This morning I treated myself to a full breakfast including toast, tomatoes, eggs,, plus suitable amounts of coffee. Which is only a matter of time before I turn on the news programs not I hasten to add the BBC but TalkTV and GB news. Their turnover of advertisements has been very slow and I am fed up with seeing the same ones time after time. I wonder if they have difficulty in getting advertisers due to the nature of their content. People are scared of their own shadow these days, fear of offending people.
I have perfected the art of switching between the two channels when the advertisements come on. I can do this because they are not scheduled at precisely the same time period
GBNews for example claims an exposure of over 7 million people; I do not know whether this involves those who listen on streaming lines or those who view. See fairly optimistic article here .
Talk TV is doing less well, with the owner Rupert Murdoch demanding more views from ‘Piers Morgan’s reliant’ channel. It had its first birthday in June 2023 with ‘muted’ celebrations. Maybe 2 new TV News stations is too many.
The full phrase is: This town ain’t big enough for both of us, and it ain’t me who’s gonna leave’. It basically means- we don’t agree and we never will. One of us is going to have to back down (and it’s not going to be me)
Anyway, the original reason for writing this diary today was to talk about the one and only Julia Hartley-Brewer who is a mum with children who must wake up at some ungodly hour in the morning to prepare to be bright and breezy for an early start. This must wear her out eventually so I hope she gets adequately compensation. I believe she has just returned from holiday.
She appears on Talk TV. I am not her number one fan for interviewing style. She may or may not know a lot about the subject but too often uses this as a platform to display her own views, not letting the unfortunate ‘interviewee’ do more than string a few sentences together before jumping into confirm, underline or in some cases contradict what they have said.
There is something not quite right with her thinking. She seems to want to deliver ideas faster and faster as words tumble out of mouth. She seems desirous of making as many points as she can, displaying her entire mental inventory to show how much she knows. Finally she says ‘do you agree with me or not?’ Too often I see the interviewee in a semi frustrated state, powerless to resits this torrent, to be followed by… well unfortunately we have run out of time. Yeas, right, but why???
If I were in the position of the interviewee I would tell her as that she seems to know all about the subject anyway, call it a monologue and let her get on with it. I honestly wonder if she knows what she is doing. I guess that as she is popular, the producers are somewhat afeared of stepping in.
In summary, you cannot be the interviewer and the interviewee at the same time.
Incidentally, Julia was talking to Richard Tice, founder of the Reform Party. He talked 100% common sense and pro-people sentiments. They have 100,000 registered supporters, probably not enough to attract the attention of those in the shadows who would subvert, bribe, threaten or blackmail. Nigel Farage is leading the way towards more protest (peaceful of course). We need 10,000 Farages and then the ‘powers that be’ would have to take notice. As it says in the Bible ‘No man can serve two masters. He will either love one or hate the other, or hold to one and despise the other’. We, the ‘useless eaters’, are the despised ones.
I have signed up to the Hatchard Report, a well based and independent commentary on social and political change. May they thrive.
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If you have heard of Gregg Braden you will love this way way out video of his work. attitudes, vision, reach, brain power. It lasts a over an hour so get your pop corn and settle down.
I was woken by a barking dog at 6.30 am. on a Sunday morning to boot. I guess visitors let their dog out for a comfort break but the barking was excessive. I guess that the neighbors who live nearer to the dog will have something to say.
We started with a promising bright morning but it was only a matter of time before the clouds came in accompanied by a light drizzle, so we decided against going to Shepton Mallet monthly market and stay home. There is always plenty to do – and so say both of us. Around lunchtime the rain became more continuous so our decision was vindicated.
I spend far more time than is good for me sitting in front of the computer. There is so much information by video and on the written page so to speak. Such a volume of wisdom would have taken me far more time and energy to become aware of in the pre-internet age. How did we manage without computers and without mobile phones? I guess we just talked to each other. Steady on Brian.
Today I’m looking at websites including the site you are reading, because I want to aggregate all my activities under one heading. I want to inter alia remind everyone by example that we are all capable of doing a lot of things irrespective of age. It is more important to recognize the moving of the eternal spirit that any material thing.
A friend introduced me to a very useful reference book called “My Utmost for His Highest” written by a theologian by the name of Oswald Chambers. He gives us a bible scripture each day with a brief exegesis.
Do not rejoice in this, spirits are subject to you, what rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven Luke 10:20
The trap you may fall into in Christian work is to rejoice in successful service – rejoicing in the fact that God has used you. You can never measure what God will do through you if the right if you have a right-standing relationship with Jesus Christ. If you keep your relationship right with him, regardless of your circumstances or whatever you encounter each day, He will continue to pour rivers of living water through you.
Our tendency today is to put the emphasis on service. Beware of the people who make their request for help on the basis of someone’s usefulness. If you make usefulness the test, Jesus Christ was the greatest failure who ever lived. It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for him.
Rain rain and more rain. Time to have some comfort food and drink. For lunch we had bought from Sainsbury’s some Red South African organic wine, Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the type with no sulphur added. It cost me £6.75, less than some of the plonk I buy in the corner shop. I wonder why a niche demand product results in a lower price. Maybe the producers have different ethics. Who knows.
I have started reading the book ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley, Dystopian it is, and written in 1932. How could he have known about the trends? Maybe because he was a member of the Fabian Society.
The first three chapters are particularly chilling (if you are human, that is) but the preface is also worth a read. Plans for the world are not made decades long but generations long.
It is quite a skill to write information especially of a technical genre which can be understood by everybody; this is a gift. The website page below is an example of some utterances that I feel are really good and to the point, without being patronizing or simplistic.
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How Cells talk to each other. The physics of cell communication: Scientists successfully model cell dynamics (article). It gives you the germ of an idea, a parameter or two to incorporate without burdening the cranium excessively.
Once I wake up, I get up. Waking up is normally an indication that you have had enough sleep and the day should begin. Making a cup of coffee or two is normally my first activity after drinking a glass of water if I can remember. While this is going on, I turn on the TV and it’s a question of either the GB news or TalkTV. I have not watched the BBC propaganda program aka ‘news’ for a long time now. I think the BBC with their arrogance and partisanship deserve to lose their license rights but we have to wait until 2027 for that.
Anyway come back to the program. On GBNews I watched a London West End restaurateur talking about a new rule that someone had made that if a person on their own comes in a restaurant they get charged for two people. Chef being interviewed said that he never turns people away and will always fit people into his restaurant, crowded, indeed instructs his staff to spend that little bit extra of care and attention. The view is that people on their own are losers and he disputes this. People can be on their own for many reasons including for example while doing business in London.
The restauranteur who has been working since 1984, was asked if he himself went into restaurants on his own. He responded in the affirmative saying that he had met many wonderful people and had great conversations. I do believe it is largely up to the individual to take the initiative. It seems to be more of a barrier in this country, the United Kingdom, than it appears to be in continental Europe.
I’m reminded of whetherspoons on a typical morning at 8.30. There are many single diners, all having their breakfast on their own, some reading newspapers, some looking at their devices, just keeping themselves to themselves trying to pretend they are not on their own. We are herd animals and this is and has always struck me as being unnatural. Maybe they should be special tables for people who are happy to talk with each other.
On the other hand why should Wetherspoons do all the work. It is not quite the ‘done thing’ to see someone sitting on their own and ask them if you can join them for conversation. The British seem to claim their inalienable right to sit on their own if they so wish but there is some work to do here as a few do show signs of distress that would be alleviated by having a talking companion.
Maybe the problem is deeper in that the number of friends and contacts we have in our Society is less than is comfortable for us so perhaps we need a new type of networking system in all towns and cities where people can get to know each other in their own area and with their own interests. I think it would go down well and I have dreamt about this for many years now. At my age I don’t know whether I’ve got the strength to do this. I have the Vision but considerable physical and spiritual resources would be required not to mention start-up funding.
Back to the TV. That well-known extrovert and barrister pictured above, Andrew Eborn, was talking about people’s rights both with regard to the Nat West scandal and to trend spotting i.e. turning the ULEZ rules into eventually restricting our ability to travel. He epitomizes for me what a human being should be. He has to earn his living as being a barrister, in this case supplemented by being a broadcaster interviewee, and he is a very jolly man and makes the most of every situation without being an exhibitionist. You don’t get this type of genuine person on the BBC for obvious reasons.
An outing to ~ Fish and Chips
Françoise got the idea this morning that she wanted fish and chips. We felt that a take-away was not quite the right thing so we decided to go to Hartley’s Cafe Bistro which is one of our favorites. We do not often go there but decided to treat ourselves. Paul, the owner, is an affable and welcoming host. I love the word affable. It means Receiving others kindly and conversing with them in a free and friendly manner; friendly, courteous, sociable. Paul is a natural at it. You cannot fake it. It comes from the heart. Serving others and this environment is ideal for his constitution and his lovely young staff not to mention is hardworking and loyal wife.
I love the T-shirt slogan, ” I jumped out of a perfectly good aeroplane”. In the foreground is an upper class lady probably from Wells. I know from experience never to approach such people as they create their elitist atmosphere around them to repel all comers except their own kind. I am not saying this is good or bad. I may do it for all I know.
Decor is important and I love the French touch, the posters above.
Another detail, a hand written notice ‘Luxury afternoon tea’ We had one once and it was good value.
Paul sells excess items at his stall outside the restaurant of various ages and dispositions but all come from a market in Bristol (fairly local you could say). He is not beyond accepting an offer.
Maesbury Castle Earth works (orig. Iron Age)
We visited the Rocky Mountain garden centre about which I have written many times. While Françoise went round buying a couple of things I went to the adjacent Cafe and enjoyed a special deal consisting of a very large piece of chocolate cake and a coffee for £4.25. We went to the adjacent food stall and bought a cauliflower (£1.20) and a punnet of strawberries (£1)
We then decided to go for a walk up and adjacent Hill to an unprepossessing area called Maesbury Castle which is an Iron Age fort. It’s been listed as a scheduled ancient Monument. There is not much to see except earthworks on the top, a lit like a circular football field, but the view is one of the highest in Somerset, which is why it was chosen as the site for a castle. It was a lovely miniature walk and there was warmth in the sun , such a joy after days of rain and murk.
Young 14 y.o. busker in the store.
On to a country store which sells healthy food in a very laid back way from a large converted cow shed or some such. You can be sure that the food is of good quality. It is not the cheapest but it is not expensive for the quality. While we were there a young girl was playing the guitar and singing. It turned out she was the daughter of one of the sales people. She was 14 years of age and enjoyed playing enormously. She seemed quite shy but that will change. I told mum that courage here would go ‘in the bank’ and she will draw on this for courage in other directions when she goes through life.
I was quite glad to make a contribution.
Customers seen to have been quite generous and I reckon there was about 25 pounds in coins. I spoke to the mother saying that she would project her voice better if she was standing up. Mother informed me that she had in fact been standing up for the last three hours but her back was giving in so the mother told her to sit down. It does make a huge difference to the voice projection if someone stands or sits.
Viewing a possible garden job.
I have had contact with the lady who was selling her house and wanted the hedge cut obviously to make the garden more attractive. It was in Chilcompton and we found it after a little difficulty. It is just about within my range to do. When I see whether a job is viable I look at slopes. It is much more difficult and dangerous to mount a ladder on a slope and especially if it abuts on a main road as this one did. In this case there is a considerable amount of spoil that must be got rid of so I would have to get someone in to do this.
Another problem is that the house is empty so I will have no access to electricity. Unusually, the woman does not live on the premises. Sometimes with a job you realize that it’s more trouble than it’s worth and you give it up to someone else because it’s just not worth the stress and strain. Money is a secondary factor in this case. I will quote her and also mention another local contractor who could help her out.
This evening we had a zoom meeting under the auspices of the Scientific and Medical Network, a so-called Virtual Pub evening which happens every Friday. In general I have quite strong views about people’s behaviour particularly when the camera is on and they get up, start eating, moving around the room and generally distracting us.
Other people do not even switch their cameras on at all. I find it rather alienating experience to speak to a black square or abstract artwork or even someone’s animal. People have this idea about privacy but I really don’t know what they hope to gain by being anonymous. When I speak to someone I like to see their face because I know how they are reacting. If the video is turned off how are you supposed to know?
I also told everyone that I was their servant in other words for the purposes of the meeting I have no views or opinions. I follow the feeling of the meeting. This is only possible when you understand the concept of quantum entanglement that we are actually all one. It is a requirement that I have everyone’s focus in order for the entanglement to take place from which inspiration comes. A group of like minded people is a huge catalyst.
Anyway the meeting started at 6:30pm. I was made co-host of the evening by Jerome, a member of the organisation. Fortunately, I have run weekly zoom meetings for two years back during the lockdown so it just took me a few minutes to get into my stride and off we went. The topic of the meeting was ” Seven Omens that herald the dark night of the soul”
There were 45 of Us. The zoom group that I used to run had seven or eight members. The only problem with a larger group is that I cannot see the cohort on the second screen because each screen only supports 24 people. Fortunately the active people seem to be channeled into the first screen so you do not lose touch. It is quite comforting to use zoom as it has so many tens of thousands of customers that they will have ironed out all the problems. I love a well tested system.
I don’t think I ever seen such an exquisite overview of the whole topic from a topic that might have be seen to be grim. In fact turned out to be a marvelous catalyst for the souls gathered in this group.
I printed it out and it was an eight pager. There was a very good summary about the seven omens that you might be going through a dark knight of the soul
1. you feel a deep sense of sadness which often verges on despair (this sadness is often triggered by the state of your life, humanity, or the world as a whole)
2. You feel an acute sense of unworthiness
3. You have the constant feeling of being lost or condemned to a life of suffering or emptiness
4. You possess a painful feeling of powerlessness and hopelessness
5. Your will and self-control are weakened making it difficult for you to act
6. You lack interest and find no joy in things that once excited you
7. You crave for the loss of something intangible; a longing for a distant place or to ‘return home’ again.
A very useful aspect of zoom is the breakout rooms. You decide how many rooms you want which of course depends on the number of people. I had a cohort of 45 so I chose 10 rooms. It is flexible enough that those who do not wish to join a room stay with the main meeting. We were somewhat short of 10 minutes. I used this as an opportunity for people to say more intimate things about their feelings that they would not necessarily have shared in a larger group.
I had the article to hand and if there was a lull, or a need for a further catalyst, I just read a few lines to get people going again. Sometimes people need to hear the same thing a number of times but in different ways to spark off.
We reconvened after a period slightly short of the 10 minutes. All shared their experiences. Normally one person shared what happened in their group. I then ask people what they thought about various things for example ‘are you ashamed or what do you do when you wake up one morning and find yourself depressed and listless’. Sometimes no one says anything. This does not matter because a session to be successful does not have to be filled up with words. People need thinking time. Some had more than one visit to the speaker rostrum but I try to make sure that everyone has a say. People get the idea that they should make one point and then give way.
The only problem with tablets and mobiles is that you cannot see all the items on the zoom menu. For example one person could not find the button to put your hand up. In this case you have to click the more button on the right hand side and you will see the extra fields.
We had a lot of very valuable comments with some people saying that it was such a relief to express what they had been feeling inside. One person said that he did not have any dark nights because he went through horrendous circumstances in a previous life and felt that he had done his time in prison so to speak. One of the members who was a therapist said politely that maybe there was still something to tidy up.
So the allocation of duties is quite clear. The instigator of the meeting has to prepare the structure of discussions that might happen but be flexible enough to allow the situation to develop as it will. In other words, each side does 50% of the work. All benefit. All shine. There are no losers.
Nine days after the injury, my stubbed toe is still hurting. I was worried that I had broken it. I decided to go to the local minor injuries NHS clinic based in Paulton to see what they had to say. I was prepared to walk away if there were too many in the queue but as it happens I was the only person, so after registering at the desk I walked straight in to the waiting area and after two minutes I was welcomed by a very pleasant and competent young man. He was working with an associate and they were about the same age, middle 20’s. There were no female nurses in sight which is the first time I have experienced this in many visits over the years. Just an observation.
My toe, fourth on the left foot, looks mildly swollen but nothing more but I promise you when touched it makes me jump. I needed a strong dose of common sense and perspective and this I got in spades. It was clear that nothing was broken. I was told there was no point in making an X-ray as even if there was a crack or break they would still use the same methods, taking advantage of the self-healing ability of the body.
The recipe was time and rest.
The nurse could not give me an estimate as to how long it would last because it depends on how I treat myself. He strapped my toe to its neighbor for added support. I joked with them that I needed to look after myself and I found difficulty in so doing. The meeting lasted about 10 minutes and we left on a very positive note.
We can read horror stories about the National Health Service but parts of it work very well and this was an example. The same with my eye treatment. I must say I felt better after the visit because I was reassured that I was basically doing the right thing. I think if you feel anxious it is a good idea not to put it off or suppress it but to seek advice and if your concern is genuine you are not wasting anybody’s time.
Use and abuse of words
My friend John was told by his teacher many years ago, when he was at school, to avoid the use of the word ‘nice’ as it was too general. For everyone’s benefit Here are some suggestions:
enjoyable pleasant pleasurable agreeable delightful satisfying
gratifying acceptable to one’s liking entertaining amusing
diverting marvelous good bonny lovely great subtle fine
The English language is so rich and yet we are so lazy. I hate the modern habit of putting the word ‘like’ not as a simile but as a false and unnecessary link. It is a joy for me to hear the English language spoken coherently and when I hear it spoken, it stands out a mile like a work of art.
Baking bread -a new landmark
As we were running short of bread, I decided to bake a new loaf this time from Polish flour purchased from a shop in Shepton Mallet. I have discovered that my failures in bread making are due to having too much water. I normally use 400 grams and this time I used 300 grams. I was afraid that there would be insufficient water to be able to absorb all the flour. I have sometimes mixed bread manually but this time I used my bread maker as a mixer and it came out a nice wobbly but solid ball with nothing sticking to the edges.
I left it to rise for the best part of an hour. You are supposed to leave it until it doubles in size. I used a circular tin, the sort you would use for making cakes, with a wonderful result. It is one of the best loaves I have made and I celebrated by having it with butter and rhubarb and ginger jam- home made of course.
I had a poor night last night and spent time dozing on the sofa and finding the least bad film to watch on TV. Interestingly, even if I have just one hour’s sleep even if it is in the early morning, I rise fresh and ready to go. I’m very seldom have seven hours continual sleep if only because I have to visit the loo perhaps once perhaps twice each night. I noticed that if I drink alcohol in the afternoon or evening, I need to pass urine more frequently.
Today’s forecast was not good. We have the latest depression coming across the Atlantic plus a disturbance in the jet stream, and we are getting unseasonable colder weather which for the end of July is definitely below average. Meanwhile we have these ridiculous fires and absurd claims about increases in temperature. This is more alarmist material. It just depends where you measure the temperature. What is measured on the ground it is hotter than if you measure it 2 meters from above the ground. If you tend towards being unethical you would quote the higher figure to scare people. Frightened people can be controlled and do not ask questions.
I watched a wonderful video, listed in the video library below, about a doctor who explained that many diseases are caused by wrong diet. She reminded us that digestion starts in the mouth with the release of certain enzymes and that chewing food until it is liquid is a very important part of the digestive process and prevents the buildup of acids. She also reminds us of the danger of sugar. She approves bacon, to my great relief. So its will be eggs, bacon, meat, fish, a small amount of root crops such as potatoes and the like, a little fruit, a little cheese, coconut milk.
Yesterday I was phoned up by a rather testy older woman who wanted me to do her hedges. She started off on the attack by saying ‘when are you going to come, this week, next week, this month?’ I immediately sensed that this was a problem person here however I did volunteer to come round and see her and we provisionally arranged for two pm today. At 10 minutes to 2 I phoned to say that I was coming but there was no reply. I have a motto which is words to the effect that if a job starts badly it will go on badly and I do not propose to respond to this woman save to recommend another service provider for her.
The rain continues today and it looks like it will go until later this evening. It is almost cold enough to have the central heating on… but that is a bit pathetic for July.
Today, much was taken with the finding of not guilty for the actor Kevin Stacey. He is a very popular actor or was and nine charges of sexual molestation were found against. It is no surprise that he found it difficult to trust people. Elton John spoke on his behalf which I think is very decent of him. I hope that he is able to resume his career although it has been pointed out that in certain parts of the world, people don’t really care about such things as court cases.
My dad has bees.Today I went to his house and he showed me all of the honey he had gotten from the hives. He took the lid off of a 5 gallon bucket full of honey and on top of the honey there were 3 little bees, struggling. They were covered in sticky honey and drowning. I asked him if we could help them and he said he was sure they wouldn’t survive. Casualties of honey collection I suppose.
I asked him again if we could at least get them out and kill them quickly, after all he was the one who taught me to put a suffering animal (or bug) out of its misery. He finally conceded and scooped the bees out of the bucket. He put them in an empty Chobani yogurt container and put the plastic container outside.
Because he had disrupted the hive with the earlier honey collection, there were bees flying all over outside.
We put the 3 little bees in the container on a bench and left them to their fate. My dad called me out a little while later to show me what was happening. These three little bees were surrounded by all of their sisters (all of the bees are females) and they were cleaning the sticky nearly dead bees, helping them to get all of the honey off of their bodies. We came back a short time later and there was only one little bee left in the container. She was still being tended to by her sisters.
When it was time for me to leave we checked one last time and all three of the bees had been cleaned off enough to fly away and the container was empty.
Those three little bees lived because they were surrounded by family and friends who would not give up on them, family and friends who refused to let them drown in their own stickiness and resolved to help until the last little bee could be set free.
Bee Sisters. Bee Peers. Bee Teammates.
We could all learn a thing or two from these bees.
Up at 7:30 after a restless night most of which was spent watching TV. I am truly shocked at the firm Horizon that used faulty software with their post office account. This resulted in hundreds of post office managers being falsely accused of stealing money. This has been going on for years now and the UK Post Office (chairman or on £800,000 a year) do not want to move this forward or give it any compensation to anybody.
It is a pleasure to be able to do small jobs for my sister at her house where we stayed. To stay six nights in a London Hotel would have cost at least seven hundred pounds and that with travel and so on makes the better part of a thousand pounds. We were happy to make supper for her and help her with tasks around the house. She is in her 80s now and although keen to do things is not so strong as she was physically.
Although we had not planned a lot of actions and we were not able to see one or two people that we had hoped to see, our time has magically filled itself. The weather on Saturday was not only bad for England versus Australia cricket but bad for any plans so we were able to modify our plans without difficulty.
I had mixed feelings going away from London because I had enjoyed myself so much and could have stayed a few days longer but maybe it is better to take London in little bits rather than be exposed to the higher magnetic fields not to mention 4G and 5G. I did feel a strange sort of tiredness which is a little bit like being scratched with a wire brush and I’m convinced that I was experiencing high level of electromagnetic activity. As I write this diary in the evening at home I do feel different, more relaxed.
London has a good transport system because it has to, such are the numbers of people that need to move around. There are many lesser known lateral lines especially railways that are not obvious to the casual visitor. One of them is the line between Clapham Junction and Richmond. The neophite would go to Victoria or Waterloo and take a train but if you look closer there is a direct train service that takes about 10 minutes and runs many times and hour from Clapham Junction, albeit from the further reaches of the station, to Richmond.
I have fond connections of this town on the River Thames. At one point I had a close friend who lived there just a few minutes walk from the river. There is enough money around to ensure and abundance supply of very good whole food shops, quality cafes and pop-up stalls. It is famous for a flooding by the riverside at spring tides and it gave me a certain amount of perverse pleasure to see cars having been parked on a slip way to find themselves flooded.
In contrast to Saturday, it was pleasant enough on Sunday though it could have been a trifle warmer but at least it was not raining.
Here we have an image form some of the memories which hopefully speak for themselves. I will make a comment only where necessary.
Below, a Wholefood store well up to Central London standards if not towards the higher end. Because the turnover is so high and the customers so affluent, have a decent buffet both hot and cold. However, you pay per 100 grams rather like they do in the USA so you can top up a bill of 10 pounds very easily. the to find food that is nutritious but not heavy so mashed potatoes would not be a good idea for example.
I had a coffee while Francoise had some lunch. The server of the latte was I think a Greek lady and she was super efficient and obviously used to dealing with large volumes of busy and impatient people. I told her in my usual outrageous way that she was the best in Richmond and she responded with a laugh and a smile. I’m not happy when I see people in shops being treated like things and abused. Having said that, most of the people in Richmond are very well behaved. Tourists do rather stand out.
This is the most interesting outlet – as it happens from Denmark. The only person on duty was a security guard. No staff. There was no provision for a counter. All there was were three automated check out stations. It must be said that all the goods were how shall we say inexpensive. It was clear that this was a new style or model of selling. They reckon that the losses from pilfering were less costly than having a member of sales staff in attendance. In a posh area like Richmond, thievery is unlikely so they have done their sums and come up with the most profitable equations. If it works for them, then fine.
Today according to my app. We had walked 11,020 steps. We were both getting tired. I stubbed my fourth toe on my left leg the morning of departure and it has not forgiven me since. I have therefore taken to wearing a comfortable shoe with no socks. Francoise’s left leg was also suffering so we decided to call it a day.
To Richmond Station. The next train to Clapham Junction was in 8 minutes. I cannot believe this luxury of frequent service. In Somerset where we are, buses are either once an hour or once every 30 minutes. It is not really worth carrying around a time table with you because the most you would have to wait for anything is between 10 and 15 minutes.
On the return train journey I noticed a young lady of African descent doing some knitting. As it’s my policy and practice I speak to anyone who is doing anything remotely creative. It easier but it is even easier with someone else in my case a female partner otherwise women that I approach wonder what my motive is. I do not take it personally in this case because people are so traumatized and untrusting these days. I had a good chat with her and asked her what she was making and so on and I christened her the Queen of Knitting just for fun. I like to bring a smile to people’s faces if I can.
When I attended in London the last time – I think it was about nine months ago – people were still suffering from trauma of covid, looking down, not making eye contact and generally miserable. This time people are much more cheerful and communicative. We saw one or two isolated souls who continue to wear masks, because they feel safer, but as anyone should know by now masks do not prevent anyone from getting anything and are in fact a health hazard because of the accumulation of germs in the ideal environment of the damp which results when you breathe out.
It is a complete waste of time talking to these people because they are hypnotized with fear so I just send them some love and hope that one day they will realize what they are doing
This will be a day traveling by bus since our destination is also in the south east of London. The weather was not particularly good so we took our umbrella and waterproof top just to make sure. It became too windy to use the umbrella without doing a Mary Poppins.
The Interchange between buses and trams is three or four stops away from the bus stop right out side the end of our road. To the Interchange and we took a 415 bus with a journey time of about 25 minutes.
My sister had told me that the quality of shopping in Bromley was currently better than Croydon. I concurred with her because as we had seen that so many shops have closed apart from fast food outlets, the inevitable Wetherspoons, hair salons for men and women, phone repair shops and nail saloons. This cohort does not make for a beautiful High Street but as I say Bromley is totally another matter. A very far-sighted investor put a lot of money on huge shopping centres and this seems to have paid off. There are very few charity shops compared with a number of ordinary functioning shops.
We had the privilege of waiting in line at Primark to buy a set of five socks made in China for £5. Pile them high, sell ’em cheap.
In the main shopping centre which must have about 100 units we found a pop-up run gallery by the Bromley artist Collective or some such title. We spoke to the manager of the day, a very nice lady from Kosovo, to find that the artworks rotated every couple of weeks so they were really making the most of the space.
I got talking with an artist called Jules Pew who was looking forward to a complete change of life by moving up to Newcastle to be nearer her son. She is very well traveled and has been in many countries and it was a privilege to meet with her. I loved her image of Prince along with others. (see image below). She really has caught him in a reflective mood that most people would not see. Her website is here.
I would have bought one of her works but our place at home is full of stuff. May I should rotate my art works as well.
After much pontificating and mumbling into my beard I came across a cafe not unrelated in name to the area from which I come, Somerset. I decided that that was enough reason to have a meal and we both had a spanakopita which is the Greek name for the filo spinach and ricotta pie.
I spotted another poor innocent person as a possible victim of my humor. I saw that the male partner was very tidy about clearing up after his meal. He left with a used plate of remnants. I teased the mother of the child that he was very conscientious and asked if he was like this all the time. She agreed but semi apologetically as if being tidy is some sort of crime. She was Polish and Polish people definitely have different senses of humour. Ah well I can but try.
Today has been characterized by seeing a lot of happy nuclear family units and it is a definite counter valency to all the gloomy news we read in the main stream media’ MSM’ about people misbehaving.
We walked down the high street and had to wait a whole nine minutes for a bus which took us pleasantly through the countryside to the intersection point near my sisters house. The whole journey took about 40 minutes. We cooked supper and watched much TV. I did not sleep well at all because my fourth toe which had been stubbed was giving me enough pain to stop me sleeping. I do not like to move around at night when I am a guest in someone else’s place but we managed.