Pot Luck supper

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For some reason that I have never figured out, if everyone is invited to bring along food even without specifying what it should be, the result always seems to produce a balanced and satisfying meal, plus a balance between sweet and savory.

There were about 25 of us in the Ston Easton Garden Club at our annual Christmas party. Fortunately, Françoise made a particularly good and varied salad consisting of all the usual plus feta cheese, broad beans and the whole bowl-full which made the centrepiece for all the baked quiches and meat pies.

This informal meeting started with greetings, followed by food, followed by someone reading poetry, followed by a quiz and then a raffle for secret Santa presents. We all had to contribute a present costing no more than three pounds. Finally a small group played Christmas hymn tunes.  We were joined at our table by two widows, whose husbands had had very interesting lives. One was a judge of sheep and the other one traveled widely throughout Europe in connection with his job. It was a pleasure to meet with them and talk about travel.

someone reading poetry

I can compare the atmosphere at this meeting in a humble village hall with the previous one at the Old Down Inn. Atmosphere and attitude is most effectively communicated by the person who is running the show and it seems to filter down to everybody else. If the person at the top has difficulties or is nursing some problems, this definitely affects the atmosphere adversely. We were lucky this evening. Paulette cheerfully supervised the evening; my contribution was to support and make sure she didn’t get too worried or concerned if everything was not absolutely right.

Off on a cross-country ride home, with clouds scudding in the sky and the moon shining brightly.

 

 

 

Raping the minds of children in USA (and Sweden)

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SPECIAL ‘RANT’ DIARY ENTRY BORN OUT OF FRUSTRATION

I am a member of a local men’s Christian group we speak regularly to talk about Jesus, what behaviour is expected of us, what Christian life is all about. I sometimes wonder if people know what is really going on in terms of depravity as to how Marxist elements/ the crazy Left in America has declared war on Christianity, notably in America.

There is a very good website called allnewspipeline.com, which I quote

…..This widespread attempt to undermine the faith and morals of our children is actually a form of persecution. It’s not as obvious as slaughtering people and burning churches, but the goal is the same—to wipe out Christianity and replace it with something else…..

….A school district in Austin, Texas will teach third graders about oral and anal sex, and this includes role playing. In other words, eight-year-old boys and girls will pretend to do oral sex and anal sex on other children, while other children watch them do it. They will also pretend to have sex when they are drunk, and put a condom on somebody.

A 16-year-old girl was required to role play getting raped, in front of her classmates. She was also required to read out loud a poem which has such an indecent attitude towards sex that I cannot describe it here. That poem is full of four-letter words. The girl was traumatized by having to do these things in front of her classmates.

The NEA has also been promoting “death education,” and their goal is to change thinking about death as radically as they were able to change thinking about sex. Do you remember that shooting at Columbine? For years that school had been teaching death education.

Some schools even have a “suicide talking day.” On that day, students write suicide notes. They write their own obituaries and discuss what they will look like in their caskets. One student said that before “suicide talking day,” she never considered the possibility of suicide. After that day, she began to contemplate it. She thought that it would “liberate her spirit” so that it would no longer be “enslaved to her body.” In addition, it would help with the problem of global overpopulation. She said that the suicide training made her “brave enough” to commit suicide….

If you want to read the whole article, and see how the suicide rate is increasing as our children are becoming hopelessly indoctrinated visit this website. We have not seen anything yet.

What would be the effect on my brothers in the group if I read this out? They would probably switch off. ‘They would not do that, would they?’ Er – yes. So I have to carry this burden around on my own.

Check out this video. Viewer discretion advised.

Stand up now, or lose it all later – Will Johnson

Here is another one:

Alex Newman : Rescuing Our Children 55:54

Not everybody will like you

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A lovely quote from brainyquote.com. “Kindness in women, not their beauteous looks, shall win my love“. Washington Irving.

I can’t seem to focus on anything at the moment. There are so many things I would like to do and attempts to discipline myself have so far failed. The fact of the matter is that I’m easily distracted, and I also rather like doing nothing. At the age of 75 think I’m entitled to do this. I do want to feel, however, that I’m performing some type of useful purpose in the remaining years allotted to me.

We visited Bath again on Friday to do various small errands. We’ve particularly focused on health shops which are an unending source of joy to me – real food without additives, chemicals. The pharmaceutical industry works closely with the food industry to entice as many people as possible to have their products and be addicted to them.

The insults and misunderstandings that I get occasionally are nothing compared to people in public life for example, Jeremy Corbyn being told he is anti- Semitic just because he complains about Israel’s actions with regard to Palestine. Israel brings out this tired old excuse of being victims and every time the world or at least the mainstream media fall for it.

However, I’ve come to the conclusion that speaking the truth is, and making people uncomfortable or disturbing them from their comfort zone is not going to lead in every case to being loved.   The way of looking at the world is like two parallel lines. On the one line it is all about the power grabbing and profit grabbing of the corporates who run the planet, and on the other line is the residue, the doctored information about entertaining the great unwashed, bits and pieces of information that will keep us quiet and hopefully numb us into accepting controls on our behaviour.

This is this old story of the red pill and the blue pill as featured in the Matrix.

I realise that I probably make people uncomfortable, just by being in the same room, for what I symbolise.  I think that must go with the territory. I was listening to a sermon recently about how Jesus Christ was treated. He was abused, spat on, derided, insulted, all for bringing about a message of love. Here am I, speaking about something far less pivotal but important nevertheless, such as 5G, smart meters and so-called climate change and expecting to get away with not being abused.

However, I find that I’m getting a little bit prone to depression, not clinical depression but just feeling down, so I decided in the Christmas period to spend more time on my own health, which means relaxation and doing something else than concentrating on my websites. This diary has suffered a little bit. Someone suggested I was suffering from S.A.D. which is a reaction to lack of sunlight – vitamin C and D are required.

Yesterday, Saturday, we went to Frome and enjoyed the cultural atmosphere of people who are in a different socio-economic bracket than here in Midsomer Norton.  I think that most people in this town are struggling for survival on a day-to-day basis and don’t have any time for other people, let alone to be able to think abstractly and philosophically, which I suppose is a luxury.

Thursday, I’m going to Bristol to see a lady who is a nutritionist and a functional medicine person. This means that she looks at the cause of the disease as well as the symptoms, which is something that I need for my stomach. It was good to hear recently that my stomach itself is quite functional but it is just getting more and more sensitive to what I put down my throat and when. I find it more difficult to eat in the evening and if my last meal is at four o’clock that my body likes it and I can sleep better.

The weather has been tempestuous recently. Even gusting wind at 37 miles an hour makes me feel extra snug and warm inside the home, my log fire blazing way. In Penzance, where we were a few weeks ago, the wind is blowing at 72 miles an hour, which must be quite spectacular as it is on the coast and therefore in an exposed position. There is something about Cornwall that I love; I hope to go there soon but I get the feeling that Tenby which is in South Wales will be my next port of call.

BAD decision+I love this message + noisy restaurant

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A day or so ago I was telling you about this wonderful offer for £299 for an all-inclusive week in the Canary Islands. I made a big mistake in delaying booking not realising that the price was so good that it would inevitably change. Sure enough, overnight, it went up from £299-£379. A day later it was £432. I see what they do, they start the ball rolling by giving a ridiculous offer and then move the price up. It moved up from £299-£432 in three days. I get it now. As soon as you see the offer, a lot of other people also see the offer, and you need to jump on it. Okay, I have to leave from London Gatwick at 5:40 AM but I don’t mind a little bit of inconvenience.

I attended a Christmas dinner celebration run by our local gardening group. There were three groups lf tables in  the allocated room at the Old Down Inn. If you go into the empty room it looks pleasant enough but when it is full of 40 people all talking at the top of their voices it’s quite frankly a hellish environment. The noise was so great that at our table of eight it was not possible to speak to the person opposite without actually shouting.

I’m sensitive to noise anyway so the tendency was to shut myself off, concentrate on the food,  and try not to look too miserable. It was not too far off a torture chamber though the food was good and plentiful. My ideal number for a meal is between four and six people. I like to hear what is being said, think about it, and respond but then that’s me.

 

Deciding where to go on holiday – the schools racket

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A cloudless sky and another crisp morning. Off to Warminster to get some more logs. We do not need any at the moment but the logs arrive damp and they need about a month to dry out.  We bought 150kg for £22.80 They are much less expensive than the eight or so manicured logs that arrive in a plastic bag and cost £5 in your local supermarket. OK you have to add on extra for petrol (gas) but it’s still worth it.

At home, I have a sudden unexpected desire to make plans for a holiday. I am more and more a home bird and have a distaste for travel particularly by air but sometimes I just do it anyway. I received an email from Travel Republic and was transferred to Broadway Travel, notable for cheap deals.  One turned up mentioning a hotel complex called Labranda Bahia de Lobos, in Spain, Canary Islands, Fuerteventura.   I always look at the Trip Advisor reviews, ignoring the one and 2 stars where I find that people had unrealistic expectations and therefore a bad day.  This hotel had 2080 reviews or which 95% were 3 star and above.

The most amazing thing were the prices. If I can choose to leave on 18th April 2020, a Saturday, I can have a flight from Gatwick plus an all inclusive 7 night stay for £299pp. If I travel two weeks prior (the week before Easter) when school holidays prevail then the same facilities are available for – wait for it – £930pp. In case you doubt me here is a screen shot.

No wonder that parents take their children out of school. This is an uplift of £631 per person, so a family with two teenage children will pay nearly £2400 more for the same service. I see that the hotel has WiFi so I am just checking that it is not in the actual room (which would mean I got no sleep) then I can book.

There are down sides to everything. The return flight arrives 01.25 on a Sunday morning at Gatwick. I will sit around, have a coffee, and then take one of the hourly trains to Victoria, London, whereupon I will take the first coach of the day back to Bath. For such cheap prices I will put up with (almost) any inconvenience.

Glastonbury in the off-season

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I personally think that Glastonbury is over the top as a place to live but it is never never boring and has its full quota of weird and strange characters. It is well known worldwide and some say it is the heart chakra of the Earth. I’m not sure if it ever has an ‘off’ season.

I went to see Bee, Priestess Bee Helygen as she calls herself, very well qualified in psychic development, past life regression, counselling, Bach flower remedies, shamanic journey instructor and so on.  It is good to go to people that don’t know you from Adam as they can give an impartial view. It’s easier to admit your concerns and worries to a complete stranger and the fact that I myself do counselling doesn’t obviate me from the need to do this.

Being a psychic and sensitive can be a lonely experience when most of the people around you haven’t a clue what you’re about. Even worse, if you have a reputation for being able to read minds, people would run a mile rather than buy you a pint.

I love the atmosphere in the Goddess Centre and came into this room and sat quietly before the interview so that Bee would not have to fight through too much auric debris before getting to the real me.

The place is run by women, with a few more sensitive males having their own separate group and I just love the dignity and gentleness of these women who treat everyone with the utmost respect.

We enjoyed a bright blue sky, a clean crisp atmosphere. In the picture below you can just about see Glastonbury Tor on the hill to the left of the big tree in the middle.

With reference to my stomach troubles, I steered clear of milk and sugary things and had a variety of coffees, oatcakes, sausage rolls, and my stomach is perfectly fine, thank you.

To me, the sun is a great healer; I decided to take advantage of as many sunny days as I can to be out and about in nature.  The only trouble with winter is that the daylight hours are so short, you can’t really do anything serious after about 3.45 or 4 PM

I have just seen this image. What a profound observation.

A weekend of markets and synchronicity

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So, it is Bath Christmas market time during which locals try to avoid the city centre as much as possible. Those of you that know Bath in Somerset, England will know that it is a compact city and liable to overcrowding no more so than before the Christmas celebration on Christmas Day. I heard that on Saturday, 30 November, 22 extra trains had been hired to bring people to the market not to mention numerous coaches from international visitors.

We were there on Friday. Before launching ourselves into the market. We enjoyed the bright sunshine and its effect on the lawn in the Central Victoria Park. The bright spots on the grass are the sunshine of an evening sky.

We went along and watched the people enjoying themselves at the temporary skating rink

Saturday we went along to see a Christmas market in Radstock but had made a mistake with the date so we thought we’d make the best use of our time and visit the local Methodist Church Hall. We had a great conversation with two ladies of all things about knitting and the group that met their every other week. I love the homely nature of Methodism and its activities, a complete contrast to the rather austere Catholic ‘denial of the body’ worship God within your sinfulness. I would love to know why Catholic churches have virtually no social life or activities connected with them.

We then went to Radstock co-operative and noticed that they had an art exhibition. We ended up by having very interesting chats with the artist volunteers; I ended up by buying a Christmas present for Françoise and she bought me a present of another artwork in turn. It is very interesting how all the day develops a life of its own. You almost need to be in the right place at the right time and things happen though you were not aware of your placement until the last moment if at all.

Sunday I went to communion at all Saints Paulton. The church had been specially decorated with the theme of angels at this time of advent. They were all very beautifully done and I hope the photographs below give some indication of the quality of the work that has gone into it. They are in no particular order.

Knitted angels

Working in white is a very great challenge because you can’t rely on colour to get you out of trouble. It has got to stand on its own two feet as an aesthetic work.

After I left the church. I met a man sweeping leaves with a broom whose design I did not recognise. We got into conversation and I heard that he recently bought this very well designed broom, it was about 60 cm wide and made of firm plastic. I recognised the increased efficiency of it and  straightaway went to Wicks and snapped it up at the bargain price of £12. While I was there, I saw a very large plastic storage bin which was on Christmas sale for £15. I love a bargain and I thought I would treat myself to the two items. The bin had wheels on all four corners so that was an extra benefit. We have decided to keep coal in it for the time being.

We then went off to a quilting exhibition at the Midsomer Norton Quiltery. They are having a blind auction with the proceeds going to Dorothy House, a local charity, so I will return at a later date and make my bids. We had a lovely chat with a couple from the North of England who told us that although they been in this area for some time they were not accepted due to their origins. Prejudices exist, especially in close-knit communities, so-called.

We ourselves moved from London seven years ago but are still regarded differently to those who have lived in the area all their lives. I know that there is a battle between Yorkshire and Lancashire. I was told of a difference between Bristol residents and Welsh people because of the fact that Welsh people during the war, came over and were prepared to work for cheaper rates than the locals.

I suppose it makes life interesting.

I have had terrible stomach problems over the last two days. I’ve had to ban Caffeine, milk and sugar. If I do it my stomach is happy. If I overdo it, in a matter of 10 minutes or so I get an unholy chemical reaction in my tummy and I start throwing up At least there is nothing wrong with the stomach itself which I suppose is something to be thankful for.

 

Well done Lidl + A mysterious cat

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Our favourite supermarket Lidl has come up with a great idea for those people less well-off. Every morning first thing, 8 AM, they provide a number of boxes of food that is nearing the end of its shelf life but perfectly good. What you can see is impressive enough but you cannot see that there are additionally six apples,  one red cabbage, about six large potatoes. All this is available for the grand sum of £1.50 ($2). It is ideal for the person on benefits or a person living on their own.

This does not look very glamorous but it is standard breakfast for those of us who are traditional in our tastes. The food is always hot, well cooked, with a warmed plate and including unlimited coffee it costs five pounds. Well done Wetherspoon’s.

I had to go to the doctor this afternoon as a checkup after my hernia operation. Evidently, a layer of blood can form under the skin, causing some irritation and this can take up to 12 weeks to heal. This explains moments of discomfort – not pain – which caused me to visit for reassurance. Maybe I worry too much.

While I was waiting, a cat came in and sat in one of the chairs. I thought it had an appointment, you never know these days. A member of staff came and took it out.

Here is one of these photographs when you wonder how it came to be. What is the story behind this one? Is it practical joke?

The economic disadvantages of being young and naive… a young man called Oliver sometimes works with me in gardening jobs. He was telling me that the insurance on his scooter was £51 a month. In addition, he was paying £60 a month for his mobile phone. The latest iPad XX.  Unfortunately, he had signed a two-year contract for services that he admitted he did not use. I know we all want the biggest and the best but is a good reminder to me to make sure I only get what I need.

Where does the time go?

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There are supposed to be about 16 hours between the time you get up in the time you go to sleep but for the life of me I don’t know where the time goes. Even if I don’t have anything ‘to do’, before you know where you are, it’s 4 PM and what I got to show for the day?

I wonder if the answer is to do certain activities in the morning, a different type of activity in the afternoon, and yet another activity in the evening. The problem with my evenings is that I eventually get caught up on some interesting TV programme, setting aside my weakness for ambulance videos, traffic cops, and anything involving operations particularly of a gory nature.

I think the day needs particular events in it, even if it’s only half an hour or an hour. I have difficulty with concentration and I find that no sooner do I get down to reading a book that I think of a million other things I would like to do and put the book down after five or 10 minutes. Françoise is helping with this by doing some EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique (look it up). it is just a question of breaking unhelpful circuits in the mind

We went down to the allotment today to find an unwarranted pile of second rate wood chippings partly blocking the car park entrance. I have to take responsibility for this in a way. A very jovial man rang me asking me whether I would like some free wood chips. Had I thought, I would have realised  that he just wanted to avoid the cost of dumping his garden waste. He was probably outside his area and did not have a permit to dump locally. One load was all right, delivered about two weeks ago, but today I see a second load has arrived. I must put up notices saying ‘please do not dump’ which is a real bore. Foolishly, I didn’t make a note of his details so I cannot call him up to cancel further deliveries.

I find American television chat shows to be universally ghastly with lots of wimps, clapping at the slightest point….real lowest common denominator stuff but today I found a really good program compared by someone called Mel Robbins. It was entitled ‘The warning signs of narcissists: are they in your life? ‘  Or the sheer number of good points, it must take some beating and was very helpful practically which is why I have included it in this diary entry

Only in England…

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We have a general election on 12 December and the local paper, the Bath Echo have decided to publish details of the candidates. One such is an independent called Bill Blockhead. Any resident is entitled to stand for any reason. Bill describes himself thus:

Born as a blockhead, throughout his life Bill put his larger than average brain to good use. There was plenty of space in his rather impressive head for many ideas. A resident of Bath more than two decades, Bill has observed a lack of political diversity.

Priorities for Bath.

* He will campaign for the UK to leave the solar system by 2028.
* Improve mental health services (furry animals on prescription) – he will give a free guinea pig or alternative small rodent to every citizen.
* The environment – he will personally begin digging up London Road and plant it with spring bulbs and perennials.
* Bring back the trams to Bath – made from strawberry jelly and gingerbread men with sprinkles.
* Free annual summer and winter parties all funded by any Bath resident in the 40% tax bracket

This Mr Blockhead has chosen an original way of making a statement. I see this as a work of art and would defend anyone’s right to publish this sort of thing. There is a grain of truth in whatever is uttered not matter how off the scale. Bearing in mind that people who conform to the system are often completely mad in that they see the world revolving around them; me first, others second. Madness takes many forms.

Along to the hospital where as usual, I keep an eye out for interesting public service announcements and always enjoy the works of art that adorn the corridors. This is not the actual artwork shown but I was very moved by the text that went with it. It underlines what I have always said about the therapeutic value of nature.

Here are some more notices that I saw whilst in the hospital

7th anniversary of our residence in Somerset

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There is only one way to celebrate and that is by going to Hartleys Kitchen, rookery farm, Binegar. It’s not actually in this place, but in the middle of nowhere.  If you want an excellent and jolly meal,  type in BA3 4UL or visit their website.

Very few people do things well. The best cafes are family run and you can feel it when you walk in. Paul, the proprietor, has an excellent memory for people, is always pleased to see you. He has an excellent sense of humour, and oh, I forgot the food is good. It doesn’t matter where an establishment is, if you are good, the public will find you. Paul has been proprietor of this place for 10 years and he works a six-day week. Goodness knows how he does it, but he loves his job so much.

At an adjacent table, I noticed that someone was very picky about wanting a particular variety of gravy. I decided to give the term a condition, and thus increase my vocabulary. The term was graveophile or graveoholic. With some hesitation I approached him but he was quite good humoured and we agreed that the former term was more accurate as a descriptor

I was asked by someone at a neighbouring table what my time in Somerset has meant to me – and indeed to Françoise. First of all, it’s not that we found the place, the place found us, and as I have written previously there was no question even before we walked in the door that the place we had chosen was the right one for us. I find the question difficult to answer. Had I remained in London, which was in a stage one carer block of flats which means you have a warden to look after you, but you were independent. I think I would have eventually got fed up with the rather gossipy atmosphere and wanted to move on. Most of my fellow residents were ‘old’ and were resigning to living out the rest of their days without making any particular effort.

There is a definite benefit in moving out of London because I got £170,000 for my modest two-bedroom flat and that can buy quite a lot of house, or at least a pretty good help towards a mortgage, on a much bigger property out-of-town. When I return to London now, I find the pace of life exciting but just too much to cope with, alien almost,  and I stumble around like a country bumpkin (an unsophisticated or socially awkward person from the countryside)  until after 24 hours I have adjusted myself.  The transport system is superb, and it has to be, with buses every 10 minutes or so and subways that whisk you from A to B in no time.

However, there are other aspects to London than that. The levels of EMF are much higher and they will be 10 times as bad when 5G gets switched on, probably next year. I know there are parks in London, where you can get relief if only temporary from the stresses and strains of city life but in Somerset, the stress level is much lower all the time. This is a mixed blessing because sometimes people fall asleep due to lack of stimulus and there are fewer people on my wavelength but given the choice give me nature any time. For intellectual stimulus we have to go to Bath, Bristol, Wells, Frome but these are within reasonable distance. All except Bristol are about half an hour away. Bristol is about an hour on a good day.

I return home and watched TV. Françoise watched Highlander III. I watch Robin Williams compilation and order Good Will Hunting from eBay at a price of £1.78 including postage.

 

An autumn walk by the Kennet and Avon Canal

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From the excellent ventusky.com – light years ahead of the BBC

 

It was touch and go whether we went out at all because it kept on raining but we decided to go out anyway. Some of the most beautiful scenes, some would say romantic, are to be seen in the autumn countryside and today was no exception.  Only one anomaly, a tall, athletic woman was pacing up and down the canal talking on her Skype. We found this irritating and let her pass.  At the end of our walk, an hour later, we passed her the other way and there she was continuing to talk on the phone. Is this an addiction or what.

We always stop off at Wellow, a small historical village on the way to the canal; we always go and see how the Weir is doing flood-wise. There was not as much flow as I expected, but it was still 6 inches over the road. A passing woman drew our attention to a bat which unusually was flying around during the day.Onto the angelfish restaurant at the Canal Visitor Centre, Bath BA2 7JD  for those who want a good starting point for a wander east or west along the canal.  After an excellent pumpkin soup off we went.

Life by the canal goes on 24/7/365. People have to take their waste away, store up with firewood, and live their life when the weather is not so sunny or warm. I imagine that a canal boat is probably one of the snuggest and warmest you could imagine. In the distance we heard the sound of a chainsaw and across the canal we saw two people clearing an area and making a lovely bonfire. I do yearn to live in the country though for the most part it is completely impractical I have to admit.

 

A certain type of person will really benefit from living on the canal. I could not do it because I would not have access to a garden, I’m too lazy to walk 200 m to get into my car, I don’t want to travel 5 miles to the nearest supermarket and what am I going to do with my thousand plus books. I can see this as a holiday arrangement but no more. . However, each to his own.

The abandonment of religion – but there is hope

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‘Religion is the opium of the people’ as Karl Marx said. We should consider the full quote which puts a different context on things.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people

but I can think of far worse forms of opium, such as consumerism, self-centredness, greed, false values, and general intellectual vacuity.

On yet another rainy and grey morning I have decided to take a break from my 5G – smart meter – extinction rebellion mindset and listen to some good old Bible preaching.

As a background to this, this morning I was listening to talk about people who feel that religious services should be abolished in schools. They may have been abandoned already so far as I know. One of the speakers suggested that instead of having religious services why don’t we teach people how to be a  good person. That is a good idea but where do we get our idea of goodness from or take the idea of good and evil? Surely, from the Bible, which is a brilliant summary of how to lead our lives in harmony.

My favourite religious radio station, which I often listen to, is called Trans-World Radio. It is available on most platforms, including the Internet itself, and FreeView which I normally watch. Every morning we have a talk by Colin Smith, a Scottish minister. His words are unfailingly riveting and relevant. This morning, I’m listening to his sermon “cultivating peace” which I will summarize here. The whole sermon is worth a watch. It is 45 min 24 seconds in length. But if you don’t have the time here is my appreciation.

We need to be (blessed) peacemakers. How do we get peace in ourselves? Some key points (with reference to scriptures but see video)

# be prepared to give up your rights.

We are all territorial creatures to a certain extent and have our pride so to hold on tenuously to a position is not the ideal starting point for any peacemaking attempt.

# Move toward the trouble

Peace cannot be made by moving backwards from a problem. It will only delay it. Jesus is our savior and our example in confronting situations.

# recognize where there is a problem

We may want to think there is peace when there is not. Don’t put a piece of plaster over a septic wound. It is not ‘anything for a peaceful life’. This is particularity a male tendency. Avoidance prepares the way for greater trouble. ‘I need to get honest and real’

# Deal with conflict early

To save greater collateral damage at a later stage. We need to control the situation and not let it get so big it controls us. Watch out when the strife began – perhaps a harsh word or distrust. Dont let a problem fester in your mind.

# practice restraint especially with your tongue.

“be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger” James 1.19 Do we really need to ‘dump’ or ‘unload’.  I have to say what I think – really? Why not hold  back. Where is the harm? If we were told all the wrong things we have done through all time we would be devastated and would never recover. The fruit of the spirit includes self control.

# Prepare for a long journey

Peacemaking is a process not an event. The problem can go back many generations to the beginning of time even – our very nature – our DNA.

# Take a step towards peace

‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink’  Reach out with an act of kindness.  the longest journey starts with one small step. What could we do to make a second step possible?

# aim at humility, not humiliation

We make peace not by a triumph of power but a triumph of love. Do I want revenge, do I want vindication of my own views or do we want peace. The three alternatives are completely different. If you want one solution you cannot have the other. Do we give our adversary room to move.

# trust the injustice you have suffered to God

We endure sorrows whilst being treated unfairly. Jesus suffered and gave us his example. When He was reviled He did not revile again. He did not threaten. He did not seek His own vindication. Our vindication is with God not with man. Jesus bore our sins.

#Pray for peace

#9 share the Gospel of peace.

As shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. Sharing the Gospel with someone could be the biggest act you can do for peace.

# cherish peace wherever you find it. 

Maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

A week in Cornwall

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A right old mixture.  Holiday days merge into each other so here are some highlights from our trip.  The weather treated us quite well, and even if it rained you just dress for the occasion. The winds blew, for some of the time at about 30 miles an hour, and it was difficult to walk on these occasions but the human being is a tough old species and we can manage most things.

This is a painfully bad pun, self depreciating and just a bad joke. I guess it sounded funny at the time. It was probably conceived during a period of drunkenness.

Mousehole is a small seaside town somewhat to the south-west of  Penzance. There is theoretically a coastal path along the whole coast but it takes some finding and frequently goes inland due to the danger presented by some of the cliffs.visitors do not realise how narrow the roads are but this is the only way of contact between the centre of the village and the row of houses you see on the left. Obviously no parking at any time. You will see on the right-hand side gardens which directly overlook the sea and everyone has one small one. Whether they sit in it or use it is another question.

Remembrance Sunday has just passed so we have a fresh tranche of wreaths. If you look, every town or village of any size has one.Competition make sure that all the cafes are of good quality. This is particularly important out of season. We were served well. I remember the days when you were used to ask either coffee or tea and our standard order is decaffeinated coffee with oat milk plus a decaf tea and everyone is prepared for it.

Jumping back to the Sunday 10th, this was a war memorial service at Marazion. The road was closed for 10 min during the service and everyone and everyone who felt like it was able to lay a wreath and this after a short service.The Lizard. The picture below is actually a cove called, unmemorably, Kynance Cove (TR12 7PJ) about a mile from the southern-most tip, owned by the national trust.  Ideal for seeing the waves at their wildest, for having a good meal or a cup of coffee in the cafe and just enjoying nature.

Look towards The Lizard

For those who have no car, looking at the local bus maps will repay you. Even small towns and villages are connected. I’m sure there’s a local App. but to to give you an idea here is a map of the area bus-wise. However, some of these services are seasonal.

We went to a museum of tin mining, which unfortunately was not open at the time but were compensated by coming across a very interesting service called the incredible bulk. The idea is that items are recycled, the use of plastic is avoided wherever possible and items can be bought in bulk. For example cleaning items. There was a small queue of people waiting to buy their washing liquid. I just love the idea. They have a Facebook site and they have a monthly and weekly routine rather like a traveling library. See their web site. Not the way I would have designed it but it gives the info.

Good luck everyone.

I find that going to this area is like taking myself back 20 years where old-fashioned standards apply. No one need fear that they will be bored because there is always something to do and see. But be warned, in the summer, the roads are overcrowded and small villages are not designed for the parking of cars so if you see a park-and-ride facility, use it because there is a reason for it. For example, in St Ives it is virtually impossible to park and the roads are NARROW.

After a long (for me anyway) writing pause

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So, nothing but a complete switch-off in Cornwall no less – hence my lack of entries for the past week. We arrived last Saturday and are sitting around suspended in space and time as one does. The journey back was a good four hours by car – nothing compared with returning home from a trip abroad and much less stressful.

Whilst randomly surfing I found this video of Jordan Peterson which I find particularly apposite in this day and age. Technical communication has never been so pervasive yet loneliness has never been so great, in my opinion anyway. The elements for a better community spirit in towns and cities are there – it just needs someone to do some tweaking. We could pick one or two towns and use these as pilot projects.

It is taking me time to write my diary so I will need this week to catch up.

William Rees-Mogg appears in Wetherspoons

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There have not been enough events of note in the last few days to stimulate me to make any diary  entries. Yesterday I finished the job that was truly ‘jungle clearance’.  There was about 4 yd.³ of green spoil (see image below)  and all sorts of odds and ends including eight footballs hiding in the long grass which resulted from leaving a garden neglected for the best part of seven years.  My good friends from ARK clearance came along and took it away. We figured that the elderly house owner, who was born in the same house, could not face the passing of his father and simply blotted the garden out of his mind. The father was a great fan of the garden and tended it with loving care.

Its amazing what you find in a dilapidated garden

Anyway, this morning I decided to go to Wetherspoon’s to have breakfast; five pounds for a traditional breakfast including a coffee. I started my meal and I noticed a commotion at the stall next to me. The next thing that happened that William Rees Mogg introduced itself to me by name. I was slightly taken aback to see him – never mind been greeted by him. I reminded him that I had been to see him twice about 5G. He not only recalled the conversation but also the time and the place. This man has a formidable memory.  Afterwards, I joked with his agent about the stupidity and hypocrisy  of Greta Thunberg and the leftist agenda of the BBC. That really made my day.

Sir William – arise! . I do not often see pictures of Rees Mogg kneeling but he spent 10 min with a woman giving her views and he listened with great kindness and patience. All credit to him for that.

My food allergies are getting worse. So I decided to find a specialist, one of whom lives in the Frome area and by luck I got an appointment this afternoon at 3:15 PM

We are preparing ourselves for a week in Cornwall. Rain is forecast for 50% of the time but then weather in this area is different from the rest of the country and I’m sure will have a lovely time whatever the sun decides to do.  I must dig out my waterproofs and my wellies.

Off to Frome to have an allergy test with a lady called Helle Jones who has been doing allergy testing for 37 years.  However on the way I popped in to my local garden equipment suppliers. My petrol strimmer was becoming a nuisance as of 10 min work the cord broke off so I had to thread it again. Mike, the ever accommodating owner, explained that I must use it slowly and at some distance from the offending brambles. He told me that if I move it too fast back and forth it is too much for the cord. Grateful for his advice, I continued my journey to Frome.

The allergy test told me that I must not eat six types of food. I was wrong in all my guesstimates except one. Coffee is bad for me but I can have  decaffeinated coffee. I thought it was the milk, not suspecting the coffee  for one moment. It was right in front of my eyes. The machine she used was called the Vegetest which can diagnose the cause of symptoms and indicate the correct therapy.  I suspect it is designed on radionic and acupuncture principles.

I was rewarded with a lovely rainbow following a rain shower.

 

A good communion service and a useful chat.

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After my local church this morning for holy Communion with sermon. The sermon was interesting, talking about a tax collector who climbed a tree to see Jesus. Jesus asked him to come down saying that he would like to have a meal with the tax collector in his home, much to the consternation of crowd. Whilst Jesus was with him, the tax collector must have had a bad conscience because he agreed to return any money owed to people who he had cheated, fourfold,  and to give half his money to the poor. Jesus told him, Zacharias, that salvation would come to his house that day. I do wonder how many bad deeds are hanging over us because we have not resolved them.

The service itself zipped along with lively hymns, clearly enunciated prayers.  I have got used to this idea of ‘passing the peace’ where you shake hands with everyone in sight. It’s a good idea but I cringed the first time I saw it in action.

During the coffee afterwards, I had a chat with a lady who had been on a trip to London yesterday, Saturday. She was very proud that she got a special deal from a coach company for £15 return to London. She said the journey time was 2 hours 35 min. I do love hearing useful bits of information. When I have information myself I’m delighted to share it. I don’t regard good  or useful ideas as my property but something to be shared.

Tomorrow, irrespective of the weather, a long day in a garden when we are clearing a property that has not been touched for seven years since the death of the father of the present occupant.

On death and dying

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A listing in the Mendip Times caught my eye, the Somerset Festival of death and dying: events in Frome, Glastonbury and Wells. My eye was further taken with a man called Chukka who was scheduled to give a lecture about the importance of talking about suicide. He is part of a nationwide organisation (actiontopreventsuicide.org)  that tries to help people avoid taking their own lives by a combination of observation, talking, and intervening in a diplomatic way. About 20 of us met in a side chapel in St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells. He asked how many people in the audience had had suicidal thoughts or touched by suicide in some way and the majority put their hands up.

In the UK and the Republic of Ireland there were 8,859 suicides in 2018, a rise of 10.9% over the previous year. Three quarters of the people who commit suicide are men,  peaking between 45 and 49 years of age.  The youngest person to ever commit suicide was four years of age. There is no type of behaviour that can be spotted associated with someone who intends to take their own life. The area with the second highest level of suicide is  Cornwall, top of the list is county Durham. We were encouraged to be proactive and asked people if they had ever felt suicidal. I drew from the meeting that it was necessary to be a person who is approachable if you want to volunteer to be a listener.

We then went on to a meeting room in the Elim ‘Connect’ centre where various organisations, offering services for the death and dying were gathered. We talked with a lady who arranges funerals and is also a counsellor. She talked about the importance of making a will. She gave an example of a couple who had been living together for 42 years. The male partner had expressed the desire that his female partner continue to live in the house after his passing. However, he had previously been married a long time ago for two years. On his death, his ex-wife heard about it and claimed the house for her and her child. The co-habitee was thrown out on the street and that after 42 years of cohabitation.

People are talking more about this topic now which I think is a very good thing. Britishness does not involve sharing feelings so it is sometimes difficult to tell if a person is in a suicidal frame or not.

Glastonbury at Hallowe’en

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To Chalice Well for the celebration of Samhain. I did not expect many people but actually quite a few turned up, about 150 I would say, and the ladies as usual made a special attempt to dress up. As usual, there was a log fire in the middle of the green at the bottom of the property. This is the focal point for fellowship.

I’m sometimes tempted to have a chat with all and sundry but this time I was quite content to hang out on my own. The talk given by one of the women is given at midday. I’m sure that what she said was of value but I couldn’t hear it because her voice was so low so I wandered away. The basic premise – or the parts of it that I could grasp – was that you go as deep into your soul as you can and consider what you want to leave behind. In other words, what is redundant, and what you want to move forward with or want to become.

After an excellent pumpkin soup we left for our customary tour of Glastonbury town. Here are some images.

I then went to my favourite place of all time in Glastonbury, Goddess House where anyone who is feeling a bit down or confused, or just in need of rest should go and just sit in one of the rooms for their own benefit. I feel that ‘real women’ need to be connected to Mother Nature, to Mother Earth and to celebrate the fact that they can be mothers and give birth to a new generation. I feel very comfortable there and always re-charged.

Then back to the car via a most unusual B and B with these external adornments.

The spooky season is upon us

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Even the sun is getting in on the act…

So, off to Bath for my monthly eye check. The left eye has stabilised but there is a small tear in a vein on the right eye. Nothing to worry about, the consultant told me, but of course I will worry about it a little bit. She asked me about blood pressure, chlorestol level and I asked her to write to my Dr on the matter.

At lunch, I had a very nice sweet and sour pork dish with rice, followed by Apple pie and custard. A chap came along and sat opposite me at a very crowded restaurant. I moved away to get some water. A lady of colour approach the man and said, referring to my seat, is this available? He said no and I came and claimed my place in short order. I found this lady profoundly irritating and self-centred. If she had thought for one single moment she would realise that the place was taken. I felt like saying to her “do yourself a favour. Think before you speak.” She would probably have gone all defensive, use the race card, and accused me of this that and the other. This is what comes, and I’m speaking about her, of not being aware of your surroundings and being self-centred.

I had another experience in the eye clinic itself. A lady came out of the consulting room with a big smile on her face. I commented on a smile and she said it was her policy to look on the bright side of things no matter how bad things were. We had a few moments chat and departed the best of friends.

*****

As you know I always look out for art in the corridors of the hospital and as ever, I was not disappointed.

I wandered around Bath afterwards and notice various relevant imagery of the time of year and also notice the way they are trying to humanise what can be rather sterile situation, the central shopping mall.

This ivy appears to be live and I think they are trying to encourage it to take over the telephone box.

Next Saturday week we are going to start a weeks holiday in Cornwall. We are going back to Marizon which is adjacent to St Michael’s Mount. I wonder how many tourists there will be at this time of year. I decided to take a break from 911, 5G etc and have a retro time where we will play cards and board games, do some home cooking, listen to the radio and generally enjoy silence.

My sister and my brother-in-law are coming to stay with us over Christmas so we must make sure we have plenty of logs for the fire, an abundant supply of coal, and a good stock of cheer.

Autumn in full glory

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Spiders are in splendid form at the moment no doubt collecting as much food as they can prior to the coming of winter.

Talking about the coming of said season, here is a shot out of the Town Hall upstairs window here in Midsomer Norton, below.

This morning, Saturday, I got a call at about 8:30 from a woman whose cherry tree had fallen during the gales last night. Unless you deal with wood you don’t realise the huge differences there are in consistency and texture. If this tree was mahogany it would be impossible to cut with a  normal chainsaw. When trees are dead, they can either become more crumbly or harder, almost like concrete, and very difficult to deal with but this one was fairly recently dead so it will not be too difficult to address the situation. I have quoted a modest sum so we will see what happens.

Internet communication can make life much easier. It can also lead to complications. A number of us were interested in 5G and associated subjects and about 10 others got together in a group and copied each other on various views. Unfortunately, one member disagreed with another one quite violently concerning a particular matter and this caused to-ing and fro-ing of rather acerbic comments indicating that the other person did not know what they were talking about. To compound this, another well-meaning person decided to join up a few more people to the group so we ended up with about 20 people who had to witness this flak.

The mood of the group turned sour and eight people, myself included, asked to be removed from the list. This is more difficult when you don’t quite know who was responsible for adding the people in the first place. In other words, in the case of a leaderless group it’s more difficult to disband.  The lessons are quite clear:

Do not assume that someone wants to be added to a group just because they’re interested in the subject matter; if you’re copying the message use BCC instead of CC Otherwise everyone can see who the messages are going to and can copy the address is again if they so wish.

I know that privacy is an illusion but we have to try and keep our e-mails down to reasonable limits.

Today is the last day of summer time and the  clocks will go back one hour at 2am. tomorrow we have an important conference held in London to which I have bought a streaming ticket. Bearing in mind the weather I’m so glad I did not go to London and spend £200 or £300 on hotels and food and so on. AirB&B was not the bargain it once was, with prices close to many hotels and you very seldom get breakfast. People are renting out five or six properties now on a commercial basis. It is very difficult to get redress in cases of difficulty. It is all very well to say “buyer beware” but if there is no one to talk to or if there has been downright fraud as happens more and more, this would certainly spoil your holiday.

The community is where it all happens – health and safety gone mad

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The man standing appears to be a little bit of a computer buff and explaining to other people what to do.

It is quite something for me to be irregular in my diary writing but quite frankly very little has happened except my recuperating, the final phase I think, from my hernia operation. I am generally in good form but I find that from time to time I get tired and a little bit cold and just have to sit on the sofa in front of the fire for a few hours. As I say, it’s better to work with nature than against it.

I recently visited the Swallow Cafe, which is a brand, designed for people with learning difficulties. The atmosphere there is very pleasant and accommodating. I couldn’t help noticing the large number of grossly overweight females, some in electric assistance chairs, laughing and joking together. My inclination is to attribute the huge amount of fatty tissue to eating junk food. I wonder if women have different metabolisms to men or is it a hormonal problem.

I’m looking forward to a week off in Cornwall in November. I know it will be very much off-season. The weather in Cornwall tends to be rather special, much more influenced by the Atlantic, and at this time of year will be blessed with far fewer tourists.

Extinction Rebellion people seem to have gone over the top by stopping the tube trains running. I think that’s the last time they do something in London, at least for some time. I was listening to Women’s Hour this morning talking about children ‘worried’ about climate change. This arises from a worldwide psy op to frighten people and thus make them more easily controllable.  The youngsters identify with Greta Thunberg and are being frightened, needlessly as it happens.

If you look at real science, we are towards the lower end of parts per million of carbon dioxide and for maximum growth it would be good to have 1200 ppm. Instead of the current 400 ppm.  Al Gore said in 2007 that the world would become unsustainable within 10 years  and we seem to have made it beyond 2017. Greta said last year that we had 11 years to go and that will prove as nonsensical as the last Prophecy.

Actual science is lost on the mainstream media particularly, surprise surprise, the BBC who now think there is no point in bringing on so-called climate deniers (aka people who really know what’s going on).

Nice feeling – I have enough garden work to keep me going until Christmas. It’s always good when income keeps up with the expenditure so I don’t have to dig into my savings. I expect the time will come when money ceases to be of any value, the Greek ‘haircut’ is the first example of this and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

I continue to listen to my favourite evangelical radio station, Trans-World Radio. One of the preachers was talking about the importance of thoughts and how we can be driven by them without being aware of it. As someone said, as a man thinks, so he is. It was the book of Proverbs “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” As you quote correctly say, everything starts with the thought. It’s up to us to feed ourselves with good thoughts which is slightly easier as I write these lines with a clear blue sky. This is one way of seeing one Atlantic low following another but for the moment we have an intermission.

*****

I’m not sure about “going mad.” I think that “health and safety” has gone mad. Very much like Political Correctness. My wife went into a shop to ask for knitting needles and she was told that they do not stop them for health and safety reasons. She went into another shop and asked for crochet hooks and was told the same thing – they did not sell them for health and safety reasons. My, that will reduce the crime rate for vicious potential knitters who are put off their crime by the fact that the tools of their trade are not on open display.

Françoise eventually found a shop where they sold knitting needles under the counter so to speak.

My first trip out after my op.

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Uncharacteristically, the day started with bright blue skies. About 10 AM, we decided we didn’t want to stay at home so decided to drive south and see what happens. We ended up at Stourhead, which is one of the star properties of the National Trust. First of all we went to a place called Alfred’s Tower, a vanity Project created by King Alfred the Great.

We could not resist climbing tower which consisted of walking up 160 winding steps but the view at the top was worth it.On to Stourhead, gardens and the grand house.  The garden was packed with visitors. There were many young well-to-do families, articulate, aware, sensitive, functional, and it made me yearn for an environment where more of these people prevailed. Alas, my home town of Midsomer Norton is not amongst this environment. We just have to work harder to find the people that we resonate with.All these laurels have been trimmed recently, just imagine the amount of work involved. I guess they would be done about two times a year.

Whilst we were there, we had an excellent lunch. I had a beef stew with red cabbage and potatoes and my wife had a quiche. We then returned and I had a mint flavoured chocolate cake and coffee and my wife had a health juice drink.

So, from nothing, the day turned out to be a wonderfully fulfilling time which counteracted my feelings of depression I had felt at the beginning of the day. The most ‘common or garden’ rule I can give to anybody is “if you are feeling depressed, just do something,”

 

Up days and down days

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Today is one of the latter. I love the word “lassitude”. which means tiredness and a lack of energy and is more physically based I suspect than it’s relatives. Not the same as attitude, aptitude or even lackadaisical (lacking enthusiasm and determination). I can’t say it is depression as such.  How on earth foreigners learn English is beyond me. Indians can speak English but they do not understand it, and I think it’s the same with the Chinese. You have to feel the language.

I was due to have a meeting this morning with someone on the Internet, but this had to be put off for this afternoon but by the time the afternoon arrived I was too tired so had to cancel. I can’t only blame the hernia operation on this but I think it does have widespread effect as does any insult to the body. It is clear that I may not do physical work at least until I am declared fit by the doctor.

Yesterday evening, we went to a talk entitled “waste and plastic: it’s not all bad news.” Local entrepreneur and adventurer, Craig Shaw, explained how his career influenced his understanding of microbiology and how he developed the XO thermic technology process to recover energy from both organic and mixed waste streams. Craig shared how larger companies are tackling plastics and introduced us to research that is ongoing to resolve the plastics legacy. I was amazed to hear that microbes can eat plastic sometimese in as little as 72 hours. All that is necessary is to add a certain ingredient into currently manufactured plastics so they will become attractive to microbes.

Craig does not think that households have to separate garbage into up to 7 categories and says the two categories, biodegradable and others, is quite adequate.

Craig said that it is an uphill battle selling the idea to local authorities because they already have their views on how material should be disposed of, with concomitant financial benefits to those in the east chain so a cost-effective method which benefits the environment is not interesting to these people and he believes seen as a threat. He says that he ‘has to just keep on hammering away’. He’s had a fascinating life as a freelance diver working in many countries and I noticed in myself a tinge of jealousy when I saw how someone could pack so much in to one lifetime and currently he didn’t seem that old.

In these days of bad news, it is very interesting to hear such solutions.

A Thirteenth Century joke

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This is one of the oldest documented jokes:

Three monks turned their back on the world. They go into the wilderness to repent their sins before God.

They did not speak to one another for the space of a year. Then one of the men said to another at the end of the year, “We are well,” said he.

Thus it was for another year. “It is well indeed,” said the second man.

They were there after that for another year. “I swear by my habit,” said the third man, “if you do not allow me some quiet I will abandon the wilderness entirely to you!”

finally, the sun shines

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I am propagating my new site on the Internet by mentioning it around. SEO agencies make a lot of money out of promising page 1 on Google but as a generic promise that is being optimistic because it depends very much on the keywords they can use and the popularity of the subject. Also, Google and YouTube and Facebook have inbuilt prejudices which they call algorithms to marginalise sites, the subject of which they disapprove.

This has been the ’emptiest’ week so far as external activities is concerned. I’ve been out of the house about twice but inwardly there has been plenty going on.

I have been relaxing by watching Youtube. This channel is very deceptive in that once it figures out what sort of videos you like it puts them in front of you and it’s very easy for an intentional 15 minute viewing to turn into an unintentional two hour viewing.

I received a letter recently from a contact whom I had informed about my new website. She wrote back saying I was a conspiracy theorist and sending me a list of links which referred to honourable and reliable aspects of her belief  or so she thought. I do admire young people for being committed to something but in this case they chose the wrong subject.

I reminded her that before attacking someone it is a good idea to actually read the material that they send and not just summarily dismiss it. I realise that with many people there is an element of fear and insecurity and I’m sure as same thing myself in the past so I just reminded her politely but firmly to check the facts and don’t rely on everything you read.

The sky is blue at the moment and I wonder whether it is a good idea to go out for a walk. Yes I did and yes it was fine.

My mind thinks it is well before my body reminds it that it is not, so I have to calm myself, be patient, and wait another week at least. At least my mind has not been affected.

Now, that would be a disadvantage.

 

 

It’s Friday – another day of rest

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As my body returns to normal, I’m finding more strength to function, and keep my daily record-keeping up to date. I have three remits; BrianSnellgrove.net  5Gexposed.com  Extinction-rebellion-exposed.com.

Although it is two weeks away, I decided I didn’t have enough oomph to go to London for a conference on Sunday, 27 November. All in all,  it would have  cost us £400 ( three nights hotel plus food plus travel) plus another £100 for the conference itself.

I am sorry in a way, as the day will have a lot to say on climate change, the back story.  Unless you understand the back story you don’t understand anything. We are therefore going to apply to stream it and watch it from the comfort of my own home.

My hernia operation is certainly working through. My male member has turned almost black. Funny, it is not hot or painful, but that’s just the way it is. As I said before, nature must carry on do what it has to do. I turned to the Internet and found the answer “ Bruising tends to track down from your wound, and if you are a man into your testicles and penis. This can be quite dramatic but looks worse than it feels. Don’t be alarmed – it will fade within one or two weeks“.

Once again, nothing wildly exciting to tell you. Françoise has been feeding me easy to digest food  and I have had two lots of painkillers instead of three.

Rain continues incessantly but I’m glad I’m not in Tokyo, where a hurricane is due to hit tomorrow.

The corner has been turned

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I spent most of this morning in bed but feel strangely refreshed now. My wife Françoise went out to buy some coal and made a real coal and wood fire. I sat in front of the fire this afternoon and dozed. I feel the strength is coming back into my limbs now. I took my first walk, which was to go about 200 yards to post a letter. I was a bit wobbly but managed it quite well. Nature knows how to heal us far better than we do so we must just let it get on with it.

I had an ambitious plan to read many books but I haven’t had the energy to do it. My appetite has been down and I’ve lost a little bit of weight but I can afford to lose it because I was slightly overweight before.

It is very strange how when I’m in this discombobulated state, things that seemed important including such simple things such as watching the TV seem more distant. It could be another world. It’s a bit like being on drugs I suppose. Mind you, I am on a regime of drugs so I suppose this is to be expected.

The recent record lottery win of £171 million has been bought by someone who was not aware that they have won the money. I wonder how long it will take before they realise their fortune. PS I have just heard that someone did claim it.

Anyway, I’m turning off this computer early and will sit slumped in front of the fire this evening.

A true post-operative day – in bed

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Although I was feeling very good for the most part of yesterday, it was another story when the local anaesthetics stopped working. The Surgeon told me that the pain would return after nine o’clock last evening and sure enough it did.

The only solution is to take refuge in bed and find the least uncomfortable position and let Mother Nature get on with it. I don’t even have the energy to read or listen to the radio never mind watching TV. That’s the way it works in the animal kingdom. When an animal has been injured, it retreats by itself and regains its strength so I am not doing anything unnatural.

It is very frustrating because I want to crack on with my Extinction Rebellion site or should I say my anti-Extinction Rebellion site.

I think that’s about all I can manage in what must be my shortest daily diary ever since I started in October 2016. 159 words no less.

Inguinal hernia operation

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As they say, the day dawned like any other day.  I got up very early and listened to the latest on the sport, the weather, Brexit, usual things and particularly relished having a cup of coffee and some toast. You are not supposed to eat anything less than six hours before the operation, which was scheduled for some time after lunch.

I saw this outside the Methodist Church in Peasedown. Someone has a very good ability to think laterally and this message brought a smile to my face.

We arrived at the hospital somewhat early at 12:15 PM to the Circle Bath hospital, which in its own literature describes itself as “an award – winning hospital, led by some of the South West’s most experienced consultants” .

It sounds really corny to say this but I was looked after with the utmost professionalism, good humour and courtesy right from beginning to the end. As is the custom in defensive medicine you have to give your name and date of birth about half a dozen times to various people. I was taken to a generously proportioned waiting area with a bed, chairs, a TV and curtains. I was greeted first of all by a  nurse who took the usual measurements, checked my record and asked me what allergies I had, medications etc.

After some time, the anaesthetist appeared. Upon seeing Françoise’s surname which is obviously French (Sauze) his face lit up and he spoke fluently in french to her about his life, where he lived, the fact that he had four children. They must spoken for about 10 min in French before he realised he needed to get on with the business in hand. He said he really enjoyed speaking French and did not get much opportunity to do it while in the United Kingdom.

Someone else appeared and gave me some elastic stockings to avoid blood clots and also some non-slip slippers to avoid falling on the floor. Mr Maddox, the surgeon, came and introduced himself and made sure my questions were answered. Shortly after that, a lady came to enquire what sort of sandwich I would like after the operation (we are not allowed to eat beforehand) and I ordered a ham and cheese sandwich. So far, so good.

I was taken it along by one of the male nurses to a preparation room where they give anaesthetics and generally accustom the patient.  I was given something to knock me out which worked in a very subtle way over a minute or so. The drug was a million  miles from the rather crude ‘Mallet job’ drugs in the days of old. I was given some unknown anaesthetic and then after a time was asked to breathe oxygen. I was not aware of anything happening at the time but then I felt numbness reach up to my head and the next thing I knew I woke up in the recovery ward.

I tend to  talk gibberish when I come round so I gave the staff a warning and they just smiled.

I was in the recovery room for about 30 min (the operation having taken an hour) and was attended to by a nurse and then back to the main waiting area from which I started. Someone appeared with a tray of tea, a glass of water, and a lovely sandwich which was so generous it was almost like a meal.

Somewhat later I felt able to get up and dressed myself but somewhat clumsily. I was given Ibuprofen, paracetamol, codeine and to counteract all these – a laxative. I did a pendulum reading and found the most effective one for me was codeine.

The time was 4:30 PM and Françoise gently drove me home and made me a hot water bottle which for some reason was very comforting when I held it close to my chest. As I write this, 6:42 PM, there is no pain but it may be because the anaesthetic has not worn off yet. I have taken no pills since arriving home.

Reflecting on the day, there is something about the hospital where teamwork prevails. You can always tell about the quality of management through the attitudes of the staff. Attitudes work downwards, not upwards. I cannot describe the day as “good” but it certainly exceeded my expectations and I feel very peaceful with the sense of a job well done.