Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween myths, legends and witchcraft statistics.

Cost of smoking to East Lancashire's economy calculated as £163million

The shocking cost of East Lancashire’s chronic smoking problem has been revealed for the first time as £163million per year. This figure includes £33.5million alone in lost productivity from workers taking smoking breaks and £28.8million from smoking-related sick days.

Cost of Quantative Easing to the UK so far (as at Oct 2011) 275 billion Pounds

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee last week voted to increase the size of its asset purchase programme, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves, by £75bn to a total of £275bn.

Cost of the NHS 2011/12 is around £106 billion

The NHS employs more than 1.7m people. Of those, just under half are clinically qualified, including, 39,409 general practitioners (GPs), 410,615 nurses, 18,450 ambulance staff and 103,912 hospital and community health service (HCHS) medical and dental staff.

You decide where your truth is when they tell you there has to be cutbacks. But you know the banks are happy because where else can banks and speculators make such a mess of things and not have to pay the price.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I swam deep among the stars
Gazing across the sapid infinity
Yet when I looked back to Earth
Autumn was fast encroaching
On the northern hemisphere
Rising tides of copper and red
Called me home once more and
I swam no more in the starry sea
Looking over to the garden from over the road. The autumn colours are really great this year. Everything in the centre of the pictures (to the left of the golden beech trees on the cemetery border) is pretty much the garden. I guess it's the distance but the pictures almost have a watercolour effect.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A lone voice called across a nacreous waste
Unheard, unremarked and unrequited
So a million voices called across the impotence
Unanswered, unhappy and understated
So all native voices went silent in the vacuum
Uncaring, undone and ultimately unfulfilled
Who will plead the case now thews are gone?
Unmade, unsafe, unacting and unloving
Not I for I am invisible, dissolved and fade
Unliving, unsaved, unsated and now unseated.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A report into employment laws commissioned by the prime minister has recommended scrapping the right for workers to claim unfair dismissal.
The report, which has not been made public, argues this move would mean more capable people would replace those sacked, boosting economic growth.

But some senior Liberal Democrats fear it would harm the economy. Currently, workers who feel they were unfairly dismissed can make a claim after 12 months in a job. Last year there were 236,000 employment tribunal claims - of which only some were unfair dismissal claims, with an average award for successful complainants of £8,900.

The report was was written by Adrian Beecroft, a venture capitalist and Conservative Party donor.  The coalition government has stated its committed to reforming employment laws. The chancellor, George Osborne, recently announced new measures aimed at restricting the number of unfair dismissal claims.

He announced that, from April 2011, the qualifying period for a claim for unfair dismissal would be that the individual must have been in the job for at least two years.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

They were at the head of a long valley which swept down to a long ribbon lake that traced the shape of the valley floor. The autumn colours ran down the hills like a wave of tarnished copper and the rain in the distance spread across the vista like silvered voile in a window at dusk. After the long paths in the grey, cold austerity of the mountain tops the sight was most welcome. They descended the incline and the upland scrub and scree slopes gave way to Birch and Rowan trees and then finally to rich alluvial farmland. Here at least they might find supplies and warm beds for the night. Asthralain knew these folk well and though they were indomitable and hard they would show no quarter to the enemy. For tonight at least Asthralain would find peace.
The usual work structure in place where most of us work - Better to be higher in the order, but at least we know why people slip from grace so quickly on their way down. By this time next year i'll be on the grass underneath looking up.

Only in New York could they do this  - but kinda cute, although i'm not sure Robbie would wear it. The dog at the bottom with the fag and the drink is my favourite. When i first saw these pics i thought it was a local wedding party.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I came across these pictures the other day - how times have changed at work. I get dizzy just looking at the first picture.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Well it’s been a quiet week with our first frost on Tuesday. Only a mild one, but still it is a precursor of what is to come. For the moment it has returned to mild damp weather which should last into next week. I made my jam last night and you know it came out beautifully – text book short rolling boil and then perfect set. Must be the grapes are naturally high in pectin. The recipe was grape, gooseberry and apple and all were from the garden. I shall get some croissants at the weekend and try it out. Of course if I wasn’t working I could make the croissants but for the moment the shop bought ones are good enough.

I made a complaint against a supermarket the other day because they were selling wine at 2 bottles for £10 or 1 bottle for £9.56 – is that skewed to make you drink more or what! They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with that. People here don’t need any encouragement to drink excessively for sure (me included.)

I watched the Green Lantern the other night – a bit silly but parts of it were ok. I am however finding a lot of newer films filled with personal angst and relationship issues rather than aliens or fantasy special effects. Still even so I downloaded the digital copy into iTunes where it shall stay unwatched till they remake it again in 20 years.

Roll on the weekend

Ps the answer to the riddle was nothing

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Only 5% of Stanford University graduates figured it out!
Can you answer all seven of the following questions with the same word?

1. The word has seven letters....
2. Preceded God...
3. Greater than God...
4. More Evil than the devil...
5. All poor people have it...
6. Wealthy people need it....
7. If you eat it, you will die.

Did you figure it out?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It’s been a calm, sunny weekend overall. Not too much going on but appreciatively the weather is dry. Final gasp and here comes the cold. I have done a little work on my cabinet restoration in the garage at last although I can see that project taking some time. Well if nothing else, I shall have lots of that next year. The plan is for us all to be finished in Oct 2012 but the signs are saying something different. I think very much it is a case of ‘hope for the best but plan for the worst.’ We’re counting down – 382 days to go!

I’ve accepted the whole thing but I find it affects a lot of decisions I shall have to make. I was thinking of a new smart phone as I currently have a not very smart Blackberry but I don’t want to be locked into a 2 year contract. The Blackberry is in my opinion an awful phone; but that may be because I am on the ‘pay as you go’ misers plan. I use it so very little that it probably makes no sense at all to go contract. It’s just that well; everyone else seems to have one. If you haven’t an iPhone well you haven’t an iPhone and these days that’s like you are some sort of underclass of human being. I haven’t got an iPad too, so I guess I am devolving into the evolutionary backwaters of humanity at some speed.

I don’t know how it is where you are but here so very like its Christmas next week in the stores with the piles of decorations, toys, cakes and biscuits etc...Remember amoretti are for life not just Christmas; Commercialism it’s the new religion. Well I won’t be buying anything just yet; unless it’s a bargain! Then it makes sense – see I have cupboards full of them. Now what did I think the mandolin would be useful for when I bought it. It certainly wasn’t for cutting my fingertips off. Note to self – give it Nick. He heals quickly which is probably lucky given the number of catering related injuries he gets in a week. The other rule of my life, is do not give Mike anything too sharp or that requires more than 2 steps to complete. Otherwise he’ll cut his fingers off and wonder what he was doing when he did.

Picked all my grapes this afternoon. Have saved a bowlful of the best to eat (and surprisingly they are delicious) and am stewing the rest as I write with gooseberries and apples (all from the garden) to make a fruit jam (jelly. ) I have no idea how it will taste but seems a good way to use all the produce.
Exit stage left lady of summer with your verdant gown muddied and now shorn of beauty save the last fading flowers. To bed have gone her beloved insects and now she will retreat to the southern hemisphere to be renewed amid its longer days. She leaves with a retinue of swallows over calm seas and as the leaves run after her chill comes.

Entrance stage right the lady August wrapped in the cloak of dusk with shimmering mists wreathing her feet below bronzed hued raiments. She carries a huge cornucopia of bounty bearing the fruits of summer’s growth and in the dry days and icy nights ahead gives us time to gather them up. As we sow, we now reap with sickles and songs made more urgent by the fading days.
From the Guardian- Saturday 15 October 2011 19.59 BST

The government is to launch a "house swap" programme, reminiscent of Norman Tebbit's call for the jobless to "get on your bike", in an attempt to encourage people to move around the country to find work. Housing minister Grant Shapps says the scheme will help people living in social housing to find work.

The controversial plan to tackle the unemployment crisis means people living in social housing will be helped to uproot their families in order to chase jobs. Details of the scheme are yet to be finalised, but it is understood the plan would involve a nationwide database of house swaps and the removal of any barriers to people in social housing moving between regions.

"House swap" emerged in a week when David Cameron was forced to admit that it was "very disappointing" that unemployment had risen by another 114,000 in the past three months to 2.57 million – a 17-year high. The prime minister added that the government would "do everything it possibly can" to tackle the crisis, amid concerns that ministers do not have any answers to the problem.

The scheme will be launched in the coming weeks. Grant Shapps, the housing minister, wrote in Inside Housing magazine last week that it would "boost the prospects of tenants wanting to swap their social home to take up new job opportunities, be closer to their family, or move to a property better suited to their needs". He added: "Home swap direct will mark the start of a new drive to improve mobility within social housing."

I think I’ll swap with someone in the south of France – any volunteers? No I thought not and don’t forget these people are in charge of the country. Yes scary isn’t it!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I think we at 50 or younger better plan on never getting an old age pension payment - now what i want to know is how they can get away with breaking their contract to us and will i be getting the money back that i have paid for the last 35 years to retire at 65 thought not! Someone summend it up perfectly by saying it was a state sponsored genocide plan by forced labour for the ageing population. All that money we paid in pensions and now nothing in return - sad!

Pension age of 67... It’s going to be sooner than you thought: Millions must now work longer as the retirement age rise is brought forward by up to a decade. Millions in their 50s will have to work a year longer than they expected. The announcement from Whitehall could come as early as next week. The state pension age is to rise to 67 for both men and women many years earlier than planned – possibly as soon as 2025. This means millions of people currently in their 50s will have to work a year longer than they expected. Whitehall sources said an announcement could come as early as next week.
Here's some more black and white shots but i think they work best in good light and not at dusk like last night when these were taken

Dont think i'll be any competition for Turning leaf anytime soon but they are edible

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sunday 9th Oct 2011

Thought I’d try some black and white to capture the mood of the day. Tropical to cold torrential, in just ten days. Still dog enjoys the rain very much...more than he should I think. I’m sat here at 1.30pm and I can hardly see the keyboard it is that dull.

It’s been a quiet weekend mostly apart from a very bad accident on the road yesterday afternoon about a quarter of a mile away resulting in the death of 3 people with the fourth critically ill. How sad is that, but then again the A666 is very congested and dangerous road. It’s the main road to Bolton and I use it a fair bit myself. The road was closed for five hours and I think the whole fleet of Lancashire’s emergency vehicles attended.

Busy week at work with some long assessments but will try to catch up with some writing in the evening if I don’t do anymore today. Have a good week

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Well excuse me! We’ve had a small heatwave across the UK for a week now I’m back from holiday. Amazing! Still weather was pretty good on holiday overall but the fens in Norfolk are a little windy. Probably that is why they have so many windmills.

The heatwave dissipated rather abruptly Sunday bringing a day of rain across the north of England. The last gasp of summer evaporates and we go back to normal weather scenarios (cold and grey and very wet) but the leaves seem a good colour this year. We have wind forecast so that should take hold of the trees and cascade drifts of leaves to the ground. I love it when the paths are carpeted in the bronzed hues of the autumn.

This panoram of entwistle reservoir was made by stitching several pictures together in case you're wondering why there are diagonal lines on it. It works well but needs the exposures on the various pictures to be good. I'll get better.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Without compulsion her staff blazed into life for the glowings she had placed around the clearing now sprang into pearlescent life and illuminated the enemy charge. She raised the alarm. Within an instant the Ishanntari were awake and in the light of the nacreous glowings saw that their enemy came in a disorganised wave of chaos that made no sense. “To me” roared Ibbero and the Ishanntari raised their staffs in unison and created a swift wall of force around them all. It hung in the still night air like thin smoke but when the first Valwyre crashed into it, the force became a pyrocumulus forbidding and in that conflagration the Valwyre dropped dead instantly screaming into the quiet of the night. More followed and each one met the same end. Yet the assault continued and in the clearing the low rumble of guttural speech could be heard urging them on. 

The forbadement could not hold long against such force and as the fetid smell of burning flesh filled their nostrils and stung their eyes then silence came as no more Valwyre hurled themselves against the forbidding. Yet now the goblins came and in long stilted strides passed straight through the forbidding. Goblins were hideous to behold with long ears set high on narrow, hairless heads that had broad, low noses and their lips were thin on wide mouths and held fearsome pointed teeth and set with disarming intensity towards the side of the head were eyes as red as the sunset. Smaller than a man in height due to their backward bent legs they were covered in grey skin and had square torsos and long, powerful arms that reached to their knees. Feet and hands were garnered with long cutting claws. They wore no clothing and in the light of the glowings and the fading forbidding their skin became the hue of sickness.

To gild my sails and set away across sea
To weave a trail across the soul to be
To slate the rain, to ward, the storm
To ameliorate long fingers of harm
To float away on salt crested waves
To track stars that twinkle like naves

To edge and bob on a winters tide
To show all there is nothing I hide

To end of the world under inky sky
To meet creation at journeys end sigh