Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Dirty Protest

We deep clean our limestone kitchen floor about once every 3 or 4 months. Without fail, for several days after having accomplished the task, Kitty brings some rodent in at night and proceeds to eviscerate it on said floor. It must be some kind of dirty protest.

Went to Lidl yesterday, for the 3rd time, and actually remembered the toilet and kitchen paper. It helped that these were the only things I went for.

Just to change the subject - that wall of ice in Game of Thrones that keeps the White Walkers out - I wonder who paid for it?

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Flying in the Face of Reality

I was absent-mindedly listening to some Conservative MP on Radio 4 talking about the Conservative Party's stance on transgender rights and how she disagreed with it. She used the analogy of people with anorexia and how affirming their view of themselves as fat actually does them physical harm and flies in the face of reality, a view I agree with on that particular issue. She views transgender people as having a psychological condition, which may or may not be the case, but there again, the Conservatives don't seem to be particularly worried about any people with psychological conditions.

Firstly, the initial question to ask oneself is whether gay and transgender people are harming anyone in living their lifestyles. In fact, it can be said they're harming themselves less by living that lifestyle than burying their feelings in order to conform to what's seen as 'normal'. I have a good friend who has come out as transgender, and the change in her personality and mental state since 'coming out' is phenomenal. She feels liberated and no longer permanently anxious. LGBT (and now I see there's  Q and an I in the alphabet soup of sexuality) people don't harm anyone else.

Secondly, this Conservative MP had the gall to immediately follow her pronouncement with an assertion that the Conservative Party should not ditch its Christian principles. Well, if man-gods, miracles and people returning from the dead isn't flying in the face of reality, I don't know what is. While gay and transgender people are not forcing anyone else to adopt their lifestyles, the muscular, Christian right does seem to want to impose its values on everyone else and does indeed harm some people.

Oh, and talking about reality, there's also pro-Brexit arguments, climate change denial, Trump making America great again and all the other defences of the indefensible.

Whenever I hear a politician say; "The truth of the matter is," my hackles instantly rise, as you can almost guarantee that if will be followed by either an outright lie or cherry-picked data.

Another MP was blathering on about the UK's economic performance being brilliant, when any cursory research (it's not even research - it's just listening to the news, of any persuasion) will show it's anything but. His criticism of the remain campaign was preceded by; "The fact of the matter is...," when the IMF has just downgraded the UK's growth prospects yet again following a weaker than expected performance. The mind boggles at the sheer effrontery of these people - they'd tell you black was white if it furthered their misbegotten cause.

The orchestrated campaign alleging anti-Brexit bias on the part of the BBC is working though, as the interviewer didn't immediately launch an  immediate and fully justified attack on the MP's delusional pronouncements.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Turnip Friendly Pubs

Overheard while The Chairman is checking his Freecycle emails:

Chairman: "One sack of diabetic cat food?"

Hay: "I don't think so. I presume the cat is no longer with us..."

All this business about President Turnip pardoning himself - doesn't pardoning oneself presume guilt in the first place?

Hay and I went for a walk from Nailsworth to Amberley and back yesterday. We both arrived at a word, but via totally different routes. I was thinking Manderley - similar to Amberley. I said to Hay; "What's the opening line of the book," nothing else, and she immediately replied; "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." When I quizzed her as to how she knew which book I was talking about, she replied that there is only one book where she knows the opening line. She had no idea I was conflating Amberley with Manderley.

We called in at a pub on Minchinhampton Common. It was one of those dog friendly places. I wonder whether there are pubs that are cat friendly?

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Paper Veg

Overheard on returning from shipping at the greencrocer's:

Hay: "These tomatoes are nice - they're Dutch."

Chairman: "Didn't know tomatoes had a concept on nationality."

Hay: "Free movement for veg!"

Chairman: "I wonder if vegetables are racist when it comes to fruit?

Twice in succession now I've attempted to purchase kitchen paper and loo paper. I made the selection at the end of the stroll around Lidl, taken it out of the shopping trolley and placed it in a shipping basket, wanting it to go last on the conveyor due to its bulk, placed the rest of the shopping on the conveyor, and then promptly forgotten to put the kitchen and loo paper on the conveyor.

Once if forgivable, twice is a sign of something...

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Grumbling Adverts

Overheard on Radio 4:

Narrator: "Bull seals use a deep, throaty grumble to recognise each other."

Hay: "A bit like you."

Saw an advert son some news site yesterday with two pictures of a woman (possibly not the same woman); one showing her as gargantuan and the other reasonably slim. The words accompanying the ad were; "Bristol woman loses two dress sizes in 4 weeks using this simple trick." The trick could only have been the use of a photo of a completely different woman, or a lot of  very expert Photoshopping.

Had occasion to go into Bristol yesterday morning for a course about self-employment. Saw two ambulances, with sirens blaring, trying to get through very heavy traffic, with great difficulty. I know hospitals are usually placed in the centre of cities, as that's where  the greatest concentration of people is to be found, but I sometimes question the wisdom,given the traffic that has to be negotiated and the perennial lack of parking space for outpatients due to the high cost of land. Perhaps Accident and Emergency should be in the centre, but outpatients on the outskirts. It's a tough one.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Brexit Negotiation Tactic

Here's a tactic to get the Brexit talks moving, and fast too, without the UK negotiators having to do anything and getting everything they want - threaten to stay in the EU!

I see we're busy shovelling EU law (which means laws concerned with treaties signed between EU member states) into UK law as part of the process of 'reclaiming our laws'. Once we crash out of the EU, I wonder how long it'll be before we'll be replacing all the ditched EU law with WTO law, which governs arbitration between WTO members?

If you want to trade globally, according to certain protocols and treaties (and WTO membership entails a treaty, which is an agreement between countries on certain issues), there's no getting away from ceding some of your legislation to third parties. All free trade, of any description, is subject to treaties and treaties, by definition, are law and require an arbitration body - a bit like the ECJ.

So much for the myth of 'reclaiming our laws'.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Pensionable BBC

The age at which we die has stalled and the government makes the pensionable age 68. Can we therefore expect no further additions to the pensionable age in the future? No - more people in work are needed to support a single pensioner than at any time in the past. As the number of young people continues to decline with the decline in the birth rate (we're not even reproducing ourselves) it will only get worse.

Chris Evans and his pay? Ship him off to the commercial channels - please! Graham Norton is entertaining, but not Chris Evans.

The bloke's the physical manifestation of Marmite.

I see this publication of BBC starts' salaries as part of the Tory war against the BBC. On the one hand they believe in the free market and competition, while on the other they are doing their best to bring the BBC down - it's tantamount to a private firm opening its books to a competitor. If the pay of the BBC stars' reflects market conditions, then what's the issue? They have no issues with top CEOs in industry having astronomic salaries in the name of a free market.

There is only one possible outcome from this, BBC staff being poached and the BBC being relegated to merely a nurturer of talent. BBC contracts are going to have to last till pensionable age at this rate. As for pay equality - what's the status on the other channels? No-one knows, nor is likely to know. Talk about hamstringing the BBC.

There are only solutions to this; 1) force all companies wanting a transmission licence to publish stars' salaries (including those employed by production companies), or 2) privatise the BBC, which will lead to a drop in standards and dreaded adverts. The odds cannot be stacked against the BBC in this manner by a government on the run from criticism.

Ref my conundrum of a few days ago about the apostrophe - there is indeed an example of it replacing two letters - 'you'll' for 'you will'. Therefore 'they're' is perfectly legit for 'they were', if a little confusing with 'they are'.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Public Dr Who

Some interesting results on on Monday's YouGov polls.

The interesting thing in both these polls is the number of Conservative undecideds.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Time Aristocrat

Now for the most vexing question of the week - Dr Who is a Time Lord, not a Time Lady, nor a non-gender-specific Time Aristocrat. The regeneration thing is a plot device that merely allows actors to retire from the role, but of late it has become abused and they change every year or two - simply no staying power. Now they're even changing gender.

Apropos of yesterday's post about Hayley's concept of time and schedules, I believe The Doctor could well be a female, as The Doctor frequently overshoots his intended time destination and his/her completely cavalier attitude to time proves this...

There again, the mere thought of a female being in charge of a sonic screwdriver fills me with dread. There's no limit to the havoc she could wreak on the interstices of the space-time continuum.

Whatever next - Draculess, Winifed the Pooh?

It's all very well saying that The Doctor should be made more contemporary, but even the word contemporary is meaningless to a Time Lord; a Time Lord transcends time. What if the Time Lord's natural time affiliation, even after 2,000 years, is now Victorian? More importantly, what would The Doctor's granddaughter, Susan, say if The Doctor came back as her grandmother? Indeed - is Susan really a female?

There is a precedent, however, as the renegade Time Lord, The Master, regenerated into Missy. Whichever way you look at it, there is only one Doctor - Martin Ellingham. Why was he not asked to be the new Dr Who? He'd be perfect. Perhaps the next series will expose him as a Time Lord.

Doubtless it will all be sorted out, in time...

Monday, 17 July 2017

Chaff Time

With me, a time to leave for an appointment is a deadline - something that's inviolable, a law. For Hay it's seen as a suggestion or general guidance that can be ignored and the actual time of leaving can be 15 minutes later with no consequences. Causes no end of arguments when I'm sitting there tutting and swinging the car keys on my finger and she's obviously at least another 5 minutes away from being ready. Needless to say, I get the blame for her delay and it's obviously occasioned by something I've omitted to do.

Nearly  choked to death yesterday. The weekend before this one just gone, we went for a long walk which involved skirting a wheat field. I put a few ears of wheat in my shorts pocket in order to scatter them at the top of our field (probably totally pointless, as the chances are they're sterile hybrids). Anyway, yesterday we went to see my daughter in her new home and while there I had cause to use my Ventolin inhaler. I put it to my mouth, squeezed and inhaled - a mouthful of wheat chaff blasted down my throat, much to the amusement of all. It was not pleasant.

We say 'they're' as shorthand for 'they are', but not for 'they were' - possibly due to the accepted use of the apostrophe being to replace just one letter, not two. Perfectly acceptable, to me, though. They''re, perhaps?