Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Is this Japanese Knotwood? Number 1

March 3, 2015 9 comments

You have to understand that I am going to be a 65 year old horticultural virgin in a week’s time.

My first memory of a garden was in Singapore where we all lounged as others laboured. Back to Caledonia (stern and wild) in due course. I remember a Rowan tree and lots of grass but I have no recollection of other growing stuff requiring cultivation. I was still too young for conscription into Mum’s garden task force. Read more…

Categories: General

For John Mackie

February 26, 2015 24 comments

I have just booked aeroplane tickets to Edinburgh for 25 June of this year. Rest assured that the inability to receive a refund for cancelled tickets will ensure my visit.

Categories: General

Green Leader Natalie Bennett’s ineptitude comes as no surprise

February 26, 2015 11 comments

This is from a good piece on ukipdaily by Robert Henderson who runs the England Calling Blog.

Natalie Bennett’s ineptitude, revealed again yesterday in another car crash interview, comes as no surprise to me. For over a year I belonged to a group (The Somers Town People’s Forum) campaigning to stop the building of the Francis Crick Institute(FCI), a huge laboratory situated next to St Pancras Station which will deal with extremely dangerous viruses. Bennett was part of the group.

Read more

Categories: General

This years first Christmas story or…

February 25, 2015 8 comments

….the joy of grandchildren.

Well to be fair, it’s a last Christmas story actually but in the tradition of a lot of the British redtops, never let the truth get in the way of a good headline.

Just before Christmas last year we, (Grandma and Grumpy)  took the oldest grandchild Rufus, to a little fund raising event at the local children’s centre, part of which was Father Christmas in his grotto. Rufus, who is just three, was adamant that he wanted to go and see him. We strolled around the stalls for a bit buying little bits and bobs while Rufus kept insisting that he wanted to and go see Santa

I should explain that normally we all spend Christmas here in Cornwall but, as my son in laws father died earlier this year, they decided that they would spend the Christmas with his Mother, aka “Nanna” in Birmingham. Read more…

Categories: General

Rectification of a past injustice or an effort to make a fortune?

February 25, 2015 31 comments

The thirteen years between 1932 and 1945 were not Germany’s finest. We all know what happened and there is no need to go into a detailed discussion about that. Part of the injustices done during this time include the forced purchases of priceless artwork for pittances by the Nazi State. Since 1948, the Federal Republic has done everything in its power to try to rectify these injustices. This includes making legal exemptions for the rightful owners and their heirs in terms of furnishing evidence that said treasures were taken using illegitimate means as there isn’t always much evidence left even in the most egregious of instances. Compare this to the Swiss who used their banking secrecy as a double-edged blade. Those who could furnish all other evidence that bank accounts were rightfully theirs, including records of death of the original holders, still could not access their inheritances because they did not have the right numbers. Read more…

Categories: General

The Wattage Two Day Cure for all Ailments

February 23, 2015 13 comments

It’s true, doesn’t matter if it is lumbago, rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica or a bout of the gout this is guaranteed to cure the lot in two days.

Firewood, cut it, split it, stack it on the woodpile.


There are three trees worth here, a Hickory, an Oak and a Maple, all hardwoods, probably totaling about three cords when cut and stacked, seasoned it should weigh about six tons, wet as it is it probably weighs twice that. The big stuff with the dark heartwood is the hickory. Bitternut is the variety that grows around here and it is very heavy wood, and one of the best in terms of heat content for firewood.

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Photo Competition Result

February 23, 2015 3 comments

My apologies for taking so long to announce the result.

Many thanks to those who entered – and participated in trying to guess what the objects were.

Since no one even hazarded a guess at Low Wattage’s offering – I am awarding the prize of setting the next competition to him.

Please let us all know what your object is!

Categories: General


February 20, 2015 16 comments

Cold here today, -20 C  at 7am when I went to breakfast.  Not often we get that kind of cold and it sounds like it might be around for a while.  Creek is frozen right to the middle and the only open water is where the ice eater is working around the pilings.

Grip 1s

Read more…


February 20, 2015 10 comments

This morning whilst tidying my desk,  I use the word tidying advisedly because I just reduced chaos to simple disorder, but enough of the digression. My eye fell upon a letter from the trustees of one of my pensions and upon a particular sentence. “…I am delighted to advise you that….etc…discretionary uplift….. etc “.

Two things struck me. First the use of the word delighted. Why was he, she (?) delighted. Pleased perhaps, but delighted..? Conjures visions of he/she cavorting round the office with whoops of glee.

Secondly what’s this uplift ? We used to uplift fuel in the aircraft and I’m not sure that the word was  correct then. When I was at sea we used to ‘take on’ bunkers which seems more correct. Wouldn’t increase have been more appropriate than uplift. ?

Categories: General

Er vi alle Danmark også?

February 15, 2015 48 comments

Another shooting attack — a Swedish cartoonist was targeted at a speaking engagement in Copenhagen. Soon after, a synagogue in the Danish capital was also targeted. The attacker was a Muslim of Arab ethnicity born-and-raised in Denmark.  Bibi has officially encouraged European Jewry to emigrate to Israel. Considering their declining security in Europe and the increase in official tolerance for anti-Semitism, he isn’t entirely incorrect in assessing that the climate in Europe is growing increasingly hostile. After all, a German magistrate ruled recently that fire-bombing a synagogue is an act of protest, not anti-Semitism and an Austrian magistrate ruled that chanting “death to Jews” is a form of legitimate protest against Israeli policies.

Recently I have thought of this frequently. In Trier there is a small alley adjacent to the main market square — “Judengasse”. All buildings are from the 17th century. Slightly seedy these days, it was once the entrance for the city’s formerly prominent Jewish Quarter. Five minutes from it is a car park where a building once stood — the processing centre for Trier’s Jews in the 1940s. Of the over 300 processed, virtually all died. Ten minutes from that is the former Trier Gestapo headquarters. Yet, the attitudes that should have been consigned to the past have been brought back — largely imported, bolstered by indigenous bigots. If this is any indication for the future, then the past half-century of peace, prosperity and relative civility will soon be but a memory.

Categories: General

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