Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Somewhere in Shropshire

The wind and the rain have stopped as we drive. Small clouds in a welcome blue sky are reflected in the smooth surface of the water meadows beside the road. Half drowned hedgerows remind us of the green grass waiting for the summer.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Still writing1

Where did the last eighteen months go? It has been a busy time and I've done a lot of writing, but mainly as  a very mature Open University student, family historian and member of a Creative Writing group. And as the political and constitutional environment has been warming up in the UK I've written many inches of comments on other peoples' blogs. Now I'm back in my own space, and raring to go.
I'll be writing some poetry too, for a change, but not here just yet. Instead, I've located a number of friendly websites and magazines to start with. One I particularly like the look of is Orbis Literary Journal. Let's see how it goes.
And then where to start? A coalition government at last, new politics, new constitutional possibilities, a Green MP in Westminster at last, Eyjafjallaj√∂kull and her sleeping sisters...

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm confused

For many years, it has been obvious to anyone awake that we are wrecking the environment world-wide and that the days of energy profligacy would have to end soon.
I remember a few year ago advising a senior employee of one of the motor giants now rattling their begging bowls that he was in a dying industry and should change career while he had time. He didn't. And he was working in their finance arm!
And it isn't just the car industry that is in trouble. Every day there is news of more companies making employees redundant, just in time for Christmas.
Banks are tumbling all around. No sympathy. Senior bankers have used their power over real people to line their own pockets to an obscene extent, not infrequently in a fraudulent way. And they produce nothing, generate no wealth. Their personal millions come from taking a cut every time money moves. Sharks.
Our previous Prime Minister had a message from his god that he should sign up to the American invasion of Iraq. And where was the money going to come from? As my grandmother used to say, "God knows, and He won't tell."
So, all in all, money is pouring away from the country in all directions, but apparently there will be enough left over to build two aircraft carriers and a new "nuclear deterrent" fleet. Do you hear that, bin Laden? Doesn't it terrify you?
Clearly we must cut down our spending somehow. When I have to do this in my personal financial planning, I look first for the big things I can chop out, like an aircraft carrier or a nuclear submarine, or cutting out some entertainment like a crusade.
And here comes my confusion. The big boys running the country must know much better than I do how to prune a budget, but they have gone in for displacement activity instead by once again attacking people claiming benefits. All of them. Must be right, because investment banker David Freud says so, after spending all of three weeks demolishing the work of Beveridge and Bevan. As Matthew Norman wrote in the Independent, "It takes a rich man to pour such scorn on the poor".
So, we can borrow billions (or is it trillions? I've lost count!) of pounds to kill our fellow humans in Iraq or to bail out bankers, but we cannot afford to look after the people at the bottom of the income scales here at home. And experience tells us that the effort to squeeze money out of those who haven't got any will cost more that it saves.
But David Freud himself knows what losing a job can do to employees, admittedly at the expensive end of the pay scale, as this article in the Observer shows.
Yes, I'm confused.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ryan Larkin

Only just found Ryan Larkin, and this short film fits in so well with my blog theme "Musings on where we fit in to the overall scheme of things, if there is one... And occasionally writings or music which seem to illuminate it..."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A long coffee break


Sun in the piazza
Blank paper awaits my words
Gets only shadows

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sports Gear and a Coffee Break - Serendipity!

Surfing around for activity gear (yes, even me!), I came across a company in Cardigan Bay and Carnaby Street called howies®.

Their sports gear looks good and their website is amazing, with beautiful photos and loads of thought provoking pages. Thought provocation - now there's a thought...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Today is Republic Day

Back in March, I listed the English royal succession, pointing out that Miss Zenouska Mowatt was only 40 little accidents away from becoming Queen Zenouska.

Today being Republic Day, I thought I would check whether anything has changed. And hallelujah, one of those little accidents has happened! The Lady Marina-Charlotte Windsor, previously holding position 25, has apparently become a Roman Catholic, thus renouncing her already distant claim to the throne, pulling Miss Zenouska up to position 39.

The new Number 40, the one below Zenouska, is the Earl of Harewood, descendant of the Lascelles family who made their fortune in the West Indies through customs positions and the slave trade. That was in the late eighteenth century of course, when slavery was seen as a Good Thing.

I went back to the Royal website, to check once again what they contribute, and I couldn't find a single thing that couldn't be done as well or better by an elected president, a vice president or a former president (like the USA's President Carter), someone who had been chosen by the people.

Change can happen! The new government in Nepal has declared a Republic and asked the deposed king to hand over the keys of his palace so that it can be turned into a museum. No doubt there will be some conflicts and even violence before it settles down, but the major change has happened.

And closer to home we have the example of the Republic of Ireland. Until 1948 King George VI still had the title of King of Ireland, and it was unclear who was really the head of state - the English hereditary monarch or the democratically elected President of Ireland. This was settled in the Republic of Ireland Act in 1948, and Ireland formally became a Republic on 18 April 1949, the thirty third anniversary of the the Proclamation of the original Irish Republic.

It is only a small thing, I suppose, but my deep Irish roots tingle with pride when I see the President of Ireland, Mary MacAleese, like her predecessor Mary Robinson, walking out to meet the players at an international rugby match. What a comparison to the fusty, dusty, ceremonial encrusted Mountbatten-Windsors and their hangers-on.

Time for a Republic here too. But as it will replace the so-called "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", what on earth are we going to call it?!