Monday, 27 April 2015


Right, I am off to the seaside for a couple of days.  I have the promise of rain, wind, clouds, cold, rain and cold rain and more rain while there.  I told you it was Spring!   Back wet, cold, sick and there is a possibility I may be a wee bit grumpy, late on Thursday.
Don't break anything while I am gone.


Sunday, 26 April 2015

Spring in Essex

Gray skies, dead daffodils, drizzle and a cold wind from the north.  
While the blue tits and goldfinches flit through the trees, many still leafless, the branches shake violently as gusts of wind remind us that we live on the far north west of Europe.  The cheery weather people inform us the cold 'blast' from the north will descend this week to make things a lot worse. 
I need not remind you that later this week the month of May begins!

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Not to be Forgotten Colonials

Much of this morning was taken up with watching the ceremony at the Cenotaph for the ANZAC Day commemorations.  The next few years will see many centenaries from the war and this was probably one of the most significant.  The combined forces of the Australian and New Zealand armies not only partook in an unglamorous conflict but by doing so they forged two new nations.
Until this operation there was a tendency to see themselves as an extension of the 'mother country' something that has occurred time and again down through the centuries.  The British Isles sent many to these to land masses, sometimes unwillingly, and it was the war of 1914 that brought the realisation that these two nations were just that, nations, not an extension of anyone else.
The Anzacs had a tough and difficult time at Gallipoli and later played a part in operation in the Sinai desert.  In 1916 they were transferred to the harder still fighting in France serving at Poziers on the Somme.  
The contribution to the war effort by the Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, Indian and many other nations cannot be overlooked.  Too often however that is what happens.  Today the ceremony brought them to the fore and also added contributions from their former enemies the Turks!  They too cannot be ignored.  
Fighting soldiers are usually the first to be pacifists when war threatens but the first into battle when peace breaks down.  Those who know war are the first to avoid it!  These men are also the first to welcome gatherings like this where former enemies meet to commemorate and live new lives.


Friday, 24 April 2015

Radio 4 and 'Today'

I know how he feels!
This morning the Radio 4 programme 'Today' made me feel quite bilious!  This is supposedly the main 'hard news' show of the day, beginning at six in the morning and finishing at nine when everyone is supposedly at work somewhere in England.  Note it is supposedly only England as the rest have their own versions of early morning news.  In theory the main news will be offered, discussed, politicians called to explain, foreign news explained, home news made clear.  All well and good, when it works and the presenters allow folks to speak and answer the question!  The anti-Scots pro liberal bias is well noted but recently they have begun to turn the programme into one of those TV versions of early morning news, the ones where almost no news at all can be seen and pop/film/authors/celebs fill the time dressing badly and talking about themselves.
Today 'Today' gave us what appeared to be hours of drivel re a soap opera being broadcast at the weekend.  The sound of James Naughtie, a man who sold out Scotland during the referendum to keep his many slots in Radio 4 and Radio 3, indulged himself slavering over an actress from this upcoming show.  'Poldark' is the name, a remake of a programme form the distant past.  the usual script, handsome men, pretty girls, clothes off and in the background an explosion, a bad man/old man/grumpy woman etc and nothing but vacuous bile all the way through.  You saw it when it was the Tudors/Victorians/shop owners/oil magnates etc and will be seeing the same again soon.  
Why was this dross on a news show?
Not long ago a man wrote a 'book' on Twitter for them, then we had poetry and on and on and on with things that have little to do with news.  If only we had a proper news service, better journalists instead of BBC clones and moved away from celebrity culture on news shows we might get more people listening.


Thursday, 23 April 2015

Let Joy reign.....Pah!

I clambered aboard the somewhat rusting red doubledecker bus.  A handful of passengers, mostly aged women joined me.  We waited several minutes, time enough for two mothers with pushchairs to enter and jam up the passageway.  Soon we were off, blue smoke belching from the rear of the bus as the 'Free Bus' made the short journey to the shopping centre.  Here we dismounted our tired steed and dispersed towards the collection of 'outlets' where a variety of overpriced fashion chains attempt to fool people into thinking they are getting a bargain.  Many displayed large garish signs which promised, with all the authority of a politicians pre-election promises, 'Price Cuts' or 'SALE' and 'Many stocks half price,'  all lies.  
In days of yore when I was young we dressed in levi's and desert boots enabling us to look similar to Simon & Garfunkel on the 'Bridge over Troubled Waters' album, except on the occasion we wore cords.  Indeed I wore cords for about twenty five years, often 'Levi's' or 'Wranglers' or occasionally a cheaper option if possible.  Those days are gone as proper cords are hard to come by and those makers charge too much.  That said I wandered into a near empty Levi's shop to check the bargains.  They do not appear to go into garish window signs but inside I noticed that I could get two pairs of jeans for £99.  This was made to sound a bargain!  Fifty quid each!!!  I hitched up the grubby £5 Tesco jeans I wore and shuffled out the door glancing at the neatly piled offerings and their high prices.  They say Levi began making jeans during the gold rush, possibly true, certainly you need a gold rush to buy them today!
The building hid the biting cold wind and sunshine filled the space in the passageways.  A few people were rich enough to buy and others had the joy of trailing the kids with them.  One man brought his dog possibly as an excuse not to go into the shops and bore himself to death as she examined the goods.  A woman checking the stuff in a shop and pondering is not as efficient as a man I say.  No clocks can be found in these shops for obvious reasons.
I checked the jackets in the Barbour shop.  Again the store was neatly laid out and once again i had no idea what was men's wear and what were women's!  Most of it looked the same to me.  As a man was checking the far side I walked there and considered one or two items.  I love the way they display prices without any blushing.  £249 reduced to a mere £189, sounds like a bargain to me!  I continued to prowl through the price labels, difficult to read when in half light and wearing glasses meant for distance.  One jacket I did take a fancy to but decided opening a bank account just to get a loan was not quite what I wanted to do.  I could buy a house for less!  
The shopping centre I find somewhat depressing.  The prices are too high, it is of course aimed at women, the men's stuff if good is not what I am after and what I am after is too dear or not the right colour or size.  No wonder I check Tesco first!
My wallet opened only to buy a pair of cheap slippers which turned out to be half the price on the ticket which almost made me smile, I didn't as I wanted to look like many of the girls I saw working int he shops.  Three '3xl' T-shirts were obtained from a 'Sports Direct' shop where the two girls I spoke to were pleasant and efficient.  It was only while in there I remembered it was 'Sports Direct' a shop owned by the chap who runs Newcastle football club.  He is famous for making money and 'interesting' deals.  One or two deals have ensured he has a large hand in Rangers football club, owning the rights to run the shops, the rights to the logo's and is owed much millions for money he loaned them.  Quite was else he has his hand in is not clear.  An arrangement with previous board members meant he loaned five players to Rangers with accommodation and salaries to be paid by the Glasgow club.  Three of these men were injured at the time and have never reached Glasgow, one played, very well in fact, but damaged his hamstring and left at half time and returned to Newcastle.  Only one plays for Rangers.  Dubious deals in football are not new but the Newcastle owner is very good at them.  He has no fans either in Glasgow or Newcastle but as long as he makes money he appears to care not.
The T-shirts I bought I know shrink so I bough very large ones.  As I tried one on I realised it fits perfectly - which means once washed it will shrink like so many others!  Bah!
The single deck white once glorious but not so now 'Free Bus' arrived as I sat in the sunshine attempting to avoid the cold wind that kept crawling down my neck.  The handful of passengers clambered aboard clutching a few precious bargains.  We sped back slowly to the bus station where  we disgorged into the arms of other bargain hunters determined to lose their money on things they do not really require.  The sun warmed the day out of the breeze as I walked up the road admiring the blue sky, the glinting of rays of shiny things and listened to the chirping of birds high above.  
Naturally I was tired and after the repast that would be outlawed even by a hospital I wanted to sleep off my morning.  Naturally the men on the scaffolding were again working, one painting something above the windows and the other erecting even more planks and poles.  Crashing and banging, shouting, joking and far to much merriment in my view.  There is too much happiness around and I think we need more misery!  I must campaign for such and rid the world of joyful people, especially when I am tired!  This continued for a while and at the first opportunity I gathered my weary bones and wandered out into the busy roadway for some peace and quiet.  A walk round town, a visit to Tesco, kids and all, and back home helped me relax better than the workmen could. Now all is still, long tailed tits flit among the trees looking for supper, a few cars pass by, the sound deadened somewhat by the scaffolding, a dog chases an object thrown by the owner in the park and a form of peace has returned.  
Looks like that means it's time for football then, innit!


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Clear Sight

I see the world clearer now.  By that I do not mean I have read and understood all the propaganda spewed out of the various political parties, no siree.  No-one understands those, not even the writers let's be honest.  I did however receive the Tory leaflet through the door today, personally addressed to me.  This tactic of personally addressing such leaflets is motivated by a desire to convince the householder that he is worth something to the candidate, nobody believes that!  So a glance at the picture of the smug git was enough to put me off.  Certainly he has abilities, clearly he has some experience of life, there can be no doubt he suits this Tory dominated constituency but will I vote for him, I doubt this very much!  He did not reply to my Twitter tweet asking him one question, only the Labour man managed that to his credit, the two others I asked also failed to answer. Today's media is quiet on the election however, just another Cameron fear story re the SNP. Nothing regarding policy, just one of Clegg's promises that mean nothing so it shows the Conservative Party are struggling indeed if their media are quiet.
However we get away from the point!

The point is I can see clearer now.  Indeed I see better than I have seen for ages.  You see work has begin on the outside of the crumbling building and scaffolding has been erected for the men to (slowly) do the work.  Naturally one is off at the hospital for some results and the other is off elsewhere today.  All we have is a couple of scaffolders erecting even more poles and planks remarkably quietly.  This erection allowed me to make use of the scaffold to clean my windows!  You see owing to several problems, sloth being the most obvious other than the weather, it has not been possible to actually clean the windows without much stress and hassle.  Today however I clambered onto the scaffold and removed eons of dirt from the outside of the glass.  It strikes me now I am sitting watching the gray clouds gathering outside that I forgot to continue and clean the inside also. Oh well, another job for tomorrow.  

Where do 'bluebottles' come from?  You know those big blue flies that race in the window flying around seeking escape and usually leave by the way they entered?  I ask because each day this week I have had one on the window that will not go to the open kitchen window but wanders around the front one.  This forces me to get up and open it and chase the brute around until he leaves.  This window remains closed because of traffic noise yet it is this one the beasts insist on visiting.  Maybe once I clean it they may find it less interesting.

Tesco today announced a loss of £6.9 Billion.  This has much to do with clever accounting that failed and opening too many large stores where they were not wanted in the first place.  Many stores have closed, jobs lost, others threatened.  The books are now clean and we move on they say.
Considering the manner in which prices have grown so sharply, I spent £35 now where I spent £20 before yet they make losses?  I find it hard to believe.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Birds, Tacitus.

After much stress I managed to actually grab a picture of one of the birds.  These brutes sit in the trees above me singing away yet I cannot see them!  They know this and sing louder for spite!  Then if I get a good idea of where the brute is it moves to another branch.  The leaves are small still and only some blossom is around yet it is so hard to see these songbirds.  This one came down twice and moved so fast the camera failed to focus on him.  I'll get a decent shot one day.

Well that's another Tacitus finished.  'The Histories', detailing the year 69 A.D. when three men, Galba, Otho and Vitellius, became emperor for a wee while.  All ends nicely with the three men dead and Vespasian on the throne and he was the only one never to reach Rome during the crisis.  
His armies, and those Legions quick to support him, overcame the Legions and individuals who did not.  The oath taking for one and then another Emperor became confusing to me and I think to many soldiers.  Add to this the peoples dominated by Rome, the Germans, Gauls, English,Africans and the rest sometimes came to support Rome sometimes attempted rebellion.  As always individuals took their opportunities, the losers usually dying, and money was made and lost.
In the end it was just like today but with war involved.
Tacitus was not at his best when writing this book, his 'Annals' is much better written and in this book he spends too much time informing us of the bad guys bad actions and glorifying Vespasian and his men.  It was a wee bit like reading the 'Daily Mail' from that point of view.  He may have been right but it is not quite 'History.' 
I enjoyed this as the three Emperors were merely names to me, now I have one impression of their nature.  Tacitus also reveals how the Romans saw the Jews. They, and the Egyptians, were considered to reject true belief in the 'gods' and the Jews did not even have a statue of their God in the Temple!  The Romans thought the Jewish morals very strange indeed.  
Tacitus reveals something of the Roman outlook, the common people he refers to as 'riff-raff' and has no faith in them in any way.  His attitude is denigration at its best, 'snob' would be a good term for him, I wonder if he went to Eton with David Cameron?   Slaves were the lowest of the low, his opponents, or at least Vespasian's opponents were always immoral, the senate full of flattery and hypocrisy and few there were regarded by Tacitus as noble.  The army, that highly disciplined organisation was very much falling apart much of the time.  The leaders were corrupt, the officers either failures or killed by their men and it all appears to be exaggeration by the author to make his men look good. 
Still it was worth a read.      

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Sensative Cat

The tale told by Lee on her latest article included a reference to her cat.  This tale regarding a cats perceptive understanding of a human was intriguing.  The cat knew something about the man humans could not identify however Lee also found him somewhat disagreeable.  This got me thinking, cats and indeed dogs still have instincts developed over the years we have lost.  Watch a bird at a bag of nuts chomping away, all the time the eyes are looking for enemies, the ears open to sudden noises and the escape route chosen just in case.  The Blue Tits and Robins are always on the alert as a moments hesitation and they are lost.  While humans require some degree of care at all times we civilised people (I use that word loosely) are less alert to the small signs that our pets often notice before us.  Ears, smells and noise not recognised by the human is detected long before by the cat, dog or budgie.  So it was he cat noticed a problem with the man and made his excuses.
However we have not lost all such talents.  Women can note things about other that men can never begin to imagine.  I recall one speaker from long ago and how one woman told me how she did not trust him, clearly to her there was something not right.  He was clearly arrogant, full of himself and he had many talents but other than that I and others noticed nothing.  Later the story came out and he was removed far from us.  Something in his manner spoke to the women, either attracting or repelling them, I never noticed.
However in days of yore I used to meet with a lass weekly and we would discuss many things including those we knew.   It transpired that we saw different things in the people around us.  Male and female perceptions and probably bias telling.  It led to a more rounded understanding but we never informed those we discussed of our conclusions.  Hopefully we were right!  

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Google Chrome Failure!

I have used Chrome for a while now as the main browser.  At first I used it because it loaded quicker than Firefox but as time passed it, like me, grew slower.  I have many links on there, too many I know as I have spent considerable time dumping many, yet others are important to keep. This linking was a simple straight forward system: a click on the star at the top brought up the choice of where to put it, I chose and it went in.  Simple.
Now however the geeks with nothing better to do than ruin everything with no thought or concern for people living in the real world have changed it, unasked and badly!  Now a click on the star brings up a slow colourful box telling you it has logged the link, but where?  It does offer a list of folders, if you click again, but only a handful, not all.  Yet another click opens out a list of links with a selection of folders at the left hand (and wrong) side.
This sounds simple but ALL my links now are found on this list, mixed up and disorganised, not in the appropriate file!  I am now supposed to spend all day fixing this because of some geek who has been smoking funny cigarettes?  It's a shambles, yet another example of the internet being run by people with no idea of the real world.  Why change a perfectly good system, why jazz something up that works?  Why not stick to reefers or go find a girlfriend? 
I have downloaded Opera once again to give it another go, would you believe they use the same system as Chrome!  Bah!
I have gone back to Firefox, they at least are more consumer friendly and less likely to be run by the CIA.

Just after noon, as I digested my lunchtime repast, I settled down to an afternoon of giggling.  This is not my normal procedure, usually it is nailbiting football stuff, however I watched Hibernian continue their dream of winning the Scottish Cup.  This is an item they have not had in their possession since 1902, and I need not remind you that man did not fly until 1903 and reached the moon in 1969 yet Hibs have still not yet won that gleaming silver trophy, the oldest football trophy in the world!  Today the sun shone on Leith Hampden as the Hibernian hammered the opponents Falkirk, a worthy team from the central belt, for the whole 90 minutes.  Hibs hit the post, made the goalkeeper work, huffed and puffed and inevitably Falkirk scored a goal!  Indeed it was the only goal and wee Falkirk go into yet another cup final, they won the cup last in 1957, and Hibernian and their fans, who managed to stay until the end this time, once again go home in tears.  A sad, sad situation.
It's a giggle for us though!    

I can see the sun setting behind the trees leaving a delightful colour in the sky.  I must point out to my weaker readers that when I say the sun is 'setting behind the trees' I don't mean the sun is setting behind the trees, I mean I can see the sun setting and trees are in between me and him, I hope you understand.  If the sun set behind the trees every night there would be no room for the rest of us by the end of the week!  The car park over there only holds about twenty cars.
Anyway now that I have cleared that up I wish I had been able to take the camera out there and attempt a photo but as I am sitting in bed I canny be bothered.  So lean out the window and suffer the cold air for a moment and then back inside.  How brave!  
Was it worth it?  No!
Actually it was worth it.  The picture may not be great but looking at the sky always is.  We change, circumstances change but once the gray clouds have gone the sky changes delightfully according to the position of the sun, time of day and stuff floating about the heavens.  The colours are magnificent and even run down dreary places, such as Leith will be tonight, are made glorious by the glint in the sky above.  When feeling down I suggest you look up, it makes the heart glad.  


Friday, 17 April 2015

No Time to Post...

No time to post, it's late, nothing happened and I am watching Norwich play Middlesborough!  This means I have no time to discuss the men painting the outside of the house, the election, the weather or indeed the struggles in the supermarkets (that self service machine in Morrison's will get it one day).   I could wax lyrical about working out how to make the mobile phone I never use (I have no friends anyway) work as a radio!  Indeed that works, the internet doesn't, I suppose I need to join an ISP, the text doesn't, my niece made that work but all it said for me was 'cabbage,' and now it will not work.  But nothing else happened.
So here is the sun shining through some trees.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Nothing Day

As the sun rose majestically, spreading its bright yellow rays across the town, the birds in the park hesitated a moment from chomping worms to cast their eyes skywards, I would have done likewise but I had my head buried deep into my pongy pillow.  Weariness ruled and even at ten past six, when the sun was above the houses and the birds gathered on the rooftops chasing one another, my head wished to remain where it was.  This was an attitude that remained all day.  Glancing through the window my eyes hurt at the brightness while the early morning chill reminded me that summer has not yet arrived.  

The day passed with my head on the desk pretending I was cogitating while cheery people passed by outside still dressed for yesterdays heat and ignoring the cold wind that should remind them it had gone. I decided that I was too lazy tired to wander about in the outside world so I turned on 'BT Sport' and watched some of the highlights of Brisbane playing Melbourne at football.  It was refreshing to watch Australians playing in the rain!  It was just like Forfar on a normal Scottish League day, even though the Aussies were playing at night!   Brisbane it must be said were deservedly beaten.  How interesting to see events taking place miles away.  I sometimes sit and wonder at the inventions that allow us to be transported to the other side of the world.  Not long ago the only way to get there was by ship, and the only way to travel for free was to be a convict. We will not ask how our friends relatives arrived.  It is oh so easy to take for granted all the technological marvels we overpay for and never stop to think just how marvellous they are.

I see another of those election debates is on the telly tonight.  Once again I am ignoring them just as David Cameron is doing, he hates debating as he gets caught out, what a wimp of a premier he is. The papers have been full of MPs meeting babies, showing us their kitchens, their women paraded and other nonsensical photographs.  Nobody really debates nor do they offer sensible policies.  I wish I had stood here, at least common sense and complaining would get me a few votes!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Excitement, Not Here...

Waking just in time to catch the end of the Shipping Forecast indicated what kind of day I would have. Not quite 5:30 am and already worn out!  Still the sun was climbing into the sky once again, the birds were chasing worms in the park and I manfully stayed in bed until near six.  Later I cycled down to the cemetery for the LAST time I hope and was back before eight, the climb back up the hill wearing me out and recommending more time in bed I say.  
Nothing else happened.
Being scared to listen to any news broadcast, they only offer the election stuff, I was forced to listen to those 15 minute programmes again.  How delightful to enjoy some radio without political liars being heard.  One thing i did hear was the Lib-Dem man Clegg offering more money he didn't have for 'education.'  I could not help but ask what he meant by this.  Does he mean keep kids at school passing exams on stuff they will never use again?  Certificates that some are impressed by but do not mean you are capable of actual work?   Would it not be better ensuring that at 14 or 15 the kids get opportunities to try a variety of work experience?  Office or labouring, computing or retail, anything that is on offer in the real world!  Just 'educating' folks for the sake of it and dumping them in low paid work even after university is a waste.  Do any of them get taught what life is for I wonder?  Do the teachers know?  
The warmest day of the year so far, near naked ladies in the park and white men in tee shirts and shorts making me wish I had less for breakfast.  I of course spent most of the day in here doing those important things, or sleeping.  
I hope your exciting lives were more exciting than mine today. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Several Thoughts

Several things crossed my mind today.  One was the incredible level of stupidity that I can show.  On visiting Sainsburys expensive supermarket yesterday I noted one or two regular items much reduced. This I thought cannot be missed so today I returned for them the intention being to use the 'reward' savings to pay for them.  Rewards that used to be worth a penny and are now worth a halfpenny to aid the greedy supermarkets profits.  I decided to get one or two other things with milk being urgently required.   Not only did I forget the milk, one of the other things I noted on special but I also managed to pay for them before I realised I wished to make use of the rewards, which would have covered most of the cost!  
I went elsewhere for the milk later.

I noticed a story that irked me somewhat this morning.  A young lass was killed by a speeding driver high on drugs.  This happens often and the usual result is a dead person, male or female, young or old, and a devastated family and hurt friends.  The usual result is a six or seven year sentence, with early release usually half way through, and a return to the free world.  Commit a financial crime you will be giving a longer sentence! It irks me that the death of an individual means so little today.  One senior judge a while ago claimed murder should result in no more than a ten year sentence!  The NHS has killed seven million children in abortions, old folks are left to die in many hospitals, care homes with overworked badly paid staff failing to do the job, human life appears to be worthless today.  Will the new government of whatever sort make any difference?  No!

The election desperation from the Conservatives is revealed with a return to Thatcherism stupidity.  How do you help the housing shortage?  You allow people in Council   Housing Association homes!  What a stupid idea and this is supposedly aimed at getting working class votes.  Another of the 'toffs 'treating the lower orders as second class serfs!  Sell off the houses and there will be plenty for everyone - at least there will be after those buying them get chucked out for failing to find the cash to pay the mortgage.  
I canny bring myself to comment on the blatant racism that they offer in suggesting Scots MP's would be barred from voting on tax deals in England even if they affect Scotland.  More pandering to racists.


Monday, 13 April 2015


This here brute is sitting on the lamppost once again giving out his call sign to the girls.  he was there this morning as my bleary mind attempted to join the world.  Coo, Coo, again and again and again, ignoring the comments made by decent folks attempting to sleep or awaken.  He went on and on and on and on with no reply from the girl who was probably looking into something shiny somewhere worried that her feathers were not quite right.
He is back tonight as he is every night.  
This has gone on for years, ever since I moved here the brute, or his father or forefathers, have sat opposite me calling out at all hours, all inappropriate hours at any rate, seeking their beloved, or anyone's beloved if need be. 
Now I love bird life, especially chicken that I had with chips tonight, and I rejoice in the birdies pairing off and enjoying Spring but I wish they would do it either quieter or elsewhere, especially before six in the morning!

Look, a blue sky!  They say we will be hotter than Madrid tomorrow, even if they do not say it is snowing there.  Twenty degrees of heat they promise, once the clouds lift.  We will wait and see as at the moment the dying embers of the sun lightens the blue sky but does nothing to stop the cold wind freezing my sporran as it howls through the window.  Bah!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

A MishMash

Today I decided that I required to take more care when blogging.  I should choose carefully the subject, consider all aspects then when ready write logically and thoughtfully of my topic.  This is of course wise and good healthy advice.
I forgot all about it.
Now here I am brain dead and with nothing to say, logically or in the more usual scrawled style.

As usual nothing happened today.  I never left the house as some malady kept me in this morning even though the weather turned out reasonable.  The football certainly filled the afternoon and some pleasure has been taken dealing with the riff-raff in the follow up.  Dearie me how Hibernian folks get excited when they win.  I suppose this is because it is such an oddity they are not sure what to do!  Two football matches in a row are quite wearying, the emotions aroused, the shouting at the ref, the stress caused and like most others I needed to lie on the floor for a bit to recover my equilibrium, which I am told lies just behind the kidneys.  

After this there was nothing to do but raid the Radio iPlayer for old programmes.  This I must say is how I tend to listen to the radio these days.  It is almost impossible to be there when the programme you wish to hear is available and I find some of the old comedies funnier than those now on offer. Whether this is age or the BBC's unwillingness to serve up anything controversial on these lines I know not, I do know they are quite touchy about bad reports after some folks upset too many.  We are left with puerile or unfunny stuff all too often instead.  Milton is not too bad mind.

As if things were not bad enough the US has started it now.  The Clinton missus has announced she will run for President.  This means we not only have our own election special boring the pants of us as they lie through he media to us all we also will be engulfed by news of Clinton and her fans, news of her opponents and the media baloney that follows them.  Oh joy!  I suspect when election day arrives we will just put a cross somewhere with our eyes closed to get it over with for all the difference it makes. 


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Now I'm Not One to Complain...

A glance at the media reveals much about the election, the 'Daily Mail' has put meaningless things such as a tennis players wedding and a boat race for 'toffs' above the election because the Conservative Party is struggling.
Andy whatsisname clearly is an outstanding tennis player, even though tennis ranks as a 'sport' so boring that someone invented Basketball to make tennis look interesting, they failed by the way. Here he is in the middle of a media scrum with crowds of women peering at the dress as if it was important. The wee town of Dunblane would be an ideal place to avoid today if there was anything resembling a brain inside your head, if not join the throng and gape at nothing.  

As if that was not bad enough I was lucky enough to be sitting in a cemetery where more excitement could be found than on the banks of the River Thames where a boat race between university teams took place.  Normally this incident passes of without notice even though it fills precious TV airtime yet today it was called 'historic' by stupid people.  You see today they let the girls race on the same day and women everywhere proved their ineligibility for voting by making a fuss about this.  
Now normally when the Olympics occurs I manage to miss most of it, especially when English toffs treat Scotland with the usual disrespect, but rowing is one thing I like to watch.  It is a gentle sport, for the viewer, as teams of big hulks tear their limbs apart rowing for miles to win a medal.  I like watching this even if it is merely girlies pulling the oars.  However having listened to one of these harridans whining this morning about the horrid treatment they suffer, not being allowed to use the men's changing rooms, having to pay up to £2000 to row etc, I felt little sympathy for these rich little darlings.  They can afford the cash, daddy pays anyway, if they wish a changing hut why not build one or buy a suitable building? They will not do this as they want it for free, from the men!
I want equality!  I want every road gang to be half female and half male, I want the same for scaffolders, miners and 'white van men,' I want the number of murdered men to be the same as that of murdered women instead of 90% being male.  I wish men got the same 'consideration' in court females are allowed 'because of circumstances.'  I wish for all male selection quotas for election candidates, I wish men could win compensation for 'sexism' the way women do, poor dears.  I wish equality but it will not happen.
A 'historic event?' You rowed a boat in a race no-one cares about bar yourselves and the 'elite.'  You did nothing while men throughout the nation did a vast number of important things, but they will never be made known.


Golf, the 'Masters' is being played but only shown on 'Sky.'  This means I have missed it.  Sadly I never realised I was missing it until tonight.  I can suffer on without it and I suspect the world will remain the same.  

After rising early and finding the weather being somewhat dreich putting off my plans I was forced by circumstances to return to bed this morning.  Of course this was much against my will but I struggled through, snoring appropriately, and made the best of it.  The plans for doing something having failed I decided to cycle downhill to the other cemetery and redo the photos from their.  This I did manfully fighting the wind that decided to blow from the north with a needless intensity.  The job done, the men still lying where they had been, I sat and watched the trees with my better camera awaiting the opportunity to picture the wildlife.  None appeared!  A squirrel in the distance alongside a Magpie were the sum of it all.  Birds chirped hidden from deep inside the trees but I could not see them.  
I gave up, returned the doings to their place, looked for the bike and lo , high overhead two Kestrel type birds appeared searching for lunch.  By the time I was ready for them they were miles away!  I suppose they were a mating pair as it is unusual to see two such birds together.  Why did they wait until I was homeward bound?  
However I returned in time for the Scottish football which does not really concern us until tomorrow when we play Hibernian.  I listened to the games online while my bones creaked and the muscles tightened slowly.  I stretched, I stretched again, I fell on the floor, I groaned, I stretched, I made no difference. All this cycling is harder than it was last year, I really feel it this time.  I might need to get one of those oarswomen to give me a massage, it makes a better use of them I say.


Thursday, 9 April 2015

It Never Ends

Inevitably after sunshine come mist!  It has taken all morning to disperse.  It was almost like being in Edinburgh once again!  This morning I had intended to return to the cemetery and grab some early morning pictures but the mist hindered this so I did nothing whatsoever, although I was supposed to do several things.  
The problem you see was the pictures on the WW2 memorial they were too big! The wee camera pictures come out at around a 1000k, the fancy new camera bought at a quarter of the original price come out at around 6-7000k each!  This means I ran out of space quickly.  Bah!  I discovered this when I had almost completed upgrading the original photos.  I could not work out why I had used 95% of the space when I had 27 pictures and around 90 men there and the WW1 memorial had 61 photos and over 200 men!  Technology is too much for my dim mind.  
So once again I had to slog it down the road, this time in bright and indeed hot sunshine, with weary knees and a lack of food inside me, I forgot to eat properly last night again.  When the mist cleared off I went seeking out the stones from last week.  They were still there I noted.  It would have annoyed me had they moved during the previous days.  
So now I have to once again go through the site removing and adding for the umpteenth time.  Oh joy! Sometimes I wish I had not started this.  Bah!

In other news the election continues....yaaaawn..... 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015


My exciting life has been heightened even further recently by the unexpected appearance of the sunshine.  Yes indeed the warmth has made an appearance! You can tell how warm it was by men immediately donning shorts and t-shirts with daft writing on them and parading around, some with dark glasses to prove they are with it.  I need not inform you that what was with them was a chill wind from the east but they being English did not realise this.  I noticed it this morning as I again took my weary knees up the old railway, the bike and I creaking loudly in the early morning mist.

By this time we are all desperate for sunshine and warmth that within minutes of the sun appearing clothes were being stripped off in the centre of town, not by me, and young men were once again noticing what girls here look like.  Sad to say far too many have spent the winter on the couch chomping on potatoes but that apart we all rejoiced to see what appears to be Spring.  

We saw an excellent example of electioneering this week.  The Conservatives, Labour and Lib-Dems all took an example of tax and showed how much you saved/lost/will save/will lose by quoting almost the same statistics but misreading them to suit themselves.  All lies and double dealing.  I keep thinking of Gordon Brown becoming chancellor and seeking the statistics then available.  he immediately threw them out as he knew they were wrong, sent his men to find the actual statistics and then lied to us all about what he found. All chancellors do this, all politicians do this, we still vote for 'our party' rather than thinking.  What fools the voters can be.   Of course now there is no real ideological gulf between the parties, both seek the middle ground with a slant this way or that and both really just want the top job, nothing else matters!  My dream is that the electorate will refuse to allow any of the leading men of these parties to stay in office, vote for the loony party and get a better member of parliament!

A big fuss in America as another black man is shot by a cop eight times as he ran away.  Actually he was only shot five times, he missed three times!  Some say this is racist, some say it is murder. There again one or two of these dead black men (there appears to be one each day) were not exactly nice men, others appear to be unfortunate but considering these cops shoot white men just as freely you must understand that in the US mentality there is a preference to shoot long before asking any questions.  US cops have always been keen to lash out with big sticks, just look at old films of strikes in the 1920''s and 30's.  The criminal justice system there appears more about vengeance than justice, we can talk can't we!  Justice is easier to find if you have a good lawyer, which means you must be rich, and clever folks can get away with anything if a 'Perry Mason' is working for you.  It is clear something is not right, possibly the idea of carrying too many guns has a part to play let alone blatant racism?

Such things don't happen in the UK where we all get along very well, never a bad word spoken and no racism of any kind, even the lawyers are cheap.  Well apart from the Romanians and the Africans seeking asylum, and the desire of some to push them back into the sea.  I note that the areas where there is little sight of such people there is a great fear of them everywhere, I wonder if the media have a hand in this?  Tsk, surely not, our media is so honest and cares for 'freedom of the press,' I note that on their online comment columns they do tend to remove things that do not suit the editor however, maybe we are not the press so we have no freedom to disagree?

Anyway, I'm off to massage my knees as none of the local beauties would care for my knees no matter how many reduced price Easter eggs I offered them...


Monday, 6 April 2015

Early Morning

In times past the F5 Tank Engines would puff their way up the slope, clanking metal scaring the birds, rabbits and occasional cow as they huffed towards their next stop.  I can assure any ex-driver still with sufficient mental awareness that as I reached the top of the slope this morning I gave off more steam than any Great Eastern Engine ever did.  Muscles aching I slithered to a stop and failed to catch my breath that appeared to have been left behind far down the slope.  A blackbird sang happily in the branches above, laughing at me I expect.  

Being Easter Monday is a holiday, though few realise that the word arose  from the old 'Holy Days' that brought the day into being.  Easter eggs, shops sales and days off sitting in heavy traffic are considered better today.  However this meant many folks were away for a long weekend, or indeed week so few were out and about, just a couple of non conversational dog walkers.

How sweet the world is as the sun rises above the trees creating a slight mist by removing the frost from the grass.  Silence over the land bar the bright singing of the birds staking their place and calling for a mate.  Even the wind dies down while very high above noiseless aircraft leave white trails in the sky.  A passing Staffordshire Bull Terrier ignores me as the signs of previous pets are more interesting to him than mere strangers, the owner gives a hesitant wave, his mind still asleep as he wonders what sort of eejit stands taking pictures of nothing at this time of day.

The day is so quiet even the rabbits feel safe enough to have breakfast openly, although at a distance. The ears listening for any sign of danger and how powerful these ears must be, much better than ours. I think I am right in saying rabbits came to Britain with the Romans as they thought this a good source of food.  Whether they came deliberately or came as stowaways on ships I cannot say.  Round hear the farmers are none to keen on them and often you can hear a gunshot as Farmer Jones gets his lunch ready.  

When I first saw that church I really took it to be a manor house or left over castle of some sort.  The square tower gives a formidable 'feel' to the building. Adding the unfortunate flag at the top, a suitable flag in the eyes of these English obviously, and the castle like appearance is made.  One day I will get a look inside but this church is always locked, too many light fingered types pass close by sadly.  

The best bit off the day is the homeward journey downhill.  I should be good at 'downhill' as I have been going that way for many years now.  The knees were informing me that I had not done enough cycling to go far, and they speak loudly, so it was time to turn around and head east once again.

In the past I used a Minolta camera with additional lenses.  Now in these digital days I have gone and bought myself a new Lumix camera, secondhand obviously, and whereas before it took a while to fiddle with turning dials and choosing apertures now I must read what the computer says.  I have no idea what I am doing!  A quick read of the online manual and I am more confused! However this will be dealt with in time and the 'fancy dan' buttons and numbers will all become clear as mud at some unspecified time in the future.  At least the super 'Leica' lens brings things closer.

I can hear the voices of many who have walked for miles along the old railway line, fifteen miles to the far end you must know, I can hear them spying this seat in the distance and longing for it to come closer.  The land round about used to belong to the farm house situated on the hill, now surrounded by 1990's housing developments as the old farmer died and the most enriching crop today is houses.  The land to the side of the line the new owner wishes to sell to a developer.  He had planned 500 houses a couple of years ago and was cried down by the locals.  The latest wheeze is to build 1500!  The first response is not printable.  Of course the idea is you demand 1500, reduce it to 700 and probably get away with it, especially if you are a 'friend' of the council. Depending on the next government that 'friendship' might succeed.  However for the townsfolk this is a breath of greenery they cannot afford to lose.  While there are fields around the town here the walkers and cyclists, and at places horse riders, can journey through the land, and we are usually so far from the earth in our daily lives we need this breathing space more than we need to enrich a developer.  
The dog walkers probably would not admit it but they enjoy this space among the trees, fields, birds, rabbits and open views more than the dogs the disgusting stuff they rummage amongst.  This is something we all require, and after twenty one years in London I cannot tell you how much I enjoy this open air life.  Even though a few days ago I marked nineteen years in this abode I still enjoy standing staring into the country as if it was something new.  Lets keep the trees and green fields and put all the houses in London where they belong!