January 25, 2014
Filed Under (Gone) by Keith on 25-01-2014

Sorry, I’ve gone.

December 25, 2013
Filed Under (Anti-Social Behaviour, but not forgotten?, Unbelievable) by Keith on 25-12-2013

old-manI know I said that this site is now closed, but I just had to have one last rant before I go.

Since my partner died 10 years ago I have spent every Christmas, bar one, on my own despite having a lot of relatives who always have a get together every year, but I’m never included. Not even a phone call or email to check that I’m OK.

As far as I can remember I have never done anything to warrant this. I have often wondered why I’m shunned at this time of “goodwill-to-all-men”. I found the truth on the webpage of “The Huffington Post” and I quote some facts and figures from it below.

Half a million older people will spend Christmas alone this year as relatives and neighbours shun them in favour of smaller family gatherings and shopping, a charity has revealed.

The Friends of the Elderly charity said many older people will be isolated by younger generations, who said they were too busy to include them in their plans.

In a survey commissioned by the charity, nearly one in four people (24%) said they would not be inviting any elderly relatives or local residents to their Christmas celebrations.

Only 1% of those surveyed said Christmas was a time to help others, while well over half (60%) thought it meant spending time with family and friends. About 11% said “the birth of Christ” represented the meaning of Christmas – about the same number (9%) who plumped for “shopping”.

More people would volunteer to help animals (28%) than the elderly (26%), according to the survey. Nearly half (44%) of respondents said they did not have enough time to visit the elderly, while 13% said they did not want to and 11% said they thought the older people around them got “plenty of visits already”.

More than two-thirds (68%) agreed that the worst thing they could imagine at Christmas was being alone, but only 13% said that they would consider having a lonely older person spend Christmas Day with them.

The charity said that 500,000 older people will spend Christmas alone, based on ICM research for Help the Aged in 2007.

Richard Furze, the charity’s chief executive, said: “The effects of isolation on older people – including loneliness, depression, feelings of low self-worth, poor health and diet – can be devastating, with isolated individuals being less likely to obtain the services they need or seek help.

“Small things such as simply checking in on an older neighbour regularly, popping a card through their door or having a chat with an older person at the shops is enjoyable for both young and older people, only takes a moment and can make a real difference.”

“We understand that people are incredibly busy today, and especially at Christmas, but we urge people to get more involved with the older people around them – and not just at Christmas”.

Yeah, right. Guess what I’m going to do when Christmas is over . . . . . .

December 06, 2013
Filed Under (Good Old days) by Keith on 06-12-2013

No, I’m not back, I’m just using this page as a testbed to try out some new programming for inserting my own videos into my pages without resorting to using Youtube.

If you are interesting as to what the video is about, it was taken at “The Merrie Monk” pub several years back. It closed down.

It was taken on a Sunday lunchtime when the landlady provided lots of nibbles and other goodies for her loyal customers.


This is a video of Dinky watching herself playing “Catch the laser” when she was a kitten, and getting bored with it.

September 11, 2013
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Keith on 11-09-2013

Before I post this item may I suggest that you visit and read this post to get an idea of what is going on.

Then there were three, but now there are only two of us left. My Best friend died earlier this year. The other friend decided that we should discontinue the Din-din Club because as there were only two of the original eight left it was pointless carrying on, and he wasn’t feeling to well himself.

I suggested that we have one last dinner together and to toast to “Absent Friends” and then call it a day. He said OK, providing I did a “Galette Complète” with a “Salad Niçoise” (his favourite meal).

After the meal there was none of the usual jollity, beer and playing cards, poor Robin is an invalid now, he has to use a walking frame. He just wanted a cup of tea and to reminisce of our times in the Army, i.e., being shot at in the Suez Canal war and other delights!

Afterwards I drove him back to his lonely little flat where he can no longer cook and clean for himself, and has to rely on carers and ‘Meals-on-Wheels’. As I drove back to my house I thought there, but for the grace of God, go I.

Now I need someone to make a nice comment to cheer me up now.

September 05, 2013
Filed Under (Education, Garden) by Keith on 05-09-2013

Last Saturday, a deeply religious friend who has been trying to get me to see the error of my ways as a Pagan, dragged me screaming and protesting to his local church’s “Men’s Breakfast”.

I don’t know if you are fully aware of what this ritual every month is really about. It is designed to help married men get out of the Saturday morning chores i.e., the shopping and mowing the lawn etc. It consists of a talk or demo about something boring and then tucking into a hearty breakfast of sausage, beans, bacon and egg. Oh, I almost forgot, it starts with a hymn and a prayer. Not really my thing, but then what is?

That said, we all settled down after the mini-service to listen to the speaker. This old gentleman had come a long way to talk to us about “The Life Cycle of the Common Garden Slug”. I kid you not!

He had brought along loads of leaflets to hand out, and his beloved magic lantern (which looked as if he had inherited it from William Friese-Greene), and some slides of the various breeds of slugs. Luckily he didn’t bring any specimens, alive or dead; the slides were more than enough to illustrate his talk. A bit too graphic for my sensitive taste.

Afterwards the ‘Ladies Circle’ of the Church brought in our breakfasts. I looked at mine, especially the mini-sausages, and I found that I had suddenly lost my appetite, so I just ate the egg and beans and tried to convince the others that I was a vegetarian.

Yes, it was quite an experience. I have never had so much fun since my leg went septic last year!

One last thing. If you have a slug as a pet, never give it salt because they don’t seem to like it.

August 23, 2013
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Keith on 23-08-2013

Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs. I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.

The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs psas it on.

Now ltes see if aynone can witre a stuialbe comenmt abuot tihs:

August 22, 2013
Filed Under (but not forgotten?, Puzzling, Unbelievable) by Keith on 22-08-2013

Recently I seemed to have rather a lot of people calling on me, not just friends, but casual acquaintances, drinking friends from the pub and numerous cold callers trying to sell me things I didn’t want. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Later Day Saints and the Salvation Army came for a rest and a cuppa!

I couldn’t understand why I had so many people calling on me. For a start I thought it was my wonderful charm and charisma, combined with a pleasant personality and generosity. So you can imagine that I was very flattered that people had time for me, in spite of the fact that they all consumed vast quantities of coffee, tea, whisky, cakes and biscuits whilst chatting to me.

Then one day as I was leaving the house I looked down at my new doormat with the words “Welcome to one and all” emblazoned across it and it suddenly dawned on me why I was so popular. It wasn’t me they came to see, it was the vitals I handed out so freely.

I picked up the doormat and threw it into the recycle bin and went and bought the mat you now see in the picture. This was several weeks ago.

Now I know what a prisoner in solitary confinement feels like.

“Hello? Is there anyone out there?”

August 22, 2013
Filed Under (Calligraphy & Lettering, Handwriting) by Keith on 22-08-2013

As I stated in a previous post my handwriting had deteriorated somewhat since leaving school in 1953 so I had decided to do something about it. I bought a textbook on good handwriting in 1957 and began practising.

Below is a sample of my handwriting, taken from one of my journals at the time:

After one year I felt confident enough to re-write that particular travel journal in my “new handwriting”. Below is a sample of the same text so that you can compare.

I know it still looks as if there was room for improvement, and now my handwriting has changed again; for the better I hope. I would be interested to see your comments about whether changing your writing destroys any “character” in it, as some people claim. The usual response when you criticise someone’s handwriting claiming that it’s unreadable is “Yes, but you must admit it’s got character!”.

The whole idea of writing is to communicate information clearly and legibly, not to show the individuals “character”.

August 05, 2013
Filed Under (Posting) by Keith on 05-08-2013

When I first started blogging many moons ago a fellow blogger who had been “at it” for a while gave me a few words of advice. She said:

- Don’t write too much; leave readers something to discuss.
- Ask specific questions in the blog entry and invite responses.
- Respond to the points made in the comments section yourself.
- Let comments inspire new blog entries and thank the comment writer.
- Make sure that it is easy for people to use your comment box.
- Don’t blog too often. Once or twice a week will keep people interested.

I have tried, but failed miserably to get hundreds of bloggers beating a path to my blog, and commenting on my stupendous, witty, well informed and well written blog!

Ah well, you win some, and you lose a lot. Thanks to all my loyal fans who still hang around to comfort me.

Anybody out there got any good tips?


ASIDE: I just found out that “vegetarian” is an old Red Indian word meaning “him very bad hunter”!
Is that right Betsy?

July 28, 2013
Filed Under (Calligraphy & Lettering) by Keith on 28-07-2013

If you write a letter with MS Word, LibreOffice or similar, you have to use one of the fonts installed on your computer. This results in an impersonal look of the document.

MyScriptFont.com enables you to use your own handwriting like every other font installed on your computer. With MyScriptFont.com you can give your digital produced documents a personal touch again.

How to embed a font into a word or a powerpoint document.

“When you install a font, that font will only work with the computer you have installed it on. If you share documents with other people or open it on a different computer, the new font you have installed on your computer will not be displayed the same way on the other computer.
To make sure that other people can see the fonts on different computers, you can embed the font to save the characters with your document. On the “Tools” menu, click “Options”, and then click the “Save” tab. Under “Save options”, select the “Embed TrueType fonts” check box. This works if you are using a TrueType font in Word or Microsoft PowerPoint”.
– from their site.

It really works, and their service is free. The don’t even want your email address, or you to register or sign in.