Monday, 29 February 2016

Roaming in Rome

I found this delightful short film very helpful in understanding Rome. 
You might like it also.


Saturday, 27 February 2016

Horse, or is it Pony?

I snapped this horse in the park this afternoon.  A little bit surprised as few horses pass this way these days.  It certainly drew a crowd as the kids forgot the skatepark and surrounded the poor creature.  As this is somewhat unusual to see here I suspect the horse, or should I say pony, belongs to a gypsy caravan.
Occasionally an old fashioned round shaped Gypsy caravan passes through, often for a wedding somewhere nearby, and on two occasions I have noticed this parked in the town centre.  Here is one example.  Possibly the owner thought fit to take the beast to the park to feed on the long grass.  All those kids around it but it appeared not to notice as its head rarely left the grass.  Possibly it was hungry, possibly it was just being a horse.
Nothing else happened that I noticed so this is the exciting news of the moment.  Of course when I looked back the beast had gone.  Typical.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Sent Home From Work...

It took a matter of minutes for the caring colleagues to inform me to get out of their presence this morning.  Wrapping hankies over their mouths (including her what gave shared this bug with me in the first place) fingers pointed towards the door and nursing care was not offered.

As the doors were opened and people were arriving I had to deal with them all the while avoiding the glares from several pairs of eyes.  Having dealt efficiently with the visitors without dying in front of them orders were again despatched in my direction from several women now dressed in NHS supplied protective gear.

For years we had stuff such as this poured down our throats in the pretence that it would ease discomfort, lies all lies.  Today the doctors suggest just drink plenty and this not only eases the cough it saves you money, they are right, but nothing stops the blasted thing, nothing!
Anyway having been pointed in the direction of the funeral parlour I took the hint and made for home.  I must say I was rather glad about that and have tomorrow off before returning on Thursday.
Unless still barred that is...

Monday, 22 February 2016

Doing My Head in.....

Well here we go! As if it was not enough to fill the media with tales of the US election we now have to face months of lies, half truths and more lies as the UK decides whether to stay in the EU or not.  Usually in elections I am aware that few actually understand the situation, most voting for 'their party' rather than thinking about the candidate or the policies, if indeed any exist.  This time however it will be harder as I have never come across anyone explaining to me (in simple terms) what we get from being in the EU and what it costs us to be there or truthfully to tell us what will happen if we leave.  In short the majority of voters like me are to some extent voting in the dark.  The right wing press have told their readers what the readers wish to hear, now they have to get them to vote the way their owners wish them to vote.
The Daily Mail, who's Billionaire owner lives in France to avoid paying taxes both here and there doesn't really wish to leave the EU, his readers however have been told told how badly the EU treats 'us' because that is what they wished to hear for so many years now it will be impossible to get the 'little englanders' to change their tune.  Murdoch has his media running around milking it for all it's worth and I suspect daily their stories will change to suit his mood, the 'Daily Telegraph' support 'little england' and these readers (ones who consider themselves above the others have also followed the party line) wish to leave the EU but the owners don't and trouble will follow. The majority of voters are like me struggling to work out what really is the truth of the situation and not finding that via the media.
All Brits wish to be part of Europe but not part of a federal state.  The English in particular wish to see the continent as 'different' as their imperialist natures just want to find an enemy (however those in the north may think differently) and maybe that is just an attitude of the south east.  The Scots have happily worked with Europe for centuries and will continue to do so, if however the 'little englanders' win and the UK leaves the EU then a proper Scots independence referendum will occur and Scotland will at last be free.
Boris Johnson has risen from the back room where David Cameron our idiot Prime Minister had placed him, ignored the offer of a job as Home secretary or Foreign Minister (although the present incumbents of these jobs may be speaking to Dave about this soon) and placed himself at the head of the 'Get out of the EU' campaign.  He joins a long time friend of Cameron's and a senior cabinet member Michael Gove who has long wished to leave the EU.  Two big names who will either succeed or finish their careers with this referendum.  I am tempted to wish several others will fall along with them.
Boris of course is a well known lover of History and was offered today a few heckles from those observing his press meetings.  One cry was "You are more Alcibiades than Pericles!" Which I thought clever as well as correct.

Meanwhile the USA struggles slowly through the never ending Presidential election.  The Republican charade continues with the media's favourite bampot Donald Trump still leading the way in spite of telling a story about an American General shooting Muslims with pigs blood tipped bullets which turned out to be a hoax.  All this man says is a hoax in the eyes of the world outside of the US it must be said.  The US has a terrible habit of electing people who would never win in proper democratic elections.  Cretinous, small minded, false types who are all image and shallow as a puddle who would never become British Prim...hold on, forget that, I see a fault in my logic there.
Mrs Clinton continues also to head for the White house.  At least the world would see her as capable if not trustworthy, but with such a choice who would you choose?

Sensibly I took the advice of those who have already endured 'Man Flu' and made considerable use of 'Hot Toddy' as a cure and relief from a variety of monstrous symptoms, and monstrous they were this time I must say.  The 'Toddy' line was worth undertaking and the bottle has some reserve for the next time, I assure you the bottle was open a wee bit before I began this.
My headache however appears to be still with me, I know not why.
The inability to sleep kept me up during the night and this along with the inability to concentrate led to turning on the TV at 2:30 in the morning.  All those channels offering unmitigated pap interspersed with channels offering 'Teleshopping.'  These showed many people with American voices selling new style vacuums and rowing machines, kitchen equipment and perfume and I kept asking myself who buys rowing machines at 2:30 in the morning and from a TV advert at that?  Interestingly those channels that spend the entire day selling stuff had closed down for the night!
I'm so glad that medical emergency is over it helps me to comprehend how those suffering proper illness must endure.  My thoughts are with them.  This bug has hit everyone here and thanks to the international jet set it will be with you by now I suspect, good luck with that. 

Friday, 19 February 2016

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Half Term Mayhem

A herd of wildebeest descended on the museum today.  This being half term the kids are on holiday and we have been overbooked for the activities put on for them.  So I had thirty kids, acting like three thousand, at the desk checking in.  This entailed taking cash, paying by card, convincing mum to buy the weekly ticket to save money, running out of paper in the credit card machine and making a mess of replacing it, the phone ringing again and again, people not being noted down claiming they were, and all this while alone at the desk!  For thirty minutes nothing had occurred then for the next hour I never sat down except to write up the paperwork hoping it was correct.  I had forgotten half of what had gone before and all the mums and kids faces began to run into one.  I can only identify those who came last year and returned this.  And another thing all those Polish names take ages to write, that's why many are known only by their first name.
Having a 'Body Science' exhibition on at the moment, this being put on in conjunction with the council allowed us to cancel the entrance charge.  This in itself encouraged many, mostly grandparents, to bring the kids in for a look.  Amazing how many will not come in when a £3 charge is required, £1:50 for old folks.  They are unwilling to fork out this for a look round the museum.  With so many visiting now it may be we do without a charge for the rest of the year but that does lose us many thousands that we need.  
Naturally many family groups turned up when I was busy booking the others in so the place was crowded!  I have seen less people in the bus station!  However the mums know the score and are always good (mostly) and the visitors behaved also today, usually there is one grump.  Once the activity had begun and half had been rounded up and hidden far away at the other end of the building I was left with a constant stream of visitors who made use of the various machines all of which made noise and encouraged the kids to make more noise on top of this.  Ringing, high pitched screeches, bangs and on and on and on!  All had great fun, old and young, but the noise is doing my head in!  I noticed the office door tight shut so as I had my mental breakdown they could not hear me gurgling away in the corner.  Still it is worth it for the education with fun aspect of the exhibition.  Parents and grandparents got a laugh and most were happy about the day, all he kids I spoke to enjoyed it.
As the exhibition is about what we eat and how the body works I was somewhat surprised to note the kid eating crisps at the desk, especially as they had been reading up on what goes into them!  I wonder how this will change their eating habits if any?  Certainly there were one or two big women there who did not appear to like what they saw, I avoided asking them if they had learnt anything and avoided any use of the term 'couch potato.'
I have to do this all over again on Thursday!

Monday, 15 February 2016

Another Debate

A good insight into the UK today is seen in the outrage caused by Dan Walker.  This man has the temerity to believe in God and work for the BBC!  Not only but also he has got a plum job with the 'BBC Breakfast' show!  How dare he after all this man is something horrible, he is a Christian!  The 'Daily Mail,' 'Independent' and 'Daily Telegraph' all ran articles from those questioning his right to the work.  Rupert Myers in the 'Telegraph' wrote 'The BBC has done nothing to explain how someone who believes that God literally created the Earth in seven days can present the news accurately.'  He could have asked how many atheists, liars and perverts already read the news on the BBC slanting the stories to follow the establishments will but he failed to ask this.  Reading a prompt with a prepared story must be harder than I thought.  The 'Telegraph' failed to allow anyone to comment on his piece as I suspect they would have opposed his approach strongly.  Why should such a question be asked?  Why should his faith cause such outrage?  Thirty years ago no-one would notice so why shout out now?

Another of this ilk is found with Richard Dawkins the anti God botherer.  He had a stroke poor man and the Church of England Twitter account tweeted 'Prayers for Prof Dawkins and Family.'  This of course caused outrage!  The militant atheists and the rest of the usual suspects jumped at the chance to take offence and claimed the church had 'trolled' the poor man.  Quite why an official Tweet should do this I know not but loudly they proclaimed their empty beliefs  (which few can put into words) and criticised the church for doing the decent thing.  Asking folks to pray for another is now wrong it would seem?  Where is the 'tolerance' these folks desire for their opinions, where is the respect for others opinions in this 'democratic' age?
(Interestingly the Daily mail put up a picture of Richard Hawking first! Journalism at its best in the DM!)

What we have is nothing other than an attack on Christianity from those in the media, the gay lobby and the militant atheist, all the usual suspects.  Why so?  They of course have no idea why they hate so much.  For some Christianity is bad because it tells them where they are wrong and as we all know right from wrong their conscience is tickled and therefore they reject it and hate so easily. Others have their own many and varied reasons but none understand how the spirit of the air is using them to break up this society.  The feminist lie destroyed many woman by separating them from men and encouraging them to stand alone, it hurt many confused young men also.  Easy divorce and free sex left many single mums struggling for a man to join them, a long time partner.  Liberal philosophy was supposed to free the individual and instead encouraged selfishness and greed, something Thatcher also encouraged rather notably.  Lack of discipline in schools and lack of a 'norm' among teachers led to indiscipline among the young with the fad of the 'celeb' and dumbed down TV offering bread and circuses for the people to keep them from thinking people lost their way.  Today gay marriage and the cult of the 'transgender' shows how society had lost all sense of right and wrong.  People come in many shapes and sizes, life offers many difficulties and we ought to be helping one another through these with no condemnation and lots of acceptance.  What a shame it is not returned as the CoE Twitter account shows. 
One by one the basics of life have been eroded.  Each time a justification was offered, simple to understand and sounding so acceptable at the time, each time a society was being turned by the bad guy into one that does his bidding and they have not seen it yet.
Today we can hate only three kinds of people, paedophiles, Muslims and Christians!  One is dangerous to children, one is going to kill us all and the other, yes the other is dangerous but I wonder why? Why are Christians so hated by their enemies?
Ask yourself that.

Friday, 12 February 2016

A Dark and Stormy Week

It's been a tough week.
Office politics, based on girls jealousy, selfish ambition and misunderstandings have ruined my life.  Not that I was much involved, my place was on the periphery, but after many meetings, discussions and tears changes are afoot.  Two of the lassies are now leaving us which breaks my heart and worse means two strange incomers will arrive and require training in 'our ways.'  No doubt both will be female!  I have told the big boss, a man, to bring at least one male in to avoid such conflict again but the majority interviewed will be female I suspect.  
Little things develop from misunderstandings, people separate from one another gossip, that grows and before you know where you are resentment erupts and lovely people suddenly fall out.  How easy to sit down now and see it happen in hindsight, to consider what should have been done, what I could have done even to lessen the growing problem.  Too late, it's all over now.  At least those moving on will get a good life elsewhere and we will continue as always, however many new ideas flow and changes arrive.  I just sit here shell shocked and not a little peeved.

Life goes on and in the midst of this I have been dragged in to fill the spaces from volunteers who have also moved away.  So many changes are not good for my equilibrium I tell thee!  Especially as being there I am not here and this means nothing is done.  The Landlord arrived on Tuesday while I was out unannounced as his lass forgot to send out the warning note and they did the annual boiler check.  Fair enough but at least they know how smelly this place is when I don't open the windows!  The cold prevents this and when I have been out three days in a row the mess piles up.  The question "Are you opening a charity shop?" was however a bit harsh I thought.  
Today I have the joy of housework, the word joy' is misplaced here, and as I rose late from sheer exhaustion I have already cut corners and will leave much until Monday when it can be done then.  Actually, I might just leave it and go back to bed....

Monday, 8 February 2016


This football lark is a funny old game right enough.  Two men sitting in different sides of the stadium see two completely different games.  Facts are blinded by bias.  Situations that are clear to one are disbelieved by the other simply because they wish it to be so.  Sadly this can continue for years into the future and no fact can ever cause this to cease.
Sunday was one such situation.  Hurrying home I switched on the Heart of Midlothian v Hibs derby in the Scottish Cup, a game we usually win, and sat back to enjoy another rollicking 4-0 victory.  This by half time was what I was expecting as we swept aside the wee teams puerile attempts at football in spite of the kicking they gave our better players and our manager deliberately giving Hibs a chance by playing two men who were not fully match fit.   The kicks led to three our our noble players being replaced as injury forced them from the field, brutal Hibs tactics continued unceasing to the end I must note.  The injuries and a rather strange desire to sit back and wait for full time led to Hibernian stealing two goals, one from a fluke of a header and the other while assaulting the goalkeeper, and this brought a great deal of rejoicing from the lower orders in the visitors stand.

Inevitably this led to wasting much time later that day attempting to transform the somewhat over the top reaction from the Leith faithful who saw a draw as a significant victory.  I suppose as a wee team a draw with a Big Team is indeed a victory and it was important for them to make the most of their temporary position.  However I fell it was my duty to keep them sane, a near impossible idea I realise.
Many rude and needless words flew from the enemy as they considered themselves victorious.  I have required to remind them of the proverb:-

Haughtiness leads to a fall
Pride leads to destruction.

They will not listen.  I indicated the fact that sitting in a stadium full to the brim was an unusual event for them and this may be playing on their minds, minds that are easily distracted,and the noise generated must have been an alien sound  for them, but they still would not listen, possibly they are deaf.
Reminding them of the overall statistics did not hinder the wee lads attempts at argument, facts as you know are not acceptable to them.  Indeed several clear penalties as well as the assault on the goalkeeper appear to have been missed by standards that Willie Collum would be proud off.  I suspect sitting in the 'Roseburn Bar' for an hour before the game might be at the root of their failure to accept facts.
Now the whole weary business must be done again in a week or so's time.  Once more our gallant boys will suffer bad decisions and many knocks as they continue our noble effort at football education in Leith.  Will they be grateful for this free lesson?  I somehow doubt it.  
Now I discover they are unable to show this game on live TV as it clashes with European games, have Hibernian deliberately chosen this date to stop people watching them humiliated I ask?
It's a disgrace!

The successful Hibernian team on the open top bus 
the last time they won the Scottish Cup!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Fat Boy!

Enjoying my grossly overfilled plate of muck for lunch I was disturbed by a call from the museum, her voice shrilled on the ansafone and I rose, put aside my lunch and made my way to the desk.  She put the phone down as I lifted mine.  Typical woman!  I realised some tragedy was taking place so I acted swiftly - I went back to my lunch.  I would have called but that costs money.  Later, before I had cleaned up, I waddled into the museum to discover I was not required.  She just wanted to know if the email sent that morning had arrived!  Tsk!
However the new 'Body Science' exhibition was up and running so I wandered around that pushing here and feeling there and recognising the kids will love this one as much as the adults do!  Glancing at the skulls brought some of you lot to mind and I wondered if you recognised anyone...?  This looks a good exhibition, one with lots of thing to play with and that makes folks happy.  Mind you they are getting in free for this exhibition so they ought to be happy.

This there here supposes to inform you of the fat content of the grub you eat.  Difficult to picture through the cabinet but clear enough to see why we are so fat.  I was reading about folks in the past and their healthier diet was mostly vegetarian with occasional meat or fish.  They were thinner, stronger and fitter because of the manual labour and much walking but could of course not cure most diseases.  In fact when I was a lad few fat folks could be seen around town, except for the drinkers of course.

Not very clear but this shows one pound of fat, the fat we carry in our gut.  It has put me off the pizza for tonight anyway!  I had chips instead...

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Sleepy Wednesday

After I trudged my weary way home yesterday (56 kids almost all at once!) I followed the normal procedure of laying my head on the desk and switching on the laptop.  It didn't work!  I picked my head up and pushed this and touched that, internet dead totally dead.  The laptop worked as always but the web was unreached.  No matter what I did nothing would work until I was so fearful of the silence I turned on the TV and left the machine to stew.  Fifty channels on pap so I ended up with the 24 BBC news where I discovered the while of BT's output was damaged by an 'outage!'  Some outage as most of the UK was outaged!  When the internet returned it was about seven in the evening and I was beginning to see spiders crawling up the wall!  I was also worried I would miss the football and a cold sweat was running down my back.
Once again I had that strange feeling of silence.  Not a chosen silence but an internet lost silence.  The world seems suddenly to be dull, life empty and having the TV on to fill the gap does not help, especially when it is full of pap.  How did we live before the internet?  How did we follow football?  How did we keep in touch with people or things?  Some folks were out overnight and some of those run businesses what a hindrance for them this must have been.  I suffered also and now I await my compensation, 72 pence for loss of web and £600,000 for emotional hurt. 

In spite of a chill in the wind that appears to have been kept in the fridge the daffs have come out all over the land.  The council ones have broken through about two months early and when Spring arrives there will be none left.  The birds are confused by the mild weather just as we are.  Still I prefer this to the snow we had before.
It was much better on Monday when I had to crawl into the museum to aid 74 children in their shopping.  This was fun as both days kids were all six year olds and had no idea about the counting business.   With our advice however most managed to get something they liked and some managed to get at least four things for their £3.  It is quite hard having to break their hearts when telling them three things worth £4:99 are out of their league and they must choose to drop one, this can take time.  The teachers on both days were good which helps and all went off happy.
I have been asleep three times today to recover...