Thursday, 5 May 2016

Moderate Safe Search Is On

I heard this morning that the military have been dropping 'cyber-bombs' on I.S. in an attempt to disrupt their communications. I think some must have gone off-target. This would explain my recent problems with email and the internet over the last couple of months. G.C.H.Q. is only just up the road from Bath.

There are plenty of animal-related antics over in John's house, Cro is up bright and early, ranting about young, left-wing Socialist scroungers and it is eerily quiet in Norfolk.

All is well with the world again.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Bright future

Is it just me, or is it all going wrong again?

It looks as though Trump has made it as the Republican Presidential candidate, despite the overt hostility from half the members of his own party. Everyone says that he stands no chance against Hilary Clinton, but they said he stood no chance in the last competition. HELP!

As the debate about covert anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party starts to boil over, things are hotting up in Israel again. There is at least one generation on both sides who have been brought up to hate each other, and no prospect of peace talks in the foreseeable future.

The Israelis are under an increasing and constant threat of being knifed or bombed by Arab civilians, and the ordinary Palestinians are feeling very nervous as well, saying that they only have to reach in their pocket for a mobile phone in order to be shot by another civilian who is - in turn - in fear of his/her life, or the lives of his/her children.

I have an Israeli friend who had a knock on the door one day, and answered it to find an IDF officer who came to deliver an assault rifle with ammunition to the household. My friend said he didn't want it, but the officer said he could not refuse it by law. Everyone had to play their part in the defence of the nation.

My friend had arrived in Israel too old to do his National Service, so thought he could get away with living as peacefully as possible, without the need to use a gun. It took weeks of letter-writing before the government excused him from having to keep a gun which he had no idea how to use, but they made it clear that he was behaving in a very unpatriotic manner.

Arabs and Jews used to live alongside each other in harmony not that long ago,  and both use the word 'peace' as a greeting. No side can win this pointless conflict, and - as always - it is the children who suffer the most.

Monday, 2 May 2016

The R in the car park


What a turn around - from being vilified as a child-killing and evil monarch, Richard the Third is now a talisman and pilgrimage destination for Leicester City Football Club fans from all over the world - especially Thailand.

Hindsight is all well and good, but I wish I had put a quid on that no-hoper.

Did I ever tell you that I met Garry Lineker once....?

Man-up

Today, I am feeling even more guilty about not having visited the Grayson Perry exhibition when it was on my doorstep, as he has been on the radio talking the sense which he is become renowned for. In my own defence, I don't think that his artwork necessarily has everything to do with his written stuff, so I don't think I have to like both.

He has written something about what it is to be a man - or, more precisely - what it is to be masculine. I would not have thought that anyone - particularly a man (even a cross-dressing one) could come up with anything original to say about the subject these days, but G.P.'s clear-thinking and rationale actually has.

He got me remembering how - as a young boy - I always had a makeshift 'survival kit' to hand when I was not at school. It consisted of (amongst other things) Elastoplast bandages, face-paint, some sort of small knife and - get this - water-purifying tablets! When do you think that a small boy living with his parents in the heart of stock broker-belt Surrey would ever have a need to purify water for drinking?!

All these years later - thanks to Mr Perry - I now understand that the desire or need to own a survival-kit was all to do with the insecurity of a little boy in the big, bad world. It made me feel better about my chances of survival if I were ever to be abandoned. How sad, that I could - coming from a reasonably well-off family as I did - make some truly pathetic allowances for the possibility of being left alone, outside, by my caring family.

I now understand that I was asking myself what it meant to be a man in a boy's world, and the fear of imminent abandonment did not leave me until I truly grew up on an emotional level - if I ever did.

Then I remembered that spate of 'Survivalists' - all those men who went up into the mountains alone with camouflage, guns and knives - mainly in America, but we had a few. Some of them are probably still up there.

They had a distinctly military, 'special forces' look to them, and - indeed - some of them were not only ex military, but Vietnam vets as well.

The army had been their family, and they could not cope when it let them go - out into the big, bad world, like small, frightened boys.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

Warm Winter, cold Spring = ........?


I have spent the last three days - more like three months - trying to get my email working normally, but I won't bore you with that right now. Suffice to say that I feel physically sick after an hour of working on it.

Update on the Giant Bully situation: I was standing outside near the door a couple of days ago, and he walked past and into the pub, pausing only to wordlessly kick me in the leg from behind. That was enough to get him barred, so at least I stand more of a chance of relaxing with friends - whilst I'm on the inside. I need to be able to relax right now, but that may not include walking to and from the pub.

Today is May Day. As usual, they spent the best part of the year enlisting virgins to dance round the Maypole, but had to call the event off because the girls' status had changed some time during the run-up to May 1st.

I don't know why pagan May Day is associated with the Left, but I suppose it is all to do with agriculture and the rustics who were paid a pittance to gather in the tithes. The things some people have to do to feed their families - I mean, to actually grow the food.

I think the above photo was taken in New Zealand. A lot of my images are sourced from there these days. They might have more virgins than we do, or there might be more farmers per acre than here. Maybe they just have more British ex-pats per acre, or are they called 'migrants' these days?

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Plunge - for Rachel


Here it is, my latest - and last - plunger.

I only used it once, on the kitchen sink, but it seems to work on sanitary towels as well, if you read the wording carefully.

It produces about 6 times the pressure of an ordinary plunger, and when I used it on the sink, I gave it one almighty push down, and a blast of filthy water came straight out of the upper overflow and right into my face.

Satisfied, bitches?

Game of Thrones

Following on from yesterday's successful but somewhat scatalogical post, let me tell you about the fitting of our last toilet seat. I feel a lot easier in using the word 'toilet' and not 'lavatory bowl' or the prissier 'loo', during the Hattatt's little break from Blogland, but I still experience a slightly uncomfortable suspicion that they may be reading and not writing. This is just inverted snobbery, so 'toilet' it will be.

We needed a new toilet seat a few years ago, and I vowed not to buy a cheap one like the last, which was made from MDF and fell apart in a very short while due to the ingress of urine. MDF is like a sponge.

There seems to be about three different sizes to standard toilet-bowls, and three different materials used to make the seats. Two of them - plastic and MDF - were not being considered by me and a smart-looking gentleman in suit and tie, as we stood in front of a display of solid hardwood seats in our local Homebase shop.

The seats were pinned to a vertical wall in rows and had a variety of hinges and fittings - some in yellow brass, some in chrome and some in stainless steel. H.I. refuses to have any dark wood in the house, so I knew that once I had bought a suitable seat, I would have to take it to the workshop, take it apart and sand it down ready for her to paint in some pastel colour before I reassembled it again and fitted it. I knew from the outset that this was not going to be a simple matter of taking off the old seat and bolting on the new.

The man in the suit and I stood staring at the array of seats on offer, comparing the quality to the prices, and we were both struck by what looked like an obvious bargain - a solid hardwood one with heavy chrome hinges and fixings, and a 'soft closing' mechanism which prevented the wood from slamming against the ceramic when you lowered the seat or top cover. It was about £20 less than any of the others of a similar quality, and we began to discuss it with each other.

"Hmm," the man looked at it thoughtfully, "There must be something wrong with it."

"Well it doesn't mention any defects in the ticket and I cannot see any. I'm going to buy it." With that, I picked up the boxed version on the rack beneath the display, paid for it and took it to the workshop where I prepared it for H.I.'s re-painting.

The removal of an old toilet seat and the fitting of a new one is a laborious, awkward and sickening task, even if you are only dealing with your own stale urine which has accumulated in out-of-the-way places that ordinary cleaning cannot reach, but after an hour or so, I had done it.

I lifted the seat, and was surprised at the resistance which I encountered when trying to lean it against the ceramic cistern. Then I let it go and it slammed hard against the porcelain as it closed itself again.

The 'soft closing' mechanism had been fitted the wrong way round in the factory, and Homebase knew this but had not disclosed the fact. They just lowered the price without explanation.

If any male stranger visits us as they tend to do around Christmas, you can hear the seat slamming against the bowl about five times before they give up and piss all over the woodwork in frustrated anger.

I am guessing that the man in the suit was a businessman. Probably quite a shrewd one at that.