Sorry its not Friday, Im late again but have had a lot of things going on. i know Ive said before, I am old but just because you are doesnt just mean you sit and watch day time TV and generally vegetate. I honestly dont know how I fitted work before. I certainly couldnt now. I’m fitter bcause I got a dog, walk 6 or 7 miles a day on beach or in fields I  am learning about subjects I was always interested in but didnt have time to look into before but I now have the freedom to do what I like when I like. It gives one a sense of freedom. There are obviosly physical limitations but , and I know im lucky, they are small so far. My mind seems to be ok as I go to a quiz every week and my team generally win with me contributing reasonably substantially. So dont fear old age , you just have to work at it.

I read an article in a newspaper this week about a little girl of 6 who wanted to be a boy so her mother has encouraged this. Now I have no problem about transgender adults what so ever but is it not too young to decide a child should change sex at that age. Also it was the mother who publicised this child with photographs in a 2 page article. Is that mother not putting her own feelings above the childs?


NICKUM- A cheat or dishonest person. Could have guessed that one.

MAN-MILLINERY- Suggestive of male vanity or pomposity.

WASTEHEART-Used to express grief, pity,regret.

SWERK- To become dark or gloomy. Just like the sound of that one.

WLONK- Proud, haughty, splendid. Again love the sound.

Back to Hurricane Maria, The British Virgin Isles are obviously British, Dominica isnt. So we give £5 million in relief aid to Dominica but because of European rules we cant give anything to the Virgin Isles. What absolut rubbish. We just give them both £5 million. What is Europe going to do ? Kick us out? Half the time I think they are just Government excuses.

Apparently some sea birds are feeding their chicks with scraps of plastic. The plastic is mixed up with proper food. There is so much plastic in the seas now it is everywhere even on ice floes in the Arctic. Can governments not get together to do something, surely it is for the common good?

So the far Right is now a major force in German politics. its a sign of the times.

A woman in England this week has been caught going to funerals , then attending the wake to eat and drink and taking away a bag of food. Apparently she has been doing it for 14 years. Oh by the way she didnt know any of the people who died!

HUMOUR–In 1924 half the worlds cars were Fords.

In Washington DC the Slovakian and Slovenian embassies meet once a month to exchange wrongly addressed mail.

Most Britons say “sorry” almost 2 million times. Sorry!

The first rulebook in Argentina stated that a player who had been fouled could accept an apology rather than involve the ref. Could you imagine trying to do that now.

Poem attached (with apologies to some readers)               ENIGMA






Have you ever been unhappy with your first name? Ive never actually been unhappy with my name Derek but have noticed when it it is used in books or Tv (dont think it  has ever made films) the person is a nerd or pathetic or just inadequate. I have certainly never heard of Derek in super hero terms. Now Im not complaining too much as the abbreviations for the name are relatively harmless, Del or Dekka. My surname is Wake. Quite an unusual name,  apparently originally from a man who woke people up to go to woke, a wakeman. Checking the  electorate register I found there were ony 11 Derek Wake’s in the UK. However I have a middle name, Livingstone. It is a Scottish name on my mothers side. I was alsoborn in Scotland. So my name Derek Livingstone Wake is unique in the UK.

The most common names last year were:- BOYS Oliver, Harry and George. GIRLS:-Olivia, Amelia and Emily. All pretty old fashioned names. In fact most of the top 10 of both boys and girls are old fashioned except the most common boys name if you included the various spelling would have been Muhammad, a sign of the times.

The destruction by storms Irma and Maria is just mind boggling. Some of the smaller islands have been devastated and will take years to rebuild. And the earthquake in Mexico. Tragic natural disasters. We are so lucky in the UK the only thing we get occasionally is flooding and few people will lose their lives.

HUMOUR-When the infant Mozart first rose to prominence some members of the Royal Society thought he was a dwarf. As a child he was terrified of trumpets!

The “izikhothane” are a South African gang who meet in carparks, cover themselves in custard and burn wads of cash. Sounds like fun!!!!!

Bananas have more trade regulatios than AK-47 rifles but they tend to kill less people!

How can Google, Facebook, Twitter, U-tube and Microsoft justify showing items like How to make car bombs, explosives and detonators, hate videos of all kinds and executions. In the Uk they make huge profits but virtually pay no taxes. If they cant react and delete this material why dont they just charge or even imprison board directors for incitement of violence. They have so much money fining them is useless.

It really must be stopped.


EAR-RENT– Figurative cost of listening to trivial talk. Of course it was!

TREMBABLE– Causing dread or horror.

HUGGER-MUGGER– Concealment, secrecy, clandestinely. I thought it might have been somebody who gave you a hug then mugged you.

SNOUT-FAIR–Fair faced, handsome. I thought somebody with a big nose!

PEACOCKIZE– To pose or strut. Naturally!

Travel by RYANAIR, the biggest airline in Europe. We’ll get you there but can’t guarantee we’ll be able to fly you home. This is the airline that cancelled 2000 flights but not taking any responsibility to get customers home. Huge fine required please.

Humorous poem(I hope)                                      YOU CANT WIN ‘EM ALL






Walks on the beach are getting colder now. Flip flops hung up for another year and shorts are still ok as long as I walk quickly. It is colder in the mornings and evenings and there is definitely a Autumnal feeling in the air. I have picked lots of wild blackberries when walking bruce in the fields. No one seems to bother picking them any more. Most of them will just rot on the bushes. Such a waste! Trees arent changing colour yet but I suspect they will in the next few weeks. Its often a lovely time of the year. just a case of wearing more clothes.

Whats happened this week? Another missile from North Korea launched over Japan. Will any action be taken? I doubt it , lots of words but very little action. Ethnic cleansing in Mynamar (Burma) Action ? Words at UN. Fights between British and German football fans. Nothing different there. The wall to keep Mexicans out of the US and getting Mexico to pay for it ?  No chance. Britain reacting quickly to aid Anguila and the Virgin Isles after hurricane Irma. Again no chance. We were much slower than the French in St. Martins. Also we cant use our overseas aid fund for so called rich countries but can use it to help China, India and the corrupt African nations. Nonsense. All in all very little change in the world.

HUMOUR Human rights were invented in Iran. Do you think they have forgotten?

In 2002 the US military developed a sandwich that stayed fresh for three years. But it probably tasted like shit!

Rice Crispies in Germany go ” Knisper, Knasper, Knusper” How do they manage to teach them German?

More humour. The RSPCA were called out to rescue a reptile from a home in in Coventry. It was 7 inches long and 2 inches wide and looked very ferocious! It was under a bed and when they finally coaxed it out they found it was a pink stripey sock! Apparently this species of lizard is harmless!

Another laugh. a hairdresser in Birmingham was fined £2,000 for using the wrong colour of bin bag. Three officials had to visit her premises and a 57 page report was produced as evidence.

Actually more humour. Dont know whats wrong with me this week!  When the bank of Mum and Dad lend their children money a survey found they very rarely get their money back. It didnt take a survey to tell us Mams and Dads that surely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The rest of the world might be going to pot but at least elephants are acting sensibly. Apparently they are becoming nocturnal to avoid poachers. Good for them.

Finally some old English words that have gone out of fashion.

Ambodexter- One who takes bribes from both sides. Im surprised that went out of fashion!

Betrump- Deceit, cheat, deceive. THat could easily come back into fashion!

Slug-A-Bed- A lazy bastard.

Quacksalver- a person who claims he knows about medicine

Rouzy- Bouzy- Could have guessed that was boisterously drunk

More words to come next week.

SHORT STORY rather than a poem attached.     A STITCH IN TIME





Its been a strange week in a way and a routine one in other ways.

The Brexit negotiations continue as normal with both sides calling each other for lack of progress. The British political parties continue to disagree in knowing what they actually want. Some seem to think we just come out and things will be pretty much the same as before except immigration will be reduced to next to nothing and we will control all our laws again. And we wont have to pay very little to come out. that is called the Conservative policy. The Labour party policy is things will be pretty much the same as before. Hopefully! The other parties including the Scottish national party dont actually matter. Where they are all united is that when we do actually leave, Westminister will be able to waste our money rather than way Europe. Wonderful.

Now that I have mentioned SNP the leader Nicola Sturgeon has actually given up quoting facts  and is now promising the voters her own totally unrealistic wish list. She is in cloud cuckoo land. Come to think of it she is just joining Trump, Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn in the “if you believe something sufficiently long enough” land it must be true!

Something that makes total sense is that St. Laurent, Gucci and Christian Laurent are going to give up using ultra skinny models. Bravo!

Scientists have worked out lack of sleep causes anxiety and depression. You dont need to be a scientist to work that out!

How is it we spend a fortune on sophisticated weaponry, space travel but we have no control over Hurricanes, Typhoons, Earthquakes etc. Can we not spend a lot more money on natural weather causes. Irma has totally destroyed some of the islands in its way and is headed towards Florida. I feel totally sorry for all the people involved.

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

The bibbest dam built by beavers is twice as big as the Hoover dam in the US.

In 2007 210,000 Americans were injured by lawnmowers.

The Chilean word for plumber is “gasfiter”

The Government has announced there will be yet another consultation on a 3rd Heath Row runway. Which means it is not going to be built in my lifetime.

My only surprise about Wayne Rooney’s latest drink driving escapade is that people are surprised.

I’m really surprised that Aung San Sui Kyi, the leader of Myanmar (the old Burma) who was kept under house arrest for twenty odd years by the Military Government, and who won the nobel Peace prize dismissed the mass exodus of Muslims as down to terrorists.146,000 Rohinga people have fled to Bangladesh. Their villages have been destroyed by their own people according to her. Not the ruling Buddhist party of course.

Finally 1 in 10 people in the UK believe the Earth started with Adam and Eve not according to Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Poem attached          ALL IN THE MIND






Well I know I missed last Friday but I promise it was my last miss of the year. my holiday scedule for 2017 has now been completed and it is now a long run in to 2018. My last week was spent in the Yorkshire dales, staying in two villages Settle and Hawes. Hawes in particular is pretty and was enveloped in flowers especially hanging baskets. I had the feeling they were almost compulsory! We stayed in two pubs,  the Lion in Settle and the Fountain in Hawes. Both good in a way but the Lion seemed to be trying to overwhelm us with their prodigious portions of good food. I would also thoroughly recommend  the food in the White Hart in Hawes. I would also suggest the consumption of Thwaites, Theakstons and Black Sheep beers should be manditory in that area. Also there was two local musicians in the White Hart who seem to know some decents songs and were able to find their way round their guitar strings adequately. Suffice it to say we entered the pub at 6 o clock intent on one pint and left at closing time, so they must have been reasonably good!

The beauty of walking is that it doesnt cost anything but it is also good for body and soul. I am an agnostic but being in beautiful countryside especially mountains, tarns and waterfalls makes you wonder who created them and i suppose God is as good a guess as anyone! (is that sacrilege?, dont mean it to be) I have to say after being in Norway only 3 weeks ago the waterfalls and the mountains in the Dales were fairly small fry in comparison. Still beautiful though.

Humour-during the Second World War Lucozade was made from conkers! Did it still make you better?

Cleopatra’s needle was 1000 years old when Cleopatra was born!

For the last 3 months of his life, US President James Garfield had to be fed everything though his anus. At least he didnt speak through it like the current President!

The first ever webcam was in the computer lab at Cambridge Uni. it was trained on the coffee pot in the corridor to save the scientists making pointless trips when it had run out. And its been downhill ever since!

To those that have this blog before will know I support Newcastle United, a supposedly top English football team. We have not won a domestic trophy for 62 years and any trophy for 48 years. 50,000 people watch every home game and we take up every away ticket available. The only reason I can think why I have watched them for 56 years now is because it has made me a better person. I’m a good loser. I’d probably prefer to be a bad winner but I dont really get that choice. Again this season we are in a state of disarray and only 4 games have been played. Being a loser is good for the soul. It is like wearing a hair shirt. But hey ho football is only a game after all. I must keep telling myself that.

The Houston disaster is awful and you really have to feel for people who lose their homes. “Disaster Barbie” Trump obviously feels for them too. Her and her husband went to visit the disaster victims. She was originally dressed in jacket, trousers and her crocodile skin ultra high heels but she changed into a white shirt , black trosers and immaculate white tennis shoes. She obviously wasnt going anywhere near the water then!

Poem attached                                        .THE CORNER SWEET SHOP




I’m not sure if being fastidious is actually good or not. In fact I’m not even quite certain what it means. This in it’s self probably means I’m not very, or else I would have gone to the trouble of looking the meaning up. I suspect I’m just fairly fastidious. I live on my own and I’m very tidy. I like everything to be in it’s place. All my papers are filed and I know exactly where. I make lists of things I have to do and update it every morning. I do like order and tend to have a daily routine doing the same things at the same time each day. Part of that is because my dog likes routine and fit in with him. Sad really! I have now looked up the meaning in the dictionary and it means—not easy to please, very critical or another meaning is daintly refined, easily disgusted. I’m not the latter but quite a bit of the former. But the strange thing is the meaning applies to me much more than other people. I feel I never get anything completely right.

Enough of that lets talk about Donald Trump. He found it very difficult to criticise the neo Nazis, old KKK and anti blacks. Is that because they all vote for him I wonder. I can’t believe there is still as much hatred in the South. You would think the President would at least be even handed but of course it’s Donald Trump we are talking about. If anyone doesn’t agrree with him they are liars. enemies of the state or perpetrators of fake news. The man just continues to be bad news.

If anyone has been to the Isle of Skye off the west coast of Scotland they will know it is stunningly beautiful. But it has now become overrun with tourists and just hasn’t the facilities or accommadation to cope. They are a victim of their own success!

Good News.  Its official coffee is good for you! And it helps people with Type 2 diabetes like me. So following on from red wine now being good for your health this is great news for somebody who likes both a lot.

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

The Boy Scouts motto “be prepared” was originally followed by “to die for your country”

An Egyptian cure for insanity was to eat snake meatballs under a full moon. It isn’t reported how successful it was!

A “lully- prigger” was an 18th century thief who caught children and stole their clothing. we now call them perverts.

What a sensible idea. Learner drivers can now drive on motorways , under supervision of course. Before you passed your test , then, you could drive on them without the experience.

We keep talking about banning gambling machines that can lose as much as £100 per 20 secs. £1.7 billion was lost on them last year. But it has just been knocked back by chancellor Phillip hammond as it would cost the country £400 million in taxes. Never mind that people get addicted to them.

Poem attached         REGRETS





It was stated about a week ago by the self confessed cleverist man in British politics, Michael Gove that when we are actually free from European regulations we will have our own territorial waters back. The Scottish midget has said we will still allow European countries to fish in our waters as our own fishing fleet is now too small to fish it all ourselves. Considering we decimated our own fishing industry to accommodate European rules would it not make more sense to build our own fleet up again to cope with the extra opportunity. The said Michael Gove claims he is the son of a Aberdeen fisherman so he knows these things. He claims this  because he wants to be seen as working class. His father was actually a wholesale fishing merchants!!!!!

Is everyone so surprised that living in the North raises your chance of dying by 20%? You shouldn’t be. As the South is much wealthier than the North of course they live longer. Oh, and the gap is growing all the time. Incidentally the North includes the Midlands which has never been considered the North before, purely to make the populations relatively equal. I figure if they had taken the proper north the figuers would have been worse still!

I’m sorry in a gripe mode today. 6 out of 10 major road upgrade pledges in 2014 have not yet begun. Yet another Government pledge that is not happening. Probably becuse most of the Transport money is being spent on Crossrail (London) and HS2 , London to Birmingham, then Manchester eventually.

Top Universities in England are increasing the number of foreign students because they pay up to four times as much as British students. The number of British students is falling even though applications were 17% up.

The number of students taking French and German ‘A’ level dropped by a quarter beteen 2011 and 2016. We should be encouraging the teaching of all foreign languages. I have just come back from a visit to Norway, Denmark and Sweden and they virtually all speak English. When i went to school 50 years ago we started languages at 11. It is still the same. We should start much earlier than this, at 7 or even less. Surely it is more important than ever to know the  languages of the most important emerging  nations such as Chinese, Japanese, India Brazil( Portugese) and Spanish.

HUMOUR The Romans used powdered mouse brains as toothpaste. UGH!

Men with smaller testicles tend to make better fathers. But how small IS small?

Nike’s “Just do it” slogan was inspired by the last words of a murderer.

I’m afraid it really has been gripe week. So finally 400 police stations have closed in England and Wales in the last 10 years. That in a way is not totally bad . Technology and hugely improved communications have police forces much more mobile. But there are a lot less police on the beat and in the community. Crime figures are rising all the time because police have not got the early intelligence from the public as to what is happening. This in the past prevented crime.

Gripes week over. Much more pleasant poem attached          .GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN






A caravan salesman from Bridlington Yorksire , who is an amateur poker player entered a tournament in Las Vegas and finished fourth winning $2million dollars. He normally just played for fun but beat experienced professionals. He was either very lucky or the top players arent as good as they think they!

There has been huge queues at European airports this week as security has been tightened. Passports are being checked much more thoroughly. I know iot is just into the school holidays here but some people have even missed connections checks have taken so long. My worry is that this will become the norm when we finally leave the EU!

British Gas is increasing electricity bills by 12.5% next month as wholesale prices are actually falling. Concidering wages are only increasing by 2% this is going to cause hardship next winter. Before the general election Theresa May promised to cap energy bills. So that was another false promise!

The North east of England has always been a forgotten region in England until we joined the EU. European businesses contribute £9 billion to the regions economy  every year. So when we leave we will hugely lose out. As Labour governments in the past have taken the regions political support for granted and the Tories have ignored us as we have never given them any support we will be left in limbo yet again.. Oh and by the way a lot of the region voted to come out of Europe. When the largest employer is Nissan it didnt make sense! I feel the future is bleak for this region.

Humour. Fighter pilots in stressful conditions release such large amounts of hormones that they may ejaculate.

When Danes pose for photographs they say”orange”, the Chiese say “aubergine2 and the Germans say “ant shit”

Bananas are considered unlucky on fishing boats.

in 2009 a search of Loch Ness for the Loch Ness monster located 100,000 golf balls. I didnt know the monster played golf!

I dnt think i have mentioned in the past Im a member of an organization called U3A, or the University of the third age. It is not related to to a specific but to a period in one’s life, after the second age of full time employment and financial responsibilities. It is a registered charity but it is set up for educational purposes rather social activities. I the uk it is growing rapidly and now has over a thousand branches with more than 390,000 members. I am vice chairman of the Whitley Bay branch. We have over 300 members and have various groups such as:- Archaeology, Art Appreciation, Walking, local History, Play reading, Natural World, Psychology, Creative Writing, a Theatre Group and Jazz Appreciation and others. We normally meet once a month in the groups. Whilst most people are retired we are all still keen to learn and what we lack in skills we tend to make up for in enthusiasm. So no matter how old you are there are still opportunities to learn new things.

Poem attached       NEVER SAY NEVER


Since I retired , now 6 years ago, I have done quite a lot of travelling. I love going to new destinations rather than going to the same place again. I found in the past if you visit once a second visit is just not as exciting. I will immediately contradict myself because I have just spent a week in London doing all the touristy things. However I hadn’t done a similar visit for something like 40 years so Im going to excuse myself. I like cities with history in particular and have never been one to lie on beaches. When my children were young however I did do that sort of holiday but then it was a case of if the children were happy I was happy. The only trouble about visitng historical cities is that they are invariably full of other tourists. I hate being considered a tourist and try to not only do the normal sites but also the more obscure less visited places. I try to look at my map in the hotel before I go out but then I will walk without a map and it is amazing the things you accidentally come upon. I also try to meet locals and eat and drink where they do. I always do some research and ask questions to find out first hand what the local people think about their city and country. It is interesting to note most ordinary people feel the same way about their leaders and governments. I feel the leaders dont understand the thoughts of the ordiary citizen in most of the places I have visited. This is probably because full time politicians, bankers, academics, business leaders have never experienced how the ordinary working man lives.  My latest trip to Scandavia showed me the same. As I said last week I was in a varied group from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, India and different parts of the UK. We all got on very well and our opinons of world affairs was hugely similar.

HUMOUR  385 million years ago , fish did have fingers!

Apples, strawberries, plums and almonds are all types of rose!

4 million years ago , rats in South America were the size of hippos. Bearing in mind that scientists claim we are never more than 6ft away from a rat it would have been pretty to have been around then!

The richest man in the world is Bill Gates of Microsoft. He is worth £69 billion but has given half of it away so he is down to his last £34.5 billion. This week Jeff Bezos of Amazon overtook him as the richest man but then dropped back again because his company shares fell. He has given a mere £78 million away. These figures are obscene.

Also the wife of John Terry, the ex England and Chelsea footballer lost £219k in jewelry and £126k in handbags including one worth £42k in a robbery. Is this not also obscene.

Im a Type 2 diabetic so I was pleased to read this week that drinking wine , red in particular cuts the danger of diabetes. Gin and vodka which I dont drink double the risk.

As those of you who have read my blog before will know that “Beach Thoughts : An old dog and his bloke” come from me walking my labrador Bruce on the beach everyday. Attached is a photo of said dog. Also attached is what I hope you think is a humorous poem      TEDDIES ARE FOREVER



I,ve been away for three weeks and I hope you feel you’ve missed me. I suspect not! Well I’ve been away on holiday and i wiil come to that later.

It’s been a very stange year for me so far. I went to Vietnam in January and came back with food poisoning and a severe chest infection. I dont blame Vietnam for the food poisoning, just bad luck. Vietnam was stunningly beautiful with great food but what struck me most was how the Vietnamese dont appear to be bitter the way the rest of the world has treated them. They were invaded  several times over the last 150 years and have suffered appalling at the hands of these often cruel ntions. Yet they dont look back and are just getting on with their lives as best they can. They are an example to the world.

I recovered from the food poisoning within a few weeks but my chest infection lingered on for some time. I received one lot of antibiotics which helped marginally then another lot in April which again did not cure the problem. Then I finally had steroids which seemed to have done the trick. But after having an xray and a scan I,m awaiting results to see if  to find out if something lasting has occurred. Because I now feel really well and got through two quite energetic holidays Im not worried. But what will be will be anyway! But yesterday was not a particlarly good day as it was 18 years to the day that I lost my son who was only 18 in an accident. Anyone who has lost a child will understand the guilt and the lasting effect it has on the rest of your life. The hurt reduces over the passage of time but it never actually goes away. But life goes on because it has to . There is no choice.

And so to my holiday. Firstly a week in London doing all the touristy things. Some I did almost 50 years ago and others I have never done at all. A bit ironic really as I have visited a lot of major cities and seen their sights. So in London I climbed to the very top of St. Paul’s Cathedral (all 526 steps), Westminister Abbey, The Houses of Parliament, The Tate Modern, The National, The National Portrait (all Art Galleries) and several museums. Plus other visits too. And then I did a tour of Scandanavia, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. I visited Copenhagen, Odense and Fredrikshavn in Denmark, Then ferry to , Gothenburg, And on to Oslo,, Bergen, Telemark and Lillehammer in Norway and Karlstadt and finally Stockholm. It was a stunning trip and my favourite bits were Bergen and Stockholm cities and the stunning beauty of Norway.

But and this is the thing I really got out of it was the people on the tour. They were from all over the world. New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, USA , India and the UK. They were all walks of life but we all got on. Oh, and the tour guide was Rumanian and the driver was from Lithuania. We all agreed that the biggest problem worldwide is our political and regious leaders. The ordinary people tend to want peace and freedom but it is the leaders, often for their own ends that cause the unnecessary problems supposedly on our behalfs!

Humour Rats can feel regret and Goats cant cry. Also if you tickle a rat every day it’ll start laughing as soon as it sees you.

For some reason hurricanes with female names are deadlier than those with male names.

J R R Tolkein was rejected for a Nobel prize in Literature on the grounds of “poor story telling.”

Finally the only politics you will get from me on my return is that Trump doesnt seem to have achieved anything worthwile yet (what a surprise) and Theresa May is as much use as a chocolate firegrate waiting for the fire to be lit.

Poem attached  EVIL INTENT