Monday, 30 April 2018

It's Goodbye to Her...

Now here is a novelty.  A Conservative Party cabinet minister has been caught out lying and has resigned, that is something that does not happen every day.  If it was there are several others, Gove, Johnson, Fox etc who ought also to walk.  Oh hold on, this is not a surprise, this is the FOURTH cabinet minister to depart Theresa May's government!  It appears she has been taking lessons from that nice Donald Trump after all.  
In 1982 the Argentinians stupidly invaded the Falkland Islands in an attempt to turn their peoples attention away from their economic problems and ended up in a war.  Lord Carrington, then Foreign Minister, immediately resigned on the grounds that his attention had been elsewhere and he had failed.  Margaret Thatcher attempted to persuade him to stay on, as he could have done, but he felt he ought to go and he did.  This was the last time a Conservative Minister resigned with dignity, since then all others have had to be pushed and some of them were far from dignified in their going.   Of course some of the opposition members have also fallen foul but mostly it now appears the Conservative policy to never resign whatever the fault, lying, deceiving, cheating in government or at home all should be shrugged off and keep the party together no matter what.
The keeping the party together is of course the real problem.  In the 19th century Sir Robert Peel took a brave stand for the sake of the nations economy and ended the Corn Law that protected some and increased bread prices for the majority, this broke his party in two and they were out of office for thirty years after that.  In 1867 Disraeli brought in a Reform Act that gave a million men the right to vote, not that he wanted to but he worked with Conservative MPs that did not wish an election in case they lost their seat and radicals who he despised just for spite against William Gladstone and pushed through a radical reform act he did not really want.  Theresa and her colleagues are involved in similar games now, either break the nation or break the party, she has chosen the party as have they and soon they will all lead us to destruction, and then they too will be destroyed.  Amber (Who calls their daughter 'Amber?') has lost out to save Theresa, but she will be back.
What a mess.

The latests April shower has blown a gale since last night and limited my opportunities for travel.  
So I did the laundry instead...
Sitting here watching the rain lash against the window I am cogitating on those who cannot get out at any time.  Folks in hospital for months, those trapped in old folks homes, the sick and the old.  What must it be like to be trapped all day indoors let out only when a friend or family member arrives to aid you, and what if there are no such people?  How lucky I am that I can get out and about, how grateful I am not in a wheelchair or sick and in pain.  How grateful for the good life God has given such a man as I.  

I have spent some time attempting to sort my files.  This means switching from one to another via the laptop, dumping some (usually deliberately) and trying to work out what others actually are.  Scandisk could make it better by the brutes not switching themselves off constantly.  This of course could be the fault of this laptop, the cursor slides too easily, even after amending the thing, and slips past where it ought to go and sits where it ought not.  I wish I had just stuck to the laundry...

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Market Drizzle

As it is wet, drizzly and not so hot the market has a special day.  Once again the wide variety of grossly overpriced foodstuffs bring out the crowds (Where do they get the money?) and as a special treat this month there are a few stalls selling the kind of overpriced hand made items women buy, whatever they are.  

I am always tempted to the bread but the price £3 or so a loaf puts me off.  It looks good and probably is good stuff but expensive being twice and more the price in Tesco's.  I suspect the variety of cakes available are also good but to fattening for my calorie controlled diet (with chips).  

Once again the car folks brought out their pride and joy into the drizzle.  A different crowd from last time and I suspect that when the sun shines regularly there will be more of these on show.  I am not clear as to why that guy has his bonnet up, possibly he broke down, possibly he is showing off his clean well tended engine.

Somehow I managed to spend nothing but a few quid on mealworm pellets for the Starlings that are breeding just now.  The brutes have emptied the feeders already this morning and trying to empty them again this afternoon.  A single Blue Tit has been spotted there but few other wee birds.
Guarding my money carefully I came limping slowly home and have spent the day watching football!
What more can a man want?
Oh yes, a woman to iron a shirt for tomorrow...

Thursday, 26 April 2018

A Walk in Lexden

As always my ideas were good.  I would venture out to Lexden, wander through the park to the 'earthworks' and find if I could a way to the tumulus where an Iron age King, possibly Cunobelinus is buried.  Naturally wandering about in the Bluebell filled woods was a delight, especially as few were about, yet it was not possible to find my way to either object I sought.  The earthworks was behind a fence somewhere in the woods and it was not clear how to get onto the path behind the tumulus, so I let the king sleep and wonder if there was in fact a second way into the woods which I did not find.  I did however pass three bags standing alone at one point.  Either someone was hiding nearby or they were transported by aliens as they passed through the woods though why anyone would carry three such bags through the woods was unclear.

Lexden was a mere village for many years and was referred to as 'Lassendene' in the Domesday Book but was of little importance until the rich Victorians from Colchester a mile to the east moved here to build big houses and enjoy clean air.  Nothing but agricultural work in the rolling hills of the area. Today's large fields are ploughed, seeded by tractor and machinery while in days of yore hard work for the man ploughing with oxen on such hills and then while harvesting later in the year.

Clearly some had been making money fro many years before that time, and being on the main road there was naturally a 'Toll booth' to extract money from passers by and to help maintain the roadway, when they got around to that.  The resplendent house had the name 'Weavers' on the door but this does not look like a weavers type of home.  He may of course have made his money and employed workers elsewhere, there were lots if such in this area.

The churchyard and the woods teemed with Bluebells.  Masses of them crowded together under the towering trees.  Few creatures more however, a few birds flitted among the trees rushing about to feed themselves as they produced eggs and a single squirrel avoided me in a hurry and raced up a nearby tree.

This hill, along with a dead tree and what looks like blocks once used to stop tanks during world war two were ideal playmates for the males of the area.  A nearby tree had an improvised ladder which would have been brilliant had I been a few years younger!  A great place for kids.  

Many such trees were all around some around four hundred years old, coppiced by the looks of it for much of that time.  When the rich moved out this area must have been roped off for the 'Lexden Park House' built at the far end, no poor peasant would be gathering firewood from here then.


With a wood, a pond and ducks to feed plus acres to run around in this must be a marvellous place during the summer months for kids.  If all this belonged to one family it must have taken an army of cheap workers to maintain the grounds.  

In case there were no ducks or geese around someone has placed four large geese in this corner alongside a tree trunk shaped like a human.  The ducks and one solitary wary Canada Goose sitting close by did not show any appreciation of the artwork to my knowledge.

During the English Civil War (why call it 'civil' when so many died?) Lord-General Thomas Fairfax camped his men here while he laid siege to Colchester.  To the east lie 'Hilly Fields' which appear to contain much woodland now, but which gave a good view of Colchester defences a mile further east. A cannon from the town caused many casualties among the Parliamentarian forces until similar weapons were brought up to demolish the battlements the cannon was based on.  I wonder whether Fairfax used the 'Sun Inn,' now a private house but since the 1500s a busy tavern or whether he imposed himself on 'Weavers' over the way?  Boudica did similar before destroying Colchester a few years before this.  She gathered her troops around this area and then trashed the town.

St Leonard's Church, St Leonard was patron of prisoners apparently, was built and remodelled during the 19th century.  Some form of church building had begun sometime in the 12th century but this small agricultural village had little wealth and even by the 1600s the building  was in poor condition.  The present church, of the Liberal Catholic tradition, whatever that is, however is in fine condition and expanding to enable facilities for more to attend their business.  A bit too 'High Church' for me but a pleasant place to sit and talk to Jesus after wandering through the woodland.  It is always good to find such a church open, too many thieves force the buildings to be kept locked much of the time unless someone is attending them.

I found it interesting that in spite of the war memorial on the main road there were no individual war graves to be found.  It is possible I missed them, churches tend to let the grasses grow around this time of year to benefit the wildlife which struggle with the loss of farmland and the concreting of front gardens for car parking.  There were several gravestones indicating some of the people who resided here had held important posts during the 'Raj' and wished their grave to reflect their position.  How strange that class is reflected even in death.  However the Braintree weavers Courtaulds would have been pleased as the funerals would have been attended by many leading ladies wearing, and outdoing one another, with black dresses made from the Black Crepe which their local mills manufactured.  

 'Spring Lane' now a quiet side street as the new bypass has taken almost all traffic away offered some delightful cottages, once farm labourers homes now owned by those who can afford half a million I suggest.  The influence of Flemish weavers can be seen on many houses in Essex, their 'Dutch Roof' is a common sight here.  The Victorian semi detached would have been admirable for the farm hand as his several children, two up and two down and an outside loo to yourselves. I particularly liked the old street lamp being used at the side of the house.  The locals have put the old horse trough to good use.  Turning what could become an eyesore into a delightful piece of road furniture.

Waiting on the bus outside what once was the workhouse.  This was built on Jeremy Bentham principles it seems to me.  Four winds reached out from the centre, from here the men in charge could looked down each wing without having to change his position, 'Strangeways Prison' in Manchester was built on similar proposals.  The whole is surrounded by buildings forming a circle with the entrance, for the nice people at the front, I suspect inmates went in the back!  The building is seen on the 1877 map and now of course has been transformed into flats.  I wonder what stories could be told...?


Tuesday, 24 April 2018


The girls in the museum for reasons of their own posted this picture today.  It features some of the 2000 women who worked at Crittalls during the Great War making shell casings and other required items.  They were paid the same as the men and began at 12/6d a week ending in July 1918 at £2/10/- a week.  Considering the soldier began at ten shillings a week and few got much more the lassies were doing well. 
Having posted this I sent it on to the local facebook page where so far 13 women and one male (he says) have 'liked' this.  Typical women self obsession.  How many would have liked it if men were shown doing the real hard work at the foundry?  Tsk!

I thought I would add this to it as if they are interested they might part with all that money they earn and buy one of the books relevant to women.  I have not read them myself though I did look through the one on terrorists called 'The Suffragettes.'  It only costs a pound yet so far only one has sold.  I wonder how many of these women who 'liked' the post actually vote round here in UKIPLand?  It would be sad if they refused because 'it makes no difference.'  Sadly we have no vote this next local election so none of the Conservative members offering us rate rises and service cuts will notice the public apathy on May 3rd.

It was a quiet day with no schools in, only three visitors and three other callers, even the phones were quiet.  This is usual in between exhibitions.  However I still managed to fall asleep for half an hour after lunch anyway.  I expect it will be full of females for the next week or two as we have the textile (yawn) exhibition on.

Monday, 23 April 2018


For some time now the Arsenal fans encouraged by the media have been determined to remove Arsene Wenger from the club.  Fans unhappy that trophies, bar a cup or two, have been lacking have decried this man loudly and now the fans are drifting away from a club standing in sixth place and ready for a try in next years UEFA cup.  
Arsenal fans make me sick!
Here is a man who changed football for the better.
He changed the way players look after themselves by bringing the drinking culture to an end, forcing players to concentrate on what they eat, introduced sport scientists and other ideas to improve the player and the game in general.  Football in the whole of the UK took advice and followed his ideas as much as they could.  He won the league, he won cups, he gave Arsenal fans over twenty years of Champions League football and all they do is moan and now they have got their way.
I suspect that many who loudly grumble were not born when Wenger arrived, to them much of his time is history.  I suspect also many of those who did not appear at recent games are mere 'glory hunters' who wear red this year and blue next year, such 'fans' are not lost to Arsenal.
It is true that success has slipped, that the side is failing to succeed at the top level but the attitude of fans and indeed the board who are concerned only about the shareholders (themselves) is vile.  Now a man who ought to be feted has been forced out and who knows who will replace him?  I wish that man luck.
It is true Wengers time has gone but the hypocrisy now seen among the media and others gathering to tell us what a great man Wenger is while pushing him out the door is sickening.  It may well be time to go but it ought to be with head held high not a knife in the back.
I say this and I don't even like Arsenal that much.

More hypocrites are found in Carnoustie!  
A school there has received a complaint demanding the removal of the Church of Scotland minister who is the pastor.  The petition comes from the gay lobby at the school and they demand the man's removal because he is not 'inclusive.'  In short he holds to the biblical beliefs on marriage and once again the gay lobby attack the truth, and the biblical view is true, demanding those who disagree with the 'tolerant' gay lobby be removed.  Not since the Nazis have we seen truth opposed so well in Europe as by this lot.
A ' petition featured 56 names from the school, a large secondary school, a number which rose to over 300 once it went public, how many outside the 56 attend school there?  Now a local councillor has jumped into the fray telling lies about the minister and also demanding his removal.  I wonder what will happen now in this 'free society' in which we live?
This situation is repeated all over the nation, shops refusing to sell gay items are attacked by a loud minority, hospital staff who refuse to kill children are drummed out, anyone who does not bow before the gay/transgender lobby is seen as a criminal for standing up to what is right.
I have mentioned this before, I will mention this again as it will continue to grow and soon Christians will be outlawed.  I am up for that as Jesus Christ is alive and he will stand by his people even if the rest of the nation runs away under the guise of 'love.'  If you 'love' you speak the truth, you do not lie to those who require help and acceptance you tell them the truth.  Too many today refuse to face the truth, too many allow the nation, and indeed the west, to be run by liars who often do not understand what they do.  The spiritual war is very real and nothing good will come from this.

I once again purchased stuff form the local shops and fund that goods made in Bangladesh lie when they say size 'XL.'  What they mean is 'L' or more likely 'M.'  In future I will have to spend more money or buy larger sizes 'XXl' to ensure I get something that fits.  The old pair fit well and they are 'XL' and made in China, I suspect Bangladesh is cheaper and use less cloth to save cash. I will be careful when buying next time. Grrrrr!

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Ugly Success

Life is a strange thing.  The yellow press are always filling their ages with nonsense yet people still pay for in hard copy or click on links to fill their faces with adverts (unless they use Adblockpro) and total nonsense.
While clicking on advertless yellow press I came across 'This' rather daft study.  Satoshi (who?) from the LSE (London School of Economics) and Mary (who?) from the University of Boston have conducted a study (who paid for this) measuring 20,000 Americans over a 13 year period to discover that those who were most conscientious and extroverted made the most money.
However the story headline claims being unattractive leads to money but the finding show a more dedicated approach does the job.  Your looks mean nothing.  This reveals the twisted nature of the media and the half truths of such study.  Who paid for this nonsense?  For a start the use if US folks who are all loud and thoughtless in a society that worships money and rewards hard work with no thought for those who suffer in between does not make for a decent society.  Just making money is not enough, a top level footballer, a businessman or a politician can make money but they may not be nice people (Boris anyone?).  
Anyway if being ugly made you rich I ought to be rolling in it by now, I've had practice!  It does annoy me that talentless individuals get fame and money by being talentless and appearing constantly in the press.  These 'celebs' contribute nothing, make vats piles of cash and remain for the most part broken people with damaged lives.  I must state that if having no talent lead to money and fame can I just let entrepreneurs know that I am here waiting for you.  I have absolutely no talent, as you can confirm, no singing ability, no acting talent, fail at everything and cannot even pout properly, so start sending the money and I will pose for the papers when you are ready.
How does Mrs Beckham do it...?

Thursday, 19 April 2018

"We Apologise for the Delay..."

The sun is shining, it's everywhere, don't have no worries, don't have no care so I trooped off to the bus stop for what the internet told me was the 10:29 bus.  Naturally the Bus station indicator read 10:33.  I waited, he waited, then she also waited but nothing happened.  We stared at the bus station entrance but that did not work until I got fed up of warming myself amongst this lot and headed down to the railway station where I changed my tentative plans and reached for my old man 30% off card.  Colchester it was then and he comes my train as I changed at Witham running on time to take me to my destination.
My knees were not too keen however.

This was not my real intention today as I had t come here many times a few years ago and did not find much enthusiasm for the place.  I had less enthusiasm for the adolescents from the collage wandering about like 16 year old's.

The Mill here on the Colne River has been in use at least since the 1100's and possibly from before that.  Most of the time it dealt with 'corn,' that is wheat to you and me, but occasionally had other uses.  Colchester of course goes back to the Romans and before them possibly the site was used early after the last ice age 8000 years BC.

You can see from this how effective the hillside offered a defensive perimeter.  After the Romans rather stupidly did not organise such defences Boudica destroyed the place and Mr Emperor ensured such a mistake did not happen again.  Much altered since it shows just how difficult an attack from ground level would have been.  

Being one not renowned for intellectual stimulus I continued to walk very slowly in heat reaching some say 29%.  The walk around the castle park is indeed long and while my body ached I found I just had to see what was around the corner.  I knew a pill box stood nearby having found it 20 years ago and here it remains.  Blocked off now and impossible to enter it was part of the UK's defences against that nice Mr Hitler who did not bother to visit. 
Situated here on a bend of the Colne it offered the defenders a good view of the river, and I suspect most of the trees had been removed then to give a clear sight to them, it also offered a very good chance of death if attacked as not other pill box stands nearby to cover, unless it stood on the other bank among the new housing estates.

If indeed the trees were scrubbed in 1940 they have returned well in the years since.  All around the trees tower overhead and these men in particular impressed me with their height.  That may have had something to do with the blue sky and burning sun behind them of course.

Now remember I just wanted a dawdle in the sun not a twenty mile hike and here I was, at two miles an hour, hurpling along further and further from the railway station and knowing full well that I had miles to go back to get home.  It was however the old desire to see what was round the corner once again that made me limp on.  How stupid can an individual be?  I was aware of many things forgotten since the last sunshine many moons ago.  I ought to have worn the sunglasses glasses not these ones, I ought to have a hankie to wipe away the perspiration that flowed so easily, and I ought to have ensured I had bought a lighter jacket from a charity shop for the summer.
The only bright spot was buying a 59p bottle of fizzy water to carry in my pocket, usually I forget that.

This huge building was working when I last passed this way 20 years ago.  The water, with a tidal reach of about 20 feet from what I could guess, was full of suitable working boats.  It is of course now flats!

Next door the building, called 'The Mill' was an interesting sight, also flats and possibly some other noisy use.  I did not venture round to look.

Camulodunum was built on the hill and here at the bottom near the quay stood a variety of aged houses.  The river has been in use for thousands of years and the Romans made good use of it at this point to bring in goods from Gaul and troops from wherever.  This house appears to have been quite substantial in itself and had another 'front' added on to the side facing the road at a point later in time. 

This is more typical Essex substantial house, one that began with a 'hall' and added things as they prospered over time.  I suspect it goes back to the 16th century at least.  

It looks like some rich man has benefited the poor by providing 'almshouses' here.

In the days before Thatcher, sorry the benefits system people often stuck their hands in their pockets to aid the poor, a system that does not exist today because the media through constant propaganda have convinced the nation at large that those on benefits are all scroungers, even if their legs have been blown off and an arrow sticks out of their head, they are fit to work!  Much more of that after Brexit!

The main building supplied all their needs although i suspect this is now accommodation of some sort and the whole place may no longer be for the poor but for the very rich!   It is important when wandering about to look up as above the road there are always signs from the distant past to see.

By now I was aware of how far I still had to travel and my muscles were informing me of my stupidity in a manner worthy of a medical student.  I ached and ahead of me lay 'East Hill' and like most hills this one went upwards.  Not the names, nothing fancy here, 'East Hill,' 'North Hill,' I suspect that is the military influence, still strong as until recently a huge army complex, now housing, lay in the middle of town.  I think I am right in saying the Para's still have places here though this time I saw no army vehicles whatever.

This building intrigued me, a small 'church' looking style of housing with unreadable words above the window.  However my bleary eyes made out the word 'Orphanage' in time, yet another example of church people doing the work the state now does, possibly better!  It was also used as a girls school and was paid for by a Mr A. Diss and cost him £700 to erect!

No charitable person appeared offering to carry me up this hill past the run down aged housing come shops that have stood there for hundreds of years.  They were not built to withstand such traffic rumbling past though the ones on the other side of the road were better built and mostly of a Georgian or Victorian time.

Foolishly I watched as a bus stopped at the bus stop and the driver remained there in an attempt to fit into his timetable.  Foolishly I ought to have whipped out the bus pass and got myself up the hill.  I didn't!  He drove on.
However on the other side sat a large once glorious building now refurbished and possibly an office complex featuring this fine bird high above the road making it obvious what the original company stood for, well not to me!   
In fact the area here is the 'Eagle Gate' one part of the towns defences.  The building was built by the 'Colchester Brewing Company' in 1888 indicating a flow of cash had arrived since 1828. 

Beer was beginning to lodge itself into my temperance mind as I ploughed on uphill.  The I noticed this Georgian (?) building squashed alongside two more showy offerings.

Above the door we see yet another image of Jesus tending his sheep.  The image of the shepherd not really working too well in this concrete jungle in which many live but the fact remains true.  This also must have been an offering towards improving or teaching people, probably young folks.  Do similar works exist today?

Almost at the top of the hill I found St James the Great standing ready to welcome me with open arms, which it didn't last time I passed as it was closed.  This church like so many others would open daily but folks do tend to wander in and pinch things so it was open this time for a small service in the side chapel.  A very nice chap at the entrance encouraged me to enter even though the service was almost finished and so I did and thankfully sat in a pew at the back and discovered my body preferred sitting to walking uphill.

As you might expect this cavernous church has stood here from around the 1200's and most likely a wooden Saxon building stood here before that.   I sat and listened at a distance unwilling to wander about as the wee service continued in the corner.

I was hesitant about photos also in this high church anglo-catholic church but I managed one or two.
These long poles carried by the verger during parades in such churches are often delicate artistic items.  However reading about the local church in the 1600's we see the verger/beadles often using their staffs to ensure unruly youths ((forced into church by law and uninterested in what was taking place) paid attention and kept the noise down.  Such churches often have graffiti on pillars as the crowd stood through the service and often found ways to keep themselves occupied.

 I left the friendly Beadle and made my way into the edge of town for lunch which comprised one £3:90 worth of Colchester No1 in the rather trendy 'Three Wise Monkeys' 'Tap House.'   Here I was served by an attractive friendly young woman who along with her friend helped lift me out of the soft clinging chairs used to trap folks into staying all night.  At that price right enough I could have bought food!

Staring out the pub window I cogitated on my return to the railway station.  Either through the crowded hot town (always a 'town' here not a 'city' as they wish to keep the dubious accolade of 'England's Oldest Town.'  I decided again my aches crying out to get the bus to wander through the castle grounds, a mistake by the way as it was downhill and I could hardly walk properly as I went down the slope.  Fool that I am!  

After a slog through the uninteresting boring hot streets full of decent houses I took what I considered a short cut and got to the station as quick as if I had gone the other way.  Here announcements informed me as I drank my £2:50 Americana coffee provided by the busy yet friendly lass in the 'Pumpkin' cafe on the platform, that the train was late, very late as it happens, because of signalling problems.  Surely I thought others would also be late until I realised this one came from a different starting point.  'Slow' is a word many of my teachers often used, one or two used other words.  However my carriage arrived as we see here and happily the crowd climbed aboard and I found myself sitting in a suitable seat to get the full benefit of the sun shining through my window, jolly!

I have to change trains as on the outward journey and was greatly cheered to find I had arrived seven minutes after my hourly train had departed!  Once again I sat in the sun watching the girls trains go by, once again near to the arrival of my train the repeated announcement that the '15:29 for Colchester Town is running late de to technical difficulties.'  This was running also in front of mine which meant my 15:35 was going to be late as indeed it was becoming the '15: sometime or other' when it arrived.  
I entertained myself by taking pictures of the rabbit in the distance chewing away at the abundance of vegetation on the remains of the one time Maldon line.  No trains here since Beeching and few before that.

The train speedily made it to home arriving at the time he ought to be departing.  I was home by 16:12 aching, hot and bothered, and desperate for food, rest and a massage from an attractive young woman.  One of these has not arrived.
I ache, I was daft in walking so far in the sun, my head is like a beetroot and as hot as an oven, and I am not planning going anywhere tomorrow, bar Tesco that is.  However the change in plans was enjoyable, I love the train!  I met good people, saw interesting things and got out of myself for a while, much needed at that.  So I am pleased but the pictures are snapshots as I was too weary to compose properly and just snapped things I liked.  I missed a great deal.  However it was a good day in the sun.