Thursday, 31 October 2019

Election ZZzzzz...

I have been looking around but failed to find any photographs of Boris 'Dead in a ditch.'  Once again his promises have failed us.  This I must say is a disappointment.  Now I am not the kind who wish to see politicans 'dead in ditches' but he did promise, just as he is promising vast financial input into the NHS, education, police, prisons and everything else, I did think that as he did so he could at least keep one promise, the 'ditch' one, and show how trustworthy he is.  He has failed to do this and I am somewhat disappointed.
There has been the usual weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth as several women MPs have decided to stand down.  The fact that many more male MPs are 'leaving is of course ignored as this does not sell the grubby papers.  Amber Rudd, in spite of her Tory credentials could have been a successful minister but did not appreciate having Boris as boss, that reveals her intellect.  On the other hand, muttering about the difficulties of the job, pressure and abuse Nicky Morgan has also stepped down, this less from abuse one feels than from the fact her career has reached an end and off she will go using her name to line her pockets at some Bank, financial institution or business somewhere.  Not much of a politician but knows where the money lies.
The Bigger 'Beast' among those leaving, either by choice or Party opposition will appear regularly on TV and radio, enjoying retirement while keeping their opinions well to the fore as whoever ends up in charge hears their mistakes and lies being analysed.  Ken Clarke will lead these, although the Lords is where he will end up, Hammond and others may well join him there.

Tomorrow people will be wondering why on earth they spent so much money on halloween.  Most have no idea where it started nor why, most see it as a kids party, few comprehend the waste of time and money involved yet this commercial event brings in the cash.  One absurd night a year costing how much?  Consider the time spent in shops stocking the tacky items on sale, the time putting them out, then hiding them the next day.  Consider mums forced to shell out for plastic tat by kids who tomorrow will mutter about plastic pollution! What a waste of time.  
Of course we went in for it as kids...

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Sick of it Already!

December 12th, a time when my Christmas shopping has been done, the cards sent off, the wallet empty, and a trip round the corner to vote for a loser in the General Election. 
Last night, around 10:10 pm, I switched off the radio.  A Tory MP, no idea who, they are all the same, was refusing to answer a question, any question, while spouting the Tory line whether he agreed with it or not.  I could not take any more.
For 43 days we must endure lies, counter lies, newspaper lies, slanted reporting, more lies and a huge growing number of 'experts' explaining to us what is actually going on, all of course giving different answers.  Luckily we all know what each and every MP is saying, "Goes a Job!"
Brexit, the good of the nation, the nations future, all these take a back seat as prospective MPs tell you what you wish to hear even though they know they are lying, you know they are lying and yet they lie in the desperate hope the majority of crosses on the ballot paper will be theirs.   
People of course vote emotionally, not logically, they vote for the party the 'Looks after us' rather than a thoughtful consideration of what is best for the nation overall.  This time many will vote for Brexit, many others will vote against, there will be changes in some areas because of this.  Brexit of course, as I was told yesterday, is only opposed by the 'intelligentsia.'  Naturally I concurred and bowed my head in acceptance.  This is the first time I have been referred to amongst such company.
It may be the last.
Intellectuals, the dumb, the sheep and those who vote for the first time, will all be steadfastly reading every word pushed in front of us during the next few weeks.  I will not.  We know where the parties stand, most know their MPs opinion and only in marginal seats, or those where a change is possible, will folks really take an interest in the half truths and lies on offer.  I need not, our man will be returned, the sheep will come out, however his huge Brexit majority will be diminished as he has put advancement before the constituency and will suffer for this.  He will however keep his well paid job.
I am now off to avoid the papers...

The Tory MPs allowed themselves leave to guffaw at the green tie worn by Corbyn at Prime Ministers Question Time.  They thought this a good reason for ridicule.  Theresa May apparently was less keen and was noted hissing at them to take note, the tie was green in respect for 'Grenfell' and the dead from that fire.   Imagine Tory MPs being out of touch.  One was so far in touch he made it clear the reason the Conservatives beat down the desire to give the vote to 16 & 17 years old's was a simple one, "They will not vote for us!"  He understood.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Sunday Wander...

Church today was enjoyable, other than falling over young Alfie and almost breaking both our necks. The young ladies rushed to save me, an action which upset the 9 year old as they ignored him while ensuring I was still active.  Quite right too! 
Having made the decision to walk, either walk or fix the bike first, I hobbled down the road in a bright warm sun.  This brought out the motorbikes and Sunday drivers off for a drive, enabled those of us with a warm coat to wear  over our jackets, and the footballers to break sweat, and very occasionally, bones!

The under 16's here are pursuing their football dream of glory, even if they only make it to the smaller leagues, and if not enjoying themselves as they labour on the sloping pitch.  How I wished to change places with the goalkeeper!  Alas I merely wandered home and watched the professionals fail to play any better than these lads were doing this afternoon.  

Boris is quiet this weekend, he must be up to something!

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Saturday Filler

Before the rain and in between the football I scurried across the road on a dreich day looking for inspiration.  All I found were leaves and a few twigs blown from the trees by what the weather man called a "Strong Breeze."  I would like to know his definition of 'Storm!'

Rust coloured leaves are appearing everywhere, plants, trees and bushes are shedding heavily those that would compost make.  Rust coloured trees, rain clouds, dark skies, this is what a poet called a season of 'Mist and mellow fruitfulness' or some such.  This proves that Victorian poets were slightly off their heads just like today's poets are!  John Keats was it?  He lived in a big house in Hampstead just of the Heath, he could I suppose, always send the servants out to see what the weather was like over the road...

The shop on the corner was offering these gourds to passing trade.  I am not sure if any sold.  What on earth are they? What would you do with them anyway?   The Pumpkin has become important at this time of year as the nation falls for yet another commercial money grab.  When we were young, us poor people did not know about pumpkins, they were some foreign thing found in the USA, and when we went 'guising,' and not very successfully at that, we would use turnips, the inside scooped out and a face cut on the front.  The candle was easy to find, we always kept spares just in case, and when lit we cheered.
Why?  Who knows?  For kids it's all fun.
The church even had a 'Halloween party,' I remember ducking for apples and attempting to eat a treacle tart hanging from a rope with hands behind my back.  We were so hungry we were happy with that.
Now I see what is behind it I avoid it but would like to see the church offer an 'All Hallows eve' instead.  What me heretical...?

Friday, 25 October 2019

Books, Sausages and Cheese.

I hobbled off at high speed to the bus station for the 11: am bus.
As I approached the digital readout said 'Bus 70: 15 Minutes.'
The changed the times again, however they have not changed the timetable on the shelter I noticed.
So I had to hang about while the driver decided whether to arrive or not.
After a short eternity he arrived.
The questions arise while the time draws near.
"Will he arrive?"  
"Has there been an accident?"  
"Is my watch right?"
"What is that women saying about 'delay?'"
And so on, but he arrived early.
The drivers changed over, the bus departed, ignoring an old man struggling to catch the bus, and bumped its way inexperiencedly along the busy route.  This driver was either new, transferred from London or just inept.  We made it into town but at the lights he jiggered us forward almost inch by inch as if this would move the standing traffic in front of him.  
Definitely a London reject.

I clumped down the street, passing the occasional policeman, a wide variety of people of all ages rushing to and fro, it was noon, and the aroma of takeaway lunches from the snackbars.  Passing through the shopping centre I entered 'Primark' to check the price of jeans, my pair were £6 last time I was in, and discovered no matter what that all jeans/chinos/trousers were made for those with waists no greater than 38.  I was going to enquire where the fat man's stuff was but the assistant looked uninterested and indeed washed out by his labours.  
I moved on.

At last, climbing the stairs to the non fiction books, after stopping to check the many tables with 'Buy on get one Half Price' where I did just that, I then browsed carefully. This did not take long, I wondered about the cash in my pocket and how hot the plastic bit was before I bought too many.  Then raced downstairs to proffer my Gift Token and my green card to accumulate points which will be beneficial in the future.  I like this shop in spite of those critics who claim they are limiting the scope of the choice of books.  Possibly this is true, I cannot tell, however they have sufficient for me at the moment.

Sauntering around the many tented stalls that now fill the paved High Street I considered their cheese, their pies, bread, veg and other delights then spent £3 on a hand made Malted Loaf just so I do not require attendance at Tesco when I got home.  £3!  That was not the cheapest, one type of bread cost £12.... I mean really!

So, the books obtained, with bread in the bag I headed to my next regular stops, G.C.Smith, butcher at the Chelmsford Market.  This supplies me with sausages and chicken for the freezer at a mere £20, while along the rows we find a small cheese stall with a couple of shelves packed with huge chunks of cheese at reasonable prices.  'Mark's Cheese and Eggs' stall has a great variety on offer, however as I proffered my £20 note, apologising for having nothing else (I only spent £4:50) the cheery lady said that did not matter as "We don't give change on Friday's."  We then discussed the lack of a notice to this effect once they had brought me round and lifted me off the ground.  They don't like people lying around in case folks blame the cheese.  Anyway I like these two stalls and have been there regularly, allowing for long periods in between and will be back when the freezer demands this.   I might however raise my cholesterol level from 4:3 to much higher if I am not careful.  Then I hobbled back to the bus, waited for ages, then in an almost empty bus made it home, knees aching, wallet empty, but sufficient foodstuffs obtained, books to add to the 'To Read' pile, and a happy sense of getting out of town for a change.   

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Aye! Aye! Sherlock...

The internet is a wonderful tool for investigating people.  On occasions nothing turns up, the quest fails as we know too little about them to seek a source for information, on other occasions information falls out of the web like stuff from an overflowing cupboard.  Today I was lucky in one search!
My new neighbours are very quiet.  This makes me suspicious as they are young, the folks below in their early20's, the couple next door late teens.  A quick search for her next door offered little and his name has yet to be discovered, however a visitor yesterday indicated something about them that needs more knowledge.  The visitors, too women, the leading one very efficient, the younger one learning how to be efficient and er, 'firm.'  These appear to be social workers, that explains how the kids can afford the rent and have as yet avoided selling drugs and offering blaring bad music to the world.  I now suspect he has left prison and will be on some sort of rehabilitation work, one of them, possibly both, certainly goes of to work daily.
The folks downstairs were much easier to investigate.  Their mail does not have the flat number on it and so I noticed their names, these names are found on facebook, that source of much information for personnel officers worldwide.  She was found, usual girly stuff, and he it turns out is a police officer!  That explains his funny hours, his good behaviour and determination not to get caught out somewhere.  'Well, what do you know?'
This is very interesting as it shows the reason for good behaviour.  Now I must try to get to know them better and elicit more info.  Not that I am nosey or anything, I just like to know what's going on...

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Gardens Walk...

This afternoon, suddenly inspired by Suzah's brilliant photo blog I rushed out into the remains of the afternoon sun in a van attempt to copy her.  I failed! 
Avoiding the shenanigans in the House of Commons I had spent the day in meditative practices, or dozing as they call it, not counting the three tracks from 'AC/DC' that I played to wake me up and get me going of course.  That sufficed to enable me to visit Tesco and risk a checkout lass with a cold.  Standing as far back as possible  finished the job and hobbled home in the sunshine.  There, while the sun glinted of the rusting leaves I read the panic stricken media informing us of wild winter weather, storms and gale force winds plus snow!  Possibly the media have not understood October before.

So I wandered across to the Public Gardens so kindly donated by one of the Courtauld's in 1840.  This, once part of their garden, was well lit in the late afternoon sun.  Even better the wee kids were not running around screaming as they were being dragged by their anxious mothers to various primary schools to collect the bigger members of the family as they left school.  Once again we must make the most of the days as next week they are on holiday again.  

You do realise that as darkness falls and the shops fill the shelves with Christmas stuff yet another year is ending?  Two months and a week or so to go.  I'm sure time did not go so fast in the past. 

Trees grow at a slow rate.  I suddenly realised today just how big that tree actually is.  The man below, hidden to our right, knows just how big the tree is as he has raked up the fallen leaves and knows he has to do it all again very soon.  These must have been planted in the 1840s I reckon, as I think that is when the garden opened. By 1880 when donated to the town (I am guessing at the year as I canny be bothered looking the date up as they are on record next door) these trees would have been  decent size yet neither the garden designer nor the owner would ever appreciate them full grown.   I stood for a moment and wondered at the huge size of trees, this one spread out, others going almost straight up, and enjoyed them.  Reminds me of the tree seen on Dave's site recently during his French adventure.  Now the dying leaves fall to the ground, annoying many who have to remove them, and remarkably quickly the bare trunk will stand stark against the sky, all rather sad in a way. 

The Holly is preparing for winter also.  Large bushes appear, usually with red berries but I wished to get a dark line against the sky for an effect.  Comments on a  postcard... 

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Saturday Drivel

Brexit meant so much to me this day that I ignored it completely till now.  While thousands marched peacefully through London in a proper protest MP's were to debate Boris's absurd new deal with the EU.  Of course this deal is a sham, Boris wishes either to leave with 'No Deal' as his paymasters wish, or not leave at all as his sense dictates.  The word 'sense' in this must not be misconstrued!
The banners flew, the placards, often absurd, none made by the 'Socialist Workers Party' who make placards for so many demonstrations, and EU flags were flown revealing the depth of determination to seek a second Referendum.  
Parliament ignored them.
Instead the MP's voted by 322 to 306 forcing Boris to ask for a 'Brexit delay.'  His answer is to ignore this and come back again on Monday to seek a vote on his 'Deal' Bill.  Hopefully it will become a 'Dear Bill' instead.

I shook myself awake and ventured out and about around eleven.  There was a need to investigate mobile phones and boots.  My phone died, I think 'Virgin' clammed up on it as at 'Pay-as-you-go' I hardly used it and they probably thought I was dead.  I had only used it once in 2 years.  However they are handy for emergencies, which I have never met, and I wondered if I required one that gave me more, cheaply, just in case.  Naturally I have no idea about such things.  Does the internet come with the package?  Is it separate?  How much does it cost?  Simm?  Anyway on the way round I ventured into Tesco to look at the shelf of phones on display.  Naturally there were none!  Instead all was kids Christmas presents, row after row!  So I made my way to Tesco's boots and searched the styles and prices, both were repugnant to me!
I came home.

Yesterday I cleaned out some stuff from under the bed.  The boxes full of cash appear not to be there which I thought unfortunate.  There was several pairs of old boots, all with holes in the soles, one of which had disintegrated while lying there covered in dust.  These filled a black rubbish bag and left the building.  That is why new boots are required.  I hate buying shoes, no matter where you look there is not something you wish for and then they do not have them in your size and then the size is not as stated!  Shoe sizes in Bangladesh or Romania are not the same as in Nottingham it appears. The rain may return before I am successful.

On my return I found the second new neighbour attempting to fill the flat with household items.  I say he was doing it but the impression I got was that Dad was doing the hard bits.  I made my salute and hid while they banged and thumped their way up and down stairs.  New neighbours are always a problem.  The new ones downstairs have been quiet so far, they appear to be early 20's and work from home, drug smuggling I suspect, and the couple next door appear young, possibly too young to be next to me!  My quiet peaceful existence may be in doubt.  However I have met them all, parents today being normal and offering decency, probably they have got rid of the brats!  We shall see how they go.  However I reckon it takes them about £67 each a week to pay for this, I hope they both have good jobs.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Wednesday Blether.

Bumbling Boris is claiming to have achieved a deal with the EU.  A deal worse than the one he and his ERG rejected not so long ago.  As normal he has sold people out, this time it appears to be the DUP who are not happy with the Irish situation.  This may be because it interferes with their control in Northern Ireland, it could however be because the deal is just Bollocks!  
It appears we now go to the House to get backing, hopefully this will fail but we never know do we...

Well done the people of Canning Town!
The absurdity of Environmental Protesters hindering Londoners trying to get to work has shown the depth of stupidity within this so called movement.  Like Brexit this is manipulated from a centre by the rich desperate for a cause.  This week it is the environment, last week the homeless, that did not last, again a new cause will come and carrying the Guardians close to them they will call out those listening to their fears and ignoring reality.  From needless blocking of streets, accompanied by the workshy or those with sufficient money income to live on the streets and by Thespians desperate for publicity they hinder the world turning and accomplish nothing with regard to changing politicians minds.  The middle class at play, nothing else.  We ought to praise the people of Canning Town and elsewhere for dragging these nutters from the trains and offering appropriate advice regarding their movement.
So who are XR? Who is leading this? Why are we not told?  Are we to believe that an organisation that begun last October could reach this level without a guiding hand?  Who and what is behind this?  Clearly they do not care about the environment.  For them blocking the streets and bringing sad people to do their work for them is very Steve Bannon in my view.  There is much more to this than meets the eye and we ought to be told who is running this.

Now here is a cause the protesters can follow.  The Franco like abuse by police on those unhappy with Madrid's abuse of the Catalan politicians jailed for having a referendum.  The harshness of the sentence reveals not only the judges closeness to the government but also the fear in Spain of the country breaking up.  That fear will be realised by the treatment offered here.  Franco tactics indeed but Franco no longer is in control.  The Catalans will obtain their wish democratically and Madrid will not stop them. 

The latest Trump saying. "America and Italy go back thousands of years!" 

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Healthy Me...?

I reported as ordered to the nurse for the 'Old man's health check.'  
Reporting in dead on time the receptionist stopped cleaning her knuckledusters long enough to inform me I had to 'Log in' at the screen 'over there.'  I went 'over there' and confronted the blue screen (of death?' I thought) and began to answer the inquisition presented before me.  It is a good job I could remember my date of birth!  At last it recognised me, ordered me upstairs, and switched off.
Clumping upstairs, ideal I though for my knees, and more so for the older man with bad knees and walking stick awaiting his turn to fall down them, I found the waiting area and entered.  All things are down on screen these days.  Ahead of me a largish screen ordered return of unused medicines, demanded measles were vaccinated against and with a loud 'Ping'  ordered Mr Patient to Reception room 'A.'  As he was downstairs I cannot tell if he obeyed but I suspect he will.
I waited.
Refusing to sit as I expected to be called any minute I stared out the window at the new view, last time in here I met the witch doctor who disposed of me to quickly to allow me a glance out the window.  A jumble of buildings erected after the war, nearby some had been destroyed by bombing, the square practical but dated buildings looked so modern beside those aged hulks confronting the main street erected in the 19th century, some before that time.  Why do aged buildings look better than modern ones?  I read of Charles Dickens grumbling about the new Public houses that were springing up, either through new building or by renovation.  These he thought ghastly and criticised them all.  Now we are up in arms with anyone who wishes to destroy them!  Cheap labour helped obtain better looking buildings in the past, but often today we appear to build only monstrous edifices.  
I also noticed how the surgery had taken over several off the offices in the square build opposite, just above the pharmacy.  This small square surgery hopes to move to a monstrous needless new build in the town centre the council is spending £11 million of its own money on.  A Hotel we do not require, housing, restaurants and a doctors surgery will be built in spite of nobody wanting this and with money better spent where it is required.  The Tory council however will build whatever we say.
Last time I had a problem I saw the Nurse Practitioner, a kind of lesser doctor, who was excellent but having to make use of a large cupboard to see patients.  Some remedial work has been done but the space is too small.  That said if they move and make me walk 5 minutes to them rather than one minute I will not object.  However as this building will remove one car park and the taxi rank replacing them with nothing whatsoever I doubt those who have to travel by car will be pleased, the parking here is bad enough.
The 'Ping' came and at last my name appeared.
I crossed the floor into Room 5 where I met an attractive personable young lady who, like all nurse, can kill at 30 paces.  I followed instructions, I heeded comments, I accepted the Blood Pressure thing strangling my arm all without complaint.  The needle in the fingertip "You might feel a jab," said she, and she was right.  Wiping the blood of the ceiling we continued.
These days all measurements are made by these little computers.  Surprisingly they informed my my Cholesterol was 4.3 which is considerably down from 5 years ago!  'Benecol' margarine has helped, she said that lowers cholesterol by 7%, and that is helped by eating other things like porridge.  She knew about porridge having a Glasgow mother she had seen a lot of that!  Sugar was 5.3, and as my blood pressure was normal, only the need to lose a stone and exercise more was required.  
I was amazed!
Before I entered in trepidation I expected a list of horrid foods to eat to alter my diet,  a telling off for being a 'Fat slob' as last time, this lass was, er..plump herself, so maybe that is why she kept quiet, and here I was being informed that in spite of it all I was healthy!
Right, pasta tonight, veg tomorrow, then chocolate....

My treatment was FREE as it was the NHS.  

This however is what an American paid, in the 'Land of the Free,'
 for treatment on a knee infection.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Protest the Rain in Spain...

With monsoon like rain teeming down I was forced, last night, to walk miles in the rain to attend, under compulsion, the St Paul's men's meeting 'SPAM.'  This spiritual gathering, in the Liberal Club, occurs every month, it is a crime to miss it.  Having no wish to be forced to sit on the 'Cutty stool' and be preached at by the prelate for an hour concerning my sin of not obeying I attended, in spite of the rain coming in through the holes in my worn out shoes.
As the gathering progressed we discussed the NHS, the Great War, painting and decorating according to the wife's instructions, the Holocaust, the use of metres rather than feet and inches, all the while attended cheerfully by the barmaid attendant of the premises.  To enable discussion nourishment was provided, 60/-, 70/- and 80/- was noticed and indeed the spirit was abundant in one quarter also.  These short get togethers bring about a feeling of 'team spirit,' a binding of personalities, a warmth of companionship and a question as to the genuineness of the prelates insistence that today was 'Buy the Priest a Pint' day.  I hope he got home all right...  
These rich men, 40 years of paying into a pension has paid dividends for some!  My £10 a week from the NHS pails into significance besides them.  This also enabled them to ensure a wife was given driving lessons so she could collect them after the meeting had ended, the end coming when one wife arrived and threw us out, thereby proving her worth and his displeasure.  
I sloshed my way home in the dark, fumbled my way upstairs and collapsed in a warm spiritual contentment.

While the media concentrates on Trump's latest farce, the Turks invading Kurdistan, less attention is given to the Spanish 'Franco like' approach to Catalan independence.  The English media play this down implying the Spanish are doing the correct thing, indicating their willingness to do the same to Scotland, and even worse is the lack of criticism of this disgraceful jailing of Catalan politicians who dared to separate  from Madrid. 
While the EU leaders are quick to condemn the Turks under their somewhat desperate leader Erdogan, they have said nothing regarding the Spanish inquisition.  One Scots MEP spoke in the European Parliament but nothing has come of that as far as I can see.  Riots followed the 13 year sentence handed down by the Spanish 'Judge Jefferies' and I suspect these may continue for a while. It may indeed be a proper referendum next time, and where will Spain be then?  Sensitive political handling is required, Spain has not offered much inclination that that in recent years.  Fear of the nation splitting, Franco's memory and the division that leaves, short sighted politicians all combine to offer an unstable future which ham fisted handling will not ease.

Bumbling Boris has been told to fix things by midnight tonight.  The question is, who will he sell out to get himself an agreement - if he gets an agreement?  Does he care, will it happen, will it go on....?

At last the Met is doing its job.  The children and fantasists are being removed from the streets, roads are being opened, and London returns to its normal terribleness.  What has been achieved?
Police costs have mounted, vast number on overtime and all to be paid.
Crime risen around London and probably much of that not reported as there is no-one to report it to, they are all in central London confronting men dressed as Brussel sprouts!
Streets blocked and much hindrance to daily traffic, many small businesses losing money.
And the environment effect?
Planes still fly, taking the celeb protesters home.
China still builds faulty Nuclear power stations and faultier cola fired ones.
India does no stop kicking Muslims and Christian around to turn of their smoking power stations.
Trump continues...well that's a big environmental health risk!
The USA continues to allow polluters to buy Presidents and candidates.
So what has the protest movement achieved?
There is a grown up way to protest, this was not it.
Lock them all up!

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Pryor Book

Francis Pryor became famous as part of the 'Time Team' archaeology series on Channel 4.  Pryor's speciality being prehistory, the 'Bronze' and 'Iron Ages.'  His own work is based near Peterborough in the 'Fens.'      
'Paths to the Past' however, is not about prehistory though it may be mentioned, this book covers much of the land and seeks out specific areas with something to tell of times past, and not too far past at that.and
Beginning way back at 'Star Carr,' and then the 'Orkney's,' we move through 'Avebury,' 'Hadrian's Wall,' and on a few short pages at a time.  Thus enabling five or ten minutes to be spent considering one aspect of UK heritage. 
The four or five pages given to the subject, be it 'Romney March' or 'Ironbridge,' are a very good example of constructing a short story which covers much ground.  An excellent overview is given of the subject and at the end of the thin book there are further reams to study if wished.  
Whether you agree with his opinions or not the view from 'Birkenhead Park,' to 'Kings Cross & St Pancras,' is well worth looking into.  A book of short chapters, well written and full of interest, well worth a read.


Saturday, 12 October 2019


I am supposed to be out this afternoon and its raining.
The weather girl, the one who refuses to come and do my ironing, cheerfully informed us the rain would pass over 'late tonight,' but cheerfully added that it will be 'back tomorrow.'
Nasty things women!
A male weatherman would have ensured sunshine for the weekend.

'Plusnet' Speed dropped recently from around 57mps to just under 30.  I was not amused.
This still gave a workable speed but I am paying for the lot and wish to obtain all of it, even if not required. 
I contacted them via the site, a response came, then nothing for a week!
I contacted the 'Plusnet Help' on Twitter and soon had a reply.
At their end there was no fault, indeed they claimed I could get 72!!!
So he offered a plan.
By making use of the Ethernet cable I tested again and lo and behold all returned to normal, right up to just over 57 mps again.
I was intrigued how this use of a cable could sort this problem.  What caused it?  I may never know.
Still, it is now fixed and if he rain stops in 20 minutes I may leave and go to the 50th anniversary party of the St Paul's Church.  That is, 50 years since it became an independent parish.
Church folks will do anything for a nosh up.
It does mean I miss some football however...

Friday, 11 October 2019

Friday, Pay and Railways.

Friday night, rain or not, the citizens of this municipality are running around unconcerned by the Turkish invasion and possible genocide in Kurds land, the Irish discussions re Brexit that so dominate the media, nor indeed the 'TERROR' attack as the 'Daily Mail' put it in Manchester.  This is Friday so it is time to enjoy the end off the week they say.  Who can blame them, possibly those who have to work Saturdays I suppose.  It can be very annoying to see the majority enjoying the 'normal' time off when you are left working.  During pleasantries with the lass in B&M yesterday I mentioned how she would soon be free for home.  Her somewhat disgusted reply informed me she finished at 8 pm!  The poor lass, she still had so many hours of joy ahead of her.
B&M are one of the shops who have a large turnover of staff.  'Basic pay,' very possibly poor management, certainly not much fun with many of the customers, and little sense of 'fun' to be seen from the staff members.  Other shops local to this have similar turnover and I suppose they care not as there is always someone desperate to try a short while working here.  There is not a great deal of choice!
Sometimes I wonder at the poor work I have done, the inept management, sometimes corrupt and self seeking, at other times very efficient and capable but not with money to spare.  I wish I had trained in something when young but when young I cared not, to be honest I would have soon been dumped anyway as I lacked what was required until Jesus came along and gave me a kick.  Then I chose low paid work like Hospitals and charity work, unpaid!   I enjoyed that more than lining my pockets however.  Some things are worth more than cash even if I did little.  I am now a 'Jack-of-no-trade' and fail to fix everything I break.  This is a regret but too late now.  
I sympathise with those looking to another ten years or much more in such work.  I doubt Bojo's latest wheeze will do such people much good, in the EU or out of it.  The Hedge fund managers, not on low pay, will be encouraging him however by flashing cash in front of his face.   

I suddenly feel the need for a railway picture.  This one is of Edinburgh Waverley Station in 1914.  It is to be regretted that all the trains have left for their destination, on time I expect, and as the photographer, whoever he was, coaxed his glass plates into place several would be steaming through the tunnels beneath his feet in either in or out direction, on different tracks I hope.  

Seen from the other end, the southerly direction via Berwick and on to Newcastle and London, we have a picture from I think the 1870's.  It may be the 1890's however as some fool has forgotten to mark the date on this one.  My grandfather was driving engines at that time while living nearby, possibly one of these.  The 1881 and 1891 census has him listed as 'engine driver,' a highly skilled and dangerous operation.  At that time drivers might work 12 or more hours, in all weathers, on passenger and goods trains.  Both could be troublesome and both had timetables to obey.  Passenger safety was very important to the railway companies, they said, but as you see the carriages are short, made from wood, had no heating it appears from these pictures and I cannot tell if these had gas lighting or oil lamps installed.  They might just be 3rd Class of course. 
The drivers and firemen joined 'ASLEF' 'Associated Society of Locomotive Steam Enginemen and Firemen' rather than the 'NUR' the National Union of Railwaymen,  as they wished to be seen as slightly above the common railwayman.  Class is not something that comes from above but from within!  Together they changed the pay structure and hours of the men but the ability to get yourself fired, for almost anything, was great, and the dangerous working conditions for many improved only slowly.  There is no way conditions and working practices of the 19th century could be imagined these days in the UK, Brexit of course might bring them back.