Monday, 30 September 2019

Mad Scramble

To ensure I got one of the Lidl, Silvercrest, Dyson look-alike vacuum cleaners that Lidl were selling yesterday, I turned up at 09:40 - a full 20 minutes before the shop opened, just to be sure. To my surprise, there were already about a dozen shoppers there, all intent on getting one of these machines.

The atmosphere was tense - there was open discussion of how many could be snaffled by one individual. As more people turned up, some of them joined the queue while a few placed themselves strategically to one side of the queue, causing a bit of concern over the potential for that mortal or all British sins, queue-jumping. I'm of the opinion that the death penalty needs reintroducing for queue-jumping.

The doors opened at 10am on the dot and everyone rushed in. In my attempt to get to the correct aisle I managed to trample over a couple of coffin dodgers, a teenager and a woman in a wheelchair. One woman crammed 4 of the units into her trolley and would have taken more had not another woman remonstrated with her. It was getting rather ugly.

I managed to nab one without upsetting anyone unnecessarily and made it to the checkout without being mugged by a pensioner.

I'm no expert on vacuum cleaners, but Hay pronounced it rather good, so there's a satisfied customer at £50.

I'm still not sure why, but I'm totally unable to reply to comments on my blog. For the benefit of Roger, who commented yesterday, the reason I return to the start when unicycling is because a) it's better for the camera, and 2) as a newbie, you require support on both sides to mount, and the bollard provides the starboard side support.

Today's session wasn't that good, although I did have one good run that I didn't video.

Sunday, 29 September 2019


Should I?

Pogo stick.... Mmmmmm.

The unicycle practise proceeds apace - small, yet critical improvements daily.

I hear there are calls for Boris' links with hedge funds, and those who stand to gain enormously from a hard Brexit, to be investigated. Here's an interesting link about the funds of a certain political party in the 1930s and 40s. Startling similarities.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Overheard Events

Overheard while watching a Pink Floyd gig on TV:

Hay: "Dave Gilmour used to be a god."

Chairman: "So did Robert Plant. Perhaps they should form a Supergroup and call themselves No Longer Gods."


Chairman: "You know, Status Quo never realised their name was so prophetic; they never changed their tune."

It has been a momentous few weeks; No.2 Daughter has got engaged; No.1 Son has changed his job and passed his driving test and No.2 Son has started university and has decided to switch from History and Politics to PPE. He was toying with the idea of Classics, till I mentioned Boris did Classics and there are few job opportunities with such a degree, although I suppose dictator is one of them.

I believe I've sussed why Boris is being so uncharacteristically obnoxious - he's trying the patience of Parliament and aiming to precipitate a no confidence vote and subsequent election, where no-one will the slightest attention to party manifestos and vote on just one issue, This would allow all manner of nefarious policies to get in under the wore. A GE must not be conflated with Brexit.

It could be that he's trying to lose an election and get a Labour government, believing that a period in opposition could draw the Brexit Party's teeth. It;s not likely though, as he doesn't seem the type to fall on his sword for a greater good. Anything could happen in the next few weeks, including Boris ending up in jail for flouting the Supreme Court decision under a writ of Mandamus.

Day 4 of the daily 20 minute practice sessions:

It's amazing how addictive this is, and it's because you learn new techniques for balance on a continual basis.

For starters, I've raised the seat to belt height. When pedalling your bum is only in light contact with the seat with most of your weight on the pedals - this reduces your centre of gravity and hence stability. A higher seat assists with this.

Also, turning the unicycle away from the foot that's on the down push, so you zig-zag along, greatly improves stability. The seat is actually an encumbrance, encouraging you to raise your centre of gravity by sitting on it. It's better utilised as a lever, using your thighs to counter the lateral thrust of the downstroke pedal and only sitting on it very lightly - this is what produces the zig-zag movement.

I'm definitely improving on a daily basis and I much prefer it to Rollerblading, which can get boring.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Blue Passports & Fish

If you voted Brexit for financial gain by selling Britain short and hoping to make a killing, and can admit that, then I salute you for your honesty, but please do not call yourself a patriot or a man (or woman) of the people, as you very obviously hold them in utter contempt due to your gain being at their expense. Brexiteers are all fond of saying; "Remainers are just worried about money," but money keeps you fed and a roof over your head. Without a job your prospects are bleak.

It is little wonder that the LibDems are calling to revoke A.50; they're unlikely to ever form a majority government and so aren't targeted by the vultures and disaster capitalists. Labour are more likely to form a government and so there is some targeting, but disaster capitalism isn't in the grassroots DNA. The Conservatives, however, are funded by the vultures and are paid to do their bidding, whether it be having close relationships with hedge funds (or owning them, like JRM) or financial interests in American healthcare firms hoping to profit from a hard Brexit. Naturally, the millionaire newspaper barons are all for it, as they can escape forthcoming EU scrutiny of their tax havens. No wonder the Sun, Daily Mail and Telegraph put out disinformation by the shovel load.

I've seen numerous cases on Facebook from Brexit supporters referencing Oliver Cromwell's speech to Parliament when he dissolved it and using it to castigate Remainers. It's worth quoting it:

"It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice. Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government. Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money. Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth? Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance. Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God's help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do. I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place. Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors."

The problem is they don't know their history. Cromwell was not targeting the average MP, but those using their position for profit and patronage while purporting to represent their constituents. The key phrase is; Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money." Sounds awfully a lot like the JRMs of Parliament.

If you voted Brexit because you believe Parliament had lost sovereignty to the EU, then the Supreme Court judgement should have corrected that misconception - if you have any semblance of reason, that is. What is the double-think involved in believing, on the one hand, Brussels has too much power over British judges and, on the other, British judges having too much power? Ask yourself why, if all our laws come from Europe, does Scotland have different laws to England?

To go from championing Brexit as a means of taking back control into a sovereign Parliament and freeing our judiciary from EU interference to championing the silencing of that sovereign Parliament (and prorogation is NOT the same as recess) whilst accusing the judiciary of bias, is plumbing the depths of hypocrisy and demonstrates the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of Brexit.

Supreme Court judges operate on the basis of truth and evidence, therefore, if they are biased towards anything it it likely to be Remain, given the number of lies on which Brexit is founded. It would surprise me if a single Brexit supporting judge could be found, let alone eleven. That said, their ruling was on the basis of precedent and the submissions of the opposing sides. That the accused refused to provide any reason for prorogation did not help his cause. The 'no comment' tactic to avoid incriminating oneself. The accused went on record maintaining the prorogation was nothing to do with Brexit, but as soon as the judgement went against him he came out bleating that the judgement was tainted by Remain bias. Damned by his own actions.

If you still believe Brexit will produce a UK that is better off than being in the EU, against overwhelming expert opinion, arithmetic, reason, common sense and after the utter decimation of all the Leave arguments, from fishing to immigration, then you deserve either sympathy for your genuine lack of understanding, or utter contempt if you are an ideologue who treats evidence as an inconvenience and get angry with people who have the temerity to tell you the truth when you can't articulate a single reason that holds water, other than you won by a slender majority over 3 years ago. Governments can change in less time, which shows people can and do change their minds as the facts become apparent.

Ultra Brexiteers are blithely unconcerned by all the boring and complicated details of what would be required for us to extricate ourselves from the EU in a sensible fashion and fall back on vacuous, wishful thinking. Vitriolic about anyone concerned about the stark reality roaring down upon us, they ignore complex technical implications of acquiring “third country” status when trying to sell 40%+ of our exports across the Channel - they've clearly never sold anything abroad in a competitive market. The wavers of magic wands have taken over the asylum when they can't explain the benefits of Brexit without resorting to repeating debunked lies.

To maintain the Irish Backstop is unnecessary as there is a solution, but to refuse to say anything about what that solution is, borders on cognitive dissonance.

Historically, when politicians trash the rule of law or, in cahoots with the gutter media, open up the Overton Window by normalising whipping up the electorate against a sovereign Parliament and the judiciary, it always heralds something rather nasty in the not too distant future, as we've learned from birth of every totalitarian regime there has ever been - they aim to be unaccountable and brook no dissent.

I find it particularly ironic that those shouting 'fascist' at Remain MPs are so lamentably ignorant of politics that they're not even aware of the direction of a fascist's political leanings or his/her disdain for an independent judiciary and a sovereign Parliament.

How anyone can cheer on a man who, as well as being a proven serial liar, on the very day of being elected leader of his party hires as his key adviser a man guilty of contempt of Parliament is a total mystery. It's as if some people have completely switched off their moral compass.

“The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”
― Adolf Hitler ( Mein Kampf )

"Blue passports and fish..."

"Project Fear."

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Getting Better All the Time

Am I the only one who thought Geoffrey Cox's performance in Parliament yesterday was worthy of an audition for the part of Darth Cox in a Star Wars film? What a voice, even if he was attempting to set the people against all institutions of government, the mechanism by which every totalitarian regime throughout history was born. The right wing media is aiding and abetting this nastiness and whipping its readers into a totalitarian froth.

Went for another practice session this morning, and it's surprising how fast progress is made...

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

50 PSI and Not Hitting the Floor

Well the unicycle arrived late Monday afternoon but there hasn't been much time to play with it.

 A couple of the guys at work were desperate to have a go, but they merely fell off.

I pumped the tyre up to 30 PSI, but it was far too squishy. Looking on Google, the recommended pressure is about 50 PSI although some people use a pressure as high as 90 PSI, which can make the bike a bit skittish. 

All the videos maintain the use of a rail while learning is advisable, so this morning went at 5am and spent 25 minutes down at the local Tesco covered car park (which is my rollerblading practice area) where there's a rail at one end.

The problem is that when your feet are TDC and BDC you have no leverage to carry you forward, meaning you need to lean forward to get the momentum to get you out of the TDC/BDC pedal position. Basically, you have to lean forward and avoid hitting the deck - a bit like how flying, as described in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe; “There is an art to flying, or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. ... Clearly, it is this second part, the missing, that presents the difficulties.”

It will probably take quite a few sessions to get comfortable, let alone proficient. By the time I'd finished my first session, I was slightly better.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Abolishing 2nd Class

All of a sudden I find I can no longer reply to comments on my blog. No idea why. No doubt it will clear up shortly.

I heard yesterday that the Labour Conference voted to abolish public schools and seize their assets. Sounds somewhat like the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Methinks that if governments, of whatever hue, focused on bringing state education up to the standard of public schools then there would be no driver to send your kid to public school. Of course they would still exist as places where children of the rich can network, but that will never stop.

As Harry Perkins, the fictitious PM in A Very British Coup said when asked about abolishing 1st class travel - "I don't want to abolish first class; I want to abolish 2nd class."

My class size at grammar school was 32 - at public (minor) school it was 15. There was no real difference between the learning experiences or the teachers, except that at public school I received more attention, and it worked for me. Rather than being expected to get 4 or 5 O Levels, I got all 10, and good grades too.

I heard a politician using the phrase 'flexible workforce' the other day. Flexible for whom? I'm of the opinion that flexible, for most employers (but not all), means disposable. Workers cannot easily switch from one discipline to another without a lot of training and training is expensive.

I heard this amusing discussion between a caller and James O'Brien yesterday. Well worth a listen to see what has happened to us as a nation.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Shepherd Chic for Pelé

Regarding the shepherd's hut we stayed in Friday and Saturday nights - I forgot to mention that I never knew shepherds lived is such luxury. High Speed Wi-Fi, hot and cold running water, a shower and WC, a huge double bed with Marks and Spencer bedding and a nicely furnished kitchen area. They're obviously not as impoverished as we're led to believe.

I've done a bit of research into these shepherd's huts and they are magnificent abodes while lambing.

On the basis of these, I want to be a shepherd and I no longer feel sorry for Gabriel Oak in Far From the Madding Crowd...

Looking forward to the arrival of my unicyle today.

Here's a conundrum. I was watching the closing credits of the film Escape to Victory yesterday afternoon and spotted Pelé as being credited with the football plays, as well as playing a part in the film, Now why does Pelé have an accent on the last e? The two 'e's are pronounced identically and thus the accent is superfluous. Perhaps a native Portuguese speaker can enlighten me?

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Cider With Rosie

Overheard in the pub in Much Marcle, Herefordshire:

Chairman: "Do you have cider?"

Anyone who has ever visited Much Marcle will understand the faux pas.

The cider festival was great!

There were two main BBQs - one for the carnivores and another for the veggies. I made the cardinal mistake of placing our beefburgers on the veggie BBQ and got some very nasty looks from one woman, who proceeded to decontaminate said BBQ. However, my conscience was cleared when a diner who was BBQing some haloumi had a moth land on his burnt offering (it had miraculously not gone up in a puff of smoke) - he pinched it between his fingers, threw it on the floor and stamped on it, which immediately blew his Green credentials.

Got talking to an elderly chap in his 90s who was a devoted tractor buff and was dressed in all manner of tractor memorabilia garb. He'd driven 70 miles to come to the event - one hopes not in a tractor. He rather unwisely steered the conversation toward Brexit, the upshot of which was that he couldn't care less about what happened after Brexit, providing there was a coherent tractor policy...

Saturday, 21 September 2019

One Wheel on My Wagon

My latest eBay purchase. Delivery is Monday.

Looking at YouTube videos, you can apparently become reasonably proficient within a couple of hours. We'll see...

We're staying in an AirBnB shepherd's hut in Much Marcle in Herefordshire and gearing up for a local cider festival this evening at a friend's parents' far, nearby.

Very bijou, but very comfortable.

Depending on the quality of the cider and the state of my head, there may not be a blog post tomorrow.

Friday, 20 September 2019


I read a news story about a bloke who bought what was called a Caraboat for £600 and rebuilt it. Apparently only 50 were build in the late 60s due to a mishap at the marketing launch. I presume it sank.

There is an updated version on the market now.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Options and Choices

I heard an interesting take on Brexit the radio yesterday. A chap phoned into an LBC radio show and said he'd voted Leave because the EU was negotiating TTIP at the time, and the last thing he wanted was for the NHS to become a bargaining chip with the Americans. However, once TTIP had been cancelled by the EU, he switched to Remain, precisely because of the danger of post-Brexit Tories, under the influence of Tory MPs with links to American health providers, using the NHS as a bargaining chip for an FTA. That's an angle I hadn't considered.

Corbyn seems to have stolen a march on both the Tories and the LibDems with his proposal - to negotiate a new deal that safeguards jobs and then put that to a referendum alongside Remain. The other parties risk pissing off a lot of people a lot, whereas Corbyn will piss everyone off a little, which may be the best way of negotiating the current impasse. I could certainly vote for that - in fact I'd be more comfortable voting for that than a complete shredding of Article 50, no matter how much of a Remainer and LibDem I am. It seems a more democratic alternative.

One benefit of this approach is that Corbyn would be so consumed negotiating a new deal and arranging a 2nd referendum that he wouldn't really have time to do too much damage to the country before yet another election was upon him..

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

The Judiciary

So Boris has warned the Judiciary not to get involved in politics. In the UK the system is that Parliament makes the laws and the Judiciary interprets them when they're not clear. Parliament then amends the laws to make them clearer - not that they necessarily become any clearer.

How many times have we heard news stories about government being taken to court and found to be implementing some policy illegally? The instances are legion - and never a murmur. However, this time the stakes are very high, as Boris' billionaire backers have much to lose in their strategy to make billions from selling Britain short and buying up cheap companies post-Brexit. The harder the Brexit, the more to be made by disaster capitalists.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019


So the LibDems will be entering into any General Election campaign on a ticket of revoking Article 50.

The Remainer in me welcomes this, as it will attract votes for a cause I'm in favour of, yet the democrat in me believes it's wrong to conflate Brexit with a General Election, as a whole raft of policies will be ignored by many. The LibDems could feasibly sneak the reintroduction of child labour into the manifesto, but a lot of people wouldn't even bother to read it, focusing solely on the Brexit argument instead.

The same would go for any party standing on a ticket of Hard Brexit - it shouldn't cloud the issue of governing the country in a professional manner, not that Hard Brexit has one iota to do with professional governance and everything to do with disaster capitalism.

Brexit should be resolved, one way or the other, before any General Election, or the governance of the country will suffer.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Wicker Man

Overheard in the car when passing the Wicker Man on the M5:

Hay: "The Wicker Man was burned by vandals a some years ago."

Chairman: "Whoever would want to burn a wicker man? Second thoughts, don't answer that."

He's actually called The Willow Man.

Well, yesterday's planned day of kayaking at Bossington didn't go quite as planned. A certain person, who will remain nameless, assured me she'd (that's a give-away) looked up the times of high water and we should put in at 14:00. 14:00 was in fact low tide, which would have necessitated a walk over mudflats. My fault for not checking, obviously. Not only that, but the nearest access was half a mile from the beach. 

Play was abandoned and instead we visited Porlock Weir (not as bad, but it would have meant clambering over large pebbles for a couple of hundred yards) and Blue Anchor Bay (mudflats again).

Not sure if I've given my readers this bit of advice before, but if you ever buy a paddleboard, don't be persuaded to buy one of those expensive electric pumps for a couple of hundred quid. I found an adaptor for an ordinary, electric tyre pump that cost me no more than £12, which fits SUPs perfectly.

It transpires that my brother-in-law, Perry, used to windsurf in his younger days and has assured me he'll give me some lessons before too long. Apparently he was very good at it, but he tells me he'll be very rusty now. Not as rusty though as someone who has never done it before.

Sunday, 15 September 2019


Well, No.2 Son is now ensconced in his digs in Winchester and is set for a week of Fresher Weej parties before the serious work starts, if it starts at all...

Collected the windsurfer from Poole and headed to Sandbanks to give it its first sea trials. There were so many bits that it was impossible to fully build it (plus there wasn't a breath of wind) and we settled for trying to use it as a paddleboard, but it proved impossible to stand upright on it without it tipping over. Whether this is to do with the stance for paddleboarding being incompatible with a windsurfing board (which I suspect) is moot - on a windsurfer one stands on the centreline, whereas on a paddleboard one stands planted athwartships.

We settled instead for using it like a kayak, for which it is not well suited in such shallow water due to the length of the leeboard, the necessary absence of which rendered it very directionally unstable. At keast it does take my entire weight without sinking,

The whole contraption needs laying on the lawn, various bits carefully renovating and being put together methodically to see what needs replacing, which doesn't seem to be much. That will have to wait, however, as we're off kayaking somewhere today - not sure where yet.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

A New Chapter

Big day for No.2 Son - off to Winchester University to start his 3 year stint doing History and Politics. Pertinent subjects in these days of political chaos.

What the hell is a lar? Just looked it up and it's 'Wisdom and Knowledge', from Old English.

I should be starting to suffer empty nest syndrome, but I'm not. What I am is excited for him to be starting a new chapter in his life - partying furiously...

Once he's ensconced, we swing by Poole to collect the windsurfer I bought and then to Sandbanks for an afternoon of falling off it. Photos to follow tomorrow.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Lidl Discovery

A work colleague alerted me to a little discovery at Lidl.

Three delicious craft beers at Lidl for only 99p a bottle. Not sure if it's an introductory offer, but get some while stocks last. Wonderfully hoppy. I'm not really a beer drinker, but I liked these and so did her indoors (who is more into beer than me).

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Foreign Power

Have you noticed how the Hard Brexit Elite have introduced a new term into the thwir narrative? The EU is now a 'foreign power'. They mean people just like me. It's the latest tactic in the use of emotive language to sway opinion - the us and them narrative. Collusion is another word in their cold war lexicon. I'm mostly resistant to psychological manipulation, but many aren't, else the advertising world wouldn't be awash with money.

Johnson wants to make Brexit a General Election issue, but it isn't. A GE is not the way to get Brexit through, as it would be used to get all manner of other policies through on the back of a single issue. It would cause political chaos as people would not be voting on a raft of polities, but a single issue. Knowing how the country is split on Brexit, he would be almost guaranteed being returned to power on this single policy - and he knows it. Policies on education, policing, environment, tax, etc., would play no part in the voter's decision making process, which is fundamentally wrong. It would be a Trojan Horse election. Brexit has to be a separate issue and resolved before any GE.

I also hear Brexiteers constantly referring to the EU as protectionist, yet I heard Farage on the radio this week saying he believes in nation states that put their own people first (a bit like America First). If that statement is not advocating protectionism, then I don't know what is. The fact is that the EU is the largest free trade area in the world, bar none, with absolutely zero tariffs. That situation is enabled by levelling the competitive playing field through regulatory alignment. Simple - if you can't get  your head around that then you must be a bit thick and believe the Chinese have wages similar to ours and that Pakistani sweat-shops are the epitome of a well regulated environment.

I saw a piece of propaganda from Brexit Central yesterday claiming that the UK dropping all tariffs would result in a 20% decrease in shop prices. True, but it would also lead to massive job losses as our shop shelves are flooded with cheap imports - they left that little bit of information out. For the Brexit Elite Greed is Good.

Boris is apparently (as of yesterday and until his appeal is heard), guilty of having lied to the Queen. There again, is there a woman he hasn't lied to? The danger with the British form of democracy is that if a politician, and especially a PM, is allowed to get away with something deeply disturbing, it turns (without lack of a formal constitution) into a precedent, thereby giving licence to any future PM to do exactly the same deeply disturbing thing legally.

As for getting behind Boris, my conscience simply wouldn't allow me to get behind a politician for whom lying is first, second, third and fourth nature.

Or is it a double bluff and Johnson is doing a full Lord North by showing such gross incompetence that he's purposely trying to head off any form of Brexit at all?

Wednesday, 11 September 2019


How is it possible for two readouts of the same watch diverge by 5 seconds in 2 days?

I noticed a couple of days ago that the analogue and digital readouts on the kids' watch I have been sporting since buying two by mistake (one for one of my grandchildren) were reading a minute difference. I synchronised them on Saturday, but by Monday there was a 5 second difference.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

My Booky Wook

I'm developing an idea for a book. Books on parenting and step parenting abound, but they're all from the perspective of the adult in the relationship, rather than the child. It's about time one was written from the perspective of the entity that is actually in control of the relationship - the child. The title of my book would be Step-Childing - How to Handle Your Step Parent. 

The main thesis of my book is the fact that a step-child cannot treat a step-parent like a biological parent and expect the same result, as the dynamic and psychology is totally different. The real parent is related to the child by blood and genetics, which gives the child special privileges in that transgressions are often ignored and forgiven - parental blindness, for want of an expression. The step-parent has no such genetic link to the step-child, effectively sees it as a cuckoo in the nest and is not so forgiving, especially if the step-parent doesn't have any children in the first place.

The upshot is, that to avoid strife, the step-child cannot afford to treat the step-parent with the same disregard, disdain and cavalier manner with which it treats the biological parent and expect the same outcome. 

There are two main weapons in the armoury of the step-child, i) spontaneous and gratuitous acts of compliance and. ii) expressions of contrition and apology. Both of these disarm the step-parent and I've seen them work, especially the latter. Admission of fault is the last thing an adult expects in a child and completely disarms the adult, even if the child doesn't mean it and goes on to repeat offend, as it invariably does. It throws the adult off-balance.

The same judo throws also work with a biological parent, but the imperative isn't as necessary because of the tendency of the biological parent to forgive just about anything, even murder, without the child having to resort to the tactics of psychological warfare.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Lesson Learned

Lost my new varifocal spectacles recently in a road accident - or, rather, a memory lapse. They are rimless and wiry, meaning it's impossible to fold them flat and tuck one arm into my T shirt top and have them dangling there. 

Given I intended to wear my prescription sunglasses, which are identical to my everyday specs, except in colour, I had to put my everyday specs into a case. While loading the car in preparation for a day out in South Wales the other weekend, I inadvertently left the case on the roof of the car. 

It was only after about 5 minutes of driving that I hearth a thump on the roof, but thought it was perhaps a pine cone falling on the car roof. I suddenly panicked and looked for my specs case, realising in a split second that the noise was my specs case tumbling off the roof and on to the busy road. 

We found the case, along with half of my specs. They'd been run over several times.

Given I rarely wear the prescription sunglasses, I thought about having them reglazed in clear glass as a cost saving measure, but there's nothing gained. I eventually ordered a new pair with a free pair thrown in.

That little exercise cost me £245 and was a lesson learned - check the car roof when going on a journey.

Sunday, 8 September 2019


Overheard last night:

Chairman: "Shall I give you your wedding anniversary present today instead of Monday? It would provide certainty."

Hay: "What earthly use would I have for an Iron Man crash helmet?"

It really amuses me to hear the Brexit supporting MPs moaning about the uncertainty affecting Britain negatively and maintaining we should leave immediately to provide certainty.

It's like saying the uncertainty about your date of death justifies a one-way trip to Dignitas tomorrow.

They also say businesses should be planning - but how does one plan for chaos? It'll be real, seat-of-the-pants, rollercoaster reactivity when customers want to know prices in advance of purchase and you have no idea where sterling is going, except down, especially if you have imported components in your final product. How much do you add for customs clearance? What are the tariffs going to be? There's almost no information. Leaving provides certainty only about the decision, not the processes or costs involved in continuing business.

To provide absolute certainty, just ditch the whole, sorry mess, which is unravelling faster than a ball of wool in a cat's paws. No change is certainty, by definition.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Snake Face

I accidentally shaved by beard off this week. You might ask how one can do that, but I absentmindedly made a single pass over my beard with the wrong attachment on my beard trimmer - it was the very short attachment, rather than the medium one. Naturally, I had to continue shaving the rest off.

The result, however, was surprising - my chin has turned into a heat seeking device. like some species of snake, which have infrared sensors called pit organs, I could sense with my chin every item in the kitchen that was generating heat, and from quite a distance.

Thursday, 5 September 2019


I'm tempted.

Well, it is our 3rd wedding anniversary on the 9th and this could be my present to myself for the bike or the ride-on mower.

The Countryside

I really love living in the countryside at this time of year.

Just a littlefurther up the A46 from the above shot, a bunch of dry stone wallers were busy repairing a half mile long stretch of wall. That's going to cost a packet.

Yesterday I collected Trigger's Ride-On Lawnmower from the repair shop in Wick. This time the wheels required aligning with the judicial application of heat and some welding. Thank God I found someone who is into repairing old machinery - looks like it will last me another year. Total cost for the repairs was £70 - a bargain.

The Allen Scythe is being worked on this week at Frampton Garage in Frampton Cotterell - the owner, Paul, has an interest in two stroke machinery has committed to removing the recalcitrant flywheel and getting it to fire up, if he can.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

The Taxidermist's Art

I was idly browsing Facebook Marketplace yesterday and came across this interesting book for sale.

My interest being piqued, I had a look at the book's website and discovered these gems of the taxidermy apprentice.