FAIRLY FRIDAY

Spring appears to have been sprung in the last week. Flowers have become rampant and ther is now blossom on the trees. It appears I have survived anotther winter. Well not yet quite we can still get snow and ice in April and May but it doesnt last as long. As usual the South of England  has had pretty warm weather up to 18 degrees whilst we on the bit of England that clings to the North Sea have only had up to 13. Warm for us.  I live in the bit of England between Hadrians wall and Scotland which politicians and a lot of people in London think is Scotland. Unfortunately if Scotland does get independence we will become more of a political wilderness. The Conservatives gave up on us many years age and Labour just take us for granted. Subsequently nobody is interested in us. As a matter of interest we got a lot more out of Europe than we put in so leaving is another disaster for us. But do we care? Of course not because we’re Geordies!

I watched the Red Nose day Comic relief Charity Show last Friday on Tv. It was normally very funny. As usual it raised a huge amount of money, about £70 Million I think. But it was the biggest load of rubbish I have seen for ages. There were loads of technical problems, and the language was appalling considering lots of children would be watching. The worst thing though was that because comedians  think they are funny we must too. They just weren’t !

Did you know that Prince Charles has his shoe laces ironed before he wears a pair of shoes!

It is also rumoured a manservant puts tooth paste on his tooth brush before he uses it. And something about toilet paper and his bottom!

HUMOUR There is a law firm in leeds called Godloves Solicitors.

it is against the law in Barbados for anyone to wear camouflage clothing. I bet they didn’t see that coming.

Orthodox jews can buy kosher sexual lubricants.

Blond footballers are 15% more likely to score in penalty shootouts than dark haired ones.

Charles Darwins last book was called The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms. I suspect it wasn’t a bestseller.

BT (British Telecom) have just been fined £42 million for internet delays. Their Outreach division, which all other internet providers have to use has been too slow to install superfast internet connections. It has also been told to pay out £300 million in compensation. Outreach made over £3 billion profit last year, not surpising for a monopoly!!!!

BT has just bought the rights for all European football for the next 3 years. Their will be no terrestial availability. The reason they have done this is sell more Broadband packages which include football.  But what is the point buying from a company whose Broadband speeds are worse than a lot of Africa and those of the base camp of Everest. The Broadband speeds generally in the UK are disgraceful and will continue to be so until Outreach loses it’s monopoly status.

Poem attached                                             SUMMER DAYS

 

FACTORING IN FRIDAY

It’s been a difficult week. The lone terrorist in London creates chaos with a car and a couple of kitchen knives. Just shows you dont need bombs or guns to kill people. In fact how can you protect the population against thing like that. It is important we are able to move around freely (within reason) in a democracy or the terrorists have won. The big difficulty is getting the balance right between security and freedom. We mustnt overreact in these circumstances. I suspect it is actually about right. Ok we may need to tinker with present arrangements but ultimately how can we stop bad people from using cars, buses, lorries to kill. We cant stop them using busy places. Its almost impossible.

Another difficult subject was the death of Martin McGuiness, the one time IRA leader and probably multiple killer. He believed he was a soldier, a freedom fighter. Others believe he was a mass murderer. but the fact is there would not have been a peace process but for him. The hard liners of the Provisional IRA would only  follow him. Not Gerry Adams or anyone else. The most extreme politician on the Prostestant side was the so-called religious man the Rev. Ian Paisley, who at one time stated  “he wouldnt be happy until all Catholics were driven from the 6 counties of Northern Ireland.” They actually became friends and were nicknamed the “Chuckle Bros”. If they could work together surely it was a good thing. Yes, Martin McGuiness was a bad man but did a lot of good in later life. Is that not better than a good man becoming evil ?

How can U-tube justify using adverts from blue chip companies alongside videos showing extreme violence, bigotry, racism. If they cant stop it themselves it should be done for them.

Gwyneth Paltrow says we shouldnt eat octopuses because “they are too smart”. Ive got a better reason. They taste pretty awful!

HUMOUR Americans eat three times as much cheese today as they did in 1970 but they eat nine times as much broccoli as they did in then. Is that good or bad?

Did you know Leo Fender couldnt play the guitar.

Edward Elgar was the band master in a lunatic asylum. Actually I quite like his music!

Did you know the USA doubled in size in 1983 when Ronald Reagan expanded their coastal waters from 30 to 200 nautical miles!

Medical science has now stated while we shouldnt smoke, we should eat sensibly, exercise the main reason we get cancer is just bad luck.

Most popular dog in the uk will soon be the French bulldog overtaking the labrador. But what will happen when we come out of Europe will they all be sent home?

Inflation is now 2.3% and likely to rise in the future. The Government has issued a National savings bond which pays 2.2% p.a. Which they think is a good deal. After 3 years you will be worse off in real terms. Eh!

Watched “Lion” this week. Terrific film based on a true story. Have to admit I shed a tear when he met his mum. Yet again it just goes to show some of the best films an books are based on fact not fiction.

Poem attached.                                         WHO KNOWS

A FUNCTIONAL FRIDAY

Do you remember the two little rich boys who decided to have a referendum on Europe. They lost but did they really ! George Osborne is still an MP but has now taken on other jobs to suppliment his income. He will receive £650,000 a year for one day a week working for Blackrock Investments, earned £786,000 from 14 speeches and today it has been announced he will be Editor of the london Evening Standard, but will continue as an MP. On top of being part of the family business. So he’s doing ok. As is his friend David Cameron who is earning a crust by speech making and is receiving several million pound advance for his memoirs.( This was the football fan by the way who got mixed whether he supports Aston Villa or West Ham because they play in the same colours)

Yes, they are doing well but I’m aware they have got someway to go to catch up with Tony Blair.

So the arrogant Phillip Hammond had a good laugh while delivering his Budget speech last week. What a shame he had to back down from one of his main policies a week later!

Crufts is the annual dog show whereby dogs are dressed up to look like dolls or young children. The winner this year of the working dog section then the overall champion was an American spaniel. It’s hair and make-up were immaculate but I doubt it’s ever seen a field never mind a rabbit or bird. Dogs are outdoor animals who love chasing things and take great delight in getting dirty. It is amazing how even if there is only one puddle on the fields they will drink out out of it then wallow in it. For some reason my dog loves to be on his back. On the fields as I say, on the beach to dry himself after coming out the sea and later when he is asleep.

But back to Crufts the section where they have to run through obstacles, over jumps and through pipes against the clock is fantastic to watch.

Humour—–Until January 2013 it was illegal for women in Paris to wear trousers.

Is a fact that people will gamble more if they are holding a crocodile.

The most common grade awarded at Harvard is an “A”. No surprise there.

Elizabeth the first invented ginger bread men!

The latest McLaren sports car the 720S costing approx £200,000 each says “Hello” when the driver gets in it. It’s the least it should do. Oh, it can also do 212mph as well!

Did you know you can now buy cans of pure oxygen(O2) at £10 for a 22oz can.

If any one cares to come on the beach with me they can get ozone (O3) for nothing..

Finally Yellow is the colour of the season . I won’t be wearing it , it clashes with my eyes.

Humorous Poem (I hope) attached                                                  NO OSCARS FOR ME

 

 

FALSEFIED FRIDAY

Ok its not Friday, I know . This weeks excuse it that I had most of the windows in my house replaced and it just wasnt possible to write when the work was going on and my dog excited because he thought they were just here to entertain him! If you are going to have a reason, ok, excuse, it might as well be a big one as I would expect these windows will last the rest of my life. Unless of, course I move house!

I have a suspicion that spring is almost upon us. Today, Sunday, everyone who has a dog and lives within 20 miles of my local beach decided to walk their dog there. Luckily it was low tide so there was a reasonable amount of space. That was the first sign, secondly geese have been flying overhead in large numbers on their way to their summer feeding grounds. And thirdly there is blossom on trees and flowers are now coming out in abubdance. But have you ever noticed weeds grow faster than plants!

Many , many years ago I went to a Grammar school. My family were working class and I lived in a council house. Grammar school education was decided at 11, but there were opportunities at 13, 15 and 16 for the slower developers to enter later. It was open to all. It was then decided education should  be more open and the better scholars in the system would mix with the lesser ones and the general standards would improve. A lot of Grammar schools were slosed. Exactly the opposite happened!. As the slower learners put more demands on the system they actually dragged the general standard down. However successive governments had they own ideas what was best so the educations systems have changed on a regular basis, generally for the worst. So after fifty odd years since I went to school the latest idea is to open more Grammar schools.

As some of you will know I am a socialist and didnt believe in private education. However I paid for my son to go to the best boys school in the North east of England, Newcastle Royal Grammar school of the few left in the country after the purge. Ok it was against my principles but I felt it was my responsibility as a parent to give my son the best education possible. Actually it was more than that, they were also very disciplined , had the best sports facilities and had a lot of out of school activities. I have never regretted my decsion!

Humour.    Archibald Clark West, the inventor of Doritos, had them sprinkled on his grave. And I always thought they were a Mexican snack!

Did you know a 12.5 stone man contains 110,000 calories. Is that if we eat him. Oh, and by the way cannibalism in the Uk is apparently legal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The record number of live gold fish swallowing at a single system is 210.

And did you know the perfect coffee should consist of 17.42 units of water for every unit of coffee. Must try it sometime .

POEM (or PROSE whatever you want to call it)             ONLY

 

 

ANOTHER FAILED FRIDAY

I know I have failed yet again! When I first started my blog I intended to publish every friday and I’m failing more often than not. I’m ashamed I like to stick to my word. I’m just so busy, i seem to be continually overtaken by events. It’s been another busy week.My dog Bruce hurt himself on the beach. I think he pulled a muscle in his neck. If you saw him chasing a ball on the beach you wouldn’t be surprised. He sprints after it and flings himself in the air if necessary. But he’s a Labrador weighing in at 42 kg (92lbs) so he is not the most agile of beasts. Just very willing! It was the week end so I couldn’t take him to the vets so I gave him “Calpol” which is a mild painkiller supposed to be used for young children (some vets recommend it as it a lot cheaper than “Metacam” the pets equivalent. It seemed to work anyway . He limped for a few days but is back to normal now.

I missed the backlash of the by elections last week. Theresa May now claims the Conserative party are the “Workers Party”. That just shows the arrogance of the woman. As I referred to her before “The plastic Margaret Thatcher” The trouble is that Margaret Thatcher did actually have a sense of humour something you could never accuse Theresa May of! The best thing that did come out of those elections is that the British Nationalist Party (better known as UKIP) is finished. Stoke on Trent should have been an ideal seat for them to win. They will never win anything now and will be irrevant when we come out of Europe. While I disagreed with virtually everything Nigel Farage stood for at least he had some personality . This Paul Nuttall , the new leader is useless.

The worst thing that came out of it was the pathetic reaction of Labour leader who lost a seat after 80 years. In fact you may ask , what reaction?

HUMOUR -Pee Cola is a popular soft drink in Ghana!  In China Burger King sell PooPoo Smoothies. I think they sell them here too !

The world’s largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton is called Sue. Thats funny my ex-wife is called Sue!!!!!!

Japan has twice as many bank holiday as the UK including “Greenery Day” and “Respect for the Aged Day” (I’m all for that)

Workers in the public sector have a cap of 1% on wages but MP’s are to receive 1.4% and senior judges will receive rises of 11%. Well thats equality for you!

Has Donald Trump been ill? He hasn’t been in the News (at least in the UK) for a couple of days.

And finally I thought the Oscar awards were better this year. At least they got the winning picture wrong that was fun. I did notice we had the first Muslim winner and there seemed to quite a lot more black people winning things. Things are moving in the right direction despite Mr. Trump!

POEM attached                                    dementia

 

FULLY FLEDGED FRIDAY

I just can’t believe how quickly time goes. Days flash over and its.another Friday but if someone asks me what I,ve done this week I cant remember. I have to look in my diary. I’d be lost without a diary, so looking back on a typical week this is what I did.

FRIDAY– Creative writing course, pre theatre meal and Hedda Gabler by Ibsen At Northern Stage, Newcastle.

SATURDAY–Write poem, blog, watch sport.

SUNDAY– Very boring, loads of ironing, still catching up from holiday, Dinner at my daughters, Pub at night where a group of 6 old men argue about anything and everything!

MONDAY– Weekly supermarket shopping, lunch at local Pub with family, man doing survey for window replacement. Football match in evening In Newcastle. Won 2-0 back to top of the table!

TUESDAY–Meeting re Archaeology Group I run jointly. Quiz at night in local pub. We won by 4 points. Winnings £18 between 5 of us.

WEDNESDAY– Pick up daughters dog who is staying with me this week while my daughter is away. Meeting re computerisation of systems for the U3A group I’m in.

THURSDAY– Office work re the different groups I’m in.

So thats the week except there are also 3 walks a day fo my dog lasting about 2 and a half hours a day including a beach walk most days.

So I suppose it’s not bad for a 71 year living on his who does all his own cooking (cook a proper dinner everyday) and housework!!!!!!!!

HUMOUR   Potato aphids will not have sex if they detect a drop in air pressure. OK but why?

Whales can’t taste anything but salt. It’s hardly surprising when they live in the bloody stuff!

The largest bra size is 48V. I wouldn’t like to meet her!!!!

A planet called HD 189733b, 63 light years from Earth, is lashed by rain made of molten glass and 4,000 mph winds and we thought storm”Doris” was bad!

I cant remember if I have used this before so if I have I apologise. The top two passwords are would you believe 123456 and password. Third is welcome and fifth is abc123. I think even I could crack them!

I used to have quite a lot to say about Donald Trump but Im really quite speechless now.  The media must love him, he gives them stories virtually everyday. And if he disagrees with what they say he dismisses it as “Fake news” Where this will all end nobody knows including Donald trump.

I’m inherently a Labour supporter, a Socialist or I now suspect a Social Democrat. I wanted Labour to lose both the bi-elections we had in this country yesterday. How do I reconcile the two things. Well if we had lost them both  Jeremy Corbyn might have resigned, but winning one of them seems he is now trying to cling on to the leadership. If anybody believes Labour can get back into power or even put up a credible opposition under him they are living in cloud cuckoo land. The fact is, whether people like it or not , is that only a middle of the road , slightly left of centre Labour party will achieve anything. The ultra left wing Labour party is a thing of the past. How Jeremy Corbyn can justify his leadership baffles me.

Finally I’ve come to the conclusion that the British people would much rather A British Government waste their money than a European one. And the British Government are doing an excellent job of wasting money now even before we get back control of the European funds!!!!!!

POEM attached       an-object-of-desire

FORGIVE ME IT’S NOT FRIDAY.

For some reason the older I get the busier I become. As I hope most of you realise I try to this blog every Friday but because so many other things crop up I find it difficult to stick to it. I do a lot of educational stuff, two classes for creative writing, I lead a class for archaeology, pyschology, the natural world and theatre group and Im now the vice chairman of a thing called the U3A (the University of the Third Age) This is a educational organisation for older people to keep learning.

And as I’ve mentioned before I walk my dog about 2 and a half hours a day, mainly on the beach. He is a treat detector dog (Labrador to you) My walks take an exceptionally long as he has to say hullo to all other dogs and people (especially those carrying treats). Sniff every lamppost, wall, fence tree and every blade of grass. Labradors are ultra friendly and as I’ve said in the past if a burglar came to my house with some food Bruce would carry the “swag” bag with my stuff in it for them. Having said that Labradors are ultra friendly and fantastic with kids. They tend not to have a bad bone in their body(to coin a phrase) I think dogs and to a lesser extent cats can have a huge therapeutic affect on their owners and people they come into contact with. My dog is happy as long as he gets plenty of excercise is fed regularly and comes into contact with people and other dogs. The rest of the time he is asleep!

This country and I suspect most others countries, is totally unequal. The government claim that everything is going swimmingly and house prices are going up and unemployment is coming down.The exact opposite is the case in the forgotten Northeast of England. Unemployment went up last month and house prices are forecast to fall in my area in the next year. The truth is that the South of England continues to prosper but the North is allowed to wither. the trouble is a Tory government doesn’t care about this region it votes predominantly labour and the so called opposition party (labour) also dont care because they take us for granted. The Northern Powerhouse , thats a joke. If it does exist it stops at Manchester (and not the one by the Sea!)

Humour. Yahoo is an acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle” not a lot of people realise that!

All the ants in the world weigh about the same as all the people but did you realise ants don’t have ears.

Aristotle thought small penises were better becuse semen got cold in large ones!

When Danes pose for photos they say orange, the Chinese say aubergine and the Germans say ant shit!

Poem attached           terror

 

FINALLY ITS FRIDAY AGAIN

Well, Ive been away for various reasons for four weeks and Id love to think you,ve missed me. (wishful thinking) Anyway Ive a sttory to tell. I went to Vietnam for a fortnights holiday. I would recommend the country to everyone. It is simply stunning. I tavelled from Hanoi in the North taking in the coast at Halong Bay then down to Danang, Hoi An and Hue then south to Ho Chi Min City (Saigon) and the Mekong Delta.

Hanoi is the capital, 10 million people, 5 million motor bikes and scooters and you cant see the sun for the pollution. Still a very interesting place to visit. Kalong Bay is nothing like Ive ever seen. Hundred of stand alone limestone islands . It was very misty when we sailed through them and it made for an even greater sense of mystery. It was beautiful.

Then into the middle of Vietnam flying about 700 miles to Danang a modern thriving young city and probably my favourite place Hoi An and the historical Hue, the old capital.

Then another 700 mile flight down to Ho Chi Min. By the way the weather in Hanoi was jeans, jumpers and coats and then Hoi An shorts and shirts and in the south flip flops , shorts and T shirts. Inother words cool, warm and pleasant then hot and uncomfortably humid. Saigon is a much more pleasant city than Hanoi, More French influence more affluence but with similar pollution problems. The Mekong Delta is a step back in time where the poor people are still poor.

All in  all varied and beautiful country. But the people are just the kindest, happy attractive people i have ever come across. They are just so friendly. And the food is delicious. Fresh and appetising.

There were however two down sides to the visit. Firstly ive just told you how friendly the people are. And this is despite what has happened to them in the last 40-odd years.

They were invaded by the French, then the Japanese, then the French again, the Americans then had a 3 year civil war. The Americans in particular sprayed 12,000 sq miles of forest with chemicals such as napalm and the infamous Agent Orange. As they found it difficult to kill an enemy who hid underground they decided to kill all the vegatation so they had nothing to live on. Eventually the Americans realised this was a war they couldnt win they they packed up and went home. Unfortunately they left 200,000 Vietnamese maimed disfigured or producing deformed children due to the effects of these chemicals ,mainly Agent Orange. It will affect them for another two generations.

The vietnamese sued the Americans but lost as the Geneva Disarmament Convention states that if an opposing army uses foliage to conceal or camouflage combatants or conceal military objectives the attacking army can use what ever it wants to destroy the foliage.

The Americans however compensated thier own War Veterans who handled the stuff!!!!!!

Sad really, but the amazing thing is the Vietnamese do not seem bitter about it.

The other down side i found was that it is a typical Communist country in that it is totally corrupt. If you are a member of the party you can become rich but if not you will be held back

And finally my own little story. Half way through the holiday I became ill as it turned out later, campylobacter causing food poisoning. But as we were travelling around a lot all I could do was use Immodium, Dyoralite and indigestion remedies to keep me going. Ad it turned out my diarrhoea lasted nearly two weeks and i lost 8/9 pounds in weight. To make matters worse because my resistance was low I  contracted an ear and chest infection . It is only in the last few days Im recovering.

So an evenful trip. Ok I was ill for some of the time but if you ever get the chance visit Vietnam. It is just a stunning experience.

Poem attached     time-stood-still

 

 

T

 

FIRST FRIDAY

Its the first friday of the new year. I always have a sense of optimism and and look forward to future opportunities. I have a fresh sense of hope not just for myself but things in the world generally. Those worldwide hopes tend to be dashed pretty quickly but i believe you should always look forward never backward. I believe you should have no regrets about the past. They are gone and you cant relive them. You should learn from your mistakes , however and try not to do them again.

This is my last blog for three weeks as I’m off to Vietman next week. I’ve always wanted to visit that area. It is said to be very beautiful and the people are considered to be very friendly. They certainly have had more than their share of troubles in the past. I also love their food.

I know this is going to be controversial but why is it that most of the wars and conflicts currently happening are as a result of religion. Im a Christian I suppose . That is what I was brought up as. But I’m an agnostic which means i dont know if their is a God or no. I dont disbelieve I just need it to be proven. The reason I dont know is that my son died as a result of an accident at 18. If there is a God why didnt he take me when I’d had 50-odd years rather than my son. I dont understand that.

The other thing I dont understand is that each religion has a God, it may even be the same God in different that is worshipped in a different way. Now most religions claim their God is good and Forgiving and peace-loving. So why cant these Gods get together and stop these killings in their name. There are even sects in the same religion killing each other. It just doesnt make sense. I dont believe violence against each other convinces the other side their argument is right. The only way is to talk to each other face to face.

I need some HUMOUR now.

The last woman in England tried for witchcraft was convicted as recently as 1944.

Hurricanes with female names are much deadlier than ones named after men.

In Turkey the word for “turkey” means Indian bird. In India the word for “turkey” means Peruvian bird. In Greece the word for “turkey” means French bird and in Malaysia the word for “turkey” means Dutch chicken.

The actress January Jones claims her son is better off not having a father. Of course she is wrong. Some fathers ARE bad fathers as are some mothers but children are better being raised by both parents.

POEM attached                                         .just-the-same

 

FAST FORWARD ITS FRIDAY

I cant believe its friday again. The weeks just seem to fly by especially approaching Xmas. Tree up , house decorated, Xmas cards sent, most presents bought and some of the food for the Xmas day meal in the freezer.So nearly there.

The first funny this week is that the Minister of Transport was reported to have knocked someone off their bike into a lampost a few weeks ago. Apparently he thinks cyclists in cities are a bit of a nuisance but it really isnt a good policy to knock them off their bikes!!!!

Hackney council in London will fine people who sleep rough £100 and if they dont pay it goes up to a £1000. Suely they are sleeping rough because they havent got any money so thats really going to solve the problem? Why dont they just throw them in  bin lorries and dump them on rubbish tips.Would it not actually be easier to try and solve the problem long term and help them find homes, jobs and try to help with mental problems and addictions!

Which leads me onto what is happiness. It is according to a survey good mental health and enjoying social relationships. Poverty or unemployment are lesser reasons mental illness is the biggest. My only worry is that the people who carry out surveys are not poor are employed (obviously ) and hopefully dont have mental illness!

1000’s of people in the Yemen are beoing killed by armaments manufactured in the UK.The Government are now talking about whether to continue supplying Saudi Arabia with these arms. They actually cant decide which committee makes the decision. In the meantime more Yemenese will die. And why such a delay . OH . Saudi Arabia spentds billions of pounds on these arms and by the way they have lots of oil!!!!!!!

HUMOUR  In 1907, Australian dancer Victor Goulet had one of his Achilles tendons replaced with a wallaby’s. They couldnt believe how high he could jump.                                                 The Anna’s hummingbird chirps with its bottom.

When the first Mcdonalds drive- through in Kuwait opened the queue was 7 miles long. They must have been hungry by the time they were served!

The dark side of the moon is turquoise!

1/3 of tods crossing roads are fatally run over.

What a shambles. Bob Dylan couldn’t attend to receive his Nobel prize so Patti Smith attended on his behalf. She was due to sing “A hard rains A gonna fall” one of his most famous songs. Unfortunately she couldn’t remember the words!

What luck.

A retired doctor discovered among a pile of old papers a previously unknown Leonardo da Vinci sketch.It sold for £12.6 million at auction.

What a fantastic TV series Planet Earth  2 has been. The camerera work was incredible And its hard to believe Sir David Attenborough who does the commentary is 90. TV at its best.

And the late news  is that the sale of whole  geese is likely to overtake whole turkey as the bird of choice for Xmas dinner this year.

Does anyone know what the most popular meal in Japan on Xmas day is. Give yourself a pat on the head if you knew if was Kentucky Fried Chicken!

Poem attached                                                                        postcards