Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Alone And Drinking Under The Moon


Amongst the flowers I 
am alone with my pot of wine 
drinking by myself; then lifting 
my cup I asked the moon 
to drink with me, its reflection 
and mine in the wine cup, just 
the three of us; then I sigh 
for the moon cannot drink, 
and my shadow goes emptily along 
with me never saying a word; 
with no other friends here, I can 
but use these two for company; 
in the time of happiness, I 
too must be happy with all 
around me; I sit and sing 
and it is as if the moon 
accompanies me; then if I 
dance, it is my shadow that 
dances along with me; while 
still not drunk, I am glad 
to make the moon and my shadow 
into friends, but then when 
I have drunk too much, we 
all part; yet these are 
friends I can always count on 
these who have no emotion 
whatsoever; I hope that one day 
we three will meet again, 
deep in the Milky Way. 


Li Po 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Latest UK unemployment figures December 2011.

 David Cameron's policies aren't working & he is succeeding in driving the UK to the wall, isolating the UK within Europe, increasing the number of children living in poverty in 21st century Britain & creating a legacy of a wasted generation of young people who can't find work; take a look at the latest UK unemployment figures released today.
The U K as the highest number of unemployed for 17 years. The figure today stands at 2.64 million people. And that's JUST THE PEOPLE CLAIMING BENEFITS, It doesn't include those ineligible for state benefit. If you counted those God alone knows what the figure would be.
Youth unemployment (those young people aged between 18-24 yrs) now stands at 1.027 million people. Shameful.
The overall figure has been swelled by 67.000 job loses in the public sector.
David Cameron is rapidly creating a nation of 'haves & have nots', with the later in the majority. He is creating a generation of wasted youth. creating depression, anxiety & hopelessness.
Meanwhile the (un)employment minister-Chris Grayling makes placating utterances designed to reasure us that things are on the up.They are if you a government minister in Cameron's government or a banker lining your own & Camerons pockets.
Happy Christmas Mr Cameron.

Don't panic buy

Not a day goes by without me have a little nibble of chocolate. A square or 2 of Cadbury's Dairy Milk here, a peck at a Twix bar there or a full blown Mars bar. I love chocolate, be it plain, milk or white, stuffed with peanuts, caramel , raisins or my personal favourite-Turkish Delight coated in Fry's (Cadbury's) milk chocolate. Easter with its chocolate eggs is a time when I inevitably make myself feel sick & swear by the end of Easter Sunday that I'll never touch another bit of chocolate. But come Monday...
So you can imagine my concern today when I read of a looming cocoa shortage. Yes. apparently with 8 yrs or so the world will be in the midst of a chocolate desert., & we'll need an area of land equivalent the size of the Ivory Coast just to satisfy the worlds taste for the stuff! OK then lets get at ..... invade the Ivory Coast tomorrow & plant cocoa trees by the score.  What's the problem? After all if we invade a sovereign country called Iraq for no better reason than to satisfy the paranoia of G.W. Bush & laughing boy Tony Blair then we can go ahead & invade the Ivory Coast without any compunction or hesitation.

But lets not panic. There is enough to go round, its just the greed of the affluent West worried because we'll have to pay a bit more for what for years we have paid a pittance for & exploited the farmers who grow our cocoa bean trees. So don't panic buy, don't rush out & buy your own body weight in Cadbury's Roses or Bounty bars, cos' its gonna be fine.

Monday, 12 December 2011

The best place for the mobile?

Take a look at the attached photo. The story behind it is as follows:

I went out the back this morning to bring in some kindling wood for the stove when I came across my neighbour about to lift up the inspection lid of the sewer that his & mine house share. I must explain that on occasion the sewer gets clogged up- the houses were bombed by the Luftwaffe in 1940 & were rebuilt the best they could be considering the shortage of materials. Anyway, there he was..."is it blocked again?" I ask.
"No" he replies, & then tells me that whist on the toilet he dropped his mobile phone down the lavatory pan which he accidentally then flushed away! He'd dialled the number from the land line & heard it ringing from underneath the inspection lid-in the sewer!
I gave him a hand (as any decent neighbour would do) & low & behold there was the mobile phone in the sewer-as the photo shows.
As I hold aloft the inspection cover he reaches down when suddenly there's a rush of 'blue' water gushing down the channel to the right of the channel where the phone sits!! Some has flushed the toilet sending forth a torrent of disinfectant diluted piddle!! Grabbing a strategically place bit of timber, I  attempted to push the phone out of the line of fire of the excreta  that was heading relentlessly towards my neighbours Nokia.
"Its had it now, it'll never work after that lot gets into its innards" says I.
But....... After he fished the phone out of the sewer, gave it a wipe first with a kitchen towel, then with some antiseptic wipe gel I have around for such emergencies. I dialled his number......it worked!!
Wonderful. especially when you consider that all he payed for the phone was £16.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

He's been at it again!!

No, I don't mean Cameron or any of his cohort of coalition ejjits, but my Cat Charlie Coal.
He's been street fighting again. This time he's got a laceration on his right cheek caused by some other feline pugilist  in the neighbourhood. The first we noticed was when the furry thug growled at me when I attempted to tickle under his ear, & I guess there's of lot of people out there who'd growl if I attempted to tickle them under the ear, but be that as it may/may not be the fella is injured.....again.
This is proving costly. I mean trips to the bloody vet -(y'know the lady with the dreamy Scottish accent)-it cost £56 a time for a shot of antibiotic! Kate says that its getting out of control, these fur ball fisticuffs, & that a trip to the dreamy Scottish vet is not going to happen for poor old battered Chas'. So its down to old fashioned grin & bare it matey & no treat for my ears were we to visit Fivelands Vets.
The little sod's so aggressive! I mean; he had his nether regions snipped off when he was a bundle of feline mischievousness, & that. allegedly, is supposed to curtail Tom cats aggressiveness. I'm wondering what the hell would the bewhiskered fiends behaviour be like were we to have left him with the 'full set'!

This comes after a day when he sat on my log chopping post watching me has I tided up the lower part of the garden. He sat there looking cute but nevertheless keeping a chary eye on my activities on his territory.
I took a snapshot of him for your amusement.
But for the time being Charlie you got sweat it out, rely on our TLC & pray that Goddess Bastet will bring about a speedy healing.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Thank you David Cameron

Everyone would agree I'm that the world is in dire financial straits. Europe especially, is in a mess financially. First the Irish, then the Greek, Portuguese & most recently the Italian economies crashed necessitating massive bail outs from the European Central Bank in order top prop up the ailing Euro.All this was caused by the greedy, callous grasping behaviour of bankers-not only in Europe but worldwide. Moreover these low lifers are apparently continuing their destructive, amoral behaviour.
The leaders of Europe have been a little tardy in dealing with the crisis, not wanting I guess to upset the aforementioned bankers as it is they who fund their political positions & futures. However now, the leaders of France & Germany appear to have grasped the metal & come up with a plan that I hope will be the salvation of not only the European Union but the greater world.
I admire Angela Merkle the Chancellor of Germany. She is a driven, intelligent person & is determined to hold the EU together whilst at the same time doing her level best to ensure the Euro stays as the common currency. President Sarkozy also has to be applauded for his contribution in putting together the latest package which will hopefully resurrect Europe's financial markets & economies.
Then... What does that dick Cameron do???
He plays the veto card & all but scuppers the treaty!! Who does he think he is Benjamin Disraeli?? It was in the late 19th Century that that former Conservative Prime Minister of the UK pursed a foreign policy that he called 'Splendid Isolation'. Cameron clearly has aspirations to emulate him & the Marquess of Sailsbury-God help all us poor bastards in the UK.
We ARE European Cameron, we belong in Europe & Europe wants us (I think?!) Cameron says that "I did it for Britain..." How many other despots have said that they did so & so for their nations good?
Thanks Cameron. We all know that your Government will never tax or chastise the bankers that got us all in to this sorry financial state, as YOUR government is so far up the arse of the bankers that its hard to see where your end & the bankers begin!
I take comfort though in the fact the Judas Nick Clegg is pro Europe & may, just may have the balls to challenge Cameron on this one in some way. If he does then.... it may spell the death knell of the loathsome Coalition Government that we have here in the UK & force a General Election. I hope...but I ain't holding my breath.
You've really isolated us now Cameron. Thanks. Thanks a bunch prat.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Peace!

Peace & reconciliation has returned!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Unreasonable?

This post might upset & may even anger some readers but I feel I've got to get it off my chest. Damn it there's no one else to tell how I feel to.
I live in a female dominated house. Theres Kate my wife & Esther my daughter. Very occasionally they have a row, neither of them will give way, they both have to have the last word in an argument & last night was no exception. As usual  (& like most arguments) it was over something trivial. It blew up & somehow or other I got roped in when I was trying to act as a 'United Nations peacemaker) so finally neither of them ended up speaking to me either! I suppose that sometimes even UN peacekeepers get shot or wounded.
It continued this morning. Kate wanted an apology from Esther, she refused & wanted an apology from Kate. I tried again to make the peace, attempting to persuade Esther to apologise in a way that wouldn't cause her to lose face. This was going OK & Esther attempted to do so & negotiate. I was blamed for this by the elder lady who then put her coat on & went for a walk. Esther then retired back to bed. Round 2. Holy Mother of God!
I reckon, rather my male logic tells me that they are both being unreasonable. C'mon ladies, lets not be so arrogant & omnipotent, none of us know how long we've got left, lets make up. Sorry is a small word but it has to fill so much of your heart. Its to late to be sorry when you're dead or unable to communicate
Its my belief that the aim of an argument should not be victory but rather progress & growth of a relationship, but sadly at the moment my house appears to be entrenched in a war-zone which offends my spirit. I'm stuck right in the middle of 'no (wo)mans land'!
 
Like this poor fella...I'm stuck in the middle of two immoveable
pillars!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The public Service workers strike, Jeremy Clarkson &..... Cameron


Yesterday saw over 1 million Public Service workers in the UK strike over the outrageous cuts & readjustments imposed on us by Cameron's Government in their punitive attempts to reduce the countries financial deficit. You can read for yourselves how they want to hack into the services but amongst other things it would mean us working to 68yrs of age, paying more into our pension pot & receiving less at the end.
Now all this state of affairs we ALL know was brought about by corrupt greedy bankers who even now are awarding themselves bonus's of £8,000,000 in one instance. Capitalist bastards. Making money from our money & spending t on their lavish lifestyles.
At a march in Birmingham yesterday we heard from a care assistant in an old folks care home who said that she receives the national minimum wage £5 odd per hour. She said that she actually sweats whilst she works & if Cameron as his way she'll have to work until she's 68yrs of age doing this work.
Then Cameron says that the likes of this hero "has no right to bring the country to a standstill". What a nerve!!
I have no special grip against the Royal Family but didn't they bring the country to a standstill when one of them got married last April??? And who paid for that fiasco?

And now that prize prat Jeremy Clarkson:  He came out & said whilst being interviewed on the BBC (who were conspicuous by their absence yesterday) that those who were on strike yesterday ".... should be taken out & shot in front of their families". How dare he! When his prat of a TV presenter sidekick Richard Hammond was involved in that near fatal RTA some time ago, it was thanks to them that he would have shot that put the fool back together, saved his life, nursed him, gave him physiotherapy, fed him, etc etc & did not ask for any reward nor praise (they didn't get either anyway). Think on Mr Clarkson. Think on.

Now Cameron tells us that his plans to cut the budget deficit were inaccurate. That it'll be another 5 years until the country is back in the black. He thinks(?) C'mon Dave...you an't got sa clue have you?
Surely the way to make money for the nation is to get people working again. We have youth unemployment in excess of 1.000.000-is to keep the retirement age at 65yrs old then the young would have jobs because people would be retiring. But if you don't let folks retire til their 68yrs old + then there are no jobs for the youth to go to....or is that too simple~??You tell me.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Food for the soul




As I type I'm listening to Leonard Cohen. The lyrics of his songs are pure ambrosia for the soul they really are. His poetry strokes the heart & soothes my spirit on this cold, dismal Birmingham night,
The words of 'In My Secret Life' resonate within me, whilst 'Love Itself' awakens the slumbering romance in my heart that November as sedated. Wonderful.
The man is a gem, a genius & a gift to the spirit.
I recommend that you take a listen to (if not these songs)  but to some of his other works. For I'm sure that you too, like me will be recharged & moved by the rhapsodist that is Leonard Cohen.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Can I share with you?....


A short post (by my standards!), but tonight I gave a CD a spin which I ain't played for a while & realised just how lovely it is. So lovely that I recommend that you give it a blast to. Assuming of course you have it in your collection.
The music I refer to is Dvor├ík's 9th symphony ('From the New World'). Its truly lovely.
Apparently it was performed for the first time in the then recently built Carnegie Hall in New York in 1893.

Incidentally I ordered yesterday some stuff by the great Leonard Cohen-can't wait for it to arrive!!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

November.

The month of November causes me to feel flat emotionally & mentally. I have a feeling akin to not having any excitement, joy & energy sucked out of me, a metaphor for these feelings would be that I feel like a bath of water that is slowly draining of water. The warm & the bathing effect of the warm water ebbs away leaving the bath empty & cold (with the bath toys-rubber ducks(!) washed up on the bottom of the bath).
In Birmingham, November at the moment is dank, dismal, foggy ( or is that just my mood??) and covered in a thick layer of grey cloud. I try to tell myself that above that layer of greyness is a clear bright blue sky but its damn hard to paint that picture into my depressed cognition. The once golden leaves are all off the trees, lying strewn on the ground, wet, sodden memories of the summer gone.The trees bare, remind me of wire coat hangers denuded of clothes.


Outside today it was drizzling, people looked through each other, wore clothes the colour of which reflected their countenance & the weather.
I know all this sounds miserable, a scenario to sit at home with & listen to the great Leonard Cohen singing Joan of Arc. I don't know! However....Lets be optimistic... maybe I/we should see November as a period of calm before the storm of enforced joyousness that is Christmas. That time of complete financial & gustatory insanity. Maybe we should prepare for Christmas- for Advent appropriately & live a little bit more austere before we all go ape-shite at or around Christmas.
(Can you tell that at best I am a tad ambivalent about Christmas!??)
Charlie Coal has the best idea though. November to him is the same as any other month except that  (as we speak) he's stretched out on the sofa sleeping dead to the world in the heat of the wood burning stove. Smart cat that lad!!

O well... toss another log on Woolley, make a cup of cocoa & put a Leonard Cohen CD on the player.
Happy November everyone!

Monday, 7 November 2011

The work

I meant to post this on Friday last but i was tired out physically, mentally and emotionally. Not to mention that it took me almost one & half hours to drive the 9 miles from my work place home on Friday!-The traffic was awful , its just that the UK is too small for the amount of cars that people have with the majority of cars having 1 person only in them at peak times.
Be that as it may. I think now that I'm not working full time I feel more. I mean, that when I was working 40+ hrs weekly you get so caught up in the daily hassles, everyone's issues blur into one & you haven't the time to think & reflect. But now.... well I have the time to reflect upon the grief, the personal turmoil & torture that some of the individuals I encounter are or have experience(ed). And you know....these days I often feel overwhelmed with unhappiness after hearing & sharing their stories. A Kleinian like my Katie would call what I'm experiencing 'Projective identification' ,what ever. All I know is that the feelings I experience on a Friday evening after 2 days of work in a community mental health team are not pleasant & I often feel drawn to tears. But if I feel like this how do the poor people I have seen feel?
Some people carry so much upon their shoulders.....

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Children & Family

This weekend has been entertaining, joyful & has caused me to reflect on upon the era of our lives that Kate & I currently find ourselves in.
We took a drive up to Tadcaster in beautiful North Yorkshire stayed overnight with our daughter who married in 2010. We all went to the classic Leeds grand Theatre we we saw & listened to Toumani Diabate. He hails from the African republic of Mali & plays an instrument native to that country called the 'Kora'.  It was a dream to behold & to listen to well worth the £15. Whilst there our daughter looked after us, cared for us, cooked our dinner & breakfast-altogether cared for us. I reflected upon the times when these situations were reversed. When as a child we cared, cooked for her (I guess we still do!) & when I sat up all night with her boiling a kettle of water to keep the atmosphere in her room moist as she had the croup. She was, is & will always be our little girl. But now this little girl is a woman, & caring for u, & teaching a class of (sometimes) unruly 13 & 14 yr old teenagers! Ah how time changes roles!
Then tonight, our baby-Esther goes out on a date with a boy! The last one of our children to begin their hopefully long & painless flight from the nest. I know that I am her father, & I'm biased but she looked stunning!! Have a look for yourselves people & please, please be honest. Do you agree? She has her moms good looks I reckon, but there's some little part of me in there somewhere to!

But: She's out at the movies as I type & I hope she'll have a great time and pray that she'll be safe. God help this guy if he breaks her heart! But in truth the reverse is more likely to happen!
What I'm trying to say is this..... that holding tight with loose hands is painful, difficult & reflective.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Rest In Peace


This week end saw the death of one of a great British eccentric. He was a tireless worker for various charities & 'Fixed it' for lots of kids. I refer to the death of Sir Jimmy Savile.
Sleep well Jimmy.

A rant about cafe/coffee bars in the UK





What is wrong with the Brits? please don't all shout at once out there, because I could spend the next half dozen posts telling you things which you may not have thought of as wrong with the Brits & our culture.
However there is one thing that really pisses me off BIG time.
Its this: I love my coffee, I love it black & strong, I like it at home & I especially love to linger in a cafe chatting with a mate or watching the world pass by.
But this is how it goes in the UK: You go into the cafe/coffee bar & have to queue up to order you drink at the counter, You stand there & carry it over to your table yourself & then the Cheeky bastards expect a tip or else there is a large cup placed nearby  the cash register for the customer to put a tip in!!
Now tell me-what am I giving a tip for??  Its not for the privilege of being served at the table!
On the continent you sit down in a bar, cafe,or coffee bar & the waiter comes to you in moments to take your order & then returns with your coffee, whatever in a short while. But here in the UK its as if its a chore for the staff to serve you & that we (the customer ) should be damn grateful to be served at all.
Its happen twice to me in the last couple of days. I have incidentally tried just sitting down & waited for a member of the staff to come & serve me but only to be ignored.
Yesterday Kate & her friend Sharon were in a local cafe. They had two coffees, & Sharon ordered & ate brunch. They then sat there for some 45mins chatting. Then as lunch time drew near the waitress came over & asked them to vacate the table as they needed it for the lunchtime!  WTF!! I'm sorry but I think I would have made a scene of this kind of very poor customer service. I've had enough of being taken for a prat.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Wockley est de retour de la France!

Vernon Cathedral
Oui! I am! And what a return journey, what a lovely (though it was damn hard work) time we had.
I've eaten my first plate of Snails- Escargot- which were delicious served in their shells & swimming in garlic & herb butter. And en route home suffered a 3.5 hour traffic jam on the infamous M25 London orbital motorway which is surely the largest car park in the UK?)
Vernon is a lovely town, steeped in history, near by Monet's garden, museum & garden. I visited these & would recommend these as a must if any of you plan to go to France. Unlike the residents of Paris, the people of Vernon aren't rude. rather they are civil, they smile at you & are friendly & warm.
The worst point of the (working holiday) was the day spent at Euro-Disney. We took the 45 teenagers to that hell hole which at worst is akin to entering one of the 7 circles of Hell & at best 7 hours spent in one of the most surreal environments surely in the whole of Western Europe.  The kids however were very well behaved & all turned up at the pre agreed meeting time in time for the return trip to Vernon.
I spent a wonderful day in Paris with my daughter & brought some nice clothes, ate some superb food & drank exquisite coffee. French home cooking served by my family-Pascal & Maire was beyond description.It was the closest thing to gastronomic paradise i think that I'll ever encounter.
I won't bore you any further with my rantings & raves about my love of France & all things of French, but I'll enclose a couple of photos of Vernon & may post a couple more at a later date.

.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

france....



From today til around the 21st October I'm off to Normandy in France. Last yr I went with my daughter, who teaches in York (of the Minster) & 30 odd (& 'odd' being the operative word her people!) 14-15yr old kids from her school & another school in York.
You know I'm sure I posted about this trip in 2010!) Whatever. I'll stay again with Marie & Pascal in the lovely town of Vernon, the trip is marred though by a day at Disneyland Paris which for me is like entering one of the 7 circles of hell. Still its a small price to pay for 8days of France.
I will miss Kate, Esther & of course Charlie Coal loads & I'll post again later in October.
Au-revoir fir now!

Monday, 10 October 2011

News on the Silver Dream Machine.

'Esure', the company that insurances the Silver Dream Machine have decided that the aforementioned car ( BK 09 NLR) is repairable. I am happy about this. However, I have to say that the way that I, as a customer of 'Esure', have been treated by the company & by the garage that has The Silver Dream Machine in its clutches is appalling.
I have not received 1 telephone call from 'Esure' throughout the the time that they have had my car-I have had to make at least 8 calls to them since the car was recovered. I have attempted to phone the garage (on the advise of 'Esure') only to find that the phone engaged at 430pm continually until 5pm when it switched to answer-phone informing me that they were closed! Bastards!
I would strongly advise any potential customers of 'Esure' don't. They take your premium & that's it...."sod you" appears to be the attitude of the company towards its customers. I paid my premium of £350 (pa) for fully comprehensive, legal protection, no claims protection etc up front. Only to be disregarded & forgotten about when I needed the company to help me.
I phoned them again today at 815am & I was a bit assertive...."I WANT a courtesy car delivered to my home by 12noon, & I DON'T WANT a Ford Ka as that car is too small for me to climb out of" (I'm 6'3''). I also demanded compensation for the manner in which I feel that I have been treated-they have had my car for almost 2 weeks! they have agreed to pay me £10 per day, but are unable presently to state from what date.

I advise you people don't purchase insurance from 'Esure'.
O, & I ain't finished with them yet... but I'll wait 'til I get the Silver Dream Machine back......

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Silver Dream Machine

Last Friday, (to quote the late great FDR: "A day that will live in infamy....") not only did I experience a stress ridden day on Duty, experience the full arrogant, omnipotence of the Home Treatment Team at my place of 'mindful caring', but en route home I had a smash (RTA) in my car-The Silver Dream Machine.
I unfortunately crashed at around 40mph in the arse end of a small Ford Transit mini bus. My poor Skoda suffered a dent in the bonnet (hood), cracked wind-shield, both air-bags were released, a smashed number plate & cracked plastic bumper at the front. There was little damage to the other guy & thankfully none of use were hurt. Coupled to this I lost my new mobile phone brought a few days earlier by my son-all my contacts are lost into the bargain!
I managed to drive to a local motel where the staff very kindly allowed me to use their phones & ultimately park my car up for the night. The AA said that it would be 4hours before they could tow me home/to a local garage & then charge me £108 for the privilege! (& I'm a member of that motoring organisation!) As it was I waited the 4 hours, got a cab home & got my car insurance to meet me on the Saturday & take the car to a repairer.
It pains me to write about the saga as I'm still having some minor flashbacks of the accident, but I know that its therapeutic.
So now I'm waiting for the car insurance people to tell me if the car is a 'write off' or that they'll repair it. This waiting adds to my sense of powerlessness & low mood. Though there is a sense of liberation in not having a mobile phone &, to some degree, a car at hand.. having said that its causing Katie alot of hassle viz a vie transport.
So: I hope on many levels that the car is fixable, please keep everything crossed for me (& the Silver Dream Machine!)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

One lazy cat....!

After a hard night in the alley,Charlie Coal is zonked on the most comfortable chair in the house.


Friday, 23 September 2011

Autumn Song





Autumn Song

Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief
Laid on it for a covering,
And how sleep seems a goodly thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

And how the swift beat of the brain
Falters because it is in vain,
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf
Knowest thou not? and how the chief
Of joys seems—not to suffer pain?

Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the soul feels like a dried sheaf
Bound up at length for harvesting,
And how death seems a comely thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

Dante Gabriel Rossetti 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

59

I've now been on this earth 59years. My birthday was spent like a I guess a 59yr old grunter would spend his 59th birthday: I spent the day reading, listening to music, went for a cycle ride & later went for a curry at the wonderful 'Kings Balti' at the top of our road. Perfect idleness!
Now (as you might expect) there's a story surrounding Kings Balti: 

The evening previously we called in & booked the table. I casually asked the manager if they would have any of my favourite Indian dessert-Ras Malai in. As usual he smiled & said "no Paul, sorry". (They never have it in, but their curries are the best for miles around with the exception of Saleem's on Ladypool Road-John in 'Oz will know both places).

Anyway,Kate, Esther, Chris & his partner Becci duly enjoyed our curries, As part of the usual game asked if they had any Ras Malai. With a smile the waiter said "no sorry sir". Then.... within 3minutes the manager appeared with a takeaway container full of the delicious sweet along with 5 small dishes!!

"these are on the house" he says. Well I was delighted-& he had no idea it was my birthday meal either!! The day was complete.
Incidentally, I I share the belief that growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional
Happy Birthday Woollie!!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Autumn

I love all the seasons of the year, summer not to much as (when we here in the UK are lucky enough to have...) too much sun & the associated heat. I think now about my friend John in Australia, & I wonder if he experiences the diversity of seasons that here in England we joyously have. Sometimes we experience all 4 seasons in 1 day!! I reflect that now, as our leaves being to tumble down from the myriad of tree types in Highbury park, spring is approaching in Australia.
Autumn does however bring about a tad of sadness for me. I reflect upon that the year is drawing to its close, the green & the lovely bright colours in my garden will soon be no more, & I wonder what will be different next year?

I'm lucky enough to have a plum tree at the bottom of my garden & as usual now I have made jars & jars of golden plum jam which I'll give away to anyone who wants one(!). I still have lots of plums left-wind falls as well as those surplus that I've picked. I read a story some time ago about a group of railway engineers who were repairing the track in Nottinghamshire (or somewhere) & they came across a number of oldish apple trees along the side of the tract. They apparently wondered how come they came to be growing there,& it transpired that when the track was first laid by the Irish Navvies in the late 1890's they threw their old discarded apple cores into the grass...the rest is easy to see!
This inspired me. What I do is throw my windfall plums over the garden fence into the wooded area of Highbury Park where, I hope, they'll grow. Then, some years later-long after I'm dead & gone plum trees may grow & bare fruit! I can hear people now as they walk their pets thru Highbury Park-" I wonder how those plum trees got to grow their...?  I've taken this one step further though: I've been collecting acorns, conkers-(Horse Chestnuts) seeds from some of the plants in my garden  & I throw theses too into wooded areas of the park(s). I guess its debatable that I could be considered a hooligan, but I consider myself some sort of conservationist!
This morning we have strong winds that make the tall Poplar trees in the park dance & sway like drunken sailors dancing the Hornpipe, the noise of the wind  in their branches sounding not unlike the roar of the sea. The weather man on BBC Radio Four tells us that here in the UK we're experiencing the 'tailend' of hurricane Katrina-great comfort to the poor birds who are being blown around the sky like ninepins! However it does mean that there are more acorns & conkers for me to collect.
Speaking of conkers.....I remember as a kid going around to the local Horse Chestnut tree armed with a couple of big stout sticks &, along with a a few other kids we'd throw these sticks up into the tree hoping to knock down a few choice conkers to play 'conkers' with.
We'd take the best ones home, either baked them after soaking them in vinegar then thread them on a piece of string to play 'conkers' with at school the following days. I note now that there are lots of conkers actually left on the trees. Kids are no longer throwing sticks up to knock them off & for this I blame 'Health & (bloody) Safety: Kids are now forbidden to play conkers at school JUST IN CASE they may hurt themselves! What shite!! To be honest I cannot recall any child that I ever played conkers with sustaining a 'conker related injury'-Ah, the good old nanny sate.....protecting you from yourself. Madness, sheer madness.
Still, whatever you do this autumn, I urge you to look at the colours, listen to the wind blowing thru the trees because despite all the brutality & unhappiness about us, its still a beautiful world.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Back!!!

Wockley is back people!! I have a new laptop-sadly the old faithful died & was beyond repair & this new machine is very fancy with lots of new fangled things which I ain't got a clue what they do & a mouse button as sensitive as my mood on a cold Monday morning in January. Nevertheless I'm slowly getting to grips with it & I have (as you would expect!) lots to say on recent events in the UK, the world  etc.
On a cheerful note, I'd like to report that me & Kate have just returned from a lovely week spent on holiday in the tiny Cornish fishing village of Newlyn. We stayed in a small self catering apartment overlooking the tiny harbour & had lots of walks, plenty of real ale in tiny pubs & good grub. Not to mention Cornish Pasties+++!
We saw wildlife in abundance ranging from seals, dolphins & all sorts of bird life.
The most memorable event was a theatre performance at the Minack open air theatre. This open air theatre has.has its backdrop the open sea & is perched precariously on the cliff tops with rocks for seats!  Fantastic!!
We watched 'Fiddler on the roof' Truly memorable.
I'll bore you all later with a few posted photos.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

A sick computer...

I type this post on my daughters laptop. The other night my laptop suddenly burst into a chorus of whines & screams that sent poor Charlie Coal sprinting for the door! He though,t I guess, that it was the cat equivalent of the banshee, when in fact it was I'm sorry to report the death throws of our 3 yr old laptop.
I wanted, as a fully paid up & Mass attending member of the Roman Catholic Church to call Father Fitzpatrick to the house & ask him to administer said laptop the Sacrament of Extreme Unction. (The Last Rights to all you heathens out there.).
 Kate told me to stop talking like a prat, & anyway, he'd probably tell me to "feck off" in his South Co Kerry drawl, which wouldn't matter cos I can't understand a damn word he says anyhow! But be that as it may, not even the Roman Catholic Church administers the Last Rights to computers these days.
So..... Its sick. Its in the menders hopefully undergoing surgery as I type. What I'm trying to say is that for the time being the world will be free of my rants etc cos my access to the net is limited. BUT....
I'll be back....

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Fighting...again!

Although I like dogs; in truth, I'm really a cat person. My earliest memory is of a cat my grandma had when I was about 4yrs old. I recall him being a ginger tom cat called 'Tiddles' & my grandma used to call him in at nighttime & generally fuss over him. granddad on the other-hand, being a pragmatic old Irishman, used to berate her for "fussin' over a bloody animal". Be that as it may, our earliest memories & experiences do determine how we behave, feel & express ourselves to & in the world. What we like, dislike, how we judge etc etc. (coincidentally, I guess I was lucky-my grandma though a bit of a 'live wire'  as far as men were concerned(!), she was a firm Socialist in her beliefs & used to read me passages from Engels & Marx-none of yer Grimms fairy tales!) ANYHOW....I think that's why I'm a cat person.  It has bugger all to do do with Engels & Marx though as far as I'm aware, but might explain my antipathy towards to right wing political parties.
Wheres all this leading too?? I'll tell ya:
Kate has said for a long time that she believes that Charlie Coal is a bit of a bully (my post of  June 9th 2011)-he often arrives home with wounds which have been caused by ?fighting? Well, the other day Kate actually witnessed him 'in action'. There is a house down the street with at least 5 cats & Charlie was noted to be seen chasing some of them under parked cars, hissing & growling whenever 1 appeared, attempting to throw a vicious right hook at 1 & Kate witnessed him literally rolling in the gutter with another! Kate attempted to stop the brawl but without success
Charlie it appears is the Jack Johnson of Westfield Road, HE is the bully &, as I suspected, a pugilist!
But I love him to bits. Bless his little, furry, pugilist paws!
Kate swears that she'll not fund the vets bills should he sustain a wound though. Charlie is, what what we used to call the tough kids at school, a 'hard knock'!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Ginger beer

I've always been into ginger beer. As a kid I used to buy the odd bottle from the 'Alpine pop man' who used to drive around the area delivering fizzy pop to whoever.I considered it a sign of affluence if a family had the 'Alpine' man actually deliver pop to the house. Sadly, my mom & dad either were skint, couldn't be arsed to have it delivered or (most unlikely!) thought fizzy, sugary drinks were bad for kids.
Anyway; I made some the other week but  being a big city boy now I decided to enter the premier league of ginger beer & make it alcoholic. So I added to the mixture fresh yeast. Kate was anxious that I didn't cause an explosion in the house ,& insisted that I  release the pressure on a twice daily basis. The smell from the cupboard which houses the central heating boiler was at times overpowering-a yeasty, gingery smell that on reflection was cruel to Charlie the cat (his bowl was adjacent to the cupboard) & the smell made him run out of the kitchen when I opened the screw lid of the bottle(s).
The day dawned last Saturday for the sampling & we took 2 bottles (4 litres) of the magical elixir with us to 'Lahore Karachi' Balti Buffet restaurant on Ladypool Road. Lovely!
As usual I got it all wrong.
You see, this restaurant is a buffet restaurant & you can eat as much as you want for the princely sum of £8.95p-BUT:- I see this as a CHALLENGE NOT AN OFFER..... & I left with a sore gut, full bladder & spinning head from the ginger beer.
The ginger beer was I believe, 4% alcohol content-& it was gorgeous!
As I type I have another 6 litres on the go in the home brew bucket my friend John Middleton gave me. Incidently, I am attempting to increase the alcohol content of this 'vintage'.

Who needs the 'Alpine 'man!!













Thursday, 11 August 2011

My last rant on the recent UK riots & looting....honest(!)

So the looting & rioting appears to be on the wane. Those arrested for the outrages include a 19yr old millionaires daughter, a classroom assistant teacher & some 11year old (budding) psychopaths.
 I hope now (albeit that I'm pissing in the wind!) that Cameron , his Judas catamite Clegg & George Osborne will look again at their plans to cut the police budget by 20% thereby reducing police on the beat numbers by approx'100,000 officers.
Cameron et al say that even despite the proposed cuts there will still be enough police officers to patrol the streets & afford the public protection. HA! Last night  (fair play to Cameron) he did "flood the streets of Birmingham with police". What he didn't disclose (but the Chief Constable of the West Midlands force did) was that the West Midlands police were supplemented by police from West Yorkshire constabulary & from the Strathclyde force in Scotland! Oh & we have enough police to keep our streets safe do we? Whilst West Yorkshire police are down her looking after us Brummies the Tykes in Yorkshire are running wild.
Cameron, you have once again demonstrated that you are a prize Prat.

Now I have a thought about those yobbos who robbed, mugged, smashed & looted:
 I'm a great fan of restorative justice. If we consider that university students have to pay upwards of £5000 for tuition fees whilst studying & most are left paying back their student loans way into their late adult life, then those thugs who smashed & destroyed our cities should be made to pay back in money for the things they smashed & stole. If they were 18yrs or under then I believe that their parents should cough up the bill.
Everyone's talking of "their rights..." well, with Rights comes responsibility, & these bastards have demonstrated that they are not responsible so therefore they deserve no rights. Make of that what you will. Harsh maybe but....
Its all about accountability.

                           

Goodnight all!

                                                                                             


                                                                                                                     

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

North/South divide

Its long been said that there is in the UK a divide between the South & the North.
Northerners berate those living in the South as wet, soft & to some degree posh, whilst those living in the South accuse those in the North as being thick, stupid, slow witted & backward in life style.
Where exactly the North ends & the South begins I'm not too sure, but I have heard that the City(?) of Watford marks as being the beginning of the South. Personally I think the South begins at just outside Coventry & thus everything North of that is...North!

My point is this: Last night the Government flooded the Capital (London) with over 16,000 police. Needless to say there was little or no civil disturbances. These police were drafted in it appears from other forces the length & breath of England. Perhaps as a result of this depletion on police number elsewhere to secure London, there were riots & looting's last night in most of the major cities of England, including 3 men killed in my home city of Birmingham.
There we have it: The seat of Government has to be guarded. The rich, money centre of the nation must be wrapped in a blue cotton wool whist everywhere else can go to hell. The news caster on  the BBC Breakfast News announce with a smug smile that "...due to overwhelming police presence there was little or no disturbance in London last night..." I'm alright Jack bugger everywhere else.
The North can burn the South must be saved.
 But I would remind those money making centres in the south that it was on the backs, blood & bones of the former industrial North that you made your money....& then your bankers subsequently broke the Country throwing millions into unemployment.
Sadly, I don't think that the "North will rise again" (with apologies to those in the Southern States of the United States!)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Looting & rioting across the UK.

Everyone who has eyes to see must by now know that since last weekend across the U.K. there has been rioting & looting carried out for the main part by young people. This criminality (as its been described) has blighted London, Bristol, Liverpool & last night my home town of Birmingham.
I have many feelings & thoughts about these events to be honest.
I believe that these thugs are completely out of order in robbing local corner stores, mugging other citizens & breaking into private residents & robbing the occupants of their belongings. Inflicting physical harm to others is also unacceptable. My heart goes out to the police who, like the 'lions led by donkeys' of the Great War (1914-1918) had to stand their ground whilst having rocks, petrol bombs & sticks thrown at them.
On the other hand; I believe that what has happened over the last few nights are/is the fruits of past & present UK Government policies in respect of education, job creation & training, economic policies, housing provision, welfare benefits etc etc.
Looking at the news footage it would appear as though the looters/rioters were all teenagers, they stole material things (mobile phones, plasma TV's, etc). I'm willing to bet that 99% of these looters/rioters were unemployed, not in any form of education, or at best in school, but were none achievers requiring 'special need' education.
Cameron recently cut/stopped 'Educational Maintenance Allowance' so these disaffected young people have no incentive to stay in education, train for a job, or improve their numeracy & literary skills as well as get a few academic qualifications. They see that others in society have material things & they want them-so they get them anyway they can.
For every 1 job in the UK there are apparently 8 people chasing that job. What chance has a scruffy, inarticulate, poorly qualified young teen got in getting that job?
They have nothing to lose in rioting & looting. They know that the courts are lenient in their handing out of punishments. They are aware that the prisons are overcrowded. They have nothing to do, no prospects so there you are...the fuse is lit....the bomb exploded last night.
As I said I feel for the police. What a job they have. Cameron has returned from his hoilday in Tuscany & has said that the "streets will be flooded with police this evening"  Bollocks Cameron.
In London last night there were police from the Met'. The City of London police, British Transport police, Kent police, Sussex police to name but a few forces helping out the hard pressed Met'.
Let us not forget that Cameron has cut police numbers & by this time next year there will be 100,000 fewer police on our streets. I am told by a would be recruit to the West Midlands police that he was told by the personnel dept that NO police forces in England are recruiting at the moment & that this lad has been told he has to wait at least 5years before he can apply!!
Chickens coming home to roost or what Cameron? You have at least 2 coppers on your doorstep don't you Dave?!
Then there's a smug neighbour of mine who, (in his posh Southern accent), denies that there are no problems within the present system, & that the army should be employed on the streets to crush the rioters/looters who are nothing more than thugs, wasters & dossers who don't want to work after a lifetime of dysfunctional behaviour at school. But I think that he's forgetting that all out troops are employed in an unwinable war in Afghanistan??  And that all that might be true, but these same "thugs etc" tend to come from poorer families.

Its grim though & its sad.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

What goes around....

....comes around or so the saying goes.
A couple of months ago a lady down the street who lives alone was having an Asthma attack. The lady is now estranged from her family following her taking them in from the streets. In return for this act of kindness they robbed her & old her stuff to buy drugs-nice guys-I think not. Any way there was no one to help when she was experiencing the Asthma attack. Kate &^ me met her on the street in a dreadful state as she was attempting to get to the local A&E dept. We took her to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital & stayed with her 'til she was stabilized & then took her home. We thought nothing of it, its what we should all do for each other ain't it.

Anyhow. I've been meaning to buy me a hose pipe to attach to the outside garden tap to water the flowers for MONTHS but its always been near the bottom of my list of priorities. Instead I make 1/2 dozen trips back & forth with the watering can. So Imagine my delight when I met Kathleen on the street whilst I cycling home today & she presented me with a lovely , brand new 'Hozlock' garden hose! I am delighted!!
BUT: Here's the fly in the ointment: The tap I have outside is so old that the fitting on the hose won't fit it & they no longer make a suitably sized adapter. Bugger!!  My friend John at 'York Supplies' (hardware store) hunted deep in the bowels of his shop for a suitable adapter but to no avail & said that  my only recourse  is  put a new tap on. Simple!!? Is it hell as like. I did this, forgot to turn off the stopcock for the mains supply before removing the old tap & was hit with a forced jet of cold water in a place where it was bloody painful. There was water all over the place, it was like a scene from an old silent movie!! My daughter was in fits of laughter,Charlie Coal ran down the garden like a greyhound (dog) out of a trap & I was soaked to the skin. Kate won't be too amused when she see the water splashes on the windows either!
But what the hell. Thank you Kathleen, not only have you given me a lovely hose, but you've also provided me with an afternoon of fun.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Post script to the previous post

I hear from UNICEF that approx' 4,000 children a day are dying in Somalia. This isn't, (contrary to popular belief) widely reported. 
I noticed the headline on  (wait for it......) The Sun 'newspaper ' on Saturday last which read 'Woman goes to bed as a 30 year old & wakes up 15' Jesus Christ & all the Holy Orphans just what the feck is going on & is wrong with &/in the UK? On Sunday I noticed a headline which read of a 13year old boy had been killed by his 'X-Box'. "Bloody hell!" I thought, that awful, thinking that the machine had fallen on him from a great height, or that he'd been a victim of abuse or attack by muggers or burglars  throwing the gadget at him or him defending his property- (the aforementioned X-Box. But no.....the guy had developed a Deep vein Thrombosis as a result of playing excessively on the 'X-Box'. 
Whilst any loss of life is a tragedy, the first word that comes to my mind is "Twat!" What was he thinking of to allow this to happen? But that's it...he wasn't thinking .But my point is: Is that all the 'reporters' of these newspapers believe to be newsworthy?
And then at Mass on Sunday there was not one prayer mentioned in the 'prayers of the faithful' for the  victims of the famine in Somalia. I'm alright Jack, bugger you.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Famine in the Horn of Africa




Seeing the images of starving people, children, emaciated, dying upsets me, makes me angry & causes me feelings of impotence at not being able to help the situation.
I hear the news on BBC Radio 4 say its due to climate change & poor harvest yields but I have my doubts on this. Its my belief that there is sufficient food available. This line, this rationale, is put out by the same people who caused the present crisis throughout the world by their greed & speculation:The bankers.
Now however the bankers have, I believe caused this crisis, this famine by their gambling on the food & grain harvests & supplies. Thus; they have sent the price of grain rocketing sky high whilst they, the affluent bankers, make a handsome profit & the poor subsistence farmers of Eastern Africa can't afford to buy the grain.
Hence we have a famine.
Have you ever seen a poor banker?? I thought not.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Too soft?

My maternal grandfather (God rest him) was a wise old Irishman from Co Westmeath Eire. His (& mine) claim to fame was that his brother John, was a celebrated author & playwright whose pen name was Brinsley MacNamara. Anyway enough of that. My point here is this: He had a saying that he used when he felt that someone was being taken advantage of & it was..."(so & so) would stand for the three card trick".
You know, I think that that applies to me.
I'm too soft, a mug I let people especially family walk over me. They get away with blue murder, they & others are all too ready to give their opinion on what I'm wearing, reading my choice of music etc etc. Where as I never pass any opinion on any of those topics to others. Maybe I was brought up to well mannered, or I'm shy, I don't know.
What comes to mind is my sister in law, who. upon reflection as a paranoid persecutary personality (but is that justification?) openly mocked & criticised a book I was reading to my face in front of others. (the book was one of a trilogy about Julius Caesar & his relationship with Marcus Brutus, the Roman Civil War etc. A lot of the story was poetic licence granted, but I enjoyed them greatly.) I stood & tried vainly to explain my reasons why I liked the book & so forth, but these also were put down. Now I think I should have told her-"Look ******, stop being such an ill mannered arrogant snob & fuck off.
In fact I think there are lots of people who rile me & I should tell them exactly what I think,maybe tell them to shut the fuck up or to fuck off.
I'm tired of being taken for a mug, a fool and..."standing for the three card trick" So.......

Aching and sore all over!!

Against my better judgement & after weeks of 'persuasion' from Kate I finally got round to sanding down the floorboards in the front & rear lounges.
So....Along with Jim-my next door neighbour we I shared the cost of hiring a sanding machine, an edging sanding machine & various sizes & grades pf sandpaper. Jim sanded his rooms on Friday, and the plan was for me to sand our the following day. The scene was set then on Saturday morning for the job to begin. I tried, God I really tried to procrastinate, postpone & generally avoid beginning the job, but after dropping the car at the garage for a minor repair, returning home I found Kate had my work clothes, & cup of tea waiting telling me " OK love you ready?"
So the torment began. The sanding machine weighed  like Mr T, & like the aforementioned man of steel it had a mind of its own! It was the devil to steer as I attempted (using all my limited strength) to push it back & forth along both lounges. The noise was horrific-(fortunately I had some ear defenders) but the dust... a sandstorm in the Kalahari desert must resemble my home! It was bloody everywhere. (as I type its still in my ears).
The edging sander was/is a complete waste of time as it is heavy. It was so ineffective that I ended up using my electric hand drill with sander attachment to do the edges of the rooms & the bits the large machine left undone. The jobs were finally completed after the best part of 11h rs-with a break of 30 minutes for a sandwich at lunch time. So there we were at 850pm-showered, knackered, aching and gasping for a beer.
Upon reflection that people was the final blow & the cause of my present pain & discomfort.
Today & now every bone & muscle in my 58yr old body aches & is crying out. Pain grips me tighter than a Scotsman holding a £10 note.Waling is a torment, I'm walking around like John Wayne with diarrhea.
Kate says that I can varnish the floors next week!! But I seem to recall that slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1833! I don't think Kate realizes this, & to be honest, I ain't brave enough to tell her at the minute. Give my body time to recover & I'll varnish the floors. And then??-?I've gotta paint the hall way & the stairway to the loft conversion.
But for now I can't even think about that torment, my mind is occupied with the struggle I'll encounter in climbing the stairs to bed. Bring on the Paracetamol !!
Good night from a sore and aching Birmingham

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Phone hacking, resignations & public enquires

The phone hacking outrage has not yet it appears, reached its conclusion and sadly (for some people affected by it) the repercussions continue.
Paul Stephenson, the Police Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has resigned, whilst the arch demon in all of this Rupert Murdoch  claims he "has never felt so humbled" & yet he denies ALL KNOWLEDGE of the scandal & refuses to accept any responsibility for it. Instead, he throws hundreds of people on to the unemployment lists, whilst he & his silver tongued son glibly talked their way through the latest House of Commons enquiry. The bullshit however was brought to a pragmatic climax when the hero of the hour threw a custard pie at Murdoch Senior! Brilliant. Only then did Murdoch's child bride throw a punch at the poor assailant-Great street theatre!!
I feel for the average copper struggling to keep law & order on the streets of London. How their morale must have suffered by the slur that has been levelled at them in the bribes stories. The scapegoat in all of this is their boss Paul Stephenson who courageously put his head on the block & resigned his job.

 I can't help though reflect on the banking crisis. I ask you...how many bankers have resigned their jobs as a result of the debacle in the financial sector??
While I'm at it how many politicians have resigned as a result of the Iraq war?
On a lighter note I think that we should have a Commons enquiry into the number of Commons enquiries!

Friday, 8 July 2011

The News of the World, phone hacking etc...

So this weekend will see the last ever (supposedly) edition of The News of the World. Quite honestly its not a loss to either the greater world of media nor to the UK.
Since its its inception that 'newspaper' has not given its readers 'The news OF he World', rather it illustrated numerous  stories of women being assaulted,  photos of boobs & backsides in equal measure & celebrity gossip. It was/is in short gutter press.
But the nail that finally sealed its fate was the disgusting, callous phone hacking. It appears as though Andrew Coulson et al apparently sanctioned the hacking into of the mobile phones of the families of deceased soldiers, the phones of at least 2 murdered teenagers and God knows who else in a wicked attempt to gain a story at any cost. The editor & his staff also apparently paid money to the Metropolitan police to obtain tip offs of juicy stories.
It appears to me that the motive for the unforgivable actions of Coulson et al is quite simply money. It sold newspapers to those sad people whose sole purpose in life is to immerse themselves in the misfortune of others & who gain some perverse satisfaction gazing at the naked breasts of some celebrity.
Silent on the whole issue so far is Rupert Murdoch. I will say no more about that.
I wonder though just how wide spread is this unruly action-the phone hacking? Consider: Rupert Murdock's news empire  (News International/News corporation) has tentacles in every continent-Its my belief that very soon we will hear that there has been phone hacking in the United States.
But for the present all is not lost; to those sad individuals who morn the passing of the rag, I say this in way of 'reassurance': I predict that the 'newspaper' will be relaunched-it'll be  a Sunday version of its sister daily rag-'The Sun'. So the sad perverts still win.
For me though, I have lost all faith & confidence in all newspapers.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

Last night/early morning I have the sad misfortune to pay a visit to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital's accident & emergency dept with one of my close family. I feel now that I must comment on the service that we received & observed whilst there.
Everything that is excellent & praise worthy about the UK's National Health Service was in evidence last night. Patient care was & is  magnificent. Staff-from the cleaners to the consultant in charge of the department were courteous, professional, empathetic & kind. Nothing was too much trouble. We we made to feel as if we had actually paid big money for the service. My  family & I were offered refreshments, accorded total privacy in a clean, clinical yet relaxed environment.
When my family member was transferred to the ward where overnight stay was arranged, the standard of care did not lessen.
Birmingham and The UK should be rightly proud of our National Health Service. We must not allow any government to dismantle it and/or sell it off to the private sector.
Thank you NHS & thank you to everyone at Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A solution...??

 If any of you guys out there have a spare 15-20 minutes going spare on Wednesday afternoon I urge you to tune into BBC Radio Five Live-check it out via the wonders of the Internet.
You'll hear what sounds like a cattle market. Bedlam, a bunch of moronic hoodlums shouting the odds at one another & getting paid very handsomely for doing so. Frequently Cameron when asked a question says something like " I refer the question to....." God alone knows what he's on about, but it seems to me that's it a way the bastard has of avoiding answering the question.
So.... how about this suggestion: In an attempt to prevent this I think that at the\beginning of 'PMQT' goats-at least 6 should be released on to the floor of the chamber of the House of Commons. Members of Parliament-especially Cameron are then to be FORBIDDEN to referring to them EVER.
Can you imagine it-all these goats milling about the chamber of the house? Nibbling at the fixtures & fittings of the seat of Government. Wonderful! All the twats who are supposedly the representatives of the people paying no heed to the them with the goats periodically butting the odd MP. Brilliant!!

Bombardier of Derby.




Bombardier train makers in Derby have been making trains, rolling stock etc not only for the UK, but for the rest of the world for almost 100 years.
They put in a tender to make trains for 'Thameslink' -London's light railway. This tender was worth apparently £1bn for the company & would have secured jobs for not only the City of Derby but also for the various component manufacturers scattered around the UK.
Sadly, in the face of similar tenders from Germany & France, Bombardier lost the contract. It was awarded to Siemens-a German company. They will now have the contract to make the trains & rolling stock for Londons' railway.
Crazy. Totally crazy.
In awarding this contract overseas Bombardier have been been forced to make 100,000 of its employees redundant-not to mention those from the component companies.  The Honorable Vince Cable- the Coalition business secretary has quickly 'leapt to the defence' of Bombardier employees by blaming the policies of the last Labour government! What a cop out!
In Germany & France apparently they have some sort of a law that compels companies to chose tenders submitted by companies from their country especially if the tender is for good to be used in their own nation. But not us, O no.
While I'm at it I must comment on what the leader of Her Majesties Opposition  has said about the scandal: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. As leader of the Labour Party,  Ed Miliband, is about as effective as a chocolate fireguard. A waste of time. Ineffective. Why hasn't he launched into the ineffectiveness & impotence of the Government in its sacrificing of British jobs? Why??-because he is a closet Conservative.
The whole situation stinks.
Cable, Cameron & Miliband should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Wimbledon 2011

I not a fan of tennis. Never have been. I have memories of it when I was a kid of it being a game for Toffs. All that strawberries & cream served throughout the games not to mention the strange scoring system. I hate the bloody game.
But now its over for another year-thank God! What seals my dislike for the game is the rewards gained by the winners of this sport of toffs. The winners of the women's & men's singles each net a prize purse of (wait for it....) £1.6million GBP.
Now that is totally immoral &, in my opinion unjustifiable. When we consider that there is a famine going on in the Horn of Africa with thousands trekking miles for water & dying daily, how can we in the west live with ourselves? Its shameful. Western decadence at its worst. And its not limited to tennis alone. All sports appear to be dominated by money, money, money.
I used to as kid go to watch Aston Villa FC, & I still look out for the results of their games but there is no way I could live with myself knowing that the shower of shite who call themselves 'professional footballers' take home sometimes in excess of £200k a week.
Today I feel saddened.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Network rail....more excuses

We were fortunate in the UK the other to experience summer. It was lovely, the mercury in the thermometer reached a dizzy 29degrees C! People walked about in shorts & shirt sleeves, the cat, (God help him in his black fur coat) spent most of the day stretched out under a shady shrub in the back garden. Cool lager and salads were the order of the day.
But not for those poor sods who had to travel via train. As usual the trains weren't only late, they were (lots of 'em) cancelled. Now in the autumn Network Rail cancels trains because of leaves on the tracks (honest, no shit). In the deep mid winter they cancel trains because either the points are frozen or their is snow on the track. (you do find that in winter in the Northern hemisphere strangely enough)
But the reasons for the cancellations last week were the best yet. Network Rail announced that they....."were forced to cancel trains because the overhead power lines were either melting and at best wen't functioning correctly..."
Brilliant!! I have to ask though what happens in places like India were summer tempetures are in excess of 35 degrees C?? As far as I'm aware the trains continue to run.
Network Rail...get yer act together!! We pay a small fortune to use your third world service the least you can do is give us a service &/or offer us a plausible reason why you can't.

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Public Service strike on June 30th-comments made by Francis Maud M.P.

Our comrades in the teaching  and public service unions are going on strike on June 30th. They're striking because Cameron & his Judas catamite boy plan to increase the amount the workers contribute to their pension and for teachers increase their retirement age to 68years of age.
I listened to Francis Maud, Conservative member of parliament for Horsham, on BBC radio 4 this morning, and quite honestly what he said he said like a utter twat. He wants teachers to work til their 68yrs old, said he is concerned about the effect the strike will have upon single parents and here's the best...he said that parents could work voluntary in schools on the day of the strike.
OK. Let me deal with his points one by one: He said that teachers should work 'til their 69yrs old. My daughter works in a jungle of a secondary school in inner city York. She leaves the school at approximately 1645hrs (the kids leave at 1530hrs) She spends this time at school doing work she is unable to do during the day. She has to meet with colleagues, act as a social worker for those kids with special needs & family issues as well as deal with dysfunctional parents.When she gets home she has marking, lesson planning etc to complete. By the end of the week she is shagged out physically, emotionally & intellectually. She is not alone in this either.
Can you imagine how a teacher are going to feel by the time they reach 68yrs old??!!
Secondly, its very heartwarming to here Mr Maud expressing concern for the plight of single parents-the bloody hypocrite! His Government is the one that  ACTUALLY CLOSED CHILDREN'S CENTRE'S.
Finally; is Mr. Maud for real?? Bring parents into work voluntary when the teachers are on strike? I assume of course that every parent who chooses/offers their services will be in possession of a full CRB (criminal records bureau). I think not. Its a  paedophiles dream come true!
Mr. Maud you're a plonker.
Power to the people!!!!


Thursday, 23 June 2011

A poem of W B Yeats

WHEN YOU ARE OLD

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
                                                      And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Further evidence of the 'Nanny State'


As if we needed further evidence that the 'nanny State' is alive  & well look no further than than the esteemed College of Psychiatrists who, in a report today, announced that people over 65yrs of age should limit their alcohol intake to 1 half pint of beer a day for men & women.
Now come on lads..... When your 65 a number of factors have to be considered: Firstly when you've reached 65 years of age & worked (if you're bloody lucky in this country) you should be entitled to a binge at least weekly! Secondly, there are a lot of people (65yrs & under) who  (& I'm aware its a bad choice) use alcohol as a mask to hide from the shit life that the Coalition Government /the bastard bankers have gotten us into.

It our choice. If we wanna pickle ourselves in a lake of booze then its our call.
Typical of this Government-Protecting us from ourselves.