5G demonstration – a screaming child

Today is the first International Day of Protest against 5G. There was a planned demonstration in Bristol on College Green so after some procrastination, we decided to go. Bristol is hopeless for parking so we did our usual thing and caught the 376 bus from Farrington Gurney to Bristol bus station.

On the way, we popped into an art shop, almost evangelical in its approach. As you will see from the terms in the image they are totally dedicated to art and indeed were doing a roaring trade.

We arrived on College Green to find something else going on entirely.There was a demonstration or was it a rally by a small group of people who were drawing attention to the large number of deaths, over 4000 a year, from people who overdosed on drugs.

Who would dream that such a nice looking chap obviously talented and enthusiastic about life could die through a drug overdose

The accompanying website is Small flags reminiscent of poppies were laid out as a reminder of the number of people who had died. A number of people made speeches, including the deputy mayor and a representative of the Cathedral who led us all in prayer. I don’t know how many of us are comfortable with talking about drug overdoses. I guess it’s something that I want to pretend does not exist, so it was a wake-up call to me to be more alert to circumstances that might lead to self harm.

The 5G gang, about 20 people, were assembled on one corner of College Green by the road, thus hoping to catch more people. I did not feel entirely comfortable giving out leaflets but Françoise, who was with me did so with some enthusiasm. Most people were either not interested or said that they did not feel that 5G was in any way harmful. The problem is that Bristol is the technical city that serves the South West so a large number of people are involved in IT so I wouldn’t expect many enthusiasts.

Most people on Saturday morning were on a mission, in a hurry, and did not even want to stop and consider. I should have thought along my meter which would have shown people the effect on EMF radiation when a mobile phone is used but I think that had I bought it along there would not have been that much opportunity to demonstrate. If I go to another demo I will try it.

Anyway, we put in an appearance. Hopefully, a few passers by will be triggered to think and reconsider their position. This is a real David and Goliath situation with billions of pounds of investment throughout the world so the left brain says that a group of people standing around talking to others for a couple of hours will make no difference. A blade of grass cannot see the lawn of which it is a part so maybe the cumulative effect will prevail but I suspect the reaction will be way down the line after people start getting ill.

During the time that Françoise was giving out leaflets I had left the group to its own devices and took a stroll around the Cathedral. It is by many standards a modern Cathedral, nearly 500 years old, compared with some of the other cathedrals. Wells is older. It was a lovely atmosphere.

I then went along to Bristol library. It is a major institution with not only books but newspapers, local records, sheet music, DVDs, and ample places to sit and work. I’m almost tempted to spend the day there in the reference library where I’m sure I will find concentration on reading much more than at home with its many distractions

We walked up Whiteladies road to have a salad and a soup for lunch. Afterwards we decided to go home and took the number 9 bus, apparently going in the right direction, marked ‘city centre’. This was a delusion. We did a 25 minute journey round the north of Bristol going in a figure of eight movement. 20 min after we left the bus stop we returned to the same road about 200 m down. We wrote the event off as a joke, as an opportunity to view the northern part of Bristol which we have never done before. We eventually arrived at the city centre and after running 200 yards we breathlessly caught the 15.35 bus with 1 min to spare.

At the stop at Bristol Temple Meads, a father got on with his son. The son who must have been 5 or 6 years of age was a brat if ever there was one. He wanted to sit in the front seat on the top deck and his remedy was to scream and I mean screaming. The only thing in his mind was that he wanted the seat. His father in vain said he could not have it because there were people occupying it. After a few minutes, the two young ladies occupying the front seat vacated their seats in an attempt to stop the screaming fit. The child moved and quietened down.

We felt the father had no authority and guessed that the father was looking after  his child for the weekend having separated from the mother. The father did not appear to have any authority and was even mimicking the child in an effort to bridge the gap and ingratiate himself. So the child now knows that screaming brings a result – if he did not know that before. What sort of bad programming is that?


Off to Farrington Gurney Village Hall to attend the Annual Supper of the Mendips story telling group. Storytelling is a dying art. I was always told stories at bedtime by my parents and looked forward to it. We have lost this  art out of laziness and the degradation of our culture. The stories told this evening were between 10 and 15 min in length, always had a hook at the end and in most cases represented a world of magic; things appeared and disappeared, maidens wished for a handsome suitor and got more than they bargained for, and generally escapology of a therapeutic kind.

We had a pause at 9 PM for a cheese supper consisting of very good local cheese which agreed with my stomach unlike most cheeses, yummy bread, miniature tomatoes, miniature pork pies and other pies for vegans, together with a tub of apples.

We had as table companions two delightful people who had lived for 40 years in Cheddar and we discussed the local facilities. It was interesting they had not been to most of their local facilities, including the car boot fair, the famous pub that serves cider, the garden centre and we knew it better than they did. I think they were recluses, nothing wrong with that. However, the one thing that they did warm to was talking about their fascination with caves. Although they are senior, they go out caving quite regularly and I invited myself along to the next event. The husband, Tony, was interested in dowsing so that was something in common between us and he. We shall see what comes of it but if nothing does, it was still an entertaining evening. They recommended the Hunters Lodge Inn, Priddy BA5 3AR which is the local ‘step back in time’ hangout for Speleologists, in addition to their recommendation of good and reasonably priced food.

And so to bed. I ordered yesterday and received today via Amazon a food supplement called Night Sense which contains all sorts of wonderful things designed to settle the body and give a good nights  sleep. The doctor had recommended melatonin but he cannot prescribe it. Nor could I get it from the local shop, so Night Sense was the best I could do. My goodness it did pack quite a punch so I decided to take it an hour before going to bed rather than the 30 min recommended.

Internal Family Systems – therapy session

Today I went to a private session in Bath presided over by the lady who practices Internal Family Systems which are designed to re-attach and reclaim those parts of the mind and spirit that may have broken away from each other, particularly during our development.

In order for me to work with someone I need to trust them and in this case it was easy to trust her because it was quite clear that the therapist had done work on herself because her aura was peaceful. Her voice was clear. The voice is but an instrument for the inner orchestra of thought if I can attune to this I am enabled to share on a deeper level, even if I do not know somebody at least in the commonplace use of that term.

I don’t mind sharing some of the work we did. I was encouraged to identify any particular age at which trauma or formative experience was identified. In my case I found the ages to be five and 11. I was asked to imagine that young entity standing in my proximity and I was asked how they felt and what their attitude was. I was able to identify certain characteristics, including the feeling of being frozen which I attributed to the need for independence and protection from those other people who might not have understood me at that time.

I was encouraged to have dialogue with my child and try to move forward. I can say that I did not feel understood and felt that this was a form of slow motion torture which I would rather be without and which lingers with me today as does the feeling of being criticized. Hopefully this will work through

I was able to assist the therapist by telling her in which parts of my body her words, were causing a reaction in.  For example, the nerves under my left foot started to react fairly early on in the session, as did the space over my heart and under the rib cage. It is like receiving an electric shock. Over the years, I have learnt to identify and understand the meaning of these various reactions.

I find the same with acupuncture. I notice that when the acupuncturist puts pins in various parts of my body, I can feel pins being put in various other parts of the body even though the acupuncturist has been nowhere near them. The impression  of the phantom needle is strong, almost stronger than the real thing whatever the word ‘real’ means.

I would like to think that astral entities or some higher consciousness are working with the acupuncturist to assist me my goal of becoming balanced.

I was asked what it feels like to be healed and normal. In my case, I don’t feel a separate entity at all and feel instead part of the universe. Someone said ‘hell is confinement in oneself‘. In moments of bliss, I feel I lose about half a stone. When I feel depressed. I feel heavy and when I feel happy I feel light. Funny that. After an hour the session finished.

I’m going back in March. The instruction was to talk to my identified separated entity every day no matter how briefly for a period of 21 days. I had always understood the lunar cycle to be more significance. I decided to do it for 28 days. At the end of the time I shall report back.

Drug withdrawal symptoms

I had one terrible day today stomach-wise but did not quite put two and two together. I am / was suffering from withdrawal symptoms and that from such an innocuous medicine as omeprazole, which inhibits the stomach for producing too much acid (Proton Pump Inhibitors). After too long a time taking them on a regular basis I decided to stop, so yesterday and today I had no morning pill. However I did suffer, throwing up almost all my food and liquids to boot. I see the stomach as somewhat like the engine of a car – it is very central to so many things. When that goes wrong ‘you’ go wrong.

I was very comforted by reading on the Internet

The potential harm of useful drugs is that they have a tendency to be over-used. Anytime we use a chemical to manipulate the normal function of the body, there are going to be consequences. Chronic acid suppression is a good example. The body makes acid for a reason, and we are seeing a growing list of complications if we inhibit acid production long term (see table below).

Tapering off these medicines can be challenging as people can have symptoms for up to 10 to 14 days after discontinuation due to rebound hyperacidity. So, be sure to let your patients know that they may feel worse for a couple of weeks before their body readapts. This is a common quote I hear, “I tried to go off that medicine but my reflux came back with a vengeance, Doc.”

it seems the we need some sort of the bridge in order to successfully ween off this quite addictive medicine. I’m already tapering down the dose but noticed that my stomach pains actually increased. It felt in my case like a rock solid lump in the middle of my chest. I hardly knew who I was, felt depressed, and stumbled around. This is the body reducing its dependence so it is a good sign in a way. You can read the whole article here

How on earth people manage to recover from far more addictive drugs such as heroin God only knows, and what about those who stagger away from the pharmacy with a  large paper bag with 10 different types of medication. I wonder how many people in this country, the United Kingdom, are addicted. What a way to go.

A friendly alcoholic – attributing blame – scapegoats

Another frosty morning but clear blue skies. I decided to go to the regular Tuesday morning coffee sessions at my church. There were only three of us there. When I arrived. The lady in charge for the morning had made three different types of cake. I should really have taken this early in the morning especially when I have had no breakfast but I cannot resist chocolate cakes so I had a small piece. People drifted in and when I left an hour later there were about 15 people there.

We have a new vicar who is called Adam Pitt. He is a local man and has four children of his own, the oldest is 14. He has two adopted children under two years of age. The fact that the vicarage as five bedrooms, most likely constituted part of his decision to move here. I’m told that he has a ten-year plan for the parish. He will be joining us after Easter when he has finished his training.

We discussed a homeless man who makes his home in an underground walkway by the supermarket. Evidently, he’s a very nice man, but an alcoholic. For this reason he cannot accept most of the food that is given to him but I don’t quite understand the logic here. The local population look after him as much as they can. Last night it was -2° but he said he felt quite warm. He’s an ex-Navy man and something happened with a woman who let him down, he flipped and he found himself on the street. He knows he has an alcohol problem, but says it’s the one thing that keeps him going and he admits  he doesn’t have the will to do anything about it.

Apart from the usual weather discussion, we discussed tree pruning, I said that trees should normally be pruned during the latent season and this winter time is about right. I said you should never cut more than a third of the tree as it will be too much of a shock for it.

Among the gathering there was a lady called Phyllis, who is 98 years of age. She has always struck me as a very lively person. I was told that she was born the daughter of a farmer and during the second world war she was a land girl. She had left school at 15 and was expected to work maintaining the family home and also on the farm. At this age, she maintains her own garden, takes cutting etc and has a greenhouse full of plants. For 98 years of age that’s not bad at all. She still drives.


Castle and Sun Paul Klee

I find on such occasions you have to put yourself out and make the effort to speak and although there may be moments of silence, no harm is done, and someone thinks of something to say and off we go. There is an art of conversation and a good part of this is listening to other people and taking them up on perhaps a very simple statement and encouraging a dialogue to start. Paul Klee “drawing is taking a line for a walk”. The same is true of conversations.


a long-standing friend of mine has written me a letter entitled “don’t look for a scapegoat”.  I enclose some of the more hopeful quotes from the letter.

The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower
Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
– Napoleon
Laws of nature do not make exceptions for nice people.
– Harold S. Kushner

A day turns from hopeless to promising

There’s nothing so powerful as an idea that has reached its time. Yesterday evening I had quite a dreadful experience with my stomach. It was a solid bloated mess and I couldn’t figure out what combination of food had caused it. For example I’m trying a course of sodium bicarbonate which I am combining with omeprazole which is a PPI proton pump inhibitor. Even though they both do good when taken separately, I’m not quite sure if the combination itself is bad and they may well be fighting each other. I have written to the practitioner to enquire.

Françoise went off to do her day work with age UK and meanwhile I decided to do some tree pruning operations in the garden. We have a couple of old apple trees and I looked on the Internet and found a very affable American who explained exactly the principles behind tree pruning and the half-hour video really helped me to have the confidence to do the job. Off to the dump with the spoil. I met my friend Gary there and we had a chat about spiritual commitment and I made a comment that we could not change others if we were ourselves not changed.

There is a program on TV called ‘Something for Nothing’ where a lady called Sarah goes to a particular rubbish tip in Altrincham, Manchester to stop people throwing things away that could be made into works of art and sold at a profit. I saw a chap pointing to something in a woman’s car asking if he could have it. It was actually a plastic filing cabinet, which was exactly what I want in order to minimise the effect of electromagnetic fields, EMF, on my working environment. I’m suffering a lot and find it difficult to hold the mouse sometimes. Anyway, the chap took one but I noticed there was another one in her boot so I asked her if I could take it and she replied in the affirmative. I took it home to find that two of the wheels had broken bases but since I did not want to use the wheels anyway it didn’t matter.

Back to the allotment which is close by to the recycle centre. I have a problem with a man of about 80 years of old who has an allotment but cannot maintain it. He gave up half but I have a suspicion that he is unable really to give the whole lot up with all the work that it involves. The plot is a complete tip, with wire netting, poles, bamboo pieces all over the place. You have to be careful with proud Somerset men, remember this is mining country, so I wrote a letter asking if he was all right and asking if he wanted any help to restore his allotment. I have no problem in helping my tenants. If that does not work  I will have to phone him.

Back home, and I wanted to take up the recommendation of a Functional Medicine practitioner who recommended that I get a particular medicament for my stomach. There was a help line on the website. I do not normally ask for help but on this occasion I did and I got through to someone called Robert, who was not so much interested in selling me the item but explaining the possible causes.

One cause was a possible trauma or traumas that could have triggered a disturbance in the stomach. He recommended going to see someone who could perhaps help me to detect what it was that caused me to dissociate a certain part of my experience. I made the contact and got an appointment with someone who had just had a cancellation so at 3.45 PM this Thursday I shall be exploring this avenue. He also mentioned someone called Wim Hof, who helps the body alkalize through correct breathing. You can find his very impressive breathing tutorials on you Tube.

I definitely feel better at the moment and am reminded of the old phrase that when the student is ready, the master will appear. I feel also that it sometimes takes a drama to precipitate us into making a move forward.

We had another wonderful sunny day today with no cloud in the sky above. I feel a hundred percent better than I did first thing this morning when I got so desperate I rang the Dr. He was helpful and positive but sometimes the answers lie outside allopathic medicine.

Another cold night, an excuse for lighting our log fire and sitting in front of it watching TV.

A veritable delight – Batcombe, Somerset

We are looking for places that would constitute a bolthole, a way of avoiding electromagnetic fields which do so much harm to the human biology never mind the psychology. We recently received a map from sky TV showing which regions had had the 5G mobile network switched on and we found that Batcombe, a small village in Somerset, was not in this category, so on a wonderfully bright and sunny day with blue skies we set off. We arrived on the stroke of midday. I know that because the local church clock, that of the Blessed Virgin Mary, struck 12 on the dot.

This church, situated in the middle of the village and of Saxon origin, is a beautiful example of simplicity and unpretentious style. It has Norman, Jacobean and modern influences in his building. We enter, just as the morning service was finishing. We understood that it was a visiting priest who had just conducted the service. People were standing in groups having a chat.

As we entered the church I was warmly welcomed by a lady called Mary, who asked us where we were from, and had a general chat with us about the church and the village. The priest was chatting to one of two and I heard him recommend a book by Nick Page entitled “the badly behaved Bible.” I immediately went up to him and said that I was a bibliophile and was very interested in his recommendation. Nick Page is the author of 40 books and a great populariser of Christianity. When I hear someone recommend something I always see it as an omen and as soon as I got home I ordered a copy from Amazon.

I then had a chat with another man, Charles, who introduced himself as someone who had lived in London. By coincidence, he lived in Streatham Common where I lived from the age of seven until 16, my father having had a parish in the church, St Andrews, Streatham Common. He lived at the top of Gibson’s Hill, which was familiar to me as my brother-in-law lived in St Oswald’s road which is a few hundred yards from Gibson’s Hill. Charles was a buyer and seller of fine furniture, whose sons went to Dulwich College, where my father went and who are now taught at a grammar school in Taunton. Amazing that, of all people and all times we should experience such a coincidence.

We had a talk with a lady who was locking up the church. We met at a park bench outside the church and I made the comment that if I attain when I die the amount of unconditional love that the average dog has, I would have felt my life has not been wasted. She said that she believes there is a heaven for animals and she expects to meet her dogs, her pony, and all other animals she has been in love with on this earth plane

We had conversation with another woman we met on the street. Although she has only been in the area for 10 years she has been accepted because the amount of work she does for the parish. She told us that this was one of the best areas that she knew of for community spirit. As an example because she has a compromised immune system she has to have treatments twice a year which she needs a cocktail of chemicals. She knows that when she hears the garden gate going, she knows that one of her neighbours have bought lunch for her.

There is no question in my mind that under the right circumstances people can be kind and gentle to each other.  It is overcrowding, too much stimulus, too much poverty, too many pressures that degrades the human spirit.

We did not get far in our quest to find a bolthole. This is a very expensive area to buy something and this would be reflected in rental costs. When we first found a house in Somerset, it found us rather than we found it. Our estate agent rang us up to say there was a property that they think we would like. And sure enough as soon as we entered the property he welcomed us and we felt it was ours. I feel the same thing will happen with what we need.

Wassailing time

This is the time of year, especially in the country, when wassailing happens. There are two types. The first one is a house – visiting when people go round door-to-door singing and offering a drink from the wassail bowl in exchange for gifts. The more common practice is  the orchard – visiting wassail which refers to the ancient custom of visiting orchards in cider producing regions, reciting incantations and singing to the trees to promote a good harvest for the coming year.

This year we went to Kilmersdon, the original place connected with the nursery rhyme ‘Jack and Jill went up the hill’. We assembled at a public orchard somewhat above the village. A wassailing Queen was chosen. It was her job to place a slice of toast in the tree to encourage Robbin Goodfellow to visit the tree and bring it luck, to pour cider in a ring around the tree, and also to hand around the wassailing bowl full of cider.

The words are as follows:

To thee, to thee, old apple tree.
Be growth so strong and true.
So fair of blossom and sweet of fruit.
Be yours the season through.

Chorus after each verse

Q. We’ll Wassail thee, old apple tree
and bless thee through the year.
And raise a glass of the goodly brew.
“Good luck” to all of us here

O Apple tree, O Apple tree.
Now spread your branches wider.
To bear more fruit for we to crop.
And turn them into cider

We’ll wassail thee old apple tree.
With cider around thy feet
And a round of toast in your branches high.
For the little robin to eat

This was followed by an incantation

Here’ to thee old apple tree.
Long may you bud, long may you blow
And may you bear apples enough.
Hats full, caps full,
Bushell, bushel bags full.
And pockets full too.
Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah

It was 4.30 pm  and getting dark so about 50 of us went off to the home of the organiser and the ceremony was repeated with their apple tree.  This video shows the loud bang made to frighten off the evil spirits. The laughter is because a bird appeared to be shot out of the tree and fall to the  ground. I think it was a model one.

Martin and his wife had provided a bread and cheese buffet, apple cake with three types of local cider on offer. My goodness it was lovely to drink something with no additives and chemicals.  Much convivial conversation was had and the singing of local songs went on for an hour or so.

Jordan Peterson, enfant terrible?

I spend quite a lot of my day watching the videos , which are of a higher and higher quality as more people take the trouble to upload them knowing that they have an intelligent audience. Youtube  routinely removes videos that it considers of fake news of the process of doing this is handed out to workers who do not know what they’re doing and rely on keywords. Frequently their first language is not English. Thank goodness for Brighteon which does not do this ridiculous censorship.

Jordon Peterson has my 100% respect for  speaking up against nonsense for example hate crime etc. I came across a video which I am not necessarily asking you to watch because it is long, but it does show what the group mind, or the mass mind, can do when faced with someone that is confrontational or potentially threatening at some level.

I have chosen to take controversial paths and I’m sure I pay a price for this in that certain people will not entertain me because I know that I want to make them think about topics they would not normally find comfortable. ‘Controversial’ really means challenging to people’s comfort points. This video is a very good example of how two people on a stage can pursue a perfectly reasonable path and yet be attacked.

I do not understand how people can believe that we can live together in a civilized society with such behavior. Oh, by the way, if you don’t want to watch the whole video go to the end, about the last 5 min, and you will see the idiotic perpetrators of the trouble trying to justify themselves – or not. I wonder if arguments in general are rational. I’ve always believed that the most powerful stance is that of neutrality. In other words if you understand both sides you don’t waste energy emoting. You are in a position to take a calm view.

There is no wind in the middle of a hurricane.

Can we make a difference?

There is always a feeling that ‘I am one among so many so what difference can I make?’ The point is that the right person at the right time saying the right thing or doing the right thing can make a big difference. Think of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus. Unbeknown to her, the conditions were just right for a rebellion against domination by white people in America, or about the diminished status of black people. She was a symbol. There is nothing to stop anyone making a statement of what they believe in. Many people may have done so before, but that is not the point. Maybe it is only on the 101st occasion that the penny will drop among the public.

I wrote to my local paper about the folly of climate change. In case you wonder, you can see plenty of explanatory videos on my website  What is truly shocking is the blatant bias of the BBC, basically in being a puppy dog to the corporate and the globalists and ignoring fact altogether. You can read my letter, which was published in full today in the local  paper, The Midsomer Norton Journal

Who knows what will come of it? Who knows. If anyone will even read it? The point is that it is good for us all to articulate what we feel. It keeps us alive. We don’t just want to be taken along by the tide just like a piece of flotsam and jetsam. Knowing something is wrong and not doing something about it is slow motion suicide of the soul in my view.

5G public meeting in Bristol – do’s and don’ts

The development of 5G is such that people in many local areas are waking up to the reality that our DNA will be fried and that there is no escape. I get many indications and invitations to meetings near and far. As is usual, one e-mail in a large bunch jumped out at me and that was a meeting that was due to happen in Bristol in the Broadmead Baptist Church, which is very much more than a church, more a community centre. Google that one for further details.

We set off on what must have been one of the rainiest and windiest nights imaginable. The rain came down in buckets and even the main A37 road had large puddles which caused our bus to skid and swerve. The upside of this was that there wasn’t much traffic so we made the journey between Farrington Gurney and Bristol in about 50 minutes.

Broadmead Baptist Church consists of three floors and our meeting was on the top floor. Upon entry, there was no noticeboard where to go and no one to ask except predictably those who did not know the answer. Françoise and I had to stumble around trying to guess where the right group might be and we eventually found it.

I had my business hat on. When I arrived at the appointed hour there was a large round table obviously use for committee meetings and about 16 chairs. When you organise a public meeting. You never know how many are going to turn up but there  should always be room for late comers. You always get late comers.  The meeting was interrupted on four occasions when someone came into the room causing someone else to come out and find an extra chair and bring it through the door and find a space. If I were chairing the meeting I would find that disturbing but the chair lady made a good job of it.

When there are volunteers, you can’t demand that anyone does something if they fall ill, or are changing their accommodation, or are just too busy or whatever the excuse. You just have to grit your teeth and accept that they haven’t done what they promised to do. Such was the case with the man who tried to have dealings with the Council, in this case Bristol Council. He tried to introduce 5G to the Green party councillor, but attempts to get through after the initial Meeting failed. I could have told him that that would be the case because the greens are not interested in 5G, perhaps because they don’t understand it or they don’t want to understand it.

When relevant points are made I tend to get very animated but I really have to learn to leave the weight of the meeting to the chairperson otherwise I could be seen as disruptive. When I spoke people did listen because they realised that I did have plenty to offer by way of common sense and wisdom on the topic of organisation, meetings, publicity and so on. I try to control myself realising that most people have never met me before and that some people had to learn lessons I learned years ago.

I have agreed to stand in the street and talk to people on the day of the first international protest against 5G which takes place on Saturday the 25th January. We shall meet on College Green at 11 AM on the morning. I warned everybody that you never get things right the first time and the only way of learning is by doing. I asked people to take particular care to remember what people said, learn about the mind of your enemy or should I say your adversary which in this case is ignorance and misinformation.

Our meeting of about 20 souls lasted for two hours between 7 PM and 9 PM and the time flew by very quickly because there was plenty of to-ing and fro-ing, ideas popping up all over the place. Meetings can get tedious when someone goes off at a tangent and gives a virtual life history about something and everyone gets bored, but a firm chairmen should be able to detect this and nip it in the bud.

I meant to say to everyone – but this was the wrong occasion-  to talk about the machinations of politics and politicians. When money and power come in the door, then truth goes out of the window. It is not the politicians who run this country, people who come and go, but the permanent civil servants in which there is a coterie of those who give information at the behest of the powerful shadowy figures who run the country and indeed the world.

Plans for 5G were made decades ago as indeed were the plans for the whole telecommunications industry. The last people to hear about it  never mind to discuss the implications are the general public, the people who are going to be influenced by it, including the carcinogenic effect of microwaves and particularly on children. Incidentally, did you know that the government knew perfectly well that schoolchildren were going to be adversely affected by putting wireless radiation in classrooms but they allowed the idea to go forward anyway.

I learned a lesson and that is to assume that people would be interested in what I’m doing if it’s relevant to the subject matter and give out leaflets accordingly. I should have done that but I know that I created a good impression and will come along to the next occasion better prepared.

We left the meeting at 9:15 PM. I handed my business card to the few people that I thought would be interested in maintaining contact.  I would love to have popped into the local pub for a drink, my normal relaxant after a meeting, but we didn’t have time so we caught the 9:35 PM bus to where we had parked the car. We always sit upstairs in the front, we like the view There were two other people sitting silently reflecting,  hopefully with their dreams intact.

For how long this will remain only God knows – and he ain’t telling.

Meeting of our Christian Men’s Group

Our group is called rather unfortunately ‘Mens United BA3’ which of course clashes too much with the Manchester United football team but perhaps that is something that is only going on in my head. Since forming the group a couple of years ago we have not attracted any new members; we have a core group of about 8 to 10 people who meet regularly.

We met in Radstock Swallow Cafe which is a place where people with learning difficulties are encouraged to function in a public role. I prepared a special talk on wind, using references from the Bible to look at the various ways in which the word wind in its literal and symbolic manner was used. The wind was blowing extensively earlier this evening which was why I was inspired to write a piece from which I give excerpts below and give a short talk on the subject.

Most Christians are familiar with the story of the disciples who were fishing. Peter was so afraid he began to sink and he cried out to Jesus to save him. Jesus ordered the winter be quiet and be still. The disciples were terrified. They asked each other, who is this? Even the wind and waves obey him. A quick reminder that perhaps the disciples  needed this physical event to remind them of the nature of the person they were with.

We also have a parable of the man who built his house on sand. The rain came and the winds blew and beat upon that house and great was the fall thereof.

The man who built his house on rock lived to tell the tale.

In the Old Testament in Zachariah it is recorded that the prophet looked up and saw two other women. They had wings like the wings of the stork. Wind was sent by the Lord to carry them along. They lifted the basket up between heaven and earth.

I love the bit in John chapter 3 v 8 where it says ‘the wind blows were it listeth to. You hear the sound it makes. But you can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going. It is the same with everyone who was born through the spirit

This reading brings shivers up my spine.

James says that when you ask God for something you must believe and not doubt because the one who doubts it is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

Finally, in Revelation, part of the vision was “after this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.

With so few people at the meeting it was difficult to make any plans for the future but we agreed that regular monthly prayer meetings were a good idea, and that there could be talks, given in people’s homes, which would enable Fellowship to take place.

I am personally put off by prayer meetings as such but I believe that during meetings where people are united in spirit, prayer of sort takes place anyway.  I do not like prayers consisting of shopping lists and drawing God’s  attention to what is going as if he is any sort of a God, he should know anyway.

New Year’s Travel Resolutions

I receive many emails each day, today I received one from ‘Nomadic Matt‘ who specialises in giving travel advice.  He is a traveler himself and delights in regaling us with his personal experiences / hints / tips etc. I found this email reproduced below most helpful and encouraging.

Hey Brian,

Happy New Year! January always seems to be a time for reflection as we think about our new year goals: where we want to go, who we want to be, and what we want to bring into our lives.

If you’re like me, you’re hoping those “new year, new you” goals don’t turn into “new year, old you” all over again.

Rather than admit defeat off the bat (“I know it won’t last”), this year, let’s reframe the scripts in our head.

Let’s toss out the negative thoughts that keep us tied to old patterns.

Instead of setting a goal, let’s decide to just be the kind of person we want to be.

Don’t pledge to read more. Become a reader.

Don’t pledge to cook more. Become a cook.

Don’t pledge to travel more. Become a traveler.

Imagine yourself as that new person and ask what they would do — and just do it! That may seem trite but study after study has shown that by imagining yourself as your desired self, you unconsciously start acting like that person.

You internalize those ideal traits and, little by little, become closer to who you want to be.

And that’s what’s most important: the small steps.

Because action begets action. The first step is always the hardest but, once you take it, every other step becomes easier.

And it doesn’t matter what that first step is. Buy a guidebook, subscribe to a blog, save a dollar. Just do something. Today.

Ask yourself “What’s the one thing I can do today to get closer to my dream trip?”

After a while, you find yourself building a habit and becoming that traveler you want to be.

Over the next month, I’ll be sending a bunch of new articles on how to travel on a budget in 2020 as well as how to travel eco-friendlier too. There’s a lot coming down the pipe.

But, today, I want to remind you that there will never a perfect time to travel.

You will always find an excuse not to go. There will always be bills to pay or things to do. No time will ever be perfect.

Accept that, put it out of your mind, and start taking action.

Ships weren’t meant to stay in harbor — and you weren’t meant to stay home.

The year is already 2% over. Let’s not wait.

Young people’s joy of art exploding

So we went to the Andelli Art Gallery, near Wells, to enjoy a very unusual private view.  The gallery was packed with young enthusiastic people and it gave me a vibe I seldom get in a rather aged conurbation such as Midsomer Norton. The local parent teachers association had prepared a a very good finger buffet. Alas it had been prepared some hours before so anything with bread or biscuits were soggy to say the least.

Students with proud teacher (bearded)
courage needed to attempt such a profile


This final piece is not from the show but a work situated on the staircase of the property where the exhibition took place. The perspective is very unusual and makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

The subject is giving nothing away


A winter walk

It is a myth that the weather is ‘bad’ in the winter and ‘good’ in summer. You can have lovely breezy days in February and dreadful days in August. We went for a walk along the railway line which used to function between Radstock and Frome until Dr Beeching put his microscope on it.

The so called ‘disorder’ of the winter. Dead and dying vegetation but the new will emerge out of the old in a couple of months time.

If you look carefully you can see two sets of tracks with trees growing between them .

The skeleton of an old railway good carriage.

A ploughed field with an inexplicable deep hole in the middle. Maybe a stray bomb from WW2.

To Mells for lunch at the local village store. Two lovely pumpkin/parsnip/garlic soups with bread to die for. £9.

How to negotiate – Spring is coming

Hartleys is one of my favourite restaurants with Paul, the affable owner, as its star. Yesterday I rang him up to ask for an appointment, to offer a service. The reason I did this was because three times in succession over two years I have signed up for receiving a news bulletin about the activities and features of the restaurant and I have never had a response.

I never make criticism without making an offer. This is easier in small self owned establishments than large establishments such as the gas company, where personal bartering and offers do not count. Since there was clearly a defect in the mail system I went along, intending to offer my services in case there was a weak link in the chain. As a result, the conversation was as affable as I could have wished and Paul was able to explain the situation from his point of view. He said that someone had been helping him for a number of years.

We identified two possible weak links in the chain. First of all people write their e-mail address in the restaurant after having received service. This is then passed manually to the mailing list provider who will add the information as and when they have the time. The two links were easy to identify. Sometimes, people write their e-mail address indistinctly so that information is lost. Secondly, it is up to the ultimate recipient of the list to put them on a database. This is done on a voluntary basis.

A loss of even 10% of addresses would have a huge impact over the year on the number of returning customers. In this age of tight profit margins, and I believe that most restaurants operate within this, that last 5% or 10% makes the difference between profit and loss.

After our meeting, I said I would write to him and leave the ball in his court. It is after all his business and not mine and he is entitled to run the business in any way he pleases. I find that with small organisations, complaining or grumbling is the least helpful way of going about things. It is much better to praise the organisation with a qualification for example, I loved your food but it was such a pity it was served on a cold plate.

Putting people’s backs up when you first open your mouth just starts their adrenaline to flow and you will get standard answers, anything to placate the customer and nothing will ever be done. It is really worth putting yourself in the place of the service provider to try and imagine what problems they may experience. If the person you’re complaining to feels that you’re on their wavelength, they are far more likely to cooperate .

When I finished the dialogue I went along to Rocky Mountain nursery. There were not many people around but as the following pictorial essay will show, they are preparing for the coming of spring.

Reflections on Christianity and Shamanism

I went to holy Communion this morning which involved a fairly long sermon. The time after Christmas which is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, is very important to Christians and the reading today was the first chapter or part of the first chapter of St John’s Gospel. In the most magisterial and visionary way, St John is trying to convey in words the enormous sweep of our world receiving a visitation from the son of God, not the only attempt but one that we are familiar with. It brings shivers to me each time I hear it

1.In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God;
3 all things were made through him,
and without him was not anything made that was made.
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.
8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
9 The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.
11 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.
12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God;
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

The preacher reminded us that Jesus understood only too well what it was like to be abused, insulted, deliberately misunderstood, rejected and of course to be killed for his faith. We think mistakenly of Jesus as a holy distant figure who is preaching to us but he was the one who walked his talk, who was obedient to his Father consistently throughout his life. Interesting that he did not start his ministry until the age of 30. Some people say that he visited Glastonbury here in the United Kingdom. Who knows?

Those of us who stand up for anything which makes people awkward for whatever reason can expect a dose of hostility or ridicule.  This is one of the many ways that Jesus is an exemplar to us.

Krishnamurti was unique in that he dissolved the movement which he had formed and in his name. He felt that no one should be  follower  and they should find truth within themselves.

I find the most comfort in Christianity. Maybe it is because I was bought up in the Christian faith. My father was a Church of England Vicar – a disadvantage as well as an advantage. It is good ‘software for the soul’.

I came across the film (below) which compares the attitude to and treatment of mental health in the West and that in so called traditional or primitive society. Certainly work a look if you know someone who is ‘mentally ill’ and taking regular pills.

Affairs of the heart

The two weeks from just before Christmas to the New Year are unique. No one expects you to be in, put any pressure on you, or makes any demands. You can therefore without too much effort become invisible and get on with work that you want to do rather than what is expected of you.

This year I’m going to pay more attention to my health. I’m still too dependent on prescribed medicine though admittedly it’s only one pill a day but it does the job. I’ve tested the magnesium levels in my system which show a slight deficiency and today I did a blood test to determine my blood type. You can get self testing equipment for about £12 from Amazon, but I’m not sure how accurate it is.

Today I wrote a newsletter to all the members of the allotment group which I’m chairman. This is a time of year where preparations made for the new season and not much appears to be going on but the allotment has to be maintained like anything else. I went round with a camera today recording all the little things that were going on, for example the good appearance of a hedge that had been cut, rhubarb making his first appearance, leeks soldiering on during the wet weather (they don’t seem to mind) and a gentle reminder to people to maintain their plot in a tidy condition.

I do enjoy small areas of order and harmony. It sets the example that we still care for each other and that life on a local level should not be eclipsed by the dreadful material going on throughout the world. The point is, we cannot do very much about the latter, so I think we should just note and observe rather than get stressed out. Most of our friends do not want to know what is really going on and choose to confine themselves to daily existence. Very few people have the courage even to think.

Today I came across a PDF book on the heart. It puts the whole thing into perspective and I give credit to the website that told me about it. The book is not long and really does sum up the importance of the heart, much more than a pump, and one of the most important organs in the body.

I did not know – or I needed to be reminded – that the number of messages from the heart to the brain far exceed those of the brain to the heart and that the heart itself as a telepathic ability, a morphic field we could say, which could if we let it make an enormous difference to our lives.

Have a look at the book here and see what you think. It wont take you more than 10 minutes.

Unusually, I will publish replies. Just hit return reading this diary. I will collect any comments and let you know.

This is the exact opposite of the above. It talks about the symbiotic effect of using smartphones with regard to Artificial intelligence. It’s pretty scary.

Archbishop Justin Welby, new year message

In spite of all, we are still a Christian country in the United Kingdom and if you don’t believe me look how many institutions and organisations and charities and ventures have been inspired by the Christian gospel.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said this on New Year’s Day, today.

Make personal connections with others in 2020. Creating new unity in a divided society. He says “let’s go for a heroic new years resolution. Let’s resolve to connect. To reach out to just one person. We don’t know, all from whom we had drifted apart.

Pick one person. Pick up the phone. Send a text. Meeting for a cup of tea. Make that connection. Let’s begin cementing our unity one brick at a time.

If I ever have the means, I would like to examine ways of enhancing the community spirit. The British people have it within themselves to leave it to someone else and as a result things don’t get done. I think people are afraid of being different. It takes just one person to start a trend and the rest will follow.




Back to ‘normal’ (whatever that is)

My sister and husband achieved the near impossible feat of catching a bus from around the corner in Midsomer Norton, and arriving at her front door in Croydon, Surrey, four hours later. Sometimes people are just plain lucky, and this on New Year’s eve when everyone is on the road.

1  local bus to Bath station (46min)
2  high speed train to London Paddington (1h 25m)
3  tube to London Victoria (20 min)
4. Victoria to East Croydon (18 minutes)
5. Taxi home  (20 minutes guess)


To the hospital for my monthly eye check. Every time I see a different consultant. This one was from Ireland. She was very inclusive, showed me the scans of my eyes, found a very small spread of wet macular from the left to the right eye (it happens) and said that if things get suddenly worse, to ask to bring the appointment forward. I am not sure why she asked this. Anyway, this month, no injection.

I keep my usual eagle eye on new publicity.


What to do on the last day of having guests

My sister and brother-in-law are leaving tomorrow for London after having been with us for a week. My answer to the above question is that you should not attempt too much on the last day but rather wind down the proceedings.  We did this by going to an extraordinary pub called the Railway Inn in Hallatrow.  Inside was the most remarkable collection of memorabilia, a thoroughly eccentric barman who could not get the hang of the till and a number of eccentric people sitting around drinking and making jokes.

Furthermore, there was a completely restored restaurant carriage from British rail days of old in which we would have sat with our drinks had it not been so cold. The carriage is normally used for serving food but today and tomorrow, the hard-working chefs are having a miniature holiday.

We then went to the Farrington Gurney Inn where we had a fairly ordinary lunch. The waitress who took my order was not quite ‘with it’. She repeated to me twice what I had clearly asked her for. I gave the order at about 1:10. The first course arrived about 1.20 then we had a long, long wait until 2:15 before the main course arrived. We noticed that people who arrived after us had been served before us and this was annoying. We did complain and were told there was a ‘mess up’ in the kitchen. My sister and I do not take excuses like this. They had the order otherwise they would not have delivered the first course.  At the end of the meal, she complained and got a rebate of £17.20 which I guess was the price of drinks.

We then went to the Book Barn, which claims to have the biggest collection of second-hand books in Europe. Looking at the size of the warehouse, a converted barn which was previously used for keeping cattle, I would not question their claim. Inside is a lovely restaurant where you can get light meals, coffee, cakes, etc. The customers there are most definitely the literary type and it is pleasant to be with them even if we don’t speak.

I love books even if I don’t read them; I purchase about two books a week. I’m already full but I haven’t the heart to throw books away. Something has to happen otherwise I’m going to have to get a new property with a library attached

We left the Book Barn at about 3:40 PM to a lovely blue sky and witnessed pheasants and other winged creatures enjoying themselves in the afternoon sunlight on a field.


Winter always has something to offer

My sister has gone off to Wells today to see an old friend so we are left to our own devices and decided to take a walk. We went to our favourite old village called Wellow (See previous references) and then decided to go to the local Kennett and Avon canal which always promises to give many interesting photographs. This therefore is largely a photographic essay of canals in the off-season.

Amazingly it has stopped raining and the forecast for the next few days is dry. This will enable this country of the United Kingdom to look less like a lake.

People are very friendly as ever and when we pass them always give a nod. The most dangerous part of this walk are the cyclists who drive along at speed without necessarily having a bell. Anyway, I survived about an hour before the damp started to creep into me. We returned to our car and off we drove into the dusk.

My digestion dare I say is getting better. I had no pill this morning and took instead a lactase enzyme which is for individuals who have difficulty digesting lactose. So far today, no acid symptoms or bloating should I say.

Cooking for Christmas day


Lunch on Christmas day has a mystique which is almost burdensome.  This year I decided to take up the challenge of preparing the whole lot myself. You have to be a strategic planner. Different foods take different times to prepare so that which takes the longest to cook, normally the meat offering, has to go in the oven first.  It sounds complicated when you have 10 different foods to prepare but actually it can become quite fun. I need to be on my own in the kitchen and not having people walking around. I would make a hopeless chef.

In this case the ingredients were chicken, stuffing, red cabbage, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, cauliflower cheese, extra special delicious gravy, followed by Christmas pudding. If I rearrange this list according to time taken to prepare it would be chicken 2.5 hours followed by Christmas pudding, 2  hours followed by cauliflower cheese, fiddly but the best part of two hours. I don’t know how people manage in restaurants when there are many tables to serve at different times. I think you have to be somewhat of a juggler or maybe everything is prepared beforehand and heated in a microwave.

I tend to go into a panic at this sort of meal but actually when you get on with it it’s a classical operation. We are talking about 4 people  not 16 or 100. You would have to be positively military to serve 100 people.

It is not possible to cook a perfect meal but if it’s home-prepared food, fully cooked and made with care, and you are not going to poison anybody then I guess it’s take it or leave it. People should never apologize for their own cooking for example ‘oh sorry there could have been more salt’. If guests want more of anything they can just ask.

Anyway, as I write, people are snoozing on the sofa. We shall shortly start the ritual of watching TV programmes and recording those that we cannot view immediately.

It starts to rain.

Self centred parents spoil sublime Christmas service

Sunday – to a very homely rendering of the nine lessons and carols in my home church in Paulton, followed by mince pies and mulled wine. We saw many people that we don’t normally see. Some people come to church just once or twice a year to keep in touch.

the Cathedral one hour before the service was due to start

Today to Wells to hear a carol service and to take part in it. We were advised to arrive early for a six o’clock service, five o’clock to be precise. I thought we would arrive then just to be on the safe side, but to my surprise more or less the whole Cathedral was occupied. We grabbed some back row seats, a mistake as we were to discover.

6 PM approached and we were asked to stand while the bells chimed and the service started. I noticed a woman behind me standing with a young child. She was one of these ample middle-class ladies. It was quite clear that the child was not going to be calm. It is one thing I can’t cope with, and that is noise during singing. After I turned round and stared at her a couple of times she waved at me sarcastically and patronisingly. After about 15 min. she left and 15 minutes later returned. The child made noises from time to time, just enough to disturb me but not enough to be thrown out by the staff.

I think people who bring children under three years of age should not be permitted to enter. It shows disrespect for other people who want to hear untrammelled music. These people simply don’t care or are so self-centred that they think people just have to put up with noise from ‘my little darling’. As if that were not enough,the stewards of the back were talking together and I could quite clearly hear what they were saying.

The straw that broke the camel’s back came when walkie-talkies sprung into action behind us again down to the stewards and they either had no knowledge of how to turn them down or no desire. I realised that this event was regarded by them as just another event. The sensibilities of the congregation were not taken into consideration and I actually walked out of the service promising to meet my guests and Françoise after the event. I walked around the town of Wells. There was blissful quiet enabling me to clear my head from the impossible task of concentrating on the singing which was of good quality and trying to shut out the noise of the wretched children.


Something to celebrate, something to mourn

The person who inspired me to keep this diary was Samuel Pepys. He wrote his diary over 10 years and amassed over 1 1/4 million words. The most famous long novel is War and Piece by Dostoevsky , which consists of 587,287 words. So far in a little under three years I have written 612,157 words. I can only admire Samuel Pepys’ tenacity. He had only a quill pen and candlelight. I use speech to text dictation and even then it is quite a discipline to keep this going. Samuel Pepys had a full-time job which was very demanding, and equally demanding social life if I can call it that and he still found time to record his activities.

On the other side, I find I’m getting so electro sensitive that I cannot even hold the computer mouse. It doesn’t matter if it’s a wireless mouse or a wired mouse. It makes my hand cramp up so the less I touch the mouse, the better. Such is technology.


And now to today.

Well blow me down, the sun is actually shining this morning and we are off to Glastonbury for the winter solstice. This time, friends are coming to pick us up so we will be chauffeured.

We arrived early, but found many more people than normal and although I like the people I dislike crowds. At midday, there is a tolling of bells followed by a ceremony which this time was concerned with the minute of peace which was planned to be at 9 PM on this very evening.

I fell into conversation with a chap who had been living in a tent for the past two years. I commented that when things go pear-shaped, he will have less to lose than others. He was unsure about this but recommended a book called ‘Always Coming Home’ by Ursula Le Guin, a recent publication which is into its sixth printing. Lyric and luminous . . . a major imaginative vision – The New York Times Book Review An appealing book as well as a masterly one . . . The future world she has created here is awesomely complex – Newsweek The effect it has on the reader is hypnotic . . . Le Guin has chosen a most original way to reveal this imagined land – People.
I have just (22.46 on 21.12.19) ordered it on Amazon Prime and it will  be with me 23 Dec.

We did not linger long. We always do the same thing after such events in Chalice Well. We walk along the top of the town then turn left right down the high road which I consider is unique in the UK, if not in the world. There are so many very interesting shops. The first stop is the health food shop which is as close to heaven in shop terms as I can think of. We then go down to Burns the Bread and had some delicious freshly baked pizza or sausage rolls. We then go to the community rooms for a tea or coffee. Finally, we go to the goddess centre and sit there for half an hour and meditate. We then go home because by that time we’ve had enough.

On the road between Glastonbury and Shepton Mallet we saw enormous bouquets of mistletoe. They seemed to be on old apple trees. What a delight. In general, the Somerset levels were flooded and it was difficult to tell the difference between a river and a fully flooded field. I really hope this rain stops otherwise the farmers are going to have a very difficult time. On the other hand I also feel for the people in New South Wales, Australia, especially those in Sydney who are having to put up with record temperatures and dreadful fires.

Surviving the pre-Christmas period

This whole Christmas thing started off in a very humble way when a  mother about to give birth could not find a space in an Inn so was eventually accommodated as an act of compassion by the inn-keeper in a stable. How times have changed. From looking at people in the shops and stores you might think that this Christmas is some sort of bacchanalian event involving the laying in of food and drink for a siege. It takes quite a lot of doing to accumulate a £100 bill in a supermarket but it can be done as I saw more than once yesterday.

I spoke to a friend today that I had known for 55 years. Actually apart from my family the person who I’ve known the longest. We met when we were both temporary employees at a Post Office sorting office in December 1964. We have been in touch on and off ever since. He and his partner have decided to have an ‘un-Christmas’ Christmas. No celebration no presents no going out just doing nothing. However, he has a fondness for lamb, and he told me about a firm in Scotland that delivers highest quality meat, ‘Donald Russell Scotland’s finest butcher’ no less. My friend loves lamb so has ordered lots of it.

Knowing him I can see how well suited he would be to this but of course for some people, particularly the elderly, this is what they do anyway but not through choice. I don’t know what it must be like, especially if you have lost your husband recently, to be without relatives to just sit down on Christmas morning watching the TV, somehow preparing for lunch, and ending the day with a huge amount of meaningless visual data in your brain and that only that which you could recall when you were not dozing off.

I think we can do better as a society. I don’t think we can expect the government to provide for all our needs. After all, they spent a lot of money on our education and our health. So surely it behooves us to be proactive and not just sit there like birds with open mouths expecting to be fed by its parents. I coming to any reasonable amount of money I would certainly create an organisation to help further improve the sense of community and caring which in certain areas of the country makes such a change to the way people think and behave. My theme to more difficult places would be “better a good conversation than an antidepressant pill”.

If I was in full-time work, had a couple of screaming children to look after, had to care for the in laws which need to be picked up from the other side of the country then I can see how Christmas would be stressful. In addition, this year, the weather is far from perfect, causing floods in many places, not just the usual places like Gloucester but many places in the Midlands that are not used to floods.

I find that the whole environmental vibe becomes more happy and relaxed around this time of year. I’m sure it correlates with the fact that people are not working and instead getting together with their families. It is a type of answer to prayer that they congregate. Talking of praying, I sent off a prayer request today about my stomach to a group based in Spain and after doing so felt strangely different and enlightened.

This morning for the first time I’ve tried cider vinegar which evidently stimulates the stomach to receive food and although it may sound contradictory it relieves the feeling of assiduity. The trouble is, the stomach can produce either too much or too little acid and only tests can tell. Obviously you do different treatments for different conditions but my policy at the moment is to have less food, more chewing, and let the meal settle for some time. It seems to be working though these are early days.

Last night we saw a lovely film on the life of Freddie Mercury,  the lead in Queen. It was very nostalgic. I do miss him, Kenny Everett, Michael Jackson, Prince, and all those wonderful people. I miss them in a different way to for example Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper. I find Tommy Cooper’s humour does not age but Morecambe and Wise’s humour possibly does age.I lament the fact that much comedy of the present era relies on sexual innuendo, bad language and I don’t find the style the slightest bit funny.

This evening I went along to my local minor injuries clinic midway between Midsomer Norton and Paulton check. I had scraped some skin off the back of my hand and it was not healing. I was the only patient waiting so was seen immediately by a very cheerful nurse who expertly put some stitches on my hand, covered it up copiously, and gave me a spare bandaging in case the first one fell off. I was told to come back in case there was any swelling, redness, or pain.

I do give thanks for the NHS and hope that the recent campaign by nurses in Ireland, but been severely neglected is resolved. There is no effective government in Northern Ireland at the moment which makes passing the buck easier to do; the nurses think their pay has effectively slipped 15% in the last 10 years or so.

Two helpful thoughts from the Internet

Whatever you say about the Internet from the security and safety point of view, it remains a useful source of information. Youtube is busily shooting itself in the foot by removing people that it thinks is spreading fake news, though, that in itself could be fake news. Fortunately, we have Brighteon, thank you Mike Adams the Health Ranger, where people can post without fear of being censored.

I came across two items today which I want to share with you because for me they hit the target. The first one is from my favourite teacher on Trans World Radio, Colin Smith and the other one from Eckhart Tolle about forgiveness.

I quote in full as I think the material is useful for any thoughtful person particularly at this time of year. If you are not ‘a believer’ then it still makes a good point.

Humble yourselves…cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)

The root of all worry and anxiety lies in the belief that what happens is ultimately in our hands. If you think that what happens is ultimately in your hands, that’s pride.

The proud person feels that he or she has to make things happen. But the truth is, none of us can add an inch to our height or an hour to our life by worrying about it.

What happens finally is in the hands of God.There is a powerful insight here for the person who struggles with frequent bouts of anxiety. If we want to deal with our anxiety, the place to begin is by dealing with our pride, because humility is the ultimate release from anxiety.

It is important for us to be able to distinguish between the voices of Pride and Humility. Pride says, “What happens is up to me,” and this only creates more anxiety. Humility says, “Lord, everything that concerns me is in your hands,” and this is the beginning of peace.

When you hear the voice of Pride, you can counteract it by “casting all your anxiety” on Jesus. How do you do that? Tell him what you are anxious about and then hand that situation over to Him. Put it into His hands. You can do this knowing that He cares about you.

If you hear the voice of Pride or you are feeling anxious about a situation, go ahead and cast your anxiety on Jesus right now.

Now follows a short video where for me the punchline was the last few sentences.

Digestion shows signs of settling

The trouble with any internal ache or pain is that you can’t run away from it. Toothache is the worst, I’m sure heart pain is up there but stomach pain is – well – worse than a pain in the neck as we would say. I am being forced to eat more carefully, halve the amount I take and take double the amount of time to consume it. For a Gemini who feels most comfortable thinking about six different things at a time this is pure torture.

I’m going to be undertaking a test for the effectiveness of the small intestine. I have been given a  do-it-yourself kit by the chemist. I have to blow into two glass tubes,  drink a white powder diluted in water, wait half an hour, and then blow into two more tubes. I must send the kit off in the post and the result will be returned to my doctor in a few days.

Today was a splendid day in my local church. People start coming who normally do not come at any other time of year and they are nonetheless welcome for that. Our normal coffee morning was expanded to include sausage rolls, a great variety of cakes, mince pies, anything you could reasonably stomach at that time of day.

The church looks lovely as I’ve shown in my previous images and there were about 70 people. During the proceedings, the organist played well-known carols to which people sung along if they felt like it.  We then had a raffle with about 12 prizes, the money going to church funds.

This afternoon I did a reading for someone called Max. One of the talents I’ve got is to be able to pick up people’s thoughts just from their name. It is a great service to people who have had relationships and can help them to be released from them without hurt to either party. This is a great help to the client sitting in front of me because they can understand their partner better and treat them appropriately. I really must start publicizing myself more and may devote the early part of 2020 to this.

A modest evening meal is followed by watching TV, such staunch British events like the history of Harrods, which must be one of the most famous stores in the world.

Stourhead revisited

This splendid National Trust property caught our attention yesterday in the form of a Christmas Festival of light. We were unable to gain admittance to the choral evening at Wells Cathedral because it was completely full, so decided to compensate by going along to another event.

Stourhead is in Wiltshire, but only 35 min from where we live in Midsomer Norton. There is something about lights at night that brings out the child in us. This was the first of the five-year contract for various exhibitions of light. For a first attempt it was very good with every effort being made to make the journey safe by for example the removal of small steps along the way. The cost was £18 a head. Bearing in mind the fact that it was so complicated and ambitious and that planning started the previous January. I don’t begrudge them such a seemingly large amount for admission. UK is beset by rain at the moment but we managed to escape the worst of it. I understand that on the previous Saturday, 14 December , they had 3000 people through the turnstiles. I went to the still open restaurant, which normally closes at 5:30 PM. I made the mistake of ordering a brie and chutney sandwich which repeated on me later on. I’m having to take on a completely new regime of eating which is unforgiving.

The dangers of giving advice

Sometimes, I feel the desire to give advice. The problem is, it can so often go wrong, especially if it is unrequited. I’m quite good on websites and will comment if there is a technical fault or if something about it puts me off. I would like to give an example of a person I wrote to about their website, someone who specifically invited readers to comment.

Dear xxxxx
I had cause to visit your website today and noted your comment about the low number of people who give donations.
I’m afraid this is par for the course. The general public is used to getting something free and there are so many demands upon people’s energy, time, and resources.
I run a site, actually more than one site, listed below. If I recall I have had five donations so far. I have quite often asked for money on the same grounds as yourself to very little effect.
It seems that we are both motivated by idealism and as history shows us this does not bring immediate recognition or rewards. I can only say that ‘as you sow, so you will reap’ but there’s no indication of timescale here.
 I am encouraged by the occasional letter saying ‘thank you very much what you are doing’ but I have now reached the state when I do things automatically and see what I’m doing as a work of art.
All the best
PS your site could use a makeover.
# The typeface is really old-fashioned and not attractive. I know it is not content but these things do matter.
# I was put off by the red heading because red equals emergency, panic and stress and I would have thought a blue heading would be much more  appropriate bearing in mind the spiritual nature of the topic. # Makeovers do not have to be expensive as small changes can be made internally, so to speak.
# You can ask for help on social media and I would have thought people would be forthcoming.
to which she replied:
Hi Brian,
Whilst you are free to your opinion, I have to disagree – in fact, yours is the only email i have ever received saying it doesn’t look nice. Also, honestly, people are far more interested in the good quality ebooks than they are in the color of the header. In addition, the site isn’t really spiritual based. There are over 100 genres of books on there.
From someone who can sympathise with the donation aspect, I assume you didn’t download any books? If not, I hope you come back and find something good. I usually add new books every couple of days or so.
Kind Regards,

My impression was that she let off steam in the first paragraph and then settled somewhat and became rational. I always get a ‘woomph’ when there is pent up anger in the writer and for this reason do not like opening some types of letter.

My feeling is that I may have a completely valid point, and unless I make it who is going to know what I think.  If I am wrong then nothing is wasted. The English are not very good at giving or indeed accepting criticism and I’m going to try and change this somewhat. What I feel in this case is that I did my best but this was not good enough, or perhaps inappropriately put. Alternatively the person had some sort of resentment or need to defend themselves and they would react the same way to everyone.

On balance, I’m glad I said what I said. I know that other recipients of my observations have been grateful for my pointing out some aspect of their website. The last person I did this to relied, ‘yes I know it needs some updating, but I’ve been so busy’. The problem is a member of the public visiting a site does not know this and first impressions count. One of the things that annoys me most is a dead link. In other words, leading to a page with nothing on it. It’s better to have no page than a ‘nothing’  page.

There is an overall lesson from this. If you are writing a response as an instant reaction and out of anger, it is better to write it, leave it a bit, and then come back to it the next day. By that time you have calmed down and you will often be motivated to modify what you said, and write something more reasonable. It can save embarrassment in the long run especially if you find out that other person had a point.

There is a good letter in the Huffpost ‘Write it but dont sent it – and turn what happened into good.

A winter visit to Wells

To Wells on a cold and blustery morning to see the Christmas markets in full swing. Funnily enough, crowds don’t excite me that much so I took refuge in the gardens of Wells Cathedral. Always a delight.

the spring that used to supply Wells with its water
all part of the cycle of life

I am tired of seeing endless stalls with artworks and knitted items that I don’t need and don’t want but I do acknowledge that a lot of creativity goes into them and people like the idea of making a few extra pounds.

I was not feeling very well and made the mistake of having a quiche at my favourite whole foods restaurant. Unfortunately, it contained raw onion which does not agree with me at all. I’m having to reorganise my whole diet to minimise carbohydrates and avoid sugar and even honey. It’s amazing how draining a stomach problem is. I find that once a vicious cycle starts in the stomach it goes on throughout the day.  Believe me, changing the habits of a lifetime is very difficult indeed.

My sister and brother-in-law are going to stay with us for a week over Christmas. We must somehow prepare in advance food without  overloading the fridge and freezer, which is already full to bursting point.