Still sleeping in shifts, but I’m getting more of it in bigger tranches, which seems to help. The fogginess and distractedness has faded like morning mist to be replaced with my more sharply focussed usual self. Oddly enough, a gargle with warm salty water before bed seems to help with my snoring issue.
Right. Regarding these threatened Winter power cuts. There’s even a plan for implementing them, although I haven’t found the one for Ireland. However, In the UK it’s the ESEC (Electricity Supply Emergency Code) which tells you that when the plan is implemented, who gets cut off for how long and where. (Page 18 of the plan has the schedule) No idea what it is for Ireland, but now I know there is a plan somewhere, it might be worth having a dig.
Watch the legal blogger Black Belt Barrister explain the outline below. At least if you do a little judicious reading you’ll know when you might have to get the timers reset and when to make sure you’ve got enough cosy clothes to snuggle up in. Or go and stay with friends or family in another area. You could even go get Grandma and have them over for a night or two instead of letting them freeze alone.
For my part, I have already made my preparations, backup power etc. and maybe a small investment in a UPS backup and some decent battery reading lights might save you a whole lot of grief. A stock of candles might not be such a bad idea. The Germans are levelling whole bloody forests at the moment to ensure their lights don’t go out.
Today being a planning day, as all Sundays are, I’m taking a time out to measure up to convert one of my sheds into a semi greenhouse by putting a lot of the old glass from the old windows we had replaced into frames and making an open lean to shed into a half glass enclosed space and looking at building a couple of home made solar collectors. It’s just at the feasibility study stage, but not beyond my capabilities.
We know the hard times are upon us, and a sensible man takes steps to stave off the worst, should it occur. Not stand around whickering “They wouldn’t do that, would they?” – oh yes ‘they’ would. Our politicians brought us here with all their nutty Net Zero plans and pointless lockdowns.
Not a well cat at the moment. Cracked a tooth from tip to gum a couple of weeks ago and had it pulled last week, so I’ve had a fairly unhappy time of late. Mrs S tells me she’s worried about me, as I’ve been sleeping very badly, often pacing the ground floor like a disgruntled bear in the wee hours. Too tired to watch anything, but not shattered enough to get my head down and catch some much needed Zeds. Which has left me functioning badly.
Mrs S bullied me into going to the Quack because she says I’m “Not on my game”. Which is a bit of an understatement. A visit which led (So far) to a full range of blood tests and general once over. Something is definitely off but nothing obvious. Blood pressure is in the normal range (Systolic under 130) and apart from the tiredness and distractedness I don’t feel so bad. Just the usual aches and pains from old injuries. I put my current malaise down to long term stress and what my lady wife calls ‘sleep apnoea’, a.k.a. my snoring which often earns me a prod in the ribs at night, thus depriving me of repose, which doesn’t help.
Mrs S has also been deriving great amusement of late from the old one liner; “What lasts longer? A gobstopper or a UK Prime Minister?” My money is on the gobstopper whilst Blue Labour, let’s face it, they’re not proper Tories, tie themselves in knots following the external intervention that sent the bond market into a tailspin.
The ban on fracking has been re-introduced, meaning people will freeze because gas has to come from somewhere. ‘Renewables’ just won’t cut it when the wind doesn’t blow nor the sun shine. Along with a lot more educated and intelligent people I’ve been blarting on about this for years, but those in power think the big green is a vote winner. They’re about to find out the hard way. All it takes is one of the usual Winter ‘Omega blocks’, and those much vaunted wind turbines won’t product a volt.
It doesn’t matter. The Tories are toast anyway. Normal tribal voting for the usual suspects (Tories, Labour, LimpDems, Greens) won’t bring surcease from the current mess. The rest of the world is in the same bucket, heading to hell following the impossible green dream. Oh, and if anyone tells you it’s all to do with the Russians, laugh at them.
All anyone can hope for is to come out in one piece. If we’re really pushed, there’s a well on our property, it won’t take long to build a wood burner for cooking and hot clean water, as well as a bit of distilling for trade, and we should be okay. I’ve done the whole bathing in cold water thing in the late 70’s, and what I learned was this; not doing it again, not on my watch.
I’ve heard it said that civilisations are like a big game of snakes and ladders. We in the West have climbed the ladders so very, very far but unless we all get a grip and drop the insane Green and Woke politics garbage we’re about to find out exactly where the bottom of the snake is.
Busy rearranging the contents of sheds now that the trades are more or less finished. Paint fumes are dissipating and should have faded by November so I can breathe again.
There’s leaky roofs to plug, a number of other things to fix after the recent bit of windy weather.
On the plus side, my hives seem to have stood up to the last blow reasonably well, although I’m inclined to put another brick on top of each of them and a couple at the bottom of the stands, just to make sure. A couple of guy ropes linked to ground anchors should also keep my insect workforce from being upended in the middle of the night during the current equinoctially inclement weather.
However, the forecast for tonight is mild, so I can deal with all the other jobs my little smallholding throws my way. Tomatoes need picking, even though they’re mostly still green. The raised beds need clearing for re-seeding. Apart from the Asparagus plants. They need a couple of years before they’re ready to cut, so I’ll leave them alone and just weed.
I see the UK is being forced to climb down on all the planned tax cuts after being threatened by the IMF. Shame. Most of people’s earnings disappear before they even hit their wage packets, and until IR35 gets repealed, running a personal company won’t be all that practical unless you’ve got multiple clients. If you’re a one man band, like I once was, forget it
Then there are the climate change nutjobs, spoiled middle class assholes determined to disrupt everyone’s lives until the UK is driven to freezing penury. There have been a few incidents where commuters have pulled them off the road but until they suffer the full consequences of their actions, nothing will happen.
Then there’s Chinese effing cops rioting in Manchester UK. What do the Police do about foreign agents on British soil? Apparently not a lot. Maybe most of them were too busy policing ‘mean tweets’ at the time, yes? I mean, just when you think the old country couldn’t get any nuttier, it does.
What with out of control energy costs, a perverted transgender ideology being pushed in schools, panics over next to nothing while real problems like illegal immigration get ignored. Moving out to the wilder west of Ireland may have been the smartest thing I’ve ever done. This has the air of getting worse before it all comes crashing down.
What the cure is for this disease, I have no idea. Well, actually I do, but it won’t be pretty. Not pretty at all.
Well, the painters are almost all finished. Hopefully they’ll have done by the end of tomorrow. I won’t be sorry, even if they’re as nice a bunch of lads as you could come across, but mainly because the paint fumes will begin to subside and my cough will have an excuse to go away.
Of course this means Mrs S will still be fussing over what goes on what wall when and finessing the rug positioning, but that will go on well past our next state visit when ‘North’ comes over for Christmas.
The big news here at Chez Maison Sticker is that I have cracked meringue. After years of ending up with awful soggy slop on top of my apple and lemon tarts, I have finally found how to create the crunchy crusty pavlova type sweetness from thoroughly whipped (Ooh Matron!) egg whites, lemon juice and caster sugar.
For each egg white you will require a half teaspoon of lemon juice and 50g (A shade under 2 ounces). And an electric hand whisk, or this will be very hard work, or a good excuse to work up bit of body heat during one of the threatened power brownouts soon to be coming our way.
Very simple; whip the whites and add the sugar and lemon juice until you have a creamy froth that stands up on its own. Bung onto greaseproof paper in an oven preheated to gas mark 2 / 150 Celsius / 302 Fahrenheit. Turn oven down to gas mark 1 / 140 Celsius / 280 Fahrenheit immediately after closing the door. Now go away for an hour and a quarter. Upon your return, switch off the oven and let it cool for a couple of hours until your oven is cold. Then, and only then, remove the whisked whites. Do not open the oven before then.
Upon retrieval, there should be a residual gooiness in the centre, but the rest should be crisp, sweet and crunchy as sin. They’re that good that Mrs S has forbidden me to do meringues more than once a month.
What else? The Pfizer mRNA debacle continues. See below. We’ve been, as I have so often said, misinformed, our simple liberties trashed because vested interests had a product to sell. Now people are asking questions, more importantly EU politicians are asking questions.
Now all we need are some truthful answers, which I suspect we already know the answers to. By the way, here’s a word we should all get used to using more when referring to the hand wavers and misinformers.
Well, two can play at that game. Both my PayPal accounts are now closed. Not that I’ve been making any use of them of late.
For me it was their attack on Toby Youngs Free Speech Union that made me perform the long overdue chore to get rid of both moribund accounts. Not the “We will nick $2,500 from your accounts if you say anything we don’t like online” policy that got leaked by some fat fingered fool. Which I think is a straw in the wind, showing how their minds work.
As a platform, I always felt that PayPal took too much and offered too little in return. For anything new I’ll just use my regular credit cards and accounts. There’s no point in keeping an avenue open that can be summarily used against you at someone else’s whim. Any financial service that threatens to cut your account because it doesn’t like your politics isn’t worth spit to me. Money should be free of politics. It should be the means of exchange, nothing more.
As for ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation’, most of the misinformation I see is from the institutions and those who PayPal claims authority, not from any reputable immunologist or even some pleb down the pub.
The information about the mRNA ‘vaccines’ for example. Who has been the biggest purveyor of bad information? Who insisted their vaccines would limit spread significantly? Who never tested for this? Who stopped doctors using cheap anti-viral treatments and instead mandated intubation and steroids (There’s a kill or cure treatment). Take your time. Don’t even start me on masks or lockdowns. Although I’ve said my piece on those many times before. The very people PayPal et al cites as unimpeachable sources.
Well, PayPal has been one of the Silicon Valley Greek chorus which has worked as the enforcement arm of big Government and the big pharmaceutical companies. Without their “We know best” attitude we’d have dodged two major bullets, firstly the current inflationary crisis caused by governments paying people not to work and splurging huge amounts of cash on insufficiently tested treatments, also the epidemic of ‘vaccine’ side effects currently coming at us like a train with no brakes.
COVID would be way behind us in the rear view mirror of history without their interventions. Like the ’68 Asian flu or any of the dozen or so respiratory epidemics since then. As for the comparison between the ‘Spanish’ flu epidemic, that’s not comparing like for like. 21st century westerners are cleaner, better housed and fed then in the early years of the last century, all of which would naturally mitigate the effects of any comparative disease. People living in unhygienic conditions with poor nutrition, as many people were in the early 20th century, tend to be immunocompromised.
But none of this matters to the chief disinformers, The TV talking heads and the clickbait hungry editorial staff behind them. Nor to the weak politicians who sentenced hundreds of thousands to an untimely death by mistaking the media and mathematical modellers for reputable sources.
So I’m not going to shed any tears over PayPal’s possible demise. True, it was one of Musk’s better brainchildren, but like with so much of Silicon Valley it has outgrown it’s usefulness, becoming infested with a philosophy that thinks it knows better than everyone else. Along with all their ‘fake checkers’ who will twist facts into a moebius parody to exonerate those they share an ideology with.
Maybe when all their money runs out, all these left coasters will find a welcoming place on the streets. The same faeces infested sidewalks their point of view helped create. That might be justice of a sort.
Maybe that time is closer than we think, according to this YouTuber;
The trades are back, finishing up the work we’ve asked them to do. It’s the painters turn at the moment and the house is thick with paint fumes despite all the windows open, I’m busy fussing over small jobs while the weather is cutting up rough, and Mrs S is busy rearranging things and choosing rugs and blinds.
While my kitchen and downstairs are more or less out of bounds, I’m doing a little planning for a UK road trip sometime in early 2023. Just a few scenic places in the UK I haven’t been or just whooshed through. Plenty of one or two night stopovers in the South and up through the Midlands to western Scotland, meandering up and around the roads less travelled. Maybe family visits if anyone is still talking to me.
I’m thinking of maybe the Swindon end of the Ridgeway first and work my way East and North into the Fenlands, back West, then North and East again, then back across the Pennines and North to the western Isles and back into Norn Island thence braving the storms of Donegal and home again.
At this point it’s just a speculative exercise. We may just decide to amble down to the Med via la belle France instead, pausing to pick daisies as we go. Meandering along Plane tree shaded N and D routes, using our creaky French, sampling the local wines and foods, and letting the locals practice their equally creaky English on us. Just an off-season jaunt before the business of the growing year gets underway in March, and I need to get planting.
That reminds me, my UK passport needs renewal, even though my other passports are valid. One of the things about being an Expat, you tend to acquire passports and citizenships in your travels. They all need renewing and perhaps cancelling as circumstance dictates. It’s also quite useful, because you don’t need to fuss around with visa’s quite so much. One passport will get you in easily to one country while another might not be so welcomed. So, you choose whichever passport gets you into the fast lane through passport control. It’s just a convenience.
Talking of the future, despite all the hand waving, I am forming the opinion that the world is not ending. The pound is in the process of bouncing back against the Euro and Dollar. All right, the Canadian Dollar is in a nosedive, but we’ve pretty much sold all that we’re going to sell of anything over there for the moment. When Canadians finally vote out the idiot liberals and that shithead Trudeau, maybe their lives will improve.
Any old road up, despite the provocation of having their pipelines blown up, I think the Russki’s are too smart to throw all their nuclear toys out of the pram, despite what the lamestream say. The Russians are smart enough to know disrupting their gas supply will drive a wedge through NATO and take the Western pressure off, so we can all stop worrying about the last big boom. Unless the Biden administration stage something. I wouldn’t put it past them right at this moment. Because a lot of what this administration are up to is all shadows and market manipulation. For a wider discussion, Redacted has an interesting take on the current situation.
Anything else? Locally the price of Diesel is still way too high at around 1.8+ euros a litre and Unleaded just a little below. This is despite crude oil dropping to below USD$80 a barrel recently, which is a more usual price.
Which, knowing what I do about markets, makes me think that all this ‘Net Zero’ rhetoric is political nonsense designed to enrich politicians and speculators of a certain stripe. Nothing to do with “Saving the planet” because all these shifty types don’t “Own the science” because no one can ‘own’ scientific knowledge. You can either prove a proposition empirically or you can’t. The only ‘proofs’ I’ve seen come from rather dodgy mathematical modelling. Therefore the only possible ‘science’ in ‘Net Zero’ is financial and political. In short, ripping off the general population to benefit those who don’t need any more.
No wonder those in power don’t want opposing views to be heard.
At present our two meadows are cluttered with newly shorn rushes and grasses. I’ve got a little more seeding later next week when the rain lets up and there’s a few other jobs like assembling my honey harvesting gear and prepping a few jars for filling.
Now some of you might have picked up on me planting a native flower called Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor). Here’s a brief video explanation of what it does and what we’re hoping to achieve;
Mrs S has been off to physio, so I’m off the leash from hanging curtains and shifting furniture to get on with what I consider the important tasks of harvesting and development of our greater property. Before we bought it, our little acreage was neglected for several years, so it’s going to be a bit of a long drawn out process to bring it up to a natural hay meadow standard and to clear most of the Dock and Rush, as organic hay will be fetching a premium price over the next two years, as politicians who do not understand agriculture pile yet more rules and dangle subsidies on the most productive sector of the economy.
As previously stated, we do not intend to get involved with these new rules, as they only apply to properties that take subsidies. Refuse to play the game and what can they do? Stop the payments you don’t take? Forcibly take your property unless you get with the programme? No Ministry would survive the adverse publicity.
When it comes to subsidies, I always apply Heinlein’s T.A.N.S.T.A.A.F.L. (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) rule. Specifically that all ‘free gifts’ offered by the political class have toxic strings attached. Because someone, somewhere has to pick up the tab, and if you take the poisoned chalice, as so many have found to their cost when trying to pay off their ‘Education loans’ or any other kind of government promoted loan. That will be you-hoo. Sorry. Bit of an eighties flashback there.
So no subsidies, just my own pocket. At least I can benefit from all of the payback. Same for the house. If we don’t have the ready money, well then it doesn’t get done if cashflow won’t allow, and even then I’ve learned to be a financial pessimist.
Besides, ‘Government money’ should be more correctly referred to as ‘taxpayer dollar’. Whenever an administration offers other people money, they will have to take it off the taxpayer first. Then there is the cost of collection, which means that people will need to be employed to collect the money to pay out to other people, which is a cost. Which means the money collected shrinks as more staff and infrastructure are required to take the tax and process the payments. Then there’s the risk of later, more venal politicians plundering the increased tax revenues or purposes it wasn’t originally intended for, then adding to the amount taken. So. The more ‘redistribution’, using empty buzzwords like ‘fairness’ and ‘equity’ the bigger the tax take, the emptier our pockets, and the richer the politicians get. Simple logic. The money has to come from and go somewhere, and the problems the increased tax take was meant to solve too often remain.
I’m also seeing a lot of “Pensioners thrown under the bus” rhetoric out there, and as I’ve stated before, I have no intention of being held hostage by a state pension alone. Mrs S is getting geared up for her projects, as I have been. Her workshop is coming together slowly, as is mine, although mine has the most holes in it, and will require the most investment. However, we have our first crop in and money to pay our taxes, so it’s not all doom and gloom. We will not be customers of any food bank.
On the topic of food I’m experimenting with soup recipes at the moment and our old fridge freezer is doing sterling work as storage. Current recipes being trialled are: Russian vegetable, Steak and vegetable, Fish stew, Celery and blue cheese. There is a modest crop of tomatoes still ripening in our garden which I hope to transform into a couple of litres of Passata. All of the aforementioned to become nourishing weapons in our battle against declining incomes as we head into official ‘retirement’.
Speaking of declining incomes, I’ve been doing an off the cuff price check with goods at the local Supermarket, and have come up with a rough local inflation rate of 25%. Bread is almost up a Euro per loaf. Cake similarly. Pre-packaged bacon up fifty cents, and this holds true across the board. At a rough back of a fag packet calculation, prices on staple items have risen more than a quarter over what they were last year. That’s a lot. This seems to hold true no matter where you shop.
As for four blasts, one explosion might be down to poor maintenance or carelessness in one pipe, but four simultaneously? On both? Following NATO exercise BALTOPS22 and recent statements from both Biden and the CIA that they were going to shut down Nordstream? Then there’s the recently opened Baltic Pipe, from Norway to Poland. Can I sell you this bridge son? Great skyline, Only a billion careful users. The current US administration is no-one’s friend.
It’s almost like someone wants a world wide depression. With the manipulation of energy markets the lights may well be going out all over the world, and if we’re lucky we might not see all of them go out. For my own part I’ll be busy trying to make my meadows bloom. We do what we can do.