Happy Non Brexit Day

I thought tonight’s post would be about the cemetery again, maybe it will be later on. It is, after all, Hallowe’en.

But then I saw something on Twitter I just have to share. It made me laugh, but it is very close to the bone. Although people voted Leave in 2016 for a variety of reasons, some more noble than others, it has become increasingly apparent that it is a small group of already very rich people who will benefit, while the rank and file who made the mistake of believing in unicorns, will suffer.

But tomorrow I shall still be an EU citizen. Actually I shall still be one even if we continue on the disastrous path to leave as it turns out I have been an Irish citizen since birth. Thanks Mother. Good one. Continue reading

Limited vision

I went back to M&S to see what the pastel outfits were: two out of three are unicorns, the third has stars.

Stars and unicorns

Unicorns v tigers

I was wrong about the hot water bottles, the ‘girls’ do have some to choose from: unicorns. Blue, white or pink unicorns.

White unicorn

And matching slippers.

Blue unicorn

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It’s pastels for girls. Not tigers.

Popped into my local M&S and was distracted by a very pretty umbrella. My god, what is my life coming to when I am seduced by an umbrella? Someone said my name and it was L from book group. We both got distracted by nice soaps, tote bags with pictures of cats. You know the sort of thing. Christmas is only two and a half months away and boy the shops aren’t going to let us forget it.
So we wended our way through to the groceries, picking things up and putting them back down again. Finally we parted and got on with our shopping.

On the way out I saw these. Wonderful! How I would have loved this as a child. To be dressed as a tiger. Heaven.

Tigers!


Then I looked up. WTF? Continue reading

Would the 17.4 million please stand up

Johnson, Gove et al appear to be engaged in some political limbo challenge. How low can you go? Hey I can go lower than that. So we are being shamed almost hourly by the ridiculous sabre rattling, the aggressive speeches, the threats against those who oppose them and their dangerous alt-right fuelled dreams.

I say shamed, but terrified would be more accurate. How many of you saw the Leave poster yesterday? It’s been taken down now but I may be able to find it on the web to show you. Well that didn’t take long, you can see it here.

One of the backers of this campaign is Arron Banks. Not the man you’d like find moving in next door. All the hallmarks of fascism are stamped over both Leave and Johnson’s government. The playbook is lifted from the rise of the Nazis. We are constantly told leaving the EU is the will of the British people; that to ignore the result of the 2016 referendum would be undemocratic, would let down the 17.4 million who voted in favour of ‘going it alone’. Never mind that the population is more than four times that number, that quite a few of the people who voted are now dead, and every poll shows most people want to stay in the EU, that large numbers of those who voted Leave are horrified at what is being done in their name. No, the tail must wag the dog and pull us all down. It would be nice if the 17.4 million stood up now and told the government to stop. It may only be if they do that the madness will end. Continue reading

Journey to das Boot

On a glorious autumn morning I am on the train to meet Older Nephew to take das Boot to the pump out at Ely and begin the process of winterising her. I have conflicting feelings about das Boot. I want to make improvements, I have ideas to make life aboard more comfortable, but I am also thinking the time is approaching to give up my car, and therefore das Boot. Older Nephew’s girlfriend is in London, and although he will still be based in the East, I wonder if his personal centre of gravity is shifting, and how often he will want or be able to join me when I am at the marina.
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New Depths in British Politics

When Boris Johnson became leader of the Tory party and thus Prime Minister my country reached a new low. Today even that low was to be surpassed. Johnson, who has previously, and very recently, said he did not support proroguing Parliament, has changed his mind. For those of us who have learned to mistrust, distrust, abhor Johnson this does not come as an enormous surprise. Johnson is a chancer. He’s untrustworthy, unreliable, a serial liar.

It is however a shock.

I suspect some of the red tops, which against all evidence to the contrary have been hailing Johnson as some sort of messiah, will greet this news with glee. If you are a reader of one of those papers, maybe even an admirer of Johnson, maybe a committed Brexiteer, just consider for a moment how you would have reacted had this been a ploy deployed by a politician of another persuasion. It’s not a good day for democracy. It may not quite be the coup some people are claiming, it may not be anti constitutional, but it is a sneaky move, a move that shows little respect for democracy, and if the outcome Johnson wants, as he has said he does, is to unite the country, it is not a very good idea.
Not only Johnson has previously said he didn’t favour proroguing Parliament, so did just about every member of his cabinet.
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Of holy vegetables, a plague of pennywort and diverse lives

The butter beans for tonight’s meal are bubbling away on the hob. I have just enjoyed my lunch, and am having a moment’s post prandial relaxation while the digestive processes get to work. It’s a beautiful day; sunny with a breeze which means I need to make sure I don’t burn when I go about my next self-imposed task to start cleaning the boat covers. I say start, because I want to see if the brushes on the cordless drill will make the job easier. However, I forgot to bring the charger, so how much charge is in the drill remains to be seen.

I have visited Reach, picked some blackberries to give my downstairs neighbours as a thank-you for keeping an eye on the plants these last couple of days, and doing my almost daily shop at the organic farm. Again I bought spinach. The other day I noticed there was a separate batch of spinach, half the price of the rest. This is what the label said:

Holey Spinach

Now the farm, as I have written before, as well as being organic also employs people with a range of disability, including those with learning difficulties. I assumed this was a spelling mistake. After all there’s holy basil, so why not holy spinach. Then I noticed the holey kale and the penny dropped. These were bags of veg with holes in.

The farm is my favourite place to buy flowers for my time afloat too.

Flower selection

At Burwell I filled the car with petrol and had a little explore. Burwell calls itself a village, but it’s huge. If only there were still a railway station there. I stumbled upon this chapel. It was the chimney that caught my eye at first.

Unexpected chapel, Burwell

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August Nights

I am not terribly confident that I shall have an undisturbed night’s rest. We reached das Boot yesterday afternoon. There was no one at our end of the marina, so once I had opened up the boat, run the engine for a while and vacuumed away the worst of the dust, I let MasterB out of his travel basket while I unloaded the car. Contrary, he decided the interior of the car was somewhere he’d like to be. I lifted bags onto the grass and opened the boot for the rest: bed linen, food, new ropes, a bag of books for Older Nephew, towels and clothes. MasterB moved to the shelf at the back of the car and looked out, watching my progress.

When at last I picked up the food bags and turned towards das Boot he leapt down and followed me, stopping every now and then to look about him, assess the possibility of danger, sniff the grass. Why didn’t I have a camera in my hand? Then it was a leap on the gunwale, a swift look at the interior, and he was aboard. Great. Continue reading

Mind Our Language

They say if you learn one thing from a talk, or a visit to a museum or gallery, it is time, sometimes money, well spent. On those grounds the lectures and seminars on sociolinguistics I attended as part of my first degree represent a good investment.

I recall studying newspaper articles, noting how descriptors were used to steer the reader to  particular view, to mould our responses. It was quite shocking, and has made me a more critical reader, more of a fact checker. When I started flat hunting in the days before the internet I would collect details of properties for sale from estate agents. Apart from those being sold by Roy Brooks who believed in calling a spade a spade – “in frankly appalling condition throughout” is one phrase I remember – these invariably one bedroomed properties were described as spacious. Spacious for whom, I’d wonder. Lilliputians perhaps. I fast came to the conclusion that the best way to read these bits of puff was to block out the adjectives, erase the ‘spacious’s, the ‘stunning’s, the ‘desirable’s and the ‘sought after location’s.

Once, listening to the news on the BBC in the 80s, my antennae twitched when I heard a dictator, renowned for disregarding human rights and with a pronounced penchant for imprisoning opponents without trial and then torturing them, had been ‘forced’ to execute some ‘rebels’. Sure enough, a short time later our government quietly softened its stance towards this man, his barbarities would be ignored in the name of trade. Continue reading