Monday, 31 December 2018


Sixk of the endless small chicken that since Christmas day has never ceased to appear on my plate I sought sanctuary in Sainsburys overpriced 'reduced' section this morning.  Here I found ludicrous prices on meat that has only a short shelf life yet lack of nourishment forced a sale.  
The word 'Sale' remained in my mind wandering about the empty town early this morning where almost every shop had windows dressed in lying 'Sale' posters.  I say 'lying' because that is what they do.  This one filled the windows in an attempt to bring in customers but once inside I was disappointed with what was on offer on the 'sale' rack, even Sainsburys offered more.  Large signs and few offers appeared to be the thing.  Maybe the lassies found more but I doubt it.

Last year this shop, selling short lived footwear made in Romania or Bangladesh or somewhere cheap, had a similar full window advert claiming massive reductions.  There was one display among the men's stuff for reduced prices, all rubbish, they might still be there today.  I doubt the women got much more.  The thing about this shop is the way you never see the same girl working there.  Each Monday they appear to open with different staff, a sure sign that high wages are not on offer at this place.  I wonder if the staff will ever get a pension from here? 

Unusual to see such signs outside this shop as it always has 'sale' signs there.  Like those furniture and carpet shops that we see everywhere this shops has had a sale on since 1969 as far as I can tell.  This does not mean the stuff is poor, I wear some myself, but the prices are high, far too high, and sale time among the sales is required before I wish to purchase.  It never appears to shut either, the staff change round, less often than the shoe shop but reasonably frequently and the place is open every day, I suspect it would open on Christmas Day also if it could.

Being Hogmany many folks reconsider their lives.  Many go back over the year crying woe regarding their failures or smiling sweetly at the successes they have seen.  I don't do this as I forget what happened yesterday let alone over the year.  My brother died quite suddenly in March, which surprised us and no doubt him, the heat was on during the summer, and winter has not really settled in yet now, that strikes me as about all that comes to mind, I suppose there is more.  The Heart of Midlothian have discovered how to play football, until half the team go missing for months through injury.  St Paul's sees the vicar develop very well which is just as well as the curate leaves soon, though I still wonder what I am doing in an Anglican church, a denomination full of strange ideas, people and godless creature.  New neighbours abound in the house, most I have still to fall out with, so that is something to look forward to from tomorrow and next week back at the museum I will find my place there even less important to the mighty ones now the nation has forgotten their war 'heroes.'  Then there is Brexit to come, or not as the case many be.  I must return to stocking up on bully beef and soldiers biscuits as I have put that aside for Xmas.  By the end of the month the opposition might have awoken and dumped Corbyn and found a leader but I doubt that really.  Many could be worried about the future but most are ignoring that and instead concentrating on the 'Bread & Circuses' on offer which avoid the need to think or take responsible action.  This is understandable but foolish.  Trump in the US, China on the rise, Putin and his gangsters running the Leave Campaign among other rich nameless right wing types, many EU states looking to their granddads for guidance rather foolishly, migrants equally foolish in believing they will be allowed in.  
For me the peace comes in knowing Jesus is still in control though it looks a mess.  Whether I am truly following him is the only worry there.

Until Midnight, if I am awake...

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Rushed Saturday

Foolishly I went on the free bus to the outlet centre joining the pig ignorant throng.  Pushing, walking into people, talking loudly on phones and shops not stocking anything worth buying.  Coming back I ventured into Tesco where ten thousand Buffalo were wandering around desperate for more of the stuff they have over abused already this week.  I got my milk and bread, chatted to the young checkout assistant, and ran home for the football.
Today being a derby day I threw £7:99 on a SKY Day Pass so I could watch the Glasgow and Edinburgh ones.  How sad that Rangers looked like a football team in the first one, I rather hoped they would lose heavily, sell their better players in the January Transfer window, and go bust!  They might survive now.
I rush this as I await the Edinburgh derby, a game featuring two sides missing good players and therefore impossible to predict.  I suspect however that the Heart of Midlothian will win again, we usually do... 

Friday, 28 December 2018


Bleak, gray, dull, yucky day.  Disappointing after yesterdays sun.  Town filled with children rushing about, no parents controlling them, no police, no shotguns sadly.  Rotten day, dreich everywhere, no news, nothing happening, time to go back to bed I think...

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Up on the Roof.

The need for fresh air and sunshine forced me out today.  This was good as the light was bright and the townsfolks were meandering about, some showing off their new bikes, scooters and clothes, others seeking shiny things in the shops now open.  

I soon found myself on the top floor of the large car park from where I thought I may get a picture or two of the town.  Here I noticed windows dirtier than mine existed though to be fair it is difficult cleaning windows through those bars.  

Old cottages in the distance once used by weavers they say.  Narrow houses now but large windows for the time.  The attic, now divided, once ran all along the roof space allowing for long bales of cloth to be laid out.  A good example of the craft that once flourished in this area for hundreds of years.

I was much taken with the sign saying "Pedestrians: Way Out" and pointing to either direction.  There are no stairs and this means the only way out is through the 'window' on either side.  I went on further myself...

The low lying sun leaving a kind of blue haze in the distance caught my attention.  Such a sun is wonderful, bright, cheery and blinding at times.  So bright that my sister a few days ago left a shop, was blinded by such sun and walked into the closed door!   This left her flat on her back being attended to by the staff who it must be said treated her well, this was in Livingstone.  They fussed while she just wanted to go home.  At home everyone laughed, I laughed, and at the doctors he laughed, she just suffered a bruise or two and hurt pride, but she is used to that.  

In among the Victorian and mock Victorian chimney pieces on show we can see the benefits of being a country town, the masses of trees in the distance.  These lie among the farmland that developers are desperate to turn into concrete and mass money in offshore accounts.  Most of the populace are not so keen.  The town has grown from 30,000 to 40,000 in the 20 years I have been here and lost some of its innocence with the introduction of 'London overspill' and the like.  A type of less friendly person is appearing and this affects us all.  People are less likely to speak in passing as they used to do though many still do and 'old folks' constantly complain about the changes, as they do.

The mist does create colour changes which I love.  Darker nearby and lightening with each item in view as it heads off into the distance.  Some were complaining tonight that driving was difficult with the mist, I suspect it will be worse first thing in the morning.  Not too much traffic just now mind.  Next Wednesday I suspect before life as normal returns.

While standing there on this near deserted open top floor of the car park I noticed the pigeons suddenly take flight as if aware of a predator of some sort.  Two flocks took off in different directions, joined immediately by all other hangers on, yet remarkably quickly settled down once again.  I could see no obvious enemy so it may have been a false alarm.  It does show however that being a bird is not an easy life.  The weather, lack of food and predators mean you are forever looking around for danger.  We are much safer that we realise, a bird is constantly afraid.  

Pointing a camera at a bright sun offers a dark picture.  I could have fiddled with it but could not be bothered decided this was a decent enough image.  I found it strange having come from Edinburgh and having lived 20 or so years in London finding the town so flat.  This was one of the few high places from which to see the town, the Town Hall roof is another and one day I will get up there, but being able to look south and see a few roofs fading off gently into the distance was strange to me.  It still is to some extent. 

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Bleak Boxing Day

The bleak weather did not stop kids crashing about the skatepark on new equipment nor did it hinder the dog walkers, nothing does that!  However as I did not get up till 8:30ish and remain slow at feeding myself in the morning I was not aware of life until around midday.  
By then it was time to eat, my imitation broth, with too much cayenne pepper and too little flavour, was followed by fruit to make up for what was not eaten yesterday.  
A quick wander around town followed.  The usual shops were open, you know the type that never appear shut no matter what the holiday, and while some bigger ones were open the crowds were thin indeed.  Bargains I expect were much thinner.  One shop 'Peacocks' filled its windows full with a 'Sale' advert but only one or two racks of ageing junk was to be seen reduced, the usual empty ploy. Nothing was happening anywhere bar people meandering about without much of an aim.  The usual after Christmas 'feel' and I suspect by tomorrow Christmas trees and other bumf will appear dumped on pavements everywhere.  Many more will be out tomorrow as some will have to return to work and the shops will be busier once auntie and granddad have gone back home having left their gifts behind.  The season of 'goodwill' is over.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Monday, 24 December 2018

Almost Christmas...

Twice yesterday I shuffled down to St Paul's in the rain.  Being a 'Messy Church' service for Christmas it was crowded.  Kids from everywhere were cutting things, fiddling with oranges, candles and bits and bobs, mums helping, they said, and general confusion everywhere while I sat among friends (I say they are even if they don't know my name) and attempted the quiz that was thrust in my hands. I walked as I had some small gifts for kids and large sweet bags for adults although the amount of foodstuffs suitable for Christmas 'do's' was excessive already.
The service proceeded eventually with carols, a nativity play with a large number of participants and then a wonderful version of 'Bethlehemian Rhapsody' from the 'Big Young Kids.'  I was not possible to take photos which was a shame as I don't think it was filmed but they managed with puppets and a black screen to do an excellent version of this:-

An excellent though slightly dodgy theological morning.  I doubt the strict Presbyterian's in the Isles will have appreciated the joy all around.  I thought it great.  I was less enamoured of noticing the amount of washing up that had to be done and guilt forced me into the sink for while to pretend I cared.  Then I had to trudge home again in the rain...
By six I had traipsed once more, in the rain, back to St P's for the Carol concert.  I had to be there as I was reading the first lesson, Genesis 3:8 - 15 & 17 -19, as you would expect.  Naturally I was running late even allowing for the word 'running' to be somewhat out of place here and arrived just in time.  Shortly afterwards, as I gasped my way into a seat past a gentleman wearing a 'Crystal Palace' jacket in honour of their win over table topping Manchester City and slumped thereupon the first Carol was under way swiftly followed by my reading.  Here I stumbled up to the mike and puffed my way through Genesis attempting to breathe and talk at the same time.  For the rest of the evening I set myself just to enjoy the two year old who cavorted in front of me all night.  She ended the evening happily as the curate finishing the service saw her looking into the manger and the baby Jesus then placed Jesus into her care and made her day.  Then after 'one or two' chocolates that were forced upon me I trekked home once again in the rain, happy, content, badly fed and wet!  But as you know I am not one to complain...

Being clever, up to a point, I sauntered into Sainsburys before nine this morning and joined ten thousand time ten thousand rushing, fighting, desperately searching people each one like me terrified they might starve to death as all the shops are closed for 24 hours tomorrow (not counting Muslim, Hindu or Jewish ones that remain open obviously).  I fought my way past uncontrolled trolleys, wayward baskets and the odd child collected what I needed bar what I forgot and headed home avoiding the man carrying the whole salmon which clearly was his Christmas dinner.   Then I headed out once more to meet Peggy my work friend, we meet in the cafe to gossip about the folks in the museum and share cheap Christmas presents.  As we did so what looked like a football team of men, dressed as shepherds, angels and all passed us as they entered the 'Nags Head.'  It was the one with the donkey strapped across his waist I felt sorry for.  Apparently they chose each costume by lot!   However I am getting suspicious that the bottle of malt whisky that has arrived these past few years might be sent from her online account, the one she uses to keep her man in order.  I wonder...  Anyway the crowds being what they are I avoided popping into Tesco for what I had forgot and may go back later when the hordes have departed.

Having been well informed of the 30 foot queues in Tesco I waited until later and found an empty checkout after having picked up those not really important but needed things.  Ice cream lollies are actually quite important you know.  The woman said the desk was empty for the first time that day!
Why do people leave the shopping till last?  Some things can be left till last, bread, milk, turkey but really most ought to be ready days ahead even if you work and have kids I say.  Nothing is perfect but planning and not fussing makes things easier.  Some folks appear to think they can shop midday Christmas eve and not have to join the myriads already there.  These are the same people that insist on travelling on Bank holidays and grumble about queues.   I bet they voted for Brexit!  
My freezer is full, the chicken roosts in the fridge, the whisky keeps moving in front of me, the soup gurgles away on the back hob, and I wish to lie down.  Outside cars fly by as people rush to accomplish the forgotten things, presents, aunts, foodstuffs, petrol etc and others are shop staff and other workers forced to work until they drop before heading home some to families, some to loneliness, some to the pubs and others to get away from everyone else.  

I hope you are ready and looking forward to the day.  I hope your freezer does not break down, the internet stays alive and that the next few days are full of joy and friendship, love even and not the soppy kind. 


Saturday, 22 December 2018

Flying Saturday

As I scribble high above me, at around 17000 feet a large aircraft heads towards China.  The many passengers have avoided delays by eco warriors (it now appears), passed through security checks, customs, many uniformed rude staff and now settle down gladly for the long trip across the world to the cheery despot now playing Emperor in Peking, sorry Beijing.  Another at similar height heads gracefully, I hope, towards Poland.  This reflects the air traffic above us as aircraft head for or leave Stansted airport or Luton just a wee bit down the road.  Those leaving Heathrow after mush airport stress pass over also.  At 35,000 feet we can occasionally note travellers from China, Canada, or further away above us as they seek a landing somewhere in Europe, Paris or Berlin perhaps.  This explains why our skies are filled with vapour trails daily, bright and clear against the blue above but unhealthy to eco warriors of various types. 

I wonder how many MP's are up there heading of to exotic (paid for) holidays?  I wonder also who is paying for them and what questions will they ask during the next parliament, if we have another one in this Tory rich kid dictatorship.  Hmmm... maybe going to China would not be so bad after all?  
Possibly Michael Gove and that Raab fellow will be aboard the plane looking for ideas?  
The 'Daily Mail' which can be trusted (note the sarcasm) has named two people as responsible for the drone attack without actually blaming them.  There is something about 'guilty until proved innocent' that does not appear to matter to the hacks, I wonder why?  Of course if this couple are indeed the people who have delayed 140,000 souls from flying off they deserve ten years no matter the cause.  Better that than being dragged into the airport concourse and greeted by those you have delayed I suspect.

Another Saturday, another pre Christmas show in the town.  Here an all male choir (are these allowed by screaming feminists?) entertained, although when I suggested to the security guard that he joined in he refused steadily.  Possibly he did not know the words of 'Little Donkey?'
I did not join in either having fruit and veg to collect...

Friday, 21 December 2018

Friday Fussing

The idea that the drone flying above Gatwick was a government sponsored scam to take peoples minds of the House closing down for Christmas while the Brexit disaster looms above keeps coming to mind.  The 'eco-warrior' the police claim they are looking for may well be a member of her majesties forces following orders, or is it just me?  I am tempted to think that if this drone was a nuisance it would be easy enough to bring in an army 'Apache' helicopter, many of them pass over us here, and I am convinced these guys would quickly and efficiently dispose of the bad by, this was not done you will note.  If it is ISIS or one of their followers you would expect it to drop bombs and they to make a claim of some sort by now, they have not done this.  It could indeed be a middle class 'eco-warrior' playing games and thinking himself clever no matter how distraught those who lose vast sums of money or miss out on Christmas trips abroad suffer.  Protest that causes such problems is not to aid the people it is merely to make a name for the drone pilot.  I wonder if hanging him upside down from lampposts is legal...?

It looks a lot like sausages for Xmas dinner this year.  I went to the proper butcher in town and obtain £15 worth and am about to put some in the freezer.  The idea is that these expensive sausages will contain meat, taste hopefully added to them also.  On Monday I will visit the shops again for the last bits.  I mean we have one day where all shops close and if I don't stock up I will starve like so many other people appear to be afraid of doing at the moment.  Maybe I ought to buy yet another dozen bottles of beer just in case I have a visitor...

While looking at this tree through tired eyes I could see a face in there, can you?
I am wondering whether to send it to the 'Daily Mail' and see if the new editor will print this?  He has been trying to take his readers minds of his support for remain' by filling the paper with royal or celeb clickbait, the girls and Beckham appearing to be among his favourites, or he thinks his readerships favourites.  It seems to be working.  The fascist fraternity are gnashing their teeth at him while threatening all and sundry, the royal followers are revealing their dark hearts and in many a sad longing for a dead princess which calls them to hate people whom they do not know of whom some are jealous and others just inadequate.  It's all very depressing really. 

The shortest day is upon us.  Spring will be around the corner from tomorrow, weather permitting.  The nights will get shorter, the sun be seen more often and life will be brighter for us all, hopefully.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Thursday Fun.....

Judging by the absence of slow moving traffic tonight many have already hopped it for their Christmas holidays.  I notice the House of Commons has departed for 17 days off (99 days to Brexit!) and the schools are out as many dear sweet children are filling the shops to their parents delight.  
I had the pleasure of an early morning trip to Sainsburys, then filling the washing machine for the last wash before Xmas and forgetting to switch it on, having a lunch date cancelled as the other was sick (before Xmas!) and then going to B&M for bird seed (again) and then switching on the machine while ironing the last few shirts, with another now hanging up drying slowly.  Does it ever stop I ask?

On top of this I realise the mouse had returned so I was there again shifting furniture and poking steel wool into holes (which he had pushed aside) and hoping to stop his reappearance.  I will know tomorrow if I have succeeded or not.  It is at times like this you realise how much stuff there is in the house.  At least I managed to get the postman and other deliveries when they arrived, unusual for me, and yet another bottle of whisky has been granted me, 'Highland Park,' same as last years.  The previous bottle is not yet finished so I am attempting to do so now, this may not be wise, and I am sufficed with a warm glow at the moment in spite of the open window.  I believe all my goods have arrived, no more goodies of any worth to come and my wallet is showing signs of wear and tear.  Hopefully I need only by things that matter now, meat, milk, bread....


Wednesday, 19 December 2018

'Angels' on the Fence

As I sauntered out towards St P's and the sorting office this morning I noticed these 'angels' on the fence opposite.  It appears to be the thing these days for women's groups to knit such items for Christmas, sometimes decorating pillar boxes and other street furniture in an attempt to promote 'good feelings.'  It is happening in many places and was seen last year also if I remember right.  There are one or two groups who make use of our hall on occasions to sit and knit, croquet, spin and gossip for a few hours and occasionally put on a display.  I suspect they have a hand in this.

The sun took some time before it beat off the cloud cover, making this chopped down tree stand somewhat bare against the sky.  I would have had more pics but I was carrying cards to the church on my way and carrying a packet back from the sorting office afterwards.  The postie woman claims she knocked but I never heard her, she would not lie but she finds it difficult to hammer the door, the other man who does this round manages that well!  So I had to walk down not knowing what I would find and all I found was 'Nutmeg' a Scottish football magazine!  This thick item is too thick to bend and will not go through so that meant walking for a mile or two just for this.  I might get round to reading it eventually, so far I have three book tokens to make use off, and I am smiling as I think there is one more on the way.  

I failed to take the angel home, who knows where that might lead?  Instead I was satisfied with photos and notice many have already made homes for themselves, the brightly coloured ones first of course.  I will be out in town tomorrow (twice! Such excitement!) and who knows what these wimmen will have done elsewhere?  

Jeremy is in trouble apparently for calling Theresa 'Stupid!'  Quite why this is bad I fail to comprehend, are we not allowed to be honest?  On top of this manufactured row the Speaker himself was confronted by (a Tory) female MP claiming he had called her 'stupid.'  How strange that such an attitude can be found in the House while yesterday a Scots MP was told to 'Go back to your own country' by Nicholas Soames (Churchill's grandson) and yet this was not considered racism and dealt with by the speaker.  What is more serious, racism or speaking the truth?

At least we are not the US...

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Last Day for a While.

Last Tuesday at museum for a couple of weeks, well until next year of course, and this was my day, cutting and cutting again all morning.  Apart from a small school that arrived before we were open,  the phone ringing and people giving orders the day was to go well.
Chocolates were in abundant supply, as one young lady going in and put just to swipe one at every passing understood only too well.  I hope her teeth fall out.  Now I must find something to do next Tuesday instead of being here at the museum cutting my way round reindeer antlers.  No thin tape that requires cutting in half and then chopped up in lengths just for the kids to fiddle about with, no more attempting to read about Jose being sacked while people come in to spend cash, tsk, you would think they could wait until I had read the news.
Now I await the football and sleep, possibly both...


Sunday, 16 December 2018

Christmas Rush...

Advent is upon us, the clerics are wandering from Carol service to Carol service, schools and churches making demands on them at this time.  Shops are filled with the sound of 'Christmas music' almost all of which was written down in 'Tin Pan Alley' during the 1930's by Jewish writers satisfying the demands of Hollywood moguls.  There were none of those available during this mornings service!  
As I discussed matters of great importance with Gordon (His team's game was happily postponed by an icy pitch yesterday) the vicar approached us smiling.  This I knew from Gordon's look meant trouble.  He was correct and there was no way out of this, we now must attend next weeks Carol service as we will be doing a reading therein.  It is always difficult to refuse the demands of a woman who smiles.  Not that we had any choice of course.

Naturally enough having given out all the Christmas cards to church folks that I needed, including several over the internet to save money if not time, I found several from people whom I had forgotten.  I also discovered several over the internet also forgotten and may have to seek new cards
if this goes on!  Naturally I was also ensuring one young lady does not get caught up in the need to give cards, she found three awaiting her and will by now be scribbling replies.
I also realised I need something more for the girls at work, not that I will get much back from them! However that must be fixed tomorrow.  Whatever I do they will say was needless, if I don't they will wonder why?  Wimmen....

This at a time when I am attempting to catch up on all the books I bought this year from charity shops and through gift cards (two already arrived this year) and also attempting to work my way through the 'Spring clean' which has been unfortunately delayed somewhat again.  Christmas itself you will realise is a week and a couple of days away.  Are you ready for this....?

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Freezing Early Saturday

Long before i was awake this morning I trudged out towards Sainsburys.  Yesterday I went round the shops for the things I forgot, this morning I went back for the other things I forgot.  I really must get used to writing these things down.  Of course of I write them down I forget the list! 
The sun had yet to rise, that came at just on eight this morning, and the gray sky did not ease the cold wind blowing from the south east, neither did it offer much light.  The lack of light made the lit up shop windows appear cheery,the main one in sight cheers many people I think.  This shop has been here for some time now, not that I ever notice anyone going in or out, and on the occasions when the proprietor is noticed standing outside, cigarette in hand, I become aware that she has not had much use for what is on offer for a while, since round about 1958 I guess!  Online sales must be good!  Actually they are not, I have just found the website and it is 'under reconstruction' and nothing is available.  Hmmm... just who is sneaking in I wonder.  Maybe if I set up a camera opposite...

Coming out of Tesco with the remembered forgotten items I grabbed a shot of one of the two fruit stalls in the market.  It was the bright lights cheerfully failing to detract from the icy wind while the staff grabbed as much cash as possible from the customers.  I prefer the other stall myself. 
I have remained glued to the laptop since attempting to avoid the ironing that remains and keep warm.  I must give in and do something now. 

OK, hours later and I failed to do anything but eat and no watch football while also 'discussing' Brexit with brexiteers.  When I said they had no argument to put forward one immediately replied 'We don't need to as we voted for it.'  Hmmm...