No, not your blog of course. I concede that your posts are succinct, insightful, humorous and well worth reading. That is why I would appreciate it if you could spare a moment to cast your eye over my efforts and let me know how I can encourage people to read it. On the other hand it may be the most boring blog, someone's has to be.

Newark market place

Newark market place
Newark market place dull Saturday morning

Newark Church

Newark Church
Two residents at the weir

Snowy Dry Doddington

Snowy Dry Doddington
Snow on the road to not very Dry Doddington

Raleigh Runabout RM6 Refurbished

Raleigh Runabout RM6 Refurbished
Look for the "before" in the blog post

Friday, 5 January 2007

Willum refuses to join in the plot

Willum, that's him in the picture, reluctantly declined to be part of my plot to get rid of Ruby and her hangers on. Remember I told you about them in previous blogs.

It's not that he likes the Hackney Slasher, "no way mate, can't stand the ginger Southern furball."

He explained it's a matter of principle, "never peed on the furniture and not going to start now but very tempted cos it's in a good cause." Looked me straight in the eye and said, "look mate I only ever piddle on things that can easily be swilled down under the tap. You know, like the laptop, printer, mobile phone or them old books you've been hanging on to for years."

Thank goodness there's some principles in the household.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Not my bodily fluids

"Who did it then? Whose weed on the toilet wall?"

Susan came rushing out of the downstairs toilet. Somehow I didn't think she had found a strange cigarette. The expression of disgust signalled the discovery of an unpleasant bodily fluid.

As I'm usually the alleged culprit I'm on the defensive. Who else can I blame?

I follow her sheepishly into the toilet to examine the incriminating evidence. Relief, I spot yellow liquid at the opposite end of the room to the toilet bowl.

"It can't have been me" I say, "even when I miss I get closer than that. Anyway my slippers usually soak most of it up."

"I never said it was you, pillock, it's obviously one of those bloody cats."

"Yes, and I know which one" I said leaping as usual to the correct conclusion, "the Hackney Slasher".

The Hackney deviant is my daughters cat Ruby mentioned in my last blog. Pictured above though I'd rather starve her of the oxygen of publicity. Go on, admit it, you can tell she's a wrong un. Not like my two cats.

How devious can you get.

I mentioned in the last blog Ruby's efforts to drive our cats out by force. Only limited success as Maisie and Willum sneak in shivering at the dead of night. So now it has turned dirty.

You probably think I've got it in for Ruby, but do you know what she did the other day? She ate her breakfast then walked straight over to Maisie and Willums food bowls and threw the lot up in them. I don't think she was sharing.

I need to have a chat with Willum and Maisie to plan how we can get her back. Now if Willum could be persuaded to go and pee on the chair in Ruby's room then perhaps Susan would insist she moves back down South immediately. Yes thats where is Willum.

Monday, 1 January 2007

Feline Friction

Right, thats the festive season endured successfully again. Jason, my daughters partner was the last Christmas guest to leave today. Big smile on his face. I put this down to him finding the two pound coin in the Christmas pudding. Surely he couldn't have been pleased to be leaving?
Kept up my reputation for philanthropy and helping people in need the other day. I removed my card from the cash machine in Waitrose, but forgot to take the cash. Bet the guy with the brogues, cord trousers and large four wheel drive who picked up the hundred quid really needed the money. Am I losing it? Well obviously cash, but I'm not sure about the mental faculties.
Despite the fact that all our guests are gone Susan and I are not alone. I forgot to mention earlier that our daughter, grandson and their cat came to stay with us in September for a couple of weeks. This was to bridge the short (we were assured) period between them leaving their flat in Hackney and moving into a new home near Southend. They are still with us. It is not their fault. They have I feel been let down by the professionals (sic) who are supposed to be progressing the purchase of their new home. Our home is not overcrowded but our lifestyle has certainly been affected over the last three months. I have been reminded that I have perhaps become more set in my ways than I realised.
Strangely enough most arguements have centered round cat management. We have two nervous, sweet, docile and gentle animals. Maisie is pictured above and she has a brother Willum who is a large dope who will jump at the sight of his shadow. Who could resist Maisie's imploring look? Well I can tell you who can. Ruby the bad tempered old ginger hoodlum from Hackney. She has a room of her own but not content with this does her level best to banish the others to life in the garage.
You would not believe the friction this can cause between the adults. Or maybe we are projecting our own frustrations on to the cat situation, I don't know. Anyway, cat lover though I am I shall be pleased to see Ruby taking her Southern attitudes back to Essex. Of course I'm not one to stereotype.

Sunday, 31 December 2006

How many innocent Iraqis?

I opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning. Not that I had any time or sympathy for Saddam Hussein and his vile rule but because:

  • There are plenty of unpleasant regimes around the world which the UK and US governments not only do not change but actually support and deal with.

  • There seemed to me to be no justification for sacrificing the lives of young men and women in our military services in a conflict with a country that was not immediately and directly threatening our interests.

  • It was clear that given the fire power of the USA many innocent Iraqis would be killed in the adventure.

  • There was much obvious fabrication and scullduggery in Blairs justification for joining the Americans in the war.

  • I was and still am deeply suspicious of the USA's motives for engaging in the enterprise. I still think their motive is control of the oil supply and I suspect that however ignominious their eventual pullout is they will maintain some presence or influence that enables them to control this.

I do not believe for one moment that the Bush government thought that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. We are expected to believe that a country which can take spy satellite pictures of individual vehicles could not spot a bomb factory or the movement of munitions. If they had seen them they would have shown us them. The best they could do was set Colin Powell up at the UN trying to convince us a milk processing truck was some kind of portable weapons production platform.

Memo to any dictator. If you want to make sure the USA does not attack you must have a nuclear weapons capability. Let them see evidence of it but not enough to be sure of what you have got. You might be the subject of UN sanctions for a while but don't worry. The "International Community" will deal with you if they need you again in the future.

The whole thing has been a shambles. Coalition fighters by the hundreds and Iraqis in the thousands dying for no obvious positive outcome. A country riven by factional fighting and whatever Blair and Bush say, a situation providing a focus for terrorist activity which threatens us in the UK and others in a way that did not exist before the war.

The thing that really galls me is the sight of the Tory "Yo" Blair, who has borrowed the Labour Party, strutting the world stage attempting to convince us he has some significant role in all this. He tells us we will get our troops home when the Iraqi elected government and their security forces are able to manage their internal insurgency and conflict. Utter bullshit. Our troops will come home when the Americans say it is ok. It may well be that a new Labour Prime Minister is able to negotiate with the Americans an "early release"for the UK, but there is no way we would be staying on after the Yanks have gone.

And now Saddam Hussein has been hanged, the event reported round the world in unbelievably ghoulish detail. Will this have helped this situation? I don't think so. I have to admit some bias here in that I have always opposed the death penalty and do so in this case. However it is not just a matter of principle. It is just possible that the Iraqi governent have made a martyr of, and given some dignity to Saddam for a significant numbers of people in Iraq and the Arab world. He should have been tried for all the crimes he is alleged to have committed. I suspect the Kurds will feel cheated that he has not been brought to book for allegations of genocide against their people. If he had been imprisoned public opinion may well have focussed more on why he was incarcerated rather than as now the manner of his death.

We are told that he deserved execution because of the number of deaths of his people he was responsible for. This implies that a lesser sentence may have been given if less people had been killed on his orders. So how many innocent Iraqis can be killed on the orders of a world leader without them facing the death penalty?

Perhaps people like Bush or Blair could help us with a figure?