Tag Archives: Deck Garden

A picture paints

Watching the news of late I’ve come to the conclusion that if I can’t add anything to the conversation, I won’t bother for the moment. Because reasons, okay? However, it’s occurred to me that I spend a good deal of time talking about my little deck garden but rarely take pictures, so here are a few for the edification of the general populace.

So let’s begin with the South aspect. Right to left beginning with the Lavender, Mint, Lemon tree plant Tea Rose, Geranium, Hosta, Berberis. Now from the back left to the front; Yew, Some form of variegated leaf thing Mrs S bought, a tussock of decorative grass, the Sage and Thyme, tucked down below another Lemon tree plant, up a bit to the Juniper and our other tea rose bush. The new rose at the back has about ten buds, but the older rose only three. The more observant will note a lemon tree plant snuggled between the Hosta, which has two stalks in the process of blossoming and the Berberis.
Note to self; make up a new batch of nectar for the Hummingbird feeder.

Right. So on to the Western railing where the discerning observer can look into the Fuchsia, three Lemon Tree plants which I raised from seed with me very own hands guv’nor, some Carnations, a dwarf Japonica and a decorative bamboo.
The brown box to the left is where we keep some rather straggly looking heather plants to fill a gap. Inside the box is a cushion which stayed dry all through the Winter. Which was a pleasant surprise, considering it was totally buried in snow for over two weeks.

So to the East wall where the barbecue lives. This is my experimental vegetable patch which is also home to the Sunflowers, Cannae Lilies and Lupins. Inset is a close up of our burgeoning Sunflower blossom. The more observant of you will notice a Strawberry plant, Habanero Pepper, Parsley, Kale, Radishes and even some Lettuce seedlings.

What else? Ah yes, the current state of play for my Grapefruit seedlings, three of which are doing fine, the fourth, well I don’t know what happened there. It started tiny and has continued to be so. No idea why. Such are the vagaries of growing things. It was the runt of the litter, but why it has stayed so is anybody’s guess.

In the outside world I see that the UK is still staggering around like a headless chicken because the politic’s don’t want to give up their sinecures. Not doing the value of the pound much good. The problem does not lie with BREXIT so much as the uncertainty of whether it will happen or not. Once that is resolved, matters can stabilise once more. My UK portfolio is taking a hit, but I’m hanging on to my Sterling investments to see what’s going to happen in October / November. What else? Justin Trudeau is still the most embarrassing leader in the world. The Chinese brushed him off at the G20 talks and all the silly clown can do is blather on about being a ‘feminist’. No wonder the rest of the world won’t take us seriously. We’re the only country in the world liable to disintegrate because the Western Provinces are sick of being abused by a bunch of effete urbanites. Plus ca chose, plus ca meme chose.

Well, the sun is shining. It’s Saturday and I’m off for a spin on the Mutt. See ya.

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Well done that man

So some Tories (Suspended) actually have balls. Well done Mr Field. Some whiny-arse protester crashes your private function and starts berating everyone over an imaginary ‘crisis’ and gets manhandled for their pains. Boo-freaking-hoo. These crazy morons who think it’s okay to create ructions and disrupt the personal lives of others should get a little of what they’re constantly giving out in return. These annoying little shits commonly use harassment and assault against anyone who disagrees with them because Mummy and Daddy didn’t do the hard work of disciplining their child age three, so now society at large has to deal with these emotional retards, these overgrown toddlers who can’t get past emotional age eleven. Maybe if a few get what they deserve the rest of us wouldn’t have to put up with their narcissistic disruptions.

Sometimes I think Mott the Hoople had the only solution to these self centred shits who can’t show a little decorum and respect a democratic vote.

You wanted equal rights? Ah kiddies, you forget there’s equal wrongs too. Life taught me to never start a fight and (after learning the hard way one time) I never will, but finishing them is another matter.

On the subject of woman trouble, the possible next UK Prime Minister has just had some. Shouting and arguing was heard at the flat Boris Johnson shared with his notoriously green remainer girlfriend, not sure what for, but Bojo probably needs a new place of residence a.s.a.p. Having looked at the situation, frankly it’s better for the country if she was history, influences like that should be nowhere near the seat of UK power in the current climate and I’m sure Boris will find himself someone more amenable. Yes he’s a first class philandering dick from a sexual standpoint, but that doesn’t make him incompetent. All that bumbling amiable bluff and bluster is just a front. Whenever he’s been in a position of power he’s made a reasonable fist of things, unlike his successors. I might be reading this entirely wrong, but I do think he can deliver BREXIT and even possibly save the Tories from total electoral annihilation. Because if there is further delay, they will be toast at the ballot box.

Anyway, October 31st will be the proof and I will be in West London, possibly even mulling matters over in person with Tom Paine, a fellow blogger of long standing who writes The Last Ditch.

On the home front, the Mutt has developed an electrical fault which means the battery drains even when everything is switched off, so back to the shop it goes for a little electrical TLC. I think I know what the answer is, but I’ll leave it to the boys with spanners to confirm my suspicions.

The Deck garden has been too windy to sit out in, which is a shame as otherwise the weather has been quite nice and our new rose bush has a set of burgeoning blossoms which look like they will be adding another splash of colour to the mini-jungle outside our kitchen doors. Our two Sunflowers have passed the metre tall mark and one is already developing a flower head. Which is nice. The Lemon Tree plants are growing new leaves and an accident with a seed packet means the planter that was once graced by the pansies might have anything coming up. We shall see. Life has to have some adventure.

Oh what the hell, it’s the weekend. Mine’s a large glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Mrs S will enjoy the odd Vodka and Tonic. We at least are civilised folk, well her more than me.

TTFN

One last item, serious props to Donald Trump for not doing the whole ‘Bomb, bomb Iran’ thing. Apparently he pulled back from retaliating for that shot down surveillance drone after asking “How many casualties?” and getting the answer “One hundred and fifty Mr President.” Which would have only escalated the problems in that area. Good. We could do with a whole lot less mindless military retaliation in this world. World wars are not much fun.

On the other hand, if the provocations keep on coming, then the gloves can come off, but not before.

Update: Re the Mutt. My beautiful big blue motorcycle has a duff battery. Which is kind of odd as I asked and paid for a brand new one to be fitted when I bought it. Has someone not been entirely honest with me? Enquiring minds would like to know. Then theres being deprived of riding time. Not impressed. Not impressed at all. Warranty, warranty, who’s got the warranty? Oh yes. Me.

This is cool

While the UK lamestream are doing hit pieces on free speech activists and someone who was once a comedian (Briefly, sometime around 14th November 1983 I believe) used their bully pulpit to make foul insult and then claimed that such crudity constituted a ‘joke’ (Not even close – jokes have to be funny), I thought I’d offer up this little bit of techno-fun as a form of mind bleach.

First saw this item on Rt.com under the headline “Humanoid robot gets tired of merciless bullying & pulls gun on meatbags” It’s actually by turns disturbing and hilarious.

How the parody was put together.

Now the current state of the art. April 2018 but still interesting and fun.

Now I’m off to check my inbox and get all my paying work related tasks out of the way. My Lemon tree plants, Carnations and Roses are doing well but I’m going to have to re-seed the Sweet William after their foul strangling by the now-executed pansies. Such is life.

As for the ‘apology’ for the “Throw battery acid over people you disagree with” meme. Not acceptable. It was bandwagon jumping of the most mean and petty kind. When a free speech activist does get battery acid thrown in their face, we’ll know who to blame, won’t we?

Small home truths

Barbecued steak day yesterday. I had a nice slab in the freezer and we were tired of chicken, so Mrs S and I dined on flat-iron steak with a nice green salad. Our fifty buck propane barbecue has been doing sterling service, and there’s something of a cachet to cooking outdoors. The steak was ably washed down with a nice 2015 Argentinian Rioja. A little tingly in the mouth, but which slipped down as slickly as silk knickers. Very nice.

While the meat was cooking I dead headed carnations and inspected our other plants. The Pansies I fear, are past their best, but that’s life, isn’t it? The bad news is that my planted Sweet William has been strangled by the Pansies. Well we can’t have that. A trial has been held, guilty verdict returned and sentence carried out. Replanting will be required. May the Lord have mercy on their wretched little souls.

Further on the downside, a nasty shock greeted me in my email inbox this morning. A booking that we made back in February for our forthcoming London visit was arbitrarily cancelled by our hotel booking service. No reason, just a “Your booking has been cancelled” message, which left me struggling for replacement accommodation in the smoke. A family conference was immediately convened and the situation resolved. To be honest, there’s been something nagging at my hindbrain for the last couple of months that was saying “This isn’t Kosher” about that specific booking, so it’s nice to see my instincts vindicated yet again. Anyway, within two hours travel plans were adapted, new accommodation booked and we were back on track for our original dates for Autumn 2019. Might even get to watch the fireworks for Guy Fawkes night before we leave. I may even have saved five hundred bucks, so, swings and roundabouts. We’re all good on that front. Major league kudos incidentally to booking.com.

We’re also being plagued by mystery booming noises. About seven so far this morning. Probably sonic booms from the USAF going supersonic over the Pacific, maybe meteors coming in overhead but definitely not construction, that has a different sound altogether. The low pitched booming noises we’ve been hearing have been quite loud enough to rattle my office windows. So I checked the seismograph feeds, just in case there was an earthquake, but no. Couldn’t be meteors, as the Eta Aquarids were in early May and the Perseids aren’t due until August. So it’s probably some kind of supersonic aircraft out of Puget Sound Naval base. Boom-boom.

What else? Bitchute has been playing up of late. Video’s wouldn’t play and a few people were saying that the platform might be under attack, others that the increased traffic necessitated a major upgrade. Which if true is no surprise. Bitchute is rapidly becoming a refuge for those video creators YouTube don’t want. Or that Alphabet Inc (Owners of Google, YouTube etc) think their advertisers don’t want. The truth is that Alphabet want anodyne. Alphabet want ‘safe’, inoffensive. Funny cat and dog video’s. Which is where they think the money is, but that isn’t the content their market was built on. That was built by the very unsafe citizen journalist vloggers, comedians, gamers and commentators. It’s like watching a company that fires it’s top earning people for no good reason then watch the board stand around wondering where all those lovely profits went.

Although in Alphabet’s defence it’s common knowledge that online platforms, some advertisers and even credit card companies have come under pressure from certain activist media outlets, partially because said media outlets get money for pushing a certain world-view to rid YouTube etc of it’s most engaging voices, partly just to see the world burn. It’s also true that legacy media is increasingly under even more financial pressure from the new media, like the citizen journalists and gamers of YouTube. Now these ‘professional’ media types see all the advertisers paying what they see as their much sought after moolah to a bunch of upstarts who, horror of horrors, never went to journalism school. What must sting even more is legacy media watching advertisers paying these upstarts for poking fun at legacy media misrepresentations, bias and omissions, leaving the mainstreams credibility more full of holes than a good Emmental cheese. All the time the mainstream have been scrabbling for eyeballs they could sell to advertisers whilst watching their ratings sink like a torpedoed cruise liner. So the advertisers have been quietly cutting their legacy media spending, because what’s the point of advertising on a platform whose best days are long behind it? YouTube will follow. Personally, I’d sell my Alphabet Inc stock while the value is still relatively good. The market has peaked. Time for some serious profit taking before the crunch comes.

The penny is currently dropping like a rock that the relentless output of left leaning media, with it’s deranged hatred of all things heterosexual and north European is deeply unattractive to much of the eveyday public. As a result CNN has become a shrinking market. As are most of the main cable and digital news platforms, apart from the much maligned Fox News, who are smart enough to see which way the wind is blowing. For the rest, mass redundancies are becoming the order of the day. Huffington Post, Vox etc are all feeling the pinch.

Tim Pool has an interesting take on what’s going on.

In a bid to kill off the competition in the vain hope those straying consumer eyeballs will somehow come back to them, certain media outlets have resorted to using underhand tactics to silence anyone who isn’t them, because frankly me deario’s, many YouTubers have been effortlessly waxing the bums of the self appointed journalistic classes. People like CNN have been losing viewer ratings big time and desperate money men will have given out orders to shut down these upstart YouTubers by fair means or foul. Since these people don’t really do fairness, they have gone straight for the low foul tackle. Play the man, not the ball. Don’t present evidence or have a debate, that’s boring. Just go for the juicy Ad Hominem. Libel those unable to defend themselves. Sell the drama of Nazi’s behind every bush, which is a strange thing to do because there just aren’t enough real ‘Nazi’s’ to go around. Then apply the tactic of accuse, accuse, accuse, ‘expose’ with no real evidence, ‘out’ or Doxx, making people’s personal lives public so selectively that even Christopher Robin might look like Satan incarnate. Imagine such a headline; “Christopher Robin parties with animals – scandals of the hundred acre wood exposed” with some salacious insinuations about paedophilia, honey pots and bestiality in the first two paragraphs, the clickbait headline of which would be subsequently contradicted in the last lines of the headlined article. Which most people wouldn’t read as far as without suffering a bad attack of WTF! Then the story gets passed on in a game of Chinese whispers which only present the accusations as fact, not the original clickbait titled story in full. So the lie travels and the outrage machine roars into life.

You might think that this all sounds a bit tin foil hat, but I can cite at least six real live people whose well-meaning contact with the mainstream media has seriously screwed with their lives. Ergo, I don’t trust ‘Journalists’. One of the few pieces of wisdom my Dad imparted to me that stuck was “Don’t believe all that you read in the papers”. This would seem to be ever more apt as the blatant spin and news management has even polluted the pages of the Financial Times. Excuse me chums, I pay my FT subscription for hard information, not for some affectioned time-pleasers half baked opinion.

Of course the politicians go along because they need the media mouthpiece to get them votes so they can keep, in the immortal words of Mel Brooks’ corrupt William J LePetomane in Blazing Saddles “Their phoney-baloney jobs.” Which is why left of centre politicians are so keen to shut anyone with a ‘non-mainstream’ viewpoint down. They get their airtime from grateful legacy media platforms. It does not matter that otherwise innocent people end up getting defamed and even thrown in jail for ‘hate speech’ (Which is being defined by some very thin skinned individuals) Who cares? Gimme, gimme, gimme.

Stuff it. It’s too nice a day not to go riding. TTFN

A battle for Britain

I’ve finally bought a motorcycle. A big beautiful blue beast of a bike that is steady as a rock and handles beautifully. Heavy brute at rest, but once you’re moving it’s a complete delight. So I dug into my financial reserves last week and signed on the dotted line. While on the test ride I remembered reading a 1980’s advertising slogan about how motorcycling was the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Jesus this thing is a complete Spitfire! Fast, manoeuvrable and with a gorgeous rorty engine note when I open the throttle. I love it. On each sunny day throughout the summer, I intend to be out on the road annoying Greenies by increasing my carbon footprint whenever possible. Vroom! Although I will make one concession by watering our blooming deck garden before I leave the house. I shall be going out for a little while, I may be some time.

Excuse this posts titles hyperbole, but I can’t help feeling we are witnessing a battle, not merely for the soul of a nation, but also of an entire culture. A culture which has been economically empowering and successful across the world. A culture which has raised more people out of poverty and misery over the last fifty years than any other before it. A culture based on the simple concept of peaceful self-ownership. The focussed effort of the individual, not the clumsily directed efforts of a bumbling and clumsy state. This is the idea modern Britain was founded on. And it’s a great idea. Which is why the Americans took it on and refined it and so many people from all over the world want in. Even if they’re going to end up exploited if they don’t watch out. But that is part of the price you pay as a migrant. It’s why so many highly qualified people from overseas end up cleaning floors and working as taxi drivers to survive while they wait for their qualifications to be recognised.

As an expat, I must confess to being deeply torn. On a personal level, yes, I’ve left the old country and don’t miss it’s physical restrictions, the narrow crowded roads and suchlike, but that doesn’t mean I no longer care about the mess the political classes have created and still promulgate in the land of my birth. Which is why a new Battle of Britain is raging quietly across that sceptred isle. Until the EU elections when the voting public delivered a “Do the job you said you’d do” message via the BREXIT party. Yet despite the leave faction being seriously outgunned by the money available to the remainers, they’re still winning (Just). In spite of a propaganda ministry (BBC) bias that would have even Joseph Goebbels saying “Hang on you fellows, zat’s a bit extreme issn’t it?” Even dragging the front runner in the Tory party leadership contest into court for “Lying to the public” WTF! Boris Johnson is a politician FFS! If we put all the politicians who ‘lied’ in the dock for telling porkies it would be a very empty Houses of Parliament and House of Lords indeed.

This is nothing more or less than Adlertag, full fledged hostilities against anyone who would want to take the UK out of the EU. May the appeaser has failed and is all but gone, but there are still too many dithering, desperate politicians who are afraid of losing their seats and only making matters worse. All the talk of second referendums or cancelling article 50 is nothing more than cowardice. Because I think certain remainer MP’s are being threatened by their money men and the rest see the trough they have had their trotters in for far too long about to run dry.

This is a time when courage is called for against the forces of bureaucratic darkness. We know who the bad guys are. The empire builders and petty Napoleons of the EU Commission. The legions of lazy bureaucrats and coterie of pet academics who don’t want to see the money taps of taxpayer funded moolah turned off. The majority of Britain knows this, the Italians know it, the Hungarians, Austrians and Poles know it, as do a growing chorus of previously-ignored voices across mainland Europe. The peasants are finally revolting.

As for myself, I will be in London on the 31st October, raising a glass to my one-time fellow countrymen and women, looking forward to the D-Day when the EU as it is currently structured begins a rapid decline into the footnotes of History.

In the muddle of a jingle

Happy weekend everyone! It’s almost the end of May. Well it will be this June and not before time. On the domestic front our deck garden is starting to look a little crowded, in a colourful sort of way. My six Lemon plants are now living outside full time enjoying the fresh air, the Pansies are still going strong and I’ve recently picked my first radishes. Very nice they were too. Any fresher and we’d have had to put chastity belts on the Beetroot. Serves me right for planting French radishes.

Old gardening jokes aside, I’ve been watching the UK political scene and actually looking forward to the EU election results. Privately I think the powers that be in Europe have finally woken up and actually read the writing on the wall. Even if belatedly. People the world over are seeing the globalist threat for what it is, a naked attempt to strip them of even the most basic of civil liberties, like the right of ownership and freedom of expression then install a top down doctrine which has never worked.

I’ve seen this ugly political mechanism in operation and it is never anything but corrosive and destructive. Got to fall in line comrade, can’t get a job if you don’t pay your union subs. Strike when you’re told, can’t negotiate for yourself you know. What are you? Some kind of maverick? Sorry mate, shop steward can’t help you if you don’t do him a favour first. Been there, done that. The closed shops (Union only workers) of the late 1970’s were no fun to work in. I hated them because they dragged everyone down to the lowest common denominator and always gave unwarranted power to the equivalent of the playground sneak.

The good news is that the political pendulum is beginning the long swing back to some form of sanity and proper democratic representation. The bad news is that we’re not there yet and a lot can go wrong. When people once more have the courage and right to express what is merely an opinion without being harassed out of their jobs by activists or even arrested by the Police, then we should call this a win. But not until then. And even then with a weather eye out for the evil to rise again. The lesson here to the mainstream politicians is that sometimes you just have to do the job you were given to do. Never mind if your so-called clever mates don’t want you to do it. The job is the job. Deliver or be brought down.

Of course the remainers won’t be happy, but I have the feeling they never are anyway, so, a no score draw there I feel. However, once the path to BREXIT is more certain, business can plan and invest accordingly, the pound will regain its value and I look forward to seeing another tearstained departure on this side of the Atlantic as Trudeau too is shuffled off toward a richly deserved political obscurity, except as a footnote as Canada’s worst ever Prime Minister.

Polly wanna cracker

I’ve got the house to myself at present. Mrs S has gone up island with her sisters and I can wind down a little. Three sisters with all the decades old interplay of personal baggage of all siblings could be compared to babysitting an erratically ticking emotion bomb. You don’t know how long the fuse is and the bloody thing stops counting down and resets every so often, so there are respites. However, this does not make me feel comfortable. Outnumbered yes, comfortable, no. If ever I enter a walking on eggshells competition, I’ll be in the top five.

Anyway, Mrs S and second sister, visiting from the fabled land of Oz, who I think is actually scared of l’il old me (No idea why- I’m an amiable old bear in real life), will be back next Sunday, whereupon I will treat them to some nice lamb chops for Sunday supper. Which will be nice. Mint sauce being something we don’t get to use that often. However, there will only be three of us, which is easier to cope with. Both on an interpersonal and catering basis. Sister in law from up island is notoriously picky in matters of diet. Which has put the kitchen chez sticker under significant pressure, but the cook has coped. Only one minor hitch when they told me to have a meal ready for six thirty and didn’t roll up until well over an hour later. To which I intoned to Mrs S when she phoned to tell me they were going to be late, an hour after I’d begun cooking. “Yer dinner’ll be in the dog. Or it would be if we still had one.”

On to this posts title. One thing bothering me recently, amongst many others is why a ‘carbon tax’ is being levied all over the planet? The UK is having one imposed by Treason May and her coterie of remainers in the case of a ‘no-deal’ BREXIT, we’ve got a Federal carbon tax pushed on us by Trudeaupe in Canada and attempts elsewhere are going on to a background of the parroted line that *Insert country name here “is warming twice as fast as anywhere else”. Right, how can one place ‘warm twice as fast as everywhere else’ if everywhere on the planet is making the same claim? If, as Trudeaupe claims that Canada is warming twice as fast as anywhere on Earth and the Chinese premier makes the same claim about China, who is telling who the truth? The Chinese premier or Trudeaupe? Or is someone else right? Perhaps the leaders of the first(?) world all turned into parrots? They all sound a lot like “Gwaaarrkk! Polly wanna carbon tax!” What is going on?

Unfortunately for the Federal Liberals, no-one with two fully functioning brain cells believes this widely parroted fiction any more. The political compass is swinging firmly to the right of the political spectrum, conservatives winning first the provinces of Ontario and Quebec then Alberta, and latterly PEI (Marginally). Carbon Dioxide is not at the root of an ever-changing global climate. From a deeper delve into the data I’d say it’s a bit part player at best. Indeed, some serious thinkers have calculated that the ‘warming signal’ of CO2 is completely swamped by ocean evaporation and rainfall. Considering that all the models have failed to reflect reality, that has the highest probability of being true.

As for all this garbage about ‘man made’ climate change or ‘Saving the planet’ you know, it’s funny how the biggest mouthpieces bullshitting about such causes own lavish beach properties and holiday on private islands. If you thought there were going to be massive rises in sea level like they’re always telling us because all the ice is melting, why are they so all-fired keen to live so close to the waters edge? These people talk about ‘science’ but I don’t think these mouthpieces have a clue about what real science entails. They just parrot what they’re told, or what their febrile self loathing demands they say, then get in the politicians faces. From there everything goes into groupthink mode and the politicians end up ripping off the taxpayer, which is what carbon tax is. A complete rip off. There is no reason for a ‘Carbon tax’ apart from to take money out of the ordinary taxpayers back pocket and give it to the politicians favoured cause. That and massively increase the cost of living for billions. Squeezing the productive until the whole system goes haywire, because those pushing the ‘we’re all doomed’ narrative don’t have a clue about economics or atmospheric physics. But seeing as they’re part of the scam machine, they won’t go hungry. All they have to do is keep parroting the same old lies.

Which I’d start being worried about if I were a parrot. These carbon tax pundits might put me out of a job.

“Gwaaarrkk! Polly wanna cracker! Showusyerknickers!”

Oh stuff it. The deck garden is doing well, especially the Pansies. My Lemon Plants are fine and the four Grapefruit seedlings are each almost two inches tall. In other news, it looks like Venezuela could be ditching a bad idea. Good for them. They need a break.

Green shoots

Or as a celebrity gardener was heard to shout as he did a charity parachute jump; “Geraniums!” Bit of a windstorm this morning. Which meant winds of up to sixty miles per hour rattling the eaves. It was that kind of a Saturday. As for the deck garden, despite all the wind, little green shoots are popping up everywhere. And like all plants, they all seem to look the same, rather like most babies look like they’re doing Winston Churchill impersonations. They’re all two tiny oval leaves on top of a needle thin stem.

Spring cleaning this weekend. Bathrooms first, followed by bedrooms, both our offices and the main lounge. This is the first run through as Mrs S’s middle sister arrives from the fabled land of Oz in the last week of April. Youngest sister will be descending upon us from up island. Outnumbered and out-gunned, I shall be keeping my head down, as three sisters together may be a little more than my delicate nerves can stand. God knows my own side of the clan can be enough hard work. But I ration my time with them and an afternoon every two years is more than enough. There’s a lifetime of deferred conversations out there which I don’t think anyone has the courage to address. However, I’ve already made my peace with those I could and the rest will have to miss out. Such is life.

Wife’s sisters will be coming and going for three whole weeks. All this and I’m paying my tax bill on Tuesday. Lord have mercy on my pathetic raddled soul.

On the upside, the mainstream media, who once thought our foppish PM could do no wrong, are turning against him. For example, the cover of Macleans, one of Canada’s top magazines, had him on the front cover with the title “Imposter!” emblazoned in large unfriendly letters and his polling numbers are in the tank. Live by the media, die by the media. Forgive me for sniggering quietly to myself. Or not.

Are they mad?

Over here in BC we’re watching the farrago of BREXIT with a heavy sigh in our hearts, all I can do from this side of the pond is shake my head in astonishment and quote Malvolio from Shakespeare’s 12th Night:

My masters, are you mad? Or what are you? Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night? Do you make an ale-house of my lady’s house, that you squeak out your coziers’ catches without any mitigation or remorse of voice? Is there no respect of place, persons, nor time in you?

This is how the current shenanigans of the UK Parliament look to me. There is no rhyme or reason to the remainers antics. They, like my Brother in law, are behaving like a bunch of spoiled brats. If they cannot have their way to stay in the EU as their corporate masters dictate, then they will abuse every parliamentary tactic at this late stage of the game to throw spanners in the works and thwart the democratic mandate.

The EU has done a great deal of damage to blighty over the last forty years, from the decimation of UK Fisheries and Agriculture to hamstringing certain areas of commerce and continually attempting to move the major banking centres in the UK over to places like Frankfurt. The European Union post Maastricht and Lisbon devolved into one long slow motion car wreck. Not to mention the selling out by the Major, Blair and Brown administrations.

However, minded as I am to look on the bright side, as my deck garden is doing well, we do indeed have germination.

One thing did strike me today as I looked south to the vast snow capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains. I am beginning to look at the current period of populism and overturning of the old order as the dawning of a new enlightenment. Like in the late 18th and early 19th century. Maybe we’ll get a better form of democracy. Not discredited old ideas like Socialism, but something better, which prevents usurpation by NGO’s and vested interests. A less easily manipulated media. The parallels, at least to my mind, are out there if you look. Or is that me being hopelessly naive?

Oh what the hell, you can call me a dreamer… Sounds like a song lyric, doesn’t it?

Looking for signs of growth

Have potted out the three of my Grapefruit plant seeds that have successfully germinated. They have now taken up station on my office windowsill where I will trust to the magic of sunlight and moisture to bring forth life. My two avocado nuts have put rootlets into the water, however, I won’t be doing anything with them for at least another month. Not until either plant has put out at least two serious leaves and roots of over an inch (oh all right, twenty five point four millimetres) long. Outside my radish and beetroot seeds have already pushed tiny green leaves above the soil, and the first signs of life are showing in the herb tray. Which isn’t bad. Elsewhere the soils surface seems as lifeless as the moon, but I take it as an article of faith that something is stirring. The next week will tell.

This sets the current tenor of my day. Work has slacked off and I’m left pottering about our deck garden, watching stuff germinate, which doesn’t take up much of the day but is an essential task nonetheless. Watched pots don’t boil but on the other hand, the secret of life, as in comedy, is timing. There is a time to act and a time to wait. All things in their season. Mrs S on the other hand, is taking this hiatus as an opportunity to educate herself about stocks and shares and we’re both paying much closer attention to our investment affairs.

On that topic, my investment portfolio isn’t looking so great, but I did better than break even in 2018, so I won’t complain. Canadian financial services didn’t do so well, nor did some of the energy companies I hold stock in. On the other hand, some of my other share picks have more than offset the losses, so I’m doing okay. Not great, but okay. My head is above water in that respect. Did get offered a share buyout, but the price was far too low to contemplate selling as the share value of that particular holding is pretty depressed at the moment. It’s a time to stand pat, not panic and sell up. Well that’s my financial opinion and I’m sticking to it. These are uncertain times and the wind might blow either way. So, hunker down and keep working seems to be the order of the day. The one bright spot is that my investment tax allowance from last year has allowed me to invest much more tax free this year, so, swings and roundabouts. I’m growing my retirement fund that way.

Of late I’ve been doing some reading about the two polar opposites, Tom Paine and Edmund Burke, the contemporary founding fathers of the modern left and right, so it is said. From what I can see, there is value on both sides of the coin, even though both men’s arguments suffer from a diametrically opposing flaw. For Paine it is his willingness to throw the baby out with the bathwater and for Burke, a too great sentimentality about the effects of ‘wise’ rulers and established power structures. For my own part I like to take a position somewhere between, where some change is good but too much strips people of their humanity, especially when the revolutionaries completely overthrow an established order. The best institutions develop organically, having developed over the years and never forgetting their cock-ups, with a view to never repeating the same mistakes. To analogise, these things are like trees, they do not benefit from simply being left alone to grow as they will, a good pruning is needed now and again, but cutting the whole thing down does nothing but leave a stump which benefits no-one.

This is what passes for wisdom, at least in my mind. Is it right or is it wrong? Only time and events will bear me out.

New growth

Spring arrived somewhat suddenly this year. Normally we simply ease very slowly out of BC’s habitual drizzle, but on the 18th temperatures went from night time temperatures of almost double digit sub zero to a more usual five Celsius. This came as a pleasant surprise as it meant Mrs S and I could take tea on the deck without being chilled to the bone. It’s been a long Winter here and I’m glad to see the warmer weather at last. Oh green, how I have missed thee.

Our modest deck garden improves. Latest acquisition were some dwarf Narcissi and Mrs S said she fancied some Pansies. Well, each to their own. Just to keep the meme theme going I added some Sweet William seeds to their pot after planting out a few corms and rhizomes with a few Delphinium and Lupin seeds, which should cheer things up in a couple of weeks time.

One thing I was delighted by and let’s face it, what with Theresa May cocking up BREXIT and Justine Trudeau cocking up Canada’s economy (Whatever happened to “The budget will balance itself”- yeah, right) we all need something to put a positive spin on the day; my two Avocado seeds have begun to sprout. Only tiny pinpricks of green, but definite signs of life. My previous attempts just sat there and rotted, however this time we have green, which is good. Then there’s the success story of my Grapefruit seeds. Five out of six are definitely developing roots and will be ready for potting out next week or the first full week of April. As for my Lemon Tree plants, six are doing well, having taken up residence in the sunniest part of the kitchen and the four I left outdoors over Winter aren’t actually dead. The root systems are still good, even if the above ground portions are looking kind of sorry for themselves. Like my Indonesian Lime, I was about to consign them to the recycle bin when I noticed that the root systems still looked good. I may need considerably bigger pots.

Then there’s the burgeoning vegetable trays. I bought a batch of seeds yesterday and have planted a few out to see how they do. It’s an eclectic mix of Kale, Broccoli, Spring Onions, Beetroot and Radishes. I’ve also added some tomato plants seeds, which I hope will do better now that I’m planting them earlier and deeper. Decided to try out some strawberry plants as well, so in they’ve gone. Results will be posted as new growth occurs.

Despite the poor political news and the virulent attacks on freedom of expression online, I’m feeling decidedly optimistic.

Digging my way out

Snow shifting over the last two days. Two 10kg bags of snow melt and a kilo of salt later and last night there was still a big lump of packed snow and ice on the drive. Then I found out that there’s another tranche incoming of up to six inches overnight. Bloody hell. I’d only just dug us out of the last lot. This is Victoria in British Columbia for heavens sake, not Nunavut above the Arctic circle, reputedly the place where Canadian brass monkeys come from. Fortunately it’s only a Summery two Celsius outside my window at the moment, I can tell because our Hummingbird feeders are no longer frozen. After getting rid of half the two foot deep berm of snow on our deck I’ve elected to leave our deck garden covered because the snow acts as an insulator and stops our delicate little plants freezing completely. It’s even worse at the Great lakes, we’re talking 49.3% ice coverage with Ontario completely frozen, which is not unusual, but the historical data for the last 3 years says we’re in a cold spell as of 2018 & 2019. See Screengrabs below.

Fortunately my best Lemon Tree plants are sitting aloof from all the white stuff on a nice warm window ledge indoors. They will survive. I’m not too sure about the other plants we left outside. Our Hummingbird feeders are being visited by some copper throated and green backed species, so they’re all right.

Back in the old country I see Theresa May has snatched defeat from the slavering jaws of victory, yet again. My wife thinks she’s being very clever and manipulative. I disagree. She’s clearly out of her depth. Her prevarication have cost the UK dearly due to the uncertainty her government has created. Had they just said to the EU “Bye chaps, we’re off at the end of March 2019, toodle pip. Thirty nine billion you say? Don’t hold your breath.” everyone in business would have known where they stood and made provision accordingly. Instead May and cohorts tried to do what their sponsors and lobbyists told them, which was betray the spirit of a democratic vote. She’s still trying to get a last minute deal when that time is long past. The EU wants what it wants and boo sucks to everyone else. Which will be it’s ultimate downfall. The French protests continue, with their ‘leader’ on trial for ‘carrying a stick’ at one of the protest flashpoints. Over in Germany, the AfD are gaining ground. Hungary is still being a real dog in the EU’s manger and let’s just not talk about Italy. Overall, things do not look good for the EU. When the UK leaves, the implosion of the EU will accelerate. Trade will continue and the world will still turn. A lot of worthless mouths will have to relearn some job skills. Or starve.

Youngest reports that it’s been snowing in the great metrollops, but not much else. She’s too busy sorting the legal fallout from other people’s foolishness. Oh well, all makes work for the working lawyer to do I suppose. She’ll never be short of remuneration.

Then there are the reported five thousand children who went ‘on strike’ to ‘save the planet’. Manipulated by activist teachers no doubt. In reality their ‘strike’ probably increased emissions by forcing the held up traffic they created to idle their engines. This is why the voting age should not be lowered. Children should be allowed their childhood, not used as pawns for the ideologically blinkered and fanatic.

Not that the activists actually look at what’s really happening in the big wild world (See above screengrabs). They live in their own bubble realities of victimhood and delusion and when the worst happens are not equipped to survive. Those of us who pay attention simply douse the outside lights, barricade our doors and ensure the larder is full. The howling activist mobs can freeze and starve. They are the authors of their own undoing.

Hunkering down

Wildfire smoke has gotten worse over the last twenty four hours so the Sticker household has completely battened down the hatches and watched the AQI go from the ‘Unhealthy’ particulate count (AQI 170-185) end of the spectrum to ‘Hazardous’ (AQI 340! last night) in the last few hours. So over the last seventy two hours we’ve been indoors listening to the Hummingbirds coughing outside and wondering when our scenery will get un-photoshopped. As well as sweltering a little because we can’t have any windows open. The taste of burning forest has been everywhere.

Fortunately a change in the wind brought brief surcease this morning with the worst of the smoke flowing northbound up the west side of Vancouver Island, remaining a louring presence across the hills. AQI dropped below 100 for a couple of hours, which is like the air in a major capital like Paris or London on a bad day. Breathable, but nicer when you get into the air conditioned indoors. The forecast is for particulates to drop to their more usual low teens. Which hasn’t happened yet. Temperatures likewise are to drop to around 20-22 Celsius, which is cool for August, but you won’t catch me complaining about that. Cool air you can breathe? That will do. When it arrives. At the moment the AQI is firmly in the ‘Unhealthy’ range of around 120-60+ and our scenery has been photoshopped once more.

Our ever-expanding deck garden seems unaffected. The herbs are fine, we’ve acquired a small conifer and another two of my Lemon plants (no longer mere seedlings) look like they’ll need potting out into their own little receptacles soon. So a quick trip to the stores was required for some more potting compost which means this evening I’ll be potting out our new Thyme and Mint plants as well as my nascent Lemon trees.

I see our cousins down south are talking about impeaching Trump. For something Obama’s campaigns got a mere slap on the wrist for? It smacks of desperation from the ensconced power elites, who are actually the real problem in the USA. These are the folks who should be standing in the welfare lines. Trump’s actually sticking up for important things like free speech online and asking pertinent questions about South Africa’s land seizures. He’s asking other questions certain people don’t want in the high level public domain because such questions will probably hurt their investment strategies. That sounds like a reasonable reason why they’re out to get him by any means necessary.

Regarding those South African land seizures. It’s been widely known that being a Boer descended farmer has been a high risk occupation for well over thirty years. Farm raids and murders have been glossed over by the media because, well, all white South Africans are bad yeah? All that Apartheid? Personal anecdote here; when we lived up Island we found that a good number of our neighbours were ex-Afrikaners and White Rhodesians who got out when the ANC and Mugabe regimes took over. My Doctor was South African. So was my next door but one neighbour. Another neighbour was white Zimbabwean who always talked of the land of his birth with affection. This in a community of less than twenty five properties. I knew of at least three more Afrikaner families in our locale.

Now we hear that the Zimbabwe government are begging for the eeevil white farmers they kicked off their land to come back because the guys their farms were given to didn’t have a clue how to manage them. Which is what will happen to South Africa. The country will implode even further economically speaking because the ANC will have ethnically cleansed (Dispossessed) the most productive and industrious people from ‘their’ country and their agricultural skill base will collapse followed by the rest of the economy.

Lauren Southern’s polemic, ‘Farmlands’ covers the history of how the current state of affairs came to be, but does miss out the Boer war and disagree with a few other salient details listed in timelines like these. For example, in ‘official’ versions the massacre of 100 Boer settlers led by Paul Retief by the Zulu King Dingnaan (Dingnane) in 1838 state that Retief tried to obtain land by ‘trickery’ and that ‘only’ 60 died, not the 100 claimed by Southern and Wikipedia. Dingnaan’s warriors later massacred another 534 Voortrekkers in the Weneen massacre. A figure composed of 41 men, 56 women and 185 children from the Dutch settler party killed along with 250 or 252 of their native tribe servants / followers. Wikipedia may not be the most reliable of sources, but in this case is more credible than some ‘official’ timelines. And that’s just one example out of several. I’ve been checking. Mainly because I’m a history buff and don’t like being misled. Anyway, see for yourself, I’ve embedded Lauren’s YouTube video below. It does not make for happy viewing. But make your own mind up.

As an afterthought, you hear a lot of SJW types crowing about the ‘end of white supremacy’. Well chaps, fasten your seat belts because that’s exactly what happened to Zimbabwe and other African countries and what’s happening to South Africa. Liberia, Angola, Congo, Libya, Chad, Somalia, Sudan and the Central African Republic for example. Never mind the occasional tribal genocide or ongoing US interventions in the Trans Sahara and Horn of Africa. Or isn’t that quite the ‘end of white supremacy’ these ‘Social Justice’ types ordered, eh?

Useful fact checking website; Africa Check. For those interested in the stats regarding the number of farmers murdered, try looking at this article; Why Calculating a farm murder rate in SA is near impossible.

Some holiday reading

Back home and unpacking now. Our little deck garden has survived our absence and the Lemon tree seedlings are doing very well indeed. The biggest issue we face having returned to BC is where to get half way authentic French bread in our locale. We’ve tried some of our local outlets, but their output is too dense and not crusty enough. Good French bread is a simple thing but so hard to get right without the correct T55 or T65 grade flour. Which is very difficult to get over here in BC, Canadian import restrictions being what they are.

While we have been traversing the byways and higher ways around Western Europe, I’ve been using a couple of books to pass the time in various airport lounges and flights. The first is a Penguin edition of Orwell’s ‘Why I write’, the second, Christopher Hitchens’ commentary ‘Why Orwell Matters’. Finished ‘Why I write’ on the flight to Marseille and ‘Hitchens on Orwell’ on the flight back to BC.

Conclusion; like another of my favourite writers, Rudyard Kipling, Orwell was a man of his time shaped by conscience and experience. To me Orwell was right as an opposer of totalitarianism, which is a doctrine which always assumes that others should dictate how you live your life, wrong regarding Democratic Socialism, which puts power in the hands of some supposedly benign, unbiased authority. Which as the Communist and every other form of Socialist regime have found and are finding, is a path that leads only to mass graves. Because the tighter the definition of what is mandated by these supposedly beneficent individuals, the less becomes allowed and the more ‘outliers’ there are across the general population who won’t fit.

Think of it this way, we’ve all got enough going on without having some eternal parent figure supervising and regulating our every waking thought. Running people’s lives through fiat and diktat is a bad idea because Government or religious rules set up to tightly govern irrational, greedy, selfish humans are set up and often enforced by, guess who? Irrational, greedy and selfish humans. Possibly more so than in private institutions. If you’ve ever worked in the public sector anywhere, you will know this to be true. The majority of people who work in them are not fit to rule themselves, let alone others, which is an excellent reason to minimise Government power wherever possible. The same goes for cartels and monopolies, like Alphabet inc (Google, YouTube et al) Facebook or Twitter.

Perhaps Orwell, had he lived long enough, would have wholeheartedly agreed. He’d probably have been horrified by the wholesale banning of InfoWars too because someone like him would have been first on their list for no-platforming. Especially when Facebook are sniffing around the US banks after people’s transaction data.

What would happen to someone like George if Facebook etc got that access and enforced their will on his personal life? “Sorry Mr Orwell, but we don’t like your opinions so we’re going to stop you getting a credit card or having a bank account.”

Which makes me look at my LinkedIn and Instagram accounts and think about deleting those as well. That and a word to the banks I’m a shareholder of, telling them that should they enter negotiations with the axis of evil (Alphabet Inc, Facebook and Twitter), I will be voicing serious concerns about security and voting against any board Director who wants to go in that direction.

Update: I see that Instagram have deleted the ‘realtommyrobinson’ page.  Well, he can join another social media platform and take all his followers with him.  Instagram’s loss.

Busy doing nothing

…Working the whole day through,
Trying to find lots of things not to do,

Well not quite, but not as busy as I have been. Due to a plethora of good planning and foresight we’re on the wind-down to our Summer European trip. Not that anyone’s really interested. My only concern is making sure our little deck garden is properly watered and taken care of while we’re away. I don’t want to come home to a bunch of wilted stems like with my Tomato plants over Christmas.

For my one remaining non-comatose reader the Lemon seedlings are looking good following last weeks potting out. Ten Eleven out of the original thirteen have popped tiny glossy little leaves above the soil so far and have been put out in a sunny position during the day as the night time temperatures are still not conducive to plant health. Although the rose, Indonesian Lime and all our perennials are doing fine. The rose has three dark bloody blooms gracing its stems with four more to come. The Fuchsia has recovered from the travails of Winter and should give a display some time in late August / early September. The Nasturtiums and Sweet Peas aren’t so cheerful from overnight near-zero temperatures, but now the warmer Summerish weather is here they should recover. As for the herbs, no issues. By the time we return from Europe they should be ready for the kitchen all the way through to October / November.

Did I mention that I went to see Deadpool 2 last week? Must have done. Great dirty fun. Go see it. I’m going to add a hard copy to the video collection. Also to add will be Stallone’s ‘Demolition Man’ and a few others, which I’ll do when I get to a certain secondhand music store up island. I’ll see if I can get a copy of the first ‘Incredibles’ movie in North American format too before going to see the sequel on Friday as it has just opened here. The only trouble is I’ve seen so many damn trailers and clips it may just take the edge off my viewing pleasure, although that didn’t seem to matter for Deadpool 2. There was more than enough story and flash-bang for my buck to warrant a second viewing.

That leads to another thought; When life gives you lemons, don’t just make lemonade – enjoy the Gin and Tonic (Jinnan T’Onnix, whatever). Or Gin fizz. Or Vodka Tonic. Or even sell any subsequent Lemons on with an ‘organic’ tag at twice what you paid for the original lemon you got the seeds from. What a staggeringly good idea.

Must dash, well, maybe not so much. The sun is shining, Justin Trudeau is still an idiot for picking a trade war Canada can’t possibly win, the silly, virtue signalling half-wit. When we get to Europe I’m going to use my UK passport because I’ll be too embarrassed to use my Canadian ID. Poor ickle Justine can blither on endlessly about what he thinks ‘Canadian values’ are, but he never knew what they really were in the first place. Mr fake eyebrows speaks for no-one but himself.