Love does not change when change it finds – Shakespear (sonnet 116)

Now we are all looking forward to the coming New Year – and many a whiskey tear will be shed in the singing of A Man’s a Man for a’ that. After the gender bill passing at Holyrood and man’s inhumanity to men still a predominant fetcher in conflicts and discord around the world, a man is no longer a man for a’ that.

Still, we pray and travel hopefully that the New Year will bring sanity to the world – maybe men will try to settle their differences, and return to the fight, that needs fighting, the fight for women’s rights, and animals’ rights to a home on earth (including man) and start seriously taking on the fight against Global Warming.   

I did go out for a short ride on my bike again this morning, and it was its bloody cold and black ice is still a problem, and yes even on the bus routes, (remembering the time if you had a bad trip – it meant you fell and broke your hip) heart attack country.

I had been asked to an open house party yesterday and of course, the house was full of young people. One lad was a researcher for the only Labour Member of Parliament Scotland (so not your average independence supporter) thankfully he has seen the light and is now moving on. It seemed that the contents of many of my e-mails (anti-war stand) to Eileen, had been in discussion at great length over the holidays, academics tend to do that sort of thing when they come together as a group.

It was after everyone had gone that Eileen and I were able to have a proper conversation, and she had, up until that time, taken the very strong stance – Putin bad, and the cause of all our woes. However it transpired that one in the group was a Ukrainian – she had come to Scotland years ago to study and not only did she study teaching at her university, she clearly studied other things too, for she is now married to a native of Scotland and lives permanently in Edinburgh.

Being Ukraine, she will, of course, follow what is happening in that country much closer than I, and told Eileen, Walter, is right in much of his assumptions, and yes Ukraine is in the grip of America and yes the war in Ukraine is America’s proxy war, and costing Ukrain dear.

Now I have never ever said that Putin is right – my stance has always been anti-war, but like all disputes and conflicts, there will always be two sides to a story.

When I reiterated that the EU needs to move away from this entrenched position they have dug for themself, a stance that is killing Europe’s economy and forcing its citizens into poverty. Europe really needs to start communicating with its neighbour, Russia, over a way forward.

She said, “You mean giving into Putin?”

“No that is not what I meant at all, but they will have to talk to one another if progress is to be made and they really need to stop this war on their doorstep before it gets out of hand – get back to trading with Russia – get the gas flowing again into Europe.”

“How do you stop the war if Putin has annexed parts of Ukraine and refuses to leave – in fact, Putin believes that Ukraine is still part of Russia?” she asked.

I see it differently – I still believe that this is mostly about Russia’s security – Russia feels threatened – since the end of the cold war and the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO  had expanded and now we have lost the buffer zone countries (the Baltic States) they are now all part of the EU so by default part of NATO.

If I am right – then it would be too easy for Europe to invite Russia to join NATO – not only would that remove the threat of NATO on Russia’s borders but the perceived threat to Europe from Russia. This, in turn, would de-escalate tensions and reduce the arms race that is now in progress (NATO’s costly expansion) and as Winston Churchill would have said ‘Jaw, jaw not war, war’.

“But how can you even trust a man like Putin? That’s impossible, it will never happen”.

Well, that is what they said about Turkey – and the EU and Turkey have a very thorny relationship but they somehow manage to sort out their differences and work together over such things as refugees (who pays for their keep in Turkey) – as for Turkey and the US – America has never forgiven Turkey (a NATO member) for buying Russian defensive weapon systems, rather than the very expensive US one, right peeved they are.

The stumbling block to this of course will be America. America needs a bogyman to keep its war factory in production – Russia has always proved a willing provider.

I believe that America thought that once the war in Ukraine was established – they could hand it over to NATO (Europe) and move on to establish new conflicts e.g. China.

Anyway, whatever your stance – I wish you all a Happy New Year –

‘And may you better reck the rede, that ever did th’ adviser’ – Burns.  

Stay safe       

Over the Hills and Far Away

In the movie Miss Potter – Beatrix tells her mother,

“The only thing that matters at my age mother, is that everyday matters”

I had dressed for cycling but before I set out I decided to empty the trash, hay it’s not such a bad day – why put off till tomorrow that which you can do today, back indoors and a quick change of shoes.

As soon as I turned the key in the car’s ignition, Suzi Quantro and her band of renegades filled the space inside the car they were dancing in the wind – a queue to put the hood down. Irene still looking after me, her Aran jumper still doing a stilling job.

First, stop the filling station – before the rolling total could reach £13.00 the pump cut out – tank full – that can’t be right. Inside the gauge was not reading half a tank of petrol, now since I’m a glass-half-full kind of a guy I was H-A-P-P-Y. At least I know now, the gauge is broken showing a half tank at full.  

There must have been heavy rain overnight for the fields and roads had standing water at every low point, making it fun to drive – weaving in and out to avoid the standing water – roads still remediably empty of traffic.  

My destination was the fort and settlement on top of Norman’s Law, I have been here before but you can’t get too much of a good thing – said the maid to the gardener. At 218m it is not high and the road takes you a fair way up from the river – your starter for ten.

The route to the top is easy peasy – a proper right of way and use regularly by walkers and cyclists, the first part is a farm track, and then you turn right at the junction, where the path borders Cloudberry Woods (it’s for sale if you are in the mood).

It was here that I met an elderly lady with a rather boisterous Golden Retriever that broke free from her clutches and ran headlong at me – jumping up and had I not been quick enough would have landed me on my backside. He then went off to find a stick and challenged me to a duel – try and get this stick from my locked jaw, he challenged -Good Game, Good Game.  

On the left of the path is a stile that leads you onto a wide pasture, then the steep path up onto the ridge.

Today there was a young couple at the top – so pictures of our hero – scaling the heights – Walter at the trig point.

“Hay that’s my jacket he’s wearing” – I lived in a house with four sibling sisters and it was a case of first in went out the best dressed – Mum – Irene’s away to the dancing in my twin-set, and Dave’s coming to take me out – why did you no stop her…………?

Dad was right, Bedlam Hall.

The wind was blowing fierce, but not really cold, and the views are to die for, over the Silver Tay and beyond.

Going up is always easier than coming down these days, I have to take extra care, and two my knees take a battering.

At the car park mine was the only car there – the other must have been the lady with the dog, the young couple had walked up from somewhere nearby. In fact, I saw a wheen of groups out walking – all waving to the top-down car as it slowly makes its way past – I will have to practice my wave.

I was going to head into Cupar and visit Ann’s but then remembered it was Christmas Day, better to leave it until another day. So it was out onto the A92 for Link Wood roundabout.

I spotted the sign for Kilmany, so I would say hello to Jim Clark – as you all know he was born and lived on a farm close to this spot.

Pulling up at City Park, Suzi told us it was Suicide, not today hen, I’m H-A-P-P-Y I’m H-A-P-P-Y …………

Oh No! You’ve gone and gotten the car dirty again – there’s not a telling in the lad.

Stay safe

You’r life in You’r Hands

So much of riding a bike or motorcycle is common sense and experience – then again sometimes it is not.

I’m sure you have all seen those silly little ‘Anti Cycling’ clips that have been constantly appearing on the internet, suggesting that the person in the clip was riding his bike in a manner that, although in accordance with the new guidelines from the government, is riding in this manner is a danger to all other road users.

Of course, these clips are all staged – you never see a face, and the rider is always so far away for anyone to get any indication of who they are.

I have been riding a bicycle all of my life, and a motorcycle since the age of 16 (legally) and I’m still here. I ride my bicycle in the same manner as my motorcycle; I use all of my own side of the road.

What I mean by that – is if I am coming up to a left-hand corner I move out into the road so I can see as far as possible around that corner (car drivers are already there they are sitting on the right-hand side of their car) – in this way I am forewarned of any obstacle in my path, road-works, poor road surface, potholes, or broken down vehicle, and have a better idea of how sharp the corner is.  As soon as I see all is clear ahead I can move back across onto the left-hand side of the road again.

Coming up to a right-hand bend the opposite applies – I move close to the kerb/verge to see as far around the bend as possible – move out to the white line at the apex of the corner then back to the left side of the road, once more.

Riding in the way not only allows you to see the road ahead it also straightens out the bend, (taking the racing line) therefore much safer.

I use the same tactics on my bicycle going down steep and twisty roads, although you do not have to venture so far out into the road. You should be safe enough unless some clown in a car was impatient enough to pass you coming up to a blind bend.

The other trick to keep you healthy on a bicycle is when you are turning off a road, to your right. You take a glance behind, nothing at your side or close behind – a mirror is not good enough – there is a blind spot when a car is up alongside you but far enough over so that the mirror will not pick it up. Now stick your hand out anyway, even if the road looks clear behind, indicating your intention, and move to the centre of the road.

Now use what they call in the Police Motorcycling Handbook “LIFESAVER” glance once more behind – there will always be a car driver that tries to overtake – even when he sees you are about to turn right. And no matter who the blame is apportioned to later – the cyclist is going to come off worse, or dead.

Turning left, no car is going to pass you on the inside here but a motorcyclist or cyclist may try if you leave them a big enough gap, (I thought you were going straight on).

Again glance behind – then close the distance between you and the kerb – quick glance once more – a pedestrian may decide to step off the kerb in front of you (probably sending a text, on the phone, or playing computer games at the time) and like before, the cyclist will come off worst.

Stay safe

Bairns, not Bombs

My walls are now adorned with Christmas cards, and my sock drawer is filling up (well, what do you give a man that has everything) Christmas is once more upon us.

The two boys are back at boarding school after their Christmas holidays, and they are telling each other about their experiences.

It was brilliant, the Roman Catholic boy said, the tree, the decorations, the carol service, midnight mass, and best of all the family – including grandmother and grandfather – over for Christmas dinner, and that is when we opened up our Christmas presents.

You don’t celebrate Christmas, he asks, his Pakistani friend, do you, what did you do over the Christmas hols?  

On Christmas morning dad drove the Mercedes around to the house and we all piled in – he drove us down to the industrial estate where we went inside his warehouse, and as we looked around at the rows and rows of empty shelves – we sang

“What a friend we have in Jesus………before flying off to our Swiss Alpine lodge for our winter skiing holiday – sorry getting very cynical in my old age.    

Tell me again that Ukraine is not another American proxy war; Volodymyr Zelensky – Joe Biden’s poodle – invited to speak in congress in America – welcomed by Biden like some conquering hero into the White House (I remember when the Afghan warlords received the same treatment at the American Senators texas ranch – before they became America’s enemies). Zelensky lorded over and of course given a folded America Flag in a case to carry back to Ukraine. The cat is now out of the bag – America is using Ukraine to gain territory around the Black Sea – expand trade deals (selling, high profit, GM seed to Ukrainian farmers, and like the bankrupted farmers of India they will find one planted some seed can not be stored for next years crop – they are then over a barrel to the American seed company).

American military bases will soon follow (they have been poring in money to modify the docks in Odesa to take the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier (complete with American warplanes at British taxpayer’s expense) and like all American bases around the world they are not American bases, they tell us, they are only working in collaboration with allies. What’s not to like a large military base bringing in much-needed foreign currency to your country. This is all American empire-building by stealth, or should that be a gun to your head – Like in the Godfather – my father made him a deal he could not refuse – your signature on the paper or your brains.

At home the cost of living is through the roof, production through the floor, the country going into recession, a time to tighten our belts the Chancellor tells us, things are bad and will get worse before they get better, no more money in the coffers to give higher wages to nurses, postmen, firefighters, teachers………. But with billions to give away to Ukraine and the budget of our forces, escalating daily now 3% of GDP.

We will suffer from high fuel bills, higher taxes, lower wages (because of inflation) an influx of refugees from Ukraine and Afghanistan (in the millions, who have no problem getting into the country, as genuine refugees and will not be forcefully transported to some foreign land in Africa – where the dictator there has been offered fast sums of money to take them in (of course there will be no guarantee of accommodation, healthcare or work, that risking all to come to Britain promised them.)

Stop pandering to American foreign policy and start looking after the poor of the world Bairns, not Bombs.    

stay safe 

Winter’s Wonderland

Charles was standing at the manager’s door when I was heading out to the car,

“Want to go for a wee run in the car Charles” I called to him

He, like my wee dog, was at the door before me, after posing the same question to him – that will be a yes then.

The rain may have been little during my run – just enough to activate the windscreen wipers – is everything automatic on this car? However, when out of the car it was bloody freezing with an ice-cold wind at its back. I was pleased that I had put on my Aran jumper, knitted for me by my sister – Irena is still looking after me, even though she is deceased.  

 I did try to put the hood down but it would not go down, maybe just as well, the weather was far from good. We went out to Guardbridge, Leuchars then onto the Wormit road heading for Balmerino Abbey or at least what is left of Balmerino Abbey.

After a quick look around (Charles had never seen it before) we climbed up to Hazelton Wells. This is a very long and steep climb on a bike but not today. The great thing about climbing hills on a bike is that you get to dive down the other side, (normally). Today it was all the way down into Newburgh, where we visited the ruined Abbey there.

Charles suggested we might go for a coffee – so we did at the café/filling station. Tea and a scone for me – coffee and an Empire biscuit for Charles (naturally Charles had no money).

Home via Lindores Loch and onto the A91 I wanted to turn left at Melville Lodge roundabout and go into Monimail and visit the tower there – but Charles would not have been able to manage the stairs – so it was on to Cupar and home via Pitscottie.

The car was a dream to drive – all went well – apart from the petrol gauge did not move even a degree, very un-nerving.

Home and out with the instruction manual – seems the hood will not move if the extra parcel space is open in the boot, I went into the boot and found that I had inadvertently tripped the handle that opens up that extra space by stuffing the car cover in the corner – so an easy fix.

Will take the car round to the filling station and check the tyre pressures and put a bit more petrol in the tank, see if that moves the needle on the petrol gauge, if not then I will just have to run it until the warning light – for the low fuel comes on and fill up then – which seems to work for it flashed on as it should when the ignition was switched on.

I feel much happier, now that I have decided to keep the car and just enjoy it, OK, it may not have the best fuel-efficient engine – but as my old girlfriend would say “It’s the pleasure that counts.”  

Stay safe.

Will this bill see Sturgeon Ousted?

According to Elie Weather, the most accurate for North East Fife, there is a 40 per cent risk of rain until around 11 O’clock then partly cloudy until around 1 O’clock. However, so far the skies are clear and it is cold and windy out. The only reason I mentioned this is the car has been sitting for a while now, not ideal for a highly bred little racehorse such as a BMW Z4 so now that it is back legally on the road I thought I would take it for a spin.

I have only driven this car a few miles and it will take some getting used to, and not only driving but getting in and out of the damn thing.

Once in you seem to be sitting in the bottom of a bathtub looking over the rim making it difficult to see the front corners (maybe I should have a cushion under me) and legs straight out in front, again no idea on a long trip. It’s saving glory – it’s a car you to be seen in. I drove it with the hood down and was surprised at how good it felt and at shielding you from the wind (then I ride a motorcycle, a lot) and of course, you can put the heater on. So good did it feel that I would drive it all the time in this manner (so long as it was not raining.) Now, where did I put that bobble hat with the pompon on top?

In the movie Blind Side (a brilliant performance by Sandra Bullock) Leigh Ann Tuohy is taking Michael Oher (Quinton Aeron) shopping. One thing I know about shopping – if you do not adore it in the shop, you will not wear it when you get it home. Think of yourself wearing it, then ask yourself,

“Is this me?”

With the eyes of the British media averted here in Scotland, the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill is in its final stages of passing in the Scottish parliament.

This bill is likely to pass tonight for it has the backing of Labour and the Green party, however, it certainly does not have the backing of the people of Scotland.

This is the most device law that will ever pass in that parliament and will be like Margaret Thatcher’s Poll Tax in Scotland – the start of Nicola Sturgeon’s downfall. For even if it does pass, legal challenge, after legal challenge will follow hard on its heels, not only costing the taxpayer millions to defend but the positions of those who voted for its introduction – will be ousted come the next Holyrood elections.

Stay safe

The Coming War on China

I have been a big fan of John Pilger’s work for many, many years – I have read many of his books and watched his documentary films. Yesterday I received his 60th documentary film The Coming War on China.

Pilger is a multi-award-winning journalist, including Britain’s highest award for journalism, twice, and television academy awards in both the UK and the United States. Pilger has been s a foreign correspondent and a frontline reporter and a war correspondent. Pilger, (through his experiences) has become a fierce critic of Western economic and military power, his humane eyewitness reporting has been described as a unique presence on British television that explores where others dare to tread.

In this his latest documentary film, shot over two years across four potential flashpoints, The Coming War renewed work has been set like his landmark Cambodia Year Zero, this film breaks the silence. With eye witnessing interviews and rare archive footage, it tells the secret history of an entire nation declared ‘experimental’ in the nuclear age.  

The United States and China may well be on the road to war – and with a noose of US bases now encircling the world’s newest superpower, China, nuclear war is not only imaginable but a nightmarish prospect, The Coming War on China is both a warning and an inspiring story of people’s resistance to war and the occupation of their countries.

Like John Pilger, I believe that there are people across the world (including the United States of America) that are rising up and speaking out against American foreign policy and Western economics, and I also believe that the truth will come out and the peacemakers will prevail, however, as yet we are a whisper in the storm of Western Media Propaganda.

Do yourself a favour, for we all need to know the truth, for they do in our name, buy this DVD, for hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things.   

Stay safe.

Time is not on our Side

When I was studying marketing at college and learning about international markets. One of the things I read, blowing my mind, was that if Coca-Cola were to sell the equivalent per captor of their fizzy drinks in China as they did in Australia, they would not simply have to up production – they would have to create a whole new Coca-Cola company.

The size of the domestic markets in China, India, and Pakistan, in fact, the eastern hemisphere of the world is enormous and almost untapped by the western industrial nations.

I have never understood why we in the UK are so ignorant of this fact. Then again, the folks here are not informed as they should be by the UK media – quite the opposite.

Once upon a time here in the UK, we were given figures of what was known as our Balance of Payment – the money we raised from exporting, our goods sold to the rest of the world – against what we paid for goods into this country from the rest of the world. Maybe because the difference these days would only scare the voters it is best not to tell. The country’s economy now floats on debt – invisible earnings – and printing money.

The war in Ukraine has caused big problems for Europe (and that implies the UK, being part of Europe although we are now, after Brexit, an appendix of the US). Modern wars are not won by soldiers, although battles can be won or lost by soldiers on the ground, wars are most defiantly won by War Factories, and have been since the War of Independence in America when we say the first major industrial war.

After the Second World War, countries that we would have said lost the war surprise us now to appear to have done better than we who were reputed to have won the war, incurring vast war debts and an unemployment nightmare.  On the other hand, names such as VW, Fiat, and Mitsubishi, are now vast corporations -household names, yet it was they that were all on the losing side of the Second World War, why?

Hard on the heels of the Second World War, we had the Korean War and Japan was in the right place at the right time for the Americans. They turned Japan into the War Factory. Close to the fighting for US aircraft, and millions of out-of-work highly skilled men and women, it was the start of Japan’s rise, much like a phoenix from the ashes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In Germany, a British army officer from the Royal Engineers could see that although the VW factory had been bombed, mostly the damage done was superficial. And since that British officer had the unenviable task of putting Germany back together and again. What to do with the millions of unemployed – well put them to work in the VW factory making a cheap car that was at that time needed for the allied forces in Europe, and later for the domestic market. This was the start of what we now call the economic miracle. It all starts with a clean slate – no autocratic bureaucracy – unions on the boards of management – so no ‘them and us’ disruptive disputes – all helped to put Germany back together again.

I said that wars are won by War Factories not men soldiers on the ground – 90 per cent of war casualties in modern wars are not soldiers but civilians, saving the embracement of numerous body bags being seen coming home from conflict – don’t scare the voters – no Vietnam protesters on the streets of America these days. No one will get in an inflatable overcrowded boat and head for America – proxy wars fought with high-tech military machines, like some computer game in a shack millions of miles from the front line that is modern warfare.

The US and UK are pouring millions into Ukraine – their War Factories will always be able to supply more armaments than Russia – so the US will prevail – well no.

If we go back to my marketing studies we will see that so long as the war is confined to Ukraine (and it always will be not even the powers at be in the EU are daft enough to allow it to spread from the borders of Ukraine into Europe as a whole and why American has come up with the idea of sanction on Russia – kill the Russian economy and Russia will implode much as the Soviet Union imploded. Times have changed.

So long as the Eastern hemisphere needs the gas and oil that is under Siberia and Russia is willing to put in the infrastructure to supply that gas and oil to the East then Sanctions are nonsense. China, India, and Pakistan alone are a market far greater than the EU will ever be, I think I am right in saying that India has a larger population than even China now, (Coca-Cola will need two more Coca-Cola companies if they are to sell there in the quantities they sell per head in Australia).  

At home we have inflation through the roof, production through the floor, and revolution in the air, all because we are following the foreign policies of America, Maggie Thatcher told you decades ago,

When the pound reaches parity with the dollar then there is no going back,

We are now an appendix of the American capitalist economic system, ‘Wall Street, not Main Street’. And This is why Scottish Independence is so vital to our existence, but make no mistake about it, Time is not on our Side.

Stay safe

My claim to fame

It has been a busy time for me and a very mixed bag. Going out to friends’ homes for drinks oh and cake and shortbread, very Scottish, I was also out for drinks at the pub with my friend.

The Probus club did throw up a bit of a curve ball, the speaker’s car would not start – flat battery – they needed a stand-in – after offering my service for an off-the-cuff talk I sat down and my brain froze – shit what have I done. My problem is that I am deaf so I could not hear the audience (were they tittering away at my humour?) or was the audience welcoming me (as Billy Connelly would say) – like a fart in a space suit?

I mentioned this in an e-mail to my friend from our college days and he sent this reply,

You’re some boy as they say! 🙂 lol Aye, I remember that pressure well, the lecture hall at college, I think I did a speech on RLS…I was all prepared and looking forward to it then stood up and my brain froze ha-ha-ha.  It’s frozen again today but more due to the bleeding weather!

You never said what you talked about? Knowing you and your life a myriad of experiences! Sure it was received very well; you should have charged them lol.  I still recant the tale of when you and I were given a basic radio interview task at college, all the others were getting store managers, the Principal etc and you said ‘…meet me at Carnegie Hall, we’re interviewing Tom Weir!’  I still laugh when I think about that, I was like ‘What??…THE Tom Weir?’….I recall getting the recorder up and running, you started off on a structured interview but soon meandered off with Tom into reminiscing of your days with the RAF Mountain Rescue team….next thing we know after an hour the theatre manager came thundering in with a panic-stricken demeanour…’ Mister Weir, there’s 200 people upstairs paid ten pounds a head to see your show and you are half an hour late!!….’…Oh crivvens’ says Tom ‘oh well Walter, Greig….thanks for the chat, must go as you see’ and off he toddled lol, complete gentleman was Tom.  It was you blethering…not me for a change…honest!! Ha-ha-ha.

I had completely forgotten about that, yes Tom certainly was a gentleman. I started off my interview by asking him about how he started in journalism. He said we did not have much money but I like to escape the city (Glasgow) and the Campsie Fells were within cycling distance so I would go there at weekends and walk the hills, I started writing about my sojourning – sending articles to my local newspaper – I found that if I introduced a photograph in with the article it was more likely to be accepted so I became more interested in photographs. However, he was just such a great storyteller – that was his secret really.

I asked Tom, – I don’t know if you remember meeting up with four of us lads from RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue on Cairn Gorm, it was high summer and you were accompanied by a flock of women walkers – if memory serves – you (in jest) introduced them as inmates from the women’s prison at Tillicoultry. The conversation moved away from an interview to him asking about fellow members of the Kinloss Mountain Rescue past and present, it was after a while that the manager came into the dressing room – kickers in a twist – telling Tom he had an audience waiting upstairs. I believe the audio-visual presentation he gave (slide show and talk) was on his recent trip to Kazakhstan for I remember a lot of Yaks and those strange movable tents they have that look like lattice work inside. – Exciting times.      

Now well into December and heading for 2023 – and not a dish washed. Of course, there will be predictions made for the coming year – but what is most needed is for the EU to get around the table with Russia and as Macron told them – take seriously Russia’s concerns over their security needs, (of course America is the stumbling block to any talks with Russia).

Actually, there is a programme in the Byre Theatre ‘The France of Houellebecq and Macron’ on the 18th of January – free but you have to book – I will do that today.

If we could get a settlement with Russia and Europe that could satisfy Russia’s concerns over security from an every encroaching NATO – now right on their doorstep, (US bases in Ukraine would be a tad too close for comfort for the Russians) and EU countries once more started buying gas from the Siberian gas fields – inflation would fall – the Bank of England would not have to raise interest rates – mortgages, and loans would not cost more, people would be lifted out of poverty and the strikes for more pay to keep pace with inflation would end – in other words – cure the illness, not the symptoms. Stupid is what stupid does.

I heard Miliband on Channel 4 news the other night and heard the most sensible words from anyone on television for a long time – he said we need international cooperation to tackle the problems of boat people trying to get to Europe (including the UK) – unless you are Ukrainian or Afghanistan you will not have a direct route to come to the UK or EU – people have not come here as economic migrants they are coming here because if they stay where they are they will die – they are fleeing war and famine, simply they are trying to survive – yet they are treated like lepers when they arrive in England. We need international cooperation to tackle the causes of this migration. Take seriously Climate Change – countries such as Madagascar once able to feed their people from its land have had four years of drought – the once fertile land has now been turned into desert.

Wars across the globe are causing a mass migration of people heading north for better life chances. How long has the destruction of Yemen been going on – feed by British and American weapons and the use of British staff to service the planes and plan and select targets for the Saudi Arabian (British-built) aircraft.

Refugee camps spreading at an alarming rate across the globe, some now the size of small cities – You do not help people by giving them a plastic sheet and a bowl of rice – that will only make them make them dependent, by doing so you encourage discontent leading to trouble and strife – leading to even more migration.

And why I believe Miliband is right when he said that the problem with boat people is a problem that needs international cooperation. Sadly for the people of Ukraine, Palestine, Yemen, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, there is no profit in helping the poor and destitute of this world the smart money is in arms manufacture and war factories.

My prediction for 2023 Global Warming will be the big story – sadly little will be done about it just more COP-outs.

Stay safe.

Sunday followes Saturday

Saturday

Today the weather was shit, bloody cold wind and intermittent rain all the way from Santa Clause land. However, I really needed a haircut so I boarded a bus for Dundee – I do not visit the barber as much as I once did – and certainly, no longer do I have to before I visited my sister – the first thing she would say when I came in her door if I didn’t, would be

“Is it not about time you had a haircut – sir?”

So short back and sides, then off to Wetherspoons for a pint of Worthington’s and a burger and chips, big difference in quantity and price even in the last few months, ho-hum.

Next stop the charity shop – six DVDs – for the princely sum of £3.00 what a bargain. I was once asked by a friend,

“What is your favourite actor/actress?”

You know I could not tell her – I watch so many movies and I do have favourites, but all actors/actresses make bad movies from time to time – however, I tend to pick DVDs mainly by actors and actresses and I have to say I seldom pass any with Julia Roberts in its cast – she never fails to please. Then again, top actors/actresses only really shine when they play against someone just as good as they are.  

Then again, the story has to be top drawer too, and storytellers do not come much better than John Geishas, and it just so happened that one of the DVDs today – The Pelican Brief, was written by John, (staring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington) John, has written a whole catalogue of best sellers, of course, two that spring to mind – The Client, The Firm –were both made into successful movies, his genre, as ever, American law.

One another that I’m looking forward to seeing again is Indecent Proposal starring Robert Redford (you always know what you’re getting with Redford although maybe just a tad old in this role – classic) he plays alongside that little stunner of a woman Demi Moore – a fascinating story with a twist in the tail.

Sunday

The day was much brighter than yesterday and much, much quieter too. The bike ride was short and sweet – the low bright and blinding sun always a worry when out on a bike, cars get very close and with the cycle path and non-bus routes unsalted it is the devil or the deep blue sea, safe cycle lanes in Scotland – not in my lifetime.

After yesterday’s trip to Dundee – the coldest place on earth when the wind blows up the river or charges down off the Sid Law hills, there was entertainment in the Caird Hall Square, along with stalls along with the Salvation Army band – their numbers much depleted these days.  

On my return, I did a trip around Aldi – home and on went, the soup pot, never really off during these cold winter days. This afternoon I watched Indecent Proposal – Robert Redford up to his old tricks again – he approaches her and tells her

“You’ve missed a button” breaking the ice.

He used the same line in The Horse Whisperer – he walks up behind Kristin Scott Thomas she was in the kitchen making heavy weather of cooking a meal – he fastens the top button of her dress –

“You’ve missed a button” embarrassed Kristin (for linking his touch)– “Thank you”.

Clearly, actors do have leeway over the director in delivering their lines, in The Magnificent Severn – Steve McQueen steals the scene over Yule Brener on top of the hearse when he took the cartridges out of the shotgun and shook them. There was no need to do this he would know by the weight if they had shot inside them. However, Brener was the big star of the picture – Steve had to take the camera off him, he stole that scene.  

This evening I felt in a romantic mood so Knotting Hill or maybe Pretty Woman both had unforgettable lines

Knotting Hill – “remember I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”

Pretty Woman – they are in the lift – she dressed in the finest of dresses and wearing a quarter of a million dollar necklace and earrings – feeling every bit a Pretty Woman

“If I forget to tell you later – I had a great time tonight” classic

The other that springs to mind was from One Find Day they kiss and he said,

“Forgive my lips for they find pleasure in the most unusual places” something she herself had said to him many years before. Pure romance.

Stay safe