Thursday, 31 March 2016

The 'Hish' of Sound

It was as I was staring blankly at the blue sky outside when I heard it.  I slowly became aware of a 'hishing' sound and there appeared no good reason for there to be one.  Slowly I moved to the back window where I discovered the 'hishing' was a vast quantity of hailstones that were hammering down.  Only then did they make an appearance at the front of the house by which time it was too late for those unfortunate to be out and about at the time.  The big black cloud had sneaked silently in from the east and deposited the contents without warning.  Only the sound made me aware.  

At the museum we have been offering this body science exhibition in which people can test their senses, eyes, ears etc and very popular this have proved to be.  The only one I really had a go at was the hearing test.  This comprises listening to first one ear and then the other turning a dial and increasing the high pitched note while reading the score.  My left ear, my best one, scored 7500 which the other scored 12,500, which is near normal for my age.  Something is wrong somewhere.

The sound of the hailstones got em thinking about hearing. It was said men working in noisy factories using great steam hammers could hear a pin drop.  I am far from sure that is true but what is noticeable is the ability to hear a different noise from one loud noise constantly endured.  A mother can do the opposite by ignoring her screaming brat yet hear gossip perfectly well.  When you are used to loud noise a strange noise intrudes and stands out no matter how loud the original noise.  This may not happen on each occasion but has happened to me, often waking me up at work. As rush hour has passed the world returns to a slower pace and the sounds do also.  In between the occasional cars, controlled by far off lights, a gap appears allowing silence for a moment.  The last bird sings its song, footsteps pass, a distant dog delights to be rolling in wet grass then the short line of vehicles once more drown out the world.
I used to enjoy working nights at Maida Vale, as long as it remained quiet.  The distant sounds of an occasional nurse tending to a patient, footsteps in the corridor above, and the early morning cry as the 'Dawn Chorus' begins the day long before any other.  The silence was there to enjoy at least until seven when people poured in or out ready for the new day.  
Sometimes I am very glad I still have enough hearing to enjoy life, I would hate to be deaf I would miss so much.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

It Was 20 Years Ago Today...

It was twenty years ago today that I entered this domicile, as I remember at the Easter weekend that year.  Twenty years, almost as long as the time I spent in London, longer than most murderers serve these days in this country, longer than many folks marriages last.  
That Easter weekend I turned up to discover there are many differences from living in a bustling city, as I always had done, and existing in a small market town out in the sticks!  One such was the electric meter, this was at that time paid weekly by a card system to stop folks running away and leaving the lights on for the landlord to pay.  I had no card.  My limited memory tells me I had two £1 cards which didn't get much electric in an all electric house and somehow I discovered the Post Office was the place to go.  The long weekend was on us and electric was useful at this time so cheerfully I waited for ever in the queue to be told things had changed and none could be given out till Tuesday next week, I forget the reason why.  That somewhat chilly Easter Weekend, it is usually chilly at Easter, I spent an enormous amount of time trying to conserve the limited power I had.  
For reasons which I forget I discovered and emergency button which allowed me a free  £5 of power to be paid later, I grabbed this with both hands, the same hands I wrapped around a candle in a vain effort to keep warm in the dark at night. 
A long weekend that was, eventually Tuesday arrived and I managed to obtain the new cards for the meter.  How lovely to switch the wall heaters on!  How lovely to eat hot food without watching the clock!  Ah well things settled down and twenty years on the meter is paid monthly, the gas fired central heating while expensive works well, life is settled in some ways and this boring little town which at first I thought had closed down has become home.  The day I walked down 'The Avenue' listening to the birds singing and watching the blue sky above I realised it was not such a bad place after all.  Getting old and no longer interested in the false flashiness of city life, the bright lights here I admire are the ones that stop the traffic so I can cross, may have had something to do with it but in the end this town had all I wished for.  Local doctors, supermarkets, rail & bus, all that was missing was a church and a woman to do the laundry.  The last two have still not arrived.  

So today I arose feeling considerably better than I have done for weeks, I slept until nine, I arose and coughed my way through to the east wing to contemplate cleaning up some of the mess I have left behind me.  It was time to celebrate the twenty years, time to remind the Landlords lassie how long I had been here, time to remind his workmen how many cups of tea they had drunk!  Twenty long years, I wondered how I could commemorate this event?  What would be suitable, what would ease my pain and give me a day to remember...?
The electric was off!
What?  The kettle would not start.  It was one of Tesco's best (£5) and it was bust.  Then I noticed the laptop, always the first thing switched on, was not going online.  After fussing for a bit I realised the WI-FI was dead, so was the phone, so was everything else bar the lights.  After about three hours it struck me the laptop has a battery that is why it came on but this fooled me into thinking that was one plug that worked.  I fussed but the deadened mind was thinking slowly, oh so slowly, and I called the Landlord to speak to my friend Lisa.
"Hello, this is Lorna."
Lisa has followed Chris, the one who ran the place for around 15 years, out the door in an attempt to make some money.  Lorna was the new lass and she sounded about 19!  I explained the situation and she called John the workman and later he called to say he would be round.  
No tea in a dead all electric house.  No hot food with a dead oven, dead microwave and dead head.  
Having eaten only rarely in the past week and living on my abundance of fat I was not too keen to do without something warming.  Add to my desire to return to bed, eat something hot and stay far from the world came the noise of men repairing the road outside while others hammered away at one of the other flats somewhere round the back.  My joy was complete.
John arrived claiming to be unwell and looking sickeningly well while he said so.  Quickly we traced the various fuses, I had tried earlier, and we soon knew it was the kettle itself that had blown.  It probably blew as I switched it one but no spark, noise or explosion occurred at that time, not that I noticed anyway, and having proved the point John left grinning.
Still this meant I could heat things and later would obtain a new kettle.

Having managed to rise, decided life could be good and then had it smashed in my face I returned to the real world and switched on the laptop which connected with the real world of the Internet!  At last I could get on with the important work of reading email, facebook, Twitter, and the various gutter press editions that lay about.
What's this?  "You connect via WI-FI.  Log on here BT Fon?"  There follows a list of things to select
A bloody virus!
The whole morning wasted already and now a virus! 
There was in the end nothing to do but run a Boot Time Scan which takes hours!  This I did and while I pretended to eat, my insides were not fooled, the scan ran and ran.  Later, much later, I was able to make use of the laptop thankful the brute had gone.
It had not gone!  
Oh no he was still hanging around and the thing had to be done again.  
It was not till near five o'clock that I finally satisfied myself he was beaten, I hope I am right!

There were times today I wondered where my guardian angels had disappeared to.  I realise this is not an easy option, they could on the other hand have Donald Trump,  I understand the difficulties involved but all I wanted was to rise feeling considerably better than I have done for the past ten days, I wished to make and eat a nourishing breakfast, clean the mess of the last week and hopefully return to work tomorrow.
Instead the electric goes, my friends go and some sort of JS virus arrives.  To my mind this is not what I wished for this morning.  Luckily the other day I discovered just how many people are suffering this bug in similar fashion to myself.  Thousands are being beaten down by the latest flu,cold, man flu bug.  An item in the paper drew many to comment on their long lasting problem, three months in some cases and mine goes back to February yet nothing can be done about it but suffering.  
Onwards and upwards, 'per adva ad astra' as they say in the RAF, in Edinburgh we say "Haul awa lads, I'm no deid yet."

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Yes There's Been Another One.

The bomb is Brussells has brought out the usual reactions, media overkill, outrage spouted everywhere, knee jerk reactions and occasional attacks on passing Muslims.  
TV and Radio naturally devoted hours of time to the developing situation when the news first came through, and this is understandable, however the hours of needless, if not to say meaningless talk since then has been a little depressing.  A requirement to fill time rather than a desire to provide information appears to lead news reporting all too often.  
Once again somewhat easily led young men have found a cause in which to immolate themselves, except the one who ran for it that is.  All appear to have been petty criminal, which might have cut their conscience to some effect previously, possibly they saw this as a salvation.  Many innocent are dead, hundreds wounded and once again a city stands around claiming to stand together and not be moved by this.
Of course horrible as this is the UK is somewhat used to such events.  Thirty years of IRA terrorism, mostly paid for by US donations, and the several Islamic outrages since have mentally prepared us in a way the Belgians are just learning.  
As always the majority complain about the nasty Arabs but few complain about the European and Americans responsible for this.  Belgium took over large areas of Africa in the nineteenth century and imported many form north Africa to work deep down in their coal mines.  Not unnaturally their descendants remained and have been more or less dumped in the corners of Belgium and forgotten.  Little wonder some feel a grievance.
ISIS, or Daesh or whatever arose from a combination of US led attacks on Iraq and elsewhere with gun-toting US presidents believing the were John Wayne fighting Indians and forgetting this was the real world.  Saudi & Qatar joining together to attack Iran through Syria has not helped and out of the mess arises ISIS.  Their well led organisation now inspires people throughout Europe to atrocities in the name of their cause.  
The availability of guns in Europe is renown while it is harder to obtain such in the UK, this aids us somewhat but still we require to rely on intelligence to defeat those individuals and groups tempted to act.  Muslims here also offer information whatever Donald Trump claims.  
More such acts will occur, the best defence is not going to stop this.  One answer is to develop the intelligence operation and develop the propaganda arm aimed at those ISIS wish to recruit.  Only Muslim help can do this.  The war will be long and ghastly, who knows where it will strike next?

Oh and remember the news coverage on this incident is vastly greater than that given to the bomb attacks seen in Muslim nations. This is strange as many thousands of Muslims have died from Muslim extremists, vastly more than the deaths recorded in Europe.  Maybe that tells us something?

Monday, 21 March 2016

No Thank Yeeeew!

 There are many things I wish to see in the entertainment world but this is in my mind a step too far!  Five topless barmen?  
Just imagine the beer bellies hanging over the bar as they pull pints!  Just consider for a moment the Health and Safety aspects of such a job - for the drinkers!   It's all sounding too much for me.

This sounds more like my cup of tea....

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Now I'm Not One to Complain, But...

Indeed I am not a complaining type, I usually just sit and bubble quietly while the world walks all over me, however I have so many things to catch up with here, caused by illness with no sympathy, too much work and a great deal of sloth - I have no idea how he got in, he was too fast for me - and now things have got worse.
Yesterday meant a long day at the museum for the latest Exhibition Day, which went very well thanks for asking, thousands came,or it looked like thousands, and all left very happy indeed.  Several wee workshops were put on and the kids and adults loved them!  Not one grumble through the day bar my stomach about 1:30 but that was expected.

This Mad Scientist had the kids in stitches and the place stinking with burnt substances.  From balloons flying about to melting things, great explosions and flashes of flame she had the kids eating out of her hands.  It was fun, laughter filled the place and the mums and dads learnt almost but not quite as much as the kids.
Next door they experimented with smell, taste, and senses.  I ma not quite sure what was in the wee plastic containers they all took away so I stayed well clear, I don't trust these people.  The main hall was filled with kids learning how to digitise stuff on the laptop.  If we had not been so busy we all wanted to join that one and none of us could, but we didn't complain.... 
However I arrived home, knees aching, having missed the football for the most part and discovered we had lost three nil anyway, burnt my dinner, discovered the microwave giving problems and then it died before I had finished making my dinner!  Grrrr!
However luck was in as my dinner survived with a bit off mucking around and I found Raith Rovers playing Hibernian on BBC Alba!  How lovely to watch a game in which the commentators do not irritate with meaningless words!  BBC Alba is the Gaelic channel for the north of Scotland and as the commentators are speaking thus it merely fills the background and allows the viewer to view uninterrupted by codswallop!  It also helps if wee Hibernian lose by two goals to nil!   Oh joy!  
My Hibby mate has not answered my tweets I hope he has not done anything silly...?

Today, as I nursed my weak knees and rested my brittle bones I managed to find a decent football game in the Dull, Dreich Dundee Derby Day game at half past twelve.  This was far superior to the dreich Manchester derby.  The sooner Van Gall goes the better I say.
However I suddenly thought Sainsburys sometimes do microwaves!  It was quiet so I rushed up there hoping they had one as they were close by and a cheap microwave would be easy to carry home from the shop.  Of course they are quite heavy and in the box heavier but Sainburys are only five minutes up the road.  
I rushed slowly up the road and discovered their cheap microwave, the same as my old one, they are all the same no matter what name appears on them, I discovered their one was £40!  Blow that as I had checked the more distant Argos had one at £36.However I wandered on to Tesco and found a heavy box there full of cheap microwave oven for £35.  Good enough for me I say, the last one lasted about four years and if I remember right cost £29.  
However after lugging it home from Argos that day, unpacking it, starting it up I discovered the blessed thing was bust!  I lugged it back, slower than I brought it, and dumped it somewhat heavily on the desk while panting my complaint.  As I recall the lass did not refund or replace but encouraged me to spend a pound or two more on a 'better' one and so I did while looking in her eyes all the time.  Then I again lugged the even heavier one back down the road.  
I am not fit I said to myself, and I as always, was right.
Now heavier than then, me not the oven, as fit as a corpse with lumbago I paid for my treasure without which I would starve and clambered shakily down the steps towards the door.  Why do they have an escalator upwards but not downwards I ask?  I trudged past the stares from the drunks at the pub on the corner, ensuring I walked upright and briskly as I did so.  Round the corner I changed position and began to wheeze somewhat.  As I passed Sainsburys people began to look and having reached the corner opposite I heard one man ask where that steam engine was.  
Home was reached just before the defibrillator was called for and I sat for a while aching and wondering how some time in the past I used to lug things like this up and down stairs in all sorts of houses.  Heavy goods were easily shifted and now I struggle to open bottles of Lucozade!  
If the muscles allow I will once again begin exercising tomorrow, unless the knees still play up from Saturday let alone today.

The good news that Ian Duncan Smith has walked out of the government because 'Cutting benefits off the poor and disabled while increasing tax cuts for the rich was not acceptable.'  Such warm words which we all agree with.
Hold on, this is the man who put through all these benefits cuts over the past six years.  The man who's department sent letters to people unable to leave their bed since birth 18 years before that they must report for work or lose money!  Some say 2000 have been told they are fit to work and died within a week!  Other claim thousands more have died or lost great sums of money, affecting their food and trapping them indoors because money has been taken from them.  The man who thrust through the 'robbing the poor to pay the rich' was Ian Duncan Smith.  An item in the 'Telegraph' indicates Prime Minister Cameron and Chancellor Osborne had encouraged IDS to mail everyone telling them to continue with the cuts and therefore put the blame on him, so IDS waked out.  Stories in the papers are of course planted by MPs and who planted that one?  So many tales and so many lies.
However this has blown Chancellor Osborne out of the water.  His decision to cut benefits again will have to be changed, Cameron is desperate to separate himself from anything that makes life difficult and both and in real trouble now.  Good isn't it?
This of course has lots to do with the EU referendum!  Politicians playing games with one another while Rome burns, if that is the right analogy, and we have to read between the lines as to the truth. Here of course the fun is the Conservative Party, the one determined to eliminate all poor, weak. sick or any other people who did not attend Public School and go horse riding with David Cameron from the nation.  Now they are riven in two with a divide growing daily.  Political enemies are never on the other side of the chamber, they are always behind you!


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

James Cleverly MP.

This is James Cleverly the local Member for Parliament.  He is a Conservative and recently like all members received a substantial increase in his MP's salary worth around £7000 a year to him.  This means he is now paid about £70,000 a year.  On top of this he remains a member of the London Assembly (or council if you like) for a period earning another £18,000 I think it is for this.  James remains a Major in the Territorial Army (or Reserves as the Conservative government now call it) an organisation he joined after injury forced him out of the regular army. Pay rates for such an officer are around £124 a day (daily rate is normal here) with occasional 'bounties of around a thousand.
As an MP he will be able to claim enormous expenses for almost everything work related, has a 'card' that enables this at good rates, and various subsidised 'tea rooms' in the House of Commons to ease his working day.  James Cleverly will also come into contact with a great many people seeking his advice, some of which may well offer legitimate payment and others may lead to other advantages.  
Nothing wrong, criminal or illegal as far as can be told so far.  Nothing indicates a man who does anything but works hard for his income, a good income and lifestyle which he and his family no doubt enjoy.
My one problem is that recently the Conservative government, the one that allows big business to avoid tax (George Osborne's family firm paid him a bonus of £1500 after avoiding corporation tax for ten years while paying no tax on millions of profits!  He is the Chancellor, the governments money man!), this government that encourages tax dodging has cut benefits for the disabled by £30 a week!
James Cleverly, the man doing so well himself, voted in support of this cut!
How can well paid satisfied members of the House vote to cut benefits from the weakest while doing nicely themselves I ask?  Many of those dependent on vehicles have lost their support and are now trapped in their houses, others are losing equipment that keeps them alive, others suffer everyday losses re foodstuffs and daily requirements.
James Cleverly appears to support this attack on the poorest and it does not sit well with many of us.

This morning we awake to the ceaseless chatter re the budget.  George Osborne will start spewing forth his budget this afternoon and we all know what it will say.  For days we have heard it will cut £4 Billion from somewhere and no increase on Beer duty, at least that appears to be the main two topics.  What happened to keeping such things quiet until the day?  One thing we all know is that the rich will not be stopped avoiding tax, this has been ensured by the appointment to the top ranks at the Tax Office of three men famous for advising big companies on tax avoidance.  The cutting of thousands more tax jobs will also follow! 
I will ignore all this.  Each budget day the government party tell us how wonderful this is, the opposition tell us how awful, the facts we discover arrive the next day once various 'experts' (and there are always 'experts' on hand to explain) have studied the results of the changes.  Rarely is it good news.  Only the top elite will benefit once again and the rest will carry the burden.  That's how it is.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Ooooo Nurse.

At two minutes to eight this morning I made my way round the corner to the surgery.  I decided something needs to be done about (Censored) and a visit to the nurse was required.  The present system used by the surgery to obtain an appointment is simple, turn up at eight in the morning and be first in the queue!  The surgery has far too many patients because this town keeps growing and growing and this is the best doctors around.  As far as I know no new patients are being admitted here.  However I had to join the queue standing outside the building as the door had not yet been opened and there were at least twenty people standing in the cold draught shivering.  The usual grumbles for aged relics who consider they ought to be treated better than this were heard, "Third world doctors" was one.  "My Alf says that and he knows, he was in Nigeria for seven years," says another.  I mused on the highly efficient and helpful staff at the surgery, the expensive modern equipment, the staff attitude itself and mentally compared this to a Nigerian hospital.  In spite of 82% of heat there in Lagos I think I would prefer our staff here thanks very much.  The disgraceful approach of the Conservative Party in attempting to turn the NHS, the greatest thing the UK has ever produced, into an American style insurance theft health service is the only problem we have in our NHS.  Ideology will not fix the problems better management and sensible policies will enable the NHS to run smoothly but these will not be tolerated under a Tory government, money, not people comes first there!
The queue made its way indoors and queued in some degree of warmth.  One lass at reception handled the queue, firmly and kindly in my opinion, while the other dealt with the many attempting to book an appointment by telephone, only one line being open!  Slowly but surely people were dealt with, some smiling happily and taking seats near the appropriate office, others grumbling, snarling and decidedly not chuffed.  Of course such people could pay to go private and always get an appointment and anything else they are stupid enough to pay for but I prefer to queue like everyone else in the country and give regard to the purpose of the NHS.  One man coughed incessantly throughout causing dirty looks, expressions of disgust and shuffling feet attempting to avoid him but I carried on anyway.  Old wifies struggled to stand leaning on their walking sticks, young men listened to rubbish music quietly on their ipods others just suffered the indignity of having to wait your turn in a manner unknown in some countries.  I noticed a pile of magazines three copies wide and about two foot high on the table.  Sunday colour supplements, women's gossip mags and the occasional kids book lay among them.  I wondered if there was actually anything worth reading in that pile of magazines?  I also wondered how many bugs had been left on the pages by all those sick people who had been rifling through them while waiting for their name to be called.  Somewhere in that pile were sufficient virii to keep this surgery busy for years to come, I declined to browse them.  When as a lad I was taken to our doctor in Edinburgh I was very unhappy that the only magazines on offer were 'Golf' or the 'Edinburgh Illustrated News' and 'Tatler.' These magazines full of pictures of the great and the good fiddling taxes and taking backhanders while attending 'charity' functions in town did not appeal then and do not appeal now.  I much preferred the barbers in Davidsons Mains up the road from us he provided old 'National Geographic' magazines dated 1932.  As a child of nine or ten I liked these as they contained black and white photos of half naked black women and these interested me though I was not sure why.  I may go back one day and see if he is still open.    
The man in front of me reached the desk as the sun began to shine on the trees outside and not unnaturally he had a query that took time to organise, why me I ask?  My turn came and quickly it was dealt with by the efficient dragon staff behind the glass, a time was given and I left to visit Tesco.

On the way back from Tesco I wondered at my ability to buy big things all at the same time.  This means the one bag I possess (one of those 'bag for life' jobs that last around three months if they don't rip) was not big enough for all I wish to place therein.  How come I buy them all at once and not in a sensible manner?  My packing ability is great I need not tell you but even I struggled this morning as the half dim lassie looked on unhelpfully.  Normally the girls here are awake, friendly and efficient, this was a bad day for this one.  Just imagine what it must be like sitting facing customers in such a place day after day?  Could you cope with this?  The slow, the banal, the mentally dead, the occasional zombie and worse still the retired man who has all day to gossip about nothing and happily holds up the queue while he laughs and jokes as he packs his three items.  Dealing with these daily could lead me into speaking 'out of turn.'  There is also the fiddling with cards and change, the women who stand there reading the bill checking every price instead of getting out of others way, the one woman who notes a mistake and calls for the manager, usually over three or four pence.  And then there is the managers, in this company they are not always sweetness and light according to those in the know.  Most supervisors here are good but watching some of the bitchy women managers and noting our own recent problems I can see one or two in this shop reaching high up the corporate ladder, however what they find there will not satisfy them I reckon.   I prefer my little shop where the customers and staff are better behaved.

When I returned to the surgery for my appointment to see about (Still Censored) the nurse was as welcoming as always. 
"Sit!" she ordered, I sat.
"What now?"
I said my piece.
"Bah! Is that all?"
She spat this out while holding a huge hypodermic needle and looking at my arm with a fielding expression. She typed into the computerised system, gave instructions and mentioned somewhat obliquely the idea of cutting of my legs from below the knee.
"Was this a requirement?" I asked aghast.
"No," she replied, "But it would be a giggle."
Grasping the prescription I made for the door.
"It's locked," she grinned fiendishly.
My experience of nurses in previous employments came back to me at this moment and I left via the window, something I had much training for in times past.
I may have to go back in two weeks...

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Cup Final Day Again

What an interesting afternoon's football.  The Scottish League Cup Final and once again the wee team failed in a cup final, poor Hibernian built themselves up to expect a win and got beat with the winning goal coming in the last couple of minutes.  Oh dear oh dearie me.
Normally on such occasions, and there have been may, I would laugh at my Hibby friends, today however has been different.  I just could not laugh at a man who was so down he needs to be on suicide watch as the bus makes its long slow way back from Glasgow into Leith.
As a supporter of the Big Team, the Heart of Midlothian, I understand the emptiness, anger and confusion that follows a defeat in a major tournament, after all we have been there rather too often ourselves.  Indeed when I started to follow football the Heart of Midlothian won this cup themselves in 1962 ans we all expected this behaviour to continue, it didn't!  Indeed in spite of many attempts at both cups and the league itself we were bereft for many years.  Woe and dissolution are not unknown down Gorgie way.
It was one sunny afternoon while standing in Edinburgh's Princes Street waiting for the open top bus carrying the victorious Scottish Cup Winning Heart of Midlothian side of 1998 that our agony ended.  That day the thousands gathered knew only one phrase, "I've waited forty years for this!"  And many of us had!  Forty long despairing years and at last we broke through.  Indeed we have since won the cup a couple of times again and it has become a bit of a bore really.  The Heart of Midlothian of course won the Scottish Cup, the oldest football trophy in the whole world, poor Hibernian today failed to capture the League Cup, the second of the cup trophies one they have managed to win within living memory.  

The Scottish Cup Hibernian have indeed had their name carved on this prestigious trophy however the last time this occurred was in 1902 a day so long in the distant past that had any of the players survived until today they would be 114 years of age older than they were on that day.  Few if any have survived.  
Man has flown, even to the moon, discovered radio waves, television, microwaves, and fought two world wars and suffered severe depressions worldwide yet in all this Hibernians failure to win the Scottish Cup has been a failure they cannot endure.  Still across the city we find it a giggle.  
So my friend sleeping on the bus home, enduring bad dreams of loss and pain, will not have to endure my sniggers at his teams failure again.  My emotions were touched at his cry of "Doom, Doom!" All the way along the M8.  All is loss and his wife and child, who will suffer also as he is being raised in this sad support of Hibernian, will see their man reduced to a shattered shell yet again.  We all know what this pain is like, we have all been there, just be glad it is him and not us.Those horses will have clipped clopped back into the garage with the Hibs open top bus once again.

Friday, 11 March 2016

A Welcome Sight

A closed door!
Four pm and the door was slammed shut!  It was time for home.  My one half day a week has been somewhat disturbed recently with so many missing in action.  Tuesday I was there all day as I was much of yesterday as a school came through the shop as I was running for home, I made it by 3:30!  Today the two girls were off and I held the fort uncomplaining in spite off it all.  Now in times past a three day week would have been welcomed but now I find it tiring.  Worse still I canny get anything done at home, as they stour in here will tell.  The 'to do' list for tomorrow & Monday is quite long now, anyone fancy cleaning an oven...?

Having managed to cut the benefits received by the disabled the Conservative government that comprises at least nineteen millionaires now wishes to cut the cash given to the disabled to buy much needed equipment.  Is there any individual in this nation who cannot be attacked by these people?  The disabled, the elderly, anyone bar those who fiddle massive tax demands can be chosen as the one who pays for the national debt.  How will this help?  In no way but after receiving an increase in MP wages, making extravagant claims on their expenses and accepting cash form anyone who offers this party continue to claim benefits are too high, their papers are full of evidence for this apparently, so the poorest must suffer.  You will be next if nothing is done.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The Circus Comes to Town

As might be expected on the opening night of the circus the day has been driech.  Rain, clouds, drizzle and horridness all day but it did not appear to hinder the kids heading for the circus at 6:30 this evening as I stood there attempting to take pictures.  Using the normal lenses I attempted to grasp something of the late night atmosphere these places offer but I found things very different from when I was a lad.  For one thing the place must be powered by generators of quality as there were no heavy duty lorries, such as 'ERF's' of past times, growling away spewing fumes into the air.  No trucks containing roaring lions or frustrated horses were to be seen as the UK has long since banned animals from such events.  Also while outside I could hear the announcer announcing but it was not blaring and there appeared to be no music!  Maybe that would arise as the event opened but to me it was a different affair from my youth.

I must have been at school, possibly about 13 when I last accompanied a chap long forgotten to the circus.  Not sure if other animals were involved though I suspect they were but I do recall being very disappointed nay let down by the con that put me off such places for life.  The posters advertised a woman fighting a large crocodile in a pool and I so looked forward to this.  On the day a six foot by four aquarium, about eight foot high, was brought on via a trolley and the lass climbed in and fought a ferocious two foot long doped alligator similar to the stuffed one we had in our primary school.  My eyes were opened to advertising lies!  
We had been to the circus before, usually 'Chipperfields' in those days I reckon, when younger as these are the type of things kids must see once ion their lives but while animals were involved and people swung about on the trapeze high above all I enjoyed were the clowns.  The clever one in the pointed hat always appeared to be doing nothing to me but I enjoyed the car collapsing and the general slapstick of the operation.  Most of the other happenings happened but then I moved on. 
We also moved on quickly at the end even though I wanted to visit the cages full of lions and other animals but parents being parents fussed about catching buses and avoiding queues and getting home to bed and other adult things that no child cares about.  Circus's were therefore always visited in the dark, not during the day. 
For a brief moment I considered going in just for a different night experience then changed my mind. I would have taken photo's, I might even have applauded, In would enjoy the clowns but I would  certainly miss Chelsea playing PSG.  
So I gave it a miss.
Anyway work tomorrow so sleep is required.


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Tuesday Trivia

Having spent yet another full day at the museum sorting through boxes of envelopes I come home to find the news is boring.  Yes indeed the 'Brexit' fills the air yet again and still not one word concerning the facts thereof.  As always much in the way of propaganda, many insults from one Conservative gentleman to another and back again, loud sneering/shouting/debate yet little in the way of facts.  I blame the USA I suspect these folks have been watching Trump and his gang too much.  The vote is in June and we have months of this to go through yet.

So few people at work today, another called off because of aged parent trouble, another off for a month for sickness, two left, one off on holiday again and only two of us left to man the fort.  The staff likewise are one down and one was out elsewhere today.  Naturally when I arrived all was chaos.  Still we survived.  However I am in need of a Swedish massage and a quiet night.  
Last night was frightful!   
There was no football on TV!
I went through the motions and did this and that but there was an enormous gap where the football should be.  I was seeing spiders by ten o'clock! 
Tonight I see relief inn the form of several games arranged just for my mental health I suspect.

The other main subject is of course migrants.  
Do you have an answer?  I don't.  The political games being played help few and thousands suffer.  Would you stay in a war zone?  Can we believe half the scare stories the press offer us?  I try to find a simple straight forward response and fail.  Care for refugees I say, help those in need indeed but how to manage such a crowd.  The nations, often unused to dealing with people from outside their area Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and the like are keen on EU money and their people freely moving around Europe but they are less keen on accepting Syrians or Afghans.  The UK stands back - with a Tory government who have just pushed through a bill cutting benefits to the disabled (but not taxing their friends) - as always doing as little as it can.  Certainly we have many immigrants here, the violent ones we cannot deport for goodness sake, and we could do more but the long term answer escapes me.

As Zebedee said, "It's time for bed."

p.s. Today is 'International Women's Day,'  Do you think I care?  Pah!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Chilling in the Chill

You can tell it is almost Spring as the rain falls full of snow, slushy snow.  Today however it relented and saturated the world during the night leaving us a clear sunny day.  It didn't bother to turn up the sun however, 5C at most, and with a northern wind to cut through those daft enough to leave the fireplace.  
As I am daft and was becoming desperate to get out and about in the real world for a change I did this and wandered through the Gardens after they opened this morning to find a pair of Mallards who visited the pool.  The wife was dozing and the man looked half awake, very much the Sunday Morning expression from both of them.  Probably they flew by late yesterday and found the pool and thought it might feed them, a bit doubtful about this but the rivers are close by so they will by now have fed well.  Once they placed fish in this pond and wondered why they had vanished.  I never told anyone that I saw a Heron sitting on the edge of the pond one morning, I think that told the story.  They no longer stock the pond.

There has been a lot of work going on in the gardens and chopping down aged, sick or damaged trees is one of the things that has been done.  Here we see two that have been put to some use as seats.  A good idea as they don't like wasting things and the trees have done their bit for over a hundred years.  The kids will certainly like these.

From the delights of green grass, blue flowers, singing birdies and wide open spaces I returned to traffic hold ups right outside my door.  Not for the first time, but thankfully not on the busiest day, they are digging in the road and stopping vehicles outside my door, how nice of them.  During the week when they last did this I enjoyed a variety of appalling music played at enormous decibel levels sufficient to enlighten the men travelling to Mars what music the driver appreciated!  Today was less so but the base is something that requires sorting in some vehicles.  Where is my spade...?

For the past few weeks I have been constantly sipping those energy drinks from cheap plastic bottles, mostly Lucozade types, in an effort to keep myself alive.  Yesterday I bought this type for the simple reason it was cheaper, much cheaper. Late last night I saw why, I couldn't open it!  With previous bottles I just ignored the ludicrous 'teat' on the top (I prefer real ones) and twist the thing open.  This I could not do!  I struggled and swore and sweated and gripped harder and said rude words but it would not turn.  I was therefore forced to drink through the 'teat!'  However this meant removing the wee plastic guard on top and this I could not do!  I pressed it, I twisted it I pulled and even used my teeth on it but it would not come off.  Much later, desperately hauling away I got the blasted wee plastic bit to remove itself.  Then came the fight with the 'teat' itself.  That soon opened, and the stuff shot out everywhere, but I got my reward though my day was now over.
Today I picked up a second bottle and it twisted off straight away!
I hate them!

Friday, 4 March 2016

Gloom, More Gloom and Gloom....

I'm in a good mood today.  Forced out of bed at five am to cough my way into the day I struggled to get anything done.  Three weeks this bug has continued and it has still not let go.  Others tell me it has plagued them longer, bah!  On top of this I had to get down to the museum for the presentation to the lass who is leaving.  I am not happy about this and not happy that another will leave in a months time also.
This is the result of female bitchiness, jealousy and gossip!  Small things built up and the falling out was hard to take.  The end result after a ham fisted attempt to put things right is both main protagonists are offski!  I am annoyed as my life was a joy in that place, these women were making it so in spite of daily problems the small things that annoy.  Now we await two replacements who will not be able to work as these two, especially as the lass who left today was doing almost three jobs and no-one will do the work she was doing and at those hours.  The administrators have shot themselves in the foot and I can see problems arising everywhere.
I am so annoyed and feel somewhat bitter, I am as depressed as I was that time in 1965 when Kilmarnock stole the Championship from us it hurts so.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I can see where it all went wrong, indeed I can see where it will go wrong once more but it is not my responsibility to ensure others do, I may tell them anyway.  
Anyway my favourite one who was presented with her gift today actually finishes tomorrow and I will see her then, from then on we will be sailing in a new ship - the Titanic!
Oh joy.

He doesn't care, just sat sitting there sunning himself as the sun goes down.  Pah!  Sometimes I wish I was a pigeon.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

A Day Boxed In.

Just before ten this morning I was carried by two paramedics down to the museum door.  There they dropped me, and I mean dropped, and I was dragged in by two females who made much use of terms such as "Wuss" and "wimp" and "waste of space" while boasting of "carrying on while at deaths door because we are women."  
When I have the strength I shall get them back.
As I coughed and spluttered and watched the rain hammering down against the windows I sank into my seat while attempting to put right the mess that occurs when I am not there to keep things in order.  I did this and that, replaced these, sorted those, questions just what that was and carried on as normal, without complaint. 
A gentleman left his card unable to speak to my colleague as she was in a meeting, later I wandered all the way to the far side to deliver card at an opportune time.  She called this opportune and lumbered me with an 'easy' job.  This was some pictures, negatives etc that had been handed in by a local company clearing out and much was useful to us.  However it required a deal of sorting and so I was offered one wee box.
I began around eleven and finished around four!
That is one box, some of the others can be seen in the picture I didn't have a lens wide enough to get them all in.  I was meant to finish at one and struggle home unaided but the lass who takes over had a problem and I continued on as I am so kind and nice.  The ball and chain on my ankle was not so nice however.
Luckily it remained quiet and I got the box finished but I am now finished also.  I am ready to sleep and while the exercise was good for me I will fall into dreamland long before the football finishes tonight.