Friday, 24 March 2023
Thursday, 23 March 2023
Wednesday, 22 March 2023
A death in the family. The end of an era.
I was notified recently of the death of an elderly aunt. She was the widow of my late uncle, who was my mother's younger brother. My aunt died aged 97.
My sister reminded me that this is the end of a generation. We no longer have any uncles or aunts; just cousins. We ourselves have now become 'the older generation', and will be the next lot to appear amongst The Obits.
After a traumatic war experience, my uncle settled down to farming; he later went into pharmaceuticals. My aunt had been a nurse. I remember being sent to their lovely old-fashioned stone-built Welsh farm when I was about 5 or 6. For a small boy it was heaven, there was a stream to fish in, barns full of hay to climb on, and plenty of old machinery to clamber over. I had wonderful adventures, all in the company of my favourite Uncle and Aunt.
All this has now gone and I only have a few small box-Brownie photos to remind me of those wonderful times.
My uncle's farm had a delightful name. It was either Pandy at the Candy, or Candy at the Pandy; I can't remember which. Whatever it was, it was perfect; just how an old Welsh farm should be.
So, RIP my Aunty Alice.
Tuesday, 21 March 2023
Monday, 20 March 2023
Friday, 17 March 2023
Thursday, 16 March 2023
What we've been dreading for the past few years looks to have arrived.
After having felt a bit under the weather for the past few days, Lady Magnon was about to do a Covid test but found bits of the kit missing, so no definitive prognosis.
I am also showing symptoms, but not as bad as Lady M's.
We have both been coughing, and have painful chests. I have a thumping headache, a hot pain behind my eyes, and terrible lethargy. I have also lost my appetite, I have a temperature, and have been shivering. It really is most unpleasant. Whether or not it is Covid we don't know, but I suspect as much. Last night I didn't sleep a wink; I was restless all night long, and am really tired this morning.
I found writing the above quite taxing, so please excuse me if I don't reply to comments. After I've taken Billy for his morning walk, I will probably return to my bed!
Wednesday, 15 March 2023
Riders and runners.
Tuesday, 14 March 2023
The big trek.
I always used to drive non-stop down from Dieppe (or Calais) to our cottage, but I was younger then, and a 700 km trip was no big deal.
These days I do what I'm told and we stop about half way down in a reasonably-priced, dog-friendly, hotel that we've now got to know quite well. It's the Ibis at Nord Saran.
It's a well-known chain hotel on the outskirts of Orléans which suits us fine. It's not easy to reach, but I'm getting to know the route thanks to Google Maps; I don't have Sat Nav. It isn't conveniently situated by the side of a main road like most large hotels; but hidden away down complicated side roads. As you can see by the photo, it's not the prettiest of buildings.
The rooms are comfortable, Billy settles down happily in his bed, and the staff are always pleasant. But it does have one major fault.
The so-called 'Restaurant' is absolutely dreadful. The meals are bought-in from some awful factory, re-heated, and served in red-hot dishes. I had one 'roast chicken with new potatoes' dish that was edible, but I've had others that I wouldn't give to the dog. The last meal I had there was 'fish with fresh season's vegs'; it was almost inedible. At the same time Lady M had a pizza which was totally bizarre.
However, their breakfasts are very good. Plenty of choice, and you can eat as much as you like to set you up for the day's drive ahead.
For this year's trip I've taken note of a few local eateries that we might visit, but I have a feeling that we will simply relax with some sandwiches and a bottle of wine, and dine al fresco (al hotel-roomo).
I only have a few strict criteria for hotels in which I stay. The bed must be comfortable, have an ensuite bathroom/loo, be reasonably priced, and have a well-stocked breakfast bar. This one does all of that, and is dog-friendly too. It's just such a shame that their evening meals are so dreadful. I'm not interested in the interior or exterior aesthetics of such over-night stopping places, I just want a bed, a drink, and something in my belly to start the next day.
Strangely I have begun to look forward to our visits to Orléans. It's become a part of the whole travel experience, and I now no longer bother to look for more suitable alternatives.
Monday, 13 March 2023
Alphonse sits right in front of me, leaning against the wall behind my laptop. I often find myself looking at him, and thinking of his origins.
The annual Red Cross Ball, which is held in some swanky Park Lane hotel, has been taking place for decades. As far as I know my mother only went once which was when she found/bought Alphonse.
These events are mostly for fund-raising, and the guests are chosen from amongst the rich and famous; who have plenty of 'funds' available. How, or why, my parents ended-up attending one I have no idea. My mother was a Red Cross Nurse during the war, but I have no idea if there was any connection, I somehow presume there must have been. My people were 'comfortable', but they certainly weren't amongst the glitzy rich.
Money is raised for the Red Cross from the sale of tickets and an auction of donated items. Alphonse was amongst the auction lots when my mother was there. She made a bid, and was successful.
All I know about him is that he is supposedly dressed as a British Prisoner of War under the Japanese, with a straw hat and straw shoes. I imagine money was being raised to send-out food parcels to our men there.
Alphonse must have been purchased in about 1943 or 4. I was born in 1946 and he was given to me. This makes Alphonse almost 80 years old. The Poppy was my own addition.
I do hope someone looks after him when I'm gone.
Sunday, 12 March 2023
What I'm dreaming of.
Saturday, 11 March 2023
Sunak, Macron, and those boats.
PM Rishi Sunak has promised that (this time) he really WILL do something about the illegal immigrant problem, and stop those small rubber boats arriving in droves on our shores.
We have already paid the French £63Million to help with their side of the problem (which of course they pocketed and ignored). It's not in their interest to keep 'undesirables' in France, they would much prefer to help them get to England; not prevent them from getting there.
Rishi has again spoken with Macron, and this time has offered a staggering £500Million. However, Macron has said that in no way could the UK be able to return the so called 'refugees' to France, and he ain't having none of it. But I expect he'll accept the £500Million anyway. He'd be fou not to.
The answer to this is obvious.... they must never reach our shores!
The problem is easily resolved if the UK had the 'gumption'. The UK Border Control boats, which are out in The Channel permanently, could simply catch them mid-Channel, perform a few confusing circles, then tow them back to France. They could even assure them that where they were heading for England, and they'd all rush ashore with smiles on their faces; claiming asylum.
There are procedures in place for arriving in the UK legally, and generally they are cheaper than buying a place on an illegal boat. But many won't go through the correct procedures on account of their criminal past (or present). Their only chance of arriving at Eldorado is a place on a boat, and as much as I want to believe Rishi, I can't see a reduction in arrivals happening. Let's wait and see what the figures are like this time next year!!!
And Pur-leeeeze; let's not be sending these people all around the world at huge expense to us the taxpayers. They must go back from whence they came; not to Rwanda.
Friday, 10 March 2023
Thursday, 9 March 2023
Tuesday, 7 March 2023
Monday, 6 March 2023
Sunday, 5 March 2023
Saturday, 4 March 2023
Constance Marten and Mark Gordon charged with manslaughter of baby
Friday, 3 March 2023
Thursday, 2 March 2023
Three Brighton Boozers.
Wednesday, 1 March 2023
On my recent weekly shopping trip to the nearby Sainsbury's Superstore, I noticed that the Eggs section was empty; apart from a few broken Eggs in one tray, and a half dozen White Eggs in another.
I very nearly bought the White eggs until I saw the price of them. They were Organic, Free range, Eton and Oxford educated, and no doubt had come from the gold-plated Chicken run at Buck House. They were about £3.50 for the 6.
I'm not paying that.
So, yesterday morning I popped down to Waitrose (bus pass), which seemed to be very well stocked with everything, and I bought a half dozen Free range White Eggs for £1.25. On returning home I showed them to Lady M, and she made a face similar to mine when anyone mentions Bread and Butter Pudding.
I don't know why people have such an aversion to White Eggs. We all know that they're exactly the same as Brown ones, but as Lady M said "they look less wholesome".
One day soon, I shall make her an omelette and ask if it tastes 'less wholesome'.
On the question of 'shortages', I was able to buy everything I needed at Waitrose. I saw no empty shelves, and I even managed to find my essential packs of Beetroot Juice. I bought two just in case.
I was very pleased to see that Fruit and vegs were all in abundance, and looking of excellent quality.
Tuesday, 28 February 2023
Jeeeze, I really hate heavy traffic.
Yesterday I went shopping at about 7.30 am. I went early to avoid angry crowds fighting over the unavailability of fruit and vegs, but when I was done, and on my way home, it just happened to be rush-hour on the roads, and they were packed. My supermarket is only a short drive away, but yesterday it took me about 10 mins getting there and about 60 mins getting back.
One of the things I really love about France is doing much the same type of weekly shopping trip, but over the 20-ish kms each way drive I hardly ever encounter another vehicle; one or two at the most.
Of course it's my own fault going out when everyone is office-bound, but as a busy person, if I waited until 10 am to avoid them, it would have eaten too much into my day.
The traffic in GB is dreadful. It's always the first thing we notice when disembarking at Newhaven. Over the channel at Dieppe things are reasonably calm, then on this side it's a bloody nightmare.
I'm a kindly driver. I always let people into the flow of traffic from side roads, and I'm never in a rush. But others behave like Pigs, and are always wanting to shave a few seconds off their daily trips. In fact those attempts to save a few seconds often cause accidents, and definitely cause blood pressures to rise. Most 'road rage' is caused by bad behaviour from a small number of impatient drivers; and I expect they come as a result of our over-crowded roads.
p.s. Whilst at Sainsbury's, I did notice a few empty shelves. There were no Eggs, and no Beetroot juice. I shall pop down to Waitrose later this morning to see if it's the same there.
Monday, 27 February 2023
I have a genuine problem.
I was watching the Wales/England match on Saturday, and really didn't know who I should have been supporting.
Luckily it was a superb game, so it was good to watch whoever won.
I think of myself as English, but having recently learned through (my sister's) DNA that we're 44% Welsh, it rather changes things. I've always felt a bit Welsh, and (if it's at all possible) I think I look a bit Welsh too.
On top of all that I'm only 27% English; the other bits I'd rather not talk about.
To make matters worse, I've spent more than half my life living in France (I don't feel French).
In case you missed the match, England won by 20 points to 10. I was very happy with the outcome, but I would have been just as happy if Wales had won.
Sunday, 26 February 2023
Jamie Oliver In Aquitaine.
Saturday, 25 February 2023
Change of Plan.
My quest to shed a stone before Easter has, frankly, not been going too well. I've already given-up fried breakfasts, Pork pies, and most charcuterie, but it doesn't seem to have worked.
So, I'm resorting to Muesli; that sawdust-like food so loved by 1960's hippies.
Friday, 24 February 2023
Thursday, 23 February 2023
They've had enough!
I recently read an article in The Guardian about people in Liverpool who were demonstrating against the behaviour of a gang of migrants who were housed in the commandeered Suites Hotel, in Knowsley.
The demonstrators were immediately branded as being 'Far Right' (The Guardian is a little-read Far Left newspaper), and I immediately wondered how they had come to this conclusion.
It's never easy knowing what leads to a mass outpouring of anger, but it certainly had nothing to do with these people being 'migrants', or the demonstrators being xenophobes. Liverpool is filled with migrants; they were the very foundation of the city.
No, as far as I understand, it had more to do with some of these men's unacceptable behaviour towards young women (not an excuse for rioting), which has nothing to do with being 'Far Right'.
The UK is a very tolerant and welcoming country, and has always proved to be a safe haven for oppressed people coming from war-torn, or religiously intolerant, countries. It is also generous in as much as it makes sure that newcomers have a decent standard of living. What we are not tolerant of is people abusing that generosity; which is what seems to have been the case in Liverpool. People rightly become angry.
Of course after the so-called 'Far Right' demonstration came the opposing 'Woke Liberal Socialist' backlash, where Corbyn spoke of how welcome all these people were; regardless of their crime or crimes. When one hears that Corbyn is supporting some cause, one's suspicion becomes instantly aroused.
I, myself, live in a multicultural city; diversity is a major part of our make-up. We simply don't think of 'foreigners' as any different to natives. But the UK is going through a major crisis with boat loads of illegal immigrants arriving almost daily along the South Coast. Initially these people were held at the Manston compound near Dover, from where they were being processed, but the process was slow and it had become over-crowded.
As a result of opposition parliamentary pressure, the centre was forced to distribute the immigrants en masse without the processing being completed, and hotels were commandeered (just like the Suites Hotel in Knowsley), to house them. One such was here in Brighton where I believe over 200 unaccompanied children have been sent.
Many of these children have now gone missing (they haven't given details of how many), and it is suspected that they have been abducted and shipped around as slave labour. Many of the older immigrants run drug-dealing, shop-lifting, and people-trafficking gangs. The missing children will probably end-up as domestic servants, organ-harvesting victims, workers in sweat-shops, or of course as sex workers.
What a disgrace that they weren't all processed correctly, and sent to safe homes. OK, it might have taken slightly longer than hoped, but this knee jerk reaction has proved disastrous. Arriving in the land of milk-n-honey, then having to wait a few days to be processed was no big deal. I hope the 'let them all loose' do-gooders are happy with their bleating.
These children came to this country for safety, and they have been thoroughly let down. The others who came simply to take advantage of our generosity and our liberal legal system should have been sent home. It is quite possible than most of these children will now never be found.
All this is no excuse for rioting, it should be handled by the proper authorities
Wednesday, 22 February 2023
The Stork has visited!
We have a new baby girl next door.
Our little street was created in the 1960's. There are 17 bijou houses built in a faux Regency/Georgian style, that are probably more suited to middle-aged, or retired, people than younger newly-weds.
From what I have heard, and observed, this is possibly the first baby ever to have been born in the street. I have no way of confirming this, but it does seem likely.
Little 'Rae' was born on Sunday 12th February, and I met her just a couple of days ago when I delivered a 'welcome home' Teddy Bear. She is a real cutie, and, I'm told, behaves herself impeccably.
On the subject of Teddy Bears, I had real difficulty finding one. Many of the shops that sell soft toys sell Japanese 'dolls'. They are really not nice, almost horrific; with crazed eyes and vicious teeth in open mouths. Not at all suitable for a small baby. Eventually I did find one that was almost what I was looking for, but it wasn't perfect. Anyway, I just hope she likes it when she's older. At least it is an actual Bear, it's soft and fluffy, and has a pleasant face.
So, welcome to our street Little Rae. I'm sure Lady M won't be able to resist offering her baby-sitting services, and the ooh-ing and coo-ing, when she begins to go for her 'pram' walks, will be stentorian.
Tuesday, 21 February 2023
Yes, she's gone.
Nicola Sturgeon, that scourge of the English, has finally decided to quit. Proof, if anything, that politicians do occasionally 'do the decent thing'.
During her term in office as Scotland's First Minister, she has been totally obsessed by Scottish Independence. She wished to leave the horrid UK and especially those foul English, apply to join the EU, adopt the €uro, and forego all the generous financial assistance that comes from Westminster.
Whether or not Scotland's financial criteria would have met that required for membership of the EU is still a matter of conjecture. I know the EU are very exacting. Scotland might well have found herself out on a limb if membership had been refused. The England/Scotland border would have been closed, and they would really have been in the poo.
It is little known that her party (the SNP) recently raised £600,000, exclusively to meet the costs of a future second Independence Referendum. It seems that now, just two years later, that only £100,000 remains. Where (asks an enquiry) has the other £500,000 gone? Peter Murrell, the chief executive, and controller, of the SNP's purse strings, will need to provide answers. In case you didn't know, Mr Murrell is married to Ms Sturgeon. How embarrassing; one can but wonder if this had anything to do with her resignation!
Not only was she totally wrong about independence (her 2014 referendum told her as much), but she has also joined with her Woke Liberal chums in wanting men to go to women's prisons if they'd been naughty; especially if they'd committed multiple rapes. Common sense should have told her that this was not a good idea.
People will remember when Adam Graham was found guilty of two rapes, after his sentencing he suddenly became Isla Bryson and (as a full-bodied male) demanded to be sent to a female prison; which Sturgeon supported. He was later returned to an all male prison where he should have been in the first place. It doesn't take much to pull the wool over the blinkered eyes of these woke-folk.
Sturgeon, not unlike Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner, has always found it tricky to describe what is a 'woman'; even though she is one. Come on; it's really not that difficult! Do you want me to draw a picture?
Oh Nicola, you really have been a misguided wee lassie. You have allowed Scotland's hatred of the English to bypass your political wisdom. You will now have time to reflect on your feelings about we English, and your outdated policies, and hopefully allow someone more politically liberal to take your place.
I'm quite pleased to see the back of wee Jimmy Sturgeon. She was a Political Rottweiler, who allowed her misguided ideology to come before the welfare of her fellow Scots.
Scotland deserves someone more 'people focussed'.
May I suggest Rory Stewart as the next First Minister. Please, please, not Ian Blackford!!!
Monday, 20 February 2023
A Sunday morning walk by the sea.
Sunday, 19 February 2023
Pig killing in Slovakia.
Saturday, 18 February 2023
Killing each other.
I have just read that worldwide we spend an annual $1,960 Billion on killing, preparing to kill, trying not to be killed, and all that that involves. Humans killing each other is a very expensive business.
A Russian T-14 tank, such as the one above, costs about $4 Million; with added extras up, to $7 Million. These can easily be destroyed by a small drone-released bomb. I would have thought it was better to keep them at home, rather than waste all that cash so willingly, and in such quantities by attacking Ukraine. So far, about 2,000 of these tanks have been destroyed in Ukraine, along with 270,000 Russian soldiers.
But as a race we blindly continue. Putin seems to want more destruction and more deaths; he sees no limit to his evil. Just imagine what could be done with all those nearly 2,000 Billion military dollars. We might even be able to make our Earth a better place to live. We could certainly house people better than we do presently, and world health programmes could be really well funded.
Humans are a strange bunch. I myself have been trained to use a variety of military weapons, trained as a soldier, and have always thought of our militia as a normal part of society.
I wish to establish 'The Magnon Forum' where leaders of all nations would put their hands in the air, and promise not to kill their neighbours, to scrap all their weapons, and to be 'NICE'. Some bloody hope!