Thursday, 20 July 2017

Ah Summer Time!


We have missed the worst of the summer storms around here.  The other night I noticed, around four in the morning, lightning flashing in the distance, no thunder was heard but some claim it was noted elsewhere in town.  I suggest they were just light sleepers. Today there was no lightning, no thunder just a long shower lashing rain on the unfortunates who, dressed for summer, were caught out walking in the open when it arrived.  I didn't laugh at the drookit men waking past heading for a pub to dry off.
Now, shortly afterwards, the sun shines brightly, the day is very warm though a bit humid and I am once again inside.  No reason to go outside, no money to spend and nothing I need buy until tomorrow.  So I just sit here joining in the newspaper online columns grumbling about things and offering my twopence worth.  Already by nine this morning I had one enemy for life!  Good going I say. 

 
Is it just me or are blogs being used less these days?
True it is that I have done little in recent days.  I have not got out and about as I would like and there has been little to see in this little town.  Indeed the only nearby event I missed because I was asleep all day!  I know others have been sick, some have changed circumstances and life moves on but it appears from here that there are fewer to read these days and like me they are less regular in their production. 
However from this end I am making a start in doing something about my health, something about life in general and hoping to save cash at the same time.  I may even get out and about and see some of the summer activities that occur.  The trouble with these is the belief that everyone has a car and can reach out of the way places where train and bus do not run!  These often occur on a Sunday also, the day public transport in out of the way places does not run!  Grrrrr!
Being stuck inside in a small town does not offer a lot of variety even though there are events occurring.  Anyway I want to get out and see things that I have missed or did not know about, this area has many hidden away and I need to find an attractive (and not too bright) woman to drive me about so I can see them.


But good news, there is football on telly tonight!
What...?
The same to you!



Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Tory Grumbling While Rolling in it.


Oh what a fuss, the BBC pays its people lots of money and folks now complain, what a 'to do!'

In the days of long ago when Maggie Thatcher was king the back bench Tories shouted loudly about BBC bias and questioned whether there was a need for a licence fee, how times change?  The Tory back bench demanded programmes that reached a mass audience rather than just the quality programmes then available on the BBC.  To answer this Michael Grade was appointed and he introduced 'Eastenders' a soap opera that has done more to lower the standards of behaviour in the UK and elsewhere than anything other than Rupert Murdoch's 'Sun.'  Other such tripe were produced and quality has ever since been shoved aside in the search for ratings.
Recently BBC employees whether staff or entertainers have been criticised for huge payments, this by Tory back bench MP's earning £74,000 plus all the other jobs and 'appearences' they make and having a cabinet in which each and every one of them is a multi millionaire. (Hunt the Health Secretary now engaged n selling the NHS to private operators has masses of shares in said operators, he is also the richest member of the cabinet!)  This outcry, taking up willingly by the 'Daily Mail' (Editor Paul Dacre on £2 million a year plus) and other Tory rags.  The Beeb then lowered some of the big names salaries, including the Director General and when this failed to stop the whining decided today to reveal the names of those who earn over £15,000 a year.  It must be stated that many do not get paid PAYE but form themselves into 'companies' and thus avoid much tax (Tory style).
The outcry, much expected and mostly jealously unleashed, was drowned out by that other paper seller the 'gender imbalance.'  This is an invention middle class women have come up with to grumble about men earning more than they do.  So today the usual suspects were brought out complaining Gary Linekar get almost £2 million for a football programme and no woman is anywhere near this.  This argument ignores Claudia Winkleman, one of the worst females ever to appear on the screen gets pad £450,000 for doing almost nothing!  Some blond on the 'Now Show' another piece of emptiness from the BBC gets similar for what?  The number of empty meaningless women paid over £150,000 is staggering yet the cry is there are not enough of them?  This cry often from the women who are looking for such jobs! 
The real reason for the gender gap' (note how we never say 'sex' these days) is that the men are better at the job and  bring in the viewers, in TV and radio that is what matters.  That is also why some women have their jobs, not that they are good but that women respond to them, BBC Breakfast staff please note.
I was shocked to say the least when I saw some payments however, Stephan Nolan getting half a million?  Nothing justifies this.  Chris Evans £2,25 million?  How on earth he gets this I fail to understand, just as Jeremy Vine pulling in over £700,000 for a crap radio show and as a bad quizmaster on 'Eggheads.'  How often he does not know the answers to things I knew in primary!  

When you think about it the payouts are not in media terms excessive.  Had these folks gone to ITV they would often get twice or three times the money, maybe we ought to be glad they stay where they are?  The women whine as always yet never mention the abundance of female newsreaders (Sophie Rayworth getting £250,000 for reading a prompt) and the vast number of women on BBC sport, mostly ignorant of their subject.  I could mention 'Farming Today, produced and presented by women but always it is male farmers interviewed, sexism here clearly.  Sexism works two ways but the women never notice this.  It is of course 'selfishness' not 'sexism' that is at the root.    
The market sets the prices on offer, the Tory party back bencher will wallow in grumbling until something is done then head off to earn a great deal more than anyone in the Beeb, but that appears to be OK.  This does not bother me overmuch, happiness does not come from the cash obtained by fronting poor programmes or getting jobs because of who you know, and this happens everywhere in life.  Life is more than cash and we live well without it, don't we? 



Tuesday, 18 July 2017

An Exhibition


Having decided to spend cash only on things I actually require and cease wasting money on luxuries I was confronted with this as I arrived this morning.  A variety of new jams and suchlike faced me and somehow or other this one fell into my hands before I left.  It is possible I may have to try it sometime tonight rather than let the jar sit there lonely.


The new exhibition is up and running and the crowds swooped in today, well two old ladies on their way to lunch filling in time.  They and attractive young mums booking places for the kids workshops filled my first hour today, an hour that is not quite so hectic normally.  Before my tea had been served I was busy, as usual by the time I tasted it the tea was rather tepid.  We rarely get a hot cup of anything during the morning.


I did read the condensed story of Harry Potter presented to us ignorant folks and Peggy and I were not impressed.  The idea was to introduce us to the characters but I remain unmoved and no less ignorant of them.  It appears Harry is always being attacked and always wins,just as well or there would not have been several books, several films and millions for the author...


The exhibition looks OK to me, it will bring in the punters and any questions we have re the many personnel will be answered by the seven year olds who will fail to comprehend that we know nothing abut Potter and his story.  Appropriate goods are on sale alongside the marmalade, trails and things to do are there for the kids, and a nearby cafe stands waiting for mum and dad, gran and uncle and anyone else worn out by tramping back and forward round the museum.  


From now until October this will be our lot.  Next Tuesday, the first week of the holidays, we have the official opening and we expect a fair few to turn out for the magician, the Owls and whatever else they have laid on.  The cheery smile, the compliments, the warm welcome that awaited me this morning led me to believe something was amiss, indeed it was as they presented me with the outfit I must wear next week.  I of course refused but felt that somehow I have been compromised into this arrangement. 
 

No, I don't know what it is either and I am not going to ask.


I am positive these moved through the day but I didn't notice anyone touch them.  I think this is getting to me, I need a six months holiday.


One child at least is interested in seeing this exhibition.  When informed she could not visit every day as they would be on holiday she asked if they could cancel the holiday, mum was not impressed. 


Friday, 14 July 2017

Nothing Happened Again so I Took a Walk!


Nothing happened in between dark passing clouds and moments of sunshine.  


The Bees did not notice and carried on with their work. Poor souls only last one year and that is spent in flitting from flower to flower to keep the nest going and pollinating plants.  We would be lost without them.


The pond is awash with Lillies floating on the top.  The gray sky made pictures hard to obtain but I was unwilling to paddle in the deep to get a better one.


This bush was awash also with colourful yellow flowers.  Dozens of them brightening up the area.  The benefit of wandering through the park in dismal afternoons is the lack of kids and mouthy mums getting in the way.  Few people wander about blocking the view or getting in the way of the camera. The downside is the gray clouds that pass over hinder the light.   


The 'Daisies' they grow in the gardens are well fed are they not?  These were almost four feet high.  In my day they were never above an inch or two.  Could it be they are on drugs?


A bright addition to the gardens - whatever it is!

 
The public gardens were once part of the estate of the Courtauld family who built a very large house on the other side of the road.  They had a very big estate which now forms the park opposite and in the 1880's donated this portion of their gardens to the town.  Much rejoicing ensued on opening day as a parade through the town with bonfires and much eating and drinking in the evening as the town celebrated the new acquisition.  Another offering from the Courtauld family who also donated the school in which the museum now resides and many houses throughout the area.  Doctors, hospitals, churches and many other buildings were given by the Unitarian Courtaulds who followed the 'social gospel' of the Victorian era.  If only the wealthy today had such a conscience!  The picture shows the 'Arts & Crafts' style house which was a common theme of Courtauld houses and served until recently as the gardeners home, now it holds a coffee house.




Thursday, 13 July 2017

Now I'm Not One to Complain...


During today I have had the 'Tour de France' on in the background so I can keep an eye on these cyclists powering up steep gradients faster than I could drive a Ferrari down them.  Today they streamed into the hill country while gathering clouds soon began to surround them as they climbed into the 'mountains.'  All the while two of the ITV people kept up a running commentary of the action (Cycling surely? - ed?).  There is in the TV world (TV being a device to show pictures) a preoccupation with filling the screen with words in case the viewer was unable to distinguish a cyclist from an ancient Abbey or Castle seen rising majestically in the background.  Now background information is indeed useful but sometimes silence while watching the men slogging along is useful also, this gives our ears a rest.
However what annoys me came at the end.  The leader, he with the 'Yellow Jersey' was one Chris Broome, an Englishman, therefore it was clear that in the eyes of the commentators he alone was what mattered at the end of this tough uphill race.
He flopped!
There was of course passing reference to the young man who actually won the race but only one man mattered - the Englishman!  For a moment I began to wonder if anyone else took part!  It is a recurring theme in any sport that the English commentators only see one man/side their own.  Now all commentators have a support for their side in any game and sometimes when they win a major trophy it can be seen as excusable, rarely is this the case in England.
We note by the way that at least one woman has mentioned Andy Murray going out of Wimbledon by informing us the 'Scotsman has gone home' whereas when he was in the tournament he remained 'British!'  Tennis hopes then rested on a wee English girl who soon lost to a very experienced opponent and know doubt has become Irish or Welsh or whatever now.  
The cycling world has done this for years, Chris Broad who now commentates was another hero for a while and there have been others.  No matter who wins the 'Tour' this year only one man will be centre of the ITV world and you know his name...


The degradation of sin bares its fruit....... 



Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Organised Work


Too early, too, too early this morning I crawled on my hands and knees down the Avenue to the museum.  The warm welcome was not forthcoming, indeed they grumbled each time they fell over me without a word of apology.  However I attended to my duties with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.  This lasted about five minutes.
I had to endure a trip to Tesco to replace the yoghurt like milk in the fridge, a happy occupation mostly but today I bought my 'K' rations at the same time only to discover half the town was at the checkout when I arrived.  The very attractive young lass in front of me with a weeks shopping allowed me very graciously to go ahead of her and this enabled me to make it back before opening time at the shop.  
Then, once I had made my tea, sorted out the mess left by others Peggy, who told me she was on holiday for two weeks, arrived.  She then lied about this but did produce another cup of tea which I managed to accept graciously.


Nothing then happened.
However there was a period of confusion over the distribution of leaflets to schools in the area which any man would have organised properly.  I made this comment and was immediately and wrongly declared 'Enemy No 1' as women always react this way to honesty.  That reminds me, who swiped the other bag of chox I placed on the desk?
Silence then ensued as nothing happened for a long time.
An occasional individual would appear, grumble and leave.  Two visitors, two with queries, one phone call and nothing else happening was my day. 
Taking the opportunity when the clouds parted slightly to attempt (with a real camera) to catch the Bees hovering around the garden I made off and in spite of a dozen blurred pictures obtained my goal, almost.  These are the best I have managed for a while.
Fantastic to note all the pollen (if that's what it is) on the fur.  Once long ago in Edinburgh I watched a Bee such as thee sit on the window sill and brush all this collection into the pockets on his legs before heading of to the Hive.  That was one reason I wished to have a camera capable of such shots and today I almost found a decent shot.    
I then checked the shop, sat down and waited...
Nothing happened.


I glanced at the work involved in preparing the next exhibition, realised how hard this was and returned to my place.  So as my leaving time approached my replacement drove in and nothing was happening I began to organise my departure.
Peggy then arrived with a handful of small stools obtained from a type of Ikea shop.  One table was placed in front of me and a pleading lady asked me to finish what she had started.  Once finished she produced the others and this with five minutes before I left!  Had I not been (on my own) struggling with the 'Allen key' I might have mentioned this ought to have been brought to my attention a  wee bit earlier, like two hours ago!  Three tables later I ran for the door before others arrived, ignoring the unpacked table behind me. 
I slept like a log once I got home.



Monday, 10 July 2017

Fatigue


This one is a Goldfinch surely?  
He was sitting chatting away on the TV aerial this lunchtime just waiting to pose for me.  I suspect Dave sent him so that I would know the difference between a Goldfinch and a Chaffinch. 
However I have discovered a wee book on birds, you have seen the type, in amongst the few bookshelves and will endeavour to identify the beasts properly in future.  A handy book ideal for pocket, I wonder where it came from? 


The Spring Bug has still not left me!  Three months every year it bugs me and this year it has hung on longer than usual.  I have hardly got out and about unless I really need to go. This makes life boring.  It also means I do little here as I just canny be bothered to think, anything that requires thought is just left aside.  Outside the sun has often shone, half naked wimmen stalk young men, persons clad in dark glasses T-shit and coloured shorts roam the streets while staring into their phones all while I sit indoors half asleep much of the time.  Exercise does not help, my aching knees don't help and dirty looks from checkout lassies when I do get out help none either.  
I'm really cheery today!

  
Tomorrow I will drag the bulk down to the museum hoping there is little to do.  This is unfortunate as there is much to do in preparing the new exhibition and I really canny be bothered offering to help.  The energy just is not there and this is embarrassing.  Nothing has got done indoors and apart from food shopping I have not been out.  I look forward to Wednesday so I can have a day off! 
Bah!

 

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Birds and Blue Skies


At last a wee bird appeared outside the window.  I have not seen any of these (Goldfinch?) around this year and there used to be lots of them.  There is a lack of wee birds all round though I have heard but not seen Finches singing in the trees on occasion.  At the museum we have installed 'Swift Boxes' in the hope that Swifts will make use of them to nest, I think some Sparrows did instead!   All these birds appear to be in decline.  Farming methods, concrete for cars instead of front gardens, and changes elsewhere in Europe have cut their feeding and we are losing them.  I notice the Starlings are eating else at the moment, the young have almost reached maturity and are no doubt using me as back up instead of main meal as before.  Once it was two bags of pellets a day and now it has been several days since I filled the feeders.


I wondered out this afternoon in search of something to photograph.  I have been almost everything there is in this wee town and pictured all the things that are interesting so when I heard there was something on in the park I hurried over to see.  I was wrong, it must have been last week!  
Anyway in the hot sun I staggered round to the town centre like a man crossing the Sahara to see the other event, free Indian food for the hungry, and got there just in time to find it ending. Bah!
All that was left was sitting in the park taking pictures of the interesting cloud formations above and twiddling my thumbs.  Nothing else to take pictures of, I have done all this bit so often and there were no animals/people/things of note to be seen.
Bah!

  
The G20 is meeting somewhere surrounded by demonstrators showing their contempt for capitalism by stealing as much as they can from the shops in Hamburg.  Each of these events is followed by the same crowd of pretend and real protesters who either object to the political stance or are just a bunch of thugs on an outing, any excuse will do.  
It seems to me that while many would find reasons to protest it is clear the leaders of the mob are easy for the security services to find.  It must be that many are known to the police and their use of 'social media' must be read daily so why is it that they can always produce a riot at each event?  Could it be the security services of some nations are not as good as ours?  Could it be the attention on Islamic headbangers has reduced the number of officers watching these guys?  
Some nations are quite happy to have riots in their streets, Greece has them after every football match, so is it possible that some nations are happy to see the likes of Germany suffer from the mob?  
What has happened at this meeting?  Putin twisted Trump round his little finger, Angela was seen to roll her eyes when talking to Putin, Mrs Trump took his place and upset the US media (but actually understood what was going on) and Theresa May was there but nobody noticed.  I'm all for leaders meeting one another, this is a sure fire way to change things.  If they get on no matter what the many differences are something can be done.  If they don't get on they can always slap one another it will make no difference in the end.  Quite what anyone gets from meeting Trump is hard to understand.  Usually these guys meet once all the main talking has been done by lackeys, one of his 'tweets' and it is all undone again.
Just remember Trump has his finger on the nuclear button....if he can find it...


Thursday, 6 July 2017

Nothing Happened


Almost caught a bee!  This wee camera canny cope with close ups and I have to enlarge the picture yet it takes much enlarging and only then I find it's not sharp.  Why do bees move about so much?  It's not fair.
Another museum trip even though I ought to be sleeping off the last one. Little happened there as they are preparing for the next exhibition and it is all routine boring things today.


Look, still not sharp!  These bees keep moving around the Lavender and will not stop to pose.  It is becoming annoying.  I was only doing this as there was nothing else to do, Thursdays being the day many shops take the day off and remain shut so few people come into town.  Once the routine stuff was done and I had no computer to play on I was desperate for something interesting to do. 


I look forward to tomorrow when I can catch up on the excitement I missed today....



Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Now I'm not one to Complain but Daytime Television...


Being forced to iron shirts today I treated myself to a period of watching Daytime TV while doing so.  This was not good!  Having around 50 channels to choose from and finding nothing to watch is a somewhat sad experience.  Apart from several shopping channels offering important things like priceless jewllery at knock down prices, or beauty treatments that layer a womans face with enough paint to cover the Forth Bridge and those offering a variety of health giving machinery that once bought lies in the garage for ten years unused there was little to entice.  The inumerable unfunny American comedies that fill the screen, all with canned laughter that is added by someone who is not watchign the programme I suspect, all wth at least two hundred episodes to come offer little cheer, as do the 1970's cop thrillers filled with actors who died before most of the stay at home mums watching were born.  
How dreich is this I thought, even the news programmes, the word 'news' is not to be taken literally here, offer little of thought but much emotion.  Women's troubles, babies, film/record/other stars, personalities with no personality, deep caring moments that vanish the minute the object cared for is out of sight and all with too smart men and flighty women who apparently entice the viewers.  I am well aware of what they entice in me!  As for Victoria Derbyshire on two channels at once well, I had better keep my opinion to myself!  How did she get her job?  


The British drams, much more modern being only 20 years old also fails to excite.  'Monarch of the Glen?'  A pastiche that makes any other soap look like reality.  'The Sweeney?'  A rough, tough piece of nonsense that made a name in the 70's but did not deserve it then either.  It does make the real police on those 'cop patrol' programmes look realistic however.  And as for the constant hour after hour of programmes in which someone opens a garage or a locked storage unit or looks into a shed somewhere and finds riches beyond his wildest dreams please, please, go away!!!  These appear to be on three or four channels and never end!  Surely someone somewhere has become a millionaire and moved on by now? 


Now, 'Four in a Bed,' and 'Come Dine with Me' just what is all this tosh about?  I confess I can only stand a few minutes but why are people filmed having dinner?  I'm scared to ask what the other one is all about!  Then there are the house programmes all of which are designed to make you yearn for that million pound house in the country/by the sea/in the sun.  Like the antiques programmes the base is simple, appeal to peoples greed and they will come and watch.  It succeeds!  The houses look good but do you wish to live beside those people?   Movies, how many do we need?  I watch none yet on offer in the morning I note more US drivel or aged Black & White films that may have been made during the war, though which war is not always clear.  
And then there are the adverts!  Apart from BBC one and two these appear every few minutes and follow a simple pattern.  You ask about PFI, Insurance for the aged, Lawyers because you deserve it, charity for babies/animals/hungry/only £2/£3/£5 a month always followed by the same trailer for a crap programme you saw the last time the ads were on and will see again every few minutes throughout the day!  

 
There were only two programmes this morning that I could begin to watch.  One featured Tony Robinson walking through History he said, although I preferred to turn the sound down and avoid his inane chatter while watching and 'Coast' always worth a look but again with sound muted as all too often the voice gets in the way of the pictures.  I look to the 'Yesterday Channel' to offer history but all too often that also gives dross instead of history.  An excuse to show old cheap programmes rather than something worth watching.  It is worth a peep mind just in case.   
I only ironed three shirts, that was enough to cover me for the period ahead and force me back to doing something useful at the computer.  



Monday, 3 July 2017

Troubles and irritants


This is my latest laptop, an HP job and on the whole it is quite good one considering I got it half price.  There are however one or two niggles that are beginning to annoy. 
The first one is the speakers.  You will note you canny see them, this is because these are placed underneath, near the front.  Quite what went through the head of the designers to make them consider such a daft placing is hard to imagine.  I suspect it was a female, who else would think that hiding the speakers underneath would improve the sound quality?  Clearly she thought this would improve the image but image is less important than whether the thing works properly and having the speakers positioned this does not improve the Quality!  With headphones the sound is perfectly acceptable to me but without it is deadened by being underneath and limited by whatever the brute is standing on.  Daft place to put speakers.
Another thing is the cursor.  This jumps around with a mind of its own.  I have played with the controls, touching this and changing that but I need to do so again as the thing likes to move where it will especially when I do not wish it to do so.  I find I am writing on one line and suddenly the brute is writing on another!  On occasions it is writing on something at the edge of the screen for no good reason.  It remains better than the curor on the Toshiba model, those appear to have a bad and I found well deserved reputation, which required constant fiddling.  I expected better from HP.
The keys!  The keys on the old machine were comfortable and I am used to them, these however are not so prominent, do not always click when touched and I am left with missing letters in words, ee what I mean?  Maybe it's just me not yet being used to this machine, maybe I'm just ham fisted?  Clearly the keys do not work as on the old model, I suspect this is how they all fit these days.
One thing I find is that it appears to halt for no reason all to often, possibly to file things away on cloud, photos or on my criminal charge sheet that lies waiting in the FBI/CIA/KGB filing cabinet.  This may only be for a few seconds but it is annoying when busy, more so when on facebook and someone places yet more needless videos of course.  I must look into how to stop the brute hanging like this but Microsoft have linked everything so that mortals like us canny control our laptops.  There is more than enough power in the thing, hardly anything on it, it ought to be faster in my voew.  Anyway I have to use this machine come what may as the old one is passing out.  So I am off to send lots of begging emails in answer to the begging emails I receive daily.


 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Poor History


One of the many standard media fillers these days is sentimental pictures of troops from the great war.  The DM of course knows its readership and each week, often each day, a similar second world war tale is shown.  This encourages some to remember the days when they 'stood alone' and others to fulfil their 'Waffen SS' fantasies.  The UKIP and Right wingers love these pictures.
The style is always simple, as it appears from the spelling mistakes, unchecked facts, and constant wrong information so are the 'work for free' employees who have been fooled into thinking they are learning journalism.  (This one was stolen from yesterdays 'Daily Express' apparently)  The simple style calls all 'our boys,' 'our boys,' always 'Brave' and certainly 'heroes.'  There then follows in the comments columns the usual drivel from the same UKIP/right wing nutjobs.  Half the comments claim "What would they say if they saw our country now?" The rest, "They fought Germany and Germany rules Europe."   Many with little tact indicate foreigners are living here of the fat of the land that 'our heroes' won.
I get annoyed at this.
Now I know a little about two world wars and I know that many what we see in these comments in the tabloids is the result of half truths and lies spewed out by said papers, all to benefit the owners and the Conservative Party.  By blaming immigrants for twenty years a generation, mostly over fifty, have come to believe their nation has been stolen from them, they are indeed right but not in how they see it.  With their eyes on immigrants and an unhistorical view of history the deluded have been and are being robbed daily.
Many immigrants came here after serving in our forces, fighting our wars, and suffering for the DM reader.  They deserve a place in this nation.  Anyway what right had we to go into their land and steal it?
It is certainly true that many who served in the Great War were heroes, many courageous acts occurred, often from people least likely to do them before they left.  Many also committed horrendous acts of needless aggression and enjoyed the opportunity to kill, maybe the DM reader would appreciate them of course.  He would be less likely to enjoy him living next door.  In the first war over two and a half million men volunteered, a fact that annoys those who claim the war was a 'rich man's war fought by the working classes.'  These like to blame royalty infighting causing war but royalty while making mistakes had nothing to do with making war, nearly all were impotent.  On the ther hand Asquith the somewhat double minded Prime Minister (still better than what we possess today) lost a son in the war, Churchill himself played at soldiers in the trenches for a while, and the general also lost children fighting.  The Great War involved everyone not just the 'lower orders.'

Were the dead of the Great War a futile dead?  No, had they not served, the French would have ost and that Germany, just as cruel as the later one, would have dominated the world.  Should so many have died?  Sadly it takes two to fight and unless one side steps down the other remains.  Politicians are responsible for wars, and there were none able to stop it and many willing to continue it.  
The second war was easier to defend, it could have been avoided by better politicians at home and abroad but in the end it had to be won.  Were these men better heroes?  No these were no different from the earlier generation, it is just that the later war appears less messy, it wasn't.  
Were these men brave?  Brave enough to go 'over the top' or be shot for cowardice?  The bravest were those who for decent reasons refused to fight and insisted on a better world, they suffered for their beliefs, they were the brave ones.  It is easy to follow the crowd it is difficult to stand out and be abused.

I often ask the commentators who suggest todays generation are not like the previous ones 'what regiment did you serve in?' and et no reply.  They have never served, didn't want to serve, and would be no better than today's or any other generation of forced into war.  The bulk of the men were often brave, more often afraid and very glad the war is over.  They did miss the comradeship, missing at home, the excitement, foreign travel, pay, fun and laughter and a few tears also.  They came back changed and indeed still do whether from Northern Ireland, Iraq or any war we know little about.  I am never keen on calling servicemen 'heroes' but they deserve our respect, especially today when they are all volunteers and still face death if called into action.  We ought to thank them and avoid the nonsense in the daily press.



I WENT into a public 'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, " We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, go away " ;
But it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, wait outside ";
But it's " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper's on the tide
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap.
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, 'ow's yer soul? "
But it's " Thin red line of 'eroes " when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes, " when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! "
But it's " Saviour of 'is country " when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An 'Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!


Rudyard Kipling