Sunday, December 27, 2009

Had a lovely Christmas morning which started with a walk around the lake in the snow. We have had a white Christmas this year and it was postcard perfect with crunchy white snow and blue skies. I took some pictures on my camera phone (so excuse the lower quality.) See the bacterial ice marks on the lake. We fed the ducks and geese and admired the decorated trees. We stopped for coffee and mince pies halfway round so that was in effect the Christmas day breakfast. Cooked dinner when I got back home. Nick made a delicious parsnip soup and then a lazy day was enjoyed by us watching all the not so funny comedy shows. I made a little snowman for the table but we forgot him and he sadly melted in the heat of the kitchen.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A swirl of robes red and white

To take winter dreams to flight

Santa is coming to visit us all

Young and old, large or small

As Christmas white sweeps in

The merriments can now begin

Warm hearths, food, and hearts

At last the holiday truly starts

Our eyes looking to childhood

See thoughts only ever good

We reveal our happiest faces

We are Christmas saving graces

So take this season and rejoice

Find again within; your inner voice

Friends are presents already open

Take the gift; life’s precious token

The one born this December week

To gather all, the placid the meek

He walks among us in various guises

Always in truth; there are no disguises

No matter the word a religion uses

He loves us all equally; never chooses

So think him often and ask a favour

Of our Lord Jesus Christ the saviour

The merriest of Christmas wished to you

To last another whole year through

Next week we begin yet another year

Until then rejoice, this is no time for a tear

Monday, December 21, 2009

Amy Winehouse faces police probe on alleged abuse at panto
(I think the keyword is alleged and who said panto had got boring)

Amy Winehouse is facing a police investigation for allegedly lashing out at a theatre manager after subjecting panto actors to a stream of abuse.

The troubled star is said to have disrupted a performance of Cinderella by heckling the cast.

She is later alleged to have launched a physical attack on a member of staff at the theatre in Milton Keynes, Bucks.

The Back To Black singer was said to have shocked children and parents by shouting "He's ****** behind you" during the performance and yelling out "****** Cinders, Prince Charming, marry me".

Refusing to sit down, she also branded the Ugly Sisters "*****", The Sun reported.

According to the paper, she later launched herself at front-of-house manager, Richard Pound, allegedly pulling his hair, punching him and kicking him between the legs.

Her outburst was said to have exasperated stars of the show, including Fairy Godmother Anthea Turner, comedian Bobby Davro, playing Buttons, and actor Mickey Rooney, as Baron Hardup.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: ""No arrests have been made and the incident is being investigated

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Inward I can gaze on my life’s works

Surely twas lived in hope and peace

I had brought something to the world

And to those people who intertwined

Around my soul it was a union of joy

Yet outward all I see is an exodus

Slow movements away across time

Into the hush of a quieter tomorrow

For now am I lost to my great works?

And you cannot ever now save me

Clocks stop for I shall never choose

Which lifeline I shall reach out to

So I will tarry a little while longer

Floundering in the blackest of seas

Till time and its fickle tides turn

Sweep me away and out to sleep

Receding the physical into reverie

Yet my memories tarry evergreen

While I still see the lessening shoreline

Yet must fade forever as I sink to oblivion

And my last thought in time shall be

How I wish that I could have let you see

All the dreams and the hopes I had stored

For us, for the world, for all eternity

That every word said and written was true

Even though it never came to fruition still...

I would see you all again one day I pray

A flicker of remembrance lights the end

Of this journey into the unfolding rebirth

It is your gentle faces and it brings me peace

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Subject: Postal Scam

As Christmas approaches crime unfortunately usually increases. One initiative by enterprising fraudsters’ has already caught a large number of unsuspecting members of the public. As a result, the Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam:

A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a Premium rate number).

DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize.

If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655. Please be on the look out for this scam as the busy Christmas delivery period approaches.
Just in case you have problems with Photosynth

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The sun’s declination nears completion

Soft sunny days lie on watercolour mists

With the low suns and cold days know

The awakening of our world to rebirth

Is closer, yet still long months to come

Thoughts of such a world comforts me

For when can we ever grow if not now?

I grow with every revolution of the earth

My life dances with the cycles of the moon

Slender, slight crescent to full and bright

Radiating my path with a silvered light

Its touch tells me I am alive and full of joy

For only the universe derives my destiny

And that you are part of that destiny is all

That I shall ever need to remind me

That you are so, so very special to me

However long we have been friends

Thank you for the love and attention

You have always given without thought

I love you in all ways that are within me.

Some with my life, some with my very soul

For us special and loved have found each other

To share and grow in joy in a harsh world

My world is yours to take and all my hopes

I Share with you, my friends…it is forever.

And in finding the world, then so it rewards us

With larks, trumpets and peace of the eternal

For we are the blessed, we have the world

In all its sweet scented, glorious greenery

And always at Christmas, we have each other.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The waking world arrives in cooler textures

New days come scented with heavens aroma

Carried by wind through a dappled glade

To whisper…“You shall never be alone”

For December new doors open in the wind

And this day calls softly on misty breaths

I hear its music clearly; it is alive with you

For our humble worlds, whatever the season

Shall always be spoken in perpetual springtime

Your touch on my heart and soul eases the Winter

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My new Fat Man valve iPod dock and amp - it took a few days (and a call to the store) to figure out that the remote control switches on the dock but i have been impressed by this. (It was cheap too.) That valve sound is like no other. So a great product and lovely, glowing valves.  Funny how they've made a comeback? What next a revival of the black and white television. Will we say it has a better picture? Funny thing nostalgia and hyperbole

Friday, December 04, 2009

Mike forgot to moisturise today

The gang waiting for the return to the cruise ship

The cruise ship food prep area was second to none

Think i'll stop making fun of my relatives now....because despite my humour they are a great nation and such a friendly people. One day I am going there to see where my mum was born.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Truth is we can never square the circle in a lifetime; no matter how we might try!

We are slowly, (some might say rapidly) de-evolving backwards because we have reached a human limit on; not our technology, but the inability to harness it for common good.

In the end it is our fallibility wrought from emotion that will hold us back from enlightenment. We can never attain anything worthwhile while we lust and hunger for wealth and power because in their pursuit, we are all capable of doing such very terrible things to both each other and the natural world.

Currently I am reading the autobiography of Clarissa Dickson Wright. She was a woman with a huge amount of honesty and grace under duress. It is hard to stand up and tell the truth but I guess it is a sign we have made peace with the past and any demons that need exorcising.

If I had 2 people to invite to a dinner party both she and Jennifer Paterson would be at the top of the list but I’d be doing the cooking. They could just relax and tell me lots of stories.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Time calls and I answer her soft summons.

She shows me a past full of favourite places

Flowers and trees that enchant and shade

In so many gardens linked by leafy lanes

Sunshine filled days and crescent moons

It shows me love that has come and gone.

It shows friends who have been so loyal.

Yet also shows that only the future counts

For while we live, breathe, and yet see love

The world is the treasure of innocent souls

For one day soon enough shall the world dim

Yet all memories will awaken into light again

No memories shall be as beautiful as the ones

Made together to stand for all time to come
Why they need so much alcohol in Scotland

Seperated at birth Susan Boyle and Simon Cowell

Another 2 reasons never to believe what you read

Department of Health UK advice

Exercising cannot undo the damage that heavy drinking may cause

A survey for the Department of Health found almost one in five people in England admitted to exercising to "make up" for a heavy bout of drinking.

The poll also found that one in five people drink more than double the NHS recommended amounts per day.

While studies are increasingly showing that alcohol - even large quantities - may be good for the heart, organs such as the liver can suffer grave harm - with alcohol being blamed, for instance, for a large rise in cases of cirrhosis.

European Study

A little alcohol combined with a healthy active lifestyle may be the best recipe for a longer life. A European Heart Journal study suggests the combination can cut the risk of heart disease. A Danish team found people who led an active lifestyle were less prone to heart disease - but the risk was cut still further if they drank moderately.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In London an old priest lay dying in the hospital. For years he had faithfully served the people of the nation's capital. He motioned for his nurse to come near.

"Yes, Father?" said the nurse.

"I would really like to see Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling MP before I die", whispered the priest.

"I'll see what I can do, Father", replied the nurse.

The nurse sent the request to The Houses of Parliament and waited for a response.

Soon the word arrived; Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling would be delighted to visit the priest. As they went to the hospital, Brown commented to Darling, "I don't know why the old priest wants to see us, but it will certainly will help our images and might even get me re-elected. After all, I'm IN IT TO WIN". Darling agreed that it was a good thing.

When they arrived at the priest's room, the priest took Brown’s hand in his right hand and Darling’s hand in his left. There was silence and a look of serenity on the old priest's face. Finally Gordon Brown spoke. "Father, of all the people you could have chosen, why did you choose us to be with you as you near the end?"

The old priest slowly replied, "I have always tried to pattern my life after our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." "Amen", said Brown. "Amen", said Darling. The old priest continued, "Jesus died between two robbers; I would like to do the same

Saturday, November 21, 2009

You may have seen this but is funny

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: Your heart only good for so many beats and that it...don't waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiency. What does cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So steak is nothing more than efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef also good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And pork chop can give you 100% of recommended daily allowance of vegetable product.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottom up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No pain...good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food are fried these day in vegetable oil. In fact, they permeated by it. How could getting more vegetable be bad for you?!?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming good for your figure, explain whale to me..

Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And remember:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!"
For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat

and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat

and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine

and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine

and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats

and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.


Eat and drink what you like.

Speaking English is apparently what kills you.
Dark clouds heavy and brooding birthed torrential rain on a south western wind that blew hard tingling ears and nose and yet enlivening the soul in its mild freshness. When the sun has appeared from out of the clouds the world has taken on a completely different appearance. The weather has showed every facet of its stormy character in small amounts, but the rain has won over the occasionally, glorious sunshine. Cumbria was hit hard by the water and a policeman died when a bridge was swept away. The weathermen are calling it a once in a thousand years event...

Read this quote from T S Elliot

“Those who cannot have the courage to change the world must have the patience to bear whatever it brings them.”

Or something similar but sovery true.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Its 6am and the sky is clear and filled with stars clustered around a crescent moon. One day I am looking forward to sleeping outdoors in the garden somewhere warm and cosy where I could look up to the stars. One day I really must do that; In the summer, in the warmth, I would love watching the day turn to dusk then to night and then back into dawn and light again. Sitting quietly in the dark watching the stars passing through the night sky and imagining them shift through the seasons. Hearing soft sounds of nature and haunting calls of owls from afar. The bright days of sunshine filled with love and wonder, shall in return give way to the stars.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Just sent this email to Flybe

Having just looked at booking a flight I found the cost of the flight was £3.24 but the taxes applied brought the fare to £58.24. I thought this was not standard practise anymore and the total cost had to be displayed from the outset. Then I find there is a £17.98 charge for the bags on top of this so my original cost has now gone from £3.24 to £76.22. I am assuming that there are no other additional charges like oxygen tax or a bus fare to get to the plane.

Yours thoroughly disgusted and now completing the UK internal trip by car and is it any wonder you'll all be out of business soon. Then we might get some straightforward operators doing these routes. Will not even look at Flybe website again.
Aung San Suu Kyi - what patience and hope looks like

Nineteen years ago, the Burmese people chose Aung San Suu Kyi as their next leader. For most of those 19 years she has been kept under house arrest by the military junta that runs the country. We must not stand by as she is silenced again. Now is the time for the international community to speak with one voice:

Free Aung San Suu Kyi. — George Clooney message of support for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi / May 2009
Baguette Leads To Scientific Setback at the Hadron Collider (Maybe God doesn’t want his particle made public.)

The massive machine at the centre of the world's biggest scientific experiment has malfunctioned again – derailed by a bit of bread dropped by a bird. The Hadron Collider, buried 100m under the ground near Geneva, Switzerland, is supposed to recreate conditions seen after the Big Bang. Sections of the machine, which fires protons round a 17-mile-long tunnel at close to the speed of light in order to smash them in to each other, then overheated. The difficulties faced by those working on the project have prompted some members of the scientific community to speculate, in all seriousness, that the machine is sabotaging itself - from the future. The theory is that the particle that physicists hope to produce might be "abhorrent to nature", so that once created it would work backwards through time to put a stop to whatever created it.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

We never saw this coming...

Oldham boy and Take That star Mark Owen and the fairytale wedding to Emma Ferguson

Or the 2 winners of £45 million each on the Euro lottery both coming from the UK. (As Yvonne Fair said once  "It should have been me!"
Overall I’ve had a quiet afternoon. But I did look out of the window and the grey skies had lightened so I went to do a little work in the garden. I’m hoping to dig a third pond before spring but the site had a large rotted wood pile from the tree thinning a couple of years ago. This has to be moved before I can even think of beginning digging. So that’s what I did for a couple of hours even though the last 30 minutes were spent in the rain. Still it was interesting. I watched a couple of Sparrow hawks fly over and land in one of the trees and Mr Robin watching everything I did (or to be more precise the insects I was disturbing.) As I moved some of the wood I found a huge mat of fungus similar to the Japanese varieties. (Clusters of white caps and slender stalks) However I don’t think it likely to be edible.

Just before it began to rain there was a single solitary long roll of thunder and then a gentle rain fell for the rest of the time. But it’s mild and so after working a sweat moving all the wood it was nice to site and look up the hillside whilst drinking a coffee. I haven’t done that for the longest time. (Sit in the rain.) To cap it all as I walked back there was a rainbow arched over Darwen.

I’m sat here now writing this and there are now 2 spiders in the living room. There is 1 very big one which ran from under the couch, under my legs (it was polite enough to lift them up and do a Hoover on the way) and then it had the cheek to go underneath my Tannoy speaker and then there is also 1 smaller one which inexplicably is making its way towards the larger one. Perhaps it is a mating ritual or a death wish.

Isn’t life and nature fascinating...even when sat watching the TV or on the computer. What is the affinity spiders have with me? Think I’ll keep that one quiet. I am making my house sound like the arachnid zone at Chester zoo. Hope you had a good weekend.

I may pass out of time, perhaps out of mind, but never out of reach

Friday, November 06, 2009

6th November 2009

Well there goes another Bonfire night for a year. Though I suspect the fireworks will persist for a few more days till they peter out on Sunday. It was reminiscent of the blitz (not that I remember you understand) last night as I lay in bed waiting for the release of sleep. God cant i moan about anything! I’ll be doing it again tomorrow when I walk around the garden picking up the spent rockets and such.

It’s 4.00am by the way and I’m awake reliving last night’s curry. Very good it was too (and I made my own griddle breads!) but perhaps not so good now it has given me acid indigestion and believe me it’s not pretty. I should have a job where I can get up early and be home at lunchtime.

Shocking news from all over the world this week...all of it so sad. Will it get better? I hope so and soon. Here’s wishing you a peaceful weekend.
Walls and warmth and honey, yeasts and wheat

Built this world and brought peace and health

Education and imagination became illumination

That shone hope into a long awaited renaissance

But now ignorance, fear, its ally; superior inadequacy

Wreaks havoc and makes of us all little fools in paradise.
While night now comes on cooler air

Soft winds now fuel November rain

Cathartic thoughts are now delayed

And any catalyst lost deep in reverie

With only a heart beat lying in-between

Greatness or an abject loss of inspiration

Yet through all this world turns, smiles

While the moon steps higher in waxing radiance

Tremorous tonight in silvered flickering glory

Thursday, November 05, 2009

So where at last, do we come to?

As our words; so overused, now fail,

We the lesser scions of greater poets

Wielding aged eyes, blurring pen strokes

Working hard, yet in vain, to express hope

Only to complete a childish journey of words

A critique of futility in a world of beauty

As the last bee collects her cooled nectar

She thinks of sleep now; summer is long gone

And as the autumn of another year begins

We shall dream of spring and growth; as

Our words freeze intractably into winter

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

How’s your evening going? Mine is going by ok sort of although I am sat here and right opposite is a tarantula’s spider’s smaller brother on the wall. He’s sitting perfectly still and watching my every move. Chances are it is really a female, because they are always bigger. If I was paranoid I might think it was crouching ready to jump on me and strike first. But even so I think that to not do so is the true sign of a good person. It would be so easy to get rid of it and yet my fear of it is less than my compassion and that is how it should be. So I shall let him be and wait for him to disappear. As they always do and there now he has. It’ll be back.

Well the rain has been back torrentially for the last few days. There are hardly any leaves now left on the trees. I think the lake must be getting brimful to the top…might be able to go and feed the ducks at the weekend and look for both the kingfishers, bats and lizards and lions and tigers and bears..Oh my! To be honest I don’t expect to see any, but then you wouldn’t get me out in this wet and damp weather either. Work is nonstop with me getting nowhere, or that is how it feels some days.

Hope you are having a good week and take care.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sun 1st Nov 2009

Well what an entrance November made today with a prelude of rain that rose to a torrent driven by the anger of the western wind. I can hear the elements storming against the windows as I sit and write and how I wish for summer. House seems quiet, so it’s sci-fi time.

So if tonight the world slows and stops

And I never see the light of a new dawn

I would leave and be content if I knew

I had never, ever hurt you more than...

You had the capacity to understand

And the strength of spirit to forgive

For if I remember anything it will be...

Your grace, hope and always your love

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It’s Halloween so old grumpy (that’s me) won’t be answering the door tonight that’s for sure. In any case they might think I’m in costume. Which is like the phone joke doing the rounds at the minute “Can I borrow your face for Halloween.” Very droll...or is that Troll.

We’ve had a mild week but the weekend is going to be wet and then we head back to cooler weather next week. Well we do, but some will be in much warmer climes...hope they have a good time.

We had a round of musical chairs at work this week so who knows what chair I’ll be sitting in by the end of the year. Guess we just keep playing the game until the music stops. When they lift retirement age to 70 (now 65) half of us won’t see it anyway. So you pay in all your life and then drop dead before you want some back.

“Human’s greatest monsters of them all” (to quote a line from Doctor Who)

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Where can one now escape the wet and cold that settles over the hill and trees bringing a prelude to the harsh weather that winter shall fling upon us? Raindrops dash leaves down to blanket the ground where they that settle as a reminder of this now spent summer. As day inexorably fails to dusk and the sky deepens to mauve, as I close the curtains on the world I see silhouetted against the trees a pair of bats. It was so wonderfully enigmatic to watch them but a little sad that this was perhaps the last time I would see any till next year. I close the curtains and retreat into the world of winter nights just as the owl begins to call
Work has been ok lately but seems to consist of mostly ‘get nowhere’ days that make you feel the whole thing is totally frustrating. Still no matter how ugly things may seem the world always shows us just how beautiful and precious everything is and how just one small joy can make a day or a life.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Greatest Sci-Fi Shows Women Characters

Babylon 5 – Mira Furlan.

Farscape – Claudia Black

Battlestar Galactica – Tricia Helfer

Stargate: SG-1 – Claudia Black

Star Trek Enterprise – Jolene Blalock

Star Trek – Majel Barrett

Star Trek: Voyager - Roxann Dawson

Star Trek: Voyager – Kate Mulgrew