Dont know how long this blog will be as Im waiting for a taxi to take me to the ferry terminal at north shields to catch a ferry to Amersterdam. I live about fifteen minutes away and a ferry leaves every day of the week at 4-30Pm. I have never been to Amsterdam and Im now over 70. Just never got round to it. Considering Ive been to most European countries and half way round the world its taken me long enough. Im told its worth it. Will report back next week.

Whats happened this week/ pretty normal week really. No change in the Uk re Brexit. They now have votes in the Commons and the PM just ignores the result whether she wins or not. Apparently it costs us £800 million a week now due to no decision and probably more when we do leave. The ordinary person has now given up and the politicians are driven by self interest rather having the countries interest at heart. So the stalemate goes on , and on, and ……….Im sure you get the drift!

Meanwhile in the US it is not much better. Trump is declaring a state of emergency to get his money for a wall (or is it a fence or even a hedge now). The poor people of America must be highly delighted that he wants to spend $5 billion on it.

How ironic. A Polish lady of 100 who survived the holocaust was mugged in the street and subsequently died killed by a Polish mugger in the streets of Derby.!

Just discovered the two actors playing Ma and Pa Walton in that good old fashioned US drama The Waltons were having an affair. How dreams are broken.

Sorry got to go my taxi has arrived

Poem attached       THAT,S LIFE



Yes I’m still here. People say January is usually a quite month and not a lot happens. Well not in my life. I have been very busy. Enough of the small talk.

Walkers crisp packets at the moment are not recyclable. But the company states they will be by 2025. Thats 6 years. Why are these companies not forced to do something urgently. It takes 6 years to develop a new type of packet. Thats ridiculous!. There just doesn’t seem the urgency to tackle this plastic problem!

Ronaldo the Portugese footballer was fined £17m for tax evasion in Spain. He had agreed with the authorities to pay £16.5 plus instead of 23 months in jail he was fined £320k. And who says money doesnt talk!!!!!

Alex Salmond former leader of the SNP(Scottish Nationalist party)  who at one time thought he was going to be the first president of Scotland and live in a castle, has been charged with 2 rapes and 9 counts of assault. Now I know you are innocent until you are proven guilty but when you have 11 charges against you , you are likely to be guilty. Oh, how the mighty. fall!

So that great British patriot , Sir James Dyson has decided to take the  HQ of his company to Singapore. Apparently for tax purposes. So money is more important than principles ! What a surprise.

How can we solve the Brexit problem? Well when you have a Prime Minister who was in favour of remaining in Europe leads a pro leave party and Labour the opposition have a pro- leave leader who leads a pro remain party  you have problems. And the balance of power is held by 12 Irish members who are only in it to get as much money for Ireland as possible thats when you have a stalemate.

And there is a similar problem in the USA where Trump can’t get his finance needed to build a wall or a fence or even a hedge to keep those horrible Mexicans out. That is also a stalemate. But in their case 800, 000 Government workers are not being paid.

HUMOUR–Eating 20 million bananas would give you a fatal dose of radioactivity. And by the way bananas are used to make kimonos!

Before humans reached Hawaii the dominant animals were giant ducks.

The longest bout of hiccups lasted 67 years.

In the 1950’s the Cyprus up rising against the British occupation resulted in British soldiers carrying out mock hangings and gang rapes.Compensation has recently been paid out to the victims. This is obviously an admission of guilt.  We were just as bad at civil rights as the countries we complain about now!


VAMOOSE- Depart swiftly (from the Spanish vamos)

SHILLY – SHALLY–To be indecisive.

JUGGINS– Simple minded person

MUCKER– To conceal.

Poem attached                                         that,s life



Well it’s a new year! A year of opportunity, a year of good luck, a year of good health, wealth. Who knows, but I believe it it always best to look forward and take any opportunities that arise when they arise. It is no good looking back later and regretting not doing something. It is better trying and failing than not trying at all! I have always believed in looking forward. Learning from the past but not regretting it as hind sight is a wonderful thing!

So good luck everyone and I hope you achieve whatever you really want to in 2019.

A man was given 6 years in prison for manslaughter for killing a girlfriend by driving a boat recklessly. He did not appear in court and has disappeared. But he has claimed £100,000 from the public purse to pay a legal team to prepare for an appeal. No one knows where he is not even his lawyers. So how is he allowed this money? The LAW is a ass.

5 of the 11 suspected of killing the Saudi journalist Jamai Khasihoggi in Turkey are likely to be executed.They deserve to be punished but not the death penalty.But what about the Crown Prince who ordered the killing.Nothing of course.His country is rich in oil so the world turns a blind eye.

The railway system in the uk is a disgrace! So what does the Government do. Puts up the prices of course! Oh, and by the way it is all the fault of the tade unions. I didn’t realise they were responsibile for all the time tables being changed, late trains and lots of antiquated rolling stock. The transport minister Chris Grayling is a joke.

HUMOUR–Mentioning guacamole in your dating profile gets you 144% more responses.

Australia is slightly wider than the moon. But it’s not blue or made out of cheese!

Elephants hear much better with one foot off the ground. But, it doesn’t work with humans because I’ve just tried it.

Haribo sweets contain nine out of the ten amino acids essential for life. So does that mean we could live off Maribo sweets alone?

As I keep mentioning child obesity in the uk is the worst in Western Europe. Yet the Government claims they are doing everything possible. Rubbish, as the Chief Medical Officer suggests we should be taxing the companies that produce junk foods. Instead of voluntary agreements with food and drink manufacturers we need to make them reduce sugar content or just fine them!

But McDonalds are now selling a vegetarian happy meal and Greggs a vegan sausage roll! And apparently they are both selling well. Food for thought.

OLD FASHIONED WORDS– Yex – A burp or a hiccup.

Blatherskite-Someone who talks too much.

Tommyrot- Talking rubbish.

Hogwash- As above

Poem attached      A ticking clock



Well Xmas is over and a new year is dawning, hopefully better world -wise than 2018.

I wish you all a New Year that gives everything you would choose for yourself!

2018 has been a year of totally inept politicians, a year when the wealthy have become dramatically weathier and the poor have become poorer that is the ones who are still alive. And a year when corrupt and non-democratic states have thrived.

Firstly in America I watched Obama giving out Xmas presents at a children’s hospital. ok, he did not achieve a great deal in his time in office (he struggled to get legislation through a Republican majority) But I do believe he was a man of humility and integrity. He got on with children and the ordinary people. So did his wife Michelle. Both came from working class families and showed what was possible in a democracy. Trump is the exact opposite. No way could you ever accuse him of humility or integrity. And his wife is just an acquired trophy. He is without a doubt the most deceitful leader of a western- world democracy.

Then in the UK. , we have a (I nearly said leader) PM who is devoid of reality. She has now overtaken David Cameron in being the worst PM  in my life-time. She keeps saying the same things parrot -fashion, such as Brexit is Brexit and the deal she has negotiated is the best deal possible. Theresa May has been out-manoeuvered by Europe as was Cameron before her. It was not a negotiation , it was a ultimatum!  She keeps talking about free trade, our own laws and freedom of movement. The thing that caused the problem is immigration. No matter how you dress it up the referendum was a response to the UKIP party winning more than 3 million votes in the previous general election. UKIP is a ultra right wing party (bordering on Fascist) whose campaign was solely based on restricting the number of immigrants into the country. And so a Yes or No referendum was offered on staying or leaving Europe. It was very close 52-48%. But at that stage no one knew what exactly they were voting for. Theresa May at that stage was a remainer. But cleverly she did not campaign and kept a very low profile during the vote. Cameron resigned and she became leader as neither Remainers or Leavers could decide who was best. she got the Pm’s job on the basis she was the least worst and was a safe pair of hands. WRONG. As she had only a small majority she arrogantly decided the Labour Party was weak and if she had a General Election she would easily win another 100 odd seats. WRONG AGAIN. She got even less seats. And so as New Year approaches we are in total limbo. If you want my opinion the way forward is that Europe offer us an extra package to actually stay in.

In the rest of the world Putin continues to do what he likes in Syria and the Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and Iran fight each other in the Yemen and millions starve or are killed in indiscriminate bombing.

Erdogan in Turkey continues to gag the press and runs an oppressive state. Myanmar’s army dictatorship displaced 700, 000 Rohingya people.

And most African countries appear to be corrupt and run by despots.

And where was the UN in all of this? Well they were talking about it as usual. But no major actions taken, as usual.

We dont appear to be making much progress in Climate change either. Some countries dont even accept it is happening.

And the plastic problem is getting worse too.

And the Japanese are going to start killing whales again soon.

And so we enter 2019. My personal life is pretty good health and happiness wise, I just worry about the world for the sake of my children and grand children. So as long as we keep our fingers crossed we should be OK. Good Luck everybody.





Yes I know i missed a post last friday. My life is such a whirl. I walk my dog for two hours every day am chairman of a local branch of a organisation called U3A with 300 members . I’m in a walking group,joint leader of a archaeology group, a member of a sports group and psychology group and now I’m involved with school runs and gymnastic classes for a little girl who isn’t even 5 yet. Oh , and I try to write a blog and a poem every week. Good job i’m retired or I wouldn’t be able to fit it in otherwise.

I’m not going to say much about Brexit other than apologise to everyone for the shambles this country has become. we have had two successive Prime Ministers who couldn’t negotiate themselves ou of a paper bag. Our Parliament has become more like a kindergarden of bawling kids. It used to be one of the most democracies in the world we are now a laughing stock. So I apologise on behalf of the man in the street who cant believe what is happening. SORRY!

We had a previous Prime Minister called Gordon Brown who was less than knowledgeable about modern times . Apparently he was always confused about LGBT( lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and BLT’s(bacon , lettuce and tomato sandwiches) I actually know the difference between the two but I am confused about the number of sexual connitations there are now.

HUMOUR a single lightening bolt produces enough energy to power a family home for a month. Ok, so how do you catch it?

On 28th June 2009 Stephen Hawking hosted a party for time travellers from the future. Surprisingly nobody turned up!

in the year 20860 the Islamic and Christian calendars will finally agree.  pity I wont be around then to see some sort of agreement.

Human teeth evolved from fish scales.

The Uk Government were going to ban the sale of energy drinks to children. Apparently it is not convinced these high sugar high caffeine drinks have any effect on obesity. Even though obesity levels in children are rising year after year. Stupid.

I know i often talk about obscene prices for art etc. Here is another one. A bottle of whisky costing £1.2 million or a glass worth £43,000.  How do you drink a glass coting that much? Do you drink it off in one gulp or do you sip it? OBSCENE


Fiddle-faddle-Wasting time doing trivial thing.

Lickspittle- A grovelling individual.

Kickshaw-Little bits of what you fancy, which do you good.

Rapscallion- A rascal or rogue.

There is more and more evidence of climate change or global warming but when are countries going to take it seriously. we have just had a major conference about it but until the large industrial countries doing something about it things aren’t going to change. It is likely our children are going to suffer the most not those of us who are adults now.

POEM attached      THE UNDERSTUDY    


Sorry , late again. Just seem to have a lot on recently.

The Tower of London has been guarded by Beefeaters (Yeoman Warders) since 1485. One of them looks after the 7 ravens who lives there. There has been a tradition that should the ravens leave the Tower England will fall to a foreign power. My dad was stationed at the Tower during the 2nd World War and he told me they were manacled then so they couldn’t fly away. There are only 37 Beefeaters now and apparently they are considering going on strike re their pension terms. So whose going to look after the ravens? And what happens if they they/

Some local authorities in England are considering giving convicted rapists access to children born as a result of their rape. That is ridiculous! What about the feelings of the woman who was raped?

A long lost Da Vinci drawing was offered to museums at the discounted price of £18 million No museums can afford this price so it will be sold at it’s market price of between £26 -£53 million to a private person.Thats really sad but why cant the private dealer buy it and donate it back to a museum so the public can see ir. Oh and , by the way the last picture, Salador Mundi,  by him went for  £350 million.

A German survey of 130 millionaires found that they think they are something special. they were found to be more extroverted and conceited than the general population. they were more focused on themselves and “getting ahead” than their relationships with others. Hardly surprising !

HUMOUR- During the 1741 general Election angry voters pelted candidates with dead cats and dogs.

Edouard Monet’s cat was eaten during the Siege of Paris in 1870.

Rice Krispies in Germany go “Knisper! Knasper! Knusper!” Must translate as , “Snap, Crackle and Pop .

Sweden makes biofuel from dead rabbits.

The modern politician replies to anything he doesn’t believe in as either “fake news” or doesn’t agree with figures or statistics produced. They don’t have well  constructed and reasoned discussions any more. In fact they don’t actually answer the questions they are asked any more.

A new £50 note is to be issued in the UK soon. It was announced that it would be a scientist such as Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the phone, Frank Whittle , the jet engine pioneer, Jethro Tull, horse drawn seed drill, Patrick Moore, astronomer, Barnes wallis, the inventor of the bouncing bomb. But the favourite is ex Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was a food scientist, working on ice cream for two years. SOme scientist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Condiddle- To steal.

Caterwaul- Burst of high pitch screaming.

Fizgig-Someone prone to flirtation.

Pettifogging- Attaching undeserved importance to something.

Trollop- A promiscous woman.

This country now has over 300, 000 homeless people and now have food banks for people who are struggling financially. So how come we now fund overseas aid to the tune of £14 billion.We give £151million to the corrupt leaders of Uganda who distibute to the elite of the country rather than the poor. Other countries receiving aid are- India, £90 million, Pakistan, £402 million, Turkey, £!37million, Myanmar £120 million and Iraq, £82 million. Oh, and China £43million. What we are supposed to get in return i haven’t got a clue.

Now don’t get me wrong i totally believe in helping the poorer countries but it is so important it gets to those who need it most not filtered off by the corrupt and greedy leaders.







Our Foreign Minister is apparently upset with the UAE who have sentenced Durham University student, Matthew Hedges to life imprisonment (minimum 25 years) for spying . Jeremy Hunt has told his wife they are doing everything possible to get him released. But what I would like to know what the british Government was doing while he was held in solitary confinement for 6 months before his 5 minute “fair” trail. He was given a lawyer who could not speak English and did not see any British consulate official until he had had 6 weeks of interrogation. And the UAE is supposed to be an ally!.

There is also the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian who has been held in Iran since 2016 also accused of spying. She was a teacher on holiday.

Finally I go back to the case of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashhoggi , murdered by a Saudi hit squad in Turkey. The ruling Royal family claim it was nothing to do with them. Donald trump has said even IF it is proved they did know they wont fall out with Sadi Arabia.

And what have all three situations got in common? They are all countries with lots of oil. They buy lots of  weapons from us from the UK and US. So individuals dont really matter in the scheme of things.

The only thing  the UN do is to apply sanctions against countries that step out of line. But they rarely work. We have sanctions against Russian for being involved in Syria and invading the Crimea. Sanctions against Iran. The only time I can remember them being really successful was against South Africa In the fight against Apartheid. Generally they dont work and the countries do what they like..


To Betrump, what a coincidence it means to conceive.



Gadzooks- An expression of surprise.

JUGGINS- Someone who is gullible.


A German town has stopped children hanging their Xmas wishlists from Santa Claus on a tree in the market place. This is due to new European privacy laws (GDPR)

A woman who is MD of a on line betting company was paid £265 miillion last year. This sort of salary is obscene . If directors of companies pay themselves such amounts, ( the MD of Persimmon (since resigned) was another who earned over £100 million.) they should pay huge tax bills. When you consider there are more than 300,000 homeless in this country, food banks are now fairly normal in cities it is a fact the rich are becoming richer and the poor poorer!

And Brexit, well it goes on and on and the rest of the counties needs are ignored, lack of police on the streets, (two police, a man and woman were beaten up on a main street while a passer-by filmed it on his phone and thought it was funny), mental illness in children is increasing dramatically, knife crime is growing by the day, the prisons are in disarray and the targets set for cancer treatment are falling wellshort. The ship UK is not a happy ship.

Humour—- each person in a swimming pool leaves behind 8 and 20 teaspoons of urine!

Goats cant cry.

If you tickle a rat everyday it’ll start laughing as soon as it sees you. WOW.

POEM attached          LOST IN LOVE





How things have changed in the Uk in my life time. When i left school my first job was with the NCB (National Coal Board) there were 124 mines in the Northumberland and Durham coalfield. Now there are none , in fact there are none in the hole of the UK. The North East of England in the sixties was virtually all manufacturing , coal mining, heavy engineering and shipbuilding. The area at one time built more ships than anywhere else in the world. And in 2018 fifty years there are no ships built, no pits and no heavy engineering. By far the largest employer is the Nissan (Japanese owned obviously) After them the largest employers are hospitals, local authorities which are run by the state. So that is what has happened not just in my area but the in the whole of the UK.

THE UK now has only 8% jobs relying on manufacturing. Now I know technology has played a large part in this reduction of jobs but it is a frightening situation. And Brexit will certainly not help us.

So what it happening with Brexit. Well nobody knows really. The government and indeed the Prime Minister pretend they know. But after 2 years of negotiation the people are non the wiser. It is a shambles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I dont know about you but I have always had a huge fear of sitting next to a very obese person on a plane. Now Im not talking about somebody who is overweight Im talking about is very fat. I even look around in the lounge just before we board to see if I could have a problem. so far I havent.

A 5ft 2in man who was in the window seat had a 23 stone, 6ft 5in sitting in the seat next to him on a 13 hour BA flight from Bangkok to London. He is suing the airline for injuries incurred on the flight. As i say it would be my worst nightmare!

HUMOUR–There are more statues of lions in the world than there are real lions.

It is illegal in Chicago to have weeds more than 10 inches tall.

You can tell if a duck has bird flu by smelling its droppings.

Johnny Cash’s estate once refused permission for his hit “Ring of Fire” to be used in a commercial for haemorrhoid cream

Donald Trump last week cancelled a visit to a 1st World War military cemetery as it was raining.  Were the troops in the trenches allowed to stop fighting when it rained?

The USA are outdoing the UK in murders yet again.

A gun mass murder in the US if more than 4 people are killed. There have been more than 300 this year , basically one a day.

In London there have been 119 murders so far this year involving knife crime.

What a tragic situation and what is being done in both instances. They are talking about it!

The Supermarkets in the UK turned out 59 billion pieces, which includes 810,000 tonnes of single use plastic. So the government claims they are making progress is just not true.





Those that have read my blog previously will know i have a yellow Labrador dog called Bruce. in a way he dictates my life. He has three walks a day, first thing in the morning, late mornig and evening. So in a way I fit my life around him, or in another way I fit his his life round mine, but when i have to leave him for more than 4 and a half hours I have to make arrangements to have him taken to friends or relations. Fortunately most Labs are very friendly and people like having him. Also when going away on holiday I make arrangements that he stays at a registered dog walkers house. Kennels are pretty old fashioned these days, dogs tend to stay in peoples houses with other dogs and are walked every day. It is not cheap but the dogs are much happier. Dogs have huge benefits both physically and mentally. The physical side is provided by the walking you do. The mental benefit is untold. I live on my own and several years ago and had treatment for cancer( successfully) Radiotherapy for every weekday for 7 weeks. I actually visited hospital 43 times. What kept me going even when I could not be bothered was walking the dog. It was difficult but it kept me focused. Dogs are unrelentingly faithful and just want to be fed, walked and fussed over. Stroking a dog has therapeutic benefits of being calm and relaxed. Also you find when you walking your dog you meet and talk with other dog owners. In fact I find everyone knows my dog’s name but not mine.

After extolling the virtue of dogs i have just read the following facts :- There are 20 million dog owners in the UK and of that number 24% are left alone for more than 5 hours every week day, 16% aren’t walked at least once a day and 47% of dogs seen by vets are overweight or obese. 12% haven’t received any sort of training, These figures are depressing as we all have a basic commitment to look after them properly.

All has gone quite this week so I presume Saudi Arabia has got away with the murder of the journalist in Turkey. They are certainly still bombing civilians in Yemen but thats ok to the US as the other side are being backed by Iran, who are the real big bad wolf!

So all the politicians fine words have been useless. And the rich kids get away with murder (literally)

How can Republican politicians in the US claim victory when they lost The House of Representatives? Surely if nothing else it will slow the progress of new laws by the administration. Or even drop them.But overall Trump claimed it was a great victory in the Senate and the loss of the other house was down to the hostile media. Of course it was.

And Brexit. Well the talks go on, and on,********************* probably ad infinitum.

Right wings parties are certainly on the march all over the world. They have just had a big victory in Brazil which follows good results for them in Germany, Italy, Austria and Sweden and soon in France. The UK and US have already swung right. And what have they all got in common? Immigration. Incoming foreigners stealing jobs!

HUMOUR—-The labourers who built the “Great Wall of China” were fed on sauerKraut.

Eating dogs is legal in 44 US states.

Alan Shepard took a peanut to the moon. When he came back Steve McQueen tried to eat it.

Termites like the smell of biro ink!                                              LOST LOVE



DOnt know why but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week as i’ve meandered my way on the fields and beaches of Northumberland with my dog. Temperature has dropped this week and we have had our first frost. Weather on the coast is never too extreme but only 20 miles away they had had snow last weekend. When you have a dog you obviously have to take them for walks no matter what the weather so bad weather does no bother me too much. But lack of daylight does. It is about 7 in the morning when it gets light but it is dark at five. And it will get worse until mid December.

What have I been thinking about? Lots of different things.

It is coming up to 100 years since the end of the 1st world war. Did you know 16 million died and 23 million were injured? Millions of men lost their lives on both sides due to the arrogance and ineptitude of politicians and soldiers. I honestly think some of them should have been charged as war criminals, from both sides. And who won? I don’t really think any side won. Men on both sides were used as cannon fodder.

Why do lotteries pay out such high prices. There was one in the USA over a billion dollars. Why dont they pay out a maximum of £2 or $2, but lots of  prizes. I think £2 million can make the ordinary person happy. Enough probably to buy , say, two houses and three cars and have lots of holidays. A billion pounds actually can make you unhappy. Past winners marriages have broken up and friends and relatives have fallen out as you can be accused of either flaunting the winnings or not sharing them enough. The truth is you cant win. You will probably lose old friends and make new enemies. I dont actually buy any tickets.

The world is swinging to the right. There have been elections in Brazil and Germany this week and in both right-wing candidates did really well. Theses right wing parties are actually nationalists or even fascists with a different name! And are potentially dangerous.

HUMOUR—Martian sunsets are blue

Until 1900 visitors to Stonehenge were given chisels so the could chip off a souvenir.

Elephants like to tickle each other.

WOW –Every leech has 18 testicles and 2 ovaries.

Have you seen the photograph of J Lo almost in the nude. She claims she is making a stand for female empowerment. I think she is doing the opposite.

CHILD OBESITY- In the UK only 1 in 30 children get enough exercise.

PLASTIC———-90% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs.

A man who lived in a terraced house in Lancs was discovered to have left hundred of paiting in his house when he died. His paintings are very reminiscent of the important British painter LS Lowry. He had never attempted to sell any in his lifetime but they could be very valuable now.

So the Saudis did kill the Saudi Journalist Khashoggi. What a surprise! But none of the ruling Royal Family knew anything about it. No surprise there!!!!!

POEM attached       OLD JOE