Saturday, 23 May 2009

Soldiers eh!

Seems that soldiers are the same the world over.

A former member of the Chinese army takes a positive route to solving a problem in exactly the same manner as I would one of his English army counterparts.

Not a lot of people know this

One of the members of Parliament has spoken out about allowances. She blogged the fact that she was advised these were not so much refunds of necessarily incurred expenditure as allowances to take note of the fact that MPs were under-paid. This got up the nose of Tory Party Office and she had to remove her blog.
It was archived and is still available; well worthy of time to read it. Here is just a taste

"Just park a couple of facts for a moment, which you may not agree with but are factual.
The first is that MPs have always been encouraged, by whatever means possible, to draw down their ACA allowance in full. This is because it was upped in place of an appropriate pay rise.

The rules surrounding the ACA were deliberately sloppy in order to maximise the opportunity that MPs had to draw.
This was always felt to be the safest political method to remunerate MPs, rather than face the media backlash of a pay rise.

Parliament is in chaos. The public are angry. The Telegraph has upped its circulation.
There are 650 members of Parliament. In any walk of life, in whatever profession, you will find people who are dishonest. It will always be thus as long as we are all human!"

Another milestone

Back from the week in Oban. A very wet week; every day torrential rain at some times and sun at others so visit planning had to be flexible so we got gardens to coincide with sun and were under cover in the wet. We had a extremely good house to stay in with every luxury one could wish for. All in new condition so any day when we decided to give up early and catch up on the newspapers was made enjoyable.
I've called this 'Another milestone'. This in recognition to our conclusion that weeks away are not the best use of our time, energy and money. The hassle is just too much for us to really enjoy. We knew most of what we would see in Oban and were able to cherry pick. We've agreed that the future will be long week-ends. What we would have spent - energy and money - on a week will go for 2 or 4 day stays. Like our Norma birthday trip to the Dales which was quite perfect. Just the one suitcase jobs. Long haul holidays went after the Two Old Farts in A Canyon tour of America. Keith's wedding in Frankfurt I regard as out last European holiday and I have no eagerness to travel down to the Big Wen after my trip a few weeks ago. Three or four hours in the car will do me and that still covers a lot of ground we know and can choose to match the need.

Monday, 18 May 2009


So, here we are on the West Coast of Scotland. About 8 miles outside Oban in an area we know reasonably well. We are in a very swish house sharing with Keith and Katrin and Katrin's brother. All over from Germany.
They are heavily into the tourism bit. Every night three sets of computers are researching mightily into where to see what, how to get there and what the weather will be. At the moment, fact and forecast are for wet windy weather so it has to be a set off as to just what rain will do on the days play. I find the concern with weather a bit amusing; it will be what it will be and the forecasts are really just that - forecasts. Here, one has to decide on going out or staying in with the papers and a good book. The old adage about there being no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing is very apt in my way of thinking. We are not so worried about where to go and what to see as we covered them in a number of previous visits so it is a case of sorting which one we will favour. This area is a gastronomes paradise with special attention to stuff from the sea; we will eat well but not, I think, too much of the vegetarian stuff!
I have spent as bit of time looking at the new search engine Not a Google sort of searcher but ideal for aspy types such as myself. As an opener, I input my birthday as a search term. Amongst the results I got Time difference from today (Monday, May 18, 2009): 75.76 years which can be broken down to 3952 weeks and six days or 27,670 days. It was a Tuesday. That sends me off down nursery rhyme lane

Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.
So, just how many of those 27,670 days were full of grace? Was there any especial week amongst 3952 of them? And, given the modern-day vocabulary, should I be glad I was not born on the Sabbath day?
I'm not so sure about this Grace thing. One for Google rather than the newcomer. One hit was this
Definition: Grace is God's unmerited favor. It is kindness from God we don't deserve. There is nothing we have done, nor we can ever do to earn this favor. It is a gift from God. Grace is divine assistance given to humans for their
regeneration (rebirth) or sanctification; a virtue coming from God; a state of
sanctification enjoyed through divine favor
I'm fairly happy with that. It seems to suggest that it is a gift and that chimes. Sure as hell, I've certainly not sought grace but at least I am not graceless.
What was, just a short while ago a stay and read day has turned into a OK for a drive day but still a bit wet. Food beckons. More fin or shell to be attacked.