Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Anthony Wedgwood-Benn - Britain must Leave the EU to restore Democracy

It's not easy to imagine Anthony Wedgwood-Benn, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Jeremy Corbyn, Nigel Farage, and Dennis Skinner as Brexit-bed-fellows; but they were/are (A W-B is no longer with us). Jezza and Weggie were as thick as thieves (politically) over leaving the EU, and Weggie's words (below) could just as easily have come from the mouth of Farage.

I was never a fan of Wedgwood-Benn. I tended to agree with the Russian KGB who referred to him as 'The most dangerous man in Europe', and 'An unnecessary simpleton'; many agreed with the former, but I would never have referred to him as a simpleton.

Anyway, here he is describing why the UK must quit the EU. Much of what he said I would agree with; even though I voted to 'remain'. His view of Mandelson is interesting; I'd agree with all of that.

I would like to promise that this will be my final Brexit/Chaos posting; but I expect I'll succumb.

Monday, 25 March 2019

The Shadows, Jet, Shirley, and me.

I lived in London between 1964 and about 1968. London at that time was languishing in its new-found reputation as the hippest city in the world. 'Swinging London' was at its height, and, providing that one lived in roughly the right areas, meeting the world's celebs was commonplace.

One of my more interesting London flats was in Paddington Street W1, just down the road from the Beatles famously painted 'Apple' shop. Our flat was right opposite a pub called 'The Baker and Oven', where the barmaid was a 'resting' folk singer called Shirley. Shirley had previously been married to Jimmy MacGregor of singing duo Robin Hall and Jimmy MacGregor fame (Football crazy, etc).

One of the fellow regulars at the pub was Jet Harris, and we quickly became good friends. Jet was wildly in love with Shirley, but the feelings were not reciprocated. He was the bass guitarist (in the middle, above) with The Shadows.

I must admit to having rather fancied Shirley myself, and I later booked her to perform at the College where I did my degree course. I think she's still around, and still performing.

Jet had problems with alcohol, violence, bankruptcy, and rejection, and is now sadly no longer with us. He left The Shadows in 1962; a year after the above video. I think one can see that both Hank and Bruce appear calm and contented, whereas Jet looks hyper and nervous. He had become 'the odd one out'.

I'm very pleased that our paths crossed, and we became mates, but he was a very complicated and unpredictable person.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Almost time to choose the next PM.

So, who will replace May, when desperation overcomes her?

Over recent years I've made plenty of suggestions. Tory Rory, Boris, Mogg, Hammond, etc; but a new candidate now comes to mind.

                                         Résultat de recherche d'images pour "andrea leadsom"

I would like to propose Andrea Leadsom. I've watched her on several occasions parrying difficult questions in her role as Leader of the House, and I've yet to see her falter or panic. She's as safe a pair of hands as any.

As far as her suitability is concerned, she has a degree in Political Science, and worked initially in the Banking/Finance sector. She's held various cabinet posts, and after the 2017 election was made Leader of the House, a difficult role that she performs with huge skill (she takes no 'bull' from Mr Speaker!)

It should be noted that on the resignation of Cameron she did consider standing for PM, but finding her support to be inadequate; she backed May instead. Andrea, like May, is an EU 'remainer'.

Leadsom is a lucid and confident speaker, she's an intelligent politician, and she has a ready smile for even her most difficult of opponents. If you didn't know on which side of the political spectrum she sat; you'd probably find it difficult to decipher; I rather like that about her. More common sense than political fervour.

I'm not promising that she'll get the job, but my meaningful vote might well go to Andrea.

Saturday, 23 March 2019


I admit it, I am a tad obsessed with the planting of fruit trees.

Yesterday I planted the above up at our barn orchard. It's a Melrose Apple, planted to celebrate the 2nd birthday of my grandson Mischa. His actual birthday tree (a Royal Gala) is opposite, on the other side of the drive; you might just see it in the photo.

I'd not previously heard of 'Melrose', but I'm told it's a cross between a Jonathan and a Red Delicious. Developed during WW2 in Ohio USA, it has now become their official State Apple.

According to 'the net', it's equally good as a cooking or desert apple, with creamy white flesh and a firm juicy consistency. 

Sounds good to me!

Friday, 22 March 2019

For Mischa; the youngest Magnon.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DARLING. Love from Grumpy xxx

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Marley and Me.


Marley still comes to the house looking for his friend Bok. He knocks gently on the door, looks around, sniffs at Bok's bed, then looks perplexed when he can't find him. When Bok lost his friend Monty, he showed no similar concern whatsoever.

He's still a very energetic pup. I imagine he must be about four, but behaves like a two-year-old. He never walks at walking pace, instead he tears around with boundless energy. I fear for my safety when I hear him coming towards me from behind, at 50 kph.

He's a beautiful boy, and loves to accompany me on my daily walks. It's a shame that someone doesn't take him in hand, and train him. He has the potential to be a really clever dog.

He's very amused by Billy. Isn't he beautiful.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Billy progress.

Silly Billy is now 3 months old, and is a very difficult pup to photograph.

Since joining us aged 8 weeks, he has already begun to show his true character; especially when it comes to his appetite. He arrived weighing just 1 kg 970 gms, and now weighs in at 4 kg 600.

Last week he visited the Vet' for a jab, and was given a good overall examination. He was pronounced just about perfect.

I'm sure someone must have spilt Rocket Fuel into his Puppy Food, as his energy level is unbelievable. He hardly ever walks, instead he leaps everywhere; not unlike a baby Lamb. Then on our short walks he imitates Usain Bolt. I've already started to acclimatise him to walking him on a lead, and he's accepted it very well.

He is already learning the difference between indoors and outdoors; one being for eating and sleeping, and the other for peeing and pooing. There is still the occasional mishap, but he's getting there.

He has mastered 'Sit', and we're working on 'Basket' (as in 'go to your basket at once'). 'Come by', 'Away', and 'Stay', will be next.

All in all, he's looking pretty good. He's a very amusing little boy. He's still biting everything in sight (mostly hands), and has a penchant for eating shoes. Originally he slept in a tall cardboard box; from which he couldn't escape at night, but he's now moved on to Monty/Bok's oversized chew-proof bed in the kitchen, and feels very grown-up.

His walks are still quite short; roughly 300/400 metres, three times a day. As we are in Processionary Caterpillar season, we stick to nearby routes where, hopefully, none is around. I'll introduce him to the woods later.

He's a very cute little guy with his spotted pink nose and comical ways. I think we'll keep him!

He's much better looking than in the photo.

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