Thursday, 26 November 2015

To Kill Or Not To Kill?

Today David Cameron is taking a step forward in his determination to strike at the heart of the organisation calling itself "Islamic State".

He has made clear his intention to bomb them out of existence.

He has some support and quite a lot of opposition to this course of action.

Those who support him believe that this will end the threat to the rest of the world posed by this extremist fundamentalist group whose doctrine of hate has been clearly demonstrated by the events in Paris a couple of weeks ago.

I have no expertise in military matters but, like most people I do have opinions, and a political and ethical view of such strategies.

Many people are torn between seeking a violent revengeful solution and wanting some other way of ending this frankly terrifying threat.

My own view is absolutely unequivocal, I do not believe in killing.  Nor am I naive enough to believe that a peaceful solution could ever be found.

What I don't understand is why, if 'they' the Governments of all the countries prepared to bomb the
terrorists, know where to  find them, are satisfied that their target is accurate, and think that bombing will put an end to the threat, they cannot find a means of isolating the terrorists.  That done, the brilliant technology available should be able to remove all means of communication from them.
Once separated from all outside contact they would then in effect, be under siege, and, as in times gone by could then be 'starved' of all their support.

Game set and match!

Well it is at least a different way of tackling what threatens to be one of the greatest evils of this century.

Evil feeds on contact and support.  Take that away and it will eventually wither and die.

Naive?  Probably.
Simplistic?  Certainly.

Possible?   Maybe.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Autumn ?

The picture on the left is my yellow Buddleia about two years ago.

Today, the last day of October it is still in full bloom and to  cap it all, there were two Red Admiral butterflies on it.

I have many roses still in bloom, including Veilchenblau which blooms in May and generally has no 2nd bloom.

My weeds are flourishing as is the moss between the stones, and today was actually warm for a few hours.

After a Summer, unremarkable in every negative way, this has been, and still is, an amazing Autumn.

Since I am short of energy at present I have given in and am in the process of acquiring a regular gardener (I hope), so that some of the beauty of past years can be restored.

In the meantime, flowers please keep on blooming, and butterflies keep visiting.

Global warming or not these days are a bonus.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Missing my Mum and Dad

This picture was taken by John about 1975 and shows rather well my relationship with my parents.  Close, but not touchy feely.

For the past few months I have been feeling a bit tired and run down and a little low in spirits.

Additionally I have developed a tremor in my right hand/arm.

A few months ago I took myself to see the GP who asked a few questions, tried a few tests and found that I had an accelerated heartbeat plus high blood-pressure.  He gave me some tablets and slowly the blood-pressure returned to an acceptable level so the original problem was the only thing which needed to be addressed.

To cut a long story short some kind friends from church took me and brought me back from the hospital some 17 miles away, since I do not drive and the only bus runs every two hours.

That was this morning.

I saw one doctor who examined me closely and talked me through most of my life's health history.  He said he was uncertain and would I mind being seen by another doctor.

Another set of trials and questions and he too said "I think we need Mr............ who arrived a minute or two later.

"Yes" he said, "I can see why you are difficult to diagnose but, you have two problems:
1  You have an Essential tremor, and
2  You have Parkinson's disease"

He explained at some length what the first one meant - not much to worry about.  The second one is
of course the last thing I wanted to hear, although he told me it is very early on and the tablets he prescribed would ease the tremor and lift my spirits.

Seeing that he had winded me he said "Don't worry, you could be no worse than this in ten years time"

If I sound less than cheerful please forgive me, but this has knocked me off my perch and at present I don't quite know how to adjust my emotional barometer.

My GP seemed so sure it was not Parkinson's that  i had mentally dismissed it.

Please don't see this as a plea for sympathy, it really isn't.  It's just that my habit of blogging my angst as well as my joys has never seemed more necessary.

Missing my Mum.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Is it personal?

I was out early this morning, into town on the bus into the supermarket and settling into trying to remember the  things not on my list.  (I know, there shouldn't be any).

Oh yes, I thought, cheese, and headed off toward the battalions of cheeses not a care in the world.

Suddenly there was a rush of movement from a shelf up above my head to the left and moving too slowly to avoid it, I received the full benefit of a plastic tray of pots of cream which hit the floor with a crash which split most of them, spraying me with a liberal coating of thick gooey cream.

My jacket, skirt, shoes legs and bag were all covered.

A nearby shelf-filler rushed to my aid with a roll of paper towels which made things a hundred times worse, and when I said it needed to be wet wipes the response was a blank look.

I headed for the manager told him the tale whereupon he produced a large pack of wet wipes, apologised profusely for the behaviour of the wayward cream pots and offered to have my jacket professionally cleaned (they have a dry cleaning facility within the store).

When I said I wanted just to get home and put everything into the washing machine (myself included), he gave me £10 for the taxi home and said, "if the marks don't wash out bring the clothes in here and we'll get them out for you"

Needless to say I was barely through the door when my clothes were off and into the machine and I collapsed into a chair (in underwear only) with a coffee.

My brain tells me these things happen to lots of people on a daily basis, but somehow it feels as though I am being singled out.

Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean it's not true.

Saturday, 12 September 2015


In case anyone is in any doubt, Jeremy Corbyn is now officially the leader of the labour party.

I have never been a member of this august body since, when asked where my political affiliations lay, I have always replied, "somewhere to the left of Lenin".

For me the previous incumbents of the labour leadership have never quite convinced me of their desire to actively improve the day-to-day lives of their fellow citizens.

And, of course, in the case of one particular such person, have led their country nose first, into war.

Any member of the party who had a vote and failed to use it has, in my view, no right to complain if they now have a leader whose aims do not match their own.

Perhaps I am just feeling unreasonably euphoric because England have once more trounced Australia in the cricket field, but no, there is, rising somewhere in my ancient frame, a slightly nervous glimmer of hope that this time there may be a real chance for the left of the political sphere to justify its opinions.

I am neither an astute politician, nor a total imbecile, merely an old woman seeing a light at the end of a very long, very dark tunnel.

Sunday, 30 August 2015


Deep joy.

Today was the close annual BBQ.

Today it did what it has been doing seemingly for ever, it rained.

I took my taxi to church in drizzle this morning, came home in even lighter drizzle.

So far so good.

After a cup of tea and feet up for 20 minutes I looked out to see what stage the 'setter-uppers' had reached.

The long tent/marquee whatever it is called was in place in the road, tables set up along one of the inside 'walls' and some goodies were being brought out.

The massive barbeque was being set up at one end under its own giant umbrella.

Good, I thought, I'll just take the few odds and ends out of the oven, cover them in cling-film and add my wine to the collection.

A few of the stalwarts were setting out chairs etc and all looked good.

The sky was grey but it was dry, so the children set up their face-painting paraphernalia (a regular feature of this event) and the first 3 year old was rapidly acquiring a pale green face, courtesy of a five year old budding Picasso.

Someone brought out the gadget (don't know what it is called) which plays music as a background to our noisy chatter.

A dozen or so of us sat, glasses in hand, and started  our tower of Babel catchup.

One hour later, having eaten some of the food and chat getting louder down came the first heavy drops, and two of the taller men started attaching the sides to the hitherto open tent.  Just in time.

It rained and it rained and it rained.  Two hours later it was still tanking down and the temperature was down several notches.  It was now about 3.30pm.

That was when my inner wimp, cringing from the chill forced me to my frozen feet and with a "sorry, I am too cold to stay out, bye, see you next year" I  fled.

Two hours later the noise from the tent was twice what it had been and I thought, shall I put something really warm on and go back out?  Opening the door to test the temperature a blast of icy
gale-driven water made my mind up for me.

It is now nearly 10.30 and for the first time I can remember, the road is empty of people, lights, noise etc .

It would appear that I am not the only wimp in the close.

There is comfort in numbers :-)

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Sufficient unto the day

Sunday it rained.

Monday it rained.

Today, Tuesday it poured.  Torrents, oceans, millions of gallons.

Many of us in this South Eastern, middle bit of England have been praying (literally) for rain.  The ground has been like concrete for months so little of the wet stuff have we seen.

I am as guilty of provoking the deluge as the rest.  My so-called garden has been slowly drying and crisping week-by-week.


Enough Lord.

Did we have to have a lifetimes prayers for rain answered in three days?

As well as getting wet several times a day.  Seeing the army of snails increasing by the dozen even as I watched.  Hearing the doleful autumn song of the robin.  (It's still summer!), the weeds are turning into trees.

This coming Sunday we have the annual Close BBQ.  It must stop by then surely?

You could be forgiven for  thinking I ought to be used to rain, after all, I am Welsh, but I have lived away from Wales for a very long time and since living here in Aylesbury have become used to a smaller share of the wet stuff.

This summer has been largely grey chilly interspersed with occasional sunny, and on two occasions very hot days.  Not a good summer by any stretch of the imagination.
Wimbledon's second week was too hot but it has been largely downhill from there.

I had hoped August and September might make up for the deficit but the time is whizzing by and there is less hope of that daily.

Can't remember what it was doing on St Swithun's day but have my suspicions.

Next week I am taking a week off in order to try out my bus pass for  once out of Aylesbury.  I shall go to various towns nearby just so I know they are still there.

It has been some time since I ventured further than 3 or 4 miles and need to expand my horizons while i still have the courage.

One trip will be to Milton Keynes that great Mecca for shopaholics. (sorry can't spell it)

What will I buy?

A mac of course.