Saturday, 30 June 2012

Plain English

Plain English???

Some years ago I recall that there existed an organisation appropriately named the 'Plain English Society'. It may still exist  for all that I'm aware, but it seems that their keeping stum at the moment.
These guys used to campaign for national organisations  to speak & publish the written English word in a manner that could be understood by all & sundry. Commendable, I'm all for dropping the arrogant, omnipotent bullshit that lots of organisations & people speak & write. It seems to me that there are occasions that some organisations & people hide behind fancy words.
Where is all this coming from? And indeed where is all this going to!??

Those of you who either stumble upon my rantings by some freak act of fate, or those of you who regularly take the time & trouble to read them, might know that  I am  Roman Catholic &, actually attend Holy Mass & partake of the Sacraments. I'd never think this, given the nature of some of rants & the language I (occasionally) come out with! But there you go.

The Liturgy recently has changed-God & Pope Benedict XVI knows why but some of the words we pray are multi-syllabled. For example we've gone from saying in the Creed "One in being with the Father" to "Con-substantial with the Father..."  There's a few more changes which I won't bore you with-Go to Mass & check 'em out -those Catholics amongst you who are lapsed!! :-)
Plain English??? Hmm...
Then we have the 'Bidding prayers' These are prayers that are led by the priest in which we pray for  current issues & needs that the world(local & national) needs the good Lords intervention to put right.
However its very rare that we pray for peace in the world or for the people of war torn countries, the maimed & wounded of these wars, the 11yr old girl mowed down by a truck on the high street the other month or anything that people could identify with that affect them. The prayers that are said are impersonal, irrelevant  & the words though in English are archaic. The words of Shakespeare, though medieval,  they are full of meaning and passion-just read the Sonnets. But the words used in the Holy Mass are neither passionate nor spiritually uplifting.
It seems to me that the 'Plain English Society' should pay a visit to the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the UK & have word or two. I wonder what God thinks....
For me though, I don't do bullshit. Say it as it is.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The wanker bankers

Cheers old fruit!!

I note that the banks have been at it again, rather, they were at it again as the rest of us were struggling during the worst days of the latest credit crunch. Not only have they recently fecked up peoples financial transactions via an idiot pressing (its now been admitted!) the wrong button on his computer. Thus causing mayhem, great inconvenience & hardship to those poor suckers who put their money with National Westminster, Ulster and Royal Bank of Scotland banks. But the other day it emerged that some of the greedy investment bankers namely those at Barclay's Bank for one, were apparently exchanging inside information in order to fix national & international interest lending rates (Libor -London Inter Bank Offered Rate- rates).

These bastards have grown fat, even more sloth like in their behaviour and even more nauseating  they apparently exchanged this information on the phone & via E- mail by using pet names such as "Hi Dude" & Howdy Chicken"!. For the tip off's, and for allowing another one of their incestuous breed into the scam they used bottles of Bollinger Champagne as a part payments & bribes.

These wankers are utterly amoral & deserve to be dismissed, fined and prohibited from taking any job in the financial sector in the future. While the rest of the population struggle, go to food banks, lose their houses & livelihoods because of the financial crunch, these vermin toast each other in the best champagne and eat the best food that there ill gotten gains can buy.
Thank heavens for the Financial Services Agency that both uncovered & then exposed this outrage. But then, as if to placate us gullible sops, the chairman of Barclay's-Bob diamond has given up his bonus (which runs into millions of GBP's. Bugger that, Mr Diamond you should do the honourable thing and fall upon your (broken) sword & resign-get the hell out of it ASAP-that is if you have any shame left.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Lord Charles

My neighbour Jim & I have now began to store wood for the onset of winter 2012-2013. It is debatable that the winter has arrived already, given tha\t the summer to date in the UK has/is shite. But be that as it may we have established wood stores dotted around our garden, over the fence at the rear  of my garden where we have established 4 'cabins' (constructed by ourselves from recycled wooden pallets) These nest snugly on the embankment above the railway line that runs at the rear of our houses. We have these already stocked to the brim with sawn logs, seasoning as I type that we have gleaned from locations around the city & county of West Midlands.

But: We are running out of space! So enterprising wood gleaners that Jim & I are we have managed to scrounge a could of wooden packing crates from local DIY merchants.These are ideal for both the storage & seasoning of our collected wood & are stored in the upper parts of our respective gardens. We have established a 2 tier storage system with potted plants on the roof-to make them look pretty don't you know!

Aside of anything else the logs, as they sit seasoning look rather aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I have hit a snag however in the form of  feline intrusion. Charlie Coal it appears, has heard of the old British Law of 'Squatters Rights' The law apparently has a definition that goes something like this..." A method of gaining legal title to real property by actual, open, hostile, & continuous possession of it to the exclusion of its true owner for the period prescribed by state law"

Charlie you see has moved in & occupied the upper tier of the storage case. Along with a garden gnome which also occupies the case, he sits, sleeps, washes, & surveys his estate. Soft prat that I am I even placed a couple of old thin chair cushions for him to be more comfortable on !! 
He retires there post breakfast, nips off to conduct his ablutions & returns there to sleep the day away. Its a great life don't you think??

Tonight as I went into the garden to water the potted plants, he rolled on his back & enticed me to tickle his tummy! And guess what???...I fell for it...I tickled his tummy, But before long I was dismissed when he began to wash his arse.... Sweet.

I enclose a couple of photographs of Ch√Ęteau Charles.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Fathers Day 2012

The Red Arrows

I'm not usually one who goes in for all this Fathers & Mothers day malarkey. I believe it to be a money making commercial racket.However I gotta admit that this year I not only loved the day, but I relished the time I able to spend with my son now aged 28years.
You see, I have always been keen on airplanes ever since I was a kid. I used to assembled them and hang them from the ceiling of the spare room in my grandmothers house. Indeed, one of my earliest olfactory memories is the smell of  the apples that lay carefully packed & stored in boxes on the floor in that room. My grandfather had 6 apple trees and used to store the apples in that room!
So then imagine my delight when my son, Christopher, asked me if I'd like to come to an air display as a Fathers' day treat!! So, come this last Sunday morning he came early to collect me and took me to RAF base Cosford for the display. It was FANTASTIC! we spent 7 hours there, & I have never in my life known 7 hours pass so quickly! I am unable to describe the sights that we saw nor the emotion that I felt having  Chris now a man, stand besides me, for the last time we went there (not to an air display but to the air museum at RAF Cosford) was when Chris was 9 years old. I did shed a quiet tear as we sat in his car eating  sandwiches that his partner had made us.

I have enclosed for you just 1 snap I took of one of the displays we witnessed. It is of the RAF aerobatic display team-'The Red Arrows'. These planes were hurtling about the sky at speeds in excess of 450mph & flying in close formation at a distance of only 8 feet between each plane!
Then we saw (& heard!!) the Euro fighter. I have never heard such a noise. The ground shook as it roared past, & the machine seemed to defy gravity when it stood on its tail in the sky before roaring vertically upwards. For the life of me I am unable to understand how these machine manage to stay in the air!.
However, on a pragmatic note, I reflect on the financial cost of each of these Euro fighters:£126,000,000 each plane. And for what?? But let me not spoil the day.

Thank you Chris. Thank you too Claire for your gift, & to my lovely Esther for hers.
You are my treasures and my delight.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Royal Jubilee et al


Last week saw the UK benefit from an extended Bank Holiday-ie: we had 2 rather than the usual 1 which we are normally granted at this time of year. The extra holiday was granted on the occasion of the Queen's diamond jubilee-she had been queen of these Islands and Dominions for 60 years. Now I'm not a great one for the Royal family, I'd never wish them harm & all that but I must admit that I admired the Queen who at 85years old, stood for 4 hours whilst a flotilla of boats made its way past her on the River Thames. This was apparently the largest collection of boats of all shapes and sizes seen on the Thames for almost 40 years. Now fair play to the Queen, I find great difficulty in standing for 10 minutes or so whilst at Holy Mass! Good Luck to you Lizzie!!

Kate & I took the opportunity of the extra holiday & went away for a couple of days to North Wales. The scenery where we stayed in Betws-y-Coed is wonderful. waterfalls, mountains, seasides, old Welsh slate mines it has the lot. We went on walks daily & had a splendid (though at times damp time) The weather you see was typically Welsh...wet. But no matter it was relaxing and very de-stressing.

Speaking of weather it would appear as though we here in Birmingham have fallen prey to the foul UK summer again. Its poured with rain all day today, the temperature is chilly enough for us to light the wood burning stove-not that Charlie Coal minds-he's curled up and actually snoring in his cardboard box. So here we have it.... approaching mid summer in the UK and we have to light the bloody fire to keep warm. Small wonder that the average Brit is deficient in Vitamin D!!

On an unrelated issue I think that there must be something amiss within me.... If you read this blog on a regular (or irregular ) basis you may observe that I haven't actually had a full blown rant recently. This is of some concern to me. Why haven't I had a rant? am I becoming passive & accepting of the events ,people & situations that formerly stirred my blood to boiling point??  I hope not...
But for now I enclose a photo of beautiful Betws-y-Coed & 1 of Queen Lizzie.