Thursday, 31 October 2019


The sad thing is that there's no need for a General Election given the Brexit Bill is moving through Parliament as we speak and is likely to be approved, just not as quick as Boris would like. 

Boris is against scrutiny - that much is evident by his refusal to be questioned by the Liaison Committee. l think it likely that, despite him saying a hard Brexit is off the table, he wants a slim majority in order to push through a hard Brexit after a GE. It's what his millionaire and speculator backers desperately want and a GE is the only way left for him to achieve this. It's a desperate, last bid gamble. Why else delay the Bill's passage through Parliament? He blames Parliament for the delay and then goes and delays it himself by 6 weeks - rank hypocrisy! The man is not to be trusted. 

1. With a deal, any worker protection legislation would stay the same during the transition period, although Boris has moved that from the binding part of the agreement to the non-binding, which speaks volumes but, of greater impact on him and his backers, 

2. the EU Anti Tax Avoidance Directive legislation, most of which is already in place (but another few rules come into effect in January), would also continue for the duration of the transition period, but 

3. with a hard Brexit, any ATAD legislation would be binned immediately, much to the delight of his backers. 

The LibDems and all the smaller parties are going to benefit from this enormously and could easily become kingmakers at the expense of disaffected Tory and Labour supporters who are fed up of the two main parties drifting to the extremes of the political continuum. The Tories have no friends outside of the Tory party - even Führage of the Brexit Party Ltd. has turned against Boris. However, Labour could work with virtually any other party, except the Brexit Party Ltd. and its unelected leader, who can't be removed because it has no members, only paying subscribers.

One polling pundit believes there could be as many as 100 non-Tory / non-Labour MPs after this election - a very high percentage and would make Parliament look more like the legislatures of continental countries, possibly hastening proportional representation. 

The irony is that the Tories are relying on climate change to reduce the Labour turnout... 

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Cadw Attire

Well, my new hoodie has arrived!

Can't say it's warm, but there again, chainmail never was...

At least I now have the correct attire for visiting Welsh castles with our Cadw membership...

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Sleepy Rose

From a previous post, you'll have gleaned that we're watching the new TV adaptation of The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco.

Of late, I've been having trouble keeping awake in the evenings - probably to do with getting up at 04:40 to go and do my unicycling practice. It has been exacerbated since the weekend with the clock change (I had to go to bed at 8pm on Sunday evening).

On Monday evening it was time to watch episode 3 on catch-up, but given I'd fallen asleep for a bit of episode 2, I suggested to Hay that we watch episodes 1 and 2, back to back, and then watch episode 3, just in case I'd missed anything.

We duly proceeded to watch 1 and 2, but I once more fell asleep around two thirds into episode 1 and only woke up to the end credits of episode 2. Hay suggested we went to bed.

Last night Hay thought we'd watch episode 3 and I suggested we watch all three episodes back to back. You can imagine what the response was. We launched straight into episode 3. 

After about 20 minutes I must have inadvertently nodded off, as I woke to the end credits...

Monday, 28 October 2019


I'd planned to test fly the surfing kite on the common yesterday. It's strange, but the elements conspire against me every weekend - not a breath of wind all day.

At least I managed to understand the principles and check all the lines. The only problem is inflating the leading edge and getting it taut enough - the valves are just simple ones like on a child's rubber ring, rather than the fancy, non-return ones on the paddleboard. It is 10 years old though.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Uncertainty - Honest

I was listening to a phone-in radio show about Brexit, as one does, and a lot of callers were business people and farmers. They were virtually unanimous that Brexit was bad for them, but the uncertainty is particularly bad from a psychological perspective.

Now, the narrative from Boris is that the uncertainty will disappear once, and if, his Brexit Bill is passed by Parliament, but that is only the first hurdle and there will be years and years of uncertainty while an FTA with the EU is negotiated (if Boris doesn't string it out and become so obstreperous that we default to No Deal after the transition period, much to the delight of his Vulture Capitalist backers) and then all the 70 odd FTAs we have with the 'rest of the world', but lose through Brexit, have to be renegotiated from a position of fundamental weakness - the major and very obvious one being the fact we're a much smaller market than the EU.

All uncertainty would disappear in an instant if Article 50 were simply revoked. The answer is staring us in the face, but no; Boris is determined to ruin the country for the benefit of his mates because Leave had the narrowest of wins in an advisory referendum that was an object lesson in how not to run a referendum - Remain has only one option, but Leave has a myriad, being just one of the multiple problems.

Politics in the UK is broken, but the solution is also simple and the very large elephant in the room. It doesn't require proportional representation or changes in parliamentary procedure or anything complex - all it requires is for MPs to be honest. It's rather ironic that Boris, who is reluctant to submit himself to scrutiny before parliamentary committees, not to mention being a proven serial liar, is calling on Corbyn to man-up. Boris is an utter charlatan, a disgrace and the perfect exemplar of what's wrong with British politics.

I'd add Führage, the unelected leader of his Brexit Party Ltd. to that, but he doesn't have any MPs. He is, nevertheless, a disgrace to European politics.

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Perfect Crackling

I may have accidentally stumbled on the perfect method of cooking crackling.

The microwave at work gave up the ghost this week (as did the washing machine), so I went down to the Indesit factory outlet shop in Yate and got one of those Hotpoint microwaves that combines a cooker into it. Brilliant little thing for only £99.

Hay hates it when I make pulled pork, especially when I make crackling, as the smell gets all over the house - open plan with two minstrel galleries does have its drawbacks (we normally put a moratorium on any cooking after 8pm for that reason). I therefore decided to make the crackling at work in the new microwave, using the oven setting. 

I started it off at 175 degrees (not realising I could turn the temperature up) where it languished for about an hour and a half while very slowly starting to crackle, if somewhat half-heartedly and only at one end. Once I read the manual (doh!) and discovered I could increase the temp, I whacked it up to 200 and, within about 4 minutes, it had puffed up beautifully as if I'd deep-fried it.

Perfect. Next experiment is to repeat the experiment at home in the Redfyre. The problem at home, though, is that the oven tends to retain moisture, whereas the microwave dispels it immediately. The Redfyre (AGA lookalike) should have a stovepipe chimney, but we never fitted it - guess we should have to help draw the moisture into the cooker hood..

Friday, 25 October 2019

Sun Tzu

There's a story from Art of War by Sun Tzu, the famous, Chinese general and strategist of the Warring States Period, where a man had to race his three horses against the King's three horses in three separate races, 2 horses at a time. His horses weren't quite as good as the King's, but not that far behind.

Sun Tzu advised the man to race his best horse against the King's second best horse, his second best horse against the King's worst and his worst horse against the King's best horse. That way he stood a good chance of winning two races and losing only one.

It strikes me that the Remain camp has to remove Johnson's best horse, which can only be done by voting the current deal off the table. The objective then is to force a second referendum comprising No Deal vs Remain. Johnson's deal has the advantage of persuading more people to vote for it than for No Deal, if purely through attrition; however, if the deal is removed, then Remain is more attractive to the moderates who are then split from the Tories. It has the added advantage of taking the Ultras away from the Tories too and back into Führage's arms, once more making him relevant and weakening Johnson. It would probably even find favour with Führage.

No Deal was never a serious threat to the EU, as events have proven, but it is a threat to Parliament, and that's how it was used.

Thursday, 24 October 2019


I think, from experience of arguing / debating with Brexiteers, the mistake most of them make is trying to justify what is essentially a gut feel with a rational, logical reason, as this results in using any argument that bolsters that gut feel, regardless of whether it's based in fact or not. They will tenaciously cling to these beliefs, even if soundly and roundly debunked, as virtually all of them have been. The; "We've had enough of experts," mantra is a result of this.

This is futile when the desire to leave has very little to do with logic, reason or calculations. It's a visceral decision that's tied up with a feeling of identity, or even lack of it. If they could just say; "It's just something I simply feel," then there's no argument.

However, when they turn to reasons, that's where they fall down. The Leave campaign was very successful at leveraging a visceral and emotive reaction - the Remain campaign failed because it used rationality, to which faith is generally immune. Try converting a Catholic, for example, and try watching a Catholic explain the Trinity in rational terms - they can't, as it's a matter of pure faith and they'll tie themselves into all manner of logical knots.

This is also why Boris, despite proven lie after proven lie, still enjoys enormous popularity - he's the preacher who merely has to repeat the mantra of; "Get Brexit done," to generate paroxysms of adulation. Despite the overwhelming evidence that Brexiteers are being taken for a ride, they are willing to martyr themselves for an irrational belief that defies definition.

The miracles of Jesus spread in exactly the same manner as the miracles of Boris (and the fake Lisbon Treaty memes, etc/), despite Boris' constant losses in Parliament and his very obvious disregard for truth and honesty - irrational belief born of an identity crisis in the face of an increasingly global world where nationality is an irrelevance/

The world's global problems can only be addressed through co-operation and a global outlook, not though a parochial, nationalist agenda based on competition. Globalism is here to stay.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019


Practice over the last 2 weeks hasn't been as religious as it could have been, what with extended weekends away in Oxwich Bay and West Kirby.

I must get some longer sessions in - perhaps on Sunday. However, the rail grabbing is less pronounced and more for reassurance than balance, in most cases...

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Your Parcel Has Been Delivered

Kite and board arrived yesterday; just the harness to come, which is scheduled for delivery on Friday.

If nothing else, I now have a nice pair of bathroom slippers, if somewhat clumpy...

Does anyone know how to get into an existing Google Analytics account? All I seem to be able to do is set up a new one, and the help function is as useful as two bathroom slippers nailed to a board.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Wind, and More Wind

Windsurfer boom slippage diagnosed and solved.

See the white marks where something was obviously stuck into the clamp of the boom? Well, it must have been blown off while travelling along the motorway. Just need something rubbery to insert into the clamp to take up the slack and ensure a proper grip.

I was fully expecting my next project bits to have been delivered over the weekend, but they're still in transit.

Yes - a kite-surfing assemblage I'll first have to practice controlling the kite in a field nearby before I go anywhere near the water with it. Can't wait, nor can Hay, although she'll require a smaller harness.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Slippage on the Up-Haul

Yet another fail on the windsurfing front. Plenty of wind yesterday, and I put-in at the slipway at the AirBnB, but the bloody boom kept slipping down the mast whenever I tried to up-haul. 

It obviously needs a sliver of something inside the boom clasp to make it grip tighter, but I didn't have the will or the equipment to try and fix it there and then. The ground in the River Dee slopes only very gently due to the heavy silting, meaning the tide goes out a long, long distance and the water is not that deep - anywhere. Perfect for windsurfing, but you're very much hostage to the tide times.(That's the North Wales coast in the background).

Here's an ethereal, black and white shot of West Kirby Marina with Hilbre Island in the background on the left. You can walk to it at low tide.

We duly attended my sister-in-law's 70th birthday party and were surprised to discover the lead singer of the band was Alex Riley, the bloke who does the occasional report for The One Show,

And he and his band were rather good and had the perfect set for a party.

Back home today - my latest, mad-cap project should have been delivered yesterday, of which, more tomorrow...

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Fruity Cannon

Found a brilliant little AirBnB in West Kirby that has its own, private slipway into the River Dee - apparently the only house along this stretch of coast to have one. There's a small, sandy strip of beach a few hundred yards along the coast and we're under half a mile from the Marine Lake.

We also have our own cannon which is from one of Nelson's ships.

The intention is to get a bit of falling off the windsurfer again but. similar to last week, there's not a breath of wind today...

Does anyone know what fruit this is? They are growing in abndance in a garden nearby. Bixby Vision maintains it's some form of marmalade fruit, but confirmation would be appreciated from those with a horticultural bent.

Friday, 18 October 2019

A Crowbar to Crack a Nut

Yesterday a friend and I removed a couple of settees from another mutual friend's flat as a favour, as he's recovering from an appendicitis. The main problem is that we only had a small van, meaning we had to dismantle the settees in order to get them in the van (they were destined for our bonfire pile anyway).

We duly went to Sherston, armed with a sledgehammer and a couple of crowbars. My friend, Mike, managed to demolish the sledgehammer on the 2nd settee, which was proving a tougher nut to crack than the first.

I then took to one of the settee arms with a crowbar - it slipped and gave me a massive crack on my head. Undeterred, I set to again. This time it slipped and sailed through the air, doing a somersault in the process and - yes, it cracked me on the nut again, but with a much heavier blow. It was agony.

Never going near crowbars again.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Mechanic's Apostrophe

I believe it's about time that the grocer's apostrophe was changed and called the mechanic's apostrophe. I regularly go past a local garage where just about every plural has an apostrophe - MoT's, clutch's, tyre's - you name it.

I'm getting to the stage in the unicycling where, on a good morning, I can do about 8 or 9 full revolutions of the pedals before falling off. I'm certainly improving and perhaps need something like a good hour of solid practice.The only time I can achieve that in the Tesco car park is on a Sunday morning (when the shops don't open till 10am), but we're away again this coming Sunday (I'll be practicing falling off the windsurfer again) and so it will have to wait till later in the month.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

The SimPol Solution

Brexiteers don't actually know why they want to leave the EU - that's manifestly obvious when you ask them for the benefits of leaving, which are either contortions of logic or mere repetitions of debunked Leave.EU misinformation and propaganda.

It's also obvious that the desire to leave is visceral and had nothing whatsoever to do with logic. For many it's a reaction to a feeling of being disenfranchised and left out of the benefits of 'globalisation'. There has been little or no benefit to them and, despite most of their problems being directly attributable to domestic policy, they can't blame Labour, as they've not been in power for over 10 years, and they can't blame the Tory Party, as they're mainly Tory voters themselves. Instead they are directed toward scapegoating the EU by cynical manipulators representing the worst aspects of that very globalisation they hate - free market neoliberalism dressed up as nationalism.

Nationalism is no answer and the suggestions of the Ultra Brexiteers like Jacob Reed-Mogg - such as dropping all tariffs - represent globalism on steroids, from which none but a few will benefit, and certainly not those at the bottom of the pile. While they are diverting their ire at the EU, they are incapable of seeing who the real culprits are - those very globalists who are pushing and funding the Brexit campaign.

The concept of the sovereign, national state is a myth in this milieu - globalism is here to stay, whether we like it or not. It's a paradigm shift, a bit like the move from the hunter gatherer system to farming or the Industrial Revolution, afforded by the revolution in communications. Nation states are not the autonomous entities we believe them to be. They are subject to The Market and there's hardly a policy decision that's made which is not in response to The Market, rather than voter pressure.

Global competition between nation states drives the desire to (and policy of) cutting taxes for large corporations, such as Amazon and Google, who can shift their money from one location to another as easy as we can change our socks. Those who suffer from this movement of global capital are the ordinary taxpayers, who have to shoulder the shortfall or lose jobs when a global corporation ups sticks and moves to a more tax-advantageous jurisdiction.

It's a necessity, despite us moaning at politicians and railing at these large multinationals or bankers. They are operating to their internal rules and drivers, which set country against country and multinational against multinational in a destructive cycle from which none can escape. They can't afford to be ethical or green, as this costs money which makes them uncompetitive in a global market, and if they're not competitive and growing then they become ripe for takeovers or go bankrupt.

The global and unhindered movement of capital can only work for the worker if the worker is also free to move globally to follow the money. Static workforces - which are the majority - suffer. Brexit represent a 100% static workforce as the Freedom of Movement around Europe will be curtailed.

Almost all solutions to the great problems of our age, whether climate change, hunger, poverty, wage inequality, cannot be solved so long as we remain in competition on a national basis. What is required is global or regional regulatory alignment (currently a pertinent phrase with regard to the EU) and all countries to agree on a common policy - rather like international football is facilitated by all countries agreeing to apply a common set of rules by which all abide.

The phrase used to describe this new method of government is SimPol, or Simultaneous Policy, where all countries agree to a set of common objectives, brooking no dissent, and agree to implement them simultaneously so as not to disadvantage a single country. The Market is powerless against this strategy as there is no hiding place.

The above is not my idea, but one described in a book I'm currently reading - The SimPol Solution. I'm only half way through and it makes a great deal of sense thus far.

In a way, the EU is the progenitor of such a system of government; money can freely move between countries of the EU but, crucially, so can the workers; it is looking at the manner in which large multinationals are taxed and, crucially for the neoliberals, it's looking at the use of tax havens. As I said above, Brexit, and especially a hard Brexit, is neoliberal globalism on steroids.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

A Fishy Tale

How many restaurants or pubs have you been to where whitebait is a staple of the starter menu? They're ubiquitous and Hay and I have enjoyed them many times in the past without a thought.

I used to think they were a specific fish species, but no - whitebait is a generic term for immature fish of many different species, such as mackerel, herring, sea bass, sardines, etc. and, most importantly, because they're immature and haven't been able to reproduce, they're not sustainable. At least that's the opinion of the Marine Conservation Society.

Hay and I have decided we will not longer eat whitebait. Given all the furore over the EU and fishing, I'm surprised this hasn't been part of a national campaign, but Brexit and fishing are uneasy bedfellows when the light of truth is shone on the UK's past record of over-fishing.

Monday, 14 October 2019

The Full Welsh Tesla

Had some laverbread for breakfast at the hotel in Oxwich Bay yesterday. Why the hell they call it bread is beyond me - it's a green mush, a bit like overcooked spinach, but delicious. Never had it before in my life; however, I could become addicted and it's available in most large supermarkets. The Full Welsh Breakfast includes laverbread and cockles alongside the usual Full English, although I think I prefer the Welsh bit of the Full Welsh.

Spotted this in the Oxwich beach car park:

A Tesla charging station. There were actually three and they were for customers of the Beach Restaurant.

Sunday, 13 October 2019


Well, the best laid plans.... There wasn't a breath of wind at Oxwich Bay yesterday, but I nevertheless decided to put the windsurfer in the water and try a bit of uphauling, knowing full well I'd end up accomplishing nothing more than falling off a few times due to there being nothing in the way of wind to counter the righting lever I was applying to the mast and sail.

Naturally, Hay was on hand to record the hilarity.

This was the funniest moment; however, for some unknown reason, Hay insists of recording video in portrait mode, despite my constant exhortations to do it in landscape.

Sadly, there was nowhere suitable in the vicinity to continue the unicycle practice, although I did have a brief session along a car park barrier, but it was far too short (yes, I brought the unicycle with me).

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Pascal's Wager on Protect & Survive

Overheard at dinner while discussing crockery:

Hayley's dad: "You can't go wrong with white."

Chairman: "That's a bit racist, isn't it?"

We're staying at Oxwich Bay for a couple of nights and brought Hay's dad and his girlfriend, Barbara. and I intend to get some windsurfing in today, if I can get the car near to the sea. 

Given I was taking the windsurfer, we needed two cars - one for Hay, Hay's dad, his girlfriend and all the normal luggage, and the support vehicle with me and the windsurfing gear. We were travelling in convoy, but Hay was in the car with the sandwiches. Once we had left the M4 near Swansea, Hay very kindly exited her car at a set of traffic lights while on red and rushed over to my car to deliver an egg mayonnaise sandwich. This was repeated at two successive sets of traffic lights and proved a most efficacious way of staving off my hunger pangs.

On this issue of Extinction Rebellion, some climate science deniers are using the tactic of saying that kids are being needlessly frightened by all the hoo-haa, thus attempting to deflect the argument away from the object. However, does anyone remember the Protect and Survive public service announcements in the 70s and 80s about impending nuclear attack? I guess that didn't frighten any kids.

When adults are attacked by kids for not behaving like adults over climate change, they have one of two options; one is ti simply grow up and the other is to defend themselves by attacking people like Greta Thunberg with ad hominems/

Another consideration for the denialists - Pascal's Wager. In the context of belief in God, Pascal's Wager has one serious flaw, in that an omniscient God would know that one's alleged belief in Him was as the result of hedging one's bets and not blind faith, the latter being the requirement for salvation. In the case of anthropogenic climate change, Pascal's Wager is an entirely valid argument for climate change action - the consequences of doing nothing are far worse than the consequences of doing something, should the threat of climate change be real, whereas if climate change is not real, it just makes for a less polluted world, which in itself is not a bad aim.

Denialists keep saying that the protesters should be protesting in Beijing, but Beijing is not the political space of the British protesters, and it's governments that are the real target. The British protesters are targeting the British government - within their own political space.

Another UK argument is that the UK has already set the most ambitious targets for carbon neutrality, but it hasn't - the Nordics are far ahead, as they are in most things.

Finally, denialists maintain that people will be put off doing anything after having been inconvenienced by a protest. However, no-one with more than two functioning brain cells will be less convinced of the science behind climate change just because they were inconvenienced by a protest.

Friday, 11 October 2019

3.5% of Superman Vs Pollution

I knew I should have put a bit more thought into getting a wetsuit.

I spotted this fetching number on eBay yesterday and wish I'd bought it.

Went to Nottingham yesterday to collect a car. These couple of photos I took are a sign of the times:

It is a the Ratcliffe-on-Sour coal-fired power station. There was a massive spoil heap surrounding it - looked hideous. According to Wikipedia, the plant emits 8–10 million tonnes of CO 2 annually, making it the 18th highest CO 2-emitting power station in Europe.

Talking of pollution - with all cigarette packets now sporting images of ulcerated legs, missing teeth and what have you, it's impossible to see what the brand is. I was wondering whether smokers these days simply ask for a pack of ovarian cancer or peripheral vascular disease.

Again on the subject of pollution and climate change, Erica Chenoweth did a study of mass movements of the past that actually changed government policy and discovered that, for any movement to achieve an effect, it requires at least 3.5% of the population to participate - it's called the 3.5% Rule. For a population the size of the UK, that's 2.3 million. I wonder if XR can get 2.3 million people on the streets. I do hope so.

A right-wing conspiracy theorist friend of mine has discovered a new conspiracy theory about XR; allegedly they are connected to all manner of terrorist groups. This bombshell was delivered by Richard Walton, ex Head of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command and now a private consultant. The fly in the ointment is that this report came from the 'Think-Tank' (aka advocacy group) Policy Exchange, which does tend to have some pretty right-wing views and is one of the 3 least transparent British Think-Tanks when it comes to funding. Walton and Policy Exchange have refused to divulge who paid for the report, but you can probably guess the usual suspects.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Sartorial Elegance

I've ordered a couple of items of clothing. Firstly, I usually sport a silly Christmas jumper over the festive season, so I chose this Game of Thrones themed number. It should say Winter's Coming, but never mind.

Secondly, I ordered this fetching hoodie for when Hay and I visit British Heritage and Cadw castles.

Both have yet to arrive.

My new wetsuit for windsurfing arrived this week, also a wetsuit balaclava, for want of a better description. The wetsuit was very snug, but I managed to get it on and off without assistance. The balaclava was medium, but almost impossible to get on - my face looked like that of a squashed monkey and I couldn't talk. A large version arrived in the post yesterday.

Modelling is obviously not my forte and you can see why i didn't choose it as a career.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Squaring the Circle

Yesterday I was determined to get an hour of unicycle practice in, but the bloody alarm didn't go off. Got an extra 10 minutes in this morning though.

So, Brexiteers all told us that the German car industry and other, politically powerful European industries would force Merkel's hand and she'd cave in to our outrageous demands. On the basis if what they preciously said, Brexiteers can therefore no longer maintain the revisionist fiction that they actually voted for a no-deal.

Having your cake and eating it was just impossible, as Remainers have said since Day 1. The Brexit we were promised by Vote Leave was undeliverable and the Brexit we're getting is the one Brexiteers said would never happen. How do you square that circle? We were promised a state of nirvana outside of the EU, deal or no deal, and now the government is acting like it's on a war footing. £15bn in extra red tape alone, according to a UK government document, and business confidence continues to plummet. Of course, it will be blamed on something else.

Boris Johnson went to the EU with a plan that he knew all along would not be accepted, convinced he could then blame the EU and win a general election, using his army of flying monkeys to support him in gaining a mandate for a further five years.

He has successfully neutered the Brexit party, but at huge cost to the country. Personal ambition has come before Party and Party has come before country. History will vilify him for it. Unless the EU grants an extension and someone else takes over as caretaker PM, we're headed for the international rubbish dump - but, hooray, the Conservative Party has been saved and a serial liar and charlatan is leading the country. Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

The problem now is that half the nation is there cheering on a man who, with his thought-free slogans, said the opposite would happen in his referendum campaign - don't those who supportedhim feel let down? I certainly would. Those who voted Leave have been had, in a big way, but watch them bend themselves into all manner of logical contortions to avoid having to admit it.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Hunker in the Bunker

One hears Boris' government has prepared itself well for a No Deal Brexit.

The No Deal Bunker is well stocked...

Monday, 7 October 2019

Sport Abort

I did eventually manage to get the unicycling practice in yesterday - Hay's dad moved his car around 7am and, given Tesco did't open till 10, I had a good half hour session. It struck me that learning to unicycle is rather like learning to walk - it's not something you learn in a short space of time and the control needed is very similar. It seems easy once you have learned to do it and it comes naturally, despite it requiring very well tuned motor and balancing skills. Your feet are only a bit wider than a unicycle tyre, after all. It's like walking along a straight line, but as a 13 month old baby. I've found that a lot of the control comes from the hips.

We went to Cleveland Marine Lake yesterday, but the wind was too high for a novice windsurfer and dodging the swimmers could have proven lethal - for the swimmers - not that I think I would have progressed beyond falling off a few times.

We then went along the coast a bit to recce Weston-Super-Mare Marine Lake, but again there wasn't enough shelter. Further along the beach, expert windsurfers and kite surfers were out in force.

I asked one of them whether a novice should attempt to learn in the prevailing wind conditions, to which he responded no, and certainly not without a full, 5mm wetsuit. So, discretion being the better part of valour, we came home and I spent a few hours finding a suitable full wetsuit on Amazon to replace my shortie. Hopefully, it will arrive in the next couple of days.

However, Hay now has a yen to get a kite surfing kit, but they're not cheap, even 2nd hand.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Self-Assembly Sport

Today is the first day in 2 weeks I've not been to unicycle practice. Hay's dad blocked the drive with his car last night after coming back from a family meal out. I'm not best pleased with him.

Managed to get the windsurfer together yesterday. Working blind and not knowing the first thing about windsurfers, I had to look at a few YouTube videos to see what went where and needed to make a small jury rig to get the tail fin to stay in situ but, all together, I seem to have made a reasonable fist of it. 

I thought the harness was far too small, despite having belonged to the father of the lady who sold it to me. I could just about squeeze my bulk into it, but then I couldn't breathe. Later I had a brainwave - perhaps I should wear it like a pair of breeches instead of over my shoulders like a vest. I had been wearing it upside down. Fits perfectly. The chaffing on what I thought were the shoulder straps should have been a clue.

Not sure how quickly I'll be able to reassemble and disassemble it in anger at a venue, but I'll have the opportunity later today at Clevedon Marine Lake to have a good session of falling off it for a few hours. Hay's taking the paddleboard as her chosen weapon.

Over the next month it's Oxwich Bay in the Gower, where there are bound to be a good few windsurfers who can show me a few tips. Then West Kirby Marine Lake to combine a bit of sport with my sister-in-law's 70th birthday party. Might take the unicycle to that one and ride it around the dance floor in a suit of lights like Peter Gabriel...

Just realised it's Sober October. Ever been the only sober person at a party? It's miserable.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

With Apologies to The Buddha

To paraphrase a famous saying by Buddha:

Believe nothing, oh Facebook friends, just because you have been told it by a Brexiteer down the pub, or it is commonly believed by Daily Mail or Sun Readers and shared on Facebook, along with some made up garbage about the Lisbon Treaty and an EU Army, or because it is traditional within the Conservative Party, or because you yourselves have imagined it after a night on the piss and watching conspiracy theory YouTube videos from Brexit Central. Do not believe what Farage tells you merely out of respect for Farage - not that he deserves any as he's a compulsive liar (along with Boris). But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis by experts in their respective fields (because they have studied their subjects), you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings - that doctrine believe and cling to and take as your guide.

The only way in which Boris can both send the letter asking for an extension AND exit the EU on the 31st is if an EU country vetoes the extension. It's rather obvious when you think about it.

Keep your eyes on Hungary. That said, what's in it for Hungary to bow to Boris? What can the EU offer Voktor Orban not to veto? I would suggest that the EU's pockets are far deeper than Boris' and I doubt Orban wants funds to dry up by virtue of the UK leaving.

Don't flatter Boris by thinking this is his strategy; it belongs to someone far more politically savvy than him - his political technologist, Dominic Cummings. However, by stating he will both comply with the law preventing him from instigating a no deal Brexit and leave on the 31st, he's giving the game away through vanity, which tends to be the downfall of villains in films. Basically he's monologuing and revealing his plans.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Charity Shop Lottery Video

I think Hayley is going to play mind games with me - I asked her whether the shirt I liberated from a charity shop (for the 2nd time) would find its way back there. She said possibly, but that the next time she wouldn't tell me which charity shop.

Seems I've become a bit of a minor celebrity. A member of staff at a supplier showed my work colleague a Facebook video his mate had taken in Tesco car park of some old bugger practising riding a unicycle. He took it from his car at 5am last weekend. My work colleague recognised it as me. Got some nice comments on the Facebook post though.

I'm still doing my daily 20 minutes and the confidence is increasing with every session, but I still need the rail at the side to correct me every few pedals or so. I think I may crack it within another 2 or 3 weeks.

Daily Brexit Update:

I keep asking Brexiteers to give me a single, tangible benefit of Brexit, but I still haven't received one cogent answer in over 3 years. They keep banging on about totally inconsequential, touchy-feely stuff, demonstrating their dogmatic devotion to a process they can't articulate a single benefit for, but they nevertheless want it now. It's purely driven by emotion.

The latest one was; "We don't have to join an EU Army," backed up by a video of a Lt. General going on about how bad an idea it is. It may well be a bad idea, but that merely demonstrates they (and the Lt. General) don't understand the meaning of the word veto. In the EU we'd; a) have a choice of joining or not, and b) have a veto over the whole damned thing. Outside of the EU we don't get a choice - we can't participate, even it turns out to be a brilliant idea that works perfectly and the Lt. General is mistaken - they're not infallible. Where's the benefit in that?

If Trump manages to beat the odds on impeachment, which seems slim at present (his latest action calling for China to investigate the Bidens appears to be a concerted effort to use an insanity plea), I don't think NATO can rely on America for much longer. That leaves only Canada and Turkey as non-EU aligned, the rest being either EU, EEA or EFTA, with the majority being full-fat EU. It would certainly be dominated by the EU.

There must surely be some benefit of leaving the EU, else why do it? Help me, someone, or give your head a wobble and come to your senses.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Climate Sceptics & Boris

I'm seeing rather a lot of negative posts on Facebook as regards Greta Thunberg and kids in general. The thrust of the argument, if you can call it that, is that they enjoy all these gadgets that they're wedded to, all of which consume power. Because of that, and their stance on climate change, they should give up the gadgets and go to live in a cave. It's a pure Tu Quoque fallacy.

The people posting these memes seem ignorant of the fact that there's no need to eschew gadgets at all, or cars, if we move to renewable power generation. Simple really, when you stop to engage your brain - which they rarely do.

Another argument is that if you want to give up eating beef, you're a hypocrite because you wear leather shoes. Stopping to think, once again, shoes last several years or more - a steak lasts till tomorrow's dinner time. It will require far fewer cattle to keep me in shoe leather than steaks. Let's use the meat only of cattle that are used for the production of leather and use less plastic.

While on the subject of gadgets, why the hell is my TV called a Smart TV when I have to spend ages using a keyboard on the screen with a cursor to type the letters of a search in iPlayer, Netflix or any of the other myriad catch-up services? If the TV is so smart, why can't I just talk to it and tell it to look for a particular TV programme, to switch on or off, to change the brightness or to change the volume? That would be snart.

Daily Brexit Bulletin:

Boris' speech to conference was stirring and inspirational stuff, but was the usual electioneering promises devoid of feasibility and logic. How he's going to plug the National Debt, overcome the 6% hit on GDP that's forecast for Brexit and spend, spend, spend on infrastructure and tax cuts is a mystery. These buggers have been in power for 11 years, for God's sake, and have had plenty of time to correct their mismanagement of public services. Then to wax lyrical about the NHS when all and sundry know the Conservatives would like nothing more than to sell the whole thing off is pure theatre.

As for a 2nd referendum on what was meant to be the best deal ever (certainly better than being in the EU) and in the quickest time ever, he said it would destroy people's confidence in democracy. No - my confidence in British democracy was trashed by the bare-faced lies, Facebook shenanigans and electoral fraud perpetrated in the 1st referendum.

Boris touched, as all Conservatives do, on the myth of them clearing up the financial mess left by the last Labour government, neglecting to mention at all the global financial crisis of 2008/9 and the havoc it wreaked on almost all developed countries. But that's what you'd expect.

Conference speeches were liberally peppered with the word elite when referring to Remainers. Do they mean these chaps?

Perhaps they meant the intellectual elite who can see through myth, bluster, lies and false promises because they have a few brain cells.