Saturday, 30 November 2019

Country for Sale

Conservative Prime Ministers have led Britain since 2010. During that time, the Party’s signature policy has been a program of austerity that has protected the country’s rich at an immense human cost. Crime has risen, schools have suffered, poverty and wealth inequality are increasing. Patients arriving in the emergency rooms of the NHS are facing the longest waiting times since 2004. Average wages in Britain are yet to recover to their level before the financial crisis, which was NOT caused by Labour, but a global (clue) meltdown following fraud in the USA. And that’s before you even get to the soul-grinding shit show that is Brexit, which has been a Tory production from start to finish.

Boris Johnson and his cronies are now telling us they will pour money into public services - services they are ideologically opposed to in the pursuit of small government and tax breaks for the wealthy. As an aside, have you noticed how Johnson wants Corbyn judged by his past, but himself by his present.

On top of that we have revelations that, in pursuit of a US trade deal (in which we are at a natural strategic disadvantage), the British government has, until recently and for 2 years. been conducting high-level negotiations with the US (by none other than Liam Fox) which favours expending patents on medicines to increase profits, as well as lowering food standards, such as labelling - labelling essential to those with certain conditions, such as diabetes. US Congress is on record that if these conditions are not met, the UK can wave goodbye to a US/UK trade deal, a cornerstone of Boris' Brexit strategy of salvation. As another aside, has anyone noticed that if the UK were to drop all tariffs on EU imports post Brexit in the interests of keeping UK manufacturing that relies on EU products going then, under WTO rules, the USA will also have zero tariffs and not require a Free Trade Agreement, as if you apply zero tariffs to one nation, you must apply them to all.

Apologists for the Tory party are rubbishing the whistle-blown document, ignorant of the fact that it matches a heavily redacted document released to Global Justice under the Freedom of Information Act, but without the black pen marks.

Boris, a proven serial liar, is telling us this is not true. Can you imagine Boris saying; "Yes, I lied about the 40 hospitals and the 50000 nurses and the £350m a week and no border in the Irish Sea and October 31st and prorogation and Jennifer Arcuri and everything I’ve ever written or said, but you can definitely trust me that the NHS is not for sale." No, me neither.

That's Boris Piccaninny Watermelon Letterbox Cake Bumboys Vampires Haircut Wall-Spaffer Spunk-Burster Fuck-Business Fuck-The-Families Get-Off-My-Fucking-Laptop Girly-Swot Big-Girl’s-Blouse Chicken-Frit Hulk-Smash Noseringed-Crusties Death-Humbug Technology-Lessons Surrender-Bullshit French-Turds Get-Stuffed Johnson - as Stuart Lee called him last Sunday.

I'm reminded of a line from 1984; “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." How anyone with a moral compass or a shred of respect for truth can vote to have this charlatan as PM is a mystery.

Friday, 29 November 2019


Overheard while watching a TV programme about a bloke's journey through England's canal system (he was passing Pennington Flash at Leigh):

Chairman: "That's Pennington Flash he's going past. We used to go sailing there when I was a teenage cadet and studying for my 2nd Mate's certificate at Riversdale Tech in Liverpool. I have the distinction of sinking an unsinkable GP14 on that lake."

Hay: "I thought you said you did that at West Kirby Marine Lake?"

Chairman: "No, that incident was when I nearly totalled a RIB by going over a buoy at full throttle. We went to Leigh when the weather at West Kirby was inclement. I was involved in several maritime disasters as a cadet."

Hay: "I wouldn't be surprised to discover you were a cadet on the Titanic."

Thursday, 28 November 2019


Saw an advert yesterday for a new smartphone with an even better camera than all others. It made me wonder whether camera technology had already superseded the ability of the eye to notice any difference and whether the development technology is now simply about marketing. 

Apparently there's quite a way to go - the eye has 130m pixels. Here's some info on the comparison.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

The SimPol Solution II

I posted a while ago about a book I'm reading - The SimPol Solution. I'm nearing the end, but slowly, as I'm currently reading 4 books and slipping in and out of each in turn.

Here is a reproduction of the benefits of a new, co-operative social order where national governments enact legislation simultaneously to combat the problems of what the book calls destructive global capitalism - the seemingly inexorable pursuit of growth, subservience to The Market and the consequences of chasing the unrestrained free movement of global capital to the detriment of people and the planet:

Throughout this book we’ve been arguing that the current model of competition has reached its limit and only global cooperation can overcome the hold that destructive global competition (DGC) has over us. Only global cooperation can deliver a reasonably just and sustainable world. But if DGC’s vicious circle were to be broken, what would global cooperation actually look like and what would it be able to deliver? 

As we enter what Einstein might have called this book’s final five minutes, we consider two issues: first, the potential benefits of global cooperation and, second, the criteria that a transformative programme of worldcentric political action would have to meet in order to achieve it. Let us start with the potential benefits. 

Here we propose ten concrete benefits that a more responsive form of global governance could bring to our world. 

1. Global warming could be brought within sustainable limits and the global commons adequately protected for the future. 

2. Multinational corporations, the financial sector and the rich could be more fairly taxed and regulated, so reducing inequality and restoring national public finances to health.

3. The global financial system could be reformed to serve the needs of the real economy rather than the economy serving the financial system. 

4. Global governance, if designed cooperatively and appropriately, could reduce intercultural and international tensions, reduce inequality and migration and so substantially remove the causes of terrorism. 

5. Just as cooperation in Europe has today made war between EU states unthinkable, the same would become more likely on a global platform, reducing the risk of large-scale conflicts.

6. Consequently military spending could be dramatically reduced. releasing enormous sums for health, education and development in developing countries. This, in turn, could help curb population growth so gradually bringing it back into balance. 

7. Global governance could ensure that the full environmental impact of goods and services was properly reflected in their cost. Externalities, as economists call these impacts, would thus be internalized. 

8. Wealth could be redistributed more equitably across national borders on a debt-free basis, so supporting good governance and stronger economies in the most deprived nations.3 This would allow people to make a decent living in their home countries, dramatically reducing economic migration and associated intercultural tensions. 

9. Following a graduated approach that takes the particular needs of poorer countries into account, much higher environmental, social and governmental standards could be implemented worldwide. 

10. Global governance would enable the localization of economies and cultures everywhere. For example, global taxes could be raised in ways that make long-distance transportation much more expensive and thus favour local production and consumption. Since such a tax would be applied globally, no one’s competitiveness would suffer. 

These benefits are largely the benefits of scale. Strangely enough, they have in principle much in common with those that societies in the late Middle Ages started to enjoy once they stopped competing and fighting with one another and transformed their small states into larger nation states. Because together they were safer and stronger; together they were more prosperous; together they were greater than the sum of their parts. The same goes for humanity today as we find ourselves facing the transition to global cooperation.

I'm presently on the 'how' of implementation, and it's not as fraught as one would at first assume, although the main enemy is nationalism, which seems to be on the rise.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Sergey Magnitsky

I've been reading about Sergey Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who exposed state corruption and eventually died in a Russian prison. An interesting and very disturbing read about the state of Putin's Russia.

Well worth a few minutes of anyone's time.

Monday, 25 November 2019

Motoring History

Got myself a bit of Jaguar memorabilia to add to the Jaguar bonnet mascot - a wire wheel spinner in perfect condition. Brilliant for a paperweight.

Saw this opportunity at work for Hay:

A 2.0L, 2008 SAAB 93 Aero Convertible (the highest spec for the 93) with only 28k miles on the clock. A snip at £4k (to her only). Surprisingly, she's very keen to own it, so I guess it will be hers before the end of the week and the old Merc SLK will be gone.

OK, the parts are becoming hard to source, but it's a beauty. It's a pity SAAB isn't a motor manufacturer anymore. Might even be in line to become a classic.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Food Foibles

Staying away for a long weekend has reminded me of some of my food foibles:

  1. For some inexplicable reason, the word vegetarian in front of an item on a menu always makes it sound less appealing,
  2. I detest hot toast served with iced, rock hard patties of butter that are impossible to spread on said toast,
  3. Waiters and waitresses always assuming you don't take sugar when ordering tea or coffee,
  4. Sachets of sugar, which are never the equivalent of a heaped teaspoon of sugar, but a level teaspoon (I measured one yesterday out of curiosity),
We found a brilliant lake yesterday where Hay completed her 12th monthly open swim - Wimbleball Lake near Brompton Regis. It's a reservoir, created in the 70s by damming the River Haddeo. It has an activity centre and a sailing club where you can learn to paddleboard, kayak and windsurf but, inexplicably, is surrounded by signs telling you that swimming is forbidden. It's probably something to do with the culture of risk aversion.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

A Dog's Dinner

Spending a couple of days in Porlock, Somerset. We're staying at the Top Ship in the town itself, which is a lovely old pub. Last night, before going out to dinner, we were sat in the bar and there was a couple of old blokes at another table in a corner. Their conversation was straight out of a dialogue between Peter Cook and Dudley Moore as Derek and Clive. It was pure, comedic, stream of consciousness stuff.

Love the pub dog - friendly as hell, but a bit of a stinker and in need of a good bath.

We had dinner at the Porlock Weir Hotel, which used to be Miller's at Porlock and was sold to new owners in January following the death of Martin Miller, the previous owner and co-writer of Miller's Antiques Handbook. As Miller's the place was crammed full of antiques, but the new owners have cleared out the clutter, yet retained many of the more decorative antiques and have completely transformed it.

On the way down we called at Sheppy's Cider Farm, where they have a museum, in which I spotted an old friend...

Yes, an Oxford Allen Scythe. Mine is still undergoing repair.

Friday, 22 November 2019

Smart Towage

Spotted something rather unusual yesterday that I've never seen before.

If you look to the left of the number plate on this Smart Car, you'll see a standard trailer electrical connection. Apparently it's to enable a motorhome to tow a Smart Car, with the towing vehicle being able to control the Smart Car's lights in the same manner as a trailer.

Nifty idea. Must be an extra, as it's the first time I've seen a Smart Car with this adaptation.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

On War

I was debating a friend on the subject of Blair and his legacy. The only thing my right wing opponent was interested in was the standard trope from the right that he's a war criminal, despite him having been exonerated by Chilcot and most of the blame being laid at the door of the security services for telling Blair what they believed he wanted to hear and using a dodgy source.

His intentions were honourable (the removal of a ghastly dictator), but the follow-on was cocked up by Bush. No mention of unprecedented funding for schools and education, no mention of the minimum wage, no mention of the GFA. The debate was shaded by the colour of my opponent's blue scarf and not historical fact.

The majority of the UK supported the Iraq war, before any dodgy WMD dossier, and the majority of those were Conservatives (war is a favoured tool of the right, as it instils paroxysms of mindless flag waving, patriotism and unquestioning loyalty - my country, right or wrong). Blair had more problems persuading the left to support him, than the right, as the anti-war stance is predominantly a left wing phenomenon. However, given that the war was eventually a failure in terms of the outcome, many on the right have had an attack of selective memory and can no longer remember supporting it, as a YouGov poll proved.

If Blair stands accused of being a war criminal, then Thatcher too must be similarly accused, especially as the government was considering the sale or lease of the Falklands to Argentina just prior to the war. The sinking of the Belgrano didn't exactly cover Thatcher in glory in the eyes of the international community.

As a consequence of the argument, I thought about how war is used by politicians in times of adversity - a war is always good for votes. Carl Von Clausewitz said, in his seminal work Vom Krieg; "War is merely the continuation of policy with other means." This can be adapted to; "War is the mere continuation of electioneering with other means," and I take full credit for coining that phrase.

The Falklands victory gave Thatcher a huge boost and reversed the terminal decline the party and Thatcher were in at the time. Thatcherism, massive privatisation, Big Bang and the demolition of the unions was enabled by her sudden rise in popularity - but only because her war was successful. It also led to a hole in the defence budget which has still not been plugged.

That's the difference between Blair and Thatcher and provides a salutary lesson - win a war and you'll be forgiven anything; lose it (or cock it up, as Blair did) and you'll be labelled, rightly or wrongly, a war criminal by those who actually supported you at first.

As an aside, I watched the Brexit Party political broadcast last night and not a single reason to leave the EU was articulated, nor a single policy, except for leaving the EU. There was some crap about healthcare lottery and the need for investment in jobs, but those are domestic issues and nothing whatsoever to do with the EU. It was a tour de force of total bollocks.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Gender Neutral Slippery Loo

I see someone has invented a loo spray that prevents poo sticking to it. The main objective is to prevent excess use of water in the flushing process, which is an admirable objective.

I remember a TV programme from, oh it must be 15 or 20 years ago now, where a couple of engineers took on challenges to invent new products, one of which was a slippery urinal (I think another was to invent a bra that used engineering principles). Can't, for the life of me, think what it was called. One of the engineers looked like the big chap off the Hairy Bikers food programme.

It struck me as I was listening to the news story that the loo in everyone's house is gender neutral. That doesn't seem to bother people.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Christmas Presents

Hay asked my younger daughter as to what her youngest boy, Ethan, is into so as to give me an idea about Christmas presents for him. I was informed he is heavily into Peppered Pig - so, a well-seasoned bacon butty will keep him happy. He obviously wants to be a chef when he grows up.

As for my other three grandchildren, apparently they're into Minecraft, so I guess that means a shovel, a pick and a chisel.

Christmas sorted!

Monday, 18 November 2019

Why Not?

Hay said "Why?" and I said; "Why not?"....

Yes, a kite buggy to use with the kite-surfing kite.... Yet another brilliant idea from the House of Mirth...

My neighbour, Dave, had it littering his garage and offered it to me. I'm not one to turn down a bargain, and as I have the kite already, it's another string to my bow.

Dave is a genius when it comes to building sheds. He has already built one that is a double garage with a studio over the top, which looks like it was designed in the Arts and Crafts style by Lutyens.

And here's another single occupancy one that he's been building since May.

Fabulous, and almost all made with reclaimed materials.

Saw this on Facebook Market. Mmmm - whitewall tyres.

Correction - tyre...

Sunday, 17 November 2019


I listen a lot to LBC and Eddie Mair has a slot on his late afternoon program called the Steve Allen Soundbite of the Day, where he takes a random and sometimes amusing soundbite from Steve Allen's early morning program.

The other day, on arriving at work, I switched on LBC and heard Steve Allen say; "... the elderly people of the night," which tickled me enormously. I have no idea to what he was referring as there was no cobtext, but the mind boggles and it would have made a perfect Steve Allen Soundbite of the Day. Sounded like superannuated vampires or pensioned ghosts...

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Greta's Conundrum

Combine climate science denial with calls for lower taxes and it's not surprising we get floods.

Greta Thunberg is doing her level best to persuade people to change their lives so as to have less of an impact on the environment, but there's no escaping the fact that we're trapped in a world where fossil fuels provide the vast majority of our power - and we can't escape from this situation as individuals without huge sacrifice. Even then, unless we all adopt Greta's position, nothing much will change quickly enough.

Mass protest to force changes to government policy worldwide is the only answer in the short time frame we have left - we're like drug addicts begging reluctant health professionals to help us overcome our addiction.

We can buy as many electric cars as we want, but without a national network of charging points, they're next to useless. Only government can co-ordinate this and, like it or not, only by using public money and higher taxes, despite the moaning of those who will never change - those for whom there's a refusal to acknowledge there's a monster at the door, for whom self is more important than planet and for whom lower taxes are a priority. These people have to be dragged, kicking and screaming with righteous indignation, into a more sustainable world and change to government policy is the only tool with which to do that.

That can't be achieved, however, with a government for which lower taxe is the priority and wants to turn the UK into an offshore sweatshop. It would be like putting a government that has presided over the worst ever hospital waiting times in charge of the NHS...

Friday, 15 November 2019


We have all heard or seen Dad Dancing, but how many have experienced Dad Singing?

Dad Singing is characterised by a complete, or at least incomplete knowledge of the words to a song, but to make up for this lack, the words are sung a fraction of a second after they've been heard on the original recording. 

Given many of the lyrics of some modern songs are unintelligible, especially those of the rap genre, the imitation by a Dad Singer is merely the mouthing of sounds, a fraction of a second after they have been made by the artist. Ask a Dad Singer what he said when singing, and he won't have a clue.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Left Hand vs Right Hand

Now, NHS England tells us that we should use pharmacists more, rather than go to the GP, thereby alleviating the pressure on GPs.

I have what looks like a slight fungal infection in the cuticle of one of my nails (Hay agrees, so that is the most likely diagnosis), resulting in a furrow in the nail from top to bottom (a wave in the 'thwartships direction), commonly known as Beau's Lines. I've had it quite a while and so Hay advised me to go to the pharmacist, as per the established NHS advice; the pharmacist tells me to go to my GP. Could she simply be risk-averse?

It looks similar to the nail on the left above, but with the fungal spot of the one on the right..

If I do go to the GP, I'm fully expecting him so say that I should have simply gone to the pharmacist for a non-prescription fungicide. Watch this space...

I'm progressing in leaps and bounds with regard to the unicycling - this week has produced massive improvement for no obvious reason. I can now traverse the full 22 yards of the support rail, without touching it once, on 8 out of 10 attempts. My right arm does all the balancing while the left hovers over the rail in case I stumble. Launching myself into unsupported territory is still a psychological leap I have yet to make, but it won't be long.

Yesterday I got chatting to a Tesco security guard who oversees the video surveillance of the car park and he said he'd been following my progress with interest remotely, as he had with my rollerblading. It turned out we had a shared interest in kayaking.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Air Miles

Here's an idea I haven't thought out at all well yet.

Airlines are criticised for flying some planes at much less than optimum capacity due to the CO2 implications. How about banning flights where there is less than say 95% occupancy - or even 100% occupancy? It would be incumbent on airlines to ensure they are filling all their seats with bums and thereby not increasing per-passenger CO2 due to half empty aircraft.

I know they do try to fill seats, but only on a profit or break-even basis and running scheduled services means they have to fly, even if not full. This would force them to sell seats at a loss, if necessary, or consider reducing the number of flights on a permanent basis in order to remain fully booked. There could even be standby queues at airports for people prepared to fly anywhere for a free flight.

Discuss and pull apart.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

NATO & Trident

Here's something I thought about today: Trump wants NATO countries to stump up and spend what they committed to spend on defence, thereby relieving the USA of providing the lion's share of NATO's costs. However, when one realises that:

  1. It would be useless to merely contribute more men, as they are ineffective without the weapons to support them, and
  2. Most of the NATO countries rely on American arms manufacturers for a high percentage of their weapons (e.g. Turkey buys more than 40% of its arms imports from the USA, the UK buys over 70% of its arms imports from the USA, Italy buys over 50% of its arms imports from the USA, etc.),
Then increasing defence spending will primarily benefit the American arms industry, which is something close to Trumps heart in terms of American job creation.

Not many people understand that the UK, a nuclear power, doesn't have its own nuclear deterrent. Trident, which is our only nuclear weapon, is built by Lockheed Martin and we spend a fortune maintaining and upgrading it, money that goes direct to America.

Essentially, NATO is an American money making machine.

Back to Trident - of the 4 subs, only one is on actual deployment at any one time. An awful waste of resources. Additional to that, the cost of Trident, and its replacement, is so high that our conventional forces are depleted to such an extent that we can no longer field a Task Force such as the one used in the Falklands, let alone fight a conventional war. The irony is that Trident is a weapon of last resort, but its cost means the reduction in conventional forces makes its use more, rather than less likely, as our conventional forces are not up to the task of fighting a conventional war.

Monday, 11 November 2019

A Load of Bull

I simply couldn't resist this and, surprisingly, Hay loved it too. It's full size and was only 30 quid from the local junk emporium.

We both think it will look fantastic with one of Hay's paint effects that she learned a few months ago.

Talking of a load of Bull, look at these headlines from the Express:

Same policy, different conclusions. If you do it, it's good; if your opponent does it, it's bad. Cognitive dissonance on a truly epic scale.

As for this one, clearly wrong, as the photo demonstrates. Do they want him on his knees? Exactly who is huffing and puffing with righteous indignation? The perennially outraged?

The UK tabloid media must be one of the worst in the world.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

House Stark

The Game of Thrones themed Christmas jumper has finally arrived!

Saturday, 9 November 2019


Boris dropped a bit of a clanger the other day while campaigning in Northern Ireland. He told his audience that NI had an excellent deal because it has access to the Single Market, Freedom of Movement AND 'unfetterd' access to GB. So what do we have? Obviously a lesser deal because we don't have FoM and access to the Single Market. Aside from that, there will be customs checks, and hence friction, between NI and the rest of the UK. He is clearly either lying, or doesn't understand his own deal.

It seems to me that Boris, when giving a speech, tells his target audience exactly what he thinks they want to hear (which may not be what another audience wants to hear, and rarely the truth), has a few, simple thoughts in his head (which may or may not be entirely true, but when has truth ever hampered him) and he tries to connect these targeted thoughts with a stream of consciousness, verbal incontinence that rival's James Joyce's Ulysses in terms of comprehension. Bumbling is the accepted term.

Hell, I am convinced, is an eternal Parliament with Boris at the helm. It is incomprehensible why people who are normally quite intelligent and rational take leave of their senses and moral compass to support this lying buffoon who constantly shoots himself in the head and manifestly demonstrates his incompetence.

Conversely, Corbyn's policies are constantly attacked as communist on social media, but ask anyone to name one of these 'communist' policies, they can't name a single one (the manifesto hasn't even been published yet and Labour is still testing proposed policies), let alone one that's communist. The closest they come is to call out the renationalisation of failed privatisations, which is just commonsense and not communism.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Built-In Problems With Look-Alikes

Time was when you could tell if there was something wrong with your car because of the sound and feel of it, or the fact it wouldn't start at all. Diagnosis of the problem was a relatively simple affair and was either bloody obvious or a process of elimination.

These days cars are far more complex and virtually every subsystem is monitored by a sensor of some description connected to a computer and a dashboard readout. The problem is that the sensors themselves are subject to failure and, 9 times out of 10, any alert to a problem is invariably a failure of the sensor itself and not of the subsystem it is monitoring. At least that's my experience over the last 15 months of working with cars.

I sometimes wonder whether all this sensor technology is a ploy to give car dealers more cash.

I receive an alert from the LibDems (are female LibDems called LibFems?) today.

I do question their use of a Dominic Cummings stunt double in their advert...

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Scam Alert

What with me being 65 and officially a pensioner next March, I'm receiving letters with all manner of useless advice from all my pension companies, of which there are over half a dozen. Must cost the buggers a fortune - which means it costs me a fortune. Can't remember when my pension pots last increased in value; year after year I receive notifications that the pot is smaller than the previous year. I'd have been better served sinking the money into diesel-powered nuns. Seriously though, I would certainly have made more money by putting my pension contributions into a savings account.

The way to spot a pension scam these days is to see if an advert has the word pension in it. That's a sure sign it's a scam. It doesn't matter what company is providing it, it's still a scam. They persuade you to put a portion of your wages into it, cream off a load of profit and ensure the amount left at retirement bears no resemblance to the fortune you ploughed into it.

I'm also starting to notice old blokes in their old bloke uniforms. You know what I mean - a flat cap of some green, tartan material; a short, gabardene coat of a similar khaki hue; fawn, cavalry twill trousers; a Tattersall checked shirt like the ones country people are meant to wear, a regimental or woven tie,  a tweed jacket, Fair Isle jumper and medium-brown lace-up brogues or Hush-Puppies. The ensemble is normally completed by a pair of spectacles, a shopping bag and a sensible car. Hope that's not my future.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019


Got myself a little bargain yesterday, A new garage has opened in Chipping Sodbury, which specialises in VW classic cars. I was collecting a car from the place round the back of it and spotted this in the new place's yard.

An old windsurfing board. I asked the guy in the garage whether he wanted it and he let me have it for free - he'd been trying to get rid of it since taking the place over, as he wasn't a windsurfer.

It's an old F2 with a small bit of damage around the back end, but easily repairable. Fibreglass and light as a feather. I can't, however, see how a standard windsurf mast attaches to it. Needs a bit of investigation, and possibly a different type of mast to the one I have.

Hay castigated me for bringing yet more rubbish home - I did tell her it was for her to use, but she nevertheless remained unimpressed.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Not Worth the Paper.....

I think I mentioned last week that, on the strength of a Hotpoint microwave/oven thingy I bought for work from the local Indesit factory outlet shop, Hay and I decided to buy one ourselves, and very pleased we are with it too.

However, Hay phoned a number that came with it to register for the warranty. It transpires that parts are free, but one has to pay £119 per hour for any technician that comes to install any faulty parts, and Hotpoint will only replace parts, not the entire device. Bear in mind that the cost of the device is only £99, so it would be cheaper to buy a new one than receive a visit from an engineer under the warranty. Needless to say, Hay didn't bother registering it.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Up Sodbury Aa

We helped built the Old Sodbury bonfire yesterday.

In my capacity as Health and Safety officer I did a risk assessment and reached the conclusion that it is a fire hazard. I was told to eff off...

Given it's adjacent to the football field, we had a digger scrape off an area of grass on which to seat the bonfire. The grass will be relaid after the site is cleared. Can't help thinking a bit more should have been excavated. To begin with it looked like Trench One on Time Team.

We're having the bonfire tomorrow evening at 6pm and there will be a huge, professional fireworks display - tickets were sold out in the first week of sale - about 300  will be attending.

We still need a scruffy old guy to sit on top of it. I was volunteered, as Boris was otherwise engaged. I still think we should have a Wicker Man - or a heretic, or a witch.

Given the sunny weather, I rolled out the bike from its shed for an airing yesterday.

Didn't take it on the road, as it necessitates going down a really muddy track. Just a start and letting it run for about 20 minutes to charge the battery. Starting to wonder whether I should sell it, as it doesn't get that much use. Hay won't go near it for some inexplicable reason. I even offered to get a sidecar, but still she refused. It has done only 27k miles in 22 years (R reg), so none of the previous owners has used it much.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

There Are 3 Paths You can Go By

"I absolutely know that you can bring back the William Webb Ellis cup from Japan in the course of the next few hours," said Boris Johnson yesterday, just before the rugby final. Yet another of his predictions goes up on smoke to join the others and proves to be a lie.

If I'd known before the match that Boris had said this, I could have made a fortune by betting on the opposite happening, as that's par for the Boris course.

On a totally unrelated issue, and one I rarely comment on, the mere fact Führage has split with Johnson makes an absolute mockery of the idea there is only one Brexit. There's Führage's Brexit (or a hard Brexit) and Johnson's Brexit (a less damaging one, but more damaging than the May Brexit, yet still leaving open the possibility of a Führage Brexit). There are probably a myriad in between too.

Brexiteers should have the courage of their convictions and clamour to have a 2nd referendum. The trouble is that they're running scared and know they'd lose. They're making all manner of oxymoronic and logical contortions to claim a democratic vote wouldn't be democratic, yet one made over 3 years ago where lies, misinformation and electoral fraud were rife, is - even though people have demonstrably changed their minds since. A democracy that can't change its mind is no longer a democracy, as one prominent Brexiteer put it so succinctly. Not being able to change your mind smacks of fascism - like having a political party where the Führer can't be removed (aka the Brexit Party Ltd.).

Seems to me there are 3 options - the Führage hard Brexit, the Johnson soft Brexit, and finally Remain, of which there is only one variety. Given the foregoing, those should be the logical choices in a 2nd referendum. It's a natural consequence of Brexiteers not settling on one version of Brexit - and a problem entirely of their own, muddled thinking, not to mention complete ignorance of the consequences of their actions.