Sunday, 30 September 2018
Blethering this morning with two women, I was hoping to get a word in, the subject of counselling people came up. One who was employed in similar business said that the biggest problem today was people being unwilling to 'take responsibility.' I had to agree that she might be right here and wondered why?
Society, that means 'us' has brought us to this level from government legislation, teachers fancy ideology (often unwritten and confused) and parents who themselves refuse much responsibility and await others to take the blame or sort things out for them.
This is not new, Cain slew Abel and when asked about this did not take responsibility, he would have avoided such if he could but it was brought to his attention anyway. People, including ourselves, are no different today. However the social conventions that controlled us have been eroded by liberalism at every level. The school pupil, sorry 'student' gets off with wrong doing with no punishment, the punishment for crime does not fit, politicians at all levels lie to us (see 'Brexit') and retain their positions, and the media leads us in celebrating badly behaved broken celebs and simplifying life into 'good and bad' with no moral base in between.
The result appears to be an attitude in many that when things go wrong it is not their fault it must be someone else who is responsible. There is great difficulty in taking responsibility upon ourselves.
Not everyone is thus imbued but there is that streak crying out throughout society and it continues to erode individuals life, sometimes with sad results.
I of course am completely innocent.
The great thing this weekend is that the Heart of Midlothian remain top of the league. Not only but also Hibernian, the wee team from Leith find themselves in second place and the even wee'er team Livingstone are now third in the table. The Glasgow media still speak of the blue and green bigots of course but the reality is their teams are guff and we know it.
Things might change of course, their referees, SFA and media will do all they can to overthrow us but we can defeat them once again.
Saturday, 29 September 2018
Unsurprisingly Saturday has been a busy day. All that football to watch and things to do!
Early I was in Sainsburys being chatted up by the staff, as always. Then I inspected the bins in a vain attempt to clear up the mess left when a neighbour moved out. I have decided to add my aged mattress to it, after I by a new one, and call the council to remove the rubbish. It might cost but is the easiest way. The landlord might even pay me back.
After breakfast of leftovers again it was off to Tesco for the things Sainsburys do not have the chance to overcharge for. On the way I sauntered into the museum to gloat to the staff regarding the busy afternoon ahead of them while I lazed at home.
They through me out.
Then I had to watch football for hours.
Life can be hard on a Saturday...
Now after a hard day I am filling my head with old rock at too high a volume and working through YouTube to my pleasure and with wee earphones my neighbour's also.
This saves thinking and takes away my nervous energy easily....
It's Autumn, therefore these 'Boris the Spiders' are appearing everywhere often with huge webs taking ages to create. It never fails to amaze me that such creations can be made by a wee beastie that has never attended a technical college or worked an apprenticeship. Slender, huge and able to withstand quite some wind. I wonder how long he will be there? There was one in the corner of my window for several years.
Thursday, 27 September 2018
I find all this very strange. They call this the 'Harvest Moon' but for the life of me I have been unable to see any harvesting of any kind going on up there. I have searched NASA but not even the Chinese have managed to sow seeds as far as I can tell let alone harvest anything. Can you harvest Green cheese I wonder? If you could the French would be up there like a flash.
The name 'Harvest Moon' has been around for four hundred years or more, the name being recorded in the 1700's suggests that is was widely used for a long time before that. The brightness of the light, seen under a cloudless sky enabled harvesters to reap the crops late into the night. They must have rejoiced at such long hours! Indeed looking out at around three this morning the darkness was rent by the moonlight and it was clearly possible to manage many jobs sufficiently if need be. Criminals must remain indoors at such times as identification would be enhanced by the moonlight, and stealthy approaches or leaving of a burglary might be difficult if you can be seen.
Early man, attempting sleep on the roof in ancient Sumer must have wondered about the moon and all those other lights flashing across the sky. Little wonder they invented astrology, though in their day it did not involve a 'Tall dark man calling on Tuesday' of course. These Magi calculated and understood so much about the sky above recording phenomena of all kinds and their records are still studied today. The man on the Nippur omnibus must have wondered also when he had time to sleep what was going on above his head. Ancient peoples however bright they may have been were somewhat rough and indeed cruel towards one another, recalling God calling for the flood because "The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Slavery, forced work and brutal treatment was common in those days and it is no surprise a flood took them away. Christian influence has made many things better, even if it did lead to a 'liberal' society gone mad. It is almost impossible these days to find any place far enough from the light to see the sky as it is. After midnight most street lights are switched of here to save money and occasionally this gives opportunity, but only if the sky is clear.
All over the country people are desperately attempting to take photos of the moon. Many are turning out as small blobs of white light, like some of mine, others are well posed and tastefully arranged suitable for framing and sending to newspapers for a moments glory. I have enough glory so I don't bother.
'Hermes' strikes again! Or at least doesn't strike at all.
You recall I had one packet delivered, or not as the case may be. An email to company brought response, packet delivered next day (Hooray) and a few days later a duplicate, from customer services, followed. Contact made, promise of collection of duplicate was also made and Hermes awaited.
I still await.
Today I discovered many others in the town also awaiting Hermes. Packets not delivered, packets delivered but not to the house they ought to have been delivered to, phone calls to numbers that tell you to contact seller, emails not returned, calls not helpful.
One lady now claims the Hermes man is 'under investigation.'
Does this mean the police or the company? This is unclear. Naturally the women all consider the police are involved.
I am not so sure. Incompetence, poor pay, zero hours, long hours, foreigners straight of the back of a forty ton lorry, unable to read maps, read English, without licence, insurance or knowledge is more likely than anything else. Whatever the company will not be paying large sums, has large overheads and poor management of too much work. All adding up and if one man decides to help himself it will be difficult to sort things out. The police may have better things to do.
So I await developments.
The town awaits eagerly, packets aplenty lie somewhere, possibly in Essex, possibly in a van struggling through the dark looking for a town he has never heard off while checking the map to find out where he is.
This could go on for a while yet...
Wednesday, 26 September 2018
Tuesday, 25 September 2018
Having spent an energy filled day weeding the front and attempting to clear up the mess left behind by neighbours who have left leaving their remnants behind, packed mostly in plastic bags yet spilled across the waste space, I had little energy to do anything else last night. Add to this a little item I eventually finished for the museum re the armistice, it has taken three months, and what brain cells I have left were not functioning either. For reason hard to comprehend the TV people failed to feature any football leaving me with no respite from my aches thus forcing me to climb upon the roof and howl at the moon.
This indeed made me feel a lot better but did not do much for the old lass in the bungalow next door who switched off all the lights and locked all the windows and doors loudly. It must have been loud as the noise from all the dogs in the neighbourhood barking at the same time create what some call ' noise nuisance.'
I must confess I was a little stiff once again this morning when I had to attend to all the visitors by myself, my associate having flown off to Corfu for yet another holiday. I realise that having retired and having some money to burn it is right for them to make the most of the years they have left, in her condition we do not know how many, but my couple of days in Bournemouth look weak in comparison to their world travels. Not that there is any jealousy in any way, no siree!
I might seek that moon again tonight.
I wonder if this bird understand the situation in the nation? Sitting there in the sun in the late evening, resting from the labours of attending to her mate, stuffing her face and er, that's it, she now sits there high above the world allowing the fading sun to warm her before bedtime. Do these birds not know we have an inept government? Do they not realise we have no opposition? Do they not realise the state of the nation? They will find out soon enough for within a year most of the population will be eating the worms and grubs they are living off when Brexit comes in and the economy collapses.
Oh dear, I am back off onto the roof...
Sunday, 23 September 2018
Saturday, 22 September 2018
Tesco's September! Shelves filling up with Christmas goodies, all overpriced yet 'must buys' for some. (OK I may buy some also) I understand that in Denmark they must wait until the 1st of December before Christmassing the shops, I think that ought to happen here but the greed of various governments will not accept this as too many manufacturers pay towards them.
Tax also comes from Xmas gifts.
I suspect the museum will once again soon prepare for Xmas, once the half term holiday is over the boss will spring into action while I once again seek out my 'Bah Humbug!' hat. She threatened to burn it last time, or was it me she threatened to burn?
Christmas comes but once a year and in my view it ought to be kept until December, a more suitable time, and if shops wish to install goods in preparation I would insist they make no mention of Christmas or the meaningless characters that accompany it until that date. It would also save the councils cash with all those dreary Xmas lights.
Maybe I am just a grump of course.
The town of Langholm is now called the 'Home of Chilli's' because one man's fascination with these beasts led through his friends to many in the town, and now elsewhere in the world, growing chilli's for themselves. This is a harmless hobby which has become a bit of fun for the locals and good luck to them I say. However it got me thinking that before the 70's such vegetables were unknown to us in Edinburgh. Peppers, courgettes and many other exotic veg were far from our ken. Cabbage, peas, turnips and carrots as well as potatoes, often grown in dad's garden were the staple with tomatoes and lettuce appearing also. During the 70's exotic items like peppers began to appear in the shops we used even though some middle calls retailers possessed such veg we never saw nor heard of them and could never afford them until the worst decade of the century arrived.
Now of course fruit and veg fly in from foreign parts, well wrapped up, disinfected and treated to make it appear healthy even though it is a year since much of it was picked, by machine probably, and sent on. How our foodstuffs have improved as our health has deteriorated, how our wealth has increased along with choice yet we still live on chips, well OK I still live on chips.
A wide exotic choice of fruit and veg is a good thing when we can afford it but there are questions to be asked about the treatment it undergoes before arriving on our plates. There again I don't know why I complain I use frozen peas and Brussels as they are easier!
Friday, 21 September 2018
I note Chris Evans, paid £1.6 million for blethering on Radio 2, has had a couple of babies, or at least this weeks wife has. He has named them 'Ping and Pong.' Now my love for Chris is such that I suspect I have not actually heard a word from him for at least ten years and would continue this quite happily for another ten, however I make so bold as to interfere in his life by suggesting that anyone who names their child in a stupid manner be hung from the nearest lamppost upside down.
At the very least the social services ought to be involved as there is no doubt names such as this, plus the constant publicity that follows them will do them much harm. 'Zowie Bowie' you will recall became 'Anthony, known as Tony, as soon as he was able to change his name. He may remain working in music but now nobody notices, what could he have achieved with a proper name?
Theresa May, rejected by most of her party, rejected by 27 EU leaders and indeed laughed at, following, she says, 'the will of the people' in spite of the people wanting a second referendum that will end this madness. She and her associates, if she has any left, are out of ideas and desperate to succeed in pushing Brexit in spite of knowing it will devastate the nation for fifty years. Don't you feel sympathy for her?
Today is the 'International Day of Peace.'
Who decides this? Who organises this? Why did I only find out by chance?
Does it work in Syria I wonder?
Does it run into Friday evening when the pubs come out?
Hmmm it appears this arose from the United Nations and has been running annually since 1981.
I had not noticed.
How many wars since then? How many conflicts great and small?
Peace with God is available but only through Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross.
Will folks allow you to say this?
Possibly not as that would disturb their 'peace...'
Apple, that company famed for making money and watching your every move, have introduced a new 'iphone.' This one retails at around £1400 and people in various parts of the world have queued up overnight just to be the first to buy this product.
Are they stupid?
At the UKIP party conference, yes they still have one, there are a variety of items on sale, as you may expect. Chequers Fudge and a UKIP branded thong are available but the best seller appears to be the condoms with Nigel Farage's face upon the packet, for when you have a 'Hard Brexit.'
This is being advertised as the best way to avoid pregnancy!
Wednesday, 19 September 2018
The building in which I dwell was erected in 1812, or so my late Landlord told me. Life then before Victoria came to the throne was I suppose quite different. Whether the occupants worried over much about that nice Napoleon chap who was spending the year in Russia, a place that rejected him in similar manner to many others taking also the lives of many thousands of his soldiers, I do not know but they were probably more concerned with the goings on at the ‘Big House’ behind or the many farms in the locale. I suspect the educated women were more concerned with the likes of Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility.’ There being no census at the time it is difficult to work out exactly who resided here or how they made their name. The building indicates some degree of wealth.
Comprised of two dwellings one house would be a quite small but for the day more than acceptable. The smaller would have three rooms upstairs, the larger possibly four. Modern amendments to the layout make it difficult to understand the original, the rear section being knocked down and rebuilt slightly amended from first. Questions arise that I cannot answer, most irksome. Before the car park they could at least get the gardener to grow veg in the rear of the house and possibly kept a horse in a nearby stable.
Had they been the types interested in the world around them I suppose they would have purchased some sort of newspaper or rely on common gossip, and there would be plenty of the latter around. The years happenings would not escape, news travels fast, bad news travels faster. For a start there were ‘Luddite’ risings in various parts of the country, something they no doubt hoped would be kept ‘up north’ where such behaviour belonged, there was also Lord Byron, home from Naxos to upset married men everywhere objecting to a Bill demanding the death penalty for Frame Breaking at the same time publishing a book, ‘Childe Harold.’ ‘Childe’ as you know being a medieval title of a young candidate for knighthood. Having travelled across Europe, missing out the bits that were at war Byron says too much about himself in the poem. Young men sick of the many years wars seeking some adventure in their lives, young men from wealthy backgrounds that is with nobility thrust upon them of course. Most men wold be lumbered where they were at the time. Byron of course found distractions, mostly female, and a purpose in fighting a war for Greece, not bad for someone avoiding war.
Farm types would have heard about the meat cannery that had opened in Bermondsey and questions would have been asked concerning whether this was a good idea or not. The use of hammer and chisel to open such cans would imply a negative approach at first I suspect.
While few would have heard or cared about the birth of Charles Dickens and Edward Lear that year the women of the house would certainly have heard about and been willing to participate in the new dance that swept Europe, the Waltz. Even Byron mentioned this.
One event that could not escape notice was the shooting of the Prime Minister Spencer Perceval during May that year by one John Bellingham. Bellingham had been working in Russia and fallen foul of intrigue and spent several years in prison before being allowed to return home. His feeling was he had a justified grievance and wished for compensation from the government, something the government was not willing to give. Having been advised by one civil servant to “Take whatever action you think right” Bellingham obtained a pistol and was noted often hanging around the Lobby of the House. At 5:15 on the 11th May as Perceval was making his way to a committee Bellingham stepped forward and shot him dead, the only British Prime Minister ever to have been murdered. The deed done he sat down and awaited his fate. At his trial an attempt was made to prove he was insane but the judge disagreed and three days later Bellingham was hanged, he had however for various reasons some degree of public sympathy.
Whether there were arguments for and against the shooting of a prime minister in these houses is unknown but as they trimmed the wick in the oil lamps and huddled under several blankets in a vain attempt to keep out the northern winds hammering against the windows such events must have caused a reaction. Such things did not occur along this road however the highway to the north did have a gallows at one point where offenders were left hanging about for considerable time, as a warning to others.
I am not sure this worked.
Outside the view over fields would be acceptable, a cow or two roaming there, slow moving traffic on the dirt road, few houses further down leading out of town but as this was the main road to Colchester it may have seen many a traveller pass by let alone the workers heading to and from the fields.
The road had indeed been a busy one for many a year. This road was aged by the time the Romans decided to harden it, thus giving it the name ‘Stane Street,’ and enabling their well armed troops to pass on their journey elsewhere quickly. ‘Quickly’ is not the best word as it is around fifteen miles to Colchester and that was around a day’s march for a man carrying his equipment over his shoulder. Resting here for the night they would continue West for a day before the next stop at Dunmow a further fifteen miles away. Long before this traders as well as armies had passed by this area. The Trinovantes reached over this area even though their capital was in what is now Hertfordshire when Julius Caesar popped in. Trouble brewed with those to the west and it was Julius who convinced the Catuvellauni to cease attempting to take over the area and remain back home towards Swindon, their home area, this they did but once he retired to Gaul they returned and became lords of the district. The road was old even then with people having moved around long before the North Sea came into being so possibly ten thousand years have elapsed since this trail changed to a muddy track that soon turned into a major road for the Romans to harden.
An archaeology dig in the centre of town has revealed the road layout from the past with a large centre at the junction of roads from east to west and north to south existing for considerable time. During the creation of a town centre shopping precinct many Roman and Iron Age artefacts were discovered alongside an idea of the homes used by the locals. Edinburgh, that huge, magnificent and important city has been a powerhouse for over a thousand years yet this wee market town has been around longer, a lot longer. The meeting place would provide accommodation and respite and in 1108 the Market Charter developed the town economically. I bet the shops were better then than now.
As I speak cars pass by mostly ignorant of those who have preceded them on this road. Do people care these days as to who came before them? Some find History dull but we need to know who came before us to ensure we understand just exactly who we are. Sadly this upsets our chosen outlook on life all too often and we reject what we see. Myth is better than fact. I cannot travel this road without considering the many feet that have trodden before me. Something I never did in Edinburgh but some time ago I realised we lived on an aged drovers road, a road many had driven their cattle or sheep along for eons before us. When children we discovered a cave made from a small rocky outcrop that many years before had become a drovers bothy. There was a clear door and indeed a window therein so possibly this had also been home to someone, a shepherd possibly, one not from afar off but based here, the local castle still has sheep on its land after all. However as kids naturally we called it ‘The Witches House.’ It may well be hidden amongst trees surround the new well to do housing in that area today. Whether witches reside there I do not care to know.
The truth is that following any major and many minor roads in the UK we walk in the footsteps of many who have gone before us. Thousands of years of life, in spite of ice ages, have left their mark. Almost all main roads and many faintly visible today go back millenia.
Monday, 17 September 2018
Another book finished and I am glad to have read 'The Team for Me.' Our friend Mike has put together several books, I am not jealous, and the latest one is a brave account of his fifty years following the Heart of Midlothian. A jolly atmosphere filled book where all aspects of football fan, from the programme to the reception provided by Glasgow policemen finds a place. Many times I knew I had been there, many times I understood how the author's emotions jangled, many times I understood why tears appeared, that comes from following a football team, especially this one!
However fans from all clubs will emote as they read. The grounds change, the club names may be different and the league or division may be higher or lower but the situation in which a man's life is lifted to the heights or brought down to the depths depending on the result of a football game does not change. This is a book for the 'real fan' not the one who changes scarves at the start of every season t follow the one seen on TV, this is a book the real fan can understand.
As an example of that as I read I could not get out of my head sitting behind the goals at Love Street Paisley with the sleet in my face as we huddled together singing "We shall overcome" while the Heart of Midlothian were losing three nil to a St Mirren side that were getting relegated and we scored the first goal two minutes in! Thank you Danny Ferguson! Bah!
At just after noon the boiler man arrived keen and willing (keen to be elsewhere and willing to find a reason to charge) and soon he had decided a new boiler was required. As it happened the landlord, the daughter of the deceased man I knew, was in the building, not that she wished to see me of course, and he rushed off to discuss the deal.
I never saw him again!
An hour or so later a call from the plumbers announced the 5th of October would be a 'New Boiler Day' just in time for winter. So this sounds very good indeed to me. A Friday morning which tells me it will be working by noon so they can take the rest of the day off! Fine with me, I shall run away for an hour or two and let them get on with it.
Sunday, 16 September 2018
What started as a lazy day, I was too knackered to do anything, ended with eye strain looking at small writing on old newspapers looking for a milkman! Not much happened until I foolishly got intrigued by a picture of an old milkman, the type who arrive on a small horse and cart, pour milk from a jug into your jug which you then store in a cool place, if you have one. This is not something I remember as this died out after the war. During the war evacuees in the country drinking milk straight from cows, via jugs that is, (From which side do you milk a cow? From the udder side!) were found to contract brucellosis and this brought in pasteurisation of milk and bottles were everywhere something which we all remember from school. Well not those A.T. that is, After Thatcher! She ended school milk as it cost money. When in the top class at primary we had the task of delivering milk crates to classes, great fun especially in winter when the milk froze!
Anyway I have done the job and passed on the papers. Another great thing about the internet is the availability of s many things once locked away in libraries. Great though these were they were often far away and cost too much to reach. The British Newspaper Archive is expensive but very useful. However some papers are not found there as yet and it is to be hoped many more will show up in the future.
On top of that I came across other details from the distant past another may like so spent considerable time passing these on. Of course I now realise most of them were passed on may months ago anyway...
I think I will return to reading Mr Smiths excellent book 'The Team for Me!'
Saturday, 15 September 2018
Why is it clouds spread like huge angels wings high above us. Early this morning I wandered up to Sainsburys for milk and was impressed by the huge thin cloud covering way high up. The intervening trails left by Stansted traffic were not so impressive but even more noticeable. I would have studied them more but the car park at that time is not a place to muse on clouds, or so some indicated.
On the way I was met by one of my neighbours, it appears she leaves tomorrow, something about money I hear. II was tempted to say it is a shame they don't give two pence on a bottle these days as that way you would have had enough cash to pay the rent at the end of every week but managed not to mention this.
Having collected the things I went for bar the ones I forgot I then finished some of the chores of the day, or week if truth be told, and then after lunch went down to the museum to help the poor lassie who was all on her own - she said.
Naturally there were plenty of people around, three in the office alone, and yet I was forced to waste good football watching time listening to her moaning. I missed the Hamburg game, that is one from the German second division as you know, and instead had to work when I ought not. However as You know I never complain.
As I returned home I found the door open and two women wandering in and out. Apparently one, possibly both are moving in. Two women! l like a quiet house and two wimmen are moving in! Can you imagine? Not only but they both look in early 20's so they will be noisy, full of fun an laughter and even worse have friends. Dearie me what is the place coming to?
I wonder if it is possible to get a shotgun licence...?
Thursday, 13 September 2018
Yesterday I emailed the company, 'Cotton Traders' regarding the goods I bought and had not yet received. By late evening I had a very satisfactory answer and by noon today the packet that ought to have arrived via courier on Monday came to my door. It was clear the 'Hermes' folks were either incompetent or delaying delivery until they had sufficient packages to make it worth their while coming to this area. Possibly they only deliver on certain days but do not wish to make that clear in case they lose business?
The driver (fresh of the back of a lorry via Calais) was unsure of the area and I noticed he had several packets destined for others in this street. I was able to guide him in the right direction to aid his quest, the numbers run in an obscure way around here, and while he was friendly and able enough his courier company itself did not inspire me.
I'm just glad I don't have to send anything back...!
Of course the other goods I ordered several days before from a different company are still not around. A call today to a man with his volume turned down leaves me with the belief that something will happen in the next few days, or maybe not as the case may be. What is wrong there is they do not have the goods in stock I suspect, or a warehouse failure possibly. I suggest the first option. Another week to pass before i know I reckon.
This online ordering appeared to be a simple thing a few days ago. In the past the only problem has been goods arriving and me not being here and having to trek down to the sorting office to collect them. I understand some of the problems, I have done warehouse work, I have delivered goods for companies and for Royal Mail, I comprehend the problems found in dealing with the public so I am not anti those involved. I sympathise with many of them but it is preferable to use Royal Mail, the postie always gets through (usually).
Tuesday, 11 September 2018
The boss advertised the exhibition last night. This we put on the facebook page and made use of the word 'toddlers.' Today Mums and toddlers arrived and more will follow in days to come. This was good and the people nice to meet. However we never stopped today, from the off people were coming in, phoning up, coming in, asking questions, asking queries and generally getting in the way stopping us doing our work. At one point I considered closing the door so we could get on with things.
However that is what we are there for I suppose. A lass brought up here for a while during the time her father was based at the nearby USAF operated airbase came in attempting to identify the house she had lived in. This I could do and by making use of google maps it was found still in existence but now turned into offices. Being close by we sent them off to trail the streets in searching for it. I did not see them as they returned later but I am sure they went in to the office and asked if she could look around.
I slept for an hour once I got home.
The parcel I was awaiting is still awaited, two of them in fact. I look forward to the morning when once again I will fail to receive them. More phone calls at my expense! This is unusual however as in times past such items have come quickly. There again most used Royal Mail and others a different, better company. I will be complaining, something I rarely do, tomorrow afternoon a couple of times I suspect.