Tuesday, 31 December 2019


On his last album John Lennon had a song which included the words:-
"Life is what happens to you when you're making other plans."
Today the plan was simple, first off breakfast, then Tesco for last shop off year, then ash, shave, fall asleep.  Simple and straight forward.
So awakened by a coughing fit before seven am, forced up when half asleep, struggled around to Tesco by 10:30.  The place was busy, many kids wandering around putting things into mums trolley, mum swiftly returning them as she walks.  However as I left the house I noticed one of those Royal Mail 'You were out' type cards scrunched up in the letterbox left from yesterday.  The ratbag!  This meant that after Tesco I had to limp all the way down to the sorting office for this very important and unexpected parcel.

This parcel, unexpected but hoped to be something expensive, turns out to be a picture calendar of 'The Broons' that would not fit through the door.  Thirty five minutes of hobbling, a few minutes with a miserable fat bloke, too fat to deliver mail, and all for this!  Naturally my sister did not mention she was sending this, though she usually does send a calendar, but mention was there none, and I have just finished filling in all the birthdays on the cheap calendar I bought myself.  Bah!
Sadly this interrupted my planned day and now I suppose I will have to sit here and avoid doing the many things I planned.  What were they again...?  Ah, sleep, well maybe I will manage that one...

Hogmanay is the Edinburgh word for drunken hedonism.  Not that I would ever had anything to do with that.  In my day it meant gathering at a pub, then near midnight being where the  crowds gather, outside Tron Kirk then.  It appears that these days the Edinburgh toon cooncil wish to make it more appealing to foreigners, foreigners with money, so not only is the Hogmanay celebration packed with fireworks and famous bands the previous evening a torch light parade marches through the toon.  I the late 60's they did not allow us burning brands, the constabulary thought it unwise!  
Anyway, some think the present day show is merely to bring in foreign cash, which it is, and preparations for the event take precedent over everything else.  Even to the extent of cutting down the Christmas tree that stands at the top of the 'Mound' and replacing it with an advert for 'Johnnie Walker whisky.'  The tree ought to stand until the 6th of January but clearly money talks and the tree, with the Christmas spirit, goes with it.  A mistake I feel.
I will loiter in my bed tonight, possibly with John Barleycorn to keep me company, possibly asleep. The hedonistic days are long behind me, although at one shilling and eleven pence a pint (two shillings and  penny on Friday and Saturday nights) there was a lot less hedonism than there is today. 

The year is passing, let us go forwards...


Monday, 30 December 2019

The Future and the Past

At this time of year there are the annual jobs to be done, clean the sink, throw out rubbish and fill in the birthday dates on the new desk calendar.  At least one of these jobs is now under way.  There was a time when I used to rush around cleaning the house before Hogmany in the usual Scots style until one day I discovered why we did this.  The cleaning of the house was an effort to kick out all the old demons and prevent new ones coming in.  Quite how this worked I never discovered and as it was superstition I decided it was not a requirement, now I don't bother and just do what is actually necessary.  Today I will begin to scribble in the dates, tomorrow I will remember the ones I forgot.   
Another year of joy and happiness nears the end.  I hope some of it went well for you.  The cough has taken almost five months of my life this year, the weight has refused to diminish, the knees refused to improve and my brain is failing in the usual manner.  Otherwise all is normal.  Next year promises more political lies from Boris, the failure of his present ones, and Brexit, if it 'gets done.'
The Far Right are rising throughout the west, only the churches in some areas appear to be aware of this, in the US one magazine has come out against Trump, in Hungary some evangelicals are opposing the leaders policies as ungodly, and in the UK many churches are following passing fashion and keeping quiet.  How sad.  I will prepare for the new year, indeed I might even have a bath, but I see no reason to go mad about it.  Hopefully it will be better than last year.

This is an interesting book, what with the election and all the hassle therein.  
Plutarch, writing in the late 1st century, discusses the famous Greek leaders, Theseus, Solon, Pericles etc, giving us a rather illustrious picture of each.  Considering Pericles was active in the 400's BC he has to read something into much of what primary sources, if any, he finds.  It is bad enough now researching men from the past imagine how little written works Plutarch found, and how biased could those be?  
What I got from the books was how similar to today politics in Greece happened to be.  There was dictatorship, or leadership if you prefer, forms of democracy, and men always willing to fight their way to the top by fair means or foul, just like today.  The only clear difference was that back then a leader had to lead the army in war if he was to be trusted, all had to be Generals of one sort or another, today they fight by stabbing in the back only.  All these men had to lead from the front and once the 'democracy' such as it was, was installed they had to persuade their listeners that their way was correct.  
It is at this point I found myself reading today into Athens.  
The speaker who could, using his friends and many a dirty trick, convince the people that his propaganda was the correct propaganda would win the argument and the people would follow.  So many time however the people followed the leader then changed their minds when things went wrong.  When all was well they voted for him, the black stone against the white in the jar.  If the war, or whatever enterprise they had been called to, failed the people quickly voted once again, often removing, fining or exiling the leader.  Democracy is great, innit?  
Some leaders of course deserved such treatment, Alkibiades a most obvious one.  Boris Johnson claims Pericles as his hero, Alkibiades is nearer the mark.  The people followed him when winning, brought him to trial when losing, praised him, feared him, and eventually when hiding among the Persians his Spartan enemy had him killed.  The Athenian people would have killed him anyway by this time.  Boris needs to be careful...
The people were followers at all times.  They thought they had a democracy, one for the actual 'citizen' that is, not the majority in the state, yet they were led then as we are now.  Today the press lies on behalf of the owner, the media follows who it will, the people obey the message, sometimes willingly, sometimes without knowing it.  Goebels is alive and well today as he was in Greece thousands of years ago, the style never changes.  
I liked this book.  While not a quick read it was interesting, and while Plutarch had little evidence bar others writings the book gives an insight into ancient Athens thinking, leadership and the failure of democracy.  Today whoever owns the media, TV, Radio, paper and social runs the world.     

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Sunday Ponder...

While sitting in church, listening to a man with a tea towel on his head impersonating a shepherd talking about heavenly choirs, I found myself trying to work out what day this was.  Being here on two Sunday's and one Wednesday upset my mind clock.  Was this Wednesday or Sunday?  It was still Christmas, mostly the same people, and similar songs.  
If I felt this way I wonder how the curate felt, he had to arrange all these services, including amending today's as he could not work out how to have an 'all included' service while discussing massacring children, so it was shepherds and angelic choirs instead.  Still it went off all right, all appeared happy, and many still have time off next week.  
On the way home under a sun hidden behind thin clouds I passed many a Christmas decoration.  Several houses had blow up snowmen, penguins and signs saying 'North Pole' and a reindeer or two outside their doors, all lit up at night.  My first thought was 'Penguins do not live at the north Pole.' Maybe I was being pedantic but it appeared a pint worth considering.  If those celebration Christmas, the 'Christ Mass' could get things correct in small areas maybe they might appreciate Christmas for what it actually represents.
OK some monk who's name I forget decided to appropriate the midwinter festival by adding Jesus birth to it, a failed attempt to end hedonism, and in truth Jesus possibly was born in March or April maybe, a time when the shops are less busy, but here we are with Christmas at er, Christmas.
Whatever the date the entry of God into the world, he lowered himself to the position of a child, enduring the world as it is for around 30 years and then after a 'sinless' life laying down his life, being separated from contact with his father for the first and only time in eternity, and suffering physical and spiritual pain all because we are the imperfect ones and required his sacrifice or we are lost forever, whatever the date, he deserves a better remembrance than plastic snowmen and penguins far from home.
Of course, he also deserves a better response from those who claim to know him...

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Friday, 27 December 2019

Slob Friday

The world returned to a semblance of normality today and I hoped to spend much time lying around like a slob.  However first thing I had to stumble down to the sorting office to collect a parcel.  The postwoman will not knock loudly enough on the door and twice I have not heard her knock.  She thinks she is funny that one!  No tip next year!  
Back home I opened the parcel knowing what was inside, my sisters offering of Scots new year food stuffs.  Black Bun, Christmas cake, cream, well Carnation milk for the pudding, and a bag of popcorn.  I am not sure about the heritage of popcorn myself.  Black Bun is however important, and these days very expensive!  I note she forgot the miniature whisky, I may drop a hint re this, subtly...
Now I sit around like a slob, refusing to tidy the mess, clean dishes or make any move that requires effort and answer Christmas emails while stuffing fatness down my throat.  I am convinced this is bad for me, but the sell by date is close and we don't wish to take risks do we...?


Thursday, 26 December 2019

Boxing Day

It is always satisfying to find presents that meet our requirements.  Books aplenty will always be acceptable in this house, and one niece is successful in supplying my wants each year that way.  Her method is a simple one, she asks her son what book she ought to buy and he, from a distance, is always on top of the job, never a failure so far.  A book discussing clouds, from the great 'Cloud appreciation Society' is always welcome.  The sarcasm from someone living 400 miles away is not unknown in my family, quite where she gets her ideas I fail to comprehend.  Still it was a worthwhile xmas rummage through rustling paper yesterday, I was very satisfied and pleased all was perfect.

Unlike today, where gray clouds cover the land, yesterday began with a walk in bright sunshine to church.  There I was greeted by many women, kissed many times and welcomed by all my ladies.  The fact that I handed out chocolate possibly had something to do with this? Many were missing, some surrounded by grandchildren or families elsewhere, some sick with the cough.  The time together was good, although the tears when the preacher pinched a car from one child was unfortunate, and soon we all moved off to lunch.  It took some time to refuse the many invitations to lunch, or drinks at least, I considered it better to leave families to argue alone rather than join them  I was happier by the time I left than I have been for some time, a good day after all.

So taken was I by Xmas messages I allowed my dinner to burn.  The crispy burnt offering did not taste as I imagined but beggars and choosers meant I ate it anyway.  Later, as the sun dipped down, I wandered the quiet streets snapping shots  of the deep blue sky.  Strange looks from the few out and about were ignored.  

Afterwards, still smiling I ate my Christmas pudding with brandy sauce.  I then ruminated for a while.
I had no choice.  

All in all I had a very happy Christmas day, I hope you had a decent one also.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Christmas Day

Happy Christmas to all my friends

Monday, 23 December 2019

Goodwill to all, well except in Shops....

The lass at the Tesco checkout told me how this was the usual Christmas crowd in today, all miserable!  'Tis the season of goodwill to all men' said I.  She glared and indicated it was not like that in the store.
She was of course right.  As I bumped into another woman I apologised telling her that I was "Just pushing you out the way" in the Christmas manner.  She agreed and we mentioned the battle wandering between the aisles as trolley after trolley attempted to replay the 'Battle of Kursk.'  Women in shops appear not to notice there are others around while the men forced into pushing the trolley unwillingly are often far too courteous and therefore pushed aside by said women.
I carry a basket and avoid them all.  A lesson learned long ago.

The Monday joy has been hampered by the light not working in the fridge.  It took a while before I realised the whole thing was struggling.  Naturally I have filled the freezer with Xmas goodies, well sausages.  However, the landlords old fridge, which I have never used, lies beneath the bunker.  I opened it, wiped it down, it not having been used for 23 years, and have transferred the fridge stuff to the old fridge.  Only two things fit the freezer box however.  
Having done that, I checked the cable, the fuse and moved the fridge freezer and now it has come on again, but no light.  It has some power but not much, I wonder why?  I checked on the internet and now am more confused than ever so I am eating the thawed sausages and anything else movable and awaiting developments.  Mind you, those folks flooded out of their houses have bigger problems than I at the moment.  I wonder if Boris will visit them...?

Having been graciously given a lift I proceeded to the Carol Service last night and in between coughing fits did my duty as requested.  The evening went off well as expected and all stuffed themselves with mince pies afterwards, especially the kids.  
Of course I had arranged the Christmas card hand out in a well organised manner, naturally al the right people had a card and naturally there were a dozen from folks I forgot!  Now I have to seek out several cheap good cards for some and seek out online cards fro the others.  Every year this mix up happens, this time because new folks are around mostly, no matter how organised someone gets missed.  I could of course lie and claim to have given the money spent on cards to charity I suppose, but that would never do.  Guilt might make me give money...

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Hey Ewe!

With Christmas approaching, you may have missed that, the shopping centre had the usual donkey and sheep gathered for show.  No reindeer this year, they must be appearing elsewhere, yet the kids, and indeed many adults, loved the sight of such animals at close quarters.  
Considering the town is only about two miles from one end to the other and is then surrounded by fields, sadly all too often now filled with developers lining their pockets on homes people here cannot afford, fields which once were filled with sheep and cows as well as the agricultural produce we often see today.  Many remember the cattle market in full swing, this went on into the 60's at least, the High Street lined with men standing alongside their Bull showing him off to the crowds while trying to sell.  Whether sheep were still seen then I am not sure but the older generation would be keen to be reminded of what was once a twice weekly market, animals and all.  
One of the problems Gordon Brown had to deal with early in his premiership was the outbreak of 'Foot & Mouth which struck this area hard as many animals were seen not far from the town.  Vast numbers were destroyed in an effort to curtail the disease and many farmers did not return to animal husbandry for many years.  So it is rare to see live sheep so close to us and we all enjoyed it, the sheep just chewed and ignored us for the most part being used to being shown off, mum ewe of course happily content with her new born lamb, three weeks old.  The farmer told me he did not expect a lamb at this time but the ram, he has one ram for a hundred sheep, lucky boy, the ram somehow got near mum and lo a lamb appeared.  There was another 'lamb' three months old hiding at the back but this was almost full size, they grow quickly.  Mum was a sheep designed to produce meat, the hidden lamb designed to produce wool, the difference was striking.  The wool eater just hid and chewed away ignoring the prodding of young fingers.    
Some of us know more about sheep than can be found here of course...

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Eye Opener

I still think that 'Specsavers' sponsoring Scottish Referees was one of the great marketing moments in history.  Suggesting referees get themselves down to Specsavers and get glasses is a wonderful thought, and anyone who has been made aware of the Scottish referees bad sight over the years would appreciate this a great deal.  It must be there is a special deal with contact lenses for such men, there are those that certainly require them!
However having broken my 'indoor glasses' a while ago and failed miserably to repair them and now having stood on my outdoor pair I have been forced to join the referees sitting waiting in the local 'Specsavers' to have my eyes examined.
When I first had my eyes tested I think I was 13, just about 20 years ago by my counting, this entailed being dragged by my mother up near Haymarket where I underwent the reading of a chart business and whatever other tests they had at the time.  A pair of reasonable NHS glasses adorned my features and have remained there ever since, not actually the same pair I mean.  Today I was met by one of the attractive young blondes and after a short wait was placed in front of a machine that tested my eyes for a variety of eye problems and also (for a mere £10 more) various diseases.  As the girl had rattled of a long line of unpronounceable diseases and faults and tilted her head and flung her long blonde hair back while looking at me with her big blue eyes as she asked if I would pay the £10 I found myself saying "YES!" before my wallet realised what I was doing.
Having been scrutinised by two young blondes machines she raced me upstairs to Mr Diu who had more machines for my eyes to stare into.  In times past these men would use a hand held light and scrutinise the insides of the eyes, today he did similar while his machine looked for things he could not detect.  Having scribbled his results he showed me on the computer screen just how healthy my eyes were ('for an old man' he implied).  It made me realise that while I am healthy I am not fit!  No serious problems to be found there.  This is a relief in many ways and more so when the check took so little time. 
Back downstairs to my Welsh blonde, poor lass suffers domestic abuse, she was living in Camden in the centre of London and her man made her come all the way out here!  I told her such abuse as moving a young woman into a dead town was worthy of a jail sentence, or at least compensation!
She told me she was not young she was almost 27.
Let that sink in!
She believes she is getting old!
I told her I could not think back that far.  I reckon that takes me to 1978....
While I sat shaking with memories of wasted years she gently took all my money.
Each time she offered an 'advantage' she looked into my eyes and blinked here blue ones and I said "Yes" without really listening.  Her smile added £30 for non glare glass and something else which I was sure was free when I came in, but her smile made me forget.
I left with my receipt awaiting delivery early in the new year, till then I wander the dreich streets with tinted glasses to keep the light from the rain clouds above hurting me.
Mind you, I think next tome I go Matron will have to come with me, it might save me money...

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Tuesday Twaddle

The day is dreich, rain much of the morning and little fun to be had although these two on the neighbours roof appear content.  I wandered around Sainsburys attempting to find things, they have moved everything for reasons unknown, and enjoyed the battle with old men driving trolleys they did not understand, old women barging into you as if you did not exist, ignorant women gossiping where you wished to obtain things, they then glare at you when you insist they move is a straightforward manner, crowds desperate for goods they already have too much off and little me in the middle of this.  A mad rush next Monday or Tuesday for the goods that will cover Christmas, I expect that if any store opens on Boxing Day the same people will be back in again filling the trolley while grumbling about lack of cash. 
I meanwhile was merely concerned to meet the Amazon man who attempted to contact me yesterday.  I found him today, blocking the pavement and struggling with the ipad type computer that requires a heavy thump to work properly.  Interestingly his had a crack on the screen and after his fifth attempt to get the screen to change I understood why.  Poor man was trying his best.  As he was delivering a bottle of 'Highland Park' whisky all the way from Orkney they now insist my date of birth is recorded, just in case kids drink it I suppose.  This took longer than driving all the way from Bulgaria where I deduce he came from, his screen had Cyrillic writing, and Russians are all living of Putin's money so I suspect Bulgarian is his nationality.  Eventually the deed was done, he passed on his way with his white van and 500 more drops across Essex to deliver, the rain and ipad not helping. I know how he feels, I have been there, and I sympathise with him and all those others racing around crowded streets for little pay.
I failed to tip him right enough...

Monday, 16 December 2019

Monday Mumping

Forcing myself out to the Saturday market for an urgent visit to Tesco, what kind of a fool forgets bread the day before? I found myself caught in the rain.  Naturally after I got home the "Passing shower" as the man on the radio warned us from lasted until then.  Shortly after dripping my way home and seeking out the 'big coat' for winter blue sky appeared.  This did not improve my mood.  I met the postman on the way back, he also sought out the weather man early on, all postmen do, and was not happy with his forecast.  Usually I must say the BBC get this right but on occasion it goes wrong.  As indeed did the postman's opinion of the weatherman.   

With the sun dying in the afternoon I had to venture out again for those last minute presents.  The main items have been dealt with long ago and the small things for little people or the occasional gift these have taken much longer.  Eventually, thanks to 'Poundland' I managed to complete the job - or so I thought as when I began to scribble on here I remembered another!  I think I will go back to the old idea of falling out with people in late November which leads to reconciliation after the new year.  That way saves much spending!

This morning, after a Sunday off, watching three football matches and sitting around like a slob,  I woke feeling almost human again.  As I ventured through from the 'west wing' I began to list the few jobs requiring attention, the tidying up of the mess, the last card to post and paying in to the bank on Christmas cheque received.   Note that, paying in!
As I considered the options in the dark, dank room I stepped on my glasses that somehow found their way under my feet.  Now irreparable I had to add 'Specsavers' to my day.  This has been coming for several months now and I kept putting it off as I hate such things as eye tests.  These are never satisfactory, something is always not quite right, and it is always my fault.  However this was now out of my hands.
So I posted the last Xmas card, I bet there is another tomorrow, I paid the cheque in via a machine at the bank, well on the second attempt with the teller girls giving me that look, and wandered around to a nice young blonde in Specsavers who treated me as she does her granddad and booked me in for Wednesday.  
To get their I had to wear the 'other pair.'  These are the tinted glasses I got for the hot summer days which fill the middle months of the year.  I never needed these while in Edinburgh!  So, in spite of fearing I would look too 'cool' for this town I wore them under the grey skies above.  Nobody noticed, except when I fell off pavements.  
I must say it is good to feel almost human again.

What is he up to?
Boris has given his friend Dominic Cummings the right to change the way the Civil Service operates.  Hmmm.  Dominic has long wished to fiddle with this and other aspects of the nation, the monarchy, the constitution and so on.  Also how parliament works.  Hmmm this could be interesting.  Rumours abound, none of them healthy, and we approach a situation under Boris such as we have not seen for a long time, if ever.   The voters who wished for an end to EU rule, control of fishing, better farming, sovereignty and no more black people coming into the nation are about to get a shock, not just from the bills they will pay under the new NHS!


Sunday, 15 December 2019

Boris Palmerston...

Boris likes to compare himself with Pericles and Churchill.  Pericles the great Athenian leader, who caught the plague and died in the middle of a war, and Winston Churchill, another great leader, one who did not die during a war.  However every so often I consider Boris to be more like Alkabiades, a chancer who led the people for his own advantage, and the great Victorian Prime Minister Lord Palmerston.  
Palmerston, an Irish Lord and thus able to sit in the 'House,' was a very hard woring tough man.  He was also devious, a womaniser and as such Queen Victoria would not let him in the house.  I see this man, while hard working and efficient unlike Johnson, more the man Boris copies.  He had little in the way of morals bar 'Me first,' and his desire to make use of one of the queens 'Ladies in waiting' against her wishes and while resident at Balmoral with the queen in residence did not go down to well with those around him.  He was 55 at the time, she 22 and unwilling!  
His scandals, and they were many and well reported, made him popular with the people.  The more the queen objected the more he was liked.  Something about Boris gets a similar response.  His morals are non existent, his plan similar, yet his cunning gets him into a position of power, his popularity soars.  This gibbering wreck has not confounded people, many said he would be PM one day, the sad thing is that this has happened.
His cry today of supporting 'working class voters' reminded me of Palmerston.  He spoke to a gathering of artisans indicating that these bricklayers, carpenters and plumbers could one day reach up to his level at the top of the aristocracy.  Lies, all lies!  He had no wish and no intention of losing the aristocratic grasp of power, indeed while he made many social changes he refused to consider a reform act and enlarge the franchise.  That arrived only after Palmerston died in 1865 with Gladstone and others seeking to create such an act.  Boris appeals to the workers who voted for him, he offers answers, peace and money.  He claims to protect the NHS, jobs, economy and anything else forgetting that his promises get forgotten, he lies blatantly and he cares not a jot about that.  Even if like Palmerston Boris gets arrested making a fuss attempting to reach one of his unwilling  girlfriends, he was 80 at the time, I doubt this would hinder his popularity, indeed it might enhance it.  Only once the birds come home to roost will Boris be exposed and this could take time.


Friday, 13 December 2019

The Hangover

These are the people responsible for Boris's victory, the sheep! By the million they came out in their plastic macs and braved the rain to destine the UK to disaster.  While Boris celebrates many of his voters are found to be informing those of brown or black hues that "We won, you are going home!"
This is unfortunate when home is south London or Doncaster, I wonder where the council will get all the houses from?   While a bit of a joke in some areas it reveal the deep reason the majority voted fro Brexit, race!  Thirty years of lies from the right wing press pandering to their xenophobic attitudes and English supremacy, added to by the fear of an Islamic take over, has resulted in a fear of the EU and a demand to end immigration before our 'white state' has been removed.  Now many thinking people consider the EU a bad idea but the power of the vote was emotion and the sheep fell for it.  The media set them up and they followed on.  
Now we await Boris!
Already he has told Nicola she cannot have an independence, her reply would have been put in a full and frank manner to the lying incompetent but I am sure he got the message.  His friend Trump and other such gangsters would have been called by Boris, hopefully in making and receiving all these calls he did not accidentally phone one of his ex-wives or girlfriends by mistake.  Address books can be complicated can they not?  
So while we head for destruction the Labour Party sort themselves out, 'sort themselves out' being Labour Party talk for 'infighting.'   The squabbles within Labour have always been deep and full of resentment, no matter the cause, and while the Tories offer a pretend unified front the Labour Party have never bothered with that and grumble openly.  This could take some time.   
The reasons the non sheep had for voting for the Tories is unclear.  Some did not wish to leave the EU but voted for a known liar anyway, others considered Corbyn unfit, and the oppositions lack of policy also aided the movement of voters.
Worryingly the end of 'unity' is at hand.
After the second world war there was an agreement that things must change, allowing for different parties view on how such changes ought to come about, this attitude remained until Thatcher in many ways.  Her money first idea killed that and encouraged selfishness, always available in society, and developed this individualistic approach so much that the sons of Thatcher have made use of this to get to the top.  Divide and rule, encourage blame, point the finger at the cause, whatever that may be, and at no time offer a real united front against the real cause of any problem.
Worse still, the brandy got knocked over...

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Duty Done

I did the dirty deed and entered the rather quiet polling station and placed my cross in an appropriate box.  The pace had been steady, busier early on, but voting was proceeding quieter than I expected in UKIP land.  The rain which had started just before I entered I hoped would put the sheep off voting and give our man a chance to remove our sitting MP.  Little chance as I see it, his majority might be dented but too many sheep for him to lose sadly.  We await the result trembling as always. 
Before voting I coughed my way up to 'Biscuits' to meet my museum friend.  Over expensive coffee and chocolate cake, she had a brown lump of something, I avoided this, we then put the world to rights, exposed faults at the museum, blamed the correct people but avoided the discussing the vote.  She sadly is a sheep, blind to anything other than Brexit like so many around here.  Logic does not change them, emotion leads, nothing Boris can do will alter their vote.  This is beyond the normal pattern of voting for a party, this runs much deeper and is a kind of blindness.  I talk here of thoughtful, wise, intelligent souls, many in the church are included, who follow blindly whatever the result.  A most interesting situation. 
Tonight I will lie awake, possibly brandy sodden, while listening to the drivel on the radio as results begin to arrive.  This may lead to more brandy than I stock!  My friend met me this morning as she is one of those who counts the vote.  So she will be abed by now, resting while preparing to count sheaves of papers correctly.  As our man is James Cleverley, a minister, they have been informed to wear white as the TV will be on hand to record the result. 
I thought the combination of 'Polling station' and 'Dinosaurs' went together rather well myself... 

The election, morning coffee, feeding myself and sleeping off the stress of voting has meant nothing else has been done.  There again there appears to be nothing happening elsewhere, the rain does not help, it is teeming down, and with no political mentions on TV because of the vote, I fail to see this stopping the right wing press offering advice as to how to vote however, there is little of interest occurring.  I think I will go back to bed....

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

The End Nigh, Brandy, Mouse....

Tuesday: Two days till we vote for the wrong government!
From then on we will despair of the mistake, blame them for it, not us, and ensure 'I never voted for them, no matter what I said before the election.'
The leaders are telling greater porkies than ever, Boris ignoring children on hospital floors more than ever, everyone offering billions here and there with no accounting and yet, when it comes to the vote, it is clear the vast majority appear willing to vote like sheep!
A couple more days of screaming headlines, lies mostly, misinformation, accusations and then the great climax.  A hung parliament.
Then we go through it all again in a couple of months...
Sadly the lying incompetent Boris looks like he might win, although there is hope in Uxbridge where he might lose out to a local man.  If only!  I wonder if he hopes to lose out so he can avoid responsibility for his mess?  Very like him, also like him is an arrogant approach that takes victory for granted so choose which you prefer.
All this rot takes a back seat to the news the Heart of MIdlothian have got a new manager and now the world, well Edinburgh, is filled with hope.  That is good news.

Up again last night coughing.
Felt not to bad during day and cleaned many things and sorted much out.  Then had to sit up all night.  Blasted thing will not go away.  Nothing helps.
So I opened my Christmas gift to myself, paid from those Sainsbury vouchers, in a bid to see if this helps.  In no way does it help but it tastes better than cough mixture. 
Weather rough, people rough, wind howling along.  
Good news on the mouse however.  The screams from next door indicate the mouse cannot break through my defence line and has moved back there.  John, the workman was in yesterday telling me she had been afraid it was a rat!  She went home to mother, her man obeyed her and followed.  We now await the next move by the mouse.  I lie awake, well I probably will tonight, coughing, and l will be listening out for teeth cutting though aged wood.  However I think we have won!

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Thursday, 5 December 2019

James and a Mouse...

There is one clear error on the front of this book.  The xenophobic English refer to 'James I' even though the author himself states clearly he is called 'James the VI & Ist.'  This is the type of English contempt that James himself suffered from the English parliamentarians and their nobles.  
That said the author does a reasonable job with this book.
While stating he never liked Jams he looked into him and found much to admire, and there certainly is much.  James remains a mixed up character.  His upbringing was cruel though he became well red, speaking Latin, French and much else by the time he was 5 or 6.  Too many beatings from a tutor who constantly criticised his mother, Mary,Queen of Scots, had run away not long after he was born in Edinburgh Castle.  This meant he was pronounced King before he was weaned.  The nobles took care of him, mostly however those that did tended to die, either in war or mysteriously.  Being Regal was a dangerous occupation in the 1500's.
Being a short book we hurry through his squabbles with the Scots Kirk, his tendency towards Bishops never went down well, his move to London where he was welcomed and greeted by all.  His early success in ending war with Spain and in Ireland although he did tend to find it easy to spend money he did not possess.
His marriage to Ann of Denmark was not a great one, seven children arrived somehow yet most died before they were two. years of age.  Henry, who was destined to be King died aged 18, Elizabeth and Charles survived though Charles did lose his head of course.  While James could negotiate and be patient Charles could not.  James wrote many academic works including justifications for the 'Divine Right of Kings.'  How much he believed in in practice is debatable but certainly Charles fell for it and it cost him.
James wrote much in the way of theological works yet managed to spend his days hunting, sharing the coarsest of jokes and drinking far too much for a 'man of the cloth.'  Indeed most of his life was spent hunting, alongside a few chosen friends, mostly male and their behaviour was far from pure.  His youth may have been responsible but his bible reading, good though this was, failed him here.
This continued throughout his life.
His hunting may have been to keep him away from his ministers, however the work followed him wherever he was hunting and his duty was observed.  Possibly the peace of the country was preferable to the business of London, certainly less people to bother him and Parliament was a trial to him, as indeed it is to anyone who wishes to rule by themselves.
While welcomed at first James soon fund much resentment from Englishmen that Scots, 'foreigners,' were running their Parliament.  Such xenophobic emotions have never left the 'English' Palace of Westminster.  Proof, as if it were required, that Scotland must be independent from this grasping southern kingdom.
This is an ideal book to get a grasp of King James VI & I.  Other books will be of more depth and a differing impression possibly received but this is a good starting point.  
Whether he died grasping his last boyfriend is however is debatable...

Running behind time today as a visitor arrived before I was half awake, it was just after nine after all.
Then I had the household stuff to do while also discovering where the mouse had come from last night.  The brute had found a weak point and pushed his way through the wire.   I wonder if he has been reading about 'Colditz?'  Anyway, another bag of wire has gone in, more spaces blocked up and nothing edible will be left out tonight.
It would certainly be better if I had a cat.  However such a place as this, plus a main road outside my door, does not make that a sensible idea.  No nearby cats to borrow either.  I wonder if 'catnip' would put him off?  Either way I noticed small square chunks of poison in the shop and may well be baiting him with those  soon!

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Lousy Mousey

Another mouse trauma has arisen.
While some have the joy of Boa Constrictors, Tarantula's and other poisonous beasts here in the cold wilderness of Essex mice and pigeons are out lot.
The pigeons have been thrown out and often sit glaring from the neighbours rooftops into my window, the mouse however has yet to learn his place.  His place is elsewhere!  He will learn it soon.

A few days ago I was irked by scratching, not me but the mouse scratching at the carpet.  It took a  day or two to actually discover what he was up to and keeping a light on all night chased him away. 
Two days later the neighbour knocked on my door asking if I had mice.  
The cheeky chappie had gone next door looking for nesting material, he had taken no food from me, and just chomped portions of his girls clothing.  He called in the Rat catcher who did his thing, sent in a bill, and left.
Two days later I noticed the mouse had returned to me.
Thanks a bunch!
Yesterday saw me moving heavy furniture so I could get down to the skirting floor under the old wall heater.  Do you remember those things filled with bricks?  The idea being they took in heat at night and released it during the day, total failure and costing a pound a day at that!  Under here the skirting board bends away slightly.  Aged houses have several such faults.  The mouse had increased the gap thereby avoiding the 'steel wool' I filled the gap with a while ago.  Yesterday I put the rest in place and suggested he try getting through that lot.  Other areas he had been chewing at were also dealt with and that night I went to bed content in his removal.

Very early this morning, around 8:20, I arrived in the East Wing.  A glance around revealed no sign of 'Mousey Mouse' so I burned my toast and cheese in the normal fashion.  I then looked through the grubby papers, Facebook, Twitter and my empty emails.  This of course takes time.  
As I returned my mug for refill I noticed the yellow container with several small potatoes within lying there empty.  "Empty?" Thought I?  Empty indeed!  The brute had got through the prison fence and gone off with seen small potatoes!  All of them were now lying down by his gap, the failing steel wool brushed aside!
Grrrrrrr!  Thought I.  This means wandering up the road again.

Breakfast was somewhat hindered by this revelation.   I stared out awaiting an easy answer, there was none.  So, soon afterwards I was off up the road, on a Wednesday when the market draws in the crowds, hoping not to bump into people who talk all day and say nothing just like I do, and was delighted that while the temperature remained low the sun did decide to reveal itself.  
Having wandered around the usual shops I finally fell into the 'ironmongers' I suppose we call it, one of those shops that sells almost everything, and found my way to the 'steel wool' piled in the corner. There was until recently a similar style shop run by an Asian family, possibly Bangladeshi.  This was a great shop, filled with the products of Chinese plagiarism it contained many things you needed and lots of things you did not realise you needed until you saw them on the shelf in front of you.  Cheap and cheerful friendly family with very little English between them, I loved that shop!  Then B&M opened nearby and killed them off.  They could compete with the popular local 'ironmongers' up the road but not with a big store also and sadly they moved away.  Now we also have a 'Poundland'  come to the town, and while they have the basics they are not like the Asian shop.  Still I give gift cards at Christmas, I hope 'Poundland' do them! 

Armed to the teeth with wire wool I spent some time face down filling in gaps, then cleaning the other new found spaces that the brute uses and finally, having hoovered up the mess, I was satisfied.
A trap is set, if he comes he has only one place to go for his potato, one of which is set before him, ad if he gets through the 'Hindenburg Line' I may have to either obtain more wool or obtain rat poison.  For myself!

I suppose it livens up a bored life.  But I was not bored!  I suppose it keeps me busy.  But I was busy, not actually doing what I ought to do but I had plenty to do if I had done it.  Instead my day has been wasted with this brute.  Of course if it works then he will be off next door again.  They are young, they can do the caring for the mouse, not me.   
Now with that attended to, my dinner burnt, all else pushed aside I can turn to watching the football undisturbed except by women on facebook demanding my attention for small things.  These women have no care do they?