Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Ne'er Cast a Clout till May is Out or Something

Today, as you can tell by my window, is the last day of May.  In less than a months time we reach the middle of the year, the longest day!  Fooled by two or three days when the sun shone and the temperature rose we thought Summer was 'a cummin in,' it hasn't!
Worse still is the photo that arrived this morning from my nieces husband playing around on Lock Fynne up near Fort William in the highlands.  The sun was shining at eight in the morning, the sky blue, the Loch calm.  It makes you sick, it's no fair!
Naturally as the wind, heading towards 40 miles an hour as it threw the heavy downpour at my window, paid no heed to the fact that I had to saunter down the road to the museum in the middle of it.  I was fair drookit when I got there!  Good job I am not the complaining type.

Yet another bunch of Yanks coming on Saturday.  These guys are studying the war and the effect of the airfields on the people living in the area.  We have some stuff lined up for them but as always I have not been given much info on what is actually happening.  Still I expect it will be a good day.
Thousands of these men came here and many left their children behind.  Just as many flew away to the east and were never heard off again!  Ridgewell Museum is based on what is left of the airfield there.  B 17's flew from there for two years constantly. Wethersfield on the other hand was in use until recently. 

Saturday, 28 May 2016

A Mill, A Bull, A Pond and A Church

Townsford Mill stands on a spot used by mills of many types going back centuries.  It is thought grain was first milled here in the midst of agricultural land but over the years weaving became the norm.  Samuel Courtauld, one of a family of Unitarians, became sole owner in 1825, one of many mills he was to possess, and soon developed a powerful steam worked silk mill one of the biggest in the country.  However by 1850 foreign competition hit deep into his output this led to a development of Black Crepe often used in funerals, which with a stroke of luck brought him much profit when prince Albert died.  With Victoria descending into deep mourning the nation followed on and Courtauld's Black Crepe was in much demand.  The Mill soon employed over 1400 women using a thousand looms.  Weaving of one sort or another continued until 1982 and soon after the closure the antiques people moved in and what a success this has become.

Where once a thousand looms deafened the girls working them now a variety of units peddle items some of which my family still put to good use.  Imaging how many items now considered 'antique' are still lying abode the abode?  There is a restaurant in the bottom and two floors of junk valuable items much of what I found very interesting and a great deal of it not too expensive either.  If I had money and wall space I could have gone for several pictures and the number of books on show tempted me, I kept telling myself to go back to charity shops for them.  After wandering I retrieved my bag from reception, they somehow did not trust me, and asked the young lady about the gun she had by her side.  A rifle of great age lay there which she said she kept for troublesome customers. she waved it in the direction of her friend who ran for it.  However  it turns out to be a toy!  An expensive toy for a young lad 150 years or more ago I suspect.  I decided not to buy as getting on a bus these days with a rifle gets funny looks from others I find.

These two houses are part of a row which Samuel Courtauld built for his workers.  He was not penny pinching when he asked George Sherrin to build them in 1883 was he?  I suspect the more loyal workers with their families were placed in here.  Courtauld employed 70 men and boys as well as the women, many of those rescued from London's workhouses and offered jobs in Essex.  Long hard hours for seven shillings and sixpence may not seem much now but it was better than a life on the street which was the future for many of the girls otherwise at that time.  The weavers cottages from yesterday were probably built by him for his workers also.

 Amazing how dingy clearish brown water runs up to the mill but on the other side the river is overgrown all the way along.  Reed clutter the river bed and had I the energy I would have walked along for a few miles to see a bit of countryside.  Instead I came upon this bedraggled old building once a hive of industry and now awaiting its fate.

Originally part of the railway yard this large double sized building looks derelict and rather sad at the moment.  This is a reflection on how important railways were to industry in times past as the goods yard was big for such a town and business must have been brisk.  Today little remains although one or two station building have been reused, however I suspect few under seventy remember the line in operation.

Some folks like it however.  Three windows had such a bird taking ownership of the place.  Plenty large windows to go round for everybody.

As I avoided spilling my lunch in the Bull Inn I gazed at the thick aged beams that hung above me.  These may have been part of the original building when created in the 1400's.  Imagine, in spite of adaptions and renovations over the years, imagine how many have supped here over the past seven centuries?  Impossible to miss at the bottom of the hill the bridge over the river is outside the door and I wonder if any careless driver or runaway horse and cart have clattered into the Bull?  I can see many drivers of both horse and car doing so.  

Waiting at the door for the taxi to come through...

The public gardens are well maintained by the excellent council workforce and here the memorial to the lost of WW2 is found.  A small four sided plinth is engraved with the names of the lost and the gardeners have created this magnificent Lancaster Bomber as tribute to the airmen who lost their lives.  Apparently this is the second Lancaster, the year before that a Glider was made.  I see this as a magnificent gesture and who knows what they have in mind for the next one. 
Well done to the council gardeners!

The gardeners also maintain the excellent pond which has found favour with several ducks.  So happy are they that mum has produced at least four chicks who stumble around the pond searching for lunch.  Kids are always hungry, at least when it suits them.

Not far from the pond stand the disused Holy Trinity Church.  The architect one Sir George Gilbert Scott a man famous for many buildings such as the Midland Hotel, The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Albert memorial.  This was one of his earlier works in 1843/44 and now stands bare and rather sad.  The outside is impressive but as almost everything relevant has been removed the building is in the care of The Churches Conservation Trust.

It was as I turned and looked down the nave that I suddenly became rather depressed by the disconsolate appearance a disused church has.  It matters not that this was a 'High Church' in times past (It appears a golden cross was offered  for processions and some objected, possibly the protestant types. This cross soon disappeared and was later found bent over in the River Colne.  It was returned to the vicar in 1911 and soon back in use.)  

One of the few remaining items is the Great War Memorial which appears to be still made use off.
Some people have not been forgotten.

Scott had a sense of humour it seems to me.  Just what encouragement these faces high above every pillar in the church gave I am unsure.  There was a variety of faces and I winder if he had someone in mind for each of them?  Were they posed I wonder?

OK, you can wake up now.  No more from Halstead that I will show.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Healthy Place

The idea came to me last night to travel north to the far flung (six miles) town of Halstead.  This appeared to me to be a good idea until leaving the bus I realised just how steep a hill the town was built on.  What sort of clown builds a town on a hill?   
The name of the place 'Halstead' comes from the Saxons who lived here before my time.  It could translate as 'Healthy Place' or 'Place of refuge' depending on how well you understand Saxon.  There was enough settlement here to be recorded in the 'Domesday Book' under the Normans by that time of course. 
The River Colne probably had something to do with the settlements origin and at the top of the hill lies the crossroads of the east/west and north/south highways.  That also may have encouraged settlement as time past.  The lucky thing is that it was the women who daily had to drag the water up the hill while the men got on with the hard labour either in the fields or in the pub.  
The town stands on the route from London to Bury St Edmunds so for many years pilgrims trudged past heading north.  This would have enabled Inns of various quality to make a living out of the passersby.   Agriculture must have been an important employer until weaving arrived then everything changed.  
Whether the Flemish weavers (the term Flemish must cover those from what is now northern France, Belgium and Holland) who moved into Essex established themselves at the top of this steep hill which I mention again is not known to me however in 1818 Samuel Courtauld built his mill here and began a business that lasted until recently.

At the top of the hill today stands St Andrews church which as is nearly always the case a church that goes back to the Normans and possibly to the Saxons also.  There was indeed a church here when King John (reigned 1199 - 1216) gave the town a market, that certainly led to the towns prosperity  growing.
You will note I found a war memorial at the top.  A once proud remembrance of the fallen the fallen the stone is sadly beginning to fade and decoration is fading fast which is a pity as we can see.


St Andrews Church was renovated by the Victorians in a manner that impressed me and I am not known for being impressed by artworks.  However it is a fetching sight when seen inside and luckily the locals mange to keep the doors open.

Apart from the stained glass windows, very good in the usual Victorian almost pre-Raphealite form the walls of the chancel have also been painted strikingly!  The colour on these pictures is too bright as I had to fiddle the camera to get a decent impression of the painting.  

Imagine a slightly more colourful version of the wall behind.  The walls and the ceiling have been done extremely well in my view, even though I would not have it in a proper dour kirk!   Who was the artist responsible I have not discovered as there was no booklet on the church history on sale as far as I could tell.  An impressive building, well maintained and still in normal use.  

A much better system for removing rain water than the plastic pipes which dominate the world today.  These gargoyles are all around the church, many have them, and might be a spot of Victorian humour.  

Back down the hill past the many houses going back to as early as the fifteen hundreds.  Most have been altered over the years occasionally the outside also and certainly inside they can be changed considerably however many are still pokey wee places for those using them.  Small rooms, low ceilings and it is easy to imagine the many who have passed through these houses, mostly shops today and it is possible many have always been businesses. 
I searched the important shops, the charity ones and bought a dingy black jacket for £5 which seemed a good price to me and went some way towards aiding the St Helena Hospice.  At least in the shops I was away from the traffic.  The highway is still the main road north and as such is extremely busy.  No chance of a bypass for this town however.  

By now I, like you, was becoming weary and was tempted by the 'White Hart.'  Lots of these places around here as the 'White Hart' was the sign of one of the prominent nobles and I have forgotten which one, he became king eventually I believe but don't all English nobles think they are king?
Anyway the place was not yet open so I trudged on down and came upon this!

This was found in the fancy shopping centre.  No I don't know what it is either but someone will know and soon inform us.  

"Time for bed," said Zebedee...

Wednesday, 25 May 2016


An old picture chosen as the sun was shining then so long ago.
Today I trundled into Caesaromagus (Caesar's market place) and wandered through the shops surprised that the town was quite quiet.  I was also surprised when checking the prices in the popular shop called 'Primark.'  There jackets were on sale for under £30 and on the sale rack I noticed a reasonable one on offer at £10!  Jings!  Just a pity that as usual these things were the wrong size as they always are.
The thought crossed my mind that either 
a) the girls back in Bangladesh making these clothes are paid less than we think or 
b) the bigger shops are ripping us off big time!  Jackets elsewhere ranger from £69 to £365!!!
Of course it might be 
c) the workers are vastly underpaid and the shops rip us off.  
I reckon the last one comes closest.

Nothing else worth saying so...

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Stone Me!

Putting aside my enormous workload and cup of tea this morning I began to make a list of the buildings donate to the town over the years by the Courtauld family of weaving fame.  
The museum itself is housed in what once was a school, erected 1862 by George Courtauld for the young of the town.  The stone above commemorates the erection in 1897 of an infants school to go with the rest of the building.  Note this had 257 pupils in a small school!  The school in total contained over 600 pupils according to one source I came across!  Jings!  This lasted happily enough until 1990 when to many pupils distaste the school closed and they were forced into larger less happy establishments.  All who were taught here at the end retained happy memories of the building. 
The Courtauld's were Unitarians, a heretical but popular movement in the 19th century, and they insisted that while the bible should be read every day no particular slant could be placed upon it.  This they ensured by the use of a slab 20 feet high and ten feet across including a portion of the deeds which hangs high above the main gallery.  In the 19th century poverty affected at least a third of the people and that was during the good times, earlier in the century things were worse.  However many rich folks spent their cash on improving their workers lives by providing things required for daily life, although not always increasing their wages while doing so.  
George Courtauld was keen on education as with mills elsewhere he also created schools for the young in those places and in town here in 1864 added a Mechanics Institute, a popular item for helping artisans and others educate themselves and join another Victorian passion 'Self help.'
Sydney, who lived in a proper 'Big House' had a very large estate part of which was divided by a road.  In 1888 he gave that portion of the garden to the town, parks were a major part of improving the towns and cities at the time.  This garden continues today and Julian Courtauld is one of those trustees keeping it going.
William J. Courtauld gave the town a new and splendid Town Hall, always worth a visit and of course I cannot find any pictures as I have 'sorted them.'  This cost an enormous amount but he never informed people of how much but even for 1928 it was a huge financial cost to him.  He also gave a cottage hospital that operated (get it?) until a couple of years ago, it is now a number of houses.
William created modern Almshouses in 1936 although I am not sure what goes on in these today, and in 1939 just in time for a war he gave a splendid nurses home, now used for storing troubled young folks.
Why am I mentioning this? 
It is just that with all the cash swilling about folks pockets today it is remarkable that few of those living in houses worth 20-30 million rarely are seen benefiting their workers, more like they are benefiting themselves and robbing the pension fund.  In times past several built housing estates for their workers, as indeed the Courtauld's built some houses for some workers.  Hospitals and doctors were provided, working conditions improved and usually staff here at least were content to a great degree.  Many mill workers were young girls rescued from London workhouses and given a new but hard life in the country.  Few returned to London.
Why is it people with many millions in the Panama banks feel the need to increase this cash rather than put it to good use for the world around them?  I am aware of one Scots millionaire who's name I forget who has donated large sums to many needy organisations, how come so few do so nowadays?
Of course when I am a millionaire....

Monday, 23 May 2016


The Hancock programme last night got me thinking about the changes to society since that was broadcast in 1960.  Fifteen years before these men had been young lads sharing a wild adventure, one that shared real danger both for them as individuals and for the nation as a whole.  The actors themselves knew the reality of both war and reunion parties as all had served somewhere or other. Those trapped in normal work were able to escape this through war service and great numbers attempted an acting career after demob.  Hancock and the others clearly succeeded while others fell by the wayside and returned to real work.
The contrasting attitudes of Hancock and Sid to reunion tells much.  Tony is desperate to see his old chums remembering them as they were fifteen years before, Sid couldn't care less as his mob were self seeking types and he remembered them for that!  How many millions of men watching this programme (and Hancock could get 25 million watching at the time!) identified with one or the other?  How many had similar reunions?  I wonder if reunions became more important as time past? A reunion after fifteen years finds men possibly building a family, a career or deeply involved in survival.  Thirty years on when in their early fifties life is different for many and looking back becomes more important.  Comradeship from dangerous situations revives and family or work pressures may ease up somewhat.  
Many men endured the Great War and enjoyed it!  There was death and hard slogging, mud and bullying NCO's but the comradeship and even fun behind the lines was unlike that found anywhere else after the war.  Those men could find comrades throughout the country, some known others merely men with fellow feeling and similar memories.
Civilians never get that sort of comradeship.
Hancock could not be broadcast today.  Thousands may have served in the army but the vast majority of the nation would not understand the feelings engendered nor the need for old soldiers to reunite.  I doubt they would understand returning empty bottles to get the 'tuppence' on each either!  While Hancock was making a thousand pound a week making these programmes ex-servicemen were lucky to get double figures, and this was at a time when 'we never had it so good!'  TV had become the norm in most houses and only two channels to choose from.  Radio was seven years away from 'pop music' and people on there still spoke 'with a plum in their mouths.'  Only in 1960 did the working man find a bit more money and some even ventured into buying a car!  Crossing the Atlantic was still made by the Cunard line ships and only the very rich boarded the BOAC jetliners such as the 'Comet.' 
I was still at school.
My dad served in the 'Kings Own Scottish Borderers' 2nd Battalion from 1925 - until 1932 protecting the Empire and keeping the natives in China and India compliant.  He never forgot his regiment!  At the outbreak of WW2 he, like all others, awaited conscription which eventually came his way.  He attempted to return to the KOSB's but was refused on the grounds that he was 'too old!'  He would be 33 then!  Instead he was placed in an artillery battery where he spent the war however I think he still saw his regiment as the Kings Own Scottish Borderers, soldiers are like that.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

The Kirk has Died

Having travelled across much of the Roman Empire establishing churches in many parts the apostle Paul made his way back to Jerusalem via Ephesus a  once important port situated on the western edge of what we now call Turkey.  He did not enter the town but met with the leaders of the church there in Miletus instead as time was short and the weather dictated travel by sea.
His point was straight forward, he made clear he believed he was nearing his end and therefore left them his final message.  One point was of great importance and reflected his understanding of human nature and how churches operate.  He made clear that 'savage wolves' would come among them, some even from the leaders own number, drawing 'disciples after themselves.'  He warned them to commit themselves to God and the 'word of his grace' to protect themselves from deviation from the truth they knew.
Some years later the apostle John, then resident in Ephesus, entered the public baths with several friends, on hearing that a renowned false teacher was already settled within he ran out shouting 'Watch out, the roof may fall on our heads.'  How serious or sarcastic his comment was is unclear but it reveals how such 'savage wolves' had taken root in a church as large as the one at Ephesus. 

Today I read of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland a place where seven hundred or so elders and ministers gather to debate major points of theology or public interest.  Sad to say that while several spoke out in favour of Jesus Christ and his good news it was clear the Kirk has departed finally from any trust in the 'Word of his grace,' and has followed the way of the world and allowed the false teachers who have since my time in the church above like leaven brought corruption to the body.
The debate ended sharply with many not voting and it has been decided that ministers in same sex marriage will be allowed to continue as ministers yet the church will not allow same sex weddings in the Kirk!  No doubt that will end within a year or so also.
The hypocrisy of the position is clear, the deliberate ignoring of scripture even clearer!
No longer can the Kirk claim any basis whatsoever for its existence bar following the fashion of the day, pretending this is 'Love,' and pushing Jesus the Living God to the background.  

Now it is time for those who know their God to stand up and be counted, it is not possible to continue within such an organisation, even if the local Kirk is indeed one that knows its God, the church must leave and start afresh within a denomination or by itself and follow Jesus his way, not theirs.  I say this knowing that I have been attending an Anglican church while Anglicans are in the forefront of such a heretical position and many there shudder at what happens elsewhere.  It is time for evangelical Anglicans to leave also.
The time is short and getting shorter daily.  The love of God shown in his death for us on the cross leads to repentance and forgiveness, faith following from this and seen by changed behaviour.  That cannot be seen in many churches today and the Kirk is leading the way in ignoring repentance and obedience to follow the worlds path, disaster only can follow.   

Friday, 20 May 2016

Noisy Breakfast

As I haul the brain out of the Valley of Torpor where it has spent the night the last thing I require is a gaggle of screaming Starlings having breakfast outside my window.  Worse indeed is the result of their breeding experiments in that now they are accompanied by a large brood desperate to eat!  The birds spend their time screeching and fighting and flapping wings at the best of times so it is easy to imagine them when several young are attempting to join in.  One or two of these can feed themselves , others require attention from parent but all have breakfast as loudly as possible.  The fact remains that feeding children is never fun at any time.
There are those who have the recurring ideal of the family sitting around the dinner table for foodstuffs and claim this reflects a happy family.  I fail to see this myself.  This is an adults dream, a child just wants fed when hungry and then wishes to play or indulge their own activities.  The 'happy family' ideal has always been a dream.  Some claim technology spoils this but they are wrong.  It used to be TV that got the blame and now it is social media, both wrong, it is merely human nature, kids are not adults and do not share adults perceptions of what matters.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

A Long Day

It's been a long day.
The morning would have been enough.  Having trailed round Camolodunum yesterday I just wished to sleep this morning.  As I arrived I felt I had not the energy to continue so nipped over to Tesco for an early lunch which, being me, I forgot to eat until lunchtime.  I brought in my laptop, in spite of having to fight a 'downloader trojan' that appeared yesterday.  The brute slowed everything down and I had r run a boot scan to remove it.  The thing lay in the Windows Live email system and was 'recovered' from there.  How long it lay I know not but it has gone now.  
So as I hoped nothing would happen I began to work my way through the research (if that's what it's called) on the ship 'Lyon.'  As always whenever I turned to it someone came in.  Really it is very difficult to get things done when people keep coming in to the museum!  It crossed my mind to lock the door but then some smart person will complain.  In fact the first man was at the door asking for the curator boss before I unlocked the door this morning two minutes late as always.  He wished to find pictures of WW2 bomb damage and even had the audacity to consider what I told him was wrong!  Really, just because he was there does not mean he is right!  Pictures later proved I was. (Enter smug grin here)
People browsing the shop, others again for the curator offering items they wished to donate, always an interesting time and some who wished to visit the museum and look around.  This was not helping me scribble and or was I being supplied with tea as I ought.  The service was better in the past.  
Anyway One young chap lumbered by the curator with a job he enjoyed spiffingly (I think that's what he said) tried to get me to swap at one point.  My heart does not enjoy such moments as the job was awkward, so I left it with him.  I rewrote several sentences, paragraphs from what I wrote on Tuesday. There I could only write a little because people kept coming in and today I was struggling to rewrite this in readable English because people kept coming in!

I was given the opportunity to leave the ball and chain that the curator uses to keep me at the desk and made myself tea.  Then I was forced to eat my stale egg mayonnaise sandwich and keep watch still unable to scrawl as folks still came in.  At least I made a sale - two cards!
Today was a long day as the 'Friends of the Museum' had a bus run into London for a special tour of St Paul's cathedral, naturally all the old girls went along and the young ones, like me, stayed behind to cover.  I indicated my desire to go but the impossibility of me walking out and leaving the place bereft, the old dears cared not and went.  
A bus to the door, a guided tour and an hour or two knocking back white wine in a local hostelry (chosen for the historical relevance I bet) or sitting by Old Father Thames while I chewed my white bread tasteless lunch probably made them all very happy indeed.  The weather was good enough also.  Typical!
The Curator, Claire, the best and hardest worker in the place, allowed me tea later, by then I was already half asleep as I could not write without forgetting what I wrote and then fund her attempting to read my scribbles as she came round to tighten the ball and chain.  As if!  Read my writing when she was mentioned?  No privacy in here.  I will probably sleep all day tomorrow after this.  I hope those women who left me in the lurch feel guilty!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

A 'Drookit' Day

They threatened rain, lots of rain so I put of my idea of visiting Camolodunum and headed instead for the local grossly overpriced 'Outlet' centre.  However as I got to the bus stop I saw the other bus awaiting so I went into town as planned.  The weather folks said the rain was spreading to the east so I guessed that it would be dry all the time i was in town and the rain would arrive as I left.
The moment the bus started the rain hit the windows.
Rain heading east comes from the west?  No, it came from the south, so it rained all the way in, all the time I was there and all the way back home. 
I love weather forecasters, preferably fried by burning at the stake!

So I wandered from charity shop to charity shop, visiting expensive shops just to check on the 'reduced price' stock and took in a small graveyard on the way.

It crossed my mind that the tree in the background had been there a long time.  Look at the girth on that!  Two or three times the normal size of such trees.  I suspect this one goes back to the 19th century, possibly earlier.  How long do they live?  Clearly this one has been around a long time and many branches have been chopped off by someone professional.

'Jumbo' the massive disused water tower seen at the top, stands close to the 'Mercury Theatre.'  Not a place I would waste money on but at least they have a magnificent statue of the Roman version of the Greek Hermes.  Hermes was not just the messenger of the gods he was also the god of thieves, but I suspect you knew that.  I wonder if there is such a statue in the Houses of Parliament?

The remains of this church always grab my attention the top of the tower looks somewhat Italianate, the entrance door looks about 1100, the rest look Victorian.  Either way it makes no odds as it is just a big hall now and next door in the 1990's building the church meets.  Not sure what they use this for now, behind that closed black iron gate a sign says 'Come in, We are open,' but the entrance is the other side!  
This is all that remains of this part of the town centre, the rest was bombed during the war and is now hideously shop centred.  Very good for shoppers as all the right shops are here  but not an architectural delight.  The wee narrow streets around remain and have potential but I always feel this is a dirty town, lots of character but needs a real good scrub up. 

My weary head pondered on the way home about many things.  Not the sixteen year old's blethering on the bus way behind me, not the aged couple on the other side dropping grumbles about 'all these migrants' but two things only.  
One was the greenery brought out by the rainfall these last months.  The fields were green, the tractor delaying us again was blue, the white blossom flowered magnificently all over the huge hedges by the roadside, especially on the relatively newly built by-pass, and had we been able to stop the yellow and blue flowers were abundant in many fields we passed.
No-one appeared to notice.
The other thought concerned the report that when the Conservative Party came to power there were only 66 'Foodbanks' in the UK, now there are over a thousand!  However from the top deck we could see many large, newly built homes with several bedrooms and either a large Mercedes or a BMW parked outside.  We passed many vehicles that cost a plenty as well as the cheaper, second hand, runarounds.  The shops were busy in spite of the constant rainfall, people carried bags that were full, shopkeepers still sold expensive items and people were happy to buy.  
Like me many were chasing 'shiny things' but I was doing so in the Salvation Army Charity Shop, they elsewhere.  'Shiny things' are good and we need them but where is the money coming from?  Are the shoppers once again using credit and heading for another fall?  I hope for their sakes we are not as under this government, which will be hard to remove, they will be left to rot!

Let us all sing a song of joy...

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Bad News

The football season is over!
All that is left are the dregs of competition, cup finals, play-offs, and the like.
I could be sat here at nights seeing spiders rather than football!
I suppose there are the foreign Johnnies, Australia andChina for example, and the European Championship will start soon but really these are not my lot we are talking about.  My lots start in June or July, almost weeks away!
In the past the footballs eason ended in May.  The cup final was followed by the Scotland v England match and all stopped for three months.  I hated that time!  No football and nothing to do.  I was so glad when August came and football restarted with one pre-season game against local opposition.  On one occasion the Heart of Midlothian first team took on the reserves, that was the pre-season!
Today clubs travel around, play a host of teams, starting with small ones and building up to big ones just before the off.  This year Hearts begin their season with a European game somewhere or other and pre-season starts in June!  
Still, it's a long time to wait....

It would have been lovely to get out and about in the almost sunshine like world today but I was so busy.  After a very enjoyable church service this morning, using balloons to make emoticons to help folks understand Pentecost (It would never happen in the 'Wee Frees') I wandered past the wee kids playing very organised football with few shouts from the parents.  When we were that age we just ran about, this lot are organised and now their positions.
Getting home for a vegetarian lunch, there was nothing else, I then proceeded to watch several football matches.  Some of them rank rotten but at least they were available.
Looking around I noted so many things that require attention so have put that off until tomorrow, again.  This means tomorrow will be busy so I had better have a long lie in the morning and rise about ten so I have eneergy to do all that requires doing.
Of course most of you will be working but I will think of you all as Monday progresses...

 Does Tony Blair know of this guy...?