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My regular eye(lea) injection at RUH in Bath

I rang my garage in Chippenham to find out that the central control module on my Volvo was indeed defunct, so I gave the go-ahead for a new one which may be sourced locally (overnight) or from Sweden (six days). It is indeed a relief to have a positive diagnosis. I guess the bill will be £1500

For those of you who are not my regular readers I have wet macular degeneration in my left eye and need treatment to stabilize it. It is very rare for isuch conditions to reverse  but 43 injections at regular intervals for the past 5 years have certainly prevented degeneration.

The macula in the human eye is the place where light is focused by the structures in the front of the eye (cornea & lens). It takes the picture that is sent to the brain, where vision is completed. The macula provides us with the ability to read and see in great detail whereas the rest of the retina provides peripheral vision.

I turned up early for my 12.00 appointment – actually at 11.45. I was immediately seen for my appraisal which took about 5 minutes. Whilst in the waiting room I met a chap who seemed nervous. He nearly fell over backwards when I told him this was my 43rd injection. It turned out it was only his third. I assured him about the quality and reliability of service. He joked about his imaginings of what the procedure was like when compared with the reality of the actual injection.

The consultant was very gentle, kept talking during the procedure, and before I know it it was done. I know it because I see soap bubbles in my eyes. I was out by 12.10

Before hopping on the bus to Bath itself I enjoyed lunch at the re-opened restaurant.  During the ***demic only the staff were allowed to use it but now it is open to all and sundry.  I had roast pork and apple with roast potatoes and various greens including brussel sprouts together with a delicious brad and butter pudding for £9.10. A bit more than I expected. Evidently the vegetables are now charged for separately.

It is good to see plenty of foreign tourists in the city. I indulged myself by having an Italian ice-cream, a large slice of carrot cake and a very good coffee. The weather was hot to very hot but with the maximum temperatures happening Friday and Saturday.

Back home on the 174, a shower, and the last part of the day spent doing very little (I don’t count writing this diary).




A day of resolution

Just finished watching a longer video (don’t let that put you off) about all aspects of the covid-19 virus. The more the time goes by, the more clarity is associated with the actual turn of events. Have a visit here.

Today I have solved two problems; my non-functioning printer and my semi-functioning mobile phone (OnePlus 6). My Epson Pixma printer would not work.  I just realised that if the colour cartridge is entirely empty the printer will not start, even if it is only black and white that is required. Solution – press the red button for at least five seconds.  This will cause the green continuity button to stop blinking and hey presto – printing can resume.

The other problem was far more annoying.  My mobile did not catch on to the Internet and stalled when trying to receive data. I received all sorts of error messages, time out warnings etc. I went along to a local mobile phone/internet shop and paid for a health check. £30 is not bad. I had no viruses but there were four apps that were suspicious and were removed.  When I got home the problem was still unsolved.

People say all sorts of things about YouTube but it is a valuable resource for advice on almost anything you care to name from cutting trees to repairing your car. I searched for my problem ‘mobile phone difficulty in connecting to internet One Plus’ and got a couple of videos back.  An Indian chap speaking very fast talked me through, suggesting I reset to the defaults (not factory reset). I did this on the SIM and on the software in general. Hey presto the whole thing worked like a rocket.  I had thought the signal strength was deficient but no that was not the problem.

Anyway I can breathe a sigh of relief.  Breathing is a very good idea with the weather set to be not far short of 40 degrees later this week.

The last major thing is my car. I returned it to Chippenham last Thursday and realistically I expected it to be started on yesterday Monday. We are managing fairly well but our allotment is over a mile away and it is tedious to have to walk to and fro in the heat. Lets hope I get ‘that phone call’ from the delightful Chris to tell me they are making progress. I am prepared to pay more than £1000 for a new control modem.

I can’t believe how the second hand car market has changed in the last couple of years.  There is virtually nothing left unless you have £10k to spend. Maybe the government have been buying up old cars. I would not put anything past them.




A wonderful day in – Clevedon – and – Portishead

We decided to celebrate Francoise birthday one day ahead (Saturday 6th August) so – still car-less – we arose early and took the 07.49 178 bus to Bristol, and then the 10.10 X7 bus to Clevedon. Non-Brit readers please indulge me. Brits know that such places are not the epitomy of sophistication or glamour but there were many delights in store for us.

I made a vow that I would speak to as many people as possible with the aim of giving them a ‘lift’ – mainly through gay banter and humor. It is just plain fun and gives an extra dimension to the day.

We met a man at our local bus stop who  through coincidence had a plaque dedicated to his father on Clevedon Pier so we said we would pay our respects. Later… although he told us that the plaque was two thirds of the way up on the left, we did not realize the magnitude of our search. There are over 15,000 of them. I estimated it would take the best part of a day to search especially as some of them were dull with age and barely readable.

Met two Jehovah Witnesses on the sea front. They were two of the nicest JW people I had ever met. They were non pushy, non confrontational, and rather wanted to share  their view of life, the universe and everything. We chatted for about 20 minutes. I felt they were really listening to us and not trying to push stuff down our throat.

We met a cheery couple on the pier, this time from Wales. She had taken the week off from a sports centre in Birmingham. Last night they stayed in the Forest of Dean area and highly recommended the Miners Arms, a gastro pub 200 yards away from the hotel where they stayed.

We met a highly motivated volunteer called Jim. He told us of the Great storm in 1990 where a spring high tide coincided with a strong on shore wind. Gardens of the homes on the front were flooded.

We had a celebratory lunch on the pier with no less that one and a half fish on the plate with batter that was so thin and crisp it did not adversely affect the stomach.

No question that the pier is a strong community in itself, but definitely kept alive by volunteers.

We wandered around the compact town centre. One street is quite posh – the Oxford Street of the area, called Hill Road. Many niche shops. We found a micro pub called The Fallen Tree and spent some happy time talking to the server.  They were very proud of the locality of their ales.  Strangely, they have no website but can be easily found in this short street. It is Number 15, and BS21 7PD if you are interested.

We found the bus that took us to Portishead. Not a dump as I had thought. A lively port with a huge Marina. We visited a lifeboat station and in particular the shop associated with it. They do a great job.

We caught the X4 bus at 17.10  then a connecting bus from Bristol 18.10 arriving home 19.20. The X4 is the only local bus that I know that includes travel along the M5.

I could just about get used to being without a car except for my gardening work.  Mind you, we are somewhat lulled into a sense of ease. What about the weather which for 9 months of the year is either cold or indifferent.




Two bills on the same day

I hate receiving demands for money especially unexpected ones.

The first one was however expected. As my car is not working I have to rent a hire car for an event next weekend, 13th August.  I hire from a local firm. The day hire for the smallest car with one driver is £39.99 per day with unlimited mileage. We are responsible for the first £750 of damage. I must pay a £200 deposit which is refundable.

The second one was half expected. I had an accident in May and lost a no claims bonus from 20 years to 3 years. The new company have received the amended no claims bonus. I must pay another £176 including a £50 admin fee. My BIG mistake was not insuring the no claims bonus. We live and learn.

You wait ages for a bus and then three come along at once.  Something like that.




An unexpectedly good day in Chippenham

Today is the day when we have to have faith and determination. We are setting sail in our magnificent Volvo to a garage 26 miles away.  We left shortly after 9am. The engine fired up as normal.  I drove carefully and steadily, too carefully for some drivers whom I annoyed by going at a steady 40 mph.

Slowly but surely the electrics failed. All was lit at first, then we lost the rev counter, then the speedometer, then the petrol gauge followed by the auto gear box sync, then the indicators.  We were left only with the electric windows as we gently entered the forecourt and parked.

Chris Fortt, the After Sales manager of MRG Chippenham, was professionalism personified. He assured us that he would do his utmost to assist, whilst hinting that it was probably the main control module that would need to be replaced (£1,000 +). I am glad to pay that because second hand Volvos are almost non-existent. Everyone is hanging on to them or maybe they have all been taken to the scrap heap in the sky.

We wandered into the centre and found a coffee shop for coffee and morning snacks. We came across a very lively man called Mikey who was fully up to speed on all things 5G. He had just successfully complained against a new mast proposal outside a local school. We had 15-20 minutes of animated conversation. It is so lovely and empowering to meet someone on the same wavelength. He was from Liverpool and knew Mark Steel, the 5G campaigner from Newcastle. We discussed the use of Common Law. Mikey said that most courts do not understand it so it can be a waste of time and effort.

We then visited the local museum, incredibly well designed and informative. Chippenham goes back to Roman times (at least). There was an exhibition of etchings of such high quality I could hardly believe my eyes.

We then visited the wonderful and spacious St Andrews Church. We felt welcomed as soon as we walked in. The church was very wide. There were no pews but comfortable chairs. I talked with a very informative and accommodating volunteer. He said the Sunday morning services attracted between 80 and 90 people.  For some reason the Victorians had moved the organ from the rear of the church to an area to the left of the choir.  To move it back would cost about half a million pounds. Instead they are appealing for a rebuild of the organ in its present position. They need about £250,000

After a tour of various second hand (pre-loved) shops,  off to the bus station to check return buses. They are XX.10 and XX.40 but do go round all the back streets to pick up and drop off local passengers. We then went to Wetherspoons via a community hub and had a couple of drinks and a small lunch of fish and chips. I treated myself to an apple crumble with custard. It was rather flat as in having been sat on, having been bombarded with microwaves. It was delicious never the less.

To Bath on the bus X31 which we caught at a stop by the main train station. . We thought of going by train but at £10 single it had limited appeal so our bus passes won the day.  We had a coffee and cake down by the river. Trips on the River Avon last an hour and cost £11 for an adult so we shall do a trip in the not too distant future.

PS I love this video of a newscaster breaking out into laughter about a court case.

I really enjoyed today. We were free of worry about the car. They either fix it or we have them take it to the recycle. I don’t mind how modest a holiday is, it is the break from routine that is the gift. A sunny day helps.




Egg on my face

So I call up the RAC to get them to tow me to Chippenham, where a Volvo dealer has agreed to sort out my grand old Volvo. I tried first thing this morning, last night and the night before that and the engine was as dead as a dodo. No power, no electrics.

I called the RAC about 9.30 am.  You get text messages every half hour to tell us of progress (or lack of it). At 2.45 pm they showed up.  I was lower down in the priority list as I was calling from home. They have staff difficulties at the moment. All with children are taking them on holiday. The agents themselves have 6 weeks holiday p.a. so who can blame them.

I tried the engine just before he arrived and blow me down it started perfectly. I had to admit this. He just about believed me. He did a code reading and as a result I was told of two intermittent faults. As the car was technically in running order he could not transport me to Chippenham.

Depressing.

I will live to see another day but tomorrow Thursday we shall attempt the journey.  If we break down on the way the RAC can tow me the rest of the distance.  Fingers crossed in advance.




The operation that wasn’t

If there is one thing I am really nervous about or should I say anxious about and that is missing appointments. Today I had an important appointment with the local hospital to have an inguinal hernia repaired. I had this done before ,a couple of years ago but as I was under general anaesthetic I knew very little about it but the whole experience of the hospital, in Peasedown, was positive.

We had set our alarms for 5:30 in the morning as we had to be there at 7 am We took the 6.15 bus to Peasedown arriving at about 6:30 and walked across a housing estate to the Sulis hospital which is part national health and part private. Although I had taken two lateral flow tests as instructed they still wanted another one taken the same day so in spite of my following orders I had to go through the same rigmarole again. I was taken downstairs to the the preparation area about 7:15, told to change, and sat there waiting.

I had been asked to wear a mask. Foolish thing to do with me.  I noticed that some of the nurses were not wearing masks. The rules (still) are that you have to wear something protective in the operation areas. I was asked to wear a larger plastic version – one of those that steams up when you breathe.

My blood pressure is within the normal limits but when a nurse came to take it it becomes some ridiculous figure like 180/110, far higher than would be allowed for an operation under general anaesthetic. I knew this was going to happen so I kept a record over 12 days of my blood pressure readings and they were well within the normal levels.

Whilst waiting I heard some talk in the background that someone has not turned up and so the surgeon would not be able to deliver his care to people until 9 a.m. About 9:45 a senior nurse told me that the agency anaesthetist had not showed up. Everyone else was waiting to start but were of course unable to do so. At 10:30,  three nurses visited me to tell me the news that I would have to get dressed and go home again and they would arrange another appointment for me. In the event this was done on the spot and I am now booked in on the afternoon of Friday 19th of August.

I assured them that I was accepting of the whole situaton and I did understand that this type of thing probably happens from time to time. They told me, au contraire, that it was a very rare event and were embarrassed to have to give me the news. I was compensated by a substantial tomato and cheese sandwich with side salad and a cup of fresh coffee.

Mercifully my condition is not life-threatening and although uncomfortable at times does not give me any pain so I was quite happy to come back  – it is after all only another couple of weeks. We wandered back to the bus stop, sampling a generous supply of blackberries along the way, and went home.

A wasted day?  More a different day. Nothing was lost.

Meanwhile, a harrowing series of testimonies from those who have suffered from the effects of the covid ‘vaccination’  When will people wake up?  Probably for most when it is too late.

My car is due for an electrical service tomorrow Wednesday. Alas when I tried to start it, it did not.  The odd light came on. It has been out of action since mid June.  How much longer?




There are generous people around 25:49

So, our wonderful ladies have won the European football competition here in Wembley. 2-1.  This is a day for celebration but also as Ian Wright (x footballer) said this should be the start of gaining more recognition for the game starting with the lower levels.

I am winding down my day as I write. My hernia operation is to take place Tuesday morning less than 48 hours away so I am being quiet. Amazing what you can find on YouTube (and distressing what you cannot). Try this for a cheer up.  The Most GENEROUS Undercover bosses. After the ghastly daily events and promises of more to come this is a topic indeed.

I have been suffering from anxiety for some time, maybe because I over-fuss about the state of the world. Francoise is assisting with doing exercises. They are very simple but are very helpful for relaxation and breathing.

My car which was seen by a most helpful garage in Chippenham gives up the ghost electric-wise when it has been driving for about 20 minutes. I am seeing the local electrical wiz in whom I have put my faith. It has been four weeks since we have driven the car so in the meantime we have learned to adapt and use the buses more.




Papa’s Restaurant + walking barefoot on the beach

I have just received a wonderful video called ‘the Earthing Movie: The Remarkable Science of Grounding. It extols the benefits of walking bare footed. Running time 1:15:32

Anyway, I digress.

I cannot remember the last time I had a rock fish. I was sitting in one of Weston-super-Mare most famous fish and chip shops, how to order a large cod, when I saw the opportunity of rock and this brought back so many memories to me. The mind is an extraordinary thing. I remember the taste and feel of my previous experience and compared it with what was served. It was certainly up to the mark.

We decided that we would have a day off off. Today Saturday is the 23rd of July. I realized I needed a day away from it so we decided to travel by bus. We had no choice as my car is still in for service, We planned our route meticulously. We took the local bus 173 from Midsomer to Wells, then another bus from Wells to Weston-super-Mare. The Direct journey between the two would have taken 47 minutes by car. The journey took about two and a half hours. We were richly rewarded by the sights from the upper Deck of the double-decker buses and the difference in perspective it gives. I like looking into people’s gardens.

Weston is not the most brilliant seaside resort on the planet but I see that the Council have done their best to smarten up the town centre and the civic area with its Winter Gardens.  We were blessed with fair weather. When the tide is down it is very down extending to miles of mudflats but it was half way up, covering most of the mud but allowing us to walk along the rather decent and clean sand. Following the advice of the grounding idea above we enjoyed a long stroll along the length of the beach.

The only thing I missed was a decent ice cream.

We returned via Bristol, the X1 was the bus, and took about 50 minutes. I got the time table wrong so instead of taking the 178 directly to Midsomer we went via the express bus to Bath and then onward home. A lovely day with such a bonus of not having to drive.




carless and quietist

There is a lot to be said for being quiet. I am incentivized to do this because for the third week in a row I have no car. Tomorrow my nearest garage with skilled Volvo people (Chippenham) will call me to tell me of my fate. One morning the car starts, the next morning everything is dead. I suspect the main electronic control unit. A replacement is a mere £1200  and must come from Sweden. Second hand Volvos have disappeared over the past two years. I am aware of the campaign to get rid of such monsters and replace them with hybrid or battery powered cars.

I would never have a battery car because a) to make them takes so many raw materials and energy b) when I do long runs I dont want to end up stuck c) the cost of charging is significant d) the battery is the most expensive element in  a car if it goes wrong.  I am being robbed blind by petrol tax but better the devil you know …..

Slight chance of subject – this is how crop circles are made (mostly Wiltshire, UK) by the Pleiadians and/or the Arcturians  See the link here. 

This afternoon I watched ‘the Gospel According to St Matthew’ by Pier Paolo Pasolini (1964).  2h 17m.  It is shot in black and white and has very little dialogue. The characters are very believable and I found myself becoming emotional several times.

Talk of more covid lockdowns in the autumn, more variants. What happened to our immune system. Why do they tell us that vaccinations do not prevent being infected or spreading the infection, at the same time as getting us to have more jabs.




In the midst of a mini heat wave – heart transplants

We are due to be about 38 degrees today Tuesday 19th July. Such temperatures are more normal in Australia where you can have such events lasting for 6 weeks and no one thinks twice about it. We are strange in the UK in that we cannot cope with temperature fluctuations. It is not the end of the world, it is not indicative of climate change (climate changes all the time in case you did not know), it has nothing do with ‘Zero Carbon’. The zealots do not know what life would be like without carbon dioxide. We would all be dead. ‘Nature’s fertilizer’ as David Bellamy said.

So, a day to catch up on my diary writing. As I write at 10 am the heat is creeping in and making me slightly breathless.

I had an unpleasant job yesterday. I had to give someone notice on the allotments that I run. Annoyance turned to frustration to anger on my part. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when I realized that the person concerned had no interest in the welfare of anyone else but himself. I was told a long time ago that I will bend but I will never break. How true.  I am waiting for a blast of objections, or perhaps denial. I had to deliver the news to them – he and his wife. I wrote a 6-7 page judgement and put it through the door yesterday.  I wish people would consider the results of what they do. Some people have to learn the hard way.

Great article about organ transplants. In a nutshell, consciousness is transferred.

Another case is an 18-year-old girl who received a heart from an 18-yearold male musician who played the guitar and died in a car accident. She could never play music before, but now all she wanted in life was to learn to play the guitar. “I felt it in my heart,” she said. “My heart had to play.”

You can read the whole article here.




A day in boiling Bristol at the Harbour Festival

We have not been to Bristol for the best part of a year so we thought we might as well go along to an advertised festival. One of the problems with Bristol is that 5G is blasting from every point so I have come to recognize the familiar heavy sick feeling of the GHz radiation. No protecting myself from it; when I leave I need to make sure that I ground myself by walking in bare feet on the earth itself as this somehow dissipates the charge.

Bristol is very heavily woke and there are many advertising signs for black lives matter, examples of numerous black people who have changed the course of history or featured in it.

One thing I know is that I don’t like crowds. The only positive thing I can say is that no one was wearing a mask. However I did spot two people among the thousands that were there but on this boiling really hot day who wants to make their breathing more difficult.

We had the opportunity to go round a sailing ship and a steam power barge which was designed 150 years ago go. It was interesting enough but I soon became hungry so we went to the ginormous 500 seater, the Za Za buffet restaurant on the harbour front. We paid £13.95 each for an all-you-can-eat meal. We got a ticket for 1:30 pm and we were allowed to remain in the restaurant until 3:15 pm which I consider to be generous. The food was good and fresh and I went back about 6 times for refills. This is not a restaurant that you could take someone to on a first date. There are many children there. They were well behaved but noisy but we took it in the happy spirit that was meant. The music was full-on so were given a place in a corner where we could at least hear each other speak.

We were there for about 3 hours and I got rather tired walking about; Françoise has difficulty with her hip and knee and finds walking long distances difficult so that has to be accommodated. We caught the 178 bus which goes round the houses via Keynsham but lands us a couple of streets away from our home in Midsomer Norton. The bus had no air conditioning and on this hot day the top deck was like a furnace roasted by the sun. We took refuge downstairs.

I was to have had a hernia operation but it was put off because my blood pressure was too high but it has been fixed again for the 2nd of August so in this day and age this is not so bad. I have to be there at 7 a.m. On that day I’m not allowed to come home by taxi as I could faint and the taxi driver would not be able to help me.

My hitherto trusted Volvo V70 has got a fault in one of the electronic circuit boards. Because of its age in may cost a Four figure sum to replace it and very few mechanics do old cars.  We took it to Bristol Volvo from our local garage who did not have the diagnostic equipment but the Bristol people could not help so we had to go back there, pick it up and drive it as best we could do a place in Chippenham about 25 miles away.

My thoughts and prayers were trusting that we would get where we needed to be and sure enough we arrived at our garage destination more by luck than judgement. There it will stay until the middle of next week when someone will pay attention to it.

It is disadvantageous to be without a car. I’m not paying 50 or 60 pounds a day to take a rental car if we can manage by buses and walking. Unfortunately, I cannot earn a living this way as we cannot carry our garden tools around on a bus but hopefully this will last only a few days and our car will be back with us safe and sound. It is a 2003 model so a part of me is accepting that we may have to buy another car car. The second hand car market has become transformed in that there are far fewer second-hand around that they are going for higher prices. I can find virtually no Volvo V70’s.

 

 




An enforced break from work

I have just returned from a pre-medical visit at the Sulis Centre, a branch of the NHS, in Peasedown here in Somerset.  It was an hour’s worth of appointment and it flew by.  I am having  hernia operation next week and for many reasons which I assume not being sued I had to go over all my details including any past insults to the body, all medications, any allergies.
As I am to be under general Anesthetic, a particular set of rules of fitness apply.

At the meeting with the nurse, the topic of covid came up and I gave my 5-minute summary on the less well -known aspects of it i.e. the politics and corruption behind the scenes. The nurse who was from Romania was on board and felt able to express her doubts.  She had to have the vaxx to keep working but I guessed from her demeanor that she had one of the placebo batches.   My blood pressure was high at 206/84 so I had to promise to do readings on a daily basis on my own and report back by Friday to enable the operation to take place (due 13th July)

I since was told that this the higher reading most affected by anxiety – deep rooted or otherwise – and I can bring it down by relaxing, breathing and positive visualization.  So I lay on my bed for 5 minutes, breathed in and out, and tested myself. The reading went down to 164.

This weekend I am having my beloved ZOOM / Red Pill members to a weekend with me. There will be about 10 of us. I shall be delivering a talk about how to give more effective lectures. By coincidence I found a video by Alan Watts: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ. The quality of his speaking voice makes me sentimental for the times that people spoke ‘Queen’s English’ using complete sentences instead of the procession of like- sort of – I’m er – that makes modern speech so irritating to listen to.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ioPgq0mp8U

I love the bit where he says to speak with authority is to speak as the author and take responsibility for the content. The connection is so obvious that I never put the two together.  “To be original is not to be freaky but to speak from the origins. That is what Christians mean when they say ‘ to speak in the spirit’, to have our mouth possessed by the Holy Spirit”

Wonderful stuff. And how the audience responds.

Most of my gardening jobs I quote for I get. Occasionally someone calls me and says they have got someone else. This from the timing point of view is not possible. In those cases there is another reason that they are not telling me. I never argue. Instead I congratulate them on their choice and wish them all the best.

Last weekend we went to Frome where there was a combined art trail a grand street market spanning most of the small roads that comprise the city, combined with a photographic exhibition plus musical events with local bands in the evening.

I was in paradise as I could practice my specialty, talking to and joking with complete strangers. If you are the same wavelength as the other party then it does not matter whether you know them or whether they are a complete stranger.




A brief vacation in Wales

Saundersfoot to be precise.  It’s just north east of Tenby, along the south coast. My goodness what traffic jams we saw on the way down on Sunday (5th June). Miles and miles of cars and lorries on the M4. Agreed this was the last day of an extended holiday for the Queen’s Jubilee. And this phenomenon on the day that petrol (well, diesel) hit £2 per litre. One pound of that goes to the UK Government. I wonder why they are not in any hurry to address the situation.

Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire

I wrote up my hotel stay on Trip Advisor.  I have written close to 2,000 reviews over the years with a two year pause for covid. Have a peep here and scroll down until you see the reviews section.   We were very tired – cumulative fatigue from not having had a break for two years. Alas, we enjoyed only one night’s sleep out of five nights. We wondered if there was some sort of magnetic or electronic interference similar to the same heavy metal feeling that I experience in Bristol, where there is a lot of 5G.

Having returned home I feel that there was some healing effect though it did not seem like it at the time. I suffered bouts of stomach bloating which prevented me from having a last night of the holidays decent meal in one of the handful of hotels and restaurants open in the evening for the public. I have had to cut out alcohol, and all dairy products including cheese (strangely, goats cheese is all right).

The sound of the sea always has had a therapeutic effect on me, as does sitting in front of a live wood fire. I find the whole process of gathering wood, lighting a fire, nurturing it and letting it mature, to seeing the embers and imagining scenes a la Dante’s Inferno from within.

When I am on vacation I make a note of the tasks I need to complete when I return home. This keeps things off my mind and I can relax more.  Today Saturday 11th June we went to Shepton Mallet to enjoy the annual town fayre. We visited the Aldi Supermarket on the return and I bought some walking sticks (sticks for walking, Norwegian style) which I would have found helpful on the very up and down walks along the coastal path of Pembrokeshire. It is a sort of safety thing as I am occasionally wobbly when I walk especially on damp uneven ground.

Incidentally I discover it has been government policy to close all information bureaux throughout the country. I was first aware of this possibility in  Tenby where we wandered around like lst souls looking for one only to be told that it had closed two years ago.

I am writing a talk called ‘How to give better talks’. Funny – such things come into my mind from goodness knows where and I just have to write down what occurs to me.  I suppose its like writing poetry or music. I am inspired and it does not take much effort to make notes.




So many things to do

I am listening to a Finnish video “Something in the air – The cell phone radiation documentary”.  Youtube have an evil way of keeping our attention. They keep a record of all that we have watched and tempt us to continue by introducing videos in the same genre.

There are normally 8 hours in a working day. Mine are – on and off – about 10 hours most of which are spent in front of the computer.  My day is not that different at week-ends save we tend to go out more on at leat one day. We aim to attend the ‘Stand in the Park’ informal meetings at 10 am on Sundays.

From the practical point of view I do not have to do gardening but I like to keep my current account topped up and physical exercise is good for us both.  The Powers that Be are trying to starve us into submission through a combination of food shortages, steep increase in prices of food, increased taxes on the price of gas (petrol) not to mention council tax and travel by train.

With gardening it is difficult to estimate what the job can charge. Everyone has different circumstances but some claim that they cannot afford something when in fact they just don’t like spending money.  I state a price that I prepared to work for and if it is too much then I leave the job.   I do not accept money until the customer says they are happy with what we (Francoise and I) have done.

Francoise’s’ french passport has run out. She can only renew it by visiting one of the consulates in UK of which there are two, London and Edinburgh.  There are currently 250,000 people waiting for appointments in London. You have to enter their rather badly designed website, look at the calendar, and gap a slot when it becomes available. Due to the pressure, slots remain unfilled for only a few seconds.    (Updates happen daily between 11 and 12 am). It is a nerve-wracking experience. The earliest offer was late June but that disappeared. the second one was mid July and that disappeared also. Its a bit like an auction. There is no allowance for delay.

My stomach continues to give problems.   For some reason my beloved home made bread is the main culprit. the offending item is barley. I might as well swallow poison. The results drain my energy. I survive by taking sodium bicarbonate and putting a hot water bottle on my stomach.

I am also interested in the latest healing methods. How many have heard of the med bed? This is a pleadians inspired technology. Try this. ‘Everything MED BEDS’. Be prepared to be amazed.

I do need to look after my body which includes regular walks, treatments, meditations even – anything to keep my humanity at full strength.  I await the future fear mongering embodied in the Monkey-pox manufactured and weaponized by the powers that be.  I hope enough people will recognize it for what it is – a complete scam to justify lockdowns and yet more vaccinations and top ups.

Garden and allotment duties keep me occupied also. Not everyone maintains their plot and I have to chide them. No one likes to do this but if they dont respond to emails or phone calls I have to up the pressure. Fortunately I am not seeking popularity. Someone has to do it.

From my research point of view there are so many papers to read in addition to the daily news inflow that I have to catalogue and enter into my web site if appropriate.




Saturday evening – I am tired, or is it fatigued?

I escaped to our allotment today – anything to make a change from my four walls / computer screen. You may ask – why not walk away? The topic is so fascinating that I cannot wait to see the next chapter of the book of death. By that I mean the death of the human society through lies, bribery, evil of the utmost extreme. You think I am kidding? Watch out for the food shortages which are already hitting us but mainly intended for Africa to kill vast numbers of useless eater through starvation.

Monday morning I leave on my own to spend time with friends, the group I have known for 40 years, and relax. There are topic to be discussed which have arisen and I hope I can deal with them with equanimity.

Someone from the UK won the Euro lotto -a record £186m. If I win I have already worked out what I would do with it. I would give large amounts away and spend the rest on social change and improvement.

Yesterday was the first day of The Bath Festival which lasts a week. There were many – about 60 – musical groups of all types. The quality was variable but everyone was out enjoying themselves. A find that all food and drink is priced way over the top but hey it is an occasion and the money is well earned by those willing to take a risk.  The weather was clear if a little windy.

I went to one of the participating churches ‘St Michael Without’ which was more like a restaurant . there were easy chairs, a servery at the back offering food and drink. Yes, I could tell it was a church because there was an alter. Noisy musicians play at their peril – and the peril of the audience. There are two factors – the acoustics and the echo. Churches are designed for sacred music and for the single voice -sung or spoken.  Everything else like a jazz band is a horrible mess sound-wise.   We escaped to Queen Square and Parade gardens to listen to more music.

We parked at the Odd Down Park and Ride and bused into town. The last bus back is 00.08 so you can have a long evening if you so choose.




More trouble with the neighbours

So we turn up for day two of the Paulton job. It is a joy to do it but there is a certain lingering of the husband of the customer who died 10 years ago.

We had much to burn so started the bonfire about 11am. The wind was fickle and changed direction in an  unpredictable way.  We heard a shout over the back fence. The woman was incoherent but basically said ‘everyone has their washing hanging out and will have to put it away while you have your fire. You should have the fire after 6pm.  I retorted that the 6pm rule was a myth and that there were no fixed hours for having bonfires. Our local authority asks for reasonable consideration of others (fair enough).

My client went upstairs and said that no one had washing hanging out.   The husband of the complainant then came  round and complained again, trying to use moderate language. (my client is 82 y. old).  They had a lively discussion. My client said others complained about the activities of her grand children so why not adapt. She said that her fires were very rare.  The neighbor to our right offered to support us. The neighbor to the left is a misery, the wife as bad as the husband. The ones opposite were also unpleasant. They said they would report me to the authorities.  I invited them to do so.

It strikes me how boring and meaningless people’s lives are  that they cannot adapt to a small amount of smoke for a couple of hours. Our work was put back so we will have to resume Monday afternoon.

As on Thursday the weather was perfect, even hot, and I drank three cups of tea and then one whole pint of water. Someone said we lose a liter of water an hour during hot weather.

Back home to flop in front of the TV (I suppose it would be foolish to flop behind it). I made a wok of rice, shrimps, mixed vegetables, soy sauce and 3 eggs. It went down well though I admit I stuffed myself.

We shall finally return Monday 2pm to do the bonfire.  Not a lot of money but enough for the gas/elect bill, petrol and the Sky Internet,phone, landline bill.  I wonder what the bills will be in 2025 when they abolish landlines.




A gardening job with difficult neighbours

We went to do a garden clearing job for a fellow congregant who owns a house in Paulton.  It is a lovely job. Since the passing of her husband ten years ago the garden has not been tended and has become overgrown. The lawn had become a field and all the bushes were over run with ivy and brambles.

We reckon there is about 24 hours work. At a rough guide, you need one day of remedial work per year of abandonment of a garden. We wanted to make a bonfire and here our situation became interesting.  I went to the neighbor on the right as I noticed that there was washing hanging out. That belonged to her daughter and she pro,ised that the washing would be removed. She commented that she did not like bonfires. It was not what she said but the dismissive way she said it. Maybe she does not think much of workers in general.

We lit the fire and it poured out a fair amount of smoke. The neighbor the other side spoke to me over the fence and said that I am not allowed to have bonfires until after 6pm.   This I know is not correct and I told him so. He raised his voice and said that he knew the rules. He clearly did not. I typed in BANES (local council) bonfire times. The first response –It is a common misconception that bonfires must be held after certain hours….

I carried on the fire. He later said that if I did not put it out he would spray the hose on it. I did call him some names. Not nasty ones – I think I called him a sad individual that should be happier – something like that.  He did get his hose out and made a half hearted attempt to spray the fire but the pressure was weak and the attempt flopped. I never saw him again.  My customer told me that he complains about everything – the grand children playing for example. Some are so bitter they are not happy unless they are grumbling about something.

Anyway we did 10 hours between us and will return Saturday to do some more. The weather was lovely with blue sky and a slight wind. Not much rain has fallen which means that the field experiment recently referred to stands a danger of failing without a water supply.




The North Somerset Show

It is in Failand, somewhat South West of Bristol. We set off at 9am and soon encountered monumental traffic jams. We moved one car’s length at a time down a side lane and it took 30 minutes to reach the main road.  I decided to leave the car and walk the mile or so to the show gates. I arrived 20 minutes before the car with its two occupants.

The problem with shows is that the quality and variety of the show depends on the rental charged. There should be two rates – one for community groups and one for commercial groups.  The latter held sway. The coffee bars, Cornish pasties,  Chinese food purveyors attracted long queues throughout the day and certainly made money.  I do not know why it is a one day show when like the Bath and Best show it could have easily been three days. By giving a lower rate to community and religious groups more colour could have been included.

It costs as much in foxed costs to hold a one day show as everything has to be hired and dismantled at the end. The charge for a family was £45. For adults it was £19. So the public, the exhibitors and the trial participants have to pay. I felt that £15 would have been more acceptable.

However there was plant do do. Features included horse and dog trials, and sheep and  cow competitions. There was a noisy drag competition where tractors had to pull a heavy load. Very noisy specially built tractors (or were at one point). Farmers are a special breed. They are inevitably tall and well built and have a certain stance that means that you don’t think of messing with them.

I have a new app on my Android  phone which shows the identity codes of mobile phones in the vicinity.  It can also detect people who have been vaccinated if there are significant amounts of graphene in their system. The maximum number in the range was 161. I do not do well being blasted by microwaves at the best of time.  I mitigated this by going without shoes for the 2.5 hour duration of our visit. It certainly enabled my body to drain away some of the effects.

We left around 2pm and people were still coming in. We visited the previously written Rockaway Park and enjoyed the trip back to the 1970’s.

Home to more Lasagna and chat. I introduced my guest to Long Island Medium’ where the medium gives public demonstrations on the reality of life after death.

An early night. We went to bed at 10 pm and slept through.




Glastonbury – Beltane and more on this Mayday (not M’aidez)

The celebrations started at sunrise or what would have been sunrise had we been able to see it. Dancing round the maypole and the like started 7.30 am. Celebrations were held all over the town.

We arrived about 9.30 am. We were joined by a visiting friend from Peterborough.  Sometimes you meet people and there is an obvious ‘click’. You have not met them before but they are familiar to you. No instructions are necessary. You just carry on from where you left off, whenever that was. This was the case with our friend.

We spent some time in the Chalice Well Garden itself where there was entertainment by way of singing and dancing. A plentiful supply of coffee and snacks was on offer.  People as ever were very approachable and I had half a dozen meaningful conversations. One was with an astrologer and writer, another with a dancer, and another from an Estonian lady who I complimented on her demeanor and happiness. Another had headgear in the shape of a ram.

We walked round the town introducing our friend to the main sites and sounds of the unique High Street. We then came across a number of druids, with their faces painted green a la the famous Green Man of old. We returned to Chalice Well for the midday celebration and had a quiet period of meditation for the welfare of the planet and its consciousness.

We finished our visit by a drink at the King Henry, one of the community establishments where it is a genuine pleasure to enter and mingle with like-minded people.

It requires several visits to Glastonbury to appreciate even a small fraction of what goes on.   We did not attempt the Tor as our friend’s back was stiff.

We returned home via Wells and prepared a meal, part of which was a lasagna prepared by our guest. We then sat round a brightly burning fire in the living room, whacked up the temperature by adding many logs, and went into a semi-somnambulent state.

 




Christian men’s group in Frome – and the forthcoming weekend

Yesterday evening, Thursday, I attended with 23 other men a talk about God and chaos at the Rugby Football club in Frome. It was a so called curry evening prepared by a very good cook who offered a mild chicken curry laced with coconut milk. Delicious. He got a round of applause at the end.

The speaker was James Carey. He earns most of his living income from writing comedy scripts for the BBC but has also written a number of books, all on the Christian theme. He had a remarkable way of bringing the New Testament – actually the whole bible – to life. I forgive him for being a creationist. He was refreshing and knowledgeable about the history of the church.

He talked about people ‘speaking in straight lines’ to each other which I found enlightening. Strange how small a stimulus is needed to help a soul in its journey. He talked about using the name of Jesus in discussions with others and said that few if any people had ridiculed him for so speaking.  He mentioned that Jesus asked 316 questions as reported in the New Testament. That gave me a good clue about how to deal with any controversial subject such as covid, the Ukraine etc.

He is giving another talk in a ‘Water into Wine’ event in Shepton Mallet on Saturday 25th June. Its at the St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, 7.30 pm, I shall attend that with Francoise.  £10 per head is a bit steep, but maybe I am behind the times.

This weekend we have a visitor called Rosemary.  She is very alive and alert. We will leave early on Sunday to partake of the celebrations in Glastonbury, not only the usual celebrations in Chalice Well, but Mayday celebrations in the town and hopefully a trip up the Tor. When close up it is much larger than it looks so some considerable effort is needed. You have to be fit.  Next time I go up I will count the steps…. No, I have been lazy and looked it up. There are 301.  If you want to be really fit try the 528 steps up to observatory at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Monday we go to the North Somerset Show, one of these huge farming/selling/animal judging/ arts and crafts events that you cant even get round in a day. Love it. How to do the bank holiday in style.




A day of unexpected lessons

09.00 To the men’s Christian group in Wetherspoons. For various reason there were only two of us there but we had a good 50 minute conversation.

I realized (again) that I am sensitive to the openness and the ability to listen of others. When the channels are open I am inspired to bring forth all sorts of ideas that I did not know ‘I’ had. I also get images which I pass on in good faith to the listener. I received the idea of the Whispering Gallery at St Paul’s Cathedral, London. The idea is that when you speak, you listen to the reactions silent or otherwise. This involves silence which most people cannot handle. Question – why not.

10.00 to the coffee morning at my local church (where I have attended very few actual services). There was discussion about the continuing nuisance of the two mentally challenged children of the vicar who are allowed to run round the church during sermons. Sometimes they scream, making it impossible to hear what is being said.  We think the vicar’s wife wears the trousers.  Complaints have been made to no avail.

One of the ladies, Doreen, asked me to come and help her with her garden. I gave her a lift to her house about 10 minutes away on foot. Since her husband died it had not been maintained and was in some dis-repair. She had a ride on mower which she invited me to use and offered to demonstrate it (the first time a female, let alone one over 80 years of age, has offered to demo a mower).  I said yes. I look forward to doing the job and getting it into a condition where she can maintain it herself.

13.30 off to RUH, our local hospital in Bath for my regular eye injection. It was a bit surreal as many were wearing masks both on the bus and in the hospital. In theatre, the comfy bed had been replaced by a chair which tipped back and rather uncomfortably supported my lower back. This new chair had arrived as evidently some of he women found it difficult to get on the old bed as it could not be lowered enough. The men had no such problem. Evidently the men did not like the new arrangement as much as the females.

Down in the staff canteen, at long last patients are being allowed in during meal times (before it was after 4.30 pm)  During Covid it was a strictly staff only rule. I  did not understand this at the time. Covid is either everywhere or nowhere.

I went home via Bath City Centre. I was inevitably drawn to Wetherspoons where I was successfully tempted to  partake of the Managers Special – cod fish and chips for £3.95. That and a decent glass of rose  wine made a total bill of £5.94. Pretty good for a satisfactory meal.

Lovely day today, clear blue sky – a slight chill wind but it was warmer in the center of Bath. Francoise has been in the garden for most of the day.  Tomorrow I must call someone to ask them to resign from an allotment plot (I am the secretary of the Association). This is because we have a rule that 75% of the plot must be cultivated. There are no exceptions even for us on the committee.

I made a cauliflower cheese supper and baked a loaf of bread as we were running low. We avoid buying bread from a shop if at all possible. If a loaf bounces when drooped, it is not worth eating.




A medieval day in Glastonbury

The recipe for an enjoyable day out is lovely sunny weather, the right surroundings – in this case the historical ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, an interesting theme and a bunch of intelligent aware people as punters.
The atmosphere was free and joyful with barely a mask in sight.

There were archers’ and jousting demonstrations, plus many stands devoted to making clothes and producing food the old fashioned way. We met some friends there and casually walked around, chatting and catching up on world news.

No question, the ladies made a greater effort to dress the part than the men.

There was  a beer and cider tent where the prices were way above the ordinary but I have to say that the quality of the cider was excellent – nay sparkling.

I returned home and spoke to my son via Zoom in Krabi, Thailand. He is teaching English as a foreign language. We discussed visiting him in December. Covid rules and changing faster than you can keep track. The economy suffers when  country is difficult to enter so Thailand is freeing up the rules week by week. Unless we have another ‘frightener’ e.g. Bird Flu it looks like the regulations will be back to normal by the time I have to book. Who knows.

Trail finders apologized for the failure of their normally immaculate telephone service due to the huge increase in the numbers of people wanting to travel.  I hope that this nightmare ends soon and those responsible for this criminal folly will be arrested and given their due punishment.

I just heard from a friend that his neighbor had returned from a Spanish holiday on a cruise ship. They had both caught covid although all on the ship had been ‘fully vaxxed’. What a farce.  Who would buy a crash helmet that does not protect you in the event of an accident?




A day off and a lot of happy meetings with strangers

Saturday is a day when we go out and about and leave the normal working routine behind. Nearby there is an ‘old skool’ restaurant that’s opened up. It used to be a tea room and shopping unit combined but now the shop (which sells good quality vegetables) has separated from the the restaurant and is in another building. We went in the restaurant briefly and had a look at the menu and found that what it offered it was a trifle expensive. Also the room was rather noisy so we repaired to the shop and bought a few vegetables. The chap behind the bar was the son of the owner and was called Tommy.

He is very keen on good quality food and it was a joy to speak to someone with raised consciousness, indeed who seemed to possess the full spectrum. Next time I must have a longer talk with him. I think he is a Red Pill person. It is depressing that those who have taken the vax have had their immune system compromised so are more vulnerable to first stage disease such has blood clotting and then 2nd stage diseases such as cancer. The ‘vaccination’ is a clever and evil depopulation machine – but try telling that to the vaxxed. Waste of time,

We then went to Hartley’s Kitchen for a breakfast. We had the most delicious porridge I have had for some time and I complimented the chef. He said he uses a special mixture of oats and I believe him. I complimented young lady who bought us the porridge on her very clear and simple tattoos. She had three on one hand, one was a simple little heart. It was another young member of staff their who I reckon was the son of a farmer. He has come first in many competitions well-known in the farming community and was a tall and handsome lad. It was difficult to believe he was only 17. How nice to see good manners among the young.

We then drove to the nearby Rocky Mountain Garden Centre. Being a weekend in a popular time of year the place was crowded with people including many cyclists just dropping in to the neighboring cafe.  I’m so glad to see crowds of shoppers who will hopefully make up for the months of loss of profit. Francoise found some free plastic pots as she tends to do, in order to be planted and given away at a garden fair.

Off to Wells and the market. Again, the town was crowded, we just about found a parking space which is realistically priced at £1 per hour. The centre of Wells is historical and compact, everything is within a couple of 100 meters of everything else so we went through the high street as we usually do and ended up in the market where delicious food is for sale.

At the entrance to the cathedral Gardens a man was playing classical music on a electronic piano. Francoise had previously noted some herbs that she wanted to buy so we must return on the same route.

Inside the Gardens two people were playing musical instruments one was playing a violin and the other guitar and they were singing sea Shanty type songs where you could actually hear the words. And the music was infectious and the woman next to us was dancing. I find very friendly but in the Bishops Gardens they are especially friendly and open and you can talk to anyone. It is regarded as a safe place. Whilst listening to the music I asked the woman behind me who had a dog whether the dog was interested in music and she said no, the dog was watching the children who were playing nearby.

We always try to talk to people in the garden especially as if it looks they might be there for the first time; we met two people from South Wales who were here for the day and they talked about their own allotments and the difficulties and pleasures of planting your own food. Their child was joyously eating a chocolate slice.

I met someone from my church group who said that his father-in-law died two  weeks ago and his wife who was the beneficiary was designated to be the executor. The house of the deceased is full of objects. He was a wood Carver so they were many interesting and useful tools that they are having difficulty finding someone who might be interested in taking them

We then went to a vegetarian restaurant and had a a baked potato and a healthy helping of cauliflower and vegetables.

Off to a garden centre near home. Francoise bought some wooden stakes for her roses, We then went to our local farm and bought our eggs. They are killing chickens by the million in the USA and the idea is to bring about controlled starvation; I hope this madness will not spread to the UK. Those of you that know about the Georgia Guidestones will know that the aim is to reduce the world population to 500 million in other words a 95% cull.

By about 4pm it warmed up quite a lot. We drove home and Francoise did some gardening and I sat watching TV for a bit and then I got on with my daily data entry.

Tomorrow we are off to a medieval fayre in Glastonbury so we shall not be standing in the park as we normally do as the archery competition is at 10:30 and we would like to see it.




Going on Strike

This morning Friday I felt like doing … absolutely nothing.  I rose at 7am, cooked a plate of baked beans and fried eggs and then found that I had no impulse to turn on my computer for my usual morning routine.

I sat for close to three hours in the living room. I made a hot water bottle for myself and covered my body with a blanket. I decided that this was the morning when I would let the world go by  and decided to read a light book. This is as near to a complete vegetable state as I can recall being in. Gradually my strength and will returned and around midday I got a burst of energy and returned to my normal self.

The weather.   Snow in Spain yesterday!  The heat of the past days has gone. it is now around 11 degrees C.  Cold wind. Not good for the allotment.

I will vegetate again this evening, this time in front of a log fire. Sad to write this at the end of April but so it is.

 




A lovely gardening job

Last night I went to a talk by the head keeper at Wells Cathedral Gardens.
Normally, a 90 minute slide show would have bored me to death but the voice of the speaker was energizing and enthusiastic so I stayed with it mentally for the duration. We were taken through the history of the cathedral since the 12th century and the modern history of the redesigning of the gardens.

**************

It is so nice to get away from the computer (fascinating though the daily revelations are) and get out in nature. Today’s job was on the outer north westerly reaches of Radstock, on a new estate and with a lovely view of the surrounding scenery.

Our client was Stephen, a rotund man who makes wonderful milky coffee. He had recently lost his mum, and now lives in the house occupied by her.

Our job was to trim a long hedge, except that it was not a hedge but a collection of shrubs, bushes strung together.  Since they have different growing habits and structures, to trim them was quite a challenge. I find time and time again that I get energized if the client is grateful and appreciative of our labors.  At 77 years of age I am by no means ‘old’ old so I am not as strong as I was in my 40’s but I find the strength – for example to hold a long hedge cutter with a motor above my head and move it against resistance – from the garden itself.

Whilst delivering spoil to the local re-cycle I lost my glasses. How could this be? I was grasping a large stack of small branches and threw them into the skip. I was aware that I was no longer wearing my glasses.  I searched around and was eventually assisted by one of the council staff. We eventually found them. I had dropped them into a bucket between the skip itself and the stairway. What a relief. I only have one pair and the rest are so old that they are scarcely of any use.

I was stiff after 4 hours work. As the season progresses I get fitter and the stiffness disappears. This is the best form of exercise where I have to use my muscles and get paid to do so.

We returned home. I went off to feed my bank account with the takings. Unfortunately the Post Office computer was not working so my transaction could not happen.

Ah well, back tomorrow to try again.




Increase in energy bills – I knew it was coming

Hi Brian,

Following the latest Ofgem price cap announcement and increase in our variable tariff prices from 1 April, we’ve reviewed your energy use and Direct Debit to check your monthly payments are set to the right amount. We know that many households will be under increased financial pressure so by taking action now, you can spread the cost of your energy and budget better.

Your new Direct Debit amount.

Even if you use the same amount of energy as before, it will cost you more from 1 April. To help avoid building up a debt on your account, we’ll increase your monthly Direct Debit to £144.44 from 15 May 2022.

So I knew it was going to be more. They are telling me that in spite of being careful the fixed (daily) charges are going up as well as the BTU or KWh. I wonder how many people this will push over the edge.  My old bill was £80.
So the increase is 81%

Well unless I was lucky enough to have installed solar panels where the new rates do not apply I am going to have to work a little harder. A small extra gardening job will do it each month.

Today we did our first major gardening job of the year. Clearing ivy is not romantic but pulling a strand off walls is therapeutic. I use my lawn mower as a ground cleaner which speeds things up greatly. We worked at a farm. Farmers wives are a tough breed. They have to be. It is more difficult to work profitably at farming. She told me the cost of fertilizers have gone up four times. Anyway, 7 hours work was good and in the sunshine. I felt stiff but this will reduce when my fitness increases.   It always does as the season progresses.




Bank Holiday – watching the world go by

Why ‘Bank’ holidays? they don’t have them in most other countries including France and USA.

In the UK we owe our statutory bank holidays to John Lubbock, first Baron of Avebury, scientific writer (who studied ants and tried to teach his poodle to read), banker and politician and who, in 1871, drafted the Bank Holiday Bill which, when it became law, created the first bank holidays. The first meaning of holiday in the Oxford English Dictionary is: A consecrated day, a religious festival, (now usually written holy-day ).

We arose lazily and I had a good breakfast of Wheatabix now renamed ‘Bixies’. At least two  cups of coffee do I have in the morning accompanied by toast and marmalade. I’m not supposed to be on a regime that includes sugar and unfortunately there was too much sugar in the marmalade so I experienced an acid stomach. I never know when the balance is going to be tipped. I suffered accordingly but it soon passed.

We decided to visit the allotments over which I preside. About six tenants were working away industriously. In the recent winds, one of the sheds blew over and landed several yards from the original position. I got three other people to help me put it back again. There is not much of it left but at least it has a roof.

We decided to repair to Wetherspoons. I get an occasional desire to have a glass of Guinness accompanied by a double shot of whiskey. Francoise kindly bought the round. I was surprised at  the price which was a couple of pounds more than I had calculated. As it happened the bartender misheard  when Francoise ordered a cider thinking she wanted a whole pint when in fact she had ordered a half. I queried this in a friendly and joking way. I was given a refund and we all went on our way. Part of the problem was that the bartender was busy and during our transaction he was distracted by questions from other staffers.

We sat in the outdoors area in the sun and enjoyed the fact that we had nothing to do. Whilst at the bar, I spotted a sign ‘managers special’ offering a sirloin steak and chips for £4.99. I was very tempted to have some so after some prevarication I finally gave in. As it happened the steak was very good and well cooked. There were no frills just a steak and chips nothing else but I’m not complaining as it was a meal in itself. Francoise had a curry. We spent some more time doing nothing. The only trouble with eating outside is that the breeze cools down the food at a faster rate than I was able to eat it.

I reflected that a restful break from routine doesn’t have to involve anything fancy but simply giving oneself a pause from the feeling of obligation of having to do something.

We still have to take advantage of our ‘two for one’ rail pass which I bought in July last year.

During the afternoon I flicked through some TV channels on the European cultural channel ARTE and found a dissertation about Moliere, a playwright actor and philosopher’s who changed the course of the history of drama in France and had a very strong relationship with Louis the 14th. This year  being the 400th anniversary of his birth, is being celebrated throughout France and it is one of those occasions when I would like to go over and see a play. Most of them (37) are Comedy dramas.

The rules about lockdown and mask wearing and access to public places are much stricter in France so the chances of our going there while the present conditions prevail are almost zero apart from the fact that Francoise doesn’t have a French passport at the moment which she would need to travel.

Funny, a day which starts of with no plans ends up being full.




A quiet Easter Day with a pleasant warm breeze

This card was received from my sister for Easter day (today). Credit to her for originality of approach and thought-provoking material.

I woke up slightly after 2 a.m. this morning, and repaired to the living room where I sometimes sleep when I am restless. I flicked through some TV programmes and having found nothing of interest decided to sleep. Shortly after 7 am I had a dream of myself in a shop of cakes. The people in the shop were friendly and welcoming. I was tempted to have one-but even in my sleep I realised that I could not eat them because I was missing my upper denture. Funny that this inhibited me even in my dream because in real life I need my dentures to eat properly.

Easter Sunday dawned with a little bit of fog that soon dispersed and we were presented with another day was blue skies. We had a thought of going to the flea market at Cheddar where we often go on Sunday morning but decided that this would not be right for such an important occasion. I felt the time I’m going to look after myself doing all the little tasks that I do not normally have time or the inclination to do. Francoise was in the garden doing the sort of things you do in the spring, tidying and clearing.

Our lunch consisted of artichoke hearts and dips with some pink champagne followed by cauliflower cheese and baked potatoes for the main course. I had a little bit of meat, Francoise had fish. We then had a cheese course and some yogurt. Francoise told me that at her Christmas lunches in France they would finish by having champagne and would start with an aperitif.

By the time we finished it was about 3 p.m. That we did some binge watching TV and then various tasks in the garden. In years gone by I would have attended church on this day but I am becoming slowly disillusioned about the church, i.e. the Church of England.  I cannot get my head around the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury has asked everyone to get the vaccine ‘for their neighbor’s sake’. This is just ignorance on his part.

I made one or two goodwill calls to a couple of people but we spent most of the day in glorious silence albeit with some music from Notre Dame cathedral playing in the background – thanks to internet radio. I wonder when the cathedral will finish it’s rebuilding. I understand that it will be open for worship in 2024 but it will take much longer, up to 20 years for full repair of the roof, spire, and parts of the stone vaulting that fell through to the main sanctuary.

We are not hungry enough to have supper.




Day two of the bank holiday weekend (Easter)

We had nothing on our calendar and in a strange way that turned out to the the right thing.  We arose from our bed at about 10 am and had a leisurely breakfast. Francoise fiddled around in the garden whilst I watched TV in a fairly aimless way. I notice chem-trails are active again after quite a few days of non-activity.

Lunch was a simple rice with one of these mixed tomato and spinach based sauces in a bottle which go well with anything.  We could not resist opening a bottle of bubbly to celebrate a day of peace, not rushing around to buy stuff (though Francoise went around to get some necessities in the morning).  I did not leave the house.  It must be said that the weather was actually warm, approaching 20 degrees C. The prophets of doom say there will be a return to lower temperatures later next week.

I am happy for those families who can get out and have actual recreation. It fortifies the human spirit inter alia against the next bunch of horrors that will be visited on us. I don’t think the Govt. cares one jot what we think or want. I wish the country were run by Wetherspoons. At least they would listen to us.

I find the Old Skool animated movies very stimulating. You can find them on YouTube. This is a very thought provoking example by Ram Dass.

I am not into reading especially heavy material as I am trying to give myself a day off.  This never works completely as I always think of some ‘work’ to do but I did much better than normal.

I watched some of my favorite ‘soaps’ – Police specials, Long Island Medium,   construction schemes that went wrong and even a touch of Dr. Pimple Popper.  Very little physical activity. I find that a combination of polenta (corn based) and a slice of pork puts me in a wonderfully settled state stomach-wise.

Early to bed.