Thursday, 28 February 2019


A 2nd referendum is undemocratic! How the hell does anyone come to that conclusion without resorting to mind-bending contortions of logic and fact?

£350 million for the NHS emblazoned across the bus - that was a load of bollocks, and they even admitted it. Easiest deal ever - that's manifestly been proven a lie. It'll hurt them more than it hurts us - basic arithmetic proves that to be utter garbage.

What's wrong with having another vote and checking whether the will of the people has changed? This issue is so massive and important that it's crucial we get an accurate assessment of what the people actually want now that the consequences have become clearer. 52% is hardly a ringing endorsement or an overwhelming majority in anyone's language, and the latest polls empirically prove that the will of the people is now firmly Remain by a margin of between 9 and 12%, well beyond the accepted margin of polling error of 2 or 3%. It's still just a poll though, but certainly by a large enough margin to warrant a new referendum.

Given the foregoing, any talk of a betrayal of the electorate is fatuous in the extreme and smacks of desperation; leaving the EU when the will of the people has demonstrably changed in the intervening 3 years is the betrayal, a betrayal so heinous as to be crypto-fascist in intent.

If, following a second referendum, people still want to leave the EU (which now seems highly unlikely), then fine, we'll leave. If people have changed their minds, we'll stay. Nearly 3 years is a very long time for the electorate to reflect on their decisions. People can and do change their minds - it's what democracy is all about - especially when everything the Leave camp promised has turned to dust and they engaged (and still engage) in lying on an industrial scale.

Leavers keep banging on about the Irish 2nd vote on the Lisbon Treaty as if it were the EU that changed the minds of the Irish in some Machiavellian manner - bonkers, and the argument of a self-professed numpty who is unable to see the illogicality of their own argument! I'd like them to explain the mechanism, as I could use it on my Mrs. No, it was the Irish themselves who changed their minds - no one else. No tinfoil hats or theta waves emanating from Brussels.

I'm also seeing a campaign of misinformation about the Lisbon Treaty being promulgated by self- appointed 'experts' who have very obviously never read one word of the treaty and are merely being used as trolls by the dark forces of the kleptocracy to cut and paste fake news, from the UK being forced to join the Euro if we remained, to Brussels being on a sovereignty power grab and vetoes being rescinded. This can be refuted by simply reading the Lisbon Treaty, that's of course that's too hard for the Ultra Brexiteers who are not exactly noted for their research skills. If you see this nonsense, ask the person to quote the relevant sentences from the Lisbon Treaty itself – that will shut them up.

A single vote cast in stone is reminiscent of Germany in 1933, when no subsequent votes were allowed by a fascist dictatorship. Was that democracy? Didn't turn out very well in the end, did it?

The only possible reason for someone not to support a 2nd referendum is because they fear the result. Calling it anti-democratic is so patently a fallacy that it defies all sense and is akin to declaring black is white.

Rees-Mogg is seeing the chance of making millions out of crashing markets disappearing before his eyes - that's why he and his fellow disaster capitalists don't want a 2nd referendum. They thought they'd managed, against all expectation, to get some incredibly uninformed people to hand them victory (and money) on a plate.

If anyone is still on the fence about Brexit: Putin likes it, Trump loves it, the EDL want it, a criminal murdered an MP for it, thugs and racists are willing to violently fight for it, speculators want it, tax-dodgers desperately need it, the Daily Mail and the Sun support it and some bloke down the pub, with not a scintilla of knowledge about international trade and believes he knows more than 'experts', is rather keen on it. This should help you figure out why it's not in our best interests - unless, of course, you're phenomenally dumb and like being led by the nose by those least interested in your problems. Time for the grown-ups to act.

Yesterday I saw this on Facebook:

It was clearly portrayed as Herman van Rompuy commenting about Britain and the Brexit negotiations and designed to get Brexiteers frothing at the mouth with righteous indignation (which it has), but on closer inspection of the wording (courtesy of Google) it turned out to be part of a 2015 interview that went as follows: ...former President of the European Council said the EU takes the boldest decisions only in crisis situations, “when we have our backs against the wall and are staring at the abyss with a knife against our throats”.

Enough said about betrayal?

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

The Robinson Effect

Where do the likes of Tommy Robinson get the computers they use for their social media presence? They're highly unlikely to go anywhere near PC World 

As for Curry's, that's totally out of the question. Although isn't Curry's now part of PC World?

Tommy Robinson stands up for cretins everywhere - you have to admire him for that...

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Last Time Vegan

We hear a lot about first time buyers when it comes to housing. What about last time buyers? We could be agents for rejuvenating areas that have become run down. After all, once the kids have flown the nest (not that they're prone to doing that till they're well into their 30s these days), older property buyers are generally looking to downsize. A bunch of last timers could get together, buy a whole load of property in a depressed area and set about improving it, thereby regenerating it by creating jobs and being customers for local businesses - sun tan parlours, betting shops, bingo halls, cabbage emporia, etc.

Religion or veganism - which is morally and ethically better? Both make you smug, but I would contend that while religion does good works, it's mainly centred on obtaining a place in the afterlife and not all religious people are concerned with those less fortunate that themselves. Veganism, however, benefits everyone except you and is totally altruistic.

Monday, 25 February 2019

The Brexit Caliphate on the Line

I've decided to call post-Brexit Britain the Brexit Caliphate. It will be run along the same lines as ISIS - rationality, logic and science is forbidden in favour of naked ideology with no supporting evidence whatsoever. It will be ruled over by Ayatollah Rees-Mogg and his Mullahs, who will determine what is and what is not fake news. Experts, naturally, will be shunned.

Spotted this image on t'internet.

I reckon it's yet another example of fake pews...

What gorgeous weather - the washing line was brought out for the first time this year. we don't normally air our washing in public, but...

Spent the day doing what one normally does in February - mowing the lawn and carefully picking one's way through budding hyacinths, crocuses and daffodils.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Wild Swimming, Sentient Telly

Our telly is sentient. I don't usually pay much attention to TV adverts, but one last night on catch-up caught my interest. It was for some car, but a panel appeared within the advert telling me where my nearest local dealer is. I wonder what other knowledge my telly has and whether it intends to take over the household. It has started to act weirdly too, as if it has a mind of its own, refusing to connect with my Bluetooth speaker.

Back to the calls for by-elections. It's rather paradoxical that the MPs calling for by-elections want the electorate in the constituencies of the rebel MPs to have another vote in the light of new information about those MPs, yet don't want the electorate to have a 2nd referendum in the light of new information on the consequences of Brexit. Think about it.

Went to Winchester yesterday so No.2 Son could check out the university ready for September. Hay took the opportunity to so another wild swim, this time in the River Itchen at Compton Lock, where there's a natural pool between a couple of weirs.

Winchester really is the perfect town for a spell at university.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

an Avocado of Saxon Mice

Went out for our usual Friday night meal at our usual hostelry and saw what was described as Saxon sausage on the menu. It conjured up images of invading Saxons saying to 5th Century Romano-British women; "Ooer Mrs, want some Saxon sausage," in best Frankie Howerd style.

This led to us considering the collective, culinary noun for various types of people. We settled on an avocado of middle class people.

Hay upbraided me about mowing the lawn last weekend.

Friday, 22 February 2019

The Skulduggery Compromise

People are still banging on about the Tory and Labour defectors having to undergo a by-election. What they don't realise is that the electorate votes for a person, not a party. Political parties are a convenience and have no constitutional relevance.

Almost the sole statutory provision that assumes the existence of political parties in constitutional arrangements is the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975, which acknowledges the Leader of the Opposition and grants state financial subventions to the opposition parliamentary parties. Therefore, the status and working of political parties rest almost entirely on convention or merely political fact.

The argument runs that MPs stand on a party manifesto, but a manifesto is a fudge at the best of times and not every member of the party stands by all the items in a manifesto - it's a compromise.

Another thing to bear in mind is that manifestos get broken rather regularly. Do we hold a general election every time a manifesto pledge is broken? No, we don't.

The only legal recourse to the electorate when an MP crosses the floor is a general election.

This Malthouse Compromise. Can't say I remember Robert Ludlum writing that one. The Bourne Identity and the Scarlatti Inheritance, certainly, but not the Malthouse Compromise. Going by his other works, I have no doubt that it's a gripping story.

I guess it's some kind of political thriller, full of double dealing and skulduggery..

Now that's an interesting word. I looked it up - Scots in origin, apparently. Here's its usage over time.

Still waiting for the Sun newspaper's forecast of 'snow to blank the country' this week to materialise. The daytime temperature forecast here doesn't go below 10 degrees for a fortnight. There again, the Sun also reckons Brexit will be great for the UK.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Independent Group

So, we now have an embryonic political party of the centre ground. About time - and something I predicted a while ago. When the left become more left and the right more right, the centre inevitably opens up. Yes, there is the LibDems, but they lost a huge amount of support when in coalition with the Tories and didn't manage to follow through with the elimination of university fees - unfairly, in my mind, as they were a very junior partner and could not reasonably be expected to get all their policies adopted. 

Will the new party join forces with the LibDems? Hard to say, but there are synergies and it would make sense not to split the centre ground. With 8 ex Labour and 3 ex Tories, the weighting is to left of centre - exactly where the LibDems position themselves. I fully expect to see more defections and the major parties have only their own antics to blame.

There's little doubt that the polarisation of UK politics is leading to a new political paradigm along the lines of the continental system - lots of smaller parties and coalition being the norm (another prediction I made within this blog a while ago). Not a bad thing in itself as it avoids massive swings in policies every few years, which are invariably detrimental to progress. 

The major parties are calling for by-elections, but there's nothing in law or precedent to stop the politicians who have crossed the floor staying in situ till a general election - and being a thorn in the side of the Conservatives and Labour till then. How they would fare in a general election is moot at this point; they would doubtless suffer without financial support, but as the voice or reason, there's nothing to suggest they wouldn't get support from industry sources who are fed up with destructive Labour and Tory policies.

We live in interesting times.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Old Uncle Tom Cobbley's By Election

Sony, Dyson, Panasonic, Lloyds, Unilever, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Airbus, Flybmi, P&O, HSBC, JP Morgan, UBS, Ford, Hitachi, Toshiba, AXA, Honda, Moneygram, Philips, European Banking Authority, European Medicines Agency, Bank of America, Inmarsat, NatWest, Aviva. They're moving all or part of their businesses out of the UK in the largest commercial exodus in British history, but apparently, it’s got nothing to do with Brexit and is just one, massive and unprecedented coincidence, despite all these companies having issued - without exception - Brexit warnings.

Listening to some Brexiteers, it would appear even Brexit is nothing to do with Brexit.

The above is from the last century, but was prescient.

Perversely, while sales of new diesel cars has nosedived, 2nd hand diesels are selling like never before. I can personally attest to that.

It's a pity the government can't plan to buy the Honda factory and turn it into one in which to make UK manufactured electric cars. Hang on, Dyson is doing that - could he be a rescuer? No, silly me, he's going to manufacture in Singapore, which has an FTA with the EU. In any case, products having the government as sponsors, or interfering in any way, shape or form don't have a good track record. we'd end up with an electric Trabant.

Apparently the Honda factory site used to be a Spitfire manufacturing site - we could go back to making Spitfires. It would be an apt metaphor for Brexit.

This business of Labour MPs crossing the floor - Labour is demanding they stand down as MPs and fight by elections. Funny - can't remember Churchill initiating by elections when he crossed the floor, nor the vast majority of other MPs who have crossed the floor throughout history. I'd certainly vote for these rebel Labour MPs - more so than Corbyn's Red Wedge and very certainly more than the internecine Tories, who are not only intent on destroying themselves, but want to take the nation with them, but that's nothing to do with Brexit either...

When will Britain wake up to the fact it has been duped and it's turning itself into a deathscape of squinty little hobgoblins with a hatred of novelty and imagination through the frustrations of warty old men who can't get over WWII. There is nothing good to say about Brexit, it's a sewage of primitive emotions, fear and ignorance, utterly devoid of any good.

You don't focus all your energies and decades into turning the UK into an attractive springboard for foreign companies to invest into the UK and trade with Europe, only to draw the rug from under their feet and expect no repercussions.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Unresponsive De-Bobbler for Chinese Scrabble

Overheard in the car:

Chairman: "OK Google......OK Google...........OK Google........OK GOOGLE!"

Google: "Bing."

Chairman: "What's the origin of the word nag in relation to a horse?"

Google: "Horse sense is......."

Chairman: "Bugger off, Google!"

Chairman: "Hi Bixby......Hi Bixby...........Hi Bixby........HI BIXBY!"

Bixby: "The time is 10:15."

Hay: " God - it's like me talking to you."

A hoodie of mine has become covered in fibre bobbles and I was looking for a fabric razor to shear the bobbles off. Wasn't sure what one of these gadgets was called, so I looked up de-bobbler on Amazon. 

Much to my surprise, that's exactly what they're called - and the one I bought works a treat.

Thought for the day: if Chinese characters comprise complete words, how can the Chinese play Scrabble or do crosswords?

Monday, 18 February 2019

Cairngormia in the Sun

The quality of the reporting in some newspapers is lamentable. I saw a headline from the Sun on my Flipboard feed which said the country is to be blanketed in snow within a week. This stimulated me to check on the weather forecast, which showed temperatures above 10 degrees for the entire week. There was a warning about snow in high ground in some parts of Scotland, so I guess the Sun meant the country of Cairngormia...

The Sun isn't exactly renowned for accuracy, but is renowned for making it up.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Motors, Rebuilds and Roman Horses

Went to Blackbushe car auctions on Friday to collect a car and spotted these beauties going under the hammer:

I then did a quick detour to a place I used to haunt a couple of decades ago when I lived in Reading and had my last MGB - Beech Hill Garage off the A33; a specialist MG restorer, but they're not restoring as many as they used to.

This is a friend's MGB GT, which has been languishing at a local garage, slowly decomposing, for the best part of a year. It was an impulse buy, which he's now regretting. I'm hoping he's going to sell it to me at a very reasonable price so I can restore it.

Mechanically it's very sound and the interior is not bad at all - just needs stripping back, new wings (front and rear), new inner and outer sills, new door skins, some chrome and an engine-out respray. Probably about £6k of expenditure, but well worth it to end up with a classic that could be worth twice that.

I saw this registration on a van on Friday - never knew the DVLA were doing Roman registrations...

OK, I realise it's not a valid number, but it looks like it is. 1052 followed by 15, but the final X throws a spanner in the works. As a friend said to me yesterday; "Possibly owned by a Woderick or Wodney, or some wapscallion."

Here's another local wagon with an apt registration:

Might become an interesting registration spotter...

Saturday, 16 February 2019

G Bike

The bike has been reassembled with all the replacement mechanical parts and now is just waiting for the replacement fairing panels to be sprayed - and gathering dust.

Given it is winter, my tame repair man was told there was no hurry, as I wouldn't be riding it till the warmer weather set in, so he's doing the job at his leisure at mates' rates. The paint, however, was a nightmare to source. Being pearlised, it's impossible for him to replicate it with his mixing kit and I had to source it from a specialist - £97 for just a litre of Lightning Yellow.

I'm thinking of getting him to spray a helmet in the same colour. Once upon a time it was not possible to spray helmets as the paint could weaken the plastic, but with modern, water-based paints it's eminently possible. I thought of adding some black Triumph Daytona decals to the helmet, but since buying a replacement set from Australia on eBay, they no longer seem to be available in black. Not a problem, however, as I won't be using all the decals I bought; those for the right hand side and those for the tank won't be used and will be spare, so a Triumph logo on either side of a Lightning Yellow helmet is a distinct possibility.

Near to the spray shop is a cafe called Mrs G's. I keep meaning to call in and get her to offer set meals called 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G, which could be differing mixes of eggs, bacon, beans, black pudding and sausages...

Friday, 15 February 2019

Bee Caravan

Those who know Hay know her totem is a bee. When we went to Cotswold Farm, near Winistone, last weekend, we called in for a coffee at the Hare and Hounds in Tetbury on the way home. They have some houses there for rent and the doors are adorned with brass, bee door knockers, which Hay took a shine to. I decided to get her one for Valentine's Day.

To say she was chuffed was an understatement.

Hay's has his birthday on Valentine's Day and he was 83 yesterday. He's known as Caravan to the family, as he too lived in a caravan for 7 years while renovating his farmhouse next door. I thought I'd buy him something apt for his birthday.

A caravan bird house...

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Sowing the Seeds of Doubt

I was having a discussion with a friend about a new beauty product business venture he's considering investing in. He wants to tap into an existing distribution network where the sales people are independent and self-employed. They do, however, have to sign a contract containing a 'conflict of interest' clause, forbidding them from selling competing products.

Now these clauses are invariably unenforceable (especially in the self-employed arena), but companies still include them, knowing full well that the signatories will believe they are enforceable by their very presence in the contract. No amount of persuasion will disabuse the signatories of the notion that they are indeed unenforceable - the seed has been sown and the manufacturer has got inside their heads.

There is a large swath of the population that is not very good at doing research. The issue with them is not whether a message is right or wrong, but that a particular message got there first - and is convenient. Once the message has entered the untrained mind and it has made a formal commitment to it, the powers of reason are surprisingly ineffective in changing the believer's mind, especially if the message taps into basic prejudices which the holder may not even be aware of at a conscious level. So basically it's all about who got their message across first.

There are many people in the UK who have been convinced that the EU is a mega conspiracy and the cause of all the UK's ills, from the decimation of our fishing industry to the problems with the NHS, despite even cursory investigation proving this to be palpable nonsense. Such individuals, generally, are either very bad at, or cannot be bothered with, basic research which may contravene a decision in which they've already invested emotional capital or which has triggered a fear response.

They've heard Farage banging on about it for over a decade - he got his Project Fear message in first, especially following the 2015 Syrian refugee crisis; Turks will overrun the country, immigrants are stealing our jobs, the EU's accounts have never been signed off, the EU gives grants to British companies to move elsewhere in the EU, etc. - all nonsense, yet providing evidence has zero effect.

If a hard Brexit happens, it will take 10 to 20 years to get back to the level of prosperity we currently enjoy within the EU - at best. So what do we actually gain when we have to undergo 10 to 20 years of austerity and demolish our manufacturing capability in the process (as even Minford - the doyen economist of Brexiteers - forecasts), just so that Brexit sponsoring, disaster capitalists can go on a buying spree among the ruins?

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Notes on Wireless Charging

Bought a wireless charger for the Note 9. Initially I wasn't impressed - until I realised you have to have patience and not expect it to start charging for several seconds.

Initially I kept repositioning the phone on the pad when it didn't start charging immediately, which served to start the whole procedure again, making me think the device was unfit for purpose.

Once it does start to charge, it charged much faster than when plugged in a charger in the normal way. To get fast charging you have to use a special Fast Charge plug, which is extra.

It even works with the flip cover in place - it allegedly works with the phone being up to 45mm orr the pad.

No.2 Son could do with one of these, as he has a terrible habit of knackering phone charging ports.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Stainless Garage

Went to a local garage yesterday and spotted this beautiful, stainless steel loo. I wish I'd known about these when building the house - it would have been so different to have one.

These are the garage's labour rates:

Monday, 11 February 2019

Well, Well, Well.

Hay was interested to read this BBC News report about cold water swimming allegedly helping some women to cope better with the menopause, the side effects of which she has been suffering from for 10 years.

It has stimulated her to do it more frequently than once every month or so and she's now intent on using the well in her father's garden next door, which must be about 30 feet deep and 4 feet across. Being on the lower edge of a Cotswold escarpment, the water table here is very close to the surface and it's always full, even in the middle of summer.

We should actually have thought about using the well in the house build - perhaps as a water source for flushing toilets or as part of a heat exchange system. We do, after all, have an air-source heat pump which works down to 5 degrees C.

Sunday, 10 February 2019


Overheard in the kitchen:

The Chairman is blundering around in the kitchen and walks into the open oven door, which is ajar, kneecapping himself in the process.

Chairman: "Bugger! I've just done a Brexit."

Hay: "No you haven't - you've merely injured yourself. If you'd done a Brexit you'd have harmed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of others by not looking where you're going and seeing what's in front of your eyes."

Hay and I are of a similar mind...

Was having an argument with several Brexiteers yesterday and was given the same old tropes - I even heard an MP saying the same on Radio 4; "We buy more from the EU than they buy from us, so it a No Deal will hurt the EU more."

EU GDP is $17,900 Bn; UK GDP is $2,622 Bn. That makes EU GDP without the UK $15,728 Bn – 5.8 times as large as the UK economy - that's quite a buffer.

In broad figures, the UK exports $312 Bn to the EU while the EU exports $443 Bn to the UK, so while it’s true that we buy more from them in absolute terms, our exports to the EU comprise 11.9% of our GDP while the EU’s exports to the UK comprise only 2.8% of EU GDP, the vast majority of that coming from Germany – 2.46% of German GDP.

Simple maths - no, not even maths but arithmetic - shows that we would be hit 4 times harder by a complete stoppage in trade than the EU, not that all trade would suffer.

Ireland would be hit almost as bad as the UK, but at least it has the rest of the EU on which to call for financial assistance - the UK would be on its own. The EU and, more importantly, the Eurozone have shown previously that they will do anything necessary to protect the integrity of the bloc.

Given N.I. voted Remain, the secession of N.I. would be a distinct possibility.

I found the above graphic, which clearly illustrates the effect.

As we have seen, German car makers will not come to the UK's rescue by lobbying for a special deal for the very simple fact the single market is more important to them than the UK alone, and they realise that cutting a deal for the UK would risk the collapse of the EU and put the rest of their EU market at risk from Japanese predation. The UK is less than a quarter of German car makers' total EU sales.

It's no accident that many British entrepreneurs (Mike Ashley, Tim Smith, etc.), tax exiles and the financiers who fund them (e.g. the Rees-Moggs of this world), who specialise in buying failed companies and turning them around by stripping them down and paying minimum wages to their staff, are ardent Brexiteers. It’s called Disaster Capitalism - whereby small groups will often do very, very well by buying bankrupt businesses or having competition wiped out, while large sections of the population are left with decaying public infrastructure, declining incomes and increased unemployment. Professional company managers who run listed, British exporting companies are overwhelmingly anti-Brexit, while billionaire company owners looking to swell their empires and dodge taxes are pro-Brexit – think about it.

Now you can disagree with the above, and I welcome rebuttals based on evidence or facts; but if your response is simply; “Rubbish,” then your opinion remains worthless.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Note 9 Opinon

One of the features that drew me to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was the battery life. Had it for nearly a week now and, despite relatively heavy usage (I'm a geek when it comes to new phones), the battery life has surprised me - it hasn't fallen below 25%.

Yesterday it was about 13 hours between unplugging it in the morning and plugging it in again before going to bed, and it was still at 37% the next morning. That's a vast improvement on the Samsung Galaxy S8+.

The S-Pen issue caused by my initial magnetic cover has been resolved - Amazon agreed to a refund. A new cover arrived on Thursday and, despite it having a magnetic clasp, the clasp is sufficiently movable for me to increase the distance between it and the phone, rendering the S-Pen usable once more, 

Transferring apps and data from old phones, despite them all being Samsungs, has been a problem in the past and it has taken me days to effect transfers. Not this time - I was up and running within a couple of hours. I don't even need my external 128GB SD card either, as the onboard, 128GB RAM is more than sufficient for my 62GB of Dropbox data.

I still haven't explored the phone's full capability. One criticism I read about is the size, but it's no larger than my old S8+ and I have no problem putting it in my pocket.

Overall I am impressed.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Cold, Cat Trap Push-Ups

I bought a pair of these on eBay the other day.

They're overshoes that snap shut around your shoes the second you step on them. I'm fed up of being told off for padding across the floor in muddy shoes. However, I keep thinking I'll arrive home one evening and find a couple of cats trapped inside them - once they close, it takes a certain knack to get them open and flat again.

I've stuck with the cold shower regime of initially standing under the shower as I open the tap before the water warms up, having my shower and then switching to cold for a minute before switching back to warm. My shock response has decreased to the extent I no longer explode into fits of swearing and can endure it quite easily. One drawback, though, is that I'm probably using twice the volume of water I used to. It could possibly save my life should I accidentally fall into cold water during winter - an occurrence with a very low level of probability.

Also persevering with the push-up regime of a set of 50 after my shower, followed by sets of 20 or 30 throughout the day to reach a total of 200 per diem. The effects on my physique are quite pronounced and my moobs have turned into solid pecs. I can't seem to get above the initial 50 though, try as I might - the aim being to be able to do 100 in a single set. Must be an age thing, although I'm pretty impressed with going from being able to just about do 13 to being able to do 50 in one go.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Taking the NHS to Tusk

Donald Tusk wonders if there's a special place in Hell for those who pushed for Brexit without a shred of a plan. There probably is, but those who went there would be calling for Hellxit or orchestrating a motion of no confidence in Satan and wanting a deal with God that gets them into Heaven. Oh, and they'd be stashing their netherworldly possessions somewhere in Heaven.

All joking aside, Tusk is spot-on and his frustration is entirely justified. Brexiteers can foam at the mouth as much as they want; those who sponsored Brexit had no plan whatsoever, except to hope the UK could ludicrously expect a deal which put the EU itself in jeopardy. Reality doesn't work like that. This whole debacle has been about saving a crumbling Tory Party and nothing else - it's about time truth spoke to power, disaster capitalist power.

As one pundit put it: "Britain is one of the richest and most advanced democracies in the world. It is currently locked in a room, babbling away to itself hysterically while threatening to blow its own kneecaps off. This is what nationalist populism does to a country.”

Saw a party political broadcast by the Tory party and their success at managing the NHS. Aren't they the buggers wanting to sell it all off to their mates and presiding over the current NHS crisis? Talk about denialism! I practically had to hold Hay down to stop her exploding at the blatant propaganda coming from the TV screen. They must be softening us up for an election - can't see anyone who values the NHS, or indeed the UK, voting for them.

Talking of the NHS, I seem to remember that at one time you'd go to the dentist and have a checkup. If anything, like a filling, needed doing, then it was done immediately. These days you have to make a separate appointment for the necessary work. I suppose it cuts down on people having to wait for 6 hours after the allotted time to see actually see their dentist because a queue builds up.

Went to the doctor's yesterday for a COPD checkup. In my surgery there's a big display board where your name comes up when it's your turn - no announcement, just the display. The problem is' that you're provided with magazines, and if you have you're engrossed in the latest copy of Hello, relishing the images of the interior of some celeb's house that demonstrates their love of bling and complete lack of taste, you don't see the display telling you it's your turn. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Liam Neeson

This Liam Neeson thing is getting out of hand. Neeson admitted his feelings from 40 years ago, feelings which many would feel in the same circumstances, because that's part of the human condition and has been the cause of strife many times in the past; people do tend to paint an entire group of people with the attributes of a few, or even one.

The key thing, though, about Neeson's admission is that he recognised, within a week, that his actions were wrong and sought help. The feeling was racist (by definition), but could equally have been given some other label had the perpetrator been identifiably, say, ginger or a teenager.

Neeson and I are of a similar age group and 40 years ago I and all my contemporaries were both racist and homophobic. Most people were then - they were different times and we were shaped by our culture and our parents' attitudes. Neeson also grew up in Northern Ireland, where sectarian hatred was rife, and still is in many quarters. Many blokes I know who are only 10 years older than me are still racist and homophobic.

Some people today still equate the Germans of today with the Nazis, despite Germany and Austria having done more to combat Nazism than any other European nation. Someone, within the last couple of days during an argument about Brexit, said they were 'the same regime', and that's an attitude held today, not 40 years ago and which they now regret having felt. It's the basis of populist nationalism.

I'm with John Barnes on this matter and not the holier-than-thou knee-jerkers.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Magnetic Misfortunes

Been having issues with the new Samsung Note 9 phone - the S-Pen keeps disconnecting from the phone of its own accord. Seeing as the S-Pen is one of the features from the old Note phone series that drew me back to them, this is quite a drawback.

I looked all over the place for a solution and finally found one - the issue is caused by phone covers that have a magnetic clasp, and I bought a nice leather cover on Amazon which indeed had a magnetic closing mechanism. Removed the phone from the cover and the problem went away.

Needless to say I wrote a stinging critique of the phone holder, which obviously had never been tested on a Note 9 by the manufacturer. Another cover, without a magnetic closure, is winging its way to me now.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Toggie 'Orses on the Phone

On Saturday I took delivery of my new phone, resulting in there being no blog post on Sunday due to me having to spend all morning Sunday configure it, which took precedence over anything else.

I decided to go for a Note 9, but the process was tortuous. I was in the local Vodaphone shop for over an hour while the assistant struggled with the computer system, following which I had the option of waiting between one or two weeks for one to be delivered, or going to the Bristol shop - I chose the latter. Vodafone should have a 2 queue system - one for those who know exactly what they want, and another for ditherers who haven't a clue, or have come it to get advice on how to perform a simple task.

I have to say that there's not much difference between my old Samsung S8+ and the Note 9 - or at least I haven't noticed much of a difference. OK, it's nice to have the S-Pen back, but I've been so long without it that I'm used to it. The battery is allegedly more powerful, but I've yet to test that.

We went to Cirencester yesterday and I spotted this one the way back.

There are lots of 'orses is our neck of the woods. This is probably why I managed to bad a pair of size 10 Toggie rubber riding boots in one of the charity shops there for a tenner - perfect for working in a sodden garden in winter and much better than ordinary wellies. Also perfect for wading through snow, although that's all but disappeared now; however, it will doubtless be back before long...

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Concise Rudeness

Overheard in Lidl when The Chairman was caught vaping:

Staff Member: "You can't do that in this shop."

Chairman: "Sorry."

The Chairman puts his vape away, only to start again once the staff member has disappeared.

Hay: "He said that is a rather rude way."

Chairman: "It wasn't, it's exactly the way I would have said it if I were him - concise and to the point. I can respect that."

Friday, 1 February 2019

Vegan Aleppo

I believe Bridgwater and West Somerset MP, Ian Liddell-Grainger, has compared Taunton with war-torn Aleppo, which has caused some consternation in certain circles. I have to say I didn't realise Aleppo was as bad as that.



Apparently Vegan January has now ended - thank God - I simply couldn't eat another vegan.