Saturday, 28 February 2015

Mixed Feelings

Mixed feelings today.  The good side is the deserved victory the Heart of Midlothian obtained by defeating their opponents today by ten goals to nil!  Such an event I have never witnessed in the flesh, a mere five or six goals at one time is as far as I can recall being scored.  History tells us in the days of yore such scores were not uncommon but today they are indeed rare.  The Heart of Midlothian in their present mood were not slow to take advantage of their despairing visitors.  This victory sounds cruel but in the world of football such events must happen, the team at the top must show the killer instinct to defeat this opponent and ensure fear is offered to the next.
I regret not being there in person, but living four hundred miles away, and in abject poverty at that (oh yes I am!), being there is not possible.  Such a victory, even over a part time side with limited resources, is to be relished!  Sadly such sides know before the season starts such an event may occur, yet as always they go out full of hope anyway.  I suspect they will not be too happy tonight however while our young men will be boasting (quietly) of their prowess!  It must be stated their women will I suspect be more interested in 'The Voice' or 'Ant and Dec' and other drivel!

The other side of the situation is that the team we defeated is Cowdenbeath.  I have a soft spot, not the one in my head, for this town.  My mother came from Cowdenbeath and we often visited there, indeed the house was on the hill overlooking Central Park and in days of your the boys would climb up onto the roof to watch the game and save sixpence!   When the ground was open the town was awash with money.  24,000 persons lived there, the vast majority employed in the coal mines that once dominated the area.  My uncles were all miners, and what a tough life they had!  The people running the football team appear to have thought the good times would continue for ever, Cowdenbeath was called the 'Chicago of Fife' and the ground at opening day could they say hold 70,000 people!  Changes to the ground, deterioration, Health and Safety and common sense now limit the crowd to a couple of thousand.  The population might reach 15,000 today and the mines have long since disappeared.

So I am grateful for the victory but I wish it could have been against a more worthy opponent, Hibernian perhaps?  


Friday, 27 February 2015

Senility Dawns.

I put the used teabags into the teapot, as you do, recycling means a lot if it saves money.  I placed the mug at the side, filled the kettle and switched it on. I took the milk from the fridge and began to pout the milk into the teapot. It was then I stopped as it dawned on me something was not right.  
This was typical of my week. 
OK we have all walked in front of cars because we didn't look, everybody has walked out the door in their slippers, all have forgotten the lunch was still sitting on the cooker instead of inside it cooking, all forget dinner is in the oven and go on to eat burnt things.  I've done that this week.
It was judicious of me to stay indoors this week, I was feared to go outside into the real world!

My plight did not get ignored however.  As I lay on my bed I noticed eyes watching me.  Up in the tree the, vulture like, the crows gathered around eyeing me up and muttering about 'road kill.'  It was a bit anxious like when one of them started to grumble 'Let's do something!'  I shut the curtains quickly and asked the neighbour to send the cats out!  I locked the doors also just in case. I have seen that Hitchcock film!

Pleasure came from watching endless repeats of 'Time Team,' and one or two of the better 'Top Gear' programmes and several dozen football matches!  Falkirk ought to have stuffed the blue bigots tonight by the way.  I also have been reading Tacitus, WW2 diaries and Jerry's latest book. More of that later. The rest of the time I lay on the floor watching the Ladybird walk around the lampshade while I cried "Why me?  Why me?" plaintively.

I did no work of any sort, as the mess in the place reveals.     


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

There's a hole... my bag today. 
Thinking is not working.
Mind has stuttered and closed down.
Confusion reigns.
I've switched myself off and back on but it makes no difference.
I'm back off to bed until my mind restarts again.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Talk to the Wall

I've been talking to the wall.
Early this morning I had a word with one or two folks at the market stalls, later I phoned a woman and listened for fifteen minutes, and after making the stew I spoke to the wall.
It struck me this wall had something to say about the life that had passed by since 1812 when it was erected, possibly as cottages for workers at the 'Big Hoose' behind us.
The 'Big Hoose' has long since gone and been replaced with the Police station, hence the regular sirens you hear while reading this.  Whether the owner of the 'Big Hoose' remains there is unknown.
So I asked the wall about previous residents, mostly in recent years short term tenants of a few months to a couple of years, except me obviously.  
The landlord took over the place from the doctor.  He moved in during the thirties and used the house as it then was as his surgery.  Scratching around it appears to me his dad lived round the corner in one of the expensive houses there, dying in 1944, and the doctor happily practiced for many years until selling out to my landlord.  Why I ask did he have to practice?  Did he not study enough?  Anyway I have the feeling he served in the Notts & Derby regiment during the Great War, being 'gazetted' in 1918.  This a regiment that was billeted on this town during that war but would they be billeted on such a house as this was then?  My neighbour heard tow women mention this as 'that used to be the doctors house' as they passed.  Doctors appear to be something women do not forget. This however makes me wonder how the house was set up then. Certainly it was changed when the landlord converted it into flats and rebuilt the back end with little major change since.  Did he live upstairs and operate, if you see what I mean downstairs?  Not much room and lots of nosey people looking in as they pass too.
Before this  a couple married in 1930 moved in.  No idea what he did but to buy or rent this place at that time he must have been well paid.  Too little time at the moment to investigate and relying on details I discovered a long time back. Certainly he moved out when the doctor needle arrived and lived until 1981 somewhere cheaper in the town.
Before him, at least during 1926, a woman describing herself as a 'corsetiere' worked from here. She knew how to get around women!  I suppose that explains the whale bones that turn up every now and again.  
The wall saw them all.
It saw some strange things when the doctor was here, his examinations, his explanations and the often tearful response of his patients.  The couple with a possible family may have been more fun of course while the wonders of corsets and the sight of those requiring them may have made the wall look away!
During that time the town was lit by gas, the street lighting until 1956 indeed. The houses may have had electric light but did they have bathrooms by the first world war?  The wall saw, or heard, bombs fall during two wars but remained unmoved, horses clip-clopped past while folks ran out to help their roses grow. Gas lamps and more often oil lamps, candles and roaring coal fires lit the house during the hours of darkness.  No radios until the thirties, no TV, no noise for most of its life bar human voice and movement.  A occasional phone when the doctor was here perhaps.  
The original dwellers may have had a family of up to a dozen children running around.  Possibly a senior employee of the big house moved in, maybe a manager on a farm, there were lots around.
Just how many folks have lived here intrigues.  Their ups and downs would make a better TV show than that shown today.  The wall however will not reveal if any buried treasure in the garden, it claims he could not see from here!  Bah!


Friday, 20 February 2015

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A Walk in the Past.

Having slept well I disobeyed orders and changed my mind about trekking to Chelmsford and the Record Office as I wished to go back to bed catch up with things.  This I singularly failed to do!  Instead I fiddled, fuddled and avoided things that could be avoided and caught up with emails regarding fallen soldiers. That did take a while mind.  
The bright sun fooling people into thinking it was warm tempted me out to capture pictures of the blue sky and something nice.  All I found was a chimney. It so happened that yesterday I was busy browsing a book on a local village housing.  The old houses date back to the 1300's in some cases though more came later and all have been constantly revamped.  One thing that struck me was the use of chimneys. These appeared in the late 1400's so what did they do before I wondered. However work meant I was unable to read further and satisfy my curiosity.  This building, like many down this street, are worth looking at, try it here Bradford Street.  This one started in the 15th century and was added to in the 16th and 17th, constantly improved but showing some style, even if somewhat mixed.  I have always been attracted to the scene at the side, reminiscent of an old world look.  Most of these houses have connections to the wool trade later evolving into weaving, dying and so on.  The Flemish weavers and their 'Bays and Stays' were so honest that once ordered people never checked the goods as they knew it would be as required with no cheating.  The cloth trade continued until recently when Courtauld's closed down in the 90's.

Once home I attempted work and failed.  

That was not a new experience.


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

I'm Tired....

I'm so tired!  Half term holiday and thousands of kids arrived at my door.  Just after Jean remarked that it was quiet, 10:30 ish is always quiet, we were inundated with mum's bringing the kids in.  The sun shining brightly fooled them into thinking it was warm, it wasn't really, but they had to get put of the house and here they arrived.  Not only but also there were human beings also visiting, lots of them. Many others came with queries, asking re photographs or tourist information, one visitor liked to talk as being far from home and alone he was a bit lonely, very nice he was.  Then I had to return later as the lass had to go visit a woman to record information re her wartime experiences. So I missed my much needed afternoon siesta and this is not good.  Adrenalin kept me going and now it has ceased!  
I might not be able to keep my eyes open during the football, this is bad....


Monday, 16 February 2015

Night & Football

Having spent most of the weekend watching mediocre football matches on TV or laptop I took myself out into the dark night.  The place I headed to was unobtainable so I wandered around streets I have not known for a while.
How different everything is in the early Sunday evening when dark.  
Away from the main roads all is relatively quiet, even those main roads have much less traffic. Lights at windows shine out revealing through open curtains adults wasting their minds on brain blurring TV, kids playing with tablets and policemen asking why I am looking at the buildings.  The family is quiet and at rest, the kids safely locked into their rooms, all is quiet.  
Had I ventured round here late on Saturday it may not be quite so quiet.  Late night revellers, parties here and there, an occasional police car.   At least when I delivered in this area that was the norm.  The austerity life has changed this somewhat I suspect.  
One noticeable thing then was the unfortunates who fell for Thatchers foolhardy idea of selling council houses.  These were erected to give folks a decent home, and the Conservatives under Harold MacMillan built three million themselves, she flogged them for a few votes!  The problem came when sickness or unemployment arrived and these people, fooled into buying cheap, selling high and moving 'upwards' now found themselves out on the street or in Council 'half way houses.'
In the past few years I suspect many more from here have fallen this way.  The happy contented families may be less contented than my quiet walk indicated.

I spent so much time watching football and being unsatisfied I had to start the day watching a game rerun on BT Sport.  It also was rubbish!  From Airdrie to Rome the games were not good. Still it's better than working.  Anyway I must go, Preston play Man U tonight and I have to watch it in case something relevant to the WW2 research comes in.....


Saturday, 14 February 2015

Fire Valentinus!

Interesting isn't it when you see the inside of a house that you pass daily.  The chimney stack is a beaut innit?  Shame it has to come down!  The result of a fire is quite awful and a very expensive repair is now required on two or possibly three, listed buildings.  The water damage alone will take a while to dry out. The man alleged to be responsible has appeared in court today charged with arson. I suspect we will not see him again for some time. 

Today I offer to the pretty young women who frequent this site this bouquet  of roses. Women so perfect as yourselves deserve these.
Today, as if you did not know, is another jumped up commercial money grab known worldwide as 'Valentines Day.'  The History of this one time saint is obscure, there are at least three of them, and you can take your pick as to which was the one given a backhander to start this codswallop.  The whole thing has hung around since the third century or thereabouts making many men guilt riven for not spending enough, spending too much, and no matter what he spends she still blames him and says her mother was right all along!  Why do we keep falling for these commercial led emotional robberies?  Surely men run after their women all the time?  Surely he informs her of his love daily?  Surely he has no need to spend cash because the florist says he will not be getting any if he doesn't?  Cards, flowers, eating out, events, money, holidays, all for a Valentinius we know nothing about, or if he actually existed!  Bah!  I will not fall for that!

Naturally when I wandered downstairs to greet the postwoman it goes without saying that she wandered right past my door offering a multitude of reasons why there were no cards, no flowers, no offers of dates, nowt, nil, zilch NOTHING for you!  It may of course be the lack of a tip at Christmas might still rankle with her.  Whatever I received no cards, again, this year, including the one I sent myself, and have spent the night wandering around restaurants, hanging about the windows holding a large sign saying "Divorced and able to afford TV Football!" In large black letters.  This of course is a lie but it's a giggle innit!


Thursday, 12 February 2015

Fire, Library, Butcher.

Returning from a day in Chelmsford Library looking at microfiche and searching through books I stopped off to look at the fire damage.  This building has stood here since the late 1500's and has of course been much changed over the years. I always loved it, the jetted front, the small dated windows, and I suspect creaking stairs inside.  In recent years the bottom has been a wine bar, restaurant and so on, all have failed and now the premises are used by a church group working with the 'homeless.'   Up above rooms are let and a variety of types make use of them.  In spite of original complaints there appears to have been no problems, at least none I have heard of anyway. Last night however rumour tells us a young man was informed he would be leaving, evicted is the word, and he apparently was none to happy about this.  
It has become obvious he was none to happy as his method of expression was to throw White Spirit about the place, light a match and stand well clear.  The chap who rumour claims was in the shower at the time was not happy with this expression of opinions.  He was high up in the three story building when he discovered the smoke choking him.  He got onto the roof and a double decker bus returning to the garage was brought close and he leapt onto the roof from where the firemen rescued him.  
The top floors are damaged, water damage from the fire hoses has reached the shops on the ground and the poor florist on the corner may end up losing her business.  Three of them were working on the Valentines Day (none for me thanks) flowers when the firemen knocked on the door to tell them the flats above were burning!  Luckily an empty property in the centre has been given to them for temporary use. Her business may still suffer badly mind.
Police are looking for a nineteen year old man, so there is no doubt who is responsible, and work on the building, if it survives, may go on for months.  The smell hangs about in the air as the fireman slogs his way dampening down the place.  

This blocked the road and caused my bus to drive the long way around town to head south.  In fact we arrived a wee bit early while I expected it to hinder us. I therefore headed through the town, stopping at the Cathedral for a moment and found myself impressed with a sculpture in the prayer chapel.  It is not often such things attract me but this one, photographed discretely from a distance, did look OK to me. Less impressive was the price on the second hand cameras in the local camera shop.  Certainly asking £45 for an aged Olympus Trip was excessive so you can imagine the prices of the better stuff!  Following an attractive thin legged well dressed woman, by accident obviously, I came to the market where I had a butcher at the butchers while not surprisingly I lost her as she entered a show shop, drawn irresistibly as a moth to a light bulb!  Looking at the butchers was useful however as my fridge was as empty as my intellect, and my chances as it happens.  
So I found myself in the library (pronounced 'in t' library' for those in Yorkshire) climbed down the stairs to enter, climbed up the stairs to the quiet local reference area and began to browse.  It amazed me that such a building should house the library and the Essex Council Buildings when so many stairs are in use. To enter the council many more stairs climb up and down, only a council could get away with it!  There are lifts obviously but really!  
Anyway I browsed the books, grabbed very little info and discovered the microfiche of the WW2 newspapers!  I browsed, once they had been unlocked and instructed on how not to break the machine, a suitable periodical and was impressed as to how little difference there was between those editions and today's.  Certainly tales of war derring-do are limited today but the theft, complaints letters, and sensational headlines are similar.  One thing was very good, the ability to advertise for male or female staff!  How lovely to see PROPER ADVERTS again!  Mind you the housekeeper adverts never revealed how much you were paid, so that was not good!  I loved the advert for 'Craven 'A'' Cigarettes, 'For your throat's sake' it claimed!  Another interesting point was how little was expressed in this weekly newspaper.  A German 'Junkers 88' aircraft brought down by anti-aircraft fire 'a bright orange glow in the sky' was said to have crashed 'seven miles north of an Essex town.'  No town name is given in 1944 just in case the Germans find out.  In fact considering the years of war past so little was said in the paper, but that is to be expected.   
Now I know all about this I must go back and research better when I have more time and know what I am looking for.  On returning I went to see the boss to discover a lead as to what next and found her elsewhere. Tsk!  Typical!  So I made my way home clutching the chicken, meat and pies I bought at the butchers.  £11 for a few days meals is not bad all things considered as this will do for most of the week now.  
One thing I noted is the attitudes in a large town, now called a 'city' in comparison to those of this sleepy market town.  How miserable they appear, how unwilling to speak, unless selling something, although the staff at the library were acceptable in their behaviour.  I did note the unsmiling nature the larger the town however.  Incidentally Chelmsford was granted 'City' status not because it is the centre of Essex, a boring centre I say, but because Colchester, a much more interesting place, turned it down.  The peoples if Colchester regard their town as the 'oldest town in England,' this title they would lose if they became a 'city' so they avoided it to keep the tourists!
Ah fame!



Monday, 9 February 2015

It's a Good Day.

It's a good day when you cross the park in the sunshine and hear a wee bird, so small you canny find it up there in that tree, chirping its heart out looking for a mate!  This is good as it means we are almost in Spring!  Yes indeed the wood pigeons have been giving it laldy in recent days also, even though they keep this up all year round,  as the chill wind dies down and the temperature begins to rise ever so slowly.  Indeed the wee bird had removed his gumboots and only had one sweater on
today.  That tells you how much warmer it has become.  I however kept the 'Long Johns' and the thermals on when outside.  Actually I keep them on inside also but that's by the by.  Sunshine, Daffodils desperate to blossom, Bluebells poking through and chirping Spring birdies, what more could you wish for?

I watched Sportscene while scoffing what passed for evening meal tonight, let's not bring that up again, and was somewhat surprised to find that in a programme almost an hour long nearly half was devoted to Raith Rovers win over Rangers in the Scottish Cup.   I thought such praise of Rovers worthwhile however on closer examination it transpires that the majority of the discussion centred on Rangers themselves. How a club containing the dirtiest player in the country, the crookedest board of directors, the sectarian bigots who form the fan base, and have certain referees at their beck and call can get such support from BBC Scotland surprised me a little.  I wonder, should this TV company not employ journalists to examine and bring to the worlds notice the corruption and misdeeds of the Ibrox men over the last ten years, you know, the stuff we all know about and the Glasgow media keep quiet about?  Huh?  I wonder why the slavish obeisance to Rangers?  Is there a reason I ask?

More pertinent news however arises from the sad end of one of Edinburgh's most important successes. The chap who runs Ross's Confectionery Company is retiring and nobody in his family is willing to take over.  Having received an offer for the building he wisely is selling up and ending the sweet 'Edinburgh Rock'  that has kept dentists in Scotland and abroad well paid for many a day. The loss of this famous sweet is similar to losing a Cup Final, something fans of Hibernian understand well.  This is a major loss to the nation.  There are certainly those who will wish to take over this product, buying the machinery required from the owner and continuing the destruction of children's teeth. However they must be quick about it  or the population may find being healthy an enjoyable experience and lose the desire to suck on one of these delightful rocks.
Actually that is nonsense, of course we will reject health and demand this great tradition continues and by now I already have several missing teeth anyway.


Sunday, 8 February 2015

Chant, Election and Art

Gregorian chant is a delightful sound in the background.  So many choices, often of professionally made albums not by monks, spoil the selection but this one is genuine enough.  Played in the background it can ease the pressures of the day - or drive you up the wall!

Jeremy Hunt

One reason to play light relaxing sounds comes from the election propaganda shoved down our throats by the media.  Lies, promises, bribes continually fill the press and some are fooled into believing what these self seeking liars say.  I am not!  Today we read in the Sunday Telegraph the minister responsible for the NHS claiming he is bringing in reforms to end the deaths caused in the NHS by mistakes, poor care and incompetence, deaths he numbered at around 12,00 a year. 
Twelve thousand! !2, 000 deaths and not one prosecution?  'Something must be done' is his cry, while blaming the previous Labour government (who have been out of office for Five years!) and not acknowledging his governments failed 'top down' changes which are responsible for so much of the mess in the NHS. He also forgot the privatisation (and he has shares in US private companies he wishes to use in the NHS) which his party's ideology favours.  
Let's go back to this, 12,000 deaths caused by mistakes and incompetence and nothing is done as it is all hushed up by the powers that be?  I worked in the NHS some time back and am aware mistakes occur daily, overwork causes this, and nobody can be perfect.  I am also aware things are hushed up, sometimes to save a doctors reputation, mostly to save the NHS paying out any compensation.  Cover ups come not from staff so much as office dwellers who care nothing for anyone bar themselves!  Why have no charges been brought by police to those responsible?  Why no investigations?  If so many are dying why are the police not bringing charges?
No charges will be brought, this is merely another PR stunt by the caring Conservative Party who promise so much, easy promises are their main PR, and nothing will happen except a few cosmetic changes while the girls (and it's mostly girls) running the NHS line their pockets, pass the buck and patients suffer.

This bright but badly drawn painting by Paul Gaugin has been sold to a museum in Qatar for £197 million ($300).  It is believed they also bought a Cezanne for £158 recently.  If this shows anything it reveals the depth of stupidity and corruption in the art world.  It reveals how arrogance and pride dent the thinking abilities of the human mind.  Now 'art' has its place.  It can be useful, decorative and decent art is worth a reward.  However much of what passes for 'art' is not art, it is just selling to stupid people with too much money and a sponge where their brain should be.  
The painting shown is one of many the artist offered while sunbathing in the Pacific, each one rather naive and usually of half naked women.  He could at least have drawn them properly!  However there exists those who consider art worth having, some because they like it, some because they must have what is important as this gives value to their empty lives and some because they have too much money and too little taste.
Art is merely what you like.  Sure some is better than others, talented artists abound, but in the end it either 'speaks to you' or it doesn't.  Most of what is art today reflects a dead culture but many admire it as it is where they are sadly to be found, but they do not realise this yet.  The Damien Hurts of this world are not artists as such even if talented, these are people who have realsied that getting a famous name makes you rich, the art that follows can be meaningless but they know it will sell.
Francis Bacon was clearly mental yet people pay millions for the results of his damaged brain, Edward Munch could not draw yet the 'Scream' was sold for £74 million and Jackson Pollock did not even bother pretending to draw, just squiggles on the floor made his name.  
Why pride should require an outlet in overpriced art fails me, if only it would spend its money on something worth looking at, there is plenty around.  

Saturday, 7 February 2015


"Life," the man said,"is what happens to you when your making other plans."
Today the plan was simple.  Sleep, buy veg, sleep, watch football, type up the notes, sleep, watch football, sleep.  Easy to write, easy to plan, easy to follow.
Didn't happen!
It began OK.  I slept long this morning, had breakfast, began typing notes when I could read my writing, and then went for the veg.
For a start the weather was still freezing cold, then the veg man who is always there was not there.  Has he been kidnapped or bumped off by the man at the other veg stall I wondered?  This now means using the other veg man who I consider to be a bit of a git or use supermarkets overpriced stuff.  I used neither to save money and will struggle through on frozen stuff.
Then slouching my way home I passed the museum.  A knock on the window invited me in to chat, then informed me the lass on that morning had not turned up as her car was broken and I soon found myself there all morning even though I was dressed in the 'unshaven Saturday scruff' look. 
This threw out all my sleep plans and little typing occurred as the football was on the laptop and priorities indicate football comes first!  I miss the sleep the most!
Now having nothing done that ought to be done, just look at the mess in the sinks, the football was flat, the notes unreadable, sleep unavailable as the dire football kept me awake, and this has not been written yet. 
I did however manage at last to get round all your blogs in the last 24 hours. Normal practice takes me there daily but WW2 is making things difficult.  My routine is gone and my life is falling apart.
However I will not bleat about it.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Day Out

So my day of rest (most days) was ruined by visiting the Record Office.  The 10:26 bus left right on time at 10:32 but made it to the bus station dead on time.  Then the problems began.  Do I walk to the right along the long canal path or go through town and cut through the big shop?  Town it is, this is quicker and I always go for the quick route.  
Once through the big shop, past the unsmiling painted faces at the perfume counter, avoiding 'women's shows' and squirming at the prices on the men's jackets I came out almost on top of the path by the canal.  My poor knees and I limped along the path past the huge shopping centre, over the bridge and then the doubts began.  Once I had gone miles along I found a board with a map and details on it.  No one had told me that while the River Cam runs through Chelmsford the River Chelmer does also!  No-one told me that turning left took me to nowhere and turning right took me to the Record Office!  My knees muttered loudly under their breath as they took me all the way back, over the bridge and to a place where I could cut through to the back entrance of the said Record Office.  If I have not lost several pounds in weight by tomorrow I will wish to know why!

Passing through town I stopped of for a moment in the cathedral.  This is a nice place to sit and ponder, unless some event is going on, and I always stop of for a moment.  Much altered in recent years it has not replaced the Victorian stained glass windows and here is one of St Cedd, the first Bishop of the East Saxons.  Not that I can remember much about him, nor that he would look anything like the Victorian ideal, indeed he would not have fitted in well with them I doubt, but he was a strong efficient man in his day.  The sun was not bright enough to reveal the depth of colour in the window.

I spent hours in the Records Office, mostly looking through incident reports of WW2 bombs and V1 and the like that fell in this district.  These reveal the confusion when an explosion of some kind occurs in the dark 'over there somewhere.'  This has to be investigated, damage or casualties reported, and few if any of these men were professional.  However they dealt with bomb damage, individuals made homeless or wounded, and a hundred other events including being shot at by passing German aircraft.  
I was left with something of the lifestyle the man in the street endured as each day he risked passing aircraft, bullets and bombs while going about his everyday business.  These were the men at home, often with family members away on service, 'carrying on' and 'muddling through' while this great event erupted around them.  We are lucky we do not have that situation daily as they had.  
Naturally the bits I really wished to read about came late on when I had lost my mind by reading all the comments and struggling through a mass of carbon backed paper.  I will haven to go back next week and look at some of these again.  

Naturally the bus home met with the 'rush hour,' streams of red lights ahead of us, yellow ones to either side, and roundabout after roundabout hindering our advance to home.  Now home, fed badly and watered just as badly I ache all over, await the pains in the knee keeping me awake, and worse still there is no football on the TV!  

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Miserable City

Aberdeen, you may not have noticed, has been awarded the 'Plook on the Plinth Carbuncle' award for the first time.  And not before time some would say.  The 'Urban Realm' magazine, no I've never heard of it either, chose Aberdeen ahead of Cumbernauld, and that says something and also East Kilbride in the west and Leven on the Fife coast.  
Aberdeen is famous for being the hub of the Scottish oil business.  The fourth of the main Scottish cities it is one of the coldest in the UK let alone Scotland.  I can assure you the cold grey mist rolling in of the sea that Sunday morning in 1968 still remains in my memory when a few young lads looked desperately for some entertainment before returning to civilisation in Edinburgh.  Aberdeen is also famous for the civic pride of Victorian days that caused them to tear down buildings, realign the main road 'Union Street' and rebuild it with Granite!  Sadly the costs were so high Aberdeen went bust!  It became the thing to joke about miserly Aberdonians, probably dating from this time.  Harry Lauder the Edinburgh singer invented a Scottish stereotype character who wore a 'tammy' on his head, carried a crooked walking stick and was incredibly miserly.  This must have been based on Aberdeen people.  
Now it is some time since I visited the place, we won by two goals to one last time I well remember, but council men are no different there than elsewhere and money talks and developers spoils even the heart of Edinburgh Scotland's magnificent capital city with modern day architecture and backhanders aplenty (allegedly!).  Aberdeen is no different.  
At least Aberdeen does produce a speciality, the 'Rowrie' a type of 'Aberdeen Roll' that is well worth buying, not that they would pay of course. 
The fans of the football club it must be said 'stand free' from the sectarian bile often found in Glasgow and follow their club with a good away support.  They remain however the most miserable outside of Glasgow however.  Never happy, always innocent, always finding fault elsewhere.  Fans of Edinburgh's glorious Heart of Midlothian would never act in such a manner, it would be unthinkable. 
Cities and towns ought to have something individualist about them but the larger shops always wish to have their own shop fronts.  When I cycled form Edinburgh to London in 1974, I was younger then, I could not help being aware that every town had the same High Street.  Often there was once some individuality but now the ground floors all looked like every other town.  Looking up we can see many differences in the buildings but on the ground cheap plastic fronts make every town a place of takeaways, opticians and newsagents, all alike, all cheapening the town.  
Side streets often reveal something original, houses from before the war show fine details, but since the financial side and the invention of plastic all has deteriorated badly.  
This town also has too many charity shops filling the High Street.  People ask what can be done but no councillor suggests lowering the rates.  I wonder why? Maybe specialist shops and the town might thrive?


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

I Forgot

I forgot to bother about posting something.
Having endured a half day of the museum, until the schoolkids came into the shop at one o'clock when I ran for home and left the girls with them, I stumbled through the rest of the day not sure what I was doing.  So many things lie around in heaps requiring action that I cannot decide where to start or what to do.  Eventually I made a move - I went to bed!  This has proved to be the best idea.

I have no thoughts, nothing to say, nothing worth saying as usual, and caring little about all the other oppressive or seemingly important things others are saying, so I will not say anything about what they are saying.  
Between 1978 and 1986 I did without a television.  People around me kept informing me of the 'really good,' 'can't miss' television that I was missing. However when I saw those programmes I wondered if I really missed anything. I read the bible and books instead.  I listened to the radio and got better pictures then when the BBC World Service was good.  This radio service has been badly mauled now but the news still remains excellent even if many other programmes are best avoided. To few people decide what goes into radio these days.  All come from similar backgrounds, all possess the same outlook, none wish to be courageous and offer an alternative view as this will bring their peers to oppose them, and that takes a strength they do not possess.  
Books open up worlds unknown.  They enlighten, offer insights, educate and it is easier to find opposing views from any opinions offered within.  Thoughts can be allowed to wander into various ideas, not forced into what sells or what suits the director.  Books can also be read anywhere, but not, I can tell you, while riding a motorbike!  

What was I saying?
Anyway I forgot to think so I will go rest the few remaining brain cells and see if I can think tomorrow.   


Monday, 2 February 2015

Everything Works, Well Almost...

So the BT equipment arrived this morning.  It was well explained, simple to adapt and after my siesta I discovered the switchover had occurred and soon all was working as normal.  The only slight problem was signing in to My BT as it were.  I had to re-input my details, get confirmation and carry on.  Now I try to sign in to BTSport and it tells me I am not signed in.  Typical.  Small gremlins which will soon be worked out....hopefully.  However all works otherwise and comments still come through, even if the transatlantic cable is dodgy!  

That apart it has been difficult typing while sitting with feet on the radiator and fingers numb with cold. The heating goes off and several minutes later the feet join the fingers.  I look forward to tomorrow when I can sit in the museum and enjoy the free heat there.  A few days cold weather and the gas man is laughing his head off as we all tun up the heating to avoid hypothermia.  The millions salted away by those (mostly foreign) shareholders will not make them happy I tell thee.  By cutting the price they can however make me happy!  Oh to suffer in Australia, Uganda, Mumbai or some other warm place.  


Sunday, 1 February 2015

Stats and Changeover

As I am moving to BT Sport tomorrow, if it works, I have been wandering about amending email addresses removing the Pipex one that ceases tomorrow and inserting a workable email.  This as you will know is a never ending task.  At least I will lose much of the spam that has followed me for umpteen years.  
One problem is the electricity people.  They will not allow me to change the address unless I give them a mobile number.  I do not use a mobile, well I carry one but only for emergency's, as only people with friends require mobile phones.  Therefore the electric folks will not allow me to alter my email, at least their on screen robot won't.  They may have to shout then.
Statcounter however was not a problem and for the first time in ages I wandered about their site looking into who visits me.  How interesting to see people arriving for short visits arriving for anything from 'Old Troopships' to 'Oor Wullie.'  People pop in from Portugal to California, strangers passing by and not stopping.  Someone in Russia was impressed with a cartoon, this one:-

So impressed that his mate a few hundred miles away soon came on to see it too.  Folks in Germany, Portugal, many US states and much of Europe pop in and ignore me.  Few I noticed hang around for long.  I suppose only the more intellectual types would do that.

As I said, tomorrow is the big change over.  Sometime or other Talk talk will switch off and immediately (or later) BT will turn on.  If there is silence for a while it means there is the usual BT interminable delay or I have everything I require except the wherewithal to make it work, which is most likely.