Sunday, 28 February 2016

Bloody W10 again!

28 February

It seems that for the last few days I’ve had me sleeping head on, not me blogging head; that is why there hasn’t been any blogs posted on here for the last few days. This has happened because the three blogs on my Blogger Dashboard have got mixed up and I have been posting them here …  instead of here. Like an idiot I had noticed that the title had changed but I just never thought any more of it. They are still there if want to have look at them.  I stopped posting to that one in 2013 and I should really delete at some time.

Right now I’m having the same major problems with W10 as I had before just after I bought this machine. Because of that I can’t get any funnies to post and every time I try clicking a link within a webpage, all it’s doing to bringing up a load of ads from so many companies for services I’m not interested in, gambling sites being a regular one. So for now I think my posts will be rather sporadic, and I apologise for that. Please be patient with me as I battle this one.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

On the shutting down of a town

21 February

Sunday morning, and this is the first time I have had the computer on since I closed down last Thursday. Friday I was feeling more than a little ropey, yesterday we were in town having a walk through the market and doing a bit of shopping. I say, ‘the market’ fairly loosely these days. There isn’t the number of stalls there was even just five years ago. As for the 1950/60s, there’s just no comparisons at all. I remember there being two tool stores at least; a kitchen-ware/crockery stall; far more fruit and veg stalls and more clothes stalls than anything else.

And don’t forget Cheap Jacks, the book stall on the corner of Queens Road and Stratford Street. There was a massive flower/plant stall on the opposite end of Stratford Street too. And my favourite stall, the sweetie stall, which is still there. The stalls were on both sides of the street, and stretched from Dougdale Street to the Market Place, along one side of Bridge Street and then along on side of Abbey Street to the end of the Co-op building (soon to close). It was a wonderful market, even if traffic was allowed to drive through it. Fortunately, there wasn’t a lot of it. Now it starts from outside the Ropewalk shopping centre along both sides of Queens Road and Market Place, one side of Bridge Street and Abbey Street as far as Stratford Street.

I remember the shops on Queens Road too, shops like Reg Haddon’s, the book shop where Iceland is now. Woolworths, a large store that once had a provisions counter selling cheeses, cooked meats, bacon, sausage and so on; and oh yes, broken biscuits. I still think that the closing of that counter was the start of the problems for Woollies. It’s now a 99p store. And how about Tesco’s; yes, we had a large two story Tesco’s in the town centre, all those Green Shield Stamps, remember those. When they opened the new one in Bed’th they promised the Queens Road store would remain open. Well, it did, for just over 12 months as I recall.

Another larger store was J C Smiths with its three entrances; one on Bridge Street, one on Newdigate Street and the third on Harefield Road. Smith was a department store, it’s still there but changed name to Debenhams. However, as Smiths, it too had a provisions counter by the Newdigate Street entrance. That counter has gone now too. Marks & Sparks has gone and is now a £1 shop, a second £1 shop in town.

It’s all rather sad to see how our town is quickly going downhill. Now we only have one town centre high street butchers’, which happily is a good one. If you want fresh fish, then it’s Asda or Sainsburys, but both are not really town centre stores. We do have a lot of charity shops and even more empty shops, including some in the new Ropewalk place, with more empty shops to come, including the whole of Co-op department store and food hall. There now just one in-store bakery, Three Cooks, opposite Iceland, and one green grocer, Caves’, next door to our one and only bookshop, Waterstones.

And yet our council is claiming to be in talks with a number of big name stores to come into town because according to them, we need more shopping opportunities here. A lot of us is not so sure. Now come on folks, regular readers of this blog will know that I am always ready to blame the tories for whatever is wrong; however, here in Dorktown, it is not the tories, no. We have a labour council, a labour council that will not listen to we town’s people say about what we really want.

What we really want is less spent on daydreaming arty-farty statues and coats of paint to try to hide the dirty and gunge. We want empty shops to be filled and used; we want less charity shops and a much larger choice of local shops for us to use. Why are they closing so quickly? Rent and rates are far too high, even the market rents are increasing too much. We do not want an increase in parking charges, which when it goes ahead will drive more people to out of town shopping centres. Morrisons is only a few miles away, Tesco Extra is slightly more than that but the one in Bed’th has just been improved. If this town will not supply them, then we will go to where we can get what we want and need. It would also help to keep the town centre clean and tidy.

And do you know what we really, really want? We want a real ring road to take through traffic out of the town centre instead of through the middle of it.

Today’s photo has to be of our part of our town centre …

Bridge Street looking to Market Place

Thursday, 18 February 2016

On being down ...

18 February

Whenever the telly goes on these days there’s an item on mental health showing. I’ve seen a good few of them on Facebook this morning too. For me mental illness has been a condition that I haven’t understood properly and I supposed I got it mixed up with a mental disability, or learning difficulty, a term I really do hate. However, since May 2009 when I was first put on anti-depressants, I have become much more aware of the huge number of conditions that the term mental illness covers.

There have been times when I have thought that mental illness was used by some people as an excuse for behaving badly. In some cases, people have done things which most people wouldn’t do, but they stop just before the point of crossing a line where action could be taken against them. That to me showed that they were not as ill as they made out. A couple of years ago there was case here when a woman went around the rear area of our flats, stealing plants and other bits and bobs and trashing other parts. She got away with it by claiming mental illness, thereby confirming my ideas for years ago.

So then, in May 2009 I went to see my GP for help after five months of worry and stress after my brother Dave died. Trying to sort out his affairs was a really hard grind and top of that we had my mother to look after as well as trying to run two houses on one pension income. At that point, in walks social services again, who had become involved with mother when Dave was still alive. If you haven’t tried to deal with the SS when they are at their most obstroclous (my own word for it), you haven’t lived! By May I was really bouncing off the walls and Jan suggested that I go see some a doctor.

How has it manifested itself in my case? Usually by being very tired, listless, a ‘can’t be arsed’ mood when I first get up. At other times I can feel it coming on, like a black cloud moving over me and covering me. What can bring it on? Anything at all, maybe a disagreement with someone in town, or someone making such an outlandish statement that was plainly wrong, or at least to was to me. An example of bad driving by other people could bring it on, aggression could too. I couldn’t list all of the triggers because I can’t remember them all. However, I suppose that most times I have been affected, it has passed off after an hour or two. That means that I may have lucky with it.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering just how long I’ve had depression though. As a diabetic I’m aware that depression can be a side issue. Diabetes was diagnosed after I came back from Mallorca in 2000, with a blood pressure of 220/175 (at least that is what they told me it was). Anyway; I had to go to the Walsgrave to the eye clinic who did some test and a few months later I was called in to the Hussy for follow-up. It was at that first clinic that I was told I was diabetic, ‘And by the looks of your eyes you have been so for around eight years,’ he said.

That made sense to me really cos I had been asking a different GP about for that length of time and he wouldn’t listen. Now I knew I was right to ask. But does that mean I have had depression since then. Thinking back, I may well have, indeed, thinking back I may have been even while I was in the army. My bolshie, hearty, good-fellow, have a laff act may well have been just that, an act.

I don’t know, but I don’t think that I shall be following through and going over it day after day. That wouldn’t do anyone any good, least of all me. The idea of writing about it here is to get it down and out into the public, then I won’t be hiding from it all the time. At least, that is what I am hoping for.

Today’s photo then …

Just look at that lot; what a mess they are, no wonder I say this town is full of dorks! I got this one in town in August 2014 and I remember feeling ashamed at the state of those three!

A man went into a bar after work and ordered a beer. As he started drinking his beer, he heard a female voice saying seductively, 'You've got nice hair'. The man looked all around him but couldn't see where the voice came from. A minute later he heard the same voice saying, 'You are a handsome man.' The man was really puzzled by this so he asked the barman what was going on.
The barman replied, 'It's the peanuts - they're complimentary.'

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

No theme, just bits'n'bobs

17 February

Kile is due to go home today after a visit to the cinema with some of his friends from a club he’s part of. Yet again the place will feel empty when he’s gone, but there again, the empty space will be used as a dumping gap, as usual. We have noticed this last few days he’s got a tad cheeky with some of his comments and responses. It’s not a problem as we have expected it to happen at some time. An example for yesterday …

As you know, I like Peter James’ books, and his Roy Grace series most of all. Now, as I was reading one Roy Grace story I read about his goldfish, and I thought Yeah, that’s a good idea, a single goldfish in a bowl sat beside me on a wee table. So I mentioned it to Jan and off we went to buy one – but came back with three goldfish and a large tank. Jan has been on the end of my micky taking comments about all I was a small bowl with one fish in it. On their way home from Stratford yesterday they called into A5 Aquatics and bought just one fish and the bowl. In strolls Kile carrying the fish and says, ‘Here you are grandad, now you can stop whinging about it!’ Cheeky little blighter … … …

He's been telling me this morning about a young girl who lives close to him. He says she always wears very high-heel shoes which ‘… look silly …’ and is very overweight and easily gets out of breath. His term for her was ‘scummy’.  Well, that a new one on me; ‘flea-bags’ was the term we used at school for the two sister in our school who really were flea-bags, we could see them running around on their clothes. They were very dirty and because they were always peeing themselves, were always very smelly.

It’s been years since I last thought of those two girls; I wonder what became of them? Yes, we kids were always nasty and cruel to them but we never actually asked why they were like that, why they were always hungry and had no idea of how to behave in public. None of us ever thought of trying to find out or to help them in anyway. But there again, neither did any of our parents try to help either. Now I feel rather sad about it, but all is not lost it does give me an idea for another story/book.        

I actually got some writing done yesterday while they were out, and I’m hoping to get some more done this afternoon too. Actually, I need to get on and do a lot more of it otherwise it will never get finished. For the first time I am also trying my hand at some drawing to fit the story line. The idea for this is mainly so I can keep a clear(ish) idea of the lay-out of Arathusia and the various other places mentioned as I move through the story lines. This drawing is a major thing for me cos I’ve always said that the only I can draw is money from the bank. Not sure if they will appear in the book at any time though, they would need to be worked up quite a bit first.    

Earlier this morning I spent time on Facebook on my tablet cos Jan and Kile wanted to play the wee. Just lately I have been writing some book reviews for one of the groups I’m in, so ForReadingAdicts, and the last one I did was for 2001, and it got posted on Facebook this morning. So when I saw it I had a read of it, and guess what, they’ve managed to mix up two reviews, no wonder it didn’t make any sense. I have let them know so I think they’ll soon get it sorted. My next review will be of Chip Walkers’ Children of Hern.

It’s raining my plans for going in to town today are cancelled, a pity really, I was looking forward to it. We also had a lie in this morning too, so the finisher will come tomorrow, and that should be the end of it apart from the council inspection and acceptance. Then all we need to do is to finish sorting out all the rest of the bits we have lying about in here. Most of it is done now though and apart from buying a few more dry/tinned foods that we need, we too will be done. Last night we had our first full cooked meal for the three weeks this work has been going on, nothing special as such, but very nice anyway.

Today's photo ...
A bewick swan.

Today’s funny …

A traffic cop pulls a car driver over for speeding and asks him to get out of the car. After looking the man over he says, "Sir, I couldn't help but notice your eyes are a little bloodshot. Have you been drinking?"
The man gets really angry at this and says, "Officer, I couldn't help but notice your eyes are glazed. Have you been eating doughnuts?"

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

More NHS ...

16 February

When I wrote about mental illness yesterday I had no idea that daft Dave was going to rattle on about it too. However, that doesn’t make either of our comments less valid. Within my little list of problems didn’t included the ambulance service. Last night’s Dispatch’s on Channel 4 was an investigation into the way the ambulance services across the country are fiddling their response times for emergency calls. One particular fiddle is claiming they had met the eight-minute target if there is a defibrillator close to patient, even if it’s not needed for that patient. There are cases where patients have died because of all this, as well as a lack of much needed resources.

Think back to stories about ambulances being held up in queues at A&E because they are already full of patients. Those delays will have a knock on effect to response times. I’m not sure we can blame Daft Dave and Co totally for this, but his current cuts to funding overall cannot be doing anything to help at all. Terrible Tony was tackled over GP appointment times by a woman during one of his election rallies wasn’t he; do you remember that? I do anyway. It shows that the NHS has been in trouble for a long time, and not just in the last six years.

There is no clear solution to sorting it out either. If we as a nation want a fully funded NHS, then we need to be willing to dip our hands deeper in to our pockets to pay for it. Even with unlimited funds, there has to be the political will to actually do something about it. And that is where I point the finger firmly at Daft Dave and Co. The free at point of need is a total no-no as far as any tory is concerned. The ideal of the free at point of need idea means something for nothing, and that really gets up their noses big time, and that is why the NHS will never be 100% safe in tory hands.

Jan is off to the butterfly park in Stratford with Kile and I am left all alone, oh dear, now what can I get up to while she’s away. Right now, not much seeing as the decorators are busy in the kitchen. That leaves a new radiator to be installed and just the finishing off and tidying up to do. I got a tad angry yesterday over how the work is being going. Jan suggested I phone the site office to find out what was going on. As I explained, we were waiting for the cooker to be reconnected and the decorators to attend. ‘And what are they going to do?’ he asked. And that was when I lost it. He kept calm when he relied to my rant, which surprised me. Jan stood there saying, ‘Ron, you’re shouting, calm down.’

As for the cooker, that did go in yesterday and while he was here he said that he had asked another sparky to come and do it for us last Friday. That guy then claimed he couldn’t get in, or at least he couldn’t get an answer when he called. That was crap, Jan may have been out but me and Kile were in; neither the site agent or the electrician were happy about being lied to. Methinks someone got a bollocking sometime today. The decorators have just left, but will need to come back at some time once the new radiator has been installed, that and the pipes will need to be painted after being installed. After that it should be just the finishing off bit left to do.

I’ve got the days mixed up just lately. Lying in bed last night I kept thinking that tomorrow being Wednesday I would head into town on my scooter and get some new photos and have a look at the book stall, and in the Works at their three for fiver book offer. I like that one cos that’s where I find all the new writers I keep finding. It would be nice to get out and get some fresh air too. We’ll see how things go though.

Today’s photo …

Man at work, well, sort of, painter resting.

Today’s funny …

 Why was the dog unable to talk?
The cat got his tongue.

Monday, 15 February 2016

NHS problems

15 February

The lack of care for patients with mental illness is in the news again and the government has pledged another £1 billion in extra funding. I wonder where this has come from, or if it is really new money. In most places at the local level there has been very little evidence the extra funding at other times when it was supposed to have been given over. I remember a visiting a friend once when they were in an inpatient in a mental ward, and I wasn’t impressed at all.

No staff were about after they let is in and it was two hours before we saw any of them. The patients were left to their own devices all that time and without any sort of over watch and anything could have happened. Some of them just sat on their bed while I few were mixing together in a separate room. There seemed to be little structure to their day other than the normal day to day pattern of normal NHS life. Our friend was lonely and bored silly and I couldn’t see how being in there was helping them in any way. From what I have seen in various places in the media, things haven’t improved all that much, if anything at all.

Mental health provision, or lack thereof, is not the only area of the NHS that is failing, the whole system seems to be on the brink of collapse. The report in various papers of how many muppets in government have some financial interest in private medical looks pretty suspicious to me. What makes it worse is when we hear of members of their families have benefited from a NHS contract being awarded to companies they have an interested in. Why these people have to be so silly by getting involved in this way, it leaves them open to suspicious thoughts and comments.

Mental health services, A&E, maternity services, geriatric services, oncology, they all need more cash to work properly; is there any areas of health provision that isn’t in trouble of some sort. And then we have the ongoing junior doctors dispute adding to it all. Then I read on-line that the imposed deal is really down to the local NHS trusts to implement of not, so why all the fuss then. And just how much did it all has cost?

Jan is up to the Hussy for 4pm for an appointment over her stoma and having it redone. So now we continue our ongoing journey over our health. At some point this month I need to get blood test done for my next diabetic clinic. As well as that, I still have an appointment for a memory test, already been put back a month. And so it continues on and on … … …

We were up at 7.30 again this morning and finally saw the site agent around 8.45 and since them nothing has happened. We are both fed-up with this now with dragging on like this. The sooner it’s over and done with the better for us now. We can then get everything sorted out the way we want it to be. All we need now is for them to get the job done. It will be good to have a decent home cooked dinner too!

Today’s photo … moon trees

Today’s funny …

A farmer was busy milking one of his cows. He was just starting to get a good rhythm going when a small bug flew into the barn and started circling his head. Suddenly, the bug flew into the cow's ear. The farmer didn't think much about it, until the bug squirted out into his milk pail. It went in one ear and out the udder.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

A photo museum

14 February

Sunday morning and another new week begins. Yesterday was a total waste for me, that’s why the blog didn’t get posted. It also seemed that none of us could really settle do anything with us bouncing from thing to the next. It started when we were up very late, and with the electrician not coming back we’ve not had the cooker as we thought we would, this weekend has been expensive in buying in take aways. We expect the cooker to be done tomorrow, which will help a lot with Kile being here. The worst part for Kile was that none of us really felt up to going down to Stratford.

As most of you will know, I love cameras and photography, but did you know there is a museum dedicated to it? Well, the National Media Museum(NMM) is in Bradford, and now there plans to move part of its collection to the V&A in London. The items to be moved are the Royal Photographic Society’s (RPS) 400,000 item photographic archive. The local muppet began a campaign to prevent the move and 25,000 have backed it.

NMM is another of those places that I have meant to go to but never got around to doing so for one reason or t’ther. Now if I want to go before the collection is vandalised I need to go before the move takes place in the summer. The museum hasn’t been the run-away success it was hoped it would though on the QT, and perhaps that is why this is happening. For us Bradford is a fairly long drive and without me driving now, it’s an even longer one for Jan to do by herself in one day. And that folks is one of the main reasons why we haven’t been before; it’s such a sod to get to.

Apart from centralising the collection, the idea of the move is to digitise it for on-line study. I can see the draw in doing this, yet during my time with the OU reading art history, I was taught that you can only get so far with studying pretty coloured reproductions in books, but to really get to know an art work, you need to stand in front of it. Wherever the collection is held, looking at a huge a collection of photos works fine for this, but what of the science part of photography?

How can anyone learn the science if they can only see images of it on a computer screen? That is why the OU places as much importance on the residential schools as they do, in all disciplines. It is in those schools where students could see and endless list of works in various galleries. A lot of the science schools were based on land and field work. How cameras evolved into the high tec digital wonders they are today can be done on-line, I agree, but how can students experience the smells disasters and triumphs of the darkroom without actually going into one with an exposed roll of film and processing it? They can’t, and in my view that will be gap in their education. But there’s another question for me.     


It’s the RPS Collection that is being moved, OK, got that? But who actually owns that collection and were they consulted on the move? Actually, who owns the museums and who makes the decisions as to what goes where. Certainly with this move the RPS is concerned that there will no longer be just one centre of photography that can concentrate on both the art and the science of photography. And yet their views are being ignored.

Is this likely to mean that other collections will not find their way to Bradford if their owners fear it will be moved to London? I would hope not. Something else I have just thought of is this; is this move the beginning of the end of the NMM as a whole? Again, I hope not.

Today’s photo …

The River Anker and a few daffs.

Today’s funny …

There was this car that was driving very slowly down the highway. A State Trooper pulls it over. "What have I done wrong, officer?" the driver asks.
"You are going 26mph on a major highway. There is a law against that," the officer says to the driver. "You must go at least 50mph."
"But when I turned on the highway, the sign said 26!" the driver replies.
"HA HA HA!" The officer laughs out loud. "That is because this is Interstate 26! The 26 isn't the speed limit!"
The driver leans back in her car seat and the cop sees another woman sitting beside her. She looked as pale as a ghost.
"What happened to her?" the officer asks.
"I don't know, but she has been that way ever since we got off of interstate 160."

Friday, 12 February 2016

A quiet weekend I hope ...

12 February

The way things were going we thought that we could let Kile come for his normal weekend with us, and so he came as normal after school yesterday. However, the reasoning behind him coming was that we have the cooker back in place and connected up. But the way this Apollo group work wouldn’t play our game at that point, and although all the electrics are now working BUT the cooker. It seems that we need to have the floor covering done before the sparky can connect the cooker. So now we are waiting for that worthy do the floor and if he does we will let the sparky know and he will drop in on his way home and do it for us. Oh the games we play … … …

We are both looking forward to a lie in tomorrow though. Jan is on about going down to Stratford Butterfly Park tomorrow. I’m not sure how the weather will be yet and I’ll wait until after the lunch time news before I decide if I’m. going or not. I could do with getting out for a bit and pointing a lens at something other than real ale pump signs. We shall see.

I have a feeling that there’s a good bit of under table fiddling going on over this HS2 malarkey. It seems that a company set up to prepare for it, has paid out £240 million to buy up properties on the proposed route, including the whole of one village. Now why would they do that if there was still doubt over if it goes ahead or not. No folks, it will be happening, that is clear to me. No notice has been taken of any of the anti-HS2 reports or there might be just the odd nod in acknowledgement of the various issues raised. What we will hear about is if the job doesn’t happen, then a lot of money has already been wasted in buying up properties and drawing up plans after surveys and … … … Just you watch!

The Department of Wealth Punishment (DWP) has begun its annual game of dosh wasting. Our Postie has just delivered to first of around six letters to tell me how much pension credit I will be getting this year. I know that they don’t pay same as us mere mortals for our stationary and postal services, but considering the number of people who also pension credit, it must mount up to a fairly high bill. Then there will be another set of letters about my retirement pension, and after that the DLA payments, and so on. This all done from different offices spread throughout the UK, each dealing with a different part of the system.

Not so long ago they made a change which was meant to make life easier for everyone. The idea is that there will be just one telephone number to call when you want to inform them of any changes. Great idea eh? Yes, I thought so, but hold on to those little cotton socks, cos it isn’t working like that at all now. And anyway, if I want to speak to someone about my DLA, I have to call Poulton Le Fylde; Pension Credit is in Wolverhampton; Retirement Pension is Leicester I think … and so on. Oh yes, undelivered letters go to Belfast! My head spins with it all. But you see, they don’t care, they are not spending their own money so it’s a free for all, well, that’s what it looks to me. And as for HMRC … … …

Today’s photo then …

A dino in Bourton.

Today’s funny …

(To the tune of "Heartbreak Hotel")
I just left home baby
I'll be out fer a spell
and if you don't leave a message baby
you can go to

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Healthy bogoffs?

1 February

This silly kitchen game is getting really silly now. Because of what happened on Tuesday, we didn’t bother getting up early for the work to start – and there was a guy ringer the doorbell at 7.55. Jan rushed up out of bed and it really made very light headed and she ended up back in bed for a couple of hours. The work took all of 30 minutes, and then he was cleaned up and gone. It wasn’t Jan who was effected either; I kept nodding off for most of the day too. This morning we did set the alarm and here it is 8.45 and no-ones here yet. Sparky and decorators are due today. We are hoping, no, Kile IS coming here for the weekend now no matter who they have got on.

What a strange dream again; this time I was in a sort of hotel place and a woman comes up to me, dips hand into my shirt pocket, takes out $5, says, ‘Five bucks, that’ll do,’ and walks off with it. I later meet up with her by chance in Dorktown bus station, grab hold of her and take my $5 back off her. Then she starts complaining that she was entitled to it as her fee for her professional review of my book, House of Pain, which seemed like blackmail to me at the time. Next thing I know I’m about to speak to and old friend and … that’s when the alarm went off.  

Somebody somewhere or t’ther has worked it out the average UK shopper is shelling out an extra £1000 because of the so-called bogoffs that most of the supermarkets have going at some time during the year. It’s all down to trying to extract as much dosh out of our bank accounts into theirs. There’s something else that they forgot to mention though, the amount of waste they produce. How many buy these special offers and then find that they can’t use everything they bought. Fresh fruit and veg is the first one I think of. For us it’s eggs; I live eggs but don’t eat them enough to get through some of the offers. Sliced and fresh meats are OK cos they can be frozen.

And yet there’s a problem normal pricing too. The instant coffee I like varies in price according to unit price. Very often the price for 50grams is higher per gram then buying 100 grams. And that’s how we work these things out, by looking at the gram price, not the unit cost. The main difficulty with that the actual size of the text in the small notice and at time, how high/low the shelf is. That makes me wonder if that is done deliberately too, anything to push to higher priced items.

We rarely buy a bogoff and when we do it’s because we know we will eat all of the items, not just a little bit of it. We don’t buy them of fresh fruit and fruit, both of which is because Jan isn’t a great lover of them, and as much as I do like them, I can’t eat loads of them. There are some items though that we do buy like that. We’ve seen tee-shirts on offer in Asda as bogoffs, and we both wear them and they do last a good whole, so that is a worthwhile buy. Some of the household and cleaning goods are also good buys as bogoffs, so it’s not all bad news.

Yet the people who did the sums on this issue and sent to government were looking primarily     at food products. But according to today’s Breakfast on BBC1, bogoffs could be banned within three weeks. The sledge hammers come’s down on everything and not just the feed items that the report was aimed at. Governments of all shades acts on various issues but yet seem to leave huge great holes in the legislation or tighten it up so much no-one can actually operate because of it.

So the junior doctors are now back at work; but has their strike actually done anything to change things? I don’t think so. It seems likely that the new conditions will be imposed on them anyway, which means they have a choice of two options. Option one is to drop their action and get on with it; option two is a different, and that is to resign on mass. It could be said by some folks that it’s easy for me to say that, I won’t be effected by it, and yes, that’s true up to a point. But I have done just that, I have walked out of a job where the conditions changed and I wasn’t happy about it. Of course I will be effected if my on-going treatments is effected by a shortage of doctors, or I should say that it will be effected even more by the shortage of doctors. However, this is an English issue only.

In my case where I did walk off on jobs, I was lucky in finding another job fairly quickly, but with doctors, that won’t be so much of an issue. There is great demand for British trained doctors abroad, and even in the rest of the UK. Not sure there’s enough demand within the UK for them all, but certainly worldwide there will be. Can you see them doing it though? No, neither cane I! That is when the moral blackmail will kick in, in an attempt to make them feel guilty for quitting and letting patients suffer. Politics eh? What a dirty game it is!

And so to today’s photo …

A grey heron.

Today’s funny …

 An applicant was being interviewed for admission to a famous medical school. "Tell me," inquired the interviewer, "where do you expect to be in ten year’s time?"
"Well, let's see," replied the student. "It's Wednesday afternoon so I guess that I'll be on the golf course by now.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

On work and writing

9 February

Now that was bracing – NOT! There we were, up at 7.30 yesterday morning ready for an early start for the workers; and they didn’t turn up. So last night we decided that we would not be getting up early today, and there they were at 7.40 ringing the door bell, ready to start. We were still in bed, fast on, so it was a very fast getting up for us, far too fast, and top of not settling until nearly 1am, it’s no wonder we’re both struggling. They said they should be finished by 10.30. That will be good at least.

After all my mumbles about not writing the other day, I sat down and did quite a bit. My plan was to do more yesterday, but once again, life got in the way. Jan is out tonight so hopefully I shall get more done then. No idea what the work count is now, but as I’ve read in so many places from so many other writers, it’s always a thrill when my characters and story line do something that surprises even me – and created them!

‘How can that be?’ you might ask. It’s all part of the writing and process and the story grows. Now I have another earthquake and volcano along with a pyroclastic cloud and Tsunami, which hasn’t struck yet and so far I’m sure what will happen when it does. Then two groups of characters decided to try to meet-up and help each other. Good job a keep a running summary of the story line on a separate sheet otherwise I would be well and truly lost with it. I just hope later readers won’t get lost too. Mind you, if they can keep the Game of Thrones story line straight, they should manage mine easily enough.

Again I’ve read of a lot of writers who actually sit and plan their books down to the very last full stop. I have a feeling though that that would stifle me during the writing. Yes, yes, I know what I’ve said about not being able to get on a write at times, but how would things surprise me if I was working to a plan. I’ve seen plans for one of the one Parry Hotters and there’s another one in a recent magazine I was reading. Both are contained in a grid of boxes, most of them full of hand written notes. But I wonder, is that grid done before the actually story is begun, or is it completed as the story grows? Whatever, we all have our own ways of working and mine works for me, so I’m sticking to it.    

Anyway, here I am with two or three part written stories and I’m still getting ideas for new ones. A couple of months ago I met and old school friend in Asda and we stood chatting for a while. Then she mentioned one of our teachers and how nasty and spiteful he was, along with being a bully. I got home and as I sat thinking of other things it struck me there was a story in how that man behaved and how his pupils/victims decided that it was time for revenge. My note book has lots of things like that in it … wherever that is. I remember putting it away yesterday but right now, I can’t remember where I put it!

It looks like the work is done for today, at least they are clearer up and taking their tools back to the van. We’re happy with that but I have noticed that the cupboards that have gone in are a lot smaller than the ones they took out. We shall fun trying to fit everything back in them. But when I think about it, we have far too much anyway. Years ago I bought a glass when we had a friend come up for the weekend. It’s never been used since, so as we emptied the cupboards for them to start, that is one of the many items that found its way to the charity shop.

That shop has had a lot of stuff off us since we moved in here, and I think there will be even more before long. And as I pay tax on my army pension, I can Gift-aid it and they make even more money. I think the government doesn’t get a lot of that tax I pay, or at least I hope it doesn’t. Tax evasion? Maybe, but it’s legal and I don’t gain from it personally. And anyway, if Google can do it and gain from it, why I can’t I and everyone else?


Today’s photo …

Growing up?

Today’s funny groaner …

What type of bird flies in formation, and releases red, white and blue smoke?
The red sparrows.

Monday, 8 February 2016

The greed and the revenge


In my second novel House of Pain, (self-published two or three years ago), two paedos were branded on their foreheads by some of their victims. Last night I saw a post on Facebook where this had happened in real life: The man concerned is serving a life sentence for the sexual abuse and murder of 10-year-old girl. His brand is the girl’s name and the word Revenge beneath it. When Jan first read the novel she liked the idea, but seeing that photo she is not so sure about it really.

In the past I’ve ranted on about these pervs and how to deal with them, House of Pain was one of my ideas. The basis of it from a film I saw called Bastards where Jewish GIs were capturing German soldiers and carving a swastika on their forehead. That way everyone would see what they were during the war. And my friends is what we need to do to paedos, otherwise how can we tell them apart from normal people. I am tempted to go a bit further and remove the means of their offending but leaving a way to urinate. Sadly I can’t see any government having the balls to do either of them – can you?

Storm Imogen has left chaos in its wake, and continues to do so. Last night we sat in here and could hear the rain and wind hitting the windows. We were very pleased to be in here and not out there. Mind you, it makes me wonder just how well the nations’ homeless people managed last night. It’s cold and wet as it is on a normal night, last night would have been a lot worse for them. Even so, we as a country are giving away huge amounts of money in foreign aid every day, even though we have a lot of needy folk here at home. When will   government, of whatever colour, begin to see that money can be better spent here in the UK. Yes, of course we should help out in times of emergency where we can, but we need to fix thing here at home before long term projects overseas.

Is Daft Dave scar mongering I wonder? He’s now claiming that we will see migrant camps like those in northern France if we pull out of the EU. The agreement that British border staff would not be allowed to operate on the French side of the Channel and therefore would leave our borders open to abuse. I am not convinced, though of either point he has made. The biggest weakness to our borders is that bloody great hole under the Channel!

The real answer has to be to stop migrants leaving their homes in the first place. That is where the major problem is and that is where our efforts should be targeted. So many of these countries are rife with corruption and greed. Backhanders are the norm there. Yes, we might have people using food banks here and our homeless numbers are increasing, but even so, the UK is not a poor country. It’s also not a mega rich country, but the migrants think it is, and I suppose in comparison to their own country, it is rich. That is why they try to come here. What needs to be done is to tackle the corruption, to attempt to get those governments to share their nations’ wealth across all their people, and not just for the chosen few.

But you know what? The UK is no different in that is it? Our government, yet again irrespective of colour, always look after their own friends first and make sure the get richer in one way or another. Well, I mean, these people of politians and are always on the look out to ensure they have something to make leaving government for worthwhile. They will only act when see or think their own (not so), little nest egg is threatened. Then of course it’s us poor bloody tax payers who pick up the tab as usual.

Today’s photo …

Look at that – one the few times I had money. This was taken in a pub in Preston town centre some years ago.  

Today’s funny …

A condo committee was screening a couple interested in renting an apartment:
"What kind of work do you do?" they were asked. "My husband is an engineer and I'm a school-teacher," the wife replied.
"Any children?" asked a committee member.
"Yes, 7 & 8 years old," the wife replied.
"Animals?" asked another committee member.
"Oh no! They're very well-behaved!"

Sunday, 7 February 2016

A pick-me-up photo?


Not feeling on top of things this morning at all. I slept well, without the CPAP cos the mask was leaking badly. Then I open my email and found this …

This is poppy, I bought her as a surprise present for the wife but it turns out she's allergic to dogs. So unfortunately I'm going to have to find a new home for her, and I'm just wondering if anyone out there can help? Her name is Lynne, she's 46, she's got nice boobs, not a bad cook and shit hot at ironing.

And bingo, I feel much better. It’s from the Sage of Rochdale by the way.

Today we have wall to wall sunshine and blue skies, just the right sort of day for a drive out, but Jan has had her mind set on going to church this morning, so that I idea is out. Mind you, I was up far too late to even think of going out anywhere I suppose, but maybe somewhere local might have been in order, Astley Book Farm for instance; magical place that is. Get lost in there until Jan comes to find me and drags me out … muttermuttermutter … … …

I shall up my stress levels a bit more again this morning when I try to sort out my Yahoo account again. If it wasn’t for Flickr I wouldn’t bother with it, but I do like looking at other photos on there. Yes, I do know there are other sites but right now if I wanted to up load all my Flickr contents to another site, it would take far too long. Anyway, the battle awaits …

On Friday after the plasters had left, the whole kitchen had been skimmed over, but there were clear signs of spots where it was drying out already. Yesterday when we got up, most of one wall hadn’t even begun to dry out, so we left the kitchen window open all day, even though we had rain the whole time. We pulled the window to and locked it open at a very narrow opening. This morning however, there are clear areas where it is dry and it’s drying rather quickly now. Jan had mentioned it before she went; she was wondering what they would do tomorrow if it hadn’t dried out properly. As I said to her though, that was down to them. But I have a feeling the floor will get screed instead of the units being fitted. There’s still a lot to do that doesn’t depend on the plastering to be dry.

Have you ever thought of how newscasters must feel at times with the stories they have to related to us? I read some time ago that they are not allowed to make any personal comments about those stories, but there must be times when that is very hard for them. Missing children  stories is one I might not be able to keep my mouth shut about. And what about story of a missing child that was a set up to con money, like the one not so long ago in Nottinghamshire. That one caused outrage across the country, so why shouldn’t the newsreaders feel the same way. And yet, they do their job as professionals but I bet the air is pretty blue as they write the story and discuss it between themselves.

I am thinking of the refugee stories coming out of Greece for months now when as ask the above questions. The reason for that is a programme on BBC2 at 8pm about the whole of Greece and will include both the refugee crisis and the country’s economy too. I’m not all that sure that two one hour shows will show all that much of Greece anyway. The idea of the show is to point out the Greece is not just sandy beaches and sun, but that there is so much more to the country other than that. I’m not surprised by that idea anyway seeing as so much of our society is based on ancient Greece. I am looking forward to this one anyway.

And so for today’s photo …

This is what I should be doing, but I’m not getting on with it very well at all these days.

Today’s funny began today’s offering above.    

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Dystopia: is that what the future holds?

6 February

Cold, dark, and very wet is how Dorktown is today, good job we didn’t have any plans for going out then. According the weather forecast yesterday we are not the only ones though, the whole of the west side of the UK is getting as good a soaking as we are. I wonder if the council has called off today’s market yet? They don’t need much of an excuse to do so these days.

Our kitchen is nearly as wet inside as it is outside right now. The plasterers worked their little cotton socks off and did the whole. The work schedule gives a free day so for the plaster to dry out but as it’s now weekend and there’s no work planned until Monday, it has two days to dry out. But looking at it this morning, it seems damper than last night and I’m not sure it will be dry by Monday. Not that will be a concern really. The site agent called in on us yesterday afternoon and claimed that the kitchen fitters were a long way behind schedule and might not get to us at the right time. However, there is other work that could be done instead though, so no time is lost overall. Oh the fun of council contractors … … …

At least we’ve had a lie in this morning. I woke at just on 9 o’clock badly needing to pee, so that was me up for the day at that point. Jan is still sleeping right now but I shall be calling her in a few minutes. I was a tad surprised when at 11.15 last night Jan said she was nodding off while she was reading. Normally she will read on for an hour or two after I settle, so when she says she needs to settle, we both did, and I was out like a light.

Ranting against speeding tickets was the big bug on motorist’s minds not so long ago. Now it’s the ‘red light jumper’. There are four-way temporary traffic lights Weddington Road, which is the A444 road through to Burton on Trent. Jan got caught up in them on Thursday evening when she took Kile home. Now there’s a thread about those same lights on Streetlife, and Jan is not the only one who has been caught out on them. It seems it’s a regular happening there where drivers are jumping the red, and it’s not just the odd one or two, oh no, we are talking about a large number of them doing it. From what I’ve read so far, it’s the south bound traffic that’s causing it.

I’ve said before that if a council really was serious in fleecing the motorist, then cameras on traffic lights, especially at temporary lights, would work much better than speeding. However, I’m not sure how much of a deterrent it would be. Just as speeding fines didn’t really stop drivers speeding, I doubt that fines would work for red light jumpers. At least the fines could be used to help councils provide their services. I wouldn’t have any sympathy for those caught anyway, just as I don’t for speeders either. If all drivers obeyed the rules and laws of the Highway Code, then they wouldn’t get caught would they; not only that, the roads would be a lot safer too. It’s just over inflated egos that gets in the way of common sense and common courtesy. Sadly there is no cure for that.

It’s all wrapped up in the selfish ‘ME’ society we now live in. So many people expect what they want, when they want it, to be provided on demand and without questions. If they don’t get it the simply take it, and stuff the consequences, whether it’s an injury caused to someone else, theft is acceptable, no whatever that happens after. And don’t forget the big ‘dis’ factor. Dis? Yes, dis is short for disrespect. These thugs expect to be respected for their actions; to ‘dis’ them is not to show that respect, and that means civilised behaviour goes out the window.               

Now there’s a thought dear readers; we have law and order at the moment, even if it is more than a little fragmented. But can you imagine how these thugs would act in a dystopian society? Now that is frightening. At that point where there is no law and order, there would be no restraints at all, it would be survival of the fittest, or at least survival of the most violent and thuggish. The future awaits us my friends … … …

Today’s photo …

This one of my favourites. I got it as we joined the A14 off the M6. Not only has that driver got to sort out his load, he has to do so in the rain that had just started.

Today’s funny …

"This is an answering' machine, this machine is designed to take full advantage of its numerous capabilities. Please say what you wanted to talk about and why did ya call me anyhow? Wait for the tone to sound, and leave yer message after the beep."