Is this Art?

Last night I went to my local pub and I noticed that over the bar were several small picture frames of various sizes with poems, quotations, wise thoughts etc, all typed on what was possibly the very first Remington trypewriter from the year nineteen hundred and frozen stiff, that has badly aligned, worn out letters that looked in need of a good scrubbing. I must admit the effect was very eye catching and the pictures had a certain charm about them. I asked who had made them, and it turned out it was the son of one of the other customers.

He had made a few when he was “between jobs” and sold them at the local church’s Easter Fair last year. “Went like hot cakes” she said.

After that he made some more and put them on eBay and managed to sell all of them. He then scoured all the local charity shops (thrift stores in the colonies?) and found lots of small framed pictures. After removing the prints he put his trypewriter art in, and some of these are for sale in the pub.

I tried to take photos with my cellphone, but it was too dim in the bar. The flash was no good, it just reflected of the glass, and frightened the little old lady who sits in the corner.

Dark-Garden copyI thought what a good scheme to make a quick buck to boost my ailing finances! The difference is that I would handwrite mine in various scripts and use brightly coloured inks. Every one would be an original and signed by me. Well you never know, it could work, and I might be a millionaire this time next year, so I’m off to sort out some pens and parchment. Oh no, I haven’t got any old frames… and I have a feeling there wont be any left in the local charity shops now.

I just photocopied a poem I wrote a while ago to show what one might look like. The more astute amongst you might notice that the frame isn’t real; I made it using Photoshop. The handwriting is original though, and in one of my semi-posh scripts.

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dog

Vicious dog.
“Hi, pleased to meet you.”

This picture has been hanging around in my “Might use it one day” folder, so I thought I would give it an airing.

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Posted in Calligraphy & Lettering, DIY, Poetry Bit, Pubs | 8 Comments

My friend’s and my thoughts

A fellow blogger, who I’ve known for years, recently posted the fact that we are only about three minutes away from obliteration as shown on the Doomsday Clock.

She states that “It’s a mix of climate change and unrest in the world and as if that isn’t enough the Zika Virus could kill us all”. I think she may be right. Doesn’t it strike you as odd that has soon as we get rid of one pandemic threat another one crops up? We had Asian flu and Bird flu, then the Ebola virus rears it’s ugly head. It took a lot of effort and time to get rid of them, and now suddenly along comes the Zika virus. After all we know that the Myxomatosis virus is man made and was designed to stop large numbers of rabbits colonizing. I believe it was first used in Australia, and now it’s world wide.

Maybe all these viruses are man made to cut down on this overpopulated world. Man with his greed, seems to be the main reason why we now have climate change.

Obviously the Ebola scheme failed, so “they”, who ever they are, created a new virus for mosquitoes to delivery, which is spreading rapidly according to the World Health Authorities. If it takes hold it would cause women to think twice about having children. This could drastically reduce the worlds population in two generations.

Did you know that if your parents never had any children, then there is a strong possibility that you wont have any children either. . . . .just pointing it out, if you see what I mean.

She went on to comment about lorry drivers being threatened with knives, machetes, iron bars, baseball bats and other weapons.

She stated that:”Next on my I am thinking about list is this story about migrants threatening lorry drivers, my thoughts on this, this type of behaviour won’t help their cause, it certainly won’t make people warm to them. How does this make them any better than the people they are running away from, (they are attacking people) and if they can take up weapons and attack innocent people going about their work why can’t they take up weapons and fight back in their own country?” I couldn’t agree more.

This was the comment that interested the most, because about a year ago I was listening to an acquaintance at out local pub who told us that he was too frightened to drive on the Continent any more. He said that on his (his last trip ever!) way to Calais from Germany he was stopped by what he thought was a hitch-hiker. When he pulled over to pick him up several more men appeared out of the bushes and demanded that he open up the back of the lorry. He was threatened by the man saying that he had a gun and if he didn’t comply he would shoot him. So he immediately hit the accelerator and roared away. When he got to the checkout at Calais he left the lorry there, bought a foot passenger ticket to Dover, and then in the safety of England (?) he telephoned his company and told them where to find lorry, and promptly resigned from the job.

Of course we all laughed at him and accused him of romancing, making it all up to try to impress us. I am inclined to believe him now.

I don’t read newspapers, and I only watch the BBC for the news, and as far as I know they have NEVER mentioned this type of thing happening. I wonder why?

Posted in Anti-Social Behaviour, Depressing | 7 Comments

Braille

braille-frameDo you know what this is? Probably not, unless you have connections with blind people. I don’t think the person Document-Holderwho stole my document case knew what it was either. In the case was my Braille Slate, that is what the yellow plastic gadget is, and my stylus plus several sheets of manila cartridge paper, some of which I had already written on.

I have a “pen friend”, not quite the right word in this case but you know what I mean. He was born blind and has been passed around from one institution to another all his life. We met in 1998 at Leicester University where he was giving a lecture about how sighted people can help the blind and partially sighted. He was from the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People). Johnathan, that’s his name, who gave the lecture and I struck up a friendship during the tea-interval because we found we had a lot in common, like a silly sense of humour.

To cut a long story short, I bought a Braille Slate from the RNIB stall there and with John’s help over the next few weeks I learned to braille. He now lives in Banbury and we correspond in Braille about once a month. If he hears of an article in a newspaper or magazine he wants to read I translate it into braille for him.

That was just a brief resumé leading up to the reason for this post.

About three months ago I took my brailling equipment to the library to translate an article from the “Daily Mail” about the Gov’t wanting to cut benefits to the visually handicapped. John wanted as much information as he could get before kicking up a fuss with the media.

I spent about three hours working on that article and afterwards I decided to go to the local hotel to get a pre-Christmas meal and to read through what I had written. After the food I went to the pay-desk, paid, and walked out without my document case. Yes, I know, I’m stupid! When I arrived home I suddenly realised what I had done so I phoned the hotel and spoke to the restaurant manager and he and the staff searched everywhere but there was no trace of it. We came to the conclusion that somebody had seen it on the table and picked it up thinking there was something of value in it, then probably threw it away.

It’s been over three months now, and there’s no sign of it so I conclude that it’s lost forever. It even had a card inside with my name and address on it!

I have tried to get another Braille frame, but the only one I could find was one at the RNIB that is A4 size and is too big and hard to handle. If anyone out there in Bloggyland knows of one similar to the frame in the pic above that’s going spare I would be eternally grateful if. . . . .(hint).

Posted in Depressing, Gone | 3 Comments

My Journals

two-journals01 A fellow blogger asked me if I really do keep secret journals. Yes I do, but not on the internet, well apart from the one you are reading now, and this is not really secret.

In all the journals for the last 20 years some entries are written in a secret alphabet that I created especially for my eyes only.

When I was a snotty-nosed grubby little schoolboy I started writing my thoughts down in any exercise book I could find, usually scrounged from the English teacher on condition that she could read my journal occasionally.

open-journal01The two shown are from that time and are the earliest ones in my collection. There were others around about then, but they are now lost in the mists of time, or they were stolen by my English teacher. She always said I should be an author or a journalist when I finished skool, but my speling wasn’t very good in those days, so she gave me extra tuition in grammar and spelling. It didn’t work though because I tend to write down as I think, what is not like the proper way what Mr Pepys done!

After I left school I stopped writing for various reasons. Well, I was a teenager then. The word ‘teenager’ hadn’t been invented in those days, the usual phrase was ‘those bloody kids’.
One reason was that I discovered girls, and the fun you could have with them, if you follow my drift. . .

I was drafted into the Army in 1955 to do my National Service. I did try to get out of it by fleeing the country, but they found me and dragged me screaming and yelling into the training camp! After a while I found I quite liked Army life and that’s when I started writing in my journals again about all the good times, and the bad times in the Army.

There are some good stories in those old khaki journals, one of which I related on this blog. Click on ‘The Suez War’ in the navigation bar, if you dare.

DCF 1.0This is the new one I bought for 2016 – to ?, a bit different to the original ones! In my box room there is a big khaki wooden box I scrounged when I left the Army, marked ‘6 mortar bombs 81mm’, empty of course (mores the pity!), that I used to carry my souvenirs back home (No, no mortar bombs). It is now full of my old journals from that time up until the 2013-2015 edition. There must be about 40 or more in there.

Maybe I will copy some of the more interesting entries, cutting out the gory bits of course, and publish them on here. Depends on which way the wind blows. . .

Posted in Armed Forces, Childhood days, Good Old days | 2 Comments

This week

I seem to have contracted a severe bout of “Writers Block” this week, I just couldn’t think of anything to have a moan about.

Well, that’s not strictly true. After watching the latest news on the BBC (British Brainsick Corporation) I get angry about the amount of time the presenters spend on political issues and other trivia, instead of informing us of the events in the real world. I would dearly love to “stick the oar in” and say what I think about racism, the church dabbling in politics and the shameful things going on in the Middle East.

The last time I voiced my opinions on one of my previous blogs with Blogger many years ago now I was reprimanded by some moderator who told me I was going to far, and promptly shut my blog down! Looking back now I must admit I was a bit venomous and scathing in my attacks on the establishment, the Gov’t. I still get worked up about the things they do now, but what the heck, I cant do anything about it.

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       Click the pic to embiggen!
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On Wednesday I had an appointment with the doctor. No, it wasn’t about “Writers Block”, it was about . . . . . . .well, never mind.

I sat in the packed waiting room along with all the silent glum-faced people. I picked up one of the outdated dogeared magazines to read. After a few minutes I let out a loud groan, and waving the magazine in the face of the man next to me I exclaimed loudly “Isn’t it a shame about the Titanic? Those poor people! Must have been awful”. Not even a titter, just silence.

Then I saw the above notice on the opposite wall, so I wandered over to have a read, and I thought “By the great god Odin, I can answer ‘yes’ to all those questions”. I took a picture of it to study at my leisure. Sitting just by it was an old lady and when I took the picture, she exclaimed “Don’t you go taking pictures of me, young man!”. (Obviously she was there to see about her failing eyesight), but I was flattered by being called a “young man”. Now that did make a few of them laugh, and made my day.

Just then I was called in to see my doctor. As I walked in I was greeted by “You look awful, take a seat before you fall down”. A comedian as well as a doctor!

I said “I’ve just been reading that poster in the waiting room.”
Doc: “So?”
Me: “I can answer ‘yes’ to all those questions, except one”.
Doc: “Oh, and which one is that?”
I thought, he’s fallen for it.
Me: “I can’t remember!”
Boom, boom!

Now who’s the better comedian.

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It has been suggested to me that my blog template is bordering on ‘vintage’ and that perhaps I should find a more modern layout.

I like this template, and I’m reluctant to change anything, except maybe the font. What do you think. Should I, or shouldn’t I?

Posted in General, This and That | 9 Comments

Single use plastic carrier bags – 2

Dont forget read the update at the other end of this post. . .

Read the previous post first if you are not familiar with this subject, and you will understand why I’m not happy with the way my online grocery order is delivered now.

I am not prepared accept my groceries crammed into plastic boxes, all mixed together. The bleach and laundry liquid squeezed next to the biscuits, tinned goods on top of my sliced ham and cheese, and my frozen veg mixed in with the contents of all the other different boxes! You think they would have put the frozen and chilled stuff in a separate box at least.

The delivery man arrived late with “Sorry mate, I’ve got a lot of deliveries and I’m a bit behind” (1 hour and 15 minutes to be precise) Then “Where do you want them mate?” I replied “On the dresser or work surfaces”.

He then proceeded to empty the contents all over every flat surface, including the draining board, on the cooker, on top of the micro-wave and the catfood on the floor. All this because I would not pay for more plastic carriers. He then grabbed his plastic boxes and fled; off to the next victim no doubt!

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After I had sorted everything out and put it all away I thought there must be a better way to deliver the groceries than this.

brown-paper-bagsI had several ideas and wondered if the people at the supermarkets would come up with something, after all they have had plenty of time to work something out, we all knew the days of the plastic bags were numbered.

My first thought was brown paper bags, which seem to be very popular in America, Canada, Australia and possibly other countries.

There is no charge for these bags and no need to return them to the shops. They can be folded up and put into the paper and cardboard recycle bin to be pulped down and made into new brown paper bags! Simples! (I think). Or you could use them to put waste food, potato peelings, old veg etc in and dispose of them in the compost bin.

large-carrier-boxSome French supermarkets supply fold-up cardboard boxes to deliver the goods that can be reused several times until they start to breakdown, which is quite a long time because they are made of good quality cardboard. These can be marked with the contents, see my artists impression (?) of what they would look like in English. Of course they could be made in different sizes to accommodate the amount they hold. Just think, it would be great to have the bottles in one, the frozen and chilled stuff in another, the delicate groceries like cakes, pies, bread, biscuits etc in another. Household goodies like bleach, sprays, disinfectant, soap and other smellies in yet another. After you have put the items away you simply fold the boxes flat and hand them to the driver when he brings the next order.

plastic-bags With a bit of luck, and determination by the shops and the people there will be no more views like this in the near future.

As I said I’m not prepared to put up with deliveries like my last order until things change for the better. So, Mr Super-rich Supermarket owner you had better come up with something soon or you will most probably loose a lot of custom.

hoppaI have already made alternative arrangements. I bought a large pull-along trolley and use my free (Here’s that hated description again!) “Old Age Pensioners” bus pass to get to the supermarket. It is practically door-to-door for me by bus so I don’t have the struggle with a heavy load. If I make three trips in a week I can get everything I need, and I get to choose my fruit and veg and not have to accept what is delivered, which is usually just on the turn. Whats worse than wilted lettuce and wrinkled tomatoes?

I would be very interested in your comments on the above issues.

blowing-in-the-wind

 

UP-A-DATE: 01/01/16. I received an email from a commercial firm, who had obviously read my post, suggesting that they could probably help any supermarket with the design and supply of the boxes for deliveries. This company specialises in strong cardboard boxes for practically any purpose. I emailed them back informing them which supermarkets I use, or used to, and suggested they send them a link to their site and a link to this post, and if they land a contract not to forget who it was who recommended them.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Single use plastic carrier bags – 1

Shopping has now become difficult for me. I had to get rid of my car for economic and health reasons. The cost of keeping it on the road was too much for my income and my arthritis makes safe handling of a car a problem.

I do have an Old Age Pensioner’s* free bus pass, so in theory I can get to and from the supermarket without a problem, but I could not manage to carry my groceries on and off the bus very easily. I did buy a ‘pull along trolley’ but again that has restrictions of it’s own ie., I cannot get everything I need in one trip into it, and when it was full lifting it up and down the kerbs and on and off the bus proved difficult and awkward.

Three years ago I decided that doing my fortnightly shop online was the obvious solution. This worked out well, the delivery man brought my order to the door in several single-use carrier bags and placed them in the hall for me to unpack and put away at my leisure. He then collected the plastic bags from the previous delivery to return to the store to be reused if they were not damaged. My meat and chicken order was placed in a separate bag for hygienic reasons, and my carton of ice cream also had a bag to itself. The bag containing raw meat had “Do not re-use. To be destroyed” (the bag that is, not my meat!)

As I said, everything was going along swimmingly until that fateful day on 5th October when a 5p levy was imposed on all single-use plastic carrier bags. On my first order after that date I noticed a box with a tick in it on my order form stating “Un-tick the box if you don’t require your order to be in carriers”. Thinking that there wouldn’t be a charge if they are having the empty bags returned I left it ticked

man-deliveringMy shopping duly arrived as normal and after putting everything away I filed the order form without properly reading it. A fortnight later my next order arrived and he placed the bags in the hall as usual. As he turned to go I said “Here’s the last orders bags”. He replied “We don’t collect the bags back now. You’ve paid for them, so it’s up to you to use or dispose of them as you please”

bag-in-treeSo now I was left with 17 bags cluttering up the kitchen. According to the local council’s instructions I cannot put them into the recycle bin because there is no facility locally to deal with thin plastic or any form of black rigid plastic. I could put them in the non-cycleable bin which is destined for the local landfill site. This landfill site is just a big hole in the ground about five miles away, and open to the elements (no doubt it will be capped with earth and turfed when it’s full) I know this because when I go past on the bus I can see that the wind has blown plastic bags all over the nearby fields. Practically all the trees and hedgerows are decorated for Christmas with bags of various colours flapping in the wind.
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*This is how our Government describes someone who is elderly and receives the meagre State Pension. I hate this description which is obvious meant to demean the old, and to make them feel they are no longer needed on the journey through life; a spent resource if you like. I always use the term “Senior Citizen”, a term more befitting of our status.
Google’s description: “noun: an elderly person, especially an old-age pensioner“. Cant win can we?

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Posted in Brainless idiots, Getting old, Rant | 9 Comments

Where did they all go – 2

Since the last post I did some research to try and find out where my old bloggy friends had gone, and surprisingly I found a lot on these various “social sites”, and still active.

Come on, chaps and chappesses, play the game and come back to Blogland, you are sorely missed.

facebooktwitterlinkedinpinterestgoogleplustumblrinstagramvkflickrmeetuptagged
askfm
meetme
classmatesvine


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Only a few years ago I can remember the Radio Amateur bands were always very busy and I made so many friends worldwide but after the advent of Cellphones and Twitter in particular the hams began to disappear. I suppose it is easier to use the Internet to communicate, there are several sites now where you can use virtual transmitters on screen.

Now when I tune around the ham bands all I hear now is the gentle hiss of the background and occasionally a plaintiff voice in the mist calling “CQ CQ CQ this is *callsign* Is there anybody out there?”

I once tried the old Hancock ploy about being on a sinking yacht in the middle of the Atlantic and desperately calling for help. When I switched over to ‘receive’ I was met with complete silence; apart from the hiss that is! So I sank. . .

It seems that everybody out there has seen that episode of Hancock and thought ‘You don’t catch me with that old chestnut!’

And yes, my radio station looked very similar to the one in the video, and I was/am just as daft as Tony Hancock!

Posted in Amateur Radio, Facebook, Good Old days | 7 Comments

Where did they all go – 1

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: I notice that the Blogroll has increased by 2. 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 | 7 Comments