Thursday, 31 July 2014


However when the kids have gone through and all is quiet I can ponder for a while.  As the Great War exhibition tales shape, and I keep well out of the way, the strain is beginning to tell on the poor lass running the show.  It will be marvellous, but she has not got to that point of view yet.
I am still writing things, the info keeps changing, other things await, and the heat has been marvellous.  Sunshine, blue skies, and while it appears to be nearing the end of summer it has been marvellous to see.  That's three times I have said marvellous, four now, and you didn't notice.  
Up and out at 7:30 this morning to deliver a pile of stuff I researched ages ago and have been to ill (violins here please) to deliver.  This morning I cycled on the aged bike down there, delivered and cycled back without falling off.  My health must be improving in time for winter.  So I start cycling and tomorrow they promise rain and normality again, typical!  Ah well, look at the time, still another man tow rite about....tomorrow! 


Monday, 28 July 2014

Sunday Garden Party

I spent an enjoyable afternoon amongst the rich and famous whom nobody has yet heard off. Sunshine, warmth, friendliness (yes they did know me) and wine. Quite what was in that punch I am not sure but several drank large glasses of the stuff.  I preferred the rose however this was better than the cheap plonk I have indulged in all too often in occasionally.  
The house is a bit of a mystery, attempts to trace its linage going back several hundred years have led nowhere.  Clearly it started smaller and developed over the years and someone had a lot of money at one time to improve the place. No-on knows who however.  
The lady of the house has dressed it up very well and we were allowed free access everywhere, an idea which suited the women of course.

Poor Tiddles

The better mannered, the men, merely browsed the lounging quarters and accidentally found ourselves where the grub was housed.  I can vouch for the several layers of chocolate cake which accidentally fell onto my plate, and those little round jammy things with cream were not bad either. Then we ate the meat!  

This electric lamp is not Victorian and I suspect the place was done up in the 19th century at some time, as these places often were, but I doubt they would have had a gas lamp even then! Behind the gates the servants would secure the grounds and possibly a large dog or two may have been housed here.  There certainly is one now, conveniently removed for the day.  I remain far from jealous of those who have such dwellings.  The cost of maintenance, the cellar requires seeing to, and general upkeep take a lot of time.  It also fails to have a swimming pool and if you buy such a house you require a covered in pool somewhere!  Lots have pools in this area and hardly use them as normal weather forbids it.  How daft can you get?

A few fan tailed Doves in here would go down very well.  They would also avoid starvation during hard times, very nice with white wine I believe.  The 'Dutch Style' is not unknown around here, all them Flemish weavers of the past, and possibly a dealer in cloth moved in here and remodelled it to suit himself.

In the corner of the basement we find this!  At first we thought bread ovens but there is no flu, then our little historical minds ran wild and we, er got nowhere! So many mysteries and so little info.  A quick consultation with ourselves and back to the wine gathering.

The nice wee touches throughout the house and surroundings are very good indeed.  I loved the way she has made use of this old mangle (I still use mine) and made the back door attractive.  An apple tree amongst others surrounds the back yard and improves the servants entrance!

Oh yes, and as you might expect, there was a naked woman in the garden.....


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Beesy Saturday

The threatened thunder stayed away and instead we had 80 degrees of heat at lunchtime.  I was stuck in the museum doing nothing as the sun took people off to places outside.  So I wondered into the organic garden outside to get a few pics of the numerous beasties gathered there.  They all left as I arrived!  A startling small white butterfly alighted on a lunchbox and waited right up to the moment I raised the camera to flee!  The various bees disappeared also, all bar this man who was too busy enjoying himself to care.  However he enjoyed himself so much he would not stand still and this was the best picture out of many I took.  Bah!

The football season began today.  The wee cup first round in which the Heart of Midlothian triumphed. Having fallen asleep I almost missed it, how times change!  Once I would have yearned for the season to begin, now I am already a bit tired of it because the World Cup just took up so much time that required an absence from the beautiful game.  I wonder how many players will begin the season jaded? Too many I suspect.  There again, when the league actually begins and we play one of the ugly sisters I suspect then I will find enthusiasm once again. 

Until then I'm back off to bed.


Friday, 25 July 2014

My Weather Eye is Open.


My weather eye has to be open, that is something folks living on these islands get used to.  The weather is a major topic of conversation because it keeps happening to us.  Rarely does it fail to occur, always it waits outside for us, occasionally making its way indoors.  Recent days have seen high temperatures and bright hot sunlight.  People in Edinburgh were calling the police to report a huge UFO seen high in the sky.  After much deliberation the investigating detectives discovered this was the sun! I am informed the Haar (that's mist to you) has managed on occasion to come from its normal position just about the Firth of Forth and cover the entire city in a more normal outlook.  However the sun has kept leaking out, even in Edinburgh.  We, here in this southern wilderness, are more used to the yellow thing in the sky but we are also prey to many more thunderstorms.  We had a short one this morning not long after I had taken that early picture.  I sat in the somewhat chilly sun for a while around seven enjoying the peace, the blue sky and the sunshine.  I need to get out of here every so often and see what light is like.  
By late afternoon, late for me anyway, the sky had changed.  The clouds gather in large clumps, rain clouds threaten in the distance and the weatherman helpfully informs us the hot weather will leave us for a 'while.'  The 'while' may well be ten years but we wait and see.  
Some places have weather that rarely varies, it is either always hot or cold, or just yukky.  The British Isles however have the thousands of miles of Atlantic Ocean at one side bringing in left over storms from the Americas and the land mass that is the continent on the other.  Both affect the weather that lands on us!  Tonight we face rain in west Scotland and thunderstorms here. The weather will cool and normality will return.  A few days of "I'm glad that's gone, it was too hot," becomes "Why is it always cold here, I'm off to Spain!"  Some folks are never happy, always complaining, and I see no reason for this....... 


Now here's a funny thing.  The Commonwealth Games are being held in Glasgow, Scotland's second city. However when the opening night arrived this brought the first ever occasion on which the home nations national anthem was sung!  There was no 'Flower of Scotland' to be heard merely the English anti Scots dirge, God save the Queen.  Further much speculation has been put about regarding the Red Arrows display team.  They normally end the show with a pume of smoke being left behind in the sky, always offering the red, white and blue.  However a request that Blue and white, signifying the Scots flag was turned down by the English defence secretary on the basis that they 'only use red, white and blue.'  This has surprised many as we have all seen them displayed red and white in the shape of the English flag before, but maybe he was being duplicitous?  Interestingly cyclists with Union Flags on their helmets were allowed but those with Scots flags were not!  The Westminster tyrants never end their persecution of Scotland and Scots yet remain determined to keep the  Scots cash flowing into London! 


Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Bookcase

As I awoke to the chattering classes on the radio this morning I discovered aching arms and pains in the back remained after my exertions yesterday. This never used to happen.  When I was a lad I moved furniture up and down five flights of stairs regularly yet had no strains at all, just one or two trapped fingers. However I managed to struggle all the way to the grime covered kitchen and sustain myself via porridge and tea.  Then I placed the bookcase in position having moved the old dust covered shelving to a position where it would be a nuisance. The hoover is now thanking me for the years of dust that had accumulated behind the old shelving, my throat and lungs are not so thankful.  Once the thing was wiped down and shelves placed therein I checked the wee marks thereupon and began to wonder from where it had come.  Each mark on a shelf indicated someone searching out a book.  The marks on the base could be caused by years of feet scuffing the sides, kids toys bashing it as they passed by, mum's hoover, or possibly the hoover used by the 'woman who does,' all leaving a small memory behind.  For years this bookcase has stood in someones home, someone with money I suggest, in days gone by as when bought it would have been quite pricey.  Someone who had a 'nice' home and 'good' furniture within.  Does it date from the 80's, 70's, 60's perhaps?  Over the years their 'nice' home has become a wee bit bashed, this indicates a full house, probably a happy house, and if the bookcase was in the middle of house life maybe a well educated house.
What books stood on these shelves?
Were there intellectually stimulating books covering the subjects studied in university perhaps?  Did history volumes fill the shelves, weighty tomes of some science or engineering perhaps, could a trainee doctor have loaded the shelves with books full of unpronounceable words?  It could be they were used for story books, novels with which to waste life or worse novels through whom life was lived.  Large books have been stored on the bottom shelf as space has been made for them there.  Kids encyclopedias maybe, books about animals, aircraft, ships?  Possibly coffee table tomes full of glossy pictures covering fashion, houses or the world in general certainly covering the world of the owner. Maybe they were authored by the householder?  Was this the first recipient of a writers life I wonder? We shall never know so why am I prattling on?
If only the bookcase could talk.
Mind you if a bookcase began to talk we would then have other problems.  What would the bookcase say about the contents of the shelves?  Even worse imagine a sofa speaking to the press about those that had 'made use' of its comfort!  The boring sideboard may not appear so boring once it reveals the contents of that drawer with the lock that no family member bar one has ever seen open, at least the sideboard would know where the keys in the drawer fit!  The fridge would be able to reveal who was drinking out of that bottle late at night, the front door would have tales of many who had knocked hopefully over the years and as for the bathroom cabinet I despair if one of those ever began to speak!
Oh dear.  I think I made the tea too strong this morning, I will go and put some books on the shelf......

How ridiculously satisfying to have a bookcase full of books!  What strange satisfaction to see almost all the books almost in the right place.  Certainly when the world's problems are noted this small thing is unimportant, but I am strangely content. Behind me the place is er, not quite right, but that's another story as I am washed out now.  I probably should not have carted this upstairs yesterday and moved the books.  Ah well.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Sea Me....

Oh to go down to the sea again!  How I miss it!  I have not seen the sea fora very long time, and the sea has not seen me either for that matter, not that in the mind of the sea I matter that much.  That picture is two years old, and I suspect the ship has managed to make land by now.
In fact I have not been anywhere for a while, mostly because I have been busy searching for dead soldiers or have felt rough.  At last I ventured forth into work yesterday and sat there half asleep all morning.  Clearly an improvement they all thought, usually I am totally asleep!  
Today I was so keen I returned to seeking info on dead men and after much struggle succeeded (although nothing succeeds like a budgie).  I have found interesting info and now must contact the great, great granddaughter of the poor soul to inform them.  Before I do this I need to investigate two more of her distant relatives and pass that info on also, but most of that has already been unearthed. 
I did make two mistakes today, one was to discover yet another butterfly butterflying at the window, so much for then dying out!  I aided his escape and decided to rescue the one in the bathroom.  This I did by gently easing him onto a little booklet and carting him to the fresh air at the open window.  As the beast realised the way was clear he flew off as I congratulated myself on the rescue.  Unfortunately he almost crashed into the telegraph pole outside and swerving to avoid this he went under a car!  I was horrified.  There is no way off knowing if he was carried along the road and escaped, and I am not sure if the bits in the road were parts of a fallen leaf or my mate.  I feel more guilty about this than most things!

My second mistake was to forget I am not fit.  The shelving is falling down and the wee shop next door had a nice (cheap) bookshelf stood standing doing nothing there.  A quick walk in, use the arm as a ruler and measure the length, and then wander up the road pondering the price.  That was the other day as I crept early up to Tesco, today I remeasured the bookcase, using my arm, and my failing shelving, using my arm.  I then obtained the money from the bank, thanks girl for the loan of those nylons, and bought the bookcase, £10 off seeing it was me.  I carried the shelves upstairs and he gave me a hand up my one flight.  This was the mistake!  Forgetting that I was run down, forgetting that I was not fit forgetting that I am 'ahem' older than I was, as he raced back to his shop I floundered on my chair gasping for breath in a manner unknown to me! In fact those athletes at Glasgow in the following few days may find themselves less breathless than I was at that moment.  I really need to do some exercise, properly, and three times a week. The girls at work say, "Visit a doctor," but we know he will just say "Fat slob," so there is no need. At one point this afternoon I was however almost thinking about it.

There are wars and rumours of wars, there are celebs filling the empty pages of papers, and now the kids here are on holiday!  Can it get any worse I ask.....? 


Saturday, 19 July 2014


This boy has been sat here on my bathroom wall for three days now.  Sitting there, face down, as if he expects to be fed somehow.  What is he doing there? The door, a large wooden thing that fills a hole, is wide open, leaving a large empty hole through which he can leave, this is positioned only six inches from his face, yet he stays there.
His mate flew in the other night and fluttered about for a while in the bedroom banging his head on the window before he worked out to go through the open bit.  He flew out to join several other butterfly's fluttering by and yesterday there appeared to be a great many of the things around.  This can only be good as the beasties are suffering a lot with the muck we pollute the air with.
I may however have to call the bailiffs in for this visitor.

The BBC iPlayer is down!  It is impossible to get programmes to arise!  How can I live without listening to something I could not hear when originally broadcast? This great boon to mankind now lying broken somewhere in White City or wherever is more important than anything else to those of us off an intellectual bent.  And I have often been informed my intellect is very bent indeed!  I was listening to the 'Essay' on Radio 3 and it would not work. Last weeks was about the first world war and offered interesting insights as to how it effected people in various nations today, very clever programmes.  This week we have had A.L. Kennedy talking about Scotland!  You would not wish to miss this!  I canny agree with Kennedy on some things but I find her short talks very interesting and clever. Well worth a listen, once the blasted thing comes back up that is!!! Bah!!!  

No iPlayer and it's back to this.....

Friday, 18 July 2014

Hot Heat!

Hot heat today, reaching 84 degrees, that's 29 to you in the colonies! i have still got the bug which has wearied me badly this week and have not been out in this much.  20 minutes this afternoon after I was forced to shop for ink for the printer (£28:50 for a set of B&W & Colour. Tesco wanted £32 for the same!!!). I sat for a wee while on the way back and rested my ailments and gazed at the blue above us.  

He came out full of vim and vigour, dropping the ball and ordering the boss to chuck it for him. As you can see on the way back after a short tour of the park he is less keen or haste.  Age is catching up on us all.... 

I'm off to bed....

Thursday, 17 July 2014

This Morning

This was this morning, now I am asleep on my feet and I forgot all about this, so goodnight.....

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Ancient Near East, A Very Short History.

This wee book is one of dozens produced in this style.  The intention is to produce a short book to inform the reader of a particular subject, and the subjects range far and near.  It looks a worthwhile series.
This book takes us back before what most folks consider to be history, back before the Romans, the Greek, the Egyptians, those places we consider 'ancient' or 'Classical,' to the generations that lived in Mesopotamia long before.  The poor teaching of history, both professional and popular, leaves out what happened in what is now southern Iraq, even though it is considered to be the place humanity apparently began to settle so long ago.  Certainly where the book begins, 3600 BC, large towns were in existence and the usual problems known to us today bothered them also.  Uruk I think it was had 25,000 folks crammed inside the mud brick walls, although many may have dwelt outside of course. Personally I wanted to go further back but if you have no knowledge this is a good place to begun as here at this time writing begins.
As population growth continued small city states developed into empires.  Some were quite keen on peace and prosperity, others were somewhat rough.  It is interesting to see how many leaders built an empire but encouraged people to live peaceful lives.  The Assyrians however were clearly different in this.  While others revealed their works by carvings on walls depicting the temples and cities they built, the Assyrians depicted the king as waving his bow about, taking cities and chasing wild animals.  His peace was putting hooks in the noses of the rebellious.  
This is an interesting, delightful short read, with takes us from a temple document at Uruk in 3100 BC to the Persians ending the Babylonian empire around 500 BC, ish.  If you know nothing about such an important period, and much of what we know was known then, this book is worth a read.  Of course there are problems, the woman who wrote it was American!  This shows clearly in the grammar ....tut! 

Life is not fair.  These chaos arrived to entertain the kids and found rain and gloom.  Some sun on Saturday for them and a wee bit more on Sunday but not much and by teatime they are dismantling everything to head off to the next place.  The town was quiet at the weekend, a Carnival in a nearby town taking the kids away.

Yet when once they leave the sun shines.  Not that I have seen much of this. They claim, as they always do, the sun will be a belter tomorrow and Friday and warnings have been issued.  Climate change is occurring and we had better realise this.  Could it really be the end of the world this time?  Maybe we had better give that some serious consideration.

They done it again.  Out of the blue this appears outside my window, badly parked,  and no polis in sight!  Why?  What were they doing?  Who were they visiting?  Why do they never explain their movements to me, that's what I want to know.  All this integrity for them, they will never get to be Chief Constable if they insist on doing the job properly I'll tell you that! 


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Changes, but no Difference.

This buffoon has revealed his latest desperate attempt to save his job.  Dump middle class, middle aged men and bring in women!  Brilliant!  It gets publicity, it makes some women faint with joy but avoids offering a policy that will work. After Cameron's deliberate failed attempt to stop one cash grabbing monkey from becoming the top man in Europe, deliberate in that he knew he would lose but was an attempt to persuade folks not to vote UKIP, this is just another PR stunt.  The fact is his weakness is shown as Ian Duncan Smith retains his job simply because Cameron cannot sack him, what strength of leadership!  As always from this man each attention grabbing headline has nothing behind it.

Among the many 'bits of fluff' that will never get higher than this we find Priti Patel, an Essex MP, not far from here in fact.  Her position is easy, she has made it clear Scotland gets too much money thereby showing where Scotland will stand if the people are stupid enough to vote 'No' in the ballot.  The Conservatives will rob Scots of every penny, in spite of robbing Scotland already. Careful how you vote folks.  She is now in the Treasury!

The World Cup is over, Germany, bit dint of putting the ball in the net while Argentina failed to, now have the trophy for the next four years.  However football begins again soon!  About time to I say! August the 10th is the big kick off and how we have waited for this!  It's been ages...


Sunday, 13 July 2014


Stolen from Jerry as this is brilliant 
and I am watching the World Cup Final, so go away! 


Saturday, 12 July 2014

Roman in the Glo...Museum....

For the 'Festival of Archaeology' we dug up some Romans today.  Bits of tile, pots and beads and stuff abounded.  Slides of Ephesus, weaving & cooking Roman style (not at the same time) and the chance to build a town from Roman style houses.  The 'flint lady' arrived also and found many friends among the young.

Our Roman Auxiliary placed helmets on kids heads, this they thought heavy until they tried the chain mail vest!  This weighs 25 kilo's and enabled them to stand still afraid to move!  Lovely to see.  These two had a lovely time, as had I wearing a toga and declaiming to the masses.  The masses I must say remained unmoved.  The masses may not have turned out today, the town was very quiet, but those that came, including two of Houston's finest, enjoyed their ambling about the place.  Kids were supposed to make their own Roman style house and contribute this to our plan of the Roman town. Most took theirs home so the town is more like a village tonight. 

I had a small taste of the cooks Roman bread and was won over!   I will not look out a recipe and burn my own.  It tasted fabulous and while some say the diet was rich I see all that fruit as healthy.  That is if they could afford the rich foodstuffs. Roman plebs lived of the free handout of flour did they not?  Not much date sauce around their houses.  

Anyway, this guy found my usual seat.....


Friday, 11 July 2014

Lazy Days

That's me!  Two days with nothing to do, or at least nothing to do that got done! No late night football, early to bed, rising before awake meant back to bed and today I was full of energy, more or less.  How lovely to do little when there is much to do.  I was so full of energy I even cleaned the place, although this would not impress any woman it is cleaner than it was with that grime over everything.  
Tomorrow it is back to work, Romans at the museum all day and I am in the shop!  Oh goody, all the moaners will come to me.  Just as long as there is no requirement to wear a toga I will survive!

The internet is a wonderful place.  This foto of Steven Spielberg next to a dead Triceratops has led to thousands commentating on how nasty this man is.  The replies condemned the man for killing this animal and few stopped to consider how he managed to kill a dinosaur that died out several million years beforehand.  Still that is the web for you!  Have any off you ever fallen for something as obvious as this?  I have but have forgotten (cough) what it was.

Monday, 7 July 2014

The Monday Tour

This great French event came within two miles of me today.  To avoid the crowds and the great danger of spending money I watched on TV.  I watched very carefully as they made their way from Cambridge down into Essex, through Saffron Walden and Finchingfield ('the prettiest village in England') and headed towards Rayne.  It certainly revealed a lovely country scene along the way.  The villages, ancient churches,crops almost ready for harvest and the sun shining of medieval but much upgraded buildings.  The commentators prattled on as always, inane ramblings needless facts read from a script, often at the wrong time revealing their ignorance, and as they did so I waited to watch for the pelaton taking the humpback bridge over the old railway at Rayne just up the road.  I wanted to see them as they took the immediate sharp, narrow, right hand turn.  Naturally as the leaders entered the village the telly went for an advert break!
Now who wishes to see, for the fortieth time, five minutes of bad adverts? Meaningless and irrelevant to the programme, indeed even the commentators make more sense than the adverts, yet when we enter a village they leave us for them!  Why not on the long boring roadway you eejits?  Grrrrr!

On the first day the 'British' rider Mark Cavendish fell and broke his collar bone. He was one tipped to win the race.  If these commentators manage to get through any sentence, whether about the race, the churches and castles passed by, the crowd or the colour of the sky without mentioning Cavendish I have not heard them.  The bias is unavailing, constantly spouted at every opportunity. Cavendish of course is out of the race. 
Lady DiTn thinks the commentators ought to try Nascar!  I would like to see Phil Liggett there also! Heart attacks abounding!


Sunday, 6 July 2014

I Got Sole....

Or at least I aint got sole.  As my feet ached as I walked it came to my attention the problem might have something to do with the soles no longer being of any use to anyone! This is annoying as these shows now fit my feet, or is it the other way around? Comfortable, waterproof unless it rains, and clearly fashionable, oh yes they are.  I suppose I will have to use the 'Sunday Best' shoes from now on, once I have wiped the dust from them. Things under the bed get very dusty I find.   

Only three more World Cup games to go.  One more week I reckon before normality returns.  I sat in front of the TV at five today and was somewhat shocked to find there was no more games!  Only the semi-finals and final to come. I began to see spiders after a while, then realised there were spiders on the telly!  I really must dust more. The 'Tour de France' which is running about Yorkshire at the moment is a nice alternative.  Watching the knees bending is very tiring to me but the scenery, without rain at that, is magnificent!
Tomorrow the 'Tour' comes past our way.  Two overcrowded miles up the road the race will flash past, except when crossing the humpback bridge with a sharp right turn, and ignore the crowds stuffing themselves with hamburger from the stalls ll over the fields in the village.  I should have gathered all the England flags thrown out by loyal fans after the World Cup games and taken them up there to sell!   I will watch on TV, I will see more this way.

Three weeks till our Great War exhibition opens.  We still have five weeks work in hand!!!  Lummy, as they used to say....

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Warm Rain Saturday

I joined with this bird this morning to examine the rain and wondered if I ought to stay in rather than go out.  He was somewhat bemused as the sun burnt those of us lucky enough to be out in it while this morning the land was under a rain cloud.  bravely I went to the Museum where we were bored by the lack of custom.  Those that came, eventually, were very interesting but so few in number.  Something has to be done I say!

The press have indulged themselves once again over Rolfe Harris.  Pages are given over to the details of his 'shocking' activities and as many 'hurt' women as possible will appear in these pages, on TV and on radio, telling us of their despair.  Those who were there, and I know one who was, are somewhat skeptical.  It was clear then what was going on, so why the fuss?  Indeed why did the media not bring this into the open forty years ago?  Why was Saville allowed to continue, and why have MPs involved in abusing boys been a secret all this time when everybody knew?  Ah the hypocrisy astounds.
I note the same media make a fuss over the 'short' sentence given to Harris but fail to fuss over the even shorter sentence given to Coulson, the man who hacked phones and has become the fall guy for Murdoch's empire.  When it's one off their own they are less keen to talk, probably because they all (do) did it!

Not that I wish to complain but watching the World Cup I find the commentators talk rubbish, yes Jonathan Pearce I mean you, the pundits not much better, the constant search for pics of the crowd, senseless slow motions that are too slow, who needs to see celebrations in slow motion I ask you?  But worse are the fans.  Supposedly football fans whenever the camera picks on them they jump up and wave to the screen.  On many occasions these 'fans' were watching their team being humped yet they could ignore this to wave to the camera?  If you are losing and you support your team you do not react like this.  This I suspect is because most watched are female, accompanying the male but less interested in the game than the event and the holiday.  Dump them I say!


Friday, 4 July 2014