motherwell or Kilmarnock.  The journey would usually take about an hour and a half, although when we stopped the older guys would head for a pub and often, all too often, we arrived at the ground with minutes to spare!  Of course as I grew older I may have joined the pub crawlers but memory appears to fail me.  I always enjoyed the day out, although the team was all to often rubbish!  The days were often spent full of hope going to the game, sun shining and sky blue, and in the dark we returned, wet through from the rain that always arrived, arguing all the way home.

Several of those who travelled with us (should that read 'travailed with us' perhaps) are now dead, some through age, others through common diseases or a variety of wasted lives.  Others like myself are now spread worldwide, a few at home still follow the Hearts when they can.  There are two threads concerning the people at the ground and on the bus.  Both mention many I knew, both make me angry and sad.   While some of those named are held in a kind of respect  find myself wondering about them.   Football attracts people who are known as 'characters,' and not always good ones.  Some are clearly mental and require avoiding at all costs, some just need medical help.  Many laugh at these men, and the vast majority are men, although one or two women make you wonder,  and a kind of fame attaches to them.  The sad thing is many, stable or unbalanced, have little else in their lives but a football team.  For many the attention received is the only time people take note of them, outside of a publican or police officer that is.  One man I well knew, famous for his knowledge of the Hearts, was considered a 'good Hearts man.'  However in my opinion he had nothing else.  I knew him well, and he was of such a personality no woman would want him, he worked in finance but would never reach the highest level, and appeared to have little going for him otherwise.  Maybe he was happy, I hope so but I doubt it.  

The bus became famed, after I left I must say, for developing an attitude best known as 'wild.'  We overtook them one day heading home in our (better class) bus and were shocked at what we saw.  A bus full of adolescent imitation 'Bay City Rollers' without the culture (and the Bay City Rollers I assure you had no culture in the first place).   The stories that have since emerged left us wide eyed and satisfied we had moved out at the right time!  These creatures were, and still are, typical of the football world in which we live.  While the majority of my time managed to grow up safely many were left behind.  Worse still they bred sons and daughters who continued to breed, some waiting until after they left school,  and those I knew are today great grandfathers!   You wonder why we need a police force?  Mind you many of the police are probably this lots descendants!

Not all fans were mental psycho's of course, for instance, I was there.  Many I knew had good jobs, went to Edinburgh's better middle class educational establishments, and worked their way to wealthy retirement in the better suburbs.  I didn't.  To discover the whereabouts of all those I knew then would be difficult today however.  I doubt any would publicly admit that they spent the 60's on that bus,  I certainly wouldn't admit it, not me, no chance.


   
However on the sweet & sour topic still.  Something sweet, but a bit sour.  I got a note yesterday in one of those brown envelopes that make you ask "What now?"  But it was the Pension folk informing me I had to end my dole money ASAP and they would start me on the Pension credit system instead.  So as from today the again, and indeed it is that, of job searching and being rejected at every turn has ended.   From whenever they get the appropriate papers out of the pending tray and onto the computer I will no longer be a scrounger (@'Daily Mail') but instead an early pensioner, for this is indeed just an early pension, and a way to remove one more number from the jobless total.  This is indeed both 'sweet & sour.'  This shows that I am no longer a drain on the state but I am old and useless.  The combination of the bad knee and age was not what employers wanted, add to that the fact I am totally useless, untrained, and not female, and I was at a disadvantage being over 50.  Indeed being over 35 I would say.  2500 people chase some 300 jobs around here, those organisations that run the 'Work programmes' are going bust as there are no jobs.   The future for those not old enough to retire is not good,  I don't envy them.   However this means no more reporting to the Gestapo, no more satire asking if I will be at the Christmas party, no more 'long service medal' offers from the girl at the desk.  Of course I have no money, but I am not worried about that, Jesus has never failed me at my lowest moments, but many questions remain.  Still at least I am no longer 'unemployed' but 'retired.' and that is more acceptable.


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

New Villains



What with an election just over a year away the head honcho has to gather his gang around him and make plans to ensure the little people don't catch him out.  To this end our Prime Minister shuffled his cabinet and sadly offered us more of the same, with a slightly differing flavour, and the certainty that if they play their cards right the Labour Party will form the next government.  Thatcher and her hard hearted mob took up around 13 years of our lives.  John   Major held Labour out for over five, winning one election while doing so.  Tony Blair held of Gordon Brown   the Tories for over ten years before Gordon was brought down by the economic collapse, three years after taking over.  In spite of the unpopularity long time governments receive he almost won the election!  It was only a deal between the 'Toffs,' Cameron & Clegg, both selling out their own parties to do so, that got them, unwanted, into government.  Now they will prepare to lie & cheat for the next 18 months or so while the world falls apart, the economy stutters, war here there and everywhere, Afghanistan continues, and most folks remain glued to soap operas whatever rulers win.   Labour will win by a landslide, there is no mistake there, the two criminals and a few other failures will ride off into a well heeled sunset, and .....and then what?  We lose one set of incompetents and replace them with Mister Ed.  Suddenly the future is not any better.....

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Monday, 3 September 2012




The Grim Reaper came for me last night, and I beat him off with a Vacuum cleaner.
Talk about Dyson with death.

Paddy says "Mick, I'm thinking of buying a Labrador ."
"Really, ..." says Mick "Have you seen how many of their owners go blind?"

The wife has been missing a week now. Police said to prepare for the worst.
So I have been to the charity shop to get all her clothes back.

A mate of mine recently admitted to being addicted to brake fluid.
When I quizzed him on it he reckoned he could stop any time.

I went to the cemetery yesterday to lay some flowers on a grave. As I was standing there I noticed 4 grave diggers walking about with a coffin,
3 hours later and they're still walking about with it.
I thought to myself, they've lost the plot .....

My daughter asked me for a pet spider for her birthday, so I went to our local pet shop and they were £70! "Blow this," I thought,
"I can get one cheaper off the web."

Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not Happy.

I was at a cash point yesterday when a little old lady asked if I could check her balance, so I pushed her over.


I was driving this morning when I saw an AA van parked up.
The driver was sobbing uncontrollably and looked very miserable.
I thought to myself, "That guy's heading for a breakdown."



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Saturday, 1 September 2012

Afternoon Duty



Having foolishly offered my services to the museum if the regulars were missing, the lassie foolishly took me up on this.  This meant I sauntered, without a care in the world, to the museum this afternoon, expecting a chat with a visitor or two, a cup of tea or two, and a browse of a book, or two.  

I should have realised that the lassie was a woman.  A delivery for the shop arrived yesterday and she had planned an afternoon of putting Victorian school slates (imitation I mean) in a paper bag, along with the 'pencil' that is used as a writing implement.  Over two hundred later, and same to do, I decided to cut my finger with the scissors and bleed over everything instead.  It brought that job to a halt.  

With help fixing a plaster over a small cut but profusely bleeding cut is easy.  I needed no help, until I discovered the blood dripping over the floor, the sink, the plasters, when I found them, and then realised that opening the blasted plasters was difficult.  Blood going everywhere, and the plaster protection untearable!  In the end I used my teeth, and with great difficulty finished the job.  Foolish me tore a bit of skin right off and now this throbs so bad I can hardly type, and this was my best typing finger.  Sympathy?  No I got no sympathy!  And I had to clear up the mess, and then return to 'work.'

Apart from the cut, the second one actually, this was a pleasant afternoon.  How nice to be doing something!  How nice to be 'working' again.  How nice to feel useful, especially when the blood was removed.  Chatting to a variety of visitors, and scrubbing the kids cheeky comments of the school blackboard, was interesting and fun.  I learned much, although information regarding the 'Ice Age' and its relevance was missing.  Enjoyable in every way.

However this adds to my new exercise regime.  This included actually getting out on the bike this morning for half an hour, and combined with the afternoons work, setting out a room for a meeting was also involved, it means I am now worn out.  Ruined my routine of course,  and it's a good job the Heart of Midlothian play tomorrow so I don't miss the football.  How lucky you folks are to have a life!  That's all I can say.


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