Sunday, 31 December 2017

'Three Score and Ten' and still 'Running In'

To the future! 





Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis (60 AD - 140 AD)
(Saturae 10,188)


Friday, 29 December 2017


Who knows for certain?
Who shall here declare it?
  Whence it was born?
  Whence came creation?

The gods are later
than this world's formation.
  Who then can know
  the origins of the world?

None knows
whence creation arose.

  Or whether he has
  or has not made it,
  he who surveys it from the lofty skies.

Only he knows
or perhaps
he knows not.

from Carl Sagan
and the Rig Veda

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

UK 40th in Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom League Table

The UK's 4Oth place in a press freedom table is not even a position. It's a sight worse.

Freedom starts here:  1. Norway.    and ends here:    18O. North Korea.

and with yesterday's News of the World

"Frank! Fearless! Free!

But when Guardian 

hard drives and discs 

were smashed with sledge hammers

the nation's spine




          Whoa! You there!

           You swallowin' your pintaday

            you pencil pushin' freedom

            preachin' milksop.

Off yer 'oss.

                You ain't herd? Well you've herd it noun. 

               (Spellchecker nose breast)

               Newspeak's back in town.  

"Waist for us Kim."

"We're learnin' by doin'."

"We're on your way down."

"We're flailin' just's flast as we clan."

Or' well

 someone did try

did slay

. . .try two warm them


Sunday, 24 December 2017

Garland it with Popcorn!

I've often  suspected that popcorn had to be useful for something but I've never managed to figure out what it could be.

Then lo and behold!  Today, of all days,  I discovered an excellent use for the unchewable tasteless salt filled snack.

It's the ideal material for making Christmas garlands. 

Patiently thread the popcorns onto a length of string and drape them over the Christmas tree. That's what  someone has done at our local cinema.

And it works.

Vulgar tinsel can't hold a candle to muted popcorn garlands.  

The Christmas Eve film we went to see this morning was the 2016 Simon Aboud fairy tale - This Beautiful FantasticThe Wonderful Garden of Bella Brown. Jessica Brown in the star role as a seeker after the meaning of life. A wonderful Christmas offering for believers in miracles.  This  film is good for the soul. The cinema breakfast was rather good too. 

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Picking the tree!

Today's the big day. By the way, the photo is from last year. As you can see it wasn't a very big tree. But it was fresh and had the perfect shape and smell. And these things are important. I hope we find one just like it later today!  







. . .

a splendid 2 meter tree





Killing our heritage? One victim is ERNIE.

Published with permission. Please watch on YouTube.

My thanks to Dave at Northsider for the heads up.  What happens here is a national disgrace.

Restore and refurbish the iconic ERNIE Premium Bonds building and use it as an IT College, or a technical museum, or a university, or perhaps a tourist attraction to rival the famous Blackpool Tower, or a concert house,  or an art gallery, or an aquarium, or the centerpiece of a great and splendid public garden?

No chance!

Fait accompli.

Luxury development.

That's it.

Christmas Cards

Cro at Cro Magnon writes about the decline in the number of Christmas cards sent through the so-called snail mail.

It is as he says, more expensive and time consuming than sending a tweet or an email.

 It's a good while since I've had to peg the Christmas cards on their strings.

Today, the few are huddled together under some seasonal greenery.

These thoughts bring me on to the following:

Are the images on the cards meaningful and relevant? A glance at the cards received to date revealed the following:

nativity scene   1
reindeer  3
baubles   2
image of a sound wave  1
lighted candles   1
hedgehog  in snow 1
kingfisher in snow   1
the   "12 days of Christmas "    1
frosty landscape with tree  1
women carrying water   1
children sledging   1
snowmen  2
star    1

There we are then.  Just one card shows the  birth of the baby Jesus. But that's not important.

Important are the positive messages that come with the cards or with the Christmas emails.

With that said, I shall now send my Christmas thoughts into universe.  All can do the same.

Somebody somewhere will read them.

One mustn't be a cardinal or a king, or even a politician or a spin doctor.

 "  Let there be peace in the world for all people of goodwill.  "

After I'd typed the above, a most wonderful  Christmas card fluttered down to us here.  I'd like to share it with you.

The image comes from the palette of Stanislaw Kmiecik, an artist who paints with his foot.

It's titled Dem Licht entgegen  -  Against the Light.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Only 7 days to go . . .

Zen's Christmas Countdown:

20 , 17 , 13 , 7 . . .

The Story Book

The Messenger

The Woman

The Man

The Journey

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Only 13 days to go . . .

Counting down the days to go - the sequence of zen: 20, 17 and now 13.

Christmas lights at City Hall

The big wheel at the campus

"All aboard Santa's Express!"

The ice man cometh 

A welcome punch

"Happy Christmas" from Arabella

Monday, 11 December 2017

Martin's 7-year Hitch.

The wolf is stirring.

Before we know it, it will bare its hungry teeth.

The latest Martin Schulz Plan calls for the creation of a Vereinigten Staaten von Europa (a United States of Europe) by 2025.

EU countries not in the United Sates of Europe automatically exit the EU says Schulz.

Doubtless the creation of the USE (VSE)  will be accomplished in the traditional EU manner: "step by step until there is no going back" (Juncker).

Citing the immigrant crisis, the terrorist crisis, the usual suspects (the Russians),  the Ukraine crisis, and the next crisis and the crisis after the next crisis, a mega-expensive military arm of the Eurozone's military-financial-industrial complex, possibly paid for with a new EU tax and led by someone like Herr Schulz or his appointed Deputy will one day lead  the willing and the unwilling EU sheeple out of the "step by step" chaos they have created, and into the blue and starry promise of paradise.

Only 7 or 8 years then, and the wolf will be in the fold.

Unwilling sheeple will find there's no escape.

No going back.

And no divorce.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Taste of a British Christmas

Whenever possible I will do my Christmas Shopping at a charity event such as the Christ Church Christmas Market, where all monies go to worthy causes, in keeping with the spirit of Christmas. 

I joined hundreds of visitors to this amazing annual event which opens with music, dancing and even a Victorian gentleman riding a penny farthing. 

We bumped into some friends,  chatted over coffee. Later sampled a wee tot of the 'water of life'. The Glenlivet warmed the cockles of my heart.

Finally came home carrying our fair share of books, games, chutneys, cakes, and many other useful items. 

Here is a small selection of photos: 

Opening Ceremony

'Scotland the Brave!' and other Hits!

A dram . . . or two?

Sample 'Food, Glorious Food!'

Visit Santa's Grotto

Sing some Carols

And find a Christmas Present . . . or two

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Smörgasbörd and Santa Lucia



Santa Lucia

Santa Claus

From Svenska with herrings and cheese. The Lucia concert is on 17th December. 

Fiat Lux

Friday, 1 December 2017

haiku on a walk

    in winter woodland
                 aside from the frozen roads
         the sun golden beams