Saturday, 31 August 2019

Boris & Dominic & a Glasgow Jolly!

Javid is happy with Boris in spite of Boris's rottweiller sacking his chief advisor and several other (female) members of the backroom staff.  Javid complains to Boris but does not resign, just as he would never resign no matter the problem, power is a drug after all. 
We know understand that Boris the Bumbling does not have any idea as to how to run the country but his bully boy Dominic Cummings does.  He indeed is the unscrupulous power behind the throne.  What is to be done?
Clearly Boris needs him, clearly this heavyweight thug will succeed if the others let him.
That is the problem, he unsettles people and other cabinet members do nothing because they wish to keep their job!  Almost all the 'big beasts' opposed suspending parliament, none have come out and disagreed with the actuality.  All have avoided the press, all, like Boris, have run away.
Meanwhile thousands waste their time protesting in the streets at the undemocratic parliament.  This will make no difference to those in No 10.  The opinion of the people is of no importance no matter how often they quote "The will of the people," knowing all the while the referendum was fixed by Domminic's £350 million to the NHS, and "Take back sovereignty" lies.
The future is not bright.
Matthew 24:6      

Glasgow in the rain is a delightful place to have a riot.  Friday night saw a march for 'Irish Unity' led by the 'James Connelly Republican Flute Band.'   Would you believe it the march was stopped by a  crowd of 'Loyalists' leading to an exchange of smoke bombs and other delights.  The Glasgow Polis intervened while items burned and cars and windows suffered as attempts at 'unity' were rendered futile.
An Irish march.
In Glasgow.
On a Friday night? 
Who would have thought...?

Friday, 30 August 2019

Anglican Books to Explain their Church

Both these books attempt to describe Anglicanism the Church of England, how it came about, what it stands for, what it is.  Both are decent attempts but in the end the answer to the question 'What is it?' remains 'A mess!'
Paul Avis talks in vicar speak throughout.  His terminology, though understandable, is just a bit too middle class academic for me.  This did not make it hard to understand nor enjoyable to read but it was a wee bit too high-faluted for my liking and I think the 'Sun' reader might get a bit lost therein.  
Paul attempts to explain what a church is, most people in England do not understand what it does or what it stands for these days, how Anglicans see the church as a gathering and reflects on how this 'Reformed Church' has a wide and varied make up.  Some history, some problems for today and an unhealthy (in my mind) desire for 'Bishops!'
Mark Chapman goes over the same subjects but I must say he does so in a more readable manner.  As his book is 'a very short introduction' he covers a lot of ground very well.  The 'Divine Right of Kings,' the Prayer book or books, continual interference in the church by Kings and Queens and Parliament, the Reformation struggles, not helped by the death of Edward VI and John Knox being refused entry after his excellent item 'A trumpet Blast against the Monstrous Regiment of Women,' something I think aimed at Queen Mary but managed to somehow upset Elizabeth also.  Had the King lived England might have had a proper church not unlike Scotland had at the time.
The rise of Evangelicals in the church followed by the introduction of Anglo Catholics in the 19th century are covered with the varying social changes that saw the rise of non denominational churches accepted in England.  
A discussion of the 'Global Communion' fills several pages all of which leaves us wondering what holds this lot together?  The Archbishop of Canterbury has no 'Pope like' authority, the demand for self rule refuses that, theology in the liberal west has been opposed by biblical authority in Africa and India while also rejecting 'colonial' attitudes.  Thus Anglican does not mean 'English' in many parts of the world.  It also does not mean Christian either abroad or at home!
The lack of authority from one source goes back to  Henry VIII, he was authority, other monarchs followed this pattern and biblical authority, the only real authority, was often pushed aside, either to maintain 'communion' or to avoid upsetting people.  
The result is a mess in which an Anglican church can do almost anything, preach anything and yet remain Anglican even if it is totally opposed to the Anglican church down the road!  
Having read the books I now understand to some extent why St Paul's here runs the way it does.  No proper church would run like this, the theology would be clear, the care of souls also and fly by nights just wishing for christenings or marriage may not be lucky, Anglican churches must on the whole accept them and offer what they wish up to a point.  
The only benefit from the books is that I can comprehend the mess Anglicanism is in while admiring so many people who do know their God continuing to follow him as best they can while attempting to run the local church properly, under the guidance of the ever present Bishop or Archdeacon (whoever he is!).  
I have not even considered the fancy dress and parades either...


Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Spring Ceaning, Football Programmes and Boris!

Yesterday afternoon I took a break from sorting my important paper file and stared out at the 30 degrees of heat seen through my dirty window.  The view was marvellous, sunshine improves the most hideous of places, the rusty leaves beginning to appear reflected the light, near naked people sweated across my view, I remained indoors half hidden behind piles of ripped up old papers.
The afternoon previous had seen me deep inside the store cupboard, the one full of things kept 'just in case.'  The reward for that afternoons work was four bags of recycled items dumped outside and one of total rubbish!  Why did I keep these things?  The electric kettle that did not work properly but remained just in case was dumped after several years of space filling.  Cardboard boxes, useful for sending things north, were dumped as nothing goes north these days bar birthday cards and store cards, piles of plastic bags kept for wrapping things going north, a sisters idea, have found where the recycled stuff is collected from and just what to do with a computer keyboard that came with my first computer in 1997 I have no idea!
However the store cupboard now contains important things, a box full of various electric cables which must be useful one day somewhere, recycled bags awaiting use (where did they come from?) and proper 'must keep' items that now have plenty of space, apart from the huge roll of bubble wrap that I kept - just in case I send things north!
There is a satisfaction in sorting out a cupboard.  In fact I was so impressed that before I began the huge file of urgent important papers going back four years I cleaned out the 'Brexit store' cupboard also.  Now the gleaming kitchen stands in contrast to the filthy oven which also demands work.
I looked away.

For some time I had wondered what had happened to old reserve team football programmes that I once possessed.  Monday Holiday in that store cupboard explained that.  In the bottom of a box filled with now recycled items there lay a pile of stored programmes, once at the centre of my heart, not at the bottom of a box! 
Naturally I cried as a man ought to do in such circumstances.
Some ten years ago when my mother died I had a large box filled with programmes collected over the years.  Most concerned the Heart of Midlothian from the sixties and on but there were many odd jobs in among them also.  What to do when clearing the house?  The answer was easy, I put aside some which meant something to me, a cup final, first 'big game,' and the like and we passed the rest, including a scrap book or two, onto the neighbours grandson who at that time played for the Heart of Midlothian under 12's.  I am unclear as to whether he made it, if so are free tickets abounding? but I do know he was delighted to have that box dumped upon him.  A quick look though those programme seller websites reveals it is probably he who is still trying to sell them at £3 a go.

The football memories mix with historical realities as we peruse the programmes.  The fact that the Hearts (pronounced Hertz at that time) produced programmes at 2d a go for reserve games in the 'North Eastern League and for 'A' team games in the 'C' Division indicates just how many people would turn up at Tynecastle Park in 1950 to watch. 
1950, a time when my mother had discovered an 'accident' was on the way, offered my dad just under £7 a week to deliver milk by horse and cart.  A time when the huts, used by the Royal Navy during the war and now abandoned, in the school field behind the tenement in which we lived were filled with people, often young couples, desperate for proper housing.  1950, five years after the war, was also a time of confusion for many as they fought to re-establish their lives after service overseas and with children who grew up while they were away.  People were grateful for the NHS and other improvements that arrived at the time yet managed to grumble against the government constantly, how unlike our time today?
The programme for December 2nd 1950 calls all Hearts supporters to attend the ANNUAL BALL on the 11th at the New Cavendish Ballroom. Dress informal, which means lots of demob suits put into action, while at 15 shillings a ticket just how many Hearts fans with pregnant wives and children could afford to attend that? 
In the middle of the page between the team line ups we see an add for RED HEART RUM an Edinburgh favourite while inside an add claims

       Doesn't Help
       It Just
This did not stop the programme editor taking cash from Red Heart Rum however.
Two banks advertise, The Bank of Scotland proclaims £115 million in assets while the Edinburgh Savings Bank claims the best Defence is to open an account with them and save regularly.
On the other side is stated

     DO YOU
Church of Scotland 

They would not advertise like this today, especially playing Celtic!
(Interesting however that so many football teams grew out of churches up and down the country.)
I wonder if William Scott, Gents outfitter still exists today?  Leith Street has changed too much for that.  Certainly THORNTON'S once a pricey sports outfitter in Prince's Street has long gone.
Also advertised was the 'Pink News,' the coloured paper that brought reports of games played every Saturday.  Rushed out at high speed they often contained mistakes, reports mixed up and some times in places upside down, but were the first with the reports of games played far and near, a must read in every city that produced them.  Indeed throughout the country sports 'Pinks' and 'Greens' were devoured each Saturday night and remain much missed though modern technology has done away with them today.
Incidentally the young winger playing in that game was one Cumming.  This was the great John Cumming who went on to dominate the midfield alongside Dave MacKay during the 50's earning more medals in his time than any other Heart of Midlothian player so far.  His comment when suffering a head bleed in the 1956 cup final v Celtic was 'Blood does not show on a maroon jersey' and he returned to the field carrying a sponge to wipe away blood.  This is now a much loved Heart of Midlothian slogan.
In 1963 I attended the Heart v Raith Rovers game,  game in which the great Jim Cruickshank allowed a feeble shot to run between his legs giving hope to the enemy.  We won 2-1 and I have collected the autographs of Roy Barry, Alan Gordon, Danny Ferguson and several other Hearts greats even if I canny read their writing today.  This makes me wonder what is the point in autograph hunting?  What did it do for me?  Nothing really but it might increase this programmes price by 50p.  This was a game Hearts had to win as previously at Paisley goalkeeper Gordon Marshall had been taken off with a head injury and Willie Wallace the kind of small centre forward took his place.  The ten men lost by 7 goals to 3. The 60's programmes reflect the growing wealth, 'we never had it so good' indeed, we never had it at all and I have kept that line up ever since.  The better quality programme, still with adverts for beer, banks, and Thornton's, now included photo's and much more information, mostly as such info always is, irrelevant.   
With the news that Bury FC have lost their place in the English league I find a programme featuring Bradford Park Avenue a club which also died during the 60's in similar fashion.  I believe such a club exists again today taking the name and is somewhere in the northern leagues hoping to recover their place one day.  The league table for December 1965 however shows this club in 10th place in the 4th Division, now League Two.  Not bad for a struggling club?  However the list is interesting as several clubs listed died later, Aldershot disappeared, Barrow are now somewhere in the Northern Premier,  Stockport County have just been promoted from that division, Halifax and Wrexham along with Hartlepool all reside in the National League today.  Several others also faced death by relegation or chairmen's ineptitude.  Several Scots clubs went through similar in recent years and have now sorted themselves out, well except Rangers of course, and more sensible accounting takes place now for the most part. 
We have to ask why such clubs disappear when often they are healthy enough when new men take over?  Inept management, bad luck, injuries or corruption all play a part.  However surely there must be a way to ensure such clubs do not die?  A football club has an emotional appeal business cannot compete with.  Once it has a hold little can remove this.  If only we had a government interested in what the people require...
Having collected these programmes I never look at them yet I am unwilling to let them go.  Part of me in in many of them, games I have attended, important events elsewhere, historical events recorded, all have a meaning as they lie in a box unattended.  Indeed I wonder if there is one from the first game I saw, it appears not but if one came along would I buy it and add to the pile?  
As I ponder this I notice the oven looking at me, I ignore it...


Monday, 26 August 2019

Bank Holiday Baloney

It was warm enough when I went to Tesco at ten this morning and the sun has reached 31/87% at the moment.  
I am inside!
Today is a rest day, not that I intended that, I have just done nothing but shop and eat or sleep since. 
Suits me.
Being a Bank Holiday there is of course no news just pictures of people burning in the sun or getting ready to travel slowly along 'A' roads back from the seaside.  Boris however finds a space by declaring Pork Pies are sold to Thailand but cannot be sold to the USA because of trade restrictions.  Immediately he is proved wrong by the Pie makers who have never sold pies to Thailand and don't bother with the US as it aint not worth it.  Good old Boris getting his facts wrong.  The fake news offered continues when he claims foreign observers ought not to talk to those opposing Brexit because it cannot be stopped, just like all his other promises this is incorrect also.  The more time he spends with Trump, the saviour of the world, the more time he becomes a little Trump.  Maybe it's an Eton thing?


Meanwhile I have been finishing some books.  This one was a bit slow, the author tended to spend to much time on detail better omitted and stick to the flow of the story, though I suspect he was attempting to establish Bonhoeffer's 'Christology by doing so.  He is also American speaking to a generation that emerged long after the war and therefore has to explain thing most people came to know in the 50's and 60's.  
Bonhoeffer grew up in a  wealthy family with legal leanings and for some reason chose early to read theology.  He, like his family, was not a church going type so the reasons for his choice are unclear.
He was then educated at a liberal type theology college and was to spend his life in study rather than normal pastoral roles.  These did come later during the 1930's when Adolf Hitler was making his mark and it is remarkable that this man's learning gave him the desire to oppose the rise of the Nazi Party.
The church in Germany had a close connection to the state and many Christians happily went along with a Nazi ruled church, the minority opposed this and many were not to survive the war, and mostly not from enemy action.  
Bonhoeffer did his best to prepare men for leadership in the church, especially after the war,all the time becoming more and more evangelical in this thought as he did so.  However this was not clear enough and he fell into the trap of associating with men who wished to remove Hitler and spent much time in jail as a reward.  Killing Adolph was not a Christians job, something he failed to appreciate, terrible though such men are they have to wait in God's time not ours.  By 1944 unknown to Bonhoeffer the allies did not wish Adolph killed as he was seen as their best general!  His tactical knowledge, or lack of it, his insistence on standing strong by 'the power of his will' did not reinforce the men at the front as he had hoped.  
Bonhoeffer, like most of the conspirators died before the war ended, Bonhoeffer on the 9th of April 1945 one month before the ceasefire.   His call had been clear for a long time, if you follow Jesus you must do so even if it leads to death.  Death to self is a Christian calling, on occasions it must be taken literally.  It is to Dietrich Bonhoeffer's credit that he took that line seriously.  We are left wondering what would have he produced had he lived?

While fire engulfs the Amazonian forests creating profit for cattle farmers and a variety of national presidents Dunfermline proved they too could manufacture fire for no good reason.  Here a 14 year old proved this by setting for to his school and destroying at least the 'Additional Support Needs Department which I suspect he knows well, and damaged at least a fifth of the school buildings.  There are now 1400 happy pupils (sorry, students) wandering around upsetting locals by not being locked in their classrooms.  Anything right wing South American dictators can do Scotland can do better!

Friday, 23 August 2019

Sun, Houses and Radio 4

Sunshine tempted me out early this morning, long before breakfast, to visit Tesco!  Since then, trapped inside cleaning, sorting and lazing about, I have avoided the sun as strangely for an August Bank Holiday weekend it is still shining.
After all the hard work of the morning I dreampt of having money and moving to other parts of the world, well Scotland, where I could live in peace and see out my days undisturbed by people.  This is a dream as my piggy bank offered only £3.78 and one Israeli shekel.  However using Right Move I  considered places as diverse as Seton Castle, a snip at £8 million plus, a nice view from Largs at just under £400,000 to a parking space in Edinburgh for a mere £30,000.  The car will not cost as much!
There is much fun to be found looking into other people's very much tidied up houses they wish to escape from.  There is much more fun using Google Maps to check on the surrounding area to note the items the photographer has omitted, schools, petrol stations, nuclear power stations and the like, items which on closer inspection might tend to put buyers off.  Then of course you may not know the area, the local people or how many drug deals are done in your street each night.  
This was a good way to pass the time, my piggy bank reminded me it was nothing more than that!

She finished today!  The reader finally ended her work and jumped off a bridge to ensure some happiness for those close to her.  The author sadly did not.  There is nothing worse than listening to a woman talk about her baby, today we had 15 long minutes of a woman confused by her daughters behaviour when they entered adolescence.  Comparing their behaviour to when they were sweet young things and discussing this with other mums in similar situation it was clear there was shock that teenagers, especially young ones, would be what they have always been.  Is it just me?  Have people not always been thus?  How come this 'educated woman' did not know this?  Mind you, she was educated at an all girls boarding school, possibly that helped her avoid real life. 
The reading of this book, while increasing the number of listeners now queueing up at the doctors for anti-depressives, told us much about the narrow confines of the 'witty and clear thinking' author. For one 'wit' was not something she revealed at any time, for another 'clear thinking' was used instead of 'needless cogitating of the obvious.'  Clearly this was was indeed writing a play, or rewriting a Greek play for the stage, and she had little hope of ever becoming a lawyer, doctor or someone in the real world.  The Greek play, in which she wishes to change the plot to make the cruel and violent woman appear to be a 'hurt woman defending herself' also reflects her middle class colour supplement reading.  Maybe she ought to visit Holloway Prison for a wider view on life?       
At least she has now gone, the authorities are cleaning up after the readers demise, and we look to something interesting and hopeful next week, I wonder what it is?  Oh great, a man tells us of his life in care and how he survived.  
I can't wait... 

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Angela, Boris, Donald, Radio 4

There is no doubt that Angela Merkel is by far the best politician in Europe.  Having run Germany for 14 years, having come from a poor background and yet established herself solidly at the top and having no obvious competitors she is a woman in which there is much to admire. 
Here we see her greet Boris Johnson with all the pomp of state to make him feel important, he would love that.  A banquet at night, deep discussions on many topics and after he has got back to his bedroom he realises she has him over a barrel. 
Quietly she has offered him a chance to discuss Brexit and No Deal provided he can come up with an answer to the Backstop.  Of course she, and he, knows he has no answer, there is no answer, and while dressed in all the panoply of government he is in fact a King with no clothes.
She has him round her little finger.
Today Boris meets the French president, one who is clearly annoyed with Brexit and has no wish to continue the needless fuss.  I wonder what blundering nonsense he will offer when he returns from that meeting?

Now, what is to be said here?  Donald Trump has claimed God has put him there to fight China.  He accepts a tweet that claims he is 'King of Israel,' and appears at last to have clearly gone of his head.
Or at least is no longer afraid of being open about his instability.
I think Jesus is quite bemused by this.
Add to this his huff when he wished to 'Buy Greenland,' and found himself rebuffed, even though Greenland was not for sale and no proper bid made.  Being rebuffed and ridiculed he has refused to follow through on a state visit to Denmark and gone of into the White House to be comforted by what remains of his loyal staff (his daughter).
Such a noble nation the USA but so democratic it can do nothing about this three year old sitting in the White House!
What next?

She was at it again, the reader speaking in that 'slit my wrists' voice, yesterday I found myself agreeing with her moaning.  She referred to airports and the way in which those employed treat passengers passing in front of them especially if they are black, weak or unimportant.  In my rare occasions of airport travel I have found staff often rude and unhelpful.
I must say that anyone who faces the public all day, often with stressful situations around them, there is reason to become pig ignorant of the masses passing by, often more pig ignorant than the
staff can ever be.  Her point was good and it was developed well, even if I was sucking in Valium by the bottle at the end. 
Today the wrist cutter was once again bemoaning home.  Her home was part of her, the family abused it damaging her.  Deep inside her home, well her London flat, was part of her.  In a way she is right but it appears the author looks so deep into everything I fear she may have Donald Trump style problems ahead.  The home reflects you indeed, what that says about me I do not intend to reveal, but must the author be neurotic about everything?  
There is still no evidence of the 'witty' part as yet.   I might have missed that while putting my head in the bath for ten minutes.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Coventary & Mudlarking

Every morning at 9:45 Radio 4 offers a 'Book of the Week.'  Usually it is some women's book, often concerning how hard their lives are, while occasionally something interesting drops by.  I thought this week the book sounded quite good at first sight, 'Coventry,' a book by Rachel Cusk, the Radio schedule tells us the book is a 'new collection of witty and clear sighted essays.'  I looked forward to something other than the usual.  Having heard the first, read by an Amelia Bullmore, a woman who's voice indicates she is on the verge of suicide, and cogitated on the fifteen minutes of grumbling about other people's driving habits I found myself not over happy with the results.  Her driving, mostly around narrow roads near the sea appeared hindered by slow drivers, tourists gazing at the view, people wondering where the next turning was and then she ventured onto the motorway somewhat reluctantly.  Her moaning continued, everybody was at fault, and I was wondering if possibly she herself could be a problem on the road.  Other people getting in the way are indeed a nuisance.  The 'wtty' bit was lacking and her 'clear sight' blocked by 40 ton lorries I think.
This morning I gave her another chance, however the second programme is one in which she labours on about how her parents kept 'sending her to Coventry,' something she claims they have done all her life.  Fifteen minutes with none of the 'witty or clear sighted' writing hove into view.  Depression, desolation, gloom and wrist slashing while throwing oneself of a railway bridge certainly did however.  Is it part of the female psyche to consider such things witty I ask?  A combination of the tale of woe with a melancholic reader do not in my mind result in 'witty and clear sighted' essays.  There are three more programmes like this and by Friday I expect the Samaritans will be calling out for more volunteers to answer the phones!
Last weeks book, 'Mudlarking,' by Lara Maiklem was similarly spoiled by her revealing her personality all the way through and then reading her own book with an unsuitable voice.  The actions of the 'Mudlarks' are often very interesting in themselves but their broken lives are revealed all to easily in five 15 minute programmes.
I spent a very relaxing day after this downloading lots of 'Podcasts' from the BBC.  Thanks to 'BBC Sounds' replacing the 'BBC iPlayer' it took long enough to find 'Podcasts' but find it I did.  I then wandered about therein seeking items that have been heard before, many I had not known existed and others that will require listening to soon.  I will put them in the 'Brexit hoard' as after then there will be a shortage of programmes as the only thing to be heard will be wailing and gnashing of teeth! 

Monday, 19 August 2019

Painting with Cassette Tapes

Due to the weekend and an unfortunate bout of laziness I have only just finished painting the window frames I began last week.  Today, in spite of the howling wind coming through the gap in the window, I managed to get the job done while listening to an old tape from Radio 4, Siegfried Sassoon's 'Memories of an Infantry Officer,' a fictionalised account of his war.  I realised when this had stopped and all I had to listen to was the voices in my head, thoughts from here and there, good and bad, going nowhere, which explained builders who turn on 'Radio 1' loudly, even though they are far from that age group, just to have something lively in the background.  I'm reminded by this of a cartoon on a building site from long ago where one young man with a perplexed expression is looking for his transistor radio.  Smirking brickies carrying on regardless in the foreground appear to have mistaken this radio for a brick, it now takes its place in the wall.  
I can understand his mates also!
The main problem with finishing the window frames is that it leaves the need to now finish the other rooms also.  This is more difficult.  This means moving things, hoovering behind items unmoved since yon time, dusting, washing, then preparing.  Somehow the enthusiasm appears to have disappeared.  Enthusiasm is not encouraged when looking at the other jobs undone, half done or just waiting to be done.  
I er, think I need to listen to the wireless and cogitate to work up enthusiasm again...


Saturday, 17 August 2019

Smiths and Cake Slice.

By accident I happened to wander into W.H.Smiths today and exchange a small book token given me when I was thrown out of the museum.  I entered, reasonably smartly dressed, browsed, passed the manager checking perfectly stacked books near me, watching what I was doing as if I were a thief,  and found no books worth buying.  typically for this area the vast majority of books are junk novels.  However I found a shelf I had never noticed before containing these books, and more beside, a novel occurrence in here to find books I think I'd like.
Ignoring the Cement Freud lookalike manager who strutted around as if he was important and not the customer, I paid the new young lass at the desk, in spite of the machinery falling apart worrying her, and took my prizes home to join others awaiting on the shelf.
Am I becoming obsessed I wondered feeling the book jackets and petting them like you would a dog or cat?  I failed to come up with an answer as it was feeding time and soon I took a book into my hand and fell asleep...

First World problems!
Greggs the Bakers have upset fans of their 'Custard slice' by halving the size and retaining the £1 price tag.  Greggs claim this is part of the 'war on sugar' and the cake is 20 grams less in sugar and better for customers.
Fans are not happy!

"It's a national favourite that's been completely ruined."
"I am disgusted...."
"It is clearly to boost their profits."

I have never been in Greggs.  
I suspect it is about 20 years since I went into such a shop, maybe less and then for bread not cake.
All a little over the top in my view, but just wait until after Brexit and there is no sugar available!
Just wait till you see the slices then!

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Historical Music for my Family

Life has been so trying recently.
The painting, the repairs, the weather, the knees aching, all have been irking me.
So for two days I did nothing.
This has not helped in any way but I am enjoying it anyway.
Actually I did catch up on family research.  An American, one of the more sensible ones, contacted me regarding an email from 8 years ago. 
He moves at my speed.
Looking into my records I realised they were in a mess and have had to go through what little I have found and put it into some order.  This has been effective as Robert had disappeared and I could not find any details about him.  However I now know he died in 1898 and have sent off for the birth certificate (£24) to discover why he died at 24.  It was rumoured he took poison and this is likely.  His mother (my grandfathers first wife) ended up in a lunatic asylum, this guy apparently died by suicide and by the time she was 13 a sister of his was living in Whitley Bay with an aunt. 
Something was not right in the house.
No wonder granddad took to drink!
The girl in Whitley Bay eventually married well, her sister in Edinburgh did also.  Both died early from disease I think and the Edinburgh one was replaced by the elder sister.  Keep it in the family I say.
One brother joined the Royal Navy and so some service during the Great War, not much I reckon.  Another had moved to Canada just in time to enlist in 1915 and do the decent thing and get shot at Ypres in 1916.  Now I need to know why Robert died! 
Robert is a problem name as almost everyone with our surname made use of it, from father to son and on, brother, cousin, uncle all of them had Robert somewhere and there were many with that name in the borders!  There are many false leads to chase here. However that took up much of my time and didn't involve walking anywhere.  Today I have completed that part of the task and now need to check those one step backward, being 'backward' was an accusation often offered to my family, notably myself for some reason.

Remarkably it is 50 years since the great music festival of Woodstock! 
Quite how those years have passed without me noticing is worrying. 
Sadly we never made it to the USA for the event, we could not get time off and on £8 a week the travelling costs were beyond us.  However we made it to the 'Caley' cinema in Lothian Road for the three hour film off the event which we enjoyed and I still remember of the acts.
Proper music, off its time and representative of a movement that was intended to change the world for the better.  The 'establishment' did not like nor understand it however, it certainly did not suit the neat shirt and tie, short haired US image that so many had foisted on them, and still do in places. But it spoke to the youth of the world and still does.
Of course it was based on a lie.
'Love one another' but it forgot about human nature.  Many of the acts were not loving to one another, human nature was seen all around even if the majority attempted to get along with one another you can bet there were hurt feelings abounding.  Only Jesus can change us and while 'Woodstock' represented a movement of a sort it failed because of our natures.
The music was good, it still is, while today's shallow computer made ballads fronted by women who all look the same does not make any attempt to improve the world in any way.  There was a desire for change, today's music only appears to reflect emptiness or selfishness.  Maybe I am wrong.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Eggs in the Loft!

I have been up in the attic this morning.  
It makes a change from the usual routine.  
There has been strange noises from there for a while, including lots of 'coo-ing' noises which could be irritating if allowed to continue.  So I got out the stepladder and tried to get up there to investigate.  Naturally the thing has only three steps and I could not get far in.  On top of that a redevelopment in the 70's meant that I could not see far enough into the loft as a wall cuts off the view.  So it was time to contact the landlord.  
However, the flat being a bit dingy I thought I had better clean up before the landlord or his man came hence the decorating.  He came today to remove the birds.  So the landlord himself came, spent a while trying to work out the new style stepladder and we then ventured up into the darkness.  Good job he brought a light...
I let him clamber over the confused morass that lay in front of us, just how some of that stuff got up there is a mystery, and on hands and knees, bumping his head on the timbers he managed to force a brick into the gap the birds had used to gain entry.  
I stood at the top of the ladder and helped...
He returned with these four eggs which will now not hatch.  This is quite sad but it is not a good idea to encourage birds up there.  I feel quite guilty about this.  I now do not know what to do with the things!  
When I first came there were several openings in the roof beloved by many types of birdlife.  This included a Swift which screamed in to feed the young and screamed out again.  This was most disconcerting at first.  All those openings have long been fixed and we must await now to ensure they do not return.  
Still, all this activity meant I did not have time to return to painting the other window, instead I passed on a small bag of chocolates for his wife and assistant who I have since discovered thought that was a great idea!  
Bribery is always handy...

Monday, 12 August 2019

The Unthinking!

Caroline Lucas MP, looking in this picture the very essence of a Brighton resident, has until now offered some interesting points regarding the Brexit farce.  Today however she revealed that underneath her positive exterior lay the real fault at heart of the 'Green Party,' a failure to understand human nature.
She has demanded as as answer to Brexit a 'unity cabinet' comprising a number of female only MP's, indeed some who are not even members of this parliament.  Putting aside the constitutional legality of such an idea and considering her motivation we are left with head in hands wondering what goes on in the minds of those who read feminist books.  She states, "“Why women? Because I believe women have shown they can bring a different perspective to crises, are able to reach out to those they disagree with and cooperate to find solutions.”  She then offers one or two examples from the past when women have done something helpful.  She apparently did not notice any man ever doing similar.  I wonder why?  
This is the fault at the heart of feminism, it's bollox!
You see feminism is, and always was, based on middle class girlies who have never worked at anything in their lives, mostly American ones at that, telling other lassies that they have had a hard life.  No forgive me if I misunderstood but maybe women in coal mines, woollen mills, selling fish or clothes or any other goods might have noticed they had a hard life, often when confronted by middle class women who treat them like skivvies!  
The second fault is also here, these women do not understand women.
I do, I have worked with them, under them, amongst them and I can tell you it is very much the minority, and not always middle class minority, who know what work is like and how human nature works.  
Wome, in spite of the needless increase of women's football, do not work well in a team.  They tell you they do but this is a lie.  In open plan offices women work in small groups of three or four, ignoring all others, I have seen this so often.  Men, the bad people on the planet, can work in groups, are made this way, and in similar operations work well together.  It has been said and disregarded by feminists, that when at a football match men support 'our team,' women will support 'their baby.'  This sums it up nicely.  No woman will accept this as they try accept the lie that they are the same as men, they are not.  
I could give hundreds of examples, I may write a book about this if I found a publisher who was not too scared to publish.  The lie of 'unisex' has led to gay marriage, trans people, and who knows what to come by ignoring how we are made.  Normal life has been stolen by the Lie and the world has swallowed it.  Men and women are different, are meant to be different, have different ways of viewing the world and are made this way to work together.  Spewing lies and half truths, usually in feminist books all varying from one to another, does not help especially when it comes down to the woman on the Clapham Omnibus through grubby newspapers or colour supplements.  Ask any woman the 10 commandments of feminism and she will not know, she may invent some however.  They do not exist and vary everywhere.
This leads us back to Lucas, she has the idea woman can do what men cannot, bring peace to this nation, forgetting the different outlooks of the women she has called, the different political spectrum,the underlying bitchiness from the previous encounters of some of them!  
The only answer to Brexit is to forget it!  
Certainly we will now have a General election, six weeks I think from the date called, possibly the EU leave date will be put back, certainly a referendum must then be called,  and that way a better understanding of the situation might appear.  This answer would be clearer if the voters failed to vote for the party and voted for the country, that way some of these louts, both male and female will be removed!


Saturday, 10 August 2019

Leisure Hours...

In between the return of the bug which leaves me lying on the floor wishing I was dead I have moments of action.  The word 'action' may be a bit strong here.  However this week I took it upon myself to finish the Spring cleaning I started about two or three years ago.  This meant examining the wooden sash window frames, which appear original, and that means 1812, to clean them and ensure the window opens properly.  In the end it was easier to make use of Matt white emulsion and just wash them down and paint them.  Old small windows with lots of squarish small panes mean lots of awkward wooden bits to paint while at awkward angles!  The front one is now done, notice I am ignoring the demand to add gloss paint on top, and not only the small kitchen window also but the entire kitchenette walls I finished this morning.
I now ache all over!
Being to sedentary means such an effort, once quite easy, although it is years since I painted the windows last, now it means aches everywhere and a desire to sit and read books.  However I am glad I have got that far, the bedroom window, and indeed the walls require doing nest!  Just wait until I start moving everything...actually we will just do the window for now.  The wall can wait...

Friday, 9 August 2019


It so happened that I came into possession of two more book vouchers yesterday.  Having ended my time at the museum, they indicated that as we have a 'Dinosaur' exhibition on at the my attendance might confuse children so I left, having left I was in receipt of these vouchers and a lovely card with words such as "I'm glad you have left," scribbled upon.
This sadly means I now have to slug my way into town to the proper bookshop and select more books for the 'To read' pile.  This as you will imagine upsets me.  So many books, so little time!

The problem is the charity shops around here.  Most sell books, mostly women's trash it must be said, but occasionally they possess something worthwhile.  The Sue Ryder shop in particular attracts a lot of good books, the hardbacks here were available at 2 for £1 and I am not one to resist such prices.  A proper charity shop, though it must be said it makes its money from the quality of the furniture it sells rather than books.  
I noticed in one of the papers a woman talking about the second hand books previous history.  She of course, being a woman, was merely using story books, a waste of time in my view, and conjecturing on the people who bought the novel first time.  This is interesting right enough, who originally bought the book that ends up in a charity shop?  Was it bought or a gift?  Did it delight or bring despair?  Surely if it was worth reading it was worth keeping?  Now I would throw out story books, though I would keep 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' as I liked that when I read it ( I bought it for my niece in a charity shop 30 years ago and had to read all the others) but I would dump the rest.  However my books are interesting and worth something, they are always of use as reference in future times, unlike novels.  So who throws them out?  Was the missus clearing out again?  Did someone die?  Did the owner get bored with the subject?  I wonder if the reader got satisfaction from the book?  
What sort of house did the buyer live in?  The middle classes keep their books to show off their knowledge and impress people, other like Siegfried Sassoon had thousands of books up the stairs, on landings, on shelves, in libraries and knew everyone of them.  When asked he could indicate where each book was to be found.  Few are like that.  I wonder where his library ended up?  I know where my small collection will go, my niece has divided them up already and she gets the lions share, I am surprised...

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Argos Beatles...

I met a friend for coffee this morning, thus avoiding the continuation of last years Spring clean, and walked by the 'Argos' shop and collected a new catalogue of priceless merchandise which I don't want.  
And why are they named after a long forgotten Greek city anyway?
I noticed they retain the cover blurb from before, 'You're Good to Go' and began to ask myself what that is supposed to mean?  The previous one had the word 'WOW' upon it if I remember correctly, and 'wow' was found on most pages leaving me asking if anyone in this cynical nation was impressed by this?  Marketing people do not in my understanding live in the real world, yet earn vast sums of cash for such as this!   Long years ago a friend earned £40,000 a year, his main work was designing an advert for a 'Findus' fish product which may or may not still exist, I doubt it does, as from what I recall there was not much to it.  He also had his own Audi from the company.  I was not jealous even though in those days I could not get a bus pass.  I did not go out of my way to buy his product however...

It appears the Beatles still produce a reaction these days.  50 years after they crossed the road in what I thought then, and still think now, was a rather poor cover photo people have rushed to commemorate that picture.  
Now not only did I work just up the road in what was then a somewhat run down hospital passing this corner day after day.  At that time we worked Monday to Saturday early shift, then Sunday to Friday late shift, we then got a weekend off.  How the rich lived!  
Even then, 1980-81, the 'Abbey Road' street sign was covered in scribbles from little girls informing Paul or whoever of their thoughts.  He was of course not there.  He did have a house not far from here, a nuisance to his neighbours, while he himself sat around in New York or Scotland avoiding the fans and counting his money.
Not long after leaving the hospital I was delivering in this area, 1983 on I think, and three times a week we would visit Abbey Road, knock down one or two foreigners crossing the road while being photographed and receiving instructions from the driver on how to behave.  Today would have led to mass murder US style had we been there.  Actually I have just thought it would not, we did Arsenal and that area on Thursdays, lucky for them!

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

This Sucks...

Walking barefoot across the floor I left a trail of footprints in the dust.  It crossed my mind that I must get a new hoover sometime soon. 
The one I have does work, at least through the hose bit, the rest burnt out a while back.  This means it takes time crossing the floor and I tend to let things lie, well dust, crumbs and those little white bits that appear from nowhere, usually after I have finished hoovering!  
So I started searching for prices etc and instead just got confused.
Pages of strange stick instruments telling me they were 'cordless' or 'pet care' and 'bagless' met me.  Online the screen was filled with the same offerings.  Nowhere did a 'Hoover' type hoover appear.  At last I found hoovers from 'Hoover,' and rejected them.  They were upright, as they ought to be, had bags, cords and tubes, however being 'Hoover' hoovers they were rubbish!  That anti EU man 'Dyson' had many strange grossly overpriced Malaysian made offerings on show, not for me Mr anti EU but live in Singapore or New York thanks.  If you wish Brexit live in the nation you give it to.
These strange skinny hoovers, where does the dust go?  'Bagless' I understand, I see how that works, and cordless, sounds great but this means plugging the thing into the electric for hours to charge up, how much does that cost you?  I prefer a cord here.   

I have not yet really got used to the prices.  The cheapest is around £129, some go up into the £500's!  Who needs to pay that for a hoover?  Are these folks mad or is it just show?  A vacuum to match the fancy car outside perhaps?  Either way I was not much in love with things of high price.  There is evidence that I was confused!  What to do?  
Maybe I ought to go for an expensive one that will last, 'Miele' perhaps.  That is a company with a decent reputation, or at least it had in the past.  A wander through the shops tomorrow is now on the cards.  Being Wednesday it will be busier and less chance of me accidentally buying something.  

This morning, in another attempt at fitness I walked down to the Post Office where the young girl smiles at me.  It appears to get further away each time I go there.  Not only did she ask for £3:50 for a packet containing a couple of books but she didn't smile either.  She did not offer a happy sight, she was upset at someone in the shop, I know not whom.  Disappointing as when I wandered back I continued to Sainsburys where the girl there offered a grumpy appearance to one and all, mind you I was using those 'self service' machines which are horrible.  I only went there as the Post Office did not have what I wanted and so I slogged all the way up the road.  After this, to enhance fitness, I exercised (though this would not be what an expert would call it) and now am totally exhausted!
Happily this stops me doing anything else...


Sunday, 4 August 2019

Football, Church Women and Holidays

Life has been much enhanced lately, yes Friday night football is back, and today the Heart of Midlothian are slugging it out with Aberdeen as we speak.  I will watch the delayed broadcast on BBC Alba at 6pm.  What a great use of a TV station!  No more Friday evenings wondering what to do, no more Friday evenings staring out the window watching people without TV football wandering about bereft.  At last life has returned to some normality.  
I have lost BTSport however, I could obtain it via Plusnet but this will cost £10 a month, and that is not on, I went there to save cash, anyway BT have BTSport only for this season then it moves to SKY.  This season I may take a 10 month ticket with Now TV to enable me to see Scots football on Sky, along with English rubbish.  I might be able to afford that.  
Of course after Brexit all these English players will be returned home, Trump fashion.  Then what will happen to English football?  A collapse at the top level is on the cards and Boris and his strange backers will line their pockets and run I expect.

At church this morning I noticed the three 'old' women gathered together again offering a view of a female 'Last of the summer wine.'  I began to imagine the kind of adventures they would become responsible for.  

'The Guild & the Missing Communion Wine.'  
Nobody knows what happened to the Holy bottles of QV Sherry procured from the Co-op but it was noticeable at the 'Bring and Share' Sunday they girls would not allow the children to drink the raspberry cordial on their table.  It remains unknown as to whether this played any part in their dancing on said table later in the day.  
The curate was later found in the vestry, tied up with string and with an offering bag over his head. 

Sometimes I laugh when folks talk abut little old ladies.  The impression given is of weak and not too bright women.  I remember being in a room full of ex-missionary women, their husbands, those who had one, had all died long before, and feeling more unsafe than when I was in some football grounds.  These women had had to succeed in difficult and often dangerous places, the Belgian Congo was one where many missionaries died, and in inhospitable habitations far from help.  These were not women to men with!

These summer days make me wake early each morning, usually so early that by 10 am I am back in bed!  I am surrounded by people telling me that they are off to Spain, Iceland, Majorca or some far off land while I mention my trip to Chelmsford to by sausages.  This does not seem right to me in some way.  
I keep asking for a pretty young lass who speaks French to drive me around the battlefields in France and Flanders but have so far met with little in the way of encouraging responses.  One or two have been specifically unresponsive I must say!  There again I have little desire to go where others go.  Spain for the sun, especially for those with kids sounds good but would be boring for me.  Iceland might be interesting but expensive and would mean eating a lot of fish!  For Majorca, sitting reading books sounds good but why go there.  If I go somewhere, if the knees let me, I would wish to see something!  Why g abroad to lie about all day?  What a waste.  The old battlefields would be interesting, foreign nations with a history far from tourists might also satisfy, but lounging about amongst lager louts can be done cheaper at home.  Not for me thanks.