Saturday, 31 December 2016

More bloody forms and my view on history

31 December

Unexpected that is; yes. I am a Yoda fan. What was unexpected was the letter I got from DVLA this morning. Perhaps what shouldn’t have surprised me is the both sides of the envelope were open. Both of us were concerned that my renewed licence had been in there, but it hadn’t been. What was there was an additional four forms that need filling out, four forms, one each for each of the conditions that the GP has told them about. But here’s the thing, they look pretty much the same forms apart from the condition names and dates when I last saw the various consultants. That will need some sorting out, I mean, come on, I’ve more than a few sleeps since they happened. Ah well … guess I’ll have to get on with it.

Returning to yesterday’s blog; the article link I posted majored on the fact that Mad Maggie had to be threatened with a fine before she got around to sorting out her own pole tax payment. The BBC News at 6.30 yesterday only mentioned that the end of the report of the released papers. This shows how anyone can twist history to fit their own theories, and that is where history is abused and becomes uninteresting to so many people. Mad Maggie again then; yes, there were riots in the streets after it was brought in and yes, it was one of the issues of why she fell from power, perhaps the main issue why it happened.

The pole tax was brought in to replace the hated council rates. Something that MM promised she would replace. One of her minister at the time was Michael Portillo, the BEEB interviewed him on the issue yesterday. He admitted that the poll tax had not been thought out properly, therefore the effects it would have were not recognised. He then went to say that history repeated itself with the Brexit vote. This time it was Daft Dave who made sure he kept his promise to hold one. Well, maybe he’s right in that view, time will tell.

The thing is with history, is that we all have our own thoughts and beliefs and the only way to fully understand things is to look at as many sources as you can, and them make your own mind up as to what happened and why. That holds with whatever period you look at. In the poll tax issue, it’s modern history, that is from the last 50 or 60 years. Terrible Tony took over in 1997, and the papers from his time in office are still locked away and are likely to remain so for some time to come. I can see why, he’s still around and can be taken to task for anything where there is even a hint of shadiness in his actions. That’s also why John Major’s papers are still locked tight.

When it comes to the Royal Family, they get the best protection of all. The mandarins are very good at keeping secrets from the public. But don’t let that ‘loyalty’ con you my friends, oh no; in protecting Liz Windsor & Co they are also protecting themselves and their pensions as well. What better way is there to protect what they do from the public than by making that loyalty subject to the future of the secret keepers.

History is very subjective and no-one approaches with a totally clear and fully open mind, even the most brilliant scholars. I don’t claim to be one of the elite; indeed, I come to history as anti-royalist and anti-tory. The former is a fairly new view point in that it’s slowly built up over the years since Charlie got uppity when his misses became more popular than he was. The later one is a lifelong stance that I inherited from my dad, he was a tory hater too. I mean, what can you expect from a man who was brought up in South Wales mining are by a Scottish coal miner? His views were passed down to me and Dave. I hope that these days I am more open minded and willing to vote outside the family traditions.

Anyway, time to look at a photo today, just hope the BlogSpot uploader today, it certainly wasn’t yesterday …

A fellow snapper at Kingsbury.

Today’s funny …

 Yesterday thieves broke into a police station and stole all the toilets. When asked to comment, a police spokesman said, "they have nothing to go on."          

Friday, 30 December 2016

History at 70MPH?

30 December

There’s a government plan to allow ‘selected’ learner drivers to drove on the motorway if their driving instructor says they are able to do so. Even experienced drivers get caught out on there, as seen with a coach has over turned on the M40. So now the motorways will be even more dangerous when that one comes in. Imagine a learner driver driving at 70mph when someone is in trying to escape from cops and comes flying past at a ton or more with several cop cars trying to intercept. I can see the learn panicking and all the instructor can do is to give instructions and maybe use his break peddle. Who thinks up these crazy ideas. And speaking of crazy ideas …

Mad Maggie, she of poll tax craziness, failed to fill in her poll tax registration form and was warned she could be fined for not doing so. It took two attempts to get it done cos the council sent her the wrong form to start with. This is an interesting little story, a footnote to her final fall from grace, which was the whole poll tax idea. She had been warned about bringing this one in and yet being the arrogant person she was, she ignored them – and paid the price for it; oh dear, how sad, what a pity, never mind!

These papers, realised at long last, show just one instance of pollical folly, but it makes me wonder how many more there waiting to be discovered. How many more prime muppets have made such monumental cock-ups of that sort. I’m sure at some time in the future there will be more such stories to come out about what happened in Downing Street. What was the truth behind the death of that scientist found dead in Oxfordshire? What were the real reasons that lead Terrible Tony to pick a fight with Saddam? How about the truth about the Falklands War and the miner’s strike? And don’t forget the death of Diana, Charlie’s first wife.  All these answers won’t be forth coming in our lifetimes and maybe won’t be of interest to those who will get the chance to read them.

The real interest in these papers is with historians, not the general public. I know people who consider history as being a waste to time and boring. ‘After all,’ they say, ‘there’s nothing we can do now that it’s all done and past us is there?’ I find that really sad. My BA hons is in history so such an attitude makes my blood boil. History is something that I have always enjoyed, even back in school, and of course, I still enjoy it. I just wish I could remember everything I have learned and read over the years. One Sunday I mention this to a teacher friend of ours and she that it was impossible to remember everything you have read and learned. That put my mind at ease somewhat; and yet, and yet … … …

Jan turned up here yesterday with three sprogs in tow. Actually, it didn’t go as bad as I had thought it might. Mind you, I did put my head phones and played an ELO CD and the Beatles Revolver so I didn’t hear much at all. But I did keep an eye on though. I think it was a useful exercise in that Billy and Vicky now know there is not enough for all three of them every other weekend. As it is Kile sleeps on a camp-bed beside the front door, which is not ideal but is workable.

No go, sorry but the uploader isn't working for some daft reason, so no photo for today.

Today’s funny …

'Grandad, do you know how to croak?'
‘I don't think so, Steven, why?"
'Because Dad says he'll be rich when you do.'

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Election rigging

29 December

This afternoon could be interesting; Jan is off to collect Kile and Billy to come down here for a couple of hours. Vicky might want to come down as well. We’ve never had so many people in here at one time in here so I’m hoping that I can cope with them all. We’ll soon see …

What do you think about the idea of some of people being asked for ID when they turn up to vote? The postal vote system is being tightened up at the same time, something that has needed doing for a long time, far to open to abuse. The usual cage rattling is being done by various civil liberty groups and individuals who have too much hot air in the lungs to be taken seriously. Thing is, a lot of what this is being brought in for will clash with various culture systems in places like Pakistan and Bangladesh. Some of those involved will not see what the problem is because they are just doing the same as they would back home.

I’m expecting a backlash at some point – and not just from the communities being targeted. In theory postal votes are a great idea on the face of it. There are a lot of people in the UK with dementia, enough to possibly have an effect on a general election. It might not seem so obvious but the odd vote here and there soon adds up to a significant number. That is perhaps why action is being considered. For example; My mother didn’t have a clue what was going on around her. Dave could have applied for got a postal vote for both of them, but he didn’t simply cos he was too lazy. Anyway, if he had bothered, mother could see or hear anything so how would she know and understand what she was being asked? She couldn’t, that means it would be down to down to whoever filled in the vote for her, and that is where the fraud comes in.

Proxy voting can be abused too. My dad used to vote for me in all our elections while I was in the army. It was dad because I knew that I could trust him to vote the way I wanted. Every so often I’d try winding him up by saying I wanted to vote tory and not labour, he’d bit every time and Dave and me would be giggling at his antics when I said it. But perhaps you can see how easy fraud becomes with such on open system. And don’t forget that in some cultures women do not have the freedoms as do our British women.

Most of us cherish our right to vote, and yet few of us know that the right for all men over 21 to vote is less than 100 years old. Women over the age of 30 could also vote at that time and it wasn’t until 1928 that all women over 21 were given the vote. It was 1969 that the voting age was lowered to 18 years of age for both sexes. These rights were hard won and we should cherish them, and use them! So is it really surprising that that when we hear of frauds happening in our voting systems that people are getting uppity over it? No, of course not. Why should these people get away with what is in fact, a criminal offence? Proving it might be a bit of a problem though.
Today’s photo …

Kingsbury Parish Church.

Today’s funny …            
A Truck load of prunes has been stolen.
Police are looking for a man on the run.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The death of democracy perhaps?

28 December

This ‘ere celebratory malarkey is not all it’s cracked up to be, is it? Another two of them have kicked the bucket over Christmas. There’s been quite a few of them taking the last bow this year, and there’s three more days to go yet. Maybe there is something about being a celeb that attracts it in some way. But there again, it comes to us all at some point, it’s just that when it’s Joe Public very few of us are interested.

For example; a man has been arrested in Bristol over the death of six month old baby on Christmas Day. Yesterday in Brum, I man sitting in a car was shot in the head and died. Did you know about those two? I did know about the one in Brum cos it was on BBC Midlands Today last night, but not about the dead baby until I just read it on MSN news feed. See what I mean? Yesterday I bought a Daily Mail and around six pages of it were taken up in the George Michael story. OK, he was a popular singer, however, just how many of us really did like his work? Jan and me didn’t for a start, and neither did my brother Dave. And yet that baby doesn’t even get a small paragraph.

Mrs Lizzy Windsor apparently supported Brexit and can’t understand why we can’t just leave right now. That means she is thinking in the same way as I do, and fair number of people too. And don’t forget, that lady is no drug sniffer idiot, she is a very clever and well informed lady, (and I’m usually willing to support what she says and does remember). So, if she really thinks that, then what is the government farting about at? Or is the delay just another excuse to line their own pockets before we leave? Whatever, the sooner the better for me.

Did you happen to see the photo of Bob Geldof shouting abuse at Brexiters in the papers yesterday? I’m not over keen on his as an entertainer either, but the way he looked in that makes me wonder if he is still pushing his punk rock message after all these years. But what can we expect these days about the whole Brexit issue? On one hand we have remainers who warned of dire consequences if we leave the EU, but now they say they have changed their minds, ex-Bank of England chief Melvin King. Our economy isn’t plunging into unknown depths since the vote, and yet there are still people coming forward claiming it will be a serious problem in the future. Some people just won’t accept the majority vote, will they? I don’t know what will happen but I still feel we will be better off out there than in. I just wish they would get on and get us out.

Obama claims that the Labour party is falling apart. I have to agree with him too. The problem is within the parliamentary party, again because we have a group of people who will not accept the vote of the members in backing Corbyn as the party leader. What hope is there for the local party if top level won’t accept voters’ wishes? Very little methinks. As it is, I don’t see Corbyn as a future Prime Muppet any way, but hey-ho, there’s another three years before the next general election so they have time to sort it all out – at least I hope they do!

Today's photo ...

Kile sitting in the sun at Kingsbury Water Park, just a reminder on this frosty, foggy morning.

Doctor, doctor. Every time I stand up quickly, I see Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy.
Ok, how long have you been having these Disney spells?

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Post Crimble ...

27 December

That’s Crimble over for another year, only 363 days to the next one. Ours was the usual quiet time with nowt much happening and us not going out anywhere. One year we will fulfil our dream of away for the Christmas and New Year, somewhere nice and warm. Anyway, Last night we sat and watched one of our favourite DVDs, Stardust. What I hadn’t realised until last night is that the original book it’s based on was by Neil Gaiman. I’ve read one of his, now it looks like I shall be book hunting again soon.

Another strange dream last night; this time it was about a strange beastie in large man-made lake. Suddenly there were two of them, and then hundreds of the little beasties. That was when they began to change and start to eat anyone near the water. They were sort of sting ray shaped with three long tails, the shorter central was the killing one. Pretty soon they had begun to spread and became a series problem for everyone. The investigations into what they were and where they came from ended, and the best way of killing them became to key focus. And another novel idea is set out ready to be worked on.

Bristol Fashion is being proofed for me so I thought I could get on with Arathusia; as it worked out the new Alan Parsons came to the fore, and had around 350 words added before I came to a shuddering stop! Arathusia is being hand written and then typed up, however both version, typed and hand written stop versions end in places that are so different I’m lost as to what to do with it. It will get sorted though, they always do. All I need to do is get on with and do it, and that my friends is not so easy at times. Lack of motivation is far more real than writers block in my view … or are they same?

Different writers have different ways of beating it. Some prefer the idea of writing anything, anything at all as long as you are writing. OK, fine, but what do they do with all they produce I wonder? Others say that they structure their writing days, and lets face it, a writer who writes to earn a living has no choice in it. They get up early, go for a walk, have breakfast and then go to their office/study and start work, breaking for regular tea breaks and so on. Fine, I can see that working for some folks, but not for me, simply because I don’t have a particular writing area apart from in our living room where I’m sat now. Jan is also sat here too and as much as she enjoys playing game on here lappy, she like to have the telly on too. When that happens, all thought of working go out the window.

I can’t see me getting much done today either; we are off out pretty soon now, heading for B&Q in Binley and across the road to Morrisons after that. Jan is also on about going to B&M to look for lamp shades. That is my idea of going to Astley Book Farm is out for today too, ah well … … …

So it’s time for a photo …

What better than my Crimble dinner; that’s right, no turkey. Neither of us like turkey all that much, so we had a chunk of beef instead, and very nice it was too.

Today’s funny …

How many waiters does it take to change a light bulb?
None. Not even a burned-out bulb can catch a waiter's attention.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

It's nearly Crimble ...

21 December

We read fairly often, or hear on telly about the word tracking software that GCHQ uses to pick up when certain words are used. OK, fine; I personally don’t have problem with them doing so but I’m well aware that there are people all across the UK who do mind. They see this monitoring as restricting their own personal spaces. My response to that is to wonder just what they are doing for them to worry about what others are thinking of them; oh dear, how sad, what a pity, never mind. Some folks do things on-line that they need to stop doing, then there wouldn’t be any worry about what they are doing. There are others who are so busy worrying about is being done to others that they forget to live their own lives to the full.

Our Plan for today is to get over to Asda in Walsgrave for our last bit to shopping before Crimble. We don’t need much, just a few items really, but it gives us a chance to get out for a few hours before the weather breaks. We may look to see if we can a few new DVDs to watch while we’re in Asda, been a while since we bought any. Last year we went up to see Kile, Billy and Vicki on Christmas Day, but right now they are still busy decorating after moving in, but Jan then had the idea that perhaps it might be better if we left alone this year because it’s their first one in a new home. Add in the decorating and it makes sense.

So then, with that in mind, this will really be a short blog today; not only that but I shall a few days over the weekend and come back on Tuesday. Jan and wish you all Merry Christmas.

Today’s photo …

Part of the winter land set up in Milton Keynes a couple of years ago.

Today’s funny …

Why is it always so cold at Christmas?
Because it's in Decembrrrrr.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Imagine ... Lennon was right!

20 December

For want of anything else we watched The Golden Compass again the night before last. The critics slated it when it first came out, but I find it hard to see why. It’s not the best film I’ve seen, but it’s far from being the worst one as well. I’ve not read the books it’s based on so I can’t compare them, but I may well give them a go. Having said that, the last time I watched it I remember saying the same thing, and I’m still saying it. The film didn’t give me a very a very good night’s sleep with the result that it was around 3.30pm before I became fully functional.

Last night wasn’t a lot better. Around 1.45am I had a thought come to me about those silly idiotic clowns jumping out at people and frightening them half to death. Our son Tom, shared a FaceBook video of a similar thing but this time it’s young men running up to and hitting strangers with a pillow, then running off laughing. Someone will get really pissed off about it one day and the attacker will be seriously hurt. Perhaps that is what is needed to stop these silly games. However, there’s always someone on hand to film the attack, so they are not so random as it first seems. That camera operator should also be duffed up.

These attacks are premeditated in as much as one of them is going out with a pillow ready to hit another person with it. That is surely an arrestable offence? However, unless someone actually makes a complain to the cops over it, there’s little the cops can do. There are no injuries sustained either, so no evidence of the attack apart from the video taken by the accomplice. And while all this is happening …

A Russian diplomat is shot in the back by a police officer in Turkey. I don’t think the Russians are nice group of people to deal with, at least the politians and so on, but what the officer was totally uncalled and unnecessary. How can any diplomat from any nation feel safe when they are out and about on their official duties after this attack? Have you thought about the damage this attack might cause? In 1914 a minor prince was shot dead. That incident lead to millions of young men being killed in the trenches of Europe and elsewhere. Take the thought deeper; Russia  is ruled by a very anti-West man, and Turkey is part of the NATO alliance.  

An attack on Turkey by Russia is likely to be seen as an attack on NATO, and don’t forget, both sides now have nukes they throw at each other. And yet again we see the falsehood of the ‘peace dividend’! It’s even worse now with Bonkers Boris and Farter on the international scene. How are they likely to react I wonder; not good I think.  

Twelve more innocent people are dead because yet another follower of the peaceful religion drove an artic lorry into a crowded market area in Berlin. If that is ‘peaceful’, we already know what Jihad is like, just look at what ISIS has been doing. How many more will die because them? One thing I am sure about though, is that an all-out war against Islam will not work. It was tried hundreds of years ago and it didn’t work then (although that was more a war of greed sanctioned by the Pope of the day), it won’t work now either. I have to say it again, Enoch Powell told it true. Rivers of blood are flowing on the streets; but Powell was speaking only of Britain, these rivers are flowing throughout the world.

Today’s photo …

Are they about to rule the world?

Today’s funny …

Your dog just chased the postman down the road on his bike.
You must be mistaken my dog hasn't got a bike.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

18 December

Kids, who’d have ‘em eh? Well, they are great aren’t they; I love ‘em when they’re tucked up fast asleep in bed, or perhaps playing on the fast lane of the nearest motorway between 10pm and 2am with all other lanes closed to traffic. Last night I found another way we can all enjoy having kids around. In GoT5 a knight says that kids should be wrapped in swaddling clothes and from hooks on the wall until the girls start to grow teats and boys need to shave. I like that one, as long as it’s not my wall they hang from that is.

When our TIVO box up playing and we had a new one installed, we lost all our recorded shows, Jan went through the listings and set a load of things to record. Since then we have been watching a lot of shows that we didn’t have before – now then … one of them is UK Border Force and that one isn’t so bad at all, even if they are around seven or eight years old. One episode we watched yesterday showed 16 Afghanis in the back of a lorry, and not the most that has been caught in just one truck either. Those 16 young men though, they all looked well fed and reasonably clean, their teeth were all brilliant white, and they were all so happy, smiling and laughing in front of the cameras.

Why was that I wonder? Think about it a wee bit, they had no papers but claimed to Afghanis, so why were they so happy to be found? The French police were called and they took all of them away outside the port area, which they claimed was as much as they could do with them. OK, this show was filmed in 2008/9 so the Jungle camp at Calais was in full swing and we all know that it has now been flatten. From memory of the crisis in Greece and Italy over illegals, a lot of those young men filmed were fit, well fed and happy too. I thought at the time that it was an easy way to get ISIS fighters into Europe, you may remember me mentioning at the time. But what about all those across the channel?

A lorry is stopped with a load of illegals in the back. It takes some time for them all to be processed and while that is happening how many more will get past while the staff is so caught up. Perhaps at the time they might have been ISIS fighters, perhaps they were just trying it on. Those 16 though looked more than a little dodgy to me, yes, I know, of course they are trying to get into the UK by the back door. However, I began to think that might have been some sort of system on the go where a number of guys were allowed to be found so that even more can get through without being checked. Perhaps the ones found were top of the list for the next group to slip through undetected? Yes, I know, I’m a cynic!          

Bloody hips … My left hip began kicking up again yesterday just after I posted the blog. They both kick up and seem to take turns on who will hurt the most on a daily basis. Whatever, it’s a walk into the kitchen for some pain killers, which I had hopped I wouldn’t need any more … some hope eh?

Today’s photo …

Coventry city centre precinct, part of it anyway. Do you see that smallish blue stripe in the centre? It’s a circular cafĂ© that Grade 2 listed and that had to be protected when the all the upgrade work was done. It was claimed to be either the only one, or one of very few such building in the UK. I’ve heard that one before …

Today’s funny …

"Surely you're not going to drive that car," said the policeman, advancing on the motorist who had just staggered out of a bar.
"Well, offisher, do you think I'm in any condition to walk?"

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Book series, and a touch of procastination

17 December

Some time ago I gave up on Game of Thrones 5 and stopped reading it around 2/3 way through. We have both enjoyed the DVDs though. With Series 6 having just come out we bought and watched them just after they were released. I’ve been trying to keep up with what Mr Martin is up to, especially as there seems to be sign of Vol;8 of the series coming out soon. One FB friends said he gave up on the telly shows with series four because they had moved too far from the books. So, a couple of nights ago I returned to GOT5 and continued reading from where I left off, re-reading the first 2/3s was a bit much really.

The point of all this is to say that there is no way that a 770 page book can be crammed into ten 50 minute TV shows. Not only that but some of the scenes in the book need to be played out better, or more dramatically on screen. A scene where a character goes to bed at night and wakes blind in the book, looks far more dramatic if said character goes blind suddenly and unexpectedly. If that is moving away from the book too far, then so be it. All in all though, I’m still enjoying the journey through Westeros and I’ll be happy when #8 is on the market. However, it looks like we will have a long wait. Mr Martin is toying with the idea of another, but different series to start writing. Readers must hope it’s not another series he will get fed-up with and move on again.

I suppose that is a danger when it comes to book series that are not stand alone stories in their own right, Rankin’s Rebus books for example. So what of my own writing then? I have two series on the go, Fred Cooper in Cambridge and David Oxford in in Portsmouth. Arathusia  will not be a standalone story, I can see it becoming a fairly long series. Mission, with Alan Parsons is currently just a one off, or is it? A few months ago I had a dream which has set off another story idea and that one now stands at around 4,000 words, with the retired Mr Parsons coming out of retirement. I keep seeing ads for items with the words, ‘So many books, so little time!’ on them. How about, ‘So many ideas and words, so little time,’ for us writers? No wonder me ed urts …

You do know what the problems is don’t you? It’s not getting fed up with things as Mr Martin seems to be, no, it’s too much time being waste on social media, the great procrastination excuse in the sky! That’s what it is. But hang on a mo … How will be find new writers and books with it? Newspapers, magazines TV … but all of those drawn the unwary from the pleasures of a blank screen needing to be filled with words of wisdom or of the dreams of us writers. Or even an A4 pad with a pencil or a nice pen? Just the same my friends, just the same … and of course, writing a daily blog!

Today’s photo …

seeing as I’m on about writing again, how could it be anything else.

Today’s funny …

A man was staggering home drunk in the early hours of the morning when he was stopped by a police officer. 'What are you doing out at this time of night?' asked the officer.
'I'm going to a lecture,' slurred the drunk. 'And who's going to give a lecture at this hour?'
'My wife.'

Friday, 16 December 2016

Health and well being.

16 December

Another benefit of me loosing so much weight is that my sleep apnoea seems to have cleared up. When I was first diagnosed with it around 10 years ago, the consultant wasn’t too happy with me when I walked in with a Costa coffee cup in hand. He said, ‘That stuff won’t help you sleep at all.’ Ah well, I do like coffee though, although I don’t drink loads of it. It’s the caffeine in it that causes the problem but I wouldn’t have thought it was so strong as to burn down half of a service area on the M3 yesterday. Yes, yes, I know, I know, I’m being silly again; just trying out a funny for size, anyway, I bet it was a Starbucks.

Perhaps my attempt at a funny wasn’t so good, but I invite you to think about your body and health for moment or two. I doubt you have heard of the term ‘holistic’ being applied by some folks. It’s something I have always wrote off as being some sort of New Age clap-trap thought up as way of dragging even more money out of us. But is it though? In some cases, I think that may still apply to some of the more outlandish ideas that get peddled. However, I do now think that there is something behind all the hype.

In 1998/9 I had a fall in a shower and I seemed to fall apart after that. Yes, I wasn’t the fittest man at that time but that fall did me no favours at all. Off I flew to Mallorca for a week on my own after the damages payment arrived here, and I enjoyed it too. However, I came back with a burst blood vessel in my left eye – not good. That then lead to being diagnosed with diabetes not long after returning. Now here’s the kicker; I was a greedy and lazy for many years before the fall. My weight was well over what it should have been, even when I was in the army, and I ignore every warning I was given.

It was that excess weight that caused all my continuing problems. If I had listened and sorted myself out at that time, in all likelihood I wouldn’t have had the problems I’m now facing. One health related issue has blossomed into a continuing list of problems, including the depression that I can have come on me at any time. Now I wish I had listened and taken note and acted. But I didn’t and it’s no use playing the, ‘shoulda-coulda-woulda,’ game, no use at all.

But that’s the issue isn’t it; when we are young and carefree we think we own the world and are invincible. We don’t learn the truth for many years after, usually when it’s too late to do anything major to correct things. Now I watch what I eat as well as the amounts I eat, and I stopped drinking booze nearly two years ago. The weight is coming off nicely, my diabetes is well under control and as for the depression, it’s not coming on anywhere near as often as it once was. I still get a lot of pain in my knees and hips but overall, I doing a lot better than I was three or four years ago.

So my friends, please read this and take note. It can happen to you, even if it hasn’t happened yet. Look after yourselves and save yourself from the pain and day to day fight with high blood sugar levels, better known as diabetes.

Today’s photo …

A normal dinner  for me these days.

Today’s funny …

A guy was lost on the Mall by the Washington Monument. He stopped a policeman and asked, "What side is the State Department on?"
The cop answered: "Ours, I hope."

Thursday, 15 December 2016

A German in all ways it seems

15 December

What is the difference between our very own Bonkers Boris and the Germany defence minister? It’s easy really, at times Bonkers doesn’t know when to speak and what he says and when to keep quiet. The Germany lass does know what she is doing when she refuses to wear a head scarf while on an official visit to Saudi Arabia. Her glorious leader has stated that Germany should ban the burka, this other woman is deliberately flying in the face of the norm, even for visitors. I seem to remember Mad Maggy wearing a scarf on a visit there when she was Prime Muppet, and she was a woman very much in charge of herself.

With this one we see a deliberate insult to Saudi, something that will not go down well at all. There is a huge difference between speaking your mind and acting accordingly, and the use of common sense. This woman is there on government business, will she complain if they refuse to see or deal with her with her head uncovered? Personally, I think she has a point but as I said, common sense needs to be used at times. Dressing according to well laid down traditions of visiting government should be respected. Lucky for her she will have a diplomatic passport and all the protection that carries with it. If any Germany national went there with the same attitude and did the same, they won’t have that protection. No, I’m sorry, but she is wrong on this one!

And while all that fuss is going on, the evacuation of East Aleppo has finally begun. Hopefully all the kids and their mothers will be the first to leave, let’s hope so anyway. But what of the city itself? From what I’ve seen on the telly news there not much of it left, not enough to fight for anyway, if that was what they were fighting for. But that isn’t the reason is it? Oh no, the fight is to rid their country of a man who has killed and maimed thousands of people. On the face of it, there is little between their president and Sadam and Quaddaffi, both of whom were sadistic bully boy tyrants holding on for their very lives. Al-Assad will know what happens to men like him, and that is why he is so keen to accept Russian help and fire power. Like all bullies, he’s hiding behind his protectors.

It has been 25 years since 18 year old Nicola Payne went missing in Coventry. Her body has never been found, and the two men charged with her murder last year were acquitted. I really do hope they find her soon so her family can have some peace from the constant worry and concern. Nicola had a baby son too and he is now 25 years old and yet he has never known his mum. How sad that must be coming up to Christmas every year. Her family are convinced the answer lies in Coventry, and I wouldn’t be surprised that it’s there with the area where she lived too. It’s time for her to be found and returned home, even if it is only for her proper funeral. At least her family will have said goodbye.

Today’s photo …

A reminder of summer.

Today’s funny …

Doctor, Doctor, I keep thinking I'm a telephone.
Well, take these pills and if you don't get any better give me a ring.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Not much about much ...

14 December

Yesterday I really didn’t feel up to siting here at me ‘puter for a couple of hours at all, so I didn’t. I did eventually have a short time on FaceBook in the evening though. In the afternoon, we went to Tesco Arena to do our shopping for a change, we won’t be going back in hurry. Just about everything we bought was more expensive than Asda, and we had to hunt around for a lot of items. OK, that is down to not going there all that often, but all round, not a fun time. On the way home we called into a pub for drink, and even that was a disaster. The tables were sticky, there was a slight smell of rotten food, and even at 4pm, there were several drunks in there shouting the odds over everything and anything.

Arnie the feathered lodger went home last Friday and we are surprised that Maxi isn’t missing her. Having said that, he’s not coming out of his cage as much as when she was here. He’s happy chirping away in there right now. It is quieter now she gone though; I’m sure they used to make so much noise just see who could scream the loudest. However, Maxi will remain by himself now, we don’t want another one in a hurry, far too much mess from two of them together.

Have you ever heard of an outfit named Inrex? No, nor me, that is until I read a story on MSN home page today. According to the story, they are a traffic analyst group and they have come up to a warning that December 23rd will see the most congestion before the Christmas period and the 27th after Christmas. Oh hum … is that supposed to be news? The last traveling day before is always busy on the roads. Year after year the telly news carries pictures of people turning up to travel late on the 24th or the 31st only to find out that whole system has shut down. Like I said, what’s new?

It could be the big Day is on a Sunday this year, but most of us have lived through even that before. Maybe real story is Inrex themselves. I don’t know of them and I would suggest most people don’t folks don’t. I’ve just done a search for them and it seems they have a finger in a number pies, mainly to do with communications and mapping apps. They have a real estate and a home care services too. Perhaps the whole thing is aimed in lifting their profile. If so, I’ve just help them a good bit haven’t I?

Well, Jan has just left to go for a GP appointment. It’s our own fault that it’s happening in a rush though. When our prescriptions were delivery a couple of weeks ago, she wasn’t in the driver took my repeats back with him, but he had to leave Jan’s here. We took it in yesterday and it was refused because she hadn’t seen a GP for prescription check. It was clearly show on the first page of the repeats but neither of us saw it. So now she has to get it all done in a bit of a rush. Why’s that? Well, they are due delivery on 27th, but I can see them coming out earlier. Our fault but Jan is doing the racing around because of it.

Today’s photo …

One of my better shots a Lady Godiva.

Today’s funny …

Patient: Doctor, doctor, I keep seeing frogs in front of my eyes.
Doctor: Don't worry, it's only a hoptical illusion.

Monday, 12 December 2016

A large Ferris wheel ...

12 December

Yer man Putin must be laughing his socks off at the West right now. The US is ripping itself apart over Farter Trump; the UK is doing the same over BREXIT; the EU is fighting hard to keep itself from falling apart; the Arab/Islamic nations are fighting among themselves, and while all that is happening he is happily rubbing his hands together while he bombs the hell out of Syria. I have a feeling he’s also laughing at all wasted efforts of predecessors in the Kremlin who were fighting to keep the USSR at the top or the power race. Right now the world is going to pot and Putin sits there laughing as he looks on, waiting to slid right in and take over what is left over after all our petty squabbles.

The West has never really trusted the Russians, even when we fought a common enemy in WW2. The alliance was only in place because of the need to fight Germany at that time. After 1945 the truth became really clear when Stalin annexed so much of Eastern Europe and the cold war began. In October 1945 the United Nations was set up in an attempt for nations to live together in peace, hopefully preventing another war on the scale of 1939/45. Nations living together in peace, ha, what a joke. Think of the Korean War, the Vietnam War, all the various conflicts in Africa, Indonesia and Malaya, and don’t forget the Falklands War or the Troubles in Ulster. At least the UK had armed forces worthy of the name, if anything major blew up now we would be hard pushed to meet it at our own shores, let alone be on any offensive.

Look, I’m not all that clever a man, and yet I can see all this. Surely there are people in power who can see what I see and can read between the lines of the headlines. So why is that lessons have not been learned? Millions of men died during the conflicts of the 20th Century. All it needed in 1914 was for one world leader to say, ‘No, this can not happen!’ for it all the have been prevented, but none of them did because they didn’t want to be seen as being fearful, or being afraid.

Of course, things are different in the 21st century where militant Islam plays such a huge part in so many lives. Now men and women go to their deaths happily because they believe they are doing God’s work. But is really all that different? Islam has its strong leaders who can incite followers and stir them up to action by big promises of paradise awaiting for them. If paradise is so good, why aren’t the leaders at the fight of the fighting? For the same reasons as in every conflict, they live to give orders, not to die for the Cause. The difference is only in the reason behind the greed for power and wealth.

Coming back Yer Man in Moscow then; even he isn’t immune to attacks by the fanatics of Islam. Russia has been hit a few times by them over the years since communism fell. And just like so many tyrants of the past, he too will be brought down when he least expects it. Sadly though, some other unstable person will take over from him it will all start again, and the UN will continue to sit back wringing its hands and begging everyone to please stop what they’re doing and live in peace. And the Ferris wheel of life goes around and around … … …

Today’s photo …

The clock tower, Leicester.

Today’s funny …

 After suffering through years of his wife's awful coffee, the man spat it out and took the coffee maker to his lawyer.
Dropping it on the attorney's desk, the man growled, "Here they are!"
"Here are what?" the startled lawyer asked.
"Grounds for Divorce."

Sunday, 11 December 2016

On this and that ...

11 December

Having posted yesterday’s blog we sat and watched the new Independence Day, DVD that we bought in the week. It was OK, ish, if you like. The ending has been left wide open for another one at least. Who knows how many more they can mine out of the original story? Just like Star Wars. We made a mistake buying it though; we should have waited until the price dropped. As it is I don’t think it was worth the tenner we paid for it. A good few of the original cast were back, all 20 years older of course but Will Smith didn’t join them. Jeff Goldblum was there looking really old and tired. I’m sure that I saw at least three different films in this one, the original obviously, Day After Tomorrow and various bits from Star Wars and Star Trek. Perhaps they should have left idea alone.

Kile isn’t so well right now. He’s coughing and barking like an old miner with dodgy lungs. Jan phoned his mum and it seems they are all down with it. Now it’s just a waiting game before Jan and me come down with it too, even if we have had the flu jab. Actually, I don’t think it’s flu they’ve got, more like cough and cold really. We know how to deal with those without worrying doctors up at the Hussy, they are busy enough as it is.

Here’s the thing though, and it applies to all hospitals not just the Hussy; I’m 68 now and that means if I do have to go into hospital I’ll be put on the geriatric ward, don’t you dare laugh, your turn will come, never fear! Anyway, I do tend to get really pissed off with the some of other guys on those wards. I know they can’t help it, but some of the tricks they get up to all day make me feel even worse. I’m lucky I suppose in that my mind is clear and I try to keep occupied as much as I can, sitting in a ward with older men causing chaos while I’m there trying to keep calm doesn’t do me any good at all. But there again, what can they do? Not much really. Trying to decided or judge a patients’ mental state so quickly would soon be jumper on, so the only choice really is on their age, no matter what effects that might have.

We are surprised but relieved that Maxi isn’t missing Arnie now she has gone home. We had hoped that he would continue to come to us as he was while she was here. What he does do is to fly onto the top of Jan’s lappy screen and poop down the front of it, that is something he learned from Arnie I think. It does keep his cage a bit cleaner but Jan isn’t so pleased. We can’t seem to puzzle out why they only do that on Jan’s machine and not both of them, not that I’m complaining of course, oh no.

I think I’ll end this one at this point, floundering for words right now, so today’s photo …

Smiling chimp.

Today’s funny …

"And what will you do when you grow up to be as big as me?" asked the father of his little son.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Water on the brain ...

10 December
I had hope to get out into market this morning but the weather forecast was pretty dire, with heavy rain for most of the day, so I decided not to bother. A street market is not fun in the rain, just as riding a mobility scooter isn’t. and yet here it is 11am and there’s no sign of any rain, and we can see the sun trying to poke it’s head out up there. Well, I’ve saved a bob or two by not going down town I suppose.

Our glorious banks have threatened to leave the UK when Article 50 is triggered. My first thought was to call them a taxi to Heathrow. These people seem to think that they actually do own our country. But look at this idea a deeper and you’ll soon see it’s all just farts in air from them. RBS for instance is so deeply in debt that can you see any other country willing to let them move their HQ there? No, nor do I. None of them will move abroad, simply because they all fear a back lash from their customers. If some of them do try it, I can see a lot of the smaller banks becoming a lot bigger rather quickly.

Apparently there’s a guy hoping to get enough dosh together to lunch another bid at stopping BREXIT by the back door. This attempt is try to get the Irish courts to say that Article 50 can be overturned at a later date if needed. It seems to me that there are a lot of people about who really do love democracy, that is, as long as it goes in their favour. Right now all these legal challenges being brought are just rattle shaking and throwing. I’m reminded of the old pictures of little girl screaming, ‘I want and if I don’t get I’ll scweam and scweam and scweam.’ Do you remember that? If so, just think of her and remember that all these people are spoilt kids not getting their way.

A change of track here; I was reading Writing Magazine last night and came across and article by Simon Whaley. In this piece Simon use the normal gluttony of Christmas as the link to how over eating can lead to a drop in creativity for writers. He points out that what we eat, just as much as how much we eat can have an effect on our moods too. If you’re in a bad mood, how can you concentrate on what you supposed to be doing, that is writing in this instance. Regular meals are the key to it all, starting with breakfast, hmm, well, yes. Next is having a proper but light lunch and dinner later, with plenty of protein in between the two.

Water is vital to health, I’m sure we all know that. We are supposed to be around 80% water anyway, including our brain of course. The claim made by Simon is that drinking water instead of tea and coffee is the best way to keep your brain hydrated leading to a clear mind for working creatively That’s fine, and I can agree with it, however, being continually thirsty might also be a sign of diabetes, and that is one I do know about. As it is it doesn’t take long before I need to go pee anyway, drinking even more water would cause me to go pee even more than I do now. But don’t go throwing out the baby with all the water, moderation is the key. Sip water regularly, don’t gulp down glass after glass.
In another article I read something about ‘polishing’ an essay; hmm, I wonder if they used Brasso, Pledge or Duraglit? And doesn’t make the paper soggy? Surely they don’t use it on their monitors, I can’t that abrasive stuff doing a ‘puter much good at all … … …
Today’s photo then …

Feed time

Today’s funny …
How many brewers does it take to change a light bulb?
One third less than for a regular bulb.