Tag Archives: Observations

Family stuff.

We’ve finally got our Irish drivers licences and will be driving around the county looking at properties now the silly 5km restriction has disappeared. Not that anyone was really paying it any mind out here in the Wilder West of Ireland, we just used the back roads, knowing that the Gard were focussing on the big cities and motorways. They haven’t really the manpower for much else.

Not that the figures really justify lockdowns, it’s just that the politicians are too frightened to let it go. They’ve been got at by activists and lobbyists or in ignorance have succumbed to groupthink. So here we are, making the best of things.

We’ve bought a couple of garden chairs and have a nice sheltered spot in the garden that is also a bit of a sun trap. Which is good. A cup of coffee or tea is so much nicer outdoors on a sunny day. As is a large glass of wine, or large Martini, but we have a self imposed rule of not drinking alcohol before 4pm. I have a whiskey every other night, Mrs S and I like the odd glass of Pinot Noir.

One of the curiosities of Irish rural life is that we keep finding ourselves facing wayward livestock. First thing today it was a Shetland Pony in the yard, trotting around and making a tour of inspection on his own. Colum bought it as a stable mate for one of his breeding horses and it’s smart as they come, having worked out how to lift the latch on a gate, and knowing to stay off the road outside, preferring to visit the collection of ramshackle bans and pens to the rear of our house where its friends are.

Sunday’s escape was four steer calves in our front garden. I was upstairs in my office at the time, until Mrs S shouted “Bill, come and have a look at this!” Dutifully trundling downstairs I looked out of the front window to see four steer calves amiably bumbling around on the grass outside. so I phoned Colum and shooed then back up into the farm entrance where Colum caught them coming the other way. Between us we manoeuvred the errant livestock back into the right pen and safe from the predations of fast moving tin boxes on the road outside. This sort of thing happens at least twice a week. Fortunately mostly during daylight hours.

News from the UK; ‘North’ was crowing a bit about the pubs being open for outdoor drinking in jolly old Londinium. The prodnoses and puritans of course disapprove, and would like to make the pandemic that has passed into a permanent feature of everyone’s life. Over here of course, unless you move in some very select circles, the pubs remain firmly closed and bolted. This is what happens when governments have too much power, they f*ck everything up because all they know are political solutions which don’t translate into the real world.

As for ‘South’, in the fabled land of Oz, she’s bagged herself some reasonable contract work to keep the wolf from the door, and we’re advising from here on the pitfalls and benefits of being self-employed. As for the second Australian contingent; did you know they had snow in Darwin, Australia over the weekend? Hang on a minute! Darwin? Australia? Northern Territory? Officially that’s a Tropical Savanna climate. What the hell is it doing snowing in northern Australia there? Even if the snow didn’t settle. At least according to Australian Sister in law, who lives up there. A brief ‘polar blast’ from Antarctica was apparently to blame.

I mean, hold on a minute, if what all these much vaunted media ‘climate experts’ and people like Extinction Rebellion keep telling us about their ‘sceance’ it should be getting warmer. But no-one either understands nor wants to know is that we’re in the early stages of a Grand Solar Minimum, and it’s going to get colder over the next thirty years or so. Which will lead to local climate shifts, altered wind patterns and thus stormier conditions in some places, Areas which at present can produce arable crops may no longer be able to do so.

Then, providing we don’t trip over a threshold in the Northern hemisphere, it will begin to get warmer again after 2053. Depending upon the shifts in climate we’re seeing, which may be shifting around so that current desert areas that bloomed in prehistory will be crop producers once more. This isn’t a ‘conspiracy theory’, because if you bother to look, you can find the evidence that it’s already happening. Shifting growing zones, cold weather events in the tropics. And none of these climate shifts have anything to do with changes in atmospheric C02. At least there’s been zero correlation with the wild claims of climate doom.

So what did I do? Reader, I ignored all the silly prognostications of disaster, went out and bought my wife a bunch of roses. Because a thoughtful man should surprise his better half every so often. This is a far more worthy thing than protesting about something we have no control over, with far more beneficial results.

…It being a Friday

…A Prince named Phillip died. He was a man notorious for saying what was on his mind and being the only one to make HM Queen giggle. This drove anti-royalist Guardianistas into conniptive fits, which was always fun.

So Mrs S and I toasted his memory in tea and ginger biscuits on an Irish garden afternoon that seemed too sunny for such sad news.

We have steeled ourselves against the coming avalanche of empty platitudes from grandstanding politicians and other such luminaries. One can take solace that Phillip didn’t like them much either. His caustic wit will be missed.

A lesson from history

Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:

  1. Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
  2. Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
  3. Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
  4. Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
  5. Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
  6. Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Who also wrote; “Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.”

And;

“Politicians are not born; they are excreted.”

Sound familiar?

No wonder he used to be taught as part of a classical education. As well as many other Greek and Roman philosophers. Because they’d seen the same mistakes made two freaking thousand years ago and more.

Easter Sunday morning

We’ve seen more lambs over Easter weekend. All twins, lots of sleepless nights for Colum and his family. At times like these its all hands to the pumps, which means everyone works through the night, ensuring these bright little lives slide out into existence with the least possible interference from predators and the normal difficulties of birth.

And yes, we’ve been woken up every so often by the latest plaintive cry of newborns, higher pitched than their mothers, complaining at being shunted out of a nice cosy womb to the scant comfort of a concrete floor and the careful ministrations of businesslike two legs. When it gets busy in the lambing shed across the yard during the wee hours, sleep for us sensitive mortals can get a bit fractured. We just try to roll over and check our earplugs as best we can. My days of being up all hours are long ago, and I don’t think Mrs S has ever stayed up past one am in her entire life.

Now from the lambs point of view being born is a mixed blessing, but at least Mum has milk on tap. But before that then there’s the indignity of being unceremoniously hauled out of the shed by a two leg, carried like a brace of rabbits and dumped into lush green grass to recover, suckle a bit, and try to come to terms with these complicated things at each corner called legs.

Keeping on this rather agricultural topic, now the lambs find other lambs, other mothers who don’t smell like their mum does and there’s a bit of confusion, a bit of argey-bargey while everyone sorts out who belongs to whom and should be sucking on which teat on which Ewe. This life business don’t half get complicated. Especially as yesterdays lambs tell you it’s chillier than yesterday. Isn’t there supposed to be a hot yellow thing in the sky that makes you feel warm? Mum says it comes and goes, so keep hold of that thick woolly coat sonny, never mind that tight lacky band round thee nadgers. They’ll soon drop off. Although I’m not sure of how they castrate the boy lambs. It’s usually done at birth, sometimes with a knife, sometimes with elastic bands around the scrotum.

Easy to see that Boris Unraed (Lit. ‘Boris the badly counselled’ who definitely needs a tight elastic band around his scrotum IMHO) is going to set travel restrictions into law which will hurt our family (For one) a great deal. These ‘vaccine passports’ mean we probably won’t see our daughters in person again. All for a pandemic that has been over for months. For months, you utter bastards. For all the talk of ‘COVID deaths’ our local hospital seems to be quiet and the local funeral directors appear to be doing no more than the usual trade.

Regrettably, given the nature and probable longevity of these travel restrictions, it’s now unlikely that Mrs S and I won’t ever see any grandchildren in person either. This I feel is unforgivable, and my UK postal vote will be going to Reform UK, who seem to be the only people opposed to these unnecessary restrictions. I’d like to point out that any other administration that imposes COVID passports won’t be forgiven either. However, in addition,, apparently now I’m a resident of Ireland, I get a vote over here too. Now I can’t stomach the ultra nationalism of the Irish National party who are one of the most vociferous anti-lockdown campaigners, but do like what I’m hearing from the Irish Freedom party. I also like them because they want out of the EU and aren’t quite so vehemently anti-British as the Nationalists. Although I can’t say I’m impressed with their stance on abortion. That should be a personal choice on the part of the mother, no-one else.

So there will be a reckoning of one sort or another. I don’t know how, I don’t know by whom, but there has to be one. This has to end.

Figures…

While I was watching new born lambs being shuttled into the field next door, I went to YouTube, and at the recommendation of Simon Webb of ‘History Debunked’, and to prove, once and for all that the numbers do not lie, went to the UK’s Office of National Statistics website and pulled their stats for all causes of death for the last ten years.

There I also found the following quotation: The number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 19 March 2021 (Week 11) was 10,311; this was 676 fewer deaths than the previous week (Week 10). The all causes death numbers are declining, although there’s a bit of wiggle room as these only refer to registered deaths.

However, he said, grasping his metaphorical lapels. The interesting figures are for all causes deaths for the first week of January. According to the ONS all causes mortality figures the UK is currently well below seasonal death norms. I downloaded the last 10 years direct and found the following; for the first week of the calendar year in 2021, total deaths from all causes are listed at 10,069. For the same week in 2018 it was 12,723. For the first week in 2017 it was 11,991. In 2016; 13,045. 2010 was 12,968, which was close to the average of 12,050 for the previous five years. Similar figures can be seen across the available figures for January and February of each respective year. Death stats for that week, traditionally one of the worst in each calendar year, are down by about 2,000 per week. For the arithmetically challenged or simply lazy, that’s about 285 deaths less per day than usual for that week.

Remember, these are official figures, downloaded directly from the office of national statistics, not something I have played with and mangled. Nothing but a simple like for like, week for week comparison.

So let me posit the question again; Why the increasingly draconian regulations making it an offence even to approach a ferry or airport? Why the vaccine passports, why the threats of jail time? Which is a pretty bloody silly thing to do, throwing someone in prison where they’re more likely to catch something than not. That’s like chucking someone into the sea for suggesting a dip in the local swimming pool.

The COVID-19 debacle is over. reputable scientists say it’s been over for a while, the numbers say it’s been over since last year. Western governments, on the other hand, seem to have other ideas. Someone, somewhere has it badly bass ackwards, and it isn’t me.

What upsets me most

Is the uncertainty of all these restrictions. Constantly moving goalposts make it hard to plan and execute those plans, be they business or family. None of this makes any sense from the travel restrictions through all the bureaucratic pettifoggery.

We’re told that government advisers are pushing for ‘Zero COVID’, thinking they can do to SARS/COV-2 what happened to Smallpox. Not going to happen. Smallpox is transmitted by physical contact and close proximity droplet transmission. That and there’s an effective vaccine. Also Smallpox was kept at bay by treatment in specialist isolation hospitals. Historical note; the last Smallpox hospital in the UK was demolished in 1974. I think.

The SARS/COV-2 coronavirus by contrast, is respiratory and airborne micro droplet, and the vaccines, we are told, only provide partial immunity. The only way to be sure you won’t catch it are to wear full Hazmat in a sterile, atmosphere controlled environment, all the time.

Surgical masks haven’t stopped it, the SARS/COV-2 virus, harmless to most under 60’s, passes around as though they weren’t in the way. Lockdowns won’t stop this virus simply because they keep people in their own homes, which is where most disease transmission occurs.

Another historical note; the black death probably killed more people than it should because of the common tactic of incarcerating whole households together when one person caught the disease, thus leading to an exponential increase in mortality where whole families could be wiped out.

As for our little lot, we’re hanging in there, but only just. If it were just me I could cope, but it’s not. ‘South’ is going to a therapist. ‘North’ is just throwing herself into her work and looking forward to the pubs opening, even if it rains. She tells us all the pubs in London are booked solid, so if you haven’t got a table by now, forget it.

Mrs S is struggling, and even though we’ve never exactly been very social people, these masks, the constant threat of sanction is taking its toll. Having to have a ready excuse for travel if stopped by the Gardai (Police) puts unnecessary stress on a simple drive to the shops. It’s the sense of having to look over your shoulder all the time that drags at the senses. Even out here in the wilder west of Ireland. Glad we don’t live where there are active curtain twitchers and snitches. Whoever dreamed up that poisonous idea has a case to answer for.

On the upside, no-one’s broken by any manner of means, but the timbers on this old ship are creaking a bit. I’m sure there are many who have already gone under on the quiet. Small lives breaking up and sinking to the bottom unnoticed and unremarked.

As an aside; doesn’t Boris Johnson look stressed out? He looks beaten down, apathetic. At least in the most recent interviews. There’s none of the old bounciness in him. BREXIT in itself must be stressful enough, but all these restrictions and the bad advice he’s been getting? Turn him over folks, that sides done.

Here in the Emerald Isle we’re told that restrictions may be ‘reviewed’ on April 5th, but I’m not holding my breath. Society has morphed into a ‘one rule for thee, but not for me’ dichotomy. The politicians have booked their Summer Holidays, but apparently the rest of the populace isn’t ‘responsible’ enough. The politicians and privileged are getting their beach breaks this year to frolic in the surf.

Hope there’s a tidal wave and the miserable feckers all drown.

Update: For all you folk in the UK, sod the Government, hug a friend.

What’s next?

I’m fed up of hearing about COVID, so I thought I’d post a few observations about what’s going on internationally with the EU. Now we source a lot of our material needs from non-EU countries, including the UK. One of the things I’ve noticed is how much more expensive shipping and customs costs have been since December 31st. In essence they’ve rocketed. The US into the EU is a case in point. For example I bought a two year supply of one particular item from Illinois yesterday. The item itself is not cheap at forty plus quid (USS65) a litre, but with customs fees the cost essentially doubled. Normally shipping and customs is 50% on top of the purchase price.

It’s the same all over. Shipping costs into the EU from the USA and elsewhere have shot up like they’ve had a Saturn 5 up their arse. Into the UK, not so much, so we’ve cut back on ordering online for a few weeks while the EU, whose top down, one size fits all model of sorting out tariffs settles down. All the while the EU are trying to ‘punish’ the UK for having the temerity to leave their club for bureaucrats, taking all its money and fish with it. Yet in all the EU’s flailing around they’re not just shooting themselves in the foot, they’re doing through knee amputations, which makes them a market I shifted my investments out of some time ago.

Fortunately for us expats in the Emerald Isle, the Euro is depressed at the moment, which makes my life a lot more profitable. The exchange rate is good, so I’m taking advantage of it.

End result; I just made a ‘killing’ on one tranche of shares (On paper anyway), which should start a second bounce when things start opening up, hopefully in June 2021, when dear reader, there will be a great cashing in and loud rejoicing in the Sticker household. Even if the big market bounce doesn’t happen then, we’re still quids in. As an active investor, I watch the markets carefully and did a fair bit of share buying in March / April 2020 when shares bottomed out due to these pointless lockdowns. Mrs S got a bit shirty with me for the purchase, but since she’s come around to my way of thinking, even if she did scorch my ears at the time.

Now I follow this guy on YouTube. He talks a lot of sense, even if I’m not financially in that league. Well not yet anyway.

It’s easy to demand that ‘the rich’ pay for everything as Andrew rightly points out, but what happens when governments run out of ‘rich’ people? As they will. Very quickly in fact. Who do they come after? Well, people like small business owners, or at least the ones they haven’t already forced into bankruptcy. Plumbers, Electricians, Builders, farmers, Amazon traders, shop owners, tradespeople in general and all the self-employed. They’ll be the ones taking the big tax hit. The magic money trees paying all that lovely ‘furlough’ money will exhaust the nutrients in the financial markets, and without putting extra roots into ordinary people’s reserves, will die. Which is what will happen. More taxes on those who aren’t able to move their money fast enough.

Ironically all you lockdown cheerleaders are in for such a financial pounding. Not so ‘the rich’ who can threaten to cut off the politicians money supply and lobby for tax breaks. They won’t be hurt at all.

The politicians can pass what laws they like. The ‘smart money’, as I have often said before, will have already gone where it’s most welcome and treated best, leaving a fading Cheshire cat smile where it had once been. And it won’t be their fault that all is left behind but a wasteland. The blame should be laid quite firmly on the doorstep of spendthrift politicians who wasted the public taxpayer dollar in the first place. Wasted it on giving free stuff to people so that they would vote for the politicians in question. Wasted it on boondoggles instead of infrastructure.

Perception

I watched a livestream of the London anti-lockdown protest on Saturday, then I saw the media reports and had a serious WTF! moment. Had we watched the mainstream, only a few hundred malcontents were there. The reality, see below, is somewhat different.

All these people want is their pre-COVID civil rights back. The numbers of respiratory cases are falling in line with seasonal norms. So why are the politicians not listening? Why are they sticking their fingers in their ears going “LA-LA-LA CAN’T HEAR YOU!” Then passing laws effectively forbidding any form of protest. Yes Johnson, this means you.

The restrictions should have been lifted months ago. They serve no purpose. Health services, underfunded though they have been have struggled, but then again I’ve heard rumours of publicly employed health professionals subject to what are in effect gagging orders. Has anyone got any reasonable ideas why the lockdowns are still in place? Furthermore why there seem to be plans to keep them there.

St Paddy’s

Over here in the Emerald Isle it’s coming up to the one year anniversary of tiers and lockdowns. Notwithstanding; earlier today Mrs S and I were treated to a convoy of about fifty, yes fifty cars sporting the Irish tricolour and balloons honking madly as they drove up our lane, kids sitting in boats on trailers, standing on the dash as Dad’s drove, waving at everyone from out of sun roofs waving flags. Elf and safetee would have had a conniptive fit.

Despite noises in the media about increased Gardai presence to prevent anyone anywhere enjoying themselves, people found a way round. God alive, this is why I love this place.

A touch of Atlantic weather

Hail hammering on the windows first thing, followed by patches of squally rain, hail and now bright sunshine. Welcome to the wilder west of Ireland young Bill.

Had an interesting chat with ‘North’ over the phone yesterday. Apparently she had her first SARS/COV-2 vaccination last week. “How did it go? Which one did you have?” I asked.
“The AstraZeneca. The jab was fairly painless.” She replied. “Felt a bit sick afterwards though.”
“Really? What happened?” I probed.
“Started about four hours after I had my injection.” She said. “Began with a really bad headache so I went to bed.”
“Doesn’t sound very nice.” I replied.
“Then I felt nauseous and had muscle cramps and pains for the next two days and my arm ached for a week.”
“Highly unpleasant.” I commented guardedly. Somehow I’m glad I’m at the back of the queue for this particular vaccine.
“Yeah, they’re giving the AstraZeneca to younger people reserving the Pfizer for the over 70’s.”
“But you’re okay now?” I asked.
“A bit grumpy.”
“I can tell. Ready for the pubs re-opening?”
“Managed to book a table. Everywhere is booked solid.” I could hear her anticipatory smile.
“Take an umbrella. I know what London is like at that time of year.” I warned gently. “No sense in getting your drinks diluted by a seasonal shower.” She had the good grace to laugh at my pallid Dad humour, bless her little cotton socks.

Then we changed the subject to other things and rattled for another ten minutes about life in general before I passed her on to Mrs S. I didn’t ask ‘North’ about the Saturday vigil that got baton charged by the Met as she has more sense than to get involved in such things. Well, lot that she tells us about anyway. I’ll be happier when she finally gets out of the UK for an extended visit to us here in the wilder west. ‘South’ is sounding a bit desperate to get back to Europe and catch up with family. Which is understandable. We only get to see each other every other year as it is. So I keep sending them both little video’s of deserted Irish beaches and odd little corners of the Emerald Isle as we discover them. It seems to help. Us as much as them.

All the time the soft squalls rolled in from the Atlantic. The weather is a little restricting at present but finding that our two are doing moderately okay takes the edge off things. There’s a bout of fine weather coming in sometime next week, we hope. Ergo Mrs S and I will be taking visits out to the beaches as and when the sun is shining. Even if the wind is trying to blow our socks off.

Afterthought; Seems like the concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine are spreading. Ireland has just suspended its use after Norway, Iceland and Denmark did over post jab fatalities and concerns about increased blood clotting.

Important Update: France, Italy, Germany and Spain have also suspended AstraZeneca. The Pfizer vaccine is also flagging up similar symptoms to the AstraZeneca. Stats for all vaccine side effects here.

Let it all blow

Mood post; The world is nuts, so I’m inclined to throw up my hands and say, “All the insanity sucks. So let it all blow.”

Laydees and gennelmen! Put your hands together for this one hit wonder from 1984.

The masks are insane, the continued lockdowns are insane, ‘hate speech’ laws are completely gaga, there’s a senile old fool in the White House (Well, more senile than usual) who can’t even be allowed to make his own statements to a docile press. No-one’s doing joined up thinking any more, so I say, let it all go to hell. We might as well have a party while the world burns.

As for the Welsh and scots, sorry guys, but you are so f*cked it’s not true.

Get your dancing shoes on.

Point and laugh

Back from sitting in my car at the beach with books. Am currently listening to the rain thunder on the roof, having returned to the news that, according to some people, ‘men’ should be confined to barracks after 6pm. To keep ‘women’ safe, apparently, from the small percentage of predatory males. Despite protestations by some doltish talking heads, that this was a ‘joke’. Having watched the statement in the UK House of Lords, all I can say is that the teller should work on their delivery and timing, because I don’t think the ‘comedian’ has much of a grasp of irony, sarcasm or satire. Or even has a sense of humour worth the candle.

In response, the law of unintended consequences has just peered around the door with a sly grin on it’s face. See videos below. Okay they’re American examples, but I think it doesn’t require a towering intellect to see how a ‘No men after 6pm’ can go seriously wrong.

How many things? The emergency services are predominantly staffed by men. As are most dirty, dangerous and unsocial hours jobs. Would they have to stay home? Do we let towns burn to the ground because only female firefighters, of whom there are relatively few, would be allowed to fight fires or rescue cats from trees after 6pm? Or fix a flat tyre, tow a stranded vehicle, clear a sewer or fix a downed power cable? If ‘men’ are to be corralled after 6pm, who will be on hand to clean up those messes? Or will power outages last longer because the male members of the crew can’t do anything out of office hours, and even then can’t travel far because they all have to be home before the 6pm curfew?

Then there’s the entertainments industry. Girls nights out without male strippers or bar staff? Indeed, why should young women bother to go out at all if they weren’t likely to find a member of the opposite sex to socialise with? Wouldn’t affect the minority who are lesbians of course, but what about heterosexual females? How would they find boyfriends and potential partners without the necessary frog kissing exercise that is dating? Can’t do that during working hours because any fraternising in the corporate sphere is highly regulated and often discouraged. I can recall a couple of jobs where my contract of employment strictly and explicitly forbade dating co-workers. So the small group of feminists complaining that no one will date them because they’re miserablists with all the charm of a squashed turd will have even more reason to complain. Because there will be no men out there to date. Well not after 6pm anyway.

Yet the Welsh ‘leader’ is taking such measures seriously, as is Siddiq Khan. They’re effing idiots who make things worse. Walking jokes.

The cognitive dissonance is deafening. It’s a kind of societal rape. The only defence, as comedian Robin Williams once said, is to “point and laugh.”

Hell road paved intentions good with to the is. This is an Ikea flat pack analogy, which will require some re-assembly.

Update: Is the world mad? As far as the English speaking nations are concerned, I think the answer is that too many of the political and media class are so wrapped up in their own agendas that they don’t realise how counter intuitive their actions ad speech are. So yes, they’re so busy trying to be all things to all men that they don’t see how crazy they appear. Unfortunately, describing a spade as a metal bladed digging implement is now probably construed as ‘hate speech’. Which is, as a concept clinically insane.

Random amusement

With all the doom and gloom, virtue signalling etc out there, I have a suggestion to fix the world’s troubles.

Read a book. Go on, find something without pictures in it and read the words. One at a time if that is your reading level but do read one. While reading you will not care about Sparkly Megs specious accusations of “raaaaacism” and TV hosts having a hissy fit over it. Reading will immunise you from the ‘newer, deadlier, more lockdownier’ strain of the dreaded lurgi. Reading is cheap, better for you than telly, the radio or interwebs.

It is also very hard to riot while reading a book. So law and order gets a boost.

Has to be a proper book mind, not one of those e-Readers. Only the real papery thing will do. You will feel better for spending some quality time with your nose in a real book. Reading will make you a better person. Trust me, I’m not an ‘expert’.

That’s where I am at the moment. On a windy Irish beach, with a book. Back in a while.

Going through the motions

At present there’s not much happening. Mrs S and I have been sloping off to the beach every day when the sun shines, taking the back roads to avoid the mercifully rare Gardai checkpoints. We’re not stopping and talking to people at length, so we’re hardly likely to catch anything or pass it on. There’s supposed to be a video, but for some reason it’s still being ‘processed’. At least on Bitchute, so here’s the Rumble version.

The only problem we have is having to wait another month before the restrictions are supposed to be lifted. (Yeah, right) That and the seasonal spraying of manure to improve the grazing on the meadow overlooking our little domicile. Boy, doesn’t that just clear the old sinuses. I’m told there’s some rain forecast, sometime. Can’t come soon enough.

In the meantime I’ve been spending some time reading up on the factors that drove some of my ancestors out of Ireland in 1843.

There’s a body of opinion that solely blames ‘the English’ for all Ireland’s problems during those times. Yet the facts, as presented, tell a more nuanced story of the great outflow of Irish people that happened in the 1840’s, of which my ancestors were a part.

One of the points that sticks in my mind from the video is the disparity between the rents paid, and what those nasty bloated plutocrats of English landlords received. Say a rent was forty shillings a year, the land owner only got three. So that’s thirty seven shillings going to the land agents and other middlemen. The system had become financially over balanced. So much so that when the hard times hit, the poor buggers at the bottom of the pile had nothing left, and the top people had no reserves, while the middlemen were sitting pretty, trousering the greater percentage of the rents.

The great potato famine wasn’t the only one to hit the Emerald Isle, but it was as they say, the last straw, the final blow. It was a real tipping point, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands from disease and starvation.

Now this is just an observation on my part, but I have the distinct impression that you poor buggers across the Irish sea are headed for a similar crisis as the EU steps up it’s trade war, and your own government has deemed it illegal for you to leave. Hard times are a-comin’ folks, and if you think Bojo the moron’s half-baked draconian regulations will keep you ‘safe’, think again. The pandemic has been over since last May and they’re still going to keep you locked down until September. At least.

You think not? Then why has ‘furlough (a.k.a. unemployment payment) been extended to September 2021 and people forbidden to leave on holiday? Answer me that. All the time illegal, and possibly infectious, immigrants are being let in on the grounds that they will form a pool of cheap labour and keep demand for pay rises low.

I mean, our current crop of Irish politicians aren’t much to write home about, but at least the Gard don’t come round kicking in your door because you’ve had more than the regulation number of friends round for drinks. There aren’t enough Gardai for starters. Besides, we still have policing by consent over here in the civilised wilder west of Ireland.

No I’m not gloating, just amazed that no-one in the UK is currently rioting, chucking rocks at Tory Ministers or the Stasi currently masquerading as the UK’s Police Service. Like the Danes are, like the Dutch are. And the French. And the Germans and Italians.

At least nothing is flagging up in my news feeds. If anyone has any primary sources, I think we’d all like a heads up.

The Daffs are out

First spring lambs spotted on the hill overlooking our house this morning. New born twins. We’d talked to Colum when he came to collect the rent money on Sunday, and he reckoned that lambing wasn’t due to start for two to three weeks. The sheep it seems, have other ideas.

The Gardai are all busy chasing teenagers for chucking fireworks at them in Dublin, so any rational person will take advantage of such a situation and grab a break at the seaside, negotiating a maze of back roads to do so. I am a rational person, so I took us out for a sunny day at a very nice beach. Which was good for our sanity. Saw one speed trap on the main drag before we made the turn for home. That was it.

Overall we’re all good. The sun is shining, the daffodils are coming into bloom, we’re currently having what I call a ‘false spring’ which is one of those interludes between patches of wintry weather. Nothing out of the ordinary, but it does help us cope with the news that these stupid, pointless and ineffective lockdowns are likely to continue into June. Yeah, right.

Anyway, Mrs S and I are okay. We have a sunny spot in the garden to take tea while farm work goes on all around. Colum’s dog barking at the Shetland Pony Colum bought recently to keep one of his thoroughbreds company. The pony wasn’t too happy at having an uppity dog think he was an over sized sheep and complained loudly. Colum’s sons chainsawing more wood while I restacked our own log store Canadian style. While things are quiet, the chores have to be done. We just get on with things, ignore all the panic mongering, although I did notice that the radio has switched from all doom, gloom and saccharine ‘stay safe’ propaganda to more hopeful stuff about some businesses that have not gone bankrupt in the last year being ‘allowed’ to re-open.

Unfortunately I’m not so hopeful. These lockdowns aren’t going to end until those deluded souls who support them get a sanity reboot. Not holding my breath for that to happen. Things have become too polarised. Everything is partisan political, and if you aren’t in lockstep, you are the bad guy. The politicians are talking about ‘wealth taxes’, which is just another way of passing the bill for their screw-ups onto John Q Taxpayer. No doubt the well connected will pay no more than the bare minimum while those of us who can only afford to buy one house get asset stripped.

So we’re all still at the mercy of this big government-created crisis as the economy implodes and everybody’s assets are bought up on the cheap by those crony capitalists who can afford clever lobbyists. A case in point being all those wealthy climate change promoters who buy large beachfront properties. Pardon me for noticing, but aren’t these expensive waterfront places supposed to be drowning in the next year or two? Like they were back when the ‘global warming’ bullshit first started in the late 80’s?

One item of note being the wholesale purchase of agricultural lands by some very wealthy people. Almost like they want to corner the food supply, isn’t it? Yet these are the very people who support ideas like the rest of us having to chow down on reconstituted Cockroach. These latter day Henry Ford’s seem to think because they have made a lot of money that makes them fit to tell everyone else how to live. I contend that the Davos Party or World Economic Foundation and suchlike are not fit to govern anybody because these organisations are made up of compulsive meddlers who are philosophically incapable of understanding the multiplicity of subtleties the average human individual is home to, like Ford was.

These techno-geeks think we’re all herd animals to be managed and culled on demand. We’re not, humans are a co-operative tribal apex predator. The sooner the WEF gets that memo and stops interfering, the happier everyone, including them, will be.