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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.

Another garden wilderness to tackle

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This has to be levelled to the ground.

We have a new customer who returned from Greece last Wednesday to discover that his housing association had identified his garden as a possible run for rats. I would certainly agree . We decided to work today, Sunday, because tomorrow I’m going in for my operation and I don’t know how long it will be before my body is well enough to take the punishment that I give it when I do gardening. I am not saying I don’t enjoy the work. It is demanding especially when you carry things or bend down.

My electric chainsaw has a new chain, so it just zipped through everything like the proverbial knife through butter. When a lawn has not been attended to for some years, and I refer to his front lawn, there are layers of yellow grass that never see the light of day. I did three passes of the lawnmower and I know that when I go back next time, whenever that is, the grass will have recovered and it will start growing up and then I can give the lawn a proper cut. As I say, you can’t achieve the Garden of Eden in one go.

The customer talked a little bit about his life in Greece, where he spends five months a year. I think it was Skyros  where he goes. He says is a very friendly place and you can more or less go up and speak to anybody and also women can feel free to go out on their own. He told us that he has made more friends there than he does in his seven months back in the UK.  He says that many people go there year after year, and this is probably due to the reasonable cost of living and the 60 beaches from which you can choose. I got the impression that he has been recently widowed or lost his best friend, but there are certain things you don’t pry into to unless invited.

So, tomorrow is the great day when I go into hospital for my intervention. It is hardly a major thing like a heart transplant; the surgeon who does inguinal hernias  has been doing the same thing for 20 years, so he knows exactly what he’s doing. I’m going to have a net placed where the weak part is in the musculature and that will eventually become part of the body. I must not eat anything tomorrow so it’s a glass of water in the morning and that’s it. Françoise will come with me and be around in the hospital and then take me home.

Very poor weather is forecast for this week. I’m very glad we got some sunshine today to do the major cutting work. He did get another quote did our customer. The gardener was from  Fishponds, Bristol, and his quote was substantially more than ours but he wouldn’t tell me what it was. He also said that he felt that they were just in it for the money. Sometimes I think I under quote, other times I may over quote but normally I get it right. The main thing is that people are happy. We only take money at the end of the job and then only when people say they are happy with our work. I don’t want bad karma.

Regreening the desert with John D. Liu

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There is something visceral about watching a video that completely resonates at a deep level. I’ve just finished watching the video “re-greening the desert.” The idea that you can go from neglected land that has been abused for years to soil capable of growing vegetables, where streams reappear, which can fertilise itself, is an idea that is so fundamental that I cannot express it in words. If you can spare 47 min 30 seconds then have a look here.

This was a funny day, not much going on. We went to the allotment and  delivered manure to our plot. The manure does not feed the plants, it feeds the soil particularly with regard to microbial activity and that of course provides the environment in which the plants live.

I am aware of my forthcoming hernia operation on Monday after which normal life will cease for a few days or at least until the initial pain wears off. I will be given a multitude of painkiller pills I’m sure but as someone recommended to me, only take them if you need them. I will not be able to work for a month – that is my guess – so it will be sedentary  work probably consisting of sitting in front of my computer and perfecting my new website.

I continue to be shocked about the mendacity of those who promote climate change. It provides hypnotised gullible young people with an excuse for disrupting London for days at a time. The science is so wrong, so corrupt, so dishonest. The Earth is in fact cooling and we are approaching the grand solar minimum, which is due to climax in 2030. By this time we shall have considerable problems being able to grow crops because for every 1° falling temperature 20 days is subtracted from the growing season of plants.

Yesterday I wrote to ten fellow colleagues who I thought were fairly reliable observers about my new site, asking them to look at it and seeing what they thought. I’ve had no reply so far. People probably think “Why Should I Bother with Something That Is Not My Concern.” This individualistic view is not going to take us anywhere. If we lose the capacity for wanting to share and care then there is not much future for humanity I’m afraid.

I have been working reasonably hard in the gardening business to make sure I have enough funds to cover me while I’m not able to work. This afternoon I got a job from someone who had also got a quote from a gardening company in Fishponds, which is North Bristol. Evidently his quote was much more expensive than mine so I have the job. Weather permitting, I will make a start tomorrow which is my last day of liberty.

Good ‘ol fashioned religion

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I normally get up about 7 AM to make coffee and my slice of toast, which starts the day. I have a choice of either switching on BBC1 as I may need to see the weather forecast but I decided to listen instead to my favourite religious radio station, Trans-World Radio. Christianity is virtually ignored by the BBC in preference to grovelling to Middle East religions and it is refreshing to hear the gospel preached without apology and in a straightforward manner.

I was born a vicar’s son which is a mixed blessing. It meant I had a lot of rebellion to do but here am I 75 years after I popped into this world, via  Yorkshire as it happens. That makes me technically a Yorkshire man. What better place for a thrifty person than this, the largest county in England. There were and I assume still are many Christian businessmen in Yorkshire who treated their staff well and actually follow the principles laid out in the New Testament.

I find the Christian religion in general, and the words of Jesus Christ. In particular, the ultimate software for the soul. I had never been misled by anything that Jesus has offered in terms of advice or counsel. I find the whole philosophy hangs together and I find the emphasis on the greater good of society to be balanced with the importance of the individual. I feel that the taking of selfie photographs is a vain attempt for some sort of immortality. Very few of us leave childhood without some type of damage and in my case it was the feeling of guilt, of being too hard on myself, not valuing my positive sides, of not seeing myself as a unique person.

If the various political movements have their way, we are seeing the last couple of generations of what we call human beings to be changed by deliberate design to humans.1 . In other words living things treated as consumers and regarded as cattle. Artificial Intelligence seeks to get control over every single aspect of our lives, including our habits, our health, our travel plans, even crimes that we may commit. The world in 2050 will be hugely different from the world that we live now. We were at least warned by the words of Jesus and other prophets that we need to behave in certain ways in order to maintain our infinite nature. By that I mean our souls.

We have ignored this at our peril and we are all paying a price already. I know that many civilisations who had been on this planet, and for sure on others, have destroyed themselves and there is no guarantee that we will not do the same. Where are the Altanteans for example, the Mayans, and others far lost in the mists of time?

Trends World Radio is a very comforting station because it represents the example of one person who died for what they believed, as indeed did all his disciples in one grisly way or the other. I wonder how many of us have the courage to stand up for what we believe and risk being laughed at. I give support and help to persecuted Christians around the world. If you think I am exaggerating see this website showing the top 50 countries where it’s most dangerous to follow Jesus. North Korea is number one followed by Afghanistan.

There are some places where you can go to prison for handing someone a Bible. In the UK where I come from. I don’t even think we know we are born from the point of view of persecution. Maybe a worse problem is apathy.

A community in miniature (Coleford) and a record wait for a consultant.

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To Coleford  to have my car examined for a possible  electrical fault. Coleford is at first glance a quiet village but on closer inspection it is quite clear that there is far more going on than you would think from the two main streets that make up this conurbation.  This is confirmed by a check with FB. (Coleford, Somerset) The population is about 2500. There is a very fine and imposing Royal British Legion building where I’m sure a lot of different activities go on.

As my regular readers will know, I take an interest in the local noticeboards as an indication of the level of social activity. The layout below is rather casual with a mixture of local maps, bus timetables, various events going on or passed. I guess it is ‘self service’.

A notice in the bottom right corner caught my attention and informed us about a grant system that has been in operation in Midsomer Norton for some time. I find it encouraging that such opportunities are given.

The local neighbourhood Cooperative Society seems to have more traffic through it then most other places. Mind you, there is hardly much competition or should I say that the village cannot support too many establishments like this. I felt a friendliness as soon as I walked in.

Outside the Royal British Legion building.

Always depressing to see such a prominent building boarded up . it looks like it is too big to convert from a garage into something else but I am sure someone will find a use for it.

I have a fault in my ABS system which means that a pump must be stripped down and replaced. It will take 3 to 4 days and cost about £300 altogether. Helpfully there are courtesy cars provided.

*****

To the hospital in Bath to have my stomach scanned. My appointment was for 3:30 PM. I arrived 3:06 and told them that I was early, as if they needed to know. I was told to sit around the corner on the green chairs. 30 seconds after I sat down I was called in and had my examination straightaway. That must be the world record for the shortest wait ever – in the National Health Service anyway.

I rather cynically thought to myself the perhaps the previous people had not turned up. I know the rates of no shows cost the NHS a lot of money. Evidently I have polyps which are growing and the recommendation was that I have my gall bladder removed. I must talk to the doctor about that. I don’t like things being taken out. Everything has a purpose surely.

As you may well know, I take great interest in the nature of advertisements and art works in the hospital. Visiting the whole is quite an artistic experience for me and I show some examples below.

And now an art work liberally distributed along the corridors.

‘Take One a Day’ Alan Sim, Combe Down

an art installation ‘For the next 24 hours 2017’

The number four local bus goes from Western to Odd Down via the RUH hospital and the city centre. We all assembled together to wait at the bus stop in the hospital arena and the bus arrived. The driver got out of the bus, and in a stentorian voice told us ‘this bus does go via the centre’. We all got the joke immediately because clearly he has been asked so many times –  everyone complied.

I met my wife in central Bath after the appointment hoping to walk around and enjoy the scenery but it started to rain so we went home by bus and I was able to have a hearty meal after the enforced starvation for the exam. ‘nothing to eat or drink for six hours before’

A snail from the underside – an autumn bonfire

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I awoke to a bright autumn morning with no sign of any cloud. I often carry foliage around with me in my car and it appears that I did not spot a most enthusiastic and athletic snail who was obviously wandering around during the night  around trying to find his way out. We do not know what happened to him or her, but hopefully there was a happy ending. We saw no sign of the passenger.

We had a lovely double day when I worked extremely long hours. First, off to finish the hedge job started yesterday.  Bryan and his wife were in a very fluorescent mood. Bryan told me that he was off work and had lost his licence to drive a coach because he had had a scrape with someone and he admitted to the police that could not remember what had happened. “The system” decided to take away his license and he now has to go for a medical examination to make sure he’s up to par. His wife let their dog out when they got out of the car and it ran across the road and was run over by a car. The driver didn’t stop. The dog survived but with some injuries. She had also lost her mother two weeks ago. Nevertheless, they both put a cheery face on things and I think I cheered them up by doing a really good job for them.

We then went home and then went off to another job in Tunley which is where the lady lives that gave me the dog kennel job. We had the task of blitzing an area that had been used for bonfires over the years and discovered all sorts of strange objects, metal objects of undetermined origin, wooden boards, plastic bags, Christmas treess, roots that did not seem to have any particular function. I immediately made a fire and consumed all the consumables and broke  down the rest to ground level.

This may not sound wildly exciting but when the situation has been in train for some years and when the customer cannot find anyone to do it then the gardener or worker can make a big difference. Although the day was damp, we did manage to find enough dry wood to make a fire. I have a fiendishly cunning way of increasing the speed of fire and that is by using the air blower.  It is normally used for tidying up leaves, but if you point it at the base of a bonfire once it is alight, it causes the bonfire to blaze forth with the sound of a furnace.

This was the fire when I left it in the evening.

We treated ourselves to a glass of wine, now an occasional event, in the local pub. Everyone was holding forth about two local accidents one in Dunkerton and one in Timsbury. We chatted with someone called Tracey and I said I had done a job for the person over the road called Ian. She knew him, and actually had been his next door neighbour, and said that he owed her £400 but that he had now moved out of the area. Ian and his wife had three autistic children between them and so we were regaled in some detail to the happenings with this family.

Tunley consists basically of one road so there must the maximum 200 people in the whole the area and it appears that everyone knows everyone else. She certainly knew the person I’ve just been to do gardening for. What a pleasant way of ending the day.

Back home to a splendid steak pie feeling slightly stiff I must say but nothing that a good nights sleep will sort out

a challenging day but not a tiring one

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Up early this morning. Decided to listen to classical music instead of watching the news because I can’t bear any more talk of Brexit. It seems to be going round and round in circles and parliamentarians are indulging in ad hominem comments. I think the collective respect that our Parliament in UK is normally held is at an all-time low.

Off to do gardening because in contrast to the great amount of rain we have had we did actually have some blue sky so off we went to Hallatrow see a new and enthusiastic customer, Bryan. We had a little teasing session with each other, discussing which version of Brian was the most exclusive name.

The job involves trimming a hedge. My two electric hedge cutters completely failed because of the recent rain and because laurel leaves are slippery and waxy anyway. I had to resort to hand shears which anyway is satisfying as well. My regular powerful 800 Watt electric hedge trimmer is away for repair.

The chap was very pleased with what we did; we are going to return tomorrow to finish the job. I get the impression that most people are so used to bad service that if you turn up on time when you say,  you will earn massive amounts of brownie points. Once again, I noticed that after nearly 3 hours hard work I was not tired because I find that the process of working with nature actually refreshes me.

After the job finished we went off to the Book Barn hitherto referred to. I spoke to the lady at the counter of the cafe and told her that she could not hide her Polish accent from me. So far as I was concerned it was Polish as anything I have heard , but she took exception and said she was from the Czech Republic and told me that it was always happening to her. She obviously took it personally and so I apologised to her and said I wouldn’t do it again.

I’m getting the courage now to edit and add to my new website. David my helper tells me to just play around and tells me I won’t do any harm. On an individual page of the website there is a little icon where you can go back to an earlier stage if you make a mess. When designing a site is very important to see the site from the customer’s point of view and not take any knowledge for granted since someone coming on the site may be perfectly intelligent but not have a grasp of the detail and so you have to tell them to do what to you is the blindingly obvious.

I think all sites should be beta tested by people who have no knowledge of the subject. I  see too many obvious mistakes even with sites where obviously thousands of pounds had been spent. The main mistakes is making it too flashy. It is not supposed to be all things to all men. I hate pop-ups and I hate videos coming on the moment you hit the page

I have decided to allow comments on my website though it is contentious and will no doubt attract some abusive entries. Perhaps I can turn these visitors on the head by giving a polite and factual response. I don’t think anyone wants to think they are ignorant. So if I respect them as people but point out some new aspects to them that is probably the best way to go and you will certainly not make an enemy.