Friday, December 31, 2004

Joy of Joys I`m back

The main box has gone back to the repairers and I have now been able to sort all wires and plugs into some sort of order. With the aid of a hub I have got them all into my lap top, so here I am!!! dont all rush te he!! :O)))

Good end to 2004, not!

I have just lost my DSL link firstly for about ten minutes, then approximately one hour, the box then decides to crash. I have managed to get it back on to type theis but off it must go to the computer hospital again. I may be off for a while :o((( if I cant set my laptop up.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Well, its nearly the end of another year.

Well tomorrow night at midnight we start a new year, as is the tradition here, I guess I will have to make a few resolutions (which, I have no doubt, I will break at sometime during the year). It is my intention to get a little fitter, but then it is each year, some years I achieve it, others I dont. This year I will have to.

I will try to be kinder to those who even though ( to me) they don`t appear to deserve it, need as much kindness as they can get (Kindness not patronisation) . I also feel that I should not speak in haste as I am naturally very opinionated and do tend to say what I think. As I am not "the brain of Britain" I am often very wrong and definately do offend. (Gosh this is an indepth exposure of my darker side isnt it?).

I suppose that what I am really trying to say is that I will do my very best to become a nicer person( even though its a bit late).

During the evening we will have "open house" with a few close friends in for dinner and at midnight, having eaten ourselves to a pleasant but not too full state, will join hands and sing Auld Langs ein, (not sure of the spelling). We do the same each year and it seems to round of the year. for me, it has the effect of closing the old year not opening the new. This happens for me when I awake in the morning (at whatever time and open my eyes for the first time) I begin to appreciate, once again, just how lucky and priveledged I really am.

To all of you that read my Blog ( only one that I know of) a big thank you to you "all".

To you and your families (and cat if you read this too :o))), I wish you all a really great new and prosperous new year.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

No snow yet

Still no snow where I live but its cold, possibly too cold for snow yet... The malls are open now for the sales and so off everyone goes to pick up “bargains”. It would appear that, during the Christmas run up, less was sold than usual so the Sales are advertising (in some cases) fifty percent off branded goods, I guess they have a lot to move on. It will be manic with people almost fighting to get what they want, for me its time to stay at home and finish some tiling works in the kitchen. My Son and his family came back yesterday from “the north” and were here when I got back. Home my grandson was apparently looking for me as soon as he got in the door (how privileged I feel that I can actually relate to a fourteen month old junior) we do play together a lot however!
When my kids were young I am afraid I worked most days until late and having started long before they were up I didn’t get to spend much quality time with them. I missed their childhood so I guess I am grasping this one firmly for how ever long it takes. He is a great lad and so far, although he obviously does, I haven’t heard him cry substantially

Saturday, December 25, 2004

The dreaming unbeliever

The kites rising in the sky,
The wind upon my face.
The sand is cool beneath my feet,
God how I love this place.

I walk along the shoreline,
looking out to sea.
And dream of journeys not yet done,
And places yet to be,

As I walk I dream of wondrous things,
In a world of peace and love.
With no hand to guide me I continue on,
and still no sign from above.


Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas day, anticlimax

Here it is and its a bit of an anticlimax. Its just getting light outside, all the vegetables are done and on the stove in pots and here I sit at the computer Boored, so I blog. Not the best time to do so as I really cant think of anything to say. Oh! except to say once again have a very happy Christmas! The house is quiet and no one stirs, so I blog, Bored, bored. Roll on summer. perhaps I should take up some winter sports, or go to the Gym, or work for a charity? anyone know of a sea based charity where a grumpy old man would be welcome :o))?

My son and his family are in the north with the maternal family so Christmas this year will be different from all others to date, as we have always been togeather as a family for at least one of the days at christmas, ah well! they will soon be home, I guess that I am being selfish thinking like that? but I will miss them.

I think that the "pre Christmas" we celebrated last Saturday, to accomodate their being away, where we all opened our presents, has had a profound effect on today as there are now no presents to open. I wonder what my old dog would have made of the missing packages under the tree?

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Seasonal Greetings

Hi all! May I wish you all seasonal greeting and that you enjoy peace and good health throughout the coming year.

To all those, on who`s sites I have commented, please forgive that which may at first seem an intrusion as wasnt meant to be. Should you wish me to have no further input please dont reply and I will dissapear.

Once again, Compliments of the season


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Christmas Wishes

To all readers of my Blog, I would like to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy new year. To those of you who don`t celebrate Christmas for what ever reason. I wish you a happy and peaceful life.

anyone that takes exception to my comments on their Blogs, please be assured that what may at first appear to be an intrusion, wasn`t meant to be. Dont answer or counter comment and I will go away.

Once again seasons greeting to you all.


Friday, December 17, 2004

Friends re-united

Once again here I sit in anticipation of Christmas, awakened early by the excitement of the quality time I will be spending with my family. Today we are having a mini celebration dinner with my son and daughter in law and my Grandson, as they will be at her family for a week at Christmas. I have prepared all the vegetables ready and they are sitting in pots on the cooker ready. I have to say it looks as though a regiment will be eating with us as I think I have prepared too many, Oh well! more ribbing from my wife, who will say that I never was very good at quantities. We will eat them tomorrow if so, Ho Hum!

Yesterday a friend came to visit from Canada. I say friend, as I haven`t seen him since I was about sixteen years old, some fourty four years ago. His sister located a whole bunch of "Us kids" from Battersea through a web site of the above name. We all met a couple of years ago which was great fun, and have kept in touch since. John however didnt visit at that time and came yesterday as he happened to be in the UK. He turned up at my house, I immediately recognised him even though he was very different from how I remember him (dont ask me how) we chatted and reminissed for a couple of hours and it was a very special time.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

In anticipation of Christmas

Here I sit early this morning awakened by my thoughts of Christmas. It is cold outside with all the indications that it will be getting colder, Perhaps we will have a white Christmas after all?

Whilst I am not religious in the true sense of the word I do believe that there must have been some "divine" force/creator for us to exist. OK so its my way of sitting on the fence, but if God /Allah, who or what ever it turns out to be, does exist, they must be all forgiving? At my great age it could come as a surprise that, after all the Christmases I have experienced, I am still affected by the run up to it. I of course get drawn aong by the need to go "Christmas shopping" for fun and food, where the bustling and bright lights add to the enjoyment (I do hate shopping though)

When My children were small we had a lovely dog, she was a small chross breed labradoor (99.9999999999% mix) :o)) , both she and I would be up at three oclock ish on Christmas morning sitting by the tree waiting to open the presents, please dont get me wrong I am the man with everything and to me presents don`t have to be expensive, but the anticipation, the look on others faces, the excitement, for me starts christmas off better than a big breakfast.

My children would always try to rise late but their mother would shake them into consiousness with the comment that "Dad and Gemma have been waiting since early this morning to open their presents, you had better get up". They would grumble someting like "so whats new they are always up early waiting" and stumble half asleep down stairs. The year I recieved a mountain bike, I had already cycled five miles before anyone actually got up. So here I sit already in anticipation, and so it will go on until Christmas has past.

This year we have a new addition, Elliot, my only grandson, who at fifteen months plus, is the latest member to our family, he has a great responsibility in that he will be expected to continue on the family name, in the distant future I hope, regrettably he will be at his maternal grandmothers at Christmas but we are to have a pre Chrimbo celebration on the saturday week before, where present will be given and turkey and pudding eaten (the presents not necessarily opened though?) So you see, I have two exciting times to look forward to now, so hence my anticipation is heightened with the thoughts.......And here I sit.

whilst I am Blogging I am drawn to thinking about other less selfish things, like what about those in the world that don`t or can`t celebrate at this time of year. Those with famine or crushed by ilness and grief, the poor and the needy. What can I do for them, I support the usual charities, I watch the TV programs, I listen to those famous people who have saved Souls from famine, but still I sit here doing virtually nothing. Are my thoughts enough? of course not! is what I do already enough? once again of course not, so what can I do? Go off to a suitable country and work tirelessly with some charity or other until I eventually succumb to malaria or other debilitating illnes, rendering me into the same condition as many of those I would have tried to save, I think not. Do I send countless funds to large charities?( would that I could) some not as reputable as they may seem and some not as well managed as they might be, again I think not.

What can I do I am one person?..... that cares enough to subscribe to charities. Should I perhaps "pray" that would let me off the hook? but I dont really believe, it would still ease the guilt I feel. Is that what religion is all about???????

my family are now starting to rise, so end of Blog

Monday, December 13, 2004

Christian Taliban culture, what is the US up to now?

Found today on anothers post. I am apalled!

going backwards
This past month, I began the arduous task of trying to find a new health insurance plan. I had found out the hard way that the $200-per-month plan that I used in this, my first year of self-employment, was really not very good at all. Or at least, it was not good compared to what I had when I was someone else's employee. So high are my medical expenses from this past year (which, I might add, are not much out of the ordinary), that I think I might actually get a tax break this time around.Dealing with individual health insurance must be the absolute worst thing about working independently, and I really hate searching for a new policy. But even more than that, my search has revealed to me a trend of our times that has me deeply disturbed.The representative of the first company I was shopping informed me right away that as a single person I was not eligible for maternity benefits. "Will that be a problem?" she asked. Quite off guard, I didn't know how to respond. I had never really thought before of maternity benefits as something I needed, even though they had always been part of my coverage in the past. But upon further thought, this disturbed me a great deal. What kind of message is that supposed to send out? That only married women can get pregnant? No. It just makes the statement that single women who find themselves in "the family way" are to be punished for their sins by being refused health care (or at least AFFORDABLE health care). I decided that I cannot do business with a company that operates under such a principle, and threw the pamphlets they had given me into the recycling bin.But since then, I have found that this company is hardly the exception. Roughly half of the companies I have since shopped use the same rule. Maternity benefits are available only as an additional rider, and only after marriage. Those that do offer such benefits to singles more than double the monthly premium in order to do so.Meanwhile, as I struggle with the decision of which plan to pay too-much-per-month for next year, another bit of news surfaces in my world. I have learned that in New York, Texas, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire (and maybe others), pharmacists have been denying women access to their birth control pills! The first two times I heard whispers of this, I dismissed the stories as hearsay. Impossible, I thought. How can they do that? But today, I found a story on USA Today's web site ( that seems to give it credence. According to this article, "[the] American Pharmacists Association, with 50,000 members, has a policy that says druggists can refuse to fill prescriptions if they object on moral grounds, but they must make arrangements so a patient can still get the pills. Yet some pharmacists have refused to hand the prescription to another druggist to fill."What is going on here? From one end, someone is telling me that as a single person, I don't have the right to get pregnant. And then from the other, someone else is trying to take away my right to PREVENT getting pregnant. And I'm sure that both of these voices, if they have their way, will also take away my right to terminate any unplanned (and now, unaffordable) pregnancy. And so, my only choice is abstinence, abstinence, abstinence. If I choose to stray from that path, I might just find myself hopelessly trapped. In the name of God.This is not morality, this is insanity. And something tells me it is only the beginning. What kind of country are we becoming? I am truly afraid.

What Dreams may come?

Would it be true to say that I am as near to the end of my life as others are to realising their dreams. Or could it prehaps be that the reverse is true? How could we possibly know.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Main box came back from the computer hospital all sorted now faster than ever, so I can continue to Blog as normal. At present I am sitting in the "sun lounge" looking at the garden I have noticed a while back, that a pair of collar doves had returned and spend many hours in the garden around the fountain. whilst the weather is cold they ruffle their feathers up to keep warm sitting side by side on the fence. I dont know if it was the same pair as last year but I presume so.

I have a summer house in the garden and the local neighbourhood foxes have taken to producing a litter of cubs a year under it in an earth they have created and used for years. they are endearing (I think so) and many an hour has been spent watching the antics of the cubs over the spring and summer nights. When old enough the cubs leave, returning each week to the place where they were born until regrettably they get killed on the road or die from Mange or some other horrible desease.

Today there is actually only one Dove which is standing on the lawn as the light fades, in the middle of a tiny patch of small white feathers. It obviously has no fear or doesnt care. I guess that a fox has feasted on its mate and it is trying to come to terms with its loss. I will miss seeing the pair on the fence, I know that it is natures way, but it brings neither me or I am sure, the remaining dove any comfort. Perhaps I will close the earth this year and no longer encourage the foxes into my garden.

Saturday, December 04, 2004


Heavy rain never causes me a problem, as an offshore, commercial yachtmaster I have experienced the worst that nature can throw at anyone. I do however prefer not to have bad weather when I am on a benign duty such as visiting a group of people working in the leisure park that I manage. I was on my way to a regular meet with the owner of a circus that with no animals and five shows a day places extreme physical requirements on all the performers from Clowns to Acrobats. I left my office in fairly slight drizzle but as I progressed along the half a mile walk it became harder turning into Hail-stones. As I entered the circus compound from the rear entrance. The circus show was in full swing and the house was always good when it rained, it was standing room only (my secretary had informed me as I left for the meeting) the compound was waterlogged and the lights from the Stage doors were flooding out from under the canvas flap highlighting the undulations in the ground, which, with the flooding made it look as if the circus was afloat. Stepping carefull on, as it was now dark, I passed the circus owners trailer ( a large live in version with a veranda and entrance hall, sporting a couple of reproduction oil lamps on the porch) and along the neatly parked performers trailors towards the entrance where I was due to meet the owner. As I passed one of the trailors a shaft or light suddenly lit up the ground in front of me killing any night vision that I had aquired during my walk, I heard a door close and smelt a delicate, fragrant perfume. Its funny how these things stay in your mind, I will remember that perfume for ever, if I ever smell it again. I felt someone brush past me and I immediately apologised for having, perhaps startled them by my presence, but I didnt get a reply.

As my night vision slowly returned I saw a small person about five feet tall dressed in scholl clogs, covered in mud, and wearing an oversized, east German border guard type parka, that almost reached the ground, the hood covered and chance of my recognising the person as they entered the stage doors. I carried on to the meeting place in the celebrity seating area at the middle front of the circus ring, making sure that I didnt disrupt the show or interfere with the enjoyment of others and was just in time for a trapeze act. The circus owner greeted me shaking my hand and we settled down to watch the act. The lights dimmed and the music began quietly. the ringmaster resplendant in his red frock coat and black top hat started to announce the next act. I missed the name but noted that the curtains to the rear of the ring were about to open a large fanfare pierced the ring as a most beautiful young lady entered the spotlight, wearing little more than a small bikini, feathers on her head and a diaphinous cloak which billowed out in the still night as she walked confidntly into the middle of the ring. "the costume is mine but the walk is her own" wispered the owner of the circus, who by now had finished clapping her in. "Wow"! I wispered back to him " isnt she beautiful and that walk?" well I was astounded. She took off her cloak and handed it to the ringmaster. she struck a pose with her right arm and hand vertically in the air, her decending trapeze lightly touched her hand and she was suddenly being hauled aloft way up into the circus roof. She went through her routine which consisted of hanging from the bar by her heels, a one handed handstand on the bar and all the pieces that other trapeze performers do, but she executed them better.

As she came down to the ground and about to take her bow ( the audience were as captivated by her perfomance as I was and were aplauding loudly) I left the tent with the owner he turned to me and said "what did you think of the trapeze ? I am hoping to employ her for the remainder of this season and next season, that was why I wanted to meet you tonight to get your views". "Go for it!" I replied "she will be popular amongst the dads as well as the rest of the family", " God! I have never seen anything as beautiful in my life I replied, We walked on and back to his trailor for a cup of coffee. I again, spotted this bundle of wet parka and clogs leaving the stage entrance and heading with its head down against the rain towards the same trailor that it had left on my arrival. The door to the trailor opened and they entered closing the door gently before we passed.

I didnt comment and whilst sitting in the owners trailor we chatted about famous acts like Coco the clown, The great Walender the Bauer family pole act and many more. The discussion got around to tonights trapeze act and he explained that the Trapeze act tonight was from the Russion state circus, having been trained by some of the best trapeze people in the world, she was ballet trained too, he said, as are most circus acts from that background, I replied, that accounts for the posture and almost erotic walk, I had seen it many times before in ballet pieces as the prima ballerina enters stage. He smiled I have let her use the empty trailor, he said, its a bit large for one person? I replied, with three bedrooms, isnt it? More to make converstion than to actually influence any change. Oh no, he said, she has her husband and two children to look after, which actually makes it a little small for her needs.

Suddenly this beautiful creature was married with two children, she didnt look any more that eighteen years old. What does her husband do is he a performer? I asked, he was, he replied and they used to do a double act, but he fell and has been totally paralysed for two years now. I went cold at the thought of it. My mind raced, this young lady was the single breadwinner of the family, not only did she have to raise two children, find work, practice, maintain her props, drive their lorry and trailor when on tour, she also had to look after her Paraplegic husband. I felt myself going quiet at the thought of the enormity of task that this poor woman had been subjected too by life. Did you say the small trailor just down the line, I asked the owner, Yes he replied, you saw her tonight entering it as we walked back here. Not the person in the parka I asked, thats her he replied. My mind raced again at the thought of the scruffy bundle of muddy clogs and parka, metamorphasizing into the beautiful coinfident person that cativated the audience so well tonight. I never saw her again she left the next day having been given a years contract to tour Italy and switzerland with their nationally renowned circus. I questioned the circus owner in passing some years later about her and he told me that she was now working in a german ship yard as a welder, Her husband having died a year ago.

Taken From Memoirs or Ardie

Friday, December 03, 2004


Having now taken all the precautions so as not to lose my post, I have to first apologise to all who have read this site, for the contents on my previous post (an extremely childish outburst).

What suddenly brought home, to me, the need to apologise was that I had commented on another site (my first comment and on a site that I had arrived at by clicking the " next blog" button) and was astounded that it was posted after a couple of days (when the post hadn`t materialised on said site for a day, I really didnt expect it to happen at all, so I posted a second comment as a test and low and behold both found their way on to the site.) the site owner replied with an extremely nice comment and all of a sudden my belief that nobody read my site and therefore I could express myself as I saw fit was changed to a new belief that I should not write anything that offended in case others read it.

So, I apologise most profusley, for my childish outburst.

That said, I have had a good Friday, visited the cafe and braved the usual ritual winding up by Evantia. I met the guy that is cleaning up my computer (I am using my laptop at the moment) My PC fell over yesterday refusing to open at all, so off it went to Computer hospital, I will get it back on Sunday and spend the day loading all my stuff back on to it. At the moment I am sitting in my office at my laptop (obviously) and thinking of the way I can finish my book, or at least the final story line. I have several endings mapped out in my mind but nothing that suits at the moment. Maybe I will wait until I am sitting on my boat (which ever one I decide upon) in a secluded cove somewhere, under a sky blue sky, to make the descision or gain inspiration, who knows?

I had a visit from my grandson ( my only grandchild) this morning who at 14 months old is the best thing that has happened to me in many a year, he is great fun and quite intuative when it comes to playing with his "Grumps" he knows how to make me laugh and what to do to get me to play with him. Wait a minute shouldn`t it be the other way round? Oh well! I guess that I relate better to young kids or animals ?

I am looking forward to visiting the london Boat show in January and will spent the day there searching for Ideas with which I can either modify my existing boat (an 8 berth motor cruiser), or at the very least assist me in making the final descision as to whether or not I sell up and buy a sail boat. I probably won`t make that discision until later in 2005.

The person that first said that "old age isnt for the faint hearted" was right I seem to be loosing friends left right and centre, I guess that as one gets older and nearer the end of life as we know it others start to predecease you ("fall off the end",of life / "chuck a seven", to quote a very dear friend of mine that passed on a couple of years ago) . For myself I have always been adventurous and needed some form of action in my life, so I guess that I have a sort of death wish in a restrained sort of way, in that I calculate the risks and take them anyway. Paragliding at the age of fifty six to take an example or riding fast motorbikes at the same age. I hope to remain fit for the next twenty years or so, so that I can cram in the things that I still want to achieve before I slow down (I hope no psychologists read my post as I think I may be branded as having a late or third "mid life crisis" Te !he!