Our annual week of hot weather has arrived just in time for Wimbledon which is good but not so good for dubious summer fashions that we Brits specialise in………

– Socks and sandals are not a good look! (blokes of a certain age are serial offenders)

– lots of unpleasant white wobbly flesh on display is not good either (both sexes at fault here)

– total absence of any suntan lotion leading to lobsterlike people wandering around the day after any sunshine (all ages/sexes to blame)

……overall though still better than dreary old British weather which will no doubt be back within a week or two

Saw ‘Mr Homes’ at the cinema last week (excellent underplaying by the whole cast) about Sherlock Holmes in his later years,

and also watched ‘Creation’ on TV about Charles Darwin.

Both films had a similar key theme about loss and grief and its affects on individuals. Lots to be said about the weeping and wailing way of handling death as opposed to the stiff upper lip bottle it up approach…..it has to come out or be manifest somehow or somewhere!

Does God favour us Brits?

Posted: June 24, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Cima_da_Conegliano,_God_the_Father

Been watching a TV series about the Spanish Armada and its attempt in 1588 to invade Britain to make us a Catholic nation again having become dangerously Protestant during the preceding years due to Henry VIII’s matrimonial difficulties!!

The Spanish of course, believed God was on their side but unfortunately if he was, he didn’t do enough as the venture failed due in part to the intervention of a storm which destroyed a large number of their ships, which us Brits believed of course, was God’s work meaning that once again he was on our side.

It could be argued that bar one ok two, slight hiccups over the years God has very definitely been on the side of the Brits all through history. In 1066 there is a thought that God was on holiday at the time allowing the Normans to defeat the Anglo -Saxons, but as they’ve all become Brits now we can take that.

BAYEAUX_2629155b

1776 is more difficult to explain but maybe King George III wasn’t that bothered about America as it did end up speaking a form of English and having similar values (gun control excepting)

spiritof1776

There is a thought that God is far to busy to side himself with anyone on the basis that whoever looks like a winner in war always loses in the end, or perhaps he lets us make our own mistakes willy nilly or he doesn’t exist at all?? Heaven forbid!!

My wife has managed till now to curb my ‘enthusiasm’ to comment on the result of the recent election in the UK. I feel however I can restrain myself any more following the news of Robin being elected……………as the most popular bird in Britain!

This followed a national poll with the results announced live on the BBC Springwatch programme last week – no exit polls were available so the result was a complete surprise but nevertheless Robin was way ahead as you can see….

Britain’s National Bird results

  • Robin 34% (75,623)
  • Barn owl 12% (26,191)
  • Blackbird 11% (25,369)
  • Wren 9% (19,609)
  • Red kite 6% (14,057)
  • Kingfisher 6% (13,922)
  • Mute swan 6% (13,480)
  • Blue tit 6% (13,123)
  • Hen harrier 5% (12,390)
  • Puffin 5% (10,674)

Robin

Personally I voted for the Puffin and am sad to see it lose it’s deposit (no gags please) but hey it was good to see a good clean fight with no personal attacks (apart from the Hen Harrier but then that’s what it does) although the Barn Owl was hampered by only being able to campaign at night.

North Wales evaluated-a very personal assessment!

The Good-the excellent weather (transferable I wonder?), the coastal path and accompanying pubs and cafes, the wildlife including Puffins! Conwy, a very pretty walled town with a castle in the middle and a fantastic beach.

The Bad-seagulls (I’d forgotten how much I hated their food stealing flying defecating antics), Plas Newydd (a National Trust property) for closing on a Friday in June!!

The Ugly-we Brits are becoming very very obese very very quickly and I’d suggest more running on rather than laying on the beautiful beaches of North Wales.

Back to ‘normality’ next week.

39 steps? Steps, Stepping Out, 

Posted: June 10, 2015 in Uncategorized
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One of the big attractions here in North Wales is the coastal walking path which does what it says on the tin in many places as we discovered yesterday with a path barely 2 feet wide and a 300 feet drop if you miss your step. Additionally there are many very dramatic gorges gouged into the cliffs necessitating steps down and up again to keeping going along the path. Trust me there were each considerably more than John Buchan’s 39 on each occasion as counting them aloud to each other was the only way we managed to get up each set!

It did start we off on a silly ‘steps’ riff that I felt I should flog to death so here’s my favorite twee manufactured pop group in glorious action http://youtu.be/LYPM1p5iZfA  Let go of the teeny bopper in you🙅🙆🙋

And my favourite bombastic ELO track for a bit of karaoke cokey 🎤 http://youtu.be/oV3x-cmq3xg

Better stop now before it gets too silly 😎

Just finished watching ‘1864’ on BBC4 which is a Danish TV saga showing what happens when a country and its people start believing it’s own publicity fanned by a charismatic but mad leader and starts a war which proves a step too far with the resultant deaths and consequences. Sounds familiar at all?

Despite, or maybe because of, the subtitles I found the story and production values superb although we have many friends who just can’t cope with it. One thing you notice is that Denmark is a small country as evidenced by the turning up of familiar faces from The Killing, Borgen etc. Shame it’s leaders in 1864 didn’t appreciate that fact before deciding to take on the Prussians just as they warming up for defeating Austria, then France before WW1.

The DVD is unsurprisingly out this week so buy now while stocks last!!!

We are in North Wales and spent lunchtime yesterday sitting outside a great pub on a very pretty bay watching dogs and their owners do the stick ball throw water retrieve thing. Great entertainment at the best of times particularly when one of the dogs has a tail like a propeller!

The dog in question was a chunky chocolate Labrador that was chasing a ball on the beach and into the sea and after each successful venture stood looking at his family awaiting his next mission with his tail performing gymnastically. Starting with a common or garden side to side wag, then an up and down wag and then a clockwise circular motion followed by his party piece, a seamless switch to anti-clockwise!

By this time my wife and I were in hysterics waiting for the dog to take off and fly around the bay like a mini Zepplin, but unfortunately we we in Wales not Cartoonland.