Another week gone in my life , where to I haven,t a clue but it has gone quickly. I try to set myself a small target of doing something or going somewhere new or even learning something everyday. I achieve it most days but i can’t remember what they were this week.

I,m trying this week to only talk about nice things but it is difficult.

Firstly I was surprised to learn that Robert Redford has never won an acting Oscar. considering this list of films, Barefoot in the Park, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, All the President’s Men, A River runs Through it, Out of Africa, Indecent Proposal, The Horse Whisperer and many more. He did however win one Oscar as Director for Ordinary People and a lifetime award. Must have been the case there were just better films out the years he made good ones.

What a shame to hear about the death of Aretha Franklin this week. She was one of the “Great Singers” She made singing seem easy. The only others that I think this ease of singing applied to for me was Peggy Lee, Barbra Streisand and strangely enough Donna Summer. Boy did Aretha Franklin have a tough life.She had two kids by the time she was 15, married a pimp who beat her and she was insecure all her life . She was also a perfectionist. It is amazing how people who have hard lives can be touched by genius. It is almost as if they are better because they have had to fight for their art. She was without a doubt the “Queen of Soul”

HUMOUR——King Francis the 1st of France hung the “Mona Lisa” in his bathroom. If only he had known!

Two teaspoons of Botox are enough to kill the whole of the UK.

The first ever “Webcam” was in the computer lab at Cambridge Uni. It was trained on the coffee pot in the corridor to save scientists making pointless trips when it had run out.

Pandas defecate( Shit to me and you) 50 times a day . Just think of the amount of toilet paper they must use!

A new film is coming out soon “The Aeronauts”. It is the true story of two Victorian scientists who broke the altitude record for a hot air balloon. But to make it more box office one of the characters has been changed to a woman. The male character missed out was a hero who saved the others life. The record they broke lasted 65 years. What a shame history has been changed for money.

Women are quite capable of looking after themselves. i would like to think (in most walks of life but not all yet) women are given opportunities on merit. Something I think is wrong for example is the Conservative party in the UK have women only short lists of candidates to stand as MP’s. In other words it is best woman not best person. Do women really want things rigged in their favour. Is it not better being chosen because you were the best person for the job. It is gradually happening , certainly in the UK.





Sorry , twice, Firstly it’s not Friday and secondly I missed last week because I was at a wedding. Said wedding was in Winchester, Hampshire and what a beuatiful place it is!. It was the old capital of England before William the Conqueror invaded England so it is very historical. It has a huge Cathedral , ruined castle , a Great hall (where supposedly King Arthur’s round table hangs on the wall) and loads of historical buildings . These buildings dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries by the way. And lots of good bars and restaurants too. All in all a memorable week end. AND i have booked to visit probably my favourite city next month. And that is Paris.

Well not a lot seems to have happened this week, apart from people dying in wars in the Yemen, Syria and various parts of Africa. Earthquakes in the far East, floods in Japan and and France. What I meant was that it has been pretty quiet on the political front.

Although Boris Johnson , our undiplomatic Foreign Secretary has excelled himself by saying stupid, provocative things. He said “a woman wearing a burka looks like a post-box” Then he claims he is not anti-Islamic and that she has every right to do so! But then went on to say “does she know how stupid she looks” Obviously Donald Trump has been giving him lessons in how to upset people without really trying!

I must have been living with my head in the sand recently. The BBC published a list of the most influential women ever born. Out of the top ten I,m ashamed to say I hadn’t heard of five, Rosa Parks, Ada Lovelace, Rosalind Franklin,Angela Burdett-Coutts and Mary Wollstonecraft. Sorry ladies.

How contradictory life is. I read this week that too much exercise risks mental health. Up to 45 minutes is good but after that is unwise. Also that too much sleep can be bad for you!. health experts keep telling us different things.

Another thing this week caught my eye. That school pupils are being stressed by sitting exams!Normal life is pressured and competitive whether we like it or not and are exams not part of the preparation for this.

HUMOUR-JRR Tolkein was rejected for a Nobel Prize in literature on the grounds of his “poor storytelling”

Ruth Wakefield , inventor of chocolate chip cookies sold her idea to Nestles in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate!

A grass hoper becomes more sociable if you stroke its hind legs. How sociable I’m afraid I don’t know!

The largest sperm bank in the world does not accept donations from redheads because of insufficient demand.

St George is the patron saint of England, leprosy AND syphilis.

Finally a new law is going to pass through Parliament that eating dog-meat in the UK will be illegal. Firstly I didn’t realise we did eat dog meat here and secondly my dog, Bruce is absolutely delighted

POEM attached                  FALLING



Well the weather in the Uk in the tha last few weeks has been unusually hot. They say the hottest and driest since 1976. It has been unusual as I have been able to go walking with my dog on the beach or across the fields near me just in a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops without the worry of it raining at any time. Does not happen too often on this North east coast. It is a pleasure to be back walking my dog on the beach after several weeks of him being injured. After just 8 weeks of having the ligaments of his back leg being repaired and a metal plate being inserted he is back swimming in the sea and chasing his ball for as long as Im prepared to throw it.

With the weather being excellent more people are talking about it rather the wars going on in the world or even Brexit! People are very fickle.

The Goverment had a cabinet meeting in Newcastle this week to show how much they care about this region presumably. They need to as if we reach a “No Deal” conclusion with Brexit this Region will suffer twice as much as any other region. We export more percentage wise than any other region and are given much more in grants (again percentage wise) than any where else. The funniest thing was their train back to London took 6 hours rather than the usual three. Now they might realise how normal rail users suffer!

Prince Charles supported a paedophile Bishop even when the guy was suspected of crimes against young boys. Charles gave him money and accommodation becuse he didnt believe the authorities. Now he believes he should be treated differently because he is Royal. His arrogance should be one of the reasons he should never become King!!!!!!

While Im on the subject of Roals, Princess Eugenie is getting married soon. She apparently thinks she should have a similar wedding to Prince Harry. Why I dont know. She does very little of note, in fact she is pretty much like her father, Prince Andrew, who is  also pretty useless.

Again another arrogant Royal!

HUMOUR–The ancient Egyptian word for cat was pronounced “Miaow”. what a co-incedence!

Aristotle thought small penises were better because semen got cold in larger ones! No comment.

In 1976 Ron Wayne , co-founder of Apple sold his shares for $800. Today they would be worth billions. Oops!

Its illegal in Saudi Arabia for men to work in lingerie shops.

Record numbers of 10 and 11 year old children in UK are classed as “severely obese” A severely obese adult will die 10 years earlier than an adult of normal weight. This really should be a Government priority as it is not just a case of people dying but the cost of treatment by the NHS for overweight people.

POEM attached——The silence is broken

















After two months of not living up to my “Beach Thoughts” An old dog and his bloke nomenclature I can at least return to normal. my labrador Bruce has had an operation on one of his back legs. His ligaments were gone and he now has a metal plate in the leg.

We have gradually built up his fitness from total rest wearing the horrible plastic cone to small lead walks round the block, then back on the fields off leads. And finally on the beach , going in the sea and chasing a ball. He will chase a ball as long as i’m prepared to throw it. He is now a totally happy dog with a new lease of life. Oh, and I,m much happier too!

Jews have had appalling atrocities perpetrated against them in the past. Every sensible person understands this.We all feel for them.But they don’t help themselves at times. Israel has just passed a new law declaring Israel is a Jewish state. 20% of the 9 million population are of Arab origin. The law strips Arabic as an official language and Arabs will be treated as 2nd class citizens.

By doing this Israel can no longer be considered a Democratic state. But it seems this doesn’t matter to them. Jews have always considered themselves as an oppressed race but when they act like this it is not surprising!

I don’t particularly like Cliff Richard but his case against the police and BBC is certainly just.Why should anyone who is only accused of a crime receive publicity . Surely he is totally innocent until proven guilty. The press behaved as if he had been charged and found guilty. The trouble is mud sticks and some people still believe there was some truth in the accusation even when they found innocent. The old saying is believed, “There is no smoke without  fire.”

The behavior of politicians both sides of the Atlantic is appalling. How can anyone believe what they say is the truth. Trump changes his mind about situations overnight.

In the UK all parties have been discussing Brexit for 2 years and we appear to be no further forward. All parties not just the Government cannot agree. To me there are only 2 solutions . Form a National Government with all parties represented OR have a 2nd referendum stating exactly  what  the alternatives are of staying in or  leaving the European community. But there would have to be a much larger majority to be successful. A majority of 4% is a joke.

Humour—– Martian sunsets are blue.

In 2005 a Romanian murderers sued God for not doing enough to protect him fro Satan. I dont know who won!!!!

Charles Darwin’s cousin invented underwater specs so he could read in the bath. S did he have waterproof books or magazines I wonder.

In the last seven weeks we have had one day of torrential rain. And it flooded my garage! And the same day I reversed my car into a lamp-post                                                       POETRY attached-                                                                                    .A place in the heart



Sorry , missed a week. Was on a walking holiday with three similarly grumpy old men. we walked a national path called Offa’s Dyke which stretches 190 miles from Chepstow to Prestatyn. Offa was a 8th century king of Mercia who built a earth wall to keep out Welsh marauders. We walked for 4 days and covered about 60 miles. It was hot! 28-29 degrees c Well hot when you normally live on the North East coast of England. Walked from Chepstow to Monmouth, Abergavenny to Hay-on-Wye. All lovely towns on the Welsh- England border.

And this week’s news. Brexit-shambles. Ordinary people know less about it than they did 2 years ago when they voted to leave Europe but unfortunately our politicians and the Government also haven’t got a clue either. The clown prince of politics, Boris Johnson  has now resigned but unfortunately I suspect he will be back. Theresa May is becoming more of an embarrassment by the minute. She is crawling to Donald Trump trying to achieve some kind of trade deal for the future. It is pathetic to watch. He is walking rings around her.

Congratulations to the England football team for reaching the semi-final of the world. As a young team they can only improve.

Also congrats to the International rescue team who got  the boys and their coach out of the Thailand flooded  pot-holes. It is amazing how countries can work together so well when there is a disaster!

A frightening statistic I came across this week is that 1 in 10 children do not own a book. That is frightening ! Also in a large  survey of children 60% have never flown a kite, 34% have never ridden  a bike and 49% have never climbed a tree.

HUMOUR–A cow with a name will produce 450 more pints a year than one without a name.

The Spanish for “when pigs fly” is “when hens piss”

There are 2,500 types of moth in the UK but only 60 species of butterfly.

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

Saw a photogragh today of a pair of polar bear cubs fighting over a piece of plastic- in the Arctic. Frightening.

Good news was Starbucks are imposing a levy of 5p per cup in an effort to reduce useage. Hope is people will be more inclined to bring in their own cup. Well it certainly worked when they put on a 5p levy for plastic bags for supermarkets. It was very successful so here’s hoping.

At last its been proven.  Your brain is only as old as you feel!

A study of people between the ages of 59-84 found that those that felt younger than their age had more grey matter in their brain and had better memories. However those that felt younger were more likely to lead a mpre physically and mentally active life which could cause improvements in brain health. Im no scientist but I would suggest a positive attitude to life is also likely to help one feel younger. Good news as far as Im concerned                                                             POEM ATTACHED    .WORDS




In the past from later Roman times throughout the middle ages were made to believe in God by fear. If they disn’t believe all sorts of bad things would happen to them. And the poor people even paid for the privilege of God’s protection. Huge cathedrals and churches were built of the finest materials, gold, silver. marble etc almost as a insurance policy to protect themselves from evil.

I have visited Italy several times and find it a difficult thing to deal with that places like the Vatican have priceless artifacts on display in a haphazard way while Catholic people are living in abject poverty in places like Africa and South America.

I was brought up a Christian and attended Sunday School. I suppose I am an agnostic. Which means I dont know whether there is a God or not. I would previously said up to about 20 years ago I was an atheist. But my son was killed at the age of 18 in an accident after just leaving school and waiting to go to University.So first of all why wasn’t it me who died,  who had had a life rather than my son who was young. He didnt deserve that  and it has made me feel guilty. I dont understand how that would make me more likely to believe in a God when he does that. But   I have to try to keep an open mind  (a) because he might try to reach me if there is an afterlife(but it is now 19 years and there have been no signs!)and (b) I desperately hope there is an afterlife so I might see him again when I die. It really is a quandary. Note I dont mention Heaven.  I dont believe even if there is an afterlife it will be split as simply as Heaven and Hell. That is way too simplistic.

To me there are just too many wars and atrocities committed for a merciful God to exist. How can the present situation in Syria or the stand off between Israel and Palestine be explained. And look at the way many Catholic priests were involved in child abuse. To be perfectly honest I think people today actually grt mixed up between believing in God(any God in fact) and living a moral life. I have tried to treat people the way I would like to be treated. I cant say I havent ever hurt people (physically i certainly havent) but I have never done it knowingly. I have tried to do the right thing. Not always succeeded but I have certainly tried. Sorry had to get that off my chest.


Oodles- Lots, very many.

Ire-Anger, wrath.

Drub-To defeat soundly in a fight.

Gabble-Talk too much, chatter

HUMOUR-The oldest man in history smoked for 96 years.

The dark side of the moon is turquoise. In China the man in the moon is the toad in the moon!

44% of woman prefer reading Fifty Shades of Grey to actually having sex!

When the first drive through McDonalds’s opened in Kuwait the queue was 7 miles long!

Poem Attached     A SHINING LIGHT






It was my birthday last week day. I surprised myself (a) by finding out im 73 (yes I know its old but please read on!) and also that im still alive. (or so Im reliably informed) Now when i was in my thirties and my Dad was 73 i really did think he was old. He was!. But things were so different then. Even when he retired he wore collar and tie everyday and made sure his shoes were polished. He never owned a pair of denims or trainers. There was only two television channels. There were no mobile phones or internet. He only flew once, to visit relatives in Canada. I have flown several hundred times. Food was fish and meat with vegetables. To my knowledge he never ate a Chinese or Indian meal. He was vquite active , walked everyday and lived with good health until he died of a massive stroke at 84. He could hold a lively conversation until the day he died. But he was considered old.

Now me at 73 , I travel abroad a lot, I walk with my dog at least two hours a day. In fact next week Im doing a 70 mile walk (over several days). My live style is totally different  to that of my Dads. I suppose i should settle for living pretty healthily until Im 84 too but now I  want more than that. Notice I never said a “better” life. He was happy with his life as am I . Times are just so different. Our aspirations and expectations are different. I suppose all Im saying is that just because someone is old in age dont write them off. Age is in the mind. I was going to give examples of people in high places who were inspirational over 70 but then I thought of Donald Trump!!!!!!

HUMOUR-Members of the Yazidi religion of Iraq are forbidden to eat lettuce.  I wonder why?

During his lifetime Lewis Carroll wrote 98,721 letters. Did he do anything else worthwhile?

Cheesy originally meant excellent.

Chinese eunuchs kept their testicles in a jar in the hope they will attached themselves in the next world.

Apparently it is bad for a dog to jump out of a 4×4 boot. Shame my labrador has been doing it several times a day for six and a half years now.

Japan and Russia are technically at war but they are both playing in the World Cup in Russia.England have no “official recognition” of Russia but we are also there. But we havent sent any Royals or politicians there.. That must really worry the Russians!!!

So instead of having wars and trade embargos against each why not just decide it all on football fields?

What sort of message and to whom was Melania Trump’s coat with the slogan “I really dont care do U? meant for?

OLD FASHIONED WORDS- Gist- the essence or main point in a article or argument.


Comfy-Comfortable, snug.

Skew-whiff- not straight, askew,awry                                                                                                 Poem Attached                                     NATURE



Less people in the UK are using trains. Well thats not a big surprise. Prices are now sky high especially for people who use them for work everyday and when you book them last minute. I’m retired and I try to book 2/3 months in advance . i also have a old peoples pass. And the other problem is a lot of the trains are late. There has been a change of timetables recently and some parts of the country in in total chaos. Fo example the Lake District which is a big tourist will have NO trains for two months.

It was a year this week since the GRENFELL fire disaster. An enquiry is going on now. If you read my blog last week you will know some of the things that went wrong. Apparently it will be years before a report is published. I know it takes time to do a thorough job to prevent this ever happening again but the poor people who died and were rescued also need to know answers in order to move on. Not until conclusions are reached will their be any prosecution of companies or individuals. So it will be some years off.

So Trump and Kim Jong-un have reached an agreement and signed some sort of document. Nobody is quite such WHAT has been agreed. Presumably Kim has promised to give up his nuclear capabilies and Trump will withdraw his troops from the Korean peninsula. Also has it been promised that trade sanctions will be lifted against North Korea. In the meantime Kim runs a dIctatorship with hundred’s of thousands of people in prison. Anyone who objects against  the regime is immediately jailed or executed. Did Trump mention any of that in his talks I wonder.

The Uk Obesity rates continue to increase. We are only behind the US now. It is common knowledge that all energy, fizzy and soft drinks are full of sugar. Why don’t governments put some kind of tax on quantities of sugar used in food or drinks. Then companies might look seriously at reducing quantities. Something needs to be done urgently!

HUMOUR-Chewbaca’s voice was created byn combining the sounds of a bear, walrus, a lion and a babger

It is against the law for anyone in Barbados to wear camouflage.

Ants don’t have ears and all the ants in the world weigh about the same as all the people.

The London Underground was originally meant to end in Paris ( And be called the Metro?


OODLES- A great amount, many.

SNECK- Part of the Latch, the door opening mechanism.


SMUTTY-Pornographic, obscene.

There is a new law going thro. parliament making upskirting illegal. Apparently there are men in the Uk putting cameras or phones up womens skirts and taking photos. I know a sheltered life but this a new thing to me!

POEM                                 MISSING YOU



Well I’ve been away for two weeks on holiday. I hope some of you missed me!. I stayed in a small picturesque town in Italy called Castelfranco Veneto. The view from our bedroom was looking down the town square and overlooked towere and part of the !2th century town wall. A good starting point!. We visited Venice, Padua, Verona and Vicenza by train and bus. Venice, a totally unique city is wonderful but unfortunately half the world think that too. The main tourist areas around St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto bridge are crammed. But we took a 2 day pass on the vapporetto (water ferries) and you can find lovely quieter places on some of the other islands and outlying districts. My companion is just besotted by anything Venetian but my preference is to explore some of the quieter alleys which at times can lead you to an unexpected small square with an exquisite church. There are over 130 churches in Venice. The other places we visited Padua, Verona and Vicenza, all have their own raison d’etre and are well worth visiting.

The daytime temperature was a perfect 28-30 Degrees C. and short sleeve weather at night. Which makes it difficult when you return to the North East coast of England where temperatures this week have been between 13-18 C. The rest of England has been warmer but we have to endure mist and fog. Invariably the weather forecast for England shows beautiful blue skies everywhere except for a dark dark cloud hanging over our stretch of coastline. And this our summer!

After at least 15 years of talking about it the Government has decided a third runway at Heath Row is necessary. Even if this is finally agreed soon it will not be open until 2026.

In the Grenfell  Tower fire enquiry it has been agreed it was a total fire hazard. Nobody should have been living there.Short cut after short cut was taken in exterior cladding, windows that didn’t fit properly, fire doors that weren’t and escape exits non existant. Apart from that the fire brigade told people to stay in their flats. All in all mistakes were made from start to finish. But will people in authority be punished? I’ll be surprised. No doubt those further down the hierarchy will be blamed while the top people will escape any punishment. I wait to be surprised!

HUMOUR-The DC Comics character Snowflame got his superpowers frm cocaine.

If you fire lasers at the brain of a fly you can make it have sex with a ball of wax.

Snails can sleep for 3 years. The ones in MY garden don’t!

A baby porcupine is called a porculette. Amazingly.

A school in Oxfordshire has banned it’s boy pupils from wearing shorts in the summer. But they can wear skirts if they want.

Did you know you have to queue to climb Everest now. Apparently 600 people attemt it every year and you have to wait your turn.

Some of the fruit and vegetables are rotting in the fields because farmers cant recruit enough people to pick them. We are not allowing sufficient immigrants in to take the jobs. And the lazy  British think picking crops is beneath them . They would rather pick up their benefits.

Yet another dead whale washed ashore this week. It had 80 plastic bags in its stomach. A couple of months ago a 32 foot sperm whale was washed up in Spain with 64 lb. of rubbish in its stomach. When are countries going to take proper action . Not just talk about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The ruling body of football FIFA this week fined Russia £22,000 for racial abuse , a English player was fined £16,000 for drinking an unapproved FIFA drink while sitting on the bench and a Turkish club were fined £29,000 fo a cat running on the pitch during a game. TAlk about getting your priorities right!

POEM attached        VENICE


At last summer has appeared on the horizon.The winter has been long and cold and spring was non-existent. In the last three wekks as temperatures have at last risenthe growth of everything has been phenomenal.Flowers such as bluebells normally out in March/April have virtually leapt out ofthe ground.Blossom on trees and shrubs has rapidly come and goneand trees are now in full leaf. Plants have virtually grown daily in an effort to catch up lost time.Everything is is a bright green , trees and grass with the new growth. It really is a beautiful time of the year.

Today is a royal wedding.I wish the couple a long and happy marriage! That is really my only interest. But we British do this sort of event better than any other country in the world, we are helped by places like Windsor Castle. We have some many castles and stately homes as backdrops it makes the occasion spectacular. Good luck Harry and Meghan.

Postscript. Beggars in Windsor were offered free accommadation to take them off the streets for the occasion. They refused as there were rich pickings to be had on the streets!

Anybody see the photo of La Toya Jackson this week. she has obviously had some work done on her face and now looks the spitting image of brother Michael.

On the day of the USA embassy being opened in Jerusalem 58 people were killed and approx 2000 people injured on the Israeli/ Gaza border. Every one of them was from Gaza. I know Hamas is a semi pseudo terrorist organisation who Israel blame for everything that goes wrong but have they forgotten they were also terrorists when the British occupied Palestine after the 2nd World War. When is the UN including USA going to get some sort of dialogue going between the two countries. Or will it just go on forever?

Congrats to the Government for at last reducing the maximum stake from £100 to £2 in gaming machines in betting shops.It was possible to lose £100 every 20 secs.

I’m not against same sex marriages in any way but is it not a bit silly to suggest same sex dancers on Strictly Come Dancing.Apparently a male pair just reached the final in the Italian version.

There has been a campaign running for volunteers inc. children to collect rubbish from beaches and other public places.Why don’t we concentate on training people inc. kids to NOT throw away rubbish in the first place?                                                                                                                                                          Another 10 children were killed at a school in Texas this week . So Trumps  firearms policy is working well. Going to school is just so dangerous in the US.

SHINDIG-A dance or a party.

DIPPY- Crazy

SCRAM-Leave in a hurry.

FLUMMOX-To confuse or perplex


65% of Pakistani soldiers have dandruff.

Whoopi Goldberg used to be a bricklayer.

Nobody knows how big Pluto is. (the planet by the way)

The closer a woman is to the Equator the more likely she is to have a boy!

Poem attached                DOWN WITH THE TABLET