Opinion

Everything Stops for Wimbledon

tennis

 

I enjoy Wimbledon and I am not ashamed to admit it. Whilst I dont always get to watch every game I watch as much as I can. I used to enjoy playing and was in the junior team at school but then ponies took over and took to squash instead. Sadly I don’t play either of these games today but maybe one day. I still have my squash racket which will probably snap from lack of use.

Whilst I shall have to do all my major chores in the morning and after dark I will still be able to knit and do my embroidery whilst watching. And there is always the pause button so I can make tea! and the mute button to shut the commentators up while they make up things to say.

A major sufferer of hay fever it will give my breathing tubes a break from the garden.

I do feel sorry for people who don’t enjoy sport (I am not a football fan) because this time of year the television is swamped with it. But it is a break from all the terrible things that are happening in our world.

So like sport or not enjoy the next few weeks either in the garden or sat in front of the idiot box.

 

A World Less Familiar in 100 years.

old street

 

As age creeps up on us things around us change and not always for the better we often feel. When you have lived nearly a century the changes are unfathomable.

 

A hundred years ago:

Health
From 1911-5, 63% of people died before the age of 60.
Now, only 12% die before the age of 60.

The composition of the workforce has changed.
Now, 1 in 3 are professionals or managers, compared to 1 in 7 in
1911.

In 1901 there were 1,093,000 births and 632,000 deaths. By the
year 2021 the number of births and deaths, projected in 1996, is
expected to be 695,000 and 647,000 respectively.

Since 1901, more people have emigrated from the UK than
immigrated. By 1997, a net exodus from the UK of 15,600,000
had occurred.

Between 1900 and 1998 the housing stock of Great Britain has
increased from about 7 million to 22 million permanent
dwellings.

In 1901 the average prison population was 15,900. By 1998 the
figure had increased to 65,300. There were more prisoners in
1998 than in any other year this century.

In 1926 there were 1,715,000 motor vehicles registered and
4,886 road fatalities, giving a ratio of 2.9 fatalities per thousand
vehicles. The Second World War interrupts the general
downward trend of the ratio. Between 1939 and 1944 the
number of motor vehicles registered fell by 49% while the
number of fatalities remained relatively stable, leading to a rise
in the ratio to 4.0 in 1944. By 1997, the number of motor
vehicles registered increased to 26,974,000 but the number of
fatalities fell to 3,599. Thus, the ratio of fatalities per one
thousand motor vehicles fell to 0.1.

In 1935 the
Road Traffic Census Report records a 24-hour count
of traffic at 467 roadside points. The average number of
‘mechanically-propelled’ vehicles to pass any predetermined
point was recorded as 11 per hour. By 1954 the Road Traffic
Census Report records the average number of vehicles to pass
had risen to 159 per hour.

Between 1955 and 1998 total motor
vehicle traffic increased by almost 500% with growth in traffic
since 1988 up by 22%

In 1904 a Royal Commission studied traffic in London. The
speeds of various vehicles were taken. During off-peak periods a
motor driven cab would travel at an average of 12 miles per
hour. In the post-war period traffic speeds were slower. In 1996
the average off-peak vehicle speed was recorded as 10 miles per
hour.
The first woman to be elected to the House of Commons was
Countess Constance Markievicz in 1918, although, as a member
of Sinn Fein, she did not take her seat and so is not included as
an MP in this context

Between 1900 and 1999 retail prices have risen by around 66
times at an average annual rate of some 4.3%.

There has beena marked contrast between the two halves of the Century.
Between 1949 and 1999 prices rose some 19 fold at an average
rate of 6.0% compared to a 3½ fold increase between 1900 and
1949 at an average rate of 2.6%.

The purchasing power of a pound fell from £1 in 1900 to the
equivalent of just 1.5 pence in 1999.

Typical prices:
1900 to 1999
Inland letter post 1d (0.4p) 26p
The Times 3d (1.2p) 35p
Pint of beer in a public bar 2d (0.8p) £1.73
Pint of fresh milk (London) 2d (0.8p) 26p
Dozen new laid eggs (London) 1/4½d (6.9p) £1.57

Some really interesting facts, which doesn’t take into account the rise in Information technology, the television and radio growth.

(These statistics came from a Parliamentary White paper 15 years ago so can you imagine the difference now?)

As recently as Forty years ago these were invented, can you believe it?

  • 1972: The first video game console, used primarily for playing video games on a TV, is the Magnavox Odyssey.[164]
  • 1973: The first commercial graphical user interface was introduced in 1973 on the Xerox Alto. The modern GUI was later popularized by theXerox Star and Apple Lisa.
  • 1975: Altair 8800 was the spark that ignited the microcomputer revolution.
  • 1973-75: The Internet protocol suite was developed by Vinton Cerf and Robert E. Kahn for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) ARPANET, creating the basis for the modern Internet.

1980s

  • 1982: A CD-ROM (/ˌsˌdˈrɒm/, an acronym of “Compact Disc Read-only memory”) is a pre-pressed compact disc that contains dataaccessible to, but not writable by, a computer for data storage and music playback. The 1985 Yellow Book standard developed by Sonyand Philips adapted the format to hold any form of binary data.[165]
  • 1990:The World Wide Web was first introduced to the public by English engineer and computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee..[166] [167]
  • 1993: MOSAIC, the first popular web browser is introduced
  • 1995: DVD is an optical disc storage format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions.

I thought a blog of information and statistics would make a change from my usual bla bla bla!

Useful visitors

I was lucky enough to have one of my chosen brothers to stay last week end. I don’t see him nearly enough as he lives up North. Luckily he was down South judging dogs in Devon so there was no excuse not to stop by. We have no spare room at my mothers but he is happy to kip on the sofa.
I have been cataloguing my mothers dog books which are numerous so his help was greatly appreciated and we managed to complete the task. I now only have the sporting books to do which are many.
It was nice for my mother as he has been a family friend for a long time and they have a great deal in common.
The house is quiet now he has left to go back up North but I am sure we will see him again soon.
This week my task is to teach my new program Dragon speaking so it will be quicker than typing(some hopes).

Care Home Horrors

Many, many years ago I started my caring duties while starting to establish my mobile dog grooming business. I had moved back to Hampshire after the split with my husband and a brief spell running a grooming parlour in Sussex. I had decided to set up a mobile business but obviously in the early days I needed a second job. I had no home any more in Hampshire so lodged with friends. To supplement my income I took a job in a retirement home three nights a week. I had no experience in nursing, caring or anything similar and certainly no training. There were about 14 residents of varying degrees of health and mental capacity. I remember a delightful couple who were blind and they were so interesting to talk to. They were widely travelled and had many stories to tell. I was responsible for all the residents during the night on my own, there was supposed to be a second person but in all the time I was there nobody turned up, even back then it was against the law.

Not once did I lose my temper or treat them roughly even if they were ill, sleepless or unable to settle and I am appalled by yet another report today of a care home having to suspend staff. Surely this is the fault of the managers, when you interview someone for such a position don’t they take particular care on the nature of these applicants and follow it up with many background checks. If they are abusing people now and have been employed in a similar position before it must have happened before.

In recent years by default I have cared for an elderly (doubly incontinent)lady and two ladies who have subsequently passed both from cancer, whilst sometimes very tired and stressed I never took it out on my responsibilities. I now care for my mother which I may add is twice as difficult than someone else’s mother, and frequently I am tired and suffering from cabin fever as I am not able to just jump in the car and disappear for a few hours.

Pay is very good for caring but it should reflect the quality of care given and I mention again what interview process do these carers have to go through, because whatever it is it isn’t working in some place.

How Selective are You-Social Media

Do you just follow anyone? or are you selective and do a bit of research first?

One hears so much about abuse through social media and I am wondering why. Surely not everyone is so gullible or click happy to follow or friend everyone who makes a request to connect. I can understand the younger generation making bad choices but the older age bracket certainly should click with caution.

If you get someone following you on Twitter you don’t have to follow back if they are undesirables it wont hurt their feelings as they are just fishing to find another person to vent their spleen at. Its easy to see those who are blatantly unpleasant so its not difficult to block or ignore. To reply to these people only ignites them so best to leave well alone.

The word friend and love have changed their meanings over time and now are what I refer to as throwaway words.

The dictionary suggest the word friend as a noun is:

A person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?

And the word love as:

profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
So many mixed messages here between the way we use these words and their true meaning.
But getting back to friending and following, why do people want so many especially as many of them will be unknown until the request is made. I can understand following if you have an interest in that person say an author, entertainer or a business in which you are involved but why do people want to have thousands listed? Less is more especially if you are going to read everything that these connections post. Surely a few select ones will be more beneficial.

 

The Single Life

Listening to the Sandy Posey song recently and also having been contacted by a magazine about living as a single woman I thought I would do a bit of musing here!

Although I have been married twice and have had some long term relationships I have also been single for a fair amount of time. Some people become desperate at being on their own, they become depressed, frightened and feel worthless. But then there are the others who relish being on their own to do what and when they want without having to consult anyone else. I fall in the latter category.

There are obviously downsides to being a singleton but most can be overcome. Learning a bit of DIY, being able to change a plug and a light bulb are always useful. I am not a reader of manuals so can figure out a few things. I am known for my techi abilities so helping out with DVD players, and new phones is the norm.

I have laid carpets, fitted a kitchen and in my younger days before computer engines I was quite a useful mechanic. Flat pack furniture – no problem.

The big downside can be socialising, its great for girlie lunches or helping with parties but its not so good if you want to go down the pub or out to a restaurant. Sitting on your own can attract attention and not always the welcome kind.

When I was interviewed for the magazine I was asked if I would like to get married again, well to be truthful no, but you must never say never. To have a nice man to go out to dinner with, go to the theatre and maybe some travel would be nice but the nearest he can live is next door!

I like my own space and can sympathise with the heroine of a book I have just read who wanted to get away from everyone and be on her own.

Is Networking Cost Effective?

I have many friends who do a lot of Networking. I have never subscribed to it although have attended the occasional meeting. My personal view is that its a nice diversion from slogging away in the office but does it actually yield enough business to cover the cost of membership, hours not working and the cost of travelling there and back. I remain sceptical.

Several friends in business seem to be always just off to or at a meeting and it can be any time of the day and in some cases quite a distance from base. In business we want clients and mixing with  people who are after the same conclusion seems perhaps a little pointless. It is obviously enjoyable  to meet with people in business but maybe not during the working day. Do those who network actually sit down and calculate the benefits. I do admit that they have some good and motivational speakers at some of the meetings that are beneficial.

Preaching to the converted in all things puzzles me and it is done so frequently in all walks of life and in all spheres. Surely we need to get it out ‘there’ rather than circulate it within our own bubble.

Networking at events where possible clients are is more positive and even in the local pub or family gatherings can yield work and contacts.

I have been involved with the dog showing and breeding world for a very long time and my mother and grandmother before me and this is a case in point. Although the powers that be are trying to get the right words out to the general dog owning public they still waste a lot of time preaching to their own kind.

Social networks and blogs to my mind are more effective as you reach a wider audience and people in different walks of life who may find what you are doing is interesting and worth following. By encouraging followers and friends you build up a good base of possible clients.

So my message to you is how much  are you benefiting from Networking?

Looking Alike, Angela Lansbury Interview.

I recently read an interview with Angela Lansbury. It was most interesting and I admire her for the variety of work she has done both on the stage, television and in film. As many other people I am sure I just loved her in ‘Murder she Wrote’. I was horrified to read they had thought of resurrecting it with a new lead actress. Like so many good series with convincing leads it would have been disappointing to us older viewers. I am sure I am not alone in thinking all these remakes don’t quite hit the spot and in fact I probably only watch one episode if its on television and then don’t bother after that.

My father was an actor and mentioned appearing on stage with Angela Lansbury in the early days and I know I have a picture somewhere. But what most amused and interested me was when she was asked about the new young actresses and she said what I have been thinking for some time. ‘They all have the same teeth’ she said. ‘Teeth make peoples faces interesting’ and she went on to say that the French have interesting faces because they don’t all have the same dentition. Her other comment was they all have thin bodies and long lank hair and mostly blonde. How I have to agree, so often when watching a programme it is easy to get lost as so many of the characters look and sound the same, particularly in the American television serials.

In fact walk down any high street these days and all the girls look the same. I know its not fashionable to wear beehives or have perms but surely not everyone has long lank hair falling over their faces.

What happened to individuality?

 

(Interview was printed in The Saturday Telegraph Review 15th February)

Music, Music Everywhere.

Are we fed up with the Olympics yet? They seem to have been going on for longer than 10 days. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy watching sport but the endless talking of nothing interesting and the constant repeats is making me a little annoyed. The other thing which happens in everything media outlet now is the background music – and SO loud. If you are hard of hearing as my mother is then you will understand what I am talking about. Music has infiltrated into everyday life and for some its very unnecessary. Even programmes on wildlife have it. Interesting documentaries are spoiled by loud music meaning you miss hearing all the interesting bits. I know I am not alone in mentioning this but they never take any notice. Its lovely when you have an old television programme because unless they have dubbed it with music you can actually here what everyone is saying.

Even shopping you can’t get away from it. Perhaps they could issue ear plugs in some stores for those who don’t want to hear the latest rap music while shopping for groceries.

The Digital Highway

In these times of endless emails and digital information it’s not always possible to read it all. Constant battering from groups, clubs and companies can be a real turn off. Like unwanted mail coming through the letterbox so often its deleted without a second thought.

Trying to unsubscribe to some sites is a life’s work and in the end the only way to get rid of it is to spam it. What happened to less is more?

Working on some websites recently it is noticeable how many words are written. What do they all mean and is it really necessary? So often its a repeat paragraph of one earlier or a page earlier. Because you have a website you don’t have to put everything and every gadget you find on it. A few well chosen words with links to more information is all that’s needed.

Emails sent from companies also have a lot of words, don’t get me wrong I like words, but not so many of them.

The gobbledegook written and said by politicians in the nineties is happily over but still you get a clever person wrapping up a basic fact in all the synonyms from the Thesaurus they can find.

So its off back to working on my new photography site and to see how much I can cram on to it 🙂

Thursday Already. Flooding, media and olympics.

Well another week nearly over, where does time go. So what’s happened this week? Rain, rain and more rain with gales added in places, nothing new there then!

The media have only two subjects this week, Russia’s Winter Olympics and the Weather. While the reports coming from Sochi would be funny if they were not so disappointing. The pictures on Twitter of the accommodation does ask the question, did they have a building programme and a deadline? As the area was chosen for its cold weather it seems strange they don’t have somewhere warm and comfortable to live.

The flooding is as we know a major issue but I have always been lead to believe that the Somerset levels are prone to flooding. This is exceptional weather as we know but like the sudden snow we are occasionally subjected to nobody most of all the country is prepared. As a child I lived in an area that was flooded every year, in fact when we moved in the removal van could not get down the lane and all our belongings had to be transferred on to a trailer pulled by a tractor! Did we jump up and down and shout at our local MP or ring the local media. No! we just got on with it.

News today that William Roache has been cleared gladdens my heart. What kind of people make these allegations? Can I remember in detail what I was doing over 30 years ago and if it was so terrible why wait until the so called perpetrator is an octogenarian with a long successful career in the public eye. I can only think its money. But my biggest irritation about all these cases guilty or not why is the victim or victims given anonymity makes me think they dont have the courage of their convictions. They should be named, why is it the innocent has to take all the flack?

Life’s Journey, we cannot predict #blog

We are born and we die, two sure things in life, when the later happens we have no idea. For some it comes all too soon and for others it drags on while there is a fight with failing health and faculties. For those who have lead an active life this is a tough experience, dare I say a learning curve. There is no text book that tells us how we cope with old age or failing health, we just have to battle on as best we can. Dignity has to be preserved and from what is written in the newspapers this seems pretty low on some peoples list, until it comes to them (maybe!).

Although not a nurse but many other things so far in this short life, through no fault of my own I have been destined over the last few years to care for others in declining health. All along I have thought this puts me in a good position to look after my own when the time comes. Well the time has come and I can assure you it is easier looking after someone else’s family than it is your own.

We can imagine what it is like to be frail and hanging on but this is the key word imagine. Its very easy to say I know how it must feel but you can’t unless you have experienced it. My heart goes out to families with children who are suffering from incurable problems this must be so hard. An old friend of mine used to work at Treloar’s looking after the children there, I always said to her I couldn’t do that, I don’t mind looking after people who have lead a good life even if shorter than it should have been, but children with no future, no.

I remember vividly when I first lost someone I knew. It wasn’t a family member and it wasn’t anyone I knew really well but it stays with me to this day. Back in my late teens I used to frequent a country club (night club really) where we danced to live bands, played bar billiards and drank too much. I remember the records were being played while the band was having a break and it was the Beatles ‘all you need is love’ and ‘Hey Jude’. There was a scuffle at the door and someone rushed in to say a young couple who were regulars had gone off the road at the end of the lane the car had gone into the ditch and as it was going so fast the low branches had sliced the roof off, it was obvious there were no survivors. Now if these records come on the radio I have to turn them off as it takes me back to that night and those vivid memories.

I wonder where my life’s journey will take me in the future and will I be treated with care and dignity when the time comes. Perhaps I shall never know.

Proofreading – the small stuff #blog

I am surprised how many people publish any form of the written word without reading it through, or, perhaps they do and just don’t see the mistakes. I have been trolling through advertisements lately mostly jobs advertised on line by agencies and I am amazed by the bad English and the bad spelling. Surely in such cases you get a colleague to check it. I have as I am sure many others have noticed mistakes some unforgivable in articles and newspaper columns.

Check the small stuff-it shows you are interested in what you write.

Information overkill on the #blog today

Are you constantly blasted by information and follow ups and reams of useless printed words?

I have to say I find this constant battering a complete turnoff and seemed to have unsubscribed to nearly everything I ever thought of as interesting. Don’t these companies realise rather than keeping interested parties on a string they are losing anyone who might have stayed along for the ride.

A recent case in point is with the job sites. I am currently seeking (like many others) some kind of employment, but after registering and asking for only one email a day with possible jobs listed I receive constant emails about everything from having your CV edited to taking the next step on the career ladder and achieving your goals; I am 60 for crissakes have a long and varied CV and all I want is an interview. Well I know that’s unlikely as I am one of probably a hundred applicants all with degrees, GCSE’s and NVQ’s and when I left school it wasn’t a requirement to go to college or university or even leave with an academic qualification! I did however achieve some qualifications in later life but they are probably insufficient.

If you buy something online you not only have constant emails with offers from them and their partners but you get it through the mailbox as well. Should you have searched for something on the web you are then pestered by everyone who has something to offer however remote.

How do we solve the problem? Just don’t subscribe to anything, search for anything and certainly don’t buy anything on the internet! I suppose life would be a bit dull but in my case my humour may last a bit longer!

 

#My Blog Update on Life

I  do not understand women who suddenly decide in their late fifties or sixties that they want to have a baby, if it’s anything like taking on a puppy then good luck to them! I have had animals all my life and knew what I was taking on but it is still a tiring and stressful experience.  This is especially the case for me as I work and travel around quite a bit. I do not expect problems so hopefully things carry on much as I hope but all the same it is a life changing period while you go through the early years. I have to say that Bess is very good and having her around has certainly filled a gap in my life.

I am though suffering from a few injuries due to her exuberance and my feet I hope will eventually return to normal due to firstly knocking the puppy gate down and it landing on my big toe.  Just as that had almost recovered (it has taken 2 weeks) the gate got in the way of my my hammer toe which was operated on a couple of years ago. So now I have a very black and sore second foot.  I will let her write in her blog as to her feelings on the matter.

So its all change in Italy, having recently watched the Borgias on television things don’t seem to have changed much over the centuries.  They are a naturally passionate people and I am sure Mr B will return as he is not one to remain in the shadows. I enjoyed very much my visits to Italy and hope to visit again before too long.  I have only been to the north and to Venice and look forward to visiting the southt. It will be interesting to see if France and Germany cohabit and leave everyone else to their own devices over Europe and the Euro.  Whilst I don’t follow their thinking I have to admire their stamina over the whole business.

I can remember when Ted Heath our Prime Minister floated the Common Market idea and I even had a shirt that said YES to it but as we have all discovered it was to be manipulated into a monster and hopefully our government will see it for what it is before it is too late. Thank goodness we didn’t join the Euro.

 

 

My #Blog for Sunday

Whether the weather be wet or whether the weather be hot,
We will whether the weather, what ever the weather,
whether we want to or not.

What a good saying this is for people living in the northern hemisphere.  Is it a wonder it is usually the main topic of conversation. In South Wales this weekend it has rained – and rained. Not cold thank goodness but damp all the same.  Talking with a friend in Hampshire on Saturday she said they had a lovely bright autumn day if a little windy. I am sure if I spoke to my friends in Scotland they would have snow threatening.  Talking of which, last week we were told that the end of this month would bring a heatwave, I wonder whereabouts this happened?  Three weeks ago while away on holiday the headlines in the paper told of a mini ice age hitting Britain at the end of October, no sign yet and we only have one day to go to experience both these phenomenons!

A couple of days ago NASA sent a new satellite into space to help with weather forecasting, long term weather patterns and  global warming the cost of this was/is $1.5 billion. It is a year late being launched although originally it had been planned for 2006 but was part of the budget cuts made by The White House. Apparently it will give warning of cyclones and hurricanes and monitor the Arctic regions. Am I alone in thinking that the money could have been used to greater purpose on Terra firma as this satellite will not change the weather or stop global warming but only tell us what the scientists can tell us already.

I have never been a protester and can see little point in it as what will be will be and those that rule take little notice. I cannot think of anything more miserable than being stuck in a tent in all weathers with no amenities.  As for pitching a tent outside one of our National Treasures stopping it from performing its God given right I think is a disgrace. Who are these people anyway do they not realise if we did not have capitalism we would be the poorer for it.  I do not agree with massive payouts for the men/women in suits but there is a balance to be achieved.

At Last a New #Blog Holidays and flying.

Hello readers. When I last wrote I was about to leave on holiday to the sun, the idea being to go for a rest and some warm weather, both were achieved after a tricky start with a few obstacles to negotiate. Hot it certainly was well above average for the time of year, but don’t think I am complaining, I would gladly go back as early as tomorrow!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if when we boarded planes we were placed in sound proof cubicles with a lock on the door. On the way out we were subjected to a large family seated throughout the plane, they had several small children two of which spent the whole flight running up and down the aisle barging passed everyone including the flight attendants trying to do their job, they shouted and talked continually and the parents didn’t seem to take any notice. On the flight back we had a man sitting in our row who was an authority on everything and wanted the whole plane to know about it, after four hours we knew everything about him and how clever he was, he even redesigned the plastic tubes of milk and was an expert on exit doors because naturally he could design a better one!

On the return our pilot had to take a detour due to another strike by French air traffic control so we arrived back on British soil much later than planned. Enjoying the drive along the M25 and M3 we were congratulating ourselves on the fact you didn’t meet much traffic in the early hours of the morning. A couple of miles down the M3 and the matrix sign was flashing 30, but there was no traffic. We got to the next sign also flashing 30 still no traffic, I laughingly commented that they were often flashing for no reason and thought somebody had probably been leaning on the switch! WRONG! suddenly lots of flashing lights of all colours, there we sat for 45 minutes, which gave us time to catchup on our emails. We finally got back just before 5a.m. Both of us had work the next day and we haven’t stopped since.

Whoever said ‘it is better to travel than to arrive’ never went on an aeroplane!

 

New #Blog Why do I buy a newspaper?

If I don’t buy a newspaper during the week I always get one on Saturday, mainly to do the General Knowledge crossword just to prove I am not that well educated.  My mother is also a follower of the same crossword although now her eyesight is so bad she doesn’t buy a paper any more but a good friend of hers copies it in an enlarged form to give her something to fight with through the week.  She is surrounded by reference books and magnifiers and has a good knowledge of Greek Mythology and Shakespeare which is always useful but we both fall down on anything chemical or mathematical.

I noticed today that there is little  good news or nice stories and wonder if the newspaper editors have a rule to blue pencil anything that might make us smile. Has our country and indeed the world become so depressing that we are not allowed the opportunity to perhaps have a pleasant story occassionally. The scientists tell us we are obese, carrying killer genes, the building societies are saying we are all going to live in refuge camps as we wont be able to afford to buy a house thats if we are lucky enough to keep our jobs, and when we want to retire we need to die quick otherwise we will be put in a home and treated worse than dirt on someones shoe! We can’t even rely on the seasons now due to ‘global warming’ which is in dispute as to whether it is going to turn us into icebergs or fry us like an egg.

Why do we have to have so many supplements to the weekend papers? I stopped buying a Sunday one years ago but now Saturday is as bad.  Recently we have had Education , Cruising, Football and so on.  We now get four or five of the same leaflets and last week I think I drew the short straw as I had six pieces of paper all the same asking me if I would like to have an insurance policy that will give me a free pen, wow, that was a close one, I managed to stop myself just in time! The glossy sometimes has interesting stories and I always read the ‘horror-scope’, this week I could meet the person of my dreams but I am not to make any hasty decisions, I wonder when that will fit in as I am working in the middle of nowhere surrounded by animals or driving 3 hrs to spend the weekend with my adopted brother who rows from the otherside of the boat!

Good things to cheer my weekend have been the builder fitting me a lovely new back gate and friends over for tea tomorrow and a house guest Sunday night, OH! and most important going to look at spaniel puppies on Monday, perhaps things aren’t all so bad.

My #blog What is a ‘Celebrity’?

What is a celebrity and why do so many youngsters feel they have to be one?
Celebrity to me is something of a non entity, if it wasn’t for the media circus the less than glamorous personalities wouldn’t be served up to us in all manner of trashy and vulgar situations, serving to make teenagers think it is such an exciting way of life.
Very few ‘celebrities’ have ever done anything worthwhile in society and many have managed to only be known for washing their dirty laundry in public.
The real celebrities are the ones who help the sick, give up their life to help others and fight in foreign lands for the good of their fellow man. The real celebrity is the one who risks his life for others.
Young people need to understand that the likes of Ms Katona and Ms Price only serve to teach how not to conduct our life and that doing something worthwhile will give them more of sense of achievement than anything they learn from the self styled ‘celebrity’.
Here endeth the lesson!

New #Blog Too many shops selling the same thing!

The news yesterday apart from the usual fighting in distant lands was that retailers are getting the jitters about their profits so are starting the New Year sales in the Autumn!

It is obvious to me but obviously not to anyone else that now we have exactly the same shops selling exactly the same things with only five miles between stores its no wonder their sales are down. We as consumers can only have so many changes of clothes a day and how many times a year do we need a new bed or sofa?

There should be planning laws to make these big stores and some of the fashion shops and maybe even the supermarkets have only one outlet per 50 mile radius. Sales would be up and we wouldn’t have to put up with trashy unwanted items in the bargain bins.

There is too much of everything and too many choices these days lets start streamlining our lives and we would all be better off.

#blog Thoughts on the week

Well, the silly season really kicked off this week with madmen and women, boys and girls taking to the streets and trying to ruin the life of decent people. Magistrates courts sitting 24/7 and calls for the police service not too face cuts.  Then we had the dive in the financial markets around the world but still we carry on and most of us manage to rise above it all.  What motivates young people to behave this way, surely you cannot blame the parents or the schools on every occasion, it is I think (my opinion) inbred from somewhere.  I have been involved with breeding dogs and horses for many years and we are always aware of throw backs to an early mating.  Some pure breeds today have been crossed in the past with other pure breeds to enhance certain characteristics.  Is this whats happening in humans?  Many years ago we had a pure bred spaniel and in the line several generations back it was crossed with a hound, these characteristics showed when trying to train to the gun,  he would take off and give tongue just like his hound forbears.  In the same vein we had a Border terrier and at one time they introduced a Dandie Dinmont, he had inherited the fluffy topknot!  If we look back into the heritage of these rioting people what would we find? Do they have aggressive personalities, savagery or other features reminiscent of another generation. A great deal has been said about the reaction to food we give our children, could this play apart?

I have had a peaceful couple of week in the Welsh valley and had a house guest last week. I often go to Cardiff Bay and while I had company we visited. There is such a variety of things going on we were spoilt for choice.  We saw the speed boat water skiing championships and some rather exciting canoe polo on the day we went.  The next day we went to Merthyr as  Cyfartha Castle is my ancestral home.  There is a new exhibition in the dining room and lobby of the Crawshay family which tells of their rise and fall as the iron kings of South Wales. If you are in the area it is an interesting place to visit as there are always new things happening, Merthyr Rock music festival is next. I was lucky to have my first photographic exhibition in the halls.

#blog Personalities and ways of the world

I have been otherwise engaged this week, having a little social time and doing my yearly accounts. Both in their own way make me feel a good deal better than I did. During the week I had a lovely coffee chat with a new friend.  She and I managed to discuss a varied selection of topics and it was a thoroughly enjoyable interlude.  Then the following day I met someone for the first time and I am still wondering why on his part he ever agreed, although it was his suggestion in the first place.  I am by nature a cheerful and generally happy individual, make friends easily and can always find things to talk about.  On this occasion I found the conversation one sided and rather like talking to a brick wall.  Sadly no personality and no interest in discussing anything.  It was left to me to ask questions and eventually to make my excuses and leave. I cannot understand how some people have managed to get so far through life, done interesting jobs, seen the world, have a family and come out the other side with nothing to say.  Even if I meet someone who I do not gel with I make the effort and at least come away feeling something was achieved. Well there is ‘nought so queer as folk’!

On the accounts topic I am amazed how much work I have achieved during the year yet have nothing left in the bank, I am single have no dependants or expensive hobbies so how do others with families manage. They are either very good at budgeting (never been an occupation of mine) or deeply in debt.  I applaud those with large families who manage to keep afloat in these difficult times which I fear are going to get tougher.

When I flick through the TV channels during the day I always find the ones on world news, China and Russia are my favourite.  At lunchtime today they had a report from London on how the area is now under Sharia Law and that it will spread round the country, it was a fairly scary piece for anyone who was thinking of travelling to the UK.  My opinion is if you live in someone elses country you respect their laws and religion and if you do not want to conform you don’t stay. There was also a report from a Russian town on the Chinese border, it is thriving and looks very westernised.  The river is the only thing that separates the two countries and the Chinese have set up in the town with markets and buinesses.  It looked a thriving place to be in such a remote looking part of the world.

 

#blog a Friday fryup of Bitz!

Quite a lot of happenings this week in the news not all happy.  There was a time when Parliament broke up for the holidays and we had the silly season, which meant that there was a shortage of news. Instead of all the doom and gloom we used to get happy happenings and silly stories.  Not this summer! With all that’s happening around the world it is a wonder if everything will ever be resolved and we can all live in peace and harmony. Why is it that some nations are so aggressive. I don’t possess an aggressive gene so it is a mystery to me. I was always taught put up and shut up, get your head down and carry on!

After my last trip to stay with friends in America there were hints that the economy was not as it should be and so it is no surprise that the land of the free and whatever you want you can have, is in financial trouble. As we know to our cost you can only have it ‘so good’ for ‘so long’. Everything goes full circle and the weight of power and fortune is making its way back to China and Russia where it once was. Lets hope the savagery of those two great powers does not return with it.

I would like to wish Mike and Zara all the very best for tomorrow and the future and hope the media can stand back and let them have the day they have dreamed of.