Thursday, 11 April 2019

Protest Songs - Hat-tip to Jean at Tregear Vean

Reading one of my favourite blogs this morning I was reminded of my own history of singing on protest marches.

The photo on the left was on one of the Anti-bomb CND marches back in the late 50's or early 60's.

My neck and shoulders (face hidden by the poster ) are bottom left.  The singer/guitar player my youngest brother.

All  three of my brothers and a group of fellow singer/Socialists spent many summers, marching and singing anti-bomb, pro peace songs.

The Aldermaston March was the biggest of these events and always culminated in a rally in Trafalgar Square, where The Hiroshima Song and others would be relayed to the thousands in the crowds.

While very serious about the purpose of the protest, we nevertheless enjoyed the singing, and of  course it helped us to forget our aching legs and feet.

The marches were always lead by amixture of politicians, clergy, actors and writers and often the addresses over the public address system in the Square were of the finest calibre.

While it is true there were also hundreds of police present, both on the march and in the square, it was rare for any serious trouble to break out and mostly relations between "Us" and "Them" were fairly friendly.

I can't help wondering if today's youth could be persuaded away from their phones and gadgets long enough to register any interest at all in the issues of the day.

And if they could, what would they sing?

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Really Weird Scam

There have been so many reported scams in blogs I hesitate to add yet another, but this morning's effort was truly weird so I thought I'd better air it.

The phone rang, I picked up the receiver and there was an automated call, an American voice, female and , one I have heard before.

This time the speech went something like this: The reason for this call is that someone has taken out legal action against you, if you want to talk to your case oficer the number is...

That was when I realised what was  happening and I put the phone down.

As i said, a very weird one

My previous calls also automated and the same voice were some months ago and warned me that my internet connection was being cut in a few days' time.

Ialways ignore these calls but must admit to feeling slightly rattled by this one.

What on earth do they hope to gain?

The curious (OK nosy) side of me would quite like to know what would have happened had I been stupid enough to ring the number they gave me.

There appears to be no limit to list of tricks the wicked are happy to play on the unwary.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Tempus Fugit (or something)

Today is my 84th birthday.

I can't believe  it - until I look in a mirror.

Putting my birthday cards up on the shelves of a bookcase I was struck once again by their dimimishing numbers.

As more and more friends family and contemporaries fall off the twig I find myself looking nervously over my shoulder.

Many of we survivors say the same thing as we move closer together to  fill the gaps on the twig.

There are many good things about ageing in this day and age, unlike 100 years or so ago.  We have bus passes, free TV licences (at present), and are given priority when using emergency call-out services, but, the price is high.

Failing health is for many/most of us a major factor in our daily lives but for some of us, myuself included this is not the worst problem.

Maybe I am generalising but I have heard quite a few of my friends say that loss of confidence in dealing with everyday issues is becoming a barrier to living life as  it should be possible to  live it.

This morning my birthday gift from my household demons was to  be greeted with a flood in the garage.  It took a second or two to realise that my freezer had thawed and was continuing  to do so.

Spotting that the light on the plug was not on and that there was none on the freezer either I knew It was time for urgent action.

One of my neighbours was at home so I begged some time from him to clarify the problem.  He checked the plug and wall socket and told me the freezer was basically 'dead'. 

Removing around 100 pounds worth of food and putting it into black  sacks I realised that I do not really need a freezer at all.

I keep buying things and filling it up but seldom use anything from it and can, with care,  manage perfectly well without it.

Now the problem is going to  be disposing of the freezer. 

Oh the joys of being an ancient crone unable to drive and with limited muscle power.

Happy Birthday Ray.!.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Ash Wednesday

We (yes the choir of St Mary the Virgin) sang this beautiful anthem at this evening's Ashing Service.

Though I say it as shouldn't, we  did a pretty creditable job and the accolades are rolling in.

It is rare that we manage to do justice to a really difficult work, bujt this time we did.

I can go to bed happy for a change.

The version with this post is a good one but I think ours was almost as good.

A wonderful beginning to Lent.  Deo Gracias!

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

A Little Night Music

This clip from Utube of Beati Quorum Via by Stamford is how our anthem last Sunday should have sounded.

Needless to say, it did not.

Well (perhaps too well) rehearsed, it went smoothly at the Friday evening choir practise, but less so on the early Sunday morning run-through.  Possibly due to the numbers being halved.

This is a common and very irritating phenomena in our choir at St Mary's.

We get a splendid turnout and the balance of sound is pretty well perfect in rehearsal, then, on the day at least a half dozen or so fail to show.

With something as ambitious as this lovely piece every voice is essential to  the finished performance.

Getting everyone to accept this, is nearly impossible.

Those of us who are truly dedicated to the choir find it very frustrating but are quite powerless to change this attitude of the less dedicated.

From my own point of view a committment to the choir means attending every rehearsal and every service unless illness strikes.

The reason for this latest diatribe is that I went to bed with the music running round my brain on a loop, was just dropping off to sleep when a blood-curdling scream outside shattered the peace of the close.

After the 2nd and third shrieks it was obvious that the foxes were out on the railway embankment giving a recital.

Once all hope of sleep had vanished I thought I'd take my bad temper out in a blog post.

Well I have to vent my spleen somehow.

Oh and please do listen to this recording if you have time.  It really is rather lovely.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Insomniac's Corner

Yet another gritty-eyed night, bored, sleepless, too hot (radiators blazing). rain slashing at windows.


British Gas maintenance annual checkup today appears to have made no difference whatever to the list of problems I presented the engineer.

Pipes banging radiators too hot to touch despite thermostat being set at 15 degrees.

Water in taps boiling despite switch turned off.

I give up.

As it is Winter and was very cold last week I suppose I should be glad to be warm, but there's warm and there's bloomin' 'ot!

A day spent doing nothing much but hang about waiting for the engineer is not a good way to use up energy and I find myself full of the stuff just when i  need it least.

Tomorrow at St. M's I will be pale-faced and baggy-eyed as a result. 

Why is it that when you are hoping to climb into smooth sheets and sink into blissful oblivion the said sheets appear to have been covered in grit and pillows filled with lumps of clay?

Apart from the intermittant rain the only sound from outside is the occasional doleful wail from a cat complaining about being shut out.

Have just walked up and down the stairs 3 times just to see if my feet still work, unlike my brain they do.

Think I'll read,  Night!  No, Morning!

Saturday, 2 February 2019


Last week I had a phone call on my landline.  It was an automated call and the voice was American and female.

It told me that as from 2nd February my internet was  being cut off.

The call then cut off.

I did what I usually do about such calls and completely ignored it.

A couple of days ago a message was flashed up on my lap-top screen telling me my Google Account was to be closed down. this also disappeared before completion.

Last night I was told (lap-top again) that as from tomorrow (now today) my Google account would no longer be valid.  No more information was offered.

This time I switched off the computer unplugging it completely and went to bed.

Today having switched everything back on the only thing which appears to have happened is that my gmail account is not operating.  (It is, however, working on my Ipad).

If this blog is published I will assume the whole thing is yet another mindless prank.

If anyone knows more about this please enlighten me.