A perfect Easter Sunday; blue skies, as I write it is about 24°C and I suspect everyone is taking time off from even thinking about politics never mind Brexit – this long drawnout farce that makes me embarrassed to be British.
Today is Easter day (a variable date decided in the 7th century by an enclave of the good and the great in the church) when we celebrate the rising of Jesus Christ from the dead. It is also the day that the Tamil Tigers chose to gently remind us that 10 years ago they were considered to be defeated by the powers that be in Sri Lanka. I think it is eights bombs they let off (suicide bombers?) , four in churches and about the same number in five-star hotels. This is one of these events where the reported death toll will rise and rise. As I write it is reported as 200 (13:34 GMT) and that’s dead people not injured.
And so to church. Easter Day is the high point in the church’s calendar apart from Christmas Day. Both festivals are over commercialised, but much less so than the latter. We had a good turnout of about 50 people and an unfamiliar clerical face. It turns out that he was the incumbent of the Parish of Paulton until about 2001 so this was a nostalgic return visit for him or should I say a joyful visit with a touch of nostalgia.
I sat in the back as I normally do. Rather quickly, I noticed that there was a couple with a small child in arms. The last thing I want is to be disturbed by children crying. I therefore left my place and went over to the other side of the church. The Sung Eucharist followed its usual course. The co-officiant, a very nice lady, was exceptionally clear in her enunciation of the English language and she reminded me of how much the language has become degraded through the use of the words “sort of” or “like” or starting a sentence with So,…… If was a delight to listen to her melodious performance.
It did not take long before the child started making noises. They were not actually crying noises but attempts at speaking which occurred irregularly and rather noisily. I have a very low tolerance of background noise and I really wanted to hear what the preacher was preaching about and this was really distracting. Fortunately, the father had the good sense to retreat into the back area and close the door but as soon as they came out again, the noise from the child re started.
In a way, I can understand the situation. Two parents, both believers, want to come to church to celebrate Easter. This is probably the first Easter with a newborn. What do you do? Does one parent stay at home? That seems a bit unfair. What they probably decided to do is to come along and see what happens. On this occasion, the results were not good. And, parents, it’s no use grinning at everyone. Your child was disturbing the service. Period. My suggestion is that parents take it turn and turn about to take their child to a place where the cries and expressions of the child cannot be heard. I believe that the desire of the majority to worship in peace be respected.
As I type, I see that at least 207 people are killed and 450 hurt in eight blasts in churches and hotels. I’m talking about Sri Lanka – see above. So, back to the child, the convenience of a few needs to be balanced with the requirements of the many. I don’t want to ban anyone but I think we need to be realistic that intermittent crying and screaming does affect the ability to concentrate on important words.
Back to the sermon. The priest was reminding us that without this event, the rising from death of the founder, we would not be sitting in this church 2000 years later. No matter how many times I hear this sort of thing, it does no harm to be reminded. I love the bit where Mary Magdalene thought that the risen Jesus was a gardener and saying that if he could tell her where the body was she would take it away and bury it. That requires considerable guts. Commentators pointed out that the last enemy was death which had been overcome by Jesus in his actions and his example.
I’m very glad I am a Christian as I believe in life after death is critical to a feeling of security. I like to think that we are a spirit that happens to have a body rather than a body that happens to have a spirit. This gives me extra courage. I subscribe to the St Barnabas society which reminds me that up to 250,000,000 Christians stand risk of persecution either by death, attacks, or family pressure or ridicule. We do not know that we’re born from the point of the suffering we do not have to endure here in the United Kingdom.
Opposite Lidl in Midsomer Norton there is a bakery. I just wanted something to fill me up; my eye caught some almond slices. On visual inspection they appeared to be a bit dry. However I thought for £1.40, I would give it a go. That was a mistake.
It was a bit like eating a bomb of sugar. After literally one mouthful I felt sick. I’m not a great sugar person but this was so way over the top that I could not eat any more. Also, I could not taste any actual nuts. I cannot remember the last time I returned a food item to a shop. It must have been a long time ago. This caused me to reflect on what I should do when this type of thing happens.
# Shrug shoulders, throw it away and vow not to make the same mistake again
# go back to the shop, tell them it’s disgusting and inedible and either demand a refund or something else instead
# mention it on the next occasion
The problem was the lateness of the day – it was unlikely that the baker would have been there at 3:30 PM on a Saturday afternoon. If I had complained to the very nice lady who sold it to me I don’t know what effect it would have had. As I deal with her frequently, I do not want to be associated with a person who complains. Had it been from my old stamping ground in London I would have certainly taken it back.
This brings me to the discussion about complaining. If you do a search on this site you will have found I’ve discussed this subject before. I think we have to take into account the value of the item and its longevity. If example it is a white goods item on item that will hopefully serve me for a year or more than I would definitely take it back. I’m not sure about taking back and item worth £1.40
My decision was that on a sunny afternoon I didn’t want to spoil it for myself and for other people so I’m going to let it rest. I will assume that it was a one-off because the food I have got from there is normally very good.
The last occasion when I had cause to complain was at Shearings in Ilfracombe where we got served a nicoise salad they had about one layer of very limp lettuce on it with half a tomato and some small pieces of toast. I should have sent it back straightaway but I was so shocked, again against a background of good food that by the time I had recomposed myself the moment had passed.At the Old Down Inn a couple of weeks ago we had less than good service and I had to ask twice for some water when it should have been offered automatically.
In general, British people are not complainers although they do whinge. They would rather complain afterwards to someone else rather than face up to the management and tell them their problems. My last successful complaint when I was in Tenerife; the bed was rock hard solid so I went down to complain saying I could not stay at the hotel if I could not sleep. By magic, and over-mattress was organised for me so I guess that’s not the first time they’ve heard that complaint.
I do cringe when I see other people complain. They are so vile in their temper and so immoderate in their language and they exaggerate. I can see the service agent is preparing himself to give as good as it gets and really no one wins. I think the best plan was complaining is not to complain but to discuss. You can’t fight adrenaline. Also, don’t apologise for complaining otherwise this invalidates your complaint. You don’t apologise for praising so why apologise for the opposite. It is necessary information that needs to be imparted.
Folks, don’t forget the golden rule. It’s not only what you say, but how you say it and when you say it. If someone is dealing with another difficult customer you don’t butt in. If you are angry, it’s probably a good idea to take the proverbial walk around the block, come back, and make a statement without raising your voice.
I have erred in my time. I jumped into someone’s parking space at the recycle yesterday and he rightly complained by shouting at me and banging the top of my car. I responded by imitating him, not losing my temper but banging on the top of my car to imitate him. That had the effect of calming him down. He asked me to back out. I did so with a smile. I think if we can avoid any sort of physical or mental threats then life would be easier for everybody.
I remember my days in America where service is (or was20 years ago) supreme. Had that happened there they would have regarded it as a point of honour to replace the item or service, or not to charge. Things are a bit different here in Somerset. In Scandinavia the problem of complaints does not arise because the food is served to a good standard. I can say the same for France. And also for Singapore. The competition there is so fierce that people would not dare to serve bad food. In South Africa the quality of service depends on the ability of the servers to understand your language and your requests. Basically, allow for more latitude unless you are in niche places like Stellenbosch which is one of the wine centres of South Africa and where the wine companies via with each other for the quality of their wine and food. South Africa leaves a good taste in my mouth, pity about the politics.
This is the day when – traditionally – roads and motorways are full of people going from place A to place B, sitting in traffic jams and admiring the view, keeping the kids quiet (or children as I would prefer to call them) when calculating the time of arrival which my TomTom GPS does with great accuracy. It is the only four day holiday in the year, apart from the vagaries of the Christmas period when longer holidays can appear to be given.
Today is when Christians commemorate – I was going to say celebrate – the death of the leader of Christianity, Jesus Christ. I don’t think he particularly wanted to be a leader. He was just expressing the God within him – that timeless being full of light which is supposed to be the Light of the world. Looking at the world as it is now, it is a realm where liars, those greedy for power and money, the psychopaths are in control apparently so anyway.
I’ve just been watching a video called Climate gate “hide the decline” explained by Berkeley professor Richard A Muller. He is showing how some scientists willfully abused the statistics to show a result in favour of the increase in temperature. It’s only a short video, 4 min 59 seconds, but if you want to watch it click here.
I’m thinking of those poor police in London who deserved a break. All leave was cancelled because of a relatively few ignorant and uninformed people who insist on blocking up London including Waterloo Bridge and various other places. They were even threatening to go along to London airport. When such massive events happen all over the place at the same time I want to know two things; who funded them and who organised them. The group are saying they will not cease their protests until they receive a promise from the government. But alas for them they have forgotten one small thing. The government is in recess at the moment and will not be back until 24 April. Now, there is visionary planning for you.
Since my visit from the EMF people referred to previously I have de-cluttered the wires under my desk and I feel much better. My “feeling better” means I can sit in front of the computer for a couple of hours watching video without feeling sick. In my book, that is a result.
I have been reading stuff and watching my usual range of 5G videos before putting them on my site. I note that Alphabet who own Google have decided to marginalise sites from Russia Today. They better get used to it because it is very much a question of hide and seek with anything contentious such as in my case 5G or smart meters. I gather information I require for my site while the events are current and put them on my site otherwise they disappear from the search engines. I think this is getting worse and worse each day that passes. So folks you could try Swisscows.com. A strange name for an internet search engine but it is more impartial.
Having said that, the amount of authoritative information increases, by that I mean true information not industry generated propaganda. I can honestly say that if people were to look at the entries in my site during the last seven days they would have a complete or almost complete understanding of the problems of 5G microwave radiation and the danger to our physical and mental health. In case you hadn’t realised, the wavelengths used or that will be used are just the same as in the U.S. military’s use in their war machine called the Department of defense. It should actually be called the Murderous Department of War but then that would sound too frightening and people might actually wake up.
We have spent the day being quiet. Francoise has spent some considerable time in garden tidying up the roses and so on. There is a special stillness in the air. I’m not surprised because everyone is relaxing and the usual subliminal noise to which I’m sensitive is not present. That is why we are taking advantage of this to be really still and do some quality thinking and meditating. “we are all members one another” as the good book says and this applies to our telepathic element as well.
The weather forecast is good and we can expect temperatures of over 20° this weekend, the Easter weekend. People are walking around in shorts. It is lovely to feel the heat of the sun finally. Our goldfish, who had disappeared from our pond outside, suddenly reappeared this morning and were swimming around in fine fettle. I think they did a little hibernation. Anyway, they seem none the worse for wear and they were spotted sunbathing in a shallow area of the pond.
After a reasonable amount of weeding work in the allotments (I do hate mare’s tail with a passion) we decided to go for an evening snack at the one and only Old Down Inn. BA3 4SA will get you there. Yes, there is good parking. The landlady, Maxine, is the sort of person who if she did not exist someone would have to invent her. She is the heart and soul of the establishment and has been so for the last 11 years.
To say she is expressive is an understatement. Someone had the temerity to complain about the lack of staff and she told him in no uncertain terms that if he didn’t like it she would throw him out. Everyone laughed in a good-natured way. I remember one lunchtime asking for some chips at 2:02 PM and I was told in no uncertain terms that the kitchen was closed. That’s it. No apology. Everyone loves her so much that we really don’t mind. She is one of the local characters that are too thin on the ground.
I bought along a copy of “The Week”. This is a delightful summary of the news of the past week though I see that the burning of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was missed this time. I normally read out to Francoise the column entitled “it must be true, I read it in the tabloids”They are so incredible you can hardly believe them.
. Here is one from China.
“A new service in China allows people to go online and hire others to eat their favourite food for them. Clients – motivated either by boredom or by cravings they can’t indulge because they’re on a diet – specify the dish they want to consume, and pay a fee ranging from 20 p to 1 pound, plus the cost of the food. The eaters are required to post video evidence of their meals with a commentary on the tastes they experience“
My wife and I do not spend money on anything unless we have to so our resources go on the normal basics, the occasional meal out, entertainment if we feel like it and the dreaded council tax which gets bigger every year. We do not however pay huge amounts for mortgages or rents.
Today, the renovation that we had been talking about for a year or so has come about. We have replaced the dreadful old carpet, very fashionable in the 1970s, flowers with a green background, for a wood effect pseudo wooden floor. The chap turned up at nine o’clock. He does nothing else but do wooden floors and this showed. He summed the whole situation up in a moment and asked the very questions that I was going to bring up i.e. what to do with telephone wires.
I am one who does not like to sit back passively and helplessly while someone else does the work. I stripped out the old carpet and dealt with those horrible pieces of wood with nails sticking out of them. I wish people would not bang nails or attempt to bang nails into concrete because they are very difficult to get out after 25 years. The golden rule of employing someone is that you always offer coffee and not just once, as often as they want. I also offered the chap lunch but he said he carried his lunch in his van.
He comes from Bristol and we discussed the large number of thefts that are happening irrespective of the number of locks you got. He said once that £2000 worth of tools had been stolen because he left his van just for a moment to go into a store and get some sandwiches. Evidently, the police are not interested. It’s probably because of the so-called cuts that are happening everywhere. There are simply no police to handle the matters. I do ask myself, we are the seventh richest country in the world so what is the necessity for these cuts in the first place? Do you read about cuts in other countries Scandinavian countries for example?
The work was finished at about 3:30 PM. He called in someone else to help because a different type of job needed to be done which was to put lino in the loo. The installer liked to play his radio quite loudly and made a great deal of noise using some of the saws and pressure tools that he required. I find it very important not to sour the atmosphere or affect their work by endless talk about irrelevant matters, a complaint when someone is halfway through the work, general life philosophy about builders who have let you down in the past, and any other irritation. Basically, the workers want to get in, do the job, get paid, and leave.
We replaced all the items that live in the hall. There was a totally different feel, clean but clinical, and a little bit echoey. I did not like it but I suppose we shall have to get used to things. When you walk on it it’s definitely not like wood but then if you want a real wooden floor you have to pay a fortune.
Such a sad sight. How old is this child on the left? Three years of age? What type of conversational skills are they developing? From the parent’s point of view the devices keep them quiet. What sort of parents will these children make?
Today we had the pleasure of meeting two people who are dedicated to helping those suffering from electro-sensitivity. This is a condition not accepted by the deliberately ignorant government of the UK but in Sweden it certainly is acknowledged as a disability. For some time now I have been feeling unwell and getting unpleasant symptoms. For example, I get prickles in my head, feelings of disorientation and prickling in my hand whenever I hold the mouse. Their firm, downtoearthemf.co.uk offers the inspection of houses and offices examining them for dirty electricity (electrical noise that is carried along by the mains supply) plus unhelpful radiations produced by electronic equipment such as smart meters, mobile phones, wireless broadcasting points as well as lights of a certain type, mainly CFL compact fluorescent light. (energy saving bulbs)
I was horrified to find how much contamination there was in my office. Any live wire produces an electromagnetic smog. I have a tangle of wires beneath my desk which was causing measurements that went off the scale in terms of voltages per metre. This means that my own body has to try to earth these forces rather like lightning seeks a point of discharge. This is very damaging to a human body that has no natural defense against such waves. Julia and Dave recommend that you turn all electricity off at night and they say that the quality of sleep is enhanced. They had been doing this full-time for three years now so they should know what they’re talking about.
The main culprit in my case was a power line adapter which was used to feed my sky TV with Internet using the mains of the house. What I did not know was that it was a Wi-Fi rebroadcaster as well, and our living room was being filled with this noise on a 24/7 basis. When we turned it off, we immediately felt an improvement in the atmosphere of the room. This is an example of the “boiling frog” syndrome when deleterious conditions increase little by little and you don’t notice the effect on you.
Anyway they were measuring our rooms for about two hours and the results completely revolutionised my attitude to wires, cables, particularly , coaxial cable, messy wires. The biggest disaster areas are Dect phones, android phones, routers of any kind and of course smart meters. They could tell from their machines that there was a Testra broadcaster 2 miles away. Not only do they produce undesirable physical symptoms, but also result in a loss of concentration so the attention span of youngsters is decreasing. This is not a good sign for anyone who’s wants to study any subject in depth. It is part of the dumbing down of the population that we see most ingloriously in the United States of America, (look up “common core” education you want to be shocked). In addition, this influences coming to the United Kingdom made more easy by a preoccupied and indifferent government.
The longer I can keep myself healthy, the more I can go on making a meaningful contribution as I have tried to do with these diaries and also with my 5G exposed.com site.
Since the arrival of the new Mayor Paul Myers eight years ago, the appearance of Midsomer Norton has been considerably improved. The river flowing down the middle of the town was once full of rubbish and now has been cleaned. It meanders between beds of flowers and reeds. We now have a cinema facility located in our Town Hall which shows some of the latest films for the princely sum of five pounds without the need to travel.
For some time I’ve been irritated by the presence of a large number of weeds in the said river Somer or should I say stream. Saturday was the day that I decided to do something about it. The job looks simple enough but what you don’t know is what lies underneath the surface of the water. If you don’t like the stink of decay, then don’t even think of doing this type of work.
Because I have to be careful about falling – my accident of two and a half years ago is fresh in my memory – I have to plan ahead and make sure that I do not stand a risk of falling. I therefore used a step ladder to get down into the water, a good pair of boots, and some equipment to grab the material and put it on the bank. Some of the material floated away downstream and that included bottles and tin cans. The whole procedure took about an hour. From the second picture, you will see that I have left the spoil on the site and not tidied it up. The reason is that it was largely water. I don’t intend to break my back carrying a lot of water so I shall let it dry and then go back later on and either burn it or take it away to the said recycle.
On my second visit, I shall also trim the greenery right back to the tree that you can just about see about the pile of rubbish and then it should look nice. On the subject of safety, every day the population thinks that they can do something and get away with it without falling or having some sort of accident. It is a good idea to pause for thought before doing anything and say to yourself “what if”. Take extra precautions and you should be free of an accident though there is no guarantee.
I was having coffee in my favourite cafe in the town when I saw this advertisement advertising social events for those who are depressed. The more I looked at it, the more I realise what a terrible poster it is.
I could write a whole chapter on this one but does a person who feels suicidal want to admit it to everyone else by going along to a meeting. Is it a campaign against depression, would it be the topic of a rally or gathering, or is it a meeting for collective suicide. Where is the friendliness of the poster? I find it so impersonal and frankly unattractive. You have got two seconds of someone’s time if you are lucky in this doesn’t convey anything apart from the fact that there is a meeting from time to time.The same goes for the poster above. If you are acquainted with the back story you can see that it is an occasion for men to have an experience of Jesus Christ. If you are not party to this, it could be a fitness club, a personal motivation day, anything really. The typefaces at the top are confusing and difficult to read. I notice that in the top line “MEN” is written in the same typeface as used on the side of packing cases for something that is temporary. It says “book now and reserve your free place” but it doesn’t say you could turn up on the day. The bottom line is not even English. It is free for all who attend. And if you don’t attend? There is no number to enquire if you have a question. What a waste of paper.This one does a far better job. It tells you what it is, when it is, the time window, where to go, what is available when you’re there.
The golden rule is when you design anything for any purpose you beta test it or if you prefer give it a test run. You as designer show it to someone who has no knowledge of the subject matter and ask them what they think about it. If 9/10 of them haven’t a clue what it’s about then you go back to the drawing board and start again. The point about the Men United example – and indeed the one at the top – is that it is written in terms of the mission statement of the organisers. It is not written from the point of view of possible needs of the client group. It does not answer the question “what’s in it for me”. In fact, it doesn’t answer any questions.
Every time I read about something to do with recycling, or with repairing, I get a good feeling inside (a silly thing to say really, feelings are normally inside). I read about the idea – originating in Holland I believe – where people bring in their unworkable electronic and electrical items and they are repaired and offered for sale.
We are living in an increasingly throwaway society. Francoise bought a printer, an Epson printer that works perfectly well but the printer had decided in its wisdom that it wasn’t going to print any more copies because we need to replace its filter. It is almost impossible to find anyone to do this and if we could, the cost will be little less than buying a new machine. We eventually did buy one for less than £50 and we took out an extended warranty of three years to cover against any such contingencies.
We recently went to a carpet shop to enquire about – surprise surprise – carpets. We intend to replace the rather ghastly green flower covered 1970s uncool model with a nice brown carpet where you can bounce up and down on it when you walk on it. We also enquired about curtains for the bedroom for the reason that in the summer we are woken up very early by the sun, as the current almost completely transparent material is useless against actual light. The quote was over £500 for the admittedly very nice flowery print material and a light proof backing.
I rebelled against this. Come to think about it, I rebel against most things. Many repairs and renovations can be done quite easily within the home without paying someone else to do it. I thought to myself, why not just buy some backing and sew it onto the existing window material. I had a look at John Lewis who sell Blackout Curtain Lining Fabric for £8/m with a width of about 140 cm. A few metres of that will do us very nicely thank you and I can spend what I would’ve saved on a nice weekend away.
And so to church. It is Palm Sunday. We have no vicar and so we ran the service ourselves. Anyone can run matins or Evensong but for communion a registered priest has to be there. There were about 35 people there and we were all in a jolly mood. After tea and coffee, we had the Annual General Meeting in which the church finances were discussed. I know it’s an odd time to have a meeting but it is considered that more people will turn up on the back of something they would have come to anyway which is not bad psychology in my view.
One of the ladies in the choir had given birth to a child, a boy called Bertie. He was, she proudly told us, five weeks old and now had a weight of 8 lbs. 8 oz. I have found it interesting to see over the years the behaviour of very young children who were wanted and loved versus the behaviour of children who were the victims of a disturbed relationship. This child lay back in his crib looking around, not making a noise, eyes wide open taking everything in.I suppose I looked like that at one point.
After lunch, I wrote to all the people on my 5G mailing list inviting them to take the idea of diary writing more seriously. I’m doing this partly to celebrate the fact that I have exceeded half a million words. Samuel Pepys, my inspirator, wrote 1 million words over 10 years. He used a quill pen by candle light so all credit to him. Here are my using speech to text dictation which makes the whole thing much easier. Here am I trying to persuade people to consider writing diaries.
Here is an excerpt from the message:
Why should you bother to keep a diary? There are several reasons for this.
1. You will not only be writing for yourself, but you are writing for others and the pleasure in sharing your experiences is something that you cannot necessarily recreate at a later date
2 It is easy to forget ideas particularly new ideas. They lose their piquancy after a few days. Ideas are not our possession, they visit us from the universe. How many opportunities have been lost through saying to yourself “I’ll do that later”
3. On a more mundane side if you meet somebody who could be useful to you or you to them, do you write down their name and details of where you met them. I’m not suggesting that this should be part of a public diary.
4. It is a lovely way of keeping in touch with your friends. Because of the pressure of life, you can’t keep up with all your friends and acquaintances at the same time. Sending them your website invitation will not cause them to feel intruded on. In fact they may even be pleased that you wish to keep them in the loop.
5. sometimes you only know something, or come to realise something when you engage in the process of mentally reaching out for an expression of your experience.
6. Diaries can be therapeutic, a good method of closure for the day, and just plain and simple fun.
7. Information written on social media is fleeting. A diary has a permanence about it ( and yes I do backup my material) and I can look back and relive the event with great clarity.
Today is pathetically cold. According to the weather forecast, it will get warmer by the end of the week and go from the present 9° to 18°. I’m already looking forward to my time in Cornwall. It will be in the first week of June and I shall spend plenty of time on the lovely sandy beaches that you can find down there. As regards surfing, I believe the north coast of Cornwall is better than the south coast but since I’m not a surfer it doesn’t really matter.
We will have Wi-Fi down there in our rented cottage but I shall try to keep it turned off, no not try, I will keep it turned off and see how I manage through the week without checking my messages. I expect the Earth will continue to evolve, the stars will continue their courses. People would be born, people will die, things will go on much as they do anyway.
I should also not be in touch with Facebook. Is that a bad thing or a good thing? How many real flesh and blood friends do we have. How many real friends would we lose if we disregarded all our befriending and friends on social media. My suspicion is that it would make very little difference. A contact or acquaintance can give you good information and use all the right words to indicate friendship but when push comes to shove, in other words if you were actually to meet them, would the friendship feeling live up to its virtual promise? I cannot say that the people I have met who would never go near a computer never mind Facebook seem just as happy than those who do possibly more happy, possibly more relaxed.
Samuel Pepys, the inspirer of this diary, was a political animal. He spent most of his time working for the government, shipping I think it was, making arrangements for people to smooth his path. How he found time to write his diary I don’t know, especially as there were no technological aids such as speech to text dictation without which I could not write this diary. He wrote 1 million words over a ten-year period and only stopped then because he was worried about the effect on his eyes of writing in candlelight.
I am up to over 500,000 words after two years and two months. I have only written a fraction of what I could write. Some days are writing days, such as yesterday as you can see, other days do not excite me to write anything.
It is such a relief to watch something of quality on TV, this being RUPTLY TV, funded in part by Russia Today. I’ve been watching the Editor in Chief of wikileaks holding a press briefing (above) on Julian Assange’s”new criminal case”. I did not know that in March 2018, all his visiting rights except lawyers, his telephone rights, his Internet access, were all blocked at the instruction of the new government of Ecuador. It’s not as if Julian has been charged with anything; he is just a refugee taking refuge in an embassy.
Since March 2018 the embassy had taken to wiring up all the rooms with videos so that all his private – I use that word loosely – communications including those with his lawyers and with his doctor are being monitored. A group in Spain somehow got hold of this information from an employee at the embassy and were asking 3 million euros for its release.
I cannot believe I’m saying this but I was thrilled to read a front-page account in the Daily Mail that a crack team were to be assembled. On hand was the lawyer who defended, successfully, the Birmingham Five (non-UK people do Google this) and another exceedingly bright person called Ben Cooper QC. Just reading a little bit about him including his extremely bright mind, attention to detail, going the extra mile, I am heartened. I think the extradition procedure to take place shortly will be a long drawnout occasion.
If the request from the USA is turned down then they will surely appeal. Each side will be spending a lot of money. In the case of UK it will come out of the pockets of Wikileaks and probably some people giving pro bono. In the case of the USA will come out of the general coffers already been bled dry by unnecessary wars and engagements throughout the world. If you want to see a real live USA debt clock click here. The Debt goes up by about $1 million a minute. This is unsustainable. However, ours in the UK is not much better. By ‘ours’ I mean the UK. The national debt is growing at a rate of £5, 170 per second. Visit clock here.
I pride myself on having a number of different aspects of my life on the go at any one time. However, I have come to the conclusion that this is not always a good idea or indeed not necessary. People in so-called “primitive societies” do not have to-do lists. They just automatically and organically and almost instinctively respond to what is needed without having been given notice. Perhaps, to-do lists are a symptom of a restricted mind.
Our Prime Minister Theresa May along with Parliament are going to have an Easter recess for a couple of weeks, due back on the 23rd of April if I recall. Anagrams of Theresa May include “she may tear”, “earthy seam”, “heat my arse”, “Ray hates me”. I just thought you’d like to know.
Julian Assange – who is sporting a new white beard –has been thrown out of the Ecuadorian Embassy due -according to his lawyer – to a change of their home government to a less sympathetic one. He now relies on the tender mercies of the supreme hypocrites of the world, the United States of America. people who punish those who expose truths more than the liars and crooks that are create the situation.
The BBC paid lip service to a discussion about HS2 with three experts having 5 minutes in total starting at 8:54 AM this morning on the Today programme. There was little time to say anything coherent apart from ritual ridiculing and abusing the other side.
Next Tuesday, I’m having a visit from a couple who will examine my house for electromagnetic fields using a variety of measuring equipment. They are very hypersensitive to electric fields and make it a rule to possess no items such as mobile phones or even GPS. They tell me that turning off the whole of the electricity system at night might make a big difference to our sleep. There is much talk of dirty electricity which is the interplay of fields in the form of interference patterns which can all too easily play havoc with our biological systems. I don’t think we can go as far as turning off our electricity every night but I’m willing to listen to any idea that will help me to diminish the pain that I currently experience.
A small irritant: the local paper got my telephone contact number completely wrong with regard to my gardening work. I had to write to the person whose number was advertised in the paper and give him the right contact details.
I’m in touch with a man called Jonny who wants to take on a plot on my allotments. The problem is that people do not realise how much work is required particularly in the growing season. They may be completely sincere and honest in their desire for a plot but, please excuse this terrible pun, the plot thickens when they actually get down to it and realise that such things as digging, tending, planting, weeding and watering take time and this is not compatible with a normal daytime job that takes you all over the country for example. I’m going to be meeting him this weekend and have a chat. I will take such people on if they have a helper but you have to be cruel to be kind and if someone clearly is not able to give the time then I have to say no, regrettably.
So, back to my diary and its emptiness. There is actually nothing statutory to do but I could fill the whole day for example with cleaning the house out of items that we no longer need, trying to make my new petrol strimmer a little bit more efficient. I could watch the dozens of videos both on the Internet and on the TV that I had not managed to see yet. I could tidy up my filing system. I could look at and throw away holiday brochures from Saga Travel. I could clean out the tool shed (again). I could clean some paving stones at the side of our bungalow,…. And so the list goes on….
Every day I have to update my 5Gexposed.com website which I tend to do early evening when the Google updates come. The problem with this site is that it is now to big for other than serious researchers. It does not so easily fit with the pond-skating minds of most people. Nevertheless I intend to carry on doing it. I get about one hundred visits a day and I believe that a good proportion of visitors are serious so hopefully I’m not wasting my time with the public.
Anyway, here I sit in my pyjamas at 10 o’clock in the morning, the sun is shining. I think I might go out and have breakfast at Wetherspoon’s….
So much for my daily free of activity. Wetherspoon’s has become the centre of activity in Midsomer Norton high street. It is futile for other pubs to offer breakfast since Wetherspoon’s beats them on quality of service, price, quality of the food. I have just had a large breakfast, basically two of everything plus unlimited coffee for about £6.50. I notice that children are given the normal cooked breakfasts by their doting parents. The food is far too much for them and ti is left on the plate. It is for the most part a happy place with a good sprinkling of workers coming and going around 9.30am – 10.30 am
Returned home and off on our ’round’. First I loaded the car with the spoil from yesterday’s garden job to take to the recycle. Ever since I have started watching the programme with a delightful lady persuades people who arrive at the recycled to part with their unwanted objects, I have a new eye. I spotted a perfectly adequate casserole dish that someone was going to throw away and quickly asked them if I could have it. Francoise loves coloured garden pots so I keep an eye open for her.
Off to the local farm to collect a supply of eggs. The lady who runs the farm also grows beans, dwarf and runner, which she sells at £.10 each. Says she cheerfully, just tell me how many you want and when you want them and I will supply them. We buy six large eggs for one pound produced locally. She’s always chirpy and positive and we look forward to going there. We have gone to the same place for six years now and you can’t get good quality eggs for much less than a pound a half-dozen though I have seen pullets eggs sold for £.60 though you could get three pullets eggs into one ordinary egg.
I’m still reeling from seeing the BBC four programme about the enormous worldwide cooperation required to photograph a black hole. When they say that gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape, when they say that Messier 87 galaxy black hole is the same size as 5 billion of our suns, I cannot cope with that. I cannot understand the concept of 55 million light years from Earth. My poor little brain cannot even understand one light-year. Good article hereOn to the butcher in Westfield, where every other person who comes is either a local of 40 years standing or a farmer. All the customers are known either by sight or by name to the people who serve. I picked out some pigs liver, and a nice chunk of pork which I will cook, divide into four, and make the basis for the same number of meals. The butchers also serve local Cheddar cheese which we both love. We think it is free of chemicals.
To Radstock, and to a very small vegetable shop little wider than a corridor where you can buy vegetables just a little bit out of date but which are still fresh.
To the Swallow community cafe. This is a place where people with various disabilities and learning difficulties practice working in the conventional world by working in a cafe. Due to staff difficulties they are not able to open every working day of the week yet they do manage to open Thursdays and Fridays from 11 AM until 3 PM.
The young man who took my order, a Downs syndrome man round about 20 years of age I would say, wrote down my order carefully. The order consisted of a tea and a coffee and an apricot tart.He remembered the first two items and charged me three pounds. I had to remind him about the tart. I made a joke out of it because I realise that it was some effort for him to remember things. He took the order in writing on a copy of the whole menu and he highlighted the item that was requested.
A few moments later the tea and cake were delivered but I had to remind them about the coffee. There were two other people in the cafe and two people sitting outside. Every effort had been made to make the whole thing cheerful and attractive. Unfortunately the location of the venue is somewhat out-of-town. I’m sure if it was more convenient, more people would go. There were two or three people standing around waiting to do something. We left, I having had far more cream that was good for me but it was nice.On the way out I noticed a sundial on the wall of the local church which I consider to be quite unusual in its design.
To the dump as it used to be called but now it is more correct to call it the re- cycle Centre. I always keep an eye out for anything that can be salvaged including pots, useful bits of wood, machinery that I guess can easily be repaired but you have to be careful not to fall foul of the regulations. Once the item has been thrown into the container it ceases to be anyone’s but the council so you have to ask them if you see something that you want and they may say no.
To the allotment to have a chat with one or two people. I met a new allotment holder who had worked in Hertfordshire for the best part of 51 years in the motor trade though he had moved to Frome a few years prior to his retirement. He decided that since his relatives lived locally he would join them. I had a chat with my fellow committee member and we discussed an adjoining hedge that had grown to a height of about 5 m and was also growing out so needed some attention. This would be the job of the Council but since it is about 50 m long, this is no mean task.
To Lidl to buy some necessities. For the last five years, I have made it my task to move used baskets from the tills back to the entrance. I do this because it annoys me to see them piled up. It is not because I’m a good person or anything. It’s part of my mild OCD which likes everything in order. The problem is that the staff are always overloaded and do not have time to do it themselves so this is my small contribution to the running of the whole show.
To Sainsbury’s to buy some flour for breadmaking. I enjoy mix and matching ingredients and today’s magic addition is spelt flour which I will mix with normal wholemeal flour to see what happens. I enjoy experimenting with bread because the average loaf takes about a pound’s worth of ingredients so that if it fails to rise, or you create the equivalent of Aladdin’s cave, it really doesn’t matter because you throw it away and start again.
To home where we unload and then off to the place where we are to buy some curtains and a carpet for the living room. The quote for the curtains with black backing for a small bay window was over £500 which came as something of a shock. The price of a new carpet for a 4 m by 4m room was about £450 which was more like it.
Back home to watch a film documentary, 200 min, about the way the Earth is really run. Into the mix goes the Rothschilds, Cecil Rhodes, George Soros, Bill Clinton, the phoney and unnecessary First World War. Operation paperclip, the continued existence of the third Reich in the USA. Only if you understand the process of history by these people can you understand the mess we are in today. According to other people who really run the planet we are not in a mess we are just creating the necessary steps towards the desired One World Order with one government, one monetary system, one judicial system, in which the prophecies of George Orwell will be more than fulfilled. I can hardly believe that anyone would want to spend over three hours watching the video but it is quite gripping if you want to punish yourself
I do not think people want to entertain what is really going on because it would disturb them too much but this is the world in which I live. The Red Pill versus the Blue Pill. See The Matrix for more information.
I like to relax watching YouTube videos. I enjoy the mad ones with car crashes especially in Russia which seems like the wild West or should we say the wild East. I enjoy watching people who take revenge on inconsiderate parkers, particularly those who park on their drive.
I’m currently watching tapes from emfhealthsummit.com including one from Dr Marlene Seagal who is a veterinarian of 33 years in Tampa Florida who is talking about how EMF radiations can kill animals.
So I see that day with nothing planned has resulted in a 2200 word essay. I note with pleasure that I’m over the half a million word mark. I reckon it’ll take me another 18 months to get to the million words by June. You never know I might become more loquacious as a writer and increase my daily word count even more.
Yesterday, I joined an organisation based on the web called ‘lookaftermybills.com“. It had been recommended on Dragons Den. The idea was that this firm finds the cheapest energy prices for your gas and electricity consumption. I am with one of the more expensive ones, SSE, so I joined to see what would happen. I was referred to what has to be the worst energy provider in the whole of the United Kingdom. The firm, called Scottish Power, has a 95% dissatisfaction rate on one of the survey sites Trust Pilot. I received the confirming e-mail first thing this morning from a letter written at 5:33 AM. It dawned on me that the whole software system was automated and based purely on money-saving and not on service. There is no point in saving £100 a year when you get no service if you have a problem with your gas or electricity.
Straightaway I wrote to cancel the agreement. These are the review summaries of Trust Pilot about Scottish Power not I hasten to add, of the referring site itself. Most customers are satisfied and I’m happy for them. It’s just that I run the largest site for smart meters and 5G on the Internet so I am aware of the reputation of Scottish Power. As they say, do your own research.
I do dream sometimes of convening meetings in which people dedicated to social and community improvement exchange ideas. The dumbest thing you can do is to be selfish and keep ideas to yourself. The most intelligent and profound thing you can do is to share ideas with others. The idea and the process of sharing excites the brain. The brain is the ultimate relational database. It loves to work. I take the view ‘one out one in’. This means that if you give an idea out, something else occurs to you out of the blue which you had never thought of before and which you will no doubt find helpful to your development. Tip: write it down otherwise you will forget it.
This does require a certain common denominator of desire to communicate. In our street we have a woman who is beset by problems created by the landowner and the leaseholder. I went to see her. It was the closest thing to staring at a black hole. I seemed to be the excuse for her to complain about the actions of others. She did not engage me personally but stared into the middle distance while having her rant. A most curious thing occurred to me after leaving her and in the days since. I felt depressed and besieged. This is not like me. I’m normally Bubbly, I will talk to anyone with a pulse, but this one really got me. I examined the situation and discovered that this woman had some sort of energy effect on me, draining the real me from myself.
Only those understanding esoteria will know what I’m talking about. The moment I realised what was going on, a burden lifted. We are members one of another is a quotation from St Paul to the Romans chapter 12 verse five. “So we, though many, one body in Christ, and each member belongs to one another. We have differing gifts according to the grace given us”. This is the most profound if neglected idea that we are all interdependent and goes against the natural insularity of the English person.
Today I went to work for an old lady, and she is really old, called June. She is vulnerable becuase she cannot make up her mind about anything. .We did between two or three hours work and her garden was really rather tatty. It had not been attended to for five months. She is one of those that likes to watch us. The reason is that she is so much on her own that any diversion, real human beings in proximity to her, is somewhat of a relief. Her mind is partly there, and partly gone. I asked if she wanted a particular display of flowers to be left. Her reply was that she did not know. Fortunately she has a carer with whom I can consult. We tended the lawn, we used our new petrol strimmer and mower, and enjoyed the wonderful sunshine. The problem with powerful strimmers is that the nylon cord quickly wears out. I’m tempted to replace the nylon with steel wire.
I created a new organisation last December, Internet-based, called AV Friends. The idea was that people who had attended a conference could continue the Fellowship albeit virtually. I’m on the verge of giving up now. 12 people signed up of the 40 that expressed interest at the conference itself. Of those only two or three are showing signs of life. I was quite happy to put some money into software development but it takes two to play tennis and in the absence of a response, even from people asking me why there has been no activity, it’s probably time to call it a day.
I have invented a number of ideas in my time. Some have come to fruition, some have failed, some have been stillbirths but I have learned from each one of them and there is nothing I regret in this department.
A cold morning with the rain threatening. I decide to go for my normal coffee morning at the church and Francoise decides to go for a walk with a local rambling group. It is interesting how the coffee mornings, held in my local church, go. Things always start slowly. A dribble of people arrive. We sit around not saying much.
I started a conversation about clotted cream because the organiser of the morning (5 ladies do it on a rotation basis) had been kind enough to make some scones with excellent cream and jam. I said I’d recently been to Devon and there I experienced the most wonderful cream in that part of the country. This encouraged people to reminisce about the old days when raw milk was issued and overnight a layer of cream had appeared on the top.
We then discussed Shearings holidays and I told them about my trip to Ilfracombe. This prompted reminiscences again of other Shearings venues that people have visited. More people joined us, complaining about the cold and damp. I then met a lady who is a Foot Health Practitioner, Kate, and we talked a lot about patients and how you mention or don’t mention your Christian faith. We discussed the importance of a personal relationship and chemistry with the customer or patient. Kate shows her diary to God and asks him to fill it because He knows who needs her help. I said that I trust that the right people are introduced to me.
I find the therapeutic value of having a foot massage is amazing. Feet and hands are most important and this is reflected in reflexology and hand massage.
Along comes Chris, who is a schoolmaster, and is shortly to assume responsibility for the six form at his local school. I asked him if he had had any problems with his pupils using mobile phones. He said the school has a very strict policy of not allowing any child to have a mobile phone. They are locked away in the library and given to them when they leave. He thinks the problem of teaching would be much more difficult if the pupils had access to such technology during the lessons because people would wind each other up while in class. I responded that in a genuine emergency, the child could go to reception and call his parents via the normal landline, and the parents could call the school if there was a difficulty at home so who needs mobile phones anyway. Chris said that an excuse offered was that they can do their research straightaway. This is specious indeed since 90% of the time they would be sending meaningless messages to each other.
I also met a carer, a nurse, who worked for the Leonard Cheshire homes for 20 years. Leonard Cheshire was an air force man whose young brother had been injured in the Second World War and he felt that some type of rehabilitative facility should be offered. The first person he put up lived in his house in the spare room and it grew organically. He later married Sue Ryder of the Sue Ryder trust. I love hearing stories like this. It grew naturally and in the family and human way.
I got a little note from Chris saying that there will be a Christian Aid Quiz at the local Rovers Football Club in Paulton On Friday, 24 May. I shall definitely go. Even though I’m useless at quizzes I enjoy the occasion and get the occasional correct answer.
Off to the Royal United Hospital in Bath for my monthly eye injection. I thought I would get away without one but the examination revealed slightly more water in the layers of the eye. I had some interesting experiences in the waiting room. There was a chap who was deaf and dumb, and had a little sight. He had come for an examination like anyone else. He was accompanied by two helpers, one of whom communicated with him by lipreading but the other one used a strange method which looked like Braille applied to the hands. I am told it is ‘tactile sign language’. The helper tapped all over his hands front and back.
There are many interesting methods including Tadoma, where a deaf blind person places their hands on the speakers lips, jawline or neck in order to feel vibrations. Anyway, the three of them were very jolly and laughed a lot. The chap in question made noises – a little bit like a dog barking, some grunting, some strange sounds that I couldn’t really classify. I suppose if you’ve never heard yourself speak, you don’t know what you are uttering and so the brain cannot learn due to lack of feedback. Probably in his own mind he was making perfect sense.
Often the vocal chords have been damaged or not fully developed so the person cannot articulate sounds as we do.
Whilst waiting, I chanced upon a book – one of those exchange deals where you bring one and take one. I sometimes think books find me, I don’t find them. It was about a girl in America who was kidnapped at the age of 12 by a sexual pervert who used her as a sex toy and kept her prisoner for 17 years. If she can bounce back after that and write a book then there is hope for us all. Conditions in the world are dreadful and monstrous but the human spirit can conquer all if there is a lack of self pity. Self-pity is one of the deadliest of deadly sins and kills your spirit stone dead in my view.
After some time, I was called for my initial examination. The person who saw me was called Jo. She was the person I first met when I started this course of treatment two-three years ago. I reminded her of this and she wondered whether that was a depressing fact. I said, jokingly, that this is an opportunity to get paranoid.
Back to the waiting room and another wait. The specialist showed me how the water in my eye was increasing and showed me historically that it was the same increase of a certain pattern as in December. I do find it very satisfactory to be shown things more than being told something because you can see with your own eyes and understand it at another level.
It is easy to spot first timers. They print out all the instructions to get to the hospital, they look at their watch frequently and complain that the appointment is 10 min late. If I really get irritated by such people’s complaints I tell them that they can go privately if they want and pay about £1200 for the privilege.
The staff at the eye unit are very happy and jolly. It is a very good spirit of teamwork that prevails. The pressures on them are enormous but they survived with good humour and laughter. I tease everyone as much as I possibly can including the staff and fellow patients and tell as many jokes or dreadful puns as I can think of. People are under stress although they don’t show it; anything I can do to lighten the load is a good thing I feel.
I did my usual wander down the corridors. There must be 500 pieces of artwork; they are changed on a regular basis.
The Powers That Be are always dreaming up new ideas for attracting funds, this is a very positive one, not begging at all but trying to share a dream This was an ingenious touch screen TV where if you touched the information points it showed how someone had developed the device to help less stable people in the bathroom.
Samuel Pepys, the inspiration for this diary, kept a daily record in spite of the fact that some of the events were not particularly exciting. I suppose the same could be said for what I write about. My prime concern is to put it out. I do not censor myself and if something is not very interesting for me, maybe it is interesting for somebody else.
Francoise went off to her work with AgeUK. The day consists of entertainment, meals, games, for about between 12 and 16 people between 10 AM and 3 PM. very often these days are the only time that people living on their own get to meet and talk with others so these days are eagerly anticipated by the clients.
I went off to my mower supplier to complain that my strimmer was not working and took about 10 goes to start. It is interesting that if you fail to do one thing, something that may not be obvious, the whole machine does not work. When the machine is cold, you have to apply the choke. I was told that at the first sign of firing, you switch it to normal mode, running mode, otherwise the engine will flood and nothing will happen. You also have to keep your finger on the throttle. I realised that I should have been a little bit more reflective and thought about what I was doing instead of rushing off to get help.
I spoke to a friend whose sister was working for the National Health Service which in case you didn’t know is being subtly dismantled. The sister is working for two hospitals that are merging into one and they are given impossible hours to work for example two days on, one day off, then a half day, Saturdays and Sundays on, Mondays off, Tuesdays on. The idea is that while they keep to the letter of the law with regard to hours per week they are creating such an unpleasant conditions that people resign. They then want to use the evidence that lots of people are resigning to justify the dismantling of a particular facility.
I’m watching a very important video at the moment which lasts a mere 200 min about how the world is really run and explaining current circumstances as a symptom of the invisible controllers in the background. The speaker said “unless you understand how and why the world is run you cannot understand anything”. He says and I believe that we are lied to on a daily basis and I totally agree about that. Our Main Stream Media including the BBC is a disgrace. Folks, if you want real news for grown-ups, try Russia Today. Interviewees are not interrupted every 2 minutes with some Marxist point.
On Saturday, we ordered a new printer online from Currys. I thought it would be easy enough. This Monday morning we received a text message saying that the item will be delivered between 2:53 PM and 3:53 PM. At 4:30 PM nothing had arrived; I looked at the tracking to see that the item had been delivered to someone called HANCOCK in Bridgewater. This town is about 20 miles from where we live.
Some of these delivery firms are impossible to get hold of by telephone and you have to listen to endless messages, press lots of buttons, and then wait and listen to ghastly repetitive music. I finally managed to get through to somebody and then I was transferred to somebody else and held on for a further 20 minutes.
The service agent was sympathetic and I told her that nothing had arrived and it had been apparently delivered to another address apparently in Bridgwater. Fortunately we had paid via PayPal and it is a little bit easier to get your money back when you pay by this method. The agent told me that she would do research and come back to us within 48 hours. I will believe that when I see evidence of it and not before.
Anyway, I did a little bit of detective work, and looked at all the people called HOOPER with a similar address and found someone near to myself. I went round and – bingo – they lived next door to someone with a similar street name to the road in which I live. Triumphantly, I brought it home. We shall assemble the printer no doubt in due course, run the software, and hopefully this bit of Chinese plastic with some software inside will serve us.
I was called to see a gardening job which consisted of repairing and replacing some rotten wood underneath some raised beds. I could not put my whole heart and soul into it so I said no. I have decided this year to spend twice the amount on advertising, getting lots of job requests so I can take my pick and only do the ones I really want to do.
On my 5G site I need to go through each and every entry and modify the links so that they open in a new window and do not replace the page on my site. Internet nerds will understand what I’m talking about. Such a pity that no one told me about this after 11 months of operation. People are so reluctant to give feedback and frankly I think most people do not care sad to say.
To somewhat diminish the mental stress of having to do half a dozen different things at the same time, I decided to write a to-do list which is broken down by various subjects. I look at it and it does calm me down a bit.
Yesterday I received a 30 meter length of cable. I am considering building a little hut in the garden and working from there with a laptop to mitigate some of the electromagnetic effects from which I’m now suffering on a daily basis.
A nice meal made a simple ingredients. today I heard the sound of a bee. I read an article this morning that trees and hedges are being netted around the UK to prevent birds from nesting presumably to enable building companies to do their business without let or hindrance.
It must be about 16°C now. Now = 4 PM UK time. The birds are making a great noise as they do when they are enjoying themselves. For some reason, the 10 or so goldfish in our pond have disappeared and had not been seen for the week. Since the pond is netted I cannot see who or what could have caused their apparent demise. If they had died then they would be floating on the surface.
I had a go at cleaning the patio at the back of my house. One thing you learn, you cannot resurrect the dead and if stonework has been exposed to the elements for say 20 years and has not been cleaned, the dirt has become part of the stone and can only be separated with the aid of chemical treatments which would mean you would destroy the surface of the stone as well. Paving stones have different characteristics for example slate is easier to clean.
I absolutely love having a day with nothing in my diary. Today I took the opportunity to add many new items to my 5Gexposed website including a very good panorama programme transmitted in January which shows that the government are fully aware of the damage caused by 5 G but choose to do nothing about it. this is because there have been bought off. They have sold their souls. They have extracted millions and perhaps billions of pounds from licences to run 4G and then 5G. It is therefore not intelligent to approach someone in this position but more intelligent to inform as many of the population as possible so that pressure can be bought on them to change their mind.
In mid-May, there is a large open meeting for men to consider introducing an element of Christianity into their lives. It will be held in Frome at the Cheese and Grain which is an all-purpose meeting called for music, exhibitions etc. Since the communication between myself and my local group is very much at a low ebb I have written to the chairman of the Frome men’s group to find out what is going on. With the event about five weeks away, poster distribution should be well advanced as should be plans for writing to the local papers and may be some leafleting. The rule of “build it and they will come” doesn’t work these days and you just have to get out there and campaign.
It is very easy after an event, particularly if it is unsuccessful, to say ruefully “I wish I had spoken out” but I fear unless someone does something fairly soon the event is going to be a flop and if there are 500 seats, and only the four front rows are filled it will be a disaster. There is an added concern because some of over £2,000 has been raised by Christian men given in good faith. I consider that the organisers have a duty to perform due diligence and make sure that the money is well spent.
This increasing sensitivity that I have is a two edged sword. I’m becoming less tolerant both of my environment, and what I choose to eat or drink. The problem is that wine contains for purposes of preservation sulphites. I’m fairly convinced that it is the sulphites that have a bad effect on me. There is a certain pleasure in having a drink but it is mitigated by headaches and drowsiness. I might try raw cider to see if that is any better..
I received a call today from a lady who wanted her raised beds repaired because they were falling down. I will always go and see people because they called me but gone are the days of me doing a job outside my speciality. My specialities are hedges, lawns, paving cleaning. Anything out side this is too much like work as I have discussed before. The problem is there is a shortage of experienced workers and I hate to have to disappoint people and turn them down. There has to be a way of turning people down without them feeling discouraged. I say to people that I’m not the right person for them.
This morning was market day attended by relatively few people in spite of the good weather. Francoise bought some cod roe which we fried and we had them with baked potatoes. Hardly health food but it was nice and we always have a few pieces of green salad.
We visited our allotment plots and I planted five rows of potatoes. I think growth and reproduction is a miracle that we take for granted. Here is a rather old potato with a little sprout coming out that will reproduce itself 10 or 20 fold. The sun was shining and it was relatively warm at about 15°C so most pleasant to be out in the Allotments, chatting to other people and passing the time.
I had a chat with one person about being burgled. He told me that he put a new bolt to secure his garage door, and within two days someone had broken in. Putting alarms and locks is a clue to burglars that you have something to hide so maybe the answer is to remove items of value from your house, put your remote key in a metal box to make sure someone doesn’t drive off with your car and live an unpretentious life.
About the therapeutic side of allotments, for the brain to work efficiently it is vital that we do not fuss or preoccupy ourselves with one subject but switch off or divert our interests and let the brain do what it does best. The brain is the world’s most advanced relational data base and it requires no interference from the left brain in order to work. That is why problems solve themselves. We just have to stop interfering with the creative parts of our mind.
Today was the last day of a course for our local men’s group where we learn more about Christianity and being responsible people spreading the word and so on. I have never enjoyed the company of the person who runs this group. There is not only lack of chemistry but actually a negative chemistry. We both know it.
Furthermore, I find the people in the group unresponsive to stimuli. When a speaker has finished speaking, they have no questions, no excitement, nothing to say, and these are not the people that I wish to associate with through choice. I have got more pleasure out of my local gardening club than the people that I’m supposed to be at one with, fellow Christians. I prefer human beings any time and I feel that having a faith, especially when there is an aspect of guilt attached to it, can be less than useful. There is also the idea that God is guiding me and so I am infallible. I think you can become absolutely mad and isolated without realising it. Bring on common sense say I and bring it by the bucket load
#1 Yesterday I had a chat with a businessman on the phone who wanted me to mow his garden followed by another project unspecified.
#2 For about a month now, Francoise’s printer has not worked. Epson has delightful software in it that decides when it thinks a filter should be replaced. Try actually replacing it without any special knowledge and then try telling the printer that you have done so. I’m a fairly resourceful person but I was beaten. I even went on eBay to try and find a workaround but the instructions were written in Chinese English. The words were there, the sense was not.
Now the scene is set for an unproductive and possibly frustrating afternoon. We set off to go to PC World in Bath, the place from which we bought the printer. The printer was out of warranty. I know there was a technicians help desk so we optimistically went along thinking that our problem could be fixed. There was one other problem. The only telephone number given is the central sales desk for the whole country and there is no way of telephoning an actual store. The Powers that Be presumably think that this will save money but in fact it did not save my money because we had to do a long journey to discover what you will see could have been easily revealed on the telephone.
As soon as I explained the project, the very nice gentleman explained that they do not touch anything out of warranty and even if it is in warranty they send it off to a factory. In other words they offer technical advice but no actual work. He recommended me to a place in Bath called unlimited IT. We eventually found the firm in a side street, George Street in the middle of Bath. We pressed a buzzer and discovered that it was a workshop by appointment only. This was totally useless. The firm did not respond to our telephone call as promised.
After spending £1.60 for the privilege of parking for 30 min we decided to go back to PC World and buy the printer that Francoise had seen. It was £39.95 or something like that. At the last moment we decided that we would go via the Amazon route, reading the reviews and probably getting a keen price, was the way to go. As I write, we are busy reading the reviews but as inkjet printer users will be aware, the cost of the cartridges has to be borne in mind. My own view is that people sell machines for virtually nothing and make the money on ink.
And now part two of our saga. I’m not talking about Saga Travel who seem increasingly desperate to sell me places on their holidays. We seem to get one very expensive brochure or should I say a collection of brochures every two weeks or so. It must cost them a fortune. The problem with the uncertainty of Brexit – for American readers this is about the United Kingdom wanting to become independent of the European community – is that it creates uncertainty and anxiety in people’s minds. Holidays in the UK, so-called staycations, are increasing in popularity. Traveling to airports, standing in long queues, taking your shoes off, being searched, is regarded as increasingly onerous.
So, off to see the customer for the work. The customer or potential customer had warned me that his postal code was difficult to find. I wish that postal codes were allocated in an orderly way but we found ourselves 3 miles away from where we should have been. We eventually found the right place, or thought we had, through typing in to TomTom the name of the street. Even then we were unable to see where the property was. It was called the Little Manor. In my experience places called Little…anything.. are anything but small. There was no sign anywhere. In addition, we found ourselves driving up a narrow lane, a mistake that long wheelbase car owners should avoid – and we found ourselves reversing down said narrow lane narrowly missing flowers and stone walls. I find it a type of arrogance that people do not display the name or number of their house or pile on the grounds that everyone who is worth anything should know where they are. We never found it and decided to leave. I sent him a text saying that I could not help him.
I have found through long and bitter experience that if something is impossible or difficult to find you are not meant to find it. On occasions when I have ignored this, it has always bought me trouble.
Anyway, we went off to console ourselves at a country tea house. I ordered a piece of coffee cake and some latte. To my surprise, I was bought cold nay frozen latte. I have never had such a cold coffee in my whole life. I pondered why they even bought me the cold version when I asked for the normal version but actually I didn’t mind because it was a new experience and something I have never sampled in my life before. That is not something I can say every day.
So, back home. We decided to light a fire this evening because it is windy and not very pleasant. After finishing this diary entry and ordering the new printer using Amazon Prime I shall sit in front of the TV. With this Amazon service they deliver on a seven day a week basis so if I order it tonight, Friday, I will get it on Sunday.
Today, I am suffering particularly from electro-sensitivity,and had to call in support from friends of mine. Someone suggested that I buy a long but length of cable, Ethernet cable, and use it outside perhaps in a shed or outhouse. A 30 m example will arrive tomorrow Saturday. As regards the problem in general, I would like to think that I could spend a few minutes standing outside in bare feet and discharge the worst. This unfortunately is not true. This is the downside of being a body psychic; you get everything whacked at you without the ability to completely resist it.
My conclusion is that everything is not going to go right every day and if it’s ‘one of those days’ you just accept it, have a laugh, and shrug your shoulders. The same applies to getting inspiration and ideas. If nothing is going right, then it’s not the right time, and you just leave it and do something else.
Regarding suffering, I’m not talking about the long-term torture of people waiting for court decisions for years. I’m thinking of relatives still waiting for justice over the Irish troubles, people killed with bombs, 35 years later so that is in another category. That’s Ireland and the justice system for you.
One of the most therapeutic activities I know of is doing gardening. If everyone had an allotment or garden I’m sure there would be fewer cases of depression or suicide. If gardening is done professionally for others or for ourselves it matters not. We gardened for a very nice lady called Diana who is prone to bouts of anxiety. She apologised to us for not clearing up the dog mess in the garden. She explained that this was because her daughter had rang her the very same morning to say that her account had been cleaned out by fraudsters. The daughter had forgotten her access code and so her own bank account was blocked. She had no means of finding out what was going on.
Anyway, we started by trimming a hedge. She had become very anxious about the hedge because leaves fell in the autumn. She had been to see her daughter in Australia and she was worried about the hedge on the plane coming back. You may say that she was in some sort of hysterical state that meeting her I can understand it. Until recently, she did the garden herself. Her husband passed on a few years ago. Due to arthritis and various other problems she was unable to do her garden. She had also experienced an unfortunate series of defrauding where more than one tradesman had come along, taken her money, and not done the job.
We spent a lot of time talking with her, talking about the garden, and trying to get a little bit of trust from. Her main complaint was that “you can’t trust anybody these days”.
Anyway, we did the job and she was so pleased about the transformation of the garden. She had a section containing a Buddhist statue and also various faerie images.
This was her fairy area. The house itself is a very old-fashioned workers’ cottage just a little bit away from a main road but you would not guess from the quiet that this was the case. The garden was long and looked over a valley. Happily chomping away were pigs, chickens could be heard clucking contentedly and one or two ducks were pecking away.
There is a whole world of difference between working for someone who is appreciative, and the average customer. I find time has a different dimension because you enter into the energy of the garden and try to improve it as much as you can, and in return you get a blessing. The core of the job lasted only about four hours but I see what a mean measure time is, when you are in a transcendent state which is what I normally am when I’m cooperating with nature.
I recommend nature as a cure for most ills. Nature has been around for millions of years before Homo sapiens came on the planet, and will no doubt be around for millions of years after we have sabotaged ourselves, blown ourselves up or whatever else we decide to do in our wisdom.
One of the features of working with nature is that you do not get tired. You sweat, you ache, but there is no fatigue. The extreme opposite is waiting in the dentist waiting room, or waiting for a court case to come up, in which case time drags. I wonder if time itself is an illusion
First impressions count. If you listen to them and your intuition you can save yourself a lot of trouble. People do not realise how much they give themselves away over the phone.
I had a response to my advertisement about four days ago. The customer lived near me and needed his hedge cut. He was a bit abrupt on the phone and not very friendly. Nevertheless, I went round as I normally do.
He told me that due to a gall bladder operation he was unable to function as he normally did. He needed hedges cut but also a lot of cleaning of paving stones and also two large lawns to be mown. Fortunately, I’m good in all those three areas so after discussion with him in detail I sent him a quote for £500 which I reckon would cover the couple of days work involved plus getting rid of the material.
He wrote back to me saying that this was “far too much” and said that he wanted to see a breakdown of costs. In my 30 years of gardening I have never been asked for a cost breakdown because most of my jobs are small like this one. I wrote back telling him so. I also mentioned that I did not think he had gone for a quote in the recent past if at all because he clearly had no idea how much things cost these days. That would probably have annoyed him but then he was annoyed anyway so same difference as they say.
He concluded his letter by saying that perhaps he needed “a general gardener”, probably in his mind someone with a fork who will work for £10 an hour. These people disappeared decades ago and modern gardeners are people who have to make money and pay their mortgage like anyone else. He’s going to discover that if he hires say three different people to do the three elements he is going to end up paying far more. Sometimes, people have to learn lessons the hard way and this is a good example of that.
Did we waste each other’s time? It is in the nature of quoting that there is no guarantee that you will get on with somebody and they with you for whatever reason. It may be that the person is unpleasant and insular and does not know or has never learned how to make business relationships. It may be that the potential client was too proud to admit they needed help. In this case, the person concerned clearly prided himself on doing all his own work, a type of DIY chap. The operation which he had had short time before had clearly taken the wind out of his sails.
A few years ago, I would have apologised for the price but now I know that if a person is unrealistic or unpleasant, the energies are going to go wrong and the job will inevitably end up by being incomplete and unsatisfactory for both parties.
My advice to anyone quoting for anything is that you need to incorporate the following:
# Time taken to do the work itself
# the time taken to learn the work including courses
# the cost of buying the equipment and maintaining it
# a travel allowance. If it takes you half an hour to get to someone then it takes half an hour to get back and that’s an hour that has to be accounted for in some way.
# an allowance for not working 52 weeks a year but having a holiday and not working hand to mouth.
NB Self-employed people enjoy no benefits. It is a very stark world. Some allowance should be made for this. As the golden rule, if you are not saving money then you are losing money. Don’t forget unforeseen problems such as accidents, illnesses and family situations which may prevent you from functioning. It is not intelligent to drive yourself into the ground.
So, if you’re working for say £10 or £15 an hour you will probably effectively be working for less than the national minimum wage. The sad fact of the matter is that unless you look after yourself, no one else is going to do it for you. In my experience, there are more people who make problems for themselves by undercharging then overcharging. If you want to maintain your integrity, state what you will do, provide credentials and discussion if necessary, agree a price, complete the job, ask people if they are happy with it. If they are then take the money if not then make reparations.
As an added difficulty, the new VAT rules mean that you have to get your accounting software in a certain order and as I write, many people will be suffering because they neglected to get the instruments in place before the requirement came in a few days ago. Thank the Lord I’m not in this category.
I went to collect my car which had been parked in a side street in Ilfracombe. Although it was not parked under a tree, the industrial sized and active seagulls had made their mark. I think they make a game out of it because around my car there were no droppings. They must know what they’re doing at some level but never mind. We set off for home via the one and only Watersmeet.
I must say the North Devon countryside is delightful. It is possible to go straight down to Barnstaple and then follow the M5 but motorways are featureless at the best of times so why deny yourself the privilege of admiring the wonderful National Trust scenery. The roads are narrow so if you think that overtaking is easy then think again. Some of the drivers in this part of the world are very senior shall we say so you might as well just put up with it and dawdle along at 40 miles an hour.
On the way we went through the famous Porlock Hill. It is indeed a hill. It justifies itself as the steepest slope on a major road in the UK with gradients of 25% – in two sections. It is not long, it is not spectacular, but it is testing of your car. I would not like to think of it in ice and snow. My slogan would be, “if in doubt, take the toll road”.
Francoise wanted to experience the world’s highest and steepest fully water powered railway which is the Lynton and Lynmouth cliff railway – opened in 1888. if you want to know how it works, click here.
We then decided to walk up from the town to the area known as Watersmeet where two rivers converge. I include a selection of photographs below which should make it quite obvious how charming this area is even before the trees are in full leaf. We must go again during the season. I should warn motorists that Lynmouth gets hopelessly overcrowded in the summer. Car parks are too small. A local person advised that visitors should go to Lynton town which is up a steep hill and park in the large car park, then take the railway referred to above.So off we went back to home. We had popped into Lidl to get a few basic provisions so that when we arrived home we would not have to go out again. In theory one can always pack more in but I think the time to stop is when you could do with a little bit more. I came back feeling that the therapeutic value of the sound of water both in streams and in the sea should not be underestimated. Job done, now back to work. Oh, I should mention that Devonians are of very friendly bunch of people.
This is overlooking Ilfracombe. There is a path that goes all along the coast. Although distances look insignificant when you see them on a map it can take you 30 minutes to go from one small feature into another. This is us after about half an hour walking. When I say ‘us’ I mean the view of the town.
We took it easy and visited an adjacent collection of holiday chalets. Costs are quite stratospheric in the high season but you can get a week’s stay for between £600 and £700, extra if you want a Jacuzzi. I am disenchanted by seeing advertisements for free Wi-Fi because I don’t particularly want to get frazzled while I sleep.It is bad enough using my computer for writing these diaries.
We returned to the town and decided to pop into a local pub where I met a chap who worked in the agricultural industry in Lincolnshire. This is the cereal capital of England. We stayed there once in August and day and night the harvesting machines were in action. The chap who I was speaking to was preparing for his time over the season where he worked from 6 AM to 10 PM seven days a week. He had no interest in going abroad, did not even have a passport, and knew more about the UK then most of us and said they hadn’t explored more than a small portion of it. I could resonate with him in that I’m fed up with airport queues, being searched for non-existent contraband items, and having to have a holiday when you get back from holiday because of the stress. We had a very entertaining half-hour or so exchanging stories and then off we went on our separate ways.
In the afternoon we saw a wonderful film called Fisherman’s friend which was a film made in Cornwall, a feelgood film, which I cannot recommend highly enough.
In the hotel, no bingo or entertainment. A few people already left because they had a two night deal because they had to get back to work (you pay £10 for an extra night). I was quite happy to sit reading. Tomorrow morning, Monday, we shall try and make as much use of the day as possible by visiting features of the way home. I’m glad to say that the weather forecast is good.
The weather showed signs of being halfway decent with most of the mist gone so after a very large breakfast – I try to eat enough to keep me going for most of the day – we caught the No. 21 bus from Ilfracombe to Westward Ho! The latter is the only place name in the UK with an exclamation mark attached.
As is the case on a rocky and undulating coastline, it can take you for ever to go from A to B even though as the crow flies it would be 12.6 miles in this case. We had to go via Barnstaple where there is a railhead to Exeter which forms the main line from London to Penzance. The bus took one hour 50 minutes. When I heard this I groaned, but as we were to discover, there is in fact an enormous amount of variety in the scenery not to mention the entertaining people that get on and off. There is no question that Devonians are a chatty lot and when you get on a bus you nod to the person by way of greeting.
Westward Ho! Is definitely a seasonal town. It must be ghastly in the rain and cold of winter. But, witness the hundreds of caravans and apartments facing the sea, it is very popular in summer. This is not surprising with the most amazing beach of sand, waves for budding surfers, a golf course adjacent and lots of good quality fish and chip and cake shops. After having gone for a walk in a westerly direction and returning we noticed a crowd of people. On moving closer we heard some music and realised that we had timed our arrival perfectly. This was the beginning of a rock ‘n’ roll concert. I’m enclosing two clips here from YouTube. There would be one clip but I haven’t yet figured out how to combine to into one.
The weather could have been a bit less windy and a couple of degrees warmer but it was a lovely day nevertheless and the rock ‘n’ roll people were so happy as you see from the videos.
People were in a holiday mood . I struck up conversations with at least half a dozen people and had a good and humour filled response.
Off to catch the bus and made it in time for supper. Unfortunately buses carry Wi-Fi and advertise it as a ‘bonus’. I am unfortunately electrosensitive and suffered very much in terms of prickles and headaches and pain that does not go away so I had to endure another two hours of this on the bus. The human body is not designed to cope with electromagnetic fields not to mention the dreadful 5G that is coming.
After the supper there was an entertainer and a bingo session. We arrived after the others and sat in a corner. After a time we were aware that there were four ladies talking over the performer and ignoring him altogether. Their husbands were watching not saying anything. I found their behaviour offensive and insensitive to the other people there. Of course I could have moved away but that seemed rather cowardly so I went up to the most vociferous lady and explained that I could not hear what was going on and could they please keep the noise down. They were Yorkshire people. Bravado was the order of the day.
Surprise surprise they went on the attack and asked what the matter was with me. The lady said to me that ‘you better talk to our husbands then’. I suppose she thought I would be intimidated by the fairly large gentleman who were sitting mute watching the performance. That was a mistake on her part. The men turned round to me and asked if I was deaf because they could hear what was going on perfectly well. For some minutes there were mutterings and glances at me but I could see that I had hit home; for 10 minutes anyway they kept their voices down. The problem solved itself when two of the ladies departed but not before they had talked over the bingo caller which is something you never do. I think some people are just born insensitive and the world must revolve around them. That’s not my way of thinking. I could have said some more but I decided not to push it otherwise I might have got a thump. I could have won prizes of £15, £20, and £31 on the three bingo games that I decided to let someone else win.
And so to bed. I find that in some hotels, the mattresses are very firm indeed and I get sore hips. I spoke to a nice member of staff who agreed to put two extra layers underneath the duvet and the problem was solved. I gave her a tip. I’m not so sure how many people give tips after three nights because it is too short to form a bond and that is if you ever see the person at all. However, that’s not my business what people do.
The journey from Midsomer Norton to Ilfracombe in North Devon is less than 100 miles (actually 97.3 ) but actually takes three hours because you maintain – if you are lucky – an average speed of 30 miles an hour give or take an allowance for the odd caravan. I forgot that we were passing Hinkley point country, the massive white elephant that will deliver electricity to us for the bargain £900 a megawatt. Evidence can be seen of the size of this venture with coaches going to and fro taking workers from park-and-ride places or the caravans where they live. The structure itself can be easily seen 20 miles away.
We stopped off at a decent upmarket cafe plus health shop on the ground floor and a restaurant upstairs. I was amused to see a milk churn with cow skin on the top.
We are both fairly thrifty by nature and I don’t think this is going to be an expensive holiday or should I say long weekend. Nevertheless, teas, cakes, coffee, all the extras you tend to buy do mount up. I think the most expensive city in the world is Hong Kong so North Devon comes a long way short of that. It is a county that survives on tourism for the most part. Property prices reflect the popularity of the seaside towns.
We stopped off at Watersmeet intending to visit it on our return journey (see diary entry for next Monday). The season had not yet started so many of the facilities are still closed and that included the delightful restaurant further up the valley so we decided to leave it and I made a few photographs.We popped down into Lynmouth. This was the town that was flooded out in 1952 by what one local described as an unnatural rainstorm. It was in fact the result of cloud seeding experiments by the Royal Air Force but we better not go there. In the town are the usual selection of gift shops and gimmicks.
For some reason, there was a lot of sea mist so we could hardly see the features of the town never mind of the sea. Annoyingly, local people told us that the weather up till today Friday had been excellent and up to 17°C. Thanks very much for telling us.
And so to the hotel. Shearings is the Hotel group based in Yorkshire and you can be sure that at least a third of the people who are staying will be from Yorkshire. They provide cheap and cheerful half-board accommodation with very good breakfasts buffet style, (come to think of it, what other style is there these days) and an evening meal where the portions are exactly calculated according to the age and the appetite of the average customer. The hotel charges five pounds a night for parking but if you are clever and it is out of season you will normally find somewhere to leave your car. We enjoy free local bus transport so we don’t bother to drive around. Anyway you have always got to deal with a problem in small seaside resorts of finding a space without the dreaded double white line. Car parks can be up to a pound an hour in the more popular spots.
We are paying the grand sum of £69 per person for three nights bed and breakfast and evening meal. There are two shifts. The weekend shift arrives Friday afternoon and leaves Monday morning, and the slightly more expensive shift arriving Monday afternoon and leaving Friday morning. If you contrast this with the rack rate, in other words what you would pay if you walked in the door and asked for a room you will notice a substantial difference.
So, people. If you had been unwise enough to turn up and asked for three days you would have paid £359 for bed and breakfast only, having to find your own resources for supper so add another £50 for three suppers I would say. Contrast that with £138 for the two of us and I leave that thought with you. I’m slipping into Trip Adviser mode here. The food is not haut cuisine but it will suffice and you get a nice comfortable quiet room. This hotel was two hotels knocked into one, a common feature of Bay Hotels. The floors were a bit creaky but then who cares really. It was clean and adequate
First, an item you will not expect, possibly the worst baked bread ever, possibly arising from a fault in the bread making machine. When I tapped it, there was a slightly hollow sound about it and when we cut the first slice we realised why. Stun horror shock. The brilliant thing about bread making is that it is cheap to experiment with loaves. All the ingredients are about £0.60 UK
I don’t know whether it’s the sun or the temperature but everything is livening up. We had a lovely day yesterday doing two gardening jobs both involving cleaning. One with decking and another with stone. I find cleaning with a pressure hose particularly satisfying and so does Francoise. The first one was a small garden in Stratton on the Fosse. My car has a long wheelbase and it is very difficult to get into some drives. Well, the getting in is not difficult, it is the reversing.
We cannot help our neighbours and the people next door described as ‘the nicest people in the world but who make a terrible mess’ were the neighbours of my first customer. In order to reverse the car out – I have a Volvo V70 with a very long wheelbase – We have to move all sorts of bits and pieces such as tins of paint, hosepipes etc. to get out. The customer’s dog sat calmly through the whole thing.
The next job involved cleaning about 300 paving stones. You will not believe it but although these stones are mass produced, there are no two stones the same. They are not laid in the order that they are produced so could be from different batches. Each one has to cope with different wind speeds and what the wind brings in terms of dust etc, exposure to the rain, and most importantly plants and trees overhanging them which secrete a variety of chemicals.
You can have black mould, green mould, stains, and each one has to be treated in a different way. If you’re really good you can clean each stone in about one minute. We took four hours working continuously one-on-one off with the cleaning machine being on all the time. It’s nice to get paid for what you enjoy doing because it doesn’t seem like work and if you want to really get esoteric about this, if you’re working with nature it charges you up as you go without getting tired. I’m not talking about aching joints, I’m talking about fatigue. It does help if you are working for yourself and you know there’s money in your pocket after you finish the job.
Today I’m winding down as we off to Ilfracombe tomorrow and we will be leaving the house in the capable caring hands of our friends. I shall be glad to get away from the computer which does affect me after a time. Over 26,000 scientific papers had been written on the subject of electromagnetic fields and their deleterious effect on the body particularly carcinogenic. Strangely the companies who stand to make money either not taken any notice of this, or know about it and hope that they will make their money with signed contracts before the public wakes up. The industry will start taking notice when their own children get cancer of the brain or are infertile but by that time it will be too late.
This evening I’m going to a meeting in Glastonbury Town Hall on the subject of 5G. I wonder what the public awareness will be.
I renewed acquaintance with Barry, an affable chap I met at a talk on 5G a couple of weeks ago. We seemed to be on the same wavelength. He described himself as a stoic.
Stoicism goes back to Greek philosophy and claims that the path to happiness for humans is found in accepting the moment as it presents itself by not allowing oneself to be controlled by the desire for pleasure or fear of pain. His social behaviour did not quite fit with this. He said that he does not bother to talk with people about important things, 5G included never mind 911 because they immediately marginalise and dismiss him.
I countered with the possibility that he was probably being drained through their negative attitudes; he would be quite happy to speak about his chosen subjects with those who were on his wavelength. The more I go on, the more I realise it’s a question of wavelength. Barry is Irish, he grew up under the Catholic influence and became an evangelical Christian and now seems to have turned into a humanist, a pagan, an enthusiast for nature and natural ways of doing things. It is nice finding that someone who has had a parallel life to yourself. I told him I had decided to live my life in reverse because my teen years was so dreadful that I decided to live them at the other end of my life – so here I am at 74 years of age going on 18.
He spoke about one of my websites, giving useful advice, and we decided to meet again.
I went to see two clients today, two new potential gardening jobs. The first one was to clean some decking which unfortunately had been painted with plastic -based paint which was the worst of all worlds for the wood. I have to mow the lawn and I have to remove a large antenna.
The second job was a bungalow where they were paving stones to the front, side and back end due to the activity of the wind, the paving stones on the side were stained. I gave quotes for both jobs and had them accepted.
I sometimes wonder whether I charge too little. You have to estimate how much you think people can manage. If someone is on a pension anything above £100 is too much and yet many people retire on good pensions especially round here and they have plenty of money for holidays and so on so I can charge them a realistic amount without problems.
I have a rule as I said before that I never work for unpleasant people and I do stick to it.
Francoise works on Monday for age UK. She met a woman whose garden had deteriorated after the death of a husband and said she would be quite glad for someone to come and work it. We went round to see her and we said that in return for the person using the space – which was currently doing nothing except supporting weeds – she would receive vegetables from time to time. So it’s bartering. The amount of space was 42 m² plus a glasshouse so that would be enough for most people. I love the idea of people fully utilising the gardens of their property and I’ve made a note on my ever-growing list of useful social projects.
I awoke early, about 7:30 AM, to find a bright blue sky with no clouds. We have not been to our regular haunt for many months, the famous Cheddar Car Boot event, which is open every Sunday rain or shine as they say. Having said that, it’s much more fun and more interesting to go when it is not raining so you can see some of the hundreds of tables laid out with people trying to get rid of their unwanted goods of all types. It takes about an hour to go up and down the rows in the very large field and you just never know when something might take your fancy.
I bought a large pot of honey similar to that which I bought about nine months ago. That cost £10. I bought a large plank of wood for £2 and some small planks of wood for £1. I bought four very generous slices of sirloin pork for £10. We always go with the intention of not buying anything ‘this time’ but we always do.
To the nearby garden centre where spring is coming along in a most colourful fashion. It is about 300 m east of the car boot sale and worth a visit even for just strolling around to see the glories that nature produces.
To my favourite pub, the cider barn, presided over by Jason. I broke my normal rule and had some 7.4% cider which cost £3.50. This an outstanding place with character like something out of the Wild West, or the backwoods of Australia.
To Sweets Tea Rooms somewhat south of Westhay. If you are a fan of the Somerset Levels then do not delay,,set your GPS to BS28 4UE. The cafe etc is about 200 m south of where you get guided to. Light hot food, excellent cakes and coffee and yes there is a secret museum next door.
To the nature reserve which is about half a mile down the road and yes you can park by the canal.
And so, homeward bound, 21.4 miles and 45 min with no traffic jam in sight. If anyone is reading this who lives in cities, you can’t beat the countryside. There are more human beings per square mile than in cities. Nature is a wonderful healer and calmer down.
There are some words which had me reaching for an etymological dictionary to find out their origin. Scarifying has a number of meanings. In surgery, it is to make tiny punctures or superficial incisions in the skin or other tissue. In agriculture, it’s breaking up and listening soil or scratching and upgrading the outer surface of seeds to increase water absorption or hasten germination. Finally, to scarify someone is to wound them with harsh criticism.
This was not in my mind when I was called yesterday morning by someone who was very keen to have their garden tidied up. We arrived to find a fairly modern three-bedroom house on a new estate which was apparently immaculate. The lawn had just been mown, the borders were neat and tidy and I wondered what we had to do. The owner explained that he was concerned about moss on the lawn and felt that before you put some fertiliser and muscular on it would be better to seek someone who knew more than he did on the subject.
Long’s scarification consists of using a machine not unlike a lawnmower which consists of revolving tines which will throw out the moss and enable the grass to grow without loss of light and nutrition. The area of the lawn – which was about 6 m x 6 m give or take – needed attention we turned up this morning at nine o’clock. The whole thing took us two hours to do with Francoise doing the weeding jobs in the side bed.
I have my doubts that there would be too much moisture on the ground and that the tines would tear but the sun came out, the breeze seemed to drive the lawn somewhat and we proceeded without problem. If anyone wants to have a go at scarifying I warn you that the lawn will look awful afterwards but three weeks later it will have recovered because the lawn itself will have enough light and will not have to share its moisture requirements with a parasitic partner. it is a good thing to use this clarify in two directions along and crosswise. This will result in a more thorough removal of the dead grass and moss. The customer paid me by his mobile phone by bank transfer. This certainly saved me going to the post office to pay the money in, and it arrived directly into my account. he showed me the green ti
We decided to go and have a drink at the local pub. After chatting with the landlord we sat down to have a quiet rest. Three people came in, followed by a friend who was waxing enthusiastic about his cooking efforts. He informed everyone that he absolutely loved food and he told us about his first efforts at Toad in the Hole and other efforts cooking chicken. What I loved about him was his extrovert nature and his childlike joy in sharing cooking. He came over to us without prompting and showed us pictures on his iPhone. Never mind that he never met us before, his enthusiasm was infectious and we responded accordingly. His name, in case you hadn’t guessed, was Jack Wills
I deal with a lot of customers and potential customers for my gardening work and have done so over many years. My experience is that if the first communication is fractious or shows signs of disharmony it will carry on like that. It is better to withdraw straightaway if only for self protection. As a rule of thumb, the people most difficult to deal with are those without a sense of humour. This week I had a refreshing experience in that I had dealings with a very pleasant man who happened to live close by.
Most people have not got around to thinking about their gardens but yesterday morning, Wednesday, I had a telephone message from a very gentle sounding chap who needed my help the next day. I discovered that he was going to sell his house and the photographer was going to come round at 2 PM. Photographers are special beings that succeed in making properties bigger than they are, or more attractive than they are in real life. I am told that prospective buyers spend about 10 seconds looking at the garden, their main concern is the condition of the house and the number of bedrooms and so on.
However, for the website, it is good to have an attractive garden. It does not increase the sale price but I believe it helps a property to go quicker. Here are before and after photographs.
The idea is to open up the garden and make it hopeful. The main feature of the garden is its privacy. It is totally unsuitable for vegetable growing or indeed flowers but as a refuge it’s great so this has to the made clear. I think this house will suit a couple with children who can allow them to play in safety. The house faces a main road. It has five bedrooms, two in the attic, so it should fetch a fair price. It was bought 37 years ago so the very nice retired occulist householder and his retired lawyer wife should have no difficulty in selling. They are hoping to retire to Pewsey in Wiltshire to be nearer the family.
We had a very nice chat both during and after the job and he was definitely the sort of person that it would be nice to sit down in a pub with and have a few beers. Nice people are around but it’s a question of identifying them and establishing the context for a meaningful meeting.
The job took us eight man hours and involved the equivalent of six large bags of spoil. The fun and suitability factor was 9/10 but it was hard work. Hedges can be a pain because to reach to the backend of a tall example is almost impossible and sometimes the hedges reach a stage where they are more suited to the attentions of arboretist rather than a gardener.
We celebrated the finish of the job by going to Wetherspoon’s for a breakfast. I like the fact that for less than a fiver you can have a halfway decent cooked breakfast and unlimited tea or coffee.
Each and every time I visit Chalice Well I always come away with an unexpected blessing. This happened in two parts. I met a lady who I last met two years ago called Elizabeth Lovely and she is indeed true to her name. I picked up where I had left off when we last met her, which was at a creative writing group in Bath. She is in the habit of taking people on trips to Morocco and is currently doing creative poetry one-to-one as a therapeutic tool. I love the fact that when people are on the same wavelength, the time apart does not matter. There is a deep knowing which is independent of the left brain.
it is lovely to hear the sound of the birds, so often we may get to this by the artificial sounds of traffic.
Here follow a number of images of my visit to Chalice Well during which I learned a profound lesson and also images of our traditional wander around the town of Glastonbury after the various celebrations and festivals.
I went to the small stream that comes down from the drinking water associated with the well itself. A lady was talking about these crystals which were in the running water and mentioned something to do with intergalactic travel via the mind.The lady had also designed her own tarot-type cards. There are examples below. This place, Chalice Well, is very special in the United Kingdom. Anyone can come out with any ideas and they are listened to with respect. It is as good a spiritual cleanse as you can hope for.
the conversation that I had was as way out as anything you could imagine but during the conversation I received a revelation which I did not expect. I realise that if you found the right place in the universe where your soul should ideally be sitting to work out its karma and fulfill its purpose, then you possess everything and you possess nothing. In other words, you become the ultimate cool person, the person with nothing to prove, the person who doesn’t need to make a statement. I wonder how many of us hover around the point without actually having the courage to be vulnerable and admit this is where we should be.
The other important point is that I do not always know consciously what I knew underneath unless I am in the right place at the right time. In other words people open to what I might say. This shows me beyond any doubt the value of conversation in being a therapeutic and teaching tool. You will start a conversation which has one apparent starting point and end up somewhere else and this is the idea of communication which spectacularly fails for the most part on virtual communication where people text messages to each other.The next group of images are examples of my walking around the town. They are not meant to make a point, just things I saw, liked and photographed.
A very lively noticeboard in the information bureau just adjacent to the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey
This morning I went off to give my lawnmower an outing after three months without work; it spluttered to life at the 10th attempt. I mowed the central avenue in our allotment. (below)
I have just been for an acupuncture session to unlock numerous points around the shoulders which was so tight that it felt like they had been that way for years. I also found that after my accident over two years ago when I broke six ribs that the ribs themselves had healed but not quite in symmetry and so the muscles between the ribs were mis-aligned so this had to be dealt with as well.
I asked My acupuncturist how it was when treating women. Were they shy? He said that the older women were quite good and appropriate in their behaviour but the younger women had no inhibitions about taking all their clothes off even when that was not a .requirement. He told me that the therapists were worst at this. He did not feel it was fair on him since he would be distracted by for example large breasts or other appurtenances.
He told me that even men strip off when they don’t have to. I would certainly not do that unless it was necessary for example in the case of a medical examination. I remember that in the 1960s everybody stripped off and had sex and thought nothing of it and there were the most outrageous therapies but now I thought things had settled down a bit and I thought people were perhaps a little bit more modest but I’m obviously out of touch. My acupuncturist tells people to keep covered up at least as far as necessary while he gives his excellent two hours worth of systematic and gentle treatment.
Maybe it is a cultural thing. I know that Germans have to be persuaded to keep their clothes on especially when playing sports outdoors. Frankly, I find the average human being very attractive what with the floppy bits and wobbly bits I think I’d rather see people clothed. In Scandinavian countries everyone has saunas together in the nude the boss and the employee. Again, I don’t get it.
He warned me that I would feel whacked due to the change of energies. In other words if a meridian is blocked, energy cannot flow in the way that it is designed and a lot of energy goes to compensating for this. When people come to me for treatment, I advise that they do not engage in any social activity or drinking in particular and have a quiet evening in order that the body may be given time to adjust itself.
For tens of thousands of years, we sat around fires enjoying the heat, the fact that wild animals were kept at bay, and that we had the means of cooking the food that we caught a few hours before. I’m sure this sits deeply somewhere in DNA. Today we had our allotment annual bonfire which basically burns up all the wood, rotten or otherwise, that is not required. We include pallets, weeds, anything that people don’t want to take to the dump and even the odd plastic bottle.
There is something about sitting in the warmth of a fire which is totally different from sitting in front of a radiator which may give precisely the same temperature The heat is different with a real fire, more comforting and more nurturing. I think if everyone contacted nature on a more regular basis, there would be far fewer admissions to psychiatric hospitals, far fewer dependency on so-called antidepressants which actually have addictive side-effects.
The body manufactures up to 2200 chemicals which can sustain us fully in her attempt to live a full life and why we need to rely upon pharmaceuticals when nature can supply everything we need is a mystery to me. I enclose a few photographs of our famous bonfire on our allotment and can only state in writing the joy and pleasure that half a dozen of us got out of creating the bonfire and nurturing it. As one person said, I haven’t done this since I was a child.
16.21 (above) 16:25 (below)The morning after. 100% burn. Only bits of metal left.There were six or seven of us and it was a real time of fellowship. I’m convinced that this is the best way of getting people to relax, enjoy themselves and communicate.