Sunday, 31 October 2010

Already (almost!) November...

I have been reflecting today on the year so far. Yes. I'm aware that the year has 2 months to go but so much has happened in mine & my families lives this year.....
....Claire got married,
Christoper finally moved out of the family home,
Esther finally grew up & is financially independent.
Kathleen achieved her MA.
We finally paid off the mortgage
I retired from work,
I went to France with Claire & her school & made some beautiful friends.
I have made new friends in the locality.
And the years is not done yet!!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The sense of Mikhail Gorbachev

I hear today on the radio news that the former Secretary of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev has told the Americans that "it was impossible for coalition forces to secure victory"in the war in Afghanistan.

This man should know. For it was he who pulled out the Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989 after a decade of slaughter ( though he didn't have Silvester Stallone in his army!! )

But to be very serious, I believe that the coalition forces led by the worlds policeman America, closely followed by the deluded, sacrificial government of the United Kingdom et al should pay heed to his advice & pull out their armies Afghanistan.

Having said that I do believe that we owe a debt to the people of Afghanistan for not only occupying their country but also for helping (very ably assisted by the fanatical, murderous Taliban) wreck the already fragile infra-structure of the place. Therefore the coalition has an obligation to attempt to rebuild the place with the assistance & permission of the native Afghans.

10 days in France

My tiredness has now been filed into the library of fatigue under the catalogue of 'pleasurable though knackering experiences' that is housed somewhere between aching muscles & thank God its over!

Last weekend I returned from 10 lovely day in the Norman town on of Vernon (France). I went along as a 'helper'(& God knows I believed that they must be desperate to enroll me as a helper!) with my daughters school in York. In total there were 29 adolescents, 2 teachers &

I many undertook many activities, experienced clusters of emotions & ate wonderful food as well as swallowing some spectacular tasting drink(s).

The children behaved as 'adolescents' do, though in saying that their behaviour was more than appropriate for their ages & was generally socially acceptable. I went to Euro Disney which more than lived up to my personal belief that it lies somewhere between the nearest thing on earth to Purgatory & a shrine to the Goddess Hedone & Hedonism. The best thing about the place as far as I'm concerned is/was the way out of the place! But the kids loved it so that's fine.

During my time in Vernon I stayed with a French family who lived in a house that quite frankly I would die for. The house, its style, decoration, furnishings & more especially its atmosphere were sublime & a joy to my eyes & my heart.

Pascal & Marie opened their home to me, they tolerated my poor French spoken with a Brummie accent & allowed me to unwind after a long day of shepherding the children around the sights & cities of France. I had a fantastic time & as I type her my tummy reflects & rumbles upon the taste of the numerous cheeses that were laid upon Pascals' table for our delight. Then there was the treat of Pascal's gift of the Cognac. Sadly I have not the vocabulary to express the gustatory delight of allowing the Cognac of 1943 vintage to trickle slowly down my uncultured gullet & then it mingling with the fish, soup & cheese(s) lying in repose in my belly. But I implore you people, to let your minds wander & attempt to imagine if you would please the feelings of this experience....

Thank you Pascal & Marie for the myriad of experiences, tastes & feelings you shared with me.

I think that though the days were punishing the evenings were an ecstasy in so many ways.

And my knowledge of French?? Its improved a little I think...I now can order the drink I want in a cafe/bar & ask for the nearest exit route from Euro Disney!

I am more of a Francophile than ever. I am at one with the passion of the French personality & nature as opposed to the traditional Anglo-Saxon reserve. I will go back to Vernon & I sincerly hope to meet with my hosts again.

What a time...what a time....

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Solomon Burke R.I.P.

I heard today that the musical genius Solomon Burke has passed away. What a man! Amongst his other talents he sired 21 children & 90 grandchildren. At at one point weighed in at 30 stones in weight!!
'Everybody needs somebody' he penned & sang, indeed we do Solomon , indeed we do....

RIP Solomon, your legend lives on in your music.


Saturday, 9 October 2010

Relatives?? God, my teeth itch!!!

Sorry, thanks but
I didn’t create

Your World

And I really don’t care
(To be) included

In it.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Cameron you're a twat!!

You all are aware people of my feelings on the British (& NATO forces) involvement in both the Iraq & Afghan war(s). In a very brief nutshell: My belief is we have no right to be there, its a waste of lives & of money we can ill afford, & that as history has shown we'll have to pull out eventually as war in that country is 'unwinable'.
That be as it may. Today it has been announced by Cameron & his crowd of fellow twats that they intend to help those personnel who returning from Iraq & Afghanistan, are found to be suffering from PTSD.

And what is the 'caring' twat going to do?? He's gonna establish a "helpline" for those personnel returning who have PTSD &/or have "mental health problems..." Moreover he announced at the same time a "significant increase in the number of trained mental health professionals who can help these suffers of PTSD".

So now then people.....When I heard this for a brief second i imagined thousands of Mental Health Workers devoted & specialised in the treatment of PTSD. But only for a very brief moment. Before the news item continued I said to myself "no way, there won't be that many staff.....
....Sure enough... the news item quoted the figure of staff who will be "dedicated to help..." 30. (Thirty).
Wise up Cameron, that's going to make a sizable dent in the numbers of suffers of PTSD ain't it? you twat!!
The man has no idea.....

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

RIP Sir Norman.

Today I feel we should morn, (as I'm sure the people of Albania are also morning) the death of Sir Norman Wisdom who has died at the age of 95yrs.
The man was a master of pathos & though the comedy lines were often repeated in all his movies they were still funny.

Goodnight Sir Norman, I'm sure Mr Grimsdyke is waiting for you!

Monday, 4 October 2010

I love where I live!!

Some years ago-it was at my eldest daughters graduation from Birmingham University in fact-the guy who awarded the degrees made his usual waffle speech about how "honoured (he) was to be allowed to present the degrees etc etc. In his speech he continued to describe Kings Heath & Moseley as 'Left Bank'.
Now that stuck with me, & now & again I come across things, situations & people in these environs that cause me to reflect upon that cliche & make me smile & feel glad to live in Birmingham 14.
Today was no exception.....Whilst listening to the glorious Rooks crawing in Highbury park at the bottom of the Garden & at the same time allowing my eyes to feast upon the different shades of yellow & gold that the leaves are turning, I head what sounded like an Alpine Horn coming from the direction of the park!

Now I've heard this before from the park but never paid too much attention to it but this time I jumped on my bike & headed in the direction of the wonderful sound.

Some 3 minutes later I saw him..... In Highbury Park-A guy of about 60 odd years old sitting on a small folding deck chair blowing into this bloody Alpine horn! And what a splendid sound he made to! He actually could play this thing I was unable to recognise any of the tunes but it was tremendous stuff!
The sun was shining, the colours of the leaves tumbling down to the rain glistening grass, & free Alpine music. I love Kings Heath.

Last weekend.....

We went to (another) family wedding at the weekend.

I meet some very interesting & lovely people who curiously enough weren't family. I say "curiously" because these people ( & from what I gather have, or are currently viewed with a degree of scepticism &/or derision!) were not family members!
Now keeping hold of my opinion, ask yourself people, just what does it say about me. That I found these people (guests) interesting & lovely??!!

Moreover, I wonder then, what is the general opinion of me??!!
However do I worry or care?? Well in the cold light of a Sunday morning in Jury's Inn I did, but not now.
Rather, I rejoice that I might be viewed as 'different', odd & bizarre. (By the way I love my green bow tie with small red alligators on, & it went with my red socks!! & Kate looked stunning, sexy & unique in her black dress, bright green tights & matching Parisian styled neck scarf.)

I'm sure that the world does need at some level, the boring, small minded provincial conventional people of the world. But for now, let us all embrace the 'different' people of the world.

I like this one.....

Faces In The Street
They lie, the men who tell us in a loud decisive tone
That want is here a stranger, and that misery's unknown;
For where the nearest suburb and the city proper meet
My window-sill is level with the faces in the street -
- Drifting past, drifting past,
To the beat of weary feet -
While I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street.
And cause I have to sorrow, in a land so young and fair,
To see upon those faces stamped the marks of Want and Care;
I look in vain for traces of the fresh and fair and sweet
In sallow, sunken faces that are drifting through the street -
Drifting on, drifting on,
To the scrape of restless feet;
I can sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street.
In hours before the dawning dims the starlight in the sky
The wan and weary faces first begin to trickle by,
Increasing as the moments hurry on with morning feet,
Till like a pallid river flow the faces in the street --
Flowing in, flowing in,
To the beat of hurried feet --
Ah! I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street.
The human river dwindles when 'tis past the hour of eight,
Its waves go flowing faster in the fear of being late;
But slowly drag the moments, whilst beneath the dust and heat
The city grinds the owners of the faces in the street --
Grinding body, grinding soul,
Yielding scarce enough to eat --
Oh! I sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street.
And then the only faces till the sun is sinking down
Are those of outside toilers and the idlers of the town,
Save here and there a face that seems a stranger in the street,
Tells of the city's unemployed upon his weary beat --
Drifting round, drifting round,
To the tread of listless feet --
Ah! My heart aches for the owner of that sad face in the street.
And when the hours on lagging feet have slowly dragged away,
And sickly yellow gaslights rise to mock the going day,
Then flowing past my window like a tide in its retreat,
Again I see the pallid stream of faces in the street --
Ebbing out, ebbing out,
To the drag of tired feet,
While my heart is aching dumbly for the faces in the street.
And now all blurred and smirched with vice the day's sad pages end,
For while the short `large hours' toward the longer `small hours' trend,
With smiles that mock the wearer, and with words that half entreat,
Delilah pleads for custom at the corner of the street --
Sinking down, sinking down,
Battered wreck by tempests beat --
A dreadful, thankless trade is hers, that Woman of the Street.
But, ah! to dreader things than these our fair young city comes,
For in its heart are growing thick the filthy dens and slums,
Where human forms shall rot away in sties for swine unmeet,
And ghostly faces shall be seen unfit for any street --
Rotting out, rotting out,
For the lack of air and meat --
In dens of vice and horror that are hidden from the street.
I wonder would the apathy of wealthy men endure
Were all their windows level with the faces of the Poor?
Ah! Mammon's slaves, your knees shall knock, your hearts in terror beat,
When God demands a reason for the sorrows of the street,
The wrong things and the bad things
And the sad things that we meet In the filthy lane and alley, and the cruel, heartless street.
I left the dreadful corner where the steps are never still,
And sought another window overlooking gorge and hill;
But when the night came dreary with the driving rain and sleet,
They haunted me -- the shadows of those faces in the street,
Flitting by, flitting by,
Flitting by with noiseless feet,
And with cheeks but little paler than the real ones in the street.
Once I cried: `Oh, God Almighty! if Thy might doth still endure,
Now show me in a vision for the wrongs of Earth a cure.'
And, lo! with shops all shuttered I beheld a city's street,
And in the warning distance heard the tramp of many feet,
Coming near, coming near,
To a drum's dull distant beat,
And soon I saw the army that was marching down the street.
Then, like a swollen river that has broken bank and wall,
The human flood came pouring with the red flags over all,
And kindled eyes all blazing bright with revolution's heat,
And flashing swords reflecting rigid faces in the street.
Pouring on, pouring on,
To a drum's loud threatening beat,
And the war-hymns and the cheering of the people in the street.
And so it must be while the world goes rolling round its course,
The warning pen shall write in vain, the warning voice grow hoarse,
But not until a city feels Red Revolution's feet
Shall its sad people miss awhile the terrors of the street --
The dreadful everlasting strife
For scarcely clothes and meat
In that pent track of living death -- the city's cruel street.
Henry Lawson

Friday, 1 October 2010

I want to rant again!!!......Sod it I'm gonna!!!

Today I hope you'll all give me grace to rant about a couple (at least) of things.
Well it all began last night & it was all my own fault to be honest.....I watched BBC's 'Question Time'. Fatal. For me, the family & no doubt the neighbours. Because I ALWAYS end up roaring & arguing the toss with the TV more specifically, the members of the panel who are usually Members of Parliament.
Well, last nights last nights panel was made up of 1 Tory twat MP, a Tory historian (who was a typical right wing middle class Fascist bastard!) Simon Hughes-one of those formerly reasonable Liberal MP's who sold his soul to the Conservatives & the very sensible Dianne Abbot, who appears to represent the type of Socialism that the Labour Pary used to have & hold.
God I let rip at that programme. Well what can you expect from the Right Wing BBC? They think that the UK ends at Watford.

Today the fucking binmen.... They 'took' the recyclable rubbish away today & to be honest why the fuck they bother I don't know! There is more left on the road & pavements than before the bastards came around! I had to stop my car whilst driving along the street & remove 2 recycle boxes that the lazy bastards had thrown into the middle of the road after they had emptied the contents into the garbage truck. Its not fucking rocket science to be able to throw the stuff in the back of the truck is it? Nor can it be that hard to place the container back outside the house from which it came. The bastards.

Now the weather. Its shite. Pissing down of rain water everywhere. The poor bloody cat came in & the bloody water was dripping from the poor bastards fur! He looks at me with a look that seems to say "I know you're responsible for this you lanky bastard!! Piss off cat!!!

That's enough for now. But wait.... I gotta go over to Belfast for a wedding this weekend & I ain't looking forward to it that much to be honest I have a sister in law who makes my fucking teeth itch & she may be there. But what the fuck? Bollocks to her.