Saturday, 18 December 2010

Thanks For Nothing!

For the second time this month Dorset County Council has refused to grit our 1 in 5 hill and the residents are stranded. All we can hear is the spinning of car wheels . .all we can see is cars giving up & sliding backwards down the hill. We're stranded on a 'ski-slope' , the schools are shut and the buses can't run.

Still . . at least we'll get a refund of our Council Tax for the services we have PAID for but are not receiving (as if !) -.- Just remind me . .is the U.K. a FIRST or a THIRD world country ? It's a total disgrace! Isn't the Coalition Government doing a great job! =p

Friday, 10 December 2010

The Prince & The Paupers

Yesterday (9th Dec 2010) was a remarkable day. Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, was attacked in his car whilst travelling to a charity event with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.

This was in a busy Regent Street, which was filled with Christmas shoppers at the time. The attackers were not terrorists but youngsters from a group of 100 or so protesters who had been prevented ( by the police) from joining the demonstration against increased tuition fees which was taking-place in Parliament Square. Police had sealed-off the square, for some hours, and no one was permitted to enter or to leave.

Under no circumstances can such an attack on innocent motorists be condoned, whoever the occupants of the car might be. The Prince & his wife were clearly badly shaken by it, and so would we all be if we found ourselves in that position.

However, with that strange fortuitousness that sometimes occurs, this unplanned meeting between a Prince and some relative 'paupers' perfectly illustrates why people are so angry about the attitude of this Conservative ( in all but name) Government.

Here is a man, born into great wealth and privilege, who received his own university education free-of-charge, as did his siblings and his two sons, William & Harry. On a day when youngsters who have none of his advantages were taking to the streets in protest at the restriction of the access to University education to only the rich and privileged ( or to the poor, with the accompanying monstrous debt to re-pay over 30 years) - here was the epitome of privilege and power (personified in Prince Charles) making a stately progress to the theatre in an absurdly grand 1970's Rolls-Royce !

A political cartoonist could not have done better if they had been asked to come up with a single image to illustrate the yawning chasm of understanding and life-experiences between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' in this once great country.

My own daughter has just had a potential four and a half thousand pounds stolen from her - at a stroke - by this odious coalition of the 'privileged' which makes up our current government. She was looking forward to getting her 30 pounds a week Educational Maintenance Award to continue in education for the next few years. It has summarily been removed - no discussion, no explanation.

The 'gulf' of understanding arises from the fact that although 30 pounds per week was vitally needed and appreciated by poor students and their families, to David Cameron and his ilk it represents no more than the cost of a couple of sandwiches from Selfridges or a glass of Bollinger at the Club.

It is not, perhaps, that these policy makers are wilfully 'evil' ( although that could be the case) but, rather, that they have no understanding nor interest in how ordinary people live. They have always been enclosed in a bubble of privilege and , I suspect, they always will be.

David Cameron is, I believe , a self-confessed fan of ex-Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, so we must prepare ourselves for ' Nightmare On Downing Street : Part Two ! '

I, for one, have never been a fan of sequels - they often have all of the faults of the first incarnation and none of the freshness. Regrettably, we face 5 years of living with a Government of re-warmed left-overs and I, for one, am already feeling a little sick :(

Friday, 3 December 2010

Are Prisoners More Important than Pupils?

Dear Sir,

I write to you with a matter of the greatest urgency. I hope that you may be able to give this matter your earnest and immediate attention before innocent lives are lost.

I have lived on K.H., Portland, Dorset for ten years. It is a vertiginous hill with an angle of 20 degrees and is quite daunting even in dry conditions. Directly at the bottom of this hill can be found a Junior School. There is also an Infants School and a nursery school nearby, together with a play-area and hard-surfaced soccer/basketball enclosure. The established 'school run' in the mornings is up the extremely steep S.M. road, along P.M. and down the equally steep K.H. to the school.

In all of the ten years that I have lived here the borough council have assiduously gritted these roads when the risk of ice/ snow was present. So far as I know, there has been no gritting this year. After yesterday's snowfall, nobody was able to use their cars due to the risk. The roads are now a sheet of ice. Even in a 4x4 I found it hard to stop at the bottom and my wheels were spinning on the ascent. It is incredibly dangerous and frightening. It can only be a matter of time before there is an accident.

I have spoken to Dorset County Council twice today, together with a call to my Borough Councillor, who fired off an e-mail. I have seen the gritter gritting the approach to Verne Prison earlier today . .but still nothing here.

Both my neighbour and I have been told that these roads have been taken off the gritting plan. Indeed, he was told that they will " never be gritted again " !

My concern is that a car will be unable to stop upon reaching the bottom and will either:

(a) plough through the low wall and end-up in the school hall


(b) strike and kill a child or children approaching the school or heading towards the adjacent play area.

(c) hit and kill one of the many elderly dog-walkers who use this route to Chesil Cove

Clearly, in these circumstances, financial considerations must take second place to the preservation of human life. Given that the approach to the Verne Prison WAS gritted earlier today it would appear ( once again) that guilty criminals are valued more highly than innocent children!

By the time you may have had the opportunity to take some action on this matter it may already be too late, but I thought it only right & proper that you should be aware of the potential danger to children of your constituents.

I have already spoken to the Dorset Echo about this truly outrageous and unacceptable state of affairs and I will contact the local T.V. channels in due course.

When an innocent Portlander has been grievously . .perhaps even fatally . .injured by a runaway car it will be far too late to shed crocodile tears or bleat about 'budgets' and someone will have 'blood' on their hands.

I can assure you that I am not an hysterical 'whinger'. A few years ago I was one car behind a van which hit a child on Reforne, Portland, who had run out from between parked cars. Reforne has only a slight slope, conditions were perfect . . .and, still, the driver was unable to avoid a collision and the child to avoid broken bones.

I would very much appreciate your help in this matter. As I stated at the beginning :

This is a matter of EXTREME urgency

Sincerely yours,

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

British Winter / The Dark Ages :/

Gah! This stoopid weather sucks! It's dark when you get up . .and it stays that way all day!
Ahhh . . how we love the British winter. We're all broke and we're groping around like moles in our holes :/And, of course, we'll all become deliriously happy just cos some 'royals' are getting wed', next year. Tbh, I'm sick of that story already . . and it's on'y been 24 hours!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Appreciating Teachers

' Tonight, a teacher is preparing lessons to teach you, or your children, while you are relaxing and watching T.V. In the minute it takes you to read this, teachers all over the world are sacrificing their own time for your - or your children's - literacy, prosperity, happiness and future. It's Teacher Appreciation Week. Re-post this if you are a teacher, love a teacher, or appreciate a teacher.'

I worked as a teacher for ten years & I know this to be true. The vast majority of teachers do their very best for the students in their charge. There are some teachers, of course, who should never be allowed anywhere near impressionable young minds; they tend to be mean-spirited, lazy, vindictive and inadequate. Teachers are drawn from a broad cross-section of society and, like all other professions, there will always be a few "bad eggs" who stink the place out.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Playground Jibes

Comments allegedly made by supposedly intelligent Brits, during the Pope's visit. Despite the U.K.'s reputation for good manners, they apparently described the Pope as follows :

Richard Dawkins (scientist) - " Head of the world's second most-evil religion "

Stephen Fry (actor/comedian/writer) - " An evil presence "

David Starkey (historian) - " A little clown in a dress and red slippers "

If true, then they show themselves in their true colours with such childishly rude comments. It's like name-calling in the playground. How arrogant, uncharitable and self-absorbed they all appear to be.

" Don't look at him . . look at ME ! " they all seem to be saying, " I'm so jolly clever, aren't I ?"

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Olympic Money-Pit

I have the great good-fortune to live on the beautiful Isle of Portland, in Dorset. Our sailing centre will serve as the base for the sailing events, during the 2012 London Olympics

I just discovered that some of the of grotty little houses that developers have been squashing-in near the sailing-centre are actually being built as office-accomodation for the Olympics. They aren't putting-in kitchens until after the Olympics . . . then they'll finish them off and sell them.

The land they were built on was practically the only flat, football-pitch sized area on the whole island for kids to play on . . so they took most of it away. The remaining 'postage-stamp' pitch will have to be shared with a new Junior School. Unbelievably, the completed properties will stand empty, from now until the Olympics!

Great! . .so we can't afford to build Academies or provide recreation-fields, or provide expensive anti-cancer drugs, or universal child-benefit or decent State pensions . . .and people are living-rough on the streets this winter, as always, . . but we can build offices for two weeks in 2012. Never believe a Politician when they say they 'care'.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Sons Of Seamen ?

I was thinking about what jobs some well-known U.K. YouTubers might do, if the whole 'music' thing doesn't quite pan out.

Hexachordal, I reckon, could get an admin job at the Tax Office.
Charlieissocoollike would be good at selling Menswear.
Eddplant could run a friendly Pub, with alternative comedy and acoustic music nights.
Nerimon? I think he might get a job on the Essex Council, dealing with Waste-Management.

Whatever happens, I'm sure they will always look back on their days of YouTube celebrity with a great fondness - and why wouldn't they ?

Friday, 8 October 2010

A Very Unlikely Thing . . . At The Gym !

I recently joined a Health Spa. You know the sort of thing - gym, jacuzzi, steam room, pool? This, in itself, is not unusual for a man of my age who's trying to make up for lost time.

What happened today, however, was a little out of the ordinary - even for someone, like me, who rather relishes 'the unexpected'.

I had got quite hot and sweaty and was taking a breather, chatting to one of my daughter's old schoolteachers whom I'd just met. We looked around . .and who had just come in the door but the Mayor & Mayoress, with associated hangers-on.

We didn't want to stare, so we got back to our 'yarnin'. When we next looked back there were 3 Mayors, Mayoresses and associated hangers-on. Okaaaay :/

Could happen =p Not that strange. Back to chatting.

Next time we looked around, however, there were at least ten Mayors, Mayoresses and associated hangers-on. You could hardly move for them! I guess it was an 'outing' for all the Mayors in the County or some-such. I must impress upon you that all of these Mayors were be-suited and regaled with golden chains of office. The Mayoresses were snapping away on their digital cameras and the Mayors were being guided around by other be-suited, important-looking folks.

I'm glad I went, really. There were only about five of us in the gym, at that moment. At least we made a bit of a show. The resident trainer had been pointing us out. I expect he explained that we were in-training for the 2012 Olympics . .but had been barred from the Commonwealth games, on the grounds that we would eat all the curry and drink all the Kingfisher lager.

Apparently, the whole group also descended on the pool area; some strolling around in their street shoes . .and taking pictures. That's not on, now is it . .V.I.P.'s or not.

'Tis a strange place, My Dorset home, it never stops surprising me =p

I also stuck my head in both the sauna and the steam room for the first time, today . . but that's as far as it got. It was like sitting next to an iron-foundry. Not for me, I'm afraid . .I'm more 'clerical ' ;]

Friday, 24 September 2010

About 'Dads'

I read a teenage guy's Tweet, today, about how all Dad's are crap at jokes. There is some truth in this . . but I hope he still loves his Dad. Dad's are people, too, and it's sad if their children dislike or disrespect them. I loved my late father to bits . .still do . .although he never really showed much overt affection. I guess he showed he cared in other ways. He would've loved to have met you and you would have found him funny, for sure.

I was puzzling about this, yesterday. My paternal Grandad was a very cold, Victorian father . .so I can't imagine how my Dad turned-out so well. I think it must've been his 6 yrs at War, in Nth Africa & Italy. It seemed to give him a perspective on life that a home-body might have lacked.

When I asked him about the War, he simply told me that when he saw kids playing the same games in Africa , Italy . .wherever . . .it just clicked with him that we were all the same - all brothers and sisters. He also had a great facility with language. I never saw him pick up a book, so I guess it must've come from his schooling. Kids were taught to read poetry and spell properly, back in the day.

" Love ya, Dad, . . thanks for everything " :]

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

A scene from the early Church

From the front, sweetly sung :

" Stand up, stand up, for Jesus . . . and let his glory be."

(Almost immediately, from the back, . . . somewhat louder & coarser)


Moral: You have to consider all members of society when planning an event =p

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Would Jesus buy a Mercedes ?

I caught a few minutes of evangelist, Joyce Meyer, on Christian radio. She made a good point - she said:

' The World says: "Show me & I will believe", but God says: " Believe & I will show you.

The World says: " If you want to be rich, be a miser and hoard your money"
God says: " If you want to be rich, give-away some money - share your wealth " '

I think this points-up the problem people have with becoming Christians. They expect it to be like The World . . but it's the opposite. That's why Richard Dawkins' idea of trying to apply scientific principles is silly. They just don't apply.

Pavlov DogTube

I saw a commentator, ages ago, talking about this. He said that the numbers-tally is the addictive aspect of the whole YouTube thing. It's how YouTubers get their 'fix' and feel validated. I think there's something in this. It's a 'reward' that doesn't cost Google anything. Participating in YouTube has, at times, made me feel like a pigeon in a behavioural experiment - Google switches-on the light, and we all press that button =p Excuse me, I'm inexpicably salivating. Oops! It's that bell again!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Autumn In Springtime . . .

Today I received some lovely photographs from a young Brisbane-based friend, showing his first picnic of the year with his girlfriend, in what is now early Spring for them.

I'm always fascinated by the fact that, for this brief moment, the climates in my own hometown of Weymouth and Portland and his, in Brisbane, are pretty similar. Soon, of course, the sunshine see-saw starts to tilt . . giving us progressively less sun and Australians, more . . before tilting back again and reaching equilibrium, once more, in 6 months time. Having friends on the other side of the globe gives one a very real experience of how all this stuff works. It's much easier to understand the seasons when you can see the process in-action, globally

Today (Sunday) was a perfect example of an early-autumn day for us; and, being my wife's, birthday, we went on an afternoon walk around the wooded headland in Weymouth called 'The Nothe', with views all-around out to sea. Barely had we begun our walk when a squirrel appeared in the middle of the path . . eager to see what treats we had for it.

By the look of it, it was a pregant female. She sat on the park bench next to my teenage daughter for about 20 mins, as my daughter hand-fed it with brazil nuts, dried coconut & dried banana and raisins. Clear blue skies, not a breath of wind, very hot . . people out sunning themselves on the grass . .and the air fillled with swallows who were, rather unfortunately, snatching the beautiful dragon-flies from the air and gobbling them up . . .as the rich folks raced-about in the bay, in their ultra-expensive motor cruisers . . .whilst the Isle of Portland, in its autumn thrall, lay at-anchor just off-shore. It was the sort of autumn day we can sometimes be blessed with, down in these southern climes.

Of course, in less than two years time these same tranquil waters will be a-buzz with hundreds of yachts, sails billowing in the wind; the hotels and B&B's will be packed with reporters and T.V. crews . . and the roads, no-doubt, will be totally gridlocked - as Weymouth & Portland plays host to the sailing events for the 2012 London Olympics.

Do, by all means, come and visit us during those two hectic weeks in August - it should prove an exciting spectacle! But, if you want to see the real Dorset, set aside a few days to visit the county, out of season. You certainly won't regret it - spring or autumn !

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Men With Bra's

I was just starting-up the computer, this Saturday a.m., when I saw the postie heading our way. I rushed downstairs, hoping to avoid the 'ding-dong' which would wake-up my happily-snoozing teenage daughter.

Well, I signed for the parcel but, as I closed the door and went inside, . . .I found that I'd had one of wife's white bras attached to the side of my trouser-leg, as I stood at the door, for all the world to see.

Now, . .I had on my working-trousers ( which are patched and grotty), my shirt had greasemarks on it from working on the car . .and my vest had the remains of some pizza- sauce on the neck, which I'd sponged-off, the previous evening ( obviously not very well). Add to this sartorial elegance a large-cupped white bra, hanging down from my knee . .and I think I may have invented a new look - a sort of 'tramp-pirate' combo =p

It was some time before I could work out that my wife must've dumped it on the side of the computer chair and when I rushed to answer the door it had somehow hooked itself onto my strides :/

It could only happen to me - this sorta thing is considered quite normal in our household. In fact, I left it attached for a while longer whilst I waited for my teenage daughter to get up - and then I paraded around the room like a fashion model, showing off my latest look. I should've taken a photo !

O.m.g. . . .what a life ! LOL

Friday, 10 September 2010

Survival Of The 'Thickest'

In the distant past, the ancestors of everyone alive had had great survival skills and were good at breeding - it was a case of: 'the survival of the fittest'.

Nowadays, in more enlightened and kinder times we have fertility clinics, social benefits and advanced medical care to ensure that almost all survive.

One wonders if, ultimately, this will actually be of any benefit to the long-term survival of our species. Can we prevail against the selfish gene of evolution . . and should we ?

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Barclay James Hairnet ?

When I was about 22 & selling cameras in a drugstore . . the whole Barclay James Harvest group came in from the hotel, next door, to buy shampoos & conditioners.

I struck-up a brief convo. Sadly, I'd already bought a ticket for that evening, else I think they may have given me a comp' (bah!)

I think they said something about "come back-stage" afterwards. I did approach the security after the show but I never got past the barrier.

They were o.k. . . but not great =p Their 'fros had gone all frizzy!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Steam gives-way to sail ?

I almost bumped into Prof. Steven Hawking - in Cambridge, u.k. - many years ago. He was entering our favourite Thai restaurant, just as we were leaving it. We stood-aside to allow ingress to the good Professor and his powered chair but to our surprise - and in accordance with maritime convention - HE actually gave-way to us!

The 'special' that night might well have been something like: 'duck curry with fragrant rice & soft spring rolls'. Now, you can just imagine that - as delivered by the great man's u.s.-voiced speech generator. Hawking lived just across the road from the restaurant, so I bet he was in there all the time, lucky beggar! ( lol for my use of irony, there) =p

'Hope you had a good meal, that night, Professor Hawking - and for many nights thereafter. Does Thai food really make you think all those'deep' thoughts? Perhaps it's the chilli ? ;]

Thursday, 2 September 2010

A Drought Of Love

The famous author, Rudyard Kipling, and an Indian friend were both bidding farewell to a dear companion who was returning to the U.K., from India, where they had all been working.

Kipling grasped his friend firmly by the hand, coughed - slightly embarrassed - and then bid him a good journey home. . . before releasing his grip and pretending to brush some fluff from his sleeve.

Kipling's Indian friend advanced with tears in his eyes, kissed the fellow on both cheeks and went-on at some length about how much he would miss him and how much they all appreciated his work . . and that no-one could have done more, etc., etc. Finally at an end . . . he stood, sobbing and wiping his eyes, . .comforted by his wife.

When the mutual friend's ship had sailed, Kipling turned to his Indian friend, with real anger in his face, and said " That was terrible. The British just don't do things that way. You have embarrassed me . .and our young friend! "

The Indian replied,

" I am sorry that I have embarrassed you, but I 'feel' in the way that I feel . .and I must express my feelings as such. I have noticed that the British express love as if they only had a finite amount of it, and they feared that a 'drought' of love might arise at any time.

In India, we know that our love is infinite, and we have no fear of ever running out of it. Accordingly, we shower it recklessly on our friends and family whenever the opportunity arises. "

Kipling stood, white faced, listening to his dear friend's explanation. He then apologised to him, unreservedly, and was a much better and humbler man thereafter. The conversation added greatly to his future writing and to his understanding of what it is to be 'human'.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Richard Dawkins - faulty thinker ?

The odious Richard Dawkins (dork-ins?) has been given a run of programmes on T.V. to express his biased and nihilistic views. The first show was an attack on 'Faith' schools.

At one point, he looked into the camera and said ( clearly, very pleased with himself) :

" Good people will always do 'good' things, bad people will always do 'bad' things - but only religion makes 'good' people do 'bad' things."

Errr, really ? What about oppression, misrule, persecution, poverty and hopelessness? Wouldn't they be inclined to have the same effect?

With such patently dodgy logic, how can this fool be allowed to pronounce on anything. In the show they called him "The respected Scientist, Professor Dawkins ". Well, his sort of faulty thinking is not even scientific, for a start, so I can't imagine who it is that 'respects' him for it -.-

His publisher, maybe? I'm sure he's made loads of dosh - both for them & himself. What a deluded, self-opinionated, fame-seeking, materialistic, hypocritical creep!

Monday, 16 August 2010

The Next Big Thing

Is the glass "half-full" or " half-empty" ? . . . yieww desaide . . . (coming soon to Channel 4)

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Perseid meteor shower - 12/13 August 2010

I missed the peak viewing-time, but still managed to see seven meteors streaking to earth. Very impressive it was, I have to say.

On another-such August night, way back in 1971, I happened to be sleeping outside in Morocco when I saw the same annual spectacle, under very different skies. It was a mesmerising and magical experience for a little-travelled 18-yr-old. I imagined that it was like that, in Morocco, every night!

To see a few Perseid meteorite-trails again, some 39 years later, was like having old friends drop-by for a visit. The years just fell-away and I was lost in my happy teenage memories of a mad-cap trip to Morocco, all those long years ago. Still magical! :]

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

I once met British Prime Minister, Harold MacMillan

When I was around 8yrs old I went on my first 'educational' school coach-trip to London, England. I remember it as being a cold, grey, day with plenty of walking to be done. I also recall the boat trip down the Thames, from Westminster Bridge to Greenwich, where we went aboard the famous tea-clipper, 'The Cutty Sark'.

Back at Westminster, our female teacher blagged her way into the House of Commons. The Commons Chamber was very dark, with intricate carved wood - festooned with cob-webs. The green leather benches looked very soft and inviting but we were warned against touching them (an almost irresistible temptation for any 8 yr old) as the M.P.s hated to get the residue from sticky fingers onto their trouser-legs! Naturally, several of our number did indeed touch the plush leather, to the great annoyance of the guide who quickly wiped them with his handkerchief.

We next went along to Downing Street and, once again, our teacher blagged her way past the security and we were invited to assemble outside the famous black door of No.10. We were instructed by our teacher to wait quietly and to speak politely to anyone who came out.

Presently, an elderly grey-haired man emerged, wearing what I presumed was a beautiful grey cashmere overcoat. " Hello, whom do we have here? " he beamed, cheerily

Our teacher explained that we were from Peterborough, and I was mightily impressed by his local knowledge when he mentioned "Fletton Bricks", a company for whom my Grandfather worked at the time.

I was struck by the old man's sivery hair, his soft, unlined skin and rosy complexion; his kind eyes and, of course, that overcoat.
" Your coat looks warm ! " I ventured with a smile. The old man commented on the coldness of the day, and I thought I detected a look of sadness in his eyes as he looked at my cheap, inadequate clothing . . perhaps with a little embarrassment. I think he would have gladly offered me his own coat, if we had been more similarly-sized.

He was rescued from his embarrassment by an aide, who indicated that it was time to go.
" Lovely to meet you, " he beamed, " I have to no go, now," he shrugged," boring meetings to attend. Enjoy the rest of your day."

With that, he was gone . .and our teacher was left, slightly flustered, with a strange, far-away look in her eyes.

It wasn't until I got home and told my parents about my day, that It was explained to me that I had met the Prime Minister, Harold MacMillan. My Labour-supporting father made some derisory comment about the "lovely coat" I had mentioned. " He's no-good," he snorted, " He'll soon be out!"

" Oh, I hope not, " I replied, " he seemed like such a nice man "

On reflection, I think that I learnt two important truths from my early and unexpected brush with the political 'elite' .

1. People invariably look better in real-life than on T.V. "SuperMac", for example, looked about twenty years younger, in person, than on t.v. !

2. The ruling classes had better haircuts, looked altogether healthier and wore much better clothes than us 'mere mortals'

Unfortunately . . . these simple 'truths' are still as evident, today, as they were then. Very little has actually changed in this voter's lifetime !

Friday, 30 April 2010

A sobering thought

Apparently, the trillions of pounds the U.K. now owes is equivalent to borrowing £1.1million pounds, EVERY DAY, since the birth of Christ! Lovely -.-

Thursday, 29 April 2010

What's wrong with teenagers today?

Absolutely nothing's wrong with teenagers today; that's what I think :] The vast majority of youngsters are well-mannered, open-minded, enthusiatic, generous-spirited etc, etc. In fact, they're no different from what my generation were like when we were teens. Trouble in communities is generally caused by a tiny group of troublemakers - often from just one or two families - and it's never been any different.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Liar, Liar . . pants on fire!

Political pants will soon be burnt to a crisp, in the U.K.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Progress ?

My wife claims that my mental age is 13. I was quite pleased with that estimate.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Why read the Bible?

In-common with all other books, the Bible is a subtly different book - and holds subtly differing messages - for each person that reads it. It contains the condensed Wisdom of the Ages, with great advice on how to live on this crazy planet of ours. It is, if you will, the original " Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy" Hence its appeal =]

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Gin-clear & cornflower-blue

Well . . . the unexpected side-effect of the U.K. flight ban was the most beautiful gin-clear, cornflower-blue skies that I can ever remember seeing !

Of course, that's how I imagine Australian skies to be, all the time . . . . together with those crystal streams, lands of milk & honey . .and Angels playing their . . . HOLD ON! THAT'S HEAVEN!

I got mixed up =s

Today, with flights back to normal, the skies are full of condensation trails, once more, and we see a return to the feeble washed-out blue that we're used to. 'Made me realise that when my grandparents maintained that, in their day, the summers were longer, the light was clearer, and there were wild flowers, insects, and birds a-plenty . . . . well, maybe it was all true !

Monday, 19 April 2010

Hot Air

Isn't it great that U.K. politicians have had all of their plans ruined, this week. They had fully expected that every front page and every lead-story would feature their disingenous electioneering nonsense. Instead, that spot has been occupied by an Icelandic volcano & the ensuing travel chaos caused by its even greater output of hot air and half-baked outpourings. Seems like Divine providence to me =]

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Evidence For The Soul?

I had glandular fever, very badly, when I was about 10 yrs old. I ran a high fever and was not really with it for much of the time. I couldn't lift my head from the pillow,'cos of the pain in my neck. I was off-school for weeks. On my worst night, when mum stayed awake to watch over me, . . apparently, I was moaning and threshing about all night and she was really worried.

Well . . I think I was granted a 'state of grace' or something of the sort,'cos in my head I knew nothing of this. In my unconscious mind, I was overlooking a beautiful green valley, with a sparkling stream at the bottom and fairies ( yes, fairies!) flitting around amongst the colourful, perfumed flowers. The light and the colours were brighter than anything I'd ever experienced and the air, itself, had the most beautiful perfume.

In the distance, I could see a man and a woman I seemed to know. The man was leaning on a spade. As I got nearer, I realised that they were my dads parents - but much younger. I wanted to go down into this beautiful valley to be with them, but they said it wasn't my time, but I could come back someday. I moved toward them and they said, "No, . . you've got to go. Can't you hear your mother calling?"

Well, I woke up to mum calling my name. It was a wonderfully fresh, sunny day, but I told her I was really annoyed she'd woken me, 'cos I was having the most wonderful dream of my life, and told her all about it. Strange thing is . . .Grandad was still living at the time . . .but I definitely felt that someone was watching over me, that night.

On another occasion ( I was a little younger) a dentist came close to killing me with too much gas. As my semi-conscious self struggled to breathe . . .I suddenly found myself floating up near the ceiling, in the waiting room, looking down on my parents. I was calm but curious and drifted down to their level 'til I was seeing through my mother's eyes. The nurse came out of the surgery and gave them( and me) a real worried look as she went to get something. She'd gone to get some smelling-salts and, as the dentist broke the glass vial under my nose, I was snapped back, as if on elastic, into the dentist's chair and mum rushed in to pick me up, crying . ."What have you done to him!".

For a few days, all the colour left the world and I was really sad. It seemed like I'd 'half' died. Gradually, it came back . . but never to that luminous childhood brightness that it had been before.
So . . I never worry about dying. So far as I know, the soul is incapable of worry or upset or pain. All of that stuff resides somewhere in our mortal body, and at our moment of passing . . . well, we'll just feel curiosity - nothing more.

Friday, 16 April 2010

'Masters' of the Universe ?

You know . . I'm so old, that, when I was a kid and went to the doctors, he would address me as
"Master Fretwell". In those days, this was a common form of address for boys in school, too. Grown-ups would commonly address a male child as 'Master . ." instead of 'Mr ' to differentiate him from an adult.

I'm just darn' glad that my surname wasn't 'Bates'. That would've been SO embarrassing -.-

Friday, 9 April 2010

Thoughts from an English village church


I found this traditional Gaelic blessing in a village church, the other day.

Deep peace of the running water to you

Deep peace of the flowing air to you

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you

Deep peace of the shining stars to you

Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you

Forever . . .

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

1960's skooldaze and the bus to oblivion

Back in the 60's, I used to have a 50 min bus ride to & from my High School . .and that was the best bit of the day, in some ways. Mind you, our handwriting used to look appalling - written on the upper deck of an old 1950's double-decker bus! There was one particular corner where the ancient omnibus always healed-over quite a bit.

One day, just for fun, the boys on the upper deck all jumped over to that side of the bus as it rounded the corner. We actually managed to get the wheels off the ground on the opposite side! The driver was still white-faced with shock when he got off =p Ahhh . . . schooldaze

Monday, 5 April 2010

Easter eggs

Allegedly, Mary Magdalen was called before the Roman Governor to be questioned ref the disappearance of Christ's body from the tomb. She was carrying an egg in her hand.

The Roman scoffed at her testimony: " Ha!" he said, " The Nazarene was no-more resurrected than that egg can turn red. "

The egg promptly turned red . . .and that is one possible reason why we have Easter eggs. (yum-yum) . . .signifying 'new life'.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

'Funnies' from my t.v . guide

More 'funnies ' from my TV guide

1. An Australian Army vehicle, worth A$74,000 has gone missing - after being painted with camouflage paint.

2. The Infants School on Hanson Street reports a man, across the way, stands at his window for hours watching the school . . . making parents nervous. Police I.D. the subject as a cardboard cut-out of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

3. Tombstone for sale. Standard grey. A good buy for someone named Grady. (lol)

4. Broadcaster, Sandi Toksvig : " I like frogs. I am not crazy about their legs in a buffet, but I like their casual approach to life "

5. Broadcaster, Clive James : " The smartest move I ever made in showbiz was to start off looking like the kind of wreck I would end up as. I was already 'aged in the wood' "

6. Excuses made on car insurance claim forms :

(i) An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle and vanished.

(ii) The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go . . . so I ran him over.

(iii) When I saw I could not avoid a collision, I stepped on the gas and crashed into the other car

(iiii) I saw the slow-moving, sad-faced old gent' . . .as he bounced off the hood of my car.