Where did they all go?

My Blog has an app that keeps my Blogroll (Called “Links” here) up to date. For instance, if a new blogger “hits” and/or leaves a comment it has to be approved by me, then the comment and a place on the blogroll and any future comments go straight through onto the blog every time.

If a person doesn’t visit for a while or commented then the app puts them on “hold” and removes their link from my blogroll until they return. The reason I designed it like this is because when I first started my page in the “old days” (?) my blog roll became a bit too long to be manageable! (I was a popular chap then!) The links are still there but invisible to you and I use them to visit the other sites when I want to. If someone from the past does comment then it will come up straight away and their page will be added to the blogroll. I’m still filing the rough edges of the app to get it working right. . .

Now I notice that out of 189 links there is only 7 showing up now! Oh dear. I know that blogging is slowly being replaced by the increased use of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like, shame really, because a blog is so much more personal and informative.

With this in mind I have decided to take a leave of absence and think about what to do. I have lots of work and other pages going on within the Internet, so I can spend more time working on them.

Update: 20/11/15. I notice that the Blogroll has increased by 12.5%. Is that a good sign I wonder?

Posted in but not forgotten?, Gone | 5 Comments

Emergency Food

reserve-supply copy

Every year about this time I start to buy extra food with my weekly shop. I only buy tinned and dried packeted food to store away for emergencies in the coming winter. I don’t buy frozen or chilled food because if the Winter turns out to be a bad one we would no doubt have power cuts which could last for hours, even days. All that food could be ruined. I do however keep a certain amount in the freezer, because I live alone and if I’m too ill to go shopping at least I have some frozen ready meals in stock.

A further benefit of this scheme is that I can buy multi-packs to put in the reserve cupboard thus saving quite a bit of money,

cupboard copyAnother reason why I do this is in case I have an unexpected large bill to pay and cant afford to go shopping I can fall back on my reserves, and replace the stock at a later date.

By the end of November I estimate that I shall have enough food in stock to see me through until the end of January next year. It is not really necessary for me to leave the house in the bad weather because I now do my all my shopping online whenever possible.

If we have a mild winter and I can get out you may wonder what I do with all that food in the Spring. I sort out all the packets and tins that are near their use by date and send them to the Soup Kitchen and Food Bank for the out of work people, sick and elderly and the homeless (of which there are a lot in Leicester!) and save the rest to use up over the coming year.

In October of every year I start the cycle all over again. The two pictures show what I have bought already, and I have still another cupboard and some more shelves to fill!

Posted in Emergencies, Just saying. . . ., The truth | Leave a comment

What are we going to do now?

“Life of Brian” Emergency Cobra Meeting.

Posted in Just saying. . . ., Political, Unbelievable | 3 Comments


solidaritéAt a time like this it seems inappropriate, to me at least, to write about myself and the events in my life.

Over the years I have spent a lot of time in France. I love the country and the people I met. I made many friends over the years. I also have family there and at this time I feel a little concerned for their safety.

If you want to copy the image above and use it on your page to show our solidarity with la belle France at this sad time, then please do.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments



Posted in Armed Forces, During the war, History | 5 Comments


halloween02From my old blog, 5 years ago. I still think it’s funny, even though I was the victim of a similar trick a few years ago.

I didn’t hear the door bell that Halloween night so the little ba***rds children put a lit firework through my letter box. I was in a room at the back of the house at the time when I was alerted by the smoke detector and found the hall full of smoke. The door mat in the storm porch was on fire. I grabbed the fire exingusher and put out the fire. After the smoke cleared I saw the remnants of a firework still smouldering amongst the ash. Luckily the mat was the only combustible material in the porch otherwise I could have been in real trouble.

For the benefit of our friends in the Colonies I must explain that in the Mother Country houses have always had a letter box in the front door, so that the mail drops into a secure area I suppose. Even now 14 new houses have just been completed about a hundred yards from me and they are all equipped with the letter box in the front door, beyond which is a fitted carpet leading into the other rooms which have more fitted carpets (another stupid idea which seems to be exclusively British!)

After that incident I removed the letter box and screwed a metal plate over the hole. I then fitted a lockable metal mail box on the wall by the door.

That is one Halloween night I wont forget in a hurry. My plan for this year is to have a bucketful of water, warm of course, by the door. When I open the door and they shout “Trick or treat?” I will reply “Trick!” and throw the water all over them. That is if they are alone, but if there is an adult with them I shall smile sweetly and hand out the Mars bars instead.

Well, I can dream can’t I? The bucket of water would be a nice finishing touch to an otherwise boring evening don’t you think?


Aside: When I was happily married I came home from work one Halloween day to see a witches broomstick leaning against the wall by the front door. I walked into the kitchen where my wife was preparing dinner and casually remarked “I see your mother is here then?”

The next thing I remember was a disembodied voice saying “Isn’t he heavy!” as I was lifted into the ambulance. . . . .

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Childhood days

victorian-grateThe older generation always say “Ah, in the good old days etc.” but were they? There are a few moments in your life when you are truly and completely happy.

In every age “the good old days” were a myth. No one ever thought they were good at the time. For every age has consisted of crises that seemed intolerable to the people who lived through them.

When people talk about the good old days, I say to them, “It’s not the days that are old, it’s you that’s old”. It is strange how we hold on to the pieces of the past while we wait for our future.

What was our life like? I almost don’t remember now. Though I remember some of it, the space in time it occupied I remember fondly, but that’s how nostalgia works, right? We only remember the best of the available memories.

A fellow blogger said I should write about my life as a child living on a farm just after WWII. (Something similar to the previous post), I don’t really want to ruin peoples day by writing about some of the miserable times I went through as well as the happy times.

I’m just an old fart dying of terminal nostalgia.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Grandma – an update

This re-post is a request from cousin Maurice in Australia.

gran-henton-A while back I was looking through some old family photographs when I found one of my old Grannie Henton. She was a great character, a “wise old owl” as someone once described her. She was loved and revered by all the family.

She was born in 1889 and died in 1962. A sad loss that affected all the family. Members of our extended family in France and even from Australia came over especially for the funeral. It was on of the biggest funeral and wakes I have ever seen. Gran had no time for organised religion like Christianity, she was a Quaker (a member of the Religious Society of Friends, who reject sacraments, ritual, and formal ministry).

She used to say and do the strangest things at times. Whenever she visited me, or any of the family homes, before entering she would draw an imaginary line across the threshold with her cane and say,

“With this cane I draw the bound,
all malice and bane I thus confound”

Her walking cane always had a fresh flowers or bunch of herbs tied to it. One of her favourite sayings was:

“When I die, please do not cry,
For I will leave you riches,
A knife, a fork, a cabbage stalk
And a pair of mouldy breeches”

Another one was:
(please excuse the Anglo-Saxon word!)

“Farting is such merrie fun,
It giveth great delight,
It cheers thee in the daytime,
And keeps thee warm at night”


“Where ‘ere thee be, let the wind go free,
For t’was the wind that killeth me”
. Probably was!

I can’t remember many more and I wish now that I had written them down at the time.

When we visited the farmhouse for a meal she would always recite this “grace” before we ate:

“We wish that all people everywhere will have food to eat, water to drink and friends to meet. May the spirit of God be at this table and in the hearts of all those we know and love”.

We all missed her when she died because she was the the matriarch, and kept all the family together and sorted out any differences that cropped up, as they do in a large family group from time to time. Now 53 years on what was a united family unit has gone, every one has drifted away because of silly arguments and other unpleasant situations. I have lost contact with cousins and their siblings, and even my own sister has become a stranger now.

My Gran lies in Twycross Church graveyard next to Grandad, three of my aunts, two uncles and a cousin who died young. Every year at this time I buy eight red roses and place one on each grave. All the graves are in a row under a big tree, and they don’t have any headstones or memorial.

Perhaps it’s a good thing that Gran can’t see what has happened to the family she was so proud of once.

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Bits and Bobs

Unidentifed-bird-lrgIn one of their programmes the BBC highlighted the increasing number of bicycles being stolen every day in this country. In this shot a bike has been chained to a lamppost as bait. What any potential thief doesn’t know is that a tracking device using GPS has been concealed under the seat and the bike is under constant surveillance by a hidden camera. All very well, but what I found amusing was the fact that when a blackbird walked into shot and wandered about looking for crumbs, the BBC blurred out it’s head so that it couldn’t be identified, according to their policy of protecting the innocents identity. I can understand them blurring out peoples faces, car number plates and house numbers and names, but a bird? I don’t know about you but all blackbirds and Chinese people look the same to me, blurred or not! Daft I call it. . . .

wooferI have an ornament of a German Shepherd dog, which was originally an engagement present to my parents, and it must be at least 80 years old and I give it pride of place on a small table by my favourite chair.
 One day last week Dinky the cat ran into the room at high speed and jumped onto the table and knocked the dog off. The front paws were broken and an ear chipped, the dog imean, not the cat. She did get her head wet though, because I grabbed her and put her head under the cold water tap for a few seconds to emphasise the fact I wasn’t happy.
 Now she has strict orders that she must take the dogs place on the table from 8am to 4pm every day and if I ever get any visitors. Otherwise, no special treats like food, water or the use of a litter tray! When the dog has been repaired by a ceramics expert I know, and glued(?) to the table she will be forgiven.

new ornament
Here is a shot of my new realistic cat ornament. What do you think?

ingredientsI’m preparing a little snack for supper. This is very popular in Italy, mainly because it takes only little time to prepare. Look carefully at the ingredients and see if you can guess what it’s called. The first person to give me the right answer wins a night out with me at Jim’s Cafe for a “Truckers Dinner”, (2 eggs very well done, 4 rashers of burnt bacon, big dollop of beans or tomatoes, over-cooked fried bread, black pudding and greasy chips, all cooked in lashings of lard) Yummy! What could be better?

Posted in cat-astrophic, Cookery | 6 Comments

Let there be light. . . . .

candle-animated1 (1)“LED lighting has its place: cold, detached, hollow places like office buildings, factories, fast food chains and public schools – places full of humans but no human emotions. LED lighting really belongs in the apathy of the digital age, where science and technology rules over friendship, love and freedom.

Incandescent light bulbs have a warm yellow-orange glow like the glow of a nice fireplace, where friends and family might sit and talk together or where children might open Christmas presents, a glow that can project celluloid films and bring back old memories, a glow that can light the text of a paperback novel. Something that beautiful, with that much power, could never last very long in a time as depressing and uncertain as the 21st century.”
Rebecca McNutt

My thoughts exactly. I can recommend her books, as the website says “Goodreads”

Posted in Big Brother obsession, Good Old days, Lamps | 5 Comments