Friday, 26 December 2008

On the Home Straight now

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Well, that is about it. All over for another year so some peace before we have to read again about how the word Ch*is*ma* has been removed from polite society lest it offend ‘them’. I served in most countries of the world over a period of more than 22 years. Many of these were Muslim areas. In a few, we were there because of some dusty old Agreement or colonial situation and were not TOTP amongst all the locals. I cannot remember any where we were denied our own traditional observance of our Christian heritage. We may have kept what we did a bit low-key but the streets were still decorated, trees and lights were erected and restaurants sported strange menus. They let us get on with it. So, I now find it strange that some do-gooders – self appointed at that – tell us we may offend the people who have come to live amongst us. This, I am sure, creates far more ill-feeling than it is thought the bunting, songs and parties would arouse. Mr Britain assumes that it is those of another belief system who are to blame.

Still, enough of that.
Did you have a good Christmas? One of the drawbacks about being a senior rank in the Army was that the 25th December was devoted to observing traditions long passed out of importance. One required that we serve the single soldiers in barracks with what was referred to as ‘gunfire’ This was tea or coffee laced with rum or whiskey and was delivered to those still a’bed. A more noxious drink is difficult to imagine at that hour to those doubtless still suffering from the over-indulgencies of the previous night.
We then hung about until the dinner was ready and we waited on the troops. We got into the booze and feeding frenzy act so that when I finally got home that day I was over-fed, slightly pished and ready for bed.
We had a break from tradition this year in that we dined out. As it worked out – a good idea. Norma was unchained from the kitchen and we had a choice far better than our larder or wine cellar could have provided. We were very well served by young and cheerful staff who showed no problems with Christmas duty. So, back to the past – I arrived home over-fed, slightly pished and ready for bed! Keith’s wife is a vegetarian so she was able to have exactly what she wanted and not be left to the ideas of a family that is very carnivore-oriented. I was still able to indulge my creaky joke though.

Actually, Christmas has never meant a great deal to me. The religious side not at all and the fun and games bit only marginally. The admonition that “Its Christmas and you have to enjoy yourself” leaves me cold as it encourages that sort of false pretence that tends to arise. When I was a worker, we were lucky that I could always afford to buy anything I wanted when I wanted it. I did not have to wait until the once a year opportunity to restock the sock drawer. Now, my desires are less but I still get what I want as and when which complicated the “What does he want for Christmas?” question. Finding and getting things for others is still a pleasure though so that was nice.
All that is left of the routine is to wish you all a good end-of-year night and the wish that next year brings you all you ever wanted. Even here, I have to intrude with a bit of humbug mentality; given the rubbish that makes up our present Government – including the so-called Opposition – I cannot see a greatly enjoyable 365 days ahead.

Note - I've no idea what I have done that has buggered up the blog at the end of this. If I had the slightest idea of this htlm or whatever, I'd be able to sort it but as my lovely guru says - I'm rubbish at it so I hope it does not totally spoil your day. It has not spoiled mine I assure you! It is the message that counts isn't it? Just like that observation seen around at these times - it isn't the gift. it is the thought that counts

Thursday, 25 December 2008

State of the Nation

Someone said it far better than I could
Despite the nation being brought to its knees by incompetence and the politics of envy, malice and spite; and, in spite of the most perniciously evil and hopelessly inept government since, well since ever - we are SO LUCKY

How can that be? Those of you who listened minutes ago to our Sovereign, and heard her wisdom, experience and peerless knowledge, speaking plainly will understand.

Her Majesty is, as yet, the one important 'brick', the CORNER-STONE of this once great nation, that the disgusting oiks in government have yet to dismantle or attack. Admittedly, the slimy Bliar tried, when he assumed he was wanted in a 'starring' role for the funeral of Late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. As fortune would have it, he was put back in his grubby box by a General Officer in Her Majesty's Service. 

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has been attacked by the Bliar-Brown axis of filth. So easy to attack someone who is precluded from a forthright defence. 

The House of Lords, whose members were largely chosen by God, or Fate if you so believe - gone. Replaced by a gang of nondescript actors, media people, tycoons of the 'party political donating' propensity, failed politicians, unelectable politicians and friends of the dishonest and despicable war-monger Bliar!

The Lord Chancellor's post - discontinued. Replaced by - er, umm, ...?

The Home Secretary - now a cipher and apologist for the behaviour of the more rabid senior police personnel.

Her Majesty's Armed Forces decimated, yet committed to 'adventures' unconnected to the security of this Realm. (No prizes for guessing why - no AF - no serious opposition).

Crime rampant, despite the dishonest reporting of 'statistics'. The police becoming disliked and distrusted because of the antics of their senior officers.

Eduction. Practically disbanded!! Illiterate population = No serious opposition.

So-called 'Jewel in Labour's Crown' - the Not Helping System (NHS) for short. This is not a little short of a national disgrace, it IS A NATIONAL DISGRACE. Not so much the 'little people' in it but the layers and endless layers of 'management and bureaucracy' therein. (Some 'little people' do merit a kick in the arse though!)

Despite all this, and I have barely scratched the surface, Her Majesty continues to exude standards and common-sense.

We are so lucky because we have a monarch and not something like:

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Intolenant Tories

This is here for a historical record in case I want to come back to it later - I think I might. However, if anyone drifts be - read it now.

Monday, 22 December 2008

PC Jack and PC Jill.

From a local paper today.

Police officers have been sent on courses on how to climb 3ft up a ladder to install anti-speeding devices. Forty-five Lancashire police employees have gone on the two-hour health and safety seminars to teach them how to hang smiley-face speed indicator signs (Spids) on posts by the roadside.
Workers had been erecting the portable signs for months without ladder training until health and safety bosses stepped in. Staff were then banned from moving the signs between locations until they had special training – leaving devices, which cost up to £3,500, dormant across the county for four months. A police statement, issued as part of a Freedom of Information request, says: "It would appear that, although working at less than one metre above ground level, staff should have been on a ladder training course. "It is fair to say that risks associated with deployment of a Spid sign have not changed, but the risks associated with working at height were not fully appreciated initially." Questions are being raised about the policy by MPs and pressure groups. Lancaster and Wyre MP Ben Wallace said: "It's another example of the tail wagging the dog, of bureaucracy gone mad. "It beggars belief that bureaucracy stands in the way of common sense, even when it concerns our police force." Lancashire police said proper training courses had also been introduced because some of the signs had not been mounted correctly and could not detect all oncoming traffic. Seminars include advice on what type of ladder should be used, how to carry devices safely and how to set up and maintain signs. Police officers and civilian workers have also been warned they must wear high-visibility jackets and leggings and cone off the area when installing signs in bad weather – in case pedestrians bump into their ladder. Eighty-two parish council volunteers and two private contractors have also gone on the courses, organised by the police, Lancashire County Council and Lancashire Fire and Rescue, which manages the ladder training.

I assume that the next thing will be courses in down to climb down the ladder?