26 Aug 2016

And Then, Beware The Beach...

I note there’s been a spate of sad events round the UK beaches over the past few days. Okay, not actually the beach, more that wet stuff that washes over beaches a pair of times a day.

How many drownings now? Not sure, but there were five on one day, one group, and any moment now the safety nuts will be cancelling their summer holidays and scamper back to their keyboards, TV and radio studios and the newspapers to vent their disgust that the government isn’t doing more towards beach and water safety. They’ll be screeching that some legislation, some legally binding rules and regulations are needed NOW. Sadly, they’ll more than likely get wot they want.

Some of these deaths will undoubtedly be the result of tragic accidents. The key word there being ‘accidents’, while others may well be down to stupidity and it’s impossible to legislate against stupidity. If it was possible, we wouldn’t have a government, right?

Anyhoo, memories came flooding {pun?} back of my life spend on the water. The operative word there is ‘on’ by the way.

I’ve been here before, but just to recap, at pre-sea school they attempted to teach me to swim but didn’t really get there and once on man’s boats, I quickly realised that the vast majority of fellow seafarers didn’t swim either as they had no interest, in the event of a sinking, in treading water in the middle of the western ocean for days. Sink, drown and get it over with was their philosophy.

The ‘rules’ to best avoid accidents on the beach, the rocks and in the sea are pretty simple and, for past generations, pretty obvious. They most definitely didn’t need any safety regulations to ‘enforce’ them.

If the sea is calm and you want to get in it but can’t swim, stop wading when the water reaches your knees. If you can swim a strong hundred meters and fancy a swim, don’t go any further out from the guy paddling than twenty five meters and as an added obviousness, only go out there swimming on an incoming tide. If you’re playing on rocks, stay on the land/lee side of them; They rocks are slippery suckers and damn hard an’ sharp when the sea’s repeatedly whacking you against them. And the best rule of all? If it’s blowing and the sea’s a tad rough, watch it and enjoy the majesty of a stormy sea from the comfort of the seafront pub. Who knows, they may be serving gammon, egg, chips with a pineapple ring...

As an added watery, safety memory, I remembered this wot I posted some time ago. Compare and contrast with our ‘modern’ worldly ways.

There’s also a great post over at Readwald relating to ‘us’ vs the bansturbators and their risk aversion industry. 

Everything has an element of risk attached to it and luckily we’re all, okay, most of us, blessed with the means to evaluate and manage those risks. In it’s simplest form it’s called ‘engage brain to avoid pain’. If only there was an app for that...

Quote;  Frederick Weisel.

“There’s an old adage: the sensation of drowning reminds you of everything you ever knew about swimming.”

24 Aug 2016

And Then, Back We go...

It’s hot here and after a little light yard work, I was feeling decidedly lethargic so went off to seek solace in music.

First up is this fine piece. Peter Sellers is in there and, allegedly, plays the ukulele. I like it for the photos of the band and the snazzy attire of the day on display.
WARNING! One photo, about halfway through, would appear to show two of the band holding cigarettes and as any Timidadian will tell you, even though the picture was taken in the mid 1970’s, it’s a ‘known fact’ that traces of tobacco smoke do become impregnated into the film and can be released, simple by looking at the photo, back into the immediate atmosphere of the viewer. Look away now!!


Let’s voyage yet further back; way back to 1967... Pardon? Yes, there really was such a year. I know, I was there. In fact, a whole bunch of us were tearing it up back there. I guess it’s still out there somewhere there as all we did was play through it and to the best of my knowledge it wasn’t deleted.

Anyhoo, it’s The Incredible String Band. Remember them? Remember The Hedgehog’s Song? I’m betting  a bunch of you do. I particularly like the chorus. Read it then read it again and then, just to be sure, read it again. Those words work on so many, well, levels – as they say.

Oh, you know all the words, and you sung all the notes,
But you never quite learned the song, she sang.
I can tell by the sadness in your eyes,
That you never quite learned the song.


Quote;  Longfellow.

“And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs
And as silently steal away.”

21 Aug 2016

And Then, It’s Windmills...

About this time last year I believe I mentioned that crows had been nibbling my cherries. At that time I mentioned to her indoors that kids little sandcastle windmills tied in the tree might deter them to some extent and that was that. Back to the sofa for the winter.

However, it seems this idea lodged in her head, and I’m amazed there’s room, and resulted, after our latest ‘hobby’ trip to a pound store, in us becoming the proud owners of eight brightly coloured kids windmills. No further colanders; just windmills.

Upon assembling said windmills shortly later, it quickly became obvious they wouldn’t be providing us with any electrickery but may, just may, give those feathered felons pause for thought.

These we, I say ‘we’ but you know what I mean, placed strategically and securely  in the fruit trees, as she’d also noted birds were now nipping at the apples and pears. It was all too late for the cherries as, sadly, they went in a couple of sittings some time ago.

That was what, three days ago and just in time for those forecast gales which, peaking round our way at fifteen mph, completely destroyed her windmills overnight. She’s now going back to the drawing board to prepare for next year. I await her plan with some trepidation.

As for the colanders, the number in our possession remains the same with just the original colander in occasional use, as her interest in acquiring new ones seems to have waned. On the bright side, these colanders could well be the antiques of the future and hers will surely, come the time, demand a premium as they’re in pristine, ‘as new’, condition and still have those little barcode sticker thingies stuck firmly in place. I need to see if we still have the till receipt as further provenance...

Quote;  Brian O’Driscoll.

“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.”

20 Aug 2016

And Then A Liquid...

While my little nest of vipers was indulging her hobby of collecting various objects from the pound store, none of which we need, never did need and never will need, I was left to my own devices and found something close to the checkout area and, I hasten to add, I’m probably miles behind the curve with this ‘discovery’.

E-cigarette liquids. I perused the display and amongst the usual cherry, chocolate and sole-of-left-boot flavours, found one I assumed to be bog standard tobacco, at 16mg, as it was called Butlers which I assumed to be a play on words for Lambert and Butlers cigarettes. Are these liquids really a pound a pop? Give my head a shake; it’s a pound store, right? Should I try a bottle? Why not? I told myself; it being me that asked the question of myself.

So, well, - and apologies if I’ve missed any other forms of starting a paragraph - with my ‘useful’ pound purchase and her ten of tat, off home it was and yesterday I tried the Butler one pound liquid. All I can say is that, for me, it works. The taste is just neutral, if that’s how to describe basically no taste at all, but, as us smokers and vapours like to state, it gave a satisfying throat-hit and all-in-all replicates wot I want it to replicate.

I now have to wrestle with the dilemma  of deciding between the two, to me, virtually identical liquids delivering virtually the same sensation; the one costing me ten pounds for four bottles, or the other costing ten pounds for ten bottles. I need time in a quiet environment to mull that one over I guess.

Quote;  John McCarthy.

“Self-righteousness has killed more people than smoking.”

18 Aug 2016

And Then Not Enough Action...

Seems some folk with nothing of any value to add to the sum of human existence, that would be health ‘experts’, campaigners{?} and various other wastes of space, are all bent out of shape because the government isn’t doing enough to tackle kids obesity. No mention of mummies and daddies; it’s the governments fault.

I guess these sad folk have done all kinds of studies at someone’s expense and I’m guessing that would be our expense and how cool is that then? Anyhoo, I don’t think they’ll mind me coming forward with my own real world observations.

We live quite close to a rather large primary school thus, of a morning and afternoon, there are many, nay, a lot of parents walking and driving a lot kids to and from school. That would be mainly mums. My study would suggest, based on nothing other than observing my one large school sample, that possibly one kid in a hundred is showing a bit o’ puppy fat. Absolutely no hint of a fatty epidemic is discernible at all. However, very many of the mums... 

The above is, of course, an excuse to drag the old BBC Movement to Music classic clip out of left field. Now jumping about doing that stuff would sure keep you trim, right?  Can you imagine the hand wringing outcry if this had been broadcast nowadays, in our brave new world? And if you don’t laugh, all I can say is, sadly, you must be dead.


Also of note today, it’s reported that record numbers of these supposedly fat kids are heading for uni, or, as you and I know it, university, and are like, so excited at the awesome prospect of being like, able to continue in their attempts to master reading, writing and like, doing that sums stuff you do with like, all different numbers.

To finish, this being the end as I have nothing further to add, there’s another cracker over at Darth Meerkat. Bu-by.

Quote;  Phyllis Diller.

"We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk, and the next twelve years telling them to sit down and shut up."

17 Aug 2016

And Then, A Little Pointing...

So, we did a  little light and not so light DIY outside before winter arrives. Winter’s a long way off you say? Have you not noticed the evenings drawing in already?

Anyhoo, first up was easy – just checking the mouse guards and this may be of interest to some of you.

A house about three down the road – or up the road if your standing down the road - has recently built a very nice conservatory; home built, timber, finished to a high standard. It is, however, built on a timber deck and you just know, as the owners now know, mice just love that and I do see the occasional mouse  foraging round our garden of an evening.

They’re welcome to come and go as they please as long as they don’t attempt entry to the house. Just as a safe guard against the little fellows getting in, sometime ago I protected the air bricks to maintain the flow of air but prevent the ingress of mouses; that being more than one mouse.

The stainless steel stuff the big shops sell for this purpose costs a small fortune but if you feel you need that sort of protection, get down to your Poundland store and get a few of their fine mesh flour sieves** at, yup, a pound a pop. As a bonus they do indeed appear to be stainless steel. They’re easy to cut to the required size with house scissors and can be formed to ‘lock’ over the air brick. Mouse entry bared via the air bricks. Job done for a slack hand-full of pounds.

**Sieves; not to be confused with colanders.

Okay, the proper job wot we took care of was a little brickwork pointing down the side. Easy job for me and her as I’d done the gouging a while ago. I say me and her but I’m sure you know how that works. Yup, me up the ladder utilising both my two available hands and hanging onto the ladder with my teeth while my little nest of vipers did the actual pointing. 
“You miss bit there! Look, look at place I be pointing at!”

Quote;  Robin McKinley.

“Mice are terribly chatty. They will chat about anything, and if there is nothing to chat about, they will chat about having nothing to chat about. Compared to mice, robins are reserved.”