Tag Archives: Observations

Ermm….

There are sheep in the driveway and garden of our temporary domicile this morning. No idea where they’ve come from, but they’re merrily lunching on the lawn. I suppose the neighbour who owns them will be along shortly with his dog to round them up and herd them back into their proper meadow. See picture below taken from the kitchen window.

They’ve obviously squeezed between strands of a barbed wire fence as the Ewes are missing chunks of fleece. The lambs, about ten of them, appear relatively unscathed. Sheep are great escape artists and will get out of anywhere.

Wincing slightly at the UK Chancellor trying to do something about high fuel bills by imposing a ‘windfall’ tax on the energy companies to give to the people currently suffering from fuel poverty who can’t pay their fuel bills.

Now I’m no economist, but what do you think the energy companies hit with such a tax bill are going to do? Got it in one! Raise their prices to the already hard pressed consumers even further, thus increasing fuel poverty for the most vulnerable. Never mind the ‘better off’ giving their four hundred knicker payment to charity, the ‘rebate’ will easily get swallowed up by the increased bills.

As a more sensible approach, the UK government could cut energy bills overnight by almost fifteen percent by cancelling all the ‘Green’ levies and not collecting the tax from the poor bloody peasants in the first place. That would make far more sense.

Why is it so obvious to me but not to the supposed big brains currently in power?

Things I never knew

Blustery weather means my bee colonies still aren’t ready until this weekend. The builders are still doing their thing and we won’t have liveable conditions at our new house until the end of June. So I’m just pootling around with odd jobs, and whilst doing that browsing around the interwebs just for the shits and giggles. It’s a real education out there, I can tell you, or I’d rather not.

You know, those revelations just pile up don’t they? All these things I never knew, like:

Only ‘far right fascists’ or the ‘alt-right’ believe in freedom of speech. Sensible debating of a topic is ‘hate’ and all the perpetrators should be shouted down, their channels of communication cancelled and their fire alarms set off so no-one can have a reasonable conversation. Who knew, eh?

The Union flag of the UK is a symbol of all that is wrong in the world (especially if you’re an overpaid dickhead like Gary Lineker). All Brits (Especially Expats) are bad, bad, naughty people who should be taken behind the bike sheds for a damned good spanking on their bare bottoms. Three times a week and twice on Fridays Oooh Matron!

What about those awful northern European types? Apparently they’re the only category of people who can be insulted with impunity for being their own ethnicity. They’re all members of the American Democrat Klu Klux Klan or similar and must go on ‘anti-racism’ courses to cure them of something many never did in the first place. Like keeping African descended people as slaves apparently. Even though we’re all supposedly from that continent some hundreds of thousands of years ago. Guilty as charged. Take all their money and send them down to the cells.

If you don’t have a University degree on a topic, you can’t express an opinion. Only ‘qualified experts’ can give their version, but only if they are ‘qualified experts’ who have the politically correct opinion, of course. Everyone else can jolly well shut up, and give back that Doctorate you bigot!

Anything that can be called a ‘weapon’ like an air rifle or pocket knife automatically turns the bearer into a raging murderous psychopath. Because it’s never the actual person pulling the trigger or holding the blade, it’s always the weapon that is the problem.

Teaching pre-pubescent children all about outlier minority sex practices is a good thing, so getting f*cked up the chuff by some random pervert doesn’t come as too much of a shock when it happens. Childish innocence is over rated anyway.

Killing a foetus right up to and even during the birth process is a reasonable form of abortion. Doesn’t matter that the ‘cluster of cells’ in question is capable of surviving independently outside of the womb. The cis-normative birthgivers body, their chosen pronouns ‘right’, right?

It’s not your biology or genitalia that matters. It’s your pronoun, even if you only made it up last Tuesday week. So there, ‘hater’.

Innocently getting someone’s chosen ‘gender’ wrong is as heinous and even more evil than slitting their throat with a rusty razor, or doing horrible things to their bodies with soldering irons and sharp objects. So we are told. ‘Misgendering’ is a horrible crime and should be treated with a life sentence in durance vile. Serial multiple murder and mutilation is a minor offence by comparison.

Destroying someone’s personal and professional life by complaining to their employer, University, bank or other service provider about having one’s feathers ruffled, because they supposedly said something online that you disagreed with, is a good thing, allegedly.

Oh yes, and it’s “Get your jab you science denier!” even if you have reasonable doubts about the risk / reward over said ‘vaccination’ whose clinical trials were cut short and attempts made to hide the data. Oddly enough this view comes predominantly from the “My body my choice” activist types.

Disagree and we’ll send your kids to a “Queer ecology camp” for re-education, you bigot.

Well, that’s me educated and no mistake. No wonder today’s social scene is such a minefield, and I’m sure those in the peanut gallery can come up with a few more examples.

I’m just happy that I’ve got a prospective pickup date for my bee colonies. Providing this unseasonably cool weather warms up by the weekend. Otherwise my hives are going to remain empty. As they would if the Queen decided that all those drones were sexist pigs and drove them out into the cold to die with all the excess workers.

Wonderful thing, nature.

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.

Next!

Matters with the house proceed slowly. Mrs S and I are slightly hors de combat at present, her with a gastric illness and myself with a bout of stress related muscle spasm which has locked up my back. Not much fun while it lasts but all afflictions and difficulties will pass in their own time.

The pills I’ve had prescribed have limited facility, so just by way of an experiment I’m backing them up with plenty of cold steeped green tea and lemon. The quack has told me to drink plenty of water and the green tea and lemon mix makes plain water a little more palatable, at least to me, so for the next month I’m going on the wagon and seeing what happens.

Talking of afflictions, the latest scare to hit the headlines has arrived. Wait for it DEE-DAH-DAAAH! Monkeypox. Okay, Right. How bad is it really? 7 UK cases since 2017. (Update; 20 overall now) Riight. Is it fatal? Ermmm… Not really. How do you catch it? Close proximity droplet infection or via the mucosa.

Indeed all cases reported to 16th May 2022 were men who had sex with men. So if you aren’t a promiscuous gay male or bisexual, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. Just be careful who you snog. Besides, it’s not that contagious so your chances of getting covered in those nasty blister like lesions are minimal. So you won’t need a vaccine and masks and lockdowns won’t help one iota. Just keeping your naughtier urges under control will keep you pretty safe. So there. Good news there eh? Right. Disaster averted. Home for tea and medals.

As for that WHO pandemic treaty. Seriously? Putting that much power in the hands of unelected bureaucrats of limited intellect? Whoever thinks that is a good idea needs a large dose of cascara. Then when they’ve (eventually) come out of the toilet, their constipated brains might start to work and they would see all the downsides.

At this point I’ve lost all trust in the powers that be. None of them have a clue, leading the rest of us into the situation that, in to part quote the words of late 19th century writer Elbert Hubbard “just one damned thing after another”. However, I’m sure another ‘crisis’ will turn up to divert attention from whatever cockups the powers that be and click hungry media are trying to bullshit us all to death with.

The problem is, that all the current powers that be have to offer are more problems, not workable solutions. They aren’t interested in fixing the problems of ordinary people, just stumbling from one shitshow to the next. Everyone from the USA to China, it seems, are firefighting by chucking gasoline on the blaze. And the fallout is the worldwide inflation we’re seeing.

Contrariwise Mrs S’s car developed a difficult to trace fault and needed an expensive fix. Fortunately we have a good mechanic nearby, and he knew how to solve the issue long term. All done, but still an additional expense we didn’t need.

However, because of the disparities in exchange rates, I made enough on a recent Dollar to Euro transaction to cover it. Just. Because of the incompetence of Brussels over this Ukraine business, the Euro has been dropping in value faster than the Dollar or Sterling, despite huge amounts of money printing, so overall we’re at least no worse off.

On a more bucolic note, Swallows have arrived and are colonising odd places around our property. I swear, these silly birds have even built one of their mud nests on a power cable (See below) between the electricity meter and the front door. Well, they’re in for a summary eviction when the ESB arrive and the power gets reconnected in two weeks time. I’m happy to let them nest in and around the sheds, but in this particular case I’m afraid they’ve picked the wrong spot.

Well that’s all for now, the great works proceed, we’ll have a house worth living in by the end of June (Or else! Says Mrs S) and I can get back into my own bed at night. Then perhaps my back will settle down. Next!

A couple of memes

Has anyone ever noticed the following?

People who talk about ‘disinformation’ or ‘misinformation’ (and other such neologisms) are usually the greatest liars of all?

The difference between ‘conspiracy theory’ and ‘verified fact’ is currently running at about six months.

Teeth grinding

A cautionary examplar here. In our house Mrs S and I were careful to instruct our tradespeople that there were two rooms which required only disconnection and reconnection to electrical and water services. No other works were to be undertaken in these areas. Flanders and Swann comically outline the outcome as below.

Well, having given detailed plans of what was to go where, said trades have first trashed installations they were specifically told not to touch. Which has cost me sleep and a layer of enamel off my herkos odonton. Fortunately the fix is less than a grand, so we can cross it off the list. There’s just enough room in the cash supply. Just enough. Providing our tax bill isn’t too high.

Given the friction this creates I can see how easily some major refurbishment projects lead to divorce. However, Mrs S and I are too busy problem solving on the fly. We discuss, debate point by point. We involve. Okay, sometimes the process falls over but mostly we get by. Although just sometimes….. You know? I have to clench my teeth so hard it’s painful.

Fortunately the last floors go in tomorrow and the last of the internal insulation is going in today. I have an offer of bees this weekend, so things are coming together slowly. But oh too slowly, and everyone is on my case about it.

Methinks it’s time to move the last of our funds out of sterling, although all currencies appear to be nosediving, so we’re moving and spending our cash reserves while we can. The inflation trap, sprung by the COVID restrictions is on us. Not the virus you understand, but the fallout from government imposed restrictions and free money for the underemployed, that is going to hit hard. Very hard. It’s going to be worse than the hyperinflation of the late 1970’s, which I can remember well, even though I was only a student at the time.

I recall my Dad being issued a ‘fuel ration’ card, prices of everything skyrocketing, especially heating costs. Having to wear two jumpers indoors because the central heating was too expensive to switch on. Cold winters in which old people literally froze to death. But better than having a modest chance of catching a nasty flu type bug and dying of that now, hey? Now we have the chairman of Tesco and other food retail groups talking about food shortages. And news items have abounded about food banks being under more stress than ever. We never had that in the 70’s. We did have Disco however, and I’m not sure what was worse.

Just remember this; ‘following the science’ and rule by ‘experts’ caused this unfolding economic catastrophe. Doing what the media said did this. Paying people to stay at home did this. The bill for all those restrictions, mask mandates and vaccines that don’t work all that well is coming due and we’re all being stuck with the bill.

I truly believe, having read the stats and watched events unfold, that had we done nothing at all the body count would not have changed. Even the most optimistic studies say that the restrictions only ‘saved’ 0.2% of the potential casualties.

Apropos of what has already begun there is a book title I’d like to share with you; Der zug war pünktlich (The train was on time) by German Author Heinrich Böll about a WWII German soldier on his way to the meat grinding hell of the Eastern front. Well the inflation train is in the station and like it or not we’re all going to have to ride it. Courtesy of clueless politicians and their blockheaded advisers. Oh yes, and all those who censored well qualified people who had a better understanding of epidemiology than those grabbing at the reins of power, who didn’t want to listen to more sane and studied viewpoints. Literally ‘cancelling’ the voices who dared speak out against the chosen narrative.

From my position, it is so teeth grindingly obvious that what is coming at us will put the actual SARS/COV-2 virus deeply in the shade. So Mrs S and I will be hunkering down, doing the self sufficiency thing and in the words of Jack London, “living the Lord knows how.”

Think I’m exaggerating? All you will have to do is wait. The worst is yet to come. Despite that, I shall maintain an irreverent outlook. In the words of Noel Coward “There are bad times just around the corner”

Unintended consequences

Currently pulling twelve plus hour days on and off site, so not much time (or energy) for blogging. However, the little video collation below should be compulsory viewing for anyone demanding “There should be a law!”

It’s an entertaining list, light hearted but not exhaustive. Governments poisoning alcohol during prohibition is one notable omission, and I’m sure any viewer will be able to think of a few more…..

Any damned fool

Laid three new concrete hive bases today ready for their new stands. I’m told fifteen inches is about the right height to keep rats and mice out. So I built three stands of that height to place the hives on and oriented them south and east, like the books say you should.

There’s been a lot of ‘project slippage’ caused by unforeseen events. Supply availability, people not doing what you wanted in good time. Getting bees is proving a sticking point and I’m told that the next Nuc availability will be in a month.

As for the banks, the oft repeated words “We are experiencing extremely high call volumes.” have already reduced Mrs S to floods of tears twice this week and thus got me thoroughly discombobulated.

The money is all there, we just can’t get at it without the landline that the builders trashed. So until we’ve sorted out the phone access next week, I can only pay the trades guys half. Which should be an incentive for them to get us up and running, asap.

However, I’ve stripped out the last of the window glass intact, meaning I have plenty of glass panels for various projects like cucumber frames and citrus growing. Ever since I germinated my first lemon seeds I’ve had this notion to grow my own citrus fruit and store it as frozen organic fruit juice. Might even barter a little. We’re a registered farm business now, so why not? I’ve a location in mind and know how to build some hot water solar panels to retain some residual heat during the depths of winter to keep the frosts at bay. Some cheap half inch black plastic tube under double glazed glass over a black back panel is easy to make. An insulated hot water storage tank (or several) might be a good idea too. All do-able on a budget. Primitive but useful.

As for the outside world, the more I step away from the news, every time I have a brief peruse of the mainstream, the more I’m inclined to think; “Surely any damned fool could see that would happen.” It often reduces me to a near permanent state of “WTF!”

Which begs the question; am I ‘any damned fool’? Because I can see the harm done? By the very people we entrust with the public good? Real life measurable harm like (takes deep breath) Overt sexualising grooming of pre-pubescent children in schools by policy, interrupted education by lockdown, children (and adults) psychologically damaged by obsessive mask wearing and social isolation. People driven to madness by the incessant news media diet of fear. And people hate what they fear, so they are driven to hate. Because they are taught to hate by the very people squawking about ‘misinformation’. To name but a few. Yet who are the mis-informers? No pressure. Answer in your own time.

Not to mention the damage to the fabric of society. Despite increased institutionalised enforcement, under the surface we are observably more divided than ever before. There is more racism, more hatred, more intolerance. And it bubbles up from the poisoned wellspring of mandated ‘diversity’ and enforced ‘fairness’. The “You must think exactly this way – OR ELSE!” corporate mindset. Or else you will go on a list. A publicly visible list of the ideologically impure and unemployable ‘haters’. Available to hiring managers, credit agencies and local authorities to name but three. These lists should not exist in a truly civilised society, but they do. I cite the confirmed existence of the Non-Crime Hate Incident list in the UK, where people not convicted of any crime are put in an effective digital pillory.

Fortunately this matters little to me personally. Out here in the rural west of Ireland people are more down to earth, more in tune with the real world and the turn of the seasons. Social media is seen as the province of teenagers. And very few children have cell phones. Neighbours talk over their garden walls, do favours for each other, show unbidden kindness.

In my mind it is a fundamental truth that authoritarianisms suppression and censorship divides us all, while free, open and honest speech allows people to discuss, examine and challenge, not only the beliefs of others but also their own, in a roundabout way promoting ‘social cohesion’ more effectively than any other method. But then any damned fool should be able to see that, and if that is the case then I am happy to be so described.

The law of sausage

According to lawyer-poet John Godfrey Saxe in 1869 (Not Bismarck) that “Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.” This law should be firmly applied to building work.

Our house has been stripped to it’s very bones, exposing many grievous sins. Said domicile now looks more like a 1970’s Dr Who set than a once habitable building. Old wiring and heating stripped out, new wiring dangling like a jungle of ersatz creepers, it is quite depressing. Places where damp has rotted wood, spawning filigrees of fan like fungal growth spreading across long hidden wallpaper. Gaping holes for windows. Frankly me deario’s, it looks awful.

However there is hope; our plumber and sparky are working in concert. The builder and his merry men have sent in their first invoice which will be paid by Friday next. Said payment will cover the first tranche of new windows, lintels, wall and subfloor insulation. Then the pipes and manifold for the ground floor underfloor heating go in, followed by a fine screed and floor tiles.

Despite the possible threat of having our home confiscated to house ‘refugees’ for ‘the common good’ (Whatever the hell that is) we are ploughing ahead, working on the premise that it will take the powers that be a while to work their mendacious way down to our level. By which time we will be so well established and secure that they’ll have a serious legal fight on their hands. Besides, doesn’t it say in the Irish constitution (Article 43) that; “The State guarantees to pass no law to abolish these (property )rights”? Let’s see how that stands up against constant political pressure for ‘social injustice’. Which to me is nothing more than cover for a housing racket at the very highest level. It’s criminal.

Bill Stickers rule one about crime; always make it look like an uphill battle for the potential criminal. Make it quite plain in many subtle and diverse ways that they personally may suffer consequences should they try to make your life full of drama. Good locks and property lawyers are essential.

For my part, I always try to deal with prodnosing officialdom by being like McCavity the mystery cat; never there when they want something. Nod, smile, deflect and divert all the while, before making the object of their desire disappear right under their noses. Well it’s worked for me so far. Stuff their ‘refugees’, many of whom aren’t even Ukrainian, or even proper refugees.

Offshoring the processing of these ‘refugees’ to Rwanda sounds like a pretty good idea to me. It cuts the flight risk to a minimum and puts badly needed capital into the third world. And if that observation makes me a Xenophobic right winger, so be it.

Speaking of which, I see the French haven’t learned their lesson and have apparently voted Macron back in again. The majority appear to have been sufficiently frightened that Le Pen might boulverser le panier de pommes. Like with most electorates, they will always, in the words of Hillaire Bellocalways keep-a hold of nurse – for fear of finding something worse!

All of the above makes me think that making real change for the better in your life takes a gnats nadgers of personal vision, a soupçon of courage and a sound dose of unswerving commitment. Without these, you’re just counting down the days to your coffin.

Makers and breakers

Having listened to Dr Starkey’s little talk (See below) about Bojo’s fining for breaking the COVID rules. I am minded to think that Boris Johnson should not be fined. Nor any of his Staff, the Chancellor or any of his staff. Indeed I would like all COVID fines to be quashed and if need be repaid, no matter who they were issued to.

The restrictions have served no good purpose, and once the data is fully known, will be found to have been far more harmful than doing nothing but simple common sense (Stay at home if ill) precautions.

Off with their honours.

Oh this could be…

Fun. Elon Musk has bought 9% of Twitter as everyone knows. Twitter tried to block his attempt to buy them outright by offering him a Directorship, with the proviso that his holding would be capped around 14%. Elon rightly refused as his stated objective is to take Twitter private and reform it to be a free speech platform with clearly defined boundaries. Now he has made a hostile takeover bid of $54.20 per share. Ten points above current market value.

A lot of big financials, and the odd Saudi prince have become nervous as Twitter is their key to the communications kingdom. By controlling what is seen as ‘the public square’ they think they control acceptable public opinion. At least the greater share of it. So the share price is wobbling around the $45 mark (Down from $70 last year) as attempts are made to prevent Musk getting hold of it.

So. What is Musk going to do next? I have no idea.

However…… Anyone remember this scene from the movie ‘A Good Year’?

Honestly, I’m all agog. This could be epic.

Update: Viva Frei explains the outcomes below should Musk dump his 9% share of Twitter. Twitter stock will tank. Shareholders lose massively. Directors sued to bankruptcy by angry investors. Musk can do all this with a single sell order.

Anyone who thinks this doesn’t matter isn’t paying attention. The financial ramifications are enormous. This is a stone in a puddle situation. The ripples will get everywhere.

Mrs S and I are thinking of cashing out of our tech and property stocks, but where to go? That is the question. Finance and energy look like the only reasonable sectors. Maybe not even those.

Matters in motion

Oh what fun! Is this fun? I’m not sure. The technician is coming next Wednesday to reconnect the Interwebs at the house. Hopefully the sparkys will have at least got some form of power up by then. Even if it’s just the main distribution board with a partial ring main segment. I’ll do my own thing in my sheds with a proper five bay distribution board running proper lighting and ring main circuits. Not the slightly unsafe mixture of wiring that’s in there now. And it will be done properly. To code.

Such are the joys of ownership. However, I look at it this way; the house will look stunning when it’s done. We’ll have lowered our heating needs to the point where we can heat the house with a hairdryer, figuratively speaking, started growing our own and still have extra for family and friends. It’s the getting started that is the steepest part of the curve.

In the meantime I’m building beehives. Almost (but not quite, situation was recovered) cocked up the first, but now I know what I’m doing, the other two will be easy and be ready for the first colonies the week after Easter. I hope.

My original schedule is all to cock because of delay after delay and unexpected turns of events. Supply chain issues and the artificially inflated costs of Diesel, in turn caused by lockdowns that went on twenty one months longer than absolutely necessary. Not just the Western political farting around that led the Russkies to go all crazy and chuck green conscripts against a determined guerrilla opposition.

This isn’t grown up politics, this is bananas. Does no one understand that stout fences make good neighbours any more? Now we have a massive disruption caused by NATO and EU encroachment on the buffer zone between Russia and Western Europe. To illustrate by analogy, there is a Canadian saying; “Don’t prod the bear.” But isn’t that what EU expansionism has been doing? Pushing those boundaries?

As for skyrocketing energy bills, that’s partly down to believing an atmospheric trace gas controls the climate, which is daft. The physics behind said idea is sketchy at best, and when factored in against all the other influences, CO2 is a mere bit part player. A very small voice in a very large chorus. Because while atmospheric CO2 acts as part of the atmospheric insulation (The term ‘greenhouse effect’ is a massive over-simplification and only ‘works’ during the brightest daylight hours) of our little cosmic ball of rock, the whole ‘back radiation’ thing only exists in mathematical models. And the past two years should have taught everyone how accurate those are. Should have. Yeah.

But this man made climate change is an idea pushed as fact when it’s not, leading to frightened people blockading fuel depots, further pushing the costs of energy production and distribution up, with ‘Green’ levies and ‘carbon taxes’ forming almost 10% on top of an already over-inflated price. Which is crazy.

In response to the current insanity, one of the things I will be doing this long weekend is making things. A smart new wooden bench for our revamped laundry / utility room. Finishing off all the hives. Making stands for them and getting the sites ready while the builders and sparkys do their thing next week.

Whether I can get three bee colonies this year is also looking a bit iffy. It’s not like going to the shops to buy a Nuc (Five frame container) of (40,000 plus Queen) bees. There is a season for buying (Mid April to late May) and you have to wait your turn.

Once I have my colonies of course, things get a little easier. I can do my own bee breeding and expand the Apiary that way. New hives every season. Sell on the odd surplus colony to fund a new hive box. Get registered as a retailer of honey products, get my brewing licence. Experiment and perfect. All takes time.

Matters may be in motion, but I can’t describe the process as fun right now. I’m reading the Farmers Journal, and although the ban on selling turf (Peat) from September 2022 doesn’t affect me, the news that the EU Commission are pushing for a shift to ‘healthier’ (Yeah, right) ‘plant based diets’ annoys. Don’t these eejits understand that only a small proportion of land (Especially in Ireland) is really suitable for arable crops. The rest is best used for grazing and maintaining a healthy biodiversity.

For the record, your diet is what you have adapted to eat, which in turn is based upon what your parents ate, and their parents before them unto the nth generation. A ‘plant based’ diet alone does not supply all the nutrients necessary for good health. A broad mixed diet does. This is because humans evolved as opportunistic feeders and our digestive systems and dentition reflect this. Like with the whole ‘trans’ farrago (which is little more than a licence for perverts), simply because an agenda is being pushed by politicians, it doesn’t mean it reflects reality.

Speaking of reality, does anyone else get the impression that half the population is suffering from a form of Stockholm Syndrome? You know, the ones who step off the sidewalk or seem to jump three feet sideways if they so much as see anyone not wearing a surgical mask? I do try to be kind and gently smile at them, but that only seems to make matters worse.

Oh well, best to plough my own furrow and get on with things. Now where did I put my little hammer?

Oh, what is it now?

In my workshop yesterday after a day planting Heather, Willow, Wildflowers and Clover in the top meadow. Jaysus but it was cold. The wind didn’t bother going around me, it just moseyed on through like I wasn’t in the way. And it was a damp, bitter wind. The kind that strips the warmth from your bones worse than twenty below. However, the planting got done and I clambered back into the car and slithered back to the house.

Ah yes, the house. Not so much a house as a husk at the moment. No power, no life. A mere gummy shell of a building. Now I find the builders in their enthusiasm, have trashed my Internet connection, leaving me with a stripped fibre connection hanging forlornly over freshly poured concrete. I specifically told them not to play with the connectors, but something got lost in translation and they ripped the box off the wire. Words have been had.

It’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a little blackmail, but I was careful to instruct them to protect it, and Mrs S has been on the phone to them because I was likely to throw a major wobbler at them. And when I wobble, the object of my ire knows that they have been wobbled at. However, apologies have been made, along with offers of restitution, but it’s still extra money that I will end up paying to get reconnected. Never mind the downtime and delay of getting a Technician to come and do the honours. Our Electrician does a lot of stuff, but I don’t think he’s got the kit for RJ45 Cat 6 cabling or making off the ends of Fibre optics.

What I am going to do is treat this misfortune as an opportunity to get my router relocated properly to a more central location in the house so that the Wi-fi signal can reach everywhere within the building at a reasonable signal strength. Then I’ll connect up a wireless bridge to the sheds so I can enjoy high speed Interwebs without having to traipse across the yard every time I need to check my email.

Might even be fast enough for watching instructional videos and Zoom calls without too much buffering. How cool would that be? I have a spare laptop and MIMO router, so maybe I can configure that with my range extender to give me a reasonable bandwidth out there without too much effort. See if I can remember enough from my old Cisco router training. Although modern software interfaces are a lot less user fiendish than back in ’05 when I passed my course. As for full bandwidth Interwebs out in the garden? I like it. I can do a lot with that.

So maybe it is a blessing in disguise that the builders trashed my Interwebbery. It also means that they owe me a big favour. Now that to me is a harder currency than any other.

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.

Because I can

Every day I go to our house to let the builders in while they demolish the ground floor ready for the concrete base which will form the base for the underfloor heating system. All the studding and framing upstairs is almost done, and the sparky has given us a temporary power supply.

Normally I have things to do in my workshop while being on site to answer questions like “Where d’ye want this then?” Unfortunately there’s no electricity so I can’t do much more than rescue materials and spend hours pulling nails. Using my electric saw and sander is not possible. So that slows things like building the raised beds. Fortunately I have made four panels and will have power to my workshop tomorrow.

On a short foray into town I was surprised by the number of people still wearing surgical masks. As I don’t follow the fear porn media, I’m not worried about what is now a moderate cold. No-one challenged me (Well, I’m a big guy) so I just got on with things, ran my errands etc.

Personal anecdote re masks; while the mask mandates were enforced, I regularly felt like I’d got a permanent case of strep throat. Now I no longer bother with a mask, the tightness and other symptoms have disappeared, while many of the the mask wearers seemed to have a cough or a permanent sniffle. Hmmm.

But today the wind has been howling in from the Atlantic, making sitting and sanding in the north facing doorway of my workshop uncomfortable. At our surrogate address, Mrs S is hunkered down and waiting for the winds to pass. Me, I have to make busy and wait until the guys finish at just before five.

However, I count ‘hunkered down’ to include the interior of my SUV (Yes, I drive an SUV, watch those emissions climb – Har, har, har!) So while in the cosy interior of my car, took a bimble around my two fields. It was tremendous fun, skidding and sliding across the damp grass doing broadslide turns and bumping over tussocky patches. Just enjoying myself burning up (almost) two euro a litre diesel. Wonder if I can get the SUV reclassified as a farm vehicle and use a cheaper grade?

Why? Because it’s my land and because I bloody well can.