Monday, 11 May 2015

AMEN

So it is all over?? I voted true to form for my Country; Preferred Party; and respected Candidate. No guessing which one - could only be Conservative.  Why after such a long time since the era of Whigs and Tories, the word 'Tory' attracts such torrents of abuse from opponents, and used with considerable venom in some quarters to emphasise a political dislike of Conservative ethos defies me. I have a blinkered view of course  of Socialism; Nationalism; Liberalism; and various other isms.   Personally I do not believe that the majority of people take much notice as the continuous attempts to knock the hell out of 'Tories' has lost its impact.  Not unlike having a favourite song on continuous replay on a CD/MP3 player.  The voting public are a canny lot.  They are generally tight lipped, discerning in their decision making and not unsurprisingly frequently defy the apparent 'skill and knowledge' of pollsters.  I have to agree that there were occasions in the last couple of weeks when my own gut reaction was in agreement with the 'opinion polls' because of the likely outcome being published on a daily basis, and at one point I was resigned to the idea of a hung Parliament and another election very soon.  The prospect of that happening was very unpleasant and consideration of placing the savings under the bed seemed like a good idea.  Whatever, the more one shared likes and dislikes; discussed this and that over a beer with friends of all political persuasions, it became apparent that something was not right.  I recall several discussions with my friends on the question of accuracy of opinion polls and there was a very strongly held view that 'polling' was an intrusion, such as to merit giving completely wrong answers to voting intentions to surveys and researchers.  There appears to have been a willingness to divulge the actual decision after the vote was cast as the exit poll reflected.  There was considerable discussion on the impact the lady from Scotland was making and she managed to put the fear of hell into many, and still does!.  What a sinister example of the power of rhetoric, presence; forceful presentation of a dialect to create and identify oneself with a cause.  No doubting where the lady is rooted and the cause. Personally I feel the word 'Scotland' has become synonymous with nationalism of the most unpleasant kind. How soon the bubble will burst is a guess. Moving on I reflect on the question of 'Is it a British ailment that we have to press the self destruct button' so often?.  We are hours into a new administration. An administration which has been democratically appointed after months of deliberation, and immediately has become unacceptable to a vociferous bunch of minorities.  Minorities I say, because they lost the political argument and are immediately screaming from the rooftops trying to canvass their lost dreams on the majority.  What a sad state of affairs that democracy and freedom can permit the violent scenes we saw in London on Saturday.  The spraying of a memorial by misguided members of our country.  Apparently, done to bring attention to a cause. How terrible a thing for anyone to do. Obviously those responsible had not seen the parade of power in Red Square, a terrifying display of political threat and ideology. Had they not seen the terrible scenes from the Concentration Camps; the suffering of Prisoners of war  by the Japanese?.  With the commemoration of Victory in Europe very much in our hearts and minds, and once again the recall of the sacrifice of so much suffering,  a minority decided to try and make a point on 'austerity'.  Having been brought up during a period of austerity I can recall vividly what it was all about.  Ration Books; Darned socks; Patched up trousers; Down at heel shoes; hand me down clothes; Coal fires; Candles; Oil lamps (if you could afford the paraffin) etc; etc; etc. No NHS; No Benefits. That just about sums up 'austerity' for me. Yet, we remained a proud country 'British' to the core. One nation.  Haven't we been on a roller coaster ever since?.  I have said enough. It's off my chest. I have had a good nights sleep; all is secure; the local children are on their way to school (free); I have taken my free medication so that I can survive until tomorrow morning; I am free to do whatever I want within reason.  That sounds very selfish, but it is not, because I am always 'mindful of the needs of others less fortunate than myself'.  A fact!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Gold Milestone.

After fifty years together, two daughters; three grandchildren, and everyone ticking over quite nice, it has been a a weekend of togetherness.  Celebrations would have been easier to contend had it not been for the threat of possible dementia and the progressive nature of the condition upon lady of the house.  Currently putting a very brave face on the ups and downs of bygone recollections and knowledge that memory and memories are not what they used to be are a significant strain on us both.  However the last few days have been most rewarding from the point of view that we achieved fifty not out, and the delightful cake embellished in gold by the hand of our daughter Gaynor.  Her artistic skills evident from a very early age will never leave her and the our contribution in honing those skills through support and encouragement over the years are always  a joy to see.  Over the years there have been many ups and downs to deal with. I view the birth of children, not only our own but those of our respective sisters to rate very high in the ascending scale.  Alongside that there have been many sad events, indeed, one, most tragic and difficult to come to terms with.  For as long as I live, the memory of the loss my sister in law's little one in a Road Traffic Accident will never be erased. So much heartache. Following on from there was the regularity of the passing of so many of the family connections who left us under chronic illness and suddenness that at times one did not know what was likely to happen next. However like all families the ups and downs no matter how sad have to be taken on board and understood. We are not  immortal, The message of Christmas and Easter are both Christian events on which to hold on to.  Now! Being a trifle melancholy is not to be depressed. That I am not.  Realistic definitely.  Upwards and onwards, always look on the bright side.  Tomorrow will be a yesterday.  So much to look forward to, much more to achieve no matter how creaky the bones might tell you to slow down.  I have yet to say thanks to the wonderful people who have sent greeting and best wishes for our fiftieth wedding anniversary.  There is a reason.  It WILL follow. Yes! Despite the cool looking lady of Scotland making all sort of pronouncements, and the finger tipping gestures of the leader of HM Opposition accompanied by some theatrical stares into the camera to convince us to go for a new style of Government. (Sorry dear reader I am feeling sick.) (A political illness pause)

Ten minutes later!!

I have recovered now and I am still voting Conservative.  Blue to the end!!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Wannabees

Last night saw our sitting PM and Wannabee in combat with Paxman. A brute of an interrogator who can put the fear of hell into his targets. Last night was no exception. For my part, because I am a blinkered Conservative, David Cameron was the slicker of the two with the aura of a statesman with knowledge and reality very much in view.  The other guy was doing his his best in wanting to be liked by asking questioners - "wots ya naime" (did you notice he included the "T" in his his words?) before answering - playing for time - slick trick.  Whatever.  A real low ball from Paxo to Dave as an opener, looking for the 'yes' or 'no' was fielded really well on the question of food banks, followed by a bouncer to check if he could live on the minimum wage. For goodness sake - no family could fulfil all the demands  of a daily existence could, so the answer was "No".  That threw my man Dave to go on the defensive for a while but he soon settled in and played a really good  innings.  The other bloke needs to go the memory clinic as he has forgotten the sordid state of affairs he and his gang left the country five years ago. We were bust. We have been going up hill ever since and now that the country has reached a  bit of smooth ground there is a serious possibility that we are going to crash back down. I really do get steamed up listening to Socialist Politicians. To be social is a good thing, to be a socialist in itself is not a bad thing provided they stay with feet firmly on the ground.  The problem is that they want to socialise everything with consideration of the cost and implication of making things easy, because that is what happens until the wheel falls off and the problems are passed on to the next team to sort out. Everything that (I"ll have to call him by his name) Mr Milliband,  (that hurt) came out with about 'caring for my country' was extreme left wing socialism and quite honestly I found frightening.  If he wins we will be bust again in no time. It will be last man out switch off the lights.  The only good feature to emerge from the Paxo grilling was at the end of it all my man seems by all accounts to have come out on top. That's good.  The next six weeks is going to be challenging.  I said to my friends the other day that I was going to get bored with the election.  Suddenly I am in the middle of it concerned, interested, gripped, avidly following progress and just about can't wait to get it over with a resounding Conservative Government. I think I will sell my shares in case that other bloke wins. No doubt there will be more on this.  Oh! Forgot - I have a Conservative sticker on my car!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Spring update

Last time I engaged on 'blogging' I was in a bit of a twisted situation with many issues playing on my mind.  The thought process was clear enough, the diatribe probably bewildering to those of you who took the time to read through it.  Obviously I survived Christmas, mainly because wife and I did not over indulge and have done quite well since.  I discovered that I was grossly overweight (everyone except yours truly knew that and made frequent comments) the upshot of which was to declare war on the flab by referring to the NHS Weight loss programme on this medium.  Believe me it works a bloody treat. I eat what I want in far less quantity; more or less given up the demon drink voluntarily and don't mind telling you feel quite good. Undergone a blood pressure test and much to the delight of the practitioner nurse it has come down quite well. As I write I am a full stone lighter than when I started and genuinely rearing to go forward to get rid of some more.  Already wearing things I thought of as 'had it' only a matter of weeks ago.  Another thing that has been ignited is my passion for a guitar and in that direction I found a second hand instrument which has been a really good find.  I have a really good musician to teach me and making really good progress and heading to performing 'house of the rising sun' in my own time.  X Factor look out.  Of course I cannot allow this spiel to proceed without reference to the 6 Nations Rugby Championships.  Sportsman as I am, it was disappointing not have come second in the table.  First would have been a bonus but reality rules that out.  Ireland were really deserving.  I still have this hangup about England (nearly all welsh Sportsmen feel the same) and them not being magnanimous in defeat.  Surely for one at least of their ranks to suggest that Italy and Scotland had not played their part, and the referee awarding a dodgy penalty to France was a bit silly. For my part every player was deserving the highest accolade as they all knew that the armchair experts would have drawn knives in their hands at the slightest error. Given the pace an intensity of modern rugby mistakes are bound to happen. It is all over now until the World Cup competition starts later in the year. More whinging no doubt.  Our little troupe of armchair experts went to Scotland for the Welsh -v- Scots challenge. Apart from the Rugby everything was quite good really.  Strangely I could not help feeling that the warmth of previous visits was not quite there this time.  That Independence thing was still very much in the air, and even now is hanging over our heads. The turmoil of that contest was nothing to compare with turmoil experienced on the Excursion train we took to Edinburgh and back.  I can tell you without any doubt that Wales have as many idiots to contend with as any other part of the UK.  What an awful lot of wasters, they  managed to spoil a really nice train journey.  Won't be doing that again!.  Maybe - if we managed to link up a train of sealed up semi refrigerated trucks and bundle the whole lot inside with no specific timetable for the train operator to adhere to, and the rest of us in Pandelino high speed comfort I would consider it. Whatever!.  A whole new estate of houses is going up in the land to the rear of my house.  I'm not going to suggest anything about the progress of the project but I do wonder if they will be still habitable in the equivalent time our older houses still are. A soakaway consisting of hundreds of plastic boxes (look like beer crates) have been sunk 5 metres into the ground and covered over with earth a few metres from my back garden. One way of getting rid of plastic waste.  Spring is definitely in the air with flowers blooming, weeds growing, grass needing cutting, not to mention  the birds that I have fed all winter twittering gaily and now responding to my calls to come for food. Wonderful.  I won't leave it so late before writing again.  I am in bouyant mood over my weight; can't wait for my sea going adventure in June; hoping that my good lady will have a positive result from her memory clinic of which I will have real concern. Until the next time cheers, chin up, and don't forget - Cemetries are full of indispensable people. And just in case you have forgotten or don't know  I will be voting Conservative!!