FOXTROT FOR FRIDAY

I read an article recently and it had never occurred to me that Jesus Christ is always depicted as having blonde hair and fair skin. The truth is (I assume) he was Jewish, dark skinned and had black hair. He would certainly have been of a Middle-Eastern appearance.  Now I will confess I am an Agnostic.( that is I don’t know if a God exists or not) I was brought up by my parents to believe in God and they were brought up as Presbyterian (A mainly protestant faith worshipped in Scotland0. I went to Sunday School until I drifted away from religion as an adult. It was hypocritical but I got married in Church and both my children were baptised. I became an Atheist ( I didn’t believe in God) but in 1999 when my son died at 18 in an accident I hoped that I might find contact with him in Heaven or some sort of afterlife. And after I died there might be some kind of reunion. I would suspect a lot of people would want this to happen. However I have never felt any sort of contact or even a suspicion of contact. I lot of people have put coincidences down to fact. Even I though would love to pretend I have had any contact whatsoever I haven’t. But in the hope I will see him again I have to cling onto the hope there is a afterlife. So I therefore call myself an Agnostic at present.

That is my take on religion. I know there are billions of people in this world who base there daily lives on various religions. They believe in some form of God. I have no problem with that but I don’t understand why people kill each other for the sake of different religions. All Gods (or possibly different forms of the same God) surely should be good. Forgive people their sins , help and be kind to their fellow citizens. To me there should be a common bond in Gods where they are good. In a lot of ways it is the Devil or Satan who should be the force for evil.  But in the world today there are more wars and conflicts because of religion than ever. People kill others because they worship the wrong God. Or are they worshiping the Devil, who knows.

When children go back to school full time in September the majority will have lost a full 6 months education. Some will never catch up again. But the worry for me is the impact of the mental health of both children and their parents. There is likely to be severe unemployment  and for those parents on already reduced circumstances it will be a struggle. I don’t think the government realise how long it will take for things to improve again. For some possibly never.

LETS HAVE SOME HUMOUR

In Newcastle upon Tyne , gay means “owning a coat”.

An empty aluminium cigar tube filled with angry wasps makes an inexpensive vibrator.

I have often wanted to drown my troubles but I can’t get my wife to go swimming!

My dad always used to say “always fight fire with fire” That’s probably why he got thrown out of the fire brigade.

My son has taken up meditation. At least it’s better than sitting around doing nothing.

One in ten Europeans is now conceived in a IKEA bed.

OLD FASHIONED WORDS

HIGGLEDY- PIGGLEDY– In disorder, confusion.

HIGH HAT–Snobbish, to snub.

HIPPOCAMPUS–Sea monster , horse head with a dolphin tail.

LINGUA FRANCA– A hybrid language used in Mediterranean ports.

BOBBY DAZZLER– Anything that is outstanding

BLUESTOCKING–A learned bookish woman.

GEORDIE FOODS

STOTTIE– A type of flat round loaf

PAN HAGGERTY– Type of stew made from potatoes, onions and cheddar cheese, sometimes with cabbage.

SINGING HINNIES– Type of scone, which makes a hissing sound on a griddle.

PEASE PUDDING– Yellow split peas, a savoury vegetable dish.

TODAYS POEM–        WHO

 

 

FRAUDENTLY FRIDAY

It is really difficult to get away from the subject of the coronavirus. Quite rightly as a lot of people in the world are dying from it.  Countries have reacted very differently to coping with it. Some have handled the situation well but others not so well.

USA- Trump initially didn’t really take the virus seriously at first , said it was “just”  another type of flu. The country reacted much too slowly to lock down in the major cities especially New York. Now Trump is pushing to reactivate the economy quicker than most states want. The infection rates are still way too high.

BRAZIL- The President, Bolsonaro is , quite frankly, hoping the virus will just go away and keep his economy going despite a lot of deaths.

RUSSIA- Is now a worry. Their infections and deaths are rising quite rapidly now and I hope their lock-down is proving effective. They sat on the fence too long and now are paying the price. They already have a shortage of Safety Equipment  (SSE)

ITALY, FRANCE and SPAIN. Initially had a lot of deaths and infections and  very strict lockdowns are  to easing off very slowly and carefully.

GERMANY.- Have  had a lot less deaths than other European countries. They have tested more of the population than any other of the large European nations. They are now slowly opening some of their lockdown situations and industry is being to start up.

Most of the other European nations are now easing lockdowns.

CHINA- Whether we believe the virus was started in a Wuhan laboratory or in a livestock market we don’t know (or ever know). But infections and deaths are much lower than other countries (if they are to believed) Chinese industry is now starting up and the whole world needs their economy to recover quickly.

Other Asian countries have controlled the virus  well. Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Singapore have used testing to good effect.

My great worry is for some of the other populous Asian nations where workers in factories need to work to live. If they don’t work they starve. Countries like Bangladesh, india, Pakistan and Indonesia.

AFRICA seems to been little effected so far. But it is early days there.

And what about the UK. Well we were too slow and unprepared for the virus. Austerity over the past 10 years has caused this problem. We were too worried about Brexit to do anything else. Uk deaths are the worst in Europe and while diminishing are still far too high. Due to the lack of social care in the community deaths in care homes have been unnecessarily high.

Our PM Boris Johnson has now alienated the other home nations. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are now doing their own thing. Johnson’s quandary is that infections and deaths are still too high but he is trying to reopen schools and industry. Who knows what will happen in the next few months!

 

On a brighter note we might even see some sports events soon although they are likely to be behind close doors. How crowds will be admitted later no one knows.

The same goes for theatres, cinemas, pop concerts , in fact anywhere there are crowds. We will just have to wait for guidance in the future. It is possible that in the summer some pubs, cafes and restaurants could operate out doors.

Like most people we wonder if we will be able to travel abroad again in the near future. The government is now considering a 14 day quarantine for all travellers even when they return from holiday. So the likely hood is that most people will try to get accommodation at home but there will be a huge demand this summer. And we don’t know when hotels will reopen. These are strange times. But where I live the weather has been good recently and we can still walk our dogs on the beach , stroll through the woods. Life isn’t so bad. For some of us anyway.

HUMOUR–Bananas are used to make kimonos. Presumably you can eat them first!

The New Zealand badminton team was nicknamed the “Black Cocks” but had to drop it after complaints.

The US doubled in size in 1983 when President Reagan expanded it’s coastal waters from 3 to 200 miles!

Human rights were invented in Iran.A while ago!

Rice Krispies in Germany go “Knisper, Knasper, Knusper” Of course they do!

OLD WORDS-

Woozy– unsteady with drink, dizzy.

Hugger mugger–confusion, muddle, jumble.

Hullaboo– clamour, hubbub.

Humbug–sham, empty talk.

Hurdy gurdy– old musical instrument.

Hurly burly– turmoil. uproar.

GEORDIE WORDS

Sneck– part of a door lock.

Tappy lappy– stroll or walk.

Tab–cigarette.

Gammy– Injured part of the body.

Clout– hit someone violently.

Claggy– sticky

POEM Attached                                                     STORMY WEATHER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FLAMBOYANTLY FRIDAY

Today in the UK is the 75th Anniversary of VE day (Victory in Europe) . It is a celebration in a way for liberation but on the other hand 21 million Europeans were killed . Many more were injured. That was only the military losses plus all many million civilians. I totally understand the relief and the sacrifice of people when victory was announced. But it cant be a total celebration. Wars kill ordinary people due to politicians and religious fanatics. Even today where the coronavirus dominates world news  wars continue. People are still dying but it is not news worthy. When will we ever learn!

The UK are now leading the number of deaths in Europe. And they are still growing. I will not elaborate the point but our Government have not at any stage got to grip with this virus. Everything has been too little , too late. Testing, we still have not consistently met the so call 100,000 target at the end of April and Boris the clown is now going for 200,000! As I have said before promises, promises never facts only wish lists. Testing has been too slow as has the supply of Safety equipment and leadership skills and organisational abilities are non existent. This government has blamed austerity on everything over the last few years. The local authorities were starved of cash for social care in the community and that is the main reason the death toll in care homes is so high.. I also think after this is all over the state of mental health in this country will have to be reassessed drastically.

Just finally on this subject has no one thought it might have been useful to create a coalition or interim National government to sort out this current crisis?

An old soldier Captain Tom Morgan who has justed turned 100 raised £39 million for NHS charities. The internet company Just Giving charge 5% to administer for this charity. So they made £308,000 profit out of raising funds. What a pathetic performance, they must have no shame!

Last week I spoke about some local facts to the area I live.

Firstly the ship the HMS Resolute was built at Smiths Dock in 1850 at North Shields where I live.It was a sailing ship and was sent on an expedition to the Arctic in 1854. It was trapped in the pack ice and abandoned.  It was rescued by a US whaler and renovated  back in a port in the US. She was given as a present from the US to Queen Victoria. The ship was subsequently broken up and her timbers were made into furniture. In 1880 Queen Victoria gave President Hayes a desk for the White House in Washington. That desk known as the Resolute desk is still used by the current President, Trump! Wow

A William Smith was born in Seaton Sluice, a small village 4 miles away from my home, in 1790. He became a ships master and had a small sailing ship built. It was called the “The Williams” In 1819 he subsequently sailed from Buenos Aires in Argentina on his way to Valparaiso in Chile and inadvertently sailed to undiscovered land.He had landed on the South Shetland peninsular. He was the first man to discover the continent of the Antarctic.

HUMOUR

American tank crews have a superstition that will not allow them to eat apricots, allow them on board or even say the word apricot.

Traffic lights were introduced 18 years before cars were invented.

The average pigeon in London has 1.6 feet.

The least common PIN number is 8068. Well it was until I told you.

Madonna was sacked from her job at Dunkin Doughnuts for squirting jam at customers. She always was a fun girl.

Clams can live for 400 years. Not on my beach  they don’t!

OLD ENGLISH WORDS

Mizzle– To run away.

Palaver–A fuss, bother.

Pallmall– An old game using a mallet to hit a  wooden ball through a metal hoop.

Panjandrum–A pompous official

Wonky– Shaky or unsteady.

GEORDIE WORDS

Howk– Pull violently.

Breeks– trousers

Wisht– be quiet!

tatty– unkempt, untidy

Stot– bounce

Spuggy–sparrow

POEM attached                               .A place in the heart

 

 

 

 

 

FORTISSIMO FOR FRIDAY

Another week has gone. We have just over two weeks left for our self isolation in the UK. It looks as if things will be eased off then probably slowly at first. We are expecting some of the schools going back in May, shops and some factories will open.I saw a Oxford professor on the TV tentatively forecasting we may have a vaccine available in Sept/Oct. Ready for millions of the population with some priorities at first. Hopeful news soon.

Deaths and infections are slowly coming down which is also good. Although deaths in care homes are also increasing.

Bear with me I won’t be much longer with the corona news. With out the inevitable inquests into how the government performed during this crisis the facts are likely to emerge that the provision of  safety equipment (SSE) for the NHS and latterly care homes has been far too slow. Also the testing has just this week been improved substantially, but again far too slowly. Finally it is likely that the number of deaths in the UK will be greater than any other country in Europe pro rata to population. I hope civil servants and scientists will not be made scrapecoats rather than the politicians who hopefully deserve a larger part of the culpability.

Sorry that was my rant over.

When I wrote my blog some 4 or 5 years ago it was based on my thoughts while walking my dog Bruce on the beach where I live in Whitley Bay , a seaside town in the North east of England. I have recently moved house which is now closer to the beach in Cullercoats. We live about 10 miles from Newcastle but the Northumberland coast has 60 miles of magnificent sandy beaches. We are the most northerly county in England and the least populated.. We have more castles than any other county and Northumbria was both a centre of Christianty and military might in the 9th century. The coast line was invaded by the Vikings but never occupied . They settled futher south in Yorkshire but were kept at bay by the fierce nature of the local inhabitants.Many battles were fought by the Scots and English in Northumberland which was why we have so many castles. In the southern border of the county is Hadrians wall which some 2000 years ago seperated the Romans from the Picts and the Scots. This area , mainly Newcastle was where the railways were first invented as was the first electric lights. In fact the oldest dedicated commuter railway line  in the world   between North Shields and Newcastle is only 2 miles from where I live. This area is a hugely  important area in history. I will bore you with other facts from the area in the future.

HUMOUR

Aristotle thought small penises were better because semen got cold in large ones! I couldn’t possibly comment on that!

Ancient Greeks declared their love for a woman by throwing an apple at her.

In the Himalayas the smoke from burning millipedes is used to treat haemorrhoids!

It’s illegal in Saudi Arabia for men to work in lingerie stores!

In 2014 a pair of underpants donated by the Mayor of Brussels was stolen from the Brussels Underpant Museum. Interesting!

There are more plastic flamingoes in the USA than real flamingoes.

OLD FASHIONED WORDS

Shindy–A noisy disturbance, commotion.

Shufty– A peak or look.

Guffaw– Loud laughter.

Larrikin– A rough , disorderly person.

Larrup– To whip or flog.

Floozy– A disreputable or loose woman

GEORDIE WORDS

Bleb– A spot or flaw.

Brekks– Trousers.

Howk– Pull violently

Whisht– To be quiet.

Tatty- Unkempt, untidy.

Thank you and good night My poem is attached       .Revelation 2nd draft