Saturday, March 31, 2012

Swift on sated winds we took...
A world in a day and waited
In lighter days easing hearts
Freeing minds of prejudice

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Queens visit to Manchester last week

We don’t know why but it’s awfully nice at the moment. Solid blue skies, sunshine and warm temperatures.  It isn’t going to last but let’s enjoy it for the minute. Saturday had the dog professionally photographed at a local dog parlour and Sunday planted the potatoes and had a spring clean in the garden. The frogs after a few poor years seem to be increasing in numbers once again. Spring is officially here now and the change to BST (British Summer Time) means there is daylight till 8pm.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Phew busy lunch; been to the Post Office, took the dog for a walk, ate a sandwich and written this and I only get 1 hour. Taking the dog out on this beautiful spring day was hard as it was so perfectly warm and yet fresh that I just wanted to keep on going for the rest of the afternoon. Oh well back to work. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

To arise now to dawn and feel the blessed breath of summer exhaled all the earlier. The season comes now into the waking world and no longer do I sit within the darkness awaiting the light.  Nothing shall inhabit fairer the days that run over with warmth and a no passing slights darken the gleam of summer. For whit of their long shadow they are allowed no quarter upon the world till it falls and ever then summer shall be witness to naught save only the laughter that prevails right to the end. For that is the fear of the clerics that when the end comes they shall see only the folly of thy actions and even so; though it stare them in the face so shall they still deny it. We shall not be so low for we have suffered in angst a little, but we have set that against the joy of living and we have understood that finite means create infinite dreams and of what carbon and stardust survive in the end depends on the breadth of vision we see.

 Abroad under the shade of a giant tree we may tarry and let go to them the dreams of folly but by this one act we become immortal. For they will tell you that the soul is a creature that abides within the cage of man. But not for nothing have I thought on this and I say that immortality is the currency of the fools amongst us. Labours won and lost are set against a life lived withal unhindered by the convention of certainty. In that we are the true children of the earth for we see how the universe was meant to be and for that we will be rewarded. No matter what the writ of the self appointed wise may tell us.

Monday, March 19, 2012

You know I’ve read the Lord of the Rings saga several times. A classic heroic struggle of hardship, betrayal and calculated strategies. I’m sure they all did a good job and got there in the end but you know what; I think a mother would have cut the time in half. Because that’s what they do – the impossible. Tolkien should have known that.
A masterpiece painted on a canvas of stars
Soft is painted the light around a mother
She stands sentinel against a darkening sky
What world has she made that it grants me leave
To navigate days by the light of the heavens
Without some fair words of tranquil grandeur
We may fail to hear the message she would give
To inspire our arching endless possibility of life
Mother is written of starlight in time without end.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pictures from the garden this morning - The frogs are thrashing around in the pond. A wasp already awake before the bumblebees. Now that is early for so far north. in their defence it is a beautiful day.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

'One in three incapacity benefit claimants are fit to work'

More than one in three people whose claims for incapacity benefit have been reassessed are fit for work, ministers have said.
Around 1.5 million incapacity benefit claimants are being reassessed. Following that review, they are either moved on to the new Employment Support Allowance, or found fit to work and expected to seek employment. The assessment process has been controversial, with critics including disability charities claiming many people subjected to it are wrongly classed as fit to work.

DWP figures for the first 141,100 claimants to face reassessment showed that 37 per cent of those whose claims had been concluded had been found fit for work.
Chris Grayling, the employment minister said: "These first figures completely justify our decision to reassess all the people on incapacity benefit. To have such a high percentage that are fit for work just emphasises what a complete waste of human lives the current system has been.

More cheap labour coming to a market near you soon - They may not be 100% perfect but hey-ho what can one expect from an indentured labour force that have been deemed as fit.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The evening is cool and misty and perfectly still with a gentle hint of soft rain on the head. The garden is beginning to bloom and grow again and seeks to catch me unawares as it races for spring. How unlike March the season is. Life as we know it takes its mark from our moods and in this month we take point at the rising sun like sentinels. Its warmth invigorates and its light broadens the world and lengthens my day. Clockwork seasons wound to different tensions arrive and depart each year and I feel that this last summer gainfully abided in my labour of the ages shall be worth savouring.
Go figure???
He is picky about his robes and his red shoes are tailor-made, but Pope Benedict has taken the meaning of bespoke to a whole new level by ordering a custom-blended eau de cologne just for him.

The fragrance, which mixes hints of lime tree, verbena and grass, was concocted by the Italian boutique perfume maker Silvana Casoli, who has previously created scents for customers including Madonna, Sting and King Juan Carlos of Spain.

Casoli said she had a "pact of secrecy" with her most illustrious client to date, and refused to release the full list of ingredients that had gone into his scent – but she did reveal that she had created a delicate smelling eau de cologne "based on his love of nature".

Sour, sweet and indigestible to humans - sounds like Catholic doctrine to me
PEOPLE living in Blackburn and Darwen are the most poverty stricken in East Lancashire, according to a new survey.

The research ranked the borough as 10th out of all 354 local authorities in the country for the numbers of people currently living in poverty and those who are at risk of falling into poverty. Middlesbrough was top. Burnley, Pendle and Hyndburn were placed within the top 50 of the data collated by the credit reference company Experian, which supplies information to credit cards companies and banks.

Blackburn with Darwen Council bosses said deprivation in the area had been ‘exaggerated’ by the public sector cuts as a result of reduced budgets allocated by central government. But they vowed to tackle the issue by focusing on economic growth in the area. According to a survey in 2010, Blackburn with Darwen was the 17th most deprived in the country. There were around 34 per cent of people living in areas that were in the 10 per cent most deprived in England in 2010 compared to about 37 per cent in 2007.

Overall, around 29.5 per cent of children lived in poverty and 18.1 per cent of people were claiming out of work benefits in 2010.

Leader of Blackburn Council, Kate Hollern, said: “We don't need a survey to tell us we face significant challenges in this area, exaggerated by the public sector cuts we have endured over the last couple of years. And we are going to continue to have these challenges in the future. “However, residents can have confidence in this council that we are doing our best to tackle the issues that this borough faces and our focus at the moment is stimulating the local economy through numerous initiatives to make Blackburn with Darwen more prosperous.”

Err...might want to add that really nothing has changed in centuries then.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Don’t look for the good in people; just look for people who are good

This is a real story from our local newspaper - no wonder its going out of business. In case you're wondering I haven't edited it at all. This is the entire story. I know its a real story because we saw all the CSI investigators there at the scene working behind the police tape on Sunday. If dishevellment is now a crime could these have been the fashion police then. No facts, no substance, no story - yep sounds like the Lancashire Telegraph.

Mill in Darwen cordoned off after man found
10:43am Monday 12th March 2012 in News
A Man was found in a 'dishevelled' state in an alleyway in Darwen in the early hours of Sunday. Police cordoned off the scene in Bolton Road, near to India Mill, after fears the man could have been sexually assaulted.

Forensic teams attended but after an investigation it was found there had been no sexual assault. A police spokesman said: “Police were called in the early hours of Sunday to reports that a man had been found in a dishevelled state in an alleyway off Bolton Road in Darwen. “An investigation is under way to establish the circumstances of how he came to be in that condition.”


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Guess what i did this morning (see below)

Bread with fresh yeast (Using a Kenwood KM020)



1.5 kg strong white flour

4 tsp salt (sounds a lot but you need this much)

2oz sunflower oil (or the oil or fat of choice)


2 tsp sugar

850ml lukewarm water

3x 30g blocks of fresh yeast

Preparation method

Mix the solids (flour and salt and oil) with the K beater for 2 min on No 1. Cream / crumble the yeast into the water and sugar (using a whisk is easiest to amalgamate the mixture) Add liquid to a well in the flour and knead for 10 minutes on lowest setting No 1. Check the dough consistency it should be slightly sticky but not wet and certainly not dry like a pastry. Prove in the mixing bowl till doubled. (You’re best to remove the bowl while you do this and make sure you cover it with clingfilm.)Then knock gently back. Knead in a folding motion for a further 2 minutes on a floured board and then shape into the loaves.

This mix will make approx 4x600g dough balls. (Use a scale.)Try to cut the dough into 4 equal size pieces as cutting bits off to equalise the weight doesn’t quite produce an even loaf. It is better to have slightly dis-similar weights. Shaping is important here as the top of the dough should be smooth and without lumps. Square off the dough roughly and then roll / fold up dough pieces to a long oval shape and place in tin smoothest side to the top. Add 600g to a 2lb loaf tin and prove till well risen and cresting the tins. The rising dough will always dome off so ensure the dough piece if relatively flat in the tin to start but do not squish and squash it after you place it in.

Bake for 25 mins at 210C (fan) 220C non fan oven, 400 F or gas mark 6 for approx 25-30 mins. Open the door and put in the bread quickly to avoid losing heat and do not open till at least 20 minutes have past. A good tip is to heat the oven to 230C and then turn it down to 210C once the door is closed. The initial heat is very important in baking a successful loaf. Once it’s properly cooked the loaf will sound hollow when it is tapped on the base. Enjoy!!!
Note: Some recipes tell you to mist the oven. This works for single loaves but batch baking 4 at a time in a good fan oven works well without it, due to the initial release of moisture from the bread in the oven spring.

Dont buy anything with a free Ultraviolet digital download - complete crap and doesn't work well. Despite creating an account it wouldn't let me log on. Rubbish despite all the slick advertising.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Like a black damask napkin lying over silver cutlery, the day was folded into night; till only the smallest gleam of silver penetrated the blackness like distant stars. The world shrank so fast; faster than anyone could have foreseen. Days now became hellish caricatures of previous ages when the febrile began to move around the land and take a lead in what they saw as heroic deeds that were yet nothing more than spiteful, ignorant acts. Young preyed on the old, the strong upon the weak while the enemy remained hidden from view.  All that was built and endured fell to ruin and as the fabric of life was rent asunder the laughter of the dark lord was plain to hear, to those with the wit to see his hand on all things.
Now we are a fading people living in fear of the day when we may be seen by the half trolls we once counted as kin. What blights may strike the world when its eyes turn from grace and seek to steady the injustice with pity? We will not make that same mistake again and in the night we emerge and over the span of the moon across the sky, steel is sharpened. The metal of our weapons is hard, but greater still is the alloy of our will. Through loss and ill acts was it forged and now the days are coming when we shall leave the night and reclaim the days.
One of the UK's biggest brokers of loans, Yes Loans, could be put out of business after a regulator found that it conducted "deceitful and oppressive" practices. Its credit licence has been withdrawn by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), stopping it selling loans. But hang on...Yes Loans said it was considering an appeal and would continue to trade....what!!!!

The OFT, which has been investigating Yes Loans for some time, found that the business misled some customers into believing that it was a loan provider rather than a credit broker.

It deducted fees from people's cards, without making it clear that a fee was payable, and failed to provide refunds in good time. In some cases, customers were not matched with the loan they wanted, but to a short-term, high-interest product instead. The OFT said customers were charged fees after handing over debit or credit card details for "identity checks".

So how do this work – I think the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) needs better teeth. Close down the broker and refund all the money and interest payments free of charge. Simples....but it will never happen of course.  Banks and finance organisations in general seem to be immune to consequences of any kind for their actions. They are now tools of the elite to drag us back to the past.
Coca Cola is......well quite frankly a bit worrying

Coke and Pepsi alter recipe to avoid cancer warning label

Coca-Cola and Pepsi are changing the recipes for their drinks to avoid putting a cancer warning label on the bottle, to comply with California laws. The new recipe for the drinks' caramel colouring will have less 4-methylimidazole, a chemical California has added to its list of carcinogens. The change to the recipe has already been introduced in California.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

A cat died and went to Heaven. God met her at the gates and said, 'You have been a good cat all these years. Anything you want is yours for the asking.' The cat thought for a minute and then said, 'All my life I lived on a farm and slept on hard wooden floors. I would like a real fluffy pillow to sleep on.' God said, 'Say no more.' Instantly the cat had a huge fluffy pillow.

A few days later, six mice were killed in an accident and they all went to Heaven together. God met the mice at the gates with the same offer that He made to the cat. The mice said, 'Well, we have had to run all of our lives: from cats, dogs, and even people with brooms! If we could just have some little roller skates, we would not have to run again.' God answered, 'It is done.' All the mice had beautifullittle roller skates.

About a week later, God decided to check on the cat. He found her sound asleep on her fluffy pillow. God gently awakened the cat and asked, 'Is everything okay? How have you been doing? Are you happy?' The cat replied, 'Oh, it is WONDERFUL. I have never been so happy in my life. The pillow is so fluffy, and those little Meals on Wheels you have been sending over are delicious!'

The picture below is amazing

Might be worth a look out of the window tonight

A massive solar flare will hit Earth on Thursday bringing with it the threat of power and GPS blackouts but also improving the chance of seeing the northern lights. The burst of charged particles which has been released by the Sun and is rushing towards Earth is the biggest since August and comes as the Sun begins the most active stage of its 11-year cycle.

The cloud of particles will begin reaching Earth at about midday on Thursday and should last until Friday but could be followed by further bursts, experts said. Solar flares also raise the chance of seeing auroras or Northern Lights which could appear as far south as Britain, although the full moon and light pollution in cities reduce the likelihood of one being seen.

Robert Massey, of the Royal Astronomical Society, said: "This probably will increase the chances of an aurora being visible in Britain – the bright moon might make it hard to see but if you live in the countryside it could be worth having a look."

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The man in a dress and dripping in gold who can never marry or have any form of intimate relationship advises against extending marriage as a concept to other groups?

One does not always know which side clergy are on but it does not seem to be on the side of common sense as far too often their self interest ends in disaster for those they allege they are saving. They need to remember that if you take rhetorical sides, you cannot genuinely be a Christian and that you cannot now save all souls; no matter how much you may protest you can! For the souls you wish to save become a currency with a higher value than those you decry. Cardinal Keith O'Brien would probably have us burning witches still. Only religions and politicians can take an essentially good act, besmirch it and offer it back to us as an evil thing. I would say, “Get back to your illustrious houses and when you have cleaned them of your own sin, you may then offer me advice on how to live my life.”

The world is awash with harmful words. They swim through our lives along tides of insincere worth and rise and fall in greatness with the seasons. In spring the talk grows hopeful, summer inspirational and expectant, autumn reflective and in winter baleful yet expectant. For me I have no words; I have only deeds but they now have become a relic that may not be counted in the decisions you are making for all of us. You are content to show only that which you wish us to see. You count us as children or worse; yet are we so inconsequential that you may travel the land committing all manner of acts in our name. I see nothing but harm wrought into bloody crescedence by the ancient foes perpetuating their misinterpretation of myths. The land is at a terrible impasse and what may now save it from the layer upon layer of half-truths and endless rhetoric’s that issue from the high houses of the elites. Those elites who are in turn pygmies in the pantheon of past greatness in our leaders.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

I couldn’t resist this one a sit brought back memories of days when all the women wore aprons (or pinnies)

 The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven. It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven. When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids. And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, It carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.  In the autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds. When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner. It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw. They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. I never caught anything from an apron - but Love

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Here we are March already and after a warm and sunny spring like weekdays we arrive at the weekend with cool, wet, grey and cloudy days. It’s been fairly quiet overall, but the world is changing. The light strengthens and the air seems to let go the winter chill earlier in the morning.  The light is nearly up by 6.30am now and the birds are awake. I shall start taking Robbie out before going to work soon. He senses the change in the days and I think and he now wakes a little earlier. Perhaps he hears the birds and wants to go join them. Dogs have such patience about them. Would that some could rub off on me sometimes.
Took this picture while out walking yesterday. It seemed funny at the time but not sure. But it is a bit face like. What do you think?