From my first batch of honey last year I processed some of the pollen rich cappings, floating off the wax and hive debris which left me with twelve pounds of pasteurised very dark coloured pollen rich honey which I was saving for mead production.
Circumstances being what they were, the mead production never got going and the ‘black’ honey sat in a cupboard until last week, when I had the fancy to try my hand at wholemeal bread making. The bread turned out quite well. A little heavy and dense, but with a good crumb, texture and flavour. Maybe a bit too much salt but very tasty.
Yesterday I tried some with a smearing of my black honey. Wow. A hit, a palpable hit. Delicious. Very moreish. A rounded, heavier, more complex flavour than my usual first quality raw honey. And on the slightly salty bread it tasted fabulous.
I’d actually thought about throwing this ‘black’ honey away as unusable. Now I’m having serious second thoughts. It’s just too damn good to go to waste, but I’m not going to just give it away. What to do, what to do?
Here in the wilder west, while the weather is nice it’s fairly easy to distance oneself from the propaganda mills of the BBC and RTE etc. Like Canadian media, they’re all in the pocket of the state because the traditional media business model has been in financial decline for over a decade now. So they end up taking taxpayer dollar to publish propaganda. Frankly, most of the mainstream output is liberally spiced with some rather strange assertions, particularly about ‘science’.
Yet what is ‘the science’? Are we to believe professors with decades of experience in a subject, or some media ‘fact checker’ with qualifications (and an agenda) from a wholly different discipline? How much credence can be given to their interpretation of the IPCC’s annual reports, which, as presented to the world at large, predict disaster if a certain course is pursued? Notwithstanding being chock full of ‘could’, might’ and ‘if, conditional statements making wild predictions of weather disasters. Disasters I might add (Sea level rise, increases in storms etc.) which have, over the last fifty years, never come. These sources are more political screeds and urban myth than ‘the science’.
The problem is that ‘the science’ as presented is more a mythic belief system than actual scientific enquiry. ‘The science’ from what I hear from certain people is little better than a compendium of narrative wishful thinking. Proper science by contrast, is all about asking questions and finding answers, no matter where the evidence leads, ‘the science’ is no better than the opinion of a new class of pseudo-intellectuals who think that spouting a lot of fashionable buzzwords makes them the source of all truth and wisdom.
However, here’s a source, which is by no means ‘official’ that tries to make some sense of a complex topic in plain language.
On the same topic I was quite amused to see an attempt by the rent-an-activist crowd to disrupt a rugby match, getting sprayed with beer (What a waste!) and roughly handled by the stewards. It’s rather ironic, as the activists in question are known to get the largest wedge of their funding from the ‘climate emergency fund’, which is in turn funded by ‘big oil’ in the shape of the Rockefeller foundation.
This begs the question; why is an oil fortune funding these eejits? Is it some desperate ‘eat me last’ ploy, or as the more cynical side of my brain suspects, that the disruptions are part of a series of ploys to manipulate markets. Won’t work, as the eejits in question are having an effect, but it’s not the one, I strongly suspect, intended. The law of unforeseen consequences last seen giggling in the stands.
I leave my reader with the opinion of a frog when forced to listen to this litany of urban climate mythology.
We have guests for the next day or so. ‘North’ and friend are gracing our humble abode with their metropolitan presence. This has meant a small extra drain on our resources, but nothing we cannot cope with. The weather has turned as well. I can sit out on my back porch in the evening in my Pj’s. Spring has arrived. Not before time. This year everything has been three weeks late.
Of course this is nothing out of the ordinary. Just part of the normal cycle of warm, wet and cool years.
For me this means an opportunity to keep the lawn trimmed and take an occasional day out to Galway city, where I got to read some of the writing on the wall, much of which is “#freeassange” or “Free Julian Assange”, who is still languishing in Belmarsh jail in the UK. Of course the UK doesn’t have political prisoners (and other such bollocks)
Personally I think Assange should be released. All he did was embarrass the Yanks and expose their administrations war crimes. For this he was originally arrested on trumped up charges of sexual assault of an embittered ex-girlfriend (Which have since been dropped). Besides, he’s Australian, not a US citizen, so their administration should be told to go swivel. Unfortunately the UK are slavishly in lockstep with the warmongers, and have as much to cover up as the Yanks, so Julian Assange will remain in unjustified detention.
As for the forthcoming Irish ‘hate speech’ laws, aren’t those an affront to democracy? They violate the single basic premise of civil rights in that we are all supposed to be equal (Yeah, right) by pandering to ‘protected characteristics’ which means that some people will have more rights than others, or else.
I mean Mrs S and I wandered into a Galway shop and some person sporting lavish curls, a frilly shirt, eyeshadow and curly moustache was serving. I may have raised an eyebrow, but said nothing, trying to work out whether it was a biological male looking female or biological female trying to look male. Failed on both counts, but they were doing a decent enough job, so there was nothing to be said.
Did the raising of a curious eyebrow constitute a ‘hate crime’? When a maths teacher gets fired for saying “Well done girls” because one of them suffering from pre-pubescent dysphoria (a condition mostly cured by puberty) gets offended and a parent gets nasty, then I’m truly glad I live out in the sticks, where at least everyone can tell a steer from a heifer.
Mowing our extensive lawn this morning and glanced up the fields at my line of beehives. There appeared to be something brown all over hive one. Left the cutting to take a stroll up the meadow to find a burgeoning swarm hanging underneath and all over the front.
First reaction? Oh wet slippery stuff! A swarm! What am I going to do! However, the one thing you don’t do around bees is panic. It upsets them when they’re doing something you’d rather they didn’t do. And especially when I’d scheduled my hive inspections for the morrow. Which was awkward. Don’t bees know anything about keeping appointments? So, desperately trying to remember all the stuff I’d read and watched about swarming, girding my mental loins I turned around and strode back down the field to get kitted and tooled up.
Spare frames. Check. Supers. Check. Bee suit and gloves. Check. Bee brush and hive tool. Check. Loaded all into 4×4 and changed into bee suit. Drove up to the hives, parking up about twenty feet away so I wouldn’t annoy them with the car.
Suitably suited and booted I unloaded all the spare frames and supers, opened up two spare hives and went to check out number one hive. The whole front was a solid carpet of bees, with a motile lump growing underneath on the hive stand. Selected a brood frame and lay it on the ground underneath the mass. Gently as I could, lying on my side, I brushed the mass of bees so they fell onto the frame and watched for the swarm queen, or at least a lump of drones and workers that indicated she was in there somewhere.
The lump fell off and dropped onto the frame and I picked it up, bees and all before carefully walking over to the empty hive and putting the frame in the empty brood box. Next move was to open number one hive and nick a couple of frames with a mixture of brood and honey on them. Found a brood frame with an empty queen cell on the underside so I swapped that one over, working on the premise that if that was the one that had hatched, my new queen would feel right at home.
This all took some considerable time, as the rule with bees is slow and steady, or they get very unhappy, not that they weren’t already. Swapped out two more frames into the new hives and replaced with fresh ones to give the bees something to do over the next two weeks while they rebuild the comb on the frames and fill with brood and nectar.
Finished number one hive and closed up. Swarm activity on the front of the hive was much reduced, so I assumed I’d dealt with the immediate problem. Opened up hive three and swapped out active frames into new and empty hive. Couldn’t see the queen in number three, but I found a frame with an unhatched queen cell and took that out, bees and all, in the hope that it would hatch shortly and take control of her new Queendom.. In total I swapped out six frames per hive loaded with brood and honey to give my two new colonies a flying start.
All the time some hundred guard bees were frantically nutting my bee suit as I worked, but I tried to ignore them, even the one who managed to penetrate my heavy gloves with her stinger. Determined little thing.
Three and a half intense but careful hours later all my hives were closed up and populated. Not sure if my ‘splits’ have worked, but will be keeping my fingers, eyes, nostrils and ears crossed over the next few days.
Well, that is the story of my first ever swarm and split. Maybe now I can hold my head up as a proper beekeeper having passed that test. Always had my doubts, but I did what I did and the bees did their part. Even got a frame heavy with honey out of it. And if the good weather holds there will be much more to come.
Even had time to finish cutting the lawn and cook supper. Which are much more healthy activities that letting the news raise your blood pressure. Not that I can do anything about anything, so in the words of an old country and western song; “You can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself.”
We’ve hit a spell of warm dry(er) weather (but not entirely so) out here in the wilder west of Ireland. While the rain has held off I’ve been busy brushcutting an area of around a third of an acre, or over thirteen hundred square metres. It’s hard graft in the sunshine when I’d rather be doing something else, but hey ho, jobs have to be done.
As for the ‘Green man’, at the moment that’s me, covered in spotches of green from head to toe from all the plant fragments. A spotch being an informal measure of smaller than a glob, but way bigger than a spot. It’s an interesting look.
At present I am routinely covered with green spotches after a working day. Mrs S complains mightily about all the green dust I’ve been leaving in my wake when re-entering the house. She insists that I strip off the moment I come back indoors and change into clean clothing. For the sake of a quiet life I acquiesce.
Alternatively, a spotch is also slang for a small area of the perineum or a very slow thinker, but I like my version best. So there.
As for being truly ‘green’, my brand of environmentalism isn’t based in making other people’s life difficult by getting in the way of their morning commute. My philosophy is predicated on doing the right thing, creating habitat and managing my little patch of Ireland as a wildflower pollinator resource. Not that there’s any shortage of this kind of habitat locally, but a few extra trees and all the good stuff like growing my own to save a few pennies on groceries can’t hurt, can it?
As for the whole ‘carbon footprint’ thing, I think I’ve made my contempt for that concept abundantly clear. CO2 is an effect of climate, not a primary driver. So all the crazy policies of ‘Net zero’ won’t make a spit of difference to the weather / climate. Even if said policies failure wasn’t baked in.
What else? The greenhouse project will be completed when the rain sets in again, and my bees look happy. I think I’ve also located a colony of wild bees that have been living in an old Sycamore tree since before we arrived. I can hear the buzzing, and am pretty certain I know where the hive entrance is. Not that I’m going to do anything as said hive entrance is a good fifteen feet off the ground, and the bees do a useful job of pollinating. Live and let live, say I.
As an antidote to all the idiocy out in the mainstream world, there’s more trees to plant, and I have a putative plan to plant some English Oak, Beech and more Birch in the top meadow to provide shade and wind shelter for more bee hives. I’ve even managed to get a couple of Ash cuttings to propagate, so those can be planted out this September with the extra fruit trees. Two new rose beds went in this weekend. Then later on there’s a field boundary to shift about four or five metres south. So yes, I’m busy with all things green.
One last thing. I’ve just heard a rumour in financial and investment circles that the World Economic Forum is bleeding financial backers. No idea whether this is true or not, but it would be really good news for most of us peons if true, because the WEF (a.k.a. S.P.E.C.T.R.E.) is one of the major drivers of the crazy stuff like ULEZ and ‘fifteen minute cities’ and the hugely unpopular ‘hate speech’ laws.
It also appears that the writing is on the wall for ESG ratings. So there is a possibility that the one size fits all, top down model of the future the WEF and people like them are pushing will fail during the late Summer and Autumn of 2023. It may take longer for Schwab and his crew to disappear up their own agendas, but I live in hope.
Not that this means that the pushback has to slack off. That would be a huge mistake. Now would be a time to double down. Pull money out of high ESG rated companies, boycott ‘woke’ products like Bud light. Because no investor wants to see their stock drop twenty five percent because of a woke marketing ‘mis-step’. Mass consumer boycotts can do this. It’s far more effective than street protests, and highly democratic.
Now if someone could create a really stable and easy to install cross-platform computer operating system which could wipe Microsoft off the map, that might cripple the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, another of the authors of humanities woes.
I’m increasingly noticing that companies and corporations are beginning to wake up to the fact that the anti-human agenda of the WEF and Woke HR departments are toxic to their bottom line. This means the revolution is not being fought on the streets, it’s happening where it really matters, on the balance sheets and in the board rooms of major corporations. For an example; after Twitter got bought out and lost ten thousand non-coding jobs, Meta (Facebook) and others also had to cull their top heavy administrative overhead of ideologues.
If the WEF and it’s anti-human fellow travellers can be neutralised by customer and investor pressure, maybe we can get out of the mess we’re in relatively unscathed. And that’s a happy thought I shall be entertaining while getting spattered head to toe in green fragments this week.
Watch this video about ‘disinformation’, malinformation’ etc..
The ‘truth’ is being decided from on high, and you may not have any other opinion, or else you are automatically the ‘Other’. If for example you are anti-war, for what you feel are good reasons, then you might be marked down as a ‘Putin apologist’. If you have doubts about just one aspect of the new mRNA ‘vaccines’, no matter that you will happily roll up your sleeve for a more traditional inoculation, you are ‘anti-vax’. If you don’t like the idea of perverts parading around inside schools and public buildings in front of six year olds and say so, there are now laws to have you arrested for ‘hate speech’. Then there are the fake labels of ‘far-right’, ‘alt-right’, and ‘conspiracy theorist’ which are just so much collectivist ‘blah’.
All of these labels prove only one thing; the political and media classes are trying to lock down public opinion and punish those who disagree. Yet those who disagree, even mildly, or voice honest doubt, backed by data, are being accused of ‘destroying our democracy’. Even if they are demonstrably of the Demos (population) in question. The expulsion of Andrew Bridgen MP from the UK Parliamentary conservative party being a case in point.
Yet who are the people pushing these labels? The pro-war muzzlers of real science. Those corporate entities with vested interests and massive lobbying power. Infecting reality with their own twisted lust for unjustified political power. The parasite class. The serial liars and their fellow travellers who look down on those outside their bubbles, even if these bubble dwellers are really no better (and probably much, much worse) than the average Mk 1 human like you and me.
They are also the ones pushing things like ‘hate speech’, which is the most toxic of constructs because it can be used to outlaw even the most mild disagreement. Especially if the complainer has the emotional maturity of a thwarted toddler, something which seems all too common these days.
Besides, ‘hate speech’ laws suppress opinions which allow for a ‘clearing of the air’ conversations, and therefore such legislation is going to be highly toxic to social interaction and (I hope you’ll see the irony here) incredibly divisive. Because, oddly enough, it’s good to talk and negotiate instead of whining to some authority figure that pwecious ickle fi-fi’s have been hurt.
Hate speech laws will be (and are already being) abused to simply shut down necessary but uncomfortable debate (and even comedy) across a range of topics. Name calling hasn’t worked, so attempting to shut down non mainstream opinions with hate speech’ laws won’t either. The immutable law of unintended consequences is already waiting in the wings to make another hilarious appearance.
Right, so over in the UK a chap called Charlie King is going to be sat down, have stern words said to him in a draughty old stone barn, and have an extremely heavy hat put on his head. All the while a bunch of people outside will be shouting “Hooray!” or “Boo!”, all the while blaming the poor chap for stuff he has no real power over. Such is the burden of monarchy, for all its wealth and apparent trappings. All that smiling and waving when you really don’t feel like it.
So there’s a new coronation oath is for individuals to give their allegiance to the new King? As an Expat, I have mixed feelings. I think that when it comes to pomp and ceremony, the UK, or rather London, wins hands down. Elsewhere, not so much. I miss the old place sometimes, but the bits I really liked are in a place twenty years and a couple of hundred miles away. There’s no way back there. Not without serious collateral damage.
Mrs S, however, is going to watch the coronation livestreams, but I’ve got too much work to do. I won’t be swearing allegiance to anyone either. Not without my fingers firmly crossed behind my back. Experience has taught me that people who want you to swear oaths are usually the first ones to break their word, so forgive my cynicism and let me forswear any swearing. Apart from the four letter kind when we get sold out yet again.
During the next couple of days when it promises to be damp, I have a kitchen to refit with new handles and hinges. Then there’s a few other jobs to do. We didn’t have a kitchen refit as part of the renovations because we were holding cash in reserve for the main works. Besides, the sold wood doors we have are in pretty good shape, therefore I’m just replacing the old hinges and handles and giving the rest a good old scrub. The ones I’ve done so far are looking good.
Then while it’s allegedly going to be sunny I’m going to give my hives a quick look over. It’s still a bit cool to do proper hive inspections, and here in the wilder west it’s been cooler and wetter than usual. So I’ve had to hang back and wait for the weather to warm a little more.
Yet I still keep coming across these videos which insist that dear old planet Earth is going to boil and we climate sinners are all going to DIE! Har har har! So there you deniers! Personally I’ve never seen that. My path to climate scepticism began around 2000, when I began to notice all the wild predictions failing to come true.
Right. Okay. How true are all these claims of climate doomstering when put in context? For that kind of hard information it’s best to go to the guys on the ice.
What? Are we really only in a short term optimum heading into another cooling phase? Better finish my planting then.
As for ‘misinformation’ or is it disinformation or malinformation, a.k.a. lying? Seems to me that all these claims of falsehood are coming from those responsible for pushing the most massive piles of bovine excrement in front of us and over reality for their own venal purposes. Yet these are the people who demand our unthinking loyalty? Seriously?
By way of illustration. Norman Fenton does the numbers on the vaccine. Oh. You mean to tell me the mainstream narrative was and is misleading? Surely not. But my names not Shirley.
As an aside, I made some time to glance at the mainstream ‘news’ and some talking head was saying that “The Government should do something…” Hah! I’ve got news for him, they did, and that’s why we’re in the mess we’re in.
Anyway. There are seven fruit bushes to plant out on Saturday, five rose bushes to set out into a new protected rose bed and I’ve just potted out six Willow rootstocks with freshly sprouted rootlets. So that means I’m on target for a total of thirty trees this year, no subsidies applied for.
What else? All the Portuguese Laurels have been moved, and are bedding into their new locations nicely. Mrs S and I raided our local Nursery for some exotics to put in the main garden. Those are planted and settling in. The lawns are coming along and the greenhouse project will be completed in another week or so. Then we’ve got house guests coming all the way from London.
Hi ho. In between times I have to look at getting a new brush cutter.
Life at the moment, is far too busy for swearing oaths. But I’ll leave the last word to Neil Oliver in this interview.
Update: Having watched the actual crowning and parades, I was struck by two main thoughts; Doesn’t Charles look ancient? And; the march down the mall was magnificent, superbly disciplined and timed. Which just reinforces what I said at the start of this post. When it comes to ceremony, pomp and circumstance, no-one does it better than the UK.
So we’re in ‘No mow May’. This is a piece of top down eco-nonsense I won’t be doing. My lawns will be cut on every dry day when it is necessary. It’s taken me two weeks to get my hundred and fifty square metre lawn under some form of control. Although that’s a guess, my West lawn is nine metres wide, and well over sixteen irregular metres long. Then there’s the East side grass which needs bringing under control, and that’s another hundred square metres.
Anyhoo, all the species that these ‘biodiversity’ loons carp on about are thriving in my two meadows, which are part of a management strategy to create two wildflower meadows in partnership with the pollinators project based down at Wexford. If anything, we have an excess of all the species of the leaflet An Post pushed through my door back in April.
The bottom meadow this year has been a riot of Ox-eye Daisies, Dandelions, Buttercups and large patches of Red and White Clover. We have Marsh Orchids, not so much Birds Foot Trefoil, a little Yellow Rattle and a number of other native Irish species.
I’ve spotted at least five species of wild bee, hoverflies, various butterflies, and that’s without even looking very hard. Never mind the Thrushes, various Finches, Blackbirds, Wrens, Rooks, Magpies, Hooded Crows and Pigeons that haunt my yard, as well as a pair of pheasant who are more heard than seen. Then there’s Hares, a local Vixen and possibly wild Deer, who all take turns with the local feline population with tripping my security lights in the wee hours. So I’d say we’ve got more than enough ecology.
So if I get called out for mowing my large lawns, I will simply point to the four and a half acre wildlife habitat we manage and say “Yes, we’ve got all these species, but not on my lawn. Now sod off.”
Cue Mr Eastwood;
I’ve recently seen a small ride on mower for just under three thousand. Hmmm. Might be worth a punt. It could double as a transport for my beehives. I could even use it to keep the rushes under control.
Have a watch. Go on. How the Epstein scandal is seeping out into the mainstream. This is how deep the rot goes. It’s everywhere, and the killer phrase was that if you moved in certain circles “Everybody knew” and therefore knows, presumably.
All right, she’s pushing her new book, but I think I might order a copy. Because you can bet your bottom dollar that there’s way more to come out.
Gosh, it’s not so much ‘pushing a conspiracy theory’, more handing out ‘spoiler alerts’. But if you’re an investor, this is the kind of warning sign you look for.
Wonder how far the tentacles of power and influence actually reach? The thought does strike that if a certain foundation is involved, you can bet your best boots that the corruption is everywhere.
The Greenhouse project creeps closer to completion. Heavy glass panes keep slipping into place, and planks hung from chains will form the growing surfaces and also keep the brassica decimating slugs and snails at bay.
The weather is helping, with our normal breezes meandering off to bother other people. The next two panes were slightly heavier, and needed extra care. Fortunately these were the last two that had to be lifted over 7 feet. They are now firmly in situ.
After blocking off the end I’ll have around fifty square metres of floor space to work in, with nine suspended shelves made out of old shelving and unwanted doors. All in prime position to catch the morning sun and sheltered from the worst heat of the day and chill of night. Well, that’s the plan, anyway.
Of course it all looks a bit rough and ready at the moment, but once the internal construction scaffolding is down and being repurposed, it should pass muster. It’s certainly tough enough to handle winds around 100km/h.
Getting rid of all my broken glass is another matter. Multiple phone calls to various people all led to dead ends. Waste and recycling companies don’t want broken window glass over here. So reluctantly, I’m having to take it all to landfill.
Which goes against my personal ethos of making do with what I have. For example, old tractor tyres doubling as tree planters. My fruiting cherry for example, has put out a fine display of blossom, and I just put some pear tree cuttings in compost having recovered them off an old stump to see if they’ll take root.
No idea what I’m going to do with the fruit, but turning it into a form of alcoholic beverage might not be such a bad idea. As I said to a neighbour; “Everyone likes a drink.” Hell, one of my aunts specialised in home made wine making back in the day, so you could say I’m simply following the family tradition.
Did take a trip away to Dublin the other day, and the Eejits were out in force. One of whom, two thirds of the way along the M4, pulled over in front of us, forcing a bit of quick braking on my part, then once we’d passed, then proceeded to perform a U-turn and try to head East back down the Westbound carriageway, only to elicit lots of fist waving, horn beeping and flashing headlights from oncoming traffic.
Fortunately we witnessed this event from the safety of our rear view mirror. Unlike those who were coming up behind us. Must have been a real brown trouser event for them. Hope it doesn’t happen often.
Update: Since the car that pulled the insane U-turn was a brand new VW, I think it was probably a hire car.
Damp weekend and just a tad too windy to do any heavy duty glazing, so no real opportunity to spend time outdoors. Which meant that I got shanghaied by Mrs S to do some Ikea assembly. When I say ‘some’ I mean a fair bit. A whole weekends worth. A walk in wardrobes worth plus.
During our recent refurbishments we sacrificed one of the smaller bedrooms, converting it into a walk in wardrobe and bathroom for the ‘master’ or biggest bedroom, which had been used as an office. This created a four metre long space where we’d hung all our clothing on rails, as like many Anglo Canadians, we don’t really use dedicated wardrobes. We feel that they tend to clutter up the place. So we had a walk in closet built by blocking off a doorway, opening another, and partitioning a room to form spaces that became a concealed walk in and bathroom.
Whilst the clothing rails we first installed were an adequate arrangement, there was still a lot of wasted space, with nowhere really to put shoes and suchlike. So a couple of weeks ago, after much argument and debate, we elected to spend about fifteen hundred on one of those wardrobe organiser systems from you know who. Plus a few other items (A few! He said in tones of exhaustion)
Ten of my working hours later we had an operational walk in closet. A reasonably secure arrangements of shelves, baskets and rails, which has allowed Mrs S a weekends entertainment (We don’t watch that much TV, and the pub is too much of a shank to walk) of arranging her new closet. Then there were the other units for Mrs S’s office and the two guest rooms to build and mount. So it’s been busy.
You could say that for the moment I’m all Ikea’d out. Mrs S appreciated my added efforts and treated me to a meat feast Pizza. I was too tired to cook anyway.
As an addendum, what’s all this about a World Health Organisation Pandemic treaty? From what I can see it’s a bunch of ignorant political unaccountables dictating to the rest of us. While I’m happy to go along with good scientific policy, the WHO has demonstrated less idea about pandemic control than a retarded slug on Valium, and that’s insulting to slugs, given the WHO’s recent track record, recommending masks and lockdowns, which do nothing to control airborne pathogens. As for the Escalating death count from the experimental mRNA ‘vaccines’. Well, there should be heads on spikes for that. The WHO’s included.
What these unaccountables don’t get, is that as the puritans found during the English Parliament’s abortive attempt to ban Christmas in from 1644 to 1660, there weren’t enough soldiers willing or able to fully enforce such a pointless policy, and there were too many naysayers to make it work. Like all top down schemes of this nature, such a pandemic treaty will be unenforceable on the ground. Here in the wilder west, as we found out during 2020-21 there are far too many back roads and boreens for the Garda (Police) to run check points at. They just don’t have the manpower.
Like net zero, such a treaty is a complete over-reaction, and like the lockdowns, masks and emergency use only treatments that were rushed to market without enough testing, will make any given problem a lot worse than it should be.
We should all be writing to our elected representatives, letting them know that if they back or try to ratify these treaties, electoral oblivion awaits.
Anyway. my next outdoor project is finding the electrical feed for the old septic system pump to see if I can get it running properly again. All the contractors I’ve tried so far have been as much use as the WHO. Which is to say there’s been a lot of talk, but not much action.
My mobile phone is having a sulk. It says I’m not playing with it enough and it keeps sending me plaintive little messages to say that I used it less than last week.
Even now it sits neglected on my desk while I go outside to work in my garden or up the meadows. I’ve even left it at home while I pop out to the shops, which doesn’t help. I swear it’s taken to glowering at me when I finally get back in the house.
To be honest there’s too much to do outside while the weather is nice. I can even take a break in the shade and watch the world go by from a Laurel shielded corner of the garden with a mug of tea, a book and a few rich tea biscuits.
My mobile phone and I are becoming more and more alienated. No one’s calling me at the moment anyway, so the intrusive little thing can stay wherever I last put it. If anyone wants to call or message me they can always leave a message and I’ll call them back. Maybe.
Now our family, separated by the miles as we are, regularly use whatsapp to keep in touch, and over here in the wilder west of Ireland, we use it extensively to communicate with various commercial enterprises. It’s that useful.
Unfortunately, in a desperate bid to be seen to be ‘doing something’, the UK government (and by proxy, all of the ‘Five eyes’ nations) wants to see everything you’re doing all of the time online. You know, just in case you might have a thought they disapprove of. “Nothing to hide-nothing to fear” eh?
As for the “It’s to stop the paedo’s” argument, what’s the bloody point when the grooming appears to be happening within the UK school system. There are people being admitted to schools to do story reading, who, in the not so distant past, would never be allowed within a quarter mile of the school gates.
Now, see if you disagree, but it seems to me that every expansion of the surveillance state leads to less security, more scams, more vulnerability. At least for the public at large. As an example; do I feel any more ‘safe’ than before all this surveillance was rolled out? No I do not. From a personal perspective, I feel oppressed, crowded, harassed and jostled. All this while totally innocent of any offence, apart from the spurious one of disagreeing with the state on certain issues. For this I pay my taxes?
All right, I currently pay my taxes in Canada and Ireland, but I did pay them in the UK when I lived there. Okay?
Hells bells! I’m off out to do something useful. The lawn needs mowing and there’s even more chores to do. Apart from railing at injustice.
Mike Rowe reporting on a real environmentalist who has devoted his life to cleaning up rivers. Now if only people like those over educated morons of a certain road blocking and snooker disrupting faction would get together to really do something useful about real pollution, not the imaginary kind.
But that would involve them getting their delicate little handy pandies dirty, wouldn’t it?
The bottom meadow is a riot of dandelions with loads of buttercups sprouting at the moment. My bees are foraging like it’s going out of fashion and when I walk around the meadow in the intermittent sunshine, it is buzzing like a hundred far off servers with dodgy fans. All is quietly busy. Hive inspections will happen when the temperature is in double digits and dry for more than twenty four hours.
Indoors, Ikea unit building, dying printers and keyboards have been one of the many discombobulations to have leeched on my time. Measuring, cutting and building have been biting into life, so little time or inclination to blog. Not really much time to get into a routine. If I don’t have time or emotional energy to reply to any comments, talk among yourselves. Have fun and keep it clean (ish).
My greenhouse project creeps ever closer to completion. One of the hurdles I face is that the smaller panes of glass that were donated to me for this project are of 10mm toughened safety glass in panels of 165cm by 71cm (61 by 28 inches or around 5ft by 2ft 4) Each panel weighing upwards of 29kg or a smidgeon over 64lbs. Although one double glazed unit I had to fit the other day was over 100lbs (Over 45kg). All right, it included the frame, over 1.6metres on a side, but it was, with the help of a little ingenuity and home made counterweights, fitted. Looks a bit rough and ready, but my glazing passed the 90km/h wind test the weather threw at us recently.
Now I’ve seen first hand what can happen if you are careless with glass. Especially a pane of that size. If handled carelessly, it may slip and turn into an instant guillotine blade, easily capable of severing a limb. And as I happen to like my arms and legs where they are, I treat each pane with extreme care, especially as this has entailed having to lift each one to around 7ft (About 2.1m) above the ground at the bottom edge. So I’m taking it slowly and not trying to be all tough and brave, instead shutting down operations when the wind is gusting above twenty miles an hour. Which is quite often.
A stiff breeze on that size of glass would be enough to take me off the top of my platforms and ladders, so I go slowly and carefully, and only work on the big panes when the weather is fine. Did I mention I’m doing this single handed on an existing building with minimal tools? Because I am not an expert greenhouse constructor I prefer to apply the adage “Better safe than sorry.” Nuff said.
When it’s been too wet and windy for anything else, outdoors I’ve been wrestling twenty year old Portuguese Laurels out of the ground for re-planting as a screen in a new raised bed. Well, Mrs S says it keeps me out of mischief. And away from the keyboard.
However, little by little things are coming around, although there’s still lots to do. So we have split the work down into separate projects, and I work on mine as time, energy and resources allow. Lack of expertise notwithstanding.
As for being an ‘expert’ on anything, I am very happy not to wear that badge. Because to be an expert implies that you are top of your field and know most of everything on a given topic. Although I have been told I was an ‘expert’ on a few occasions when my boss at the time threw a systems manual at me, telling me I had a weekend to learn an entire new operating system or network application. Which meant no leisure time of social life. At the times in question it often felt like some unpleasant game of Tig (or Tag, if you are one of our transatlantic readers) as if to say “You’re IT! Har-har!”
Given the above it seems to me that being an ‘expert’ in any field is being the guy who lost their weekend to reading a long and very dull book, then expected to translate the contents for others first thing Monday, even if you (and they) don’t fully understand the topic.
Notwithstanding, my own lack of expertise is something I wear with pride because to be an ‘expert’ means one has little more to learn, or to be at the forefront of that learning. So you will always find me figuratively lying down under the fount of all wisdom, trying to keep my throat open like for doing a yard of ale. Mrs S complains that I always have at least four books on the go, left laying around the house to dip into when time allows. And I readily concede that in all topics there is always more to learn. From psychology and medicine to physics or whatever. And when I’m not sure I will always defer to trusted texts that stand up to scrutiny. Those that have been consistently been experimentally proven. And of course source data when time allows.
As a demonstration of this principal, I am not an expert driver, although I am competent enough to get behind the steering wheel of most cars and safely drive around without hitting anything. Even if Mrs S does complain that I like to ‘throw it about a bit’ when driving. This comes from decades of driving various vehicles all over the place on variable quality roads. From delivery truck driver to road warrior technician. But I do not consider myself an ‘expert’ driver. More experienced than average, yes. Competent, yes. Complacent, no. Experience has taught me that complacency makes me careless. Careless gets me hurt. I do not like being hurt.
On the other hand I’ve worked for self-proclaimed ‘experts’ and ‘gurus’ in the past, and my experiences have sometimes left me distinctly underwhelmed, not to mention having to spend my time cleaning up their (or my) cock-ups. In my book ‘Expert’ does not mean infallible. So when anyone says “Ah, but experts say….” I tend to respond “Which experts are these, and what’s their track record?” Which are pertinent questions.
I say this because ‘experts’ got us into the current series of messes we’re in. From the banking crisis, through COVID and all the climate crap to the Middle East and Ukraine. Oh by the way. Have a watch of the video interview with Ex-CIA insider Ray McGovern below. It should give you an idea of what is behind the whole Ukraine business. If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, the interesting bits about why the Russians invaded are discussed around the nine minute mark.
While the way the Russians wage war is brutal by western standards, they are fighting, what is to them a limited war, because otherwise they could have steamrollered the Ukrainians like the US did to the Iraqis. Then again, as Mr McGovern aptly points out, back in the 60’s the west almost got into a full fledged nuclear war over Russia parking nuclear missiles 90 miles from US soil. So having NATO nuzzling around your borders must feel exactly the same to the Russkies. Hitler and Napoleon still loom fresh in the Russian psyche.
Not that there are any ‘good guys’ in the whole business. Not the governments of the USA, UK, EU, the Russians, the Ukrainians or Chinese. That much is as clear as the glass I’ve been fitting recently.