Hesitating about asking for advice

Tuesday 28 June 1664

Read the full diary entry by clicking on the date above

…Thence to the Mitre and there comes Dr. Burnett to us and Mr. Maes, but the meeting was chiefly to bring the Doctor and me together, and there I began to have his advice about my disease, and then invited him to my house: and I am resolved to put myself into his hands…

My thoughts to myself as well as to anyone else about hesitating to ask for advice……

First, let us start on the giving end.  Unsolicited advice can be inappropriate as the enclosed card indicates. Unless using the most bland and general terms, you may have got your timing terribly wrong when trying to help someone. Possibly a good start is to ask how they feel and actually LISTEN to them without interrupting. A pause of five seconds does not mean you have to fill it. It means the person is thinking of the next thing to say. They do not need interruptions or prompts. If they don’t trust you enough to talk to you about intimate things then your advice is a waste of time anyway. Tread carefully.

So, let’s get down  to the question of getting advice. First, you have to acknowledge that a) there is a problem and b) you actually need advice and this can take years. Pride, stubbornness and all that – you know the rest.

The obvious place which most people do not think of is the Internet itself. Whatever problems you have had of whatever sort, someone else will have written about them. “why does the crust of my bread break off from the rest when I bake it”.  “how to fell a tree” “why is my computer so slow”. My wife often asks me questions about her computer and I say to her, write the question as you have asked it to me and you will find that someone somewhere has had that experience and got the answer. She has yet to be disappointed. Google is very good at making sense of queries

However, on a face-to-face level, it can be more difficult or awkward. If we confide in a friend about something, you will be surprised how often they guessed that there was a problem and you were just confirming to them what they felt anyway. There is the saying, ‘you can’t fool all the people all the time’.

There is good old-fashioned pride but you may find that your friends may actually think more of you for your sharing because it shows you trust them which may lead to a deepening of the relationship.

I had to ask the question, are your friends trustworthy? They are probably not trustworthy if they gossip about other people in your hearing.

mobius strip. It only has one side which goes on ad infinitum.

Ignorance is nothing to be ashamed of, as is not knowing what to do next. Sometimes we only know what we believe in the act of telling someone else about our problem otherwise the situation can go round and round in our head and get nowhere.

Sometimes we are worried about something when we do not need to be worried. I have covered finance in an earlier diary but what if we were worrying about something based on a misunderstanding or false assumption?

Sometimes we worry about something when in fact time alone will heal for example I worry about someone turning up when they said they will, or “what do I do if…”  Probably the best thing to do is to think of something else and make sure your arrangements were clear in the first place.

If the subject is too sensitive or personal to raise directly, why not discuss the subject in general and then lead the conversation towards the desired question in general terms and not personal terms. You never know, the person who is listening to you may have had just the same problem.  You are never the first person in the world to have the problem whatever it is.

For example I was anxious about setting up a payment for a fairly substantial amount of money and worried that the money would somehow go astray in the banking system. I rang up and talked to the administrator and they suggested that I send a trial amount. They would then confirm by telephone that the amount had arrived and I would then be more confident in sending the balance. I did not need to explain why I was anxious. Apparently this is a very common source of anxiety and the lady who I spoke to had encountered this with clients many times. I was able to solve the problem by confronting it and telling someone about it.

Some people keep themselves in an anxiety state for years when they need not have done. This delay would seem an unnecessary waste of energy.

I realise I have not mentioned problems at work and in this case it’s probably a more difficult decision to decide whom to call. It properly makes sense to allocate someone of complete discretion who is somewhat removed from line management.

evening – a visit to a most unusual garden in Holcombe where I’m sure fairies, nymphs and elves would be very comfortable.

a lovely swinging chair which is a good alternative to pacing around in my view
this is in fact a conservatory where we gathered for coffee and drinks which also accommodated a large living vine.



A rainy day – watching videos

Monday 27 June 1664

Click above to read Pepys brief entry (business meetings)

There are so many videos I would like to watch but there is scarcely time to do so never mind live a normal life and earn a living. There’s about 20 hours of catch up TV on my Sky box. Anything on the commercial channels I record so I can flip through the dreadful advertisements which often have nothing to do with the spirit of the program. I’m sick of seeing adverts for cars, sofas, cleaning fluids, PPI insurance, and it actually spoils my evening.

Last night I watched two or three Youtube videos about 911. It is interesting that as the years go on, the number of 911 videos increase because more and more evidence is coming up about the fakery of the whole thing. Just type in 911 in Google and you will get no less than 274 million results. One was from an experienced ex-pilot saying that it would be impossible for the plane to fly into the towers at such a speed at such a low altitude where the air is denser. He said the engines would have to have been six times as powerful. He also said that no plane hit the Pentagon because where as the cockpit is made of plexiglass, it is the two heavy engines that would have made two separate holes as opposed to the 16 foot wide circular hole that was seen and also that there were no remains of the plane within the building.

extra ordinary cascade, river like, upward and outward motion from a building that is just supposed to be falling down

I watched another video about Dr Judy Wood who points out that 95% of the World Trade Center one and two buildings did not actually hit the ground but dissolved into dust as did the vast majority of the metal furniture and the steel girders. This clearly points to a high energy effect of some sort, powerful enough to reduce the Earth’s magnetic field in the vicinity at the same time. If the public were told this however they would not entertain it because such was the shock of the event that I believe people’s minds were actually raped or interfered with.

The term “Conspiracy Theory” was developed by a government agency at the time of the Kennedy assassination to ridicule those who actually dared to think for themselves. All I would ever say that anyone is “do your own research and make up your own mind”

I visited yet another garden where the need was to cut hedges, and what hedges they were extending for about 100 m. At one end of the garden the man had some bamboos. There are bamboos and bamboos. Some are predatory and some sit nicely in a little bundle minding their own business. Trouble is that some of them spread underground, not so stealthily as Japanese knot weed but bad enough and we noticed that this customer had in his garden single spikes of bamboo that were popping up in the middle of the lawn. If anyone has tried to dig up bamboos they will know that under the surface you get a solid mass a bit like a huge ball which almost needs a mechanical excavator to be removed. My advice would be to never plant bamboo unless you assure yourself of the genre or you contain them in large tubs.

Noam Chomsky. Polymath and astute philosopher and commentator.

Back to politics again. The best reality check I can think of is listening to the videos on Youtube of Noam Chomsky. He has a brilliant intellectual mind and has no fear in explaining the world as it is versus how it is presented to us by the pathetic mainstream media.  have a look at him talking about ISIS. CNN has been ridiculed I’m glad to say because it’s junk news has been shown to be exactly that. There is not much that the CIA can do about Chomsky because he’s so popular but they will be quite glad as will the corporations when he finally ascends into the heavenly realms or wherever it is going. Fortunately, his legacy is substantial and if and when America returned to its senses his unravelling of the lies will be relied upon.

I went to give a quote this evening for a gardening job by a delightful chap called Raj whose wife is a domestic airline steward. I explained exactly what I would do to his garden in terms of giving it a short back and sides. I gave him what I thought was a very modest quote for doing the work and taking away the spoil, £225. He then said to me that  a year ago someone else came to do the job  for £100 which they did not find satisfactory and which was done mainly with the chainsaw. I groaned inwardly. When I work, I have at least four different types of saws to address the types of wood and what is required to be done to the branches. These merchants give gardening a bad name. There is nothing I can do about it. Unfortunately as we have seen there are so many people who have no idea about the realities of running a business. Anyway, he said he would ask his wife so when I returned home I wrote a confirmatory e-mail. I may or may not hear from him again.


Difficult customers

Sunday 26 June 1664

Click above to read the diary. Mostly about Pepys enjoying himself – a thunderstorm – medical attitudes.

Any trader will have a mixture of good, bad, and indifferent customers. I’ve had a couple in the last 24 hours. The first one was a charming and delightful couple, a potter and a musician who welcomed us warmly and gave us a cup of tea and told us what was required. there are a number of things that customers do not think of and one of them is access. If you’re going to take large amounts of greenery or brick or wood through a small cottage the likelihood is that you will bang something. We were asked to cut a hedge in the front garden, that’s fair enough, but the back garden with an equal amount of spoil had no exit apart from a small gate leading to a very narrow path leading to a lane leading to the road. This would have tripled the time on the job due to dragging stuff backwards and forwards.

The customer does not see this as ‘work’, it’s not actually the cutting down of trees but clearing is just as important and the working conditions can often double the cost. I’m looking at another job which takes place on four levels which can only be reached via 12 narrow steps. the chances of having an accident are markedly increased and therefore we have to go slower. I’m going to charge three times what I normally charge if the job was on level ground and had easy access to a removal vehicle.

The first couple when told what the bill would be accepted it with enthusiasm but then rang me back to say they had been a little bit overwhelmed and could not afford even the lower price I gave them. It is very difficult to tell whether someone has the money to pay you and you don’t want to be suspicious of everyone and demand money in advance, although I know some people do for example lawyers or solicitors who will demand £5000 down payment in any commercial matter. But I don’t want to get like this, I would rather trust everyone.

Some people have never had a quotes before and have no idea what to expect and think back to a time when £10 an hour was a reasonable wage for cash in hand or as they think is cash in hand. anyway I realise that after paying their mortgage, this lovely young couple didn’t have two pennies to rub together and called us as a crie do coeur  because the uncle who usually did the hedges was not immediately available. There is no way that I can think of to determine in advance whether someone has the money to pay. The only precaution I can think of is to tell people that it will not be less than say £300 and if they jump against that they will probably not be able to pay what the trader is worth.

The second person was a lady of senior years who used to work in the NHS. She is living in a large house in a village that has very little community spirit and is thinking of moving elsewhere. She is deeply appreciative and grateful of the help we are able to give and always makes sure we are adequately compensated. It’s not often you meet someone of 87 years of age who is as bright as a button, will hold their corner with anyone, sees the implications of something in a flash. I love such people and admire their spirit.

I’m also thinking of very rich people who got rich by being mean. they will always try to beat you down because that’s what they do. In that case you need to simply stick your ground and say “that is the price”. In other words take it or leave it. On the other end of the scale you have the very poor people, sometimes on Social Security, who really cannot afford anything but are in desperate need normally due to physical infirmity  to have their garden at least looking respectable. In this case I will sometimes work for less than I know I should do as an act of social service and so long as this doesn’t happen every day I don’t mind.

Another safeguarding factor is to get everything in writing. I will give people a quote verbally and then e-mail them. And I will tell them that before the job can start they need to confirm the offer and in effect make a contract. This makes people more serious, we could say it concentrates the mind wonderfully. Money brings out the best and worst sides in people. Gardening is slightly better than other trades because it is personal and the trader is well advised to get to know the people and treat them as human beings. This not only makes the transaction more satisfactory, it enables the exposure of any problems a person might have in making payment.

I am in the countryside where a lot of people know each other.I’m quite happy to take a cheque especially if they are living on the property because they’re not going to go anywhere. You stand or fall by your reputation in the country and word does get around very quickly. In big cities I would hesitate before taking anything other than cash.

I once worked for a woman who said that she was unable to pay very much for a job but then let slip that she was thinking of buying a flat in another city as opposed to the large house that she had just to try and see what it was like living in another place. This woman has plenty of money. The newcomer is better advised to state the price and keep to it. I tend to say to people that they do not pay unless they are satisfied with what I’ve done and I always go round at the end of the job and discuss it and ask if there is anything else they want done. There is nothing worse than ending the job on a bad note because you drag the entrails around after you.

Having said that, there is a saying that you cannot please all the people all the time. You can give identical service to people and some will pay with a beam on their face, some will just push the money and you with hardly a smile on their face and be glad when you’re out of the place as quickly as possible.

Such is human nature and there is plenty of it around.


people who do not keep appointments

25 June 1664

Read Samuel Pepys Diary by clicking on the link above

I wonder how many people you know who promise faithfully to do something and fail to do so. In India, it is impolite to say no to anybody and so even if you cannot do something that someone asks, you will try to find a friend to do so to honour the request.

Timekeeping varies wildly from country to country. Famously, trains are supposed to arrive within 15 seconds of their advertised arrival time. Germans are punctual, Finnish people are very punctual and events start exactly on time. Indians are less punctual, Mexicans less so, and in certain parts of Africa any time the same day will do.

Today’s thoughts are occasioned by Françoise who went along to give a French lesson to someone who was not there. When I heard about this I jumped to the conclusion that the person had simply forgotten but that since no notice had apparently been given, the person would have compensate her for her time especially as she had to visit the house of the person concerned.

In actual fact we found that the student had written earlier in the day saying he had to cancel the appointment due to the need to visit a doctor. An apologetic phone call followed and the matter was resolved.

This makes me reflect on why people offer to do something when they have no intention of doing so. Is it the thought that being a person who says no or changes their mind is a negative and unhelpful person? An insecure person will promise something out of fear of losing someone’s friendship. I believe that people really do want to help another person but have no way of saying that they are unable to do so.

  1. Here are some suggestions for how to say no.
    I would love to do this but I don’t have the time to give it the attention it deserves.
    I would love to come out with you tomorrow but I have got such a lot on my mind that I would not be very good company.
    I am very flattered that you’ve asked me to do X Y or Z but I don’t feel I have enough experience to do a job of the standard that you require.
    I’m really sorry but I can’t come on this occasion. I will be freer next week. Can we phone or text and discuss it then?

Please note that you are not downplaying or devaluing the person but saying why you feel you would not be a suitable candidate at the moment. This means that no one’s feelings are hurt.

With professional appointments, you as the practitioner need to make it quite clear that 24 hours notice is required for cancellation. In practice this means by some time in the afternoon of the previous day. In other words give them time to fill the space. It is also an excellent idea to text somebody and remind them that their appointment is due in 24 hours or 48 hours. My own dentist reminds me three times. I find it irritating because once it’s in my diary there it is. However, it seems that the dentists have obviously found it necessary to remind the more forgetful or scatty person that they have reserved time and staff and equipment which is probably worth let us say £200 an hour if not more.

This is a matter for self-discipline in the case of clients. If you feel there may be a problem, let the other party know as far as you can in advance. In the case of a private practitioner, if you have genuinely forgotten then the fault is yours and you should ask them how much you owe them. They may well say that you don’t have anything to pay because they managed to fill the space but I wouldn’t bank on it.

It is unacceptable and unforgivable to fail to turn up and fail to give an apology or advance notice. You wouldn’t like it if someone did it to you so why do it to other people?

As all being fashionably late this may be okay if you are a pop star but I totally disagree that it applies to ordinary people. I like it very much when I’m told to be there 6.45 for 7 PM. Social parties are a little bit more flexible but normally the host will indicate by saying “from 8 PM” in which case I would think that any time up to 9:30 PM would be acceptable.  Lateness is not acceptable for dinner parties. It is not acceptable for events that start at a fixed time for example a film or a concert or theatre performance. To avoid anxiety on the part of the person who has invited you I would turn up between five and 10 min before time.

It is a mistake to make the gateway too broad for example at a house warming “come round any time” since people want some indication of when they will meet others and not come in dribs and drabs when there are a few others around. if you are showing someone round a garden I would simply say “we shall start showing people around at two o’clock” in other words come slightly beforehand.

Saying to friends ‘come round any time’ may confuse them unless they know you very well.


The clutter of bedrooms

Friday 24 June 1664

Read Pepys full diary entry by clicking on the link above

... After dinner to White Hall; and there met with Mr. Pierce, and he showed me the Queene’s bed-chamber, and her closett, where she had nothing but some pretty pious pictures, and books of devotion; and her holy water at her head as she sleeps, with her clock by her bed-side, wherein a lamp burns that tells her the time of the night at any time.

I’ve always wondered why so many beds have curtains around them. Maybe there are substitute for not having curtains and the whole room

Easyhotel Croydon is not the place to seek refinements in the bedroom. there are no shelves, no hooks, no wardrobes, no shares just a double or twin bed. There is a light or two. There is a bathroom. When it opened about three years ago I remember paying about £20 for a room. if I wanted to book now for next Friday it would be £51 for a night. Hotel prices in London are very high or should I say steep.

I like hotels that have rooms with plenty of hangers. Not the miserable selection of wire hangers that look as if they are 10 years old and that make noise when you touch one of them. I enjoy silent air-conditioning, lights that enable one person to read while the other can sleep, and a television that does not have five channels each of which are as boring as the others. It does cost a fortune for the licence to have Sky TV in each room which means that only the more expensive hotels can budget for Sky.

I must admit there is a certain calmness indicated here. We can only dream for bigger properties.

The style of Japanese rooms and some Scandinavian rooms is the absence of any form of clutter which may well be conducive to sleeping.

So here we have the Queen of England in a sleeping environment that could be likened more to a puritan bedchamber. It is not clear from the text but I suppose the candle is a crude type of clock where you can see what time it is by how much it has burnt down and there are probably black rings at hourly intervals. The holy water is a reflection of her religious faith as are the books of devotion.

Our own bedroom by contrast is a muddle. Between us we have about a dozen books that are waiting to be read. In the cupboard next to the bed there are a variety of hairdryers. On the bed table there is a light and a radio which is left permanently tuned to Radio Five of the BBC. There is a small cube clock. At the end of the bedroom are three drawers full of clothes. It is a mess even when cleared up.Underneath the bed there is a blowup mattress for the benefit of guests.

If we had a bigger property we would probably move everything out of the bedroom and have a dressing room but I will keep store of books for dipping into. This is part of the end of day routine that I would be reluctant to give up. However, we do not have a bigger property and we just have to make the best use of the space we have.

The last gardening person we assisted was 90 years of age and he never threw anything away because they ‘might come in useful’ sometime.  For some people the thought of throwing things away is too much. We have TV programmes illustrating this where people have homes that are so cluttered they can scarcely move around their living room or any other room come to that. Françoise and I am not as extreme as that, but we do have a tendency to hold on to things which we have not used and probably will never use.

Don’t even talk to me about the contents of the attic wherein lie memories in material form.

I sometimes wonder if we possess things or whether they possess us.

This afternoon, a stroll / walk with our local Nature Reserve society. The entertain or even mildly amuse you, some photos.

lovely scudding clouds amidst the sunshine and gentle breeze
Yes it is a real signal and yes there is an abandoned railway line amidst the overgrown greenery.
An 18th century bridge over the upper reaches of the River Somer
ripening wheat – warm breeze – birds flying around. You cant beat the country, my friends.
Beat that for a colourful bed of flowers





the ups and downs of being self-employed

23 June 1664

Click above to read his diary (mostly about money matters)

I have been self-employed now for 50 years and have enjoyed most of it except when I ran a business without taking professional advice and inter alia allowed my credit card debt to spiral to £26,000. I realised that I had nothing to pay my debts with. This happened in the late 1970s when £26,000 was a considerable sum. I had to write placatory letters to the banks and credit card companies and offer to pay at £10 a month. This I managed to achieve and in consequence I have avoided getting a County Court judgement against me which believe me it’s something you don’t want to have because it does affect everything. Behind-the-scenes, lenders have to be very savvy and aware of each other’s activities otherwise the fraud rate would be even higher than the stellar rate it is now.

There is no question that someone who is self-employed has a mindset that is totally different from people who work in an institution be it commercial or public service.  As a self-employed person I never switch off. If a call comes in on Sunday morning from someone wanting something then I will deal with them straight away. To be fair, most people do not call on Sunday morning and strangely enough if they do so they are more likely to be time wasters. I work hard because I know that if I do not work, there will not be money to put food on the table. However, if it is self chosen work then it does not seem like actual labour. I cite the recent examples of my gardening where it is just a pleasure to bring happiness to others. I turn down jobs if I don’t like the people and that makes a great difference to the ‘burden’.

There are down sides like having to be Chancellor of the Exchequer and collect money from people who have varying degree of reluctance to pay promptly. I find that if you build up a good relationship with the person they are more likely to pay and if you ask them if they are happy with the work and they say yes and if you asked them if there’s anything else that needs to be done and they said no they are more likely to fork out. Overall though I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It is possible to become professionally lonely and I do think that support groups possibly local support groups are more effective than LinkedIn where you do not necessarily get the quality of comradeship that is possible with a face-to-face meeting.  I think as a self-employed person you have to become more extrovert and in a way sell yourself before you can sell your product.

The main reason why I wrote this blog is because it’s about cycles. You do your best to announce yourself by giving out cards and advertising in the papers and on the media. Sometimes you get brilliant response and you are totally busy, at other times days go by when you get no response and if you were not aware of the inevitability of the cycles, you would start to panic. There is absolutely nothing that can be done about the cycles which seem to have a life of their own. You can almost call it a famine to feast and then to famine mentality. Someone wisely said to me, unless you are saving money, you’re losing money. I will let you figure that one out.

it’s also worth remembering that the press will only tell you about the very successful and the very unsuccessful in other words billionaires or bankrupts. Most people trundle along owning a penny, supporting their family, and not doing anything newsworthy.

Françoise and myself run a micro-economy at home. We do not have a mortgage to pay, we are not in debt. Our annual earnings between us are not much to write home about but our annual expenditure is quite low and consists of the normal statutory charges plus basic expenses plus maintaining our car, a Volvo V70 – no less – of amazing vintage, which is our work horse for the gardening, for going back and forth to the supermarket and going on trips. The Volvo is built for distance driving. This marque was after all created and engineered in Sweden where long distances apply. From North to South, Sweden is 1250 miles distance so the cars have to be designed for this. They do indeed purr along the motorway with a very good mpg. Don’t ask me what the petrol consumption is for local journeys. You will not get an answer except a rolling of eyes.

Anyway, back to the topic of self-employment. We have been doing all right with gardening but not brilliantly. I think it is fair to say that no two years are the same and you cannot assume a continuing trend of any activity in any direction. So, I get a call out of the blue. If you think about it most calls are out of the blue except those from your friends and partners. It was from a lady for whom we worked a couple of years ago. She is a good payer and very appreciative of our work and on the answering machine message said that we were the people who had done wonderful work for her. That always makes self-employment worthwhile to be encouraged. The work that I described yesterday was in a similar category. The couple concerned walks around the garden time after time hardly believing what they proceed with their own eyes. It should be remembered that gardens are very personal things and people have often put years of their life into it and when you reach an age when you can no longer function it is very important for an incoming gardener to respect the heritage of the garden and what has been put into it.

Other Half on right and the new allotmenteer breaking the back of the recently taken over plot

This morning we went along to help a new allotmenteer. I am secretary of the local Allotment Association and I try to help any new tenant especially if they are inexperienced to help them get their plot into working order. I absolutely do not mind doing this because I think of the overall appearance of the allotment. One derelict plot can spread seeds all over the place and contaminate other conscientious plot holders’ land.

My home town of Midsomer Norton. the main street has a river running through it and was in fact the main reason I decided to move here was that the river was well maintained. That told me a lot about the quality of the local council. We bought a house and have been here ever since. Perfect.


it is summer festival time and the local area in front of Sainsbury’s has been utilised for a variety of art stalls


a day in the garden of Eden

Wednesday 22 June 1664

Read diary by clicking above

not spectacular, but this little spring produced music like you’ve never heard

Sometimes you get a dream gardening job and what made it so delightful was a stream that ran down the middle of the garden from a natural spring in the farm above. We had the privilege of removing weeds and debris from the stream so that the water flowed more easily and with a delightful tinkly sound which I reckon has the power to calm the most frayed nerves. I was so stimulated by the garden and his magical qualities that I gave superhuman efforts  to turn about 100 m² of  more or less field into something resembling a lawn.

the centre of the village, a closed pub on the right and closed and converted post office on the left
telephone box, detail, with books freely available on a help yourself basis

There are some villages untouched by time and this string of houses, comprises the entity which is called  Carlingcott which attracts an average house price of £432,000 as of June 2017. I don’t know whether it can be called a village may be more a hamlet, exuded an hour of peace and tradition. This is the centre of the village with its phone box now used as a repository for books, but very rickety bench, a young apple tree and a noticeboard.  The well-to-do or should I say well heeled person is attracted to it because it is near to the Bath and yet it could be in the 19th century.  The roads are impossibly narrow, so how on earth a delivery or removal van does their business without blocking the whole road I cannot imagine. Anyway it is magic and the place where my job was. I had a chat with a couple of women who were passingand one had just returned from her reflexology session, another was on the way to see her daughter. As an indication of the awareness in this town here is a leaflet which I saw on the very modest  information board.



Allegrophobia – the Fear of being late

21 June 1664

Read Pepys Diary by clicking on the date above

A special day today, a meeting with the hospital people to discuss various matters of after-care of patients who have experienced trauma. It was interesting to compare my ‘tourist’ visit, with my previous unrequited and unexpected visit to Southmead hospital nine months ago, 9 October 2016 when only after a few days of considerable pain was I able to get out of bed and stare out of the window.

Admittedly a decent and very well-designed hospital but a traumatic place nevertheless. People are in there because they are ill not because they want to be there.

Photographing it from the outside today and looking at it as some dim and distant place compared with last time when this was my home, that environment which made my existence stable while I was drugged up to the eyeballs with a variety of medicines and pills. I don’t think people realise what a life changing event an accident can be.

So as I start to write this in the evening I know it’s going to be quite a long account. I have been delayed by doing a gardening  job, and then watching a replay of the Ascot Gold cup which for those of you unfamiliar with the UK is one of the leading horse race events of the year.

So you see when I have an important appointment as was the case today I don’t want to leave ridiculously early but on the other hand I don’t want to leave late, cutting it to fine.  One of the things that I cannot bear is being late for an appointment. I would rather be an hour early and pace around or have a coffee. It is the same with flights. I would rather arrive as soon as checking opens and sit on “the other side” or “no man’s land” where you can hopefully switch off your phone and forget about all the daily nonsense that goes on in country A, and look forward to an enjoyable time in country B. I have come to loathe this ridiculous searching of everyone including the taking off of shoes, belts, not being able to take liquids through. The liquid ban is the biggest farce of all. Was it about 12 years ago when a group of young Muslims were accused of trying, perhaps, to make a liquid substance that could just could explode. There wasn’t a scrap of evidence but the authorities in their wisdom decided to ban all liquids. This has resulted in millions of harmless bottles of water being thrown away.

Glastonbury fans waiting patiently at Gate 2 in Bristol bus station
not quite sure what this poster is doing in a bus station but the sentiments are good
This is Anna Frank work author of the famous diaries, a Jew finally killed after having been betrayed by a neighbour
a protest when black people were not allowed to be bus drivers. again, this was in Bristol bus station
here is the text about the protests if you can read it

Anyway, the appointment was at 11.30 this morning Thursday, 22 June. On the way I witnessed congregations of people at Bristol bus station waiting to be taken by shuttle bus to the great Glastonbury. You can tell a Glastonbury person because they have unusual Wellington boots, and a huge rucksack which probably contains a tent.

I find this sculpture at the entrance to the accident and emergency unit at Southmead Hospital in incredibly bad taste, not politically correct or appropriate by any stretch of the imagination

Passing through the northern suburbs of Bristol is very much like visiting 1960s London. There are lots of trendy and down-to-earth coffee bars, eating establishments, Turkish, Polish, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, restaurants. there are high-class preowned clothes stores, shops with vegetables temptingly displayed  in bowls for one pound, unusual vegetables that we don’t see in Midsomer Norton because people wouldn’t know what they are.

The meeting itself was in the company of three staff from the trauma team who were concerned about giving after care service to those who leave the hospital with varying degrees of support. As the famous American photo Journal Life Magazine said in years of yore, “All Human Life is There”.  My feeling is that the traumatised community members should support each other, and that a blog and website should be used for support. No one wants to admit  that they need a support group so I feel we have to sell the idea in such a way that will attract the right people without the client group feeling stigmatised. However the bigger problem is getting the hospital authorities to allow me to advertise a patient group at all.

This is where I  am going to have buckets of patience because changes take a long time to happen in the NHS due to the complexity of the structure, potential litigation problems, health and safety, you name it. That is the overarching problem. Hardly a month goes by without a new set of rules established from ‘on high’ which have to be implemented.

in addition,it is quite common to find someone who’s got not just one remit, not two remits but even five remits. The responsibility of each in terms of human care is like one full-time job in yet these saintly people are driven by their desire to help others and so putting hours and energy that must exact a price in terms of the amount of energy available for a social life.


how to chastise people – is there an ideal way?

Monday 20 June 1664

Read the full entry by clicking on the date above.

…To supper and to bed, my wife finding fault with Besse for her calling upon Jane that lived with us, and there heard Mrs. Harper and her talk ill of us and not told us of it. With which I was also vexed, and told her soundly of it till she cried, poor wench, and I hope without dissimulation, and yet I cannot tell; however, I was glad to see in what manner she received it, and so to sleep.

Very few of us get it right. We go off the deep end without checking why the person did or said as reported. Hitting someone with a hammer does very little to resolve the situation. If they knew they were doing wrong, then why did they do it? Is it because they did not see another way out of the situation?   The problem is that if you shout at someone, the fight and flight chemicals are automatically produced by the body –  the various types of adrenaline no less – and an argument will not proceed constructively.

It’s almost like if you keep your feelings under the radar people hardly notice that you told them off. If you the complainer can be more objective and say why the action or words caused harm you are more likely to get the miscreant to think about what they did. This will work in the majority of cases but not as I have previously said with people who are out of control through drunkenness or rage or panic.

My own father when concerned about my behaviour always said that he would talk about it the next day which was quite clever because he gave me time to think about it and when confronted I was as meek as a lamb. The offence was not repeated. It is very difficult to be a calm observer when the chemicals are running round the system. This is a good reason to delay a knee-jerk reaction if you possibly can.  In the case of Pepys above, he considered it right to tell off the employee straightaway because she knew she had done wrong and he wanted to nip the problem in the bud due to their close working relationship.

As I’m fond of saying, “there is a time for everything, and for everything there is time”. Does the whole process of chastisement have to happen in the minutes after the event is discovered? The person has probably been committing this offence, or shall we call it a ‘call for attention’, for a long time so what’s the hurry. I reckon 90% of it is getting your mindset right which probably includes lessons that you yourself have to learn.

Notice in the above example, Pepys took time to observe how the person received the telling off and felt that the contrition was genuine. The parents or the employer or the friend is entitled to remark how he or she feels their admonition has been accepted  and maybe one or two more steps need to happen  for the matter to be closed as opposed to being simply deferred.

It’s called ‘Shape Shifting’. Check it out on Google About 4,060,000 results as of 21.6.17 15:13 GMT+1

So I was watching Sky News today 21st June 2017 at approx. 2.15 PM and low and behold, a phenomenon some call ‘Shape Shifting’ appeared. This is my first ‘catch’ so I made a vid. on the spot using my mobile phone.  Explanations welcome but before you scoff, type in ‘shape shifting’ on google or YouTube and see hundreds of examples.

2 July 2017 I have received a note from ‘Digital Music Lab’ a company in USA? that the phenomenon is a bandwidth issue from a live stream broadcast. I cannot contradict the writer as I am not a technical person so I will leave this one on the table and see who else comes along.

Click here for my video.

End of the world scenarios

Sunday 19 June 1664

read Pepys Diary by clicking on the date above.

fire in Portugal 18 June 2017

Today I arose early at around 4 AM, the heat being stifling due to the continuing heatwave, or should I say two or three days with the temperature above 30°. It is not on the same scale as Portugal where 62 people have died from fires.

My Galaxy, which I turn to prior to cranking up my main PC, figures out what I like to read and presents me with a relevant series of headlines and videos to chose from. Some examples re the USA’s numerous evils came up.  I shall never forget ex-President Obama’s preacher saying that the phrase “God Damn (short for damnation)  America” was much more appropriate than saying “God bless America”.

I was reading how TPTB are currently closing branches of Walmart’s with the excuse that they need some plumbing to be fixed which will take six months. Surely even the dumbed down American public most realise this is a fake excuse. What is happening according to first-hand reports is that the buildings are being gutted and redesigned as concentration camps complete with watchtowers. If you don’t believe me Google the matter and you will find pictures aplenty. There are also a system of national secret underground tunnels which connect one centre and another for the mass transportation of people. The beings  who run America are preparing for Marshall Law. It’s called operation Jade Helm for those of you who want to Google it further.

Here in the UK I read that the Prime Minister is taking her time announcing the chairman of an official enquiry. Until that time, the firms conniving in selling flammable cladding to the West London tower block are free to destroy e-mails and evidence of their crimes. Anyone who thinks for one tiny moment that the Conservative party care two hoots for the common person is either brain-dead or extremely naive.

It has been clear to me for years that the  whole world is being ruled by psychopaths to whom war is just an instrument for control. America have only started 43 wars since World War II which is hardly a model of restraint but then it’s what they do together with unseating democracies and bringing in puppet regimes which they do even better.
This brings me to the whole question of death or shall we say losing this  temporary  vehicle which is the human body. I feel this world is overdue for a reboot and if the whole thing blows up tomorrow I will celebrate. I’m only able to say this because I have thoroughly digested and accepted the idea of the continuity of consciousness, the so-called life after death, of life between lives, which I might add I am looking forward to extremely. I know that we’ll get what we deserve and if we end on a high level, putting others first, being unselfish and so on we will end up in a different place to actions caused by selfishness and the seven deadly sins (cleverly called deadly because they kill).
Each time I read something ghastly happening in the world and realise what hidden moving hand is causing it I actually feel better because  once you face what is likely to happen you hve the ability to be at peace with it. I pity the poor souls  who believe the junk the mainstream media churns out. When they realise what is really going on it will be too late and they will be transported by fear into a place that will not be pleasant. We get no notice of the circumstances of our demise and I think we should be prepared at all times for our sudden transition otherwise we will always be inhibited  by the fear of death.
Françoise and myself went to see a lovely gardening job last night. The garden is a complete jungle and the grass is about 1 m in height. I shall be taking ‘before and after’ pictures of our work. The couple are both over 80 but as bright as buttons, very sharp intellectually but kind as well. through their garden there is a lovely stream  arising from a spring in the garden above and going through the property. It’s a lovely place and it will be a privilege to bring it back to the Garden of Eden type state that it was last year 2016.