Tag Archives: Family

Closing a door

Was unpacking my old Fender Strat copy yesterday. Tuned it and checked my practice amp. My gig bag is looking the worse for wear, having spent the last two and a half years in storage. The guitar is fine, but the bag is mouldy in places. I’ll see if I can clean it up in the Spring. For the time being I’ve hung it up in the dryer of our sheds.

While I was rummaging in the pouches a long forgotten token emerged. My dogs old collar. I didn’t want to bury it in Canada, so I’ve been carrying it around since July 2014. For over eight years! Hells Bells!

So this afternoon I took the collar, dug a hole on the right hand side of a stone seat in the garden. A place where I often go to sit and read in the Summer months, and buried it where my dogs old spirit could laze in the shelter of the trees with a good view of the garden, house and meadows. It seemed like a good idea. If not for his sake, then for mine.

Grief is a funny thing. It lies dormant while you’re busy with life, then in an unguarded moment all the memories flood back in a Tsunami of love and regret. Had I been a good enough master to him? Well I’m not sure. I loved him like he was my own, and he in turn reflected parts of my own personality, curling up on my feet while I was writing, nicking apples, looking up at me with that sloppy happy canine grin full of mischief when it was time for a walk. Now I’ve laid the last of him in peace. It feels like I’ve done the right thing. He can be with us in our ‘forever home’. For as long as that lasts. Or I live.

I plan to get a new dog next year. A pup that I can train from scratch. There’s room to play. Places to skulk and shelter. A whole world of smells, and a family that he / she can be part of.

For the moment I am content to close the door on a chapter I should have done some years ago. But we can all be wise in hindsight, can’t we?

Visitors

Living out in the wilder west of Ireland, you have to get used to certain things. Like occasional incursions. Last week it was a spider which, fully spread, would have comfortably (Or more likely uncomfortably) covered the palm of my hand, skulking up the curtains. Needless to say, our vacuum cleaner was rapidly deployed and the unwanted arachnid is now bereft of life in the belly of Henry, our favourite local sucker up of all things unwanted.

Last night, well, just listen to the song:

Quite a sizeable specimen to boot. I was sitting in the Bar with Mrs S when this little brown shape scuttled in through the door, under two chairs, took one look at me and legged it pronto back the way it had come.

I jumped to my feet in a kind of ‘what the hell’ manner and followed the little interloper. He disappeared, but we did hear suspicious scrapings and scrabbling noises later that evening and also when I got up to make tea this morning, so by the sound of things he was settling in for the long haul.

Unfortunately for such visitors we do not run a hostel for refugee rodents, and not wanting any domestic faux pas caused by one of the little sods chewing through a vital wire or pipe; have deployed traps, ultrasonic rodent repellents, vinegar spray and cedar balls, just to give our visitor some not so subtle hints that he and his kind are not welcome.

Frankly I don’t care what happens. The mouse can leave the way it came or it can die. So long as it goes. I am not squeamish when it comes to removing corpses. I just don’t want stuff to go “Phizz-put” leaving the household in darkness or find myself going for an impromptu paddle first thing on a winter morning, or any other morning come to that.

That mouse is history.

Literally. Trap 1 Mouse 0. Home win for the trap team.

Full speed ahead

Our final bathroom is now fully operational after I finished putting in the shower door yesterday. The bath, which was leaking around the edges, is now fully water tight and tested. So another part of our jigsaw falls into place.

Mrs S is delighted. I’m quite chuffed too. Although certain of the ‘Trades’ have been dragging their feet of late, so I elected to finish off the minor jobs they were supposed to do myself, If any of them come back to me for more work when things get a bit slack, they’re going to be sorely disappointed. The work has been done to code and then some.

Our house is finally beginning to look and feel like our home. ‘North’ will be with us over Christmas and the New Year to decompress from London life. This time we will be properly ready for our guests. And the possibility of snow, so I’m told.

We have a stocked larder. We have honey. The heating is a bit erratic at the moment, but it mainly works. There are more jobs to do. Then I can get cracking on the next phase of the yard and greenhouse. The outside world will have to sort itself. Just so long as that senile idiot (and his handlers) in the White House doesn’t pressure the Russki’s into WW3, we’re golden.

Next step

My sinuses are smarting a bit as we’ve just had our septic tank cleaned out. This is one of the eccentricities of living out in the sticks and not being connected to mains sewerage. Fortunately, in normal operation these things are so odourless you don’t notice, but every time they need cleaning, WOW! The smell of semi digested sewerage scours your nasal passages quicker than a triple dose of decongestant. Maybe because your body dumps all the existing mucus in a effort to be rid of the stench.

We were also steeling ourselves for the next nasty surprise of our electrickery bill, but all our investment in low energy lights, appliances and extra insulation seems to be paying off, as the bills are proving elevated but manageable. So Mrs S and I were looking at the latest missive from our supplier with an air of “Phew. Got away with that one.”

No matter. The work is done and our bills paid. Mrs S has been busily emptying cans of air freshener to rid the rear of the house of the smell, and we’re unpacking the last of our personal effects for arranging on walls etc.

Like my old competition bow. Not much good for over 80 metres, but I’ve won a few medals with it. Not quite as much fun as my little 50lb short recurve (Horse bow), which shoots very flat and packs a hell of a punch at anything up to a hundred plus, and is far better for instinct shooting. Not as accurate as the competition bow, but I still love it. Must get some new shafts. Still got my old arrow fletching kit, and what’s best of all, could have my own personal archery range. Or it will be when I’m done next spring. As there’s rushes to clear and groundwork to do.

Then next week I’m off to the brewery suppliers to buy equipment and ingredients, and the month after a still and oak barrels for ageing. My first honey harvest will form the major component of my first Mead experiments, and when I’m ready to go commercial I’ll get my permits. Of course there will be a few pounds of the sweet stuff for my neighbours as gifts for their many kindnesses, but there’ll be more than enough to put in my morning coffee and the odd dessert recipe until the next nectar flow around April / May 2023. By then I’ll have two more colonies and things will finally start to take off.

Then there’s Christmas family visits. ‘North’ is joining us, and I’m trying to work out the logistics of giving her a reasonable vegetarian menu while allowing me the odd steak or two. Have to give that matter some serious thought. I’ve got some recipes and have worked out how to make some pretty decent vegetable dishes which I will happily eat. So maybe that won’t be so hard after all.

So, we’re not doing too badly, and counting our blessings in that it could be a hell of a lot worse. So long as the powers that be don’t have another brain fart and this time decide that bees emit some form of ‘greenhouse gas’ and decide that eye-watering levels of tax need to be levied on my Queens and their consorts. Haven’t talked to my neighbours about it yet, but we’re all little guys out here, and don’t get caught quite so much as the big concerns.

Personally I think these politicians know bugger all about sod all and damned little about that. Especially about agriculture, but very probably about anything else but getting elected.

Ladders and snakes

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.

Still moving in

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.

betray

 verb (bi/trey)

Examples

  1.  to give information about somebody/something to an enemy
    •  betray somebody/something He was offered money to betray his colleagues.
    •  the politician betrayed his voters by denying their freedom

Noun: Betrayal

Past tense: Betrayed

The Germans have a wonderfully Teutonic word; Verraten.

Oh well, the fallout begins. Now you can’t say you don’t live in interesting times, can you?

The real granny killers

Mrs S has a dose of the dreaded lurgi, a SARS/COV-2 infection, courtesy I think of baby sister in law who came to visit even though she was coughing and spluttering. So, I’m busy keeping my other half cool, medicated and resting. Not that I’m that worried. Mrs S is a robust woman who will slough this latest illness off like she has everything else.

This may play ducks and drakes with her upcoming hospital appointments, but the restraints are off (leg & knee brace etc), and it’s only for physio anyway. Fresh air, good food and gentle exercise will pull her through with ease. It’s ironic really, because she’s had the booster shots and I have steadfastly refused to do so. So, it is what it is.

I see all the crazy green dreams of ‘Net Zero’ are starting to crumble, despite the insanity of places like Oxford and elsewhere hamstringing their local economies with pointless traffic restrictions. Newsflash kiddies. If people can’t get in to buy things, your city centres will rot from the inside out. Trade needs goods to move to be bought and sold. If the goods don’t move, the money gradually stops, and places become wasteland.

What ‘Net Zero’ also does is kill. Mainly old people on fixed incomes who can’t afford the skyrocketing bills caused by Net Zero policies and the pointless lockdowns. For the rabid greenies, well they don’t care that your elderly parent will freeze to death in the dark. Their empty headed fanaticism will result in thousands of deaths because, contrary to their beliefs, reality tells us that there is no empirically proven causal link between human emissions of Carbon Dioxide and weather The claimed correlation only exists in the output of bad theoretical models and the crazed ravings of rent seekers. I’ve looked at the source data and model output. There’s nothing there.

The rabid greenies, fraidy cat NIMBY’s and their insistence that wind and solar are more use than a chocolate teapot, will be directly responsible for people freezing to death. People like the loathsome Extinction rebellion and their protest splinter groups will be directly to blame for people starving in the dark. But what do you expect from the kind of ‘woke’ idiots who can’t even tell a man from a woman? Bozo’s.

You didn’t have to be a genius or a prophet to see this motorway pile up of an economic car crash coming. It’s so obvious that anyone with two brain cells to rub together can see it. Yet the cosseted urbanites of the rabid green faction, living off borrowed money the rest of us are going to have to repay, can’t.

Lifting the ban on fracking will help. The panics about seismicity are just that, empty panics. The ‘earthquakes’ associated with fracking are at worst magnitude two point five, which no one will notice because it’s below the range of human perception. These ‘quakes caused by settling as rock strata give up their oil and gas can only be detected by seismographs. Having experienced several over magnitude three I can tell you it’s like having a heavy truck roll by the house. A saucer might rattle, or a picture tilt, but that’s all. Mining subsidence from badly maintained mothballed mine tunnels can lead to far worse subsidence. A dryer than usual Summer or much wetter Winter can lead to far more ground shifting. Hardly grounds for killing the poor and elderly.

Now 1200+ scientists have signed a ‘world climate declaration‘ stating that there is ‘no climate emergency’. Unfortunately this body of scientific opinion will be ignored even after people start to die. Rather like the ‘Great Barrington Declaration‘ (With almost a million signatories) devised by well qualified immunologists and researchers is still being ignored by much of the political class, many of whom have blood on their hands over both climate and pandemic. Their policies are already killing more people than they ‘save’. Either from denial of treatment or putting a stranglehold on reasonably priced energy, or more directly from inappropriate use of badly tested ‘vaccines’ and ‘renewables’ not delivering in the depths of winter.

For me, I saw this coming a long time ago and have been taking steps to protect those I care for. Insulation. Affordable fuel. Alternate sources of food. The money we squirreled away for our frail dotage has been invested carefully, and as soon as Mrs S is back in action it’ll be full steam ahead.

The granny killers are not going to take us without a fight.

Violating community guidelines

Our guests leave today. In one case I am heaving a huge sigh of relief. Baby sister in law has proven herself a scorpion guest, my other sister in law not so much, but still almost as entitled. No wonder their husbands did not come with them.

There are guidelines to visiting. Unwritten rules about conducting yourself while a guest in another’s home. You get fed when the host or hostess says. Because their house is not a f*cking restaurant or a hotel. You behave with good grace, do not insult your hosts, or behave in an offensive manner. Sisters in law have broken all these rules in the last few days and they will not be invited back.

If it was just our daughters, this week would have been much more fun, but the unwritten guidelines of this specific community have been broken and the breakers will not be admitted to Chez Maison Sticker again while the host still draws breath. I’ve literally shed blood in this place (Although I have cleaned up after myself) and done my best to provide sustenance that all would find acceptable. Dietary preferences were accepted and catered for, but this was not good enough and I have been forced to waste the precious commodities of food and time.

The shrieking level also increased past acceptable limits. Tell me, why do some people have to shout so much in enclosed spaces? My dining room can accommodate ten at a push, but six last night sounded like a chicken house at feeding time. Twenty men having a heated discussion would not have made half the racket. But I bit my tongue, knowing that the womenfolk would shortly be gone.

Noting my silence, Mrs S chided me for my lack of ‘social skills’, to which I later retorted that I was not the one breaching the accepted rules of hospitality. I mean really, what does a chap have to do? Methinks when there’s a house full of females, not much apart from hide, which I chose not to do. Whose bloody house is it anyway? Answer; mine. Not theirs, mine. Anyone who doesn’t like it knows where the door is. And the road to the f*cking airport, too.

Even youngest has noticed, and vouchsafed to us while out on a drive yesterday; “Is there any way I can be emancipated from this family?” I know how she feels.

There is a saying, I believe one of Benjamin Franklyn’s “Fish and visitors stink after three days” Well the stinking for me started on Monday, when sisters in law tried to come the high hand in my bloody kitchen. They literally tried to order me about in my own home.

Well this is our home, our private space and I dislike being dictated to just because I am related to someone by marriage. As for anyone ‘reporting’ anyone at my table for ‘hate speech’ as is law in Scotland for example, I would throw them out immediately and never invite them again. Not even as someone else’s guest. Dinner table conversation is sacrosanct, and I will allow any topic of discussion providing people don’t start throwing food. That is not done. This isn’t a drunken officers mess. Ratarsed drunk is acceptable, bad behaviour like ratting to the ‘authorities’ is not.

Putting people in jail for an opinion likewise unless they are confessing to murder or suchlike. As for ‘misgendering’, those getting ‘offended’ are the ones who need locking up. In a padded cell for their safety and others, as the whole gender dysphoria thing is still listed as a mental illness. As is being a ‘Minor attracted person’. These are people who have no place in a tolerant civilised society.

On that general drift, I notice recently that some rather innocuous, mildly conservative ‘saves’ on my Pinterest (It’s the only Social Media I do) feed have been ‘removed’ for ‘violating community guidelines’. No idea why as the posts in question were about as offensive as Lemon Mousse. Just a collection of vintage pulp sci-fi covers, aircraft art, cars and motorcycles, a bit of politics and philosophy, nothing much. One even got reinstated after a manual ‘review’. Not that I care, I’ll save a few more like them and Pinterest can go stuff themselves. They can even delete my account, which I only share with Mrs S for interior design pictures, sod ’em all.

On a general note; anyone who demands my ‘respect’ will be firmly told; “My respect is earned, bone brain. Get lost.”

Now I’m off to the airport to send our guests winging whence they came. Afterwards I will probably sing loudly and happily all the way home. Something bawdy for preference. If anyone objects, I’ll tell them I’m just rehearsing. For what, I’m not telling.

Of such small things…

Goes the saying; “Of such small things is happiness constructed” and thus I have found a small slice of happiness in this vale of tears. My wife is happily chattering with her sisters, who flew from the other side of the world to be here. Both our kids are cooking Sunday supper, and I sit triumphant because I have finally won a small battle with our eccentric septic system.

There is a beer on my right hand with the promise of more, my other half got the most wonderful surprise when she was greeted by both her sisters and her children at the airport, believing that only two would arrive. My shrivelled black heart was lightened by the sight of her tears of joy. Even if she did give me grief about my navigation on the way home.

Upon our arrival at home I found that the drains were beginning to back up. We had this once before. One of the septic drains was built with too shallow a slope and a strategic U-trap had become partially blocked with builders waste, leaf compost and moss while no-one was living here, leading to low flows and human waste building up in the downstream drain. So we had to spend cash on getting a septic service in to suck out the worst of it.

Today I finally worked out where the problem lay and flushed it clean. All the stagnating waste has been hosed into the main tank and the offending blockages cleared. All it took was a little thought and a strategically deployed hosepipe. Job done.

Those drains have been the bane of our lives, downspouts leaking across the yard and becoming easily blocked in heavy rainfall. Now they run as they are supposed to. Fast and clear. It’s not a big thing, but it counts as a major tick in the box of our refurbishment, meaning we don’t have to spend money on a new septic system or tank cleaning. Hell, the money will no doubt go on soaring electrickery bills, but everything counts.

Now we have a full house. Albeit of all females with the notable exception of my good self and there is a properly working septic system. For the moment God is in his heaven and I have had two glorious peaceful hours watching a silly movie on TV. For once, Sunday has lived up to it’s promise.

I find myself no longer caring that the US has a senile old paedophile as figurehead. Or that a corrupt Russian regime has been fighting a war against an equally corrupt Ukraine and NATO. Or that energy prices are going to drive the world into a depression of unheard of proportions. But I console myself thus; the WEF’s plan to ‘reset’ the world will fail. The ultra-wealthy will fall because they will find that they need the rest of humanity whether they like it or not. The current Chinese regime will crumble because it is too corrupt to stand. No one will come out of the current crisis unscathed. Not even me.

But for the moment I do not care. Those I love are gracing my household with their presence, and no matter what the future holds, we will have had this moment together. We have these few days before the future arrives, and we will survive, because we are survivors. And for the moment I am happy.

Doesn’t happen often. We occasionally get these moments in the battles of our lives and I am learning to cherish them. They give us hope that the world doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.

Dear reader, may I hope that you too will have such moments.

Cheers.

Bill

What can I say…..

I’ve been offline for over a week… Anyone bothered? Nah. Another ranting blogger gone, no great loss eh?

Well I’m back, kind of. But I may disappear again because life is getting in the way. So what have I been up to?

Moving back in to our refurbished home for one. Trying to get our various tradespeople to finish the job we want to pay them for, which has led to the disappearance of our electrician who hasn’t finished and is supposed to have got our new distribution board connected by ESB, the Irish body which controls electricity supply in Ireland. But he’s buggered off. So. No electricity connection. We’re currently powering the entire house off two 13amp sockets via a tangle of extension leads. I have no kitchen, the oven and hob are disconnected. And the dishwasher is sitting in the middle like some odd piece of non-functional installation art.

This has pissed off our builders, who can’t finish because stuff has to be reconnected. Our firm of plumbers are swearing they’ll never work with that errant sparky again. In the meantime, we’re subsisting off four standard lamps for lighting, a jury rigged hot water system (Thank goodness for gas), and in the midst of the latest tranche of ‘Man made climate change’ I’ve had to deploy one of our mobile propane heaters to keep warm. In late July already.

The only reason I’ve got Internet at all is by configuring my phone as a mobile wi-fi hot spot.

Then there has been a series of events, one of which was my better half being injured. An event which entailed over an hours wait for an ambulance while Mrs S passed out from the pain. I couldn’t do anything and was reduced to the level of despairing onlooker. All I could do was ensure the ambulance had the right address and Eircode (Eircode = Post or Zip code for all you non Irish residents) and an accurate recounting of symptoms. Making an hours drive to the hospital, then stooging around for over six hours while she was treated. Then over an hours drive back home with a whimpering Mrs S in the co-pilots seat at around four in the morning. Followed by another early morning to let our builders and plumbers on site.

Then there has been tiling and grouting two bathrooms, building multiple items of IKEA furniture, clearing builders debris and playing bodyservant and caregiver to Mrs S. In the meantime managing to refurbish two antique pieces of furniture.

So. Pardonnez-moi if I haven’t cheered the closing of the UK centre for child abuse Tavistock clinic, remarked upon how racist and divisive the BBC is, pointed out that the USA elected an Alzheimers case to their highest office, or that the heatwave that lasted for a few days is not proof of ‘man made climate change’, or that the Monkeypox thing that certain people want us to get all uptight about is currently restricted to promiscuous gay men. Or even that the Ukraine / Russia fixture was occasioned by bad US foreign policy. As for Justin Trudeau, he’s still Canada’s biggest shithead.

Never mind that all the ‘woke’ garbage we’re supposed to swallow is getting called out as pure grift. According to the ‘woke’ all the calling out is only being done by ‘internet trolls’ as opposed to being a well deserved pile on from across social boundaries. Hint; it’s not the ‘trolls’ guys. Everybody with an operating brain cell thinks all you woke are complete eejits.

Notwithstanding. I’ve been very busy and it’s catching up with me. I’ve got to finish a range of tasks before getting back to my normal routine. So if anyone missed me…

I’ll be back.

Anecdotally speaking

‘North’ is over in Canada visiting her aunt and uncle on Vancouver Island at present. It’s been raining more than usual, according to sister in law. Here in the wilder west of Ireland I’ve talked to a number of outdoors people who reckon it’s cooler than usual. South of the equator in the fabled land of Oz, where other in-laws and ‘South’ reside, according to them, report cooler weather this year and last.

Australian brother in law works the Great Barrier reef and says that it looks good. Canadian contacts complain of Polar bear infestations. My suncream futures are dropping like a rock. My ordered colonies of bees are still not ready for delivery because apparently the weather is too borderline for them to forage properly. Just what in Bill Gates‘ Satan’s left trouser leg is going on?

Now I know this is all anecdotal reporting and therefore not ‘science’, but doesn’t it all sound rather counter-intuitive? I mean, according to the greens it’s getting hotter by the year, the Polar bears are dropping like flies and the Great Barrier Reef should be crumbling into rubble by now and we’re all about to drown because the CO2 levels are rising. Yet none of the dire consequences we are constantly bombarded with by the unthinking activist media or politicians are actually happening. Could it be that the true believers in ‘climate science’ have got it terribly wrong? Or are they (Gasp!) purveyors of the dreaded ‘disinformation?

Shirley Knott.

Also I’ve noted that comments on threads concerning the latest scare story, including two of mine on Longrider’s and Leg-Iron’s places have gone missing. Particularly those saying truthfully and honestly that the Monkeypox is spreading mostly amongst gay men. Have I ticked off Leggy and the Rider that much that they are now deleting my comments, or is this one of WordPresses ‘Happiness engineers’ (or their ‘algorithms’) at work? Or did I simply click the wrong button? At least four times? Mmm-hm. Does it, in the full scheme of things, matter all that much? Because no matter how much propaganda is pumped out there, reality will always have the last laugh.

Windows

No, not the constant nagging of Microsoft to ‘upgrade’ to Windows 11, but the glass things covering holes in walls that you can see through. Specifically how to get them out intact. My builders, despite entreaties to keep the old units intact, have managed to smash all but one of the four they have taken out so far. Not by malice, but simple lack of technique.

So on Saturday I took a time out with specialist saw blade and chisel to extract the double glazed glass from the frame, which was surprisingly easy. Put a 10mm cut over one of the bevelled seams, then put a chisel in the gap to lever the bevelled section off the frame all around the glass before gently easing the heavy double glazed section out of the frame.

Took me all of half an hour to figure out and ten minutes per glazed unit to do. I’ll finish the rest by Tuesday. Will probably have to adapt the technique to take the upper storey units from the frames from the inside while the builders are smashing up the ground floor prior to the first concrete pour later next week.

So a conversation will be had with my builders on Monday to let me remove all the rest of the glazing before they have at the frames with jackhammers, as they are wont to do. This means I will have the glazed units for an improvement on two of my sheds and some for cold frames or perhaps even a greenhouse. More light in, protecting delicate flowers and veg from late frost, what’s not to like?

The first of the raised beds is also in situ, built from two leftover pallets treated with fence post preserver. I have a couple of tonnes of woodchip mulch with a promise of more to come for free. The plan is to half fill the raised beds with old logs and mulch before any soil goes in. I believe the Germans have a word for it; Hugelkultur.

By contrast, during my off site time, I got into a YouTube comments spat over anti-Semitism. Having known a few Jews and Zionists in my time, I’ve always wondered about why certain people hate them so much. Is it because Jews control the financial sector? No, because for every Jewish owned company there’s ten owned by non-Jews. But Jewish descended people do seem to be prominent in law, medicine, media and entertainment, especially in the USA, and I, with my limited intellect, have worked out why this is.

Family. It’s that simple. Jewish people have a strong familial tradition where children are trained, not just dumped in front of a TV for their forebrains to fester. In Jewish society, the tendency is to involve their children in a process, where they learn skills, be that in trade, the arts or finance. In the more ultra-orthodox Hassidic communities I’m told a boy is expected to become a grown man at fourteen, recite passages from the Torah (I think) and taught how to be. Be that lawyer, tradesman or merchant. Which I think is quite admirable. It’s a recipe for success in life.

Yet why are the Jews hated so much? From my perspective, I think this is down to the personal inadequacies of those peddling the hate. Those peddling anti-Semitic hate, be they Communist or Fascist (Two sides of the same vile totalitarian coin), hate because they feel themselves to be inferior, or that the continued success of a persecuted class despite centuries of murder and repression, is some sort of slight or adverse reflection upon those peddling anti-Jewish hatred. Which, virus-like, mutates and is passed on. My parents were both sufferers while I have largely remained immune.

Those peddling the hate know their statist, top down cultures are structurally inferior to the more tribal, family oriented bottom up approach. So when in or seeking power, their instinct is to point at the successful and use the rather flaccid argument that the hatemongers disciples are poor and downtrodden because those eeevil outsiders are hoovering up all of the resources, when the reality is that the familial structure of training children to be grown ups and passing on wealth works. And the Jews and Zionists prove it works. Not for them the perversion of teaching six year olds about outlier sexuality. Now there’s a Darwin Award in the making.

Well that’s just my view, reached independently by simple observation without doctrine or dogma. All while I was working out how to fix another issue and save money. Which I have. Which was nice.

By such little increments do we move forward.

Another text

Another day and another message saying I should have a ‘booster’ jab. Another text message I will be ignoring, apart from writing about the experience here. Seriously people? Has no-one else got the memo that you get SARS/COV-2 regardless of whether you’ve been vaccinated or not? Or that the current iteration (The “OHMIGOD!” variant)is like a heavy cold? So what’s the point?

On the family side of things; ‘North’ was allowed to return to work on Monday after a second negative test, so she’s a lot happier. ‘South’ is happier now the fabled land of Oz is opening up once more and my Canadian Investment broker is getting twitchy over this ‘Freedom Convoy’.

To be honest I’d be more worried about what Trudeau is going to do. Rumours have been circulating of Police snipers deployed against unarmed demonstrators. Police have been arbitrarily confiscating fuel containers from supporters of the protests, and harassing people without obvious grounds, which is a bit dodgy, legally speaking. Nova Scotia declaring that supporting the truck convoys is a ‘crime’ punishable by jail time. The premier of Saskatchewan declaring that the restrictions will be over by this coming weekend. Alberta now making conciliatory noises after Jason Kenney’s outburst. The situation is fast moving, fluid, and events are on a hair trigger.

I think Trudeau has painted himself into a political corner and he will be forever damned if the Police take armed action against unarmed and peaceful (Albeit noisy) truck convoy protests. However, more trucks are coming. The point is coming where he needs to call a general election or double down. Personally I think he’ll do the latter because the Liberals will be trashed at the ballot box.

The worst case scenario for him will be if an armed policeman shoots one of the children of the demonstrators, or ironically hits a counter demonstrator. Then all hell will cut loose. Canadians may have the reputation of being overly polite, but there is a point past which even they will not go.

Not that I’m worried myself here in Auld Ireland. The earnings on our investments have slowed to a trickle over the last two years, but what we lost we made back with a little bit more into the bargain last year, so we’re keeping ahead of the game. However, through not panicking we still have a modest cash reserve even after the various market hiccups. Many others have not been so fortunate, I hear a lot have taken a cold bath over the last two years.

Anyway, it’s not a bad old day up here in Mayo, so I’m off out to shift some foliage while the rain holds off. The world will have to do what it does and I will adjust my actions accordingly.

Update: Alberta will lift all restrictions shortly and a number of other provinces are following suit.

The UK has dropped all restrictions. Ireland are going to drop theirs shortly. They think it’s all over.

I think it is now.

Tooling up

Yesterday my new power saw and electric belt sander turned up. Spare saw blades for cutting everything from OSB to mild steel and concrete. Spare sanding belts, coarse and fine for speed and finishing. Yes they cost me a few extra pennies, but for the scope they give me in building things like chicken coops and beehives, far more useful.

Mrs S is overjoyed that our new washing machine arrives today. I know there’s something a bit nostalgic about sitting in launderettes or washing your smalls in cheap hotel rooms road warrior style, but seriously, I will be happy to have my important little places cosseted by properly laundered cloth once more. The bath and washbasins can be returned to their proper function.

We’re also looking at a replacement oven, as the old one is so clagged up it isn’t funny. I haven’t dared to use it as the innards have a definitely unhygienic look to them and I’m not sure if all the heating elements work either. Makes cooking a bit more complicated than need be, but we’ll cope. We always do. No one is going to starve.

New bed has arrived and is far more comfy than the monster Ikea thing we bought with us from Canada. The one we can’t get fitted sheets for unless we shell out for new sets from a company in upstate New York. You see, it’s an old US ‘King’ size, which is seventy eight inches by seventy six, whereas the European ‘Super king’ size, the biggest sold outside North America, is only seventy two inches by seventy six. Which even Ikea have shrunk down to, hey they’re a Swedish company so of course it made sense to rationalise. So the new bed is a ‘super king’ for which we hope to obtain new sheets this week up at one of the ‘big box’ stores.

So, what’s happening back in the old country (Canada). Well the video clip from Indian news outlet WION (Via Tony Heller) asks the burning question; Where’s Trudeau?

Ignore the pro-vaccine sentiment in the middle, but they do have a right go at the substitute drama teachers disappearance the moment a proper domestic crisis arises. I’m sure the two faced little eejit won’t resign and force a General Election, the Liberals would get trashed.

Good to see elsewhere that these vaccine mandates are being dropped. They weren’t going to do anything anyway, given the efficacy of the mRNA ‘vaccines’ on offer. I think the problem is that even a relatively small mutation of the virus renders these treatments effectively useless, and besides, viruses mutate, it’s part of what they do. Which, in the rush to find a definitive answer, a lot of supposedly very clever people seem to have forgotten.

Day out

Right. Went off out to BigTown and the box stores Friday to pick up some tools for some heavy duty pruning. Just a set of loppers, a bowsaw and some spare blades. I could have used my bolt cutters, but that’s reserved for steel. Could have bought a chainsaw, but honestly I’d never use it enough to warrant the expense.

News from jolly old Londinium is that ‘North’ has contracted the dreaded lurgi. Despite being all jabbed and boostered poor lamb. She’s feeling a bit tired and has a productive cough by the sound of it, but I think she’ll be all fine and her usual bouncy self by the end of Sunday.

We’re looking at the end of mandates and restrictions by the end of February, and the backtracking from some media outlets has had a kind of Paggliacci-like air to it. Their clownish tears and pleas for forgiveness after all the divisive rhetoric they spewed is rather pathetic. Others still are doubling down on the scaremongering.

Frankly I’m inclined to forgive all things considered, but considering that they have tainted their brand over the last two years over COVID, feel that I cannot trust these outlets even if they said the sky was blue on a clear sunny day.

None of the real life data supports the scaremongers arguments. The death rate for COVID alone is barely above seasonal norms. The much vaunted mRNA vaccines don’t stop spread, they barely mitigate symptoms. The ‘booster’ is about as much use as a chocolate teapot. The masks don’t stop the spread and may even act as ‘catchers’ when viral microdroplets land on the fibrous outside and are then inhaled through the mesh by the next breath.

No one has ever, at least to my knowledge, done any tests on this, just to see if a surgical mask, which has become the choix de jour of the terminally terrified, does this. Shouldn’t be hard to confirm or falsify the hypothesis. a sealable chamber and mechanical breathing dummy with a surgical mask on it’s face, a microdroplet generator and some UV dye, set it running for two or three minutes, then shut down, take the mask off the dummy and measure how much dye got into the dummies artificial trachea. Then do exactly the same test without a mask at all with mouth sealed and nostrils open and vice versa to simulate mouth and nasal breathing. Run same test several times for consistency. Contrast, compare and we’d all know for certain. Repeat for differing droplet sizes. This is science at it’s simplest. Not modelling, but real world testing.

The point is that surgical masks are anti-bacterial, not antiviral. The only thing that will stop viral spread dead in it’s tracks, as I have pointed out with dull regularity, is a face covering hood, sealed properly at the neck with it’s own activated charcoal filtered air supply, like for an NBC or proper Hazmat suit. Even N95 masks aren’t ideal. If not properly worn, they are worse than no mask at all.

As previously stated we should be rid of the wretched things over here by the end of February anyway, so I suppose it’s all rather academic. However, the more I look at the real data, the more I am convinced that masks and lockdowns haven’t just not worked, they’ve actually made the pandemic worse. No matter what the mainstream media say. Most of their ‘journalists’ have no scientific training at all and simply parrot what they are told. The lack of critical thinking on the part of far too many has been somewhat depressing.

Notwithstanding. Bowsaw and pruning gear have been purchased and put to good use on several of our multiple trees, there’s an ancient dysfunctional dishwasher to fix and we’re awaiting builder’s and plumbers quotes with bated wallets.

While we’re waiting we’re cutting back some of the overgrowth around the place, and even Mrs S is pitching in vigorously, enjoying herself immensely, ripping down ivy from overgrown walls. Overall we’re both sleeping better and feeling healthier than for a long time. Which just goes to show, fresh air, good food and moderate exercise are good for you.