Tree Fellers

Well that’s that then. The eyesore tree that dominated our view is now gone. Funnily enough it was two trees grown so tightly together (See inset) that it looked like one. The tree guys were at their wits end trying to get the metre diameter stump up. I did tease them that Leprechauns were hanging onto the roots so’s they couldn’t pull it up.

Even after I’d paid them, they were giving the remaining roots dark looks and promising, Schwarzenegger like, that “They’d be back” I love people who have that much pride in their work. Whether they will be back is moot, but there you go.

Now for those of you tree huggers having a conniptive fit over the loss of a mature, albeit diseased arboreal specimen, fear not. I may have had a couple of trees removed, but in it’s place I am planting dozens. Willow, Birch, Hazel, Blackthorn and Maythorn. Maybe a few Beech and Perchance an Oak as windbreaks. All native species. Then I have more heather to plant and wildflowers to sow.

That’s without the half dozen apple trees, all Bramleys, that I’ve baggsied from the local agricultural suppliers. I have a recipe for a red hot barbecue sauce (Organic, mais bien sur) with an apple and tomato base, for which nothing but Bramleys will do. No added preservatives, no tricks, no unpleasant bending, but dynamite for barbecues.

The hives go in next week too. Only three, but that will be enough to start test batches of Mead, Honey Wine and Midus by the end of the year. I have been recruiting taste testers, and do you know? Not one has refused? Either I’m a bloody good judge of character (Not true) or they’re all keen on free samples. What do you think?

As most of my neighbours are livestock farmers, I foresee a lively barter market with my Mead products, honey and chickens changing hands for beef, lamb, pork and venison (Yes, one of my neighbours has a herd of deer). A pound of organic honey might trade for a couple of good steaks or other meats.

Seeing as the real McCoy of filtered organic honey retails for around ten euros a pound, never mind the extortionate amounts asked for Manuka, local opinion is that heather and wildflower honey is best, ten euros a pound is a fairly low midrange price. Heather and wildflower is what I’m going to try and produce. I know one guy in County Clare who sells his at eight euros for eight ounces. And that was when some of his hives were producing over a hundred pounds of liquid gold each in 2021. His apiary runs into over a hundred of hives. I’m strictly small beer by comparison, but I do intend to grow.

I don’t care about the radical vegans who want us all to eschew animal protein for an entirely plant based diet, all I’ve got to say about them is that they simply don’t understand agriculture or how to get food out of land unsuitable for arable crops, of which Ireland and the UK have a great deal. These radicals don’t understand that the ‘Food pyramid’, long held as the ‘ideal’ dietary model, was a 1960’s political construct. Any ‘science’ behind it is flaky at best.

There is also the corollary that the ‘food pyramid’ has been dietary gospel for over sixty years, and during that period the rates of Diabetes II and heart disease have skyrocketed. Look it up for yourself if you don’t believe me. The stats are all out there.

Said groups also think sufficient electricity can be produced by those big silly whirly things that stop producing their usual trickle of power when the wind stops blowing.

Like yesterday. Lovely sunny day, hardly a breath of wind. South of us in Galway are some of said silly whirly boondoggles, and not a blade was stirring. As for bonehead Boris in the UK wanting to smother the land in solar panels, perhaps he should cast his eyes over to Germany, where such schemes have failed big time. Fracking and Nuclear are the only reliable ‘green’ solutions to the British Isles energy needs. Only the French have it half way right and they have 10% ‘renewables’.

But then these ‘Green’ groups are anti anything that works. In the fluff that passes for their prefrontal lobes, the pollution from mining poisonous elements like Cobalt that are needed to produce sparky cars, solar panels and wind turbines get a free pass, but for a technology with a much lower mortality than Wind Farm maintenance, they get up in arms and attach themselves to major arterial routes as well as other objects. No one in any place of political power should be paying them any mind at all. Same for those who can’t tell a biological male from a female, then wonder why a six foot plus biological male is scooping up all the girls medals. Well duh.

As far as an antidote to the current insanity is concerned, getting close to the soil and turning off the TV is always a good move. It settles you. Puts your mind back on track. Allows you to think. Even if the only green things you have to tend are a couple of window boxes, or some potted tomato plants. Growing things teaches patience and brings much needed quietude to the soul.

I stand alone

Well sort of. Mrs S is around keeping me on be best behaviour, but when it comes to where I stand on any given issue, my opinions are my own, arrived at independently, or as independently as possible. Because I’ve always been an ornery cuss who likes going his own way. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes wrong, but always definitively, incontrovertibly, singular. I claim the right to be an individual.

“Yeah but Bill?” One of the less independently minded people out there might argue (Interminably) “No man is an Island. You know that.” A Donneish cod-aphorism I have learned to dislike intensely. In the end analysis we are all alone. We are born alone. We deal with the confused shitshow of life from our own singular perspective. The bad news is that no-one else is going to do the heavy lifting for you. See below;

No matter what sort of society we live in. We all die alone because no-one can do the dying for us. The space in our heads is our own and no one else’s. Oh we might share ideas and concepts with others, some are common to most, but there is no ‘collective’. Everyone is different, and should be (Reasonably) celebrated for their own uniqueness, but not to the point where it gets tacky.

There’s a lot of virtue signalling in Dysfunctional Social Medialand with people posting “I stand with Ukraine” everywhere and locally one of my neighbours has even put up a Ukrainian flag. Alternatively the virtue obsessed will post a rainbow flag, or some other rag they have no real connection with. Or say that Ireland can handle 200,000 extra mouths who have not paid (And probably will never pay) into the system. All for some f*ckw!t politicians ego. Because that’s what too much of this is all about, ego.

We here at Maison Sticker do not feel the need to ‘stand with’ anyone, because I know from long experience that if the shit really did hit the fan, all these virtue signallers would be long gone, saying “Who me guv? Nah, you’re thinking of somebody else.” as they emerge from their places of hiding. Whereupon one might be justified in applying the option of remonstration with a crowbar or nearest lump of scrap metal. Comedian Mike Harding had a solution for those who hide in fallout shelters after starting a war, which paraphrases to; “Weld the freaking shelter doors shut” Which I am fully in agreement with.

As for consequences, I say to these virtue signallers; you put those refugees up that you’re so damned keen on. You who are so keen to see Europe and the world thrown into a war. All for your pre-programmed posturing platitudes. If you switched off the television for a week or three, maybe your brains would start to work and you’d see that there are only bad guys in this Ukraine business. I include the current US, Canadian and UK administrations in that devils choir. The Russian and the Chinese governments too.

As for that dick Zelensky. If he’d laid off shelling Donbas and Luhansk, the Russki’s wouldn’t have had their excuse for invasion. Doesn’t matter that Vlad’s army doesn’t seem to be doing so well. Putin was put into a position where he had to do something, or be thought of as weak. Which would certainly lead to his political, and possibly physical, demise.

As for Zelensky saying Ireland was lagging in it’s support for Ukraine, he can criticise Ireland all he wants. Ireland is a neutral country, we aren’t in NATO, so have no treaty obligations toward Ukraine, and long may it stay that way.

Not that I’m expecting any of these virtue signallers to shut down the flow of war-porn propaganda, that would be too much to hope for. They just love the drama too much. Maybe they need to see some footage of what a nuclear bomb strike actually does. Then point out what would happen in a Nuclear exchange between the US and Russia.

Ever heard the term ‘nuclear winter’? A 10-20 degree Celsius drop in global average temperature after a major exchange? Or a 3-5 degree drop for a ‘limited’ nuclear war? We’re talking 536AD bad here. No summer for two years, no crops, little food. Mass starvation. And that’s the soft option without radiation poisoning for over half the world’s population. Klaus Schwab and all the other fans of Eugenics in the Weird Eejits Foundation would be delighted. Well, so long as their supplies lasted, or the cannibal zombies held at bay.

Possible nuclear war notwithstanding, I have to finish moving house this week to make way for the builders. That and having to open up every day for them. There may be radio silence for a while. There may not. In the meantime, enjoy this little number that dropped into my feed.

Well I liked it.

Beer and pizza

To celebrate the removal of a large tree in the yard and successful demolition of a problematic wall ready for the builders next week, I took a short trip out to get some beer and pizza.

The place was full of high school kids and families coming for a Friday night treat. I just kicked back and waited for my order to be processed. To be in this mini-flood of humanity after all the artificial isolation of the last two years was a curiously pleasant experience. Everyone was polite and there was no drama.

Normally I’m not someone who likes crowds all that much. I get defensive and grouchy really quickly if I’m bumping elbows for two long, but after two long years of pointless and damaging lockdowns and mandates, for some reason I just felt really comfortable.

It helps of course that I now have my own house and land to sit out on a sunny evening, glass of beer in hand after a feed of double pepperoni. Enjoying the smell of freshly turned Earth and evening birdsong.

Being in a crowd is fine, but it is also oh so nice just to sit out and watch the bees and birds forage.

Blood, tears, toil and sweat.

Well only a minor scrape, demolition dust bringing tears to my eyes, the creaking sensation from under utilised muscle being given the treatment and a significant trickle of moisture down my back in a surprisingly warm Springtime Mayo sun.

Wall one is proving a tough nut to crack because someone used a 1:1 mix of sand and cement for the mortar instead of the more traditional 4 sand and 1 cement mix for block work. This has cured into a substance tougher than the breezeblocks it was used to bind together. And when you’re trying to take a wall down block by block, it makes for hard work, even with a Bosch SDS hammer drill, lump hammer and brickies chisel. Even with drilling holes in the joint and dumping White Vinegar or Muriatic acid down the holes to weaken the mortar. See story so far in pictures below.

It just makes for slow going, that’s all. If I had a 5 kilo sledgehammer and a Hilti breaker I dare say I’d be moving much faster, but I don’t have either of those so I’m not. Although I do have a 115mm stone cutter disc in my box of tricks. Will try that out this afternoon. Cut, not drill or chisel.

Anyway, in parting I’d like to share an old bit of ‘nonsense’ poetry from the late great Spike Milligan. It nails a certain mindset perfectly.

Dr David Mantle

Dr David Mantle went to Bintle Bontle Boo,

To see the tonsils of a man he hardly even knew,

Dr David Mantle got to Bintle Bontle Boo,

And the man with tonsils said, “How do you do you do?

Say “Ah!” said Dr Mantle then “I can’t believe it’s true!”

“You have three tonsils hanging where there should be only two!”

“Only three!” The patient cried, “Oh my, what shall I do?”

“There should be fifty hanging there! Oh dear, tut-tut boo hoo!”

Doctor David Mantle fled from Bintle Bontle Boo

“I think that man was mad.” He said.

And I agree. Do you?

Guesses in the comments as to whom I am referring, or what.

Purposefully repurposing

One of the things I like doing is saving money. Specifically not spending it on stuff I already have that just needs a bit of tidying up or using for a different purpose than intended.

On a property such as ours this is not difficult as we have a small plague of worn out tractor tyres and all sorts of other stuff currently covered in muck that needs to be got rid of or creatively re-used.

Disposing of the tractor tyres alone are a nightmare of recycling fees. However, for all their bulk they can be re-purposed as tree planters or circular raised flower beds with seating. It’s just a question of when and how they get shifted from their current dumping ground.

For this I have an answer; we need some ground clearing once we’ve had a few trees felled and the stumps removed, so down along the westerly side of our most northerly shed is an area that, once opened up, will form an enlarged outdoor patio space should be pleasant and sheltered to spend time outdoors in.

So no matter which side the wind blows from, one can sit outdoors and read without having one’s remaining hair blown all over the place.

The plan is to hire an excavator to clear and landscape about 200 square metres of rough ground, and while the driver is here, he can shift the big tyres into place and drop in a couple of land drains for us. After that I’ll order in a couple of truckloads of shale and gravel to form the basis of a sort of sheltered Zen garden, then we can plant the trees and while the builders are busy with the house, rewire the sheds properly. An old mate who was a chargehand sparky back in the day would have a nervous breakdown if he saw our current setup. It makes me wonder why the whole place hasn’t suffered multiple electrical fires. All to save some pennies on junction boxes and properly laid out cable runs.

Then we’re saving even more cash cleaning off some old (and once probably very expensive) folding teak garden chairs the previous owners left behind. To make said seating fit for use in the dining room, all we’ll need for that is my belt sander, finishing sandpaper, teak oil, beeswax polish and some elbow grease.

We’re also ripping out the current oil fired heating system and going for gas. This whole fad over the great ‘green’ nightmare are the pipe dreams of people who don’t understand that the current grid (or even an updated version) won’t be able to sustain all those fancy electric cars and heat pumps various governments want us all to have by 2030. The issues over electric cars are well known and when it’s chilly there’s not really enough energy in the air to make an air source heat pump economical. Ground source heat pumps are the only ones really worth having.

Don’t know who is ‘advising’ these governments, but I think it’s a crack smoking meth-head who failed physics and arithmetic at school. The decision making behind the ‘green’ agenda has all the hallmarks of a harassed husband flinging up his hands and saying “All right. We’ll stop using stuff that actually works at some arbitrary date with no real idea if it’s even feasible!” The entire green agenda is an idea thought up by ignorant people with nothing constructive to do working off bad data. Our politicians, faced with a non-existent ‘climate crisis’ have elected to placate a bunch of nagging pantywaist activists who carry complete apiaries in their capacious, but largely empty, bonnets. All the time, the elderly poor freeze and people need a second mortgage to drive to work when the energy they need is right under their feet.

My chief beef over the whole ‘green’ thing is that no-one seems to be doing any proper joined up thinking. Making sweeping grandiose statements for unworkable boondoggles which will be laid at the future taxpayers door when the politicians in question have buggered off to some tax haven, or died. Or maybe, my more cynical self chimes in, that this is part of a ‘leech off the taxpayers’ scheme to make some very rich people even more pointlessly wealthy than they were before. In the financial sector this would be called fraud. But in politics, it’s business as usual.

With regard to being environmentally responsible, all I’m saying is that all we need to be doing is to make better use of what we have. Simply off-shoring manufacturing and energy production isn’t a viable answer. As the current economic mess is clearly demonstrating. Globalisation is currently failing and the global supply chains are strained to breaking point.

Back in reality, the final items in our catalogue of re-purposing are the demolition of three garden walls which will form part of the bases for a new propane tank and some other raised garden beds. And if there’s a hundred or so litres of kerosene left in our old oil tank when it comes to strip out time, I’ll trade it to one of my neighbours for some hedge management and meadow cutting. Win-win.

What the hell, we’re going our own way, flying under the radar of officialdom, making do and mend, and we’re far enough from the maddened crowd for it not to matter.

Just spitballing you understand..

Busy getting set up for the next phase. Sheds are being cleared and made ready, Rhododendrons destroyed. Seeds Planted and trees pruned. Now we’re packing our lives up (Yet again) ready to put them into store for the next three months and I’m putting the finances into place while we make final tweaks to the internal design. Just cutting our cloth to suit our measure to make sure we get maximum bang for our bucks.

There are a lot of stories bubbling under about fake news regarding a certain conflict which remind me of one of my favourite 90’s sitcoms ‘Drop the dead donkey’ written by Andy Hamilton. Specifically the antics of the disreputable Damien Day played deftly by Stephen Tomkinson, as seen below.

I think of it this way; the last two years have spoken not mere volumes but an entire national library about the lack of integrity from the mainstream media. The character of Damien and his antics in search of a big story highlights how easy it is for a dishonest person to manipulate their output. I’ve seen this in real life, where half a dozen noisy protesters in a favoured cause have been hyped into a cast of thousands, and where an unfavoured protest of tens of thousands has been largely ignored.

Canada’s media all get subsidised by the Liberals, so of course they’re going to follow the party line, and I’m pretty sure that there’s a lot of groupthink, virtue signalling and more bullshit than the whole of Ireland clears out of their cowsheds from just about everywhere in the Anglosphere, with only a few worthy exceptions.

Which begs the questions; and it’s just me spitballing of course, but how much of what we are being spoon fed is actually real? We didn’t as far as almost starting the war to end humanity over Chechnya, or Georgia, so why now? Or is this a massive diversionary exercise as the mounting evidence about the COVID shitshow turns out to be total bollocks? Where the FDA and CDC have lied over the mRNA vaccines (Particularly Pfizer) and there’s a big lawsuit being prepared in the USA.

Evidence is surfacing about the massive over-reaction over SARS/COV-2 and harms actually done both to economies and society at large. Not to mention the low efficacy or side effects of the ‘vaccine’.

But preparing the ground for World War Three? That’s completely batshit-screaming rubber room psychotic.

Why are the politicians and media making such a big deal over Ukraine when they were quite happy to accept the indiscriminate shelling of civilians in the breakaway Russophile enclaves of Donbas and Luhansk since 2014?

This whole business stinks. I have no hard evidence of course, but the sheer amount of news reports using archive footage from other conflicts seem to point to a snow job of massive proportions. The mainstream media want a war. Not seeming to have the awareness to understand that it may well be the last story anyone, anywhere, will ever write. Sting’s little ditty from the days of the late 80’s seems ever more relevant because old Vlad has indicated that he will go to the nuclear option if pushed. “There’s no such thing as a winnable war, that’s a lie we don’t believe any more..”

Especially when it comes to thermonuclear warheads. If there’s a miracle and the stockpile hasn’t aged well. Because even nuclear warheads have a use by date. I’ve been told five years after construction is the longest they can be stored and still have a chance of detonating properly because the explosive trigger starts to degrade that close to a high level ionising radiation source like the core of a nuclear bomb. And the Tritium needs to be replaced every twelve years. This is what I am told. Although the 2009 JASON study claimed that fission cores can last up to ninety plus years. Not that I want to find out for real.

However, this being the case and Vlad’s (and the Yanks) bombs are too old, Humanity and the planet might just get away with it. On the other hand, we may not. There are rather a lot of these weapons still in play, and knowing our luck, enough will work perfectly to put a crimp in everyone’s day.

Notwithstanding, today I have been working in my sheds, cleaning, laying down some old carpet, salvaging some garden furniture, creating new electrical conduits, putting in a spur off the ring main and installing some lighting into one shed which currently has none prior to moving our stuff in for storage. Because someone has to f*ck!ng well do something constructive.

A septical view

The past couple of weeks we’ve been smelling something rotten in the county of Mayo. Now I put it down to spraying on local fields to fertilise the grazing and carried blithely on. If the grass is looking a bit tired and nutrient poor, a farmer will empty our the yard sewage digester and spray the resultant noisome stuff on his meadows. It’s one of those great country smells.

This morning I found out it wasn’t one of the local farmers, it was our septic tank that was blocked. The toilets wouldn’t flush properly and when Mrs S flushed the upstairs toilet, all of a sudden a stinking brown soup, about two or three litres, erupted from the Decon shower drain with an ominous gurgle. Oh. Shit. Literally.

First port of call was a drain unblocker. No Joy. Two litres of white vinegar, flush the worst away with the shower on full helped, but the drains were still running slower than a snail taking his time. A stroll outside to check the drain covers confirmed my suspicions. The full fifty feet of black water drain was blocked all the way down to the septic tank across the yard.

It has been raining a fair bit and the ground is saturated, so I wasn’t totally surprised at the gently bubbling morass that greeted me from a very full looking septic tank. Only one thing for it. Wallet in mouth, I began going through the phone book.

Three calls later I managed to get through to a local tank services company who gave me a reasonable quote, which was a relief. I was expecting a bigger sting for an emergency call out. They quoted a time in the early evening, to which I said “Fine.” but wasn’t holding up much hope of having flushing loos until the morrow. Irish workmen tend to operate in a different astral plane to the rest of us, but Ireland is a very mystical place. So I have learned to lower my expectations.

Reader, I was very pleasantly amused when a tank cleaning truck pulled into my driveway after supper just as we were losing the light. Mrs S gave me a look as I went out into the evening drizzle with the big torch. It was a look that said; “Are you okay with this?” to which I replied with a small resigned sigh and twitch of my lips. Because I knew what I was in for.

I don’t think there’s any words to describe the smell of untreated human sewage. It’s not so much a smell, more like a brick in the sinuses. Once smelled, never, ever forgotten. The fragrance is like the worst rot you can think of, the multiplied to the nth power. Rotting cabbage can’t hold a candle to it.

The truck driver, a lad barely out of his teens by the look, maybe I’m just getting old, asked me where the tank and drains were. I pointed out where the known inspection hatches were and the approximate runs of drain, before letting him get on with things, occasionally holding my torch on where he’d stuck his five inch suction pipe and holding onto the running hose.

Quite honestly I was impressed with his careful attitude, and did as he asked me to help speed the job along. He cleaned the tank, borrowed my hosepipe to clean it off, then we set to unblocking the drains. I will not describe the contents of same, just that they stunk and had backed right up to the house. Still, half an hour later he’s packing up, my drains are smelling a lot better than this morning and I’d reflushed the shower drain and given it a good hose down and mop.

“Can I flush now?” Said Mrs S as I came back in out of the drizzle. I nodded yes and she went back upstairs. There was the unmistakeable sound from the upstairs bathroom and a happy little noise from Mrs S. “Are we done?” She called down.

“All done. Driver’s been paid. He’s happy.” I said, getting ready to change into something less tainted. There was the sound of the truck pulling out of our yard. Good service. I’ll use them again.

Now I need a long hot shower followed by a very large glass of Jameson’s Crested. It might get the memory of the smell out of my nose, it may not, but in these situations you have to try.

I think I need to order some more air freshener, for some reason my reserve can has run out.

Mud, mud, glorious mud

Well it had to happen. It was ideal sowing conditions for my wildflower seeds, so off I traipsed to my top meadow, 4kg of seeds in hand to pick out a pattern which should emerge in full bloom throughout the Summer, and should be visible on Google Earth some time whenever they decide to update their satellite imagery.

Seeds sown in the pattern I wanted, I began to make my way back down to the workshop once more. There dear reader I made a grievous error. I forgot to keep to the high ground and put my welly boot on a patch of grass that looked like terra firma.

Well, not so much firma, but definitely terra. Rather glutinous terra at that. Feeling my boot sinking alarmingly I swivelled at the hip and brought the offending piece of footwear clear of the sucking morass. Bugger! The next step had me sinking deeper into a concealed tractor rut left courtesy of the previous owners. Again I managed to get my boot out. The third time I wasn’t fast enough and the twist needed to extricate my boot pitched me onto my hands and knees into soggy ground to a litany of creative cursing, calling myself a few choice epithets for being so careless. My boots twisted free and I managed to stumble to my feet, spattered to my chest in County Mayo’s finest wet topsoil.

I spat some mud out of my mouth, no idea how it got there, and recovered my composure before leaving the seed box in the workshop and locking up.

Reading the aforementioned, a reader might be forgiven for thinking I was discombobulated. Not so. Being the good little boy scout that I was (Until that unfortunate incident with Arkela and the two girl guides) I was prepared. In our spacious farmhouse there is a large downstairs bathroom that I have nicknamed ‘Decon’. Tiled floor to ceiling it’s an ideal place to strip off and get clean after a mucky day grubbing like a peasant. So that’s what I did, depositing my muddy jeans and shirt in the washbasket as I had been instructed some weeks before by Mrs S, then enjoyed a nice hot shower and put on fresh clean clothing. My wellington boots were placed where previously specified to dry off prior to a brush and scrub off for next use. “Are you in the shower Bill?” Asked Mrs S through the door.

“Yeah. Took a tumble and got mucky didn’t I?” I said insouciantly, focussing on getting the correct leg down the right leg of a clean pair of trousers. “All sorted.”

Five minutes later there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth from the laundry. “Bill!” Cried Mrs S. “Your jeans! They’re filthy!”

“Yes I know.” Quoth I mildly. “My boots got stuck when I was coming back down the meadow and I fell over. I put them in the basket for washing. Didn’t you see me go down? Must have been quite comical.”

“No?” She said, somewhat alarmed. “You fell over?”

“Yes.” I replied. Look, I’ve already told you this. Snarled my sarcastic subconscious. “I just got a bit mucky, that’s all.” Were the words that diplomatically came out of my mouth. Best to make light of the situation. Bill Stickers rule of all human interactions; do not make it worse.

“But your jeans are filthy!” She complained again. I stayed mute. When people get into an emotional state over ephemera I have found you might as well be talking gobbledegook because they stopped listening five minutes ago. So my mouth should stay firmly clamped shut, as anything I said at this point would be taken in evidence, rephrased, inverted and taken great issue with.

Yes the jeans were filthy, Yes they need cleaning. I am now clean and was not injured. The jeans only need a sluice off in the sink and a quick run through the washing machine. Can we convert this mountain back into a molehill please? I have better things to do. At least that’s what I thought but did not say.

Mud, doncha just gotta love it?

Okay, maybe…

The following Zoom conversation raises some interesting points. It may be way off base because as father of Quantum Physics, Niels Bohr once observed “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

Yes, it’s over an hour. I get that, but a lot of what Samo is saying struck a chord with me over this Ukraine Business. It’s not simple, there are no innocent parties, and the ramifications will stretch on for decades.

Now we’re off for our usual Sunday lunch, while we can still afford it.


Apropos of nothing, sheds are something I’m heavily involved in dealing with right now. Fixing sheds, cleaning sheds, clearing sheds and preparing sheds.

I have four sheds. This is more than I’ve ever had to play with before, but this is a smallholding, so sheds are necessary. The last few days have been spent working away at getting our sheds ready for the next phase of our great experiment. While Mrs S fusses over fixtures and fittings for our new and refurbished bathrooms, I’ve got my overalls and boots on and am spending time humping, shifting and cleaning.

Shed one was cleared and tidied as much as practical, then the contents of shed two were moved across the yard and stacked as neatly as practical in as small a space as possible in shed one. Shed two is cleared of all the crap that was in it, swept and cleaned out and ready to store our furniture in for the duration of the building works.

The local spiders are furious at being evicted and are getting up a petition. In response I have sent Henry in to stem the protests.

Shed three has been cleared out and steam cleaned. It will also be my workplace while the builders do their thing over the next few months. It’s where all my clean timber and board is. Then when our worldly goods go back into the house around midsummer, I will start to strip out and replace all the shonky electrics, fix roofs, spray and dry line walls, replace the doors, re-screed the floors or perhaps put in recycled plastic decking material as a floor. It’s cheap, doesn’t rot, easy to work, so yes, why not?

Shed four, a mere lean to half-open to the elements, has been readied for when the tree surgeons arrive next week to mulch all of our cuttings and cut down two of our trees. The mulch will go into shed four, as will two eight foot long sections of trunk, which will be left to season over the next couple of years before being converted into board.

Shed two is the driest, so that will house our furniture while the house is having the new heating system (Underfloor heating, Yay! No more cold feet!) and internal wall insulation. Sheds one and three have enough room for all the old glazing units which will be used to build mini greenhouses later this year before peak nectar flow in midsummer. Shed three, which is a bit leaky, will gradually be refitted and upgraded as my workshop facilities mutate.

This is a process that will take two years in total, but at the end of that I will have a modest working kitchen garden, Apiary, wildflower meadow, honey processing facilities and a temperature controlled environment for test brewing and distilling. I’ve also got trees to plant in the next couple of months.

Don’t even get me started on the chickens. There’s a lot to be done.

The price of diesel has gone above two euros a litre. Well, pissing off the people you buy all your petrol and diesel from while at the same time as pointlessly virtue signalling over locally produced energy sources and shutting them down has been a feckin’ great policy now, hasn’t it?

Politicians cannot ‘save’ the planet. Contrariwise I would argue that the planet and humanity in general needs saving from the our current clique of politicians and activists. The only ‘crisis’ is the mess created by said politicians and activists.

Don’t know how we’re going to fix all the damage our political classes have wrought over the last couple of years. Or even if the societal and economic damage can be fixed. Hells bells, I often can’t make sense of all the ridiculous things they’ve done that have got us into this mess. These are matters I would rather not have to deal with. I’m too busy with life.

However, if you need me, you know where I’ll be. In my sheds.

Just thinking…

Staying away from the fakery in the news because I’ve got better things to do. Mrs S is spending more of our capital on the house than I’m happy with, but it’s either that or have it hanging around in a bank account waiting to be looted to pay for the politicians mistakes.

At least if we give it to the builders, sparkys and plumbers, they make an honest buck or five and we will get a nice snug and cosy home out of it. Big ticket items are the internal insulation, new bathroom, replacement windows and gas heating system with a years gas supply thrown in for swapping out our old kerosene based system. Good deal.

Talking of gas, I’m told we’re not far from some possible fracking potential. If that were true I’d be making the call and hosting the rig up in my top field, charging top dollar for the privilege. Sod the farcical warble gloaming that never seems to happen. Screw the idiot demonstrators too. Hope some of them catch a well deserved kicking this April 11th.

Anyway. Biggest guffaw is dedicated to Trudy Blackface talking about freedom being important. Well, apart from for Canadians that is. Civil rights for Indian workers and the Ukrainians, but if you aren’t a member of the ruling party Mac, you’re SOL. No wonder he got booed out of London UK.

Bad news for me is that I still have to file taxes on Canadian income in Canada, despite having filled out all the right forms to say we’ve gone for good. In order to be free of the CRA, I have to get rid of all Canadian income and investments, and by the look of things, ditch my passport and lose one of my pensions as well. So, two sets of accountancy fees every year. If I’d have known how tough it is to leave Canada, I’d have said ‘No’ to going there in the first bloody place. Talk about the ‘Hotel California’.

Still somewhat bemused about all the nutters banning Russian cats and taking vodka off the shelves, you idiots do know that Smirnoff is a UK owned brand, although I wish I’d had the presence of mind to snag a few litres of Russian Standard, those are going to be collectors items, changing hands in shadowy circles for fifty times the purchase price at least. As for bankrupting Chelsea FC because the owner is Russian born. Oh for heavens sake! You’re not at war yet. Although some people desperately seem to want a war.

Personally I don’t, but the media and politicians seem to be dead set on talking our way into one. Maybe they want to deflect from the COVID debacle, where a) they shut whole economies down for something akin to the 1957 Asian Flu and b) the vaccines were very little use and were promoted even though serious side effects were known about at the time. Look up that Pfizer report. 8 pages of possible side effects. Holy smokes!

Anyway. Today I spent a few hours in the top meadow working out the best location for my beehives and trees. I’m seeding the area this weekend with 8kg of wildflower seeds and preparing half a dozen fence posts for a windbreak.

Perhaps I will plant the words “Feckin eejits” or something suitably obscene in floral form to demonstrate my disdain for the current insanity, so some satellite photographer can have a giggle. Or a fit of the vapours. I’ll see how I feel on Saturday.

Glad we’re here

Cleared all the garden borders today. Builders quotes are in and we’ve got the money on hand. So works are being scheduled and we’ll be out for ten to twelve weeks while the floors are torn up and a totally new heating system put in. We’re spending the bulk of our pennies on insulation, the hope being that by the time we’re done we’ll be able to stay warm and toasty with the equivalent of a heavy duty hair dryer.

So we have to pack up our lives once more while the builders do their stuff. Fortunately we have the storage on site and somewhere to stay is being organised.

Speaking of borders, if you’re Canadian, this might give you pause for thought. People associated with the recent Canadian truckers freedom convoy may lose the ability to have a passport. Watch the whole video below.

Seems to me the bar for ‘terrorist’ in Canada just got so low even a limbo dancer couldn’t get under it. I have Canadian citizenship but bloody hell. Talk about overreach. And my fellow Canadians are stuck with this situation until 2025 unless the people supporting the minority Liberal government stop. Not that they will, they’re all part of the same gang.

I knew Trudeau was going to be bad news when he won the election in 2015, but this latest goes well beyond my powers of extrapolation. Canadians are great travellers, mostly into the US and back, many with family members on both sides of the border. It used to be (as recently as 2012) that they only needed valid photo-ID like an enhanced drivers licence to get into the USA. Now you can be banned from travel because you gave to the truckers?

This is not going to end well. This is going to take a war and several years to sort out. Ah, Mr Putin, there you are.

The mainstream go on about Putin being some kind of supervillain, but I think they’ve got the wrong guy. The real anti-freedom villains of the piece are the globalists, of whom Trudeau is a favoured member. Under that lovely floppy hairdo and iconic socks dwells a heart as black and sociopathic as they come. Putin’s an amateur by comparison.

We’re just glad we got out of Canada when we did.

I think it’s fishy too

Turning off the news is bloody good idea. Those big corporate media people are only telling you what they are thinking, and what they think you should be thinking, According to their world view. Which is often derived from a surprisingly small bubble.

Funny how the guy who has openly confessed to hacking the GiveSendGo site and giving out the Freedom Convoy donors personal details to the Government and media is not under arrest for what is, according to Canadian and US legislation, a crime which would get anyone else jail time and a ban from having an Interweb connection forever and ever amen. As would happen to anyone else but a paid criminal informant. Which is what he freely brags about being.

Also funny how giving money to send gung-ho idiots over to give the Russkis a bit of target practice is okay. But not to put food in the mouths of those peacefully advocating for their civil rights, or put gas in their tanks and help pay the bills.

We’re being conned. By our own Governments. By a freely co-operating corporate media. Conned into thinking that Government can give you everything. The trouble with that idea is that in order to make it work, the Government and their cronies will take everything from everyone, and they’ll leave you on starvation money if you complain.

Then there’s the whole ‘woke’ and green movements, which in the eyes of the Russki’s and Chinese, makes the West look weak and frankly more than a bit weird. Degenerate. Self obsessed. Hey, but they play along despite their own baked-in societal problems, while the Western world devolves away from the rule of law into political oligarchies where your rights are subject to whether you hold the right opinion or not.

Sod it. All a man can do is build his own little haven as a buttress against the worst of the world. I cleared twenty plus yards of overgrown Ivy, Holly and Rhododendron hedge yesterday with another seven done already today. I’ve put weed killer on the stumps to try and finish them off as recommended here. Mrs S has been hacking at the Azaleas. We’re getting there slowly.

All this work has to be done before the hives go in because nectar Bees harvest from Rhododendron flowers can turn into ‘Mad Honey‘, low doses of which can cause euphoria and lightheadedness, while high doses cause hallucinations and, in extremely rare cases, death. And no-one needs that. Especially if part of your medium term business plan is to brew and distil Mead.

Yes, okay, I know the risk is low unless the bees are exclusively gorging on Rhododendron nectar, but I’d rather not run the risk. The last thing I want is poisoned customers. Even if there is a claimed aphrodisiac effect.

While ordinary Honey is often reputed to put lead in one’s metaphorical pencil, ‘Mad Honey’ has also sometimes been used to ensure that one always has someone to write to. Be it a full essay, short sonnet or just a quick scribble. If you catch my meaning.

Pretty much….

The almost always amusingly on point AwakenwithJP gives us his take on the current situation in Ukraine,

Well it made me chuckle.

The idle musings

Of an idle mind. I was cutting down our overgrown Rhododendron hedge today, apropos of all this talk of WW3, and was struck by a random thought.

Has it ever dawned on anyone that every time a major (ish) armed conflict began in the last century or so, with few exceptions, that the US administration has been Democrat led? Please check the list below and add any others you think qualify.

US Civil war: James Buchanan (Democrat)

WW1: Woodrow Wilson (Democrat)

WW2: Franklin D Roosevelt (Democrat)

Korea: Harry S Truman (Democrat)

Cuba (Bay of Pigs): John F Kennedy (Democrat)

Vietnam, 6 Day war Israel: Lyndon B Johnson (Democrat)

Iran Revolution: Jimmy Carter (Democrat)

Grenada invasion: Ronald Reagan (Republican)

Iraq Invasion: George H W Bush (Republican)

Yugoslavia: Bill Clinton (Democrat)

Iraq, Afghanistan: George W Bush (Republican)

‘Arab Spring’ (Inc Syria, Libya, Egypt): Barack Obama (Democrat)

Ukraine: Joe Biden (Democrat)

It’s just like I said, my random brain going off on one while my hands are busy with a boring task. Pass the bowsaw.