Sunday, 2 August 2015


I took down last night's Cecil post because I suspected that the net would be saturated with righteous and indignant comments about it anyway, and I was not wrong. Then this morning, I heard someone say that everyone feels vindicated by joining in outcries like this in any case - all given from a safe distance - so I was glad I took it down. Enough is enough, not that anything we could do about it would ever be enough.

But, as ever is the case, I have now set myself on a train of thought which is difficult to put a stop to. As anyone will tell you, all my thoughts at the keyboard come straight out of my head via my fingers.

I don't belong to that smoothbore shooting club any more, but when I did I declined all invitations to go shooting pheasant on the grounds that I didn't like killing things for sport. I am quite happy to eat pheasant which has been shot this way, because I think that it is far better to eat meat which hasn't been clinically killed, but that's another issue.

I learned from one of the meanest members of this club that the only thing he spent large amounts of money on was to fly to Africa specifically to shoot the biggest examples of wildlife that he could - this was his idea of a holiday. I just cannot get to grips with this notion. Apparently, the only reason that the dentist did not shoot an elephant was because they couldn't find one big enough for him.

It's like all those fishing magazines which have someone cradling a 3 foot fish with a massive grin on his face. Why is it that when anyone has the bad grace to pose next to an animal whose life they have just abruptly ended, they have to have stupid grins on their faces? Whenever I have killed something, it takes a couple of hours before I can muster up a smile, but these people are often even laughing jubilantly whilst using the corpse as a gun-rack. It's not just men either, though it usually is.

Anyway, I'll end up with a joke I heard this morning:

A woman wants to buy a parrot so she goes into the pet shop. She sees a fine specimen and asks how much it costs. £20 comes the answer, so she asks why it is so cheap. The owner explains that it used to live in a brothel and has a somewhat fruity vocabulary. She buys it and takes it home, putting it in the living room.

When the wraps come off the cage, the parrot looks around and says, "Hmm. new brothel. very nice."

When her two daughters arrive home and go in, the parrot says, "Ooh look - two new girls. Very nice."

When her husband comes home, the parrot says, "Hello Keith!"

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Useful ballrooms

The church at Broadwell was packed for Colin's send-off, and I was the only one wearing a black tie. I thought it was a funeral, but it turned out to be a thanksgiving service. Colin himself was not in attendance.

Everyone looked up to the rafters when they went in, expecting to see flocks of swallows in rows, because speakers were twittering out birdsong on Colin's request. He designed the whole affair himself, obviously this side of the pearly gates.

I waited for a shotgun blast from the sound system - he spent the first half of his adult life shooting birds - but it never came.

He had more grandchildren than I remembered, and they have grown up into very pretty young women. I remember them as gawky and rather plain looking kids, but they now really look the part, and the part is being the most influential family in the area. His daughter married the man who inherited the village with the title, and is now a Baroness. She really looks the part as well, but then she always did.

Colin was a quiet Christian ("I don't bother God that much..."), so the service had a lot of hymns and prayers between the above covers, and the vicar was a classic huntin', shootin' and fishin' one, with mutton-chop whiskers. He explained that Colin insisted on including the now un-pc verse of 'All things bright and beautiful' - The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate... - because he thought it would make us laugh, given the exalted position to which his daughter had been elevated. He took great delight in pretending to sneer at people waiting for busses as he drove past them in his beaten-up old Ford.

Colin's son - a six-foot six, strapping ex-army officer (This is my little son...) gave a very funny address which included stories of his late dad's exploits from the 1950s onwards. Most of them alluded to practical jokes of such outrageous illegality involving policemen, that I am amazed he was never imprisoned for some of them.

I remember that when 'Hooray Henrys' were prevalent in the 1980s, Colin was deeply worried that his boy was turning into a prime and shameful example of an extreme one, which he was until the army knocked it out of him.

Colin, his son explained, took him to one side one day, and said, "It is about time that one of us grew up, and it's not going to be me."

We all piled back into the massive Victorian country house after the thanksgiving and stood about on the terrace from which three counties can be seen stretching across the horizon.

When Colin gave me a guided tour of the place, he said, "It's a rather dull house really, but it is perfectly adequate. The Ballroom can be very useful."

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Colin Allinson

Tomorrow is Colin's funeral near Stow in the Wold. I thought you might like to see this.

Our two dear German friends, Thomas and Tobias, had been visiting him in the Cotswolds and asked the best way to get to Colchester, Essex from there, so he produced the above map.

What could possibly go wrong?

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Knock-on effects

A journalist said that the 1500 migrants who tried to storm the Tunnel at Calais last night was a French problem, and that there would be 'knock-on' effects for us Brits in Kent on the other side of the Channel until they sorted it out.

The British government is keen not to upset the French by telling them to sort it out properly, and the French are threatening to let them all over if we don't do more to help them to sort it out. Strike action by the French in this case is inaction.

Who is really to blame for this mess? Tony Blair, George W Bush and the bankers.

The idiotic war in Iraq is a direct reason for the world-wide (not just Middle-Eastern) perfect and unstable conditions to encourage the extreme terrorism which has caused the wholesale attempts of thousands to escape to safe havens and the exploitation of them by people-traffickers; and the lack of financial resources to deal with them is a direct result of the short-term greed of the bankers who have all but caused the collapse of the global economy.

They - the Americans (by which I mean the administration, not the ordinary people, just to be clear) and the bankers - are still at it. There is a 'security' system on the net called 'World Check', and if an innocent mosque is blacklisted by them (by having the word 'terrorism' in red beneath their name), then the British bank will close their account for no given reason, forcing them to open an account within the U.A.E. after many years trading peacefully with Barclays or Lloyds, etc. This happened to Finsbury Park mosque in London, just because Abu Hamsa once preached hatred there before being evicted by genuine Moslems.

Never before - or at least since the Middle Ages during the Crusades - has there been a more inept and incompetent system of world government in the thrall of the short-term money-men to the detriment of the people it is supposed to represent.

It's a mess which won't be sorted in my lifetime.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Lord Sewell resigns

I think it was the orange bra which caused the most offence.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Save the BBC

I have just bought my first TV licence for about 35 years. That is how strongly I feel about it, and even though I still do not intend to watch TV any time soon, I would like to be able to help protect the one remaining, valuable British asset from the hands of all those sharks out there.

We cannot let this carve-up happen. It will have world-wide repercussions.

What do you want from life?

Today is preparation day for H.I.'s Summer School. Once again, the easels are being packed into the car, and a lot of sweet biscuits are going to be bought from Lidl. I am trying not to think about ants, but I cannot wait until Wednesday for some anti-ant stuff bought last night on eBay, so I'm stopping off at the garden centre as well.

I was half asleep this Sunday morning, listening to a church service on the radio, when the preacher woke me up with this tale:

His wife had gone off in the car, leaving him and his daughter sitting in the kitchen waiting for her return.

Soon, they both received a text message from her, and it asked, "What do you want from Life?"

They sat there for ages, wondering where she was and worrying about what state of mind she was in. She had shown no signs of mental turbulence or depression when she left.

When she eventually got back, she was confused by their concern, but all became clear when she re-read her text to them.

She had used 'predictive text' on her phone, and what she thought she had typed in was, "What do you want from Lidl?"