Friday, 6 October 2017

Gender Neutral

Had a good comment from my blog on books.
'This blog of your, says nothing, twice.' This from John67 from Canada, man of few words.
Great comment, for someone to actually take the time to comment on nothing, is extraordinary. Reading it again I am not sure what part is being questioned. Oh, it's probably nothing.

Brings me on to another topic which has made me wonder. Many people have aliases and usernames which do not actually tell you if they are male or female. This leads to the Internet promoting a gender neutral society. I have a few that I cannot fathom what gender they are, but as they comment privately, I will keep their names unpublished, irrespective of their gender.

In the real world, there are those that want a gender neutral society. I think they a little perverted, they just want to go into the boys or girls loos. Nature somehow throws a spanner into this gender thing by making boys and girls, easy to check. Keep it simple and you will rarely go wrong.
Marks and Spenser are introducing a gender neutral section of cloths for school children. Well, that will work? The boys will not wear dresses, so it will be up to the girls to dress like boys. I do not know an awful lot about girls, nobody does, but I do know that most girls want to look like girls. Anyone have any thoughts on this, please let me know. I promise to be neutral in all my replies.

I am half way through a photography course and it is amazing what you can do with a camera. We all think we can fix most problems with adobe photoshop, but it is all about the quality of the image, before you start. The course is by a National Geographic photographer. As he says, a good photo of someone you love is timeless, they always happy in the photo and they never age.

Sunday, just Sunday

I miss led you, Sunday's is a favourite day for me, tomorrow is Monday, start of a new week and today we get to reflect what we can do tomorrow. I have told my children that they'll must enjoy their work. If you enjoy your work it becomes a pleasure and then you will never work a day in your life again.

I am at Sandbanks, I know but in all fairness they do serve a good Victoria sponge with my Americano and the views are amazing. Susan is at work so I am enjoying cake and an Americano. I did ask Robert if he was interested but he said he is OK. He looks healthy enough, I was just enquiring about coffee and cake.

On the beach they are having a fizz-by tournament, well it seems to be inter university. The be all and end all of this event is a bunch of young students running around after a fizz-by. Give Jenson another few months and they will have no chance.

It is quite cool with a nippy breeze so most of those not playing are in the Cafe holding onto their coffee cups. The sun is dancing its reflectIon off the small waves, giving it a twinkle lighting effect. 

Went for a walk to Old Harry's rock on Saturday with Robert and Susan. Quite a long way but worth the walk. Walking passed the pub at the start of our journey, I did see a man having a ploughmans and a pint, the promise of coming back to that, kept me going over the hills and dales. Alas that was not to be, Robert was OK and Susan is watching her figure. Did not really want to be the only one eating and drinking. I can still taste that pint, must be my imagination. 

We did contemplate taking Jenson but as he is only 4 months it would be pushing it a bit for those little legs. Actually the rule of thumb is when you take a puppy for a walk, puppy meaning under 9 months for a retriever, is 1 minute for every week old. As will all dogs, they will keep going if you do until they collapse, be careful, when they young rather take them on shorter walks, more frequently. 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Scottish National Anthem

My blog is gaining followers from all around the world, I even get a mention by name in this Youtube Video by Amy MacDonald.

O Flower of Scotland, when will we see your like again, that fought and died for, your wee bit hill and Glen, and stood against him, proud Edward's Army, 
and sent him homeward, tae think again. The Hills are bare now, and Autumn leaves Lie thick and still, O'er land that is lost now, which those so dearly held. Those days are past now, and in the past they must remain, but we can still rise now, and be the nation again.

Makes me think of South Africa. Security vs Freedom? 

Wanted to talk about security vs freedom. How much security you have is directly associated with how much freedom you have. In England you have much less freedom then South Africa. But we do have security. Freedom in SA comes at a price, security in SA is on the low side because the criminals have the freedom to rob, murder and steal. They have this freedom simple because they will probably get away with it. 

Take an example I often quote. You approach traffic lights late at night and there is not another car in sight. In England you would stop and wait for the lights to change, your freedom is curbed by your respect for the law. In SA, you would not wait because you do not have that respect for the law, mainly because the upholders of the law are mostly corrupt. There is also the danger of being hijacked or robbed.

Freedom is actually a perceived notion and no one has total freedom. The human race cannot have complete freedom because we would then live in a totally lawless society.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Dog walkers and their stories

Walking Jenson has become one of the most enjoyable parts of my day. Away from the computer screen, emails and clients with, dare I say, different views on what they want, some just plain sad. It is of no matter, if, what they want, is in keeping with what they are trying to achieve. 
'I saw this on another website and I really think it will be look good on mine.’ My favourite.

On a more somber note. I passed a family on the beach today, all quiet and looking very dejected, raw grief etched on their faces, as they tried not to breakdown and cry. Then the young boy could hold back the tears no longer and collapsed into his fathers arms. Sobs racking his little body, while everyone else looked on helpless. One can not help wondering if it was a family member or a pet they were grieving for?
I walked on, thankful Jenson had decided not to run over and jump up. I walked that beach feeling much the same when Sam died and I could only hope they remember the good times, they will feel the lose and, in time, that gets manageable.

Jenson quickly brought me back to the present, mad dash to an old couple sitting on beach chairs with a very old little dog, as he decided they were worth a visit and a play with. Apologised and dragged him off, but they both had big smiles and he had in his own way, brought joy to their day. Puppies do that and I am sure he is milking it to the utmost. He does believe everyone loves him and wants to say hello, problem is he is now almost 20kg of jumping joy.
This Autumn period we are in, a transition between summer and winter, with summer loosing its grip to the colder time. Akin to a crack in a dam wall, no matter how hard you try, the water seems to still get through. So the cooler air seams gently in and the sun takes longer to warm your back.
The sun is setting earlier and this is not a bad thing, in the summer the sun does come up at an ungodly hour, just after 4am and does not set until after 10pm. Makes sleeping a challenge, even the blackout curtains allow light through. Now the sun is making its  way south, leaving us with longer nights.

Actually having breakfast, alone on this occasion, as Susan is working. Does worry me a little as she is burning the candle at both ends. Her mother can not look after herself anymore and work is becoming a challenge. Neither is something I can anything about. 
I over heard a couple in the line ahead of me saying this was their first experience of Internet dating. They both seem quite engaged and ordered a full breakfast each. Later sitting near them I realised he was blowing it. She was trying to concentrate on what he was talking about, but gearboxes were obviously beyond her. Almost want to step in and tell the guy to stop talking and listen.

Thanks for all the kind comments on my Old Books blog, i have read them and have replied where appropriate. I am thinking of publishing some of the comments sent in by those who are not part of the family. 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Books, old and new

I recently read that physical books are making a comeback, sales are 6% up on last year while digital books have lost a little ground, -1.2% on last year. When I have finished my book I want to see it in print, glossy cover and when you hold it, it will hopefully convey through its weight, the many hours spent writing and rewriting. It will be something to touch and carry with me, being a mass of ink, paper and glue, its physical presence will be something. I hope most people buy it through the internet in ebook form, let's save those trees. For those few who want to own something more physical, who, like me, read the spine and remember what is inside. I would suggest they buy the book and like all books, it comes with that lovely book smell. Now I just have to finish it.                                                                                       
Recently read about how the Indians look after their books. Books are a symbol of prosperity and learning. If they drop a book they will pick it up and touch the book to their heads. Newspaper and books are still the main source of news and knowledge. Most of rural indian only heard about their independence from the British rule, by newspaper. Books are still highly valued in India and many household have a library that they are very proud of.
On January 1, 2017, Nikhil Mehta, a well known writer in India said.
‘Books plays an important role in in our life. It is said that books are our best companions. Books are our friends in a real sense. They demand nothing from us. They give us plenty of joy. We also learn a lot from them. They take us into a different world of imagination.’

I will go one step further and advocate the reading of the classics, if you have not done so already. One of the objects of reading the classic writer, is to be able to appreciate whatever is good and wherever it is found. The study of classics forms one’s taste and judgment. I believe once you have read a few of these books, you will appreciate good writing and will go on to read well written books.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Electric Mountain Bikes

Yep the new electric mountain bikes (e-MB) are here. They are a little expensive but if you can afford one then they are the way to go. By a little expensive, I am lead to believe they range from £ 500 to around £ 8000, I could be wrong but looking at a few website you can buy a relatively good e-MB for just over £ 1000.

Lady Vivienne from Canford Magna fame has a top of the range e-MB and claims that it only takes 5 minutes longer to get to work on her e-MB then her car, although this has not been officially confirmed. That is not bad really, the wind in your hair and the sun on your back, cycling the quaint English country lanes to work. The bonus is you do get electrical assisted exercise and you will feel very self righteous. In fact I would say this is going to be the mode of transport for the future and the future is now. 

Lady V told me that her model comes with a heated seat, which vibrates. Now that could bring some pleasure in the otherwise boring process of pedalling and I can understand why that put such a smile on her face, as can be seen from the photo I have uploaded. I am a little surprised at how lovingly she is holding that saddle. Such luxury and all on a bicycle.

The only problem, that I can see, is the English weather. It is not called the muddy island for nothing, cold and rain are the norm for most of the year. I only see them being used for about 3 months of the year and then on sunny days but if it brings pleasure then all I can say is go out and try before you buy, you might get to like them.

We must wish Lady V a very happy birthday, not a day over 50 and still up for a bottle of red wine and a huge, rare steak. I think I mentioned it in a previous blog, Lady V is in Susan's weight watchers team. This is one sport that if you lose you win, strange but true. Lady V picks her matches and after the nights celebration and the huge steak, she wisely decided to pull out of the game the next day. Susan was there and did lose, so the team is still strong after that win. Well done Susan, - 4 is no mean feat to have won by.

Monday, 4 September 2017


Optimism, great thing to have but I fear the Brits seem to think it is an eye problem. 

I was at the AirShow in Bournemouth yesterday and after a rather long lunch in a very cramped restaurant, we went out to see the Air display. Everyone was quite upbeat for the first hour, we saw a helicopter out at sea and a display by a Mig 15 jet. The helicopter flew around and then landed on the naval frigate. The Mig 15 flew passed and then did the same about 10 times and that all happened in the first hour. By now we were all a little bored, lets get another drink, great idea and everyone went back inside and missed the Red Arrows. 

One optimised was heard to say, “They will be back.” Not to burst his bubble but that was it for today. The food was rather good and the weather was perfect for an Air Display, so 2 out of 3 is good, isn’t it?

Enough grumbling, I have just read an extract from Winnie the Pooh. This to me is true optimism.
Piglet and Pooh decide to take Eeyore presents for his birthday, he is stuffed donkey with a deeply cynical and pessimistic view of life. Happy to share a negative view of things. 

“EEYORE, the old grey Donkey, stood by the side of the stream, and looked at himself in the water. 
“Pathetic,” he said. s' That's what it is. Pathetic.” 
He turned and walked slowly down the stream for twenty yards, splashed across it, and walked slowly back on the other side. Then he looked at himself in the water again. 
“As I thought,” he said. “No better from this side. But nobody minds. Nobody cares. Pathetic, that's what it is.” Extract from the book.

In all fairness he is rather philosophical and can give great wisdom at times.

What to take to a donkey who has nothing. Piglet decided to take a balloon he was given by Christopher Robin and Pooh decided a jar of honey was just the thing Eeyore would enjoy. 
You see where recycling presents started, goes back along way really.

On the way to Eeyore, Piglet tripped and broke his balloon, Pooh ate all the honey and rather then go back and get him something else, they took him a broken balloon and an empty jar of honey. Eeyore was over the moon, for once he was feeling very positive and loved the presents. I suppose when you are a stuffed, cynical donkey with a ribbon on your tail, named Eeyore and live in a 100 acres wood, the smallest distraction would be a bonus.