Monday, 31 July 2017

Cider With Hayley on the Execution Block

Once more Kitty has eviscerated something on the kitchen floor. Whatever it was, it was very muddy. She always performs the operation in exactly the same space - her ritual execution block.

A little jaunt out to Painswick and Slad yesterday:

Had some 'cider with Hayley' at the Woolpack in honour of Slad's most famous son. There's a nature trial named in honour of Laurie Lee - I'm just glad it doesn't go all the way to Spain.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Vegetable Tables

I've noticed that the grocers' apostrophe is no longer the sole preserve of grocers; in fact it's hard to find one in a grocer's shop these days. It has, I have observed, become the MoT station apostrophe. You can't fail to see an MoT station advertising MoT's.

We were in Chepstow yesterday and spotted these council planters outside a car park. Rather than being filled with flowers, they contained vegetables and herbs.

A trio of photos from Egypt Mill at Nailsworth from last weekend - an outside table made from car parts.

Note the legs are made from crank shafts.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Trump Transgender Media

You know, I'm certain Trump's tin pot dictator antics as President have ensured his media career is over. I'm just wondering when he's going to order NASA to develop a coal fired space programme. The man is an embarrassment to America. The fact he's surrounding himself with generals and millionaires does not bode well.

I was listening to someone on R4 yesterday morning, who is closely involved with Trump's administration (obviously, by his accent, a Brit), justifying the US ban on transgender military personnel on the basis that they are 40% more likely to commit suicide, which goes against battlefield cohesion. What he failed to mention is that the high rate of suicide in the transgender community is because they are discriminated against in precisely the manner the Trump administration is promoting, not only by 3rd parties, but even their families, leaving them no support network whatsoever. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy so long as they are discriminated against. Yet another inverted logic argument that cherry picks and manipulates data to justify its agenda.

Gave my 4 monthly blood donation yesterday - when are you going to do your bit?

Friday, 28 July 2017

A Full Brazillian Veg Patch

Got some strange looks from Hay yesterday when I said I was going to have a Brazilian...

Talking of veg patches, I got four squash plants from Lidl earlier in the year; however, one of them turned out to be a courgette. Just as well, as the squash plants are taking over the veg patch.

The single courgette is also cropping like a triffid on steroids. They're looking more like marrows, but they're definitely not.

The crocosmia I planted around the house a couple of years ago are flourishing too.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Polygamous Cars

So, hydrocarbon cars are to be phased out from 2040. I somehow can't see electric cars being the answer and will wait for the next technology to arrive - possibly nuclear cars. Elon Musk will surely have the next technology in the pipeline.

When you think about it, we don't really need cars, as they're parked for the vast majority of the time we own them - what we need is transport, whenever we need it. There are better solutions to that problem than just replacing what we already have with a different different means of propulsion. Fleets of transport pods that are all controlled by AI, where you simply tap on a smartphone screen and a transport pod arrives at your doorstep within a couple of minutes. No overcrowded, town centre car parks and the space devoted to something else.

Of course, the only barrier to that is the fact that people like to express their personality through their cars. A homogeneous transport fleet doesn't facilitate that, unless you can change the transport's colour scheme using your smartphone, like a chameleon, using presets. Not exactly science fiction with nano-technology and facilitates a limited degree of personalisaion.

Interesting poll from YouGov yesterday about polygamy. To be expected, more men are open to having 2 or 3 wives than women open to 2 or 3 husbands - by a factor of 2...

And the percentage wanting no husband or wife is also interesting.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Dirty Protest

We deep clean our limestone kitchen floor about once every 3 or 4 months. Without fail, for several days after having accomplished the task, Kitty brings some rodent in at night and proceeds to eviscerate it on said floor. It must be some kind of dirty protest.

Went to Lidl yesterday, for the 3rd time, and actually remembered the toilet and kitchen paper. It helped that these were the only things I went for.

Just to change the subject - that wall of ice in Game of Thrones that keeps the White Walkers out - I wonder who paid for it?

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Flying in the Face of Reality

I was absent-mindedly listening to some Conservative MP on Radio 4 talking about the Conservative Party's stance on transgender rights and how she disagreed with it. She used the analogy of people with anorexia and how affirming their view of themselves as fat actually does them physical harm and flies in the face of reality, a view I agree with on that particular issue. She views transgender people as having a psychological condition, which may or may not be the case, but there again, the Conservatives don't seem to be particularly worried about any people with psychological conditions.

Firstly, the initial question to ask oneself is whether gay and transgender people are harming anyone in living their lifestyles. In fact, it can be said they're harming themselves less by living that lifestyle than burying their feelings in order to conform to what's seen as 'normal'. I have a good friend who has come out as transgender, and the change in her personality and mental state since 'coming out' is phenomenal. She feels liberated and no longer permanently anxious. LGBT (and now I see there's  Q and an I in the alphabet soup of sexuality) people don't harm anyone else.

Secondly, this Conservative MP had the gall to immediately follow her pronouncement with an assertion that the Conservative Party should not ditch its Christian principles. Well, if man-gods, miracles and people returning from the dead isn't flying in the face of reality, I don't know what is. While gay and transgender people are not forcing anyone else to adopt their lifestyles, the muscular, Christian right does seem to want to impose its values on everyone else and does indeed harm some people.

Oh, and talking about reality, there's also pro-Brexit arguments, climate change denial, Trump making America great again and all the other defences of the indefensible.

Whenever I hear a politician say; "The truth of the matter is," my hackles instantly rise, as you can almost guarantee that if will be followed by either an outright lie or cherry-picked data.

Another MP was blathering on about the UK's economic performance being brilliant, when any cursory research (it's not even research - it's just listening to the news, of any persuasion) will show it's anything but. His criticism of the remain campaign was preceded by; "The fact of the matter is...," when the IMF has just downgraded the UK's growth prospects yet again following a weaker than expected performance. The mind boggles at the sheer effrontery of these people - they'd tell you black was white if it furthered their misbegotten cause.

The orchestrated campaign alleging anti-Brexit bias on the part of the BBC is working though, as the interviewer didn't immediately launch an  immediate and fully justified attack on the MP's delusional pronouncements.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Turnip Friendly Pubs

Overheard while The Chairman is checking his Freecycle emails:

Chairman: "One sack of diabetic cat food?"

Hay: "I don't think so. I presume the cat is no longer with us..."

All this business about President Turnip pardoning himself - doesn't pardoning oneself presume guilt in the first place?

Hay and I went for a walk from Nailsworth to Amberley and back yesterday. We both arrived at a word, but via totally different routes. I was thinking Manderley - similar to Amberley. I said to Hay; "What's the opening line of the book," nothing else, and she immediately replied; "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." When I quizzed her as to how she knew which book I was talking about, she replied that there is only one book where she knows the opening line. She had no idea I was conflating Amberley with Manderley.

We called in at a pub on Minchinhampton Common. It was one of those dog friendly places. I wonder whether there are pubs that are cat friendly?

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Paper Veg

Overheard on returning from shipping at the greencrocer's:

Hay: "These tomatoes are nice - they're Dutch."

Chairman: "Didn't know tomatoes had a concept on nationality."

Hay: "Free movement for veg!"

Chairman: "I wonder if vegetables are racist when it comes to fruit?

Twice in succession now I've attempted to purchase kitchen paper and loo paper. I made the selection at the end of the stroll around Lidl, taken it out of the shopping trolley and placed it in a shipping basket, wanting it to go last on the conveyor due to its bulk, placed the rest of the shopping on the conveyor, and then promptly forgotten to put the kitchen and loo paper on the conveyor.

Once if forgivable, twice is a sign of something...

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Grumbling Adverts

Overheard on Radio 4:

Narrator: "Bull seals use a deep, throaty grumble to recognise each other."

Hay: "A bit like you."

Saw an advert son some news site yesterday with two pictures of a woman (possibly not the same woman); one showing her as gargantuan and the other reasonably slim. The words accompanying the ad were; "Bristol woman loses two dress sizes in 4 weeks using this simple trick." The trick could only have been the use of a photo of a completely different woman, or a lot of  very expert Photoshopping.

Had occasion to go into Bristol yesterday morning for a course about self-employment. Saw two ambulances, with sirens blaring, trying to get through very heavy traffic, with great difficulty. I know hospitals are usually placed in the centre of cities, as that's where  the greatest concentration of people is to be found, but I sometimes question the wisdom,given the traffic that has to be negotiated and the perennial lack of parking space for outpatients due to the high cost of land. Perhaps Accident and Emergency should be in the centre, but outpatients on the outskirts. It's a tough one.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Brexit Negotiation Tactic

Here's a tactic to get the Brexit talks moving, and fast too, without the UK negotiators having to do anything and getting everything they want - threaten to stay in the EU!

I see we're busy shovelling EU law (which means laws concerned with treaties signed between EU member states) into UK law as part of the process of 'reclaiming our laws'. Once we crash out of the EU, I wonder how long it'll be before we'll be replacing all the ditched EU law with WTO law, which governs arbitration between WTO members?

If you want to trade globally, according to certain protocols and treaties (and WTO membership entails a treaty, which is an agreement between countries on certain issues), there's no getting away from ceding some of your legislation to third parties. All free trade, of any description, is subject to treaties and treaties, by definition, are law and require an arbitration body - a bit like the ECJ.

So much for the myth of 'reclaiming our laws'.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Pensionable BBC

The age at which we die has stalled and the government makes the pensionable age 68. Can we therefore expect no further additions to the pensionable age in the future? No - more people in work are needed to support a single pensioner than at any time in the past. As the number of young people continues to decline with the decline in the birth rate (we're not even reproducing ourselves) it will only get worse.

Chris Evans and his pay? Ship him off to the commercial channels - please! Graham Norton is entertaining, but not Chris Evans.

The bloke's the physical manifestation of Marmite.

I see this publication of BBC starts' salaries as part of the Tory war against the BBC. On the one hand they believe in the free market and competition, while on the other they are doing their best to bring the BBC down - it's tantamount to a private firm opening its books to a competitor. If the pay of the BBC stars' reflects market conditions, then what's the issue? They have no issues with top CEOs in industry having astronomic salaries in the name of a free market.

There is only one possible outcome from this, BBC staff being poached and the BBC being relegated to merely a nurturer of talent. BBC contracts are going to have to last till pensionable age at this rate. As for pay equality - what's the status on the other channels? No-one knows, nor is likely to know. Talk about hamstringing the BBC.

There are only solutions to this; 1) force all companies wanting a transmission licence to publish stars' salaries (including those employed by production companies), or 2) privatise the BBC, which will lead to a drop in standards and dreaded adverts. The odds cannot be stacked against the BBC in this manner by a government on the run from criticism.

Ref my conundrum of a few days ago about the apostrophe - there is indeed an example of it replacing two letters - 'you'll' for 'you will'. Therefore 'they're' is perfectly legit for 'they were', if a little confusing with 'they are'.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Public Dr Who

Some interesting results on on Monday's YouGov polls.

The interesting thing in both these polls is the number of Conservative undecideds.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Time Aristocrat

Now for the most vexing question of the week - Dr Who is a Time Lord, not a Time Lady, nor a non-gender-specific Time Aristocrat. The regeneration thing is a plot device that merely allows actors to retire from the role, but of late it has become abused and they change every year or two - simply no staying power. Now they're even changing gender.

Apropos of yesterday's post about Hayley's concept of time and schedules, I believe The Doctor could well be a female, as The Doctor frequently overshoots his intended time destination and his/her completely cavalier attitude to time proves this...

There again, the mere thought of a female being in charge of a sonic screwdriver fills me with dread. There's no limit to the havoc she could wreak on the interstices of the space-time continuum.

Whatever next - Draculess, Winifed the Pooh?

It's all very well saying that The Doctor should be made more contemporary, but even the word contemporary is meaningless to a Time Lord; a Time Lord transcends time. What if the Time Lord's natural time affiliation, even after 2,000 years, is now Victorian? More importantly, what would The Doctor's granddaughter, Susan, say if The Doctor came back as her grandmother? Indeed - is Susan really a female?

There is a precedent, however, as the renegade Time Lord, The Master, regenerated into Missy. Whichever way you look at it, there is only one Doctor - Martin Ellingham. Why was he not asked to be the new Dr Who? He'd be perfect. Perhaps the next series will expose him as a Time Lord.

Doubtless it will all be sorted out, in time...

Monday, 17 July 2017

Chaff Time

With me, a time to leave for an appointment is a deadline - something that's inviolable, a law. For Hay it's seen as a suggestion or general guidance that can be ignored and the actual time of leaving can be 15 minutes later with no consequences. Causes no end of arguments when I'm sitting there tutting and swinging the car keys on my finger and she's obviously at least another 5 minutes away from being ready. Needless to say, I get the blame for her delay and it's obviously occasioned by something I've omitted to do.

Nearly  choked to death yesterday. The weekend before this one just gone, we went for a long walk which involved skirting a wheat field. I put a few ears of wheat in my shorts pocket in order to scatter them at the top of our field (probably totally pointless, as the chances are they're sterile hybrids). Anyway, yesterday we went to see my daughter in her new home and while there I had cause to use my Ventolin inhaler. I put it to my mouth, squeezed and inhaled - a mouthful of wheat chaff blasted down my throat, much to the amusement of all. It was not pleasant.

We say 'they're' as shorthand for 'they are', but not for 'they were' - possibly due to the accepted use of the apostrophe being to replace just one letter, not two. Perfectly acceptable, to me, though. They''re, perhaps?

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Doc Martin

Yesterday, on a whim, we went to Port Isaac, the setting for the fictional Portwenn of Doc Matin fame.

Overheard while driving along the A30 after Hay has taken a phone call from a neighbour:

Hay: "Veronica says there's been a power failure and it'll last for an hour and a half. I wonder what people with babies do."

Chairman: "Probably plug them into portable generators."

Hay: "I guess you could always put batteries in them,"

Port Isaac is a pleasant little Cornish fishing village, but the glare of the media spotlight is turning it into another St Ives. It won't be long before it's filled with Weird Face and Fat Fish clothing shops. It would be nice if the place could stay brand-free, but the lure of filthy lucre will doubtless mean it will end up on the road to brand perdition. That said, there's not much scope for additional shops, unless houses are converted.

The town, like so many in the area, has spread inland and there are concentric circles of dwellings from many different decades. Certainly worth a visit, if indeed a full holiday. The locals must make a packet from renting their places out to the film crew.

This is the School House Hotel , which doubles as the exterior of Portwenn school. Amusingly decorated.

Mrs Tishell's Pharmacy - a fudge shop where the window display of a pharmacy has been retained as a tourist attraction.

Doctor Martin Ellingham's surgery - a holiday home.

Bert Large's cafe /restaurant.

A couple of views of the harbour.

Islamification has already taken hold, even in Portwenn!

A wrong turn during Hay's navigation over some public footpaths led us to the cove next door - Port Gaverne - a lesser metropolis that hasn't had as much development, but is about to be transformed, as evidenced by the work going on.

This boarded up hotel on the cliffs above Port Gaverne has been used in some scenes in Doc Martin, as an out-of-town hotel / meeting place, the Headland Hotel. I believe it's being refurbished, although it looks suspiciously derelict to me.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

The Chairman is Away

Last minute decision to head down to Port Isaac for the day at sparrow's fart, so no blog.

Back - - -  whenever.