Sunday, 30 April 2017

Sunday Snooze

I have been in snooze mode all day.  While in St P's this morning I listened attentively to Colin but could not stop my mind drifting onto lesser things.  He spoke well but my mind kept wandering all over the place.  It has not yet returned.
I keep finding days like this partly because I try to lose weight by eating less and when I eat less my head dies.  My beer belly does not however.  I really need a better breakfast to see me through the day until evening.  Today I woke about 5:15 and desired urgently a pizza!  This has not happened before so unless I am pregnant I must not be eating properly.  Chips are required to make my mind work by that appears too easy an option early in the morning.
Keeping this hulk going while losing weight may be beyond me.  

The 'Strong and Stable' Kim Jong May has made an appearance in Scotland.  The Tory media inform us Scotland is turning to the Tories so the Dear Leader ventures to meet her people in a village hall in Crathie.  
Crathie!  It is the village where the Royal Family of benefit scroungers go to visit church when staying for three months at Balmoral Castle.  What they do there is a mystery but there it is.  The Dear Leader went unannounced to the village hall, the notice said a 'Children's Party' had booked the hall, and no press were allowed and no questions from the invited guests (all party members).  Instead of being interviewed by the media Ruth the leader of the Scottish Tories asked Kim Jong May the questions she was told to ask.  The great one then fled back to Englandshire.  She avoided Edinburgh, the capital city, Glasgow, the largest population, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness, Perth, Dunfermline, Kilmarnock etc but managed to visit an obscure village where the locals were not told she was arriving.  
Indeed the country is turning to the Conservatives.   

Tomorrow is a bank holiday, the May Day Holiday Mrs Thatcher banned because it was too Communist.  The Labour Party reintroduced it when they returned, at least that is how I remember it.  Thatcher did not like people enjoying themselves when they could be working for low wages in poor conditions.  Not that much socialism will appear around here tomorrow.  Those who can have gone away already, those who can't will do little bar sit around eating or visiting the shops, I suspect they will be open.  Socialists working therein might get extra for it but I doubt it.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Morning Cycle

The rolling English countryside early in the morning sun is a grand sight, however if a developer gets his way this grand sight will turn into 1600 houses, plus Doctors Surgery etc.  The old railway walk will descend into just another litter covered backyard for thousands more people.  Since arriving here 21  years ago the population has grown from 30,000 to 40,000, the need for homes and the greed of developers would increase it by 30,000 more if they could.  The fightback appears to be holding at the moment, the first plan was turned down, the new one has faults and hopefully will not go ahead.  There are areas where such housing could be placed, this however is not one of them.

One man who would be happy is the farmer who I presume lives in this house.  He has been trying to sell up for years and who can blame him?  Farming is a hard life and easy money from the EU will end soon with no replacements on offer, even from a Tory Party that relies on farmer Jones and his vote, so selling the land for housing makes sense to him.  He will move far away I'm sure. 
The farmer requires a decent deal but housing will go against the needs of the locals for green space, and this development will join the town to the village and destroy the appeal for those living there.  Quite what the answer to this can be I know not.  
Just a wee bit further up the line they collected money to buy the land and use as a nature reserve, with added facilities for those health freaks looking for a place to exercise.  This is a good idea but money is not available for the land the farmer wishes to dump.  If only I had become the Billionaire I was meant to be...

Avoiding me at a distance were several horses.  The field here often has a horse or two, head down and uninterested in passersby, and I note rarely the same horses.  Maybe he trades them, hires them or just offers a field to feed them in. I don't know why?  The rabbits seem content with their arrival and look down their nose at the camera from a great distance, which is why there are no pictures of them.  This is the edge of the village which will be attached to the 1600 houses if greedy developer gets his way.  

The idea of rising early and cycling appeared a good one late last night, this morning it took on a different hue.  However my knees need the exercise so off I went, immediately unhappy about it, and in spite of the early morning traffic, the pain, the chill, I kept going and got some way up the old line before my knees began giving me their opinion of it all.  
The aroma early in the morn of the vegetation, the birds singing while hidden in the trees above, the glimpse of blue in the sky, all made for a delightful start to the day.  A dog was keen to make friends, the owner well she was less keen, while one other dog walker informed me the old industrial estate will soon be 125 houses, including flats!  I must agree with housing there as the place was almost empty of companies and gypsies were moving in, and that means vast amounts of rubbish left behind for others to clear.  Housing of the right type in the right place can be accepted.

Bluebells abound at the moment and it is a pity I am too far from the woods where they cover the land.  Yesterday I was shown pictures of woodland that was a mass of blue from one end to the other.  All I found were the poor wee things outside my door.  

Blossom is beginning to fail.  The bright white on some trees has fallen and these lovely red ones are turning a slight pink shade.  These are not long for this world so now is the time to picture them until next year.  The park was originally a house belonging to one of the rich folks who gave much to the town.  The gardens were very well organised, whoever planned them distributed a variety of trees around the place and after a hundred and more years some are beginning to fail.  The council have cut down several that were diseased or dangerous and have begun planting new ones in appropriate areas.  This blossom is quite new and is flourishing happily, hopefully all the others will do so also.

Home to find carpetlayers in the hall hammering away all day.  Just what my tired mind wants to hear.  However I fed them tea, once only in case they stay too long, and while doing this broke the kettle!  Since buying it there has been problems and now it has failed.  The bin for this and back to Tesco later for a new (cheap) one.  Yesterday I had to go there to replace the iron which died, the water dripped out the bottom alarmingly, and now more money is to be spent.  I wish I could survive as well as the Crows who I found feeding themselves in the town centre this morning.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

'Scientists' and 'Experts'

This is indeed true!
It is a fact well known to the tabloids who present us with studies on health, eating, archaeology, losing weight, evolution, sex, dementia, age and everything else presented by 'scientists.'  The fact that these studies may be taken out of context, have slanted opinons, contain little useful to the reader and are in opposition to 99 other similar studies makes no difference, the press offer them as fact.  The fact is supported by the word 'scientist.'
One problem with these studies, apart from the lack of comparison to similar studies, is the nature of the 'scientist' behind them.  Gay 'scientists' have a tendency to produce 'evidence' that supports their lifestyle, evolutionists fond 'evidence' that supports theirs, female scientists are constantly discovering 'how women suffer' yet never notice if men suffer at any time.  How unusual this is.
'Science' is merely an organised investigation into a subject whatever that subject may be.  Such investigation has given the modern world wonderful drugs that cure disease, technological advancements that enable me to sit in this small corner of the world misspelling words for you to read, investigated the hidden past in archaeology digs, and uncovered crimes hidden from the man in the street, science can indeed produce wonderful results.
However there is one fault in all this, the scientist!  
The problem with scientists is that they are human.  Now science lovers tell me scientists always go for the results that appear before them and get upset when I disagree.  I indicate that scientists like the rest of us ignore facts that do not agree with them and continue to seek facts that support their argument.  Thus many results are pushed aside and ignored until someone less biased discovers them.  Not so I am told, all scientists are noble people, caring and concerned for humanity.  Hmmm, I suppose 'scientists' who gave us poison gas, incendiary bombs and nuclear warheads were caring for their country at the time?  
We need not seek those scientists who took the credit for things others actually discovered nor the scientists pushed aside because they did not fit with the establishment of the day.  
What me cynical?

'Expert' are another one!  How often do you read of an 'expert' offering his opinion in  tabloid?  TV loves them also.  Any war in the offing and up jumps an 'expert' on war, sometimes a retired general, sometimes a university lecturer, often just a reporter with a view, good or bad, on the situation. 
The question 'How expert are the experts?' does not get asked, it is left to us to accept that because someone is at Cambridge University or a General or has studied the field they must be experts in that field.  But are they?  Again these folks have the same bias we have (I of course have none) the same influences affecting them and the same desire for fame and fortune that drive many onto the screen and into the press. 
There is no doubt we need 'scientists' and 'experts' though we all know such in our own live.  The 14 year old computer expert is a must in this world, the local electrician or plumber who will not charge the earth, the woman who knows all that goes on around her and all who are responsible for it and the 8 year old who can open 'childproof' bottles and tubs!  We need them all.  I am just a little cynical about the choice of experts in the media, usually it appears they are chosen from a small group known to the media, often sharing their opinions.  Not that I am implying bias in the media, oh no, they are all objective, however during the 'Up all Night' programme on Radio 5 last night I heard Rob and the chap he was talking to both claim this objectivity was not possible, well it isn't in the BBC that's for sure.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Coining it in...

Being worked into the ground at the museum today, two visitors, two plumbers and one donation, I have not had time to really appreciate what is happening in the real world.  However a quick look at the news and I realise I was in the real world after all, what was offered on TV and press was not.  
Elections here, elections in France, Elections in Scotland and forests of newsprint offering lies all on behalf of the Tory Party.  I switched off and spent a few minutes watching Tory voters on 'Top Gear' drive silly cars across foreign lands and being stopped on occasion by very unhappy police officers in Reno, wherever that is.  I used to like this programmes, one the BBC cannot make these days as its strength came from the banter between three blokes.  Today all BBC programmes must have the token girlie, and all too often they are just that, 'girlies.'  I will not ask how they got on any of the programmes.  Of course I have no love of rich guys in flash cars racing one another wherever they are, this is all somewhat boring to me, even if they do occasionally have more informative pieces and it is at times funny.  Moved on now of course but in reality it had gone as far as it could.  I expect it will be shown on the 'Dave' channel for years to come yet.

Coming home via Tesco I was to busy lugging my heavy shopping bag (£22:58) to look for pictures in the sunshine.  Had the wind chill not been Arctic I may have gone out for some later, but really I just canny be bothered!   One thing those longing for 'the good old days' forget is they drive to supermarkets, buy almost all they require in one go, drive home and fill the fridge and cupboards all in one go.  Trailing from one shop to another lugging a big bag, possibly two or three, is beyond their imagining these days.  Struggling up the road I could imagine that scenario easily.   I wouldn't complain but I only went in for milk.

The first two people through the door had come from a volunteer organisation for a chat with the boss.  On leaving they browsed the shop being amazed at how many items from their childhood were now considered 'historical!'  I know the feeling.  
One subject that arose was the comment concerning a 'Threepence piece' which she had used to her young family members.  None of them understood what she was talking about so she had to rake out old coins stored away upstairs and explain the difference between then and now.  It was only 1971 (15th February) when decimalisation arrived in the UK and our rather heavy old coins, including the threepence, were removed.  Such a fuss at the time, the 'Daily Mail' led a 'save our tanner' campaign to keep the silver sixpence that was being removed yet the public soon found it was not required and the campaign, like so many, ended in dust.  
Just thinking about the coins we used to know, large Victorian pennies, halfpennies and silver threepences (this visitor could not remember them), shillings, florins, half crowns, I am not old enough to remember 'crowns' themselves of 'Guinea's although guineas are still used when buying racehorses.  A guinea was worth One pound and one shilling, the shilling covering the costs of the sale apparently.  Today's coins are much smaller and cynics claim they are worth less.  Checking my pockets I note nothing is worth less than what is found there.


Monday, 24 April 2017


Coming home from St P's I passed this bright and shiny 'Bentley' parked at the side of the road. An unusual sight to see, clearly used for weddings and the like and not really happy to have the hood up I thought.  Vehicles such as this are not made for daily operation, weddings, birthdays, celebrations of some sort certainly but not gray cloudy days when there is a hint of rain in the air.  Up north Aberdeenshire is suffering snow they tell me, I am happy to let it fall there, keep it away from me I say!
This is not like any Bentley I have seen and had I not been on the bike and parked on a busy road I would have looked to see if it was left handed, a US import perhaps?  However I could not tell and trundled my way home, aching as always, and dreaming of tea. 
Wandering not far from Marylebone Station one day long ago I passed a couple of old garages in a mews, now done up and costing millions, one bearing a small plate proclaiming Bentley had made his first car (Number One) in this garage.  He was clearly a technical man, trained by the railways he joined with his brother in selling French cars and then moving on from developing engines for Sopwith aircraft during the war used such engines to make the cars that made them famous.  Such cars were world beaters during the 20's and 30's remaining today as cars for the top people, footballers, pop stars, business leaders, the doers and shakers of this world.
I don't have one.

No football worth watching so far this weekend.  Some Scottish Cup semi finals, one or two mediocre English ones, but nothing for me.  Hibernian lost to Aberdeen, Celtic naturally beat Rangers and people questioned the Rangers centre forwards fitness to be on the pitch.  I know this because on Twitter we were asked to retweet which was the better footballer, one was Martin Waghorn (like) the other a large fridge (retweet).  The people were asked to choose and hundreds retweeted in support of the fridge!  Very few 'liked' Waghorn.  The English games were tolerable but it is always the same people appearing.  How tiresome...


Sunday, 23 April 2017

Sunday Cycle

Sunday is my first day of the week yet the diary and all calendars today all begin on Monday!  This is annoying and puts me off.  Last week I missed my sisters birthday (she has had plenty of them) because it was on the Monday and I did not turn the page soon enough to realise.  This annoyed me because it saved me money and you know how much I hate that!  I love to give money away to others and i failed to do so this time.  
Not that she has money worries, for some time both she and her husband were both buying failing Lottery tickets and winning nothing, she stopped buying and placed the money that would have gone on tickets on the mantelpiece.   One year later he had won around £10 and she had a hundred sitting there gloating, as indeed was she.  This is however somewhat annoying again as I was relying on her winning several million pounds and then passing some on to me, this is now unlikely to happen as he will waste his millions on his daughters alone, selfish man!
Folks who gamble are funny.  One man I knew spent each day in the bookies placing small bets (he said) and every so often winning a few pounds.  In his mind he was breaking even over the year but you and I know he was losing hand over fist.  Betting companies work online giving them reach to people worldwide who throw their money at them happily.  This enables several such companies to spend their millions on more adverts for the mug, more advertising from sponsoring sports events, two alone do this in Scotland, and from such advertising bring in more cash than they can shake a stick at, if that's their idea of a good time.  
The temptation to win big is very strong especially if you are in financial trouble.  I went in for it a while back when unemployed and try as I might I got nowhere with the Lottery, no million pound cheque found its way to me.  However I knew this was daft and trusting Jesus has never left me down so I returned to that and on the day, much later, when later I found I was paying out more than I was taking in Jesus provided.  The taxman gave me a refund that arrived that day and both Gas & Electric told me to pay less than I was paying monthly!  I could survive again.  The thought that I could use vast amounts is always a temptation but I would probably make a mess of this, now having moved from Pauperism to Poverty I am quite happy.  

The sun tempted me to cycle to church today.  By the time i got there, five minutes later, I was puggled and looking for an ambulance.  I got little sympathy from the congregation however and remarkably when I came home afterwards I raced up the road with little stress, bar the Audi I met when going round the roundabout, he was not slowing down, and as I climbed the stairs with no trouble I realised cycling short distances was indeed making me fitter.  I will be back tomorrow and will follow the same route, without the Audi, and hopefully this will be beneficial also.
of course I canny stand up now I have been sitting watching football all day, I have siezed up!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

It Was Better When...

Facebook has a page just for our little town.  This is an excellent idea and many pictures, adverts and much information regarding the museum happens to appear there on occasions, I know not how.  The page is used by many to conjure up memories of Braintree from days of yore.  A great many are now living abroad, some from work, some because life causes us to move away from home and a number of women who married the abundant supply of 'rich' Americans working at the many air bases that sprung up during the second world war.  The last base did not close until the late 90's and every so often these women return with their man to see relatives and have a jolly good time.  One, now widowed, arrived last Tuesday just as we opened to wander around the shop and obtain gifts to take home again.  Such folk use the facebook page to keep in touch with their past and keep an eye on the developing town. 

One  topic is the constant whine that 'The town is not the same,' or 'It's not as good as it was,' or the grumble 'It was better in my day.'  Maybe it is because I look at history and read things from the past, maybe it is because they are grumbling old people or maybe it is because they are right I know not but this annoys me.  The town is certainly changing, it has altered in the 21 years I have been here, but what these Moaning Minnie's forget is that the town always changed and altered, and old people just like them constantly grumbled that it 'was better in the past.'  
Look at the change to the market, the difference between the crowds before 1914 compared to those in the late 30's as seen above.  No animals are seen in the top picture possibly because it was a Saturday market and Wednesday may have had animals, possibly the animals are round in the high Street, I have seen pictures of Bulls there in the 60's.  Todays market cannot compete with either but if they could bring this back would the grumbles like it?  No, they would find many complaints.
For a start the women would complain about animal leftovers on their shoes, much abounding in the past, and then complain about the inconvenience of having to go from one stall to another for the daily needs.  The convenience of Tesco's would suddenly appear bright and the quality of goods improving, let alone the amount of cash no readily available for most was just not there in the past.
the men in the top picture are complaining about the cost of a pint, almost a shilling where in the bottom picture it might have been only 3 pence in some places.  The women in the top will be fussing about fashion in just the same manner of those in the lower picture, but in the top one more will have cash to buy more readily than the majority on poor wages in the bottom picture.    
All in both pictures will be grumbling the 'Kids have it easy today, not like when we were that age.'  The kids, if still around are saying just that very thing today while in the market.

The past is another country and far too many people live in it.  They look at the town and see it when they were young forgetting that what they enjoyed was not the town but their life in the town. The town they now see does not fit in with their memory but young folks today are having exactly the same thoughts as they, but will look back in thirty years time grumbling about how the town has changed.  'What is has already been and will be again.'  I am glad I moved when younger, I am glad I moved here, because I do not look back on my Edinburgh childhood and long to return, indeed many things make me glad not to be in Edinburgh, the early 1970's were not a good time for me and my memories are not always good.  I do have good ones from all places I have stayed as well as bad but too many forget the bad things that occurred in the past and block them out viewing their youth as a good place, forgetting the fears, problems and mistakes that have left scars but can be ignored.
Braintree & Bocking had around 12,000 people between them in 1914, when I arrived there were 30,000, now there is 40,000 and things do change and not always for the better.  The car enables folks to visit the big towns for shopping at big stores, the web enables online shopping and tastes change as well as markets.  The market has stood for over 800 years and will continue for many more, ever changing and always with grumbling people fussing about nothing all around.
Maybe they all ought to learn from me, I'm not one to complain...    

Friday, 21 April 2017

Friday Faffle

Yes indeed the election is well under way.  For the most part I have avoided it but all hours of the day are filled with talk, mostly gibberish, from all sides.  Promises abound but not so much as lies do, fingers are pointed over there while ignoring the fingers pointed at themselves, and the great mass of the population take to social media to spout ignorant twaddle, which you are now reading.
We have the local election for County Councillors (which will be won by Tories) and a month later this election (which here will be won by Tories) and then we have no more - until the next time.  I wonder how many will vote?  The County council one will be poor regarding turnout, however I expect large numbers for the real election which is a shame as the closed minds here will vote for the Tories unthinkingly or indeed the rump of the UKIP lot.  How I wish there was more choice around here.

I have spent much time engrossed in transferring stuff between laptops.  All relevant things must be placed on this new bright shiny one and the museum stuff left on the aged old one as there is too many links to change.  Naturally hours have been wasted going from one to another and back again while forgetting if I was going or coming half the time.  So many photos, and this does not have the photo gadget I have on the other laptop, this has ceased according to Microsoft.  The new Photo app I am not sure about.
I did however take the opportunity to send emails to many people.  There were so many to answer, which is unusual, and all required a little thought, a little thought as you know is something I can manage easily.  Much of the morning was wasted in this manner.  I cared not and enjoyed myself.  The afternoon was a flurry of housework, a flurry not seen for many a day I can tell you.

This hard work is interfering with my book reading.  I seem to be getting nowhere with that.  The books I am into are just not nearing the end as I plough through them intermittently while doing so many other things (and suffering sloth of course).  There really needs to be another day added just so I can sit and read books.   Possibly you say it could be me being slow?  Well certainly I note how slow I am these days, in fact only the other day I was overtaken by a walking funeral in the main street of this town.  I was a bit miffed when the leader asked if I wanted a lift...
I'm slow at getting up, slow at breakfast, slow and wondering what to do, slow at rescuing burnt things from ovens, slow at everything these days.  In days of yore I was never fast but at least I could move, run on occasions, and get around town avoiding the crush but now I just slog along slower than old men with zimmer frames.  Maybe I ought to borrow one...?

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Surprise at Work

Several surprises at work today, the worst being made to transfer the kitchen stuff elsewhere while the builder rebuilt it!  Long before my starting time I was lugging things about and sweating in a manner not known for many a day.   This is not a situation I wish to repeat.  It does show however how much is contained in a small kitchen and questions must be asked about most of it.  Still the builder is a good guy and soon we will have more space in their yet I bet the majority continue to dump everything in the sink and do a runner as always.  
Good job I am not one to complain or I may have had to when the first visitor arrived as I opened the door intending to sit, drink tea made in the cleaning sluice, and instead I was forced to chat in an inane manner while she looked for gifts.  I just wished to lie back and breathe without gasping.

As we are in a mess at the moment, one exhibition comes down and the second begins to claim space, the museum is flooded with helpers running around with little idea what to do.  I help by keeping out the way or removing white 'Blutack' from the back of information cards.  The woman in charge muttered something about me 'finding my place,' stole some of my chocolates and disappeared in a whirl of waste paper and exhibition stuff.      
I however continued with my work, two male visitors, one Museum Friend and two more helpers for the clean up, two phone calls booking events, all this while attempting to read one of our books and doing without tea as mine went cold and no-one was free to aid my distress.  So I filled in time by taking pictures of stock with a small and not too good camera to see what I could get from it.  This entertained me if not being very productive.  

Another surprise came at lunchtime when one of the women Generals came out of her interminable meeting with the big boss to inform me of Theresa May's decision to have a General Election on June 8th.  Naturally this is interesting news and reveals something of the impotence of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.  Had he been a successful leader she would not risk this.  
It is right that the Brexit farce requires a General Election not a referendum in which the people were lied to as a mandate for Brexit.  However as the Conservatives are 20 points ahead in the polling it suggests she will win, wipe Labour out for years and bring about an even greater chance of Scots independence.  The Conservative policy of making the poorest face the burden of austerity will keep them out of Scotland, other troubles such as the 'Rape Clause' will lead to the Scots Tories suffering badly up north.  I forsee a Tory win but elections are not referendums, voting for Brexit does not always mean voting Tory, especially as the cost will come home to roost soon enough and the Labour voter will suffer much more than the middle class Tory.

As we have local council elections on May 5th folks are not happy about another election a month later.  In this area it matters little, this part of the nation is Conservative controlled at local and County level with little room for opposition to show.  Not only do we have the country peoples who are often the bedrock of the Tory Party but we also have the 'Working Class Conservative' who votes  for them because he thinks they give him more money in his pocket.  ON top of this UKIP the loony Conservative voters abound in this area, a mixture of 'little Englander' and 'Racist,' these folks will not even eat curry in case they fail the Empire!  So whatever way we vote the Tory MP will be returned, the majority of local and county councillors will be Conservative and nothing will make much difference for me.  Already the local Labour Party have dumped leaflets on us and in a few weeks we will be flooded by them and the recycling bag will be overflowing with lies, half truths and desperation!
Oh joy!  Two months of this to look forward to.

Once I had hobbled home I was confronted with more surprises.  The boys were fixing the broken flooring in the hall, the flooring that has been broken for nearly 20 years!  I expressed my surprise and was confronted with demands for tea!!!  This I managed to ignore as I pleaded weariness from my mornings endevours.  This obtained no sympathy, workmen I find often fail to empathise with those who do less than they.   Nonetheless I made tea for me and left them to it.  I bet I find the floor totally taken up tomorrow when I go down, just for spite!

Now important things are at hand, Real Madrid playing Bayern Munchen!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Easter Monday

Being the Easter Monday holiday almost everything was shut.  Thankfully Tesco still opened to feed those who almost starved over the past few days.  I had to go there as I found a sink was blocked and while I managed to clear it last night found my bank holiday beginning with pouring smelly stuff down the plughole.  It seems to work but it does annoy when that happens, especially late in the day.  
For the rest of the day I sat at this laptop trying to finish updating the WW2 memorial that collapsed. The problem is that while I have basic info on all the men I have not got the links to hand for further information so I have to trawl through the sites to find that again.  That takes time and working at the speed to which I have become accustomed it took lots of time.  It is getting there but slowly and what slows me down is finding interesting bits of info which I must read and then forget what I was looking for in the first place.  Bah!      

On the other hand as there was nothing on the TV and I found less on the radio I suppose this kept  me out of mischief.  The question is why are TV programmes on holiday periods so poor?  Do they save up the rubbish to fill space or is it the programmes they have are all poor and they show them hour after hour?  For instance 'Who do you think you are,' the series where famous people I have never heard of seek their ancestors, has been running for four days now.  While the idea of this programme is good the outworking is poor.  The whole point is less about finding the empty headed starlets great granny it is about finding a story about great granny in a workhouse so they can add sentimental music and force tears from said starlet.  That is not seeking ancestors that is a reflection of the small minded TV we have dumped on us by the Islington set today.  Certainly finding granddad in a lunatic asylum might produce a reaction but why force tears about someone born a hundred years before you were born?  My granddad's first wife ended in such a place but ought I to be weeping?   He might have done, the children might but really this is just a reflection of the loss of the 'stiff upper lip.'  Whatever it is it is not history.

Possibly I misjudge the attitudes.  I am constantly finding poignant information when researching people.  For instance this lass here, a member of the ATS who died far from home in Coventry during the war.  Her little band were supporting heavy anti-aircraft guns, either firing the things or working searchlights alongside possibly, either way from action or disease she died aged 19 only.  That is  tear jerking especially if there were no more children in the family.  I can find no other information on this lassie, who knows the situation, but can we weep for people we never met?

While I sat in here in the gloom with only the starlings banging away at the feeders for company I know you lot were still stuffing chocolate eggs down your throat.  I am not jealous, just as I am not the one running to the dentist asking why there are no teeth left.  
No I enjoyed the gruel which was all I could afford, the bit of stale bread left in the wooden box, and washed this down with stale water to avoid using electricity and spending cash.  No don't feel sorry for me, you enjoy being overweight....

Sunday, 16 April 2017


An excellent morning at St Paul's remembering Jesus rising from the dead, death and hell defeated and the potential for life, real life, everlasting given to us.  That said while we struggled through a couple of unknown songs, still unknown to me I must say, such songs reveal the lack of formality at this church, a friendly place that is informaly formal.  The most moving time was the kids search for hidden Easter Eggs.  That lasted about 35 seconds!   These were the 'Real Easter Eggs' produced to show the real meaning of Easter, you possibly didn't see them in the shops as while some like Tesco stock them they are usually hidden away.  Sainsburys neither stocks them or speaks about why though I am told they do Halal chocolate.  I wonder if this is true, you know how tabloids lie to the readers.
One miracle was waking tired and dizzy, unsure whether to go out or not.  Just before time I did rally and made it OK though I felt a bit faint early on.   However when I got home I realised I felt better than I had done for days and walked home quicker than ever having made sure I spoke to all the pretty girls first before leaving.  

While I took a handful of small eggs with me for the kids I myself received nil in reply!  Now I am not one to complain but I gave one to the pretty girls at work, small ones to the kids and my chocolate addiction continues, though sparingly at the moment as I have none to eat.  
Painted and decorated eggs go back a long way, some have been found in Africa dating to 60,000 years ago and the peoples of Mesopotamia and Egypt also saw eggs as a symbol of death and rebirth.  Some think Christians in Mesopotamia picked up the idea of painted eggs from Persia and later through the Orthodox Church it spread into Serbia and Russia and thence to Rome where it was adopted as normal practice.  On occasions symbolic colour is used but today the only symbol we note is the price of the egg.  
When we were young no eggs existed, sugar rationing did not end until 1954 I think and chocolate egg sales were slow to develop at a time when cash was short.  We did however paint hard boiled eggs and roll them down hills in the local park, though why we did this remains a mystery!  These were then scoffed and probably passed off as lunch!  Times were hard.  
I suppose the eggs found today have gone already.  Few will remain until tomorrow and then the kids will be threatened by a dentist visit!  Oh joy!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Another Boring Day

I noticed these weeds (when does a flower become a weed?) when looking for dropped coins as I walked the streets this afternoon escaping the laptop.  Spring has an abundance of such at the moment, or is it just lazy men refusing to cut the grass I wonder?   Possibly the Monday holiday will see many happy men toiling in the garden.

It is a wonder this planet, the sky changes colour minute by minute, just looking in a different direction and the hue changes, the sea is a vast moving region that delights at all times, unless it is swamping us!  The greenery that flourishes in our wet climate, the verdant hues all around, the world is a marvellous lace yet we make it a litter bin by carelessness or lack of concern.   
This cartoon sums it up.  Vast quantities are floating about the seas killing wildlife and hindering shipping.  Some the result of storms sinking ships and damaging coastal towns, other vast amounts of individual rubbish thrown aside thoughtlessly that now bobs along heading your way.  
The UK is a filthy nation, litter lies around everywhere, occasional attempts at clean ups exist but councils don't help by charging enormous amounts for businesses to dump stuff, locals can do this free but as business has to pay uncaring types dump things in back roads!
Ah well, charging 5p for a plastic bag has lessened the amount floating around nowadays.